The mock draft page in the title bar will be fixed this weekend but for now I’ll post the latest projection here.
Before I get into it here’s a few of other mocks to check out: ESPN’s Todd McShay has posted his third update with Jake Locker (QB, Washington) going to the Seahawks. Wes Bunting at the NFP thinks Seattle goes with Nate Solder (OT, Colorado) and Chad Reuter at CBS Sportsline has the Seahawks drafting Corey Liuget (DT, Illinois).
Updated mock draft
#1 Carolina – Cam Newton (QB, Auburn)
The Panthers need to study hard and ask themselves ‘can any of these quarterbacks be the future of this franchise’? If the answer is yes – they could still draft a QB first overall.
#2 Denver – Da’Quan Bowers (DE, Clemson)
The Broncos weren’t ranked #32 for defense because of their secondary. They need defensive line help in a bad way.
#3 Buffalo – Marcell Dareus (DT, Alabama)
They could go in a number of directions, but that defensive front needs some beef. Dareus is scheme flexible.
#4 Cincinnati – Nick Fairley (DT, Auburn)
The attitude and personality might put off a few teams – but it won’t put off Cincinnati. Will they be forced to consider a quarterback?
#5 Arizona – Patrick Peterson (CB, LSU)
Quarterback remains a huge black hole in Arizona but would they take Gabbert, Locker or Mallett here?
#6 Cleveland – AJ Green (WR, Georgia)
The Browns need a playmaker on offense who can produce quickly and Green fits the bill.
#7 San Francisco – Cameron Jordan (DE, California)
He’s always been a potential top-10 pick. Locker, Gabbert or Mallett don’t strike me as John Harbaugh draft picks.
#8 Tennessee – Blaine Gabbert (QB, Missouri)
He’d need to get past Arizona and San Francisco, but Tennessee can’t let him drop any further.
#9 Dallas – Jimmy Smith (CB, Colorado)
He is a top-ten talent and you’ll start to see him rise in a lot more mock drafts very soon.
#10 Washington – Jake Locker (QB, Washington)
Talk about a drop as much as you want, sometimes things aren’t logical. This fits need, scheme fit and the coach likes the kid. They will draft a quarterback.
#11 Houston – Robert Quinn (DE, North Carolina)
They’re switching to a 3-4 defense and Quinn can help Mario Williams get this defense rolling.
#12 Minnesota – Tyron Smith (OT, USC)
The best offensive tackle on the market with huge potential.
#13 Detroit – Von Miller (LB, Texas A&M)
This is too high for me – but don’t underestimate the value of draft hype.
#14 St. Louis – Julio Jones (WR, Alabama)
The Rams need a go-to receiver. I’d love to see Jones fall to Seattle, but it seems unlikely.
#15 Miami – Mike Pouncey (C, Florida)
Pouncey is locked into the mid/late teens. Miami needs a center in a bad way.
#16 Jacksonville – Prince Amukamara (CB, Nebraska)
He’s over rated but he can only fall so far. Amukamara’s future could lie at safety.
#17 New England – JJ Watt (DE, Wisconsin)
Solid football player who fits the New England mantra.
#18 San Diego – Mohammed Wilkerson (DE, Temple)
Growing draft stock after a ten-sack season.
#19 New York Giants – Nate Solder (OT, Colorado)
I have them taking Solder over Akeem Ayers and Mark Ingram – but it was close.
#20 Tampa Bay – Aldon Smith (DE, Missouri)
I think he fits best in the 4-3 despite not having elite size for a right end.
#21 Kansas City – Ryan Kerrigan (DE, Purdue)
The Chiefs want character, leadership and production.
#22 Indianapolis – Corey Liuget (DT, Illinois)
Could probably go higher than this but for a lack of 4-3 teams needing interior help.
#23 Philadelphia – Akeem Ayers (LB, UCLA)
Corner or offensive line appears to be an alternative option, but Ayers might be BPA.
#24 New Orleans – Mark Ingram (RB, Alabama)
Another big time playmaker for the Saints offense.
#25 Seattle – Phil Taylor (DT, Baylor)
Depth and size up front for the Seahawks’ defensive line.
#26 Baltimore – Jon Baldwin (WR, Pittsburgh)
Could be the receiver they expected Anquan Boldin to be.
#27 Atlanta – Adrian Clayborn (DE, Iowa)
Unimpressive this year but worth a look here.
#28 New England – Ben Ijalana (OT, Villanova)
The Pats may consider drafting an offensive lineman in this area, but who’d bet against a trade down?
#29 New York Jets – Justin Houston (OLB, Georgia)
Rex Ryan loves pass rushers.
#30 Chicago – Torrey Smith (WR, Maryland)
Cutler’s arm could make Smith a star.
#31 Pittsburgh – Brandon Harris (CB, Miami)
The Steelers’ biggest need.
#32 Green Bay – Anthony Castonzo (OT, Boston College)
He needs to have a good combine work out.
– There’s an almost witch hunt mentality surrounding Ryan Mallett at the moment, which is unfair. Most of the people discussing his future haven’t watched him 8-10 times during college and appear unwilling or unable to discuss the positives with wild rumours doing the rounds. I think he’s a first round talent absolutely. However, you can’t measure the impact of a negative press. He’ll need to be spectacular in combine interviews to repair his stock. The Seahawks would need to be thoroughly unimpressed to justify passing at #25.
– People are going over the top when they discuss Jake Locker and Ryan Mallett dropping into round three. It’s sensationalist reporting designed to draw attention. Both have their faults, but nobody is considering why they could still go in round one – and early at that. A bit of perspective is needed. I still believe a Locker and Shanahan partnership is destiny and I think if Mallett does fall, he’ll find a home early in round two.
– We’re no closer to guessing what Carolina will do with that #1 pick. I wouldn’t rule out Cam Newton, Blaine Gabbert, Marcell Dareus, Nick Fairley or Da’Quan Bowers. I think the choice will come from that group. The quarterbacks still have the edge in my view due to the importance of the position. I think Newton and Gabbert warrant greater praise because they are both talented guys – people are looking for problems and not looking for potential. If they aren’t interested in the quarterbacks, defensive tackle is the teams big need.
– The depth at defensive tackle overall could further encourage Carolina to draft a quarterback first overall. The Panthers don’t have a second round pick though, having traded it during last year’s draft for Armanti Edwards (perhaps another indicator that they might make an unconventional choice first overall).
– There’s some nice offensive line talent that should be around in round two. I suspect some of the offensive tackles will be available (Sherrod, Carimi and possibly Castonzo). I rate James Carpenter higher than most. Danny Watkins and Rodney Hudson will give teams an instant impact at guard (or center in Hudson’s case).
It was also Cam Newton’s ‘media’ work out today in San Diego. Trent Dilfer was impressed: