I’m having some issues updating the ‘mock draft’ page so I’m going to post the new mock here for now. As soon as the page is working again I will update it with full comments for each pick.
Here’s the latest projection:
#1 Carolina – Blaine Gabbert (QB, Missouri)
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 NFL’s worst ranked team for defense and sacks – Bowers would be a huge boost up front.
#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 Newton, Locker or Mallett?
#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, Newton or Mallett don’t strike me as John Harbaugh draft picks.
#8 Tennessee – Cam Newton (QB, Auburn)
If Newton lasts this long, he surely won’t get past the Titans.
#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)
Shanahan clearly wants to draft a quarterback and this is a perfect scheme fit. I’d be very surprised if this didn’t happen.
#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 – Brandon Harris (CB, Miami)
This appears likely to be a corner or an offensive lineman.
#24 New Orleans – Akeem Ayers (OLB, UCLA)
Linebacker is New Orleans’ #1 need. This would be good value.
#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 – Mark Ingram (RB, Alabama)
Would be a steal this late in round one and I still struggle to accept he’ll last this far.
#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 Green Bay – Ryan Williams (RB, Virginia Tech)
Injuries destroyed 2009 season but flashed massive potential as a red-shirt freshman.
#32 Pittsburgh – Stephen Paea (DT, Oregon State)
Great against the run and could work out as a five technique.