We’re three weeks away from the draft, meaning just three more projections before April 26th. The top six should be fairly predictable, with really only the order in which Trent Richardson, Morris Claiborne and Justin Blackmon leave the board to be determined. After that, it’s a free-for-all.
I suspect we could see some movement. Jacksonville will hope there’s a market beyond Miami for Ryan Tannehill, enabling them to conjure up an attractive trade offer. Even if that isn’t the case, it makes sense for the Jaguars to explore trade options given their priority must be to build around Blaine Gabbert first and foremost.
Miami could receive trade offers depending on the defensive prospects Carolina are eyeing, while the Panthers themselves could receive interest from anyone looking for the #2 offensive tackle. Even Kansas City could be a hot-spot for teams fearing who the Seahawks will draft.
That uncertainty makes picks 7-11 difficult to project, and therefore it’s tough to gauge who’ll be left for Seattle. Despite increased speculation over the possibility the Seahawks could draft Luke Kuechly or David DeCastro, the teams priority has to be the pass rush. This is a defense that is edging closer to being extremely good. Yet without a compliment to Chris Clemons and an increase in quarterback pressure, it’ll never reach its full potential. Expect the Seahawks to draft a pass rusher in round one and field a top-10 unit if healthy.
I’ve included a second round projection and also a third round choice for Seattle. This mock addresses the three key areas for the Seahawks – pass rusher, linebacker and running back. A prospect in round one who can be a hybrid DE/OLB and will get to the quarterback, a linebacker with range who can cover and a running back that’ll make sure the Seahawks don’t miss a beat when they spell Marshawn Lynch.
Updated first round mock draft
|#1 Andrew Luck (QB, Stanford)
|#2 Robert Griffin III (QB, Baylor)
The inevitable part II.
|#3 Matt Kalil (OT, USC)
Minnesota won’t waste any time calling Kalil’s name. He has elite potential. The inevitable part III.
|#4 Trent Richardson (RB, Alabama)
The Browns have to find someone on offense to build around. Richardson would be the wise choice here.
|#5 Morris Claiborne (CB, LSU)
The biggest spenders in free agency, Tampa Bay could still use a stud cornerback.
|#6 Justin Blackmon (WR, Oklahoma State)
The Rams know this is now a three-draft plan so they need to take whoever is highest on their board with this pick.
|#7 Quinton Coples (DE, North Carolina)
The Jaguars have been down this route before with Derrick Harvey, but they need a pass rusher.
|#8 Ryan Tannehill (QB, Texas A&M)
If the Dolphins don’t take Tannehill here he could fall. How much does Mike Sherman rate his former Texas A&M starter?
|#9 Courtney Upshaw (DE, Alabama)
Carolina wants players that will fit into 3-4 and 4-3 looks. Upshaw fits the bill.
|#10 Riley Reiff (OT, Iowa)
The Bills are going to draft an offensive lineman here, the only question is which one will they choose?
|#11 Luke Kuechly (LB, Boston College)
Scott Pioli loves guys like this – blue collar, high work ethic. Not always spectacular, but always solid.
|#12 Melvin Ingram (DE, South Carolina)
Seattle needs to find a DE/OLB hybrid to fit into the defense and help the pass rush.
|#13 Cordy Glenn (OT, Georgia)
Whoever is playing quarterback for Arizona next year, the Cardinals simply must draft an offensive lineman.
|#14 Dontari Poe (DT, Memphis)
One of the 3-4 teams will convince themselves they cannot live without Poe’s major potential.
|#15 Fletcher Cox (DT, Mississippi State)
Someone will fall for Cox’s athleticism and ensure he’s taken early in the first round. I prefer him in a 3-4.
|#16 Michael Floyd (WR, Notre Dame)
He’s rising, but not everybody will buy into a guy with off-field issues. New York might be willing to turn a blind eye.
|#17 David DeCastro (OG, Stanford)
Cincinnati will want to make sure one of their first round picks is a corner, but DeCastro is hard to pass here.
|#18 Whitney Mercilus (DE, Illinois)
With the top offensive lineman leaving the board before the #18 pick, San Diego may fill another big need here.
|#19 Michael Brockers (DT, LSU)
Trading for Brandon Marshall will allow Chicago to concentrate on the best lineman available at this spot.
|#20 Mark Barron (S, Alabama)
He played incredibly well in 2011 and if teams are satisfied with his health, he should be a top-20 pick.
|#21 Stephon Gilmore (CB, South Carolina)
Gilmore’s performance at the combine has seemingly done enough to cement his place in the top-25 picks.
|#22 Kendall Wright (WR, Baylor)
Cleveland needs to keep adding playmakers and could see Wright as a nice compliment to Greg Little.
|#23 Dre Kirkpatrick (CB, Alabama)
Coverage skills are the issue here but eventually someone will pull the trigger on Kirkpatrick.
|#24 Jonathan Martin (OT, Stanford)
This would be tremendous value for the Steelers.
|#25 Doug Martin (RB, Boise State)
This is now the Peyton Manning show and they need to build around their prized addition. Martin does everything well.
|#26 Stephen Hill (WR, Georgia Tech)
Mind-blowing potential given his size, athleticism and hands. He stood out in limited targets during the 2011 season.
|#27 Devon Still (DT, Penn State)
Would anyone be surprised if New England traded this pick? This could be an area where the fourth QB leaves the board post-trade.
|#28 Vinny Curry (DE, Marshall)
Don’t be surprised if Curry goes much earlier than this.
|#29 Dont’a Hightower (LB, Alabama)
Dont’a Hightower looks like he was born to play defense for the Ravens.
|#30 Coby Fleener (TE, Stanford)
His pro-day raised a few eye-brows and he could go in the top-25.
|#31 Peter Konz (OC, Wisconsin)
Possibly the best bargain in the first round. Konz is the real deal.
|#32 Bobby Massie (OT, Ole Miss)
A bit of a late riser, Massie looks like a solid right tackle. New York are good enough to make a pick this this.
#33 St. Louis – Jerel Worthy (DT, Michigan State)
#34 Indianapolis – Kevin Zeitler (OG, Wisconsin)
#35 Minnesota – Reuben Randle (WR, LSU)
#36 Tampa Bay – Bobby Wagner (LB, Utah State)
#37 Cleveland – Mike Adams (OT, Ohio State)
#38 Jacksonville – Alshon Jeffery (WR, South Carolina)
#39 St. Louis – Kelechi Osemele (OG, Iowa State)
#40 Carolina – Jayron Hosley (CB, Virginia Tech)
#41 Buffalo – Mychal Kendricks (LB, California)
#42 Miami – Andre Branch (DE, Clemson)
#43 Seattle – Zach Brown (LB, North Carolina)
#44 Kansas City – Amini Silatolu (OG, Midwestern State)
#45 Dallas – Jared Crick (DE, Nebraska)
#46 Philadelphia – Nick Perry (DE, USC)
#47 New York Jets – Lamar Miller (RB, Miami)
#48 New England – Shea McClellin (DE, Boise State)
#49 San Diego – Brandon Brooks (OG, Miami OH)
#50 Chicago – Josh Robinson (CB, UCF)
#51 Philadelphia – Brock Osweiler (QB, Arizona State)
#52 Tennessee – Kendall Reyes (DT, Connecticut)
#53 Cincinnati – Ronnell Lewis (LB, Oklahoma)
#54 Detroit – Lavonte David (LB, Nebraska)
#55 Atlanta – Chandler Jones (DE, Syracuse)
#56 Pittsburgh – Mohamed Sanu (WR, Rutgers)
#57 Denver – Brandon Thompson (DT, Clemson)
#58 Houston – Josh Chapman (DT, Alabama)
#59 New Orleans – VOID
#60 Green Bay – Brandon Weeden (QB, Oklahoma State)
#61 Baltimore – Harrison Smith (S, Notre Dame)
#62 San Francisco – Casey Hayward (CB, Vanderbilt)
#63 New York Giants – David Wilson (RB, Virginia Tech)
#64 New England – (Brandon Boykin, CB Georgia)
Seahawks third round pick: Robert Turbin (RB, Utah State)