The whole point of doing these mock drafts is to create discussion points. I’m not trying to project the draft in December. That would be ridiculous. Please remember this. Please.
– I watched some of Kansas City’s game against Carolina on Sunday. As daft as it sounds for a team currently on pace for the #1 pick, they aren’t terrible. Far from it in fact. The offensive line is competitive. They have some X-factor weapons on offense. They have some key players on defense. They just don’t have a quarterback. And while the 2013 group doesn’t contain an Andrew Luck, they can still find a legitimate starter for the foreseeable future. So if KC picks first overall, they just need to identify who they prefer from Matt Barkley, Geno Smith and Tyler Wilson. The AFC West is weak enough for a bounce back year in 2013 if they can upgrade at quarterback. This has been an underwhelming year for Barkley, but how much of that is on Lane Kiffin?
– Markus Wheaton and DeAndre Hopkins are both listed in round one this week. Why? Because they’re both worthy of round one grades. Simple. While a lot of people want to concentrate on Keenan Allen (not included in the first two rounds here) and Justin Hunter (second round projection) I think Wheaton and Hopkins are the two players most likely to succeed from this receiver class. The only receiver who goes higher is Brandon Coleman. He has a much higher ceiling, but he’s likely to need a redshirt year in the NFL to max out his potential. Coleman has much more upside, but isn’t quite as polished in only his second year of college football.
– I have the Seahawks taking Kansas State linebacker Arthur Brown. Pete Carroll paid a lot of attention to Brown during his USC days and he’s a sound option to replace Leroy Hill at the WILL position. The Seahawks like to do things their own way and think outside of the box. Brown isn’t an obvious first round pick within the media, but he is a very good football player. He’s intense, he’s got a nose for the ball. He glides from sideline to sideline and he makes plays. He hasn’t shown a great deal of pass rush at Kansas State, but the Seahawks aren’t using the linebackers that much to blitz and are generally relying on a four man rush. You can see tape of Brown’s performance against Miami at the top of this piece.
– In round two Seattle gets Purdue’s Kawann Short. Although I believe finding a three-technique upgrade for Alan Branch is probably Seattle’s greatest need, I’m not totally convinced it’s a position they’ll target in round one. They may even go after Randy Starks or Sedrick Ellis in free agency. Likewise, I’m not totally convinced they’ll consider the receivers in round one either. Although I wanted to put Wheaton or Hopkins at #22, John Schneider is used to the Green Bay way of doing things. The Packers have enjoyed great success finding receivers in round two or beyond. Expect this team to go searching for value after the first round, just like they did with Golden Tate. And if Wheaton or Hopkins last that far, the Seahawks should run to the podium. The recent production by Golden Tate and Sidney Rice is also making this less of a priority.
|#1 Matt Barkley (QB, USC)
The Chiefs need a quarterback. They don’t have a terrible roster. And even if the value isn’t quite there, just solve this issue indefinitely.
|#2 Bjoern Werner (DE, Florida State)
The Jaguars need a pass rusher and Werner could steadily move up the boards after a 13.5 sack season.
|#3 Manti Te’o (LB, Notre Dame)
The Raiders need to start drafting good football players. This will be a long rebuild.
|#4 Luke Joeckel (T, Texas A&M)
Philly’s offensive line is, well, ‘offensive’. This is the starting point for a new era.
|#5 Sheldon Richardson (DT, Missouri)
The more I watch of Sheldon Richardson, the more I’m reminded of Darnell Dockett.
|#6 Jake Mathews (T, Texas A&M)
Although he’s playing at right tackle for the Aggies, he’s good enough to move across and play the blind side.
|#7 Damontre Moore (DE, Texas A&M)
He’s having a great year and looks the part of a NFL rusher. He has 12.5 sacks in the SEC. That isn’t easy.
|#8 Dee Milliner (CB, Alabama)
The complete cornerback. Milliner is vastly underrated.
|#9 Geno Smith (QB, West Virginia)
All the messing around at quarterback this year cannot happen again.
|#10 Dion Jordan (DE, Oregon)
He could go even higher than this if he explodes at the combine.
|#11 Tyler Wilson (QB, Arkansas)
He looks like the kind of quarterback Chan Gailey would like to draft. He could be the best quarterback to enter the league in 2013.
|#12 Star Lotulelei (DT, Utah)
Plenty of upside but he’s let down by his consistency. Not a great pass rusher… yet.
|#13 Chance Warmack (G, Alabama)
A top-10 level talent who dominates every week for the Crimson Tide.
|#14 Brandon Coleman (WR, Rutgers)
Sensational receiver who could be the next Megatron.
|#15 Zach Ertz (TE, Stanford)
Not just a dynamic pass catcher, he’s also a top-end run blocker.
|#16 Jonathan Cooper (G, North Carolina)
He’s just as good as Chance Warmack, if not better. He won’t last too long.
|#17 Eric Fisher (T, Central Michigan)
The Rams need a left tackle and Fisher looks the part.
|#18 Barkevious Mingo (DE, LSU)
Perhaps not quite as good as some people want you to believe, but he’ll be a terror lined up across from DeMarcus Ware.
|#19 Ezekiel Ansah (DE, BYU)
Another player who could shoot up the board with a great combine.
|#20 Alec Ogeltree (LB, Georgia)
This would be a complete steal. He could have more upside than anyone else in the draft.
|#21 Matt Elam (S, Florida)
Top talent who lasts this long only due to a lack of need. Elam’s a true playmaker in the secondary.
|#22 Arthur Brown (LB, Kansas State)
Just a good football player. The Seahawks like to do things differently. Pete Carroll liked this guy during his USC/recruiting days.
|#23 Taylor Lewan (T, Michigan)
The next best tackle and the Giants need to fill this position long term.
|#24 Jonathan Jenkins (DT, Georgia)
The ideal building block for a team looking to implement a 3-4 defense.
|#25 Dallas Thomas (G, Tennessee)
Although he’s playing guard at Tennessee, he has history at tackle and is good enough to move outside again.
|#26 Jesse Williams (DT, Alabama)
His best position could be the five technique in a 3-4 defense.
|#27 John Simon (DE, Ohio State)
Just a really solid, blue-collar pass rusher.
|#28 Jarvis Jones (DE, Georgia)
Baltimore are good enough to take a chance on Jones, whose spinal stenosis issue will put off some teams.
|#29 Sylvester Williams (DT, North Carolina)
Terrific pass rushing defensive tackle.
|#30 Markus Wheaton (WR, Oregon State)
A smart team will draft this guy in round one. He’s the second coming of Pittsburgh’s Mike Wallace.
|#31 DeAndre Hopkins (WR, Clemson)
Like Wheaton, just an incredibly underrated player.
|#32 Tavon Austin (WR, West Virginia)
When you have a roster like Atlanta’s, why not go for an X-factor playmaker?
#33 Jacksonville – Robert Woods (WR, USC)
#34 Kansas City – C.J. Mosley (LB, Alabama)
#35 Philadelphia – Barrett Jones (C, Alabama)
#36 Carolina – Cordarrelle Patterson (WR, Tennessee)
#37 Cincinnati – Jonathan Banks (CB, Mississippi State)
#38 Tennessee – Sharrif Floyd (DT, Florida)
#39 Arizona – Justin Pugh (T, Syracuse)
#40 Detroit – Bradley Roby (CB, Ohio State)
#41 San Diego – Oday Aboushi (T, Virginia)
#42 Miami – Brennan Williams (T, North Carolina)
#43 Buffalo – New York Jets – Aaron Murray (QB, Georgia)
#44 Buffalo – Khaseem Greene (LB, Rutgers)
#45 St. Louis – Kenny Vaccaro (S, Texas)
#46 Washington – Shawn Williams (S, Georgia)
#47 Dallas – Johnathan Hankins (DT, Ohio State)
#48 Minnesota – Bennie Logan (DT, LSU)
#49 Tampa Bay – Tyler Eifert (TE, Notre Dame)
#50 Cincinnati – Le’Veon Bell (RB, Michigan State)
#51 Seattle – Kawann Short (DT, Purdue)
#52 New York Giants – Gavin Escobar (TE, San Diego State)
#53 Pittsburgh – Stepfan Taylor (RB, Stanford)
#54 Miami – Corey Lemonier (DE, Alabama)
#55 Green Bay – Montee Ball (RB, Wisconsin)
#56 Chicago – D.J. Fluker (T, Alabama)
#57 Baltimore – Xavier Rhodes (CB, Florida State)
#58 Denver – Giovani Bernard (RB, North Carolina)
#59 San Francisco – Jordan Poyer (CB, Oregon State)
#60 New England – Alex Okafor (DE, Texas)
#61 Atlanta – Jonathan Franklin (RB, UCLA)
#62 Houston – Levine Toilolo (TE, Stanford)