Collaborative mock draft

Yesterday I was invited to take part in a collaborative mock draft alongside Dan Kadar of Mocking the Draft, Brad Clark of NFL’s Future and Jeff Risdon of Real GM. I’ve posted the results below. I’ll also be updating my own weekly projection tomorrow.

Dan Kadar

1. Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

This has been the obvious choice since at least December. The only unknown now is how the Colts will surround Luck with talent. The offense needs pieces on the line, the receiver group has been depleted and the run game is only ordinary. It’s a full-blown rebuild in Indianapolis, so they’re fortunate to have a franchise quarterback to build around.

Brad Clark

2. Washington Redskins – Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor

Griffin was destined to be a Brown or Redskin. The ‘Skins pulled off the blockbuster and secured their quarterback of the future in Robert Griffin III.

Jeff Risdon

3. Minnesota Vikings – Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

With Antoine Winfield nearing the end and Chris Cook’s status uncertain, the Vikings opt to fill the huge need at corner. Their division has three excellent QB’s and legit #1 WR’s and they must shore up the back end if they ever want to compete in the NFC North.

Rob Staton

4. Cleveland Browns – Matt Kalil, OT, USC

The Browns could trade the rights to Kalil for a kings ransom. We’re not making deals in this mock, so Cleveland takes the best player on the board to create an incredible tandem with Joe Thomas.

Dan Kadar

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

The Buccaneers would be in a tough situation if Claiborne and Kalil are both gone when they pick. That could open them to trading the pick to a team that wants Justin Blackmon. But with LeGarrette Blount sputtering to the finish last season, Richardson would give their offense a sure thing in the run game.

Brad Clark

6. St. Louis Rams – Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma St.

They could be trade partners with Cleveland in this scenario for a franchise LT. If they stay put, the cupboards are bare at WR after Brandon Lloyd’s departure to New England. Blackmon could remedy some of the ills for Sam Bradford.

Jeff Risdon

7. Jacksonville Jaguars – Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina

They need a pass rushing force opposite Jeremy Mincey. Coples brings great physical tools and versatility to the young defensive front.

Rob Staton

8. Miami Dolphins – Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M

I’m not a big Tannehill fan but the Dolphins are desperate at the moment and need some positive PR. Drafting a quarterback might be the answer and Mike Sherman’s presence as offensive coordinator could increase the chances of this happening.

Dan Kadar

9. Carolina Panthers – Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi St.

The Panthers are bringing in several defensive linemen for visits, including Michael Brockers, Coples and Jerel Worthy. With the team set at nose with Sione Fua, the team needs a left tackle capable of generating a blitz. There are tackles more highly regarded than Cox, but he fills a hole better than others.

Brad Clark

10. Buffalo Bills – Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

With the additions of Mario Williams and Mark Anderson the focus is off DE. Issues in the secondary and offensive tackle could be addressed here but I don’t see the value. The offense needs more weapons and Floyd is a perfect complement to Stevie Johnson.

Jeff Risdon

11. Kansas City Chiefs – Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina

Not the biggest need but Ingram has game-changing ability as a pass rusher and has shown he can play in space against the run. Pass rushing depth is a must in today’s NFL.

Rob Staton

12. Seattle Seahawks – Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama

The Seahawks need someone who can rush the passer and fit into a DE/OLB hybrid role. Upshaw is the ideal choice, considering how comfortable he is reading in space.

Dan Kadar

13. Arizona Cardinals – Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford

With the top two 3-4 pass rushers off the board in Ingram and Upshaw, the Cardinals may look to upgrade their offensive line. Martin could be used on the left side, shifting the recently re-signed Levi Brown to the right.

Brad Clark

14. Dallas Cowboys – Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis

Jay Ratliff was inherited by Rob Ryan but certainly isn’t what he looks for in the middle of his defense. Poe is a splash selection with a ton of upside which suits Jerry Jones perfectly. Ratliff and Poe become movable parts for a defense predicated on versatility.

Jeff Risdon

15. Philadelphia Eagles – Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

Lots of different opinions here. Brockers is still learning how to play inside but his is already a very good run defender. He has flashed potential as a pocket-collapsing pass rusher down the road. Brockers fits nicely as part of their DL rotation with Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson.

Rob Staton

16. New York Jets – Vinny Curry, DE/OLB, Marshall

Riley Reiff’s still on the board and would make a logical choice at right tackle, but the Jets need a pass rusher. Curry is underrated and could go higher than most people expect.

Dan Kadar

17. Cincinnati Bengals – Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

The fall of Kirkpatrick stops here. The Bengals have two picks in the first round and one of them is likely to be a cornerback. Kirkpatrick is a high-end talent who could shift over to free safety in the future.

Brad Clark

18. San Diego Chargers – Cordy Glenn, OG/OT, Georgia

The good news for the Chargers is that Glenn can play both tackle and guard. They need both. Re-signing Jared Gaither was a giant step in the right direction but Jeromey Clary remains a mess on the right side. Glenn’s ability to play multiple positions on the OL should be the selling point for A.J. Smith.

Jeff Risdon

19. Chicago Bears – Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina

Very physical corner that fits nicely opposite Charles Tillman in an otherwise thin secondary. Could move to safety if the youngsters don’t pan out, and his perimeter run defense is a real plus.

Rob Staton

20. Tennessee Titans – Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin

Adding Kamerion Wimbley allows the Titans to consider other needs instead of taking the next best pass rusher. Konz could be another Alex Mack – an extremely talented center to feature at the heart of Tennessee’s offensive line for the next decade.

Dan Kadar

21. Cincinnati Bengals – Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College

Rey Maualuga has been inconsistent on the field and has some off-field concerns. Kuechly, a local guy from Cincinnati, could easily slide into the middle and the team could jettison Maualuga. Now that the team has signed BenJarvus Green-Ellis, running back isn’t necessarily a first-round need.

Brad Clark

22. Cleveland Browns – Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor

The Browns need to add playmakers to their anemic offense. Wright showed out at the Baylor pro day after a disappointing Combine performance. With Wright’s ability to stretch the defense vertically it should open up the underneath for Greg Little to work.

Jeff Risdon

23. Detroit Lions – Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa

With Jeff Backus nearing the end and Gosder Cherilus hitting a walk year, the Lions bolster the tackle position with Reiff. I’ve often compared Reiff to a younger Jeff Backus, which makes him a natural fit in Detroit.

Rob Staton

24. Pittsburgh Steelers – David DeCastro, OG, Stanford

DeCastro would be good value at this point and fills a need for the Steelers on the offensive line. He could feature in numerous spots, but his best position is probably the one he played at Stanford – right guard.

Dan Kadar

25. Denver Broncos – Devon Still, DT, Penn St.

The Broncos have their pass rushers, but need tackles up front who can occupy blocks and play the run. Adding weapons for Peyton Manning will be intriguing, but the team won’t win unless it can improve its overall defense.

Brad Clark

26. Houston Texans – Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech

The Texans have failed to find a legit weapon opposite Andre Johnson for years. It all changes in 2012 with the addition of Hill. Hill’s as raw as they come but too much potential to pass at this point in the draft.

Jeff Risdon

27. New England Patriots – Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois

The Patriots use the Mark Ingram booty on Mercilus, an edge rusher to fill the role of the departed Mark Anderson and his double-digit sacks. Mercilus had 22 tackles for loss, 16 sacks, and 9 forced fumbles in 2011, his only good college season.

Rob Staton

28. Green Bay Packers – Andre Branch, DE/OLB, Clemson

The Packers need a pass rusher here and Branch is the best fit for their 3-4 defense. He’s not quite got the production of Mercilus at #27, but he has a nice initial burst and underrated technique.

Dan Kadar

29. Baltimore Ravens – Kelechi Osemele, OG/OT, Iowa St.

Along with losing Ben Grubbs via free agency, the Ravens have an aging Bryant McKinnie at left tackle. Osemele would be a player the Ravens could use inside at guard or move outside when McKinnie leaves if Jah Reid is ineffective.

Brad Clark

30. San Francisco 49ers – Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford

Athletic TE’s are in vogue in today’s NFL. Delanie Walker will likely be gone after this season leaving Vernon Davis the only option in an offense that relies on two tight ends. Fleener can be used in a multitude of ways with his athleticism. Fleener won’t make a living in-line but he won’t need to in Harbaugh’s system. The thought of a Fleener/Davis duo is mind numbing.

Jeff Risdon

31. New England Patriots – Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan St.

Worthy is a hot-and-cold player that can dominate as an interior rusher when he’s on his game. Vince Wilfork is the only DT under contract beyond 2012, which makes getting quality reinforcements a bigger need than most perceive.

Rob Staton

32. New York Giants – Mark Barron, SS, Alabama

Personally, I’d draft Doug Martin or Dont’a Hightower. However, I think the Giants will wait on a running back or linebacker and consider other options here. As long as he’s healthy, Mark Barron is still good value and he had a tremendous 2011 season.


  1. Michael

    Good mock. Im sure seahawks are in shape

  2. Stuart

    Interesting with Kalil dropping. Gilmore may be a much better player than Dre Kirkpatrick so I could see those players switched. I can see the top 10 playing out just like this. Fletcher Cox is supior to Dontari Poe. Poe had a terrific combine but did not impress on the field especially when you look at the talent level he completed against. Courtney Upshaw to the Seahawks, yes!

    Todays dream for Seahawks;
    Round 1 Upshaw LB Alabama
    Round 2 Hightower LB Alabama
    Round 3 Chris Polk RB Washington (would MUCH prefer Doug Martin here but he will be long gone)
    Round 4 Osweiler QB Arizona State

  3. Misfit74

    A ton of very nice, logical picks in this mock. Well done.

    I do think that unless you need a LT – and the Browns certainly do not – you don’t pass on Richardson or Blackmon for a RT. RT doesn’t have top-4 positional value.

    Floyd to the Bills is a perfect fit. Konz to the Titans is, too.

  4. AlaskaHawk

    It was reported that with the compensatory picks Cleveland has 13 draft picks this year! They don’t need to trade there first for more.

  5. peter

    Cleveland’s strange, you have this apparent brain trust sitting in the offices, and yet they still keep middling about, I say good on them if they trade their first pick for more picks…there was a great article at Fieldgulls about that, and how sometimes quantity is just that,quantity, and sometimes when you are sitting with 10 picks (prior to knowing the compensatory amount) Cleveland should have simply said “Redskin, we see your amount and we raise you another pick for RGIII” and make the move for next level talent.

    What would they turn their picks into? More O-line help, another mediocre RB in the 3 rd round…no Cleveland needs actual factual talent. Or they will seriously need a new front office.

  6. peter

    It’l be interesting to see Upshaw run, Osweiler Throw, and Tannehill’s pro-day results this week, I know nothing should change too much unless you have a Burfict style meltdown, but it wil be intriguing if say “Speed” is really a big deal this draft and if Upshaw has that in Spades…..

    With that in mind if Upshaw doesn’t bring a ton of speed at his pro-day, Rob, do you seeany chance that Seattle’s board changes, or yours in fact…I think Upshaw is great and you have roundly sold most of this community on his virtues, I’m just wondering now with Fleener in the potential mix, and if Upshaw isn’t as fast, do the Seahawks do some strange drafting and target LB’s/ DE later then the first round?

  7. Darnell

    1. Upshaw
    2. Kendricks
    3. Polk
    4. Irvin

  8. Ben2

    Darnell, I dig those first 4 picks…I have the same dream picks but I’d be happy with Martin in 2nd a LB in 3rd if Martin fell to hawks pick in rd2

  9. Micah

    Those are my exact picks, Darnell. Good on ya! Talk about a fast defense. I think Bruce Irvin could become a super LEO, but has some character and production questions that will make him slip. He might not make it out of the third, but I’m hoping with you.

  10. peter

    I think Kendricks will drop a round come draft day…I like the guy I just feel like anypossible way to get Martin would be greatly appreciated and a smal(ish) Mike LB will possibly tumble a bit come draft time.

    1. Upshaw
    2. Martin
    3. Kendricks
    4. Irvin

  11. RJD

    no 5.
    6. Tommy Streeter
    7. Brandon Hardin
    7. Austin Davis

  12. David

    I have a Man Crush on Fleener. The only team I do not want to see him go to is the 49ers or anyone else in the NFC West.

  13. DavidinBellingham

    I hope Upshaw runs about the speed expected, 4.6-4.7. If he runs faster then teams ahead will possibly value more, if he runs slower we may value him less than previously. Frankly, I like the tape I have watched of Upshaw and don’t see Ingram, Coples, or Mercilus as better pass rushers. I am not concerned if Upshaw runs 4.7.

  14. Todd

    If the 49ers biggest threat are their TE’s, then all the talk about Kendricks in the 2nd should shift to Lavonte David. Looking at the tape, he’s a better fit to play man coverage against an athletic TE.

  15. Darin

    Gibe me:

    1. Courtney Upshaw, just a football player and is scheme versatile, which Carroll and Schneider love. I’m seeing him like Clay Matthews was used at SC by Carroll.

    2. Dont’a Hightower, a freight train down hill middle backer, who can get after the QB, Bama actually had formations with him on one edge and Upshaw on the other to rush the QB. Makes plays behind the line of scrimmage.

    3. Kheeston Randell a DT from Texas, he is long and athletic and even for only weighing about 295, is tough to move off the line of scrimmage. They guy has the athletic ability to get after the QB, but was asked to eat space at ut. Was originally think Chris Polk here, but Carroll and Schneider talked about getting the front seven more athletic and getting more pressure on the QB.

    4. Cyrus Gray, need a back up running back and Gray is a do it all guy, runs hard between the tackles, catch the ball out of the back field, and he is a good pass blocker. Perfect complement to Beastmode.

  16. Ben2

    I lliked the draft – made a lot of sense but could also see teams like Steelers or Ravens pick Hightower in the tail end of the 1st instead of o-line so I’m not going to get my hopes up of a Bama reunion in the NW

  17. Michael (CLT)

    I’ll be glad when this is finally over and we can focus on 2013. This novel is written and played out.

  18. Doug

    no doubt

  19. BJA

    Yea, cant wait till 2013. I can just imagine next year about this time when we got the 20th pick and there is absolutely no QB past the 5th pick and before the 40th pick worth taking and everyone wants us to trade our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in 2013 and our 2014 1st and 2nd to get to the top 5, and JS is sitting there saying well we still need some playmakers on offense and it isn’t worth trading our future team away for a QB… cant wait. I just want some football and to see the Seahawks kick A$$.

  20. BJA

    Even though Coples is my favorite player, and I don’t believe Clemons is a lock to stay our starting LEO, Upshaw is growing on me big time with everyone talking about him and seeing a few of his game tapes. See, Carrol and Schneider both say the draft is for building the team, aka starters, and free agency is for depth. So just because we already have someone at a particular position and he does an alright job, it doesnt mean he is starter quality and should be there. The LEO is supposed to be a pass rush specialist going after the QB on every play, and all Clemons got for sacks was 10?? No way is that good enough being his main job, more so than most DEs since on other teams they ask the DE to play the run more, I don’t think Clemons is supposed to ever worry about that. He was a free agent pick up and there for depth, he just happened to be the best we had there last year and he started.

  21. Colin

    BJA, Clemons has 22 sacks in two seasons playing the LEO, he’s not just a pass rush specialist, he’s on the field for the vast majority of defensive snaps. He’s pretty gnarly against the run as well. Even if we do draft Coples or Upshaw, they aren’t going to become starters day one. Pete and Gus will work them in as rotational guys who will see playing time increase as they show they can do the job at hand.

  22. Mike

    Clemons got 11 sacks last year, which ties him for 11th in the NFL – that’s a pretty good result when you consider that there was basically no pressure from the other side to collapse the pocket. It’d be heard to believe that 11 sacks from the leo with last year’s front 7 isn’t good enough to start – there are only a handful of humans on the planet that can successfully rush the passer without any help.

    Though the leo is advertised as a “pin back the ears” type of position – Clemons still had responsibility for contain to his side and did a pretty decent job with that assignment as well.

    All that said, he’s not getting any younger and we probably don’t have a suitable replacement on the team should he get hurt, so finding a replacement now wouldn’t be a bad idea.

  23. SHawn

    Pin back your ears, but still contain your side…

    Sounds exactly like Upshaw’s forte. I could easily see him starting opposite Red and making Clemons the rotational guy, ala Brock in 2010. If that’s how we plan on using him, then we still need a MIKE and a WILL. And a RB2.

    1 – Upshaw DE, bumps Clem to a rotational role.
    2 – Hightower, MIKE, even if we resign Heater, Dont’a will be the starter.
    3 – Jonathan Massaquoi / Travis Lewis / Keenan Robinson, WILL
    4 – Cyrus Gray / Robert Turbin / Isaiah Pead / Bernard Pierce, RB2

  24. AlaskaHawk

    Those are some good picks. I would love to have the two defensive talents from Alabama.

  25. Todd

    No way do we draft Upshaw and Hightower.

    Those two would actually be slower than the Hawthorne/Hill combo and PC said he wants to get faster at LB. I think using that information the draft would look more like this:

    1) (Trade Down) – Andre Branch
    2) Lavonte David
    3) LaDarius Green
    4) Robert Turbin
    4) (From Trade Down) Ryan Lindley
    6) Brandon Hardin
    7) Sean Cattouse/Chris Greenwood

  26. Tarry

    Todd – only a 4th on a trade down? They better only move down 1 or 2 places to get that little of return. A 3rd at MINIMUM should be the price.

  27. peter


    That’s not half bad your set up…though I’d skip Lindley…..

  28. Dan V.

    Stop wishing for Turbin. Has anyone watched his tape? He needs to set an appointment to change direction. Nothing more than a straight ahead runner and not even a very physical one at that. He looked good in shorts and a compression shirt at the combine, I get that, but running backs like him are a dime a dozen.

    Watched some Ronnie Hillman tape this weekend, and despite the fact he’s not much bigger than Forsett, he’s extremely impressive. Uncanny instincts and cutback ability, quick feet, and hard to tackle. I love Martin and Polk, in that order, but if Hillman were still there in the 4th round, he’d be a steal, and an ideal compliment to Lynch.

    I love all the Upshaw affection. Sometimes as we get closer to the draft we get tired of talking about the same player, so we start to overthink it. The bottom line is, Upshaw is the idea choice for us if we stay at #12.

  29. peter

    Dan V.,

    I watched Turbin tape and I found RB who was hard to bring down, who had perhaps not a “second gear,” but something akin to “1.5 gear,” who helped out his QB in pass-pro as well as working back into passing lanes when plays broke down. I found his decision making and one cut and go style quite effective….

    I’d love to get Martin but I don’t see that happening….I think the Turbin in the fourth would be a pretty darn good move

  30. Tarry

    I have been reading scouting report after scouting report on DEs and with what I’ve seen, Ingram and Upshaw are projecting as a better fit for a 3-4 LB than a 4-3 DE which is what we are in need of. Of the pure pass rushing DE that better fit our 4-3, Coples is first choice but with him gone, Mercilus is good option. A trade down would be preferred choice to gather additional pick(s), and taking Mercilus, Branch, or Curry later first round.

  31. Todd

    The trade down scenario would get us a 4th this year and a 4th next year. In exchange we would trade down to 20-22 range. I prefer Branch over Mercilus because of his larger body of work.

    I like Turbin because I don’t think we need a change of pace back (Washington can do that fine since his KR/PR value is lessened now) we need a similar back to Marshawn to keep the defense beat up. We could even have some fun formations with both backs in at once to keep the defense on their toes.

    I want to say that out of my previous post I really like the Green drafting. The guy is huge and fast and could be our Vernon Davis. Miller is a better intermediate route runner, Green can be the deep seam guy that allows the underneath guys like Baldwin and Tate to have some room to work.

  32. peter

    I like the Green Pick, I’m not sure that TE will be picked that early though. He does seem to have good tangibles….but it’s the Seahawks so I have to ask, how is his blocking?

  33. Tarry

    Todd – The players you have in your rounds are fitting for what Carroll and Schneider want to do – Faster LB, pass rush DE, RB with Lynch-like qualities as bruiser.

  34. Todd

    Hi Peter,

    Unfortunately his run blocking is his only real glaring weakness. He looks awkward and isn’t natural. I think he is better suited in two TE sets where he can do a quick block and release. I wouldn’t expect him to be on the field in 3rd and 1 scenarios unless a play action pass was called. I think his abilities are more of an explosive receiver who can even be split wide as opposed to a 3 pt stance setup.

    Think of a faster JerMichael Finley.

    And being that Schneider knows Finley’s talent well this pick seems like a fit.

    Also since we are clearly becoming a mini 49ers. They rely heavily on a pass catching TE. I feel that Green would potentially be a better threat than Miller in terms of explosive plays. And he certainly would improve on Morrah/McCoy combo from last year.

    He would come cheap as a 3rd rounder so we wouldn’t have so much capital tied up in the position (as Carlson would have cost a bit).

    This guy could be what Jerramy Stevens should have been, an elite TE.

  35. peter


    Thanks for the info. Jermichael Finley type player to the Seahawks that has a certain ring to it…

  36. J.K.Lade

    Solid mock as usual. Upshaw could end up being the piece that will spring the ‘D’ into elite status. His size, vision, college competition and tackling ability should make his stint in the NFL a very long one. Although, Ingram seems to have the edge on pass rushing ability. I feel like we need to add some depth on the OL in later rounds. And please Pete and John, can we pick up Russell Wilson in the fourth. Great offseason thus far…the front office is set on aspiring youth! Gotta love it!

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