This mock draft is based on a in-depth needs analysis, past draft trends, and a ranking of each player in the draft. It represents what I feel is in the best interest of the respective team. It also provides a detailed commentary on what has led to the decision.
1. Detroit - Andre Smith OT Alabama
Detroit has to take a solid guy with the No. 1 pick. Smith provides an instant lift to the ground game that showed promise with Kevin Smith carrying the ball. It also improves the pass protection for whoever is taking snaps this year.
I do not believe the Lions are ready for a franchise signal-caller until they put a support system in place. Look for Dan Orlovsky and Drew Stanton to finally get their chance to be the man.
2. St. Louis - Michael Oher OT Ole Miss
The Rams need some youth along there front line. Oher is a tremendous tackle prospect whose stock is still high. After the combine, he should hold in the top five. Eugene Monroe is an option here, as well as Jason Smith.
3. Kansas City - Matt Stafford QB Georgia
Tyler Thigpen's play was good towards the end of the year, but with the best quarterback in the draft staring them in the face, they have to take him. They would like a defensive end, but no one is worth the No. 3 pick right now. A good combine could have Brian Orakpo or Everette Brown move back up here.
4. Seattle - Michael Crabtree WR Texas Tech
Seattle needs a star at wide receiver. Crabtree will be that star. He is arguably the most talented prospect in the draft and fits a major team need. He will be the pick here.
5. Cleveland - Aaron Curry LB Wake Forest
Curry has all the tools to be a great linebacker for years to come. He will be a force in the NFL. Running back is a possibility, but Chris "Beanie" Wells is too injury prone and there is too much depth to reach for Knowshon Moreno in this draft.
6. Cincinnati - Jason Smith OT Baylor
Smith has great feet and is able to stay on his blocks the longest of the top tackles. He is a great fit protecting Carson Palmer's blind side. Cincinnati can not afford to allow that much pressure and expect to be successful.
7. Oakland - Eugene Monroe OT Virginia
JaMarcus Russell needs time to make plays and Monroe can provide that. If Crabtree falls, then Al Davis will take him, but he won't. Consider yourself lucky, Raiders fans. If Nnamdi Asomugha leaves, this could be Malcolm Jenkins.
8. Jacksonville - Rey Maualuga LB Southern Cal
With the likely departure of Mike Petersen this offseason, the Jaguars take Maualuga to man the middle. Offensive tackle is a need, but with the top picks off the board Rey is the best fit.
9. Green Bay - BJ Raji DT Boston College
With the transition to a 3-4, the Packers need a big body to occupy the middle. Raji is the best defensive tackle prospect in the draft and is a perfect fit in Lambeau.
10. San Francisco - Mark Sanchez QB Southern Cal
The 'Niners are excited to see Sanchez land with them. Shaun Hill is not the future without Mike Martz around. Sanchez helps them plan for the future.
11. Buffalo - Brian Orakpo DE Texas
Buffalo needs to upgrade it's defensive line and with Orakpo on the board they snatch him up. His combine numbers will place him as the top defensive end taken.
12. Denver - Everette Brown DE Florida State
The Broncos need a big physical linebacker or two, or three, or five for that matter. I think they take Brown, who can be a solid OLB in their new 3-4 scheme. Denver will need lots of defense in the off season.
13. Washington - Aaron Maybin DE Penn State
Washington only had 24 sacks on the season. That's less than the Detroit Lions. Maybin should develop into a solid edge rusher/linebacker combo.
14. New Orleans - Malcolm Jenkins CB Ohio State
Jenkins falls due to need and is a great pick-up for a team needing defense. James Laurinaitis is an option, but his stock is much lower than Jenkins. Dan Morgan returning could help the Saints and allow for a linebacker to be drafted later.
15. Houston - Vontae Davis CB Illinois
I believe Dunta Robinson will leave in free agency, making Davis the best fit for the Texans.
The Chargers need some youth in their front line. Mike Goff may be gone this off season and Britton should help open up lanes and get LT back in business.
17. N.Y. Jets - DJ Moore CB Vanderbilt
The Jets' front seven plays the run well, but the defense is still ranked 29th against the pass. Getting a running back is tempting, especially with Moreno and Wells on the board. With depth at running back in the draft, the Jets make a wise move and upgrade the secondary.
18. Chicago - Michael Johnson DE Georgia Tech
Many people feel a defensive end will go here, but I do not see one rated this high left on the board. I think the Bears will break a trend and get another offensive play maker. If Michael Johnson or Paul Krueger have outstanding combines, then I may change my mind.
19. Tampa Bay - Knowshon Moreno RB Georgia
Moreno slides due to a lack of need thanks to last year's running back class. He is a major pick-up for the Bucs and fills a large need.
20. Detroit - James Laurinaitis LB Ohio State
Detroit gets the middle linebacker that it so desperately needs. This team needs help at many positions, but the middle of the defense needs the biggest upgrade. Giving up nearly 200 yards per game on the ground is pathetic.
21. Philadelphia - Duke Robinson OG Oklahoma
Robinson is the best guard prospect available and with Jon Runyan and Tra Thomas hitting free agency and getting older, it's time to grab the best linemen available for the future.
22. Minnesota - Josh Freeman QB Kansas State
The Vikings are forced to reach here. They have to find a quarterback for the future. Freeman will measure well at the combine and be the third quarterback selected.
23. New England - Sean Smith CB Utah
The Pats need some serious help in their secondary. Smith is a versatile player with good size and speed. He will be a starter on opening day.
24. Atlanta - Brandon Pettigrew TE Oklahoma State
The Falcons go with the top tight end available. They could look at a defensive tackle, but can not pass up Pettigrew.
25. Miami - Alex Mack C California
Miami needs secondary help, but they get better value. Mack is an excellent center prospect and provides an instant upgrade.
26. Baltimore - Jeremy Maclin WR Missouri
Baltimore needs a play making receiver for Joe Flacco to throw to. Harvin provides a spark to the offense and special teams.
27. Indianapolis - Peria Jerry DT Ole Miss
It's no secret the Colts need help up front. Jerry is a solid fit for their defense.
28. Philadelphia - Brian Cushing LB Southern Cal
The Eagles look to add an impact line backer to the mix. They can afford to go 'Best Available' here with their second pick.
Nicks has good size and incredible hands. He can play the one or two spot for the Giants as they look to a future after Amani Toomer retires. I believe they will get an additional receiver in free agency or a trade. Anquan Boldin anyone?
30. Tennessee - Percy Harvin WR Florida
The Titans need a speedy receiver to stretch the field and make plays. Harvin has plenty of speed and should provide an offensive spark for the Titans.
31. Arizona - Chris Wells RB Ohio State
Arizona gets a physical back to complement Tim Hightower and no longer worry about Edgerrin James.
32. Pittsburgh - Tyson Jackson DE Louisiana State
Jackson is a prototypical 3-4 defensive end and gives the Steelers some energy and youth to an already impressive front seven. Offensive tackle is a possibility, but the line is young and took them to the Super Bowl, didn't it?
See Round No. 2 Next Page
33. Detroit - Clint Sintim LB Virginia
34. Kansas City - Paul Krueger DE Utah
35. St. Louis - Clay Mathews OLB Southern Cal
36. Cleveland - LeSean McCoy RB Pittsburgh
37. Seattle -Darius Butler CB Connecticut
38.Cincinatti - Darrius Heyward-Bey WR Maryland
39.Jacksonville - William Beatty OT Connecticut
40. Oakland - Kenny Britt WR Rutgers
41. Green Bay - Shonn Greene RB Iowa
42. Buffalo - Max Unger OL Oregon
43. San Francisco - William Moore SS Missouri
44. Miami - Connor Barwin OLB Cincinatti
45. N.Y. Giants - Chase Coffman TE Missouri
46. Houston - Patrick Chung FS Oregon
47. New England - Victor Harris CB Virginia Tech
48. Denver - Tyrone McKenzie LB South Florida
49. Chicago - Phil Loadholt OT Oklahoma
50. Tampa Bay - Ron Brace DT Boston College
51. Dallas - Alphonso Smith CB Wake Forest
52. Philadelphia - Fenuki Tupuo OT Oregon
53. N.Y. Jets - Derrick Williams WR Penn State
54. Minnesota - Brian Robiskie WR Ohio State
55. Atlanta - Evander Hood DT Missouri
56. Miami - Ramses Barden WR Cal Poly
57. Baltimore - Fili Moala DT/E Southern Cal
58. New England - Scott McKilop LB Pittsburgh
59. Carolina - Nate Davis QB Ball State
60. N.Y. Giants - Michael Hamlin SS Clemson
61. Indianapolis - Brandon Gibson WR Washington State
62. Tennessee - Dominique Johnson CB Jackson State
63. Arizona - Antoine Caldwell C Alabama
64. Pittsburgh - Mike Mickens CB Cincinatti