I love doing mocks like these, when essentially, you're going upstream in a downstream river. My goal with this mock draft was to make it look like nothing else.
Sure, you'll see Eugene Monroe going first overall and Brian Orakpo going third in many mocks, but in how many other mocks will you see Michael Crabtree going fifth?
1) Detroit Lions - Eugene Monroe, T from Virginia
Eugene Monroe is the most NFL-ready tackle in the draft. Jason Smith may have the most upside, but the Lions need to win now; Eugene Monroe can step in and play at a high level Day One.
2) St. Louis Rams - Matthew Stafford, QB from Georgia
The Rams take a different approach: not a tackle, but Stafford. Stafford gives them a big arm to stretch the field and gives them another piece to a young, explosive offense.
3) Kansas City Chiefs - Brian Orakpo, DE/OLB from Texas
The Chiefs only had 10 sacks the entire season; Orakpo had 11. Orakpo probably won’t get 11 sacks, but he’ll bring a great pass rush with Vrabel.
4) Seattle Seahawks - B.J. Raji, DT from Boston College
The Seahawks just got Redding from the Lions through trade. Pairing Redding with Raji at nose tackle gives the Seahawks a fierce defensive line.
5) Cleveland Browns - Michael Crabtree, WR from Texas Tech
Braylon Edwards had one good year before he returned to his drop-happy self. This pick allows the Browns to shop Edwards and possibly get another second or first round pick.
6) Cincinnati Bengals - Aaron Curry, LB from Wake Forest
The Bengals just drafted Keith Rivers last year, and had he not been injured he would have been Defensive Rookie of the Year. The Bengals grab another young linebacker who can pair with Rivers for years to come.
Curry can either play the other outside linebacker spot or try his luck replacing Dhani Jones in the middle.
By the way, have you seen Dhani Jones' new TV show? No? Well, you're not the only one. That shows does not look appealing at all.
7) Oakland Raiders - Jeremy Maclin, WR from Missouri
The Raide-, scratch that. Al Davis loves speed. Jamarcus Russel can now use his enormous arm.
8) Jacksonville Jaguars - Vontae Davis, CB from Illinois
The Jaguars recently cut Drayton Florence and now have no real corner to pair with Rashean Mathis. Davis gives them the best pure corner in the draft.
9) Green Bay Packers - Jason Smith, T from Baylor
With most of the top 3-4 defenders off the board, the Packers look to add youth to their offensive line with Baylor’s Jason Smith. Chad Clifton gave up 7.5 sacks and is coming off of knee surgery; adding a young tackle will protect Aaron Rodgers for years to come.
10) San Francisco 49ers - Michael Oher, T from Ole Miss
This pick fits the 49ers perfectly. Oher has no character issues whatsoever. He’s a high effort guy, which will fit Singletary well. He can play either left or right tackle, allowing them to be flexible with Barry Sims.
11) Buffalo Bills - Everette Brown, DE/OLB from Florida State
The Bills need a pass rush, and putting Everette Brown on that defense gives them lots of options. He can line up at weak side linebacker or at defensive end.
12) Denver Broncos - Mark Sanchez, QB from USC
This whole Jay Cutler fiasco is getting out of control. It’s coming to the point where either he’ll be cut or traded. Mark Sanchez gives them a quarterback to replace him.
13) Washington Redskins - Aaron Maybin, DE/OLB from Penn State
The Redskins need help on their lines, whether it be offensive or defensive. Maybin can do to the Skins what Brown can do for the Bills. Maybin is undersized but can take advantage of Haynesworth’s double teams.
14) New Orleans Saints - Malcolm Jenkins, S from Ohio State
The Saints need a cornerstone safety. Enter Malcolm Jenkins. He’ll get a chance at corner, but more then likely his speed issues and bad hips should move him to safety.
15) Houston Texans - Brian Cushing, LB from USC
The Texans have a great offense, but they need a few pieces on defense. Secondary is an option, but both Jenkins and Davis are gone, so they grab a physical specimen in Cushing to play one of the outside linebacker positions.
16) San Diego Chargers - Rey Maualuga, LB from USC
Maualuga gives the Chargers a huge improvement at inside linebacker. Maualuga reminds me of Patrick Willis, except that Maualuga is a born leader; he will pump up every member of this defense. He’ll work well with Ron Rivera.
17) New York Jets - Percy Harvin, WR from Florida
The Jets need more firepower on offense. Percy Harvin can line up at wideout, running back, or they can use him in the Wildcat offense.
18) Chicago Bears - Eben Britton, T from Arizona
John Tait just recently retired and the Bears are having trouble resigning John St. Clair, who was expected to be the starter next year. Putting Britton at right tackle solidifies the offensive line for years with Williams, Beekman, and Britton.
19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Peria Jerry, DT from Ole Miss
Jovan Haye is gone, and he wasn’t too successful last year anyway. Peria Jerry is an explosive defensive tackle who reminds me of Tommie Harris with his pass-rush skills.
20) Detroit Lions - Josh Freeman, QB from Kansas State
The Lions get their left tackle first, and now they grab their quarterback. Freeman has a great arm and will be surrounded by a decent offensive line, an elite wide receiver, and an up-and-coming running back.
21) Philadelphia Eagles - William Beatty, T from Connecticut
Beatty is your classic left tackle. He can step in and replace Tra Thomas for years to come.
22) Minnesota Vikings - Andre Smith, T from Alabama
The Vikings need a right tackle, and Andre Smith is a great right tackle. The Vikings may back off due to character issues, but a guy who had top five potential a few months ago is great value at 22.
23) New England Patriots - William Moore, S from Missouri
A reach, yes, but the Patriots need a strong safety, possibly more than any other position. Moore will be the heir apparent to Rodney Harrison, whose injury last year may unfortunately cause him to retire.
24) Atlanta Falcons - Alex Mack, C from California
The Falcons are kinda stuck here; there’s no one who really fits their biggest needs that wouldn’t be a reach. So they go with the best center prospect in years. Todd McClure is 32, and Brett Romberg and Ben Wilkerson are not the future answer.
25) Miami Dolphins - Alphonso Smith, CB from Wake Forest
Alphonso Smith is only 5’9", but throw that out the window. He’s reminds me a lot of a player who would be a seventh-rounder yet stand out in the NFL; not a great physical specimen, but he is a great football player. He has great instincts and has picked off loads of passes in his time at Wake Forest.
26) Baltimore Ravens - Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR from Maryland
Local boy Darrius Heyward-Bey has all the physical tools to be a fantastic No. 1 receiver, and his speed will definitely intrigue the Ravens, who can have Flacco bomb it to him all day.
27) Indianapolis Colts - Evander Hood, DT from Missouri
A bit of a reach, but Evander Hood brings that big, run-stuffing body that the Colts need. Their run defense will improve a heck of a lot with Ziggy in the middle.
28) Philadelphia Eagles - Chris Wells, RB from Ohio State
Chris Wells is a steal here at 28. Wells will fit well with the Eagles because he can be the short-yardage back and will play a LenDale White role, whereas Westbrook would be the Chris Johnson in this situation.
29) New York Giants - Kenny Britt, WR from Rutgers
The Giants need a big wide receiver to replace Plaxico Burress. Britt is an extremely underrated wide receiver who stands at 6’4". He can very easily replace Plax as Eli’s No. 1 target.
30) Tennessee Titans - D.J. Moore, CB from Vanderbilt
Local boy D.J. Moore reminds me a bit of Alphonso Smith, except he hasn’t made so many plays. Still, Nick Harper is 35 and the Titans have lost three corners in free agency. Moore makes sense.
31) Arizona Cardinals - Brandon Pettigrew, TE from Oklahoma State
Pettigrew falls to Arizona, and they can’t resist. Yes, Moreno is on the board, but when Leonard Pope, Ben Patrick, and Leonard Nimoy are your tight ends, you need help.
32) Pittsburgh Steelers - Tyson Jackson, DE from LSU
Jackson falls further than Brady Quinn. Adding Jackson to the Steelers' defensive line infuses youth, and Jackson is a perfect fit for the Steelers' 3-4 scheme.
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