Every week, my mock draft changes.
Thus is the case in the NFL offseason, where free agency and trades can turn team needs into strengths overnight, and vice versa. This week alone, a trio of teams made moves at the quarterback positon, leaving some folks wondering how far a player like Geno Smith might drop down the board.
I say he stays in the top 10, but that's just me. Let's see how the rest of the offseason moves might affect the first round of this year's draft.
Note: Highlighted teams italicized
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
The Chiefs don't need to reach for a quarterback, so the next most likely position they'll target with this pick is tackle. You could argue that Joeckel is also the top player on the board, so I would be pretty surprised if the Chiefs went in a different direction.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon
Jordan looks like a nice fit as the Leo linebacker in Gus Bradley's defense, and he has the sort of athleticism and size that NFL teams crave. This may be seen as a slight reach, but with Jarvis Jones sure to drop down boards, Jordan is the next outside linebacker teams will target.
3. Oakland Raiders: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
The Raiders would love to add this Geno Atkins-esque presence to the defensive line. Improving in the trenches defensively should be a top priority for Oakland at the draft. After trading for Matt Flynn, I don't see the Raiders going after Geno Smith here.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
After his solid pro day, I think Lotulelei will shoot up draft boards (and could even go No. 1 overall to the Chiefs). The Eagles made a lot of changes defensively to suit the new 3-4 defense, but the team hasn't yet added an impact performer.
With his ability to play both nose tackle and end in a 3-4 and absolutely stymie opposing running games, Lotulelei would be that impact player for the Birds.
You could make the argument for a lot of other positions here—offensive tackle, cornerback, outside linebacker or even quarterback, though I think the team is fine in the short-term with Michael Vick and Nick Foles—but I don't think there is another player left on the board who will have the impact of Lotulelei.
5. Detroit Lions: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
This pick would kil two birds with one stone, as it would allow the Lions to move Riley Reiff inside to guard and improve two positions. The Lions have plenty of talent on both sides of the ball, so solidifying the offensive line makes a lot of sense.
6. Cleveland Browns: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
After signing Paul Kruger and Quentin Groves in free agency, the Browns took care of addressing the outside linebacker position and pass rush in the team's new 3-4 scheme. If Milliner drops to them at No. 6, you have to think the team will be thrilled to pair him with Joe Haden.
Milliner has the combination of size, speed, ball skills and experience that pro teams crave, and he and Haden could be the top corner duo in the league in a few years.
Don't look now, but the Browns have some nice pieces—well, outside of the quarterback position, that is—and could surprise some folks in 2013.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
After trading for Carson Palmer and signing him to a two-year, $16-million deal, the Cardinals will probably focus on the offensive line here. While the Cardinals would love if Fisher dropped to them, Johnson has shot up draft boards and is a nice consolation prize.
8. Buffalo Bills: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
After cutting Ryan Fitzpatrick, it seemed pretty obvious the Bills needed to add a quarterback in the draft. And frankly, even after signing Kevin Kolb, I still think it's the team's main need. Kolb is a nice fill-in guy for one season, but he isn't a long-term answer.
If Smith falls to the Bills, I don't see the team passing him up. He's easily this draft's best quarterback, but with the Raiders and Cardinals already addressing the position—and Eagles likely to go for the best player available—Smith will be available at No. 8.
The wise move would be too draft him. He's really not a bad value at this selection and is better than people are making him out to be. He'll never be spectacular at the next level, but he should be a solid game manager with enough athleticism to make plays out of the pocket.
9. New York Jets: Ezekiel Ansah, BYU, DE/OLB
Ansah is a freak. Don't believe me?
- He's 6'5" and 271 pounds.
- He ran a 4.63 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine.
- He posted a 34.5-inch vertical at the combine.
- He's only played football since 2010 but is still a top 10 value.
Believe me yet?
10. Tennessee Titans: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
After signing Andy Levitre, the Titans should focus on improving the pass rush. Werner has kind of flown under the radar after being considered a top five value earlier in the offseason, but with 13 sacks for Florida State last year he's still the top 4-3 defensive end on the board.
11. San Diego Chargers: Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State
King Dunlap is not the answer. Trust me, as an Eagles fan I know this first hand. The Chargers will reach slightly to land Watson, but he's an exciting talent that has been shooting up boards of late.
12. Miami Dolphins: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
Few teams were busier than the Dolphins this offseason, as the team signed Mike Wallace, Brandon Gibson and Dustin Keller. Suffice it to say, the passing game is improved, but after losing Sean Smith in free agency improving the pass defense is necessary.
13. New York Jets (from Tampa Bay): Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
You guessed it, I think Darrelle Revis will eventually be traded and the Bucs will be the team that makes the deal. Chance Warmack might not be the sexy prospect the team wants with the pick that came after Revis was moved, but he's an excellent prospect and will instantly make this Jets' offense better.
14. Carolina Panthers: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
To me, this is one of the true no-brainer selections of this draft. Richardson is a great value here and the Panthers really need to imrpove the interior of the defensive line. This pick gets a "duh" rating.
15. New Orleans Saints: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
Oh, how the mighty have fallen (down the draft board). After running a 4.92 40-yard dash at Georgia's pro day—combined with a slightly undersized frame for a 3-4 outside linebacker—I have a feeling Jones is going to slide. But he fits a huge need for the Saints, so I don't see him dropping past the No. 15 selection.
16. St. Louis Rams: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Danny Amendola may be a New England Patriot, but he won't be missed if Patterson is paired with the recently signed Jared Cook. The passing game could very quickly go from a weakness to a very, very athletic strength for the Rams.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
This could end up being one of the steals of the draft, as Mingo is a top 10 talent. With James Harrison gone, Mingo could step in from day one and start.
18. Dallas Cowboys: Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina
It's rare that guards are considered a steal at No. 18 in the first round, but Cooper is that good.
19. New York Giants: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
It seems like every offseason the Giants need to address the secondary, and every season the pass defense still ends up struggling. Perhaps the talented Vaccaro can finally put an end to that costly cycle.
20. Chicago Bears: Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Matt Elam, SS, Florida
The Bengals really need to upgrade at safety in the draft, since the team basically refuses to even acknowledge that whole free agency thing other teams seem so interested in each year. The hard-hitting Elam is a nice fit in Cincy.
22. St. Louis Rams (via Redskins): Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State
Safety might be the biggest need after signing Jake Long, but I don't see the team reaching for one here after missing out on the top two options. Instead, the Rams will look to improve a weak linebacking corps with Brown, an absolute missile at the position.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
When Percy Harvin was traded to the Seattle Seahawks, wide receiver was the team's glaring weakness. Then Greg Jennings was signed, and with an extra pick in the first round, making the position the team's strength became a possibility. In many ways, Austin is a Harvin clone without the durability or character issues.
24. Indianapolis Colts: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
The Jim Thorpe Award winner has dropped down boards after failing to run well at the combine, but this kid can still play and the Colts will be getting solid value here.
25. Minnesota Vikings (from Seattle): Johnathan Jenkins, DT, Georgia
Received in the Harvin trade from Seattle, the Vikings are in a position to nab the best player on the board. Johnathan Jenkins, come on down!
26. Green Bay Packers: Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
The Packers have a lot of depth and are in a position to solidify the one area where they lack some depth, the defensive line. Williams will address that depth issue with sheer girth (and the ability to plug up opposing running games).
27. Houston Texans: Keenan Allen, WR, California
In Allen and Andre Johnson, the Texans will have the most dangerous pair of wideouts in the AFC South. Allen will help take pressure off of Arian Foster and the Texans' running attack.
28. Denver Broncos: Tank Carradine, DE, Florida State
With Elvis Dumervil gone to the Baltimore Ravens—WHO STILL USES FAX MACHINES? C'MON!— Carradine fills a major need for the Broncos. Yes, he's coming off an ACL tear, but a healthy Carradine may be the most dynamic pass-rusher in this draft.
29. New England Patriots: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
Even after re-signing Aqib Talib, the Patriots MUST, MUST, MUST continue to upgrade in the secondary. It's become obvious that for all of the talent on the offensive side of the ball—even if Wes Welker is gone—the Patriots haven't been the same team since the demise of the Super-Bowl winning defenses.
30. Atlanta Falcons: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
Moore hasn't tested well in the draft process and went from being a top five talent to a player that could drop out of the first round. Still, he's a "football player"—you know, those guys who look really good on the field but get diminished when people start measuring things—and the Falcons will be glad to add him.
31. San Francisco 49ers: Eric Reid, S, LSU
With Dashon Goldson signing in Tampa Bay, the Niners must address the safety position. Reid may be a slight reach here, but with the talent already on the roster, the Niners can afford a few slight reaches.
32. Baltimore Ravens: Manti Te'o, Notre Dame, LB
Imagine being the linebacker that has to replace Ray Lewis and Dannell Ellerbe for the Ravens. No pressure or anything. After signing Elvis Dumervil, middle linebacker is the obvious need for the Ravens, though Te'o could end up going higher than this after a solid pro day.
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