Tavon Austin is shooting up Mocks while Geno Smith is dropping.
The 2013 NFL Draft is now less than 10 hours away. The anticipation has been built up and all of the workouts and interviews are in the book. Yet, it still seems as if nobody has any idea what is going to happen, not even at the first overall pick.
The Kansas City Chiefs seem locked in on either Eric Fisher or Luke Joeckel, but could even end up trading the pick. The rumor mill is still spinning strong, so this Mock Draft will do it's best to address the top rumor going on with each team while also (fingers crossed) doing it's best to correctly project the first round.
Consider this your primer for the madness that could potentially take place tonight!
Other Option(s): OT Luke Joeckel
Everybody knows it is between Eric Fisher and Luke Joeckel for the Kansas City Chiefs. Whether or not Branden Albert is still around, they still need to add another offensive tackle. Fisher and Joeckel have each been talked about as potentially the best prospect in the Draft. Overall, the Chiefs can’t lose. Alex Smith is going to need a clean pocket if he wants to find success, and pairing either Fisher or Joeckel with Albert (or replacing him) is ideal. Also, I can’t imagine Jamaal Charles would complain much about adding another offensive lineman either.
Quick Rumor: Chiefs and the Miami Dolphins are close to a deal for Branden Albert. The Chiefs are still looking to trade down from the first overall pick as well, and I did noticed last night during a live look-in to the Kansas City Chiefs War Room that they were watching Oregon game film. Connect the dots, they could be looking at Dion Jordan in a trade down.
With many holes to fill, the Jaguars look to bolster their offensive line.
Other Option(s): OT Eric Fisher, DT Sharrif Floyd, OLB/DE Dion Jordan, QB Geno Smith
I’m slightly surprised that the Jacksonville Jaguars seem locked in on taking either Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher. Their quarterback situation is awful and while I’m not a Geno Smith fan, he would be a huge improvement. Then again, not many quarterbacks are going to find success with the type of talent on that offense right now. Add another tackle to pair with Eugene Monroe and it could help a lot. Joeckel is as safe as they come, having dominated top level competition in the SEC.
The Jags have also been strongly connected to defensive line, the likes of Sharrif Floyd and Dion Jordan specifically. The Jaguars literally can improve at every position, so nothing would surprise me here.
Quick Rumor: Geno Smith is their No. 1 Quarterback.
Sharrif Floyd's has received a lot of fanfare and could be the Raiders selection at three.
Other Option(s): OT Luke Joeckel, OT Eric Fisher, OT Lane Johnson, DT Star Lotulelei
The Oakland Raiders have been connected to a lot of teams as a trade-down option. Early-on, they seemed locked-in on Eric Fisher or Luke Joeckel, but it’s doubtful either will fall now. I truly think the Raiders will give Matt Flynn this first year to control the offense, with Reggie McKenzie having the previous connection with him in Green Bay. Like the Jaguars, the Raiders simply aren’t a talented team. Floyd is hyped by many and is an explosive defensive lineman. He could be a disruptive force for the Raiders. Still, don’t rule out the likes of Lane Johnson if the Raiders stay put. Jared Veldheer can play right tackle, and he was even adding muscle early in the off-season in anticipation of a potential move. Floyd makes more sense overall though.
Quick Rumor: Word is that the Raiders and Atlanta Falcons have a deal in place if the right player falls. It would be a huge jump for the Falcons, but they need a pass rusher and are ready to win now. Raiders reportedly love Eddie Lacy, and dropping to 30 would be a perfect spot to take him.
The Eagles have many options and Lane Johnson has been a riser connected to them.
Other Option(s): QB Geno Smith, QB E.J. Manuel, OLB/DE Dion Jordan, DT Star Lotulelei
Having been connected to basically every prospect likely to go in the top 15, the Philadelphia Eagles have options. Johnson has been a riser lately for this selection, and I will lean towards that though my gut tells me otherwise. Johnson’s ridiculous athletic ability will fit Chip Kelly’s offense well. When Kelly initially took the Eagles job, word was that Kelly didn’t believe he needed a franchise quarterback type to run his offense, but they have done a lot of work on Geno Smith and E.J. Manuel. Nothing would surprise me for the Eagles, who also could be a part of a trade down. Dion Jordan makes a lot of sense because of his versatility and his connection to Chip Kelly, while Star Lotulelei also is a versatile player who could help immediately.
Quick Rumor: Eagles could certainly be a part of a trade, and it could be a minor one. Report is that the Eagles view eight prospects as a notch above the rest in this class, so again, don’t expect the Eagles to move too far down if they back out of the fourth selection.
Ziggy Ansah may need some coaching, but has a ton of talent.
Other Option(s): OLB/DE Dion Jordan, OT Lane Johnson, OG Jonathan Cooper, CB Dee Milliner
The Detroit Lions would have to trade up for Lane Johnson, which is something nobody should rule out. They do need a left tackle as Jeff Backus hung the cleats up and it’s questionable whether or not Riley Reiff will fit at left tackle. It would be an ideal situation for a team with a need, but if they sit still, they could fill plenty of other needs. Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah is a natural athlete with little football experience. However, his potential as a pass-rusher is through the roof. The Lions currently have nobody who can get after the quarterback from the defensive end spot, with Jason Jones being the only threat. It might be a rough fit because Ansah would be asked to start immediately, which could end badly.
The Lions also have a big need at offensive guard and cornerback, which means they could be in play for Jonathan Cooper and Dee Milliner. The Lions are one of the few teams picking at the top that have their main hierarchy returning, but that doesn’t make their selection any less muddled at this point.
Quick Rumor: They are considering an offensive guard at No. 5 and love Jonathan Cooper.
Dion Jordan is a towering force.
Other Option(s): CB Dee Milliner, QB E.J. Manuel, QB Geno Smith, DE/OLB Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah
The Cleveland Browns need a pass-rusher in the worst way, have been closely connected with E.J. Manuel and Geno Smith and have also been reported to be trading up and trading down. Mike Lombardi is holding a lot of chips right now. Lombardi has always coveted ideal tools guys, and Jordan fits the mold. The former receiver looks natural in space, flies all over the field, and has shown the ability to bend and fly off the edge despite his nearly 6'7" frame. Milliner and Manuel fit that prototypical mold for their positions as well, and Manuel had a private workout with offensive coordinator Norv Turner on Saturday. Just another selection that has an array of options.
Quick Rumor: If the Browns do make a steep decline in a trade down, don’t be surprised if they target E.J. Manuel. Rumors say Manuel could go top 20. He is drawing a ton of interest and as I mentioned, worked out with Norv Turner within the last five days. I was actually fairly convinced they would take Manuel, and still might be trading back into the first or trading down. We will see what happens.
Similar to Andre Smith as strictly right tackle prospects, not many expected Fluker to be a top ten pick when he declared.
Other Option(s): OT Lane Johnson, OG Jonathan Cooper, DT Star Lotulelei, DE/OLB Barkevious Mingo
The Arizona Cardinals have been raving about Levi Brown, though there isn’t much to back it up on gameday; to each their own. Still, they have gone out of their way to hype Brown and I believe he is their left tackle for next season. For a team with many needs that has already dealt draft picks for Carson Palmer, I really don’t see them moving up. Plenty of talented players will fall. The Cardinals seem to love D.J. Fluker. He is a reach here in my book but fits in at right tackle for the Cards, shifting Bobby Massie to right guard. It would make a solid offensive line for Palmer and the running game.
Quick Rumor: Many things have been flying around the Cards, the main ones being that they love both Fluker and Lane Johnson. Again, I highly doubt this team trades up, though a trade down is very conceivable. Fluker has much better value a few picks down.
Doug Marrone and Ryan Nassib were once together at Syracuse and could be reunited in Buffalo.
Other Option(s): QB Matt Barkley, QB Geno Smith, QB E.J. Manuel, CB Dee Milliner
Having worked out every potential top 100 quarterback prospect in this draft, the Buffalo Bills have to—or at least should—have a good idea of who they believe is the best quarterback in this class, something they desperately need. Ryan Nassib is the obvious connection here, playing at nearby Syracuse under Doug Marrone and Nathaniel Hackett, the head coach and offensive coordinator duo now in Buffalo. Nassib is a guy that is good at everything, but he doesn’t really stand out in any one area. I fully expect the Bills to take a quarterback here, though this is a team that has a history of taking cornerbacks, yet still need one to pair with Stephon Gilmore.
Quick Rumor: Reports are that the Bills are deciding between Nassib and Matt Barkley. I would be shocked if the Bills took Barkley because his weaknesses would be spotlighted in cold, windy Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park.
Other Option(s): DE/OLB Barkevious Mingo, QB Geno Smith, OG Jonathan Cooper, OG Chance Warmack
Desperate for playmakers on offense and with Tavon Austin staring them right in the face, it would be difficult to see the New York Jets passing—something they have a hard time with generally.
The Jets have a lot of money invested in Mark Sanchez, so I feel like he will get one more season because of that. He needs help, though, to stand any chance. Austin is the most dynamic player in this class. Elite athletic ability allows Austin to be the ideal gadget player that could really spark an offense. The Jets are also linked to improving the pass rush and the offensive guard position, not to mention replacing Sanchez, but again, it’s difficult to fathom them passing on Austin.
Quick Rumor: The Jets are apparently very high on Ryan Nassib. I think this is just smoke to push the Bills into taking him at eight.
Despite playing the interior of the offensive line, Jonathan Cooper seems like a top ten lock.
Other Option(s): CB Dee Milliner, CB Xavier Rhodes, OT D.J. Fluker
Defensive line could be an option since teams always need pass-rushers, but the Tennessee Titans seem locked in on either Jonathan Cooper or a cornerback. The Titans already brought in Andy Levitre, but still need another offensive guard. After the woeful running game last year and complaints from Chris Johnson, I believe they continue to beef up the line. Cooper can also shift to center if need be and is as close to a perfect interior lineman prospect as there is. His movement skills are incredible, yet he is still powerful. Titans are still seeking to replace Cortland Finnegan, but I think continuing to improve a fairly young offense overall is the way they plan to go if Cooper falls.
Quick Rumor: The Titans love Cooper.
Chance Warmack would be an immediate upgrade for the Chargers.
Other Option(s): OT Lane Johnson, OT D.J. Fluker, DT Sylvester Williams
The San Diego Chargers have gaping holes along the offensive line. Their offensive tackles are awful right now and they also lost offensive guard Louis Vasquez. While they would prefer Lane Johnson or D.J. Fluker to fall (the Chargers are a prime candidate to trade up), if they sit and Chance Warmack falls to them, it would be difficult to pass. Warmack can win against anybody in a phone booth, yet still displays rare lightness on his feet for his size. He tested only average and he might fall slightly because of it, but Warmack is still one of the top prospects in the class.
Quick Rumor: The Chargers are high on Lane Johnson to be their left tackle, but would need to trade up to get him. They could trade down if they are unhappy with the options at 11 and miss on Johnson (very likely).
Possessing shutdown skills, Dee Milliner could make the Dolphins very happy.
Other Option(s): TE Tyler Eifert, S Kenny Vaccaro, DT Star Lotulelei, DT Sheldon Richardson
The Miami Dolphins are in a great spot because they are reportedly high on a fair amount of prospects. However, their biggest need is arguably at cornerback where they have lost Vontae Davis and Sean Smith within the last year. Reports recently said that Milliner will fall out of the top ten due to medical concerns, which would be a goldmine for the Dolphins. Milliner has the tools to be a shutdown corner in the NFL, which would be very valuable for a team that has to play Tom Brady twice a year. They have shown a lot of interest in Star Lotulelei and Sheldon Richardson, who would help pressure the likes of Brady. Tyler Eifert and Kenny Vaccaro also fit holes and can be playmakers. Options are abundant for the Phins.
Quick Rumor: The Dolphins are about to swing a trade for Branden Albert, giving them a solid tackle duo in Albert and Jonathan Martin to protect Ryan Tannehill. Don’t be surprised if they finish helping Tannehill by adding a running back and tight end in the second round.
The Jets need to generate more pressure on opposing quarterbacks, a speciality of Barkevious Mingo
Other Option(s): QB Geno Smith, OG Chance Warmack, CB D.J. Hayden, OLB Jarvis Jones
The New York Jets have been linked to Mingo for a while. This would be an excellent draft for the Jets if they can nab Austin and Mingo. This is a spot the Jets could trade down from, as they have other interests and needs as well. They are desperate for an explosive pass-rusher, however, and Mingo fits the bill.
Other Option(s): DT Sheldon Richardson DT Sylvester Williams, WR Tavon Austin, WR Cordarrelle Patterson
A team with two obvious needs, the Carolina Panthers haven’t shied away from showing their interest in the top defensive tackle and wide receiver prospects. Defensive tackle is arguably the biggest need, and they simply can’t pass on Star Lotulelei if he falls here. Lotulelei isn’t a special pass-rusher for the position, but he is a hard worker, intelligent player and very stout against the run. Doug Martin ran for over 225 yards in two games combined against the Panthers, so they need to find an answer.
Quick Rumor: I’ve been told that the Panthers are seeking a starting wide receiver in the Draft. However, they like the talent throughout the draft and believe they can find somebody in another round that can compete right away.
Jarvis Jones is an ideal fit for the Saints.
Other Option(s): DE/OLB Barkevious Mingo, S Kenny Vaccaro, CB Xavier Rhodes, ILB/OLB Alec Ogletree
Switching to a new 3-4 defense with no proven edge rusher, the New Orleans Saints have to be thinking about grabbing somebody to get after the quarterback at 15. The local product Mingo could fall, but it’s more likely that Jarvis Jones will be there. Jones didn’t test well but has experience in a 3-4 defense and could immediately start. Despite the poor testing, Jones understands how to bend, take proper angles and always hustles.
Quick Rumor: Rob Ryan’s defensive scheme uses a lot of press coverage, which makes Xavier Rhodes an intriguing fit.
Sheldon Richardson is ready to step onto the NFL stage.
Other Option(s): S Kenny Vaccaro, WR Tavon Austin, WR DeAndre Hopkins, ILB/OLB Alec Ogletree
The first of two first-round picks will be the most important for the St. Louis Rams. While Tavon Austin seems to be their top target, they have plenty of holes and will likely stay still. Even so, they will have their options at this pick, and the local product Sheldon Richardson would be enticing. Richardson is as explosive off the snap as anybody in this draft class and would immediately boost the Rams defense. Kenny Vaccaro would help as well, but the Rams have one elite corner in Cortland Finnegan and an emerging one in Janoris Jenkins, which makes the need for a great cover safety lessen. They will have plenty of wide receiver options at 22 to pass on the position here.
Quick Rumor: While it is a quick trip, the Rams had six staff members at the Missouri Pro Day, including College Scouting Director Taylor Morton.
He may not have the hair, but Kenny Vaccaro could be an ideal replacement for Troy Polamalu down the line.
Other Option(s): OLB Jarvis Jones, ILB/OLB Arthur Brown, RB Eddie Lacy
Ryan Clark and Troy Polamalu are both on the wrong side of 30, the former a free agent after this year and the latter likely hitting the road in 2015. With Jarvis Jones off the board, grabbing a safety like Kenny Vaccaro who can contribute immediately in multiple ways would be great for the Steelers. Vaccaro didn’t test great, but on the field he was one of the most productive players in this class. He does everything well, much like Polamalu.
Quick Rumor: GM Kevin Colbert already stated the Steelers aren’t looking to trade up in the Draft. Seems like the Steelers will be sitting still and taking the BPA.
Eric Reid could soon be a member of "America's Team."
Other Option(s): OG Chance Warmack, OG Jonathan Cooper, S Kenny Vaccaro, DT Sylvester Williams
Head coach Jason Garrett was at the LSU Pro Day and the Dallas Cowboys have a glaring hole at safety. Add the two up, and you get Eric Reid. While Reid takes questionable angles to the ball at times, his physical tools can’t be denied. He can cover a lot of ground or play in the box. Cowboys need help at both safety spots and he could fit in Monte Kiffin’s new cover two defense. I’m sure they would love an offensive guard to fall to protect Romo, but safety is the next big need on this team.
Quick Rumor: The Cowboys have been connected with Sylvester Williams, which would fill another need at defensive tackle in transition to Kiffin’s defense.
The Giants let Martellus Bennett go and Tyler Eifert would be a great replacement.
Other Option(s): DE Cornellius “Tank” Carradine, ILB Manti Te’o
The New York Giants have shown a lot of interest in Chance Warmack for some time and would probably be a lock if he fall this far. That would be asking for a lot though, so the Giants will probably look elsewhere. They haven’t been connected to many other first round prospects, which makes me consider they are looking for a guy who has great tape and they can feel safe about off the tape. Welcome Tyler Eifert. The Giants only signed Brandon Myers to a one-year contract and Eli Manning showed how much he enjoyed having a big tight end in Martellus Bennett last year. Eifert has a prototypical build, great athletic ability and catches everything thrown to him. He would be a dangerous addition for this offense.
Quick Rumor: “Tank” Carradine is back on the rise and the Giants are always in pursuit of physically gifted defensive ends. The connection is no surprise.
Filling Brian Urlacher's shoes is asking a lot, but Arthur Brown may be able to do it.
Other Option(s): OG/OT Justin Pugh, ILB Manti Te’o, TE Tyler Eifert
It’s possible the Chicago Bears have finally established some solid help around Jay Cutler. Having helped on offense, taking care of the huge gap left by Brian Urlacher would be near the top of the list of things to address. Playing that cover two defense, albeit they have added other wrinkles lately, they need an athletic linebacker. Arthur Brown is a sideline-to-sideline player with great football IQ as well. Brown may not be Urlacher, but he is a quality football player who could ease the loss of the legendary Bear.
Quick Rumor: The Bears worked out Syracuse offensive lineman Justin Pugh on campus over the weekend. Pugh can play either tackle or guard, versatility that is valued by GM Phil Emery. It wasn’t the first time the Bears met with Pugh either.
Coincidentally (or not, you can be the judge), I met Pugh over the weekend as well, as he was in attendance with receiver Alec Lemon at the Syracuse Spring Game.
Margus Hunt is the ideal physical specimen the Bengals covet at defensive end.
Other Option(s): S Jonathan Cyprien, S, Kenny Vacarro, S Eric Reid, DE Cornellius “Tank” Carradine
The Cincinnati Bengals worked out Margus Hunt pretty hard at the SMU Pro Day, even including running him through linebacker drills. I highly doubt Hunt makes that transition, but it shows the Bengals have a lot of interest in how athletic and versatile Hunt is. Hunt has that prototypical build that Michael Johnson and Carlos Dunlap have, both of whom are tentatively expected to hit the open market next season. Hunt is still developing, so this is a great situation to let him sit, contribute on third downs and special teams and let him take a starting role next season.
Quick Rumor: Defensive coordinator worked out safety Jonathan Cyprien recently, another position they have a need for.
Sam Bradford needs playmakers and DeAndre Hopkins has a habit for big plays.
Other Option(s): ILB/OLB Alec Ogletree, OLB/ILB Arthur Brown, DE Cornellius “Tank” Carradine
Seemingly infatuated with receiver DeAndre Hopkins, this seems like a great match. The St. Louis Rams took Brian Quick and Chris Givens last year, but Hopkins is in a different mold than those two and would give Sam Bradford a dynamic trio. The Rams also need a linebacker, but again, they seem to love Hopkins.
Quick Rumor: Hopkins could easily be the pick at 16 and the Rams could deal this pick to acquire more.
After dealing Percy Harvin, the Vikings could be bailed out by the likes of Cordarrelle Patterson falling to them at 23.
Other Option(s): ILB Manti Te’o, DT Sheldon Richardson, DT Sylvester Williams, WR Robert Woods
If Cordarrelle Patterson somehow falls to this pick, I can imagine the leaps of joy every Vikings front office man and fan would do. After dealing Percy Harvin, the Vikings need to give Christian Ponder a weapon. Patterson is a Dez Bryant clone who can threaten in a variety of ways and is special because of his after the catch ability. It would be a match made in heaven.
Quick Rumor: The Vikings have been rumored to be looking to grab a wide receiver and cornerback (see pick 25), arguably the biggest needs on the team.
Sylvester Williams is a versatile defensive tackle who fits the Colts hybrid scheme.
Other Option(s): DE Margus Hunt, OLB Jarvis Jones, WR Robert Woods, WR Keenan Allen
The Indianapolis Colts haven’t been heavily connected to many names that are likely to go in the first round. Amongst those names though, they have shown interest in Sylvester Williams a good deal. The Colts run a hybrid 3-4 defense, and Williams can play defensive end in the three-man front and kick inside when they want to utilize four-man fronts. If Jarvis Jones falls to this pick, I believe he would greatly entice a team that just lost Dwight Freeney.
Quick Rumor: The Colts could be one of the teams to move down if some of the quarterbacks start falling. Margus Hunt was also the most recent prospect to have reportedly visited.
Highly underrated all season before nearly losing his life, D.J. Hayden now seems like a first round lock.
Other Option(s): ILB Manti Te’o, DT Sylvester Williams, CB Desmond Trufant, DE Cornellius “Tank” Carradine
The Minnesota Vikings and D.J. Hayden haven’t been connected before, but for a team in need of a cornerback after letting Antoine Winfield go, it makes sense. Hayden nearly died a few months ago during a practice. Very few were tooting his horn before the freak injury, but it seemed to bring a lot of attention to him, and he is now receiving a lot of hype. Hayden is physically gifted and constantly made plays on the football at Houston.
Quick Rumor: Manti Te’o has been a hot name connected with the Vikings. It’s just a question of whether or not they would be willing to spend a first round pick on him.
Other Option(s): RB Eddie Lacy, OG/OT Justin Pugh, DE/OLB Bjoern Werner, DE Margus Hunt
Seemingly not too connected with any one prospect, the Green Bay Packers could go any which way in this draft. Marshall Newhouse isn’t an ideal starter at tackle and it doesn’t seem like Derek Sherrod is either. Bryan Bulaga is a great player and arguably their best offensive lineman, so it would make sense to move him to left tackle. Menelik Watson is raw, but he has a ton of ability and would make for an excellent tandem with Bulaga. Allowing him to sit a year behind Newhouse to develop would be ideal.
Quick Rumor: The Packers also have a glaring need at running back, which makes Eddie Lacy an option. However, I think they wait to see who falls between Giovanni Bernard and Le’Veon Bell after this.
Xavier Rhodes would add depth to the Texans secondary.
Other Option(s): WR DeAndre Hopkins, WR Robert Woods, CB Jamar Taylor, S Jonathan Cyprien
Arguably not a huge need for the Texans, people have to remember though that the Texans have Super Bowl aspirations and will have to go through the New England Patriots, Denver Broncos or possibly both in the playoffs to reach their goal. Rhodes is the most physical cornerback in this draft and would be a great for Wade Phillips defense.
Quick Rumor: If quarterbacks fall, the Texans could be in an ideal position to trade down. They don’t have many needs and might benefit more from adding depth.
Desmond is looking to become the third Trufant brother to reach the NFL.
Other Option(s): DE Margus Hunt, ILB Manti Te’o
Another team with Super Bowl aspirations, the Denver Broncos don’t seem to have many needs. After starting corners Champ Bailey and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, the Broncos don’t have much at cornerback. On top of that, Champ is getting old and DRC is on a one-year contract. They have expressed interest in Desmond Trufant and he would be a tremendous fit to cover the slot as a rookie. Trufant’s great Senior Bowl week and Combine seem to have him locked into the first round and this is a nice fit for player and team.
Quick Rumor: Since losing Elvis Dumervil, Von Miller is the only threatening pass rusher on the team. They have been connected to Margus Hunt and he could be a nice option if he slips to 28.
Datone Jones is a versatile defensive lineman, just the way the Patriots like them.
Option(s): DE Cornellius “Tank” Carradine, WR Robert Woods, WR Keenan Allen, WR Stedman Bailey
The New England Patriots are doing their homework this year, talking to a laundry list of guys. Datone Jones just makes sense for the Patriots. They need to add defensive lineman and Jones fits the Patriot way of a guy who can do a variety of things. No matter what, expect Bill Belichick to nab a guy who can contribute early.
Quick Rumor: The Patriots are a team very likely not to move in the first round.
The Falcons may not pick at 30, but if they do, Bjoern Werner would be a great snag.
Other Option(s): OLB/DE Dion Jordan, CB Dee Milliner, DT Sheldon Richardson, ILB/OLB Alec Ogletree
The Falcons are heavily rumored to want to move up, including being connected to the Raiders at the third pick. If they don’t catapult up, Bjoern Werner would be a great consolation prize at 30. Werner isn’t a special athlete, but he knows how to get to the quarterback and play the run. His balanced game reminds myself of Chris Long. Another option if they stay still would be to add in-state prospect Alec Ogletree to challenge Akeem Dent. They have visited with Jonathan Cyprien and on paper, safety isn’t a need. However, with William Moore’s recent legal troubles, if the Falcons elect to take Cyprien, consider that a sign the Falcons know more than the rest of us on Moore’s situation.
Quick Rumor: The Falcons have strongly been connected to two guys if they jump to the third pick, those being Dion Jordan and Dee Milliner. Overall, they seem primarily concerned on taking a pass-rusher or corner in the first round tonight.
Other Option(s): CB D.J. Hayden, TE Zach Ertz, S Eric Reid, DT Sheldon Richardson
Cornellius “Tank” Carradine has been working like crazy to have an Adrian Peterson-like comeback from a torn ACL. So far, it’s going as planned. On tape, Carradine is an animal and is arguably the best base 4-3 end in the draft. If he does fall because of the knee injury, he could be a huge steal, specifically for a team like the 49ers. Carradine isn’t an ideal 3-4 fit on paper, but he could be developed into being a Justin Smith type. Zach Ertz is a popular option here and certainly possible, but I believe Ertz falls to the second round.
Quick Rumor: Possessing the most picks in the draft, don’t be surprised if the 49ers make a jump up in the draft. They were so close to winning it all last year and need to continue to add top-shelf talent if they have the chance to move up instead of stockpiling depth.
Compared to Ed Reed, Jonathan Cyprien could be following a similar career to the NFL.
Other Option(s): OT/OG Justin Pugh, DE Margus Hunt, DE Cornellius “Tank” Carradine, ILB Kevin Minter
The Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl last year and congratulations to them. Next year though will be far different, as they have lost Anquan Boldin, Ray Lewis, and Ed Reed. They have done a nice job of reestablishing a formidable defensive line with offseason moves, but they still have more glaring holes than the typical defending champion. Jonathan Cyprien is a first round talent, a safety who has drawn comparisons to Ed Reed for his center fielder abilities but can also knock your top off. Having to replace Ed Reed, Cyprien would be a nice fit.
Quick Rumor: The Ravens added Rolando McClain to try and replace Lewis, but he was recently arrested. However, that is said not to have changed their strategy for the Draft.
For more on the NFL Draft, follow Josh on Twitter (@JGleas) or visit Pro Football Spot.