As a rule, I do not include trades in my mock drafts, but history shows us that the first round has averaged about six draft day trades a year over the last five drafts.
While mock draft trades do skew the likelihood of correctly predicting pairings between teams and players, it is an illuminating exercise to try to mock the requisite deals to create an accurate picture of how the first round might go.
1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford: No trade happening here.
2. Washington Redskins (from St. Louis Rams): Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor: Browns' GM Tom Heckert didn't give off any strong signals that Cleveland is considering a trade-up for RG3 in his comments this morning, and it just doesn't seem like it's in the team's character to make that kind of deal, even if the Browns have the ability to control the market for the pick.
Redskins' owner Dan Snyder has no such qualms and will eagerly give up two first-round picks and more (let's say a second and third this year) if he can't land Peyton Manning.
3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil, OT, USC: No changes here, as the Vikings get their blindside protector.
4. Cleveland Browns: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU: Heckert seemed to open the door to trading down more than trading up this morning, and the Browns have done it twice in the last three years, but Claiborne makes too much sense to lock down the side opposite Joe Haden.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama: The new coaching regime might be tempted to execute a trade down here, but the chance to have an elite back to anchor a power-running game might be too good for the Bucs to pass up.
6. St. Louis Rams: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State: I'm skeptical about Blackmon being worth this high of a pick, but the Rams would have pocketed enough extra selections to make it worth giving Sam Bradford a No. 1 receiver.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina: The Jags traded up last year for Blaine Gabbert, but if anything they'll trade down this year. Without a trade partner, they are a good candidates to take the first pass rusher off the board.
8. Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M: Peyton Manning goes to Arizona, Matt Flynn goes to Seattle and the Dolphins "settle" for a Tannehill/Mike Sherman reunion.
9. Carolina Panthers: Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State: The Panthers stay home to take a versatile and strong presence inside on their defensive line.
10. Buffalo Bills: Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina: The need for a pass rush in Buffalo is so huge that the Bills forgo any opportunities to trade down.
11. Philadelphia Eagles (from Kansas City Chiefs): Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College: Both of these teams have shown a willingness to move in the first round recently. With extra picks in the second and fourth rounds, the Eagles have plenty of ammo to move in front of the Seahawks to snag Kuechly. The Eagles finally take a linebacker in the first round.
12. Seattle Seahawks: Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC: Just missing on Kuechly, I see the Seahawks' potential interest in Perry to provide more pass rush coming into play.
13. Arizona Cardinals: Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford: Any run at Peyton Manning would have to come with a promise to improve the offensive line. Ironically, Martin was the blindside protector for the guy who will replace Manning in Indy.
14. Dallas Cowboys: David DeCastro, OG, Stanford: The Cowboys get a gift, as DeCastro falls into their lap at 14.
15. Kansas City Chiefs (from Philadelphia Eagles): Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa: The Chiefs get their guy as Reiff might be falling on boards. His ability to play left tackle in the NFL is uncertain.
16. New York Jets: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame: The Jets get a much-needed infusion of young talent in the passing game.
17. Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland Raiders): Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois: The Bengals have another pick at 21, so they may explore trade downs, but the window to take down the Ravens and Steelers is opening, so why delay gratification?
18. New England Patriots (from San Diego Chargers): Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis: Belichick never trades up in the first, but he is also predictably unpredictable. Wilfork plus Poe would give the Pats amazing versatility in fronts for the Patriots defense. Giving the Chargers No. 27 and No. 48 outright should get this done.
19. Chicago Bears: Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech: It's hard to see the Bears passing on a size/speed freak like Hill who looks more impressive every time teams watch him at a pre-draft event.
20. Tennessee Titans: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama: The Titans forgo any trade down possibilities to get a corner to replace Cortland Finnegan, who is likely gone in free agency.
21. Baltimore Ravens (from Cincinnati Bengals): Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama: GM Ozzie Newsome just can't help himself when it comes to moving around in the first round. Seeing Upshaw as a potential replacement for Jarret Johnson and bookend pass-rusher with Terrell Suggs will be too good to pass up. The Bengals might be able to get as much as the Ravens' 2013 second-round pick for moving down nine spots.
22. Cleveland Browns: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor: The Browns resist the annual urge to trade down and stockpile more picks when the chance to add this speedy receiver presents itself.
23. Detroit Lions: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina: The Lions stay put with this gifted corner available.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Cordy Glenn, OL, Georgia: The Steelers are a good candidate to trade down because they have multiple needs and little cash to spend, but they can't pass up on this athletic behemoth offensive lineman.
25. Denver Broncos: Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin: Tim Tebow's play hid some issues on the offensive line that a blue-chip player like Zeitler will address.
26. Houston Texans: Mark Barron, S, Alabama: Any thoughts of trading down into the early second to snag a wide receiver or nose tackle vanish when Barron is available.
27. San Diego Chargers (from New England Patriots): Andre Branch, DE/OLB, Clemson: The Chargers zero in on Branch because of his pure pass-rush ability compared to the other DE/OLB tweeners available at their natural pick, which allows them to trade down.
28. Green Bay Packers: Jerel Worthy, DL, Michigan State: A defensive end who can come in on passing downs and create pressure from the interior would be a nice addition for the Packers.
29. St. Louis Rams (from Cincinnati Bengals): Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama: With all of their extra draft capital from the RG3 deal, the Rams feel comfortable spending to make sure they get this talented but troubled corner. The Bengals might be targeting a running back and should still be able to get their pick of the second tier in the early second round.
30. Indianapolis Colts (from San Francisco 49ers): Michael Brockers, DT, LSU: Chuck Pagano gets a player who can play 5-technique in his 3-4 defense, as the Colts can't watch him fall any farther.
31. New England Patriots: George Iloka, S, Boise State: Bill Belichick isn't afraid to overpay for players who he sees fitting well in his hybrid defense.
32. New York Giants: Lavonte David, ILB, Nebraska: Chase Blackburn made a big play in coverage in the Super Bowl, but the chance to add a linebacker with the movement skills of David at the end of the first might be hard to pass up.