I’m such a draft-nick it’s not even funny anymore...
The NFL Season is all wrapped up, and I figured the best thing to do on my first Sunday without a live NFL game would be to hammer out a mock draft.
The Draft order is almost complete, with the exception of a few coin flips, and we’re about to fire up the NFL combine in Indianapolis as well. It’s actually the perfect time to do a mock and an even better time to talk about the best three days of the year...the NFL Draft!
I live for the draft, so you can guarantee that there will be plenty of more mocks to go around.
1. St Louis Rams : Ndamukong Suh - DT - Nebraska
I’ll laugh the Rams right out of the building if they don’t select Suh. He’s a great player with the ability to collapse a pocket and will command a double team on plays. He compares favorably to Minnesota’s Kevin Williams and has great speed for his size.
2. Detroit Lions : Gerald McCoy - DT - Oklahoma
Gerald McCoy remains a terrific pick for the Lions who need to add pieces to a defense that was a doormat last season. Some scouts even have him rated higher than Suh because of his ability to fit into a 4-3 front, and he could be an even better pass rusher than the above mentioned Nebraska product.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers : Dez Bryant - WR - Oklahoma State
Sure, this is WAY too high for a guy with some character concerns, but this kid is ready to go right now. He’s big, he’s fast, and he knows how to make moves in the open field. He’s going to be a playmaker, and that’s exactly what Tampa needs to surround young QB Josh Freeman with.
4. Washington Redskins : Sam Bradford - QB - Oklahoma
If Bradford’s shoulder checks out okay, Washington will pull the trigger on what is the only franchise QB in this draft class. He’s got a nice release and excellent zip on his deep passes. Shanahan is a QB guru and should prove to be a perfect mentor for the early stages of Bradford’s development.
5. Kansas City Chiefs : Eric Berry - S - Tennessee
The Chiefs have needs all across the board but adding to their 30th ranked defense would certainly be a good start. Berry is a special player who should not only test through the roof, but he has all the intangibles to be a terrific player at the next level who should turn into a leader in the locker room.
6. Seattle Seahawks : Russell Okung - OT - Oklahoma State
In a shocker, the Seahags have their pick of the top shelf in this year’s offensive tackle class and they actually make the right choice. Okung isn’t an absolute mauler, but he’s a really good athlete for his size and should transition into a great tackle at the pro level.
7. Cleveland Browns : Derrick Morgan - DE - Georgia Tech
The Browns really need a pass-rushing presence on defense and Morgan could be their man. Morgan would give their front seven a nice upgrade and provide them with another option to get to the quarterback. Could be the best pass rusher in this class.
8. Oakland Raiders : Jason Pierre-Paul - DE - South Florida
Only Al Davis and his shiny stop watch know who the Raiders will be selecting, but while Oakland’s needs would appear to be offensive line, that doesn’t mean they’ll adhere to anything logical. I’m thinking they go best athlete remaining on the board, and Al’s old overhead projector probably has Jason Pierre-Paul’s name on it.
9. Buffalo Bills : Bruce Campbell - OT - Maryland
The Bills had a revolving door at offensive tackle, but they have a very young interior with second year players Eric Wood and Andy Levitre. They also love the potential of Demetrius Bell, but they need another prototype tackle to pair with him. Campbell is explosive and has excellent size to control the point of attack.
10t. Denver Broncos : Rolando McClain - LB - Alabama
McClain is a great athlete with tremendous closing speed for his size and very long arms. Denver has a good LB corps, but Andre Davis is long in the tooth and this would give them a nice influx of youth with Williams, Dumervil, and second-year pro Robert Ayers wreaking havoc for years to come in that 3-4.
10t. Jacksonville Jaguars : Joe Haden - CB - Florida
Jacksonville has more than a few needs, but their secondary was downright terrible towards the end of the season. They not only need safety help, but they could use the corner of the future to pair up with Derek Cox. The Jags will be lucky to see Haden slip this far in the draft.
12. Miami Dolphins : Sergio Kindle - DE - Texas
The Dolphins need to fill a number of holes along the front seven of that 3-4 defense. One area they could certainly use some depth and youth in would be Outside Linebacker. With Joey Porter’s release and Jason Taylor getting long in the tooth, Kindle would be a perfect fit for the Dolphins.
13. San Francisco 49ers : Anthony Davis - OT - Rutgers
The 49ers were respectable last year, but they want to improve on offense and find an answer on the other side of Joe Staley at the tackle position. They like running the ball and they want to be more physical at the point of attack, which should play right into Davis’ skill set as a big mauler in the run game. Should be a good fit on the right side.
14. Seattle Seahawks : CJ Spiller - RB - Clemson
This Seattle franchise needs a shot in the arm, and they need playmakers in a running attack that averaged less than 100 yards per game last season. Spiller would bring a lot of explosiveness to that offense, and he can also contribute on special teams with his dynamic kick-return ability.
15. New York Giants : Donovan Warren - CB - Michigan
This is a little high for Warren but he would address a huge need for a Giants' secondary that got abused in games last season. Warren is a terrific tackler and has the potential to be a good cover corner at the next level. The league features a lot of big-time passing teams, and New York needs more youth at the position.
16t. Tennessee Titans : Everson Griffen - DE - Southern California
I love this guy’s pass-rushing ability. He could be one of the better pure defensive ends from this class, and the Titans need to get stronger along the front four. Griffen uses his hands well and can shed would-be blockers very quickly. He’s a much-needed addition, considering the Titans’ lack of a pass rush last season.
16t. San Francisco 49ers : Dan Williams - DT - Tennessee
The 49ers got a really great season from Aubrayo Franklin, but he can’t play every single down and they need to build depth at a position that is crucial to their 3-4 defense. Williams is a prototype nose with the terrific size and tremendous strength he showed off at the Senior Bowl.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers : Brian Bulaga - OT - Iowa
Maybe this is too good a fit, but you know what you’re getting with a Hawkeye and that’s very physical run-blocking technique. Bulaga should work out well at right tackle to start but will eventually be able to hold his own on the left side in the future.
19(t). Atlanta Falcons : Earl Thomas - S - Texas
While most scouts and teams will be looking at Thomas playing free safety for their team, the Falcons could try him at corner. He’s got the wheels to play outside and has proven to be very durable, despite being a fierce hitter. Could eventually be the future center fielder of almost any NFL franchise.
19(t). Houston Texans : Taylor Mays - S - Southern California
The Texans had a lot of success with the last USC Trojan they selected, and they might be lured in to drafting Mays too early. He’s a physical specimen and a vicious hitter, but he’s shown lapses in coverage multiple times. His physical upside is still too great to ignore though.
21. Cincinnati Bengals : Brian Price - DT - UCLA
The Bengals need to be more consistent against the run and free up their talented corps of linebackers. Price would fit in really well with what the Bengals do, and his high motor/extra effort play is exactly what coordinator Mike Zimmer wants on his defense.
22. New England Patriots : Jermaine Greshem - TE - Oklahoma
I know that it’s a bit of a shock but I am hearing that the Patriots are sending Ben Watson his walking papers, so they’re going to need another big target over the middle of the field with Welker likely missing the early part of the season rehabbing from knee surgery. The Pats will continue to surround Brady with talent.
23. Green Bay Packers : Charles Brown - OT - Southern California
Maybe these are more of my high hopes for the Packers, but Brown’s athleticism, being a former TE, would be a great fit for Green Bay’s zone blocking scheme, and their need at tackle is strong. They’ve got some really good interior linemen, so they can only improve their chances on offense if they give Aaron Rodgers even more time to throw the ball.
24. Philadelphia Eagles : Carlos Dunlap - DE - Florida
Philly still wants a blue-chip defensive end to pair with Trent Cole, and Dunlap is a heck of an athlete that will fall due to character concerns. Philadelphia management loves to collect defensive linemen like they’re comic books, so don’t be surprised to see the Eagles pass on a linebacker yet again.
25. Baltimore Ravens : Arrelious Benn - WR - Illinois
I know the stats and production in college just aren’t there but we’re talking about a very talented player who’s got a lot to offer an NFL franchise. While he’s not ready to hit the ground running just yet, he’ll be a terrific fit for a team that needs to surround their QB of the future with talent.
26. Arizona Cardinals : Terrence Cody - DT - Alabama
It’s one of two things for the Cards: upgrade their defensive front or add to their offensive line. They have one of the last defensive tackles on the board with the potential to be a dominant nose tackle in a 3-4 front. His weight issues may drop him off most teams' draft boards, but he’s a great fit here if his weight is under control.
27. Dallas Cowboys : Trent Williams - OT - Oklahoma
I’m obviously not as big a fan of Williams as some others are but he does play very physical and excels at run blocking, which is what the Cowboys like to do. They need an eventual replacement for Flozell Adams, and Williams could be a left tackle with some work on his pass blocking.
28. San Diego Chargers : Mike Iupati - OG - Idaho
This guy is one of the better guard prospects to enter the draft in some time. He’s a nasty player who is very explosive off of the line and can blow up the man in front of him. He would be a welcomed addition in San Diego, a team that features big physical linemen.
29. New York Jets : Brandon Graham - LB - Michigan
Graham may not be around for the Jets, but they’ve got to get younger on their front seven and Rex Ryan definitely wants some more weapons for his defense. Gholston has been a total bust, and Graham may give them the impact pass rusher they thought they were getting back when they took Gholston with the sixth overall pick two years ago.
30. Minnesota Vikings : Jonathan Dwyer - RB - Georgia Tech
The Vikings aren’t likely to retain the services of backup running back Chester Taylor, and Adrian Peterson’s upright running style, combined with his penchant for doling out punishment at the end of his runs, leads me to believe that the Vikings will target a running back early. Dwyer could learn behind Peterson and would also have the ability to spell him.
31. Indianapolis Colts : Jared Odrick - DT - Penn State
The Colts have been looking to get bigger and quicker up front on defense ever since defensive coordinator Larry Coyer got in town. Fili Moala didn’t pan out as expected and Bill Polian wants a more physical presence to hold the point against the run and give them a pass rushing presence. Odrick would be a perfect fit as an under tackle in the Colts’ cover-2.
32. New Orleans Saints : Brandon Ghee - CB - Wake Forest
This kid is rising up a lot of draft boards and the Saints might have visions of having Ghee paired up with Porter at corner, while Jenkins (last year’s first rounder) and Roman Harper complete their secondary at the safety spots. Ghee is a speedy corner who has the potential to make an impact right away in their secondary, and he would make a lot of sense, being that pro bowl safety Darren Sharper has hinted at retirement.
Thanks a ton for reading and please bang out some feedback or comments below. You can also e-mail me questions, comments, and even complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org .