NFL Mock Draft 2.5
The NFL Draft is fast approaching and the pro days are almost over. In this edition of my Mock Draft, I explain why players are being picked where and why. You can find more information about the player by searching for them through the site as each one has been written about before. Hope you enjoy the third edition of the mock draft and let me know what you think.
1. Carolina Panthers (2-14): Cam Newton
- Newton is loaded with potential and risk. Had one of the great seasons in college football history. Compares to Donovan McNabb. Gives the Panthers a franchise QB.
2. Denver Broncos (4-12): Marcell Dareus
- Dareus impressed throughout his career in the SEC. He is a safer pick than Fairley in the opinion of many. Great burst of the line to go with strength. Improves the Broncos defense.
3. Buffalo Bills (4-12): Von Miller
- Von Miller and Patrick Peterson are the two of the safest picks in the Draft. Von was clearly the best player at the Senior Bowl and has done everything right to be a top 10 pick. I think Fitzpatrick and Stevie are a nice stopgap for a few seasons and Bills will take D.
4. Cincinnati Bengals (4-12): Nick Fairley
- Although Fairley was a star for only one season, you can see the potential. He dominated with skills and instinct, but not technique which you could tell you he has room to grow. Reminds me of Warren Sapp. Seems like the Bengals kind of guy.
5. Arizona Cardinals (5-11): Patrick Peterson
- The safest player in the draft, compares to Rod Woodson. Excellent speed and plays press coverage very well. I would have no problems if he went #1. I think Arizona would be foolish to pass on pairing Peterson up with Rodgers-Cromartie and/or let him learn from Wilson.
6. Cleveland Browns (5-11): A.J. Green
- Cleveland is desperately in the need of a WR and they will have their choice of Green or Jones. Green makes the most sense to me as he is a solid route runner who should combine nicely with Colt McCoy.
7. San Francisco 49ers (6-10): Prince Amukamara
- The 49ers could find themselves reaching a bit for Prince if Peterson is off the board. I don’t think they will go QB in the first round, which is why I have them passing on Gabbert. Secondary has been a need for the last few seasons.
8. Tennessee Titans (6-10): Blaine Gabbert
- It’s really difficult to predict how the Titans will go about finding a new QB since very little about their coach is known. It would make sense for them to draft a QB early in the draft and make a move for a veteran as well.
9. Dallas Cowboys (6-10): Tyron Smith
- This is the direction the Cowboys should go in because their offensive line a glaring weakness last season. Extremely gifted athletically, has a chance to become an elite tackle. Played RT in college and looks the part for the position in the pros, also.
10. Washington Redskins (6-10): Julio Jones
- The Redskins sorely needed another receiving option last year. Jones makes sense from a personnel and personality standpoint for the Redskins.
11. Houston Texans (6-10): Robert Quinn
- I really don’t think that Quinn should fall this far but it’s possible after missing last season. He is the best end in a class packed with them. Wade Phillips would be very pleased to have a talent like Quinn’s to help with the transition on D.
12. Minnesota Vikings (6-10): Da’Quan Bowers
- Minnesota could go a number of ways with their pick, but DL might make sense if Ray Edwards bolts when he becomes a FA.
13. Detroit Lions (6-10): Anthony Constanzo
- Constanzo is a solid, fundamental football player. While he isn’t the most gifted, he is very solid and I could see him starting a LT for 10 years for a team. A dream selection for the Lions.
14. St. Louis Rams (7-9): Aldon Smith
- After missing on the top two receivers the Rams should look for a pass rusher who will continue to fortify the front 7.
15. Miami Dolphins (7-9): Mark Ingram
- I put him here because he is a first round talent in my opinion. Ricky and Ronnie are both free agents. Some “buzz” that there could be 0 RBs in round one.
16. Jacksonville Jaguars (8-8): Mike Pouncey
- Jaguars always seem to suffer a ton of injuries to their offensive line, especially on the interior. Keeping the former Gator in Florida would be a wise move for the run first squad.
17. New England (Raiders 8-8): JJ Watt
- Seems like the perfect 3-4 end. Impressive speed at the combine for a man of his size. Mayock compared him to Keisel. Patriots #1 off-season goal is to improve the pass rush. Stroud was a nice addition.
18. San Diego Chargers (9-7): Cameron Jordan
- One of the biggest risers in the pre-draft process. Jordan is a great athlete who has a knack for getting to the QB. Chargers in need of pass rush since Merriman was busted for steroids.
19. New York Giants (10-6): Muhammad Wilkerson
- Another riser. Wilkerson is a versatile DL and Giants love those kinds of players. 2nd round pick Joseph wasn’t that productive and they aren’t afraid to invest heavily in their lines. OL a possibility as well.
20. Tampa Bay Bucs (10-6): Ryan Kerrigan
- Might be the safest of all the DL prospects and because of this he could go higher. Buccaneers need to improve their pass rush after Stylez G. White led them with 4.5 sacks. Kerrigan is a high motor guy that Rahim Morris might fall for.
21. Kansas City Chiefs (10-6): Phil Taylor
- KC is in need of help on both lines, more immediately on D. Taylor would immediately start at NT and allow Dorsey & star Hali to continue to grow.
22. Indianapolis Colts (10-6): Derrek Sherrod
- Polian regretted passing on Saffold last year and he would be a fool to make the same mistake this year. Sherrod started four years in the SEC and is close to ready at LT.
23. Philadelphia Eagles (10-6): Gabe Carimi
- Garimi could fill immediate holes at RG or RT. More importantly he would toughen a run game that has been largely finesse the last few years. Best case scenario is he becomes the new Jon Runyan.
24. New Orleans Saints (11-5): Adrian Clayborn
- Slipping a bit due to a less than productive senior season among other issues. Still one heck of a football players who can rush the passer with a variety of moves and play the run effectively.
25. Seattle Seahawks (7-9): Jake Locker
- One of those picks that kind of make too much sense to actually happen. Nevertheless, I could see a team trading into the first round, with NE probably, to draft a QB.
26. Baltimore Ravens (12-4): Jimmy Smith
- Ozzie will not shy away from guys with character issues and Smith fills a need. Ravens have Webb and Wilson but both are small fast CBs, Smith will add size to the secondary.
27. Atlanta Falcons (13-3): Corey Liuget
- Liuget is a load inside and would give the Falcons one of the best D-Lines in the league.
28. New England Patriots (14-2): Danny Watkins
- 75% chance the Patriots trade this pick at the end of the night. If they keep it, they could draft an OL. There will be a late round run on linemen.
29. Chicago Bears (11-5): Nate Soldier
- The perfect project for offensive line coach Mike Tice. Don’t think Solider is ready from day one.
30. New York Jets (11-5): Justin Houston
- Great burst off the ball, could be the project pass rusher they were looking for when they drafted Vernon Golston.
31. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4): Cameron Heyward
- Versatile defensive linemen, think Steelers should draft OL if one of the players above is available.
32. Green Bay Packers (10-6): Akeem Ayers
- As Aaron Nagler told me the other day “With Ted Thompson I wouldn’t be surprised with any player or any position”.