Here is my Final Mock Draft for tonight's NFL Draft:
1. CAR-Cam Newton-QB-Auburn
While Newton has many question marks, the fact remains that he is the best QB on the board and has the potential to be a franchise QB and more importantly for Carolina, the face of their franchise.
2. DEN-Marcel Dareus-DT-Alabama
A lot of people are speculating that the Broncos will take Von Miller here, but I think it's just a smoke screen to get Buffalo or Arizona to trade up to get Miller. Dareus is the perfect fit at DT for the Broncos 4-3 scheme. He's big and powerful and would be a great weapon next to undersized DE and pass rusher Elivis Dumervil who is returning from an injury.
3. BUF-Von Miller-OLB-Texas A&M
Here is where the fun begins. The Bills can take a Qb Blaine Gabbert here and shake up the draft or they could go with the more sure fire prospect in Miller. Miller is a pure pass rusher who fits perfectly as an OLB in the Bills' 3-4 Defense.
4. CIN-A.J. Green-WR-Georgia
Bye bye Ochocinco and TO and say hello to the next Randy Moss. Green has the size and skill set to be one of the top wideouts in the league for a long time and comes with less 'diva' baggage than TO, Ochocinco, or Moss.
5. ARZ-Patrick Peterson-CB-LSU
The Cards need a QB but would rather get a veteran in free agency or through a trade. Peterson is the best all around prospect in the draft. He's like the second coming of Rod Woodson. This would be the smartest move for the Cards if Von Miller is off the board. Picking Peterson also means that their division rivals, the 49ers can't take him.
6. CLV-Julio Jones-WR-Alabama
A big, physical wideout who fits the West Coast offense perfectly. Young QB Colt McCoy is undersized and lacks elite arm strength so the need for a strong athletic freak like Jones is needed in Cleveland.
7. SF-Blaine Gabbert-QB-Mizzou
If Gabbert slips here the 49ers should either take him to be their QB of the future or take phone calls and try to trade this pick. However trading the #7 pick is a lot tougher than trading the a pick at 10 or below. If they can't get New England to bite, my guess is that they go with the 2nd best QB in Gabbert over the second best corner in Prince Amukamara.
8. TN-Jake Locker-QB-Washington
I can see the headline now: "Slight Shocker, the Titans take Locker" Rusty Smith might be their starting QB next year, need I say more? Most mocks have them taking DT Nick Fairley and that could easily be the pick. It may be a reach here but Locker here, but it would be a risk to take the one year wonder Fairley here as well.
9. DET (projcted trade with DAL)-Prince Amukamara-CB-Nebraska
Last year the Lions took a stud defender from Nebraska with African parents and it worked out pretty well. DT Ndamukong Suh was a Pro Bowler as a rookie and looks like a star. If they want to reunite Suh with Amukamara they will need to trade up a few spots. The Prince will booster Detroit's poor secondary immediately.
10. NE (projected trade with WAS)-Robert Quinn-OLB/DE-UNC
The Patriots are not afraid to move up or down and will be very active on the phones on draft night. After all they do have 6 picks in the first 3 rounds. Quinn is a pure pass rusher who has seen his stock rise recently. He reminds me a lot of former New England OLB/DE Willie McGinist.
11. HOU-Aldon Smith-OLB/DE-Mizzou
If Amukamara is available they should get him but if someone trades up to get him or if the 49ers take him the Texans should get the best pass rusher available. Smith is still very raw and young but the Texans and new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips will be very if they think he can become the next DeMarcus Ware.
12. MIN-Cameron Jordan-DE-California
His dad, Steve Jordan was Pro Bowl TE for the Vikings in the 80's. Cam will remind Viking fans of one of his dad's former teammates in Chris Doleman. With the top 3 QB's gone the Vikings will fill a need with a pass rusher rather than reach on a second tier QB.
13. DAL (projected trade with DET)-J.J. Watt-DE-Wisconsin
The Cowboys fill a need with a solid 5-technique DE in Watt and they are able to do it while trading down to get additional picks.
14. SL-Nick Fairley-DT-Auburn
The main need for the Rams is at WR. However there is little to no chance that Green or Jones will slip and the Rams don't want to trade into the top 6. Most mocks have them taking DT Cory Liuget but most mocks assume that Fairley will go to the Titans at #8. If Fairley is here, then he will be a steal for the Rams.
15. MIA-Mike Pouncey-G/C-Florida
The Dolphins will think long and hard about RB Mark Ingram, but in the end they value the trenches over skill. Mike may not be as good as his twin brother Maurkice but he still will be a starter from day one at guard in Miami.
16. JAX-Ryan Kerrigan-DE-Purdue
The Jags STILL need a pass rusher and Kerrigan fills that need perfectly. He's as fast as Quinn and Smith and has a non stop motor. This pick makes too much sense not to happen.
17. WAS (projected trade with NE)-Corey Liuget-DT/DE-Illinois
If Washington is successful in trading down, then they will be very happy to get a solid 3-4 end and address QB and pass rush with their later picks.
18. SD-Muhammed Wilkerson-DT/DE-Temple
The Chargers need a lot of help on their D-Line. Wilkerson has the skill set to be a good 3-4 end yet still has the size to be a nose tackle
19. NYG-Mark Ingram-RB-Alabama
The Giants are a physical running team and both of their RB's (Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs) are free agents and both have had injury issues. They need a guard and a tackle but they can get one later in the draft. Ingram is a top 10 talent who has a Heisman and National Title to his name.
20. TB-Tyron Smith-OT-USC
If they can't get a top pass rushing DE then they'll settle for the top OT to protect Josh Freeman's blind side. Smith is only 21 but that's fine as the rest of the Buccs offense including Freeman, LaGarrette Blount, and Mike Williams are all in their early 20's.
21. KC-Gabe Carimi-OT-Wisconsin
I think Anthony Castonzo is the best prospect at OT but Carimi is a better run blocker and the Chiefs are a running team. Carimi is not as athletic as Castonzo or Smith but is a road grater who can play guard as well. Versatility and toughness are two qualities GM Scott Pioli values.
22. IND-Anthony Castonzo-OT-Boston College
Castonzo is an excellent pass blocker and will fit in well with the Colts no huddle offense.
23. PHL-Jimmy Smith-CB-Colorado
Big physical shutdown corner who has the sixe to play safety as well. He reminds me of former Eagle Bobby Taylor who has the same size and skill set.
24. NO-DaQuan Bowers-DE-Clemson
The Saints take the injury risk here and hope they end up with a steal.
25. WAS (projected trade with Seattle)-Christian Ponder-QB-FSU
It's no secret that Seattle wants to trade down and it looks like Christian Ponder's stock is rising to become a late first round pick. The Redskins use the picks they received from my previous trade to get back into the first round.
26. BAL-Cameron Hayward-DE-Ohio St.
A solid DE who can play in both a 3-4 and a 4-3 front. The Ravens need some depth with their defensive front 7 and Hayward provides that.
27. ATL-Kyle Rudolph-TE-Notre Dame
Like Mark Ingram he's just too good to pass up. They have bigger needs at DE but Tony Gonzalez is 35 so they have a need at TE too. Two years under the greatest TE ever will do wonders for Rudolph's growth.
28. NE-Nate Solder-OT-Colorado
As usual the Patriots get great value and fill need with an athletic OT who was a converted TE.
29. CHI-Danny Watkins-G-Baylor
The Chicago winters won't affect the Canadian born Watkins who will be a 26 year old rookie. He will come in and instantly be a starter on the O-Line.
30. NY-Phil Taylor-NT-Baylor
Huge man to stuff the middle in the Jets 3-4 defense.
31. PIT-Aaron Williams-CB-Texas
While I like Brandon Harris better, I think the bigger Williams fits the Steelers scheme better. He is a good blitzer and can play some safety as well.
32. GB-Brooks Reed-OLB-Arizona
He has a similar build and skill set to Clay Matthews however if he a can produce half as well as Clay then the Pack will be very happy.