Thursday, April 5, 2012

NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0 with projected trades

This is the first of 4 Mock Drafts I will do before the actual NFL draft which is on Thursday April 26th at 8pm, exactly 3 weeks from today. 

FIRST ROUND 

1.  IND-ANDREW LUCK-QB-STANFORD
Best prospect since Peyton Manning, maybe since John Elway.  A can't miss prospect like LeBron in basketball or Sidney Crosby in Hockey.  He's that good. 
2.  WAS-ROBERT GRIFFIN III-QB-BAYLOR
Skills, speed and smarts.  That's a wining combination in the NFL.  I love his completion percentage and his ability to throw the long ball.  Everything else will come in time.  He has a chance to be everything people thought Michael Vick would become.  
3.  MIN-MATT KALIL-OT-USC
In a division where the Vikings will play WR's Calvin Johnson, Greg Jennings and now Brandon Marshall twice a year, taking CB Morris Claibourne would make sense.  However the Vikings also go against 3 of the league's best pass rushers (Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers and Cliff Avril) twice a year.  Kalil has the makings to be a franchise LT for the next 8-12 years protecting QB Christian Ponder who the Vikings drafted in the first round last year. 
4.  CLV-TRENT RICHARDSON-RB-ALABAMA
Here's where the fun begins.  Taking Ryan Tannehill here is just too high.  Richardson is the smart and safe pick and the Browns can ride him for the next 3-5 years while they try to find a franchise QB and some wide-outs.  Richardson may be the best RB prospect to come out since Barry Sanders 
5.  TB-MORRIS CLAIBOURNE-CB-LSU
I could care less about his score of 4 on the Wonderlic.  Claiborne is smart enough not to get arrested and get in trouble, which is something you can't say about the other CBs in this class (Dre Kirkpatrick and Janoris Jenkins) or the guy he may replace in Tampa, Aqib Talib who could be facing jail time for a gun charge. 
6.  SL-MICHAEL FLOYD-WR-NOTRE DAME
Every year something unexpected happens.  A lot of times it involves skill position players going higher than expected or before another prospect at the same position (CJ Spiller going #9 in 2010, DHB being drafted ahead of Michael Crabtree in 2009, Ted Ginn Jr going #9 in 2007 and Edgerrin James going ahead of Ricky Williams in 1999).  It may seem like a reach to take Floyd this high and before Justin Blackmon.  But when you think about it, Floyd's size, speed and ability to stretch the field is better than Blackmon's.  The Rams already have two very reliable underneath possession targets in Danny Amendola and Steve Smith, they need someone who can stretch the field and make big plays in the redzone and Floyd is that guy.   
7.  JAX-JUSTIN BLACKMON-WR-OK ST.
Blackmon reminds me of Anquan Boldin with his strength and ability to make plays after the ball is in his hands.  If he's available the Jags should jump at the opportunity to give second year QB Blaine Gabbert  a reliable pass catcher.  Blackmon may lack ideal height but he makes up for it with great size, hands and body control.  If Blackmon is gone, the Jags will take a long look at Floyd or pass rusher Melvin Ingram
8.  MIA-RYAN TANNEHILL-QB-TEXAS A&M
The Dolphins NEED a QB and while Tannehill may not be a top 10 talent, but he played under current Dophins OC Mike Sherman at Texas A&M.  Therefore he already knoes the offense the Dolphins will use next year.  His skill set and athletic ability fit the West Coast style offense that new Head Coach Joe Philbin and Sherman want to use.  He should be able to adapt quickly and be starting by mid season in Miami. 
9.  CAR-FLETCHER COX-DT/3T-MISSISSIPPI ST. 
The Panthers defense was terrible against the run last year, actually they were just terrible period.  Cox is a very athletic DT who can rush the passer from the inside but can also clog the middle at almost 300 pounds.  I love his quickness for a man that size.  
10. BUF-JONATHAN MARTIN-OT-STANFORD 
Martin is a slightly better athlete than Riley Reiff and a better pass blocker as a left tackle prospect.  The Bills gave QB Ryan Fitzpatrick a big contract (too much $$$) and signed WR Stevie Johnson to a long term deal as well.  Now they need someone to protect their investments. 
11. KC-MICHAEL BROCKERS-DT/NT-LSU
Brockers is a raw, physical beast who actually has more upside than Fletcher Cox.  At 6-6/320 he reminds me of a young John Henderson and has the versatility to play both nose tackle and end in a 3-4 set.  KC could have an all LSU front 3 with Brockers, Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson.  
12. NYJ (PROJECTED TRADE UP W/SEA)-MELVIN INGRAM-OLB/PR-S.CAROLINA
My first projected trade.  The Jets should really just trade up to the #3 spot and take Trent Richardson just so people will stop talking about Tebow and Sanchez.  Seriously though, if Ingram slips past the top 10 someone will trade up to get the outstanding pass rusher.  Ingram's motor, quickness and lower body strength make up for his lack of height and short arms.  Rex Ryan will love his Bart Scott like enthusiasm and love for the game. 
13. ARZ-RILEY REIFF-OT-IOWA
The Cards need help at tackle and Reiff is the perfect fit in the Cards power run/short passing game.  The Cards had high hopes for Kevin Kolb last year.  Keeping him on his feet is priority one this year.  
14. DAL-QUINTON COPLES-DE-UNC
Coples has all the measurables and skill to be a dominant football player.  However, questions about his effort and work ethic will cause him to drop out of the top 10, similar to what happened to Nick Fairley last year.  
15. SF (TRADE UP W/PHL)-DAVID DECASTRO-G-STANFORD 
If DeCastro slips past the Seahwaks, Cards and Cowboys, the 49ers should trade up to get him.  The 49ers are a power team that will try to throw down field more often next year.  Their main weakness is at guard.  Coach Jim Harbaugh coached DeCastro at Stanford and knows he can come in from day one and be a starter at guard for a championship contending team. 
16. SEA (TRADE DOWN W/NYJ)-LUKE KUECHLY-ILB-BOSTON COLLEGE
The Seahawks may take Kuechly at #12 but if they could somehow trade down and still get them it would be a great move.  They could use the extra picks to get address their other major need, the offensive line. 
17. CIN-CORDY GLENN-G/OT-GEORGIA
The Bengals have a major need at corner but they can fill that at #21.  Glenn is a massive road grater 6-6/345 who can play both guard and right tackle and should help the Bengals power running game 
18. SD-MARK BARRON-SS-ALABAMA
Barron is too good to pass up here.  Barron and FS Eric Weddle could form the best Safety duo in the league.  With so many teams using the TE in today's NFL, the need for an athletic strong safety like Barron is growing. 
19. DEN (TRADE UP W/CHI)-DONTARI POE-DT/NT-LSU
Last year the Broncos passed up on Marcel Dareus to take Von Miller.  That ended up working out very well  but the Broncos still have a gaping hole in the middle of their defense.  If Poe or Brockers slips out of the top 15, the Broncos should be aggressive in moving up to take a run stopping DT.  Poe put up incedible numbers at the combine but his lack of college production and the fact that he went a small school are red flags. 
20. TN-STEPHEN GILMORE-CB-S.CAROLINA
Corland Finnegan is gone and the Titans need someone to replace him.  I have Gilmore is the 2nd best corner behind Claiborne.  
21. CIN-DRE KIRKPATRICK-CB-ALABAMA
I like Kirkpatrick's height (6-2) and length to compliment Leon Hall who is only 5-10 but is a good physical shutdiwn corner.  
22. CLV-JANORIS JENKINS-CB-NO. ALABAMA 
The Browns go with the best player available approach and reunite Jenkins with current shutdown corner Joe Haden.  They were the starting corner duo on Florida's 2008 National Title team 
23. DET-MIKE ADAMS-OT-OHIO ST. 
With all the top defensive backs off the board, the Lions try to upgrade the O-Line.  Adams may be a slight reach here, but OT's usually go higher than their real value. 
24. PIT-DONT'A HIGHTOWER-ILB-ALABAMA 
A perfect fit to replace James Farrior.  Hightower and Lawrence Timmons will roam the middle in Pittsburgh's 3-4.  He's a great tackler and very physical player.  He'll be a perfect fit in Pittsburgh. 
25. CHI (TRADE DOWN W/DEN)-WHITNEY MERCILUS-DE/PR-ILLINOIS 
The Bears trade down and get a local talent who can compliment Julius Peppers with the pass rush. 
26. HOU-REUBEN RANDLE-WR-LSU
The Texans need a compliment WR to Andre Johnson.  Kendall Wright would be good too, but Randle has the size and skill set to eventually be a #1 when Andre is gone.  With Andre's injuries that could be sooner rather than later. 
27. NE-COURTNEY UPSHAW-OLB/DE/PR-ALABAMA
Top 15 talent with 2nd/3rd round measurable's.  He looked fat at his pro day and many (including me) question whether he can be a stand up OLB in a 3-4.  If anyone can get the most out of someone it's Bill Belichek.   
28. GB-NICK PERRY-OLB/DE/PR-USC
Too much athletic ability and upside to pass up this late in te first round
29. BAL-PETER KONZ-C/G-WISCONSIN
The Ravens need a SS, so Harrison Smith can be a possibility here as well.  The Ravens love to run the football and have a  developing passing game as well.  Thy lost starting guard Ben Grubbs to free agency and center Matt Birk is long in the tooth.  An upgrade to the interior of the O-Line is necessary  
30. PHL (TRADE DOWN W/SF)-BRANDON WEEDEN-QB-OK ST
The Eagles trade down and get Michael Vick insurance.  They can get a future first rounder and fill their other needs with their two second round picks.  If Weeden was 23 years old, he would be a top 5 pick.  He'll be 28 next year which is a good thing as he should be ready just in case Vick gets hurt, AGAIN. 
31. IND (TRADE UP W/NE)-COBY FLEENER-TE-STANFORD
It just makes too much sense.  The Patriots never keep both of their picks and the Colts would love to trade up to reunite Andrew Luck with his college TE.  Fleener is the best TE in the draft this year.  If the Colts or someone else doesn't trade up to get him, I could see the Giants taking him at #32. 
32. NYG-DAVID WILSON-RB-VA TECH 
The Giants get a solid compliment RB to Ahmad Bradshaw.  Wilson gets the slight nod over Miami's Lamar Miller 

SECOND ROUND 

33. SL-JERELWORTHY-DT-MICHIGAN ST. 
34. NE (TRADE DOWN W/IND)-KENDALL REYES-DT-UCONN
35. MIN-JOSH ROBINSON-CB-UCF
36. TB-LAVONTE DAVID-OLB/WLB-NEBRASKA 
37. CLV-BROCK OSWEILER-QB-ARIZONA ST. 
38. JAX-VINNY CURRY-DE/PR-MARSHALL 
39. SL-BOBBY MASSIE-OT-OLE MISS 
40. CAR-KENDALL WRIGHT-WR-BAYLOR 
41. BUF-STEPHEN HILL-WR-GA TECH 
42. MIA-CHANDLER JONES-DE/PR-SYRACUSE
43. SEA-KEVIN ZEITLER-G-WISCONSIN 
44. KC-JAYRON HOSLEY-CB-VA TECH
45. DAL-SHEA McCLELLIN-OLB/PR-BOISE
46. PHL-HARRISON SMITH-SS-NOTRE DAME 
47. NYJ-LAMAR MILLER-RB-MIAMI
48. NE-BRANDON THOMPSON-DT/NT-CLEMSON
49. SD-ANDRE BRANCH-OLB/DE/PR-CLEMSON
50. CHI-ZEBRIE SANDERS-OT/RT-FSU
51. PHL-DEVON STILL-DT-PENN ST. 
52. TN-ZACH BROWN-OLB/WLB-UNC
53. CIN-MOHAMMED SANU-WR-RUTGERS
54. DET-ALFONSO DENNARD-CB-NEBRASKA 
55. ATL-DWAYNE ALLEN-TE-CLEMSON
56. PIT-ALSHON JEFFERY-WR-S. CAROLINA
57. DEN-DOUG MARTIN-RB-BOISE
58. HOU-ALAMEDA TA'AMU-DT/NT-WASHINGTON
59. GB-ARMINI SILATOLU-G-MIDWESTERN ST. 
60. BAL-BOBBY WAGNER-OLB/PR-UTAH ST. 
61. SF-A.J. JENKINS-WR-ILLINOIS 
62. NE-GEORGE ILOKA-FS-BOISE
63. NYG-ORSON CHARLES-TE-GEORGIA 

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