In this mock draft I play the "what if" game with current NFL players that could be traded on or right before the NFL Draft. I project a few trades that have a domino effect on my mock draft
Here are my trades:
CLV receives RB Matt Forte
CHI receives the Browns' #37 (2nd) and #139 (5th)
Reason: The Browns have 13 picks and 18+ million in cap room. If they can get Forte for a 2nd and a 5th rounder it would be worth it. Then they can justify drafting Ryan Tannehill at #4 and pick the best player available at #22. Tannehill will be able to develop while playing with one of the best RBs in the league.
CIN receives DE Dwight Freeney and the Colts #136 (5th)
IND receives the Bengals #21 (1st)
Reason: Why Not? The Bengals have 18+ in cap room to take on Freeney's large salary. Plus the Bengals are considering taking an unproven pass rusher in this year's draft. Why not take one of the best pass rushers in the NFL who would instantly turn Cincinnati's defense from good to dominant. Freeney doesn't figure to be in the Colts' long term plans and will not be a good fit in new defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano's 3-4. Plus he will be a free agent in 2013. The Colts might as well get something for him now.
NE receives CB Asante Samuel and the Eagles' #46 (2nd) and #153 (5th)
PHL receives the Patriots #31 pick.
Reason: The Patriots have 4 picks in the top 62 but have no picks after the 4th round. The Patriots never keep both first rounders and have need for a VETERAN corner. They've drafted 3 young corners in the past 3 drafts in either the 1st or 2nd round. Ras-I Dowling-2011 (2nd), Devin McCourty-2010 (1st) and Darius Butler-2009 (2nd). All of those draft picks and they are still terrible against the pass. The Eagles should move back up into the first to land either SS Harrison Smith or QB Brandon Weeden.
DEN receives RB Jonathan Stewart and the Panthers #180 (6th)
CAR receives the Broncos #57 (2nd)
Reason: The Broncos need a RB. The Panthers have no need for 3 running backs with DeAngelo Williams and Mike Tolbert already on the roster. Plus Denver's coach John Fox thought highly enough of Stewart in Carolina to use a first round draft pick on him in 2008.
Here's the new mock:
1. IND-ANDREW LUCK-QB-STANFORD
A lock since last year to be the #1 pick.
2. WAS-ROBERT GRIFFIN III-QB-BAYLOR
A lock to be the #2 pick ever since the Redskins traded up to get him.
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-RYAN TANNHILL-QB-TEXAS A&M
5. TB-TRENT RICHARDSON-RB-ALABAMA
If the Browns pass on Richardson, Tampa Bay will pick him up immediately. New coach Greg Schiano will love pounding the football behind guards Carl Nicks and Davin Joseph. He can use Richardson and incumbant starting RB Lagarette Blount to wear opponents down. Richardson may be the best RB prospect to come out since Barry Sanders
6. SL-MORRIS CLAIBOURNE-CB-LSU
In this scenario the Rams go choose the best player available over need at WR. New coach Jeff Fisher is a former NFL defensive back and will love Claiborne's athletic ability and cover skills as they will compliment new corner Cortland Finnegan's toughness and ability to make plays in the running game.
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 receiver Michael Floyd or pass rusher Melvin Ingram.
8. MIA-QUINTON COPLES-PR/DE-UNC
If Tannehill is gone, the Dolphis will likely select a pass rusher to compliment Cameron Wake. Coples has all the measurables and skill to be a dominant football player. However, he has questions about his effort and work ethic. But if the Dolphins are willing to gamble on Tannehill at #8, I think they'd be willing to gamble on the upside of Coples as well.
9. NYJ (PROJECTED TRADE UP W/CAR)-MELVIN INGRAM-PR/OLB-S.CAROLINA
The Jets need a pass rusher to get over the hump in the AFC so they may be willing to trade up to get a stud like Ingram. 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.
10. BUF-LUKE KUECHLY-ILB-BOSTON COLLEGE
Everyone assumes the Bills will take OT Riley Reiff if he's available. The Bills can get a solid OT in the second round. If you have a chance to get an impact player like Kuechy, then you should take it. Keuchly will be an instant starter at MLB in the Bills 4-3 defense.
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. SEA-STEPHON GILMORE-CB-S. CAROLINA
With Kuechly and the top two pass rushers off the board, the Seahawks get a big physical shutdown corner. With Gilmore and FS Earl Thomas, coach Pete Carroll is a very happy man as he will have the best young secondary in the NFC.
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-MARK BARRON-SS-ALABAMA
It's a coin flip between Barron and Fletcher Cox. Both players have seen their stock rise as of late. The Cowboys need a little more help in the secondary than on the D-Line. Barron will be everything former SS and first round pick Roy Williams wasn't. A hard hitter AND someone that can cover.
15. PHL-FLETCHER COX-DT-MISSISSIPPI ST
The Eagles are in a great spot to get a top DT or Barron. Cox will fit Phily's wide 9 perfectly as a gap pusher opening up space for pass rushers Jason Babin and Trent Cole.
16. CAR (TRADE DOWN W/NYJ)-MICHAEL FLOYD-WR-NOTRE DAME
With no third round pick and only seven total picks I think the Panthers are in great position to trade down and get value at a lot of positions. Carolina gets a big, fast target for QB Cam Newton. The Panthers need help on defense, but Floyd is too good to pass up here.
17. 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 shutdown corner.
18. SD-CORDY GLENN-RT/G-GEORGIA
The Chargers may elect to go for a pass rusher, but I'd be more concerned about protecting QB Phillip Rivers. Last year Rivers struggled and the O-Line was a major part of that. Glenn is ginormous (6-6/345) and can play both tackle and guard.
19. CHI-DAVID DECASTRO-G-STANFORD
Can you say steal of the draft? DeCastro fits a major need for the Bears and also provides great value. Jay Cutler will be asking for more protection. DeCastro will be a great help
20. DEN (TRADE UP W/TN)-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.
21. IND (TRADE W/CIN FOR FREENEY)-COBY FLEENER-TE
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. He doesn't have the Gronk/Graham freak size and athletic ability but he's good enough to be a Jason Witten type.
22. CLV-WHITNEY MERCILUS-PR/DE-ILLINOIS
The Browns go best player available and take Mercilus who happens to be a local product originally from Akron. You can never have enough quality pass rushers in today's NFL.
23. DET-JONATHAN MARTIN-OT-STANFORD
The Lions try to upgrade the O-Line instead of taking a risk on corner Janoris Jenkins. Martin 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. TN (TRADE DOWN W/DEN)-NICK PERRY-PR/DE/OLB-USC
Who thinks that signing Kameron Wimbley is going to help solve the Titans pass rush problems? Not me, the Titans need another athlete who can get after the QB.
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-SHEA McCLELLIN-PR/OLB-BOISE
This guy is moving up draft boards fast and for good reason. He plays hard every play and is a hard worker. Belichick will love this guy.
28. GB-ANDRE BRANCH-PR/OLB/DE-CLEMSON
Despite having All-Pro pass rusher Clay Matthews, the Packers were 27th in total sacks and dead last in passing yardage defense last year. It was evident that they needed help when they were lit up by Eli and the Giants and had only one sack. The Pack need another pass rusher if they want to hoist the Lombardi Trophy anytime in the near future.
29. BAL-HARRISON SMITH-SS-NOTRE DAME
It will be really hard to pass on Peter Konz, but I think the Ravens have had their eye on Smith for a long time. Smith will learn how to play safety in the NFL from a legend in Ed Reed.
30. SF-PETER KONZ-C/G-WISCONSIN
If Konz slips past the Ravens the 49ers should waist no time even thinking about this pick. The 49ers need a guard that can come in and start right away.
31. PHL (TRADE W/NE)-BRANDON WEEDEN-QB-OK ST
The Eagles trade to get Michael Vick insurance. If Weeden was 23 years old, he would be a top 5-10 pick. He'll be 28 next year which is a good thing as he should be ready just in case Vick gets hurt, AGAIN.
32. NYG-LAVONTE DAVID-OLB/WLB-NEBRASKA
The Giants need help at LB and David is a safe and solid pick. He was a teammate of the Giant's first round pick last year, Prince Amukamara at Nebraska.
33. SL-MIKE ADAMS-OT-OHIO ST.
34. IND-JANORIS JENKINS-CB-NO. ALABAMA
35. MIN-STEPHEN HILL-WR-GA TECH
36. TB-COURTNEY UPSHAW-PR/DE/OLB
37. CHI (trade CLV)-CHANDLER JONES-PR/DE-SYRACUSE
38. JAX-VINNY CURRY-DE/PR-MARSHALL
39. SL-DAVID WILSON-RB-VA TECH
40. CAR-JERELWORTHY-DT-MICHIGAN ST.
41. BUF- BOBBY MASSIE-OT-OLE MISS
42. MIA-ARMINI SILATOLU-G/RT-MIDWESTERN ST.
43. SEA-MYCHAL KENDRICKS-ILB-CAL
44. KC-KEVIN ZEITLER-G-WISCONSIN
45. DAL-DEVON STILL-DT-PENN ST.
46. NE (TRADE W/PHL-KENDALL REYES-DT-UCONN
47. CAR (TRADE W/NYJ)-BRUCE IRVIN-PR/OLB-WVU
48. NE-JOSH ROBINSON-CB-UCF
49. SD- RONELL LEWIS-PR/OLB-OKLAHOMA
50. CHI-KENDALL WRIGHT-WR-BAYLOR
51. PHL-ZEBRIE SANDERS-OT/RT-FSU
52. TN-ZACH BROWN-OLB/WLB-UNC
53. CIN-MOHAMMED SANU-WR-RUTGERS
54. DET-JAYRON HOSLEY-CB-VA TECH
55. ATL-DWAYNE ALLEN-TE-CLEMSON
56. PIT-LAMAR MILLER-RB-MIAMI
57. CAR(trade DEN-TRUMAINE JOHNSON-CB/FS-MONTANA
58. HOU-GEORGE ILOKA-FS-BOISE
59. GB-LAMICHAEL JAMES-RB-OREGON
60. BAL-BROCK OSWEILER-QB-ARIZONA ST.
61. SF-ALSHON JEFFERY-WR-S. CAROLINA
62. NE-BRANDON THOMPSON-DT/NT-CLEMSON
63. NYG-DOUG MARTIN-RB-BOISE