Hey guys, every team is looking to the draft this time of year. Whether it is to revitalize their franchise, like the Indianapolis Colts, or to add key pieces en route to a title run. For all teams though (except the Raiders, lol), the draft is the best opportunity to pick up key talent. Unlike most other mocks on this site, I will actually take trades into account, as I am sure they are bound to happen. All trades are based on the draft value chart, which can be found here. So,let's get started!
1. Indianapolis Colts select Andrew Luck, QB out of Stanford University
Luck is the perfect franchise QB, and he is pretty much a sure bet to be a top QB. He has great mobility, accuracy and can read coverages very well. His biggest strength though, is that he comes from a pro style offense and should transition to the NFL very quickly. His only knock would be his lack of arm strength, but that can be worked around (see Tom Brady or Matt Schaub).
2. St.Louis Rams trade the number two selection to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for the number 4 pick and the 22nd selection. With the 2nd pick, the Browns select QB Robert Griffin III out of Baylor University
The Redskins and Browns should be in a bidding war for RGIII's services,which Cleveland should win. The Browns will have more firepower than the Skins with two 1st round picks and should shore up their QB spot for years to come. RGIII is very accurate and mobile, with great arm strength. His biggest knock is that he comes from a spread offense and will need to adapt to the NFL.
3. Minnesota Vikings select Matt Kalil, LT out of USC
The VIkings need major help protecting Christian Ponder and Kalil is the best OT on the board. Kalil will shore up the left side of that line and provides a solid base moving forward.
4. St.Louis Rams trade down once again with the Jacksonville Jaguars and pick up the 7th pick and their 2nd round selection. With the 4th pick, the Jaguars select WR Justin Blackmon out of Oklahoma St. University
WIth Kalil off the board, the Rams opt to trade down once more and pick up even more picks in a very Belichickian fashion. THe Jaguars on the other hand, have the worst WR corps in the NFL. Mike Thomas is a slot receiver at best. With DeSean Jackson getting the franchise tag, probably along with Dwayne Bowe, Wes Welker and Marquis Colston (if they neotiate a deal with Brees),the WR free agency market will thin out a bit with the top free agents being Vincent Jackson (who i project to the Rams), Stevie Johnson (who goes to the Pats), Mario Manningham (who heads to Miami), Robert Meachem (stays in New Orleans), Reggie Wayne (goes to Buffalo), Mike Sims-Walker and Pierre Garcon (who is resigned by the Colts).The Jags bring back a familiar face in Sims-Walker in free agency, but will still be in need of their number 1 WR, as Sims-Walker is better as a number 2. Blackmon is a great fit as he addsa great young weapon for Blaine Gabbert.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Morris Claiborne, CB out of LSU
The Bucs secondary is in turmoil, with Ronde Barber being a free agent and Aqib Talib facing legal issues. Claiborne adds a legit number 1 corner while tremendously improving the Bucs' pass defense. Trent Richardson is an option as well, but they are probably going to give their sophomore RB another chance.
6. Washington Redskins select Alshon Jeffery, WR out of South Carolina
Unable to grab RGIII, and missing out on Manning (to the Dolphins) and Flynn (to the Seahawks), the Redskins decide to adopt the Bengals' formula by getting a top reciever in the first round and a QB (Ryan Tannehill) in the 2nd. Jeffery is a big receiver with tremendous upside and is talented enough for the Redskins to reach for his talents.
7. St.Louis Rams select Riley Reiff, OT out of Iowa
The Rams' O-line is basically full of Marc Colombos and they need a top lineman. The Rams take Reiff, who is a very large and talented LT and will allow the Rams to address other positions while trusting Bradford's blind side to Reiff.
8. The Miami Dolphins trade the 8th pick and their 4th round pick to the Cincinnati Bengals for the 17th pick and the 21st pick. With the 8th pick, the Bengals select Trent Richardson, RB out of Alabama
I see the Dolphins picking up Peyton Manning and trading down so to fill more needs. This may be a bit of a steal, so expect a Brian Hartline or Tony McDaniel esque player to be included as a part of this trade. Richardson is a monster runningback and is a future star. The Bengals have a pretty complete team with the exception of the runningback position, where Cedric Benson has struggled. They have two first rounders from the Carson Palmer trade and will use them to solidify their backfield as they look to be a contender in the AFC North. Richardson should also take some pressure off of Dalton and make his life easier.
9. Carolina Panthers select Quinton Coples, DE out of N. Carolina
Cam Newton has revitalized the Panthers offense, but their defense lost them multiple games this past year. Coples should begin the rebuilding of their D-line and will give them a great run-stuffing pass rusher, something they will need if they need to face Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Josh Freeman twice a year.
10. Buffalo Bills select Melvin Ingram, DE out of S. Carolina
While Ingram may be a bit undersized and isn't as good against the run, he is truly an elite pass rusher. The Bills will have to face Tom Brady and perhaps Peyton Manning twice a year, and Ingram will help put those QBs on the ground.
11. KC Chiefs select CB Dre Kirkpatrick out of Alabama
The entire KC defense has underwhelmed. With Brandon Flowers perhaps leaving via free agency and Brandon Carr underperforming, they look to Kirkpatrick for a solution to their CB issue and to tremendously improve their secondary.
The Bears have had issues keeping their QBs upright, and their O-line has tremendously underwhelmed to say the least. They grab one of the top 3 OTs in the draft and do Jay Cutler and Matt Forte a huge favor.
13. Arizona Cardinals select David DeCastro, OG out of Stanford
The Bears traded up to steal Martin from the Cardinals, so they look to another top Stanford O-lineman to help their line out. DeCastro is considered one of the top OGs to come into the draft in the long time. The Cardinals need a lot of help on the line, and DeCastro will help them a lot.
14. Dallas Cowboys select Janoris Jenkins, CB out of N. Alabama
Jenkins would have been the top CB in the draft if he hadn't had swith the Gators. His great Senior bowl showing will boost his stock though as he jumps ahead of Dennard. The Cowboys get a great CB and improve their secondary.
15. Philadelphia Eagles select Mark Barron, S out of Alabama
The Eagles have a great CB group, but they have a huge need at safety. Barron is the top safety in the draft and will help their secondary and make it one of the best in the league. A group featuring Asante Samuel, Nnamdi Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Mark Barron should give Eli Manning, Tony Romo and RGIII nightmares.
16. NY Jets select Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB out of Alabama
The Jets have multiple needs this season, but choose to fill their need at pass rusher first. Upshaw is a safe pick that will fit in nicely with their defense. Their fron seven will be improved by a lot and they will be able to have more pass rushers against Brady and perhaps Manning.
17. Miami Dolphins select Luke Kuechly, ILB out of Boston College
WIth the transition to a 4-3 defense, the Phins have needs at DE and ILB, but the DE class is much deeper and they can choose one with the 21st pick as well. Kuechly, on the other hand, remind me of Zach Thomas and has rookie of the year written all over him. He is an extremely smart ILB that will excel with Kevin Burnett and Karlos Dansby helping him on the outsides. Imagine a LB corps of Burnett, Kuechly and Dansby. That is easily one of the best trios in the NFL.
18. San Diego Chargers select Whitney Mercilus, DE out of Illinois
The main reason for the charger's nosedive this season has been their inability to get to the QB. Luckily for them, getting to the QB is what Whitney Mercilus does best. In fact, it is the only thing Mercilus can do. In this regard, he is a very risky prospect. He struggles against the run and will need help from the interior D-lineman.
19. Seattle Seahawks select Vontaze Burfict, LB out of Arizona State
Five of the Seahawks' linebackers are free agents, including starters David Hawthorne and Leroy Hill. It will be difficult for them to resign both, and Vontaze should be a huge upgrade to their linebacker corps. Burfict is a massive juman being that you would definately not want to be tackled by. The issue here, though, is Burfict's intangibles, he has a bad attitude nd has caused trouble in the past. It will be up to the Vets on this team to reel him in and get him under control.
20. Tennessee Titans select Michael Brockers, DT out of LSU
The Titans D-line needs some help, especially in a division featuring Maurice Jones-Drew and Arian Foster. Brockers is a great DT who is great at stopping the run. Brockers should revitalize this defense and get the Titans back on track for a playoff run. They may also look at getting Jake Locker some more weapons, but Their defense is a bigger need.
21. Miami Dolphins select Nick Perry, DE out of USC
The Phins need a DE to line up across from Wake. Perry is the perfect option for them. THey don't need a pure pass rusher, like Whitney Mercilus, but someone who excels at both stopping the run and rushing the passer. Perry is the perfect choice for such a role. They already have Wake as a pure pass rusher, so Perry would take some of the pressure off of him. With the selections of Kuechly and Perry, the Phins attempt to get the franchise back on track by having one of the best front 7s in the league.
22. St. Louis Rams select Kendall Wright, WR out of Baylor
With an improvement to their O-line in Reiff, they now look to improve their WR corps. I see them grabbing Vincent Jackson, a huge number 1 reciever. But their WR corps is far from complete. They now add an explosive receiver in Wright. Wright is fast and good at catching the ball. A combo of VJax and Wright will do huge favors to young QB Sam Bradford.
The Lions O-line has far exceeded expectations this season, actually keeping Stafford upright for a whole season. The question now, is how long Jeff Backus and Dominic Raiola have left. They are 33 and 34, respectively, and at least one of them will have lost a step by now. Adams is a great replacement who will bring some youth to the Lions' O-line and help returning RBs Jahvid Best and Mikel Leshoure.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers select Dontari Poe, NT out of Memphis
Poe is obviously the best NT in the draft. The Steelers, coincidentally, have a huge need at this key position. Casey Hampton is no longer in the stage of his career where he is a dominant force uo the middle, and the Steelers will need to begin looking for a replacement. Soon, Baltimore won't be the only AFC North team that celebratesaguy named Poe.
25. Denver Tebows (Whoops, I meant Broncos) select Jerel Worthy, DT out of Michigan State
The Broncos have a set of premier pass rushers with Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller. But the middle of their D-line needs a lot of improvement. Worthy is a beastly lineman who will improve this already-great defense even more. They could use this pick to get some better weapons for Tebow, but it'snot like Tebow throws much anyways.They will be better served building a dominant defense.
26. Houston Texans select Michael Floyd, WR out of Notre Dame
The Texans need some depth behind Andre Johnson to take some of the load off of him. Floyd is a beastly receiver who should thrive off of the double coverage on Andre. Floyd has great size, speed and hands. When Andre was injured this season, Jacoby Jones and Kevin Walter struggled and Matt Schaub and TJ Yates were forced to rely on Owen Daniels and Arian Foster as their top targets. Floyd should easily solve this issue.
27. New England Patriots select Fletcher Cox, DT/DE out of Penn State
The Patriots defense will need to be addressed early and often this year. It should begin with the front line. They will probably be switching back to a 3-4 defense this year, and will need a good DE to line up alongside WIlfork. Cox is a great prospect that will improve their awful defense by getting some pressure to Manning, Sanchez and Fitzpatrick, along with being able to stop Reggie, Greene and Jackson.
28. Green Bay Packers select Vinny Curry, DE/OLB out of Marshall
The Packers struggled to rush the passer at all, with no one except Clay and Raji being a force. They need to improve this aspect of their defense, and will look at Marshall product Vinny Curry. Curry is very fast and athletic, but isn't strong or large enough to line up with his hands on the ground. Because of this, Curry is more likely to line up as an OLB in the Packers' 3-4 defense
29. Baltimore Ravens select Peter Konz, C out of Wisconson
The Ravens need a young center to replace the aging Matt Birk. Konz is a dominant center and will be a worthy successor to Birk. This selection should improve the Ravens O-line and should help Joe Flacco and Ray Rice. Konz is a great player and will bring much needed yout to the O-line
30. SF 49ers select Mohammed Sanu, WR out of Rutgers
The niners need a good receiver to take pressure off of Vernon Davis and to help out Alex Smith. THis offense is in great need of receving options and Sanu is a great pick for them.
31. New England Pats select Harrison Smith, S out of Notre Dame
The Pats had a horrible secondary this year, and Smith is a huge upgrade over Julian Edelman. These two pick in te 1st should get the Pats D back on track
32. NY Giants select Zebrie Sanders, OT out of FSU
The Giants need huge improvements on their O-line, and Sanders is a great young player that is a good selection to round out the end of the first round.