So, the moment we've all been waiting for is finally only a week away. To celebrate this, I've completed my final mock draft. This isn't Phins only though, it's all 32 teams, through 3 rounds. This post will only contain the first round though, and I will post the second and third rounds next week. Most teams will look to the draft to find quality young talent and depth. So, let's get this started!
1. Indianapolis Colts select QB Andrew Luck out of Stanford
There are no surprises here, as Luck is the obvious best player in the draft, and one of the best QBs to come out in a long time. Luck has the accuracy, mobility and intelligence to succeed, along with somewhat deceptive arm strength. He will lead the transition from the Manning era to the Luck era.
2. Washington Redskins select QB Robert Griffin III out of Baylor
The Redskins paid a huge sum to trade up,and they better hope it works out for them. Griffin has arm strength, intelligence, accuracy and mobility. The real question for him is whether he will be able to put it all together.
3. Minnesota VIkings select OT Matt Kalil out of USC
They made a considerable investment in Christian Ponder last year, and this time look to protect their investment with an elite blocker.
4. Cleveland Browns select WR Justin Blackmon out of Alabama
The Browns have a complete lack of offensive talent outside of their O-line. They will look offense early in the draft, and this is their first step.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers select CB Morris Claiborne out of LSU
The Bucs have sever issues in their defensive backfield, especially at the corner position. They solidify this spot for years to come with this elite selection.
6. St. Louis Rams select WR Micheal Floyd out of Notre Dame
Many may call this a reach at 6, but the Rams lost out on solving two of their top needs with Kalil and Blackmon off the board. They decide to take the 2nd best WR in the draft, and possibly the most pro-ready WR with this pick.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars select DE Quinton Coples out of N. Carolina
The Jaguars defense in general was abysmal. They use this pick on a big DE to help improve their pass rush, which will be important when facing Matt Schaub, Andrew Luck and Jake Locker twice a year, while also improving their run defense, which will also be important when facing Chris Johnson and Arian Foster.
8. Miami Dolphins select QB Ryan Tannehill out of Texas A&M
Many Dolphins fans do not like this pick, but think about it. Tannehill has the physical talent, is smart, has the ability to view the offense from two points of view, can help teach the offense to the rest of the team, and will have an almost seamless transition. This is the pick that makes the most sense.
9. Carolina Panthers select DT Micheal Brockers out of LSU
The Panthers have a significant hole in the middle of their D-line,after being force to start Frank Kearse and Jason Shirley at DT. Brockers helps solve this need while creating an inside pass rush against the likes of Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Josh Freeman.
10. Buffalo Bills select OT Johnathon Martin out of Stanford
The Bills lost LT Demetrius Bell in free agency, and will need to find a replacement. Martin will replace Bell and more, with a much higher upside than the oft-injured Bell. Martin will fill one of the few remaining needs on this solidly packed team.
11. Kansas City Chiefs select NT Dontari Poe out of Memphis
The Chiefs will look at Luke Kuechly and Poe here. They have needs at both the NT and ILB position. In the end, they go with the freakishly athletic Poe because the NT position is much harder to fill than the ILB spot.
12. Seattle Seahawks select ILB Luke Kuechly out of Boston College
The Seahawks have two major needs on defense. Pass rush and ILB. They could go with pass rusher Melvin Ingram here, but they decide that a stud ILB like Kuechly offers more value and talent.
13. Arizona Cardinals select OT Riley Rieff out of Iowa
This may be a bit of a reach for Rieff, but the Cardinals need OTs in the worst way. They had an abysmal O-line last season, and this will provide a tremendous improvement, while offering Kevin Kolb or John Skelton some more time to get the ball to Fitzgerald.
14. Dallas Cowboys select OG David DeCastro out of Stanford
The Cowboys have a huge need in the middle of their O-line. DeCastro is one of the best guard prospect to come out in a long time. The Cowboys have talented players at a lot of their positions, so they can afford to spend a 1st rounder in getting an elite player at one of the least important positions on the offense.
15. Philadelphia Eagles select DT Fletcher Cox out of Mississippi St.
The Eagles are rumored to be enamored with Cox. They will be very happy to see him fall this far, and they will jump on the opportunity to get a top DT like Cox. This will improve their D-line and help them overcome the hump.
16. New York Jets select DE/OLB Melvin Ingram out of S. Carolina
The Jests will be ecstatic to see a top pass rusher like Ingram fall this far to them.They will jump on this opportunity and get him. Pass rush will be a huge need on this team, and Ingram will help provide some pass rush against Tom Brady.
17. Cincinnati Bengals select RB Trent RIchardson out of Alabama
Every year, there is one elite top 10 worthy pick that falls to the late teens because other teams just have bigger needs. Last year, it was Prince Amukamara, a while back, it was Aaron Rodgers. This year, I forsee that drop being Trent Richardson. Many teams will overlook him due to the simple fact that RBs don't hold a lot of value in today's NFL. The Bengals will happily sit there, and grab him at the first opportunity and fill their biggest need.
18. San Diego Chargers select DE/OLB Courtney Upshaw out of Alabama
The Chargers fielded an abysmal pass rush last season, and will need to get some pressure on new AFC West QBs Carson Palmer and Peyton Manning. Upshaw provides good value for the pick and willgive them an integral piece of their defense.
19. Chicago Bears select OG/OT Cordy Glenn out of Georgia
The Bears got Cutler a prime weapon when the Bears traded for Brandon Marshall. Now, they need to get him some protection. Glenn provides versatility with the ability to play tackle and guard and will help them actually keep Jay Cutler standing the whole season
20. Tennessee Titans select CB Dre Kirkpatrick out of Alabama
And thus the CB run begins. The CBs will come off the board hard and fast now. The Titans will be very happy to get Dre. They lost Cortland Finnigan in FA, and will need his long-term replacement, and Kirkpatrick gives them the best option.
21. Cincinnati Bengals select CB Janoris Jenkins out of N. Alabama
Jenkins may be the best pure cover corner in the draft, and that's exactly what the Bengals need. The Bengals will fill two of their top needs with the value picks of Richardson and Jenkins
22. Cleveland Browns select RB Doug Martin out of Boise St.
The Browns fill their 2nd most important offensive need with this pick. Now, whoever their QB is next year will get a top RB to hand off to and a top WR to throw to. This will make life a lot easier for their (WARNING: SPOILER ALERT) new rookie QB
23. Detroit Lions select CB Stephon Gilmore out of S. Carolina
The Lions slect the last of the 1st round worthy CBs with this pick. They have a huge need at this spot, and GIlmore gives them a young, speedy cover corner to help them stop the high powered passing attacks of the Packers and (now) the Bears
24. Pittsburgh Steelers select ILB Dont'a Hightower out of Alabama
The Steelers have two major needs on their defense, NT and ILB. With Dontari Poe long gone, the Steelers decide to solve their other major need by selecting a top ILB and improving their already dominant defense even further.
25. Denver Broncos select WR Stephen Hill out of Georgia Tech
Right now, Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker are the only capable WRs on the Broncos offense. THe Broncos may not have needed WRs with Tim Tebow, but Manning likes his weapons. Hill is an athletic freak with tremendous upside that will need development. Who else but Peyton Manning will speed his development? The Broncos don't make the same mistake the Colts made and will actually give Manning top weapons.
26. Houston Texans select WR Kendall Wright out of Baylor
The Texans finally get a decent WR across from Andre Johnson. And Wright is the perfect no. 2 WR for them, providing speed to complement Johnson's size. This could end up one of the top WR duos in the league and this pick will make Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson very happy.
27. New England Patriots select S Mark Barron out of Alabama
The Pats had one of the worst defensive backfields in the league, and Barron will help solve that issue. Barronwill come in the automatic starter and will make an immediate impact.
28. Green Bay Packers select DE/OLB Whitney Mercilus out of Illinois
The Packers need a pass rushing presence across from Mathews immediately. Mercilus is one of the top pure pass rushers in the draft, and will make an immediate impact against Jay Cutler, Matthew Stafford and Christian Ponder.
29. Baltimore Ravens select C Peter Konz out of Wisconsin
The Ravens need a young new center, and Konz is one of the best in he draft. Konz will come in and immediately start, while adding some youth to an aging Ravens team.
30. San Francisco 49ers select OG Kevin Zeitler out of Wisconsin
Back to back Wisconsin inside O-lineman come off the board. The 49ers biggest need is at the guard position and at finding weapons for Alex Smith. With the top WRs off the board, the 49ers decide to fill their other huge need with this pick.
31. New England Patriots select DE/OLB Andre Branch out of Clemson
With their first two picks, the Pats fill two of their biggest needs, safety and pass rusher. The Pats will have retooled their defense so that Brady won't have to win every game on his own
32. New York Giants select OT Mike Adams out of Ohio St.
The best just got better. Offensive line would be the biggest of the Giants few weaknesses, and Adams gives them a solid player at this spot. Their O-line will get much younger and their rushing should improve as a result.
So, that wraps up the 1st round of my 3 part series. Please, leave your feedback below, and tell me whether I should make a 2nd and 3rd round. And please, watch out for the next addition of my 3 round mock draft.