I have a few more changes in my projection this week. I know a few of them many will disagree with, but it's hard to get these even close before free agency starts. The spots that will depend on a coin toss will be marked by an *. As a note, I will not include trade scenarios in the mock drafts. I know there certainly could be moves made and I'm sure there will be at least one trade in the NFL Draft in April, but I will not include them here. I am simply giving a mock draft based on the current order.
1) Indianapolis Colts - Andrew Luck, QB: It is looking almost certain the Colts will draft Luck and it looks like Peyton Manning and the Colts are on track to part ways. Taking Luck is the best thing for the franchise, even if it does mean that it'll cause you to lose arguably the best player in team history and one of the best QBs to ever play in the NFL.
2) St. Louis Rams - Justin Blackmon, WR: Blackmon is easily the top WR prospect in this draft class. He's considered a better prospect than his former teammate, Dez Bryant, but he doesn't come with the character concerns. The Rams could use a tackle as well, but there should be a few good ones available in the second round. This selection could go used on a tackle if the Rams address their WR needs in free agency. As we all know, this selection would be the prime position for a team, like Cleveland, to move up in the draft for a certain Baylor QB.
3) Minnesota Vikings - Matt Kalil, OT: The Vikings also need help at WR and CB, but Kalil is the best player available that will help Ponder. With Blackmon not available, there is no WRs or TEs worthy of this high of a selection. Like the second overall pick, this is another position a team can move up in the draft for.
4) Cleveland Browns - Trent Richardson, RB: The Plain Dealer previously reported the front office in Cleveland is split between their draft wish list and while some would like to go QB, many have been pulling hard for Richardson. While the Browns may not be sticking to Colt McCoy for long, they could have other plans later in the draft.
Previous pick: Robert Griffin III
5) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Morris Claiborne, CB: Ronde Barber will be a free agent and Aqib Talib is facing legal problems, making CB a hole the Bucs must address.
6) Washington Redskins - Robert Griffin III, QB: He's the biggest thing in the draft since everyone knows Luck is going to Indianapolis. Mike Shanahan has experiences coaching QBs with mobility and physical talents like Griffin with John Elway and Jake Plummer. While RGIII may not be an Elway, he certainly has potential to be a better QB than Plummer.
7) Jacksonville Jaguars - Quinton Coples, DE: Aaron Kampman is getting up there in age and may not be back. Matt Roth just wasn't the answer for Jacksonville. Coples would do very well to help solidify their defensive line and will give Jacksonville a good pass rushing threat for the next several years in a division that has Matt Schaub, Jake Locker, and probably Andrew Luck.
*8) Miami Dolphins - Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB: The Dolphins said they would like to use elements of both the 3-4 and 4-3 defense, but I predict they will probably use more four-man fronts. Still, Ingram gives them the ability to run either defense as the kid is versatile and can play 4-3 DE or 3-4 OLB. He could even move inside to 4-3 DT on passing downs. Miami will likely love the kid's versatility
*9) Carolina Panthers - Michael Brockers, DT: The Panthers had to resort to starting Frank Kearse and Jason Shirley at defensive tackle in 2011. While they need help at CB as well, a solid CB won't be able to do much if Carolina can't generate any pressure on the QB.
Previous pick: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB
10) Buffalo Bills - Andre Branch, DE: Upshaw is still a possibility in the eyes of some, but I think Buffalo goes for a more traditional 4-3 DE with Branch. It's possible the Bills can also target a tackle here, but with a new shift in defensive schemes, the Bills need to find someone to fill their 4-3 DE need.
*11) Kansas City Chiefs - Luke Kuechly, ILB: Their defense has underperformed and Kuechly will help solidify the LBs. They will look to resign CB Brandon Flowers and hope that he and Brandon Carr will rebound from underwhelming years. Eric Berry returning will also help their secondary.
*12) Seattle Seahawks - Riley Reiff, OT: The Seahawks would love to get their hands on someone like Ingram, but with some of the top pass rushers off the board, they may opt for a tremendous talent at tackle. Reiff would be an immediate starter and huge upgrade for Seattle as a LT.
Trent Richardson, RB
13) Arizona Cardinals - Jonathan Martin, OT: The Cardinals will be happy to take one of the top three OTs or David DeCastro as they need help all over the offensive line. They could look Vontaze Burfict or Courtney Upshaw with this pick too if they're available.
14) Dallas Cowboys - Janoris Jenkins, CB: With a strong outing at the Senior Bowl, Jenkins overtakes Dennard in the draft. Jenkins could have been the #1 CB in the draft had he not had issues with the Gators. With Terrence Newman expected be out of Dallas this off-season, they will need all the help Dennard can provide.
15) Philadelphia Eagles - Fletcher Cox, DT: The weak link for the Eagles has been their LBs and FS, but they're not ready to give up on Nate Allen and the selection of Cox could help Casey Matthews at MLB. Brockers and Cullen Jenkins would give the Eagles a very nice tandem at DT and with Jason Babin and Trent Cole at DE, Philly would have a defensive line that could end up being just as good as the defensive front four of the New York Giants. Michael Floydcould be an option here if they've grown tired of DeSean Jackson.
Previous pick: Michael Brockers, DT
16) New York Jets - Mark Barron, S: Courtney Upshaw could also be an option if available. The Jets have holes at both safety positions and could use a man like Barron to help solidify their weaknesses covering TEs. Barron isn't very good in man coverage and may be a bit stiff in the hips, but he's great in zone coverage with his ability to read the QB. His closing speed will be able to make up for many of his mistakes when he's slow to turn and run with a receiver. He's aggressive in run support, but will overrun on the play at times.
17) Cincinnati Bengals - Dre Kirkpatrick, CB: Kirkpatrick was once considered as either the top or second best CB in the draft, but a strong showing by Jenkins during the Senior Bowl week helped him overtake Kirkpatrick. The Bengals have Leon Hall, but Nate Clements is 32 and has been inconsistent. Kirkpatrick and Hall could quickly become one of the better CB duos in the NFL.
Previous pick: Alfonzo Dennard, CB
18) San Diego Chargers - Courtney Upshaw, OLB: The Chargers could also use David DeCastro, but the prospect of Courtney Upshaw is just too much for them to pass up. The Chargers need a lot of help at OLB as Larry English just hasn't developed as San Diego has hoped.
19) Chicago Bears - Mike Adams, OT: The Bears could really use someone like Michael Floyd at WR, but they really need help protecting Jay Cutler. While David DeCastro may be considered a better lineman, Adams plays a more critical role on the OL.
David DeCastro, OG
20) Tennessee Titans - Nick Perry, DE: Karl Klug has been the top pass rusher for the Titans with 7 and they need to get some help to get to the passer. Parry is a natural pass rusher that could help the Titans get after the QB. With a bunch of young QB prospects in the AFC South, the Titans will need someone to rattle their cage. CB could be a hole if they don't resign Cortland Finnegan, but I already project the top CBs to be gone.
21) Cincinnati Bengals - Lamar Miller, RB: Cedric Benson hasn't been very effective despite his rushing yards and he's a free agent. Miller is a home run threat and is quick to hit the holes. Miller is also a tough runner to bring down. It's possible Cincy could go with a Guard or Center like Cordy Glenn or Peter Konz, but there is a thin market for RBs in free agency and the Bengals need an upgrade in the backfield more than they do on the line.
22) Cleveland Browns (via Falcons) - Ryan Tannehill: The Browns could very well select Tannehill here if they pass on Griffin III with their first pick. Tannehill has the tools to thrive in Cleveland's offense and would have some help behind him with Richardson carrying the ball. He could push for McCoy's job early.
Previous pick: Michael Floyd, WR
23) Detroit Lions - David DeCastro, OG: The Lions, like many teams, need help on their offensive line and could also go with Peter Konz to place Dominic Raiola at center, but I think they'll try to milk another season out of their aging center while they address OG. Zach Brown could also be an option for the Lions if they wish to address LB.
Previous pick: Cordy Glenn, OG
24) Pittsburgh Steelers - Dontari Poe, NT: While I have long been thinking Burfict may be the perfect candidate for the Steelers, I am leaning more towards Poe simply because it's harder to find a dominant NT than it is an ILB in the 3-4 defense. Poe could be that dominant NT and he can help Pittsburgh make a smooth transition from the Casey Hampton era.
Vontaze Burfict, ILB
25) Denver Broncos - Devon Still, DT: Denver already has solid players on the outside for the future with Elvis Dumervil, Robert Ayers, and Von Miller. Still could bring a solid presence in the middle to team with Broderick Bunkley to help solidify the middle of the field and strengthen Denver's run defense. Kendall Wright could be an option, but I think Denver likes Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker.
26) Houston Texans - Michael Floyd, WR: They could also go for Dontari Poe here, but they should be satisfied with where their defense is at. Floyd should be an immediate starter as the #2 WR across from Andre Johnson.
27) New England Patriots (via Saints) - Kendall Wright, WR: The Patriots could address the defensive line here if they wish, but they also need a deep threat at WR. Wright would be the perfect solution to help bring a down-field threat and take attention away from the middle of the field.
28) Green Bay Packers - Whitney Mercilus, DE: Mercilus is a bit of a risky player in my mind, but the prospect of teaming him up with Clay Matthews and trying to terrorize QBs would be very enticing for the Packers.
29) Baltimore Ravens - Peter Konz, C: The Ravens need a center to take over for the aging Matt Birk. Konz, the best center in the class, would give the Ravens one of the best interior lines in the NFL if the Ravens can resign Ben Grubbs.
30) San Francisco 49ers - Mohamed Sanu, WR: Braylon Edwards didn't performed as good as San Francisco hoped and is now gone. The 49ers could test the free agent market, but if unable to land a WR, Sanu would be a good fit. He doesn't have elite speed, but he's fast enough to be a vertical threat. He has very good hands, runs good routes, and is physical enough to get off the line.
31) New England Patriots - Vinny Curry, DE/OLB: The best pass rusher left on the board. The Patriots desperately need help rushing the passer and after addressing their need for an outside WR with speed, they finally look to shore up their lacking pass rush. He doesn't have the explosiveness of some other pass rushers in this draft, but he may have the most violent hands. His hands, not his speed, will be what he uses to get by OTs.
Previous pick: Fletcher Cox, DE/DT
32) New York Giants - Zebrie Sanders: The Giants offensive line has been going through transition. Look the once dominant offensive line to try and speed up their recovery by drafting Sanders. They'd love to have Glenn available and may look for Dwayne Allen at TE, but they probably feel they have enough weapons.