I’ve finally gotten around to doing my mock draft. You’ve all seen Chase Maher’s, now here’s mine. I’ve also chosen to avoid trades because they just make a mess of a mock draft. I do indicate which teams I believe will/could do a trade. After the combine, I hope to have a multiple round mock draft up so keep your eyes open for it! I also may update this one after the Senior Bowl. Thanks to WalterFootball.com, HailRedSkins.com and DCProSportsReport.com for featuring us in their draft links.
Here we go:
1. Indianapolis Colts
QB Andrew Luck
This one has turned into a given. Luck will be a Colt, unfortunately. The Colts are rebuilding and have a chance to take an elite franchise QB. They’d have to be deaf, dumb and blind to pass on this one.
2. St. Louis Rams
WR Justin Blackmon
The Rams have a few needs and WR is one of the bigger ones. They have Brandon Lloyd, who is a pretty good receiver, but they need someone to pair with Bradford like the Bengals did with A.J. Green and Andy Dalton. He’s a tremendous upgrade to a receiving corps that lacks playmakers.
Other possible picks: OT Matt Kalil- USC, *trade back
3. Minnesota Vikings
OT Matt Kalil
The Vikings have a young QB that they just handed the franchise over to. He’s got a lot of maturing to do and the best way to help him is to keep the pressure off him. Kalil is the top lineman in the draft. The Vikings allowed 49 sacks this last season. Kalil can do a lot do bring that number down.
Other possible picks: WR Justin Blackmon
4. Cleveland Browns
RB Trent Richardson
This is the guy I think the Browns will take, I just don’t think they’ll do it at 4. I think they’re gonna trade back, perhaps with the Redskins, or somebody else who really wants Robert Griffin III. I’m just not going to make a mess of this mock doing trades and such. This is who I expect the Browns to take, with whatever pick they end up with. Hillis is gonna be on his way out after a rough year and no contract talks happening during the season like he wanted. Richardson is another great power back who should replace him quite nicely.
Other possible picks: LB Courtney Upshaw
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
CB Morris Claiborne
The Buccaneers secondary was abysmal this year. Barber was the only one holding it together and he’s not getting any younger. The Buccaneers have spent the past couple years solidifying the front four and will now look to rebuild a broken secondary. Claiborne is a great start.
Other possible picks: CB Dre Kirkpatrick
6. Washington Redskins
QB Robert Griffin, III
This isn’t the prototypical QB that Shanahan seems to like, but the Redskins need a quarterback. Shanahan survived his first year using Grossman and Beck, but he’ll be wanting his own franchise QB to take the helm. Griffin seems to be a hot commodity and basically every mock draft site you’ll see will have him going to the Redskins. I don’t see another big QB in this draft that the Redskins can take. If they don’t address the position via free agency, this pretty much has to be the pick.
Other possible picks: WR Ashlon Jeffery
7. Jacksonville Jaguars
WR Ashlon Jeffery
The Jaguars were the product of bad luck this year. They had an insane amount of players on the IR by the end of the season. The new owner and coaching staff should be wanting to surround Gabbert with as many weapons as they can to help him develop into the franchise QB they hope he can be. The Jaguars WR depth is non-existent. The TE Lewis was a big disappointment this year and their number one receiver is Mike Thomas. They need receivers. Jeffery is a young talented receiver who could help the drowning franchise turn things around. It’s a little bit of a reach at 7, but they’re desperate. They could also look to grab a big name receiver in free agency and look to find a replacement for the ever sidelined Aaron Kampman.
Other possible picks: DE Quinton Coples, OLB/DE Courtney Upshaw
8. Carolina Panthers
DT Devon Still
The Panthers got run all over this year. Chris Johnson had one of his very few good games against them, running for over 130 yards. They’ll be hoping to address that with this pick. It’s always horrifying drafting a DT in the first round, as so few turn out to be decent pros. Still is at the top of his class at the DT position and the Panthers need to do something to solidify the d-line.
Other possible picks: OG David DeCastro
9. Miami Dolphins
DE Quinton Coples
The Dolphins don’t have a lot of glaring holes and they proved that toward the end of the season when Moore brought life back to a team that looked like a contender for the number one pick of the draft. Jason Taylor, one of the best DE the league has ever seen, announced his retirement after their season finale. His presence on their line will be dearly missed. They still have DE Cameron Wake, why not grab another young DE to have your own pair of book ends? Coples is currently the top ranked DE in the draft. He possesses a lot of power and some have compared him to Bears DE Julius Peppers.
Other possible picks: OLB/DE Courtney Upshaw
10. Buffalo Bills
OLB/DE Courtney Upshaw
Only two teams collect less sacks than the Buffalo Bills, one of which was the Tennessee Titans. The Bills need a playmaker LB and Upshaw is definitely one of those guys. He’s got a lot of power and can play both DE and OLB, which is a big thing to a defense like the Bills that likes to try to utilize a 3-4 defense. This is a solid pick for the Bills and really helps add some solidarity to a so-so defense.
Other possible picks: ILB Luke Kuechly
11. Kansas City Chiefs
OT Riley Reiff
The Chiefs don’t have many glaring holes but they definitely have spots they could stand to upgrade at. Reiff is one of the top rated tackles in the upcoming draft and should help keep opposing DE off of the QB, whether it be Orton, Cassel or whomever they choose.
Other possible picks: OT Jonathan Martin
12. Seattle Seahawks
ILB Luke Kuechly
This could be another team that really wants to get their hands on Robert Griffin, III. They could try to trade up to grab him. If not, they’ll probably look to bolster a linebacking group that let go of veteran Lofa Tatupu this year and really didn’t get a great deal of impact from their linebackers, though their flaws were somewhat masked by an otherwise impressive defense. Kuechly is the best ILB in the draft and should bring a lot more stability to the position.
Other possible picks: OLB Melvin Ingram
13. Arizona Cardinals
OG David DeCastro
The Cardinals had a lot of problems this year with Kolb being little better than worthless and Patrick Peterson suffering growing pains as a starting CB. DeCastro is a starter from day one and would be a huge addition to the line. He’d certainly help the 24th ranked rush offense and protect Kolb from getting anymore additional injuries.
Other possible picks: OLB Melvin Ingram
14. Dallas Cowboys
CB Janoris Jenkins
The Cowboys defense was a bit of a disappointment under Rob Ryan. The backfield was constantly getting caught out of place and burned by opposing teams receivers. Jenkins’ draft stock should be rising and the Cowboys could really use a good corner to try and fix a broken secondary. They could also look at safety Mark Barron, but that’d be considered a bit of a reach at 14.
Other possible picks: S Mark Barron
15. Philadelphia Eagles
LB Dont’a Hightower
At 6’4″ and 260 pounds, Hightower is a big, talented linebacker who can play at multiple positions as a linebacker. He should see his stock rise after a solid showing at the combine. The Eagles are a mess at LB and selecting Hightower would do wonders for a position lacking in talent.
Other possible picks: LB Luke Kuechly