Posts Tagged ‘Mock Draft’

With just hours until the 2016 NFL draft it seems like the perfect time to put out my first and final mock draft. To keep things simple there will be no trades in this mock, and I will explain my reasoning for each pick. I’ll be honest, I get a little tired of seeing the same names to the same places mock after mock, so expect plenty of surprises. Like a pick? Hate a pick? Let me know in the comments. Without further ado, let’s get the Los Angeles Rams on the clock.

 

With the first pick, Los Angeles Rams select: Jared Goff, QB, California

It took a lot to move up, but I like this move for the Rams. Goff doesn’t have the measurables nor the athleticism of Carson Wentz, but I think he can be a special player at the next level. Watching Goff’s tape his ability to read the defense really stands out. He has the ability to move through progressions mentally while nimbly avoiding would be tacklers in a collapsing pocket. Goff excels at threading the needle on short and intermediate passes and while he’s face some criticism for his deep ball he does a good job of keeping the ball away from defenders; either his guy is coming down with it or no one will. Given the talent the Rams have on defense and at running back this ability to minimize turnovers is crucial.

 

With the second pick, Philadelphia Eagles select: Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State

The Eagles are collecting quarterbacks this offseason and Wentz looks like he’ll make a fine addition. With both Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel on the roster Wentz will have plenty of time to get up to NFL speed, and more importantly continue working out the kinks in his game. As far as measurables and work ethic Wentz checks all the boxes, he’s a big, super athletic film junkie, but his on field performance leaves something to be desired. The North Dakota State product still has major strides to make with his footwork and decision making. He still looks a little to eager to run when things breakdown, and has a nasty habit of trying to force balls into double coverage. The tools and the desire are there making Wentz an ideal project for new coach Doug Pederson as Philadelphia looks to rebound from a lackluster 2015.

 

With the third pick San Diego Chargers select: Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State

The Chargers re-signed right tackle Joe Barksdale as well as back-up swing tackle Chris Hairston, which has me thinking they pass on the top tackle prospects and go right for my favorite player in the draft, Jalen Ramsey. I don’t love the idea of Ramsey as a ‘replacement’ for Eric Weddle as they are two different people, I’d also expect Ramsey to transition to cornerback at some point as pairing him with Jason Verrett could create a devastating combo on the outside.

I also love Deforest Buckner at this spot, he’d bring a much needed pass rushing presence and fit perfectly into the Chargers scheme, but this is a deep year for defensive lineman and Ramsey is too good to pass up.

 

With the fourth pick Dallas Cowboys select: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis

If the Cowboys want to sell jerseys Ezekiel Elliott makes more sense. But I think it would be a mistake to pass on Lynch, if the team sees him as a future franchise quarterback. Even before the Rams and Eagles made their respective trades the word around Dallas was that the Cowboys believed Lynch had the highest ceiling of the top 3 quarterbacks, and they’re not alone in that thought. Lynch is an impressive athlete, who can sling it all over the field. He looks like Brock Osweiler with Colin Kaepernick’s running ability. Lynch needs time to develop, and he’ll have it in Dallas. Give him two years under Romo and when the cap number becomes untenable and the Romo era ends Lynch can take over without the team skipping a beat. And if you really want another running back to add some excitement, why not add Georgia’s Keith Marshall in the mid rounds?

 

With the fifth pick Jacksonville Jaguars select: Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia

I wouldn’t rule out one of the top tackle prospects, but between Luke Joeckel and Kelvin Beachum they likely hope their franchise left tackle is already on the roster and can use this pick to continue their ambitious overhaul of the defense. Floyd may not be as highly rated as Joey Bosa or Shaq Lawson, but he has been climbing draft boards and could bring much needed speed to the pass rush. I envision Floyd as a longer Bruce Irvin, starting out as a role player before growing into a three down pass rushing linebacker hybrid. At 6’6 and 245 pounds he’s rail thin, but that’s why teams employ dieticians and strength coaches. If Gus Bradley believes he can get Floyd to reach hi impressive upside this is a great pick…if not I like Vernon Hargreaves as a sneaky pick. He’s a baller who can slot in at nickel to start and bump outside if Prince Amukamara can’t stay healthy or struggles to live up to his one year contract.

 

With the sixth pick Baltimore Ravens select: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State 

Would the Ravens really pass on Laremy Tunsil, let alone Ronnie Stanley, Joey Bosa and Myles Jack? Probably not, but it’s hard to ignore the fit. Baltimore is at it’s best with workhorse running back who plays all three downs, and right now I don’t think they have that. Justin Forsett is coming off an injury and has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career, Buck Allen showed promise, but can he carry the load? Talliafero has struggled to see the field and the team was desperate enough at the position to bring in Trent Richardson. Elliott is an immediate upgrade at a position the team has struggled to fill since Ray Rice was kicked out of the league. Elliott is a talented pass catcher, and willing pass protector with good burst and vision. Eugene Monroe can hold down the Left Tackle spot as long as he stays healthy and help can be found at guard and on defense in the later rounds.

 

With the seventh pick San Francisco 49ers select Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame:

After hiring Chip Kelly as their head coach the Philadelphia Eagles traded up to draft a highly athletic tackle to play on the right side and serve as an insurance policy for their pro bowl veteran left tackle, I expect the 49ers to do the same. Laremy Tunsil is the higher rated prospect, but Stanley has experience at right tackle from his days playing opposite Zack Martin and is considered the better run blocker. Anthony Davis has said he plans to apply for reinstatement, but he hasn’t yet and there’s no accounting for what sort of shape he’ll be in when he does arrive. Stanley is ready to step in and reinvigorate an offensive line that has hemorrhaged talent the past couple seasons.

 

With the eighth pick Cleveland Browns select: Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss:

The Browns have vowed to go best player available, though honestly if Tunsil drops this far the Titans will be chomping at the bit to trade up and snag him. But in this scenario Cleveland keeps the pick and locks down the right tackle spot vacated by Mitchell Schwartz. There might be a learning curve as Tunsil has never played on the right side before, but he’s exceptionally athletic and excels in pass protection. Top end protection will be especially crucial for a Browns team looking resurrect Robert Griffin III’s career. If Tunsil does end up off the board I would love to see them take Joey Bosa. If neither fall as they did here, another trade back could be the best course of action.

 

With the ninth pick Tampa Bay Buccaneers select: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State

Tampa Bay is surprised to see Bosa still on the board, but they will gladly take the Ohio State product. There’s been a lot of speculation that Vernon Hargreaves could be the pick, and he might, but the defensive line, specifically the defensive end spot seems like the biggest area of concern. Shaq Lawson should get some consideration, but in the end Bosa’s talents are too much to pass up. While Bosa is a better run stopper than pass rusher he’ll command attention away from stud defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and take some of the pressure of a secondary that was forced to try and pick up the slack for a poor pass rush in 2015.

 

With the tenth pick New York Giants select: Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama

Similar to the Ravens drafting Elliott this is less about what the team might do and more about what the team truly needs. After an offseason spending spree that saw the Giants fortify their offensive line and secondary with the likes of Jared Odrick and Janoris Jenkins, the cupboard remains uncomfortably bare across the board at linebacker. Ragland has been pushed down most mock draft because he struggles in pass coverage, but his ability to chase down running backs sideline to sideline and what he can bring as a leader to a defense that’s brought in a lot of new faces, far outweighs whether or not he can match up with TE’s in the pass game.

 

With the eleventh pick, Chicago Bears select, DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon

Buckner’s talent says he should be a top 10 pick, but due to some scheme issues and more pressing issues with the top teams he falls to 11 where the Bears will be all too eager to take him off the board. Buckner is a perfect fit as a five technique in Vic Fangio’s defense. At 6’7, 291 pounds Buckner is a force to be reckoned with and will have an instant impact for a Bears defense still seeking playmakers.

 

With the twelfth pick, New Orlean Saints select, Josh Doctson, WR, TCU

Given how deep this draft class is along the defensive line it might be wise for the Saints to take advantage of a weak receiver class by grabbing one of it’s top prospects. Brandon Coleman was never able command a high snap count, and with Marques Colston retired and Coby Fleener seeming to be a poor replacement for Jimmy Graham (or even Ben Watson) the Saints need another big bodied pass catcher to help Drew Brees. Doctson is still a little thin, but he’s more explosive, and a little taller than Laquon Treadwell. Doctson has hands like steel traps and excels at high pointing the ball making him a terror in the red zone, and a perfect compliment to Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead.

 

With the thirteenth pick, Miami Dolphins select, Myles Jack, LB/DB, UCLA

With reports that Jack’s knee injury may be worse than initially reported it’s tough to say where he’ll land or how far he might fall. The injury is said to be similar to the one suffered by Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi, so perhaps the Miami medical staff will have some added insight or better understanding of what a worst case scenario could be. Jack would certainly bring some excitement to a defense that promises to be more exciting under new coordinator Vance Joseph. Whether Jack would line up as a linebacker or in the secondary will be for the Dolphins to decide, but his name has the splash that Mike Tannenbaum seems drawn to, and a versatile skill set that should please fans and coaches alike.

 

With the fourteenth pick, Oakland Raiders select, Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida

After some solid drafting, and making good use of their ample cap space the past couple years, the Raiders are in position to take the best player available at number 14. In this case, that’s Florida cornerback, Vernon Hargreaves. Hargreaves has the ball skills to go much higher, but his measurables (5’10, 4.50 in the 40 yard dash) could see him drop in as the league that favor taller defensive backs. The Raiders went out and signed Sean Smith, and have DJ Hayden and David Amerson on the roster, but Hargreaves is a bonafide playmaker with sticky coverage skills who should have little trouble snagging a starting spot and solidifying the back end of a defense no one will want to see in 2016.

 

With the fifteen pick, Tennessee Titans select, Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State

While Conklin was a left tackle at Michigan State he’s expected to make his living on the right side in the NFL. In this case he makes the perfect bookend to compliment Taylor Lewan, who will get to stay on the left side if Tennessee is unable move up for Laremy Tunsil. Conklin is a big bodied hard noser blocker who will excel in the run game, which should be music to the ears of both DeMarco Murray and Marcus Mariota. As an added bonus, if in the future the Titans do want to shuffle Lewan to the right tackle spot, or Conklin struggles on the outside, his mean streak and running blocking prowess should allow him to excel inside as a guard.

 

With the sixteenth pick, Detroit Lions select, Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville

The latest buzz on Rankins is that he won’t make it out of the top 10, though most recent projections see him going to the Saints at pick 12. The Louisville product has plenty of appeal as a scheme versatile, interior pass rusher who can create havoc in the backfield. The Lions keep him from falling out of the top half of the draft and put some fear back into the hearts of the rival NFC North quarterbacks. Rankins can have an Aaron Donald-like impact for the Lions if he’s available when they go on the clock.

 

First a disclaimer, I get most of my information from NFL.com and my mock is based off reading there analysts mocks and adjusting to what I think a team will (or should) do with their first round pick.

UPDATE 4/12/14: With the combine down, and free agency underway I’m making some changes to my top 10.

1. Texans select DE Jadaveon Clowney
Maybe it’s just a smokescreen, or media fabrication, but it seems like no one in the Texans organization has anything bad to say about Clowney, including the team’s owner. Clowney’s got a ready made support system, and the Texans have a hole to fill opposite J.J. Watt. They could use upgrades along the offensive line, but I’m inclined to agree with Bill O’Brien on the QB’s in this year’s class; there just isn’t enough separation between the guys you can get at No. 1 and No. 33 to justify passing on a top defender.

2. Rams select OT Greg Robinson
Ultimately the Rams could trade out of this pick, but it seems like most teams are trying to move back this year, not up. If the Rams do make their pick Robinson can be a big bodied bookend to pair with Jake Long, and eventually take over on the left side, much like last year’s top picks Eric Fisher and Luke Joeckel.

3. Jaguars select OLB Khalil Mack
Mack’s draft stock has exploded during this offseason and I think he finds his home in Jacksonville. Jacksonville isn’t ready to support a franchise QB and taking one at #3 is setting them up to fail. WR Sammy Watkins has made a pretty strong case for himself, but ultimately Gus Bradley is defense guy and I think the Jags look to lock up their primary pass rusher here, and add a QB and WR in the 2nd and 3rd rounds.

4. Browns select WR Sammy Watkins
Josh Gordon had a breakout season, but let’s not forget that it started with a 2 game suspension, and the Browns are thin at WR behind the former Baylor star. Pairing Watkins with Gordon on the outside, newly signed Andrew Hawkins in the slot and Jordan Cameron at TE would give the Browns one of the more fearsome aerial arsenal’s in the league. Which is good because new Brown’s OC Kyle Shanahan loves to pass.

5. Raiders select OLB/DE Anthony Barr
The Raiders wanted to put themselves in position to take the best player and I think Barr is it. There are still some questions about what his best positional fit is, as he’s currently a little light to play at DE and struggles a bit in pass protection for a true OLB. But, I think he can be used effectively as a situational pass rusher during his rookie campaign while adding some weight and learning to play better in coverage and against the run. This is essentially the same strategy used by the 49ers when they drafted Aldon Smith, and that seems to have worked out.

6. Falcons select OT Jake Matthews
After last season’s offensive collapse item number 1 on the Falcons agenda has to be better protection for Matt Ryan. Matthews is an elite tackle prospect who can play on either the left or right side of the line depending upon what Atlanta wants to do with current left tackle Sam Baker.

7. Buccaneers select WR Mike Evans
Mike Williams is on a short leash with the new coach staff, and he’s also coming back from a hamstring injury that caused him to miss most of last season. Vincent Jackson posted his 3rd consecutive 1,000+ yard season (the past 2 in Tampa) but he’s 31 years old, and saw his production dip last season. Evans would be able to learn the game from someone with a similar skill set in Jackson, and eventually take over his role as the team’s #1 option.

8. Vikings select DT Timmy Jernigan
With Barr and Mack off the board I think the Vikings continue their youth movement along the defensive line, pairing the former Seminole with Shariff Floyd and Everson Griffin. Jernigan is a bit undersized, but that’s never been a problem for Mike Zimmer before. Jernigan is strong, has a good motor and plays well against the run. He’s also proven versatile after playing all over in both 3 and 4 man fronts at Florida State. Inside linebacker CJ Mosely could also be in play here, but there are some injury concerns that might make him too risky to take this high. Cornerback is deep enough to wait on after signing Captain Munnerlynn, and with no QB’s off the board I’m not convinced the Vikings will be the first to blink.

9. Bills select S Haha Clinton-Dix
With Jarius Byrd gone and the in-house replacements a bit scarce the Bills opt for the Alabama standout safety to sure up the back end. I still like Eric Ebron’s talent, but I’m still not convinced he’s earned a top 10 pick, and while the argument for LT Taylor Lewan is compelling on paper Cordy Glenn has proven more than capable holding down that job, and sliding him to RT hardly feels like a just reward for the player most analysts had pegged as a guard at the NFL level.

10. Lions select CB Justin Gilbert
Cornerback has been a position of need for awhile. I think Mike Evans could still be in play, but it looks like they’ll have to trade up to grab him. If the Lions do decide to stay put at #10 Gilbert could go a long way towards helping the Lions shut down the high powered aerial attacks of their NFC North rivals.

Chiefs select G Chance Warmack:

Well, turns out the Chiefs were higher on Albert than I gave them credit for. He’s been franchised for 2013 and they’re still trying to hammer out a long term deal with him, which puts Joeckel and Fisher out of the running. Warmack is considered one of the best prospects in this draft (regardless of position) and the Chiefs could use the upgrade on the inside.

Jaguars select CB Dee Milliner:

I know, I shout about how the Jag need a LT and then as soon as people start to agree I change my mind. This pick could still go to the line, but Eugene Monroe held his own at LT last year and the Jags have cleaned out the secondary since my first posting. Milliner provides a fit for Gus Bradley’s scheme and gives them a solid building block for the defense regardless of the front.

Raiders select DL Shariff Floyd

I stand by the Raiders taking Floyd, though if Milliner is available I think he’s a consideration. If Floyd goes to the Chiefs as some suspect this pick likely goes to Dion Jordan or Jarvis Jones.

Eagles select OLB Dion Jordan

This might make too much sense and with King Dunlap signing with San Diego, athletic Tackle Eric Fisher is a possibility here, but I still like Jordan’s skill set and knowledge of Kelly’s defense to put him over the top.

Lions select LT Luke Joeckel

I don’t think Joeckel is the first choice necessarily, but with Jeff Backus retired, Joeckel pairs well with last years top pick Riley Reiff keeping big money QB Matt Stafford safe.

Browns select QB Geno Smith

The Browns don’t want Brandon Weeden, and while he’ll likely stay with the team through 2013, I don’t expect him to make it to a third year with the Browns. Smith has the arm to excel in Norv Turner’s offense and the type of speed that Head Coach Rob Chudinski will covet. I also expect the Browns to make a run at recently released WR Brandon Lloyd.

Cardinals select LT Eric Fisher

The Cardinals need to upgrade the offensive line, and they’ll take the best tackle here whether it’s Fisher, Joeckel or Johnson. I don’t buy Geno Smith here. Hoyer and Stanton are both back-ups who never got a fair shake as starters, so maybe they’ll surprise us, more likely though, I don’t think the Cards will see enough separation between Smith and the next few guys and will take their chance in the second or third round.

Bills select G Johnathan Cooper:

Andy Levitre leaves a hole in the Bills line, and I think they make plugging it a top priority here. Cooper can come in and play at a high level immediately which will allow the Bills to continue to get maximum production out of Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller.

Jets select WR Robert Woods:

The Jets have a lot of needs on defense and if they go that way I like Kenny Vacarro as a versatile safety who can help in run and pass (as well as soften the blow of a Revis departure.) But first I think the Jets need to upgrade their offensive weaponry. Woods may not be the fastest WR on the board, but he has good natural hands and will excel at running the intermediate routes necessary in new OC Marty Morningweg’s West Coast offense. The same can’t be said of last year’s 2nd round pick Stephen Hill or even of the Jets current number 1 receiver Santonio Holmes. If the Jets expect Sanchez to improve, they need to give him someone to throw to. Cordarelle Patterson (who went at #6 in my last draft) isn’t vas polished running routes, and trends too similar to Hill’s skill set. Similarly, Tavon Austin (who went at #8 in my last draft) has a skill set similar to Jeremy Kerley.

Titans select S Kenny Vaccaro

If the Jets do pass on Vaccoro, he won’t fall far proving a significant upgrade to the Titans secondary which sorely missed CB Cortland Finnegan (who followed Jeff Fisher to the Rams) last year.

23. Minnesota Vikings select WR Terrance Williams

I think Williams’ skill set is a really nice fit for the Vikings. He’s a big, vertical threat who can help stretch the field and be a threat in the redzone which makes him a nice compliment to Percy Harvin and Jarius Wright in the passing game. He’s not as versatile as some of the other receivers, and spent his college career running a limited number of routes, but he should provide a big boost to a Vikings passing game that really seemed to be coming together towards the end of last season.

 

24. Indianapolis Colts select S Kenny Vaccarro

With Dwight Freeney departing Chuck Pagano may be enticed by one of the remaining pass rushers, but with a guy many consider to be the best safety in the draft still available, I’ll trust Pagano’s ability to coach up a raw prospect from the mid rounds. Vaccarro can bring leadership to a mostly young Colts team and also brings a great deal of versatility as a swing safety who can play in coverage or move up into the box to defend the run.

 

25. Seattle Seahawks select DE Datone Jones

With the top receiving prospects off the board Pete Carroll adds versatile lineman Jones to his squad. Jones can step in for Chris Clemons who’s likely miss at least a good chunk of 2013 following an ACL tear in the Seahawks playoff win over Washington.

 

26. Green Bay Packers select ILB Kevin Minter

This could be Alec Ogletree or Manti Te’o, but I think the DUI may put the Packers off and when given the option between two disappointing 40 times the Packers will opt for the LSU product as their leader in the middle of the field.

 

27. Houston Texans select WR Robert Woods

I know at 25 I said the top receivers were gone, but Woods is a with good, natural hands and the type of possession skills the Texans will covet opposite Andre Johnson, whereas Seattle has plenty of compliments and is searching for their own “Andre Johnson” so to speak. Cornerback, or pass rush are also possible here, but as Andre Johnson gets older and his injuries seem more frequent it may be time to invest a high pick at WR.

 

28. Denver Broncos select DE/OLB Alex Okafor

The Broncos opt for a pass rusher to pair with Von Miller in a best player available move. (Sam Montgomery also remains on the board, and drafting a successor for Champ Bailey at corner could also make sense here)

 

29. New England Patriots select DT Jonathan Hankins

I expect Welker and Vollmer will both end up staying in New England which allows this pick to be used bolstering the defense. The secondary can still use upgrading and that’s certainly an option (Matt Elam at Safety or Jonathan Banks at Corner figure to be the next best available), but for now at least I’m going with Hankins.

 

30. Atlanta Falcons select DE Bjorn Werner 

If Werner slides past the Lions and Cowboys the Falcons should be happy to take the Germenator as they finally find a dominant pass rusher to pair with John Abraham.

 

31. San Francisco 49ers select DT Jesse Williams

This seems like the best choice with the teams current nose tackles as free agents with the possibility that only one gets resigned. The 49ers prize athleticism and Williams moves well for a big man (6’3, 323 lbs.)

 

32. Baltimore Ravens select LB Alec Ogeltree

At the end of the day this pick will come down to who the Ravens have to let go after Joe Flacco takes his cut of this year’s cap space. Until we know more I like Ogletree to help fill the void left by Ray Lewis. At #32 the talent outweighs any concern about his character.

11. San Diego Chargers select G Jonathan Cooper

The Chargers were hoping Lane Johnson would fall to them, but with Arizona snatching him early and DJ Fluker a bit iffy this high, the Chargers go with Cooper and solidify the interior line. Cornerback Xavier Rhodes is a consideration, but Cooper’s the better bet.

12. Miami Dolphins select CB Xavier Rhodes

Honestly, I had to be talked into this one, but I can’t deny that it makes sense. The Dolphins need a starter at cornerback and Rhodes fits their scheme well. The free agent class of corners is looking better everyday, but most are looking for big money. If Keenan Allen goes off at his pro day, he might be too good to pass up, but for now I think the Dolphins will draft Rhodes with a close eye on WR’s Da’Rick Rogers and Justin Hunter who both possess the size (6’3 and 6’4 respectively) and talent to become number 1 receivers.

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers select OT DJ Fluker

I know, I just said Fluker was a reach at 11, but with Rhodes off the board adding a guy like Fluker at RT is a good move for the Bucs. The offense now flows through running back Doug Martin and Fluker excels in run blocking. There’s still plenty of pass rush help available, and that should be a consideration, but due to an early run on offensive lineman the Bucs decide to strike while the iron is hot.

14. Carolina Panthers select DT Sheldon Richardson

I believe that Richardson can do for the Panthers’ defensive line what Luke Kuechley did for the linebackers, which is to say that he will greatly improve the unit. Richardson’s a big (6’2, 294lbs)  athletic (40 time just over 5 sec with 32 in vertical) who will shoot up to the middle of the first following an impressive comine.

15. New Orleans Saints select DE/OLB Damontre Moore

After a somewhat disappointing combine (he only managed 12 reps on the bench) Moore sees his stock drop a little, as he falls into Rob Ryan’s lap at 15. “DaMonster” was a terror on the edge at Texas A&M and he provides an immediate boost to this Saints team.

16. St. Louis Rams select WR Keenan Allen

I mentioned that Allen is a candidate to rise quickly on draft day and might be long gone by the time the Rams pick, but I’d be looking for them to take the best receiver available, in this case it’s Allen, who provides Sam Bradford a legitimate number 1 target and eases the probable loss of Danny Amendola.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers select OLB/DE Barkevious Mingo

The somewhat raw, but undoubtedly talented Mingo, makes for a great addition to a Steelers team desperate for pass rush help. If Mingo is off the board his teammate Sam Montgomery put up a strong enough combine to warrant consideration. I also like this guy’s idea to add Ohio State Nose Tackle Johnathan Hankins if there ends up being an early run on pass rushers.

18. Dallas Cowboys selects DE/DT Star Lotulelei

Assuming the heart condition that forced Lotulelei to miss the combine is nothing serious (as is currently expected) he ends up a great fit for a Cowboys team looking to move to the 4-3 under Monte Kiffin. And hey, if Jerry Jones decides next year that he wants the team to go back to the 3-4, Lotulelei can do that too. (Bjoern Werner is also a consideration as the best 4-3 end available)

19. New York Giants select OLB/DE Ziggy Ansah

I originally had TE Tyler Eifert in this spot, but that’s really just not the Giants MO this early. Ansah on the other hand is exactly the kind of player the Giants like to take in the first round. Ansah is crazy athletic and while raw can you really think of a better place for him to learn the game than alongside Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck?

20. Chicago Bears select TE Tyler Eifert

With the top lineman off the board the Bears take the next best thing. Eifert’s not an especially talented blocker, but he could still prove invaluable in the passing game. With Johnny Knox’s health issue, and Devin Hester never really panning out as anything more than a returner Eifert provides the Bears with a valuable target in the middle of the field. The Mike Martz era held the Bears back from joining the trend of pass catching TE’s, drafting Eifert will mark it’s return.

21. Cinncinati Bengals select RB Giovanni Bernard

This is a bit of a reach, but I really like Bernard and in a somewhat iffy class of running backs he seems to be just what the Bengals are looking for; a speedy compliment to BenJarvus Green-Ellis who has displayed solid hands and pass protection skills. Bernard is a guy who, I think could even take over as the featured back at some point.

22. St. Louis Rams select S Eric Reid

Playing in the NFC West it never hurts to have help over the top. This may be a little high for Reid and I have him going before Kenny Vaccarro, but I think Reid’s aggressiveness fits Jeff Fisher’s defense better and makes him a perfect compliment to Janoris Jenkins and Cortland Finnegan. (I also considered combine superstar Terron Armstead here, but after a second thought he seemed too unproven this high…my point is with 2 first round picks both this and next year, expect the unexpected from the Rams.

1. Kansas City Chiefs select LT Luke Joeckel

When push comes to shove I think the Chiefs will choose Joeckel over incumbent Branden Albert. Joeckel has just looked so good throughout the year and did nothing to hurt his draft stock at the combine. Ideally the Chiefs would keep both guys, with Albert sliding inside, but with a lot of teams looking for help on the outside the 25 year old should have too much trouble finding someone willing to pay him handsomely to stay at LT. If Albert is retained at Tackle, I would look for the Chiefs to try moving back or taking a Defensive Lineman like Shariff Floyd or Sheldon Richardson.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars select LT Eric Fisher

I have Fisher and and Joeckel as this year’s Luck and RG3, both have looked outstanding and figure to be building blocks for the teams that draft them. I know everyone is talking about the Jaguars need for a pass rusher at this spot, but it just feels too risky for a team that is likely to be shifting schemes (Head  Coach Gus Bradley has said the team will stay as a 4-3 for now due to personnel, but wants to move towards a hybrid scheme.) Fisher gives a rebuilding Jaguars team a high quality starter at a position of need for the next decade, while still instantly improving the offense. It’s the best possible move, and I’m baffled as to how it’s slipping past nearly every analyst. (Side Note: If the Jaguars do feel the need to go Defense at #2, I like Dee Milliner as press coverage corner who fits Bradley’s scheme)

3. Oakland Raiders select DT Shariff Floyd

There’s a lot of ways for the Raiders can go here, but with Richard Seymour and most the rest of the D-line starters leaving I like this as a place to start. Word has been that the Raiders like Floyd, and he capped off an impressive career at Florida with a solid combine, that I think solidifies him as the Raiders top choice to begin the defensive rebuild. This is another team I think could be well served by adding CB Dee Milliner, but the spot is still just a little too high.

4. Philadelphia Eagles select OLB/DE Dion Jordan

I originally had Dee Milliner here, but Chip Kelly’s made it clear it’s not just the corners, but the entire defense that needs to be overhauled. This move would make sense even without Jordan’s prior knowledge of Kelly’s system as he’s one of the top pass rushers in this class and has seen his stock on the rise after a solid combine. If Kelly feels Jordan’s a little too close to home, then I like Guard Chance Warmack to solidify an offensive line that will be getting back it’s sorely missed starting LT.

5. Detriot Lions select CB Dee Milliner

It almost makes too much sense to happen, but the Lions should land Milliner, who’s coming off a mixed review combine. His speed, was impressive, his hands were not…to be fair he was competing with a torn labrum in his shoulder and you have to figure that didn’t help. I originally liked Kenny Vaccaro here if Milliner was off the board, and if Eric Fisher is still available he should be a strong consideration. If DE Cliff Avril ends up walking, Bjorn Werner looks like a more than capable replacement the Lions can easily afford.

6. Cleveland Browns select QB Geno Smith

Here’s my thinking on this one: If they fail to sign Mike Wallace this pick will got to a WR (likely Corradelle Patterson, maybe Tavon Austin.) If they sign Wallace but fail to get a pass rusher this pick could go there, but I think the new ownership gets cap happy and fills most of the larger holes leaving QB as a glaring weakness. The new Browns management knows Brandon Weeden isn’t the future and supposedly wants to implement a spread option offense, Geno may be the best option available and the NFL tends not to be a wait and see sort of league.

7. Arizona Cardinals select LT Lane Johnson

I considered Matt Barkley, but ultimately decided with Bruce Arians coaching they can afford to wait and see who’s available in the second (maybe even third) round. If Fisher drops he doesn’t make it past Arizona, but since he’s gone to Jacksonville in this mock the Cardinals take the next best player at the position. Johnson is a former WR and has looked impressive enough to warrant a top 10 pick as Arizona desperately needs better protection for their QB (whoever that may be)

8. Buffalo Bills select WR Tavon Austin

GM Buddy Nix is on his way out, but that won’t keep him from making one last splash by making the speedy Austin the first receiver off the board. There’s been talk he wants to add a big bodied receiver on the outside and move Johnson into the slot, but I think after an impressive combine and some well deserved hype the Bills take their chances with the diminutive playmaker. Cordarelle Patterson is another option, but his route running is less polished. If Andy Levitre can’t be resigned and the franchise tag is used on Jarius Byrd this pick likely becomes Guard Chance Warmack.

9. New York Jets select LB Jarvis Jones

I really can’t decide when it comes to the Jets. Play making WR Cordarrelle Patterson is still on the board and could be tempting, Sheldon Richardson is a consideration at DT and Kenny Vaccarro a candidate for a secondary set to lose LaRon Landry and possibly Darrelle Revis. In fact, Vaccarro may jump to the top of the list if Revis gets dealt. But as it stands now the need for a pass rusher dominates and if Jones checks out medically he’s the best man for the job. (Guard Chance Warmack and Tackle DJ Fluker also got consideration.)

10. Tennessee Titans select OG Chance Warmack

Warmack is on a lot of teams boards so there’s a chance he doesn’t make it this far, but guards aren’t typically valued very high. If he’s on the board Titans won’t hesitate. The Alabama product improves the Titans line and gives new life to CJ2K. (If Warmack is gone the Titans likely stay at OG with Jonathan Cooper)