Time for my weekly mock draft update. This week I got to thinking outside the box even a little more than I usually do. So keep that in mind while you’re reading this particular mock draft, I know that some of the picks are not as likely as others, but it’s not only fun to explore different opportunities it’s also a useful exercise. What teams should do in the draft does not always matchup with what they will do.
All of our scouting reports are on our scouting report page
1. Indianapolis Colts (0-10)-Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford Cardinal
Boring pick. Moving on.
2. Miami Dolphins (2-7)-Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
I know this seems really high and like a draftnik’s over-reaction and that is definitely possible, but Griffin has that word “potential” attached to him which makes him extremely intriguing. Potential has gotten a lot of teams in trouble int he past and will continue to in the future. I think that Griffin is the third best quarterback in this class behind Luck and Barkley and ahead of Landry Jones and others (Tannehill, Foles, etc).
3. St. Louis (2-7)-Matt Kalil, T, USC
The Rams can upgrade three positions with one pick. Matt Kalil improves LT, Roger Saffold improves the right tackle position, and Jason Smith could improve the guard.
4. Carolina (2-7)-Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State Sooners
Adding Justin Blackmon with Steve Smith, Cam Newton, and the talented Panthers running backs (plus their good tight ends) is extremely intriguing and tempting. Jefferey is starting to get the label of “overrated” because people question his speed. Blackmon will also eventually replace Steve Smith, who despite his tremendous season will be entering the twilight of his career soon.
5. Minnesota Vikings (2-7)-Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
With the Chris Cook situation in Minnesota, cornerback is a huge underrated need for the Minnesota Vikings. Tackle and Wide receiver are clearly the most likely options here for the Minnesota Vikings. I recognize that, but this mock draft is all about exploring the different routes teams might surprise us with and cornerback is one for the Vikings. Claibore is tantalizing and while I”m not selecting him in the top five yet, some team might.
6. Washington (3-6)-Matt Barkley, QB, USC
The Washington Redskins are drafting a Quarterback in the first round especially if they are selecting in the top 10. A good quarterback will really help the Redskins. The Redskins have a solid defense and a decent running game. They also need a talented wide receiver, but not before they get a quarterback.
7. Arizona Cardinals (3-6)-Nick Perry, OLB, USC
My first real big reach pick here. Nick Perry is an exciting, emerging player who could be the first rush linebacker taken in the N.F.L. draft if he tests well at the combine. Some team at some point is going to reach for a pass rusher, in this class that is a bit down on pass rushers in general (43 or 34 pass rushers). Perry is a 6-3 250 pound player who could run a 40 yard dash in the 4.5 range. Perry is very athletic and has a lot of potential. Finally his production (7.5 sacks right now with 11 tackles for loss) is matching his talent
8. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-6)-Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona State University
It seems likely that both Jack Del Rio and G.M Gene Smith’s days are numbered, which means that no one has any idea what the Jaguars will do in the upcoming draft. Burfict has the size, speed and physical ability that draftniks just drool over. Maybe the Jaguars bring in a General manager and coach who can’t resist his pure physical ability.
9 Cleveland (3-6)-Quinton Coples, DL, UNC
Coples is generally considered a 43 DE, but it’s more than possible that a team will ask him to put on a little weight and play inside as a Defensive tackle. He almost looks more comfortable playing in the middle in college. Coples is not one of my favorite prospects and I wouldn’t touch him in the top five, but someone will draft him in the top 10. The Browns might want a franchise quarterback if they don’t believe in Colt McCoy and they could consider linebacker here, but teams generally devalue 43 linebackers so they add another DL to the mix to improve their defense. Alshon Jefferey is a possibility here as well as Dre Kirkpatrick.
10. Philadelphia Eagles (3-6)-Jonathan Martin, T, Stanford Cardinal
The Eagles need linebackers and maybe a cornerback, but the Eagles draft linemen. It’s like clockwork. Every year the Eagles draft offensive linemen and every year they have problems along the offensive line, it’s crazy how that works out. Well here the Eagles grab the best player available who also happens to significantly upgrade their talent at RT.
11. Seattle Seahawks (3-6)=Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
Full disclosure. I fully expect Richardson to go higher, I was writing that Burfict has the kind of physical ability that scouts drool over, than what the heck does Richardson has. What an incredible prospect he is. The best RB prospect since Adrian Peterson he will be worth. top 10 pick he’s likely to end up as. Marshawn Lynch has been playing much better as of late, but the Seahawks could take Richardson if he’s available. The Seahawks spent all off-season getting bigger and more physical they want to run the ball. I don’t think Pete Carroll will love Landry Jones (I know I don’t!)
12. Kansas City Chiefs (4-5)-Riley Reiff, T, Iowa
Riley Reiff is one of the best players available here and would allow the Chiefs to kick Albert inside. An outside linebacker would be nice but the value isn’t really there.
13. San Diego Chargers (4-5)-Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
I’ve been trying to mock the Chargers cornerbacks in the first round for like two years. Did you watch the Chargers vs the Jets? The Jets have one of the worst passing offenses in the league and the Chargers got absolutely light up. Also got light up vs the Packers and even the Raiders and Denarius Moore.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5)-Alshon Jefferey, WR, South Carolina
There are growing concerns that Jefferey’s speed might be a huge problem in the N.F.L. I still think he has the ability to get off the line and make plays on the ball in the air to be a successful WR at the N.F.L. level. Josh Freeman is really playing poorly his year and perhaps they will consider adding a talented Wide Receiver to take some pressure off of Freeman.
15. Denver Broncos (4-5)-Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska
Defensive tackle is a big need. More play makers on offense is also a need, but cornerback is not a position of strength. Bailey will be 34 years old before the start of next season. A position that could also make sense is middle linebacker and there are a few good ones available here, Luke Kuechly and Manti Te’o.
16. Tennessee Titans (5-4)-Michael Floyd, WR, Norte Dame
I think the Titans would be estatic if Alshon Jefferey were to fall to them and nervous as heck if it was Floyd who fell to them. Floyd is supremely talented, but he has trouble making good decisions off the football field, not unlike their other top WR Kenny Britt. Jake Locker will be taking the starting quarterback job next year, with Matt Schuab’s injury the Titans might be able to get back into the playoff race, but their offense has not been the same with Kenny Britt hurt, and they need that buffer in-case Britt ever gets hurt again for Jake Locker.
Rest is continued on page 2