Like Jesse, I put no thought into this order. In fact, I used someone elses. You’ll know it’s not mine by the fact that Denver probably isn’t #32 (I keed).
1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
There are many who believe Matt Barkley is guaranteed to be the number one pick, but you can bet on analysts trying to poke holes in his game all season long. I think Barkley is a true gamer, but Tyler Wilson is more physically imposing and probably has a stronger arm overall. The Jaguars have Blaine Gabbert in the fold, and he will only have completed his second season as a pro, but with the CBA, there is much less risk financially involved in making a pick like this. The Jaguars won’t be tied down to Gabbert money-wise, and maybe they can trade him to a better situation.
2. Cleveland Browns: Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas
Jeffcoat is one of the most dominant defenders in the nation and if he even comes close to living up to his potential this year as a Longhorn, he is going to be absolutely unstoppable. He already has great size, length, and athletic ability, and he has shown early in his career a unique ability to make plays behind the line. The Browns used the 2012 NFL Draft to upgrade their offense, and they use this pick to give themselves a true defensive star.
3. Minnesota Vikings: Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
The Vikings find themselves right back where they were a year ago, but I actually have a little more faith in Christian Ponder and company than this. The Vikings’ defense already features Jared Allen, one of my favorite players in the league, but unfortunately Allen is not getting any younger and Minnesota lacks a dynamic edge rusher besides #69. Sam Montgomery is a legit top 10 prospect based on what I have seen, and I was actually selfishly hoping for the Broncos’ sake that he might come out last year. He’s going to break out this year and show he is worth a top five pick, in my opinion.
4. Miami Dolphins: Jarvis Jones, DE/OLB, Georgia
The Dolphins need a pass rusher opposite Cameron Wake. They used a high pick this year on Olivier Vernon, but he’s not near as dynamic as Jarvis Jones, who broke out as a phenomenal pass rusher as a junior. He transferred to Georgia and last year was his first season with the team, so I respect his decision to come back for another season. He can really get to the QB.
5. St. Louis Rams: Da’rick Rodgers, WR, Tennessee
The Rams picked two receivers this past year and two receivers in 2011 as well, but I still see a need at that position. This could be a make or break year for Sam Bradford, but the Rams just have so much money tied up into him they aren’t going to be able to move on. Rodgers is going to have arguably some of the best QB play in the country and broke out as a sophomore last year. He should be a really good receiver prospect going forward.
6. Indianapolis Colts: Robert Woods, WR, USC
I feel like Woods won’t go this high even though I love what he brings to the table. It’s interesting that none of the top six teams in this mock have a prominent need for a QB. Woods is a dynamic receiver who doesn’t have great size but he simply makes plays all over the place.
7. Oakland Raiders: Matt Barkley, QB, USC
Well, the Raiders didn’t make the playoffs in this scenario, so they don’t have to give this pick up to the Bengals, which is good because the Bengals pretty much owned the 2012 draft. The Raiders here get a YOUNG signal caller right out of their backyard, a guy that could potentially revitalize their franchise.
8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee
If the Bucs are picking this high, I think it’d have to be because Freeman regressed again, or he was badly injured. Either way, picking this high opens the door for a new QB to come in, and Bray has all the qualities you look for in a QB prospect as far as I can see, but I’m sure we’ll get to know him even better as the season progresses.
9. Arizona Cardinals: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
Fluker likely would have been a high pick had he come out last year, so maybe he won’t go this high in 2013, but he has potential to be that elite left tackle prospect that every team covets. The Cardinals might look at quarterback here if they are picking this high again, and might have a new coaching regime as well.
10. Seattle Seahawks: Keenan Allen, WR, California
I have seen this kid make some incredible catches. I was a little confused why the Seahawks didn’t try to upgrade their WR group in the 2012 draft, so maybe they will go that route with this pick.
11. San Diego Chargers: David Amerson, CB, North Carolina State
Very big, very productive cornerback prospect. Led the nation in interceptions as a sophomore so expect a production drop-off, but the talent is certainly there.
12. Dallas Cowboys: Alex Okafor, DE/OLB, Texas
The Cowboys go with a pass rusher out of their own backyard here. Okafor can put pressure on and should be a solid fit for Rob Ryan’s defense. The Cowboys have paid a lot of attention to this side of the ball in recent years.
13. Cincinnati Bengals: Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina
The Bengals won’t be picking this high–they are very good and talented–but if they are I think Lattimore will come of the board pretty quickly, or at least I hope he would. He is a dynamic playmaker but coming off injury, so he falls a bit.
14. New York Jets: Sean Porter, DE/OLB, Texas A&M
Rex Ryan needs more pass rushers, and I don’t think Quinton Coples will solve all their problems. Sean Porter is slightly undersized but the kid can fly to the quarterback, that’s for sure.
15. Tennessee Titans: Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame
I guess the Titans really liked Luke Kuechly, so I’m not sure why they wouldn’t be interested in Te’o, who is a thumper and a fantastic athlete. This would be a good value pick in the middle of the first round.
16. New Orleans Saints: Jonathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
Super-athletic defensive tackle prospect that could very well vault himself much higher than this. I think the Saints could still use defensive tackle depth but they could also possibly use this selection on a replacement for Drew Brees. Wouldn’t that be something?
17. St. Louis Rams (f/WAS): Knile Davis, RB, Arkansas
Another top tier running back who spent this season watching from the sidelines, Davis has the ability to be a top five talent. Many are sleeping on him because of his injury, but if he returns to form, he’s going to dominate. Arkansas’ offense will be dynamic.
18. Buffalo Bills: Devin Taylor, DE, South Carolina
Extremely talented pass rusher who falls here to the Bills, I think Mark Anderson is a bit overrated and was signed to a bigger deal than he’s worth. You can never have enough pass rushers.
19. Carolina Panthers: Dee Millner, CB, Alabama
The Crimson Tide are going to continue to churn out NFL talent, and Millner has a chance to be a great one. The Panthers used a mid round pick on Josh Norman, who has upside, but they need more bodies at CB.
20. Philadelphia Eagles: Ricky Wagner, OT, Wisconsin
Big, nasty offensive lineman who will provide the Eaglers with a mauler up front. Demetress Bell only signed a one-year deal, essentially, so OT could be a need and the Eagles are always taking bigs.
21. San Francisco 49ers: Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
Mingo will probably wind up going higher than this, but this could be an incredibly deep draft. The 49ers, despite their defensive depth, probably wouldn’t be able to pass up this speed edge rusher here.
22. Pittsburgh Steelers: Brandon Jenkins, DE/OLB, Florida State
I think Jenkins presents good value here. James Harrison isn’t getting any younger, and Lamarr Woodley has had some injury issues. The Steelers’ defense is getting a little bit older so they get some more youth with this pick.
23. Denver Broncos: Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU
The Honey Badger don’t care! LSU’s Heisman candidate finally comes off the board to a team that loves defensive backs. He can be a playmaker as both a corner and a return specialist.
24. Atlanta Falcons: Kawann Short, DT, Purdue
Short could have been a 2nd or 3rd round pick had he come out this past year, but he should be able to improve upon his junior season and be a first round pick. He is a good player.
25. Baltimore Ravens: Bacarri Rambo, S, Georgia
Another top notch safety who the Ravens could covet on draft day for his fearless style of play.
26. Kansas City Chiefs: E.J. Manuel, QB, Florida State
The Chiefs should be looking for a QB and I don’t think they’ll be picking this low with their current situation at the position. Manuel could be a steal at this juncture with his raw talent.
27. Chicago Bears: T.J. McDonald, S, USC
The Bears are always picking defense over offense. Here, they get a guy who was possibly a first round pick had he declared in 2012.
28. Detroit Lions: Barrett Jones, OL, Alabama
Big, powerful offensive line prospect who will come in and help protect Matt Stafford.
29. Houston Texans: Nico Johnson, LB, Alabama
Johnson can play the inside for the Texans, who traded away DeMeco Ryans.
30. Green Bay Packers: Jonathan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
The Packers struggled defensively last season, and I think they will continue to upgrade that side of the ball.
31. New England Patriots: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
The Patriots don’t have any needs that I can really speak to. Here’s the best player available.
32. New York Giants: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
Why not? Give Eli Manning another big target in the red zone. The Giants are pretty stacked.