1. Kansas City Chiefs — Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
The Kansas City Chiefs don’t have an identity at the quarterback position. Barring a move via trade or free agency to get a guy like Alex Smith, this pick should/will be a quarterback. Geno Smith is the best one out there in my opinion.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars — Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
The Jaguars’ biggest need (other than answers at the QB position) is pass rush. Bjoern Werner is the flavor of the day for best pass rusher in this draft, but this pick could be a number of different players, to be honest. Werner is a good one though, who will upgrade the Jacksonville pass rush significantly.
3. Oakland Raiders — Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
The Oakland Raiders need to upgrade their pass rush, and there are some potential issues with free agents at the defensive tackle position. Sheldon Richardson is expected to be a name that rises considerably before the draft, potentially to top five status. This is as good a place as any for him to land.
4. Philadelphia Eagles — Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
There is no question the Eagles have to upgrade their offensive line with this selection. Luke Joeckel is probably the best tackle available, and like we saw with Matt Kalil and the Vikings last year, a good LT can go a long way for a bad team.
5. Detroit Lions — Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
The Lions released Kyle Vanden Bosch, and Cliff Avril is a free agent. This team needs pass rushers off the edge and Moore is a guy who can give them some scheme versatility. He was one of the biggest defensive playmakers in college football this past year.
6. Cleveland Browns — Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
With the Browns moving to a 3-4 defensive scheme, I can’t think of a more perfect fit here. They already have some good pieces defensively, and unless they chose to take the draft’s top CB here, I think it’s a safe bet to say they’ll go with a front seven player. Lotulelei is a borderline steal with this pick, and Cleveland’s DL rotation would be greatly improved by adding this kind of stud up front.
7. Arizona Cardinals — Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
The Cardinals need offensive line help in addition to needing a quarterback, but I was actually impressed with the amount of difference Kevin Kolb made last year as the Cardinals’ signal caller. Eric Fisher is one of the hottest prospects in this year’s draft group, and the Cards would be hard pressed to let him slide by here.
8. Buffalo Bills — Ezekiel Ansah, DE/OLB, BYU
Many think the Bills will go with a quarterback here, and they very well may, but Ansah is the better pick here. Unless the Bills intend on taking Matt Barkley with their first round pick, I think waiting it out and possibly trading into the first round is a much safer option for this team. Ansah is a hot prospect who has risen to top 10 status after his Senior Bowl performance.
9. New York Jets — Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
The Jets’ defense is going to be looking for front seven help this offseason, no doubt, and having the ability to snag a guy like Barkevious Mingo here is huge. He provides a ton of speed off the edge and can get the Jets a pass rush threat they’ve been needing badly.
10. Tennessee Titans — Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
Rarely do we see such highly rated guard prospects, but many out there right now have Alabama’s Chance Warmack as arguably the best all-around player in this entire crop of players. The Titans just happen to have a need at the guard position with LeRoy Harris and Deuce Lutui hitting the free agent market.
11. San Diego Chargers — Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
San Diego needs to draft an offensive lineman here, and I think Lane Johnson has risen enough in terms of his stock to warrant this pick. He is a great athlete who will help protect Philip Rivers’ blind side and improve that Chargers offensive line.
12. Miami Dolphins — Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
Vaccaro is being talked about as a top 10 selection, so I don’t think there’s really any way he’s getting past the safety needy Dolphins. There’s certainly a chance he will, but the Dolphins have some serious issues at their safety positions. This guy can come in right away and make a difference.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
The Buccaneers really luck out here, getting the top available cornerback in this year’s group of players. Dee Milliner is coming from a national championship program that is chugging out solid NFL talent perennially. He should be a starter from day one in Tampa if he falls to this point.
14. Carolina Panthers — Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Floyd is a fast-rising prospect who provides versatility on the defensive line, and he gives the Panthers a guy who can help open up opportunities for their two stud pass rushers and star-studded linebacker group. He is also capable of making plays in the backfield himself.
15. New Orleans Saints — Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
There’s no way anyone would have thought a month ago that Jarvis Jones could fall this far, and maybe it’s just a lot of talk, but arguably the nation’s best defensive player falls in this mock to the Saints, who aren’t able to afford to be picky enough about his potential back issue to pass on this kind of talent. They are moving to a 3-4 and he’s an ideal fit to help them get some pressure on the quarterback.
16. St. Louis Rams — Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
With every decent offensive tackle and even the best guard off the board here, the Rams have to get creative. They could go for a defensive tackle as well, but even those are growing scarce in this mock. That’s where I think Jeff Fisher and company will pull the trigger on possibly the most talented WR prospect in the draft, Cordarrelle Patterson. They just signed Titus Young off of waivers, in addition to having a bunch of other young wideouts. Perhaps taking another young one isn’t wise, but they can’t afford to be that picky. Sam Bradford needs to have a legit #1 target, and Patterson could be that.