Thursday, April 26, 2012

Draft Day - Final Mock Update

This is the final update to my mock draft. Unlike the previous mock, trades will not be projected, but instead featured in the "Alternative options" section.
1. Indianapolis Colts (2-14) - Andrew Luck (QB/Stanford) Photobucket
This pick is now official. Indianapolis' brass announced earlier this week that Luck will be Peyton Manning's successor.

Alternative options: None. Unlike last season, there won't be any drama leading up to the draft about this selection.

2. Washington Redskins (5-11) - Robert Griffin III (QB/Baylor)
This pick is another no-brainer. The Redskins did not surrender three first-round picks to draft anybody other than a quarterback.

Alternative options: None, but it probably won't stop the two teams from taking a half-hour to make their selections anyway.

3. Minnesota Vikings (3-13) - Matt Kalil (OT/USC) Photobucket
Matt Kalil is the best player available and fits a monster need for the Vikings. As I mentioned earlier, Minnesota slipped from 18th in the league in sacks allowed to 28th after releasing Bryant McKinnie. Protecting Christian Ponder's blindside will be essential to the team's success.

Alternative options: Minnesota has several options at this spot. Justin Blackmon and Morris Claiborne are options here and the Vikings have been rumored to trading this pick away, especially by a team like Miami looking to take Ryan Tannehill before Cleveland makes a pick.

4. Cleveland Browns (4-12) - Trent Richardson (RB/Alabama)
The Browns will focus on upgrading their offense early in the draft, including adding more weapons for Colt McCoy. Richardson is the best player available and makes a lot of sense for Cleveland.

Alternative options: Justin Blackmon, Morris Claiborne and Ryan Tannehill are also options here, but Cleveland can easily take a receiver or cornerback with their second pick. There is a steep decline in talent at running back after Richardson.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12) - Morris Claibrone (CB/LSU)
Tampa Bay is now reportedly not dealing Aqib Talib, but he still facing a possible jail sentence and suspension by the NFL. Ronde Barber will most likely convert to safety and Eric Wright played poorly for Detroit last season.

Alternative options: Trent Richardson could also be picked here as well. Lagarette Blount had fumbling issues last year and doesn't fare well in the passing game either.

6. St. Louis Rams (2-14) - Justin Blackmon (WR/Oklahoma State)
The Rams desperately need to give Sam Bradford more weapons on offense. Last year's top receiver, Brandon Lloyd, followed Josh McDaniels to New England during the offseason.

Alternative options: Riley Reiff or Morris Claiborne. Sam Bradford was getting smacked around last season, but St. Louis will most likely give Jason Smith and Roger Saffold one more chance.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11) - Melvin Ingram (DE/South Carolina)
Melvin Ingram is an athletic freak who can not only rush the quarterback, but he can drop back in pass coverage too.

Alternative options: Trading down or Michael Floyd. Jacksonville rarely stands pat with their draft pick and the team is apparently really interested in Floyd. Floyd is a reach here, but the Jaguars can trade down and still pick Floyd in the middle of the first round.

8. Miami Dolphins (6-10) - Ryan Tannehill (QB/Texas A&M)
The Dolphins have been doomed at the quarterback position since Dan Marino retired. Since 2000, the Dolphins have won just one playoff game.

Alternative options: Melvin Ingram or Michael Floyd. Miami traded Brandon Marshall away to the Bears during the offseason, so no matter who the quarterback is, he lacks an elite target. Cameron Wake is the only reliable pass rusher on the team.

9. Carolina Panthers (6-10)- Fletcher Cox (DT/Mississippi State)
The starting defensive tackles for the Panthers were a pair of rookies who were taken late in the draft. Carolina will look to bolster their offensive line early in the draft.

Alternative options: Melvin Ingram, Luke Kuechly or Stephon Gilmore. Carolina prefers local products but Cox is the best player available at this spot.

10. Buffalo Bills (6-10) - Riley Reiff (OT/Iowa)
"Demetress" Bell signed with the Eagles earlier in the month. The Bills will need to make sure that they are able to protect their investment in Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Alternative options: Michael Floyd or Stephon Gilmore. Fitzpatrick has no reliable receiver on the team. Top target Stevie Johnson has a penchant for dropping passes.

11. Kansas City Chiefs (6-10) - David Decastro (G/Stanford)

Decastro is seen as the next big guard in the NFL similar to Alan Faneca and Steve Hutchinson. Most guards do not go this high in the draft, but Decastro is a rare talent.

Alternative options: Dontari Poe or Luke Kuechly. While Kuechly is the best player available, Poe will fill a major need for Kansas City.

12. Seattle Seahawks (6-10) - Luke Kuechly (LB/Boston College)

Kuechly is a tackle machine who plays sideline-to-sideline.

Alternative options: Quinton Coples. Seattle needs to fix their pass rush. Coples could see his stock fall after admitting he doesn't give a full effort during games.

13. Arizona Cardinals (8-8) - Michael Floyd (WR/Notre Dame)

Larry Fitzgerald may be one of the league's best receivers, but the Cardinals need to add another receiver to take the pressure off of him.

Alternative options: Jonathan Martin. Arizona will need to protect their investment in Kolb so adding a tackle early in this draft is necessary.

14. Dallas Cowboys (8-8) - Mark Barron (SS/Alabama)

The Cowboys need to upgrade their secondary, whether it is with Dre Kirkpatrick or Barron.

Alternative options:Dre Kirkpatrick or Dontari Poe. Poe could fall due to a lackluster tape while Kirkpatrick may be out of the running after the Cowboys signed Brandon Carr.

15. Philadelphia Eagles (8-8) - Quinton Coples (DE/North Carolina)

The Eagles have no problem going after players with character issues. Philadelphia also needs to address the front seven in their draft as well.

Alternative options: Dontari Poe or Stephon Gilmore. The Eagles just traded Asante Samuel to the Falcons so adding a cornerback is an option as well.

16. New York Jets (8-8) - Chandler Jones (DE/Syracuse)

The Jets desperately need to upgrade their pass rush. Jones missed five games last year, but still manage to post 4.5 sacks.

Alternative options: Courtney Upshaw or Trent Richardson. The Jets allegedly reached out to Richardson yesterday, causing speculation that they would trade up.

17. Cincinnati Bengals (9-7) - Stephon Gilmore (CB/South Carolina)

The Bengals need a reliable cornerback across from the inconsistent Nate Clements. Leon Hall is out next year with a torn Achilles.

Alternative options: Courtney Upshaw or Cordy Glenn. The Bengals two draft picks are so close together that they can possibly take both players on the top of their board.

18. San Diego Chargers (8-8) Kendall Wright (WR/Baylor)

The Chargers need to replace Vincent Jackson so receiver will be targeted early in the draft.

Alternative options: Courtney Upshaw or Whitney Mecilus. The Chargers need to upgrade their pass rush as well.

19. Chicago Bears (8-8) - Michael Brockers (DT/LSU)

Chicago is reportedly really interested in Brockers. If he is available, he will be picked here.

Alternative options: Whitney Mercilus. The Bears will most likely look into upgrading their defensive line with their first pick.

20. Tennessee Titans (9-7) - Dre Kirkpatrick (CB/Alabama)

The Titans just missed out on Asante Samuel and will look into replacing departed Cortland Finnegan with an early selection.

Alternative options: Whitney Mercilus. Rookie tackle Karl Klug led the team last year with 7.0 sacks and Derrick morgan is beginning to look like a bust.

21. Cincinnati Bengals (9-7) - Cordy Glenn (G/Georgia)

The Bengals need to upgrade their interior offensive line. Glenn is verastile enough to play both guard and tackle.

Alternative options: Courtney Upshaw, Stephen Hill or Whitney Mercilus. The Bengals really like Upshaw, but he may slip down a bit in the draft due to his lack of size.

22. Cleveland Browns (4-12) - Janoris Jenkins (CB/North Alabama)

Joe Haden has become a quality cornerback in the NFL, so why not add another former Florida Gator to the team?

Alternative options: Courtney Upshaw or Kendall Wright. If Wright is available, he will be the pick since the team need to focus on their offense.

23. Detroit Lions (10-6) - Courtney Upshaw (LB/Alabama)

The Lions are big on taking the best player available and in this case, they will help bulk up their pass rush.

Alternative options: Janoris Jenkins or Jonathan Martin. Detroit desperately needs to improve their secondary and adding a left tackle.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4) - Dontari Poe (NT/Memphis)

Casey Hampton is getting old so the Steelers will look into finding his replacement. In this case, Poe falls right into their laps.

Alternative options: Dont'a Hightower. This pick will ultimately go between which player is available at this spot.

25. Denver Broncos (8-8) - Jerel Worthy (DT/Michigan State)

The Broncos have practically nothing at defensive tackle so Denver will look at upgrading the position in the draft.

Alternative options: Stephen Hill. The Broncos will want to give Peyton Manning more targets on offense, so why not add another Georgia Tech wide receiver.

26. Houston Texans (11-5) - Whitney Mercilus (DE/Illinois)

The Texans will look to replace Mario Williams at some point in this draft.

Alternative options: Stephen Hill. Houston needs more options at receiver aside form Andre Johnson.

27. New England Patriots (13-3) - Dont'a Hightower (LB/Alabama)

New England is reportedly drafting with this selection and trading away their 31st overall pick. Any number of players will be available on their draft board. Hightower is the best available player and would thrive in new England.

Alternative options: Shea McClellin, Jonathan Martin or Kendall Reyes. Matt Light was just placed on the retired list.

28. Green Bay Packers (15-1) - Shea McClellin (DE/Boise State)

The Packers need to add more to their pass rush across from Clay Matthews.

Alternative options: Harrison Smith. Green Bay has holes all across their defense.

29. Baltimore Ravens (12-4) - Peter Konz (C/Wisconsin)

Matt Birk is aging and has stated that he willing to help groom his replacement.

Alternative options: Jonathan Martin. Baltimore is in a similar situation at left tackle as well.

30. San Francisco 49ers (13-3) - Stephen Hill (WR/Georgia Tech)

If anyone saw the NFC Championship game, it is obvious that the 49ers need help at wide receiver, even after adding Mario Manningham and Randy Moss.

Alternative options: Kevin Zeitler, Jonathan Martin or Coby Fleener. San Francisco will need to fix their offensive line as well.

31. New England Patriots (13-3) - Jonathan Martin (OT/Stanford)

Matt Light was recently placed on the retired list, so the Patriots will need to find someone to protect Tom Brady's blindside as well.

Alternative options: Trade or Kendall Reyes. The Patriots will most likely trade this pick, it just depends on whether or not they trade up or out of the first round.

32. New york Giants (9-7) - Coby Fleener (TE/Stanford)

Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum both tore their ACL in the Super Bowl. Martellus Bennet is not the long-term solution at tight end.

Alternative options: Jonathan Martin, Kevin Zeitler or Mike Adams. Kareem McKenzie was cut during the offseason.

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