There have been a number of trades (Cutler to Chicago, Jason Peters to the Eagles for one of their first round picks) that have affected the way some teams will draft in the first round.
This is my third and final attempt at a Mock Draft…quite frankly, I was embarrassed enough to know so much about a bunch of college kids and the NFL draft to do one First Round Mock Draft….that you can imagine how embarrassed I am to have now come up with THREE…THREE distinct mock drafts.
God, what am I doing with my time…I think I need a lady…oh yeah here’s the way the first round will probably go…..
1) DETROIT LIONS: Matthew Stafford (QB, Georgia) – The Lions really should do all they can to trade out of this pick. 1) Because they don’t want to pay a QB that will have to sit next year the kind of money that a #1 overall pick will command…especially a #1 pick that is a QB 2) They were 0-16 last year and really need to accumulate as many picks and quality players as they can.
Having said that, I think taking either Stafford or Jason Smith is a good pick here so long as they can get the player signed before the draft to avoid any holdout drama.
2) St. LOUIS RAMS: Jason Smith (T, Baylor)- Perfect marriage of need and value. The best tackle prospect in the draft is taken by a team looking to replace a potential Hall of Fame LT in Orlando Pace. I think this guy is going to be a stud
3) KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: Aaron Curry (LB, Wake Forest)- My opinion is that new Chiefs GM Scott Pioli will want to trade out of this pick. He did this every other year with the Pats, and I think he will have lots of suitors. My best guess would be the Redskins would at least entertain the idea of trading up (ahead of the Seahawks) to snatch up QB Mark Sanchez.
However, if the Chiefs do pick at #3, their biggest need is a linebacker to play the inside, and no player in this draft will do that better than Aaron Curry.
4)SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: Mark Sanchez (QB, USC)- Big change from my last mock draft. I have bought into the pre-draft hype. I fully believe the Seahawks are looking for a player to take the reins from Matt Hasselbeck in two years. They will draft Sanchez and essentially “redshirt” him by having him sit and hold the clipboard for one season.
5) CLEVLAND BROWNS: Brian Orakpo (DE, Texas)- Will most likely take the “Workout Warrior” Orakpo, unless they deal Braylon Edwards to the Giants before or during draft day. In that case, I believe that they would take Michael Crabtree.
6) CINCINNATI BENGALS: Eugene Monroe (LT, Virginia)- Bengals need offensive line help and Monroe is the second best tackle in this whole draft.
7)OAKLAND RAIDERS: Michael Crabtree (WR, Texas Tech)- I’ve seen this guy all over the TV the last few days. He has not played an NFL down or made a paycheck yet, but he is already sporting a gaudy watch, huge diamond earrings, and is speaking exclusively in the third person. Sounds like your next great diva WR….and most definitely a perfect Raider.
8) JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: - Andre Smith (T, Alabama) Will very likely trade out of this pick on draft day, and I would have had them taking a WR had they not just signed Torry Holt this week. If they were to get Smith, I think they would be getting a steal. This is a guy with top 3 sort of talent, who dropped because of major character concerns.
Smith cost himself possibly the Numer 1 overall selection (and somewhere between 10-20 Million bucks) by going AWOL at the NFL Combine and then showing up out of shape to his workout (understatement!!), but may redeem himself some by still going in the top 10 here to the Jaguars.
9)GREEN BAY PACKERS: B.J. Raji (DT, Boston College)- They could really use a CB, but this guy is too good to pass on at this pick. Best interior lineman in this draft.
10) SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: Michael Oher (T, Ole Miss) They really would have loved to see Mark Sanchez fall to them here, and with Raji also off the board, they will look to fill a hole on the offensive line.
11) BUFFALO BILLS: - Brandon Pettigrew (TE, Oklahoma State) After trading Jason Peters to the Eagles the Bills have three glaring holes to fill: DE, TE, and LT. With their first of two first round selections I think they go with the most complete tight end in this draft. Also I would not be surprised if they went with a DE here, possibly Everette Brown from FSU.
12) DENVER BRONCOS: Tyson Jackson (DE, LSU) – Are likely to take Jackson if he lasts this long. If not look for them to take an outside ‘backer. Perhaps Brian Cushing.
13) WASHINGTON REDSKINS: Aaron Maybin (DE, Penn State)- If they do not trade up to get Mark Sanchez they will want a pass rushing DE. Maybin is undersized and might just be a situational pass rusher early in his career.
14) NEW ORLEANS SAINTS: Beanie Wells (RB, Ohio State)- I don’t like this pick at all, but I believe the Saints are targeting Wells. I would much rather see them address defensive need (CB,DT, or LB) since they already are pretty set at RB with Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas.
15) HOUSTON TEXANS: Everette Brown (DE, FSU)- In my opinion Brown will be the best DE in this year’s draft class. He’ll also have the best opportunity to succeed in year one with Mario Williams on the other side drawing double teams.
16) SAN DIEGO CHARGERS: Brian Cushing (LB, USC)- I believe they will take either Cushing or Rey Maualuga.
17) NEW YORK JETS: Josh Freeman (QB, Kansas State)- This is NOT a good pick, but the Jets seem to have become enamored with the 6’6” signal caller from the K-State recently.
In my opinion, Freeman is a thrower more than a passer, and is not anywhere near accurate enough to be a solid NFL QB down the line. They would be lucky if another team like the Bucs traded up to get Freeman as to block them from screwing up this pick. I would much rather see them take a WR to fill the hole left by the departure of Coles. Percy Harvin would be a perfect pick for them.
18) DENVER BRONCOS: Clay Matthew (LB, USC) – This is the pick they acquired from the Bears by way of the Jay Cutler trade. Matthews is a cerebral, high effort sort of player that could play outside linebacker/ situational pass rusher in Denver.
19) TAMPA BAY BUCS: Darius Heyward-Bey (WR, Maryland)- Run on wideouts begins here. The best vertical threat in this draft.
20) DETROIT LIONS: Malcolm Jenkins (CB/S, Ohio State)- DB is a good selection for the Lions with their second first round pick. I would have taken Vontae Davis from Illinois, but I think they would more likely go with Jenkins and play him at both CB and S.
21) PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: Knowshown Moreno (RB, Georgia)- A better fit would be Beanie Wells, as a bruising compliment to Brian Westbrook’s elusiveness, but since he is off the board in this draft they go with Moreno..
22) MINNESOTA VIKINGS: Jeremy Maclin (WR, Missouri)- A best player available sort of pick. I would be a little surprised to still see him on the board at pick #22. Could also take a CB..again maybe Vontae Davis.
23) NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: Darius Butler (CB, UCONN)- Most likely will not select here. They will either move up or move down. If they do happen to select here, Butler is most NFL ready CB left.
24) ATLANTA FALCONS: Peria Jerry (DT, Ole Miss)- Had Jerry here before and still like the Falcons to select him at pick #24. Very important for a young team to get a good interior defensive lineman.
25) MIAMI DOLPHINS: - Robert Ayers (DE, Tennessee)- A lot of people expect the Fins to go with a WR with this pick, but I think it would be very “Un-Parcells” to take a WR in the first round (Keyshawn notwithstanding).
26) BALTIMORE RAVENS: Vontae Davis (CB, Illinois) – They cut Chris McCalister earlier this year and lost Jim Leonhard and Bart Scott in free agency. Will pick a defensive player with this pick. Davis has the best raw skills and possess the best upside of all the defensive backs in the whole draft.
27) INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: Hakeem Nicks (WR, North Carolina)- Polished receiver to help fill the Marvin Harrison void. Could also pick a DT. Would take Peria Jerry if he fell this far. Would have taken Percy Harvin if he had not failed the Combine drug test for marijuana. Genius.
28) Buffalo Bills: Eben Britton (T, Arizona)- The Bills fill another big need with this pick acquired from the Eagles as part of the Jason Peters deal. They hope the Vikes don’t take this guy at #22.
29) NEW YORK GIANTS: Percy Harvin (WR, Florida)- I would LOVE to see the G-Men make a deal with the Browns to get Braylon Edwards. I’ve have heard Cleveland wants Kiawanuka and a mid-round pick, something I would do in a second. Jerry Reese said Kiwi is off the board, but hopefully he caves on that. I’m not a big Kiwi fan.
If the Giants don’t get a deal done I think they take Snoop Do-….I mean Percy Harvin. If they do get the deal done I say the Giants take Clint Sintim for UVa.
30) TENNESSEE TITANS: Kenny Britt (WR, Rutgers)- Very much a reach to go in the first round but the Titans desperately need a WR (seems like this is the case every year). For the record, I’m not a big Britt fan. Diva attitude seems to be simmering just under the surface. You just wait until that first round bonus check clears…you’ll see.
31) ARIZONA CARDINALS: Donald Brown (RB, UCONN)- Best running back left in the draft, and a major need with Edge having nothing left in the tank.
32) PITTSBURGH STEELERS: Duke Robinson (G, Oklahoma)- If the Steelers don’t get some offensive line help, Big Ben is going to have a very short career. A lot of the sacks that he took came up the middle, so taking the top guard in the draft makes a lot of sense from where I’m sitting (eh hem…..my couch).Phil Loadholt is another thought. He would probably play RT. Center from Oregon Max Unger might also be a smart pick as well.