Today I wanted to provide a more realistic mock draft than the one composed by Eric here on TST. Don't get me wrong, the way he sets up that draft, having the community doing it is pure genus. The problem is that we have ended up with trades and picks that really make no sense. The Broncos trading up to 3 to get Blackmon? Really Doug? Really? Also the Steelers trading up to pick Trent Richardson when they already have Rashard Mendenhall is mind boggling. Needless to say, it's become a bit out of control.
After the jump, my mock draft.
1. The Indianapolis Colts select Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
Everyone knows this will be the pick. It's obvious. Some are saying that Robert Griffin III should be the pick, but ask anyone with knowledge of the topic and they will tell you Luck is the better prospect.
Here's where it gets tricky. There are really only two teams I can picture trading up with the Rams for RGIII - the Browns and the Redskins. Predicting which one will offer the best deal is rather difficult. I do agree with what our own Ryan Van Bibber told me, the number two pick is the Browns' if they want it. They are in the best position to trade for the pick having two first round picks this year, but will they want to pull the trigger? I don't really have much of a reason for it, but I have the feeling that Washington will be more aggressive in these negotiations. They are under a lot more pressure than the Browns to win. Mike Shanahan and the entire coaching staff and front office will probably be fired if they don't turn the ship around quickly. Drafting RG3 will buy them some more time and may ultimately save their jobs. I predict they will give up their 1, 2 and 4 round picks this year along with a 1 and a 3 next year. This would be a fantastic deal for the Rams and it will be hard to turn down.
2. The Washington Redskins select Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
3. The Minnesota Vikings select Matt Kalil, OT, USC
The Vikings, like the Rams, need help everywhere. Matt Kalil is the best player on the board here and it would be hard for them to pass on him. There is also a huge need to upgrade CB and the Vikings could fall in love with Morris Claiborne and take him over Kalil.
4. The Cleveland Browns select Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma St.
The Browns obviously need to upgrade their offense. To me this will come down to Justin Blackmon or Trent Richardson. I went with Justin Blackmon because with that offense line, an elite RB like Richardson isn't needed to run the ball effectively. They can pick up a RB in early in round two or with the 22nd pick. I think Blackmon and a second tier RB will be better than Richardson and a 2nd tier WR.
5. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
6. The St. Louis Rams select Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
There are many players who would be of interest to the Rams here. Riley Reiff, despite a disappointing combine, is still well thought of. David DeCastro, a guy who I rate extremely high, is a fantastic guard, but having him go this high seems unlikely. I think Brockers, who the Rams interviewed at the combine, would be a good option here. He never had great production at LSU, but he has tremendous upside and the Rams sure need help in the middle of the defense.
7. The Jacksonville Jaguars select Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
The Jaguars' pass rush has been horrible for the last few seasons. They would love to have the best pass rusher in this draft.
8. The Miami Dolphins select Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
Reggie Bush played well for Miami, but I still don't see him as an every down back. Richardson is the total package at RB and though I don't agree with taking RBs this early, I still think Richardson will end up in the top ten.
9. The Carolina Panthers select Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina
The Panthers offense seems set with Cam Newton leading the way. The problem for the Panthers is their defense. Ingram lit up the combine and he would improve the Panthers' defense greatly.
10. The Buffalo Bills select Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama
The Bills desperately need an OLB to provide a good pass rush to go with their good play making secondary.
11. The Kansas City Chiefs select Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
Reiff is a great value here and the Chiefs need an upgrade for their offensive line.
12. The Seattle Seahawks select Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
Marcus Trufant is getting up there in age (31 years old) and he has had many injuries over his career. Drafting his replacement seems like a smart idea.
13. The Arizona Cardinal select Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
The Cardinal still have Levi Brown slated to be starting on their line. Yeah, they need a tackle. Man, will Chris Long be disappointed.
14. The Dallas Cowboys select David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
DeCastro is the best guard prospect since Steve Hutchinson and the Cowboys have a need there. They also really need a CB, but I think this is too early to take a risk on troubled, but talented CB, Janoris Jenkins.
15. The Philadelphia Eagles select Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
The Eagles desperately need help on defense. Kuechly fills a major need for them and give them their QB of the defense for the next 10 years.
16. The New York Jets select Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois
This is a reach, but the Jets really only need two things: A new QB (Peyton Manning anyone??) and pass rushers. Mercilus was a one year wonder, but his solid combine performance helped raise his stock.
17. The Cincinnati Bengals select Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
The Bengals are a team without many holes. Another WR to pair with AJ Green is a possibility, since Jerome Simpson is in some trouble. Guard is also a need. The other need in my mind is CB. Jenkins has huge character questions but he is supremely talented. If the Bengals can keep him out of trouble, he can really help them tremendously.
18. The San Diego Chargers select Cordy Glenn, OT/OG, Georgia
The news that long time guard Kris Dielman is retiring has left a hole in the Chargers line. Cordy Glenn can fill that gap for them.
19. The Chicago Bears select Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
The Bears need a big possession WR. Michael Floyd can come in and do much more than that for Lovie's Bears.
20. The Tennessee Titans select Devon Still, DT, Penn St.
This is a great value. Still falls a bit in the draft because many teams don't need DT help. The Titans had a horrible pass rush and Still can provide pressure from the middle.
21. The Cincinnati Bengals select Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
The Bengals are able to fill another need here. Jerome Simpson is very talented, but he is inconsistent and he was arrested for drugs. The Bengals need to move on. Kendall Wright hurt his stock at the combine by not running a fast forty, but most scouts agree he still has great game speed. He'd pair up nicely with AJ Green.
22. The Cleveland Browns select Lamar Miller, RB, Miami
This is a reach pick, but the need for a RB in Cleveland is so great. I can still see them easily taking Richardson over Blackmon at 4.
23. The Detroit Lions select Mark Barron, SS, Alabama
The Lions desperately need to improve their secondary. There really isn't a CB on the board worth this pick, so I have them picking the top safety in the draft.
24. The Pittsburg Steelers select Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
Casey Hampton and Aaron Smith have been great for the Steelers, but they are 34 and 35 years old respectively. Dontari Poe had a very impressive combine with numbers very similar to Haloti Ngata at a similar size.
25. The Denver Broncos select Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State
Here's another player who had a very impressive combine. The Broncos need help up front and Cox is a good value here.
26. The Houston Texans select Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech
It's been pretty clear in my mind that the Texans will be looking for a WR. Stephen Hill is very raw coming from triple option offense, but he has great speed for his size. The success of Demaryius Thomas in Denver coming out of the same offense helps his stock.
27. The New England Patriots select Andre Branch, DE/OLB, Clemson
The Patriots want to upgrade their defense in the draft. Andre Branch is the top pass rusher available and he can play at 4-3 end and 3-4 OLB. He would fit very well into the Patriots hybrid scheme.
28. The Green Bay Packers select Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
Scott Wells is likely to be leaving the team. Konz can step in and instantly fill his spot and may be better in the long run for the Packers.
29. The Baltimore Ravens select Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama
Ray Lewis will one day retire. The Raven need to start thinking about the future at MLB and Hightower is such a great value here. I can't see them passing up on him if he is still on the board.
30. The San Francisco 49ers select Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina
The Niners could use another playmaker on offense. Jeffery could be a major steal here. He was thought of as a top 10 pick entering last season, but due to lackluster play and rumors of laziness and being overweight, his stock has taken a huge hit. If anyone can motivate lazy players, it's Jim Harbaugh.
31. The New England Patriots select Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
Man do the Patriots need help in the secondary! Gilmore showed off his speed at the combine and is the best CB available.
Kareem McKenzie is a free agent to be and it makes little sense to bring him back for the Giants. Adams can step in and play RT for the Super Bowl Champs from day one.