Hello there TST, it's your favorite closet Rams fan again. I've posted my first mock draft of the year today. Keep in mind that this a pre free agency mock so it will change some next time I do this. Here it is:
1. Kansas City Chiefs - Eric Fisher OT Central Michigan
- With the news that OT Eric Winston was released coming last night, the Chiefs have a need for a tackle. Even with the franchise tag being applied to left tackle Brandon Albert, Fisher would fit a need. I mocked Fisher instead of Luke Joeckel here since he has shown the ability to play right tackle, while Joeckel is a pure left tackle only. There is also the unlikely possibility that the Chiefs will trade Albert so Joeckel could slide in but for now, it's Fisher that gets the nod. I also considered Star Lotulelei but with his heart issue cropping up, the Chiefs can't possibly justify him being the top pick.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars - Shariff Floyd DT Florida
- A franchise defensive cornerstone for the new defensive minded head coach. Floyd is a terrific athlete who had a great Combine. He would provide new HC Gus Bradley (who came from Seattle) a man in the middle to build around. This pick marks the end of the storied and brief Tyson Alualu era. Floyd can also play at defensive end.
3. Oakland Raiders - Dion Jordan DE/OLB Oregon
- The Raiders need to fix their anemic pass rush, which ranked 31st in the league in sacks. Jordan provides such an opportunity to do so. He's a great athlete that proved he can put on weight without losing a step.
4. Philadelphia Eagles - Luke Joeckel OT Texas A&M
- The Eagles desperately need a tackle to solve their offensive line woes. Jason Peters is old and coming off a torn achillies injury and Demetress Bell has been cut for being a bust. Joeckel would allow Todd Herremans to back to guard where he is best suited. Selecting Joeckel may not solve Michael Vick's turnover problems but it takes away the excuse that he had a shoddy offensive line in front of him.
5. Detroit Lions - Dee Milliner CB Alabama
- When's the last time the Lions had a good corner? Exactly. Milliner would shore up their atrocious secondary in a heartbeat.
6. Cleveland Browns - Ezekiel Ansah DE/OLB Brigham Young
- The Browns are the real wild card pick that could set off a massive chain reaction for the rest of the draft. They could go in about 10 different justifiable directions. However, Ansah is the pick here because they have virtually no pass rush outside of Jabaal Sheard.
7. Arizona Cardinals - Geno Smith QB West Virginia
- The no brainer almost take it to the bank lock pick. Smith would end the Cardinals everlasting search for a QB and make star receiver Larry Fitzgerald happy. I chose Smith here because he wouldn't do well in Buffalo considering their weather conditions in winter. Smith really struggled in the bowl game held in New York where it was snowing all day.
8. Buffalo Bills - Cordarrelle Patterson WR Tennessee
- The Bills don't have any legitimate down field passing threats to help take the load off of CJ Spiller. WR Stevie Johnson is better suited as a slot WR instead of playing outside. Patterson is getting a lot of love and justifiably so. The Bills need a QB but there will be some in the 2nd round available.
9. New York Jets - Lane Johnson OT Oklahoma
- The Jets don't have much at right tackle opposite of stud left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson. Johnson would help fix that problem in short order.
10. TENNESSEE TITANS - CHANCE WARMACK G ALABAMA
- Yeah, I don't think we need to further elaborate on how much this pick would fix some issues for this team.
11. San Diego Chargers - Johnathon Cooper G UNC
- The Chargers need to fix that horrendous line that got Phillip Rivers killed and with happy feet most of the time last year. Cooper would help in the case that G Louis Vasquez leaves for a bigger payday elsewhere.
12. Miami Dolphins - Desmond Trufant CB Washington
- I originally had the Fish taking a defensive lineman but with the franchising of Randy Starks, corner is a more pressing need as Sean Smith is likely gone elsewhere. Trufant might end up being one of best corners in this class.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Xavier Rhodes CB Florida State
- The Bucs might need a corner more than the Fish ahead of them. Rhodes would stay instate to solve those issues. He's a big corner that proved he's a great athlete at the Combine.
14. Carolina Panthers - Sheldon Richardson DT Missouri
- If you were a running back with the Panthers on the schedule, you were salivating because they couldn't stop the run at all. Richardson would instantly shore that up very quickly along with giving a pass rush.
15. New Orleans Saints - Barkevious Mingo DE/OLB LSU
- Local kid stays home to play for the home state team. The Saints are moving towards more of a 3-4 look and Mingo would fit as a dynamic 3-4 OLB in the mold of Aldon Smith.
16. St. Louis Rams - Keenan Allen WR Cal
- The Rams might lose both Brandon Gibson and Danny Amendola to free agency so Allen goes here. He would provide Sam Bradford a legitimate outside weapon that can stay healthy for a change unlike Amendola.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers - Star Lotulelei NT Utah
- Casey Hampton is a free agent and rapidly showing his age. Lotulelei would slide right in and take over his spot provided his heart issues check out.
18. Dallas Cowboys - DJ Fluker OT Alabama
- The Cowboys, like their NFC East rivals (Eagles), need to fix their beyond awful offensive line. Fluker is a monstrous road grader and would allow current tackle Doug Free to slide inside to guard where he might be better suited.
19. New York Giants - Bjoern Werner DE/OLB Florida State
- The pass rushing arsenal called the Giants gets another weapon to play with. Osi U. is soon to be 32 years old and a free agent. He isn't likely to be brought back.
20. Chicago Bears - Tavon Austin WR West Virginia
- New HC Marc Trestman finally gets Jay Cutler someone not named Brandon Marshall to throw to on a regular basis. With the recent retirement of Johnny Knox and Devin Hester not being an NFL caliber WR, Austin would help tremendously to take triple coverages away from Marshall.
21. Cincinnati Bengals - Kenny Vaccaro S Texas
- The Bengals cannot go into 2013 with Reggie Nelson and Taylor Mays as their starting safeties if they want to compete with Big Ben and Joe Flacco. Vaccaro fits the need meets value pick here to a T.
22. St. Louis Rams - Menelik Watson OT FSU
- The Rams recently cut bust Wayne Hunter so they need an OT. Their OL was abysmal last year and Watson is a typical Fisher project pick. Watson is a freak athlete that's just getting into football after coming to America on a basketball scholarship. He was junior college teammates with Kyle Long.
23. Minnesota Vikings - DeAndre Hopkins WR Clemson
24. Indianapolis Colts - John Jenkins NT Georgia
- The Colts need a NT since Antonio Johnson is old and a free agent who was playing mostly out of position. Jenkins fits the role perfectly. He's a big body that battled Larry Warford at the Senior Bowl to a standstill.
25. Seattle Seahawks - Johnathan Hankins DT Ohio State
- Hankins would bolster an already impressive and scary defensive line even more. He provides great run stopping and pass rushing ability.
26. Green Bay Packers - Matt Elam S Florida
27. Houston Texans - Kevin Minter ILB LSU
- The Texans LB corps is in a shambles thanks to ineffectiveness and injury. Minter would ensure Brian Cushing can be slowly brought back from his ACL tear. Minter is very underrated due to all the stars on the LSU D around him but he was the field general.
28. Denver Broncos - Kawann Short DT Purdue
- The Broncos' two starters are free agents and likely to be headed elsewhere. Short would provide immediate and long term relief. He had 7 sacks in 2012.
29. New England Patriots - Justin Hunter WR Tennessee
30. Atlanta Falcons - Datone Jones DE UCLA
- The Falcons recently cut John Abraham so a starter is definitely needed there even if Abraham is brought back for a cheap deal. Jones has been blowing up on the draft process circuit at every stop.
31. San Francisco 49ers - Eric Reid S LSU
- Dashon Goldson is a free agent and Donte Whitner is a liability in pass coverage. Reid would fit in great here as the 49ers were torched relentlessly by the Falcons and Ravens high flying aerial attacks in the playoffs.
32. Baltimore Ravens - Jarvis Jones OLB Georgia
- The Ravens have taken chances on their picks before, I don't see why they wouldn't stop this year. Jones barely makes the first round cut thanks to a spinal condition that knocked him out of the Combine. OLB Paul Kruger is set to make a lot of money this offseason and with the Ravens overpaying Flacco, I don't see how they keep him.