By Adam Caplan
April 26, 2012
Quarterback | Stanford
Second Mock Selection: Andrew Luck/QB/Stanford
First Mock Selection: Andrew Luck/QB/Stanford
Analysis: With Luck in the fold, GM Ryan Grigson can build around him.
Needs: QB, WR, TE, G, CB, ORT, NT, DE, OLB
Other Possibilities: None.
2. Washington (from St. Louis)
Quarterback | Baylor
Second Mock Selection: Robert Griffin III/QB/Baylor
First Mock Selection: Robert Griffin III/QB/Baylor
Analysis: Griffin will finally give the Redskins the franchise QB they’ve been searching for. And the Redskins, after adding depth at wide receiver in free agency, will have plenty of options for Griffin to throw to this coming season and beyond. The approach on offense could be interesting, but they still must build the interior of the offensive line.
Needs: QB, C, G, ILB, CB, RB
Other Possibilities: None.
Offensive Tackle | Southern California
Second Mock Selection: Matt Kalil/OLT/USC
First Mock Selection: Matt Kalil/OLT/USC
Analysis: The Vikings must do a better job of protecting their franchise QB, so adding a blind side protector like Kalil is a very smart move here. They can then slide Charlie Johnson inside to guard.
Needs: WR, CB, OLT, G, FS, SS, MLB, DT, DE
Other Possibilities: The Vikings have been trying to get the Buccaneers to trade up for this pick, but we’ll see if they have any luck—it’s easier said than done. Morris Claiborne would be another option (a major need position) or a trade down to select Justin Blackmon.
Running Back | Alabama
Second Mock Selection: Trent Richardson/RB/Alabama
First Mock Selection: Trent Richardson/RB/Alabama
Analysis: With RB/FB Peyton Hillis gone, the Browns have next to no running game. And Richardson is clearly the best available player left at #4.
Wide receiver is a deep position for this draft, so the Browns can easily address that area on offense as the draft progresses.
Needs: WR, ORT, RB, QB, LG, DE, CB, OLB, DT
Other Possibilities: Justin Blackmon or a trade down. The Browns know they are far away from being a playoff contender, so adding more picks makes a lot of sense. They can select a QB later on (Brandon Weeden or Kirk Cousins).
5. Tampa Bay
Cornerback | Louisiana State
Second Mock Selection: Morris Claiborne/CB/LSU
First Mock Selection: Morris Claiborne/CB/LSU
Analysis: If they stay there, the Buccaneers should add the top cornerback for this draft in Claiborne—assuming Richardson doesn’t drop to them.
The Buccaneers have depth at CB, but veteran Ronde Barber is 37. Oh, and fifth-year pro Aqib Talib needs to prove he can stay out of trouble, so CB is a need pick.
Needs: CB, RB, DE, LB, FS, SS
Other Possibilities: Trade up to #3 in order to select Trent Richardson.
6. St. Louis (from Washington)
Wide Receiver | Oklahoma State
Second Mock Selection: Fletcher Cox/DT/Mississippi St.
First Mock Selection: Fletcher Cox/DT/Mississippi St.
Analysis: The biggest need for the Rams is at wide receiver, so Blackmon makes a lot of sense here with what’s left on the board.
However, CB remains just as big of a need for this team despite adding veteran Cortland Finnegan, so Claiborne, who is a better value than Blackmon, would be the pick if he’s there at #6. It’s a deep draft at WR and DT, so they can add those positions as the draft progresses.
Needs: WR, CB, DT, LG, WLB, DE, OT
Other Possibilities: Stephon Gilmore or Morris Claiborne (should he drop).
Also, I don’t do trades in my mocks, but from talking to different execs, the feeling is that the Rams would like to move down a bit. We’ll see. And if they do, they could go WR or CB.
OLB/DE | South Carolina
Second Mock Selection: Justin Blackmon/WR/Oklahoma St.
First Mock Selection: Justin Blackmon/WR/Oklahoma St.
Analysis: Ingram, to me, is the best player on the board at a position of need for the Jaguars. They can add a wide receiver later since it’s a deep position for this draft.
Needs: WR, DE, CB, C
Other Possibilities: Justin Blackmon, Stephon Gilmore or a trade down.
Quarterback | Texas A&M
Second Mock Selection: Ryan Tannehill/QB/Texas A&M
First Mock Selection: Ryan Tannehill/QB/Texas A&M
Analysis: The Dolphins must finally get their franchise QB. And with Tannehill in the fold, he can learn for one season while Matt Moore starts.
Needs: WR, QB, ORT, DE, DT, SS, FS, OLB, TE
Other Possibilities: Trade down or Michael Floyd.
Defensive Tackle | Mississippi State
Second Mock Selection: Stephon Gilmore/CB/South Carolina
First Mock Selection: David DeCastro/G/Stanford
Analysis: The Panthers have some depth on the interior of their defensive line, but they don’t have anyone close to the talent of Cox. Plus, he can play DE as well.
Needs: G, DT, CB, DE, OLB, WR
Other Possibilities: Michael Floyd or David DeCastro.
ILB/OLB | Boston College
Second Mock Selection: Dre’ Kirkpatrick/CB/Alabama
First Mock Selection: Stephon Gilmore/CB/South Carolina
Analysis: The Bills might have one of the worst group of LBs in the NFL, so Kuechly would be a smart pick here. And the fact that he can be a three-down LB is an added plus.
Needs: OLT, WR (speed), OLB, CB, DE, QB (developmental)
Other Possibilities: Trade up for Matt Kalil or Stephon Gilmore.
I’ve heard the Mark Barron rumors, but not sure if I’m buying them.
11. Kansas City
Defensive Tackle | Louisiana State
Second Mock Selection: Luke Kuechly/ILB/OLB/Boston College
First Mock Selection: Luke Kuechly/ILB/OLB/Boston College
Analysis: The Chiefs really need to improve their defensive line, so Brockers could go a long way toward doing that.
Needs: NT, DE, OLB, LG, ILB
Other Possibilities: Luke Kuechly (if he drops).
Defensive End | North Carolina
Second Mock Selection: Melvin Ingram/OLB/DE/South Carolina
First Mock Selection: Quinton Coples/DE/North Carolina
Analysis: The biggest need for the Seahawks is DE. And with that said, Coples is the best true DE left on the board. And he can be moved inside during nickel situations.
Needs: DE, RG, LB
Other Possibilities: David DeCastro.
Guard | Stanford
Second Mock Selection: David DeCastro/G/Stanford
First Mock Selection: Melvin Ingram/OLB/DE/South Carolina
Analysis: The Cardinals must build their offensive line, so DeCastro would be a great pick for them here.
Needs: OLT, OLB, RG, WR, CB
Other Possibilities: Reilly Reiff, Michael Floyd, Whitney Mercilus or Courtney Upshaw.
Safety | Alabama
Second Mock Selection: Mark Barron/SS/Alabama
First Mock Selection: Mark Barron/SS/Alabama
Analysis: Of course, every executive I talked to said Barron figures to go off the board before the Cowboys select. But in this mock draft, he’s still there, so the Cowboys will turn the card in quickly in order to select him.
Needs: SS, C, G, DE, WR, CB,OLB
Other Possibilities: Michael Brockers (if he falls), Stephon Gilmore, or David DeCastro. Trade up for Barron.
Brockers would be a nice addition at DE for the Cowboys. DeCastro (if he falls) would finally give the Cowboys the badly needed athleticism at guard that they have been lacking for many years. Keep in mind CB Mike Jenkins is on the final year of his rookie deal.
Cornerback | South Carolina
Second Mock Selection: Michael Brockers/DT/LSU
First Mock Selection: Michael Brockers/DT/LSU
Analysis: With veteran Asante Samuel traded, cornerback becomes quite possibly the biggest need for the Eagles. Keep in mind this is just how the mock falls, so Gilmore is still on the board, but in the real thing, he’s likely to be gone. And Gilmore will give the team a presence at slot CB while being able to play outside.
Needs: CB, DT, OLB
Other Possibilities: They could fill the CB need in the second round. And if so, they could trade up for Fletcher Cox. And it wouldn’t be a surprise if they traded up to select Gilmore.
16. NY Jets
OLB/DE | Illinois
Second Mock Selection: Courtney Upshaw/OLB/DE/Alabama
First Mock Selection: Courtney Upshaw/OLB/DE/Alabama
Analysis: Mercilus has a high motor and has a ton of upside. He’s an edge rusher who fits well in the 3-4.
Needs: WR, ORT, OLB, SS, FS, ILB
Other Possibilities: Any top OLB hybrid to fit their 3-4 defensive scheme (Chandler Jones or Courtney Upshaw).
17. Cincinnati (from Oakland)
Wide Receiver | Notre Dame
Second Mock Selection: Michael Floyd/WR/Notre Dame
First Mock Selection: Michael Floyd/WR/Notre Dame
Analysis: The Bengals need to get some physicality at the wide receiver position. Floyd can give them that and more. Floyd and A.J. Green would be a great tandem.
Needs: WR, RB, CB, DT, DE
Other Possibilities: Kendall Wright.
18. San Diego
OLB/DE | Alabama
Second Mock Selection: Whitney Mercilus/OLB/DE/Illinois
First Mock Selection: Whitney Mercilus/OLB/DE/Illinois
Analysis: The Chargers must add a pass rusher early in this draft, so Upshaw will fill that role.
Needs: G, OLB, ILB, SS, CB, ORT, OLT
Other Possibilities: Best available OLB or OT.
Defensive End | Syracuse
Second Mock Selection: Chandler Jones/DE/Syracuse
First Mock Selection: Kendall Wright/WR/Baylor
Analysis: Jones has a ton of upside and untapped potential. He can play in back of veteran DE Israel Idonije this season, but start in year two.
Needs: G, DE, WR, CB, DT, SLB, OT
Other Possibilities: Kendall Wright.
Cornerback | Alabama
Second Mock Selection: Andre Branch/DE-OLB/Clemson
First Mock Selection: Nick Perry/DE/USC
Analysis: DE and CB are pretty much equal needs for the Titans, but with CB Cortland Finnegan gone, they have to replace him.
Needs: DE, CB, DT, C, G
Other Possibilities: Andre Branch.
Running Back | Boise State
Second Mock Selection: Doug Martin/RB/Boise St.
First Mock Selection: Doug Martin/RB/Boise St.
Analysis: The versatile Martin would be the replacement for unsigned RB Cedric Benson.
Needs: WR, RB, CB, DT, DE
Other Possibilities: Trade up for a cornerback.
22. Cleveland (from from Atlanta)
Wide Receiver | Baylor
Second Mock Selection: Kendall Wright/WR/Baylor
First Mock Selection: Riley Reiff/OT/Iowa
Analysis: The Browns must add speed at wide receiver, so Wright would fill that need quite well.
Needs: WR, ORT, RB, QB, LG, DE, CB, OLB
Other Possibilities: Reilly Reiff or Cordy Glenn to fill the RT void.
Defensive End | Southern California
Second Mock Selection: Riley Reiff/OT/Iowa
First Mock Selection: Jonathan Martin/OT/Stanford
Analysis: With veteran DE Kyle Vanden Bosch turning 34 in November and DE Cliff Avril on a franchise tender, DE is a need. Perry could get into the rotation right away.
Needs: CB, OLT, ORT, DE
Other Possibilities: Cordy Glenn or Reilly Reiff. Keep in mind starting RT Gosder Cherilus is on the final year of his rookie deal. And it’s not out of the question that Reiff or Glenn could be used at guard.
ILB/OLB | Alabama
Second Mock Selection: Dont’a Hightower/ILB/OLB/Alabama
First Mock Selection: Dont’a Hightower/ILB/OLB/Alabama
Analysis: Here’s your replacement for veteran ILB James Farrior.
Needs: G, NT, ILB, OT, CB, FS, RB
Other Possibilities: Cordy Glenn or Dontari Poe.
Defensive Tackle | Memphis
Second Mock Selection: Jerel Worthy/DT/Michigan St.
First Mock Selection: Jerel Worthy/DT/Michigan St.
Analysis: The Broncos are thin at DT, so the raw but talented Poe can get into the rotation right away.
Needs: DT, WR, DE, RB, CB, C, S
Other Possibilities: Jerel Worthy or Devon Still.
Offensive Tackle | Iowa
Second Mock Selection: Rueben Randle/WR/LSU
First Mock Selection: Rueben Randle/WR/LSU
Analysis: Reiff falls farther in this mock than expected. And the Texans badly need to add a RT to replace veteran Eric Winston.
Needs: ORT, G, WR, OLB, DE
Other Possibilities: Rueben Randle or Cordy Glenn.
27. New England (from New Orleans)
OLB/DE | Boise State
Second Mock Selection: Shea McClellin/OLB/DE/Boise State
First Mock Selection: Shea McClellin/OLB/DE/Boise State
Analysis: McClellin should start in year one for the Patriots. And he’s capable of being moved around.
Needs: OLB, CB, FS, DE, WR (speed)
Other Possibilities: Harrison Smith.
28. Green Bay
Center | Wisconsin
Second Mock Selection: Quinton Coples/DE/North Carolina
First Mock Selection: Peter Konz/C/Wisconsin
Analysis: With new starting C Jeff Saturday turning 37 in June, the Packers need to plan for his eventual replacement. And keep in mind Konz is also capable of playing guard.
Needs: OLB, DE, FS, CB, C
Other Possibilities: Shea McClellin (if he drops) or Kendall Reyes.
OLB/DE | Clemson
Second Mock Selection: Peter Konz/C/Wisconsin
First Mock Selection: Andre Branch/OLB/DE/Clemson
Analysis: The Ravens need to add pass rushers if they want to keep their outstanding defense on course. Branch is an intriguing prospect and is capable of playing standing up.
Needs: DE, WR, OLB, OLT, LG, C, FS, SS
Other Possibilities: Cordy Glenn.
30. San Francisco
Guard | Midwestern State
Second Mock Selection: Kevin Zeitler/G/Wisconsin
First Mock Selection: Kevin Zeitler/G/Wisconsin
Analysis: When you’re picking this late in the first, that means you’re coming off of a very good season. With that being the case, a team can afford to take an upside prospect such as Silatolu. It’s the same philosophy the Los Angeles Lakers would take for many years. They would pick late and take small school players—yet those players would turn out to be major contributors for years to come.
Needs: RG, WR (speed), CB, DE
Other Possibilities: Kevin Zeitler.
31. New England
Defensive Tackle | Penn State
Second Mock Selection: Dontari Poe/DT/Memphis
First Mock Selection: Devon Still/DT/Penn St.
Analysis: The Patriots, according to a source, will play the 3-4 and 4-3 schemes on again on defense. And Still has the versatility to play in either scheme.
Needs: OLB, CB, FS, DE, WR (speed)
Other Possibilities: Kendall Reyes.
32. NY Giants
Guard | Wisconsin
Second Mock Selection: Cordy Glenn/OT/Georgia
First Mock Selection: Mike Adams/OT/Ohio St.
Analysis: Glenn is capable of playing either tackle spot. And the Giants need competition at both spots. And it also wouldn’t be surprising if some teams looked at him at guard.
Needs: G, CB, OT, RB, DT
Other Possibilities: Take the best available OT or G that drops to them here. Surprise pick would be Coby Fleener, who would give Eli Manning another solid passing option to work with.