ezsteeler First Mock Draft with tradesPosted: January 21, 2012
Hello everyone, I’ve been invited to be a part of this team and I’m excited to get started. I haven’t done a mock with trades in a while, but with so much movement expected in this year’s draft I thought it would be appropriate. I hope you appreciate it and as always constructive feedback is welcomed. Enjoy!
1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck QB, Stanford
Not much explanation needed here. The Colts will take Luck, no questions asked.
TRADE: Rams trade #2 pick to Redskins for 2012 1st, 2nd, 4th and 2013 1st and 3rd.
2. Washington Redskins (via Rams): Robert Griffin III QB, Baylor
This could be one of the most predictable trades in quite some time. Washington will go after for RG3, and I don’t see another team wiling to outbid them.
3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil OT, USC
The Vikings need to put weapons around Christian Ponder immediately. They would have to seriously consider Blackmon here, but ultimately a franchise LT like Kalil is too valuable. If they can find a #1 receiver they will have a good group in place on offense.
4. Cleveland Browns: Justin Blackmon WR, Oklahoma State
Cleveland is rumored to want RG3 as well, but they are in too good a position to trade out of. Any of the top prospects on offense would fit for them, so they can sit tight and wait for whoever comes. Blackmon would be a great target forColt McCoy (or whoever they have at QB) and would push Greg Little down to #2, which is where he belongs. If Blackmon is gone, they can take Richardson since they will be losing Peyton Hillis in the offseason.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne CB, LSU
Tampa is also in a good position since its unlikely any defensive players will be taken in the top 4 (barring a trade). That means they can take Claiborne who fills their biggest need. Claiborne isn’t as freakishly athletic as Patrick Peterson, but is probably an even better cover corner.
6. St. Louis Rams (via Redskins): Trent Richardson RB, Alabama
This pick might surprise some, but Steven Jackson will be 29 next summer and has taken a huge workload so far in his career. Richardson ensures the Rams will have his replacement ready before they actually need him. They’ll also have to consider Riley Reiff to help their OL, or trading down again to get a WR at better value.
TRADE: Jaguars trade #7 pick to Bengals for 2012 1st, 3rd and 2013 12nd (both via Raiders).
7. Cincinnati Bengals (via Jaguars): Dre Kirkpatrick CB, Alabama
Jacksonville’s needs don’t really matchup with the talent here so they trade down with the Bengals who jump ahead of Carolina and take the 2nd best CB in this class. Kirkpatrick is almost 6’3″ and would make a great tandem withLeon Hall, who is only 5’11”.
8. Carolina Panthers: Quinton Coples DE, UNC
Carolina would love Kirkpatrick, but gets a good consolation prize in Coples. Other than Charles Johnson, they have a pretty weak pass rush and are bad at stopping the run. This is perfect for Coples who flashes a ton of potential in getting at the QB but is even better at stopping the run. With Johnson taking most of the offense’s attention, Coples will have an easier time.
9. Miami Dolphins: Riley Reiff OT, Iowa
I really don’t like mocking a RT in the top 10, but there aren’t many options for the Dolphins right now. Any WR or QB would be a huge reach, and while Upshaw would be a good pick opposite Cameron Wake, Reiff is simply better. He will never be a LT with Jake Long in the picture, but he will give the Dolphins one of the best OLs in the league in joining with Long and Mike Pouncey.
10. Buffalo Bills: Courtney Upshaw OLB, Alabama
The Bills’ pass rush was pretty abysmal this year, so they take the best 3-4 OLB prospect in this class. Upshaw played phenomenally all year on a great defense. He and former teammate Marcel Dareus will be great cornerstones to this front 7 for years.
11. Kansas City Chiefs: Jonathan Martin OT, Stanford
Another top pick being spent on a RT here, but Martin has a good chance to develop into the LT after a year or two. Brandon Albert is good, but would be great at RT if Martin can beat him out for the job.
12. Indianapolis Colts: David DeCastro G, Stanford
Anther somewhat shocking trade, but it should be expected at this point. Manning and Luck can’t coexist, and with the new regime in Indi they won’t keep Manning for nostalgia’s sake. The Seahawks will gladly bring in Manning who will inherit some young pieces around him and a solid defense. DeCastro makes sense for the Colts since they tookAnthony Castonzo last year but still need help on the line. Doesn’t hurt that he’s been protecting Luck for a few years already at Stanford.
13. Arizona Cardinals: Luke Kuechly ILB, Boston College
Arizona has some pieces on defense but could use another top talent to pair with young standout Daryl Washington. Kuechly is a very instinctive ILB and is a tackling machine. He could man that position for years no problem.
14. Dallas Cowboys: Devon Still DE, Penn State
Dallas is expected to take DeCastro in most mocks, but with the Seattle trade they have to look elsewhere. Devon Still has had a fantastic year and can provide a JJ Watt-type impact on the Dallas defense.
TRADE: Eagles trade #15 pick and Asante Samuel to New England for both 1sts and 3rd.
15. New England Patriots (via Eagles): Melvin Ingram DE, South Carolina
Rumors are swirling that Samuel will be traded, and a chance to go back to New England would be great for him. The Pats need help everywhere on defense and work out a deal to get him along with a top pass rusher in Melvin Ingram. They seem to be transitioning to a 4-3, where Ingram would excel. But he’s also shown that he could move to 3-4 OLB if he needs to which makes this ideal for Belichick.
16. New York Jets: Andre Branch OLB, Clemson
Even with all the issues surrounding the Jets’ offense, their defense is what took a huge step backwards in 2011. With no effective pass rushers, they weren’t able to capitalize on their blitzing. Branch is another pass rusher out of Clemson who could transition to OLB in a 3-4.
17. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Bengals via Raiders): Michael Floyd WR, Notre Dame
I’ve upgraded Floyd over Jeffery recently, but if Jeffery runs a 4.4 at the combine I’m immediately switching back. After trading down the Jaguars get a #1 target for Blaine Gabbert who will also take attention away from Mourice Jones-Drew.
18. San Diego Chargers: Cordy Glenn OG, Georgia
San Diego’s OL got pretty beat up and we all saw how it affected Philip Rivers. Glenn is a good pick here since he can play either G or RT, wherever he is needed most.
19. Chicago Bears: Alshon Jeffery WR, South Carolina
The Bears have plenty of speedy of receivers to get deep but Jeffery would provide a huge 6’4″ redzone target and someone to go over the middle. Jay Cutler needs a #1 receiver like Jeffery to lean on.
20. Tennessee Titans: Kendall Wright WR, Baylor
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Lamar Miller RB, Miami
After filling their top need on defense the Bengals look to add pieces to their offense. They have glaring needs at Guard but also at RB where Miller’s talent far outweighs that of any remaining guards. He’s a dynamic backfield threat that will give them the explosive plays they’ve lacked with Cedric Benson.
22. Cleveland Browns (via Falcons): Ryan Tannehill QB, Texas A&M
Mike Holmgren has made it clear that he’ll bring in competition for Colt McCoy. After missing out on RG3, Tannehill makes sense at the end of round 1. Tannehill is a converted WR who probably won’t be able to beat McCoy right away, but could develop as the season goes on.
23. Detroit Lions: Alfonzo Dennard CB, Nebraska
Detroit needs talent on defense before it can think about beating Green Bay. They have a great DL but very little talent at LB or DB. They could consider Mark Barron or Zach Brown, but Dennard is a safer and more talented prospect right now.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Dontari Poe NT, Memphis
I’ve flip-flopped over this pick a ton already. Pittsburgh needs talent at Guard, replacements for Casey Hampton andJames Farrior, and some depth at Safety in case Troy Polamalu can’t stay healthy. I’ve debated over Mark Barron, Peter Konz, Dont’a Hightower, and Vontaze Burfict but ultimately I don’t think they’ll be able to pass up the best NT prospect this year. Drafting Poe will also give them leverage over Casey Hampton to restructure his contract.
25. Denver Broncos: Brandon Thompson DT, Clemson
Denver went into the 2011 Draft with a desperate need at DT and decided to take Von Miller instead of Marcel Dareus. Time will tell if they made the right call but they still could use a top DT even though fill-ins Brodrick Bunkly and Marcus Thomas had decent seasons. Thompson was considered a top 15 pick but didn’t have a spectacular year so he drops a little.
26. Houston Texans: Mohammed Sanu WR, Rutgers
The Texans really overachieved this year after losing both Matt Schaub and Mario Williams. Getting them back next year should lead to another division title, especially if they add to their potent offense. With the best running game in the league and Andre Johnson demanding all the defense’s attention, Sanu will be put in a great situation. Plus, Johnson isn’t guaranteed to stay healthy anymore, so Sanu will help fill that void.
After trading down, the Eagles still fill their top need at the end of the first with Burfict. They’ll have to accept a bad personal foul call now and then with Burfict’s aggressive style, but that’s a problem they’d gladly have over what they had last year.
28. Green Bay Packers: Fletcher Cox DE, Mississippi State
Green Bay’s defense took a huge step back this year after a quality Superbowl run in 2010. Usually that means they had problems in their front 7. BJ Raji had a subpar year without Cullen Jenkins next to him. While their biggest need is a pass rusher opposite Clay Matthews, Fletcher Cox is a much better prospect than any OLB remaining. He should’ve gone in the top 20 and can provide some pass rush as well from the DE spot.
29. New York Giants: Zach Brown OLB, UNC
Similar to Philadelphia, the Giants could use some better talent at LB to help support their phenomenal DL which can pressure the QB by themselves. Brown is freakishly fast for a LB and is great in coverage which makes it a perfect fit for New York.
30. Baltimore Ravens: Dont’a Hightower ILB, Alabama
The Ravens can take the best player available here and have quite a few guys who would fit their needs. They could take Mark Barron to replace Ed Reed, Peter Konz to replace Matt Birk, or Hightower to replace Ray Lewis. I believe Hightower is the best of the three and will fall into the best possible situation in getting to learn for Ray for a year.
31. San Francisco 49ers: Michael Brockers DE, LSU
Brockers is another 3-4 DE prospect who fell to the end of first because not many teams have pressing needs there. He’s by far the best player available and will form a great team with Pro Bowler Justin Smith, who is getting older anyway.
32. Philadelphia Eagles (via Patriots): Janoris Jenkins CB, North Alabama
Again the Eagles fill a huge need with their second pick from the Patriots. After trading Asante Samuel, they’ll need to get a replacement since Dominique Rodgers Cromartie is a free agent after 2012. Jenkins is a great cover corner who got kicked out of Florida which is why he falls all the way to #32. Andy Reid has shown he is willing to give second chances and won’t mind Jenkins’ off field issues.