First Round Grades and Updated Team Needs

With the first round of the draft completed, here are my initial grades for each of the first 32 picks. In addition, I’ve included the updated team needs for each team. This should provide a good indication of where the teams are likely to go in next couple of days.

1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck QB, Stanford


You can’t give anything less than an A to Indy. Taking the best QB prospect since Peyton Manning to replace Peyton Manning.

Remaining Needs: WR, G/C, NT, CB, TE, LB

2. Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III QB, Baylor


The Redskins deserve an A for recognizing that there are only two franchise QBs in this draft and going after the last one.

Remaining Needs: RT, CB, S, ILB, G/C

3. Cleveland Browns: Trent Richardson RB, Alabama


This would have been an A if they hadn’t traded up. Giving up 4th, 5th, and 7th round picks to move up one spot is just bad business. Even if a team was trying to jump them for Richardson, they lost too much to justify it. That said, Richardson is a great fit and should be productive for the Browns.

Remaining Needs: WR, RT, QB, DB

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One Round NFL Mock Draft

Round 1

1. Indianapolis (2-14) – Team Needs: QB, OG, SS, OC, 2CB, WR, NT, TE, DE, LB, RB – Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

The Colts taking Andrew Luck seems like a foregone conclusion. Luck is the consensus number 1 prospect in this draft and has all the tools to be the next star QB in this league. He compares to Cam Newton in terms of athleticism and size and to Drew Brees in terms of accuracy and skill.

2. St. Louis (2-14) – 2OT, 2WR, 2OLB, FS, CB, DT, OC, RB, FB – Matt Kalil, OT, USC

In this mock draft there are no trades so the Rams will have to “settle” for the best OT prospect in a couple years. Kalil is so good that he kept last year’s No. 9 pick to the right side of USC’s offensive line. Kalil is good at everything but has to add some strength to make sure he can stand up to a bull rush.

After the jump see the rest of this mock draft

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Analyzing the Running Back Class

This year’s RB class if quite deep and has some fairly impressive talent at the top end of it. There is a good mix of short yardage backs, all purpose backs, and speed backs and you can find out more about these prospects after the jump.

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2 Round Mock

Finally got a 2 Round Mock done. I sprinkled in a few trades but this is more conservative than my last. Enjoy.

1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck QB, Stanford

Pretty much a foregone conclusion at this point.

TRADE: St. Louis Rams trade #2 pick to Washington for their 1st, 2nd and conditional 2013 2nd round pick.

2. Washington Redskins (from Rams): Robert Griffin III QB, Baylor

This is one of the more predictable trades I can remember as Washington moves up to get RG3. The 2013 pick will become a 1st round pick if RG3 leads them to the playoffs.

3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil OT, USC

The Vikings couldn’t be happier to see someone trade up for RG3 because then it means they get Kalil. He fills a big need and will protect Christian Ponder for the next 10 years.

4. Cleveland Browns: Justin Blackmon WR, Oklahoma State

I’m going on the record now, the worst thing the Browns could possibly do is to trade up for Robert Griffin. He will just be another talented young QB with no weapons to work with that will FAIL MISERABLY. Taking an elite receiver like Blackmon will actually give whoever their QB is a chance.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne CB, LSU

Tampa is in a good situation here since its unlikely any defensive players are taken in the top 4. Claiborne fills the biggest need for the Bucs and is the top talent available who’s not Trent Richardson.

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2 Round NFL Mock Draft

Well I have gathered enough information to publish another mock draft. This one is of the two round variety. Anywhere you see a ? next to team needs, that means I still need help with those teams. Once I gather all that information, I can begin expanding the draft to 3 and 4 rounds.

Round 1

1.    Indianapolis (2-14) – Team Needs: QB, OG, OC, 2CB, WR, SS, TE, DE, LB, RB – Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford – This is an absolute no brainer and no explanation is really needed.
2.    St. Louis (2-14) – 2OT, 2WR, 2OLB, FS, CB, DT, OC, RB, FB – Matt Kalil, OT, USC – This pick is basically a no brainer. The Rams will consider Justin Blackmon but a franchise LT is more important and more valuable than a franchise WR.
3.    Minnesota (3-13) – LT, CB, WR, S, OG, 2LB, DT, FB, RB3 – Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State – If Kalil is taken by the Rams, this pick will also be a no brainer. Blackmon is a beast and would give Jake Locker a franchise WR.

4.    Cleveland (4-12) – QB, WR, RT, DE, CB, OLB, RB, OG, FS, DT, K – Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor – Again, another no brainer. If Blackmon is off the board, the Browns will have to take the 2nd best QB in the draft and someone that fits perfectly in Pat Shurmur’s West Coast offense. He has great accuracy, is very mobile, and has great intelligence.

5.    Tampa Bay (4-12) – 2CB, 2LB, RT, WR, OC, RB, LG, FB, DT, QB, K – Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU – Another easy pick. The Bucs biggest need is finding a CB and Claiborne is the best CB in the draft class and could be better in coverage than Patrick Peterson was in coverage.

After the jump see the rest of this mock draft

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Updating the 2012 Draft Class by Position – Running Backs

Hey guys. Today I am going to rank the RBs in order. I will rank about 20 to 25 backs. See the first five below the jump and all the rest after the jump.

1. Trent Richardson, Alabama – Richardson is the best RB in this class and its not all that close. He possesses the combination of power, speed, and vision that NFL Coaches dream of and he could be a top 10 pick if a team decides they want a star RB.

2. Lamar Miller, Miami – Miller is a fantastic talent coming off a fantastic year. He has great explosiveness and vision and he takes care of the football. He is a borderline first round prospect at this point.

3. David Wilson, Virginia Tech – Wilson has great cutting ability and great vision and combines that with good power. His top end speed is not elite but he should be a 2nd to 3rd round pick.

4. Chris Polk, Washington – Polk is a do it all back with great hands, good blocking skills, and good vision/speed. He should be a 3rd to 4th round pick.

5. Bernard Pierce, Temple – Pierce is an everydown, power back with good cutting skills and great ball security. He lacks top end speed which could limit his draft stock. I see him as a fourth round pick.

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Updating the 2012 NFL Draft Class

I have been dormant for the past couple weeks but here is a summary of who has declared for the NFL Draft, who has filed for paper work, and who is staying in college.


  • Today I found out via Mocking the Draft that Brandon Jenkins has filed for paper-work for the NFL Draft but is nowhere near a decision. A report by the Orlando Sentinel today noted that Jenkins, cornerback Greg Reid and “many” third-year players will be filing. I am assuming that one of these third year players is red-shirt sophomore Xavier Rhodes, who will likely just test the waters and return.
  • Wake Forest WR Chris Givens has said that he will consider the NFL Draft. Givens has had 74 catches for 1276 yards and 9TDs this year to lead the Deamon Decons. Givens told reporters he is going to make his decision after he receives his grade from the board. “After the Vanderbilt game I sent them my declaring-for-eligibility form or whatever, and I’m just waiting to get my official evaluation back,” Givens said. “I’ve heard things from different people but nothing official yet.”
  • Andrew Luck will enter the NFL Draft. No surprise here
  • Matt Kalil is unsure of his decision. “I’m not close to making a decision. That will probably happen in the next couple weeks. No decision has been made. I just started thinking about the process I’m going to go through to make the decision.” If he does not enter, the OT class will be extremely weak.
  • Justin Blackmon will declare for the NFL Draft. No surprise here either because due to Alshon Jeffery’s struggles this year, Blackmon has become the clear #1 WR in this year’s draft class.
  • Junior WR Mohammed Sanu is unsure of whether or not he will declare for the draft.
  • Montee Ball has said that his draft grade will determine whether or not he will enter the draft. “Obviously I’d love to hear first round,” he told the media. “I’d love to hear even late second. But third or four I’d most likely stay.” For what it is worth, I have him rated out as a first to second round back if Trent Richardson stays in school.
  • Trent Richardson said that he is coming back to Alabama for his Senior season.  However, many remain skeptical of this, especially if he wins the Heisman and a National Championship in the next month.
  • Fletcher Cox of Mississippi State will enter the NFL Draft. I have him rated as a second round DT prospect with room to rise at the Combine.
  • David Wilson will submit his NFL Draft paperwork but has not made a decision. “Regardless of my decision, I would like to see where I would end up if I was to take that route,” Wilson told the paper.
  • Matt Barkley has filed for NFL Draft Paperwork but has not made his decision. “There’s not really a timetable,” he told the media. “But there’s definitely going to be a process.”
  • Marcus Forston, Tommy Streeter, and Aldarius Johnson, all from Miami (Fl), will enter the NFL Draft. The highest rated of the three is Forston, who could be a Day Two pick.
  • Manti Teo has filed for paperwork for the NFL Draft but was non-committal about whether or not he will enter. Same goes for Tyler Eifert, the Junior TE from Notre Dame.
  • It is rumored that Khaseem Greene, the Co-Big East Defensive Player of the Year, will enter the NFL Draft but he has been silent on the issue. Same goes for Miami RB Lamar Miller (a Redshirt sophomore) and Junior Temple RB Bernard Pierce.

That is all I have for you guys tonight. Expect more from me in the following week.