It's that time of the year again. The time where mock drafts are popping up everywhere. Football fans salivate and beg for these like grandma's sweet rolls, so who are we to deny them this guilty pleasure?
|Photo by: Getty Images|
Let's find out.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel - Offensive Tackle, Texas A&M
Joeckel appears to be the real deal. He shut down the Big 12 as a sophomore, and then went to the SEC and stopped the best pass rushers in the land. He's big, strong, has great feet, and a brain to go with it. Kansas City has to pick this guy, especially if they trade Branden Albert. Andy Reid and John Dorsey can shore up the blind side for many years to come with this selection.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dion Jordan - Defensive End, Oregon
Speed kills, and Jordan has it at the defensive end position. Many teams have him pegged as the top defensive player on the board in this year's draft, including Jacksonville. Jordan is lean and lanky, and reminds me a lot of Jevon Kearse. The Jags need defensive line help, so this pick makes total sense.
3. Oakland Raiders: Shariff Floyd - Defensive Tackle, Florida
Floyd is shooting up draft boards with his great size, dominant strength and explosive quickness, so the Raiders shouldn't hesitate to take him. He will instantly make their defense better. Some are comparing him to J.J. Watt as far as his potential to be a game-changer on the defensive side of the ball.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Eric Fisher - Offensive Tackle, Central Michigan
Philly has some holes to fill on the offensive line. Jason Peters is coming off an injury. King Dunlap is in San Diego. The Eagles need an OT about as bad as North Korea needs a hug. Success starts in the trenches, and Fisher would be a great addition in helping Chip Kelly get his high-octane, read-option spread attack offense established at the pro level.
5. Detroit Lions: Ezekiel Ansah - Defensive End, BYU
Few players in this draft have more upside than the speed rusher out of BYU. The Lions have lost Cliff Avril in free agency and released Kyle Vanden Bosch, so they need to secure a pass rush to help the back end of their defense. I know Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley are still there, but they also lost Corey Williams, so Ansah would be a nice pick at No. 5.
6. Cleveland Browns: Dee Milliner - Cornerback, Alabama
Milliner is one of the best defensive prospects in this year's draft, and has the potential to be the cornerstone of a team's secondary for many years to come. The Browns certainly need help in that department, so this could be a match made in heaven.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Chance Warmack - Guard, Alabama
Carson Palmer is the new sheriff in town, so Bruce Arians needs to solidify the offensive line more than any other position. Larry Fitzgerald was basically useless last season because the quarterbacks couldn't stay upright long enough to get him the ball. That has to change, and it could start with the addition of Warmack.
8. Buffalo Bills: Geno Smith - Quarterback, West Virginia
The Bills have been looking for a franchise QB for a long time now, and Smith could be that guy. Buffalo has struggled with early picks of late, so they need to make sure they knock this selection out of the park. However, don't be too surprised if they go in another direction and new head coach Doug Marrone decides to wait it out for his college disciple, Ryan Nassib.
9. New York Jets: Jarvis Jones - Linebacker, Georgia
Rex Ryan has been searching for a playmaker on defense (other than Darrelle Revis) for a long time during his tenure in the Big Apple, and Jones has the potential to be just that. His 40 time is a little less than desired, but his tendency for finding the ball isn't. He has a knack for causing turnovers, which is right up Rex's alley.
10. Tennessee Titans: Jonathan Cooper - Guard, North Carolina
According to many league sources, the Titans desperately want to upgrade their pass rush. But I don't believe a guy like Bjoern Werner (who Tennessee is reportedly interested in) is worthy of a top 10 pick, so they should try to upgrade the offensive line with this selection. Cooper wowed many scouts at his pro day, and with the addition of Andy Levitre, Tennessee could potentially have one of the best guard tandems in all of football.
11. San Diego Chargers: Lane Johnson - Offensive Tackle, Oklahoma
There are a ton of holes to fill on this team. Offensive line, secondary, wide receiver, linebacker, you name it. Johnson is a prime pick, but I could see them trading out of this spot with a team selecting somewhere between 21 and 32. They have so many needs that they need to stockpile picks to help fill the voids.
12. Miami Dolphins: Xavier Rhodes - Cornerback, Florida State
Sean Smith is gone and Vontae Davis was dealt to Indy for a second-rounder last season. They really didn't address this position in free agency, so they will here. Rhodes has a great combination of speed and size that could serve the Dolphins well for years to come.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tavon Austin - Wide Receiver, West Virginia
Last season, they added a running game in Doug Martin and a legit No. 1 receiver in Vincent Jackson, so now it's time to add that complimentary No. 2 wideout to the equation. The downside for quarterback Josh Freeman; his leash will get shorter.
14. Carolina Panthers: Cordarrelle Patterson - Wide Receiver, Tennessee
The Panthers have used a lot of picks and money on defense since Cam Newton came to town. It's time for them to help out the former Heisman winner and get him another receiver to throw to besides the aging Steve Smith. Patterson will go get the ball, and may have the highest upside of any wideout in this year's draft.
15. New Orleans Saints: Barkevious Mingo - Defensive End, LSU
This is my no-doubter right here. Rob Ryan needs a pass rusher who also has the ability to drop back into pass coverage, so Mingo would be a perfect fit for the Saints.
16. St. Louis Rams: Kenny Vaccaro - Safety, Texas
Craig Dahl departed and Quintin Mikell was dropped, leaving a huge hole in the back end of the secondary for the Rams. This is almost a must pick for Jeff Fisher.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Star Lotulelei - Defensive Tackle, Utah
Casey Hampton is getting long in the tooth and James Harrison is gone. An impact player on defense is needed right now. The major pass rushers will be off the board at this point, but if you pair Lotulelei with Ziggy Hood and Cam Heyward, Pittsburgh's line will be much more formidable.
18. Dallas Cowboys: D.J. Fluker - Offensive Tackle, Alabama
The Cowboys need to seriously upgrade the offensive line, especially since they just gave Tony Romo a huge chunk of change. Flucker will instantly help and make others around him better. This is a pick that has to happen in Big D.
19. New York Giants: Bjoern Werner - Defensive End, Florida State
Osi Umenyiora bolted to Atlanta and Justin Tuck's Subway commercials are paying the rent just fine, so Jason Pierre-Paul needs a partner to cause problems for Tony Romo, RG3, and whoever the hell the Eagles decide to throw out there. The Giants love pass rushers, so Werner is a perfect fit at No. 19.
20. Chicago Bears: Sheldon Richardson - Defensive Tackle, Missouri
Richardson will bring a fire, attitude and tenacity to a defense that will need all of the above with Brian Urlacher gone. They've already helped Jay Cutler out in free agency by addressing the offensive line, so defense should be the focal point with this pick.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Alec Ogletree - Linebacker, Georgia
Wait, the Bengals selecting a guy with high upside but some off the field issues? Surely not.
22. St. Louis Rams (from the Washington Redskins): Keenan Allen - Wide Receiver, California
Sam Bradford lost Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson in free agency. That leaves...yeah, no one to throw to. Allen, with his size, speed and sure hands, will instantly upgrade the passing attack.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Sylvester Williams - Defensive Tackle, North Carolina
Kevin Williams needs some help, so the Vikings go with a pass-rushing DT with the 23rd pick. Williams would fill a void the team has had since Pat Williams retired. Oh, and could we get a couple more guys with the last name Williams associated with this team?
24. Indianapolis Colts: Datone Jones - Defensive End, UCLA
They just signed Ricky Jean-Francois to a nice contract, and Jones would fill a big spot in Chuck Pagano's 3-4 defense with his ability to both rush the passer and occupy blockers. Cornerback is a need as well, but I see Indy taking the best defensive player available here that fits their scheme the most.
25. Minnesota Vikings (from the Seattle Seahawks): DeAndre Hopkins - Wide Receiver, Clemson
Christian Ponder needs more weapons in the wake of Percy Harvin's departure. Right now, the Vikings are pretty much Adrian Peterson or bust. Hopkins made a ton of plays for the Tigers last season, and would instantly help shore up Minnesota's problems at the receiver position.
26. Green Bay Packers: Eddie Lacy - Running Back, Alabama
Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy know the running game has been a problem over the last few seasons. Aaron Rodgers needs someone he can hand the ball to that can make one cut and take it 40 yards. As long as he stays healthy, Lacy is that type of back.
27. Houston Texans: Justin Hunter - Wide Receiver, Tennessee
Matt Schaub needs another threat on the outside. James Casey signed with Philadelphia, Kevin Walters was let go, and Andre Johnson isn't getting any younger, so Hunter makes sense at No. 27.
28. Denver Broncos: Damontre Moore - Defensive End, Texas A&M
Jack Del Rio needs to improve the pass rush, especially after the loss of Elvis Dumervil. Peyton has all the tools he needs on offense. It's the D that needs help. This pick would get Von Miller a sack mate.
29. New England Patriots: Jonathan Cyprien - Safety, Florida International
The secondary has been a major problem for the last several years in New England, and losing Patrick Chung to the Eagles didn't exactly help matters. Bill Belichick needs a big-play safety, and Cyprien is just that.
30. Atlanta Falcons: Desmond Trufant - Cornerback, Washington
With the loss of Brent Grimes and Dunta Robinson, the Falcons could use some help in the secondary. Trufant is a ball-hawking corner and should be the best player still available by the time Atlanta picks at the end of the first round.
31. San Francisco 49ers: Matt Elam - Safety, Florida
They lost Pro Bowler Dashon Goldson to the Bucs in free agency, so Elam could be a very suitable replacement. If nothing else, this selection would add depth to an already solid team.
32. Baltimore Ravens: Manti Te'o - Linebacker, Notre Dame
This defense lost a lot of talent in the offseason, so this pick is a no-brainer. The sideline to sideline ability of Te'o is comparable to that of a young Ray Lewis.