MJHoran's Mock Draft (Round 1)
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Author's CommentsBefore I get into detail on my mock, it's important to note that this draft is not accounting for trades. Teams like the Jets, Dolphins and Bucs are pretty likely to move around in the first round, thus changing the order of everything. So take this for what it is.
The theme of this draft seems to be line-play; there were 13 combined offensive and defensive lineman picked, with the top 10 made up of 7 lineman. Very few people should be surprised that there was only one quarterback taken. This crop of signal callers is notoriously weak. Barkley and Glennon likely won't make it out of the 2nd round, but they really aren't first round talents. Another theme is "best player available". For a lot of teams, a player they would covet to fill a need was taken a few picks before them. Instead of reaching on the next best player, I had these teams boosting depth at another position. St. Louis had two first round picks, and almost by default had the best first round. Austin and Lacy will make that offense really dangerous, in a division with some very good defensive play. The Vikings also had two first round picks, and wound up replacing Harvin and Winfield with them. Philly taking Dee Milliner is a some what unorthodox pick. I have no idea why. They play RGIII, Romo and Eli 2 times each. Their secondary was by far the most atrocious part of their team last year. Milliner is the best cornerback in this draft. It makes way too much sense to not happen. Finally, my Bucs pick of Star Lotulelei. It really sucks that the Dolphins need a cornerback, because I would have loved to mock Rhodes to the Bucs. But unless the Fins trade up for a tackle which has been talked about, I just can't see Rhodes falling to the Bucs. So in this scenario, Mark Dominik does what he does best and selects a defensive tackle. Star and McCoy would be a glorious tandem, and would improve our pass rush and run defense a lot.
If their were a better QB in this draft, it'd almost certainly be the Chiefs pick here. Alex Smith isn't the future of the Chiefs, but he'll win them more games than Geno Smith or Matt Barkley would.
The new coach of the Jaguars, Gus Bradley, loves him some athletic freaks on defense. Jordan is that, and may have the highest upside of any defensive player in the draft.
Oakland has a huge hole on its defensive line with Kelly and Seymour gone. Floyd fits a big need, and has big time potential.
Historically the Eagles have loved having a strong core of cornerbacks. After allowing Rodgers-Cromartie and Asomugha walk, the team has a huge whole there. Milliner fits with the Eagles like a glove.
The Lions need tackles on the left and right sides. Stafford didn't have crap for protection last year.
Ansah is the best player available here, and the Browns could use another pass rusher to pair with their solid secondary.
Guards don't typically go this high, but who gives a damn; it's a desperate need for Arizona. Their line was terrible last year, and Palmer is basically a statue in the pocket. Also, Warmack is a beast.
The first QB off the board is Geno Smith. I love this pick for the Bills. Smith paired with Spiller, Jackson and Johnson instantly makes the Bills offense pretty good, with a lot of room to grow. A receiver like Stedmon Bailey in the 2nd round would be a great addition as well.
Where to start for the Jets? This team is a mess, especially on offense where they have holes at every skill position. I think that a tightend like Eifert makes a ton of sense here. Sure, it's early for a tightend, but it is a huge need, and Sanchez could use as many weapons as he can get. If the Jets end up getting the 13th pick in the Revis-deal then taking Eifert there is a lot more likely.
With Chris Johnson and a question mark at quarterback, the Titans love to run the ball. But to run the ball it helps to have good guard play, and the Titans didn't last year, making Cooper the best pick here.
The player I've seen linked to one team more than any other is Lane Johnson and the Chargers. Johnson has potential to be a monster, and he can protect Philip Rivers' blindside.
After losing Sean Smith and trading Vontae Davis, Miami could really use a defensive back. Rhodes in my opinion has higher upside than Milliner, and would be an awesome pick for the Fins.
I seriously doubt the Bucs stay at pick 13. If they do, they'll be heartbroken that Rhodes went the pick before them. He'd be a great pick. But with Rhodes gone, the best available player who also fits a need is Star Lotulelei. At one point Star was the highest rated prospect in this draft, but because of injury had questions. We've seen this before with Bowers. Paired with Mccoy, Star will be nasty.
A cornerback here would be a huge reach, but a playmaker in the secondary is a huge need, especially in such a pass heavy division. Vaccaro can come in right away and start.
New Orleans is switching to a 3-4 defense, and a versatile defender like Jones would be a perfect fit for them. The pick will likely come down to Jones or Mingo, but a Saints and LSU fan I know said he'd much prefer Jones. I'll take his word for it.
Austin and the Rams is a great match. Without Amendola the Rams have a big need at receiver, and Austin may be the most electric offensive player in this draft.
Letting James Harrison go shows that the Steelers are likely ready to move in a younger direction at linebacker. Mingo fits like a glove.
The trend of 1st round offensive lineman in this draft continues with the Cowboys taking Fluker. Romo was on the ground way too much last year, and their run game was terrible most of the time. Offensive line is a big need.
There's a lot of folks who believe Brown will be the best defensive player in this draft. Every time I watched the Giants I found myself thinking they could badly use a linebacker, so Brown is a good fit.
Chicago really doesn't have a ton of holes to fill. They'd love for Arthur Brown to be here, but will settle on Manti Teo to try to fill the whole that Urlacher left. There's probably enough veterans on the Bears to be able to deal with Te'o and his fake-girlfriend stuff in a mature way.
Like the Bears, Cincy has a pretty well rounded roster of players without a ton of glaring holes. I think the Bengals would be best suited helping out their secondary here with safety John Cyprien. He could compete for a starting job from day one and boost up an already good defense.
One of the two Rams first round picks will be a receiver, with the other likely being the best player available. In this particular draft, they have used their first pick on a receiver, so this one will be whichever prospect they like most. In order to replace Steven Jackson, I see the Rams taking Eddie Lacy here, the drafts clear-cut best runningback.
Like the Rams, the Vikings have two first round picks, and will almost certainly use one of them on a receiver, even with the acquisition of Greg Jennings. Here they take receiver Keenan Allen.
Moore's fall finally ends at number 24. At one point there were drafts putting Moore in the top 5. For Indy, this is a great value pick to replace Dwight Freeney.
The Vikings next whole to fill is at cornerback after dumping veteran Antoine Winfield. In a division with Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler and Matt Stafford, you need a good pass defense. After Rhodes and Milliner, the best cornerback available is Desmond Trufant.
Green Bay is a really hard team to predict here. They could take a running back, and would jump on Lacy if available. They could also take a safety like Elam. I see Elam as the best available player here, at a position of some-what need.
Receiver has been a huge need for the Texans for a while. Andre Johnson has been Schaub's only real wide receiver threat for a long time. I see them adding the best one available, in Patterson.
Richardson is probably the 3rd best defensive tackle in the draft, and fits a need for the Broncos. Elway would love if they landed him.
Pass defense has been a problem for the Patriots for awhile. I think they'll take the most talented cornerback available here, with Banks being that player.
Atlanta will be thrilled if Werner slides this far. He's easily the best player available here and fits a need.
San Francisco probably has the most talented roster in the NFL. Their first round pick didn't see the field last year. So this pick is truly best player available. The tightend Ertz is familiar with Niners coach Harbaugh, and gives Kaepernick another weapon to throw to. Ertz would be a great compliment to Davis.
The Super Bowl champs picked up Rolando McLain to try to replace Ray Lewis, but I think they'll select Alec Ogletree here, who at one point was regarded as a possible top 20 pick.
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