April is not that far away and with the Senior Bowl going on this week it is time to take a look at possible draft picks. Last week Vincent Frank provided his mock draft and I do feel the same on certain teams as far as picks but I do see it a little bit different.
Final two draft selections are dependent on Super Bowl outcome. San Francisco 49ers are favored, so they possess the 32nd pick in this mock.
1. Kansas City Chiefs Geno Smith, Quarterback, West Virginia
For the Chiefs Romeo Crennel is out and Andy Reid is in as head coach and they have one glaring need, quarterback. Reid runs the west coast offense that requires a lot of dink and dunk passes. Smith lacks the arm strength to challenge teams vertically but fits the scheme for Reid. He is not the No. 1 rated quarterback but is a safe pick here.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars Jarvis Jones, Defensive End, Georgia
Jones is a top prospect in not just defense but in all of college football. He also fits a need with the Jaguars. They had an issue with creating pressure and Jones can definitely change that for them.
3. Oakland Raiders Star Lotulelei, Defensive Tackle, Utah
The Raiders the 26th ranked scoring defense and 28th ranked defense in yards allowed. It is safe to say they need Star and he’s a can’t miss prospect. If not directly effecting the offense in terms of sacks or tackles at 6’3” and 325 pounds he is a block eater.
4. Philadelphia Eagles Luke Joekel, Offensive Tackle, Texas A&M
Joekel is the number one player on my board. He is great fit here due to not knowing the shape Jason Peters will be in come September. Not to mention the ineffective play of King Dunlap causing quarterbacks Mike Vick and Nick Foles to take a lot of punishment.
5. Detroit Lions Dee Milliner, Defensive Back, Alabama
Milliner is the obvious number one defensive back coming out in this year’s draft. With the Bears, Packers and Vikings in their division Detroit needs a shutdown corner to take away their top receiver.
6. Cleveland Browns Dion Jordon, Defensive End, Oregon
The Browns have a need at defensive end with the lack of big plays by Frostee Rucker. Rucker is going into his eighth season out of USC. In that time he has only accumulated 11 sacks while Jabaal Sheard has recorded 15.5 sacks over his first two season in the league.
7. Arizona Cardinals Tyler Wilson, Quarterback, Arkansas
Wilson had a poor year for the Razorbacks compared to his junior season. He led them to a 11-2 record last season compared to this year 4-8. The glaring need for the Cardinals is the quarterback position. Between Kolb, Skelton and Lindley none of which could establish themselves as the quarterback of the future.
8. Buffalo Bills: Chance Warmack, Offensive Guard, Alabama
Warmack is the best interior lineman in the draft and while the Bills do have two relatively young guards they don’t have the depth at that position. You can’t pass up the opportunity to draft him at this spot. Truth is Ryan Fitzpatrick was sacked a total of 30 times this season, the most number of sacks since his last year in Cincinnati.
9. New York Jets: Keenan Allen, Wide Receiver, California
The Jets pick is actually something that I struggled with. They have needs all over this team from quarterback to linebacker but I thought that Allen fit a need at wide receiver. With Santonio Holmes off-field issues and injury problems this is a safe pick for the Jets.
10. Tennessee Titans: Bjoern Werner, Defensive End, Florida State
There is a glaring need for offensive line especially with the aging Steve Hutchinson playing at left guard. However if Warmack is gone at pick eight like I anticipate Werner is a perfect second option. Kamerion Wimbley is going into his eighth season and could compete for his spot at strong side defensive end. This would be a great pickup for the Titans.
11. San Diego Chargers: Eric Fisher, Offensive Tackle, Central Michigan
The Chargers had issues this year in protecting Philip Rivers giving up 49 sacks which was 19 more than last season. Fisher could definitely take the starting position from rookie lineman Mike Harris. A strong performance in the Senior Bowl could solidify this pick.
12. Miami Dolphins: Tavon Austin, Wide Receiver, West Virginia
Last season Brian Hartline emerged as the number one wide receiver but there is no clear cut number three option. If the Dolphins expect to contend with the Patriots in the AFC East they need to build around their franchise quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Johnthan Banks, Defensive Back, Mississippi State
It is a known fact that Ronde Barber is looking a little long in the tooth and has lost a step or two. Banks fits a need and is one of the top defensive backs in the draft.
14. Carolina Panthers: Sheldon Richardson, Defensive End, Missouri
Last year the Panthers’ drafted Frank Alexander out of Oklahoma in hopes that he could draw some attention from opposing linemen to aid Charles Johnson. Unfortunately that did not happen and that’s why I think Richardson could fill that role for Rivera’s defense.
15. New Orleans Saints: Barkevious Mingo, Defensive End, Louisiana State
Last season was one to forget for Saints fans. However on the offensive side of the ball there weren’t many issues, on defense was another story. Will Smith became a tackle machine recording 58 tackles but only six sacks. Mingo will disrupt offensive game plans in New Orleans and help a suspect secondary.
16. St Louis Rams Jesse Williams, Defensive Tackle, Alabama
Williams is a run stopper and constantly sheds double teams. In the first of two first round picks for the Rams, they can take Williams and help Robert Quinn and Chris Long this upcoming season.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers Johnathan Hankins, Defensive Tackle, Ohio State
Two primary needs for the Steelers is inside linebacker and defensive tackle. Casey Hampton is heading into his 13th season and this defense needs some youth to continually compete at the top of the AFC.
18. Dallas Cowboys Manti Te’o, Linebacker, Notre Dame
With the Cowboys change in defensive scheme with the hire of Monte Kiffin this will change their draft needs. Demarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer moving to defensive end, there is a need for outside linebacker. With Manti’s performance in the National Championship Game, I see him falling to Dallas.
19. New York Giants Jonathan Cooper, Offensive Guard, North Carolina
Chris Snee is signed through the 2014 season and with him turning the age of 33 by then end of his contract. The Giants have an opportunity to draft a young top talent at guard to help protect the two time defending Super Bowl MVP quarterback Eli Manning.
20. Chicago Bears Tyler Eifert, Tight End, Notre Dame
With Brandon Marshall and Earl Bennett commanding the outside wide receiver spots and Alshon Jeffery on the inside there is a need for a second tight end to be a weapon in this offense. Eifert is the number one tight end on my board and can help stretch opposing defenses even further in this offense.
21. Cincinnati Bengals Sam Montgomery, Defensive End, Louisiana State
If you couple Montgomery with Geno Atkins on the weak side they can be a force to be reckoned with. Montgomery has a motor and relentless style can disrupt the passing game for AFC North teams.
22. St Louis Rams DJ Fluker, Offensive Tackle, Alabama
For the second time in this draft the Rams will be on the clock and should take the best player on the board in Fluker. He is an athletic tackle and can provide protection that Sam Bradford definitely needs.
23. Minnesota Vikings Terrance Williams, Wide Receiver, Baylor
Williams put the Big 12 on notice last season with Robert Griffin III taking the snaps. When Griffin left for the NFL I expected a slight drop off from Williams. However that wasn’t the case and why I think he fits in with the Vikings who are unsure of Percy Harvin’s health issues.
24. Indianapolis Colts Barrett Jones, Center, Alabama
The Colts took the league by storm this past season with the story of Chuck Pagano, Andrew Luck and Bruce Arians working himself into a head coaching opportunity. One thing was prevalent, their inability to protect Luck. Jones will be a perfect fit with the rebuilding process of this offensive line.
25. Seattle Seahawks Damontre Moore, Defensive End, Texas A&M
The Seahawks defense was ranked number one this past season and the possible addition of Moore should make the NFC West cringe. With Chris Clemons’ age a factor and injury issues, Moore is the perfect pick at 25. I have Moore as a top 15 talent and would be a steal here.
26. Green Bay Packers Eric Reid, Safety, Louisiana State
Charles Woodson has had his fair share of injuries and is coming into his 15th season in the NFL. Reid is the top rated safety and will fit the need for a cover safety to help on top receivers in the NFC North Division.
27. Houston Texans Justin Hunter, Wide Receiver, Tennessee
Hunter was one of the lone bright spots for a Volunteers’ squad that under achieved this season. At 6’4 he is one of the bigger receivers in the draft and can help roll coverage away from Andre Johnson and give the Texans’ another option in their already lethal offense.
28. Denver Broncos Ezekial Ansah, Defensive End, Brigham Young
I do see the need for a running back here for the Broncos; however they have an opportunity to enhance their pass rush to be even more lethal. If Ansah can draw more attention opposite of Elvis Dumervil this can open up opportunities for Von Miller.
29. New England Patriots Shariff Floyd, Defensive Tackle, Florida
The Patriots have Vince Wilfork commanding the middle of their defense and even as he is getting older he is a force to be reckoned with. Add Floyd to that defense and you can easily see the ends being more of a factor in New England. Floyd’s use can be used to disrupt blocking and be a force in the run game. This will take some pressure off the secondary which will need to add another safety.
30. Atlanta Falcons Zach Ertz, Tight End, Stanford
With the departure of All-Pro Tight End Tony Gonzalez likely this seems like a perfect fit for the Falcons. I have Ertz with a second round grade but with Eifert going to Bears at number 20 this makes sense. Ertz can stretch the field and be another young weapon for Matt Ryan.
31. Baltimore Ravens Arthur Brown, Linebacker, Kansas State
The Super Bowl bound Ravens are going into their final game with future hall of famer Ray Lewis. It is safe to say that they will need to draft the heir apparent to Lewis. I liked CJ Mosley here at pick 31 but with him returning to Alabama for his final season, Brown, is a good second option. What Brown lacks in size he makes up in ability.
32. San Francisco 49ers DeAndre Hopkins, Wide Receiver, Clemson
The 49ers have an obvious need at wide receiver with injuries to Mario Manningham and Kyle Williams and an aging Randy Moss, Hopkins can fill that void as the number two or three receiver. Hopkins amassed 1400 yards and 18 touchdowns this past season and is a big play wide receiver that can be a matchup problem for the NFC West.