Colts are out, so screw the rest of the season. It's all about the NFL Draft right now. Now the first 24 picks are set in stone. The draft also changed when Andrew Luck trolled the Panthers and NFL by going back to college even though he is losing his head coach. Compared to the last few mock drafts, this thing is going to be completely different because of that little bastard.
1. Carolina-Nick Fairley/DT/Auburn: Some people will mock the other Auburn star number one, but with Ron Rivera as head coach, I see the Panthers going on the defensive side of the ball. This pick goes to show how weak this draft class is, however. In the 2010 draft, Fairley would have probably been the 3rd defensive tackle prospect behind Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy. However, the Panthers have to go with what they got, and that is a defensive tackle who is great at rushing the passer and getting in the backfield.
2. Denver-Patrick Peterson/CB/LSU: Nick Fairley will probably be number one on the Broncos' board, but Andrew Luck cost them a very good 3-4 DE. They'll have to cover their second biggest need which is a cornerback. Champ Bailey is a free agent and getting older, and the rest of the cornerbacks are uninspiring. It's not who they wanted, but it's hard to complain about a great prospect like Peterson.
3. Buffalo-Cam Newton/QB/Auburn: I have fallen into the Cam Newton hype. I like to think of him as a mentally stable and more accurate Vince Young. I don't know if I would take him this high, but the Cam Newton hype train is going fast. If he wins the national championship tonight, he could very well go number one. Ryan Fitzpatrick is a decent QB, but no one will mistake him for a franchise QB.
4. Cincinnati-AJ Green/WR/Georgia: It's funny how Carson Palmer started to look like a real QB when the childish duo of Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco were out with injury. Both of them should be gone which can help the team, but there would still be a lack of quality receivers there. Good thing the best wide receiver prospect since Calvin Johnson falls to them. What a weapon for Carson Palmer.
5. Arizona-Robert Quinn/OLB/North Carolina: I like the picks of Dan Williams and Daryl Washington to help their defense, but they still need to cover the pass rush. Robert Quinn missed the whole year due to NCAA eligibility suspension garbage, but he's still the best pass rusher in this class. Missing a year might put off some teams, but the Cardinals will be desperate for his talent.
6. Cleveland-Marcell Dareus/DE/Alabama: Dareus got surpassed by Nick Fairley this year, but it would be foolish to overlook Dareus. Although he's not a major weapon like Fairley, he's still going to be a damn good defensive end for a 3-4 team. Browns need to get better targets for Colt McCoy, but it is way too high to take Julio Jones or Jonathan Baldwin.
7. San Francisco-Blaine Gabbert/QB/Missouri: You could call me a Blaine Gabbert hater. I just think he is going to bust and bust hard. He's fat and inaccurate, and I did not like what I saw in his bowl game against Iowa. However, I would not doubt Jim Harbaugh with any quarterback. With a new QB guru head coach, you know they are going to draft a quarterback high.
8. Tennessee-Ryan Mallett/QB/Arkansas: This is my pick for now. I believe the Titans will get Kyle Orton, Donovan McNabb, or Kevin Kolb, but I cannot project what teams will do in trades. I am just going with what they have right now, and what they have is a bad group of quarterbacks. No future with this team unless they can get a quarterback. I am a Mallett fan, and I think he could do well with the Titans running game and Kenny Britt.
9. Dallas-Prince Amukamara/CB/Nebraska: Dallas lucks out with Amukamara falling to them. Although he struggled some this season, Amukamara is still a very special player. The Cowboys need a lot of secondary help if they are to surpass Philadelphia and New York in this division.
10. Washington-Da'Quan Bowers/DE-OLB/Clemson: This is a risky pick with him moving from defensive end to outside linebacker, but Da'Quan Bowers is a physically gifted athlete. I am questioning his effort when he suddenly becomes great in his junior year to boost his draft stock. There are some major question marks, but his stats do show that he is ultra-talented.
11. Houston-Brandon Harris/CB/Miami: The Texans secondary is just abysmal. They were historically bad according to Football Outsiders. Bernard Pollard was the only decent player for them, and he is a free agent. Texans could very well go with defensive backs in their first 3 picks in this draft. Brandon Harris surprisingly came out after saying he was staying at Miami, and he's back to being a great prospect. Michael Floyd embarrassed him in the Sun Bowl, but that can't erase the times Harris embarrassed receivers and quarterbacks.
12. Minnesota-Ryan Kerrigan/DE/Purdue: With Ray Edwards possibly on his way out and the top cornerback prospects off the board, defensive end is the biggest need. Kerrigan is a fantastic pass rusher and would look brilliant with Jared Allen on the other end. I don't see the Vikings taking a quarterback in round one. I see them either trading for Orton, Kolb, or McNabb or taking a quarterback in the 2nd round.
13. Detroit-JJ Watt/DE/Wisconsin: The Lions could reach for a cornerback right here, but the Lions do not reach according to need. Detroits go BPA, and in this case it is JJ Watt. Watt made a great decision to go pro, and he will be rewarded by being able to play next to Ndamukong Suh. Watt is a solid pro prospect who is very pro-ready at this moment.
14. St. Louis-Julio Jones/WR/Alabama: This one came down to Justin Blackmon and Julio Jones, and I went with the experience and physical gifts over the unbelievable production. Jones finally broke out this year and looked like the superstar he was hyped to be. The Rams need to give Sam Bradford more targets, and Julio Jones is a pretty big target.
15. Miami-Jake Locker/QB/Washington: Chad Henne was garbage this season before his injuries, and I'm sure the Dolphins lost a lot of trust in him. I am a huge Locker supporter and I think he could be the best quarterback in this entire draft. Sitting behind Henne for a year could really help his progress. Running back is also a need, but that is much easier to cover in later rounds rather than spending a first rounder on Mark Ingram.
16. Jacksonville-Aldon Smith/DE/Missouri: After the hilarious failure of Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves, the Jaguars are back to drafting defensive ends early. Aldon Smith is a very talented pass rusher who should be better than Harvey and Groves, but that is really not saying much.
17. New England from Oakland-Cameron Heyward/DE/Ohio State: Heyward compares well with JJ Watt, but Heyward made the mistake of coming back to school this year which hurt his draft stock. He could go anywhere from number 16 to the 2nd round. I've liked what I've seen from him so I am putting him here over Cameron Jordan for now. It will be interesting to see where he ends up.
18. San Diego-Cameron Jordan/DE/California: The Chargers are very weak at defensive end. Besides Luis Castillo, the group brings the question "Who???" to mind. Jordan is a perfect fit for the 3-4 defense the Chargers have been so successful with recently.
19. NY Giants-Derek Sherrod/OT/Mississippi State: The Giants can finally kick David Diehl to the inside and give Eli Manning some protection. Sherrod is the best pass blocker in this draft, and the Giants could use a beefier offensive line.
20. Tampa Bay-Adrian Clayborn/DE/Iowa: Clayborn really should have left after last season. In the preseason, he was a definite top 10 prospect, but an off year drops him down to Tampa Bay at 20. Gerald McCoy was a great pick for the Bucs in their attempt to improve their defensive line, but they will need defensive ends as well.
21. Kansas City-Von Miller/OLB/Texas A&M: Tamba Hali had a breakout season and was one of the best pass rushers in the 3-4 defense. He did all of that without any great pass rusher on the other side for him. Miller is very streaky, but he has the potential to be as good as Hali.
22. Indianapolis-Gabe Carimi/OT/Wisconsin: I would be the happiest person alive if this happened. I love Gabe Carimi as a prospect. His run blocking is outstanding and he could really end up being a great pass blocker as well if he improves his technique. I would guarantee that the Colts running game would improve drastically if Carimi is playing LT or RT.
23. Philadelphia-DeMarcus Love/OT-OG/Arkansas: Eagles are a very predictable drafting team. It's basically always offensive line or defensive line. Right here, Love is a perfect fit for the Eagles system and fills a pretty huge need for Philly.
24. New Orleans-Stephen Paea/DT/Oregon State: The Saints could not tackle Marshawn Lynch. This guy had not had a 100 yard rushing game since 2008, and the Saints defense made him look like Walter Payton. Paea would not have let Lynch get up the middle like that. Their defensive line needs complete retooling.
25. Seattle-Drake Nevis/DT/LSU: This was a very tough pick, but the Seahawks do have a very thin defensive line. Nevis is undersized, but he is also a very strong pass rusher and has impressive tackles for loss stats. I considered almost every position from running back to offensive guard to safety, but Nevis stood out right here.
26. Green Bay-Mark Ingram/RB/Alabama: Ingram absolutely plummeted, but he's ending up in a good situation. He'll be playing with Aaron Rodgers and his great passing attack along with sharing carries with Ryan Grant. This pick would have OROY written all over it.
27. NY Jets-Justin Blackmon/WR/Oklahoma State: Either Braylon Edwards or Santonio Holmes will be gone. I feel very safe in saying that. That leaves a big need for a new wide receiver. Justin Blackmon falls far to the Jets and ends up in a great situation. This doesn't cover a huge need, but it would make the Jets offense look pretty damn amazing.
28. Baltimore-Stefen Wisniewski/C/Penn State: Although his last name is obnoxiously hard to spell, Wisniewski is the best interior lineman prospect in this draft. He'll sneak into the first round to help beef up the Ravens offensive line which has suffered in pass blocking as of late.
29. Chicago-Anthony Castonzo/OT/Boston College: For the love of God, the Bears offensive line is horrible. Jay Cutler is going to end up in a full body cast if they don't improve and improve quickly. Castonzo is a great pass blocker who should help keep Cutler upright.
30. Pittsburgh-Nate Solder/OT/Colorado: This huge left tackle is a project, but his size and raw ability fits in perfectly with what the Steelers want to do. Although they drafted Maurkice Pouncey in the first last year, they still need to improve their offensive line.
31. Atlanta-Kyle Rudolph/TE/Notre Dame: Rudy sneaks into the 1st to replace Tony Gonzalez. With Matt Ryan passing to him, Rudolph should keep up his awesome production. I love Kyle Rudolph and I'll be happy to see him go in the first round.
32. New England-Tyron Smith/OT/USC: With Matt Light and Logan Mankins being free agents, the Patriots will need to be thinking about replacements. The Patriots have one of the best offensive lines in the league, but they will need to continue to stockpile talent if they want to continue to be an elite team in the NFL.
33. New England from Carolina-Akeem Ayers/OLB/UCLA
34. Buffalo-Jimmy Smith/CB/Colorado
35. Cincinnati-Allen Bailey/DE/Miami
36. Denver-Corey Liuget/DE/Illinois
37. Cleveland-Jonathan Baldwin/WR/Pittsburgh
38. Arizona-Mike Pouncey/OG/Florida
39. Tennessee-Aaron Williams/CB/Texas
40. Dallas-Rahim Moore/FS/UCLA
41. Washington-Ryan Broyles/WR/Oklahoma
42. Houston-Kenny Tate/FS/Maryland
43. Minnesota-Pat Devlin/QB/Delaware
44. Detroit-Brandon Burton/CB/Utah
45. San Francisco-Phil Taylor/NT/Baylor
46. Denver from Miami-DeAndre McDaniel/S/Clemson
47. St. Louis-Muhammad Wilkerson/DT/Temple
48. Oakland-Curtis Brown/CB/Texas
49. Jacksonville-Deunta Williams/FS/North Carolina
50. San Diego-Martez Wilson/ILB/Illinois
51. Tampa Bay-Bruce Carter/OLB/North Carolina
52. NY Giants-Mark Herzlich/OLB/Boston College
53. Indianapolis-Benjamin Ijalana/OG/Villanova
54. Philadelphia-Ras-I Dowling/CB/Virginia
55. Kansas City-Justin Houston/OLB/Georgia
56. New Orleans-Michael LeShoure/RB/Illinois
57. Seattle-Orlando Franklin/OG/Miami
58. Green Bay-Jeremy Beal/OLB/Oklahoma
59. Baltimore-Johnny Patrick/CB/Louisville
60. San Diego from NY Jets-Torrey Smith/WR/Maryland
61. Chicago-Marvin Austin/DT/North Carolina
62. Pittsburgh-Christian Ballard/DE/Iowa
63. Atlanta-Jabaal Sheard/DE/Pittsburgh
64. New England-John Moffitt/OG/Wisconsin