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Mock Draft- 1st Round with Analysis.

 

1.     Carolina - Blaine Gabbert (QB, Missouri)-

Although I think this is a mistake because Gabbert will be thrown into a tough situation, Carolina is desperate for production out of the QB position and isn't too fond of Jimmy Clausen's lack of leadership skills.

2.     Denver - Marcell Dareus (DT, Alabama)-

Personally, I think Denver should get another playmaking DE in Da'Quan Bowers to compliment Elvis Dumervil.  The pass rush would be relentless, and they can always get someone like Paea in the 2nd Round.  However, they go with DT Dareus early and hope he works the same kind of wonders Suh did in Detroit last season.

3.     Buffalo - Cam Newton (QB, Auburn)-

Buffalo is just one of those teams that will surprise you every year in the draft.  Here they bite on Cam Newton in hopes of developing him while they start Fitzpatrick.  Perhaps Chan Gailey can get a spread offense to work here in Buffalo to better suit Newton's experience and ability.

4.     Cincinatti - Nick Fairly (DT, Auburn)-

Cincinatti goes after a penetrating DT.  They've made a lot of high draft picks at DE in recent years, so I don't think they will do the same here.

5.     Arizona - Von Miller (OLB, Texas A&M)-

No surprise here.  Arizona needs an upgrade at OLB.  They need a young pass rusher that is relentless at getting after the QB.  Von Miller fits the bill.

6.     Cleveland - Da'Quan Bowers (DE, Clemson)-

Certainly Cleveland needs a #1 WR, but with the best overall pass rusher still on the board, they go with Bowers.  In the 3-4, Cleveland struggled to generate a pass rush.  Switching to the 4-3 will be the same unless they upgrade the DE position.  With an early pick in the 2nd Round, I would expect Cleveland to target a WR.

7.     San Francisco - Patrick Peterson (CB, LSU)-

Talk about a dream come true scenario for San Fransisco.  Not only do they get perhaps the safest pick in the draft, but a playmaker at the CB position.  This is a no brainer from a value to need pick. 

8.     Tennessee - Robert Quinn (DE, North Carolina)-

Tennessee looks to rejuvinate its once dominant defensive line by taking the once upon a time star pass rusher in Quinn.  Had Quinn played last season, he may have been a Top 5 pick.

9.     Dallas- Prince Amukamara (CB, Nebraska)-

I expect Dallas to trade down here to draft an OT, but since this is a Mock, that's hard to do.  If Dallas maintains with this selection, I see them upgrading the CB position with Amukamara.

10. Washington - AJ Green (WR, Georgia)-

It's rather remarkable Green fell this far.  Washington is desperate for a #1 WR with size and speed, and Green provides both.  Green will instantly upgrade the Redskins passing game.

11. Texans - Aldon Smith (OLB, Missouri)-

Houston needs help in the secondary, but they would be reaching for a CB at this selection.  Considering the switch to the 3-4, they look to add another pass rusher.

12. Vikings - Mike Pouncey (OG/C, Florida)-

Here's a surprise pick for many, largely because he is a reach at this selection.  However, Minnesota isn't content on investing in any of the QB's at this selection.  They have a major hole at RG and Steven Hutchinson is getting old.  They look to add youth and talent at the interior of the OL.

13. Detroit - Tyron Smith (OT, USC)-

Detroit could use an OT here.  Although Smith played RT at USC, some feel he could play LT in the future.  LT Jeff Backus is ok, but he isn't special and he is catching up in age.  RT Grosder Cherilus has been an overall disappointment.

14. St. Louis- Julio Jones (WR, Alabama)-

The Rams get a solid WR and weapon for Franchise QB Sam Bradford.  Their OL is set, they have a solid RB in Jackson, but they could use some weapons in the passing game.  Jones is a good pick here.

15. Dolphins - Gabe Carimi (RT, Wisconsin)-

Most people are expecting Miami to select Ingram.  Sporano decides to improve the running game by upgrading the trenches first, then grabbing a RB later in the draft.  RT is a major concern in Miami for run blocking and pass protection.  The combination of Jake Long and Gabe Carimi at OT sounds too intimidating for Sporano to pass up on.  This will instantly improve Miami's Offensive Line and run blocking, which took a hit last season.

16. Jaguars- Ryan Kerrigan (DE, Purdue)-

Minus Aaron Kampman, this team has trouble generating a pass rush.  Add in the fact that Kampman is coming off another unfortunate ACL tear, Kerrigan provides insurance.  The opportunity for Kerrigan to come in and continue to learn from Kampman is an excellent investment for Jacksonville.

17. Patriots - Anthony Costanzo (OT, Boston College)-

NE gets the hometown boy in Costanzo.  Matt Light is catching up there in age, and even if he is signed for the short team extension, Belichek thinks towards the future and drafts Costanzo. 

18. Chargers- JJ Watts (DE, Wisconsin)-

Watts with the Bolts.  This is like peanut butter and jelly.  It just doesn't get any better than that!  Watts will provide an upgrade at the DE position and will help bolster the pass rush.

19. NY Giants- Nate Solder (OT, Colorado)-

The G-Men get some OL help with Solder. 

20. Buccaneers - Cameron Jordan (DE, California)-

Jordan will instantly improve the pass rush.  The continued investment in the defensive line will help in rushing the passer and stopping the run.

21. Chiefs- Phil Taylor (NT, Baylor)-

This draft does not offer much for 3-4 NT's, and the Chiefs need to upgrade this position.  NT is perhaps the most important position in the 3-4 defense.  Unless they decide to trade for a NT, they have to get their man here at #21. 

22. Indianapolis- Derreck Sherrod (OT, Mississippi State)-

Manning needs help, and this is a clear need right now.  Polian doesn't ignore the LT position this year.

23. Philadelphia - Jimmy Smith (CB, Colorado)-

They couldn't fill a need at OT, but they are able to fill a need with good value at CB. 

24. New Orleans - Mark Ingram (HB, Alabama)-

Miami's pass on Ingram led to his drop to the mid 20s.  New Orleans doesn't have a lot of needs, but they do need help at running back.  Ingram provides help, and it's rather fortunate the Saints can add a Heisman Trophy RB with one of the best QB's in the league in Drew Brees.

25. Seahawks - Adrian Clayborn (DE, Iowa)-

Seattle would like to get a franchise QB, but with Clayborn still on the board, they feel they can hold off until the 2nd Round.  Seattle does need to improve its pass rush, and will get help here.  With Locker, Ponder, and Mallett still available, I expect Seattle to target one of them in the 2nd Round.

26. Ravens - Brandon Harris (CB, Miami)-

Baltimore could use some help in the secondary.  This defense could use some help if they want to keep one of the best defenses in the league.

27. Falcons- Justin Houston (DE, Georgia)-

Atlanta brings in hometown boy Houston to improve the pass rush.  Abraham is still good, but is catching up in age.  Houston and Abraham on the edges next year sounds intimidating for opposing offenses.

28. Patriots- Cameron Heyward (DE, Ohio State)-

The Pats continue to stack up in the trenches by going on the defensive side here.  Heyward should help improve the pass rush.

29. Bears- Jonathan Baldwin (WR, Pittsburgh)-

This may be a surprise for many, but with no OT worth selecting here, Chicago decides to bring in a #1 WR for Jay Cutler.  They could go after a DT here with Muhammad and Liuget still on the board, but Cutler has been awful against the Packers the past couple years.  If Chicago wants to continue to contend in the NFC North, they have to be able to beat the Packers secondary.  They bring in a big target in Baldwin and provide a new toy for Cutler.

30. NY Jets - Akeem Ayers (OLB, UCLA)-

The Jets look to improve their pass rush by selecting an OLB. 

31. Steelers- Danny Watkins (OG, Baylor)-

Pittsburgh needs help at OG and go after the best remaining OG in the draft.

32. Packers- Brooks Reed (OLB, Arizona)-

GB could go DE here with Liuget, Paea, and Wilkerson still on the board.  However, Ted Thompson drafted DE Mike Neal in the 2nd Round last year, and Neal looked promising as a rookie before getting injured.  The Packers take a different direction by getting the best pass rusher remaining on the board. 

This was my first Mock of the year.  If you did not approve of the pick I gave your team, please explain why and who you would rather have.

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