The excitement is building as we inch closer and closer to the draft. Mocking the draft is going to bring you a new mock draft every week. This latest attempt has some interesting developments with Cam Newton jumping into the top spot. I really want to stress that this is my prediction on how the draft will go and not where I value players. You can check out my Big Board HERE and our Scouting Reports HERE. Also look for my 2nd round coming out tomorrow.
1. Carolina (2-14)- Cam Newton- QB- Auburn
- As much as I hate to do it, I have a strong feeling that Newton will be the #1 overall pick. Newton is a once in a life time type talent and the kind of player that could lead your franchise to several Super Bowls. However, he is also the type of player that may never develop and set you back several years. I think either way the potential will be too much for Carolina to pass.
2. Denver (4-12)- Marcell Dareus- DT- Alabama
- Denver will likely be starting two undersized defensive ends in Elvis Dumervil and Robert Ayers which means they need bulk in the middle. Dareus is a better run stuffer than Fairley and that will impact the Broncos decision at #2. I still feel that Bowers will be in play at this selection depending on Fox's true feelings on Ayers.
3. Buffalo (4-12)- Patrick Peterson- CB- LSU
- In my opinion, the Bills will be targeting Dareus but in this mock he is already off the board. The next move for the Bills is taking the best athlete and playmaker available and that is Peterson. Buffalo gets a first hand look at how a shutdown corner can help a defense by playing the Jets twice a year.
4. Cincinnati (4-12)- Blaine Gabbert- QB- Missouri
- It appears to me that Carson Palmer is dead serious about never again playing for the Bengals. If this is the case, Cincinnati needs to make a move to ensure their future at the quarterback position. I don't feel the can afford to gamble and wait see if they can get a quarterback later in this draft or next season.
5. Arizona (5-11)- Von Miller- OLB- Texas A&M
- Both Gabbert and Newton are off the board so Arizona needs to move on from the quarterback position. Miller is the type of player that can have an immediate and major impact. His ability to get to the quarterback has the potential to change games like Clay Matthews Jr.
6. Cleveland (5-11)- Da'Quan Bowers- DE- Clemson
- Cleveland is in a good position here to take the best player available and still have it fill a position of need. The Browns are making the move from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense and they don't have a true pass rushing threat at defensive end. Bowers can be the corner stone of their defense for years to come.
7. San Francisco (6-10)- A.J. Green- WR- Georgia
- Wide receiver is not a major need but Green represents great value. The trio of Green, Davis, and Crabtree will give defensive coordinators nightmares. If San Francisco wants to go in a different direction I think Prince Amukamara is the next logical option.
8. Tennessee (6-10)- Nick Fairley- DT- Auburn
- I still feel that Fairley remains in competition for the #1 overall pick but if he falls here Tennessee will be thrilled. Fairley gives the Titans a disruptive force at the interior of their defensive line.
9. Dallas (6-10)- Tyron Smith- OT- USC
- Smith's stock continues to rise and the Cowboys are in need of an upgrade at the tackle position. Smith shows the best technique and balance of all the tackle prospects. His age and athletic ability give him a ton of potential.
10. Washington (6-10)- Julio Jones- WR- Alabama
- The Redskins are very thin at the wide receiver position so the Jones selection seems like logical choice. Jones has great size and speed giving him the ability to be a true playmaker. He knows how to use his body in traffic and make the tough catch.
11. Houston (6-10)- Prince Amukamara- CB- Nebraska
- Amukamara will join a much criticized defensive backfield in Houston and hope to right the ship. He is a technically sound corner with the potential to shutdown his side of the field.
12. Minnesota (6-10)- Anthony Castonzo- OT- Boston College
- This is a little high for Castonzo but the Viking offensive line was a major weak point last season. Whoever the quarterback is next season they will need protection in order to be successful. Minnesota could look to upgrade their pass rush with a guy like Robert Quinn but I am not sure how adding another undersized defensive end will improve their overall line play.
13. Detroit (6-10)- Nate Solder- OT- Colorado
- Left tackles are routinely taken earlier than expected especially those with the potential of Solder. I am not high on Solder but his athletic ability is through the roof. Someone is going to take a chance to develop him and hope he ends up being a Pro Bowl caliber tackle. The Lions might be a good fit because he learn behind their current tackles and take his time to develop.
14. St. Louis (7-9)- Robert Quinn- DE/OLB- North Carolina
- The Rams have other needs but Quinn is a potentially game changing pass rusher. At this point, the Rams just go with the best player available. Coach Spags knows how to use talented pass rushers like Quinn.
15. Miami (7-9)- Mark Ingram- RB- Alabama
- No matter who the quarterback is in Miami they will need to depend on a solid running game. Both Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown are declining so adding Ingram would help rejuvenate the running game.
16. Jacksonville (8-8)- Justin Houston- DE/OLB- Georgia
- Jacksonville is still looking to solve their pass rushing struggles and Houston is a pass rushing specialist. The fact that he weighed in at 270lbs and showed a strong lower half has me feeling comfortable about him playing defensive end.
17. New England (from Oakland 8-8)- Cameron Jordan- DE/DT- California
- Jordan is a great fit for New England's defensive scheme at the 5 technique position.
18. San Diego (9-7)- J.J. Watt- DE- Wisconsin
- There are more than a handful of teams looking to upgrade at the 5 technique position and San Diego is among that group. Watt possesses the ideal skills to fill that role and contribute early in his career.
- The Giants were the most successful when they had a good running game and great offensive line. That offensive line success started in the middle with Shaun O'Hara. Recent struggles with injures and age have limited O'Hara's playing time and abilities. Pouncey can come in and learn behind O'Hara and also be insurance in case of injuries.
20. Tampa Bay (10-6)- Ryan Kerrigan- DE- Purdue
- Tampa Bay's defense will benefit greatly from a consistent pass rush and Kerrigan can bring the pressure. He is a bit undersized to play defensive end in a 4-3 but his pass rushing skills make it worth the gamble.
21. Kansas City (10-6)- Phil Taylor- NT- Baylor
- The Chiefs have been adding pieces to their defense line for a few years and Taylor represents the final piece to the puzzle. His ability to clog the middle as a nose tackle is something 3-4 defensive teams covet.
22. Indianapolis (10-6)- Corey Liuget- DT- Illinois
- The Colts decision makers have shown that they will take the best player available and it just so happens this time it fills a position of need. Liuget's ability to play strong against both the run and pass will immediately upgrade the interior of the Colts defensive line.
23. Philadelphia (10-6)- Brandon Harris- CB- Miami
- I can see the Eagles going in any number of directions depending if there is a free agency period and how it shakes out. Either way the cornerback position is an area of need and Harris represents a player with high upside.
24. New Orleans (11-5)- Adrian Clayborn
25. Seattle (7-9)- Ryan Mallett- QB- Arkansas
- The Seahawks are looking very closely at every available quarterback option. If a new CBA is not in place by the draft they may need to use their first pick on a quarterback. Mallett possesses a big arm and Pete Carroll isn't the type of person to be scared off by some personality question marks.
26. Baltimore (12-4)- Jimmy Smith- CB- Colorado
- Smith has both great size and speed which is something the Ravens covet in their secondary. Baltimore has shown in the past they don't get scared away by rumored character red flags.
27. Atlanta (13-3)- Aldon Smith- DE- Missouri
28. New England (14-2)- Akeem Ayers- OLB- UCLA
- Ayers has seen his draft stock take a major hit after his poor showing at the combine. However, his tape still shows his ability to make plays and cover ground. New England is always on the lookout for talented linebackers and Ayers will fit nicely in their scheme.
29. Chicago (11-5)- Gabe Carimi- OT- Wisconsin
- I am among the few that feel Carimi can excel as a left tackle in the NFL. Landing in Chicago might be his best chance to get an early shot at left tackle. Also, he would have to be thrilled to have the opportunity to work with a talented coach like Mike Tice.
- The Jets might be hoping that Phil Taylor is available at this spot because they need to find someone to solidify their nose tackle position. However, the also have a need at defensive and and Wilkerson fits that need.
31. Pittsburgh (12-4)- Ben Ijalana OT- Villanova
- Ijalana is a bit of a project but projects at either tackle or guard. Pittsburgh seen this past season that depth and versatility along the offensive line is very important.
32. Green Bay (10-6)- Cameron Heyward- DE/DT- Ohio State
- Heyward's stock has taken a hit due to an injury but that doesn't mean it isn't a talented player. Heyward is strong against the run and can create pressure off the edge.