New to the SBnation and Blogging the Boys community, but I figured I'd give this mock a shot. This probably isn't my final version of the draft and, even after completing it, I saw a few things I would have done differently. However, I wanted to put something up as a first draft of my mock draft so I could have something to build off of. So, without further ado: my first Fan Post, and first attempt at a Mock Draft.
1.) St. Louis Rams--Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
I know this this the trendy/sexy pick right now for most mockers, but I think it's that way for good reason. I'm not one to get high on a player after a great workout--especially a pro-day, which are set up by each school to cast their players in the best light and make them look like football legends--but I know plenty of NFL teams bite on them. All that aside, the Rams have been wandering around in the quarterback desert for quite a while now, and Sam Bradford is the best quarterback in this draft and worthy of a number one selection. No brainer, really, even though a few other plays would fit in here nicely as well. We all know the Rams love Suh and McCoy, and it wouldn't be a bad idea to get a keystone LT.
Other possible selections: Ndamukong Suh, Gerald McCoy, Russel Okung, Trent Williams,
2.) Detroit Lions--Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
The Lions still have a long way to go and have a lot of needs, left tackle, cornerback, and defensive tackle included. Head Coach Jim Schwartz got his man when he picked up Kyle Vanden Bosch in free-agency, and you know he'd love to try and replicate the kind of defense he coached when he was with Tennessee. Suh, coming in at 6'4, 307 lbs, is the closest thing to Albert Haynesworth that Schwartz is going to find, so I think that makes Suh irresistible at this pick. McCoy would work as well, and I know some other mocks have him going here but, once again, Suh projects to be more like Haynesworth, the kind of DT I think Schwartz prefers.
Other possible selections: Gerald McCoy, Russel Okung, Trent Williams
3.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers--Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
SportsIllustrated's Don Banks makes a good point when he compares the Bucs acquiring McCoy here to the Bucs picking up Warren Sapp all those years ago. Tampa Bay is another team with a lot of holes to fill: defensive tackle, defensive end, strong safety, cornerback, wide receiver... the list really goes on (in fact, out of the teams in the top 3, I'd want to be Tampa Bay the least). However, I don't think any of their other positions of need have any players that are worth a pick in the top 3. A trade down might be a wise choice, but outside of that, Gerald McCoy is a guy they're more than happy to have.
Other possible selections: Ndamukong Suh, Joe Haden, Jason Pierre-Paul
4.) Washington Redskins--Russel Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
With the retirement of Chris Samuels, Russel Okung can step in immediately and ensure that there is very little drop off at this position. It's no secret that Mike Shanahan is probably dreaming of grooming his next franchise quarterback, but I'm not convinced Jimmy Clausen is worth of a number four pick, and I don't think Shanahan is either. I think in the long term, the Redskins would be fine with Jason Campbell. If not, he's a better stop-gap than most teams have. Quarterback can be addressed in a lower round or in next year's draft.
Other possible selections: Trent Williams, Jimmy Clausen
5.) Kansas City Chiefs--Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
The Chiefs are in disarray that neither Suh nor McCoy fell to them, and it's a distinct possibility they either reach too far for Dan Williams at this pick, or trade out of number five. That being said, I think they can be smart here and draft some help for their offensive line. Bulaga, for me, projects more as an elite right than a good left tackle, but I think the Chiefs draft him here for the left tackle position. I think their need at left tackle is greater than their want for a guy like Joe Haden or Eric Berry (though I really think this team is where Ken Hamlin ends up), but the Chiefs may surprise me.
Other possible selections: Eric Berry, Joe Haden, Trent Williams
The Seahawks need some help at right tackle, and Anthony Davis is the perfect prospect to do that for them. He has the physical ability and measurables to be a stalwart at left tackle, but currently lacks the discipline and probably needs a little coaching before he makes that jump. Look for them to keep him at right tackle to be groomed as Walter Jones' eventual replacement on the left side of the line.
Other possible selections: Eric Berry, Trent Williams, Jimmy Clausen
7.) Cleveland Browns--Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
Cleveland is ecstatic Eric Berry fell to them at number seven, and probably jump on it before half the clock runs down. The team has a lot of obvious holes, but Eric Berry fills a major need and is more than worth picking at number seven.
Other possible selections: Joe Haden, Jimmy Clausen
8.) Oakland Raiders--Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland
Oh, hell. There really is no predicting what the Oakland Raiders do with this pick. Perhaps they use number 8 to draft a new owner? All joking aside, I think everyone knows Oakland will probably do the unpredictable on draft weekend. I'm willing to say I have absolutely no clue what they'll do here. I cringed when I decided to have Oakland take Campbell here. This isn't a referendum on Campbell, but I do believe his workouts overstate his actual ability on the field. A lot of drafters have Bruce Campbell going to Oakland, and I don't like merely falling in line with the crowd. But, really... who expects Al Davis to learn from his mistakes? Tom Cable is an offensive line coach, Al Davis drafts workout warriors, the Raiders think they need a tackle (though I think Mario Henderson's problems really stem from the Raider's injuries and the subsequent reshuffling of the line).
Other possible selections: Anthony Davis, Trent Williams, Jason Pierre-Paul, Carlos Dunlap (You name it, Oakland might draft it)
9.) Buffalo Bills--Trent Williams, Oklahoma
Trent Williams is probably the second-best left tackle prospect in this draft, but due to other team's more pressing needs and one team's unwillingness to make good decisions on draft-day, he falls to number 9. Any other year, number 9 wouldn't be "falling," but left-tackles have been overvalued in the draft in recent years. The Bills almost decide to take Jimmy Clausen here, but decide they could probably get another quarterback in round two and let him compete with Brohm, Fitzpatrick, and Trent Edwards (don't worry, only two of these guys will be on the roster when the regular season rolls around).
Othe possible selections: Jimmy Clausen, Jermaine Gresham
10.) Jacksonville Jaguars--Jason Pierre-Paul, South Florida
Jason Pierre-Paul is one of the more intriguing prospects for me, because I'm not too sure where he goes in the first round or how good a player he projects to be. However, teams are really starting to like this guy, and I trust Mike Mayock when he says that Pierre-Paul might be one of the best ends in this draft. Even with the signing of Kampman, I think Jacksonville goes defensive end here; I'm just not 100% sold on just which one yet. Some people are suggesting Earl Thomas here, but Jacksonville's need at safety is at strong safety, and I don't think they try and move either Thomas or Reggie Nelson out of their natural fit at free safety.
Other possible selections: Derrick Morgan, Brandon Graham
11.) Denver Broncos--Rolando McClain, ILB
The Broncos have reconstructed their defensive line, so a 3-4 defensive end is probably out. Jimmy Clausen might be a wise pick here, but McDaniels seems like he's set with Orton as the starter. A lot of people are liking Dez Bryant here, but the Broncos have yet to pull a trigger on a Brandon Marshall trade. I'm not entirely convinced one will happen and, if it does, I'm not sure McDaniels want to take another receiver with a question mark in the locker-room/off-the-field area. I don't think Bryant will be a problem--it's just that I think McDaniels is going to play it safe.
Other possible selections: Dez Bryant
12.) Miami Dolphins--Sergio Kendle, LB, Texas
It's no secret that the Dolphins would love to upgrade at wide receiver, but I'd put Bill Parcels in the don't-want-to-take-a-chance-on-Bryant category. Joe Haden has fallen to 12, and is an intriguing prospect in this spot, but I think the Dolphins would prefer to have a replacement for Joey Porter. Dan Williams would make sense, but outside of freak-athletes Suh and McCoy, defensive tackles normally aren't taken very high in the draft.
Other possibel selections: Joe Haden, Dan Williams, Dez Bryant
13.) San Francisco 49ers--Joe Haden, CB, Florida
The 49ers could take a variety of positions here, but they're probably thrilled that Joe Haden falls into their laps at 13. They could also take Earl Thomas here as well, but I can't see them saying no to taking Haden at this spot. Their need at guard or right tackle can wait till their next pick, and the defensive line can be replenished with some 3-4 ends in the middle rounds.
Other possible selections: Earl Thomas, Mike Iupati
14.) Seattle Seahawks--C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson
The Seahawks offense needs some major juice, and I think they get that here with speed demon C.J. Spiller. Quarterback is an option,seeing as Jimmy Clausen is still on the board, but I just don't think they plan on taking one in the first round.
Other possible selections: Earl Thomas, Jimmy Clausen
15.) New York Giants--Sean Weatherspoon, OLB, Missouri
The departure of Antonio Pierce leaves a void in New York's linebacker core that the Giants hope Weatherspoon will fill. They would have hoped Rolando McClain was on the board at 15, but he's not, so they'll address a need at OLB. They could also look to add another defensive end to an injury-prone, underachieving, dissatisfied, yet talented defensive line.
Other possible selections: Rolando McClain, Derrick Morgan, Brandon Graham
16.) Tennessee Titans--Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
The Titans are an interesting team here, their low pick at number 16 not being very telling of their much-improved play at the end of the season. The loss of Vanden Bosch would hurt them, so you could look for the Titans to just plug in Derrick Morgan to the position. However, the Titans are hurting for a cornerback to play opposite of Cortland Finnegan. That, and I think Vanden Bosch's replacement is already on the team.
Other possible selections: Derrick Morgan, Brandon Graham, Mike Iupati
17.) San Francisco 49ers--Mike Iupati, G, Idaho
The 49ers have a pretty big need at guard and right tackle, and they were hoping Iupati would fall to them again at 17 when they didn't take him at 13. Well, he does, so they pick him up here. They could also pick up Earl Thomas who, like Iupati, is better than the 17th player in the draft. They could also look to convert Derrick Morgan or Brandon Graham to OLB.
Other possible selections: Mike Iupati, Derrick Morgan, Brandon Graham
18.) Pittsburgh Steelers--Maurkice Pouncey, C/G, Florida
The Steelers are a pretty complete team. I see their biggest needs at runningback and in the guard position on their offensive line (though who knows what's going to happen with the irresponsible Big Ben). With Iupati gone, Pittsburgh picks up Maurkice Pouncey in this spot. No matter how they use him, he'll fit in and stabilize an offensive line that has been known to struggle.
Other possible selections: Earl Thomas, Ryan Matthews
19.) Atlanta Falcons--Derrick Morgan, DE/OLB, Georgia Tech
Atlanta has a few holes to fill, and they find good value in Derrick Morgan at the 19th pick. Graham was very productive in college and has the kind of motor that coaches in the NFL like to see in their defensive linemen. Devin McCourty is a good fit here as well, with the Falcons being weak at the cornerback position, but I think 19 is a little high for McCourty.
Other possible selections: Devin McCourty, Brandon Graham
20.) Houston Texans--Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee
Houston has a huge hole at defensive end, and Williams can immediately start on the inside with Amobi Okoye. They would rather take a linebacker or guard at this spot, but there's not any remaining that carry a first round grade--at least, not at 20. They'd love to take Earl Thomas here, but need trumps any position of want where you already have a serviceable starter. My wildcard for this pick? Dez Bryant to start opposite of Andre Johnson. Yikes!
Other possible selections: Earl Thomas, Devin McCourty
21.) Cincinnati Bengals--Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
Jermain Gresham gives the Bengals an immediate receiving threat in the middle of the field. Earl Thomas is a very legitimate option here, but I think the Bengals would prefer some more offensive firepower at this point in the draft.
Other possible selections: Earl Thomas
22.) New England Patriots--Brandon Graham, DE/OLB, Michigan
The New England Patriots would like to have a better rusher coming off of the right side of the line, either at end or outside linebacker. Fortunately for New England, Graham could potentially play either of those positions, and provides pretty good value at this pick.
Other possible selections: Everson Griffin, Earl Thomas
23.) Green Bay Packers--Charles Brown, OT
The packers need some serious help on the offensive line, as franchise quarterback Aaron Rodgers got pounded all season long last year. They'd probably prefer a guard to a tackle at this spot, but no guards with first round grades remain on the board. Devin McCourty would also be a valuable pick for Green Bay here, with Woodson and Harris not getting any younger.
Other possible selections: Everson Griffin, Devin McCourty
24.) Philadelphia Eagles--Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers
I haven't seen another mock draft that's done this, and I know this pick doesn't make a whole lot of sense at first glance, compared to what the Eagles have to choose from at this pick, but hear me out. Everyone is going to say that if Earl Thomas slips to the Eagles at this point in the draft, the Eagles have to take him. That's not true. Even though Dawkins is gone, the Eagles weren't hurting at safety this year, and word from the organization is that the Eagles are looking at trying out Marlon Jackson (CB acquired from the Colts) at safety, which is a position I think he grades better at anyway. While the Eagles would like to add pass rush, their trading away of Sheldon Brown makes McCourty an obvious pick here for me.
Other possible selections: Everson Griffen, Earl Thomas
25.) Baltimore Ravens--Sean Lee, ILB, Penn State
Outside of Ray Lewis, who probably only has a few good years left in the NFL as it is, Baltimore has no other options at middle linebacker. Look for them to try and replace Bart Scott (and by virtue of that, find Ray Lewis' future replacement) in Sean Lee, the 'backer from Linebacker U.
Other possible selections: Jermaine Gresham, Donald Butler
26.) Arizona Cardinals--Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
We're all well-aware that the Cardinals would be unwilling to simply hand the team over to Matt Leinart. This is combined with the fact that the Cardinals don't really have any other glaring needs. Sure, they could take a linebacker here, but why do that when they can shock the NFL, and in doing so draft a QB many graded in the top ten? Should Jimmy Clausen fall this far, I don't see the Cardinals not taking him here.
Other possible selections: Donald Butler, Earl Thomas
27.) Dallas Cowboys--Earl Thomas, S, Texas
Say it isn't so! Is there any possible way the Cowboys get to choose between wide receiver Dez Bryant and Texas safety Earl Thomas? Jerry Jones wets himself at 27, Roy Williams sweats it, but in the end, the Cowboys end up taking Earl Thomas... I think... maybe. The recent release of Ken Hamlin dictates that the Cowboys take a safety at some point, and a guy like Thomas falling to them is irresistible. That is, unless they have their eyes on a trade for Bethea or Atogwe. If that's the case, then Jerry takes Dez Bryant, who he has been publicly courting the past few weeks. Either way, this is the Cowboys dream situation. And to think I didn't start this draft intending to have Bryant or Thomas fall to them.
Other possible selections: Dez Bryant, Patrick Robinson, Spontaneous Combustion
28.) San Diego Chargers--Ryan Matthews, RB, Fresno State
The Chargers need to make up for the loss of L.T. and the potential loss of Darren Sproles. Ryan Matthews is a safe pick at number 28, though taking Brian Price isn't outside the realm of possibility.
Other possible selections: Brian Price, Jared Odrick
29.) New York Jets--Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
The Jets are drooling, because the best wide receiver in the draft has fallen to them at 29. I want to take this moment to step on my soap box. Dez Bryant falling to 29 isn't a referendum on his character or his skills--I don't think either should be called into question. However, I think we all need to be realistic here. Wide receiver could be one of the hardest positions for players to make the transition from college to the pros. Not many teams would be willing to take a wide receiver in the middle of the first round when they have a chance to address other, more pressing needs--even more so if there's any question about that wide receiver. Does Bryant deserve to go higher than this? Yes. However, the reality of the situation, and the way the pieces fall together, he falls to the Jets, who would love to have him on their team.
Other possible selections: Taylor Mays, Brian Price, Jared Odrick
30.) Minnesota Vikings--Jared Odrick, DT, Penn State
With Pat Williams nearing retirement, the Vikings fill a potential need with a solid player. Defensive back is another good choice for the Vikings, but I'm not sure they think Florida State defensive back Patrick Robinson is worth the pick here in the first round.
Other possible selections: Brian Price, Patrick Robinson
31.) Indianapolis Colts--Brian Price, DT, UCLA
The Colts might rather have Jared Odrick, but they're happy to take Brian Price at pick 31 (the one-two defensive tackle combo is oddly reminiscent of Suh and McCoy at the beginning of the first round).
Other possible selections: Patrick Robinson, Jared Odrick, Jerry Hughs
32.) New Orleans Saints--Jerry Hughes, OLB, TCU
The Saints are in pretty big trouble at this stage of the game, in my opinion. After winning the Super Bowl, free agency took a toll on their championship winning team. Scott Fujita is gone, and the champs thus far have not resigned safety Darren Sharper, the keystone to their defense. If they don't take a linebacker here, look for them to possibly reach for Nate Allen.
Other possible selections: Daryl Washington, Nate Allen