There a few different takes, since first rounds rarely work out the way most draftniks think they will. This could be for a number of reasons, however, that being said on to the mock!
Carolina – Blaine Gabbert QB Missouri
The Panthers invested a second round pick in Jimmy Clausen, and I think they should go for AJ Green here to give Clausen a chance, and have someone for the next guy if Clausen doesn’t work out. However, a new regime probably means a new quarterback. In that case, Gabbert is the most NFL ready and the least likely to bust, they’ll select him.
Denver Broncos – Marcel Dareus DT
All the draftnicks say that Dareus has the highest floor of anyone in the draft. Denver’s in the middle of switching schemes, Dareus will help that tremendously. They have other needs, and there’s other players with more upside, but the Broncos have traditionally been a more conservative organization (Josh McDaniels not withstanding) and this is a pretty safe pick, good value, high floor…solid pick here
Buffalo – Cam Newton QB Auburn.
I don’t see JaMarcus Russell in him. Chan Gailey, from what I’m told, is good with QBs. And if anyone can work with Newton its Chan. The Bills need help at the gate, and Newton can excite a fan base with his massive size and tremendous athleticism. They have Fitzpatrick there to fill in until Newton’s ready. Cam Newton will be a top ten pick, Buffalo has a QB that can start in the interim, and a coach who will exercise the patience necessary to work with Cam. This is really the best fit for him.
Cincinnati – AJ Green WR Georgia
Palmer’s retirement threats are likely real, although if they’re not Green will provide him with a tremendous weapon and may cause him to rethink his decision. If not, the Bengals can trade him to another team needing a QB and the next guy will have a top flight WR waiting for him. (The obvious trade is McNabb for Palmer)
Arizona – Nick Fairley DT Auburn.
If the above mentioned scenario actually happens they’ll probably trade down, likely with Dallas, so they can take Peterson…but assuming no trades selecting a fantastic 43 DT. He'll provide a fantastic pass rush up the middle of the line and give Sam Bradford nightmares for years to come. The Cardinals defense is a project at this point, but Fairley's a great start. Other options here would be Bowers or perhaps Von Miller.
Cleveland – Julio Jones WR Alabama
Cleveland’s committed to Colt McCoy, and they need to give him some weapons. Jones had a great combine and a very productive career at Alabama. He’ll instantly provide him with a decent deep threat, not to mention a WR who can provide an option for him over the middle. Peyton Hillis can’t do all the work in Cleveland, they need other help at the skills position.
San Francisco – Von Miller OLB Texas A&M
The 49ers already have the best LB in the league in Patrick Willis, now they can add a top flight passrusher to provide some pressure to the opposing QB. They have other needs, and they to would likely look to trade back in this situation, but assuming no trades…this is the pick
Tennessee – Da'quan Bowers DE Clemson
The Titans need some help on the DL. Bowers is the best 43 DE prospect left, he had an all world year and is drawing comparisons to Julius Peppers. Perhaps a more apt comparison would be a former Titan in Jevon Kearse. At any rate, I'm pretty sure just about everyone would consider this a solid pick.
Dallas – Patrick Peterson CB LSU
Assuming he falls out of the top three, I think they’ll move up to get him…but again assuming no trades. I am a Cowboys fan, so this scenario is a bit of a “dream come true” for me…but the secondary sucks, it needs help. Peterson provides it. The “depth” allows them to slowly work Peterson in, not that they’d need to, but he fits well with the team and he’ll help an abysmal secondary. Easy pick right here, Jerry Jones is snapping both ankles stumbling over himself to get this pock in.
Washington – Robert Quinn DE UNC
There really isn’t much left for Dan Snyder right here. However, Quinn is a monster, and him and Orapko can provide lots of problems for Offensive Coordinators everywhere. They have many needs, starting with trying to find a way to make nice with their highest paid player and Donovan McNabb, but Quinn’s too good to pass up here.
Houston – Prince Amukamara CB Nebraska
Houston’s secondary is beyond god awful. I think Kareem Jackson was the worst CB in football last year. I’m not as high on Amukamara as others, but he provides a much needed upgrade in the secondary.
Minnesota – Ryan Mallett QB Arkansas
Yes, I know. He’s an idiot, immobile, less athletic than some of you are, but he’s big, strong, tough, and has a huge arm. I don’t see him as Ryan Leaf, Minnesota typically likes big armed tough QBs. He’ll make great use out of Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice, and at the very least make fewer game losing decisions than their last QB
Detroit – Tyron Smith OT USC
This is tough, I love Smith…but he’s a great fit in Detroit. Matthew Stafford is a good QB when healthy, they need to protect him and keep him upright so he can finally start getting Megatron some fantasy points. He’s the best OL in the draft, IMO. No brainer here.
St. Louis – Gabe Carimi OT Wisconsin
Again, they need a WR, so they’d also probably like to move back. At anyrate, Rodger Staffold looks to be the LT of the future. They have a good asset in Sam Bradford, so they need to protect it. Smith wouldn’t be a bad pick, but I see them investing in Bradford with this pick.
Miami – Mark Ingram RB Alabama
The Fish are currently starting a RB none of you have heard of and probably should be in the CFL or AFL somewhere. While RB is an overrated position in terms of value provided, you can't have Lex Hilliard as your starter when Chad Henne is your starting QB. Having Lex Hilliard as your starting RB isn't advisable even if Peyton Manning is your starting QB.
Jacksonville – Ryan Kerrigan DE Purdue.
Like most of the teams, they also need an upgrade in the pass rush. They’re great against the run, so Kerrigan’s size won’t hurt them too much. They have Alualu to help Kerrigan’s lack of size. They also need a QB sooner or later, so there’s always that option too.
New England (from Oakland) – Cam Jordan DE California
Their defense has been pretty bad the past few seasons, and while they have some pieces they need more DLmen, especially since Seymour left. Cam Jordan can provide that kind of impact in the future, and he’ll probably bring Belicheck and Brady another Lombardi sometime soon.
San Diego – Aldon Smith OLB Missouri
Their defense rated number one in the league, as did their offense. There’s a few different ways they can go. Getting someone to replace Merriman’s production in his good years would be a good start. Smith is a freak, he had a down year and the Chargers are lucky to get him here.
New York Giants – Nate Solder OT Colorado.
Reese took a risk on a physical freak last time out with JPP, why not do it again with Solder?
Tampa Bay – Justin Houston DE Georgia
They got a good player in McCoy, facing a DL with McCoy and Houston could remind Bucs fans of the good old days with Sapp and Rice. If they get Houston, the Drew Brees and Matt Ryan better watch out.
Kansas City – Anthony Costanzo OT Boston College
They could go Taylor here, but the defense is fine as it is. They could instantly upgrade the OL here with Costanzo. He’ll provide Cassell with a bit more time to improve on the 30th ranked passing offense. There will be teams in the late first looking to move out of the first round, and there will be NT prospects that fall to the second round. However, if Costanzo falls to the Chiefs here Pioli has to pull the trigger.
Indianapolis – Derek Sherod OT Mississippi State
Peyton Manning was harassed last year. He looked very human when there was a decent pass rush on him. There's been several articles written about how the Colts like Sherod and have had several visits with him. The Colts need a tackle and they seem to like Sherod.
Philadelphia Eagles – Jimmy Smith CB Colorado
The Eagles have an all world offense, and not too many holes in general. They might need someone else to play opposite Samuel, and Smith’s a good pick here.
New Orleans – Adrian Clayborn DE Iowa
I personally think that Clayborn is a better fit in the 43 than the 34. He’ll be a good fit in New Orleans helping out the run defense and the pass rush. A lot of people don't like him in the 34, but I watched quite a few Hawkeye games the past few seasons and see him more as a 43 DE or DT than a 34 DE.
Seattle – Jake Locker QB Washington
Seems like the perfect fit. Seattle needs a QB, Pete Carroll knows a lot about Locker from his days coaching in the Pac-10. They could go in other directions here, but I think Locker is a good pick here.
Baltimore – Brandon Harris CB Miami
Baltimore’s defense isn’t what it used to be. Their pass rush isn’t the same, and they need someone who is capable of covering the better WRs in the league. Ed Reed is good, but he’s the last line of defense, not the first. They need something else
Atlanta – Akeem Ayers OLB UCLA.
Atlanta needs help defensively. Ayers is pretty much their best option at this point. Honestly, I see them trading out of the first to a team that wants to select Christian Ponder, but assuming no trades…Ayers is the pick.
New England – JJ Watt DE Wisconsin
As mentioned before the NE defense has become quite the overrated unit, and they’re still living off their reputation. However, they have some good parts and aren’t that far away from being a good defense again. JJ Watt looks like Ivan Drago. This is pretty far for him to fall, but he’ll be another good 34 DE in New England.
Chicago – Aaron Williams FS Texas
Again, they’ll probably trade down, but there’s no guards worth taking, so they may as well take a FS. They have a great pass rush, but an iffy secondary. If Peppers doesn't get there QBs can light up the corners. All the good corners are gone, so they should look safety here.
New York – Leonard Hankerson WR Miami
Cam Heyward is an option here too, but the Jets are going to lose one of Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes. Hankerson had a great Senior Bowl and his stock is rising. Mark Sanchez is a fairly mediocre QB who is making a living off of playing on a team with a great defense, great weapons, a good running game, and in New York. If they want to keep Sanchez a viable starter they need another WR. Brooks Reed is also an option here too if they believe in Mark Sanchez developing into an average QB.
Pittsburgh Mike Pouncey OG Florida
Perfect fit here, Pittsburgh’s OL sucks and he gets to play with his bro. Pouncey helps the line more than any other player currently on the board. Outside of that the Steelers don't have too many needs. Their corners are overrated, so they could go defense here and maybe try to improve the pass rush to mask their fringy CBs, but I see them trying to help the offense instead.
Green Bay – Cam Heyward DE OSU
They don’t have many needs so they can afford to take a risky pick with lots of upside here. I’m sure Capers will have fun with a freak like Heyward.
Side notes: Lots of different takes here, but I think all of these picks are realistic. I also see SF trading back into the first round for Christian Ponder. They can keep him upright and he has Gore and Crabtree as weapons. A QB is the only thing keeping them out of the playoffs. The obvious differences between my mock and the CW is Peterson falling to Dallas, Solder going to New York, and Taylor, Wilkerson, and Paea falling out of the first. That being said I don't see a single pick here that isn't defensible.