1. Kansas City – Luke Joeckel – I don’t love Joeckel and I think he has the lowest ceiling of the big three LTs in this draft, but Joeckel is ready to go out and play at a good level right now and that is exactly what Andy Reid and the Chiefs want and is in line with their whole off-season.
2. Jacksonville – Sharrif Floyd – This one is simple, Floyd is the best player in this draft and is arguably the best DT in several years. I believe he is a better player coming out of college with a higher ceiling than even Suh, and I am not the only one who feels this way. Some believe that Dion Jordan will be the pick here, but the odds are better the Jordan will be the next Vernon Gholston than JPP.
3. Oakland - Cordarrelle Patterson – I know this feels a lot like a Al Davis has risen from the dead, but this pick would accomplish one big thing for Oakland: it would make them exciting which is something they have not been in years. Oakland just went out and got Matt Flynn and they need to give him some weapons, create some excitement, and put some butts in seats and Patterson is going to be better at that than any other player in this draft at doing those things for the Raiders. Also, he will help Flynn’s chances of succeeding.
4. Philadelphia – Lane Johnson – There is no question that the Eagles will take good hard looks at Eric Fisher, Dion Jordan, and Geno Smith here; but at the end of the day they will take the LT with the best upside in the draft who will be a great fit in the scheme that Chip Kelly is installing. Right now Joeckel and Fisher are better LTs, but Johnson has the chance to be elite which is something I am not sure that either Joeckel or Fisher possess.
5. Detroit – Dee Milner – There is not a player in this draft that makes perfect sense for the Lions at 5, so they take the highest player on their board who will raise the talent level of the team. Opinions on Milner vary, some believe he can be elite, while others think that he is overrated due to the lack of top end talent in this draft. One thing is clear, he is the best DB in this draft and Detroit is thin at DB.
6. Cleveland -Star Lotulelei – I am not predicting trades in this mock, but this would be a prime place for a LT needy team to make a move to snag the last of the big three LTs, in this case Eric Fisher, not to mention the fact that there is not a clear pick for the Browns at 6. If there is not a trade, then Lotulelei makes the most sense, as he is the best defender on the board. Is DT a major need for Cleveland? No, but in my opinion he is the last of the high value defensive players.
7. Arizona – Eric Fisher – This is a DREAM scenario for the Cardinals, they stood pat and an elite player in this draft that fits their need falls right into their lap. The biggest question is whether or not the Arizona staffer trips over their own feet in excitement running this pick up to the podium.
8. Buffalo – Geno Smith – The Bills have been busy all off season kicking the tires of every possible first round prospect that would return their phone calls. I am not sure that the Bills love Smith, but if I were the GM of Buffalo I would pick Geno Smith at 8 and then snag Tyler Bray in the 3rd and then Landrey Jones in the 6th and have a Battle Royal in training camp between the draftees, Kevin Kolb and Tavares Jackson. The odds of stumbling upon a franchise QB significantly go up in this scenario. Lets face it, until you find a franchise QB you are just treading water.
9. New York Jets – Dion Jordan – I am not high on Jordan, something about him just does not jive with me, with that said if there is any place where he could thrive it would be in a 3-4 with an aggressive coach like Rex Ryan. Is Jordan uncomfortably similar to Vernon Gholston? Probably. Should that deter the Jets? Probably. Will it deter the Jets? Probably not.
10. Tennessee – Chance Warmack – Put simply, Warmack is one of the 8 elite prospects of this draft and he will be very hard for the Titans to pass on if he happens to fall to them, in this scenario he does. I know Guards usually don’t go this high, but this is a draft unlike one in recent memory and all the old rules are out the window.
11. San Diego – Ziggy Ansah – There are players that would be more fitting than Ansah for the Chargers in terms of need, but Ansah’s upside is simply to much to pass up. The addition of Ansah, would give the Chargers two (Melvin Ingram) young versatile athletic D-Linemen for the future and you can simply not have enough pass rushers.
12. Miami – Bjoern Werner – The phins were probably hoping that either Ansah, Johnson, or Milner slipped through to them, but in this case they did not. While Werner is not an athletic freak, his fundamentals and positioning would pair well with Cameron Wake’s sheer athleticism. However if I were a betting man, I put money on the Dolphins moving out of 12, maybe down, but probably up.
13. Tampa Bay – Tavon Austin – This was a tough pick as there were a half dozens realistic possibilities for the Bucs here including Sheldon Richardson, Jonathon Cooper, Jarvis Jones, Xavier Rhodes, and Desmond Trufant. At the end of the day, only Austin was irreplaceable in terms of skills sets as there is simply no one else like him in this draft while there are plenty of other good guards, pass rushers, and corner backs. Not to mention the fact that Austin would bring a needed speed to passing game that has been more about size and strength.