NFL Mock Draft

Ken and I (Ryan) performed this draft by alternating picks.  Ken made selections for the odd numbered picks and I made the selection for the even numbered picks.  We used this method of alternating picks because we thought it would more accurately resemble a real draft and would minimize biases for and against certain players.  We hope everyone enjoys and we would love to hear your comments.  Also we recommend that everyone check out walterfootball.com and their mock drafts and their mock draft database.

  1. Indianapolis (2-14) – Andrew Luck – He has been the #1 pick in the NFL draft for at least 15 months.
  2. St. Louis (2-14) – Matt Kalil LT – The Rams have a lot of needs so this pick could go any number of directions.  With that said, no team in the NFL gave up as many sacks as the Rams did along with a whopping 114 QB hits allowed.  There are probably a handful of high school offensive lines that could have protected Bradford better than the Rams offensive line did.  So this leads me to pose a question: What good is a franchise quarterback if he is injured?
  3. Minnesota (3-13) – Morris Claiborne CB – Minnesota has many glaring needs and should explore options for trading this pick.  If they stick here, it comes down to Claiborne and Blackmon – both of whom are elite talents.  Claiborne provides the most bang for the buck – Minnesota can’t keep using Percy Harvin on returns and they need a lockdown corner in that division.
  4. Cleveland (4-12) – Justin Blackmon WR – The Browns need some weapons in their passing game, you know you are in dire straits when Josh Cribbs is your big play guy and most NFL fans would be lucky to be able to name another WR on the team.  A year ago people were singing the praises of Colt McCoy but now he is at the trough of that wave.  However, I believe the Browns front office is not ready to get rid of him and Mike Holmgren is never going to sell the farm for an “athletic QB” like RGIII.  So the only way to give McCoy a fair shot is to start giving him a real weapon.
  5. Tampa Bay (4-12) – Trent Richardson RB – Tampa is in trouble.  Virtually every position outside of QB and D-Line is upgradeable.  The situation is dire enough to consider reaching for Michael Floyd or Alshon Jeffery.  I’m not generally a fan of taking a running back this high, no matter how talented he is (see: Adrian Petersen), but Tampa’s offense is in need of a balanced, durable, playmaking RB who, unlike Blount, can stay in on third downs and help the offense expand.  Richardson has proved he’s all of those things.
  6. Washington (5-11) – Michael Brockers DT – The Redskins need to get better almost everywhere and this pick could easily be a WR or QB, but I think an old school guy like Mike Shanahan will want to continue to build his team from the trenches out.  A disruptive DT like Brockers would be a nice compliment to Brian Orakpo.
  7. Jacksonville (5-11) – Robert Griffin III QB – So you may be thinking, “why Jacksonville, and why now?”  First of all, new regimes mean new quarterbacks.  The incoming coaching staff has no allegiance to Blaine “GMs Love My Hair” Gabbert – which is excellent news for the 47 Jaguar fans out there who see Gabbert as the mirage he is.  How long into the regular season until the Jags start a different QB?  Three games?  Four?  Secondly, this franchise committed ritual suicide when they inexplicably passed on Tebow – virtually guaranteeing a future move to LA and the enmity of each choir of angels.  There is no way that the Jaguars can afford passing on a player of this talent and charisma.  Third reason: even in a town with Kobe and Griffin, RGIII will rule LA.
  8. Miami (6-10) – Quinton Coples DE – Miami has a stronger roster than their 6-10 record would indicate, and the team does not possess a glaring weakness.  With that in mind the phins are in need of a complimentary pass rusher to Wake especially with the trend in the NFL towards passing.
  9. Carolina (6-10) – Dre Kirkpatrick CB – Carolina has a few positions they can upgrade, and I am on the record as stating that the jury is still out on Cam Newton (upcoming columns on this point), but if the Cats really want to knock the Saints off their perch, they have to improve their secondary.  This is a very deep draft for corners, and the Panthers can walk away with the consensus #2.  Only his recent arrest can send him tumbling – and it’s being reported that charges will be dropped.  I honestly don’t think the arrest would have scared Rivera and his staff off, and it’s not like Janoris Jenkins – the only other CB that can challenge Kirkpatrick at this spot – is a boy scout.  Kirkpatrick is a big time corner who has played well in big time games.
  10. Buffalo (6-10) – Courtney Upshaw DE\OLB – The Bills defense was downright atrocious at times this year.  Once Fitzpatrick signed his huge new deal the team began a tumble that it never recovered from and a lot of that blame falls on the D.  Outside of Marcel Darius they did not have a player on their line that was consistently disruptive.  For sustained success Buffalo needs to get better on D and Upshaw provides them with an impact player who is versatile.
  11. Kansas City (7-9) – Riley Reiff RT – Kansas City is another team that has a few holes to plug and they are picking at an awkward spot.  A new quarterback would be nice, but this seems a bit high for Mr. Tannehill or Mr. Foles.  Running back desperately needs to be upgraded, but this is simply way too high for a guy like Lamar Miller.  Kansas City could go just about anywhere with this pick, but I think they’d like to build some stability on offense if they can’t address the “skill” positions directly.  Plus, it’s a crime that Riley Reiff – a truly great talent at tackle – is still on the board.
  12. Seattle (7-9) –  Whitney Mercilus DE – The Seahawks are a team that is gradually improving, but they still need to become more stout along both sides of the line.  Mercilus had a strong final year at Illinois and has the potential to be a solid upgrade on the Seahawks D-Line.
  13. Arizona (8-8) – Luke Kuechly ILB – To be honest, I’m not 100% sold on Luke Kuechly.  He’s a sure tackler, but his highlights show play after play of mop-up duty.  I don’t see the splash plays that are the only reason to draft a linebacker in the top ten.  That being said, a player like Kuechly (no idea how this name is pronounced, by the way) could significantly help a poor tackling, underachieving LB squad like the Cardinals.  They have to stop hemorrhaging yards and even though he’s an unlikely pro-bowler, he’ll be productive in Arizona.  Think Barrett Ruud but without the explosive athleticism.
  14. Dallas (8-8) – Jonathon Martin LT – This Cowboys team was generally a disappointment even though an argument could be made that this is one of the most talented teams in the NFL.  I know that Jerry Jones loves to make splashes in the draft with guys like Dez Bryant but sometimes you just have to pick a solid non-sexy guy.  One area that this team needs to get better and younger is the O-Line and Martin is a steal at this spot.
  15. Philadelphia (8-8) – Michael Floyd WR – This pick, it should be pointed out, presupposes the exit of Desean Jackson.  I don’t see how Andy Reid can pass on either Floyd or Jeffery at this spot.  If both guys are available, it’ll come down to what Reid sees on the tape (between courses of suckling pig, braised short ribs, and manicotti).  I think he’ll prefer Floyd.  Although a touch raw, he is a gifted athlete who is particularly deadly in the red zone.  He’ll make fans nervous, double and triple-catching passes at times, but what’s a Philly game without occasional (or frequent) boos?
  16. New York Jets (8-8) – Alshon Jeffrey WR – The Jets WR position is chaotic.  The Jets just confirmed that they are keeping Holmes, even though it is not clear if Sanchez and Holmes can be in the same locker room without a slap fight breaking out between them.   Jeffrey is a big time talent that could go a long way to getting the passing game in NY back on track.
  17. Cincinnati – from Oakland (8-8) – Janoris Jenkins CB – This is a match made in heaven.  Janoris Jenkins is a legitimately talented corner, and the Bengals just saw Jonathan Joseph depart in free agency.  Also, Marvin Lewis and his staff love talented players with discipline issues.  Case closed.
  18. San Diego (8-8) – Devon Still DT – The Chargers were one of the most disappointing teams in the NFL this past season and there is more than enough blame to go around.  Rivers near 30 turnovers was a big source, but much of that comes from him trying to carry a depleted roster on his shoulders.  One area in particular that caught my eye was their weakness on the defensive line.  In my opinion it is necessary for the chargers to get strong against the run especially since they play in the AFC West and Still would be a step in the right direction.
  19. Chicago (8-8) – Kendall Wright WR – This is another natural fit.  Lovie Smith can apparently get any group of guys to play outstanding defense, and while the Bears could certainly use some talent on the O-Line, I think they’ll address those needs via free agency and go with a player that could vault this offense from inconsistent to explosive. Kendall Wright catches a great deep ball and that’s pretty much the only kind Cutler likes to throw.
  20. Tennessee (9-7) – David DeCastro G – The Titans overachieved this past year thanks in larger part to inspired QB play from both Matt Hassleback and Jake Locker, but we should not be fooled into thinking that this is a strong team.  One place that the Titans need to get better is on the O-Line and DeCastro is a steal at 20.  Chris Johnson’s dramatic, and I mean dramatic, drop off in production speaks to the need of this team to get better on the O-Line.  An argument can be made that DeCastro is a top 10 talent, but he plays a position where players do not get drafted in the top 10.
  21. Cincinnati (9-7) – Dwayne Allen TE – Yes, this is a reach.  Yes, Cincinnati could use a running back (and Lamar Miller wouldn’t be a bad fit here), but I think that an elite tight end can actually open up this offense more.  Jermaine Gresham has been a valuable part of this team, but Allen’s ceiling is very high and his addition to a passing game that includes the fantastic A.J. Green would make AFC North defensive coordinators earn their paychecks.
  22. Cleveland – from Atlanta* (10-6) – Melvin Ingram DE – The Browns are one of the least talented teams in the NFL and that might be kind.  Outside of Joe Thomas they lack top level talent and in particular strength on both sides of the line.  Acquiring a pass rusher would be a big step in the right direction for the Browns.
  23. Detroit* (10-6) – Vontaze Burfict ILB – The Lions should consider a CB at this spot as well, but it’s time to start backing up that defensive line with some talent.  Schwartz and his staff can mold Burfict into a lynchpin of that defense and, perhaps, a pro-bowler.
  24. Pittsburgh* (12-4) – Dont’a Hightower ILB – The Steelers were a disappointment in the playoffs this past season, but there season was nonstop ups and downs.  One week they would dominate an opponent s and the next they were being dominated by one.  The Steelers D is aging and Hightower would be a needed infusion of youth not to mention the fact that he is a high energy high impact guy.
  25. Denver (8-8) – Lamar Miller RB – Willis McGahee had no business carrying the ball that often last season – his durability and effectiveness was the true Mile High Miracle.  But how long is that going to last?  Moreno is an official bust who just got picked up for a DUI.  Lamar Miller gives this offense some pop and helps Tebow hold onto his job a little longer.
  26. Houston (10-6) – Mark Barron SS – I would argue that on talent the Texans are one of the best teams in the NFL.  They have elite players on both sides of the ball and up and down the line of scrimmage.  The Texans are in a spot that they can take the best available player regardless of position or need.  Barron would be a significant upgrade at Safety and an impact player from day 1.
  27. New England – from New Orleans (13-3) – Alfonzo Dennard CB – I’m with Giselle on this one.  I know it takes two to tango and many of those missed opportunities belonged to Tom Brady, but if I was Mr. Bundchen, I’d walk into Kraft’s office, slap Rush Limbaugh aside and tell my boss “If you don’t get me a true wide receiver, I’m killing everyone in the building.  You have 24 hours.”  That being said, there is no WR left to take in this round.  Mohammed Sanu just isn’t going to cut it.  So the Pats will go with defense and upgrade their atrocious, Eli-dominated secondary by adding Dennard – an instinctive, intelligent cornerback.
  28. Green Bay (15-1) – Nick Perry DE/OLB – The dominance of the Green Bay offense this past season is well noted, so much so that many pundits, analysts, and fans overlooked their glaring holes on the defensive side of the ball.  Outside of Clay Matthews the Packers have no top end defensive talent and don’t even bother trying to convince me that Charles Woodson is still elite or even good.  So the addition of Perry would be a positive step towards a solidifying a porous defense, also this would allow the Packers faithful to focus all of their prayer on the health of Aaron Rodgers instead of splitting valuable hours between him and Clay Matthews.
  29. Baltimore (12-4) – Peter Konz C – Baltimore gets a great value here in Peter Konz – the consensus top Center in the NCAA.  Matt Birk may be the Walter Payton Man of the Year, but he is 65 years old in offensive linemen years.  Konz will anchor the future line for the Ravens – an “experienced” (code word: old) unit that needs fresh blood more urgently than the population of Bon Temps, Louisiana.
  30. San Francisco (13-3) – Chase Minnifield CB – The 49ers were on the brink of going to the Super Bowl thanks in large part to the fact that the team’s management has quietly assembled one of the most talented rosters in the NFL with top end young talent all over the field.  One of the few weak spots on this team is in their secondary and Chase Minnifield is the highest rated corner left on the board.
  31. New England (13-3) – Andre Branch DE – When Rob Ninkovitch, the Polish Ninja, is your best pass rusher, it means you have to draft a pass rusher.  The Patriots get another great value here.  Branch has a high motor and came up big against top competition in college.
  32. New York Giants (9-7) – Cordy Glenn T/G – The Giants are the super bowl champions, but they have succeeded in large part because of a dominant passing game and disruptive defensive line.  There are several areas where this team can get better, and one of the most notable is along the O-Line.  Glenn is the best player on the board and he plays a position where the Giants need to get better.

*Thanks also to the DC Pro Sports Report for adding our mock draft to their mock draft database.

8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Hahaha no on February 10, 2012 at 6:24 am

    Washington not taking Griffin at 6 in favour of the DLine?

    Really?

    Reply

  2. Posted by eric on February 10, 2012 at 11:07 am

    That’s why this is his draft, not yours. Who wants to see 100 mocks with Griffin going to Washington in EVERY one? Not me. I say well done.

    Reply

  3. If you had any credibility at one time, you sure don’t have it anymore. Shanahan would sleep with Hillary Clinton and Joan Rivers to get RG3!

    Reply

  4. Posted by Steve on February 10, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    I like the pick @ 22 but you are wrong about the Browns lacking talent. The addition of Ingram, Perry, Mercilus or whom ever they like at RDE together with Sheard, Taylor, and Rubin will give them one of the best young lines in the NFL. Haden would start on any team in the league. In addition to Thomas we have an excellent center in Mack and I think Pinkston showed a lot of improvement while starting every game as a rookie left guard. Steinbach and Brandon Jackson and T J Ward aren’t bad either. We are finally getting there with Holmgren and Heckert so watch what you say or you’ll be eating crow. lol

    Reply

  5. Great points, Steve. The success of Sheard, Taylor, Thomas and Mack cannot be ignored and credit should be given to Holmgren and Heckert for building that team (as we so often preach on this site) from the inside out. Haden has been fantastic. The Browns have an opportunity, with two first round picks in an extremely talented draft class, to make themselves more explosive.

    Reply

  6. I would like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this site. I am hoping to see the same high-grade blog posts by you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own, personal site now ;)

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: