I did a New York Giants seven-round mock draft earlier in the week, but I just couldn't get rid of this itch. I had to know how many picks I would get wrong if I did a full first-round mock draft. I've done well in The Huddle Report the last two years because I follow one simple philosophy: the draft never turns out the way we expect -- so in general I don't make too many obvious picks and I've hit on a few peculiar ones like Jake Locker to the Tennessee Titans, Adrian Claiborne to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and a few others that were surprising. However, usually there is a consensus top five which helps a lot, but this year that's not the case. I could start with a miss on the first pick and miss the rest of the way out -- which would also be impressive from my point of view.
Without further ado -- my final mock (which won't be submitted to THR this year because BBV didn't get an invitation this year whereas NFLmocks did. Hopefully next year).
The pick number where a player is selected doesn't matter, it's just the team and the fit. The Huddle Report scoring system -- for anyone interested -- is player in round 1 point, player with correct team an additional 2 points. Therefore, if Chiefs take Fisher it's worth 3 points -- if they don't and Fisher goes in the first round it's worth 1 point. Top score is generally in the 45-50 range
Remember last year there were 16 trades, and I'd expect at least 10-12 so the order won't matter by the end of Thursday night, anyway.
1. Kansas City Chiefs - Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Something is brewing here with this pick. Dane Brugler (CBS), Daniel Jeremiah (NFL network), Mike Mayock (NFL Network), I think Adam Schefter mentioned this was a possible pick. Ed went with Joeckel so between the two of us we'll get this pick right! [Prospect Profile]
2. Jacksonville Jaguars - Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
I've been on the Dion Jordan bandwagon for a long time here, but then I thought to myself Gus Bradley was with Seattle and the first thing Pete Carroll did when he got there was stabilized the offensive line (Russell Okung, James Carpenter, and John Moffit in the first two rounds between the 2010 and 2011 drafts), before they started to go over to the defense and quarterback (Matt Flynn and Russell Wilson). I think Dion Jordan makes a ton of sense here, though. [Prospect Profile]
Watch out for: Ezekiel Ansah
3. Oakland Raiders - Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
My reasoning on this is simple. It looks like it's either Lotulelei or Floyd and Lotulelei is the better player. He's about as safe a pick as there is. The Raiders are also likely to move back if they can since they've had essentially no picks since Al Davis left the draft pick cupboard bare. I think someone moves up here for Lane Johnson as well. [Prospect Profile]
4. Philadelphia Eagles - Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon
Maybe they go offensive line, but that doesn't' make sense to me. It seems more like a smokescreen to try and get Arizona or someone to move up here. I'm not taking the bait. [Prospect Profile]
5. Detroit Lions - Ezekiel Ansah, DE, Lions
They have age along the defensive line and Ansah has the potential to be special. The defensive end depth in this draft is not particularly special. [Prospect Profile]
6. Cleveland Browns - Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
This pick worries me because of the reports that he has had five surgeries, which could make teams nervous. He could be a draft day faller. [Prospect Profile]
7. Arizona Cardinals - Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU
Remember my number one rule when making a final mock draft -- nothing ever goes according to plan. EVERYONE has mocked an offensive linemen to the Cardinals. Consensus is one thing, unanimous picks scare me. The Cardinals will get a heavy dose of Russell Wilson and CK7 out West and they could use an athletic play maker. Mingo is supremely talented AND teams love his personality and think he has a passion for the game. I think he goes higher than people expect. [Prospect Profile]
8. Buffalo Bills - Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
I'm fairly confident the Bills take Ryan Nassib here because I live in Western New York, my wife is a big Bills fan and they've become my adopted second team so I know in depth how inept they are. When the BIlls pass on Geno Smith for Ryan Nassib it'll be the most recent of their many mistakes.
9. New York Jets - Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse
EVERY year, media and draftniks like myself talk about how teams won't take a "second-round quarterback" in the first round. And every year (Jake Locker, Christian Ponder, Brandon Weeden, etc, etc) a team takes a quarterback. Now I'm not saying the Jets take Nassib here, they could look to trade back, but their biggest need is quarterback. They have been checking every quarterback out in the whole pre-draft process. I think it's 50/50 they take a QB in the first two rounds. They reportedly like Nassib and he's a favorite of many respected draft guys.
10. Tennessee Titans - Johnathan Cooper, G, UNC
The Titans take the first guard off the board. I was watching the NFL Network mock draft special and what stuck out to me was that Brian Billick mentioned how difficult it would be for him to take a guard -- I believe that's the feeling for most franchises in the NFL -- and why as I said Monday I think Warmack will be available when the Giants pick. But the Titans head coach was a former offensive linemen and the Titans really want to make sure they give Jake Locker all they can to help him succeed so they don't have to blow up and start over. [Prospect Profile]
11. San Diego Chargers - Lane Johnson, T, Oklahoma
Is this the team that trades up and grabs Lane Johnson? The Chargers incompetence has allowed them to lose all of their offensive play makers and offensive linemen has hurt Philip Rivers career and they have to do something this year. I believe some team is moving up to get Johnson -- my guess is here. [Prospect Profile]
12. Miami Dolphins - Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
The Dolphins are all in this year. I think they would trade up for Lane Johnson, and had them doing it initially, but I think they could grab Branden Albert via trade from the Kansas City chiefs and make another pick here. Head coach Joe Philbin has a reputation of clamping down on character concerns and Eifert is squeaky clean. Dolphin beat writers keep sneaking his name into things so I'll take the bait. Cornerback Xavier Rhodes makes a TON of sense and might even be the more likely pick. [Prospect Profile]
13. New York Jets - Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
I think Austin has become over-rated. He's a dynamic player, but he's not C.J. Spiller because he's not going to touch the ball nearly as much. He's also tiny -- he's smaller than DeSean Jackson and not as fast. The Jets are supposedly interested in him, though. [Prospect Profile]
14. Carolina Panthers - Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
This is a consensus picks of sorts that just makes sense to me. They need a defensive tackle and Richardson is the best player available. [Prospect Profile]
15. New Orleans Saints - Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
Defense, defense, defense, but the question is where? Their outside linebackers for their new 3-4 system are nothing special. I love Xavier Rhodes and he makes sense here as well. [Prospect Profile]
16. St. Louis Rams - Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia
Fisher will take risks on character guys -- my affinity for Ogletree is well documented. The Rams weak-side linebacker today is someone called Jo-Lonn Dunbar. Talk about an upgrade. Ogletree is as talented as anyone in the draft, and for a draft that lacks elite play makers Ogletree should be taken in the top 20 picks. [Prospect Profile]
17. Pittsburgh Steelers - Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
Who are the Steelers cornerbacks? Cortez Allen and Ike Taylor? That's solid, but meh. Rhodes can play cornerback or possibly safety in the future. Either way the Steelers, to me, need help at both positions. [Prospect Profile]
18. Dallas Cowboys - D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
I think Fluker is another player, like Eifert and Mingo, who is very well liked around the league, and especially by coaches. Everything you hear is that Fluker has tremendous energy, and a passion for football. Selecting Fluker, also happens to allow the Cowboys to cut Doug Free, or force him to take a huge pay cut which is important because moving forward the Cowboys are in salary cap purgatory. [Prospect Profile]
19. New York Giants - Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
If I had to take a guess at the Giants "row of players" that they are targeting it would look like this (in order -- on players I think could actually be available).
Fluker, Warmack, Rhodes. I think those are the guys they are targeting. Rhodes has not been connected to the Giants, but he profiles so well to what they look for (ACC - check; secondary - check; size and speed - check, production - check; has not been connected to the Giants - check), that I'd be surprised if he was available and got passed by.
I would guess Eifert, Ogletree, Carradine, Datone Jones, maybe D.J. Hayden are in the next row. But that's just a guess.
In this scenario Warmack is available and he's the pick. [Prospect Profile]
20. Chicago Bears - D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston
Tough projection because I have no idea how teams feel about his freak injury. I think the Bears cornerbacks are good, but have age. They are good at defensive end and linebacker. Even though they lost Brian Urlacher they signed D.J. Williams, so I don't think linebacker is the way to go here.
21. Cincinnati Bengals - Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas Longhorns
Fills the biggest need on a team that should be in win-now mode. I think they could even make a move up for him. [Prospect Profile]
22. St. Louis Rams - DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
They been linked to him heavily. He's a potential first-round guy, even though I'm not a 100 percent sold that the Rams go wide receiver after doing that early twice last year with Brian Quick and Chris Givens. Offensive line makes sense to me, too.
23. Minnesota Vikings - Manti Te'o, LB, Minnesota Vikings
This pick makes sense to me. He goes to a team where he's not the star, where the media coverage isn't as crazy as it is in either Chicago or New York, and the fact that both Harrison Smith and Kyle Rudolph have come in and produced early probably gives the Vikings some comfort about the projection of Notre Dame players. [Prospect Profile]
24. Indianapolis Colts - Tank Carradine, DE/OLB, Florida State
They need pass rushers. They went heavy on offense last year, I think they go defense here. [Prospect Profile]
25. Minnesota Vikings - Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
I think Patterson is more like Percy Harvin than Tavon Austin is. Patterson is an offensive weapon, which the Vikings need.
26. Green Bay Packers - Matt Elam, S, Florida Gators
The one thing that has come out about the Packers is that they want to get tougher. I'm not sure there's a tougher player in the draft than Matt Elam. He also fills a need. [Prospect Profile]
27. Houston Texans-Menelik Watson, OL, Florida State
Lance Zierlein who is very well dialed in, says that Watson won't get past 27th overall. Zierlein also happens to know more about the Texans than probably anyone around. I'll take the bait. [Prospect Profile]
28. Denver Broncos - Bjeorn Werner, DE, Florida State
Good value here. [Prospect Profile]
29. New England Patriots (Ttrade with Jacksonville) - E.J. Manuel, QB, FSU
Manuel is a guy with a lot of tools who also has interviewed very well with teams. The Patriots don't have a ton of picks and could move back a few spots (the Jaguars pick very early in round two) and grab the cornerback they want.
30. Atlanta Falcons - Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
I'd be surprised if Atlanta moved up as far as everyone is predicting after doing so a couple of years ago. They could use cornerback help and this is good value for Trufant, who is very solid but I don't think will ever be great. [Prospect Profile]
31. San Francisco 49ers - Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International
The 49ers have way too many picks to stand pat. I think they move up for some player, I just had a hard time figuring out who that would be. Their evaluations have been very against the grain -- Aldon Smith, A.J. Jenkins, LaMichael James were all guys who weren't nearly as high on the consensus boards as they were on the 49ers board.
AMENDED: I had two people read over this and between the three of us no one caught that I missed mocking Shariff Floyd in the draft.
Let's make Floyd the top player the 49ers move up to grab.
32. Baltimore Ravens - Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State
Ozzie Newsome does a great job, BUT in the first round he has been very need-based in my estimation. The Ravens three biggest needs to me are linebacker, wide receiver and safety. I think they go linebacker here with Rolando McClain's recent arrest and the fact that Arthur Brown and Kevin Minter are two of the best players available here. [Prospect Profile]