I’ve been a fan of the New England Patriots and the NFL in general for years but this is the first time I’ve really got into the whole draft process. Here I will attempt my ‘mock draft’, to see if I can come close to matching what actually happens over the course of the event.
So, in the famous words of Han solo ‘Here goes nothing’.
#1 Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck, QB – Stanford
No Surprise here, the Colts have confirmed their intention to sign Luck, as only the first team drafting can.
#2 Washington Redskins – Robert Griffin III, QB – Baylor
Again this is a nailed-on certainty. Griffin III can make all the throws, has tremendous athleticism and the speed of a track athlete. In most other years he would be a #1 pick.
#3 St Louis Rams (trade from 6 with Minneapolis Vikings) – Justin Blackmon, WR – Oklahoma State
I’m thinking this is the first of at least two first-round trades. The Rams move up from Six and the Vikings move down from three to six. The Rams use at least one of the picks gained in the trade with Washington (for Washington’s original move up to two to get Griffin) to get the man they really want. Blackmon.
#4 Cleveland Browns – Trent Richardson, RB – Alabama
No brainer. Richardson is THE class RB in this draft class, Cleveland need a RB and a WR. They will go for a WR with the 22nd pick which they also hold, as there is greater depth at WR.
#5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Morris Claiborne, CB – LSU
Possibly the second best CB in the draft behind Janoris Jenkins, but doesn’t have the character issue red flags that Jenkins does.
#6 Minnesota Vikings (trade from 3 with St Louis Rams) – Matt Khalil, OT – USC
The Vikings want Khalil and Claiborne, they can only have one. The trade with the Rams would give them a probable second round pick so they take the tackle, thus helping out last year’s first round pick Christian Ponder by giving him some blind-side support.
#7 Buffalo Bills (trade from 10 with Jaguars) – Mark Barron, SS – Alabama
Here I have my second trade with the Bills moving up from ten and giving up a pick to the Jaguars who move down, gratefully clutching their extra pick. The Bills have done great things in free agency upgrading the defence. Barron is the best safety on the board and another piece in the improvement. Playing in the AFC East against Brady and co, you need good Safetys and Corners.
#8 Miami Dolphins – Ryan Tannehill, QB – Texas A&M
The Dolphins want Tannehill; I don’t believe another team wants him enough to make the trade up to the 7th spot and leap-frog the Fins. The Dolphins take him here.
#9 Carolina Panthers – Melvin Ingram, DE – South Carolina
Ingram is quick and athletic, he could be turned into a pass rusher.
#10 Jacksonville Jaguars (trade from 7 with the Buffalo Bills) – Stephon Gilmore, CB -South Carolina
Gilmore’s draft stock is being talked up but I suspect teams already know who they like and why. Gilmore is arguably the third best CB in the draft.
#11 Kansas City Chiefs – Luke Keuchly, ILB – Boston College
The Chiefs like Keuchly as the top rated linebacker in the draft. Good measurables, no character concerns and an excellent combine performance means Keuchly is almost a sure pick if he is still available at this point.
#12 Seattle Seahawks – Fletcher Cox, DT – Mississippi State
Cox is one of the most maneuverable tackles in the draft, he is raw but with talent and energy in abundance.
#13 Arizona Cardinals – David DeCastro, G – Stanford
6’5″ DeCastro blocked for Andrew Luck at Stanford. He is a mountain and tactically astute. Could go top ten but I think the Cardinals take him.
#14 Dallas Cowboys – Quinton Coples, DE – North Carolina
They wanted Barron but I think he is long gone. Coples is quick, strong, has good footwork and can play DE in a 4-3 or 3-4 defence. He will trouble quarterbacks, the only question is in which division.
#15 Philadelphia Eagles – Michael Floyd, WR – Notre Dame
Floyd is coming off a record-breaking collegiate career at Notre Dame. He is suitably tall for a WR at 6’3″ and has great athleticism. He has off-the-field issues which will be red flags but if they can be contained he should be a star.
#16 New York Jets – Courtney Upshaw, OLB – Alabama
Alabama’s defence last season was simply brilliant, Upshaw was a part of that. He is good against the run, though he could struggle against quick tight ends.
#17 Cincinnati Bengals – Dre Kirkpatrick, CB – Alabama
Another Alabama defender becomes the first of Cincinnati’s two first round picks. They also pick at #21. Cornerback is a need for them and Kirkpatrick comes with less baggage than Janoris Jenkins.
#18 San Diego Chargers – Riley Reiff, OT – Iowa
The Chargers take the best remaining OT off the board here. Reiff is clever and with good hands.
#19 Chicago Bears – Cordy Glenn, T – Georgia
Glenn has potential to play Guard as well as tackle. Jay Cutler needs support, Glenn would help.
#20 Tennessee Titans – Dontari Poe, DT – Mephis
Watch the game footage of his college career and you’d say Poe would be a late round pick, but Poe had a phenomenal Combine, is incredibly fast for such a big guy, he’s 346lbs and he’s athletic. He is a bit of a one trick pony but if the trick’s good enough, why worry?
#21 Cincinnati Bengals – Dont’a Hightower, ILB – Illinois
Yet another member of that championship winning Alabama defence. Efficient and technically sound.
#22 Cleveland Browns – Kendal Wright, WR – Baylor
One of RGIII’s key weapons in the Baylor offence, a little small at 5’8″ but likely to play in the slot WR role where height is not as important as it is out wide. Fills another need for the Browns.
#23 Detroit Lions – Chandler Jones, DE – Syracuse
Jones is rising up draft boards after an initial projection of being a mid third round pick, he is under sized but has long reach and has potential to be a good NFL pass rusher.
#24 Pittsburgh Steelers – Jonathon Martin, OT – Stanford
Martin is another of Andrew Luck‘s former o-line. He is described as ‘NFL ready’. He could be the kind of help Ben Roethlisberger needs.
#25 Denver Broncos – Jerel Worthy, DT – Michigan St.
The Broncos need to get better on defence. Worthy should help this.
#26 Houston Texans – Rueben Randle, WR – LSU
Randle is tall, creates good separation and should become a good WR in the NFL, if given the time to develop. Could be a good complement to current Texans WR Andre Johnson.
#27 New England Patriots – Shae McClellin, DE – Boise St.
It is no secret the Patriots need a pass rusher. Bill Belichick really likes versatility, McClellin fits the bill.
#28 Green Bay Packers – Michael Brockers, DT – LSU
The Packers can’t believe their luck that a talented, strong DT like Brockers has fallen this far. They snap him up.
#29 Baltimore Ravens – Peter Konz, C – Wisconsin
Konz is the best centre in this year’s draft. Simples.
#30 San Francisco 49ers – Kevin Zeitler, G – Wisconsin
Another Wisconsin Badger goes off the board here, giving QB Alex Smith extra protection.
#31 New England Patriots – Harrison Smith, FS – Notre Dame
This could very well be Whitney Mercilus, Nick Perry or if you are taking a risk – Janoris Jenkins. I think if Bill Belichick keeps this pick, and there is every chance it will be traded – he may go with Smith. The free safety showed in his time at Notre Dame he knows how to sniff out the ball and this would allow Devin McCourty to revert back to playing CB.
#32 New York Giants – Coby Fleener, TE – Stanford
The Giants go out and get the best TE in the draft to cover for their other TEs who are injury-prone.