I know I said v2.0 would not be until after the combine, but Mock Drafts are addictive! A lot can change in just a few weeks in the NFL, so we already have quite a bit of movement at the top. If you missed Mock Draft v1.0, make sure to check it out for more in-depth analysis into other possible directions some of these teams could go. This time around, we added a 2nd Round! Hope you enjoy!
Round 1 (#17-32)
Round 2 (#33-62)
1.1 — OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M
AF’s Take – I still remember when Andy Reid turned in the draft card with Donovan McNabb’s name on it to a chorus of boos. I certainly think Reid might take another Big East QB here to lead his franchise, but reading the tea leaves early indicate that won’t be the case. While Andy needs a QB to build his team around and sell jerseys, plus hopefully one that Chiefs fans won’t root for to get a concussion, it appears Andy is content going BPA here and looking for a QB in Free Agency. A guy like Alex Smith, or even Michael Vick, would make nice fits considering how close this team is actually to winning. With HB Charles leading the charge, expect the team to make a push to resign WR Dwayne Bowe and compete in the weak AFC West next season. With the BPA model, that would seem to indicate they’d go Joeckel, who is a beast of a man and really helped Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Football this year.
Previous Pick – QB Geno Smith, West Virginia
1.2 — QB Geno Smith, West Virginia
AF’s Take – The Jaguars are in a tough spot, because there really isn’t a player that stands out at #2 as a franchise guy, but this class doesn’t exactly warrant trading up to #2 either. So they are “stuck”, so to say. If they plan to go defensive, the calling card of new Head Coach Gus Bradley, they will have a few directions they can go with players like DT Star Lotulelei, DE/OLB Werner, DE/OLB Jarvis Jones, or DE/OLB Demontre Moore. While all of those would be solid selections, I would not completely rule out them rolling the dice on a guy like Geno Smith, like the Panthers did with Cam Newton. Geno had flashes of brilliance last year, and while he’s far from a finished product, he reminds me a lot of Cam. This draft feels a lot like that season, when DTs and DEs were mocked to go [1.1] overall to the Panthers, but ultimately they took Cam and it paid off. The Panthers turned in that card despite recently using a high pick on QB Jimmy Clausen, and it would take an equally bold move from the Jaguars (who recently used a high pick on QB Blaine Gabbert) to take Geno. I’ve always considered the Jaguars and Panthers to be somewhat of kin – having come into the NFL the same year, each in passionate and underrated markets. Not to mention the crazy 1996 season where both made it to the Championship game (would that have been a fun Super Bowl, or what)? It would only be fitting if each franchise swung for the fences quickly at their second QB at-bat and hit a home run.
Previous Pick – DE Bjoern Werner, Florida State
1.3 – NT Star Lotulelei, Utah
AF’s Take – Lots of ways the Raiders could go here, and it’s no doubt slightly harder to predict without Al Davis calling the shots. Had he still been around (R.I.P.), we could likely just find a guy with a chiseled physique and speed for days. But he’s not, and the Raiders have a really awkward coaching situation in Oakland. How much say does Dennis Allen even have? I’m sure he’d love to bolster the offense in Oakland a bit, and the thought of them dredging through ANOTHER season with Carson Palmer makes my skin crawl. If there is anyone in the front office who cares about sticking around for any length of time, they need to make sure they hit on this pick, and I think Star Lotulelei is a pretty safe pick. I don’t think he’s Ngata like many compare him to, but Star will be a star in an AFC West. DT Tommy Kelly won’t be collecting that $6.5M he’s owed, and the Raiders can go a long way in fixing the image of a defense of “trouble makers” like Kelly, McClain, and past-his-prime-Warren-Sapp by drafting Star. His motor doesn’t run as hot as guys like Sapp or Ngata, but if Dennis Allen gets that engine revving, Lotulelei will be a perennial Pro Bowler.
Previous Pick – NT Star Lotulelei, Utah
1.4 — OT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan
AF’s Take – Hard to say what direction Chip Kelly will go here, as we really don’t know what kind of offense or defense he plans to run. We know Chip Kelly loves offense, and he’s inherited a talented unit that will surely feature the speed of players like Shady McCoy, DeSean Jackson, and Jeremy Maclin. There are reports that Kelly likes incumbent QBs Michael Vick and Nick Foles – so maybe he waits a year to upgrade that position. His best bet is to draft an athletic offensive tackle like Fisher who can adapt to whatever offense Kelly decides to run. Fisher is a name that is rising after a solid week at the Senior Bowl, and it’s likely that at least a few teams will have him ranked as the #1 OT in the draft. Are the Eagles one of those teams? Probably not, I think they probably prefer Joeckel, but needless to say, Fisher would be a nice add to lock down the left side in Philly for a decade, even if Kelly has grand plans of eventually running his infamous spread offense. That OL is dreadful, and this will be a nice step in the right direction.
Previous Pick – OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M
1.5 — CB DeMarcus Milliner, Alabama
AF’s Take – The Lions have perhaps the best DT tandem in the league, but they face the prospect of losing DE’s Avril (FA) and KVB (retirement) this offseason. I personally think they’ll find a way to keep Avril, but even if KVB doesn’t retire, he’s likely not returning at his $5M a year price tag. They could solidify the unit by taking a prospect like Bjoern Werner, who looks like a 43 DE who has some potential to play OLB. I think the Lions fans would prefer the team goes CB Milliner here, and while I inititially thought they would go DE, this pick has to be Milliner if he’s there. The Lions seem to pick like the “Best Player Available” method, and while it would be hard to argue that Milliner is better than Werner or Moore, they are probably just a a CB and a WR away from being a favorite in the NFC, or at least from not picking anywhere near this high again. So they make good use of this high draft pick (much more rare than it used to be in Detroit) and go get the best CB in the draft.
Previous Pick – DE Jarvis Jones, Georgia
1.6 — OLB Damontre Moore, Texas A&M
AF’s Take – It’s tough to forecast who new VP Mike Lombardi might be targeting at this spot, but considering the critical response his hiring has had around the league, it would be smart if he played it safe with this pick. I think it’s likely the team will not enter 2013 with Brandon Weeden and Colt McCoy as the top 2 QBs in Cleveland, but [1.6] is not the point to address that. Could Lambo roll the dice on Barkley? Sure, but I think a pick like that puts an immediate stop watch on your tenure in Cleveland, and if it doesn’t work out you are gone quickly. The more likely scenario is they try and get a QB via trade or Free Agency, and Ryan Mallett of the Patriots is a name most mention when connecting the dots. Maybe they can send a Future 2nd to New England for him, but I think the better move would be to swap Weeden and Mallett outright. Weeden looked overwhelmed at times on a talent-challenged Browns offense, but he is mature enough that Brady could be the perfect mentor for him in New England. If Lambo doesn’t like that idea, I think Brian Hoyer is bumping around as a Free Agent, another guy he liked a lot. With this pick, however, expect them to go safe and add an outstanding pass rusher like Damontre Moore or Jarvis Jones, who perfectly fit their “attacking” defense that has been rumored for the Browns under new DC Horton.
Previous Pick – OLB Demontre Moore, Texas A&M
1.7 — QB Matt Barkley, USC
AF’s Take – Many are down on Barkley after a rough year at USC, but I think he’s a Franchise QB and after the combine I think most scouts will as well. New Cardinals Head Coach Bruce Arians must decide who his man to lead the franchise will be, and I think most agree that guy is not on the roster currently. While Barkley is not Andrew Luck, who Arians was fabulous with in Indianapolis this year, Barkley is no stranger to luck either. The two clashed while at USC and Stanford, and there were times that Barkley even looked like an as-good or better player. Arians has had success with 1st round QBs, having helped turn Big Ben into a household name (not just in the bathroom), and helping Andrew Luck become a ROTY candidate. Barkley coming through could generate some excitement in talented players like Larry Fitzgerald, and who knows – maybe the Cardinals could be competing in the tough NFC West in a few years. Or maybe Barkley is just an overrated name from a “big college” that won’t make it in the pros, like QB Matt Leinart (USC) or HB Beanie Wells (OSU). Seeing as the Cardinals were the team who got burned on those two players, it will be interesting to see how much pull Arians actually has.
Previous Pick – QB Matt Barkley, USC
***TRADE ALERT*** Miami sends [#12] and [#54] to Buffalo for [#8] and [#71]
1.8 — **TRADE w/ BUF** — CB Jonathan Banks, Mississippi State
AF’s Take – Many people seem to see the Dolphins going WR in the 1st, but I just don’t buy it. Buy, being the operative word, because I think that is how anxious Owner Stephen Ross will get his WR. They definitely need targets for Tannehill to throw to, and while that beautiful wife of his is surely doing a fine job handling Ryan’s balls, she can’t catch touchdowns. I think it’s far more likely they resign Brian Hartline for a reasonable contract, and then throw some money at a big name FA WR like Greg Jennings, Wes Welker, or Mike Wallace. The logical connection would be to pay Jennings – who played for Dolphins Head Coach Joe Philbin when he was the Offensive Coordinator in Miami. Jennings has also already put his Wisconson house on the market, apparently indicating he won’t be back with Green Bay. Welker is also a former Dolphin, so maybe they skip Hartline (who might be pricing himself out of returning to Miami with initial probes of $6M annually), and give that money to Wes Welker, a former Dolphin. Regardless, I think WR will be taken care of with established FA targets, which leaves them with a few other holes to fill. The biggest will depend on what they do with LT Jake Long. I think they’d be foolish to let him walk, and even if they are unsure about a long-term deal, their best play is to Franchise Tag him. That leaves CB as their most pressing need and while CB Jonathan Banks at [1.8] or even at [1.12] may seem a little high, he has been a shutdown corner in college and has the frame to repeat that in the NFL. He is someone who’s stock should skyrocket over the next few months, and they may need to move ahead of Tennessee if they want him. Miami has an extra 2nd from trading CB Vontae Davis to Indy, so go get your man.
Previous Pick – CB Jonathan Banks, Mississippi State (at #12)
1.9 — DE Bjoern Werner, Florida State
AF’s Take – The Jets are in a horrible cap situation, with so much guaranteed money due the next few years that they even had a hard time filling their GM position. One tough move that likely will be made is parting ways with MLB David Harris, who is owed $10M next year and was downright awful. That would leave a huge hole in the middle of the Jets defense, a defense that was already missing an edge rusher. While the Jets will think about taking Te’o here, this pick was easy. It ended up being a huge fall for Werner, and while the other defenders who have come off the board might all have slightly higher ceilings, the floor for Werner is so infinitely higher than those guys it’s ridiculous. Werner is not a sexy pick in New York, and probably won’t sell as many jerseys as Tebow, but Werner would be a contributor for the Jets for a very long time. Even in a worst case scenario he’s an 8-10 sack a year guy. In his best case scenario, he’s a star DE who cashes paychecks for a decade. For a Jets team that has been an absolute mess the last couple years, all you can ask for in the Top 10 is a player who will be around contributing at a high level for a decade.
Previous Pick – MLB Manti Te’o, Nosuch Dame (at #13)
1.10 — OG Chance Warmack, Alabama
AF’s Take – This is no doubt extremely high for a guard to come off the board, but Warmack is an elite talent. The Titans hopes were gashed with their Top 2 targets Milliner and Banks already off the board, but they select arguably the best offensive lineman in the draft. Warmack will do good things for both Jake Locker and Chris Johnson, and if anyone is going to take a guard in the Top 10, it’s a Head Coach who was a former offensive lineman. Warmack was a Team Captain for the National Champions, and he will bring some positive energy to a locker room that could certainly use it after Vince Young, Adam “Pacman” Jones, and Kenny Britt.
Previous Pick – OG Chance Warmack, Alabama
1.11 — OT Lane Johnson, Oklahoma
AF’s Take – I’m still a firm believer in Phillip Rivers, despite just about every media personality officially jumping off the bandwagon last year. I actually catch quite a few Chargers games – partly because I have a friend who is a big Bolts fan, partly because they are usually kicking off on the west coast right around the time the Tampa game ends, and partly because I don’t live in San Diego so the games aren’t blacked out for me. I tend to feel that the only problem with Phillip Rivers is his offensive line. New Head Coach Mike McCoy will surely come in and get at LEAST two new starters, and while he’s probably hoping Joekel or Fisher falls, Johnson will be a solid NFL starter as well. McCoy saw how much Ryan Clady helped below average QBs like Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow in Denver, and then how much he helped an elite QB like Peyton Manning last year. Rivers is not below average, nor elite, but by bulking up the OL, we may begin talking about him like one of the Top 10 QBs in the league again. Johnson is a late riser, not even listed in my last 1st round, but solid game tape and a good week at the Senior Bowl have him rising quick. If he’s not taken here, he’s very much in play for Tampa two picks later.
Previous Pick – OT Eric Fischer, Central Michigan
1.12 — **TRADE w/ MIA** — QB Ryan Nassib, Syracuse
AF’s Take – The Bills have been mocked all over the place, with the general consensus being that new Head Coach Doug Marrone will start his tenure in Buffalo by selecting his QB. I just can’t wrap my mind around them staying at [1.8] and taking anyone other than Geno Smith or Matt Barkley, and I think both of those players will be gone. Tyler Wilson and Mike Glennon do not look like Top 10 picks at all. Nassib is probably a reach in the 1st as well, but if Buffalo tries to wait until the 2nd they are taking a very costly gamble of losing out on their guy, especially since I’m not the only moron who can tie together the Marrone-Nassib ties. Nassib spent three years with Marrone at Syracuse running a Pro Style offense, and I think they can easily pick up a draft pick or two to move down and secure their hopeful Franchise QB.
Previous Pick – QB Ryan Nassib, Syracuse (at #15)
1.13 — DT Sheldon Richardson, Missouri
AF’s Take – The Buccaneers made excellent strides in 2012, and a large reason for that was largely due to having arguably the best draft class last year. HB Doug Martin, SS Mark Baron, and OLB Lavonte David all look exceptional. I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I had called Martin and David as Bucs picks all along, and I was ecstatic to see them work out. Moving forward the Bucs have a few holes that need to be fixed, but they are not that far from playoff contention. Many Bucs fans are overreacting to Josh Freeman’s inconsistency, which makes me severely question how long they’ve been Bucs fans. Certainly not long enough to watch Trent Dilfer, Shaun King, Craig Erickson, Jeff Garcia, Brian Griese, Chris Simms, or Bruce Gradkowski play QB. Freeman is only 25 years old, which makes him like the 2nd or 3rd youngest QB in the NFL, despite many years of NFL experience under his belt. QB is NOT the problem for these Buccaneers, and they’d be wise to lock Freeman up long-term at some point in 2013. The price is probably as low as it’s going to get now, and if they wait there is real possibility Freeman responds with a contract year performance like Joe Flacco just did.
Anyone who watched the 2012 Bucs knows their secondary was absolutely atrocious. They were starting undrafted players and street free agents at CB for the majority of the season, and it really showed. If you track the Bucs wins and losses they rarely beat an elite QB, and many times they were forced into shoot outs even against average NFL QBs. This just simply can not be the case, and while it looks like Defensive Coordinator Bill Sheridan will get another year to build on his “#1 Ranked Rush Defense”, he will NOT be back in 2014 if they don’t add a couple CBs and some pass rush. The Buccaneers are surely hoping CB Milliner falls to them here, but I’m convinced now they will not trade up and that he won’t fall out of the Top 10. CB Johnathan Banks fits the bill for GM Mark Dominik perfectly – tall, athletic, team captain, “shut down” potential – but I don’t think he makes it to the 13th pick either. While I’m sure they will explore trading down to pick up more picks, look for them to go BPA if they stay. In this scenario that is Richardson, and the more I see of him the more I like. Richardson has a relentless motor and is always in the backfield. While Gerald McCoy never turned into Warren Sapp, he has turned into a great cog in the middle when healthy, and would be even better if they can find someone to replace bust DT Brian Price. One way to improve your secondary is to improve your pass rush.
Previous Pick – CB DeMarcus Milliner, Alabama (at #9)
1.14 — DT Jonathan Jenkins, Georgia
AF’s Take – The Panthers have a couple big needs, and while living here in North Carolina I can vouch the fans would love them to take a WR, there just isn’t one worthy of this selection. That does not mean they won’t target a WR later in the draft, and I think in their best case scenario they land a local favorite like WR DeAndre Hopkins from Clemson in the 2nd round. As for this pick, they have a lot of holes on defense that are just beginning to get patched up. They could go a long way at helping players like Beason and Kuechly if they draft Jenkins to man the middle of the defensive line. Jenkins compares favorabally to Fletcher Cox, who many locally felt was going to be the pick in the 1st last year before they went MLB. After Star Lotulei, the next group of 4-5 DTS is very fluid as to who is “the best”, so this could easily be Sheldon Richardson or Johnathan Hankins instead.
Previous Pick – DT Sheldon Richardson, Missouri
1.15 — DE/OLB Barkevious Mingo, LSU
AF’s Take – The Saints defense was awful in 2012 (like, historically bad), and they will look to fix that in 2013. Mingo is an outstanding prospect that I think will shoot up the board as we get closer to the draft. I could see him go as high as [1.2] to the Jacksonville Jaguars, but more realistically I think his range is somewhere between [1.5] and [1.15]. In the previous mock I had the Saints moving up to get Mingo, and that’s something that they will still likely have to do if they want him, but with Jarvis Jones sliding as well, I don’t see them trading up in this scenario. The Saints need defenders for their new 3-4, and already short on picks from Bountygate, they will likely stay put and snatch whoever is on the top of their board when the pick rolls around.
Previous Pick – DE/OLB Barkevious Mingo, LSU (at #8)
1.16 — WR Kennan Allen, Cal
AF’s Take – The Rams were probably hoping that one of the OL fell to them in this spot, but there are worse consolations than the best WR in the class. That said, the line determining the best WR is blurry, to say the least. Allen presents himself as a big target with exceptional hands that will have an amazing NFL career if he can stay healthy. Sam Bradford needs bodies to throw to, and Allen would be a fine pickup for a Rams team that is headed in the right direction. Cordarrelle Patterson, Terrance Williams, and Tavon Austin are all names to watch as well. If the Rams are impartial and don’t have any of these 4 ranked too far ahead of them – and if there is a player they really like at another position on the board – they could take that player at [1.16] and take their favorite of those 4 WRs at [1.22]. But initially, I think Allen is their best play if the board falls like this.
Previous Pick – WR Kennan Allen, Cal
Round 1 (#17-32)
Round 2 (#33-62)
Thanks for reading! Make sure to check out picks 17-62!