Like most of you, not only am I a fan of the Jets, but I am a fan of the NFL and I like to look at the league as a whole. Here is my first round mock draft 1.0, as I will update it every few weeks as we approach the draft. Enjoy and leave you thoughts below:
1. Carolina Panthers: Nick Fairley DT, Auburn – Luck, obviously, is not on their side (I couldn't resist), so you just take the BPA here. Fairley is a mean dude that had a stellar season and was the sole reason Auburn was able to beat Oregon in the title game. Carolina's defense isn't bad, but when your offense is as bad as theirs, it has to be better than "not bad".
2. Denver Broncos - Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson - The Broncos haven't had a real defense since the days of the "Orange Crush". The thing that concerns me about Bowers is that he made a huge jump from a pedestrian Junior season to a spectacular senior season. But if you watch the tape, his ability is hard to debate.
3. Buffalo Bills - Cam Newton, QB, Auburn - This pick goes against everything I believe in building a team. I am a "BPA all the time" believer, and this does not follow that philosophy. That said, Newton is a perfect fit here, as Chan Gailey loves mobile QB's and he has all of the tools. The issue with Newton is that he has a low football IQ for the NFL level. The biggest challenge here is getting Cam to learn NFL protections.
4. Cincinnati Bengals - A.J. Green, WR, Georgia - T.Ocho is no more in Cincinatti. Green is arguably the most talented player in the draft. Maybe this pick will get Carson to stop whining and play football for millions of dollars.
5. Arizona Cardinals Von Miller, OLB, Texam A&M – One of the main reasons I have Miller here is because the prophet himself (Adam Schefter) predicted Miller would be a top-5 pick. Still, Miller is a stud, and the Cards need pass rush help since the now-mediocre Joey Porter is gone.
6. Cleveland Browns: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU - Yes, I am predicting the offensive-minded Holmgren to take a CB in the top 10 two years in a row. Peterson has to potential to be the next Revis. He is one of my favorite players in the draft, and putting him next to Hayden could make this Browns defense very formidable.
Read on after the jump:
7. San Fransisco 49ers: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska - The Niners are crushed to hear Peterson's name called just one spot too early, but Amukamara is still a very good player. It wouldn't shock me if they traded up 2 spots to grab Peterson, though.
8. Tennessee Titans: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama - As badly as Tennessee needs a QB, I just have a feeling they pass on Gabbert and try to get that defense back into the upper echelon of the league. They lost legendary defensive line coach Jim Washburn, and they hope Dareus is a diruptive enough 3-technique to help make up for that.
9. Dallas Cowboys: J.J. Watt, DE, Winconsin - The 'boys were pretty bad on defense last year, for two reasons: an overrated secondary and an aging defensive line. No DB's are worth the pick here, but Watt can develop into an excellent 5-technique, a position that is very difficult to find these days.
10. Washington Redskins: Julio Jones WR, Alabama – The Redskins have the worst set of skill positions in the NFL. Julio Jones reminds me of a Larry Fitzgerald - great hands, makes plays on the ball, deceptiavely fast, and have the same hair. This is a good fit, cause last year wasn't ALL McNabb's fault.
11. Houston Texans: Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado -It's not secret that Houston's pass defense was beyond terrible last season. Smith is going a little under the radar here, but he has good instincts and recovery speed. He would immediately helo this Houston defense out.
12. Minnesota Vikings: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri - I'm gonna give Minny one of the best QB's in the draft here. Gabbert has a lot of upside, but a high bust potential as well. Great intangibles, but needs to improve accuracy.
13. Detroit Lions: Nate Soldier, OT, Colorado -The perfect fit for the lions, as thir current OT's are aging will eventually cost Matthew Staffod another hospital bill. Soldier isa bit small, but he has power and moves very well. A good fit for the Detriot vertical passing game.
14. St. Louis Rams: Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina - Quinn missed the entire 2010 season due to suspension, so there is definitely risk to this pick. But the defense needs a few more pieces to allow the Rams to become contenders. Had it not have been for the suspension, Quinn would have been a top-5 pick.
15. Miami Dolphins: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama - I don't like taking RB's early, but this just makes sense here. There are not too many needs on this average football team, but RB is one of them. I think they might take a project QB in round 2. Ingram is a nice complement for the Miami downhill running attack
16. Jacksonville Jaguars: Cameron Jordan, DE, Cal - Jacksonville is getting good value here, and getting someone to help out the old and often-injured Aaron Kampman. He had an awesome senior bowl, and may well be gone before the Jags pick.
17. New England Patriots: Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA- This Patriots defense has not been truly tested until they were finally beaten by the Jets, where they were not playing with a huge lead against a pressing offense. I am really high on Ayers; he's fast, can cover and rush, and is not shabby agains the run. He is a bit lean at 6-4 251, but Hoodie can work with that.
18. San Diego Chargers:Tyron Smith, OT, USC - Smith has a good frame and athletisicism, and could play either the left or right side. We have seen Rivers throw with bodies allhim over too much, and he could provide some help in the running game.
19. New York Giants: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin - Carimi payed on the best running team in college football, and that is not by accident. He can protect and is a load against the run. The Giants are aging on the line, and cannot rely on Shawn Andrews to play RT forever.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa - Strong junior season, slowed down for his senior year. Scouts still consider him to be a quality player and the drop in sack numbers is a tad deceiving. This also fills a huge need in a massively important position in the Tampa scheme.
21. Kansas City Chiefs: Aldon Smith, OLB/DE, Missouri - Mike Vrabel is ancient. Aldon Smith is a young talent. If the Chiefs can keep hitting on defensive prospects, they are going to have a formidiable unit. Smith had an impressive senior bowl. KC is getting really good value here.
22. Indianapolis Colts: Anthony Costanzo, OT, Boston College - Even GM Bill Poilian admitted he made a mistake when he did not select stud tackle Roger Saffold in the 2010 draft. Don't expect him to make the same mistake again, because Indy's line is the worst in the league.
23. Philadelphia Eagles: Muhammaed Wilkerson, DT, Temple - Wilkerson is a load that can play just about every position along the defensive line. Although he comes from a small school, Wilkerson has a ton of potential as Philly tries to re-build it's defense.
24. New Orleans Saints: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue - The Saints need to get better against the run, and Kerrigan can help them. Sedrick Ellis could use a little bit of help as well. Kerrigan led the nation in takles for loss. Perfect fit as a 4-3 end.
25. Seattle Seahawks: Mike Pouncey, C/G, Florida - Unless Marshawn Lynch can break 11 tackles every play like he did against the Saints, the 'Hawks are terrible at running the ball. Pouncey, although he started at center at Florida, struggled with snaps and is better suited at guard.
26. Baltimore Ravens: Titus Young, WR, Boise State- Joe Flacco has a big arm. Too bad none of their recievers are fast enough to catch up to it. Titus had a fantastic senior bowl, drawing comparisons to DeSean Jackson as a small speedster who can take the top off a defense.
27. Atlanta Falcons: Rahim Moore, S, UCLA - Moore is a good Cover - 3 type who is aggressive in the run and a sure tackler. He had a bunch of picks and works well in a single-high situation, eiter the middle of a Cover 3 or Cover 1. Also, Atlanta has a hole to fill after letting veteran Eric Coleman go.
28: New England Patriots: Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State - A nice, versatile defensive lineman is just what New England needs. Heyward can play in a 3-4 5 technique and is rising up draft boards an one of more underrated players.
29. Chicago Bears: Ben Ijalana, OT, Villanova - This is a bit of a reach, but it makes sense. They need offensive lineman more than anyone else, and if they don't get someone here, they could be waiting a long time with a huge dropoff in talent. Otherise, Cutler is going to watch the 2011 season from his back. If there is a season.
30. New York Jets Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia - It is no secret that the Jets need a rusher. Justin Houston is explosive off the ball and beats tackles with pure speed, which is a trait none of the current Jets linebackers have. The Jets are lucky to get value at a need position.
31. Pittsburgh Steelers: Aaron Williams, CB, Texas - If the entire league didn't know it already, Super Bowl XLV highlighted the blueprint to beating the secondary - spread them out and attack their corners that always play soft coverage. I know the Steelers don't value corner too much, but at some point, you have to adjust as the league adjusts.
32. Green Bay Packers: Corey Luiget, DT, Illonis - I know DT is hardly a need for the Pack, but Kullen Jenkins is a free agent. Simply put, Luiget is the best player available, and when you are coming off of a Super Bowl run, you tend to take BPA's.