For those who care about my opinion, this is my final mock draft, finished just hours before the first name is called. This is a mock of that i think WILL happen, not what I think SHOULD happen, although I put my own opinions into most of these. Still my objective is to get the most picks right, and check how I did after the smoke clears.
Here goes nothing:
1. Carolina Panthers - Cam Newton, QB, Auburn - Personally, I cannot give Newton more than a top 20 grade. This goes against everything I believe in making a draft - but it seems like this is inevitable. This is the ultimate form of rolling the dice in the draft.
2. Denver Broncos - Marcel Dareus, DT, Alabama - He's not on the same level as Suh, but he is everything you want in a defensive lineman. Scheme-versatile, relentless, and powerful, Dareus is going to make an impact on a Broncos team that has no idea how to build a defense immediately.
3. Buffalo Bills - Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M - The Bills need some front seven help, and Miller fits the bill (get it)? Although he may be somewhat of a liability in the run game because of his size, he can rush the passer with his technique, relentlessness, and explosiveness.
4. Cincinnati Bengals - Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU - Cincinnati may need a solution in the case Leon Hall leaves in free agency, which seems likely. They have quarterback questions, but I have a tough time thinking Mike Brown will show his hand on the Carson Palmer situation and draft one early.
5. Arizona Cardinals - Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, North Carolina - As much as a quarterback is need is Arizona, they have made it clear they would prefer a veteran to some rookie. Therefore, they address a defense that has underperformed recently with some young talent. Quinn may be the best pass rusher in the draft, but there is some risk given that he missed the 2010 season for NCAA violations.
6. Cleveland Browns - A.J Green, WR, Georgia - Arguably the best player falls to 6, and it's at a big position of need for the Browns. They could address the d-line later in this draft, which is filled with d-lineman.
7. San Francisco 49'ers - Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri - Whether Alex Smith comes back or not is irrelevant at this point - you at least need to bring in competition. The best passer in the draft, Gabbert could use some time to work on footwork and a pro offense while Alex Smith keeps things afloat.
8. Tennessee Titans - Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn - Fairley's stock should be higher - his perceived character concerns are a bit overblown to me, but he probably would have slipped here anyway. Tennessee gets good value here, and if they resign their free agent DE's, they could have a special d-line.
Check out the rest, after the jump:
1. Dallas Cowboys – Anthony Costanzo, OT, Boston College – The ‘boys are going to take the most pro-ready tackle, not necessarily the best tackle. Costanzo is a good fit a right tackle, and can start immediately.
2. Washington Redskins – Julio Jones, WR, Alabama – The Redskins have, by far, the worst set of skill positions in the league. Given Jones’s talent, this is a steal.
3. Houston Texans – Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska – Houston sprints to the podium for Amukamara, who is somehow still on the board. He is a solid CB who will make an immediate impact on the horrendous Houston defense.
4. Minnesota Vikings – Tyron Smith, OT, USC – Minnesota’s line is among the worst in the league. There’s no QB worth taking here. Seems like a no-brainer to me.
5. Detroit Lions – Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado – I’ll take a gamble here and say Detriot takes a chance on talent. Smith is the best press-man corner in the draft, and that includes Patrick Peterson.
6. St. Louis Rams – Corey Liuget, DT, Illonis – Steve Spagnulo likes his d-lineman, and Liuget would make a perfect fit as a three-technique in his scheme.
7. Miami Dolphins – Ryan Mallet, QB, Arkansas – This is the only QB I would take in the first round. Mallet has the right arm of God, but apparently a lot of teams think he will find a way to screw it up with character concerns.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars – Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri – Smith is a bit raw, but has a ton of upside, and the Jaguars need to start taking more players with upside.
9. New England Patriots – Cameron Jordan, DE, Cal – One of my favorite players in the draft, Jordan will be a force at the 5-tech and will develop into a pass rush threat as he gets older.
10. San Diego Chargers – J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin – Norv Turner has made it no secret he wants to upgrade the 5-tech’s on his team, and J.J. Watt is the second best one in the draft. He will start immediately and for a long time.
11. New York Giants – Mike Pouncey, G, Florida – The Giants o-lineman all have some kind of issue. Drafting a starter would go a long way and get the Giants line back to prominence.
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers –Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson – The freefall ends for Bowers, whose knee concerns cost him millions of dollars and bout 15 spots in the draft.
13. Kansas City Chiefs – Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor – Taylor is a mold of the "true" nose tackle – a position that is extremely difficult to find. Taylor has some incredible movement skills for his size.
14. Indianapolis Colts – Nate Solder, OT, Colorado – The Colts have left the line issue alone for way too long, and it showed last season. Solder is more of an athletic tackle, but he can still bring something in the run game.
15. Philadelphia Eagles – Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin – Philly gets great value here at a position of need. A left tackle at Wisconsin, Carimi is a better fit at right tackle, and could really help in the porous power-run game in Philadelphia.
16. New Orleans Saints – Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue – Kerrigan isn’t an exceptionally talented player, but his production is undeniable. New Orleans desperately needs a pass rush opposite Will Smith.
17. Seattle Seahawks – Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State – Sherrod is a guy who can play guard immediately, then move out to RT. He will bring immediate help to a thin Seattle line that needs 3 new starters.
18. Baltimore Ravens – Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple – Wilkerson is raw, but he is a powerful specimen that can develop into something special. The Ravens need a new 5-tech since they let Trevor Pryce escape to the Jets.
19. Atlanta Falcons – Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa – The issue with Clayborn is that it has been discovered that he has cerebral palsy in his right arm – in other words, he plays with one arm most of the time. However, if he can stay effective at the next level, Atlanta is getting one heck of a football player for this spot.
20. New England Patriots – Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama – I’ll give the Pats a Heisman trophy winner at 28 to take over a backfield that currently consists of Belichick minutemen.
21. Chicago Bears – Marvin Austin, DT, North Carolina – While taking any offensive lineman will be an upgrade for the tissue paper they currently have, Austin fills a much more difficult need at the 3-technique. Had Austin stayed in school, he probably would have gone in the top ten in 2012.
22. New York Jets – Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA –The Jets are candidates to trade down here. But Ayers is a good all-around football player with some pass rush ability. However, he’s not a terror off the edge Jets fans are clamoring for, but there are few players Rex can’t develop. Like Vernon Gholston.
23. Pittsburgh Steelers – Aaron Williams, CB, Texas – The fourth best corner in the draft, Williams can play in the nickel and safety when Polomalu gets hurt. He’s not the most consistent guy, but he’ll be a versatile chess piece for LeBeau.
24. Green Bay Packers – Brooks Reed, OLB/DE, Arizona – I’m not as high on Reed as most, but it would be pretty sweet to have three linebackers with flowing blond hair. When you just won a Super Bowl, I guess you can draft by hairstyle.
25. New England Patriots – Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia – a big, heavy, explosive rusher for Belicheck to mold.
26. Buffalo Bills – James Carpenter, OT, Alabama – The Bills need to start investing high picks in offensive lineman.
27. Cincinnati Bengals – Jake Locker, QB, Washington – The Bengals need to get a quarterback this weekend.
28. Denver Broncos – Mikel LeShoure, RB, Illonis – Denver has not been shy about wanting to have a complement to Knowshown Moreno, who has been somewhat disappointing for his draft selection.
29. Cleveland Browns – Stephen Paea , DT, Oregon State – As I stated earlier, Cleveland will start to rebuild its defensive line with this draft’s depth.
30. Arizona Cardinals – Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame – Ken Wizenhunt hasn’t had a threat at TE since he coached Heath Miller at Pittsburgh.
31. Tennessee Titans – Andy Dalton, QB, TCU – Just like Cincinatti, the Titans need to get somebody to throw the ball by Friday night. I wouldn’t be surprised if they traded up.
32. Dallas Cowboys – Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State – The Cowboys get a steal in the second round, and it even fills a need.
33. Washington Redskins – Colin Capernick, QB, Nevada – Mike Shanahan gets his version of a poor man’s Cam Newton.
34. Houston Texans – Rahim Moore, FS, UCLA – Houston just needs to keep loading up on defensive backs. They still need to more starters, even when assuming their two top start.
35. Minnesota Vikings – Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State – A pure west coast QB who fits the Viking’s scheme.
36. Detroit Lions – Bruce Carter, OLB, North Carolina – Detroit has massive needs at linebacker.
37. San Francisco 49'ers – Jonathan Baldwin, WR , Pittsburgh
38. Denver Broncos –Jabaal Sheard, DE, Pittsburgh – Denver adds to the front seven with a grinder kind of rusher.
39. St. Louis Rams – Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland – Mark Clayton was their best receiver last year. And he spend most of the season on IR.
40. Oakland Raiders – Ben Ijalana, OG, Villanova – Da Raidas need to start blocking people.
41. Jacksonville Jaguars – Brandon Harris, CB, Miami – Jacksonville’s secondary was a shooting gallery last year.
42. San Diego Chargers – Kenrick Ellis, DT, Hampton – With this pick, San Diego finally replaces Jamal Williams.
43. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia – Perfect fit in a Tampa-2, and is a solution to the Aquib Talib situation.
44. New York Giants – Ryan Williams, RB, Virginia Tech – Both RB’s could be gone after this season. Williams has a lot of potential.
45. Indianapolis Colts – Jarvis Jenkins, DT, Clemson – Colts need to upgrade the interior d-line.
46. Philadelphia Eagles – Allen Bailey, DE, Miami – Boom or bust project that most predicted would go much higher.
47. Kansas City Chiefs – Sam Acho, DE, Texas – Could stand up and play linebacker, and replace the ancient Mike Vrabel.
48. New Orleans Saints – Greg Little, WR, North Carolina – The receiver situation in New Orleans is foggy at best.
49. Seattle Seahawks – Johnny Patrick, CB, Louisville – Marus Trufant is one of the most overrated players in the NFL.
50. Baltimore Ravens – Titus Young, WR, Boise State – The Ravens need someone fast enough to be able to catch Flacco’s deep balls.
51. Atlanta Falcons – Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami – A perfect fit as a number 2 possession-type receiver, which is exactly what Atlanta needs.
52. New England Patriots – Randall Cobb, WR, Kentucky – At this point, receiver is their biggest need, and its not eve that big of a need.
53. San Diego Chargers – Stefen Wisniewski, C, Penn State – The Chargers need to fix that interior line.
54. Chicago Bears – Rodney Hudson, OG, Florida State – Chicago could pick any offensive lineman in this spot, and it would be an upgrade over what they have now.
55. Pittsburgh Steelers – Orlando Franklin, OG, Miami- Another team that needs interior line help.
56. Green Bay Packers – Quan Sturdivant, ILB, North Carolina – Best player available, and they could use him a variety of ways.