2017 NFL Mock Draft

April 27, 2017

I wasn’t going to do one this year, but why the hell not?  Here is my extremely uneducated prognostication on the first round to come.

1. Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett: DE, Texas A&M:

There has been talk that the Browns are genuinely looking at UNC QB Mitch Trubisky, but in my opinion, when the dust settles, Garrett has to be the pick. The Browns are devoid of talent and Garrett is exactly the type of cornerstone player on defense that could jump-start a long overdue change of fortunes for this much maligned franchise.

2. San Francisco 49’ers: Jamal Adams: Safety, LSU

No one knows the importance of the safety position than neophyte GM John Lynch.  Adams brings the physical nature and leadership skills that can become a leader on the 49’ers rebuilding defense.  While it’s possible that the 49’ers fall in love with one of the QBs, I think that they will roll with Brian Hoyer this year and reevaluate the position next season.

3. Chicago Bears: Malik Hooker: Safety, Ohio State 

Word is that head coach John Fox loves Jonathan Allen from Alabama, but I believe that the most glaring need for the Bears is in the back seven.  Hooker is as athletic as they come and has the size and speed to cover the athletic tight ends that are commonplace in today’s NFL.  It’s also possible that the Bears opt to go with a QB, or the aforementioned Allen.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars: Leonard Fournette: RB, LSU

Tom Coughlin has final say over the roster decisions in Jacksonville and Fournette can be the between-the-tackles bruiser that Brandon Jacobs filled while he was the head coach of the Giants.  Coughlin loves defensive lineman, so Allen or Thomas could be tempting, but Blake Bortles needs all the help that he can get and Chris Ivory and TJ Yelodon haven’t been productive.

5. Tennessee Titans: Marshon Lattimore, CB: Ohio State

The Titans released Jason Mccourty in the offseason and brought in Logan Ryan, and they definitely have a glaring need at this position.  Lattimore was only a one year starter, but he is long and athletic and could make an immediate impact.  The Titans really need a true #1 WR, but I think there will be someone their pick at 18.


6. New York Jets: OJ Howard: TE, Alabama 

The Jets have arguably the worst roster in the NFL, particularly on the offensive side of the ball.  You could throw a dart at the depth chart and would probably land on a need. Howard is a monster and would be a safety blanket for Hackenberg or a potential later QB selection. The Jets could also target a CB or LB like Reuben Foster.

7. LA Chargers: Solomon Thomas: DE, Stanford

The Chargers are switching to a 4-3 defense under new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, and Thomas could start opposite last year’s rookie phenom Joey Bosa.  There are also talks of the Chargers looking at drafting Phillip Rivers successor, so Deshaun Watson could be in play.

8. Carolina Panthers: Christian Mccaffrey: RB, Stanford 

Jonathan Stewart is toast and the Panthers need to bring in offensive playmakers to keep Cam Newton from getting killed. Mccaffrey is talented and versatile and would be a big time weapon for Cam.  The Panthers could also look at Marshon Lattimore here, as they have yet to fill the shoes of departed CB Josh Norman.

9. Cincinnati Bengals: Jonathan Allen: DT, Alabama 

Some believe that Allen is a redundant talent to Geno Atkins, but Atkins is getting up there in age and this would be a great value pick for the Bengals at #9.  The Bengals are also rumored to be interested in Allen’s teammate Reuben Foster, but I believe that Allen will be too tempting to pass on here.

10. Buffalo Bills: Mike Williams: WR, Clemson

The Bills arguably need a WR more than any other team in the league.  Sammy Watkins is supremely talented but always injured, and Robert Woods was grossly overpaid in free agency.  There are some questions about Williams’ ability to separate against NFL corners, but his ball skills are off the charts.  I think the Bills would also be tempted by Haason Reddick from Temple and Reuben Foster from Alabama.

11. New Orleans Saints: Reuben Foster: LB, Alabama 

The Saints have needs everywhere on their defense, and some have called Foster the 2nd most talented player in the draft.  There are some serious character questions clouding Foster’s draft status, but his ability on the field is undeniable.  The Saints could also look at Haason Reddick or Derek Barnett from Tennessee.

12. Cleveland Browns: Mitchell Trubisky: QB, UNC

This would seemingly be a dream scenario for the Browns. They supposedly love Trubisky, and there is even talk that he’ll be the #1 overall pick in the draft.  Their love for Trubisky could all be a smoke screen, and if that’s the case the Browns could continue to stock pile defensive players here.

13. Arizona Cardinals: Patrick Maholmes: QB, Texas Tech

Hard to believe that Bruce Arians could make his intentions so transparent, but by all accounts he loves Maholmes.  Carson Palmer is toast and there is no successor on the roster. The Cardinals would also be tempted by Barnett or Reddick here.

14. Philadelphia Eagles: Derek Barnett: DE, Tennessee

The Eagles need help at cornerback, but Barnett is a sack master who would immediately help improve their front seven.   The Eagles could also look at Marlon Humphrey from Alabama, and a playmaker for Carson Wentz can’t be ruled out either.

15. Indianapolis Colts: Haason Reddick: LB, Temple

New GM Chris Ballard has made revamping the Colts’ defense a big offseason priority.  Reddick is flying up draft boards and he’s the athletic type of LB that would be a foundation of the improving unit. The Colts could also look to bolster their offensive line, as Andrew Luck has been battered throughout his career.

16. Baltimore Ravens: Forrest Lamp: OG, Western Kentucky

The Ravens supposedly want to build an offensive line ala the Dallas Cowboys.  That plan took a hit when Rick Wagner left in free agency to Detroit.  Lamp projects as a guard, but would be a plug and play starter.  Ozzie Newsome loves Alabama players, so Cam Robinson and Marlon Humphrey could also be in play here.

17. Washington Redskins: Marlon Humphrey: CB, Alabama

“You can never have enough good defensive backs” has never been more true in today’s NFL.  The Redskins added Josh Normal offseason, but Humphrey would mark the addition of another talented playmaker in the secondary.  The Redskins have also been linked to Dalvin Cook, but the combination of his poor combine and off the field baggage lead me to believe they will look elsewhere to add a running back.

18. Tennessee Titans: Corey Davis: WR, Western Michigan.

The Titans have an up-and-coming offense, but they lack a lot of talent at the receiver position. Davis was very productive at Western Michigan, and has the size, speed and production that would lead you to believe that he could bud into a very good receiver in the NFL.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: David Njoku: TE, Miami 

As a Giants fan, this will be crushing to me, as I have dreams of this guy catching passes from Eli next season.  The addition of Njoku would give the Bucs arguably the most potent passing attack in the league.  The Bucs could also use help along the offensive line and at running back, but I don’t see them passing on the athletically gifted ‘cane.

20. Denver Broncos: Garrett Boles: OT, Utah:

Rumors are swirling that the Broncos are looking to trade up, but that is too hard to predict.  Russell Okung left via free agency, and a weak unit gets weaker.  The Broncos have been linked to Bolles, and he would provide an answer at left tackle that the Broncos must be searching for.

21. Detroit Lions: Charles Harris: De, Mizzou

The Lions have been linked to Reddick and Njoku, but with both off the board they will look to bolster their defense with the selection of Harris.  They have not been able to find a competent compliment to Ziggy Ansah, and Harris could fill that void.

22. Miami Dolphins: Taco Charlton: DE, Michigan

The Dolphins have needs along the interior offensive line and at linebacker, but bolstering their pass rush would also be nice, as Cameron Wake is nearing the end of the road at age 34.  Charlton can be groomed to be his successor and could provide much-needed depth at the position.

23. New York Giants: Zach Cunnimgham: LB, Vanderbilt

The Giants most glaring need is obviously the offensive line, but from what I’ve heard they don’t have a first round grade on any of the o-lineman in the draft. I’m hesitant to make this selection here, but Jerry Reese attended Vandy’s pro day and that is usually a sign that they are serious about the player.

24. Oakland Raiders: Jarrad Davis: LB, Florida

The Raiders biggest need by far is in the secondary, but they also need badly to bolster their linebacking corps, and Davis would definitely do that.  He’s an athletic and productive linebacker and would immediately bolster the Raiders’ lackluster defense.

25. Houston Texans: Deshaun Watson: QB, Clemson

It’s hard to believe that the reigning national champion will slide this far, but this would be a logical fit for the Texans.  This would help Houston wash the bad taste of Brock Osweiller out of their mouths, and he could sit behind Tom Savage for a year and eventually take over in 2018.

26. Seattle Seahawks: Kevin King: CB, Washington

It has been rumored all offseason that the Richard Sherman era is coming to an end, and King could be groomed to be his eventual successor.  The Seahawks really need help along the offensive line, but with last year being the exception, first round o-line is generally not their MO.

27. Kansas City Chiefs: Deshone Kizer: QB, Notre Dame

The Chiefs have been linked to a slew of quarterbacks, and Kizer would be the best on the board at this point. He had an up-and-down career at Notre Dame, but if anyone can maximize talent its Andy Reid.

28. Dallas Cowboys: Adoree Jackson: CB, USC

The consensus seems to be that the Cowboys will be targeting a defensive player, and Jackson would be an immediate upgrade at the position.  Barry Church and Morris Claiborne both left via free agency, so an infusion of youth and talent is a dire need.  They have also been linked to Uconn safety Obi Melifonwu.

29. Green Bay Packers: TJ Watt: LB, Wisconsin

A talented, productive Badger going to the in state team seems like a perfect fit.  With only one year on defense, Watt was a productive force and his game seems like it is only going up.  The Packers could use some help in the secondary, so Tre’davious White could also be in play here.

30. Pittsburgh Steelers: Tyus Bowser: LB, Houston 

The biggest needs for the black and yellow appear to be LB and CB.  Jarvis Jones never lived up to his billing and left via free agency.  James Harrison is nearing the end of the road and they need some youth at the position.

31. Atlanta Falcons: Jordan Willis: DE, Kansas State

The Falcons epic Superbowl collapse made it clear that they need to add some young talent along the defensive line.  They have been linked to the big 12 defensive player of the year, and he would immediately help provide some relief as a pass rusher opposite last year’s breakout star Vic Beasley.

32. New Orleans Saints: Tre’Davious White: CB, LSU

The Saints have been linked to Patriots CB Malcom Butler, but until that happens I’ll assume this is still a need.  An in state product, White was productive at LSU and could play in the slot as well as the outside.  Free falling Jabrill Peppers could also be looked at here.






Aaron Zimmerman 2016 NBA Mock Draft

June 23, 2016

NBA insider and draft guru was kind enough to put together his 2016 mock NBA draft.  With no further ado:

  1. Sixers – Ben Simmons, SF (LSU/Freshman) No brainer pick for the Sixers. He’s got the most “hype” and “upside”. I do think some of the players below will have better NBA careers. Keep on reading to find out who!
  2. Lakers – Brandon Ingram, SF (Duke/Freshman) Lakers already announced this was their pick pending a blockbuster. Slide him into the starting lineup and I’m sure he will remind them of another SF they used to have. No not James Worthy… Wes Johnson.
  3. Celtics – Buddy Hield, SG (Oklahoma/Senior) This is where things get interesting. I don’t see Brad Stevens spending a pick on a project like Jaylen Brown. If he can flip a project into a star I’m sure he can turn a stud college player like Buddy into something special. Kris Dunn is a possibility but with Thomas, Rozier, and Smart at the PG spot it would get pretty crowded. Hield can step in and replace a likely departure of Evan Turner and/or Avery Bradley.
  4. Suns – Jaylen Brown, SF (California/Freshman) This pick is all on upside and potential. Suns have too many guards so they won’t go Dunn here even though they should.
  5. Wolves – Kris Dunn, PG (Providence/Junior) Wolves will be thrilled if Dunn falls here. With Rubio on the trade block, Dunn can step in and start leading the way for this sleeping giant of a Timberwolves squad.
  6. Pelicans – Jamal Murray, SG (Kentucky/Freshman) Will slide in a replace Eric Gordon/Tyreke Evans nicely. Watch out for the Coach Cal coaching rumors once Jamal and Davis are paired up.
  7. Nuggets – Marquese Chriss, PF (Washington/Freshman) Haven’t seen him play once, never heard of him until I started reading the mocks. Lock him in to this pick.
  8. Kings – Dragan Bender, PF (International) Best Euro player on board, Vlade won’t let this one slide.
  9. Raptors – Wade Baldwin, PG (Vandy/Sophomore) With two first rounders, I see the Raps going best available and then trying to fill a need later on.
  10. Bucks – Domantas Sabonis, PF (Gonzaga/Sophomore) DS, in my opinion, is the best big in the draft. With Monroe on the block look for the Bucks to grab the Bulldog here.
  11. Magic – Skal Labissiere, PF (Kentucky/Freshman) Magic need to hit a HR here, and can be that guy. Vogel has a history of developing young bigs (Myles Turner, Myles Turner, Myles Turner)
  12. Hawks – Deyonta Davis, PF (Michigan State/Freshman) Uncertainty around Horford, I see ATL trying to pluck their future starting PF here.
  13. Suns – Jakob Poeltl, C (Utah/Sophomore) I think Poeltl stinks and this is going to be a bad pick. Suns need some big guys though and Jakob is the “best available big”
  14. Bulls – Furkan Korkmaz, SG (International) Stole this one from an online mock draft
  15. Nuggets – Timothe Luwawu, SG (International) Stole this one from an online mock draft
  16. Celtics – Denzel Valentine, SG (Michigan State/Senior) Too good to pass up for Brad.
  17. Grizzlies – Malik Beasley, SG (Florida St/Freshman) The Grizzlies need some scoring and they can find that here with Malik. Too many minutes went to aged vets Vince Carter/Tony Allen last year.
  18. Pistons – Henry Ellenson, PF (Marquette/Freshman) The one thing I like about this pick is the history of Marquette players panning out.
  19. Nuggets – Malachi Richardson, SG (Syracuse/Freshman) Nuggets will scoop up the Orange 2 guard here. They have their future PG, they snagged their future PF earlier in the draft. This is a lock.
  20. Pacers – Taurean Prince, SF (Baylor/Senior) The horrors of George Hill for K. Leonard still linger. This is a special pick. The Pacers didn’t include the pick in their trade for Teague. This pick by all means should have been sent to Utah along with that bum George Hill. Taurean Prince, will give Paul George a sidekick at SF to replace Solo Hill.
  21. Hawks – Demetrius Jackson, PG (Notre Dame/Junior) Will replace Teague as PG, and back up Schoreder nicely.
  22. Hornets – Isaiah Whitehead, SG (Seton Hall/Sophomore) Isaiah will replace PG/SG Lin who is most likely gone. I’d prefer a trade here for Shabazz.
  23. Celtics – DeDandre Bembry, SF (St. Joes/Junior) No clue who this guy is, 17, 7, 5 in college though is something I don’t see Stevens passing on.
  24. Sixers – Dejounte Murray, PG (Washington/Freshman) Stole this one from an online mock draft
  25. Clippers – Caris LeVert, SG (Michigan/Senior) Great scorer, and with SG position in LA isn’t great. Too much Crawford/JJ/Rivers/Bums.
  26. Sixers – Juan Hernangomez, SG (International) Stole this one from an online mock draft
  27. Raptors – Cheick Diallo, C (Kansas/Freshman) Had a good combine, tons of potential and will replace Bismack nicely, or not nicely. Who knows.
  28. Suns – Ivica Zubac, C (International) Classic late first round Euro pick who they will stash away and we won’t hear about him ever again.
  29. Spurs – Tyler Ulis , PG (Kentucky/Sophomore) With Tony Parker aging, look for the Spurs to get some young blood in their back court.
  30. Warriors – Brice Johnson, PF (North Carolina/Senior) They need some athletic bigs that could help right away. Brice is the pick.


Rookie of the Year Predication – Taurean Prince, SF – Indiana Pacers pick 20.

Most likely to be traded on Draft Night – Every pick from 22 to 28.

AZ Over/Under correct picks 6.5 (take the under)

2016 NFL Mock Draft

April 28, 2016

It’s that time again. The best time of the year.  Optimism springs eternal and all 32 teams look to draft the next young cornerstone of their franchise.  The Rams and Eagles have already shaken things up and traded up to the top two spots in the draft.   Here is the first and last iteration of my 2016 mock draft.

1. LA Rams: Jared Goff: QB, Cal: The Rams gave up a king’s ransom to move up and draft their franchise QB.  They haven’t let the cat out of the bag and there is still speculation regarding which qb it will be, but chatter has heated up that Goff is their guy.  The only other alternative is ND State Qb Carson Wentz.

2. Philadelphia Eagles: Carson Wentz: QB, ND State: The Eagles followed the Rams’ lead and moved up to the #2 spot with the intention of getting their franchise quarterback.  They invested nearly $30 million in the position but see the now disgruntled Bradford as a mere stopgap.

3. San Diego Chargers: Deforest Buckner: DE, Oregon: The Chargers have a glaring need at DE and Buckner is a great fit for the 3-4 scheme.  They lost Kendall Reyes in free agency and need to add beef along the defensive front. The other possibilities here include Jalen Ramsey and Laremy Tunsil.

4. Dallas Cowboys: Jalen Ramsey: DB, FSU: With both Demarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory facing four game suspensions, an already suspect Cowboys defensive line is in desperate need of help.  I still believe that the talented and versatile Ramsey is who the Cowboys covet.  There is also talk of Buckeye Zeke Elliot, and the logical pick here would be Joey Bosa

5. Jacksonville Jaguars: Myles Jack: OLB, UCLA: In spite of the recent reports regarding the severity of his knee injury, I believe Jack will still be the pick here.  He is versatile, athletic and is exactly what the Jags need on defense.  They have already invested in the front and back lines of the defense and have Dante Fowler coming back from injury.

6. Baltimore Ravens: Joey Bosa: DE, Ohio State: Ozzie Newsome is one of the best GMs in the league when it comes to finding value in the draft.  While Bosa is more of a fit for 4-3 scheme people seem to think he can play standing up in a 3-4.  Terrell Suggs is getting towards the end of his career and Bosa would provide a much needed infusion of pass rushing talent.

7. San Francisco 49’ers: Larmey Tunsil: OT, Ole Miss: The 49’ers have needs across the board, and they will be happy to land arguably the best player in the draft at 7.  The talk is that they have their eye on Buckner, but with him gone they will take the tackle out of ole miss. Joe Staley is getting old and Tunsil can eventually supplant him on the left side. Paxton Lynch is a possibility but talk of a slide is picking up after less than impressive combine interviews.

8. Cleveland Browns: Ronnie Stanley: OT, Notre Dame: The Browns are in rebuild mode yet again after trading out of the 2nd pick for a plethora of choices in the 2016, 2017 and 2018 drafts.  They signed Robert Griffin III as a reclamation project/stop-gap.  The hope is that Hue Jackson can revive his career. Simply put, the Browns need players, and Stanley could eventually supplant Joe Thomas as the team’s blindside protector.  This need is exacerbated by the loss of both Alex Mack and Mitchell Schwartz in free agency.

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Vernon Hargreaves: CB, Florida: The Bucs are rumored to be, “very open” to trading down from the 9 spot.  Unless Tennessee really covets at tackle I don’t see a player that a team would be jumping up to get here. Instead the Bucs will stand pat and look to improve upon a secondary that needs playmakers.  The Bucs could also look at Treadwell as the eventual replacement to the aging Vincent Jackson.

10. New York Giants: Jack Conklin: OT, Michigan State: All of the pre draft chatter surrounding the Giants was focused on Georgia’s Leonard Floyd, but the Conklin rumors are starting to pick up steam. I believe that this would be the ideal fit for the Gmen. There are glaring holes on the right side of the line and he would slide in and start at RT on day one.

11. Chicago Bears: Shaq Lawson: De/Olb, Clemson: The Bears need to improve upon their defense, which recently switched to the 3-4 under Vic Fangio.  Lawson would be a good fit at linebacker opposite Pernell McPhee.  Other possibilities here include Leonard Floyd, Taylor Decker or Sheldon Rankins.

12. New Orleans Saints: Leonard Floyd, Olb, Georgia: The Saints had a historically bad defense last season, and all the chatter seems to be that they will look to improve upon that with the 12th pick.  In spite of being cash strapped they were said to have been in on the Josh Norman sweepstakes.  The value at CB just isn’t there at 12, and while I’m personally not a big Floyd fan his ceiling is sky high.

13. Miami Dolphins: Ezekiel Elliott: RB, Ohio State: The Dolphins lost Lamar Miller to free agency and have been linked to Elliott throughout the draft process.  The presumptive starter is Jay Ajayi who is unproven and has some medical red flags.  The Dolphins are desperate to improve their secondary, but William Jackson and Eli Apple would be a tad bit of a reach at 13.

14. Oakland Raiders: Sheldon Rankins: DT, Louisville: The Raiders most glaring need is at CB, but with Hargreaves going just one pick before them, the Raiders should opt to beef up their young and imposing defense.  Rankins would provide an interior pass rush that would ease things on the impressive duo of Bruce Irvin and Khalil Mack. I believe it would be too early here for Eli Apple or William Jackson.

15. Tennessee Titans: Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State: The Titans picked up a bevy of draft picks when they traded the #1 pick to the LA rams a couple of weeks ago.  That has led to speculation that they will use some of those picks to move up and secure an offensive tackle.  The o-line was atrocious last year and they need to protect Marcus Mariota.  Decker could be paired with Taylor Lewan as bookend tackles to protect Mariota for years to come. The Titans have a lot of needs on defense as well, but I believe Decker is the ideal marriage of need and value.

16. Detroit Lions: Kevin Dodd, DE: Clemson: The ideal scenario for the Lions would be to grab one of the offensive tackles, but with Decker going at 15 I believe they’ll look to improve their defense.  Dodd was productive at Clemson and would be a nice compliment to Zigga Ansah .  The Lions could look to draft Calvin Johnson’s heir apparent in Laquon Treadwell if they choose to go that route.

17. Atlanta Falcons: Darron Lee: OLB, Ohio State: The Falcons had a league worst 19 sacks last season and really need to improve the talent along the defensive front.  While Lee isn’t a natural pass rusher, he’s an incredibly athletic playmaker who could thrive under the teaching of Dan Quinn.  Recent buzz has the Falcons looking to trade back to select Keanu Neal out of Florida. Personally, if I were the Falcons I’d swing for the fences and take Noah Spence, but I don’t see them taking the risk here.

18. Indianapolis Colts: Ryan Kelly: C, Alabama: This, in my opinion, is the easiest fit in the entire first round.  The Colts offensive line was abysmal yet again, and at some point they have to dedicate resources to protecting Andrew Luck.  GM Ryan Grigson has not made that a priority, so a non-essential position like WR could also be in play.   The Colts also need help on the defensive line but I don’t see the value at this point in the draft.

19. Buffalo Bills: Jarran Reed: DL, Alabama: Rex Ryan is seemingly on the hot seat after just one season as the head coach of the Bills.  His will publicized feud with Mario Williams left the Bills with a glaring need along the defense line.  The Bills were one of the worst teams in the league in terms of getting to the QB and they need to replenish the talent along the d-line.  They are said to be very high on Reed and he would provide them with talent along the defensive front.

20. New York Jets: Corey Coleman: WR, Baylor: The standoff between free agent QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Jets Brass has lingered up until draft day, and the Paxton Lynch to New York rumors have picked up. I don’t buy it. The Jets are in win-now mode and Lynch is at least a few years away.  The Jets really could use some talent along their offensive line, but the value isn’t there with 5 o-lineman off the board.  The buzz among the beat writers is that Coleman is who they covet.  He would give the Jets a potent trio of wide receivers for whoever ends up throwing for them this season.

21. Washington Redskins: A’Shawn Robinson: DL, Alabama: Speculation is swirling that the Redskins are looking to trade back at this spot.  I am not in the business of predicting trades, so I have them taking Robinson.  Terrence Knighton left via free agency and Jason Hatcher retired, leaving d-line as a glaring need.  Robinson would fit in nicely at defensive end in the 3-4.  The ‘skins also have a need at FS but I don’t see the value at this spot in the draft.

22. Houston Texans: Laquon Treadwell: WR, Ole Miss: The Texans have a big need at WR opposite Deandre Hopkins and Treadwell would be a great fit.  They need to provide Brock Osweiler with weapons and Treadwell could be the long term answer at the position.  The Texans could look at Reggie Ragland or a safety as well.

23. Minnesota Vikings: Josh Doctson: WR, TCU: The Vikings are said to be in the market for a WR and Doctson is the best available at 23.  The Vikings could also look at Darron Lee or Reggie Ragland to improve upon their up and coming linebacking unit.

24. Cincinnati Bengals: Will Fuller: WR, Notre Dame: The Bengals have a glaring need at WR with the depature of both Sanu and Jones via free agency.  Fuller is a burner who would provide Andy Dalton with another explosive target in the passing game.  With the loss of safety Reggie Nelson the Bengals could also look at Keaneu Neal or Karl Joseph.

25. Pittsburgh Steelers: Eli Apple: CB, Ohio State: The Steelers have had one of the most porous secondaries in the league the past few seasons.  Apple was productive at OSU and has been linked to the Steelers throughout the draft process. William Jackson out of Houston or one of the safeties are also possibilities.

26. Seattle Seahawks: Robert Nkemdiche: DE, Ole Miss:  Off the field concerns have pushed Nkemdiche down draft boards, but on raw talent alone he’s one of the best prospects in the draft.  The Seahawks have needs along the offensive line, but their front office does not dedicate premium resources to that position.  The recent selection of Frank Clark proves that the Seahawks are ok taking chances on guys with red flags.

27. Green Bay Packers: Reggie Ragland: MLB, Alabama: Drafting a productive player like Ragland would allow the Packers to move Clay Matthews back to his natural position on the edge and improve the ILB position.  The Packers lost Casey Hayward via free agency so a cornerback like William Jackson or Artie Burns could also be choices here.

28. Kansan City Chiefs: William Jackson III: CB, Houston: The Chiefs lost Shaun Smith to the division rival Raiders and could look to draft his replacement at 28.  Jackson was a late riser in the draft process but would fill a big hole across from defensive rookie of the year Marcus Peters.  There’s an outside chance that they could look at a QB like Paxton Lynch but my gut says they’ll go defense.

29. New England Patriots: (forfeited due to Deflategate)

30. Arizona Cardinals: Noah Spence: DE, Eastern Kentucky: The Cardinals lost their second round pick in the Chandler Jones trade, so don’t be surprised if Steve Keim looks to trade back in order to recoup draft picks. If they decide or are forced to stand pat, the Cardinals have the depth and organizational stability to take a risk on a talented but flawed player like Spence.  Eventually, paired with Chandler Jones he could prove to be one of the better values in the first round.

31. Carolina Panthers: Germain Ifedi: OT, Texas A&M: The Super Bowl made it glaringly apparent that the Panthers could stand to improve along their offensive line.  While Michael Oher and Mike Remmers both graded out above average throughout the course of the season, they  are both in contract seasons and certainly can be improved upon.  Ifedi is the best tackle left on the board and will allow the Panthers to let one or both of the aforementioned tackles walk in free agency.  With the departure of Josh Norman CB has become a huge need, but there isn’t the value at this point in the first round.

32. Denver Broncos: Vernon Butler: DT, Louisiana Tech: The Broncos will be looking to replace Malik Jackson, who departed in free agency.   Butler is long, strong and athletic and would fill the void left by Jackson’s departure.  The Broncos could look to add a QB but I don’t see anyone who would entice John Elway enough to pull the trigger at this point.




Aaron Zimmerman 2015 NBA Mock Draft

June 25, 2015

2015 NBA Mock Draft



First Round

Minnesota Timberwolves: Karl Anthony Towns, PF/C, Kentucky. No brainer pick here. Most upside in the draft according to the scouts, he has basically been promised this pick according to NBA inside sources.

Los Angeles Lakers: Jahill Okafor, C, Duke, 6-11. The smoke has started! Jay Williams reported he could drop to middle of the lottery? I don’t see that happening. Despite Warriors winning with no bigs, the Lakers could have their frontcourt locked up for the next 10 years with Okafor and Randle.

Philadelphia 76ers: Emmanuel Mudiay, PG, SMU/USA. The Sixers need a guard and Mudiay is their guy. He’s a legit 6’5 with an NBA ready body. He is athletic and according to the scouts he is a monster defensively.

New York Knicks: D’Angelo Russell, PG, Ohio State. Great fit for the Knicks. He would excite the fan base and he can score. Russell doesn’t drop below the Knicks @ 4.

Orlando Magic: Mario Hezonja, SG, Croatia. Despite other big names on the board like Porzingis, Winslow, and Johnson I see Orlando grabbing Hezonja here. He is the best fit given their need of perimeter scoring.

Sacramento Kings: Kristaps Porzingis, C, Lativa. Vlade won’t let Porzingis fall passed them. The Kings need a new face of their franchise, especially with Cousins most likely out the door this year or next. Porzingis is considered to have the biggest upside in this draft, could be a steal for Vlade and the Kings.

Denver Nuggets: Justice Winslow, SF, Duke. Personally think Winslow should go to Knicks @ 4 but Denver won’t let him slip passed 7. Winslow is perfect for the Western Conference new “small ball” era. He can play the 2, 3, and the 4 in the NBA. He is athletic and very good on both sides of the basketball.

Detroit Pistons: Kelly Oubre, SF, Kansas. Pistons need a SF here and something tells me they swing for the fences with Oubre instead of taking the sure thing in Stanley Johnson.

Charlotte Hornets: Devin Booker, SG, Kentucky. Booker is a lock to Hornets at 9 if he is still on the board. They just dealt Lance and are in dire need of a shooting guard, one who can knock down the long ball. Booker is their guy.

Miami Heat: Stanley Johnson, SF, Arizona. Luol Deng was NOT the answer for the LeBron James void. Heat needs a Small Forward to go along with Bosh, Whiteside, Wade, and Dragic. Stanley Johnson is the guy.

Indiana Pacers: Willie Cauley-Stein, C, Kentucky. Larry Bird said he was a 100 Million Dollar player. To me that means he will draft him if he’s available. They also basically told Roy Hibbert he won’t play next year since they wanted to get more athletic.

Utah Jazz: Cameron Payne, PG, Murray State. The Jazz are all set with their front court, their back court is young and Payne should come in from day 1 and challenge Burke, Burks, and Exum. If nothing else he will provide excellent depth in a conference that is all about guards.

Phoenix Suns: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, SF, Arizona. The Suns need a wing to replace the erratic play of Gerald Green. They are all set at Guard and Center; why not take the hometown guy Jefferson?

Oklahoma City Thunder: Tyus Jones, PG, Duke. The Thunder are hoping Payne drops here, if not Payne they go with the next best PG in Jones. Somebody has to replace Jackson, and Jones is the guy to do it.

Atlanta Hawks: Trey Lyles, PF, Kentucky. Hawks swing for the fences here with Lyles over the safe pick of Kaminsky. Millsap may or may not stick around, if he doesn’t they will need a PF for the future.

Boston Celtics: Frank Kaminsky, C, Wisconsin. Frank the Tank probably won’t drop this far but if he does the Celtics will snag him. He would be the safest bet and can provide outside shooting, heart, and depth at the big.

Milwaukee Bucks: Myles Turner, C, Texas. The Bucks have a hole at Center. Plumlee and Pachulia are basically garbage time players. Turner has a lot of upside and can potentially be dominate in the Leastern Conference.

Houston Rockets: Jerian Grant, PG, Notre Dame. Seeing Jason Terry at the point guard position in the WCF was scary. Rockets need a point guard badly and Grant is the best one available.

Washington Wizards: Bobby Portis, PF, Arkansas. Big need for the Wizards will be PF and finding some depth for the injury raddled Nene.

Toronto Raptors: R.J. Hunter, SG, Georgia State. RJ can flat out score as seen from his NCAA tournament-opening weekend. He will immediately battle Terrance Ross for the starting SG position.

Dallas Mavericks: Kevin Looney, PF, UCLA. I think the Mavs are going to need an influx of young talent and quickly. They are getting old and Dirk isn’t getting any better. Looney will learn from Chandler and hopefully be the

long-term replacement for the Mavs.

Chicago Bulls: Rashad Vaughn, SG, UNLV. With Jimmy Butler potentially on the way out look for the Bulls to pick the best available SG. With Hunter gone, Vaughn is their guy.

Portland Trail Blazers: Sam Dekker, SF, Wisconsin. Blazers are in a best player available mode right now, especially with LaMarcus most likely signing elsewhere and Batum stinking it up all season. Dekker is best available and Portland would be lucky if he even drops this far.

Cleveland Cavaliers: Justin Anderson, SF, Virginia- Cavs are trading this pick. Whoever they trade it to will want Justin Anderson as he is the best available.

Memphis Grizzlies: Montrezl Harrell, PF, Louisville. Harrell is a perfect fit for the Grizzlies. Tough, athletic, and plays insanely hard.

San Antonio Spurs: Daniel Diez, SF, Spain. I know nothing about this guy except if the Spurs draft him he will be the next Ginobili. Most likely a draft-and-stash type player.

Los Angeles Lakers: Christian Wood, PF, UNLV. Young front court talent that could provide nice depth to Randle and Okafor.

Boston Celtics: Pat Connaughton, SF, Notre Dame. Home Run pick for Boston. Pat has dominated the combine and would fit in nicely with Brad Stevens.

Brooklyn Nets: Terry Rozier, G, Louisville. Nets need just about everything.

Golden State Warriors: Branden Dawson, SF, Michigan State. For some reason I see this being a steal for GS.

2015 NFL Mock Draft

April 30, 2015

I wasn’t going to do it this year, but I’m calling out Michael Amarante.  I am guaranteeing I get more picks right than you, Hammer.

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jameis Winston, QB: Florida State: Character concerns aside, famous Jameis is the best QB prospect in the draft.  The Josh McCown experiment failed miserably and they need a franchise QB.

2. Tennessee Titans: Marcus Mariota, QB: Oregon:  I believe that this pick will be traded, but I think Mariota will be the pick.  The Titans have a ton of needs and QB is one of them. They could also go with Leonard Williams here.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Amari Cooper, WR: Alabama:  They took Blake Bortles here last year, and they need to give him weapons.  They could also go with Leonard Williams or Fowler Jr here.

4. Oakland Raiders:  Leonard Williams, DE: USC:  Williams will step in as an anchor for this young defense.  They’d love to get Amari Cooper but there will be good WRs available in the second round.

5. Washington Redskins: Dante Fowler Jr, DE: Florida:  Brian Orakpo left via free agency and Fowler Jr would step in and take his place.  They could explore trading down or take an o-lineman like Brandon Scherff

6. New York Jets: Kevin White, WR: West Virginia: The Jets added Brandon Marshall but they still need weapons if they want to develop Geno Smith.  They also have needs along their aging offensive line and at outside linebacker.

7. Chicago Bears: Danny Shelton, DT: Washington:  The Bears’ defense was bad at all levels.  Shelton would be an immediate upgrade along the interior of the defensive line. Devate Parker and Bud Dupree could also be selections here.

8. Atlanta Falcons: Bud Dupree, DE: Kentucky:  The Falcons had the worst pass rush in the league last year.  Dupree comes with some risk but the Falcons need to add some talent along the d-line.

9. New York Giants: Brandon Scherff: O-lineman: Iowa: The Giants really need help at DE and linebacker but the offensive line was a weak area as well.  This would help solidify the interior of the offensive line and help keep Eli upright.

10. St. Louis Rams: Devante Parker, WR: Louisville:  The Rams lack playmakers on offense and Parker can fill that void.  Trae Waynes is also an option.

11. Minnesota Vikings: Trae Waynes, CB: Michigan State:  The Vikings need to add talent next to Xavier Rhodes.  They also have needs along the offensive line but I believe that Waynes is the best value here.

12. Cleveland Browns: Todd Gurley, RB: Georiga:  The Browns really need a WR, but Brehad Perriman would be a reach here.  Gurley has all world talent and could provide whoever is the Browns QB with an explosive option.  The Browns also need help along the defensive line.

13. New Orleans Saints: Vic Beasley: OLB, Clemson:  The Saints are in the midst of a rebuild, and they need help along the defensive front. Beasley is a boom or bust type prospect, but he would fit nicely in Rob Ryan’s defense.  Offensive line is also an option here.

14. Miami Dolphins: Ereck Flowers: OT, Miami: The Dolphins have given up the most sacks over the past 2 seasons combined.  Brandon Albert was originally a guard, so he could kick instead while Flowers takes over at left tackle.  They also could use help in the secondary and at receiver.

15: San Fran 49’ers: Arik Armstead, DE: Oregon: The 49ers had a mass exodus and now have many holes on defense.  They’re rumored to covet Armstead. CB and o-line are also options. 6. New York Jets:

16. Houston Texans: Randy Gregory, OLB: Nebraska: This is where I see Gregory’s fall ending.  The Texans were already light at this position and Brooks Reed signed with the Falcons.  They could also bolster their secondary or grab a receiver.

17. San Diego Chargers: Marcus Peters, CB: Washington: The Chargers need help everywhere, including in their secondary. Peters would bolster this unit.  They could also go with offensive line or outside linebacker.

18. Kansas City Chiefs: DJ Humphries: OT, Florida:  The Chiefs lost Rodney Hudson in free agency so Cameron Erving out of FSU could be the pick here.  Humphries provides better value as he can play left tackle.  The Chiefs could also use another receiver in spite of signing Jeremy Maclin.

19. Cleveland Browns: Breshad Perriman, WR: UCF:  The Browns lost Josh Gordon for the season and the cupboard is bare at WR.  He would be the type of playmaker that they desperately need.  The Browns could also use help at inside linebacker and obviously a QB.

20.Philadelphia Eagles: Shane Ray: OLB: Missouri: While I ultimately think that the Eagles will move up and take Mariota, Ray would be a good value pick here.  The Eagles defense was pedestrian and Ray would be an ideal fit in Chip Kelly’s 3-4 defense. They could also use playmakers at WR.

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Andrus Peat, OT: Stanford:  Andre Smith is going into a contract Year and Andrew Whitworth isn’t getting any younger.  Peat could step in as the eventual long term left tackle.  The Bengals could use some help in the secondary too.

22. Pittsburgh Steelers: Byron Jones, CB: Connecticut:  The Steelers pass defense was terrible last year.  Ike Taylor retired and there isn’t a lot of talent on the roster.  Jones wowed with his combine numbers but he has the size to matchup against big WRs.  The Steelers could also use another pass rusher.

23. Detroit Lions: Malcon Brown, DT: Texas: The strength of the Lions team last year was undoubtedly the defense, and Suh And Fairley both parted via free agency.  Brown would provide depth and talent along the defensive line as they try to re-stock.  They could also use a corner or a running back.

24. Arizona Cardinals: Melvin Gordon: RB, Wisconsin:  Unless Gurley somehow falls, this would be the ideal scenario for the birds.  Andre Ellington is talented but injury prone, and Gordon would provide the home run hitting ability that they need.  With Darnell Dockett parting via free agency, DL would also be a possibility.

25. Carolina Panthers: Owamagbe Odighizuwa, DE: UCLA:  With Greg Hardy leaving via free agency, the Panthers have an immediate need along the defensive line.  At 6’3” 270 pounds, he has the prototypical size to play defensive end in a 4-3.  They could also use help along the offensive line, at WR and in the secondary.

26. Baltimore Ravens: Kevin Johnson, CB: Wake Forest: The Ravens are desperate for talent in the secondary, as the unit is devoid of it outside of Jimmy Smith.  They also need help at WR with the departure of Torrey Smith, but I don’t think they’ll go in that direction.

27. Dallas Cowboys: Eddie Goldman, DT: Florida State: The Cowboys had a surprisingly good year last season, but their defense is still a work in progress.  They don’t have a lot of talent on the interior of the defensive line, and Goldman would help. They also need help at corner and RB, but the value just isn’t there.

28. Denver Broncos: Cameron Erving: C: Florida State:  As Peyton Manning enters what is likely his final season, keeping him upright has to be the number one priority.  Erving is the best center in the class, and he would be an immediate upgrade.

29. Indianapolis Colts: Jake Fisher, OT: Oregon:  The Colts continue to try and get Andrew Luck killed and desperately need help on the offensive line.  Fisher could play right tackle and help bolster this unit.  The Colts also need help and running back and virtually everywhere on defense.

30. Green Bay Packers: Donovan Smith: OT, Penn State:  The Packers need help at o-line and Smith is a longterm starter.  They also need pass rushers, so that could be in play here.

31. New Orleans Saints: Landon Collins, SS: Alabama: With the pick they acquired from the Seahawks, the Saints can add a heavy hitter in their secondary.  Kenny Vaccaro was benched last season, so they need serious help in the back end of the secondary. Offensive line and WR are also glaring holes on this team.

32. New England Patriots: Eric Rowe: CB, Utah: The Pats saw a mass exodus from their secondary as both Browner and Revis went elsewhere.  The Pats are impossible to predict, and a trade down is always possible, but Rowe is a talented player at a position of need.

Inaugural Aaron Zimmerman NBA Mock Draft

June 26, 2014

I don’t know anyone who is more enthusiastic about college basketball and the NBA draft more than my good friend Aaron Zimmerman.  Last year, he came to me with the idea of guest blogging his mock NBA draft.  He submitted it to me, but I dropped the ball.  This year I present to you  the first of hopefully many AZ NBA mock draft.  With no further ado:

1- Andrew Wiggins, Shooting Guard, Kansas- Cleveland

–          Most potential out of anyone in the draft outside of a healthy Joel Embiid. Should be a lock at #1

2- Jabari Parker, Small Forward, Duke- Milwaukee

–          Parker should help Milwaukee immediately. No brainer after Wiggins goes #1

3- Dante Exum, Point Guard, Australia- Philly

–          Philly was extremely high on Exum before the lottery came out, with Embiid going down, this opened the door for new CEO Scott O’Neil to draft his boy Dante.

4- Joel Embiid, Center, Kansas- Orlando

– Orlando is going to take a few years to rebuild; Embiid may be too good to pass on. Vonleh and Smart are also options here.

5- Noah Vonleh, Power Forward, Indiana- Utah

-If Utah can’t move into the top 2 to pick Parker they will go with potential and Vonleh has tons of it.

6- Aaron Gordon, Power Forward, Arizona – Boston

– Ainge has something up his sleeve, I have a feeling this pick is going somewhere else, like Minnesota!

7- Marcus Smart, Point Guard, OK State- LA Lakers

– Lakers haven’t had a dominate point guard since Nick Van Exel. Look for Smart to get taken here if he’s still on the board. He would complement Kobe well.

8- TJ Warren, Small Forward, NC State- – Sacramento Kings

– Could be a reach but Warren is a scorer and he has impressed many teams as of late. Wouldn’t shock me for the Kings to make a splashy pick like this.

9- Julius Randle, Power Forward, Kentucky- Charlotte

–          With Josh McRoberts starting at PF the Hornets need an upgrade. MJ would be thrilled if Randle drops here. Other options here at LaVine and McBuckets.

10- Nik Stauskas, Shooting Guard, Michigan- Philly

– Stauskas is a shooter and Philly needs shooting badly.

11- Zach LaVine, Point Guard, UCLA- Denver

– LaVine killed it in the comb-ine and I am not sold on Gary Harris.

12- Doug McDermott, Small Forward, Creighton- Orlando

– McBuckets!

13- James Young, Shooting Guard, Kentucky- Minnesota

– Arguably the third best player in the NCAA Championship Game wouldn’t be surprised if he is an all-rookie team player in year 1.

14- Shabazz Napier, Point Guard, Connecticut- Phoenix

– Best college basketball player hands down, homer pick, but he fits phoenix too well.

15- Adreian Payne, Power Forward, Michigan State- Atlanta

16- Elfrid Payton, Point Guard, Louisiana Lafayette- Chicago

17- Gary Harris, Shooting Guard, Michigan State- Boston

18- Kyle Anderson, Point Guard, UCLA- Phoenix

19- Rodney Hood, Shooting Guard, Duke- Chicago

20- Tyler Ennis, Point Guard, Cuse- Toronto

21- Jusuf Nurkic, Center, Bosnia- Oklahoma City

22- Clint Capela, Power Forward Switzerland- Memphis

23- Jordan Clarkson, Point Guard, Missouri-Utah

24- CJ Wilcox, Shooting Guard, Washington- Charlotte

25- Cleanthony Early- Small Forward, Wichita State- Houston

26- Jerami Grant, Small Forward/Power Forward, Syracuse- Miami

27- Mitch McGary, Power Forward, Michigan- Phoenix

28- Jordan Adams, Shooting Guard, UCLA- LA Clippers

29- Glenn Robinson III, Small Forward, Michigan- Oklahoma City

30- Spencer Dinwiddie, Point Guard, Colorado- San Antonio


May 5, 2014

I have strategically held off on the mock draft this year.  Too much can change in the weeks preceding the draft, and this is even more true this year with the draft being pushed back two weeks.  I think that most of the teams have their board’s set.  I won’t try to predict trades, though they are inevitable.  I believe teams picking in the teens will try to trade back, as I believe there to be 8-9 truly elite players. 

1. Houston Texans: Jadeveon Clowney: DE, South Carolina: Houston’s GM Rick Smith has made it no secret that the team is willing and open to move down.  The latest word is that the Falcons aren’t interested in moving up to select Clowney, but everything leading up to the draft is a smoke screen until it does or does not happen.  In spite of Clowney supposedly not being a scheme fit in Romeo Crennel’s 3-4 defense, his upside is simply too high to ignore, and Houston won’t be the club to pass on a guy who has 20 sack upside.

2. St. Louis Rams: Sammy Watkins: WR, Clemson: This is a very tough call to make. The latest rumor is that Les Snead is high on Johnny Manziel, and as the world’s biggest Sam Bradford detractor I can’t blame him.  The Rams have invested a ton of resources in WR with marginal results, but Watkin’s has the potential to be a Julio Jones like game changer.  If they are going to stick with Bradford, this should be the pick.  OL is another big need, so Greg Robinson and Jake Matthews are also viable options.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Khalil Mack: OLB, Buffalo: The Jags had the least sacks in the league last year, and Mack would provide a desperately needed infusion of talent along the defensive front 7.  He is a natural fit to play the LEO position in Gus Bradley’s defense.  Manziel is another option here, but the Jags will probably be at the top of the draft next year, and with Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston coming out the 2015 draft class will be flush with talent at the QB position.

4. Cleveland Browns: Johnny Manziel, QB: Texas A&M: The Browns have been looking for a franchise QB since the team returned to Cleveland in 1999.  Manziel is probably the most polarizing figure in the draft, but his upside is undeniable and his skill set is taylor made for the offense that Kyle Shannahan runs.  The Browns would probably prefer to get Watkins if he falls and address the QB position later, but they will settle for the electric Aggie.  They would also take one of the tackles here, or reach for Mike Evans

5. Oakland Raiders: Greg Robinson, OT: Auburn: I do not believe the Raiders will take a QB in the first round of this year’s draft.  They traded for Matt Schaub in the offseason and I think that their front office likes Matt Mcgloin as a developmental prospect.  They let Jared Veldheer walk in free agency, and while they signed Donald Penn in free agency, the team needs youth and talent along the offensive line.  I think that Aaron Donald and Mike Evans are also potential picks for the Raiders.

6. Atlanta Falcons: Jake Matthews, OT: Texas A&M: The Falcons are another team that needs offensive lineman in the worst way.  Matthews is one of my favorite prospects in the draft.  He is the son of hall of fame OT Bruce Matthews and cousin of Clay Matthews, so innate football talent is in his blood.  After giving up so much to get Julio Jones just two years ago, I do not think that Thomas Dmitroff will want to give up more valuable resources in what is one of the deepest drafts in recent memory.  Aaron Donald could also be the pick here.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mike Evans, WR: Texas A&M: This would be a logical fit with the depature of Mike Williams to the Bills via trade. The Bucs also have needs along both lines but Evans would be a great complement to Vincent Jackson and his eventual successor. Josh Mccown thrived in Chicago with a 1-2 tandem at WR and this would be similar.

8. Minnestoa Vikings: Blake Bortles, QB: UCF: I think that Bortles to Minnesota is a perfect fit.  He’s not a finished product, but the Vikings just re-signed Matt Cassel, so he could sit for a year and absorb the playbook.  Norv Turner is notoriously good with QBs.  Just a year ago he had Brian Hoyer playing like an all-pro before he tore his ACL early in the season.  The Vikings need players on defense, so I wouldn’t rule out UCLA standout Anthony Barr.

9. Buffalo Bills: Eric Ebron, TE: UNC: This is another selection I’m torn on.  The Bills ranked 16th in pass protection last year, and I believe that they do need help along the offensive line.  With that being said, EJ manuel looked so-so as a rookie, and he would benefit tremendously from a Jimmy-Graham like talent at TE, and Ebron fits the bill.  Taylor Lewan of Michigan is also a possibility for the Bills.

10. Detroit Lions: Darqueze Dennard, CB: Michigan State:  The Lions secondary is devoid of talent, and they would benefit greatly selecting the in-state product.  Dennard won the Jim Thorpe award as the nation’s best defensive back.  The Lions have spent resources in the draft on DBs recently, with Darius Slay and Bill Bentley, but Dennard would be a home run selection in my opinion.  I view him as a superior prospect to Oklahoma State’s Justin Gilbert, and I think that CBs are more valuable than safeties.  Don’t rule out an offensive lineman or a safety here.

11. Tennessee Titans: Anthony Barr, OLB: UCLA: The Titans let Alterraun Verner leave to Tampa Bay in free agency, and they would benefit greatly from a talent like Verner.  While his cover skills are inferior to Dennard’s, Gilbert is a freakish athlete and a phenomenal return man.  The Titans did not pick up Jake Locker’s 5th year option, so Teddy Bridgewater or even Zach Mettenberger could be options as well. 

12. New York Giants: Aaron Donald, DT: Pitt: The defensive front, which has traditionally been the foundation of the Giants defense, has been depleted by attrition. Donald, who has drawn favorable comparisons to Geno Atkins, would fit nicely with Jonathan Hankins to provide an interior pass rush for the Gmen. Other possiblities are offensive tackle and WR, but I believe Donald is their guy.

13. St. Louis Rams: Taylor Lewan, OT: Michigan: The Rams would sprint the pick to the podium of Lewan slides this far.  While there are some character concerns spawning from an Ann Arbor bar fight, Lewan has the potential to be a franchise left tackle for 10 years.  Add that to the fact that Jake Long has a checkered history of injuries, and this seems like a no-brainer.  The Rams also need help in the secondary, so I wouldn’t rule out Ha-Ha Clinton Dix.

14. Chicago Bears: Ha Ha Clinton Dix, FS: Alabama:  The Bears had an atrocious defense last year, and their secondary did not help their cause.  Clinton Dix would be a day one starter and would provide an impact playmaker that the Bears need in the worst way.  CJ Mosley of Alabama would be another possibility here. 

15. Pittsburg Steelers: CJ Mosley, ILB, Alabama:  I was very tempted to stop Mike Evans’ slide here, but its not like the Steelers to use premium selections on skill position players.  The Steelers are getting old and slow in the defense and Mosley would help to stop that trend. He is another guy who I like a lot and would be a natural fit to play ILB in the Steelers 3-4 defense.

16. Dallas Cowboys: Calvin Pryor, SS, Louisville: The Cowboys need help along the defensive front more than any team in the league.  With that being said, I don’t need the value here.  I think the Cowboys would love to trade out here, ideally to a team looking to get Mike Evans. If they stand pat, Pryor would provide a much needed physical presence in the back end of their secondary. 

17. Baltimore Ravens: Justin Gilbert, CB: Oklahoma State: The Ravens could use a playmaker opposite Torrey Smith, but I don’t see the value here at 17. Instead, they’ll opt for the athletic Ok State coverman. He is also an outstanding return man, and some have compared him to a poor man’s patrick peterson.

18. New York Jets: Odell Beckham Jr, WR: LSU:  The Jets need offensive playmakers more than any team in the draft.  They would probably hate to lose out on Evans by one pick, but Beckham Jr wouldn’t be a bad consolation prize.  The Jets could take a look at Martin here as well, but WR is too glaring a need and Geno Smith’s development is contingent upon Idzik surrounding him with playmakers.

19. Miami Dolphins: Zack Martin: OT, Notre Dame:  This would be a sprint the pick to the podium, no-brainer pick for the ‘phins.  Their offensive line was a disaster last year, no thanks to the Incognito-Jonathan Martin mess.  If Martin is gone, the Dolphins could stand to add another weapon for Tannehill, like Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks.

20. Arizona Cardinals: Ryan Shazier, OLB: Ohio State: The Cardinals had one of the best defenses in the league last year, and Shazier would help solidify an already talented unit.  Some speculate the Cardinals will pick Carson Palmer’s successor here, but in such a competitive division, I think they need to into this draft with a win now mentality. 

21. Green Bay Packers: Brandin Cooks, WR: Oregon State: The Packers could really use a safety, but with Clinton Dix and Pryor off the board, I think Cooks would be a great pick here.  Paired next to Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, this could give the Pack the best trio of receivers in the league.  The Pack could use an interior defensive lineman with this selection as well.

22. Philadelphia Eagles: Marquis Lee, WR: USC: With the highly publicized departure of Desean Jackson, WR quickly became a pressing need for the Eagles. Chip Kelly is familiar with Lee from his days coaching at Oregon, and he would pair nicely with Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin.  The Eagles could also use a pass rusher, and Kony Ealy of Mizzou would also fit nicely.

23. Kansas City Chiefs: Cyrus Kouandjio, OT Alabama: The Chiefs lost three key pieces to their offensive line via free agency departure when Brandon Albert, Geoff Schwartz and Jon Asamoah all signed elsewhere.  Last year’s number one pick Eric Fisher will be moving to LT, and Kouandjio can step in and start at RT.  The Chiefs could use a WR and a safety, but I don’t see the value here.

24. Cincinnati Bengals: Kony Ealy, DE: Mizzou:  The departure of Michael Johnson in free agency leaves a glaring hole opposite Carlos Dunlap.  Ealy was a productive pass rusher in the SEC and projects as a 4-3 DE.  There are talks of the Bengals letting Dalton walk and selecting a QB here, but I think the needs at DE and CB are too glaring to pass on at this point. 

25. San Diego Chargers: Kyle Fuller, CB: VA Tech: The Chargers are a team that needs help in their secondary.  Fuller is an athletic cover corner who would step in and start on day one.  The Chargers need help along all levels of their defense.  They also need offensive lineman, so I wouldn’t rule out Todd McShay’s favorite, UVA OT Morgan Moses.

26. Cleveland Browns (from Indy): Jason Verrett, CB: TCU: Ideally, I believe the Browns would like to get a WR here, but I don’t see the value.  Verrett would pair with Joe Haden to give the Browns a solid 1-2 combo at CB.  I think that with the 4th pick in the second round the Browns could still get someone like PSU’s Allen Robinson or Cody Latimer from Indiana.

27. New Orleans Saints: Dee Ford, DE: Auburn: The Saints were in cap hell this offseason and saw Will Smith leave as a result.  Ford would play OLB in Rob Ryan’s 3-4 defense and would provide the Saints with a much needed boost in the pas rush department.  The Saints are another team that could use help along the offensive line, as well as a WR. 

28. Carolina Panthers: Morgan Moses, OT: UVA: At first glance, WR is the no brainer pick for the Panthers.  Steve Smith signed with the Ravens as well as Brandon Lafell signing with New England.  The Panthers did sign Cotchery, Tiquan Underwood and Jason Avant, and the need at OT is even more glaring. Jordan Gross retired and their is no successor in place.  Moses could be that guy, and they could address WR in the 2nd round.

29. New England Patriots: Jace Amaro: TE, Texas Tech:  It’s never easy to predict who the Pats are gonna take, but with Gronk blowing out his ACL and little depth behind him, Amaro could be a good insurance policy.  He’s big and athletic in the mold of Gronk, and Brady and Belichik love to throw to the tight end.  An interior lineman or safety are other possibilities here.

30. San Francisco 49’ers: Bradley Roby, CB: Ohio State: CB and WR are the biggest needs for the 49ers.  There are talks of the ‘9ers using their plethora of draft picks to move up and get one of the premiere wideouts.  I’m not predicting trades, and with that being said I think they’ll stand pat and take Roby. He has had some recent transgressions with the law, but I think he will do alright in a strong locker room like San Fran has.

31. Denver Broncos: Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State:  The Broncos need some beef along the defensive front.  Jernigan is a force and would instantly upgrade the interior of the defensive line.  The Broncos could stand to add some depth along the offensive line and at linebacker.

32. Seattle Seahawks: Xavier Su’a-Filo, OG: UCLA:  The Seahawks chose not to exercise James Carpenter’s 5th year option, and with Russel Okung’s free agency approaching, they need to beef up their O-line. Su’a-Filo would be a plug and play starter, and would help keep the soon to be very rich Russell Wilson upright.  They would also look at Ra’shede Hageman here to help offset the loss of Red Bryant to the Jaguars.







2013 NFL Mock Draft

April 24, 2013

I’m late this year, but I’ve talked to my sources around the league and the scouting team is confident that our board is going to be accurate.  With no further ado, my 2013 NFL mock draft.

1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel: OT, Texas A&M: I haven’t been a fan of the Chief’s personnel moves this offseason whatsoever.  They essentially gave up a late first round pick for Alex Smith and are trying to move Brandon Albert before draft day. Instead, they should have signed Albert, taken Geno Smith and kept their 2nd round pick.  I digress, though, as now the pick comes down to one of the two top tackles and my money is on Joeckel.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon: If I were David Caldwell, I’d take Geno Smith.   Pass rushers don’t turn around bad franchises and put butts in the seats, but franchise QBs do.  Regardless, I see new defensive minded HC Gus Bradley taking the Oregon product to fill the ‘leo’ position in his defensive scheme.  The Jags could go a lot of ways here including CB or QB.

3. Oakland Raiders: Ezekial Ansah, DE: BYU: The Raiders underwent a huge cap purge this offseason as GM Reggie Mckenzie tries to undo years of terrible personnel decisions.  With that being the case, they have needs virtually everywhere.  Ansah is new to football but he’s been compared to JPP with his athleticism and upside.  I think the other 3 distinct options here would be Sharrif Floyd, Dee Milner and Star Lotulelei

4. Philadelphia Eagles: Star Lotulelei, DT: Utah:  Chip Kelly and company have done a lot to revamp their defense this off-season.  They did lose Cullen Jenkins, and Lotulelei could be his replacement and be a force along the defensive front.  Other options here are Milliner, Geno Smith and Eric Fisher.

5. Detroit Lions: Eric Fisher, OT: Central Michigan: The Lions can’t go wrong with this first pick as they have needs at CB, OT and DE.  With Ansah and Jordan off the board I think this makes Eric Fisher the logical pick.  They also have needs at DE and CB.

6. Cleveland Browns: Dee Milliner, CB: Alabama: If Lane Johnson is still on the board at this point all bet are off.  I believe some team will trade up in front of Arizona to take the sooner tackle. I’m not going to try to predict trades, so I’ll stick with the Browns taking Milliner to pair with stud CB Joe Haden.

7. Arizona Cardinals: Lane Johnson, OT: Okalahoma: The Cardinals have been ignoring this position for years and its time they address solidifying their offensive line.  Johnson is a plug and play left tackle that will start from day one. Other glaring needs include OLB and RB.

8. Buffalo Bills: Geno Smith, QB: West Virginia: I’m not buying the Nassib to Buffalo at #8 connection.  Geno Smith has the size arm strength and work ethic to be a top 15 QB in this league.  He’ll have a chip on his shoulder given the fact that draftniks around the country have been hating on him throughout the process.  The Bills could also use a pass rushing outside linebacker and help along the defensive front.

9. New York Jets: Jarvis Jones, OLB: Georgia: The Jets are in full re-build mode after shipping Revis Island to Tampa Bay.  They had a non-existent pass rush last year and Jones has been compared to Terrell Suggs, as his less than average measureables shouldn’t  blind people from his outstanding production.  The Jets could also go guard, DT or safety with this pick.

10. Tennessee Titans: Bjoern Werner, DE: FSU : The Titans have next to no talent along the defensive front and lost Jason Jones to free agency.  Werner is raw and new to football, but he’s a good pass rusher and stout at the point of attack. The Titans reportedly like both of the top two guards in the year’s draft, so don’t rule that out.

11. San Diego Chargers: Jonathan Cooper: OG, UNC: The Chargers have one of the worst offensive lines in the game and Cooper would help fix that.  He’s athletic and many believe he’s better than Chance Wormack.  The Chargers also need help at WR but I believe this is as much more pressing need.

12. Miami Dolphins: Xavier Rhodes: CB, FSU:  There’s widespread talk that the Dolphins want to trade up to grab a left tackle to replace Jake Long, but with none of the top 3 falling past Detroit I think they’ll stay put and select the in state product.  They lost Vontae Davis in a trade last year and Sean Smith to free agency this offseason.  Brent Grimes was signed but he’s aging and coming off an injury.  Rhodes is big and physical and would be a day one starter.  Another possibility here would be DJ Fluker, but he’s more of a RT so I don’t see them going that route.

13. New York Jets (from TB): Chance Warmack, G: Alabama: The Jets would upgrade a very weak right side of the offensive line with this selection.  UMass product Vlad Ducasse has been a bust and they lost Matt Slauson to free agency.  The Jets could conceivably take Kenny Vaccaro here to replace Laron Landry, but I think they’ll opt to add a guard instead.

14. Carolina Panthers: Sharrif Floyd, DT: Florida: This would be a slam dunk, sprint to the podium pick for Carolina.  Their run defense is atrocious and Floyd would make an immediate impact.  The Panthers have an awful secondary, so Desmond Trufant or Vaccaro are also possibilities, but I don’t see them passing on Floyd.

15. New Orleans Saints: Kenny Vacarro, Safety: Texas: This would be a great pick for a team that boasted the worst defense in the league last year.  Vaccaro is instinctive and quick, and he would replace Roman Harper who by this point in his career simply can’t cover.  The Saints could also use some help at DT so Sheldon Richardson is another option.

16. St Louis Rams: Tavon Austin, WR: WVU: The Rams lost Brandon Gibson and Danny Amendola in free agency and desperately need an infusion of youth and talent at this position.  While some question his durability and longevity at a mere 175 pounds, his game-changing ability and explosiveness is undeniable.   The Rams could also use help at OLB, so don’t rule out Alec Ogletree.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers: DJ Fluker, OT: Alabama: The Steelers would ideally like to get help at OLB after losing James Harrison, but I think Fluker would be a good selection, as he could step in at either left guard, or left tackle if they believe he has the athleticism to play the position.  One of the two Tennessee WRs is also a possibility to replace Mike Wallace.

18. Dallas Cowboys: Sheldon Richardson, DT: Mizzou: The Cowboys have switched to a 4-3 defense under Monte Kiffin, and they need help along the interior of the defensive line.  Jay Ratliff is getting up there and made waves last year with an in locker room blow up with owner/GM Jerry Jones.  The Cowboys would also like to add a safety, but with Vaccaro off the board I think they’ll go D line.

19. New York Giants: Desmond Trufant, CB: Washington: The Giants secondary was awful last season.  They re-signed Aaron Ross and Terrell Thomas, but due to age and injury the are stop gaps at best. After that the lone dependable CB is Prince Amukamara, so pairing him with Trufant would help immensely. The Giants really need help at RT, but with Fluker gone I don’t see the value here.  Never discount Jerry Reese’s liking of defensive ends, so Tank Carradine is another possibility.

20. Chicago Bears: Arthur Brown, ILB: Kansas State:  The Bears lost the leader/icon of their defense for the last decade Brian Urlacher this off-season.  Brown is one of my favorite players in the draft and I think he’d be a great replacement for the future Hall of Famer.  He’s got good instincts, a good football IQ and would be a great leader for the Bears vaunted defense.  CB and DE are other options here.

21. Minnesota Vikings: Sylvester Williams, DT: UNC:  The Vikings have a host of needs, particularly on defense.  Kevin Williams isn’t getting any younger and the cupboard is relatively bare after him.  Williams is athletic and would immediately help improve their defensive front.  WR and CB are also big needs for the Vikings.

22. Cincinnati Bengals: Eddie Lacy, RB: Alabama: The Bengals have been vocal about their desire to find a complement to BGJE, and Lacy could be that guy.  A lot of people think that he isn’t a first round pick, but save a trade down I don’t see anyone that pops out at another glaring area of need for the Bengals here.

23. St. Louis Rams: Alec Ogletree, LB: Georgia: This would be a great pick for the Rams, as they’d add an athletic playmaker to what is already an up an coming defense.  The Rams could use a safety but I don’t believe that Eric Reid or Jonathan Cyprien would be the pick here over Ogletree.  The rolled the dice on Janoris Jenkins last year and the early returns were great, so I don’t think Jeff Fisher is scared by guys with character red flags.

24. Indianapolis Colts: Barkevious Mingo: OLB, LSU: The Colts went predominately offense in last year’s draft and now GM Ryan Grigson will look to provide Chuck Pagano with playmakers on the other side of the ball.  Mingo has a long frame and is raw but extremely athletic.  There is little talent outside of the aging Robert mathis, and Eric Walden is by no means a sack artist.  They could also use another WR and help along the defensive line.

25. Minnesota Vikings (from Seattle): DJ Hayden: CB, Houston: Hayden overcame an injury sustained in practice generally seen in car accident victims with a survival rate of less than 5%. Doctors have cleared him to play and he profiles as a true cover corner at the next level.  After losing Antoine Winfield the cupboard is bare in the secondary.  The Vikings also have glaring needs at WR and MLB so Patterson and Teo would also be intriguing choices.

26. Green Bay Packers: Tyler Eifert, TE: Notre Dame: This would be a slam dunk pick for GB, and I’m not even certain he makes it this far.  Jermichael Finely has fallen out of favor with his drops and malcontent nature and Tom Crabtree left via Free agency. Eifert is athletic and could be groomed to be Finley’s replacement. The Packers could use a linebacker or a safety and also have needs along the offensive line.

27. Houston Texans: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR: Tennessee: There has been talk for what seems like forever about how the Texans need to find a complement to Andre Johnson.  While he’s raw, Patterson could be that guy.  His football instincts have been questioned, but he is a physical freak of nature and has the potential to be a stud WR.  The Texans lost Connor Barwin to the Eagles, so Demontre Moore of Texas A&M is another potential pick.

28. Denver Broncos: Damontre Moore: DE, Texas A&M: The fax-gaffe that led to Elvis Dumervil signing with the Ravens has left the Broncos with a hole at the defensive end spot.  Moore put up jaw droppingly-bad numbers at the combine (12 reps at 225), but he was very productive in the SEC. With Jon Fox and Jack Del Rio coaching him up he’d be in a situation where he could thrive.  The Broncos also need help in the secondary.

29. New England Patriots: Denadre Hopkins, WR: Clemson: The pats opted not to keep Brandon Lloyd and let Wes Welker leave in free agency.  They currently have no legitimate options outside of Amendola. Hopkins is long and was extremely productive at clemson, amassing 1400 yards and 18 tds last year.  The pats could use another pass rusher or a safety as well.

30. Atlanta Falcons: Tank Carradine, DE: FSU: The Falcons chose not to resign John Abraham and have a huge void to fill at DE.  The Ray Edwards experiment failed last season, and an aging Osi Umenyora is nothing more than a stop gap.  Carradine had a devastating knee injury but was excellent before the injury and would be a great value pick for the Falcons.  They also really need help in the secondary so don’t rule out blidi wreh-wilson from UConn.

31. San Francisco 49’ers: Jonathan Cyprien: SS, FIU:  The 49’ers lost Dashon Goldson to the Bucs in Free agency and Cyprien could be the heir apparent at the position.  He’s physical and would be a significant upgrade over journey Craig Dahl.  They also could use help at CB and another WR.

32. Baltimore Ravens: Manti Te’o: MLB, Notre Dame: The world champs lost all time great Ray Lewis to retirement and they need someone to fill his shoes.  While there are questions about Teo’s mental toughness regarding the girlfriend Hoax, he was talented and would be a natural leader in a good locker room.  This is compounded by Rolando Mcclain’s most recent arrest and likely release. They have a host of other needs, especially safety as both Bernard Pollard and Ed Reid are gone.  Don’t rule out Eric Reid from LSU.

2012 NFL Mock Draft

April 1, 2012

It’s that time of the year ya’ll.  In less than a month 32 GM’s will decide the fates of the talented college football players who entered the draft this year.  Here’s my uninformed opinion on how the first 32 picks will pan out.

1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, QB: Stanford:

This is a done deal.  Owner Jim Irsay has made his man-crush for the Stanford QB who some say is the best prospect since Elway very public.  The Colts cut hall of famer Peyton Manning to make way for the young Cardinal signal caller.  The Colts are in full rebuild mode and what better place to start than with a face-of-the-franchise quarterback?

2. Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III, QB: Baylor:

Bruce Allen and Mike Shannahan saw the writing on the wall after last year’s grossman/Beck debacle.  They made a power move and traded 2 1st round picks and a 2nd for the #2 overall pick and the right to select the stud QB from Baylor. Griffin has exceptional arm strength, has a high football IQ and great work ethic.  The skins already have a pretty good defense, if they can protect griffin and add some playmakers on the outside they can get themselves out of the cellar of the NFC east.

3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil, OT: USC:

 It’s not shocker that the Vikings need to add some beef to the line.  They lost Bryant Mckinie and Charlie Johnson did a less than stellar job of keeping rookie QB Christian Ponder upright. Kalil, the brother of Panthers center Ryan Kalil, is by far the best blindside protector in the draft.  The Vikings are also very thin at CB, so LSU CB Morris Claiborne is also a possibility here.

4. Cleveland Browns: Trent Richardson, RB: Alabama: 

I know a lot of people think that Blackmon or Tannehill are the logical selections here, but I disagree. First, if history is any indicator GM Tom Heckertt would much prefer to trade back and stockpile draft picks.  While this strategy has seemed to only net the Browns mediocre talent, they have a history of favoring this move.  Second, they selected UNC wideout Greg Little last year who is a very similar prospect to Blackmon.  Neither are burners, and both project as Anquan Boldin-esque physical receivers.  Richardson is an absolute monster in the mold of Adrian Peterson.  Mike Mayock says he’s the best blocking back in the draft, and his receiving skills and breakaway speed are undeniable. In my opinion, he’d be much more of an asset to their offense and Colt Mccoy’s maturation.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne, CB: LSU:   

I think GM Mark Dominik will throw a fit in the draft room if/when the Browns take Richardson, but the Claiborne is not a bad consolation prize.  Ronde Barber is likely back for his last year and Aqib Talib has been a mess of the field.  Clairborne is an elite talent who will excel in the Bucs’ cover 2 scheme.  They could really use a LB but the value just isn’t there at 5.  If they don’t trade down and the draft plays out like this, I think it’s a no-brainer.

6. St. Louis Rams: Justin Blackmon, WR: Oklahoma State: 

This would have to be the dream scenario for GM Les Snead.  This would net young QB Sam Bradford the #1 Wr he so desperately needs.  He’s been working with #2’s and 3’s his whole career and this would give him a go-to target to help open up defenses.  Other possibilities here are DT such as Donteri Poe.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB: South Carolina:  

The Gamecock pass rusher is exactly the prospect Jaguars GM Gene Smith likes.  Safe pick, talented player with good character.  While they could really use some weapons for Gabbert or someone to replace Guy Whimper at tackle, I think Smith will opt to beef up a DE position that needs help.  There are some questions as to whether Ingram has the size to hold up full time at defensive end, but his talent is undeniable and his non-stop motor will appeal to Smith.

8. Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill, QB: Texas A&M: 

 The Dolphins are quickly becoming the running joke of the NFL.  No marquee free agents want to go to South Beach.  After getting left at the altar by both Peyton Manning and Matt Flynn, the Dolphins will shift their attention to the Aggie signal caller.  Tannehill is very raw and has only 19 starts at QB under his belt, but his upside is high.  Add to that the fact that new Miami OC was Tannehill’s college coach and the fit seems perfect.  The ‘phins could also use a WR so Michael Floyd is an outside possibility.

9. Carolina Panthers: Fletcher Cox, DT: Mississippi State

Carolina had the 25th run defense in 2011 and to call their interior d line porous would be generous.  They spent two third round picks on DT’s in 2011 but they are desperate for an impact player at the position.  With Steve Smith an impending free agent and little talent at WR outside of him, Michael Floyd is a possibility but I think that Cox will be hard to pass on here.

10. Buffalo Bills: Riley Reiff, OT: Iowa:  

 Current starter Demetrius Bell is currently unsigned, and the Bills could use to add some bulk to their offensive line.  Reiff could step in right away and start at the tackle position and help keep Ryan Fitzpatrick upright.  The Bills have made some serious improvements to their pass rush this off season, and their defense looks like a force to be reckoned with.  A defensive back is also a possibility, and had Flloyd not landed in Carolina he would have been a great fit.

11. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Keichly, OLB: BC:  

The Chiefs most glaring weakness is at NT, but there aren’t any true Wilfork-like protypes in the top of this year’s draft.  Scouts have said that Dontari Poe would be more suited to play end in the 3-4 base defense that the Chiefs run, and they already have Glen Dorsey and Tyson Jackson locked up there.  Keichly would be paired on the inside with Derrick Johnson to improve on an already stout Romeo Crennell-led defense.  He’s instinctive and athletic, as demonstrated by his outstanding combine results.  Cornerback and o-line are also possibilities, but the value just isn’t here at this spot.

12. Seattle Seahawks: Quinton Coples, DE: UNC:  

 The Seahawks recently locked up Red Bryant at the defensive end position, but as the Giants showed you can never have too many good defensive ends.  NFL film guru Greg Cosle recently compared Coples to a raw Mario Williams, who has all the athletic ability but needs to play up to his potential and develop a pass rush repertoire.  This is great value for the Seahawks here.  They could also use a corner back so dre kirkpatrick and stephon gilmore are other possibilities at this spot.

13. Arizona Cardinals: Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB: Alabama: 

The Cardinals defense lacks any impact pass rushers at the OLB position.  While there are questions as to whether Upshaw is a true 10+ sack guy, he has the talent to excel in the Cardinals 3-4 defense.  The Cardinals also have serious needs along the offensive line, but Jonathan Martin and Mike Adams would not be good value here, unless the Cardinals decide to trade down. 

14. Dallas Cowboys: Mark Barron, Safety: Alabama:  

 The Cowboys have done a good job this offseason of upgrading a porous secondary by signing free agent CB Brandon Carr.  Selecting Barron will be another step in improving a pass defense that was torched in 2011.  Barron is a true playmaker and would be an instant upgrade over Gerald Sensabaugh at the free safety position.  The ‘Boys could also use some help in the pass rush department to upgrade over Anthony Spencer, but the value isn’t here at this spot.

15. Philadelphia Eagles: Dont’a Hightower: LB, Alabama:  

The linebacking corps was easily the biggest weakness for the Dream Team’s defense in 2011.  The Casey Mathews experiment failed horribly and the position needs upgrade badly.  While Hightower might not be ideal value here, he can step in at MLB from day one and improve the Eagles defense.  The loss of Jason Peters made tackle a huge need, but I’d imagine the Eagles will address this in free agency with either Marcus Mcneil or Demetrius Bell.  Another possibility would be SC CB Stephon Gilmore, with the impending release or trade of Asante Samuel.

16. New York Jets: Michael Floyd, WR: Notre Dame: 

With the recent addition of Tim Tebow, the Jets made it clear that they are not supremely confident with Mark Sanchez as their signal caller.  In Sanchez’s defense, the Jets are thin at WR.  Plaxico Burress proved to be slow and washed up after his stint in the bin, and Santonio Holmes isn’t a true #1.  The Jets really need an pass rusher but with the three best pass rushers off the board the value isn’t here.  With Mark Barron gone the Jets will look to add a go-to guy for whoever ends up being their starting QB next year.

17. Cincinnati Bengals: ‘Dre Kirkpatrick, CB: Alabama: 

The Bengals made a mistake last year by letting Jonathan Joseph leave via free agency.  After Leon Washington had a season ending injury they were paper thin at the position.  Kirkpatrick is a solid cover guy, in spite of some concerns that his ideal position is safety.  Even if he ends up having to move to safety, that’s also a position of need for the Bengals so it will be a solid pick either way.  They could also use some help along the offensive line, so Cordy Glenn could also be the pick here.

18. San Diego Chargers: Michael Brockers, DT: LSU 

After being a perennial contender the Chargers roster has been depleted and the team is in somewhat of a rebuild.  After cutting Marcus Mcneil and losing Vincent Jackson to free agency AJ smith needs to restock the cabinet.  After selecting Corey Liuget last year, AJ Smith will select the LSU DT to play the other DE position.  Brockers is big, athletic and can rush the passer. Other options here would be a WR like Kendall Wright or an offensive linemen.

19. Chicago Bears: Cordy Glenn, OT: Georgia

The Bears really need to improve an offensive line that got Jay Cutler killed the past two years.  Gabe Carimi should be healthy this year and step back in at right tackle.  Mike Tice is the new offensive coordinator in Chicago and as former NFL offensive lineman he’ll sure be running a ground and pound attack.  Glenn is a swing tackle who can also play guard.  This would enable the Bears to move Chris Williams inside to guard and would vastly improve one of the team’s biggest weaknesses.  Defensive back is also a big need so Stephon Gilmore could also be the pick.

20. Tennessee Titans: Stephon Gilmore, CB: South Carolina: 

After losing Cortland Finnegan to free agency, the Titans will look to add a playmaker to their secondary.  Gilmore is a big, physical corner who will fit their bump and run coverage scheme.  They could use an infusion of talent at WR so Baylor WR Kendall Wright is another option at this spot.

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Kendall Wright, WR: Baylor:

 With the 1st round pick acquired from the Raiders in the Carson Palmer trade, the Bengals will add another playmaker for young QB Andy Dalton.  Wright didn’t run fast as expected at the Combine, but he plays much faster on tape.  He’ll be paired with stud AJ Green to give Andy Dalton a potent 1-2 punch at WR.  The bengals could also use an offensive guard, so David Decastro from Stanford would also be the pick here.

22. Cleveland Browns: David Decastro, G: Stanford: 

The Browns will look to beef up their offensive line to protect their new franchise running back.  Decastro is an aggressive mauler and will instantly upgrade the Browns o-line.  While they could really use a WR at this spot, I think rueben randle would be a slight reach and Stephen Hill might be too much of a project for the Browns liking.  They could also really use a pass rusher so Vinny Curry and Nick Perry would also be options here.

23. Detroit LionsJanoris Jenkins: CB, North Alabama:  

The Lions’ playoff loss to the Saints, where their secondary got utterly torched, was a glaring example of how they really need to upgrade their secondary.  Their best cover guy Eric Wright left via free agency and they absolutely have to add some talent at the position.  Jenkins is a mess off the field, getting kicked out of Florida and fathering 4 children by the ripe age of 22.  Still, talent overrides a lot and I think the Lions will take the talented cover guy. They could really use a tackle, but I think Mike Adams and Jonathan Martin would be reaches here.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kevin Zeitler, OG: Wisconsin:  

The Steelers offensive line has been the team’s weakness the past few seasons.  Aside from stud center Maurkice Pouncey, they lack elite players at the position.  It’s been a revolving door at tackle, with players like Flozel Adams and Jonathan Scott handling the duties the past few seasons.  While I think Cordy Glenn would be the Steelers dream, they’ll settle for the rough and tough interior Badger lineman.  I think if Dont’a Hightower were to fall he’d be a perfect replacement for James Farrior, but if not they’ll opt to reinforce the trenches.

25. Denver Broncos: Dontari Poe, DT: Memphis:

 With DT being a huge weakness going into last year’s draft, many including myself projected Elway to select Marcel Dareus with the team’s #3 overall pick.  They opted for Von Miller, who looks like he’s going to be one of the top 5 defensive players in the league for years to come.  This year, they’ll go with the boom or bust tackle from Memphis.  After his outstanding combine, many are starting to take a second look at Poe’s lackluster game tape, and he’s drawing comparisons to former busts Ryan Sims and Jimmy Kennedy. He had only 1 sack last year coming against Austin Peay, so he has certainly not lit it up against legitimate competition.  Still, I think the potential is too big to pass up on at this point.  I could also see elway pairing Demerius Thomas with fellow Yellow Jacket Stephen Hill to give Peyton another big target to throw to.

26. Houston Texans: Jonathan Martin, OT: Stanford: 

The Texans lost a lot of key players this year via free agency and trade.  RT Eric Winston was released and signed with the KC Chiefs.  The offensive line, which led the way for the league’s best rushing attack, needs to be replenished.  Martin is athletic and not your typical mauler, and he’s a perfect fit for the zone blocking scheme that Gary Kubiak runs.  He can replace Winston and give the Texans bookend tackles.  The Texans are also looking for a complement to Andre Johnson, so don’t rule out Stephen Hill or Rueben Randle.

27. New England Patriots: Vinny Curry, DE: Marshall: 

The Patriots started implementing more 4-3 defensive looks last year, and actually generated some pass rush with Mark Anderson and Andre Carter.  Anderson left via free agency and Andre Carter is coming off of a serious leg injury.  I know a lot of people project the Pats to take pass rushers every year, and they seldom do.  This year I think this will change.  They made some nice free agent additions with Robert Gallery, Stephen Gregory and a few WRs.  Curry is ideal size at 6’4” 265 and was productive all four years at Marshall.  He’d be a nice addition to a team that could use some impact pass rushers at the position.

28. Green Bay Packers: Whitney Mercilus, DE: Illinois:

 The Packers defense, which was one of the best in the league in 2010, really regressed last year.  Losing Cullen Jenkins proved to be pretty detrimental and teams double and tripled teamed Clay Mathews, as he was the only real threat off the edge.  While there are some ‘one year wonder’ concerns about Mercillus, he racked up 16 sacks playing in the big 10 last year and is explosive off the edge.  I also could see Ted Thompson adding another threat for #12 and selecting Stephen Hill, but ultimately I think he’ll go with a pass rusher.

29. Baltimore Ravens: Peter Konz, C: Wisconsin: 

The Ravens heartbreaking playoff loss to the Patriots made two things clear: they need to beef up their offensive line and they need to add a true #1 WR.  I am really torn on this pick, but with the 37 year old Matt Birk on his last legs and guard Ben Grubbs signing with New Orleans, I think Ozzie Newsome will opt to take a lineman with this pick.  Konz could come in and play guard this year and then take over at center when Birk hangs up the cleats for good.  Stephen Hill, Reuben Randle, Alshon Jeffrey and a pass rusher line Andre Branch could also be the pick here.

30. San Francisco 49’ers: Stephen Hill, WR: Georgia Tech:

 The 49’ers have one of the most talented rosters in the league, and do not have many glaring holes on the roster.  They could use another elite cover corner, but the value isn’t there at this point in the draft.  Many say that the signings of Randy Moss and Mario Manningham make receiver a low priority, but no one knows how much the 35 year old moss has left in the tank and Manningham is a #3.  Michael Crabtree is looking to be a top 10 bust and they still need a study #1 for the future.  Hill is raw, and did not have a ton of experience playing in Georgia Tech’s triple option offense.  Regardless, his upside is undeniable and I think the 49’ers would be wise to take a flier on him at this point.

31. New England Patriots: Jerel Worthy, DT: Michigan State: 

The Pats will add another explosive defensive lineman with this pick.  He would be an upgrade over Kyle love and would give the Pats some bulk and athleticism next to Vince Wilfork.  The Pats are always liable to trade down, so that shouldn’t be ruled out.  Depending on how confident they are with Shane Vareen, I could also see the Pats taking a running back like Doug Martin or Lamar Miller.

32. New York Giants: Andre Branch, DE: Clemson: 

The rich get richer as Jerry Reese goes back to the formula that has produced two Lombardi’s in the past five years: more pass rushers.  Osi is in his contract year and Justin Tuck showed serious signs of breaking down in the first half of last year.  Branch could come in as a rotational pass rusher and eventually succeed Tuck and take over the spot opposite JPP.  A lot of people have the Giants taking an outside linebacker like Zach Brown, but the Giants simply don’t invest premium picks on linebackers.  Colby Fleener is another name gaining some buzz, but the signing of Martellus Bennett and having Jake Ballard back next year makes this illogical.  I would also not be surprised to see a WR like Alshon Jeffrey or Reuben Randle, or possibly a DT like Penn State’s Devon Still.

Final Mock Draft (4/28)

April 28, 2011

As Tom Petty once said, the waiting is the hardest part.  Well, thankfully, the wait is over and draft day is upon us.  There is still some uncertainty about the #1 overall pick, and if the Panthers surprise us at it will undoubtedly shake things up.   I think there will most certainly be at least one trade, as a team in need of a QB will try and move up to get their franchise signal caller.  Here, to the best of my ability, is my idea of how the 1st round will pan out.

1. Carolina-Cam Newton:  Not a fan of “Jamarcus Newton,” but think this is where they’ll go.

2. Denver-Marcel Dareus: Von Miller/Patrick Peterson are just as likely, but Denver needs an interior presence and he would be one for sure

3. Buffalo-Von Miller:  Tremendous talent at an absolute area of need.  Pass rush was no existant last season.

4. Cinncinnatti-AJ Green: The more I think about it, the more I can see the Bengals taking Gabbert.  Everyone seems to think that Green is their guy though, and this is definitely a Mike Brown pick.

5. Arizona-Patrick Peterson-How things can change.  Arizona reportedly not interested in Gabbert, so I think they’ll go Patrick Peterson.  Paired with DRC, they’ll be arguably the best 1-2 tandem at Cb in the league.  Another option here is Richard Quinn.

6. Cleveland-Julio Jones-There are a number of ways the Browns could go here.  On value alone, Peterson is the obvious choice.  But the Browns spent the #7 pick last year on Joe Haden, so I don’t think they’ll do that.  Robert Quinn would also fill a huge void.  But Jones is a #1 WR which they don’t have, and he’ll make life easier for Colt McCoy.

7. San Francisco-Blaine Gabbert-Harbough will snatch up gabbert and make him the QB of the future.  Alex Smith can be the stop gap as Gabbert sits and learns the system.

8. Tennessee-Andy Dalton- I can’t believe this is true, but the hype seems to be that the Titans love and will end up selecting him # 8 overall.  I think DT is a much more pressing need, but we shall see.

9 Dallas Cowboys-Tyron Smith-This is another team that would love to get Peterson, but don’t see it happening.  If they don’t trade down, I think they’ll address the tackle position that is thin on talent.  Prince Amukamora is another option.

10 Washington Redskins-Jake Locker-The Redskins have much more pressing needs than QB, but Snyder loves the flashy pick and locker definitely fits the description.  OLB and DT/DE are also huge needs.

11 Houston Texans-Richard Quinn-This would be a great pick for Houston.  Though they are rumored to be looking to move up, Quinn would step in at the OLB position and help their pass rush.

12. Minnessota Vikings-Aldon Smith-  I changed my mind, and I don’t think Speilman reaches for a quarterback.  Instead, he’ll opt to add a premiere pass rusher to eventually replace Ray Edwards.

13. Detroit Lions-Prince Amukamara- I initially had the Lions taking Constanzo, but I decided against it because I just can’t see them passing on Amukamara.  CB is just as big a need and Amukamara is much better value than Costanzo.

14. St. Louis Rams-Corey Liguet- The Rams really need some help at DT and liuget is a monster.  They could also really use a WR, but without a trade the value won’t be there.

15. Miami Dolphins-Mike Pouncey-The Dolphins O-line needs help and Pouncey would provide it.  Miami could also use a Qb or a Rb, so Ingram is a possiblity here.

16. Jacksonville Jaguars-Ryan Kerrigan-  Kerrigan to the Jags is picking up steam.  He’s a max effort guy and they seem to value character.  They could also use a DB, but I think Jimmy Smith’s character concerns will push them off many draft boards.

17. New England Patriots-Cameron Jordan-They need a 3-4 D end, and he is a good one.  They are supposedly looking to trade up, possibly for Patrick Peterson or Robert Quinn, but I smell a smokescreen.

18. San Diego Chargers-JJ Watt-The Chargers need help along the defensive line and Watt is a beast. 

19. New York Giants-Anthony Costanzo-  The Giants need eventual replacements for Kareem Mckenzie and David Diehl, and Constanzo could be a piece to the puzzle.  The Giants love defensive lineman, and DT is a need.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Adrian Clayborn-The Bucs really need a Defensive end, and though there are health concerns with this guy, he was a dominant force at Iowa.

21. Kansas City-Gabe Carmini-The Chiefs really need help along the offensive line.  They could also use a linebacker or WR, but this is priority numero uno in my opinion.

22. Indianapolis Colts-Nate Solder -The Colts O-line is terrible, and Bill Polin admitted he made a mistake in taking jerry hughes over roger saffold last year.  Solder could eventually supplant Charles Johnson and take over the LT position

23. Philadelphia Eagles-Jimmy Smith-CB is a huge need for the Eagles, and while he’s marred with off the field concerns Smith is a top 10 talent.  They also need help along the offensive line so that’s another possibility.

24. New Orleans Saints-Mark Ingram-the long term futures of Pierre thomas and reggie bush are uncertain, and the Saints have been reported to like Ingram.  They also really need an outside linebacker or De, but I don’t see the value here.

25. Seattle Seahawks-Muhammad Wilkerson-I can see Seattle taking the Temple DT.  They need help on the interior D line.  QB, CB and DE are also options here.

26. Baltimore Ravens-Da’Qwan Bowers- I’m very reluctant to make this pick, given the fact that they were burned by Sergio Kindle last year, but Bowers here is a phenomenal value at a position of need.  Aaron williams is also a possiblity.

27. Atlanta Falcons-Kyle Rudolph-There are reports the Falcons could try and trade up for AJ Green or Julio Jones, but I think they’ll stay put and take the TE from Notre Dame. 

28. New England Patriots-Akeem Ayers-The Pats add a pass rushing threat here and continue to improve their young defense.

29. Chicago Bears-Jon Baldwin-Really do believe that the Bears will add the boom or bust Baldwin here to give Cutler a true #1.

30. New York Jets-Phil Taylor-Kris Jenkins is done and the Jets need a 3-4 NT.  Taylor again might be a reach but he’s got the talent to excell.

31. Pittsburgh Steelers-Aaron Williams-There are reports that Tomlin wants to trade up and grab Pouncey, but I don’t see it happening.  Instead, they’ll sure up their weakest position, CB.

32. Green Bay Packers-Danny Watkins-high character, hard working guy fits the Packers very well.