2018 NBA Mock Draft

June 20, 2018

I don’t know anyone who is more passionate about college and NBA basketball than my friend Aaron Zimmerman. He brings his talents back to the blog for the third consecutive year. With no further ado, the final iteration of his NBA mock draft.

1) Phoenix Suns: Deandre Ayton, Arizona (Center) – Suns find their long-term solution to Center here. I personally think Doncic should be the pick but Suns have no quality bigs and Ayton seems to be relatively safe. Comparisons have been made to KAT and Ewing.

 

2) Sacramento Kings: Luka Doncic, Slovenia (G-F) – Kings will be all smiles with this pic. Doncic is young and has been dominating Europe. Franchise changing pick. I originally had Michael Porter Jr. but the injury concerns are too much to ignore. Not picking LD is a big mistake.

 

3) Atlanta Hawks: Jaren Jackson, JR, Michigan State (SF-PF) – Jaren Jackson in my opinion should be a top 2 player. A tad raw offensively but very good defensively and could make for a great duo alongside Taurean Prince.

 

4) Memphis Grizzlies: Marvin Bagley, Duke (Center) – My ideal scenario here would be Donic, but that’s a mute point. The Grizzlies are not tanking next year so Bagley also offers a need as they have not found a replacement for Randolph since 2016.

 

5) Dallas Mavericks: Mo Bamba, Texas (Center) – Mavs have been looking for a big like Bamba since Chandler left.

 

6) Orlando Magic: Colin Sexton, Alabama (PG) – Magic need everything but they really need a point guard. If Magic can’t move up to grab Doncic I think they go with Sexton who I feel is better than Young.

 

7) Chicago Bulls: Mikal Bridges, Villanova (G-F) Bulls need a Small Forward to go along with their core of Dunn, Lavine, Markkanen, Portis, and Holiday. Bridges can bring much needed 3 & D power to their young core.

 

8) Cleveland Cavaliers: Michael Porter, Missouri (G-F) – Cavs will take a big swing here and go for the former top ranked HS recruit. Injury issues obviously, but Porter could potentially provide the most upside for a Cavs team starting from scratch potentially.

 

9) New York Knicks: Trae Young, Oklahoma (PG) – Lot of options here for the Knicks at 9, I think they go with Young as a way to excite the fan base. Hopefully he can find his magic from early 2017.

 

10) Philadelphia 76ers – Miles Bridges, Michigan State (SF) – Sixers are hoping Mikal falls here but if he doesn’t they will go with a much needed wing player that could hopefully erase the disaster of passing on Tatum.

 

11) Charlotte Hornets – Wendell Carter, Duke (F-C) – Assuming Hornets make no roster moves (fingers crossed Kemba is traded) I see them going with Carter who was a top HS recruit, had moments at Duke, but ultimately offers a long term solution to their very weak front court of Zeller, Howard, and Frank Kaminsky.

 

12) LA Clippers – Kevin Knox, Kentucky (PF) – Similar to Tobias Harris but I see Knox coming in a basically replicating his mediocrity.

 

13) LA Clippers – Zhaire Smith, Texas Tech (SG) – Smith is a great pick at 13. I am hoping he falls to 23 for Indiana.

 

14) Denver Nuggets – Lonnie Walker, Miami (G-F) – Nuggets go with Walker who can potentially be a steal here at 14. If Nuggets decide to flip Gary Harris for an upgrade at another position Walker would be an ideal pick to fill that hole. Assuming Harris stays put, I still like Walker despite some concerns circling other mocks.

 

15) Washington Wizards – Shai Gilgeous Alexander, Kentucky (PG) – Wizards can go big here but SGA offers the Wizards a good backup guard to spell Wall/Beal or gives them an ideal replacement if Wizards decide to shop one of them.

 

16) Phoenix Suns – Donte DiVincenzo, Villanova (SG) – After selecting the best big guy in the draft they go with the best shooter. Donte & Devin could be a nice duo as the Suns make their way back to playoffs.

 

17) Milwaukee Bucks – Troy Brown, Oregon (SG) – Bucks need some versatility at the wing position after the Celtics exposed their weak back court.

 

18) San Antonio Spurs – Elie Okobo, France (PG) – Obviously going with a foreign player here. With Tony Parker most likely retiring, why not take a chance with another French PG?

 

19) Atlanta Hawks – Jalen Brunson, Villanova (PG) – With Schroder requesting a trade I see the Hawks going with the most fundamentally sound PG to hold down the fort this year. Hawks are most likely lottery bound for the next 3-4 years and can find a real franchise PG in the years to come.

 

20) Minnesota Timberwolves – Omari Spellman, Villanova (PF) – Safe pick here. Stretch 4 who can shoot and defend.

 

21) Utah Jazz – Chandler Hutchison, Boise State (G-F) – Don’t know much about CH but teams seem to be very high on him.

 

22) Chicago Bulls – Robert Williams, Texas A&M (PF) – Best available. Williams is the classic lottery projected player who drops. With the Bulls going wing at 7, they add to their front court depth here at 22.

 

23) Indiana Pacers – Jacob Evans, Cincinnati (SG) – Pacers need another wing to play alongside Oladipo. Hoping they trade this pick for a proven player but if not they pull the trigger on Evans.

 

24) Portland Trail Blazers – Keita Bates-Diop, Ohio State (SF) – SF is their biggest need and Diop is the best available at that position.

 

25) Los Angeles Lakers – Anfernee Simons, IMG (G) – Big question mark in Simons but Lakers looking for a homerun talent here in case Lebron/PG13 decide to sign elsewhere.

 

26) Philadelphia 76ers – Kevin Huerter, Maryland (F) – Excellent shooter from Maryland who will help Sixers fill a hole with their wings.

 

27) Boston Celtics – Jerome Robinson, Boston College (SG) – Hometown pick here. Celtics don’t need much but Robinson likely stays in G-League.

 

28) Golden State Warriors – Jevon Carter, West Virginia (PG) – Defensive minded PG who could help the Warriors depth.

 

29) Brooklyn Nets – Gary Trent, JR, Duke (SG) – Best available player.

 

30) Atlanta Hawks – Mitchell Robinson, USA (Center) – An unknown but was a high HS recruit. Hawks need everything and why not swing for the fences at 30?

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2018 NFL Mock Daft

April 25, 2018

We’re down to the wire, but here is my one and only attempt at a mock draft:

1. Cleveland Browns: Sam Darnold, QB, USC:  It seems like a foregone conclusion that the Browns take a quarterback. The only question is which one will they take? My belief is that they will opt for the more polished product in Darnold as opposed to the raw but physically gifted Josh Allen.

2. New York Giants: Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State: The majority of the chatter surrounding the Giants seems to center on Penn State running back Saquon Barkley. The Giants have publicly stated that they believe Eli Manning has a few good years left. Whether or not they actually believe that will unfold Thursday night. With the departure of Jason Pierre-Paul via trade, I believe the allure of a premiere pass rusher to build a defense around will be too hard to pass up.

3. New York Jets: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma: Jets GM Mike Maccagnan’s future hinges on finding a quarterback at the third pick, which was acquired via trade from the Colts. The stain of Christian Hackenberg can be erased if he hits a home run here.  Maccagnan and John Elway were the two GMs present at Mayfield’s pro day, and the Jets are rumored to be enamored with him.

4. Cleveland Browns: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State: The Browns take what many people believe to be the best player in the draft at No. 4. A versatile and athletically gifted running back could be the best friend to their new franchise quarterback. If the draft unfolds this way, this pick is a slam dunk.

5. Buffalo Bills (from Denver): Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA: The majority of the pre-draft chatter regarding trade possibilities has focused on Buffalo’s desire to move up to draft their franchise quarterback. With Denver dishing out a good amount of money to Case Keenum, and losing some talent on defense, this seems like a logical landing spot. Josh Allen’s arm could be very well-suited for the swirling winds and cold weather in Buffalo, but they would be smart to opt for the more finished product in Rosen.

6. Indianapolis Colts: Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame: Recent draft buzz has linked the Colts to Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith. I don’t buy it. While I love Smith as a player, the Colts are with a franchise quarterback whose future is in doubt due to a lingering shoulder injury because of the previous regime’s negligence when it came to protecting Andrew Luck. Nelson seems like a perfect match of value meeting need, and I think the Colts would be foolish to pass on him here.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State: The Bucs boasted the league’s worst pass defense in 2017, and upgrading their secondary should be a top priority. Viewed by most as the best cover corner in the class, Ward would serve as an immediate upgrade to an aging and under-performing secondary.

8. Chicago Bears: Roquan Smith,  LB, Georgia: I believe that the Bears would love for Nelson to fall to them, as they try to fortify a line around their young quarterback. With Nelson off the board, I think they would be more than happy to get Smith as a consolation prize. He is arguably the best defensive player in the draft and would undoubtedly be an immediate upgrade along the second level.

9. San Francisco 49ers: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech: Draft buzz surrounding Edmunds to the 49ers is picking up steam. I believe that Derwin James would be the best player available here, but the 49ers could use help alongside last year’s first round pick Solomon Thomas at OLB.

10. Oakland Raiders: Derwin James, FS, Florida State: The Raiders had the league’s 26th-ranked defense in 2017 and they need a lot of help in their secondary. James is a super rangy safety with exceptional athleticism and cover skills. This would would be an immediate upgrade in the back end.

11. Miami Dolphins: Vita Vea, DT, Washington:  The temptation to stop Josh Allen’s slide here was great, but I don’t believe that the Dolphins would take on another raw quarterback after Ryan Tannehill’s uninspiring tenure. Vea is an athletic freak and was super productive at Washington. NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah, who worked for the Baltimore Ravens, said that Vea reminds him of former Ravens stud defensive tackle Haloti Ngata.

12. Denver Broncos (from Buffalo): Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB, Alabama: After moving back, the Broncos take Fitzpatrick to provide youth and depth in the secondary, after the departure of Aqib Talib this offseason via trade.

13. Washington Redskins: Josh Jackson, CB: Iowa: With the departures of both Bashaud Breeland and Kendall Fuller, the Redskins have a glaring need at cornerback. At 6-foot-1, Jackson has the size and physicality that you look for in a corner.

14. Green Bay Packers: Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville: The Packers had the league’s 23rd ranked pass defense last season and they could use a lot of help in their secondary. Josh Jackson would be the ideal fit here, but Alexander is also a good selection at this point in the draft.

15. Arizona Cardinals: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming: I really believe that one of the quarterbacks is destined to have a draft night fall, and the raw and polarizing Allen seems like a good bet to be that guy. The Cardinals aren’t in win-now mode, and they have Sam Bradford to be a placeholder while they take their time developing Allen.

16. Baltimore Ravens: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame:  I don’t buy that the Ravens will look to find Joe Flacco’s heir apparent in this year’s draft. I believe that solidifying the supporting cast around him will be the team’s number on priority. McGlinchey would be outstanding value here and would slot in at right tackle. Marcus Davenport would also be in play here to solidify the team’s pass rush.

17. LA Chargers: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama: The Chargers are building a very good young defense, and Evans would add talent along the second level to help continue the unit’s ascension.

18. Seattle Seahawks: Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama: With the loss of Michael Bennett, the Seahawks need to add youth and talent along the defensive front. Payne flashed particularly in the national championship against Georgia, and he could fit well in Seattle’s ferocious defense.

19. Dallas Cowboys: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama: The Cowboys need to add talent to their receiving corps after the departure of former star Dez Bryant this offseason. Ridley is a polished product with good hands and would eventually develop into a reliable target for Dak Prescott.

20. Detroit Lions: Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA: The Lions have to add some talent along the defensive line to supplement the talented but oft-injured Ziggy Ansah, who received the franchise tag this offseason. The Lions also need to add a running back, but I believe that there is value at this position in later rounds.

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Isaiah Wynn, OG, Georgia:  The Bengals had arguably the worst offensive line in the league last season, and after acquiring tackle Cordy Glenn via trade this offseason, they’ll look to fortify the interior of their line as well.  A tackle at Georgia, Wynn will likely be moved to the inside due to his stature. James Daniels from Iowa could also be considered here.

22. Denver Broncos (from Buffalo): Derrius Guice, RB, LSU: Running back became a glaring hole with C.J. Anderson’s release, and Guice would fill in nicely.

23. New England Patriots: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville: I’m buying into the Lamar Jackson hype train that is destined to be so wrong, but why the hell not?

24. Carolina Panthers: DJ Moore, WR, Maryland: After trading Kelvin Benjamin to the Bills, the Panthers need to add some talent and youth at the receiver position.

25. Tennessee Titans: Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M: The Titans have a laundry list of needs and receiver is definitely one of them. Kirk could develop into a safety valve for Marcus Mariotta and hasten his development.

26. Atlanta Falcons: Taven Bryan, DE, Florida: The Falcons love speed on defense and this guy fits the bill.  The Falcons have needs in the secondary as well, but I think they’ll look to replenish their defensive line.

27. New Orleans Saints: Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina: Colby Fleener has been a disappointment and the Saints could use a tight end for Drew Brees to throw to in his twilight years.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Justin Reid, FS, Stanford: Safety is arguably the most glaring need and this is another example of value and need matching quite well.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars: Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State: With the retirement of Paul Posluzny, the Jaguars have a need at linebacker.  Vander Esch could be his replacement as the eventual quarterback of the defense.

30. Minnesota Vikings: Mike Hughes, CB, UCF: The Vikings don’t have a ton of holes and Terrence Newman is 39 years old.  Hughes could provide depth alongside Trae Waynes and Xavier Rhodes.

31. New England: Kolton Miller, OT: UCLA: With the departure of Nate Solder, the Pats will look to add a left tackle of the future with Miller.

32. Philadelphia Eagles: Sony Michel, RB: Georgia: The Eagles are rumored to be enamored with the Georgia running back. Barring a trade down, this seems like a likely landing spot for him.

 

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

@AirZimmerman

6.24.15

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

2014 NFL MOCK DRAFT

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.