My post ‘Mock Draft 4.0’ is barely old, less than one week in fact – but I have Updated it with this version Mock 4.1. As you’ll notice I’ll go back and forth a lot. But..It’s 2 ROUNDS! New information, but more importantly – a new perspective on what “I think” a team will do is the reasoning behind this. The NFL Draft is 50 days away, so a lot will continue to change…
1. Carolina – Da’Quan Bowers, DE – Clemson * (No. 1 DE)
I still believe despite the injury concerns that Bowers is the No.1 prospect in this draft. I know that deciding on whether or not they need a QB is the main choice, but Im not sold on either Gabbert or Newton as the number 1 pick at this point. I think they have to go defense with the pick, along with Bowers – Nick Fairley and Marcell Dareus will be in contention.
2. Denver – Nick Fairley, DT – Auburn (No. 1 DT)
I still like the idea of Patrick Peterson here, but in Carolina John Fox always had an anchor (i.e. Kris Jenkins). Also, with the resent activity of cutting defensive lineman, it shows me they may be in the market for some new ones. Peterson is the best player available, while he and Dareus – or Bowers, if available – would also be considered. I think Fairley projects to be a solid pick, although Im not particularly a huge fan of his.
3. Buffalo – Cam Newton, QB – Auburn * (No. 2 QB)
I think Gabbert is the better QB, and Im not sold Newton is even a Top 10 pick – however, I think the Bills would be a nice fit. I like the idea of the Bill taking a defensive player, or even the best available, but Newton’s physical ability and potential will intrigue a lot of teams. He is raw, and would probably not start right away, playing behind Fitzpatrick.
4. Bengals – Blaine Gabbert, QB – Missouri * (No. 1 QB)
Cincinnati is in a tough spot, with AJ Green the most likely pick here – I think they’ll panic and take Gabbert with the uncertainty of Carson Palmer. I do not believe they’d take Cam Newton however. Under this scenario, they could trade down – letting a team come up and get Patrick Peterson. While I think they like Green, it’s hard to take a WR top 5 – so if it isn’t him and Bowers and Fairley are gone the QB pick makes sense.
5. Arizona – Patrick Peterson, CB LSU * (No. 1 CB)
He is my No. 2 rated prospected, so its hard seeing him fall this far – but the Cardinals wouldn’t be able to pass him up (I’d even think that Amukamara would be considered here if Peterson is gone). They need a QB, but I think they want a veteran and while they could use Von Miller or Robert Quinn – but you dont pass on Peterson, he may end up being the best overall prospects from this draft in years to come.
6. Browns – AJ Green, WR – Georgia * (No. 1 WR)
The Browns seem committed to Colt McCoy and have made it known they need a playmaker – well, there isnt a better one than Green in the entire draft. Im not sold anymore, on the fact that NFL teams think WRs are worth the risk of drafting high due to past failures – but Green is different. If Green is gone, Julio Jones could become an option after a great combine but would be a reach. I think Cleveland needs defensive help, anyone in the front 7 so Marcell Dareus would also be very tempting – as well as a CB to pair with Joe Haden.
7. 49ers – Prince Amukamara, CB – Nebraska (No. 2 CB)
With the possibility of Nate Clements being released, on top of a need at CB even if he was on the team – I think Prince makes the most sense. He showed comparable numbers to Patrick Peterson at the combine and some claim he is a better lock down CB. The 49ers have a need at QB – or they could address the front 7 with Marcell Dareus or even Robert Quinn.
8. Titans – Marcell Dareus, DT/DE – Alabama * (No.2 DT)
He is a top 5 talent, so this is a bit low for him and I think Tennessee would be happier with Blaine Gabbert here. Nonetheless, the Titans need help anywhere on defense so they’ll be extremely happy with Dareus, or could opt for Robert Quinn. If Jake Locker starts to clime draft boards again, he may be a sleeper here.
9. Dallas – Robert Quinn, DE/OLB – UNC * (No. 2 DE)
While an OT is a huge need, it’d be a little reach at this point – so Quinn, or maybe Von Miller will be the likely pick. Quinn is a terror for QB’s and would be able to play DE or OLB is the 3-4 – plus Rob Ryan will be looking for athletic guys like this to run his scheme. The Cowboys have a lot of options here – Solder, Watt, and Von Miller.
10. Redskins – Julio Jones, WR – Alabama * (No. 2 WR)
The Redskins are in the market for a QB, and could stand to get younger in the defensive front 7, but after a great combine Jones has made his case for a top 10 pick. Santana Moss was released, and aside from the emerging Anthony Armstrong, Washington will be without a WR threat. JJ Watt, or Von Miller could be likely picks here if they decide the risk or a WR is too high – especially with their past failures (Devin Thomas, Malcolm Kelly).
11. Texans – Von Miller, OLB/DE – Texas A&M (No. 1 OLB)
This would be a prime situation for the Texans, a steal – but it’s likely that him or Quinn will be available if QB’s start going early causing people to fall. Julio Jones may be an option if available, but there is no one who makes more sense than Miller – he is a physical specimen. Wade Phillips (the DC) is running the 3-4 and Miller would work perfectly as rushing OLB.
12. Vikings – Jake Locker, QB – Washington (No. 2 QB)
In my last Mock, I had him as a 2nd round pick – and Im still not sold he’ll be taken this high, but I have a feeling that they’ll be a run on QB’s. As the draft nears, I think Locker’s stock will come up some – probably a team trading back into the 20’s to take him, or the Vikings could trade down and take him later on. Minnesota needs a QB, Tavaris Jackson may not even be back so reaching for Locker if Newton is gone makes sense to me – or they could opt to take JJ Watt, Cam Jordan, or Martez Wilson.
13. Lions – Anthony Castonzo, OT – Boston College (No. 2 OT)
I think they’ll pass on Solder for the more polished Castonzo. He is moving up boards, and has passed Tyron Smith for the second best OT in my rankings. I think he is more established and an immediate starter who can play either tackle spot. Castonzo had a good combine, and should be a good NFL tackle for years to come. I think the Lions are in a prime spot to trade if Solder is gone, or they could take a risk with CB Jimmy Smith or Brandon Harris – a player like Aldon Smith could get a look too.
14. Rams – JJ Watt, DE/DT – Wisconsin * (No. 3 DE)
The Rams need offensive help, weapons for Bradford – but they do have a need for a DE or OLB. At this point, most figure Watt could be gone but is good value for St.Louis. He can play DE, or move inside to DT. A player like Aldon Smith, or if Quinn falls would be a more ideal fit – but Watt has good value and versatility at this point. If Julio Jones if available he’d be the obvious pick even though rumors have St.Louis as a possible spot for Plaxico Burress.
15. Dolphins – Martez Wilson, MLB – Illinois * (No. 1 MLB)
I think Wilson will move higher and higher as the draft nears, he is an excellent athlete and had impressive numbers at the combine. The popular pick here would be Mark Ingram, but I think they’ll pass and try to resign Ronnie Brown and bring in a veteran to replace Ricky Williams (they also like Lex Hilliard). Miami would be a great place for Cam Newton, good front office and wouldnt have to play right away – so look for them to make a move for him. Wilson, Karlos Dansby and Channing Crowder would form an elite LB unit.
16. Jaguars – Aldon Smith, DE/OLB – Missouri * (No. 5 DE)
The Jaguars can go a variety of ways here – CB, another DE (Cameron Jordan), or a QB – but they must resolve the pass rush. Derrick Harvey hasnt panned out, and while they have two good young DT’s – I think A.Smith is a smart pick. Adrian Clayborn, Cam Jordan, and Ryan Kerrigan could also get consideration, but Smith is a freak and offers the ability to play OLB. I’d also like Martez Wilson as a fit here seeing that Morrison and Durant are Free-Agents. This also could be a spot for Locker – maybe Mallet – if he is available as a sleeper.
17. Patriots (from Oakland – Nate Solder, OT – Colorado * (No. 1 OT)
I still like the idea of them taking Brandon Harris, but Solder can’t slip much farther. I still think the Patriots draft for depth. The offensive line is a concern (S.Neal retired, Matt Light is a FA) so they could pull the trigger on Castonzo, Tyron Smith or the same goes for defense (they signed M.Stroud), but with good depth in draft and a lot of picks they can get help later.
18. Chargers – Cameron Jordan, DE/DT – California (No. 4 DE)
I personally like Jordan much higher (he could be a top 10 player) – so San Diego is getting a steal. They need an edge rusher or inside backer also so if Aldon Smith or Martez Wilson are available they’d be good options. Jordan is physical and athletic, and will sure up the pass rush. Cesaire is a FA so he could fill that role, or play inside in the 3-4 scheme and add much needed depth.
19. Giants – Mark Ingram, RB – Alabama * (No. 1 RB)
If Ingram is taken earlier, I think the Giants will go offensive line – but will need to address the the RB spot, especially with the Brandon Jacobs situation (No it wont be Tiki Barber). Ingram would be a nice compliment to Bradshaw. I could also see New York looking at Mike Pouncey, Tyron Smith, or Anthony Castonzo if available. Ingram isnt the fastest, but gets the job done – most people forget his talent since he was injured some last season
20. Tampa Bay – Akeem Ayers, OLB/DE – UCLA * (No. 2 OLB)
He was a DE is college, but will play OLB in the NFL – Ayers seems to be slipping a bit, but I think this is a good fit for him. The Buccaneers have Ruud and Black as free-agents so LB is a must, and could also use a DE to help with pressure off the edge. Adrian Clayborn could be an option here as well, or if Ayers stocks falls too much they may go with Kerrigan or J.Houston.
21. Chiefs – Corey Luiget, DT/DE – Illinois * (No. 3 DT)
I’d also say Phil Taylor and Muhammad Wilkerson are options, as well as Clayborn. Kansas City runs the 3-4 scheme, so I like Luiget here – he is a bit underrated. Ron Edwards and Shaun Smith are FA’s so I think it a safe bet the Chiefs take a defensive lineman, or may even consider OLB Justin Houston.
22. Colts – Tyron Smith, OT – USC * (No. 3 OT)
Smith is arguable moving towards being the top OT in the draft, and I think he could go higher – but regardless, Indy needs help along the offensive line so they’ll take the best available lineman (Pouncey, Carimi, Watkins, Sherrod). Peyton Manning needs to be protected, and while Smith is a bit raw, he has tremendous upside.
23. Eagles – Brandon Harris, CB – Miami (FL) (No. 3 CB)
The Eagles could opt to take CB Jimmy Smith, or offensive lineman Gabe Carimi here, even Pouncey. Philly has had injuries along the line, and C Nick Cole is a FA so Pouncey could start right away or provide valuable depth, but the fact that Harris is still available may lead the Eagles to go CB since Ellis Hobbs is likely to retire. Harris could be this years version of D.McCourty.
24. Saints – Adrian Clayborn, DE – Iowa (No. 6 DE)
Clayborn seemed to have slipped a bit in my Mock, but I like the fit. The Saints signed DT Shaun Rogers, but they still need a DE. He has a good motor and ability to get to the QB. New Orleans could consider Muhammad Wilkerson or Cameron Heyward, as well as Ryan Kerrigan or Houston with a need at OLB.
25. Seattle – Muhammad Wilkerson, DE/DT – Temple * (No. 4 DT)
With Jimmy Smith available its hard to see the Seahawks pass him up, but I think they’ll try to re-sign Kelly Jennings. Seattle needs help with the stopping the run. Wilkerson, in my opinion, could be gone higher – but he played as a smaller level school and is somewhat raw, but has good versatility. Cameron Heyward could be an option here as well.
26. Ravens – Jimmy Smith, CB – Colorado (No. 4 CB)
He has the ability to be taken as high as 13th overall, but he has a lot of question marks. He is a steal for Baltimore who pieced together a secondary last season. The Ravens could also use a WR (Torrey Smith or Baldwin) and could stand to get younger in their defensive front 7.
27. Atlanta – Ryan Kerrigan, DE/OLB – Purdue (No. 7 DE)
Kerrigan has seen his stock fall in recent weeks, but he still could go in the middle of the first round – or fall into the second as he was in my last mock. I know Atlanta needs a WR, but DE is the biggest concern and with most gone – they cant pass on Kerrigan. They may opt for Cam Heyward or even reach a bit for Allen Bailey. Torrey Smith is still a possibility, or Titus Young as a sleeper – but they’ll be more likely to take a DE or offensive line help first.
28. Patriots – Cameron Heyward, DE/DT – Ohio State (No. 8 DE)
I think this is a great fit, although they’d be tempting to take Phil Taylor as well. The fact they went OT at 17thkind of backfires with Carimi, Pouncey, Sherrod all sitting here – they could have taken a better defensive end, or best available there. However, Heyward has good pedigree an is a scheme fit as a DE in the 3-4. They could go with a sleeper pick like Christian Ballard or even take a WR at this point.
29. Bears – Phil Taylor, DT/NT – Baylor (No. 5 DT)
Taylor is one of those prospects who could sneak his way up boards into the mid-first round area. He is massive, and the Bears cut Tommie Harris. Justin Houston will also be very tempting for Chicago at this point if they go defensive. The other possible option is offensive line – Gabe Carimi would be a nice fit or Derrek Sherrod. a CB could be a sleeper option here.
30. Jets – Justin Houston, OLB/DE – Georgia * (No. 3 OLB)
I think this is a perfect fit. They cut Gholston and Jason Taylor. They also could go with a defensive lineman line Cam Heyward or Paea since Shaun Ellis is a free-agent and Kris Jenkins was cut. They could also use a WR. It also wouldnt surprise me to see them take an offensive lineman like Carimi who can help at OG or OT.
31. Steelers – Mike Pouncey, C/OG – Florida (No. 1 C)
I think Carimi would be the better pick, or even Aaron Williams – but I’d be hard to have Pouncey sitting here and them not take him. He may go earlier, but he’ll be happy to reunite with his brother and play OG along side him in Pittsburgh. Carimi, Sherrod could also be the pick if Pouncey is gone because OT is more of a need than OG – plus, Im sold that CB is a bigger need so Aaron Williams would be a nice fit.
32. Packers – Gabe Carimi, OT/OG – Wisconsin (No. 4 OT)
I think this would be a steal. I think Carimi is a typical fit here – one of those tough nose players who can can add versatility where he fits the mold of past Green Bat tackles. They may also consider Aaron Williams since Woodson isn’t getting any younger or a defensive lineman if one of the previous mentions ones fall.
33. Patriots – Dontay Moch, OLB/DE – Nevada (No. 6 OLB)
34. Bills – Stephen Paea, DT/DE – Oregon State (No. 6 DT)
35. Bengals – Jonathan Baldwin, WR – Pittsburgh * (No. 4 WR)
36. Denver – Rahim Moore, FS – UCLA * (No. 1 S)
37. Browns – Allen Bailey, DE/DT – Miami(FL) (No. 9 DE)
38. Arizona – Ben Ijalana, OT/OG – Villanova (No. 6 OT)
39. Titans – Aaron Williams, CB – Texas (No. 5 CB)
40. Dallas – Derek Sherrod, OT – Mississippi State (No. 5 OT)
41. Redskins – Brooks Reed, DE/OLB – Arizona (No. 10 DE)
42. Texans – Torrey Smith, WR – Maryland * (No. 3 WR)
43. Vikings – Christian Ballard, DT/DE – Iowa (No. 7 DT)
44. Lions – Mason Foster, OLB – Washington (No. 5 OLB)
45. 49ers – Jabaal Shread, DE/OLB – Pittsburgh (No. 11 DE)
46. Denver (from Dolphins) – Mikel LeShoure, RB – Illinois * (No. 2 RB)
47. Rams – Kyle Rudolph, TE – Notre Dame * (No 1. TE)
48. Oakland – Danny Watkins, OG/OT – Baylor (No. 1 OG)
49. Jaguars – Ryan Mallett, QB – Arkansas * (No. 4 QB)
50. Chargers – Titus Young, WR – Boise State (No. 7 WR)
51. Tampa Bay – Quan Sturdivant, MLB/OLB – UNC (No. 2 MLB)
52. Giants – Drake Nevis, DT – LSU (No. 8 DT)
53. Colts – Quinton Carter, FS – Oklahoma (No. 3 S)
54. Eagles -Rodney Hudson, C/OG – Florida State (No. 2 C)
55. Chiefs – Stefen Weisnewski, C/OG – Penn State (No. 3 C)
56. Saints – Bruce Carter, OLB – UNC (No. 4 OLB)
57. Seattle – Curtis Brown, CB – Texas (No. 6 CB)
58. Ravens – Leonard Hankerson, WR – Miami(FL) (No. 5 WR)
59. Falcons – Randall Cobb, WR/KR/RB – Kentucky * (No. 6 WR)
60. Patriots – Ryne Williams, RB – Virginia Tech * (No. 3 RB)
61. Chargers (from Jets) – Robert Sands, S – WVU * (No. 2 S)
62. Bears – Orlando Franklin, OT/OG – Miami(FL) (No. 7 OT)
63. Steelers – Ras-I Dowling, CB – Virginia (No.7 CB)
64. Packers – Johnny Patrick, CB – Louisville (No. 8 CB)