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Old 03-04-2012, 10:29 AM    (permalink
Matthew Jones
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Default March 4th Mock Draft

These are my thoughts this morning; I decided to project the Redskins as the team to trade up to #2 overall in light of the reports that the Browns were unwilling to include their second first-round pick in a trade up.

March 4th Mock Draft

1. Indianapolis Colts - QB Andrew Luck, Stanford*

Nothing needs to be said about this pick by now. Moving on...

2. Washington Redskins (from Rams) - QB Robert Griffin III, Baylor*

The Redskins seem unlikely to land Manning or Flynn, and the Browns may not be so smitten with Griffin that they have to trade up. Washington may not have to surrender as much as possible if the Browns drop out of the bidding.

3. Minnesota Vikings - OT Matt Kalil, Southern California*

Kalil should be the pick here considering the positional value of a left tackle over a wide receiver or cornerback, as well as the depth of the latter two positions.

4. Cleveland Browns - WR Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma St.*

Tough call here for the Browns, but running back may not be valuable enough to justify Trent Richardson. Morris Claiborne would be a very interesting pick, but the team badly needs weapons on offense. Riley Reiff would be a mistake.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - CB Morris Claiborne, Louisiana St.*

This has become somewhat of a consensus pick because it is the best choice the Buccaneers could make. Trent Richardson would be another consideration considering LeGarrette Blount is not the most dependable back out there.

6. St. Louis Rams (from Redskins) - DT Michael Brockers, Louisiana St.*

St. Louis is severely lacking talent at defensive tackle, and Brockers is a high-upside pick with a shot to justify this draft position. Dontari Poe is too raw to take this high, and Riley Reiff's ceiling is too low to justify here. Michael Floyd and Janoris Jenkins would be two interesting possibilities.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars - DE Quinton Coples, North Carolina

There has been some hype surrounding Melvin Ingram here recently, and Michael Floyd should also be considered. Ultimately, the Jaguars should opt for the most talented defensive end in the draft.

8. Miami Dolphins - DE Nick Perry, Southern California*

Jonathan Martin and Riley Reiff could be the pick, but the Dolphins are looking for 4-3 defensive ends and Perry has established himself as one of the premier players at that position.

9. Carolina Panthers - DT Dontari Poe, Memphis*

Carolina would be taking a huge risk in selecting Poe this high considering his tape suggests he should be avoided until much later in the draft, but no prospect stands out as a slam-dunk, so they could opt for the player with the biggest upside.

10. Buffalo Bills - DE Courtney Upshaw, Alabama

This is another potential landing spot for Jonathan Martin or Riley Reiff, but the Bills will most likely re-sign Demetrius Bell. Courtney Upshaw is a more natural defensive end than Melvin Ingram.

11. Kansas City Chiefs - OT Riley Reiff, Iowa*

Reiff comes off the board ahead of Trent Richardson as Scott Pioli opts to upgrade his offensive line with an athletic, experienced tackle coached by Kirk Ferentz.

12. Seattle Seahawks - QB Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M

Seattle could consider Michael Floyd and Dre Kirkpatrick here because both players are great fits, but Pete Carroll should feel pressured to select a quarterback, and Tannehill is a solid value at this point.

13. Arizona Cardinals - OT Jonathan Martin, Stanford*

Kirkpatrick could also be a possibility to go here, although the Cardinals have suffered long enough with Levi Brown as their left tackle. Martin is polished and professional enough to start as a rookie.

14. Dallas Cowboys - CB Janoris Jenkins, North Alabama

David DeCastro is intriguing, but the Cowboys should feel obligated to select Jenkins at this point considering he plays a more valuable position and is a terrific fit for Rob Ryan's man-cover schemes in a division loaded with quality wide receivers.

15. Philadelphia Eagles - LB Luke Kuechly, Boston College*

Philadelphia traditionally passes on linebackers early, although Kuechly could be an exception considering the Eagles' glaring weakness at the position and the value of adding a top prospect at 15. Defensive tackle is another option.

16. New York Jets - FS Mark Barron, Alabama

Michael Floyd and Melvin Ingram are both available, but Mark Barron makes too much sense to pass on considering the Jets were killed by tight ends last season; Barron could help New York defend against Gronkowski and Hernandez.

17. Cincinnati Bengals (from Raiders) - OG David DeCastro, Stanford*

This is probably later than DeCastro should go, but generally interior offensive linemen get selected around this range and the Bengals are certainly looking for a guard. Trent Richardson and Dre Kirkpatrick are other options.

18. San Diego Chargers - OT Mike Adams, Ohio St.

Tough call here between Adams and Melvin Ingram, but the Chargers are desperate for a left tackle and will be tempted by Adams' size and athleticism. Protecting Philip Rivers is a top priority.

19. Chicago Bears - WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame

Peter Konz and Cordy Glenn are options if Chicago chooses to pursue an offensive lineman. Luke Kuechly would be an interesting choice here as well, but Floyd is too talented to pass on.

20. Tennessee Titans - DE Melvin Ingram, South Carolina

Again, Peter Konz gets narrowly edged out by a higher-ranking player. The Titans are also a prime candidate to move up for David DeCastro. Ingram would be a great option if they stay put considering their difficulties manufacturing a pass rush.

21. Cincinnati Bengals - RB Trent Richardson, Alabama*

At this point the value of Trent Richardson is too great to pass on. With DeCastro and Richardson, the Bengals establish themselves as one of the premier running games in the NFL.

22. Cleveland Browns (from Falcons) - CB Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama*

Tough call between Kirkpatrick and Kuechly, but a top cornerback is more valuable than a top linebacker. Kirkpatrick and Joe Haden would be an imposing cornerback duo.

23. Detroit Lions - DE Whitney Mercilus, Illinois*

Luke Kuechly would have been a slam-dunk here, but if he is unavailable the two most likely options appear to be Mercilus and Zach Brown. Positional value could give Mercilus the edge even though Brown is the better prospect.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers - LB Dont'a Hightower, Alabama*

Hightower has been extensively linked with the Steelers, who recently cut James Farrior and need a new inside linebacker. Cordy Glenn and Alameda Ta'amu are two other names to keep an eye on with this pick.

25. Denver Broncos - DT Fletcher Cox, Mississippi St.*

There's not a very good chance Cox ends up being available this late, but the Broncos would be wise to jump all over him. He is versatile and powerful and at this point teams can look at some developmental options.

26. Houston Texans - WR Stephen Hill, Texas A&M*

This would be somewhat of a surprise pick but a complimentary receiver to pair with Andre Johnson is something the Texans should be interested in; having another deep threat would open up things for Foster and Tate.

27. New England Patriots (from Saints) - C Peter Konz, Wisconsin*

This pick should be between Konz and Kendall Wright, but the Patriots have been trying to acquire a top center for years to help combat all of the 3-4 teams in the league, and Konz is a massive, powerful prospect.

28. Green Bay Packers - DT Devon Still, Penn St.

Still is a bit risky and will face motor concerns from teams, but is disruptive enough to be worth a pick here. There are no slam dunks at outside linebacker, either. Jared Crick is another option.

29. Baltimore Ravens - OG Cordy Glenn, Georgia

Alshon Jeffery and Vontaze Burfict are frequently linked to the Ravens, but both picks would be a mistake. Allowing Ben Grubbs to walk and then drafting Glenn would be a cost-effective move and a nice value.

30. San Francisco 49ers - CB Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina*

Gilmore has worked his way into the late-first range with a strong showing in Indianapolis and the 49ers will be looking for a top option at cornerback. Mohamed Sanu is another player the 49ers may fall in love with here.

31. New England Patriots - WR Kendall Wright, Baylor

After running a 4.61, Wright's stock should be slipping, but if available the Patriots should pounce on the ability to add a deep threat to their offense. Andre Branch, Sanu, and even Brandon Boykin could be options as well. Alternatively, New England could put in a claim for Mike Wallace, although that move would be significantly more expensive. If the Steelers get this pick, how about Alameda Ta'amu?

32. New York Giants - TE Coby Fleener, Stanford

Orson Charles is clearly the better prospect if you ask me, but Fleener may be more up New York's alley. Zach Brown is a great value here as well, but New York really needs to add a stud at tight end when they can.

Missed the cut:

RB Lamar Miller, Miami (FL)*

WR Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina*

WR Mohamed Sanu, Rutgers*

TE Orson Charles, Georgia*

OG Kevin Zeitler, Wisconsin

DT Alameda Ta'amu, Washington

DE Andre Branch, Clemson

DE Jared Crick, Nebraska

LB Zach Brown, North Carolina

CB Brandon Boykin, Georgia
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