Helping to kill the time until the start of the NFL Draft tonight, 10 commenters from our Patriots blog join forces for a mock draft. Here we go...
This is the draft order:
1. Colts -- (pre-assigned) QB Andrew Luck (Stanford) -- We'll get an up-close look at Luck on Nov. 18 in Foxborough.
2. Redskins -- (pre-assigned) QB Robert Griffin III (Baylor) -- Mike Shanahan finally gets the QB to build around.
3. Vikings -- (zeke_valdes) OL Matt Kalil (USC) -- Regardless of the rumors that have been around, the Vikings select the best offensive lineman in the draft while still having the chance to select a WR or CB in the 2nd round.
4. Browns -- (zeke_valdes) RB Trent Richardson (Alabama) -- Browns need an impact player on the offensive side of the ball to help Colt McCoy out and also to establish a running game.
5. Buccaneers -- (zeke_valdes) CB Morris Claiborne (LSU) -- Ronde Barber is not getting any younger, so the Bucs draft his successor.
6. Rams -- (maxofmanetheren) WR Justin Blackmon (Oklahoma State) -- Finding a target for Sam Bradford is the biggest need for the Rams, Blackmon is the top WR talent this fits them perfectly.
7. Jaguars -- (maxofmanetheren) DE Quinton Coples (North Carolina) -- At this point the draft is wide open. Their prior first-round pick of Tyson Alualu reflects that their board is more wide open than most. Still Coples couples has the elite size 6-foot-6 and 284 pounds and the speed (4.78) in the 40-yard dash that teams want.
8. Dolphins -- (maxofmanetheren) QB Ryan Tannehill (Texas A&M) -- To Tannehill or not to Tannehill... All the experts say yes. ESPN's Bill Polian likes him. If the Dolphins don't take him here, someone else will.
9. Panthers -- (patsjunky55) -- DL Fletcher Cox (Mississippi State) -- He shot up the draft boards after a strong combine and pro day. Fills a big need on the Panthers' d-line as he is the best DT in the draft (other option: CB Stephon Gilmore).
10. Bills -- (patsjunky55) S Mark Barron (Alabama) -- The Bills have said to be enamored with Barron and have him rated as the 6th best player in the draft. Even with a pressing need at OT, Barron represents too much value to pass up as a Day 1 impact starter (other option: OT Riely Reiff).
11. Chiefs -- (patsjunky55) LB Dont'a Hightower (Alabama) -- Before Luke Kuechly? Its no secret the Chiefs need help at ILB, and with Hightower they get a high- energy, versatile player that can line up and make plays all over the field. Kuechly was a tackling machine at BC but didnt have as many impact plays as Hightower, and Hightower fits KC's 3-4 Defense better. Plus Chiefs fans are in love with what Hightower can bring to the table (other options: David DeCastro, Dontari Poe).
12. Seahawks -- (decosted) DE/LB Courtney Upshaw (Alabama) -- Seahawks would like to trade back here and add some more picks. But without trading in this mock, I think they'll go with the top DE pass rusher. I think they could be tempted by Luke Kuechly at LB, but not sure he's the right fit. Seahawks have liked Upshaw from early in the process, and he's a Pete Carroll-type competitor. (other options: Chandler Jones, Luke Kuechly, David DeCastro)
13. Cardinals -- (decosted) OT Riley Reiff (Iowa) -- Cards don't pick again until the 3rd. Other needs can be addressed later, finding a starting RT cannot. (Other options: WR Michael Floyd and DE Melvin Ingram).
14. Cowboys -- (decosted) CB Dre Kirkpatrick (Alabama) -- Cowboys miss out on Barron, Cox, and Coples. They are tempted to address DT with Poe or guard with DeCastro, but feel they can address those later. They have a need in the secondary. Kirkpatrick excels at press-man and zone and is a great fit for the Cowboys. Many like Stephon Gilmore's upside more, but Cowboys think Kirkpatrick is a better fit for their team. He could also play some safety. (other options: Poe, DeCastro)
15. Eagles -- (88bdh340) LB Luke Kuechly (Boston College) -- Although the Eagles just traded for DeMeco Ryans, this is too good of a player to pass up.
16. Jets -- (88bdh340) DE/OLB Melvin Ingram (South Carolina) -- His versitility is a plus. He can line up at DE in a 4-3 or OLB in a 3-4. Will provide a pass rush and is athletic. Possible punt protector.
17. Bengals -- (88bdh340) WR Michael Floyd (Notre Dame) -- Had several very good options here and listened to several phone calls, one from an unnamed team in the Northeast. But decided to make A J Green very happy.
18. Chargers -- (ortizdoesitagain) OLB Whitney Mercilus (Illinois) -- This pick has been all over the place for the Chargers, and don't be surprised to see them trade up to take a more elite pass rusher. They really need a pass rush and Mercilus, to me, is the best player available. Mercilus can play DE but can also be converted to LB if needed.
19. Bears -- (ortizdoesitagain) G David DeCastro (Stanford) -- One of the biggest problems for the Bears last season was their inability to defend the pass rush, which ended up costing them their season when quarterback Jay Cutler was injured. They need the best blocker available and DeCastro is one of the most solid in this draft.
20. Titans -- (ortizdoesitagain) DE Chandler Jones (Syracuse) -- Titans were just a pick away from taking JPP a few years ago, and I still think they covet that kind of player, and in the Draft, Jones is the closest player to a JPP type player. Athletically, Jones isn't the same player as Pierre Paul, but size and stylistically he is.
21. Bengals -- (reddman500) CB Stephon Gilmore (South Carolina) -- Along with the Lions, the Bengals were the surprise team during the 2011 season. A significant reason for that was because of their defense, which ranked 7th in total yards allowed and 9th in points allowed. The Bengals will look to strengthen that defense further by adding assurance to the secondary, which saw an Achilles injury to star CB Leon Hall last season, and 32-year-old CB Nate Clements moving into the final year of his contract. Gilmore provides Cincinnati with excellent value and talent in the secondary, and helps solidify its future. Gilmore is a tall, lengthy corner with excellent speed, great play-making ability, and the versatility to play safety (a position the Bengals could eye with the departure of Chris Crocker) along with cornerback. He will likely challenge for a starting CB spot right away.
22. Browns -- (reddman500) WR Kendall Wright (Baylor) -- Most everyone is in agreement that the Browns need skill position players. Taking Trent Richardson No. 4 will certainly help, but it won't be enough. Wide Receiver would be the next logical pick, assuming their faith still remains in quarterback Colt McCoy. The question then becomes - can Cleveland snag someone like Jeffery or Randle with their second-round pick? Or should they gamble on Kendall Wright and/or Stephen Hill, both of whom are projected around this selection? Wright is the more polished receiver.
23. Lions -- (reddman500) -- OL Cordy Glenn (Georgia) -- Glenn will instantly challenge both Sims and Peterman for a starting position, and perhaps even Cherilus at right tackle. More importantly, he'll help create a better opportunity for Detroit's incumbent running game to thrive, especially as 2nd round pick Leshoure returns from injury. Also considered Janoris Jenkins, but after some of the Lions ran into trouble with the law this offseason, the thought was to pass.
24. Steelers -- (freeland1787) CB Janoris Jenkins (North Alabama) -- Jenkins is the best player available in the draft in terms of talent. The Steelers' secondary can look really bad at times, as in case with the 80-yard TD catch and run by Demaryius Thomas that ended their season. Jenkins would be an upgrade over incumbent starter William Gay at the 2nd CB spot on the team. Although there are off-the-field issues, the Steelers are a good organization to try and help him with his problems.
25. Broncos -- (freeland1787) DL Jerel Worthy (Michigan State) -- Broncos upgrade their DL with a penetrating 3-technique DT to bolster their pass rush. Good quickness off the snap but can guess at times, which leads to a lot of offsides penalties. With a solid front 4, the Broncos would be able to do a lot of things with their back 7. Other picks worth considering were Brockers, Hill, and Still.
26. Texans -- (freeland1787) DL Dontari Poe (Memphis) -- Big, strong, physical presence in the middle of the defensive front. With the Texans switching to a 3-4 alignment last year, a big nose guard is necessary to complete their defensive unit. Texans looking for the next Ted Washington and believe they have it in Poe.
27. Patriots -- (noahdmurray) DL Michael Brockers (LSU) -- Amazingly, Pittsburgh & Denver both pass on a strong DT as Bill Belichick sprints to the podium himself to drop of this pick. BB has been looking for Seymour's replacement since he traded him away (2009) and hopes to have found him here. Brockers has the height and weight BB loves and can hold up against the run.
28. Packers -- (noahdmurray) C Peter Konz (Wisconsin) -- Green Bay has said to be in love with Shea McClellin, but feels it can get good value with OLB in round 2. The Packers signed Jeff Saturday this offseason but know he is on his last legs, which makes it to hard to pass up on Peter Konz. Some may call it a reach, but in a few years people will look back and call it another great pick by the Packers. Konz can play at guard or center his first year and will anchor the offensive line for the next 15 years. Aaron Rodgers will be talking about how Peter Konz is his favorite butt outside of his wife in his retirement speech.
29. Ravens -- (noahdmurray) OT Jonathan Martin (Stanford) -- Baltimore could use a LT of the future to cover the true "blindside" in Baltimore. While Martin won't be starring in any movies, and will probably ride the pine for his first year, this can placate Joe Flacco and hopefully convince Ray Rice to sign on for a long-term deal knowing he has two great tackles to run and catch behind for a long time. Baltimore always seems to get a position it doesn't have a glaring need for, but will in a year or two, and once again look like geniuses again.
30. 49ers -- (illvb12) G Kevin Zeitler (Wisconsin) -- The 49ers are in an enviable situation. After picking up a number of pieces in free agency, they find themselves with the ability to go with any number of positions here. Many project them to take a flashy skill-position player such as Fleener, Hill, or Wright – and admittedly, Fleener was a strong consideration based on the success the Patriots have had with their two TEs and what the 49ers could do with he and Davis together. However, this offense is built around pounding the rock and the team needs a boost here with Snyder leaving for the Cardinals and an aging Goodwin. Zeitler will prove to be an important piece along a line already made up of first-rounders. Run the ball first, then use the new weapons you’ve already acquired
(Options: Kevin Zeitler, Coby Fleener, Stephen Hill, Kendall Wright).
31. Patriots -- (illvb12) S Harrison Smith (Notre Dame) -- Ok, let’s face it, we all expect this pick to be traded down (Weeden?). Maybe they move back a few picks and select a pass rusher who’s fallen, etc. Operating under the assumption of the rules of this draft that the pick must be made ... I think that Smith will be the pick here based on how things have fallen and based on taking Brockers with No. 27. McClellin was a major consideration, but the concussions are a large concern. I think the rumors that Devin McCourty is moving to safety full time is a ploy and multiple pass rushers left means that there’s one to be had in the 2nd (and let’s face it, Bill doesn’t draft pass rushers in the first when we want him to). Defense gets a huge boost in two much needed areas! (Options: Any of the pass rushers we’ve been talking about for months now: Perry, McClellin, Branch, CB curveball…honestly, who the heck knows what the options are with the Hoodie.)
32. Giants -- (illvb12) RB Doug Martin (Boise State) -- This pick depends on three questions – 1) How do the Giants plan to deal with the Osi Umenyiora situation? 2) How do they view the RB crop? 3) Does an OT fall into their laps (with Martin going to the Ravens, this doesn’t happen). If the Giants cannot trade down (something which I expect them to try to do), and if Osi is on his way to being traded, they will take the best DL on their board. If they plan to keep him (more likely scenario to me), the pick will be between Doug Martin and Lamar Miller (again, trading down would be their goal as each would be a bit of a reach at this point). It seems that Martin is higher on their board and, therefore, he is the pick at this position. Options: Miller, Kendall Reyes, basically any DE that still there, OT).