One of the most difficult things about mock drafts is that there are inevitably trades that completely throw things out of whack. Here’s my meager attempt to project what the first round might look like with some of the projected movement that could occur tonight.
1. Chiefs – OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M
I see Joeckel as the Chiefs pick simply because Andy Reid and John Dorsey were in Green Bay at the same time that Mike Sherman, who recruited Joeckel to A&M, was there.
2. Jaguars – OT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan
The Jags have a lot of holes, but they need to also bolster their offensive line, which is among the league’s weakest if they intend to try and salvage the skittish Blaine Gabbert as their starting quarterback.
3. Lions (from Raiders) (trade*) – OT Lane Johnson, Oklahoma
The Lions don’t see Johnson lasting to five, and they want to make sure they get their bookend tackle. So they send the Raiders their 3rd round pick (65th overall) to jump up two spots. And since the Raiders currently lack a third round pick, they are happy to oblige.
4. Browns (from Eagles) (trade*) – DE Dion Jordan, Oregon
The Browns want to get Jordan to bookend with Kruger and will probably try and find a trade partner for Sheard later on to try and get back into the second round. They swap with the Eagles, giving up their 4th round pick (105th) to move up two spots.
5. Raiders (from Lions) (trade*) – DT Sharrif Floyd, Florida
The Raiders know they can move down pretty much anywhere within the Top 10 and still probably wind up with Floyd, who adds a good player on a defensive line that sorely needs it.
6. Eagles (from Browns) (trade*) – CB Dee Milliner, Alabama
The Eagles don’t have a pressing need that they must address, and thus will settle for Milliner to bolster a revamped secondary.
7. Cardinals – OG Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina
The Cards choose Cooper over Warmack just because he offers a bit more potential as a pass protector, and Arians is a guy that has always leaned heavily on throwing the ball.
8. Steelers (from Bills) (trade*) – WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia
The Steelers make the night’s first really bold move by jumping up 9 spots to get Austin, a kid from their own backyard. Austin adds the explosive element to their offense that they lost with Mike Wallace, and also should be a much more reliable return option than Chris Rainey. The Steelers deal their second round pick (48th overall) to jump up here.
9. Jets – OLB Jarvis Jones, Georgia
Medical issues aside, the Jets go with Jones over Mingo and Ansah based purely off production.
10. Titans – OG Chance Warmack, Alabama
With the Cards taking Cooper, the Titans are happy to settle for Warmack. He’s a better fit anyway since the Titans want to be able to clear lanes for Chris Johnson.
11. Chargers – OT D.J. Fluker, Alabama
It’s not an enviable position to be the Chargers, but they’ll wind up taking Fluker to solidify one of their tackle spots and hope they can find help at the other later on.
12. Dolphins – DE Ziggy Ansah, BYU
The Dolphins need a bookend pass rusher opposite Cameron Wake, and while Ansah is raw, the Dolphins will be patient with developing him.
13. Jets (from Bucs) – TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame
Eifert gives them a major upgrade at tight end and a reliable pass catcher in the middle of the field.
14. Panthers – DT Sheldon Richardson, Missouri
The Panthers need to bolster their interior defensive line, and Richardson is a no-brainer at this point.
15. Saints – OLB Barkevious Mingo, LSU
Mingo moves down the road to solidify one spot in their new-look 3-4 defense.
16. Cowboys (from Rams) (trade*) – S Kenny Vaccaro, Texas
The Cowboys really like Vaccaro, and don’t want the Rams to take him. So they give up their 4th round pick (114th) to move up two spots.
17. Bills (from Steelers) (trade*) – QB Ryan Nassib, Syracuse
Nassib didn’t have Top 10 value, but at this point in the draft they can take him and still get two good players in the top half of the second round.
18. Broncos (from Cowboys via Rams) (trade*) – DE Tank Carradine, Florida State
Broncos make a deal with the Rams, who move back again. They part with their second rounder (58th) to move up 10 spots to get the pass rusher they feel will replace Elvis Dumervil.
19. 49ers (from Giants) (trade*) – CB D.J. Hayden, Houston
The 49ers get into the trade action to get their cornerback of choice in Hayden to bolster their lone weakness: the secondary. They part with one of their two second round picks (61st), giving that to the Giants. With Carradine and Eifert off the board, the Giants can afford to move back.
20. Falcons (from Bears) (trade*) – CB Jamar Taylor, Boise State
Not to be outdone, the Falcons move up to get their cornerback of choice in Taylor. Atlanta winds up dealing their 3rd (92nd), 4th (127th), and 5th (163rd) to move up ten spots. The Bears move back knowing they can still address their need at linebacker later in the first.
21. Bengals – S Eric Reid, LSU
Reid gives Mike Zimmer the big safety that he likes and an upgrade over Taylor Mays.
22. Rams (from Redskins) – S Jonathan Cyprien, Florida International
The Rams need safety help badly and aren’t unhappy that they wind up with Cyprien, who was second behind Vaccaro on their board.
23. Vikings – CB Desmond Trufant, Washington
Knowing they cannot afford to pass up a much-needed corner, they take Trufant.
24. Colts – DE Datone Jones, UCLA
They get some help up front with a player that can play inside and outside in their hybrid front.
25. Vikings (from Seahawks) – DT Star Lotulelei, Utah
The big fella fell down the baords, but the Vikings are happy to scoop him up in the hopes he replaces Kevin Williams in the near future.
26. Packers – OT Justin Pugh, Syracuse
The Packers need to bolster their pass protection, to keep Aaron Rodgers’ jersey clean. Pugh fits their zone-blocking scheme and can potentially supplant Marshall Newhouse at left tackle.
27. Texans – WR Cordarelle Patterson, Tennessee
They aren’t upset one bit that Patterson’s stock has dropped a bit. He’s a dynamic player that could add a much-needed big play element to their offense.
28. Rams (from Broncos) (trade*) – OLB Alec Ogletree, Georgia
They have options here, but ultimately settle for the player that many consider to be the drafts’ best linebacker in Ogletree to deploy beside Laurinaitis.
29. Eagles (from Patriots) (trade*) – QB E.J. Manuel, Florida State
Sensing it’s time to get their guy at quarterback, the Eagles pull the trigger on a trade to jump back into Round 1 and get Manuel. They give up their 2nd (35th overall) and newly acquired 4th round pick from Cleveland (104th) to New England, who lacks a pick in that round.
30. Bears (from Falcons) (trade*) – ILB Arthur Brown, Kansas State
Many put Te’o to the Bears, but they do play the Packers twice a year. Brown can play outside as well, potentially replacing either Urlacher or Lance Briggs.
31. Giants (from 49ers) (trade*) – OT Menelik Watson, Florida State
Watson is a younger potential upgrade to David Diehl on the right side.
32. Jets (from Ravens) (trade*) – CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida State
Getting back into the first to leapfrog Jacksonville, the Jets give Baltimore their 2nd (39th) 4th rounder (106th) to get their Revis replacement. With Brown off the board, the Ravens feel they can get their middle linebacker later.