Although I finished the Mock Draft Primer this past weekend, in truth that was essentially a mock draft I had started back in early March. Several things have happened since then, that now it’s time to start a completely new mock.
Cam Newton - the New No. 1?
1. Carolina Panthers – QB Cam Newton, Auburn
Previously for many of my mocks I had the Panthers taking Gabbert. But it seems that many insiders report that the Panthers don’t really like Gabbert all that much, and would prefer to take the guy with higher upside at the quarterback position. I don’t really blame them, and it’s true that Newton has that sort of upside.
2. Denver Broncos – DT Marcell Dareus, Alabama
While personally I do think Patrick Peterson is the smarter choice since he is the best player in this draft class, I could also see the Broncos taking Dareus here at the No. 2 position to shore up their defensive line.
3. Buffalo Bills – OLB Von Miller, Texas A&M
If Newton and Dareus are off the board, then I see the Bills taking Miller. Those are the three players I think most likely to land in Buffalo, and thus I think that they will be happy to settle for a pass rusher like MIller.
4. Cincinnati Bengals – WR A.J. Green, Georgia
I’m not sure drafting a wide receiver makes a ton of sense this high in the draft, but there’s no doubt that the Bengals need help at the position. And the Bengals aren’t well known for making the smartest draft day decisions. Mike Brown is a stubborn owner, and while the Bengals probably do realize they need to get a quarterback in this draft, I doubt they use their top pick on him just under the hope that Carson Palmer backs down and comes back.
5. Arizona Cardinals – QB Blaine Gabbert, Missouri
With the Panthers passing on Gabbert, that makes the Cardinals extremely happy because they’ve been looking at a way to get the young passer from Mizzou. Gabbert should be a solid fit in Arizona’s offense going forward and probably takes them out of the Kevin Kolb sweepstakes.
6. Cleveland Browns – DT Nick Fairley, Auburn
Cleveland needs to take a defensive lineman with their top pick, and due to the questions surrounding Da’Quan Bowers, I think Fairley is probably the safer choice.
7. San Francisco 49ers – CB Patrick Peterson, LSU
It’s really hard to imagine Peterson not being a Top 5 pick, and frankly I would be shocked if that is not the case. But since he is the player that I’m sure the 49ers covet the most, then it makes the most sense for him to land here.
8. Tennessee Titans – DE Da’Quan Bowers, Clemson
I don’t think the Titans want to use a second consecutive top pick on a defensive end, but they cannot deny the value. And if Morgan and Bowers are healthy, then it certainly should pay dividends as they try to pressure the likes of Peyton Manning and dethrone the Colts in the AFC South.
9. Dallas Cowboys – OT Tyron Smith, USC
A little high for Smith, but I think the Cowboys are committed to improving their offensive line and seemingly aren’t in love with other options like the defensive ends or Prince Amukamara. That makes Smith a good fit to play right tackle immediately in their lineup.
10. Washington Redskins – WR Julio Jones, Alabama
I honestly might have the Redskins taking Jones just because if not here, then he starts to drop in the draft. And with all the buzz currently surrounding him, it’s hard to not see him being a Top 10 pick. I think the Redskins might be partial to a pass rusher like Robert Quinn, but if that’s not the case, then they will happily upgrade their passing attack with a player like Jones.