In my second mock, I feel more confident in some of my picks than i did in the first one. I took a few gambles between reaching for players as well as taking some value picks late in the first round. I will be doing at least one more mock between now and the draft with 21 days left. Geno Smith remains the wild card that will shift the rest of the draft.
1. Chiefs – Luke Joeckel (OT | Texas A&M) The Chiefs can go in many directions with this pick. Acquiring Alex Smith from the San Francisco 49ers help solidify the quarterback position in Kansas City. The Chiefs can either trade recently franchised Brandon Albert or move him to Guard. Providing protection for Smith and creating running lanes for Jamaal Charles are crucial to the Chiefs moving out of the AFC cellar in 2013.
2. Jaguars – Ezekiel Ansah (DE | BYU) Ezekiel Ansah is a very athletic defensive end that is full of upside. This pick makes a lot of sense for Jacksonville who has struggled on the defensive side of the ball. Jaguar fans will need to be patient but Ansahs ability is through the roof.
3. Raiders – Sharrif Floyd (DT | Florida) The Raiders go defensive tackle here with the departure of Tommy Kelly and Richard Seymour. They recently acquired Matt Flynn and will go into 2013 with him or Pryor under center. Floyd is very talented and powerful tackle that will be an impact guy. This pick will improve a defensive line that struggled in 2012.
4. Eagles – Geno Smith (QB | West Virgina) This selection was a hard one for me to pinpoint. While the Eagles have Michael Vick coming back and Nick Foles still in the picture, Chip Kelly has taken over as the Eagles coach and is not married to anyone on the team. If Kelly and the Eagles brass believe Geno Smith can be the guy and run the offense Kelly envisions it makes a ton of sense. Nick Foles can be traded elsewhere. Geno can sit in the short term and play relatively quickly especially if Michael Vick who is not the picture of health.
5. Lions – Dee Milliner (CB | Alabama) This is one of the biggest slam-dunks in the draft. Dee Milliner makes a ton of sense for a secondary that has continued to struggle in recent season. Milliner is talented and athletic corner that can be a number one corner in the league.
6. Browns – Dion Jordan (LB | Oregon) The Browns will get a talented linebacker at number six. Jordan is an athletic linebacker that moves well side to side will help support the run and get to the quarterback. The Browns are building a solid core with Jordan and cornerback Joe Haden.
7. Cardinals – Eric Fisher (OT | Central Michigan) This is a great pick for Arizona who needs to address their offensive line deficiencies. They are in a division full of talented pass rushers and Fisher can be penciled into the Cardinals starting left tackle for a long time to come.
8. Bills – Chance Warmack (OG | Alabama) Syracuse’s Ryan Nassib seems like an ideal fit following his college coach Doug Marrone. While I still see that as possibility either in round 2 or if the Bills move back into the late first round. With this pick, the Bills will take Chance Warmack a talented Guard from Alabama. Warmack has received some of the highest grades scouts have given a guard. They need to replace Andy Levitre who left during free agency to Tennessee, as well as provide protection for whomever is taking snaps in Buffalo this season.
9. Jets – Barkevious Mingo (LB | LSU) The Jets can grab an edge rusher with tons of upside. His ability to rush the passer will provide the Jets with tons of value at 9. Allowing the Jets to fill other needs as the draft goes along.
10. Titans – Jonathan Cooper (OG | North Carolina) The addition of Jonathan Cooper will continue to address the needs the Titans started to address during free agency. After signing Andy Levitre, adding Cooper will allow the titans to solidify both guard spots going forward.
11. Chargers – Lane Johnson (OT | Oklahoma) Phillip Rivers spent much of 2013 running for his life or on his back. Johnson will improve an atrocious offensive line. The Chargers will be able to pencil Johnson in at left tackle for 10 plus years and give Rivers the ability to focus down the field and avoid the costly turnovers that plagued his 2013.
12. Dolphins – DJ Fluker (OT | Alabama) While drafting DJ Fluker might be a little bit of a reach for the Dolphins at number 12, it will allow the Dolphins to fill their biggest need and replace Jake Long who signed with Rams during free agency. The Dolphins are in a great position to trade back and acquire more picks. They could also move up if they want to try and acquire Eric Fisher or Lane Johnson if they covet either of them more.
13. Buccaneers – Alec Ogletree (LB | Georgia) Alec Ogletree will continue the Buccaneers draft successes from 2012. Ogletree can be penciled in at outside linebacker, provide a talented edge rusher that can put pressure on the quarterback.
14. Panthers – Star Lotulilei (DT | Utah) Putting Lotulilei in front of 2012 draft stand out Luke Kuechly will not only add another outstanding name to the Panthers defense, but will also create a strength with the Panthers up the middle of their defense. Kuechly should be able to get to the ball carrier with less challenge and both Star and Luke should improve the back end of the Panthers defense by getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
15. Saints – Sheldon Richardson (DT | Missouri) After signing Victor Butler to solidify the Saints linebacking core, they will be able to add Sheldon Richardson in the middle of their defense. Richardson will help a Saints defense that struggled to stop the run.
16. Rams – Tavon Austin (WR | West Virgina) The Rams get a steal at this point in the draft. Tavon Austin is a very talented reciver who can make tremendous plays with the ball in his hand. Not only can the Rams line Austin up at receiver, but will be able to put him in the slot, backfield and let him return kicks and punts. After losing both Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson via free agency Austin will be a significant help to Sam Bradford and the Rams in 2013.
17. Steelers – Cordarrelle Patterson (WR | Tennessee) With the departure Mike Wallace, the Steelers will need to find a receiver to play on the opposite side of Antonio Brown. Patterson is full of upside and talent. He can be an elite receiver in the NFL and gives Ben Roethlisberger a big, physical target down the field.
18. Cowboys – Kenny Vaccaro After grabbing Morris Claiborne a year ago, Kenny Vaccaro would be a great piece to put next to him. The Cowboys are quietly building a very talented, young, athletic secondary to build their defense around going forward.
19. Giants – Tyler Eifert (TE | Notre Dame) The Giants had a very disappointing end to their 2012 season. They are rebuilding the offense around Eli Manning after letting Ahmad Bradshaw walk this off-season. Eifert is a very talented and athletic pass catcher that will add another dimension to the G-Men’s offense. He should help Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks avoid seeing all the attention on the outside.
20. Bears – Arthur Brown (LB | Kansas St) With the departure of Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs now 33, the Bears must look to improve their linebacking core while building it for the future. Arthur Brown will allow both to happen. He is a cerebral, talented, sure tackling linebacker
21. Bengals – Jarvis Jones (LB | Georgia) The Cincinnati Bengals are adding another talented linebacker who can pressure the quarterback from the edge. With Jones, Malaluga and Vontaze Burfict the Bengals put together a solid linebacking core.
22. Rams (via Redskins) – DJ Hayden (CB | Houston) DJ Hayden is shooting up draft boards. Hayden is a very talented corner that had medical concerns in college but seem to be behind him. The Rams putting Hayden opposite Cortland Finnegan who himself is getting long in the tooth will help to solidify the Rams secondary.
23. Vikings – Manti Teo (LB | Notre Dame) The Vikings are in desperate need of linebacking help, and regardless of what you think about Teo off the field, he has the ability to be a productive NFL linebacker. The Vikings have shown an affinity for former Notre Dame players including Harrison Smith and Kyle Rudolph.
24. Colts – Xavier Rhodes (CB | Florida State) Xavier Rhodes is a not a desperate need for the Colts, but is a great value in this spot. The Colts secondary will be upgraded by Rhodes, and will still have the ability to address needs in later rounds.
25. Vikings (via Seattle) – Menelik Watson (OT | Florida State) The Vikings are in continuing to improve their offensive line after adding Matt Kalil with the fourth overall pick. Watson will help create more rushing lanes for Adrian Peterson, not that he needs it, as well as protect whomever is taking the snaps in Minnesota next season.
26. Packers – Eddie Lacy (RB | Alabama) While Eddie Lacy is not sure fire first rounder, he makes a ton of sense for the Packers in this spot and fills a huge need. Lacy is a big, physical back that can provide instant impact on the Packers 2013 season. The packers could still sign Ahmad Bradshaw or Michael Turner and allow the Packers to look elsewhere. Talented running backs can be found later in the draft including Gio Bernard, Montee Ball, and Le’veon Bell. Menelik Watson and Kyle Long are also options to help the offensive line that had a difficult time protecting Aaron Rodgers.
27. Texans – DeAndre Hopkins (WR | Clemson) The Texans need to find a receiver to play opposite of Andre Johnson. While the Texans took DeVier Posey in the draft in 2012, Hopkins provides size and athletic ability. Posey will play in the slot and allowing Hopkins the outside, adding another target for Matt Schaub. Robert Woods or Justin Hunter could be the pick here if Houston favors them more.
28. Broncos – Bjoern Werner (DE | Florida State) With the issues keeping Elvis Dummerville due to the inability to get the contract faxed in on time, the Broncos find themselves with a need at defensive end. Werner is a talented defensive end that will provide the Broncos talented edge rusher that is not the most physically gifted but plays with great technique.
29. Patriots – Keenan Allen (WR | California) The Patriots lost both Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd in the off-season. Keenan Allen is a talented receiver that will provide Tom Brady with a weapon on the outside. Put him alongside Gronkowski, Hernandez, and Danny Amendola, who was signed in the off-season, Allen should have a chance to be successful without all the pressure falling on his shoulders.
30. Falcons – Damontre Moore (DE | Texas A&M) The Falcons need to improve their pass rush, especially from the defensive line. The departure of Ray Edwards and John Abraham makes defensive end even more of a need. The addition of Osi Umenyiora will make the Falcons defensive line much improved. Zach Ertz could be targeted here as suture replacement for Tony Gonzalez.
31. 49ers –Margus Hunt (DE | SMU) Margus Hunt makes a ton of sense for the 49ers at 31. Hunt can help Justin Smith not have to play every down, as well as a future replacement for Justin Smith. This could also be a spot for teams looking to get back into the first round to take a quarterback (Bills, Raiders, Browns).
32. Ravens – Matt Elam (S | Florida) With the departure of Ed Reed, the Ravens need to find his replacement. Elam is not a first rounder but as the last pick to fill a team need it makes a ton of sense. Jonathan Cyprien could be the safety for Baltimore here as he is moving up the This could easily be a position for a team looking to trade back in to the first round.