#1 Carolina Panthers – Nick Fairley, DT Auburn
Still like Fairley here, he is a player who can seriously take over a game. However, I can still see AJ Green being taken here following the combine. Green is a freak of an athlete and could be the next Andre Johnson type talent.
This pick here is a very tricky one. Most years the #1 pick is a pretty obvious one. As of right now, I don’t think there is any way Carolina cannot take Fairley. He has a potential to be the kind of DT that can single handily take over a football game.
I really think there is a solid chance that A.J Green goes here, but that is after he tears up the combine.
#2 Denver Broncos – Patrick Peterson, CB LSU
Should be pretty obvious. A lot of things can change but Champ Bailey is old, a free agent, and just not the lock down man he used to be. Peterson could be the next great CB in the NFL.
#3 Buffalo Bills – Robert Quinn, DE/OLB UNC
Very tricky pick here. Lots of talent left on the board with Green and Bowers, but they don’t fit an immediate need. Green is maybe the most talented player in the draft, but Quinn fills a major void in this Bills defense. The offense in Buffalo wasn’t terrible, so I think Quinn is the man for them here. Bowers doesn’t fit the 3-4 scheme very well, and Quinn is the perfect rush LB.
#4 Cincinnati Bengals – Da’Quan Bowers, DE Clemson
AJ Green probably fits a greater need than Bowers here, but this is one of those picks where Bowers is too good to not be taken here. Green is going to be a huge star in this league, but Bowers is a must-take here.
Pick Change – AJ Green
#5 Arizona Cardinals – Blaine Gabbert, QB Missouri
AJ Green will be very attractive here, because we have all seen how good Fitz is when he has another star lined up across from him (Boldin). However, you have to have someone to get the ball to these receivers, and neither Skelton nor Anderson are the answer. While Gabbert is probably a stretch here, he is definitely the greater need.
#6 Cleveland Browns – AJ Green, WR Georgia
The Browns strike gold on this pick. Having a guy like AJ Green fall this far is perfect for them and the perfect man to help young Colt McCoy develop. Between Green, Cribbs, McCoy, Watson, and Hillis, this offense is slowly becoming a force. Especially when you consider Joe Thomas is anchoring that line.
Pick Change – Da’Quan Bowers
#7 San Francisco 49ers – Jake Locker, QB Washington
Another big surprise pick. Locker is one of those guys who had a fantastic junior season and if he would have declared, would have likely been a top 5 pick. However, he did no such thing and now is a mid-1st prospect. I see the 49ers taking a shot here and drafting a guy with plenty of upside. New coaching regime often times means a new QB, and I think Locker could be a very surprising pick here. I plan on him having an excellent combine.
#8 Tennessee Titans – Aldon Smith, DE Missouri
Plenty of average QB’s in this draft will leave later opportunities. Aldon Smith is an absolute athletic freak and should definitely be taken here.
#9 Dallas Cowboys – Prince Amukamara, CB Nebraska
Terrence Newman is getting old and is starting to lose a step. This team has a lot of talent, and with a top-10 pick can be very dangerous next season. I think people should watch out for teams like San Francisco and Dallas in 2011-12.
#10 Washington Redskins – Von Miller, DE/OLB Texas A&M
Really difficult pick for me here. I see this one changing a lot over the next couple of months. Von Miller is a great player and would fill a great hole in the skins D, but they really need a QB. Mallet has some serious concerns, and Newton isn’t a top-10 talent. With the way this mock is going, I see the skins going with someone like Stanzi in the 2nd round.
#11 Houston Texans – Ryan Kerrigan, DE/OLB Purdue
Pass rushing OLB that can provide an immediate impact.
#12 Minnesota Vikings – Cam Newton, QB Auburn
Minnesota needs a QB in a bad way. Drafting Newton gives them 3 QB’s who are all really similar in style of play, but there really isn’t a better choice here. Newton is a ways from being a starter, but has leadership qualities and is just a winner, which is something that doesn’t come around too often. Tavaris Jackson can be sufficient until Newton is ready.
#13 Detroit Lions – Akeem Ayers, OLB UCLA
Very versatile player who will have an immediate impact. The LB corps in Detroit is not very good. This will be a great pick for them, and can help the D who looks to complement that explosive offense.
#14 St. Louis Rams – Julio Jones, WR Bama
No-brainer here. Before Blackmon and Floyd decided to return to school I had hopes for Jones in KC, but now he is the 2nd best WR in the draft and is an easy pick here. St. Louis needs to get Bradford some help because he is a very solid player. Jones is explosive and should be a solid target for Bradford.
#15 Miami Dolphins – JJ Watt, DE Wisconsin
JJ Watt is a very very dominant player and can turn into a complete stud. Cameron Wake and JJ Watt have the potential to be a complete force.
Pick Change – Marcell Dareus
#16 Jacksonville Jaguars – Titus Young, WR Boise State
I still like Jacksonville with a little bit of a surprise here. Titus Young is a higher projection than Baldwin right now and I think he goes here. Like I said before, Sims-Walker hasn’t done much since his surprising rookie campaign and Young can definitely help here.
Pick Change – Jonathan Baldwin
#17 New England Patriots – Marcell Dareus, DT Bama
Very talented player, but will fall a bit because there is plenty of D-Line depth in the draft. Patriots are very good at drafting and I think Dareus can turn into Wilfork’s replacement one day.
Pick Change – Cameron Jordan
#18 San Diego Chargers – Cameron Jordan, DT/DE Cal
Player with Top-1o talent who can definitely play his way into the top-1o with a solid day at the combine. Jordan will be a very solid player for the Chargers and fits a scheme with guys like Castillo growing older and decreasing overall performance.
Pick Change – JJ Watt
#19 New York Giants – Tyron Smith, OT USC
When is the last time the first OT to be taken in the draft was at 19? Well, he is the best OT in the draft, and fills a major hole in the Giants offense.
#20 Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Cameron Heyward, DE/DT Ohio State
Will be a great complement to Gerald McCoy.
I have jumped ship here and gone with Houston in the #21 spot. I think he is a great fit for the Chiefs and can provide an immediate impact. Mike Vrabel needs to become the LB’s Coach and let Houston step in. With another pass rushing OLB this defense can really become a force. Having a guy like Houston will only make players like Tyson Jackson better.
Pick Change – Mike Pouncey
#22 Indianapolis Colts – Nate Solder, OT Colorado
Very athletic OT. Peyton Manning struggles when he is being rushed (who doesn’t?) and will need help on the blind side. Solder will be a solid OT for the Colts.
#23 Philadelphia Eagles – Adrian Clayborn, DE Iowa
Clayborn has a few character issues, but that will be perfect for the Eagles. Clayborn is an incredible talent and could the biggest steal in the draft.
#24 New Orleans Saints – Stephen Paea, DT Oregon State
Very solid team all around, Paea can help this D-line a lot. He had 7 sacks on the year and should complement the rest of the D-line very nicely.
#25 Seattle Seahawks – Jonathan Balwdin, WR Pitt
Maybe a huge steal here. Baldwin has tons of upside and can be the steal of the draft if he pans out. This team has the makings of a solid offense. However, I am not sold on Obamanu yet, and Smith will fit in nicely with Williams and Tate.
Pick Change – Torrey Smith
#26 Baltimore Ravens – Brandon Harris, Miami
The Ravens have way to many ego’s on this team, so adding another player from ‘the U’ is just perfect. Harris addresses a major need at corner, and has the ‘swagger’ that comes from playing at the U, so he is perfect for this team.
#27 Atlanta Falcons – Gabe Carimi, OT/G Wisconsin
I don’t know how they do it, but Wisconsin has a knack for powerful RB’s and huge offensive linemen. Linemen that come from Wisconsin seem to have very successful NFL careers and Carimi is a versatile player that can help fill a whole wherever needed.
#28 New England Patriots – Derek Sherrod, OT Mississippi State
The Patriots really don’t have any major needs, and Sherrod is a solid player who will somehow find a way onto the field. Look for him to have a solid combine and maybe return a kick or two for 60+ next season.
#29 New York Jets – Justin Houston, DE/OLB Georgia
Houston is a great player here at #29. He is a great pass rusher and will make Revis and Cromartie’s jobs so much easier.
#30 Chicago Bears – Stefen Wisniewski, G/C Penn State
The Bears had serious issues with the Oline this year, and need to give Jay Cutler some more time.
#31 Green Bay Packers – Mark Ingram, RB Bama
A pick that I absolutely LOVE right here. Ingram is going to be an incredible NFL RB, MARK MY WORDS! He is as good as anyone there is at being patient and following his blocks. Grant is solid but has injury problems, Jackson isn’t very good and Starks could potentially be a nice story, but isn’t likely. Ingram can take this offense to another level, as if there is a level higher than where they are currently.
#32 Pittsburg Steelers – Mike Pouncey, G/C Florida
Plenty of injury and aging going on on the Steelers offensive line. Upgrades are needed, and Pouncey is a perfect fit here. He is versatile so he can be used in many different ways. He is the brother of current Steelers pro bowl rookie center Marcus Pouncey, and fits perfect for the blocking scheme.
Pick Change – Anthony Castonzo
#55 Kansas City Chiefs – Tandon Doss, WR Indiana
I still love Doss in this spot. Perfect fit for the Chiefs
Doss is a player that I think will light up the combine this year. He is very athletic, and has a perfect NFL body. Great route runner and some of the best hands in the draft. A player who has flown under the radar, and should get his chance to shine come combine time.
#86 Kansas City Chiefs – Daniel Thomas, RB K-State
I swapped the 3rd and 4th round picks here. Thomas will likely be rising.
#117 Kansas City Chiefs – Casey Matthews, ILB Oregon
Matthews is in one of those position groups where there is plenty of talent and plenty of players. He will fall a little due to those around him, but is still someone who I love in this spot.
Brother of the dominant Clay Matthews for the Green Bay Packers. Casey plays with the same fire and passion that his brother does, and has a knack for the ball.
#148 kansas City Chiefs – Ben Chappell, QB Indiana
A prospect player here who has also flown under the radar. Has a solid arm with solid accuracy. He has fantastic touch but needs better decision making. The guy has toughness and heart like none that I have ever seen. If anyone needs any proof of this toughness, just watch the Indiana Purdue Football game from this past season. This is a guy that can develop into a very solid backup.
For another great Mock Draft, check out WalterFootball.com