Greetings panther fans, draft day is here which has prompted me to unleash my mock draft on an unsuspecting world. I've been giving this some thought for a while and wanted to wait and hear ever little tit-bit of information prior to the mock. Its a well known fact that i'm the CSR equivalent of draft guru Mike Mayock so i'm sure you'll all give this mock the attention it deserves (after all I absolutely hit it out of the park last year by correctly predicting Quinton Couples meteoric rise to DROY!!!). Anyway, enough of my seemingly irrelevant tangent... enjoy.
1. Kansas City Chiefs : OT Eric Fisher- Central Michigan
Fisher or Joeckle, Joeckle or Fisher??? They are both outstanding talents, I dont really buy the whole Joeckle 'doesn't have as much upside' talk that's floating about but I still think KC takes Fisher. He's big and nasty and desperately needed (I fully believe Albert is on his way to the Dolphins, more on that later).
2. Jaxonville Jaguars: OT Luke Joeckel - Texas A&M
Pass Rush is a need sure, but the fact is Joeckel is a stellar player. If the Jags are going to be silly enough to continue this campaign of player Blaine Gabbert, they can at least protect him a little better. Gabbert has a bad case of the gitters, knowing a premier tackle is guarding his blind side might do a little to steel his nerves.
3. Detroit Lions: OT Lane Johnson - Oklahoma
yes three OT's in the top three picks. I thought about several teams who would love to make this trade.... the chargers and saints spring to mind but ultimately the lions have more trade fire power. Again people seem to be banging the pass rush drum with the lions.... with good reason in this case since, but tackle is a huge problem for the lions too. Coach Schwartz is on thin ice here, I think it's playoff's or bust for him. Stafford is the QB to get them there but his injury history coupled with the lions lack of talent at tackle force the lions to move up and trade with the raiders - Philly would take him and the raiders are willing trade partners in dire need of more picks.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: DE/OLB Dion Jordan - Oregon
Huzzah! Everyone loves a happy reunion. Kelly brings his old pal Jordan to the eagles after being out smarted by the cheeky lions.
5. Oakland Raiders: DT Star Lotulelei - Utah
Having traded back Oakland still get their man. Lots of mocks seem to be sending Flloyd to the raiders and whilst I agree with the pick I disagree with the man. Lotulelei is the best DT on the board and helps Oakland in its long road to rebuilding a successful franchise whilst breaking a few panthers fans hearts in the process.
6. New York Jets: WR Tavon Austin
The jets have a little ammo now and probably rightly assume the Bills will take Austin if he makes it to them. Therefore the jets send the 9th and another pick to the browns who will happily trade down to take a dynamic play maker and try and install a little confidence in their tired fanbase. It's funny to think the Jets made back to back AFC championship games so recently and their fanbase has turned so quickly... wait it's because they are a complete joke and media circus. Poor Jets fans.
7. Arizona Cardinals: DE Ziggy Ansah - BYU
hmmm.... this is interesting? The cardinals run a 3-4 so why would they draft Ansah. Well technically the Cards have the tools to run a hybrid Dand are bringing in a defensive coordinator who ran the 'wide 9' 4-3. Well if you want a player who can fit that role look no further than Ansah. In the senior bowl Ansah absolutley dominated from the wide 9 and after missing out on offensive tackle I think the cards raise some eyebrows.
8. Buffalo Bills: OG Chance Warmack - Alabama
Poor Bills miss out on a few potential targets so they choose to solidify their offensive line with a guard with huge upside. Yes, you should never draft for need but Warmack has been called the best player in the draft by some experts. Drafting for need combined with BPA is a dream scenario that the bills cash in on.
9. Cleveland Browns QB Geno Smith - West Virginia
Yuck. Way to re-enforce failure Chud. I hate this pick, but I cant see Chud sticking with Weeden and again despite all the recent talk I still think Smith is the first QB off the board. There's a lot of options here that would be better but this is the browns we are talking about. Having said that, getting Smith tutored by Norv Turner should give the browns fanbase SOME hope. At least they got another pick from the trade.
10. Tennessee Titans - CB Dee Milliner - Alabama
Nice. Milliner falls to the titans who are more than happy to draft this meaty cornerback. I really hope this is the pick if things fall this way. Should the Titans take a DT, the panthers could be stuck with someone who they don't love.
11. San Diego Chargers- OT DJ Fluker - Alabama
awwwww..... Sorry Ivan. The chargers are so desperate that they make the biggest reach so far. Fluker is not a top 15 talent, and whilst I do think he'll stick at RT at the NFL his short comings have been put under the microscope by Crawford could cost the chargers dearly. Sadly for them they have little choice, their starting tackles are..... WHO? Damn.
12. Miami Dolphins - CB Xavier Rhodes - Florida state
Again this is a reach for me but the Dolphins miss out on their true draft targets in Tavon Austin and Milliner gets nabbed at 10. The phins are need o win to keep their GM in a job, I dont like what Ireland has done so far this off season and this pick continues that trend.
13. New York Jets - OLB Jarvis Jones- Georgia
The Jets 'love' Kiki Mingo I hear. Well that's all well and good but when a player of Jones talent is available you have to pull the trigger. It's a good first round for the Jets but I don't think its enough to save fat rex. Shame.
14. Carolina Panthers - DT Sharrif Floyd- Florida
YES. I would love one of the big two DT's to fall to us. I honestly think it can happy too. If a DT makes it past philly, there'd a real chance for this barring a trade. Floyd gives us some serious stability long term for defensive interior. Makes me a lot more confident going forward.
15. New Orleans Saints - OLB Barkevious Mingo - LSU
Transition blah blah blah. Its makes too much sense for the saints at this point. It's about time that stewie got a new toy and the light weight Mingo fits the bill.
16. Dallas Cowboys - FS Kenny Vaccaro - Texas
The cowgirls make a trade.... shock horror. Jerry Jones is a bit of an idiot I think we can all agree. He likes to trade and look busy and again he makes a move on draft day. The logic behind this is to leapfrog the steelers and take the number one safety on most peoples board. The local boy might be a popular choice with the fans and certainly fills a need but I'm not convinced that Vaccaro wont give up big plays at the next level.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers - CB DJ Hayden - Houston
The steelers have to quickly adjust to the trade above them. They must solidify their secondary which will be a big problem with the departure of Keenan Lewis and the aging players at safety. I was tempted to go O-line but I think they give the likes of Mike Adams more time to develop (he finished strong last year) and look forward to having last years guard of the decade David DeCastro back. Hayden has shot onto the scene recently and the steelers make him their pick.
18. St. Louis Rams - WR Cordarrelle Patterson- Tennessee
The Rams are another team who would love to have been in the mix for Tavon Austin but in this scenario they miss out, therefore they take advantage of a trade. With a blunt stubbornness that could prove costly they stick to their WR guns and take who thy think is the next most explosive player at the position.
19. New York Giants- ILB Alec Ogletree - Georgia
Flags were raised with Olgetree's off the field antics, but for me he is BPA here and a very solid pick up for the Giants. He can play inside or outside and will bring a lot to the table for big blue.
20. Chicago Bears - OT Justin Pugh - Syracuse
The bears quietly worked out Pugh this off season and I think they pull the trigger. Yes the bears always draft O-line but there's a reason for that.... they draft badly. Gaba Carimi looks like a bust and they have to protect cutler. As much of a whiney ass bitch that he is the bears fall apart without him. Pugh makes sense, even if he is taken higher than expected.
21. Cincinnati Bengals - RB Eddie Lacy- Alabama
This pick might raise some more eyebrows but I dont really care. BJGE did ok for them sure but the bengals see a chance to get an RB who can carry the load and pound defences. No he's not as good as Trent Richardson but Lacy wont make it past Green Bay and the Bengals would rather have him than face him.
22. Atlanta Falcons - TE Tyler Eifert - Notre Dame
The Falons get the trade up they are looking for and pull the trigger on falling TE Eifert. Lots of people have him going higher but with Tampa Bay trading out of the first I see this slip happening. St. Louis doesn't like its options here so stockpiles more picks. Yes I know Gonzales is back but really how long can he last?? Eifert a smart move for the Falcons;
23. Minnesota Vikings - WR Keenan Allen - California
Following a poor pro day, lots of people seem down on Allen's ability to make it in the NFL. Not me, I think he's the most complete WR in the draft this year and think the Viks get an absolute steal with this pick. They need weapons if they going to give Ponder a chance to win. They can't keep ruuning AP into the ground so this is a smart move in my book.
24. Indianapolis Colts - DT Jesse Williams - Alabama
sigh.... Yes James man crush makes a late first round appearance. Im re-warming to the idea of Williams being a first round pick and in this instance its the colts that make the move. Williams is a strong man and Yolo aside he adds some nastiness to the colts D-line (even if it is only for two downs).
25. Minnesota Vikings - Arthur Brown - Kansas State
I really like this first round for the viks. They pass on the Te'o circus and select the beyond solid Brown to boss their defence. He's my second favourite linebacker behind Olgetree and its a very shrewd move in my book. God this is taking ages I should have just wrote who was getting picked by each team, nobody is going to read this far anyway!!!
26. Buffalo Bills - QB Ryan Nassib - syracuse
The bills are back hurray. Everyone loves a team trading back into the first round to get a quarterback! Cleveland will tell you how successful this idea can be.... erm.... File this under 'it makes too much sense'. Kolb is terrible and the bills will fear another team trading back in a taking their guy. Green bay doesn't care, they want a running back and plenty of good ones will be there in the second and this way they add future picks.
27. Houston Texans - DE Bjoern Werner - Florida State.
But but... JJ. Watt??! You can never have enough good pass rushers and Werner is absolutely explosive. I really rate him and he doesn't deserve to fall this far. The texans dont mind one bit taking the German in a heartbeat.
28. Denver Broncos - CB Desmond Trufant - Washington
I think the Bronco's need a DE. Don't draft for need if you don't want to get into trouble. Trufant a great shout here and can learn from one of the very best before taking over from him on a full time basis. It also gives the broncos a chance to move Bailey to Safety.
29. Jaxonville Jaguars - QB EJ Manuel - Florida State
I ummmed and arrred here about this trade. Do the jags really need to trade up to get a new QB? If that man in Manuel I think the answer is yes. Barkley makes sense for the jags too but I think new Gm Caldwell will be looking to energise his team and fanbase. If that's the goal then the pick has to be Manuel, he's got real talent and would certain shake up the zombie fest that is Gabbert vs Henne.... ouch, makes me want to cry and I feel nothing for the jags.
30. St. Louis Rams - FS Matt Elam - Florida
The hard hitting safety is a very solid pick at this point and in my mind will be better than Vaccaro who they could have picked up early. Is it likely that the rams trade twice in the first again??? maybe not but I think these picks justify the philosophy.
31. San Francisco 49ers - TE Zach Ertz- Stanford
Harbaugh brings Ertz back to the fold. The Stanford TE would love to be reunited with his old college coach and provides another weapon for Colin.
32. Baltimore Ravens - ILB Manti Te'o - Notre Dame
Ahhh... you thought i'd let him slip out of the first? The ravens hope they get the Te'o famed for his leadership and skill not the Te'o who has made-up girlfriends and is a complete laughing stock who chokes in big games. Time will tell what Te'o will do in the NFL but the Ravens would be a great spot for him to land.
So there it is CSR. God that took ages. Let me know what you think and we'll see if three OT going in the top three is crazy talk or closer to the truth than we think. Either way enjoy draft night y'all. Would you be happy with Floyd??