As promised, version 1.0 of this mock was rendered moot by free agency—starting with the Chiefs signing virtually every cornerback on the market in response to our giving them Dee Milliner.
Version 2.0 takes free agency into account, but there’s such little consensus in this draft don’t be surprised if version 3.0 is another complete rewrite.
1. Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
KC franchised Branden Albert, then started shopping him. Unless someone develops a burning need for someone in this draft class, look for the Chiefs to pick between Joeckel and Eric Fisher.
2. Jaguars: Dion Jordan, OLB/DE, Oregon
Still giving the Jaguars a pass-rusher, as I don’t see a quarterback the new administration would be willing to hitch its wagon to. Jarvis Jones’ health concerns ding him a bit, and Jordon’s rare athleticism make him the new hot commodity.
3. Raiders: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
If Oakland winds up consummating the Matt Flynn trade they could auction this pick off to whomever wants Matt Barkley or Geno Smith. Or they could shore up their defensive line.
4. Eagles: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Chip Kelly’s familiarity with Dion Jordan and professed preference for tall defensive players could bring about a trade up. More likely they stay put, upgrade their offensive line, and hope E.J. Manuel is still on the board for them in Round 2.
5. Lions: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Three primary needs for the Lions, the most pressing being a bodyguard for Matthew Stafford. But if Joeckel and Fisher are both gone, they’ll settle for either a pass-rusher or a pass defender like Milliner.
6. Browns: Ziggy Ansah, DE, BYU
The intriguing wild card here might be adding Tavon Austin to Josh Gordon and giving Norv Turner and Rob Chudzinski some real firepower to play with. Nothing wrong with an athletic edge rusher, either.
7. Cardinals: Matt Barkley, QB, USC
Drew Stanton is a place-holder, albeit one with some familiarity in Bruce Arians’ scheme. If the top two offensive tackles are gone, Arians talks himself into Barkley as his next project.
8. Bills: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
The Kevin Kolb signing buys Buffalo some time—like a day, the difference between settling for Geno Smith here and reuniting Doug Marrone with Ryan Nassib in Round 2. Someone to harass Tom Brady always comes in handy.
9. Jets: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU
Mingo to the Jets makes far too much sense for it to actually happen.
10. Titans: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
Chance Warmack is an option here; in fact, he was Tennessee’s pick in Mock 1.0. For the moment we switched it up to the athletic Cooper as he may be a better zone-blocking fit. So is Lane Johnson, for that matter, but Tennessee is pretty set at tackle.
11. Chargers: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
The Bolts are crossing their fingers Johnson falls to them; don’t be surprised if there are teams looking to leapfrog San Diego for a shot at him.
12. Dolphins: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
In case freshly signed Brent Grimes doesn’t solve all of Miami’s secondary problems, they add Rhodes to the mix. Miami wouldn’t mind seeing Johnson slide to them, or maybe they move up ahead of San Diego to grab him.
13. Buccaneers: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
The Bucs would love for Rhodes or Dee Milliner to fall to them, but keeping Lotulelei away from the two division rivals who pick immediately after them is hardly a consolation prize.
14. Panthers: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
There are still defensive linemen on the board who could help the Panthers, but a shot at adding another weapon to Cam Newton’s arsenal is too good to pass up.
15. Saints: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
The Saints would prefer an edge rusher, but the better value is plugging Richardson into the middle of their new-look defense.
16. Rams: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
Safety is a big need for the Rams; why wait for their later first-round pick to fill it when the top safety in the class is theirs for the taking?
17. Steelers: Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
Mock 1.0 had the Steelers taking a shot on edge rusher Damontre Moore; this time they play it safer with Jones, a stout end with pass-rushing skills as well.
18. Cowboys: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
While the Cowboys would love to dig into a deep class of defensive linemen as they give their defense a makeover, they can’t pass on the chance (pun intended) to protect their investment in Tony Romo.
19. Giants: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
The Giants love drafting front seven pass rushers, but at this point in the draft the better value might be some help in the secondary.
20. Bears: Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia
Chicago signed plenty of linebackers in free agency, but Ogletree has the athleticism to truly fill the void left by Brian Urlacher’s departure.
21. Bengals: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Some scouts believe Werner is more effort rusher than true edge rusher, but he’s effective either way; he’s also low risk and gives the Bengals something their defense needs.
22. Rams (via Redskins): Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
The departure of Danny Amendola leaves a void, and while the Rams invested heavily in wideouts in last year’s draft the opportunity to give Sam Bradford a weapon like Austin is too good to pass up.
23. Vikings: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
Keenan Allen is the popular pick here, but he hasn’t checked out health-wise just yet. Hopkins gives the Vikings a big target, one ready to step in opposite Greg Jennings and kick-start the Minnesota passing game.
24. Colts: Damontre Moore, OLB, Texas A&M
Indy needs edge rushers, even more than it needs protection for Andrew Luck. Well, maybe not, but that’s where the value is at this point in the draft.
25. Vikings (via Seahawks): Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame
Arthur Brown might be a better fit in Minnesota’s Tampa-2, but the Vikings have a serious infatuation with Golden Domers and Te’o definitely fills a need.
26. Packers: Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina
Smart money says the Packers raffle this pick off to one of the QB-needy teams looking to get back into the bottom of the first round to grab Geno Smith or another signal-caller. The alternative is addressing the one glaring hole in the Green Bay offense.
27. Texans: Keenan Allen, WR, California
Allen’s health concerns could precipitate a fall down the draft board, but the chance to pair him with Andre Johnson is too tempting to pass up.
28. Broncos: Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
Elvis has left the building, but Denver should be able to address that void via free agency. Beefing up their interior, on the other hand, is a job best suited for draft day.
29. Patriots: Matt Elam, S, Florida
For a change the Patriots aren’t loaded with picks from which to trade up; fortunately for them there should be secondary help still on the board late in Round 1.
30. Falcons: Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State
With Gonzo back for one more season there’s less urgency to grab his replacement. On the other hand, there’s plenty of urgency to upgrade the Atlanta secondary.
31. 49ers: Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State
Plenty of wide receiver help still on the board, but San Francisco can’t pass up adding the athletic Brown to their already-stacked defense.
32. Ravens: Kevin Minter, MLB, LSU
Who do the Super Bowl champs replace first—Anquan Boldin? Ed Reed? How about trying to fill the vacated shoes of Ray Lewis?