« ROUND ONE
1 (33). New England Patriots (via CAR): Martez Wilson, LB, Illinois
With six picks in the first three rounds and not nearly that much need for young talent on their roster, don’t be surprised if New England uses this pick as a bargaining chip. If they hold it they could upgrade at running back with Mikel LeShoure—or nab his Illinois teammate.
2 (34). Buffalo Bills: Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State
Sherrod could play either tackle for the Bills or even kick inside if necessary, and Buffalo needs all the help it can get to protect its new franchise quarterback.
3 (35). Cincinnati Bengals: Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State
Jay Gruden wants to run the West Coast offense in Cincinnati, and if Carson Palmer isn’t around the Bengals will need someone to handle that job. Of the quarterbacks left on the board, Ponder is the most accurate—a prerequisite for the WCO.
4 (36). Denver Broncos: Rahim Moore, S, UCLA
Moore is the best of a thin class at his position, but it’s an area of need for Denver with both of their safeties nearing their “best if used by” date.
5 (37). Cleveland Browns: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
Clayborn may slip out of the first round because of his shoulder condition and the fact that it may limit him to playing only on the right side. But with Cleveland switching schemes to the 4-3 they have a need for playmaking defensive ends and would be thrilled if he’s still on the board.
6 (38). Arizona Cardinals: Jake Locker, QB, Washington
It would be asking too much of Locker to come in and be the Cardinals’ immediate savior, but he gives Ken Whisenhunt a Ben Roethlisberger-type body at quarterback. And having Larry Fitzgerald to throw to should help Locker’s accuracy.
7 (39). Tennessee Titans: Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas
Rusty Smith isn’t the answer, and Tennessee’s line is good enough that Mallett’s lack of mobility won’t be as big of an issue.
8 (40). Dallas Cowboys: Orlando Franklin, OT, Miami
The Cowboys like ‘em big and nasty up front, and Franklin fits the bill—with the added bonus of the versatility to play either right or left tackle.
9 (41). Washington Redskins: Colin Kaepernick, QB, Nevada
Kaepernick has the arm, athleticism, and mobility Mike Shanahan desires, plus coming from the “Pistol” offense he can start essentially from scratch as Shanahan molds him into an NFL quarterback.
10 (42). Houston Texans: Aaron Williams, CB, Texas
The Texans need all kinds of help in the secondary, and if Williams can’t crack the lineup at corner he could potentially be the Texans’ answer at safety.
11 (43). Minnesota Vikings: Andy Dalton, QB, TCU
The Vikings could go after wide receiver help here, especially with Sidney Rice bound and determined to test free agency. But there’s a gaping hole at quarterback and unless Leslie Frazier is willing to sift through the Day Three dredges to find a competitor for Joe Webb’s spot he’ll need to reach for Dalton here.
12 (44). Detroit Lions: Bruce Carter, LB, North Carolina
The Lions’ defense needs help on the back end, and with no good cornerback values Jim Schwartz will address the linebacker position. Athletically, Carter is a great value here—assuming he clears medically after tearing his ACL last season.
13 (45). San Francisco 49ers: Dontay Moch, OLB, Nevada
Regardless of what direction the Niners go here they’ll likely be reaching. Kenrick Ellis could help at nose tackle, but Moch’s blistering speed provides San Francisco with a presence off the edge—something their defense severely lacked last season.
14 (46). Denver Broncos (via MIA): Quan Sturdivant, MLB, North Carolina
With D.J. Williams kicking back outside in Denver’s new 4-3, there’s a need for a middle linebacker who can contribute right away. Sturdivant is a little bigger and is a slightly better fit for the Broncos than Greg Jones.
15 (47). St. Louis Rams: Titus Young, WR, Boise State
Mark Clayton is likely to re-sign, but after injuries gutted the receiver position in St. Louis last year the Rams need to make sure they have quality depth. Young has the speed to stretch the field, but the Rams could opt to go a different direction at the same position and take a bigger target such as Leonard Hankerson or Jonathan Baldwin.
16 (48). Oakland Raiders: Stefen Wisniewski, C/OG, Penn State
The only thing Al Davis loves more than speed is blood, and after employing Wisniewski’s uncle, Steve, for 13 seasons—eight of them ending in the Pro Bowl—he’ll be more than happy to upgrade his offensive line with another apple from the Wisniewski tree.
17 (49). Jacksonville Jaguars: Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami
The Jags have a slot guy in Mike Thomas and a speed guy in Jason Hill; what they need is a possession guy, and Hankerson or Tandon Doss could fill that role.
18 (50). San Diego Chargers: Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh
The Chargers cobbled together a productive receiving corps despite Vincent Jackson’s holdout and a plethora of injuries. Jackson is franchised but that may not mean much past this year, and both Malcom Floyd and Legedu Naanee can be free agents. Time to plan for life without most, if not all, of those targets.
19 (51). Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Greg Jones, LB, Michigan State
Jones has the speed to be an effective linebacker in the Tampa-2, and he could step right into the middle if Barrett Ruud leaves via free agency.
20 (52). New York Giants: Mikel LeShoure, RB, Illinois
Which way the Giants go here depends on whether or not they plan to bring back Brandon Jacobs or Ahmad Bradshaw—or neither. LeShoure has the size to replace Jacobs’ inside presence, and he could handle the full workload of Bradshaw can’t cure his fumblitis.
21 (53). Indianapolis Colts: Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State
The Colts could use another offensive lineman, even after taking one in the previous round, or they could address their injury-depleted receiving corps and add a return man as a bonus with Tandon Doss. But the interior of their defensive line always seems to be a concern, and with Paea still on the board Bill Poulian can’t resist the value.
22 (54). Philadelphia Eagles: Marcus Cannon, OT/OG, TCU
Andy Reid likes his linemen big, and at 6-5, 363 pounds Cannon is certainly that. Cannon could start at guard and eventually replace Winston Justice at right tackle.
23 (55). Kansas City Chiefs: Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland
The Chiefs strike gold as they find a field-stretching wideout to take some of the pressure off Dwayne Bowe.
24 (56). New Orleans Saints: Rodney Hudson, OG/OC, Florida State
The Saints could see their line dismantled by free agency; Hudson has the versatility to step in at center for Jonathan Goodwin or guard for Carl Hicks.
25 (57). Seattle Seahawks: Clint Boling, OG/OT, Georgia
Yes, another offensive lineman; after cobbling together multiple combinations the past few seasons, Seattle adds a couple more building blocks to its foundation. The alternative would be to reach for a quarterback or a corner.
26 (58). Baltimore Ravens: Jerrel Jernigan, WR, Troy
The Ravens get their field-stretcher, opting for Jernigan’s blazing speed over Randall Cobb’s merely fast wheels.
27 (59). Atlanta Falcons: Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame
With Tony Gonzalez talking retirement, Atlanta needs to move now to give Matt Ryan options. Rudolph is versatile enough to help in the running game yet still be a factor as a receiver.
28 (60). New England Patriots: Ryan Williams, RB, Virginia Tech
The Patriots are all about value, and they have options at the perceived positions of need (wideout, offensive tackle, and running back) they have yet to address in this mock, but Williams offers the most upside as a complement to and eventual replacement for BenJarvus Green-Ellis.
29 (61). San Diego Chargers (via NYJ): Brooks Reed, OLB, Arizona
With an extra second-round pick look for the Chargers to address needs at linebacker. Reed may be a bit of a reach in the second round, but he has the pass-rushing skills San Diego is looking for.
30 (62). Chicago Bears: Marvin Austin, DT, North Carolina
Austin is a physical talent who slides this far due to off-the-field concerns, so it’s only fitting he be tabbed to replace Tommie Harris.
31 (63). Pittsburgh Steelers: Ben Ijalana, OT/OG, Villanova
Ijalana has NFL size (6-4, 320) and the versatility to play either tackle or guard; the Steelers will find a place for him early on.
32 (64). Green Bay Packers: Kendall Hunter, RB, Oklahoma State
Hunter will be the speedy complement to James Starks, helping Green Bay balance their offense and take at least some of the pressure off of Aaron Rodgers.
« ROUND ONE