Today, I appeared on “Speaking On Sports” to take part in a mock draft with some really cool guys! Myself, along with three others members of the show, were given 8 teams that we were to be the general managers of and we had to decide what the team would do. These types of mock drafts are usually always crazy, but I think our mock draft is one that could get a lot of picks right. We did have the power to pull of trades, and of course we took advantage of that. I mean, what is an NFL draft without trades?
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
With the impending trade of Brandon Albert, the Chiefs have a big need at offensive line. Alex Smith was brought in to be the franchise quarterback, and it is key that he is protected if the Chiefs want to succeed. Joeckel is considered the best prospect of the draft, and I view him as a can’t miss.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Ezekiel Ansah, DE/OLB, BYU
New head coach Gus Bradley has made it known that he wants defensive help, and Ansah can provide a lot of help at pick No. 2. Ansah will help a defensive that finished dead last in the league with only 20 sacks.
3. Oakland Raiders: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
With Richard Seymour’s contract being voided, and Tommy Kelly signing with the New England Patriots, interior lineman is a huge need for the Raiders. Floyd, in my opinion, is the best interior lineman in the draft, so the Raiders would be foolish not to draft him.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia University
The first quarterback of the draft comes off the board at No. 4, and the Eagles get the highest ranked one on my board. Michael Vick is in the last year of his deal, and injuries have been a concern for him. Smith could sit for a season behind Vick and learn, and be ready to take over Chip Kelly’s offense come 2014.
5. Detroit Lions: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Fisher might not make it to No. 5, but if he does then this pick is a no brainer. The Lions have a huge need at offensive line, and protecting Matthew Stafford is their number one priority. This offense can only go as far as Stafford can take them, and the first step is keeping him upright.
6. Cleveland Browns: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Milliner is the highest ranked defensive back on my board, and the Browns get a great player at No. 6. Sheldon Brown had a great season for the Browns last season, but he won’t be back with the Browns this year. The Browns have no one to play opposite of Joe Haden, so drafting Milliner would help improve their secondary.
7. Baltimore Ravens: Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon. TRADE
The first trade of our mock draft takes place here at No. 7. The Arizona Cardinals hold the 7th pick in this year’s draft, but the Ravens lost a lot of key players on their defense, and they trade up to get arguably one of the best defensive prospects in the draft. The Ravens already have Courtney Upshaw, and Terrell Suggs, but adding Jordan would be extremely beneficial for this team in the years to come.
8. Miami Dolphins: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma. TRADE
Another trade! Miami and Buffalo pull the switch and now Miami is on the clock. With Jake Long leaving in free agency, offensive line is a big need for the Dolphins. With rumors that San Diego will take Johnson at 11, Miami swoops in to get their guy.
9. New York Jets: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
This the first of two picks the Jets have in the first round, and they draft the best available player in Lotulelei. The Jets are expected to be a weak team this upcoming season, but Rex Ryan is a defensive genius, so drafting Lotulelei makes the most sense for the Jets.
10. Tennessee Titans: Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
The Titans have Chris Johnson and Jake Locker already in place, so solidifying their offensive line is a must. Warmack is considered one of the top interior offensive linemen in the draft, and the Titans need to improve their offensive line if they want Chris Johnson to return to his 2009 form.
11. San Diego Chargers: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia University
San Diego really loves Lane Johnson, but he was taken by Miami at No. 8. The Chargers decide to pick up Austin here in hopes he can become the next version of Darren Sproales. The Chargers were at their best offensively when they showcased Sproales, so they hope Austin can bring some of that flash into San Diego.
12. Buffalo Bills: Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse. TRADE
The Bills gained the 12th overall selection by giving Miami the 8th pick. Bills head coach Doug Marrone coached Nassib at Syracuse, so the connections are already there. The Bills really like Nassib, and they know he will be there at pick 12. They gain extra picks to fill other holes, and still get their guy.
13. New York Jets: Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
The Jets use their second pick of the first round here on Mingo. The Jets have really fallen in love with him, and even though his production in 2012 wasn’t all that great, he has tremendous potential. The Jets need to pressure the quarterback more this year, and Mingo will definitely help.
14. Carolina Panthers: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
The Panthers have a huge hole on their defensive line, and Richardson would be a great plug to fill it. Steve Smith has gone as far as telling the media that he wants Richardson to be a Panther, and the Panthers would get a great talent by selecting him at No. 14.
15. New Orleans Saints: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
It is no secret that the Saints defense was horrendous last year, and their secondary in particular was awful. Vaccaro would be a great addition to their secondary, and that is the Saints top priority.
16. St. Louis Rams: Jarvis Jones, DE/OLB, Georgia
Some people had Jarvis Jones as high as No. 3 back in January, but work ethic, poor 40 time, and poor training ability cause him to fall to the Rams at No. 16. Jones is the best player available on my board, and would fill a major need for the Rams at strongside linebacker.
17. Minnesota Vikings: Bjoren Werner, DE, Florida State. TRADE
The Vikings trade up with the Steelers to get the 17th overall selection, and pick up Werner. Werner is projected as a late first or early second round pick, but the Vikings really like Werner and won’t risk losing him. Werner is a good talent that would fit well with the Vikings.
18. Chicago Bears: Jonathan Cooper, G/C, North Carolina. TRADE
The Bears move up two spots from number 20 to pick Cooper. It is no surprise the Bears have had a poor offensive line, so picking up Cooper will be an immediate help. Jay Cutler has been sacked more times than anyone can count, so keeping him upright is a major priority for the Bears.
19. New York Giants: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
Rhodes has been going as high as No. 12 in some mock drafts, but he would provide much more value at No. 19 to the Giants. The Giants have a need at corner seeing as how poorly Corey Webster played their last year. They did resign Aaron Ross, but after two years with Jacksonville, who knows what he can contribute.
20. Dallas Cowboys: Eric Reid, S, LSU. TRADE
The Cowboys has the 18thpick, but gave it to the Bears in exchange for picks later on in the draft. The Cowboys would prefer Kenny Vaccaro, but he was picked by New Orleans at No. 15, so Dallas settles with Reid, who they think is a very capable player.
21. Houston Texans: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson. TRADE
The Texans move up six spots to grab the best available receiver on my board. The Texans need to find a receiver who can play across from Andre Johnson, who is now in his 30’s, and Hopkins is that guy. Houston’s offense struggled against the better teams in the league last year, so improving their offense is a must.
22. St. Louis Rams: Keenan Allen, WR, Cal
The Rams would love to take DeAndre Hopkins here, but he gets selected just one pick before. After losing Danny Amendola to the Patriots, wide receiver is now a priority for the Rams. Allen is a bit of a reach at 22, but the Rams can’t take any chances in losing out on the better receivers left.
23. Pittsburgh Steelers: D.J Hayden, CB, Houston. TRADE
The Steelers gave up the 17thpick to the Vikings, and still get their man. Some scouts have recently moved Hayden ahead of Milliner as the best cornerback prospect in the draft. The Steelers are in need of secondary help, so picking up Hayden, and gaining extra picks is a major success.
24. Indianapolis Colts: Robert Woods, WR, USC
The wide receiver position has gone on a little bit of a run, as three of the last four picks have been receivers. Andrew Luck had a good rookie campaign, but the odds of Reggie Wayne duplicating his production from last year are not likely. Woods would be a great fit in Indy, and could potentially be a rookie of the year candidate.
25. Carolina Panthers: Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
The Panthers trade back into the first round to pick up Williams. At 6-3, 313 pounds, Williams is a versatile player who can even play defensive end if needed. After going defensive tackle with pick No. 14, they do it again here at 25.
26. Green Bay Packers: Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State
At 6-5, 310 pounds, Watson is one of the most physically gifted offensive linemen in the draft. Aaron Rodgers is arguably the best quarterback in the NFL, but he has taken some major hits over the last few seasons. If Rodgers went down, the Packers go from contenders to pretenders, so Watson is a big selection.
27. Cincinnati Bengals: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame. TRADE
The Bengals were initially slated to pick at No. 21, but Houston moved up to pick DeAndre Hopkins. Cincinnati gains more picks later on, and draft the best tight end prospect in Eifert. Andy Dalton already has A.J Green to throw the ball to, but adding Eifert to that offense would make them extremely difficult to stop.
28.Denver Broncos: Alec Ogeltree, ILB, Georgia
After losing Elvis Dumervil in which is now being pegged “Faxgate”, pass rushers are now a need for the Broncos. Ogeltree is extremely gifted, and would be a great addition. Ogeltree was arrested for a DUI, and has had other off the field problems which causes him to fall in our mock draft.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars, EJ Manuel, QB, Florida State. TRADE
It wouldn’t be the NFL draft if Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots didn’t trade out of the first round. I personally made the choice in the mock draft, and gained four additional picks for the team which brings them to nine overall. The Jaguars had the second overall pick, in which they draft Ezekiel Ansah. However, the quarterback postion has been a big problem for the Jags, and they trade back into the first round to get a guy they hope can be their face of the franchise.
30. Atlanta Falcons: Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
The Falcons have very few flaws on their team, but their weakest position is interior line. Williams would be a big addition to their defense, and makes them that much more of a threat of getting to the Super Bowl.
31. San Francisco 49ers: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
The 49ers were a missed pass interference call away from winning the Super Bowl last year, and Jim Harbaugh has not forgotten it. The Niners had a poor secondary last year, and lost Dashon Goldson to Tampa Bay in free agency. With secondary being their glaring need, Trufant goes off the board here to San Francisco.
32. San Diego Chargers: D.J Fluker, OT, Alabama. TRADE
The 32nd pick in this year’s draft proves to be the trickiest one to follow. Intially, the Ravens held the selection, but dealt it away to the Cardinals to move up to No. 7. San Diego then trades with Arizona to move into pick No. 32 so they can select Fluker. I have Fluker as a top 10 talent, but the way this mock draft unfolded, Fluker kept falling. San Diego wanted Lane Johnson, but ended up with Tavon Austin at pick 11. Fluker brings much needed stability to the offensive line, and proves to be a great pick for the Chargers.
Our mock draft is definitely one that has a lot of surprises. Six trades, four receiver’s, no running backs, and a pick that three separate teams held. Here’s to another jam packed, fun filled, and exciting NFL draft!
* If you would like to listen to us making the picks, you can tune it at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bo88/2013/04/24/speaking-on-sports