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Old 12-10-2012, 06:32 AM    (permalink
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1. Oakland Raiders
Oakland lands the top spot by being absolutely awful, losing their remaining games, and winning the strength of schedule tie breaker with the Jaguars...who were also pretty awful.

Conventional wisdom suggests that a rebuilding franchise with no "franchise QB" in place has to roll the dice on a QB here, regardless of the quality of the available QB crop. To me, this is ridiculous.

Oakland is missing their 2nd round pick this year due to the ill advised trade for Carson Palmer. GM Reggie McKenzie has stated that he loves draft picks, and I believe he will try to recoup that 2nd rounder by trading out of this spot if at all possible. As such, we start the draft off with a trade.

The Arizona Cardinals send the #8 overall pick, their 2nd round pick, and (insert other considerations not relevant to this mock here) to Oakland for the #1 overall pick.

1. Arizona Cardinals - Geno Smith/QB/WVU
The Cardinals' offense is an absolute disaster. They have a legitimate playoff caliber defense and one of the best pure pass catchers in the sport, but they are hindered by the worst QB situation in recent memory.

Why would they make this trade? They know that Jacksonville, Kansas City, and Philadelphia are all likely to be in the market for a QB, and there was just no way they could sit idly by and take whatever scraps were left. In Geno Smith, they get a rather raw prospect with significant upside. What Smith gets is a WR who can track his deep balls and give him an NFL sized version of what Stedman Bailey gave him at West Virginia.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars - Bjoern Werner/DE/FSU
Trendy pick, but makes a lot of sense. They desperately need a pass rush and someone who can excite the home crowd. A local product with Werner's combination of production and upside could do both.

3. Kansas City Chiefs - Tyler Wilson/QB/Arkansas
It was a tossup between Wilson and Barkley here. Both entered the season with high expectations, and both now find themselves needing to address why they didn't meet those expectations. With a good offseason and interview, one of these two should end up as a pretty high draft pick. For now, we'll say it was Wilson.

4. Philadelphia Eagles - Matt Barkley/QB/USC
I feel dirty, both for having Barkley go this high and for giving him to a team I don't hate. I tried to fit in a trade here, but I think Philly is stuck. Sucks to be them.

5. Carolina Panthers - Star Lotulelie/DT/Utah
Arguably the best player in the draft, and he addresses a primary need. Easy choice.

6. Detroit Lions - Damontre Moore/DE/Texas A&M
Where have you gone, Cliff Avril? If the coaching staff can ever get the best out of their mercurial DTs, adding Moore here would give them one of the top D-lines in the league.

7. Tennessee Titans - Sheldon Richardson/DT/Mizzou
Really good player on a really bad team. May not go quite this high, but he should go pretty high in Rd1.

8. Oakland Raiders - Luke Joeckel/OT/Texas A&M
The Raiders were hoping a top D-lineman would fall this far, but it wasn't to be. Who did fall was someone in the mix to go #1 overall and a bookend tackle to pair with Jared Veldheer. Manti Te'o gets some consideration here, but a LB who doesn't chase QBs for a living really shouldn't be drafted this high. Jarvis Jones would be the clear pick if not for his spinal condition.

9. San Diego Chargers - Taylor Lewin/OT/Michigan
Poor Chargers. Almost had the draft's best tackle fall into your laps. No matter. Lewin should prove to be a more than adequate consolation prize.

10. Cleveland Browns - Dee Milliner/CB/Bama
The Browns are pretty stout at the LOS, but the back end could use an upgrade. Milliner should help.

11. Buffalo Bills - Manti Te'o
The Heisman runner-up will help solidify the middle of a potentially stout defense.

12. Miami Dolphins - Johnthan Banks/CB/MS St.
With no WR worth this pick, the Fins upgrade their defensive backfield.

13. New Orleans Saints - Ezekiel Ansah/DE/BYU
Really wanted to go with an offensive tackle here, but this defensive line really needs all the help in can get. Ansah is raw, but has tremendous upside.

14. New York Jets - Jarvis Jones/OLB/Georgia
Desperate for a pass rush, the Jets roll the dice on Jones' medical red flags.

15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Jesse Williams/DT/Bama
Brian Price flopped. Williams is a powerhouse who can help Gerald McCoy reach his potential as an interior pass rusher.

16. St. Louis Rams - Jake Matthews/OT/Texas A&M
Big day for the Aggies, and for big guys in general. Matthews is a house and should help Sam Bradford stay in one piece long enough to prove his worth.

17. Cincinnati Bengals - C.J. Mosley/OLB/Bama
High, but the need is great.

18. Minnesota Vikings - Keenan Allen/WR/Cal
Probably another trendy pick, but it's damn near a must.

19. Dallas Cowboys - Chance Warmack/OG/Bama
Bama, Bama, Bama. The Marsha Brady of college football.

20. St. Louis Rams (From Skins) - Eric Reid/S/LSU
The Rams' defense has some really strong pieces in place, but safety is in dire need of an upgrade. I don't know that I'd personally take Reid in Rd1, but...

21. Pittsburgh Steelers - Johnathan Hankins/DT/tOSU
After whiffing badly on Alameda Ta'amu, the Steelers use a premium pick to secure Casey Hampton's replacement.

22. Seattle Seahawks - DeAndre Hopkins/WR/Clemson
Seattle tried almost every retread WR on the market with minimal results. Hopkins 2012 numbers are eye popping and he could quickly become Russell Wilson's top target.

23. New York Giants - John Jenkins/DT/Georgia
I really wanted to put a DE here just on principle. But, the interior DL needs some real help. Jenkins isn't the up-the-field penetrator they might prefer, but he's probably too good to pass up here. A man this size could really open things up for the rest of the D-linemen.

24. Chicago Bears - Eric Fisher/OT/C. Michigan
Cutler has been getting his bell rung behind bad offensive lines since he played his first game at Vanderbilt. Let's get the man some protection before he finally breaks down, eh?

25. Indianapolis Colts - Dion Jordan/OLB/Oregon
A rangy, athletic pass rusher to replace Dwight Freeney.

26. Green Bay Packers - Barrett Jones/C/Bama
Jeff Saturday has been a nice stopgap, but a long term solution is needed.

27. Baltimore Ravens - Tavon Austin/WR/WVU
A little bit of a curve ball. With Torrey Smith taking the top off defenses, Austin could be lethal underneath.

28. San Francisco 49ers - Matt Elam/S/Florida
Gholdson is a free agent not guaranteed to return. Whitner is upgradeable.

29. Denver Broncos - Xavier Rhodes/CB/FSU
It doesn't look like Tracy Porter will be back.

30. New England Patriots - David Amerson/CB/NC St
Will probably go much higher than this when the actual draft comes around.

31. Houston Texans - Terrance Williams/WR/Baylor
A long overdue WR addition.

32. Atlanta Falcons - Sam Montgomery/DE/LSU
Pass rush help for a defense with some real playmakers in the secondary.
My sig pic has now come full circle. Lucky me.

No offense, but your Raiders draft sucks.
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