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Old 01-31-2013, 02:13 PM    (permalink
Matthew Jones
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Default January 31st Mock Draft

Here's my latest attempt, with explanations for each pick. Let me know what you think (vidae, I already know what you think, sorry brotha!)

1. Kansas City Chiefs – OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M*

Geno Smith has occupied this space for quite some time, but Joeckel is another strong possibility; Andy Reid’s affinity for drafting in the trenches is well-established. Free agent Branden Albert is likely a contract paying him over $10 million per year.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars – DE Damontre Moore, Texas A&M*

Moore makes sense as a replacement for Jeremy Mincey, who unfortunately failed to live up to expectations after signing a lucrative contract extension this offseason. The A&M rusher’s versatility could appeal to Gus Bradley as a fit in his creative fronts.

3. Oakland Raiders – DT Star Lotulelei, Utah

With Damontre Moore off the board, Lotulelei makes sense considering the lack of production the Raiders got from Tommy Kelly last year. Richard Seymour is set to hit the open market as well; he could opt to leave town for a team in contention.

4. Philadelphia Eagles – CB Dee Milliner, Alabama*

Nnamdi Asomugha has a massive contract; most of his $15 million base salary can be recovered by releasing him. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is set to become a free agent as well, meaning the Eagles could find themselves in need of a starter or two.

5. Detroit Lions – DE Bjoern Werner, Florida St.*

Werner could become an immediate starter for the Lions, who may lose left end Cliff Avril to free agency this offseason. Right end Kyle Vanden Bosch is a prime cap casualty candidate as well; Werner has played both positions with the Seminoles.

6. Cleveland Browns – LB Jarvis Jones, Georgia*

Jabaal Sheard makes sense at the “elephant” position in Cleveland’s new three-man front; however, they will need a complementary player at outside linebacker. Jones, the draft’s top pass-rusher, is worth the risk despite serious medical concerns.

7. Arizona Cardinals – OT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan

Bruce Arians needs to find offensive tackles to protect Arizona’s next quarterback; Fisher, whose stock rose in Mobile, would fit in well on the left side. None of the Cardinals’ current options at the position should be appealing to the new staff.

8. Buffalo Bills – QB Geno Smith, West Virginia

Recent speculation has focused on North Carolina State senior Mike Glennon, but Smith probably has the higher draft stock right now; he’s a decent value at this point. If both Kansas City and Buffalo pass, Smith could slip out of the top ten.

9. New York Jets – DE Barkevious Mingo, Louisiana St.*

Quinton Coples looks like the long-term right end in New York’s defense, but New York still lacks an additional pass-rushing option. Mingo should be appealing because he canplay either his usual left end spot or transition to a role as a rush linebacker.

10. Tennessee Titans – DT Sheldon Richardson, Missouri*

Mike Martin is an effective nose tackle, but Tennessee could use a consistent starter at the three-technique “under” tackle spot. Richardson’s stock has been on the rise since the second half of this season and a player with his quickness makes sense.

11. San Diego Chargers – WR Keenan Allen, California*

Look for Allen’s draft stock to improve once he shows that he has recovered from a late-season knee injury. Philip Rivers would greatly benefit from a replacement for Vincent Jackson, who San Diego tried to replace last year with Robert Meachem.

12. Miami Dolphins – OT Lane Johnson, Oklahoma

Jake Long appears to be on his way out in Miami; if he departs, the Dolphins will need at least one new offensive tackle next season. Johnson has the versatility to play on either side of the line depending on where Jonathan Martin lines up.

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – CB Johnthan Banks, Mississippi St.

It may be a smokescreen, but the Buccaneers have been rumored to be interested in Banks for some time now. The fit makes sense, considering Tampa Bay’s current group of cornerbacks, which will look even thinner if Eric Wright is released.

14. Carolina Panthers – DT John Jenkins, Georgia

The massive 360-pound Jenkins would be a perfect fit in Ron Rivera’s defense, where his size and his effectiveness against the run would help upgrade a Panthers defensive which occasionally struggled against inside rushing attempts.

15. New Orleans Saints – DT Johnathan Hankins, Ohio St.*

After firing defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, the Saints are reportedly considering moving to a 3-4 defensive front; if they choose to do so, especially if they opt to hire Romeo Crennel or Eric Mangini, they’ll need to look for a nose tackle.

16. St. Louis Rams – OG Chance Warmack, Alabama

The Rams had some difficulties finding a consistent starter at their left guard spot; that could be remedied by drafting Chance Warmack, one of the draft’s top talents. Warmack would help Jeff Fisher establish an aggressive, smashmouth identity.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers – SS Kenny Vaccaro, Texas

Vaccaro has a similar skillset to current Steelers starter Troy Polamalu; the former is an aggressive run supporter with some coverage limitations. The Steelers don’t need to find an immediate replacement, but could opt for a good fit in Vaccaro.

18. Dallas Cowboys – WR Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee*

Derek Dooley, who served Tennessee’s head coach from 2010-2012, has taken over as Dallas’ wide receivers coach. Consequently, a pick such as Patterson makes sense considering Miles Austin’s expensive contract, which could cost him his job.

19. New York Giants – DE Ezekiel Ansah, Brigham Young

Ansah impressed during Senior Bowl week, helping to alleviate concerns that he will not be an immediate contributor in the NFL next season. Ansah’s length, quickness, and versatility would make him a perfect fit in Perry Fewell’s Giants defense.

20. Chicago Bears – LB Manti Te’o, Notre Dame

Te’o’s character concerns have destroyed his public imagine; however, he should still appeal to teams as a potential long-term starting option at inside linebacker. Brian Urlacher is nearing the end of his career, which should open the door for Te’o.

21. Cincinnati Bengals – DE Alex Okafor, Texas

Michael Johnson is set to become a free agent; despite finishing the season with an impressive 11.5 sacks, he was not a consistent pass rush option. Okafor would fit in well opposite Carlos Dunlap in defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer’s four-man front.

22. St. Louis Rams (from Redskins) – OT D.J. Fluker, Alabama*

After drafting Warmack earlier, St. Louis could potentially finish their offensive line with a right tackle such as Fluker. Along with left tackle Rodger Saffold, center Scott Wells, and right guard Harvey Dahl, St. Louis would have a formidable unit.

23. Minnesota Vikings – LB Alec Ogletree, Georgia*

Middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley is a free agent who has struggled throughout his career, playing in just the 2009 and 2012 seasons. The Vikings would be wise to investigate alternative options such as Ogletree, an athletic specimen.

24. Indianapolis Colts – DE Sam Montgomery, Louisiana St.*

Dwight Freeney is likely headed elsewhere this offseason after struggling in his transition to outside linebacker; the Colts must find a legitimate rusher opposite Robert Mathis, which could lead them towards the 6’5”, 260-pound Montgomery.

25. Seattle Seahawks – WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia

Tavon Austin could remind Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell of Percy Harvin, a player Bevell coached in Minnesota. Seattle already has two talented options at receiver in Sidney Rice and Golden Tate, but could use a slot option.

26. Green Bay Packers – DT Kawann Short, Purdue

Green Bay may opt to finish their defensive line this season, replacing 33 year-old lineman Ryan Pickett with a more effective pass rusher. Pickett is owed $6.1 million in 2013; he may be a cap casualty, but either way it’s time to groom a replacement.

27. Houston Texans – OG Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina

Jonathan Cooper’s natural left guard spot has been a bit of a problem area for Houston this season; the Texans are currently starting Wade Smith at the position, who will turn 32 this April. Cooper is a fantastic fit in Houston’s zone scheme.

28. Denver Broncos – DT Sharrif Floyd, Florida*

Both of Denver’s starting defensive tackles, Justin Bannan and Kevin Vickerson, are effective run defenders, but neither of the two offers pressure in the passing game. Floyd has been on the rise lately; he has an intriguing mix of bulk and versatility.

29. New England Patriots – SS Eric Reid, Louisiana St.*

This pick may be somewhat alarming considering New England’s inability to develop defensive backs recently, but Reid’s well-rounded skillset makes him an excellent value here. He could provide the physical presence the secondary currently lacks.

30. Atlanta Falcons – TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame*

Tony Gonzalez has been contemplating retirement for years, meaning the Falcons would be wise to begin searching for potential successors. Eifert, a massive weapon with some schematic versatility, would fit in well alongside Atlanta’s other weapons.

31. Baltimore Ravens – DT Jesse Williams, Alabama

Williams is the type of big-bodied defender Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees looks for in the front seven; he could fit at nose tackle and additionally has the versatility to play some defensive end in Baltimore’s odd defensive fronts.

32. San Francisco 49ers – CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida St.*

Rhodes remains a solid option for San Francisco should they opt to look for an upgrade over Carlos Rogers, who declined this season and slid inside at times; the Florida State product’s size and physicality should appeal to Jim Harbaugh.
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