RudeBlog
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My disclaimer for this version of the mock draft is I'm just using the 20 non-playoff teams. Should go quicker and read easier. After the playoffs, I'll put out a full draft. Again, thanks to (Un)'s blog with projected draft order.

 

1. Indianapolis Colts select Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

 

For this mock draft, I'm not predicting trades. Even if I was, I'm not sure they would trade it. They're already blowing up the team management-wise. I suspect the same for the coaches, which leads me to believe they are prepping for the future. If that's the case, it makes sense to draft Luck. If Manning stays, Luck can learn from arguably the GOAT and have a few years behind Manning before he's put on the field. It worked for Green Bay

 

2. St. Louis Rams select Matt Kalil, OT, Rams

 

Selfishly, I want the Rams to take Justin Blackmon. While the pick makes sense, as Tnerb said, Bradford can't make a throw to him from his back. Protecting Kalil and producing lanes for Steven Jackson needs to be priority #1. A trade here is also a possibility if a team is that high on RG3, but I don't know why you'd need to trade ahead of Minnesota and spend more. I think they'll eventually stay here.

 

3. Minnesota Vikings select Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

 

As I said, I'd hope the Rams take Blackmon as the Vikings offensive line was all kinds of awful this year. However, with him gone, the consolation prizes aren't bad. They'll have a decision of either Blackmon, Claiborne, or reaching for Jonathan Martin. It comes down to who the Vikings place higher on their draft board, really. A trade here is also a big possibility. I predicted one in my last mock and with all the holes the Vikings have, I think they'd shop the pick. If they hold onto it though, they can get a big playmaker to go opposite Chris Cook and Antoine Winfield for next year.

 

4. Cleveland Browns select Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State

 

Personally, I think Colt McCoy is the answer in Cleveland. He may not be a Pro-Bowler, but he isn't so bad that the Browns need to get a new QB. Instead, they should surround him with some playmakers for once. Blackmon is a big-time WR and would certainly give McCoy someone to throw to. It'd also open up the run game for Hillis (if they resign him) or whomever their running back is. The problem is, I'm not sure Cleveland is as sold on McCoy as I am. I think they may overrate RG3 and use their two first round picks to get him. Instead, they should stay and help out their current QB.

 

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford

 

The Bucs fell hard after their 4-2 start. A 10-game losing streak is an impressive feat, even for the Bucs. The run offense was putrid this year and I think it has more to do with the offensive line and less to do with their RB. I like Blount and think he's the right guy there, so they need to address the line. They fall in a good spot, however. With two elite LT prospects on the board, they are all but guaranteed having one of them fall down to them. Martin is no slouch and some agencies rank him above or right even with Kalil.

 

6. Washington Redskins select Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor

 

I really don't think it's necessary for either of the top QB-needy teams (Cleveland or Washington) to trade up. The teams above them don't need QBs and they can sit pat and still get their guy. If RG3 falls to Washington and they don't have to give up anything for him, they should be ecstatic. I'm not sure Dan Snyder could make such a smart move, though, so I fully expect him to try to give up everything for Griffin. For now, like I said, I'm not predicting trades, so they'll stay pat at pick 6 and get the guy they want. Griffin will provide explosion reminiscent of Cam Newton to this offense.

 

7. Jacksonville Jaguars select Alshon Jeffrey, WR, South Carolina

 

Jeffrey has had an up and down season in terms of Jeffrey and his draft stock. He started in the middle, rose up to ahead of Blackmon, then fell back down to the middle. However, I think once the combine starts and teams start doing individual workouts, they'll be impressed with him and he'll move back up draft boards. The Jaguars need an offensive linemen, but with none here, they look to add explosion to this offense. If he does anything, it'll open up MJD's running lanes that much more.

 

8. Miami Dolphins select Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma

 

Jones saved a little bit of face with his performance in the Insight Bowl. However, a lot has to be said about the fact he took a significant step backwards after losing Broyles. On the other hand though, anytime you lose your all-conference WR, you should take a step back. Really it's going to come down to how teams evaluate him. Miami is in need of a good QB, especially with weapons like Marshall and Bess. They were early front-runners in "Suck For Luck," but they'll be stuck with Jones, and it's not someone bad to be stuck with.

 

9. Carolina Panthers select Quinton Coples, DE, UNC

 

Despite getting Charles Johnson resigned this year, he had just 9 sacks and the team had 31 total. With QBs like Ryan and Brees in the conference, if you get to them and hurry/hit them, you'll throw them off. Quinton Coples can come in opposite Johnson and start wreaking havoc on opposing QBs. Really, anyone in the defense would help this team as they have very few playmakers on that side of the ball. The offense is pretty set, the defense now needs some players.

 

10.Buffalo Bills select Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College

 

The offense didn't seem like a problem before the extension of Ryan Fitzpatrick. After it, the offense went to hell. That being said, I don't think it's necessary for them to draft anyone. Instead, they should address the 7th most yards in the NFL this year. They gave up 139 yards on the ground per game this year and Kuechly can come in and change that. He'd be a big addition to this team and replace a hole Paul Posluszny left.

 

11. Kansas City Chiefs select Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama

 

Some may say they need a new QB, but the three first-round talents are gone by this point. They have a great RB in Charles and a great WR Bowe. Their secondary is relatively young and lost Eric Berry to start the year. What they don't have is pass rushers outside of Hali. Courtney Upshaw is one of the better pass rushers in the draft and can provide a lot of help in getting to the QB. Adding Upshaw to this team might make them the favorite for 2012 in the AFC West.

 

12. Seattle Seahawks select Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

 

Secondary might not necessarily be the biggest need for this team (I would say WR is), but he's too good a talent to pass-up. They had a mediocre pass defense last year, but by adding Kirkpatrick, they could make a big step up to great. This team could also use a QB, but again, the team isn't in the position to make that. A trade might happen, but I don't think they are going to go after a QB that hard.

 

13. Arizona Cardinals select Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

 

Like last mock, this one has the Cards taking Richardson. Arizona was 24th in rushing this year and could use an upgrade. Beanie did rush for 1000 yards last year, but we've seen teams succeed with dual RB threats. It worked for Minnnesota couple years ago and works for Carolina. This team needs to adjust their offensive identity and become more of a power running team with a great WR. The days of Boldin and Fitz are behind them. Richardson and Beanie would be a great combo.

 

14. Dallas Cowboys select Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska

 

This is as easy a pick as it comes. While the Cowboys are always trying to load up on weapons, last night's game showed they need some play-maker in the secondary. Dennard is the clear-cut 2nd best option. The Cowboys HAVE to upgrade the secondary and with few big names available in FA, they'd be best to address the problem through the draft.

 

15. Philadelphia Eagles select Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona State

 

I'm still in the belief that Bufict is one of the best LBs available. He may not be loaded with talent right now, but he has the potential to be a great player. The Eagles need either a DT or LB, someone to plug up the middle. Burfict had a disappointing season, which will cause him to fall this far, maybe more. Still, he's someone who could become a game changer.

 

16. New York Jets select Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois

 

The Jets need a quarterback, but a pure pass rusher has to rank up there as a need to. The Jets vaunted defense had just 35 sacks on the season. Hell, Jared Allen himself had 22. They need a big time pass rusher. Mercilus led the nation in sacks this year on a bad Illinois team. He might not be a great fit in the 3-4 defense the Jets run, but his pure skills are something you can't deny.

 

17. Cincinnati Bengals (via Oakland) select Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

 

I realize they took a WR in the first round last year, and they have a solid group, but I think they could use this pick and make their pass game one of the best in the game. They would certainly go after Richardson if he were there, but don't count on it. They also could use a OT, but they could get one at a better value pick later in the draft with their actual pick.

 

18. San Diego Chargers select Brandon Jenkins, DE/OLB, Florida State

 

The biggest need for this team is a pass rusher. This is another team that lacked someone who could get to the QB on a consistent basis. Jenkins might be a bit of a reach here, but he fills their biggest need and they'd be silly to pass him up. They could go after Zach Brown too, but I like the Jenkins pick.

 

19. Chicago Bears select Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa

 

With Mike Martz likely out of Chicago, this offense finally can address their problems. They need a big-time WR and some help in the OL. Reiff is a great value pick here as some places have him as one of the top 10 players in this draft. I'm not as high on him, but that won't be the case for most teams. Michael Floyd could go to them here and they'd be very happy. WR and OL are their two biggest holes, though.

 

20. Tennessee Titans select David DeCastro, G, Stanford

 

This is another team who could use a pass-rusher, but I don't see anyone going this high, especially after reaching for Jenkins two picks earlier. Instead, this team could look to improve their run game with another solid lineman in DeCastro. I could also see them trading back and taking a DE then if this plays out. I'd probably rank that higher, but, I'm not predicting trades right now.
January 2, 2012  07:06 PM ET

I think the Dolphins should sign Flynn, trade down, and get Flyod. Flynn has shown he can be great. Marshall, Floyd, Bess, and Fasano would be a good recieving core. Bush is great for screens and dumpoffs. He also has shown he can run lately. They also have a great Oline.

January 2, 2012  07:48 PM ET
QUOTE(#1):

I think the Dolphins should sign Flynn, trade down, and get Flyod. Flynn has shown he can be great. Marshall, Floyd, Bess, and Fasano would be a good recieving core. Bush is great for screens and dumpoffs. He also has shown he can run lately. They also have a great Oline.

I really don't think Flynn is going to be that good. That's not to say that some team is going to Kevin Kolb him, though.

January 2, 2012  08:02 PM ET
QUOTE(#2):

I really don't think Flynn is going to be that good. That's not to say that some team is going to Kevin Kolb him, though.

He'll get good money. Ballpark around the Cassell and Kolb deals, probably slightly less. There are always teams that would rather take a "know" commodity rather than draft one..

Of course, is Flynn as good as this? Or is it the guys around him...

It is likely a little of both. Now, who has the tools in place to bring him in is where he SHOULD go.. But he will likely follow the money, which means they likely do not have the pieces....

January 2, 2012  08:03 PM ET

Again, nice job Rude. Will check back in as you predict the pats picks... (and if everyone is right, we might know where they pick in two weeks.....)

January 2, 2012  08:04 PM ET
QUOTE(#3):

He'll get good money. Ballpark around the Cassell and Kolb deals, probably slightly less. There are always teams that would rather take a "know" commodity rather than draft one..Of course, is Flynn as good as this? Or is it the guys around him...It is likely a little of both. Now, who has the tools in place to bring him in is where he SHOULD go.. But he will likely follow the money, which means they likely do not have the pieces....

I could see Miami or Washington going after him. I think the Packers asking price could end up being too high though for someone who's really only played two games

January 2, 2012  08:05 PM ET
QUOTE(#4):

Again, nice job Rude. Will check back in as you predict the pats picks... (and if everyone is right, we might know where they pick in two weeks.....)

Thanks!

The one with playoff teams won't come until after the SB. I doubt I release any until then unless there's a significant announcement of a player returning.

January 2, 2012  09:04 PM ET
QUOTE(#2):

I really don't think Flynn is going to be that good. That's not to say that some team is going to Kevin Kolb him, though.

Matt Flynn is stepping into an offense loaded with firepower. Which reminds me of Matt Cassel 2007 only with a lot less games played.

That's not to downplay his huge game this past Sunday, but rather to point out that it was only one game.

January 2, 2012  10:00 PM ET
QUOTE(#3):

He'll get good money. Ballpark around the Cassell and Kolb deals, probably slightly less. There are always teams that would rather take a "know" commodity rather than draft one..Of course, is Flynn as good as this? Or is it the guys around him...It is likely a little of both. Now, who has the tools in place to bring him in is where he SHOULD go.. But he will likely follow the money, which means they likely do not have the pieces....

If I were considering a trade for Matt Flynn the one big question I would have is can he handle a 16-game season?

Meaning:
- Is he durable?
- Is he consistent?
- How will he play when teams have game film on him?

He's still a safer option at QB than almost every prospect in the 2012 Draft. But he'll come at a much higher price.

Comment #9 has been removed
January 3, 2012  01:34 AM ET

I like Matt Flynn even before this week. Yes, he was stacked with talent and will not repeat what he did this past week. However, if theirs one thing we have learned recently it's that the Packers organization seems to know how to draft and develop talent. He impressed me last year when he was forced to play, and again this year. I would not break the bank for him. But you know more about him then any of these college guys. Its not like any QB could just go in and put up those numbers, especially against a team that had something to play for.

I don't know if Jones is going pro, but I think people are kind of piling on him lately. He didn't finish great, but if you watch OU football he dealt with a lot of drops. I also don't think Broyles made Jones, it's just that while OU had talent at wr's they didn't have a guy who was like Broyles. He wasn't like a super freak talent that saved throws, but he was a timing guy and the center piece of the offense. He also had his numbers hurt for by OU's backup quarterback. Jones would drive the team down the field, and then Bell would be put in once the reach the redzone or 1st and goal: basically taking 13 tds from Jones the last 5 weeks.

I don't think the Redskins and count on RGIII dropping, and while the Browns may not take a QB with their first pick... Colt McCoy is not a starting QB


good blog

Comment #11 has been removed
January 3, 2012  04:54 AM ET

Sorry, but I see the Bucs drafting DeCastro over Martin. Blount is a straight up the gut, right in your face, runner. Addressing the interior part of your offensive line is a higher priority for your run game than the outer part of the line.

January 3, 2012  04:55 AM ET
QUOTE(#12):

Sorry, but I see the Bucs drafting DeCastro over Martin. Blount is a straight up the gut, right in your face, runner. Addressing the interior part of your offensive line is a higher priority for your run game than the outer part of the line.

And the fact that DeCastro is at #20 on your list? That won't happen. Outside of Kalil, he's the best of the bunch... might even be better than Kalil.

January 3, 2012  07:38 AM ET
QUOTE(#13):

And the fact that DeCastro is at #20 on your list? That won't happen. Outside of Kalil, he's the best of the bunch... might even be better than Kalil.

HA! Kalil is by far the best lineman. DeCastro is top 15 at best

Comment #15 has been removed
January 3, 2012  03:52 PM ET
QUOTE(#9):

This.We've seen this all before. Matt Cassel, Kevin Kolb, now Flynn... There's just not enough to completely buy Flynn as the nest big thing, although some NFL team will probably (foolishly) give him a monster contract based off his 2 career starts.

I think Matt Cassel turned out much better than Kevin Kolb, I can't count him out. Charlie Weis was the offensive coordinator, his statistics dropped, and then he got hurt. He had an 11-5 record with the Patriots, missed the playoffs due to the strong AFC year, but last year they won the AFC West and made the playoffs with a different team.

This year was a down year, especially considering what happened to him. I think next year may be his defining year of whether or not he was worth the risk because last year, he did alright with a Chiefs team.

January 3, 2012  03:53 PM ET

But Kevin Kolb... damn what a letdown.

January 3, 2012  04:00 PM ET

The Cardinals have Ryan Williams who is explosive and would probably gained as many yards as Beenie this year if not for a freak injury. The injury is not career threatening and he will be back for the OTA's. No way AZ drafts a running back here. Try again.

January 3, 2012  08:03 PM ET
QUOTE(#17):

But Kevin Kolb... damn what a letdown.

I've been saying for years with Philadelphia quarterbacks: it's the coach, not the quarterback.

 
January 4, 2012  12:49 AM ET

Good mock. Burfict is already oozing with talent though. That certainly isn't in question. His biggest problem is his attitude and work ethic. I still think Baltimore is the best fit for him. Plug him into a D with leaders like Lewis and Reed, as well as a fellow Sun Devil in Suggs, and Burfict could be the successor to Ray Lewis as the heart of the Ravens D.

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