Here at The Stain, you can always count on each of us to post a mock draft… and each of to get about 10% of the picks correctly. This is, of course, because we are like everyone else, in that we are sans crystal ball. As usual, my projections are based on what I would do, not what I think the team will do. Now that we’ve gotten the disclaimer out of the way, on to the good stuff.
1) Kansas City: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida: He was highly regarded before the combine, and then he went off. The Chiefs traded for Alex Smith so any QB is not going to happen. They tagged Brandon Albert so Joeckel is unlikely. That leaves the best available player strategy. Many think that’s Floyd now.
2) Jacksonville: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A & M: Whether it’s Blaine Gabbert, Chad Henne, or someone else taking the snaps, they won’t be able to throw from their backs. The best offensive lineman in the draft makes sense here.
3) Oakland: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan: Just as good as Joeckel, Fisher would help provide Carson Palmer much needed protection, so he can see the world from another angle than from the turf.
4) Philadelphia: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah: This guy’s got heart… see what I did there? Philly just cut basically their whole defensive line, and unless there really is something to his heart condition, he’s a stud and makes perfect sense here.
5) Detroit Lions: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama: The Lions have a LOT of needs on defense, none bigger than cornerback, and they’ll be thrilled if Milliner falls to them… which is not guaranteed by any stretch. He could go number one.
6) Cleveland: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas: This is higher than most people have him, but I don’t understand why. The Browns have defensive holes and Vaccaro defends every part of his safety responsibilities very very well. Practically a can’t miss pick.
7) Arizona: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma: No team had a worse tackle situation than Arizona last year. No point in drafting a quarterback if you can’t keep him upright. And Johnson represents an immediate big improvement.
8) Buffalo: Dion Jordan, LB, Oregon: Buffalo’s defense wasn’t nearly as good as it was expected to be last season. There are other problems there besides linebacker, but Jordan is an obvious quick improvement. Sometimes you shouldn’t overthink things.
9) NY Jets: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida St.: The Jets didn’t do everything poorly last season. Just most things. Including rushing the passer. Werner would help from day 1.
10) Tennesee: Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia: The Titans defense is not good enough to stop anyone if the opposing quarterback has time. Jones gets after it and should help Tennessee tighten up. Get it? Tighten up? Because they’re the Titans? Anyone???
11) San Diego: Keenan Allen, WR, Cal: They do need line help but the best tackles are taken. Malcom Floyd and Danario Alexander are both good players but a real #1 receiver would probably help Philip Rivers recover some of his lost form.
12) Miami: Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU: They were probably hoping for Allen, but Mingo is a nice consolation prize. There will be decent WR talent in the middle rounds.
13) Tampa Bay: Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia: Would go higher if not for off the field issues. Terrific player should help a shoddy defense.
14) Carolina: Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina: If not him, than Tavon Austin. But the Panthers need to get better on the defensive front, or it won’t matter if Cam Newton scores 5 tds a game.
15) New Orleans: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri: Not a lot of middle ground with the Saints. Their great in places, terrible in others. The D line is terrible, enter Richardson. Voila. Middle ground.
16) St. Louis: Chance Warmack, G, Alabama: The Rams are desperate for guard help… which virtually guarantees they’ll do something idiotic… like pick LSU punter Brad Wing. Not hating on Wing, but…
17) Pittsburgh: Ezekiel Ansah, LB, BYU: Tons of potential, and they could use a young LB. Tavon Austin, again, is an option here if he’s available.
18) Dallas: Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina: Terrific player slots right into an area of immense need for Dallas. Uprade the line and see Tony Romo FINALLY become a superstar? Probably not, but you need to upgrade the line here anyway.
19) NY Giants: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A & M: Stock has dropped a little bit but unless I missed something and he has completely tanked, pass rusher extraordinaire should be on the Giants’ list of wants. It’s kind of emblematic of their team, isn’t it?
20) Chicago: DJ Fluker, OT, Alabama: I’m surprised nobody else is calling this one. Or are they? Effed if I know… but what I do know is that tackle is a big problem area for the Bears and they should jump at the opportunity to get Fluker if they can.
21) Cincinnati: Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama: A little high for Lacy? Well, the Bengals could use a running back. Maybe it is high, but Lacy certainly will not be around when Cincy picks in round two.
22) St. Louis: Matt Elam, S, Florida: This is, of course, if they are smart. Guard and safety are their two biggest needs. Sure, they’ll probably pick Tyler Eiffert or some other player who, while decent, doesn’t address any need, because they’re the Rams. Elam is small but a terrific all around safety and immediate long term fix.
23) Minnesota: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia: Logic would dictate that he wasn’t around this late… but they could use a complement for Percy Harvin. Check that. They NEED one.
24) Indianapolis: Menelik Watson, OT, Florida St.: If you had Andrew Luck as your quarterback for the next decade plus, wouldn’t you want to protect him. Watson, originally from England, is raw, but a true talent who could end up being one of the best values in the draft.
25) Seattle: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame: Russell Wilson is the real deal, and mobile. So a tight end who does everything pretty well would make sense. Seattle is in a pretty good position, though, of not having any massive needs, so pretty much anything goes here.
26) Green Bay: Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International: Great talent from a small school. Not sure the Packers desperately need a safety as much as they need O line help and a running game, but nobody at those positions makes sense here.
27) Houston: Kawann Short, DT, Purdue: With all the D line talent, Short gets lost in the shuffle… get it? Short??? Never mind. The Texans could use some sturdiness at defensive tackle. Short is a risk because I’ve read he comes with minor character issues, but the Texans are a good team who can afford to gamble.
28) Denver: John Jenkins, DT, Georgia: Jenkins needs some fine tuning but he’s absolutely massive and like Houston, they’re good and don’t need too many upgrades.
29) New England: Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame: Ok, I admit it. I put Te’o here to mess with Shaun. But think about it. A stupid hoax and an unfairly criticized 40 time is going to mean he drops. Maybe this far. Any team at 29 who can somehow fit a linebacker into their draft strategy here would be foolish to not take him.
30) Atlanta: Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford: Whether or not Tony Gonzalez, the greatest tight end, and one of the best players period to ever play the game, retires or not, he ain’t gonna be around forever. Why not pick a good successor candidate? It makes sense. The Falcons don’t have too many needs.
31) San Francisco: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington: I think they’d have prefered a safety here but nobody left warrants a first rounder. Trufant is a real talent, and underrated. No team’s personnel department is as smart as the Niners’… GOD it pains me to say that… so you can rest assured that whoever they pick will be a smart choice.
32) Baltimore: Cordarelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee: They just made Joe Flacco a gazillionaire. They’ll probably want to make sure that whenever Anquan Boldin departs/retires, it doesn’t leave a gaping hole in the offense.
How many of these picks do I think I will get right? Hopefully all. Most likely, three to five. Let me know what you think.