Hey, Raider Nation! I know it is very easy to get down during this draft because of our lack of picks, but this is still the most exciting part of the year. I am going to do a full 7-round mock draft following this schedule: April 6th; Round 1 Picks 1-16. April 7th; Round 1 Picks 16-32, April 13th; Rounds 2-3. April 20th; Rounds 4-5, April 25th Rounds 6-7……. Enjoy!
1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
This is a no-brainier right here. The Colts get the best Quarterback prospect of the last 10 years. They can build the team around him. He has all the tools to become a top-5 QB within the next 3-years.
2. Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
The Redskins have needed a franchise-caliber QB for the last 20 years. The Redskins have a chance to get one here with Robert Griffin. The Redskins gave-up 3 first-round picks to land him, this will make or brake the team’s hopes for the next 8-10 years. Robert Griffin isn’t a perfect fit for Mike Shanahan’s offense, but he has the work-ethic and tools to be successful not matter what system he’s in. If he can work on reads and footwork he will be very successful in Shanahan’s system.
3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil, LT, USC
Last year, the Vikings drafted their franchise QB with Christian Ponder. With very little talent around him, the Vikings have to protect their investment. With Matt Kalil they get a athletic, smart offensive lineman. He can step-in at the LT or RT spot and have success immediately, he is a great fit for Minnesota’s zone-blocking system.
4. Cleveland Browns: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
With the departure of Peyton Hillis, the Browns have to add a running-back. With Trent Richardson they get a pro-bowl caliber running back that can add an immediate spark to Cleveland’s stagnant offense. Trent Richardson has all the qualities that scouts look for in a running back, though with Cleveland’s West Coast Offense, he will need to improve his receiving skills out of the backfield.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
Even with the signing of Eric Wright.. who I might add is horrible, they Bucs need help at Corner. Ronde Barber only has a year left in the tank, and Aqib Talib is always in trouble with the law. Morris Claiborne will fill a need, and coincidentally he is the best player available. It’s a win-win situation for the Bucs.
6. St. Louis Rams: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
The Rams desperately need to find weapons for Sam Bradford. With Michael Floyd they get a big, fast wide receiver that can stretch the field and provide some explosiveness for a stagnant offense. Floyd will need to work on his route-running and his physicality at the line once he gets to the next level, he also will need stay out of trouble. Justin Blackmon is a good receiver, but the Rams need someone who can stretch the field, which is something Blackmon isn’t great at.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
With the Rams drafting Michael Floyd, the Jaguars can get the guy they want. Blackmon can line-up in the slot and as a split-end, he will complement Laurent Robinson’s skill-set well. Like I stated in the previous pick, Blackmon isn’t good at catching the deep ball, but he can improve in that area. He is already a solid possession receiver.
8. Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
The Dolphins are in dire need of a QB. The Dolphins are going to be essentially forced to make this pick. Ryan Tannehill is very athletic and has a rocket-arm, but he is horrible decision maker, and he has mediocre footwork. Tannehill only has 2 years of experience playing QB, he is very raw. It would be best for him to sit down a year behind David Garrard before he starts. He would be forced into a situation where he had very little talent around him, and it would only hurt his development.
9. Carolina Panthers: Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
This is a huge reach at #9, but the Panthers disparately need DL help. Poe is very athletic and big, but had sub-par production in college. Poe has huge upside, but he will be a project. I don’t expect him to be a immediate contributor at the next level. The Panthers have to take a chance here, they have absolutely no one that can play 5-technique or nose tackle in their new 3-4 defense.
1o. Buffalo Bills: Reilly Reiff, OT, Iowa
The Bills were able to fix most of their defensive issue’s in free-agency so I don’t believe they will go defense here. LT Demetress Bell signed with the Eagles, so the Bills have huge need at tackle. With Reiff they get a player that can step-in and start immediately, he has the measurable’s that you look for in a franchise left tackle. If the Bills don’t go with Reiff here, expect them to draft a receiver to complement Stevie Johnson.
11. Kansas City Chiefs: David Decastro, OG, Stanford
The Chiefs have an solid offensive line, but they desperately need an interior linemen. David Decastro is probably one of the best guards to come out in the last 5 years. When I watched tape on him I didn’t see anything I didn’t like. He can run-block and pass-block well, he is also very disciplined. surrendering very few penalties. This pick will bolster the Chiefs running attack and instantly provide them an upgrade from Jon Asamoah or Ryan Lilja.
12. Seattle Seahawks: Luke Kuechly, MLB/OLB, Boston College
The Seahawks lost David Hawthorne to the Saints in free-agency, they recently signed Barrett Ruud to try to replace him, but he isn’t a long-term solution. Luke Kuechly is a solid player. He doesn’t warrant being a top-15 pick, but with his combine preformance he got the “hype-train” rolling. Kuechly doesn’t shed blocks well, or make many plays behind the line of scrimmage. He has a lot of athleticism, but he is very raw at the moment. With proper coaching I think he can become a solid linebacker.
13. Arizona Cardinals: Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina
The Cardinals have huge needs at Wide-Out and on the O-line, but there are no prospects at those positions worth drafting at #13. The Cardinals have Sam Acho occupying their ROLB spot in the 3-4, but their LOLB, O’ Brien Schofield is pedestrian at best. With Melvin Ingram they get a guy that has the skill-set to be a very good 3-4 OLB. He has the explosiveness, size, and hip flexibility required to make the transition to 3-4 OLB. He can eventually combine with Sam Acho to make one of the best OLB combinations in the league.
14. Dallas Cowboys: Fletcher Cox, DE/DT, Mississippi State
The Cowboys have a huge need at 5-technique. Fletcher Cox can provide them with an immediate upgrade over Kenyon Coleman. Cox has the power and strength that is needed out of a 5-technique. He gets great run-penetration and commands the attention of the opposing O-Line every play. This may be a little bit of reach at #14, but Cox has everything needed to become a great player in the NFL.
15. Philadelphia Eagles: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
The Eagles have Nnamdi Asomugha locking-down their LCB spot, but with Dominique Rodgers- Cromartie’s mediocre play, and Asante Samuel’s imminent departure, the Eagles will need a corner opposite Nnamdi. Stephon Gilmore has all the measurables you want out of a corner; he is 6’1′ 190lb’s, 4.40 40-time. He can even cover pretty well, he just has issue’s with awareness and locating the ball in air. If the Eagles can correct those issues they have a steal at #15.
16. New York Jets: Mark Barron, SS, Alabama
The Jets signed LaRon Laundry to a 1-year deal, but he may not be a long-term solution to their safety woes, and they still need a upgrade from Eric Smith. Mark Barron is a very good player, he has no major weaknesses in my opinion. He could improve his ball-skills, but he doesn’t allow many big plays either. He has the versatility to play FS or SS depending on what the Jets need him to play. He should be a pro-bowl safety down the line.
Let me know what you think, get @ me on twitter or leave a comment below.