McCrystal’s updated mock draft

1.
Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck
QB Stanford
The Colts have the top pick all but locked up, and all signs point to them taking Luck. Owner Jim Irsay has mentioned numerous times that they are open to drafting a quarterback, and president Bill Polian has even gone so far as to say that he has spoken with Peyton Manning about the possibility of drafting his successor. Assuming the Colts do end up with the top pick, I would be shocked if they select anyone other than the Stanford QB.
2. Carolina Panthers Justin Blackmon WR Oklahoma State
We rarely see receivers come off the board this early, but I believe the Panthers have to do all they can to surround Cam Newton with talent. Steve Smith is having a bounce-back year but he’s 32 years old and the Panthers have very little depth behind him. Blackmon comes with some baggage (DUI charge in 2010), but if he stays out of trouble he has the potential to develop into one of the game’s elite receivers. 
3. St. Louis Rams Matt Kalil OT USC
If Justin Blackmon is off the board, this becomes a no-brainer for the Rams. Rodger Saffold and Jason Smith have both struggled this season, and neither is a true left tackle. By adding Kalil, the Rams could reshuffle the offensive line, moving either Safford or Smith inside to guard. If Blackmon is still on the the board, this is a more difficult decision. He’s a riskier pick, but they desperately need to find some weapons for Bradford.
4. Minnesota Vikings Morris Claiborne CB LSU
The Vikings have had all kinds of issues at cornerback the past two seasons, with injuries to 34-year-old Antoine Winfield, Chris Cook and Cedric Griffin. When healthy, they’re a solid trio, but they can’t be relied upon. Claiborne is a rare talent, almost in the same class as former teammate Patrick Peterson. Offensive tackle is another area of concern, and if Matt Kalil is on the board they probably go that direction.
5. Washington Redskins Matt Barkley QB USC
If the Redskins end up in the top five, it’s a pretty safe bet they’ll take a quarterback. But which one? Matt Barkley is definitely the favorite, but don’t count out Robert Griffin. If Mike Shanahan is still at the helm, I suspect Barkley would be his guy. But that’s definitely an “if” situation. Griffin, due to his elite mobility and enormous upside, will definitely be ahead of Barkley on some draft boards.
6. Jacksonville Jaguars Alshon Jeffery WR South Carolina
Aside from Maurice Jones-Drew, the Jaguars don’t have any offensive playmakers capable of supporting Blaine Gabbert. Not only that, but none of their primary receivers are over 6’0″. This may be somewhat early for Jeffery to come off the board, primarily because he lacks elite speed, but his size gives him the ability to make an instant impact. He’ll create mismatches and demand double teams, which will help open up the Jags offense.
7. Arizona Cardinals Jonathan Martin OT Stanford
I’m not convinced Martin is a left tackle – his best pro position may actually be guard – but the Cardinals need offensive line help anywhere they can get it. Martin is a nasty run blocker and will immediately help the Cardinals in that area, regardless of where he’s plugged in on the offensive line. Riley Reiff – a more polished lineman than Martin, but with less upside – is another worth guy considering here.
8. Miami Dolphins Robert Griffin QB Baylor
Robert Griffin is so raw it’s easy to dismiss him as a top-10 possibility. But I think we have to assume last year’s run on quarterbacks was new norm, rather than the exception. Compare Griffin to Jake Locker: Griffin is younger, has more upside and has been more successful in college. If Locker was a top-10 pick, there’s no reason to believe Griffin can’t be as well. The Dolphins can’t afford to pass him up.
9. Philadelphia Eagles Devon Still DT Penn State
The Eagles run defense has improved in recent weeks, but there’s no question their interior defensive line is still the weak link. No one has established themselves as the clear-cut top defensive tackle, but Devon Still is definitely in the mix. He has the size to eat up space and take on multiple blockers, but he also has the athleticism to occasionally get into the backfield and make plays behind the line of scrimmage.
10. Cleveland Browns Trent Richardson RB Alabama
This is a tough one to predict because Richardson, Michael Floyd and Riley Reiff all make sense. GM Tom Heckert came over from Philly, where the Eagles traditionally don’t spend high picks or big money on running backs. However, Richardson may be too good to pass up. He is in Adrian Peterson’s class in terms his ability to make at immediate impact and would take a ton off pressure off Colt McCoy.
 Picks 1-10 ~ Picks 11-20 ~ Picks 21-32
11. Kansas City Chiefs Riley Reiff OT Iowa
It’s tough to envision the Chiefs not having a right tackle high on their wish list this offseason. Barry Richardson has been nothing short of a complete disaster this season, especially when it comes to pass protection. The combination of Reiff and Branden Albert would give the Chiefs two solid young tackles to anchor the offensive line. Jonathan Martin would be another option if he’s still on the board.
12. Seattle Seahawks Quinton Coples DE North Carolina
The Seahawks are so desperate for help at defensive end that 330-pound Red Bryant has been starting opposite Chris Clemons. Needless to say, they rank in the lower half of the league in sacks – and would be much, much lower if not for another solid year for Clemons. Coples is a boom-or-bust prospect, who has all the tools in the world but has failed to consistently put it together on the field.
13. San Diego Chargers Devin Taylor LB South Carolina
If the Chargers keep losing, some major changes could be on the way which makes this pick difficult to project. One area that definitely needs to be addressed is their defensive front seven, which ranks in the lower half of the league in sacks. Shaun Phillips is still a stud, but 2009 1st-round pick Larry English has yet to live up to expectations and can’t seem to stay on the field. Taylor is raw, but is probably the most gifted pure pass rusher in this class.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Dre Kirkpatrick CB Alabama
Rhode Barber is about five years past his prime, and it may finally be time to hang up the cleats. There is no depth behind Barber and Aqib Talib, who’s future in Tampa is also far from a sure thing, making the secondary an area of concern for the offseason. I’m not as high on Kirkpatrick as most, but he is a legitimate 1st-round prospect and would be an excellent fit in Tampa. Alfonzo Dennard and Janoris Jenkins are also options.
15. Tennessee Titans Luke Kuechly LB Boston College
The Titans have learned the hard way why the Bucs were willing to part ways with Barrett Ruud, and when his one-year contract runs out Ruud will likely be looking for a new home. Kuechly is a very safe pick and is a top-10 prospect in my opinion, but I believe his lack of elite athleticism and overall measurables will cause him to drop. Someone like the Titans will get a steal in the mid-to-late 1st round.
16. New York Jets Whitney Mercilus LB Illinois
There has been an awful lot of hype surrounding the Jets defense in recent years, but despite the praise heaped upon Rex Ryan, they’re still unable to consistently pressure the quarterback. The problem in New York is that they don’t have any one pass rusher that opponents must game plan for. Mercilus is having a breakout season and looks like one of the best 3-4 outside linebackers in what could be a fairly weak class for the position.
17. Buffalo Bills Alfonzo Dennard CB Nebraska
The Bills are currently giving up the 7th-most yards per attempt, and the secondary is clearly the weak link on defense. Leodis McKelvin is officially a bust, and Drayton Florence is in the midst of another disappointing season. Alfonzo Dennard hasn’t quite lived up to expectations this year, but he clearly has the skill set to be a starter in the league. Janoris Jenkins is another option if the Bills are willing to gamble on his character.
18. Denver Broncos Landry Jones QB Oklahoma
Tim Tebow may have the Broncos in playoff contention, but I just can’t envision a scenario where John Elway decides to stick with Tebow as his quarterback. There’s a decent chance the top four quarterback prospects are off the board by the time the Broncos select, but if one is going to fall I believe it will be Jones. He has starter potential, but nowhere near the upside of Luck, Barkley or Griffin.
19. Dallas Cowboys David DeCastro OG Stanford
Tyron Smith has done a nice job in his rookie year, but the Cowboys aren’t done rebuilding the offensive line. They now need to improve the interior line and DeCastro would be a significant upgrade at either left or right guard. Even if DeCastro is off the board, there’s a decent chance the Cowboys select the next best offensive lineman, possibly Cordy Glenn or Kelechi Osemele. This is priority No. 1 for the offseason.
20. Cleveland Browns Michael Floyd WR Notre Dame
[from Falcons] There’s a decent chance Floyd falls much further than this due to concerns about his character and his speed. But if anyone is going to be willing to overlook those questions, it’s the Browns. Finding another weapon for Colt McCoy is a top priority this offseason and Floyd would fit nicely in their system. The combo of Floyd and Greg Little could give the Browns a surprisingly potent offense in 2012.
21. Cincinnati Bengals Mark Barron S Alabama
The Bengals defense has far exceeded expectations this season, but there are still some legitimate question marks moving forward. Aside from Leon Hall, no one’s job is safe in their secondary. This isn’t a great class for safeties, but Mark Barron looks like the cream of the crop. He’s a tough, physical player who does an excellent job in run support and should be an immediate upgrade over journeyman Chris Crocker.
22. New York Giants Cordy Glenn OG Georgia
The Giants offensive line has been going downhill for the past few seasons as the unit has aged. Now with three starters over the age of 30, they’re struggling to protect Manning and struggling to open up holes in the run game. Cordy Glenn has played out of position at left tackle for Georgia this season, and is probably best suited to play guard in the pros. He’s a decent athlete for his size, and would be an immediate upgrade over David Diehl.
23. Cincinnati Bengals Lamar Miller RB Miami FL
[from Raiders] Cedric Benson is in the midst of another mediocre year and is a free agent after the season. He’ll turn 29 in December and I would be surprised if the Bengals brought him back on a multi-year contract. There is a significant drop-off in this year’s running back class after Trent Richardson is off the board, but Miller is among a few in the next tier.
24. Houston Texans Dontari Poe DT Memphis
Wade Phillips has helped turn things around for the Texans defense, but there is still work to be done before they can consider themselves a championship-caliber unit. The top priority needs to be finding a nose tackle to anchor the defensive line. Shaun Cody and Earl Mitchell, who are both undersized for the position, have failed to impress this year. At 350+ pounds, Donteri Poe is exactly what they need.
25. New England Patriots Melvin Ingram DE South Carolina
The Patriots need help all over the place on defense, so they could go a number of different directions here. They definitely need youth on the defensive line, and Melvin Ingram would be a great fit because of his versatility. He lines up at both end and tackle in the Gamecocks 4-3 defense, which would make for a smooth transition to New England which plays a hybrid 4-3/3-4 scheme which requires versatile personnel.
26. New England Patriots Mohamed Sanu WR Rutgers
[from Saints] The Patriots focus this offseason needs to be on defense, but they should also consider adding a receiver early in the draft. Chad Ochocinco is the only wide receiver on the roster over 6’0″, and his future with the team is far from certain. Sanu is quietly having a breakout junior year, and looks like a fringe 1st-round prospect should he enter the draft. He would be a nice compliment to Welker and Branch.
27. Baltimore Ravens Vontaze Burfict LB Arizona State
The Ravens defense remains among the league’s elite but the leader of the unit, Ray Lewis, is 36 and realistically doesn’t have more than a year or two of good football left in the tank. Burfict is a headcase, and I expect some teams to remove him from their draft board. However, if Lewis sticks around for another year I suspect the Ravens would trust him and their other veterans to mentor Burfict, just as they did with Jimmy Smith this past year.
28. Chicago Bears Peter Konz C Wisconsin
Despite drafting Gabe Carimi in the 1st round last year, the Bears have to strongly consider taking an offensive lineman for the second year in a row. Asside from the Carimi, who has missed most of the season, no one’s job is safe. This isn’t a great class to be in the market for a tackle, but there are an unusual number of 1st-round options at guard and center. Konz would be a significant upgrade over Roberto Garza.
29. Detroit Lions Zach Brown LB North Carolina
The Lions front seven has improved dramatically over the past two years, but there are still holes to fill at linebacker. They are probably set for the short-term at the Mike and Sam positions, but DeAndre Levy isn’t getting the job done on the weak side. Personally, I think Zach Brown is overrated, but there are some who believe he is a top-10 talent in this draft class. Either way, he would be a nice fit in Jim Schwartz defense.
30. San Francisco 49ers Janoris Jenkins CB North Alabama
We’ll have to wait to find out, but I suspect Jim Harbaugh will be the type of coach that isn’t afraid to work with guys with ‘character concerns’. One of the 49ers few weaknesses on defense is cornerback, and Janoris Jenkins would be an excellent fit. If they’re willing to look past his long list of transgressions, he could end up proving to be a late 1st-round steal – assuming he stays out of trouble.
31. Pittsburgh Steelers Manti Te’o LB Notre Dame
James Farrior is 36-years-old and his play has regressed this season. Te’o could be a steal this late in the 1st-round and would be a perfect fit for the Steelers defense. He has the potential to play inside or outside linebacker at the next level and could potentially replace 33-year-old James Harrison in a few years. The Steelers have maintained their success by filling holes before they open up, and this is a golden opportunity to do just that.
32. Green Bay Packers Jerel Worthy DT Michigan State
It’s tough to find a weakness on the Packers roster, which may lead them to simply target the best available player. This is a fairly deep class at defensive tackle/end, and the Packers could use some improved depth on the defensive line. Worthy isn’t your prototypical 3-4 end, but the Packers have shown an interest in using bigger, more physical linemen, such as Ryan Pickett, at that position in the past.
 Picks 1-10 ~ Picks 11-20 ~ Picks 21-32
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Mock Draft 2 Comments

About the author

Ryan McCrystal

Ryan launched DraftAce in 2004. His Top 100 board is currently ranked 1st out of 20 publications in The Huddle Report's five-year averages. His mock draft is ranked 10th out of 32 competitors.You can also find Ryan's weekly Heisman Predictor series on ESPN Insider every fall.