McCrystal’s updated mock draft

1.
Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck
QB Stanford
By firing the Polians, owner Jim Irsay has made it clear this team is heading in a new direction. Peyton Manning may still return, but Andrew Luck is now the future. There will be some talk of the Colts considering Robert Griffin, and they’ll probably at least entertain the idea early on, but I would be shocked if Andrew Luck is not wearing a Colts jersey next season.
2. St. Louis Rams Matt Kalil OT USC
The Rams have holes at wide receiver, offensive line and cornerback, and there are viable options here at all three positions. Receiver is probably the most glaring need, but it would be risky to take one this high. The safe route would be to settle for Kalil, and insert him at left tackle where he can protect Sam Bradford’s blind side for the next decade.
3. Minnesota Vikings Morris Claiborne CB LSU
The Vikings are probably hoping Kalil falls to them, but if he’s off the board their decision should come down to Morris Claiborne and Justin Blackmon. Claiborne probably makes the most sense consider their issues at cornerback. However, giving Christian Ponder a weapon such as Blackmon will certainly be an intriguing option.
4. Cleveland Browns Robert Griffin QB Baylor
I don’t think the Browns were planning on drafting a quarterback until they earned the 4th pick, which all but guarantees them a shot at Griffin. However, the Browns may still be hesitant to bring in a young quarterback until they have upgraded the overall talent pool on the offensive side of the ball. Trent Richardson and Justin Blackmon are definitely still in the mix.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Trent Richardson RB Alabama
This is a tough one to figure out. The Bucs would love for Kalil or Claiborne to fall, but if both are off the board they don’t have an obvious option. The Bucs would probably be content to move forward with LeGarrette Blount at running back, but it will be tough to pass up Richardson, who has Adrian Peterson-like potential.
6. Washington Redskins Justin Blackmon WR Oklahoma State
The Redskins desperately need to fix their quarterback situation and will probably consider trading up for Robert Griffin. Assuming that doesn’t happen, they should turn their attention to other areas of the offense. Richardson would be a great fit if he’s on the board, but in this scenario they have to settle for Blackmon. This isn’t the ideal pick, but it makes sense in this situation.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars Dre Kirkpatrick CB Alabama
Due to injuries and ineffectiveness the Jaguars were forced to use five cornerbacks for at least 300 snaps this season. Their top corner, Rashean Mathis, is a free agent and is coming off a season-ending knee injury which puts his future with the team in doubt. This may be a slight reach for Kirkpatrick, but it may be a necessary selection.
8. Carolina Panthers Devin Still DT Penn State
This is probably a reach for Still, but with Blackmon off the board there isn’t another obvious selection for the Panthers. Michael Floyd could be an option if they’re desperate to give Cam Newton another weapon, but upgrading their ineffective and injury-plagued interior defensive line is the much safer route. They could also trade back, and select Still or Floyd later in the 1st round.
9. Miami Dolphins Riley Reiff OT Iowa
Until the Dolphins bring in a new coach, it’s tough to determine their direction in the draft. A new defensive scheme would likely mean their attention turns to that side of the ball, but if they stick with the 3-4 this should be an offensive-minded draft. This is a reach for Reiff, but he’s one of the safest bets on the board and should be able to step right in at right tackle.
10. Buffalo Bills Nick Perry DE USC
GM Buddy Nix has been trying to put together a roster capable of playing a 3-4 defense, but the recent promotion of Dave Wannstedt to defensive coordinator indicates they may be sticking with the 4-3. Either way, they need to find the right personnel for the scheme. Assuming they go with the 4-3 system, Perry would be significant upgrade to their pass rush.
11. Kansas City Chiefs Jonathan Martin OT Stanford
This should be a no-brainer for the Chiefs. They desperately need to upgrade the offensive line, especially at right tackle where Barry Richardson and Ryan O’Callaghan are both free agents. Martin is somewhat overrated, and probably limited to playing on the right side in the pros, but he’s a perfect fit in Kansas City and a safe selection here.
12. Seattle Seahawks David DeCastro OG Stanford
If the Seahawks could upgrade their quarterback situation, they could be a contender. But it doesn’t look like that will happen in this draft.  If they can’t find a replacement for Tarvaris Jackson, they might as well do what they can to upgrade his supporting cast. DeCastro is one of the best interior linemen to enter the draft in a number of years and should be a star from day one.
13. Arizona Cardinals Melvin Ingram LB South Carolina
Defensive coordinator Ray Horton did a great job getting the most out of limited talent on defense this year, but they need to add playmakers before taking the next step. The Cards biggest weakness on defense is their lack of a dangerous pass rush threat. Ingram isn’t an elite athlete, but he’s big, physical and could be a DeMarcus Ware type edge rusher in the 3-4 scheme.
14. Dallas Cowboys Mark Barron S Alabama
The Cowboys have some serious issues on the defensive side of the ball, especially in the secondary. Unfortunately, there aren’t many great options once Claiborne and Kirkpatrick are off the board. Alfonzo Dennard may be a popular choice, but he’s terribly overrated and I expect his stock to fall. The safe route may be to upgrade at strong safety with Barron.
15. Philadelphia Eagles Courtney Upshaw LB Alabama
The Eagles struggled to find the right combination at linebacker this year, and 6th-round pick Brian Rolle was arguably their best linebacker. I suspect some changes to the personnel will be coming this offseason. Courtney Upshaw can play inside or outside, but would probably supplant Akeem Jordan on the strong-side in Philly.
16. New York Jets Michael Floyd WR Notre Dame
Santonio Holmes is good as gone, and Plaxico Burress is a free agent. Even if Burress is re-signed, the Jets would be left with little depth at receiver and in desperate need of an upgrade at the position. They need someone to stretch the field, which Floyd does not do, but he’s clearly the best option on the board and could quickly become Mark Sanchez’s favorite target.
17. Cincinnati Bengals Cordy Glenn OG Georgia
[from Raiders] 35-year-old Bobbie Williams is a free agent coming off a broken ankle, and his future with the team is definitely in doubt. That would leave a gaping hole on the offensive line, which needs to be filled if the Bengals hope to improve their running game in 2012. A running back, such as Lamar Miller, is also an option with one of their two 1st-round picks.
18. San Diego Chargers Peter Konz C Wisconsin
The Chargers have some serious question marks on the offensive line, starting at center with free agent Nick Hardwick who has discussed retirement. Even if Hardwick returns, it’s clear that he won’t be around to anchor the line much longer. Konz has established himself as the top center in this year’s class, and one of better prospects at the position in recent years.
19. Chicago Bears Alshon Jeffery WR South Carolina
Jeffery’s stock has fallen considerably this season, but his raw talent should still allow him to land in the 1st round. His performance never lived up to expectations, but he could flourish at the next level once given the opportunity to work with a quarterback like Jay Cutler. If Jeffery is off the board, the Bears may consider Baylor’s Kendall Wright.
20. Tennessee Titans Quinton Coples DE North Carolina
The Titans defensive line was underwhelming this year, and some changes could be coming. Depth at the position is solid, but they lack a difference maker. Coples is an elite talent who has failed to fully live up to expectations, which could result in a draft day fall. In the mid-to-late 1st round he’s worth the risk for a team like Tennessee.
21. Denver Broncos B. Thompson DT Clemson
Lost in all the Tebow-mania was the amazing job John Fox and his staff did turning around the Broncos defense. But despite the performance, there’s still relatively little talent on that side of the ball and a number of players, including both starting tackles, are set to become free agents. Thompson fits Fox’s scheme perfectly. He’s limited athletically, but plays with an intensity that NFL coaches will love.
22. Cincinnati Bengals Whitney Mercilus DE Illinois
The Bengals will consider a running back here, but with the depth at the position in this draft class it makes more sense to wait until the 2nd round. The Bengals don’t have a glaring hole at defensive end, but Frostee Rucker and Jonathan Fanene are both free agents. Mercilus could team with Carlos Dunlap to give the Bengals two serious pass-rushing threats.
23. New York Giants Luke Kuechly LB Boston College
As dominant as Kuechly was in college, he’s a candidate to fall on draft day. He’s not going to test exceptionally well at the combine, which will cause some teams to doubt his ability. But what he lacks in athletic ability, he makes up for in football smarts, and a team like the Giants is going to get a steal in the late 1st or early 2nd round.
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, failed to impress this year.
25. Cleveland Browns Kendall Wright WR Baylor
Two 1st-round picks from the same school is rare, but it makes perfect sense for the Browns. They need another playmaker at receiver and Wright would be a great compliment to the bigger, more physical Greg Little. Mohamed Sanu is another option, but his skill set may be too similar to Little. The Browns need someone like Wright who can stretch the field.
26. Detroit Lions Alfonzo Dennard CB Nebraska
As much as the Lions improved in 2011, it’s tough to see them as a legitimate contender until their secondary improves. I don’t view Dennard as a 1st-round prospect, but he has enough supporters out there to make him a likely 1st-round selection. The Lions could also consider Janoris Jenkins or Chase Minnifield.
27. Baltimore Ravens Mohamed Sanu WR Rutgers
Torrey Smith is an exciting weapon, but he’s never going to be a true No. 1 receiver. He’s a great compliment to Anquan Boldin right now, but how much more does the 31-year-old Boldin have left in the tank? The Ravens would be wise to provide Joe Flacco with another weapon early in this draft. Sanu is raw, but has enormous potential.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers Chase Minnifield CB Virginia
The Steelers continue to get by with an underwhelming secondary due to their impressive ability to pressure the quarterback. But at some point they have to upgrade the position. Chase Minnifield would be a great fit because of his physical style of play and willingness to step up against the run. The Steelers love well-rounded players like him.
29. New England Patriots Janoris Jenkins CB North Alabama
No team in the league has a hole as glaring as the Patriots need to upgrade their secondary. That kind of desperation can lead a team to take serious risks, especially if it’s a franchise already known for going against the grain. Jenkins enters the draft waving a giant red flag due to character concerns, but it’s hard to deny his raw talent.
30. San Francisco 49ers Jayron Hosley CB Virginia Tech
Carlos Rogers is a free agent coming off a career year, and he may be difficult for the 49ers to re-sign. Even if he returns, depth in the secondary is still the 49ers primary concern on the defensive side of the ball. Hosley is undersized, but is a big time playmaker. I wouldn’t want him as my No. 1, but he could be a great compliment to Rogers.
31. New England Patriots Sam Montgomery DE LSU
The Patriots sack totals ranked in the middle of the pack, but they failed to consistently pressure the quarterback. The biggest issue with their pass rush was a lack of any individual player on which opponents needed to focus. Sam Montgomery is only a redshirt-sophomore, and is somewhat raw, but can immediately make an impact as a pass rusher.
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.
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Mock Draft Comments Off

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.