1. Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck – QB – Stanford - Scouting Report
The Colts still haven’t made their intentions known, but I just can’t see him going any other direction with this pick. Griffin is an elite prospect, but players like him come along every couple years. Luck is in another stratosphere as a prospect, and there are franchise that have waited their entire existence without ever having the opportunity to land a guy like him. The Colts would be making a huge mistake to pass on Luck.
2. Washington Redskins - Robert Griffin III – QB – Baylor - Scouting Report
[from Rams] As much as the Redskins are excited about Griffin, there’s no doubt that they’re secretly crossing their fingers for the Colts to let Andrew Luck slide. But Griffin will be a fine consolation prize, if you can even call it that. He’s a special prospect, but the challenge now will be to surround him with enough talent in order to let him develop.
3. Minnesota Vikings - Matt Kalil – OT – USC - Scouting Report
The Vikings may entertain the possibility of trading this pick but if they stay put Kalil is too valuable to pass up. Their offensive line has been depleted by the release of Steve Hutchinson and Anthony Herrera, and if they want to keep Christian Ponder on his feet in 2012, then adding a star at left tackle is a must.
4. Cleveland Browns - Trent Richardson – RB – Alabama - Scouting Report
The Browns have shown a good deal of interest in Richardson in recent weeks, and I’m inclined to believe it’s genuine. If they were trying to drive up the price of the 4th overall pick, Blackmon would probably be the guy the feign interest in, given the number of teams in the lower half of the top 10 in need of a receiver. So assuming the Browns don’t trade down, Richardson is the pick.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Morris Claiborne – CB – LSU - Scouting Report
The Bucs will probably be content to take either Richardson or Claiborne, whichever one the Browns pass up. Claiborne may not have the same immediate impact as Richardson, but still fills a glaring hole at cornerback. The Bucs may also be a candidate to trade down, especially if a team like the Jaguars or Bills decide to leapfrog the Rams in an effort to land Justin Blackmon.
6. St. Louis Rams - Justin Blackmon – WR – Oklahoma St - Scouting Report
[from Redskins] It’s unlikely that Claiborne gets past the Browns and Bucs, which means the Blackmon is the heavy favorite for this slot. There is no doubt that Blackmon would add a new dimension to the Rams offense, providing Sam Bradford with the type of supporting cast he deserves. I don’t think they’ll trade up for Blackmon, as has been rumored, but I do think they’ll take him if he falls.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars - Melvin Ingram – DE – South Carolina - Scouting Report
The Jaguars are one of the top candidates to trade down, at which point they could address any number of positions. If they stay put, GM Gene Smith’s tendency to shy away from players with character concerns could play a significant role in this selection. Blackmon, Floyd and Coples would all make sense if they’re on the board, but all have some sort of concern to varying degrees. Ingram is a safer pick, and still fills a need.
8. Miami Dolphins - Ryan Tannehill – QB – Texas A&M - Scouting Report
I’m tempted to move Tannehill down a few slots to Kansas City, but I’ll leave him here (for now). The Dolphins are desperate for a quarterback help, and while Tannehill is not anywhere close to a top 10 talent, desperate times call for desperate measures. If they do pass on Tannehill, the decision would likely come down to Coples and Floyd.
9. Carolina Panthers – Quinton Coples – DE – North Carolina -Scouting Report
The Panthers seem to be interested in upgrading the defensive end position opposite Charles Johnson, hoping to find a more well-rounded upgrade over Greg Hardy. Coples was incredibly inconsistent in college, but when the effort is there, he’s a dominant force.
10. Buffalo Bills - Michael Floyd – WR – Notre Dame - Scouting Report
The Bills committed a significant sum of money to Ryan Fitzpatrick last year, but if they’re going to be serious contenders with him at the helm, he’s going to need some help. Stevie Johnson has developed into a legitimate No. 1, but the depth around him is lacking. Floyd may be the most NFL-ready receiver in this class due to his ability to work as a possession receiver, which compliments Johnson well.
11. Kansas City Chiefs - Luke Kuechly – LB – Boston College - Scouting Report
This is a very safe pick for the Chiefs. Kueckly won’t change their team dramatically, but he’s a can’t miss prospect and gives them a potentially dominant front seven. Derrick Johnson and Kueckly would form arguably the league’s best pair of inside linebackers. If they pass on Kuechly, Dontari Poe and David DeCastro could be options.
12. Seattle Seahawks - David DeCastro – OG – Stanford - Scouting Report
The Seahawks are tentatively expected to move James Carpenter to guard, but I just can’t see that being their ultimate plan for their 2011 1st-round pick. By adding DeCastro, the Seahawks could keep Carpenter at right tackle, while adding a significant upgrade to their interior line. That said, if Kuechly is one the board, he’s probably the pick.
13. Arizona Cardinals - Cordy Glenn – OG/OT – Georgia - Scouting Report
The Cardinals need to address the offensive line, and would be wise to add either Glenn or DeCastro with this pick. Both players are maulers, who fit well with the Cardinals power running game. Glenn would probably play right tackle in Arizona, but could also shift inside to either tackle position.
14. Dallas Cowboys - Courtney Upshaw – LB – Alabama - Scouting Report
The Cowboys have done a nice job filling some holes in free agency, upgrading the secondary and of the offensive line. Their next move will be to add a pass rusher, a need which Jerry Jones as specifically referenced this offseason. Either Upshaw or Melvin Ingram should be on the board here, and I suspect the Cowboys would be fine with either.
15. Philadelphia Eagles - Fletcher Cox – DT – Mississippi State - Scouting Report
The Eagles are a tough team to predict, so I’ll play it safe and assume Andy Reid sticks with his ‘when in doubt, draft a lineman’ strategy. Cox has the potential to be a dangerous interior pass rusher, and could be a poor man’s Ndamukong Suh in Philly’s defensive scheme.
16. New York Jets - Andre Branch – DE – Clemson - Scouting Report
The Jets would likely jump at the chance to land Ingram or Upshaw, but I suspect they’ll need to trade up to make that happen. As a result, they’ll have to settle for Branch or maybe Nick Perry. While Upshaw would be preferable, Branch is a nice consolation prize.
17. Cincinnati Bengals - Dre Kirkpatrick – CB – Alabama - Scouting Report
[from Raiders] The Bengals don’t have a glaring need for a cornerback, but in recent years they’ve shown a tendency to jump at the chance to land a player who’s falling. The addition of Kirkpatrick would give them a deep secondary, and potentially make Nate Clements expendable.
18. San Diego Chargers - Chandler Jones – LB – Syracuse - Scouting Report
Jones is somewhat raw, but has the elite size/athleticism combination that 3-4 teams look for in outside linebackers. The Chargers have shown an interest in players like Jones under A.J. Smith, and clearly aren’t worried about gambling on players who are raw and may take time to develop (Larry English and Shawne Merriman being two decent examples, albeit with different outcomes).
19. Chicago Bears - Whitney Mercilus – LB – Illinois - Scouting Report
Mercilus is a one-dimensional pass rusher, which has hurt his stock in the eyes of some teams. However, the Bears have a solid front seven already, with Julius Peppers anchoring one side of the defensive line. As a result, the Bears can afford to bring in a guy like Mercilus and simply let him loose in passing situations. If used properly, Mercilus could rack up double-digit sacks as a rookie in Chicago.
20. Tennessee Titans - Mark Barron – S – Alabama - Scouting Report
The Titans are one of the most difficult teams to predict. Most mock drafts have them targeting a defensive lineman, but I suspect the addition of Kamerion Wimbley fills that need. Strong safety isn’t necessarily a glaring hole, but Barron is a definitely upgrade over Jordan Babineaux and one of the best available players on the board.
21. Cincinnati Bengals - Peter Konz – C – Wisconsin - Scouting Report
The Bengals have made some big changes to the offensive line this offseason, adding Travelle Wharton and Jacob Bell, and they may not be done yet. Kyle Cook has been an adequate staring center, but Konz offers a significant upgrade. If the plan is to pound the ball inside with Green-Ellis and Scott in 2012, Konz would make a lot of sense here.
22. Cleveland Browns - Kendall Wright – WR – Baylor - Scouting Report
[from Falcons] I don’t think the Browns have a strong interest in Justin Blackmon, and one reason for that is due to the fact that they’ll have an opportunity to land a receiver at No. 22. Wright would be the perfect complement to Greg Little and could really open things up for the Browns offense.
23. Detroit Lions - Stephon Gilmore – CB – S.Carolina - Scouting Report
It’s hard to imagine the Lions not drafting a cornerback, even if it means trading up into the top 20. If they’re going to catch Green Bay, they need the pass defense to get it done. There’s a decent chance that either Gilmore or Dre Kirkpatrick will be on the board here, and both would fit well in Detroit.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers - Dontari Poe – DT – Memphis - Scouting Report
Poe may not fall this far, but if he does begin to slide the Steelers could be interested in trading up. He seems to fit their defensive scheme perfectly, and GM Kevin Colbert loves to fill holes before they open up. They could groom Poe for a year or two behind Casey Hampton.
25. Denver Broncos - Michael Brockers – DT – LSU - Scouting Report
The Broncos must address their defensive line early in this draft, and they should be in position to land a quality tackle here. Brockers and Jerel Worthy would both make sense, but I’ll give the slight edge to Brockers. He has more upside and has the potential to be a dangerous interior pass rusher once he refines his game.
26. Houston Texans – Rueben Randle – WR – LSU - Scouting Report
The Texans have far bigger holes to fill, but when you’re this close to being legitimate contenders, sometimes the right decision to make the luxury pick. Randle will take time to fully develop, but he would add some depth to the receiving corps and take some of the pressure off of Andre Johnson.
27. New England Patriots - Nick Perry – DE/LB – USC - Scouting Report
From New Orleans - The Patriots have needs all over the defensive side of the ball, so I expect them to take the best available player. Perry is among the top available here, and fits their hybrid scheme well. He has he size and athleticism to easily transition between 4-3 end and 3-4 linebacker throughout the game/season.
28. Green Bay Packers – Shea McClellin – OLB – Boise State - Scouting Report
I was skeptical of McClellin’s recent surge up draft boards, but after going back to review some games from 2011 I realized the hype is warranted. McClelling played more of a hybrid end/linebacker role as a senior and make significant strides in his game. He’s a perfect fit at outside linebacker in defense like Green Bay’s.
29. Baltimore Ravens - Jonathan Martin – OT – Stanford - Scouting Report
The Ravens don’t need to fill any glaring holes, so they can sit back and wait for the best available player to fall into their lap. In this scenario, it’s definitely Jonathan Martin, who could potentially play guard early in his career before shifting over to tackle in a year or two to replace Bryant McKinnie.
30. San Francisco 49ers - Amini Silatolu – OG – Midwestern State
The 49ers don’t have many holes to fill, but if the opportunity presents itself to upgrade the right guard position they should jump at the chance. This may be a slight reach for Silatolu, but pairing him with Mike Iupati would give the 49ers two potentially dominant interior run blockers to pave the way for Frank Gore.
31. New England Patriots – Jerel Worthy – DT – Michigan State - Scouting Report
Worthy is a great fit for the Patriots, who need to add depth on the interior line to take some of the pressure off Vince Wilfork. Worthy has the ability to play tackle in the Patriots 4-3 sets, and could shift outside to end in their 3-4 sets. He may also have the size and strength to eventually take over for Vince Wilfork at nose tackle down the road.
32. New York Giants - Riley Reiff – OT – Iowa - Scouting Report
The Giants often settle for the best available player, and with so few holes to fill that will likely be the strategy once again. There seems to be limited interest in offensive linemen in the 1st round this year, meaning someone (Martin, Reiff or Mike Adams) should be available here.