The Washington Redskins would have loved to get Luck, but Robert Griffin is a very nice consolation prize. He fits perfectly into the Shanahan offense and already has a few decent weapons to work with. This is exactly the pick Mike Shanahan needed to turn things around in Washington, and despite the lack of picks in upcoming drafts, I have no doubt that Daniel Snyder will make sure his franchise spends the money necessary to give Griffin every opportunity to succeed.
Obviously there’s no surprise here. Andrew Luck has been in the No. 1 slot on every single one of my 2012 mock drafts (and most of the 2011 mocks, before he returned to school). The Indianapolis Colts now have the face of their franchise for the next 10+ years. Even if Luck doesn’t fully live up to the lofty standards set by Peyton Manning, Luck will still lead the Colts to multiple playoff appearances once he’s surrounded by enough talent.
All that said, it’s going to be a rough rookie year for Luck. The Colts have essentially no talent on either side of the ball and realistically could be picking at the top of the draft once again in 2013.
It seems like everyone wants to trade down this year, but the Philadelphia Eagles are one of the few looking to move up in the draft. The Eagles are reportedly very high on both Mark Barron and Fletcher Cox, and neither player figures to be on the board at No. 15.
Not only are the Eagles interested in moving up, but they also have more than enough ammunition to make it happen. With two 2nd round picks, the Eagles could easily climb into the top 10. They may view the Jaguars as a desirable trade partner in an effort to jump ahead of the Panthers.
The Eagles clearly believe they are a player or two away from being legitimate contenders, which could force them to part with a nice package of picks in order to move up to get their guy.
It has been widely reported that the New York Jets have Trent Richardson at the top of their draft board. It has also been reported that the top pass rusher on their board in Melvin Ingram.
Neither player is going to be on the board at No.16, which means the Jets will need to trade up to land one of their primary targets, and they’re prepared to do just that.
The Jaguars, who own the 7th pick, are a likely trade partner. If they move up to No. 7, the Jets would target Ingram with that selection.
In order to move up into the top 10, the Jets will need to part with their 1st and 2nd round picks this year, and likely another mid-round pick (3rd or 4th round) in 2013.
At this point it sounds as though it’s only a matter of “when” rather than “if” the Jets move up.
Updated April 26, 2012
ABOUT MIKE: Mike was the 2009 NFL Mock Draft Champion according to TheHuddleReport.com, predicting 11 of the top 15 picks. The annual competition includes the mock drafts of ALL of the most highly regarded and high profile NFL draft experts in the country, including Mel Kiper Jr, Todd McShay, Charlie Casserly and Rich Gosselin, among others. Mike finished 4th in 2008, 42nd in 2010 and 26th in 2011 (out of 120 experts). Mike can be contacted at MBand30@gmail.com
1. Indianapolis Colts/Washington Redskins
This is a done deal, so I’ll group these teams together. We know that Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin are headed to Indy and Washington, respectively. But I will add this, don’t be surprised if Colts draft another quarterback to compete for the backup job with Drew Stanton. They own six picks in the final three rounds of the draft, and could add a guy like Russell Wilson or B.J. Coleman late in the draft.
2. Miami Dolphins
I’m not convinced the Dolphins will take Ryan Tannehill, but they will draft someone to compete with Matt Moore for the starting job. If they pass on Tannehill, Brandon Weeden or Kirk Cousins could be options on Day Two.
3. Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs are another candidate to land Tannehill. But even if they miss out on the Texas A&M signal caller, they’re likely to bring in someone to groom as Matt Cassel’s replacement in the 2nd or 3rd round.
4. Cleveland Browns
The Browns will have the first crack at Tannehill, but they’re unlikely to pull the trigger at No. 4. In fact, the Browns may simply chose to stick with McCoy and pass on most of the top signal callers in this draft. But that doesn’t mean they won’t find someone. Mike Holmgren is a quarterback guru, and is likely to pick out someone in the 3rd round or later that he would like to develop.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers
Obviously the Steelers aren’t in the Tannehill sweepstakes, but they’re also unlikely to enter the 2012 season with Jerrod Johnson and Troy Smith as Roethlisberger’s backups. Look for them to add a quarterback at some point, potentially as a early as the 3rd round.
Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting that the St. Louis Rams are interested in trading up for the 4th pick in the draft.
The obvious assumption is that the team is targeting Justin Blackmon, and is worried that either the Browns or Bucs (or someone else trading up) will land him before the 6th pick.
But what if the Rams have other plans?
The Browns are unlikely to draft Blackmon – it just doesn’t fit with the track record of GM Tom Heckert and President Mike Holmgren. And the Bucs almost certainly have Morris Claiborne and Trent Richardson ahead of Blackmon on their board. So what could be motivating the Rams to move up?
Perhaps their target is actually Matt Kalil, and this proposed trade is contingent on the Vikings passing on the future franchise left tackle.
While adding a playmaker for Sam Bradford is certainly a priority, so is keeping Bradford on his feet. Rodger Saffold is better suited to play right tackle, and Jason Smith may be better off playing guard (or simply a backup role at this point). Kalil would certainly change the dynamic of the Rams offensive line, and the extra time provided to Bradford could open things up in the passing game.
To land Ingram the Jets may need to move into the top 10 (Pauline suggests the Jaguars as a potential trade partner). It would be a bold move, but one that makes sense if the Jets feel as though they are a pass rusher away from contending for the Super Bowl.
Taking Ingram in the top 10 may be a slight reach, but I can’t fault the Jets for moving up to land their guy. This is a fairly weak class of pass rushers, and a team on the verge of contention can always justify moving up to fill their most glaring hole.
Janoris Jenkins is one of the most volatile prospects in this year’s draft, so I thought it would be worth spending some time reviewing what the “character issues” actually are and how they’ll impact his draft stock.
1) A pattern of poor decisions
I’ve had numerous people reply to me on twitter with the “but half the NFL smokes pot” defense. If this is true, such an argument basically proves why Jenkins is such a risk. If it’s possible for a large portion of the league to smoke responsibly and not get caught, then it must take a special kind of stupidity to fail multiple drug tests in a three-year span. NFL executives are more than forgiving when it comes to drug and alcohol-related arrests in college, but when a player repeatedly makes the same mistakes, that’s when the red flag gets raised.
And in Jenkins case, the poor decisions are not limited to drugs and alcohol. He has children with multiple women, he was arrested for his role in a bar fight, and was ejected from a game for throwing a punch this past season. Any one of these “character” flaws, could be overlooked, but put them together and you have a pattern of stupidity.
2) Lack of self awareness
To make matters worse, Jenkins showed absolutely no sign of changing while at North Alabama. With his NFL career very much on the line, he (by his own admission) continued to smoke and got into a fight during a game. If a player is capable of self destructing while playing in Florence, Alabama with his career on the line, he is not going to suddenly change when collecting an NFL paycheck and playing in front of 50,000 screaming fans every Sunday.
And if that wasn’t enough, shortly after changing agents (which caught the attention of the national media and raised more than a few eyebrows) he decided to take a trip to Las Vegas. Again, this alone would be completely irrelevant. He’s probably not the only prospect to visit Vegas this offseason. But would it have killed him to wait until May before making the trip? Decisions like these shows that Jenkins just doesn’t get it. His every move is being scrutinized, with millions of dollars on the line, and he just doesn’t care.
3) He’ll fall, but not that far
If Jenkins were a quarterback, his career would be over. No one will ever gamble on a franchise player with his laundry list of poor decisions. But he’s a cornerback, where athleticism (to a certain extent) trumps preparation and work ethic. For the same reason why Pacman Jones can still have a job, Jenkins will still be drafted within the first two rounds. While teams certainly aren’t excited about his off-field antics, so long as he shows up on Sunday and performs, he’ll have a job. And everything Jenkins has done on the field has indicated that he can excel in the NFL. The off-field issues may hinder his ability to reach his full potential, but even if he continues to make poor decisions, he will likely still be able to contribute on the field.