Mock Draft

Updated Mock Draft

1. Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck – QB – Stanford - Scouting Report
There was a brief wave of Robert Griffin III supporters trying to create a debate, but it was short lived. Andrew Luck is head and shoulders above Griffin as a prospect and, despite Tony Dungy’s support, Griffin has no shot at going No. overall. If anything keeps Luck out of Indy, it would have to be a trade offer the Colts simply could not refuse.

2. St. Louis Rams – Matt Kalil – OT – USC - Scouting Report
The will be trade rumors involving this pick right up until draft day, but I truly believe the Rams will stay put. Matt Kalil is a franchise left tackle, and the Vikings wouldn’t hesitate to select him at No. 3. If the Rams trade down with the Browns or Redskins, they’ll miss out on Kalil, and Justin Blackmon is not an adequate consolation prize.

3. Minnesota Vikings – Morris Claiborne – CB – LSU - Scouting Report
There will be a push among Vikings fans to select Justin Blackmon, but Claiborne is probably a safer pick here and also fills a glaring hole. The Vikes have talent at cornerback, but keeping everyone healthy has been a serious problem. If they do want Blackmon, they could trade down with Redskins, who may want to jump up for RGIII.

4. Cleveland Browns – Robert Griffin III – QB – Baylor - Scouting Report
I’m not convinced that Colt McCoy is a bust, but this should still be an easy decision for the Browns. Griffin is an elite playmaker who has the ability to change an offense from day one. With Griffin in the fold, and possibly another offensive playmaker added later in the draft, the Browns offense would be unrecognizable in 2012.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Trent Richardson – RB – Alabama - Scouting Report
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. Read more

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Mock Draft Comments Off

McCrystal’s updated mock draft

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. Read more
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Mock Draft Comments Off

McCrystal’s updated mock draft

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. Read more
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Mock Draft 2 Comments

McCrystal’s Mock Draft

Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck
QB Stanford
The smart move here is to take Luck. He is already viewed as a sure thing, and sitting behind Peyton Manning for two or three years can only help. Ultimately I think they select Luck, but it will be interesting to hear Manning’s take on the situation. They have plenty of other holes to fill and Manning may push for them to address the offensive line in an effort to make one last push for a Super Bowl title before handing the team over to his successor. 
2. St. Louis Rams Matt Kalil OT USC
This will be a tough decision for the Rams. Do they doll the dice on Justin Blackmon or go the safe route with Kalil? There is no question that Sam Bradford needs a receiver like Blackmon, but he comes with some character concerns and top-10 receivers are always risky picks. Kalil, on the other hand, looks like a sure thing and would give the Rams offensive line a much needed upgrade. The addition of Kalil allows them to shift either Rodger Saffold or Jason Smith (both of whom are having disappointing seasons) inside to guard. 
3. Miami Dolphins Matt Barkley QB USC
The Dolphins are taking a quarterback, that much I can guarantee. But who? Barkley,  Jones and Griffin are all possibilities. I’ll give the edge to Barkley for now, because he appears to be the most NFL-ready of the group. The Dolphins should also consider trading up for Luck. Even if the Colts intend on selecting Luck, they could probably be convinced to trade the pick if they felt it significantly improved their chances of winning now.
4. Minnesota Vikings Jonathan Martin OT Stanford
I don’t know what the Vikings thought they were getting in Charlie Johnson, but he is not a starting left tackle. Improving the offensive line in an effort to better protect Christian Ponder needs to be their top priority this offseason. As a result, there is no reason for Matt Kalil and Jonathan Martin to not be one-two on their draft board. If both are off the board by the Vikings pick, their attention should turn to Riley Reiff.
5. Arizona Cardinals Morris Claiborne CB LSU
The Cardinals would probably prefer Kalil or Martin, but I don’t think they’ll reach for Riley Reiff if the top two tackles are off the board. While they did just select Patrick Peterson in 2011, I don’t think that will prevent them from going back to LSU for another cornerback. The Cardinals seconardary is a mess, and Peterson isn’t going to fix it on his own. The combination of Claiborne and Peterson will give them a great young duo to build around. Read more
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Mock Draft Comments Off

Updated 2012 Mock Draft

Seattle Seahawks
Andrew Luck
QB Stanford
It’s going to be a hotly contested race for Andrew Luck, but the Seahawks appear to be the early-season favorites.
2. Cincinnati Bengals Matt Kalil OT USC
Tough decision for the Bengals here. Take Barkley or Jones to replace Dalton? Or try to support Dalton with an o-line upgrade?
3. Indianapolis Colts Matt Barkley QB USC
Its tough to replace a legend, but the Colts could pull it off if they can get Barkley a couple years to learn behind Manning.
4. Carolina Panthers Justin Blackmon WR Oklahoma State
Cam Newton has already shown potential greatness, but he needs to be surrounded with playmakers in order to enjoy long-term success.
5. Miami Dolphins Alshon Jeffery WR South Carolina
I think this is too early for Landry Jones, but the Dolphins would definitely consider him. If they pass, adding another dimension to passing game is next best option. Read more
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Mock Draft Comments Off

2nd round mock draft

New England Patriots
Brooks Reed OLB Arizona
34. Buffalo Bills Aaron Williams CB Texas
35. Cincinnati Bengals Andy Dalton QB TCU
36. Denver Broncos Marvin Austin DT North Carolina
37. Cleveland Browns Titus Young WR Boise State
Read more
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Mock Draft Comments Off

McCrystal’s Final 2011 Mock Draft

Carolina Panthers Cam Newton QB Auburn
Well, it looks like the Panthers have settled on their guy. I can’t stress enough how much of a mistake I think will be, but owner Jerry Richardson wants to save his floundering franchise and he’s willing to roll the dice on Newton. There’s a chance it works out, but Newton is a boom-or-bust prospect if there ever was one. There’s no middle ground for him. He’ll either become a superstar, or he’ll fizzle out like Vince Young and JaMarcus Russell.
2. Denver Broncos Von Miller DE Texas A&M
Rumors are floating that the Broncos may be “in love” with Patrick Peterson. I’m not buying it. Their decision comes down to Marcell Dareus and Von Miller. While I’m not nearly as confident with this selection as I am with the No. 2 pick in most years, I’m leaning toward Miller. John Fox values pass rushers more than interior lineman, and Miller could develop into a 10+ sack per year guy in his scheme.
3. Buffalo Bills Marcell Dareus DE Alabama
This is a make-or-break draft pick for Buddy Nix and Chan Gailey. If they pass on Gabbert and he goes on to be a star in Arizona or San Francisco, Nix/Gailey won’t survive for long in Buffalo. That said, it may be a smart move. Very few believe  Gabbert is a legitimate top-three talent, so waiting to address that need may be the way to go. If they pass on Gabbert, they can’t go wrong with Miller or Dareus. Read more
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Mock Draft Comments Off

Mock Draft Remix – 3 Options for each team

Even a good mock draft is only correct on about 30% of the 1st round selections. So as an alternative to the traditional mock, I’ve created this chart with the three most likely options for each team.

Option 1 looks like a typical mock draft – once a player is chosen, he doesn’t show up at the No. 1 option for anyone else. However, players who have already been selected may still show up as Option 2 or 3 if there is a reasonable chance that they fall to that slot.

Team Option 1 Option 2 Option 3
1. Panthers Cam Newton Marcel Dareus Patrick Peterson
2. Broncos Marcel Dareus Von Miller Patrick Peterson
3. Bills Blaine Gabbert Cam Newton Von Miller
4. Bengals A.J. Green Julio Jones Blaine Gabbert
5. Cardinals Von Miller Blaine Gabbert Robert Quinn
6. Browns Patrick Peterson Robert Quinn Da’Quan Bowers
7. 49ers P. Amukamara Robert Quinn Aldon Smith
8. Titans Nick Fairley D.  Bowers Aldon Smith
9. Cowboys Tyron Smith Cam Jordan A. Castonzo
10. Redskins Julio Jones Cam Jordan Da’Quan Bowers
11. Texans Aldon Smith Robert Quinn Cameron Jordan
12. Vikings Da’Quan Bowers Robert Quinn Cameron Jordan
13. Lions Robert Quinn Cam Jordan A. Castonzo
14. Rams Corey Liuget Cam Jordan M.Wilkerson
15. Dolphins Ryan Mallett C. Ponder Mike Pouncey
16. Jaguars Ryan Kerrigan Cam Jordan Jake Locker
17. Patriots J.J. Watt Cam Jordan Gabe Carimi
18. Chargers Cameron Jordan M. Wilkerson Ryan Kerrigan
19. Giants Mike Pouncey Mark Ingram M. Wilkerson
20. Bucs Adrian Clayborn Justin Houston Jabaal Sheard
21. Chiefs Gabe Carimi Phil Taylor Brooks Reed
22. Colts Anthony Castonzo Nate Solder Corey Liuget
23. Eagles Jimmy Smith Nate Solder Cam Heyward
24. Saints M. Wilkerson Cam Heyward Akeem Ayers
25. Seahawks Phil Taylor Cam Heyward Marvin Austin
26. Ravens Cameron Heyward Jimmy Smith M. Wilkerson
27. Falcons Kyle Rudolph Justin Houston Adrian Clayborn
28. Patriots Mark Ingram Adrian Clayborn Danny Watkins
29. Bears Nate Solder Marvin Austin Corey Liuget
30. Jets Brooks Reed Phil Talyor Jabaal Sheard
31. Steelers Aaron Williams Brandon Harris Jimmy Smith
32. Packers Jabaal Sheard Brooks Reed Cam Heyward
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Mock Draft Comments Off

Peterson’s Final Mock Draft

Edited- April 22, 2011
Carolina Panthers Patrick Peterson CB LSU
Most of the country believes Cam Newton will be the selection, but I’m not buying it. Head Coach Ron Rivera begins his tenure by selecting the best player in the draft. Peterson brings playmaking skills to a young secondary and a spark in the return game. The Panthers will consider AJ Green but pass due to their emerging young core of wideouts. I personally believe Jimmy Clausen will improve in year two and that the quarterbacks in this class are not worthy of being taken over the elite prospects such as Peterson, Green, Dareus, or Miller.
2. Denver Broncos Marcell Dareus DT Alabama
Dareus almost makes too much sense for the Broncos, but it is just such a perfect fit. Denver is weak up front due to their transition into a 4-3 defense and are desperate for a force up front. Dareus could possibly have a Suh-like impact for the Broncos- while defensive ends Elvis Dumervil and Robert Ayers can cause pressure on the quarterbacks. If Denver stays put at number two, then Dareus is their guy.
3. Buffalo Bills Cam Newton QB Auburn
Newton falls into the laps of Buffalo and Chan Gailey gets an interesting player to work with. Newton is by far the biggest question mark in the draft. Some compare him to Donovan McNabb and Ben Roethlisberger, while others say he is the second coming of Jamarcus Russell or Vince Young. To me, Newton has all the skills in the world to succeed but the question is if he wants badly enough. Buffalo is an ideal landing spot for Newton because he can sit and learn the game under Harvard-Grad Ryan Fitzpatrick. Read more
Posted on by Matt Peterson in 2011 NFL Draft, Mock Draft 2 Comments

McCrystal’s updated mock draft

Carolina Panthers Cam Newton QB Auburn
It’s starting to sound like the Panthers have settled on Newton. I disagree with it and I think that in five years they’ll regret the decision as much as the Titans regret taking Vince Young – but it looks as if they’re going in this direction regardless. That said, I still wouldn’t be shocked if all of these Newton rumors are just an effort to entice the Bengals or Bills to trade up. If Marcell Dareus’ name gets called I’ll be mildly surprised, but definitely not shocked.
2. Denver Broncos Marcell Dareus DT Alabama
At this point I can’t see Dareus falling any further than No. 2. The Broncos are taking a defensive lineman here, and unless the Panthers grab Dareus at No. 1, I think he’s their guy. Dareus is a perfect fit at defensive tackle in John Fox’s 4-3 scheme. There is also a small chance that this pick gets traded. Someone may wish to jump over Buffalo in an effort to land Blaine Gabbert, and the Broncos would be wise to stockpile draft picks if that is an option.
3. Buffalo Bills Blaine Gabbert QB Missouri
Reading between the lines of Buddy Nix’s interviews, I suspect he would prefer to draft Von Miller but is getting pressure from above (Ralph Wilson) to take a quarterbacks. I also believe Nix would prefer Cam Newton, but likes Gabbert enough to settle for him if he’s the guy left on the board. “Settling” for a quarterback at No. 3 certainly isn’t what Bills fans want to hear, but that’s what its come to. I don’t love the pick, but I do like Gabbert a lot more than Newton. Read more
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Mock Draft Comments Off