Since all the cool kids are doing it, I thought I’d take a stab at predicting the ever unpredictable 1st round of the NFL draft. Just to spice things up I included a few trades as well. After Thursday night, be sure to come back here to take a look and marvel at my all powerful prophetic skills. I’m telling you, I’m a regular Nostradumbass. So without further ado…
- Carolina Panthers: DT Marcel Dareus – In all reality, Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert are NOT worth a top 10 pick, let alone #1 overall. New coach Ron Rivera goes defense with his first pick as a head coach.
- Denver Broncos: DT Nick Fairley – Surprised and disappointed that Carolina took Dareus, they settle for Fairley to team with DE Elvis Dumervil in their new 4-3 defense.
- Buffalo Bills: WR AJ Green – With the 2 DT’s off the board everyone is certain Von Miller is the pick here. Chan Gailey decides he wants to give Ryan Fitzpatrick a better chance to succeed by giving him an upgrade over the fading Lee Evans.
- Cincinnati Bengals: QB Cam Newton – With the disgruntled Carson Palmer maintaining he’ll retire before ever playing for Cincy again, the Bengals have to take a chance on Newton. Those that remember Akili Smith will immediately start popping rolaids after this pick.
- Arizona Cardinals: LB Von Miller – Tempted to take Gabbert here, Whisenhunt instead opts to give his team a better pass rushing presence to help Darnell Dockett.
- *Trade with Cleveland*, Tennessee Titans: QB Blaine Gabbert – Afraid the 49ers will take him, they make their move to get their man. Vince Young is all but gone.
- San Francisco 49ers: CB Patrick Peterson – The Niners are ecstatic here and can’t hand in their draft card fast enough. They weren’t going to pick Gabbert anyway and get the player they wanted and need.
- Cleveland Browns: DE Robert Quinn – The Browns are switching to a 4-3 defense and are in dire need of a pass rushing end.
- Dallas Cowboys: OT Tyron Smith – There is no getting around that the Cowboys need to improve their offensive line.
- *Trade with Washington*, New England Patriots: WR Julio Jones – The Redskins have several holes to fill and only have 2 picks in the first 4 rounds. They need a QB and none are worthy at this point. The Pats have plenty of picks to spare so they use one and trade up to nab Brady a big time weapon.
- Houston Texans: DT Phil Taylor – Here’s the first shocker of the draft because he goes much earlier than expected. Houston is switching to a 3-4 defense under new DC Wade Phillips. Word has it that the Texans are less than thrilled with 2007 1st round pick Amobi Okoye and he might be on the trade block. Taylor gives them a prototype nose tackle to partner with DE Super Mario.
- Minnesota Vikings: DT Corey Liuget – The Williams Wall is crumbling so they need rebuild it with some “legit” players.
- Detroit Lions: OT Anthony Castonzo – Since there aren’t any WR’s to pick here, they decide to do what they’ve been needing to do for years…draft a blue chip offensive lineman. Mathew Stafford needs all the help he can get to stay healthy.
- St. Louis Rams: CB Prince Amukamara – Still depressed that Julio Jones is gone, Spags snaps out of it when he realizes Prince is still on the board. Mission for 2nd round: WR for Bradford.
- *Trade with Miami*, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DE Da’Quan Bowers – The Bucs get nervous about the Jags taking their guy and Miami could use an extra pick or 2.
- Jacksonville Jaguars: DE Aldon Smith – Disappointed because Bowers was going to be their pick, they settle for Smith which isn’t really all that bad.
- Washington Redskins: QB Jake Locker – Though it’s still too early for a QB such as Locker, the Skins are desperate and have to pull the trigger.
- San Diego Chargers: DE Cameron Jordan – Thrilled that he’s still on the board, the Bolts get some good athleticism at the end position in their 3-4 defense.
- New York Giants: OT Gabe Carimi – The Giants need help along their OL and could go with Pouncey here but tackle is the more valuable position.
- Miami Dolphins: RB Mark Ingram – The Dolphins were able to trade back, get another pick, and still land their top target.
- Kansas City Chiefs: OLB Akeem Ayers – Tyson Jackson has underperformed a little bit since he was their top selection just 2 years ago so J.J. Watt could get a look here. But if they believe in Jackson they can select Ayers here and allow him to team with Tamba Hali to give them a great pair of rush linebackers.
- Indianapolis Colts: OT Nate Solder – Another team with a depleted OL. Manning isn’t getting any younger and needs to have the comfort of knowing his blindside is protected well.
- Philadelphia Eagles: DE Ryan Kerrigan – With CB Jimmy Smith still on the board??!! Yep, you got it. Reid and Co. just can’t help themselves. But, this would be an excellent pick for the Eagles.
- New Orleans Saints: DT Marvin Austin – Teamed with Sedrick Ellis, the Saints would have a very good interior DL combination.
- Seattle Seahawks: CB Jimmy Smith – With Earl Thomas from last year this will give the Hawks a great tandem in the defensive backfield for years to come. Drafting a QB here is a serious possibility depending on whether or not they believe in Charlie Whitehurst.
- Baltimore Ravens: CB Brandon Harris – Just missing out on Smith was a disappointment but they get arguably the next best CB on the board.
- Atlanta Falcons: DE Adrian Clayborn – Going WR here (Leonard Hankerson maybe?) could be a possibility but defense is the higher priority.
- New England Patriots: DE J.J. Watt – Belichick couldn’t wait to get back to the defensive side of the ball. He gets an excellent steal here as this is the player he would have taken at 17 if they didn’t trade up.
- Chicago Bears: OG/C Mike Pouncey – Is there any question that OL is the Bears’ biggest weakness? They’re thrilled that Pouncey is still on the board. Derek Sherrod could be a target as well.
- New York Jets: LB Brooks Reed – His name has been mentioned a lot by the Jets’ brass. They could use a new rush LB since they cut ties with Vernon Gholston.
- Pittsburgh Steelers: CB Aaron Williams – I could see them being intrigued with Cam Heyward here but the defensive backfield is a more urgent need.
- Green Bay Packers: RB Mikel Leshoure – After seeing what happened to their running game last year after Ryan Grant went down, they need a viable backup and future starter.
I have the Eagles selecting Kerrigan at #23 because he was still on the board. I truly believe he would be a player that they love and wouldn’t be able to pass him up. If in reality he’s not there when we pick we may seriously consider trading out of that slot. Would I want them to pick Smith there? Absolutely. But this exercise wasn’t about what I want to happen, it’s about what I think will happen.
Though I didn’t predict it here, I still believe there is a strong possibility that one of the QB-needy teams will trade up into the end of the 1st round to grab a player like Colin Kaepernick. Especially if they feel they need to leap-frog Seattle to get him (this is the scenario where the Eagles would trade down).
So now that I’ve made a mockery out of mocks, do you want to mock my mock? Let me hear your thoughts!