By Kyle Rota
Let me begin this mock by saying that while I like to think I have some talent at scouting players, that does not extend to mock drafts. In fact, if anything I am hindered by the fact that while Rob and Kip spend lots of time looking at draft stuff around the league and analyzing other teams, I'm sitting in front of my TV scouting players. I have no doubt that Rob and Kip's mocks will be more accurate than mine. Also, I understand and largely agree with Rob's picks for Seattle, but you don't want to read the same mock twice, so I am throwing a few curveballs to provide something different. However, I do believe that every pick I mock (except Oakland's) is justifiable and possible.
#1 St. Louis: Sam Bradford (QB, Oklahoma)
I am torn between Suh and Bradford here. I don't think St. Louis loves Bradford, and I would actually be surprised if he ends up a Ram. I think it will be Cleveland here, but I never project trades in mocks.
#2 Detroit: Ndamukong Suh (DT, Nebraska)
Another pick that could happen at the slot, but not necessarily to the same team. Detroit has started to build something on offense, they need to add to it and a franchise left tackle would do that. However, I don't think they would pick one at #2, Suh is BPA and should go here.
#3 Tampa Bay: Gerald McCoy (DT, Oklahoma)
This one actually makes a lot of sense, I will be surprised if it doesn't happen.
#4 Washington: Trent Williams (OT, Oklahoma)
I've never been a huge fan of Okung, and I can at least understand why a team would take Williams here. He has incredible potential and should fit their system.
#5 Kansas City: Eric Berry (S, Tennessee)
The first (mild) curveball in this mock. I am not sure if it will happen because it is 50/50 if the Chiefs like Berry this much, but after taking a DE #3 last year, it's clear Scott Pioli will take who he wants, no matter the public perception.
#6 Seattle: Derrick Morgan (DE, Georgia Tech)
According to rumors that I am inclined to believe, Seattle wants Berry or Williams. I wouldn't be surprised if the Front Office views this as a worst-case scenario. I would not, however, as I think Morgan will be a very productive LDE for the next decade.
#7 Cleveland: Jimmy Clausen (QB, Notre Dame)
I don't believe the talk that Holmgren is lukewarm towards Clausen. Clausen is nowhere near perfect, but he seems like the kind of quarterback that Holmgren just loves, no matter what he says to the press. I expect Cleveland to move up, but if the draft fell this way, this is who they'd take.
#8 Oakland: Bruce Campbell (OT, Maryland)
This is the first time in 3 years that I have felt doubt projecting Oakland's pick. My usual strategy is to make the dumbest pick possible and give it to Oakland (it almost always works), but in that case there could be two: Campbell and Jason Paul Pierre. Campbell wins out.
#9 Buffalo: Russell Okung (OT, Oklahoma State)
I have major reservations about Okung. I am afraid of what NFL DEs might do to him. That said, people who I trust think he will be a great player, and Buffalo could use a LT. I'd love to give them Rolando McClain, but the one part of their front-7 that I like is ILB.
#10 Jacksonville: Joe Haden (CB, Florida)
Jacksonville needs secondary help, and while I was tempted to make another unusual pick and give them Earl Thomas (which I think could happen), Haden is too athletic and presents too much upside to pass up here.
#11 Denver: Rolando McClain (ILB, Alabama)
Denver has a need at inside linebacker, McClain is a great player, and he interviewed well. With a coach (McDaniels) in charge, I wouldn't be surprised to see Denver grab McClain.
#12 Miami: Brandon Graham (OLB, Michigan)
Graham has some really intriguing positives on film. He definitely had some red flags that I would've liked to examine further, but I think Miami would make this pick and be quite happy with their choice.
#13 San Francisco: Bryan Bulaga (OT, Iowa)
Bulaga makes a ton of sense for San Francisco. The franchise seems confused as to whether they want a physical identity on offense or if they want to pass the ball from the shotgun. Bulaga is a good pass protector for a RT and will provide toughness running the ball.
#14 Seattle: Charles Brown (OT, USC)
I like Charles Brown a lot, and while I know this would be early for Brown, I think he makes the most sense if Seattle is unable to grab Williams. Brown has limited experience as a tackle and made big strides from 2008 to 2009, and is about as pure a fit for Alex Gibbs as you can get.
#15 New York Giants: Jason Pierre-Paul (DE, USF)
I'm not a JPP fan, but for New York this would actually be a good calculated risk. Pierre-Paul has tremendous upside, and New York would not be required to play him extensively his first year while he works on things like being competent against the run, using his hands, and instincts.
#16 Tennessee: Everson Griffen (DE, USC)
I was not terribly impressed by what I saw of Griffen, but Tennessee is in a tough spot here. They should compete for the playoffs next year, and might make a "need" pick in order to increase their chances. Griffen certainly has the talent to go here, but some teams will be put off by his inconsistency in college.
#17 San Francisco: Earl Thomas (DB, Texas)
One of those situations where a player falls more than he should. Thomas is projected by some as a safety and some as a cornerback, and SF could use either.
#18 Pittsburgh: Mike Iupati (OG, Idaho)
Iupati is one of my favorite players in this draft, just not for Seattle. He has the strength and nastiness that Pittsburgh will love, and the need for offensive linesmen... huge. I wanted to give them DeMaryius Thomas, but it was impossible to pass up Iupati here.
#19 Atlanta: CJ Spiller (RB, Clemson)
I kind of doubt Spiller falls this far, but if he does Atlanta will not complain one bit. They are a contending team that needs a spark, which is the right fit for Spiller, who I have serious questions about.
#20 Houston: Ryan Mathews (RB, Fresno State)
I believe that Mathews could be a great back. He has some risk, but he's a great fit in a zone system and can carry the load, important since Slaton seems to have wound up on Kubiak's bad side.
#21 Cincinnati: Taylor Mays (S, USC)
Mays has been miscast his whole collegiate career as a superstar-in-waiting, but he isn't that right now. Mays certainly has all of the physical tools, but has yet to put it together. Cincinnati is not against rolling the dice that Mays blossoms, especially since he should be a good S even if he doesn't improve.
#22 New England: Sergio Kindle (OLB, Texas)
While I may have some success guessing Oakland's picks, I whiff consistently when it comes to New England. Kindle makes a lot of sense here, as he is versatile and talented, but chances are it will be someone I left off this mock completely.
#23 Green Bay: Patrick Robinson (CB, Florida State)
I expect a run on cornerbacks to begin around here. While LT is certainly a big need for Green Bay, their corners are getting old and I don't like any of the remaining tackles for their system.
#24 Phildadelphia: Maurkice Pouncey (C, Florida)
I didn't want to project Pouncey here, but with Jamaal Jackson (who I really like) possibly missing time, I could see it. Pouncey is versatile enough to play guard if/when Jackson returns.
#25 Baltimore: DeMaryius Thomas (WR, Georgia Tech)
While Baltimore has Anquan Boldin, the rest of the WR position is in a state of disarray. Thomas gives Flacco a big, fast, physical target while also fitting in perfectly with the Baltimore emphasis on running the ball.
#26 Arizona: Devin McCourty (CB, Rutgers)
I really think Arizona will consider a TE or a OLB here, but at the same time I really like McCourty and the CB position could use some help too. I think there will be good options at TE and OLB later in this draft, that may not be true for cornerback.
#27 Dallas: Anthony Davis (OT, Rutgers)
Jerry Jones is just the kind of guy to take a risk on Davis. Davis has some serious problems with his technique, but it's hard to be less useful on passing downs than Flozell Adams, who Dallas seemed content with for years.
#28 San Diego: Dan Williams (DT, Tennessee)
I was not terribly impressed by Williams, but his combination of size and quickness would be really appealing to a "quick" 3-4 team like San Deigo.
#29 New York Jets: Ricky Sapp (OLB, Clemson)
New York has addressed their OLB position to a degree with Jason Taylor, but the long-term future of rush linebacker is pretty murky. Sapp needs to improve his strength, but he is a tremendous athlete. Dez Bryant was also considered, but I believe the Jets intend to keep Holmes long-term if he works out well.
#30 Minnesota: Tim Tebow (QB, Florida)
I really believe Tebow will win some team over in his interview and go in the first round, and I could see Minnesota being that team. He wouldn't be forced to start right away, and when he does take the field he has a strong supporting cast.
#31 Indianapolis: Kyle Wilson (CB, Boise State)
I have a hard time seeing Wilson fall out of the first round. Indy is willing to draft short or tall corners, but they almost always take strong corners. Wilson is quite strong for his size, and a good cover-man to boot.
#32 New Orleans: Sean Weatherspoon (LB, Missouri)
I'm not sure what it is, but I think Weatherspoon will be a very solid NFL pro. The Saints are in a good position to take who they want, but LB is probably the biggest need on the team and Weatherspoon should be at least a solid starter.