Each week Fansided.com will have a new mock draft to preview and showcase this upcoming April’s draft. For more in depth analysis of each pick, be sure to visit the Fansided site of your favorite team and check back each Monday for a new and updated Mock Draft.
NOTE: This is as accurate a draft order as possible. As the season nears it’s conclusion, the accuracy of the draft positioning will become more pin point. Here is the current draft order.
1. Kansas City Chiefs – Geno Smith, QB/West Virginia
I hate making this pick because at the moment it’s a serious reach and that’s the last thing a franchise in flux needs. However, we’ve seen quarterbacks see their value skyrocket in previous drafts and Smith has that written all over him. But while Smith is a reach, there is no doubt the Chiefs need a quarterback for the future, the question is who? Guys like Matt Barkley, Tyler Wilson or even Landry Jones (based on his Cotton Bowl performance) could see this value ballon like Smith’s can. No matter who’s value goes up, the Chiefs are going to go quarterback here.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars – Star Lotulelei, DT/Utah
Jacksonville needs to upgrade their defensive line, and while edge edge rushers have been kicked around for this pick, the addition of Jason Babin sort of helps fill a need. If the Jaguars can bring him back, taking Lotulelei is a no-brainer as he can start immediately and improves this line ten-fold. Scouts say Lotulelei is the most complete and NFL-ready tackle in the draft and he’d help plug a terrible run defense in Jacksonville as well as penetrate the line. It’s a different pick, but it’s not one the Jaguars should sleep on. If Tebow is the way of the future, this defense needs to be razor sharp to keep him in games.
3. Oakland Raiders – Jarvis Jones, OLB/Georgia
Ronaldo McClain isn’t going to comeback to the Raiders and the Raiders aren’t going to want to bother with him moving forward. In addition to the new need at linebacker, the defense needs shoring up all over the place and Jones is the perfect guy for that. He’s an edge rusher that can play linebacker in a 3-4. The Raiders run a 4-3 right now, but who knows what they’ll run next year and no matter what the scheme is, Jones is a can’t miss prospect. If Lotulelei is available he’ll fall no further but the Raiders don’t have to exclusively look at him when it comes to fixing this defense up.
4. Philadelphia Eagles – Luke Joeckel, Offensive Tackle/Texas A&M
Nick Foles has established that he can be the quarterback of the future for the Eagles but he won’t last long of he doesn’t get any protection. Joeckel is widely recognized as the best offensive lineman in the draft, and he fills a gigantic need for the Eagles on the front line. Philly will be going offensive line with this pick and Joeckel is the best man for the job.
5. Detroit Lions – Manti Te’o, Linebacker/Notre Dame
I had Manti Te’o going to the Lions in every single one of my mock drafts and the higher they pick the more certain the pick is. This defense needs serious work and they need a new image as a franchise. Calvin Johnson is a great, positive influence but they need someone on defense to balance Ndamukong Suh. Te’o is a class act and he just so happens to be an amazing prospect. He’s still got room to grow, but if he lands in Detroit, the Lions upgrade in more ways than one.
6. Buffalo Bills – Tyler Wilson, QB/Arkansas
One thing the Bills have said they want to do is hit the reset button at quarterback. Ryan Fitzpatrick robbed the Bills when they gave him a massive contract and Buffalo is hurting because of it. They might not be able to go out and get a Michael Vick or Alex Smith, so the reset button is pretty severe. Tyler Wilson is one of the best quarterback prospects in the draft and many se him as the most NFL ready pick. Wilson isn’t a top 10 pick right now but a lot can change and he’s definitely a first round talent.
7. Cleveland Browns – Damontre Moore, DE/Texas A&M
Moore can be just about anything you want him to be which is marvelous for a prospect. Moore can play outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense and can play either right or left end in a 4-3, they kind of defense the Brown employ. Moore has even shifted to the interior of the line, much like J.J. Watt does for the Texans. He’s insanely underrated in terms of his overall value and skill set. Aside from being versatile, Moore can be both blinding off the edge or hold his own against the run. The Titans need depth at defensive end, and Moore is a no-brainer if he’s available.
8. Arizona Cardinals – Jake Matthews, OT/Texas A&M
The Cardinals would love to take a quarterback, and they very much will, just not in the first round. Geno Smith is a reach at No. 1 and he’s even a reach at No. 7 to Arizona. If the Cardinals want to avoid another embarrassing quarterback debacle in the future they need to protect and that starts with Jake Matthews. Adding Matthews means they can shore up a line that has allowed the most sacks in the NFL since 2010 and means they can still grab a guy like Tyler Wilson, Matt Barkley or Landry Jones in round two.
9. Tennessee Titans – Bjoern Werner, DE/Florida St.
Bjoern Werner’s name has been all over mock drafts from the top 5 to the bottom of the first round, but don’t confuse his relative low key name with low key talent. The Titans need a pass rusher and a fast one: that’s Werner. He’s quick off the snap, strong and athletic. He’s also been known to swat balls down at the line of scrimmage, and that’s quickly becoming a norm in the NFL for pass rushing lineman.
10. San Diego Chargers – Barkevious Mingo, DE/LSU
Mingo is a rare breed and he’s what the Chargers may be looking for. He’s quick, has an elite first step and is NFL ready according to experts. While the verdict isn’t in on Melvin Ingram just yet, the feeling isn’t one brimming with faith that he can be elite. It would be odd to see a team go back-t0-back years with picking the same position, but we are going be seeing two different regimes pick that position should it pay out that way. Ingram is a piece
of work, and Mingo has boom or bust written all over him. Emphasis on the boom.
11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Dee Milliner, CB/Alabama
Don’t expect any hesitation like last year in drafting the this year’s top cornerback prospect. The Buccaneers have the league’s worst secondary and are looking to move into the future after trading away Aqib Talib. Tampa Bay has had success with former Tide star Mark Barron, and they could go back to the well and grab ‘Bama’s top cornerback to get a true No. 1 defensive back.
12. New York Jets – Taylor Lewan, OT/Michigan
Mark Sanchez is sticking around town and if not him, Greg McElroy is ready to take things over. But no matter who is under center, protection is key. McElroy was sacked 11 times in Week 16 and there has been no lanes for the run game whatsoever. If the Jets want to get this offense kickstarted, they need to get a stout lineman to boost the left side of the line and Lewan is that guy. He’d compliment D’Brickasaw Ferguson and immediately replace the pillows and durability issued on the opposite end of the line. It’s not sexy, but what sexy Jets pick has ever panned out in recent memory?
13. Carolina Panthers – Sheldon Richardson, DT/Missouri
When it comes to Richardson, scouts are absolutely high on him and he’s got a lot of evidence to back up all the hype. He’s got a lighting fast first step and can penetrate backfields like some of the top defensive tackles in the NFL. He’s fluctuating in value right now, but all signs are pointing to Richardson seeing his value take a jump as we get closer to the draft.
14. Pittsburgh Steelers – Alec Ogletree, OLB/Georgia
The Steelers are going to look to upgrade at linebacker and Ogletree is one of the best in the class. Next to Manti Te’o he’s the best interior linebacker in the draft and boosted his stock by being the best player on the field in the SEC championship game. With Troy Polamalu injury prone and aging, don’t count out Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro or a quarterback here.
15. Miami Dolphins – Keenan Allen, WR/California
Allen’s stock went way up in this latest mock and that has to do with two things. The first is, he’s a standout talent and can be a No. 1 receiver on every team in the NFL. The other reason happens to be the Dolphins need a No. 1 receiver very badly for Ryan Tannehill to throw to. Miami got their franchise guy last year and now need a franchise target. Allen is tall, he’s productive and the only reason his stock isn’t higher is because he’s on an awful team.