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.
1. Kansas City Chiefs – Luke Joeckel, OT/Texas A&M
The Chiefs need a signal caller, but they can easily get on later in the draft. With Andy Reid in town, the Chiefs will be going in an entirely new direction (well actually it’ll just be nice for them to be going in a direction), plus new GM John Dorsey said right now he doesn’t see a quarterback worth selecting in the first round let alone with the first pick. While that could obviously change in the two months between now and the draft, penciling in a quarterback here is foolish at the moment. Besides, Reid lost his job because his offensive line in Philly couldn’t block and now that he’s in Kansas City, it has got to be in the forefront of his mind. If the Chiefs go with Joeckel here, expect Landry Jones or Matt Barkley to come off the board at the start of the second day.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars – Bjoern Werner, DE/Florida State
The Jaguars are under new leadership from top to bottom but don’t think that means they’re going to take a quarterback. The Jaguars need a pass rusher to come off the edge and get pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Werner is hands down the best edge rusher in this years class and he’s quickly risen to the top of the draft. Had the Chiefs a need for a pass rusher, Werner would be in discussion for the No. 1 pick, so Jacksonville’s getting a stud in the former Seminole.
3. Oakland Raiders – Star Lotulelei, DT/Utah
Back when the mocks were starting to trickle out, Lotulelei was a lock for the Raiders at No. 3 but he fell back as we progressed into the offseason. This is beginning to turn back into a best available player situation and for Oakland that’s a tear between Lotulelei and Dee Miliner. Oakland could use a stout nose tackle to plug the middle, and if anything they need to upgrade that defensive, and Lotuleleli is the best in the draft at defensive tackle. Scouts say Lotulelei is the most complete and NFL-ready tackle in the draft and he’d help plug a terrible run defense in Oakland as well as penetrate the line.
4. Philadelphia Eagles – Dee Milliner, CB/Alabama
Milliner is starting to fall in some mocks, but the combine should fix that right up. Teams often don’t look for corners very early in the draft and the last time one was taken in the top 5 was Charles Woodson back in 1997. But when they’re as good as Milliner, they’re hard to pass up and the Eagles are going to start to give him heavy consideration. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie needs serious help and Nnamdi Asomugha is likely going to be gone meaning all of a sudden the dream team secondary is a rebuilding project. Chip Kelly will be an offensive minded coach but one way to make sure you have a powerful offense is to make sure you have the ball a lot and Milliner could change the Eagles secondary fortunes.
5. Detroit Lions – Damontre Moore, DE/Texas A&M
Moore’s a monster of a prospect and he’s in the top 5 of both Mel Kiper Jr., and Todd McShay’s big boards. It’s only January and Moore has insane hype, hype that should only build over the months and boost his already high draft stock. The Lions need a boost on defense and everyone had them looking at a defensive end even before they cut veteran Kyle Vanden Bosch last week. With Cliff Avril’s future in flux, the Lions cornerback need has been erased by an immediate need for an edge rusher. Moore can be a menacing pass rusher for the Lions and he might actually fall into their laps. One thing that could make Detroit look another direction is Moore’s character baggage and after Ndamukong Suh and Titus Young, the last thing the Lions need is a guy who’s going to make them look bad.
6. Cleveland Browns – Jarvis Jones, OLB/Georgia
Ray Horton is going to employ a 3-4 defense and the Browns desperately need young and talented edge rushers moving into their new era of football. Barkevious Mingo is a solid choice here, but Jones seems to be a slightly better fit for Horton’s scheme. Another option here is BYU product Ezekiel Ansah who can also fit the bill as a big linebacker who can double as a defensive end or vice versa. The Browns would love a great pass defense and that starts with a hungry and talented edge rusher like Jones who can play all over the field in a 3-4 defense.
7. Arizona Cardinals – Eric Fisher, OT/Central Michigan
Eric Fisher is another guy who’s quickly being locked into the top 10 and specifically into the No. 7 overall pick in Arizona. It’s cliché at this point to say the Cardinals need a quarterback, seeing as they have three already on roster. But while none of their current signal callers are particularly special, taking a quarterback is something better suited for the second day of the draft. Bruce Arians is going to want to protect whoever ends up taking snaps for him and upgrading an atrocious offensive line is the best place to start building for the future.
8. Buffalo Bills – Geno Smith, QB/West Virginia
For some reason people seem hellbent on having a quarterback taken in the first round but there simply isn’t one good enough to take. But the NFL combine has a way of changing minds and Geno Smith is already starting to do that. The Bill lost out on any hope of signing Michael Vick and they likely won’t surrender what the 49ers will be asking for Alex Smith. Buffalo has said they’re holding an open competition for the starting job between Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tavaris Jackson and Aaron Corp but if the Bills were wanting a Michael Vick-type quarterback, they might look Smith’s way even if it seems like a reach at the moment.
9. New York Jets – Barkevious Mingo, DE/LSU
Jets fans will likely boo the pick but that has more to do with how mad they are at the teams performance and less to do with their feelings about Mingo. A skill player here would please the fans but it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense given how stingy skill talent is at this point. Cordarrelle Patterson is a dark-horse option here as Mark Sanchez has nobody to throw to, but Mingo can play defensive end or slide out to linebacker and play the outside slot. The Jets need some defensive improvements if they’re sticking with a Sanchez-led offense and Mingo fills a need and brings in some serious talent.
10. Tennessee Titans – Ezekiel Ansah, DE/BYU
Tennessee wasn’t awful last season but they need some improvements across the board. Strong safety remains a top need but upgrading the defensive line is right up there and may be addressed first. With no clear cut strong safety worth a borderline top 10 pick, the Titans would be thrilled if Ezekiel Ansah falls to them at No. 10. Ansah is being compared to Aldon Smith and with Gregg Williams in town, we know a tough defensive end who will get after the quarterback is something that will be brought up. Offensive line is an option here too but Ansah is too good to pass up.
11. San Diego Chargers – Lane Johnson, OT/Oklahoma
Thanks to some great Senior Bowl practices, Oklahoma’s Lane Johnson is rising up draft boards at a pretty quick rate and due to some names dropping out he could go higher than expected. Jake Matthews and Taylor Lewan deciding to return to college means there’s a lack of supply for the high demand of offensive tackles at the top of the NFL Draft. San Diego is going to want to protect Philip Rivers and that starts with improving the offensive line.
12. Miami Dolphins – Kenny Vaccaro, S/Texas
Cordarrelle Patterson has been a lock here in many mocks, but a team might trade ahead of the Dolphins and take him before they get on the clock. Even if that doesn’t happen, Miami might look at a defensive player here to ensure both sides of the ball gets upgraded. Vaccaro is one of the best prospects in the draft and would immediately give Miami one of the best young safeties in the NFL. Miami would love to take a cornerback here but Vaccaro would still upgrade secondary that needs some work.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Sharrif Floyd, DT/Florida
Everyone seems to be mocking a cornerback here and while it’s not nearly a stupid as what Mel Kiper mocked (he penciled in Manti Te’o — pause for laughter), it’s a reach the Bucs won’t make. Mark Dominik doesn’t reach for players, case in point being his trading down to avoid Morris Claiborne and take Mark Barron last year. If the Bucs don’t trade down again and double dip on cornerbacks late in the first round (meaning they’d trade back into the end of the first to take a second corner), Sharrif Floyd is an instant upgrade. Gerald McCoy isn’t going to be out of a job but the Bucs employ a 4-3 defense and Roy Miller isn’t really cutting it right now. The attractive part about drafting Kenny Vaccaro in past mocks was his being paired with Mark Barron but if the Bucs can pair McCoy and Floyd on their defensive line, that’s a devastating first line of defense.
14. 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. The Panthers need to beef up their front line and Richardson will be something running backs don’t want to deal with on Sunday’s.
15. New Orleans Saints – Dion Jordan, DE/Oregon
The Saints won’t be young forever, and they could use a lighting fast edge rusher to beef up an already great defense. Dion Jordan is a name quickly climbing mock drafts and big boards and it’s not for no good reason. He’s got Jason Pierre-Paul potential as Jordan is fast, athletic and his stock is only going up. It might be a better option to stop the other team from scoring rather than trying to outscore them.
16. St. Louis Rams – Cordarrelle Patterson, WR/Tennessee
A dream scenario for the Rams at 16th overall would be to have both Cordarrelle Patterson and Chance Warmack on the board. Such a situation would lead to a serious conundrum for St. Louis as both players fill immediate needs and are the best available players at their position. But the chance that Warmack lasts until the Rams next pick is a lot higher than the chance Patterson does. Sam Bradford needs a tall deep threat and Patterson is the best wide receiver in the draft.