16. Tampa Bay (TRADE w/Dallas)
Marqise Lee – WR – USC
Having moved down to pick up extra picks in the trade with Dallas the Bucs now land the talented Marqise Lee to start opposite of Vincent Jackson. Lee has true #1 WR upside and has only slipped this far because of a few injury issues and a horrendous all around season at USC last year that had nothing to do with Lee. The off the field issues surrounding the stabbing of Mike Williams make this pick more likely.
17. Baltimore Ravens
Calvin Pryor – S – Louisville
The Ravens could go WR here, but with Dennis Pitta returning and the addition of Steve Smith in free agency I think they’ll look to sure up the defense instead. By adding Pryor to their secondary they add an enforcer on the back end that has displayed some good ball skills as well. Pryor could help bring back a little of the swagger that their defense had before the departures of guys like Ed Reed and Ray Lewis.
18. New York Jets
Eric Ebron – TE – North Carolina
The Jets must get either Geno Smith or Michael Vick some more weapons on offense. The signing of free agent WR Eric Decker helps, but its not enough. Look for the Jets to add another WR in the second or third rounds but here they add one of the best offensive weapons in this draft. Ebron would make a great security blanket for a young QB like Smith but also has the playmaking ability to break games open.
19. Miami Dolphins
Zach Martin – OT – Notre Dame
The Dolphins offensive line last season was a disaster on more levels than one can even begin to describe. While signing free agent LT Branden Albert was a good start to rebuilding the line they still need more help. If the Dolphins want QB Ryan Tannehill to develop they must stabilize their offensive line to give him more time. Most don’t believe Martin is a better offensive lineman than Taylor Lewan, but given Lewan’s personal red flags I think the Dolphins will opt for the safer bet after what they went through last year. Plus, Martin gives them the flexibility to play either guard or tackle.
20. Carolina Panthers (TRADE w/Arizona)
Taylor Lewan – OT – Michigan
Lewan is arguably a top 10-15 talent in this draft, but a couple of character concerns have him slipping a bit here. The Panthers take advantage of this and give Arizona their third round pick in order to move up eight spots to get their replacement for the retired Jordan Gross. They obviously need WR help too, but the WR class is deep enough that they can draft one in the second round.
21. Green Bay Packers
Jimmie Ward – S – Northern Illinois
Green Bay’s safety play was horrible last season and to this point nothing has been done in free agency to address it. While many are predicting that Clinton-Dix and Pryor will be the only first round safeties selected, Ward’s combination of physical play and good coverage skills make him a valuable weapon to add to any secondary. While his height has been listed as a major concern he is actually only a half an inch shorter than Calvin Pryor.
22. Philadelphia Eagles
Odell Beckham Jr. – WR – LSU
Hey, I don’t know if you’ve heard this or not, since it went largely unreported in the media, but the Eagles actually cut starting WR Desean Jackson. Oh, you had heard that……about ten thousand times over the last few days? My bad, I guess I don’t really need to justify this pick any further then. Beckham Jr. has great speed and athleticism and also does a really nice job of reaching out and catching the ball with his hands.
23. San Francisco 49ers (TRADE w/Kansas City)
Brandin Cooks – WR – Oregon State
While this WR class is loaded, I feel there is a slight drop off after the first five. With four of those five off the table the 49ers give up one of their three third round picks to move up and get Cooks. With Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree already in place adding the best vertical threat in the draft to Colin Kaepernick’s arsenal almost seems unfair to opposing defenses.
24. Cincinnati Bengals
Kony Ealy – DE – Missouri
The Bengals lost Michael Johnson in free agency to Tampa Bay and need to find a replacement at DE to help put pressure on the QB. Ealy is probably the #2 pure 4-3 DE in this draft. He isn’t great against the run, but should help fill the void in the pass rush created by the loss of Johnson.
25. San Diego Chargers
Bradley Roby – CB – Ohio State
While the Chargers offense rebounded last season their defense still had issues at times. They need help at CB and at rushing the passer. I think Roby has a little higher upside than the pass rushers that are available at this point. Roby’s great speed and competitive attitude would make him arguably the Chargers best corner from day one.
26. Cleveland Browns
CJ Mosley – LB – Alabama
After picking up Johnny Football with their first pick the Browns are able to take the best player available here and that’s CJ Mosley. The Browns defense was already respectable last year but adding both Karlos Dansby and Mosley to their linebacking core would make them a force to be reckoned with.
27. New Orleans Saints
Ra’Shede Hageman – DT – Minnesota
While the Saints defense was greatly improved, they were actually in the bottom five of the NFL in rushing YPC allowed. Adding the physically impressive Hageman would give them another big body that would be capable of playing multiple spots along their defensive front. They could also use some help at CB and another edge rusher, but Hageman has a higher upside than anyone they could have drafted at those positions here.
28. Arizona Cardinals (TRADE w/Carolina)
Ryan Shazier – LB – Ohio State
The Cardinals drop back and pick up a third round pick and take the versatile and talented Shazier here. With Karlos Dansby in Cleveland now they’ll need someone to pick up some of his production. While Shazier is smaller than Dansby he does offer a lot in terms of his coverage and blitzing abilities. Arizona will be able to move him all over the field to utilize his talents and keep offenses on their heels.
29. Minnesota Vikings (TRADE w/New England)
Derek Carr – QB – Fresno State
The Vikings missed out on one of the top three QBs at the top of the draft and with teams like Oakland and Tampa Bay drafting ahead of them in the second round they can’t wait on a QB unless they feel comfortable going into camp with Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel again. They give the Patriots their late third rounder that they got for Percy Harvin and their fifth round pick in order to move back into the first and get their new QB.
30. Kansas City (TRADE w/San Francisco)
Stephon Tuitt – DE – Notre Dame
The Chiefs pass rush trailed off in a major way down the stretch last season as teams realized they could just double team KC’s few dominant players because they didn’t have the depth up front to take advantage of their one on one match ups. Adding the versatile and athletic Tuitt to put beside Dontari Poe and the newly signed Vance Walker gives KC some much needed depth and versatility up front which should take some pressure off of the edge rushers and the secondary.
31. Denver Broncos
Kyle Fuller – CB – Virginia Tech
The Broncos may have signed Aqib Talib, but they also lost both Champ Bailey and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Adding the physical Fuller along with Talib and safety TJ Ward should successfully revamp a secondary that was at times an issue last season. The Broncos are clearly in a “win now” mode and Fuller should be able to help right out of the gate.
32. Seattle Seahawks
Xavier Su’a-Filo – G – UCLA
The Seahawks are in a position to draft the best player in the draft at a position of need. That doesn’t happen very often for a Super Bowl Champion. Seattle’s offensive line was one of the only suspect units on their team last season. Su’a-Filo would add some much needed muscle to the interior of Seattle’s line and would be a perfect fit to go along with Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks power run game.
So there you have it, my Mock Draft 2.0. What do you think? Did I do your favorite team justice? What do you think about the five different trades I mixed in? Again, I’d love to hear your feedback if you either liked something or really feel like I’m off base so hit up the comments below with your thoughts.
Also, don’t forget to check out the next page for the Armchair QB Odds and Ends of the Week……..