What we have here are 3 mocks for the price of one! The key difference in each one is where Ryan Tannehill gets selected. In Scenario 1 the Browns jump on him straight away at 4th overall, trusting on him to be able to handle the pressure and expectation of being a top 5 pick. Scenario 2 sees Miami grab him at #8. I would consider this an all-or-nothing, win over the fans pick from Jeff Ireland, who has been coming under increasing pressure after recent failings to sign the big names. Scenario 3 sees the Browns pass over Tannehill at first and then sweat it out til #22 to get him.
#1: Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
Previous pick: Andrew Luck
#2: Washington Redskins
Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
Previous pick: Robert Griffin III
#3: Minnesota Vikings
Matt Kalil, OT, USC
Previous pick: Matt Kalil
The top 3 picks are obviously unaffected by the Tannehill variability, and also require very little explanation. All three are franchise players at hard to find positions.
#4: Cleveland Browns
Scenario 1: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
Scenario 2: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
Scenario 3: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
Previous pick: Traded to St. Louis, Justin Blackmon
Colt McCoy is no franchise QB. No, he hasn’t had any half decent weapons, but he still lacks the elite arm that can really change a game. Tannehill is a very raw talent and had some ups and downs while at Texas A&M, but the potential is there for sure. It’s just whether or not the Browns feel they can unlock it. As for Trent Richardson? He might be the best back to come out since Adrian Peterson, but I really don’t like taking a running back this high. Then again Cleveland have a massive hole there.
#5: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Previous pick: Morris Claiborne
The Buccs resist the temptation of Trent Richardson in scenario 1 and collect Morris Claiborne to fill a huge need at cornerback. Talk of Claiborne's poor wonderlic score has had people question if the Bucs would take him here, but any tape and combine study shows you that this kid can do it all at cornerback. He's an easy and pretty safe pick here.
#6: St. Louis Rams
Scenario 1/2/3: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma St.
Previous pick: Traded to Cleveland, Trent Richardson
The Rams are very happy to take the future of the Redskins and still get a big time target for Sam Bradford.
#7: Jacksonville Jaguars
Scenario 1/2/3: Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
Previous pick: Michael Floyd
Coples has shot back up my board simply because Jacksonville need a pass rush. Jeremy Mincy might have re-signed but they still lack any sort of consistent pressure.
#8: Miami Dolphins
Scenario 1: *TRADE* Cincinnati Bengals Trade #17 and #21 to Miami for #8 and a 4th round selection: Trent Richardson
Scenario 2: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
Scenario 3: Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
Previous pick: Ryan Tannehill
Times are tough in South Beach. After being turned down by Peyton Manning and not signing Matt Flynn the fan base has turned on GM Jeff Ireland. If the draft doesn’t lead to immediate improvement then he could well find himself on the chopping block. And when you consider it like that would Ryan Tannehill be an immediate improvement over Matt Moore? I’m not so sure he would be, so Ireland might prefer scenario 1 where Tannehill is already off the board. Then again a trade down never pleases fans either.
#9: Carolina Panthers
Previous pick: Fletcher Cox
The Panthers impressed on offense last year, but their defense had quite a few holes. In order to try and keep some wear and tear off their injury prone linebackers they ought to jump on a talented DT class. Cox is the top of my board, especially for a 4-3 D.
#10: Buffalo Bills
Scenario 1/2/3: Cordy Glenn, OT, Gerorgia
Previous pick: Riley Reiff
Even if Reiff is available, I still see Cordy Glenn being the pick here. He’s got the prototypical blend of size and athleticism while his Senior Bowl and combine performances have eased worries that he’d have to kick back inside in the pros. He’s got the ability to both open up holes for Fred Jackson and protect the big investment made in Ryan Fitzpatrick.
#11: Kansas City Chiefs
Scenario 1/2/3: Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
Previous pick: Dontari Poe
Poe’s freakish Combine performance might see him come off the board before here, or even someone like San Diego to move up for him. But I have him going here and anchoring Romeo Crennel’s 3-4 defense. However, given recent disappointing D-Line picks in Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson they could shy away from investing another high pick there. If they do then don’t rule out them throwing a spanner in the works and taking Tannehill if he’s here.
#12: Seattle Seahawks
Scenario 1/2/3: Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College
Previous pick: Luke Kuechly
Luke Kuechly is probably the best player on the board at this point AND fills a huge hole in Seattle’s defense. Kuechly is an instinctive and sure tackler who also impressed with his athleticism at the Combine. If he and the Matt Flynn signing work out then Seattle could well find themselves in play-off contention. Don’t sleep on them this season.
#13: Arizona Cardinals
Scenario 1/2/3: Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
Previous pick: Jonathan Martin
You can’t invest as much in a quarterback and wide receiver tandem as the Cardinals have and not try to get your hands on a franchise left tackle. Kevin Kolb can’t afford any more injuries if he’s to avoid the “bust” tag. I have a few reservations about Martin, but he’s got the size and did a good job looking after Andrew Luck.
#14: Dallas Cowboys
Scenario 1/2/3: Mark Barron, S, Alabama
Previous pick: David DeCastro
Mark Barron has slid down some boards due to his inability to work out throughout this process. But his performance on the field for the Crimson Tide should be enough to keep him solidly in the mid-first round. The Cowboys were really poor in the secondary in 2011, and despite signing Brandon Carr you fear that might not be enough. Barron is versatile enough to cover well and play up in the box, Rob Ryan could have a lot of fun with him.
#15: Philadelphia Eagles
Scenario 1/2/3: Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina
Previous pick: Devon Still
While Melvin Ingram isn’t quite the big interior body they could do with, his versatility and ability to get after the quarterback could well tempt Andy Reid into this pick.
#16: New York Jets
Scenario 1/2: Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
Scenario 3: Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama
Previous pick: Courtney Upshaw
Mario Williams in Buffalo and a lot of money in Mark Sanchez = a new offensive tackle. Reiff is looking like a career right tackle, but that’s not to say he’s bad. He’s an absolute mauler in the run game and will open up holes for their new full back and Shonn Greene, and he’s good enough in pass protection to look after Sanchez.
Upshaw would give the Jets defense the edge rusher that they need to help disrupt the opposition and allow Rex to blitz a bit more sparingly.
#17: Cincinnati Bengals
Scenario 1: Miami Dolphins select Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama
Scenario 2/3: David DeCastro, G, Stanford
Previous pick: Janoris Jenkins
If the Bengals are able to turn an over-the-hill, “retired” quarterback into the best skill position player (non-QB Division) in the draft then it’ll be one hell of a magic trick. If not then the best interior linemen will have to do. DeCastro will be able to come in and dominate from day 1 and is an instant upgrade for the Bengals.
#18: San Diego Chargers
Scenario 1/3: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
Scenario 2: Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama
Previous pick: Cordy Glenn
There are a few different holes for San Diego to plug and as a result several directions they could go. However the key is that could well be the last roll of the dice for Norv Turner and AJ Smith, and as such a pass rusher or a replacement for the departed Vincent Jackson is far more likely than the “boring” pick of a new left guard.
#19: Chicago Bears
Scenario 1: David DeCastro, G, Stanford
Scenario 2: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
Scenario 3: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
Previous pick: Quinton Coples
As you can tell from the 3 different selections here, the Bears have a few holes and a few different directions they could go. DeCastro would almost certainly be too good to pass up and could help mend some bridges with Matt Forte. Michael Floyd would provide another big target opposite Brandon Marshall while Gilmore would be perfect for the Bears defense which lacks a true consistent 2nd cornerback.
#20: Tennessee Titans
Scenario 1: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
Scenario 2/3: Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois
Previous pick: Melvin Ingram
After losing Cortland Finnegan in free agency Stephon Gilmore would be the pick if he’s on the board. But if he’s not I don’t think the Titans would want the potential headache Jenkins or Kirkpatrick could bring with them and would then go and get a pass rusher in Whitney Mercilus. He could even be the pick if Gilmore is there, which is why I’ve spilt them.
#21: Cincinnati Bengals
Scenario 1: Miami Dolphins select Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
Scenario 2: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
Scenario 3: Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
Previous pick: Mark Barron
If the Bengals are still here then a cornerback makes too much sense. With Leon Hall getting hurt and the end of last season and there being no one else particularly good on the roster it would be needed, and they’ve never been one to let personality issues get in the way of them picking a talented player. If the Dolphins have traded to here then they need to find a WR to replace Brandon Marshall. Kendall Wright’s pro-day cemented his 1st round grade and he’d be a good deep threat for whoever ends up under centre for the Fins.
#22: Cleveland Browns
Scenario 1: Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford
Scenario 2: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
Scenario 3: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
Previous pick: Kendall Wright
Cleveland are in dire need of offensive playmakers. When they take Tannehill at #4 in scenario 1 they go and get him a good, dynamic TE. Fleener, with his impressive 40 time, could cause issues against their rivals defenses who have been burnt by TE’s recently. If Wright is still on the board then they’ll bring him in, though his deep threat ability might go to waste with Colt McCoy under centre. Scenario 3 is certainly the desired one for Cleveland.
Scenario 1/2: Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
Scenario 3: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
Previous pick: Dre Kirkpatrick
Detroit really need help in the secondary. They couldn’t stop anyone last year and it heaped pressure on their offense. You can’t rely on 5,000 passing yards every season.
#24: Pittsburgh Steelers
Scenario 1/2/3: Dont’a Hightower, ILB, Alabama
Previous pick: Dont’a Hightower
This pick hasn’t changed since mid-January. Hightower could find himself off the board before the Steelers pick, but this seems too much like a tailor-made match.
#25: Denver Broncos
Scenario 1/2/3: Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
Previous pick: Traded to Pittsburgh, Kevin Zeitler
The Broncos need another body in the middle to prevent people running all over them. If they can get more consistent on defense then Peyton Manning might just be able to get them another division crown.
#26: Houston Texans
Scenario 1/2: Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech
Scenario 3: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
Previous pick: Reuben Randle, WR, LSU
Andre Johnson’s injury proved that the Texans are horribly thin at wide out. Now their front office might feel that Coby Fleener is a better fit and the temptation of a pair of good 2-way tight ends could well be too much to turn down.
#27: New England Patriots
Scenario 1/2: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
Scenario 3: Andre Branch, OLB, Clemson
Previous pick: Michael Brockers
Chances are the Patriots will trade out of this or #31, but you just never know so there’s no point mocking it. Belichick loves taking corners, but doesn’t have a particularly great hit rate. A glowing report from his old pal Nick Saban might just tip the balance in favour of Kirkpatrick here, but don’t forget that Belichick also has a soft spot for Urban Meyer’s Gator crop, and it was Meyer who recruited Janoris Jenkins.
If it’s not a DB then really it has to be a pass rusher. Andre Branch has the size and versatility that Belichick likes. Then again, he’s not drafted an edge rusher high for a long time now.
Scenario 1/2/3: Nick Perry, OLB, USC
Previous pick: Nick Perry
As Clay Matthews goes, so does Green Bay’s defense. And what was evident last season is that the Claymaker needs help.
#29: Baltimore Ravens
Scenario 1/2/3: Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
Previous pick: Peter Konz
There’s a hole at guard for Konz to fill and acclimatise to the NFL before taking over from Matt Birk. It’s a boring, sensible pick, and a wide receiver who can actually get open might be a more welcome pick with the fan base.
#30: San Francisco 49ers
Scenario 1: Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois
Scenario 2/3: Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford
Previous pick: Coby Fleener
Mercilus would be too good to turn down for Harbaugh and it would add some depth and another threat on that fearsome front 7. But if he’s gone, and Fleener’s still available then it would make a lot of sense to bring him in, giving them a TE combination to rival New England’s and provide another viable target for Alex Smith.
#31: New England Patriots
Scenario 1/2: Andre Branch, OLB, Clemson
Scenario 3: Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan St.
Previous pick: Andre Branch
Another pick to help improve a poor defense. Jerel Worthy is a big guy but can penetrate well from either a 3 or 5 tech.
#32: New York Giants
Scenario 1/2/3: David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech
Previous pick: Zach Brown
With Ahmad Bradshaw getting nicked up last year and Brandon Jacobs now gone there’s room for another back. Wilson is probably the best player left on the board now and the Giants tend to take value over need.
#33: St. Louis Rams
Scenario 1/2: Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan St.
Scenario 3: Devon Still, DT, Penn St.
Previous pick: Whitney Mercilus
With Blackmon in the Rams sure up their offensive line and try to protect ace linebacker James Laurinaitis. Their run defense was porous all year and needs one of these big guys to help seal it up.
#34: Indianapolis Colts
Scenario 1/2/3: Rueben Randle, WR, LSU
Previous pick: Lamar Miller
Well Andrew Luck needs someone other than Reggie Wayne to throw to.
Scenario 1/2: Devon Still, DT, Penn St.
Scenario 3: Zach Brown, OLB, North Carolina
Previous pick: Stephon Gilmore
Minnesota’s front 7 needs an injection of youth and fire. Either Still or Brown will bring that.
#36: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Scenario 1/2: Zach Brown, OLB, North Carolina
Scenario 3: Lavonte David, OLB, Nebraska
Previous pick: David Wilson
Tampa could do with a veteran presence at linebacker, but it doesn’t look like they’ll get one and so they’ll look to one of these physical and explosive ‘backers to fill a hole.
#37: Cleveland Browns
Scenario 1: Lamar Miller, RB, Miami (FL)
Scenario 2: Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma St.
Scenario 3: Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech
Previous pick: Rondell Lewis
Another offensive pick and Cleveland re-tool. If Tannehill goes to Miami at #8 then Brandon Weeden, despite his age, makes sense to come in and compete for the starters job.
#38: Jacksonville Jaguars
Scenario 1/2/3: Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina
Previous pick: Stephen Hill
They might have paid Laurent Robinson, but he’s yet to prove he’s anything other than a good #3 wide out.
Scenario 1/2/3: Mike Adams, OT, Ohio St.
Previous pick: Traded to Cleveland, Brandon Weeden
Talented but lazy. Adams has everything you’d look for in a blindside blocker, and the competition with Saffold and Smith for a starting role could push all 3 of them onto another level.
#40: Carolina Panthers
Scenario 1/2/3: Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska
Previous pick: Josh Robinson
For as bad as their run defense was last year, their pass defense was just as bad. Secondary help is much needed.
#41: Buffalo Bills
Scenario 1/2: Lavonte David, OLB, Nebraska
Scenario 3: Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson
Previous pick: Orson Charles
David would give some needed depth at linebacker, and he’s explosive enough to hit the holes that will be left by that stacked defensive line. Allen would provide a good option for Fitzpatrick and he’s a good blocker to help Jackson too.
#42: Miami Dolphins
Scenario 1/3: Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma St.
Scenario 2: Vinny Curry, DE, Marshall
Previous pick: Jerel Worthy
Same as Cleveland, if they don’t get Tannehill then Weeden is the next obvious choice. Vinny Curry would provide a much needed pass rusher opposite Cameron Wake.
#43: Seattle Seahawks
Scenario 1/2/3: Kevin Zeitler, G, Wisconsin
Previous pick: Alshson Jeffery
There’s a hole at guard that needs filling if MarShawn Lynch is going to play up to that new contract.
Scenario 1/2/3: Kirk Cousins, QB, Michigan St.
Previous pick: Kirk Cousins
Matt Cassel is probably on his final season as the unquestioned starter. Improve or be replaced.
#45: Dallas Cowboys
Scenario 1/2/3: Ronnell Lewis, OLB, Oklahoma
Previous pick: Alfonzo Dennard
With D-Ware on the otherside Lewis should give a quick return against solo blocks and will help out the shaky secondary by hunting down the QB.
#46: Philadelphia Eagles
Scenario 1/2/3: Harrison Smith, S, Notre Dame
Previous pick: LaVonte David
Smith could well be gone on Thursday, but if he makes it to the second round the Eagles will be extremely interested.
#47: New York Jets
Scenario 1: Doug Martin, RB, Boise St.
Scenario 2: Lamar Miller, RB, Miami (FL)
Scenario 3: Bobby Massie, OT, Ole Miss.
Previous pick: James Brown
Two bad quarterbacks need some help in the backfield.
#48: New England Patriots
Scenario 1/2: Kendall Reyes, DT, Connecticut
Scenario 3: Josh Robinson, CB, Central Florida
Previous pick: Harrison Smith
Are you sensing a trend with these Patriots picks yet?
#49: San Diego Chargers
Scenario 1/3: Vinny Curry, DE, Marshall
Scenario 2: James Brown, G, Troy
Previous pick: Alameda Ta’amu
When you play Peyton Manning twice a year you either need to get after him with your pass rush or keep him off the field with your running game.
#50: Chicago Bears
Scenario 1/2: Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson
Scenario 3: James Brown, G, Troy
Previous pick: Dwayne Allen
With Mike Martz gone the Bears can finally join the rest of the NFL with this new-fangled tight end thingy.
#51: Philadelphia Eagles
Scenario 1/2: Bobby Massie, OT, Ole Miss.
Scenario 3: Zebrie Sanders, OT, Florida St.
Previous pick: Brock Osweiler
After the devastating injury to Jason Peters the Eagles need to find a bit of tackle depth and forgo a developmental QB for now.
#52: Tennessee Titans
Scenario 1/3: Amini Silatolu, G, Midwestern St.
Scenario 2: James Brown, G, Troy
Previous pick: Kelechi Osemele
The Titans need some interior help if they’re going to see any sort of return from Chris Johnson.
#53: Cincinnati Bengals
Scenario 1: Amini Silatolu, G, Midwestern St.
Scenario 2: Josh Robinson, CB, Central Florida
Scenario 3: Lamar Miller, RB, Miami (FL)
Previous pick: Doug Martin
A number of options depending on where they go with those 2 first rounders.
#54: Detroit Lions
Scenario 1/2: Zebrie Sanders, OT, Florida St.
Scenario 3: Jeff Allen, OT, Illinois
Previous pick: Ben Jones
Protecting Matthew Stafford has to be a priority sooner or later.
Scenario 1/2/3: Kelechi Osemele, G, Iowa St.
Previous pick: Vinny Curry
Maybe the Falcons weren’t quite as close to the Super Bowl as they thought when they made the Julio Jones trade. The O-Line needs some new blood.
#56: Pittsburgh Steelers
Scenario 1/2/3: Alameda Ta’amu, NT, Washington
Previous pick: Amini Silatolu
Casey Hampton has been an excellent servant. But they need to find his replacement, and soon.
#57: Denver Broncos
Scenario 1/2/3: Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona St.
Previous pick: Kendall Reyes
Peyton Manning can only play for so long, and where better to learn for a raw but inexperienced QB than a team with 2 1st ballot Hall of Fame QB’s on the pay roll?
#58: Houston Texans
Scenario 1/2/3: Jared Crick, DE, Nebraska
Previous pick: Bobby Massie
There are holes on the right side of their offensive line, but this is class is deep in right side blockers. Jared Crick had a first round grade before his injury, and if he can stay healthy then will form a fearsome tandem with JJ Watt.
#59: Green Bay Packers
Scenario 1: Josh Robinson, CB, Central Florida
Scenario 2: Jayron Hosley, CB, Virginia Tech
Scenario 3: Kendall Reyes, DT, Connecticut
Previous pick: Philip Blake
Very much a Best Player Available pick for the Packers. Don’t rule out reaching for the top centre on their board though, Jeff Saturday is very much a short term stop-gap.
Scenario 1/2/3: Mychal Kendricks, ILB, Cal
Previous pick: Mohamed Sanu
Ray Lewis is back for another year, but he’s no longer the top player he was. They need an understudy for him.
#61: San Francisco 49ers
Scenario 1/2/3: Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers
Previous pick: Nick Toon
There’s nothing behind Crabtree at wide receiver, except for an inept punt returner.
#62: New England Patriots
Scenario 1/2: Shea McClellin, OLB, Boise St.
Scenario 3: Jayron Hosley, CB, Virginia Tech
Previous pick: Brandon Boykin
Yea. The Patriots need defensive help.
#63: New York Giants
Scenario 1/2: Jeff Allen, OT, Illinois
Scenario 3: Orson Charles, TE, Georgia
Previous pick: Zebrie Sanders
The defending champs lost 2 tight ends in the Super Bowl so need to bring in another, while Allen would help out a line which can be rather shaky.
- Toby Durant (@TDonSport)
- The Pulling Linemen
- Toby Durant (@TDonSport)
- The Pulling Linemen