We're a few weeks into free agency, and a few teams have addressed some of the needs they perhaps would have looked to the draft to fill. With that in mind, we're forced to re-evaluate our mock draft,
1. Indianapolis (2-14) – Team Needs: QB, OG, SS, OC, 2CB, WR, NT, TE, DE, LB, RB - Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
The Colts are trying to make the media think this pick won't be Andrew Luck but they are not doing a good job. They have not even had a private meeting with Robert Griffin sighting "time constraints" as the reason. Luck is everything a team could want in a QB prospect and more. He has the athleticism and size of Cam Newton combined with the throwing ability of Aaron Rodgers. Whether or not he can put it all together and become one of the all time great QBs is all that remains.
2. Washington - from St. Louis (2-14) – QB, WR, LG, ILB, RT, CB, NT, TE, OC, SS, K, Rush LB - Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
The Redskins gave up three 1st round picks and more to move up four spots and they are not taking anyone but Griffin or Luck here. Griffin is a dream fit for Shanahan's system because of his athleticism, accuracy, and arm strength. Griffin has the speed and athleticism of Michael Vick in his prime but the throwing ability and accuracy of Drew Brees. Even though the Redskins gave up a lot to get Griffin, if he fulfills his potential and becomes a franchise QB, it would be hard to say that it was not worth it.
3. Minnesota (3-13) – LT, CB, WR, S, OG, 2LB, DT, FB, RB3 - Matt Kalil, OT, USC
The Vikings have really two options here at No. 3. They can make the smart move and take Matt Kalil to protect Christian Ponder or they can make the dumb move and take Morris Claiborne. Even though Claiborne is a phenomenal prospect, you simply can't pass up on a franchise LT when that is your biggest need. While Claiborne might be a better CB than Kalil is a LT, it is not often a team is in a position to get an elite LT prospect. If the Vikings take Claiborne and Kalil becomes a franchise LT, this will be considered one of the worst moves of all time.
4. Cleveland (4-12) – QB, WR, RT, DE, CB, OLB, RB, OG, FS, DT, K - Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
The Browns options here are complicated. There are four players they could think about; Ryan Tannehill, Morris Claiborne, Justin Blackmon, and Trent Richardson. I have Tannehill rated as the 5th best QB in the draft but despite that, he is being talked about as a top 10 pick. He is going to have a career similar to Blaine Gabbert's in my opinion. Both of them are grossly over-rated because of their "potential" but in my opinion, they just don't have it. Outside of that, I think any of the three picks would be great but Richardson fills their biggest need and is the best prospect of the three players.
5. Tampa Bay (4-12) – 2CB, 2LB, RT, WR, OC, RB, LG, FB, DT, QB, K - Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
This pick is about as certain as Andrew Luck is to the Colts. The Bucs biggest need by far is at the corner position and the best player available is Morris Claiborne. Claiborne is a lockdown corner who in terms of coverage, is better than Patrick Peterson was coming out of LSU. He has the size, speed, and ability to be a lockdown corner in the NFL on the level of a Revis.
6. St. Louis - from Washington (5-11) – 2OT, 2WR, 2OLB, FS, CB, DT, OC, RB, FB - Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
This is another pretty obvious pick. Blackmon is the best player available and fills the Rams biggest need. While Blackmon may never be an elite WR, he should become a very good #1 WR in the league and at worst, a solid #2. He lacks elite size or speed but he has great hands and is a good route runner.
7. Jacksonville (5-11) – QB, WR, 2CB, DE, FS, RT, P, OC, LB - Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
This is where the draft gets tough for me. The Jags are in a terrible spot here being forced to either reach to fill a need or take a player who does not fill a need that is better value. Floyd is their best option here because he fills their biggest need and has the potential to be the best WR in this class.
8. Miami (6-10) – QB, RT, Rush LB, NT, FS, RG, CB, TE, DE, ILB - Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
While I don't think Tannehill is worthy of a first round pick, I am trying to be accurate and it is looking more and more likely that the Dolphins will take Ryan at No. 8. The Dolphins forced themselves into this spot because they were unable to get any of the FA QB's to sign with them. Now they will be forced to reach for a QB prospect who is not very good.
9. Carolina (6-10) – DT, CB, LB, RT, 2S, RG, WR, K - Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State
Cox is a slight reach here but he is a perfect fit for the Panthers. He is a penetrating DT who can play any position in a 4-3 and can stop the run as well as rush the passer.
10. Buffalo (6-10) –Rush LB, WR, LT, CB, QB, TE - Quinton Coples, DE, UNC
The Bills were able to address many of their needs in free agency by signing Mario Williams along with Mark Anderson. However, Coples is the BPA by far and would give them another pass rusher to add to the mix. With Floyd off the board and DeCastro not fitting their needs, the Bills would have to "settle" for Coples. After landing Williams and Anderson and drafting Coples, the Bills would go from having one of the worst pass rushes in the league to one of the best.
11. Kansas City (7-9) – QB, RT, NT, CB, OG/OC, TE, RB, Rush LB, ILB - David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
The Chiefs did not land a QB of the future in free agency but they were able too add a RT (possibly the best one in the NFL) along with a cornerback and a tight end. Adding Peyton Hillis fills their need at RB as well. However, they actually got worse at CB because Routt is not as good as the departing Brandon Carr. The positions they could look to target in the first round are NT, CB, and guard. Poe is not worth the 11th pick and I don't think the Chiefs will take a guy like Kirkpatrick. That leaves DeCastro as the only option and he happens to be the BPA as well.
12. Seattle (7-9) – RDE, OG, DT, LDE, CB, RB - Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina
The Seahawks must improve their pass rush in the draft. They have virtually no pass rushers so adding a guy like Ingram to pair with Clemens would be a great move. Ingram is a versatile, scheme diverse guy who can reek havoc on opposing offenses. He reminds me of the Pittsburgh's finest, Lamaar Woodley.
13. Arizona (8-8) – RT, WR, RG, DE, Rush LB, ILB, CB, QB, NT, K, P - Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
The Cardinals did not make any major moves in free agency so they still must find a new right side of the line along with a WR and some pass rushers. Reiff is the BPA at any of their positions of need. However, is he as good of a fit at RT as Jonathan Martin? In my opinion, Martin is the better prospect but people seem to have Reiff and his short arms and lack of athleticism rated higher than Martin. Either way, the Cardinals would be getting a very good tackle.
14. Dallas (8-8) – OC, OG, S, DE, OLB, ILB, Backup QB, P - Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
Yes I know the Cowboys signed Brandon Carr. However, the secondary is still not very good and adding a player like Kirkpatrick can turn what was a weakness last year, into a strength next year. Some say that Kirkpatrick is better in coverage than Claiborne and while I don't agree with that, he is still very good.
15. Philadelphia (8-8) – DT, CB, S, WR, TE - Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
The Eagles were thought to be the team that would draft Luke Kuechly but after trading for DeMeaco Ryans, they no longer have a need at ILB. That gives them a chance to nab one of the many good DTs with their pick here. If Kirkpatrick was still on the board, I think he would be the pick but in this scenario, he is gone and the Eagles can take Brockers, who is a great DT prospect with elite upside. He is very raw and needs some work but with proper coaching, he could become a stud.
The Jets made no major moves in free agency other than signing Laron Landry to play SS. However, they failed to add any pass rushers or improve the RT spot. I think they have three options here. Option one is Courtney Upshaw while options two and three are Jonathan Martin and Mark Barron. Upshaw makes the most sense because he combines BPA with their biggest need. However, they really need to get Wayne Hunter off the team and getting Jonathan Martin to play RT would be a great move. The third option is Mark Barron, the SS from Alabama. The Jets likely know that they will only have Landry for one year because he will likely perform well and get a big contract next year. They could draft Barron, let him learn from Landry for a year, and then plug him in for Landry next year. It would be a very Steelers' esque draft pick but I don't see the Jets making that move.
17. Cincinnati - from Oakland (8-8) – CB, RB, S, OG, WR, DE, DT, Strong LB - Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
The Bengals don't have a huge need for an ILB but Kuechly is the BPA by a long way and could provide an upgrade to that position. Kuechly combines elite instincts with plus athleticism and had over 100 tackles last year at Boston College (closer to 200). He has all the tools to be a dominate player and you simply can't pass that up at pick No. 17 of the 1st round.
18. San Diego (8-8) – OLB, SS, OT, OG, TE, CB, NT, ILB, RB, WR, QB - Mark Barron, SS, Alabama
The Chargers were able to sign Jarret Johnson to help their pass rush so their biggest needs are now SS, tackle, and guard Barron and Martin would be there two options here and because of the weakness of the SS class, I believe they will take Barron if he is available here because after Barron, there are no sure things at SS.
19. Chicago (8-8) – WR1, OT, CB, DE, LB, OC, S, DT, QB - Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
The Bears were able to land Brandon Marshall in an offseason trade to give Jay Cutler a number one target. However, they could still use another WR as well as an OT and a corner. Martin is the BPA and fills their biggest need at tackle. Pairing Martin with Gabe Carimi gives them bookend tackles for the next decade.
20. Tennessee (9-7) – OC, 2OG, DE, 2S, Weak LB, CB, WR - Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois
The Titans made some moves to fill some needs this free agency. They signed Steve Hutchinson to play guard and resigned both of their safeties. That still leaves needs at center, guard and defensive end. Out of those positions, Mercilus fills a major need and gives them a pass rusher they have been missing since losing Jason Babin and Albert Haynseworth. I know the Titans signed Kamerion Wimbley to a big deal but they still need one more pass rusher.
21. Cincinnati* (9-7) - CB, RB, S, OG, WR, DE, DT - Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
The Bengals went BPA with their first pick but with this pick they go for filling their biggest need. The Bengals, before last season, had two lockdown corners in Jonathan Joseph and Leon Hall. However, Joseph went to the Texans and then last year, Hall tore his achilles. Now they have no corners that will be ready to start next year so they must add a starting caliber corner in the draft. Jenkins is a great scheme fit and is in his draft range at No. 21.
22. Cleveland - from Atlanta* (10-6) - QB, WR, RT, DE, CB, OLB, OG, FS, DT, K - Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
As I said earlier, the Browns won't be able to get a franchise QB this year. However, by adding Richardson and now Kendall Wright they are positioning themselves well for next year if they can land a guy like Matt Barkley, Tyler Bray, Tyler Wilson, or Danny O'Brien. Plus, they now give Colt McCoy two legit weapons to actually see if he has the talent to play in the NFL.
23. Detroit* (10-6) – CB, LT, SS, DE, OC, LB, RT, RB, QB, P - Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC
In this situation, the Lions three biggest needs do not match the talent on the board. However, Nick Perry, who is the BPA, fills a secondary need and would give the Lions a fearsome defensive line. Why not follow the Super Bowl Champions motto of "you can never have enough defensive linemen".
24. Pittsburgh* (12-4) – OG, ILB, NT, OT, S, K, CB, QB, RB - Dontari Poe, NT, Memphis
This pick would be in within thirty seconds. While Donta Hightower is a great player and so is Cordy Glenn, I can't see any way in which the Steelers pass up on Poe if he is available. It is not often that you get the chance to draft an elite athlete who is 340+ pounds. Poe has all the tools to become a dominant NT in this league and with a year of tutelage from Casey Hampton, he could help the Steelers transition to the next wave of elite defenses.
25. Denver* (8-8) – CB, RB, LG/RT, DT, OC, ILB, WR, K, SS, QB - Devon Still, DT, Penn State
The Broncos must get a good DT to fix that hole in there defense. Still is the BPA and fills their biggest need. Still has great strength and is very good when trying but there are times where he shows no effort and is completely taken out of the game. However, with good coaching, he could become a great DT for the Broncos.
26. Houston* (10-6) – CB, WR, NT, S, OG, LB, P - Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech
This pick is looking more and more like a lock if HIll is still available. Hill is literally a perfect fit for a Gary Kubiak offense. Hill is a great blocker with good size, speed, and strength. However, the Texans will have to teach him the entire NFL route tree as the only thing I have seen him run on film is a straight go pattern.
27. New England - from New Orleans* (13-3) – WR, CB, DT, OLB, S, RG, DE - Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson
The Patriots made some moves at WR but still have major needs at DT, CB, OLB, and S. I think they go with a DT here and then look to address the other two positions in the second round. I have Thompson rated just ahead of Jerel Worthy and Kendall Reyes so I have him being the pick. However, any of the three would make sense and all would be good picks.
28. Green Bay* (15-1) – LB, S, DE, CB, OC, RB, TE, OT - Kendall Reyes, DE, Connecticut
The Packers four biggest needs are all on defense at LB, S, DE, and CB. The best player available at any of those positions is Kendall Reyes and he is a perfect fit in a 3-4 defense.
29. Baltimore* (12-4) – ILB, OC, LT, FS, OG, WR (big), CB - Dont'a Hightower, ILB, Alabama
The Ravens would be faced with a win, win but very tough decision here. Do you take Hightower, the great ILB prospect with all the tools to replace Ray Lewis. Or do you take Cordy Glenn, the top flight offensive line prospect with questions about what position he will play? Ultimately, I believe they will take Hightower because Glenn is most likely a RT and the Ravens already have a RT in waiting on their roster.
30. San Francisco* (13-3) – WR, RG, Rush LB, QB, FS, CB, DE - Cordy Glenn, OG/OT, Georgia
The 49ers don't really have many needs at all so they can just take the BPA. Glenn is rated No. 21 on my board so he is clearly the BPA and actually fills one of their few needs at guard.
31. New England* (13-3) - WR, CB, OLB, S, RG, DE - Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina
The Patriots made some moves at WR with Lloyd and Stallworth but they still lake a down the field thread. Jeffery with his size and speed would give them that threat and would make that offense nearly unstoppable. Remember, we are talking about the guy who outperformed A.J. Green and Julio Jones last year.
The defending Super Bowl champions go with the best TE in the draft class in Coby Fleener. Fleener is an athletic freak with all the tools to be a great player. He had a great season with Andrew Luck and is as pro ready as they come. With the Giants need at TE, this pick makes all too much sense.