Listed by pick, team, player, position, college
1. Kansas City Chiefs – Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
I can’t remember a draft where the first pick was not certain by the night before the draft. The pick appears almost certainly to down to Fisher or Luke Joeckel. Pundits and draftniks seem to be oscillating between which will be the pick every hour. For reasons I covered in my last mock, I’ll remain with Fisher. The main draft day intrigue with the Chiefs remains if they will trade incumbent LT Branden Albert, with Miami being a heavily-rumored destination.
Previous pick: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
2. Jacksonville Jaguars – Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon
I disagree with the late momentum behind predicting the other top tackle to go second. Although LT Eric Monroe is in a contract year, he is one of the few talents on their roster and taking another one here is a luxury pick for a team that can’t afford them. I expect the talk of tackle here is a smokescreen by the Jaguars to create a market for the pick. I really struggle not to keep Geno Smith as the pick and think it comes down to him or their highest-rated pass rusher. My opinion is the latter and KeKe Mingo, but a lot of reports are linking Jordan to Jacksonville. The point of this exercise is to predict what I think will happen, not what I’d do.
Previous pick: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
3. Oakland Raiders – Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
This pick appears to be heavily in play, as the Lions seem desperate to land one of the top two OTs. If the Raiders keep the pick, I expect it will be Lotulelei or Sharrif Floyd. With concerns about Lotulelei’s heart issue from the Combine seemingly over, he rises back up draft boards. The addition of Matt Flynn doesn’t preclude them from being a possibility for Geno Smith. However, similar to Jacksonville, with so many other holes to fill, having a remotely functional QB makes addressing other gaps this early in a year without an elite QB prospect the more likely choice.
Previous pick: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
4. Philadelphia Eagles – Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Lots of great options will be available, all fitting significant needs, and it should be another coveted trade position when the top player at one of the key positions falls. With so many options, I’m much less confident in Joeckel going here than I was a month ago, but he continues to make a lot of sense with all the injury and depth concerns on the Eagles’ OLine.
Previous pick: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
5. Detroit Lions – DeMarcus “Dee” Milliner, CB, Alabama
The line needed help before the retirement of Jeff Backus and loss of Gosder Cherilus. With reports that the team might consider last year’s first-round pick Riley Reiff a better fit at guard, I think the Lions trade up, even if it is one spot, to ensure landing one of the safer top two tackle prospects instead of gambling on Lane Johnson here. If this team doesn’t do something to protect Stafford, they are headed back to the Matt Millen days. However, I don’t like to predict trades in a mock. While defensive end is another consideration, the only reason I see for the popular connection to Ziggy Ansah here was a positive review out of the Senior Bowl by HC Jim Schwartz. If a tackle doesn’t fall to them and they don’t trade up, I love Milliner here. Corner has been a lingering issue for the Lions for a while, from their stretch as the worst team in football through their rise to mediocrity. I expect the recent additional injury concerns about Milliner are a misinformation campaign by someone and the Lions will be happy to land Milliner if trading up for a tackle doesn’t work.
Previous pick: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
6. Cleveland Browns – Barkevious Mingo, OLB, Louisiana State
If the Browns stay at this pick, I think one of the locks of this draft is this pick being a pass rusher. Mingo, Dion Jordan and possibly even Ziggy Ansah all have great potential as edge rushers in a 3-4 defense desperate for one and a team converting to that scheme.
Previous pick: Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon
7. Arizona Cardinals – Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
All the local reporters strongly feel the team is satisfied with their offensive tackles, but I don’t understand it. Levi Brown is terrible and the line was somehow worse without him last year. Bobby Massie was a pleasant surprise, but doesn’t have the potential at LT or upside of Johnson.
Previous pick: Matt Barkley, QB, Southern California
8. Buffalo Bills – Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
No team in the league is more desperate at the position than the Bills. The Ryan Nassib hype machine has gotten out of control. I think people are trying too hard to link him to new HC Doug Marrone, Nassib’s college coach at Syracuse. I’ll be shocked if Nassib is the pick and it will ensure a short tenure as an NFL head coach for Marrone. Smith is the best QB prospect in the draft, will be the first one selected and I think this is as far as he falls.
Previous pick: E.J. Manuel, QB, Florida State
9. New York Jets – Johnathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
Cooper crashes through the glass ceiling for interior lineman with a Jets team whose early focus in this draft should be on reloading their OLine and rebuilding their pass rush. Looking at the needs between this pick and their next one, and the best players available, it makes a lot of sense for them to take the OLineman they want here and then look for a pass rusher.
Previous pick: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, Louisiana State
10. Tennessee Titans – D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
Fluker’s stock continues to rise and I buy it after he showed up looking great for the Combine. The team needs to keep Jake Locker upright and make holes for CJ2K, so I think they focus on OLine. Fluker can step in as a starting guard and then replace RT David Stewart next year.
Previous pick: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, Brigham Young
11. San Diego Chargers – Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
If Lane Johnson doesn’t fall, OLine remains their biggest need and one of the top two guards should fall here.
Previous pick: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
12. Miami Dolphins – Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
The addition of Mike Wallace shifts their focus from WR and makes CB their biggest need.
Previous pick: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
13. New York Jets (via TB) – Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
This pick comes to injury and athleticism concerns around Jones v. the raw Ansah. I think Jones has a higher floor and just as much of a ceiling. Clearly CB is in the mix with this pick obtained for Darrelle Revis.
Previous pick: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State (for Tampa Bay)
14. Carolina Panthers – Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Another pick that looks like a lock is the Panthers taking a DT. With a strong group at the position this year and seemingly other directions most will take between here and the third pick, they should have a few good options.
Previous pick: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
15. New Orleans Saints – Ezekiel Ansah, DE, Brigham Young
I’m not as high on Ziggy as most, but it seems likely he’ll be a first-round pick on his potential and the Giants at pick 19 is probably his floor. The Saints are switching to a 3-4 defense and a pass rush specialist is the team’s number one need right now. The raw and angular Ansah, with some good athleticism, is probably a better fit in space for a 3-4.
Previous pick: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
16. St. Louis Rams – Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
I’m not confident undersized speedster should be the first WR off the board, but it seems everyone is sure he’s the next Steve L. Smith.
Previous pick: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
17. Pittsburgh Steelers – Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
Concerns about Ogletree’s baggage seem to be growing louder, moving me off him at this pick with an option like Vaccaro available. Time to reload at safety for the Steelers with a new playmaker up the middle.
Previous pick: Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia
18. Dallas Cowboys – Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
An explosive three technique tackle is a top priority as they convert to a 4-3 under new DC Monte Kiffin.
Previous pick: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
19. New York Giants – Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
The departure of Martellus Bennett makes the need and value a great match if Eifert falls this far. He has work to do to become a serviceable blocker, but he is a fantastic receiver who gives QB Eli Manning a great weapon in the passing game, especially around the end zone, where their running game is under transition.
Previous pick: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
20. Chicago Bears – Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia
The early run on OLine will be a disappointment to the Bears, who have more work to do up front despite strengthening the group in free agency. The team plugged holes at linebacker with risk/reward veteran bets on one-year contracts, but needs to look to the future at the position. Lance Briggs is getting up in age too.
Previous pick: Johnathan Cooper, G, North Carolina
21. Cincinnati Bengals – Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International
A late riser, Cyprien has buzz around him associated with many teams, including Cincinnati where DC Mike Zimmer is reportedly interested. A position most were surprised they didn’t address better last year.
Previous pick: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
22. St. Louis Rams (via WAS) – Eric Reid, S, Louisiana State
I feel like I’m forcing a need here over best player available, but Reid was the top safety prospect before a quiet post-season where all the buzz was about Kenny Vaccaro. However, Reid has been popping in enough stories lately to indicate he’s still high on the draft boards of enough teams to be in play for the first round.
Previous pick: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
23. Minnesota Vikings – Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
The Vikings are in a great position to address wide receiver in this draft. Tavon Austin, who I previously had going here, appears to be looking like the first player at the position, but Patterson is the top-rated prospect at WR for me.
Previous pick: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
24. Indianapolis Colts – Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
I still love the fit for Datone Jones as a five-technique end, but wondering if cornerback isn’t a more pressing need after getting lit up by Joe Flacco in the playoffs. D.J. Hayden is the fastest rising name at the position, but I’ll stick with Trufant. They traded for Vontae Davis last year, so the Colts will likely be looking to pair the veteran with a rookie instead of bringing in another veteran and allocating too much cap money at the position.
Previous pick: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
25. Minnesota Vikings (via SEA) – Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame
The Vikings seem like one of the teams not worried about the distractions Te’o brings. Reloading the DLine might be a bigger need, but HC Leslie Frazier knows from his playing days the value of a playmaker and leader in the middle of the defense.
Previous pick (Seattle): Datone Jones, DL, UCLA
26. Green Bay Packers – Datone Jones, DL, UCLA
The versatile Jones can add value in multiple spots for a front seven that has struggled with injuries and stability. Cornerback will be a strong consideration as well.
Previous pick: Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama
27. Houston Texans – DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
I continue to switch back and forth between Hopkins and Justin Hunter. Regardless, one of the locks of the draft seems to be the Texans addressing WR with this pick.
Previous pick: Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
28. Denver Broncos – Cornellius ”Tank” Carradine, DE, Florida State
An impressive recent workout has Carradine making an Adrian Peterson-esque return from a torn ACL and shooting up draft boards. The loss of Elvis Dumervil in Faxgate has created a bigger need at end, but the pick looks to be somewhere on the DLine.
Previous pick: Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
29. New England Patriots – D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston
After being cleared of injury concerns, another late riser who some even think is the best prospect in the draft. Also bucks conventional wisdom enough to be a Belichick pick.
Previous pick: David Amerson, CB, North Carolina State
30. Atlanta Falcons – Björn Werner, DE, Florida State
Werner didn’t display the expected athleticism at the Combine, but his fall may be too steep, even though I thought he was overrated. Lots of buzz for the Falcons to move up for a cornerback, but DE is another area of need if they don’t execute that.
Previous pick: Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford
31. San Francisco 49ers – Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
I made the case for a NT in my first mock, but a player I rate more highly has fallen each subsequent one.
Previous pick: Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
32. Baltimore Ravens – Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
I think the draft lines up nicely for a WR to fall here and replace Boldin. Safety and linebacker will be considerations too.
Previous pick: Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame