Don’t forget to party with The Commish Thursday (4/25) and Friday (4/26) at Ferg’s Sports Bar near Tropicana Field for the NFL Draft! Both nights, The Commish will be on the air live starting at 7:00.
If you are new to my draft coverage, I’d like to explain how I piece together my mock draft.
As right as I want to think that I am, I am not naive to think that what I put out there is exactly how the 1st two rounds of the draft will play out. The draft is a puzzle with probably a million different ways it could unfold. Through my research of not just the players in the draft, but also of the team’s needs and their year-to-year approach to the draft, I try to construct just one way I believe the draft could unfold.
I do as much research on the players as I can with my limited resources. I analyze each team’s needs by breaking down each team’s roster myself. I also analyze the front office, head coach, and assistant coaches on each team to see if there might be a trend we can follow.
One thing I do not do is trying to predict any trades. The trades we hear about with the NFL draft do not come true. The trades we don’t hear about are the ones that actually happen. It just doesn’t make sense to predict them at all.
1. Kansas City Chiefs – Luke Joeckel – OT – Texas A
Commish’s Comments: This pick probably comes down to Joeckel or Eric Fisher. Anything else would be considered a surprise. The Chiefs will want to trade down, but I doubt they will.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars – Eric Fisher – OT – Central Michigan
Commish’s Comments: The Jaguars could go with a pass rusher like Dion Jordan here, but if they go with the best player available, Fisher is the top player here.
3. Oakland Raiders – Star Lotulelei – DT – Utah
Commish’s Comments: Sharrif Floyd has been mocked here by me and could still be the pick, but if the Raiders want to go with a safer selection, Lotulelei provides a defensive tackle with enough power and quickness to excel in any defense.
4. Philadelphia Eagles – Lane Johnson – OT – Oklahoma
Commish’s Comments: Look out for Tavon Austin here. If the Eagles decide to keep the run on offensive tackles going, Lane Johnson might end up being the perfect fit for Chip Kelly’s high-paced offense.
5. Detroit Lions – Dion Jordan – DE/OLB – Oregon
Commish’s Comments: Dion Jordan has the potential of becoming an elite pass rusher, but might need to add 15-20 lbs.
6. Cleveland Browns – Dee Milliner – CB – Alabama
Commish’s Comments: There have been a lot of rumors recently of Dee Milliner’s health concerns, but it is the season of smokescreens, so I refuse to believe it. Milliner gives the Browns a legit corner opposite Joe Haden.
7. Arizona Cardinals – DJ Fluker – OT – Alabama
Commish’s Comments: Fluker’s name has been on fire. The Cardinals have needs at tackle and guard, so Fluker can fill one of those spots, most likely at right tackle.
8. Buffalo Bills – Ryan Nassib – QB – Syracuse
Commish’s Comments: If the Bills want Nassib, they might have to draft him here. The other choice for the Bills might be an offensive guard as new coach Doug Marrone is an offensive line guy. The Bills could get crazy and look towards Tavon Austin.
9. New York Jets – Chance Warmack – OG – Alabama
Commish’s Comments: The Jets have many needs. When a team has this many needs, the best pick is usually one that is not sexy. Warmack helps boost the Jets offensive line to a more complete unit.
10. Tennessee Titans – Sharrif Floyd – DT – Florida
Commish’s Comments: Floyd could slip a bit if he is not taken by the Raiders. The Titans are looking for anyone that willhelp their pass rush.
11. San Diego Chargers –Jonathan Cooper – OG – North Carolina
Commish’s Comments: Cooper is an extremely athletic guard who has the ability to pull, get out on screens, and dominate in pass protection.
12. Miami Dolphins – Kenny Vaccaro – S – Texas
Commish’s Comments: Why not jump at the opportunity to draft the top safety. Vaccaro brings aggressiveness and leadership to the Dolphins secondary and defense.
13. New York Jets (via TB) – Ziggy Ansah – DE – BYU
Commish’s Comments: An extremely raw prospect, Ansah’s natural talent will be a good match with Rex Ryan. I also like Ansah’s ability to play in a 3-4 or 4-3 defense in case of a coaching change in 2014.
14. Carolina Panthers – Sheldon Richardson – DT – Missouri
Commish’s Comments: The Panthers have an obvious need at defensive tackle, and Richardson is a very talented big man whom I’ve been talking about for a while. Good fit.
15. New Orleans Saints – Barkevious Mingo – DE/OLB – LSU
Commish’s Comments: This could be a tough debate between Mingo and Jarvis Jones, but I think new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan likes bigger linebackers to come off the edge. Mingo has elite speed and a frame to get bigger and stronger. I think Jarvis Jones might be tapped out on size.
16. St. Louis Rams – Tavon Austin – WR – West Virginia
Commish’s Comments: I’m just having a tough time placing a receiver who is 5’9” and 175 lbs in the top 10. Yes, I think Chip Kelly’s offense with the Eagles would be a great fit, but if Austin slips, the Rams would be elated.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers – Jarvis Jones – OLB – Georgia
Commish’s Comments: This is just a natural fit. I doubt Jones gets past the Steelers.
18. Dallas Cowboys – Eric Reid – S – LSU
Commish’s Comments: Reid has seen his stock steadily rise. He is a “pro player”, meaning he is ready to go on day one. The safety position is important in Monte Kiffin’s defense.
19. New York Giants – Alec Ogletree – LB – Georgia
Commish’s Comments: The Giants haven’t drafted a linebacker in the first round since the 1980’s. Well, eventually that is going to end, so why not with an athletic playmaker like Ogletree?
20. Chicago Bears – Xavier Rhodes – CB – Florida St.
Commish’s Comments: Rhodes is a big and physical corner who fits with the mentality of the Bears defense.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – Jonathan Cyprien – S – FIU
Commish’s Comments: Cyprien is a big hitter who makes big plays in the passing game as well.
22. St. Louis Rams (via WAS) – Kyle Long – OT/OG – Oregon
Commish’s Comments: With a need at offensive guard, why wouldn’t the Rams want to draft another Long to their team?
23. Minnesota Vikings – Cordarrelle Patterson – WR – Tenn
Commish’s Comments: Patterson has the potential to be dynamic like Percy Harvin. He is a raw receiver, but a player like Greg Jennings can help him progress.
24. Indianapolis Colts – Tank Carradine – DE – FSU
Commish’s Comments: I really like Carradine and think he could be a tremendous pass rusher coming out of this draft. His recent pro day showed that he is progressing just fine from his ACL tear at the end of 2012.
25. Minnesota Vikings (via SEA) – DJ Hayden – CB – Houston
Commish’s Comments: I’ve been a big fan of Hayden the player and Hayden the story. It appears that he has gotten a clean bill of health. If fully healthy, Hayden has all the ability and potential to be one of the dominant players from this draft. I wouldn’t be shocked if he goes sooner than this.
26. Green Bay Packers – Justin Pugh – OT – Syracuse
Commish’s Comments: Pugh is a worker as an offensive tackle who can be a reliable fixture for 10 years.
27. Houston Texans – Tyler Eifert – TE – Notre Dame
Commish’s Comments: The Texans need more help for Matt Schaub in the passing game. Eifert might go earlier than this, but if he is available, the Texans should take him over reaching for another receiver.
28. Denver Broncos – Eddie Lacy – RB – Alabama
Commish’s Comments: I went with Lacy because I feel the Broncos could use a feature back with you legs, but also had the new CBA in the back of my mind. With the new CBA, 1st round picks get 5-year contracts while other rounds get 4-year contracts. One position where the extra year comes into effect is at running back, since their career spans aren’t very long to begin with. If Lacy is great, the Broncos would control him for 5 years and then be able to place the franchise tag on him.
29. New England Patriots – Jamar Taylor – CB – Boise St.
Commish’s Comments: The Patriots brought Aqib Talib back, but they need at least another cornerback and maybe some more long-term answers at the position as well. Taylor has been rising through this whole process and plays physically.
30. Atlanta Falcons – Desmond Trufant – CB – Washington
Commish’s Comments: Trufant is not an overly physical corner, but he is a plug and play corner who could start right away.
31. San Francisco 49ers – Jesse Williams – DT – Alabama
Commish’s Comments: The 49ers need to get younger and better along their defensive line. Jesse Williams is very big and very athletic. Coming from Alabama, Williams brings a winning mentality.
32. Baltimore Ravens – Matt Elam – S – Florida
Commish’s Comments: The Ravens got rid of both of their safeties from last season. Elam is a big hitter who could play the role Bernard Pollard had last season.
33. Jacksonville Jaguars – Matt Barkley – QB – USC
Commish’s Comments: Barkley does not have an elite arm, but he is accurate and has a good head on his shoulders. The new brass in Jacksonville might feel more comfortable with a quarterback like Barkley who is technically sound with a lot of experience over a quarterback with more potential in Geno Smith or with a stronger arm like Mike Glennon.
34. San Francisco 49ers – Zack Ertz – TE – Stanford
Commish’s Comments: Ertz is a good addition for the 49ers who use 2-tight end sets.
35. Philadelphia Eagles – Geno Smith – QB – West Virginia
Commish’s Comments: If Geno Smith slips, the Eagles could be aggressive and trade back into the late 1st to select him. Since I do not predict trades, Smith falls to the Eagles here.
36. Detroit Lions – Darius Slay – CB – Mississippi St.
Commish’s Comments: Slay has been on the rise and was invited to the NFL Draft. He is an explosive player with a higher ceiling than his college teammate Johnthan Banks.
37. Cincinnati Bengals (via OAK) – Sylvester Williams – DT – UNC
Commish’s Comments: Williams slips a bit, but would be a very nice fit and an improvement for the Bengals defensive line.
38. Arizona Cardinals – Datone Jones – DE – UCLA
Commish’s Comments: Jones is a talented end that can play in any defense.
39. New York Jets – EJ Manuel – QB – Florida St.
Commish’s Comments: Manuel is another candidate teams could trade back into the first round for. Manuel’s athleticism and accuracy will be a good fit in Marty Mornhinweg’s new offense.
40. Tennessee Titans – Bjoern Werner – DE – Florida St.
Commish’s Comments: The Titans continue to improve their pass rush.
41. Buffalo Bills – Keenan Allen – WR – Cal
Commish’s Comments: Allen slides a bit because of a lack of top end speed, but has the ability to be a true number one receiver.
42. Miami Dolphins – Damontre Moore – DE/OLB – Texas A&M
Commish’s Comments: Moore gets reunited with his old college coach in Mike Sherman.
43. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Johnathan Hankins – DT – Ohio St.
Commish’s Comments: With cornerback being addressed, the Bucs next biggest needs are at tight end and defensive tackle. The Buccaneers could be in position to move up in the 2nd round or into the late 1st round if they’re targeting a specific player. If they stay here, I think Hankins would be a very nice fit at nose tackle next to Gerald McCoy. If Hankins stayed at Ohio St. another year, he might have found himself being a top 15 pick in next year’s draft. Hankins is a massive defensive tackle with surprising quickness and agility. He has gotten a lot of praise from his college coaches about his character as well.
44. Carolina Panthers – Justin Hunter – WR – Tennessee
Commish’s Comments: Hunter provides a big body with speed that can stretch the field opposite of Steve Smith.
45. San Diego Chargers – Menelik Watson – OT – FSU
Commish’s Comments: Watson is raw, but fills a huge need.
46. St. Louis Rams – Arthur Brown – OLB – Kansas St.
Commish’s Comments: Underrated sure-tackling linebacker that can help the Rams defense immediately.
47. Dallas Cowboys –Kawann Short – DT – Purdue
Commish’s Comments: Short was inconsistent on film, but has potential to be Monte Kiffin’s under tackle in Dallas. If any position coach could make Short more consistent, it would have to be Rod Marinelli.
48. Pittsburgh Steelers – DeAndre Hopkins – WR – Clemson
Commish’s Comments: Hopkins is a very good route runner and has very good hands.
49. New York Giants – Margus Hunt – DE – SMU
Commish’s Comments: The Giants have proven a willingness to draft raw defensive linemen and help them develop.
50. Chicago Bears – Kevin Minter – MLB – LSU
Commish’s Comments: Minter is a hard hitting aggressive linebacker. Good replacement for Urlacher.
51. Washington Redskins – Johnthan Banks – CB – Miss St.
Commish’s Comments: Banks has physical characteristics like Aqib Talib.
52. Minnesota Vikings – Manti Te’o – LB – Notre Dame
Commish’s Comments: Te’o could go to the Vikings in the 1st round, but that’s the way this draft is this year. Te’o’s leadership and instincts would be a good fit in the Vikings defense.
53. Cincinnati Bengals – Johnathan Franklin – RB – UCLA
Commish’s Comments: Franklin’s stock has continually moved upwards. He is a feature back who can do it all.
54. Miami Dolphins (via IND) – Robert Alford – CB – SE Louisiana St.
Commish’s Comments: Small school prospect is very athletic and mirrors receivers.
55. Green Bay Packers – Montee Ball – RB – Wisconsin
Commish’s Comments: Doesn’t it make sense for the Packers to finally draft a Wisconsin player?
56. Seattle Seahawks – John Jenkins – DT – Georgia
Commish’s Comments: Alan Branch remains a free agent, so the Seahawks are still in need of a nose tackle.
57. Houston Texans – Quinton Patton – WR – Louisiana Tech
Commish’s Comments: Patton could provide some speed and hands opposite of Andre Johnson.
58. Denver Broncos – Alex Okafor – DE – Texas
Commish’s Comments: Okafor is a good pass rusher who adds depth to the Broncos defensive line.
59. New England Patriots – Robert Woods – WR – USC
Commish’s Comments: Woods is a good route runner with good hands and fits the Patriots scheme.
60. Atlanta Falcons – Michael Buchanon – DE – Illinois
Commish’s Comments: Buchanon is a very good pass rusher and addresses a void left by John Abraham that Osi Umenyiora won’t be able to fill by himself.
61. San Francisco 49ers – Phillip Thomas – S – Fresno St.
Commish’s Comments: Thomas is a ball hawk who makes big plays in the pass game.
62. Baltimore Ravens – Travis Frederick – OC – Wisconsin
Commish’s Comments: With Matt Birk retiring, Frederick can step in and play immediately.
63. Kansas City Chiefs – Brandon Williams DT – Missouri South St.
64. Jacksonville Jaguars – Blidi Wreh-Wilson – CB – UCONN
65. Detroit Lions – Terron Armstead – Arkansas Pine-Bluff
66. Oakland Raiders – David Amerson – CB – NC St.
67. Philadelphia Eagles – William Gholston – DE – Michigan St.
68. Cleveland Browns – Mike Glennon – QB – NC St.
69. Arizona Cardinals – Jamie Collins – DE/OLB – Southern Miss
70. Tennessee Titans – Larry Warford – OG – Kentucky
71. Buffalo Bills – Brian Winters – OG – Kent St.
72. New York Jets – Giovanni Bernard – RB – North Carolina
73. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Travis Kelce – TE – Cincinnati
Commish’s Comments: Kelce is one of the few tight ends in this draft that can make plays as a receiver, but is also a hell of a blocker. He is as balanced as any tight end in this draft, but don’t let that fool you to think Kelce is not a threat in the pass game. Kelce has very good speed and reliable hands. He was suspended in 2010 for an entire season for a violation of team rules, which is why he slipped to the 3rd round. However, Kelce did come back to play two more seasons and really blossomed in 2012. What I like most is that it seems like Kelce plays with a chip on his shoulder at all times. I think Kelce can be a difference maker on offense for the Bucs in the pass game, but also as a blocker with Greg Schiano liking to establish the ground game. Oh, and Kelce is from the Big East.
74. San Francisco 49ers (via NE) – Tyrann Mathieu – CB – LSU
75. New Orleans Saints – Sanders Commings – CB – Georgia
76. San Diego Chargers – Jordan Poyer – CB – Oregon St.
77. Miami Dolphins – David Quessenberry – OT – San Jose St.
78. St. Louis Rams – DJ Swearinger – S – South Carolina
79. Pittsburgh Steelers – Le’Veon Bell – RB – Michigan St.
80. Dallas Cowboys – Christine Michael – RB – Texas A&M
81. New York Giants – Vance McDonald – TE – Rice
82. Miami Dolphins (via CHI) – Gavin Escobar – TE – San Diego St.
83. Minnesota Vikings – Bennie Logan – DT – LSU
84. Cincinnati Bengals – Khaseem Greene – OLB – Rutgers
85. Washington Redskins – JJ Wilcox – S – Georgia Southern
86. Indianapolis Colts – Jon Bostic – LB – Florida
87. Seattle Seahawks – Sio Moore – LB – UCONN
88. Green Bay Packers – Bacarri Rambo -S – Georgia
89. Houston Texans – Montori Hughes – DT – Tennessee-Martin
90. Denver Broncos – Logan Ryan – CB – Rutgers
91. New England Patriots – Stedman Bailey – WR – West Virginia
92. Atlanta Falcons – Dallas Thomas – OT – Tennessee
93. San Francisco 49ers – Da’Rick Rogers – WR – Tennessee Tech
94. Baltimore Ravens – Corey Lemonier – DE/OLB – Auburn
95. Houston Texans – Barrett Jones – OC – Alabama
96. Kansas City Chiefs – Dion Sims – TE – Michigan St.
97. Tennessee Titans –Marc Anthony – CB – Cal
Catch The Commish weekdays from 9-12 on 98.7 The Fan