Editor’s note: Max Luckan covers the NFL for CBS Tampa Bay and the NBA for Orlando Magic Daily.
With the NFL draft less than one week away, teams are finalizing their draft boards and are already thinking about potential trades. There have been tons of mock drafts up all over the Internet, and it’s still uncertain who the number one overall pick will be. In this mock draft, it appears to be…
1. Kansas City Chiefs – OT Eric Fisher – Central Michigan
Luckan’s Comments: Andy Reid needs a strong offensive line to be the backbone of his newly implemented offense, and Fisher can be a key building block on the offensive line for years to come.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars – OLB Dion Jordan – Oregon
Luckan’s Comments: It’s time for the Jaguars to start with a strong defense, and Jordan is a force that can certainly be reckoned with.
3. Oakland Raiders – DT Sharrif Floyd – Florida
Luckan’s Comments: Floyd, out of Florida, is a raw specimen with a huge upside. It would be smart for the Raiders if they chose this talented defensive tackle.
4. Philadelphia Eagles – DT Star Lotulelei – Utah
Luckan’s Comments: Lotulelei seems to be one of the safer picks for a defensive line prospect. The Eagles need a young lineman on the defensive side and Lotulelei fits the bill.
5. Detroit Lions – OT Luke Joeckel – Texas A&M
Luckan’s Comments: Many think Joeckel can be drafted number one overall, so this could be considered a steal for the Lions at a position of need.
6. Cleveland Browns – CB Dee Milliner – Alabama
Luckan’s Comments: Xavier Rhodes might be the better cornerback eventually, but Milliner comes from the Alabama football program, which means he will be ready to contribute immediately for the Browns and that makes too much sense.
7. Arizona Cardinals – OT Lane Johnson – Oklahoma
Luckan’s Comments: The Cardinals now have Carson Palmer at quarterback, and if they want him to even have a chance at thriving, they should take Johnson out of Oklahoma to fortify the offensive line.
8. Buffalo Bills – QB Geno Smith – West Virginia
Luckan’s Comments: If Smith is still on the board here, it should be a no-brainer for general manager Buddy Nix, as he wants a quarterback. And there’s actually a decent chance that Smith can fall to number eight overall.
9. New York Jets – OLB Barkevious Mingo – LSU
Luckan’s Comments: Bart Scott is gone, and obviously, head coach Rex Ryan is a defensive-oriented guy. Mingo seems like a solid fit for the Jets, and a fairly safe selection.
10. Tennessee Titans – OG Chance Warmack – Alabama
Luckan’s Comments: Warmack, out of Alabama, seems to be ready to be a force on any offensive line. And he seems to be the best guard in this year’s draft class.
11. San Diego Chargers – OG Jonathan Cooper – North Carolina
Luckan’s Comments: It really is a tossup between Warmack and Cooper, as to who the better guard is. Cooper is arguably more athletic than Warmack, which is something that Chargers new general manager Tom Telesco probably prefers.
12. Miami Dolphins – CB Desmond Trufant – Washington
Luckan’s Comments: Miami lost Sean Smith in free agency. Luckily for them, Trufant has flown under the radar and is clearly an upgrade over Smith.
13. New York Jets (via TB) – QB E.J. Manuel – Florida State
Luckan’s Comments: The Jets recently acquired the 13th overall pick from the Bucs in a trade for Darrelle Revis. At 13, the Jets could go with Manuel, as he has quickly shot up many draft boards. Mingo is still a possibility for the Jets with the 9th overall selection.
14. Carolina Panthers – DT Sheldon Richardson – Missouri
Luckan’s Comments: It seems like the Panthers’ defensive line has lost its swagger ever since the departure of Julius Peppers. It’s time for them to get it back with Richardson.
15. New Orleans Saints – S Kenny Vaccaro – Texas
Luckan’s Comments: So the Saints were dreadful in pass defense all season last year. Vaccaro’s mixture of athleticism and sure tackling ability should appease the Saints.
16. St. Louis Rams – WR Tavon Austin – West Virginia
Luckan’s Comments: Austin’s electric speed and playmaking ability out of the slot should be a good fit for the Rams, who are looking to get Sam Bradford some weapons.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers – WR Cordarrelle Patterson – Tennessee
Luckan’s Comments: At first, letting wide receiver Mike Wallace bolt in free agency didn’t seem like the smartest move. But Ben Roethlisberger wants a tall receiver, so Patterson would be a good selection here.
18. Dallas Cowboys – OLB Jarvis Jones – Georgia
Luckan’s Comments: Many think the Cowboys take a safety here, as they desperately need one. But with Kenny Vaccaro likely off the board already, the Cowboys might see Jones as the better value at 18.
19. New York Giants – OT D.J. Fluker – Alabama
Luckan’s Comments: The Giants’ offensive line is ancient. David Diehl is quickly declining in ability, and Fluker could be a quick upgrade, or, at the very least, lower the average age on this line.
20. Chicago Bears – Alec Ogletree – LB – Georgia
Luckan’s Comments: The Bears are moving on without Brian Urlacher, and adding Ogletree would be a good start, as he possesses great speed for the position.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – Arthur Brown – LB – Kansas St.
Luckan’s Comments: The Bengals would like Jarvis Jones, but he probably won’t be available at 21. Brown is a bit undersized, but he has the talent to immediately start for the Bengals, who are looking to take the next step.
22. St. Louis Rams (via WAS) – Jonathan Cyprien – S – Florida International
Luckan’s Comments: Cyprien may not be a household name, but that could work in the Rams’ favor. It’s widely expected that they go safety here and Cyprien would be a smart selection.
23. Minnesota Vikings – Ziggy Ansah – DE – BYU
Luckan’s Comments: It’s unlikely that Ansah falls this far, but if he does, the Vikings should snatch him up because he has a lot of untapped potential.
24. Indianapolis Colts – Datone Jones – DE – UCLA
Luckan’s Comments: Jones’ main positive aspect is that he is extremely versatile, meaning he would fit well in multiple schemes that the Colts are installing. This is a logical selection.
25. Minnesota Vikings (via SEA) – Manti Te’o – LB – Notre Dame
Luckan’s Comments: Minnesota desperately needs an upgrade at linebacker and general manager Rick Spielman has long been a fan of players out of Notre Dame. Te’o has had his ups and downs, but the bottom line is that he is a late first-round talent.
26. Green Bay Packers – Menelik Watson – OT – Florida State
Luckan’s Comments: Watson has great size and is a physical specimen. While the Packers have other needs, they may need to solidify their offensive line, which has become unpredictable.
27. Houston Texans – DeAndre Hopkins – WR – Clemson
Luckan’s Comments: Andre Johnson needs help immediately. He’s been the lone consistent target on the outside for a while now. A polished receiver like Hopkins would make Johnson’s job a little easier.
28. Denver Broncos – Damontre Moore – DE – Texas A&M
Luckan’s Comments: The good thing for the Broncos is that they don’t have immediate need. But they are looking for some help at defensive end and linebacker. Moore can play both positions, so this move makes a lot of sense.
29. New England Patriots – Bjoern Werner – DE – Florida State
Luckan’s Comments: So far, the Patriots have done well in free agency, meaning that their only real need is on the defensive line. Werner is athletic and versatile, he could excel in Bill Belichick’s hybrid system.
30. Atlanta Falcons – Tank Carradine – DE – Florida State
Luckan’s Comments: Atlanta desperately needs an end after failing to address the position in free agency. The Falcons would like to trade up, but it might not be worth it and picking Carradine, who compares favorably to Justin Tuck, at 30 would be a smart move by general manager Thomas Dimitroff.
31. San Francisco 49ers – Jesse Williams – DT – Alabama
Luckan’s Comments: San Francisco lost Dashon Goldson to the Bucs in free agency, so they could go with a safety here. But the safety class is deep and Williams is a tough nose tackle that can strengthen the defensive line.
32. Baltimore Ravens – Keenan Allen – WR – Cal
Luckan’s Comments: The defending Super Bowl champs underwent quite the makeover this offseason. Anquan Boldin was dealt to the 49ers, which makes selecting Allen, who has a chance to be a No. 1 receiver, plausible.
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