04-23-2012, 10:54 AM
(Note: All picks in this mock based on team needs, as opposed to who teams might actually pick.) 1) Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford The First Law of Draft Mechanics states that a draft board at rest remains at rest, while a draft board in motion remains in motion. Despite all the rumors, Jim Irsay decided on Luck about nine months ago, and anyone hoping to talk him out of it must overcome a lot of inertia. Chuck Pagano, Bruce Arians, and the other coaches who signed on with the Colts probably had Luck penciled in when they took the jobs, too, so don't assume that they are clamoring for a different quarterback who might be a step quicker and put an extra mile per hour on his passes. 2) Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor It's hard to say anything interesting about these first two guys: it has all been said and said again. So hey, have you seen the Obama-style "hope" posters that Redskins fans have made of RG3? They look cool, and you can make your own! All you need is an image of RG3, some Photoshop skills, and complete amnesia about the fact that you did the same thing for Donovan McNabb two years ago. 3) Minnesota Vikings: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU The Vikings had the worst pass defense in the NFL, according to Football Outsiders' DVOA rating. They ranked 28 th at stopping top receivers, 30 th at stopping #2 receivers, and dead last at stopping slot receivers. All this while Jared Allen was setting a sack record, so don't blame "lack of pressure." The Vikings may choose Ryan Kalil over Claiborne, but they need Claiborne more. 4) Cleveland Browns: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama Ah, how quickly we toss Colt McCoy into the compost heap after a season in which the Browns top offensive weapon turned into a sulky underachiever and McCoy's top receiving target was a rookie who let perfect passes bounce off his chest. McCoy may never fit anyone's definition of "elite quarterback" (and everyone has their own definition), but he still has some upside, and the Browns can't grab Ryan Tannehill, throw him onto the field with no supporting cast, and expect everything to be hunky-dory. Give Richardson 20-25 carries per game, and the Browns can become a running-and-defense team: perfect for their division. 5) *Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State Watching the Bucs defensive line late in the year was like watching a road crew fix a pothole on a hot Friday afternoon: they didn't want to be there, and they were more interested in milking the clock than getting the job done. Cox brings versatility to a line that has more talent than its 2,497 rushing yards allowed indicates, but he also brings hustle. The Bucs did a fine job addressing some offensive needs through free agency, so they can work on their defense with this pick. 6) St. Louis Rams: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State Which of the following were Rams wide receivers in 2011, and which were 19 th century Congressmen from the state of Kentucky? The choices: a) Silas Adams, b) Austin Pettis, c) Greg Salas, d) Albert Berry, e) William Clayton Anderson, f) Mike Sims-Walker. If you knew that b, c, and f were the Rams, you are a huge Rams fan, had an awful fantasy team, or really know your Kentucky history. So yes, Sam Bradford needs a receiver, lest he be thrown on the Colt McCoy scrap heap of prematurely abandoned quarterback prospects. 7) Jacksonville Jaguars: Matt Kalil, OT, USC Jaguars right tackle Guy Whimper was a complete mess last year, except when he was catching weird tackle-eligible passes. Eben Britton is penciled in at right tackle right now, but he might be better off at guard. Kalil can start his career at right tackle, or Eugene Monroe can slide from left to right so Kalil can grow naturally into his role. Whimper can be a goal-line tight end. 8) Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Oklahoma State Watching Matt Moore and David Garrard while Tannehill develops will be like watching Dora the Explorer and Blues Clues before sending the kids to grandma's for the weekend: it's not great, but it's very tolerable because you know it will end soon.