The mock draft season is upon us and with it comes the speculative disasters that are the pre-combine mocks. We have no verifiable physical freaks who can wreak havoc from whatever position they are in and we have no quietly good players who slip because of poor showings (or not even showing up!) at the combine.
What we have is speculation based on college numbers and potential growth. We have our gut feelings. Here on B&T, writers like Jason Love have speculated about who the Jags could get in different scenarios. We have yet to do an entire first round mock, though. Other great sites like Walter Football, DC Sports, Hail Redskins Mock Database, and Sports Jabber Mock Draft Database have their mocks and other sites’ mocks constantly updated, check them out for more great NFL Draft info.
Fortunately, I am here to ease your desire to see a premature guess at who each team will take with their first round picks. I’m not saying I’m right (It’s before free agency after all!), but hey, I could be.
Let’s get to the picks!
Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
- The Chiefs need help all over their roster but, with new coach Andy Reid, nothing defines their future quite like a quarterback. Smith is the consensus top quarterback in the draft and should suit the Chiefs well under Reid. Reid will want to attach his star to a young quarterback he trusts, and that man in Geno Smith.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars
Bjoern Werner, DE/OLB, Florida State
- Werner is all about potential. He is a young player who has not even been in the sport that long. The Jaguars are all about potential right now as well. They are looking for motivation and passion to go along with it. Werner has both and fills a major need for the Jaguars: pass rusher. He will be a more raw prospect than some other possible picks, but new GM Dave Caldwell said he would come out swinging. This could be a home run.
3. Oakland Raiders
Star Lotulelei, NT, Utah
- Lotulelei fills a major need for the Raiders. The big question here will be if the Raiders feel he is better than any of the pass rushers still available. Like the two teams before them, the Raiders need help in a number of areas but Lotulelei could be too much of a talent to pass up.
4. Philadelphia Eagles
Luke Joeckel, LT, Texas A&M
- What happens when you give the keys to your offense to a young quarterback who gets plowed into the ground again and again? David Carr. The Eagles need to protect young Nick Foles as they find out if he is the future of their franchise. Joeckel just makes too much sense to let him slide past.
5. Detroit Lions
Jarvis Jones, DE/OLB, Georgia
- Jones has a lot of potential to do work against opposing quarterbacks. He is a versatile defensive threat that the Lions will need if they hope to harass quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers, Christian Ponder, and Jay Cutler in order to limit being placed at the bottom of the NFC North…again. Jones fills that need and provides great value for a team that would otherwise be starved at DE in 2013.
6. Cleveland Browns
Damontre Moore, DE/OLB, Texas A&M
- The Browns will take whichever pass rusher the teams in front of them pass on and will be happy about it. Moore is a very good contributor and will fill the major need of a pass rush that the Browns have. Moore’s abilities could be exactly what the Browns need, but then again they would be happy with Jones or Werner here as well.
7. Arizona Cardinals
Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, Louisiana State
- The Cardinals could really use O-line help and a new quarterback, but with nobody good enough at this high in the draft, the Cardinals will have to go with the best available player here. It just so happens that the Cardinals also need someone to help with a pass that is generously called inconsistent.
8. Buffalo Bills
Mike Glennon, QB, North Carolina State
- Walter Football made a pretty good argument as to why Glennon will be picked this high by the Bills. Leave it to the Bills to pick a player that should be a second round talent in the top 10. If the argument is correct, then I could see Glennon going to the Bills despite not having the appropriate value. It helps that at this point the discussion for next best available player really begins to devolve.
9. New York Jets
DeMarcus Milliner, CB, Alabama
- With the Jets rumored to be shopping Darrelle Revis, they will need a top cornerback to replace Revis-island. Milliner is the top corner in the draft and will fill in well. He has the potential to make the loss of Revis – especially after a season when he was injured – a lot less noticeable.
10. Tennessee Titans
Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
- The Titans need help at safety. While that need could be addressed at other points in either free agency, a good safety can really help in the increasingly competitive AFC South. This will fill a major need and give decent value for a team that should be willing to jump at good talent.
11. San Diego Chargers
Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
- The Chargers are in more of a rebuilding stage than they, or their fanbase, care to admit. They need help along the offensive line and they need it fast. Philip Rivers was not able to help the team overcome their talent deficiency this season with his arm in large part because he was sacked 49 times.
12. Miami Dolphins
Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
- The Dolphins could use help in their secondary and a talent like Banks should help immediately. He could be the defensive back that is the answer for Tom Brady and other division quarterbacks.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
- The Bucs really need defensive back help so don’t be shocked if they trade up to get either a safety or corner to ensure they have a man to fill in the void. But at #13 it wouldn’t be shocking to see them reach for Rhodes. A lot of college teams threw away from Rhodes so his numbers are not as pretty as some other top corner candidates, but the need may be too great for the Bucs to not go after him.
14. Carolina Panthers
Johnathan Hankins, NT, Ohio State
- The Panthers were run over in 2012. Literally. They desperately need help at the interior defensive line positions so Hankins simply makes the most sense here.
15. New Orleans Saints
Sam Montgomery, DE/OLB, Louisiana State
- Montgomery, Mingo’s college counterpart, is a top talent and will get a lot of attention from teams that need pass rush help. The 2012 Saints were abysmal for more reasons than just missing Sean Payton. A big part of that was a need for a better pass rush to prop up the defense.
16. St. Louis Rams
Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
- Jeff Fisher will need a lot of help along his offensive line to turn Sam Bradford into the franchise quarterback he is supposed to be. I trust that the Rams are on the up and up but they played beyond their talent through most of 2012. Warmack will up the talent on the interior O-line.
Picks 17-32 on page 2