Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd is attracting a lot of interest in the media right now, and he’s now vaulted his way into the top five selections in James Masini’s pre-free agency mock draft…
It’s that time of year again.
It’s taken a lot longer than normal to settle on my mock. This is really more of a Mock 1.5 than a straight 1.0. I’m expecting a few more changes once free agency kicks in but for now, have a butcher’s at this little lot.
- Kansas City Chiefs select Luke Joeckel (OT) Texas A&M – The Chiefs have found their Quarterback. They believe that Alex Smith will lead them out of the doldrums and into the playoffs. Everyone is sceptical. Especially for the hefty price of TWO 2nd round picks. Alex Smith might not be to everyone’s taste but he’s still potentially got 7 years left in him. If he turns out to be the quarterback of post-2011, that might be good enough. If he is the pre-2011 QB, it may just cost the Chiefs’ front office their jobs. To give Smith the best possible chance, they’ll need to make sure he’s protected. Joeckel will give them the best chance of achieving this. Joeckel is powerful and mobile, he’s a natural Left Tackle but a year or two on the Right Side with Branden Albert on the Left will do him no harm at all.
- Jacksonville Jaguars select Barkavious Mingo (DE) LSU – The Jags couldn’t get to the Quarterback in 2011, they were even worse 2012. Jacksonville were dead last in sacks last year and will address this early in April’s draft. They might could easily go after Bjoern Werner or Dion Jordan but for the moment Mingo is seems like the best all-round prospect. Arguably Mingo is a better fit in a 3-4 but having played (and impressed) in a 4-3 at LSU, he’s clearly not familiar with the position. Mingo shows some of the best pass-rushing skills in the draft. He’s fast and sheds blockers with ease although, could stand to add 10lbs or so to become a more powerful rusher. A year in rotation behind starters Babin and Mincey would do him a world of good.
- Oakland Raiders select Sharrif Floyd (DT) Florida – It’s hard to predict what the Raiders will do in Round 1 without the watchful mentalism of Al Davis at the helm but he would thoroughly approve of Sharrif Floyd. His 4.92 40 yard dash at the Combine was one of the best for the prospective 5-techniques and he’s expected to register a decent bench press at this Pro Day. Whilst his career stats aren’t dazzling, Floyd flashes devastating power. I’m not convinced he’s a top-3 talent but he’s got tremendous upside and right now he’s got a lot of post-Combine momentum.
- Philadelphia Eagles select Dion Jordan (OLB) Oregon – I’ll admit that mocking an Oregon man to the Eagles is lazy. However, Philly need a good one and transitioning to 3-4 won’t be easy for their personnel group. A strong case can be made for Dee Milliner but finding a pass-rusher opposite Trent Cole would be tremendous help. Jordan is strictly limited to a 3-4 so will need to work on his defensive end skills in case he is required to work outside of anti-personnel. He has all the tools to be a success in the NFL although much like Mingo, could stand to be a little stronger.
- Detroit Lions select Dee Milliner (CB) Alabama – The Lions have been terrible in the secondary for a few years now. They are in a serious hole and really need to find some help. When resigning Chris Houston seems like the best way forward, you can tell that the situation is really bad. Dee Milliner is a surefire way to cure the ills which have plagued Detroit. He’s one of the best defensive back prospects in recent years. He might not be Morris Claiborne but he’s not far off and considering the Lions see Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler twice a year, a shutdown corner would really help their playoff aspirations.
- Cleveland Browns select Ezekiel Ansah (DE) BYU – Apparently Cleveland might be in play for Geno Smith. That would be a massive mistake. Brandon Weeden might not be perfect but drafting back-to-back 1st round quarterbacks would really harm their chances to address their other needs. The Browns’ defense is on the up and a dynamic pass-rusher could make them one of the league’s most formidable units. Ansah hasn’t got a lot of experience but what he’s shown is an unparalleled physical skillset and shows incredible instinct for someone with such little knowledge of the game. Of course, if Buffalo are in a stare off with Arizona for Geno Smith, Cleveland can probably trade down and still get their hands on Ansah or failing that, Jarvis Jones would be a more than ample replacement.
- Arizona Cardinals select Eric Fisher (OT) Central Michigan – Arguably, the Cardinals need a totally new O-line. Actually, they might need a totally new Offense (Bar Larry Fitzgerald). There will be a gigantic temptation to test the Quarterback market here. They should stay well clear and take the best Offensive player on the board. At this stage, I wouldn’t kill them for going after Chance Warmack or trading down into the 20s for a different Lineman or maybe even a Quarterback a that point but right now Fisher is the pick.
- Buffalo Bills select Geno Smith (QB) West Virginia – I’ve been saying since October that Geno Smith is not 1st overall material. Finally, it appears, the rest of the world agrees. Smith is a quality prospect but frankly even eight might be too high. However, he has a great deal of potential and is actually a pretty nice fit for the Bills. No doubt Doug Marrone might want to have a look at Ryan Nassib in the 2nd round and bolster their O-Line with Eric Fisher (if available) or Lane Johnson but right now, I believe they’ll they’ll take the best signal caller available to them.
- New York Jets select Jarvis Jones (OLB) Georgia – After selecting Muhammad Wilkerson in 2011 and Quinton Coples last year, the Jets defensive woes were said to be over. They improved but lo-and-behold, they were terrible on offense. That won’t have escaped Rex Ryan; a man fighting for his job. However, if he has any influence at all in his war room, he’ll stick to what he knows best: defense. Jones is the best true pass-rusher left on the board, he’s a great athlete and has shown in his time at the Bulldogs that he can be an angry and explosive pass-rusher.
- Tennessee Titans select Kenny Vaccaro (S) Texas – The Titans were my tip for the AFC South in 2012. I won’t be making that mistake again. However, I think they will improve. One of their biggest problems was stopping the deep ball. They missed Cortland Finnegan more than anyone could have imagined. The Titans will think long and hard about move up for Dee Milliner but if they stay at 10 Kenny Vaccaro could well be the pick. George Wilson has recently joined Tennessee but that’s hardly a long term solution.
- San Diego Chargers – Lane Johnson (OT) Oklahoma
- Miami Dolphins – Cordarrelle Patterson (WR) Tennessee
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Bjoern Werner (DE) Florida State
- Carolina Panthers – Star Lotulelei (DT) Utah
- New Orleans Saints – Sheldon Richardson (DT) Missouri
- St Louis Rams – Chance Warmack (OG) Alabama
- Pittsburgh Steelers – Damontre Moore (OLB) Texas A&M
- Dallas Cowboys – Johnathan Hankins (DT) Ohio State
- New York Giants – DJ Fluker (OT) Alabama
- Chicago Bears – Jonathan Cooper (OG) North Carolina
- Cincinnati Bengals – Desmond Trufant (CB) Washington
- St Louis Rams – Tyler Eifert (TE) Notre Dame
- Minnesota Vikings – Manti Te’o (ILB) Notre Dame
- Indianapolis Colts – Datone Jones (DE) UCLA
- Seattle Seahawks – Jesse Williams (DT) Alabama
- Green Bay Packers – Keenan Allen (WR) California
- Houston Texans – Kevin Minter (ILB) LSU
- Denver Broncos – Xavier Rhodes (CB) Florida State
- New England Patriots – Tavon Austin (WR) West Virginia
- Atlanta Falcons – Tank Carradine (DE) Florida State
- San Francisco 49ers – Kawann Short (DT) Purdue
- Baltimore Ravens – Alec Ogletree (ILB) Georgia
Love the pick? Hate the pick? Want to see who just missed out? Get in touch with James Masini on twitter at @snl_football.