Writing a mock draft is always difficult, as it’s almost impossible to predict trades – but Olly Dawes has a go at doing so anyway.
Miami move up for a tackle
Having lost Jake Long to the St. Louis Rams in free agency, the Dolphins are in need of a tackle. There’s still a chance that they see Jonathan Martin as a left tackle and bring in a veteran to play on the right, like Eric Winston or Tyson Clabo. However, when Long was injured last season, Martin moved from the right side to the left, and subsequently gave up two sacks and 21 total pressures in five games. The below tweet came Ben Volin, a reporter for the Palm Beach Post, who connected the Dolphins to Oklahoma tackle Lane Johnson.
The name I keep hearing for the #Dolphins and their first pick: OT Lane Johnson. But would require a trade-up, 12 and maybe 54 or 77 overall
— Ben Volin (@BenVolinPBP) April 3, 2013
A logical trade partner would be the Cleveland Browns, whose CEO Joe Banner suggests they may be open to trading down. The Browns are without a second round pick having used it on Josh Gordon in the 2012 Supplemental Draft, whilst the Dolphins have two second round picks after dealing Vontae Davis to the Colts in 2012.
An additional second round pick may be enough for the Browns to move down to the 12th pick of the first round, whilst the Dolphins still have the bonus of having two third round picks. The Browns would move to the 12th pick, putting them in range to draft secondary help in Kenny Vaccaro, Desmond Trufant or Xavier Rhodes, a wide receiver in the mould of Tavon Austin or DeAndre Hopkins, Chance Warmack or Jonathan Cooper at guard or even Tyler Eifert to be a playmaking tight end.
49ers flex their muscles
The 49ers have an abundance of draft picks in this draft, including two in the second, third and fourth rounds. The team don’t have many needs, but there is talent that they could trade up for. The team needs help in the secondary at safety and cornerback, whilst moving up for another receiver – like Tavon Austin – could make the 49ers’ offense even more explosive.
At safety, there are two players that stand out, in the shape of Kenny Vaccaro of Texas and Florida International’s Jonathan Cyprien. Both are likely to be top 25 picks, and either one would be a suitable replacement for Dashon Goldson, who moved to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency.
In fact, their interest in Austin and Cyprien has been documented recently, as both players visited San Francisco for meetings with the team.
Buffalo trade back up into the first round for a quarterback
Having cut Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Bills made it clear that they were looking for their new franchise quarterback. The signing of Kevin Kolb would be nothing more than a stop gap, and Buffalo will still draft a quarterback within the first two rounds.
The hiring of Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone makes Ryan Nassib a natural fit, though E.J. Manuel, Matt Barkley and Tyler Wilson should all be in the mix too. Buffalo will be able to grab a playmaker like Cordarrelle Patterson with the 8th overall pick, and then trade up from the 2nd round to the late stages of the first round to make sure they bag a quarterback.
The Bills have been working out a ton of quarterbacks in the lead up to the draft, so it seems they are set on drafting someone to be their future signal caller.