1) CAR…Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert…I believe the logic of Mel Kiper. Draft Gabbert and since you can’t talk to him anyway, you can trade him after the CBA is signed or keep him since you won’t have to pay him Bradford money.
2) DEN…Alabama defensive tackle Marcel Dareus…Lock-out really hurts because they need to know the injury and free-agent status of Elvis Dumervil. If they know they have him back and healthy, they go with Dareus. If they’re concerned about the future of the franchise tag, his status, or his injury, they look at Von Miller. Since they feel good there’s nothing that would keep Dumervil out of their line-up, they take defensive tackle help.
3) BUF…Auburn quarterback Cam Newton…I’m completely buying into the rhetoric coming from Buffalo. They need all the attention they can get. To put it bluntly, they need a hero. Plus, Fitzpatrick would be the perfect mentor.
4) CIN…Clemson defensive end Da’Quan Bowers…The truth is I have no idea. I know you didn’t read this to have someone admit that but I really don’t know what Cincinnatti will do. If Newton’s here they’ll take him but I think he’s gone (they drafted Palmer and sat him for the year so they’d do the same with Cam and trade Carson next off-season). They need to rush the passer so they’d look at Bowers/Miller very hard. They need to catch the football so they’d look at AJ Green and Julio Jones. They need to cover wide receivers so head coach Marvin Lewis and defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer can be more creative in blitz packages so they’d look hard at Peterson/Amukumara. Since Mike Brown loves head cases, they might even take Ryan Mallet. In other words, I have no idea.
5) AZ…Texas A&M linebacker Von Miller…Out of all the issues that occurred last year, the most under-rated was the inability to get to the QB. Bertrand Berry offered much more leadership on the defense than anyone realized while still getting to the QB. Having Miller and Daryl Washington together would be an unbelievably fast defense.
6) CLE…Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green…Holmgren thinks his QB’s are bad because they don’t have anyone to throw to. He hasn’t considered his QB’s are bad.
7)SF…LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson…I was asked to do a mock draft for the first five picks. I went for extra credit so you could feel my pain. Patrick Peterson is the Dwayne Wade of this draft. Everyone over-looks him until four years from now when he’ll be the player we’re always talking about. Don’t forget he also returns kicks. When the Cardinals pass him up in the draft, think of one name: DeJuan Blair.