NFL Mock Draft 2.0 – Cardinals take a tackle
We’re through with the meat of the free agency period and into the point of the offseason where most teams begin to focus in on the draft, set up their boards and decide on who will be the answer for their team.
In mock draft 2.0 we still don’t know for sure who the Chiefs are taking at one, which team is going to get their quarterback in Geno Smith and, most importantly, who is going to be the pick for the Cardinals at number seven.
In order to conserve space I won’t be commenting on all the picks made, save for a quick synopsis in between divisional picks.
1. Kansas City Chiefs- Luke Joeckel, OT Texas A&M
I wouldn’t be shocked if the Chiefs went defense with Star Lotulelei or Sharrif Floyd, or surprised everyone and took Geno Smith because Andy Reid is crazy. But Joeckel is the favorite right now it seems, and it makes sense… I guess.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars- Geno Smith, QB West Virginia
Blaine Gabbert has no ties to the coaching staff in Jacksonville anymore, and this is a great way for a new regime to start off. Smith has all the characteristics of a franchise changer, and he could be just that for the Jaguars.
3. Oakland Raiders- Barkevious Mingo, DE LSU
Whether it’s Sharrif Floyd, Dion Jordan or Star Lotulelei, I don’t see the Raiders going any other direction than defense unless Geno Smith is available.
Mingo gives the Raiders the pass rusher they are yearning for and should be a dynamic addition to the Raiders defense that is lacking.
4. Philadelphia Eagles- Eric Fisher, OT Central Michigan
Dion Jordan seems to be the consensus pick here, and when that happens, much like Joeckel to KC and Floyd to Oakland, that means it’s either a smokescreen that everyone’s bought or they aren’t hiding what their intentions are.
While Jordan makes sense in what the Eagles want to do defensively, I think Fisher is the pick here because he will bring that athletic versatility the Eagles desperately need for the Chip Kelly offense.
The other possibility that no one is talking about is Lane Johnson. He is a superior athlete to Fisher, albeit not by much, and may be have the highest ceiling of any of the tackles in the draft.
5. Detroit Lions- Ezekiel Ansah, DE BYU
I changed this pick back and forth between Ansah and Lane Johnson probably ten times before I left it with the freak defensive end.
The reason is simple: Ansah plays a more important position, and the Lions need a guy who could get after the quarterback. When taking a chance on getting to the quarterback or protecting, you typically see teams err on the side of getting to the quarterback.
6. Cleveland Browns- Dion Jordan, OLB Oregon
Could you imagine the different ways that Ray Horton could have fun with Jordan? Man, the Browns defense is going to be a joy to watch in the near future.
7. Arizona Cardinals- Lane Johnson, OT Oklahoma
The more I look at the draft unfolding, the more I see the Cardinals having a decision to make at the seventh pick.
Sit and wait for a player like Johnson, Chance Warmack or Jarvis Jones that may be considered reaches at that point, take the best player of value available like a Dee Milliner, Star Lotulelei or Sharrif Floyd, or move down.
Teams like San Diego, Tennessee, Carolina and Miami could all be interested in making a move up; the Cowboys made a similar move last season and gave up a second round pick, so could the Cardinals make a smaller move and gain a third and still get a player they want in Warmack, Cooper or maybe even Johnson. It is intriguing, but not something I will mock because trades are tough to predict.
That means the Cardinals take Johnson, the same as what I mocked last time. Wouldn’t be my choice, but is a reality based on what the first six picks in the draft may end up looking like.
8. Buffalo Bills- Tavon Austin, WR West Virginia
9. New York Jets- Jarvis Jones, OLB Georgia
10. Tennessee Titans- Dee Milliner, CB Alabama
11. San Diego Chargers- Chance Warmack, OG Alabama
12. Miami Dolphins- Xavier Rhodes, CB Florida State
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Star Lotulelei, DT Utah
14. Carolina Panthers- Sharrif Floyd, DT Florida
15. New Orleans Saints- Kenny Vaccaro, SS Texas
My thoughts: The Bills signing Kolb makes the quarterback market dry up slightly, but he needs weapons, and Austin is the ultimate weapon. The Jets need a pass rusher, and a quick fix, as head coach Rex Ryan is on borrowed time. With the signing of Andy Levitre, the Titans have moved their needs, and getting a cornerback like Milliner would be a great addition. The Chargers get Phillip RIvers some protection with maybe the best player in the draft. Meanwhile, in South Beach the Dolphins are closing in on being good, and getting stronger at the corner position is a must. The Buccaneers and Panthers add disruptive forces at the defensive tackle positions, and the Saints round out the picks with a new defensive quarterback for the Rob Ryan defense.
16. St. Louis Rams- Jonathan Cooper, OG North Carolina
While Chance Warmack waited impatiently for his name to be called first he may have competition for the first guard to be drafted. The Rams upgrade their offensive line with an elite athlete at guard in Cooper. Getting Cooper allows the Rams to upgrade the running game and passing game.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers- Cordarrelle Patterson, WR Tennessee
18. Dallas Cowboys- Sylvester Williams, DT North Carolina
19. New York Giants- Cornelius Carradine, DE Florida State
20. Chicago Bears- Arthur Brown, ILB Kansas St
21. Cincinnati Bengals- DJ Fluker, OT Alabama
My thoughts: the Steelers replace Mike Wallace, the Cowboys get DeMarcus Ware some help along the defensive line for their transition to the 4-3 defense, the Giants restock the defensive end position, the Bears get their replacement for Urlacher in the draft at pick 20, and the Bengals replace one Crimson Tide right tackle with another.
22. St. Louis Rams- Jonathan Cyprien, S Florida International
The Rams end up strengthening two weaknesses, and growing stronger in perhaps the toughest division in the NFL.
23. Minnesota Vikings- Andre Hopkins, WR Clemson
24. Indianapolis Colts- Datone Jones, DE UCLA
25. Minnesota Vikings- Manti Te’o, ILB Notre Dame
26. Green Bay Packers- Tyler Eifert, TE Green Bay
27. Houston Texans- Keenan Allen, WR California
28. Denver Broncos- Bjoern Werner, DE Florida State
29. New England Patriots- Robert Woods, WR USC
30. Atlanta Falcons- Desmond Trufant, CB Washington
My thoughts: the Vikings need to replace Percy Harvin and Jasper Brinkley, and do so with two solid first round additions. The Colts’ 3-4 defense gets its pass rusher in Datone Jones, the Packers are able to add another weapon for Aaron Rodgers, the Texans will finally get some help at the wide receiver position, while the Patriots get a weapon on the outside for Tom Brady — and a dynamic playmaker at that. The Falcons round out the picks with a replacement for the departed Brent Grimes.
31. San Francisco 49ers- Margus Hunt, DE SMU
While the 49ers aren’t necessarily in need of immediate help on the defensive line, adding Hunt will allow them to slowly transition from Justin Smith, and who better to learn from than Smith himself.
32. Baltimore Ravens- Kevin Minter, LB LSU
The Ravens get their replacement for Ray Lewis on the field in form of the play making inside backer from LSU.