Had A Broken Keyboard, I Bought A Broken Keyboard: NFL Mock Draft 2.3 (3 Rounder)


So I’ve been singing “Thrift Shop” for about the past two weeks. Being that I have it playing currently, I felt it only appropriate I make it my title track.

This is my second-to-last mock draft of the year. My last mock draft will be coming the day before the draft, and again, it will be only three rounds. At the stage I am at in the draft process, I don’t feel it fair to elaborate a draft beyond three rounds, as I could barely make accurate predictions myself for the later third round picks in this post. Again, feel free to post any questions, comments, problems, concerns, marriage proposals, restraining orders, children’s party requests, and death threats at the bottom of the post. I will do my best to get back to all of you!


1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

The Chiefs should be looking to trade down. In a draft with quality scattered throughout the first five rounds, extra picks are a commodity with large value. Geno Smith, while the consensus Top QB in the class, is not good enough for teams to drop a second or third rounder (along with their first, of course) on to trade up to this spot. Left with the pick here, the Chiefs go either Joeckel, Fisher, or Floyd. The defense in KC is alright enough to take a back seat to protecting newly acquired starter Alex Smith. Some, headed by ESPN’s Mel Kiper, say Eric Fisher is better than Joeckel. While close prospects, Joeckel should win almost every time.

2. TRADE (BUF Rd. 1,3 for JAC Rd. 1, 2014 Rd. 5) Buffalo Bills: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia

Jacksonville and Oakland may have the sorriest teams in football right now. Both teams need about 10 first round picks to have a contender within the next two seasons. Given the riskiness of many of the top prospects though, second and third rounders may yield a large amount of value as well. Jacksonville seems willing to suffer through another year of atrocity under the arms of Chad Henne and Blaine Gabbert. With so many needs, Jacksonville should accept a trade to move down only six picks, and gain an extra third. Buffalo will be desperate; Ryan Fitzpatrick barely held any hope for a good year, and now that he is gone, Buffalo is an early favorite in the Jadeveon Clowney sweepstakes. Of all the teams who could reach for a late-first talent, Buffalo is most likely to pull the trigger.

3. Oakland Raiders: Shariff Floyd, DT, Florida

This pick is boring. Everyone is making it. But it is the best bet so far. Oakland has enough needs that the majority of this draft will be set on “Best Available Auto-Pilot”. Floyd is that pick, and will replace the marge gaps in the middle of the Oakland defensive line.

4. Philadelphia Eagles: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

The Eagles lost too many players in a secondary that was flailing near the end of the season. Losing both their former Pro Bowl starters makes corner the biggest need they have. Getting a player who can be called on to start (And start well. Brandon Boykin isn’t completely ready yet.) is important, and Milliner may be the only one of those at the corner spot. This takes priority over Eric Fisher (they can give Jason Peters one more chance to stay healthy) and a favoritism pick in Dion Jordan. While another pass rusher is needed, Chip Kelly picking Jordan here is a pick based on favoritism more than logic. Doesn’t work in fantasy, and won’t work in real life (though Jordan is a player who could go this high reasonably).

5. Detroit Lions: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

This pick will be Dee Milliner or Eric Fisher. The Lions need a tackle to replace Gosder Cherilus (Riley Reiff won’t be as good as his play has been on the interior of the line). They also need a starting corner who won’t leave them feeling insecure in the secondary. Milliner is gone. Fisher is left. Easy call. (If Milliner, Fisher, and Joeckel all get taken, I think the Lions look to trade down around the 12-18 range.)

6. Cleveland Browns: Dion Jordan, HY, Oregon

I don’t overly agree with the pick. The Browns will definitely be considering pass rushers in the early rounds, considering they have one quality guy for Ray Horton’s new defense. The Browns have more value in trading down, but unlike in my last mock, I am hesitating a little more to make trades. Jordan offers the best value here. It’s simply too early to take any receivers, guards, or corners (outside of Milliner) in this class.

7. Arizona Cardinals: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma

Is this pick too early for Johnson? Ya, but he won’t fall through to the 15-25 range, where he actually belongs. Too many teams need a tackle, of which Johnson is the last with upper first talent. The Cardinals could draft a rusher here, or seek a trade, but they can’t feel comfortable letting the last tackle on Johnson’s level fall to Jacksonville at 8, and hoping he gets by them. A forced reach, but at least it fills the top need they have.

8. Jacksonville Jaguars: Ezekial Ansah, DE, BYU

The Jags have a problem here, but a good one: they don’t know which good pass rusher to take. Ansah and Mingo provide immense risk-reward potential, but Jarvis Jones also has injury concerns. Bjorn Werner’s talent has him falling down into the middle of the first. After the success of Ansah’s pro comparison, Jason Pierre-Paul, I think the Jags will take a risk for a player who can finally save the franchise with such little hope for the future.

9. New York Jets: Barkevious Mingo, HY, LSU

My pick I wanted to give the Jets was Kenny Vacarro. A second difference-maker in the secondary could ease the departure of Darelle Revis, or potentially convince him to stay. But I have never known the Jets to make the smart move when the team is in turmoil, so I give them the pick they’re most likely to make: another pass rushing athletic freak who could blow the team up even further, or save the franchise. I’m banking on the first option in New York. But ya never know.

10. Tennessee Titans: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington

I find this mock funny. Last mock, I had a bunch of trades, two of which involved the Titans in round one alone! Now I have the Titans locked in here because of a lack of teams near this pick to trade up. Everyone seems to believe Warmack or Cooper will go here. I believe the Titans signed the top guard on the market, Andy Levitre, to fill that hole. That leaves corner, where they have no completely competent starters. Trufant is a reach anywhere before 15, but the Titans will reach for those they feel they need (see Jake Locker).

11. San Diego Chargers: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama

The experts have Jonathan Cooper first, and I have little doubt Cooper will solidify himself as top guard in the class by draft day. But that doesn’t mean teams will pick him first. Warmack brings with him something Cooper doesn’t have: a reputation as a leader of one of the best O-lines in recent college history. Cooper didn’t impact his team the ways Warmack did, and the intangibles will give Warmack a huge boost in teams’ draft boards.

12. TRADE (DAL Rd. 1, 2, 4 for MIA Rd. 1, 3 (later one) ) Dallas Cowboys: Kenny Vacarro, S Texas

People may hate trades like this in mocks, but mark my words, Dallas will be making a push for Vacarro. They lost both their starters at safety, and that should make the position priority one. They will overpay in trades they’re desperate for (they gave a pretty good haul to get Claiborne last year), but this will be worth it. Miami has two picks in rounds 2 and 3 already. Moving one of those thirds into a second (and gaining a fourth) will make them listen to trading a pick that they’d be using on a reach anyways.

13. TRADE (CHI Rd. 1, 4, 2014 Rd. 2 for TB Rd. 1, 2014 Rd. 5) Chicago Bears: Jonathan Cooper, OG, UNC

This is severe overpaying. This is also a similar trade to one I made in my last mock. But with no assured chance DJ Fluker or Cooper make it to the Bears’ pick (and the fact that the Bears need one of them in round one), overpaying is necessary. Tampa will be looking for extra picks though, because unless team’s suddenly lose their sense of intelligence, Jamar Taylor and Xaiver Rhodes will not both be gone by pick 20.

14. Carolina Panthers: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

The Panthers are using this pick on a defensive tackle or receiver. Both needs will be worse and worse by the week if not addressed. Lotulelei’s stock is back on the rise after his medical issues seem to be checking out. If fully cleared, he shouldn’t leave the Top 10. Pick 14 is a steal, and one that Carolina will be happy to take.

15. New Orleans Saints: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia

Most don’t expect Jones to go until a team with the ability to take a risk is up. The Saints can not afford to risk a pick on someone like Jones if they wish to keep up their winning lifestyle to which they have become accustomed. The passing weeks have seen the medical risks of Jones and Star Lotulelei decrease, and with the upside Jones could bring as compared to other top defensive prospects available, I think New Orleans tries him out.

16. St. Louis Rams: Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia

A lot of wheeling and dealing was considered for this pick. If Ogletree, a freak athlete, falls to this range (which is not expected), the Rams and Steelers will both be licking their lips. The Steelers could consider trading a third round pick to move up one slot to get him, but a team that is normally reserved as the Steelers are on draft day isn’t likely to do that when other needs exist in the first round. The Rams may also go receiver or defensive tackle, especially since a run of either could go before their choice at 22. But Ogletree seems to be the fit here.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Cordarelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee

I may be biased on this pick, given that before I started NFL analysis I was a Steelers-exclusive nut, but I may go insane if the Steelers draft another defensive tackle. Bjorn Werner is a defensive end that’s falling, but the Steelers have two recent first-rounders in Ziggy Hood and Cameron Heyward I think they have faith in. Steve McClendon was named the heir to the defensive tackle job, and while Sheldon Richardson is available and should’ve gone higher, I like to think the Steelers will give McClendon a chance. Emmanuel Sanders has done himself no favors by flirting with the rival Patriots, and Mike Wallace got overpaid by Miami. Patterson could give Pittsburgh a guy who could learn from veterans Jerricho Cotchery & Plaxico Burress. As long as gun control isn’t a subject of their tutelage, Patterson could be an elite star.

18. Miami Dolphins (Trade): D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama

I am not going to make this pick anymore exciting than it really is. Miami’s top need is offensive tackle after Jake Long left for St. Louis. They got a third round pick turned into a second in the Dallas trade, so they might as well get the last first-round tackle left before the market thins.

19. TRADE (DEN Rd. 1,3 for NYG Rd. 1, 5) Denver Broncos: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri

If the draft falls this way, I think the Giants will go down to their final second begging teams to trade up. Sheldon Richardson is about the only prospect who has fallen well below where people figured he would (Tavon Austin being the other). Teams wanting Austin but are later have most likely laid alternate courses of action though. Denver should be thinking defensive tackle all the way, making them a prime target to trade up. The Giants will trade down nine picks because they have only one need, rush linebacker, and the talent left at the position shouldn’t go before the pick they acquire from the Broncos.

20. Tampa Bay Buccanears (Trade): Xaiver Rhodes, CB, Florida State

The Bucs traded down because no corner left belonged at pick 13. Luckily for them, no corners went between now and then, and they’ll have an extra second rounder next year for their efforts. After trading Aqib Talib, the Buccaneers have one starter: Eric Wright. Wright refused a pay cut, has frequent suspensions, and is being paid like a great starter (but playing like a journeyman back-up). Best corner left will go to Tampa.

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia

Now to be clear, I am as high on Austin as everyone else. I think he could go in the Top 10. But the way my mock unfolded, he didn’t. Cincinnati has a luxury pick. No immediate needs (assuming Andre Smith resigns, and if not no tackles make sense this high either) means any player could feasibly go here. Cincy may not need a receiver as badly as other positions, but the potential Austin brings as a new type of weapon on the field could make this pick one of the best in the first round.

22. St. Louis Rams: Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International

I think the Rams will be thinking Tavon Austin all the way if they want a first-round receiver. Patterson could also be an option, but both men are gone by their pick here. That leaves defense. Having invested so much in their defensive line in the past first-rounds, the Rams don’t need anymore, especially not as badly as they need some safeties. Cyprien is a reach, but the Rams have no bigger defensive need, and are incredibly unlikely to get a trade that makes a move down worth their while.

23. Minnesota Vikings: Kawann Short, DT, Purdue

The Vikings have an extra first-round pick. They might as well use it on a big need, even if there is depth at the position. Kevin Williams has been slowing year by year, and in a few years, Short may be a better player. Best to add a replacement when a good one is available, and there are less needs than normal.

24. Indianapolis Colts: Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina

The Colts’ D-line took a huge hit when Dwight Freeney didn’t return. Already needing a defensive leader for the next decade, Williams may be the best available. Other positions like safety and corner have little to no prospects that should go this high, and Williams is a better prospect than the rapidly falling Jonathan Hankins or Jonathan Jenkins.

25. Minnesota Vikings: Keenan Allen, WR, California

I don’t picture the Vikings bringing in Manti Te’o to replace the departed Jasper Brinkley. Not only because they’ll have the second media circus of incredibly annoying proportions (the first being Tim “Second Coming” Tebow), but because Greg Jennings is their only receiver a team isn’t scared starting. Factor in the durability of Jennings, and a receiver is an absolute need. Allen lacks Patterson’s all-around “elite” potential and Tavon Austin’s potential as a revolutionary weapon in the game, but he is safer than the other two gentlemen by far. Should Jennings go down, Allen would immediately step in as the only fully qualified starter on the team.

26. Green Bay Packers: Bjorn Werner, DE, Florida State

This pick I made impulsively, just like a team in the Packers’ situation here would. When David DeCastro fell to the Steelers (who needed a guard but planned on him being long gone), the clock ran around ten seconds before Pittsburgh had the pick in. The Packers need a defensive end, even after drafting Jerel Worthy last year in round two. Werner, even with his stock falling a little, shouldn’t fall here, and I bet the Packers don’t wait long sending in their card. (Secondary can be addressed in the second round, where many quality safeties and corners are falling).

27. Houston Texans: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson

Eventually the Texans will pick a receiver high. Andre Johnson has been the sole weapon for quarterbacks (with the rare healthy Owen Daniels sighting) in Houston since the franchise’s inception. With Andre losing a step to age, and other Texans options performing poorly, I am mocking the Texans some long-awaited common sense and drafting them the best receiver available. I personally prefer Robert Woods to Hopkins, but teams seem to value Hopkins higher.

28. New York Giants (Trade): Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame

This pick should be used on a front seven player (just not a defensive tackle). I had it down to Te’o and two defensive end/outside linebackers (Damontre Moore and Datone Jones). Moore is down because of his pitiful workout numbers at the Combine, and Jones just has never gotten the attention other prospects of his caliber have. Te’o’s issues have little to do with his playing ability and numbers, so I think the Giants, being a smarter organization, take him.

29. New England Patriots: Jonathan Banks, CB, Mississippi State

Speaking of smart teams, here may be the second smartest of all-time (nobody beats the Steelers and their knack for turning one unheralded pick after another into stars and Hall of Famers). New England lives on the principle of taking the players they value, and not caring when they take the flack from others for it. They have been high on Banks thus far, and with Alfonzo Dennard doing everything in his power to ruin the second chance at football he was given, I think the Patriots will look toward their definition of value at a position of need.

30. Atlanta Falcons: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame

Every one of my mocks thus far has given Atlanta a defensive end with their first pick. The need is still there; but with the signing of Osi Umenyiora, the need can be stopgapped another season. Tight end, on the other hand, needs addressed. Tony Gonzalez is barely playing another season, and I would think that next year he won’t rethink retiring a second time. Pick up a defensive end in a later round (there is better depth there than tight end) or draft one next year.

31. San Francisco 49ers: Cornellius Carradine, DE, Florida State

The Niners can make this pick. They need a replacement for Justin Smith, but whomever they get this year likely won’t play often. What a coincidence, as Carradine was a Top 10 prospect before getting hurt. A year of less play if probably best for him, and if he can get to well over 100% on that injured knee AND learn from someone as good at his job as Justin Smith, I think Carradine will be a Pro Bowler.

32. Baltimore Ravens: Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU

This pick is a complete airball from me. There a bunch of options the Ravens will likely consider, and no glaring needs that stand out over others. Judging from who the team has chosen to express interest in, and subsequently work out, receiver seems to be a mid-round priority (they have worked out many receivers, with only Tavon Austin being a first-rounder). Safety, defensive tackle, and inside linebacker remain. I don’t like bandwagoning, which would be exactly what I’d do if I picked Jonathan Jenkins to the Ravens simply because Walterfootball’s Charlie Campbell picked him there. I picked Minter over a safety because of the lack of depth of inside linebackers compared to safeties in this draft, and because the Ravens met with Minter both privately AND at the Combine.

*****Bonus note: Any of you interested in how I know who worked out with which team, Walterfootball.com has a prospect meeting list available. These guys know their stuff, and it is definitely worth visiting their site to read everything they have up about the draft each week!


33. Jacksonville Jaguars: Matt Barkley, QB, USC

Barkley’s fall stops here. If Jacksonville is relying on Chad Henne and Blaine Gabbert without drafting a quarterback high this year, then the team’s entire front office needs canned. Neither QB has proven he will do anything to a franchise but lose them games. Barkley may be compared to the other long line of USC bust QB’s, but some of them (Carson Palmer and healthy Matt Leinart mainly) played better than Gabbert and Henne.

34. San Francisco 49ers: Eric Reid, S, LSU

Not a well-accepted pick in previous mocks, but a smart one to make nonetheless. San Francisco knows it has tremendous value in this draft, having excess picks littered throughout the earlier rounds. Why not then, with so many prospects to draft, use one on the player you value, even if it’s a slight reach? Eric Reid likely will go mid to late 2nd round, but that is before the next 49ers pick. The Niners also (reportedly) really, really like Reid. (Also worth noting: Reid’s size is way closer to the 49ers likes than Matt Elam’s.)

35. Philadelphia Eagles: E.J. Manuel, QB, Florida State

I hate myself for making this pick. The media has blown the “Chip Kelly style” quarterback label out of the water, and I am getting sick of the assumptions that Manuel has to go to Philly because of it. It is pure speculation, and just hits a nerve with me for some reason. But rarely (VERY rarely), picks beyond the Top 10 can be that simple. I have Philly picking either a QB or O-lineman here anyways. Might as well fuel the media-driven flames.

36. Detroit Lions: Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee

I can only imagine the shockwave I will get if Lions’ fans get ahold of this pick. I have receiver listed as a minor need for Detroit (and their 6th biggest, at best). But from watching Detroit draft in past years, I notice they pick who they want and leave whatever needs they may have crumble into later rounds. That being said, needs dictate a defensive end or corner be taken. But Hunter is a bigger guy whom the Lions have worked out privately, among other receivers. Complete gut pick here, but I’ll say the Lions try to get the guy they thought Titus Young could be.

37. Cincinnati Bengals: Damontre Moore, HY, Texas A&M

Cincy can abuse their picks and splurge a little. Moore used to be a Top 5 guy. His toskc has fallen this far, but a team like Cincy with picks to spend can draft guys like Moore at positions that will get playing time, and see if they can turn them into the stars they were earlier in the draft process.

38. Arizona Cardinals: Matt Elam, S, Florida

The Cards need a replacement for Kerry Rhodes. Rashad Johnson can probably service a year while Elam fine-tunes his game, but Johnson and free agent signee Yeremiah Bell aren’t long-term answers. People will scream QB even with Carson Palmer in Arizona now, but that would show a complete lack of faith in the entire trade, and probably cause Palmer to start stirring things up. And if the Palmer trade blows up, there are two QB’s in next draft that blow every QB in this class out of the water.

39. New York Jets: Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse

The Jets are smitten with Nassib, and unless they desire one of the worst seasons in NFL history, they will be drafting a QB in the first two rounds to unseat Mark Sanchez.

40. Tennessee Titans: Jonathan Jenkins, DT, Georgia

I have been seeing a small rise in Jenkins’ stock recently. Don’t fully believe it will translate on Draft Day, but Tennessee would forego any other huge needs if a DT of Jenkins’ level is there in round two.

41. Buffalo Bills: Quinton Patton, WR, Louisiana Tech

A pass rusher like Datone Jones will merit serious consideration of available, but I think the temptation will be too great for a team with a struggling QB and only one quality receiver to take a receiver whom many believe to be a first rounder.

42. Miami Dolphins: Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama

The Dolphins will luck out if Cincy doesn’t nab Lacy. They’ll be even luckier if he continues down to their pick. Losing Reggie Bush has left their depth chart sitting at Daniel Thomas, who has blown every chance as starter he ever had, and Lamar Miller, who has yet to stay healthy enough to show how good he can be. Lacy is a potential late first round back, and his momentum could ride through to a pick higher than this.

43. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Datone Jones, HY, UCLA

The Bucs have to be done with Da’Quan Bowers by now. He is in trouble for a handgun charge in an airport of all places, and his progress isn’t good enough to warrant another chance. Jones is another fringe first-rounder, and could slide in as a replacement to Bowers.

44. Carolina Panthers: Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State

I think this pick is the highest rated corner or receiver left. The retirement of Chris Gamble and the impending retirement of Steve Smith are leaving little to no depth for Carolina. With more receivers in the third than corners, and Taylor showing first-round skill, Carolina will take him.

45. San Diego Chargers: Jonathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State

The Chargers have Corey Liuget and Kendall Reyes showing great promise on the ends of the line. Imagine how much more room they’d have if a mammoth like Hankins took up three or four guys with his size alone. (Well not really, but still, at least two.)

46. St. Louis Rams: Robert Woods, WR, USC

Pure gut pick here between Woods and Margus Hunt. The Rams shouldn’t spend a second rounder on any running back but Eddie Lacy or Marcus Lattimore, and the latter is a gamble. They don’t really need an end, and even Woods isn’t guaranteed playing time. But if Brian Quick has another poor season, and Woods hits the enormous potential he has, the Rams won’t think twice about giving the latter the starting job.

47. Miami Dolphins (Trade): Margus Hunt, DE, SMU

Dolphins have a luxury pick with the trade I mocked them. Shamarko Thomas and D.J. Hayden are top choices, but the Dolphins have a great secondary with no need for more potential starters. If one falls to their third second round pick, I think they’ll choose him then. But they have a use for a luxury pick athletic freak, so Hunt makes some sense.

48. Pittsburgh Steelers: Shamarko Thomas, S, Syracuse

I picked safety over defensive end and corner in this round because of the past Steeler drafts. I think the team will put at least one more year of faith into bust Ziggy Hood to turn his game around, and if not fellow first-rounder Cameron Heyward is also ready for a chance to play. At corner, the Steelers have Cortez Allen and Curtis Brown who have shown some sparse moments of promise in limited time. Ryan Clark and Troy Polamalu can’t be trusted for a full season of work though, and Thomas has Clark’s style of suicidal tackling and instincts on defense. Clark played so well as a Steeler that another him would always be welcome.

49. New York Giants: Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State

Do the Giants necessarily need another starting offensive tackle? Some say yes, others believe in David Diehl (Random note: I can’t believe Diehl is a recognized word on this program). Some first-rounders always fall, and the Giants love scooping them up (Even if not needed. Just ask Reuben Randle). Watson may not play yet, but a year to tone his skills will push Diehl out of New York.

50. Chicago Bears: Justin Pugh, OL, Syracuse

The Bears already took a guard in my mock draft. Pugh can play any offensive line position though, and Chicago needs a new starter on every offensive line position. Plug Pugh in where he fits best in the preseason.

51. Washington Redskins: Alex Okafor, DE, Texas

The last time the Redskins took a star defensive end from Texas, they got a perennial Pro Bowler. Needs at corner and protecting RG3 are more prevalent, but a chance at two Texas studs terrorizing QB’s will be too tempting for Mike Shanahan.

52. Minnesota Vikings: D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston

This is a risk. Hayden’s freak injury has made him one of the many players who could have tragically shortened careers in the NFL. Had it not been for the injury though, Hayden would be a mid-first rounder, minimum. On a team who just released their best corner in recent memory, a risk seems brighter and brighter.

53. TRADE (SF Rd. 2, 4 for CIN Rd. 2) San Francisco 49ers: Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford

A rumor that’s held steam throughout most of the draft process is Ertz to San Fran to replace Delaine Walker. I never believed much in it, but Walker did help a lot in their Super Bowl run. The 49ers can also afford to give up a fourth round pick because they got a compensatory pick just three picks later in the fourth round. They also realize that few of their picks this year will play much, so they need to spend what’s necessary to get some players who can make an impact. Cincy doesn’t have many prospects they’d be fully sold on by this point anyways, and a fourth round pick would change their minds even if they were sold.

54. Miami Dolphins: Blidl Wreh-Wilson, CB, Connecticut

I have no idea what Todd McShay’s infatuation with this man is, but he is the only prospect list I’ve found that consistently has him ranked in the first round (or nearby it). Second round (mid to late) seems more the speed I’d list him at. Miami has exhausted every position I can pick for them, so corner is the most feasible next choice I’d make.

55. Green Bay Packers: D.J. Swearinger, S, South Carolina

Call me a copier for giving Green Bay a safety in the second round. I’d be a fool for harping on Green Bay’s secondary all draft process and then NOT giving them a corner or safety early on. Swearinger is a brute who abuses anyone daring enough o challenge his zone. I’ll expect him to be a starter by halfway through the year.

56. Seattle Seahawks: Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama

Tony McDaniel doesn’t inspire much faith in me at defensive tackle, and Heath Farwell similarly is a letdown at outside linebacker for one of the league’s top defenses last year. Jesse Williams has fallen way down in this draft, and Seattle will jump all over him.

57. Houston Texans: Brandon Williams, DT, Missouri Southern

Houston has other needs ranked pretty highly, but Williams represents the last of the solid second-round defensive tackles. Considering that Earl Mitchell is one of two defensive tackles on the roster, and is listed as the projected starter, I think some improvement is needed.

58. Denver Broncos: Jaime Collins, OLB, Southern Miss

Denver may pick an OLB right here to spite New England. The Brady-Manning rivalry seems to have drug Denver in as well. The Broncos had such success with Von Miller’s athletic freak potential that if they give Collins a chance to learn from him, Collins can be even better than Elvis Dumervil before he left via fax machine.

59. New England Patriots: Kyle Long, OL, Oregon

The Patriots need guard and tackle depth after their recent free agency spell where they lost Donald Thomas and almost lost Sebastian Vollmer. Long has been ranked as highly as the late first round, and the Patriots will know his value if he’s there.

60. Atlanta Falcons: Robert Alford, CB, Southeastern Louisiana

A reach? Maybe. I went through every position though and this pick was the best of the few choices I had listed. Alford gets a bad rap because he goes to a school some people still doesn’t know exists, but he has big school skill. He would help fill the hole left by Brent Grimes and Chris Owens.

61. Cincinnati Bengals (Trade): Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina

Lattimore will be a riser, mark my words. The potential he had is present in every scout’s minds, and the first sign he can play fully again will have teams scrambling for him. Cincy has a pick it can afford to risk and room for Lattimore to play (and potentially start) whenever he is fully recovered. Makes this pick a lot harder to call a reach.

62. Baltimore Ravens: Terrence Williams, WR, Baylor

Once a first round lock, Williams has fallen dramatically. Imagine Joe Flacco (not saying he is elite, just that he has tremendous throw power; not necessarily accuracy, awareness, etc.) and his arm strength with Torrey Smith, Jacoby Jones, and Terrence Williams as three deep threats everywhere on the field. Makes for a new style of pass attack that teams may not be able to combat.


63. Kansas City Chiefs: Arthur Brown, OLB, Kansas State

Criticize me all you want, but somebody always falls a full round below where they should go. Given teams’ iffy stance on Brown and more questions coming up about his durability, Brown is the unfortunate recipient this mock. He’ll be back in round two next mock issue.

64. Jacksonville Jaguars: Terron Armstead, OT, Arkansas-Pine Bluff

While Blaine Gabbert is a truly awful quarterback, he may be marginally less revolting to watch if he had consistent pass protection. Guard Larry Warford is falling and would be great here, but the Jags have even worse tackles than guards. And heck, if Marcedes Lewis ever leaves Jacksonville, Armstead has a tight end’s 40 time. Plug him in and give him a shot.

65. Detroit Lions: Darius Slay, CB, Mississippi State

The Lions really should get a corner within the first three rounds of the draft, but not necessarily Slay. Much like my Justin Hunter pick to them in round two, I have a hunch with this guy. I think his 40 time will impress the Lions (or some other team) enough to take him over a guy with a much better all-around game at corner.

66. Oakland Raiders: Marcus Wheaton, WR, Oregon State

The Raiders parted ways with another Al Davis mistake in Darrius Heyward-Bey. This leaves Rod Streeter or Juron Criner as a potential Week 1 starter across from Denarius Moore. While both were Pro Bowlers during the preseason and offseason workouts, that was against back-up defenses. Wheaton would instantly slot himself ahead of both gentlemen and be a contender for at least the third receiver spot. Oakland needs a long-term receiver on their team if Matt Flynn is to succeed.

67. Philadelphia Eagles: Dallas Thomas, OL, Tennessee

Again, another team that could use a higher-ranked prospect in Larry Warford at guard instead of a tackle. The Eagles have injury issues at tackle though, so a prospect like Thomas, who can play guard and tackle, adds a key component that Warford doesn’t have as much of: versatility.

68. Cleveland Browns: Larry Warford, OG, Kentucky

The Browns showed last season that they are not necessarily the best offensive line in the league. Guard was the major disappointment overall, and Warford provides second round value to a team with no second round pick to use this year.

69. Arizona Cardinals: Khaseem Greene, OLB, Rutgers

The Cardinals lack pass rush depth, and the suspension of Daryl Washington will only further weaken the depth of their front seven as a whole. Greene isn’t a guy who can completely make up for the loss of Washington’s impact on a game, but when Washington is back, Greene’s pass rushing ability will be visible as its own entity.

70. Tennessee Titans: Sam Montgomery, HY, LSU

You have to try really hard to kill your draft stock as much as Sam Montgomery has leading up to the big day. Dropping the once-first round lock down a substantial ways, Tennessee can take a chance on a pass rusher that adds depth they need. It’ll give Montgomery a chance to show what he can do and how dedicated he’ll be in a limited role at first.

71. Jacksonville Jaguars (Trade): Stedman Bailey, WR, West Virginia

While I think it s great touch Geno Smith is bringing college teammate Bailey to the draft, I hope they don’t embarrass him by having him walk out when his name is called. Guys who walk out in the third round are generally thought of to be destined to be busts. Bailey won’t be though. He is versatile enough that he can be a third receiver option on almost any team, and with the Jaguars’ lack of receiving talent, Bailey could end up starting from the slot or as a second wide option.

72. New York Jets: Gavin Escobar, TE, San Diego State

Another place where Montee Ball’s fall (unfortunate rhyme) can stop, I think the Jets will draft a falling replacement for Dustin Keller, and see what new free agent signee Mike Goodson can do to help their backfield.

73. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Barrett Jones, OL, Alabama

Jones is a fit on 32 out of the 32 teams in the NFL. A guy who can play any offensive line position is an asset that normally goes in the first, and don’t be surprised if he does indeed rise a round. His versatility can make him a star, and Tampa wouldn’t mind having some tackle depth.

74. San Francisco 49ers: J.J. Wilcox, S, Georgia Southern

Small school, project player with tremendous upside? Sounds like a great fit on a team with picks to kill on guys such as these. They already drafted Eric Reid for the missing safety starter job, but give Wilcox a year or two to sit back and fine-tune his game, and he could be a weapon.

75. New Orleans Saints: Oday Aboushi, OT, Virginia

I agree that most of New Orleans’ picks should go toward defensive improvements, but they do need another tackle to replace their losses in free agency. Aboushi used to carry first-round clout; falling to the third fits his value, and helps the Saints.

76. San Diego Chargers: Logan Ryan, CB, Rutgers

The Chargers lost starter Antoine Cason to free agency, and signed Derek Cox to replace him. That’s a downgrade, and they needed a third corner before then. Ryan is the best available.

77. Miami Dolphins: Philip Thomas, S, Fresno State

I have mocked the Dolphins every conceivable major need by this point, so I went down their draft chart and picked the position with the least amount of depth after the previous picks have been factored in. Thomas won’t start right away, but should Reshad Jones or Chris Clemons fail, he could step in and capitalize on his chance.

78. St. Louis Rams: Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin

If the draft folds out this way, expect Pittsburgh to trade up one pick to snag Ball, whom they really want. But I don’t do late trades in my mocks (usually), so St. Louis gets their starter before Pittsburgh can.

79. Pittsburgh Steelers: Khassim Greene, OLB, Rutgers

The Steelers need linebackers at all spots who can fill in when a starter goes down (as they always do). They may also need a new outside linebacker starter if Jason Worilds continues to disappoint. Greene fits both needs, and is a steal beyond the early third.

80. Dallas Cowboys: Jordan Mills, OT, Louisiana Tech

The smart pick is Tyler Wilson. But after forking up a completely ill-advised contract to Tony Romo, they will be too prideful to draft a replacement for him. Mills adds line depth, and with enough work, could translate over to fill the guard need the Boys’ have.

81. New York Giants: Corey Lemonier, HY, Auburn

The Giants’ biggest need is a pure outside linebacker. Someone who could line up there or at defensive end wouldn’t be such a bad thing either. Lemonier was a first round guy who fell for less reason than most, and should perform amazingly if given the chance.

82. Dallas Cowboys (Trade): Giovanni Bernard, RB, North Carolina

Because I still see Dallas too proud to admit they should not have resigned Tony Romo, I give them one of the best players available, former top 2013 back Giovanni Bernard. He won’t start, but should Demarco Murray’s injury pattern continue, he may very well get his chance.

83. Minnesota Vikings: Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas

The Vikings can not seriously be fully sold on Christian Ponder as their starter. If they are, then they deserve to lose. A back-up plan is necessary, and Tyler Wilson, if available, will be an intriguing choice.

84. Cincinnati Bengals: B. W. Webb, CB, William & Mary

I have absolutely no idea who to give to the Bengals when they have no needs left for a prospect to actually play in. When in doubt, go to cornerbacks and receivers. A corner this year, with some luck, may get a little playing time this year and maybe next year. Makes better sense than giving them another defensive end.

85. Washington Redskins: David Amerson, CB, North Carolina State

The Redskins need to be looking for a replacement for DeAngelo Hall. He can’t stay out of trouble, and shouldn’t be a trusted #1 corner. Amerson can play safety or corner when needed, and is only one year removed from his 13 INT season.

86. Indianapolis Colts: Kiko Alonso, ILB, Oregon

The Colts need some inside linebackers. Alonso is the best one left, and could eventually fill in as the leader of the defense.

87. Seattle Seahawks: Sio Moore, OLB, Connecticut

The Seahawks have one of, if not the, best defense heading into the new season. A little more depth will put them over the top, and Moore could blossom on his own into a starter.

88. Green Bay Packers: Travis Frederick, C, Wisconsin

A pick I remember from my previous three round mock that still makes sense, Frederick replaces Jeff Saturday as the Packers’ next franchise center.

89. Houston Texans: Bacarri Rambo, S, Georgia

Give an unpolished weapon like Rambo a year or two to learn from a Hall of Famer in Ed Reed, and he could become a steal as a starter.

90. New York Giants (Trade): Brian Winters, OG, Kent State

The Giants also have no needs here, so I give them a slight reach at a position that can become a need in a year or two. Winters is a project player, but could become a starting guard in time to prevent the Giants from needing to spend an early pick on one in the upcoming years.

91. New England Patriots: Aaron Dobson, WR, Marshall

The Patriots need some new wideouts. Dobson was an option for them last round, so a round later and the Pats will eat him alive (figuratively speaking, of course).

92. Atlanta Falcons: Brandon Jenkins, HY, Florida State

The Falcons got Osi Umenyiora to fill a void at defensive end, but future pass rushers are necessary. Jenkins is as big an injury risk as can be found in the draft class, but without that, he is a first-rounder. The Falcons can take a risk.

93. San Francisco 49ers: Bennie Logan, DT, LSU

No problems in looking to the far future with a pick. Logan was a preseason first-round favorite, so the 49ers have some potential to mold while he (and almost every one of their picks the next couple years) rides the bench, learning from one of the best teams in the NFL.

94. Baltimore Ravens: Tony Jefferson, S, Oklahoma

This is an extreme reach. But I can not feasibly mock any other player available at this point to the Ravens without disgracing myself as a writer in my mind. Jefferson isn’t far removed from being a third round guy though, so that justifies it enough for me.

95. Houston Texans: Marquise Goodwin, WR, Texas

In what I am calling the “Mike Wallace Effect”, teams will start drafting guys with only one skill at the position, Olympic speed, and turning them into stars that corners can’t keep up with. Goodwin is the best example of this type of prospect in this class, and the Texans have a compensatory pick to burn.

96. Kansas City Chiefs: Da’Rick Rogers, WR, Tennessee Tech

The Chiefs have plenty of receivers with attitude issues. So why not draft one more? They do need another receiver in the case that Dwayne Bowe causes more drama this offseason or if Jon Baldwin begins his own saga. Rogers seems to have regained his image after a year at a small school, and could entice the Chiefs enough to take a compensatory chance.

97. Tennessee Titans: Ryan Swope, WR, Texas A&M

Kenny Stills has about worn out his welcome in Tennessee, and Nate Washington is regressing. Swope is a slot player with explosive speed, and could fill in for whichever Tennessee wideout burns out of town first.


I would also like to ask anyone who reads this to take a moment of silence and pray for the victims of the Boston Marathon attack, and do whatever you can to help those in need!

The rest of my conclusion to this piece is this and only this: 9 days until the NFL Draft.

God Bless You All!

–          Dan