Now Can You Wait For Me: First Three Round Mock of the Year!

Daniel Kitchen, NFL Staf Writer

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I have never attempted anything so massive with the draft in my life. And of course, a week after I finish the mock and start typing it up, players I had in my Top 20 start opting to stay at school another year. So, with that in mind, I present to you my, now flawed, first three-round mock draft of the year!

1. Kansas City Chiefs: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia

The first team in the draft almost always drafts a QB. The reason they get there in the first place is often bad QB play anyways. Kansas City is no different. Brady Quinn and Matt Cassell are not qualfied to be guaranteed back-ups, let alone starters (I tried warning KC before thye traded so much for Cassell years back). Therefore, as long as he doesn’t destroy his stock at the Combine, Geno Smith will balloon up far higher than he is worth going. (Disclaimer: With Andy Reid as Head Coach, there are rumors he may try bringing Mike Vick or another veteran in as starter, so they can presumably draft another elite prospect to help solidify their team.)

2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia

Jacksonville could honestly pick any player at ANY position, and they would be close to starting on this team. The only positiont hey are at all decent at is running back, and Maurice Jones-Drew is now being dangled as expensive trade bait. That being said, they have a bit of a more pressing need in their front seven. With a choice between Jones, Bjorn Werner, and Damontre Moore at rusher, I’ll just mock the highest rated one of the three to them. This time, it’s Jones.

3. Oakland Raiders: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

I refer to you the same opening as in the previous pick. The difference is that Oakland is not trying to trade their running back. There’s a big void at defensive tackle on this squad, and Lotulelei is becoming more elite by the workout. He could allow the Raiders to cut ties with either Tommy Kelly and all of his numerous issues or Richard Seymour and his contract.

4. Philadelphia Eagles: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

If Andy Reid chooses to bring in a QB and allow Geno Smith to fall by, Eagles fans may feel he’s doing the first good thing for the team since a year or two ago as THEIR coach! If Geno falls by Kansas City, Philly could take him here. But I don’t have KC taking Joeckel or someone else, so I have Philly taking Joeckel to address their other major need ont heir offense. Joeckel is being rated as the best tackle prospect since Joe Thomas, who is currently rated as one of the three best tackles in the league. Regardless of what Philly does to fix their dreadful quarterback situation, Joeckel could make them a much better looking QB than they actually are.

5. Damontre Moore, HY, Texas A&M

Detroit should have been a playoff team. Once Mikael LeShoure starting giving them a ground game to accompany Megatron, their only flaw held them back: their defense. Cornerback and pass rusher were the obvious holes. Milliner is not good enought o go this high as a corner, so Detroit should take the best pass rusher. Bjorn Werner does grade out to be a better player, but Moore’s versatility (he can line up at end or linebacker) will serve more good in Detroit for the time being.

6. Cleveland Browns: Bjorn Werner, DE, Florida State

Cleveland’s offense, I begrudgingly say, was decent last year. Josh Gordon at wideout could be a great tool in promoting them to a decent showing in the division for the first time in my recent memory. With that being established, Cleveland needs to fix it’s D. A safety could do some good, but there will be plenty more in the range of their second round pick, not the Top 10 overall. Their other issue is defensive end, which was underwhelming and allowed opposing O-lines to isolate Phil Taylor and neutralize the pass rush. Werner would instantly force all offenses to abandon the double team on Taylor, giving both men more opportunities to plant QB’s. on Sunday.

7. Arizona Cardinals: Tyler WIlson, QB, Arkansas

One word people: BALLOON. Does Tyler Wilson deserve to go this high? Heck no! He may end up being worth it after some elite workout showings. But for now, he is just a QB who goes too high because a team is desperate. Arizona can not do any better next year with Kolb, Lindley, or Skelton, or even if you took each of their positive qualities and put them into one QB. Will Wilson be any better? My guess is not much his rookie year. But desperate men do crazy things.

8. Buffalo Bills: Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame

Again, I made this draft before the BCS Championship, which knock ed Te’o down substantially on Big Boards. Buffalo has all the pieces of a standout defense. What they do not have is that linebacking general who plays his heart out every second, captains a defense play-by-play, and can be a model an entire defense can look to at any point. Te’o is that kind of player, regardless of how the championship game went. Buffalo has said they are picking only an elite QB in Round 1. They are now under a new GM, new Head Coach, and Ralph Wilson has ceeded all his control, which severly hurts the chances they draft a replacement for Fitzpatrick. Unless Ryan Nassib rises enough to justify his old college coach picking him here, I’m not giving Buffalo a QB.

9. New York Jets: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

A pick that has been since ruled invalid by Lewan’s decision to return to school. The Jets’ first need is most definitely quarterback. But, even with Tim Tebow’s time in New York coming to a close ASAP, no team in the league is as stupid as the Jets to take on or even give Mark Sanchez such a huge contract. Knowing their track record, the Jets will either blame lack of receivers (of which none deserve to go this high… yet) or the offensive line. Way to fix that line? Draft a suitable tackle to replace Wayne Hunter turned Jason Smith.

10. Tennessee Titans: DeMarcus Milliner, CB, Alabama

Since Tennessee let Cortland Finnegan leave for St. Louis, their secondary has been hard to stomach. There isn’t a corner on the roster that even an analyst would know about in detail. The defense has not risen from the bottom few of the league in over a season, and it needs fixed. With the top corner in the draft available for them, I don’t see another pick that offers a bigger yield.

11. San Diego Chargers: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

Another pick voided, as Matthews was confirmed after a week of rumors to be staying another year at school. I have had offensive line as the top need in San Diego since their game against Pittsburgh, when they trotted out 4 offensive linemen who hadn’t consistently started in their careers. The Steelers’ less-than-stellar pass rush got to Rivers often, proving the need is indeed there.

12. Miami Dolphins: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama

I was so proud of being one of the first to mock this player to Miami. Then I viewed another mock by Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller and saw that Miami does have some issues that more than one analyst sees. This is far earlier than guards typically go, but Miami’s other major need, wide receiver, is more readily available for their second round selection (one of the two) than now.

13. Tampa Bay Buccanears: Jonathan Banks, CB, Mississippi State

Is this pick a reach? Yes it is. Banks should not be going until the 20’s. This draft is so shallow in terms of talent that teams will just pick based almost entirely on need, discounting most other factors. Tampa Bay, even with a more stocked class, would have to make this selection regardless. Their cornerback department is so bad, especially after trading Aqib Talib, that I’m pretty sure some high school corners could start for them. If Banks AND Milliner are gone here, they need to draft Xaiver Rhodes, or whichever corner is the best available.

14. Carolina Panthers: Jonathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State

Want to know a reason Luke Kuechly did so well as a rookie this year? The Carolina defensive line didn’t stop many running backs. Defensive tackle was their biggest need last draft; Kuechly was worth letting it pass by an additional year. This year though, it should be addressed. Hankins, until the past month, was a Top 5 pick. He will greatly reduce the blame the Carolina defense receives for the lack of team success, and redirect it to Cam Newton and the offense.

15. New Orleans Saints: Dion Jordan, HY, Oregon

I watched a Sportscenter report around Week 6 this season that posed the question “Is the Saints’ defense the worst in NFL history?”. While the defense improved by the end of the year, the defense is still woefully bad to watch on Sundays. Corner is reasonably solidified, but any position on the defensive front seven can be improved. While most will give me heat for not slotting one of the two LSU rushing behemoths here, Jordan has shown more consistent upside and on-field ability than either of them. He could fill the voids of either Will Smith or Cameron Jordan (one’s too old and one’s not playing well), and allow Jordan a fresh start as a linebacker instead of end.

16. St. Louis Rams: Barkevious Mingo, HY, LSU

Speak of the devil! The Rams have two first rounders, which common sense would dictate go to an offensive tackle and a receiver, the two incredibly obvious positions of need on the team. There are receivers and a tackle available here, so why would I slot to them a rusher, of which the Rams have Robert Quinn? Upside. The Rams can afford to gamble away a pick. The need at receiver has dwindled with the development of Chris Givens and Danny Amendola, and the potential of Brian Quick. A fourth piece to add to the mix does them no good. Eric Fisher is a tackle who could help, but he is a reach here. St. Louis does have a minor need for another talented outside linebacker. Mingo is completely a boom-or-bust player. If he busts, consider it a pick lost, no big deal in the long run. But if Mingo hits his potential, the Rams have one of the most fearsome rushers in the NFL today.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia

It’s no secret Pittsburgh wanted Dont’a Hightower last draft. He would have been a star and perfect pick for the Black and Gold. With how good David DeCastro is at guard (or was in school at least), Hightower could be passed up. I highly doubt the Steelers let another great fit at inside backer slip by. No corners or running backs are good enough to go this high to fit another need; the only hold-up ont his pick is Ogletree’s past character concerns. With the recent issues of Alameda Ta’amu and the recently released Chris Rainey (domestic violence charges), Pittsburgh may not consider any player with any character concerns for a second.

18. Dallas Cowboys: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina

I may have a different opinion than most, but my thought process is that Tony Romo was never good enough to be a starting NFL quarterback. A man who is nothing more than a 72 overall Madden afterthought even after I’ve known he was a starter for a few years doesn’t inspire much confidence in my eyes. But I see the Cowboys being just as stubborn as the Jets with their QB, and this pick will be a result of citing the offensive line as a cause of Romo’s woes. In this case, they may have a slight point – the Boys’ could use some fresh talent (aside from Tyronn Smith). Cooper would fix their biggest O-line hole.

19. New York Giants: Ezekial Ansah, DE, BYU

The Giants love pass rushers. Mathias Kiwanuka, Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, Jason Pierre-Paul, etc. etc. They draft them when they like them, and oust them when there are too many. I am willing to bet that Ansah has the Giants in love thus far; the only issue is he is raw. I don’t think the Giants will worry about that too much; they could, for once, actually use another rusher.

20. Chicago Bears: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame

I believe myself certifiably insane for not giving the Bears an offensive lineman. They need one at almost any position. They also need another target for Jay Cutler; his rapport with Brandon Marshall and the early-season success of the Bears show that the playoff potential is there. Eifert is not given the credit he deserves as a complete player. He has a good skill set for both blocking AND catching, and would provide the Bears another weapon to hopefully overcome their almost nonexistent offensive line.

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Sam Montgomery, HY, LSU

The Bengals are one of maybe three teams that have the luxury of very few needs. Linebacker is the only position that feasibly is weak enough to need a draft booster. Montgomery is far and away the best linebacking prospect left in the class. He could add another rusher to fill in to the inconsistent rotation of Carlos Dunlap, Michael Johnson, and Manny Lawson to pressure the QB.

22. Minnesota Vikings: Keenan Allen, WR, California

Similarly to what I think of the Cowboys, I do not believe the incumbent QB in Minnesota to be a starter. But, as it’s too early to give up on him just yet, so it’s wise to give him the best chance he has. Matt Kalil keeps Ponder off his butt more frequently, now he needs his weapons. Percy Harvin will be facing more rumors this offseason of his desire to escape Minnesota; aside from him, there are no other quality receivers. Allen could go higher than this, and would give Ponder another receiver to target in pressure situations.

23. Indianapolis Colts: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri

The Colts will be hard-pressed to continue their success without Chuck Pagano in rehab. The job becomes even harder if Bruce Arians leaves for his own job. Last year, they got their offensive leader for the next decade. This year, it seems they are going to be looking for a similar player on defense. There isn’t one available here, but there is a replacement for a once proud Indy defensive line.  Former defensive ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis line up as linebackers now, and their replacements leave much to be desired. Richardson, while not an end, could be a quality player who helps stop the bleeding on D – he is slated to go near the Top 10, not 23rd overall.

24. St. Louis Rams (Via Washington): Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

While receiver is a need the Rams can afford to overlook in Round 1, tackle is not. Without a new tackle on the line Week 1, Sam Bradford’s David Carr Syndrome will reach a level so contagious that they will need a new QB next draft. Fisher is a surprisingly talented small-school player who will most certainly rise, now that he is the #2 tackle in the class.

25. Seattle Seahawks: Terrence Williams, WR, Baylor

Seattle has shocked everyone this year. First by making their ill-advised draft picks AGAIN this year, and second by actually doing well with said picks. They have the potential to have both rookies of the year, and their defense is being recognized as one of the best in the NFL. The offense is a different story. If Marshawn Lynch had regressed off the small ledge his success stands on, Seattle would be picking ten-fifteen picks higher right now. Seattle needs more offensive firepower to succeed if Lynch stops performing at his newfound level. Williams is near the top of the receiver class, which isn’t saying much. He led the NCAA in receiving for a couple weeks though, and managed to succeed without RG3 throwing to him and Kendall Wright and Josh Gordan taking the best defenders off of him.

26. Baltimore Ravens: Matt Elam, S, Florida

Elam has risen to the top of the safety class in the last week, but still could go under Eric Reid or Kenny Vacarro in one of the more competitive positions of the draft this year. Baltimore barely won the AFC North this year because of injuries to their very old defensive stars. No inside linebacker readily exists to supplant the retiring Ray Lewis, so the next best replacement would be for either Ed Reed, who is nearing retirement age, or Bernard Pollard, who spent some time on the injury report this year in crunchtime. Elam is almost an Ed Reed clone with a little Pollard thrown in, and he would be an instant sensation in Baltimore.

27. Green Bay Packers: Kenny Vacarro, S, Texas

Similar to the pick above, Green Bay lost many of their key defenders to injuries all at once this year. While they didn’t lose as many games because of it, the loss still hurt what could have been an elite year. The longest, and possibly most missed, injury of the year was safety Charles Woodson, who should be contemplating retirement in the upcoming year. Green Bay needs better pass defenders in general, and especially if Woodson misses half the season again. Vacarro is one of the three competitive safeties at the top of the position, and he has what many consider the highest potential. Learning under Woodson would be a great start for him.

28. Houston Texans: Eric Reid, S, LSU

Yes, I just mocked all three safeties competing for “Best in Draft” in three straight picks. It is THAT competitive. It just so happens that each team that got one of the three got the one that fits them best. Reid is the tall prototypical safety prospect that the Houston secondary prefers. After being torched by the other elite teams they faced, Houston will be looking for safety and corner help so they can compete with New England and Denver. Former Top 10 projected Reid could help with that.

29. San Fransisco 49ers: Xaiver Rhodes, CB, Florida State

The Niners may be the only team aside from Cincinnati with no glaring needs right now. Like Cincy though, they have some positions that may develop into weaknesses soon if not addressed. Secondary depth is one of the two. While pass rusher could be the pick here, the Niners have expiring safety contracts for Donte Whitner and Dashon Goldson. In case one of them can’t return to the team, Rhodes could be brought in to curb the loss.

30. New England Patriots: Cordelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee

Next in the revolving door of first-round prospects is Patterson. Taking over the spot many mocked Tavon Austin to in past weeks, Patterson is a receiver with ideal size for a star, but not yet ideal talent. New England could develop that talent and have a standout weapon for whomever is deemed as the future Tom Brady.

31. Atlanta Falcons: Alex Okafor, DE, Texas

Every year, there seems to be one late first round pick that I mock to one team the entirety of my process. This year, I have been mocking Okafor to Atlanta from about Week 3 on. He has the talent that should put him in the Top 20 easily. No teams have drastic needs for a pure end; no teams that is, until the Falcons draft. Having released Ray Edwards for not living up to his massive contract and having to face that John Abraham will be gone in a year or two, the Falcons would be jumping out of their shorts (potentially literally) if a perfect fit and great prospect in Okafor fell to them.

32. Denver Broncos: Jonathan Jenkins, DT, Georgia

The Broncos used their first pick on DT Derrick Wolfe. He now plays defensive end on a great defense. The defense has secondary depth, linebacker depth, and rusher depth. What moving Wolfe to end did was create one hole on the stellar D: the middle of the defensive line. Jenkins is so big that he could possibly fill the entire line by standing there. The very definition of what a nose tackle is, Jenkins could be an ideal match to put Denver’s defense into the league’s best.

ROUND 2

33. Jacksonville Jaguars: Matt Barkley, QB, USC

Chad Henne and Blaine Gabbert may be a good enough excuse to not spend their first round pick on a QB, but they aren’t good enough for Jacksonville to not draft a potential franchise guy at all. Barkley was a Top 5 pick last draft until he went back. While honorable, it cost him millions. Despite his struggles this year, he remains a potential franchise guy, and should be starting in Jacksonville by Week 8 this season.

34. Kansas City Chiefs: Robert Woods, WR, USC

One half of the most elite pairing of starting receivers in the nation, Woods has fallen from grace as a Top 10 pick. At the Combine and Pro Day workouts, Woods should show everyone that he deserves to go this high, and he will continue to show them as Geno Smith’s new favorite target.

35. Philadelphia Eagles: Barrett Jones, OL, Alabama

Why would Philadelphia spend their top two picks on offensive linemen, especially when they need a QB to compete with Nick Foles, and there are great prospects left for them here? 1. Their offensive line is this bad. 2. There are enough QB’s available here that they may fall to Philly in the 3rd. And 3. Barrett Jones is worth a high 1st round pick, let alone a high 2nd. Jones can play any position on the line, and Philly could use help at pretty much any position on the line.

36. Detroit Lions: David Amerson, CB/FS, North Carolina State

Amerson was in contention to be the top overall pick before the NCAA season started. That’s unheard of as a corner. The only reason he fell is because he didn’t live up to expectation set from his 13 INT’s last year. No one can live up to that level of performance consistently, and he will be a playmaker in the Lions weak secondary.

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

Without any pressing needs, the Bengals can afford to draft first-round talent who slips through the cracks. They don’t necessarily need a starting receiver, but they didn’t when they drafted Jordan Shipley, and he had some reasonable success as an undersized slot guy before they cut him loose. Austin has been compared to Wes Welker all through the draft process, and he would be a great luxury pick here.

38. Arizona Cardinals: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama

The Cardinals rival the Bears and Steelers for the worst offensive line in the league. Anybody could be considered an upgrade on the O-line, and Fluker is a preseason Top 5 pick and Second-Team All-American who could upgrade the worst position on the potentially worst O-line.

39. New York Jets: Mike Glennon, QB, North Carolina State

Similar rules apply here as they do to Jacksonville. Jacksonville can skip one round without taking a new starting QB, but they can’t go two. People were in an uproar when Glennon instantly became a Top 5 pick to some after Mel Kiper said he could potentially be the best QB in the class. The Jets could use anybody besides Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, and Greg McElroy as a starter, and Glennon could be just that.

40. Tennessee Titans: Larry Warford, OG, Kentucky

The Titans were a candidate to swipe David DeCastro last year during his Round One freefall. Many were visibly surprised when they let him pass, and even more so when they did not address the need between then and now. Warford is a good value pick in the second who could pave more ways for CJ2K.

41. Buffalo Bills: Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse

Doug Marrone may extreme-reach for Nassib in Round One. This would be a dream come true for Marrone, getting his highly-rated college QB as his rookie NFL QB. Even if Ralph Wilson’s blessing of control to whomever is now in charge allows the team to draft a non-QB in Round 1, I don’t think they believe in Ryan Fitzpatrick enough to go two rounds without one.

42. Miami Dolphins: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson

One of the two dynamic wideouts, Hopkins has size, speed, and explosive potential that could vault him a round higher (maybe into the rotational spot currently occupied here by Cordelle Patterson at 30). Miami’s biggest need is a weapon for Ryan Tannehill, and Hopkins would be a great weapon!

43. Tampa Bay Buccanears: Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina

Williams could go over a round and a half higher, as he is rated highly by Scouts Inc. and some other qualified writers. I just haven’t enough consistently stellar rankings of him to be convinced myself. Gerald McCoy started performing finally, but another defensive tackle could be on their radar, especially if McCoy pulls off a move to defensive end.

44. Carolina Panthers: Logan Ryan, CB, Rutgers

Carolina already addressed one of their primary defensive needs. Now they address their other. The secondary has suffered defeat after defeat this season, and if they want to ride their Cam Newton-fueled resurgence into a winning season, they need a corner who can shut down receivers. Ryan is now receiving first-round consideration even.

45. San Diego Chargers: Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State

Quentin Jammer can not play forever. He was victimized enough that San Diego has publically acknowledged their plight and desire for his replacement. Poyer flirted with a first-round grade a month ago, and he could return there with a strong combine.

46. St. Louis Rams: Tony Jefferson, S, Oklahoma

I addressed earlier how St. Louis’ plunder from the last draft netted them enough of an improvement at receiver that an immediate solution was not needed (as is, no receivers fully earn a pick here and still remain available). One of the Rams’ best points to build around in the future is their secondary. Janoris Jenkins stayed clean and Cortland Finnegan lived up to his large contract. What they still need though is a safety who can strike fear into offenses. While Jefferson won’t do this his first year or two, his potential warrants the pick.

47. Dallas Cowboys: Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama

Another player like the Williams of the same position who went only four picks higher, Williams has just not earned consistently high grades to have me slate him any higher. If a couple more qualified individuals had him in their Top 32 prospects or in that range, Williams is a round one talent, easily. Aside from the offensive line, Dallas needs a defensive tackle worse than anything, especially after not pulling the trigger on one last year AND hiring Monte Kiffin as defensive coordinator, and requiring the personnel to run his defense scheme.

48. Pittsburgh Steelers: Giovanni Bernard, RB, North Carolina

On paper, this pick makes little to no sense. Pittsburgh does have a need, but they are now a passing team, and they prefer power backs to finesse ones like Bernard. As the top rated back though, Bernard makes sense as a platoon player who can earn more time until he is a franchise back. Issac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer are good, but neither is a starter in enough capacity to keep the Steelers’ ground game alive on their own.

49. New York Giants: Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU

You’d think the Giants would get O-line help by this point in the draft. A statement that applies to almost all teams though is that you can never have enough quality linebackers. Chase Blackburn and Mark Herzlich can play, but a solid starting threat would help an inconsistent linebacking core.

50. Chicago Bears: Oday Aboushi, OT, Virginia

I may be insane enough to pass on giving the Bears O-line help in round one, but there’s no way I let it slide until round three! Aboushi was a preseason first-rounder, and if he has stayed consistant enough all season to grade out as a second rounder, he earns his spot here.

51. Washington Redskins: Dallas Thomas, OG/OT, Tennessee

The Redskins actually have an early pick to work with after forfeiting so much for RG3! After RG3 went down so often, and has needed offseason surgery because of it, I bet the Skins want to invest a little more in protecting their franchise player. Thomas could fill in for any guard or tackle who doesn’t play to the level required.

52. Minnesota Vikings: Shariff Floyd, DT, Florida

Minnesota is known for having a stout rush defense. One hole that will open sooner rather than later is in the middle, where Kevin Williams is aging rapidly. Floyd doesn’t fit the Williams Wall format of having a big, big boy in that spot, but perhaps a change to an agile and quicker DT in Floyd could help make them better.

53. Baltimore Ravens: Arthur Brown, OLB, Kansas State

One comparison that I made months ago that others are adopting is Brown and Bobby Wagner. Both were small school guys who could be tackling maniacs. With the departure of Ray Lewis, Baltimore needs a tackling maniac.

54. Cincinnati Bengals: Phillip Thomas, S, Fresno State

Might as well stock up on positions that could fail. Cincy has the picks to burn, and they could use some reinforcements at safety and corner.

55. Seattle Seahawks: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma

Yet another player who needs more consistent rankings to move up my draft. Seattle has made some questionable choices in the draft for their offensive line, but Russell Okung can not support both tackle positions on his own. Johnson is the best available protector left, and Seattle could use him.

56. Green Bay Packers: Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama

Green Bay is known on offense for passing, passing, and passing. Who were Green Bay’s best rushers this season? If you somehow managed to say Cedric Benson, Alex Green, and James Starks, congratulations, you win nothing but some inner satisfaction. Lacy proved in the BCS Championship that he can play, and anything is better than what the Pack rolls out in their backfield.

57. Miami Dolphins: Nickell Robey, CB, USC

After Miami shipped off Vontae Davis for a high yield (which worsened with the Colts’ success), they draft his replacement with the pick they received. Robey is rough, but with some work could be just as good as Davis.

58. Houston Texans: Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee

Falling fast in drafts, Hunter would be the compliment, and possibly eventual successor, for Andre Johnson, who remains the only qualified starting receiver on Houston’s roster.

59. San Fransisco 49ers: Benie Logan, DT, LSU

A preseason Top 10 pick (for the 2014 draft), Logan surprised many, and hurt his pocketbook, by entering this year. Another year could be used to sharpen his skills, but he’ll have another year as a rookie to study, only under some much better tutelage in Justin Smith.

60. New England Patriots: Khassim Greene, OLB, Rutgers

I refer you to the Giants’ second round entry. The Pats could definitely use some quality linebackers who could become a starter in years to come. Greene could actually pass as a starter now, and New England adds another steal to their linebacking group.

61. Atlanta Falcons: Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford

This is the end of the line for Tony Gonzalez. The greatest tight end of all time needs a successor. With no prospects as bright as in next year’s class, Ertz gets the call. He won’t be nearly as good as Tony, but, to sight a favorite quote of mine: “That’ll do pig, that’ll do.”

62. Denver Broncos: Chase Thomas, OLB, Stanford

The Broncos are shaky at linebacker aside from their outside rushers. With everything in flux until they either adapt their scheme or draft a defensive tackle, Elvis Dumervil could wind up at defensive end, leaving a hole as a rusher opposite Von Miller. Thomas shows more ability than most prospects drafted at the end of the second, and could either start or add back-up to Denver’s fast-rising D.

Round 3

63: Kansas City Chiefs: Margus Hunt, DE, SMU

Tyson Jackson and Glenn Dorsey can’t man both end spots. One of them needs to go in favor of a better talent. Hunt may not be that talent yet, but he is already on the level of the incumbent, and another year puts him over the top.

64. Jacksonville Jaguars: Brennan Williams, OT, North Carolina

Regardless of the QB under center, the Jags need to protect him more. Williams isn’t an elite prospect, but hey, it isn’t round one or two anymore.

65. Detroit Lions: Khaled Holmes, OG/C, USC

The Lions got Riley Reiff to sure up their outside O-line. Now they need help building the inside of it. Holmes can play any interior position, and was rated much higher preseason.

66. Oakland Raiders: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington

If you’ve read my previous pieces, you have heard me rip into the Raiders for their cornerback department. I mean, their prize new starter, journeyman Ron Bartell, didn’t even last all season before the team cut him! Anyone can be an improvement, and a year or two or rushed starting will do some good for Trufant.

67. Philadelphia Eagles: Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee

You didn’t really think I believed enough in Nick Foles to not mock the Eagles a QB, did you? Bray could be a franchise guy if he could learn off a veteran. In Philly, who knows if this pick will turn out well or not. They just need another QB.

68. Cleveland Browns: Stedman Bailey, WR, West Virginia

Living under Tavon Austin’s four foot shadow (I kid, I kid. He is small though) didn’t do Bailey’s hype any good, but he can play. The Browns need another option should Josh Gordon go back to his bad character ways, or Greg Little starts dropping everything again.

69. Arizona Cardinals: Corey Lemonier, HY, Auburn

Lemonier is far too underranked is this draft. He has first-round talent. The Cards get a third round steal.

70. Tennessee Titans: T.J. McDonald, S, USC

When I said the Titans needed secondary help more than anything, I wasn’t referring exclusively to cornerback. Chris Hope is very old, and Michael Griffin is their only option. What happens if he goes down for the year? McDonald was a Top 5 prospect according to some before the college season. Pretty high ceiling, I would think.

71. Buffalo Bills: Da’Rick Rogers, WR, Tennessee Tech

Name me any player who got drafted out of Tenn. Tech in Rounds 1, 2, or 3. I don’t think there are any. Character issues are the only thing holding Rogers back. The talent is worth taking a risk, especially when you have a need like Buffalo’s.

72. New York Jets: Sean Porter, OLB, Texas A&M

Bart Scott is old, David Harris is overpaid. I don’t think both remain for much longer in the Big Apple. Porter may not be an inside backer, but he could fill a pass rush spot and let the player he replaces move inside.

73. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Robert Lester, S, Alabama

Lester was ranked here last draft. That’s some consistently high play. Mark Barron filled one spot in the secondary, newly drafted Jonathan Banks fills another. Lester could fill the last remaining hole (Eric Wright has the fourth locked up).

74. San Fransisco: Braxston Cave, C, Notre Dame

San Fran fills another aging and weaker position with a luxury pick.

75. New Orleans Saints: Leon McFadden, CB, San Diego State

Last year, two offensive powerhouses, Green Bay and New England, spent almost their entire drafts to make their other side of the ball an equally dominating threat. The Saints will do that this year. No position on their defense can go unaddressed this offseason.

76. San Diego Chargers: Michael Buchanan, HY, Illinois

The Chargers don’t need a rusher right now. They will need one in a couple years, when Melvin Ingram is playing opposite old, old rushers. Buchanan is just a value pick the Chargers don’t let pass.

77. Miami Dolphins: Kyle Long, OT, Oregon

The Dolphins replace one OT Long with another. Jake Long is likely too expensive to be brought back, and Kyle Long could be a great offensive tackle, should he be sat his first year or two to develop.

78. St. Louis Rams: Jordan Reed, TE, Florida

The Gators’ leading receiver could be a starter by the end of this season. The Rams are weak at tight end.

79. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kawann Short, DT, Purdue

The Steelers shouldn’t give up on Alameda Ta’Amu. He may have character concerns, but he was a perfect steal of need last year in the round. Kawann Short is just a player who should go much higher and fits a present hole in the defense. Pittsburgh doesn’t let those pass often.

80. Dallas Cowboys: Ricky Wagner, OT, Wisconsin

Wagner was the top tackle prospect this preseason. No harm in adding some insurance for a shaky O-line in big ol’ Texas.

81. New York Giants: Gabe Jackson, OG, Mississippi State

The Giants need qualified back-ups all along the offensive line.

82. Miami Dolphins: John Simon, DE, Ohio State

Simon has second-round talent, and Miami needs another defensive end who can rush. Vernon isn’t cutting it.

83. Minnesota Vikings: Shayne Skov, LB, Stanford

The Vikings need some starters/back-ups at all linebacker spots. Skov can conveniently play all linebacker spots. Funny how this works out.

84. Baltimore Ravens: Will Davis, CB, Utah State

Jimmy Smith can’t stop getting hurt, and Ladarius Webb is coming off major surgery. Another player who can step in wouldn’t be the worst use of a draft pick.

85. Cincinnati Bengals: Joseph Randle, RB, Oklahoma State

BenJarvus Green-Ellis can’t hold his title as franchise back forever. When he falters, the Bengals need platoon guys to soften the blow to the offense. Randle’s speed compliments the Law Firms’ power.

86. Washington Redskins: Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State

DeAngelo Hall proved just how unstable he is. One more blow up, and the Skins will need someone to fill in for Hall’s lengthy Goodell-enforced suspension. Taylor isn’t that guy, but he has whatever potential a third-rounder can have.

87. Green Bay Packers: Cyril Richardson, OT, Baylor

The Packers let Aaron Rodgers get hit far too often to cruise to a Super Bowl again. Richardson could be an injury fill-in, or potential Derek Sherrod replacement should the latter not earn his job at some point.

88. Indianapolis Colts: Alvin Bailey, OG, Arkansas

People have criticized the Colts for not providing enough protection for once-in-a-lifetime prospect Andrew Luck. Bailey entered too early, but he is a value pick here.

89. Seattle Seahawks: Datone Jones, HY, UCLA

Bruce Irvin surprised everyone by going round one, then playing like he belonged there. Calais Campbell went down with an injury and exposed the lack of any rushers besides himself and the aforementioned Irvin. Jones could potentially fill that hole in a couple years.

90. Houston Texans: Akeem Spence, DT, Illinois

The Texans needed a tackle last year. With no huge steals available, they might as well fill a hole.

91. San Fransisco 49ers: Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas

The Niners could always use another rusher should Aldon Smith start acting up as he is prone to do. Jeffcoat was a first-rounder before he got hurt. The 49ers get a major steal.

92. New England Patriots: Carrington Bnydom, CB, Texas

The Patriots had the worst secondary in the league before they got Aqib Talib. Now they have quality corner starters. Bnydom is a good project player who can learn and replace whichever starting corner has attitude issues first.

93. Atlanta Falcons: LeVeon Bell, RB, Michigan State

No one has Bell ranked as highly as I do. I just forsee a potential future where Michael Turner’s age forces a platoon later next season. Such a platoon calls for three backs. Turner is balanced, Jaquizz Rodgers is a speed guy, and Bell can be the power guy.

94. Denver Broncos: Nico Johnson, ILB, Oklahoma

The Broncos have a need for a back-up inside linebacker. Johnson could go much higher. Good fit.

 

 

I have another three round mock I’m working on, a Big Board started, and am riding a productive wave that’s sure to knock me out by 11 tonight. In the words of a Youtube video I enjoy, “Thumbs up let’s do this!”

May God bless you all!

– Dan

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