Since the NFL Draft is almost upon us, I figured it would be a nice time to do a mock draft. This will be a typical first round mock draft, but will also have projections for all of GTs potential drafted players. Do you agree or disagree with certain picks and projections? Let us know by commenting below!
1) Kansas City Chiefs- OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M
The Chiefs are a much better team now than their 2012 record would indicate. The addition of Andy Reid and Alex Smith greatly improved this team, which should be looking to make the playoffs next season. They have talent on defense and some playmakers on offense. They already addressed their biggest need (QB) earlier in the offseason, so taking another big need and arguably the best player in the draft is an obvious choice.
2) Jacksonville Jaguars- QB Geno Smith, West Virginia
The Jaguars are supposedly now down to two players that they would like to take with the number 2 pick and both should be there when they choose. The most likely two options are Geno Smith and Dion Jordan, both of whom the team has shown great interest in throughout the offseason. In the end, the Jags will probably take Smith because QB is a huge need and their GM seems to really like him.
3) Oakland Raiders- DT Shariff Floyd, Florida
The Raiders have a lot of holes on their team, so this pick could go multiple ways. Floyd is a pretty nice option for them because he is arguably the best defensive player in the draft and would fill a hole at DT. He’s a great penetrating DT, which should help the defense immediately.
4) Philadelphia Eagles- OLB Dion Jordan, Oregon
Chip Kelley is now the head coach for the Eagles and he knows quite a bit about Jordan. After coaching him for the last three years at Oregon, he’ll draft him if he isn’t taken by the Jaguars at 2. He is an excellent athlete and has great size for an OLB. He’s still raw as a pass rusher, but he’s too athletic to pass up on.
5) Detroit Lions- CB Dee Milliner, Alabama
The Lions have a big hole at CB and they apparently love Milliner. Some people think they may trade up to get him, but the only team ahead of them I can see taking him is the Raiders. In the end I think the Raiders go a different direction, which allows the Lions to get their CB of the future.
6) Cleveland Browns- DT Star Lotulelei, Utah
This pick is a difficult one because the best players on the board aren’t really huge needs. Since that’s the case and we aren’t doing trades in this draft, the Browns get Lotulelei. Although he won’t get great pressure, he is a scheme diverse DT who can be a Pro Bowl space eater for the next decade. His heart checked out ok and he should be able to play immediately.
7) Arizona Cardinals- OT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan
The Cardinals have neglected to address the OT position for the last few seasons. They tried to patch it up with a couple late round selections in last years draft, but that didn’t work out too well. They now have Carson Palmer, but in order to get the best out of him, they’ll need to take Fisher. Fisher is arguably the best OT in the draft and getting him at 7 is a steal.
8) Buffalo Bills- OG Chance Warmack, Alabama
This pick came down to Ansah or Warmack, but Warmack is the safer pick. The Bills lost Andy Levitre in free agency and they’ll have the chance to fill the hole with Warmack. He is one of the best football players in the draft and will be a Pro Bowl OG for the next decade. Teams may not see taking Warmack as excellent value in the Top 10, but there is no doubt they are getting an excellent football player.
9) New York Jets- OLB Barkevious Mingo, LSU
The Jets play a 3-4 base defense and could use help with their pass rush, which is why I have them taking Barkevious Mingo. Ansah is the best defensive player on the board here, but he doesn’t fit their scheme as well as Mingo would. Mingo’s raw and has some effort issues, but he would walk into a great situation where he can learn under Rex Ryan. Pairing Mingo with Quinton Coples would give the Jets two great pass rushers.
10) Tennessee Titans- DE Ezekial Ansah, BYU
The Titans would run up to turn in their card if Ansah is still there with the 10th pick. He is a great DE prospect who is just scratching the surface of how to play the position. He would be a fantastic prospect to go with Derrick Morgan (former Tech player) and Kamerion Wimbley. The Titans would definitely feel like they got a steal with this pick.
11) San Diego Chargers- OT Lane Johnson, Oklahoma
The Chargers are another team in need of a franchise LT, and they’ll be lucky if Johnson falls this far. He is a great prospect who has the athleticism to succeed in the NFL. He should be an excellent addition to the Chargers’ line and will be a very good LT for them. Phillip Rivers would certainly be happy with this pick.
12) Miami Dolphins- WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia
With the news today that the Dolphins are probably going to trade their 2nd round pick for Branden Albert (Kansas City’s LT), they can use this pick to give Ryan Tannehill another weapon. With Brian Hartline and Mike Wallace as their two outside receivers, the Dolphins get an excellent slot receiver who they can use all over the field and in the return game. Austin’s elite quickness and explosiveness will get him drafted higher than most would expect.
13) Tampa Bay Buccaneers- DT Sheldon Richardson, Missouri
The Buccaneers continue to address their defense by going with Sheldon Richardson. He is a great DT prospect who, had he stayed another year in college, would be a Top 5 pick in next years draft. He will go great next to Gerald McCoy and give them two penetrating playmakers from the DT position.
14) Carolina Panthers- CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida State
This was a difficult pick for the Panthers because most of the players they would have preferred are off the board. Rhodes is an interesting prospect and most “experts” have differing opinion on him. He’s a big CB who should be a starter from day one for the Panthers.
15) New Orleans Saints- OLB Jarvis Jones, Georgia
Jarvis Jones is a difficult player to slot to a specific team due to his injury history and lack of elite athleticism. He has all the intangibles and is relentless on the field, but it is difficult to determine which team will take a flier on him. The Saints are definitely a team who could use his passion for the game on defense, and that’s why I have him going here. They need a ton of help with their pass rush and he should help from day one.
16) St. Louis Rams- OG Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina
Last year’s number one OG, David DeCastro, dropped into the 20s on draft day. This year I think Cooper will experience the same drop because teams have other positions in mind that have greater values. The Rams are a team with a need at OG, however, and would be very happy if he dropped to them. Cooper gives them an immediate starter at OG and they get excellent value at this point in the first round.
17) Pittsburgh Steelers- WR Keenan Allen, California
The Steelers lost out on Mike Wallace and will be looking for a player to replace him in the draft. While the Steelers can afford to probably wait til the second or third round to take a WR, Allen is the best all around outside receiver prospect in this draft. He will go great in the Steeler’s offense and they should pull the trigger.
18) Dallas Cowboys- S Kenny Vaccaro, Texas
The Cowboys could use help in the secondary and Vaccaro is the best safety prospect available. He is a playmaker who plays with great instincts. They would also be adding a fan favorite since Vaccaro played at Texas.
19) New York Giants- LB Alec Ogletree, Georgia
Ogletree is a great athlete, but he isn’t a complete LB just yet. He would be a great add for Coughlin and the Giants because they could mold him into a Pro Bowl player. Playing behind the Giants’ DL would also help Ogletree quite a bit, since they could let him loose and play off of instincts.
20) Chicago Bears- RT DJ Fluker, Alabama
This may be a little early for Fluker, but the Bears need to address their OL and he is the best RT available. Fluker will never be able to play LT, but he should be a pretty nice RT for the Bears for a long time.
21) Cincinnati Bengals- CB Desmond Trufant, Washington
The Bengals have a few needs and CB is one of them. They have a few solid CBs on their roster, but they lack the shutdown corner needed to succeed in the NFL. Trufant is a very good CB prospect who may develop into a true #1 CB.
22) St. Louis Rams- WR Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee
Since the Rams passed up on Keenan Allen with their first pick for Cooper, they are very happy that Patterson is still available. They need to give Bradford some more weapons and Patterson is an excellent athlete. He has some bust potential because he only played one year at Tennessee, but he may also turn into the best WR from this draft.
23) Minnesota Vikings- ILB Manti Teo, Notre Dame
The Vikings would prefer to get a WR prospect after trading away Percy Harvin, but three of the draft’s best WRs have already been taken, which means they should look to address their defense. Teo’s stock has obviously dropped some since the combine, but he is still a late 1st round pick and should contribute from day one for the Vikings. He will be a nice addition to their defense along with the player they take at 25.
24) Indianapolis Colts- CB DJ Hayden, Houston
Hayden is quickly rising up draft boards after people went back and looked at his tape. He is the best CB prospect available for the Colts and would be a great addition to put opposite of Vontae Davis. The Colts have a couple under the radar CBs on their roster though, so they may look to go in a different direction depending on who’s available.
25) Minnesota Vikings- DT Sylvester Williams, North Carolina
Williams has risen up draft boards during the pre draft process and is now right behind Lotulelei, Floyd, and Richardson. Since the Vikings don’t have many offensive playmaker prospects at this point in the draft, they take Williams and continue to fix their defense.
26) Green Bay Packers- S Jonathan Cyprien, Florida International
Cyprien has benefitted the most from the pre draft process over any other player and finds himself as a solid 1st round pick. The Packers have Morgan Burnett, but they need to fill the hole left by Charles Woodson. Cyprien should be able to fill the hole and start immediately.
27) Houston Texans- RT Justin Pugh, Syracuse
The Texans are in the same position as the Vikings. Both would like a playmaking WR, but neither wants to reach for one. Therefore, they will take Pugh, who is arguably the next best RT prospect available. Menelik Watson might also be the pick, but he is more raw and has higher bust potential.
28) Denver Broncos- DE Bjoern Werner, Florida State
Bjoern Werner’s stock has dropped significantly since the combine, when he showed less athleticism than most expected from him. He should still be a very good 4-3 DE prospect for the Broncos, who were forced to waive Elvis Dumervil. He may never be a Pro Bowl DE, but he should be able to consistently generate a pass rush and get around 10 sacks a year.
29) New England Patriots- CB Jamar Taylor, Boise State
Taylor seems like a perfect fit for the Patriots, who need to address their secondary. He would be able to come in for them and start next to Aqib Talib. The Patriots have young players all over their defense and Taylor should fit right in from day one.
30) Atlanta Falcons- TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame
The Falcons have a major need at DE, since I don’t believe Osi Umenyiora will fill that hole as well as other people expect. Even if he plays well, they still need another pass rusher on the other side, which is why they would prefer to take a nice 4-3 prospect like Werner if he is here. Since he was just taken, however, the Falcons take Eifert with this pick, giving them an heir to Tony Gonzalez. Eifert should be able to see playing time immediately an will be a nice vertical threat from the TE position, which is something Tony Gonzalez isn’t able to do much of anymore.
31) San Francisco 49ers- S Matt Elam, Florida
The 49ers have quite a few picks in this years draft and may look to move around if they fall in love with a prospect. I have them taking Elam at this spot though, since they need safety help after Dashon Goldson went to the Bucs. Elam should be a nice addition for their great defense.
32) Baltimore Ravens- OT Menelik Watson, Florida State
The Ravens have a huge hole at ILB and OT, but I think Watson has more upside than any ILBs available. He has bust potential, but he is very athletic and is still learning the game. If they can hit on them, they will be very happy with this pick in a few years.
Georgia Tech Projections
Omoregie Uzzi- Since Uzzi’s stock dropped during the pre draft process, a team is going to be very happy when they take him in the later rounds of the draft. Right now I believe he will go in the 5th or 6th rounds and there a few teams who could use help at the OG position. The Bears and the Colts are two teams who really need help at the OG position and will almost certainly add one in this draft. If they don’t pick an OG early, the Colts would be a nice fit for Uzzi in the 5th round of the draft.
Rod Sweeting- Sweeting is a physical corner who may take a year or two to really develop, but has above average athleticism and would be pretty solid in a man cover scheme. Some teams who have utilized more man coverage recently that come to mind are the Falcons, Seahawks, Texans, and Eagles. The Falcons seem like the best fit for Sweeting right now, since they have a major hole at the position and lack depth as well. If they can land Sweeting in the 5th round, it would be a nice selection. NFL teams usually know hometown players the best and I really see the Falcons at least going after Sweeting.
TJ Barnes- Barnes impressed at the combine and he has quietly risen up draft boards. He is now a definite late round draft pick and some “experts” see him as a sleeper pick at DT. He needs to go to a 3-4 team where he can develop on a practice squad,which makes teams with a definite starter ideal. A team like the Ravens or 49ers would have the depth to stash him for a season or two and could afford to use a late round pick on him. Some drafts have him going before both Uzzi and Sweeting, but his tape doesn’t stand out like both of them so I have him going in the 6th round to the Ravens where he can learn behind Haloti Ngata.
Orwin Smith- Orwin Smith would have been an obvious late round draft pick if he had participated in the pre draft process, but he now looks like a 7th round pick or UDFA. I personally think he has the best chance to contribute immediately out of these 4 prospects because of his return ability and receiving ability out of the back field. Teams may not worry about spending a pick on him though if they can get him in UDFA. Therefore, he’ll probably go undrafted, but has a pretty good chance to make a practice squad or 53 man roster.
Predicting the first round of the draft is extremely difficult, but projecting where late round prospects will end up is even harder. The draft is now a week away and we’ll know their teams by the end of next weekend. Let us know where you think they may end up and make sure to come back after the draft to find out where each player ended up.