NFL 1st Round Mock Draft

This time out I'll include some likely trades in my Mock Draft.  If you missed my initial attempt at a 1st round mock you can find it here.  And be sure to check out our Staff Mock Draft here, as well as all our NFL Draft stuff which can be found here.  A few teams may reach for their selection at a few spots and that could throw the 1st round out of whack.  In just a few short hours, we'll know how the first round falls...  I can't wait.

1)  Carolina Panthers - Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
I do think Newton can become a real good QB in the league, I'm just not sure this is the right team for him to go to.  Regardless, Carolina looks to be his destination.

previous pick - Blaine Gabbert

2)  Denver Broncos - Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
Dareus seems to be the consensus pick for the Broncos by every NFL expert out there.   He could play DE in a 3-4, but as a 4-3 DT he can be a disruptive force.  New head coach John Fox will line him up at DT.

no pick change

3)  Buffalo Bills - Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
The Bills have their QB.  Gabbert will put in the work (he's been working with a pro style QB coach in his spare time the last few years), and he has the football IQ (and a photographic memory) to be a solid QB in the NFL for a long time.  This is one of those high ceiling / high floor type players.  

previous pick - Cam Newton

4)  Cincinnati Bengals - A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
The Bengals offense needs playmakers, and Green has the skills to be a special player.  Look for the Bengals to either take a QB in the 2nd round or to trade up to the bottom of the 1st and get their future QB.

no pick change

5)  Arizona Cardinals - Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M
The Cards are pleased to take the Butkus Award winning Miller.  He's an freakishly athletic and will provide a huge boost rushing the passer.  The Cardinals are an other team looking to draft a QB later or maybe even work a trade for Kevin Kolb.

no pick change

6)  Cleveland Browns - Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina
Another athletic freak, Quinn (6'4″ / 264 pounds) has a 33-inch vertical, a 4.59 40-yard dash, a 4.26 seconds in the short shuttle, and did 24 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press.  With the Browns going to a 4-3, they need a pass rushing DE to make the switch effective.  CB Patrick Peterson is a strong possibility here.

no pick change

7)  San Francisco 49ers - Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
I still can't believe Peterson falls this far, but new head coach Jim Harbaugh would love to get the player that most scouts consider to be a can't miss, high ceiling / high floor, type of prospect.

no pick change

8)  (TRADE, Titans trade down to 14) St. Louis Rams - Julio Jones, WR, Alabama 
I think the Rams would like to make sure they get a top WR for their young QB.  Jones won't make it to 14, and with the Titans wanting a QB, taking one at 14 makes more sense. 

previous pick - Nick Fairley to the Titans

9)  Dallas Cowboys - Tyron Smith, OT, USC
Taking a pass rusher is a possibility here, but the Cowboys offensive line needs help, and Smith could play RT now then eventually move to the left side.  I think they might be in play to trade with the Rams, but not knowing if Smith would fall that far leads them to stay put.

no pick change

10)  Washington Redskins - Cameron Jordan, DE, California
The Redskins offense needs a lot of help, so taking QB Jake Locker here is a possibility, but it seems like a reach at 10.  They could trade down to pick up some quantity, but Jordan is a 5-technique DE that could step in and start from day 1.

previous pick - Julio Jones

11)  Houston Texans - Aldon Smith, DE/OLB, Missouri
Smith can be the edge rusher at OLB new coordinator Wade Phillips needs.  The Texans could go J.J. Watt for DE as well.

previous pick J.J. Watt

12)  Minnesota Vikings - Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
If Fairley falls this far, I think the Vikings would pull the trigger.  His upside is huge, and I think the Vikings have the type of veteran team that could help Fairley out in the growing up department.

previous pick - Cameron Jordan

13)  Detroit Lions - Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
The Lions have a lot of different ways they could go, but I think they'll try and upgrade their lines in the 2nd and 3rd round.  Amukamara is a solid CB prospect for a team with secondary concerns.

no pick change

14)  (TRADE, Rams trade up to 8) Tennessee Titans - Jake Locker, QB, Washington
The only thing that would thwart the Titans plans to draft Locker would be in the Redskins decide to take him at 10.  I think that's too high for him to go, I think 14 is too high for him as well but, the Titans need a QB.

previous pick - Aldon Smith to the Rams  

15)  (Trade, Miami trade down to 20)  Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue
The Buccaneers want a disruptive DE, and with a couple teams between now and 20 also looking for a pass rusher they trade up to get their guy.  Kerrigan has strength (31 bench reps) and speed (4.71 40) in a 6'4 267 pound frame.

previous pick - Anthony Costanzo to the Dolphins

16)  Jacksonville Jaguars - Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
Bowers is a top 10 talent with some injury issues.  His upside is way to tantalizing to pass up at 16.  His pro day wasn't the best, but on film he looks like a beast.

no pick change

17)  New England Patriots - Anthony Costanzo, OL, Boston College
This pick could be in play, but with Costanzo on the board, they upgrade the o-line.  This pick makes Tom Brady happy.

previous pick Ryan Kerrigan

18)  San Diego Chargers - J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
The Chargers need a run stuffing NT and the 334 pound Phil Taylor is a possibility, but with Watt still on the board the Chargers address DE with the top 3-4 DE available.

previous pick - Phil Taylor

19)  New York Giants - Mike Pouncey, C, Florida
The Giants need an upgrade at tackle and center.  One of the remaining tackles could be the pick here, but with Pouncey's ability to play center or guard he's the pick.

no pick change

20)  (TRADE, Tampa Bay trades up to 15)  Miami Dolphins - Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
Ingram is too inticing of a prospect to pass up, and he makes more sense here at 20.  His combine best 10 yard split has been generating a lot of buzz of late.

Previous pick - Derek Sherrod to the Buccaneers  

21)  Kansas City Chiefs - Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
The Chiefs need help on defense, but also at right tackle.  K.C. wants to run the ball and adding a tough young tackle in Carimi makes sense.

previous pick - Adrian Clayborn

22)  Indianapolis Colts - Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois
I think they'll be very tempted to go offensive line with this pick, but with Liuget on the board, they take the 3-technique DT and gamble they can snag an o-linemen in the 2nd.

no pick change

23)  Philadelphia Eagles - Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
Corner is a need for the Eagles, and trading up for Prince Amukamara is a possibility.  Smith is the top corner available, but the Eagles might be looking to trade down.  One of the teams looking for a QB might make a play to get at this spot.

previous pick Gabe Carimi

24)  New Orleans Saints - Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State
Heyward has value as a 3-4 DE, so this pick may be in play as the Saints try to trade down with a 3-4 team, but he has the strength and quickness to play as a 4-3 LDE.

previous pick - Mark Ingram

25)  Seattle Seahawks - Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple
The Seahawks could go in few different ways, as they need help at DT, CB, and QB.  Wilkerson at 6'4″ 315 is very good against the run, and could play all along the line in their scheme.  If Jake Locker were to slip to this pick, I think he'd be the choice.

no pick change

26)  Baltimore Ravens - Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State
I think the Ravens would prefer to go defense, but with their guys not available, they go the best OL prospect remaining.  Sherrod could compete for playing time as a rookie.

previous pick Cameron Heyward

27)  Atlanta Falcons - Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame
I had Georgia OLB Justin Houston going here before he failed his combine drug test.  I think Rudolph is a bit of a reach, but he is the #1 TE on the board.  Trading back to the early 2nd round is an option, but if they can't find a trading partner, they'll take the heir apparent to Tony Gonzalez.  Rudolph would provide another weapon for Matt Ryan.

previous pick - Justin Houston

28)  (TRADE, New England trades with Cincinnati) Cincinnati Bengals - Andy Dalton, QB, TCU
The Patriots will dangle this pick to teams looking to move up for a QB.  With the Bears and Jets possibly doing the same thing, teams may feel some urgency to go get their guy.  The Bengals fear another team will get Dalton so they offer up the best deal with N.E.  The Pats will look to add picks for the 2012 draft.

previous pick - Nate Solder to the Patriots

29)  Chicago Bears - Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
The Bears would love to trade down, but will end up going o-line with Solder available.  I don't like the pick as a Bears fan, but a big athletic, but raw, tackle prospect could be a great fit for line coach Mike Tice.

previous pick - Brooks Reed

30)  New York Jets - Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor
The Jets need a run stuffing NT, and Taylor is the best available.  He has a foot injury that may scare teams off, but some doctors say it shouldn't effect his play.

previous pick - Akeem Ayers

31)  Pittsburgh Steelers - Danny Watkins, OL, Baylor
Watkins played LT at Baylor, but projects inside in the NFL.  He's a bit older than most rookies, but the Steelers don't care as they are built to win now.  Watkins fits their mold for the o-line and could start as a rookie.

previous pick - Jimmy Smith

32)  Green Bay Packers - Brooks Reed, DE/OLB, Arizona
The Packers will not reach for need, but will go with the best player available on their board. Reed can play OLB opposite Clay Mathews and bring that same type of relentless pass rush.

previous pick - Danny Watkins

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