We here at Garnet Report aren’t beneath doing a Mock Draft of our own. Predicting what’s going to happen in an NFL draft is an inexact science no matter what some number cruncher tells you. You have to rely on the official reports from the real sources. I used Todd McShay, Matt Miller and Pat Kirwin as well as my own NFL knowledge to put together Garnet Report’s NFL Mock Draft.
1) Kansas City Chiefs- Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Joekel is perfect to protect the blindside of Alex Smith.
This pick seems to be a lock. With the signing of Alex Smith and the trade rumors surrounding Brandon Albert, a new left tackle is what Andy Reid needs to build his new offensive foundation around. Joekel is a freakishly smart and dually talented tackle that protected the blindside of a Heisman trophy winner. He is the best overall player in the draft in my opinion.
2) Jacksonville Jaguars- Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon
The Jaguars have so many needs that it’s hard to predict what direction they’ll go here. Geno Smith is a possibility here, but there are so many questions about his ability to play right out of the gates. With one of the worst defenses last year, it makes sense that the Jags will go defense here. With a new 3-4 defense in place, you need an edge rusher to anchor it down. Jordan is a freakish athlete with the tools to be a dominant edge rusher in the NFL.
3) Oakland Raiders- Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
With big Richard Seymour walking out this offseason, there’s a big hole in Dennis Allen’s defensive line. The 6’3’’ 303 pound Floyd anchored down one of the best defensive fronts in the country at Florida last year. He can help improve a Raiders defense that is going to be on the rise from last season.
4) Philadelphia Eagles- Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
One of the biggest questions about Chip Kelly’s offense working in the NFL has been the conditioning of his offensive players, specifically offensive lineman. Johnson makes perfect sense here. He’s the most athletic tackle in this draft at 6’5’’, 303 pounds, running a 4.72 40 yard dash and broad jumping 118 inches. He can provide the much-needed protection for the punch drunk Michael Vick.
5) Detroit Lions- Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
Ansah is a high reward pick with his freakish physical abilities.
With the departure of Cliff Avril and Kyle Vanden Bosh, the Lions already woeful defense is without a quality, pass rushing defensive end. There are a lot of questions concerning Ansah’s spotty play in 2012, but when a 6’5’’ 270 pound defensive end who runs a 4.6 forty comes to your door you take it. Ansah has the tools necessary to become another dominant pass rusher with his great combination of size and speed.
6) Cleveland Browns- Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Milliner is the second best best overall prospect in this draft. Cornerbacks aren’t exactly a position you reach for this high up in the draft, but Milner flashed the skill sets of a pro on back to back national championship defenses at Alabama, and Cleveland can’t pass up the opportunity to put this guy opposite Joe Haden.
7) Arizona Cardinals- Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
The Cardnials have been terrible in pass protection for the past three seasons, and it’s one of the main reasons for their lack of success. Fisher is just as good as Joeckel and Johnson, and they’ll need someone big to protect the already fragile Carson Palmer.
8) Buffalo Bills- Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse
Yes, it’s too good to be true, because it is true. Former Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone is now the head man in Buffalo, and he’d love nothing more than to have a quarterback who already knows his system. In steps his old quarterback, Nassib. Is it a reach? Yes, but there’s the fear that he won’t be available in the second round.
9) New York Jets- Barkevious Mingo, OLB/DE, LSU
With the loss of Darrell Revis to the Bucs, the Jets just officially became the least talented team in the league. If Rex Ryan wants to keep his job, he’ll need an edge rusher to solidify his 3-4 defense. Mingo was a disruptive force at LSU and has the speed to outrun most offensive tackles to the edge. This pick makes the most sense for New York right now.
10) Tennessee Titans- Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
Warmack can push inside for Chris Johnson to finally have some running room.
Chris Johnson and Jake Locker need to perform this year if Mike Munchak wants to keep his job. Even though the Titans did sign some guards this offseason, there still need to beef up the offensive line. Warmack is the best overall guard prospect that dominated opponents all year for Alabama.
11) San Diego Chargers- Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
The Sand Diego Chargers have one of the weakest offensive lines in the NFL. They made no moves this offseason for an interior lineman, and they need one to make room for their young running back Ryan Matthews. Cooper is a an ox that can pave through defensive tackles, and that’s exactly what the Chargers need.
12) Miami Dolphins- D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
Miami is a team that is on the cusp of being a playoff team, and they need to find a replacement for Jake Long. Unfortunately, Fisher, Johnson and Joekel will be long gone. Fluker is the next best available tackle, and they need a solid pass protecter to guard the young, blossoming Ryan Tannehill.
13) New York Jets- Kenny Vaccaro, FS, Texas
There are more arguments here that say that Geno Smith could go here to New York at the newly acquired no.13. But New York’s secondary is so depleted, you have to address that need with Tom Brady, Tannehill and whatever rookie Buffalo picks coming to town. Vacaro is the best safety prospect in this draft in my opinion, and he can sure up a weak back line in New York.
14) Carolina Panthers- Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
Lotulelei is still the best defensive tackle in this draft to me, but there has been speculation about his health that scares a lot of people. I believe he’s worth the risk, as I think he can develop into one heck of a defensive tackle. Carolina would happily take this pick.
15) New Orleans Saints- Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
Jones can rush the passer as well as anyone, as he did lead the D-1 ranks in sacks in 2012.
New Orleans is the textbook example of a team with a “7 seconds or less” mentality. Well, that didn’t work out so well last season, so with a new 3-4 defense, as I stated earlier, a dominant edge rusher is needed. Jarvis Jones stock has fallen a bit because of his poor combine performances, but I still think he’s in for an excellent rookie year.
16) St. Louis Rams- Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
St. Louis had a better than expected season last year, and they’re poised for a breakthrough this year in a tough division. With the loss of Danny Amendola, the Rams need a dynamic option at reciever, and the electric Austin can provide that key weapon Sam Bradford needs.
17) Pittsburg Steelers- Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
The Steelers need another set of hands after the departure of Mike Wallace to the Dolphins. Eifert may have the surest hands of any prospect in this draft, and the combination of him and veteran Miller could prove an asset to Ben Rothlisberger.
18) Dallas Cowboys- Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
Dallas will be returning to the 4-3 defense under new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin. He’ll need a defensive tackle that can anchor down the middle of his new front. Richardson, with his athleticism and versatility, can be that anchor on the front.
19) New York Giants- Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
With the recent secondary problems that the New York Giants have had, there in need of a durable corner that can guard against RGIII, Tony Romo and Michael Vick. Rhodes is a physical freak who can deal with any receiver no matter how big he is and has the speed to keep up with most receivers.
20) Chicago Bears- Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame
Te’o is still a tackling machine, fake girlfriend or not.
This is going to be one of the money questions of the draft. All of the drama and speculation about Te’o has detracted from the fact that he’s still a very good player. After the loss of talent and leadership with Brian Urlacher, Te’o conveniently fills both of those needs.
21) Cincinnati Bengals- Cordalle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
It’s clear that the Bengals offense needs to take the next step. What better to do that with than add another dynamic receiver opposite of All-Pro A.J. Green? Patterson is by far the best pure athlete in this class, and can add that missing piece for Andy Dalton and the Bengals passing attack.
22) St. Louis Rams- Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia
There’s speculation here that the Rams will take a running back here in the loss of Stephan Jackson, but there are other chances to get quality running backs in the later rounds. Ogletree provides beef in the interior of a defense that has to bring down Frank Gore and Marshawn Lynch.
23) Minnesota Vikings- Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
With an aging defensive interior, All-Pro Jared Allen needs a security blanket next to him to try and shake off double teams. Williams has the penetrating ability necessary to give Allen some help on the pass rush that Minnesota needs.
24) Indianapolis Colts- Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Indianapolis has transferred to the 3-4, and with the loss of Dwight Freeney they need someone to anchor down the end of the defense. Werner is an impressive physical specimen with the athleticism to play the 3-4 end well and give the Colts the physical presence in the trenches they need to take the next step.
25) Minnesota Vikings- Deandre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
Hopkins only improved as a receiver at Clemson, and he’ll do the same in the NFL.
The loss of the flashy Percy Harvin has left a big hole in the Vikings offense. Hopkins is an impressive athlete with great hands who can give young Christian Ponder the go-to receiver he needs to really round out this offense.
26) Green Bay Packers- Matt Elam, SS, Florida
Green Bay’s pass defense has been atrocious in the past couple of years, and someone to protect the middle of the field is key in a passing league like the NFL. Elam is a great coverage safety that can make things more difficult for Matt Stafford, Ponder and Jay Cutler.
27) Houston Texans- Keenan Allen, WR, Cal
It’s been speculated that Houston will take a wide receiver here for a while. The Texans sputtering offense needs another passing option besides Andre Johnson. While the cream of this years receiving crop will be gone, Allen runs crossing routes well with great speed, which is needed in a play-action, roll out offense like Houston’s.
28) Denver Broncos- Cornellius Carradine, DE, Florida State
With the loss of Elvis Dummervil, there’s need for someone to anchor down the Broncos front to give Von Miller the protection he needs to get to the quarterback. “Tank” Carradine has magnificent girth with flashes of athleticism that makes him a good fit for the missing Dummervil.
29) New England- Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
New England doesn’t mind taking gambles on picks in the first round, and Trufant is a guy people have questioned on his real coverage skills. Coaches like Bill Belichick wouldn’t mind taking a physical specimen like Trufant and turning him into an All-Pro.
30) Atlanta Falcons- D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston
Hayden can bolster a Falcons secondary that has given up big plays late in games.
The Falcons offense may be elite, but their defense is rather pedestrian, and it has a lot to do with the “choke” persona they’ve taken on. Hayden is a potential shutdown corner that can bolster this Flacons secondary that lost Dunta Robinson.
31) San Fransisco 49er’s- Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
San Fransisco has no real needs in this years draft, so who they pick will be mostly for depth. Jones can provide some depth off the edge and possibly in combination with Aldon Smith to make a pass rushing machine for San Francisco’s already elite defense .
32) Baltimore Ravens- Eric Reid, SS LSU
With all the departures that Baltimore had on defense this season, it’s almost impossible to see them not go in that direction. Safety is the biggest need for Baltimore on defense, and a guy with the intangibles and skills of Reid would fill the void that Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard left.