1. Carolina Panthers- DT Nick Fairley, Auburn
The Panthers need a lot of help on both sides of the ball. There are concerns at quarterback, with an unimpressive Jimmy Clausen and Matt Moore. Blaine Gabbert and Cam Newton are possibilities here. Wide receiver is a concern with an aging Steve Smith and young, unproven receivers, so don't count out A.J. Green here. But perhaps the biggest need is on the D-Line. Nick Fairley would is a great interior defensive lineman who would upgrade this unit greatly and give the Panthers a much needed force on the defensive line.
2. Denver Broncos- DE Da'Quan Bowers, Clemson
What to say about the Broncos defense? How about nonexistent. They ranked dead last in the league in total defense and thirty-first in run defense. That being said they must upgrade the abysmal defensive line with an all-around good player that can stop the run and put pressure on the passer. Da'Quan Bowers is ready to start right away and would be a much needed boost to a horrific defense.
3. Buffalo Bills- DT Marcell Dareus, Alabama
The Bills might be satisfied with the play of the "Harvard Man" Ryan Fitzpatrick to keep him around for another season. If they decide to do that, they will look to the defensive side of the ball. The Bills need a pass rushing 3-4 end or linebacker so it will come down to whether they like Marcell Dareus or Von Miller more. I really like Von Miller, but after Dareus' combine, there is no way the Bills should pass on him, but don't be surprised if they go with Miller.
4. Cincinnati Bengals- QB Blaine Gabbert, Missouri
If the Bengals don't know by now CARSON PALMER WANTS OUT! As long as he doesn't pull a Lance Briggs it looks like he's gone. As much as the Bengals would love a young, fast, playmaking wide receiver here, they must get someone to throw the ball first and Blaine Gabbert is farther along on his footwork and fundamentals than the other quarterbacks are in this draft.
5. Arizona Cardinals- OLB Von Miller, Texas A&M
The Cardinals number one need is quarterback, but with Gabbert possibly going to Cincinnati, and Ken Whisenhutt's job probably on the hot seat, I just can't see him risking his job to start a new regime. They need to add some youth at linebacker and Von Miller impressed at the Combine has a low bust potential. They can't go wrong picking him.
6. Cleveland Browns- WR A.J. Green, Georgia
This is the Browns dream scenario besides getting Nick Fairley. Green offers the vertical threat the Browns lack and have lacked for the last couple of years. They could also go with a defensive lineman here like J.J. Watt or Cameron Jordan, or go with cornerback Patrick Peterso, but if Green makes it passed Cincy, I can't see how the Browns could pass on him.
7. San Francisco 49ers- CB Patrick Peterson, LSU
The 49ers would be ecstatic if Peterson fell to seventh. He is a ball-hawking corner who would greatly upgrade the San Francisco secondary. They also could use a quarterback, but with Gabbert likely off the board by now, head coach Jon Harbaugh won't take a risk on a scrambler like Cam Newton or Jake Locker.
8. Tennessee Titans- CB Prince Amukamara, Nebraska
The Titans were twenty-ninth in the league last year in pass defense which means they need either a pass-rushing defensive lineman or a shut-down corner. I think with Dareus gone, who would be the ideal interior defensive lineman for the Titans, they'll go with Nebraska's Prince Amukamara who is the prototypical shut-down corner that teams look for. He will be a great player in this league for many years.
9. Dallas Cowboys- DE J.J. Watt, Wisconsin
J.J. Watt was an absolute beast last season for the Badgers. He can play as a 4-3 end or tackle or a 3-4 end, and can rush the passer as well as stop the run. His versatility and talent will make him a great fit in the Cowboys defense.
10. Washington Redskins- QB Cam Newton, Auburn
With the Donovan McNabb experience not working out and Rex Grossman struggling at the end of the year, the Redskins have to take a quarterback here. I think Dan Snyder and the Redskins organization will be impressed with the raw talent in Cam Newton. But there is a good chance that his lack of accuracy and footwork could make him struggle and end up as a bust, and leave us having this same conversation next year.
11. Houston Texans- CB Jimmy Smith, Colorado
Houston's secondary was a joke last year giving up 267 yards a game. They desperately need help and Jimmy Smith could give them that help. He has been rising on a lot of people's boards, and although he isn't as far along as the other two top corners in this draft are, he can be groomed into a starting role.
12. Minnesota Vikings- OT Anthony Castonzo, Boston College
Bryant McKinnie was terrible protecting Favre's blind side last season and Castonzo is a guy who impressed people at the Combine and probably fits best as a right tackle in the NFL. But the Vikings don't really have much of a choice unless they pick someone up in free agency because there is no way that they will let McKinney stay at left tackle.
13. Detroit Lions- OT Tyron Smith, USC
Matt Stafford is injury prone and they can't afford to let him get hurt again so I'll be surprised if they don't go with an offensive lineman here. They do have holes on defense, but protecting their $72 million investment has to be their top priority.
14. St. Louis Rams- WR Julio Jones, Alabama
Sam Bradford took the Rams to a 7-9 season with virtually no weapons at all. Julio Jones ran a 4.39 at the combine on an injured foot. His speed coupled with his pass catching ability would make him a great fit in St. Louis and a good young target for second-year quarterback Sam Bradford.
15. Miami Dolphins- RB Mark Ingram, Alabama
The Dolphins have basically no offensive threat whatsoever. They have two subpar running backs and don't even have a starting quarterback. They have to address one of those needs here and who better than a former Heisman Trophy winner who draws comparisons to Emmit Smith.
16. Jacksonville Jaguars- DE Aldon Smith, Missouri
Aldon Smith possesses the pass-rushing ability that Jacksonville needs. They improved their defensive line when they drafted Tyson Alualu, but they still lack a speed rusher on the outside.
17. New England Patriots- DT Corey Liuget, Illinois
At 6'3" and 300 lbs., Liuget fits well into the Patriots defensive scheme. He would add some much-needed youth to a less than stellar defensive line.
18. San Diego Chargers- DT Cameron Jordan, California
If Cameron Jordan fell all the way to eighteen there is no doubt that the Chargers would take him. He's another one of the good 3-4 end/4-3 tackles and would be a good upgrade for the Chargers. They could also look to take a linebacker here- maybe Akeem Ayers, but if they can get a top ten talent like Jordan, they will have to take him.
19. New York Giants- OLB Robert Quinn, North Carolina
It seems as if the Giants are always mocked to take a linebacker or defensive lineman. Michael Boley and Clint Sintim aren't going to cut it, so the Giants need to look for a good outside linebacker. Robert Quinn would be a bit of a risk because he hasn't played for a year, but the Giants are used to taking risks. Just last year they took a huge risk on a raw Jason Pierre-Paul.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- DE Adrian Clayborn, Iowa
The Buccaneers need help at defensive line and with Iowa's Adrian Clayborn, they get a big, run-stopping defensive end. They ranked twenty-eighth in the league last season in stopping the run so Clayborn would be a huge upgrade.
21. Kansas City Chiefs- OG Mike Pouncey, Florida
After a season in which we saw the Chiefs winning the division for the first time in a while, they will surely be tough to beat next season. However, the one aspect of the game that they must improve on is protecting quarterback Matt Cassel. Mike Pouncey, the brother of Steelers Pro Bowl Center Maurkice Pouncey, would be a great pickup for the Chiefs. Branden Albert is a decent left tackle and with Pouncey at left guard, it would greatly help out the whole unit.
22. Indianapolis- OT Nate Solder, Colorado
Nate Solder was projected to go in the first half of the first round, but after struggling on the bench press at the Combine, his strength may be in question. If he did happen to fall to twenty second then the Colts would have to take him. Solder would be a solid starter at right tackle for the Colts after a year that we saw Peyton Manning getting hit more than we're used to seeing and a nonexistent run game.
23. Philadelphia Eagles- OT Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin
We all know that Andy Reid loves big offensive tackles (maybe to make him feel better about himself), but all joking aside, Gabe Carimi was a solid player at Wisconsin for four years and has proven that he can handle the Big Ten's best defensive ends. He is a massive 6'7" 315 lbs. tackle who can play right or left tackle for the Eagles.
24. New Orleans Saints- DT Stephen Paea, Oregon State
After Stephen Paea's mind blowing 49 reps of 225 lbs. on the bench press, he should have some teams talking. Paea would be a great fit as a 4-3 interior defensive tackle for a scheme like the Saints run.
25. Seattle Seahawks- QB Jake Locker, Washington
Seattle might have some other needs, but they need a quarterback of the future before anything. Matt Hasselbeck isn't getting any younger. Jake Locker isn't an NFL ready quarterback just yet, but after a year sitting behind a veteran and polishing up on his skills, he could be the Seahawks' quarterback for many years.
26. Baltimore- WR Torrey Smith, Maryland
Joe Flacco's weapons right now are aging veteran Derrick Mason and former Cardinal Anquan Boldin. They need youth at the position and someone with the straight-line speed to stretch the field. Torrey Smtih might be a bit undersized, but he makes up for it with his blazing fast speed and can also be a decent return man.
27. Atlanta Falcons- DE Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue
Kerrigan fits well as a 4-3 end and would be a huge steal for the Falcons to get him this late in the first round. Kerrigan is a decent pass-rusher and would help out a team that only had thirty one sacks last season.
28. New England Patriots- WR Jonathan Baldwin, Pittsburgh
The Patriots need some size at wide receiver and at nearly 6'5", and excellent speed for his size, he would be a great weapon to complement Wes Welker and Deion Branch.
29. Chicago Bears- OG Ben Ijalana, Villanova
The Bears have a lot of pieces to work with on the offensive line. Omiyale played well and Chris Williams is an average guard, but they could use some depth at the position and a guy to compete for a starting job to give Cutler more protection.
30. New York Jets- OLB Akeem Ayers, UCLA
Ayers has been projected as high as the mid first round to as low as the end of the second. He has great speed and agility and can rush off the edge well. He would be a good fit for the Jets.
31. Pittsburgh Steelers- NT Phil Taylor, Baylor
Casey Hampton is getting older and its about time to look for a replacement. Taylor is a massive nose tackle who can plug up the holes and is very similar to Hampton. They also could use a big wide receiver, a defensive end, an offensive tackle, and a cornerback like Miami's Brandon Harris especially with Ike Taylor becoming a free agent and William Gay playing terribly. Harris is a big possibility as well as Texas Cornerback Aaron Williams.
32. Green Bay Packers- DT Muhammad Wilkerson, Temple
The Packers need to add some youth on the defensive line to go along with B.J. Raji. Wilkerson can play as a 3-4 end or a 4-3 tackle as he is plenty big enough at 6'4" 305.
My next mock should be up in April. Please leave your comments.