My last and more ambitious attempt at predicting tomorrow night’s draft.
1. Carolina: Marcel Dareus, DT, Alabama
You know what I really don’t like about Cam Newton, more than anything else? 14 career starts. College games started is a quite strong predictor of QB success in the NFL, before those of you less into statgeekry dismiss this, the best explanation for the predictive power of that stat I’ve seen has everything to do with the people breaking down tape rather than looking at the stats. The more tape scouts have to look at for a prospect the better they can evaluate them. Of the 7 QBs being considered in the early rounds, only Newton has less than 28 starts. Newton is a massive gamble, and the stakes are too high with the #1 pick.
2. Denver: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
Denver needs to add defensive talent and Peterson is the best defender still on the board. If Dareus isn’t the top pick he could be taken over Peterson as DT is a more pressing need and Dareus is at the very least close in value to Peterson.
3. Buffalo: Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M
Is Ryan Fitpatrick the caliber of QB you want starting for you, no, but a defense that can’t pressure the other QB is a massive obstacle to respectability that they can do much more to address in this spot.
4. Cincinnati: AJ Green, WR, Georgia
The Bengals have some promising complementary targets, but they need a better top guy after a year of Owens and Ochocinco failing to live up to their big names.
5. Arizona: Robert Quinn, LB, North Carolina
The Cards OLBs are old and weren’t especially productive last year. There are more question marks than you’d like on Quinn, but he’s a top 5 talent.
6. Cleveland: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
Like Cincy Cleveland has some useful pieces, but nothing #1 quality.
7. San Francisco: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
Yeah, I don’t like this QB class. Amukamara will be a big help in bringing the Niners pass offense up to match it’s excellent run D.
8. Tennessee: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
Too much talent and production to fall much further, but drafting a player with only 1 year of production early is a big gamble.
9. Dallas: Cameron Jordan, DE, California
Dallas didn’t get much from their DEs and Jordan is ideal for a 3-4.
10. Washington: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
Any prospect that responds to “give me a play you ran at (your college) with a blank stare is not someone I want to gamble millions on, but someone will and Washington is a real candidate to.
11: Houston: JJ Watt, DE, Wisconsin
Tough spot for the Texans without a good way to address their main needs, but Watt would be a strong contributor in the Texans new front.
12: Minnesota: Da’Quan Bowers, Clemson
I can buy some slippage, but I’ve seen nothing that justifies the guy going from being discussed for the #1 overall pick to falling to the late 1st.
TRADE: #13 to SD for #18 and #82
13. San Diego: Muhammad Wilkerson, DE, Temple
In recent drafts the Chargers have made a big move to get a prospect they like and have used an early pick on a small school guy. Why not do both at the same time?
14. St. Louis: Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois
The Rams have 3 very nice pieces on the DL and a black hole at the 3-tech. Liuget rounds out the unit, which should be fantastic next year.
15. Miami: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
Why is a guy that has worse stats in the same offense as a guy that went undrafted a 1st round pick? I don’t know, but he will be.
16. Jacksonville: Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri
Kerrigan is a safer choice, but the Jags need to go out on more of a limb to really fix a terrible pass rush.
17. New England: Tyron Smith, OT, USC
I know potential is a word that tightens pants in the NFL this time of year, but at the end of the season everyone said there isn’t a top 10 caliber OT in this class. I don’t think that’s changed.
18. Detriot: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue
Kerrigan reminds me a lot of the guy he’d be replacing here, Kyle Vanden Bosch. Not freak athletes, but productive through hard work and intensity.
19. NY Giants: Mike Pouncey, G/C, Florida
No one seems to think Pouncey is a better prospect than his brother, but he’s commonly mocked as a higher selection than Maurkice was last year (#18 overall). The Giants are old on the OL and have better options in-house at tackle than on the interior.
20. Tampa Bay: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
The Bucs need a pass rusher and Clayborn is undoubtedly the best left who passed his combine drug test.
21. Kansas City: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
Right Tackle was a major hole for the Chiefs and Branden Albert still has his doubters. Carimi can step in at a tackle spot and shore up a line that collapsed at the end of the season.
22. Indianapolis: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
Castonzo lacks some bulk and strength but is an excellent pass blocker. Better protection on the edges and a healthy group of targets will turn the Colts O back into a force to be reckoned with rather than the jerry-rigged mess they managed to ride into the playoffs last year.
23. Philadelphia: Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
A great fit for the Eagles scheme and needs, Smith will excel manning up on WRs as the blitz turns up the heat on the QB.
24. New Orleans: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
There aren’t many single workhorse backs in the league anymore, but you at least have to have a strong 1a guy. Chris Ivory, Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush aren’t it.
25. Seattle: Cameron Heyward, DE/DT, Ohio State
Heyward fits well as a 5-tech or a 3 in a Seahawks D that could use some more young talent up front.
26. Baltimore: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
At 6’4″ Michael Oher is absolutely tiny compared to the Ravens recent history at LT with both Ogden and Gaither measuring in at over 6’8″. Oher and Yanda performed much better at their previous positions. Solder could prompt a series of moves that’d leave the Ravens with a phenomenal line.
27. Atlanta: Derek Sherrod, OT, Miss St.
Back to back picks kicking a former first round pick over to RT? Maybe, or Sherrod could replace the Free Agent Claybo. If there isn’t a edge rusher here and the Falcons aren’t in love with any of the 2nd tier receivers upgrading the line would be worthwhile.
TRADE #28 to CIN for #35 and #101
28. Cinncinati: Jake Locker, QB, Washington
Maybe adding Green will convince Palmer to stick around a while, Locker is definitely going to need some bench time before he starts so maybe it’ll all work out.
29. Chicago: Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State
(Insert sadface Cutler here). Paea can be a force inside and while he isn’t the penetrator to replace Tommy Harris, there are tons of great options for that later in this draft.
30. New York Jets: Martez Wilson, LB, Illinois
A versatile LB like Wilson would excite Rex Ryan more than a…. never mind. I’m not going there… for a number of reasons.
TRADE: #31 and #128 to JAC for #49, #80 and #114
31. Jacksonville: Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State
Mediocracy is one of the most hated traits possible in a starting quarterback. Garrard is building some serious ill-will.
32. Green Bay: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami
The Packers have a excellent pair of corners, but Charles Woodson will be 35 soon and at a position that physically demanding he can’t have too much left at a high level.
33. New England: Stefen Wisniewski, C/G, Penn State
34. Buffalo: Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame
TRADE: #35 and #159 to TEN for #39 and #109
35. Tennessee: Colin Kaepernick, QB, Nevada
36. Denver: Marvin Austin, DT, North Carolina
37. Cleveland: Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA
38. Arizona: Marcus Cannon, T/G, TCU
Yeah, I know he’s not going here now that he’s undergoing chemo, but bear with me. Re-working 4 rounds of picks is a pain.
39. New England: Brooks Reed, OLB, Arizona
40. Dallas: Ben Ijalana, T/G, Villanova
41. Washington: Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh
42. Houston: Rahim Moore, S, UCLA
43. Minnesota: Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas
44. Detroit: Mason Foster, OLB, Washington
45. San Francisco: Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia
46. Denver: Luke Stocker, TE, Tennessee
47. St Louis: Mikel LeShoure, RB, Illinois
48. Oakland: Orlando Franklin, T/G, Miami
49. Pittsburgh: Phil Taylor, NT, Baylor
50. San Diego: Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami
51. Tampa Bay: Rodney Hudson, C/G, Florida State
52. NY Giants: Bruce Carter, LB, North Carolina
53. Indianapolis: Danny Watkins, G, Baylor
Watkins is getting mocked as high as 21 to KC, but a soon to be 27 year old who is likely moving to guard as a pro and has only been playing football for 4 years is going to last a while, even if he is likely to be a starting caliber guard day 1.
54. Philadelphia: DeAndre McDaniel, S, Clemson
55. Kansas City: Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland
56. New Orleans: Sam Acho, DE, Texas
57. Seattle: James Carpenter, T/G, Alabama
58. Baltimore: Randall Cobb, WR, Kentucky
59. Atlanta: Jabaal Sheard, DE, Pittsburgh
TRADE: #60 to ARI for #69 and #136
60. Arizona: Andy Dalton, QB, TCU
61. San Diego: Aaron Williams, CB/FS, Texas
62. Chicago: Drake Nevis, DT, LSU
63. Pittsburgh: Marcus Gilbert, OT, Florida
64. Green Bay: Christian Ballard, DE, Iowa
65. Carolina: Titus Young, WR, Boise State
66. Cincinnati: Jarvis Jenkins, DT, Clemson
67. Denver: Alan Bailey, DE/DT, Miami
68. Buffalo: Kelvin Sheppard, LB, LSU
69. New England: Quinton Carter, S, Oklahoma
70. Cleveland: Jurrell Casey, DT, USC
71. Dallas: Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia
72. New Orleans: Greg Jones, LB, Michigan State
73. Houston: Chris Carter, OLB, Fresno State
74. New England: DeMarco Murray, RB, Oklahoma
75. Detroit: Davon House, CB, New Mexico State
76. San Francisco: Jerrell Powe, NT, Mississippi
77. Tennessee: Quan Sturdivant, LB, North Carolina
78. St. Louis: Jerrel Jernigan, WR, Troy
79. Miami: Jason Pinkston, T/G, Pittsburgh
80. Pittsburgh: Will Rackley, G, Lehigh
81. Oakland: Brandon Fusco, C, Slippery Rock
82. Detroit: Ryan Williams, RB, Virginia Tech
83. NY Giants: DJ Williams, TE, Arkansas
84. Tampa Bay: Nate Irving, LB, North Carolina State
85. Philadelphia: James Brewer, OT, Indiana
86. Kansas City: KJ Wright, OLB, Mississippi State
87. Indianapolis: Tyler Sash, SS, Iowa
The best Iowa safety since Sanders, Sash isn’t the freak athlete Bob was, but has much better size and was far more durable. Sash supports the run well and has a fantastic knack for being in the right position for a big play in coverage.
88. New Orleans: Lance Kendricks, TE, Wisconsin
89. San Diego: Kendrick Ellis, NT, Hampton
90. Baltimore: Marcus Gilchrist, CB/FS, Clemson
91. Atlanta: Greg Romeus, DE, Pittsburgh
92. New England: Lawrence Guy, DE, Arizona State
93. Chicago: Greg Little, WR, North Carolina
94. NY Jets: Jeremy Kerley, WR, TCU
95. Pittsburgh: Brandon Burton, CB, Utah
TRADE: #96 and #169 to BUF for #100 and #197
96. Buffalo: Ricky Stanzi, QB, Iowa
97. Carolina: Johnny Patrick, CB, Louisville
98. Carolina: Terrell McClain, DT, South Florida
99. Seattle: Tandon Doss, WR, Indiana
100. Green Bay: Colin McCarthy, ILB, Miami
TRADE: #101 and #136 to WAS for a 2012 2nd and 5th
101. Washington: Taiwan Jones, RB, Eastern Washington
102. Cleveland: Mark Herzlich, LB, Boston College
103. Arizona: Vincent Brown, San Diego State
104. Philadelphia: Casey Matthews, LB, Oregon
105. Houston: Robert Sands, S, West Virginia
106. Minnesota: Joseph Barksdale, OT, LSU
107. Detroit: Chykie Brown, CB, Texas
108. San Francisco: Jaiquawn Jarrett, S, Temple
109. New England: Chris Hairston, OT, Clemson
110. Dallas: Deunta Williams, S, North Carolina
111. Miami: Jordan Toddman, RB, UConn
112. St Louis: John Moffitt, C/G, Wisconsin
113. Oakland: DeMarcus Van Dyke, CB, Miami
114. Pittsburgh: Jalil Brown, CB, Colorado
115. San Francisco: Cedric Thornton, DE, Southern Arkansas
116. Tampa Bay: Rickey Elmore, DE, Arizona
117. NY Giants: Jah Reid, OT, Central Florida
118. Kansas City: Delone Carter, RB, Syracuse
119. Indianapolis: Sione Fua, DT, Stanford
Fua isn’t a penetrator, but he can push the pocket, make credible pursuit and he’s extremely tough to move. Just what the Colts need added to the interior on early downs.
120. Philadelphia: Clint Boling, G, Georgia
121. Jacksonville: Chemdi Chekwa, CB/FS, Ohio State
122. Buffalo: Lee Ziemba, OT, Auburn
123. Baltimore: Pernell McPhee, DE, Mississippi State
124. Atlanta: Lawrence Wilson, OLB, UConn
TRADE: #125 to CIN for a 2012 3rd
125. Cincinnati: Shane Vereen, RB, California
126. NY Jets: DeMarcus Love, T/G, Arkansas
127. Chicago: Jake Kirkpatrick, C TCU
128. Jacksonville: Ahmad Black, S, Florida
129. Green Bay: Roy Helu, RB, Nebraska
130. Tennessee: Kris O’Dowd, C, USC
131. Green Bay: Austin Pettis, WR, Boise State
132. Carolina: Virgil Green, TE, Nevada
133. Buffalo: Niles Paul, WR, Nebraska
134. Cincinnati: Pierre Allen, DE, Nebraska
135. Kansas City: Jeremy Beal, OLB, Oklahoma
136. Washington: Derek Hall, OT, Stanford
137. Cleveland: Curtis Marsh, CB, Utah State
138. Houston: Kendric Burney, CB, Kentucky
139: Minnesota: Chris Rucker, CB/FS, Michigan State
140. Kansas City: Tim Barnes, C/G, Missouri
141. San Francisco: Ronald Johnson, WR, USC
142. Tennessee: Jerron Johnson, S, Boise State
143. Dallas: Edmund Gates, WR, Abilene Christian
144. Washington: Brandon Hogan, CB, West Virginia
145. St. Louis: Shiloh Keo, S, Idaho
146. Miami: Jordan Cameron, TE, USC
147. Jacksonville: Greg Salas, WR, Hawaii
148. Oakland: Thomas Keiser, DE, Stanford
149. Philadelphia: Bilal Powell, RB, Louisville
150. Minnesota: Joe Lefeged, S, Rutgers
151. Tampa Bay: Julius Thomas, TE, Portland State
152. Indianapolis: Charles Clay, H-Back, Tulsa
An extremely productive pass catcher, Clay has experience blocking from the RB, TE and FB spots in addition to being an effective runner. There are several roles already used in the Colts offense that Clay could contribute in.
153. Philadelphia: Rashad Carmichael, CB, Virginia Tech
154. Detroit: Jeff Maehl, WR, Oregon
155. Washington: Mike Mohamed, ILB, California
156. Seattle: Pat Devlin, QB, Delaware
157. Seattle: Andrew Jackson, G, Fresno State
158. Atlanta: Terrence Toliver, WR, LSU
159. Tennessee: Ugo Chinasa, DE, Oklahoma State
160. Chicago: Ross Homan, OLB, Ohio State
161. NY Jets: Owen Marecic, FB, Stanford
162. Pittsburgh: Chris White, ILB, Mississippi State
163. Green Bay: Justin Boren, G, Ohio State
164. Baltimore: Brandon Bair, DE, Oregon
165. Baltimore: Mario Harvey, ILB, Marshall