With the NFL Draft just two days away, the Colts Authority Community mock draft (#CAmock) is nearly through two rounds. We'll hopefully make it through at least part of the 3rd round before the draft actually occurs (I'll be a little quicker to move to admin picks in an attempt to get through).
Nevertheless, it's time to unveil to the world, if you haven't been keeping up on your own, some of the results of our efforts. We've had a great turnout and execution by the vast majority of the GMs, and it's been a great experience for myself (and hopefully for you all as well). With that in mind, here are your results for the first round of the CA Mock. As always, you can find the list of all picks, explanations, and remaining prospects on the community doc.
#1- Kansas City Chiefs (@ColtsNPacers): OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M
Joeckel is the safest prospect in the whole draft with his elite pass blocking abilities. Even though Chiefs franchised LT Branden Albert, the Chiefs could still use another tackle on the other side to protect their new franchise quarterback in Alex Smith.
#2- Jacksonville Jaguars (@ryandaryk): QB Geno Smith, West Virginia
After keeping it close to the chest for several weeks the new Jacksonville front office decides to change the direction of the franchise and go QB. New GM David Caldwell understands the importance of having your franchise QB in place and certainly doesn't see that in Blaine Gabbert. It will be interesting to see what offense Geno is headed into with new OC Jedd Fisch in place. Fisch learned his offensive stylingings under Pete Carroll and Mike Shanahan, could be looking at a pistol/ wild cat system in Jax.
#3- Oakland Raiders (@todd_e_smith): DT Sharrif Floyd, Florida
We need a pass rush.
#4- Philadelphia Eagles (@DraftInsider): OLB Dion Jordan, Oregon
#5- Detroit Lions (@MinneapolisColt): OT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan
Zero chance I trust Rieff or Fox as a blindside protector. Stafford already has an injury history and is not very mobile. I'd trade a 2nd round pick for Albert+ a late rounder but Lions couldn't fit him under salary cap.
#6- Cleveland Browns (@CA_Savage): CB Dee Milliner, Alabama
Best young CB tandem in the league (with Joe Haden).
#7- Arizona Cardinals (@BigMikeOliver): OT Lane Johnson, Oklahoma
The Cardinals need OL help. Johnson represents the best player available and will strengthen the line for years to come. Ideally, Johnson will start at LT, moving Brown either to RT or inside to OG, Improving both the OT & OG position.
#8- Buffalo Bills (@TweeterlessMatt): WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia
With this mock not involving trades, I was a little stuck here. If Geno Smith falls to Buffalo at 8, I run to the podium with that pick, but since in this mock he is now off the board, I look to take the best receiver in Austin, and hopefully get one of these 3 QB's in second round (Matt Barkley, E.J. Manuel, or Ryan Nassib). The QB position still needs competition with a rookie QB to compete with Kolb, but for now, I think taking the best receiver in the draft over reaching for a QB here is the best option. I also thought of Cordarrelle Patterson as the receiver, but just too many question marks about his game.
#9- New York Jets (@Jeanslevesque): OLB Barkevious Mingo, LSU
I was hoping to pick Tavon Austin but the Bills snatched him right under my nose. With a roster that needs talent literally everywhere, Austin would also bring some excitement for a fanbase that REALLY needs it.
Since he's gone, Mingo, who's projected as an OLB in Rex Ryan's scheme, will give the Jets a much needed boost at rushing opposing QB's. Plus, Keke is one of the most awesome nicknames ever.
#10- Tennessee Titans (@BlueMark18): OG Chance Warmack, Alabama
I select Chance Warmack, G, Alabama. Titans' OL still needs to be improved to help Jake Locker develop and especially to help their running game. Titans still believe Chris Johnson is the key to start winning game again so this pick makes a lot of sense, imho.
#11- San Diego Chargers (@BrownMamba13): DT Star Lotulelei, Utah
Not only do the departures of Antonio Garay and Aubrayo Franklin make this pick extremely viable, but also the fact that Lotulelei was once projected as high as the 1st overall pick before his heart scare at the combine. His health seems to check out, and with that said, he's an absolute steal at pick 11 for the Chargers.
#12- Miami Dolphins (@PaulRaftery): CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida State
Second best CB in the draft and fills a big area of need after losing Smith and Davis last year.
#13- Tampa Bay Buccaneers* (@Logic_Please): DE Ezekiel Ansah, BYU
First we are happy that Ansah fell to us, in a division with dynamic QB's you have to have a good secondary and good pass rushers, we feel that Ansah will help answer the second issue. With injury issues and lack of production on the defensive line along with losing Bennett we fell we had a glaring hole that needed to be addressed. We also feel the CB depth in this draft is deep and plan to address that position in future rounds.
#14- Carolina Panthers (@LEEDSCOWBOY): DT Sheldon Richardson, Missouri
#15- New Orleans Saints (@christaylor167): OLB Jarvis Jones, Georgia
Has had a poor combine and pro days. However still looks really good on tape and could dominate in a strong QB division.
#16- St. Louis Rams (@MattFrancis99): S Kenny Vaccaro, Texas
Rams have no starting calibre safeties on there roster. KV is great value here and gives the rams a much needed D playmaker
#17- Pittsburgh Steelers (D. Burkhart): DT Jesse Williams, Alabama
In a real draft, with Lotulelei, Rhodes and Ansah off the board and good depth at most of their need positions, I would expect Pittsburgh to look to move down. Here, I'll bypass the risk / reward that Patterson represents (Pitt routinely nails mid-round WR picks) to take an athletic specimen my coaching staff can shape into a line-imploder who fills the NT spot for years. Planet Theory FTW.
#18- Dallas Cowboys (@matthewtbaker): OG Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina
Cowboys invested $108 million into Romo this offseason…got to protect that investment.
#19- New York Giants (@jitterymonky): DE Bjoern Werner, Florida State
Giants take Bjoern Werner DE FSU and follow their history of re-stocking pass rush after losing Osi to FA.
#20- Chicago Bears (@GoHorse88): LB Arthur Brown, Kansas State
The Bears are glad to find BPA lining up with a need. Will Brown play MLB and make Chicago forget about Brian Urlacher? Maybe, but they certainly don't want to have DJ Williams as their hope to do so. Worst case, Brown is a long-term replacement for Lance Briggs at WLB, who's closer to hanging it up than his next ProBowl. Brown also provides new DC, Mel Tucker, a lot of flexibility for a coach who has experimented with 3-4 looks as well.
#21- Cincinnati Bengals (@sheddmatt): WR Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee
The key in the NFL is the passing game. Having two dynamic WR with a great TE should give Dalton every chance to succeed.
#22- St. Louis Rams (@MattFrancis99): LB Alec Ogletree, Georgia
#23- Minnesota Vikings (@adfisher870): CB Desmond Trufant, Washington
With losing Winfield, CB was a big need, especially going against Rodgers , Stafford and Cutler each twice a year.
#24- Indianapolis Colts (@OllyDawes): DE Datone Jones, UCLA
He's incredibly versatile and we're running a hybrid defense where they'll move guys about. Jones' base position would be a 3-4 DE – he's strong enough to stop the run and can rush the passer. What more could you want from a defensive lineman? I genuinely think he'd be perfect for us. Redding's getting old, Moala's only on a 1 year deal.
#25- Minnesota Vikings (@adfisher870): LB Manti Te'o, Notre Dame
Te'o has obviously had a rough few months, from the 'bama game, to the scandal, to the combine but the guy can flat out play.
#26- Green Bay Packers (@T_Brookey): S Jonathan Cyprien, Florida International
Very happy with this pick. With Woodson gone, another heavy hitter at Safety is JUST what we need.
#27- Houston Texans (@strootster): TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame
Everyone assumes the Texans will have no choice but to address their glaring need at WR in the first round. However, with Austin already off the board and nothing close to a Megatron/Fitzgerald in this draft, the Texans don't need to reach with their first pick. Eifert is the top TE prospect, ready to play immediately, and can fill the hole left by James Casey and Joel Dreessen recently leaving. Owen Daniels, almost 31, isn't getting any younger, and the Texans need to begin replenishing their offense for a potential Super Bowl run.
#28- Denver Broncos (@DaniyalH23): DE Cornellius (Tank) Carradine, Florida State
With Denver in win-now mode, the decision between Damontre Moore and Tank Carradine was tough. Moore has amazing upside and tremendous downside, while Carradine is a very talented player with a knee injury. Carradine was the pick as he is a top-15 talent, and he is ahead of schedule on his ACL recovery. Players come back from ACLs now better than ever, so I picked him to form a good situational pass rush with Von Miller.
#29- New England Patriots (@LovinBlue): WR DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson
Starting with last year's draft, Belichick seemed to shift his strategy of overloading on "value," trading up a couple of times to grab impact players. His (likely) reason? Brady is entering the twilight of his career, and football is a NOW sport. It no longer pays to maximize average wins over the decade… they need to push over the top. And while the Pats D improved last year with the addition of Chandler Jones and a mid season addition of Aqib Talib, they lost their leading productive WR and security blanket to Mrs. Bundchen.
They also released failed experiment Brandon Lloyd and likely wont resign old boys Branch and Stallworth. Amendola is a fine addition but has difficulty staying healthy, hasn't proven he can pick up the Pats' "Greek" system (as described by Ochocinco), and will be targeted without another deep threat. This is magnified by the recent news that Gronk and Hernandez may not be available to start the season.
#30- Atlanta Falcons: TE Zach Ertz (@Jorgelfman), Stanford
Even though Atlanta's in desperate need of a CB, finding a good tight end like Zach Ertz this late in the first round is impossible to pass over. With Tony Gonzalez retiring in a few years, and multiple top-tier wideouts drawing coverage down the field, the time to mentor a new TE is now.
#31- San Fransisco 49ers(@kyler11): DL Sylvester Williams, North Carolina
Williams fits BPA style of a team with strong roster and fills a need as a rotational defensive lineman. Can learn from Justin Smith and Ray McDonald while developing. This also fills a major need where depth was needed after losing Ricky Jean-Francois and Isaac Sopoaga this offseason.
#32- Baltimore Ravens (@dantiller): OT D.J. Fluker, Alabama
Good value here, provides depth along the line but will likely start at RT and move Oher to LT.
*Picks made prior to the Revis trade involving Tampa Bay and NYJ.