Round 1

1) Carolina Panthers: Cameron Newton, QB, Auburn

Draftmaven,com was the first website to mock Cam Newton first overall back in November and if you have been watching draft coverage since the season ended you would have seen Newton jump from a 2nd round pick to a 1st round pick to the top overall pick in many scout's eyes. I absolutely mean to toot my own horn on this one, but Newton is still not a lock. The team's new coach Ron Rivera also is coming from a team that had Phillip Rivers, a guy that compared some to Newton in maturity coming out.

2) Denver Broncos: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama

Coach Fox loves big DT's and Dareus is a 320 monster that plays like a 290 pounder. The team has been rumored to be taking a QB in the first three rounds (I 100% hope the rumors are not true), but the team cannot throw away Tebow just yet.

3) Buffalo Bills: Von Miller, DE/LB, Texas A&M

Many reports out there will confirm that the Bill like Cam Newton, but there has been little true talk about them loving Blaine Gabbert. I personally think Gabbert should be the pick (I don't like Gabbert, but the organization needs a QB badly).

4) Cincinnati Bengals: AJ Green, WR, Georgia

Not for one second do I believe that Carson Palmer is gone. His retirement threats seem to feel less like a hate for Cincinnati but more a hate for the team doubting him. The team will 'stick with him' by passing on quarterbacks early in the draft while giving him a young weapon like Green. Sure the team could target another player but Green is arguably the best player in the draft and it might just keep Carson around.

5) Arizona Cardinals: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

I completely hate having the same top-5 as many of the ESPN/ NFLN faces, but things are starting to come together. I do believe that the Cardinals would rather have a guy like Kevin Kolb on their team, but there is no guarantee that they could get Kolb. They also aren't the type of team that wants to hand out a huge contract to a QB. So why Gabbert? The team likely will pay Gabbert off of a rookie pay scale, which will be much cheaper than the money they will have to hand over to Kolb to make happy. Also, the only other logical pick here would be to take Patrick Peterson who fills one of their top-10 needs (instead of their top need). Finally, if they don't take Gabbert here then they likely would have to hear about it twice a year when they face San Francisco.

6) Cleveland Browns: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

I looked at Mike Holmgren's draft record with Seattle and in the 11 years that he was there, he selected six offensive players in the first round, and four defensive players in the first round. Three of the four defensive players came after the 20th pick, and the one that didn't was a local talent (and the Seahawks don't mind taking local talent). Five of the first six were also offensive picks, so you can tell that Holmgren ideally likes to find an offense before he finds a defense.

I had Patrick Peterson here for the last two months because he was a good value as the best prospect in the draft even if he would fill a marginal need. But the more I think about it, the more I think that the organization may not like going top-10 CB two years in the round over taking the best WCO receiver in the draft.

7) San Francisco 49ers: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

The 49ers have a very good chance to find talent with this 7th pick. Their worst case scenario would be to get either Prince Amukamara or Robert Quinn.

8) Tennessee Titans: Robert Quinn, DE, UNC

The Titans need a big defensive tackle for their offense, but Nick Fairley is not that big. I am not a big fan of Robert Quinn, but getting a guy with his potential could do wonders for the Titans

9) Dallas Cowboys: Nick Fairley, DE/DT, Auburn

Before the Cowboys hate starts rolling in (again), I personally don't see the Cowboys going Tryon Smith here. The Cowboys do need a RT, but the chances that an owner that has never gone OT in the first round goes for a RT (even with the LT potential) in the top-10 is a little bit absurd. Nick Fairley is a DLmen that gets great penetration that would fit in fairly (pun intended) well on the Dallas DL.

10) Washington Redskins: Cameron Jordan, DE/DT, California

If I were the Redskins I would take a discount to trade back some, but given this mock draft the BPA for their needs would possibly be Cam Jordan.

11) Houston Texans: Aldon Smith, DE/LB, Missouri

Like the Browns, I have a hard time seeing any team taking a CB two years in a row. The team needs help there, but it just is unlikely. As you can see in a recent blog article of mine, one of the only logical picks would be to take Aldon Smith.

12) Minnesota Vikings: Tyron Smith, OT, USC

This would be a pretty ideal situation for the Vikings. In this scenario they would have their choice of the top OT, the second best corner, third best QB or a number of impact defensive ends. If I am in the shoes of the organization, I personally would skip out on a QB, DE, or CB here because there is quite a bit of depth throughout, but Tyron Smith is the best OT in a weak class. Assuming that he can move to LT he would allow McKinnie to shift over and Loadholt to move inside, which fixes three + positions on the team.

13) Detroit Lions: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

I have been very verbal about the Lions organization this offseason by mocking random guys like Julio Jones, Mark Ingram and Da'Quan Bowers here because if Prince Amukamara is gone then the team would have to significantly reach on CB, LB or Safety. Luckily for Lions fans (and my email inbox), Amukamara slips through this time around.

14) St. Louis Rams: Mike Pouncey, OG, Florida

Personally I wouldn't touch Pouncey with a top-30 pick. He plays one of the least valuable positions to draft, he is in a very deep OG class so you can get a slightly lessor talent in the 4th round, and I'm not sold that he's even that good of a guard. But with that said, a lot of teams really do love Pouncey, and he fills a need for the Rams here. Adding him won't have the impact that a receiver would for Sam Bradford, but Bradford wouldn't be too disappointed with the extra protection.

15) Miami Dolphins: Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas

A slight reach, but mocking for this pick goes under the assumption that the Dolphins couldn't trade back. Given their needs, and who is here they could take a luxury position and grab a lineman, reach on a RB (Ingram's potential injury concerns), or take a QB. Ryan Mallett is the most pro-ready QB in the draft, and the Dolphins have an offensive line that can protect him. The Miami media might not be good for a character like Mallett, but with a kick in the butt Mallett could be the steal of the draft here.

16) Jacksonville Jaguars: Jake Locker, QB, Washington

Gene Smith is a strange drafter. He loves to draft experience, he doesn't mind double-dipping, he goes with his BPA without projecting where the players should go, and in the past he has talked very little (if any) to his first round picks. He is talking a lot with Ryan Kerrigan right now, but looking at all of his usual tendencies I think he goes somewhere else.

17) New England Patriots (From Oak): Coret Luiget, DE/DT, Illinois

The Patriots have a ton of upgrades they need to make in this draft, and they could be looking to upgrade the DE spot with this pick.

18) San Diego Chargers: JJ Watt, DE/DT, Wisconsin

The Chargers are a strange team. They technically had the best defense last year, but they need four or five new weapons on defense.

19) New York Giants: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College

The Giants have a few key needs, and getting a good OT like Castonzo could mean wonders on the team.

20) Tampa Bay Buccaneers:  Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue

The Bucs reportedly love a few guys, but I think many believe that Kerrigan will be gone by this point.

21) Kansas City Chiefs: Brooks Reed, DE/LB, Arizona

I was never sold on Phil Taylor going to KC, and while I don't believe Taylor's foot crisis will matter I do believe the team could go another way.

22) Indianapolis Colts: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama

The Colts are not a team that drafts offensive linemen in the first round often. Despite it being a big need they just don't address it, and haven't addressed it in the first round since 1997. The team has, however, addressed the RB position three different times since 1999, and if a talent like Ingram falls to them they would be dumb not to take a look.

23) Philadelphia Eagles: Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado

Jimmy Smith is a top-10 caliber corner that compares to Nnamdi Asomugha, but he has a few character concerns that will likely make his stock fall. The Eagles might be ok with that though.

24) New Orleans Saints: Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

Da'Quan Bowers has one year of quality experience, but the jump he made from 2009 to 2010 makes many question whether he did it for the contract. That would be just fine, but after playing with a bum knee last season it has recently been revealed that his knees are made of tissue paper, which means he could take a very big fall.

25) Seattle Seahawks: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado

The Seahawks need to find a ton of line depth in this draft and a guy like Solder could add a ton of potential to the mix.

26) Baltimore Ravens: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin

I really like Carimi in this draft. He isn't a pure LT prospect, but he is a guy that could be shifted over to the left side over time if needed.

27) Atlanta Falcons: Justin Houston, DE, Georgia

The Falcons will take the best player on their board that fits a need. Houston (I believe) is a high character guy that could fit a need on the team.


28) New England Patriots: Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA

The Patriots have a ton of needs and they could really use a young rush linebacker.

29) Chicago Bears: Marvin Austin, DT, UNC

The Bears really need to find offensive line and receiver depth, but they needed to do that (and didn't) last year. Austin is a top-10 talent and could be a steal here.

30) New York Jets: Muhammad Wilkerson, DE/DT, Temple

The Jets have a few key needs, and DE/DT is one of them. Wilkerson is loved by a lot of teams, but could fall given all the talent in this draft.

31) Pittsburgh Steelers: Phil Taylor, NT, Baylor

Phil Taylor has a few questions in character, and now one with his foot, but I don't for a second think that many teams are going to drop him significantly off of their draft boards.

32) Green Bay Packers: Jabaal Sheard, DE/LB, Pittsburgh

The Pack has a lot of options to play with on this pick, but getting a valued pass rusher here could add a new dimension to the defense.



FINAL MOCK (4/27)                     HERE

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