I've made a final version of R1 after reading through a lot of last minute news today. Oddly enough, 99% of what you hear from the end of the college season until yesterday is BS. Then the day of the draft some truths start slipping out. Here is my adjusted first round based on those perceived truths:
1) Carolina Panthers – Cam Newton (QB, Auburn)
No change; almost feel bad for Panther fans that Andrew Luck returned to Stanford; almost.
2) Denver Broncos – Von Miller (LB, Texas A&M)
Everyone that matters has shifted their pick from Dareus to Miller. I’m following suit.
3) Buffalo Bills – Marcell Dareus (DL, Alabama)
I think #3 is as far as he falls and still don’t see a QB at #3 for Buffalo.
4) Cincinnati Bengals – AJ Green (WR, Georgia)
5) Arizona Cardinals – Patrick Peterson (CB, LSU)
6) Cleveland Browns – Julio Jones (WR, Alabama)
Going to my #2 choice for the Browns based on buzz that they consider Robert Quinn too risky.
7) San Francisco 49ers – Blaine Gabbert (QB, Missouri)
8) Tennessee Titans – Jake Locker (QB, Washington)
They supposedly love him, and I don’t mind dropping Fairley down the board.
9) Dallas Cowboys – Tyron Smith (T, USC)
10) Washington Redskins – Robert Quinn (DE/OLB, North Carolina)
With no Jones, I think they’ll go with a pass rusher.
11) Houston Texans – Aldon Smith (DE/OLB, Missouri)
Not liking this one, but the Texans reporters feel pretty good about it.
12) Minnesota Vikings – Nick Fairley (DT, Auburn)
Locker is gone, so I’ll take a DL over a CB.
13) Detroit Lions – Da’Quan Bowers (DE, Clemson)
14) St. Louis Rams – Corey Liuget (DT, Illinois)
15) Miami Dolphins – Mike Pouncey (OL, Florida)
16) Jacksonville Jaguars – Andy Dalton (QB, TCU)
My last pick, Amukamara is still on the board, but they’re reportedly getting a passer passion. And yes, I think this is far too high for Dalton to be drafted.
17) New England Patriots – Cameron Jordan (DE, California)
Appears to be the preference over Watt.
18) San Diego Chargers – JJ Watt (DE, Wisconsin)
Watt flip flops spots with Jordan.
19) New York Giants – Prince Amukamara (CB, Nebraska)
I don’t believe Amukamara will fall further than this. If he makes it past Jacksonville, the Giants have a high need to upgrade the secondary.
20) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Ryan Kerrigan (DE, Purdue)
I believe he’s Mark Dominik’s primary target and will be a Buccaneer whether it’s at pick #13, #15, or #20.
21) Kansas City Chiefs – Gabe Carimi (T, Wisconsin)
Switching to addressing the OL instead of a NT.
22) Indianapolis Colts – Anthony Castonzo (T, Boston College)
I’m hesitant to mock Castonzo this low, but that’s how it fell out. 13, 17, and 19 are possible landing spots as well.
23) Philadelphia Eagles – Jimmy Smith (CB, Colorado)
24) New Orleans Saints – Adrian Clayborn (DE, Iowa)
With Aldon Smith off the board, I think they stay DE. If not, Muhammad Wilkerson would be my other guess.
25) Seattle Seahawks – Ryan Mallett (QB, Arkansas)
No change. I’ll probably be wrong, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to mock a 4th different passer to Seattle.
26) Baltimore Ravens – Muhammad Wilkerson (DL, Temple)
27) Atlanta Falcons – Nate Solder (T, Colorado)
With no pass rusher worth taking, I’m going back to protecting Matt Ryan.
28) New England Patriots – Danny Watkins (OL, Baylor)
29) Chicago Bears – Marvin Austin (DT, North Carolina)
This pick is gaining momentum, and it’s easier for me to mock with Carimi off the board.
30) New York Jets – Akeem Ayers (LB, UCLA)
No change. Ayers would probably be my least favorite pick for the Bucs at #20.
31) Pittsburgh Steelers – Phil Taylor (DT, Baylor)
Big dude falls to 31 where he’s drafted as Casey Hampton’s successor.
32) Green Bay Packers – Cameron Heyward (DE, Ohio State)
REMAINING BUCCANEER PICKS
My personal favorite, Justin Houston, didn’t have the greatest odds of going #20, but that failed drug test at the Combine makes it about impossible for me to continue slotting him there. Again, what I think will ultimately happen is that the Bucs emerge from tonight with Ryan Kerrigan, be it at #13, #15, or #20.
The scenarios I’m looking at:
1) If Ryan Kerrigan makes it past Houston and is on the board at #13, Mark Dominik will make a deal with the Lions to move up and draft him. I believe Kerrigan is his primary target, and if he “slips” that far, Dominik will pounce. Dominik might wait until #15 to make that phone call, but he hasn’t struck me as the type to demonstrate a ton of patience in these scenarios.
2) If Kerrigan is gone by #15 but JJ Watt and/or Cameron Jordan are available, Dominik will call Miami and move up for one of them. I’d take Watt because I think he’ll provide more of a pass rush from the LE position, but Cameron would be fine.
3) If Dominik can’t/won’t move up and picks at #20, I believe he’ll take Adrian Clayborn.
R2 – Ras-I Dowling (CB, Virginia)
Randall Cobb is still my #1 choice here, but Dowling is a close second and more likely draft choice.
R3 – Nate Irving (LB, NC State)
No change here as the Bucs get a difference making MLB.
R4 – Greg Romeus (DE, Pittsburgh)
R5 –Greg Little (WR, North Carolina)
With no Cobb in R2, I’m looking at either a RB or WR here. Write it down – Little is going to be a steal wherever he ends up. If not Little, Derrick Locke is my #1a preference.
R6 – Tyrod Taylor (QB, Virginia Tech)
R7a – Willie Smith (T, ECU)
R7b – Mark LeGree (FS, Appalachian State)
Of my previous predictions, all but the Fairley/Liuget one still hold true.
- 5 QBs will go day one – I could see 6 now.
- Leshoure goes before Ingram – Yep, still think that will happen.
- Locker goes before Amukamara – Yep, believe it even more now.
- Torrey Smith falls – I still think Green, Jones, Baldwin, and Cobb go before he does.
- Teams move up for QB – I think someone jumps to/near the top of day two for a passer; possibly Oakland for Colin Kaepernick.
- OL > WR+RB+CB – No change here
One new prediction:
Buffalo will trade into the back half of R1 tonight to draft Christian Ponder.