By David Hollinshead, Staff Writer
[dropcap]W[/dropcap]ith the NFL draft quickly coming up, it’s time for anyone who thinks they know anything about football to post their very own mock draft. More often than not, your mock draft will be less than 50 per cent (unless of course, you’re NFL Network’s own Mike Mayock), but it is certainly fun to give it a try. Most teams determine the success of a draft by how well you draft in the first three rounds, the final four rounds are a bit of a wildcard, hoping for a diamond in the rough, or a Tom Brady in the fifth round. With that in mind, and spacing issues, only the first round will be mocked, with brief explanations.
- Indianapolis Colts select Andrew Luck, quarterback, Stanford
The Colts are starting a new era; they believe that Luck will be their saviour
- Washington Redskins select Robert Griffin III, quarterback, Baylor
Washington traded their foreseeable future to draft Griffin, let’s hope he pans out.
- Minnesota Vikings select Matt Kalil, tackle, USC
The Vikings need to keep Quarterback Christian Ponder on his feet.
- Cleveland Browns select Trent Richardson, running back, Alabama
The Browns lost running back Peyton Hillis to free agency; Richardson is an upgrade.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Morris Claiborne, cornerback, LSU
With an aging Ronde Barber, Claiborne will solidify the secondary for years.
- St. Louis Rams select Justin Blackmon, wide receiver, Oklahoma State
Young quarterback Sam Bradford finally gets an offensive weapon to throw to.
- Jacksonville Jaguars select Quinton Coples, defensive end, North Carolina
The Jaguars are terrible, and it starts with the pass rush.
- Carolina Panthers select Michael Brockers, defensive tackle, LSU
Carolina fixed its offense will electric rookie Cam Newton, now they must fix their D.
- Miami Dolphins select Ryan Tannehill, quarterback, Texas A&M
A bit of a reach, but Miami needs a solution at this position.
- Buffalo Bills select Riley Reiff, tackle, Iowa
The Bills have struggled with their offensive line for years; Reiff should shore it up.
- Kansas City Chiefs select David DeCastro, guard, Stanford.
The Chiefs have needed offensive line help for a while now.
- Seattle Seahawks select Luke Kuechly, inside linebacker, Boston College
After parting ways with David Hawthorne, the ‘Hawks get a tackling machine.
- Arizona Cardinals select Jonathan Martin, tackle, Stanford
They need to improve their quarterback play, but improve the supporting cast instead.
- Dallas Cowboys select Melvin Ingram, defensive end/linebacker, South Carolina
After Anthony Spencer’s off year, Ingram could replace him.
- Philadelphia Eagles select Fletcher Cox, defensive tackle, Mississippi State
Improvement is needed on the Eagles Defensive Line, Cox beefs it up.
- New York Jets select Michael Floyd, wide receiver, Notre Dame
The Jets have Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow at quarterback, they need all the help they can get.
- Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland) select Dre Kirkpatrick, cornerback, Alabama
A play maker on the nation’s best defence will vastly improve the Bengals defence.
- San Diego Chargers select Vinny Curry, defensive end, Marshall
The Chargers might still lose Louis Castillo; Curry is a relentless pass rusher.
- Chicago Bears select Cordy Glenn, offensive line, Ohio State
After trading for Brandon Marshall, the Bears offense just needs protection.
- Tennessee Titans select Whitney Mercilus, defensive end, Illinois
Tennessee just takes the best player available that fits a need and improves their defence.
- Cincinnati Bengals select Nick Perry, defensive end/linebacker, USC
Perry upgrades a subpar defense, with Kirkpatrick, they could be top 10.
- Cleveland Browns select Kendall Wright, wide receiver, Baylor
The Browns need more playmakers on offence, Wright made a name for himself at Baylor doing just that.
- Detroit Lions select Stephon Gilmore, cornerback, South Carolina
Janoris Jenkins may be the best corner available, but the Lions don’t need another headache to go along with Suh.
- Pittsburgh Steelers select Courtney Upshaw, linebacker, Alabama
The Steelers gain an in-the-box thumper to improve their defence for the future.
- Denver Broncos select Devon Still, defensive tackle, Penn State
The Broncos are switching to a 3–4; Still can provide a great nose tackle.
- Houston Texans select Stephen Hill, wide receiver, Georgia Tech
Andre Johnson will always draw a double team: Hill can capitalize on that.
- New England Patriots (from NO) select Mark Barron, S, Alabama
The Pats had a terrible secondary; Barron will be a starter right away.
- Green Bay Packers select Jayron Hosley, cornerback, Virginia Tech
The Packers find their heir to Charles Woodson.
- Baltimore Ravens select Dont’a Hightower, inside linebacker, Alabama
Hightower will replace Ray Lewis when he decides to retire, and provides a great option on defence.
- San Francisco 49ers select Kevin Zeitler, guard, Wisconsin
The 49ers look to improve their offence; Coach John Harbaugh will love this guy.
- New England Patriots select Andre Branch, defensive end/linebacker, Clemson
Branch is a pass rusher who will start right away in the Patriots 3–4 defence.
- New York Giants select Mike Adams, tackle, Ohio State
The Giants need to protect their treasure in Eli Manning.