By Matt Vensel
7:00 AM EDT, March 21, 2012
After a wild first week in free agency that was punctuated with Peyton Manning signing with the Denver Broncos, we have a better idea of what needs teams will address in April’s NFL draft. So now seems like a good time for our second mock draft of the offseason. (This mock draft does not account for potential trades.)
And remember, these are called “mock” drafts for a reason. Try not to take them too seriously.
1. Colts: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford. Luck will be under tremendous pressure in replacing Peyton Manning, an all-time great.
2. Redskins: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor. It cost them dearly, but the Redskins will get their man in Griffin, a true dual-threat.
3. Vikings: Matt Kalil, OT, USC. The Vikings are going to take Kalil. Dismiss any chatter out of Minnesota that states otherwise.
4. Browns: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State. They missed out on RGIII, but they need playmakers no matter who their QB is.
5. Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU. They improved their offense in free agency. Now they turn their focus to defense.
6. Rams: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama. Blackmon would be ideal, but they won’t complain about getting this touted runner.
7. Jaguars: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame. This pick might be a stretch, but so was giving big money to Laurent Robinson.
8. Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M. After missing out on Manning, they need to do something at the QB position.
9. Panthers: Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina. The Panthers have many needs. Improving their pass rush is chief among them.
10. Bills: Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa. The Bills have been looking for a top left tackle for years. Can this nasty lineman be the guy?
11. Chiefs: Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis. The Chiefs could use this workout warrior front and center in their defensive front.
12. Seahawks: Luke Kuechly, MLB, Boston College. He would be a great fit in terms of value and need for Pete Carroll’s defense.
13. Cardinals: Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina. Arizona could go with a lineman here, but the pass rush also needs a boost.
14. Cowboys: Mark Barron, S, Alabama. They signed CB Brandon Carr and can continue to bolster their secondary with Barron.
15. Eagles: Michael Brockers, DT, LSU. They continue to beef up against the run after trading for MLB DeMeco Ryans.
16. Jets: Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama. Rex Ryan’s Jets need a consistent pass-rushing threat attacking from the edges.
17. Bengals: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama. They missed Jonathan Joseph last season and Leon Hall is coming off a major injury.
18. Chargers: Cordy Glenn, OT/G, Georgia. The Chargers could use a guard and a right tackle. Glenn can fill one of those spots.
19. Bears: Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State. They got a No. 1 receiver in the Brandon Marshall deal. Now they can focus on the line.
20. Titans: Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama. Like Jimmy Smith a year ago, those dreaded “character concerns” could drop him.
21. Bengals: David DeCastro, OG, Stanford. They could take a running back here, but the value would be better in Round 2.
22. Browns: Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois. They Browns can bookend Jabaal Sheard with Mercilus, an athletic quarterback-chaser.
23. Lions: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina. The Lions whiffed on cornerbacks in free agency, so they should draft one early.
24. Steelers: Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford. The Steelers can keep their championship window wide open with a strong draft.
25. Broncos: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor. The Broncos add another weapon for Manning, who will help Wright blossom early.
26. Texans: Nick Perry, DE, USC. After losing Mario Williams in free agency, they add another young playmaker to replace him.
27. Patriots: Andre Branch, DE, Clemson. The Patriots, in need of pass rushers, will find a way to put this versatile prospect to use.
28. Packers: Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin. The Packers, who lost Scott Wells in free agency, nab the draft’s top center before the Ravens’ pick.
29. Ravens: Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama. Smart, disciplined and instinctive, Hightower can be plugged in next to Ray Lewis right away.
30. 49ers: Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi St. The 49ers are stout against the run, but they still could use an infusion of youth up front.
31. Patriots: Jayron Hosley, CB, Virginia Tech. They had Julian Edelman playing in their nickel package in the playoffs. Enough said.
32. Giants: Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse. The younger brother of Ravens DT Arthur Jones, Chandler Jones could crack the first round.
Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun