NEPD Staff Writer: Tony Santorsa
Let’s take a look at my very first NFL mock draft here at NEPatriotsDraft.com – I’ll only be mocking the first round, as I’m a Patriots-beat writer throughout the season, so I’m currently transitioning into the NFL draft season.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Many mock drafts might have Geno Smith going first overall to the Kansas City Chiefs, but I’m not buying it. With Andy Reid now at the helm in KC, we’ll likely see him continuing his trend of drafting players in the trenches in the first round.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
Former Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley will likely go on the defensive side of the ball with the second overall pick as he’ll hope to turn around the NFL’s third-worst defense from a year ago.
3. Oakland Raiders: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
In all honesty, I really don’t see Carson Palmer spending yet another season as the Oakland Raiders quarterback—it’s time to move on. With that being said, the Raiders will look for the best quarterback in this year’s draft: Geno Smith. Granted, this selection might be a bit of a reach, but Smith should fill the void of quarterback of the future in Oakland.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
Utah’s Star Lotuleli fits exactly what the Philadelphia Eagles need: Help along the defensive line. Lotuleli can play just about any position on the defensive line and should be a first-year impact kind of player.
5. Detroit Lions: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
With the Detroit Lions likely losing defensive end Cliff Avril via free agency, it would be a wise decision to draft this year’s top defensive end prospect in Bjoern Werner out of Florida State.
6. Cleveland Browns: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU
Just about any player would be an ideal fit for the Cleveland Browns at this point. With that being said, I just see the Browns taking whomever the best available might be at this point of the draft.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
I don’t care what round you project Tyler Wilson going in—but all I know is that the Cardinals need a quarterback. If you don’t have a quarterback, then you can’t win too many football games in the NFL.
8. Buffalo Bills: Matt Barkley, QB, USC
Much like the Arizona Cardinals, the Buffalo Bills need to draft a quarterback. The Bills certainly overpaid for Ryan Fitzpatrick a year ago, but they doesn’t mean they need to settle with him as their starter. The Bills need a young quarterback for the future and Matt Barkley is that guy.
9. New York Jets: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
Well if Geno Smith or any of the top three quarterbacks were available, I’d definitely have the Jets selecting one of them as Mark Sanchez is just complete garbage With that being said, the Jets could also use help at defensive end—in fact, some might consider Damontre Moore a total steal at this point of the draft.
10. Tennessee Titans: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
It might be hard to believe, but drafting an offensive guard in the top 10 of the NFL draft is almost unheard of nowadays—but Chance Warmack out of Alabama is the best available that fits Tennessee’s needs.
11. San Diego Chargers: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Before the San Diego Chargers do anything, they need to address their offensive line. Philip Rivers cannot keep getting hit like the way he did last season. The Chargers will likely pick the best available offensive line at this point of the draft.
12. Miami Dolphins: Keenan Allen, WR, California
Ryan Tannehill needs someone to throw to—a legitimate NFL-caliber wide receiver. With that being said, the Miami Dolphins will likely settle with this year’s top wide receiver prospect in Keenan Allen out of California.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Dee Milliner is the ultimate cornerback prospect. Milliner is listed as 6’1″ and weights roughly 200 lbs. and has all the skills and athleticism to be a first-year impact cornerback with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
14. Carolina Panthers: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
Time and time again the Carolina Panthers are searching for an improvement on their interior part of their defensive line. Sheldon Richardson has the potential to be a stud and could be a cornerstone in Carolina’s defense for many years to come.
15. New Orleans Saints: Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon
Dion Jordan should be listed higher on people’s draft boards, but since he tore his labrum at the end of the season, he’s fallen back a few spots. With that being said, the New Orleans Saints desperately need help in their pass-rush and Jordan most definitely fills that void.
16. St. Louis Rams: Kenny Vaccaro, FS, Texas
Jeff Fisher and the St. Louis Rams need to continue building their young defense. After a stellar draft a year ago, the Rams will likely look to address their secondary by drafting safety Kenny Vaccaro out of Texas.