Ken Vetrano’s Final Week Mock Draft: First Round


17. Baltimore Ravens: Jernigan, Timmy DT, Florida State

Ideally the Ravens would want one of the upper echelon offensive tackles to fall to them at seventeen, but with the top of that position already locked up, Baltimore turns their sights to the defensive line. If Donald makes it past Dallas at #16, expect Ozzie Newsome to grab him here. However, in the likely scenario Donald is gone, Baltimore will settle for the next best DT prospect in Jernigan. A diluted sample that appeared after submitting to a combine drug test might deter Baltimore from taking him at #17, but ultimately his talent may end up winning them over. Much like Donald, Jernigan’s game is comprised of power and uncanny athleticism. The Ravens might question his schematic fit inside a 3-4, but with an early run on tackle, they may feel its best not reach at #17. I would also not be surprised if Baltimore decided to trade out of this pick, whether it’s towards the back end of round one, or into the top fifteen.


18. New York Jets: Dennard, Darqueze CB, Michigan State

A lot of people expect the Jets to take a receiver here, but with such a deep pool of receiver talent in this year’s draft, that position can be taken care of in round two or later. After losing Antonio Cromartie and Darrelle Revis over the last two years, Rex Ryan’s secondary has become a far cry of what it once was. Rookie Dee Milliner had an up and down season last year, and the addition of Dimitri Patterson leaves a lot left to be desired by Jets fans. Dennard is an aggressive CB who has the ability to lock onto a receiver and impede routes. He also has good ball skills, and exceptional range. I could also see New York trading back, and potentially filling their need at CB with either Jason Verrett or possibly Bradley Roby.


19. Miami Dolphins: Barr, Anthony OLB, UCLA

Miami will want to continue shoring up their offensive line heading into the draft, but at this stage in the first round most of the premier tackles have been selected, and there’s no reason to reach for a guard this early. Barr may be a raw talent with only two years of experience at the position, but he has massive upside. Dion Jordan had such a disappointing rookie year, that trade rumors have begun to emerge surrounding the former Oregon Duck. Barr’s size and length give him the ability to potentially drop back in coverage, and take on bigger receiving TE’s. He offers good value at #19, and could become an effective pass rushing compliment to Cameron Wake.


20. Arizona Cardinals: Beckham, Odell WR, LSU

Andre Roberts leaving via free agency opens things up at the slot position for Arizona. Beckham gives them a speedy presence inside that can work underneath as well as take the top off a defense. With Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd commanding the outside, Beckham will find plenty of room to operate with inside the offense.


21. Green Bay Packers: Amaro, Jace TE, Texas Tech

Aaron Rodgers needs a reliable option at TE, and Amaro offers that and more. Amaro set the single season record for receiving yards by a TE in division one football, and a lot of that had to do with his ability to tack on yards after the catch. In many ways Amaro is like an oversized slot receiver, who makes his bones running short routes. But has flashed the ability to run up the seam and make a big catch. If Jermichael Finely is able to avoid injury, Amaro gives Green Bay a dangerous duo at the position. Amaro’s large frame offers up a sizable target for Rodgers in the end zone. And with James Jones leaving for Oakland, Green Bay will be looking for more red zone help come the fall.


22. Philadelphia Eagles: Cooks, Brandin WR, Oregon State

After DeSean Jackson’s release from the team, Philly will be in the market for a fast wide out. Cooks fills that need and then some. He has the wheels to separate from any defender, and excellent vision that allows him to track down balls. Like Jackson, Cooks can turn a short curl route into a 70 yard touchdown. The 2013 Biletnikoff award winner will be a terrific fit for Chip Kelly’s high octane offense.


23. Kansas City Chiefs: Mosley, C.J. ILB, Alabama

This would be quite the fall for Mosley, but if he makes it past the Steelers at #15, I could see him dropping into the twenties. Some teams waiting in the wings at the end of the first round (Denver) have been rumored to have interest in Mosley. If he falls this far expect teams to give Kansas City a call regarding the pick. However, even though this isn’t necessarily a position of need for the Chiefs, he’s the best available prospect on the board. Ironically, the Chiefs used a 4th round pick in last year’s draft at the same position, and from the same program in Nico Johnson. Along with free agent signing Joe Mays, Kansas City will have injected itself with immediate competition, and depth at inside linebacker next to Derrick Johnson. Other options at this spot could be Marqise Lee or Kelvin Benjamin. But once again, with such a deep field of receivers this year, some teams may want to wait until after round one to invest in wide outs.


24. Cincinnati Bengals: Ealy, Kony DE, Missouri

After losing out to Tampa Bay in free agency for Michael Johnson’s services, Ealy represents a good solution at DE. He has the desired length and size for a 5-technique in a 4-3, but can line up inside as well. The Bengals still have a formidable front as constituted, so Ealy will have time to further his development at the next level. Along with NFL sophomore Margus Hunt, Cincinnati should have some healthy pass rush competition come training camp.


25. San Diego Chargers: Hageman, Ra’Shede DT, Minnesota

The Chargers need help on their defensive line, particularly at the 3-technique. Hageman has the type of frame you want from a 3-4 defensive tackle. Physically he shares many similarities to Richard Seymour, and potentially could fill that role in San Diego’s defense. However, he’s a long way from cultivating the sort of presence Seymour has at the line of scrimmage. If they don’t decide to go with Hageman here, expect Louis Nix III as a possible alternative.


26. Cleveland Browns: Bortles, Blake QB, Central Florida

The Browns decided to go defense with their first pick, and now turn their attention to offense. Bortles has risen up on many boards this off season due to his prototypical QB frame, and work outs. I’m not sure he’s as polished as some would lead you to believe, but there’s still a good foundation to work with. Cleveland still has high hopes for Brian Hoyer who was having a good season until a torn ACL cut it short. Derek Carr could also be in the fold for the Brows at #26, but regardless of which passer they choose, I believe the position will be addressed before round two.


27. New Orleans Saints: Hyde, Carlos RB, Ohio State

This prediction is kind of hypocritical for me, because I’m traditionally a firm believer in not drafting a RB before the second round. Especially for a team who whiffed on a RB a few years earlier when they selected Mark Ingram in round one. But there’s just no denying Hyde’s height, weight and speed. He’s an absolute monster coming out of the back field, and utilizes lateral movement rarely seen by someone that size. Hyde has the unique combination of power and finesse. He can churn his legs and barrel through defenders for a first down, or simply make linebackers miss at the second level. Drew Brees would surely welcome a powerful back who can dictate the pace of 4th quarters.


28. Carolina Panthers: Lee, Marqise WR, USC

This is no surprise. The Panthers are in dire need of wide out help after the off season they just had, which saw both Brandon LaFell and Steve Smith exit Charlotte. Lee is a complete receiver with an exceptional ability to obtain yards after the catch. He can run every route on the tree, and separate down field from defensive backs. A lack luster junior campaign inevitably hurt his draft stock, but Lee’s performance last year was hardly all his fault. Overall USC’s offense was a disappointment, and Lee’s numbers were a product of that.


29. New England Patriots: Benjamin, Kelvin WR, Florida State

The Pats will look to trade out of this position, most likely down so they can take advantage of the talent left over from round one. Defensive line is a need, as well as TE, but both those positions can be more than adequately addressed in rounds two and three. Stephon Tuitt, Dee Ford, Dominique Easley and many other defensive linemen should be waiting for them in the next round. Austin Seferian-Jenkins may still be on the board at TE, as well as Troy Niklas and CJ Fiedorowicz. So both those areas have plenty more to offer the deeper the draft goes, but the chance to land a mammoth like Benjamin is just too tempting to pass up. I had the pleasure of watching Benjamin in person this season when Florida State visited Chesnut Hill.

He’s a physically imposing player who looks more like a defensive end than receiver. Very raw, not as polished as other wide outs in the first round, but took advantage of his size better than almost anyone in college football. Knows how to box out defenders and catch the ball at its highest point. Has a long stride that makes him deceptively fast for his size, and gets down field to compete for position. A lot of Patriots fans are probably wondering why they should take a receiver so early, especially after investing two high picks in the position last year. The reason for picking Benjamin is simple, he’s a red zone juggernaut.

Forget labels and positions for a second, the Patriots biggest issue on offense was producing in the red area whenever Rob Gronkowski went down. They have no problem moving the sticks between the twenties, but Brady’s options become limited after that. Benjamin might not be the savviest route runner, but all McDaniels will have to ask of him during his first year is to run fades outside and seams down the middle. Those two routes alone will make him extremely valuable to New England’s offense.

I still believe the Patriots should take a traditional “Y” TE later in the draft considering Gronkowski’s inability to stay healthy. But that alone won’t cure their red zone deficiencies. Not to mention had Benjamin returned to college and caught passes from Jameis Winston for another season, he probably would have been a top ten pick in 2015.


30. San Francisco 49ers: Su’a-Filo, Xavier OG, UCLA

I’m sure the 49ers would love a chance at Benjamin, but with New England selecting him the pick before, they turn their focus to the offensive line. Su’a-Filo is a tough, durable player, and much like Logan Mankins did coming out of Fresno State, he plays to the echo of the whistle. Su’a-Filo will stabilize the inside of San Francisco’s offensive line for the foreseeable future.


31. Denver Broncos: Bitonio, Joel OG, Nevada

Denver has been talked about as a team that may potentially want to move up this year. C.J. Mosley could be their target if he falls out of the teens, but if they stick with this pick, Bitonio is a practical decision. Denver needs more depth and quality depth at that if they hope to continue keeping Peyton Manning upright.


32. Seattle Seahawks: Latimer, Cody WR, Indiana University

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Seattle either trade up for an outside receiver (Maybe Kelvin Benjamin) or trade into the next day. But if they stay at #32, Latimer would be an interesting choice. He’s been climbing drafts boards throughout the offseason due to his physical prowess and measurables. Latimer has the skill set to be a dynamic number one receiver in today’s NFL, and could give the Seahawk’s the red zone threat they’ve been looking for.

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28 Responses to “Ken Vetrano’s Final Week Mock Draft: First Round”

  1. Matt says:

    Did someone forget to tell Ken the last time the Pats took a WR in the first was back in 96.

  2. Bill Vermont says:

    This has been a very interesting season with all the possibilities. The Patriots have a 12 win team that made it to the final 4, but they really need to get better.

    They need a TE who can block and play “twin towers” when Gronk comes back.
    They need a pass rush to complement this new found “elite” secondary.
    they need more speed in backfield and a player who can come in if Vereen goes down.
    They need a QB to develop and maybe repalce Brady in 3-4 years

    1) J Attaochu DE/OLB
    2) CJ Fiedorowicz TE
    3) Logan Thomas QB
    4) David Yankey OG/OT
    4c) Khyri Thornton DT
    6a) Laderius perkins RB
    6B) Ben Gardner DE
    7) Lonnie Ballantine SS

    I’m sure there’s better drafts outr there, and pats will undoubtedly drop down and pick up anther pick or 2, but these are guys I really like. Attaochu is probably not much of a reach at #29. Lots of upside potential. CJF is a reach, but I can’t get him at 93 and the talent drops off alot after him. Niklas is really raw. Logan has very interesting upside and we take him in 3rd. Lots of higher rated QB’s go earlier.

    • steve earle says:

      You have some good names mocked here Bill but I have to question Attaochu with the 1st.
      Guy is a sub package player. !st pick I’ve always believed must be a 3 down capable guy which he isn’t imo. Besides this would be an unnecessary reach for him if you must have him.

  3. Ken W says:

    My Ideal draft would be as follows:

    1. Jace Amaro (TE)
    2. Kareem Martin (DE)
    3. Adrian Hubbard (OLB)
    4. Travis Swanson (C/G)
    4. Preston Brown (ILB)
    6. Antone Exum (CB/S)
    6. Trey Burton (TE)
    7. Trey Millard (FB)

    Heres to the Pats having a good draft.

  4. steve earle says:

    One day to go and like others I’m sticking with my last mock of 4/25. Just thought I refresh memories. I believe Bill trades down the 1st for a 2nd and 3rd this year and possibly another late rd’er next year. Also expect him to move about the draft as usual but no way to predict that so I’ll stick with what I had. I try to go with where value meets need.

    1 trade down for mid / high 2nd.
    2a Austin Seferon-Jenkins TE, Most likely and best fit of he, Niklas and Mairo
    2b DaQuan Jones DT Value to high to pass on
    3a Travis Swanson OC Likely still available at position after Richberg already taken
    3b Christian Jones LB Athletic ILB/OLB/ DE
    4a Ahmad Dixon SS, Likely still on board after Loston already taken.
    4 comp. Jerick McKinnon RB
    ( if BB gets a 5th I’d look for Marquis Flowers LB or Justin Britt OT here.
    6a Spencer Long OG High rated but had injury so slides.
    6b AC Leonard TE Red flag but at 6′ 2″ 250+ runs sub 4.5/40 & at low 6th what the heck?
    7. Colt Lyerla TE another red flag/ what the heck, prospect

    I believe this would be as strong a draft yield as could be had and that the prospects will be taken at or close to where I’ve mocked them. Had a great time this pre mock season. Thanks to all of you. Keeping fingers crossed until it’s over or fingers cramp, whichever comes first.

    • AM says:

      I’d be pretty thrilled with this draft, except for Lyerla. Among all the other legal, off-the-field, and personality issues, he’s also said some disturbing things about the Sandy Hook shooting. Hard to believe that Bob Kraft would okay bringing that guy to New England.

      • steve earle says:

        I confess I don’t believe Lyerla will ever be a Pat. Only mocked him is because of athletic football ability which no other name anywhere near that place in the draft comes even close to. A couple or 3 who might be around and taken by BB : Larry Webster DE, Franklin Qustch RB, Deshavor Everette CB.
        Really though if BB picks even two on my list I’d consider it a success. Been doing this since 1966/67 and that’s about what I’ve come to expect though many of those I’ve mocked have had great NFL success. Oh well just hope Bill makes the most of this draft. Goooo Pat’s!!!!!!!!!

  5. Todd Flair says:

    There is no way in the world the Packers take Amaro in the first round. He is NOT a first round pick and has been sliding on every board but this one. Their GM has never taken a TE early, and they have far too many actual needs on defense to waste a #1 on a 2-3 round talent. Their offense is one of the best in the NFL w/o a stud TE. Their defense is one of the worst in the NFL and needs help at SS-ILB-OLB.

  6. Troianosaurus says:

    Kenny V spits hot fire in this draft!

    • Troianosaurus says:

      But seriously you draft is hella lame and I’m an expert from behind a keyboard so trust me.

  7. Bill Spalding says:

    I don’t like the benjamin pick at all. I’m not convinced he has enough (or any) dedication to be a patriot WR. You can get Coleman later and get the same size. Benjamins only claim to fame is he palyed on a big stage.

    • steve earle says:

      Agree with Bill on this. This draft is deep in WR but short in TE. DE, and SS all positions of need where WR is not.

  8. Chris says:

    Trade 1st (29) for 2nd, 3rd and 6th round pick.

    Round 2 Niklas TE, Buchanon S
    Round 3 D. Jones DT, Tardiff OT/OG
    Round 4 Pierre Louis OLB, Gayle DE
    Round 6 Ikard OC, Janis WR, Gaffney RB
    Round 7 Lyerla TE

    G. Hoskins, Lobata UDFA …

  9. Tim D says:

    With the amount of time it appears to take to get a WR acclimated to the offense(proven veteran WRs, nevermind rookie WRs), if they even get acclimated at all, I do not like the Benjamin pick in the 1st round. As you said he’s already a raw prospect and add in his red flags and that’s more than enough for me. If his initial contribution is going to be a redzone target, that is something that can be had later in the draft with someone like Brandon Coleman or something that could be accomplished while drafting the need for a TE either early with one of the big names or later with someone like Gillmore. Benjamin’s potential is exciting to think about, but not a wise first round pick for the pats IMO. I agree that SF or Sea would love to have him. Being Anquan Boldin’s understudy might be exactly what he needs to reach his potential.

  10. Russell says:

    Don’t like Benjamin, feel better about Jeff Janis in the (4th) 6’3″ 218lbs runs a 4.36 40yd. No-way the rams take Manziel, and Baltimore needs Oline help. Bortles goes earlier, I have him to Jacksonville. I Like the Patriots to take;
    QB A.J. McCarron
    LB/SS Telvin smith
    TE Arthur Lynch
    RB Tyler Gaffney
    WR Jeff Janis
    LB Avery Williamson
    CB Aaron Colvin
    DT Zac Kerr

    • acm says:

      it seems LB Telvin Smith is one of several players (LB Cristian Jones, DT Jernigan, etc) whose blood tests at the combine had questionable results i.e. you could say they failed those tests for one reason or another (don’t know details).
      This may well be related to Jernigan’s decision to not attend the draft despite being among the invited players.

    • steve earle says:

      Like what I read about Janis WR. You may have found a gem among all the stones there Russell. I’ll keep an eye out for him in the next couple days. Though we disagree on our mocks let me say thanks for all your ideas, observations and inputs. You and acm, AC Maine Man, Nuf ced and everyone makes this the best draft site anywhere.
      GO PAT”S !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. jim r says:

    On board with Benji for the reasons you said. Makes a lot of sense.

  12. AM says:

    I don’t particularly agree with or like the Benjamin pick (which means it probably is right on target), but on the whole this looks like one of the more plausible mocks I’ve seen of late.

    For my money, an ideal Patriots draft (without trades) would run like this:

    Round 1 – Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE (probably 10-15 spots early, but not really worried)
    Round 2 – Scott Crichton, DE
    Round 3 – Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB
    Round 4 – Caraun Reid, DT; AJ McCarron, QB
    Round 6 – Michael Sam, DE; John Urschel, OG
    Round 7 – Alden Darby, S

    Ideally, it would be nice to pick up an extra pick or two in the middle rounds to address RB and/or ILB. Of course, I’d also jettison all of these plans if Aaron Donald somehow miraculously dropped into the 20s–do what it takes to go get him.

    I’m also in the distinct minority of Patriots fans who thinks that if Teddy Bridgewater does precipitously fall to #29, he’s worth the pick. The team has few holes with eight picks in a deep draft; unless a king’s ransom in trades is available, snap up the franchise-level QB, knowing that there’s plenty of other talent to be had. (And there’s the added fringe benefit of knowing that the backup QB spot is set even with Mallett’s inevitable departure next year.)

    • acm says:

      I have serious doubts Attaochu, Reid and AJM are still on the board where you have them. Only Reid has some sort of chance falling there, imo, and even that would be a long shot.

      wouldn’t absolutely hate ASJ at 29 but there are way too many questions about him for me to love the pick. Would like to believe there would be better value still available at that point of the draft. ASJ is now just too rich for that spot.

      • acm says:

        oops, meant to say the 29th pick is too rich for ASJ.

      • AM says:

        I’d be significantly surprised if Reid was a top-100 pick, and I expect he’ll still be on the board at 130. McCarron seems to be undergoing a last-minute ascension, but I’m not sure I buy all the hype of him being a 2nd rounder, especially if other QBs get pushed down. Attaochu seems to be all over the place, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up being an early 2nd rounder at the end of the day; still, I think there’s a chance he slips into the 90s.

        As to ASJ, I agree that 29 is a little rich for him, as I mentioned above, but he is a definite goner by 62 (probably by 42). There may be more horizontal value in another player, but the vertical stack of quality TEs in this draft is tiny–I think ASJ is head and shoulders above any other “Y” tight end in this draft, and I’d probably opt for him over even Ebron if given the choice. Given the slim pickings there and the slimmer pickings in free agency, I don’t mind a relatively shallow reach if it nets a great player (which I think he will be) at a position of (relative) need. That being said, if they can drop ten spots and pick up a 3rd Round pick, they should certainly go for it.

        • acm says:

          that’s where we disagree on ASJ – I don’t see him as a player whom the Pats should prioritize and spending a 29th pick on him, implies exactly that. I think they’d be better off getting a better value player at 29 and seeing how the board falls for their 62nd pick – if ASJ is there, for which I think there is a pretty decent chance right about now, then take him; if not, not too big a deal, other TEs will likely be there or within “shouting” distance of that pick. Just too many red flags for me and I am not sure I’d call ASJ a Y-TE, tbh.

  13. Nuf Ced says:

    I don’t like the Benjamin pick, he is just waaaaay to raw. If that is what is available at this point give me either of the lineman you have next selected

    • AM says:

      Agreed, on both counts.

    • acm says:

      me too and Su’a Filo and Bitonio aren’t the only players available I can see the Pats pick over KB at 29. no way in a WR class this deep, not to mention the quite a few red flags sticking out of him.

  14. Kevin says:

    The big boy Kelvin Benjamin would satisfy me very much at #29. As you said, Benjamin would probably be top 10ish if he stayed another year with Jameis. That’s what you call a serious value pick. I’ve got a feeling he could be one of the guys we look back on and say, “how in the world did he drop so far!!??!”

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