This is the first time we've ever done an NFL mock draft, but they're fun, and I've been thinking about doing one for awhile. I will post my picks and after the first round of the draft next week, I will publish the actual picks next to the selections that I made. If this goes well, I will do an NBA draft as well. I had originally done the entire draft, but the picks and analysis was too lengthy, so I will be breaking it up into 4 parts released on consecutive days.
1. Kansas City- Luke Joeckel (OT- Texas A&M) This pick is all but locked up, considering the Chief's other tackle is being shopped (most recently to the Dolphins for a 2nd round pick). Joeckel is the real deal and will be on the Chiefs for years to come.
2. Jacksonville- Eric Fisher (OT- Central Michigan) This isn't the sexy pick that everyone may want, BUT it WOULD give us two very good bookend tackles that would rival any tandem in the league. Don't forget, perennial Pro-Bowler, Joe Staley also came from Central Michigan. Recently the Jags GM stated that one of the two players they want will be available here, so I was thinking of identical positions. A lot of people have Dion Jordan here because of the coach's defensive background and desire to incorporate speed at every position, but the hint given earlier in the week rules this out because I don't see the Chiefs drafting Ziggy Ansah.
3. Oakland- Geno Smith (QB- West Virginia) Oakland would have to be excited if Geno Smith made it past the Jags. They have had very little to be happy about at the QB position for quite some time, and this should be the year they crawl out of re-building mode.
4. Philadelphia- Dion Jordan (DE- Oregon) This would be a surprise to some, but Chip Kelly loves speed and endurance. Jordan could play the rush linebacker position or defensive end, plus it would re-unite him with his former coach.
5. Detroit- Dee Milliner (CB- Alabama) Detroit needs to bolster its defense. Not long ago, Cleveland us the #5 pick to draft a guy named Joe Haden. While Milliner isn't the ball hawk that Haden is, he's a very instinctive corner and can tackle better.
6. Cleveland- Jarvis Jones (OLB- Georgia) Jones was a monster for the Bulldogs despite a diagnosis of spinal stenosis that ended Michael Irvin's career early. If his production is anything like it was in college, Jones would be a steal even at #6. Able to play rush linebacker and defensive end. A lot of mock drafts have the Browns trading this pick.
7. Arizona- Ezekiel Ansah (DE- BYU) I really wanted to put Bjoern Werner here, but I believe that Ansah's upside will be too much to overlook. He will need to add some muscle to his frame without losing any quickness, but his endurance from his history in soccer, makes him an every down possibility as a defensive end or rush linebacker.
8. Buffalo- E.J. Manuel (QB- Florida State) I don't like this pick, but I think it's likely that it will happen. All of the remaining QBs have too many questions regarding injury and consistency. Manuel has prototypical size, above average speed and quickness, and a quick release. He is also coming into the NFL during a time that we've seen the success of mobile spread option QBs, and everyone wants to replicate that. With all those positives about Manuel, he needs to improve his ability to make quick decisions, his work ethic, and his ability to read defenses. This is a high-risk/ high-reward pick that could pay dividends, but it will depend on the work that he puts in at the next level.