By now I’m sure we’re all sick of looking at mock drafts and we’re ready for the real thing. But just for good measure, with the start of the draft only a few hours away, here’s one more:
1. Kansas City – Luke Joeckel, OT. Andy Reid is too smart to make a mistake here. They have a quarterback in place for a year or two, and now they need to give him some protection. Joeckel is the safe choice, but he’s the right choice.
2. Jacksonville – Geno Smith, QB. That didn’t take long. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and the Jags desperation at quarterback leads to them jumping all over Smith.
3. Oakland – Eric Fisher, OT. The Raiders will make a good choice here, which is rather out of character for them. They can address their defense later in the draft, for now they need to protect Matt Flynn.
4. Philadelphia – Dion Jordan, OLB. Chip Kelly puts his offensive mind on the shelf for a second and takes the top edge rusher available.
5. Detroit – Ezekiel Ansah, DE. With Joeckel and Fisher off the board, the Lions can’t address the o-line and instead go after some pass rushing help on the d-line.
6. Cleveland – Dee Milliner, CB. With Milliner still on the board at the 6 spot, this is a no brainer for the Browns, who are desperate for a cornerback.
7. Arizona – Lane Johnson, OT. The Cards are thankful that the Lions passed on Johnson; otherwise, they would have traded out of this spot.
8. Buffalo – Ryan Nassib, QB. The Bills would be wise to wait until the 2nd round to take Nassib or at least trade down in the 1st round before taking him, but paranoia sets in and they end up taking the quarterback they want 8th overall.
9. New York Jets – Jonathan Cooper, G. The Jets are wise to pass on Barkevious Mingo, a bust waiting to happen, and attempt to sure up their o-line with Cooper.
10. Tennessee – Xavier Rhodes, CB. The Titans need some secondary help more than anything else, and so they take the physical and athletic Rhodes, who has worked his way up to a top-10 pick.
11. San Diego – D.J. Fluker, OT. Fluker could be a slight stretch at this stage in the draft, but they have a lot of needs to address, and the offensive line is towards the top of the list.
12. Miami – Sharrif Floyd, DT. The Dolphins can’t seem to find any offensive line or cornerback help at this stage, and so they take the biggest difference maker along the line of scrimmage that’s still available, and that player is undoubtedly Floyd.
13. New York Jets – Jarvis Jones, OLB. The Jets got this pick because they traded away Darrelle Revis, and they’ll use it on a top pass rusher that can help make up for the loss of Revis in their secondary.
14. Carolina – Star Lotulelei, DT. The Panthers need to give their defense a boost, especially at the line of scrimmage, and at this point in the draft it’s tough to pass on a chance to take Lotulelei.
15. New Orleans – Barkevious Mingo, OLB. The Saints are a little lucky to see Mingo fall this far, and since they need a pass rusher it’s an easy pick to make, especially since it’ll keep the former LSU star close to home.
16. St. Louis – Tavon Austin, WR. Just about everybody is projecting Austin to the Rams, so it’d be silly to bet against the room. Cordarrelle Patterson may be a better choice, but Austin appears to be the guy that St. Louis covets
17. Pittsburgh – Bjoern Werner, DE. The Steelers would like a pass rusher to play opposite Lamar Woodley, and Werner gives them a player that can help make up for the absence of James Harrison.
18. Dallas – Chance Warmack, OG. The Cowboys need to add at least a couple guys on the offensive line. They draft too low to pick up a top offensive tackle, but grabbing Warmack is a good start to improving their o-line.
19. New York Giants – Desmont Trufant, CB. The Giants have some pass rushers in place, but if they don’t have a bounce back year the secondary will be left out to dry again next year. That’s why Trufont is their best bet here.
20. Chicago – Alec Ogletree, ILB. Middle linebacker is the Bear’s biggest need. Manti Te’o is also an option, but he’s got enough on his plate without being the guy that follows Brian Urlacher, so Ogletree is a better pick for them, despite some character issues that caused his stock to drop.
21. Cincinnati – Matt Elam, SS. The Bengals need a lot of help in their secondary, and Elam is the best they’ll be able to do at this stage in the draft to address one of their biggest needs.
22. St. Louis – Kenny Vaccaro, FS. Vaccaro was a near miss a few times prior to this pick, and so the Rams are lucky he was still available, as he allows them to address their two biggest needs in the first round.
23. Minnesota – Cordarrelle Patterson, WR. The Vikings need a way to replace Percy Harvin, and Patterson is the best way to do it. He has just one year of major college experience, but he could be an early impact wide out.
24. Indianapolis – Datone Jones, DE. They let Dwight Freeney go, so the Colts need someone that can rush the edge, and Jones will be the best pass rusher available at this point.
25. Minnesota – Manti Te’o, ILB. Minnesota will be looking for the best player available, and because of his off-field scandal Te’o will fall right into their lap at 25. The Vikings need a linebacker anyway, so this pick makes a lot of sense.
26. Green Bay – Sheldon Richardson, DT. Green Bay is tempted to take Eddie Lacy, but they ultimately decide against it and pick Richardson, who they hope can challenge B.J. Raji for playing time.
27. Houston – Menelik Watson, OT. The Texans want a wide receiver, but there won’t be a huge gap in talent between who they can draft here and who they can draft in round two. As a result, they decide to bolster their offensive line, which they’ll be less able to do later in the draft.
28. Denver – Johnathan Hankins, DT. The Broncos finally do what they should have done the past two years: draft a defensive tackle in the first round. Denver needs some muscle up front, and Hankins should be able to give that to them.
29. New England – Eric Reid, FS. The back end of New England’s secondary has been an issue for too long, and with Reid available late in the first round, he’s the perfect solution.
30. Atlanta – Johnthan Banks, CB. The Falcons will almost certainly be looking to draft a cornerback here and Banks is going to be the best available to them.
31. San Francisco – Jonathan Cyprien, SS. The 49ers have so many picks that they could easily move up if they wanted to, but there’s really no need, as Cyprien will fall to them at the end of the first round and fill their biggest need, which is at safety.
32. Baltimore – DeAndre Hopkins, WR. The Super Bowl champs will do their quarterback a favor and give him a wide receiver to replace Anquan Boldin at the bottom of the first round.