If it weren’t official before last week, it is now. Luck will be suiting up for the Colts from day one with some pretty hefty expectations to carry. The Colts top priority will be surrounding Luck with some weapons at key spots, most notably tight end.
2. Washington Redskins – Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
The Redskins traded up with the assumption that they could land RGIII at No. 2. This pick is official as we will get to see the dynamic Baylor QB in the Nation’s Capital in 2012. Griffin has a host of weapons to play with including newly inked WR Pierre Garcon. Garcon isn’t a true No. 1 but is one of the top vertical threats in the game. It just so happens that Griffin throws the prettiest deep ball in this draft.
3. Minnesota Vikings – Matt Kalil, OT, USC
Rick Spielman has officially killed my 100% certainty that Kalil will be a Viking. He appears dead set on trading down and has even warped my mind with thoughts of Morris Claiborne to the Vikes. I have mocked Kalil to the Vikes since the draft order became official and it’s too late to look back now. I fully expect the Vikings to use all the allotted time to make this selection as we will all be sitting on the edge of our seats.
4. Cleveland Browns – Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
I can officially say that I’m 100% certain that Trent Richardson is this pick unless the Browns get “wowed” by a trade offer. I don’t expect that to happen, so I’m feeling good about this one. TR is the exception to the rule when it comes to early picks on RB’s and has a very bright future. Colt McCoy should be jumping up and down in his living room with this selection…at least until the Browns are on the clock at 37.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
His former DB coach is in Tampa, Aqib Talib is on the trading block, and he’s the last of the sure things. Those factors make me feel pretty comfortable that Claiborne will be the name on TB’s card. This one shouldn’t take much time to turn in.
6. St. Louis Rams – Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi St.
Justin Blackmon makes a ton of sense here but I don’t see him being the pick here. Jeff Fisher has a history of taking DT’s high and it continues in his first season in St. Louis. Cox is a dynamic 3T that immediately upgrades the middle of the STL defensive line.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars – Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma St.
Everyone assumes Gene Smith will be Gene Smith and Melvin Ingram will be the pick. My calls this week would suggest differently with one saying Jacksonville will take Blackmon if he makes it to them.
8. Miami Dolphins – Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
This could be the pick that screws up everything that almost everyone will have as a certainty. Tannehill makes a ton of sense here which makes me think he won’t be the pick. I’m sticking with it…for now. There’s just a sense of uncomfortability around this pick.
9. Carolina Panthers – Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
I have received a lot of hate mail on this pick but I think I chalk up three points if Gilmore is on the board and Cox is gone. Gilmore is a physical corner that could make a great tandem with Chris Gamble. The Panthers have a bunch of nickel CB’s on the roster outside of Gamble which makes this pick feel so right.
10. Buffalo Bills – Mark Barron, SS, Alabama
Michael Floyd or Riley Reiff. Yeah, that would be logical but I think the Bills look to add to that defense. Barron teamed with Jarius Byrd would be a special tandem. George Wilson is solid but not special. The Bills have to compete with New England and NYJ which may dictate this pick. Barron’s ascent up draft boards is no fluke as I would put him in the Earl Thomas category, who was selected 14th overall in 2010.
11. Kansas City Chiefs – David DeCastro, G, Stanford
I’m 50/50 on this pick so it’s subject to change before my Huddle Report mock is submitted on Wednesday night. I think this pick comes down to Luke Kuechly and DeCastro with Dontari Poe as a long shot. I gave the edge to DeCastro because I think he’s a sure thing at a position of need. Kuechly is a sure thing at a position of lesser need.
12. Seattle Seahawks – Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina
Ingram may be a man without a true position or just a versatile prospect. Either way, Pete Carroll finds a place for Ingram and he excels in a very good, young defense.
13. Arizona Cardinals – Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
Let’s face it…I’m not a Reiff fan but he makes too much sense here to pass. I will put my personal feelings aside for this pick as I think need drives this one to an extent.
I like Dontari Poe here but Brockers offers a lot of intrigue in Rob Ryan’s system. He has the skills to be an effective pass rusher at the 5T and immediately makes the Cowboys more stout against the run.
15. Philadelphia Eagles – Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
I think this one is a steal if it plays out this way. The talk as of late has Poe sliding into the second round. I can’t see that one even being a remote possibility and he won’t make it out of the top 15. I get all the talk about the lack of production but guys like Poe don’t come around often making it worth the risk.
16. New York Jets – Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
They need a pass rusher but Floyd is too good to pass on at this point in the draft. With the uncertainty of the WR position in New York and Floyd sliding, I think this one happens. As one emailer pointed out on Saturday (incorrectly) the Jets will shy away from another diva receiver. By all accounts, Floyd is anything but a diva.
17. Cincinnati Bengals – Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College
Chalk this one up if he falls to 17. Kuechly offers the versatility to play inside or on the strong side, making him a slam dunk for the Bengals if he’s on the board.