Down and Distance Round-Table Mock Draft v.1 (Two Rounds)
Welcome to the Down & Distance first two round, round-table mock draft. We will include writers from Sports-Kings and Down and Distance. The rules are simple. There are six writers who will make decisions for the team’s they represent. These decisions are based on what that particular writer believes is the best decision for that particular team.
This draft does not include any trades and is only two rounds long.
Check out the picks below:
1. Kansas City Chiefs (Brett) – Luke Joeckel – Offensive Tackle – Texas A&M
While the reports are a little conflicting on whether or not the Chiefs have traded for Alex Smith, one thing is clear, Andy Reid is looking beyond the draft for his 2013 quarterback. Reid and the Chiefs have been tied to Alex Smith and Nick Foles. As reports are coming out that Ryan Mallett is available for trade from the New England Patriots, it seems likely that Kansas City will trade for their quarterback. I know Chiefs fans have been crying about not selecting a first round quarterback since the Reagan administration but this is the smartest move for the Chiefs. Why? Because, a player such as Alex Smith, Nick Foles or Ryan Mallett offers the team a stop-gap for a year or two. As long as the Chiefs do not mortgage next year’s draft for one of the three, they can easily draft a franchise quarterback next year. If the Kansas City front office does not feel their is a franchise quarterback in this year’s draft, they can grab one next year in a draft that may feature Aaron Murray, Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater and AJ McCarron. Drafting Joeckel here offers them protection for next year’s quarterback (assuming they draft a “franchise” guy next year). It also allows them to let go of Brandon Albert and focus on signing someone like Dwayne Bowe. At 6 feet 6 inches and 306 pounds, Joeckel is an absolute beast. Joeckel was a top performer in the 3 cone drill at the combine and is able to handle himself as a pass and rush blocker. He anchored an offensive line that allowed 23 sacks last season and in the end is the safe pick for the Kansas City Chiefs.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars (Justin) – Sharrif Floyd – Defensive Tackle – Florida
There was once a time that I thought the Jaguars were a quarterback away from having a decent team. That felt like ages ago. Poor football play has the Jaguars drafting under their second head coach in as many years. I thought that the Jaguars defense was respectable under Mel Tucker going into last season. Boy, was I wrong. With his boot, and the hiring of Gus Bradley I see the Jaguars taking Floyd here. They need a dominant presence among the defensive line, and in a 4-3 defense Floyd can fit the bill here playing 3-tech. He’s jumped the boards recently and after an impressive showing at the combine he’s been elevated as one of the top players in the draft. The Jaguars make a safe pick here to start building Bradley’s defense in year one.
3. Oakland Raiders (Joe) – Star Lotulelei – Defensive Tackle – Utah
While the Raiders need help all over the defense, stopping the run has been an issue for seasons on end. Drafting Lotulelei would provide a quick start to reversing that standard for the Raiders. Heart problems prevented Lotulelei from working out at the combine, and should they prove to be a recurring issue teams could get scared. But the odds are great that Star is going to be a star one day. The Haloti Ngata comparisons are legit. This guy is a monster clogging the middle, and he certainly has the potential to develop into one of the league’s top defensive tackles with a few seasons of experience.
4. Philadelphia Eagles (Arun)- Dion Jordan- Defensive End/Outside Linebacker – Oregon
– With Philadelphia switching to a 3-4 scheme, they’re going to need edge rushers who fit the new defensive alignment. Dion Jordan is an athletic freak at 6’6″, 250 pounds and is the perfect fit at 3-4 outside linebacker. He’s an adept pass rusher, but also exceptional in coverage. Newly hired Eagles head coach Chip Kelly recruited Jordan to Oregon and saw him play there for three years; nobody knows what Jordan can do better than he. There’s a strong chance Kelly will bring Jordan into the fold as a cornerstone for their new defense.
5. Detroit Lions (Jim) – Damontre Moore – Defensive End/Outside Linebacker – Texas A&M
The Lions let Kyle Vanden Bosch go and may not retain Cliff Avril. This would leave two glaring holes on the defensive line. Detroit also needs help at safety, corner back, and wide receiver. Selecting stud prospect Damontre Moore, who garnered 12.5 sacks and 85 tackles (21 for loss) in 2012, will immediately help this Detroit defense at defensive end or outside linebacker, depending on where they decide to plug him in. Currently it looks like defensive end would be the spot rather than linebacker, however, and would provide a much needed upgrade to an underachieving defense.
6. Cleveland Browns (James) – Dee Milliner – Corner Back – Alabama
The Browns are gonna need help in the secondary with Sheldon Brown leaving, especially when they take on Torrey Smith and the Ravens. The pairing of Dee Milliner with Joe Haden could give the brown one of the top corner back duos for years to come.
7. Arizona Cardinals (Brett) – Bjoern Werner – Defensive End – Florida State
At pick seven, the Cardinals would be in an intriguing spot if the draft shakes out this way. They could have a chance to pick whichever quarterback they wanted. However, I think similar to the Chiefs, the Cardinals will trade for their quarterback and look for a franchise player next year. The Cardinals have been linked to Nick Foles and I expect them to try to go after New England’s Ryan Mallett as well. With the seventh pick, the Cardinals get lucky in another way as Florida State’s Bjoern Werner is still on the board. If the Cardinals plan to stick to the 3-4 next year, expect them to move Werner to outside linebacker and try to develop him into an effective pass rusher. Werner racked up 13 sacks, 18 tackles for a loss and 1 forced fumble last year for the Seminoles. In total, over his three years in Tallahassee, he tallied 23.5 sacks, 35 tackles for a loss and 3 forced fumbles.
8. Buffalo Bills (Justin) – Geno Smith – Quarterback – West Virginia
Let’s be real. The Bills need a quarterback here. They thought they had a decent one in Ryan Fitzpatrick, but as soon as the ink was dry on his contract extension, his minuscule talent was thrown away with the old contract papers. Over the last few years one thing has haunted the Bills, and that’s turning over the football. They need a reliable guy that takes care of the ball, can squeeze it in tight windows, and has a strong football IQ. I’ve heard several interviews with Geno Smith and he fits the bill here (Pun intended). Geno was one of the best quarterbacks in the nation last season, and I don’t think that was a fluke. He threw for 42 scores, ran for two more and only turned the ball over six times. SIX TIMES! In his collegiate career, he turned the ball over only 21 times in four seasons, compared to Fitzpatrick’s 28 last year alone. They have a solid running game and Smith will be a nice addition to this team.
9. New York Jets (Joe) – Chance Warmack – Offensive Guard – Alabama
After the Jets released Bart Scott and Calvin Pace, linebacker became far and away the team’s most pressing offseason need; I just don’t see a great fit here. That moves to the next focus of Rex Ryan, who has made it no secret that he would love to get back to his ground-and-pound offense. No offensive line prospect this year better emulates that strategy than Warmack. Despite Warmack’s lack of great athleticism, the 6’2″, 317-pound guard just has that knack for finding his way to the second level in the run game – after putting his first guy on the ground, that is. Warmack proved in the BCS National Championship game that he is ready to play with the big boys, and he should get the chance to do so from day one.
10. Tennessee Titans (Arun)- Kenny Vaccaro-Safety – Texas
This is a bit of a reach, but Tennessee’s never been afraid to challenge convention to get the player they want. Look no further than the Michael Griffin, Chris Johnson and Jake Locker picks from recent years for proof. Vaccaro also fills a dire need. Tennessee’s pass defense was an absolute abomination in 2012, and needs secondary help in the worst way- and that’s where Vaccaro comes in, giving Tennessee a solid safety tandem between him and Griffin.
11. San Diego Chargers (Jim) – Eric Fisher – Offensive Tackle – Central Michigan
Oh Lord. Where do I even begin with the Chargers. They need tackles and guards, as Philip Rivers has digressed the last couple seasons, but a good chunk of the fault lies on his abysmal offensive line. Eric Fisher is gargantuan at 6 foot 7 and 305 pounds. He’s played tackle, guard, and I haven’t seen him ranked lower than 3rd for offensive tackle prospects. He dominated the Senior Bowl. The Chargers need to get Rivers back on track now that they have a new coaching staff, and this starts with protecting him. Fisher is a no-brainer here at 11.
12. Miami Dolphins (James) – Sheldon Richardson – Defensive Tackle – Missouri
Well, Miami can go many couple different ways here, with Jake Long likely leaving they need a tackle to help protect Ryan Tannehill, but with the top 2 tackles off the board, Richardson is just to good to pass up. He led all defensive linemen in the SEC in tackles(75) with 10.5 tackles for loss, and added 4.5 sacks as well. With his size and quickness he will provide a solid pass rush up the middle. He also has the ability to drop back in zone coverage and cover TE on short routes.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Brett) – Cordarrelle Patterson – Wide Receiver – Tennessee
I am sure a lot of people are questioning why I gave the Buccaneers a wide receiver here instead of a defensive lineman or corner back. The answer is simple, Tampa Bay must look to take the best available player. With Dee Milliner, Kenny Vaccaro and the top end defensive lineman already off the board, Tampa looks to solidify their offense with one of the best players still available. The Bucs would be taking a page out of their division rival Atlanta Falcons’ playbook here by hoping to have two legitimate number one wide receivers on the team. Yes, Mike Williams improved with the addition of Vincent Jackson last year, but Patterson would make the buccaneers offense even more deadly. I am sure no defense in the NFC South would want to face Vincent Jackson, Mike Williams, Cordarrelle Patterson and Doug Martin. This is definitely one of my “shocker” picks of the NFL draft, but I believe Tampa Bay needs elite players and Patterson has the tools to become one of those players.
14. Carolina Panthers (Justin) – Xavier Rhodes – Corner Back – Florida State
If the Panthers go any route other than defense in the first round of this draft, the new General Manager should be fired on the spot. We’ve seen the Panthers explosive offense enough already to know they’re a players or two away in free agency to make the offense one of the best in the league with Cam Newton. They’ve lost many games over the last few seasons because of a horrible, terrible, absolutely atrocious defense. They need help in a lot of areas on the defense, but mostly in the secondary. They’ve had guys starting at corner back that might not make any of the other 31 rosters in this league. Rhodes is the second-best CB in this draft and his showing at the combine helped him. In a pass-happy league, a stud CB is a crucial part to building a defense, especially with a guy named Drew Brees in division.
15. New Orleans Saints (Joe) – Jarvis Jones – Outside Linebacker – Georgia
With the Saints hiring Rob Ryan as their new defensive coordinator, the team will be on the prowl for players who will be able to fit their 3-4 scheme. Despite a condition called spinal stenosis that could hinder his career, Jones is a dynamic pass rushing talent, quite possibly the best in this draft class. Defensive line and corner back are two other areas of need that the Saints could target in the first round.
16. St. Louis Rams (Arun) – Lane Johnson – Offensive Tackle – Oklahoma
St. Louis hits the jackpot here, as Lane Johnson somehow makes it all the way down to #16. The Rams have been starting castoffs like Barry Richardson and Wayne Hunter at tackle. They need a permanent, talented solution at the position so Sam Bradford doesn’t get pulverized. Johnson’s an elite athlete, and will make a great blindside protector for Bradford.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers (Jim) – Barkevious Mingo – Defensive Lineman/Outside Linebacker – LSU
Mingo had a disappointing season in 2012 at LSU, only registering 4.5 sacks. This however, shows that he is more suited to play outside rush linebacker at the next level. After his performance at the combine displayed his incredible athleticism, especially in the speed department, it’s safe to say he would fit right in with the Steelers. They’ve had success with guys who are deemed undersized and they overall just breed linebackers into their system. I strongly considered Alabama RB Eddie Lacy, but good backs can be taken later in the draft. They will need to replace James Harrison soon and Mingo looks like the athlete they need to incorporate into their 3-4 scheme. I considered Ezekiel Ansah here, but he is very raw and would possibly need a year or two to grasp the Steelers complex 3-4 zone blitz scheme and produce effectively. Mingo’s combine really made his stock rise, and his athleticism alone can get him by until he grasps the system.
18. Dallas Cowboys (James) – Jonathan Cooper – Offensive Guard – North Carolina
Dallas has can go many different ways here, but one of the biggest problems withe the Cowboys offense last year was their pass protection, mainly the guard position. Cooper also is athletic enough to move to the outside and create holes for the run game. If he can just bulk up some, Cooper can help sure up their O-line. I can also see them going after a safety or on defensive line, but the number one goal has to be protecting Tony Romo.
19. New York Giants (Brett) – Ezekiel Ansah – Defensive End – Brigham Young University
Wow the New York Giants would be extremely lucky if the draft turned out this way. Some believe Ansah is the second best defensive end in this draft. Why is this the right pick for the Giants? Because Ansah is a versatile player who can play linebacker and defensive end. New York should end up moving him to linebacker. The Giants were 22nd in the NFL in sacks last year. If they want to climb back up into the top 10 in the NFL, they need to improve their line backer corps. Prior to the re-signing of William Beatty, the Giants may have looked at Lane Johnson out of Oklahoma here. Instead, they draft a player who has been shooting up the draft boards since the Senior Bowl.
20. Chicago Bears (Justin) – Manti Te’o – Linebacker – Notre Dame
Regardless of if the Bears bring back longtime ‘backer Brian Urlacher, they’ll have a void to fill before they know it at the position. Urlacher will likely return to the team, but he’s aging and the end is near. The best teams groom young players to replace veterans and I can see the Bears doing just that with Manti Te’o. Yes, he has had some bad publicity as of late, but he’s still a heck of a ball player and should fit what they’ll be looking for moving forward. It’ll be nice for Te’o sit back and learn the game from Urlacher, who has been a solid presence in Chicago for years, as well as being able to sit back for a year or two and push some of the negative publicity back. Yes, the Bears need some help on the offensive line, but if the Quarterback of the defense is unknown for the future they won’t be getting anywhere. This helps them for years to come.
21. Cincinnati Bengals (Joe) – Alec Ogletree – Inside Linebacker – Georgia
Forget the fact that Ogletree has myriad off-the-field issues. Forget the fact that the Bengals are almost always the front-runners for any guys that fall into that category. Just look at the simple fact that Ogletree is the most talented inside linebacker in this draft, and the fact that all three of the Bengals’ top linebackers (Maualuga, Howard, Lawson) are all free agents. Although he was signed as a rookie free agent, the team did take a shot on troubled linebacker Vontaze Burfict last year, and he gave them 127 tackles. Perhaps the team doubles down and goes for the uber-athletic Ogletree, who would be a significant upgrade over Rey Maualuga.
22. St. Louis Rams [From Washington] (Arun) – Keenan Allen – Wide Receiver – California
This would be the second half of a perfect first round for the Rams. They got the offensive tackle they needed at No. 16 (Lane Johnson) and now get the #1 receiver they need for their offense with their second first-round pick. The Rams’ offense has struggled because they’re fielding pedestrian or one-dimensional receivers like Chris Givens, Danny Amendola, Brian Quick, Austin Pettis and Brandon Gibson. Givens is a good deep threat and Amendola’s a solid slot receiver, but none of those five are the No.1 type receiver St. Louis needs. Keenan Allen’s got the size, speed and talent to be a top receiver in the NFL, and should provide a big boost to the Rams’ offense.
23. Minnesota Vikings (Jim) – Tavon Austin – Wide Receiver – West Virginia
With the possibility of Percy Harvin hitting the road and Adrian Peterson currently carrying nearly the whole load on offense, the Vikings need to get Christian Ponder some real weapons if he’s ever going to develop. Jerome Simpson and Michael Jenkins simply aren’t the guys to make plays for a quarterback looking to take the next step. Austin, although small at 5 foot 9 and 176 pounds, is an electric playmaker. He had over 1,200 receiving yards and over 600 rushing yards for WVU in 2012. It’s a no lose here for Minnesota, as they could pair Austin with Harvin to form a solid receiving corps if Harvin stays, or have a #1 ready to take Harvin’s spot should he leave.
24. Indianapolis Colts (James) – D.J. Fluker – Offensive Tackle – Alabama
Now that the Colts have their franchise quarterback they need to protect him. Every time Luck dropped back to throw he had a defender in his face, Fluker is athletic enough to keep up with speed rushers of the edge. He will struggle at first but in time he could turn into a All Pro right tackle. Fluker has amazing reach with a 36 3/4″ arm length allows him to control to rusher and guide him past the QB.
25. Seattle Seahawks (Brett) – DeAndre Hopkins – Wide Receiver – Clemson
Ultimately, if we were mocking trades I believe I would have foreseen the Seahawks moving out of this spot to secure more picks later. Seattle could us a right tackle, a defensive tackle and a defensive end. However, they could also use another weapon for young quarterback Russell Wilson. Hopkins was nothing but productive during his three years in Death Valley. Last season he hauled in 1,405 yards and 18 touchdowns. For his career, he totaled 2,992 receiving yards and 27 touchdowns. Alongside Sidney Rice, Hopkins will look to transform a Seattle offense that ranked 27th in passing yards per game. Expect Seattle to look for a defensive tackle or right tackle in the next round.
26. Green Bay Packers (Justin) Eddie Lacy – Running Back – Alabama
The Packers have a tremendous offense, so seeing a pick here for an offensive player might be a bit surprising. When you look at the offense however, you may notice that somewhere in between the 782 top receivers they have, there is no running game. The Packers were in the bottom of rushing yards per game last season and they had hoped that was corrected with the signing of Cedric Benson, but an injury kept him out for the majority of the season and the running game never really got going. Lacy is a stud back that can make this one-dimensional offense more balanced and keep defenses guessing for how they’re going to attack. Aaron Rodgers is a stud as we all know, and a solid back will make him look even better. They’ll clean up a bit on defense in the later rounds defensively, but a bruising back is needed in Green Bay.
27. Houston Texans (Joe) – Kevin Minter – Inside Linebacker – LSU
After the run of top wide receivers the Texans look to their next area of focus at inside linebacker. The team doesn’t have much depth behind Brian Cushing, who will be coming back from a torn ACL in 2013. Even with Te’o and Ogletree off the board at this point, Minter is a solid pickup for the Texans at this point. Minter didn’t get much playing time at LSU as he was stuck behind now-Bills linebacker Kelvin Sheppard for a while, but Minter is a sound player in his own right. Had Minter run better than a mediocre 4.81 40-yard dash at the combine he could have put a serious dent in Te’o’s draft stock. Minter should excel as a second 3-4 inside linebacker in Houston.
28. Denver Broncos (Arun) – Sylvester Williams – Defensive Tackle – North Carolina
– Denver’s defense has a strong edge presence, but is pretty weak up the middle. They could use a stud defensive tackle to shore of the interior of their defensive line. They’ll miss out on the top prospects like Star Lotulelei, Sharrif Floyd and Sheldon Richardson, but someone like North Carolina’s Sylvester Williams would still be a pretty nice consolation prize. The 6’3″, 320 pound defensive tackle is tough to move, and even had six sacks last year for the Tar Heels- pretty impressive numbers for a big man. Williams would be a big improvement on what the Broncos currently have on the interior of their defensive line.
29. New England Patriots (Jim) – Johnthan Banks – Corner Back – Mississippi State
The Patriots have a few problem areas, most notably WR and CB. Unsure of Wes Welker’s contract situation and Brandon Lloyd’s departure leave the Pats with only two marginal receivers under contract for 2013. But with Tom Brady behind center, Rob Gronkowski, and Aaron Hernandez still in the mix, I feel the Patriots will pick up a receiver later in the draft or free agency. Their most pressing issue is the secondary. Alfonzo Dennard is headed to the pen, and Aqib Talib is testing free-agency. This group has looked inept and disappointed in big moments, especially this year’s AFC Title game loss to Baltimore. They need a true #1 CB, and Johnathan Banks is battle tested, experienced, and fast. He’s a projected first rounder and New England jumps on him here.
30. Atlanta Falcons (James) – Alex Okafor – Defensive End – Texas
The Falcons were one game away from the Superbowl and with that high powered offense they will be in the hunt again this year. But their problem is their ability to rush to passer. Standing at 6-4, 261 lbs Okafor is just what they need to help their pass rush. Okafor had 54 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss, and 12.5 sacks, including 4.5 sacks in their bowl game against Oregon State. With a solid Senior bowl he has put himself in position to be a late first round pick. Lining him up at left defensive end he could cause trouble for opposing QB’s.
31. San Francisco 49ers (Brett) – Matt Elam – Safety – University of Florida
The San Francisco 49ers have been relying on Donte Whitner long enough and it is time to look for his eventual replacement. The team could also be losing their other safety Dashon Goldson as he is a free agent this year. While the 49ers pass rush is deadly, their pass protection is not. The 49ers secondary got gashed for 287 yards in the Super Bowl. While the team ranked 4th in passing yards allowed per game, they definitely need an upgrade in the secondary. The other possibility for the 49ers here is a wide receiver, but with the 34th overall pick, I believe they can wait until then to grab a receiver or even the end of the second round. Elam is a burner and ran a 4.54 40 yard dash at the combine. The Florida safety also tallied on six interceptions and 22.0 tackles for a loss during his two years starting for the Gators.
32. Baltimore Ravens (Justin) – Jonathan Hankins – Defensive Tackle – Ohio State
The Ravens need to find a replacement for legendary linebacker Ray Lewis, but I don’t feel comfortable enough here to reach for a guy they could very well pick up in the second round. So I take a look at the next area of need, which is nose tackle. Ma’ake Kemoeatu may be on his way out, and even if he’s retained he’s an aging guy that will soon need replaced. The Ravens thought they had that figured out with Terrence Cody, and that hasn’t worked out so well. Hankins is a great talent and I have him a lot higher on my board than pick 32, but it just so happens he’s slid and if he does in April, Ozzie Newsome will be foaming at the mouth for this selection.
33. Jacksonville Jaguars (Joe) – Desmond Trufant – Corner Back – Washington
34. San Francisco 49ers [from Kansas City] (Arun) – Kawann Short- Defensive Tackle – Purdue
35. Philadelphia Eagles (Jim) – Jonathan Jenkins – Defensive Tackle – Georgia
36. Detroit Lions (James) – Eric Reid – Free Saftey – LSU
37. Cincinnati Bengals [from Oakland] (Brett) – Arthur Brown – Outside Linebacker – Kansas State
38. Arizona Cardinals (Justin) – Mike Glennon – Quarterback – North Carolina State
39. New York Jets (Joe) – Sam Montgomery – Outside Linebacker – LSU
40. Tennessee Titans (Arun) – Larry Warford – Offensive Guard – Kentucky
41. Buffalo Bills (Jim) – Justin Hunter – Wide Receiver – Tennessee
42. Miami Dolphins (James) – Menelik Watson – Offensive Tackle – Florida State
43. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Brett) – David Amerson – Corner Back – North Carolina State
44. Carolina Panthers (Justin) – Tyler Eifert – Tight End – Notre Dame
45. San Diego Chargers (Joe) – Margus Hunt – Defensive End- SMU
46. St. Louis Rams (Arun) – Jonathan Cyprien – Safety – Florida International
47. Dallas Cowboys (James) – Datone Jones – Defensive End – UCLA
48. Pittsburgh Steelers (Brett) – Terrance Williams – Wide Receiver – Baylor
49. New York Giants (Justin) – Phillip Thomas – Safety – Fresno State
50. Chicago Bears (Joe) – Kyle Long – Offensive Tackle – Oregon
51. Washington Redskins (Arun) – Ryan Swope – Wide Receiver – Texas A&M
52. Minnesota Vikings (Jim) – Jordan Poyer – Corner Back – Oregon State
53. Cincinnati Bengals (James) – Giovani Bernard – Running Back – North Carolina
54. Miami Dolphins [from Indianapolis] (Brett) – Robert Woods – Wide Receiver – USC
55. Green Bay Packers (Justin) – David Bakhtiari – Offensive Tackle – Colorado
56. Seattle Seahawks (Joe) – Justin Pugh – Offensive Tackle – Syracuse
57. Houston Texans (Arun) – Da’Rick Rogers- Wide Receiver- Tennessee Tech
58. Denver Broncos (Jim) – Logan Ryan – Corner Back – Rutgers
59. New England Patriots (James) – Robert Alford – Corner Back – Southeastern Louisiana
60. Atlanta Falcons (Brett) – Khaseem Greene – Outside Linebacker – Rutgers
61. San Francisco 49ers (Justin) – Jesse Williams – Defensive Tackle – Alabama
62. Baltimore Ravens (Joe) – Quinton Patton – Wide Receiver – Louisiana Tech