Ryan Lownes’ Latest Mock Draft

Written by Ryan Lownes on September 15, 2011


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1. Indianapolis Colts 

 

Andrew Luck – QB – Stanford*

 

It will get ugly this year in Indy without Peyton Manning under center. The Colts, in a position of luxury, have the opportunity to insure their star and groom his eventual replacement. Luck is a remarkably cerebral quarterback who could benefit from learning under an all-time great at the position.

2. Seattle Seahawks 

 

Landy Jones – QB – Oklahoma*

 

Expect the Seahawks’ passing offense to falter in 2011 with Tavaris Jackson at the helm behind a battered offensive line. Seattle needs an upgrade at the quarterback position and it may be too tempting to pass here. Landry Jones has all the physical tools and is poised for a huge year, but he must be more consistent to warrant this high selection.

3. Carolina Panthers 

 

Quinton Coples – DE – North Carolina

 

With the offense showing some life in Carolina, the front office may choose to target the defensive line if faced with another high pick. Greg Hardy has shown ability at left end, but Coples would be a significant upgrade against the run. The current Tarheel possesses great size and has shown power at the point of attack.

4. Minnesota Vikings

 

Matt Kalil – OT – USC*

 

It is likely to become very apparent over the course of the year that the Vikings have a hole at left tackle. Addressing the line will be a priority for Minnesota, having drafted a quarterback twelfth overall in April and signed their star running back to an extension worth $100 million. Kalil has shown the potential to be a franchise left tackle prospect and would be the next step for the team.

5. Tennessee Titans 

 

Luke Kuechly – ILB – Boston College*

 

Though it is rare for a linebacker to warrant a top five pick, Luke Kuechly has proven to be a tackling machine for the Golden Eagles. In only two games this season Kuechly has accumulated 35 stops. He possesses remarkable instincts and seems to have all the physical tools necessary to be a high level starter at the next level.

6. Denver Broncos 

 

Matt Barkley – QB – USC*

 

The Tim Tebow experiment has not gone as planned in Denver. Kyle Orton has reclaimed the starting spot, but it is unlikely he is a part of the team’s long-term plans. Southern Cal’s Barkley has displayed poise, arm strength, and accuracy, but he must prove himself against top competition.

7. San Francisco 49ers 

 

Dre Kirkpatrick – CB – Alabama*

 

Though Jim Harbaugh would love a chance to coach Andrew Luck in the NFL, the 49ers recently used a second round pick on Colin Kaepernick. To compete in the NFC West, San Francisco must first upgrade their secondary. Dre Kirkpatrick possesses elite level size and athleticism. His presence gives the Niners a potential lockdown corner.

8. Jacksonville Jaguars 

 

Alshon Jeffery – WR – South Carolina*

 

The Jaguars’ front office would likely be doing cartwheels if Alshon Jeffery fell to them at this spot. Blaine Gabbert will need a go-to-guy and Jacksonville certainly lands one here. A Brandon Marshall clone, Jeffery uses his size to dominate defensive backs.

9.  Washington Redskins 

 

Vontaze Burfict – ILB – Arizona State*

 

Missing out on the draft’s top quarterbacks again has to sting in Washington, but there remain holes to fill on the defensive side. Maturity is a real concern, but Vontaze Burfict is a tremendous talent. Burfict is not an especially sure tackler, but he is a devastating hitter with excellent pass-rush ability.

10. Cleveland Browns 

 

Justin Blackmon – WR – Oklahoma State*

 

As the Browns attempt to build a formidable west coast offense, they must find Colt McCoy a downfield threat at receiver. Though gaudy numbers alone do not make him an elite prospect, Blackmon’s game is similar to that of Hakeem Nicks or Anquan Boldin. This move gives Cleveland a legitimate #1 option on the outside.

11. Cincinnati Bengals 

 

Trent Richardson – RB – Alabama*

 

The offensive overhaul in Cincinnati continues with the selection of a running back here. Jay Gruden has emphasized the need for a strong, smashmouth running game in the AFC North. Richardson is an ideal fit with a rare combination of power, balance, and speed in the open field.

12. Miami Dolphins 

 

Brandon Jenkins – OLB – Florida State*

 

If the Dolphins fail to make progress this season, Tony Sparano may wind up on the hot seat. Koa Misi, the team’s second year outside linebacker, must establish himself as an effective pass rusher if he is to guarantee his starting spot for 2012. Brandon Jenkins is an extremely explosive and productive edge rusher with tremendous upside standing up at linebacker.
 

13. New York Giants 

 

Jonathan Martin – OT – Stanford*

 

It remains to be seen whether turnover on the offensive line or injuries on defense will hurt the Giants more this season. With more lethal pass-rushers being added to the NFC East in recent years, New York would be wise to restock in the trenches. Jonathan Martin is a very good left tackle prospect that has proven to be equally effective as a run and pass blocker.

14. Oakland Raiders 

 

Stephon Gilmore – CB – South Carolina*

 

With Nnamdi Asomugha’s departure, Oakland has been left with a gaping void at cornerback. An excellent athlete with terrific size and toughness may be exactly what Al Davis is looking for at the position. Stephon Gilmore appears to fit the bill here for the Raiders. With all the physical tools necessary to be a great one, Gilmore could be the next shutdown corner in Oakland.

15. Arizona Cardinals 

 

Donte Paige-Moss – OLB – North Carolina*

 

Get used to Arizona allowing opponents gaudy statistics on offense. From top to bottom, their defensive unit is inexperienced and thin. While relatively unproven, Donte Paige-Moss has flashed elite pass rushing potential at North Carolina. Paige-Moss, a college defensive end, has an ideal combination of length and explosiveness for the move to outside linebacker.

16. Buffalo Bills 

 

Robert Griffin – QB – Baylor*

 

With Ryan Fitzpatrick playing so well under Chan Gailey, I may be jumping the gun a bit on this one. Buffalo has struggled at the quarterback position over the years; it may be time to invest in a young signal-caller. Robert Griffin is an electrifying talent, complete with a rocket arm and track speed. He is not just an athlete, however, as he has displayed remarkable poise, toughness, and accuracy under center.

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Ryan Lownes

Ryan is currently an undergraduate student at Ohio University pursuing a degree in Sport Management. He has been attending the NFL Draft in New York City since 2005 and has aspirations of a career in scouting. He is currently a draft writer and analyst on the Draft Breakdown team, posting his latest rankings, mock drafts, scouting reports, and more. Be sure to follow Ryan on twitter for year-round NFL Draft analysis. See all posts by Ryan Lownes.