“Way too early” first round mock – June 7th

Written by Aaron Aloysius on June 6, 2010


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Feeling a little bit empty inside now that the draft is over with? Sure…training camp hasn’t even started but what else are you gonna do? Aaron Aloysius takes you through the first of our “way too early” mock drafts. **Disclaimer** Though two of the writers of Draft Breakdown are from Baltimore, please note that this was written by Aaron, who is from the Cleveland area. We don’t want to come across as being biased :)


1. Buffalo Bills

Jake Locker – QB – Washington

Chan Gailey had some success with Tyler Thigpen and reportedly coveted Tim Tebow. In Jake Locker, Gailey gets a more polished, NFL-ready version of those two QBs. Locker showed tremendous progress last year, closing out the season with an impressive performance against Cal. He’ll likely have to fend off rising redshirt Sophomore Andrew Luck for the top QB spot in next year’s draft, but his combination of experience and superior athleticism should help him earn the #1 spot, especially if Buffalo has the top pick.

 

2. St. Louis Rams

A.J. Green – WR – Georgia

St. Louis could go with a defensive player here, but the prospect of giving franchise QB Sam Bradford a legit #1 WR is far too enticing. Green needs to add some bulk to his lanky frame, but he possesses an impressive combination of size (6’4"), speed, and soft hands. He consistently highpoints the ball over multiple defenders and can bail out Bradford when the franchise QB delivers the occasional inaccurate ball. With these two guys working together, the Rams could once again put on the Greatest Show on Turf.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Robert Quinn – DE – North Carolina

Tampa added two defensive tackles in this year’s draft, but they didn’t address their need at defensive end. Quinn’s speed off the edge would provide a nice complement to Gerald McCoy and Brian Price’s interior pass rush, providing the Bucs with enough talent to eventually challenge the Vikings’ for the most dominant defensive line in the league.

4. Denver Broncos

Cameron Heyward – DT – Ohio State

If the Broncos end up picking this high, Baby Hoodie’s experiment in Denver could be in serious peril. To get things back on track, McDaniels adds a dominant five-technique to his 3-4 defense. Heyward disappeared at times last year, but he should be a more consistent force in his final season with the Buckeyes. If he lives up to expectations, he’ll be a lock for the top ten, with multiple 3-4 teams (including Denver) hoping to acquire his services.   

5. Cleveland Browns

Andrew Luck – QB – Stanford

The Browns added Colt McCoy in the 3rd round, so the team’s willingness to take a QB this high could be in question. However, Luck possesses impressive intelligence and exceptional polish for a quarterback his age. If he decides to declare – Jim Harbaugh heading to the NFL could make his decision for him – the Browns could be first in line for his services.

6. Jacksonville Jaguars

Patrick Peterson – CB – LSU

The Jaguars will hope Locker or Luck falls to them, but Patrick Peterson is a nice consolation prize for a team that ranked 27th in pass defense in ’09. And with Rashean Mathis turning 30 in August, the team could use a talented young corner to pair with ’09 3rd rounder Derek Cox. 

7. Detroit Lions

Gabe Carimi – OT – Wisconsin

Carimi likely will be the best of what looks to be a rather unimpressive offensive tackle crop. He possesses intriguing size (6’8", 313 lbs.) and some nastiness as a run blocker, but he needs to do a better job of anchoring in pass pro. Make sure to watch his mid-season matchups against Purdue’s Ryan Kerrigan and Iowa’s Adrian Clayborn; if he does well against those guys, he’ll end up being a top ten pick.

8. New England Patriots (from Oakland)

Marcell Dareus – DE – Alabama

The Richard Seymour trade ends up yielding the Pats an impressive five technique prospect. Dareus is an explosive big man and should be even better in his second year starting in Nick Saban’s defense. Besides being strong enough to two gap, Dareus could provide added pass rush help to a Patriots team that hasn’t notched 40 sacks in a season since 2006.






9. Kansas City Chiefs

Michael Floyd – WR – Notre Dame

With Dwayne Bowe making headlines for all the wrong reasons, the LSU product’s days in KC could be numbered. As a result, Scott Pioli addresses the team’s need for an impact wide receiver by re-uniting Charlie Weis with one of his blue chip Notre Dame recruits. If Floyd stays healthy this year, he could easily go this high, even unseat AJ Green as the top receiver in the draft. And no one’s more keenly aware of Floyd’s ability than Weis.

10. Arizona Cardinals

Ryan Mallett – QB – Arkansas

Coach Whisenhunt hasn’t shown much confidence in Matt Leinart; if the former USC QB has a unimpressive 2010, Whiz likely will be drafting "his guy" next April. And based on his QB additions this offseason (Derek Anderson, John Skelton), Mallett fits the profile of the super strong-armed QB Whisenhunt wants running his offense. 

11. Chicago Bears

Prince Amukamara – CB – Nebraska

A physical corner who excels at jamming receivers at the line, Amukamara is a great fit for Chicago’s Tampa 2 defense. If Lovie Smith is retained, he’ll be more than happy to have the Nebraska corner become part of his defense. If not Amukamara, a dynamic receiverfor Jay Cutler could be a possibility here, but Amukamara would be a very positive addition. 

12. Carolina Panthers

Adrian Clayborn – DE – Iowa

The Panthers are banking on Everette Brown replacing the sack production Julius Peppers once provided, but the undersized pass rusher definitely could use some help. Clayborn would be a solid addition at strongside end; if he replicates his ’09 production and dispels any character concern, the Iowa defensive end could make his way into the top ten.

13. Seattle Seahawks

Julio Jones – WR – Alabama

Many believe Jones and AJ Green are in a neck-and-neck battle to be the first receiver picked in next year’s draft, but their draft stocks will diverge if Jones continues to struggle with drops. In fact, a draft slide lower than #13 is a possibility, but a team like Seattle could look past the negative past the negatives and bank on Jones turning into the dominant receiver he has the ability to become.

14. Cincinnati Bengals

DeAndre McDaniel – S – Clemson

Cincinnati could use some youth in the back end of their secondary, and McDaniel provides them a ballhawk who can also be a sledgehammer in run support. He does come with some character concerns, but that won’t scare away the only marginally character-conscious Bengals.

15. Washington Redskins

Dont’a Hightower – LB – Alabama

Hightower was beyond impressive early last season before going down with a leg injury. If he stays healthy this fall, he could end up being an early 1st round pick. His aggressive style of play would fit nicely in Alabama’s new 3-4 defense. In fact, the "thumper" LB could play both inside and outside; watch last year’s FIU game to see how well Hightower gets after the quarterback.

16. Miami Dolphins

Mark Ingram – RB – Alabama

Miami’s dominant running game could be in for a face-lift: Ricky Williams is nearing retirement and Ronnie Brown is a free agent after this season. In comes Mark Ingram, the Heisman Award winner who already has plenty of experience working out of the Wildcat. Ingram can be the complete package for the Dolphins: a power-runner who can also help out quarterback Chad Henne by being an effective receiver out of the backfield. 

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Aaron Aloysius

Aaron began closely following the draft in 2005. Since then, he’s overcome an Al Davis-like obsession with workout numbers, instead focusing on the qualities and traits visible on prospects’ tape. See all posts by Aaron Aloysius.