“Way too early” Mock Draft 3.0

Written by Will Spencer on September 24, 2010


Another week of football is in the books, so our “way too early” mock draft series is becoming less and less “early.” Will Spencer takes you through our latest first round mock that holds some surprising picks.

1. Buffalo Bills

Andrew Luck – QB – Stanford*

This Bills have been lost at the quarterback position since the days of Jim Kelly. Since then, the team has had nothing but trouble finding the center piece to their offense. The Bills decided to go with Trent Edwards this season and he’s already been replaced by Ryan Fitzpatrick under center. The time has come for Buffalo to bring in the best available signal caller and Luck looks to be just that at this point.

2. Cleveland Browns

Jake Locker – QB – Washington

The Browns may be starting the 2011 NFL season with a new head coach and don’t be surprised to see major changes on the roster. One of the most common things for a new head coach to do is bring in "their guy" at the quarterback position. This year, the Browns failed to seriously address the quarterback position and Colt McCoy isn’t looking like a realistic solution to the problem. Locker has the physical build and strong arm to play in the AFC North and might wind up being "the guy" for the Browns.

3. Carolina Panthers

Robert Quinn – DE – North Carolina*

The Panthers drafted Everette Brown to be a dominate pass rusher opposite Julius Peppers. With Peppers gone, Brown hasn’t looked like he’s stepping up any time soon. Even though Carolina also added the under-achieving Greg Hardy in this year’s draft, they still aren’t getting a proper pass rush. Quinn is hands-down the best pass rusher in the draft and if the Panthers have the chance to get him, they shouldn’t hesitate.

4. St. Louis Rams

AJ Green – WR – Georgia*

Surprisingly, the Rams offense has had a little bit of explosion this season. Even though Mark Clayton seems to have a nice chemistry with Sam Bradford, they’ll need to add a serious deep threat to the offense to fully take the heat off of Steven Jackson and the running game. AJ Green provides a vertical threat that the Rams haven’t had since the days of The Greatest Show on Turf and should be an easy selection to make. St. Louis could also look to add a play maker to the front seven of their defense if Green isn’t available here.

5. New England Patriots (from Oakland)

Marcell Dareus – DE – Alabama*

The Patriots defense has a few young and talented players but they’re in need of youth along the defensive line. Dareus is one of the few draft prospects that already plays in a 3-4 defense, so the transition for him will be minimal. New England needs to add another defensive lineman that can help keep blockers off Mayo if they expect him to make plays and stay healthy.

6. Arizona Cardinals

Patrick Peterson – CB – LSU*

I wouldn’t be shocked at all if the Cardinals decided to take a serious look at Ryan Mallett at this spot. It’s not looking like Derek Anderson is going to be a realistic long term solution at the quarterback position. In this scenario, rather than reaching for Mallett, the Cards decide to sure up their defense by grabbing possibly the best corner in the draft. Peterson is the complete package and playing opposite Rogers-Cromartie will make the Cards passing defense that much better.

7. Detroit Lions

Prince Amukamara – CB – Nebraska

Detroit is showing a lot of promise on both sides of the ball, but the glaring weak spot for the team is in their secondary. The Lions have an up and coming play maker in Louis Delmas at safety, but he can’t do it all on his own. Amukamara might be the perfect fit for the Lions. He’s big, physical, and his ball skills are second to none. Perhaps the best aspect of Amukamara’s game is his willingness to come up in run support, which further helps the young Lions defense.

8. Kansas City Chiefs

Michael Floyd – WR – Notre Dame*

Kansas City has been coming to play in the first two weeks of the season and they’ve shown a lot of progress on the defensive side of the ball. However, their passing game seems to lack any kind of spark and Dwayne Bowe just isn’t reaching his potential. Floyd has a nice in with the Chiefs offense in offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, which could give him an edge over other receivers in the draft.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars

Ryan Mallett – QB – Arkansas*

The time has come for the Jaguars to make a move at the quarterback spot. While Mallett might be a bit of a reach here, the Jaguars can’t afford to avoid addressing the quarterback position any longer. Just when Garrard looks like he’s getting into a flow with the team, he takes several steps backwards. The Jaguars offense just can’t get by any more with just Maurice Jones-Drew and they need to have a legit passing attack. The only way to do that is by making a change at QB.

10. Tennessee Titans

Bruce Carter – OLB – North Carolina

The Titans are in a unique spot here. In the last two drafts, they’ve added a wide receiver and a defensive end in the first round. However, they have a few holes throughout their roster, mainly along the offensive line, their linebacking corp and their secondary. The Titans could look to grab a quality cornerback here but Carter is a nice fit for their 4-3 defense. Carter has a little trouble shedding blocks and isn’t as physical as you’d like, but he’s fast and covers a tremendous amount of ground, which helps when you have to play the Texans and Colts each twice a year.

11. New York Giants

Mark Ingram – RB – Alabama*

The crash you just heard wasn’t the sound of Brandon Jacobs helmet being thrown into the stands. It’s the sound of the Giants running game coming to a complete halt. New York needs to get a rushing game going if they ever want Eli to be as successful as he can be and there’s no better way to do it than by grabbing the best running back in the draft.

12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Adrian Clayborn – DE – Iowa

All the sudden, the Bucs offense is starting to click. They could really use a top tier running back to take some pressure off of their young quarterback but they also need to compete with two high powered quarterbacks twice a season. The Bucs have brought in some talented young players at the defensive tackle position, but they need someone that can rush the edge. Clayborn falls a bit in this scenario, so it should be an easy choice for the Bucs.

13. Minnesota Vikings

Christian Ponder – QB – Florida State

While this is probably a reach for the Vikings, they just can’t afford to miss out on a young quarterback this season. If they wait until the second round, they’d be looking at second tier QBs, if they’re even available then. Ponder’s no slouch, however. Matched with a strong defense, excellent running game and solid passing threats, Ponder should have a smoother transition than many other rookie QBs.

14. Dallas Cowboys

Anthony Castonzo – OT – Boston College

We all know Alex Barron just isn’t cutting it at right tackle. The Boys made a seriously fatal decision to not address the tackle position in the offseason. In this scenario, they’re lucky enough that the best tackle in the draft is available. Castonzo has to continue to put on weight and isn’t necessarily the huge, mauler type that Jerry Jones loves. However, it’s hard to pass on talent, especially at a position of great need.

15. Miami Dolphins

Jonathan Baldwin – WR – Pittsburgh*

The Dolphins traded away Greg Camarillo and of course, we know that they have Brandon Marshall as their top WR. However, the addition of Baldwin would give the Phins two big, physical receivers that will go up and fight for the ball. The best thing about this move is what it does for the Phins against the Jets. Marshall would surely be covered by Revis Island, allowing Baldwin to match up against either the hot and cold Cromartie, or the inexperienced Kyle Wilson.

16. San Francisco 49ers

Janoris Jenkins – CB – Florida*

The Niners have one of the better defensive groups in football. Their achillies heel? Secondary. Jenkins is an outstanding cover corner and would bring much needed youth to the Niners cornerback group.


Will Spencer

Will is the founder and President of Draft Breakdown & has been scouting draft prospects since 2002. His work has been featured in numerous publications, including the USA Today Draft Preview Magazine, the official website of the Baltimore Ravens, Ravens Insider and The Orange and Brown Report. Will has previous playing experience as a defensive end in the AFA, is currently a member of the Football Writers Association of America and graduated from the SMWW Football Scouting course in 2009.

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