“Way too early” Mock Draft 4.0

Written by Wes Stueve on October 2, 2010


New writer Wes Stueve gets his feet wet with his first mock draft for Draft Breakdown. Wes breaks down how he thinks things would shake out if the season ended today in our "Way Too Early" mock draft series.

1. Buffalo Bills

Andrew Luck – QB – Stanford*

For years, the Bills have been helpless at quarterback. It isn’t necessarily due to lack of effort; they have used several high picks on the position. Buffalo has a few playmakers on offense in C.J. Spiller, Marshawn Lynch and Lee Evans, but lack a quarterback to get them the ball. Luck is being talked about by some as the best quarterback prospect in the past decade. With a combination of excellent accuracy, arm strength and smarts, he is nearly a perfect prospect.

2. Cleveland Browns

Jake Locker – QB – Washington

One could argue that there has been no team worse at quarterback than the Cleveland Browns over the past decade. After the failure of Brady Quinn, the team is once again without hope at the position, barring a huge surprise from 3rd round pick, Colt McCoy. Locker burst onto the scene in 2009, throwing for more than 20 touchdowns in Steve Sarkisian’s pro style offense. An incredible athlete, the 6’3” 226 Locker is believe to run a 4.5 40-yard-dash. Also possessing a great arm, Locker can make any thrown on the field. Though he has struggled early in 2010, Locker should revert back to his old self, and reestablish himself as an elite prospect.

3. St. Louis Rams

AJ Green – WR – Georgia*

Currently, Sam Bradford has virtually no receiving weapons. Donnie Avery has yet to break out, and after tearing his ACL, will miss all of 2010. Green has never put up dominating stats, but has shown signs of being a dominant player. With elite speed and athleticism, Green is arguably the best wide receiver prospect since Calvin Johnson in 2007. Green is, however, facing a four game suspension from the NCAA for selling a jersey to an agent, and it remains to be seen if this could hurt him.

4. Detroit Lions

Patrick Peterson – CB – LSU*

Detroit has one of the worst secondaries in the NFL, and has for quite some time. Louis Delmas is a young, talented player, but the unit has little other upside. Peterson is one of the best athletes and players to see the draft in quite some time. Weighing it at over 220 pounds, Peterson runs the 40-yard-dash in less than 4.4 seconds. But Peterson is more than just an athlete, and is exceptional in man coverage. Likely a better prospect than Joe Haden a year ago, it is highly unlikely that Peterson falls out of the top 10 picks.

5. Carolina Panthers

Robert Quinn – DE – North Carolina*

With Julius Peppers now on the Chicago Bears, the Panthers have lost their only legitimate pass rushing threat. Everette Brown and Greg Hardy are both in tow, but neither is producing up to his talent. Quinn is an exceptional athlete, capable of being one of the league’s best. After racking up 11 sacks in 2009, Quinn became known as not only one of college football’s most athletic pass rushers, but as one of its most productive.

6. New England Patriots (from Oakland)

Michael Floyd – WR – Notre Dame*

Randy Moss has made it clear that he does not expect to remain a Patriot for long, and without Moss, New England lacks a number one receiving threat. In previous years, Bill Belichick and the Patriots had been reluctant to spend money on high draft picks, but a rookie cap may change things in 2011. Floyd has exceptional hands and can go up for the ball and grab it. He lacks game breaking speed, but has the route running ability to get open.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars

Ryan Mallett – QB – Arkansas*

David Garrard has shown that he is not the guy to take Jacksonville to the playoffs. With Maurice Jones-Drew, Mike Sims-Walker, and a developing offensive line, there is some talent on Jacksonville’s offense. Mallett is arguably the most talented quarterback in this class, but he needs work, and has a high bust potential. Though he must improve his accuracy, he has a cannon arm and is capable of being one of the league’s best.

8. San Francisco 49ers

Prince Amukamara – CB – Nebraska

Nate Clements never lived up to his contract in San Francisco, and has lost his starting job several times with the team. Amukamara is not as good of a prospect as Patrick Peterson, but he is still among the best cornerbacks in the past five years. Weighing in over 200 pounds, Amukamara is a physical player who is at his best in press coverage.

9. New York Giants

Marcell Dareus – DE – Alabama*

The Giants run defense has struggled as of late, and the defensive tackle position must be addressed. Chris Canty has not met expectations, and the unit has struggled. Dareus plays defensive end in Alabama’s 3-4 defense, but is more than capable of moving inside to defensive tackle. Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell’s scheme requires a penetrating defensive tackle, a role which Dareus should excel in.

10. Denver Broncos

Dont’a Hightower – ILB – Alabama*

After being linked to Rolando McClain last year, the Broncos grab the arguably more talented Hightower, also of the Crimson Tide. Hightower has developed a reputation of a playmaker in Nick Saban’s defensive scheme, and is capable of playing many roles. Alabama has used Hightower as a defensive end occasionally, due to his pass rushing ability, but he is also a capable run defender, and a perfect fit for Denver’s 3-4 defense.

11. Arizona Cardinals

Christian Ponder – QB – Florida State

This is probably a reach, but Derek Anderson has proven that the Cardinals need a quarterback. Arizona is loaded at the skill positions, but needs a signal caller to get them the ball. Ponder isn’t a great prospect, but he is accurate and typically a smart player. With the talent in Arizona, he should be able to develop and eventually succeed.

12. Washington Redskins

Mark Ingram – RB – Alabama*

Through the early part of the 2010 season, Mike Shanahan’s run game has not followed him over from Denver. Though he typically avoids spending high picks on running backs, Shanahan may have to give in here. Ingram is a very talented running back who lacks any true weaknesses. A capable receiver and runner, Ingram can be used in many different ways and is a great fit for Shanahan’s zone blocking scheme on offense

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Adrian Clayborn – DE – Iowa

Tampa Bay has lacked a pass rush since the days of Simeon Rice’s prime, and Clayborn could help to get the unit back on track. Clayborn is a well rounded defensive end, great at stopping the run and rushing the passer. Schematically diverse, the Buccaneers could move Clayborn around and even play him some at defensive tackle.

14. Seattle Seahawks

Da’Quan Bowers – DE – Clemson*

Even prior to trading Darryl Tapp, the Seahawks were hurting for a pass rusher. Now the teams rush is virtually nonexistent. Bowers is a former #1 recruit in the nation, and is a great defensive end prospect. Weighing in around 280 pounds, Bowers has the size to stop the run, while also possessing the athleticism to rush the passer. Bowers has yet to produce up to his talent, but if he can turn it around this year, could end up going even higher.

15. San Diego Chargers

Julio Jones – WR – Alabama*

Vincent Jackson appears to be on his way out of San Diego, and though Malcolm Floyd is a good receiver, he is not a number one target. Jones lacks elite speed, but has a knack for getting open and making fantastic plays. Though he has had some concentration issues, Jones consistently makes big plays, and is a fantastic blocker. With his great size and athleticism, Jones should fit in fine with the rest of the Chargers’ offense.

16. Minnesota Vikings

Bruce Carter – OLB – North Carolina

It is difficult to find a huge weakness on the Vikings, so they go with the best player available here, at a position capable of being upgraded. Carter is arguably the best coverage linebacker to hit the draft in the past five years. Though he isn’t a force against the run, he is capable of dropping back like a safety and making plays on the ball.


Wes Stueve

Recent posts by Wes Stueve