I did my own mock earlier today...
1. Buffalo Bills - QB Ryan Mallett, Arkansas*
I would be very much surprised if Stanford QB Andrew Luck came out early this year. I think even this early in the process that barring injury there would be a 99% chance he goes No. 1 if he came out, but it just seems unlikely to me that he will. THat leaves Mallett as the consensus top passer. I know several experts don't have him that highly rated, but at this point I see him as a better prospect than Matt Stafford, who almost no one questioned if he was worthy of a No. 1 pick. Ryan FItzpatrick has played well in Buffalo, but the Bills organization must know that he's not a long-term option, just a good stopgap.
2. Carolina Panthers - QB Jake Locker, Washington
Locker hasn't played that well this year, but by the time the off-season rolls around, I think his stock will pick back up. The Panthers just took Jimmy Clausen in Round 2 this past year, but he's done almost nothing as a rookie. And it seems inevitable that the Panthers bring in a new coach (and possibly GM) that has no loyalties whatsoever to Clausen, making the chance that they go in a new direction a stronger possibility.
3. Dallas Cowboys - CB Patrick Peterson, LSU*
The Cowboys defense has been embarassingly bad at times this year, and a big reason why is the poor play of Mike Jenkins and Terence Newman at cornerback this year. Peterson is arguably the most talented player in this draft, and rarely are corners good enough to merit this high a pick. Peterson is the exception.
4. Detroit Lions - CB Patrick Amukamara, Nebraska
In the same boat as Peterson, Amukamara is a rare sort of elite corner. He is Ndamukong Suh's former teammate, which makes him an even better fit in Detroit besides you know his potential to be a top press corner. His combo of size and toughness are second to none.
5. Cincinnati Bengals - DE Robert Quinn, North Carolina*
The Bengals pass rush has been non-existent for most of the year. Quinn hasn't played all this year because he was suspended by the NCAA, which raises some character concerns with him. But the Bengals care little for those things, making him a perfect fit here.
6. Arizona Cardinals - OT Derek Sherrod, Mississippi State
The Cardinals obvious weakness is the QB position. But none of the next group of prospects after Locker and Mallett seem like great fits in AZ. Those would be Christian Ponder, Terrelle Pryor, and Cameron Newton. It seems more than likely the Cards would prefer to sign a veteran and try to nab one of those guys in the second round than spending a Top 10 pick on them. But who knows. Instead I suspect the Cardinals will try to upgrade their offensive line, which has struggled this year. Sherrod is an athletic left tackle that is a bit of a reach this high in the draft, but the Cardinals did this a few years ago when they drafted Levi Brown as well.
7. San Francisco 49ers - QB Cameron Newton, Auburn*
I think the 49ers would love to find their QB of the future in this draft. Alex Smith is serviceable, which gives them the luxury of focusing less on a player that can provide immediate help vs. long-term upside. Newton certainly fits that description. HIs size, athleticism, and arm strength should fit well in San Fran if they choose to keep Mike Singletary and his run first offense.
8. Minnesota Vikings - QB Christian Ponder, Florida State
The Vikings are probably going to be blown up a bit after this season. Childress should get the axe, Favre will likely retire, which basically leaves the teams fortunes into the hands of Tarvaris Jackson. And without his biggest advocate (CHildress) around, it's likely that whoever takes over in Minnesota will try and bring in his own guy. Ponder is probably a reach at this point in the draft, but the Vikings probably can't afford to neglect their QB position.
9. Denver Broncos - RB Mark Ingram, Alabama*
Knowshon Moreno has been a disappointment to date, and improving their rushing attack is likely to be a priority for the offensive-minded Josh McDaniels. Ingram is a rare talent as far as running back goes, being often compared to Emmitt Smith. His potential to add an immediate boost to their offense is too tempting to pass up.
10. Cleveland Browns - WR Julio Jones, Alabama*
The Browns passing game needs a lot of help, and while A.J. Green is arguably the better prospect, he's probably more suited to be a vertical receiver which may not be ideally suited for the skills of QB Colt McCoy. Jones is a bit more rangier and better on the shorter and intermediate routes because of his size and frame.
11. St. Louis Rams - DT Marcell Dareus, Alabama*
It would be very tempting for the Rams to target a wideout like A.J. Green to give Bradford an explosive go-to receiver to throw to, but the Rams are already laden with a lot of young talent at that position. Instead, beefing up their defense makes a lot of sense. Dareus is a disruptive and versatile force inside.
12. San Diego Chargers - WR A.J. Green, Georgia*
Unless the Chargers find a way to make peace with Vincent Jackson between now and next April, adding another wide receiver will be a priority. Malcom Floyd has done a solid job so far this year, but the lack of another option on the outside is gravely apparent in their offense. Just like Jackson, Green is an explosive downfield presence that is reminiscent of Randy Moss.
13. Washington Redskins - DE Cameron Heyward, Ohio State
While the Redskins could definitely use some help at the skill positions on offense, they also could stand to beef up their front if they want to remain committed to the 3-4. Heyward is a high character guy that is reminiscient of Richard Seymour when it comes to 3-4 defensive end prospects.
14. Houston Texans - DT Drake Nevis, LSU
The Texans pass defense has been pretty bad this year, but they are young there and probably a bit more forgiving of their struggles. So adding another young guy probaly doesn't make a ton of sense. But up front, they've seen enough of Amobi Okoye and Shaun Cody to know that they probably aren't going to get a lot better. Nevis is a disruptive interior guy that can help beef up their pass rush and be a complement to Mario Williams.
15. Kansas City Chiefs - OLB Akeem Ayers, UCLA*
Tamba Hali is having a strong year, but the lack of a complementary pass rusher is missing on the KC defense. Ayers is a versatile threat that can make plays vs. the run and pass, as well as being a solid pass rush making him a complete linebacker prospect that is rare.
16. Jacksonville Jaguars - DE Adrian Clayborn, Iowa
Jacksonville's pass defense has been atrocious, thanks in large part to poor safety play. So while a FS like Rahim Moore makes a lot of sense, the Jaguars probably go with the player with the higher upside in Clayborn. They've made no bones about their desire to upgrade the pass rush under Del Rio, and even if he's not back in 2011, there will be a clear hole here.
17. Seattle Seahawks - WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame*
How the Seahawks managed to manufacture a decent pass rush this year, I'm not sure. But it's enough that theyprobably pass on such a player in Round 1 and instead focus on getting a No. 1 receiver. They already drafted Golden Tate, and if they liked his film last year they certainly should like Floyd's.
18. New England Patriots (from Oakland) - DE Cameron Jordan, California
The Patriots have neglected their front since they traded away Richard Seymour, and finding a guy up front that can resolidify that spot would really help their struggling defense. Jordan is among several other 3-4 DE prospects that would be very solid picks at this point in the first round.
19. Miami Dolphins - RB Daniel Thomas, Kansas State
The Dolphins need to find a younger option than Ricky Williams and a more reliable option than Ronnie Brown to support their offense. Thomas is a good fit. He's already well versed in the wildcat, running it at K-State. He's a super athletic, former QB that has tons of upside.
20. Tennessee Titans - WR Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State*
It's hard to see the Randy Moss Experiment as more than that and it continuing past this season. Which means the Titans should be back on the market for another talented receiver that can stretch the field. Look no further than Blackmon, who along with Britt gives them two very good young receiver prospects.
21. New Orleans Saints - DT Nick Fairley, Auburn
Fairley is a top talent that might not last this long, unless teams are legitimately concerned about the character issues that have been raised this season. He's a good fit for the Saints who need to beef up their pass rush, as well as their interior run defense. He would be a very, very dangerous option to stick beside Sedrick Ellis.
22. Chicago Bears - OT Tyron Smith, USC*
The Bears are the neediest 6-win team in the league as they have weaknesses at several positions. But they are weakest up front as Jay Cutler gets killed. Smith is probably the next best left tackle prospective. He's not very big, but super-athletic and has loads of upside to protect Cutler's blind side.
23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - DE Da'Quan Bowers, Clemson*
Previously, Bowers was known as a bit of an underachiever, but has emerged this year to be one of the most productive pass rushers in the country. He's a big guy that still is a raw talent, but should help boost the Bucs lacking pass rush.
24. New York Giants - OT Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin
The Giants could go in several directions, but one thing is clear they need to get better upfront. Injuries have hurt them a lot this year, but it's been clear that RT Kareem McKenzie has been slowing down regardless. Carimi is a good fit to potentially replace him long term on that side.
25. Baltimore Ravens - CB Aaron Williams, Texas*
The Ravens might take a safety like Rahim Moore to groom as the heir apparent to Ed Reed, but they seem to like Nakamura and Zbikowski enough to think that they will address a more immediate need: CB. WIlliams is a big athletic corner that can potentially come in and compete right away for their top spot.
26. Green Bay Packers - OLB Von Miller, Texas A&M
For the Packers, their top pick will likely be a toss-up between one of the solid 3-4 defensive ends or an outside linebacker that can bolster their pass rush. For now, I think they go OLB. Miller hasn't had a great senior year, but he's a very productive pass rusher that should fit very nicely in their 3-4 scheme opposite Matthews.
27. Philadelphia Eagles - OLB Bruce Carter, North Carolina
The Eagles have tried to improve their linebacker corps in recent years, but it could still use some work. Carter is a big, physical athletic linebacker that can be a nice playmaker on the outside in the aggressive Eagles scheme.
28. Indianapolis Colts - DT Stephen Paea, Oregon State
While the Colts could definitely use some help on the front line at tackle and wide receiver, there aren't any prospects that really jump out at you. Despite it clearly being a need for several years, the Colts have spurned using high picks here, but it would be a good time to get an athletic, high motor guy like Paea.
29. Pittsburgh Steelers - OT DeMarcus Love, Arkansas
It's no secret that the Steelers O-line isn't particularly great on the outside. Love will attempt to address that. Love is versatile enough to play either OT spot, and probably at the very least gives them a legit challenger to Starks on the left side.
30. New York Jets - S Rahim Moore, UCLA*
In the Rex Ryan scheme, having a good cover safety in the centerfield works wonders. Brodney Pool is OK, but he's no Ed Reed. Moore is a gifted cover guy that offers a potential upgrade at that spot.
31. Atlanta Falcons - DE Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue
The Falcons will be looking for a pass rusher that can potentially replace John Abraham, and Kerrigan is the best option available. A high motor player with good size and strength, he'll remind people a bit of Patrick Kerney.
32. New England Patriots - CB Janoris Jenkins, Florida*
Jenkins is a smaller corner, but he plays big and has ball skills that could remind the Pats of some guy named Asante Samuel. The Patriots need a lot of help on the defensive side of the ball, but beefing up their cornerback position should be one of their first priorities.
* indicates underclassman
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.