As you’ll see, the primary theme of this mock is that it challenges the idea that inflation at the quarterback position will cause teams in need of quarterbacks, particularly in the first round, to make drastic reaches to have access to the likes of Geno Smith, Mike Glennon, Ryan Nassib, Tyler Wilson and Matt Barkley.
Even with the rookie pay scale in place, I’m becoming more and more skeptical that this draft will feature a run on quarterbacks in the first 10 picks. It was only two drafts ago that rising NFL starters like Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick fell into the second round, and even last year we saw Kirk Cousins fall into the fourth round despite possessing a grade that would compete with at least a few of the anticipated first-round quarterbacks from this class. That’s not to mention the falls endured by Jimmy Clausen and Colt McCoy in 2010.
Despite the recent trend of NFL draft quarterback hysteria, it still seems safe to say that teams won’t make severe reaches at the position unless they find some reason to convince themselves that the player in question really can be their guy. They won’t gamble for the sake of gambling, in other words, and I think that’s particularly true in a draft like this one, where there’s an abundance of first-round talents at the similarly premium positions of defensive tackle, offensive tackle and pass rushers (4-3 DE and 3-4 OLB).
If taking a Smith or Nassib didn’t involve missing out on a Star Lotulelei or an Eric Fisher, then a quarterback run in the top 10 picks would seem more plausible to me. But Lotulelei and Fisher are foundational players for almost any franchise, and you won’t find prospects near their level in the second round, or even the middle of the first. You can, however, resist the temptation to take the quarterbacks with the first selections, and in the process you deflate the quarterbacks and inflate the positions of the truly elite prospects, making a trade back into the late first round for your original quarterback target a highly practical strategy.
This will likely be my last mock draft for at least a week after the Combine’s conclusion. Note: the Bills and Cardinals trade up into the first round from their second-round picks.
1. Kansas City Chiefs – Star Lotulelei, (3-4) DE, Utah
Tyson Jackson and Glenn Dorsey were wastes of time, but their shortcomings do nothing to lessen the importance of the interior line positions in the 3-4, and Lotulelei is a significantly better prospect than either of them. Lotulelei can make a Richard Seymour sort of impact from the 3-4 end spot.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars – Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Floyd isn’t quite on Lotulelei’s level, but he’s a similarly rare tackle prospect in his own right and, like Lotulelei, he has the athleticism to contribute from several spots on the line. Floyd has all the strength you’d expect from a player of his size, and more linear explosiveness than you could bargain for without getting greedy.
3. Oakland Raiders – Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Terrelle Pryor is even less of a serious solution at quarterback than Carson Palmer is, and there’s no guarantee that the Raiders will get a shot at a quarterback prospect as good as Smith over the next couple years. Particularly given that they have no second-round pick, they should take Smith at three if he’s there.
4. Philadelphia Eagles – Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Joeckel doesn’t have the athleticism or strength to match the upside of past tackle prospects like Joe Thomas, Russell Okung or Matt Kalil, but he’s almost flawless in terms of technique, and he carries clear Pro Bowl potential at either tackle spot. He’d be insurance at left tackle for Philadelphia as Jason Peters attempts to come back from an Achilles’ tendon tear, and if Peters is healthy for 2013, Joeckel would take over at right tackle, allowing Todd Herremans to upgrade the guard position.
5. Detroit Lions – Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Milliner isn’t in Patrick Peterson/Morris Claiborne territory as a cornerback prospect, but there is potentially a significant drop-off between Milliner and whatever will be available to Detroit in the second round. Chris Houston is a free agent, and the Lions have just Bill Bentley behind him as the team's only vaguely talented player at cornerback.
6. Cleveland Browns – Dion Jordan, (3-4) OLB, Oregon
Jordan possesses highly unusual balance, flexibility and athleticism for a player with his length, so the Aldon Smith comparisons will pile up as the draft approaches. For a team that figures to move into a 3-4 defense under the watch of coordinator Ray Horton, snagging a high-upside prospect like Jordan at the crucial outside linebacker position is a great move.
7. Arizona Cardinals – Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
The Cardinals have no talent at the two most important positions on offense: quarterback and tackle. The quarterback options in this range don’t carry grades anywhere near the level of tackles Fisher and Lane Johnson, so one of them is the obvious pick.
8. Buffalo Bills – Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Patterson’s prototypical size and athleticism alone make him a strong receiver prospect, but his running skills after the catch are what give him rare upside. Steve Johnson is a bottom-tier WR1 in the NFL, and Patterson would give the Bills explosiveness they currently lack.
9. New York Jets – Mike Glennon, QB, North Carolina State
Glennon’s profound mobility issues probably don’t make him worth this pick, but he throws a pretty pass and has a good ability to progress through his reads. The Jets have been starved of such traits for a long time, though, and their desperation leads them to make the gamble here.
10. Tennessee Titans – Sheldon Richardson, DE, Missouri
Richardson could definitely go higher than this, as the film indicates he has better athleticism than many linebackers despite possessing a nearly 300-pound frame. He’s all kind of raw and is basically a non-option as a defensive tackle with his current skill set – he showed very little anchoring ability at Missouri – but the fact that Richardson was pretty much freestyling at Missouri in terms of technique might give some teams the not unreasonable idea that they can make him much better with some coaching. Richardson might have the highest ceiling of any player in this draft.
11. San Diego Chargers – Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
Johnson has more upside than any offensive lineman in the draft, so if the Chargers can iron out the rough spots caused by Johnson’s inexperience at tackle, he would be a potential steal as the third tackle selected.
12. Miami Dolphins – DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
Even if the Dolphins add Greg Jennings or Mike Wallace in free agency, picking Hopkins at this spot would be a smart move, as he can add a more physical, possession wideout element than either of the free agents, and the same is the case relative to Brian Hartline and Davone Bess.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
Tampa’s defense would be one of the best if it could make its pass defense even average. Adding Rhodes to the cornerback lineup would help the secondary a great deal, as he would likely be an upgrade over Eric Wright immediately.
14. Carolina Panthers – Kawann Short, DT, Purdue
Short isn’t in Lotulelei/Floyd territory when it comes to the combination of size, strength and athleticism, but he’s pretty close. That makes him one of the most intoxicating prospects in the draft, even if he didn’t consistently show a motor at Purdue. The Panthers are set at defensive end with the emergence of Greg Hardy, but tackle is a weak spot.
15. New Orleans Saints – Barkevious Mingo, (3-4) OLB, LSU
Mingo is a lot of athletic talent without much developed skill at this point, so he might fall this far in a draft rich with offensive tackle and defensive line talent at the top of the draft. If he does make it this far, the Saints won’t have to think too hard about whether to keep him in state as Rob Ryan attempts to build a 3-4 defense in New Orleans.
16. St. Louis Rams – D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
It’s rare that a right tackle can change games, but Fluker might be a dominant enough run blocker to do it. If the Rams can minimize the number of times they leave Fluker isolated against dangerous speed rushers on the edge, his lack of quickness shouldn’t hurt them any more than the 49ers get hurt by Anthony Davis.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers – Jarvis Jones, (3-4) OLB, Georgia
Whether Jones falls this far likely depends on how team doctors assess his spinal stenosis condition. If teams think they can get six years out of Jones, he shouldn’t fall past this pick.
18. Dallas Cowboys – Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
Dallas’ transition to the 4-3 will require the team to add more talent at defensive end, and Ansah would be a no-brainer pick if he fell this far.
19. New York Giants – Alec Ogletree, OLB, Georgia
Ogletree is a major liability in traffic, but the Giants would be willing to take him on as a project here, likely in Mathias Kiwanuka’s role of the outside linebacker/pass rusher hybrid.
20. Chicago Bears – Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
Warmack is the rare guard worth a top-20 selection, and the Bears would be glad to take him here, though tackle is the position of greatest need. There just aren’t any tackles worth consideration at this spot, though.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – Matt Elam, S, Florida
‘Feral’ might be the best way to describe Elam’s style of play. He isn’t the most levelheaded guy out there, but his ability to lock on to and then obliterate targets is something to behold. It’s been a while since the NFL has seen an enforcer on his level.
22. St. Louis Rams (from WAS) – Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
Vaccaro won’t deliver knockout hits like Elam can, but he has his own advantage in that he’s a bit more reliable and less reckless than Elam. Vaccaro is also better suited to lining up in single coverage, which is a skill that’s becoming increasingly valuable in the NFL.
23. Minnesota Vikings – Keenan Allen, WR, California
Although he won’t blow anyone away in timed drills, Allen’s combination of length, hands and short-area smoothness as a runner make him a good Reggie Wayne clone, and he would likely be a great addition for Christian Ponder’s development.
24. Indianapolis Colts – Alex Okafor, (3-4) OLB, Texas
The Colts are still invested in former first-round pick Jerry Hughes, but it’d be unwise to count on him to be a legitimate starter opposite Robert Mathis, whose age (32 on Feb. 26) is becoming a slight concern in its own right. Okafor doesn’t figure to break games open, but he’d be a nice solidifying piece at a crucial position.
25. Seattle Seahawks – Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
The Seahawks could use some insurance in the pass rush department after Chris Clemons’ unfortunate ACL tear in January, and they shouldn’t count on a good option falling to their second pick.
26. Buffalo Bills (from GB) – Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse
-Buffalo trades No. 42 and No. 73 to GB for No. 26 and No. 122
It may be cliché to link Nassib with Buffalo and college coach Doug Marrone, but it’s a scenario that makes sense. There’s no reason to be blown away by the likes of Tyler Wilson, Matt Barkley or Zac Dysert, so trading up for the more familiar Nassib would be a reasonable course for Buffalo.
27. Houston Texans – Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
Houston fans might not get excited over the selection of Williams, but a few snaps into the season they’d be convinced of his value. Williams is probably the best tackle in the draft when it comes purely to anchoring, making him a strong 3-4 nose prospect.
28. Arizona Cardinals (from DEN) – Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
-Arizona trades No. 38, No. 102 and 2014 3rd rounder to DEN for No. 28
The Cardinals would move up in this scenario to catch the strong-armed and mobile Wilson before a team like the Jaguars or Chiefs could get a swing at him. Armed with an improved offensive line and targets like Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Roberts, it would be hard not to expect a good showing from Wilson in Arizona.
29. New England Patriots – Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina
Cooper is a rather incredible athlete for a guard, but he doesn’t lack anchoring ability as a result. Cooper can make an impact as a power or pull blocker, and his ability to make an impact from a variety of angles would allow Bill Belichick to get even more creative on offense.
30. Atlanta Falcons – Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama
Pass rusher is the most valuable position of need for Atlanta, but the options at those positions don’t have a grade on the level of Lacy, who would be a threat for 1,700 yards and 12 touchdowns from scrimmage as a rookie for the Falcons.
31. San Francisco 49ers – Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International
The hard-hitting, downhill style of play the 49ers demand out of their defensive backs is one that suits Cyprien well, and he has the athleticism and ball skills to provide an upgrade in coverage over both Dashon Goldson and Donte Whitner.
32. Baltimore Ravens – Kevin Minter, (3-4) ILB, LSU
Minter is the draft’s best pure inside linebacker prospect. Yes, better than Manti Te’o. By a safe margin, at that. Even if the Ravens keep Dannell Ellerbe from leaving in free agency, they still need another linebacker capable of staying at the second level in nickel formations, because players like Terrell Suggs and Courtney Upshaw will play with their hands on the ground.
33. Jacksonville Jaguars – Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State
Watson is a recent import from Britain who has only played football for two years. Given that, he’s not ideal Week 1 starting material, but he has rare athleticism for a player as big and strong as he is, and he figures to make teams swoon in workouts.
34. Kansas City Chiefs – Matt Barkley, QB, USC
Andy Reid has made players worse than Barkley productive, and even after a down year and a curiously long recovery from an “AC joint sprain,” Barkley would be a nice addition for Kansas City at this pick.
35. Philadelphia Eagles – Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
Austin will go in the first round if he runs better than a 4.45-second 40-yard dash at the Combine, but he might fall short of that mark given that his game is based on quickness and explosiveness just as much as (if not more than) pure speed. He’d be Chip Kelly’s De’Anthony Thomas if he fell to this pick.
36. Detroit Lions – Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
Montgomery could very easily go in the first round, as he’s a strong 4-3 end prospect with the athleticism to run past tackles and the strength to collapse the pocket. Detroit could use some end help with Cliff Avril likely leaving.
37. Cincinnati Bengals (from OAK) – Arthur Brown, OLB, Kansas State
Brown is light for an NFL linebacker and could stand to play a bit more under control, but his high motor implies he’ll keep improving, and in the meantime he’ll be a standout coverage linebacker from Day 1.
38. Denver Broncos (from ARZ) – Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
Trufant needs some polish before becoming a reliable top-three corner on an NFL defense, but he’s a worthwhile prospect in this range, and not just because of his last name. The Broncos need to add some talent behind Champ Bailey.
39. Cleveland Browns – Used on Josh Gordon in 2012 Supplemental Draft
40. New York Jets – Corey Lemonier, (3-4) OLB, Auburn
Rex Ryan has been able to get overachievement out of his pass rushers with the Jets, but that’s no good reason to continue neglecting the outside linebacker position. Lemonier might be a double-digit sack threat as a rookie under Ryan’s watch.
41. Tennessee Titans – D.J. Swearinger, S, South Carolina
Swearinger is an athletic, instinctive freelancer safety who can double as a corner if need be. With big hits, sharp instincts and ball skills all at once, Swearinger could push for the first round if his workouts go well enough.
42. Green Bay Packers (from BUF) – Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
Eifert is underrated by most and his stock might be too high by the time the draft arrives for the Packers to pull this off, but this would be quite a heist for Green Bay. Eifert would be a fantasy factor right away if he replaces Jermichael Finley, which he would.
43. Miami Dolphins – Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
Banks is a justifiable pick in the first round, but his workout numbers might be a bit more modest than the likes of Dee Milliner and Desmond Trufant. The Dolphins would be lucky to land him here.
44. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
The Buccaneers would ideally find some defensive end insurance here given the wildly uncertain statuses of Da’Quan Bowers (legal), Adrian Clayborn (knee) and Michael Bennett (free agency), but Hankins’ talent outweighs positional need.
45. Carolina Panthers – Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
Hunter doesn’t figure to be much of a factor on short routes or after the catch, but his combination of length, explosiveness and long speed would make him a nice addition for a Carolina offense that will increasingly lack speed as Steve Smith ages. If teams double Smith, Hunter can burn them deep.
46. New Orleans Saints – Forfeited as penalty for team’s alleged bounty program
47. San Diego Chargers – Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State
Poyer might be below average in terms of straight-line speed among NFL cornerbacks, but he’s well ahead of most of his competition when it comes to instincts, technique and ball skills.
48. St. Louis Rams – Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford
Ertz doesn’t block as well as Eifert and doesn’t possess Eifert’s hands or quickness, but he’s a big, athletic target in his own right and would potentially displace Lance Kendricks in the starting lineup.
49. Dallas Cowboys – Brennan Williams, OT, North Carolina
Williams missed much of his senior year due to a torn shoulder labrum, but after undergoing surgery to repair the injury in late October, he should be 100 percent healthy by the time training camp arrives. Williams shows a first-round combination of size, strength, athleticism and flexibility in college, showing the ability move laterally while keeping his knees bent, and he has the strength to control the point of attack. He played a little wild at times and needs to calm down a bit, but his occasional over-activity was clearly an issue of impulse rather than attempts to overcompensate for a lack of quickness.
50. Pittsburgh Steelers – Markus Wheaton, WR, Oregon State
Emmanuel Sanders hasn’t been all that promising to this point, so the Steelers should make sure to add wideout talent in this draft if they don’t plan to address the position in free agency. Wheaton would be a nice addition at this point, even if his skill set is somewhat redundant to Antonio Brown’s as a shifty and fast smaller target.
51. New York Giants – Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
Moore was badly overrated by most draft media before Mike Mayock informed the herds of Moore’s true nature Monday, but Moore would still be a nice pick for the Giants here.
52. Chicago Bears – Travis Kelce, TE, Cincinnati
Kellen Davis is a non-option at tight end, so landing a promising all-around prospect like Kelce in the second round would be a big upgrade for the Bears offense. Kelce really broke out as a receiver in 2012, but he’s quite good as a blocker, too, so he can play both on the line or split out wide.
53. Washington Redskins – Manti Te’o, (3-4) ILB, Notre Dame
Te’o is very overrated as a run defender, but he reads plays well and moves well in space, so he’d be a nice addition to a team that won’t have London Fletcher for much longer.
54. Minnesota Vikings – Bennie Logan, DT, LSU
Logan might not be the long-term replacement for the aging Kevin Williams, but he’d be a significant upgrade for the team’s tackle rotation right away and should emerge as a starter at one of the two tackle spots.
55. Cincinnati Bengals – Andre Ellington, RB, Clemson
Ellington is a homerun hitter who would be a great complement to the more plodding BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Eventually, Ellington would take over as starter. He has the combination of athleticism, balance and low running that typically turns into a standout starter.
56. Miami Dolphins (from IND) – Jordan Reed, TE, Florida
Reed is a dangerous receiver who would play the Jermichael Finley role for Joe Philbin, and he’d likely be significantly better than what the coach had in Green Bay.
57. Green Bay Packers – Dallas Thomas, G/OT, Tennessee
Thomas doesn’t shown the anchoring ability you’d like to see, especially for a tackle, but it’s not easy to find a player with his combination of length and athleticism, especially outside of the top 40 picks. Thomas would serve as the swing backup tackle at the least for the Packers while they attempt to work on his strength, and he can backup both guard spots, too.
58. Seattle Seahawks – Terron Armstead, G/OT, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Armstead is very raw, but he’s a worthwhile project at this spot for a Seattle team that was sufficiently functional on offense in 2012, yet could use an upgrade at right tackle. Armstead is one of the few remaining players in this range with the athleticism and size to project as an eventual starting tackle.
59. Houston Texans – Zac Dysert, QB, Miami (OH)
Dysert is raw enough for Houston PR to pretend that he’s not Matt Schaub’s replacement, but talented enough to set the overthrow in motion all the while.
60. Denver Broncos – Bacarri Rambo, S, Georgia
Rambo’s hype should pick up as the draft approaches, because he’s a good athlete at safety with sharp centerfielder skills. As the league becomes more pass-happy, players like Rambo will become more useful. Rahim Moore is another disaster waiting to happen in coverage, so Rambo would be a nice catch for Denver here.
61. New England Patriots – Stedman Bailey, WR, West Virginia
Bailey is the ideal wide receiver target for New England in this draft. He has the speed and route-running ability to stretch the field for New England, but he has the quicks and toughness to do damage on shorter routes from the slot, too.
62. Atlanta Falcons – Gavin Escobar, TE, San Diego State
Escobar isn’t a prospect on the level of Eifert, Ertz, Kelce or Reed, but he’s still a player who should make himself a legitimate option in the second round if he tests well enough in timed drills. Escobar shows very intriguing athleticism and receiving skills on tape.
63. San Francisco 49ers – Brandon Williams, DT, Missouri Southern State
Williams is a huge player who would be able to play all three spots on the line in San Francisco’s 3-4, though perhaps most notably at the nose tackle position.
64. Baltimore Ravens – Robert Woods, WR, USC
The end is either here or near for Anquan Boldin, and former fourth-round pick Tandon Doss hasn’t shown anything to this point. Woods could start opposite Torrey Smith right away if necessary.
65. Kansas City Chiefs – Datone Jones, (3-4) DE, UCLA
66. Jacksonville Jaguars – Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina
Bernard doesn’t look like a burner on film, so between a modest 40 time for his size and his history of knee troubles, he could fall out of the second round. Jacksonville would pounce on him at this spot since he’d project as Maurice Jones-Drew’s eventual replacement and would lighten MJD’s burden in the meantime.
67. Detroit Lions – Cornellius Carradine, DE, Florida State
68. Oakland Raiders – Larry Warford, G, Kentucky
69. Philadelphia Eagles – E.J. Manuel, QB, Florida State
Michael Vick might be no more than a one-year option, and there’s little indication at this point that Nick Foles is a serious part of Chip Kelly’s long-term plans in Philadelphia. Manuel is high-grade raw material for Kelly to craft into a starter beyond 2013 despite accuracy and instinct issues in the meantime.
70. Cleveland Browns – Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee
Bray has many questions regarding his mechanics and character, and he was wildly inaccurate at times, too, but he has a rare combination of height and pass velocity. His accuracy might improve if he makes a sincere effort to improve his technique.
71. Arizona Cardinals – Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin
Ryan Williams can’t be trusted, and Chris Wells is entirely an afterthought. If the Cardinals add a rookie quarterback in this draft as I project, they’ll need to give him some help in the backfield. Ball would probably start by the second month of the season in Arizona.
72. Tennessee Titans – Joseph Randle, RB, Oklahoma State
Randle is kind of like a middle class man’s Darren McFadden, possessing a similar upright running style and standout receiving skills to go along with strong cutback ability and a good amount of big-play potential. He’d provide Tennessee with an alternative to Chris Johnson beyond 2013.
73. Green Bay Packers (from BUF) – Margus Hunt, (3-4) DE, SMU
74. New York Jets – Phillip Thomas, S, Fresno State
75. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Logan Ryan, CB, Rutgers
76. San Francisco 49ers (from CAR) – Dion Sims, TE, Michigan State
Despite checking in around 280 pounds, Sims moves like a player roughly 30 pounds lighter than that. With that said, Sims’ primary purpose in San Francisco would be to block often so that Vernon Davis can inhabit Delanie Walker’s spot as the more mobile tight end in the offense.
77. New Orleans Saints – DeVonte Holloman, (3-4) ILB, South Carolina
78. San Diego Chargers – Reid Fragel, OT, Ohio State
79. Miami Dolphins – Barrett Jones, C/G, Alabama
80. St. Louis Rams – Kiko Alonso, OLB, Oregon
81. Pittsburgh Steelers – John Jenkins, DT, Georgia
82. Dallas Cowboys – Akeem Spence, DT, Illinois
83. New York Giants – Jordan Mills, OT, Louisiana Tech
84. Miami Dolphins (from CHI) – Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor
Even with Hopkins and a big free agency addition at receiver, Williams would be too good of a bargain to pass on here. He needs to work on his technique, especially his hand placement when catching passes, but Williams has a nice combination of size and athleticism and should turn into a vertical threat in the NFL.
85. Minnesota Vikings – Blidi Wreh-Wilson, CB, Connecticut
86. Cincinnati Bengals – William Gholston, DL, Michigan State
87. Washington Redskins – Tony Jefferson, S, Oklahoma
88. Indianapolis Colts – Quinton Patton, WR, Louisiana Tech
Patton isn’t much of a size/speed combo, but he’s a fundamentally sound receiver with reliable hands and good field awareness. He would immediately earn the third receiver role in Indianapolis behind Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton.
89. Green Bay Packers – Travis Frederick, C/G, Wisconsin
90. Seattle Seahawks – Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
91. Houston Texans – Da’Rick Rogers, WR, Tennessee Tech
Rogers is a first-round talent in terms of pure athleticism, but his draft stock will primarily be determined by interviews and investigations into his past. He managed to get himself run out of Tennessee before landing at Tennessee Tech for one year, but he projects as a WR1 in the NFL if he puts in the work and stays out of trouble.
92. Denver Broncos – Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford
Taylor isn't much of a homerun threat, but he's otherwise very well-rounded and would likely earn a starting role in Denver by 2014.
93. New England Patriots – Shawn Williams, S, Georgia
94. Atlanta Falcons – Brandon Jenkins, DE/OLB, Florida State
95. Jacksonville Jaguars (from SF) – Matt Scott, QB, Arizona
-JAC trades No. 97 and 2014 4th-round pick for No. 95 and 2013 5th-round pick (from IND)
The Jaguars have been linked to Matt Scott this offseason, and he’d be a quarterback selection with a low enough hype level to give Blaine Gabbert another year (or at least a month or two) of breathing room. The 49ers hold him hostage here, though, threatening to make him a high quality backup for Colin Kaepernick, who will take more hits than most quarterbacks.
96. Baltimore Ravens – Eric Reid, S, LSU
97. San Francisco 49ers (from JAC) – Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina
The 49ers can get by with Frank Gore, LaMichael James and a nondescript third option while Lattimore (knee) and Kendall Hunter (Achilles) are on the shelf, and between the latter two the team would be able to find some arrangement to sufficiently replace Gore when the time comes.
98. Kansas City Chiefs – Chris Harper, WR, Kansas State
Harper won’t burn up any tracks, but he’s still a good athlete for a big receiver and his hands might be the best in the draft. His reliability is a sharp contrast to the unpredictable nature of Dwayne Bowe and Jonathan Baldwin.
99. Oakland Raiders – Robert Alford, CB, Southeastern Louisiana
100. Philadelphia Eagles – Duke Williams, S, Nevada
101. Minnesota Vikings (from DET) – B.W. Webb, CB, William & Mary
102. Denver Broncos (from ARZ) – David Bakhtiari, G, Colorado
103. Cleveland Browns – Darius Slay, CB, Mississippi State
104. Buffalo Bills – Khaseem Greene, OLB, Rutgers
105. New York Jets – Christine Michael, RB, Texas A&M
Michael is a first-round athlete who should fall into the third or fourth round due to durability and character concerns. Michael twice suffered season-ending injuries (ACL and tibia) at A&M, and in 2012 he was all but benched after an early-season suspension. He’d be a worthwhile gamble for the Jets here.
106. Tennessee Titans – Aaron Dobson, WR, Marshall
It’s the offseason, and once again Kenny Britt has presented the Titans with a headache-inducing off-field incident. Between that consistent trend and his injury troubles, Britt shouldn’t be in Tennessee’s long-term plans, making a big wideout like Dobson a worthwhile addition.
107. Carolina Panthers – David Amerson, CB, North Carolina State
108. New Orleans Saints – Leon McFadden, CB, San Diego State
109. San Diego Chargers – Le’Veon Bell, RB, Michigan State
Bell is kind of the antithesis of Ryan Mathews. Although he’s not fast – it might be fair to call him slow – Bell is ultra reliable and capable of taking on a workhorse’s carry burden. Bell shows rock-solid fundamentals and makes the absolute most of his skills, the most notable of which is his rare balance and wiggle for such a big runner.
110. Miami Dolphins – Sean Porter, LB, Texas A&M
111. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – John Simon, DE, Ohio State
112. St. Louis Rams – Kyle Long, G/OT, Oregon
113. Dallas Cowboys – Ace Sanders, WR, South Carolina
Sanders would primarily serve as a punt returner to begin with, but he’d be a good bet to earn the slot receiver role in Dallas not long afterward.
114. Pittsburgh Steelers – Nico Johnson, (3-4) ILB, Alabama
115. New York Giants – Terry Hawthorne, CB, Illinois
116. Chicago Bears – Kenny Stills, WR, Oklahoma
Stills is nowhere near as big as Alshon Jeffery, but he’s faster and a much smoother route runner. He’d be legitimate competition for the second receiver spot in Chicago.
117. Cincinnati Bengals – Chris Faulk, OT, LSU
118. Washington Redskins – Adrian Bushnell, CB, Louisville
119. Minnesota Vikings – Denard Robinson, RB/WR, Michigan
Perhaps the Vikings would take Robinson with the hope that he’d turn into a Percy Harvin-like runner/receiver, but there’s no indication that Robinson has a legitimate skill set at receiver. He should, however, be a good off-the-bench homerun threat at running back.
120. Indianapolis Colts – David Quessenberry, OT, San Jose State
121. Seattle Seahawks – Tyrann Mathieu, DB, LSU
122. Buffalo Bills (from GB) – Levine Toilolo, TE, Stanford
Toilolo’s blocking needs a lot of work, but he has the frame to develop the necessary strength to improve in that regard, and in the meantime his length and athleticism would make him a nice receiving specialist at tight end.
123. Houston Texans – Kevin Riddick, (3-4) ILB, North Carolina
124. Denver Broncos – Marquise Goodwin, WR, Texas
Goodwin’s blazing speed and skills after the catch (or carry) would add a valuable dimension to a Denver offense that primarily has outside receiving threats in Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker.
125. New England Patriots – David Bass, DE/OLB, Missouri Western State
126. Atlanta Falcons – Justin Pugh, G/OT, Syracuse
127. San Francisco 49ers – Brian Schwenke, C/G, California
128. Baltimore Ravens – Keith Pough, (3-4) ILB, Howard