With the dead time between now and the Sup – I mean Harbaugh Bowl, there isn’t much football to talk about. The Pro Bowl is certainly a fun event, but is of little consequence in the grand scheme of things. So the Pewter Plank is turning it’s attention to the NFL Draft. Josh Hill brought you his take on the NFL Draft earlier today, so check that out once you’ve read through my version of the first round of the NFL selection meeting. Who do you think has it right, me or Josh? Who would you take if you were the Buccaneers? Let us know in the comments and join in the discussion.
1. Kansas City Chiefs – Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
The rest of this mock draft will be picking the player I would take if I was the man in charge. This one, however, is simply a prediction. I don’t see any way that KC leaves the draft without a quarterback, and with no clear cut number one prospect, they reach to take Smith.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars – Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
The Jags certainly have holes to fill, but getting a franchise pass rusher will be beneficial for a rebuilding team. A quarterback would be nice, but there’s none here to take. Moore moved from the Big 12 to SEC, and continued to improve against tougher competition. There’s no doubt he’s the best defensive player in this draft.
3. Oakland Raiders – – Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
The Raiders are likely to have to start over at the DT position, as Richard Seymour may be gone. Star would provide a NFL sized lineman who might be a bit raw, but has every indicator that he’ll be a rock solid option in the middle of a defense.
4. Philadelphia Eagles – – Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Chip Kelly is going to be able to work with a lesser quarterback, so he’ll want to make sure the blocking is there to run his offense. Joeckel is the best tackle prospect, especially with Taylor Lewan heading back to school. The Eagles could go for Dee Milliner here, but I think Kelly is going to want offense to be the priority.
5. Detroit Lions – Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
The Lions seem to need plenty of other positions, but Milliner is going to fill a position of need. There are plenty of corners out of contract for the Lions, and they may want to start over rather than bringing back older veterans like Drayton Florence.
6. Cleveland Browns – Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
Mingo is going to be an elite pass rusher in the NFL, and the Browns need pass rush badly. He’s big enough, quick enough, and smart enough to be a DeMarcus Ware type of player.
7. Arizona Cardinals – Matt Barkley, QB, USC
I don’ think Barkley is the 7th best player in the draft. However, drafting a competent QB means the Cardinals get two players: Barkley and Larry Fitzgerald. Having someone who can get the ball to one of the best wideouts in the league should be a top priority, and settling for Alex Smith or Matt Flynn would be foolish for the Cards.
8. Buffalo Bills – Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
This is another one I don’t really think is the best player out there, but the Bills are going to take a quarterback. As tempting as it would be for Doug Marrone to reunite with Ryan Nassib, Wilson is clearly the better NFL prospect.
9. New York Jets – Jarvis Jones, DE/OLB, Georgia
Jones is a pass rusher extraordinaire who can also play a role on first and second down, and the Jets need to bring in new talent to reestablish themselves as a top NFL defense.
10. Tennessee Titans – Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
Is this too high to take a guard? Maybe. But Chris Johnson is an explosive player who needs a better line in front of him. Warmack is a rock solid prospect who could make a huge impact and help get CJ2K back on track.
11. San Diego Chargers – Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
It’s time for some NFL Draft #MACtion, as the CMU prospect heads to San Diego. The Chargers have let a ton of talent slip away over the past few years, and it’s time to start rebuilding. Franchise tackles are a good place to start.
12. Miami Dolphins – Sheldon Richardson, DT, Mizzou
The Dolphins need a quick, athletic tackle to line up with the tank that is Paul Soliai. Richardson has all that, plus a high work ethic.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Rather than reach for a cornerback, the Buccaneers snatch up the star defensive end from Florida State. Werner has a huge ceiling, and he’ll be able to work his way into the defensive end rotation with Adrian Clayborn and the oft-injured Da’Quan Bowers.
14. Carolina Panthers – Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
Hankins is a beast of a man who will add a true presence to the middle of the Panthers defense. He’ll help shore up the Panthers depleted defensive tackle position.
15. New Orleans Saints – Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
The Saints pass defense was really, really bad. Their safeties are certainly part of the reason for that, and the Saints bring in Vaccaro to help upgrade their porous D.
16. St. Louis Rams – Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
Johnson has great football IQ, but is still learning the tackle position. He’s a great prospect to help build up a better protection scheme for Sam Bradford and the post-Steven Jackson running game.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers – Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon
Jordan brings what the Steelers need, a quick pass rusher to bring back the fearsome front seven in Steeler nation.
18. Dallas Cowboys – Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
The Cowboys will be moving to a 4-3, and they’ll need 4-3 players. Montgomery is big enough to play the end position for Monte Kiffin’s defense, and he’s got the speed to make an impact.
19. New York Giants – Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame
Chase Blackburn is a free agent, and the Giants may take Te’o slide as a chance to replace Blackburn with a young, smart middle linebacker. Plus, wouldn’t it be fun for Te’o to be in New York and get all that media attention?
20. Chicago Bears – Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia
Ogletree is a quick, hard hitting linebacker who looks for the big play. He’d fit right in with the big play Bears defense, who need to replace Brian Urlacher eventually.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
The Bengals are losing players at the defensive end position this offseason, and may look to the draft for this hyper-athletic and versatile prospect from Brigham Young.
Banks is probably one of the best players left, and while he’s not the best corner from a technical perspective, he produced in the SEC and proved to be a big time playmaker.
23. Minnesota Vikings – Keenan Allen, WR, California
Allen is going to fight for every yard and every catch. If Percy Harvin is gone, the Vikings will need someone to rely on. If Harvin stays, the Vikings still need a better compliment than Jerome Simpson.
24. Indianapolis Colts – Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
Vontae Davis needs some help on the other side of the field. Rhodes is shooting up draft boards and would be a solid choice for an improving Colts franchise.
25. Seattle Seahawks – Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Patterson is tall enough, and more than fast enough, to give Russell Wilson yet another weapon on a rapidly improving Seahawks offense.
26. Green Bay Packers – Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford
Ertz will provide a tight end Rodgers can rely on, and allows the Pack to get rid of Finley, who doesn’t even come close to earning his paycheck.
27. Houston Texans – Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
The Texans need an option to take some pressure off of Andre Johnson. They could also use a dynamic returner to replace Trindon Holliday who they let go of a bit prematurely.
28. Denver Broncos – Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
Williams would bring the Broncos a replacement for their free agents at defensive tackle. He’s a large man who can also make plays, and will help draw blockers away from the Broncos amazing pass rushers.
29. New England Patriots – Matt Elam, S, Florida
The Patriots love Gators. The Patriots need help in pass defense. It makes sense.
30. Atlanta Falcons – Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
Tony G is moving on, so the Falcons replace him with the Fighting Irish prospect.
31. Baltimore Ravens – Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU
Dannell Ellerbee is a free agent, and Ray Lewis is retiring. Minter could fill in for either one and help reload the Ravens defense.
32. San Francisco 49ers – Robert Woods, WR, Southern Cal
Woods has all the talent in the world. He just needs to put it together consistently. He probably should have been a much higher pick, but he just hasn’t taken the next step. He could prove to be a big time playmaker for the Niners.
Leo Howell’s Buccaneers Big Board
1. Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
2. Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
3. Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
4. Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
5. Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia
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