When reviewing large shifts in draft evaluations (Landry Jones for one), I think a large portion can be attributed to projecting these talents before actually knowing much about them. Part of that, in my opinion, is including juniors in evaluations or mock drafts before seeing enough exposures. Therefore, this mock is only made up of seniors. This will be a common theme for the next few months, as I will be focusing on prospects entering their final collegiate season.
I have used Evan Silva’s preseason rankings for the draft order, with a few changes to make sure the appropriate divisions have the correct amount of teams in the playoffs.
1. Oakland Raiders - T Jake Matthews, Texas A&M - It might have been a bluff, but the Raiders were frequently mentioned to be considering a tackle, and some already believe Matthews is a superior prospect to Luke Joeckel.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars - QB Tajh Boyd, Clemson - If Boyd continues his progression as a passer, watch out. He avoided pressure and tested downfield like a professional in 2012.
3. Buffalo Bills - T Taylor Lewan, Michigan - I like Cordy Glenn quite a bit, but this could be a best player available situation. We’ve seen the NFL doesn’t shy away from selecting two solid tackles.
4. San Diego Chargers - OLB Anthony Barr, UCLA - The Bruin pass rusher is still learning and growing into his position, but his ability to turn the corner, bend on the edge, and close is outstanding.
5. NY Jets - OLB Kyle Van Noy, BYU - The team appears set to move Quinton Coples to outside linebacker, but Van Noy would only improve the pass rush with his strength and consistency on the edge.
6. Tennessee Titans - QB David Fales, San Jose State - The San Jose State passer is not a complete product, but there are some amazing throws with excellent downfield placement he flashes on a game by game basis.
7. Arizona Cardinals - DT Daniel McCullers, Tennessee - McCullers’ evaluation could go one of two ways. One, his development could continue and the massive tackle will likely be mentioned as one of the top prospects. Two, his balance and leverage do not improve and he will be coined a project.
8. Philadelphia Eagles - LB C.J. Mosley, Alabama - Mosley is one of the top prospects in this senior class and is tremendously well-rounded and consistent. He’s an instant upgrade over Demeco Ryans.
9. Cleveland Browns - QB Stephen Morris, Miami - I know many consider A.J. McCarron and Aaron Murray superior prospects, but Morris could be viewed as having more achievable upside and a live arm to test vertically.
10. Detroit Lions - CB Jason Verrett, TCU - Even when juniors are added, Verrett could be mentioned among the top corners. The Lions added two edge pass rushers but could look to upgrade their secondary next year.
11. Carolina Panthers - S Lamarcus Joyner, FSU - The Panthers worked out plenty of receivers and defensive backs leading up to the draft, but selected neither. Joyner has plenty of range and makes a few hits abnormal for someone his size.
12. Dallas Cowboys - DT Dominique Easley, Florida - I expect Easley to bulk up and move inside in 2013, like Sharrif Floyd did last year. Many Cowboys fans were upset the team passed on Floyd, but Easley could be the answer for the new four man front.
13. St. Louis Rams - DT Will Sutton, Arizona State - Even though the Rams have solid edge rushers in Chris Long and Robert Quinn, Sutton could really disrupt things on the interior. I love his quickness and leverage to impact the line of scrimmage.
14. Kansas City Chiefs - DL Ra’Shede Hageman, Minnesota - Many suggested the Chiefs should have selected a defensive lineman to beef up their front seven. Hageman has a lot of upside that could turn into production this season and projects as a 5 technique.
15. Miami Dolphins - DT DeAndre Coleman, Cal - I understand Jared Odrick could be moved inside at some point, but Coleman is another improving defensive lineman with the frame to play inside in either front.
16. Cincinnati Bengals - LB Christian Jones, FSU - Jones is an outstanding talent who can close quickly to make plays behind the line of scrimmage. The Seminoles lost plenty of talent, but Jones will be a consistent force this season.