Mock Draft 4.0: Floyd to CincyFriday, April 20, 2012
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11. Kansas City Chiefs -- Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill
Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel is a big fan of Luke Kuechly, and Kuechly is the likeliest choice for K.C. if Tannehill doesn't fall. In this scenario, however, Tannehill becomes the best value left at the 11th overall selection, and also fits into a position of need. The Chiefs are aware that Matt Cassel is a game manager at his finest, and have a perfect environment to groom a quarterback capable of developing into far more. They won't trade up for Tannehill, but they will take him at 11.
12. Seattle Seahawks -- Boston College LB Luke Kuechly
Non-pass rush linebackers don't typically warrant top-15 selections. They are often thumping, two-down run stoppers, leaving the field in passing sets. Kuechly is different. "He is the best pass-dropping inside 'backer I've ever seen come out of college," NFL Network's Mike Mayock says. Kuechly is a three-down player, and a safe pick for a Seattle team that prides itself on defense.
13. Arizona Cardinals -- Iowa OT Riley Reiff
The Cardinals have a glaring O-Line need, and it's conceivable that they'll rate Reiff as a top-five overall player because he's such a system fit. While some teams question Reiff's ability to play left tackle, he could be a starter on either side in Arizona, bookending Levi Brown and kicking Adam Snyder inside to guard. Reiff may lack ideal NFL measurables, but he is a plug-and-play starter.
14. Dallas Cowboys -- Alabama SS Mark Barron
Clarence Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram predicted Thursday that Dallas' pick will come down to Barron versus LSU DT Michael Brockers. Hill projected Brockers to the Cowboys, but Barron is a superior playmaker at a position of greater need. After the acquisition of Brandon Carr and Gerald Sensabaugh's long-term extension, Barron would solidify Dallas' secondary.
15. Philadelphia Eagles -- Syracuse DE Chandler Jones
The Eagles are still reeling from their decision to bypass Jason Pierre-Paul in favor of Brandon Graham two drafts ago. Graham, selected with Philly's pick at 13, has three sacks through two seasons. Drafted by the division-rival Giants two picks later, Pierre-Paul is a first-team All Pro. While not as explosive off the edge, Jones has some JPPish traits as a long-armed, high-effort pass rusher with loads of "growth potential." He'd be the Eagles' left defensive end of the future.
16. New York Jets -- South Carolina DE Melvin Ingram
While Ingram was a popular No. 7 mock pick as recently as two weeks ago, we've heard reliably that Jacksonville was smokescreening interest. The Jags sent a large contingent to the South Carolina Pro Day, while leaking their supposed Ingram love to local writers. The Jets legitimately have the hots for Ingram, whom coach Rex Ryan envisions as his next Adalius Thomas. Perhaps it will require trading up a few slots, but expect the Jets to emerge from this draft with Ingram.
17. Cincinnati Bengals -- Notre Dame WR Michael Floyd
As alluded to previously, receivers will be pushed down a bit by the draft's richness at the position. Add in the fact that there isn't a surefire No. 1 wideout in the class, and they'll almost certainly go later than most anticipate. Floyd's off-field concerns are an issue because they were recurring, bordering on chronic before a clean senior year. The Bengals don't worry much about character.
18. San Diego Chargers -- Stanford OG David DeCastro
Bolts GM A.J. Smith probably won't enter the first day of next week's draft expecting DeCastro to be available at 18. This is a virtually bust-proof, ten-year starting NFL right guard. But that's just it; DeCastro is a one-position interior player in a league growing increasingly urgent for difference makers outside the numbers. San Diego just can't afford to pass after Kris Dielman's retirement.
19. Chicago Bears -- Illinois DE Whitney Mercilus
The Bears hosted Mercilus for a pre-draft visit, worked him out privately in Champaign, and sent officials to Illinois' Pro Day. Based on Chicago's need at Mercilus' position and a non-stop motor sure to appeal to defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, we're guessing this wasn't all an elaborate smokescreen. Mercilus doesn't always jump off the page on tape, but he is a relentless finisher.
20. Tennessee Titans -- LSU DT Michael Brockers
Brockers' myth-driven hype train has screeched to a halt of late. He isn't nearly as athletic as some portrayed, and it's highly questionable whether Brockers will ever develop into a pass rusher. LSU coaches certainly didn't think he was, pulling Brockers off the field on nickel downs. He is a long, powerful force, however, and Tennessee is in search of more girth on the interior.
21. Cincinnati Bengals -- Alabama CB Dre Kirkpatrick
Kirkpatrick is typically depicted as a "size corner," but his height advantages are a bit offset by short arms, and he exhibited poor ball skills at Alabama. South Carolina's Stephon Gilmore has clearly passed Kirkpatrick as this draft's No. 2 corner, assuming Janoris Jenkins is excluded for his troublesome off-field baggage. Kirkpatrick still projects as a solid starter, and he is pro ready.