Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III Top Draft Boards, Luke Kuechly Still Headed for Arizona in Mock Draft 2.0

Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III Top Draft Boards, Luke Kuechly Still Headed for Arizona in Mock Draft 2.0As the scouting combine came to an end, the rash of focus has been on the Rams’ strong desire to trade the No. 2 pick. Of course, at this point, it looks like a lock to happen because Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III impressed enough teams to lock down that second selection. Check here for a complete analysis of that situation.

But here’s the point, as I lead into my second of 10 mock drafts. Just like the rest of the planet, I know Griffin will go second. I’ve never included a trade in the last two years of mock drafts because it brings up too many complications, but it looks like such a forgone conclusion that I’ve got to rethink that philosophy this time around.

So while the Rams field offers, I’ll do the work for them (that’s nice, right?). The Browns will acquire the second pick in exchange for the fourth pick and the 22nd pick, among other selections that don’t affect this mock. But let’s throw in a third- and fourth-rounder from this year’s draft and a second-rounder in 2013. If the Rams finalize a trade before free agency, I think they can get that type of haul.

1. Indianapolis Colts
2011 Record: 2-14
Positional Needs: Quarterback, cornerback, guard, center, defensive tackle, wide receiver, outside linebacker, safety
The Pick: Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck
Analysis: With Peyton Manning‘s roster bonus due March 8, this storyline is about to get a whole lot crazier. It’s one thing to presume Manning will be released. It’s another to actually see it happen.

2. Cleveland Browns (from St. Louis Rams)
2011 Record: 2-14
Positional Needs: Quarterback, wide receiver, running back, cornerback, defensive end, tackle, guard, outside linebacker
The Pick: Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III
Previous Pick: USC tackle Matt Kalil (Rams)
Analysis: This will, in all likelihood, be the landing spot for Robert Griffin III after a trade. But Kalil could be in the class of Jake Long and Joe Thomas, and that would be quite the haul for the Rams.

3. Minnesota Vikings
2011 Record: 3-13
Positional Needs: Tackle, wide receiver, cornerback, safety, guard, outside linebacker, defensive tackle, running back
The Pick: USC tackle Matt Kalil
Previous Pick: Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon
Analysis: The Vikings will be another beneficiary of the Rams’ trade because they’ll have the ability to draft the best non-quarterback on the board, and a franchise left tackle will fall into their laps. They might also be able to trade the pick for a team that gets overeager about Ryan Tannehill, but it won’t yield half the haul the Rams got for Robert Griffin III.

4. St. Louis Rams (from Cleveland Browns)
2011 Record: 4-12
Positional Needs: Tackle, wide receiver, cornerback, guard, outside linebacker, safety, defensive tackle, running back
The Pick: Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon
Previous Pick: Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III (Browns)
Analysis: The Rams could get creative here and make a play for Morris Claiborne, and it wouldn’t be a bad pick. But they’ve got to help quarterback Sam Bradford.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2011 Record: 4-12
Positional Needs: Cornerback, inside linebacker, outside linebacker, wide receiver, tackle, guard, running back
The Pick: LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne
Analysis: If Aqib Talib and Ronde Barber don’t return, the Bucs would usher in a new cornerback to be the staple of their defense.

6. Washington Redskins
2011 Record: 5-11
Positional Needs: Quarterback, wide receiver, guard, cornerback, tackle, tight end, safety
The Pick: Iowa tackle Riley Reiff
Previous Pick: Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill
Analysis: I’m backing off Tannehill for now because I’d fully expect the Redskins to get aggressive enough to land either Peyton Manning or Matt Flynn in free agency. If neither pans out and they also miss on Robert Griffin III, the Redskins should again be the favorites to draft Tannehill.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars
2011 Record: 5-11
Positional Needs: Wide receiver, quarterback, cornerback, defensive end, safety, tackle
The Pick: South Carolina defensive end Melvin Ingram
Previous Pick: North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples
Analysis: Ingram was one of the combine’s big winners, and there are some concerns with Coples’ character. At this point in the process, Ingram looks like the safer play.

8. Miami Dolphins
2011 Record: 6-10
Positional Needs: Quarterback, defensive end, outside linebacker, defensive tackle, inside linebacker, tight end, safety, wide receiver
The Pick: North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples
Previous Pick: Iowa tackle Riley Reiff
Analysis: Same deal as the Redskins, I’m expecting the Dolphins to land either Peyton Manning or Matt Flynn, and they’ll probably target Ryan Tannehill if it all falls apart. Until then, Coples could be paired with Cam Wake as the bookends of Miami’s new 4-3 defense.

9. Carolina Panthers
2011 Record: 6-10
Positional Needs: Defensive tackle, outside linebacker, inside linebacker, cornerback, safety, tackle, wide receiver
The Pick: LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers
Analysis: Nothing to see here. It’s a nice and easy pick for the Panthers, and if Brockers is as good as advertised — minus the less-than-ideal showing at the combine — he could be something of a steal at No. 9.

10. Buffalo Bills
2011 Record: 6-10
Positional Needs: Defensive end, outside linebacker, cornerback, tackle, wide receiver, inside linebacker
The Pick: USC defensive end Nick Perry
Previous Pick: South Carolina defensive end Melvin Ingram
Analysis: I’m not completely convinced of this pick because this could be a little high for Perry. If Quinton Coples or Melvin Ingram don’t fall to No. 10, the Bills might be more inclined to take a cornerback with a better overall grade.

11. Kansas City Chiefs
2011 Record: 7-9
Positional Needs: Tackle, defensive tackle, outside linebacker, quarterback, wide receiver, tight end, running back
The Pick: Alabama running back Trent Richardson
Analysis: The Chiefs could address a greater need at defensive tackle or outside linebacker here, but Richardson’s value is too good to pass up.

12. Seattle Seahawks
2011 Record: 7-9
Positional Needs: Quarterback, defensive end, defensive tackle, inside linebacker, outside linebacker, cornerback, guard
The Pick: Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill
Previous Pick: Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still
Analysis: At this point, it’s a reach to think Tannehill would last this long because the new rookie salary scale makes it easier to gamble on a quarterback early in the draft. Tannehill only started 19 games in college after converting from wide receiver, so there will be growing pains. Since the Seahawks don’t have a long-term answer at quarterback, it’s worth the risk.

13. Arizona Cardinals
2011 Record: 8-8
Positional Needs: Tackle, inside linebacker, outside linebacker, guard, wide receiver, tight end, quarterback, cornerback
The Pick: Boston College inside linebacker Luke Kuechly
Analysis: Kuechly cemented his stock with a terrific performance at the combine, and he could be the guy to take over Arizona’s defense.

14. Dallas Cowboys
2011 Record: 8-8
Positional Needs: Cornerback, safety, guard, inside linebacker, defensive end, center, defensive tackle, outside linebacker
The Pick: Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick
Analysis: The Cowboys would have their choice between Kirkpatrick, Janoris Jenkins, David DeCastro and Mark Barron here. There’s no doubt they’ll be able to address a significant need.

15. Philadelphia Eagles
2011 Record: 8-8
Positional Needs: Inside linebacker, outside linebacker, safety, guard, wide receiver, defensive tackle, cornerback
The Pick: Alabama safety Mark Barron
Analysis: Barron is easily the best safety in the draft and would fit a need the Eagles have tried to fill for a couple years.

16. New York Jets
2011 Record: 8-8
Positional Needs: Outside linebacker, safety, tackle, defensive tackle, wide receiver, tight end
The Pick: Alabama outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw
Analysis: The Jets might be well-served to target one of the talented defensive tackles on the board, but it would be surprising if head coach Rex Ryan was able to ignore one of the draft’s best pass rushers.

17. Cincinnati Bengals
2011 Record: 9-7
Positional Needs: Cornerback, running back, wide receiver, safety, guard, defensive end
The Pick: North Alabama cornerback Janoris Jenkins
Analysis: The Bengals should be thrilled to get one of the draft’s three best cornerbacks. Jenkins has made the case that his troubled past is in the rearview, but the Bengals aren’t exactly averse to drafting a potential knucklehead.

18. San Diego Chargers
2011 Record: 8-8
Positional Needs: Outside linebacker, safety, cornerback, wide receiver, tight end, guard, tackle
The Pick: Stanford guard David DeCastro
Previous Pick: USC defensive end Nick Perry
Analysis: This would be an ideal transition with Kris Dielman retiring.

19. Chicago Bears
2011 Record: 8-8
Positional Needs: Wide receiver, tight end, tackle, guard, safety, cornerback, running back
The Pick: Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd
Previous Pick: Baylor wide receiver Kendall Wright
Analysis: Wright bombed at the combine with a 4.61-second 40-yard dash, so Floyd has taken over as the second receiver on the board.

20. Tennessee Titans
2011 Record: 9-7
Positional Needs: Guard, center, safety, outside linebacker, defensive end, wide receiver
The Pick: Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus
Previous Pick: Stanford guard David DeCastro
Analysis: The Titans need some punch on the edge after ranking 31st in sacks with just 28.

21. Cincinnati Bengals
2011 Record: 9-7
Positional Needs: Cornerback, running back, wide receiver, safety, guard, defensive end
The Pick: Baylor wide receiver Kendall Wright
Previous Pick: Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd
Analysis: After landing a solid cornerback, the Bengals can turn their attention to the other side of the ball and get Andy Dalton another explosive weapon. This should be a big draft for the Bengals.

22. St. Louis Rams (from Cleveland Browns)
2011 Record: 4-12
Positional Needs: Tackle, wide receiver, cornerback, guard, outside linebacker, safety, defensive tackle, running back
The Pick: Stanford tackle Jonathan Martin
Previous Pick: Stanford tackle Jonathan Martin (Browns)
Analysis: Martin might not fall this far, but if the Rams land both Martin and Justin Blackmon, their trade would pay immediate dividends.

23. Detroit Lions
2011 Record: 10-6
Positional Needs: Cornerback, safety, tackle, center, defensive end, outside linebacker
The Pick: Ohio State tackle Mike Adams
Analysis: The Lions have already built one line. Now, they’ve got to beef up the other one.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers
2011 Record: 12-4
Positional Needs: Tackle, guard, cornerback, inside linebacker, defensive tackle, running back
The Pick: Georgia tackle/guard Cordy Glenn
Analysis: The Steelers’ offensive line has been a mess for a few years. They could go in a couple directions with this pick, but they owe it to Ben Roethlisberger and the running game to get some players who could, you know, block for them.

25. Denver Broncos
2011 Record: 8-8
Positional Needs: Defensive tackle, inside linebacker, safety, cornerback, wide receiver, running back
The Pick: Memphis defensive tackle Dontari Poe
Previous Pick: Michigan State defensive tackle Jerel Worthy
Analysis: Poe was an overnight sensation at the combine and could potentially fly into the top-12, but his inconsistency in college won’t lend to terrific tape. Scouts can only hope he played down to his competition and won’t be a problem in the NFL.

26. Houston Texans
2011 Record: 10-6
Positional Needs: Wide receiver, outside linebacker, defensive tackle, guard, center, safety, cornerback
The Pick: LSU wide receiver Rueben Randle
Analysis: It might be easier for the Texans to fill their receiving need in free agency, which would allow them to concentrate on their front-seven needs in the draft, particularly since there’s still going to be some talent at that point.

27. New England Patriots (via New Orleans)
2011 Record: 13-3
Positional Needs: Safety, outside linebacker, defensive end, wide receiver, cornerback
The Pick: Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still
Previous Pick: Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus
Analysis: Still was able to take over the trenches in college, and he’d be an asset in New England’s front, regardless of the 4-3 or 3-4. If nothing else, Bill Belichick loves adding depth to his defensive line, and he’ll have a good choice of interior players to choose from at this spot.

28. Green Bay Packers
2011 Record: 15-1
Positional Needs: Outside linebacker, defensive end, safety, cornerback, running back
The Pick: Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox
Analysis: Cox appears to be a very similar player to Devon Still, though the MSU product is a little sleeker.

29. Baltimore Ravens
2011 Record: 12-4
Positional Needs: Inside linebacker, wide receiver, tackle, center, safety, outside linebacker
The Pick: Alabama inside linebacker Dont’a Hightower
Analysis: Hightower is a winner who plays with a mean streak and really attacks the ball. He looks perfect for the Ravens.

30. San Francisco 49ers
2011 Record: 13-3
Positional Needs: Wide receiver, cornerback, safety, outside linebacker, tackle, guard, quarterback
The Pick: South Carolina wide receiver Alshon Jeffery
Analysis: Jeffery wasn’t exactly a standout at the combine, but he’s an obvious talent on game day. Since the 49ers have established an intense culture under head coach Jim Harbaugh, they should feel confident in handling Jeffery’s questionable conditioning.

31. New England Patriots
2011 Record: 13-3
Positional Needs: Safety, outside linebacker, defensive end, wide receiver, cornerback, defensive tackle
The Pick: Clemson defensive end Andre Branch
Previous Pick: Nebraska cornerback Alfonzo Dennard
Analysis: Branch had 10.5 sacks last season, and he could play the edge in either of New England’s defensive fronts.

32. New York Giants
2011 Record: 9-7
Positional Needs: Inside linebacker, tight end, safety, cornerback, guard, defensive tackle, wide receiver
The Pick: Wisconsin center Peter Konz
Analysis: Konz projects to play at any position on the interior of the line, so the Giants would be able to upgrade the position of their choosing.

Click here to see photos of players selected for all 32 NFL teams >>>

Previous Mocks: Mock Draft 1.0

Have a question for Jeff Howe? Send it to him via Twitter at @jeffphowe or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.