Mock draft 4.0: Cutler adds intrigue to draft scenarios

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Well, well, well ...

This recent development with the Broncos and seemingly soon-to-be ex-Denver quarterback Jay Cutler has added a little intrigue to draft scenarios -- especially my mock draft. This could cause more hypothetical scenarios than ever because of the number of teams that could deal for the disgruntled QB.

Then again, not much could change.

The big mystery in Denver's quest to trade Cutler could be compensation. Does it want a quarterback in return? Could the Broncos try to deal Cutler to Detroit for the first pick to draft a QB? Could Denver swap for a lower draft pick, use its No. 12 pick on a quarterback and sign a free agent like Jeff Garcia or Byron Leftwich to hold things down for a year or so?

» Previous mock drafts: Version 1.0 | 2.0 | 3.0


Mock draft: Round 1
Pick
Team
Player
Pos.
School
Previous pick
1.
QB
Georgia
The Lions seemingly would be front and center in the Cutler sweepstakes because of the value of the top pick. Detroit said it was open to a trade. The top spot might not be what the Broncos want, though. Stafford has been compared to Cutler, in terms of skill set, and having a big-armed quarterback paired with WR Calvin Johnson is a potentially great combination.

  Matthew Stafford: Combine highlights | Draft journey

2.
OT
Baylor
Smith could be the top pick if the Lions opt to play it safe. If that's the case, Virginia OT Eugene Monroe could be the Rams' selection. The Rams could pull a surprise and select Wake Forest LB Aaron Curry but the offensive line seems too pressing a need.

  Jason Smith: Combine highlights | First draft

3.
LB
Wake Forest
The Chiefs are doing extensive homework on the player considered the top talent in the draft. Curry would add all-around toughness to a defense in need of some. This is one team that won't be interested in Cutler.

  Aaron Curry: Combine highlights | First draft | Vignette | Exclusive interview

4.
OT
Virginia
This is where some of the trade action could get going -- but not for Cutler. Seattle could move back and possibly nab a wide receiver and allow a team like Philadelphia (21, 28) to move up and get Monroe or Andre Smith. If Stafford is still on the board, the 'Hawks could stay pat and select him.

  Enguene Monroe: Combine highlights

5.
DE/LB
Texas
This is a sleeper team that could alter the draft. The Browns could be the team that lands Cutler and gives Denver this pick and quarterback Brady Quinn or Derek Anderson. They also could sit tight and select OT Andre Smith to pair on the right side opposite Thomas. Orakpo would best fit a need, but Cleveland could be a major player with this pick.

  Brian Orakpo: Combine highlights | First draft | Vignette | Exclusive interview

6.
OT
Alabama
Smith’s reputation seems to be on the mend, especially after he continues to show up as one of the best players on the field when coaches and GMs break down film. Smith could be a huge help, if he’s still at this spot. The Bengals could go defense but Smith might be the best player on the board.

  Andre Smith: First draft | Exclusive interview

7.
WR
Texas Tech
The Raiders would love to add a playmaker. A potential surprise could be one of the top offensive tackles should any of them slip. Crabtree seems to be one of the few wide receivers who could have an impact as a rookie. His toughness and sure hands are perfect tools to help a quarterback still trying to find his way.

  Michael Crabtree: First draft

8.
WR
Missouri
The Jags could be an outside player with Cutler but they want to minimize drama after last season and Cutler could provide a little too much theater. Though USC QB Mark Sanchez could be a solid pick, the Jags need to add some big-play game-breakers and Maclin fits the criteria. Good wide receiver, Wildcat formation running back, kickoff and punt returner.

  Jeremy Maclin: Combine highlights | First draft | Pro day
Pick
Team
Player
Pos.
School
Previous pick
9.
CB/S
Ohio State
This could end up being Brian Cushing or Aaron Maybin. The Packers are looking for help on the front-seven edge as they convert to a 3-4. Jenkins, who could move to safety from cornerback, could be the hybrid-type of defensive back that gets freedom to roam that is becoming more abundant in aggressive 3-4 schemes.

  Malcolm Jenkins: Combine highlights

10.
QB
USC
Another team that could be in the Cutler sweepstakes. This could also be a landing spot for Andre Smith if he is still on the board. Sanchez simply is too good a value for a team so uncertain at quarterback to overlook. He could be groomed or, like Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco last season, eventually end up as a starter in a run-heavy offense.

  Mark Sanchez: Combine highlights | First draft | Pro day interview

11.
DE/LB
Florida State
Brown is the type of stud edge player that could help some of the emerging ball hawks in the secondary prosper. The Bills have to formulate a strong pass rush and Brown could be a solid piece.

  Everette Brown: Combine highlights | First draft

12.
DT
Boston College
With all the possible trades, the Broncos still likely will have this pick and Raji is a must -- unless Sanchez is available and Denver hasn't acquired a young starting quarterback. Raji helps solidify a defensive front which could be under a lot more pressure since the offense probably won't have its Pro Bowl quarterback making plays.

  B.J. Raji: Combine highlights | First draft | D-line demo

13.
LB
USC
Another team that could make a play for Cutler with potential compensation, with Jason Campbell fitting the mold of the young, coachable prospect Denver coach Josh McDaniel wants. For now, Cushing could have a slight edge over Aaron Maybin because of his ability to play better in space.

  Brian Cushing: Combine highlights | First draft

14.
DE
LSU
The Saints are concerned that ends Will Smith and Charles Grant could have to serve four-game suspensions from testing positive for a banned diuretic last season and want to have some insurance, who could also develop into a starter, in place. Jackson is a big anchor end who could be playing in front of a familiar fan base. The Saints want to replace burly RB Deuce McAllister and Chris "Beanie" Wells could be in play but a bigger back in the second or middle rounds could be a better value since that would be a situational role.

  Tyson Jackson: Combine highlights | First draft | Exclusive interview

15.
DE/LB
Penn State
An athletic rotational pass rusher who could fit in perfectly with defensive ends Mario Williams and Antonio Smith. That would be a formidable rushing trio that could result in more forced turnovers and the opportunity for Houston's offense to rack up points.

  Aaron Maybin: Combine highlights | First draft

16.
LB
USC
The Chargers could be very tempted to take Georgia RB Knowshon Moreno. Maualuga provides a defensive tone-setter, which, combined with a healthy Shawne Merriman, could give San Diego a menacing persona and the potential to be very aggressive in run and pass situations.

  Rey Maualuga: Combine highlights
Pick
Team
Player
Pos.
School
Previous pick
17.
QB
Kansas State
The first of three straight teams who could make a serious play for Cutler. Freeman is a project, who would have to be groomed, which is why the Jets could trade out of the spot or surprise with RB Chris "Beanie" Wells or WR Percy Harvin.

  Josh Freeman: Combine highlights

18.
DE
Tennessee
Bears could possibly make a play for Cutler. Josh Freeman is a possibility too. Ayers is physically impressive and could re-start the process of adding playmaking athletes to the defensive line. Chicago's linebackers need someone to steer attention elsewhere and Ayers could help.

  Robert Ayers: Combine highlights | First draft

19.
DT
Mississippi
Another potential Cutler suitor. If the Buccaneers can't get the Denver QB, Jerry is exactly was they need to fortify the middle. Tampa needs to have a one- or two-gap DT who can be stout on run downs and be effective in a rotation in passing situations. The Bucs plays in a run-heavy division and if they remain vulnerable from guard-to-guard, they could be in serious trouble.

  Peria Jerry: First draft

20.
LB
Ohio State
This would be a great pick for the Lions to bolster the defense and Laurinaitis is the best player on the board. A top-15 talent, this is ideal value. He is a much-needed masher who could ease some of the tackling burden off the outside 'backers.

  James Laurinaitis: Combine highlights | First draft

21.
OT
Mississippi
The Eagles might have used this pick to trade up in the draft and acquire a different OT or as trade bait to land Arizona WR Anquan Boldin, Cincinnati WR Chad Johnson or Cleveland WR Braylon Edwards. Should Oher fall this far, the Eagles can't pass and will roll the dice that Moreno is around when they pick again at No. 28.

  Michael Oher: Combine highlights | First draft

22.
WR
Florida
The Vikings might not have enough to entice Denver for Jay Cutler. A multi-dimensional player like Harvin could help ease some of the limitations of quarterbacks Tarvaris Jackson/Sage Rosenfels. Harvin is a blazing speedster who must be accounted for, leaving one less defender to try to stop Adrian Peterson.

  Percy Harvin: Combine highlights | First draft | Vignette | Exclusive interview

23.
LB
USC
Matthews is rising and he could be the perfect type for the Patriots' defense: Hard worker, coachable and tough. Wake Forest CB Alphonso Smith could be an option here if the Pats' potential pursuit of Carolina DE Julius Peppers or Redskins DE Jason Taylor materializes.

  Clay Matthews: Combine highlights | First draft

24.
CB
Illinois
The Falcons would be beside themselves if Davis fell this far, which is a possibility. Atlanta would like an outside linebacker but the free-agent signing of Mike Peterson and potential emergence of Stephen Nicholas at outside linebacker could lead to the selection of a CB, which is a pressing area of need.

  Vontae Davis: Combine highlights
Pick
Team
Player
Pos.
School
Previous pick
25.
WR
Rutgers
Britt's solid 40 time at his pro day helped this productive wideout move into the first round. Bill Parcells likes big, tall players and Britt meets the measurable. The Dolphins have to add receiving threats.

  Percy Harvin: Combine highlights | First draft

26.
WR
Maryland
The Ravens could be a surprise forward mover on draft day. They supposedly like OT Andre Smith but Baltimore seemingly has a more pressing need at wide receiver. Hayward-Bey is a blazer who could provide some explosiveness.

  Darrius Heyward-Bey: Combine highlights | First draft

27.
DT
Missouri
Hood seems to be gaining favor with each team he visits. He is a tireless worker with a solid background who can add some beef and toughness to Indy's interior defense. The Colts must buff up against the run and Hood could help solidify the smallish defensive front.

  Evander "Ziggy" Hood: Combine highlights | First draft

28.
RB
Georgia
Moreno could go much earlier but the lack of need for first-round running backs could allow him to fall to the ideal situation for him and the Eagles. A tough slasher with a knack for the goal line, Moreno would be a perfect complement to Brian Westbrook.

  Knowshon Moreno: Combine highlights | First draft

29.
RB
Ohio State
The wide receiver help New York needs seems more likely to come via trade (Braylon Edwards, Anquan Boldin). If it requires this pick, the Giants probably would sacrifice this selection. If not, Wells, at this point, is way too valuable to bypass. The Saints could take him early but New Orleans' first preference is to solidify the leaky D that's kept it out of the playoffs.

  Chris "Beanie" Wells: Combine highlights | First draft

30.
WR
North Carolina
The Titans historically don't take wide receivers in the first round and this could easily become CB Alphonso Smith. Nicks, though, is so gifted and talented, he might just be too good to bypass. Tennessee is working out a bevy of wideouts, which could be a ruse, or the Titans could be realizing that they must find a way to better stretch the field.

  Hakeem Nicks: Combine highlights | First draft

31.
RB
Connecticut
Pittsburgh's LeSean McCoy could be the selection as well. Both are versatile players who could complement Tim Hightower. Though the Cardinals say they are contemplating what to do with incumbent running back Edgerrin James, he probably won't be on the roster very long after the draft.

  Donald Brown: Combine highlights | First draft | Exclusive interview

32.
OT
Arizona
The Steelers need help at tackle and Britton -- if he's still available -- could develop into a first-year starter. He is a solid pass protector but a better run blocker with the ability to play both tackle spots or even guard. His durability is a plus, as talent evaluators love seasoned, tough players when assessing O-linemen.

  Eben Britton: Combine highlights


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