Information overload? Latest two-round mock gets alteration

The ripple effect that can take place leading up to the draft is clear this time of year. Take into account a handful of subpar pro day performances, a few medical issues creating doubt and a couple of prospects leaving bad impressions during interviews, and the entire landscape of the draft can be altered.

It's important to remember the rumors, innuendo and smoke screens that create deception about interest, which then changes any mock draft. The latest version of the first round of my two-round mock draft includes 29 of the 32 prospects from version 2.0, but 24 changes to where those players were selected. The second round has nine new players (three who slid out of the first round) as choices in the first round changed the direction teams went in the second.

In the end, my third mock draft looks quite different than my second:

First round

  1. Pick No.
    1

    ![CAR](http://img.static.nfl.com/static/site/img/logos/120x80/CAR.png)
    MARCELL DAREUS
    DT
    ALABAMA


    There could be a quarterback in this position by the time we get to late April, but after several days in New Orleans with owners, general managers and coaches, there was more doubt than conviction about the top quarterbacks in this draft. After thinking seriously about Patrick Peterson and Da'Quan Bowers, the Panthers get an instant starter in Dareus. This is the safe and solid pick for the Panthers.
  2. Pick No.
    2

    ![DEN](http://img.static.nfl.com/static/site/img/logos/120x80/DEN.png)
    DA'QUAN BOWERS
    DE
    CLEMSON


    Bowers is close to being healthy enough to work out for teams, and his agent said he's ready now. If Bowers can demonstrate the skills that led to 15.5 sacks last year, he rises right back to the top of the draft.
  3. Pick No.
    3

    ![BUF](http://img.static.nfl.com/static/site/img/logos/120x80/BUF.png)
    PATRICK PETERSON
    CB
    LSU


    Patrick has Charles Woodson-like qualities as well as terrific return skills. With Ryan Fitzpatrick under center, the Bills can afford to wait until the second round for a quarterback. With Tom Brady in the division, the Bills need a shutdown cornerback.
  4. Pick No.
    4

    ![CIN](http://img.static.nfl.com/static/site/img/logos/120x80/CIN.png)
    CAM NEWTON
    QB
    Auburn


    Newton was in this spot in my last mock draft and will probably only go up from here. The Bengals need to come to grips with the reality that Carson Palmer means what he says about retiring. Why draft a top wide receiver here if you don't have anyone to throw to him?
  5. Pick No.
    5

    ![ARI](http://img.static.nfl.com/static/site/img/logos/120x80/ARI.png)
    VON MILLER
    LB
    TEXAS A&M


    The Cardinals need a quarterback, but they could have their eye on one early in Round 2, consider a trade up into the bottom of the first round or deal for a veteran later. In the meantime, they need outside linebacker help and Miller is the best in the draft.
  6. Pick No.
    6

    ![CLE](http://img.static.nfl.com/static/site/img/logos/120x80/CLE.png)
    A.J. GREEN
    WR
    GEORGIA


    Green has been in this spot in three straight mock drafts. There will be consideration for Julio Jones, but Green is a real playmaker.
  7. Pick No.
    7

    ![SF](http://img.static.nfl.com/static/site/img/logos/120x80/SF.png)
    BLAINE GABBERT
    QB
    MISSOURI


    Get the thought out of your head that Jim Harbaugh can wait a year and draft Andrew Luck. There are simply no guarantees that the Niners will even be in that position. Gabbert can run, is very smart and works the underneath passing attack well, all qualities that apply to executing the West Coast offense.
  8. Pick No.
    8

    ![TEN](http://img.static.nfl.com/static/site/img/logos/120x80/TEN.png)
    NICK FAIRLEY
    DT
    AUBURN


    This is the second mock draft in which I've had Fairley dropping to the eighth pick. Too many people at the NFL Annual Meeting felt there are some minor doubts about Fairley. Is it his interviews? His junior college track record, or even his casual style? I've interviewed him four times and he's a football player. A bargain at this spot.
  9. Pick No.
    9

    ![DAL](http://img.static.nfl.com/static/site/img/logos/120x80/DAL.png)
    J.J. WATT
    DE
    WISCONSIN


    It's time for the Cowboys to move away from the idea of a cornerback and focus on the big players. A top offensive tackle would be a solid pick here and all will still on the board. But Watt has the size and aggressive style that Rob Ryan is looking for in his version of the 3-4 defense. Watt has been moving up draft boards for weeks now and should crack the top 10.
  10. Pick No.
    10

    ![WAS](http://img.static.nfl.com/static/site/img/logos/120x80/WAS.png)
    ROBERT QUINN
    DE
    NORTH CAROLINA


    It looks like the Redskins will have to move up if they want a top quarterback. Quinn can really help their ailing 3-4 hybrid defense, but also has health issues that have to be evaluated due to a benign tumor on his brain. Even so, he is moving up draft boards.
  11. Pick No.
    11

    ![HOU](http://img.static.nfl.com/static/site/img/logos/120x80/HOU.png)
    RYAN KERRIGAN
    DE
    PURDUE


    Kerrigan is getting favorable reviews from many coaches I've spoken with because of his production, attitude and football intelligence. The Texans need an outside linebacker in their new 3-4 defense to create more pressure in order to help the secondary. They will get a solid cornerback in the next round.
  12. Pick No.
    12

    ![MIN](http://img.static.nfl.com/static/site/img/logos/120x80/MIN.png)
    CAMERON JORDAN
    DE
    CAL


    The Vikings have needs at quarterback, offensive line and defensive line. Watching Jordan's game tapes and his work at the Senior Bowl, he is stout, can hold the point of attack, is nimble and can rush from the edge. He's also the son of former Viking tight end Steve Jordan.
  13. Pick No.
    13

    ![DET](http://img.static.nfl.com/static/site/img/logos/120x80/DET.png)
    ANTHONY CASTONZO
    OT
    Boston College


    In my last mock, it was OT Nate Solder in this spot. However, it was Castonzo who drew the praise from two offensive line coaches I've spoken with recently. His versatility makes him a solid fit for Detroit, especially after Jeff Backus played well last year.
  14. Pick No.
    14

    ![STL](http://img.static.nfl.com/static/site/img/logos/120x80/STL.png)
    JULIO JONES
    WR
    ALABAMA


    There's a school of thought that Jones will be gone by this spot, and that might very well be true. For now, he's a perfect fit in St. Louis. It will be interesting to see just how high he can go in the draft coming off foot surgery.
  15. Pick No.
    15

    ![MIA](http://img.static.nfl.com/static/site/img/logos/120x80/MIA.png)
    PRINCE AMUKAMARA
    CB
    NEBRASKA


    This is the first time I did not put running back Mark Ingram in this spot. Amukamara had yet to fall this far, but his draft grade dictates taking him here. If Amukamara slips, it will be interesting to see how far Ingram could drop.
  16. Pick No.
    16

    ![JAC](http://img.static.nfl.com/static/site/img/logos/120x80/JAC.png)
    ALDON SMITH
    DE
    MISSOURI


    Kerrigan went here last time, but he has been moving up and should be taken sooner. Smith had an average pro day, but as many coaches have told me, the pro days are overrated and don't mean much.
  17. Pick No.
    17

    ![NE](http://img.static.nfl.com/static/site/img/logos/120x80/NE.png)
    TYRON SMITH
    OT
    USC


    Even though Smith played right tackle at USC, he's projected on the left side in the NFL. Sebastian Vollmer is the right tackle in New England, but could even be a better left tackle. Taking Smith here gives the Patriots flexibility. With another pick at No. 28, they could easily trade out there to a team looking for a late first-round quarterback.
  18. Pick No.
    18

    ![SD](http://img.static.nfl.com/static/site/img/logos/120x80/SD.png)
    ADRIAN CLAYBORN
    DE
    IOWA


    Clayborn is disruptive and fits in any scheme. While he didn't have big production as a senior, he's still highly regarded. Quinn was in this spot in my last mock, but his stock is rising.
  19. Pick No.
    19

    ![NYG](http://img.static.nfl.com/static/site/img/logos/120x80/NYG.png)
    NATE SOLDER
    OT
    Colorado


    The Giants need to overhaul their once-great offensive line. Solder is a pure left tackle with pass-blocking skills. He offers protection on the blind side for Eli Manning, who is a pocket passer.
  20. Pick No.
    20

    ![TB](http://img.static.nfl.com/static/site/img/logos/120x80/TB.png)
    BRANDON HARRIS
    CB
    MIAMI


    The Buccaneers don't play as much Cover 2 as everyone believes, and getting a cornerback with man-to-man skills helps them evolve. Ronde Barber can't play forever and as Tampa Bay improves, it will rely more on nickel and dime packages when playing with a lead. Harris will play more than 60 percent of the snaps as a rookie.
  21. Pick No.
    21

    ![KC](http://img.static.nfl.com/static/site/img/logos/120x80/KC.png)
    PHIL TAYLOR
    NT
    BAYLOR


    Taylor has held down this spot in my last two mocks, because he might be the best 3-4 nose tackle in the draft. Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli likes to build his teams with big people up front, and Taylor fits the bill.
  22. Pick No.
    22

    ![IND](http://img.static.nfl.com/static/site/img/logos/120x80/IND.png)
    COREY LIUGET
    DT
    ILLINOIS


    The Colts could go offensive line here, and I would more than understand that choice with Gabe Carimi still on the board. I watched three of Liuget's games this week and was impressed with his disruptive three-technique style. He could really help the defense, which in turn might really help the offense even more.
  23. Pick No.
    23

    ![PHI](http://img.static.nfl.com/static/site/img/logos/120x80/PHI.png)
    MIKE POUNCEY
    G/C
    FLORIDA


    The Eagles have had issues all over the offensive line and could go with a tackle here. With Howard Mudd coaching the group, he will want a key figure inside and the Eagles need a healthy center. Pouncey is versatile and Mudd gets a guy who can play anywhere.
  24. Pick No.
    24

    ![NO](http://img.static.nfl.com/static/site/img/logos/120x80/NO.png)
    CAM HEYWARD
    DE
    OHIO ST.


    Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams loves versatile players with great passion for the game. Hayward is the son of former Saints running back Craig "Ironhead" Heyward, and this is the second straight mock draft I've had him in this slot.
  25. Pick No.
    25

    ![SEA](http://img.static.nfl.com/static/site/img/logos/120x80/SEA.png)
    JAKE LOCKER
    QB
    WASHINGTON


    I recently watched six of Locker's games. He has tons of raw talent, but will need at least a year of work to prepare. Re-signing Matt Hasselbeck to a short-term deal would make this a solid pick. Coaches seem to like Locker much more than his media perception as an undisciplined scrambler indicates. Two head coaches have told me they would love to coach Locker, and one compared his style to a young Steve Young.
  26. Pick No.
    26

    ![BAL](http://img.static.nfl.com/static/site/img/logos/120x80/BAL.png)
    TORREY SMITH
    WR
    Maryland


    It appears Smith has slipped out of the first round for some teams, but he has what the Ravens need most of all: Speed. He can take the top off a defense.
  27. Pick No.
    27

    ![ATL](http://img.static.nfl.com/static/site/img/logos/120x80/ATL.png)
    JIMMY SMITH
    CB
    COLORADO


    I struggled with this pick and might change it next time around because of the type of players GM Thomas Dimitroff likes to bring into the organization. Smith is a big, nasty cornerback who plays a physical brand of ball. That's appealing, but he has to convince Dimitroff and coach Mike Smith of how he will handle himself off the field on the pro level.
  28. Pick No.
    28

    ![NE](http://img.static.nfl.com/static/site/img/logos/120x80/NE.png)
    MUHAMMAD WILKERSON
    DT
    TEMPLE


    Wilkerson has the traits coach Bill Belichick looks for in his five-technique defensive ends: Height, bulk, long arms and a sub-5.0 time in the 40-yard dash at 315 pounds. I expect this pick to be traded to a team looking for a quarterback before the first round comes to an end and teams go home for the night to regroup.
  29. Pick No.
    29

    ![CHI](http://img.static.nfl.com/static/site/img/logos/120x80/CHI.png)
    GABE CARIMI
    OT
    WISCONSIN


    The Bears will consider themselves fortunate if Carimi falls to them. They need offensive line help and Carimi is NFL ready. Jay Cutler gets sacked too much and the running game needs to improve. Carimi helps on both fronts.
  30. Pick No.
    30

    ![NYJ](http://img.static.nfl.com/static/site/img/logos/120x80/NYJ.png)
    AKEEM AYERS
    OLB
    UCLA


    The Jets could go with Ayers or Justin Houston here. Looking at more tape of Ayers, he is a smooth athlete with speed and size who can drop in coverage, rush the passer and hold the point of attack.
  31. Pick No.
    31

    ![PIT](http://img.static.nfl.com/static/site/img/logos/120x80/PIT.png)
    DEREK SHERROD
    OT
    MISSISSIPPI ST.


    The Steelers will also look at guard Danny Watkins, but an offensive tackle might be a better value. At any rate, the Steelers look to be in position to repair their offensive line issues early in this draft.
  32. Pick No.
    32

    ![GB](http://img.static.nfl.com/static/site/img/logos/120x80/GB.png)
    MARK INGRAM
    RB
    ALABAMA


    Surprised Ingram fell this far? Wondering why the Steelers, with Rashard Mendenhall, wouldn't take Ingram with the previous pick? Well, the Steelers like to take the highest ranked player and this is no exception.

Second round

  1. Buffalo Bills, Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas
  1. Arizona Cardinals, Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State
  1. Houston Texans, Davon House, CB, New Mexico St.
  1. Denver Broncos, Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame
  1. Oakland Raiders, Ben Ijalana, OG, Villanova
  1. Jacksonville Jaguars, Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh
  1. New York Giants, Bruce Carter, OLB, North Carolina
  1. Indianapolis Colts, Rodney Hudson, G/C, Florida St.
  1. New Orleans Saints, Quan Sturdivant, MLB, North Carolina
  1. Baltimore Ravens, Johnny Patrick, CB, Louisville
  1. Atlanta Falcons, Luke Stocker, TE, Tennessee
  1. Chicago Bears, Edmond Gates, WR, Abilene Christian
This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Gamepass_vert_web_r

See all the Action

Replay every game all season.