Not 1, not 2, but 3 sub .500 teams in the top 10. I know everyone was expecting the Cards, Panthers, and Bengals to be really good this year... but they haven't been. The Cards lost to a really good Pats team, beat a mediocre Bucs team, and got embarrassed by an embarrassing Bills team (that you have ranked in the 20s). The Panthers have a bit more of an excuse as their losses have been to mostly good teams (the Broncos and Vikings) but I am still not buying a #5 ranking for a 1-2 team who's only win came against a horrible 49ers team. Lastly you said it all about how the Bengals have performed so far this year. These are not good teams this year, shouldn't their ranking reflect that?
While your brief analysis of the Panther's Oline has a lot of truth to it, I'm not sure it's yet fair to say that their is a problem in the 2ndary. The rooks are playing pretty well and definitely aren't the problem. Another is that they can't get a pass rush because the QBs are having success throwing the ball for short, quick, Brady esque passes, but when throwing deeper, the interior rush at least is getting there, and the corners have been impressing. While they are no Norman at this point, I can say that they are one of the few bright spots so far. The main problem is that the Oline can't block, and special teams can't tackle.
Cleveland Browns: Matt Barkley, QB, USC
The Browns are a disaster. Mike Holmgren probably won't be back next year, so the new regime will look to distance itself from Brandon Weeden, a move made possible because of the new CBA. Weeden improved upon his terrible debut at Cincinnati, but he then regressed against the Bills. The point is that if the Browns are drafting No. 1 overall, Weeden didn't prove himself to be a capable starter in this league. In that case, the Browns would certainly look to draft Matt Barkley.
The only issue is whether Barkley would actually agree to play for Cleveland, a la John Elway and Eli Manning. I guess it all depends on what sort of impression the new owner makes on the USC quarterback.
By the way, I'm doing this live because I thought it'd be fun to get instant feedback. I'm going to post my mock anyway, so why not do it this way? Follow @walterfootball for updates.
Miami Dolphins: Jarvis Jones, DE/OLB, Georgia
The Dolphins entered the 2012 offseason with a pass-rusher being one of their greatest needs. They drafted Olivier Vernon in the third round, but there's no telling if he can be a worthy complement to Cameron Wake; he hasn't played much in the first three games. If he doesn't show anything this year, Miami won't hesitate to pull the trigger on one of the three stud pass-rushers in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Jarvis Jones is a better fit for the 3-4, but he could be used similarly to Von Miller in Denver. He's just too good to pass up at this point.
Indianapolis Colts: Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU
The Colts did a great job of finding a worthy supporting cast around Andrew Luck. They'll have to use the 2013 NFL Draft to improve their defense. That includes finding help at the rush linebacker position.
I'm not sure why the Colts retained both Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis when they're in rebuilding mode, but they'll need to find someone next spring who can step in and start once either of them moves on (which very easily could be next year).
Pick change; previously Star Lotulelei, NT
Jacksonville Jaguars: Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
Blaine Gabbert appears to be a sunk cost. He's scared to take hits, he has no pocket awareness, and he stares down his receivers. He's been awful these past two weeks, and if he continues to play this poorly, the Jaguars will have to use a first-round pick on a quarterback so they can actually be competitive with the Texans. If Gene Smith is fired, this pick will almost definitely be used on a signal-caller.
Pick change; previously Johnathan Hankins, NT
St. Louis Rams: Keenan Allen, WR, California
The Rams missed out on Justin Blackmon a few months ago. As the Jaguars traded ahead of them, Jeff Fisher reportedly slammed his glasses on the table. He went on to draft Brian Quick and Chris Givens, but neither has shown any signs of become a starting receiver in the NFL. Quick hasn't even been active. Keenan Allen obviously has a much better chance of becoming a legitimate No. 1 target for Sam Bradford.
Pick change; previously Robert Woods, WR
Oakland Raiders: Johnathan Hankins, NT, Ohio State
Tommy Kelly is a bum who doesn't care about winning, as evidenced when he laughed after prolonging a San Diego drive with a pair of offside penalties. He's played so sluggishly this year, so there's no chance he's going to see a penny of his $6.5 million salary in 2013. He's as good as gone, and if I were Dennis Allen, I'd cut him ASAP.
It's a tough choice between Johnathan Hankins and Star Lotulelei. Hankins had a monstrous performance against California and might be inches ahead of the Utah prospect.
Pick change; previously Tyler Wilson, QB
New Orleans Saints: Star Lotulelei, NT, Utah
For Saint fans, the bad news is that their team stinks this season without Sean Payton. The good news is that they'll be able to land a premier defensive player to improve a woeful stop unit.
Star Lotulelei is the obvious choice in this scenario. The disappointing Sedrick Ellis will be a free agent this March, but New Orleans had to improve its lacking interior pass rush anyway.
Pick change; previously DeMarcus Milliner, CB
Carolina Panthers: Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
I was told by a reliable source that the Panthers were strongly considering Quinton Coples at the No. 9 spot in the 2012 NFL Draft, but Luke Kuechly was simply too good to pass up. Maybe they'll look at another defensive end next April. If you watched their horrendous loss to the Giants on Thursday night, you know that they desperately need to upgrade their pass rush.
Pick change; previously Justin Hunter, WR
Tennessee Titans: DeMarcus Milliner, CB, Alabama
The Titans were interested in drafting a highly ranked cornerback at No. 20 a few months ago, but neither Stephon Gilmore nor Dre Kirkpatrick fell to them. Maybe they'll have more luck in the 2013 NFL Draft. Alterraun Verner will be entering his contract year in 2013, so Tennessee will need a new starter if it can't retain him.
Pick change; previously Barkevious Mingo, DE
Kansas City Chiefs: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
It's pretty evident that the Chiefs will need to admit they were wrong and move on from Matt Cassel. He's just too limited to command a winning team in today's pass-happy NFL.
Kansas City may fall in love with the impressive Geno Smith; in fact, the front office may have to trade up to acquire him if he keeps dominating.
New York Jets: Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
The Jets are using Tim Tebow at receiver. Tim Tebow! No further explanation needed. The Jets absolutely have to upgrade one of the worst receiving corps in football.
Pick change; previously Eric Reid, S
St. Louis Rams: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Jason Smith was benched in favor of Barry Richardson and subsequently traded for turnstile Wayne Hunter, so Jeff Fisher will probably search for a tackle next spring. Fisher played against the Texans twice per year when he was with Tennessee, and he watched Houston completely ruin David Carr's career by not building a competent offensive line around him. He won't want to make the same mistake with Sam Bradford.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: David Amerson, CB, N.C. State
The Buccaneers decided they didn't like Morris Claiborne very much, so they traded out of the No. 5 spot in the 2012 NFL Draft and selected Mark Barron two picks later. They really need cornerback help, as you may know from Eli Manning's 510-yard performance, so they'll almost have to remedy that need at this juncture.
Cincinnati Bengals: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
The Bengals have just two players who can consistently get to the quarterback: Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap (though Michael Johnson just had a monstrous game). They'll have to add someone across from Dunlap, especially considering that both Johnson and Robert Geathers will be free agents in March.
Pick change; previously Sam Montgomery, DE
Chicago Bears: Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame
Brian Urlacher's successor. Urlacher will be a 35-year-old free agent this upcoming offseason and he's struggled this year. His declining play is probably the result of his knee injury, but will Chicago re-sign him if it fears his body is breaking down? Even if the front office does retain him, Manti Te'o, who just had a terrific showing versus Michigan State, can play strongside linebacker and slide into the middle once Urlacher moves on.
Minnesota Vikings: Robert Woods, WR, USC
The Vikings have to add more talent to complement Christian Ponder. They need an upgrade across from Percy Harvin, as Jerome Simpson is way too inconsistent to be a No. 2 receiver.