Kansas City Chiefs: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
This pick largely depends on what happens with Scott Pioli. If he's fired, as the awesome @saveourchiefs movement is pushing for, this selection will be used on a quarterback. There currently is no signal-caller worth taking No. 1 overall, but that could easily change. Remember two years ago when ESPN was mocking Da'Quan Bowers and Nick Fairley to the Panthers? Well, Cam Newton ballooned to the top, as will some other quarterback this year. If not, the Chiefs could always trade down.
If Pioli is retained, he'll pick Luke Joeckel, Manti Te'o or Star Lotulelei and then go for Mike Glennon in the second round. I've heard from a reliable source that Pioli really likes Glennon. Mel Kiper, by the way, stated that Glennon could be the first signal-caller off the board, so maybe the Wolfpack product will be the quarterback who rises to the top of the draft. A lot will change over the next four months.
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.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Jarvis Jones, DE/OLB, Georgia
I've been mocking a quarterback to the Jaguars for the longest time because it's been clear that Blaine Gabbert is a sunk cost. I argued that there was no way in hell Jacksonville could go into the 2013 season and sell its fans on Gabbert for another year.
However, two things have happened. First, Matt Barkley has completely fallen off and cannot be taken at No. 2 overall right now. And second, Chad Henne was brilliant in two starts prior to playing the three AFC East teams. Unless this downward spiral continues, what the Jaguars can sell the fans on is Henne as a bridge to a young quarterback they take in Round 2. Thus, they'll be free to snag someone as talented as Jarvis Jones.
Jones would be a huge boost to a defense that has missed strongside linebacker Daryl Smith all year. Smith is a free agent, so if he's not re-signed, Jones would be a worthy replacement. He would function as Von Miller does in Denver, rushing the quarterback in obvious passing situations.
Oakland Raiders: Star Lotulelei, NT, Utah
Is there any doubt the Raiders need help at defensive tackle in the wake of Doug Martin's near-record performance?
Richard Seymour's contract will be voided at the end of the season. Meanwhile, 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 and was especially bad versus Tampa, 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 15-year-old head coach Dennis Allen lost all respect in the locker room for not cutting him after the opener.
Philadelphia Eagles: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Is there any doubt that the Eagles have to upgrade their offensive line? Their tackle position is in shambles. Jason Peters tore his Achilles; Demetress Bell has been a bust signing; while King Dunlap simply sucks. Even if Peters comes back close to 100 percent, an upgrade could be made at right tackle, which would allow Todd Herremans to move back to his natural guard position.
Luke Joeckel had a slow start to his 2012 campaign, but he's improved tremendously, even stifling the LSU pass-rushers. He could easily go in the top four, right after a quarterback and some order of Jarvis Jones and Star Lotulelei.
Detroit Lions: Damontre Moore, DE/OLB, Texas A&M
The Lions' draft strategy is to pick the top player on their board. It just so happens that the best prospect available happens to fill a huge need.
Kyle Vanden Bosch likely won't be back with the team next season because of his $5 million salary, while the other exterior pass-rushers, excluding Cliff Avril, have barely done anything this year.
Damontre Moore recently said he plans on returning to school, but he did leave the door open by saying, "I'll look at it." What he'll see is everyone projecting him to be a top-eight pick. That could prompt him to change his mind.
Pick change; previously Manti Te'o, ILB
San Diego Chargers: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
The Chargers almost have to make this pick. Philip Rivers appears to be regressing, but it's impossible to tell if that's the case because he's getting slaughtered behind a pathetic offensive line. San Diego cannot, under any circumstances, enter the 2013 season with Jared Gaither as its starting left tackle. He's just way too injury-prone and unreliable.
Pick change; previously DeMarcus Milliner, CB
Buffalo Bills: Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
This is a reach - I had Tyler Wilson in the second round of last week's update - but we've seen second-day talents like Blaine Gabbert and Christian Ponder go in the top 12. Teams are so desperate for quarterbacks that they'll make moves like this.
General manager Buddy Nix, who is generally forthcoming about his offseason plans, told the media that he plans on drafting a franchise quarterback. He even said he'll trade up for one in the 2013 NFL Draft. He may have been talking about Geno Smith if the Chiefs pass on him, but he won't have to move anywhere for Wilson.
Pick change; previously Bjoern Werner, DE/OLB
Cleveland Browns: Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame
Manti Te'o makes lots of sense for the Browns if Damontre Moore and Jarvis Jones are off the board. He could either play the middle, which would move D'Qwell Jackson to a more natural weakside position, or they could just station Te'o at strongside linebacker, where he would replace the soon-to-be-retired Scott Fujita. Regardless, an upgrade at linebacker is desperately needed.
Pick change; previously Dion Jordan, DE
Carolina Panthers: Johnathan Hankins, NT, Ohio State
I was told by a reliable source not to mock Fletcher Cox to the Panthers because they were satisfied with their current group of defensive tackles. Based on the rushing yardage they recently surrendered to Bryce Brown and Jamaal Charles, I highly doubt they'll feel the same way in April. Besides, Johnathan Hankins is one of the best players available.
I thought about mocking DeMarcus Milliner to the Panthers as well, by the way. It was a close call, but I'm still going with Hankins for now.
Tennessee Titans: DeMarcus Milliner, CB, Alabama
The Titans were interested in drafting a highly ranked cornerback at No. 20 back in April, but neither Stephon Gilmore nor Dre Kirkpatrick fell to them. Maybe they'll have more luck in the 2013 NFL Draft, as they do in this situation with one of the top players available filling a big need. Alterraun Verner will be entering his contract year in 2013, so Tennessee will need a new starter if it can't retain him. Besides, the Titans need to fix their 21st-ranked pass defense.
Pick change; previously Damontre Moore, DE
Arizona Cardinals: Bjoern Werner, DE/OLB, Florida State
I've had Matt Barkley mocked here for a few weeks, but I need to move him down. He's fallen so much that he could fall out of the first round. Plus, the Cardinals could be too scared to pick a USC quarterback after what happened with Matt Leinart.
Arizona has proven that it'll draft the top player on its board as long as that prospect makes sense. Bjoern Werner would bolster an inconsistent pass rush and displace the injury-prone O'Brien Schofield.
Pick change; previously Matt Barkley, QB
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi 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, especially in the wake of the Aqib Talib trade, so they'll almost have to remedy that need at this juncture. Maybe another SEC defensive back will be the answer.
Miami Dolphins: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
It appears as though Jake Long will not be back with the Dolphins next year. Miami will have to pay him more than $15 million if it franchises him, which doesn't seem like a lucrative option because he's coming off a down season. He may not want to re-sign to a long-term deal either, so if he leaves, the Dolphins will have to find a new left tackle. Why not another Michigan product? Well, Central Michigan, but close enough.
Pick change; previously Taylor Lewan, OT
New York Jets: Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon
All Jet fans want a quarterback right now, but the front office will have to give Mark Sanchez one more chance because it'll take a $17 million cap hit if it cuts him. Besides, they're so stubborn that they'll blame it on Sanchez not having weapons.
Well, this isn't exactly a weapon for Sanchez, but New York has to take the best player available this early. The Jets' inability to get to the quarterback needs to be fixed. Aaron Maybin was recently cut, while Calvin Pace has struggled for the most part.
Pick change; previously Dion Jordan, DE/OLB
New Orleans Saints: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
Sedrick Ellis has been a bust. He'll be hitting free agency this March, so it's unlikely he'll be back with the team. Canadian Akiem Hicks has played well, but the Saints need someone next to him who can rush the passer on the interior. Sheldon Richardson, who has been phenomenal this season, could be that guy.
St. Louis Rams: Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
Guards seldom have a chance to go in the top 15, but Chance Warmack has a shot because he's a special talent. Besides, he's the top prospect available who makes sense for St. Louis.
The Rams desperately need to upgrade their offensive front. Jeff 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.
@Bolash747 I agree with a lot of your assessments. But even with the money you freed up. The Eagles are not gonna be able to afford Bennie Logan on the open market, unless he takes a discount. In which is possible, but I doubt it. The Desean Jackson signing believe it or not I love. But he's the 2nd best receiver in the market. Your not getting him at a 1 year prove it deal. He will cost a lot and prob be in the 3 year range. Your better off signing WR Kenny Stills and WR Robert Woods.