After a long and often mundane draft process, it's almost time for prospects from around the country to realize their NFL dream. The pressure is far from over, though. Those drafted in the first round will be expected to make a major impact on their new teams.
In a draft class that's highlighted by depth rather than star power, contenders drafting near the end of the opening round should be able to find terrific value. Front offices picking near the top won't get the surefire prospect they were hoping for, but should still get a solid immediate contributor.
A couple busts are always going to emerge, but a majority of the teams should walk away from Round 1 with a prospect that should help the team in the near future. Knowing that, here's an updated mock draft of the first 32 picks with a deeper dive taken into three selections, as denoted by italics.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Unsurprisingly, the Chiefs haven't tipped their hand about the direction they are going with the first pick just in case a team is interested in trading up. Joeckel remains the most logical selection.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
Since the Jacksonville pass rush is in such dire need of an upgrade, it all comes down to which of the myriad prospects they rate the highest. Given Jordan's immense potential, he's the ideal pick.
3. Oakland Raiders: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
If the Raiders strongly believe Matt Flynn can be their quarterback of the future, perhaps they pass on Smith. It would be tough to have that type of confidence, however, leading them to take Smith.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Floyd is a perfect example of the type of players teams are dealing with in the top 10. The potential is obvious and there were times in college when he looked like a future star. But there are still question marks that stop him from being labeled a can't-miss prospect.
The first thing that immediately stands out about Floyd is his combination of size, strength and athleticism. Those are the raw traits necessary to succeed in the middle of a defensive line. And that's why he's being considered for the top five.
Whether or not that natural athletic ability will translate into a dominant defensive tackle is the risk the Eagles would be taking. Given the team's struggles against the run last season (126 yards against per game), it's worth rolling the dice on Floyd and hoping he does develop into a superstar.
5. Detroit Lions: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Should Fisher remain on the board when Detroit is on the clock, there would probably be a lot of interest in this pick with so many teams seeking offensive line upgrades. Detroit should keep it and take him.
6. Cleveland Browns: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
While Milliner could move into the top five on draft day, it's hard to imagine him getting beyond No. 6. The Browns need another corner and the Alabama product is the best one on the board.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
Arizona's offensive line needs an anchor. A tackle that can move right into the starting lineup and has the potential to hold down the left side for a decade. Johnson fits the bill.
8. Buffalo Bills: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Even though this pick might be considered a reach on the surface, that shouldn't cause the Bills to shy away from Patterson. He's exactly the type of receiver, with speed on the outside, they need.
9. New York Jets: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU
After sliding down draft boards for a while during the draft process, it appears Mingo's stock is beginning to rebound with the draft approaching. The Jets would represent a good fit.
10. Tennessee Titans: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
Warmack going in the top 10 would be attributed to the lackluster top end of the draft class. And while that's a contributing factor, he definitely has the skill set to be worthy of going this high.
11. San Diego Chargers: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
An offensive tackle should be San Diego's main target here. If any of the top three are still available, that player should be the pick. If not, Lotulelei would be a solid fallback option.
12. Miami Dolphins: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
Ultimately, it doesn't appear Rhodes was able to chase down Milliner to become the class' top corner. That said, the Dolphins would be thrilled if he were still on the board at No. 12.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Werner doesn't stand out in any single area. He's simply a solid all-around prospect that's capable of stepping right into Tampa Bay's defensive line rotation and making an impact.
14. Carolina Panthers: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
Richardson to the Panthers still seems like one of the round's most probable picks. Carolina's need at defensive tackle combined with his availability makes it a perfect match.
15. New Orleans Saints: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
If Jones, who was a major star at the collegiate level, is still on the board when the Saints pick, they should take a chance on him. Should he pan out, he can play a major role in turning around the defense.
16. St. Louis Rams: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
The Rams have two picks in the opening round. They should emerge with an offensive lineman and a wide receiver, with the order determined by who's available. In this case, Cooper is the second top-tier guard in the class and should be the pick since there are still multiple first-round wideouts available.
After Cooper, there's a major drop off at the guard position and it's unlikely he'll slide to the team's second pick of the round. The North Carolina star possesses tremendous athletic ability for a guard, which is necessary to contain top inside rushers. It also allows him to kick out and block.
The fact he showed noticeable progress during his time with the Tar Heels is also a good sign. Prospects who seem to level often in college usually have the highest bust potential. That didn't happen with Cooper, so the Rams shouldn't let him slide by.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
There was a time earlier in the offseason when Moore falling all the way to the Steelers seemed like a long shot. Now, there's a good chance he'll be there for the taking and possesses nice upside.
18. Dallas Cowboys: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
A team could reach for Fluker much earlier in the round once the top three tackles are gone. If that doesn't happen, the Cowboys would be wise to bolster their line with the talented tackle.
19. New York Giants: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
The Giants seem likely to select a sliding pass-rushing prospect. There are so many rushers expected to go in Round 1 that at least one is going to fall. Under this scenario, it's Ansah.
20. Chicago Bears: Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
Julius Peppers is still getting the job done on the outside, but he's starting to get up there in age. The Bears would be wise to take a prospect like Jones to play on the other side while learning from him.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Kenny Vaccaro, FS, Texas
Vaccaro is starting to generate some late buzz, which doesn't come as a surprise. Safety is one of the few areas where there's a lack of depth, making the top free safety even more valuable.
22. St. Louis Rams (via WSH): Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
After selecting a guard earlier in the round, the Rams should be focused on taking the best available receiver with their second pick. Austin would be a terrific addition to a needy offense.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Keenan Allen, WR, California
The addition of Greg Jennings gives Christian Ponder a true No. 1 option on the outside. The team continues to lack pass-catching depth, however, which is why the Vikings should select a receiver with one of their picks in the first round.
Allen is a prototypical outside receiver. The only thing he doesn't possess is elite straight-line speed, but he more than makes up for it with his size and hands. He's also advanced as a route-runner, which should help ease the transition to the NFL.
Adrian Peterson is going to carry the Minnesota offense again next season. But if the team can make the passing game more useful, it should take a lot of pressure off him while also forcing defenses to respect the pass. The combination of Jennings and Allen would make that happen.
24. Indianapolis Colts: Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
The Colts are in need of a couple defensive upgrades, so it will come down to which one they want to address first. Okafor is a high-upside pick that could develop into a steal within a couple seasons.
25. Minnesota Vikings (via SEA): Arthur Brown, OLB, Kansas State
Brown is an intriguing prospect for Minnesota. He's shown the ability to make plays from sideline to sideline and has the athleticism necessary to cover tight ends at the next level.
26. Green Bay Packers: Alec Ogletree, OLB, Georgia
Although the Packers defense did make some positive strides last season, there's still work to do. Ogletree has shown the raw skills necessary to succeed in the NFL, but must limit his missed tackles.
27. Houston Texans: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
It's a simple formula for predicting Houston's pick. The Texans are in desperate need of another wide receiver, which should make that the sole focus of Round 1. Hopkins can fill the void.
28. Denver Broncos: Matt Elam, SS, Florida
Denver has one of the league's most complete rosters, which means this could turn into an offensive luxury pick of sorts. Another option is Elam, who would help bolster the defensive backfield.
29. New England Patriots: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
Trufant is another late mover who could end up going before the Patriots get a chance. Should he still be available, they shouldn't hesitate to select the Washington product.
30. Atlanta Falcons: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
Even if Eifert doesn't get enough snaps to make a major impact in his first season, he's the right pick with an eye toward the future. The Falcons need a player ready to assume Tony Gonzalez's role.
31. San Francisco 49ers: Eric Reid, FS, LSU
There's a pretty sizable drop off at safety after Reid. San Francisco's secondary didn't cope up well in the playoffs last season, which should lead to a couple additions in the draft.
32. Baltimore Ravens: Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame
It's been difficult to get a clear read on where Te'o stands throughout the draft process. All told, his production in college should ensure he lands in Round 1 and the Ravens need a linebacker.
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