So we pick 7th this year. This is my take on what will happen on draft day WITHOUT ANDREW LUCK, this mock is based on the idea that Luck stays in school and simultaneously all other teams realize they have bigger needs then QB based on coaching changes.
However if Luck did come out we would assume Carolina drafted him and he didn't pull an Elway/Eli; consequently you could move Nick Fairley to my AZ pick and move Von Miller to another pick as both could fit there.
I've included the current head coach or possible successors and some alternate picks based on other needs.
Carolina -- Ron Rivera/Bill Cowher - one of these two is hired as the new HC. Both of whom run 3-4s, would love a guy like Fairley, molding him would be their version of developing a QB.
1. Nick Fairley, projected as a top 5 pick, I could see the panthers jumping at him if they go for a defensive minded coach. It is said that the Panthers also want a first time coach and what better way to make it known your here for defense by drafting a staple like Fairley?
1a. If Auburn wins the national title Newton will undoubtedly declare(again this is in a world that Luck stays in school). With Newton's charisma and raw talent the Panthers would gain everything that Clausen and Pike can't offer right now.
Denver Broncos -- Harbaugh/Mularkey -- I don't see the random connection of Elway. a Standford QB wooing the current Stanford HC to come to Denver. Mularkey, a current OC has had QBs from both ends of the spectrum. He will have the ability to pick between Orton and Tebow. I'll go out on a limb here and say he likes Tebow, who is a fairly physically well built player and as mobile and quick thinking which fits Mularkey's penchant for trick plays.
2. Patrick Peterson - The defensive side of the ball is horrible and Champ Bailey needs to be replaced.
Patrick Peterson is a great fit right here.
2a. The running game has been horrific for the broncos and I could see Ingram going here as well.
Buffalo Bills -- Chan Gailey -- The Bills are surprisingly unlucky. They have a DB who last year was tied for the lead in INTs with 9. a fairly good D line that could be improved and Shawne Merriman just announced he'll be back next year. The offensive side of the ball could be pretty good next year if Spiller is used more and the receivers step up again. Plus I see a hilarious scenario of Alex Smith being signed by Buffalo or Miami and for the sake of this mock he lands in Buffalo. Leaving the depth chart at Fitzpatrick, A.Smith, Brohm
3. A. J. Green could easily slide right in here and take over for Lee Evans and line up across from Steven Johnson.
Cincinnati Bengals -- Josh McDaniels/Mike Mularkey -- McDaniels still has enough "genius of Bill Belichick" aura on him to land a HC job again even after the horrible debacle in Denver. Mularkey is a possibility here too, Mike Brown will want a offensive minded coach this time around.
The Bengals WR corp looks really good without TO or Ocho in the mix, I don't think Mike Brown would allow the G.M. to go for a QB just for the sake of continuity. Palmer was 30 yards shy of his 3rd 4,000 yard passing performance but he also threw 20 picks in a season they all but abandoned the run heavy style that won the division last year. The Bengals will probably try to balance things out next year but there is a good chance Benson could leave in free agency, I could easily see the Bengals going after a RB if Benson leaves or a DE.
4. Mark Ingram, great after contact goes out of his way to hit defenders.
4a. It's been suggested that the Bengals would go for a DE top compliment Karlos Dunlap and Fairley will probably be available here.
Arizona Cardinals -- Ken Whisenhunt -- The cardinals defense has been absolutely atrocious this year and with rumors swirling that Joey Porter will be out after only 1 year see it completely likely they go for the defensive side here.
5. Von Miller would fix one of the biggest needs for the cards. With an impact player like Miller on the field the secondary would be able to make a lot more plays
Cleveland Browns -- Jon Gruden/Rob Ryan -- With Gruden's future in a cloudy haze we'll say that Ryan lands the gig thanks to an in house search.
A fun fact I learned earlier today was that the Browns hadn't allowed more then 28 points by an opponent all year until today's blowout loss to the Steelers. Ryan will want all the help he can get on the offensive side of the ball.
6. Julio Jones would provide a big play threat that the Browns lack, Both the running and passing game would benefit from a guy like Jones.
San Francisco 49ers -- Jim Harbaugh/Brian Shottenheimer -- With Harbaugh "almost certainly" leaving Stanford he will either land at Michigan or with the 9ers. RichRod's future in Ann Arbor is anything but secure and I could easily see us going for a hungry offensive coordinator like Brian.
7. Both Mallett and Gabbert are likely to be picked here. Whichever player declares the 9ers will draft him unless they opt to go the developmental route and use a later pick on Pat Devlin at that point.
Ryan Mallet gets my vote here, looking at the huge jump in completion percentage from last year, near identical attempts and 10% improvement I can't say I would want a guy like that. I've admittedly only watched 1 Arkansas game this year but he really impressed me, I can't recall the opponent but it was the game he hid the ball behind his back and hit the receiver on the seam route for a big gain, maybe td.
1. Yes defense really dominated this mock but this is why I included likely HC candidates and what direction they would probably go.
2. The Lions really screwed themselves with that 4 game win streak, they are in dire need of a great CB. If it looks like Jenoris Jenkins and Amukamara could come off the board they will probably pull the trigger on a trade to insure they get their hands on Amukamara so Detroit could fubar the top 10 by doing that.
3. Another possible development would be Justin Blackmon declaring for the draft and despite being a possible late first rounder/early second if not mistaken I could see his numbers and hype vaulting him into the top 10 -- possibly into the Browns pick, Blackmon is definitely an upgrade from Jones who is a bit more lanky and less imposing.
[ Edited by sfout on Jan 3, 2011 at 00:30:52 ]