The Best Damn NFL Mock Draft Yet

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November 3, 2012; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Ryan Shazier (10) tackles Illinois Fighting Illini running back Donovonn Young (5) after a short gain at Ohio Stadium. Ohio State won the game 52-22. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

16. Dallas Cowboys – LB Ryan Shazier, Ohio State

This pick is surprising, but the logic is simple: there is much more offensive/defensive line talent in the later rounds than there is at linebacker.  At this point, Timmy Jernigan is probably the only player who ranks ahead on Dallas’ big board, but the ‘Boys are convinced they could grab a solid DT later.  Some may look to Mosley first, but his position is occupied by Sean Lee.  At the end of the day, Ryan Shazier is a solid player who is smart, hits hard, and has managed to stay healthy.  Hard as it may be to accept, rotating four young linebackers every game might just be the best strategy for Dallas.

17. Baltimore Ravens – LB CJ Mosley, Alabama

The addition of Steve Smith doesn’t fix the Ravens offensive woes, but it does enable them to address the defense with their first pick.  Mosely is the solid, leadership-type of linebacker that will remind Baltimore too much of Ray Lewis for them to resist.

18. New York Jets – TE Eric Ebron, University of North Carolina

Eric Decker and Stephen Hill are a wide receiver duo with a great deal of potential.  Ebron is exactly the type of talent the Jets need to make it a truly potent attack.  Especially given the off-the-field troubles of Kellen Winslow, Ebron is the perfect fit for the NYJ.

19. Miami Dolphins – OT Zach Martin, Norte Dame

While a team like the Falcons could wait a round before addressing the offensive line, the Dolphins probably need to do it before picking again at 51.  Martin is a solid tackle with guard potential and brings a good attitude – something which that unit could use in the wake of the Jonathan MartinRichie Incognito scandal.

20. Arizona Cardinals – DT Timmy Jernigan, Florida State

Darnell Dockett is playing on the last year of his contract, and Timmy Jernigan would be a fantastic replacement.  Still just 20-years old, the FSU product will happily take the year to learn from a well-respect vet.

21. Green Bay Packers – CB Bradley Roby, Ohio State

With the top Safety and Linebacker prospects off the board, Green Bay will be more than happy to bolster their Secondary with who some consider to be the best Corner Back in the draft.

22. Philadelphia Eagles – CB Jason Verrett, TCU

While the departure of DeSean Jackson and uncertainty of Jerry Maclin make the selection of a wide receiver almost a sure thing, Verrett is too perfect a match for Philly to pass up.  Not to mention there is still plenty of WR talent on the board.

23. Kansas City Chiefs – WR Marqise Lee, USC

Marqise Lee offers the type of consistency that the Chiefs have been searching for.  Alex Smith will be plenty happy with a young guy who catches most everything thrown his way.

24. Cincinnati Bengals – CB Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech

If it weren’t for the position’s scarcity, the Bengals would probably wait on drafting a Cornerback.  An extreme thinning of options occurs after Fuller, though, and Cincinnati’s aging group is in dire need of some young players for whom to pass the torch.

25. San Diego Chargers – DT Ra’Shede Hageman, Minnesota

The Chargers’ successful 2013 season surprised a great many.  They will continue to upgrade their defense will the addition of Ra’Shede Hageman who’s intensity and projected DT/DE versatility would be a perfect match for their system.

26. Cleveland Browns – OG Xavier Su’a-Filo, UCLA

After picking up Johnny Manziel, the Browns will need an offensive line who could keep up athletically.  Su’a-Filo is the absolute perfect fit.  He is arguably the best guard in the draft, is extremely athletic, and presents the potential to play Tackle if necessary.  He will also help out in the run game: an area which the Browns will likely address in the next round.

27. New Orleans Saints – WR Odell Beckham Jr. LSU

The departure of Darren Sproles means a huge loss of speed and agility for the Saints offense.  Rather than draft another running back, though, the Saints will look to improve their passing attack with one of the draft’s most dynamic receivers.  Brandin Cooks is probably the more Sproles-like player, but Beckham Jr. appears to be the better talent.  He’s a sure-fire steal at #27.

28. Carolina Panthers – WR Kelvin Benjamin, FSU

The Panthers went from being near-complete to having a plethora of holes.  While Left Tackle is high on the priority list, having Jason Avant as your #1 wide receiver means you can’t wait to draft a wide receiver.  Benjamin carries risk, but he’s a big, fast option who’s talent could be molded by Cam Newton and veteran receivers such as the aforementioned Avant and the perennial Jerricho Cotchery.

29. New England Patriots – DE Kony Ealy, Missouri

Projected by some to go as high as the 14th pick, Ealy could fall given his rawness.  With that in mind, the Patriots will pounce on the chance to grab the draft’s defensive end with arguably the most potential.

30. San Francisco 49ers – WR Brandin Cooks, Oregon State

San Francisco has six picks in the draft’s first three rounds, and it appears that their Offensive Line and Secondary needs would be better answered after the first.  Thus, the 49ers will roll the dice on 5’9 Brandin Cooks who’s elusiveness adds a new element to Colin Kaepernick‘s offense.  He will be the perfect balance to Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis.  Plus, hey, the Seahawks have Percy Harvin now, so the Niners need to keep up.

31. Denver Broncos – OG David Yankey, Stanford

The Denver Broncos addressed many of their needs via free-agency.  Before the addition of TJ Ward, I had them taking Jimmie Ward out of Northern Illinois.  While it’s reasonable to think that the Broncos will look to add another pass rusher to the mix (even given the addition of DeMarcus Ware), it seems that there will be enough such talent in the second round for the team to wait.  Thus, insert David Yankey, perhaps the draft’s most consistent interior lineman.  Despite having Peyton Manning at the helm, the Broncos did not put together the most reliable offensive line last season.  They must change that this year, and thus err on the side of consistency with the Yankey selection.

32. Seattle Seahawks – TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington

The entire Seahawks coaching staff made the long trip over to UDub to check out football/basketball dual athlete Austin Seferian-Jenkins.  The John Mackey Award winner would do best staying in state for a few reasons: he’s athletic enough to keep up with the Seattle team, would add much needed athleticism to the position, is strong enough to develop into a solid up-the-field blocker, and most importantly: can take his time getting healthy.