Mock draft: Version 2.0

Where has the time gone?

We’re just two weeks away from the NFL draft.

Putting together the second version of a mock draft is much easier because the closer you get to the event, the needs of each team become much clearer.

But just like in the real thing, you’ll find some surprises.

I have a few that will open some eyes.

1) Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton/QB/Auburn

First mock selection: Cam Newton/QB/Auburn

Analysis: Marcell Dareus has to be a strong consideration here as well because defensive tackle is a huge need position for the Panthers. But they will go for Newton’s upside with this selection.

Needs: DT, QB, DE, CB

Other possibility: Marcell Dareus/DT/Alabama

2) Denver Broncos: Marcell Dareus/DT/Alabama

First mock selection: Marcell Dareus/DT/Alabama

Analysis: They could select Patrick Peterson here and have him play in nickel coverage right away. However, defensive tackle is a much bigger need.

Needs: DT, DE, TE, MLB, CB

Other possibility: Patrick Peterson/CB/LSU

3) Buffalo Bills: Von Miller/OLB/Texas A&M

First mock selection: Von Miller/OLB/Texas A&M

Analysis: He would start right away in their 3-4 defensive scheme. Peterson, if selected, eventually would replace starting veteran cornerback Terrence McGee, who turns 31 in October.

Needs: OLB, ORT, DE, OLT, QB

Other possibility: Patrick Peterson/CB/LSU

4) Cincinnati Bengals: A.J. Green/WR/Georgia

First mock selection: Patrick Peterson/CB/LSU

Analysis: Tough call here. Wide receiver and cornerback are need positions. And Green and Peterson would be good values at this point because they are arguably the best two players available in the draft.

Needs: WR, QB, G, C, SS, CB

Other possibilities: Da’Quan Bowers/DE/Clemson, Patrick Peterson/CB/LSU

5) Arizona Cardinals: Patrick Peterson/CB/LSU

First mock selection: Prince Amukamara/CB/Nebraska

Analysis: Cornerback is one of the Cardinals’ biggest needs. Peterson, a great value here, would compete for a starting job right away.

Needs: OLB, QB, C, G, ORT, CB

Other possibility: Blaine Gabbert/QB/Missouri

6) Cleveland Browns: Da’Quan Bowers/DE/Clemson

First mock selection: A.J. Green/WR/Georgia

Analysis: With Green off the board, they’ll go with Bowers, who would fill a big need.

Needs: WR, DE, DT, ORT, CB

Other possibility: Julio Jones/WR/Alabama

7) San Francisco 49ers: Prince Amukamara/CB/Nebraska

First mock selection: Robert Quinn/DE-OLB/North Carolina

Analysis: Amukamara would fill a need position for the 49ers. They could get a developmental quarterback later on or trade for a veteran once free agency starts.

Needs: QB, OLB, CB, WR, C

Other possibility: Blaine Gabbert/QB/Missouri

8) Tennessee Titans: Blaine Gabbert/QB/Missouri

First mock selection: Blaine Gabbert/QB/Missouri

Analysis: Gabbert would fill a huge need. But the Titans still will need to sign a veteran quarterback once free agency starts.

Needs: QB, DE, MLB

Other possibilities: None. I’m not buying the Nick Fairley hype for this selection. The Titans are in pretty good shape at defensive tackle.

9) Dallas Cowboys: Tyron Smith/OT/USC

First mock selection: Cameron Jordan/DE/California

Analysis: The Cowboys are looking to upgrade at either tackle spot, so Smith would fit in nicely. Jordan would be a consideration here because the Cowboys are looking for help at defensive end.

Needs: G, FS, SS, DE, CB, OT

Other possibility: Cameron Jordan/DE/California

10) Washington Redskins: Julio Jones/WR/Alabama

First mock selection: Julio Jones/WR/Alabama

Analysis: Jones would fill a huge need for the Redskins. They could get a developmental quarterback in the second round.

Needs: WR, QB, ORT, G, OLB, CB, DE

Other possibility: Cameron Jordan/DE/California

11) Houston Texans: Robert Quinn/DE-OLB/North Carolina

First mock selection: Aldon Smith/DE-OLB/Missouri

Analysis: Quinn or Smith would fill a need.

Needs: OLB, NT, CB, SS, FS, DE

Other possibilities: Aldon Smith/DE-OLB/Missouri, Cameron Jordan/DE/California

12) Minnesota Vikings: Aldon Smith/DE-OLB/Missouri

First mock selection: Da’Quan Bowers/DE/Clemson

Analysis: The athletic Smith could fill a situational pass-rushing role.

Needs: QB, DT, DE, WR, SLB, C, G, FS, SS

Other possibility: Cameron Jordan/DE/California

13) Detroit Lions: Ryan Kerrigan/DE/Purdue

First mock selection: Tyron Smith/OT/USC

Analysis: Kerrigan would fill a need position for the Lions. He’s a much better fit for a 4-3 scheme like the Lions use rather than a 3-4.

Needs: CB, DE, OLB, OLT

Other possibility: Cameron Jordan/DE/California

14) St. Louis Rams: Cameron Jordan/DE/California

First mock selection: Nick Fairley/DT/Auburn

Analysis: Tough call with this selection based on who is still on the board. While Fairley would be a nice value here, Jordan also would fill a big need.

Needs: WR, DE, DT, RB, S, CB

Other possibility: Nick Fairley/DT/Auburn

15) Miami Dolphins: Mike Pouncey/G-C/Florida

First mock selection: Mark Ingram/RB/Alabama

Analysis: While running back is obviously a huge need for the team, so are guard and center. They could select a developmental running back in rounds 3-5, where there’s better depth at the position.

Needs: RB, WR, G, C

Other possibility: Mark Ingram/RB/Alabama

16) Jacksonville Jaguars: J.J. Watt/DE/Wisconsin

First mock selection: Ryan Kerrigan/DE/Purdue

Analysis: This is clearly a need pick with a talented player who could come right in and contribute.

Needs: DE, WR, FS, SS

Other possibilities: None.

17) New England Patriots (from Oakland Raiders): Anthony Costanzo/OT/Boston College

First mock selection: Anthony Costanzo/OT/Boston College

Analysis: Here is the Patriots’ new starting left tackle. With Costanzo in the fold, the Patriots could keep Sebastian Vollmer at right tackle.

Needs: OLB, OT, G, DE, WR, RB

Other possibility: Cameron Heyward/DE/Ohio State

18) San Diego Chargers: Cameron Heyward/DE/Ohio State

First mock selection: J.J. Watt/DE/Wisconsin

Analysis: Heyward is the best available “5-technique” defensive lineman left on the board.

Needs: DE, WR, ILB

Other possibility: Muhammad Wilkerson/DT/Temple

19) New York Giants: Nick Fairley/DT/Auburn

First mock selection: Derek Sherrod/OT/Mississippi State

Analysis: While selecting a developmental left tackle here makes sense, the value of Fairley is too good to pass up at this point in the draft.

Needs: OLT, WR, MLB, G, DT

Other possibilities: Gabe Carimi/OT/Wisconsin, Derek Sherrod/OT/Mississippi St.

20) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Adrian Clayborn/DE/Iowa

First mock selection: Adrian Clayborn/DE/Iowa

Analysis: Clayborn simply would fill a big need for the Buccaneers. In fact, he could come right in and compete for a starting job.

Needs: DE, WR, S, LB, CB, G

Other possibility: Akeem Ayers/DE-OLB/UCLA

21) Kansas City Chiefs: Gabe Carimi/OT/Wisconsin

First mock selection: Gabe Carimi/OT/Wisconsin

Analysis: Here is the Chiefs’ starting right tackle for many years to come.

Needs: ORT, WR, OLB, NT, DE

Other possibilities: Nate Solder/OT/Colorado, Derek Sherrod/OT/Mississippi St.

22) Indianapolis Colts: Nate Solder/OT/Colorado

First mock selection: Nate Solder/OT/Colorado

Analysis: The Colts are looking to move left tackle Charlie Johnson to guard, so they need to select a replacement. Solder could be that guy.

Needs: LT, S, DT

Other possibilities: Muhammad Wilkerson/DT/Temple, Derek Sherrod/OT/Mississippi State

23) Philadelphia Eagles: Jimmy Smith/CB/Colorado

First mock selection: Jimmy Smith/CB/Colorado

Analysis: This selection is really about taking the best player available at the position of need. There are no other players here other than Smith and possibly Akeem Ayers who make sense. The Eagles could get a developmental guard later on.

Needs: CB, RG, OLB, SS

Other possibilities: Akeem Ayers/DE-OLB/UCLA, Justin Houston/OLB/Georgia

24) New Orleans Saints: Muhammad Wilkerson/DT/Temple

First mock selection: Muhammad Wilkerson/DT/Temple

Analysis: The Saints need depth on the defensive line, but Wilkerson could come right in and compete for serious playing time right away. Ayers also could be a strong consideration because of the need for another pass rusher.

Needs: DT, DE, OLB, C

Other possibility: Akeem Ayers/DE-OLB/UCLA

25) Seattle Seahawks: Derek Sherrod/OT/Mississippi State

First mock selection: Mike Pouncey/G-C/Florida

Analysis: No team will come into the draft with a worse situation on the offensive line than the Seahawks. So Sherrod would fill a big need.

Needs: G, ORT, C, QB, WR, CB, DE, DT

Other possibility: Akeem Ayers/DE-OLB/UCLA

26) Baltimore Ravens: Akeem Ayers/DE-OLB/UCLA

First mock selection: Cameron Heyward/DE/Ohio State

Analysis: There are probably no cornerbacks worth taking here, so the Ravens will fill a need with Ayers.

Needs: CB, WR, DE, OT, OLB

Other possibilities: Brooks Reed/DE-OLB/Arizona, Jabaal Sheard/DE/Pittsburgh

27) Atlanta Falcons: Jabaal Sheard/DE/Pittsburgh

First mock selection: Akeem Ayers/DE-OLB/UCLA

Analysis: Sheard would fill a big need for the Falcons. They are two upgrades on defense away from being a Super Bowl-caliber team.

Needs: DE, OLB, CB

Other possibility: Brooks Reed/DE-OLB/Arizona.

28) New England Patriots: Mark Ingram/RB/Alabama

First mock selection: Phil Taylor/DT/Baylor

Analysis: Ingram is too good a value to pass up here. He also would fill a need.

Needs: OLB, OT, G, DE, WR, RB

Other possibilities: Phil Taylor/DT/Baylor, Brooks Reed/DE-OLB/Arizona

29) Chicago Bears: Corey Liuget/DT/Illinois

First mock selection: Corey Liuget/DT/Illinois

Analysis: Taylor would be a consideration here, but Liuget is the better value.

Needs: G, OT, DT, SLB, DE

Other possibilities: Danny Watkins/G/Baylor, Phil Taylor/DT/Baylor

30) New York Jets: Phil Taylor/DT/Baylor

First mock selection: Brooks Reed/DE-OLB/Arizona

Analysis: Taylor would take over at nose tackle.

Needs: DE, NT, WR, OLB

Other possibility: Brooks Reed/DE-OLB/Arizona

31) Pittsburgh Steelers: Aaron Williams/CB/Texas

First mock selection: Aaron Williams/CB/Texas

Analysis: Williams would fill a huge need. The Steelers could select a developmental offensive lineman later on.

Needs: ORT, CB, RG, DE

Other possibility: Marvin Austin/DT/North Carolina

32) Green Bay Packers: Brooks Reed/DE-OLB/Arizona

First mock selection: Justin Houston/OLB/Georgia

Analysis: The Packers worked out Reed recently, so they obviously feel he would fit in with their 3-4 scheme.

Needs: OLB, DE, G

Other possibilities: Marvin Austin/DT/North Carolina, Justin Houston/OLB/Georgia