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Published on April 10th, 2012 | by

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MY VERSION OF THE MOCK DRAFT

As you are aware the NFL draft is just a couple of weeks away. And I’m sure you’ve seen all of the scouting reports, analysis, and mock drafts on television. But let’s be honest, while the top 2 or 3 picks can be easily predicted, the rest of the draft cannot. Yes we all have players that we would love our teams to draft, and yes we’d like to think that the teams we cheer for will pick the ideal player for our team.

But this is the NFL and stranger things do happen. So instead of predicting what player will go to which team, I’m just going to state what needs each team has. So here we go:

1. Indianapolis Colts and 2. Washington Redskins {Remember what I said about the top 2 picks being predictable?} We all know that one team will end up with Stanford Quarterback Andrew Luck and the other will end up with Baylor Quarterback Robert Griffen III.

3. Minnesota Vikings: They had a terrible 2011 season and if Head Coach Leslie Frazier is going to keep his job then his  team needs more stability. Now that Christian Ponder is the starting quarterback for the Vikings I think that a solid backup QB would be a great place to start for this team. A few fresh faces on defense could help as well.

4. Cleveland Browns: I can’t believe I’m saying this but the Browns will once again be looking for a quarterback with their first round pick. This would be the third time in franchise history that they have done so. They also need a HUGE upgrade on defense, and there will be plenty of defensive players in this years draft. Might I also mention replacing Peyton Hillis…..

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Poor Josh Freeman, he’s just had one difficult NFL career. And a bad offensive line is one of those reasons why. So get a couple of offensive linemen in there, and get some assistance on defense as well.

6. St. Louis Rams: Everyone thought that the Rams were going to draft another quarterback. But new Head Coach Jeff Fisher said that he would keep Sam Bradford around. And he proved his loyalty to Bradford when he traded the #2 pick to Washington for their current #6 pick. Sam Bradford is not the problem. A bad offensive line and and even worse defense were the Rams problems in 2011.

Sam Bradford can’t make the big throws if he’s running for his life. And Steven Jackson can’t rush for 100 yards a game if the line can’t open holes for him. The O-Line should be the Rams first priority. Then start working on the defense. The Rams have 8 draft picks to work with this year.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars: With a new coach comes new hope or at least that’s what the fans in Jacksonville are hoping for. Blane Gabbert had one craptacular rookie season. But it wasn’t entirely his fault. Perhaps an investment in the O-Line and maybe some extra receivers could be the remedy.

8. Miami Dolphins: At first the thought was that the Dolphins would take a quarterback in the first round. This thought was especially echoed when the Dolphins were unable to sign former Packers 2nd string Quarterback Matt Flynn. Now while drafting a signal caller could still be an option, the Dolphins signed former Jaguars starting QB David Garrard. I think replacing the recently traded Brandon Marshall should be reserved for the first pick.

Then putting some fresh faces on a weak defensive line would also help this team.

9. Carolina Panthers: If you think about it, the Panthers weren’t that bad during the 2011 season. Their offense did surprisingly well with a rookie quarterback. The defense is what held this Panthers team back last season, and the defense should be the focus of this years draft for the Panthers.

10. Buffalo Bills: The Bills have already starting heading in the right direction by signing free agent defensive ends Mario Williams and former Chicago Bear Mark Anderson. They also managed to re-sign running back Fred Jackson. The next step for the Bills would be to get a backup for Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and to improve their secondary.

11. Kansas City Chiefs: I’m kinda confused about KC. They lose Kyle Orton to Dallas and replace him with his former backup in Denver Brady Quinn. Then they pull Peyton Hillis away from Cleveland which could mean Thomas Jones may be free to sign elsewhere. I’m not sure which is the lesser of two evils there. Also Dwayne Bowe still has yet to sign his franchise tender. It will be very interesting to see what KC does in the draft.

Their defense needs some improvement, and they should definitely get a wide receiver in case Bowe holds out.

12. Seattle Seahawks: Well they figured out their quarterback situation by getting Matt Flynn to leave Green Bay. All they have left do to is upgrade at the wide receiver position, and improve the defensive line.

13. Arizona Cardinals: The Cardinals were said to be interested in a quarterback as well. While that could still be the case, I think more depth at running back and some help on defense would better suit this Cardinals team.

14. Dallas Cowboys: For the last few seasons the offense has always been a concern with the Cowboys. There is always the question of how far Tony Romo can actually take this team. Well in case Romo fails they have former Bear, Bronco, and Chief Quarterback Kyle Orton to turn to.  Draft wise Dallas could use some help in the secondary.

15. Philadelphia Eagles: They use could more depth at all positions on the field. Injuries set this team back at times last season.

16. New York Jets: The Jets would like you to assume that they’ve sured up the quarterback position by re-signing Mark Sanchez and trading for Tim Tebow. How this plays out during the season will be very interesting. If LaDainian Tomlinson doesn’t re-sign the Jets may need to draft a running back. But their biggest need is on the defensive line. And maybe draft another quarterback for insurance purposes.

17. Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals had improved during the 2011 season by making their first postseason appearance since 2009. Cedric Benson did well in the Bengals running game, but now they’ll be even better with BenJarvus Green-Ellis taking the handoff’s from Andy Dalton. The Bengals needs for 2012 are on the defensive side of the ball.

18. San Diego Chargers: The losses of Darren Sproles and LaDainian Tomlinson hurt the Chargers running game dramatically in 2011. Philip Rivers had way too much pressure on him and as a result the Chargers offense suffered. Bringing in a top notch running back will stitch the wounds from last season. They also need a wide receiver to replace Vincent Jackson.

19. Finally, our beloved Chicago Bears: Well most of the holes have been filled already. They re-signed Josh McCown and brought in Jason Campbell to resolve the backup quarterback situation. They addressed the issue of depth at the wide receiver position by trading for Brandon Marshall and reeling in free agent Devin Thomas. They also signed Running Back Michael Bush much to the dismay of Matt Forte and Kahlil Bell.

However, should Forte holdout {Forte was designated a franchise player but has yet to sign the tender or be given a new contract}, perhaps the Bears may need to draft a running back. This may also hold true if Kahlil Bell does not sign his offer sheet. There is also a chance that the Bears could draft another wide receiver into the fold. Defensively, the Bears addressed the cornerback situation by re-signing Tim Jennings.  They also signed free agent corners Kelvin Hayden and Johnathan Wilhite.

Why the Bears keep bringing back Craig Steltz is beyond me. But they do need more help at the safety position. Also, the defensive line needs re-tuning. Anthony Adams and Amobe Akoye are gone so don’t be surprised if the Bears draft a defensive lineman as well.

20. Tennessee Titans: The problem with the Titans was a lack of depth so look for them to draft at all positions. They may also bring in another quarterback. After all, they try to sign Peyton Manning.

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Read #17.

22. Cleveland Browns: Read # 4

23. Detroit Lions: Last season Detroit had it’s first playoff season since 1999 and sadly last year’s 10-6 record was one of the best seasons in team history. The only issues I see with the Lions is Ndamukong Suh needing anger management, and they need more depth at the linebacker position.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers are always one of the best teams in the league. At the moment they only thing I see them needing is a replacement for Hines Ward. Plus, Pittsburgh always uses the draft to find undiscovered talent that fits their system perfectly.

25. Denver Broncos: Peyton Manning is a Bronco now and that’s all I need to say about that. The Broncos are the defending AFC West champions, I see them using the draft to add more depth across the board.

26. Houston Texans: Coming of their first winning season in franchise history, the defending AFC South champions don’t have too many flaws on their team. But I could see them adding a rookie quarterback, more depth to the running back position in case something happens to Arian Foster, and perhaps maybe a boost at either tight end or wide receiver.

27. New England Patriots: There is no question that they need a running back to replace BenJarvus Green-Ellis that was a huge loss for this team.

28. Green Bay Packers: I hate the Packers but I am also a journalist. They had the NFL’s best record in 2011 {Damn how it hurts to say that}. They could go anywhere in the draft.

29. Baltimore Ravens: They lost a few players from last years defensive unit so I look for them to use this years draft to replace some of those players.

30. San Francisco 49ers: No major losses from last year and Alex Smith was re-signed a few weeks ago. This pick is a toss up because last years roster is still intact.

31. New England Patriots: Read #27

32. New York Giants: You figured that being the defending super bowl champions they wouldn’t need anything. But they actually do. They lost a few key players from last years super bowl squad.

Again these are just my takes on this years draft. These 32 teams could make some unexpected decisions on draft day.

You can follow me on Twitter: @GabeSalgado82 Hashtag: #Q101Sports

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