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NFL Mock Draft: Forecasting the first round

Scott Levin's picture

The NFL Draft kicks off Thursday, and with the countdown on, many teams are being very guarded about which players they are interested in selecting.

The draft now stretches over three days. Round 1 is completed Thursday, rounds 2 and 3 will be held Friday, and the remaining four rounds will finish up on Saturday.

Here is a look at how Thursday's first round may go down, based on team needs and general feeling.

1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck - QB, Stanford
For at least a year, this pick has been more or less set in stone. And the Colts confirmed this week that Luck is their guy. The Stanford product will have the legendary shoes of Peyton Manning to fill, but if any rookie is up to the challenge, it is Luck.

2. Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III - QB, Baylor
The Redskins gave up the farm to move up to No. 2, a move you only make to get a franchise quarterback. RG3 will immediately bring hope to a struggling franchise and chances are he gets his feet wet quite quickly in Washington.

3. Minnesota Vikings: Ryan Kalil - OT, USC
It is said the draft doesn't begin until the third pick, and while a trade is always possible at this spot, the Vikings need to protect their young quarterback, Christian Ponder, and prepare for the eventual return of running back, Adrian Peterson.

4. Cleveland Browns: Trent Richardson - RB, Alabama
There may be only one running back worthy of a first-round pick, and Richardson is the guy. Richardson's power and speed combination will give a much needed boost to the Browns lackluster offense.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne - CB, LSU
The Bucs have eyes on Richardson, but with him gone, they turn to the other side of the ball and take the best defensive prospect in the draft. Claiborne has good size, plays the ball well and isn't afraid to mix it up in the run game.

6. St. Louis Rams: Justin Blackmon - WR, Oklahoma State
The Rams traded down with the Redskins and still get their hands on a huge weapon. Sam Bradford needs a target, and Blackmon has separated himself as the best receiver in his draft class.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Michael Floyd - WR, Notre Dame
The Jaguars offense was anemic last season. They'd love to see Blackmon slip, but with him off the board, they settle on the talented Floyd, who hopes to overshadow his off-the-field issues with his speed and talent.

8. Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill - QB, Texas A&M
It is time for Miami to address the quarterback spot because the team won't get by with Matt Moore. Tannehill is considered to be the third best prospect in his class and may even garner some interest in a team trading up ahead of Miami.

9. Carolina Panthers: Fletcher Cox - DT, Mississippi State
The Panthers need to get bigger in the trenches and the near-300-lb. Cox is an athletic, quick option to cause problems for opposing offenses.

10. Buffalo Bills: Mark Barron - S, Alabama
Word is Buffalo has an interest in Barron. It could be a smokescreen but if the Bills decide on Barron, they will get a powerful safety with great instincts who can start from day one.

The rest of the first round...

11. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Kuechly - LB, Boston College
12. Seattle Seahawks: Melvin Ingram - DE, South Carolina
13. Arizona Cardinals: Riley Reiff - OT, Iowa
14. Dallas Cowboys: Michael Brockers - DL, LSU
15. Philadelphia Eagles: Stephon Gilmore - CB, South Carolina
16. New York Jets: Cordy Glenn - OT, Georgia
17. Cincinnati Bengals: David DeCastro - G, Stanford
18. San Diego Chargers: Courtney Upshaw - LB, Alabama
19. Chicago Bears: Quinton Coples - DE, North Carolina
20. Tennessee Titans: Janoris Jenkins - CB, North Alabama
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Dre Kirkpatrick - CB, Alabama
22. Cleveland Browns: Kendall Wright - WR, Baylor
23. Detroit Lions: Jonathan Martin - OT, Stanford
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Dontari Poe - DT, Memphis
25. Denver Broncos: Jerel Worthy - DT, Michigan State
26. Houston Texans: Stephen Hill - WR, Georgia Tech
27. New England Patriots: Whitney Mercilus - OLB, Illinois
28. Green Bay Packers: Shea McLellin - OLB, Boise State
29. Baltimore Ravens: Peter Konz - C, Wisconsin
30. San Francisco 49ers: Kevin Zeitler - G, Wisconsin
31. New England Patriots: Kendall Reyes - DT, UCONN
32. New York Giants: Doug Martin - RB, Boise State

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

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