Mock 5 II is the updated version, based on free agent signings and fresh player evaluations. Mock 5 II is still heavy on linemen – two on offense, two on defense – but the way they come off the board has changed.
Mock 5 II predicts the first five picks of the April 25 draft, and there is a new projected pick for the Lions at No. 5. The change is for the better, based on how a development with the Eagles, who pick one spot ahead of the Lions at No. 4, could influence their pick.
One thing hasn't changed in Mock 5 II. No quarterbacks and no skill positions on offense are in the top 5.
Following is my Mock 5 II. As usual, feel free to disagree.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: They fixed a lot of things this offseason, starting with the hiring of Andy Reid as head coach. His expertise alone improves an offense that had a league-low eight TD passes in 2012. They've added QB Alex Smith of the 49ers, CB Dunta Robinson of the Falcons, and re-signed WR Dwayne Bowe. Smith can throw it to Bowe, or hand off to Jamaal Charles, who ran for 1,509 yards last year. KC is looking at a lot of draft options, but adding an accomplished left tackle on offense is the best one.
Projected pick: OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M.
Previous pick: Joeckel.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Blaine Gabbert's minimal development in two seasons has to have the Jags' power train wondering if it's not too soon to move in another direction after drafting Gabbert in the first round only two years ago. There's an obvious problem, though. No QB in this draft is worth drafting this high. Maurice Jones-Drew's return helps a run game that was 30th in the league last year. The best way to help the run defense, and improve on a league-low 20 sacks, is to bring in new blood.
Projected pick: DT Sharrif Floyd, Florida.
Previous pick: CB Dee Milliner, Alabama.
3. Oakland Raiders: Logic dictates that last week's quarterback shuffle takes them out of the market for a new passer. They acquired Matt Flynn from Seattle and sent Carson Palmer to the Cardinals. Floyd would have been a good fit for the Raiders. In the past two years, they've parted ways with two key members of the secondary – cornerback Nnamdi Asomghua in 2011 and safety Michael Huff this year. Secondary should be a primary consideration.
Projected pick: CB Dee Milliner, Alabama.
Previous pick: Floyd.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Jason Peters has declared himself recovered from the Achilles tendon injury that caused him to miss all of last season. If Peters is back to 100 percent, or even close to it, that gives Philly an offensive left tackle who made the Pro Bowl the previous five seasons before sitting out 2012 and the option to look for help at other positions. New head coach Chip Kelly should like a talented player he coached at Oregon who fits his 3-4 defense and up-tempo practice style.
Projected pick: DE/OLB Dion Jordan, Oregon.
Previous pick: OT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan.
5. Detroit Lions: If I'm the GM, I have my mind set on what I want to do given how the first four picks came off the board, but I still take every possible second of the 10-minute allotment before turning in my card.
Nothing is off the table, except drafting a quarterback, running back, long snapper or kicker.
Some things to consider:
Trade: The only issue is how far down you're willing to go, and the compensation for dropping. The object of the draft should be to acquire good talent, not accumulate draft picks. It's one thing to move down a slot or two, but dropping into the mid-teens – 14 to 18 – is another matter.
I'd stay put at No. 5 if there's a player available that I like. And in this scenario, there is.
Pass-rusher: There are a lot of players who could fit in this spot, but the question is whether there's a clear-cut winner.
Ziggy Ansah of Brigham Young impressed people at the Senior Bowl, but he's raw and lacks experience.
Barkevious Mingo blew away the competition with his workout at the Combine, but his production last season at LSU didn't match his ability.
Bjoern Werner of Florida State and Damontre Moore of Texas A&M started the offseason at the top of the board but have slipped steadily.
Jarvis Jones of Florida has the best stats of all pass-rushers, but mediocre workouts have dropped his stock. And there still might be concerns about an old spinal stenosis condition that caused him to transfer to Georgia after one season at Southern Cal.
Offensive line: Stoeckel and Eric Fisher of Central Michigan are clear-cut top five draft picks and opening-day starters at left tackle. And Joeckel is already gone.
Other positions: If Milliner is available – and he isn't in this scenario – he's a candidate because he fills a need at cornerback, even though his skills in man coverage are in question. No other position fits at this level of the draft.
Projected pick: OT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan. A major reworking of the offensive line is in order, and Fisher adds a high-quality athlete to go with
The draft has enough depth at defensive line and the secondary to fill those positions in later rounds.
And there is always the potential to trade up into the first round.