Mock Draft 2.0 Part 2

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6. Vikings – Morris Claiborne, CB LSU (Same spot, different selection)

The tides have changed in Minnesota and once again the McNabb experiment is over. Ponder is doing surprisingly well, but needs to gain more confidence with his arm. Minnesota has a top 5 defensive line but needs some serious help with the back 7. The Vikings need a lockdown corner to anchor their secondary around and Claiborne is going to be that player. Morris Claiborne has shot up boards this fall and has surpassed Dre’ Kirkpatrick as the number one corner. While not as dominant as Patrick Peterson, Claiborne is still talented enough to take away a teams #1 receiver in man-to-man coverage.

7. Panthers – Justin Blackmon, WR OKST (Back from #4)

Frankly, I’m surprised I have the Panthers picking in the top 10. Cam Newton has played far beyond my expectations this year and I’m surprised the Panthers have so few wins. This is due in part to Newton’s reliance on Steve Smith. The Newton to Smith connection has been nothing short of brilliant, but defenses are learning that if you take away Smith, there is not much else for Newton to throw to. Blackmon is having a tremendous year and clearly made the right decision to defer the draft for one year. I don’t see how the Panthers can pass up a fantastic weapon for Cam Newton to use like Blackmon.

8. Redskins – Matt Barkley, QB USC (Not previously in the top 10)

Here they are, the first team to break into the top 10 that started in the winnings ranks. Who else other than my Redskins. As a Skins fan, I cannot say this season has been a complete shocker, but it has been painful. John Beck and Rex Grossman are awful and have no business starting in the NFL. The Redskins have a good, borderline great defense, and have some weapons on offense. They just need a quarterback. Barkley is the number two quarterback on my board and has the tools to be a solid leader for the next 8-10 years. If Barkley is available there is no way the Redskins can pass him up. Also watch out for the Skins to try and blow away the number one team for the chance to pick Luck.

9. Broncos – Trent Richardson, RB Alabama (Not previously in the top 10)

Well the Tim Tebow experiment is full flux, and I’m not sure if he will last long enough to be starting next season. One thing I am sure of, Coach Fox loves to run the football. Last week Tebow only threw the ball 8 times as the Broncos ran the ball over 50 times. Moreno has shown that he cannot carry the load, and Willis is on his last leg. Fox spent two first round picks on running backs in Carolina (Williams & Stewart). Trent Richardson spent the last two seasons backing up Mark Ingram, but Richardson is the better pro prospect and will show it this season. Richardson is a very well rounded back, bringing size, speed, and vision all together to run around and over defenders. While some are skeptical of Richardson’s pro potential, I am not. Richardson is the best all around running back I have evaluated since we saw Adrian Peterson come out of Oklahoma. I firmly believe Richardson can be a workhouse, 20-25 carry a game, type of back. While likely not a popular pick, I see Coach Fox scratching that running back itch one more time in the first round.

10. Cardinals – Jonathan Martin, OT Stanford (Not previously in the top 10)

The Cardinals finally have their franchise quarterback in Kolb, but have already shown they are unable to protect him. Arizona has one of the worst offensive lines in football and should probably be picking in the top 5. However, the shear talent of Larry Fitzgerald will keep them at the back of the top 10 and force them to draft the second overall offensive tackle. Martin is the consensus number 2 tackle and can step in at left tackle immediately. It’s not a sexy pick, but the Cardinals have to be concerned about hurting their franchise quarterback.