As the NFL postseason marches toward the Super Bowl, most teams and fanbases now have their attention fixed squarely on the offseason. That is because they are not playing football anymore this season.
Sure, there still are a few big football games to watch (minus the Pro Bowl). But if you are not a fan of the Giants, 49ers, Ravens or Patriots, there really is only one thing to look forward to in the foreseeable future.
The NFL Draft.
The draft is the annual offseason bridge between the Super Bowl, free agency and the start of NFL training camps. The draft’s exponential popularity in recent years has led to the explosion of NFL mock drafts on the Internet. Mock draft is something I have been doing here for the better part of three offseasons now, and here is my first crack at the top 18 picks:
1. Indianapolis Colts select … Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford.
2. St. Louis Rams select … Matt Kalil, OT, USC.
3. Minnesota Vikings select … Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU.
4. Cleveland Browns select … Robert Griffin, QB, Baylor.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers select … Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama.
6. Washington Redskins select … Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars select … Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame.
8. Carolina Panthers* select … Devon Still, DT, Penn State.
9. Miami Dolphins* select … Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa.
10. Buffalo Bills select … Nick Perry, DE, USC.
11. Seattle Seahawks* select … Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M.
12. Kansas City Chiefs* select … Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford.
13. Arizona Cardinals select … Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College.
14. Dallas Cowboys select … David DeCastro, G, Stanford.
15. Philadelphia Eagles select … Melvin Ingram, LB, South Carolina.
16. New York Jets select … Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor.
17. Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland) select … Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama.
18. San Diego Chargers select … Courtney Upshaw, LB, Alabama.