Does anyone even read the intro to a mock draft? Of course not. You skip right to the top five, the quarterbacks and your favorite teams. You do not need a disclaimer to tell you how reliable mock drafts are (not very), especially before free agency (very not very).
You also know that no matter who your team ultimately drafts, half the fan base will love the pick, half will hate it, and you yourself will be totally conflicted and wonder how everyone else can be so darn certain. So each pick in this mock draft features a Love the Pick and Hate the Pick guide to help you decide how to feel when your favorite team picks the given player. Which it won't, because mock drafts in mid-March are very not very accurate.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Love the Pick: Alex Smith will allow Geno Smith to ease into his role while Andy Reid does his quarterback sensei thing. Geno has the arm talent and mobility to thrive in Reid's bomb-happy system. The Smiths turn the Chiefs' quarterback situation from a hatful of hollow into a position of both strength and depth.
Hate the Pick: The Chiefs may be the best 2-14 team ever, but they still have needs that extend well beyond the quarterback position. Investing their first two picks in the Smiths leaves the rest of the roster to fend for itself, though the Chiefs have been active on the re-sign front and could still make a free agent splash. Trading down would be appealing if there were any likely takers in this headless draft, though the Jaguars, Raiders or Jets could be coaxed to move up if they have a case of Geno's envy. The fact remains that Geno Smith is not a "first overall" talent, though that has never stopped teams from reaching for a quarterback in the past, ever.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Love the Pick: Fix the offensive line, and all of the other offensive woes can start to fix themselves. Joeckel and Eugene Monroe give the Jaguars bookend tackles who provide solid pass protection. This draft is deep enough at the skill positions for the Jaguars to address some other needs on Days Two and Three.
Hate the Pick: Another year of Blaine Gabbert, Chad Henne and a mid-round pick at QB won't send anyone on a season-ticket buying frenzy. There is little to separate Joeckel from the other top tackles in this tackle-heavy draft class, so while the Jaguars may be getting the best player at his position here, they may also be getting him too early.
3. Oakland Raiders: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Love the Pick: Lester Hayes could have come out of retirement at age 57 and started in the Raiders secondary last season. The Raiders allowed 3,775 yards and a 66-percent completion rate despite facing a schedule full of weak quarterbacks. They were forced to move Michael Huff from safety to cornerback while cobbling together the rest of their secondary from the likes of Joselio Hanson. Milliner is both a safe pick and a strong one; remember that the days of the Raiders flying by the seat of their pants and grabbing the fastest man alive have passed.
Hate the Pick: A quarterback! A quarterback! Jim Otto's bust for a quarterback! The Raiders are as needy as the Jaguars and much needier than the Chiefs, so trading down for some extra bodies would be ideal. Unfortunately, simple economics teaches that with so many teams willing to trade down in exchange for a slew of picks, no team will be able to trade down for a slew of picks.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Love the Pick: Chip Kelly opted out of this year's unimpressive quarterback class so he can rebuild the Eagles offensive infrastructure. Fisher can replace Jason Peters eventually (or immediately, if Peters' injury problems persist), and he can start on the right side as a rookie, allowing Todd Herremans to move back inside and quell an emergency at guard. Fisher can help Kelly take the Eagles' signature play of 2011-12 out of the playbook: Michael Vick dropping back, sprinting away from a rush straight up the middle, throwing an errant pass and getting injured.
Hate the Pick: WE ARE EAGLES FANS WE NEED NO REASON TO HATE A PICK WE TOOK AMTRAK UP TO NEW YORK JUST TO SEE CHIP KELLY DRAFT A LINEMAN LIKE ANDY REID JUNIOR THE ONLY WAY THIS COULD BE WORSE IS IF THEY DRAFTED A QUARTERBACK FROM SYRACUSE THEN WE WOULD GO NUTS AND PEOPLE WOULD STILL BE TALKING ABOUT IT 14 YEARS LATER YOU GOT LUCKY RYAN NASSIB, DO YOU HEAR THAT, LUCKY BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
5. Detroit Lions: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Love the Pick: Werner gives the Lions back what they lost when they released Kyle Vanden Bosch and helps their defensive line remain almost as strong as it thinks it is. Werner's skill set -- he is a natural left end with tremendous read-and-react skills and good pursuit speed -- complements the talents of Ndamukong Suh, Cliff Avril and Nick Fairley.
Hate the Pick: "Draft a defensive lineman" is rapidly becoming the new "draft a wide receiver" in Detroit. If Fisher or Joeckel drops, the Lions could finally replace Jeff Backus at left tackle here; if not, it could be another year of 45 sacks, a dozen roughing penalties, and frustration over a defensive line that never quite plays up to its billing.
6. Cleveland Browns: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
Love the Pick: Ray Horton's hybrid defense requires a versatile outside pass rusher, and the Browns have no one on the roster who fits the job description. Moore is an end-linebacker hybrid who is great in the open field and closes suddenly on the quarterback. With Moore on one side and Jabaal Sheard (a more conventional defensive end) on the other, Horton can deploy his full arsenal of 3-4 and 2-4 fronts.
Hate the Pick: Moore had a miserable combine, with a 4.9 40-yard dahs and 12 reps in the bench press. His numbers were so bad that he probably fell below some teams' benchmarks: Even teams that downplay workout numbers often have basic standards, like "don't draft a running back who needs seven seconds to run 40 yards." Of course, you would be suspicious if the Browns drafted a workout warrior, too. That is what happens when a team wins 23 games for three coaches and two owners in five years.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Matt Barkley, QB, USC
Love the Pick: No more Skelton! No more Kolb! No more Lindley on the job! Bruce Arians has guru cred for young quarterbacks, Barkley is not the Archduke of Spring Break like some other recent USC quarterbacks and the Cardinals have the talent at wide receiver and on defense to get good quickly.
Hate the Pick: "Here, you can have Matt Leinart's old locker, just as soon as we are done fumigating."
8. Buffalo Bills: Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse
Love the Pick: The Federal Mock Draft Administration (FMDA) mandates that all published mock drafts show Nassib reuniting with Doug Marrone, in compliance with the No Orangeman Left Behind Act. (Actually, most mock drafters appear to be purposely avoiding this selection right now, which is fine, as they have six weeks to comply.)
Hate the Pick: Nassib is a love-him-or-hate-him prospect as an early first rounder; feel free to do either or both. College-coach-and-quarterback reunions carry a whiff of desperation with them that dates back to Steve Spurrier and Shane Matthews. The Bills have needs at positions where this draft is strong, including the secondary and the offensive line.
9. New York Jets: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Love the Pick: The Jets receiving corps gets a jolt of much needed talent and competence: Patterson has the skill set of a young Plaxico Burress. Patterson played with Tyler Bray at Tennessee, so he is used to seeing two excellent passes followed by two five-yard passes that sail 10 yards over his head, meaning Jets camp will feel like home to him.
Hate the Pick: The "Young Plaxico" thing works both ways, and Patterson is an unpolished player who spent only one year at the FBS level. Considering the Jets' stellar record of developing receiving talent, Patterson could get stuck on the bench while Antonio Cromartie and Joe McKnight play make-believe receiver.
10. Tennessee Titans: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Love the Pick: With so many weak teams sort of OK on the defensive line, one of the best players on the board slips to the Titans. Floyd is a natural three-technique disruptor who uses his hands to peel away blockers better than any lineman in this year's class.
Hate the Pick: Floyd does nothing to make Jake Locker better, Chris Johnson more consistent or Mike Munchak more innovative.
11. San Diego Chargers: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
Love the Pick: The Chargers allowed 49 sacks last year, had a revolving door of Jared Gaither/Kevin Halsam/whoever is available at left tackle and are trying to protect Philip Rivers, who runs like a wounded grouse. Johnson helps rebuild the offensive line, though the Chargers will have to make further investments.
Hate the Pick: A.J. Smith is gone, folks. There is no reason for the Chargers to hate their own players anymore.
12. Miami Dolphins: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
Love the Pick: Rhodes is the kind of big cornerback every team covets this year. He can replace Sean Smith, who is likely to leave via free agency. If Lane Johnson falls, the Dolphins could draft him instead; Johnson would replace Jake Long, who will leave via free agency.
Hate the Pick: The Dolphins need receivers like a Miami nightclub needs subwoofers, but it is too late for Patterson and too early for Tavon Austin. The Dolphins already had a "big corner" (albeit an inconsistent one) in Smith, and they have a replacement for Long in Jonathan Martin, though that leaves them needing a replacement for Martin. Perhaps the Dolphins are stuck at .500 because they are always drafting to replace the outgoing players who kept them at .500.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
Love the Pick: The Bucs allowed 4,758 passing yards and 30 touchdowns last year. Their defense is loaded with young talent in the front seven and at safety but is nearly barren at cornerback. Greg Schiano had success drafting polished, high-character college players last year, and Trufant fits that bill perfectly.
Hate the Pick: Trufant cannot tackle. If the Buccaneers cornerbacks start tackling like the Falcons cornerbacks, Steve Smith and Marques Colston will stay in the NFL until they are 60 years old.
14. Carolina Panthers: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
Love the Pick: Lotulelei would be a top-five talent if doctors did not discover his heart condition at the combine. Assuming he gets medical clearance, he is an exceptional prospect as a pure defensive tackle, the kind who occupies constant double teams yet still breaks free often enough to disrupt plays. The Panthers are losing Dwan Edwards to free agency, but stick Lotulelei between Greg Hardy and Charles Johnson, in front of Luke Kuechly and Jon Beason, and you have a solid core defense.
Hate the Pick: If Lotulelei does get a medical thumbs-up, he won't be here at this slot, the Panthers will draft a wide receiver, and that receiver will immediately morph into Keary Colbert.
15. New Orleans Saints: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
Love the Pick: The Saints moved from a 3-4 to a 4-3 to a 3-4 in the last three seasons, and their pass rush got lost in all the confusion. New coordinator Rob Ryan needs outside linebackers who can line up with their hands in the dirt like defensive ends, and Jones fits the speed-size-productivity prototype.
Hate the Pick: Jones is one of those collegiate pass-rushers who records lots of sacks when his coach puts him at wide-nine and dials up a nutty blitz to make sure he is unblocked. Ryan is one of those defensive coordinators who dials up lots of nutty blitzes but doesn't tailor his game plans to the opponent very well. The match could result in a dozen sacks for Jones, or a meltdown by the Saints defense, or both.
16. St. Louis Rams: Keenan Allen, WR, California
Love the Pick: The Rams need a wide receiver. They do not need a slot receiver like Danny Amendola. They don't need a sometimes-dangerous deep threat like Chris Givens. They need an old-fashioned wide receiver who can get open and catch six slants, outs or post routes per game against a starting NFL cornerback so Amendola and Givens can concentrate on their roles (assuming Amendola sticks around). Allen is less of a role player or project at receiver than anyone else on the draft board, or under contract with the Rams, for that matter.
Hate the Pick: A knee problem kept Allen from working out at the combine. Allen lacks size-speed-wow properties. The good news is that you can hate this Rams pick but still love the next one, which is coming very soon.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Ziggy Ansah, OLB, Brigham Young
Love the Pick: The Steelers like to plant raw pass rushers on their bench, use them as third-and-long specialists for a year or two while they learn ancient Steel Curtain secrets, then unleash them on an unsuspecting AFC once they are fully polished. The Steelers extended the contracts of Lawrence Timmons and LaMarr Woodley, allowing them to bring along a unique-but-exceptionally-raw talent like Ansah slowly.
Hate the Pick: The Steelers also like to find their raw pass rushers in the second or third round. The Steelers are so old and cap-strapped at so many positions that solidifying one unit only prolongs the crisis at another.
18. Dallas Cowboys: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
Love the Pick: The Cowboys defense will look something like a Cover-Two, despite Monte Kiffin's insistence that it will be something brand new. The Cowboys lack the versatile, instinctive safeties needed to run the system. Vaccaro anticipates plays and handles run support well, and he can slide from deep safety to slot corner against tight ends, making him a good fit in the kind of defense Kiffin made famous.
Hate the Pick: Vaccaro has been involved in some fights and legal scrapes. You know how that goes for the Cowboys. Jerry Jones is personally scouting film and filling a draft board as we speak, so small matters like "need," "scheme," and "touch with reality" may not factor into Cowboys selections.
19. New York Giants: Kevin Minter, LB, LSU
Love the Pick: The Giants have drafted just one linebacker in the first three rounds since 2007, and that lack of investment showed as the team cobbled its linebacker corps from reclamation projects (Keith Rivers) and journeyman special teamers (Chase Blackburn) last season. Minter is a classic 4-3 linebacker who reacts well and makes plays in open space. He won't make highlight reels, but he can anchor the middle or weak side for years to come.
Hate the Pick: Minter is getting a high second-round grade from many experts, in part because teams do not value inside linebackers enough to draft them early. That philosophy, taken too far, got the Giants into trouble last year, but that won't stop us from crying "Reach!"
20. Chicago Bears: Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
Love the Pick: With the Mike Tice offensive administration gone, the Bears are now allowed to invest in new linemen instead of recycling and shuffling the old ones. Warmack is a road grader who fans will love, and he will stabilize the interior line, which was a historic source of strength in Chicago before Tice initiated what future historians will dub The Unfortunate Churning.
Hate the Pick: Warmack will not last this long. Some team with few needs and lots of picks will move ahead of the Bears to nab him, prompting another year of, "Say, what if Gabe Carimi moves to center and Lance Louis tries right tackle?"
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Barkevious Mingo, DE-OLB, LSU
Love the Pick: Mingo replaces Robert Geathers (likely to leave via free agency) in some packages and Manny Lawson (see Geathers) in others, giving the Bengals a multi-purpose playmaker to complement franchise player Michael Johnson and defensive tackle Geno Atkins. Mingo, Johnson and Atkins take the Bengals pass rush from "formidable" to "championship-caliber".
Hate the Pick: Mingo cannot play Geathers' and Lawson's positions at once, or middle linebacker and running back, for that matter.
22. St. Louis Rams (from Washington): Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama
Love the Pick: Steven Jackson is gone, Daryl Richardson is not a featured back and Isaiah Pead is a change-up at best. Combine the Lacy and Allen picks, and the Rams have the proper pieces for a playoff caliber offense for the first time since the Greatest Show guys got old.
Hate the Pick: Combine Lacy and Allen, and the Rams are still a third-place team in the NFC West.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
Love the Pick: Austin can replace Percy Harvin if Harvin is traded, or he can duplicate services so the Vikings have insurance behind the often-injured, sometimes-disgruntled Harvin. Worst case scenario: The Vikings have two super-quick water bugs threatening the defense with bombs-screens-reverses for a year while Adrian Peterson lays asphalt. There are worse fates.
Hate the Pick: Austin and Harvin have the bombs and screens covered. Can anyone besides tight end Kyle Rudolph work the middle? Anyone?
24. Indianapolis Colts: Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon
Love the Pick: Jordan is a multi-dimensional player who can be molded into Chuck Pagano's system: He is explosive enough to be a double-digit sack producer, but he can also shine in coverage. He replaces Dwight Freeney (who never really adjusted to the new scheme) and gives the Colts a talent some experts rank in the top five.
Hate the Pick: Some other experts rank Jordan in the second round because he is raw, inexperienced and coming off shoulder surgery that will limit him in the offseason. Jordan may not be ready to be a regular in 2013, which is not a problem for the patient Colts, but an issue for anyone who feels the team must remain in "sudden turnaround" mode.
25. Seattle Seahawks: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
Love the Pick: Fluker steps in for Breno Giacomini and gives the Seahawks a devastating run blocker at right tackle in place of a guy who committed 12 penalties for 120 yards last year.
Hate the Pick: The Colts beat us to Dion Jordan? But Pete Carroll had this awesome package all drawn up where Jordan lines up as a wide-nine pass rusher but covers the slot receiver up the seam. It was going to totally freak Colin Kaepernick out. No fair!
26. Green Bay Packers: Robert Woods, WR, USC
Love the Pick: Woods steps into Greg Jennings' role as the inside possession receiver, allowing Jordy Nelson and James Jones to keep working the boundaries, Randall Cobb to keep working the slot and the Packers to get through another season pretending that street free agents and worn-down has-beens are not killing them at running back.
Hate the Pick: Re-read that final phrase.
27. Houston Texans: Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
Love the Pick: Shaun Cody may leave via free agency, and even if he stays, he is wearing down at a crucial position. Hankins is built like a nose tackle but plays like a three-tech, and he can even play end. He is raw, but Wade Phillips can have fun moving him around and seeing if he can gobble up blockers trying to reach J.J. Watt, Antonio Smith and Whitney Mercilus.
Hate the Pick: Hey, this pass rush sure is great. Now can we keep opponents from triple-teaming Andre Johnson?
28. Denver Broncos: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
Love the Pick: Richardson is a natural three-tech defensive tackle who can penetrate, has great athletic upside and would provide an instant upgrade over journeyman incumbent Kevin Vickerson.
Hate the Pick: Richardson can neither cover Jacoby Jones along the sideline nor convince John Fox to take a few shots downfield with Peyton Manning instead of playing for overtime.
29. New England Patriots: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
Love the Pick: Banks is a tall cornerback with a knack for interceptions. He is also a high-character guy, which the Patriots will welcome after the Alfonzo Dennard mess.
Hate the Pick: The Patriots will trade out of this pick, so there is no sense hating it.
30. Atlanta Falcons: Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
Love the Pick: John Abraham is gone, and no one besides Abraham has recorded more than four sacks for the Falcons since 2009. Okafor lacks Abraham's savvy but has his work ethic and skill set; the Okafor-Kroy Biermann tandem won't provide 30 sacks anytime soon, but it can generate some pressure.
Hate the Pick: The Falcons need to replace Tony Gonzalez. With no tight ends of that caliber in the draft (or on earth, really), the team needs to think outside the box and draft someone like Florida forward Patric Young. Also, a scary number of mock drafts have Okafor going to the Falcons. It is rare for mock drafts to line up for the 30th player (as opposed to one of the top three or four), so either A) we are totally off base or B) this is a terrible idea.
31. San Francisco 49ers: Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International
Love the Pick: This is a "best available athlete" pick for the team that has nearly everything. Cyprien is a fiery competitor with great raw skills who turned some heads as a "funny helmet" guy at Senior Bowl practices. Jim Harbaugh will love him, and he could compete for a starting job as a rookie.
Hate the Pick: If the 49ers don't package this pick in a trade for Darrelle Revis, it means that neither the 49ers nor the Jets were lying when they said there was no trade interest, or else someone got cold feet. Since the first option is nigh impossible, the second one is the only solution.
32. Baltimore Ravens: Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina
Love the Pick: Ozzie Newsome knows he is not going to find the next Ray Lewis or Ed Reed with the 32nd pick, so he takes the best available athlete instead. Cooper has the skills to move to center, so he could be groomed as a successor to Matt Birk if the Gino Gradkowski experiment only yields a backup. In the short term, he gives the Ravens a ready-to-start option at left guard.
Hate the Pick: What? No Manti Te'o? Mock drafts are supposed to end with poetic closure: Te'o joins the champions, replaces Lewis, and so on. The Radio City Music Hall crowd demands it. Print editors way past deadline on draft night dread it! As for Newsome, he's just sore that so many Crimson Tide players were already taken that he cannot justify drafting another one.