4/26/12 is right around the corner, draft day, round one. In the spirit of mock drafts, I've selected the entire first round for each team, complete with team need.
Hit the jump to see which player the Arizona Cardinals drafted in the first round, reality courtesy of me.
#1) Indianapolis Colts: Needs: QB, WR, TE, NT, CB.
Let's be honest here, we all know who the Colts are using their first round pick on. Andrew Luck, QB from Stanford. Peyton Manning is now a member of the Denver Broncos. The Colts lost their identity, and it showed last year. In Luck, they gain a man to build around, the mythical franchise QB. But even with this pick, Indy still has a bare cupboard. For the rookie to have success, the Colts need to surround him with help.
#2) Washington Redskins via St. Louis Rams: Needs: QB, OL, ILB, S, CB.
Once again, this pick is straight forward. The Skins owner Dan Synder broke the bank trading up to get his man, QB Robert Griffin III. A dynamic athlete and quarterback, RG3 is a game changer, however, this superman falls victim to a lack of a front five to protect him.
#3) Minnesota Vikings: Needs: CB, OL, WR
The Vikings have a young QB in Christian Ponder that showed promise, but he needs a line to protect him. Enter OT Matt Kalil. The proverbial sure thing. NFL bloodline. All around solid. The Vikings benefit need and BPA. Alternatively, the Vikings could take a hard look at CB Morris Claiborne.
#4) Cleveland Browns: Needs: WR, RB, OL, CB
Colt McCoy may not be the man, but he projects better than anyone still on the board at the QB position. Instead the Browns will add dynamic RB Trent Richardson to the fold. He is a combination of speed and power and can catch out of the backfield. Richardson offers the Browns the big pop to build a team around.
#5) Tamp Bay Buccaneers: Needs: OLB, RB, CB
Tampa Bay took a few steps backward last year, one of which was CB Aqib Talib. With the Browns plucking Richardson away from them, the Bucs will console themselves by drafting CB Morris Claiborne, a player that helps them in coverage and special teams.
#6) St. Louis Rams via Washington Redskins: Needs: WR, OT, OLB, CB, DT
St. Louis, where a new head coach inherits a franchise QB and a losing record. Justin Blackmon is still on the board, so are Riley Reiff and Fletcher Cox. Who to choose, who to choose? Jeff Fischer will pass the ballot for OT Riley Reiff, because it matters not how good your QB/WR combo is if the QB has no protection.
#7) Jacksonville Jaguars: Needs: WR, DE, CB
The Jags had the bad luck of getting Blaine Gabbert in the draft last year. Now they'll have to suffer through 2012 with a shaky QB, a new owner, and a new head coach. This regime will put a good step forward and take a potential star in WR Justin Blackmon, giving Blaine Gabbert the best chance he's going to get.
#8) Miami Dolphins: Needs: QB, WR, CB, DE, G
Miami jumped into a few QB sweepstakes this year in Peyton Manning and Matt Flynn. With the top two QBs in this years draft off the board, the Dolphins make Ryan Tannehill the third, searching for the ever elusive franchise face.
#9) Carolina Panthers: Needs: DT, ILB, WR
Carolina and Cam Newton lit up the NFL last year, coming within a few stops of a much better record. This draft pick helps the defense, as they select Fletcher Cox, DT. He brings a disruptive force to get to the opposing QB.
#10) Buffalo Bills: Needs: WR, OT, CB, OLB
Yes the Bills re-signed Stevie Johnson and plucked Mario Williams from the free agent vault, but they still could use help at both positions. For this exercise, the Bills draft Michael Floyd, WR to pair up with Johnson.
#11) Kansas City Chiefs: Needs: G, NT, ILB, CB
Kansas City has a glaring need in the middle of their defense. Dontari Poe fills that hole with his 346# frame. The big NT will step in and eat up space, allowing the linebackers to make plays.
#12) Seattle Seahawks: Needs: DE, ILB, G
Seattle has a solid secondary but struggled getting to the QB. Two players still available come to mind, Melvin Ingram and Luke Kuechly. Expect Seattle to take Kuechly to shore up their interior.
#13) Arizona Cardinals: Needs: OT, G, WR, OLB
This was a no brainer for me, as David DeCastro, G is still on the boards and the Cards waste no time selecting an interior lineman who will make the players around him better.
#14) Dallas Cowboys: Needs: CB, S, DE, OLB
The Cowboys step up to the plate and select DE Quinton Coples to team across from DeMarcus Ware. The Cowboy's pass rush has become a thing to fear.
#15) Philadelphia Eagles: Needs: OT, OLB, SS, DT
Philly, Andy Reid loves his defense. Expect the Eagles to grab a DT to replenish the thinning ranks. Michael Brockers is my pick here.
#16) New York Jets: Needs: OT, OLB, WR, S
The Jets pride themselves on their D. Rex Ryan loves to take a good game and dial up the exotic plays. With Courtney Upshaw still on the board, I expect the Jets to run to the podioum and hand in their selection with his name on it.
#17) Cincinnati Bengals via Oakland Raiders: Needs: CB, LB, DT, WR
Cincinnati comes into the fray looking at a few quality players at positions of need, but faced with bolstering their offense, and the QB/WR duo of Andy Dalton and A.J. Green, they take CB Dre Kirkpatrick.
#18) San Diego Chargers: Needs: OLB, OT, WR, CB
San Diego has fallen off since the days of ferocious linebacker play. Expect them to address this by taking a chance on OLB Whitney Mercelius, whom they'll sick on opposing QBs.
#19) Chicago Bears: Needs: OG, ILB, WR
Chicago has positioned itself nicely, and needs to upgrade the line to flash as contenders. Look for them to take a hard look at both Cordy Glenn and Jonathan Matring, only to go with WR Kendall Wright to set across from newly acquired Brandon Marshall.
#20) Tennessee Titans: Needs: WR, OLB, C, DT, DE
The Titans happily step to the podium with their selection of a premier DE talent in Nick Perry out of USC. Perry brings a nice pass rush, and accounted for 9.5 sacks last year, which is what Tennessee needs.
#21) Cincinnati Bengals: Needs: WR, LB, DT
Cincinnati already went defense with their first pick of the first round, and the second pick does not change sides of the ball as they target Donta Hightower, ILB to shore up their interior.
#22) Cleveland Browns via Atlanta Falcons: Needs: WR, OL, CB
The Browns come back to the podium again, and this time they select OT Jonathan Martin to shore up the right side of their line. Colt McCoy gets another piece of the puzzle adding to his lifespan.
#23) Detroit Lions: Needs: CB, S, OT, RB
With the twenty-third pick, the Lions find themselves getting value and filling a need as they select CB Stephon Gilmore.
#24) Pittsburgh Steelers: Needs: ILB, NT, RB, WR, G, CB
Keeping with the flow of CBs, the Steelers link up with a highly talented but off the field issued Janoris Jenkins from North Alabama.
#25 Denver Broncos: Needs: DT, RB, TE
Peyton Manning now plays for the Broncos. So the Broncos need to surround the man with the pieces he needs to get them to the promised land. Enter TE Coby Fleener, who will ironically be going from Andrew Luck to Manning. Talk about a catching TE dream.
#26) Houston Texans: Needs: WR, NT, OLB, OL, S
With a need at S and Mark Barron still available, the Texans waste little time in making their selection and getting quality with their pick.
#27) New England Patriots via New Orleans Saints: Needs: S, DE, WR, DT
The Patriots have Tom Brady, and an aging receiving corps minus the tight ends. Things change as they draft WR Rueben Randle to give their offense another spark.
#28) Green Bay Packers: Needs: C, OLB, CB
Green Bay is a scary good team. Their QB makes the game look easy. To continue their success, they need to protect Aaron Rodgers. Peter Konz is homegrown, went to Wisconsin, and would provide that anchor for the interior line.
#29) Baltimore Ravens: Needs: S, G, WR, OLB, ILB
The Ravens find themselves in a good spot as they step up to draft, taking mammoth G Cordy Glenn, who has a mean streak and flashed the ability to play multiple positions across the line.
#30) San Francisco 49ers: Needs: G, WR, CB
The 49ers use this opportunity to once again go offensive line, selecting G Kevin Zeitler from Wisconsin. This pick replaces the guard they lost in free agency.
#31) New England Patriots: Needs: S, DE, DT
With their second dip in the first round, the Patriots look to the defensive side of the ball and select OLB Zach Brown out of North Carolina.
#32) New York Giants: Needs: OT, LB, RB, WR
The Giants, champions of the world, and now finding themselves needing to patch a lot of holes. WR Alshon Jeffery could be the big bodied play-maker the team needs across from Victor Cruz.
Let me know your thoughts below.