NFL Nation: Cordy Glenn

Offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie signed his two-year, $7 million contract Wednesday and attended a voluntary conditioning workout. It's all part of a deal that led to his return to the Super Bowl champions.

McKinnie
McKinnie
McKinnie agreed to play at a lighter weight, even lower than last year's playing weight of 352 pounds.

"The older you get, the more they want you to lose, but the harder it is. But I’m going to just do it," McKinnie told the Ravens' official website. "I have a gameplan this year, and I have people in place that will help me. I’m really dedicated to do it, because I really want to do it for myself and I just really want to play at that weight and play at a high level."

McKinnie added, “That’s been my goal for the last few seasons of my career, just to play at a real high level and dominate. If that’s what I got to do to play at that weight to do it, then that’s what I’m going to do."

At 6-feet-8, McKinnie is the tallest of the 32 projected starting left tackles in the NFL. At 352 pounds, he's also the heaviest. In fact, it's nine pounds more than the listed weight of any other starting left tackle. Hall of Fame left tackle Jonathan Ogden, who played for the Ravens from 1996 to 2007, was 6-9 and played at 340 pounds.

McKinnie is the minority these days when it comes to his weight class. There are only six starting left tackles who are 325 pounds or more, including just three who are over 340 pounds. The average current weight for left tackles is 320.4 pounds. And most of these tackles are tall like McKinnie. Only four are shorter than 6-5.

Here are the five heaviest left tackles:

McKinnie, Ravens, 352 pounds

Cordy Glenn, Bills, 343 pounds

Jason Peters, Eagles, 340 pounds

Andrew Whitworth, Bengals, 335 pounds

King Dunlap, Chargers, 330 pounds

Here are the five lightest left tackles:

Charles Brown, Saints, 292 pounds

Jordan Gross, Panthers, 305 pounds

Anthony Castonzo, Colts, 305 pounds

Donald Penn, Buccaneers, 305 pounds

Tyron Smith, Cowboys, 308 pounds

Ryan Kalil, Vikings, 308 pounds

Three things: Bills-Lions

August, 30, 2012
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The Buffalo Bills travel to Detroit to play their preseason finale against the Lions Thursday night. It is Buffalo’s final chance to get a win in the preseason.

Here are three things to watch for in this game:

1. Tarvaris Jackson's Bills debut

Buffalo made headlines this week by cutting former first-round pick Vince Young and trading with the Seattle Seahawks for Jackson. Both quarterbacks have similar playing styles, but the Bills feel Jackson is an upgrade to backup starter Ryan Fitzpatrick. Jackson must be a quick learner in Buffalo’s offense. He will most likely run some basic plays tonight. But Jackson will need to have full command of the offense early in the regular season if Fitzpatrick gets injured.

2. No injuries

Last week’s preseason game was the "dress rehearsal," this week is all about survival. Buffalo, like many teams, just want to get out of this game healthy. The Bills have a huge season opener Sept. 9 against the division rival New York Jets. Buffalo will need all its weapons to win on the road. Bills coach Chan Gailey said his starters will be on the field for about 10 plays, just to get their feet wet. If no starters get injured Thursday night, that is more important than a victory.

3. Which rookies will step up?

Don’t expect to see much of first-round pick Stephon Gilmore and second-round pick Cordy Glenn. But beyond that, Buffalo’s rookie class should get a lot of opportunities against Detroit to show what they can do. Players like rookie wide receiver T.J. Graham and first-year linebacker Tank Carder should see playing time in this fourth preseason game.

The Bills hope size matters

July, 31, 2012
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PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- The NFL has rapidly become a pass-heavy league. But the Buffalo Bills are taking an old-school approach to building a contender.

Last year, Buffalo drafted defensive tackle Marcell Dareus with the No. 3 overall pick. The Bills followed by drafting left tackle Cordy Glenn in the second round this year and signing defensive ends Mario Williams and Mark Anderson. That’s a lot of money and high draft picks dedicated to winning in the trenches.

The Bills certainly passed the eye test in our first look at the team during morning walk-throughs. Suddenly, the Bills look like a group you’d feel very safe taking with you in a dark alley.

"We needed to get bigger. We were a small team; our linebackers were small and we got knocked around a lot," Bills general manager Buddy Nix said Tuesday. "My philosophy is it's a big-man's game and you got to get bigger. You win and lose consistently with those guys up front. That's our thinking."

The Bills currently have 24 players listed over 300 pounds, although not all will make the team. Williams, Buffalo's best defensive player, checked in at 292 pounds.

Buffalo's strength in 2012 will be its defensive and offensive lines. The Bills should be great at running the ball, stopping the run and pressuring the quarterback.

Add the three together and you could have the makings of a team ready to take the next step and contend for the playoffs.

"Buddy and I both believe the game, a major part but not the whole part, is won in the trenches," coach Chan Gailey said. "It is won on both sides of the line and who can control that part of the game. It's hard to find those guys. So when you get the opportunity to get them, you take that opportunity."

Bills: One big question

May, 4, 2012
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Did the Buffalo Bills fix holes on offense?

The Buffalo Bills, who finished 6-10 and last in the AFC East, get a solid "A" for their offseason acquisitions in free agency and their selections in the draft. General manager Buddy Nix made very aggressive moves to get the team in position to make a run in 2012.

But did the Bills, my sleeper pick for 2012, do enough to plug their holes on offense? Buffalo invested a majority of its free-agent dollars on defensive ends Mario Williams and Mark Anderson. The team also used its first-round pick on cornerback Stephon Gilmore. But the Bills didn't start to address the offense until the second round.

Buffalo's biggest offseason holes on offense were at left tackle and wide receiver. The Bills used their second-round pick on offensive tackle Cordy Glenn and their third-round pick on receiver T.J. Graham. Buffalo hopes both rookies can fill these important positions in Week 1.

Glenn is a solid prospect, but there are questions whether he can handle playing left tackle in the NFL. He split time at guard and tackle at Georgia. That helps in terms of versatility, but the Bills hope Glenn can fill the open left tackle spot full time.

Graham has a chance to compete for the No. 2 receiver position opposite Steve Johnson. Graham does not have prototypical NFL size (5-foot-11), but he does have very good speed to blow the top off the defense. A deep threat is something Buffalo's offense lacks. Graham will have a chance to compete with David Nelson and Donald Jones to be the No. 2 receiver. Nelson is more suited to the slot, and Jones has durability questions. Can Graham, a third-round pick, beat out a pair of veterans?

AFC East draft analysis

April, 28, 2012
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NFC draft analysis: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South


The AFC East struggled mightily last year. Only the New England Patriots finished with a winning record. The New York Jets (8-8), Miami Dolphins (6-10) and Buffalo Bills (6-10) are all playing catch up this season.

The draft is the best way for the Jets, Dolphins and Bills to close the gap with the reigning AFC champs. It's also an opportunity for New England to get better, particularly on defense, in order to make another Super Bowl run.

Here are the highlights of the AFC East draft:

BEST MOVE

The best move was actually a series of moves by the Patriots. It was clear New England needed defensive help. The Patriots' defense was ranked 31st overall, and it was an issue on the final drive of the Super Bowl.

New England drafted six straight defensive players. Defensive end Chandler Jones and linebacker Dont'a Hightower, both first-rounder, have a chance to make an immediate impact. New England moved up twice in the first round to pick Jones and Hightower.

"I felt like we got good value for them," coach Bill Belichick said. "[We] took Dont'a and Chandler, probably could have been in either order. But we felt like we would have a better chance to end up with both players if it went that way, not that we were sure we would get the second one, but we thought we might have a shot at it. Looking forward to working with both guys."

New England also took pass-rushing defensive end Jake Bequette in the third round. He could be a sleeper. The Patriots made one curious pick on defense in the second round that we will get to later.

The Patriots did a good job overall, but an individual move I really like is Miami's pick of former Stanford offensive tackle Jonathan Martin. I had the chance to watch Stanford several times, and I was really impressed. He moves well, has a good frame and is intelligent.

"He's used to playing with a very demanding quarterback with Andrew (Luck), and they trusted him to protect Andrew for three years," Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland said of Martin. "We're very happy with the pick."

Martin has to move from left tackle to right tackle, because Pro Bowler Jake Long is on Miami's roster. But that's an easier transition to make than going from right to left tackle.

The Buffalo Bills also made some solid picks, particularly first-round corner Stephon Gilmore and second-round offensive tackle Cordy Glenn. Buffalo had a safe draft that should help the team immediately next season.

RISKIEST MOVE

The New York Jets entered the offseason with a lot of questions. Can they fix their locker room issues? Can they handle the Tim Tebow phenomenon?

Instead of going safe, the Jets continued to roll the dice by taking risky prospects with their top two picks: defensive end Quinton Coples and receiver Stephen Hill. Both are boom-or-bust prospects the Jets plan to rely on next season.

New York needs help rushing the passer and hope Coples can provide it. He has all the physical tools, but there are big questions about his motivation. The Jets also need a big-play receiver, and Hill could be that player. He has all the measurables but wasn’t productive at Georgia Tech, which ran a triple-option offense. Hill caught just 28 passes last season but averaged an astounding 29.3 yards per reception.

"I feel great. Especially now, I'm in more of an offense where I can catch the ball a little bit more," Hill said. "And you know, catching the ball from [quarterback] Mark Sanchez is great. I'm going to make sure I get with him as soon as possible and we both try to get this roll on."

Both players have the potential to start as soon as next season.

MOST SURPRISING MOVE

[+] EnlargeTavon Wilson
Chuck Rydlewski/Icon SMINew England surprised some by selecting Illinois defensive back Tavon Wilson in the second round.
Belichick has some explaining to do. The Patriots took a player in the second round who wasn’t invited to the NFL combine or any pre-draft all-star games.

Patriots second-round pick Tavon Wilson caught everyone completely by surprise. The defensive back wasn’t on anyone’s radar, especially in the second round. But New England liked him enough to take Wilson No. 48 overall.

"He played plenty. You can see him plenty at Illinois," Belichick said. "You can see him against whoever you want to see him against: All the Big Ten schools, Arizona State, teams that throw the ball. He’s playing corner, he’s playing safety, he’s playing the inside positions, the nickel position, the dime position."

Belichick is known to go off the radar in the draft at times. He continues to defend the Wilson pick.

"Similar situation with [Sebastian] Vollmer a couple of years ago. We drafted guys -- I think one year, didn't we draft like three of four guys that were non-combine guys?" Belichick said. "Some guys play in all-star games, some guys don't. I don't know who picks all those all-star teams. In all honesty, I don't know who picks the combine for that matter."

New England needs immediate help in the secondary. Wilson has experience in college at cornerback and safety and will get a chance to show what he can do in New England.

FILE IT AWAY

This is the perfect category for Miami first-round selection and rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill. You can probably file this pick away until 2013.

Tannehill will begin the season third on Miami's depth chart behind incumbent starter Matt Moore and free-agent signing David Garrard. The odds that the rookie will jump two veteran quarterbacks before Week 1 are long. But Tannehill isn't resigning himself to holding a clipboard.

"I'm a football player and I'm a competitor," Tannehill said Saturday. "I want to be on the field and I want to compete. But I also realize that I'm coming in and there's veteran quarterbacks on this team that I can learn from."

The race for the No. 2 quarterback in the AFC East behind Tom Brady is wide open. Tannehill has the potential to fill that void in two or three years. But the Dolphins have to do the right things to nurture the young quarterback, despite very high expectations.

Tannehill is the first quarterback taken in the first round by Miami since Hall of Famer Dan Marino in 1983.

"I didn't take him as the eighth pick in the draft to be a backup quarterback," Ireland said. "I picked him to be a starting quarterback in this league at some point, to have an impact on this football team, to help us win football games and championships. That's the expectation that I have going down the line."

AFC East fifth-round notes

April, 28, 2012
4/28/12
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The fifth round of the NFL draft is in the books.

Here are some notes for the AFC East:
  • The Buffalo Bills had two picks again in this round and took former Florida State offensive tackle Zebrie Sanders and former TCU linebacker Tank Carder. Sanders is good insurance behind second-round pick Cordy Glenn. Carder is another linebacker who probably will have to work hard on special teams to make the 53-man roster this summer.
  • The Miami Dolphins traded down with the Tennessee Titans and picked up an extra seventh-round pick. The Dolphins selected former Oregon linebacker Josh Kaddu. He had 6.5 sacks for the Ducks last season and 10 for his career. I'm still surprised Miami has yet to draft a receiver.
  • The New England Patriots (surprise!) traded out of the fifth round to acquire more picks later in the draft. New England now has a sixth-rounder and two seventh-rounders from the Green Bay Packers.

Third-round notes in AFC East

April, 27, 2012
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The AFC East made some interesting additions in the third round of the NFL draft.

Here is a recap:
  • The Bills finally drafted a wide receiver by taking T.J. Graham of North Carolina State. Buffalo passed up better prospects in the second round, but you can't fault the Bills for finding a potential starting offensive tackle (Cordy Glenn). Graham was the 20th-ranked prospect at receiver by Scouts Inc. His not a big receiver (5-foot-11) but does possess top-end speed. Buffalo needs a speedster opposite top target Steve Johnson.
  • The Dolphins made an interesting choice in Miami (Fla.) defensive end Olivier Vernon. He is the first player from the hometown Hurricanes the Dolphins have taken since Vernon Carey in 2004. Vernon had an inconsistent career at Miami. The Dolphins also traded back and drafted Missouri tight end Michael Egnew with their second pick in the third round. Agnew can provide depth behind starter Anthony Fasano.
  • The New York Jets also drafted Arkansas State linebacker Demario Davis at No. 77 to help their pass rush.
  • The New England Patriots continue to boost their pass rush with third-round pick Jake Bequette of Arkansas. He recorded 21.5 career sacks at Arkansas and is a versatile player. The Patriots traded down with the Green Bay Packers for this third-round pick.


NEW YORK -- Man, did the New York Giants have some options with the final pick in the first round of the NFL draft Thursday night. Wide receivers, offensive linemen and pass rushers still abound. They very well could have traded back into the early part of the second round, picked up an extra pick and still taken someone very useful, such as wide receiver Stephen Hill or tackle Cordy Glenn or even a pass rusher like Courtney Upshaw.

Wilson
Wilson
But the Giants, before they went on their magical run and won the Super Bowl, were the No. 32 ranked rush offense in the NFL in 2011. And that 32nd-ranked rush offense lost to free agency a back -- Brandon Jacobs -- who accounted for about 40 percent of their carries. So, while the Giants aren't a draft-for-need kind of team, it makes a lot of sense that they decided to take a running back.

The Giants selected Virginia Tech's David Wilson to be Jacobs' replacement, but don't expect a running back like Jacobs. Wilson is a little guy -- about 5-foot-9, 206 pounds -- whose scouting report says he has outstanding top-end speed but still needs to work on his inside running and his initial burst. He's every-down capable, having racked up 334 touches last year with the Hokies, and that matters, since Ahmad Bradshaw always seems to be battling those foot injuries. And he's an outstanding athlete who qualified for the NCAA championships in the triple jump in 2010.

My guess is that the Giants were looking at Boise State running back Doug Martin, and the Buccaneers traded up into the back end of the first round and took Martin one pick before the Giants' turn. But it's entirely possible, knowing the Giants, that Wilson was the guy on whom they had their eye all along. The Giants like to bring guys into their system and develop them under their coaching staff and among their veteran players. So if Martin isn't an impact guy right away in 2012 -- if he's merely in the mix of Bradshaw backups with guys like Da'Rel Scott and D.J. Ware -- that doesn't mean he doesn't have big-time potential down the road.

Ultimately, this is more of a "need" pick than the Giants tend to make in the draft, but if they thought someone like Hill or Glenn or Upshaw or Stanford tight end Coby Fleener was well ahead of Wilson in terms of value, I'm sure they would have taken him. The Giants clearly think highly of Wilson.

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis wasn't creating a smokescreen when he hinted that the team was going to address defense in the first round.

Kirkpatrick
Kirkpatrick
The Bengals selected Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick with the 17th overall pick. I would've gone with Stanford's David DeCastro, the best guard in the draft, but I understand the reasoning.

Cincinnati went for the draft's third-best corner in Kirkpatrick because DeCastro and Georgia's Cordy Glenn are still on the board. With how the draft is unfolding, the Bengals could get one of them with the 21st overall pick.

Kirkpatrick is an aggressive and confident cover man who has proven himself against top competition. The reason why he lasted into the bottom half of the first round is he lacks elite speed.

Scouting chatter: Houston Texans

April, 26, 2012
4/26/12
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Thoughts on the Texans' draft from two people involved in evaluating personnel for NFL teams:

Guy No. 1:

“I know they want [Baylor receiver] Kendall Wright. He’s a slot guy who can work underneath and take pressure off Andre Johnson. Wright’s a playmaker. If he’s gone, there isn’t another receiver who will step right in. Rueben Randle and Alshon Jeffery are like Johnson, big and physical. Wright is different."

“They have to consider offensive line. I couldn’t believe they let Eric Winston go. He’s a good player. Who can you get at 26 that can come right in and play at right tackle? They could go out and make a pick like they did with Duane Brown, a second-round guy in the first. Jonathan Martin maybe? Or trade back."

“To me, the biggest question to be answered by this draft in that division is replacing the leadership and production lost with the trade of DeMeco Ryans and the release of Winston. Those are two main leaders and they did nothing in free agency. That’s hard to replace in a draft."

“Outside linebacker would be a luxury pick. Courtney Upshaw would be nice for them. Shea McClellin is another of what they have -- a versatile, solid football player. Inside, they could like Dont'a Hightower. I don’t think Darryl Sharpton or Bradie James can replace Ryans."

Guy No. 2:

“Coming up with a tackle in the late first is pretty tough. Cordy Glenn really doesn’t fit their profile, though he could be a right tackle. Mike Adams if you get past the combine test. Martin could be in that range."

“You can never have enough rushers. McClellin is a lot like Brooks Reed. Upshaw would be good there."

“Unless you take Janoris Jenkins, you can’t get a good corner at 26. You’d have to hold your nose, but he’s better than Kareem Jackson.”
The NFL draft is two days way. In Atlanta, that means people are talking about last year’s draft.

That’s mostly because the Falcons are without a first-round pick after using it as part of a package to move up 21 spots to get receiver Julio Jones in last year’s draft. Atlanta doesn’t pick until the second round (No. 55 overall).

Lots of folks are moaning about the Jones trade now and talking about how it left the Falcons without a chance to get a player who can make an instant impact at left tackle or defensive end. I get those points.

I’d like to see the Falcons upgrade on Sam Baker at left tackle and I’d like to see them get a pass-rusher to go with John Abraham in this draft. None of that’s going to come in the first round and, even if the Falcons get a left tackle and a defensive end later in the draft, they won’t make an instant impact. But I’m not looking back regretfully at last year’s trade to get Jones.

If the Falcons hadn’t made the trade, they’d be picking No. 22 in this year’s draft.

Take a look at this mock draft done by the ESPN.com Blog Network on Monday and see if there is anybody who really excites you available at No. 22. I just did and I’m not seeing much. Georgia tackle Cordy Glenn went at No. 21 and some are projecting him as a guard. I’m a strong believer that you don’t take a guard in the first round and I’m not seeing any tackle I’d take in this scenario. I’d stick with Baker and add a guy who might be able to compete with him later in the draft or in free agency.

It’s kind of the same story at defensive end. Chandler Jones and Courtney Upshaw were taken after No. 22 and neither of those are guys who likely will make a huge instant impact. You can find a defensive end with as much potential in the second round.

The Falcons already got their impact player in this draft. It was Jones. Yeah, his rookie numbers weren’t off the charts, but they were very solid. Jones came up just a bit short of 1,000 receiving yards even though he missed three games with injuries. There were moments last season when Jones looked spectacular at a position where many rookies take several years to make a true impact.

I think Jones will only get better this year and new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter’s scheme will find more ways to get him the ball. Jones and Roddy White are close to being on even ground right now. As White ages, it’s only a matter of time before Jones becomes the true No. 1 receiver.

The Falcons got their impact player from this draft in last year’s draft. I gladly will take Jones over anything they could get at No. 22 in this year’s draft.
The Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers engage in the NFL's best grudge matches every year. This week, that rivalry could cross over into the NFL draft.

The Ravens and the Steelers have similar needs and could be targeting some of the same players. The Steelers will have the first shot at a player with the 24th overall pick, but the Ravens could decide to trade up in front of Pittsburgh from the No. 29 spot.

Both teams are looking at guards like Georgia’s Cordy Glenn and Wisconsin’s Kevin Zeitler. The Steelers should upgrade at left guard from Doug Legursky, and the Ravens still have to replace Ben Grubbs at that same spot.

Both teams could use an inside linebacker like Alabama’s Dont'a Hightower. Pittsburgh has a leadership void there since cutting James Farrior, and Baltimore has to start thinking of an heir apparent to Ray Lewis.

Both teams could also consider an outside linebacker like Alabama’s Courtney Upshaw. The Steelers might look ahead with James Harrison turning 34 next month, and the Ravens could use an Alabama player to replace a departed one in Jarret Johnson.

Theses scenarios should bring AFC North drama to the bottom half of the first round. The Steelers could take a coveted Ravens prospect at No. 24, or Baltimore could jump ahead of Pittsburgh to do the same.

According to the trade chart, the Ravens would give up a third-round pick to move up to the Detroit Lions' No. 23 spot.
The live ESPN Blogger Mock Draft just wrapped up, and I'll give you my picks and my thoughts behind them:

4. Browns: RB Trent Richardson, Alabama. Not buying into the Browns' interest in wide receiver Justin Blackmon or quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Richardson is clearly the best offensive player in the draft outside of Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. The Browns' struggling offense needs an identity, and Richardson can instantly give it a tough one.

17. Bengals: DE Quinton Coples, North Carolina. Things didn't go as planned in the first half of the draft for the Bengals, who watched guard David DeCastro, safety Mark Barron and cornerback Stephon Gilmore all get taken in the top 15. Defensive end is a major need for the Bengals, but it would be hard to resist taking a talent like Coples. Even though Coples has boom-or-bust potential, this is a pick based on best player available.

21. Bengals: G-T Cordy Glenn, Georgia. The decision here came down to Glenn, wide receiver Kendall Wright or cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick. You could argue wide receiver is the bigger need, but Glenn is the better prospect. After failing to get DeCastro at No. 17, the Bengals turn to Glenn to make an immediate impact at right or left guard.

22. Browns: OT Jonathan Martin, Stanford. This was a tough call because the Browns need speed at wide receiver, and Wright and Stephen Hill are sitting there. But that's the reason the pick is Martin. There are so many more wide receiver prospects available than offensive tackles, so the Browns have a better chance of a wide receiver falling to them early in the second round (perhaps South Carolina's Alshon Jeffery).

24. Steelers: NT Dontari Poe, Memphis. Could the Steelers have envisioned a better draft unfolding than this? Pittsburgh would've been happy with Dont'a Hightower, Courtney Upshaw or even Amini Silatolu. Instead, Poe falls into their laps. He becomes the heir apparent to Casey Hampton.

29. Ravens: OLB Courtney Upshaw, Alabama. The Ravens are always looking for pass rushers, and Upshaw gives them another tone-setter on defense. He replaces Jarret Johnson in Baltimore's base defense and plays opposite Terrell Suggs as an edge rusher in passing situations. Upshaw has drawn comparisons to LaMarr Woodley, so you know he's an AFC North-type of player.

NFL Blog Network mock draft 2.0

April, 23, 2012
4/23/12
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The first six picks of ESPN’s Blogger Mock Draft unfolded pretty much as expected.

That’s when James Walker, our AFC East representative, put out the word: “I’m willing to make a trade back with Buffalo at No. 10.”

Before anyone could respond, AFC South representative Paul Kuharsky announced he’d swung a deal with Dan Graziano of the NFC East. The Jaguars had traded the seventh overall choice and a sixth-rounder to Philadelphia for the 15th, 88th and 153rd selections.

The Eagles took defensive tackle Fletcher Cox at No. 7.

“By the way,” I wrote in an email to the group, “Seattle would love to trade back from 12.”

Then came the word from Walker, sent only to me, the NFC West rep: “Don’t make your pick at No. 12 yet. I have an offer from New England coming. Working out the point chart. First, I have to figure out Buffalo’s pick at No. 10.”

A few seconds passed before the AFC West’s Bill Williamson, unaware Walker had already made contact regarding the 12th pick, reached out to me in another email.

“If Melvin Ingram is on the board at 12,” Williamson wrote, “I might have San Diego come up from 18.”

This was intriguing. Seattle’s actual leadership had swung a deal with San Diego for quarterback Charlie Whitehurst a couple of years ago, so trade talks for the 12th pick seemed realistic. But the Seahawks also have a working relationship with the Patriots, having traded Deion Branch to them not all that long ago.

“Sounds good,” I replied to Bill. “James might also make an offer here.”

The potential deal with Williamson and San Diego was fleeting. Walker executed a trade with himself, allowing the New York Jets to move into Buffalo’s spot at No. 10. The Jets took Ingram, the player Williamson had wanted for San Diego.

The fun was only beginning.

Our eight divisional bloggers made four trades involving the seventh, 10th, 12th, 15th, 16th, 27th, 31st and 32nd overall choices, plus later considerations.

Five of our first-round selections in this mock failed to appear in our previous one. Jerel Worthy, Kevin Zeitler, Chandler Jones, Shea McClellin and Coby Fleener pushed out Rueben Randle, Andre Branch, Peter Konz, Kendall Wright and Mike Adams.

Courtney Upshaw, Dontari Poe and Stephen Hill made double-digit drops from then to now. Michael Brockers, Cordy Glenn, Stephon Gilmore and Cox climbed at least eight spots since last time.

We drafted seven defensive ends/outside linebackers, six offensive linemen, five defensive backs, four defensive tackles, three receivers, three quarterbacks, two inside linebackers, one tight end and one running back.

Mostly, we had some fun with the process. Thanks for coming along.

***

ESPN.com's NFL bloggers went through one final mock draft leading up to Thursday's start of the NFL draft. Here is how #ESPNbloggermock played out.

Big Board Bar
QB
6-4
234

Analysis: We're going to hit at least one of the AFC South's four picks here, so we thank the Colts for that. Luck draws raves from all corners and gives Indianapolis another quarterback who could set high standards for more than a dozen years, like the guy he's replacing did. (Paul Kuharsky)

Analysis: A no-brainer for Washington, which traded three first-round picks and a second-rounder to move into this spot to take the young man they believe will be their next franchise quarterback. Skins fans have already been wearing Griffin's name and face on T-shirts for weeks. (Dan Graziano)

OT
6-6
306

Analysis: I burned up the email lines trying to drum up interest for this pick, much as I imagine Vikings general manager Rick Spielman will do in the coming days and heading into Thursday night. But my colleagues were too smart for that, and I was more than happy to scoop up Kalil and presumably put quarterback Christian Ponder's mind at ease. (Kevin Seifert)

RB
5-9
228

Analysis: Not buying into the Browns' interest in wide receiver Justin Blackmon or quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Richardson is clearly the best offensive player in the draft outside of Luck and RG3. The Browns' struggling offense needs an identity, and Richardson can instantly give it a tough one. (Jamison Hensley)

CB
5-11
188

Analysis: Once Richardson went off the board, this became an easy call. The Bucs need to add a top-notch cornerback because Ronde Barber is nearing the end of his career and Aqib Talib could face prison time or a suspension. Even if Talib is able to play this season, he's headed into the last year of his contract. The Bucs addressed the position they needed to most. They can get a running back early in the second or third round. (Pat Yasinskas)

WR
6-0
207

Analysis: Blackmon has long been a popular projection for the Rams. I'm not convinced he'll be the choice or even the first receiver drafted, but there was also a fear of overthinking the situation. (Mike Sando)

DT
6-4
298

Analysis: The Eagles fell in love with Cox and were convinced he wouldn't get past Carolina at No. 9. So after the Rams picked Blackmon, Philadelphia offered Jacksonville the No. 15 pick and the No. 88 pick (third round) for the Jaguars' overall No. 7. Jacksonville countered by asking for a fifth-round pick (No. 153) and offering a sixth (No. 176), and the Eagles said yes. They get the guy they wanted and still have their two second-rounders. (Dan Graziano)

QB
6-3
221

Analysis: There was speculation that Tannehill wouldn't make it to No. 8. The Dolphins do the right thing by not trading the farm to move up to No. 3. Miami gets its quarterback of the future to reunite with Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman. (James Walker)

LB
6-3
242

Analysis: Defensive tackle is a consideration, but Cox is the only sure-fire player at that spot. With him gone, the Panthers go with another low-risk player. Kuechly was exceptionally productive in college and is NFL-ready. He can contribute right away and that's something the Panthers want from this pick. (Pat Yasinskas)

DE
6-1
264

Analysis: Buffalo didn't like its spot at No. 10, and the Jets are hot on Ingram. So the two division rivals worked out a trade. The Jets get the dominant pass-rusher Rex Ryan covets, while the Bills get additional picks in the third, fifth and sixth rounds (Nos. 77, 154, 187). (James Walker)

G
6-4
316

Analysis: The Chiefs take a sure thing and an instant starter who strengthens a good offense. (Bill Williamson)

S
6-1
213

Analysis: The Patriots pull off a blockbuster trade with Seattle by giving up their two first-round picks (No. 27 and No. 31) for No. 12 overall and a fourth-rounder (No. 106). The Patriots, who were 31st against the pass, get the best safety in the draft. (James Walker)

WR
6-2
220

Analysis: Floyd is arguably the most promising wide receiver in the draft. He would fit well in the Cardinals' offense while providing better value than the offensive tackles available at this point. (Mike Sando)

Analysis: They wanted Barron, and after the Pats made the bold move to trade up and take him at 12, the Cowboys looked into trading down. But they found no takers, so they took the highest defensive player on their board -- a versatile defensive lineman who deepens them at a key position and allows them to be flexible both with roster decisions and on-field alignments. (Dan Graziano)

CB
6-0
190

Analysis: I didn't get a great haul in the trade. But the Jaguars could consider Gilmore at No. 7 and get him at 15 while picking up a third-rounder and swapping a sixth-rounder for a fifth-rounder. Corner is not the biggest need after the acquisition of Aaron Ross, but no defensive end or receiver screams to be taken at No. 7 or 15. Trade details: Eagles sent 15, 88, 153 to Jaguars for 7, 176. (Paul Kuharsky)

OT
6-5
313

Analysis: Buffalo is happy it moved down six spots and still landed its target in Reiff. Left tackle was a rotating door in Buffalo last season, and Reiff has the ability to be a Day 1 starter to protect Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick's blind side. Trade details: Jets sent 16, 77, 154 and 187 to Bills for 10. (James Walker)

DE
6-5
284

Analysis: Things didn't go as planned in the first half of the draft for the Bengals, who watched guard David DeCastro, safety Mark Barron and cornerback Stephon Gilmore all get taken in the top 15. Defensive end isn't a major need for the Bengals, but it would be hard to resist taking a talent like Coples. Even though Coples has boom-or-bust potential, this is a pick based on best player available. (Jamison Hensley)

Analysis: The Chargers go for the best value on the board and take an impact defensive player. (Bill Williamson)

Analysis: The Bears were forced to play their starting defensive ends, Julius Peppers and Israel Idonije, on more than 80 percent of their plays last season. Depth, and a possible replacement for Idonije, was sorely needed. Mercilus seemed a better fit than Syracuse's Chandler Jones or Alabama's Courtney Upshaw. (Kevin Seifert)

DE
6-2
271

Analysis: Perry provides a combination of size and speed that should round out the Titans' top four defensive ends and solidifies the position for the foreseeable future. If he can get to the quarterback with some regularity as a rookie, Tennessee can make a nice jump on defense. (Paul Kuharsky)

OT
6-5
345

Analysis: The decision here came down to Glenn, wide receiver Kendall Wright or cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick. You could argue wide receiver is the bigger need, but Glenn is the better prospect. After failing to get DeCastro at No. 17, the Bengals turn to Glenn to make an immediate impact at right or left guard. (Jamison Hensley)

OT
6-5
312

Analysis: This was a tough call because the Browns need speed at wide receiver, and Wright and Hill are sitting there. But that's the reason the pick is Martin. There are so many more wide receiver prospects available than offensive tackles, so the Browns have a better chance of seeing a wide receiver fall to them early in the second round. (Jamison Hensley)

CB
6-1
185

Analysis: The Lions' secondary was their weakest link in 2011, and starter Eric Wright signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during free agency. General manager Martin Mayhew isn't a need-based drafter, but the position is a high priority. I had hoped for Kirkpatrick's former teammate Mark Barron here, but he was long gone, and I didn't have the guts to take North Alabama cornerback Janoris Jenkins. (Kevin Seifert)

DT
6-3
346

Analysis: Could the Steelers have envisioned a better draft unfolding than this? Pittsburgh would've been happy with Dont'a Hightower, Courtney Upshaw or even Amini Silatolu. Instead, Poe falls into their laps. He becomes the heir apparent to Casey Hampton. (Jamison Hensley)

DT
6-2
309

Analysis: The Broncos would have pounced on Poe, but Worthy is a highly valued player who fills a huge hole. (Bill Williamson)

G
6-3
314

Analysis: The offensive line was a team strength a year ago, but gone are the right guard (Mike Brisiel) and the right tackle (Eric Winston). Houston loves Wisconsin players, and Zeitler will be ready to be plugged right in. We also thought hard about Bobby Massie and Rueben Randle. (Paul Kuharsky)

DE
6-5
266

Analysis: Trading back was the plan all along. Jones has the length Seattle covets in its players on defense (think Brandon Browner, Richard Sherman, K.J. Wright, Kam Chancellor, etc.). Jones also fills an obvious need for a pass-rushing defensive end. Trade details: Patriots sent 27 and 31 to Seattle for 12 and 106. (Mike Sando)

LB
6-3
260

Analysis: There were a number of possibilities here, but defensive coordinator Dom Capers loves to develop wrinkles off his 3-4 base, and McClellin is said to be versatile. It's possible the Packers could trade down and still get him at the top of the second round. (Kevin Seifert)

DE
6-1
272

Analysis: The Ravens are always looking for pass-rushers, and Upshaw gives them another tone-setter on defense. He replaces Jarret Johnson in Baltimore's base defense and plays opposite Terrell Suggs as an edge rusher in passing situations. Upshaw has drawn comparisons to LaMarr Woodley, so you know he's an AFC North type of player. (Jamison Hensley)

CB
5-10
193
N. Alabama

Analysis: The 49ers face a long list of top quarterbacks this season. They lack glaring needs and should be able to find guard help later in the draft. Coby Fleener was a consideration, but the 49ers like their existing tight ends and could extend Delanie Walker's contract. (Mike Sando)

TE
6-6
247

Analysis: The Seahawks need another tight end after losing John Carlson to the Vikings in free agency. Adding Jones at No. 27 gave them flexibility in this spot. Seattle entered draft week with 19 players from the Pac-12. Fleener would give them 20. Trade details: Patriots sent 27 and 31 to Seattle for 12 and 106. (Mike Sando)

WR
6-4
215

Analysis: The Bills aren't done with a busy day of trading. Buffalo gets back in the first round by swapping a second-rounder and two fourth-rounders with the Giants. Hill is a big-play receiver to pair with Bills starter Steve Johnson. Hill averaged an astounding 29.3 yards per catch last season. Trade details: Giants trade 32 to Buffalo for 41, 105 and 124. (James Walker)

Who's in New York for the draft?

April, 13, 2012
4/13/12
7:09
AM ET
It’s looking like there’s a good chance the players the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers choose in the first round of this year’s NFL draft will be in New York that night.

The league has announced that an all-time high 26 players will be at Radio City Music Hall for the first round. I’m looking at the list and the three realistic candidates for the Bucs at No. 5 -- LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne, Alabama running back Trent Richardson and Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon -- are scheduled to be in New York.

The Panthers have the No. 9 overall pick in the draft. I’m looking at the list and seeing multiple players that have a chance to end up in Carolina, including Blackmon, LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers, North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples, Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, Georgia offensive tackle Cordy Glenn, Memphis defensive tackle Dontari Poe and Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still. I also think Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly and Iowa offensive tackle Riley Reiff are also possibilities for the Panthers, but they’re not scheduled to be in New York.

Aside from the players mentioned above, here’s the rest of the list of guys scheduled to be in New York for the draft:
  • Matt Kalil, offensive tackle, Southern California

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