The Shutdown Corner ‘Final Countdown’ mock draft: Picks 1-16

1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford -- The biggest non-surprise since, well, ever. Luck gets credit for his football smarts and pro-readiness, but his mobility is underrated and could have him develop into a Steve Young-level player.

[Video: Why Andrew Luck may be in line to win two Super Bowls for the Colts]

2. Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor -- When it comes to the two top players in this year's draft, there's now ... and there's three years from now. RGIII is the toughest pro comparison I've had in a long time because I believe he could become the type of quarterback we've never seen before. Start with: If the young Randall Cunningham had Aaron Rodgers' deep accuracy...

[Video: Is Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III the better fantasy prospect?]

3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil, OT, USC -- There are more and more dings on Kalil's tape as we get closer to the draft, and I understand a lot of them, but the Vikings have got to solidify their blindside protection, especially now that Steve Hutchinson has left the building. Kalil is a good workout program away from being elite in all phases.

4.  Cleveland Browns: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama -- Ryan Tannehill may be tempting here, but remember that when Browns team president Mike Holmgren took the Seahawks to the Super Bowl in 2005, it was in an offense with a dominant left tackle, a mistake-proof quarterback and a running back from Alabama (Shaun Alexander) who wrapped up NFL MVP honors. Richardson may be the missing piece for the Browns to hit the next (if not Super Bowl) level.

[Video: Trent Richardson is ready for NFL Sundays]

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU -- Greg Schiano's playbooks don't generally go beyond the year 1945, which would seem to make Richardson the natural fit, and I think they'd take him at five if he's there. But in a division where you're facing Matt Ryan, Drew Brees and Cam Newton twice a season, the man who many see as the best cornerback in this draft makes a lot of sense, too.

6. St. Louis Rams: Fletcher Cox, DL, Mississippi State -- Yes, the Rams desperately need receivers, but this class is deep enough to reach down and grab pass-catchers later. Jeff Fisher wants a defensive lineman he can move in with Chris Long and Robert Quinn to wreak havoc on quarterbacks. Cox's primary attribute is his versatility; he can play all over the formation at a high level.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina -- There are those who believe Gilmore  is better than Claiborne. I'm one of them, and according to some rumors, Jags GM Gene Smith may be in that group. Blaine Gabbert needs more talent around him, but it would be hard to pass on a cover corner of Gilmore's ability if the Jags can't trade down.

8. Miami Dolphins: Melvin Ingram, OLB/DE, South Carolina -- Yes, the 'Fins need a quarterback, but they also need elite edge rushers who can move around the front. With the release of Phillip Merling, that need is even more pronounced. Ingram is the most versatile player in this entire draft class and he'll give the Dolphins' defense a switch kick in the playbook.

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9. Carolina Panthers: Michael Brockers, DT, LSU -- Now that the Panthers have their franchise quarterback, the next building block in the building has to be that run-stopping defensive tackle. Ron Rivera would do well to reach back to his days with the Chicago Bears and San Diego Chargers, when his fronts were defined by the big man in the middle. Brockers has some technique issues to deal with, but he's got the size and muscle to hold the point and make the Panthers' defense more dynamic.

10. Buffalo Bills: Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College -- The Bills are switching to a 4-3 defense, which makes sense when you have the most impressive front four from a talent perspective in the NFL. In a system and with a team like that, Kuechly can do precisely what he did at BC -- get rangy, make plays all over the field and not worry about beating up running backs at the line.

11. Kansas City Chiefs: David DeCastro, OG, Stanford -- The Chiefs picked up Eric Winston from the Texans, and DeCastro would solidify the right side of the offensive line for the next decade or so. Guards aren't usually drafted this high, but most guards aren't David DeCastro, either.

12. Seattle Seahawks: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M -- The Seahawks are still looking for their next franchise quarterback, and it's far from a sure thing that it will be Matt Flynn. Flynn has a three-year deal that is basically a two-year deal with a voidable third. Tannehill is everything the Seahawks want in a quarterback right now -- athletic, versatile, has the arm to make all the throws and he can develop over time.

[Related: Andrew Luck, RG3, Ryan Tannehill prove Texas a hotbed of QBs]

13. Arizona Cardinals: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State -- The Cards have an aggressive, underrated defense and a half-decent offensive line. This year, they have to figure out once and for all if Kevin Kolb is their franchise quarterback, and that's tough to do when you've got Larry Fitzgerald and the Pips. Blackmon has some elements of Fitzgerald's play in his body control, and he'll give Kolb that all-important second target.

14. Dallas Cowboys: Mark Barron, S, Alabama -- This is the pick everyone expects, and it makes a great deal of sense. The Cowboys' secondary has been a hot mess for a while, and with defensive coordinator Rob Ryan running all kinds of fronts, there's more of a demand that the back four stay in place. Barron isn't Eric Berry or Earl Thomas, but he's good enough at coverage to play single-high safety, and he's safe enough everywhere else to upgrade Dallas' pass defense.

15. Philadelphia Eagles: Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama -- The Eagles run a lot of 4-3 defense and Upshaw is projected to many hybrid teams. However, Upshaw has the potential to be a good pass rusher off the edge and backup into a SAM linebacker role. The Eagles are always looking to upgrade their pass rush, and given the team's issues at linebacker in recent years, adding Upshaw to DeMeco Ryans could be a double dip of improvement.

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16. New York Jets: Dontari Poe, DL, Memphis -- As Mike Mayock recently said, Poe is an elite talent and an average football player. But there are things to like about Poe's game tape -- as embryonic as his skill set is -- and who better to take a risk on a big guy than Rex Ryan? Poe won't provide the pass rush the Jets need, but the Jets also need hole-pluggers in different formations. Rex had Haloti Ngata in Baltimore, and while there's no way anyone with a brain would compare Poe to Ngata at this point, I could see Rex looking later for the edge rusher and gambling on Poe's potential.

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