The great and powerful Mel Kiper has bestowed upon us his final mock draft, mere hours before the real thing takes place at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Unlike a lot of mock drafts out there, Mel actually has some interesting changes from his previous forecast to this one.
His #1 is still the same. He's got the Panthers taking Cam Newton. Not because he thinks Newton is the top guy on the board, it's just what he thinks the Panthers are going to do. At #2 and #3 however, there are some changes. He has flipped the positions of Von Miller and Marcel Dareus. He now has the Broncos taking Miller and the Bills grabbing Dareus. It's an interesting pick because everyone seems to see Miller as a pass rushing in a 3-4 defense. Kiper has him heading to the Broncos, who are transitioning back to a 4-3, to play SAM linebacker.
Kiper also has changes for the rest of his top five. This time around he has the Bengals taking WR A.J. Green (which is not a change), but he has the Cardinals drafting CB Patrick Peterson from LSU. Previously he had them taking Blaine Gabbert. In his latest mock, he's got Gabbert falling to the 49ers at at #7.
Philly really needs help in the secondary. Smith has a ton of upside -- some teams have him rated higher than Amukamara -- and was a shutdown guy at Colorado. We've heard the questions about his attitude, but based on what I hear from teams, that's not a huge issue. Fluid, fast, instinctive and skilled, he fills a need for Philly and can be on the field early.