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NFL Mock Draft Roundup: Derek Carr Gets First Round Company

Finally, the NFL Draft is at our doorstep. Fresno State's record-setting quarterback should expect to hear his name called late Thursday, but now he may not be the only Mountain West athlete with such a distinction.

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Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Draft begins tomorrow night so, as expected, many mock drafts have been given one last revision before Roger Goodell takes the stage in New York.  Finally, it seems as though there is a general consensus about former Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr, even as the deck chairs continue to be shuffled (Teddy Bridgewater falling! Blake Bortles, too inaccurate? Johnny Manziel, too small?) in the last minute:  He's a first-round talent, and the presumed landing spot for most is one that many did not project when I began these cross-sections a few months ago.

We Already Know Derek Carr Looks Good in Red

Name Site Updated Pick # Team
Rob Rang
CBS Sports 5/5 20 Arizona
Dane Brugler
CBS Sports 5/5 20 Arizona
Pat Kirwan
CBS Sports
5/2 26 Cleveland
Will Brinson
CBS Sports 5/5 26 Cleveland
Russ Lande
Sports on Earth 4/29
26 Cleveland
Dan Pompei
Sports on Earth
20 Arizona
Mike Tanier
Sports on Earth
4/29 33 Houston
Chase Goodbread 5/7 20
Charlie Casserly
5/5 26
Mel Kiper
ESPN (Insider required)
Joel Klatt
Fox Sports 5/7 26
Ryan Van Bibber
SB Nation 5/5
Christopher Gates
SB Nation (The Daily Norseman)
5/2 8
Anwar Richardson
Shutdown Corner 5/6
20 Arizona
Frank Schwab
Shutdown Corner
5/6 20
Charlie Campbell
Walter Football 5/6 7
Tampa Bay
Walter Cheripinsky
Walter Football 5/7 20 Arizona
Matt Miller
Bleacher Report 5/5
20 Arizona
Nate Davis
USA Today 5/7
Greg Bedard
The MMQB 5/6
Peter King
The MMQB 5/7
20 Arizona

We all identified the teams in desperate need of a franchise quarterback a long time ago.  This is the greatest number of mock drafts I've been able to identify all at once, though, and it surprises me that, now that most of the dust has settled, the consensus has settled on a team looking for an heir apparent.  Carson Palmer is still plenty capable, and while the Arizona Cardinals have done quite a bit to keep up with their competition in the NFC West this offseason, they may be looking for an alternative if the veteran falters in their quest for a playoff berth.

Throwing to Larry Fitzgerald would be a perk for any quarterback, and Michael Floyd has begun to realize his own first-round talent.  Jonathan Cooper, Arizona's first-round pick a year ago, should be 100% by training camp.  Jared Veldheer was signed to man left tackle and, while he may not be Joe Thomas, he's much closer to the upper tier than contemporaries like Luke Joeckel and Matt Kalil, who play the position for those other teams that have been bandied about.  As I have mentioned before, that in itself should go a long way toward resolving Derek Carr's most pressing knock, handling the rush consistently, but there also would not be any immediate pressure to start on Day One.

Other Mountain West Prospects

There have not been many sites that covered multiple rounds, but on the eve of the draft there are a few that round up a great deal of the conference's other top players. The SB Nation blogger's mock draft, which wrapped up late last week, covered two full rounds.  Walter Cheripinsky has hammered out all seven rounds in his last mock draft and DraftTek has done the same.

Davante Adams seemed to have settled in as a late second-round pick, but that's not a slight when one considers the depth of this year's wide receiver class.  Weston Richburg is one of the best centers in this year's draft, but chances are the position is not any team's most pressing need.  While it only takes one team to fall in love with a player (we're looking at you, Travis Frederick), the second-round range befits Richburg's talent.

More surprising is that Nevada's Joel Bitonio and Boise State's Demarcus Lawrence have gained a lot of late momentum as potential first-round selections.  Neither of those things were conceivable at the beginning of the offseason, which is a testament to their own hard work and to the idea that... well, none of us can really predict anything. Here is where other Mountain West athletes are slotted:

Name Cheripinsky DraftTek SB Nation bloggers
Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State 60 (Carolina, rd. 2)
65 (Houston, rd. 3)
54 (Philadelphia, rd. 2)

Shaquil Barrett, LB, Colorado State

199 (Cincinnati, rd. 6)

Bene Benwikere, CB, San Jose State

218 (Cleveland, rd. 7)

Kapri Bibbs, RB, Colorado State
197 (Green Bay, rd. 6)

Joel Bitonio, T/G, Nevada

32 (Seattle, rd. 1)
50 (Miami, rd. 2)
50 (Miami, rd. 2)

David Fales, QB, San Jose State

176 (Green Bay, rd. 5)

233 (New York Jets, rd. 7)

Crockett Gilmore, TE, Colorado State 150 (Jacksonville, rd. 5)

Robert Herron, WR, Wyoming

116 (Miami, rd. 4)
154 (New York Jets, rd. 5)

Marqueston Huff, S, Wyoming

165 (San Diego, rd. 5) 137 (New York Jets, rd. 4)

Marcel Jensen, TE, Fresno State

133 (Detroit, rd. 4)

Tyler Larsen, C, Utah State

169 (New Orleans, rd. 5)
153 (St. Louis, rd. 4)

Charles Leno, T, Boise State
196 (Baltimore, rd. 6)
181 (Houston, rd. 6)

Demarcus Lawrence, DE, Boise State

40 (Minnesota, rd. 2)
73 (Buffalo, rd. 3)
63 (Denver, rd. 2)

Nevin Lawson, CB, Utah State

147 (Atlanta, rd. 5)
186 (Tennessee, rd. 6)

Weston Richburg, C, Colorado State

62 (New England, rd. 2)
76 (Detroit, rd. 3)
55 (Cincinnati, rd. 2)

Brett Smith, QB, Wyoming

204 (Carolina, rd. 6)
188 (St. Louis, rd. 6)