Sep 29, 2012; College Station, TX, USA; Texas A
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel- LT, Texas A&M
The Kansas City Chiefs had a flat out awful season last year. Despite the team having tremendous talent on the offensive and defensive side of the ball, the team still struggled throughout the season. With multiple Pro Bowl players on this team, I believe the Chiefs are actually a lot closer to success than many people think. All they have to do is find a quarterback that they can trust in. Even with that being said, I think that they are going to go offensive line in this draft, as there aren’t really any good quarterback prospects headed into the draft. I expect them to bring in a free agent quarterback such as Matt Moore or Jason Campbell to compete with Matt Cassel for the starting job. Joeckel is a special tackle, who can really be the face of the Chiefs offensive line for years to come.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Demontre Moore- DE, Texas A&M
The Jacksonville Jaguars are a team that needs help all around the board. Aside from Maurice Jones Drew, they are working with D talent. They have no quarterback, no receivers, and most important, no defense. The Jaguars are in a complete rebuilding phase and will most likely continue to draft high for the next couple of years, barring a major turnaround. Demontre Moore is just a beast on the line, and in a division with quarterbacks such as Andrew Luck and Matt Schuab, it is imperative that you have a defensive line in order to get to the quarterback. Moore should be a tremendous player for the Jaguars if they draft him.
3. Oakland Raiders: Bjorn Werner- DE, Florida State
Much like the Chiefs, I think the Raiders are a lot closer than people think. If you look at this team there is a lot of talent. Although it might not be Pro Bowl talent like the Chiefs, the Raiders are only a few players away from making a splash in the AFC West. A big hole for the Raiders is pass rush. Bjorn Werner was an absolute beast at FSU and would be an excellent choice for the Raiders at number 3 overall. Werner brings physical play and a great pass rush that is much needed in Oakland.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Eric Fisher- OT, Central Michigan
The “Dream Team” that was created a couple of years ago wasn’t exactly a success. They gave up on their 100 million dollar quarterback, fired Andy Reid, all after finishing a dismal 4-12. With Chip Kelly, a new style of football will be played in Philadelphia. This is a tough pick because they have so many spots that need to be filled. I think it is important that you build around Nick Foles, and make sure he is protected. Although it might be a bit of a reach, Eric Fisher seems to be a really good pick for the Eagles. Jason Peters is coming off an injured Achilles, so he is going to be a big question mark. Fisher will provide much needed protection for the new face of the Philadelphia Eagles.
5. Detroit Lions: Dee Millner- CB, Alabama
The Lions came into last season expecting to have a tremendous year. After they finally broke their playoff drought, hopes were high in Detroit for yet another playoff run. That didn’t happen, as the Lions seemed to have come back down to Earth and were their regular selves. The offense seemed to be just fine; however, the defense was a huge problem. Dee Millner is coming in as the top rated cornerback out of college. Not to mention he played for a pretty decent SEC school in Tuscaloosa. Millner could provide much needed help in the secondary, as they have to face Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler twice a year.
6. Cleveland Browns: Barkevious Mingo- DE, LSU
The Cleveland Browns had another down year. Things just can’t seem to go right in Cleveland for any sport, whether it’s football, basketball, or even baseball. Barkevious Mingo is one of the best pass rushers in this draft class. Mingo could provide the Browns with a superior pass rush that is a big need in Cleveland.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Mike Glennon- QB, North Carolina State
With Bruce Arians in as the new head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, the Cardinals will be looking for a new quarterback. While Geno Smith is certainly a possibility here, I think they will go in another direction and draft Mike Glennon out of North Carolina State. Glennon has been money the past two seasons for North Carolina State and is really being overlooked heading into the draft. Glennon’s stock has been on the rise after an impressive performance at the Senior Bowl. I think Glennon would be a great pick for the Cardinals after they missed on Kevin Kolb. It wouldn’t hurt Glennon that he would have one of the game’s best receivers in Larry Fitzgerald.
8. Buffalo Bills: Jarvis Jones- OLB, Georgia
It is uncertain what Ryan Fitzpatrick’s future is in Buffalo. After giving him a big contract a couple of years ago, I think they have to give him at least one more chance. If the team isn’t improved by the end of next season, he will get the boot and they will draft a quarterback in the first round. With that being said, I think it is important that they continue to work on the defense. Mario Williams didn’t prove his worth until the end of the year, but I think he will come back and have a great year. The Bills are set at the cornerback position, and although Jarius Byrd is a free agent, I think he will be back in a Bills uniform next year. It is important that the Bills continue to develop their pass rush. Jarvis Jones is one of the best linebackers in the country and would be a great choice for the Bills with the 8th overall pick. Jones stepped up in big games for the Bulldogs last season, recording 2 sacks against Bama, 3 against Florida, and 2 in the Capital One Bowl against Nebraska. Jones has the potential to develop into a really good outside linebacker in the NFL for years to come.
9. New York Jets: Xavier Rhodes- CB, Florida State The New York Jets were one of the biggest disappointments in the NFL last season, both offensively and defensively. With talks that they are looking to trade All-World cornerback Darelle Revis, the Jets must find someone to immediately step in and takeover for Revis. I don’t believe that Rhodes is a top ten talent, but need, will push him up in the draft. If the Jets don’t trade Darelle Revis, look for them to draft defensive line.
10. Tennessee Titans: Geno Smith- QB, West Virginia
Even though the Titans just invested a first round pick in Jake Locker a couple of year ago, I think they must draft a quarterback in the first round again. Jake Locker is BAD. The team isn’t going to win if their quarterback can’t complete a pass. Even though they have offensive weapons already in place, they won’t be successful if there is no quarterback. Geno is the ideal choice here, after an incredible senior year at West Virginia. Smith has the potential to be really good in this league; however, there is some work to be done. Even though he isn’t in the same class as past first round selections, Smith could end up being the savior that the Tennessee Titans needed all along.
Sep 22, 2012; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Manti Te
11. San Diego Chargers: Manti Te’o- LB, Notre Dame
Before I talk about Te’o, I just want to say that he is a great football player, no matter what happens off the field. What happened wasn’t criminal, it isn’t going to affect whether or not he could play in games or not. It was something that happened that happens to people every day. The only difference is the other people aren’t named Manti Te’o. I think that the Chargers should draft Te’o with the 11th overall pick. He is one of the most productive players in the history of college football, and he was a Heisman finalist as a pure defensive player, which has never been done before. Gary Guyton, Shaun Phillips, and Antwan Barnes are all going to be free agents at the end of the year, so linebacker is going to be a need in San Diego, and at this point in the draft, Te’o is the best linebacker available.
12. Miami Dolphins: Keenan Allen- WR, California
The Miami Dolphins had a lot better year than expected. A 7-9 finish gave the fans some hope for the future. While I am still questioning whether or not Ryan Tannehill is the future of the Dolphins, it is important to build around him since he is the present. The Dolphins lack offensive talent. Outside of Reggie Bush (who is a free agent), the Dolphins don’t really have a playmaker. Sure, Hartline had a 1,000 yard season, but other than 3 games, he was average at best. He also only caught one touchdown pass. Keenan Allen is the type of player that the Dolphins need. He is a big receiver that possesses great hands. Although he doesn’t have break-away speed, his ability to run routes at an effective level makes up for his average speed. Hopefully, if drafted by the Dolphins, Allen can help Tannehill by being a big target on the outside.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Star Lotulelei- NT, Utah
A big part of the Buccaneers defensive line is set to be free agents this offseason. If still available, Lotulelei would be a great choice for the Buccaneers. Ranked 15th, the Bucs were right in the middle when it came to rushing yards per game. Lotulelei would immediately step in and could help make them a top 10 rushing defense, which is a must in order to win in this game.
14. Carolina Panthers: Jonathan Hankins- NT, Ohio State
The Panthers rush defense struggled last season. Defensive line is going to be one of the biggest needs for the Panthers this offseason. Hankins can be a big time player on this Panthers defense for the next few years.
15. New Orleans Saints: Jonathan Banks- CB, Mississipi State
The NFC South is slowly becoming one of the best divisions in the NFL. With the Falcons reaching the Championship game, the Panthers and Bucs on the rise, and the Saints normally being in contention, the South is going to be interesting next season. The Saints are going to need to work a little bit on their secondary in order to stop some of the fire power at the receiver position that the NFC possesses, especially the Falcons with Julio Jones and Roddy White.
16. St. Louis Rams: Chance Warmack- G, Alabama
The St. Louis Rams have a lot of flexibility in the first round. They’re the only team in the league with two picks in the first round. I think they will go offensive line with their first pick, drafting Warmack. Warmack is a special talent that doesn’t come along every year. His game is absolutely flawless. In college, he was one of the main reasons why Alabama had one of the best running games year in and year out.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kenny Vaccaro- S, Texas
This past season the Steelers were plagued with injuries. Once Big Ben went down, the chances of making the playoffs went down as well. After failing to make the playoffs, the Steelers find themselves in an unfamiliar position, drafting in the top 20. Kenny Vaccaro is the best safety in the draft, plain and simple. Although his draft stock is probably going to rise from now to the draft, he would be a tremendous pick for the Steelers. His style of play is just what the Steelers like and with Polamalu and Clark still being on the team, Vaccaro would have the chance to learn behind two of the best safeties in the league.
18. Dallas Cowboys: John Jenkins- DT, Georgia
The Cowboys defense was much improved last season. In fact, many argue that it was the offenses fault as to why they missed the playoffs. In football, it doesn’t matter why you lose, and nobody cares to hear your excuses. The Cowboys are one of the most talented teams in the league, and I think they will make the playoffs this season. I think they should continue to improve their defensive line. In a division filled with top quarterback talent, and great running backs, the defensive line is going to be one of the biggest wants for the Cowboys. Jenkins is a big time defensive lineman that could ultimately help improve the Cowboys defense.
19. New York Giants: Ezekial Ansah- DE, Brigham Young
The Giants have one of the best pass rushers in the NFL with JPP; however, other than that, there isn’t really much there. The lack of depth at that position is incredible. Umenyiora already came out saying that it was likely time to move on from the Giants, while Justin Tuck is coming off of two back to back down years. Ezekial Ansah is an absolute freak at the end position. For a big man, his athleticism is just phenomenal. Coming into the draft, Ansah has been drawing many comparisons to current Giants lineman, Jason Pierre Paul. Ansah’s draft stock has been on the rise the past couple of months. What was once projected to go in either the first or second round has surely changed to first round pick and nothing else.
20. Chicago Bears: Lane Johnson- OT, Oklahoma
Over the past couple of years, the Bears main Achilles heel has been their offensive line. The potential is there with Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall and Jay Cutler, the only problem is their offensive line has been REALLY REALLY bad. Lane Johnson would be able to step right in and immediately start at the tackle position.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Alec Ogletree- LB, Georgia
January 01, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers quarterback Taylor Martinez (3) is sacked by Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Alec Ogletree (9) during the second half of the Capital One bowl at The Citrus Bowl. Georgia defeated Nebraska 45-31. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports
The Cincinnati Bengals were one of the best teams when it came to rushing the passer last season. Ogletree isn’t a pass rushing linebacker; instead, he is a really good inside linebacker. Ogletree had ten or more tackles in all but two games last season. In my opinion, Ogletree’s best game of the season was against Ole Miss, where he recorded 11 tackles, a sack, and an interception.
22. St. Louis (from Washington): Cordell Patterson- WR, Tennessee
With their first pick in the first round, I projected the Rams to go offensive line. The second pick is almost a no brainer, they need a wide receiver. Cordell Patterson is a very fast receiver who could be used very effectively. The Rams could give Bradford some help, and Patterson would be the guy to do it. He could instantly come in and be a big time factor in this offense.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Deandre Hopkins- WR, Clemson
Much like the Rams, the Vikings could use another receiver opposite of Harvin. Hopkins is coming off a ridiculous junior season at Clemson. In 13 games last season, Hopkins caught 82 passes, for 1,405 yards and 18 touchdowns. The 6-1 receiver would help take some pressure off of Harvin, while giving Ponder yet another weapon that would help him grow as a quarterback. If Hopkins gets drafted by the Vikings, the Vikings could easily have one of the scariest offenses in the league.
24. Indianapolis Colts: Jonathan Cooper- G, North Carolina
Behind Chance Warmark, Jonathan Cooper is the next best guard. The Colts would be foolish not to take him, as they continue their rebuilding process of the franchise. I believe the Colts will take Cooper in the first round and then draft a running back with their next pick. Luck is great, but he can’t continue to do it by himself. A nice new combo and guard and back will certainly help Luck cut down his turnovers, while being even more productive than he was last season.
25. Seattle Seahawks: Terrence Williams- WR, Baylor
Now that the Seahawks found their quarterback, it is important that they give him more options to throw to. They already have a really good offensive line and they have one of the best backs in the league with Marshawn Lynch. Williams would be a great pickup for the Hawks, as his big 6 foot 6 inch frame will give Wilson a great option in the red zone.
26. Green Bay Packers: D.J. Fulkner- OT, Alabama
The only two players I can see the Packers drafting at 26, is either Zach Ertz, the tight end out of Notre Dame, or D.J. Fulkner, the offensive lineman out of Alabama. I think it would make more sense to protect Aaron Rodgers, as opposed to getting him a new tight end. Rodgers makes everyone around him better, so Fulkner would be the ideal pick. Not only can Fulkner play the tackle position, he could also play guard, and center. During his four year career at Bama, Fulkner won three national championships, starting at a different offensive line position each year.
27. Houston Texans: Kevin Minter- LB, LSU
The Texans seem like they just can’t win the big games. Although the defense is one of the best in the league, they still need work. Kevin Minter had a great career at LSU and should continue to play at a high level coming into the NFL.
28. Denver Broncos: Sheldon Richardson- DT, Missouri
Although Denver had one of the best run defenses in the league last season, Richardson would be a great pick for them at the defensive tackle position. Richardson who led all SEC interior linemen with 75 tackles last season has had his fair share of problems off the football field, but his talent level is too high for the Broncos to pass up on.
29. New England Patriots: Tavon Austin- WR, West Virginia
Oct 6, 2012; Austin, TX, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers wide receiver Tavon Austin (1) is tackled by Texas Longhorns safety Kenny Vaccaro (4) during the game at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. West Virginia beat Texas 48-45. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
The Patriots offense struggled in the AFC Championship game against the Baltimore Ravens. Brady isn’t getting any younger, so it is important that they continue to build young around him. The Patriots also might have to deal with life with Wes Welker as he is set to become a free agent. The Patriots have shown their disinterest to give Welker a big time contract. Austin will provide Brady with yet another good target opposite of Brandon Lloyd.
30. Atlanta Falcons: Zach Ertz- TE, Notre Dame
This is an easy pick for the Falcons. Tony Gonzalez, one of the greatest tight ends to ever play the game has already came out and said that he likely will retire at the end of the season. The Falcons need to go out and immediately find someone to replace Gonzalez, and Ertz is that guy.
31. Baltimore Ravens: Eric Reid- S, LSU
Ed Reed already said that he will be back in the league next year no matter what happens in the Super Bowl. Just because he’ll be back doesn’t mean it will be with the Ravens. His contract is up and the Ravens might want to move in another direction. Even if Ed Reed is back with the Ravens next year, he is going to be turning 35 in September. The Ravens might want to consider drafting Reid no matter what happens with Ed. It could only help the Ravens having Eric Reid learn a thing or two behind arguably the best safety in NFL history.
32. San Francisco 49ers: Margus Hunt- DE, Southern Methodist
The 49ers don’t really have any position that needs to be immediately upgraded. Margus Hunt’s draft stock should continue to rise and put him in the first round. The 49ers could use some more depth at the defensive line position. It’s scary to think that a team that already rushes the passer very well could use another defensive lineman.