Oct 13, 2012; Shreveport, LA, USA; Texas A
1. Kansas City Chiefs – OT Luke Joeckel – Texas A&M
Yes, the Chiefs just tagged LT Brandon Albert. But by making the decision to release one of the league’s better right tackles in Eric Winston, the team opened a gaping hole in their offensive line. Joeckel is an athletic tackle who can play both left and right tackle in any given scheme. There’s absolutely no reason in the world the Chiefs should not take Joeckel with the first pick come April.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars – DT Sharriff Floyd – Florida
Throw my name down on Floyd’s bandwagon list. This guy has all of the ability in the world and very well could come out of this draft as the best overall player. Bringing in Floyd adds a versatile athlete to a weak Jacksonville defensive line starved for pass rushers and an interior presence. Floyd fits both of those needs and could very well have a “Suh” type impact during his rookie season.
3. Oakland Raiders – QB Geno Smith – West Virginia
Smith has a bright NFL future ahead of himself no matter where he ends up landing come April. That being said, his skill set is perfect for the speedy offense of the Oakland Raiders. Oakland LOVES to push the ball down the field through the air, something that Smith had done for years as a Mountaineer.
4. Philadelphia Eagles – OT Eric Fisher – Central Michigan
Jason Peters is THE best offensive lineman in the National Football League when fully healthy. Now, whether or not Peters will be ready to go when the season kicks off remains to be seen. But new Head Coach Chip Kelly will benefit from having two book-end athletic offensive tackles to run his speed-option offense to perfection. Perfect, and I mean PERFECT, marriage.
5. Detroit Lions – CB Dee Milliner – Alabama
Detroit is in perfect position at number 5 to select either the draft’s top pass rushing prospect in BYU’s Ezekiel Ansah or the draft’s top corner in Alabama’s Dee Milliner. Although the team could opt to roll with Ansah here – especially if DE Cliff Avril leaves via free agency – Detroit needs a corner, bad. The team has needed a top flight corner for years now. Milliner is a perfect fit.
6. Cleveland Browns – OLB Dion Jordan – Oregon
Cleveland is currently making the popular switch from the 4-3 base defense to the 3-4 scheme. Jordan is my top ranked rush-end linebacker this season after showing incredible athletic ability at the combine in Indianapolis. Although his skills are about as raw as they can get, not to mention the former Oregon Duck needs to add some muscle on to his lean frame, Cleveland very well could be drafting a future elite player with the number six selection.
Jan 26, 2013; Mobile, AL, USA; Senior Bowl south squad offensive lineman Lane Johnson of Oklahoma (69) against the Senior Bowl north squad during the second half of the Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. The South squad defeated the North squad 21-16. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
7. Arizona Cardinals – OT Lane Johnson – Oklahoma
The surprise pick here could be former USC quarterback, Matt Barkley – let’s see how he throws at his pro day first before we make any drastic predictions, though. Johnson has seen his stock soar ever since his incredible work out at the NFL Scouting Combine during the tail end of February. Arizona is in desperate need of offensive linemen – yes, men (not just one).
8. Buffalo Bills – DE Ezekiel Ansah – BYU
After WR Cordarrelle Patterson absolutely tore it up at the combine last month, the Bills have been seen as the former Tennessee Volunteer’s top suitor come April. With the freakishly athletic Ansah still on the board, the Bills almost have no other choice but to take him at number eight. Let’s pair the former BYU product with “Super” Mario Williams to create the AFC East’s most feared pass rushing combinations.
9. New York Jets – WR Cordarrelle Patterson – Tennessee
Yes, the Jets do need a sack artist here and LSU’s Barkevious Mingo would be an ideal fit here. But I am not ready to give up on last year’s first round selection, Quinton Coples. With Patterson’s stock soaring through the roof, let’s fill another huge need here. A PLAYMAKER! Santonio Holmes is aging quickly and Stephen Hill is coming off a decent rookie season. Pairing Patterson with Hill creates quite an air attack for the Jets in the future.
10. Tennessee Titans – OG Chance Warmack – Alabama
Tennessee could very well go pass rusher to round out the top ten, but the team is rumored to be interested in numerous free agent pass rushers. Assuming Tennessee lands a marquee pass rusher via free agency, the team can select the best player on the board – in other words, THE WARMACK. Warmack is your typical mauler at the guard position and is one of the best guard prospects in years. Don’t get upset with this pick Titans fans, this guy is an instant pro bowler.
11. San Diego Chargers – OG Jonathan Cooper – UNC
Back to back guards? Crazy? Nope. Cooper is just as good as Warmack in my opinion. Although Warmack is a better pure guard, Cooper is incredibly athletic and nimble for his size. San Diego could ALSO go with Kennan Allen (WR/Cal) here, but let’s see him run first. Quarterback Philip Rivers will love either selection here.
September 29, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles defensive end Bjoern Werner (95) defends against the South Florida Bulls during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Florida State Seminoles defeated the South Florida Bulls 30-17. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
12. Miami Dolphins – DE Bjoern Werner – FSU
Miami benefits from my top ranked 4-3 defensive end sliding down the board due to specific needs. Although CB Xavier Rhodes is someone I am EXTREMELY high on, Werner is a value pick filling a need. Adding Werner at 12 would give Miami two athletic and physical defensive ends. Miami is better suited waiting until round two to add a corner or two due to this draft’s depth at the corner position.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – CB Xavier Rhodes – FSU
Rhodes gets scooped up by a team that represents his best fit. Tampa is in desperate need of a long ball-hawking corner after trading away CB Aqib Talib this past season to the New England Patriots. Although the team has been rumored to have interest in former Miami Dolphin Sean Smith, Tampa really needs two corners, not just one.
14. Carolina Panthers – S Kenny Vacarro – Texas
The Panthers have desperately needed a play-making physical presence at the safety position ever since Mike Minter decided to call it quits. Vacarro is a top ten talent that, due to need, will not be considered worthy of a top ten selection. Carolina instantly adds a great young safety to pair with current safety, Charles Godfrey.
15. New Orleans Saints – DT Star Lotulelei – Utah
Lotulelei’s heart condition may have caused him to fall out of the top ten, but his free fall stops here at fifteen. New Orleans will be making the transition from the 4-3 defense to the 3-4 defense. Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan loves versatile and strong defensive linemen. Lotulelei gives Ryan something to work with along his defensive line.
Jan 26, 2013; Mobile, AL, USA; Senior Bowl north squad defensive back Jonathan Cyprien of Florida International (37) prior to kickoff of a game against the Senior Bowl south squad at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
16. St. Louis Rams – S Jonathan Cyprien – Florida International
Cyprien’s stock has been rising for month’s now and is now mentioned in the same sentence as Kenny Vacarro as the draft’s top safety prospect. St. Louis will be looking for an upgrade at the safety position, especially after releasing Quintin Mikell just a few hours ago. Adding Cyprien to a young secondary with budding stars in corners Janoris Jenkins and Cortland Finnegan would be an excellent move.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers – OLB Jarvis Jones – Georgia
Pittsburgh needs to replace recently released outside linebacker, James Harrison. Jones’ stock may climb now that team doctors have officially cleared him. But this would be a perfect fit for the former Georgia Bulldog. Jones has the tenacity that Pittsburgh defenders are known for. Jones will NOT get past Pittsburgh if he is still on the board when they pick during the first round.
18. Dallas Cowboys – DE Damontre Moore – Texas A&M
Moore may have boosted his stock somewhat at his pro day, but it’s quite clear that he is NOT ready for NFL competition right now. The kid just simply is not strong enough. Therefore, he gets a redshirt in Dallas this season. Dallas puzzled many by franchise tagging DE Anthony Spencer. Personally, I’m not sold on Spencer being a Cowboy for more than one more year. Time to bring in Moore and groom him as Spencer’s eventual successor.
19. New York Giants – CB Desmond Trufant – Washington
Linebacker Alec Ogletree would be a decent option here, but his character concerns may end up scaring many teams away. The Giants need a dominant corner to pair with Prince Amukamara. Trufant showed his speed at the combine in February, which should entice the Giants to take a chance on the former Huskie.
20. Chicago Bears – RT Dallas Thomas – Tennessee
Thomas’ ability to play either tackle position along the offensive line will be the main reason Chicago pulls the trigger on the former Tennessee Volunteer. One of Chicago’s biggest issues has been their inability to keep their franchise quarterback, Jay Cutler, standing upright. Bottom line: The Bears need offensive linemen.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – OLB Alec Ogletree – Georgia
Alabama’s Eddie Lacy would be a great option here for a running back needy team such as Cincinnati, but his decision to skip Alabama’s pro day raises concerns. Although Alec Ogletree has some character concerns, Cincinnati is known for taking chances on productive players with some character concerns. Oh and by the way, Rey Maualuga is just not cutting it.
22. St. Louis Rams (From Washington) – WR Keenan Allen – California
Quarterback Sam Bradford needs weapons quite badly. Rumors are swirling that FA WR Brandon Gibson will not be returning next season. Even if Gibson were to return, the team still does not have a #1 target. Allen has all of the tools to be an elite #1 receiver in the NFL. Allen’s stock has fallen due in large part to an injury that ended his Junior season prematurely.
Dec 29, 2012; Bronx, NY, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers wide receiver Tavon Austin (1) runs with the ball during the second quarter against the Syracuse Orange at the 2012 New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. Syracuse defeated West Virginia 38-14. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
23. Minnesota Vikings – WR Tavon Austin – West Virginia
With the recent Percy Harvin trade, Minnesota is now in a great position to add a Harvin-like clone in the first round come April. Austin has a similar skill set to Harvin – size, speed and return ability. Look for Minnesota to take this blazing fast slot receiver.
24. Indianapolis Colts – OLB Barkevious Mingo – LSU
Mingo had an excellent combine, but concerns of his durability and his true position are the leading reasons for his fall here. Indianapolis is in terrible need of adding a pass rusher after allowing Dwight Freeney to walk. Mingo would be a perfect fit to add to a young and quite talented Indianapolis football team.
25. Minnesota Vikings (From Seattle) – DE Datone Jones – UCLA
Swapping Harvin for a first round pick works out perfectly for Minnesota here. The team replaces a head ache (see what I did there…do ya?) with a dynamic play-maker and then adds a versatile defensive lineman here. Jones’ stock has been soaring as of late and could possible rise in to the top twenty picks. If he is still on the board while Minnesota is up, do not be surprised to see them scoop up Jones.
September 22, 2012; Columbia, SC, USA; Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson (34) gets instruction from the sidelines in the second half against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Williams-Brice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
26. Green Bay Packers – DT Sheldon Richardson – Missouri
Green Bay surely needs a pass rusher, but let’s see how Nick Perry ends up panning out before we go on replacing him. The Packers could use a defensive lineman, or two. Sheldon Richardson’s stock has fell a bit, but the kid has unlimited upside and was once considered a top ten pick.
27. Houston Texans – DE Margus Hunt – SMU
Houston could look to add a linebacker here, but Hunt has amazing measureables. Pairing the long and lengthy Hunt with, well, the long and lengthy JJ Watt. Young, powerful and talented. Man that could be an amazing duo for years to come…
28. Denver Broncos – DT Jesse Williams – Alabama
Denver gets a value pick here. Sure the Broncos possess one of the league’s best run defenses, but the team could use a big interior defensive presence from the defensive tackle position. Williams is a strong defensive tackle who is incredibly agile for his size.
29. New England Patriots – NT John Jenkins – Georgia
New England fans, it’s time to start grooming an eventual successor to the great beast in the middle known as Vince Wilfork. Jenkins is a big truck of a man that could become one of the league’s best within a matter of years. It would also help to learn from one of the all-time great “cloggers” of the middle.
Oct 13, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns defensive end Alex Okafor (80) in action against the Oklahoma Sooners for the red river rivalry at the Cotton Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
30. Atlanta Falcons – DE Alex Okafor – Texas
Okafor is an intriguing pass rushing prospect. The kid has all of the ability in the world, but would have been better suited returning to Texas for his senior season. Atlanta is desperate for pass rushers, especially after releasing DE John Abraham. Look for Atlanta to add the best pass rusher available here.
31. San Francisco 49ers – FS Eric Reid – LSU
Safety Dashon Goldson may very well leave via free agency, which opens a huge hole in one of the league’s best defenses. Eric Reid is a great option to replace Goldson. Although there will be growing pains with the young Reid, his ability should surpass Goldson’s ceiling within two or three seasons.
32. Baltimore Ravens – MLB Arthur Brown – Kansas State
Baltimore may be losing free agents Ed Reed, Paul Kruger and Dannell Ellerbe this offseason opening huge holes in their defense. Reed is a prime candidate to return to Baltimore, but Kruger and Ellerbe have question marks among whether or not they will return. Baltimore is known for taking chances on fast and undersized linebackers, which Arthur Brown is. Look for the former Kansas State star to be wracking up tackles for the Ravens next season.