- Kansas City Chiefs
OT Luke Joeckel - Texas A&M
Could a QB raise his stock enough to come of the board first? Of course. RGIII was not considered a top ten pick last year early in the process. Right now though all the top QB prospects have major question marks. For now penciling in the consensus top player available makes sense. Andy Reid has shown a propensity for taking linemen in the first round. Current LT Branden Albert is a free agent that would have to be allowed to walk for this pick to make sense. He is on record as having no interest in changing positions on the line.
- Needs: QB, CB, ILB, WR, DT/DE, T/G
- Other Options: DT S Lotulelei, QB G Smith
- Jacksonville Jaguars
DE Damontre Moore - Texas A & M
Need a presence on the edge after finishing last in the league with only 20 sacks. Moore dominated in 2011 as Von Miller's replacement at the joker position and then built on his success as a more traditional 4-3 DE last season at the highest level of college football in the SEC after a conference and coaching change.
- Needs: QB, DE, OLB, DT, RT/G, CB
- Other Options: OLB J Jones, DT S Lotulelei, QB G Smith, DE B Werner
- Oakland Raiders
DT Star Lotulelei - Utah
Defense is a shambles. The Raiders could stand to replace their entire front seven and both corners. Taking the best defender on the board seems like a no brainer. Surprisingly athletic for a big man, Lotulelei had to face consistent double and triple teams because of the dearth of talent surrounding him. Good practice in the short term considering the situation in Oakland.
- Needs: DT, CB, LB, DE, RT/G, QB
- Hope might be available: DE D Moore
- Other Options: OLB J Jones, CB D Milliner, QB G Smith, DE B Werner
- Philadelphia Eagles
QB Geno Smith - West Virginia
The surprise hiring of Chip Kelly after he reportedly decided to return to Oregon makes this pick somewhat tough to call. Kelly obviously had to get control over personnel to head to Philadelphia. Will he want to add more speed to the offense? Draft a QB of the future? There are worse ideas than gambling on Smith with Joeckel and Lotulelei of the board. Smith has the requisite mobility to play in Kelly's system despite not racking up eye opening rushing yards in college. He looked like the top pick in the draft midway through the season before the Mountaineers crashed and burned in the second half against tougher competition. Smith was out played by Ryan Nassib in the Pinstripe Bowl and will need to rehab his draft stock with a solid post season. Interviews will be important as he visibly looked upset on the sidelines during several blowout losses as the season spiraled out of control. His combination of size, arm strength, on the field toughness and decision making are what keeps him at the top of this QB class.
- Needs: OT, S, CB, DT, DE, QB
- Hope might be available: OT L Joeckel, DT S Lotulelei
- Other Options: CB D Milliner, DE B Werner
- Detroit Lions
DE Bjoern Werner - Florida St
The sky is the limit for the German born Werner. He didn’t start playing football until 15 as a foreign exchange student. Werner excelled both in the pass rush and against the run after improving his conditioning by dropping 20 pounds before his final season. Cliff Avril is again a free agent that this time is unlikely to be franchised and the aging Kyle Vanden Bosch needs to be replaced.
- Needs: CB, DE, S, WR, OLB, RB
- Hope might be available: DE D Moore
- Other Options: CB D Milliner
- Cleveland Browns
CB Dee Milliner - Alabama
Looking for a replacement for aging free agent to be Sheldon Brown opposite Joe Haden. Milliner's size, toughness and football awareness make up for his lack of top line makeup speed. He profiles as an immediate, long term starter. Milliner paired with Haden would cause major problems for opposing pass offenses. After wasting a first rounder last season on the now 30 year old Brandon Weeden the complete change in the front office from owner all the way down through the coaching staff makes starting over with another rookie QB a realistic option. Adding an edge rusher for new defensive coordinator Ray Horton is another possibility.
- Needs: QB, LB, CB, WR, DE, OG
- Hope might be available: QB G Smith, OLB/DE B Werner
- Other Options: QB M Barkley, OLB J Jones, QB M Glennon, QB T Wilson
- Arizona Cardinals
QB Mike Glennon - North Carolina St
Arguably the most desperate of the QB needy teams. Sticking with Kevin Kolb seems problematic given his injury history, the state of the offensive line and the skill set required by the new offense. The other QB options on the roster are really not options at all. The tall, strong armed Glennon looks like a good fit for the vertical passing game of new coach Bruce Arians.
- Needs: QB, OT, OLB, RB, ILB, CB
- Hope might be available: QB G Smith, OLB B Werner
- Other Options: QB M Barkley, OT E Fisher, OLB J Jones, QB T Wilson
- Buffalo Bills
QB Tyler Wilson - Arkansas
GM Buddy Nix seems intent on drafting a potential franchise signal caller. The hiring of Syracuse head man Doug Marrone has led to speculation that the Bills will target Ryan Nassib. That would probably require either a trade down from this spot or a trade up from their second rounder. For now I will go in a different direction. Wilson’s strong arm and toughness were on display at Arkansas despite a tough season brought on by the off the field escapades and subsequent firing of Bobby Petrino. Few have more to gain this post season than Wilson.
- Needs: QB, WR, ILB, DE, OT, S
- Hope might be available: QB M Glennon, QB G Smith
- Other Options: WR K Allen, QB M Barkley, OT E Fisher, DE B Mingo, QB R Nassib, trade down
- New York Jets
OLB Jarvis Jones - Georgia
Offseason so far has almost been as big a dumpster fire as last offseason and regular season. Decision to fire GM Mike Tannebaum and burden the new GM with Rex Ryan made the search next to impossible. New hire John Idzik is a capologist again leaving the front office woefully short in experience evaluating talent. Last offseason's extension of Dirty Sanchez saddles them with him for another year. Not that given how things play out in this scenario drafting Matt Barkley, another USC QB, is a realistic option. Jones drops a bit in part because some teams could red flag him due to a past neck injury that resulted in his transfer from USC. He lacks the length to be the perfect physical specimen and needs to work on improving as an all around player. Right now he is a one dimensional edge rusher, albeit an incredibly explosive one. Given the Jets lack of a pass rush that is OK in the short term for them.
- Needs: QB, OLB, RT/G, S, RB, WR
- Hope might be available: QB M Glennon, QB G Smith, QB T Wilson
- Other Options: OT E Fisher, OLB B Mingo, S K Vaccaro
- Tennessee Titans
DE Barkevious Mingo - LSU
Value over more pressing, immediate needs. Adding another edge rusher to the rotation with Kamerion Wimbley and Derrick Morgan is not the worst idea. Mingo took a slight step back last season after a breakout 2011 campaign as offensive coordinators focused more on negating him. While Mingo might have benefitted from a return to school, his athletic upside makes a drop outside the top 10 unlikely.
- Needs: S, OG, CB, DE, TE, RB
- Hope might be available: CB D Milliner, DE B Werner
- Other Options: CB J Banks, OG C Warmack, S K Vaccaro, trade down
- San Diego Chargers
OT Eric Fisher - Central Michigan
Really hurt by both Jake Matthews and Taylor Lewan deciding to return to school. Not that either would have necessarily fallen to them. Fisher is a tall, agile pass blocker. Additional bulk added in a pro weight program combined with a fiery demeanor should also eventually make Fisher formidable at the point of attack in the running game.
- Needs: OT, OG, ILB, CB, OLB, RB
- Hope might be available: CB D Milliner, OLB B Mingo
- Other Options: OLB E Ansah, CB J Banks, OG C Warmack
- Miami Dolphins
WR Keenan Allen - California
Last year's first rounder Ryan Tannehill desperately needs weapons. A top recruit, Allen originally committed to Alabama as a defensive back. He went on to break DeSean Jackson’s freshman records for catches and receiving yards at Cal. Allen is a precise route runner with excellent size and athleticism. A lack of elite top end speed is what keeps him out of the top 10.
- Needs: WR, T/G, CB, TE, S, DE
- Hope might be available: OT E Fisher, CB D Milliner
- Other Options: CB J Banks, OT L Johnson, S K Vaccaro, OG C Warmack
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
DE Ezekiel Ansah - BYU
Need a pure edge rusher after being ranked 30th in sacks despite solid all around play from the end position. Ansah didn’t start a game until exploding on the scene in his senior season after coming to BYU from Ghana on a track scholarship. His incredible physical upside could conceivably get him picked even higher despite the inexperience.
- Needs: CB, TE, FS, DE, DT, LB
- Hope might be available: CB D Milliner, DE B Mingo
- Other Options: CB J Banks, DE D Jordan, DT S Richardson, S K Vaccaro
- Carolina Panthers
DT Sheldon Richardson - Missouri
The hole in the interior defensive line needs to be plugged whether free agent to be Dwan Edwards returns or not. Richardson was a top recruit that was forced to attend junior college due to academics. He displayed incredible explosiveness while having to earn his playing time after honoring his original commitment to Missouri.
- Needs: DT, CB, FS, OT, WR, OG
- Hope might be available: WR K Allen, OT E Fisher
- Other Options: CB J Banks, OT L Johnson, WR C Patterson, S K Vaccaro
- New Orleans Saints
DT Jonathon Hankins - Ohio St
Canadian collegian Akiem Hicks was a find in last year's draft. With Sedrick Ellis expected to leave via free agency more interior defensive help is needed. Hankins combines the bulk to stand up at the point of attack with the quickness to be a disruptive force in the backfield. His tendency to disappear for stretches is a concern.
- Needs: DT, OLB, DE, OT, CB, S
- Hope might be available: DE E Ansah, DT S Richardson
- Other Options: CB J Banks, OT L Johnson, DE D Jordan
- St. Louis Rams
OG Chance Warmack - Alabama
Warmack is a borderline top 10 talent much like David DeCastro last season. The position he plays is simply not coveted by teams in the first round of the draft. This honestly might be early for any guard no matter how highly rated, but Warmack provides value at a position of need for the Rams. Brittle Sam Bradford needs to be protected.
- Needs: OT, OG, FS, WR, OLB, TE
- Hope might be available: WR K Allen, OT E Fisher
- Other Options: OT L Johnson, WR C Patterson, S K Vaccaro
- Pittsburgh Steelers
OLB Dion Jordan - Oregon
James Harrison is another year older and could be a cap casualty. Lamarr Woodley has not produced since signing a big extension. The Steelers defense in the Bill Cowher/Mike Tomlin eras has been built on pressure from the edge producing big plays. Jordan is arguably a top ten talent athletically that could fall into the middle of the round due to a torn labrum which limited his productivity in the second half of the season and required surgery in January. The Steelers would be lucky if he fell into their laps.
- Needs: LB, S, WR, NT/DE, CB, RB
- Hope might be available: WR K Allen, NT J Hankins
- Other Options: CB J Banks, OT L Johnson, WR C Patterson, ILB M Te’o, NT J Williams, FS K Vaccaro
- Dallas Cowboys
DT Sharrif Floyd - Florida
Change in defensive scheme after the hiring of new coordinator Monte Kiffin is going to require defensive line help. Floyd is scheme versatile possessing the skill set to be a 3-technique inside in a Tampa-2 defense or a 5-technique at end in a 3-4 alignment.
- Needs: OG/C, DT, S, DE, RT, QB
- Hope might be available: QB M Glennon, DT J Hankins, OG C Warmack, QB T Wilson
- Other Options: QB M Barkley, OG J Cooper, OT L Johnson, S K Vaccaro
- New York Giants
OT Lane Johnson - Oklahoma
William Beatty is a free agent and David Diehl needs replaced. Johnson moved to the left side as a senior after playing on the right side previously. He is an athletic former TE and DE with the length and long arms teams covet.
- Needs: OT, OG, LB, CB, DE, S
- Hope might be available: DE D James, OG C Warmack
- Other Options: CB J Banks, OG J Cooper, MLB M Te'o, S K Vaccaro
- Chicago Bears
OG/C Jonathon Cooper - North Carolina
Offensive line needs trump all. Cooper is an experienced four year starter that should be able to step in immediately. He is a fluid, agile pass blocker with the ability to get to the next level in the running game.
- Needs: OT, OG/C, TE, LB, WR, CB
- Hope might be available: OT L Johnson
- Other Options: TE Z Ertz, OT D Fluker, MLB M Te'o
- Cincinnati Bengals
MLB Manti Te’o - Notre Dame
Rey Maualuga never developed. Off the field issues have never deterred Marvin Lewis from adding talent. Te'o could have been easily been a top 20 pick based on performance alone despite playing poorly in the National Championship game.
- Needs: S, LB, RB, C, RT, DE
- Hope might be available: G/C J Cooper
- Other Options: OT D Fluker, RB E Lacy, LB A Ogletree, S K Vaccaro
- St. Louis Rams (from Washington)
FS Kenny Vaccaro - Texas
Upgrade is needed at free safety over Craig Dahl. Vaccaro is a fast riser with the combination of size and athleticism to play either safety spot. Texas has had 6 defensive backs selected in the top 50 picks in the last 6 drafts. Vaccaro will make that 7 in 7.
- Hope might be available: G/C J Cooper, OT L Johnson
- Other Options: TE Z Ertz, OT Fluker, WR C Patterson
- Minnesota Vikings
WR Cordarrelle Patterson - Tennessee
Still haven't really replaced Sidney Rice. Percy Harvin can't stay healthy and will be a free agent. Maybe the problems in the passing game aren't all Christian Ponder's fault. Former JUCO transfer Patterson came out early after playing only a single season in the SEC. A versatile playmaker with good size, Patterson scored TDs last season via kickoff return, punt return, receiving and rushing.
- Needs: WR, CB, DT, LB, OG, S
- Hope might be available: G/C J Cooper, DT S Floyd, LB M Te'o
- Other Options: CB J Banks, LB A Ogletree, DT J Williams
- Indianapolis Colts
CB Jonathon Banks - Mississippi St
Obviously wouldn't mind if an offensive lineman fell to help protect their investment in Andrew Luck. Instead Chuck Pagano gets a running mate for Vontae Davis. The tall, lanky Banks will need to perform well in off season workouts to warrant this selection after his play fell off in the second half of the season.
- Needs: OT, CB, OG/C, OLB, NT/DE, WR
- Hope might be available: G/C J Cooper, DE S Floyd, OT L Johnson
- Other Options: OT D Fluker, RB E Lacy, OLB S Montgomery, NT J Williams
- Seattle Seahawks
WR Tavon Austin - West Virginia
The versatile, undersized Austin averaged 198 all-purpose yards per game last season lining up both outside and in the backfield and returning kicks. He would provide rookie sensation Russell Wilson with a much needed weapon, allowing the Seahawks to further diversify their offense.
- Needs: DE, DT, WR, TE, OG, OLB
- Hope might be available: DT S Floyd, WR C Patterson
- Other Options: TE Z Ertz, DE S Montgomery, DT J Williams
- Green Bay Packers
TE Zach Ertz - Stanford
There are worse ideas than moving on from the inconsistent free agent to be Jermichael Finley. Ertz led the Rose Bowl champions in catches, receiving yards and receiving TDs. He is a high motor player with the size, fluidity and hands to cause matchup nightmares in the passing game.
- Needs: C, OLB, OT, RB, TE, WR
- Hope might be available: WR T Austin, G/C J Cooper, OT L Johnson
- Other Options: TE T Eifert, OT D Fluker, RB E Lacy, OLB S Montgomery
- Houston Texans
QB Matt Barkley - USC
A curve ball. Matt Schaub has already gotten an endorsement from Gary Kubiak after the playoff debacle in New England. Consider this like the Packers when they took a free falling Aaron Rodgers to learn behind Brett Favre. Except Schaub is no Favre. Barkley should have come out early after a solid junior campaign. The recent run of highly regarded USC QBs failing in the NFL doesn't help his case. Barkley was a four year starter so there is plenty of tape of him for talent evaluators.
- Needs: WR, RT/G, NT, ILB, CB, QB
- Hope might be available: WR T Austin, DE S Floyd, ILB M Te'o
- Other Options: OT D Fluker, ILB A Ogletree, CB X Rhodes, NT J Williams
- Denver Broncos
MLB Alec Ogletree - Georgia
Aged veteran Keith Brooking stepped into the middle after Joe Mays was injured. Neither is an asset. Recruited as a safety the athletic Ogletree has good size and excellent speed for his position. He is a slightly surprising early entrant because a string of injuries limited his on the field experience.
- Needs: DT, MLB, OG, CB, RB, WR
- Hope might be available: DT S Floyd
- Other Options: MLB K Minter, CB X Rhodes, DT J Williams
- New England Patriots
CB Xavier Rhodes - Florida St
Bill Belichick's inability to rebuild the defense has always come back to cost the Patriots dearly in the last 8 years. The trade for Aqib Talib greatly helped the secondary last season. There isn't much talent to line up across from him and counting on Talib to stay out of trouble off the field is a fool's game. Rhodes is a physical corner with the size to match up against bigger receivers.
- Needs: CB/S, WR, DT, OLB/DE, OT, ILB
- Hope might be available: WR T Austin, S K Vaccaro
- Other Options: S M Elam, OT D Fluker, DT J Williams, DE/OLB S Montgomery
- Atlanta Falcons
TE Tyler Eifert - Notre Dame
Tony Gonzalez is expected to retire. Despite a lack of elite speed Eifert has the size and ball skills to create mismatches and provide a security blanket for Matt Ryan. Eifert also has the body to develop into an all around inline TE with work on his blocking.
- Needs: TE, DE, OG, RB, DT, LB
- Hope might be available: TE Z Ertz
- Other Options: RB E Lacy, DE AS Montgomery, DT J Williams
- Baltimore Ravens
OLB Sam Montgomery - LSU
The aging defense dropped into a tie for 15th in sacks along with the Steelers and Patriots. Montgomery has intriguing length and speed. He is a high upside project worth the gamble at this juncture.
- Needs: OLB, ILB, S, CB, OG/C, OT
- Hope might be available: ILB A Ogletree, S K Vaccaro
- Other Options: S M Elam, ILB K Minter, L Ryan
- San Francisco 49ers
NT/DE Jesse Williams - Alabama
Free agent to be Isaac Sopoaga will turn 32 before the start of next season. Depth behind him is thin. A relatively inexperienced JUCO recruit originally from Australia, Williams was a 5-technique end as a junior before moving inside his final season. He even played FB in short yardage situations like Sopoaga.
- Needs: DE, FS, NT, TE, WR, CB
- Hope might be available: TE T Eifert, DE S Floyd
- Other Options: DE M Hunt, NT J Jenkins, S E Reid
- Jacksonville Jaguars - DT John Jenkins - Georgia
New coach Bradley concentrates on defense, gives Gabbert one more shot.
- Kansas City Chiefs - ILB Kevin Minter - LSU
Belcher tragedy means an ILB is needed in the 3-4, Johnson would move outside if they switch to a 4-3.
- Philadelphia Eagles - OT DJ Fluker - Alabama
Combined with return of Peters turns a major weakness into a strength.
- Detroit Lions - CB Logan Ryan - Rutgers
Seem to always need a corner.
- Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland) - S Matt Elam - Florida
Clements and Crocker are free agents in their 30s. Mays stinks.
- Arizona Cardinals - OLB Alex Okafor - Texas
Looking for a more dynamic pass rusher than Acho or Schofield.
- Cleveland Browns (used in 2012 supplemental draft)
Decision to select Gordon paid off at least in the short term.
- New York Jets - QB Ryan Nassib - Syracuse
Game manager that doesn't turn the ball over looks good after watching Sanchez last season.
- Tennessee Titans - S Eric Reid - LSU
The 26th ranked passing defense needs all the help it can get.
- Buffalo Bills - WR DeAndre Hopkins - Clemson
A playmaking running mate for Johnson.
- Miami Dolphins - DE Margus Hunt - SMU
Huge upside gamble on Estonian track and field athlete with limited experience, production.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers - CB Jordan Poyer - Oregon St
The 32nd ranked passing defense needs all the help it can get.
- Carolina Panthers - WR Terrance Williams - Baylor
Smith isn't getting any younger.
- New Orleans Saints (forfeited)
Another penalty for bounty-gate.
- San Diego Chargers - G/T Dallas Thomas - Tennessee
A second offensive lineman to help protect Rivers.
- St. Louis Rams - WR Robert Woods - USC
A much needed weapon for Bradford.
- Dallas Cowboys - G/T Kyle Long - Oregon
Interior offensive line is a joke. .
- Pittsburgh Steelers
RB Eddie Lacy - Alabama
Rashard Mendenhall will not be back. Isaac Redman and Jonathon Dwyer are ordinary. Lacy has the skill set to be an every down workhorse which Mike Tomlin seems to prefer. His domination of Notre Dame in the National Championship was an eye opener. I was originally looking for a safety, corner or perhaps receiver for this spot. Lacy was too tempting.
- Others: S P Thomas, CB D Trufant, WR R Woods
- New York Giants - LB Arthur Brown - Kansas St
Athletic, versatile playmaker to replace Blackburn.
- Chicago Bears - OT Justin Pugh - Syracuse
Need as many OLmen as they can get. Short arms could drop Pugh. .
- Washington Redskins
CB Desmond Trufant - Washington
The slightly undersized Trufant has good bloodlines with brothers Marcus and Isaiah both in the NFL. Early buzz from Senior Bowl practices has him on the rise.
- Needs: S, CB, RT, ILB, TE, WR
- Minnesota Vikings - DT Kawann Short - Purdue
Excellent value as a possible replacement for Guion.
- Cincinnati Bengals - RB Giovani Bernard - North Carolina
Possesses the explosiveness that Green-Ellis lacks.
- Miami Dolphins (from Indy) - OT Oday Aboushi - Virginia
Desperate need if Long leaves, competition for unimpressive Martin if he stays.
- Green Bay Packers - C/G Barrett Jones - Alabama
Stick a fork in Saturday, he's done.
- Seattle Seahawks - DE/DT Datone Jones - UCLA
Versatile, athletic project that can line up anywhere depending on the situation.
- Houston Texans - WR Justin Hunter - Tennessee
Still looking for a running mate for Johnson.
- Denver Broncos - DT Bennie Logan, LSU
Vickerson and Bannan are free agents, neither is very good.
- New England Patriots - WR Stedman Bailey - West Virginia
Franchising or resigning Welker appears to be cost prohibitive.
- Atlanta Falcons - DE Cornellius Carradine - Florida St
Borderline first round talent tore his ACL in November.
- Baltimore Ravens - C/G Travis Frederick - Wisconsin
Birk could retire, getting younger on the offensive line is necessary in any case.
- San Francisco 49ers - S Phillip Thomas - Fresno St
Goldson unlikely to return.