1. Kansas City Chiefs – Geno Smith – QB – West Virginia – Scouting Report
I feel bad for Chiefs fans, because this is a recipe for disaster. Geno Smith definitely has potential, but he won’t be surrounded by the type of supporting cast he needs to develop. I don’t subscribe to the theory that when you need a quarterback you simply settle for the best one available. But under the new CBA, that seems to be the mindset of many GMs these days.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars – Bjoern Werner – DE – Florida State – Scouting Report
Blaine Gabbert has yet to impress and the new regime has no reason to give him the benefit of the doubt. But he’s still young and has yet to be surrounded by the support a young, developing quarterback deserves. Given the Jaguars glaring hole at defensive end, Werner, Moore or Jordan would be a safe alternative to reaching for a quarterback.
3. Oakland Raiders - Star Lotulelei – DT – Utah - Scouting Report
With Richard Seymour set to become a free agent and unlikely to return to Oakland, the Raiders most glaring need is the defensive line. In addition to Seymour, Matt Shaughnessy, Andre Carter and Desmond Bryant are also set to hit the open market. Lotulelei is the best available player in this scenario and would fit well into Seymoyr’s spot on the line.
4. Philadelphia Eagles – Luke Joeckel – OT – Texas A&M - Scouting Report
Unless the Eagles want to reach for a quarterback (unlikely considering Chip Kelly’s offense and the talent on the board) they’re hoping someone else does to allow Luke Joeckel to fall to them. Dee Milliner is also an attractive option since Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is not expected to be re-signed. After a dominant Senior Bowl performance Eric Fisher is also in the mix.
5. Detroit Lions – Dion Jordan – DE – Oregon – Scouting Report
Damontre Moore is the consensus best available player on the board in this scenario, but I have hunch Jordan will be high on the Lions board. They are likely losing Cliff Avril to free agency and need an immediate impact pass-rusher. Moore is definitely more well rounded, but Jordan could be an terror as a pass-rush specialist early in his career.
6. Cleveland Browns – Jarvis Jones – OLB – Georgia - Scouting Report
Regardless of whether the Browns stick with the 4-3 or transition to a 3-4, Jones is a perfect fit in Cleveland. He has experience in the 3-4 at Georgia but would also be a good fit at the strong-side position in a 4-3 scheme. If Milliner were to fall to No. 6, he would also be a strong possibility for the Browns who need to find another corner to pair with Joe Haden.
7. Arizona Cardinals – Eric Fisher – OT – Central Michigan – Scouting Report
With Taylor Lewan and Jake Matthews returning to school, Eric Fisher’s stock is soaring. While he probably wouldn’t grade out as a top-10 pick based purely on talent, there are too many teams in need of offensive line help for him to slip much further than this. The Cardinals are desperate for offensive line help and would be wise to bring in a left tackle like Fisher before attempting to find their quarterback of the future.
8. Buffalo Bills – Cordarrelle Patterson – WR – Tennessee – Scouting Report
Despite the fact that Doug Marrone coached Ryan Nassib at Syracuse, I can’t imagine he would be so blindly loyal to Nassib to make him a top-10 pick. He just simply isn’t that type of prospect. If the Bills decide to move forward with Fitzpatrick or another veteran, it would make sense to bring in another weapon. Patterson, Stevie Johnson and T.J. Graham is a very solid trio of receivers.
9. New York Jets – Dee Milliner – CB – Alabama – Scouting Report
The Darrelle Revis trade rumors have Jets fans up in arms, but the more likely move will be the trade or release of Antonio Cromartie. The Jets also need a pass-rusher, but Milliner is a much better value. The Jets should also consider the fact that a year from now they will likely be without Cromartie and Revis.
10. Tennessee Titans – Damontre Moore – DE – Texas A&M – Scouting Report
Derrick Morgan finally lived up to expectations this season, but the Titans could still use an upgrade over Kamerion Wimbley at the other defensive end spot. This isn’t necessarily their top priority, but Moore is an excellent value at this spot in the draft.
11. San Diego Chargers – Lane Johnson – OT – Oklahoma – Scouting Report
Lane Johnson may be the biggest beneficiary of Taylor Lewan and Jake Matthews returning to school. Despite limited experience along the offensive line, Johnson’s Senior Bowl performance, coupled with the lack of elite talent at the position, has him in the top-10 conversation. He would be an obvious choice for the Chargers if he’s on the board here.
12. Miami Dolphins -Barkevious Mingo – DE – LSU – Scouting Report
The Dolphins need a receiver, but with so many other holes to fill there’s no need to reach to fill one specific need. The Dolphins played Jared Odrick out of position at end for most of the 2012 season opposite Cameron Wake. Mingo is more of a traditional 4-3 end and would give the ‘Phins another elite pass-rusher.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Alec Ogletree – ILB – Georgia – Scouting Report
Mason Foster is not the answer at inside linebacker and after two years it’s time to move on. It’s tough to predict who the top mike linebacker will be on anyone’s board, but Ogltree will definitely be in the mix along with Manti Te’o and Kevin Minter.
14. Carolina Panthers – Johnathan Hankins – DT – Ohio State – Scouting Report
Second-year nose tackle Sione Fua has ranked among the worst interior linemen since being forced into a starting role as a rookie in 2011. There is a perception that Hankins’ stock has fallen due to his sub-par junior year, but a man with his size and athleticism won’t fall far on draft day. He’s this year’s Dontari Poe, and will likely be drafted higher than you might expected based on his on-field performance.
15. New Orleans Saints – Sheldon Richardson – DT – Missouri – Scouting Report
The one nice thing about having holes at every single defensive position is the ability to just sit back and wait for the best available player to fall into your lap. The Saints would probably prefer Hankins to plug in at nose tackle, but beggars can’t be choosers. Richardson is a prototypical three-technique and would provide the Saints with a much-needed boost to their pass rush from the interior line.
16. St. Louis Rams – Chance Warmack – OG – Alabama – Scouting Report
This is a dream scenario for the Rams. There is a very realistic chance that Warmack is off the board at this stpo, but if he’s still here, the Rams will jump at the chance to add him. He’s a dominant power run blocker and fits perfectly into St. Louis’ offensive line. If he’s gone, Jonathan Cooper would be an option.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers- Kenny Vaccaro – S – Texas - Scouting Report
The Steelers veteran secondary still gets the job done most of the time, but Ike Taylor, Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark aren’t getting any younger. GM Kevin Colbert has a history of filling holes in the draft before they become an issue, making this the ideal time to address the secondary. Vaccaro is a perfect fit for Ryan Clark’s role at free safety.
18. Dallas Cowboys – Jesse Williams – DT – Alabama – Scouting Report
The Cowboys will be transitioning to 4-3 defense under new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin in 2013. While they actually have the personnel to pull off a fairly smooth transition they will need to fill a few holes and add some depth. Jay Ratliff can still play but he’s 32 years old and isn’t nearly the player he was three years ago. Adding another nose tackle like Williams will shore up their run defense and give them some much needed depth o nthe defensive line.
19. New York Giants - Manti Te’o – ILB – Notre Dame – Scouting Report
Chase Blackburn failed to prove he was capable of holding down a starting job and the unrestricted free agent may be let go. Fortunately for the Giants there are three potential first-round prospects who could fill their hole at the mike linebacker position. Some teams might have concerns about Te’o and the whole girlfriend hoax, but I can’t see Tom Coughlin paying much attention to that whole drama.
20. Chicago Bears – Zach Ertz – TE – Stanford – Scouting Report
The Bears nearly made the playoffs with Brandon Marshall as their only reliable receiver. Just imagine what Jay Cutler could accomplish with another weapon. Ertz isn’t the most polished tight end, but he is the best receiver in this year’s class and the Bears have the in-line tight ends on the roster to make it easy to use Ertz simply as a pass-catching tight end.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – Ezekiel Ansah – DE – BYU – Scouting Report
The Bengals have one of the youngest, deepest rosters in the league, leaving them with very few holes to fill this offseason. That should free them up to make a luxury pick in the first round. Ansah doesn’t fill a glaring hole in Cincy, but his ability to contribute as a situational pass rusher could give their defense the added dimension they need to get over the hump and become serious contenders.
22. St. Louis Rams – Keenan Allen – WR – California – Scouting Report
The possibility of taking two offensive lineman is likely out the window due to the lack of depth, which puts all the wide receivers in play here for the Rams. It’s too early to make another more than a guess as to who the Rams would like, but Allen, Terrance Williams and DeAndre Hopkins are all realistic possibilities.
23. Minnesota Vikings – Terrance Williams – WR – Baylor - Scouting Report
Christian Ponder has shown very little to prove he was worthy of a first-round pick in 2011 but, to be fair, the Vikings haven’t surrounded him with many weapons. Percy Harvin is a game-changer but he isn’t the type of receiver who makes his quarterback better. Williams has the size to be more of the possession receiver Ponder needs but also has enough speed to get down the field.
24. Indianapolis Colts – Datone Jones – DE – UCLA – Scouting Report
Chuck Pagano is building a hybrid defense in Indy and, like any system, it only works once you have the necessary personnel. Jones has experience at both end and tackle and is athletic enough to play with his hand off the ground in certain situations. In other words, he’s a perfect fit for Pagano’s scheme. Pagano.
25. Seattle Seahawks – John Jenkins – DT – Georgia - Scouting Report
Alan Branch is an unrestricted free agent coming off a somewhat disappointing year. If he’s re-signed, the Seahawks could get creative with this pick and make more of a luxury selection such as a receiver or tight end. But if Branch walks, they need to address the interior line. Jenkins is a prototypical nose tackle who would fit perfectly in the middle of their line.
26. Green Bay Packers – Sharrif Floyd – DT – Florida – Scouting Report
The Packers have a surprising number of a needs for a team that was expected to make another deep playoff run. In this scenario the best player on the board at one of their positions of need is Floyd, who would be a perfect fit at end in their 3-4 scheme. The recent news that Jerel Worthy may miss the entire season makes this selection even more likely.
27. Houston Texans -DeAndre Hopkins – WR – Clemson – Scouting Report
Andre Johnson can’t do it alone, especially at the age of 32. The Texans need immediate help at receiver, but would also be wise to bring in a young prospect to learn behind Johnson. Hopkins isn’t the most electric receiver, but his physical style of play and willingness to fight for the ball in traffic would make him an excellent second option.
28. Denver Broncos – Xavier Rhodes – CB – Florida State – Scouting Report
The Champ Bailey era is coming to a close sooner rather than later. And while the Broncos corners performed fairly well this year, they would be wise to take advantage of a strong class and make a selection for the future. Rhodes has unique height for the position and should excel when matched up with some of the league’s bigger possession receivers and potentially some of the more athletic tight ends as well.
29. New England Patriots -Desmond Trufant – CB – Washington – Scouting Report
The Patriots have moved Devin McCourty to free safety which opened up a hole at corner. Aqib Talib did an adequate job filling in this year, but he’s an unrestricted free agent and may not return. Trufant is coming off a brilliant Senior Bowl performance which solidified this place in the first round.
30. Atlanta Falcons – Tyler Eifert – TE – Notre Dame – Scouting Report
This is the dream scenario for the Falcons. Tony Gonzalez has stated that he is 95 percent certain he will retire which creates a gaping hole at tight end. Eifert is extremely well polished and should be able to step seamlessly into a starting role in Atlanta.
31. Baltimore Ravens – Kevin Minter – ILB – LSU – Scouting Report
The Ravens got a taste of life without Ray Lewis this season and isn’t wasn’t a fun experience. They clearly lack the depth to survive without him with their current roster. Ideally, they could find a suitable replacement in free agency but if they’re forced to wait until the draft Minter would become an intriguing option here.
32. San Francisco 49ers – Markus Wheaton – WR – Oregon State - Scouting Report
Veterans Randy Moss and Ted Ginn Jr. are set to become free agents this offseason which will leave the 49ers with a depleted receiving corps. Wheaton impressed at the combine and has been drawing comparisons to Steelers standout Mike Wallace. Adding a deep threat like Wheaton would help open things up in the passing game for Kaepernick in 2013.