1/19/13

1.Kansas City Chiefs – Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia

The Chiefs are headed in a new direction under Andy Reid and John Dorsey.  Clearly, their biggest need is an answer at the quarterback position.  In my mind, Geno Smith has separated himself from the pack of quarterbacks and is the best one on the board.  If he proves himself to the Chiefs in interviews and workouts, then he has to be the pick.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars – Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State (Scouting Report)

I don’t believe the new regime has any plans to stick with Blaine Gabbert at quarterback, but the value is poor with Geno off the board and this team is not in a position to reach for needs.  Bjoern Werner is one of the best players on the board and would help shore up one of the league’s worst pass rush defenses.  Werner and Jason Babin would give them quite a tandem on the edges.

3. Oakland Raiders – Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah (Scouting Report)

The Raiders’ two best defensive tackles, Richard Seymour and Desmond Bryant, are both unrestricted free agents.  Star Lotulelei was billed as one of the draft’s best prospects before the season started and didn’t disappoint.  The value more than matches the need here, giving the Raiders added punch from their interior defensive line.

4. Philadelphia Eagles – Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

Some have dubbed Luke Joeckel as one of the best offensive tackle prospects in years.  I won’t go that far, but is he is a step above the rest in this year’s class.  He’d also be a great fit in whatever direction Chip Kelly takes his offense.  He’ll be able to show off impressive athleticism and open field skills to go along with his developed pass blocking ability.

5. Detroit Lions – Ziggy Ansah, DE, BYU (Scouting Report)

Ziggy Ansah is going to fly up draft boards during the pre-draft process, especially after he lights up the combine.  He’s a versatile defender with a lack of experience, but his potential is sky high.  The pass rush on the edge does not match the pass rush from the interior in Detroit.  Kyle Vanden Bosch should hang ‘em up and Cliff Avril’s future is uncertain.  If pass rush is what ails you, this is the right draft.

6. Cleveland Browns – Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M (Scouting Report)

I expect that with Ray Horton comes a 3-4 defense similar to what he ran in Arizona.  The Browns current defensive personnel actually translate well, with one glaring hole: a pass-rushing outside linebacker.  Damontre Moore is the most pro-ready pass rusher in this class.  He can have a big impact from day one no matter what scheme the Browns opt for.

7. Arizona Cardinals – Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas

As bad as their offensive tackles were this past season, the quarterback position is still the biggest hole.  Kolb, Skelton, and Lindley have all gotten their shot and failed.  Don’t be surprised if Tyler Wilson shows up big at the Senior Bowl and proves himself worthy of a first round pick.  He’s a smart quarterback with tons of experience behind awful offensive lines.

8. Buffalo Bills – Mike Glennon, QB, North Carolina State

The run of quarterbacks continues.  Pandora’s box has been opened as far as quarterback’s value goes.  If you find the guy you like, you have to draft him early.  It’s been incredibly clear that you can’t win football games with Ryan Fitzpatrick ever since he got that contract extension.  Glennon provides a pocket passer with good accuracy and a strong arm.

9. New York Jets – Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia (Scouting Report)

The Jets defense was one of the league’s best in Rex Ryan’s early years in New York.  Now it has turned into a 3-4 defense that lacks teeth, especially in the pass rush.  Bryan Thomas is an unrestricted free agent and Calvin Pace’s production has fallen off.  Jarvis Jones isn’t the prospect he’s cracked up to be in my opinion, but he will go this high and is a great fit in the 3-4.

10. Tennessee Titans – Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama (Scouting Report)

Tennessee’s offensive line needs all the help it can get at this point.  Steve Hutchinson doesn’t have much left in his tank and the offensive guard position other than him is bare.  Warmack is by far this draft’s best offensive lineman and will provide an immediate upgrade to the running game.  He’s a road grader up front and no slouch in pass protection either.

11. San Diego Chargers – Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

Jared Gaither and Jeromy Clarey just aren’t answers in San Diego and it showed in Philip Rivers’ play this past season.  Mike McCoy’s first step as head coach has to be finding help along the offensive line to keep his quarterback upright.  Fisher is a tall, athletic left tackle who is very skilled and would upgrade the pass protection from day one.

12. Miami Dolphins – Keenan Allen, WR, Cal

Dee Milliner would get strong consideration here of course, but Sean Smith could be retained and the wide receiver position needs so much more help either way.  Keenan Allen has legitimate number one receiver potential.  If he wasn’t limited by poor quarterback play throughout his collegiate career he would be the clear-cut best receiver prospect in this draft.

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

Bucs fans rejoice.  While Ronde Barber’s career winds down from a safety spot, Aqib Talib is no longer in town and Eric Wright is less than dependable.  Milliner is a pro-ready boundary cornerback who has versatility in coverage schemes.  His ball skills are what set him apart though.  He picks it up early and plays it in the air as well as any defensive back prospect.

14. Carolina Panthers – Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri (Scouting Report)

I actually prefer Jesse Williams to Sheldon Richardson.  I expect Richardson will blow teams away at the combine and go higher though.  He would provide Carolina with a playmaker on the interior defensive line that they haven’t dreamed of in some time.  The days of rotating in and out fourth round picks at defensive tackle should be over.

15. New Orleans Saints – Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU (Scouting Report)

Take your pick between Mingo and Dion Jordan here.  The Saints had one of the worst defenses in recent memory last season.  Cameron Jordan seems to have his spot locked down but Will Smith was awful.  Steve Spagnuolo knows how to make use of pass rushers, which is very telling about the current group.  Mingo is more suited for every down defensive end in the 4-3 than Dion Jordan is right away.

16. St. Louis Rams – Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas

Offensive line couldn’t be a bigger need for the Rams, but Kenny Vaccaro is just too much talent to pass up.  Pro Football Focus listed St. Louis as the 25th rated defense in pass coverage.  Craig Dahl is a free agent and needed to be upgraded anyways.  Vaccaro can transition to a deep safety spot from his slot duties for the Longhorns.  He’s got a lot of talent in coverage, which is desperately needed in St. Louis.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers – Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon (Scouting Report)

Dion Jordan is a great value pick at 17 for a defense with a lot of aging pieces and many needs.  The Steelers’ pass rush was one of the league’s least productive last season.  That’s not something we see very often.  Jordan brings a ton of versatility to the table.  He’s very skilled in coverage and has impressive speed to win around the corner.  Dick LeBeau could have a lot of fun with a player like Jordan.

18. Dallas Cowboys – Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina

Despite all the attention that Chance Warmack gets, Jonathan Cooper is not that far behind him as a prospect.  The Cowboys’ need for interior offensive lineman is well documented.  It’s time to move on from Mackenzy Bernadeau.  Cooper is the perfect fit for the Cowboys.  He’s all parts agile, mobile, and versatile.  His athleticism is unmatched pound for pound.

19. New York Giants – Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame (Scouting Report)

The Giants need new offensive tackles if they plan on keeping Eli Manning alive.  The value just isn’t there at this pick.  Defensively, it’s time to move on from Chase Blackburn and bring stability to the middle linebacker spot that they haven’t seen since Antonio Pierce.  A team with great leadership including Tom Coughlin is a perfect place for the controversial linebacker to land.

20. Chicago Bears – Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia (Scouting Report)

Whatever the Bears end up doing with Brian Urlacher, help is needed in the linebacking corps.  The optimal plan might be to retain Urlacher on a short deal and allow Ogletree to play on the outside initially, which he is more suited for right now.  Ogletree is still learning the position after moving from safety.  He’s an incredible athlete with as much talent as any linebacker in this draft.

21. Cincinnati Bengals – Arthur Brown, OLB, Kansas State (Scouting Report)

The run of linebackers continues.  Arthur Brown may be the most underrated of the bunch at this stage.  He’d allow Vontaze Burfict to move to the middle, where surely Maualuga will be allowed to walk.  Brown was a player that offenses had to scheme around at times.  You don’t say that about many linebackers.  He could be a rookie of the year candidate in his first season.

22. St. Louis Rams – Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma (Scouting Report)

It’s time to put up or shut up for Sam Bradford.  That means it’s time for the Rams to keep him upright in order to get a good verdict.  Lane Johnson has experience at both right and left tackle, which gives Brian Schottenheimer options up front.  Johnson is a former defensive end who has all the athleticism needed to succeed as a pass blocker.  No more excuses, Bradford.

23. Minnesota Vikings – DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson (Scouting Report)

“Nuk” Hopkins has been gradually moving up draft boards for some time.  Don’t be surprised if he’s the second receiver drafted.  Percy Harvin’s future looks uncertain, but even with him the Vikings have a rag-tag group of wideouts.  Hopkins can be a high-reception receiver in the league.  His short-area quickness to get separation is second to none, which should make him a quarterback’s security blanket.

24. Indianapolis Colts – Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State

Improving the defensive line is probably the preferred option, but the value of Johnthan Banks at this point is too much to pass up.  Vontae Davis had a good season after being traded to Indy, but Jerraud Powers is a free agent and expendable anyways.  Banks is a blend of size and athleticism and is an instinctual cornerback.  He will be a work in progress in run support, but that’s secondary in this league.

25. Seattle Seahawks – D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama (Scouting Report)

It’s almost scary to think that there are ways that the Seahawks could make their running game even more dominant.  Breno Giacomini is nothing special at right tackle.  D.J. Fluker certainly could be.  He’s a bully in the running game and showed that against some of the country’s best defenders this season.  His range as a pass rusher can be developed with better technique.

26. Green Bay Packers – Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame

With very few free agents set to leave, the Packers have the freedom to go in many different directions.  Tyler Eifert would allow them to phase Jermichael Finley out of the fold  and bring in a more reliable option.  Eifert is a tall threat in the redzone who can pluck the ball with a big catching radius.  He could add an extra dimension to an already deadly Packers offense.

27. Houston Texans – Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama (Scouting Report)

Jesse Williams is a great value pick at this point.  Shaun Cody is a free agent and is far from expendable at the nose.  Jesse Williams has the ability to eat up blocks and free up linebackers to make plays.  His motor on the inside is as good as it gets, which only adds to the already formidable front of the Texans defense.  The rich get richer.

28. Denver Broncos – Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State (Scouting Report)

There’s no argument on what Denver’s biggest need is.  Their interior defensive line is merely average and both starters are unrestricted free agents.  Johnathan Hankins is one of the most overrated prospects in the class in my opinion, but he’s going to go early and there’s no denying he’s got some skills to work with.

29. Baltimore Ravens – Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU (Scouting Report)

Nobody can replace Ray Lewis’ presence on the Ravens.  There is no denying that.  Dannell Ellerbe is a free agent as well, though I would expect him to re-sign in Baltimore.  Kevin Minter isn’t a big playmaker from the inside, but he gets to the football at a high rate and is a smart linebacker.  He’s an extremely productive tackler with great instincts and would fit well with the Ravens.

30. San Francisco 49ers – Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford

It’s not only about the Harbaugh connection with Ertz.  Delanie Walker is a free agent and after all the drops he’s had this season nobody would blame the 49ers for going a different direction.  Ertz can fill that role of receiving tight end as well as anyone.  He’s not far off from Tyler Eifert as a pass catcher and showed a penchant for making big plays in the passing game.

31. New England Patriots – Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia (Scouting Report)

Welker out, Austin in.  Tavon Austin is one of the most explosive receivers in this draft from the slot.  He also provides value and experience making plays from the backfield.  He’s the kind of versatile playmaker that the Patriots love to see in their offenses.  His big-play ability as a punt and kick returner also cannot be discounted.  Rich get richer.

32. Atlanta Falcons – Shariff Floyd, DT, Florida ( Scouting Report)

Floyd would be a steal at this point in the draft in my opinion.  He’s not being talked about nearly enough at this point.  The Falcons need to add pass rushers, and Floyd is that from the interior.  To say the least, he’s a handful for interior lineman.  He utilizes great quickness and an effective bulrush to generate pressure from the inside.  Floyd is an upgrade over Peria Jerry.

33. Jacksonville Jaguars – Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse

Ryan Nassib has drawn some comparisons to Jake Locker.  His accuracy is a bit more developed and he’s less of a runner, but it’s not that far off.  He’s been flying up draft boards lately.  Some even think he’s worthy of a high first round pick.  I think his upside is too low for that, but he looks ready to start day one.  I don’t think I need to address the Jaguars’ quarterback situation as is either.

34. Kansas City Chiefs – Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee (Scouting Report)

After taking the college football world by storm as a JUCO transfer, Cordarrelle Patterson is now one of the best wide receiver prospects and rightfully so.  He’s incredibly dynamic after the catch and would go a long ways towards helping an awful Chiefs passing game along with Geno Smith.  Dwayne Bowe certainly looks to be on his way out as well.

35. Philadelphia Eagles – Eric Reid, S, LSU

The Eagles have yet to hire a defensive coordinator, which makes it tough to project a pick.  They can’t go wrong by aiming to help their secondary, which was absolutely dreadful last season.  Reid loves to fly forward and make hits in the box, but also is plenty rangy in coverage over the top.

36. Detroit Lions – Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State

Chris Houston is a free agent.  Even if he’s retained, something needs to be done on the other side.  Xavier Rhodes is a terrific fit in Gunther Cunningham’s defense.  He’s a big corner who can bully wide receivers in press coverage and is right at home in zone coverage.

37. Cincinnati Bengals – Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU (Scouting Report)

Most pundits consider Sam Montgomery a first round talent.  His raw skills may warrant that, but his technique is largely undeveloped which will limit his ability to make an immediate impact.  His combination of size, strength, and speed is more than impressive though.  The Bengals need a pass rushing complement to Geno Atkins.

38. Arizona Cardinals – Oday Aboushi, OT, Virginia

Oday Aboushi can step into the RT spot from day one and provide an upgrade over Bobby Massie.  He also has ability to move to left tackle down the road if need be.  The Cardinals porous offensive line is well documented, and while Tyler Wilson is used to taking big hits, it’s not the best way to develop a young quarterback.

39. New York Jets – Matt Barkley, QB, USC

Out with one USC quarterback and in with the next seems like a Jets thing to do.  Barkley came into his senior season as one of the most hyped prospects and came out one of the most scrutinized.  His arm strength is a big question.  He’ll wow in his interviews though, and some team will probably trade back into the first to draft him.  I would just hope that it’s not your team that does it.

40. Tennessee Titans – Matt Elam, S, Florida

Even if the Titans decide not to cut Michael Griffin, they need all kinds of help at the safety position.  Matt Elam is a hard-hitting safety with tons of attitude, but has a transition to make from essentially a slot corner position at Florida.

41. Buffalo Bills – Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor

Giving Mike Glennon some weapons is a must if they expect him to start on day one.  Stevie Johnson is a nice piece, but needs someone to complement him.  Williams has proven to be a threat over the top and would fit well with Glennon’s strengths.

42. Miami Dolphins – Logan Ryan, CB, Rutgers

After trading away Vontae Davis and Sean Smith’s future left in the balance, the Dolphins will need to go in another direction at the cornerback positiong.  Logan Ryan isn’t a big cover guy, but he loves to get involved in the running game and is a smooth operator in coverage.

43. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – John Jenkins, DT, Georgia (Scouting Report)

John Jenkins provides an immediate upgrade over Roy Miller on the inside, if Miller is even retained this off-season.  In my mind, Jenkins isn’t the first round prospect so many make him out to be.  The defensive tackle class is just too loaded for a guy like Jenkins whose motor can run a bit cold.

44. Carolina Panthers – Tony Jefferson, S, Oklahoma

Tony Jefferson is one of the most underrated prospects in a very good safety class this year.  For the Panthers, it’s time to see Haruki Nakamura back to the bench.  Jefferson is a physical safety who loves to come up and make plays from his deep position.  He’s a reliable tackler with big hit ability.

45. San Diego Chargers – Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State

San Diego has many decisions to make on guys with expiring contracts, and it’s tough to believe both Antoine Cason and the 35 year old Quentin Jammer will be back.  Poyer is a corner who loves to get physical and has shown off impressive ball skills for a defensive back, recording seven interceptions as a senior.

46. St. Louis Rams – Robert Woods, WR, USC (Scouting Report)

The Rams have allocated a high number of draft picks into wide receivers in recent years and it just hasn’t work out as well as they hoped.  Why stop now, right?  Robert Woods labored through a nagging ankle injury all year, but showed number one ability when healthy earlier in his career.

47. Dallas Cowboys – Alex Okafor, DE, Texas (Scouting Report)

As the Cowboys transition from the 3-4 to Monte Kiffin’s 4-3, the front four will be crucial.  Demarcus Ware will man and end spot for sure, but the other is up for grabs.  Alex Okafor isn’t a high potential pass rusher, but he’s pro-ready and has some technician qualities to him as a pass rusher.

48. Pittsburgh Steelers – Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee (Scouting Report)

Mike Wallace certainly seems to be on his way out in free agency, leaving a gaping hole in Ben Roethlisberger’s receiving corps.  Hunter is a similar player.  One who can win over the top with incredible athleticism but will have drop issues to go along with it.

49. New York Giants – Dallas Thomas, OT, Tennessee (Scouting Report)

David Diehl’s days are numbered as a starter, right?  Dallas Thomas is a versatile blocker who has experience at tackle and offensive guard.  He can plug and play at right tackle immediately.  His versatility should also appeal him to Jerry Reese.

50. Chicago Bears – Barrett Jones, C, Alabama (Scouting Report)

Barrett Jones played and is listed as a center, but he’s the most versatile offensive line prospect around.  He’s played center, guard, and tackle effectively on the Crimson Tide front during his career.  That versatility will endear him to the Bears because let’s face it, they have a ton of holes up front.

51. Washington Redskins – David Amerson, CB, North Carolina State

The Redskins need help across the board in the secondary, that much is certain.  David Amerson is a candidate for a move to safety, after a disappointing junior season.  He has a nose for the football, but it gets him into trouble at times on the boundary.  The Redskins can’t really go wrong drafting a defensive back.

52. Minnesota Vikings – Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina (Scouting Report)

It’s probably time to turn the page on Letroy Guion at the nose tackle position.  Sylvester Williams has some untapped potential on the interior defensive line.  He may not be ready to step into the nose tackle position on day one, but if taught how to properly use his size and strength, the sky is the limit.

53. Cincinnati Bengals – Eddie Lacy, RB, North Carolina (Scouting Report)

The running back cupboard is bare in Cincinnati heading into next season, outside of BenJarvus Green-Ellis.  Eddie Lacy put on a show in the national championship and solidified himself as the top running back prospect.  His tires don’t have a ton of wear on them, which means he should have a longer shelf-life as a workhorse back.

54. Miami Dolphins – Margus Hunt, DE, SMU (Scouting Report)

Margus Hunt is going to move his way up draft boards after people get a look at him in the Senior Bowl and the combine.  The Dolphins pass rush with Jared Odrick just doesn’t quite cut it.  Olivier Vernon was impressive, but he’s not a three down player.  Hunt has the kind of raw talent that usually warrants a first round pick.

55. Green Bay Packers – Travis Frederick, C, Wisconsin

Travis Frederick is an absolute steal at this point in the draft.  Jeff Saturday lost his job before too long, and Even Dietrich-Smith is nothing to write home about.  Frederick also has experience at offensive guard, so has versatility on his side.  He’s a very smart player with sound technique.

56. Seattle Seahawks – Markus Wheaton, WR, Oregon State

Seattle’s group of wide receivers is certainly adequate, but it lacks a dynamic speed guy.  If there’s any receiver in this draft that times faster than Markus Wheaton, I’ll eat my hat.  That’s why he’ll move up draft boards after the combine and there’s no reason he shouldn’t.  He’s more than just a sprinter playing wide receiver.

57. Houston Texans – Quinton Patton, WR, Louisiana Tech

Matt Schaub simply needs more weapons, because he’s a quarterback who is reliant on his receivers.  Quinton Patton would be a terrific complement to Andre Johnson.  He’s a reliable hands receiver who does a great job separating down the field.

58. Denver Broncos – Tank Carradine, DE, Florida State (Scouting Report)

The Broncos pass rush is already solid, led by Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil.  Adding a guy like Carradine only gives them more options and keeps more offenses guessing.  Carradine is coming back from an ACL injury late in the season, but is every bit a pro-ready pass rusher when healthy.

59. Baltimore Ravens – Kyle Long, OT, Oregon

Bryant McKinnie is nowhere near a long-term solution for the Ravens.  Kyle Long has bumped his way into the top rounds after a stellar senior season with the Ducks.  Long has a terrific football pedigree and has an impressive frame on which to build.  He’s a high upside offensive tackle.

60.San Francisco 49ers – Phillip Thomas, S, Fresno State

It appears that Dashon Goldson is on his way out of town.  That leaves a hole in the defense that nobody else on the roster looks ready to fill.  Thomas has proven to be a turnover machine throughout his career with the Bulldogs and is a prospect who’s not getting nearly enough attention.

61. New England Patriots – Datone Jones, DE, UCLA (Scouting Report)

The Patriots pass rush still hasn’t been productive enough to protect an inconsistent secondary despite hitting on Chandler Jones.  Datone Jones is an impressive combination of size and strength and is versatile along the defensive line for Belichick’s hybrid looks.

62. Atlanta Falcons – Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina

Michael Turner’s effectiveness is going downhill fast.  Giovani Bernard would be a great fit for Dirk Koetter’s offensive scheme.  I don’t think he’s going to test out as people had hoped and could fall a bit.  Even so, he’s an elusive ballcarrier with good balance and ball skills out of the backfield.

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