It’s going to be tough for teams in the top five to not become fully enamored by the physical gifts of guys like Logan Thomas and Tyler Bray. If Oakland is picking first in the 2013 NFL Draft it will fully solidify just how bad the Carson Palmer trade was/is. It also means they will be selecting a QB. Matt Barkley doesn’t possess the physical skill sets of the aforementioned Thomas or Bray but he’s the safe bet. After whiffing on JaMarcus Russell in 2009, I don’t see the Raiders brass in a position to take a shot on anyone outside of Matt Barkley.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars – Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech
The Blaine Gabbert era in Jacksonville could end before it really began if the Jaguars are selecting in the second spot. Thomas has all the elite physical tools and there will be the Cam Newton comparisons thrown out leading up to April’s draft. A big junior season could position Thomas at the top of this draft and maybe the first overall selection.
Mingo is a pass rush extraordinaire. His lightning quick first step is Dwight Freeney-esque and should place atop the 2013 NFL Draft. The thought of pairing Mingo with Jared Allen should put some fear in the pass happy NFC North.
4. Indianapolis Colts – Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
The Colts have to find a big man to anchor their new defense. At 6’4”, 325 Lotulelei has the size and strength to be the stalwart of this defensive line.
The Cards run out the Kevin Kolb/John Skelton combo again this season which could be trouble. Wilson has the physical tools to challenge the top quarterbacks in the draft. With a big arm and surprising athleticism, Wilson shouldn’t make it out of the top 10 of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Ryan Tannehill doesn’t look ready to play at this point (no surprise) but adding a weapon of Woods’ caliber sure could help him in 2013. The junior receiver expects to be the recipient of a lot of Matt Barkley TD’s this season which should set him up nicely for a run atop April’s draft.
7. St. Louis Rams (f/WAS) – Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
The junior OT class is an intriguing one and I’m really splitting hairs on who goes first amongst my top tackle prospects (Joeckel, Taylor Lewan, D.J. Fluker, Seantrel Henderson, and Chris Faulk). For now, I’ll give the edge to Joeckel. He dominated against some of the Big XII’s top pass rushers and outplayed the talented Jake Matthews. For this reason, he gets the nod over the others and ends the Jason Smith era in STL.
8. Cleveland Browns – Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas
The Browns spent a 2013 2nd rounder on Josh Gordon in the supplemental draft. Jackson Jeffcoat is a supreme talent with very good NFL bloodlines. Pairing Jeffcoat and Jabaal Sheard for the next ten years is too tempting to pass on.
9. Seattle Seahawks – Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee
The 2013 QB class is loaded. That said, find a more talented pure passer in this draft than Tyler Bray. Pete Carroll will have a tough time passing on a talent like Bray for the likes of Matt Flynn.
10. Buffalo Bills – Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
This pick is based purely on projection as Hunter missed most of the 2011 season due to a torn ACL. Hunter is as talented as any receiver in this draft and gives the Bills a downfield threat opposite Stevie Johnson.
11. Tennessee Titans – David Amerson, CB, North Carolina St.
Amerson is a rare physical specimen that could do wonders for a secondary that will run out Alterraun Verner and Jason McCourty as starters in 2012. At 6’2” with solid coverage skills the Titans may be lucky if Amerson makes it to number 11.
Reid is one of my (early) favorites to climb up draft boards as the 2012 college football season wears on. Teaming Reid with Eric Berry gives the Chiefs a backend that is second to none.
13. St. Louis Rams – Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
Jones is one of the most feared pass rushers in all of college football. He debated entering the 2012 NFL Draft but decided to go back to Georgia for his junior season. Jones’ ability to rush the passer should catapult him into the top 15 of this draft.
The Saints run out some giant DE’s in Will Smith and Cameron Jordan. They could stand to use a true pass rush threat which pretty much sums up Sam Montgomery. Montgomery will need to add some bulk to his frame but he can flat get after the QB.
J’Marcus Webb is serviceable but hardly a dominant figure on the OL. The opportunity to add a franchise LT at 15 doesn’t come around often, so the Bears jump on Faulk.
16. Carolina Panthers – Keenan Allen, WR, Cal
Steve Smith won’t be playing forever, so the Panthers find a big target to replace him in time. Allen was dominant at Cal with some pretty bad QB play, so it will be interesting to see what he can do with Cam Newton at the helm.
17. Dallas Cowboys – Tony Jefferson, S, Oklahoma
Dallas could use a major upgrade to the safety position with Brodney Pool and Gerald Sensabaugh manning the spots in 2012. Jefferson is a versatile prospect that saw action at corner and safety during his OU career.