Before the where’s Matt Barkley and why is Mike Glennon and Tyler Wilson ahead of Barkley chatter starts up, I’ll explain. I still think Barkley goes in the first but via a trade back into the first. I don’t mock trades but I fully expect Barkley to be the fourth quarterback off the board in the 20’s and possibly 30’s.
1. Kansas City Chiefs – Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Geno Smith hasn’t inspired much confidence that he’s worthy of the top pick in the draft in recent weeks. The heart of WVU’s Big XII schedule has been brutal for Smith. The problem with this statement is that the Big XII isn’t known for their top notch defenses. That said, does KC really have a choice outside going with a quarterback at No. 1. For that reason, the Chiefs may have to reach a little to find their future signal caller and at the end of the day, it’s Geno Smith.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars – Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
I have mocked pass rusher to the Jags exclusively. Clearly it’s a major need area but after watching them for two weeks, I quickly realized the need for a pass protector. I don’t know that Blaine Gabbert deserves another shot at being the starter but the options are slim at the QB position with this pick. So, the Jags throw a curveball and take the top pass protector and possibly top player in this draft. Eugene Monroe slides to right tackle and all of the sudden Jacksonville is cooking with gas on their offensive line. At the very least, you give Gabbert or whomever they decide to draft in the coming rounds or pick up in free agency a fighting chance.
3. Cleveland Browns – Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
The Browns are in need of a playmaker or two on defense. Jones brings just that but there are some medical concerns that will need cleared up before anyone takes him this high. If Jones’ neck checks out he could easily go to Jacksonville and probably doesn’t slide past Cleveland. If it doesn’t, who knows. The Browns are a young team that is much better than their 2-8 record would have you believe. Jones gives them an instant impact player on a defense that could sorely use one.
4. Carolina Panthers – Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
Carolina would have loved for Luke Joeckel to slide down to them as I think they should be focused on giving Cam Newton help in protection. If Joeckel doesn’t make it down here they will look to one of the talented DT’s for help as the Edwards wall is just not getting it done.
5. Oakland Raiders – Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
The Raiders need someone that can get after the QB and Damontre Moore is more than capable of doing that. Lamaar Houston can kick inside, allowing this pick to kill two birds with one stone. Tommy Kelly is nowhere near earning his sizable contract and is most likely headed towards getting cut.
6. Philadelphia Eagles – Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
The Eagles offensive line is atrocious. Demetress Bell is abysmal and expecting Jason Peters to return to his old form is naive. The Eagles would love to get their hands on Joeckel but he will be gone by the 6th pick. So, they take the next best option (and its a pretty good one) in Lewan. Lewan is a nasty tackle with room to grow. That’s a scary proposition if you watched him versus Iowa.
7. St. Louis Rams – Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
Believe it or not, LG is a bigger need for the Rams than tackle. They aren’t as bad up front as I originally thought but bad enough to take a guard in the top 10. Everytime I watch Warmack, I become more impressed. He’s the exception to the rule and is more than worthy of this high of a pick. He’s an instant starter with Pro Bowl potential in year one. No one will be complaining about this pick if he’s a Pro Bowler in year one.
8. San Diego Chargers – Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame
I can’t get on Mel Kiper’s bandwagon that Te’o will be off the board by pick three of the draft. The Chargers need help in a lot of spots, mostly on the offensive line and at corner. That said, Te’o is BPA and fills a secondary need for the Chargers. They need a downhill thumper on the inside and Te’o is just that.
9. Miami Dolphins – Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
Matthews is probably the most likely of the junior tackles to head back to school. The opportunity to play with his brother and man the left side may be too great to lure him to the NFL. Let’s assume he comes out, because he’s definitely good enough to, the Dolphins should jump all over the opportunity to make him Jake Long’s replacement. Long is grossly underachieving and has been for awhile.
10. Buffalo Bills – Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
Let me preface this pick by saying I’m a fan of Tyler Wilson. Sure, he’s developed some bad habits behind a porous offensive line but the guy is as tough as they come and has NFL tools. The Bills don’t have a plethora of options unless they go after a free agent option or a Mike Vick type. I’ll take my chances on Wilson.
11. Detroit Lions – Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU
The Lions may choose to use Mingo like Von Miller is used in Denver. There are no doubts that he’s struggled from a productivity standpoint but he’s a talent that just can’t fall any further. His enormous upside and ability to bend the edge are too much for Detroit to pass on despite Dee Milliner still being on the board.
12. Arizona Cardinals – Mike Glennon, QB, NC State
Everyone is becoming enamored by Mike Glennon and it’s really easy to. He’s big, throws with touch, underrated accuracy, and shows solid arm strength. If Glennon were at USC or West Virginia with those weapons, would we be talking about him being taken atop this draft? While I’m not sold on Glennon’s pocket presence or decision making at times, I do believe the upside to be taken in the first round is there. The Joe Flacco comparisons are already out and trust me the hype isn’t going away. This guy is built to be successful in pre-draft workouts. If he gets a Senior Bowl invite (and he will) it should be telltale to see how he does with that level of competition.
13. St. Louis Rams – C.J. Mosley, OLB, Alabama
I know Rams fans will want a WR here but I don’t see the value to justify the pick. A WLB is needed and Mosley has the skill to play the WILL in this defense. This isn’t the sexiest first round but they find two plug and play guys that could be impact players in year one. Keenan Allen or any other receiver at this point is a reach.
14. Tennessee Titans – Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
It will be tough for the Titans to pass on the falling Johnathan Hankins here but Milliner is a good reason to. The Titans need help in their backend worse than up front and Milliner slides into their lap.
15. New York Jets – Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon
The Jets need a pass rusher in worst of ways. Jordan has experience standing up making him a logical fit for the Jets, barring Rex Ryan is still the coach which may be unlikely at this point.
16. Cincinnati Bengals – Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
OLB is probably Cincinnati’s biggest need area but passing on Werner at No. 16 is not an option for the Bengals. They have little depth at defensive end and could be a serious need if Michael Johnson isn’t re-signed.