1. Kansas City Chiefs – Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
The Chiefs have said they will take the best player regardless of position. Geno Smith isn’t the top player in the draft but until they sign/trade for a veteran QB he will be my selection. I couldn’t blame the Chiefs for taking Luke Joeckel here but I will hold off on making that selection until free agency hits.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars – Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
Gus Bradley will be looking to construct his Seattle East defense in Jacksonville. Lotulelei becomes the Red Bryant of this defense, which is a scary thought. Lotulelei isn’t just a big body run defender as he can be explosive and disruptive in the backfield with the best of them.
3. Oakland Raiders – Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
The Raiders will turn the page Richard Seymour (free agent) and Tommy Kelly (cap casualty) and look to go younger and more athletic up front. These moves leave the cupboards bare inside, especially if they can’t re-sign Desmond Bryant. Richardson brings Warren Sapp like movement skills inside and will begin to blow up following the Combine. The reality is that he’s already this high on many draft boards.
4. Philadelphia Eagles – Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
The Eagles need to focus on strengthening their offensive line. With Jason Peters back next year, the Joeckel selection allows them to move Todd Heremans inside and gives them a strong offensive line. This is the best option given Nick Foles lack of escapability and a promising running game.
5. Detroit Lions – Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Cliff Avril just isn’t worth the money he will hope to command. Without Avril in the mix, the Lions are left without a starting caliber pass rusher in a division with Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler, and the ever so dangerous Christian Ponder.
6. Cleveland Browns – Damontre Moore, DE/OLB, Texas A&M
Ray Horton says the Browns will be running the 3-4. A hybrid is a golf club…classic. Moore played standing up in 2011 as a sophomore. The results were 8.5 sacks and 17.5 tackles for loss. He makes up for his flaws with an insatiable motor which will bode well for him under Horton.
7. Arizona Cardinals – Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Kevin Kolb has to restructure his ridiculous deal or the Cards will be taking a QB in this spot. The Cards would be wise to sign Brian Hoyer as a backup and turn the reigns over to Kolb during training camp. A full offseason as a No. 1 may be good for his development. Even if this is the case, they have to find a QB in rounds two or three to compete for the backup job.
Many are pointing to the Senior Bowl as the contributor for Eric Fisher blowing up. That’s just one example of his dominance. Turn the tape on and see him do it week in and week out. The guy is really good and deserves to be selected in the top 10 and could challenge for a spot in the top five.
8. Buffalo Bills – Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
Tyler Wilson isn’t a perfect prospect but his grittiness and smarts are evident week in and week out. Ryan Fitzpatrick isn’t the answer in Buffalo and they will look to turn the page on his run in Buffalo this offseason. While, it’s debatable that any of the QB’s are worth a top 10 pick, the reality is that it’s a premium position in the league and without one, you are stuck drafting at the top of the draft each year.
9. New York Jets – Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU
The Jets are going to have to be creative to work this draft in their favor. With rumors abounding of a potential trade of Darrelle Revis, I think they are looking to load up on picks to make some moves to get a quarterback. The best option for them is to take an impact rusher here and trade back into the first for Mike Glennon. I don’t mock trades but I think this is a real possibility.
10. Tennessee Titans – Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
The Titans struggles running the ball consistently begin on the interior of the offensive line. If they want to maximize the dollars they have invested in Chris Johnson, they will take Warmack in this spot. He’s as dominant a guard prospect that you will find.
11. San Diego Chargers – Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
The Chargers offensive line is atrocious. They could take a shot on Lane Johnson or Jonathan Cooper at this spot and no one would blame them, except me. The defense faces an uphill battle, especially at cornerback. With Antoine Cason and Quentin Jammer facing free agency, they will be losing two of their starter. Neither should be re-signed as Cason isn’t very good and Jammer has seen his better days. With Dee Milliner still on the board, this is a no-brainer.
12. Miami Dolphins – Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
The Dolphins have some work to do this offseason. First and foremost is deciding on the future of Jake Long. Losing a LT, no matter how poorly he played this year, is not something that would make this franchise better. I’m not sure what I would pay Long, but I wouldn’t let him leave Miami without make a solid offer.
If Long bolts they could look for a LT or move Jon Martin over to the left side. Either way, finding a receiver early in the draft will be a priority. The Dolphins receivers combined for three touchdowns this season. That’s right, three. Patterson brings elite size and athleticism to the position. A couple of weeks ago, I took to the film to show you why he may be the top receiver in the draft. I don’t think I’m alone on that assessment.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Kenny Vaccaro, SS/FS, Texas
If I were Tampa I would do what was needed to trade up to get Dee Milliner. Milliner fits the prototype of Greg Schiano’s defense. Without mocking trades, they will look to add to the defensive secondary with this pick. While corner is a bigger need, Ronde Barber is done and Ahmad Black is a bit of an unknown. Teaming Mark Barron and Kenny Vaccaro gives the Bucs one of the better young safety duos in the league.
14. Carolina Panthers – Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Ron and Dwan Edwards make up the completely inept Edwards Wall in Carolina. With any luck neither will be back next season.
News starting filtering out of the Senior Bowl that Floyd was being talked about as a fast riser and top ten pick. I don’t doubt that one bit. He’s explosive and versatile. Recipe for success in today’s NFL. His speed, burst, and ability to turn speed to power will have teams salivating after him. He’s a great fit in Carolina as they could use someone to pressure from the inside and disrupt the backfield.
15. New Orleans Saints – Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon
It sounds like Jordan will be working out at the Combine as he chose to forgo surgery on a torn labrum to show off his athleticism in Indy. With the prospect of New Orleans going to the 3-4 defense, they need a pass rusher to play opposite Martez Wilson. Junior Galette has the skills to play the spot but I’m not sure I would be willing to pass on Jordan for the proposition of Galette trying to fit into the defense.
16. St. Louis Rams – Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
Its hard not to be impressed with Lane Johnson. The guy is three years removed from playing quarterback at junior college. His development is impressive to say the least as he has unreal athleticism at 305 pounds. He still has some work to do on technical issues but that will come. He has a ton of upside as a natural LT.
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