Each week I put this disclaimer up and most people ignore it. No, I don’t think one quarterback is going to go in the first round. I think a team or two may look to move back into the first to get a Matt Barkley type. But since I don’t mock trades, save for once a year in April, I only have Geno Smith going in the first. In reality I believe at least two and maybe three will go come April 25th.
1. Kansas City Chiefs – Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
All signs point to Geno Smith not being the pick for the Chiefs. Just about everyone has jumped off the Geno to the Chiefs train, except me. I am still under the cloud of thought that you do everything to draft a franchise quarterback until you have a franchise quarterback. Waiting for the second round or trading back into the first round is costly in many ways. Andy Reid wins the day on this one as I think Geno will endear himself to Reid throughout the process.
Is he a perfect prospect or worthy of the first pick? Probably not but the Chiefs are a good quarterback away from competing. Until they sign someone in free agency, I will keep mocking Geno here.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars – Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon
This pick is sure to draw some hate mail my way but I think the Jags search for an elite pass rusher will lead them to Jordan. Gus Bradley has effectively utilized smallish pass rushers in his system. The main cog in Bradley’s wheel is the ability to disrupt. Jordan defines disruption and upside. Pete Carroll and Co, didn’t roll the dice on a guy like Bruce Irvin without consulting his defensive coordinator. Trust and believe Bradley had his say on that selection. Jordan’s versatility will pay immediate dividends.
3. Oakland Raiders – Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
I keep landing with Richardson to Oakland. You won’t find a more disruptive DT in this draft class. Richardson’s motor runs extra hot and he could be just what the doctor ordered in Oakland. The Raiders lack playmakers in their front seven and Richardson gives them an immediate impact type player.
4. Philadelphia Eagles – Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
I warned of this scenario last week if Lotulelei and Luke Joeckel were on the board. It’s a win-win for the Eagles but finding a dominate DL with versatility to play the nose or 5-technique takes precedent. Lotulelei is drawing favorable comparisons to Haloti Ngata. Chip Kelly will look to put his stamp on the defensive side of the ball as he knows he can work with the offensive weapons in place.
5. Detroit Lions – Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Detroit would jump for joy if this situation plays out. They could take Joeckel and stick him on the left side for the next fifteen years or garner a ton of trade interest for my top player in the draft. If I were them, I would take Joeckel and never look back.
6. Cleveland Browns – Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Sheldon Brown is as good as gone and no one else on the roster can fill the spot opposite Joe Haden. Buster Skrine and Trevin Wade have some talent but both are best suited playing over the slot. Neither is ready to take a step as a starter. Milliner gives Ray Horton’s defense an immediate impact player that could make hay opposite Haden.
7. Arizona Cardinals – Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Fisher is a rare specimen as he brings loads of athleticism to the position. If he can keep weight on his frame, this guy has a shot at being a very good one in the league. Nate Potter and Bobbie Massie filled in admirably and could be the answers long-term at RT but passing on a franchise type LT is not wise for this organization.
8. Buffalo Bills – Damontre Moore, OLB/DE, Texas A&M
Mike Pettine will be focused on adding versatility to his defense and Moore fits the bill. Moore spent 2011 on his feet and 2012 with his hand in the dirt. He may be best suited to stand up and Pettine will love the ability to play Moore opposite Mario Williams in a 40 front and standing up rushing the QB in a 30 front.
9. New York Jets – Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
The Jets defense was the least of their 2012 worries. The lack of pass rush was a problem for a defense that is predicated on pressuring the QB. The have some major offensive needs that will have to be addressed in later rounds. A report that Jones’ spinal stenosis shouldn’t affect his playing career makes me feel comfortable to say that his ceiling is No. 2 and the floor being 17.
10. Tennessee Titans – Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
The interior offensive line of Tennessee was a major weak spot in 2012. The Titans need Chris Johnson to be the Chris Johnson of old. It starts in the middle of their OL. Johnson will be as good as his line is. Warmack gives the Titans a dominate guard prospect that could be an immediate impact interior lineman.
11. San Diego Chargers – Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
As good as Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher are, neither may carry the upside that Johnson does long-term. That’s saying a lot as both Joeckel and Fisher are carrying top 5 grades on my board. Johnson is three season removed from playing QB at the JUCO level and will be a first round tackle. That’s incredible to wrap your mind around. He will have to learn to anchor against power but he’s as good athletically as they come. Reminds me a lot of Nate Solder and that’s worked out pretty well for New England.
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