"Star Lotulelei"

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1. Kansas City ChiefsLuke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

The Chiefs have done a masterful job of filling holes through free agency. The free agent pickups have allowed them the flexibility to trade Branden Albert to recoup the 2nd round pick they lost in the Alex Smith trade. At this point, it appears a matter of time before Albert is dealt and we can lock a tackle into the No. 1 overall spot.

It’s just a matter of time before we can etch this pick in stone. After spending the better part of the last three months speculating on the No. 1 overall pick, it’s beginning to look like a bit of a forgone conclusion as KC seeks out a trade partner for Albert. Joeckel is a franchise LT that should be a no-brainer in this spot. Eric Fisher will likely get a long look at this spot but Joeckel wins the day.

MORE: Pro Football Talk – Chiefs will listen to Branden Albert trade offers

2. Jacksonville Jaguars – Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia

This pick was not a fan favorite last week and drew a mile long debate on Reddit. Many are convinced that the Jaguars sending a convoy of big wigs to check out Smith is posturing to bait a team make a deal. I’m not convinced of that. Teams that are remotely interested in securing a QB are going to do due diligence on Smith. By all accounts, Smith is a charismatic individual that is known for being a gym/film rat. Those types of characteristics can easily win over GM’s.

In the case of the Jaguars, they gave a half-hearted approval of Blaine Gabbert in the offseason. No one around the NFL believes he can turn the fortunes of this franchise around and the Jags can’t afford another dismal season. Gus Bradley would love to add to his defense but securing a QB is always first priority.

MORE: SI.com – Some revealing nuggets from the four rookie AFC coaches

3. Oakland Raiders – Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida 

The Raiders have added a ton of help at the DT position and Tommy Kelly is still on the roster. Adding Pat Sims and Vance Walker provides the Raiders with solid depth but still lack a difference maker in the middle of the defense. I’m still not sold on Tommy Kelly being on the opening day roster. It will be tough passing on a DE in this spot but I think Dion Jordan is the best available and probably fits better as a SLB in Dennis Allen’s scheme.

Floyd gives the Raiders a penetrating 3-technique that can disrupt on the interior. Aside from need, the overhaul of this roster has left them void of talent. Floyd is the best overall player available (by many accounts, not mine) making him a logical fit for the Raiders.

4. Philadelphia Eagles – Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

The Eagles are another team that filled a ton of holes in free agency. This pick could be between Star Lotulelei, Dion Jordan, Dee Milliner, and one of the tackles. Milliner makes a ton of sense here despite picking up Bradley Fletcher and Cary Williams in free agency. That said, Star was cleared for a full workout yesterday, which is a great sign for his chances of jumping back into top 5 talk.

The Eagles were able to add Isaac Sopoaga in free agency but Lotulelei’s versatility to play the nose and 5T will make him an intriguing option for the Eagles. It’s been pretty clear that Chip Kelly was looking to get bigger up front in free agency and adding Lotulelei to play opposite Fletcher Cox with Sopoaga manning the middle is a hell of a defensive front.

MORE: NFL.com – Star Lotulelei helps 2013 NFL Draft stock at pro day

5. Detroit Lions – Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

Jeff Backus opted to retire, leaving a big hole at LT. The Lions have kicked around moving Riley Reiff inside which isn’t likely to happen with Backus vacating the RT spot. Jason Fox has been brought along very slowly but entrusting him to lock down the LT spot is foolish. Matt Stafford will be looking to rebound from a so-so 2012 season, so this pick should be a LT. With Fisher still available it should be a no-brainer.

Fisher gives the Lions an immediate starter on the left side, allowing Fox and Reiff to battle it out on the right side. Ideally, Fox can take over at RT moving Reiff to the inside and giving the Lions a formidable line on paper. Ezekiel Ansah will get a long look here but securing Stafford’s blindside is priority one.

6. Cleveland BrownsDee Milliner, CB, Alabama

The Browns have flirted with Brent Grimes in free agency but its unclear at this point if they are legitimate contenders for the soon to be 30 year old corner coming off a ruptured achilles. Even if Grimes is brought in the Browns need a long-term answer opposite Joe Haden and Milliner is a solid option. If Grimes or another free agent isn’t brought in, this pick becomes a necessity as the Browns don’t hold a second round pick.

Milliner is an ideal fit opposite of Joe Haden as he gives the Browns another physical defender with the size to matchup with bigger receivers. If the Browns could secure Milliner in the first, this defense would be one to reckon with on paper.

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7. Arizona Cardinals –  Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma 

The Cards appear to be on a crash course with a former Michigan State quarterback battle in camp. I’m sure another QB will be brought in via free agency or early in the draft but no options appear to be much better than Stanton/Hoyer.

With the QB situation in the air, the Cards need to do everything in their power to secure the offensive line in front of them. Last year’s rookie tackle tandem took strides towards being formidable but having Johnson on the board will push one out of the starting lineup and could spell the end to Levi Brown, although cutting him isn’t a great option because of the dead money involved.

8. Buffalo BillsEzekiel Ansah, DE/OLB, BYU

"Ezekiel Ansah"


The Bills should be in desperation mode at QB and could be a prime candidate to trade up for Geno Smith. Tarvaris Jackson isn’t going to help out Doug Marrone’s case in year one as head man in Buffalo. The Bills could go in a ton of directions with this pick as they need help at QB, OG, DE, WR, LB, SS and CB.

The Bills will audition a ton of options at quarterback but the one I see (semi)-worthy of this pick (Matt Barkley) wouldn’t be the best fit in Buffalo. Chance Warmack and Jonathan Cooper make sense here but with so many needs, I can’t see them pulling the trigger on a top ten guard.

I’m left to the defensive side of the ball. Mike Pettine craves versatility and they don’t get much more versatile than Ansah. I’ve felt Ansah was a good fit for awhile and it’s going to take a lot for me to change this one, barring he’s on the board.

MORE: Inside the Bills – Bills will workout Barkley, 5 other QB’s

9. New York Jets – Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon

Not surprisingly, the cap-strapped Jets have been relatively inactive in free agency. The Darrelle Revis deal appears to have lost steam although it’s certainly not dead. The Jets have a bunch of needs, arguably the biggest is at pass rusher. Rex Ryan would do backflips if Jordan falls to them at No. 9. 

Jordan is my second rated player in the draft, making him a steal at No. 9. His versatility as an edge rusher and effectiveness in coverage make him a slam dunk if he’s still available.

VIDEO: Split Opinion – Dion Jordan Injury

10. Tennessee TitansSheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri

The Titans made a splash in free agency with the signing of Andy Levitre which fills a major hole along the interior of their OL. The Titans can now focus on upgrading the front four of the defense. The Titans are good but not great in the middle of their defense. Jurrell Casey, Karl Klug and Mike Martin are solid but none bring the ability to dominate on the inside.

Sheldon Richardson is an interior disruptor that brings the “wow” factor to a defense. He may turn some teams off with his personality but he has the game to back it up. The Titans could also look at adding a pass rusher at this spot but it will come down to value and Richardson is a solid value with the 10th pick.

11. San Diego Chargers – Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama

The Chargers added King Dunlap and Chad Rinehart to the offensive line in free agency. Those two don’t inspire a ton of confidence in terms of protecting Phillip Rivers. If one of the tackles falls into their laps they would probably sprint to the podium but Chance Warmack is a nice consolation prize.

How do the Chargers pass on Chance Warmack if he’s available? The offensive has been abysmal for long enough and in need of legitimate starters. Warmack gives Mike McCoy a guy with Pro Bowl potential from day one and should be the pick barring Dee Milliner or one of the tackles doesn’t slide down the Chargers way.

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  • neighborhooddrunkpart2

    I like, I like. Love the steelers picks.

    • Brad

      I was a fan of the Steelers draft, although I expected Steeler fans to hate it. Glad you liked it…made sense to me.

  • MStewart9

    I don’t mind the Giants pick as Carradine has the talent to be a top notch DE in the NFL.

    • Brad

      Carradine wins with power more than speed and would be a great fit as Perry Fewell will widen him out and allow him to get a nice running start. I think he’d be a great pickup for the Giants.

  • Spencer

    I would love the two pass rushers from A&M on the same team. Damontre and Von? He’ll yes!

    • bradc11

      Would be a nice combo and will slide down that far…concerns with work ethic and attitude.

  • http://www.weberclean.com/ Kyle-Carpet Cleaning Fargo

    It will be interesting to see what the Jaguars do, lots of holes, and we can see what the new regime thinks of Blaine Gabbert. I think Gabbert is below average.

    • bradc11

      Gabbert is definitely below average. Just have a hard time seeing Jags pass on QB and turn the new regime over the Blaine.

  • Nice Marmot

    I’d be PUMPED if the Browns made these picks…

    • bradc11

      You and I both…sign me up for Milliner and Kelce.

  • Pingback: NFL Mock Draft Tracker: Cowboys Targets Narrowing Down To Three Names? – Sports Mania

  • Reggie

    Fischer is a rock star. Woods and Okafor are nice safe choices who will be improvements on the Lions roster. I think all three bring strong work ethic and leadership to the team. Woods could be a great complement to CJ….kind of like Donald Driverish…..Okafor I think higher of him then most and think he is a 7-9 sack a season DE who plays the run well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jakwaggoner Jack Waggoner

    Star won’t go that high unless teams are absolutely convinced that the heart issue is a one-time problem that won’t come back, and not some serious chronic condition.

    • bradc11

      I agree. Has to go back to Indy for a re-test. April 4-5 will be important days for Star.

    • bradc11

      I agree. Has to go back to Indy for a re-test. April 4-5 will be important days for Star.

  • Pingback: NFL Mock Draft Tracker: Cowboys Targets Narrowing Down To Three Names? – NY Superbowl Insider

  • Bex_R1986

    Hi Brad,

    I wanted to query your Baltimore Ravens second round pick of Travis Frederick, as it’s been a consistent pick for a number of weeks now and it has bothered me a little each time. Now I’m not a Ravens fan so I’ll make it clear this is only a question!

    I really liked what I saw of Gino Gradkowski coming out of Delaware last year, who the Ravens grabbed early in the 4th. From what I’ve heard, he’s also really impressed in Baltimore and they were looking at him as the natural successor to Matt Birk.

    Have you heard differently? Or do you see both Gradkowski and Frederick playing?Both have the flexibility to play guard or center. I just wonder if they have more pressing needs to replace lost players if they were happy to go with Gino at center. Of course, Travis is excellent value at the spot and Ozzie loves value!

    Back to the Bucs, if we still have a 1st round pick (i.e. Revis), then Austin would be some addition. The most obvious thing that jumps out at me with that though is that the focus on Freeman intensifies, because if he can’t run a consistently productive offence with Jackson, Williams, Austin and Martin, then it may well be time to move on!

    The linebacker group goes from a weakness a couple of years ago to a strength with 3 early draft picks of Foster, David and Teo. With Montgomery replacing Bennett, solid LBs, and potentially Revis, Golston and Barron in the secondary, this starts to look like a team that could impress on both sides of the ball! Or at least the eternal optimist in me will continue to hope :)

    • Brad

      I think Frederick’s best fit is at guard but his versatility to play center as well makes him a solid value that late in the 2nd. It doesn’t look like McKinnie will be back leaving a lot on Jah Reid’s shoulders. Reid was a guy I was high on coming out but we’ll see if he can develop into a starting RT. If he can’t Osemele will have to stay out there and they have a hole at guard. Probably would have stayed on defense had Frederick not been there. Just think he’s a guy the Ravens could value pretty highly.

      I was thinking the same thing on the Austin pick. It will put a ton of pressure on Freeman as it’s tough to find better weapons than that on offense. Good enough line, no excuses.

      Te’o is a great fit for what they want to do and it’s a great spot for him as he’s surrounded by fantastic athletes on both sides of him. I think the arrow points north for this team if they can make a deal for Revis. I think ultimately the Jets will be willing to part with him for ’14 picks and a ’13 2nd day pick.

  • Mike J

    Austin to T.B. would be fine with me, Bucs fan since 1976.

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