1.) Kansas City Chiefs- Geno Smith QB, WVU
I could ramble on about the importance of the QB position, but it’s household knowledge at this point. This may not be a comparable crop of QB talent to last year, but the needs are still the same. The Chiefs organization has been starved of a passer for quite some time and new head coach Andy Reid has to get “his guy.”
2.) Jacksonville Jaguars- Luke Joeckel OT, TAMU
Most folks have Jacksonville going defense with the second pick in the draft, but would anyone help them more than Joeckel? Pair Joeckel with Eugene Monroe and you have one of the top OT tandems in the NFL. The gap between the right and the left side in the NFL is diminishing, moving one of them to the right isn’t as big of an issue as team improvement.
3.) Oakland Raiders- Ezekiel Ansah DE, BYU
GM Reggie McKenzie has had a massive challenge of replenishing the talent back into the Raiders organization, without many premium draft selections. Now holding the #3 overall pick, I don’t see anyone more gifted than BYU sensation Ezekiel Ansah. Pass rushers are at a premium and Ansah’s got the ceiling to be one of the best.
4.) Philadelphia Eagles- Eric Fisher OT, CMU
Eric Fisher might be the draft’s biggest offseason riser so far, and rightfully so after such a dominating showing down at the Senior Bowl. Most evaluators have no doubt that he’ll be a high level NFL starting OT, myself included.
5.) Detroit Lions- Bjoern Werner DE, FSU
Detroit at #5 has the chance to be a true wildcard of this draft. As a classic BPA (Best Player Available) team, they are going to take the top player on their board. Werner could very well be that player as an elite edge talent with tremendous upside.
6.) Cleveland Browns- Star Lotulelei DT, Utah
Big value pick here, as Lotulelei has been a projected solid top-3 talent. The new brass in Cleveland can’t pass up a presence for their new “attacking hybrid” defense. Ahtyba Rubin, Phil Taylor, and Star Lotulelei would make an extremely strong core to a young defense.
7.) Arizona Cardinals- Barkevious Mingo, LSU
Mingo joins Werner and Ansah as the high upside pass rushers to go in the top-10, and that shouldn’t be a surprise. I’ve compared Mingo athletically to Von Miller as he’s got the length and twitch you just don’t see very often. Once he learns to pace and anchor, he’s got the ability to have a DeMarcus Ware-ish impact.
8.) Buffalo Bills- Tyler Wilson QB, Arkansas
Is the whole Ryan Nassib thing a smoke screen? I have no idea, but if it is, Tyler Wilson would be the perfect target there. Wilson looked like one of the better passers in Mobile, and I fully expect him to be in contention for #2 QB on most boards.
9.) New York Jets- Kenny Vaccaro S, Texas
There isn’t a more versatile defender in the draft than Vaccaro. He’s a stud in the back half of any defense and he could give Rex Ryan the deep weapon he hasn’t had since Ed Reed. I like this pick for Vaccaro - there might not be a better place for him to thrive.
10.) Tennessee Titans- Dee Milliner CB, Alabama
These long boundary corner types are gaining value rapidly, and Milliner just happens to fit the mold perfectly. His ball skill and mirror ability are just what the Titans need in the back half. Cortland Finnegan masked some ailments that finally showed in 2012
11.) San Diego Chargers- Chance Warmack OG, Alabama
Offensive tackle seems to be the popular thought here, but with a premier guard prospect on the board it’s hard to see a team that has both starting OGs on expiring contracts passing. Warmack will grade out as many scout’s top rated overall player. He’s the most common guy with the “safe” label. New GM Tom Telesco makes a really solid pick to kick off his tenure.
12.) Miami Dolphins- Keenan Allen WR, Cal
Miami made a huge investment in Ryan Tannehill, and the promise has been obvious, but that selection can’t be a success without giving him the weapons to further his ability. Keenan Allen’s best football hasn’t been played and if they can get him healthy this might be a home run.
13.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Dion Jordan DE/OLB, Cal
Injury concerns about a confirmed shoulder surgery on the schedule and a poor weigh -in have really tempered the Dion Jordan Craze. He’s a chess piece, DCs are going to love him. At 6’7”, you just don’t find guys that can play in space like that. Tampa Bay would love to add him to the other young pieces on their defense.
14.) Carolina Panthers- Sheldon Richardson DT, Mizzou
Coming into the year, Richardson looked like a fringe top-75/100 guy but with a huge campaign he’s become a consensus top-20 talent. Carolina has missed a presence inside, and Richardson has the natural ability to be that guy.
15.) New Orleans Saints- Lane Johnson OT, Oklahoma
New Orleans hasn’t gotten proper protection out of current free agent, LT Jermon Bushrod. It’ll be hard to pass on a top-notch pass blocking prospect with elite athleticism.
16.) St. Louis Rams- Alec Ogletree LB, Georgia
Ogletree will be labeled as a “riser”, but I’ve got a feeling the NFL has been enthralled with him all along. He’ll be really valuable in multiple and “hybrid” fronts. Behind that defensive line, this might be a player to watch. It’s very possible Ogletree could explode in a role where he’s allowed to roam around and play sideline to sideline.
17.) Pittsburgh Steelers- Jesse Williams DT, Alabama
Pittsburgh does a great job filling holes and keeping the status quo on defense overall. I’ve been a big fan of Jesse Williams for a long time, and I can’t see there really being a better fit for him than Pittsburgh. That torch at nose tackle would be put in good hands.
18.) Dallas Cowboys- Sharriff Floyd DT, Florida
The reasoning here can’t be more obvious, Dallas is switching to the 4-3 front and they need guys to fit into that scheme. Floyd is absolutely ideal. Florida moved him around quite a bit, and he projects to be able to do that at the next level.
19.) New York Giants- Cordarrelle Patterson WR, Tennessee
One of the most explosive players regardless of position, Patterson is really easy to like. As a one year FBS guy, the concerns will be there but he’s a freak athlete. Patterson has a really desirable flame at this position with really coordinated movement skills. Simply put, he’s dangerous.
20.) Chicago Bears- Jonathan Cooper OG, UNC
Chicago has one of the worst offensive lines in the National Football League, they have to address it to in order to keep Jay Cutler upright. Cooper projects to be a decade-long starter at the guard position.
21.) Cincinnati Bengals- Damontre Moore DE, TAMU
I could very well be wrong, but I don’t see Damontre Moore as a top-10 guy. This could make him a really good value as a versatile pass rusher on the weak side. Cincinnati would be really happy to see Moore slip here.
22.) St. Louis Rams- DJ Fluker OT, Alabama
On my board, Fluker becomes a value at this point in the draft and for a team needing offensive lineman, this is a nice scenario. With the emergency action plan to kick into guard, Fluker projects to be a high level starting right tackle.
23.) Minnesota Vikings- Jarvis Jones OLB/DE, Georgia
Jarvis Jones was definitely a name that was thrown around a lot higher than #23 overall, but the Minnesota Viking get a big time value here. He’s got the potential to be an impact guy, but the questions keep mounting. He’ll have to clear medicals, but if he does he might fit best in a 43 front a SAM LB. Please, drop the Von Miller comps. The roles are comparable but the athletic comparison is lofty at best.
24.) Indianapolis Colts- Johnthan Banks CB, Mississippi State
After being named NFL Executive of the Year, I don’t expect GM Ryan Grigson’s success to slow down. Even with a second round pick being spent on Vontae Davis, I expect Grigson to take the best player on their board. The Colts also need plenty of help along with the offensive line.
25.) Seattle Seahawks- Kawaan Short DT, Purdue
Seattle does a really good job putting their prospects in positions to have success and they could do the same with Short. He’s a prototype 1-technique with great ability going forward. I still have questions with the motor, but the Seahawks have the scenario to make him a huge hit.
26.) Green Bay Packers- Robert Woods WR, USC
One of my favorite players in the entire draft, Robert Woods would be a perfect fit here. Green Bay loves to spread out defenses and let Aaron Rodgers pick people apart, and rightfully so. With legit 4.40 speed, Woods could step in for possibly-departed Greg Jennings.
27.) Houston Texans- DeAndre Hopkins WR, Clemson
I know, this pick may be annoyingly cut and paste but it really makes sense. Andre Johnson’s prime years are running long and this naturally complete roster has never had a threat opposite of Johnson. Hopkins stepped in and took over an increased role for a Sammy Watkins-less Clemson team and didn’t disappoint. He had a massive year.
28.) Denver Broncos- Johnathan Hankins DT, Ohio State
Denver has some serious work to do on the interior of that defensive line, Hankins could be the perfect guy to move around on the interior line and keep guys off Von Miller.
29.) New England Patriots- Datone Jones DE/DT, UCLA
Datone Jones has shot up draft boards after having a big week in Mobile. He really seems to fit the mold of that defensive is moving forward while also displaying the versatility that Belichick covets.
30.) Atlanta Falcons-Tyler Eifert TE, Notre Dame
The NFL is dominated by mismatches and the Falcons are a perfect example of that. No one can run the three-pronged attack they have put together in Gonzalez/White/Jones. If Gonzalez really is done as he’s saying, Eifert would be a great plug in that spot.
31.) Baltimore Ravens- Tavon Austin WR, WVU
This is a pick I really like, as it gives some spark to an offense that can run hot and cold. Austin is going to be a really popular topic come draft time. I’d really like to see his work under guys like Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin.
32.) San Francisco 49ers- Zach Ertz TE, Stanford
This pick may make a little bit too much sense with the ties to head coach Jim Harbaugh, but San Francisco will be looking to add another weapon for Colin Kaepernick. Ertz may be viewed as a pretty good value here.