1. Chiefs – Luke Joeckel (OT | Texas A&M) The Chiefs can go in many directions with this pick. Acquiring Alex Smith from the San Francisco 49ers help solidify the quarterback position in Kansas City. The Chiefs can either trade recently franchised Brandon Albert or move him to Guard. Providing protection for Smith and creating running lanes for Jamaal Charles are crucial to the Chiefs moving out of the AFC cellar in 2013.
2. Jaguars – Geno Smith (QB | West Virgina) Geno Smith will be a top 10 pick and most likely will be gone before pick number 5. Blaine Gabbert has made it very clear that he is not the answer. The question has become whether or not the Jaguars believe that Geno Smith is. I think Jacksonville will take the risk and draft Smith. He can make the down the field throws and provide athleticism that should help team lacking talent on the offensive side of the ball.
3. Raiders – Sharrif Floyd (DT | Florida) The Raiders go defensive tackle here with the departure of Tommy Kelly and Richard Seymour. Floyd is a very talented defensive tackle that will make an immediate impact in 2013. This might not be a good sign for Floyd as only 1 of the Raiders last 7 first round picks are still with the team.
4. Eagles – Eric Fisher (OT | Central Michigan) The Eagles will get the other elite left tackle in this spot. The Eagles atrocious offensive line will need some serious upgrades. Eric Fisher is an athletic offensive lineman that will fit great with the new scheme Chip Kelly is installing.
5. Lions – Dee Milliner (CB | Alabama) The Lions can in many directions in this spot. With Fisher and Joeckel already off the board and Lane Johnson, while still a possibility is a bit of a reach at 5, Dee Milliner makes a ton of sense. The Lions secondary has continued to struggle the past few seasons and Milliner is an instant upgrade.
6. Browns – Dion Jordan (LB | Oregon) The Browns will get a talented linebacker at number six. Jordan is an athletic linebacker that moves well side to side will help support the run and get to the quarterback. The Browns are building a solid core with Jordan and cornerback Joe Haden.
7. Cardinals – Lane Johnson (OT | Oklahoma) This is a great pick for Arizona who needs to address their offensive line deficiencies. They are in a division full of talented pass rushers and Johnson can be penciled into the Cardinals starting left tackle for a long time to come. Johnson has a ton of upside and could emerge as the best tackle from the draft. The upside comes with a significant amount of risk as he only started one season at left tackle.
8. Bills – Chance Warmack (OG | Alabama) Syracuse’s Ryan Nassib seems like an ideal fit following his college coach Doug Marrone. While I still see that as possibility either in round 2 or if the Bills move back into the late first round. With this pick, the Bills will take Chance Warmack a talented Guard from Alabama. Warmack has received some of the highest grades scouts have given a guard. They need to replace Andy Levitre who left during free agency to Tennessee, as well as provide protection for whomever is taking snaps in Buffalo this season.
9. Jets – Barkevious Mingo (LB | LSU) The Jets can grab an edge rusher with tons of upside. His ability to rush the passer will provide the Jets with tons of value at 9. Allowing the Jets to fill other needs as the draft goes along.
10. Titans – Jonathan Cooper (OG | North Carolina) The addition of Jonathan Cooper will continue to address the needs the Titans started to address during free agency. After signing Andy Levitre, adding Cooper will allow the titans to solidify both guard spots going forward.
11. Chargers – Ezekiel Ansah (DE | BYU) Ezekiel Ansah is a freak athlete with tremendous upside. Ansah is new to football after coming to the United States from Ghana but made tremendous strides in his first full season at BYU. Ansah will need to be coached up but can be an elite edge rusher right away. He has been compared to Jason Pierre-Paul for what he could be in the NFL.
12. Dolphins – DJ Fluker (OT | Alabama) While drafting DJ Fluker might be a little bit of a reach for the Dolphins at number 12, it will allow the Dolphins to fill their biggest need and replace Jake Long who signed with Rams during free agency. The Dolphins are in a great position to trade back and acquire more picks. They could also move up if they want to try and acquire Eric Fisher or Lane Johnson if they covet either of them more.
13. Buccaneers – Xavier Rhodes (DB | Florida State) This spot in the draft remains a mystery. It screams trade out as the Buccaneers don’t have a desperate need that can be filled at this spot. Darrell Revis is also linked to the Buccaneers and this should be the Jets pick prior to draft night. If the Bucs were to draft here, Xavier Rhodes makes a ton of sense. He fits great in their scheme and can replace Aquib Talib whom they traded late in 2012.
14. Panthers – Star Lotulilei (DT | Utah) Putting Lotulilei in front of 2012 draft stand out Luke Kuechly will not only add another outstanding name to the Panthers defense, but will also create a strength with the Panthers up the middle of their defense. Kuechly should be able to get to the ball carrier with less challenge and both Star and Luke should improve the back end of the Panthers defense by getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
15. Saints – Sheldon Richardson (DT | Missouri) After signing Victor Butler to solidify the Saints linebacking core, they will be able to add Sheldon Richardson in the middle of their defense. Richardson will help a Saints defense that struggled to stop the run.
16. Rams – Tavon Austin (WR | West Virgina) The Rams get a steal at this point in the draft. Tavon Austin is a very talented reciever who can make tremendous plays with the ball in his hand. Not only can the Rams line Austin up at receiver, but will be able to put him in the slot, backfield and let him return kicks and punts. After losing both Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson via free agency Austin will be a significant help to Sam Bradford and the Rams in 2013.
(Tavon Austin, Cordarrelle Patterson, Keenan Allen)
17. Steelers – Cordarrelle Patterson (WR | Tennessee) With the departure Mike Wallace, the Steelers will need to find a receiver to play on the opposite side of Antonio Brown. Patterson is full of upside and talent. He can be an elite receiver in the NFL and gives Ben Roethlisberger a big, physical target down the field. Lack luster workouts and poor interviews have hurt Patterson’s stock, but the Steelers have found ways to get players to play up to their potential under Mike Tomlin.
18. Cowboys – Kenny Vaccaro After grabbing Morris Claiborne a year ago, Kenny Vaccaro would be a great piece to put next to him. The Cowboys are quietly building a very talented, young, athletic secondary to build their defense around going forward. Vaccaro will make an impact in a division with dynamic offenses.
19. Giants – Alec Ogletree (LB | Georgia) The New York Giants are in need of help on the defensive side of the ball especially in the back 7. Ogletree will provide great value to the Giants this late in the draft and will impact right away as an edge rusher and improve the linebacking core of the Giants.
20. Bears – Arthur Brown (LB | Kansas St) With the departure of Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs now 33, the Bears must look to improve their linebacking core while building it for the future. Arthur Brown will allow both to happen. He is a cerebral, talented, sure tackling linebacker
21. Bengals – Menelik Watson (OT | Florida State) Andre Smith is still having contract disputes, his second since joining the team. Smith held out after the draft and came to camp late. Watson is a tackle that can improve the Bengals offensive line and help plug in the departure of Smith. Watson could swing inside to guard if Smith stays in Cincinnati.
22. Rams (via Redskins) – DJ Hayden (CB | Houston) DJ Hayden is shooting up draft boards. Hayden is a very talented corner that had medical concerns in college but seem to be behind him. The Rams putting Hayden opposite Cortland Finnegan who himself is getting long in the tooth will help to solidify the Rams secondary.
23. Vikings – Manti Teo (LB | Notre Dame) The Vikings are in desperate need of linebacking help, and regardless of what you think about Teo off the field, he has the ability to be a productive NFL linebacker. The Vikings have shown an affinity for former Notre Dame players including Harrison Smith and Kyle Rudolph.
24. Colts – Jarvis Jones (LB | Georgia) The Colts will add a talented edge rusher at 24 in Jones. He will provide an instant impact right away. Jones is a very athletic line backer that has tremendous upside. Jones has fell this far due to medical concerns he has had since transferring from USC, who would not clear him medically with his spinal stenosis
25. Vikings (via Seattle) – Sylvester Williams (DT | North Carolina) The Vikings are in need of some defensive line improvement and get a good one at 25. Williams will be play as a rookie and should help Jared Allen and Brian Robinson see less double teams along with Kevin Williams.
26. Packers – Kyle Long (OT | Oregon) Kyle Long has shot up draft boards and is a great fit in Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers spent much of 2012 running from opposing defensive lineman. Long should allow Rodgers to be more comfortable in the pocket and help the running game in 2013. Running Back is a need for Green Bay but between free agents Ahmad Bradshaw and Michael Turner or the ability to find talent later in the draft I think the Packers will pass on selecting one in the first round.
27. Texans – DeAndre Hopkins (WR | Clemson) The Texans need to find a receiver to play opposite of Andre Johnson. While the Texans took DeVier Posey in the draft in 2012, Hopkins provides size and athletic ability. Posey will play in the slot and allowing Hopkins the outside, adding another target for Matt Schaub. Robert Woods or Justin Hunter could be the pick here if Houston favors them more.
28. Broncos – Bjoern Werner (DE | Florida State) With the issues keeping Elvis Dummerville due to the inability to get the contract faxed in on time, the Broncos find themselves with a need at defensive end. Werner is a talented defensive end that will provide the Broncos talented edge rusher that is not the most physically gifted but plays with great technique.
29. Patriots – Desmond Trufant (DB | Washington) The Patriots have brought back Julian Edleman and signed Emmanuel Sanders to add to their receiving core. While Keenan Allen or Robert Woods would make a ton of sense, the Patriots have shown they don’t value receivers this early and are always willing to plug in guys without name value around Tom Brady. Desmond Trufant would upgrade a underperforming Patriot secondary and makes a ton of sense at this spot in the draft. Defensive end on the other side of Chandler Jones could be a pick that makes sense as well.
30. Falcons – Cornellius Carradine (DE | Florida State) The Falcons need to improve their pass rush, especially from the defensive line. The departure of Ray Edwards and John Abraham makes defensive end even more of a need. The addition of Osi Umenyiora will make the Falcons defensive line much improved. Carradine makes sense for the Falcons but other defensive ends could be targeted here including Margus Hunt and Damontre Moore. Zach Ertz could be targeted here as suture replacement for Tony Gonzalez.
31. 49ers – Tyler Eifert (TE | Notre Dame) If Tyler Eifert were to fall to the 49ers at 31, this would be a slam-dunk, no brainer. The way Trent Baalke and Jim Harbaugh have been going it makes sense they would get this draft steal. Eifert is an extremely talented pass catcher that will provide an instant impact. The 49ers could use a two tight end set and help with eh departure of Delanie Walker. Harbaugh would also go crazy with the options of lining up both tight ends in different spots.
32. Ravens – Jonathan Cyprien (S | Florida International) With the departure of Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard, the Ravens need to find replacements at safety. Cyprien is very talented safety that could play right away. He has been shooting up draft boards and quickly become a coveted safety. Matt Elam could be the safety for Baltimore. This could easily be a position for a team looking to trade back in to the first round to take a quarterback and allow the ravens to get a safety they like later in the draft and acquire picks.