KCCD Contributor: Jeremy Brade
1. Kansas City Chiefs: OT – Luke Joeckel; Texas A&M
This was going to be a two position decision for Kansas City. That was before the Alex Smith trade was leaked and is now apparently just waiting for March 12th to come in order to be official. As a result, the decision now comes down to only one and the Chiefs will lock up their left tackle of the future in order to protect Smith’s blindside immediately.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: DT – Sharrif Floyd; Florida
While quarterback is definitely an area of need, the Jaguars won’t find their answer with the 2nd pick overall. However with a lot of holes to fill, they can not only increase interest in their team with a player from Florida, but also get a guy who is ready to be an impact player on their defensive line. With Floyd they get a nice interior lineman to pair with Jason Babin on the outside.
3. Oakland Raiders: DT – Star Lotulelei; Utah
While some experts consider Star as the best player in this year’s Draft class, the news of his “heart condition”, which came out at the Combine and prevented his workout, will be something to watch closely over the next couple weeks leading up to the Draft. If he is deemed healthy, the Raiders will jump on the chance to put a beast on the defensive side of the ball.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: OG – Chance Warmack; Alabama
The Eagles are a perfect trading partner for a team desperately looking to move up since they do not have as many holes to fill as others in the top 5. That seems unlikely though and if they stay they will make NFL Draft history when they take Warmack. No guard has ever been taken higher than 15th, but that record will be shattered with a top five selection that some consider the best lineman in the Draft.
5. Detroit Lions: CB – Dee Milliner: Alabama
This is the clear choice for a team that hasn’t had a strong cornerback in years. However, if Cliff Avril is not franchised or replaced through free agency, the Lions might have a decision to make. Do they take a lockdown corner or be forced to draft a replacement at defensive end? Smart money is on Milliner.
6. Cleveland Browns: DE – Dion Jordan; Oregon
Teams looking to get the 1st quarterback in this year’s Draft may be calling the Browns with offers in order to jump ahead of the Cardinals. If they decline, there are plenty of pass rushers in this class and Cleveland will waste no time taking the first one off the board. Jordan’s stock has improved since his performance at the Combine and he will be hard to pass up to put on edge.
7. Arizona Cardinals: QB – Geno Smith; West Virginia
Despite all the posturing about Matt Barkley, the Arizona Cardinals will pick the better fit for their team in Geno Smith. Under new Head Coach Bruce Arians, he will want a guy with size and mobility in order to build his team around. Smith most closely compares to Ben Roethlisberger and Andrew Luck in that regard, the last two quarterbacks Arians has had success with.
8. Buffalo Bills: FS – Kenny Vaccaro; Texas
Until the Bills make a decision on whether to use the franchise tag on Jarius Byrd, they have a roster without both starting safeties from last season. Vaccaro can step in as a Rookie to replace Byrd if necessary. His ability to play close to the line in coverage and his range will be a huge asset and should boost the play of the rest of the defense as well.
9. New York Jets: DE – Bjoern Werner; Florida State
The Jets obviously are looking to improve in many areas but a pass rusher is desperately missing from their defensive front. Werner will be the best player on their board and will be considered a steal at the 9th pick. After only starting to play football at age 15, Werner is still considered a project although his performance at Florida State does not reflect that.
10. Tennessee Titans: DT – Sheldon Richardson; Missouri
The Tennessee pick will ultimately come down to an offensive or defensive line player. With Richardson available, they will bolster the interior of their Defensive Line, which struggles at times, with a rising star.
11. San Diego Chargers: OT – Eric Fisher; Central Michigan
San Diego will be targeting an offensive lineman all the way with this pick. Fisher has become a no-brainer after seeing his stock rise based on his performances at both the Senior Bowl and the Combine. After sneaking past the top 10, the Chargers won’t waste time calling his name.
12. Miami Dolphins: OT – Lane Johnson; Oklahoma
Barring the team bringing back Jake Long, which is not looking realistic at this point, there is a glaring hole on their offensive line. No one knows the need for a good offensive line like Head Coach Joe Philbin, himself a former O-Line Coach. Johnson will be brought in to pair with last year’s rookie Jonathan Martin as bookends for the Dolphins as they ensure the protection of Ryan Tannehill.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: LB – Jarvis Jones; Georgia
After selecting guys up front on Defense over the past couple Drafts, it’s time for the Bucs to add to their Linebacker corps. Although his spinal stenosis issue has re-surfaced, until doctors deem him a risk, his performance is too enticing for him to fall too far in the 1st Round. His drop will be Tampa Bay’s gain.
14. Carolina Panthers: G – Jonathan Cooper; North Carolina
This could be a perfect trade up opportunity for a team like San Francisco who has 12 picks to Carolina’s 5. If no one comes calling, the Panthers will look hard at a Wide Receiver but most likely pick one in the 2nd Round. They will smartly fill a huge hole at Guard and take the athletic Cooper who will most likely get bigger at the next level.
15. New Orleans Saints: DE – Damontre Moore; Texas A&M
D (picture of fence)! D (picture of fence)! The worst defense in NFL history should receive plenty of attention in this year’s Draft. With their switch to 3-4 under new Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan, the Saints need to get some outside rushing help. Moore falls to them at 15 after having a somewhat disappointing Combine and getting jumped by some others at the same position. They will waste no time getting their pick in for the best player on their board.
16. St. Louis Rams: WR – Cordarrelle Patterson; Tennessee
No one needs help at wide receiver more than the Rams (seriously, look at their roster). With two picks in the 1st Round, they will pull the first wide receiver off the board and give Sam Bradford someone to throw to every game. Patterson only has one year of major college experience but his height and speed are too hard to pass up for the Rams.