KCCD Editor: Elliot Dennis
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
The Chiefs were awful this season. The biggest need (by far) is quarterback. With Pioli gone, the new GM will almost certainly use this pick to draft his own guy.
He didn’t compete in the Senior Bowl, but with the questions with the participating QBs there, it really doesn’t affect Smith’s draft stock. But he’ll have a chance to wow scouts by throwing at the combine.
Smith was awesome this season. He completed 71 percent of his passes for 4,205 yards, 42 touchdowns, and only six interceptions. He started the year with monstrous performances but was cooled down against Texas Tech and Kansas State. He was just okay in the bowl game against Syracuse.
The 6-foot-3, 214-pounder has prototypical NFL size for quarterbacks. His skill-set is what you look for in a franchise QB. He makes good reads and shows great vision. He displays great accuracy, but his arm isn’t “elite” however, it is very good (but neither was Aaron Rodgers). Smith can also make plays with his feet. A big concern was the fact that he played in a “gimmick” offense at WVU, but he played in a pro-style attack his sophomore year and played very well.
The Chiefs finally get their man.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
The Jags desperately need some pass rush help. Moore is a special talent that fits their defense.
Moore was spectacular playing for the Aggies this season. He had team-leading 80 tackles, 20 tackles for a loss, 12.5 sacks, two passes broken up, a blocked kick, and a forced fumble this season. He also blocked 2 kicks.
Moore is a fit in a 4-3 or 3-4 defense. In 2011, he played in a 3-4 and had a very productive season (8.5 sacks), and dominated as a senior in a 4-3 defense.
3. Oakland Raiders: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
I would make this pick a QB, but the Raiders are committed to Carson Palmer for the time being. So they get some much needed help on defense.
There’s a good chance that Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly won’t return next season, so this pick makes sense. Lotulelei would be an upgrade anyhow.
There’s currently a 3-way race to be the first defensive tackle selected in the 2013 draft between Lotulelei, Sheldon Richardson, and Sharrif Floyd. I’ll give the edge to Lotulelei for now.
Lotulelei is a prototypical prospect for a 4-3 defense but is versatile enough that he could work in a 3-4. He has been an absolute force the past couple seasons for the Utes. This season he totaled 42 tackles, 10 tackles for a loss, five sacks, three forced fumbles, and four passes broken up. He would anchor the Raider’s defensive line for the next 10+ years.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Philly’s is in need of some offensive line help. Jason Peters tore his Achilles and will probably never be 100%, Demetress Bell was a bust in free agency, and King Dunlap just sucks. Todd Herremans could be upgraded on the right side as well.
Joeckel was a big part of Johnny Manziel’s success this season. He started out a bit slow, but was came on very strong against LSU and was tremendous to close the season. He has the ability to be a dominant pass-protector for some team for a very long time.
Luke Joeckel could easily be selected first overall, the Eagles would be thrilled if he falls to them.
5. Detroit Lions: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
The Lions need a pass rush threat across from Cliff Avril. Kyle Vanden Bosch as hit the age wall and is no longer the player he used to be.
Werner was a dominant pass-rushing force this season for the Seminoles racking up 42 tackles, 13 sacks, 18 tackles for a loss, eight passes defensed, and a forced fumble. He has a non-stop motor and looks like a sure hit for the Lions.
6. Cleveland Browns: Jarvis Jones, DE/OLB, Georgia
With the Browns switching back to a 3-4, they’ll need a pass rush threat across from Jabaal Sheard.
Concerns about his spinal stenosis problem have dropped Jones down some draft boards, but with doctors recently clearing him of any problems, there’s a good chance he’ll go even higher than this. I have him as my #1 rated player in the draft.
Jones has been one of the best pass-rushers in all of college football the past two seasons. In 2011, he was tied for second in the nation in sacks with 13.5. In 2012 he has racked up 14.5 sacks, along with 85 tackles, 24.5 tackles for a loss, seven forced fumbles, three passes broken up, and one interception.
Jones would be an ideal fit for the 3-4 defense at 6-foot-3, 241 pounds.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
The Cardinals have absolutely nothing at either tackle position. No matter what quarterback played for them, he didn’t have time to throw. This pick could be a QB, but the Cards might pick up a guy in round two and play with Kolb this year.
Fisher has been a great left tackle for the Chippewas the last two seasons. Fisher has great size at 6-foot-8, 305 pounds and has tremendous upside. He displays great technique and has really dominated the MAC with his play.
Fisher was completely dominant during Senior Bowl week, so his stock has really risen up. There’s chatter that he could challenge Luke Joeckel as the 1st tackle taken in this draft.
8. Buffalo Bills: Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
The Bills finally get a franchise QB. Ryan Fitzpatrick hasn’t been good this season and is just a mediocre talent in general. The Bills get a much-needed change at that position.
Wilson didn’t have a great season in 2012. His head coach was dismissed before the season, he lost his top-3 receivers, and suffered a concussion early in the season. He ended up completing 62 percent of his passes for 3,387 yards, 21 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions.
Wilson has a very strong arm, good accuracy, and he is good at making reads. And at 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, he has prototypical NFL quarterback size.
With Doug Marrone the head coach in Buffalo now, a lot of people think he’ll take his college QB, Ryan Nassib. I think he’ll take the superior talent in Wilson.
9. New York Jets: Mike Glennon, QB, North Carolina State
The Jets need a new quarterback badly. Mark Sanchez sucks, Tim Tebow can’t even see the field, and all Greg McElroy is is a serviceable backup. There will be a lot of criticism in New York for this selection, but the Jets are desperate for a franchise quarterback.
Out of the QBs in this draft, Glennon has the best arm. He has drawn a lot of Joe Flacco comparisons during the draft process.
This season he has completed 58 percent of his passes for 4,031 yards, 31 touchdowns, and 17 interceptions. Glennon has big time consistency issues. The problem with Glennon is some of his issues are related to accuracy and things that would be hard to get rid of due to coaching. If he can work on his accuracy and decision making, he can be a very successful NFL quarterback with his very talented arm.
10. Tennessee Titans: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
The Titans need help everywhere on their defense. Sheldon Richardson is in the running to be the first defensive tackle taken and the Titans would love to select him here.
Richardson was a disruptive force for Mizzou this past season. He totaled 75 tackles, 10.5 tackles for a loss, four sacks, three passes broken up, and three forced fumbles this season. He has great athleticism and a non-stop motor that could make him a dominant force in the league for years.
11. San Diego Chargers: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
Phillip Rivers has really regressed the past couple of seasons. One of the main reasons was his offensive line play got worse. Protecting Rivers will be key for the Chargers to succeed.
Johnson, the former juco QB and college tight end, spent the last two seasons as Oklahoma’s blindside protector. Two weeks ago it would have been crazy to take Johnson this high, but Senior Bowl week really opened up some people’s eyes.
The 6-foot-7, 303-pounder is an exceptional athlete and looks like a future NFL left tackle.
12. Miami Dolphins: Keenan Allen, WR, California
Receiver is Miami’s number one need this offseason. Ryan Tannehill needs a decent receiver to throw to. The addition of Allen gives him that.
Allen had a phenomenal sophomore season, racking up 1,343 yards and six touchdowns on 98 receptions. He didn’t perform as well this year with more attention with defenses and bad QB play, but finished with a respectable 61 receptions for 737 yards and six touchdowns.
Allen looks like a true No. 1 receiver. He has the great speed and strength that you look for in an elite wide receiver. He’s a great route runner that would be able to build great rapport with Ryan Tannehill. There’s not a lot of talk about Allen right now, but there will be as we get closer to draft day.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Tampa ranked dead-last in pass defense last season and with the Aqib Talib trade, cornerback is their biggest need. Along with that, Eric Wright has been a huge free agent bust.
Milliner is the best shutdown corner in this draft. He was dominant to open the 2012 season against Michigan and continued his great play throughout the season. He currently has 54 tackles, two interceptions, 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble, and 20 passes defensed.
His big knock is that he’s not as physical as a shutdown corner should be. That drops him some here.
14. Carolina Panthers: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
The Panthers have a huge hole at defensive tackle. It’s by far Carolina’s biggest need.
Floyd is a run-stopping force. He explodes off the line and has shown great power. He totaled 46 tackles, 13 for a loss, three sacks, and a forced fumble this year for the Gators.
He’s another defensive tackle in the running to be taken first overall. His stock has really risen as of late. Scouts love his versatility.
15. New Orleans Saints: Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon
The Saints just need to draft a good defensive player. The Saints defensive line was horrific this season. They couldn’t stop the run or generate a consistent pass rush. With the Saints rumored to start playing some 3-4 next year, this pick would make sense.
Jordan has played defensive end and linebacker during his time at Oregon. He is a great fit for both the 4-3 and 3-4 defense. He has 44 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, five sacks, three forced fumbles, and a pass defensed this season. He is one of the rawest prospects in this draft, but the upside is evident.
16. St. Louis Rams: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
The Rams really need some secondary help, primarily at the safety position. They take the best safety available.
Vaccaro was all over the field this season for the Longhorns. He totaled 96 tackles, 6.5 tackles for a loss, five passes defensed, two interceptions, and three forced fumbles this season. He is a good blitzer from the safety position and can cover well.
Continue to picks 17-32: