1) Kansas City Chiefs: OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A & M- Andy Reid saw firsthand last season what happens when there are major problems on your offensive line. Joeckel may be the safest 1st round selection in this year’s draft. He will be an upgrade over Branden Albert (a free agent) and can anchor Kansas City’s offensive line for a decade. The Chiefs need a quality quarterback, but there is no slam-dunk choice to justify the top overall pick.
2) Jacksonville Jaguars: DE/OLB Jarvis Jones, Georgia- Every draft the Jags are faced with trying to bolster a woeful pass rush. No team put less pressure on opposing quarterbacks than Jacksonville did last season. Jarvis Jones is a disruptive edge rusher that makes a lot of sense for the Jags.
3) Oakland Raiders: DT Star Lotulelei, Utah- The Silver & Black were black and blue from opposing running backs trampling all over them in 2012. The massive Utah nose tackle/defensive tackle has the power and quickness to help plug the middle of Oakland’s defensive line.
4) Philadelphia Eagles: CB Dee Milliner, Alabama- The Eagles are optimistic that Jason Peters will return healthy at left tackle. The secondary has dogged the Eagles on defense the past two seasons. Nnamdi Asomugha has been a bitter disappointment since being signed as an expensive free agent. The Eagles will hope for better luck at the cornerback position with some home grown talent via the draft. Milliner is a fine combination of size, speed and physical play.
5) Detroit Lions: DE Damontre Moore, Texas A & M- The Lions believe that their defensive line should anchor the defense. Moore provides them with a talented young player at defensive end.
6) Cleveland Browns: DE Bjoern Warner, Florida State- The Browns played in a number of tight games last season. A disruptive pass rusher will help them win more of them. Cleveland’s offense has some young talent and the new coaching staff has the skills to develop them. Werner plays with leverage and has a knack for penetrating into the backfield. He is the type of player that could take the Browns to another level on defense.
7) Arizona Cardinals: QB Matt Barkley, USC- Arizona cannot go another season with a train-wreck at quarterback. The Cards do not get scared-off of choosing another USC quarterback after Matt Leinart proved to be a bust. Barkley had a terrific junior season and faces a smoother transition to the pro game than Geno Smith does.
8) Buffalo Bills: QB Geno Smith, West Virginia- Smith has to be hoping that new Bills’ head coach, Doug Marrone, does not hold his poor performance in the snow versus Syracuse against him. There are a number of teams picking after the Bills who do not have a need for a quarterback. It could be a surprisingly long wait for Smith if the Bills go in a different direction. Buffalo knows that Ryan Fitzpatrick is not the answer at quarterback. Buddy Nix decides to take a chance on Smith to revitalize the franchise.
9) New York Jets: DE/OLB Barkevious Mingo, LSU- Rex Ryan loves his defense, which lacks a big pass rusher. Mingo is a terrific athlete and Ryan figures he can turn him into a pass rushing outside linebacker in New York’s 3-4 scheme. The Jets pass on taking a quarterback this high in the 1st round.
10) Tennessee Titans: OG Chance Warmack, Alabama- Mike Munchak certainly believes in the value of a strong offensive line. The Titans want to run the ball better and add the draft’s top offensive guard.
11) San Diego Chargers: OT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan- The Chargers have not been able to adequately replace Marcus McNeill or Kris Dielman. Fisher provides San Diego with a potential long-term answer at left tackle.
12) Miami Dolphins: CB Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State- Miami could really use a quality cover corner and Banks has the height and long arms to matchup well against the bigger NFL receivers.
13) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida State- The Bucs were among the worst teams in the NFL defending the pass and certainly could use help at cornerback. Rhodes is a big cornerback who could shoot up draft boards if he runs well in the post-season.
14) Carolina Panthers: DT Sheldon Richardson, Missouri- Carolina continues to try to improve their defense. Richardson has the quickness to penetrate and provide the Panthers with a disruptive force at defensive tackle.
15) New Orleans Saints: DE Ezekiel Ansah, BYU- New Orleans has a long way to go on defense and Steve Spagnuolo believes it starts with the front four. Ansah has terrific upside and might remind the Saints’ defensive coordinator of Jason Pierre-Paul.
16) St. Louis Rams: WR Keenan Allen, Cal- The Rams believe in Sam Bradford and add another weapon for him. Allen provides Bradford with a big receiver who could develop into a quality lead wideout.
17) Pittsburgh Steelers: NT Johnathan Jenkins, Georgia- Casey Hampton is at the end of his career and the huge and athletic Jenkins would be a talented successor.
18) Dallas Cowboys: C/G Barrett Jones, Alabama- The interior of the Dallas offensive line was a mess last season. Jones could be the quarterback of the offensive line for the Cowboys and his versatility is a big plus.
19) New York Giants: DT Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State- Jerry Reese cannot believe that the huge and athletic Hankins has slipped this far. The Giants had trouble stopping the run last year and Hankins will help toughen the run defense.
20) Chicago Bears: MLB Manti Te’o, Notre Dame- The Bears could not have dreamed of a better draft situation. Brian Urlacher’s body has a lot of wear and tear on it. Te’o has the skills to be a fine replacement.
21) Cincinnati Bengals: S Eric Reid, LSU- Cincinnati needs a playmaker at safety. Reid is a solid tackler and can help in pass coverage.
22) St. Louis Rams: S Kenny Vaccaro, Texas- St. Louis is improving on defense and a tough safety like Vaccaro has to be appealing to Jeff Fisher (a former tough safety himself).
23) Minnesota Vikings: ILB Alec Ogletree, Georgia- Jasper Brinkley does not have the speed and athleticism to be a big playmaker. Ogletree can really run and the wide receiver position will be addressed a little later in the draft.
24) Indianapolis Colts: OT D.J. Fluker, Alabama- Andrew Luck took too many hits in his rookie season. Fluker could be a pillar at right tackle for the Colts. His ability to be a load as a run blocker also makes him very quarterback-friendly.
25) Seattle Seahawks: DE Alex Okafor, Texas- Pete Carroll is a defensive-oriented head coach. Seattle really missed Chris Clemons in the playoff loss to the Falcons. Clemons is 31 and faces a long rehab from knee surgery. Okafor defends the run well and can get after the passer.
26) Green Bay Packers: DE/OLB Sam Montgomery, LSU- You can never have too many pass rushers. The Packers selected Nick Perry in the 1st round last year, but he missed time due to injury and no one knows how good he will be. Montgomery represents too much value for Ted Thompson to pass-up.
27) Houston Texans: WR Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee- The Texans are still incredibly reliant on Andre Johnson at wide receiver. Patterson is a big receiver with speed. His ability to return kicks is a bonus.
28) Denver Broncos: DT Sharrif Floyd, Florida- Denver must get stronger up the middle of their defense. It starts at defensive tackle. Floyd can help stop the run and get a push up the middle. This should make Denver’s edge rushers even more effective.
29) Baltimore Ravens: S Matt Elam, Florida- Ed Reed’s brilliant career is coming to a close and Elam is a physical playmaker at safety. The Ravens face the daunting task of replacing Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. Elam is not the next Ed Reed, but he should be a good pro. Baltimore will address the inside linebacker position a bit later in the draft.
30) Atlanta Falcons: DE Dion Jordan, Oregon- John Abraham will be 35 soon and is frequently hurt. Jordan is a fantastic athlete with lots of pass rushing potential. The Falcons select Abraham’s successor as the team’s top pass rusher.
31) San Francisco 49ers: NT Jesse Williams, Alabama- The 49ers have some age on their defensive line. Isaac Sopoaga will be entering his 10th season in the fall. The big nose tackle will be an unrestricted free agent and San Francisco may choose to find a young one. Williams had a strong season playing the nose for Alabama.
32) New England Patriots: DT Kwann Short, Purdue- The Pats continue to strengthen their defense. Short has terrific quickness and leverage. Short would be an intriguing player for Bill Belichick to add to his defensive line. Short could play in 3-4 or 4-3 fronts. The former Purdue star could prove to be a handful on 3rd down passing situations when put next to Vince Wilfork.