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 is one of the safest 1st round selections 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 Damontre Moore, Texas A & M- One of the SEC’s most disruptive players helps Jacksonville put pressure on the quarterback. The Jags registered a paltry 20 sacks last year. Gus Bradley is a defensive coach and will prioritize fixing the defense.
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: OT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan- Chip Kelly knows that his high-octane offense goes nowhere if the Eagles cannot block anybody. Fisher looked terrific at the Senior Bowl. The addition of Fisher and the return to health of Jason Peters will go a long way to solving Philadelphia’s problems up front. Fisher can play left or right tackle and it will depend on how Peters looks after an Achilles injury.
5) Detroit Lions: DE Bjoern Werner, Florida State- The Lions want their defensive line to be the heart and sole of the defense. Kyle Vanden Bosch is 34 and Werner provides Detroit with a young, high-motor defensive end.
6) Cleveland Browns: DE/OLB Jarvis Jones, Georgia- The Browns lack a top pass rusher and the quick-twitch Jones can really get after the quarterback. Cleveland needs a dynamic outside linebacker to be a critical piece to their 3-4 defense. Jones could be that kind of player for them.
7) Arizona Cardinals: QB Geno Smith, West Virginia- Quarterback is Arizona’s greatest need. Bruce Arians had success with a rookie quarterback (Andrew Luck) in Indianapolis and will be looking to do the same with the Cards. Geno Smith’s strong arm and superior athleticism to Matt Barkley and Mike Glennon make him the choice.
8) Buffalo Bills: QB Mike Glennon, North Carolina State- Ryan Fitzpatrick commits too many turnovers and is not Buffalo’s long-term answer at quarterback. Glennon’s strong arm will be needed to throw the ball effectively in the cold and wind that is Buffalo in the 2nd half of the season.
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.
10) Tennessee Titans: OG Chance Warmack, Alabama- This might be high to draft a guard, but Mike Munchak certainly does not think so with his stellar NFL career at the position. The Titans want to run the ball and Warmack should be a terrific pro.
11) San Diego Chargers: OT Lane Johnson, Oklahoma- The Chargers have to do a better job of protecting Phillip Rivers. The athletic Johnson has the skills to play left tackle and develop into a good pass protector.
12) Miami Dolphins: WR Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee- The Dolphins need to find a good lead receiver for Ryan Tannehill. Patterson’s size and run-after-the-catch ability convince Miami that he can be that player.
13) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: CB Dee Milliner, Alabama- The Bucs were among the worst teams in the NFL defending the pass and certainly could use help at cornerback. Milliner is a very talented cornerback with championship pedigree.
14) Carolina Panthers: DT Sharrif Floyd, Florida- The defensive tackle position continues to be a weak area for Carolina. Floyd is a fine combination of quickness and size. The Panthers expect him to help stop the run and apply inside pressure in passing situations.
15) New Orleans Saints: DE Ezekiel Ansah, BYU- The Saints have to get better on defense and it starts up front. Ansah can defend the run and has terrific upside as a pass rusher. Rob Ryan has a very raw, but talented player to work with.
16) St. Louis Rams: DT Sheldon Richardson, Missouri- Jeff Fisher is a defensive head coach and wants to have a dominant front four. Richardson is very quick and should work well with last year’s 1st round pick, Michael Brockers.
17) Pittsburgh Steelers: DE/OLB Dion Jordan, Oregon- LaMarr Woodley and James Harrison are on the down side of their careers. It is time for the next generation of pass rushers for the Steelers. Jordan can really run and has unusual height for a linebacker. He will have a chance to continue Pittsburgh’s storied tradition of quality outside linebackers.
18) Dallas Cowboys: DT Kawann Short, Purdue- The Cowboys are converting to Monte Kiffen’s 4-3 defense. This means they had better have a quality three-technique defensive tackle. Short has a quick first step and plays with leverage to penetrate.
19) New York Giants: CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida State- The Giants best cornerback, Corey Webster, is 31 and coming off of a poor season. Rhodes has excellent size and skills. New York adds much needed cornerback help.
20) Chicago Bears: TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame- Marc Trestman wants another weapon for Jay Cutler. The Bears do not have much of a receiving threat at tight end. Eifert represents a significant upgrade offensively for the Bears at tight end.
21) Cincinnati Bengals: S Kenny Vaccaro, Texas- Cincinnati needs a playmaker at safety. Vaccaro is a solid tackler and can help in pass coverage.
22) St. Louis Rams: WR Keenan Allen, Cal- The Rams find a key weapon for Sam Bradford. Allen has the size and pass receiving skills to be the lead receiver that Bradford has lacked.
23) Minnesota Vikings: DT Jonathan Hankins, Ohio State- Kevin Williams will be 33 just prior to the upcoming season. Hankins provides the Vikes with a big defensive tackle who can help shut down the run.
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 Sam Montgomery, LSU- 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. Montgomery has the quickness and long arms to rush the quarterback. He also is a solid run defender.
26) Green Bay Packers: G Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina- Aaron Rodgers might be the best quarterback in the NFL and the team must protect him better. The Packers need to fortify an offensive line that sprung too many leaks last season. Cooper is a solid pass and run blocker. He represents good value at this point in the 1st round.
27) Houston Texans: WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia- The Texans are still incredibly reliant on Andre Johnson at wide receiver. Austin was born to play the slot. His elusiveness in the open field is electric.
28) Denver Broncos: CB Desmond Trufant, Washington- Champ Bailey will soon be 35 and was lit up by Torrey Smith in the playoffs. Trufant made himself some money by playing extremely well at the Senior Bowl. Denver adds a good young cornerback to their defense.
29) New England Patriots: CB Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State- New England’s defense continues to be a work in progress. Banks has good height and excellent ball skills. Banks may be able to provide what the oft injured, Ras I Dowling, has been unable to.
30) Atlanta Falcons: DE Alex Okafor, Texas- John Abraham will be 35 soon and is frequently hurt. Okafor plays hard and is a complete defensive end. He does not have the same explosion as a young Abraham, but he plays with leverage and intensity.
31) San Francisco 49ers: NT John Jenkins, Georgia- 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 nose tackle. Jenkins is a big man with surprising athletic ability. Jim Harbaugh will ride him hard to get the most out of his ability.
32) Baltimore Ravens: ILB Manti Te’O, Notre Dame- The Ray Lewis era is over. The Ravens will not be able to replace Lewis, but Te’O is a solid choice. The former Notre Dame star finds the football and improved in coverage in his senior season. Baltimore is fortunate that Te’O slipped this far in the 1st round.