With the 2013 draft a few weeks away, let’s take a look at who could be going where to fill which teams needs.
1) Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel OT (6-6, 306) – Texas A&M
Joeckel hasn’t done anything to damage his status as the top Tackle in the draft. KC’s release of Eric Winston paves the way for him to play immediately. KC should invest in protecting new QB Alex Smith.
2) Jacksonville Jaguars: Bjoern Werner DE (6-3, 266) – Florida State
Werner is the top rated DE in the draft. Last year the Jags were dead last in sacks. Werner will pay immediate dividends.
3) Oakland Raiders: Geno Smith QB (6-2, 218) – West Virginia
With Carson Palmer likely to be cut, there’s no way the Raiders could enter 2013 with Terrelle Pryor as the No. 1, right? Smith is the highest rated QB in the draft for a team in desperate need of a QB.
4) Philadelphia Eagles: Eric Fisher OT (6-7, 306) – Central Michigan
The Eagles have used free agency to do their best to completely revamp their defense, so look for them to work on one of the league’s worst offensive lines here. Fisher is the #2 OT in the draft and Mike Vick needs the protection.
5) Detroit Lions: Dee Milliner CB (6-0, 201) – Alabama
The Lions secondary was BAD. Milliner ran a 4.37 40 at the combine. He has the speed to play outside. Has the potential to be a shutdown corner.
6) Cleveland Browns: Cordarrelle Patterson WR (6-2, 216) – Tennessee
The Browns appear to be settling on giving Brandon Weeden one more chance to show he can be the QB, so they need to address the fact they need a playmaker. Patterson may be the biggest playmaker in the draft. He’s an explosive KR, and has the kind of size and speed coaches dream of on the outside as a WR.
7) Arizona Cardinals: Chance Warmack OG (6-2, 317) – Alabama
The Cardinals haven’t been able to find a QB to replace Kurt Warner, but instead of looking to draft a QB of the future, they are looking for the Raiders to release Carson Palmer. The next issue to address for the Cards is their weak OLine, and Warmack is a power run blocker who can open holes that Arizona RBs have only dreamt about.
8) Buffalo Bills: Sharrif Floyd DT (6-3, 297) – Florida
The Bills were a pathetic 31st against the run last season, and need to give Mario Williams help rushing the passer. Solution? Floyd, a terrifically strong defender who can stuff the run as well as get to the QB from the interior line position.
9) New York Jets: Dion Jordan DE (6-6, 248) – Oregon
Jordan possesses an outstanding combination of speed, size and athleticism. He has the ability to be a stand up pass rusher is Rex Ryan’s 3-4 scheme, where he would likely be an OLB. He can play coverage too.
10) Tennessee Titans: Jonathan Cooper OG (6-2, 311) – North Carolina
The Titans have gotten terrific Tackle play from their line, but their Guard play needs help. Cooper, a combine superstar, will shore up that OLine, and help re-open the holes they need for CJ2K. Cooper is also versatile enough to play all 3 interior line positions.
11) San Diego Chargers: Lane Johnson OT (6-6, 303) – Oklahoma
The Chargers OLine gave up the 4th most sacks in the NFL last season, 49. Philip Rivers will be very happy to get hit less. Johnson also has excellent speed for his position, and can make and sustain secondary level blocks. Plays with chip on his shoulder, so he and trash-talking Rivers should get along great.
12) Miami Dolphins: Xavier Rhodes CB (6-2, 210) – Florida State
Rhodes has excellent size for a corner, is very physical, and is the best CB on the board at this point. He would likely be the replacement for the departed Sean Smith.
13) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Ezekiel Ansah DE (6-5, 271) – BYU
Ansah is a physical beast, combining raw speed with natural power. A terrific Senior Bowl performance + strong combine showing have his stock on the rise. The Bucs managed a measly 27 sacks last season, and lacked an edge rusher. Ansah should fit the bill.
14) Carolina Panthers: Desmond Trufant CB (6-0, 190) – Washington
The Panthers are feeling the pinch of the cap this year hard. They already had to cut CB Chris Gamble due to financial constraints, and even with those savings, still may not be able to re-sign CB Captain Munnerlyn. Trufant is the best available player in a position of extreme need for the Panthers. He is a younger brother of the Seahawks’ Marcus Trufant. Shutdown corner potential.
15) New Orleans Saints: Star Lotulelei DT (6-3,311) – Utah
Lotulelei is a monster in the middle who can shut down a running lane and get all-important pressure up the middle on QBs. Routinely faced double and triple teams in Pac 12. Instantly becomes best interior DLineman for Saints, and would give major boost to pass rush that only generated 30 sacks last season.
16) St Louis Rams: Keenan Allen WR (6-2, 206) – California
With Danny Amendola signing in New Engalnd and Brandon Gibson playing the free agency field, the Rams really need a quality WR. They will get one in Allen, who has all the makings of a No. 1 WR. Only reason he slips this far down was due to PCL injury in left knee. Should be ready to go for camp.
17) Pittsburgh Steelers: Jarvis Jones OLB (6-2, 245) – Georgia
Jones is a dymanic pass rusher who excelled upon transferring to Georgia and playing in the 3-4. Has speed and agility to cover. Would step into role vacated by release of James Harrison.
18) Dallas Cowboys: DJ Fluker OT (6-5, 339) – Alabama
Fluker is a mammoth of a man. Projects as a top OT. Road paving run blocker who can physically overpower pass rushers. Fluker can really help solve Dallas’ OLine woes.
19) New York Giants: Sheldon Richardson DT (6-3, 294) – Missouri
The Giants are all about their defensive line, and with the loss of Chris Canty as a cap casualty, Big Blue can pick up an interior defensive lineman who can wreak absolute havoc. Richardson can apply heavy pressure up the middle, to help NY’s outside pass rushers, and is an immovable object in short yardage. High motor guy who will fit right in with Giants scheme.
20) Chicago Bears: Kevin Minter ILB (6-0, 246) – LSU
With two of their top 3 LBs from a year ago testing the market, the Bears should get a jump start on the next wave of playmakers in the middle. Minter anticipates the ball very well, and has a knack for making game-changing plays. High IQ player who can shed blocks.
21) Cincinnati Bengals: Manti Te’o ILB (6-1, 241) – Notre Dame
Te’o will need to show his past social issues are behind him, but that doesn’t change the fact he still graded out as the second best interior LB in this draft. The Bengals will be saying goodbye to last year’s starter in the middle, Rey Maualuga, who actually graded out as the worst MLB in the NFL last season.
Before the Invisible Girl, Te’o was considered a top 10 pick.
22) St Louis Rams: Kenny Vaccaro FS (6-0, 214) – Texas
Vaccaro’s size and speed make him effective against the pass and the run. The Rams are very thin at safety after they had to waive goodbye to Quintin Mikell due to cap constraints, and Matt Daniels is coming off ACL surgery.
23) Minnesota Vikings: Kawann Short DT (6-3, 299) – Purdue
Short is a mountain, plain and simple. You can’t move a mountain. He can blow up the inside of a line, and use his massive wingspan to swat down passes and block kicks. He also benches over 400 lbs, and squats north of 600 lbs. He blows up runs and gets to the QB. Will fit perfectly next to Kevin Williams, and eventually be his replacement as the main man in the middle of that D Line.
24) Indianapolis Colts: Barkevious Mingo OLB (6-4, 241) – LSU
Mingo has tremendous speed and explodes off the ball as an edge pass rusher. His size indicates he could add strength as well. Long arms help him shed blockers. Suited to 3-4 defense that Colts run, plus Colts said goodbye to top pass rusher Dwight Freeney.
25) Minnesota Vikings: Tavon Austin WR (5-9, 174) – West Virginia
After dealing Percy Harvin, the Vikings are in need of playmakers. They will get one of the best of this year’s draft class in Austin, who has unbelievable speed. He’s a game breaker from the WR spot, out of the backfield, and on kick returns. A matchup nightmare out of the slot.
26) Green Bay Packers: Eddie Lacy RB (5-11, 231) – Alabama
Lacy is exactly the kind of back who can solve the Packers’ backfield problems. Green Bay had a revolving door at RB last season when FA signee Cedric Benson couldn’t stay healthy. Lacy ran wild in the SEC title game and again in the BCS title game. He reads blocks, breaks tackles, and finishes runs. Packers should be thrilled to get Lacy here.
27) Houston Texans: Robert Woods WR (6-0, 201) – USC
Woods has excellent hands, is a strong route runner, and is elusive. Tough and fearless, will go over the middle. Very polished receiver. Can return punts. Could develop into that strong #2 WR Texans have longed for to pair with Andre Johnson.
28) Denver Broncos: Johnathan Cyprien SS (6-0, 217) – Florida International
Aggressive, physical player who likes to lay the wood. Plays the ball well. Really stood out at Senior Bowl. Will help a secondary last seen being torched by Joe Flacco.
29) New England Patriots: Damontre Moore DE (6-5, 250) – Texas A&M
Moore is a speedy, versatile pass rusher, and has a frame that will allow him to get stronger. Long arms help him shed blockers, strip ball carriers, and block kicks. Bill Belichick will get the most out of him.
30) Atlanta Falcons: Datone Jones DE (6-4, 283) – UCLA
Falcons pick up strong pass rusher who explodes off the ball. Has length to shed blocks and sheer strength to bull rush OLinemen. Flourished under aggressive scheme by Jim Mora at UCLA. Versatile enough to slide to DT when needed as well.
31) San Francisco 49ers: Johnathan Hankins DT (6-3, 320) – Ohio State
Hankins is a big run stuffer who can push around an OLineman. Can play inside (DT) and outside (DE). He can draw and take on several blockers, freeing teammates to make plays. Has quickness to rush passer.
32) Baltimore Ravens: Alec Ogletree OLB (6-3, 242) – Georgia
Ogletree has top 10 talent but a history of off field issues that have him available late in the first round where the defensively ravaged Ravens are happy to pick him up. The defending champs have seen an exodus from their defense, and Ogletree will be part of the new building blocks that re-design that defense. A former safety, Ogletree has excellent speed and agility, and is very fast off the edge.