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1. Indianapolis Colts- (Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford)
This pick isn’t going to change, no matter how much RG3 dominated at last weeks combine. Luck did well enough, and next week when Peyton Manning is gone, the pick will be more cemented than ever.
2. Washington Redskins- (Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor)
I’m standing by my pick last week that Washington gives the house to get up and get RG3, who will change the culture of the team, much like Cam Netwon did to Carolina. This kid’s stock keeps going up, and Washington will have to give up two #1’s and more for the right to get him.
3. Minnesota Vikings- (Matt Kalil, OT, USC)
Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon could be an option for the Vikings, but they will go with the safe pick, which is Kalil, a guy that they can put at tackle and leave there for 10 years. This team got their QB last year, and will start to build on the line.
4. Cleveland Browns- (Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State)
Cleveland is the team many think will sneak up to 2 to get Griffin III, but I still feel Daniel Snyder will do enough to get to that 2 spot, keeping Cleveland at 4. They will fall in love with Blackmon, and he will add a huge dimension to an offense that needs playmakers.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- (Morris Claiborne, CB, Louisiana State)
CB is a position of need for the Buccanneers, and while I have seen RB Trent Richardson here as well, I think Claiborne will be the pick as new coach Greg Schiano goes with defense first.
6. S.Louis Rams- (Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa)
Jeff Fisher will have a couple more picks to play with this year and next due to trading with the Skins, but the first pick they will use on the big Iowa tackle, who is the real deal and can help protect Sam Bradford and open holes for Steven Jackson.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars- (Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford)
I had this as North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples last week, but after a shaky Senior Bowl, I think the Jags will turn to the O-line, and Martin’s stock has risen the last few weeks. The Jags have a great RB in Maurice Jones-Drew, and it makes sense to get guys to open holes and also protect Blaine Gabbert. I expect this to change more than once before draft day.
8. Miami Dolphins- (Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina)
The Dolphins and new coach in Joe Philbin are going to switch from a 3-4 to a 4-3, and with it they will go defense, and land the big man from NC in Coples. Despite his issues at the Senior Bowl, he still has supreme athletic skills and the potential to develop into the best pure pass rusher in this year’s draft.
9. Carolina Panthers- (Michael Brockers, DT, LSU)
The Panthers have big issues on their D-line, and they will try to fill a void with Brockers, who is a run-stuffer to plug into the middle of their defensive line. Brockers will be a force for Ron Rivera’s D, which will be better in 2012.
10. Buffalo Bills- (Courtney Upshaw, DE, Alabama)
The Bills have needs on both the offense and defensive lines, and they will go defense here with Upshaw, who Chan Gailey was all over at the recent combine. He has the size to be a big time player, and with the Bills, he will fill that void.
11. Kansas City Chiefs- (Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama)
The Chiefs will have no issues taking Richardson here. As I stated last week, he and Jammal Charles will be a very good 1-2 punch for the Chiefs, who will put a focus on the run game in 2012, the big reason why they were a playoff team two seasons ago.
12. Seattle Seahawks- (Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis)
The Seahawks take the hottest defensive player at the combine, as Poe blew everyone away, and ran a 4.8 in the 40 and looked great in the drills. The Hawks need plenty of help in the pass rush, and they are banking on Poe to be that guy.
13. Arizona Cardinals- (David DeCastro, OG, Stanford)
The Cardinals like DeCastro, and with going after a big name QB in either Manning or Flynn, they will go with an O-linemen here to help out. DeCastro is the best guard on the board, and while it could be a little early for him here, it will pay off.
14. Dallas Cowboys- (Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama)
The Cowboys need some help in their secondary, one that was picked apart a couple times last year by QB’s like Vick and Manning. Kirkpatrick had some off the field issues, but it is not enough to sway the Cowboys from taking him here at 14.
15. Philadelphia Eagles- (Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College)
Luke Kuechly had a great Combine, and he showed off terrific athleticism during drills, and at 15 for an Eagles team that couldn’t stop the run a year ago, Kuechly more than makes sense here.
16. New York Jets- (Melvin Ingram, OLB, South Carolina)
Rex Ryan loves defense, and he will get a load of it with this mountain of a man from SC, who can come off the corner, rush the QB with the best of them, and has a great bull rush and spin move. Ingram could be the key for a Jets team that needs to be more consistent in 2012.
17. Cincinnati Bengals [from Oakland] – (Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama)
Cornerback is for sure a need position for the Bengals. Nate Clements, who turns 32 in December, was very inconsistent last season, and the team still hopes that Leon Hall can contribute, but likely won’t. It leaves the door open for Jenkins, who will be called upon to step up for the young Cats right away in 2012.
18. San Diego Chargers- (Nick Perry, DE, USC)
Perry started all 12 games in 2011 as a junior and had his most productive season, finishing with 54 tackles, 3 pass break-ups, 3 forced fumbles and a team-best 13.0 tackles for loss and conference-best 9.5 sacks, earning First Team All-Pac 12 honors. The Chargers could use a Bolt on D, and Perry fits the mold nicely.
19. Chicago Bears- (Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina)
Chicago continues to look for playmakers in the pass game, and Jeffery fits what they are looking for. If he can help spread the field, it will do wonders for Jay Cutler’s game, and will help a Bears offense that was banged up and struggled late in the season when they had a ton of injured players.
20. Tennessee Titans- (Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois)
The Titans have to get better when it comes to rushing the passer, and Mercilus is a high-upside player who really epitomizes what Tennessee looks for in the defensive end position.
21. Cincinnati Bengals- (Lamar Miller, RB, Miami(FL))
Ced Benson won’t back back in 2012, and that leaves a pretty big hole in the Bengals run game. That’s where Miller, the former Miami back, comes in. He will get a lot of chances in camp to start right away, and if he can strut his stuff, could be a steal for the Bengals at the number 21 spot.
22. Cleveland Browns [from Atlanta]- (Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M)
Yet another first round QB for the Browns, their third since coming back in the league in 1999. While Tim Couch and Brady Quinn didn’t work out, there’s a lot of upside on Tannehill, and his stock is starting to slowly rise. With QB being the most important spot on the field, Tannehill won’t last long in this draft.
23. Detroit Lions- (Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State)
Last week we had Adams going a slot higher to the hometown Browns, but now he falls to the Lions one pick lower at 23. He’s got what it takes in the height, length and athletic build department to be a left tackle in the NFL, and eventually matured into a star at Ohio State, and will fill in nicely with the Lions.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers- (Dont’a Hightower, ILB, Alabama)
The Steelers need to get younger on the inside of their LB core, and Hightower will more than fit that mold, as he’s the best player on the board for the Black and Gold at 24. He’s made it back from an ACL injury in 2009, and showed his stuff and then some at the combine, proving he’s as close to 100 percent as can be.
25. Denver Broncos- (Devon Still, DT, Penn State)
John Fox loves defense, and taking Still here with the 25th pick will help their line. The Broncos could use someone better than Ryan McBean and free agent Marcus Thomas and that will be where Still comes in, as he could step in and be a starter from day one if he does enough to impress Fox in camp in the summer months.
26. Houston Texans- (Rueben Randle, WR, LSU)
There’s no doubt that the Texans are looking WR with their first pick, and Randle’s size (6-foot-3, 208) will help out to allow Andre Johnson to get one-on-one coverage. He could be the steal of the first round, and could have a huge impact on the Texans winning the South again in 2012.
27. New England Patriots [from New Orleans] – (Mark Barron, S, Alabama)
The Patriots were banged up in the secondary, and now will have a new young piece in Barron, who some have going much higher in the draft. He’s gone some great skills, and is physical, instinctive, and smart, all traits that head coach Bill Belichick loves.
28. Green Bay Packers- (Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State)
The Mississippi State DT is coming off a great 2011, as he went for 14.5 tackles for loss and five sacks with 56 tackles, two blocked kicks, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery that he returned for 52 yards. The Packers want to steadily improve on defense under Dom Capers, and Cox has shown despite being a junior the toughness it takes to be with the Pack.
29. Baltimore Ravens- (Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin)
Matt Birk is coming back in 2012, but it will be his swan song, and the team will get the future center ready with a year of watching and waiting. Konz is a solid player, and with a year of waiting, will be a great center for the future for the Ravens.
30. San Francisco 49ers- (Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska)
The Niners need a CB like Dennard to keep up with the pass happy teams in the NFC like the Giants and Packers. He fits the 49er defense, with being a physical press-corner with good hips and an attitude that should allow him to learn early and make an impact later on his rookie season.
31. New England Patriots- (Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor)
The Patriots need to get Tom Brady some young wide outs, and Wright, who some have going as high as the teens, will fall to the Pats with the 31st overall pick. Wright holds a share of 10 Baylor career receiving records and set a single season mark last year with 108 catches for 1,663 yards, 14 touchdown receptions and nine games with more than 100 yards. He’s a guy that will give DC’s nightmares in years to come.
32. New York Giants- (Kendall Reyes, DT, Connecticut)
The 6-4, 300 pound DT was team captain who started all 13 games alternating between end and tackle. He was tied for third on the team with 10 tackles for a loss and also had 2.5 sacks, he will help out an already very good defense for the world champs.