One week from probably the most exciting event in the NFL outside of opening weekend and the Super Bowl, yes that’s right we are a week away from the NFL Draft. Three days of watching how you team decides to improve itself, and to see how many times the Jets fans in attendance boo their own teams picks. We now know who the number one pick will be, even though it wasn’t hard to figure out. The top two picks are pretty much set and the rest of the draft is becoming a little more clear so let’s take another look at the possible picks of the first round.
1. Indianapolis Colts- Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford. The Colts finally made their intentions known and will select Luck with the first pick. Luck has the best arm, brain, and best upside in the draft. Luck gives the colts what they were missing last year, a legit QB who can make all the throws make the best decisions and manipulate a defense into making mistakes.
2. Washington Redskins- Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor. The Redskins get the man they traded so much for. They also get a very good quarterback as well, as RG3 has a great arm, great speed and great decision making skills. RG3 also brings something to Washington that the fans there haven’t seen in years: Excitement.
3. Minnesota Vikings- Matt Kalil, OT, USC. While rumors have swirled about the Dolphins trying to get this pick, I think the Vikings should take Kalil here because the biggest need they have is at offensive tackle. Christian Ponder won’t last long if he has no one to block his blind side. Kalil is an instant starter at left tackle and the best blocker in the draft.
4. Cleveland Browns- Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama. The Browns are the wild card so far, as they have also discussed Ryan Tannehill here. Richardson makes the most sense, as he gives the offense a big time playmaker, as he can run and catch. He is a pounder when running the ball which is something the Browns need in the toughest division in the NFL the AFC North.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU. This is an obvious choice for Tampa, who are looking to bolster a struggling defense. Claiborne is the best defender in the draft at CB, and has the potential to be an absolute shut down corner in the league. Claiborne doesn’t miss many tackles and makes great plays on the ball.
6. St. Louis Rams- Justin Blackmon, WR, Ok. St. The Rams get the big play receiver that they have needed since they drafted Sam Bradford. Blackmon is said to have tiny hands for a wide out but he makes great and tough catches. Blackmon also helps to take the playmaking load off of aging running back Stephen Jackson. Don’t be surprised if Blackmon becomes the leader of the Rams offense very early.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars- Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina. The Jags need a big time pass rusher and Ingram is just that. The Jags have been rumored to want to trade down so don’t be surprised if this pick becomes Ryan Tannehill for the Cleveland Browns if they pony up the picks. For now though the Jags take Ingram and get a Julius Peppers style player to bolster a weak pass rush, Ingram is the best pick and fit for the Jags.
8. Miami Dolphins- Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M. The Dolphins have Matt Moore and David Garrard under contract, but are looking at the future here. Tannehill will need time before he’s ready to start in the NFL, but ending up on the team that now employs his former college coach as its OC is the best fit for him. Tannehill will sit for now but don’t be surprised if he takes well to this offense and is injected at some point this season.
9. Carolina Panthers- Fletcher Cox, DT, Miss. St. The Panthers really need to focus on defense this year, as it kept them from a better record last year. Cox has surged to the top of the DT board, and would give the Panthers a huge presence in the middle of a defensive line that was just awful last year. Cox can be the cog they need against the rush and can get after the QB, just what the doctor ordered for a team that had lots of offensive punch but a defensive glass jaw.
10. Buffalo Bills- Reilly Reiff, OT, Iowa. The Bills have plenty of needs but none more than the o line as they need to keep Ryan Fitzpatrick off his back. Behind Matt Kalil, Reiff is the next best lineman on the board, and he has quick feet and good hands which are very big pluses for offensive lineman. Reiff will help sure up a mediocre offensive line and make it very good.
11. Kansas City Chiefs- David Decastro, G, Stanford. The Chiefs have a new head coach and new OC, both of whom like to run the ball, a lot. And with Jamaal Charles coming back and new addition Peyton Hillis in KC, the offensive line needs an improvement. Decastro is a people mover and will fit perfectly into Brian Dabolls offense.
12. Seattle Seahawks- Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College. The Seahawks have the weapons they need on offense, so its time to focus on the defense. The Seahawks don’t have an inside linebacker that fits the mold of starter at this point and Kuechly fits the bill. Kuechly has great athleticism and pursues the ball very well, and can flat out get to the QB.
13. Arizona Cardinals- Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame. With no top offensive lineman left here the Cardinals will take Floyd and put him across the field from Larry Fitzgerald. That combo could really help the offense and a struggling Kevin Kolb. Floyd is a good receiver and across from Fitzgerald he can become very good, and help keep teams from double teaming number 11.
14. Dallas Cowboys- Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama. The Cowboys are in need of defense, especially in the secondary. They signed safety Brodney Pool, which is only a band aid but they can address the issue later on. Kirkpatrick is a very athletic corner who makes good decisions and has superb coverage skills, not to mention that he has the potential to become a very good blitz corner if given the opportunity.
15. Philadelphia Eagles- Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis. The Eagles don’t really have a need for defensive line but it never hurts to have depth. Poe has tremendous upside and is great at being a big clog in the run defense. Quinton Coples just has too many red flags to be taken by a team that has enough already.
16. New York Jets- Quinton Coples, DE/DT, UNC. The Jets love a circus, and well adding Coples is just more of the same. Red flags aside Coples is a very good player, and a very good pass rusher, which is something that the Jets needed bad last season. While he may not play a lot right away when he does expect big impact.
17. Cincinnati Bengals- Mark Barron, S, Alabama. Safety is a big issue for the Bengals, and Barron fits the bill for this defense. Barron will be tested right away as the Bengals will open against the Baltimore Ravens. Barron is a solid tackler and can become the next great safety to play in the AFC North.
18. San Diego Chargers- Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama. The Chargers need a pass rusher and well Alabama has been great at producing defensive talent in recent years. Upshaw is not exception, can get after the QB has a high motor, and is just plain nasty against blockers.
19. Chicago Bears- Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor. RG3s favorite target goes to the windy city, to play opposite newly acquired Brandon Marshall. Wright has great speed and will be a great weapon for Jay Cutler, not to mention he helps keep teams from going double team happy on Marshall. The bears do have other needs but this is a great addition for a team that needs weapons at the wide out position.
20. Tennessee Titans- Chandler Jones, DE/OLB, Syracuse. The Titans need more defensive line help beside Kameron Wimbley and jones is the best available. While he can be a hybrid don’t look for the titans to use him that way, he will be strictly defensive end. Putting Jones alongside Wimbley gives the defense a good tandem to help keep QBs at bay.
21. Cincinnati Bengals- Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina. The Bengals will continue to bolster the secondary with Gilmore, whos stock has really risen in recent weeks. While people may say that putting two rookie in the secondary isn’t a good idea can look just up interstate 71 and Cleveland who a couple years ago put Joe Haden and T.J. Ward in the defensive secondary as rookies and produced the best pass defense in the league.
22. Cleveland Browns- Cordy Glenn, G, Georgia. The Browns need offensive line help as outside of Alex Mack and Joe Thomas the o line stunk for them last year. Glenn will come in and plug the left guard position left blank by Eric Steinbach who was cut last month. Glenn will help keep Colt McCoy from taking beatings week in and week out.
23. Detroit Lions- Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State. Detroit doesn’t need more headaches and taking Adams is a smart PR move and helps add depth on the offensive line. Adams is a solid blocker more suited for the right side in the NFL as he doesn’t really have the athleticism needed to play the left side.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers- Dont’a Hightower, ILB, Alabama. The Alabama defensive train keeps rolling here. The Steelers have let go off James Farrior and Larry Foote isn’t the answer, plus the defense needs to undergo a youth movement. Hightower is a high energy linebacker, he is physical and nasty and makes plays all over the field. He can cover big tight ends as well, something the Steelers need from this position.
25. Denver Broncos- Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin. The Broncos have plenty of needs, but the biggest need is keeping Peyton Manning healthy. Konz is a big nasty center, and will instantly become the leader of the offensive line. Konz will be the biggest reason Manning stays off his back most of the season.
26. Houston Texans- Stephen Hill, WR, Ga. Tech. The Texans missed Andre Johnson for a big part of last season, and Hill will give them a liable go to option alongside Johnson. It also takes pressure off Johnson which could help him stay healthy and keep him around longer.
27. New England Patriots- Michael Brockers, DT, LSU. The Pats need defense and bad. The defense was absolutely terrible last season. Brockers will help keep offenses from rolling all over this defense. Brocker is big and athletic and is mainly a run stuffer which is what the Pats really could have used in the Super Bowl.
28. Green Bay Packers- Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois. Mercilus slides a little but the Packers get a steal. They need pass rush help outside of Clay Matthews. Mercilus is a hybrid play which helps in Dom Capers defense. Mercilus is a vast improvement at the position, and will make Matthews more expendable to do other things.
29. Baltimore Ravens- Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina. Jeffery jumps back into the first round and the Ravens get a steal. The Ravens are looking into a receiver, and Jeffery has great size and big play ability. Not to mention he just catches the ball, something Lee Evans couldn’t seem to do.
30. San Francisco 49ers- Reuben Randle, WR, LSU. While many think S.F. will take a tight end here, I just don’t see it. Even though they added Mario Manningham and Randy Moss, Randle gives them yet another threat at receiver, not to mention Moss only got a one year deal, and if Michael Crabtree doesn’t turn around quick this could turn into a very good pick for the 49ers.
31. New England Patriots- Shea McClellin, DE/OLB, Boise State. The Pats are rumored to be shopping this pick, but they still need defensive help so just compiling picks makes no sense at all. McClellin would play OLB in the 3-4 and DE in the 4-3 for the Pats, and hes a very solid defender and he can cover big chunks of the field.
32. New York Giants- Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford. The Giants are in need for a TE as both of their starters won’t be ready for the start of the season. Fleener is the best available at the position and will quickly become Eli’s security blanket, and he is a great blocker in the run game, something that helps his stock in New York.
Well there you have it, my take on the draft for next week. Now I’m sure most of this is pure guessing, because you don’t know what teams like Cleveland and New England will do. As always look for big moves and huge surprises as the NFL may have ended two months ago but the new season is starting to heat up.