April 24, 2013

    P represents projected trades
    1 KANSAS CITY The Chiefs appear to be holding onto the hope that just maybe they'll be able to trade out of the #1 spot, but if they aren't already deep in negotiations with someone, they likely will be staying put. If they do stay at #1 OT Luke Joeckel looks like a lock to be the pick, although fellow OT Eric Fisher may still be in the picture:
    Projected pick: Texas A&M OT Luke Joeckel

    2 JACKSONVILLE In a sense the real intrigue of the 2013 draft starts with the Jags at the #2 pick, assuming, that the Chiefs haven't traded the pick to someone who takes QB Geno Smith ahead of the Jags. The new Jaguars' management has to feel that they can't win with incumbent starter Blaine Gabbert and the first key moment of the draft will be whether the Jags bite the bullet and select Smith. If they don't take Smith, the Jags could go in a number of ways; they could take the OT that KC passes on, although that will be a tad high for a guy who is going to be a RT for awhile. Or the Jags could give new head coach Gus Bradley, a defensive  guy, a new toy like DE Dion Jordan or CB Dee Milliner. In fact, we suspect new Jags' G.M. David Caldwell gave it away at the team's pre-draft presser earlier in the week that Smith will be the pick. And it makes sense because this is a franchise that desperately needs a splash and Smith is the closest thing in this draft.
    Projected pick: West Virginia QB Geno Smith

    DETROIT (from Oakland) The Raiders are another team that could go in anyone of a half dozen directions with the 3rd pick, so will still get a guy that can contribute if they are able to drop down a few spots; plus they may be able to recoup the second rounder they sent to Cincinnati to complete the original Carson Palmer trade. Meanwhile, Detroit appears to have targetted one of OT Eric Fisher or CB Dee Milliner. However, one can find a solid cover corner in a lot of places, whereas elite LTs just don't come along all that often and Fisher isn't likely to get past the 4th pick in one way or another. It would cost the Lions their second round pick (#36) to move up, but could give them an anchor for the offensive line for the next decade.
    Projected pick: Central Michigan OT Eric Fisher

    The Eagles likely hope Fisher drops to them at the 4th pick as they could either take him themsleves or provide a number of trade opportunities to teams like Miami, San Diego or Arizona. OT Lane Johnson would make a nice consolation prize, although again that's somewhat high for a guy who is going to play on the right side. Meanwhile, Dion Jordan, who played for new Eagles' head coach Chip Kelly at Oregon, DT Sharrif Floyd and CB Dee Milliner would also all each make sense. And in the end, though, it may be that Duck blood is indeed thicker than water or something like that!
    Projected pick: Oregon OLB Dion Jordan
    OAKLAND (from Detroit)
    If they stay at #5 the Lions they could jump all over Milliner if Fisher is off the board. For their part, Raiders could very well take Dion Jordan over DT Sharrif Floyd if they were still at #3. However, the Raiders head into the draft with job #1 of upgrading a sad defensive front and Floyd also makes a ton of sense.
    Projected pick: Florida DT Sharrif Floyd

    CLEVELAND The Browns could very well trade this pick, although the one exception would be if CB Dee Milliner is still on the board when they get on the clock, although they could get some calls from teams looking to trade up to get OT Lane Johnson.
    Projected pick: Alabama CB Dee Milliner
    7 ARIZONA The Cardinals will likely be thrilled if Johnson is still on the board when they ge on the clock with the 7th pick; in fact, the odds are better than even that he won't be, but if he is its a no-brainer. On the other hand, if Johnson is already gone, the Cards could go inseveral directions; for example, they could  still address the offensive line with OG Chance Warmack, or go in another direction and add DE Ziggy Ansah or even big-play receiver Tavon Austin.
    Projected pick: Oklahoma OT Lane Johnson

    St. Louis (from Buffalo) The Bills are about on record as a team can be that they'll be taking a QB with their opening round pick, but this is way too early for the remaining QBs so likely will be looking to trade down somewhere. Meanwhile, the Rams are believed to really like WR Tavon Austin, arguably this year's most dynamic offensive playmaker, but he isn't going to last until the 16th pick. It will cost the Rams their second round pick (#46), but they still have another first rounder to work with later on.
    Projected pick: West Virginia WR Tavon Austin
    NEW YORK JETS Having acquired the 13th pick from Tampa Bay for disgruntled CB Darrelle Revis, the Jets are in position to move up  in the top 10, although it may be too far to get up to have a shot at QB Geno Smith were they so inclined. The Jets could also conceivably try and move up to get one of OLB Dion Jordan, 5T DE Sharrif Floyd or rush LB Dion Jordan. Failing that, DE Ziggy Ansah, who figures to be a rush-LB in the Jets 3-4 scheme, could be attractive fall-back option.
    Projected pick: BYU DE/LB Ziggy Ansah

    TENNESSEE It appears that the Titans could end up with a choice of OGs Chance Warmack or Johnathan Cooper or DTs Star Lotulelei or Sheldon Richardson, all of whom have legit top 10 potential. Pairing Warmack, who many consider to be one of the top prospects in the draft at any position, with newly-signed OG Andy Levitre to block for Chris Johnson would be an awfully appealing option for the Titans. However, so would Lotulelei, who was also considered to be a top 5 prospect before being sidelined by that heart trouble earlier this year. In the end it may come down to the fact that a good DT can make a bigger individual  impact on a game than an invidual OG, although Lotulelei's health may still be a red flag for a lot of teams.
    Projected pick:
    Utah DT Star Lotulelei
    11 SAN DIEGO In a perfect world, the Chargers would like to get one of the three top OTs and could conceivably try and trade up to get one. However, the Chargers OL is so bad across the board that either of OGs Chance Warmack or Jonathan Cooper would be a nice consolation prize, although the Chargers could also give edge rush LBs Barkevious Mingo and/or Jarvis Jones some serious consideration.
    Projected pick: Alabama OG Chance Warmack
    12 MIAMI The Dolphins first choice appears to be to move up and get either of OTs Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher; they could also consider moving up to take OT Lane Johnson, but aren't thought to be as high on him as the other two. Failing that the Dolphins may very well opt to trade one of their two second rounders to Kansas City for veteran LT Branden Albert. Miami would then  like to trade down because there are really no CBs or DEs that would be worth the 12th pick, but just may not get any takers given the players on the board. And that could leave the Dolphins with a difficult choice although management seems to think that one can never have enough DTs, especially when they are the top rated player left on the board.
    Projected pick: Missouri DT Sheldon Richardson
    NEW YORK JETS (from Tampa Bay) The Jets could simply use the 13th pick acquired from Tampa Bay to replace CB Darrelle Revis with either a Xavier Rhodes or D.J. Hayden. Or they could try and give embattled QB Mark Sanchez and the offense some help by selecting either of WR Cordarelle Patterson or big OT D.J. Fluker who could be an immediate upgrade at RT which has been more like a turnstile in recent years.
    Projected pick: Alabama OT D.J. Fluker
    Ironically, the Panthers short list for the 14th pick could come down to a couple of former North Carolina Tar Heels in OG Jonathan Cooper and rising DT Sly Williams, although WR Cordarelle Patterson could also figure in the mix. However, the Panthers should be able to get some help for Steve Smith in later rounds. And while OG Cooper may be the higher rated player, DT Williams addresses a bigger need, plus he may have more upside.
    Projected pick: North Carolina DT Sly Williams
    15 NEW ORLEANS The Saints have a major headache at LT, but aren't going to be able to do much about it with the 15th pick. However, the Saints may be able to do something to help one of the worst defenses in NFL history with edge rushers Barkevious Mingo and Jarvis Jones still on the board. And it could be a tough call between the angular, athletic Mingo, who was never super productive at LSU, and Jarvis, who ripped up the SEC for 28 sacks over the past couple of years, but tested badly in pre-draft trials. In the end, the Saints may go with upside, not to mention a little hometown discount.
    Projected pick: LSU OLB Barkevious Mingo
    BUFFALO (from St. Louis)
    It may not be whether the Bills select a QB somewhere in this year's opening round, but which one. Ryan Nassib may have something of an inside track as he ran new Buffalo head coach Doug Marrone's offense at Syracuse last fall, but E.J. Manuel may be the better talent, while USC's Matt Barkley has the pedigree.
    Projected pick: Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib
    17 PITTSBURGH It is almost shocking how many holes the perennial contender Steelers could address with the 17th including WR (Cordarelle Patterson); TE (Tyler Eifert); S (Kenny Vaccaro) and OLB (Jarvis Jones), not to mention needing help at RB and the defensive line they likely won't be able to address until later rounds. Any one of those guys would be a nice fit, but the Steelers didn't win all those Super Bowls without staying true to their board and Jones is the highest rated.
    Projected pick: Georgia OLB Jarvis Jones.
    18 DALLAS The Cowboys say they'd like to trade down, but may not find much in the way of takers, although several players including WR Cordarelle Patterson and safety Kenny Vaccaro might draw some interest. However, even Jerry Jones might be tempted to sit tight if someone like OG Jonathan Cooper, a legit top 10 prospect who may slip because of the position he plays, was still on the board at #18. Projected pick: North Carolina OG Jonathan Cooper
    The Giants are another team that will stay true to its board, however, the team's war room has its own drummer and they often march to their own beat. As such, it wouldn't be a total shock if the guys on the Giants short list at #19 aren't the players popuarly rated in that range such as CB Xavier Rhodes, DE Bjoern Werner, TE Tyler Eifert and safety Kenny Vaccaro, none of whom looks to be a particularly good scheme fit with the Giants. Indeed, it wouldn't be a surprise here if the two players the Giants were considering were CB D.J. Hayden and DEs Datone Jones and Tank Carradine.
    Projected pick: Houston CB D.J. Hayden
    CHICAGO Much of the focus in Chicago has been finding a replacement for MLB Brian Urlacher who got the bum's rush out of town. That set off a rash of Manti Te'o speculation with Notre Dame just down the road. While the Bears did investigate Te'o one has to figure its more in the context of their second round pick. Besides if the Bears were to opt to use the 20th pick to replace Brian Urlacher, Alec Ogletree who be a much better option, although his baggage makes Te'o's looks like child's play. Neither is likely, though, as winning championships isn't always about just filling needs. Indeed, the Bears may have a shot at a number of potential impact types like WR Cordarelle Patterson and CB Xavier Rhodes. In fact, by adding a WR like Patterson, or even Robert Woods, to pair with Brandon Marshall, the Bears could start to field an offense that was very difficult to match up with.
    Projected pick: Tennessee WR Cordarelle Patterson
    21 CINCINNATI The Bengals biggest issues entering the draft are at RB and safety. And while they'll likely will have to wait until the second round to get a look at a RB like Eddie Lacy or Johnathan Franklin, the Bengals are hopeful that FS Kenny Vaccaro will be there at #21; if he is its almost a no-brainer such that the Bengals, with a couple of second rounders, could even consider moving up to get him; on the other hand, things could get a little complicated for the Bengals if Vaccaro is off the board at that point; LB Alec Ogletree might be an option, as might DEs Bjoern Werner and Datone Jones, while TE Tyler Eifert would fit the BPA category.
    Projected pick: Texas FS Kenny Vaccaro
    P22 ATLANTA (from Washington thru St. Louis)
    The Falcons have made no secret about the fact that they would like to move up from the 30th pick if a quality CB came into range. And with Xavier Rhodes still on the board they may decide to pull the string in a deal with the Rams. Conversely it may make sense for the Rams to move down as they likely would like a safety which would be better value at #30.
    Projected pick: Florida State CB Xavier Rhodes
    MINNESOTA With 6 picks in the first 120 selections this year, including 2 of the next 3, the Vikings don't have to force anything at positions of need including WR, DT, LB and CB. It will also put them in position to do some moving around the board if the opportunity present itself. If they stand pat in the opening round, though, they should get a look at at least a couple of good wideouts in Robert Woods and Keenan Allen as well as a decent CB in Desmond Trufant and an intriguing, albeit puzzling LB in Alec Ogletree.
    Projected pick: Washington CB Desmond Trufant
    INDIANAPOLIS After restocking the offense with Andrew Luck and company last April, the Colts need to infuse some talent into the defense starting with an anemic pass rush. And the Colts could be presented with several decent options including DE/LB Damontre Moore and DEs Datone Jones and Tank Carradine, along with possibly Bjoern Werner whose stock has dipped after a disappointing combine.
    Projected pick: Florida State DE Bjoern Werner
    25 MINNESOTA (from Seattle) See #23: Projected pick: Southern California WR Robert Woods
    The Packers enter the draft needing help at safety, RB, OT, and OLB and could look at a number of prospects including FS Eric Reid, OT Menelik Watson and DE/OLB Damontre Moore. The Packers also need to get quicker on their 3-man defensive front and DE Datone Jones, who has good size for a DE with pass-rush abilities has the tools to work as a 5T DE in their scheme. However, because there may not be much to choose between several players on the Packers radar, there is a chance they also seriously entertain trade offers.
    Projected pick: UCLA DE Datone Jones.
    HOUSTON The best thing the Texans need to get to the next level is a quality WR to pair with Andre Johnson and should get a look several decent options including Keenan Allen, DeAndre Hopkins and Justin Hunter, although OLB Damontre Moore could also be tempting. In fact, both Allen and Hunter could end up being a special talents in the NFL once he gets healthy with the latter potentailly providing an atheltic big-play threat.
    Projected pick: Tennessee WR Justin Hunter
    28 DENVER The Broncos bungled star DE Elvis Dumervil right out of town and need a replacement, but may be in luck with the 28th pick if DEs like Damontre Moore and Tank Carradine are still on the board. Projected pick: Florida State DE Tank Carradine
    NEW ENGLAND Time was when the Patriots seemed to own the draft, but this year Bill Belicek and crew have only 5 pickls to work with so expect them to so trading down in order to increase that number. At the same time, though, it might be tough to move down with several good prospects on the board including TE Tyler Eifert and WRs Keenan Allen and DeAndre Hopkins, with Allen a potential steal once he gets healthy.
    Projected pick: California WR Keenan Allen.
    ST. LOUIS (from Atlanta) The Rams might think about moving down into this range in order to get a safety like Eric Reid, however, at some point TE Tyler Eifert is going to be too good value to pass on even though the Rams signed veteran TE Jared Cook in the off-season; besides a young QB like Sam Bradford can never have enough targets. Interesting that Eifert could also be a target of the Falcons if they stay at #30 with Tony Gonzales playing his final year again this fall.
    Projected pick: Notre Dame TE Tyler Eifert
    SAN FRANCISCO The 49ers could quite literally take a half dozen players with the 31st pick including safety Eric Reid, CB Jamar Taylor, WR DeAndre Hopkins, and DE Margus Hunt. The rich could get richer though with Damontre Moore still on the board who would give the 49ers pass rush one more weapon.
    Projected pick: Texas A&M OLB Damontre Moore
    The Ravens have a wish list that may include a lot of the same names on the 49ers list including WR DeAndre Hopkins and safety Eric Reid. There will also be some buzz whether this is where Manti Te'o lands although as noted above Alec Ogletree is probably the better prospect. However, the Ravens still have an issue at LT that they could address with OT Menelik Watson, the former British basketball player who has morphed into one of the more athletic prospects at the position in this year's draft. Projected pick: Florida State OT Menelik Watson

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