1. Kansas City Chiefs
Linebacker, Notre Dame — The Chiefs are moving toward a new era, and if Scott Pioli sticks around as expected, the team may look to add a veteran quarterback and pick up a quarterback for the defense. This is a team with five pro bowl players, so the talent is there. The Chiefs should be able to get a guy like Alex Smith or Michael Vick while they wait for a good value in the second round at quarterback, potentially with Mike Glennon or Matt Barkley.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars
.Linebacker, Georgia — Jones is an elite pass rusher, and the Jaguars could really use his services. The Jags finished 32nd in the NFL with 20 sacks, five fewer than the next worst team, and more than 30 fewer than the best in the NFL. Jones should be an immediate impact in that department.
3. Oakland Raiders
. Star Lotulelei
. Defensive Tackle, Utah — The Raiders gave up nearly 300 yards of rushing to one man at one point this season, and Lotulelei is a guy who can prevent that from happening ever again. He is a big, stout defensive tackle prospect who has an opportunity to be really special.
4. Philadelphia Eagles
. Luke Joeckel
. Offensive Tackle, Texas A&M — If there’s one thing the Eagles need, it’s some protection for their quarterback, be it Nick Foles or whoever. Joeckel was part of an incredible offensive team this season, and is probably the best overall offensive player available in this draft.
5. Detroit Lions
. Dee Milliner
. Cornerback, Alabama — The Lions were among the league’s worst with just 11 interceptions this season. Milliner can help them force more turnovers.
6. Cleveland Browns
. Damontre Moore
. Defensive End, Texas A&M — The Browns’ defense was greatly improved this season, but they could still use help in the pass rush department opposite Jabaal Sheard. Moore was a breakout player this year who has Pro Bowl capabilities.
7. Arizona Cardinals
. Taylor Lewan
. Offensive Tackle, Michigan — The Cardinals desperately need OL help. If they had the number one pick, there’s no doubt it’d be either Lewan or Luke Joeckel. This will be a much needed pickup if they can get him.
8. Buffalo Bills
. Geno Smith
. Quarterback, West Virginia — Time for a change at QB for the Bills. Geno Smith was, in my opinion, the best QB in the country this season. He had some struggles late, but he proved he can sling it around the field and put up a ton of points.
9. New York Jets
. Bjoern Werner
. Defensive End/Linebacker, Florida State — The Jets need help on the defensive front, and at the quarterback position. Werner is a guy who can be a huge impact player for years to come as a hybrid linebacker/defensive end.
10. Tennessee Titans
. Johnathan Hankins
. Defensive Tackle, Ohio State — The Titans need a big, stout defensive tackle to anchor the middle of their line trying to stop Arian Foster and Andrew Luck for the next few years. Hankins is a guy who can not only occupy blockers, but make a lot of plays behind the line of scrimmage.
11. San Diego Chargers
. Keenan Allen
. Wide Receiver, California — The Chargers’ loss of Vincent Jackson proved to be huge. Allen is arguably the best receiver in the draft who can develop into a solid #1.
12. Miami Dolphins
. DeAndre Hopkins
. Wide Receiver, Clemson — Hopkins really broke out this season, and proved against LSU that he can be an elite receiver. If he leaves a year early, this would be a fantastic pickup for the Dolphins who need big playmakers on the outside.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
. Barkevious Mingo
. Defensive End, LSU — The Bucs were 30th in the NFL in sacks this season, which won’t be acceptable in a division with three Pro Bowl caliber quarterbacks. Mingo is a pass rush specialist who can cause havoc for QBs.
14. Carolina Panthers
. Sheldon Richardson
. Defensive Tackle, Missouri — The Panthers were reportedly sold on their DTs prior to the season. They were a respectable 14th against the rush, but Richardson could also improve a defensive front that had only a handful of sacks from the defensive end position.
15. New Orleans Saints
. Jesse Williams
. Defensive Tackle, Alabama — The Saints were the worst run defending team in the NFL this season, and that cost them a shot at the playoffs. Williams is a stout run defender who can anchor the middle of the defensive line.
16. St. Louis Rams
. Eric Fisher
. Offensive Tackle, Central Michigan — It’s time for the Rams to start protecting Sam Bradford, who is presumably on his last life. Pass protection was improved a bit this past year, but Bradford was still sacked 35 times and the running game wasn’t anything great. Fisher is a hard-nosed dude who can improve the Rams’ front.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers
. Dion Jordan
. Defensive End/Outside Linebacker, Oregon — Jordan’s physical skill set and upside as a pass rusher might be too much for the defensive minded Steelers to pass up on at this point.
18. Dallas Cowboys
. Ezekiel Ansah
. Defensive End/Outside Linebacker, BYU — The Cowboys could be planning for life after Anthony Spencer, who is a big part of their defense. Even if they’re not, it’s not a bad idea to get a guy who has been compared to Jason Pierre-Paul at this juncture.
19. New York Giants
. Sam Montgomery
. Defensive End, LSU — Osi Umenyiora is likely done as a Giant, and Justin Tuck/Jason Pierre-Paul weren’t their usual dominant selves. The Giants averaged just two sacks per game, which is really low for them. Nobody had double-digit sack totals.
20. Chicago Bears
. Chance Warmack
. Offensive Guard, Alabama — Warmack is arguably the best OL prospect in the draft, and there’s no question the Bears have to upgrade their offensive line drastically.
21. Cincinnati Bengals
. Matt Elam
. Safety, Florida — Elam decided to enter the draft and could be a huge playmaker for a Bengals defense that is already really talented and tough to play against. Chris Crocker will be 33 after the season, and though he helped co-lead the team in INTs, a future upgrade could be considered.
22. St. Louis Rams (from Washington)
. Johnathan Cooper
. Offensive Guard, North Carolina — If the Rams can upgrade their running game, their offense could take it to the next level. Cooper is a very solid OG prospect who could help them do that.
23. Minnesota Vikings
. Johnthan Banks
. Cornerback, Mississippi State — The Vikings have struggled to find players to make an impact at the CB position, especially with how injury prone some of their studs are. Banks is a guy who could start in the league for a long time.
24. Baltimore Ravens
. Kenny Vaccaro
. Safety, Texas — Ed Reed is getting older, and may not play much longer. The Ravens’ defense is in need of a youth movement where Hall of Famers could soon leave voids. Vaccaro is a very good safety prospect who can help this defense immediately.
25. Indianapolis Colts
. Johnathan Jenkins
. Defensive Tackle, Georgia — The Colts need a big nose tackle if they’re going to compete against Arian Foster and the Texans for the division crown. They already appear up to the task, but Jenkins would be a great addition up front for a defense that needs some beef on the inside.
26. Seattle Seahawks
. Cordarrelle Patterson
. Wide Receiver, Tennessee — Patterson is a great playmaker at the receiver position with size and the ability to contribute as a return specialist as well. The Seahawks could use some upgrades at the WR position this offseason to help out Russell Wilson, even though they have some intriguing names there anyway. They didn’t bring in Terrell Owens and Braylon Edwards because they weren’t desperate at one point.
27. Green Bay Packers
. Zach Ertz
. Tight End, Stanford — Jermichael Finley may be on his way out, and Ertz would be an excellent replacement. He is a red zone nightmare. If the Packers lose Greg Jennings and Finley, their WR/TE positions will be in need of upgrades.
28. Houston Texans
. Terrance Williams
. Wide Receiver, Baylor — Andre Johnson needs someone to take pressure off of him. Kevin Walter can be okay, and DeVier Posey/Keshawn Martin appear as though they’ll develop into solid players. But Williams has potential to be a really good receiver in the NFL.
29. San Francisco 49ers
. Tyler Eifert
. Tight End, Notre Dame — The Niners don’t have many needs. We’ll re-assess their situation after free agency, but with the recent additions of A.J. Jenkins and LaMichael James combined with the emergence of Colin Kaepernick and Michael Crabtree, this offense is on the upswing for the future. Eifert could play some WR/TE just like Vernon Davis and the Niners would have so many mismatch problems the way Harbaugh was able to create at Stanford.
30. New England Patriots
. Tavon Austin
. Wide Receiver, West Virginia — I don’t think Wes Welker will be back with the Pats next year. Maybe I’m wrong, but the Patriots need upgrades at this position anyway. They have a logjam of “guys” at the position outside of Welker and Brandon Lloyd, who are both getting older as it is. Austin is a very versatile playmaker who can make a huge impact with Tom Brady throwing him passes.
31. Denver Broncos
. Eric Reid
. Safety, LSU — The Broncos saw great improvement from second year player Rahim Moore in 2012, and while his presumed running mate Quinton Carter missed the entire season, I think the Broncos would still look to upgrade at the safety position. Eric Reid is a consensus All-SEC, All-American talent at the safety position with size and speed. He could be a great fit in John Fox/Jack Del Rio’s defensive look. Not to mention, he could improve a Broncos team that only had 17 interceptions with a defensive front that got to the QB an NFL-best 52 times.
32. Atlanta Falcons
. Barrett Jones
. Center, Alabama — The Falcons need an upgrade on the interior offensive line, and Jones can provide that. The versatile All-American would be a great addition to an already stacked roster that needs help up front.