1. Kansas City Chiefs
Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M — The Chiefs are in a real situation here. I guess with Branden Albert being a free agent and Andy Reid’s track record of selecting linemen, this choice makes sense. The ideal would be for the Chiefs to have an Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III to choose from, but that’s clearly not the case. We’ve had other guys in this slot like Geno Smith and Manti Te’o (what a joke that turned out to be) and Joeckel appears to be the consensus flavor of the month.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars
.Jarvis Jones, DE/OLB, Georgia — We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: The Jaguars have a terrible pass rush. That will instantly change with the acquisition of Jarvis Jones, one of the elite pass rushers in the country over the last two seasons.
3. Oakland Raiders
Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah — The Raiders’ run defense has been abysmal, and Star Lotulelei has the ability to be a Pro Bowl caliber defender from day one. Richard Seymour and Desmond Bryant are also free agents, so this move makes sense of a number of levels.
4. Philadelphia Eagles
Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia — Chip Kelly is in as the Eagles’ new head coach, and item number one on his list has to be getting a QB who can run his system. Mobility is not a requirement but is certainly preferred for effectiveness, and I think Geno Smith will be his guy come draft day unless it’s clear they are keeping Mike Vick around. Nick Foles was decent this past year as the starter when called upon, but is he going to be Chip Kelly’s personal choice?
5. Detroit Lions
Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M — Cliff Avril is a free agent, and Kyle Vanden Bosch is getting up there in age. The Lions need to upgrade their pass rush from the DE spot anyway. Damontre Moore burst onto the scene as a junior and is worth a top five selection in this draft.
6. Cleveland Browns
Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State — Werner is a hard-nosed defensive end prospect who can play probably the best all-around game of any end in this year’s draft group. He would help shore up a defensive front for the Browns that is rapidly improving with Jabaal Sheard and Phil Taylor.
7. Arizona Cardinals
Matt Barkley, QB, USC — Shocker here. The Cardinals hired Bruce Arians to be their head coach, and he’s had some pretty great success developing QBs in this league. The key for Arizona is going to be upgrading their offensive line in free agency and the other rounds of this draft. However, I don’t see Barkley getting very far even though people have dropped him way down on their boards.
8. Buffalo Bills
Mike Glennon, QB, North Carolina State — Let me just preface this by saying that Glennon is not a first round prospect. However, there are far too many people who believe him to be a first rounder for me to simply not include him in here because of my own personal analysis. Glennon has good arm strength but doesn’t appear to be any better of a pro prospect than Nick Foles.
9. New York Jets
Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU — Mingo is lightning fast off the ball, and would really provide the Jets with a potential elite pass rusher, something they’ve needed for quite some time now.
10. Tennessee Titans
Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama — Warmack is a very rare guard prospect who is as good as they come, and he happens to fill one of the Titans’ glaring needs in the trenches. The All-American will start immediately and be a great player for years to come.
11. San Diego Chargers
Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan — The Chargers made a bold move going with Mike McCoy as their head coach, and were also able to snatch Ken Whisenhunt as the team’s offensive coordinator. If there’s one thing Whiz is going to chime in while the draft is going on, it’s that Phil Rivers won’t be able to do anything without better protection.
12. Miami Dolphins
Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee — Here comes one of the big surprises of the first round. The Dolphins are going into a season where they will have a nicely developed second-year QB and a complete lack of wide receivers. If they are able to land a big name free agent like Greg Jennings, I think you still have to supplement with a pick like this on draft day. Patterson is a guy who broke out after spending just one year at Tennessee, showing he can make plays all over the field.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama — The fall ends here for the talented corner out of ‘Bama, who will instantly become a starter for the Bucs. This is a team that traded away Aqib Talib last year and needs a revamping at the position.
14. Carolina Panthers
Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri — The Panthers tried to deny their need at defensive tackle for a year, and it can’t be ignored again this year. Richardson can get pressure up the middle and free up Carolina’s new tandem of top tier pass rushers, Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy.
15. New Orleans Saints
Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State — Hankins is a huge defensive tackle prospect who can occupy blockers and penetrate into the backfield. That is a foreign concept to Saints fans, who are losing Sedrick Ellis to free agency this year.
16. St. Louis Rams
Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma — It seems like upgrading the offensive line is long overdue for the Rams. It’s time to shore up that offensive tackle spot that has been so shaky, and doing it with a guy like Lane Johnson–a hot prospect right now–is a good way to go.