1. Kansas City Chiefs — Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
The Chiefs ended all speculation that they might draft a quarterback when they picked up (will pick up) Alex Smith from the San Francisco 49ers. Despite their best efforts, though, the Chiefs gave up too much I think. The only way for them to prove people wrong is to win ball games. Alex Smith has done just that for the last two seasons with the Niners, and if not for a concussion, we may be talking about him as the highest paid QB in the league instead of Joe Flacco (had he led the NIners to a title). So, the Chiefs go with the next best option, which would be left tackle Luke Joeckel. Joeckel has a chance to be a long term starter for this team at left tackle, and that’s something they can’t pass on in this situation.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars — Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon
Despite a shoulder surgery coming up, Jordan lit up the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine (as expected). He is an athletic freak, and a potentially dominant pass rusher in the NFL. The Jags have a huge void at DE, LB, and DL in general. Jordan fills multiple needs with one pick, and could make the rest of the players on the Jacksonville D that much better.
3. Oakland Raiders — Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
The Raiders are a mess as a whole. The defense is in a shambles right now, and they need an identity. I’m not saying they will find it with Sharrif Floyd, but he’s certainly capable of being a disruptive force on the defensive line with the expected departures of Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly.
4. Philadelphia Eagles — Star Lotulelei, DL, Utah
Lotulelei could really fall in this draft if his heart problem is something serious, but for now, I think he’s still a really good fit for the Eagles’ defense as an end in their 3-4 alignment. He can be one of the best players in this class if his health checks out. If not, we’ll have to update this mock but until the medical results for Lotulelei come back, we still think he’s a top 10 pick.
5. Detroit Lions — Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Peter King says if any team wants Milliner, they’re going to have to jump the Detroit Lions. This is a great fit for the big, speedy corner who dominated as a junior last season.
6. Cleveland Browns — Ezekiel Ansah, DE/OLB, BYU
Ansah is a freak of an athlete, and a big defensive end hybrid who can instantly upgrade the Browns’ pass rush. Jabaal Sheard appears to be a cornerstone for the defensive front, but the Browns need more playmakers. Ansah can be that guy.
7. Arizona Cardinals — Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
I’ve been mocking the Cardinals the best offensive lineman for weeks now, but I’m not sure they’d pass on the opportunity to draft a potential franchise quarterback. Eric Fisher and Chance Warmack are options here, as are Lane Johnson and Jonathan Cooper, but Smith is an intriguing option for a team that doesn’t have a QB. They are going to need to keep Larry Fitzgerald happy, and right now, they are just wasting his time in this league.
8. Buffalo Bills — Matt Barkley, QB, USC
Matt Barkley has found his way back into the first round of our mock draft. I don’t know if he’ll end up going this high, but the Bills are desperate here. Ryan Fitzpatrick is clearly not a franchise quarterback, and I think Barkley is the type of guy who has franchise QB potential. He had a down senior season, but he improved every year leading up to that, and he’s capable of putting up huge numbers.
9. New York Jets — Bjoern Werner, DE/OLB, Florida State
The Jets are starved for a pass rush, and after cutting Calvin Pace and Bryan Thomas, it’s even more of a need. Werner is very athletic, strong, and instinctive despite still being pretty new to the game. He can be a double-digit sack guy early on in his career.
10. Tennessee Titans — Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
I’ve had Warmack penciled in here for a while now, and I think this is a match made in heaven. The Titans have a need on the offensive interior, and Warmack grades out as potentially the best player in this class.
11. San Diego Chargers — Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Eric Fisher is a steal here, and the Chargers need to start protecting Philip Rivers if they’re going to get back on the right track. New head coach Mike McCoy has to make offensive line a priority this offseason for his team.
12. Miami Dolphins — Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Patterson is a versatile playmaker for the Vols who can come into the NFL and be a potential #1 receiver for the Dolphins. He has great size and speed, and Ryan Tannehill can make serious strides in his second NFL season if the Dolphins are able to surround him with more talent. They have a lot of picks to play with, and they need to make them count.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
Rhodes has incredible size and athletic ability, and he happens to fill the Bucs’ top need. He has the potential to be an elite player in the NFL, and the Bucs would love to bring him along with the rest of their young defense.
14. Carolina Panthers — Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
The Panthers’ defensive line could be a real strength if they add another defensive tackle or two. Between Greg Hardy, Charles Johnson, and Dwan Edwards, the Panthers showed they are capable of putting up big sack numbers, but Richardson could really upgrade this team’s front four.
15. New Orleans Saints — Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
People are going to question Mingo’s work ethic, but he’s a great fit for the Saints’ new look defense and has the potential to be a big time sack artist in the NFL. He doesn’t have ideal bulk, but he’s as good an athlete as you’ll find at his position.
16. St. Louis Rams — Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
Johnson could be a real steal at this juncture of the first round, especially for the Rams who are looking to upgrade their offensive line this offseason. They could go a number of directions with this pick, but after Jason Smith busted out, they need an upgrade at offensive tackle.