1. Kansas City Chiefs – Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
The Chiefs are likely taking an offensive tackle, and by most accounts it’s going to be Joeckel. There is still a chance this pick could be Eric Fisher or maybe even a defensive lineman, but I think right now it’s a safe bet that the Chiefs take the former Aggie with the top pick.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars – Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon
The Jaguars have an atrocious pass rush that could be significantly upgraded with this pick. I think their are going with a front four player here defensively, and Jordan could be the top player on their board. He’s certainly a good fit for Gus Bradley’s defense.
3. Oakland Raiders – Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
The Raiders saw a mass exodus of defensive linemen this offseason as they continue to clean house in the Bay Area. That would be putting it lightly. The only returning starter from last year’s squad will be LaMarr Houston. Sharrif Floyd is arguably the top defensive player on the board, and the Raiders need a complete overhaul on that side of the ball.
4. Philadelphia Eagles – Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
The Eagles’ offensive rebuild continues with a guy who could be in contention for the number one pick. They have holes all over their roster, but I think they can be a contender in the NFC East if Mike Vick can stay healthy. He was sacked way too many times last season, and Fisher can play right or left as a rookie but eventually will wind up as a left tackle in this league.
5. Detroit Lions – Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
The Lions are going through some major changes on the edges of their defensive lines. They are losing both starters from last year, and Ansah has as many upside as any player in this draft but he also has serious bust potential. The Lions are not afraid to take risks, especially on defensive linemen. This could wind up being a very good pick for them.
6. Miami Dolphins – Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
**Projected trade — Dolphins trade their first and second round picks to the Browns for pick #6 and late round considerations** The Dolphins make this trade to move up and get the athletic offensive tackle out of Oklahoma, one of the most impressive athletes in recent memory. Johnson can play left or right tackle while Jonathan Martin holds down the other side. With Jake Long bolting for St. Louis, this is a necessity.
7. Arizona Cardinals – Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
The Cardinals missed out on all the top tackles and both of the top ranked pass rushers as well. I think at that point, they will either look to trade down, take a QB, or solidify the interior of their offensive line. Their guard position and OL in general is bad, so Warmack would be a huge upgrade over anyone they currently have. He is our top rated overall player.
8. Buffalo Bills – Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
Cooper is the #2 player on our final big board, and he has the potential to be an elite offensive lineman in this league. It’s rare for a guard to be taken this high, but the Bills lost Andy Levitre and have a need on the interior. They can trade up for a QB in the later portion of the first round.
9. New York Jets – Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
The Jets are hurting for pass rushers, and Mingo has the skills to be the best pass rush specialist in this draft. I think he can continue to develop into an even bigger asset defensively as he adds weight, but initially, he can rush the tough quarterbacks the Jets will face on a weekly basis.
10. Tennessee Titans – Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
The Titans simply cannot pass on Milliner at this point. CB is not their biggest need, but it’s a need nonetheless and Milliner is a fine player at his position. He could give them a lockdown player on the outside for years to come.
11. San Diego Chargers – Bjoern Werner, DE/OLB, Florida State
After missing out on the top five offensive linemen in this draft, the Chargers look to another of their top needs here at the DE/OLB position. Werner is a guy who has top five potential, and is a fantastic athlete. This is a position of need for the Chargers after Jarret Johnson proved he is no threat off the edge, and Shaun Phillips left in free agency.
12. Cleveland Browns – Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
In the projected trade from earlier, the Browns pick up a big, athletic cornerback to play on the opposite side of the field of Joe Haden. Rhodes is a special talent who has more than ideal size, and can make plays on the ball. He could help take the Browns’ defense to the next level.
13. New York Jets – Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
**Projected trade — The Jets trade CB Darrelle Revis to the Buccaneers for pick #13 and additional pick considerations** The Jets get rid of Darrelle Revis and use the pick they acquired on a QB for the future. The Jets clearly aren’t satisfied with their QB position after last season, and Smith is the type of guy that can develop into something special. He would sit for a bit behind Mark Sanchez, but 2013 could be Sanchez’s final year as a Jet.
14. Carolina Panthers – Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
The Panthers need some help on the defensive interior, and with Richardson on the board, I think they’d be ecstatic. Ron Rivera loves this type of player in his defense, and with the emergence of Carolina’s edge rushers in Greg Hardy and Charles Johnson, Richardson could be wildly effective in this defense.
15. New Orleans Saints – Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State
Watson is an incredible athlete with huge upside and would likely start at left tackle for the Saints. He is still pretty raw, but the Saints need to address this position after Jermon Bushrod bolted for the Chicago Bears.
16. St. Louis Rams – Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
The Rams score big here with what I believe to be the draft’s best pure playmaker. I think Tavon Austin is going to transition really easily to the NFL, and I think he will be a guy to watch as arguably the most impactful fantasy player in his rookie season. I am very high on this guy.