1. Kansas City Chiefs—OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M
After signing QB Alex Smith, it’s time for the Chiefs to scoop up a franchise tackle. The best player in this draft is indeed an offensive tackle. Texas A&M Aggies OT Luke Joeckel is very talented, smart, and athletic. He is perfect for the upstart Chiefs. They are in dire need of a bookend tackle, and Joeckel will be just that.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars—OT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan
Fisher is another bookend tackle prospect. The Jaguars eagerly need an offensive tackle, and Fisher is loaded with potential. The quarterback situation in Jacksonville is very turbulent, but they can shore up their offensive tackle woe by selecting Fisher.
3. Oakland Raiders—DT Sharrif Floyd, Florida
Floyd is undoubtedly the most talented defensive player in this draft. He wreaks havoc in the interior defensive line and is worthy of a top three pick. Floyd is 6’3″, 298 pounds and dashed for a 4.92 4o-yard dash at the Scouting Combine. His athleticism will be beneficial in the NFL bloody trenches.
4. **PROJECTED TRADE** San Diego Chargers via Philadelphia Eagles—OT Lane Johnson, Oklahoma
The Chargers have lost immense talent over the last few years. Players were like sand between their open fingers. Gunslinging Chargers QB Phillip Rivers needs protection to throw to the limited targets he has, and Johnson is an extremely athletic tackle who would be a San Diego stud. The three top tackles will be gone by the fifth overall pick, and San Diego needs to trade up to acquire one of them.
5. Detroit Lions—DE/OLB Dion Jordan, Oregon
With a 6’6″, 239 pound frame, Jordan is a threat on the outside edge. The Lions lost key defensive players via free agency, so adding Jordan would be a very wise move by the Lions’ front office. They need fresh faces on the defense, and Jordan paired up with DT’s Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley will create a strong front seven foundation.
6. **PROJECTED TRADE** Miami Dolphins via Cleveland Browns—CB Dee Milliner, Alabama
The Dolphins need a corner badly. The Browns need more picks. A trade here is a match made in Heaven. Milliner is the top cornerback in the draft, and the ‘Phins aren’t going to miss out on the Alabama Crimson Tide product. They may acquire KC Chiefs OT Brandon Albert, notably, but that won’t affect their first round selection.
7. Arizona Cardinals—DE Ezekiel Ansah, BYU
Notice something? Six of the seven top picks are linemen. The Cards will contribute to the trenches bandwagon by selecting “Ziggy” Ansah, a sturdy end who will anchor the D-Line in the desert. Ansah is freakishly athletic, and the Cardinals are fit for him.
8. Buffalo Bills—OG Chance Warmack, Alabama
Lots of hubbub have surfaced whether the Bills will select a quarterback with the eighth overall pick. It’s not out of the equation if they’ll select a signal caller, but this is way too early for any 2013 draft prospect. Warmack is a tank, and his power will mostly be used for blocking for RB CJ Spiller and co.
9. New York Jets—DE Barkevious Mingo, LSU
The Jets need help all over. Offense, defense, special teams—you name it. Mingo will help shore up the Jets’ struggling defensive line, and would be a solid contributor for Rex Ryan’s once elite defensive.
10. Tennessee Titans—OG Jonathan Cooper, UNC
Now a whopping nine out of ten overall picks are lineman. The Titans need one more piece to their offensive line puzzle, and Cooper would be an immediate powerhouse for Tennessee. Cooper will pave the way for RB Chris Johnson.
11. **PROJECTED TRADE** Philadelphia Eagles via San Diego Chargers—QB Geno Smith, West Virginia
Let the madness begin. Smith heads to Philly to compete with QB’s Michael Vick and Nick Foles. New HC Chip Kelly needs a quarterback from his regime, and Smith’s “Air Raid” passing history will unravel a new element in the spread offense.
12. **PROJECTED TRADE** Cleveland Browns via Miami Dolphins—CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida State
The Browns settle for extra picks and Rhodes over Milliner, which is the correct decision for a rebuilding team. Rhodes is physical, tall, and athletic, and scouts drool over all three of those traits for any cornerback. The Browns need a cornerback opposite CB Joe Haden.
13. New York Jets via Tampa Bay Buccaneers—WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia
With their second first round pick, the Jets select a playmaker. Austin is an ideal NFL slot wideout/return specialist: he’s small but speedy. Austin will give whoever is slinging the ball in Gang Green a viable target. He would also hold a large role on special teams.
14. Carolina Panters—DT Star Lotulelei, Utah
Lotulelei’s stock has been up and down. The Utah Ute is very versatile and productive. The Panthers need to add a consistent defensive lineman in the brutal NFC South to keep up with running backs like Steven Jackson and Doug Martin.
15. New Orleans Saints—DT Sheldon Richardson, Mizzou
Richardson can be explosive at times. The Saints will need to push Richardson immensely, but his reward outweighs the risk. He needs to hone in on consistency because his if his athleticism is used every down, Richardson will be a Pro Bowl player.
16. St. Louis Rams—WR Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee
Patterson has some question because of his lack of experience. Patterson only played one year of FBS football, but showed glaring potential. He caught for 778 receiving yards last season, and will be a top target for Rams QB Sam Bradford if selected.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers—LB Jarvis Jones, Georgia
The aging Steelers have gaps on the defense nowadays, and Jones will fill a linebacking hole in Pittsburgh’s 3-4 defense. Jones has had a rough few months leading up to the draft, hence a slide to the seventieth pick overall.
18. Dallas Cowboys—SS Kenny Vaccaro, Texas
The Cowboys excrutiatingly need a safety up top. Their secondary has been steadily on the rise, but they are undoubtedly missing a safety. Vaccaro will get to stay in Texas and play for America’s Team if selected by the Cowboys.
19. New York Giants—CB DJ Hayden, Houston
Following a freak heart injury, Hayden’s stock slid last fall. However, he somehow came back and dashed for a speedy 4.4 40-yard dash. Hayden seems to be fine, and his stock has been rising since his Pro Day.
20. Chicago Bears—LB Alec Ogletree, Georgia
After losing LB Brian Urlacher via free agency, Ogletree will fill some very, very big shoes. Ogletree will have ginormous expectations, as he eclipses the shadow of a gridiron legend. Anyhow, he has immense potential and is suited for the task as long as he cleans up his off the field issues.
21. **PROJECTED TRADE** Houston Texans via Cincinnati Bengals—WR DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson
The Texans should trade up and nab Hopkins, a speedy stud from Clemson. Opposite WR Andre Johnson, the duo would be lethally explosive. QB Matt Schaub would have another weapon in the Texans’ offensive arsenal.
22. St. Louis Rams via Washington Redskins—SS Matt Elam, Florida
After taking a wideout to help Bradford, Elam should be their man. He will shore up the secondary, and provide support up top when the corners are beat.
23. Minnesota Vikings—WR Justin Hunter, Oklahoma State
Hunter will have to help the Vikes replace WR Percy Harvin. Hunter hasn’t been in the spotlight too much lately, but I could envision him sneaking up into the mid to late first round.
24. Indianapolis Colts—OT DJ Fluker, Alabama
QB Andrew Luck was nothing short of phenomenal during his rookie season. The Colts’ front office and coaching staff deserve a ton of credit for their turning around of the team. However, a hole remains at the tackle position. Fluker is a powerful blocker who will help the Colts go deeper in the playoffs.
25. Minnesota Vikings via Seattle Seahawks—DT Sylvester Williams, UNC
The Vikings have had a suprisingly shaky defensive line recently. Williams will help ease the pain, as his athleticism will certainly anchor up the Vikes’ D-Line.
26. Green Bay Packers—TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame
When your quarterback is QB Aaron Rodgers, the weapon arsenal can never be fully stocked. Eifert would, yes, be a surprise pick but it would be a very valuable pick. TE Jermichael Finley has declined in play recently, and Eifert add pressure to Finley and the rest of the offense.
27. **PROJECTED TRADE** Cincinnati Bengals via Houston Texans—RB Eddie Lacy, Alabama
The Bengals need a powerful running back who can bulldoze through the frigid AFC North teams. The Steelers, Ravens, and even the Browns are some of the league’s physically toughest teams, and Lacy’s downhill style is perfectly oriented for such a division. By trading down, they will also acquire more picks.
28. Denver Broncos—DE Bjoern Werner, Florida State
After losing DE Elvis Dumervil to a fax fiasco and never signing a replacement, Werner is likely going to be that guy for Denver. He has a high motor, and will fill right in for Dumervil.
29. New England Patriots—CB Desmond Trufant, Washington
The Patriots need secondary support right away. CB Aqib Talib resigned with the team, but they flat-out need more corners. Trufant would be a perfect player for HC Bill Belichick.
30. **PROJECTED TRADE** Buffalo Bills via Atlanta Falcons—QB Ryan Nassib, Syracuse
The Bills sneak up on us, eh? Nassib reunites with former college head coach Doug Marrone, meanwhile Atlanta picks up a second round pick and possible more. This trade would be wise for both sides.
31. San Francisco 49ers—DE Cornellius “Tank” Carradine, Florida State
It’s terrifying to think of a player like Carradine (6’4″, 276 pounds) who can run a 4.75 40-yard dash after a recent ACL surgery. The Niners are so good that, quite frankly, they can draft him and say “why not?”
32. Baltimore Ravens—LB Kevin Minter, LSU
The Ravens’ defense was depleted, and they have to add a linebacker of some sorts. I don’t envision it being LB Manti Te’o, but Minter is a much more reasonable selection. He’s talented and under the radar.