1.OAKLAND-TEDDY BRIDGEWATER-QB-LOUISVILLE-The raiders have the least talented roster in the NFL thanks to years of Al Davis mismanaging the team. New GM Reggie McKenzie finally got a chance to start rebuilding the roster in this draft , and even after a draft where young fresh bodies were provided we expect it's at least one more year until they are on the way up . Nothing against Tyler Wilson or Matt Flynn , but there is a reason they were both available (4th round and a FA for the second straight year)to the raiders . Barring one of them stepping up in a big way the best available QB should be their pick.
2.JACKSONVILLE-BRETT HUNDLEY-QB-UCLA--I no longer have any faith in Blaine Gabbert to be a NFL starter. If they brought in Tebow they would have at least won games and sold tickets. This year I doubt they do much of either. Hundley has all the elite tools you can want and he loves to throw the ball down field , unlike Blaine Gabbert. When it's all said and done Hundley could be the first QB taken if he comes out early so it could be a different QB here.
3.NYJ-JADAVIAN CLOWNEY-DE/OLB-S.CAROLINA-Next year is shaping up to be a great year for QB's, and Geno Smith should get at least a couple years to see if he's the right guy long term for them . Clowney is a once a decade prospect who would have been the first pick in last years draft and in most years without a franchise QB.
4.EAGLES-ANTHONY BARR-DE/OLB-UCLA-The eagles switched to a 3-4 under Chip Kelly but lack anyone among their edge rushers who is a good fit to play OLB in this system. Barr is a former RB with an elite first step who is a perfect fit . I already had a higher grade on him than Dion Jordan . If he adds 20 pounds he could be the second coming of DeMarcus Ware.
5.LIONS-JAKE MATHEWS-OT-TEX A&M-2012 first rounder Reilly Reiff is probably going to be the LT for the Lions this season . I think he can handle it, but that he would be an even better fit at RT. Either way Matt Stafford's new contract means protecting him is the top priority and having good bookend offensive tackles is the best way to do that.This son of a Hall of Famer was better than any of the tackles in this years draft in our opinion, and they went 1rst, 2nd and 4th in the entire draft.
6.PANTHERS-MARQUISE LEE-WR-USC- Like the Houston Texans before them the panthers seem destined to wait far too long to draft a top receiver. Steve Smith is past his prime & undersized, but he is still the best WR on this team . You would think they would want to do everything they can to help their young franchise QB succeed, but they sure are going about it in a weird way. Lee is the best WR in this class class right now. The only other option I can see for them is a LT. Jordan Gross is nearing the end of a stellar career and his replacement could learn a thing from Gross and play with him a year or 2 .
7.CHARGERS-CYRUS KOUANDJIO-OT-ALABAMA- Neither King Dunlap or Max Starks is not the long term answer at LT for the chargers .Former Alabama national championship line-mate could once again team up (with 2013 1rst rounder DJ Fluker )as bookend offensive tackles.tackles. This move would go a long way toward returning Phillip Rivers to his former franchise QB form. Cyrus has immense upside and the ability to be the first tackle taken in this draft so don't be surprised if he surpasses the more polished Jake Mathews on some draft boards.
8.BROWNS-AJ McCARRON-QB-ALABAMA- Norv Turner is one of the all time great O Coordinators and QB whisperers. So Brandon Weeden may break through this year. If he doesn't McCarron is a proven winner with the tools and leadership to be the guy long term in Cleveland. I still them as a last place team in their division though.
9.ARIZONA-TAYLOR LEWAN-OT-MICHIGAN-While I expect the cardinals offense to be much improved with Carson Palmer and a improved O-line the loss of DC Ray Horton and the lack of pressure I expect them to get on the QB means their defense should be a problem. Even then they are a solid team... but the NFC west is now the most talented division in football. The 49ers and Seahawks are legitimate super bowl contenders this season and the young and talented rams would be a playoff favorite in every other division in my opinion. Unless they are running the ball a LOT Levi Brown is just a serviceable left tackle who would be a better fit a guard . Coming off a major injury and with a high price tag I would expect they would prefer a long term upgrade . Lewan gives them that and with the other recent upgrades ( Bobbie Massie and Johnathan Cooper) at O-line it can be a plus group for a long time.
10. TITANS-TAJH BOYD-QB-CLEMSON-I have never believed Jake Locker can be a NFL starting QB because he lacks accuracy. This years O-line should be elite in Tennessee and the run game should be able to take a lot of pressure off him, but I still think he fails as a passer. If the Titans run the read option and take advantage of Jake's mobility he might buy himself a bonus season but I doubt it. Boyd has a lot of the same abilities as Locker. However Boyd is also an accurate passer , a proven winner in college, and he doesn't turn the ball over. Boyd's lack of height (reportedly 6 foot 1 ) is the only reason we now have
him as the 4th QB.
11.VIKINGS-STEPHEN MORRIS-QB-MIAMI-Christian Ponders injury history worries me. If he misses significant time, the Vikes miss the playoffs, or he doesn't play well I think Minnesota will be looking for a new QB.The Strong armed Morris makes throws that few can.
12.RAMS(wash)-ANTONIO RICHARDSON-OT-TENNESEE-Roger Saffold will be a free agent this off season. We are betting somebody else will pay him to play left tackle and he leaves the rams because of it. Richardson could fill that void and he has the feet to move to LT if Jake Longs injury woes continue.
13.BILLS-TRENT MURPHY-DE/OLB-STANFORD-The bills spent a lot of money on Mario Williams but he won't be as effective as he can be unless they put a strong pass rusher on the other side of Mario. Mark Anderson was an injured disappointment after signing abig free agent deal last season and was just cut. While Jerry Hughes and Manny Lawson have the get off to rush the passer ,both are undersized as 4-3 ends ,and could stream rolled against the run. Murphy has the talent and movement skills to be an edge rusher in any scheme.
14.STEELERS-STEPHON TUITT-DE/DT-N.DAME-Two thirds of the once elite front 3 of the Steelers have retired in recent years. With Brett Keisel in his mid thirties, the last of the mohicans could fall soon. Tuitt is an elite talent that could lead their line for years. A replacement for someone in their again secondary would fit as well.
15.RAMS-ED REYNOLDS-S-STANFORD-In the last 2 years under Jeff Fisher the rams have made a large jump in talent thanks to the RG3 trade and a few free agent deals. The area they have neglected is safety.Why they cut Quintin Mikel is beyond me and unless they sign Kerry Rhodes this will be a definite need . Reynolds is a born ball hawk that would give their defense what it's missing.
16.TAMPA BAY-SCOTT CRICHTON-DE-OREGON ST-Da'quan Bowers has failed to live up to expectations as a pro. Crichton has lived in opposing backfields the last 2 seasons and we see him being even better this year.A very talented young team now resides in Tampa Bay and their season hinges on Josh Freeman. His 2012 was a lot better than his 2011 , but not enough to keep them from drafting Mike Glennon . We think Josh keeps growing and keeps his job. In that case Tight End is not only a big weakness , but TE play was crucial to Freeman's breakout 2010 season. So if an elite TE comes out in this draft look for him to be in the bucs thoughts.
17.MIAMI-JASON VERRETT-CB-TCU-Vontae Davis was traded and Sean Smith is a chief. Throw in newly acquired Brent Grimes coming off a torn Achilles and a infusion is probably needed at corner. If Grimes is OK and resigns and Rookie Jamar Taylor plays well they would still need another young corner. Interior D-line is also a need with Paul Soliai and Randy Starks over 30 with big cap numbers.
18.CHICAGO-TIMMY JERNIGAN-DT-FLA ST- Henry Melton is playing this year under the franchise tag and will cost a lot if he repeats his performance this season. Even if he is resigned they are still running the Tampa 2 ,and front four pass rush is crucial to that defense. Another pass rushing DT next to Melton is a huge need even if they can keep him. If Jermon Bushrod bombs at left tackle , or Jay Cutler leaves those positions could also be in play.
19.FALCONS-DAVID YANKEY-T/G-STANFORD-The Falcons are replacing the entire right side of their line . RT Tyson Clabo was their best lineman and he is one of the guys being replaced. LT Sam Baker is inconsistent and injury prone. Add the fact that 2 rookie corners are being counted on to be key players this year and I wouldn't be surprised if they actually missed the playoffs because of these 2 areas. If those players grow into their roles they may squeak in , but I don't see them as Superbowl threat at all this year. Yankey can play either guard or tackle giving them more options and chances to get the 5 best O-lineman on the field at the same time.
20.RAVENS-JAMES HURST -OT-N.CAROLINA-Bryant Mckinnie is near the end and Michael Oher is a better fit at RT( although guard would be his best position). Hurst could be Flacco's long term blindside protector. His high profile match-up against Clowney this season could see him rise into the top 10, or fall out of the 1rst round altogether.
21.CHIEFS-SAMMY WATKINS-WR-CLEMSON-The best thing about Dwayne Bowe is his blocking. His hands are suspect and he is getting slower by the year. As a #2 in a run first offense he is a good fit though. Watkins has the ability of a number one WR and Andy Reid has shown a willingness to draft WR's high.
22.SAINTS-ADRIAN HUBBARD-OLB-ALABAMA-The saints witched to a 3-4 this season and the out-for-the-year Victor Butler was their best fit as an OLB. It should be a big need next year and Hubbard has the ideal frame for the position. The lack of needing to learn the position (unlike most guys coming from college)should help him in Rob Ryan's complicated scheme.
23.COLTS-CYRIL RICHARDSON-G/T-BAYLOR-Andrew Luck was the most pressured QB up the gut in the league last season. A return to his college offense should give him a lot more time this season but the interior O-line could still use an upgrade. Richardson is the kind of massive protector that would also help the running game and the college tackle would also provide positional flexibility .
24.NYG-CJ MOSLEY-ILB-ALABAMA-The giants have gotten by with low draft picks and veteran retread tri-hard guys in the middle for the most part this last decade. Mosley could not only be their long term QB of the defense on the inside, he is also a 3 down LB who would be an even better fit in a full time 4-3 where he can be better protected to run to the ball.
25.SEATTLE-AUSTIN SEFERIAN-JENKINS-TE-WASHINGTON-- The seahawks TE's have been either hurt or under performing for the most part in the Pete Carroll era. Jenkins is an elite athlete with the speed to stretch the defense and the size to stand out in a crowd for the diminutive Russel Wilson. He also brings it as a blocker in the hawks run first offense. If not for off the field concerns he could be gone a lot higher.
26.HOUSTON-JOHNNY MANZIEL-QB-TEXAS A&M- Matt Schaub's guaranteed portion of his contract is about done. If the Texans don't win big this season I expect them to put some pressure on him by drafting a QB. The electric Johnny football would provide many new elements to the Texan offense.
27.PACKERS-CHRIS BORLAND-ILB-WISC-With Desmond Bishop gone and AJ Hawk failing to live up to his draft position the middle of the pack D is suspect. Borland is a well rounded LB who can play inside LB in a 3-4 or 4-3 .
28.PATRIOTS-BRADLEY ROBY-CB-OH ST- The Patriots go through more high drafted DB's than anyone in the league , Belichick is always on the lookout for the next corner who might be able to play on an island and allow him to blitz. A different bigger corner could step up this season , and that is something New England lacks.
29.49ers-IFO EKPRE-OLOMU-CB-OREGON- Carlas Rogers and Nnandi are both over 30 and past their prime . Tarell Brown is entering his 7th year ,and Chris Culliver was honest and pissed off all the gays in San Francisco. At least 1 new corner is going to be needed .
30.DENVER-SHAYNE SKOV-ILB-STANFORD-With DJ Williams gone, the underwhelming Joe Mays cut, and Denver failing to address MLB in the draft , Skov fills a definite need. The Stanford ties to John Elway probably don't hurt either.
31.BENGALS-HA'SEAN CLINTON DIX-S-ALABAMA-The Bengals are one of the leagues most talented teams and safety is one of the few areas of weaknesses on their team. Dix has been a great player, in a great conference, against top competition.
32. DALLAS-GABE JACKSON-G-MISSISSIPPI ST- Dallas has gone quantity over quality at the guard position the last 2 years, and the results haven't been pretty . Even if Ronald Leary or Mackenzy Bernadeau work out this season an upgrade at one guard spot will be needed . The oft-injured 31 year old Nate Livings is getting a salary bump next year, and we just don't see his level of play being worth what he is already being payed. Jackson also is an ideal fit for the new Dallas zone blocking scheme.