1. Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck – QB – Stanford - Scouting Report
The Colts rebuilding process is fully underway, and it’s hard not to feel sorry for Andrew Luck. While I fully believe Luck be the centerpiece of this franchise for the next 10-15 years, it’s going to take some time before they can be considered legitimate contenders. With so few weapons around him, Luck is in for a very long and potentially painful rookie year.
2. Washington Redskins - Robert Griffin III – QB – Baylor - Scouting Report
[from Rams] As much as I like Robert Griffin, I do think the Redskins gave up too much. What makes Griffin special is his athleticism, his potential and his work ethic – which leads us to believe he will eventually develop into an elite pro quarterback. But he isn’t there yet, and isn’t even all that close. I expect Griffin to be among the game’s best in three to five years, but with so little talent around him and no meaningful picks with which to add talent, he’s going to struggle early on.
3. Minnesota Vikings - Matt Kalil – OT – USC - Scouting Report
The Vikings may entertain the possibility of trading this pick but if they stay put Kalil is too valuable to pass up. Their offensive line has been depleted by the release of Steve Hutchinson and Anthony Herrera, and if they want to keep Christian Ponder on his feet in 2012, then adding a star at left tackle is a must.
4. Cleveland Browns - Trent Richardson – RB – Alabama - Scouting Report
Now that they missed out on the Griffin, the Browns are the most difficult team to predict. Judging by Holmgren/Heckert’s history, Morris Claiborne should be the pick. But the Browns offense is in shambles, which could force their hand. If they’re left to decide between Richardson and Blackmon, I suspect they’ll go with the safest option which is always the running back.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Morris Claiborne – CB – LSU - Scouting Report
I believe the Bucs have narrowed their board to Claiborne and Richardson, and at least one of the two will be available. At this point, it looks like Claibornie is the one to fall and, for what it’s worth, I suspect he’d be the Bucs pick if give a choice. Despite the recent acquisition of Eric Wright, cornerback is still a glaring need.
6. St. Louis Rams - Justin Blackmon – WR – Oklahoma St - Scouting Report
[from Redskins] It’s unlikely that Claiborne gets past the Browns and Bucs, which means the Blackmon is the heavy favorite for this slot. There is no doubt that Blackmon would add a new dimension to the Rams offense, providing Sam Bradford with the type of supporting cast he deserves.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars - Michael Floyd – WR – Notre Dame - Scouting Report
I’m going out on a limb to a certain extent on this one, but Jaguars GM Gene Smith is definitely an outside-the-box thinker when it comes to the draft. This is a reach for Floyd, but the Jaguars need to give Blaine Gabbert a tall possession receiver. Floyd has the skills to make an immediate impact in Jacksonville.
8. Miami Dolphins - Quinton Coples – DE – North Carolina - Scouting Report
There is an assumption that the Dolphins covet Ryan Tannehill due to the connection between him and their new offensive coordinator, Mike Sherman. However, it should be noted that Tannehill wasn’t exactly Sherman’s hand-picked quarterback at Texas A&M. It was Sherman who initially moved Tannehill to receiver, and didn’t name him the starter until mid-way through the 2010 season. If they pass on Tannehill, I suspect they’ll target a defensive lineman to help ease the transition to their new 4-3 scheme.
9. Carolina Panthers - Dontari Poe – DT – Memphis - Scouting Report
This is a reach for Poe, but after his impressive combine I believe some teams are going to have him higher on their draft board than we initially expected. The Panthers drafted Sione Fua in the 3rd round last year to play nose tackle, but the addition of Poe could be good for both players. No 350-pounder can effectively play 60+ snaps per game, and Poe is no exception. A rotation of Poe and Fua could dramatically improve the Panthers interior line.
10. Buffalo Bills - Riley Reiff – OT – Iowa - Scouting Report
The addition of Mario Williams and Mark Anderson more than adequate addressed their need for a defensive end, which means their attention turns elsewhere with this pick. Cornerback and offensive line are now the most obvious holes that needed to be filled. Considering the money they’ve already spent on defense, I suspect they’ll be leaning towards addressing the offense with this selection. Reiff holds a slight edge over Jonathan Martin.
11. Kansas City Chiefs - Luke Kuechly – LB – Boston College - Scouting Report
Linebacker isn’t their primary need, but Scott Pioli values depth in the defensive front seven and Kuechly may be too valuable to pass up. He would be a perfect fit next to Derrick Johnson in their 3-4 defense. If they wish to address a more glaring need, they may be forced to trade into the top 10, potentially for Dontari Poe.
12. Seattle Seahawks - David DeCastro – OG – Stanford - Scouting Report
The Seahawks have some options on the roster to fill Robert Gallery’s spot at guard, but DeCastro has value here and there aren’t any other obvious options. Given the state of their linebacking corps, the Seahawks are also a candidate to trade into the top 10 for Luke Kuechly.
13. Arizona Cardinals - Melvin Ingram – LB – South Carolina - Scouting Report
The Cardinals need to address the offensive line, but could also use a pass rusher like Ingram. They’ll have a tough call to make if left to decide between Ingram and Jonathan Martin, but there aren’t many pass rushers in this draft class and if they don’t land Ingram they may not find anyone capable of upgrading the position in 2012.
14. Dallas Cowboys - Michael Brockers – DT – LSU - Scouting Report
The Cowboys have done a nice job filling some holes in free agency, and can now turn their attention in the draft to the best available player. Brockers is very raw, but has the upside to a force at end in Rob Ryan’s 3-4 defense. Guys like Melvin Ingram and Luke Kuechly could also be options if they were to fall.
15. Philadelphia Eagles - Fletcher Cox – DT – Mississippi State - Scouting Report
The Eagles were heavily suspected to be interested in Luke Kuechly, but the addition of DeMeco Ryans changes that plan. Now it’s tough to see where their most glaring need lies, but the depth in this draft class makes the defensive line a likely target. Cox is an athletic, penetrating three-technique who would fit nicely in the rotation in Philly.
16. New York Jets - Courtney Upshaw – LB – Alabama - Scouting Report
The Jets have to chose between addressing the defensive front seven and providing Mark Sanchez with another weapon. I tend to think adding a weapon should be the priority, but Upshaw would be tough to pass up. They need a pass rusher who can be a difference maker and Upshaw is one of the few with that potential in this draft class.
17. Cincinnati Bengals - Dre Kirkpatrick – CB – Alabama - Scouting Report
[from Raiders] The Bengals don’t have a glaring need for a cornerback, but in recent years they’ve shown a tendency to jump at the chance to land a player who’s falling. The addition of Kirkpatrick would give them a deep secondary, and potentially make Nate Clements expendable.
18. San Diego Chargers - Cordy Glenn – OG/OT – Georgia - Scouting Report
Some big changes are coming for the Chargers offensive line. Marcus McNeill could be a cap casualty, Kris Dielman recently retired and Nick Hardwick and Jared Gaither are unrestricted free agents. Glenn would give the Chargers some versatility due to his ability to play either guard position or right tackle.
19. Chicago Bears - Whitney Mercilus – DE – Illinois - Scouting Report
Now that Brandon Marshall is on board the Bears can turn their attention away from receiver. But what position will they target? It sounds as though they’re buying into the theory you can never have too many pass rushers, and would be interested in adding another threat to pair with Julius Peppers. Mercilus and Nick Perry could both be options.
20. Tennessee Titans – Nick Perry – DE – USC - Scouting Report
The Titans are just two years removed from selecting Derrick Morgan in the 1st round, but their front seven has been a bit of a disappointment recently. Perry is a very similar player to Morgan, and won’t be an elite pass rusher, but he’s well rounded and the two should give them a solid duo at end.
21. Cincinnati Bengals - Doug Martin – RB – Boise State - Scouting Report
Once Trent Richardson is off the board, it’s anyone’s guess who or when the next running back will be selected. This would definitely be viewed as a reach, but if the Bengals identify Martin as their guy – and I think he’d be a perfect replacement for Cedric Benson – there’s no guarantee he’ll still be on the board when they’re up in the 2nd round.
22. Cleveland Browns - Kendall Wright – WR – Baylor - Scouting Report
[from Falcons] I don’t think the Browns have a strong interest in Justin Blackmon, and one reason for that is due to the fact that they’ll have an opportunity to land a receiver at No. 22. Wright would be a nice complement to Greg Little and could really open things up for the Browns offense.
23. Detroit Lions - Jonathan Martin – OT – Stanford - Scouting Report
The Lions re-signed Jeff Backus, but that doesn’t answer all their problems on the offensive line. It’s only a two-year contract for the 34-year-old, and there’s no guarantee that he’ll be entrenched as a starter for the duration of the deal. If Martin is on the board, the Lions would have to consider him as the potential left tackle of the future. If Martin is gone, their attention turns to cornerback.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers – Dont’a Hightower – LB – Alabama - Scouting Report
The Steelers have more glaring needs (cornerback, offensive line) but they also value depth in the defensive front seven. Additionally, GM Kevin Colbert loves to fill needs before they open up. Adding Hightower would provide them with impressive depth at linebacker before he eventually took over for Larry Foote as the starter (which could happen sooner rather than later).
25. Denver Broncos - Mark Barron – S – Alabama - Scouting Report
The Broncos recently signed Mike Adams and would probably likely to re-sign Brian Dawkins, but as of right now the strong safety position is still a significant question mark. There may be some pressure to find another weapon for Peyton Manning here, but Barron is too good to pass up in favor of a rookie receiver who may or may not make any impact in 2012.
26. Houston Texans - Stephen Hill – WR – Georgia Tech - Scouting Report
The Texans are in a position to make a luxury pick here, and Hill definitely fits that description. He’s a developmental prospect, but could make an immediate impact in certain situations. The Texans could use him in much the same way the Ravens used the very raw but athletically gifted Torrey Smith in 2012, allowing him to stretch the field and distract defenses with his speed.
27. New England Patriots - Janoris Jenkins – CB – N.Alabama - Scouting Report
From New Orleans - Janoris Jenkins is a huge character risk, and many teams have likely removed him from their board. But the Patriots are notorious risk takers and Jenkins fills an obvious need in New England’s secondary. It’s tough to think of a better scenario for the Pats, assuming their comfortable rolling the dice on his character.
28. Green Bay Packers – Stephon Gilmore – CB – S.Carolina - Scouting Report
The Packers have stated that Charles Woodson will remain at cornerback, but there are still concerns at the position. Gilmore should be of particular interest because his skill set close resembles Woodson and he could learn a lot from the future Hall of Famer.
29. Baltimore Ravens – Mike Adams – OT – Ohio State - Scouting Report
Ozzie Newsome does a great job finding value in the draft and with a relatively few holes to fill, that could be his strategy this year. Adams obviously doesn’t fill a glaring need, but he is a developmental prospect with tons of upside. The Ravens could sit him behind Bryant McKinnie for a year, before letting him take over a starting role in 2013.
30. San Francisco 49ers - Ryan Tannehill – QB – Texas A&M - Scouting Report
Everyone has been quick to assume Tannehill will go early in the 1st round, just like Locker, Ponder and Gabbert in 2011. But remember, there were multiple teams targeting quarterbacks last year, and not enough signal callers to go around. This year there are only two – the Browns and Dolphins – and there’s no reason to believe that either loves Tannehill, or even has him rated higher than Brandon Weeden for that matter. That could mean Tannehill is in for a draft day free fall, with San Francisco as a potential landing spot.
31. New England Patriots - Chandler Jones – LB – Syracuse - Scouting Report
Jones is very raw, and he definitely won’t be a 1st-rounder on every draft board. But Belichick likes to think outside the box and considers how a player fits his system more than anything. Jones may never be a three-down player, but he has the ability to provide the Patriots with the pass rush threat which they’ve been missing.
32. New York Giants – Jerel Worthy – DT – Michigan State - Scouting Report
Until the Giants added Martellus Bennett, I was convinced that Dwayne Allen fit their system perfectly. And while I wouldn’t completely rule him out, GM Jerry Reese is now likely to target the best available player. Worthy is inconsistent, but extremely talented, and could be a real asset as part of the Giants defensive line rotation.