1. Cleveland Browns – Sam Montgomery – DE – LSU
The top pick in the 2013 draft will probably be a quarterback, but the team that earns that selection will probably have already addressed that need in one of the previous two years. Montgomery enters the year as the early favorite to be the top defensive player off the board.
2. Indianapolis Colts – Chris Faulk – OT – LSU
The Colts failed to address the offensive line this year, and will need to improve the protection for Andrew Luck in next year’s draft. There isn’t a clear-cut top rated tackle, but Faulk will be in the mix depending on his play in 2012.
3. St. Louis Rams – Robert Woods – WR – USC
This may end up being too high for Woods to come off the board, but he’ll definitely be among the players the Rams consider. Sam Bradford is going to need more than just Brian Quick to reach his full potential.
4. Minnesota Vikings – David Amerson – CB – N.C. State
The Vikings decided to pass on Morris Claiborne this year, but could be interested in the top defensive back in 2013. While the Honey Badger gets all the attention, Amerson is the early favorite to be the top cornerback in the 2013 class.
5. St. Louis Rams – D.J. Fluker – OT – Alabama
from Redskins – The Rams added some weapons for Sam Bradford this year, but failed to upgrade his protection. Fluker needs to improve, but if he makes the expected strides he’ll be a potential top-10 pick.
6. Miami Dolphins – Justin Hunter – WR – Tennessee
Hunter is coming off a knee injury but can establish himself as an elite prospect if he bounces back with a strong 2012 campaign. The Dolphins need to add a weapon for Tannehill.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars - Jonathan Hankins – DT – Ohio State
Hankins may be the best nose tackle to enter the draft since B.J. Raji and would give the Jaguars run defense a much-needed anchor in the middle of the defensive line.
8. Seattle Seahawks – Logan Thomas – QB – Virginia Tech
Neither Russell Wilson nor Matt Flynn is the answer in Seattle. Matt Barkley is the bigger name, but Thomas has a higher ceiling and could be the first quarterback off the board.
9. Arizona Cardinals – Jarvis Jones – OLB – Georgia
The Cardinals failed to address their pass rush this year, which should make it a high priority in 2013. Jones already has experience in a 3-4 defense at Georgia.
10. Oakland Raiders – Matt Barkley – QB – USC
Carson Palmer is a short-term answer only. Barkley could be brought in as his eventual replacement and given a year or two to develop as his backup.
11. Tennessee Titans – Barkevious Mingo – DE – LSU
Mingo is still raw, but will be among the most explosive pass rushers available in 2013. Depending on how he improves in 2012, this may end up being too low for him.
12. Carolina Panthers – Tyrann Mathieu – CB – LSU
Despite Mathieu’s elite playmaking ability, his lack of elite measurables should keep him outside the top 10.
13. New York Jets - Marcus Lattimore – RB – South Carolina
The Jets wanted Trent Richardson this year and could be in the mix for Lattimore in 2013. He’s a notch below Richardson, but still a legitimate 1st rounder if healthy.
14. Kansas City Chiefs – Tyler Wilson – QB – Arkansas
If Matt Cassel doesn’t lead the Chiefs to the playoffs, they’ll begin their search for his replacement. Wilson could sneak into the 1st round much the same way Tannehill did this past year.
15. Philadelphia Eagles – Luke Joeckel – OT – Texas A&M
Demetress Bell and Todd Herremans aren’t your ideal starting tackles, and Jason Peters’ injury raises further concerns about the Eagles long-term situation at tackle.
16. Buffalo Bills – Keenan Allen – WR – California
The Bills have made some significant strides this offseason, but are probably an offensive weapon or two away. Allen has the size to potentially develop into a No. 1.
17. Chicago Bears – Manti Te’o – ILB – Notre Dame
It’s time for the Bears to start thinking about Brian Urlacher’s heir at inside linebacker. Te’o shares some similarities to Urlacher and would benefit from spending time learning from him.
18. Detroit Lions – Jonathan Banks – CB – Mississippi State
It’s tough to imagine how the Lions justified not adding a cornerback early in the draft this year. Banks needs to continue to improve, but could be in the 1st-round mix with a strong year.
19. New Orleans Saints – Star Lotulelei – DT – Utah
The Saints have been looking for a nose tackle for a few years. Lotulelei is run stuffer who will shoot up draft boards if he performs as expected this year.
20. San Diego Chargers – C.J. Mosley – ILB – Alabama
With Hightower and Upshaw moving on, it’s time for Mosley to step up. The Chargers will likely look to continue to improve their front seven next year.
21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Kawaan Short – DT – Purdue
Gerald McCoy and Brian Price haven’t quite lived up to expectations yet. The Bucs could be in the mix for an upgrade at tackle if they don’t make major strides in their third year.
22. Cincinnati Bengals – Jackson Jeffcoat – DE – Texas
Jeffcoat closed out 2011 with 7.5 sacks in his final 7 games and could emerge as one of the premier pass rushers in the 2013 class if he builds upon that performance.
23. Dallas Cowboys – Robert Lester – FS – Alabama
The Cowboys new-look secondary will be much improved, but there are still some holes. With Kirkpatrick and Barron moving on, Lester will be the leader of the Crimson Tide secondary in 2012.
24. Denver Broncos – Tyler Eifert – TE – Notre Dame
The Broncos failed to add any weapons for Manning this year. They’ll be desperate to add some playmakers if they fall short of expectations in 2012.
25. New York Giants – Taylor Lewan – OT – Michigan
Lewan is underrated entering the 2012 season, but is as steady as they come and should continue to rise up boards with a strong junior year.
26. Houston Texans – Margus Hunt – DE – SMU
Hunt is a fascinating prospect who grew up in Estonia and originally enrolled at SMU to compete in track and field. Expect a steady rise this year for the 6’8″ prospect.
27. Atlanta Falcons – Jake Stoneburner – TE – Ohio State
The Falcons failed to add Tony Gonzalez’s replacement, which means they’ll likely be in the market for a tight end early in the 2013 draft.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers – Nico Johnson – OLB – Alabama
Everyone assumed the Steelers would target Upshaw or Hightower this year. They may end up with another Bama linebacker in 2013.
29. San Francisco 49ers – John Simon – DE – Ohio State
Simon is an intriguing prospect who can play a number of positions. He has the strength to play end in the 49ers 3-4 defense.
30. Baltimore Ravens – T.J. McDonald – FS – USC
It’s time to start thinking about finding Ed Reed’s replacement. McDonald is among the early favorites as the top safeties in the 2013 class.
31. New England Patriots - Brandon Jenkins – OLB – Florida State
The Patriots added two linebackers in the 1st round this year but could still be looking to improve their pass rush in 2013.
32. Green Bay Packers – Montee Ball – RB – Wisconsin
The Packers have a major question mark at running back. If James Starks doesn’t step up this year, they’ll be looking for a new feature back in 2013.