Jeff Risdon, DLD Editor
We now know the draft order for the first each round as the Ravens wrapped up the coveted last spot. The compensatory picks that begin at the end of the third round will be announced later this month. I expanded to four rounds for this edition.
As always, the disclaimer: This is a scenario where I attempt to guess what the given teams would do with the given picks. It does not necessarily reflect the choices I would make in the same situations.
1. Kansas City Chiefs–Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia. I’ve had Luke Joeckel and Tyler Wilson slotted here before, but I’m back on Smith as the top pick. If Andy Reid opts for a veteran import like Alex Smith, then I would strongly bet the pick is Joeckel. But it’s premature to rule out a defensive surprise too.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars–Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State. Werner hits a number of check marks for the Jaguars. He’s got the local angle covered, being from Florida State. He is a high-end pass rusher, which the Jags desperately need. And he’s a high-ceiling, high-floor player for a team that cannot afford to miss on getting an immediate starter.
3. Oakland Raiders–Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M. I struggled here, with Tyler Wilson and Barkevious Mingo both slotted here at various times in this incarnation. I can see either of those being the pick, but I went with Moore. He has a more unique presence and is a much more assertive run defender than Mingo. This is the first pick with the potential for a trade back, especially if Luke Joeckel or Geno Smith is still on the board. Then again if Smith is on the board I would think the Raiders would take him.
4. Philadelphia Eagles–Luke Joeckel, T, Texas A&M. The offensive line was a disaster in 2012, and depending on a full return by Jason Peters is a folly. Joeckel loves being physical and can play on an island as Chip Kelly’s offense at Oregon often demanded. I think Mike Vick stays at this point.
5. Detroit Lions–Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU. Surprise! If GM Martin Mayhew takes a cue from new underling Brian Xanders, he’ll take the longer view and go with the player who will be potentially the best in this class in 3-5 years, not just right away. That player is Ansah, who is already NFL-ready as a run defender and has physical attributes that make evaluators and coaches drool.
6. Cleveland Browns–Barkevious Mingo, LB, LSU. Mingo should be a natural fit for the weakside OLB position in the Browns’ new-look 3-4 front. His speed around the edge and quick closing burst set him apart from the other smaller rushers in this class.
7. Arizona Cardinals–Eric Fisher, T, Central Michigan. The Cardinals have two major needs: offensive line help and quarterback. In this scenario Fisher will be the top rated talent at those positions on the board, and he is ready to start right away at left tackle in a division chock full of excellent pass rushers.
8. Buffalo Bills–Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama. Buffalo needs playmakers, and Milliner comes from the playmaking corner school. His length and desire to get his hands on the ball should help the overall defense. I do not believe Ryan Nassib is an option at #8 overall and slotted him to the Bills in the 2nd round. That might require a trade up with that pick, however.
9. New York Jets–Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas. Should this come to fruition I would really like this pick. Wilson has the arm talent to be a very good NFL QB, but more importantly he’s got experience in dealing with a sinking ship of a program and a bizarre coaching situation. They have to consider a pass rushing OLB here too.
10. Tennessee Titans–Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri. If you’re not yet familiar with Richardson, thin back to this point a year ago and Dontari Poe. They are different players but share the same Combine-awing physical attributes. Richardson has actually translated that pretty well to the football field already, as for my money he was the best defensive player in the SEC last year. The Titans are looking for impact along the defensive front and in the secondary, and Richardson fits the bill.
11. San Diego Chargers–Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee. Patterson offers game-breaking potential, albeit highly unrefined at this point. The Chargers have a number of short and long-term needs and intriguing candidates to fill them here; a pass rusher or offensive lineman certainly makes sense as well.
12. Miami Dolphins–Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon. Miami needs to find a long-term complement to Cameron Wake at outside backer. Jordan has great length and enough athleticism to drop into coverage. He will be one of the more polarizing prospects in this draft and one of the biggest boom/bust players; in three years Jordan will either be notching 12.5 sacks per year or bagging your groceries at the local Kroger.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers–Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas. Vaccaro offers the coverage ability teams want in the nickel back with the mentality and range of a safety. The Bucs can sorely use skills like that, having just surrendered over 4700 passing yards. They also really need at least one defensive end despite considerable recent draft attention there too.
14. Carolina Panthers–Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah. I consider this Star’s floor, though I suspect the Panthers will happily take him. Addressing the defensive tackle position and secondary figure to be early draft priorities, though a WR wouldn’t surprise me here either.
15. New Orleans Saints–Chance Warmack, G, Alabama. Even though he might be the highest rated player on some boards regardless of position, I have a hard time seeing Warmack going much higher than this. In NOLA he fills the massive gap of Carl Nicks and should really help former Bama teammate Mark Ingram find more room to operate. The defensive scheme change could dictate going LB here.
16. St. Louis Rams–Keenan Allen, WR, California. Allen has a chance to be the first wideout taken with his great hands and route running ability. The Rams must give Sam Bradford more receiving options if he is ever to succeed, and Allen would be a good step in that direction.