Top 20 Picks 1.0
Comments and constructive criticism welcome, thank you
1. Kansas City Chiefs (2-14) .494
- Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
This was very difficult for me to decide on. Ultimately I decided that I did not think Geno Smith was worthy of a number one overall draft pick. I picked Lotulelei because I think he could thrive as an end in a 3-4 system, and if Romeo Crennel is fired and a 4-3 defense is installed he would be an amazing DT in a 4-3, especially at stuffing the run. Some will say but they already have Glenn Dorsey, Tyson Jackson, and Dontari Poe, why take another defensive lineman? Well Dorsey's tenure in KC is all but over as he is a free agent. Jackson is due 14.72 million dollars and unless he takes a pay cut I could see him getting cut as well. The other players at defensive end, the position where I think Lotulelei fits on the line, are not longterm pieces to Kansas City's future or have not proved themselves.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14) .542
-Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia
I originally had Damontre Moore here, however after looking at the outside linebackers that the Jaguars had I realized that Jones fits a bigger need. Mincey, Babin and Branch is not awful for a group of defensive ends. The outside linebackers on the other hand is different. Jones would be able to step right in, start and make an immediate impact.
3. Oakland Raiders (4-12) .470
-Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
Hopefully adding Moore will help an awful pass rush. The only team to get less sacks than the Raiders was the Jaguars. Andre Carter is a free agent and Lamarr Houston will be entering the final year of his contract in 2013.
4. Philadelphia Eagles (4-12) .510
-Luke Joeckel, T, Texas A&M
This was an easy pick. If the Eagles want to protect the future of their franchise, Nick Foles, they need to invest in young pass blockers like Joeckel.
5. Detroit Lions (4-12) .569
-Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
I struggled with this pick. The first thing you think of when you think of when you hear Lion’s Defense is their awful secondary. I contemplated Dee Milliner here, however I feel that Werner is a real value at five. Kyle Vanden Bosch is getting older and is entering the final year of his contract and Cliff Avril will be a free agent and was not able workout a longterm deal with the Lions in the offseason. An improved pass rush should help the Lions secondary. In addition two players who the Lions drafted last year to help out in the secondary are on the IR, Bill Bentley and Chis Greenwood. I’m not saying they will be stars but they should help out when healthy.
6. Cleveland Browns (5-11) .508
-Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Another pick I struggled with. I thought about having Warmack go here to help out with the Browns underperforming run game, specifically with their guards. Ultimately though I chose Milliner because the players playing opposite Joe Haden are either aging veterans who are not getting younger or are just awful. An upgrade was needed to help their awful secondary.
7. Arizona Cardinals (5-11) .548
-Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Their offensive line problem is probably worse than their quarterback situation and it’s frustrating because I do not feel you can properly evaluate the quarterbacks because of the offensive line’s play this year. It was honestly one of the worst offensive lines of all time. Despite all that I had Smith go here because he represents a better option for the future than any of the other current quarterbacks on the roster.
8. Buffalo Bills (6-10) .482
-Manti Teo, MLB, Notre Dame
Kelvin Sheppard may not be a starter and Manti Te’o represents an upgrade on the side of the ball which they struggled mightly with, defense. Te’o could come in and takeover the defense and take ownership of it like he has done at Notre Dame. His ability to quarterback the defense would help shore up the poor run defense that ranked last in the league in 2012.
9. New York Jets (6-10) .510 (4-8 conference)
-Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU
It seemed the Jets lost the ability to pressure the QB this year and coupled with Coples Mingo could give the Jets another young outside linebacker to provide pressure for years to come.
10. Tennessee Titans (6-10) .510 (5-7 conference)
-Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
-Hutchinson who was signed to help create holes for Chris Johnson to run through showed his age this year and ended up on the IR. Warmack is arguably a top five player in this draft, scouts and analysts alike are raving about how he is the best guard they have ever scouted. Warmack is the type of young guard you want to have to make the 55 million dollar contract you gave Chris Johnson look good. It’s a scary thought for a defender imagining Warmack pulling from the guard position and having Chris Johnson running behind him.
11. San Diego Chargers (7-9) .472
-Taylor Lewan, T, Michigan
San Diego might have the biggest argument for having an offensive line as bad as Arizona’s. It always seemed like Philip Rivers was on his back this year and the stats prove that, the Chargers offensive line gave up 47 sacks last year. Lewan is an excellent pass blocker who should be able to come in and play right tackle right away and eventually left tackle.
12. Miami Dolphins (7-9) .483
-Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
My pick here is contingent on Jake Long resigning with the Dolphins or having the franchise tag slapped on him. If Long comes back than the defensive line needs to be addressed. Randy Starks and Tony McDaniel are both free agents and I would be surprised to see Jeff Ireland resign either one of them. He gave Paul Soliai a big pay day last year. It’s not secret he wants to get younger and build through the draft. With both Starks and McDaniel gone Jared Odrick can slide over to play defensive tackle in the Dolphins 4-3, the same position he played in college. I don’t think the Dolphins played him at defensive tackle these last few games for nothing, and he said it’s a position he would be comfortable going back to. Adding Jordan would give the Dolphins a solid group of defensive ends composed of Cameron Wake, Olivier Vernon, and Jordan.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9) .502
-Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
Their run defense was best in the league however the pass defense was a different story. Similar to the Lions I feel that this is a situation that can be fixed by adding a pass rusher like Montgomery to the line. They were thin at defensive end at the end of this year and adding Adrian Clayborn back from injury will help, but Montgomery will provide a pass rusher opposite Clayborn to pressure the quarterback. Clayborn, Montgomery, and Bowers would be a nice group of defensive ends to have for the future.
14. Carolina Panthers (7-9) .514
-Jonathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
The Panthers run defense struggled at times this year and Hankins is a really good value for where they are picking. With Dwan Edwards a free agent Hankins can come in and play next to Sione Fua and help with run defense.
15. New Orleans Saints (7-9) .522
-Sylvester Williams, DT, UNC
Sedrick Ellis is a free agent and the Saints are another team whose defense struggled at times stopping the run. Advanced metrics
over at Football Outsiders prove this. Williams can replace Ellis and hopefully be more productive in stopping the run and pressuring the opposing quarterback.
16. St. Louis Rams (7-7-1) .526
-Eric Fisher, T, Central Michigan
I struggled with this pick and who to have go here. I thought about putting Justin Hunter of Tennessee here but what it came down to is this. They will have a wide variety of wide receivers to pick from with their next pick. If Hunter is gone then Cordarrelle Patterson or Keenan Allen will probably be available. However, Eric Fisher may not be there. The number of wide receivers that will be first round talent will be better than the number of tackles that will be first round talent when they pick next. Fisher can either play right tackle right away or could be used as insurance policy if Rodger Saffold continues to have injury issues. Also with a team like Pittsburgh picking next I wouldn’t want to risk seeing a guy I value so much like Fisher be taken right after I pass on him.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8) .464
-Jonathan Jenkins, DT, Georgia
They selected Alameda Ta’Ama last year hoping they could be patient and groom him to eventually take over Casey Hampton’s nose tackle position on the defense. However, Pittsburgh’s defense took a step back this year and for the first time in awhile they need to draft for immediate need. Jenkins can come in and provide youth at nose tackle. His build his perfectly suited for the nose tackle’s role in the 3-4. His presence on the defensive line would be a welcome addition.
18. Dallas Cowboys (8-8) .523
-Jonathan Cooper, G, UNC
Wouldn’t be surprised to see Jerry Jones go for a RB like Gio Bernard here but I have them taking Cooper to upgrade their interior offensive line play. They have both Nate Livings and and Mackenzy Bernadeau locked up with long term deals, but Cooper will provide depth and in the event one of them is cut or traded he will be the starter.
19. New York Giants (9-7) .521
-Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
Osi’s career as a Giant could be over so another beast pass rusher is in order. Ansah and Pierre Paul playing opposite each other would be scary if Anash reaches his potential at the next level.
20. Chicago Bears (10-6) .512
-Jake Matthews, T, Texas A&M
J’Marcus Webb just might not be the answer at left tackle and once again the Bears have to go up to bat looking for a tackle. Webb is entering the final year of his contract and Matthews could be an understudy this year with an eye to takeover in 2014.