1. Indianapolis Colts–Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
Done deal, sure-fire future star.
2. Washington Redskins–Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
Another easy pick, not as sure-fire as Luck, but could develop into a top-5 QB within five years
3. Minnesota Vikings–Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
The smoke screens being sent out by GM Rick Spielman have finally engulfed me. I am also becoming more and more convinced that LT is not as important of a position as I once thought. Claiborne is my third ranked player, far ahead of Justin Blackmon, thus my reasoning for him instead of the former OSU receiver.
4. Cleveland Browns–Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
The only way the Browns do not make this pick is if they are concerned with Richardson’s health. Although I do not think he is as good as Adrian Peterson like many do, he will help bring the Cleveland offense out of the gutter.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers–Matt Kalil, LT, USC
The Bucs really are in a great spot in the draft. Regardless of who the Vikings and Browns take, they will get a top-tier player at a position of need. In this draft that happens to be Kalil.
6. St. Louis Rams–Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma St.
After just missing out on Kalil, the Rams do the next best thing in their eyes to help quarterback Sam Bradford and draft a wide receiver with No. 1 potential. I rank Blackmon as my third best receiver, but I am definitely in the minority with that opinion.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars–Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina
The Jags will be tempted to take Michael Floyd or Stephon GIlmore here and very well may do so. However, GM Gene Smith has taken a more conservative approach in recent drafts and Ingram fills both the need and value approach.
8. Miami Dolphins–Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
Deep down in my heart I hope the Dolphins do not make this pick. I want to believe that Mike Sherman knew what he was doing by not starting Tannehill until half-way through his junior season, but I simply cannot. This pick makes too much sense, Fins’ are desperate for a franchise QB, are familiar with Tannehill, and reaching for a QB sometimes has to be done in the NFL.
9. Carolina Panthers–Quentin Coples, DE, North Carolina
The Panthers know all too well the type of impact a DE like Julius Peppers can have on a game, and although the interior of the line is a bigger need, teaming Coples with Charles Johnson would give them one of the leagues best DE tandems. I think the concerns over Coples’ production his senior year are greatly exaggerated and he will thrive in the NFL.
10. Buffalo Bills–Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
The Bills are in a great spot here to draft the best player available (BPA) on their board between Floyd and Iowa OT Riley Reiff. Neither would be reaches here, and both fill the teams biggest areas of need. In the end, I think the Bills decide a play-making foursome of Floyd, Stevie Johnson, Fred Jackson, and C.J. Spiller is too good to pass up.
11. Kansas City Chiefs–David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
With relatively few glaring holes, the Chiefs take the BPA in DeCastro at a need position. Guard may not be a sexy or value pick at this point in the draft, but DeCastro is a once in a decade talent on the interior.
12. Seattle Seahawks–Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi St.
The Seahawks will be bolstering their defensive front-seven with this pick and Cox is the BPA. He would make a great tandem with NT Red Bryant and help free up their porous LB unit. Other choices may include Michael Brockers, Luke Kuechly, and Courtney Upshaw.
13. Arizona Cardinals–Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
One would have to think the Cardinals would be quite pleased if the draft played out this way. Resigning Levi Brown does not mean the team is satisfied with their OTs. Reiff would come in and start immediately at either spot and help the team see if Kevin Kolb can actually carry them to the playoffs.
14. Dallas Cowboys–Mark Barron, SS, Alabama
A slight reach based on my rankings, but Barron not only fits the Cowboys’ biggest need, but also Rob Ryan’s defensive style. Drafting BPA is not always the best thing to do either, especially in the Cowboy’s situation being so close to a playoff birth with such a big hole at safety.
15. Philadelphia Eagles–Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
After improving their LB corps the past few weeks, the Eagles turn to bolstering their interior line. Brockers can join the rotation of Mike Patterson, Derek Landri and Cullen Jenkins in 2012, before taking over at NT in 2013.
16. New York Jets–Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama
I cannot see the Jets going with any other position here than OLB and Upshaw is the player I think they will target. He does not have any sexy moves rushing off the edge, but gets to the quarterback consistently. Even more impressive to me is the amount of tackles he makes behind the line of scrimmage (31.5 in the last two seasons). This overlooked stat is a great indicator of a game-changing front-seven player.
CONTINUE ONTO PICKS 17-32