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The Redskins traded 3 1sts and a 2nd for the #2 Pick. The trade was less than I figured they’d ultimately give up; but I had always assumed the Redskins were the favorites. Dan Snyder would have parted ways with ten 1sts if he had too.
1. The Indianapolis Colts (2-14) select:
Andrew Luck | QB | Stanford
I think the firing of Jim Caldwell solidifies the idea that the Colts will be moving on without Peyton Manning. The new coach and the new GM will be apart of the new era in Indianapolis. Andrew Luck will be a fantastic player to start that era.
This pick is said to be a lock, as the Colts brass feels confident in the long term potential of Andrew Luck. I think the Colts would be smart to trade the pick, but it appears increasingly unlikely.
For reasons that I completely understand, the media has jumped on the Andrew Luck bandwagon. They say he’s more accurate than anyone since Peyton Manning. They say he’s got all the physical tools. They say he’s doing it without NFL caliber weapons.
Everything they say is right, but, I can’t ignore that Andrew Luck struggles against fast defenses. The holes and lanes close quicker in the NFL, and that’s something Luck will struggle with.
The Washington Redskins have one main area of need: Quarterback. There are other needs, of course, but the Redskins had the worst Quarterback situation in the league last season. They can’t go into next season with Grossman and Beck.
The Redskins were very aware how close they are when they trade such a ransom for the rights to the #2 overall pick. I’m not sure other people are. The Redskins won five games with a combination of Rex Grossman and John Beck behind center. That’s impressive.
For as much as I like to joke about Grossman and Beck, I feel like Griffin is a much bigger part in the Redskins success than my jokes lead on. Griffin shows elite athleticism to go along with above average arm talent and anticipation. In Mike Shanahan’s offense, he’s going to do special things.
The Vikings have huge needs at the Linebacker position, in their Secondary, at the Wide Receiver position, and on the Offensive Line. The Viking’s cupboard is essentially bare. The Vikings probably won’t be picky when it comes to filling those needs.
Rick Spielman isn’t sold on Matt Kalil here. I don’t think he’s a Franchise-type Left Tackle, and apparently neither does Minnesota. ESPN’s Adam Schefter says that the Vikings are looking at their other options, namely Justin Blackmon and Morris Claiborne. Until I have confirmation on whom they prefer, I’m going to assume they stick with Matt Kalil here.
I joked on Twitter to fans that were surprised that the Browns didn’t win the race for RG3… Wouldn’t you be more surprised if the Browns won… anything? Jokes aside, the Browns still have a lot of ammunition to have a successful draft; even if it means not getting a Quarterback with their earliest selection.
The Cleveland Browns are in a unique position with two first round draft picks. While Trent Richardson and Morris Claiborne are more highly rated, the opportunity to team Justin Blackmon and Brandon Weeden has to be intriguing.
Although the Buccaneers managed to win ten games two seasons ago, this team is devoid of talent. The Buccaneers need help at Running Back, Linebacker, and Defensive Back to go along with several other positions where players aren’t anything special.
The Buccaneers reportedly favor Trent Richardson to Morris Claiborne. I don’t know why that’s the case, but if you listen to reports, it is. Richardson is a potential every-down back that is loved by the new staff in Tampa Bay.
6. The St. Louis Rams (2-14) select:
Morris Claiborne | CB | LSU
The St. Louis Rams need to use their leverage with the #2 pick to get as much talent as possible. They have significant holes at a plethora of positions; specifically Running Back, Wide Receiver, Tight End, Left Tackle, Defensive Tackle, Linebacker, Cornerback, and Safety.
With Morris Claiborne on the board, I have to assume the Rams would jump at the opportunity to take him. Claiborne is a potential shut-down Corner that the Rams could pair with Cortland Finnegan.
7. The Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11) select:
Quinton Coples | DE | North Carolina
The Jacksonville Jaguars have a huge need at Defensive End and at Wide Receiver. At Defensive End, they just managed to resign Jeremy Mincey; but another player is needed. They signed Wide Receiver Laurent Robinson, but they don’t have a proven number one.
Gene Smith recently said that he wasn’t focused on drafting high-character guys this off season. That led most people to believe that the new owner would lead him to Michael Floyd, but I think there is no chance they pass on both of the Defensive Ends. Whether it’s Melvin Ingram or Quinton Coples, the Jaguars really can’t go wrong.
8. The Miami Dolphins (6-10) select:
Ryan Tannehill | QB | Texas A&M
I had moved away from the Offensive Tackle to Miami mindset before I found out that Jake Long “wants to test the Free Agent market” after this season. Realistically, the Dolphins have to prepare for life after Jake Long.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to take an Offensive Tackle in the first round. Ryan Tannehill is not in the same league as Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III, but he has a very high ceiling as well. Realistically, he could end up as a Franchise-type Quarterback.
This is the best situation for Tannehill as well, as his Texas A&M Head Coach Mike Sherman is now the Offensive Coordinator for the Dolphins. Tannehill knows the system and could theoretically win the job out of camp with that kind of an inside track.
The Dolphins just signed veteran Quarterback David Garrard, but don’t assume that means the Dolphins won’t pursue Ryan Tannehill. Garrard is, at best, a starter for a season or two. There is still no long-term solution in Miami.
9. The Carolina Panthers (6-10) select:
Fletcher Cox | DT | Mississippi State
The Carolina Panthers need help at Defensive Tackle and Safety more than they need any other position, but teams often draft value over need. Panther’s GM Marty Hurney knows how hard it is to acquire a Franchise Tackle. Jordan Gross is coming to the end of his career and Right Tackle Jeff Otah has had a disappointing career up to this point.
I had previously mocked the Carolina Panthers Offensive Tackle Riley Reiff, but I’m beginning to sense that his stock is taking a hit. A lot of teams are seeing Reiff as a Guard, and that does not mean anything good.
The Panthers have had positive work-outs with Linebacker Luke Kuechly, but I feel like that might be a back-up plan. With Fletcher Cox’s meteoric rise up the boards recently, I think he’s the pick here. He’s dynamic on the inside.
The Buffalo Bills still have a couple of needs. Outside of another Defensive End and a Linebacker, the Buffalo Bills could use a Wide Receiver and help on their Offensive Line.
Chan Gailey has been very open about his desire to acquire bigger-framed Wide Receivers, but this year’s class of Wide Receivers is fairly deep. There aren’t many replacements available for Demetrius Bell at Left Tackle. It’ll be interesting to see who the Bills choose to take here, and it seems to be going back-and-forth between Reiff and Floyd.
11. The Kansas City Chiefs (7-9) select:
Luke Kuechly | LB | Boston College
I think Kansas City has killed the offseason, acquiring a replacement at Cornerback and a new Right Tackle. Now, outside of Defensive Line and Quarterback, the Kansas City Chiefs don’t really have many needs.
With Ryan Tannehill off the board, it becomes a little more questionable who the Chiefs are going to take here. The Chiefs need help at Inside Linebacker, and Luke Kuechly could be the perfect solution. Although the Left Guard position could have been addressed, Luke Kuechly is much more likely to make an impact.
The Seahawks don’t have a big need outside of the Quarterback position, and they need to acquire help at the pass rushing positions. I have had Melvin Ingram in this slot forever, because I think he’s a perfect fit for Seattle.
There isn’t a big need for a Defensive End since the Seahawks signed Jason Jones, but I think Melvin Ingram could be a good fit. Ingram could be used in a variety of different ways, moving around Pete Carroll’s defense.
13. The Arizona Cardinals (8-8) select:
David DeCastro | G | Stanford
Last season, the Cardinals proved they planned to stick to their draft board moving forward. Both Patrick Peterson and Ryan Williams were the (reported) highest player on the Cardinals board, even though Running Back wasn’t a big need.
The best player on my board, at this point, is Stanford’s David DeCastro. DeCastro is one of the best guard prospects in recent memory, and he’s an upgrade over either guard Ken Whisenhunt currently plans to play next season.
The Cowboys attacked Free Agency, adding a couple of depth pieces at Guard, a nice piece at Inside Linebacker in Dan Connor, a passable Safety in Brodney Pool, and a #1 caliber Cornerback in Brandon Carr. The Cowboys have made all the moves they need to in order to be flexible in the draft.
Last year, Head Coach Jason Garrett made only one visit for a Pro Day workout, when he went to see his future first round pick Tyron Smith. This year, he headed to Alabama to watch ‘Dre Kirkpatrick. This may have been a smokescreen, but I have ‘Dre locked in here for future notice.
15. The Philadelphia Eagles (8-8) select:
Mark Barron | S | Alabama
The Eagles desperately need to find a starting Linebacker this offseason. The Eagles acquired Demeco Ryans to man the middle, but Philadelphia is still rough at the other spots. Drafting Kuechly at this point, however, would be the ideal solution. With Kuechly off the board, the Eagles will have to invest in another position instead.
The Eagles drafted Jaiquan Jarrett with a high pick, but he couldn’t sniff the field last season. The Eagles have really lacked toughness in their secondary since Brian Dawkins left the team, and Mark Barron could be the replacement they’ve been looking for.
The Jets have a holes at Running Back, Wide Receiver, Right Tackle, Rush Linebacker, and Safety. There are passable players at all of the positions mentioned, but their is a need to upgrade.
Although the Jets will strongly consider Whitney Mercilus at this spot, I think Michael Floyd could ultimately win out. The Jets don’t have a reliable option opposite Santonio Holmes, so Michael Floyd would fill a huge need. Some think he’s the best Wide Receiver prospect in the entire draft.