1 Kansas City Chiefs: OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M – The Chiefs reportedly have swung a trade to acquire quarterback Alex Smith from the 49ers, and will now add a prime left tackle in the Draft to protect their prized acquisition.
Plus Kansas City reportedly remains high on Joeckel even though he failed to impress at the Combine, so we give him the edge over Fisher for the No. 1 pick.
2 Jacksonville Jaguars: DT Sharrif Floyd, Florida – Floyd’s stock has skyrocketed through the Combine and Jacksonville will grab the Draft’s top defensive tackle to aid their brittle defensive interior. And with a name that sounds like Sheriff, Floyd is bound to help sell tickets for the struggling franchise as well.
3 Oakland Raiders: DT Star Lotulelei, Utah – Star may or may not have a heart condition, but he will be Oakland’s pick if he proves to be fine, as the Utah standout has massive upside to become a dominant force in the trenches, and the AFC West franchise needs help up front after giving up 18 rushing TDs in 2012.
4 Philadelphia Eagles: CB Dee Milliner, Alabama – The Chip Kelly Era is off to a good start as Philly needs a shutdown cornerback with both Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nnamdi Asomugha not expected back, and Milliner may be the best overall player in the Draft.
5 Detroit Lions: DE Bjoern Werner, Florida State – A deathly silence will come over Detroit’s War Room as they really wanted to land Milliner, but after the tears dry, they will boost their pass rush with Werner as Plan B, as they mustered just 34 sacks in 2012 and Cliff Avril is currently a free agent.
6 Cleveland Browns: DE/OLB Dion Jordan, Oregon – Cleveland needs to add bigger guns to their pass rush as Jabaal Sheard led the club with a paltry seven sacks in 2012, and Jordan will be a great fit as they move back to a 3-4 defense this season.
7 Arizona Cardinals: OT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan – The Cardinals will consider Geno Smith or Matt Barkley here, but will then realize there is no sense taking a quarterback who will be tossed around like a rag doll every Sunday due to horrid blocking. So Fisher will be the pick, and many analysts believe he is a better prospect than Joeckel.
8 Buffalo Bills: QB Geno Smith, West Virginia - Smith may not be an elite prospect or in the same class as Andrew Luck or RG3, but will still be miles better than Ryan Fitzpatrick, and the Bills should be sold on this upgrade after Smith put in a solid showing at the Combine.
9 New York Jets: OLB Barkevious Mingo, LSU – The Jets gravely need a rush linebacker, and will pull the trigger on Mingo as the answer to their lingering problem as he dazzled at the Combine, namely running a 4.58 in the 40. Gang Green Nation, mark this as a Bingo for Mingo.
10 Tennessee Titans: DE Ezekiel Ansah, BYU – Tennessee will give strong deliberation for Chance Warmack, but will ultimately address their bigger need on the defensive line with Ansah, who the team will be banking on to light a fire under their lukewarm pass rush.
11 San Diego Chargers: OT Lane Johnson, Oklahoma – There are more than a few scouts who believe Johnson is actually the best offensive tackle prospect in the Draft, and San Diego lassoes the former Oklahoma standout in a bid to make the airways less turbulent for pilot Philip Rivers after being sacked a career-high 49 times in 2012.
12 Miami Dolphins: WR Cordarelle Patterson, Tennessee – Miami fans rejoice – the team will address their glaring need for a wide receiver, and land the best one in the Draft in Patterson. This pick enhances their investment in quarterback Ryan Tannehill as their 2012 first-rounder as well.
13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida State – Ronde Barber will blow out 38 candles on his birthday cake before the Draft and the team is considering cutting the erratic Eric Wright. And after Tampa Bay ranked in the NFL cellar in pass defense in 2012, it will not take defensive-minded coach Greg Schiano long to pull Rhodes off the board.
14 Carolina Panthers: DT Sheldon Richardson, Missouri – Richardson played for Missouri while the Panthers were misery to watch on defense in 2012. Ron Rivera will pull the disruptive defensive tackle off the board here if he plans on coaching in Carolina beyond 2013.
15 New Orleans Saints: OLB Jarvis Jones, Georgia – The Saints will need a dangerous pass rusher on the outside as they move to a 3-4 defense under new coordinator Rob Ryan this season, and will take a gamble on Jones’ upside here despite being a potential health risk (spinal stenosis).
16 St. Louis Rams: OG Chance Warmack, Alabama – After doing a double-take that the former Alabama mauler is still on the board, the Rams grab Warmack at pick No. 16. And coach Jeff Fisher’s plan to add better protection for young quarterback Sam Bradford is off to a great start.
17 Pittsburgh Steelers: FS Kenny Vaccaro, Texas - Pittsburgh needs an outside linebacker, but missed out on Jarvis Jones and is not willing to carry the baggage of Alec Ogletree this high in the Draft, so they play it safe with Vaccaro, who fills a need at safety with Ryan Clark going on 34 and the injury-prone Troy Polamalu set to turn 32 in April.
18 Dallas Cowboys: OG Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina – Quarterback Tony Romo was sacked 36 times in each of the last two seasons, and Dallas averaged a measly 3.4 yards per rushing attempt as a team in 2012.
Cooper is the best offensive lineman available, and Dallas will target him with the potential to become the next great guard for the franchise.
19 New York Giants: CB Desmond Trufant, Washington – GM Jerry Reese believes in drafting the best available player, and will look no further than Trufant, who dazzled at the Combine and holds the No. 18 spot on our FN Draft Board. Plus keep in mind that veteran starting cornerbacks, Terrell Thomas and Corey Webster, will both become free agents in 2014, and the Giants ranked 28th in pass defense last season.
20 Chicago Bears: OT D.J. Fluker, Alabama - Under new head coach Marc Trestman, the Bears want to add another dynamic weapon to their aerial attack, but cannot deliver him the ball if Jay Cutler continues to get punished consistently behind their porous offensive line – and Chicago will first address that need in Fluker, who is the only remaining offensive tackle with a first-round grade.
21 Cincinnati Bengals: OLB Alec Ogletree, Georgia – Cincinnati has a history of taking a gamble on players with character issues, and are a good bet to roll the dice on Ogletree, who is a top-10 talent and fills a need at outside linebacker if he can leave his off-field baggage behind.
22 St. Louis Rams: RB Eddie Lacy, Alabama - With Steven Jackson ready to leave St. Louis and slated to turn 30 in July, the team will soon have a major void at running back, and head coach Jeff Fisher will be intrigued by Lacy, who would fill his need for a workhorse back to drive his offense.
23 Minnesota Vikings: WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia – After turning heads at the Combine, Austin will be hard for Minnesota to pass up, as they need a difference-making complement for Percy Harvin, and another weapon for young quarterback Christian Ponder. Plus Austin will be even more dangerous to handle as running back Adrian Peterson wears down defenses.
24 Indianapolis Colts: DE/OLB Damontre Moore, Texas A&M – The Colts cut ties with Dwight Freeney, and will take the upside in Moore, as well as his versatility to work at both defensive end and outside linebacker in their 3-4 defense. And defensive guru Chuck Pagano will be a good coach to work with after the highly-touted prospect took a tumble with a poor performance at the Combine.
25 Seattle Seahawks: DT Kawann Short, Purdue – The Seahawks may field an imposing defense, but still have a need to generate more heat from the interior of their line, and Short will entice the team with his pass-rushing ability.
26 Green Bay Packers: TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame – The odds of Jermichael Finley returning to Green Bay are low, and Eifert will be viewed as an upgrade regardless, as he earned a first-round grade following a solid showing at the Combine. Plus Aaron Rodgers and Finley never had strong chemistry, and moving on to a new tight end would be a good plan.
27 Houston Texans: WR Keenan Allen, California – Texans owner Bob McNair noted that the club covets a No. 2 receiver to complement stud Andre Johnson and ultimately spark their lethargic aerial attack, and will take a shot on Allen, who would easily be a top-15 pick if not for concerns regarding his knee.
28 Denver Broncos: TE Zack Ertz, Stanford – Neither Jacob Tamme or Joel Dreessen are very good, and Ertz will give quarterback Peyton Manning a much better play-maker at the tight end position. Plus wide receiver Demaryius Thomas will be a marked man by opposing defenses after his breakout 2012 campaign, and will need another viable target behind Eric Decker to free him up.
29 New England Patriots: SS Matt Elam, Florida – The Patriots need to upgrade at safety, and Elam will provide much-needed help in pass coverage, namely in their nickel package. He raised his stock with a solid display at the Combine as well.
30 Atlanta Falcons: DE Datone Jones, UCLA – Ray Edwards did not pan out and John Abraham is nearing the end of his career at 35. Jones fared well at the Combine and Atlanta will target him here to fill their most pressing need at defensive end.
31 San Francisco 49ers: DT Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State – Hankins possesses excellent quickness for a big man (6-3, 320 pounds), and San Francisco will buy into his massive upside as a run defender, and will also be drawn to his versatility to work at multiple positions along the line in their 3-4 defense, and would be an instant upgrade at nose tackle.
32 Baltimore Ravens: ILB Kevin Minter, LSU – With the Ray Lewis Era coming to an end, Baltimore will be thrilled that Minter is still on the board at pick No. 32. Minter may lack size (5-11, 246 pounds), but still excels at neutralizing ball carriers with his sharp instincts and .44 magnum-caliber hitting power, and the Ravens can count on him while rebuilding at inside linebacker.