Andrew Luck, Quarterback, Stanford
The Panthers simply will not pass up on Andrew Luck. All the hype that surrounds this guy, he might be the most hyped prospect since LeBron James. I have not heard a single analyst say anything other than that this guy is a lock to be the number one pick. The Panthers could keep Jimmy Clausen or trade him, but he didn't prove enough to me and likely other Panther fans that he is worthy of being the starter next year.
Luck has been phenomenal for the Cardinal, and he will be the number one pick no matter what happens, or so it would seem.
Patrick Peterson, Cornerback, LSU
This has nothing to do with Champ Bailey, though other analysts will say it does. I actually am making this pick with the belief that Champ Bailey will indeed be back for another season or four with the Denver Broncos. There is no way they are letting him go, especially through this process where he is the only rock solid defender this team has.
Patrick Peterson is simply the best playmaker in the draft, and I don't know that there is a prospect with more potential. 6'1" 222 pounds, 4.37 40, and absolutely has a nose for the ball, and a nose for the end zone. He fits three needs for the Broncos at CB, KR, and PR. Oh, and he's also going to be 20 at the time of the draft. Lots of good football ahead for this kid.
Nick Fairley, Defensive Lineman, Auburn
Fairley absolutely tortured teams this year. The Bills could choose a quarterback here, but their defense was much more of a problem last year, and who knows if they will even consider any of the available QB's with this pick.
Fairley is the best defensive tackle in the draft, and he will add nastiness and pass rush to a front seven that desperately needs it.
Da'Quan Bowers, Defensive End, Clemson
Bowers was a big time recruit in high school, and finally came into his own as a pass rusher in 2010. He's been an absolute beast for the Tigers, and he won't have to chance color scheme all that much here. The Bengals could use his pass rushing abilities, and he is a good fit for Cincy.
Cam Newton, Quarterback, Auburn
This is a wild card choice. I don't know if Newton will go this high, but I am relatively certain the Cardinals will be looking for a quarterback. Newton could energize that team, and give hope for keeping Larry Fitzgerald after next season.
A.J. Green, Wide Receiver, Georgia
Green is a serious playmaker and has great size. He missed some games this year, but he's still the unquestioned best receiver in the draft, and Colt McCoy would definitely appreciate this pick.
Prince Amukamara, Cornerback, Nebraska
This is another team that could go with a quarterback here, but I don't think anyone is worth taking. The 49ers continue to improve their defense and add Amukamara, who has shut-down ability.
Marcell Dareus, Defensive Tackle, Alabama
And here, another team that could be looking for a quarterback. I think Jeff Fisher knows that great teams are built in the trenches, and Dareus could instantly upgrade their defensive line. Many think he could be solid in the 4-3, and I would agree. This would be a nice choice for the Titans.
Adrian Clayborn, Defensive End, Iowa
The Cowboys need help on the offensive and defensive lines, as well as in the defensive backfield. Clayborn is my best player available at this point, and he also happens to fit a position of need. He can do it all. This guy will be loved instantly by Cowboys fans.
Blaine Gabbert, Quarterback, Missouri
The Redskins are in an interesting position. Mike Shanahan clearly feels the organization made a mistake extending Donovan McNabb, and who knows if he will even be back next season. Rex Grossman performed admirably, but I think they could be adding a third first round pick to the mix. Gabbert showed he needs seasoning, but he can be a very good quarterback.
Brandon Harris, Cornerback, Miami
Is there any question as to what this team's weakness is? Harris is a very good cornerback, and would instantly upgrade the worst pass D in the NFL.
Janoris Jenkins, Cornerback, Florida
Lito Sheppard and Asher Allen simply will not cut it, and I think Chris Cook is better suited to play safety in the NFL. Janoris Jenkins has all the talent in the world, but some questions about his character. The Vikings need playmakers in the defensive backfield badly, but also have questions at quarterback.
Tyron Smith, Offensive Tackle, USC
Smith is a fast rising prospect and the Lions need help protecting Matt Stafford, who is apparently made of glass. Getting a franchise tackle would go a long way in helping that.
Julio Jones, Wide Receiver, Alabama
I will predict this pick all the way up to the draft, unless I hear otherwise. Jones is a great fit here, as the Rams need a playmaker at receiver, and Jones is one of the best in the pool. Sam Bradford would be giddy about this selection.
Ryan Mallett, Quarterback, Arkansas
Another wild-card choice here. I personally don't think Mallett has what it takes, but that doesn't mean a team in the middle of the first round will feel the same. The Dolphins need a quarterback that has some guts, and Mallett might not make the best decisions, but he can really sling it around the field.
Jake Locker, Quarterback, Washington
I think this pick would buy Jack Del Rio even more time should the Jags falter again. If the team has a quarterback in the wings, he could be off the hook. This team has issues in the secondary, but David Garrard isn't getting any younger, and Locker could learn a lot from him. This is a solid pick in the middle of the first round.
Ryan Kerrigan, Outside Linebacker, Purdue
This is the steal of the draft. The Patriots always manage to get great value, and Kerrigan is no different. He's got fantastic pass rush ability, and a blue collar work ethic that BB will fall in love with. I love this fit.
Akeem Ayers, Linebacker, UCLA
Ayers adds to a linebacker group that overachieved in 2010, and one that will also be getting some key pieces back for 2011. Ayers can play on the inside with Cooper, and pair those two with Larry English and Shaun Phillips on the outside, and you have the makings of a great linebacker corps.
Stephen Paea, Defensive Tackle, Oregon State
This is a case of the Giants taking the best defensive player available here. You put Paea with the group that they already have at the end positions, and you keep that fearsome look on the defensive line. Paea could be a great fit for the Giants.
Robert Quinn, Defensive End, North Carolina
The Bucs take a flyer on the troubled Carolina end who missed all of this past season. He's got fantastic pass rush ability, and the Bucs would love to have a guy like this to pair with Gerald McCoy and Brian Price on the defensvie line.
Mark Ingram, Running Back, Alabama
Seattle needs playmakers, and they have a log-jam of mediocre running backs. It worked out pretty well for them the last time they took an Alabama running back at this point in the draft.
Drake Nevis, Defensive Tackle, LSU
Nevis is a hot prospect right now, and he could fit in very well with Freeney, Mathis, and Hughes on Indy's defensive line. He's got great intensity and a low center of gravity, and I think he could be a really nice selection this late in the draft.
Jimmy Smith, Cornerback, Colorado
Smith will light up offseason workouts, and a team like Philly who needs a corner opposite Samuel will be ecstatic to jump and get him. Smith is 6'2" and runs a sub-4.4 40 yard dash. He's a physical freak and has immense potential.
Justin Blackmon, Wide Receiver, Oklahoma State
Playmakers, playmakers, playmakers. The Chiefs were a nice surprise in 2010, but they need to continue to add playmakers offensively. Add Justin Blackmon to Charles, Bowe, Moeaki, McCluster, and Jones, and you have a winning combination.
Mike Pouncey, Offensive Lineman, Florida
The Packers could upgrade their offensive line or go best player available. This is really a deep roster, as evidenced by the fact that they have managed to remain one of the toughest teams in the NFC despite a barrage of injuries this season. Unbelievable depth and talent already, and this pick will only add to it.
Cameron Jordan, Defensive End, California
Fiery player for a fiery coach. Jordan could easily go earlier than late-first, but this is a great fit personality-wise, and the Jets' defensive line is getting old. A pass rush OLB is an option as well.
Nate Solder, Offensive Tackle, Colorado
Cameron Heyward, Defensive Lineman, Ohio State
The Saints continue to add the best defensive talent available. Heyward is a versatile player that can play inside and out for the Saints, and he can be very disruptive.
Allen Bailey, Defensive End, Miami
Von Miller, Outside Linebacker, Texas A&M
Jonathan Baldwin, Wide Receiver, Pittsburgh
Possession receiver to pair with the big play ability of Roddy White. Matt Ryan will be licking his chops if the Falcons make a play for the 6'5" Baldwin.
Derek Sherrod, Offensive Tackle, Mississippi State
Pats need an offensive lineman, and they have another pick right after this one. Talk about flexibility.
**Thanks to Seahawks Draft Blog for the team icons**