1) Indianapolis Colts - Andrew Luck (QB, Stanford)
If the Colts don't lose the No.1 pick (and considering they play the lousy Jags next week and the Rams play the 49ers that's possible) then they have to take Luck and either trade him or Peyton. Luck is too good to sit, especially since Manning (if he's fit) should have a couple of elite years left in him. But that's for another day.
2) Minnesota Vikings - Matt Kalil (OT, USC)
The Vikings' offensive line is terrible - Christian Ponder has pretty good feet but he's still getting knocked around every week (and I believe he got a concussion this week as well). They need Kalil in the worst way.
3) St Louis Rams - TRADE (No.3 to Jacksonville for No.5 and 2012 No.3)
Jacksonville Jaguars - Justin Blackmon (WR, Oklahoma State)
Even though Blaine Gabbert has looked pretty poor in his short NFL career, he's had no help from the Jags' WR corps, who may be the worst in the NFL. Blackmon is almost as sure a thing as the two guys who went before him and gives Gabbert a legit No.1 receiver who can get open and make catches anywhere on the field. Eight years after they tried to trade up for Larry Fitzgerald (they offered the Raiders a Ditka trade for the No.2 pick but Al Davis refused) the Jaguars finally get a stud WR. Has there ever been one in the history of that franchise?
4) Cleveland Browns - Robert Griffin III (QB, Baylor)
Colt McCoy hasn't shown himself to be the answer at quarterback for the Browns, even though their receiving corps haven't given him much help either. It's possible they give him another year, but if RGIII is available when they draft I can't see them passing that opportunity up. The success of Cam Newton and Denver #15 (I don't say his name because I get headaches thinking about him) shows just how useful it is to have a dual threat QB in the modern NFL and how effective they can be when deployed right.
5) St Louis Rams (from Jacksonville) - Morris Claiborne (CB, LSU)
For the second year running, a LSU cornerback goes at No.5 to an NFC West team. The Rams' corner play has been atrocious all season, save one fluky game against the Saints. Claiborne is a terrific talent who can fit into any scheme and has the whole package - speed, instincts, coverage skills, ball skills, good tackling technique and he can return kicks as well. St Louis can look to upgrade their shoddy line next.
6) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Zach Brown (LB, North Carolina)
Bucs have issues throughout their LB corps, Brown is one of the best players available. Easy pick. The UNC product is that rare mix of speed, instincts and skills.
7) Washington Redskins - TRADE (No.7, 2012 No.2, 2012 No.5 and 2013 No.1 to Indianapolis for Peyton Manning)
Indianapolis Colts - Alfonzo Dennard (CB, Nebraska)
Yeah, I think it's gonna happen like this. If any team is going to break the bank for Peyton Manning, it's the Redskins with Midget Dan as their owner. You know he'd love to make a splash like this - if nothing else just having Peyton on his team will sell more tickets and make him more money. Plus, Manning is supposed to be friendly with Mike Shanahan, who also prefers veteran QBs due to his inability to coach younger guys up. He will probably agree to this trade over any others.
As for the Colts' pick, while Dre Kirkpatrick is a better prospect Dennard is a better fit for the Colts' scheme (Assuming they don't go for a total cleanout end of this year and institute a new defense) and there isn't enough between them to make it a huge mistake.
8) Miami Dolphins - Landry Jones (QB, Oklahoma)
Jones was not as good this year as hoped and probably needs another year in school or risk being this year's Blaine Gabbert. That said, just like Gabbert this year he'll probably get lured in by the suddenly weaker QB class (with Matt Barkley returning to school) and declare for the draft. QBs always rise and the Dolphins need an upgrade, as solid as Matt Moore has been for them.
9) Buffalo Bills - Quinton Coples (DE, North Carolina)
The Bills currently run a 3-4, but may look to change next year if they get a new DC - IMO their current personnel would be better suited to a 4-3, especially given their lack of a true pass rusher at OLB. In that case, they get themselves a stud 4-3 pass rushing DE in Coples. Even if they stick with the 3-4 he can play 5-tech, which would give the Bills one of the best defensive lines in the league.
10) Kansas City Chiefs - Riley Reiff (OT, Iowa)
The Chiefs have issues on their offensive line and play in a division with two very good pass rushing units in Oakland and Denver. Reiff can play LT in the NFL which would allow them to move Brandon Albert right, which should help keep whoever they have at QB next year upright.
11) Carolina Panthers - Dre Kirkpatrick (CB, Alabama)
As tempting as it might be to take Alshon Jeffrey at this spot (especially with Steve Smith not getting younger) the Panthers won't go anywhere unless they upgrade their D - and this draft has plenty of receiver depth. Kirkpatrick is an extremely talented CB, particularly in coverage, who fits the Panthers' defense.
12) San Diego Chargers - Courtney Upshaw (OLB/DE, Alabama)
A bit high for Upshaw here, but A.J. Smith (assuming he retains his position, which I believe he may - Norv Turner is another story though) tends to assign his own criteria when drafting players. Plus, he fills a major need - the Chargers have struggled to generate a consistent pass rush from their 3-4 OLBs - and it's not like he isn't a very talented player.
13) Seattle Seahawks - TRADE (No.13 to Cincinnati for No.26 and No.27)
Cincinnati Bengals - Janoris Jenkins (CB, North Alabama)
As good as the Bengals defense has been all year, they need another cornerback opposite Leon Hall. Jenkins' troubles are well documented, but Cincy won't be deterred. He's been dominant against the weak competition he's faced at North Alabama and managed to stay out of trouble, so his stock should rise. The Seahawks trade down after failing to trade up for a QB.
14) Philadelphia Eagles - Luke Kuechly (ILB, Boston College)
Andy Reid doesn't draft linebackers high, but with his job on the line partly due to the terrible LB play of the Eagles this year...he may be more inclined to stray from his philosophy. Plus, Kuechly is the best player available at this spot who makes sense to Philly - he may not have the athleticism of a Zach Brown but he matches him in ever other aspect. The shining light of the BC defense. If not, they could look at Alshon Jeffrey, especially with DeSean Jackson on the way out of Philly.
15) Chicago Bears - Alshon Jeffrey (WR, South Carolina)
But I let Jeffrey fall one spot more because him in Chicago is almost too good a fit. The Bears have not managed to give Cutler a true No.1 receiver - Johnny Knox is good but he's too small to be that guy. Jeffrey is also a great fit for the Mike Martz offense. It's almost too good to be true.
16) Arizona Cardinals - Jonathan Martin (OT, Stanford)
As is this pick. Kevin Kolb's issues this year have often come down to never getting enough protection from his line (John Skelton's extra mobility helping him in this regard, although Kolb isn't the slowest QB out there). Martin could easily be the second best OT in this draft - at any rate it's a toss-up between him and Riley Reiff, with the latter being a slightly better pass blocker and Martin a better run blocker. But he protected Andrew Luck's blind side well enough that he's got to be legit, even if he starts in the NFL as a RT.
17) Tennessee Titans - Michael Floyd (WR, Notre Dame)
Kenny Britt's injury really hurt the Titans' passing attack this year. While he'll be back next season, Jake Locker (assuming he starts) could certainly use another stud WR to throw to, especially a deep threat like Floyd in this Tennessee offense, which isn't afraid to go downfield. Floyd is the BPA - while he has some issues, the Titans are another team that won't be too bothered.
18) Denver Broncos - TRADE (No.18 to Dallas for No.20 and 2012 No.4)
Dallas Cowboys - Chase Minifield (CB, Virginia)
The Cowboys need to shore up their secondary, following their failure to get Nnamdi Asomugha in free agency. Minifield is no Aso but he's a solid cover corner for a defense that prizes coverage skills above all. His college stats aren't impressive because, like Dre Kirkpatrick, teams just didn't throw at him.
19) New York Jets - Courtney Upshaw (OLB/DE, Alabama)
The Jets' pass rush isn't as good as is popularly believed. Upshaw, a natural 3-4 OLB unlike the last pass rusher they took in the first round, will instantly upgrade it.
20) Denver Broncos - Brandon Thompson (DT, Clemson)
Denver have struggled against the run at times this year - while their issues have mostly been against faster RBs (Darren McFadden, CJ Spiller) their lack of DT depth has hurt them. John Elway chose not to draft for his defensive line this year but will surely look at Clemson's Brandon Thompson in 2012. Thompson is a big run plugger who can also get to the QB.
21) New York Giants - Vontaze Burfict (LB, Arizona State)
The Giants usually go for the best player on their board. In this draft, that might be Burfict, who also fills a need for them at 4-3 outside linebacker. He's fallen down draft boards after a mediocre season, but part of that has been him trying to contain the aggression with which he plays and doing so too much. Hopefully he can find a balance in the pros because he's extremely talented.
22) Houston Texans - Dwight Jones (WR, North Carolina)
The Texans need a No.2 WR opposite Andre Johnson - Kevin Walter and Jacoby Jones aren't the answer. Jones, a big, physical type who can also get downfield, may be it.
23) Cleveland Browns (via Atlanta) - Kendall Wright (WR, Baylor)
The Browns desperately need WR help - why not keep the old college duo together? Wright showed electrifying speed and solid hands this season - he'll provide explosion to an offense sadly short on it, as well as ready-made chemistry with his quarterback.
24) Baltimore Ravens - Dont'a Hightower (ILB, Alabama)
It's no secret the Ravens are looking for Ray Lewis' successor. Hightower, who is tough, physical and intelligent, would be a natural to learn from the great Lewis and eventually take his spot full-time.
25) Seattle Seahawks (from Oakland via Cincinnati) - TRADE (No.25 to Detroit for No.27 and 2012 No.4)
Detroit Lions - David DeCastro (G, Stanford)
Seattle continue to trade down in search of value, while Detroit are very lucky to snap up David DeCastro. One of the best guard prospects in a while, DeCastro came to fame as one of the main protectors of Andrew Luck, as well as opening holes for the Cardinals' rushing attack.
26) Seattle Seahawks - Ryan Tannehill (QB, Texas A&M)
I don't think Tannehill is ready to start for a while - he hasn't even played QB in college for his entire career with the Aggies. Regardless, he's shown enough raw talent to be worthy of a late first round pick by the Seahawks, who are looking for their franchise QB (although I also think they're a possibility to sign for Matt Flynn from Green Bay). Seattle's offensive coaches also like mobile QBs.
27) Seattle Seahawks (via Detroit) - Nick Perry (DE, USC)
Pete Carroll grabs one of his old USC guys. Perry has had a breakout season this year and vaulted into first round consideration. Seattle, meanwhile, need to shore up their pass rush.
28) New England Patriots (via New Orleans) - Casey Heyward (CB, Vanderbilt)
The Patriots will probably trade one of these late round No.1s, but they have enough needs that I'm using them both. Heyward hasn't been consistently productive this year, but he has first round talent and the kind of skillset Bill Belichick looks for in his DBs - particularly ballhawking.
29) Pittsburgh Steelers - Alameda Ta'aumu (NT, Washington)
The Steelers typically go BPA, but I'm not sure who fits them here - and it's not like Ta'aumu is a reach or anything at this spot. Pittsburgh are looking for Casey Hampton's successor as the NT anchor of their defense.
30) Green Bay Packers - Brandon Jenkins (OLB/DE, Florida State)
Again, the Packers tend to look for the best player available - Jenkins is probably the guy at this spot, and he fits a need for a pass rusher opposite Clay Matthews at OLB.
31) San Francisco 49ers - Dwayne Allen (TE, Clemson)
Jim Harbaugh loved to run multiple tight end sets at Stanford, and a 2TE offense would fit Alex Smith's skill set pretty well. Only problem is the Niners don't have a decent receiving TE opposite Vernon Davis. Adding Allen, who has had a great season for Clemson, would open up another dimension to a fairly conservative offense.
32) New England Patriots - Whitney Mercilus (DE/OLB, Illinois)
Mercilus (what an awesome name for a defensive end, BTW) has had a breakout college season and made his way into late-first round consideration, especially given the weak depth at DE in this class. The Pats will definitely look hard at him, especially given his versatility for their multiple-front scheme.