It's that time of year, and I wanted to get into the action as well. I tried to do a lot of trades. If you swapped with a team to move up, assume you gave up a second-round pick this year, and maybe a late pick next year if something more was needed to sweeten the deal. No need to break out the abacus and the trade chart. I tried to add a little commentary to keep it interesting and at least let you know my rationale...
1) Indianapolis Colts- Andrew Luck, QB Stanford
We all know the drill by now. There are some whispers starting to surface that RGIII may have the better "pocket presence", but the train is too far down the road to stop now. It would be too unconventional of a move for the Colts to pick anyone other than Luck.
2) Washington Redskins- Robert Griffin, III, QB Baylor
Washington did the right thing. Giving up just one pick in each of the next two years is worth it for a franchise QB. Would you rather them start Beck/Grossman again or be stuck like the Browns/Dolphins who have to consider Tannehill early?
3) Minnesota Vikings - Matt Kalil, OT Southern California
Pretty much a no brainer to help your franchise QB.
Lately, the Browns have had a plan of being bad enough to earn a top ten draft pick, and then trading that pick away for later picks rather than picking up a top ten talent. Who needs Julio Jones when you could get Greg Little and extra picks? Who needs Justin Blackmon when you could get when you can get Mohammed Sanu and extra picks? I'm just glad they don't crush the fanbase by picking Tannehill here, rather than waiting for Matt Barkley next year.
I know Chiefs’ fans may be upset here, but really QB is your biggest need. Why stay at #11 where BPA would only be a guard? The defense looks good, Bowe is still there at WR, and Hillis and Charles can handle the running game. Without a franchise QB, the Chiefs are stuck in an NFL purgatory. The team is not good enough to make a serious playoff run, but not bad enough to get a draft pick high enough to get a real franchise QB. Someone needs to push Cassel, and if he gets hurt again its back to Palko or Stanzi…yikes!
5) Tampa Bay Buccanners- Morris Claiborne, CB LSU
This is another no brainer when you play 6 games against Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, and a guy who passed for over 4,000 yards as a rookie (wait, I thought Cam was a running QB?) .
6) St. Louis Rams- Justin Blackmon, WR OSU
The Rams passing on RGIII means that they are all-in with Bradford. They could go O-line, but they passed on the consensus best OT in the last few years. Plus they recently invested a high draft pick into an OT, with questionable results. With an extra 2nd round pick the Rams might be tempted to wait until later to address the WR position, but the Browns serve as a cautionary tale to that idea. Richardson is a thought, but I don't see how he makes Bradford and the team much better.
7) Jacksonville Jaguars- Jonathan Martin, OT Stanford
One thing we learned from watching them last year is that Blaine Gabbert and pressure do not mix. The Jags
shouldcould have gotten hometown hero Tim Tebow in an easy trade this offseason, and not doing so shows that they are all-in with Gabs. The Jags went out and got a "#1 WR" in free-agency so they would not have to reach for one here. I would still take Floyd, but the fanbase and front-office are still shell shocked from the Reggie Williams/Matt Jones busts. Still they should look to the Lions, who did the right thing in drafting Calvin Johnson despite being burned by Roy Williams and Charles Rogers. I think the Jags would be outsmarting themselves if they went defense here instead.
8) Miami Dolphins- Michael Floyd, WR Notre Dame
The Dolphins passed on Flynn, missed out on RGIII, and then panic ensued. The Dolphins have wasted enough picks on QBs through the years to know that Tannehill is not going to save them at #8, and that a Matt Moore/David Garrard combination is likely better than Flynn/Tannehill anyway. With no Brandon Marshall, this team is in desperate need of a WRto pair with their running game. If you were willing to spend a top ten pick a few years ago on Teddy Ginn, Jr., why not spend one on arguably the best WR in the draft.
The last time the Jets and Panthersswapped 1st round picks in 2009, it was the epitome of a "win-win" deal. The Jets moved up and got Revis, the Panthers moved back and got Beason andKalil. They try to rekindle that magic again this year. With the trade announced many assume the Jets want Ingram, but instead they go for TR ahead of Cleveland. That offense was best when the run game was dominate, allowing Sanchez to shine in limited spots. With TR in the fold, they could ride that train all the way back to the AFC championship game.
10) Buffalo Bills- Quinton Coples, DE UNC
Though the Bills addressed defensive endin free agency with the Mario Williams signing, getting a second one would not hurt. This double-dip gives them the ability to totally revamp the image of their defense (think when the Lions drafted Fairely after getting Suhthe year before). Plus they have witnessed the Giants continued ability to dominate New England via an impressive D-line, and they may be able to duplicate this feat with a line of Williams, Dareus, and Coples.
Kansas City Chiefstraded to Cleveland Browns- Riley Rieff, OT Iowa
I'm worried about McCoy and the David Carr syndrome. He has taken a beating going up against the Ravens and Steelers twice a year, andthey could use someone opposite Joe Thomas. In the few games I've seen of Cleveland, the protection didn't appear to hold for even a West-Coast style of offense, and no WR's really have value at this spot anyway.
The Bills passing on Ingram results in a frenzy of teams to move up. The Chargers are a team who has traded up before, and they are up to the challenge. Ingram is athletic enough to be a versatile force in the right system. His motor is special to watch. In the wrong system, I think he could be swallowed up by NFL OTs.
13) Arizona Cardinals- Kendall Wright, WR Baylor
It could be a bad attempt at something different, but if it works it could be great for the Cards. DeCastro seems to be the reasonable pick here, but there should still be some good guards available in the 2nd round. Wright is not Aquan Bolden size, but help for Fitzgerald would be nice. Though they are adequate players, I think he could beat out Early Dorcet and Andre Roberts.
14) Dallas Cowboys- Dre Kirpatrick, CB Alabama
Even with the Brandon Carr signing, I think they double-dip here because of Ryan's defensive schemes. They could go DeCastro here, but Rex Ryan showed his brother how flexible defensive scheming can be with two good corners. The Cowboys secondary has been an issue for a few years now. Kirpatrick should have been taken before now because of his talent, and his physical style of play will cause him to be featured in many future Sports Center highlights.
The Eagles want a OT, and think they could still get one if they trade back here. The Titans see Fletcher Cox sliding. They see a nice pass rushing DT who could really bolster their line, anddecide to jump ahead of the Panthers to get him. Cox is probably versatile enough to play a little DE as well.
New York Jetstraded to Carolina Panthers- Stephen Hill, WR Georgia Tech
The Pantherswere still ready to take Cox here as he surprisingly fell, but the Titans snatched him first. The Panthers need defense, and seemed happy with the corps of young WRsdrafted over the pass few years. That's why its intriguing that Carolina has quietly brought in all of the first-round graded WRsfor a team visits/private workouts. I have the feeling that if they move back in the draft, the Panthers take a WR and address the D-line in the 2nd round with the extra pick. They seem to have all of the WRs scouted for a variety of scenarios. Hill adds another deep threat option with Smith for Cam in the vertical passing game, and he can double as a physical blocker in the run/option game as well. The new NFC South will continue to feature "arena league" style offensive shoot-outs with little defense, andthe Panthers could benefit from the extra ammo.
17) Cincinnati Bengals- David DeCastro, G Stanford
The Bengals should be jumping up and down to be able to make this pick if DeCastrolasts this long. Plus with two first rounders, they can make the luxury BPA pick here, and make a need pick later. I think Dalton will like this one.
San Diego Chargerstraded to Seattle Seahawks- Luke Kuechly, LB Boston College
Aaron Curry failing as a draft pick may have the Seahawks reluctant to take another LB in the first, but they can't ignore the rock solid Kuechly if he falls here. They could use the LB help, maybe even more so than D-line help.
19) Chicago Bears- Cordy Glenn, OT/OG Georgia
The Bears need O-line help in the worst way. They were smart to take care of their WR need via trade, allowing them to focus on another need area here. Chicago's season has been derailed each of the past two seasons because of injuries to Cutler. The injury last year was different, but Cutler still had been taking a physical beating all season long. They pick Glenn over Adams here because their interior need may be stronger.
Tennessee Titans trade to Philadelphia Eagles- Mike Adams, OT Ohio State
The Eagles get their man, and are able to get an extra 2nd rounder by moving back. That trade to get DeMeco Ryans proves to be enourmous, because now they can focus on their newly formed pressing OT need here. Vick needs protection, and even after a full season off, a mammoth OT recovering from an Achilles injury is no sure thing.
21) Cincinati Bengals- Stephon Gilmore, CB South Carolina
This is an easy pick for the Bengals here, as need and value collide. BOOM.
22) Cleveland Browns- Coby Fleener, TE Stanford
With the run on WRs the Browns rather take the highest rated TE here than reach on a receiver they don't like. Ben Watson is not the answer, and McCoy needs someone to lean on. Fleener has great size and speed, and he should thrive in the WCO.They may try to go WRearly in the second with all of the extra picks.
23) Detroit Lions- Mark Baron, S Alabama
The offense is rolling and the D-line is stacked, but the Lions need secondary help badly. A CB would be ideal, but I don't anticipate JJ still being on their board after admitting he continued his cannabis usage at N. Alabama, especially in light of other Lions' players being suspended for their usage. The best safety in the draft goes a long way to help their secondary, especially against Mr. Rogers and Co.
24) Pittsburg Steelers- Dont'a Hightower, ILB Alabama
Several veterans were cut by the Steelers this offseason, so several holes exist. Farrior was one of those casualties. Hightower is better value here than any guard prospect, and he fills a need.
25) Denver Broncos- Dontari Poe, NT Memphis
The Broncos take the best DT here to plug the middle and keep blockers off of their pass rushers.
26) Houston Texans- Rueben Randle, WR LSU
Texans fans on this blog have made one thing clear...they do not want small receivers in their system! If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it I guess? Well its a moot point, because Wright was taken earlier anyway. Randle should be a guy that can draw some coverage from Johnson, and help in the running game as well.
27) New England Patriots- Mercilus Whitney, DE/OLB Illinois
The Pats take a guy they hope can fit their scheme and generate some pass rush. He should have went earlier to a 4-3 team. If Wright was here, I think they would have jumped all over a deep threat at receiver.
28) Green Bay Packers- Peter Konz, C Wisconsin
Even with the Saturday signing, the Pack will soon need another center in front of "Mr. Discount Double-Check".
29) Baltimore Ravens- Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB Alabama
He would be BPA, and there could be a way to work him into the system.
30) San Francisco 49ers- Alshon Jeffrey, WR South Carolina
The smear campaign against this guy was worse than the ones against any presidential candidate. He produced with crap at QB. An internet pic started the fat rumours. Then there were the slow rumours disspelled by his pro day 40 time. Then whenever a person is fat and slow, the next adjective to be attached is "lazy". Hogwash. His coaches attest to the opposite. He can be dominant, and could be the steal of the draft in a few years.
New England Patriots- trade to Oakland Raiders for Janoris Jenkins, CB N. Alabama
The Pats do their yearly thing and stockpile another first rounder for next year. Just when you thought they would be irrelevant on day 1, the Raiders use their first-rounder and fourth next year, plus a late pick in this years draft to sneak back into the first round. Jenkins tape against Jeffrey, Green, andJones is pretty special; but his other issues are well documented. Just when you thought he would slide out of the first-round, the Raiders feel good about putting him in the "Silver and Black" to soften the blow of losing Nmandi and Routt in back-to-back seasons.
32) New York Giants- Brandon Wheeden, QB OSU
Just kidding Giants fans, I know a lot of you follow this site. With Jeffrey and Randle gone, the Giants handle this one like the Atlanta Braves handle their drafts. Pitching is their strength so they keep drafting more to keep it their strength. D-line is your strength, so keep drafting to keep it your strength because you never know who may want too big of a payday in free agency. Michael Brockers, DT LSU will be in a good position where he can learn and grow into his potential without having to start immediately.