1. Kansas City Chiefs: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Unfortunately for the Chiefs, many of the quarterbacks in this year’s once-promising class have taken significant hits in their draft stock from inconsistent play. Smith, however, remains to have the most impressive skill set despite cooling off over the past month. The Chiefs actually have a rather complete team, but their dismal quarterback situation has held them back.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
The only way the Jaguars go after a replacement for Blaine Gabbert after just two seasons is if Gene Smith is fired, which seems rather likely at this point. Wilson’s stock will benefit from a down year by Matt Barkely, and has the potential to be the top pick in April’s draft.
3. Oakland Raiders: Star Lotululei, DT, Utah
Star is arguably the best defensive lineman in what is sure to be a deep class. The Raiders’ defense has been horrific, so taking the best available defensive player makes plenty of sense at this point. Carson Palmer is good enough to get through at least one more season.
4. Carolina Panthers: Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
The Panthers have ignored their defensive tackle situation for far too long. Hankins will start immediately on their undermanned defensive line.
5. Philadelphia Eagles: Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame
When you look at the Eagles roster, they hardly have any glaring weaknesses. What they do lack is leadership and an attitude on defense that never came back after Jim Johnson passed away. On the field, Te’o is the perfect linebacker prospect that has the potential to be the Ray Lewis of the next generation.
6. Cleveland Browns: Keenan Allen, WR, Cal
The Browns have some young talent in place at the skill positions, but they are largely underdeveloped and cannot carry an offense on their own. Giving Brandon Weeden a separation machine in Allen would go a long way in his development.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
The Cardinals have two massive needs on the offensive side: QB and OT. I don’t think the Cardinals would want to stomach taking a shot on someone like Matt Barkely, and choose to shore up a bad offensive line with the top offensive lineman in the draft in Joeckel.
8. Tennessee Titans: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
The Titans have missed the presence of Cortland Finnegan on the back end of their defense. Milliner is the best man corner in the draft on one of the nation’s best defenses.
9. Buffalo Bills: Matt Barkley, QB, USC
When the GM goes out of his way to comment on how the team needs a “franchise” quarterback, you know the incumbent’s days are numbered. The Bills have exhausted their resources on defense and need to build a new offense around a young, talented quarterback.
10. New York Jets: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
The Jets could certainly use an offensive skill position player here, but Jones offers too much value at a position that is old and ineffective. Jones will be able to easily make the transition from Georgia’s 3-4 scheme and can both rush the passer and play in space.
11. Dallas Cowboys: Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
Anthony Spencer has been a solid player, but he has underwhelmed as a pass-rusher as a former first-round pick. Mingo can help DeMarcus Ware by taking away extra blockers on passing downs. With Spencer in the lineup, Dallas can ease him in to the starting lineup.
12. Detroit Lions: DaMonte Moore, DE, Texas A&M
The Lions may have spent plenty of resources on their defensive line, but Cliff Avril may leave after the season and Kyle Vanden Bosch is not spring chicken. Moore is excellent value at this point of the draft as a base end who can play all three downs.
13. St. Louis Rams: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
Sam Bradford has had an underwhelming season as the Rams quarterback, but his lackluster offensive line has not done him any favors. Lewan will be able to step in and start immediately at left tackle.
14. Miami Dolphins: Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
The Dolphins’ biggest need is clearly at the receiver position, with their top two targets being Brian Hartline and Davone Bess. If the Dolphins want Ryan Tannehill to progress next season, they need to give him talented, young receivers he can grow and develop with.
15. San Diego Chargers: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
The Chargers have plenty of issues along their offensive line, particularly on the interior. Warmack can play all three interior positions and is an even better prospect than David DeCastro was a year ago.
16. St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins): Barrett Jones, C, Alabama
The Rams line is bad enough to where taking another offensive lineman would be acceptable here. Jones is a very versatile player who can play any of the four open spots on the line.