By Ryan Alfieri, Editor
We finally have ourselves a Super Bowl winner, which also means that the draft order is now officially set with the Ravens picking last in the first round (barring a trade, of course).
Here is NYJD’s first mock draft with draft season officially underway:
1. Kansas City Chiefs - Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Whether or not Geno Smith (or any of the quarterbacks in this draft) are worth of the top selection is very much a debatable subject, but the Chiefs are an otherwise-solid team in desperate need of a franchise passer. Smith is arguably the most accurate of the quarterbacks in this draft but there is some concern as to how he can function in a pro offense and how quickly he can go through progressions.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars - Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
Defensive tackle is hardly on top of the Jags’ to-do list, but Star is one of the top two or three prospects in the draft. Scheme-transcendent, Lotulelei would make an immediate impact on this porous defense that struggled against the run and generating a pass-rush.
3. Oakland Raiders - Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
With Carson Palmer on his way out of Oakland (CBS Sports), the Raiders need to find themselves a young quarterback to develop who can at least compete with Terrel Prior. Wilson had a strong week in Mobile and could be in the conversation to be the top quarterback in this year’s class.
4. Philadelphia Eagles - Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Joeckel may be the top player in the entire draft class. Perfect in his technique with the desired athleticism and strength to complement it, he should step into either tackle spot immediately to solidify the Eagles’ line that had protection issues all year.
5. Detroit Lions - Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
With Kyle VandenBosch on the outs and Cliff Avril an impending free agent, the Lions suddenly have a rather massive need at defensive end. Werner has a lot of ability and is explosive
6. Cleveland Browns - Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
With the Browns making the transition to a 3-4 defense, they will need to find players who can rush the passer from the outside linebacker position. Mingo is one of the most explosive players in this draft and has the size athleticism to play in space.
7. Arizona Cardinals - Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Before the Cardinals bring in a new quarterback, they need to make some massive upgrades on their offensive line before they ruin some rookies’ career. Fisher, who dominated at the Senior Bowl, who should start right away at either tackle position.
8. Buffalo Bills - Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon
There has been plenty of talk from Bills GM Buddy Nix about taking a quarterback to replace Ryan Fitzpatrick, but finding defensive pieces for new coordinator Mike Pettine has to be a prioity as well. Able to play in both a 4-3 and a 3-4, Pettine will use Jordan in just about every position on the front seven.
9. New York Jets - Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse
No matter what the Jets do this offseason, they need to find a solution to their messy quarterback situation. The Jets are reportedly very interested in Nassib, and for good reason. Nassib has terrific pocket presence and an NFL arm. The biggest issue with Nassib is that he tends to make a lot of mental errors that lead to turnovers. While that is an issue that can be coached, it may be a bit too reminiscent of Mark Sanchez’s rocky career in New York.
10. Tennessee Titans - Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
The Titans had one of the worst pass defenses in football in 2012, thanks to a mediocre pass-rush. Moore is not quite as gifted as some of the other end prospects from an athletic standpoint, but he has a great motor and has his presence felt on every play.
11. San Diego Chargers - Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
If Philip Rivers is going to get back being the Philip Rivers of old, the Chargers need to find a way to protect him more consistently Johnson had a terrific Senior Bowl and could start for San Diego right away.
12. Miami Dolphins - Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Ryan Tannehill showed plenty of promise in his rookie season, but he was clearly limited by the lack of passing threats on the Dolphins’ roster. Patterson is a bit of a body catcher, but he is a dynamic athlete that will immediately be the Dolphins’ top target.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
The raw-but-talented prospect out of BYU has a chance to shoot up draft boards as the draft process continues. The Bucs could use another toy to play with on the defense line, as Ansah has experience lining up across the line.
14. Carolina Panthers - Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida State
The Panthers still have a gaping hole in the middle of their defensive line. Floyd is a prototypical 3-technique that would be able to start for Ron Rivera’s defense right off the bat.
15. New Orleans Saints - Arthur Brown, ILB, Kansas State
With Rob Ryan heading the Saints’ new 3-4 defense, they will need to find some new player to fit their scheme. Brown is a bit undersized, but he has terrific range and speed that will go a long way in shoring up the Saints’ brutal run defense.
16. St. Louis Rams - Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
Throwing out positional value, Warmack may be the best player in the entire draft. The Rams could use at least four new starters on their offensive line, particulary on the interior.