By Ryan Alfieri, Editor
Now a full week into the new league year, we know have a better idea of what each team’s needs are as the dust begins to settle. Most teams have filled their biggest needs, which makes a huge impact on their draft strategy moving forward.
Click below to see a full three-round mock draft:
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M – After releasing Eric Winston, the Chiefs have paved the way to take who many regard as the top player in the draft. He was not overly exceptional at the combine, but he has the technique, power, and athleticism to be a longtime starter at left tackle. The Chiefs are treading water with this move, but they at least get younger and perhaps a bit better at the position.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida – The Jaguars need to add an interior presence at defensive tackle that can make “splash” plays in the backfield with sacks and tackle-for-losses. Floyd is arguably the safest defensive prospect in this class and will make an immediate impact next to the disappointing Tyson Alualu.
3. Oakland Raiders: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia – The Raiders are nearly done with gutting their roster from bad deals and poor draft picks, and the time is now to start anew. Smith has some accuracy issues and comes from a spread offense, but with Carson Palmer still on the roster he will have time to slowly develop into a long-term starter for the Raiders as they continue their rebuilding process.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan – Fisher and Joeckel are the two top offensive tackles in this class, and the gape between them is not as big as you may thing. Adding Fisher will allow them to move Todd Herremans back inside in addition to giving them some insurance in case Jason Peters is not the same player after missing all of 2012 with an Achillies injury.
5. Detroit Lions: Ziggy Ansah, DE, BYU – Ansah was one of the most impressive prospects at the combine, thrusting his status as a potential top-five pick. The Lions need to add some defensive end help with Cliff Avril leaving town, and Ansah will be able to produce early-on even if he is extremely raw from a technique standpoint.
6. Cleveland Browns: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama - The Browns have now solidified their outside linebacker position with Milliner is the cleanest cornerback prospect in this class, answering questions about his speed with a 4.37 40 time.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon – The Cardinals could desperately use some help along the interior of tehir offensive line, but their defense needs some added juice to the outside linebacker spot. Jordan is terrific in space, explosive as a rusher and has flexibly to bend around tackles. With time, he could be the best defender in this class.
8. Buffalo Bills: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina – After losing Andy Levitre to the Titans, guard becomes one of the biggest needs for a stagnant Bills offense. While not as decorated as Chance Warmack, Cooper is the most athletic guard to come out in years and is excellent making blocks in space and on the second level.
9. New York Jets: Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU – After losing Mike DeVito to the Chiefs and parting ways with Sione Pouha, the Jets actually have as many (if not more) needs on defense then they do on offense. Mingo has a tremendous first step and burst, but he is a bit undersized and there is some concern about an unproductive stretch of the 2012 season. if Rex can get the most out of him, Mingo can be a star in the NFL.
10. Tennessee Titans: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri – The Titans fixed their guard situation by swooping up Andy Levitre, but they still have a ton of needs on their defensive front. Richardson is an explosive athlete who can penetrate as well as any defensive tackle in this class—the difference between him and Sharrif Floyd is not big. He will give them an interior presence they have not had since Albert Haynesworth.
11. San Diego Chargers: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma – One of the biggest reasons for Phillip Rivers’ decline is the terrible play of his offensive line. Johnson is a pass protection specialist and could start immediately at left tackle.
12. Miami Dolphins: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State – The Dolphins have made plenty of big offseason moves over the past week, but they did lose both of their starting corners in Vontae Davis (in a trade with the Colts before the 2012 season) and Sean Smith in free agency. Rhodes has a big frame and excels in press-man coverage.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee - The Bucs got plenty of production out of Vincent Jackson last year, but their young receivers have not developed as well as they had hoped. Patterson is lethal with the ball in his hands and could also give them a huge boost in the return game.
14. Carolina Panthers: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah – The Panthers have been rather quiet in free agency, which means they still have yet to address their glaring need at defensive tackle. Star would have been in the conversation to be the top pick in the draft, but a heart condition allows him to slide all the way to the middle of the first round.
15. New Orleans Saints: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia – The Saints are making the transition to a 3-4 defense, which means they will need to ind themselves a pair of outside linebackers who can rush the passer. Jones, who found himself dropping down draft boards because of a spinal condition, has reportedly been cleared to play in the NFL.
16. St. Louis Rams: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas – The Rams opened up a big need at safety after they released Quintin Mikell. Vaccaro has the ability to play in man coverage, deep zone, and up in the box to support against the run—the prototypical modern safety NFL teams covet. He is a steal in the middle of the first round.