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Published by: mband_1 on Apr 26, 2012
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The Rams must improve the weapons for Sam Bradford and the passing game. While Trent Richardson wouldalleviate the transition from Steven Jackson, Blackmon is the top WR on the board, and he has the potential tobe a solid #1 WR, though he'd be a great #2 WR on most teams. He's not quite the player like AJ Green or JulioJones, but he'll be in line for at least 80 catches consistently. Blackmon is a physical route runner who worksbest in a the intermediate of the field, Bradford's strength.The Jaguars are in a bind at #7--the top players on their board are taken and they'll certainly try to trade downinto the middle of the first round. In the event that they stay put at #7, they'll select the best player on theboard (Gene Smith's forte), Fletcher Cox. While DT isn't the greatest need on roster, Cox would be a valuablepenetrating lineman who can amplify the pass rush. NT Terrence Knighton will miss most of the off-season andpossibly camp with an eye injury, so depth along the line must be addressed. Gene Smith places a premium oncharacter, which rules out the popular projection, Michael Floyd.The Dolphins have neglected the QB position for too long. Since Dan Marino's retirement in 2000, the Dolphinshave started 16 different quarterbacks. After missing out on Peyton Manning, and passing on Matt Flynn in freeagency, the Dolphins will select their franchise quarterback early, and all signs point to Ryan Tannehill.Tannehill is a converted WR with two years of experience in Mike Sherman's offense. He's athletic, he has areliable arm, and he's a smart and composed kid. It may take time for him to develop into a reliable NFL starter,but he has the tools to succeed.
The worst case scenario happens for the Bucs--Claiborne and Richardson go 3rd and 4th. The Bucs have bigneeds at CB and RB, and there's a slim chance they'll trade up to #3 to get their guy. In the event that they stayat #5, they will likely select Matt Kalil. Although they have Donald Penn at LT, Kalil has the potential to be a 15-year franchise tackle. Penn could move to RT in place of Jeremy Trueblood, who struggled mightily in 2011.They have a need at LB, but this is far too early to select a middle linebacker like Luke Kuechly. They'll targetthe best player available, Matt Kalil.
The Browns must support Colt McCoy and the offense in the early rounds, and a solid ground game will be thekey to an effective offense. Despite the need to upgrade at the receiver position, the Browns cannot enter 2012with Montario Hardesty as their premier back. Richardson is arguably the top non-QB in the draft, and the bestback to come out since Adrian Peterson. He's a thick, strong, and quick back with great vision and patience. Hehas the potential to develop into the top back in the entire league.
The Andrew Luck era has started in Indy. With Peyton Manning out of town, Andrew Luck will step into arebuilt Colts team that looks much different than in year's past. Luck will be thrown into a talent-depletedroster, though Reggie Wayne will return after signing a 3-year deal instead of leaving in free agency. Luck isarguably the top quarterback prospect since Manning and his game has no major holes or weaknesses. His on-field composure and leadership is matched by none and it's not a stretch to predict multiple Pro Bowlappearences.The Redskins sent the #6 overall pick, #39 overall, as well as 2013 and 2014's first round pick to to the Rams forthe #2 overall pick, a trade that will likely turn around a struggling franchise into a consistent playoff contender.Robert Griffin III (RGIII) has all-world potential, and he's a terrific fit for Mike Shanahan's offense. Griffin is asuperb athlete, he's a former olympic track runner, and he's a much better pure passer than his most frequentcomparison, Michael Vick. He may have more success than Andrew Luck early in his career because of theroster support around him.The argument for Claiborne is clear--The Vikings play Aaron Rodgers, Matt Stafford, and Jay Cutler twice a year,each. Long-time corner Antonie Winfield will be 35 in 2012 and #2 CB Chris Cook could be cut due to off-fieldissues. Claiborne is a much needed upgrade for their cover-2 scheme, and his ability to play press, zone andman make him a needed asset for the Vikings. There's a chance Rick Spielman is bluffing in order to attract atrade so they could move down. If Kalil ends up the pick here, consider me fooled, though it would make sense.
The Jets will upgrade the pass rush, more specifically the rush outside linebacker in their 3-4 defense with the16th pick. While Melvin Ingram is their top choice, Chandler Jones fits the bill well. Jones is a long, versatileend who has the full arsenal of pass rushing moves and run stopping abilities to flourish in Rex Ryan's defense.There are rumors that the Jets are trying to trade up for Trent Richardson, but they'll have to move to #3. GMMike Tannenbaum is not shy to move up in the first round to get their guy--Sanchez, Revis, Keller were firstround picks that the Jets moved up for. They may consider Michael Floyd to help the passing game.
The Cowboys will address their 3-4 scheme with the #14, either along the line of scrimmage or in the secondary.The Cowboys have limited depth along the line and Brockers is a freakish specimen with the potential to flourishas a space eating, 3-4 end. He's not your prototypical nose tackle, but the Cowboys don't run a traditional 3-4defense. They are rumored to favor Brockers and safety Mark Barron, though Barron will likely be off the boardwhen the 14th pick comes around.The Eagles sent CB Asante Samuel to the Falcons for a 7th round choice leaving Nnamdi Asomugha andDominique Rodgers-Cromartie as the only reliable corners on roster. They could very well upgrade at corner,especially if DRC isn't retained after the 2012 season. Gilmore has been rising up boards and was rumored to goin the top 10 picks. He's a physical corner who excels in man and zone, and could start at nickel in his rookieseason. Gilmore has the ideal size/speed combination that is sought after in cornerbacks.
The Seahawks WILL address the pass rush with the #12 pick, and all signs point to Melvin Ingram as their guy.The Seahawks upgraded the the defensive line in free agency, but they are still missing a feared pass rusher,known in their scheme as the "elephant" position. His reposibility includes rushing off the edge and some lookswhere he drops back in space. This is Ingram's specialty. He is not your traditional 4-3 end, and he may best fitin a hybrid scheme or a 3-4, similar to what Seattle runs.The Cardinals restructured OT Levi Brown in the off-season, but they are still missing a right tackle on theopposite side. The buzz is that the Cardinals are considering Rieff, DeCastro and Michael Floyd with the 13thpick, though Rieff is the most likely selection. He's a versatile tackle who could play LT or RT in multipleschemes. He may fit as a guard long-term, but either way, he's a potential 10-year starter with a completegame. Though he lacks ideal arm length that is coveted by tackles.The Chiefs currently have only two guards on roster, Ryan Lilja and Jon Asamoah, and Lilja is a free agent afterthe 2012 season. DeCastro is your typical Scott Pioli player. Hard working, blue collar, smart kid who has theversatility to play tackle if needed. DeCastro is arguably the top guard in the draft to come out in some time,and he did an excellent job of protecting Andrew Luck at Stanford.
The Bills will address the secondary or the offensive tackle position at #10. If Kalil gets past the Top 6 picks, theBills would certainly be tempted to move up. If they stay put, Mark Barron is the most logical choice. The Billswant to counter the Patriots tight ends by adding an imposing strong safety who excels at playing in the box andclose to the line of scrimmage. He's not an elite coverage safety, but he'll certainly alleviate the matchupproblems that Gronkowski and Hernandez pose. Buddy Nix loves his SEC guys. They will also consider CBStephon Gilmore here.
The Panthers must address defense in the early rounds, and Quinton Coples would be an ideal defensive end topair across Charles Johnson. Coples is an ideal strong-side 4-3 end, but his effectiveness as a pass rusher maynever materialize at the next level. Still, he'll be a reliable, mid-level guy who will instantly help stop the runfrom the front lines. After selecting two DT's in the 2011 draft in the 3rd round, the Panthers add another NorthCarolina defensive end, to replace their old North Carolina defensive end who now plays in Chicago, JuliusPeppers. Coples could fall out of the Top 15 on draft day.
Hightower is an ideal fit for the Steelers 3-4 scheme. With the recent release of James Farrior, the Steelers willlook to add depth to the most important part of their aggressive defense, the linebacker unit. The other insidestarter next to Lawrence Timmons is Larry Foote, who will be 32 in 2012 and free agent after the season.Hightower is an ideal inside thumber and his overall game could keep him on the field, even in passing downs.If Hightower is off the board at #24, the Steelers will look to upgrade the offensive line full of holes.
The pledge will be to add playmakers at all of the spots on offense. The Browns will upgrade the receiverposition in the early rounds, and Stephen Hill's size/speed combination is matched by none. Team presidentMike Holmgren prefers big bodied, physical route runners who can work all areas of the field. Hill ran a blazing4.36 at 6'4 215. He was primarily utilized as a vertical threat at Georgia Tech, and he'll have to develop a fullNFL route tree. Still, the potential is there.The Lions prefer oversized lineman at all positions on the line. Glenn has the versatile to play tackle and guardat the next level, and his length and strength will attract Detroit at #23. The Lions may not have Gosder Cherilusand Jeff Backus beyond the 2012 season, and Glenn could be the future successor. Depth along the offensiveline is needed everywhere. The Lions want to upgrade the secondary, but without a legitimate corner available,they'll settle for an offensive lineman. Glenn would be a great guard prospect, but he might struggle at tackledue to his inconsistent feet.
The Titans lost Cortland Finnegan to free agency, leaving a major hole for a corner than can contribute early.Alteraun Verner played well as a rookie, but Jason McCourty is a free agent after the 2012 season, and theymust support the secondary. Kirkpatrick's stock is all over the place, but he'll likely end up between picks #17 to#20. He's a long, physical corner who fits best in a zone scheme.The Bengals want to upgrade at the situational pass rusher spot. DE's Michael Johnson and Robert Geathers arefreee agents after the 2012 season, and they want to rotate players along the defensive line to keep the passrush in full force. Upshaw has been falling down boards recently, because he may not have a true position inthe NFL. He's a true tweaner prospect, who lacks the explosiveness to be counted on as a feared pass rusherand the athleticism to be a full-time outside linebacker.
The Chargers will look to bolster the pass rush from the outside linebacker spot in their 3-4 defense. They signedSLB Jarrett Johnson in free agency to a four-year deal, but he's not a feared pass rusher. The Chargers will lookto replace former first round pick Larry English, who has thus far played like a bust. McClellin has been rising upboards in the media circles, but NFL teams had him as a first round since the season. He's a high motor,relentless pass rusher with good instincts and above average athleticism. He'll be a solid pro if he can play therush linebacker role in a 3-4.While Kuechly is rated higher by most pundits, including myself, Kuechly falls a bit on draft day, because of themiddle linebacker effect--good middle linebackers, who will be solid pros, can be found in rounds 2, 3 and 4fairly easily. Kuechly is a perfect fit for the Cover-2 scheme as the eventual successor to the 34-year old BrianUrlacher. He can fit as the WILL linebacker and contribute as a nickel backer. He's an athletic, instinctivelinebacker with versatility, but he's not much of a pass rusher.
The Bengals will try to upgrade the #2 WR spot opposite AJ Green. They lost Jerome Simpson and AndreCaldwell to free agency and the goal will be to continue the offenses development, not stall it. Floyd is a long,physical receiver who plays similar to AJ Green, though not nearly as talented. His future success will relyheavily on him being a #2 receiver. If he goes to a situation with an estabilished #1 WR and a reliable QB, he hasthe potential to flourish.

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