- Houston Texans
OLB/DE Jadeveon Clowney - South Carolina
Rumored to be very interested in trading down, perhaps with the Falcons. The freakishly athletic Clowney is looking like a lock for the top spot no matter who is making the selection. If a trade doesn't happen he seems perfectly fit to serve a role in new coordinator Romeo Crennel's defense similar to that of Willie McGinest in days past for the Patriots.
- Needs: QB, OLB, RT/G, NT, CB, ILB
- Other Options: QB B Bortles, QB J Manziel, trade down
- St. Louis Rams (from Washington)
OT Greg Robinson - Auburn
The goal here originally was to trade down with someone looking to take Clowney or a QB. That has become less likely with the value of the QBs declining and Clowney looking more-and-more like the top pick either by the Texans or in a deal. The physically imposing, ridiculously athletic Robinson has supplanted Matthews as the top offensive lineman on the board. Experience is all the red shirt sophomore lacks.
- Needs: OT, FS, CB, G/C, WR, QB
- Hope might be available: DE J Clowney
- Other Options: WR S Watkins, trade down
- Jacksonville Jaguars
OLB Khalil Mack - Buffalo
GM Dave Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley appear to want to follow the blueprint of the Seahawks by focusing on defense and the running game while finding a QB in later rounds or through non-traditional methods. The Panthers were tied for last in the league in sacks last season. Caldwell did a solid job of bolstering the defensive line in free agency, but did not add a pure pass rusher. Mack dominated albeit at a lower level of competition with a division I-A career record 75 tackles for a loss and 16 forced fumbles. He started all but a single game of his 4 year career also accumulating a school record 28.5 sacks.
- Needs: QB, C, WR, OLB, FS, RT/G
- Hope might be available: DE J Clowney
- Other Options: QB B Bortles, QB J Manziel, WR S Watkins
- Cleveland Browns
QB Johnny Manziel - Texas A & M
Depth chart at QB contains only Brian Hoyer and Alex Tanney. The position must be addressed sooner or later. New head coach Mike Pettine is on record as wanting to wait and use a later pick on the position. Last time the franchise went that route they ended up with Brandon Weeden. Manziel would provide a face to a franchise desperately in need of positive buzz as long as he keeps his nose clean. The Browns are reportedly satisfied his minor off the field issues are a thing of the past. New coordinator Kyle Shanahan has experience utilizing an improvisational playmaker coaching RGIII during his dynamic rookie season.
- Needs: QB, WR, CB, ILB, FS, G/RT
- Hope might be available: OT G Robinson
- Other Options: QB B Bortles, WR S Watkins
- Oakland Raiders
WR Sammy Watkins - Clemson
Recently signed James Jones is better as a secondary option in the passing game, Denarius Moore and Rod Streater as complimentary performers. The dynamic Watkins provides a true franchise receiver. He is the complete package combining a natural feel for the game with top ball skills, fluidity and acceleration.
- Needs: QB, DT, M/OLB, TE, G/RT, WR
- Hope might be available: QB J Manziel, OT G Robinson
- Other Options: QB B Bortles, OT J Matthews
- Atlanta Falcons
OT Jake Matthews - Texas A&M
GM Thomas Dimitroff is known for making bold moves and a trade up for Clowney is reportedly the ultimate goal. Getting to the top of the draft will not come inexpensively especially with the rookie salary cap. Should a trade not work out Matthews is a solid fall back option. Sam Baker fell flat on his face after signing a big contract. Matt Ryan was sacked 44 times in 2013. Matthews is one of the most pro-ready players in this draft. How often is a plug-and-play franchise left tackle available with the sixth pick?
- Needs: OLB/DE, TE, OT, FS, ILB, WR
- Hope might be available: OLB K Mack
- Other Options: OT T Lewan, trade up
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
WR Mike Evans - Texas A & M
Managed to fill a myriad of needs through free agency. Trade of troubled Mike Williams opened up a hole opposite Vincent Jackson. Evans has a huge frame with big hands and the ability to physically dominate corners, much like Jackson. Pairing the two would provide match up nightmares for opposing defenses.
- Needs: OG, WR, DT, M/SLB, QB, DE
- Hope might be available: QB J Manziel, WR S Watkins
- Other Options: QB B Bortles, DT A Donald, trade down
- Minnesota Vikings
QB Blake Bortles - Central Florida
Bortles was under the radar after being lightly recruited. He headed into last season having already started 24 games in two years after red shirting as a freshman and finished his college career with 37 starts despite coming out early. Bortles burst into the public consciousness with breakout performances in a loss to South Carolina and win over Louisville leading his team to their first ever BCS Bowl. Then he dominated in an upset over Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl. Bortles has prototypical size and surprising athleticism/mobility.
- Needs: QB, S, OG, M/OLB, CB, RB
- Hope might be available: WR M Evans, OLB K Mack
- Other Options: S H Clinton-Dix, CB J Gilbert, G/T Z Martin, trade down
- Buffalo Bills
OT Taylor Lewan - Michigan
A four year starter, Lewan has displayed shocking athleticism in the post season. His length and mean streak were never in question. Lewan provides an immediate upgrade on Eric Pears either playing the right side himself or pushing Cordy Glenn from the left side.
- Needs: FS, DE, OT, TE, WR, OLB
- Hope might be available: WR M Evans, WR S Watkins
- Other Options: WR O Beckham, S H Clinton-Dix, TE E Ebron, trade up
- Detroit Lions
CB Justin Gilbert - Oklahoma St
Seems like every year a corner and receiver are mocked to the Lions in the first two or three rounds. The inability to find help at those positions year in and year out has really cost the franchise. Gilbert has all the physical skills to develop into a shutdown corner. A big play waiting to happen in both coverage and the return game, he should contribute immediately despite needing some refinement in technique.
- Needs: CB, WR, OLB, FS, C, DT
- Hope might be available: WR M Evans
- Other Options: WR O Beckham, S H Clinton-Dix, DT A Donald
- Tennessee Titans
DT/DE Aaron Donald - Pittsburgh
Did a decent job of accumulating two-gap defensive line pluggers for the switch to the 3-4 yet still lack playmakers in the front 7. The undersized Donald has been flying up draft boards after a dominating week at the Senior Bowl and eye popping performance at the combined following a season which saw him win the Outland Trophy, Bednarik Award, Lombardi Award and Nagurski Award. He actually has experience both inside and outside in a 3-4 having played in the scheme at Pitt in 2012. New coordinator Ray Horton will have to figure out the best way to utilize his talents.
- Needs: RB, QB, ILB, NT/DE, OLB, CB
- Hope might be available: QB B Bortles, CB J Gilbert
- Other Options: OLB A Barr, CB D Dennard, ILB C Mosely, trade down
- New York Giants
T/G Zack Martin - Notre Dame
A big part of the two year decline of Eli Manning has been a lack of protection provided by an aging, injury prone offensive line. Martin is instinctive and tough with quick feet. He was the only lineman at the Senior Bowl that had a chance against Aaron Donald. Most scouts now think Martin can stay outside despite short arms and a lack of prototypical length. He might still be better inside. Martin is similar (albeit in my opinion better) to the Giants first rounder last year, Justin Pugh, so they might want to go in a different direction. Martin's versatility and ability to step in immediately will make the decision difficult.
- Needs: OT, TE, G/C, OLB, DT, DE
- Hope might be available: DT A Donald, OT T Lewan
- Other Options: DE/OLB A Barr, TE E Ebron
- St. Louis Rams
S HaHa Clinton-Dix - Alabama
An upgrade is desperately needed over Rodney McLeod. Clinton-Dix possesses a rare mix of size, speed, ball skills and instincts. Alabama defenders in general haven't done as well in the pros as expected. Painting Clinton-Dix (or CJ Mosely for that matter) with that brush is unfair.
- Hope might be available: QB B Bortles, CB J Gilbert, G/T Z Martin
- Other Options: WR O Beckham, CB D Dennard, trade down
- Chicago Bears
S Calvin Pryor, Louisville
Pryor is challenging Clinton-Dix to be the first safety off the board. He is a versatile, all around safety with the awareness to excel in coverage and explosive physicality against the run. Adding him to a secondary in need of reinforcements tempers some of the disappointment of not being able to secure the services of Donald.
- Needs: DT, S, CB, OLB, RB, WR
- Hope might be available: S H Clinton-Dix, DT A Donald, CB J Gilbert
- Other Options: CB D Dennard, ILB C Mosely, OLB R Shazier
- Pittsburgh Steelers
CB Darqueze Dennard - Michigan St
The Steelers defense needs playmakers. The tough, instinctive Dennard makes plays. Ike Taylor especially and William Gay are on their last legs. Taylor took a pay cut to keep his job. Dennard has everything you look for in a CB except blazing straight line speed. Well built, tough, fluid and instinctive he projects as an immediate starter. The Steelers need someone to play right away opposite Cortez Allen.
- Needs: CB, NT/DE, WR, O/ILB, TE, OT
- Hope might be available: WR M Evans, CB J Gilbert, OT T Lewan
- Other Options: OLB A Barr, WR O Beckham, WR K Benjamin, TE E Ebron, ILB C Mosely, ILB R Shazier
- Dallas Cowboys
DE/OLB Anthony Barr, UCLA
Barr lacks experience having started his college career on the offensive side of the ball. His athleticism and ability to get to the QB are unquestioned. The defense was historically bad last season giving up more than 400 yards per game, over 16 yards per game worse than the 31st ranked defense. That was before DeMarcus Ware was a cap casualty. Something needs to be done.
- Needs: DE, S, DT, G, OLB, RB
- Hope might be available: DT A Donald, S C Pryor, G/T Z Martin
- Other Options: DT R Hageman, NT L Nix, OLB R Shazier
- Baltimore Ravens
WR Odell Beckham Jr, LSU
Beckham Jr. is a slightly undersized, smooth athlete with quick acceleration and the ability to allude coverage despite a lack of top straight line speed. Steve Smith is only a short term stopgap. Beckham looks like a perfect fit with Torrey Smith in the long term.
- Needs: RT, FS, WR, DE, CB, O/ILB
- Hope might be available: OT T Lewan, S C Pryor
- Other Options: CB K Fuller, DE R Hageman, ILB C Mosely
- New York Jets
TE Eric Ebron, North Carolina
Dearth of talent at the offensive skill positions clearly must be addressed. Ebron is a smooth, physical athlete with tremendous upside. Currently his best role is lining up in the slot to create matchup problems. A willing blocker, he has the size to develop into an in-line option with improved technique.
- Needs: CB, WR, TE, OG, FS, I/OLB
- Hope might be available: WR O Beckham, CB D Dennard
- Other Options: CB K Fuller, WR B Cooks
- Miami Dolphins
MLB CJ Mosely - Alabama
Dannell Ellerby was a bust starting in the middle and is better suited to provide depth outside. Mosely has the intelligence and pedigree to start immediately. His hardnosed play has resulted in a number of previous injuries and surgeries so anyone taking him will have to be satisfied with his medical records.
- Needs: RT, OG, MLB, S, RB, TE
- Hope might be available: OT T Lewan, T/G Z Martin
- Other Options: OT C Kouandjio, trade up/down
- Arizona Cardinals
OLB Dee Ford, Auburn
John Abraham turns 36 this offseason and Sam Acho missed most of last season with a broken leg. Adding an explosive pass rusher would make a formidable defense that much better. Ford emerged as a force in Auburn's run to the National Championship game and then dominated at the Senior Bowl. A back injury kept him from working out at the combine. The injury is widely viewed as minor and not an issue.
- Needs: OLB, RT/G, TE, ILB, SS, QB
- Hope might be available: TE E Ebron, ILB C Mosely
- Other Options: QB D Carr, OT C Kouandjio, ILB R Shazier
- Green Bay Packers
ILB Ryan Shazier, Ohio St
Shazier is a diverse prospect with the ability to play outside in any scheme and also inside in a 3-4. He projects inside for the Packers. The slightly undersized Shazier's sideline-to-sideline speed and coverage ability are something no other linebacker on this roster possesses.
- Needs: S, C, ILB, TE, WR, NT/DE
- Hope might be available: TE E Ebron, ILB C Mosely, S C Pryor
- Other Options: WR B Cooks, DE R Hageman, NT L Nix, S J Ward
- Philadelphia Eagles
WR Brandin Cooks, Oregon St
The release of DeSean Jackson leaves a hole in the offense even after the resigning of Riley Cooper and injury prone Jeremy Maclin. Both quick and fast, Cooks is a fluid natural receiver and reigning Biletnikoff Award winner.
- Needs: WR, OLB, SS, NT, ILB, T/G
- Hope might be available: OLB D Ford
- Other Options: OLB K Ealy, NT L Nix, S J Ward
- Kansas City Chiefs
WR Marqise Lee, USC
An upgrade over Donnie Avery is needed across from Dwayne Bowe. While AJ Jenkins looked better than Jonathon Baldwin after the trade with the Niners, he is not the full time answer. Lee struggled through injuries, poor QB play and coaching turmoil last season after winning the Biletnikoff Award as a sophomore. He is an explosive playmaker with the straight line speed and fluid athleticism to beat any corner.
- Needs: WR, OT, FS, OG, CB, ILB
- Hope might be available: WR B Cooks, S C Pryor
- Other Options: TE J Amaro, CB K Fuller, OT C Kouandjio, S J Ward
- Cincinnati Bengals
CB Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech
Aging Leon Hall has torn his Achilles twice since 2011. Terence Newman and Pac-Man Jones top the depth chart after him. Dre Kirkpatrick has not developed since being taken in the first round of 2012. Fluid in coverage and solid in run support, Fuller's season ended early due to November surgery for a sports hernia. The Bengals have not shied away from injury risks in recent drafts. Fuller played multiple position in Blacksburg lining up at safety and linebacker in addition to corner. He is tough, physical, has good length and the ability to play man-to-man or zone.
- Needs: CB, DE, OT/G, DT, C, QB
- Hope might be available: DE D Ford
- Other Options: DE K Ealy, DT R Hageman, OT C Kouandjio
- San Diego Chargers
NT Louis Nix, Notre Dame
Finished 26th in the league in yards per rushing attempt with Cam Thomas. He is now on the Steelers. After dominating in 2012, Nix played through tendonitis and a torn meniscus last season until finally shutting it down and having surgery after the upset loss to Pitt. The injury is no longer considered an issue.
- Needs: CB, NT/DE, WR, OG, OLB, TE
- Hope might be available: CB K Fuller, WR M Lee
- Other Options: OLB K Ealy, WR C Latimer, CB B Robey, G X Su'a-Filo
- Cleveland Browns (from Indianapolis)
CB Bradley Robey, Ohio St
Robey probably should have come out early. At times he looked uninterested in his final college season. Sort of a poor man's Jadeveon Clowney in that regard except Robey's draft stock has taken more of a hit. Robey clearly has the size and skills to excel at the next level. He is worth the gamble here to play opposite Joe Haden.
- Hope might be available: WR M Lee, ILB R Shazier
- Other Options: QB D Carr, OT C Kouandjio, WR C Latimer
- New Orleans Saints
OLB Kony Ealy, Missouri
The hiring of Rob Ryan provided an immediate boost to the defense. Giving him another edge rusher can only help. Ealy's length, athleticism and burst are a scout's dream even though his teammate Sam was more productive.
- Needs: OLB, G/C, CB, ILB, WR, RB
- Hope might be available: WR M Lee, CB B Robey, ILB R Shazier
- Other Options: WR C Latimer, G X Su'a-Filo, CB J Verrett
- Carolina Panthers
WR Cody Latimer - Indiana
Cam Newton needs weapons. Steve Smith and Brandon LaFell are gone. Jerricho Cotchery, Jason Avant and Tiquan Underwood top the depth chart. That is awful. Latimer had been flying under the radar coming out early after dominating at an oft overlooked program. His eye popping pro day has him legitimately in the discussion for a first round pick.
- Needs: OT, WR, CB, OG, S, OLB
- Hope might be available: CB B Robey
- Other Options: OT C Kouandjio, G X Su'a-Filo, CB J Verrett
- New England Patriots
DT/DE Ra'Shede Hageman, Minnesota
Return of Vince Wilfork from injury on restructured deal is obviously a big plus yet both he and Tommy Kelly are on the wrong side of 30. There is little depth behind them. Hageman's combination of incredible length and eye popping raw power were on display during Senior Bowl week. Inconsistency is the issue. If anyone can get the most out of Hageman's skills it is Bill Belichick.
- Needs: TE, DT, C/G, WR, RB, DE
- Hope might be available: DE K Ealy, WR C Latimer
- Other Options: TE J Amaro, C/G J Bitonio, WR J Matthews, trade down
- San Francisco 49ers
CB Jason Verrett, TCU
Terrell Brown and Carlos Rogers both took their talents across the bay to Oakland. Depth and youth are needed at corner. Verrett is a fluid ball hawk that falls to the end of the first round only because of his lack of height and rail thin build. While he has the skills to play outside, his size makes him a better fit as a slot corner.
- Needs: CB, WR, OLB, C, DE, ILB
- Hope might be available: OLB K Ealy, WR C Latimer
- Other Options: C/G J Bitonio, OLB D Lawrence, WR J Matthews
- Denver Broncos
OG Xavier Su'a-Filo, UCLA
Protecting Peyton Manning is an imperative. Zane Beedles left as a free agent. He was only adequate at best anyway. Su'a-Filo is ready to step in immediately after starting 38 games at the collegiate level. He is scheme versatile with the power to excel in a drive blocking scheme and the athleticism to also dominate in a zone blocking scheme.
- Needs: CB, MLB, G/RT, FS, OLB, RB
- Hope might be available: OLB R Shazier, CB J Verrett
- Other Options: G/T J Bitonio, OT C Kouandjio, OT M Moses
- Seattle Seahawks
DT Tim Jernigan, Florida St
Super Bowl victory was built on defense. Rotational interior lineman Clinton McDonald left via free agency. Run stuffing early down strong side end Red Bryant was a cap casualty. Slightly undersized, Jernigan dominated in the National Championship game lined up on the center. He combines surprising strength for his size with a quick first step and could be used in multiple roles by Pete Carroll.
- Needs: WR, RT, OG, DT, CB, TE
- Hope might be available: WR C Latimer, G X Su'a-Filo, CB J Verrett
- Other Options: G/T J Bitonio, OT C Kouandjio, OT M Moses, WR J Matthews
- Houston Texans - QB Derek Carr, Fresno St
Big, strong armed developmental QB for O'Brien. .
- Washington Redskins
OT Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama
Protecting RGIII is a priority. Kouandjio has the physical attributes to play on either side of the line. His college coach Nick Saban did not think he was ready to turn pro. Struggles against Auburn and in the Sugar Bowl seem to confirm that assessment. Concerns about chronic knee problems raised at the combine were allayed somewhat after a trip to see Dr. James Andrews. Somebody is going to gamble on his incredible physical upside around this point in the draft.
- Needs: CB, ILB, S, C/G, RT, OLB
- Cleveland Browns - OT Morgan Moses - Virginia
Mauling bookend to play opposite franchise LT Thomas.
- Oakland Raiders - DT/DE Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame
Need youth, athleticism inside to rotate with Sims and Smith.
- Atlanta Falcons - TE Jace Amaro - Texas Tech
Pass catcher to compliment blocker Toilolo in attempt to replace Gonzalez.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers - G/T Joel Bitonio - Nevada
High priced interior offensive line dismantled after badly underachieving.
- Jacksonville Jaguars - QB Teddy Bridgewater - Louisville
Free agent signings allow them to gamble, stop Bridgewater's slide.
- Minnesota Vikings - S Jimmie Ward - Northern Illinois
Along with return of Smith from injury solidifies back end of defense.
- Buffalo Bills - DE/OLB Demarcus Lawrence - Boise St
Insurance for Hughes opposite Williams with switch to 4-3.
- Tennessee Titans - RB Tre Mason - Auburn
Explosive playmaker to replace CJ.
- New York Giants - TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins - Washington
Eli needs a security blanket at TE.
- St. Louis Rams - WR Jordan Matthews - Vanderbilt
Experienced, immediate contributor with incredible work ethic and top athleticism.
- Detroit Lions - WR Bruce Ellington - South Carolina
Quick, elusive receiver and return man provides a different dimension. .
- Pittsburgh Steelers
WR Kelvin Benjamin, Florida St
There have been rumors the Steelers are very high on Benjamin even considering using the 15th pick to secure his services. Other reports have not been as complimentary with his stock reportedly in steep decline. Benjamin's combination of size and speed are rare. He caught the winning TD in the National Championship game and will immediately be a bona fide weapon in the red zone. A 24 year old redshirt sophomore, Benjamin has high bust potential needing to improve his work ethic, concentration and route running.
- Others: OLB J Attaochu, CB P Gaines, TE T Niklas, I/OLB K Van Noy
- Baltimore Ravens - I/OLB Kyle Van Noy, BYU
Versatile, every down backer can rush the passer and cover.
- Dallas Cowboys - RB Carlos Hyde - Ohio St
Murray can't stay healthy, Dunbar not an awe inspiring top backup.
- New York Jets - CB Phillip Gaines - Rice
Failed to sign a veteran to start opposite last year's first rounder Milliner.
- Miami Dolphins - OT JaWuan James - Tennessee
Even after signing Albert could use three more offensive line starters.
- Chicago Bears - DT Dominique Easley - Florida
Gamble on high upside interior defender returning from second torn ACL.
- Arizona Cardinals - TE Troy Niklas - Notre Dame
All around TE should remind Arians of Miller from his time in Pittsburgh.
- Green Bay Packers - C Weston Richburg - Colorado St
Loss of Dietrich-Smith leaves a huge hole.
- Philadelphia Eagles - OLB Jeremiah Attaochu - Georgia Tech
High upside pass rusher that will need time to develop other skills.
- Cincinnati Bengals - DE Scott Crichton - Oregon St
High motor edge rusher to compete with Hunt to replace Johnson.
- San Francisco 49ers (from KC) - WR Allen Robinson - Penn St
Utra-productive receiver with good size had incredible pro day, could go higher.
- San Diego Chargers - WR Davante Adams, Fresno St
Options outside opposite Allen not very exciting.
- New Orleans Saints - WR Donte Moncrief - Mississippi
Moore a cap casualty. Colston, Meachem not getting any younger. .
- Indianapolis Colts
CB Bashaud Breeland - Clemson
Resigning Davis was a necessity. Unfortunately the Colts have little besides him at corner. Breeland is a raw prospect with top athleticism. What more can you expect this late in the second round even in a draft as deep as this one.
- Needs: OG, FS, CB, C, OLB, RB
- Carolina Panthers - CB/FS Keith McGill - Utah
Big corners are en vogue, could also move inside to safety.
- San Francisco 49ers - OLB/DE Trent Murphy - Stanford
Obviously can't count on Smith to stay out of trouble.
- New England Patriots - QB Tom Savage, Pitt
Being referred to as Tom 2.0 in Foxboro after official visit.
- Denver Broncos - CB Marcus Robinson - Florida
Rodgers-Cromartie and Bailey are gone, Talib can only replace one of them.
- Seattle Seahawks - WR Martavis Bryant - Clemson
Huge, athletic, high upside project that needs polish.