This is NFL Spin Zone’s first look at the draft, we will try and update this a few more times before the draft as the offseason progresses. Comment below and let us know what you think of our projection for your favorite team.
1. Kansas City Chiefs – Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Many thought KC would go with a quarterback with the first overall pick, and Kansas City would certainly like to draft a franchise quarterback, however this draft lacks talent at that position. So a franchise LT is a good pick, and can help any QB elevate their game by keeping them off their back and flat on their feet in a pocket. Joeckel is a monster at 6’6″ and 310 pounds.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars – Damontre Moore, LB, Texas A&M
Texas A&M’s adjustment to a 4-3 defense worked well for Moore and he is taking advantage of A&M’s season. The Jaguars also run a 4-3 defense and need someone to get after the quarterback. They had a league worse sacks on 3.6% of quarterback drop backs. He’s quick and can turn the corner and accelerate.
3. Oakland Raiders – Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
They need defensive help an MLB wouldn’t be a surprise here either but Lotulelei is the best player available at this spot for the Raiders. He is in the same mold of Glenn Dorsey, someone who demands attention and frees his line mates up. And if he isn’t being double teamed he has the speed to beat interior blockers and get into the backfield.
4. Philadelphia Eagles – Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Fisher is a large intimidating tackle at 6’7″ but he uses his size well. He gets in a wide stance and absorbs the rush, and he made MAC rushers look like high schoolers but he also excelled against top competition. Again, the Eagles need to protect their quarterback, whether it be Michael Vick or Nick Foles.
5. Detroit Lions – Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
They have arguably the best interior defensive line with Nick Fairley and Ndamukung Suh. On the LE they have the young and talented Cliff Avril, but on the RE they have the aging Kyle Vanden Bosch. Werner would be a good pick to really create a monster of a young defensive line. We saw the New York Giants succeed with drafting pass rushers, and Werner is the same mold as J.J. Watt. He can read the play and get after the quarterback, and disrupt plays. They may even plug him in at LE and move Avril to RE because of that.
6. Cleveland Browns – Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
Mel Kiper has Jones as the #1 player on his big board, out of all positions. Jones is an ideal outside linebacker who led the nation in sacks last year. And the Browns, who have a desperate need at OLB are getting a steal here. Despite his superb pass rushing abilities, he can hold up against the run too. The Browns were 25th in the NFL against the pass.
7. Arizona Cardinals – Matt Barkley, QB, USC
Well Kevin Kolb didn’t work out, and neither did John Skelton, or Ryan Lindley. They signed a free agent off the street in December, Brian Hoyer, and he finished the season starting two games for the Cards. The Cardinals need security at the quarterback position, and USC is known for producing successful quarterbacks. Carson Palmer, Matt Cassell and Mark Sanchez were all more then serviceable at one point.
8. Buffalo Bills – Geno Smith, QB, West Virgina
As we see the new era of mobile quarterbacks flourish behind young new comers to the NFL like Russell Wilson, Cam Newton, and Rg3, the Bills might finally be ready to move past Ryan Fitzpatrick and embrace this new trend in the NFL. The zone-read is taking over and Geno Smith can fit in the system or even the pistol, and his mobility might help free up their passing attack which ranked 25th in the league.
9. New York Jets – Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU
While they need help at skill positions on the offensive side specifically the passing attack, their just isn’t talent worthy of a Top 10 pick. They’ve seen their cross town rivals the Giants succeed behind the pass rush and could look to the defensive side of the ball for a selection. The Jets have good corners, but having a threatening pass rusher could allow this defense to thrive. Mingo and the Jets’ corners could compliment each other very well and Mingo could get lots of quality “coverage sacks.”
10. Tennessee Titans – Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
Warmack is an exceptional interior offensive lineman. So much that he was the best offesnive lineman for Alabama, that’s high praise. And the Titans will take him with the last pick of the Top 10, which makes him the first OG to be taken in the Top 10 since 1997. His specialty is that he’s a great run blocker who can find line backers on the second level. Chris Johnson will be very excited next season.
11. San Diego Chargers – D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
This is hire then some expect Fluker to go, but they have a desperate need at every spot on their offensive line. With Fisher coming off the board earlier and their hopes of getting him here at this spot lying in pieces around them, they stick to the plan and go for a big reliable tackle from the SEC.
12. Miami Dolphins – Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
The Dolphins found their quarterback of the future in Ryan Tannehill in last year’s draft. This year they’re looking to replace Brandon Marshall and give their young QB someone to work with. Patterson is slightly unproven having spent two years at a junior college before going to Tennessee, but he has height and strength that should help him beat cornerbacks, and he can beat defenders for jump balls.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Mel Kiper has Dee Milliner as #13 on his big board, that matches up with this pick perfectly. The Buccaneers need help at corner with Ronde Barber nearing the end of his career. They were the worst team in the NFL against the past. Milliner has exceptional raw football skills and is more physical than the average corner and can disrupt wide receivers at the line, or turn and run with them.
14. Carolina Panthers – Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
He nearly led Missouri in tackles the season as an interior lineman. Almost unheard of. He gives great effort on every play and is quick off the snap. He uses his hands to get off blocks and disrupt plays. He is a steal at this position in the draft and the Panthers will benefit from his ability to get after the ball.
15. New Orleans Saints – Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
The New Orleans Saints were horrendous on defense this past season, arguably the worst in the NFL. They need a someone to clog the middle, and since their 2008 first round pick Sedrick Ellis leaving via free agency after a disappointing season which he amassed 36 tackles, and only half a sack over the last 2 seasons. Hankins can free up the line backers to make plays, and in Vilma and Lofton the Saints have linebackers who could take advantage of Hankins clogging up the line.