1. Indianapolis – Andrew Luck, QB ,Stanford. Duh.
2. Washington – Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor. We told you it was going to be the Redskins to make the trade, but they did give up more than we anticipated. It will be well worth it.
3. Minnesota – Matt Kalil, T, USC. While the Vikings secondary is a mess, they must protect their franchise quarterback, Christian Ponder. They’re hoping the Miami Dolphins trade up for Ryan Tannehill and are dropping the Maurice Claiborne smoke screens to see if anyone blinks, but ultimately this is a no-brainer pick.
4. Cleveland – (Previous pick – Justin Blackmon) Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama. The Browns have a lot of options, and ultimately we believe they will trade down, even though team president Mike Holmgren doesn’t want them to, but if they stay put this pick makes the most sense.
5. Tampa Bay – (Previous pick – Trent Richardson) Maurice Claiborne, CB, LSU. Tampa Bay doesn’t think it, but they need Claiborne to fall badly. Eric Wright is awful, Ronde Barber is almost cooked, and Aqib Talib is going to jail.
6. St. Louis – (Previous pick – Maurice Claiborne) Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State. The Rams know they are going to get an elite prospect with this pick; they just don’t know which one. If Richardson fell we think they would take him, but that is their least desirable scenario. Ultimately, they want Claiborne or Blackmon, and in this version they get one of them.
7. Jacksonville – Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina. This is Jacksonville’s fall back plan, but it’s still a good one.
8. Miami – Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M. He is a perfect fit for the Dolphins offense and would explain why they low-balled Matt Flynn in free agency. We do not believe he is worth this pick, but given the recent trends with quarterback in the NFL some team is going to reach for the project.
9. Carolina – Quintin Coples, DE, Carolina. Miami’s reach means a stud defensive end is available for the Panthers. He has significant work ethic issues, but the Panthers locker room would be a good environment to get the most out of him. From a physical standpoint he looks everything like former Panthers stud Julius Peppers. If he slips past the Panthers, Carolina takes Luke Kuechly, or they trade down on draft day, it is only because the coaching staff doesn’t think they can get the most out of Coples.
10. Buffalo – Riley Reiff, T, Iowa. Pass rush is no longer a slam dunk with the signings of Mario Williams and Mark Anderson. We think it is still a possibility as the Bills have been just that bad against the pass and Anderson is limited, but with Demetrius Bell departed to Philadelphia, the match between need at tackle and talent available is a perfect match.
11. Kansas City – Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis. The Chiefs badly needed to address the tackle position, but they decided to do it in free agency with former Texan Eric Winston, so Jonathan Martin is no longer an option here. General manager Scott Pioli comes from the mindset that a strong defensive line is paramount to success and he hired a defensive head coach this offseason. We still believe he is a reach because the on-field product leaves a lot to be desired, but someone is going to be blinded by his upside and the underwhelming defensive tackle class. We think David DeCastro would be a better pick.
12. Seattle – (Previous pick – Nick Perry) Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College. A putrid pass rush needs to be addressed and Perry makes the most sense. A trade down is also a very likely scenario as offensive tackle Jonathan Martin and offensive guard David DeCastro both still remain on the board, but they are likely going in the next two picks. Perry should slip a bit further on draft day but we don’t operate in hypotheticals here. Between the questionable scouting reports on Upshaw and the USC pipeline, we expect to see the Seahawks target him draft day. However, if the Seahawks stay put we think they go with the best pick available that also fills a need in the Boston College linebacker.
13. Arizona – Jonathan Martin, T, Stanford. The Cardinals could take either Stanford offensive lineman as their offensive line is a mess, but Martin plays the premium position which also happens to be Arizona’s bigger hole. Even though DeCastro is a better player, the Cardinals go with Martin.
14. Dallas – David DeCastro, G, Stanford. Perfect scenario for the Cowboys as they addressed their other glaring issues (secondary) in free agency. Slam dunk pick if he falls.
15. Philadelphia – Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama. We cautioned before that coach Andy Reid hates drafting linebackers early, he reminded you with the trade for DeMeco Ryans. Defensive tackle is their bigger need, but there are none worth this pick, so the Eagles target another premium position with this pick. Who would have thought cornerback would be a consideration with their cornerback corps before 2011? In the end, the Eagles clearly aren’t sold on Asante Samuel long term and his expected replacement (Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie) is a bum. If Kirkpatrick is not the pick here it’s because the Eagles traded down to a team (i.e. Cleveland) coveting Michael Floyd.