The NFL draft is near impossible to predict, but there are a few constants when dealing with the draft. Teams that have success in the draft win championships. Good organizations understand that drafting players is like setting a gas price; you charge the consumer based on the amount it is going to cost you to replace the gas they are using up, not how much the gas itself cost.
In the NFL, a team must project their areas of need in advance in order to be consistent for many years. Enough years of draft analysis have indicated that many times teams do not look to fill what looks like the most glaring hole on their roster at the time early on. There are a number of reasons for this, which always revolve around a team’s philosophy.
First off, certain teams feel as if they can neglect a unit, say linebacker, for the sake of stacking their defensive line. A great defensive line is a great defensive deodorant, and a team can take a linebacker with a later pick.
There is also the “best player available” philosophy, which dictates that a team takes the best player on the board at that time regardless of need. Here is my best projection of thefirst round of the NFL draft based on those factors.
1. Detroit Lions- Eugene Monroe LT, Virginia
2. St. Louis Rams- Aaron Curry OLB, Wake Forest
3. Kansas City Chiefs- Brian Orakpo DE, Texas
4. Seattle Seahawks- Michael Crabtree WR, Texas Tech
5. Cleveland Browns- Malcolm Jenkins CB, Ohio State
6. Cincinnati Bengals- Andre Smith OT, Alabama
7. Oakland Raiders- Jason Smith OT, Baylor
8. (TRADE)San Francisco 49ers - Matt Stafford QB, Georgia
9. Green Bay Packers- B.J. Raji DT, Boston College
10. (TRADE) Jacksonville Jaguars - Mark Sanchez QB, USC
11. Buffalo Bills- Jeremy Macklin WR, Missouri
12. Denver Broncos- Rey Maualuga ILB, USC
13. Washington Redskins- Michael Oher OT, Mississippi
14. New Orleans Saints- Everette Brown DE, Florida State
15. Houston Texans- Aaron Maybin DE, Penn State
16. San Diego Chargers- Tyson Jackson DE, LSU
17. New York Jets- Knowshon Moreno HB, Georgia
18. Chicago Bears- Darius Heyward- Bey WR, Maryland
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Peria Jerry DT, Mississippi
20. Detroit Lions (from Dallas) Larry English DE, Northern Illinois
21. Philadelphia Eagles- Chris Wells HB, Ohio State
22. Minnesota Vikings- Josh Freeman QB, Kansas State
23. New England Patriots- Brian Cushing OLB, USC
24. Atlanta Falcons- Brandon Pettigrew TE, Oklahoma State
25. Miami Dolphins- William Moore S, Missouri
26. Baltimore Ravens- Alphonso Smith CB, Wake Forest
27. Indianapolis Colts- Max Unger C, Oregon
28. Philadelphia Eagles- Eben Britton, OT Arizona
29. New York Giants- James Laurinaitis ILB, Ohio State
30. Tennessee Titans- Percy Harvin WR, Florida
31. Arizona Cardinals- LeSean McCoy HB, Pittsburgh
32. Pittsburgh Steelers- Alex Mack C, California
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!