Four months and a few weeks from now, thousands of college football players will be anxiously waiting for the phone to ring, a call that brings with it these nine words: "Congratulations, you are about to become an NFL player."
Of course, only 224 players will be selected over the three days that encompass the 2013 NFL draft––and of those, only 32 will hear their names called in the first round, giving them a chance to have that uncomfortable moment where they shake hands, pound fists or embrace NFL commissioner Roger Goodell
Here are the players who we will see getting up close and personal with the commish.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Neither Matt Cassel nor Brady Quinn is a starting QB in the NFL, and there's simply no possible way that Kansas City can go into 2013 with either one under center. Regardless of who is running the show for the Chiefs, Geno Smith is the obvious pick.
A dynamic playmaker who can change the game with his arm and his legs, Smith would be walking into a dream scenario with big-time playmakers around him in RB Jamaal Charles, WR Dwayne Bowe, WR Jonathan Baldwin, TE Tony Moeaki and all-around threat Dexter McCluster.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Jacksonville desperately needs a QB, but with Smith off of the board, there isn't another signal-caller worthy of the second overall pick in the draft. So the Jaguars will address their pathetic pass rush and run defense in one fell swoop with the selection of Werner.
Not only is Werner a big-time edge rusher who can defend the run, but the fact that he's a Seminole will certainly not go unnoticed by fans.
3. Carolina Panthers: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
A physical interior defender who plays with a chip on his shoulder, Lotulelei will bolster a Panthers run defense that ranks 25th in the NFL, allowing nearly 130 rushing yards per game.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Philadelphia's issues are widespread and on both sides of the ball, but not being able to keep Michael Vick or Nick Foles upright for much for the 2012 season needs to be remedied. Joeckel is the best offensive lineman in the draft and gives the Eagles someone that they can plug into their lineup for the next decade.
5. Oakland Raiders: Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame
Issues with Rolando McClain aside, the Raiders need a steadying force and leader on the defensive side of the ball. Heisman Trophy finalist Te'o, who I believe is the most NFL-ready player in this year's draft, does everything well. His leadership will prove to be invaluable for the Raiders.
6. Cleveland Browns: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
The Browns need to continue to stockpile talent, and there may not be a more naturally gifted player in the entire draft than Jones. In the Browns' 4-3 defensive scheme, Jones will not only make an impact when it comes to stuffing the run, but he will be able to get after the QB as well.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Matt Barkley, QB, USC
The Cardinals have been burnt by taking USC quarterbacks before (see Matt Leinart), but Barkley is the best QB available after Smith in this year's draft. Barkley is an immediate upgrade over the trio of Kevin Kolb, John Skelton and Ryan Lindley.
8. Detroit Lions: Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
Montgomery didn't have the huge season that many expected him to have in 2012, but his combination of size, strength and speed is impossible to ignore. He gives an already solid defensive front more options and versatility.
9. San Diego Chargers: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
Matthews has the size, strength and ability to play on either side of the Chargers' offensive line, a unit that took a major hit with the inconsistent play (and injury issues) of Jared Gaither, a free-agent signing that hasn't worked out. He may not be a sexy pick, but he's a safe pick. San Diego gets a solid player here.
10. Tennessee Titans: Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
The Titans defense has been pretty putrid in 2012, and it can use help at multiple positions. Enter Jordan, who has the strength and speed to play as either a defensive end or an outside linebacker, both which are areas of need.
11. Buffalo Bills: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
Moore is exactly what the Bills need––a quick, powerful defensive end who can get after the quarterback. With 12.5 sacks on the season, Moore does just that.
12. New York Jets: John Jenkins, NT, Georgia
Sione Pouha can't play forever, and the Jets don't have a viable replacement for him on the roster. Jenkins gives them someone who can learn from Pouha and spell the veteran as he slowly takes over the starting role.
13. Miami Dolphins: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
The Dolphins need a ball-hawk in the secondary, and Banks is as good at locating the ball while it's in the air as anyone in the nation. He immediately upgrades the weakest part of the Dolphins defense.
14. New Orleans Saints: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
The Saints defense has been unable to stop the run in 2012, and Richardson has the size and strength to clog the middle of the line and stop some of the bleeding.
15. St. Louis Rams (From Washington Redskins): Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
Finding ways to keep Sam Bradford upright is the biggest thing that the Rams need to do this offseason, and the selection of Lewan is a great place to start. Lewan is a physical lineman who has a nasty streak and will be a bookend in St. Louis for a decade.
16. St. Louis Rams: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
The Rams keep their focus on protecting the quarterback, taking a player who is as close to a sure thing as there is in this year's draft. Like Lewan, Warmack will be a starter for the next decade.
17. Minnesota Vikings: Keenan Allen, WR, California
Allen isn't as fast as Percy Harvin, but he has similar abilities. He has great vision and hands, doesn't need a ton of room to get off and running and can impact the game not only from multiple spots on offense, but also as a dynamic punt returner as well, allowing the Vikings to limit Harvin's exposure to contact.
18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
Rhodes isn't the most complete corner in this year's draft, but he has excellent size (6'2", 217 lbs) and is a playmaker, exactly what the Bucs need from the position.
19. Dallas Cowboys: Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
A physical specimen at 6'3" and 320 pounds, Hankins is surprisingly agile for a player of his size. Hankins hasn't been the most consistent player, but with Jerry Jones making the call on draft day in Dallas, he is the kind of high-upside pick that Jones loves to make.
20. Cincinnati Bengals: Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
With three of their best pass-rushers heading for free agency (Robert Geathers, Michael Johnson and Manny Lawson), the Bengals need to address the fact that they may be without their services in 2013. Okafor doesn't have great speed, but he's a smart player who knows how to get after the QB.
21. Seattle Seahawks: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Russell Wilson needs more weapons on the outside, and Patterson fits the bill. He has shown the ability to make defenders look silly from multiple spots on the field: as a receiver, as a runner and on special teams, both as a punt and kick returner.
22. Pittsburgh Steelers: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, Brigham Young
Ansah is a bit of a project in that he has only been playing organized football for three years, but like the Giants' Jason Pierre-Paul, Ansah has great size (6'5", 270 lbs) and elite athleticism. He couldn't find a better spot to land than with the Steelers, who have the luxury of bringing him along slowly.
23. Chicago Bears: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Chicago's offensive line has been shaky once again in 2012, with no more glaring weakness than at the left tackle spot. Fisher has elite size (6'7", 305 lbs) and is a tenacious worker with excellent athletic ability.
24. Indianapolis Colts: David Amerson, CB, North Carolina State
Amerson's 2012 season has paled in comparison to his 2011 season when he pulled down 13 interceptions, but he's a shutdown corner who can make the big plays, filling a glaring hole on the Colts defense.
25. Green Bay Packers: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
The Packers can't run the ball and have issues protecting Aaron Rodgers. Cooper is a dominant run-blocker who holds his own in pass protection, bolstering a weak spot on the Packers' offensive line.
26. San Francisco 49ers: Jesse Williams, NT, Alabama
San Francisco doesn't have any glaring needs on either side of the ball, so this pick is about value and adding depth. Williams isn't afraid to get dirty in the trenches and provides one of the best defenses in the NFL with more depth and versatility.
27. New York Giants: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
Martellus Bennett has been great for the Giants, but chances are that he'll land a lucrative deal in free agency, leaving the Giants without a viable option at the position. Eifert is the best tight end in the country, and he'll provide Eli Manning with another big-time playmaker and red-zone target.
28. Denver Broncos: C.J. Mosley, OLB, Alabama
Mosley's instincts and athleticism would be a welcome addition to a linebacker group that has relied upon veterans like Keith Brooking to step up in the absence of D.J. Williams. Mosley gives the Broncos a younger, quicker replacement with upside.
29. New England Patriots: Barrett Jones, OG, Alabama
Jones has played left tackle (where he won the Outland Trophy), right guard (where he was named an All-American) and center for Nick Saban over the past three years. He's as versatile of an offensive lineman as there is in the draft, and that makes him a Bill Belichick type of player.
30. Baltimore Ravens: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
Joe Flacco has two dynamic outside receiving threats in Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin, along with an all-world running back in Ray Rice. What he lacks is a sure-handed slot receiver, and that's exactly what Hopkins is.
31. Atlanta Falcons: Chase Thomas, OLB, Stanford
The Falcons don't necessarily need Thomas, but he has a motor that doesn't quit and is an intelligent player, one who could eventually slide into a starting role.
32. Houston Texans: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
The Texans need another receiver, and they would get an explosive one in Austin. He doesn't have great size (he's only 5'9"), but Austin is a big-time playmaker who has elite speed and great vision.
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