NFL Draft 2013: Sensible Targets for Struggling Teams
There are only four or five teams in the NFL with a realistic shot at winning the Super Bowl. The others will play out the string and possibly even make the playoffs, but they all need to be focused on how they can improve their teams in the draft.
Some of the best prospects in college are underclassmen that won't be eligible for the draft, but there are a few players that could pay big dividends for teams now and down the road.
Geno Smith Must Become a Chief
The Kansas City Chiefs must take the standout from West Virginia if they hold on to the top pick in the draft. The way they've played this season makes it seem like they will "beat" out the Jacksonville Jaguars in the race for ultimate futility.
Even if the Jaguars finish with a worse record, the Chiefs need to do whatever they have to do to take the top prospect at QB.
This team is likely to bring in a new coaching staff—as is customary when you lose 11-plus games—and the offense is the obvious unit in need. The defense is not a horrible group. They are middle of the pack in yards allowed at 16th through Week 14.
Their numbers would be a little better if their offense wasn't so pitiful. The Chiefs have thrown for only eight touchdown passes all season.
That won't cut it.
Smith's season tailed off a bit later in the year, but there is no doubt about his prospects as an NFL quarterback. He still completed 71.4 percent of his passes and averaged 333.4 passing yards per game.
The Chiefs need to bring in their new leader with a new coaching regime.
Star Lotulelei Would Make a Great Raider
The Silver and Black's run defense has been anything but stout. They have allowed 1,705 yards on the ground through 13 games this season.
The beast from Utah is the type of force that can make an impact on the line of scrimmage immediately. At 6'4", 325 pounds, Lotulelei has the requisite size to play the DT position in the NFL, but his athleticism is especially impressive.
It has been a while since the Raiders had an impact player on the inside of their defensive line. Lotulelei should be the team's top priority.
Matt Barkley, Meet Larry Fitzgerald
Fitzgerald hasn't had a top-notch QB since Kurt Warner retired. He's like an awesome muscle car who's progress has been impeded by low-level fuel for the past five years in Arizona. The Cardinals are dead last in points and yards this season.
Drafting Matt Barkley would at least get him a young quarterback with the physical tools to get him the ball.
Some may be down on Barkley after his injury and the USC Trojans disappointing end to their regular season. However, let's not forget that Barkley has a cannon arm, and he has always displayed impressive accuracy as well.
He completed 63.6 percent of his passes in his final season in southern California.
Sure, he had a wealth of talented receivers, but Fitzgerald would give him an even better weapon, and Michael Floyd is progressing in his rookie season.
This is a perfect match of player and team. The Cardinals need to ensure they grab Barkley in the draft.
Somebody, Please Send Jay Cutler a Tight End That Can Catch
I know the Chicago Bears biggest problem is the offensive line, but that unit needs help now. The Bears would be wise to go the free agent route to improve Cutler's protection.
This core simply can't wait for young offensive linemen to develop, and this doesn't figure to be a draft that will provide a stud O-Lineman where the Bears figure to draft in the first round.
A tight end would help the Bears tremendously.
Notre Dame's Tyler Eifert is clearly the best tight end prospect—especially as a pass-catcher. Kellen Davis, Matt Spaeth and Jonathan Adams' hands are not dependable.
Every week, Bears' fans watch the tight ends drop passes and get nothing after the catch when they do make the reception.
Eifert had 44 catches, 624 yards and four touchdowns in a run-dominant offense, with a quarterback that isn't a top-notch NFL prospect. He could be a great addition to the Bears' offense.
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