With each passing week, we draw closer to the most pivotal time of the year for each of the NFL's 32 franchises—the NFL Draft.
Picking early in the draft is both a blessing and a curse.
While those teams have a chance to add players who can step onto the field and make an immediate impact, it means that your team isn't very good—and making a mistake can set a franchise back years.
For those who pick towards the end of the draft, making a mistake isn't as damning a problem. With established players already leading your team to success and into the postseason, teams are often picking to add depth, not
1. Kansas City Chiefs (2-11): Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Geno Smith has prototypical height (6'3"), solid mechanics, excellent accuracy and the ability to stand tall in the pocket and make tough throws with defenders bearing down on him.
In short, he's the complete opposite of Brady Quinn and Matt Cassel.
That's reason enough for the Chiefs to take him with the first overall pick.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-11): Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
Is there anything that Jarvis Jones doesn't do well on the football field? He's a dynamic pass rusher who can play the run and drop back into coverage. His combination of size, speed, strength and natural instincts make him the most dynamic defensive player in this year's draft.
While the Jaguars might prefer to find a long-term answer at QB (as that Blaine Gabbert pick two years ago hasn't exactly worked out), they need help on both sides of he ball.
With the worst pass rush in the NFL, Jones' impact in Jacksonville will be felt immediately.
3. Oakland Raiders (3-10): Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame
The last time Oakland had a first round pick, back in 2010, they selected LB Rolando McClain, who has had issues on-and-off of the field and been a disappointment.
Oakland needs a player who is as close to a sure thing as there is in the draft and they get that in Manti Te'o, who does everything well and has the agility, instincts and vision to make an immediate impact.
4. Philadelphia Eagles (4-9): Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Philadelphia's offensive line needs all the help it can get, and picking Luke Joeckel is a great place to start.
He's a better prospect than Matt Kalil, who went in this spot last year to the Minnesota Vikings, and he has the size, strength and skills to be a Pro Bowl tackle for the next decade (assuming the Pro Bowl is still in existence 10 years from now).
5. Carolina Panthers (4-9): Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
The last time the Panthers selected a defensive tackle in the first 50 picks of the draft, they wound up with Kris Jenkins, who they took with the 44th overall pick in 2001.
Star Lotulelei has the size, strength and tenacity to make a Jenkins-like impact in the middle of the Panthers defensive line.
6. Tennessee Titans (4-9): Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Derrick Morgan and Kamerion Wimbley are solid defensive ends for the Titans, but neither is a prolific pass rusher as is seen by their combined 8.5 sacks on the season.
Bjoern Werner is a dynamic edge rusher who has long arms, quick hands and an even quicker first step. He would immediately upgrade the Titans pass rush and run defense.
7. Detroit Lions (4-9): Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Detroit's secondary needs help and Dee Milliner is the remedy.
He has the size, speed and instincts to cover bigger receivers because he uses his arms and hands as well as anyone in college football to knock down passes. A solid tackler, Milliner will step up and attack the run, an added bonus for a Lions defense with a run defense that ranks in the bottom half of the NFL.
8. Arizona Cardinals (4-9): Matt Barkley, QB, USC
Matt Barkley doesn't have great accuracy on his deep ball, but neither does John Skelton, Ryan Lindley or Kevin Kolb. But if we're being honest, none of the latter three have great accuracy on their intermediate or short passes, either.
Barkley has had success throwing to one dynamic WR already in USC's Marqise Lee. He'll find success in the NFL throwing to the more explosive Larry Fitzgerald.
9. San Diego Chargers (5-8): Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
San Diego can use help at both tackle spots on their offensive line. They will be fortunate to find Jake Matthews sitting on the board, waiting to be selected.
One half of the best tackle duo in the country (along with Luke Joeckel), Matthews can stay on the right side of the line or move over to protect Philip Rivers' blindside as he has the strength and balance to succeed at either position.
10. Cleveland Browns: (5-8): Johnathan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
Cleveland lacks an impact cornerback to play opposite Joe Haden and Johnathan Banks can fill that void.
A natural ballhawk, what Banks lacks in elite speed is made up for with his size (6'2") as this allows him to match up with bigger receivers.
11. Buffalo Bills (5-8): Demontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
Buffalo needs a pass rusher and Demontre Moore is as good at getting after the quarterback as anyone in the draft.
Moore leads the Aggies with 12.5 sacks on the season (second in the nation), but he's more than just a pass rushing defensive end. Moore is Texas A&M's leader in tackles, QB hurries and tackles for loss as well.
12. Miami Dolphins (5-8): Keenan Allen, WR, California
Brian Hartline and Davone Bess are nice receivers to have on your team, but neither one is a true number one receiver.
Keenan Allen has the size (6'3", 210 lbs), soft hands and speed to be a game changer in Miami and would immediately become the top receiving threat for the Dolphins.
He's a dynamic special teams player as well, and adding a player who is as versatile and dangerous as Allen is never a bad thing.
13. New Orleans Saints (5-8): Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
Sam Montgomery has phenomenal size (6'5", 250 lbs), strength and speed to step in and make an immediate impact on a New Orleans defense that struggles in all aspects of the game.
He can play the run, get after the quarterback and will command attention from opposing offensive lines, opening up space for his teammates to make plays.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7): Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
Tampa Bay's pass defense has been atrocious all season long and they've yet to find a suitable replacement for Aqib Talib.
Rhodes doesn't have great speed, but he has great size (6'1", 217 lbs) and is a physical corner who will immediately improve Tampa Bay's secondary.
15. New York Jets (6-7): Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
The Jets haven't been able to get after the quarterback in years and it's something that must be addressed in the draft.
Dion Jordan has the speed and strength to excel in the NFL as an edge rusher, and he's versatile enough that the Jets could use him as an outside linebacker as well should they feel the need.
16. St. Louis Rams (6-6-1): Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
At 6'7" and 310 pounds, Taylor Lewan looks just like another Michigan product who has had great success in the NFL, Jake Long.
He's not as finished a product as Long was coming out of Michigan, but Lewan is a talented lineman who plays with a chip on his shoulder and will help the Rams keep QB Sam Bradford on the field.
17. Cincinnati Bengals (7-6): Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
You can never have too many pass rushers.
Alex Okafor isn't a speed rusher, but he uses his hands and strength incredibly well to get after the quarterback, is solid against the run and versatile enough to play on either side of the line.
18. Minnesota Vikings (7-6): Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
A physical specimen (6'3", 320 lbs), Johnathan Hankins isn't a great pass rusher.
What he is, however, is incredibly difficult to block, as he uses his phenomenal size and incredible athleticism (for someone as big as he) is to generate penetration. This will open things up for Kevin Williams and company to make plays.
19. Dallas Cowboys (7-6): Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
For someone as large as Chance Warmack (6'2", 322 lbs), he is incredibly light on his feet and does a great job of getting to—and getting rid of—linebackers at the second level of opposing defenses.
He's strong and sturdy enough on his feet to handle bull-rushing defenders, yet agile enough to move laterally. With the interior of Dallas' offensive line not in the best of shape, Warmack would be a solid addition.
20. St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins (7-6): Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
The Rams stay focused on the offensive line with their second first round pick and get an excellent tackle in Eric Fisher.
Fisher has excellent size at 6'7" and 305 pounds along with the quickness to play on the edge. A powerful run blocker and able to fend off oncoming speed rushers, Fisher will be a fixture in St. Louis for the next decade.
21. Seattle Seahawks (8-5): Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
With Alan Branch headed to free agency, the Seahawks would do well to fill his spot with the Australian behemoth known as Jesse Williams.
Williams uses his 6'3", 320-pound frame to clog the middle of the line, which forces opposing offenses to think twice before trying to run the ball up the middle.
22. New York Giants (8-5): David Amerson, CB, North Carolina State
The Giants secondary is a mess. Corey Webster has taken a step back in 2012 and Terrell Thomas' future is uncertain. Big Blue needs corners in a big way.
A shutdown corner who has big play ability and a nose for the ball, David Amerson is exactly the kind of player that the Giants secondary needs.
23. Chicago Bears (8-5): Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
Chicago's offensive line has been a problem once again in 2012, and while Lane Johnson is still a work in progress, his upside is considerable.
A former quarterback, tight end and defensive end, Johnson played right tackle for the Sooners in 2011 and moved to the left side in 2012. He has the size (6'6", 302 lbs) and long arms to meet oncoming defenders at the point of attack, but is still learning the subtleties of the position.
24. Indianapolis Colts (9-4): C.J. Mosley, OLB, Alabama
Indianapolis needs a new face for their defense and C.J. Mosley is the man for the job.
He has excellent agility, his instincts are off the charts, he gets to the ball quickly and uses his quick hands to knock down passes.
25. Baltimore Ravens (9-4): Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia
Sooner or later, the Ravens are going to have to find someone to take over for Ray Lewis in the middle of their defense.
Alec Ogletree is incredibly athletic with great closing speed and a sound tackler. He picked up 98 tackles during the regular season for Georgia even after missing the first four games of the season due to a suspension.
26. Green Bay Packers (9-4): Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
It's no secret that Green Bay's offensive line needs help, and Jonathan Cooper can provide it.
Cooper might be the most athletic offensive lineman in the draft, and has ability to block on the move while having the footwork and balance to protect Aaron Rodgers in the pass game.
27. Chicago Bears (8-5): Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
It would be nice if Jay Cutler had someone other than Brandon Marshall to throw the ball to, especially from the tight end spot.
Tyler Eifert is the best tight end in the country with excellent speed, good hands, and the ability to stay in and block both in the running and passing game.
28. New England Patriots (9-3): Barrett Jones, OG, Alabama
Barrett Jones has the ability to play either tackle spot or line up at center, and he's had great success at all three spots under the watchful eye of Nick Saban.
His versatility and track record of success make him a natural fit in New England.
29. San Francisco 49ers (9-3-1): John Jenkins, DT, Georgia
A behemoth at 6'3" and 358 pounds, John Jenkins moves incredibly well for someone as large as he is.
Against Alabama in the SEC Championship Game, Jenkins had his way with the aforementioned Barrett Jones and Chance Warmack, picking up six tackles and a sack.
With Isaac Sopoaga potentially leaving the Bay Area as a free agent, Jenkins would be an excellent replacement.
30. Denver Broncos (10-3): Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
Denver is in the market for a pair of defensive tackles and they could do far worse than to come out of the first round with Sylvester Williams being one of them.
Williams finished the season with 42 tackles and six sacks for the Tar Heels as the primary focus of opposing blockers.
31. Atlanta Falcons (11-2): Ezekiel Ansah, DE, Brigham Young
He's only been playing football for a few years, but Ezekiel Ansah has the size, speed and athletic ability that made Jason Pierre-Paul such an intriguing pick for the New York Giants in the 2010 NFL Draft.
With John Abraham not getting any younger, the Falcons will need to address a replacement eventually. Ansah could be that guy.
32. Houston Texans (11-1): Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
What 5'9" Tavon Austin lacks in size he makes up for with explosive speed, great hands and incredible athleticism.
The Texans don't just need another wide receiver, they need a playmaker at wide receiver.
That's Austin, who can make an impact on special teams as well. Much like Percy Harvin has done for the Minnesota Vikings.
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