When an NFL team makes a commitment towards a player—selecting him with a coveted draft pick—there’s the expectation that he can succeed in their organization even though that’s not always the case.
At times, teams will make a decision to take a risk and select a player higher than they should just to make sure that they get him and an opponent does not. Teams can neglect whether someone will fit into their offense or defense, mesh with others on the team, or even with the coaching staff.
Reaching for players will happen at the 2013 NFL draft and here are some of the teams that could do so.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Geno Smith (QB, West Virginia)
The Chiefs have to replace Matt Cassel in the upcoming draft. If not, they’ll be in a similar situation come the 2014 NFL draft.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Tyler Wilson (QB, Arkansas)
The Jaguars need help in a lot of different areas, but quarterback is one position that they can’t avoid any longer. Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne are ranked 31st and 32nd in passing yards this season and Jacksonville is averaging the second-fewest points per game in the NFL.
Tyler Wilson is a good quarterback who didn't have a great senior season—throwing for 3,387 yards, 21 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He is worthy of a first-round pick, but No. 2 overall is much too high. The problem for Jacksonville is if it doesn't take a quarterback early, it won’t be left with many potential starting options in the later rounds.
The Jaguars will have to reach on Wilson instead of taking a defensive player and hope that he can do what Gabbert hasn't been able to do since they took him with the No. 10 overall pick in the 2011 draft.
3. Oakland Raiders: Manti Te’o (LB, Notre Dame)
Oakland has always been known for its defense and that happens to be an area that the Raiders must improve. The Raiders have the second-fewest sacks this season with 21 and could use a good linebacker to put pressure on quarterbacks.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Star Lotuleie (DT, Utah)
The Philadelphia defensive line just isn't cutting it anymore and Star Lotuleie is the type of player who would excel with the Eagles. Philadelphia has just 29 sacks on the season (22nd in the NFL via ESPN) while Lotuleie was very good at putting pressure on the quarterback and filling gaps to prevent big gains from running backs.
5. Detroit Lions: DeMarcus Milliner (CB, Alabama)
The Lions have a fairly solid passing defense, ranked 11th in the NFL (via ESPN) and could make it that much better with a top cornerback. Milliner is one of the best corners in the nation and would give Detroit another young star.
6. San Diego Chargers: Taylor Lewan (OT, Michigan)
Phillip Rivers has been sacked 43 times this season. That should explain why the Chargers must go with an offensive lineman with the No. 6 pick.
7. Cleveland Browns: Jarvis Jones (OLB, Georgia)
The Browns have the 22nd-worst defense in football (via ESPN) and that’s mainly because they aren't very strong at any of the positions. Jarvis Jones is a monster on defensive and would be a major improvement over the likes of Kaluka Maiava, James-Michael Johnson and D’Qwell Jackson.
8. Buffalo Bills: Matt Barkley (QB, USC)
Ryan Fitzpatrick has not been his sharpest this season—throwing for just under 3,000 yards with 22 touchdowns and 15 interceptions—and it may cost him his job.
9. Tennessee Titans: Dion Jordan (OLB, Oregon)
Tennessee needs to add someone who can help stop the pass and the rush. They currently allow the third-most points per game of any team in the NFL (via ESPN).
10. Carolina Panthers: Luke Joeckel (OT, Texas A&M)
Luke Joeckel is one of the few offensive linemen in this draft class who has the capability to hold blocks to give Cam Newton time to throw and also open up gaps for him to run through. Carolina doesn't really have an issue with allowing sacks, but protecting Newton is something they should take very seriously.
11. Arizona Cardinals: Barkevious Mingo (OLB, LSU)
Arizona has been very good against the pass this season, but not against the run. Only two Cardinals have more than two tackles for losses this year and only one player has more than five sacks.
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jonathan Banks (CB, Mississippi)
Tampa Bay is the only team in the league at allows more than 290 passing yards per game. The Bucs are great when it comes to stopping the run, but can’t do anything about the pass. Leonard Johnson and E.J. Biggers just aren't cutting it and a change must be made.
13. Miami Dolphins: Cordarrelle Patterson (WR, Tennessee)
Brian Hartline is the only Dolphin this season with over 1,000 yards receiving. After Davone Bess, who has 778 yards, no one on Miami has more than 300. Cordarrelle Patterson has 778 yards, ironically the same as Bess, and five touchdowns with the Volunteers this year.
14. New York Jets: Robert Woods (WR, USC)
I think that the Jets would be smart to hang on to Tim Tebow and to draft a wide receiver instead of a rookie quarterback. No Jets quarterback had many good options to throw to this season, which was part of New York’s problem.
Woods should be the best receiver left at this point in the draft, but I don’t think that he’d be a great fit for the Jets. Woods is used to a quarterback more like Greg McElory than Tim Tebow. Even though New York should take the best receiver possible, Woods might not succeed with the Jets like some other receivers might be able to.
15. New Orleans Saints: Bjoern Werner (DE, Florida State)
The Saints allow more yards on defense than any other NFL team (via ESPN). It’s going to take more than one player to fix that problem, but taking Bjoern Werner would be a solid start.
16. St. Louis Rams: Sheldon Richardson (DE, Missouri)
Putting Sheldon Richardson along of Robert Quinn and Chris Long would give the Rams are very dangerous defensive line that could total more than 50 sacks.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Chase Thomas (OLB, Stanford)
Pittsburgh has the best defense in football defending the pass and the fourth best against the run. Having someone like Chase Thomas learn from James Harrison wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. Would it?
18. Cincinnati Bengals: Kenny Vaccaro (S, Texas)
Kenny Vaccaro would be a nice compliment playing behind Leon Hall and Terrance Newman who each have 10 pass deflections and at least one interception this season. Reggie Nelson hasn't been overly impressive, which could mean giving Vaccaro the nod his rookie year.
19. Minnesota Vikings: Jonathan Hankins (DT, Ohio State)
Jonathan Hankins next to Jared Allen and Kevin Williams is one scary trio. Quarterbacks will have a lot on their plate going up against the Vikings’ defensive line.
20. St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins): Eric Fisher (OT, Central Michigan)
The Rams have to protect Sam Bradford better. Plain and simple. He’s been sacked 35 times and has taken some nasty hits this season. Unless they are planning a new franchise-leading quarterback next year, they have to draft an offensive lineman now.
21. Dallas Cowboys: Sam Montgomery (DE, LSU)
The Cowboys haven't been great against the run this season and haven't gotten to the quarterback as much as they would've liked. There’s nothing wrong with adding an SEC defensive end/linebacker into the mix to give offensive lineman more headaches than they already have.
22. New York Giants: Alec Ogletree (ILB, Georgia)
New York has been giving up a lot of yards this season (fifth-most per game via ESPN) and that’s one of the main reasons the Giants haven’t clinched a playoff spot yet. New York could replace either of their linebackers with Alec Ogletree and be instantly more dangerous.
23. Chicago Bears: Chance Warmack (OG, Alabama)
Jay Cutler can’t get sacked 41 times and still succeed. The Bears need to protect him better if they want Cutler at his highest potential.
24. Indianapolis Colts: John Jenkins (DT, Georgia)
The Colts seemed to have figured out what works on offense so now it’s time to focus on the defense. Indianapolis hasn't been great against the run or the pass and could use a big guy up front like Jenkins.
25. Seattle Seahawks: Keenan Allen (WR, California)
I’m sure Russell Wilson would love another option that has fantastic hands and speed. Adding Kennan Allen to Sidney Rice and Golden Tate would give the Seahawks a great set of young receivers.
26. Baltimore Ravens: Khaseem Green (ILB, Rutgers)
Baltimore taking someone to shadow Ray Lewis is the best option that they have. There’s no way that type of move could backfire.
27. New England Patriots: Eric Reid (FS, LSU)
There’s no doubt that the Patriots defense has improved this season, but it could still get better. The secondary in particular could use some fresh legs—not to say that Devin McCourty isn't a good fit at safety—but Reid could be another dynamic piece to Bill Belichick’s puzzle.
28. Green Bay Packers: Barrett Jones (OG, Alabama)
Aaron Rodgers has been sacked 45 times this season. Once again, he’s been sacked 45 times. This is an elite quarterback that we’re talking about and his offensive line has allowed him to face extreme pressure nearly every snap. Barrett Jones can come in and immediately fix that problem.
29. San Francisco 49ers: Ezekiel Ansah (OLB, BYU)
Just like the Ravens, the 49ers can improve their future defense by having Ezekiel Ansah learn from someone like Patrick Willis. San Francisco currently has one of the top defenses in the league, but planning for the future isn't a bad idea.
The problem with Ansah is that although he's been effective at BYU, he might not get the playing time that he deserves. Ansah has 4.5 sacks and 13 tackles for losses this year for the Cougars, but it'd be tough to think that he'd replace someone like Aldon Smith—in fact it just wouldn't ever happen.
San Francisco may be better off taking a safety or maybe even another wide receiver instead of Ansah.
30. Denver Broncos: Terrance Williams (WR, Baylor)
If Peyton Manning could have Demaryius Thomas on one side with Terrance Williams on the other, and with Eric Decker in the slot, the Broncos would be much more dangerous than they already are.
31. Atlanta Falcons: Damontre Moore (DE, Texas A&M)
The Atlanta defense could be improved up front since the secondary is already relatively sound. They have 29 sacks on the year with is ranked 20th among all NFL teams (via ESPN).
32. Houston Texans: Tavon Austin (WR, West Virginia)
A tandem of Andre Johnson and Tavon Austin would be nearly unstoppable with Matt Schaub just launching passes down-field each play. He has 110 catches for nearly 1,300 yards and 12 touchdowns at West Virginia this year. He’s a play-maker just like Johnson is.