NFL Draft: NFL Mock Draft Post-Week 16
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With Week 16 in the books and one more week left in the regular season, the NFL draft for the non-playoff teams is starting to take some shape.
Some news this week and potential coaching changes will continue to reform how teams draft, and the beginning of that process is soon.
With that in mind, here is how I see the first round of the 2013 NFL draft after Week 16.
The Jaguars near-victory against the Patriots was not enough to avoid clinching a top-two pick.
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Below is how I see the draft order going after the Week 17 games for teams 1-20, and then how the playoffs finish:
1. Kansas City Chiefs
2. Jacksonville Jaguars
3. Oakland Raiders
4. Philadelphia Eagles
5. Detroit Lions
6. Cleveland Browns
7. Arizona Cardinals
8. Buffalo Bills
9. Tennessee Titans
10. New York Jets
11. San Diego Chargers
12. Carolina Panthers
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
14. Miami Dolphins
15. St. Louis Rams
16. Pittsburgh Steelers
17. Dallas Cowboys
18. New Orleans Saints
19. New York Giants
20. Minnesota Vikings
21. Cincinnati Bengals (AFC No. 6 seed, loses to No. 3 Houston in Wild Card)
22. Chicago Bears (NFC No. 6 seed, loses to No. 3 San Francisco in Wild Card)
23. St. Louis Rams (From Washington Redskins) (NFC No. 4 seed, loses to No. 5 Seattle in Wild Card)
24. Indianapolis Colts (AFC No. 5 seed, loses to No. 4 Baltimore in Wild Card)
25. Baltimore Ravens (AFC No. 4 seed, loses to No. 1 Denver in Divisional Round)
26. Seattle Seahawks (NFC No. 4 seed, loses to No. 1 Atlanta in Divisional Round)
27. San Francisco 49ers (NFC No. 3 seed, loses to No. 2 Green Bay in Divisional Round)
28. Houston Texans (AFC No. 3 seed, loses to No. 2 New England in Divisional Round)
29. Green Bay Packers (NFC No. 2 seed, loses to No. 1 Atlanta in NFC Championship)
30. New England Patriots (AFC No. 2 seed, loses to No. 1 Denver in AFC Championship
31. Atlanta Falcons (NFC No. 1 seed, loses to Denver in Super Bowl)
32. Denver Broncos (Win Super Bowl vs. Atlanta)
No. 1: Kansas City Chiefs Select QB Geno Smith, West Virginia
Geno Smith could be the Chiefs' pick for the quarterback position.
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The Chiefs could go with Manti Te'o at linebacker, a left tackle to potentially replace Branden Albert if he leaves through free agency, or a defensive lineman to replace the busts at defensive end (Tyson Jackson, Glenn Dorsey).
However, Brady Quinn's ability to lose a game in which the Chiefs run for over 300 yards shows that the quarterback position is by far the biggest need. While Geno Smith is no Robert Griffin III or Andrew Luck, Cam Newton wasn't expected to have a big first year after only playing in a spread offense but then put together a historic rookie season.
Smith has great arm strength and experience and is tremendously efficient. He has played well in big games and has nearly always found a way to win shootouts with his defense struggling.
With a pretty good defense, Kansas City needs some consistency from their offense, and no quarterback has been as consistently productive the past two seasons in college football than Smith.
No. 2: Jacksonville Jaguars Select DT Star Lotulelei, Utah
Star Lotulelei will make a big difference in the middle of the Jaguars' defense.
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While the Jaguars certainly could look at getting a quarterback, ESPN's Chris Mortensen has reported that Jacksonville will have an open competition at quarterback and that it is very likely that Tim Tebow will be part of that mix.
If Tebow has a chance to start, there is very little chance a quarterback will be taken by Jacksonville. With C.J. Mosley starting next to Tyson Alualu on a defense that was dominated in the run game by the Jets a few weeks ago, Star Lotulelei can be someone who can both help stop the run and open up opportunities for young defensive ends like Andre Branch and Jeremy Mincey to get to the quarterback.
No. 3: Oakland Raiders Select MLB Manti Te'o, Notre Dame
Manti Te'o is a winner who can help change the culture in Oakland.
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Rolando McClain's career in Oakland has been a complete disaster, and a replacement needs to be a top priority in the offseason.
While defensive tackle is a huge issue because of Richard Seymour becoming a free agent after the season and Tommy Kelly underachieving, with no Star Lotulelei on the board, the middle linebacker position will be next, and Te'o is the best player at a position of need for Oakland.
No. 4 (Trade): Chicago Bears Select OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M
Luke Joeckel could be the piece to finally protect Jay Cutler.
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Chicago Bears Receive:
No. 4 pick
Philadelphia Eagles Receive:
No. 23 pick
Bears' 2013 second-round and fourth-round picks
Bears' 2014 first-round pick
Just like the Falcons trading up for Julio Jones from late in the draft two years ago to get a player capable of pushing them to Super Bowl contender, the Bears have a huge need at left tackle.
Joeckel received the Outland Trophy for best offensive lineman in the country this season and is a Pro Bowl talent who would help the Bears' offensive line make some moves to improve. Giving Jay Cutler protection and holes in the running game would make the offense tough to stop and would make the Bears more of a complete team.
Though the Eagles have allowed the second-most sacks in the league with 47, injuries to starting tackles Jason Peters and Todd Herremans have hurt tremendously, and their return would help that stat. Plus, the Eagles are a talented team but have multiple needs, so a trade would help them now and in the long-term future
No. 5: Detroit Lions Select DE Bjoern Werner, Florida State
Bjoern Werner could create a great pass rush with Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley.
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Kyle Vanden Bosch and Cliff Avril are impending free agents, and neither of them were the type of game-changing talents that they were paid to be.
Werner is a pass-rusher who also has great ability to stop the run and would give Detroit three great pass-rushers with Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh, assuming Avril and Vanden Bosch aren't brought back. The secondary has issues, but as seen with the Steelers this season, injuries and inconsistency at the corner position can be overcome with pressure and great play by the safety position.
No. 6: Cleveland Browns Select OLB Jarvis Jones, Georgia
Jarvis Jones has Von Miller-like skills.
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Jarvis Jones can fill two positions with one pick, as he can play at outside linebacker and rush the passer and passing downs.
Cleveland is ranked No. 12 in the league with 36 sacks but can get better. The Browns have cap room to improve the secondary, but as said with the Lions pick, interceptions and turnovers are usually only created by defensive backs if quarterbacks fear the pass rush and have their timing thrown off.
Of course, this pick could change depending on what happens with head coach Pat Shurmur and whether or not the regime believes in Brandon Weeden as the franchise quarterback.
No. 7: Arizona Cardinals Select OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan
Taylor Lewan can make sure all quarterbacks playing for Arizona will be celebrating touchdown passes instead of lying on the turf.
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The Cardinals are far and away leading the league in sacks allowed with 56, nine ahead of the second-place team.
While quarterback is a need, Tom Brady wouldn't last a season behind this pathetic front five, so changes needed to be made regardless of who is coaching. Lewan is a tremendous athlete who can block in the open field and is needed with young pass-rushers like Aldon Smith, Chris Long, Chris Clemons and Bruce Irvin only getting better every season.
No. 8: Buffalo Bills Select QB Tyler Wilson, Arkansas
Tyler Wilson could be the Bills' starting quarterback as early as next season.
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Ryan Fitzpatrick's days in Buffalo are very numbered, as Mark Gaughan of the Buffalo News reports that Fitzpatrick won't see any more money from his contract extension received last season (via Pro Football Talk).
Tyler Wilson is a tough quarterback who outperformed Ryan Mallett in 2011, but struggled mightily last season due to Bobby Petrino's exit along with injuries and youth at the skill positions. Wilson's experience in a pro-style offense and playing in the SEC make him the most pro-ready quarterback available in the draft.
If Manti Te'o falls, Buffalo should and probably will pick him up quickly.
No. 9: Tennessee Titans Select DE Damontre Moore, Texas A&M
Damontre Moore would be a huge addition to the Titans' pass rush, which is currently lackluster.
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Aaron Rodgers' performance against a talented Titans secondary shows that the lack of pressure the past two seasons has made the Tennessee defense a lot worse, and changes need to be made.
The Titans are currently tied for No. 19 in the league in sacks with 32, a far cry from the days when Jeff Fisher coached a defensive line that was considered elite. The lack of pass-rushers on this roster needs to change for the entire defense to improve, and it starts with picking a player like Moore, who dominated the SEC with 12.5 sacks and 20 tackles for loss.
No. 10: New York Jets Select QB Matt Barkley, USC
Matt Barkley could be the player the Jets choose to replace the quarterback triangle of this past year in the Big Apple.
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Matt Barkley's 36-touchdowns-to-15-interceptions season had a lot of ups and downs, but that doesn't change that he has played in a pro-style offense for four years with great efficiency.
The Jets need somebody at quarterback, and there are a lot of monetary issues with the contracts of Mark Sanchez and Santonio Holmes that prevent New York from spending big at the position. Thus, a draft pick in the new slotting system is their cheapest option available.
Barkley's experience of four years compared to one for Sanchez could be the difference between Barkley making some errors and Sanchez making bonehead mistakes consistently.
No. 11: San Diego Chargers Select OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
Jake Matthews could fix the Chargers' problems at right tackle.
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The Chargers are tied with the Eagles for second in the NFL in sacks allowed with 47, and protecting Philip Rivers is priority No.1 regardless of the GM and coaching regime in place.
Jared Gaither's injury-plagued season took away Rivers' blindside protector, and he was very limited without him to say the least. However, it exposed the fact that without Gaither, the Chargers have the worst offensive tackle tandem in the league, as Jeromey Clary is not a starting right tackle in this league.
Jake Matthews can play both the left and right side but would be a perfect fit on the right to give San Diego a respectable tackle duo, assuming Gaither is healthy. San Diego could go corner if Quentin Jammer leaves through free agency.
No. 12: Carolina Panthers Select DT Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State
Johnathan Hankins could give Ron Rivera (if he stays) a foundation at the middle of his defense.
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If Ron Rivera stays in Carolina, a defensive tackle would likely be the pick, as Rivera needs a Tommie Harris-like talent to both stop the run and rush the passer.
Hankins was fifth on the Buckeyes in tackles with 55, including four for loss, proving he can make tackles all over the field. Carolina's defense already has a fast linebacker corps led by Luke Kuechly, so getting faster players at every level of the defense is a huge priority.
No. 13: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Select CB Johnathan Banks, Mississippi State
Johnathan Banks would help Tampa Bay improve its porous pass defense.
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Tampa Bay is ranked No. 32 in pass defense, allowing over 300 yards a game, so the Buccaneers would be wise to address the corner position this offseason.
While ranked No. 6 in interceptions with 18, Tampa Bay allows way too many yards in the passing game, evidenced by Nick Foles getting enough yardage to win the game a few weeks ago. The suspensions of Eric Wright and Aqib Talib (now a Patriot) greatly weakened the little depth at corner Tampa Bay had.
Undrafted free agent Leonard Johnson has impressed, and a young player like Banks who has played well in the SEC would be a great complement.
No. 14: Miami Dolphins Select CB DeMarcus Milliner, Alabama
DeMarcus Milliner would help the Dolphins' weak pass defense.
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Miami Dolphins are ranked No. 25 in pass defense and traded Vontae Davis to the Colts before the start of the season. At this point, Milliner might be the biggest steal of the first round.
The Dolphins need a corner who can line up anywhere against anyone, and Milliner is that type of player. He is very similar to a player Joe Philbin knows from his time in Green Bay: Charles Woodson.
No. 15: St. Louis Rams Select OT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan
Eric Fisher can help the Rams offensive line continue to improve.
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St. Louis Rams have allowed 13th-most sacks in the league with 35.
The return of center Scott Wells in Week 12 has helped lead to four wins in five games, and the interior of the offensive line has helped develop a more consistent running game. However, Barry Richardson is anything but a starting right tackle in the NFL, and Eric Fisher's size and athletic ability could help move Rodger Saffold to a more natural position at right tackle.
No. 16: Pittsburgh Steelers Select NT Jesse Williams, Alabama
Jesse Williams can replace Casey Hampton at nose tackle.
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
While ranked No. 1 in total defense, the Steelers defense is getting older and not making as many plays as normal.
Nose tackle Casey Hampton is 35, and can no longer get off blocks. Alabama's Jesse Williams is 6'3'' and 320 pounds, but has great quickness and athleticism.
According to CBSSports.com, Williams grew up playing rugby and basketball in Brisbane, Australia, and only started playing football at the age of 15. That athletic background gives a player like Williams a high upside and movement skills not seen by many players his size.
The Steelers' draft picks of Cameron Heyward and Ziggy Hood show that they want to get younger on the defensive line, and they can continue that trend with this pick.
No. 17: Dallas Cowboys Select OG Chance Warmack, Alabama
Chance Warmack will provide consistency in the running game for the Cowboys.
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The Cowboys need to become more consistent in the running game, as they are ranked No. 17 in the league but have the backfield talent to at least be a top 10 rushing squad.
Warmack is at least as talented of a guard as David Decastro was last season, so Dallas getting him here is a great value. If Anthony Spencer leaves through free agency, a pass-rusher opposite DeMarcus Ware will be an option.
No. 18: New Orleans Saints Select DT Sheldon Richardson, Missouri
Sheldon Richardson could be the versatile defensive tackle the Saints tried to get with Sedrick Ellis.
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Now an impending free agent, Sedrick Ellis has disappointed since being selected No. 7 in the 2008 draft.
Broderick Bunkley and Akiem Hicks are good pieces on the interior defensive line, but today's NFL needs depth from the defensive line positions to match up with hurry-up offenses. Richardson's 6'3'', 295-pound frame allows him to move freely and make plays.
As Missouri's first-ever All-SEC designee, he was named to the second team for his outstanding play in 2012. He was second on the team and led all SEC interior linemen with 75 tackles, 10.5 for loss, and four sacks. The Saints need this type of talent for defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo to implement his pass-rushing schemes.
No. 19: New York Giants Select DE/LB Dion Jordan, Oregon
Dion Jordan's versatility will be intriguing for general manager Jerry Reese
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With Osi Umenyiora a free agent after the season, the Giants will probably need to reload on the defensive line to recapture their 2011 dominance.
Dion Jordan is a versatile prospect who was selected first-team All-Pac-12 for the 2012 college football season and was a finalist for the Butkus Award, given to the top collegiate linebacker in the country. He recorded 44 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss and five quarterback sacks in the regular season.
Jordan is 6'6'', 245 pounds, and can play multiple positions, including a cover linebacker, as he has matched up in the slot with receivers and tight ends. Putting him on the outside at defensive end while having Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck rush inside would not only put pressure on the quarterback, but also put in two athletes capable of tipping and catching passes, which would disrupt offensive timing and create turnover opportunities.
No. 20: Minnesota Vikings Select WR Keenan Allen, California
Keenan Allen could be replacing Percy Harvin in Minnesota.
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1500 ESPN Twin Cities' Tom Pelissero reported that Harvin's behavior and desire for a new contract could lead to a possible trade.
Even if Harvin remains, Christian Ponder definitely needs someone to throw to other than Kyle Rudolph and Harvin. Keenan Allen is an athletic receiver who can play all positions of the field, including the slot, and played with inconsistent at best quarterbacks his entire career at the University of California.
If Ponder develops, Allen could be the type of receiver that makes him good enough to take a talented team such as the Vikings to the Super Bowl.
No. 21: Cincinnati Bengals Select DE Barkevious Mingo, LSU
Barkevious Mingo could make the Bengals pass-rush unstoppable.
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The Bengals have recently adopted the best player on the board approach, so Mingo would fit that criteria.
Mingo would be a great third-down pass-rusher at worst and could replace Michael Johnson if he leaves through free agency. While the Bengals are second in the league with 47 sacks, there are no elite outside rushers, and though Geno Atkins' 13 sacks are great, getting someone who can use speed instead of power would provide a different look on defense.
Defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer loves to use a hybrid defense, and Mingo could line up as a linebacker in the 3-4.
No. 22 (Trade): Philadelphia Eagle Select CB/S David Amerson, North Carolina
David Amerson's athletic ability could help the Eagles replace Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
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David Amerson is a versatile player at 6'2'', 194 pounds, as he can play safety or corner.
The Eagles need a player like him, as they have allowed the fourth-most passing touchdowns in the league and could lose Dominique Rodgers Cromartie to free agency.
Amerson did have his issues, especially in the opening game against Tennessee, but as seen with the Seattle Seahawks, if you have corners and safeties that can physically match up with receivers and tight ends, it helps immensely.
No. 23: St. Louis Rams (From Washington Redskins) Select S Eric Reid, LSU
Eric Reid would give the Rams a safety to go along with their great young trio of corners.
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Cortland Finnegan, Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson have helped transform the Rams defense, but there are still holes in the secondary.
Quintin Mikell and Craig Dahl are not good enough to complement these corners. and Eric Reid is the type of safety that at 6'2, 208 pounds, can intimidate receivers, cover tight ends and make tackles in the run game.
If Reid, is anywhere near as good as the last first-round safety Jeff Fisher took (the Titans' Michael Griffin), the Rams will have one of the best secondaries in the league for a long time.
No. 24: Indianapolis Colts Select NT John Jenkins, Georgia
John Jenkins would help the Colts' porous run defense.
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Indianapolis Colts are ranked third-worst in the league in run defense, and last week's near-loss to the Chiefs showed that weakness could put them in a situation to lose a lot of games.
At 6'3'', 358 pounds, Jenkins is the type of 3-4 nose tackle who would help round out the front seven and would be huge in fixing the biggest problem for the Colts defense. However, one concern would be is that he had to split time with Kwame Geathers and that he has been ruled academically ineligible for the Capital One Bowl, according to ESPN's DawgNation.
If Eric Fisher falls, the Colts could definitely pick him due to their offensive line issues.
No. 25: Baltimore Ravens Select S Matt Elam, Florida
Matt Elam could be the eventual replacement for Ed Reed.
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According to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, the Ravens could let go of both Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.
Like the pick of Courtney Upshaw last season and the picks of Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson at tight end a few years ago, Baltimore will always have an eye toward the future with their early draft picks in terms of replacing aging stars.
Elam's athletic ability and experience in the SEC, along with Florida's defense being arguably the best in the country outside of Alabama and Notre Dame, will make him intriguing for GM Ozzie Newsome.
No. 26: Seattle Seahawks Select OT Dallas Thomas, Tennessee
Dallas Thomas would fix the Seahawks' problems at right tackle.
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While the Seahawks look great now, Russell Wilson can't avoid every sack that Breno Giacomini allows through the line.
Giacomini is not a starting right tackle in the league, and Thomas could very well be. If that position is improved, a Seattle Seahawks offensive line that has allowed only 27 sacks this season will only improve.
No. 27: San Francisco 49ers Select DE/LB Ezekiel Ansah, Brigham Young University
Ezekiel Ansah is very similar to Jason Pierre-Paul and Chandler Jones.
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Without Justin Smith in the lineup and no pass-rushers outside of Aldon Smith, the 49ers defense has looked nothing like a dominant unit the past game-and-a-half.
Ansah is 6'6'', 270 pounds, and is a late bloomer like Chandler Jones and Jason Pierre-Paul, two players who have immensely helped Super Bowl contenders.
Ansah is originally from Ghana and has 57 tackles and 4.5 sacks this season.
Jim Harbaugh has not shown a willingness to play rookies in extended roles, as even Aldon Smith was rarely used outside of pass-rushing downs. With that being said, Ansah will be a developing player who will pay dividends in future years.
No. 28: Houston Texans Select WR Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee
Cordarrelle Patterson could give Houston a No. 2 receiver opposite Andre Johnson.
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The Texans' inability to throw deep to anyone outside of Andre Johnson has put them in trouble against teams that have stopped Johnson from making plays, such as the Patriots and Vikings.
If Houston wants to consistently be a Super Bowl contender, they should take their cues from a Falcons team that traded up for a complementary player to Roddy White in Julio Jones. Patterson is 6'3'', 205 pounds, and finished with 42 catches for 778 yards and five touchdowns. He showed his open-field ability with 25 carries for 308 yards, 671 kick return yards and 101 punt return yards.
Patterson's performance as a first-year college player in the SEC shows he has a lot of potential, and there won't be a lot of pressure on him to perform if he is in this situation.
No. 29: Green Bay Packers Select TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame
Tyler Eifert could give Aaron Rodgers an elite tight end.
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Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported in early December that the Packers had already decided to let go of Jermichael Finley this offseason, barring a shocking turn of events.
Finley's chemistry with Aaron Rodgers has improved greatly with five catches in each of the past two games, so its not completely out of the water yet. However, even if Finley were to remain, he would be in the last year of a two-year contract, and the Patriots have shown that two pass-catching tight ends can change an offense.
Tyler Eifert is the best tight end in the draft and would potentially replace the production of impending free agent receiver Greg Jennings if Finley were to stay or be a more productive player than Finley at tight end.
This pick would help the running game because Eifert is a very good blocker for his position, and multiple pass-catching tight end offenses put defenses in a bind when deciding whether to put defensive backs to cover the tight ends or linebackers to stop the run.
No. 30: New England Patriots Select WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia
Tavon Austin could replace Wes Welker in New England.
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Wes Welker is in the final year of his contract and will turn 32 in the offseason.
If the Patriots decide to go in another direction the way they have with veterans like Ty Law, Richard Seymour and Asante Samuel, there are plenty of free agents and draft-eligible players who can do a lot of what Welker does, and perhaps better.
Austin has had consecutive 100-plus-catch seasons in an offense coached by former Texas Tech offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen that is very similar to the Texas Tech offense Welker played in as a Red Raider. His special teams and running capabilities would add some new wrinkles to what Welker did for the past six seasons in New England.
No. 31: Atlanta Falcons Select DE Sam Montgomery, LSU
Sam Montgomery would give the Falcons an eventual replacement for the aging John Abraham.
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John Abraham will turn 35 this offseason, and while Kroy Biermann has been a great revelation, the Falcons need more pass-rushers.
The midseason release of Ray Edwards helped in the short term, but there is a long-term need for a pass rusher that Sam Montgomery can be. This season Montgomery led with seven sacks and has 12 tackles for loss. Multiple pass-rushers will be needed in a division with Drew Brees, Josh Freeman and Cam Newton.
No. 32: Denver Broncos Select WR Robert Woods, USC
Robert Woods would give Peyton Manning a player very similar to fellow former Trojan Steve Smith.
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While Peyton Manning is on the same wavelength as Brandon Stokley, Stokley will turn 37 in June and is far behind in a new era of slot receivers.
With Randall Cobb, Victor Cru, and Percy Harvin as the new NFL slot receivers, the Broncos need to get that type of receiver who can both play with Manning initially and help the likely future franchise quarterback (Brock Osweiler) while both are in their primes.
Robert Woods is arguably the best route-runner in college football, and his 111-catch performance in the 2011 season shows he can be a volume receiver similar to Steve Smith, who helped the Giants win a Super Bowl and was on the cusp of being an elite receiver before injuries took their toll.
Though Manning could win the MVP this season, there are still not enough explosive plays to put teams away early, so the addition of Woods would help immensely in that department.