NFL Draft 2013: Who Deserves to Get Selected With the No. 1 Pick?

Andrew GouldFeatured ColumnistJanuary 9, 2013

Geno Smith could get taken with the No. 1 pick of this year's NFL Draft.
Geno Smith could get taken with the No. 1 pick of this year's NFL Draft.Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

With the first pick of the 2013 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs select...

Actually, who will go first in a class lacking any superstar talents with the potential to rejuvenate a fleeting franchise?

There's no Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III available to shift a team from bottom-dweller to playoff contender.

Will a quarterback fall off the draft board first once again or is this the year that another position gets the glory?

Here's a look at some of the top players vying for the opportunity to become the No. 1 pick of this year's NFL Draft.


1. Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia

If Kansas City decides it needs a quarterback despite the lack of an available star, Geno Smith is the guy to grab.

During his senior year, Smith completed 71.2 percent of his passes for 4,205 yards while touting a 7-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

While he's unlikely to match the sensational rookie play at quarterback this year, Smith does display the size, speed, arm strength and accuracy that could lead to a very productive career.

To be fair, some thought the Carolina Panthers got the small end of the stick when Luck stayed in Stanford rather than declaring for the NFL when they held the top pick.

In need of a quarterback, they settled for Cam Newton, which is working out just fine. 

Even if Smith is not a consensus No. 1 pick, he'll probably earn the nod since Andy Reid will not want to rebuild around Brady Quinn or Matt Cassel.


2. Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

Going squarely on overall talent, Luke Joeckel can make a strong case as the best player going pro this year.

After protecting Heisman winner Johnny Manziel, the Texas A&M left tackle decided to forgo his senior year, immediately inserting himself near the top of most mock drafts.

The 6'6", 310-pound lineman possesses the size and the proper technique to serve as a premier blocker for years. You're doing something right when you draw comparisons to Joe Thomas. 

If Kansas City isn't smitten with Smith, they should consider building from the inside out and drafting a guy who will create running lanes for Jamaal Charles and protect whatever quarterback they find down the road.


3. Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State

No defensive player has earned a No. 1 selection since the Houston Texans picked Mario Williams to start the 2006 Draft.

Perhaps another pass rusher can halt the offensive trend.

Bjoern Werner accumulated 23.5 sacks, 35 tackles for losses and three forced fumbles during two seasons at Florida State. In a league where quarterbacks reign supreme, NFL teams are placing a higher emphasis on dynamic linemen who can pressure passers.

The foreign exchange student from Germany did not start playing football until he was 15, so he's a bit unpolished. But a similar story surrounded Jason Pierre-Paul and he caught up enough to unleash his monstrous physical ability. 

While Kansas City's defense was better than expected from the worst team in football, they also produced just 27 sacks. Werner could change that right away.


4. Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

On the premise of pure ability, Star Lotulelei can also file a claim for the top choice.

The mammoth defensive tackle from Utah can fortify the middle and anchor a fierce opposition to the run.

For a 325-pound man, Lotulelei displays deceptive speed that will create mismatches in the trenches. If he develops more moves in his pass-rushing arsenal, look out.

It's not likely that the Chiefs take a nose tackle a year after selecting Dontari Poe in the first round, but Lotulelei has the potential to make the biggest impact of any rookie in the 2013 season.