As much as we might think a team that picks No. 1 in the NFL draft has the best chance to hit it out of the park, the fact of the matter is there often is better value somewhere lower on the board.
Value is the key to the entire draft process. For instance, the Kansas City Chiefs are formulating the top of their draft board right now. They will have a few names battling it out, but the player they most desire could be available a few spots later, making it easier for them to entertain a trade.
Of course, finding a trade partner for the No. 1 overall pick is easier said than done. As we go over the entire draft order, here are the teams in the best positions to get the most bang for their buck in the first round.
No. 4 Philadelphia Eagles
This is a dream draft for the Eagles, who are desperate to find anyone who can play offensive line (and stay healthy) and have their fair share of great options to choose from near the top of the boards.
In an ideal world, the three teams that pick above the Eagles (Kansas City, Jacksonville and Oakland) will select Geno Smith, Damontre Moore and Star Lotulelei in that order, allowing them to select Texas A&M tackle Luke Joeckel.
Joeckel has a real argument as the best pure talent available, so to have a shot at him with the No. 4 pick would be a major coup.
Even if Joeckel isn't there, the Eagles could grab Alabama stud Chance Warmack or LSU defensive end Barkevious Mingo.
No. 17 Pittsburgh Steelers
As the years go by, you have to wonder if the wall is going to cave in on the Steelers. We saw some cracks in the foundation this year, thanks in large part to injuries on the offensive line and defense.
It is a testament to the stability of the front office and ownership that the Steelers never go through long, drawn out bad periods. For all the problems they had this season, they were still in the postseason race until Week 16.
What they need to do this offseason is add some youth and impact talent on the defensive side of the ball. As much of a problem as the offensive line is, they just have to worry about keeping everyone healthy rather than making drastic upgrades.
With their 3-4 defensive scheme, the Steelers have to find versatile players able to shift between the defensive line and linebackers. The ideal candidate would be Ezekiel Ansah out of BYU, who can line up off the edge, linebacker and up the middle.
Ansah could easily be around when the Steelers pick because he is still very raw, but they have the depth and patience to wait on him to develop. He could be the next great defender to be developed by Dick LeBeau.
If Ansah isn't around, the Steelers could also have their choice of impact defenders like Georgia's Johnathan Jenkins or LSU defensive end Sam Montgomery, who does have some versatility to his game.
No. 22 St. Louis Rams (From Washington Redskins)
The Rams have a chance to make a big splash in this draft with two first-round picks. The second of those selections comes courtesy of Washington in the trade that allowed the Redskins to take Robert Griffin III last year.
This was a strong bounce-back season for the Rams under first-year head coach Jeff Fisher. They do have a few big weakness that have to be addressed, notably on the offensive line and at wide receiver.
This year's crop of receivers isn't great, but right around the time the Rams make their second pick we could see a run on outside playmakers.
The best in this draft is Tennessee's Cordarrelle Patterson. He has a big frame, excellent hands and is improving as a route-runner. The Rams could also decide to bolster their offensive line with Eric Fisher if he is still available.
Current 2013 NFL Draft Order
|1||Kansas City Chiefs (2-14)|
|2||Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14)|
|3||Oakland Raiders (4-12)|
|4||Philadelphia Eagles (4-12)|
|5||Detroit Lions (4-12)|
|6||Cleveland Browns (5-11)|
|7||Arizona Cardinals (5-11)|
|8||Buffalo Bills (6-10)|
|9||New York Jets (6-10)|
|10||Tennessee Titans (6-10)|
|11||San Diego Chargers (7-9)|
|12||Miami Dolphins (7-9)|
|13||Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9)|
|14||Carolina Panthers (7-9)|
|15||New Orleans Saints (7-9)|
|16||St. Louis Rams (7-8-1)|
|17||Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8)|
|18||Dallas Cowboys (8-8)|
|19||New York Giants (9-7)|
|20||Chicago Bears (10-6)|
|21||Cincinnati Bengals (10-6)|
|22||St. Louis Rams (via Washington Redskins)|
|23||Minnesota Vikings (10-6)|
|24||Indianapolis Colts (11-5)|
|25||Seattle Seahawks (11-5)|
|26||Green Bay Packers (12-4)|
|27||Houston Texans Texans (12-4)|
|28||Denver Broncos (13-3)|
|29||New England Patriots (12-4)|
|30||Atlanta Falcons (13-3)|
|31||Baltimore Ravens (10-6)|
|32||San Francisco 49ers (11-4-1)|
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