Every team hopes their first-round draft pick will become a future Hall of Famer. Unfortunately, a lot of college stars struggle in the NFL.
For every Andrew Luck that impresses right away, there is a JaMarcus Russell that ends up being unemployed before long.
This year's class is no different. While a few guys are almost certain to succeed, some college stars are going to struggle at the next level. Those players are emphasized in this latest mock draft.
(*Note: Highlighted players are shown in italics.)
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
There is some debate over whether the Chiefs will want to risk taking a quarterback in this draft. However, they cannot survive another season like the last one.
This means that they have to take the best available quarterback, and that is Geno Smith.
The problem is that Smith is not the franchise player that the Chiefs want. He was able to put up huge numbers against weak defenses, but struggled against better opponents.
He also might struggle to adjust to a pro system after spending years in a spread offense. Smith might be good, but the odds are against him.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
The Jaguars finished dead last in the NFL in sacks, and that is the biggest thing they must fix this offseason. Bjoern Werner has a great motor and will be able to cause problems for the offense on almost every play.
3. Oakland Raiders: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
Oakland has some solid pieces on defense, but they need someone to bring it all together. Star Lotulelei has the ability to make everyone better by taking up blockers and freeing up space for the rest of the defense.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Jason Peters might return after missing the whole 2012 season with an Achilles injury, but the offensive line problems are deeper than one person. Luke Joeckel will help solidify the unit and might be the safest pick in the entire draft.
5. Detroit Lions: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
Damontre Moore is one of the more versatile defensive ends in the draft. He is a great pass-rusher and can also defend the run as well as anyone at the position. This pick will help the Lions build one of the strongest defensive lines in the league.
6. Cleveland Browns: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
Jarvis Jones is simply a playmaker on defense. He has been one of the best pass-rushers in the country throughout his career at Georgia and will certainly help an inconsistent Browns defense.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
The Cardinals need a quarterback, but anyone will struggle behind that offensive line. Eric Fisher was impressive during the Senior Bowl and is now very deserving of this high of a pick.
8. Buffalo Bills: Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
When it comes to quarterbacks in the NFL draft, need becomes more important than value.
Buffalo has stated that it wants a new franchise player, and the best available will be Tyler Wilson.
The problem is that Wilson, like Mike Glennon and Matt Barkley, has struggled with his accuracy and decision making. The Arkansas quarterback more than doubled his interceptions from a year ago and it was a big reason for the team's lack of success in 2012.
He has a strong arm, but that will not be enough for him to succeed in the NFL.
9. New York Jets: Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU
While everyone was focusing on the quarterback situation on the Jets, the defense also struggled more than usual. Barkevious Mingo can be used as a defensive end or linebacker and he will be able to improve the struggling pass rush in New York.
10. Tennessee Titans: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
Tennessee's offensive line was a mess last season. Chance Warmack is a mauling guard that can clear up space for Chris Johnson and help him get back to the elite running back he was a few years ago.
11. San Diego Chargers: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
While this might be a reach for the Chargers, they badly need an offensive lineman. Philip Rivers cannot be successful from his back.
12. Miami Dolphins: Keenan Allen, WR, California
Keenan Allen might not be a game-changing receiver, but he is a solid target that will be a go-to player for Ryan Tannehill. The next step after getting a franchise quarterback is giving him a weapon to use.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
The worst pass defense in the NFL needs to focus exclusively on fixing the secondary. Even if they draft Dee Milliner, the best cornerback in this class, they could still end up getting more help later in the draft.
14. Carolina Panthers: Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
Carolina is building up a solid defensive through the draft. Johnathan Hankins would help it take another step as it forms one of the better young defensive lines in the NFL.
15. New Orleans Saints: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
After giving up the most total yards in football, the Saints could use help everywhere on defense. Sheldon Richardson is the best available guy and he can improve the entire unit with his ability to penetrate into the backfield.
16. St. Louis Rams: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
The Rams have two picks in the first round thanks to the trade with the Washington Redskins last year. They have to make sure they make safe selections that will be with the team for a long time.
Jonathan Cooper is one of those players as a solid guard who will strengthen a struggling offensive line.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
Pittsburgh needs to get younger on the defensive side of the ball. Dion Jordan is raw but he perfectly fits into the team's system and can learn from some of the best in the league.
18. Dallas Cowboys: Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
Sam Montgomery shot up draft boards this year when he finished with eight sacks. However, it is important to look at more than just numbers.
The LSU end was fortunate to be able to play opposite Barkevious Mingo, the talented rusher who received a lot of attention from offenses all season. While teams focused on double-teaming Mingo, Montgomery was able to run free.
This masked his lack of technique, something that will cause him to struggle in the NFL.
Dallas needs more players that can rush the passer and could end up drafting Montgomery, but he is not the answer for this team.
19. New York Giants: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
Only four teams gave up more passing yards than the Giants this season. Even with a solid defensive line, the cornerbacks made it too easy for quarterbacks to complete passes down the field.
Johnthan Banks has great size for a cornerback and has the ability to cover the best receivers in the game.
20. Chicago Bears: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
The Bears will not be successful on offense until it fixes the offensive line. D.J. Fluker was overshadowed at Alabama, but he is a solid left tackle that should be able to keep that position in the NFL.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Matt Elam, S, Florida
As the Bengals continue to draft well, they are running out of positions of need. That excludes the defensive secondary, which was worse than the numbers seemed to indicate.
Matt Elam is very good against the pass and will make the entire defense stronger.
22. St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins): Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia
With their second first-round pick, the Rams will be able to draft a defensive star in Alec Ogletree. The linebacker was a leader throughout his college career and will be able to rack up a lot of tackles from any linebacker spot.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Scouts love the size, speed and hands of Cordarrelle Patterson. On paper, he is everything you look for in a receiver.
This should be enough for the Vikings, who need to find another weapon to take the pressure off Adrian Peterson on offense.
Unfortunately, teams should be concerns over his lack of production this season. He was in a pass-heavy offense at Tennessee, but he was only able to top 100 receiving yards once all year.
The coaching staff had to go out of their way to get Patterson the ball, something that might not necessarily happen as a pro. This could end up being a problem.
24. Indianapolis Colts: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
The defense did not hold back the Colts this season, but it will in the future if it does not improve immediately. Xavier Rhodes has great athleticism and will be able step in and play right off the bat.
25. Seattle Seahawks: Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford
Russell Wilson was great this season, but he could use a few more receiving targets. Despite Zach Miller's performance in the playoffs, he is no longer a true threat at tight end. Zach Ertz would be an upgrade at that spot.
26. Green Bay Packers: Eric Reid, S, LSU
When healthy, the Packers have one of the best pass rushes in the NFL. However, the secondary could still use some help from a playmaker like Eric Reid.
27. Houston Texans: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
Although the Texans have a lot of balance on offense, they started to struggle down the stretch when they could not defend the pass. Desmond Trufant is slowly moving up draft boards and could find himself drafted in the first round with a good combine performance.
28. Denver Broncos: John Jenkins, DT, Georgia
With a solid defensive tackle like John Jenkins on the team, the Broncos could have one of the most complete rosters in football.
29. New England Patriots: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
Ezekiel Ansah is the definition of a boom-or-bust prospect. He did not put up big numbers at BYU, but he has the potential to be something special. This is worth the risk for the Patriots.
30. Atlanta Falcons: Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina
It is apparent from watching the Falcons play this season that Michael Turner is no longer an effective running back. While Jacquizz Rodgers has skill, he is not big enough to be an every-down rusher.
Atlanta needs to add another running back in either free agency or the draft.
Giovani Bernard had a great season as both a runner and a receiver, but he has not shown the ability to break tackles at an elite level.
He will need a strong offensive line to succeed and will struggle if he is in the wrong situation.
31. San Francisco 49ers: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Although the 49ers do not have a lot of needs, defensive line depth is one of them. Sharrif Floyd is very versatile and will fill in perfectly with their system. Eventually, he will be needed to take over for the ageless Justin Smith.
32. Baltimore Ravens: Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU
Kevin Minter was overlooked originally as a draft prospect, but a second view of the linebacker shows a very productive player with lots of range from the middle of the field.
He could provide the Super Bowl champs with solid depth now that Ray Lewis is out of the picture.
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