Few GMs work the NFL draft like Ted Thompson, but even he can use some draft advice.
Every single fan in the world has advice for his or her favorite team when it comes to the NFL draft. Unfortunately, NFL GMs and head coaches don't draft based on what fans think.
That's never stopped anyone from giving his opinion, and it certainly won't stop me. Today we're going to offer up free draft advice for every NFL team.
Since the NFL is a profitable business, the only logical way to do this is in an open-letter format. Here are our letters to every NFL franchise.
Dear Kansas City Chiefs,
Now that you have your quarterback in Alex Smith, it's going to be very hard to mess this pick up. There are a handful of players you could pick from (Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher or Dion Jordan, just to name a few) who are all worthy of being the No. 1 pick.
However, after that, the key is not to draft a quarterback. I'm not just talking about in the early rounds, I'm talking about throughout the entire draft. You've invested too much in Smith to waste your few and precious picks on a backup quarterback.
Isn't that what Matt Cassel has spent the majority of his life doing anyway?
Dear Jacksonville Jaguars,
There are two options for you in this year's draft. Each option is dependent on whether you're planning on Blaine Gabbert being your starting quarterback.
If you aren't, please draft multiple quarterbacks to hopefully find a replacement in training camp.
If you are, draft a boatload of pass-rushing defensive ends to help get pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
Dear Oakland Raiders,
I think this year you need to set a time limit for the 40-yard dash that you don't go under. Let's try not to draft anyone who ran under a 4.4 this year.
I know this seems like a difficult thing, especially considering your love of speed in the past. However, this will keep you from drafting anyone who can't do anything on the football field but run really fast.
If you're doubting this decision, just take a long, hard look at Darrius Heyward-Bey and his 140 career receptions.
Dear Philadelphia Eagles,
Unlike the Oakland Raiders, you should only draft extremely fast players. You just need a list of the fastest players in college football, and each round your selection needs to be the fastest one available.
While that may make Marquise Goodwin the No. 4 pick of the 2013 NFL draft, just imagine that type of speed in Chip Kelly's offense. Now imagine 53 players with that type of speed and what Kelly could do with that.
You may not win many games, but it'll be a rather exciting season.
Dear Detroit Lions,
There is only one thing that that you have to do in this year's draft: fix your secondary. It's almost ridiculous how long it has been since you've had some talent at the cornerback or safety position.
Every single pick that you make this year should either be spent on cornerbacks or safeties. That'll likely make Dee Milliner your first pick, which is a very, very good thing.
As long as you can fix your secondary, you might actually have a chance in the NFC North this year.
Dear Cleveland Browns,
My only advice for you is to stay away from anyone who is 25 or older. Let's try to stay in the low 20s with all of your players this year, especially in the first round.
I really believe that you're close to being a competitive football team, but you'll never get there if you keep drafting players old enough to be my grandfather. No offense, Brandon Weeden, but you've been old enough to drink for longer than the Browns have been a franchise.
Let's stay young and get to winning football games.
Dear Arizona Cardinals,
All you need to do is find a quarterback who is capable of getting the ball into Larry Fitzgerald's hands. That's it.
Remember Kurt Warner? He could put the ball in Fitzgerald's hands, and you guys went to the Super Bowl.
I'm not saying that is going to happen in 2013, but I guarantee you'll win a lot more games with a quarterback who can actually complete passes.
Dear Buffalo Bills,
With talented players like C.J. Spiller, Stevie Johnson and Mario Williams, you're actually a lot better than people give you credit for. In fact, you may only be one good draft away from contending for a playoff spot next year.
That draft could be this year if you can accomplish one thing. All you really need to do is find a quarterback better than Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Now, he doesn't necessarily have to be smarter, because I don't think that'll happen, but he does need to be a better football player. If you can do that, the cellar of the AFC East will be in your rear-view mirror.
Dear New York Jets,
At some point during the draft (possibly with the No. 9 pick for reasons of humor), you need to draft Collin Klein. That way we can spend the entire 2013 season wondering whether Klein is a better Tim Tebow than Tebow himself.
How great would this be for everyone? Sure, it would suck for you, but sometimes you have to give a little to make other people feel better. And trust me, hearing Rex Ryan try to explain why Tebow and Tebow 2.0 weren't on the field after each loss would make us all feel better.
Dear Tennessee Titans,
I only have two requests for you this year.
The first request is that you find a player who can actually get some pressure on quarterbacks. It's really hard to watch every quarterback you play have about 15 seconds to sit in the pocket on every single play.
Secondly, please draft some quality run-blockers for Chris Johnson. We're all sick of CJ1K, and we want the electric CJ2K back.
That isn't too much to ask, is it?
Dear San Diego Chargers,
As much as you're going to hate to hear this, I think you're going to need to find an eventual replacement for Philip Rivers in this draft.
He's starting to show signs of decline, and that throwing motion is still quite difficult to watch. Now, this quarterback doesn't need to be ready to play this year. This is good because you can draft him in the later rounds and address many other needs earlier in the draft.
However, he can't be too raw because it might not take that long for Rivers to get so angry he actually implodes on himself. On second thought, you better take a quarterback in the first round just to be safe.
Dear Miami Dolphins,
Please find Ryan Tannehill some legitimate weapons at wide receiver.
I don't care if you need to trade some picks to move up and draft Cordarrelle Patterson or move down some picks to draft Tavon Austin. Your quarterback needs weapons.
For some reason you thought it'd be wise to trade Brandon Marshall before the 2012 season, which turned out to be quite the mistake.
Let's not mess up again this year. Get your young and talented quarterback a receiver who can actually make plays.
Dear Tampa Bay Buccaneers,
If I were you, I'd make sure you somehow found a replacement for Ronde Barber in the 2013 NFL draft. Barber will be 86 years old heading into the 2013 season (he'll really only be 38 years old, but you get my point), and he honestly can't have that much left in the tank.
Your secondary was atrocious to watch last year even with Barber playing like an All-Pro. Considering you're in a division with quarterbacks like Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Cam Newton, I'd say stopping the pass is going to be pretty important.
Dear Carolina Panthers,
What you need to do this year is only focus on players who are 280 pounds or heavier. That should basically eliminate any prospect who isn't an offensive or defensive lineman.
The offensive line and defensive line are your biggest needs, with the interior defensive line being the most important. You could ultimately make a game out of this and try to set the record for biggest combined weight of a draft class in NFL history.
It might be a record that no one is going to care about in 20 years, but I guarantee that it will be a record that makes you a better football team.
Dear New Orleans Saints,
You're switching from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense this year. This is a hard transition for teams with good defenses, so this is going to be really hard for you.
Basically, you're lacking quite a few pieces to make this transition successful, so let's focus on defense in the first few rounds of the draft. Outside linebacker and defensive tackle should be where you start.
After you feel confident that you've improved your defense, draft only receivers who Drew Brees can instantly turn into Pro Bowlers.
Dear St. Louis Rams,
Look, Danny Amendola is a great receiver, but your No. 1 receiver simply can't be made of glass. You're going to need some receivers who can actually take a hit and stay on the field.
The good news is that there are quite a few receivers who can do this from the outset for you. Plus, finding some playmakers on offense would probably make Sam Bradford really happy.
There is a saying in the NFL that goes like this: Happy quarterback, happy life.
Dear Pittsburgh Steelers,
I don't know if you've looked at your depth chart lately, but the average age of your defense is like 38.
There is no doubt that you'd dominate the Senior Citizen National Football League, but that just won't do in the NFL. Let's get some youth on that defense to keep up with guys like Ray Rice, A.J. Green and Trent Richardson.
If you don't, you could find yourself looking up at the Cleveland Browns in 2013.
Dear Dallas Cowboys,
If it's possible to find a player who is incapable of choking, that would be wonderful for you.
It doesn't really matter what position he plays. As long as he doesn't crumble under any type of pressure, he's a keeper.
Also, it'd be nice if he can clean Jerry Jones' glasses, too.
Dear New York Giants,
How confident are you that either Andre Brown or David Wilson can be your primary running back next season?
If it takes you longer than five seconds to answer that question, I'd probably look at adding some depth at running back now that Ahmad Bradshaw is no longer a member of your roster.
If you feel good about Brown and Wilson, then please upgrade some members of your offensive line and linebacker corps.
If you don't want to do that, then you can have fun watching the playoffs from your couch again this year.
Dear Chicago Bears,
I have some news for you, Chicago, and you might want to hold onto your seat for this: Brian Urlacher is old.
I know that is blasphemy to say up in Chicago, but it is the truth. It takes him a good eight seconds to get from one side of the field to the other, which simply isn't a good thing. He needs to be replaced, and he needs to be replaced in this draft.
Jay Cutler is probably requesting some offensive linemen, so you might also want to look at drafting some of those, too. If there is one thing that you can count on, it's that if you piss Jay Cutler off, he will demand to be traded for Kyle Orton.
Dear Cincinnati Bengals,
I think what you need to do is focus on the players who have fallen down draft boards the most this year. Any player who was a major disappointment this year should become your new favorite player.
Just look at the success that you had with Vontaze Burfict last year. If that doesn't prove this theory is rock-solid, then I don't know what will.
Also, let's try to stay away from players who will likely get arrested before training camp.
Dear St. Louis Rams (again),
It's me again. Sorry for writing two letters, but I really believe that you need to find some offensive playmakers in this draft.
Chris Givens and Brian Quick showed potential, but they aren't ready or capable of making Sam Bradford a better quarterback right now. If you want to have any chance of surviving the NFC West this year, Bradford needs to be a better quarterback.
I'm basically begging for you to do whatever it takes to draft Tavon Austin.
Dear Minnesota Vikings,
As much as I'd love to tell you to draft some receivers this year, I really don't think it matters.
I mean, your game plan for the 2013 season has to be give the ball to Adrian Peterson every single down, right? So, what does it matter if you don't have any wide receivers to throw the ball to?
It's not like Christian Ponder is going to be able to get them the ball, anyway.
Dear Indianapolis Colts,
My advice to you is to do whatever you did last year again this year. If that means re-drafting Andrew Luck with your first-round pick, so be it.
No team was as successful as you were in the draft last year, and your improved record showed it. Just imagine if you can have the same type of success again.
You could go from being 2-14 two years ago to 11-5 last year to 20-0 this year.
Dear Seattle Seahawks,
To be honest, I don't think it really matters what you do in this draft. I mean, we are all going to criticize your picks like we did last year with Bruce Irvin.
Then you're going to dominate with the players you drafted, and we are all going to look foolish. I fully believe that you could draft a punter in the first round, and it'd turn out to be one of the best picks of the 2013 draft.
I'm going to keep my mouth shut and admire what you do on draft day.
Dear Green Bay Packers,
All that I, and Aaron Rodgers, are asking for is that you draft players who can keep Rodgers from getting sacked 50-plus times in a season.
I have no doubt in my mind that Ted Thompson is capable of doing this, but his best-player-available philosophy might need to take a backseat to your biggest need this year. I know it has worked wonders in the past, but I'm concerned that Rodgers can only take so much punishment and still be effective.
If Rodgers can throw for 39 touchdowns and only eight interceptions while getting sacked 51 times, just imagine what he could do if he weren't getting hit every other play.
Dear Houston Texans,
It seems that every year we tell you to draft a wide receiver to complement Andre Johnson, and every year you seem to blow us off. Well, I'm telling you again this year.
Please get Johnson some help. Your offense would literally be unstoppable if you had a legitimate No. 2 receiver.
I'm sorry, but as we've seen for the past few seasons, Kevin Walter isn't that guy.
Dear Denver Broncos,
With Peyton Manning on your roster, it no longer matters who your receivers and tight ends are, because he'll make them look like superstars. Instead of looking at offensive prospects in this year's draft, you should probably focus on the defense instead.
I'd probably start by trying to find someone who can actually slow down receivers like Torrey Smith, because Champ Bailey doesn't appear capable of doing that anymore. I know that is probably hard to hear, but the playoffs should have shown you that this year.
Dear New England Patriots,
Much like you did in the 2012 NFL draft, I think you should trade up and miraculously end up with more picks. I mean, it's kind of crazy that you always seem to have more picks than any other team each year no matter what you do.
You'll have to do some major work because the San Francisco 49ers somehow convinced the Kansas City Chiefs to trade picks for Alex Smith. They now have 15 picks in this year's draft, so you'd better start working the phones to see what Ryan Mallett is worth.
Don't worry, though. I have complete faith that, as usual, you'll end up with more picks than any other team.
Dear Atlanta Falcons,
When it is your turn with the 30th pick of the 2013 NFL draft, here is what I want you to do.
Call Roger Goodell and tell him that you want to draft Tony Gonzalez. You have to make sure that Gonzalez is watching the draft, because you want this to be a sentimental moment.
You'll tell Goodell to walk up to the podium and say, "With the 30th pick in the 2013 NFL draft, the Atlanta Falcons select Tony Gonzalez, the only player they want on their roster for the upcoming season."
That would have to make him come back for one more season, right?
Dear San Francisco 49ers,
Let me start by saying that you are absolute geniuses. How you convinced the Kansas City Chiefs to give up multiple picks for your backup quarterback was a thing of beauty.
What you need to do now is stockpile a massive amount of young talent on your roster. Don't go out there and try to trade away these picks for a big-name player like Darrelle Revis or Percy Harvin.
Build through the draft like you've been doing and become a legitimate dynasty. It's what the people of San Francisco want.
Dear Baltimore Ravens,
I know you just won the Super Bowl, but that doesn't guarantee success for the following year. Just ask the New York Giants about that.
This is an important draft for you because you have to find a replacement for Ray Lewis, one of the greatest defensive players ever. My recommendations for doing this would be to have each potential prospect do a pre-game dance for you. Whichever player has the longest and most entertaining dance should be on your roster for the 2013 season.
Of course, it'd help if he could also violently tackle offensive players, but let's start with the dancing.