2013 NFL Mock Draft: Real Time Updates During the First Week of Free Agency

Justin OnslowContributor IIMarch 11, 2013

2013 NFL Mock Draft: Real Time Updates During the First Week of Free Agency

0 of 32

    Few NFL teams have found success by solely relying on free agency or the draft to compile talent. In order to build a winning franchise, general managers must find balance by both adding veteran talent through free agency and infusing fresh faces via the draft.

    The “need vs. value” conundrum is a hotly-debated topic among NFL draft circles. Neither can be completely ignored when drafting, but there is certainly a place for both philosophies; every team makes various needs-based selections throughout the selection process.

    A lot can change in the six-plus weeks leading up to the draft, and free agency will have a major impact on the landscape of the NFL.

    Beginning March 12, teams will have the option to sign free agents whose contracts have expired this offseason. Players who were released from a current contract were already eligible to be signed, but the vast majority of free agents will find new homes on March 12 and after.

    As teams begin adding players in free agency, positional needs begin to disappear, further shaping the draft landscape. Not every move in free agency will change a team’s strategy in April, but some will, and we’ll be left to re-examine what we expect to happen in the draft.

    Bleacher Report will be keeping an eye on all the major moves that could affect teams’ offseason strategies. The following mock draft will be continuously updated to reflect this year’s free-agent signings.

1. Kansas City Chiefs

1 of 32

    Key Acquisitions: CB Dunta Robinson (ESPN.com), QB Alex Smith (ESPN.com), QB Chase Daniel (ESPN.com), CB Sean Smith (per Adam Schefter), OT Geoff Schwartz (per Adam Schefter)

    Key Departures: OT Eric Winston (ESPN.com), DT Glenn Dorsey (per Adam Schefter), QB Matt Cassel (per Adam Schefter)

    Pre-Free Agency Luke Joeckel OT Texas A&M
    Day 1 Pick Luke Joeckel OT Texas A&M
    Day 2 Pick Luke Joeckel OT Texas A&M
    Day 3 Pick Luke Joeckel OT  Texas A&M 
    Day 4 Pick Luke Joeckel OT  Texas A&M 
    Day 5 Pick Luke Joeckel OT  Texas A&M 
    Day 6 Pick Luke Joeckel  OT  Texas A&M 
    Day 7 Pick Luke Joeckel OT Texas A&M
    Day 8 PickLuke JoeckelOTTexas A&M

    Signing wide receiver Dwayne Bowe to a new deal gave the Kansas City Chiefs the option to tag left tackle Branden Albert with their franchise designation. With Albert under contract for another year, it seemed Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel would no longer be in play with the first pick. 

    Then the news broke that right tackle Eric Winston was released, once again opening the door for Joeckel to don a Chiefs jersey in 2013 (via CBS Sports).

    Joeckel is a prototypical NFL left tackle, and he also happens to be the best player available in this year’s draft. With all the tools to be an All-Pro blindside protector, there’s little chance the Chiefs would waste his talent at the right tackle position, instead moving Albert to the right side or inside at either guard position—a move with which he would apparently be unhappy (via CBS Sports).

    Still, Joeckel has the talent to be a Joe Thomas-type left tackle, and Albert’s displeasure in the potential move to another position shouldn’t deter the Chiefs from selecting the Texas A&M product. Kansas City needs to take advantage of value with the first pick, and Joeckel looks like the only player worth the selection right now.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars

2 of 32

    Key Acquisitions:

    Key Departures: S Dawan Landry (ESPN.com), CB Aaron Ross (ESPN.com), WR Laurent Robinson (Pro Football Talk)

    Pre-Free Agency Bjoern Werner DE Florida State
    Day 1 Pick Bjoern Werner DE Florida State
    Day 2 Pick Bjoern Werner DE Florida State
    Day 3 Pick Bjoern Werner DE Florida State 
    Day 4 Pick Bjoern Werner DE  Florida State 
    Day 5 Pick Bjoern Werner DE  Florida State 
    Day 6 Pick Bjoern Werner  DE  Florida State 
    Day 7 Pick Bjoern Werner DE Florida State
    Day 8 PickBjoern WernerDEFlorida State

    Jacksonville notched just 20 sacks in 2012, and the league’s worst pass rush needs to get better. Finding a top-tier pass-rusher in this year’s draft will likely be a top priority.

    New general manager David Caldwell has a lot of options with the second pick, but he also has a lot of holes to fill on both sides of the ball. Using the selection on the team’s most glaring need makes a lot of sense.

    Florida State’s Bjoern Werner is the top 4-3 defensive end in this draft class. He doesn’t stand out in any one particular area, but his high motor and athleticism make him a solid pass-rusher and excellent all-around player. If Jacksonville hopes to match need and value with its first-round selection, Werner is the best option.

3. Oakland Raiders

3 of 32

    Key Acquisitions: LB Kevin Burnett (per Courtney Fallon)

    Key Departures: S Michael Huff (NFL.com), WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (NFL.com), RB Mike Goodson (per Adam Schefter)

    Pre-Free Agency Geno Smith QB West Virginia
    Day 1 Pick Geno Smith QB West Virginia
    Day 2 Pick Geno Smith QB West Virginia
    Day 3 Pick Geno Smith QB  West Virginia 
    Day 4 Pick Geno Smith QB  West Virginia 
    Day 5 Pick Geno Smith QB  West Virginia 
    Day 6 Pick Geno Smith  QB  West Virginia 
    Day 7 Pick Geno Smith QB West Virginia
    Day 8 PickGeno SmithQBWest Virginia

    Carson Palmer is nearing the end of his career and Terrelle Pryor wasn’t given much of a chance in 2012. Now it seems the Oakland Raiders are interested in moving in a new direction on Draft Day, as Bleacher Report NFL Draft Lead Writer Matt Miller reported in January:

    As I reported from Senior Bowl...RT @aaron_nagler: I'll bet if KC or JAX don't take Geno Smith, Reggie McKenzie will.

    — Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) February 18, 2013

    While Oakland has several needs to address this offseason, using a high selection on a potential franchise quarterback is always a tempting option. Nothing impacts an offense more than the man under center.

    Geno Smith doesn’t have the elite talent we’ve seen from a couple quarterbacks in recent drafts, but he still has a fairly high ceiling. The West Virginia product has the arm to be a very good NFL quarterback.

    There’s always the possibility that the rumors of Oakland’s interest in Smith are a smokescreen to tempt another team to trade up for his services, but for now, it looks like he is the leading candidate to be selected third overall.

4. Philadelphia Eagles

4 of 32

    Key Acquisitions: DT Isaac Sopoaga (per Adam Schefter), CB Cary Williams (per Aaron Wilson), S Kenny Phillips (per Aaron Wilson), LB Connor Barwin (per Tania Ganguli)

    Key Departures: DT Cullen Jenkins (ESPN.com), DT Mike Patterson (ESPN.com), CB Nnamdi Asomugha (ESPN.com), CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (Denver Post)

    Pre-Free Agency Dion Jordan OLB Oregon
    Day 1 Pick Dion Jordan OLB Oregon
    Day 2 Pick Dion Jordan OLB Oregon
    Day 3 Pick Dion Jordan OLB  Oregon 
    Day 4 Pick Dion Jordan OLB  Oregon 
    Day 5 Pick Dion Jordan OLB  Oregon 
    Day 6 Pick Dion Jordan  OLB  Oregon 
    Day 7 Pick Dion Jordan OLB Oregon
    Day 8 PickDion JordanOLBOregon

    The Philadelphia Eagles are undergoing a major transition this offseason. With new head coach Chip Kelly running the show, the Eagles are going to look a lot different in 2013.

    The wide-9 defense is out, and new defensive coordinator Billy Davis will likely look to employ a 3-4 base with his new schemes. Oregon defender Dion Jordan would be a terrific fit for Davis at outside linebacker.

    Jordan lined up all over Oregon’s defense last season. With a lengthy frame, exceptional quickness and outstanding athleticism, he presents the Eagles with a versatile option as an edge-rusher and possible three-down linebacker very early in his career.

    The Eugene connection can’t be overlooked, either. Kelly coached Jordan last season, and he knows what to expect from him should the Eagles select Jordan with the fourth pick.

5. Detroit Lions

5 of 32

    Key Acquisitions: DE Jason Jones (per Adam Schefter), RB Reggie Bush (per Adam Schefter), S Glover Quin (per Adam Schefter)

    Key Departures: DE Cliff Avril (per Albert Breer), LT Jeff Backus (per Adam Schefter)

    Pre-Free Agency Dee Milliner CB Alabama
    Day 1 Pick Dee Milliner CB Alabama
    Day 2 Pick Dee Milliner CB Alabama
    Day 3 Pick Eric Fisher OT  Central Michigan 
    Day 4 Pick Eric Fisher OT  Central Michigan 
    Day 5 Pick Eric Fisher OT  Central Michigan 
    Day 6 Pick Eric Fisher OT  Central Michigan 
    Day 7 Pick Eric Fisher OT Central Michigan
    Day 8 PickEric FisherOTCentral Michigan

    The Detroit Lions have a lot of needs to address this offseason, including defensive end, offensive tackle, linebacker and cornerback.

    Signing Jason Jones (per Pro Football Talk) and retaining Chris Houston will help, but offensive tackle may now be Detroit's biggest need.

    Right tackle Gosder Cherilus signed with Indianapolis (per Yahoo! Sports) and according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, long-time left tackle Jeff Backus is retiring.

    Cornerback Dee Milliner could still be an option here, but the Lions need to add some players who can protect their franchise quarterback. With Backus' retirement, it now seem Central Michigan tackle Eric Fisher is the logical choice with this pick.

6. Cleveland Browns

6 of 32

    Key Acquisitions: OLB Paul Kruger (per Adam Schefter), LB Quentin Groves (ESPN.com), DT Desmond Bryant (ESPN.com)

    Key Departures: TE Ben Watson (per Adam Schefter), K Phil Dawson (per Adam Schefter)

    Pre-Free Agency Ezekiel Ansah OLB/DE BYU
    Day 1 Pick Ezekiel Ansah OLB/DE BYU
    Day 2 Pick Ezekiel Ansah OLB/DE BYU
    Day 3 Pick Dee Milliner CB  Alabama 
    Day 4 Pick Dee Milliner CB  Alabama 
    Day 5 Pick Dee Milliner CB  Alabama 
    Day 6 Pick Dee Milliner  CB  Alabama 
    Day 7 Pick Dee Milliner CB Alabama
    Day 8 PickDee MillinerCBAlabama

    With Detroit now in a position to seriously consider addressing its offensive line, there's a good chance Milliner is still available when the Browns pick at No. 6.

    After adding Paul Kruger and Quentin Groves, outside linebacker is no longer Cleveland's most glaring positional need. The Browns still need a quality corner to play opposite Joe Haden, though.

    Milliner has all the physical tools to be a shutdown cornerback in the NFL. He still needs to work on high-pointing the football and holding onto it, but the interceptions will come. 

7. Arizona Cardinals

7 of 32

    Key Acquisitions: CB Antoine Cason (per Adam Schefter)

    Key Departures: S Adrian Wilson (ESPN.com), RB Beanie Wells (ESPN.com), QB Kevin Kolb (per Adam Schefter)

    Pre-Free Agency Eric Fisher OT Central Michigan
    Day 1 Pick Eric Fisher OT Central Michigan
    Day 2 Pick Eric Fisher OT Central Michigan
    Day 3 Pick Lane Johnson OT  Oklahoma 
    Day 4 Pick Lane Johnson OT  Oklahoma 
    Day 5 Pick Lane Johnson OT  Oklahoma 
    Day 6 Pick Lane Johnson  OT  Oklahoma 
    Day 7 Pick Lane Johnson OT Oklahoma
    Day 8 PickLane JohnsonOTOklahoma

    The Arizona Cardinals’ pass-protection unit was one of the worst in the NFL last season, and bolstering their offensive line should be first on their offseason to-do list.

    Arizona had the opportunity to shore up its offensive line in the 2012 draft, but it passed on several offensive tackles until the fourth round, finally selecting Bobby Massie with the 112th pick. In hindsight, waiting to address the position was a glaring mistake.

    The Cardinals could also consider USC quarterback Matt Barkley with this pick, but it won’t matter who they put under center in 2013 if they can’t first strengthen a poor offensive line.

    With Eric Fisher already off the board to Detroit, Lane Johnson becomes the best available offensive tackle. A former quarterback, defensive end and tight end, Johnson is extremely athletic with the quick feet and strong hands to be an exceptional left tackle in the NFL.

8. Buffalo Bills

8 of 32

    Key Acquisitions: DE Manny Lawson (per Adam Schefter)

    Key Departures: LB Nick Barnett (ESPN.com), S George Wilson (ESPN.com), QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (per Adam Schefter), OG Andy Levitre (ESPN.com)

    Pre-Free Agency Cordarrelle Patterson WR Tennessee
    Day 1 Pick Cordarrelle Patterson WR Tennessee
    Day 2 Pick Cordarrelle Patterson WR Tennessee
    Day 3 Pick Cordarrelle Patterson WR  Tennessee 
    Day 4 Pick Cordarrelle Patterson WR  Tennessee 
    Day 5 Pick Cordarrelle Patterson WR  Tennessee 
    Day 6 Pick Cordarrelle Patterson  WR  Tennessee 
    Day 7 Pick Cordarrelle Patterson WR Tennessee
    Day 8 PickCordarrelle PattersonWRTennessee

    The Buffalo Bills will be in the market for a new quarterback this offseason, but the No. 8 pick isn’t the right spot to acquire one.

    New head coach Doug Marrone will likely be looking for a new quarterback on which to hitch his wagon, though there’s reason to believe he may hold off on finding one until the second round (or later), especially with former Syracuse signal-caller Ryan Nassib probably available beyond the first round.

    Tennessee wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson could be a good option here. He is an explosive athlete with all the physical tools NFL teams look for in an X-receiver.

    Patterson still needs to hone his route-running skills and work on becoming a better all-around receiver, but he has a mile-high ceiling.

    The Bills still need to find a quality receiver to pair with Stevie Johnson, and there isn’t a better pass-catcher in this class.

9. New York Jets

9 of 32

    Key Acquisitions: RB Mike Goodson (per Adam Schefter), OG Willie Colon (per Adam Schefter), DT Antonio Garay (per Adam Schefter), LB Antwan Barnes (Star-Ledger)

    Key Departures: DT Sione Pouha (per Adam Schefter), RB Shonn Greene (per Adam Schefter), TE Dustin Keller (per Adam Schefter)

    Pre-Free Agency Barkevious Mingo OLB LSU
    Day 1 Pick Barkevious Mingo OLB LSU
    Day 2 Pick Barkevious Mingo OLB LSU
    Day 3 Pick Barkevious Mingo OLB  LSU 
    Day 4 Pick Barkevious Mingo OLB  LSU 
    Day 5 Pick Barkevious Mingo OLB  LSU 
    Day 6 Pick Barkevious Mingo  OLB  LSU 
    Day 7 Pick Barkevious Mingo OLB LSU
    Day 8 PickBarkevious MingoOLBLSU

    The New York Jets need to find a new option under center, but as ESPN’s Adam Schefter points out, Mark Sanchez’s job is probably safe for one more year:

    RT @alexcosenza13: Who's starting for the jets at qb week 1? ... Jets fans won't like this, but Sanchez.

    — Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 5, 2013

    With quarterback likely not an option at this point in the draft, the Jets can turn their attention to another glaring concern.

    New York notched just 30 sacks in 2012, and adding a quality pass-rusher needs to be a focus in this year’s draft. As deep as this crop is at the outside linebacker and defensive end positions, the Jets can take advantage of terrific value with the ninth selection.

    LSU defensive end Barkevious Mingo will likely transition to outside linebacker in the NFL, due in part to his thin frame and exceptional athletic ability. He’s still very raw in many aspects, but the Jets employ a lot of exotic defensive schemes, especially in passing situations. They will no doubt find a fit for the explosive edge-rusher.

    If Darrelle Revis is dealt during free agency, cornerback Xavier Rhodes may also be an option here, but as it stands, Mingo is the best option for improving a defense that finished 20th in the league in scoring defense last season.

10. Tennessee Titans

10 of 32

    Key Acquisitions: OG Andy Levitre (per Adam Schefter), TE Delanie Walker (San Francisco Chronicle), RB Shonn Greene (per Adam Schefter), QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (per Adam Schefter)

    Key Departures: OG Steve Hutchinson (ESPN.com), TE Jared Cook (ESPN.com), QB Matt Hasselbeck (per Adam Schefter)

    Pre-Free Agency Star Lotulelei DT Utah
    Day 1 Pick Star Lotulelei DT Utah
    Day 2 Pick Star Lotulelei DT Utah
    Day 3 Pick Star Lotulelei DT  Utah 
    Day 4 Pick Star Lotulelei DT  Utah 
    Day 5 Pick Star Lotulelei DT  Utah 
    Day 6 Pick Star Lotulelei  DT  Utah 
    Day 7 Pick Star Lotulelei DT Utah
    Day 8 PickStar LoutleleiDTUtah

    Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei missed the NFL Scouting Combine due to a reported heart condition. While his health concerns may scare off some teams in the top of the first round, there’s no guarantee those issues will be an ongoing problem for Lotulelei in the future.

    It’s hard to predict how serious the heart condition is, though. Bleacher Report’s Dave Siebert did an extensive report on the issue, breaking down the potential long-term effects of Lotulelei’s possible dilated cardiomyopathy condition.

    It’s still too early to tell how this may affect Lotulelei’s draft stock, but for now, we have to assume he’ll be healthy enough to play in the NFL. If he is, the Tennessee Titans could get a steal with the No. 10 selection.

    Tennessee needs to get more stout on its interior defensive line, and adding a space-eating defensive tackle should be a priority this offseason. If the Titans don’t address the need through free agency, expect them to key in on a top defensive tackle in this year’s draft.

11. San Diego Chargers

11 of 32

    Key Acquisitions: OG Chad Rinehart (Washington Post), CB Derek Cox (Washington Post)

    Key Departures: LB Takeo Spikes (ESPN.com), CB Antoine Cason (per Adam Schefter), DT Antonio Garay (per Adam Schefter), LB Antwan Barnes (Star-Ledger), DT Aubrayo Franklin (NFL.com)

    Pre-Free Agency Lane Johnson OT Oklahoma
    Day 1 Pick Lane Johnson OT Oklahoma
    Day 2 Pick Lane Johnson OT Oklahoma
    Day 3 Pick Xavier Rhodes CB  Florida State 
    Day 4 Pick Xavier Rhodes CB  Florida State 
    Day 5 Pick Xavier Rhodes CB  Florida State 
    Day 6 Pick Xavier Rhodes  CB  Florida State 
    Day 7 Pick Xavier Rhodes CB Florida State
    Day 8 PickXavier RhodesCBFlorida State

    The San Diego Chargers are still in search of a suitable replacement for left tackle Marcus McNeill, who retired prior to the 2012 season. Jared Gaither failed to impress at the position last year, and using this pick on a franchise left tackle would be an ideal solution for the Chargers.

    Unfortunately, the top three offensive tackles are already off the board. 

    Antoine Cason signed with the Arizona Cardinals, and while San Diego signed Derek Cox in free agency,it could still use another fresh face at the cornerback position. Milliner is already off the board, but they can still find a terrific pass-defender in Xavier Rhodes.

    The Florida State prospect is long and lean, and he has the speed and toughness to match. Finding a starting left tackle here would have been the best option, but Rhodes is a good consolation prize.

12. Miami Dolphins

12 of 32

    Key Acquisitions: WR Mike Wallace (NFL.com), LB Dannell Ellerbe (per John Clayton), TE Dustin Keller (per Adam Schefter), WR Brandon Gibson (per Adam Schefter)

    Key Departures: RB Reggie Bush (ESPN.com), CB Sean Smith (per Adam Schefter), LB Kevin Burnett (per Courtney Fallon), OT Jake Long (per Albert Breer)

    Pre-Free Agency Xavier Rhodes CB Florida State
    Day 1 Pick Xavier Rhodes CB Florida State
    Day 2 Pick Xavier Rhodes CB Florida State
    Day 3 Pick Desmond Trufant CB  Washington 
    Day 4 Pick Desmond Trufant CB  Washington 
    Day 5 Pick Desmond Trufant CB  Washington 
    Day 6 Pick Desmond Trufant  CB  Washington 
    Day 7 Pick Desmond Trufant CB Washington
    Day 8 PickDesmond TrufantCBWashington

    The Miami Dolphins have addressed their need at the wide receiver position this offseason, first re-signing Brian Hartline to an extended deal and then adding former Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace and former Rams receiver Brandon Gibson. 

    The Dolphins also signed former New York Jets tight end Dustin Keller, and choosing a player of either position in the early rounds of the draft doesn't seem to be a possibility at this point.

    Cornerback Sean Smith signed with the Chiefs, and the position is now a major concern heading into 2013. Milliner and Rhodes would have better options, but with both having already been selected, Washington's Desmond Trufant becomes the next-best choice.

    Trufant looked terrific at the Senior Bowl and his workout at the combine was equally impressive. He won't garner the same attention as the top two corners in this draft, but he has the potential to have an equally impressive NFL career.

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

13 of 32

    Key Acquisitions: S Dashon Goldson (per Adam Schefter), WR Kevin Ogletree (per Adam Schefter), TE Tom Crabtree (per Jenna Laine)

    Key Departures: OT Jeremy Trueblood (per Adam Schefter), DE Michael Bennett (Pro Football Talk)

    Pre-Free Agency Kenny Vaccaro S Texas
    Day 1 Pick Kenny Vaccaro S Texas
    Day 2 Pick Desmond Trufant CB Washington
    Day 3 Pick Sharrif Floyd DT  Florida 
    Day 4 Pick Sharrif Floyd DT  Florida 
    Day 5 Pick Sharrif Floyd DT  Florida 
    Day 6 Pick Sharrif Floyd  DT Florida 
    Day 7 Pick Sharrif Floyd DT Florida
    Day 8 PickSharrif FloydDTFlorida

    Finishing last in any major category is something that usually warrants an overhaul in the offseason, especially when that category is total pass defense.

    Tampa Bay signed safety Dashon Goldson to a long-term deal in free agency, and while cornerback is still a major concern, there aren't any still available worthy of this pick.

    If the top corners are already off the board, the Bucs may take advantage of value here and select a top-tier defensive tackle to pair with Gerald McCoy. Sharrif Floyd is one of the best in this draft class.

    Floyd is a prototypical one-gap defensive tackle who is as good an interior pass-rusher as he is a quality run defender. This isn't an ideal needs-based pick, but adding Floyd would give Tampa Bay one of the best defensive tackle combos in the NFL.

14. Carolina Panthers

14 of 32

    Key Acquisitions: CB D.J. Moore (NFL.com)

    Key Departures: CB Chris Gamble (ESPN.com)

    Pre-Free Agency Sharrif Floyd DT Florida
    Day 1 Pick Sharrif Floyd DT Florida
    Day 2 Pick Sharrif Floyd DT Florida
    Day 3 Pick Sheldon Richardson DT  Missouri 
    Day 4 Pick Sheldon Richardson DT  Missouri 
    Day 5 Pick Sheldon Richardson DT  Missouri 
    Day 6 Pick Sheldon Richardson  DT  Missouri 
    Day 7 Pick Sheldon Richardson DT Missouri
    Day 8 PickSheldon RichardsonDTMissouri

    Carolina doesn’t have a lot of glaring holes to fill, but it certainly needs to beef up its defensive line. The Panthers fielded a mediocre run defense in 2012, but adding a disruptive tackle like Missouri's Sheldon Richardson would go a long way toward improving in that area this season.

    Richardson is probably a better fit at 3-4 defensive end, but that doesn't mean he can't be successful in a one-gap system. With terrific size, athleticism and first-step quickness, he could still fit well in a 4-3 front.

    The Panthers aren't in desperate need of pass-rushing defensive linemen, but they could certainly benefit from adding a defensive tackle who is strong and wide enough to attack offensive linemen and plug gaps in run defense.

15. New Orleans Saints

15 of 32

    Key Acquisitions: CB Keenan Lewis (per Sean Jensen), TE Ben Watson (per Adam Schefter)

    Key Departures: OT Jermon Bushrod (ESPN.com)

    Pre-Free Agency Jarvis Jones OLB Georgia
    Day 1 Pick Jarvis Jones OLB Georgia
    Day 2 Pick Jarvis Jones OLB Georgia
    Day 3 Pick Jarvis Jones OLB  Georgia 
    Day 4 Pick Jarvis Jones OLB  Georgia 
    Day 5 Pick Jarvis Jones OLB  Georgia 
    Day 6 Pick Jarvis Jones  OLB  Georgia 
    Day 7 Pick Jarvis Jones OLB Georgia
    Day 8 PickJarvis JonesOLBGeorgia

    Jones’ spinal stenosis condition is a huge concern, as Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller reported at the combine:

    Was told tonight that at least 10 teams have removed Jarvis Jones from their draft board due to spinal issue.

    — Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) February 24, 2013

    Unfortunately for Jones, his condition isn’t an easy one to overlook. He easily has enough talent to be a top-five pick on Draft Day, but teams are generally wary of investing heavily in a player who may not be able to sustain a career in the NFL.

    Still, Jones will bring tremendous ability to whichever team drafts him. The premier outside linebacker in this class, he has the size, speed, quickness and awareness teams love in a true outside linebacker, especially for a 3-4 front.

    With the arrival of Rob Ryan and his attacking 3-4 scheme, this pick makes a lot of sense. The Saints won’t have a lot of depth at the position after the transition, and even if they make some moves in free agency to address that, there’s still room for a top talent like Jones through the draft.

16. St. Louis Rams

16 of 32

    Key Acquisitions: TE Jared Cook (ESPN.com), OT Jake Long (per Albert Breer)

    Key Departures: S Quntin Mikell (ESPN.com), WR Danny Amendola (per Ian Rapoport), RB Steven Jackson (per Adam Schefter), WR Brandon Gibson (per Adam Schefter), S Craig Dahl (per Adam Schefter)

    Pre-Free Agency Chance Warmack OG Alabama
    Day 1 Pick Chance Warmack OG Alabama
    Day 2 Pick Kenny Vaccaro S Texas
    Day 3 Pick Kenny Vaccaro Texas 
    Day 4 Pick Kenny Vaccaro Texas 
    Day 5 Pick Kenny Vaccaro Texas 
    Day 6 Pick Kenny Vaccaro  Texas 
    Day 7 Pick Kenny Vaccaro S Texas
    Day 8 PickKenny VaccaroSTexas

    With the release of Quintin Mikell, the St. Louis Rams now have holes to fill at both safety positions. Offensive tackle and wide receiver will also be on their list, but Vaccaro has the talent to warrant this selection.

    Vaccaro is a fast, heady and versatile defender against both the pass and the run. St. Louis will have the option of playing him at either vacant safety position.

    With another pick at their disposal in the first round, the Rams can afford to address one of their biggest needs at No. 16 overall. Vaccaro offers tremendous value here.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers

17 of 32

    Key Acquisitions: CB William Gay (ESPN.com), TE Matt Spaeth (NFL.com)

    Key Departures: LB James Harrison (ESPN.com), RB Rashard Mendenhall (per Adam Schefter), CB Keenan Lewis (per Sean Jensen), S Ryan Mundy (per Adam Schefter), OG Willie Colon (per Adam Schefter)

    Pre-Free Agency Sheldon Richardson DT Missouri
    Day 1 Pick Sheldon Richardson DT Missouri
    Day 2 Pick Sheldon Richardson DT Missouri
    Day 3 Pick Ezekiel Ansah DE/OLB  BYU 
    Day 4 Pick Ezekiel Ansah DE/OLB  BYU 
    Day 5 Pick Ezekiel Ansah DE/OLB  BYU 
    Day 6 Pick Ezekiel Ansah  DE/OLB  BYU 
    Day 7 Pick Ezekiel Ansah DE/OLB BYU
    Day 8 PickEzekiel AnsahDE/OLBBYU

    General manager Kevin Colbert promises change this offseason. After the Steelers' 8-8 finish in 2012 and the uncharacteristically early end to their season, expect a big shakeup in the coming months.

    According to an ESPN report, linebacker James Harrison has been released after being unable to find common ground with the Steelers in a contract restructuring effort. With Harrison no longer filling a big pass-rushing role in Pittsburgh, the Steelers have to consider addressing the position this offseason.

    Pittsburgh doesn't have the cap room to be a major player in free agency. Instead, expect Colbert to patch up some of his team's needs through the draft.

    BYU's Ezekiel Ansah may not fall this far in the first round, but he's still very raw as a football player. His lack of experience in pads may scare off some teams, though he would be a terrific value pick at No. 17.

    Ansah has all the physical tools to be an exceptional edge-rusher in the NFL. A big, athletic and physical player, Ansah could develop into Harrison's old role with a little help from one of the league's best pass-rushers in LaMarr Woodley.

18. Dallas Cowboys

18 of 32

    Key Acquisitions:

    Key Departures: LB Dan Connor (ESPN.com), WR Kevin Ogletree (per Adam Schefter), DE Marcus Spears (per Adam Schefter)

    Pre-Free Agency Damontre Moore DE Texas A&M
    Day 1 Pick Damontre Moore DE Texas A&M
    Day 2 Pick Chance Warmack OG Alabama
    Day 3 Pick Chance Warmack OG  Alabama 
    Day 4 Pick Chance Warmack OG  Alabama 
    Day 5 Pick Chance Warmack OG  Alabama 
    Day 6 Pick Chance Warmack  OG  Alabama 
    Day 7 Pick Chance Warmack OG Alabama
    Day 8 PickChance WarmackOGAlabama

    Monte Kiffin assumed the role of defensive coordinator this offseason, and he’ll be bringing his signature Tampa-2 defense with him.

    Dallas has some good pieces in place for the transition, but there’s still room for improvement. Even after tagging Anthony Spencer to presumably play the strong-side defensive end position, the Cowboys need to continue adding quality pass-rushers and athletes who can play in space.

    Still, Dallas' most glaring need is on its offensive line. The Cowboys haven't run the ball effectively in recent years and Tony Romo has been persistently harassed by A-Gap pressure—both direct results of poor interior offensive line play.

    If Alabama guard Chance Warmack weren't available here, Dallas would likely turn to the defensive side of the ball. A few picks have changed with free agency acquisitions, though, and Warmack is now on the board at No. 18. Need and fit come together for a terrific pick for the Cowboys.

19. New York Giants

19 of 32

    Key Acquisitions: DT Cullen Jenkins (ESPN.com), S Ryan Mundy (per Adam Schefter), LB Dan Connor (per Adam Schefter), TE Brandon Myers (per Adam Schefter)

    Key Departures: RB Ahmad Bradshaw (ESPN.com), DT Chris Canty (ESPN.com), Martellus Bennett (ESPN.com), S Kenny Phillips (per Adam Schefter)

    Pre-Free Agency Alex Okafor DE Texas
    Day 1 Pick Alex Okafor DE Texas
    Day 2 Pick Alex Okafor DE Texas
    Day 3 Pick Alex Okafor DE  Texas 
    Day 4 Pick Alex Okafor DE  Texas 
    Day 5 Pick Alex Okafor DE  Texas 
    Day 6 Pick Alex Okafor  DE  Texas 
    Day 7 Pick Alex Okafor DE Texas
    Day 8 PickAlex OkaforDETexas

    Like the Steelers, the New York Giants missed out on a playoff berth last year and will likely be making some big changes this offseason. A couple of those moves have already been made.

    Between Ahmad Bradshaw and Chris Canty being released and the likelihood of Osi Umenyiora leaving in free agency, the Giants suddenly have a few more holes to fill. They have a lot of options, but this pick will come down to finding a player who can make a big impact in his formative years with the team.

    Defensive end Justin Tuck has been largely ineffective in recent years, and New York needs another pass-rushing defensive end to line up opposite Jason Pierre-Paul. Finding one will be near the top of its priority list.

    Texas defensive end Alex Okafor is one of the most underrated players in this year’s class. He has the frame, quickness and surprising strength to be a formidable 4-3 defensive end.

    Aside from schematic fit, Okafor also offers the versatility the Giants love in pass-rushing ends. They often slide Tuck inside in obvious passing situations, and Okafor spent time doing the same at Texas.

    The need, value and fit all line up here. If Okafor is still available, there’s a good chance he’ll be on New York’s radar.

20. Chicago Bears

20 of 32

    Key Acquisitions: TE Martellus Bennett (ESPN.com), OT Jermon Bushrod (ESPN.com)

    Key Departures: CB D.J. Moore (NFL.com), TE Matt Spaeth (NFL.com)

    Pre-Free Agency Menelik Watson OT Florida State
    Day 1 Pick Alec Ogletree ILB Georgia
    Day 2 Pick Alec Ogletree ILB Georgia
    Day 3 Pick Alec Ogletree ILB  Georgia 
    Day 4 Pick Alec Ogletree ILB  Georgia 
    Day 5 Pick Alec Ogletree ILB  Georgia 
    Day 6 Pick Alec Ogletree  ILB  Georgia 
    Day 7 Pick Alec Ogletree ILB Georgia
    Day 8 PickAlec OgletreeILBGeorgia

    The Bears were in serious need of a quality left tackle, and according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, they managed to lock up former Saints Pro-Bowler Jermon Bushrod to a five-year deal.

    Chicago may still look to add an interior lineman and swing tackle this offseason, but it looks more likely the Bears will opt to address other positional needs with their first round pick.

    Brian Urlacher is a free agent, and at 34, there's a chance Chicago doesn't re-sign him in an effort to get younger and more athletic at the inside linebacker position. Should the Bears choose that route, Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree would be an excellent option.

    A former safety, Ogltree has the cover skills and athleticism to play deep-middle coverage in Chicago's Cover-2 schemes. He's also aggressive and physical enough to make plays at the line of scrimmage and play tough against the run.

21. Cincinnati Bengals

21 of 32

    Key Acquisitions:

    Key Departures: DE Manny Lawson (per Adam Schefter)

    Pre-Free Agency D.J. Fluker OT Alabama
    Day 1 Pick D.J. Fluker OT Alabama
    Day 2 Pick D.J. Fluker OT Alabama
    Day 3 Pick D.J. Fluker OT  Alabama 
    Day 4 Pick D.J. Fluker OT  Alabama 
    Day 5 Pick D.J. Fluker OT  Alabama 
    Day 6 Pick D.J. Fluker  OT  Alabama 
    Day 7 Pick D.J. Fluker OT Alabama
    Day 8 PickD.J. FlukerOTAlabama

    The Cincinnati Bengals used the franchise tag on defensive end Michael Johnson, meaning right tackle Andre Smith is now eligible to hit the open market. According to reports, he may be looking for as much as $9 million per year.

    There’s little chance Smith finds that kind of money elsewhere, but the Bengals almost certainly won’t pay him that much. If the two parties don’t reach an agreement, finding a new right tackle could be an option in the first round.

    Right tackle isn’t typically a premium position in the early rounds of the draft, but Alabama tackle D.J. Fluker warrants such a selection.

    At 6’5” and 339 pounds, Fluker has the massive frame teams look for in a right tackle. He carries his weight well, though, and his surprising flexibility and wide base make him a capable pass-blocker and a mauler in the running game.

22. St. Louis Rams (From Washington)

22 of 32

    Key Acquisitions: TE Jared Cook (ESPN.com), OT Jake Long (per Albert Breer)

    Key Departures: S Quintin Mikell (ESPN.com), WR Danny Amendola (per Ian Rapoport), RB Steven Jackson (per Adam Schefter), WR Brandon Gibson (per Adam Schefter), S Craig Dahl (per Adam Schefter)

    Pre-Free Agency DeAndre Hopkins WR Clemson
    Day 1 Pick DeAndre Hopkins WR Clemson
    Day 2 Pick DeAndre Hopkins WR Clemson
    Day 3 Pick DeAndre Hopkins WR Clemson 
    Day 4 Pick DeAndre Hopkins WR Clemson 
    Day 5 Pick DeAndre Hopkins WR  Clemson 
    Day 6 Pick DeAndre Hopkins  WR  Clemson 
    Day 7 Pick DeAndre Hopkins WR Clemson
    Day 8 PickDeAndre HopkinsWRClemson

    The Rams were already able to add a quality safety with their first pick, and with Clemson wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins still available, they’ll also have a chance to add a terrific pass-catching threat with the No. 22 pick.

    St. Louis has focused on the defensive side of the ball often in the last couple drafts. This year’s overall plan should be more offense-oriented.

    Danny Amendola signed with the Patriots and Brandon Gibson left for Miami, leaving Sam Bradford with even less to work with in 2013. Hopkins would go a long way toward filling that void.

    The Clemson product has the speed and polished route-running skills to consistently make big plays at the NFL level. He isn’t overwhelmingly big, but his 2012 production speaks for itself (1,405 yards, 18 touchdowns).  

23. Minnesota Vikings

23 of 32

    Key Acquisitions: QB Matt Cassel (per Adam Schefter), WR Greg Jennings (per Adam Schefter)

    Key Departures: WR Percy Harvin (ESPN.com), OT Geoff Schwartz (per Adam Schefter)

    Pre-Free Agency Keenan Allen WR California
    Day 1 Pick Keenan Allen WR California
    Day 2 Pick Keenan Allen WR California
    Day 3 Pick Tavon Austin  WR  West Virginia 
    Day 4 Pick Tavon Austin WR  West Virginia 
    Day 5 Pick Tavon Austin WR  West Virginia 
    Day 6 Pick Tavon Austin  WR  West Virginia 
    Day 7 Pick Tavon Austin WR West Virginia
    Day 8 PickTavon AustinWRWest Virginia

    As first reported by Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, Minnesota traded Percy Harvin to the Seattle Seahawks for several draft picks. Of all the positions the Vikings were already thin at, wide receiver is the most troubling. 

    Minnesota found an excellent replacement in former Packers receiver Greg Jennings, and adding another receiving threat would instantly add an element of balance to the Vikings' passing attack.

    West Virginia's Tavon Austin would be an ideal selection to add some offensive firepower in the first round. Like Harvin, Austin is absolutely electric with the ball in his hands, and he has the speed to match.

    Austin's biggest detriment is his size (5'8", 174 lbs.), and he doesn't project well as an outside receiver in the NFL. Still, Austin has all the physical tools to be an elite slot receiver at the next level, and with so much need at the receiver position, the Vikings can't afford to pass on such a talented playmaker.

    California's Keenan Allen is a better all-around receiver, but he hasn't shown the straight-line speed NFL scouts would probably like to see from a No. 1. He didn't run at the combine and according to Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury-News, Allen also didn't run at his pro day as a result of a nagging knee injury.

    With Allen's question marks and Hopkins already off the board, Austin is the most logical selection here.

24. Indianapolis Colts

24 of 32

    Key Acquisitions: S LaRon Landry (ESPN.com), DT Ricky Jean-Francois (per Adam Caplan), QB Matt Hasselbeck (per Adam Schefter), DT Aubrayo Franklin (NFL.com)

    Key Departures: DE/OLB Dwight Freeney (ESPN.com)

    Pre-Free Agency Johnathan Hankins DT Ohio State
    Day 1 Pick Johnathan Hankins DT Ohio State
    Day 2 Pick Johnathan Hankins DT Ohio State
    Day 3 Pick Johnathan Hankins DT  Ohio State 
    Day 4 Pick Jonathan Cooper OG  North Carolina 
    Day 5 Pick Jonathan Cooper OG  North Carolina 
    Day 6 Pick Jonathan Cooper  OG  North Carolina 
    Day 7 Pick Jonathan Cooper OG North Carolina
    Day 8 PickJonathan CooperOGNorth Carolina

    Ryan Grigson, the 2012 Executive of the Year, prefers a “best player available” approach to drafting, and North Carolina guard Jonathan Cooper will certainly be in the discussion should he be available here.

    The Colts added a couple quality defensive pieces in free agency, but they didn't do much to address an offensive line that still needs some patchwork, especially with young Andrew Luck under center.

    Cooper has the ability to play center and both guard positions, though he'll need to bulk up some if he is to be effective on the right side of the line. Indianapolis' interior line wasn't awful in 2012, but it wasn't all that great, either.

    Cooper would add versatility, depth and an upgrade of talent at several spots along the Colts' offensive line.

25. Minnesota Vikings (From Seattle)

25 of 32

    Key Acquisitions: QB Matt Cassel (per Adam Schefter), WR Greg Jennings (per Adam Schefter)

    Key Departures: WR Percy Harvin (ESPN.com), OT Geoff Schwartz (per Adam Schefter)

    Pre-Free Agency (Seattle) Tavon Austin WR West Virginia
    Pre-Free Agency Update Sylvester Williams DT North Carolina
    Day 1 Pick Sylvester Williams DT North Carolina
    Day 2 Pick Sylvester Williams DT North Carolina
    Day 3 Pick Sylvester Williams DT  North Caolina 
    Day 4 Pick Sylvester Williams DT  North Carolina 
    Day 5 Pick Sylvester Williams DT  North Carolina 
    Day 6 Pick Sylvester Williams DT North Carolina
    Day 7 Pick Sylvester Williams DT North Carolina
    Day 8 PickSylvester WilliamsDTNorth Carolina

    The reported trade that will send Percy Harvin to Seattle will also net Minnesota another first-round pick.

    As reported by Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, the Vikings will receive Seattle's 2013 first-round and seventh-round picks as well as another mid-rounder in 2014.

    The Vikings needed another early-round selection this year. With holes to fill on both sides of the ball, they can now add a receiver to replace Harvin and a quality defensive tackle to shore up their interior defensive line.

    North Carolina defensive tackle Sylvester Williams plays even bigger than his 313-pound frame would suggest. With a strong lower body and surprising quickness off the snap, he has the ability to play in multiple fronts as either a one-gap or two-gap defensive tackle.

    Williams isn't a great pass-rushing interior lineman, but he is adept at anchoring against double-teams and stuffing the run. He'll be a good fit in Minnesota.

     

     

     


26. Green Bay Packers

26 of 32

    Key Acquisitions:

    Key Departures: WR Greg Jennings (per Adam Schefter), TE Tom Crabtree (per Jenna Laine)

    Pre-Free Agency Jonathan Cooper OG North Carolina
    Day 1 Pick Jonathan Cooper OG North Carolina
    Day 2 Pick Jonathan Cooper OG North Carolina
    Day 3 Pick Jonathan Cooper OG  North Carolina 
    Day 4 Pick Jonathan Cyprien Florida International 
    Day 5 Pick Jonathan Cyprien Florida International 
    Day 6 Pick Jonathan Cyprien  Florida International 
    Day 7 Pick Jonathan Cyprien S Florida International
    Day 8 PickJonathan CyprienSFlorida International

    With Charles Woodson’s release, the Green Bay Packers have one more need to address. Safety will certainly be a consideration at No. 26, and with only one safety having been selected already, they have plenty of options with this pick..

    Florida International safety Jonathan Cyprien is one of the most intriguing defensive backs in this class. He has the size, speed, toughness and ball skills to be a tremendous safety in the NFL, and there's a possibility he won't even make it this far in the first round.

    Apart from Vaccaro, Cyprien is the most pro-ready safety in this draft class. The need is there, and the Packers will get an immediate starter should they choose to select him at No. 26.

27. Houston Texans

27 of 32

    Key Acquisitions:

    Key Departures: WR Kevin Walter (NFL.com), LB Connor Barwin (per Tania Ganguli)

    Pre-Free Agency Tavon Austin WR West Virginia
    Day 1 Pick Tavon Austin WR West Virginia
    Day 2 Pick Tavon Austin WR West Virginia
    Day 3 Pick Keenan Allen WR  California 
    Day 4 Pick Keenan Allen WR  California 
    Day 5 Pick Keenan Allen WR  California 
    Day 6 Pick Keenan Allen  WR  California 
    Day 7 Pick Keenan Allen WR California
    Day 8 PickKeenan AllenWRCalifornia

    Andre Johnson has been without a running mate for far too long. He's been Houston's only real receiving threat in recent years, and it's time for the Texans to get him some help.

    Patterson, Hopkins and Austin have already been selected. Fortunately for the Texans, California's Keenan Allen is still on the board.

    Allen has raised some concerns about his durability this offseason; he failed to run at either the combine or his pro day as a result of a knee injury (per Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury-News). Paired with a lack of elite straight-line speed, Allen may slide in the first round.

    Still, the Cal product has the route-running ability and ball skills to be a terrific Z-receiver. If he can prove he has better speed than he has shown on film, Allen could also develop into a quality X-receiver in the NFL. 

28. Denver Broncos

28 of 32

    Key Acquisitions: OG Louis Vasquez (per Mike Garofolo), WR Wes Welker (per Adam Schefter), CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (ESPN.com)

    Key Departures:

    Pre-Free Agency Desmond Trufant CB Washington
    Day 1 Pick Desmond Trufant CB Washington
    Day 2 Pick Johnthan Banks CB Mississippi State
    Day 3 Pick Johnthan Banks CB  Mississippi State 
    Day 4 Pick Damontre Moore DE  Texas A&M 
    Day 5 Pick Damontre Moore DE  Texas A&M 
    Day 6 Pick Damontre Moore  DE  Texas A&M 
    Day 7 Pick Damontre Moore DE Texas A&M
    Day 8 PickDamontre MooreDETexas A&M

    Champ Bailey was victimized in the AFC Championship game, capping off a subpar season for the veteran cornerback. He’s one of the best of all time, but it’s time for the Broncos to consider finding his replacement.

    Denver added former Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in free agency, though, and adding more talent to the position can probably wait until later rounds.

    According to Adam Schefter, a "contract snafu" caused defensive end Elvis Dumervil to void his agreement with the Broncos, meaning he is now on the free-agent market. Denver may attempt to re-sign him, but there's nothing to suggest that to be the case just yet.

    With an impressive showing in free agency, the Broncos now have a lot fewer holes to fill. Unfortunately, defensive end is now an additional need barring Dumervil re-signing.

    With Texas A&M defensive end Damontre Moore still on the board, the Broncos would have to seriously consider selecting him this late in the first round. He didn't perform well at the combine, but Moore was never considered an athletic freak.

    Moore simply knows how to get to opposing quarterbacks, and with a need now open at defensive end, that's exactly what the Broncos may have to consider here. 

29. New England Patriots

29 of 32

    Key Acquisitions: WR Danny Amendola (per Ian Rapoport), S Adrian Wilson (ESPN.com)

    Key Departures: WR Wes Welker (per Adam Schefter), WR Brandon Lloyd (per Adam Schefter)

    Pre-Free Agency Johnthan Banks CB Mississippi State
    Day 1 Pick Johnthan Banks CB Mississippi State
    Day 2 Pick Justin Hunter WR Tennessee
    Day 3 Pick Justin Hunter WR  Tennessee 
    Day 4 Pick Justin Hunter WR  Tennessee 
    Day 5 Pick Justin Hunter WR  Tennessee 
    Day 6 Pick Justin Hunter  WR  Tennessee 
    Day 7 Pick Justin Hunter WR Tennessee
    Day 8 PickJustin HunterWRTennessee

    Wes Welker signed with the Denver Broncos in free agency. With Tom Brady's favorite target no longer in the picture, receiver becomes a big need for the Patriots.

    New England was obviously prepared to lose their slot receiver, and a contingency plan involving former Rams receiver Danny Amendola was in place. According to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, the Patriots locked him up to a five-year deal on Wednesday.

    Cornerback will still be a possibility here, but the top four are already off the board and Aqib Talib signed a new deal to return in 2013 (per ESPN). This would be an excellent opportunity for the Patriots to land a big-play receiver who, along with Amendola, could breathe new life into their passing attack. With Brandon Lloyd no longer in Foxborough, the need is still there.

    Tennessee's Justin Hunter is an electric talent, but an ACL tear slowed his career with the Volunteers. When healthy, he is one of the most explosive receivers in the nation.

30. Atlanta Falcons

30 of 32

    Key Acquisitions: RB Steven Jackson (per Adam Schefter)

    Key Departures: CB Dunta Robinson (ESPN.com), RB Michael Turner (ESPN.com), DE John Abraham (ESPN.com)

    Pre-Free Agency Tank Carradine DE Florida State
    Day 1 Pick Tank Carradine DE Florida State
    Day 2 Pick Damontre Moore DE Texas A&M
    Day 3 Pick Damontre Moore DE  Texas A&M 
    Day 4 Pick Tank Carradine DE  Florida State 
    Day 5 Pick Tank Carradine DE  Florida State 
    Day 6 Pick Tank Carradine  DE  Florida State 
    Day 7 Pick Tank Carradine DE Florida State
    Day 8 PickTank CarradineDEFlorida State

    In December, new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan claimed the Falcons were better off sticking to a 4-3 base defense in 2013. Since that time, Atlanta has released defensive end John Abraham, prompting questions about the sincerity of that claim.

    The Abraham move could be the foreshadowing of a schematic change, but there’s still no word out of Atlanta proving that to be the case. For now, we have to assume the Falcons will stick to the 4-3.

    With Abraham gone, defensive end should become a priority on draft day. This year’s class is so deep at defensive end that Atlanta will be able to find a game-changer with the 30th pick if they choose to go in that direction.

    Florida State's Tank Carradine is one of the most talented pure defensive ends in this class, but an ACL tear in 2012 may force him to slide down a lot of draft boards. If his knee checks out with teams in pre-draft medical evaluations, there's little reason to believe he'll fall out of the first round entirely.

31. San Francisco 49ers

31 of 32

    Key Acquisitions: WR Anquan Boldin (ESPN.com), DT Glenn Dorsey (per Adam Schefter), S Craig Dahl (per Adam Schefter), K Phil Dawson (per Adam Schefter)

    Key Departures: DT Isaac Sopoaga (per Adam Schefter), DT Ricky Jean-Francois (per Adam Caplan)

    Pre-Free Agency Jonathan Cyprien S Florida International
    Day 1 Pick Jonathan Cyprien S Florida International
    Day 2 Pick Jonathan Cyprien S Florida International
    Day 3 Pick Jonathan Cyprien Florida International 
    Day 4 Pick Johnathan Hankins DT  Ohio State 
    Day 5 Pick Johnathan Hankins DT  Ohio State 
    Day 6 Pick Johnathan Hankins  DT  Ohio State 
    Day 7 Pick Johnathan Hankins DT Ohio State
    Day 8 PickJohnathan HankinsDTOhio State

    The San Francisco 49ers have some positional needs on the defensive side of the ball. Cornerback, defensive end, defensive tackle and safety will all be considerations with this pick.

    Fortunately for San Francisco, trading Alex Smith will give it an early second-round pick with which to address one of those needs. 

    After losing Isaac Sopoaga, Ricky Jean-Francois and Dashon Goldson in free agency, the 49ers will likely look to add the best prospect available to replace one of those players. This class is loaded at the safety position, but there is a defensive lineman still available who warrants a selection here.

    Ohio State's Johnathan Hankins is the kind of big-bodied tackle who projects well to multiple positions in a 3-4 front. He's big and strong enough to command a double-team on every play, but he's also quick enough to seal the edge and force pressure from the outside.

    Acquiring Glenn Dorsey will be a big boost, but San Francisco needs more talent to put around him. With the two paired up on the defensive line, the 49ers will be able to field one of the best three-man fronts in the NFL.

32. Baltimore Ravens

32 of 32

    Key Acquisitions: DT Chris Canty (per Adam Schefter), DE Marcus Spears (per Adam Schefter)

    Key Departures: LB Ray Lewis (ESPN.com), WR Anquan Boldin (ESPN.com), C Matt Birk (ESPN.com), LB Dannell Ellerbe (per John Clayton), S Bernard Pollard (USA Today), CB Cary Williams (per Aaron Wilson)

    Pre-Free Agency Alec Ogletree ILB Georgia
    Day 1 Pick Arthur Brown ILB Kansas State
    Day 2 Pick Arthur Brown ILB Kansas State
    Day 3 Pick Arthur Brown ILB  Kansas State 
    Day 4 Pick Arthur Brown ILB  Kansas State 
    Day 5 Pick Arthur Brown ILB  Kansas State 
    Day 6 Pick Arthur Brown  ILB  Kansas State 
    Day 7 Pick Arthur Brown ILB Kansas State
    Day 8 Pick Arthur Brown ILB Kansas State

    With Paul Kruger and Dannell Ellerbe both finding a new home on Day 1 of free agency, the Ravens have some serious holes to fill at the linebacker positions.

    Alec Ogletree would be an excellent choice, but Chicago's signing of left tackle Jermon Bushrod now puts the Bears in the running for a top-tier inside linebacker in Round 1.

    With Ogletree off the board, Baltimore has one less choice at the inside linebacker position, but there are still plenty of quality options available including Manti Te'o, Kevin Minter and Arthur Brown.

    While Minter and Te'o could both be first-round selections in April, Brown's skillset is best suited for the Ravens' defensive schemes. He's lean, athletic and good against both the run and the pass. Ray Lewis' retirement and lack of depth at the position will force the Ravens to make some additions to their linebacking corps early in the draft this year.