Addressing needs is much more difficult than at first glance for the 2013 NFL draft.
The entire pool of prospects drastically varies regarding top talent, depth and versatility.
At the same time, not every team has the same needs. So, with the offensive and defensive lines providing the most talent across the board here, we can expect some stronger prospects to fall.
On the contrary, a stud prospect in a shallower position will get more exposure. The end result comes in the form of more than a few players going higher than anticipated.
Note: All highlighted players in italics.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, Tackle (Texas A&M)
Kansas City has a great opportunity to present a dominant offensive line. Taking Luke Joeckel simply enhances the rushing attack, but also upgrades the pass protection. K.C. then features more balance to control the tempo.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Sharrif Floyd, DT (Florida)
The AFC South features impressive running backs in Chris Johnson, Vick Ballard and Arian Foster to the Jaguars. And as a suspect run defense, landing Sharrif Floyd will immediately close more lanes to win the battle up front.
3. Oakland Raiders: Dee Milliner, CB (Alabama)
Oakland lacked reliable coverage in 2012, which won't get a team anywhere in a passing league. Dee Milliner offers the talent to take away half the field, because he's physical and can lockdown one-on-one.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Eric Fisher, Tackle (Central Michigan)
With Joeckel off the board, Philadelphia getting Eric Fisher is the next best alternative. Although he's from the MAC, Fisher brings the footwork and quickness to make an impact. Factor in the NFC East's sound pass-rushers and Fisher's addition allows the Eagles to reduce turnovers with increased pass protection.
5. Detroit Lions: Bjoern Werner, DE (Florida State)
With Cliff Avril signing in Seattle, per Albert Breer of NFL.com, the Lions need to replenish the pass rush. The good thing about Bjoern Werner, though, is his ability to also defend the run and utilize instincts against the pass.
6. Cleveland Browns: Dion Jordan, DE (Oregon)
His overall athleticism allows for Jordan to line up at outside linebacker or defensive end, which is a key advantage in the 3-4. Jordan's size and lateral balance bodes well against the run, because he'll squeeze edges, stall blockers at the line and close lanes playside and from the backside.
Additionally, his fast first step will enhance the pass rush to complement Kruger and assist the pass defense. He recorded 12.5 sacks for forced four fumbles the past two years.
The Browns were suspect in coverage last year, but with more quarterback pressure turnovers will happen more consistently.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Chance Warmack, Guard (Alabama)
Despite a solid group of receivers, Arizona can't get them the rock without a better offensive line. Well, Chance Warmack supplies the run-blocking dominance to help control the line of scrimmage. Warmack is also a sound pass-blocker to create a strong wall in the pocket's interior.
8. Buffalo Bills: Geno Smith, QB (West Virginia)
The Bills need a new quarterback and Geno Smith is the answer. Meshed with dependable decision-making skills, accuracy and a strong arm, Smith fits well for Buffalo. He'll be backed by a solid ground game and offensive line, so the pressure to succeed won't be extensively immediate.
9. New York Jets: Ezekiel Ansah, DE (BYU)
Last season Rex Ryan's defense was not its typical self. Struggling to apply consistent quarterback pressure and stop the run, the Jets drafting Ezekiel Ansah is a good step for the positive. Possessing the knack for getting into the backfield, Ansah's explosiveness will also squeeze the edge versus the run.
10. Tennessee Titans: Xavier Rhodes, CB (Florida State)
Although the AFC South has some solid rushing attacks, Tennessee's greater weakness was against the pass. Failing to generate turnovers or defend consistently, bringing in Xavier Rhodes quickly helps shut down half the field. His size and physicality becomes an advantage, as Rhodes will press at the line and help with perimeter run support.
11. San Diego Chargers: Lane Johnson, Tackle (Oklahoma)
San Diego isn't too far away from reentering the AFC playoff mix. Increased pass protection is the greatest need and that makes Lane Johnson an excellent add. Just by shear athleticism alone he will seal the edge of the pocket. Plus this talent assists in establishing a stronger running game.
12. Miami Dolphins: Desmond Trufant, CB (Washington)
Per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, Sean Smith moved to the Chiefs. This leads to the slight reaching of Desmond Trufant to blanket in coverage. Already displaying top speed, Trufant's field awareness and ball skills inflate turnovers and complement the solid front seven.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Star Lotulelei, DT (Utah)
So, Tampa Bay got their safety in Dashon Goldson according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. To that end, the Buccaneers also spruce up the defensive line with Star Lotulelei. His power and lateral quickness will clog lanes and get interior quarterback pressure, but there is a health concern that could potentially limit his impact, per Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com before the combine:
Star Lotulelei, one of the elite prospects for the 2013 NFL draft, will not be allowed to work out Monday at the scouting combine after an echocardiogram revealed that the former Utah defensive tackle has a heart condition that requires more testing.
14. Carolina Panthers: Kenny Vaccaro, Safety (Texas)
Carolina may have ranked No. 13 against the pass, but it failed to generate turnovers at a solid rate and gave up far too many completions.
On the bright side, the front seven has potential to be dominant against the run and has a respectable pass rush. So, getting Kenny Vaccaro is the best answer to field a complete defense.
Vaccaro's acceleration and body control will help for rolling down underneath and isolating tight ends and slot receivers one-on-one. Plus this aspect also helps against the run. Factor in a knack for creating turnover opportunities and the Panthers become stronger playoff contenders.
Not to mention a sound defense in an offensively-oriented NFC South is a competitive advantage.
15. New Orleans Saints: Barkevious Mingo, LB (LSU)
The Saints need help everywhere defensively. That said, selecting Barkevious Mingo bolsters the edge run defense and pass rush. With the explosiveness to win battles at the snap, Mingo's impact will draw additional blockers outside to create interior mismatches. The end results are more sacks and forced punts.
16. St. Louis Rams: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR (Tennessee)
The Rams first need a deep threat receiver. So, enter Cordarrelle Patterson who is capable of pressing the secondary and making plays downfield. His size is an advantage over the middle as well, which will come in handy to accumulate yards after the catch.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jarvis Jones, LB (Georgia)
Pittsburgh's pass rush gets an enormous boost with Jarvis Jones. Presenting the knack for compiling sacks and creating turnover opportunities, the rest of the Steelers' front will assist in Jones' development against the run. In short, expect Pittsburgh back in the postseason mix.
18. Dallas Cowboys: Sheldon Richardson, DT (Missouri)
The Cowboys won't win the NFC East or flirt with the postseason until the run defense improves. This is where Sheldon Richardson enters the equation, because he can knife into the backfield and draw double-teams. Plus Richardson's sound ability to pass rush will enhance the production of DeMarcus Ware.
19. New York Giants: Tyler Eifert, TE (Notre Dame)
The Giants can't afford to field an offense without a reliable pass-catching tight end. And Martellus Bennett went to the Bears, via Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com in free agency:
Michael C. Wright @mikecwright
BEars have agreed in princpal w/Martellus Bennett .3/12/2013, 8:06:44 PM
But New York taking Tyler Eifert immediately fills that void. Obviously his receiving talent will impact, but Eifert is also a better run-blocker than at first glance.
20. Chicago Bears: D.J. Fluker, Tackle (Alabama)
The Bears have given Jay Cutler plenty of talent to work with in 2013.
Receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery are now complemented by tight end Martellus Bennett and a dependable ground game still exists.
That said, landing Alabama's D.J. Fluker addresses the need for a more physical offensive line. Fluker is definitely a better run-blocker, but has the potential to develop more for the passing game. For one, Chicago's rushing attack will get established to set up the pass and Cutler's targets will keep defenses from blitzing constantly.
As a result, Fluker mainly faces one-on-one situations to build a stronger base and lateral balance.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Matt Elam, Safety (Florida)
Taking that next step as AFC contenders requires a more reliable pass defense. Cincinnati is a great fit for Matt Elam and vice versa, as his dynamic coverage skill set will help increase turnovers and complement the sound front seven.
22. St. Louis Rams (via WAS): Jonathan Cooper, Guard (North Carolina)
The Rams become a much tougher team in 2013 with Jonathan Cooper punishing defenders in the trenches. And he won't have to worry about blitzers as much, because the threat of Cordarrelle Patterson will keep opponents from stacking the box.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Tavon Austin, WR (West Virginia)
Although Minnesota just signed Greg Jennings, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, the receiving corps needs another playmaker to help out Christian Ponder. Tavon Austin is an electric triple-threat that will impact as a quick route receiver, horizontal running threat and double-duty return man. Minnesota then takes much pressure away from Adrian Peterson and winning the NFC North becomes increasingly realistic.
24. Indianapolis Colts: Damontre Moore, DE (Texas A&M)
Indianapolis still has to bolster the run defense for better odds at winning the AFC South. Damontre Moore offers excellent athleticism and agility to force ball-carriers horizontal and close lanes. He'll also enhance the pass rush in crucial down-and-distances.
25. Minnesota Vikings (via SEA): Sylvester Williams, DT (North Carolina)
Earlier in March the Seahawks traded this selection to Minnesota according to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports:
Jay Glazer @JayGlazer
Seattle sends this years first round pick and a 7th rounder as well as a mid-round pick next year for Harvin. Win-win for both teams3/11/2013, 5:37:04 PM
So, the Vikings address the defensive tackle need in Sylvester Williams to get interior quarterback pressure and clog gaps in the trenches.
26. Green Bay Packers: Alex Okafor, DE (Texas)
The Packers already present a reliable pass rush, but fielding a sound run defense will make another Super Bowl run more attainable.
So, Green Bay welcomes Alex Okafor to Titletown.
With a nice first step to meet blockers at the point of attack, Okafor's strength and power will win one-on-one and make plays behind the line: 19.5 sacks, six forced fumbles between 2011 and 2012. A byproduct of this does impact getting quarterback pressure, because opposing offenses will need to throw to match Aaron Rodgers.
Complemented by Clay Matthews, Okafor won't get double-teamed and his quickness is capable of reacting well to screens, draws and bootlegs. Green Bay then controls the line of scrimmage better and increases its chances to win the NFC.
27. Houston Texans: Johnthan Banks, CB (Mississippi State)
Pass defense was the most ineffective aspect of Houston last season. That warrants the selection of Johnthan Banks who will blanket one-on-one, get physical at the line and change the field position after generating turnovers.
28. Denver Broncos: Alec Ogletree, LB (Georgia)
Quite the athlete at linebacker, Alec Ogletree is a great get for the Denver defense. With Von Miller rushing the edges, Ogletree will be able to occasionally blitz inside and get pressure. His awareness and lateral quickness also helps against the run and in coverage at the intermediate level.
29. New England Patriots: Jonathan Cyprien, Safety (Florida International)
Much like the Texans, New England will enhance its AFC title odds with a better pass defense. Here, Jonathan Cyprien is the answer as he can make plays in Cover 1 and 3 or roll down to shell underneath. Either way his overall playmaking skills will help slow down explosive offenses.
30. Atlanta Falcons: Kawann Short, DT (Purdue)
Atlanta has an opportunistic secondary capable of constantly making plays. But at the same time, it needs the front seven to control the line and get quarterback pressure. Kawann Short is the perfect solution for the Falcons, because his nose for the backfield will disrupt plays and eventually draw double-teams.
31. San Francisco 49ers: John Jenkins, DT (Georgia)
Already featuring a great linebacking corps, San Francisco electing to snag John Jenkins maintains a strong defensive line to win the battle up front. His addition provides talent and depth to the position, and Jenkins is a much better pass rusher than given credit.
32. Baltimore Ravens: Arthur Brown, LB (Kansas State)
Arthur Brown is not your typical 3-4 outside linebacker, but his instincts, playmaking skills and overall athleticism makes him appealing to Baltimore. Presenting the awareness against the run and ability to drop into coverage, Brown suits well on the inside. Ultimately, the Ravens' front seven keeps rolling in 2013.