Now that the regular season has concluded, NFL teams that missed the playoffs and their fans may start looking forward to April's NFL Draft.
During the calm before the storm that is the NFL playoffs, now's a good time to take a look at what will happen this spring.
The NFL hasn't announced the draft order yet, but it will look something like this.
1. St. Louis Rams
Ndamukong Suh is probably the best player available in the draft, but the Rams could choose the strong-armed Jimmy Clausen at this spot. The question is, do the Rams have more needs on offense or defense?
Of course, teams that earn the top spot in the draft have plenty of needs, so the real question is—which need is more pressing?
2. Detroit Lions
If the Rams pick Clausen, it would be a no-brainer for the Lions to pick Suh, as they attempt to repair one of the worst defenses in the NFL. If the Rams take Suh, it gets tougher for the Lions, since they won't take Clausen when they already have Matthew Stafford.
In that case, the Lions may go for Oklahoma State offensive tackle Russell Okung or Tennessee safety Eric Berry.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Suh will likely be gone, as will Clausen. So, again, it could come down to Okung or Berry. The Bucs may go for a quarterback like Sam Bradford, or even Clausen if he tumbles.
4. Washington Redskins
The 'Skins decision will be highly dependent on who replaces Jim Zorn as coach. One of the team's biggest problems last season was offense, so the expectation is that the team will choose an offensive player, but a defensive-minded hire could go in a different direction.
5. Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs could be looking at the offensive line, and, if Okung is still available, this is where he could end up. Failing that, Maryland's Bruce Campbell could be playing in Arrowhead next year.
6. Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks could either be looking at offensive line or quarterback. Hard to tell at this point. A lot depends on if the team thinks Matt Hasselbeck still has some fuel left in the tank.
7. Cleveland Browns
Most mock drafts had Berry going to the Browns, but that was before the Browns dropped to the seventh pick. If he's still around, he could still go to Cleveland. If not, look for Cleveland to address offensive needs.
8. Oakland Raiders
The Raiders remain a mess, but there have been signs of progress. Perhaps an offensive lineman or defensive tackle could be a good fit—as bad as quarterback JaMarcus Russell has been, it's hard to see them going with a QB here. If they go O-line, could Oklahoma's Trent Williams be the pick?
9. Buffalo Bills
Another team that will likely have to settle its coaching situation in order to give observers a better idea of the direction in which they'll go in April.
A quarterback might make sense, given that the Bills have a decent receiving corp and mediocre QBs at the moment.
10. Miami Dolphins
The Fins could go in a lot of directions here. In all likelihood, the Dolphins will either pick up an offensive player who could fit well in the Wildcat scheme or a defensive tackle who could improve the team's front seven.
And Now, the Rest of the Order
11. Jacksonville Jaguars
12. Denver Broncos (From Chicago Bears)
13. Tennessee Titans
14. San Francisco 49ers
15. New York Giants
16. Seattle Seahawks (From Denver)
17. San Francisco 49ers (From Carolina Panthers)
18. New York Jets
19. Pittsburgh Steelers
20. Houston Texans
21. Baltimore Ravens
22. Atlanta Falcons
23. New England Patriots
24. Arizona Cardinals
25. Cincinnati Bengals
26. Philadelphia Eagles
27. Green Bay Packers
28. Dallas Cowboys
29. Minnesota Vikings
30. San Diego Charges
31. New Orleans Saints
32. Indianapolis Colts
Bear in mind that the draft order will likely change as the playoffs progress.
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