November 8, 2016
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
With April comes my favorite off-season TV event, the NFL Draft. Here's a look at what could happen in the 1st round this Thursday night:
- St. Louis Rams– Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford: I’ve been a supporter of the Rams taking Bradford since the beginning. Barring a trade or a failure in contract negotiations, Bradford will be the first one called this Thursday.
- Detroit Lions– Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh: He has been heralded as the 'golden boy' since Day 1 and has to do a lot to match the enormous expectations. Suh has the chance to make an immediate impact, and will excite the Detroit faithful.
- Tampa Bay Bucs- Oklahoma DT Gerald McCoy: McCoy said his favorite part of the draft process has been meeting Warren Sapp, now Bucs fans are hoping he’ll be the NEXT Sapp.
- Washington Redskins– Oklahoma St. OT Russell Okung: Now that they’ve addressed QB with the acquisition of Donovan McNabb, they have the luxury of replacing Chris Samuels.
- Kansas City Chiefs– Tennessee FS Eric Berry: While reaching for an OT is definitely an option here, Berry provides the defense with the draft’s best playmaker.
- Seattle Seahawks– Oklahoma OT Trent Williams: The need for Jimmy Clausen at No. 6 was eliminated by the acquisition of unproven QB Charlie Whitehurst. Walter Jones is way past old, and Pete Carroll recognizes the importance of a good O-Line.
- Cleveland Browns– Clemson RB CJ Spiller: Look for the Browns to either trade up or trade back, depending on how the top of the draft goes. The Browns have a lot of holes to fill; Spiller provides a dangerous weapon out of the backfield and on special teams.
- Oakland Raiders– Maryland OT Bruce Campbell: Can Al Davis really be this dumb? Yes. He takes another “Workout Warrior” from Maryland, joining ’09 Darrius Heyward-Bey.
- Buffalo Bills– Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen: Some people believe Clausen will take a Brady Quinn-esque plunge; I’m not so sure the Bills will let him slip by. He declined an invitation to be at the draft, so maybe he doesn’t want to be stuck in the green room all night.
- Jacksonville Jaguars- Alabama LB Rolando McClain: Adding a DE just doesn’t make sense for the Jaguars. Recent acquisition Aaron Kampman will team up with past 1st round pick Derrick Harvey to jump-start the pass rush; McClain give the Jags a talented and capable playmaker on D.
- Denver Broncos– Texas FS Earl Thomas: Head Coach Josh McDaniels has been making moves from Day 1, and is certainly willing to cut anyone loose who isn’t down for the “team” concept. Safety Brian Dawkins will take Thomas under his wing, making him more disciplined, and turn him into a talented safety.
- Miami Dolphins- Tennessee DT Dan Williams: After making the big move to pick up WR Brandon Marshall, the Fins can now focus on the 3-4 building blocks. Williams has been moving up the draft boards for some time now, and is the most mature NT in the draft.
- San Francisco 49ers- Georgia Tech OLB/DE Derrick Morgan: Morgan slips a bit here, but the 49ers will be happy to scoop up this ‘tweener’, who will be counted on to ignite the stagnant pass-rush.
- Seattle Seahawks- Oklahoma St. WR Dez Bryant: Pete Carroll dealt with tons of high-maintenance players at USC, and gets top five talent at a reduced cost RB is another big need for the 'Hawks, but will be able to take advantage of the deep RB class later in the draft.
- New York Giants- Florida CB Joe Haden: I can’t stand how much Haden has dropped due to his slow 40-yard dash times at the NFL Combine. Running in a straight line in your underwear is not football. However, the Giants will happily scoop him up and continue to bolster their secondary.
- Tennessee Titans- South Florida DE Jason Pierre-Paul: JP-P drops a bit here because teams are afraid of his inexperience. But, with Kyle Vanden Bosch off to Detroit, the Titans are happy to scoop up this athletic freak.
- San Francisco 49ers–Iowa OT Bryan Bulaga: I’m not sold on Bulaga turning into much more than a talented RT. The demand for OT’s may land him higher than here, but it doesn’t make sense. The more I see of him, the less sold I am of him becoming an impact LT in the NFL. Taking Bulaga will hopefully allow Alex Smith enough protection to get the ball to young studs Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree.
- Pittsburgh Steelers- Idaho OG Mike Iupati: The Steelers have been under the microscope this off-season, dealing with the Roethlisberger headache while shipping off damaged goods to the Jets. Taylor Mays is a possibility here, but they go for luxury O-line depth.
- Atlanta Falcons- Mizzou OLB Sean Weatherspoon: He’s a high-character guy, which the NEW Atlanta Falcons value, and would provide them with a much needed defensive-playmaker.
- Houston Texans- Boise St. CB Kyle Wilson: Wilson has been gradually moving up draft boards for some time now. They must make up for the loss of free agent CB Dunta Robinson, and will also provide a spark on special teams.
- Cincinnati Bengals- Michigan OLB/DE Brandon Graham: Graham would provide this abysmal defensive line with a pass-rusher able to consistently get to the quarterback.
- New England Patriots- Texas OLB/DE Sergio Kindle: Kindle is supremely talented with minor blemishes on his record (DUI), but Bill Belicheck will undoubtedly fix all that. Kindle injects this veteran defensive unit with some much-needed life.
- Green Bay Packers- Rutgers OT Anthony Davis: Unless Davis or another OT/CB drops, I think the Packers will trade down. Any OT or CB they would take at this point would most likely be a stretch. OLB is an appealing option, but ranks lower on their needs list. OT should be the No. 1 priority, regardless of who they have currently on their roster.
- Philadelphia Eagles- Everson Griffen USC DE: The Eagles could really use another DE to work opposite Trent Cole. Griffen’s performance at the USC Pro Day could even move him up sooner in the draft. The acquisition of LB Ernie Sims make LB less of a problem.
- Baltimore Ravens- Penn State DE/DT Jared Odrick: The Ravens acquisition of Anquan Boldin has great affect on the defense as well, as they are now free to acquire defensive-line depth. Odrick is the ideal 3-4 DE, and will put some younger legs into this veteran unit.
- Arizona Cardinals- TCU OLB/DE Jerry Hughes: The recent signing of Jerry Porter will give Hughes somebody to study under, but they still need help. Hughes has the ability to explode to the QB; his bigger problem will be dropping into coverage. OT is another option here as they try to revamp post-Kurt Warner.
- Dallas Cowboys- Florida OG/C Maurkice Pouncey: Dallas finally put it all together last year, winning their 1st playoff game under Wade Phillips, and now have the luxury of acquiring a high-quality super sub in Pouncey. They need a new safety after releasing Ken Hamlin, but Taylor Mays is a Roy Williams clone, and would struggle in coverage.
- San Diego Chargers- Fresno State RB Ryan Mathews: Taking another speed back like Jahvid Best doesn’t really fit for the Chargers, as they need some impact running to couple with Darren Sproles’ speed. Matthews has gained the No. 2 spot on RB draft boards, and will work well in San Diego.
- New York Jets- Alabama NT Terrance Cody: The man they call “Mt. Cody” has been criticized for his weight, but has the potential to devour an inside running game. With Kris Jenkins recovering from surgery, the acquisition might become a necessity.
- Minnesota Vikings- UCLA DT Brian Price: The Vikes are fairly set on both sides of the ball, and are able to take Price as insurance to the Williams brothers plugging the middle of their D-line.
- Indianapolis Colts- Rutgers CB Devin McCourty: After losing CB’s Marlin Jackson and Tim Jennings to free agency, the Colts reach a little bit to take McCourty, who performed well at the Combine.
- New Orleans Saints- Florida DE Carlos Dunlap: After letting Charles Grant go, the Super Bowl Champs will take a risk on Dunlap, who’s talented enough to make an immediate impact.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!