NFL Draft Rumors: What We Can Learn from Each Team's Prospect Visits

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 27, 2012

NFL Draft Rumors: What We Can Learn from Each Team's Prospect Visits

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    The best way to get an indication of what a team will do in the NFL draft is to see what kind of players are brought in for visits.

    Each team can bring up to 30 players to their facilities for interviews and workouts.

    This allows teams to get a better indication of the personality of the player and it shows what it would be like to work with him in the future.

    While not every player will be drafted, the visits show a direction the team is looking in, whether by position or just type of player.

    Note: Not all teams have invited players yet, but this list will be updated accordingly.

Dallas Cowboys

1 of 32

    First-Round Pick: 14

    Key Visits:

    CB Dre Kirkpatrick (Alabama)

    LB Ronnell Lewis (Oklahoma)

    LB Tank Carder (TCU)

    CB Lionel Smith (Texas A&M)

    DE Whitney Mercilus (Illinois)

    The Dallas Cowboys offense is full of playmakers, so the team needs to start focusing on defense.

    Cornerback is more of a need, so Dre Kirkpatrick could be a good fit in the middle of the first round. He has great size for the position and should be able to stick with some of the fast receivers within the division.

Philadelphia Eagles

2 of 32

    First-Round Pick: 15

    Key Visits:

    CB Omar Bolden (Arizona State)

    CB Trumaine Johnson (Montana)

    DT Michael Brockers (LSU)

    Philadelphia continues to fill team needs through trading and free agency, but it is obvious that the front office is looking for some sleepers late in the draft.

    Michael Brockers is taking a lot of visits, so it might be unlikely he falls to the Eagles.

Washington Redskins

3 of 32

    First-Round Pick: 2

    Key Visits:

    QB Robert Griffin III (Baylor)

    There is little doubt who the Washington Redskins will select with the second pick in the 2012 draft, so the team can relax when thinking about the first round.

    Expect the team to start bringing in some late-round options over the next few weeks, specifically on the offensive line. 

New York Giants

4 of 32

    First-Round Pick: 32

    Key Visits:

    DE Chandler Jones (Syracuse)

    WR Mohamed Sanu (Rutgers)

    DT Jerel Worthy (Michigan State)

    The New York Giants are starting visits off with some local players in Chandler Jones and Mohamed Sanu. 

    As the defending Super Bowl champs, they have the ability to draft for value instead of need, although do not be surprised to see a few linebackers added to the list.

Detroit Lions

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    First-Round Pick: 23

    Key Visits

    OT Kelechi Osemele

    OT Mike Adams

    RB LaMichael James

    CB Dre Kirkpatrick

    The Detroit Lions have been the most active so far in setting up their prospect meetings, and a theme has been an interest in big offensive linemen.

    With a run-blocking lineman in the first round, the Lions can become more versatile in their offense. 

    LaMichael James could also be an interesting late-round home run threat.

Green Bay Packers

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    First-Round Pick: 28

    Key Visits

    C Peter Konz (Wisconsin)

    The Packers are taking their time bringing in prospects with a late-pick, but they have shown interest in local center Peter Konz.

    Look for the team to look at other offensive linemen, as well as pass-rushers on defense.

Minnesota Vikings

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    First-Round Pick: 3

    Key Visits:

    OT Jonathan Martin (Stanford)

    CB Trumaine Johnson (Montana)

    CB Dre Kirkpatrick (Alabama)

    WR Justin Blackmon (Oklahoma State)

    Most expect the Minnesota Vikings to select USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil with the third overall pick, but there is no problem with doing a little research first.

    They have a lot of needs, so the front office might look to trade back to acquire more depth.

Chicago Bears

8 of 32

    First-Round Pick: 19

    Key Visits:

    DE Bruce Irvin (West Virginia)

    LB Keenan Robinson (Texas)

    WR Kendall Wright (Baylor)

    DT Michael Brockers (Bears)

    Lovie Smith loves hard-nosed players, and so far that is what he is starting to assemble with his early prospect visits.

    Keenan Robinson specifically was heavily scouted at his pro day as a possible compliment to Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs. 

New Orleans Saints

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    First-Round Pick: None

    Key Visits: None

    The New Orleans Saints are dealing with more pressing issues, starting with hiring a new coach.

    It might be a few weeks until the draft gets their full attention.

Atlanta Falcons

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    First-Round Pick: None

    Key Visits:

    CB Trumaine Johnson (Montana)

    RB David Wilson (Virginia Tech)

    Without a first-round pick, the Atlanta Falcons are looking towards players that will be available after the first day.

    David Wilson is an impressive running back and could provide some relief for the overworked Michael Turner.

Carolina Panthers

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    First-Round Pick: 9

    Key Visits:

    DE Quinton Coples (UNC)

    DT Michael Brockers (LSU)

    DE Bruce Irvin (West Virginia)

    DE Chandler Jones (Syracuse)

    LB Luke Kuechly (Boston College)

    DT Flectcher Cox (Mississippi State)

    Carolina had an exciting offense last season, but the defense could not stop anyone.

    For these reasons, the front office is bringing in a host of defensive linemen that can make an immediate impact. 

    Each player brings something different to the table, but Quinton Coples is the most versatile and could be the best option if he is still available.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    First-Round Pick: 5

    Key Visits:

    RB David Wilson (Virginia Tech)

    WR Rueben Randle (LSU)

    CB Dre Kirkpatrick (Alabama)

    LB Tank Carder (TCU)

    New coach Greg Schiano is running his first NFL draft, so he will make sure he does his due diligence in the pre-draft visits.

    The Buccaneers have many areas of need after a 4-12 season, and based on the early visit list it seems no position will be off-limits. 

San Francisco 49ers

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    First-Round Pick: 30

    Key Visits:

    RB David Wilson (Virginia Tech)

    WR Rueben Randle (LSU)

    The 49ers added Randy Moss and Mario Manningham in free agency, but the team still obviously wants to add offensive playmakers.

    Each of these players should be available towards the end of the first round and could be an impact player next season.

St. Louis Rams

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    First-Round Pick: 6

    Key Visits:

    OT Ronald Leary (Memphis)

    The St. Louis Rams are starting slowly, but they obviously saw something in Ronald Leary at his pro day last week.

    With the amount of depth that the Rams need, they could definitely benefit from successful late-round picks. 

Seattle Seahawks

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    First-Round Pick: 12

    Key Visits: None

    Seattle has not requested any visits to this point, but the Seahawks could focus on offensive linemen or a pass-rusher with the 12th pick in the draft.

Arizona Cardinals

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    First-Round Pick: 13

    Key Visits:

    OLB Ryan Davis (Bethune-Cookman)

    The Arizona Cardinals are expected to add a few linemen to this list, but so far have only worked out rising prospect Ryan Davis.

    Davis could be a great 3-4 linebacker and is athletic enough to provide a good quarterback rush in the future.

Miami Dolphins

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    First-Round Pick: 8

    Key Visits:

    CB Trumaine Johnson (Montana)

    WR Rueben Randle (LSU)

    DE Quinton Coples (UNC)

    After missing the chance to sign quarterback Peyton Manning, Matt Flynn and Alex Smith, many expect the Dolphins to bring in a few prospects including Ryan Tannehill.

    Until then, Quinton Coples would be a good answer for the poor pass defense.

New England Patriots

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    First-Round Picks: 27 and 31

    Key Visits:

    DE Bruce Irvin (West Virginia)

    CB Ron Brooks (LSU)

    CB Omar Bolden (Arizona State)

    WR Rueben Randle (LSU)

    DE Chandler Jones (Syracuse)

    There is no question the New England Patriots need to look defense in this draft, but what is interesting so far is the relative unknown players being brought in for visits.

    Bill Belichick has never cared what other draft boards look like, as long as he gets the player that he wants to fit his system.

New York Jets

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    First-Round Pick: 16

    Key Visits:

    CB Trumaine Johnson (Montana)

    DE Bruce Irvin (West Virginia)

    RB Robert Turbin (Utah State)

    DE Andre Branch (Clemson)

    The New York Jets are gaining information on a few players that can get to the quarterback, which is always useful in a division with Tom Brady.

    Robert Turbin could also be an interesting day-two pick that could help the team get back to the power-running game that was successful a few years ago.

Buffalo Bills

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    First-Round Pick: 10

    Key Visits:

    OT Jonathan Martin (Stanford)

    DE Bruce Irvin (West Virginia)

    WR Rueben Randle (LSU)

    CB Dre Kirkpatrick (Alabama)

    The Bills gave an extension to quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick last season, but in reality, there are no solid positions on the team.

    Buffalo will look at many different options for the No. 10 pick, but it should be a lineman, either on the offensive side of the ball or on defense.

Cleveland Browns

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    First-Round Picks: 4 and 22

    Key Visits:

    DT Michael Brockers (LSU)

    OT Jonathan Martin (Stanford)

    DE Whitney Mercilus (Illinois)

    RB David Wilson (Virginia Tech)

    QB Ryan Tannehill (Texas A&M)

    The interesting name on the list is Ryan Tannehill. The Browns are still having conversations with the quarterback and were "impressed" with him at the combine.

    There are not a lot of teams in need of a first-round quarterback, so it is possible that the Texas A&M product slips all the way to No. 22 in the draft.

Pittsburgh Steelers

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    First-Round Pick: 24

    Key Visits:

    DT Fletcher Cox (Mississippi State)

    DE Akiem Hicks (Regina)

    DT Dontari Poe (Memphis)

    Head coach Mike Tomlin has noticed his team getting older on defense, so it seems that the Steelers are trying to get a young, impact-player on that side of the football.

    Fletcher Cox and Dontari Poe might be gone by their pick, but there are more than a few talented defensive tackles available in this draft.

Baltimore Ravens

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    First-Round Pick: 29

    Key Visits:

    WR Rueben Randle (LSU)

    CB Dre Kirkpatrick (Alabama)

    With a late first-round pick, the Ravens have the opportunity to draft for value over need, so the visits should end up being for a wide variety of positions.

    However, it is obvious that the Baltimore front office did not miss the BCS National Championship Game.

Cincinnati Bengals

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    First-Round Picks: 17 and 21

    Key Visits:

    WR Rueben Randle (LSU)

    LB Luke Kuechly (Boston College)

    OG David DeCastro (Stanford)

    Two mid-round picks give the Bengals plenty of options, but Rueben Randle could actually be a very interesting selection for Cincinnati.

    He was not in a passing offense at LSU, but Randle could provide a solid compliment to A.J. Green and be a very good deep-threat.

Indianapolis Colts

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    First-Round Pick: 1

    Key Visits:

    QB Andrew Luck (Stanford)

    The Indianapolis Colts will surely bring in other players to consider for the later rounds, but they will first make sure that Andrew Luck is exactly what they are looking for in a quarterback.

    Based on every other scouting report, there should be no issues in selecting the Stanford product No. 1 overall.

Jacksonville Jaguars

26 of 32

    First-Round Pick: 7

    Key Visits:

    DE Quinton Coples (UNC)

    CB Dre Kirkpatrick (Alabama)

    DE Whitney Mercilus (Illinois)

    Jacksonville could look towards a receiver with the seventh pick, but so far the team has brought in high-impact defensive players.

    Both Quinton Coples and Whitney Mercilus are athletic pass-rushers, while Dre Kirkpatrick is a strong cornerback that will be able to cover the big receivers in the NFL.

Tennessee Titans

27 of 32

    First-Round Pick: 20

    Key Visits:

    DE Bruce Irvin (West Virginia)

    CB Dre Kirkpatrick (Alabama)

    After missing out on the Peyton Manning sweepstakes, do not be surprised if the Tennessee Titans go for a well-known college player with name recognition to please the fans.

    Owner Bud Adams definitely likes makes a splash and getting attention.

Houston Texans

28 of 32

    First-Round Pick: 26

    Key Visits: None

    The Houston Texans have not set up any prospect visits yet, but they have been linked to a few receivers that could be available towards the end of the first round.

San Diego Chargers

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    First-Round Pick: 18

    Key Visits: None

    San Diego could look to someone who can stop the run on defense, either at linebacker or on the defensive line.

Kansas City Chiefs

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    First-Round Pick: 11

    Key Visits:

    CB Trumaine Johnson (Montana)

    DE Bruce Irvin (West Virginia)

    DT Michael Brockers (LSU)

    The Kansas City Chiefs are interestingly starting their visits with players on the defensive side of the football.

    After outscoring only the St. Louis Rams last season, the team must be hoping that players returning from injury will be enough to get the offense back on track.

Denver Broncos

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    First-Round Pick: 25

    Key Visits: None

    John Elway and company made the biggest splash this free agency by signing Peyton Manning.

    Now, the team must focus on fill its other voids with impact players through the draft.

Oakland Raiders

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    First-Round Pick: None

    Key Visits: None

    The Oakland Raiders will not be making selections until the third round, and that is only due to some compensatory picks.

    The new front office can now take its time and see where other players are visiting before bringing players in to the facilities.

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