I have finally found myself a little spare time...at 3:30 EST, I'm not tired, so I decided to hop on and write a little article for you all. The first pick of the draft is sealed. The second pick of the draft is sealed. The third pick of the draft is likely sealed. I'm going to go over the needs of the teams #4-#7, and will go explain who I think will be selected before us. Enjoy!
1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck QB Stanford
- This pick is sealed. The Colts cut Peyton Manning earlier in the week, and also cut Curtis Painter a couple days ago. With the #1 pick, the Colts can select any player in the draft. Who better then the best quarterback prospect to enter the draft since Peyton Manning? Nobody, so why not replace an aging legend with a young and upcoming elite quarterback, one of similar skill. Andrew Luck is undoubtedly the choice.
2. Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III QB Baylor
- The Redskins have needs at quarterback, receiver, and offensive line. They are rumored to still be in the hunt for Peyton Manning, although they are definitely going to draft Robert Griffin III. He is another quarterback who has the potential to be great, he's not a traditional Quarterback, but he is in the mold of Michael Vick. Now, getting your franchise quarterback is a smart move, but surrendering three first round pick, isn't a very smart move. As now the Redskins won't be able to put very good weapons around their QB. The Redskins have $36.5 Million of free cap space to do whatever they want with, if they don't land Peyton, they have more then enough to lure some weapons. I'd say sign Carl Nicks and Vincent Jackson.
3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil OT USC
- The Vikings have needs at Left Tackle, Cornerback, Wide Receiver, Safety, and Guard. The Best Available Player right now would be Matt Kalil. Christian Ponder is the Vikings' "Franchise Quarterback", yet he suffered two concussions this past season. That's never a great way to start a career. Charlie Johnson was playing Left Tackle, but he doesn't have the athleticism to block some of the elite defensive ends in the NFL. Upgrading this issue, would kill two birds with one stone. Many people across the internet believe that that Charlie Johnson can slide inside and do an admirable job. As I have stated above, guard is a need.
4. Cleveland Browns: Justin Blackmon WR Oklahoma State
- The Browns attempted to trade up to the #2 selection, last minute, but failed to do so, as the Rams made the trade with Washington. They can reach for Ryan Tannehill here, or try selecting him with their #22 selection in the draft. Either way, he's not ready to start in the NFL, and they still have Colt McCoy, who is only 25 and in his sophomore season had a 14:11 touchdown ratio, with a 57.2 completion percentage, and a 74.6 QB rating. In Cleveland, he doesn't have that many weapons to work with. Their leading receiver was rookie Greg Little as he had 709 yards and 2 Touchdowns. His biggest weapon, Peyton Hillis, had an injury plauged season, and failed to be a consistent force on the field. In comes Justin Blackmon, to start across from Greg Little. He is arguably the top receiver prospect in the draft. He is a force on the field, and may finally bring the Browns a consistent weapon. He probably won't have an A.J. Green type of season, but should have one similar to Greg Little in his first year. If these two receivers can develop correctly they can both be weapons for a long time, for the Browns Offense.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne CB LSU
- Ronde Barber is close to retirement, as he'll be 37 next month. He's still effective and hasn't missed a game since 1999, but his time in the NFL is coming to a close. Across from him, there is Aqib Talib who, may be going to prison. He has had many legal issues, and even if he doesn't go to jail, I'm not sure the Bucs would even want him back. They can go a multiple ways with this, as they have multiple needs at cornerback, linebacker, offensive tackle, and receiver. I would still go cornerback though, as Claiborne is a top prospect, and is my #2 prospect in this draft. He has loads of talent, and has elite skill.
6. St. Louis Rams: Riley Reiff OT Iowa
- The Rams have multiple needs at receiver, the O-Line, linebacker, safety, and cornerback. With no prospects at safety worth of a top 10 pick, and a linebacker being selected within the top 10 is considered a reach. Plus the top prospect at cornerback being off the board. Their best option is to address the Offensive Line need. Jason Smith and Rodger Saffold are supposed to be anchoring the line yet they have given up a combined 21 sacks and 86 pressures the past two seasons. Saffold was originally drafted to play Right Tackle, but Jason Smith has been regarded as a bust after being select 2nd overall in the 2009 draft. Due to his failure at left tackle, Saffold was slid across the line, and regressed badly after a successful 2010 rookie campaign. The selection of Riley Reiff can finally let Saffold slide back to Right Tackle and reap the Rams of Jason Smith. He's an athletic, smart, versatile, and well-sized lineman who is a good run blocker and pass blocker. He can turn into a top 10 tackle, and will keep Bradford from getting hit as much.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: ? ? ?
- Barring trade, the remaining top prospects are(not in any specific order)
- Trent Richardson RB Alabama
- David DeCastro OG Stanford
- Luke Kuechly ILB Boston College
- Quinton Coples DE North Carolina
- Dre Kirkpatrick CB Alabama
- Cordy Glenn OG Georgia
- Melvin Ingram DE/OLB South Carolina
- Michael Floyd WR Notre Dame
- Janoris Jenkins CB North Alabama
- Stephen Hill WR Georgia Tech
- Kendall Wright WR Baylor
- Courtney Upshaw DE/OLB Alabama
- Nick Perry DE/OLB USC
- Jonathan Martin OT Stanford
The Jaguars most glaring needs are Wide Receiver, Defensive End, Cornerback, and Offensive Line.
Wide Receiver: The Jaguars don't have a #1 receiver, and also seem to lack a legitimate #2 receiver. We all thought Mike Thomas was the #2, and would be so for a while, but he was really struggling this season, and for some odd reason got rewarded with a 3 year $18 Million contract, and then he slacked off even more. Some think he doesn't like Gabbert, and some think he's lazy. In my opinion, he's at best a slot receiver and is being overpayed. He is owed $3.5 million in a roster bonus this offseason, and I would gladly cut him if I was Gene Smith. Behind him, we have Jarrett Dillard, who is a solid #4/5 option, Chastin West, a #5/6 option at best. Kassim Osgood, a good run blocker, but bad receiver. He is a special teams ace, which makes him valuable. There is Taylor Price, a deep threat who was acquired off waivers mid-season, and there is Cecil Shorts III, the training camp hero. John Oesher was calling him "The best receiver on the Jaguars Roster". He played in 10 games, and recorded two receptions......The majority of this receiving core must be cleansed. Most likely the need will be fixed through free agency, but I'd expect 1 or 2 receivers to be added via the draft, I highly doubt it's the first round, as there are no receivers even worthy of a top 10 pick in my opinion. If it had to be a receiver, my top choice would be Michael Floyd, then Stephen Hill, then Kendall Wright.
Defensive End: The Jaguars have both their starting defensive ends entering free agency on Tuesday. Jeremy Mincey recorded eight sacks this past season, 5 of them coming against the 2-14 Colts. He did get consistent pressure all year long, but I don't think he's worth whatever he's asking for. He'll likely leave Jacksonville via free agency, and will only return to claim his belongings, sell his property, and play against us. Across from him, was Matt Roth who suffered two concussions and missed 7 games. He only recorded 3.5 sacks, and is likely not a top priority, and I doubt will be back. Behind him, is the injury-scarred Aaron Kampman, whose best days are behind him, as he has had two ACL tears the past two seasons, one in each knee. He will likely be brought into training camp, and will be tested. If he still shows some of his talent, he will remain on the roster, and can win a starting spot. He's a mentor to the younger guys, but cutting him will save some cap room. Behind him is Austen Lane, who was over-hyped during training camp only to disappoint during the actual season. John Chick will also be back, he's coming off IR, and was a consistent pass rusher rotating in on passing downs. Then there's Aaron Morgan also coming off IR. I believe this position will be addressed this offseason via free agency and the draft. I believe that our 1st round pick, will be a defensive end, and I hope its Colpes, but I for some reason, feel that it'll be Ingram that Gene selects. Nick Perry and Courtney Upshaw are also options.
Cornerback: The Jaguars have Derek Cox, who thinks he can become a lockdown corner. I believe he is a pretty good corner, but some feel otherwise. Across the field, is Rashean Mathis who was recently signed to a one year contract extension. He wants to stay in Jacksonville, and the signing was a way to do that, but not commit to a long-term deal. Mathis recently tore his ACL in November, so if he fails to have a successful season, he is most likely out of Jacksonville. If he is forced to move on from his hometown, the Jaguars will need to have a replacement. A young and talented corner like Dre Kirkpatrick or Janoris Jenkins can set the team up with solid, at the worst, corners for a long time, barring legal issues. In my opinion, the Jaguars should draft a cornerback in rounds 2-3, a replacement for Mathis whenever his time end here, and if Mathis doesn't rebound from his ACL, can come in and do a solid job in the secondary.
Offensive Tackle: Eugene Monroe will anchor the LT position for a long time. The RT position isn't set, as Eben Britton is injury prone, and was slid to Guard last season in attempt to keep Rackley off the field. Guy Whimper, who was recently re-signed to a 2 year contract, was horrible, and wasn't worthy of a resign. If anybody would be selected here at offensive tackle, it would be Jonathan Martin, as Reiff is off the board.