Here it is, my last chance to get anything right. Now let's have some fun!
1. The Panthers are not sold on Jimmy Clausen, and they do not have a second round pick to grab a QB later, so they take a gamble on Cam Newton and his huge upside. I don't like the pick, but it seems like a done deal.
2. It appears that Denver is in love with Von Miller, despite the fact that they are going to use him as a SAM Backer in a 4-3. This does not appear to be the greatest utilization of his talents, but they love his ability to be a dynamic 3 down linebacker.
3. Buffalo had their eyes on Von Miller, but the Broncos snatch him up at 2. The Buffalo Bills get a dynamite consolation prize in Marcel Dareus. He can play up and down the line in their 3-4 system, and is a solid building block.
4. Carson Palmer insists he will not play again for this team, and Mike Brown is as stubborn as a mule, so their is an impasse. This team does need a QB for the future, but taking one in the top 5, without a rookie wage scale in place could be disastrous if Palmer decides to un-retire after the draft. Bengals are also reportedly in love with Andy Dalton who can be had in rounds 2-3. Bengals make the right choice, and select the elite of the receiving class A.J. Green, who is a more natural receiver than Julio Jones.
5. I really thought that Blaine Gabbert would, and should be the pick here, however it seems that Arizona is going to do whatever it takes to bring in a veteran signal caller via Free Agency. The Cardinals take the top rated player in the entire draft, Patrick Peterson.
6. The Browns are a team that is closing to being competitive than most realize, so there are a lot of options available to them at this pick. But, at the end of the day, getting a blue chip pass rusher can fill more voids than any position, other than QB. Robert Quinn may not stack against the run well just yet, but he is an athletic freak who knows how to get to the quarterback.
7. The 49ers can't believe that Blaine Gabbert falls to them at #7, and have an easy choice when turning in their card. Harbaugh is not only a former QB himself, but he has tutored Andrew Luck at Stanford, and also had tried to recruit Gabbert to Stanford, before he decided on Mizzou. This is a perfect fit.
8. The Titans can find a lot of high value picks at this position, but the possibility of pairing the best interior pass rusher in the country with an already talented D-line is too much to pass up. Remeber that Nick Fairley's former defensive coach is now on the Titans staff, and will be lobbying for him.
9. Dallas needs help on the defensive line and their secondary had a disappointing season last year, but their O-line needs more attention. They need to be able to run the ball, and most importantly keep Tony Romo healthy. Jerry Jones is hoping Boom or Bust candidate Tyron Smith can help them do both.
10. Last year Santana Moss was the teams leading receiver, and this year he is a free agent. Even if they do retain his services, he turns 32 this year. Julio Jones is the the best available receiver, and has all the physical gifts a receiver could ask for.
11. The Texans pass defense was dead last and Kareem Jackson did nothing to prevent that. Despite needing help in the secondary, Wade Phillips is tempted to see if he can turn Aldon Smith in the next Demarcus Ware, but they go the safer route and get JJ Watt to line up across from Mario Williams as the other 5 Technique.
12. Despite the needs at QB and at DT, the Vikings can not pass up on the chance to get the best pass rusher in the country. Da'Quan Bowers led the NCAA with 15.5 sacks. Despite concerns over his knee, the risk reward here is worth the shot. This allows the team to let Ray Edwards walk in free agency.
13. The Lions can always be found at the corner of BPA and Needs. Tackle and Outside Linebacker are clearly needs as well as corner, but Prince Amukamara is their highest rated player at this point.
14. The Rams were hoping Julio Jones would fall to them, but he is gone. The Rams really need help in the middle of that defensive line, and Corey Liuget fills that role as a penetrating 3 technique.
15. Miami is an interesting pick here. Their situation tells you that they need a running back, quarterback, and Dline. I see the Fish attempting to move back a few slots, and still grab a quality player, but if they are stuck at 15, the buzz is that Mike Pouncey is the best value for this team.
16. The Jags are building a hard working blue collar team, and that continues with the selection of Purdue's DE Ryan Kerrigan. Kerrigan is an athletic player, but his greatest attribute is his passion for the game. He is the quintessential high-motor player that will produce at the next level. Some player comparisons that come to mind are Kyle Vanden Bosch, Jared Allen, and Aaron Kampfman.
17. The Patriots are unlikely to "stand pat" with this pick, as they are always trading back to grab a slew of those highly valuable 2s. But, if Belicheck uses the 17th pick, it has to be Anthony Costanzo, the local guy from BC. They love Mark Ingram, but the Pats don't pay players big money, and Matt Light is a free agent. They need to solidify Brady's blind side.
18. Cameron Jordan was talked about as a possible top 15 pick, but the versatile defensive end finds himself sliding down to 18, where the Chargers have to choose a 5 technique, and Cameron Jordan is the best available.
19. I see the G-men in a tough spot here, as most of their board has not gone the way they had hoped, so at this point they take the player that offers the greatest value, running back Mark Ingram. Mike Mayock pointed out that both Bradshaw and Jacobs are at the ends of the contracts, and Jacobs doesn't seem to want to be there anymore anyways.
20. I like what Raheem Morris is doing with the team, they are young and confident. Aldon Smith falls much further than most predicted, and the Bucs are glad to have a chance to take the athletic talent from Mizzou. The Bucs hope that the rumblings of "manufactured sacks" in college are merely speculation, and that Aldon Smith will not be dominated by more powerful linemen at the next level.
21. The Chiefs are a ground an pound team and that continues with the selection of the Wisconsin Mauler, Gabe Carimi. Carimi plays left tackle, but projects as a dominant potential pro bowl caliber right tackle. The Chief hit a home run on this selection.
22. With some of their other options gone at this point, the Colts decide to restock Peyton's protection plan, and draft Nate Solder. Solder needs to add more strength and work on his technique, but he is a very gifted tackle, that with some grooming could be a pro bowl caliber player.
23. Jimmy Smith is physically one of the most gifted cornerbacks in the entire country, but off the field concerns have been a big hit to his draft stock. Smith seems to be a player that will greatly benefit from a veteran locker room, and Philly has that. He provides them a press cover corner that has the speed to turn and run after the jam. He is a great compliment opposite Asante Samuel.
24. The former super bowl champs had some challenges last season, and they still played pretty well down the stretch. However, the Saints still need a pass rushing presence to help fuel Greg Williams attacking defense. Cameron Heyward, Iron Head's son, will be that pass rushing presence opposite of fellow Buckeye Alum Will Smith.
25. Everyone but Pete Carrol was surprised at the Seahawks post season arrival last year. It wasn't pretty, in fact it was pretty ugly, but someone had to win the west. This team certainly has a lot of needs, but they have to get some one opposite of Chris Clemons. Georgia defensive end Justin Houston is an explosive edge rusher, but his failed drug test drop him out of the 1st round. So the go with Jabal Sheard, DE out of Pitt.
26. The have needs that they will not be able to address at this spot in the first round, without making a major reach on a wideout like Torrey Smith or Titus Young. I feel those are both 2nd round or later prospects. The ravens are not going to give up on Sergio Kindle any time soon, but they don't know what they will get out of him at this point, and T-Sizzle is almost 10 years in the league. Getting a young pass rushing backer in Brooks Reed, presents too much value for Ozzie Newsome to pass up.
27. The Falcons are disappointed that all of the 1st round defensive ends are off the board at this point, and decide to go with the best TE prospect in the years draft class. An injury and team needs, not talent, have pushed Kyle Rudolph down the board. Tony Gonzalez is still playing at a high level, but he has mentioned playing 1-2 more years. They need to groom his eventual replacement, besides having a second dynamic tight end allows allot of freedom to a power running team.
28. The Patriots were tempted to pull the trigger on Mark Ingram earlier, but he is gone now, but with 6 picks in the first 92 selections, getting a solid back from a deep class will not be an issue. Belicheck always looks for smart, team first players, and Akeem Ayers fits that description. Akeem Ayers is a very fluid and athletic linebacker that can do everything as a 3 down backer, and plays faster than his 40 time. Ayers only knock, is that he is not a thumper and plays with a lot of finesse.
29. The Bears won the North, and made it to the championship game until they were knocked off by division rival Green Bay. They did this while boasting an aging and average offensive line. I think the Bears should start to rebuild their offensive line here. But instead they will continue to rely on their defense and find a replacement for departing Tommie Harris in Marvin Austin.
30. The Jets have an imposing defense that played very well, despite not having Kris Jenkins last year, but they could have been a lot better. Phil Taylor is the top rated "power pig" and looks like he could be a force at Nose in the 3-4. Injury concerns not withstanding, foot issues are always overblown in New York.
31. The Steelers always boast an elite defense, but some parts have a lot of mileage on them. Anyone who watched them in the post season saw that Polamalu just was not the same player. Maybe it was just him battling the injuries, or maybe it is that the wear and tear of his reckless play style catching up with him. Either way, the Steelers have hinted at their intrest in Aaron Williams out of Texas. Williams is typically rated as the 3 or 4th corner in this draft, but some evaluators like Mike Mayock have said he may be even better suited to play safety in this league. I really like Williams. He is a very fluid athlete with great ball skills and explosion. I think that whether he plays CB or S, that he will be a good player for a long time. He is my steal of the 1st round.
32. Congrats Packers, you brought Lombardi home. Now get back to work. Something that has been mentioned by many analysts is the value of both the 32 pick and the 33 pick, as one ends Day 1, and the other conversely begins Day 2. As pointed out on NFL network, the Patriots owning that first pick on Day 2, will force a lot of teams to try to move up with or ahead of the Patriots to get a player they feel they need. With a Trade, I see Jake Locker going here.
If the Pack keep the pick:
The pack are still a very good team, and have a great shot at a deep run again next year, but if they don't invest in their Oline, no chance. Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher are 34 and 33 respectively. Brian Bulaga is developing nicely, but he can't play left and right tackle. Derek Sherrod, left tackle from Mississippi State is a 1st round talent, and he does not get past the Pack. He may not be a day 1 starter, but he will be an integral part of this teams future.