Archive for March, 2013

The Buffalo Bills hold the 8th overall selection in this years draft, but despite the high pick Buffalo could find all 3 top LT prospects off the board by the time they get their chance at the podium. Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher may be gone in the 1st two picks. The Eagles (4) and Lions (5) could also target a LT if either of the top two fall and it seems almost assured that the Cardinals will use their 7th overall pick on a LT expected to be Lane Johnson.

Now, LT may not be the biggest need for the Bills, but it would certainly be a nice boost to add a strong blindside protector, allowing last year’s second round pick Cordy Glenn to slide to the right side. This not only allows the team to bolster a line that lost a key player in guard Andy Levitre to free agency, but also frees up the team’s first round pick to be used on the QB of their choice.

I know, Bills fans are reluctant to go after a QB in the first, but if after going through work outs with the top prospects, there is a clear winner then it is worth the pick. While many have questioned the talent available in this year’s draft the popular theory seems to be that QB needy teams will pounce early in the 2nd round. In the second the Bills will be picking behind the Jaguars, Cardinals, and Jets who are all be looking to add a signal caller, but are unlikely to spend a first round selection on one.

Now it’s true the Bills could just trade back up into the bottom of the first to grab a QB, but this is a class with some depth, so being able to get your first choice for a franchise QB and add a solid young LT with the first two picks while maintaining a hold on later picks to add depth to the roster could turn what has been a rough offseason into Buffalo into a positive step forward for the franchise’s future.

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Chiefs select G Chance Warmack:

Well, turns out the Chiefs were higher on Albert than I gave them credit for. He’s been franchised for 2013 and they’re still trying to hammer out a long term deal with him, which puts Joeckel and Fisher out of the running. Warmack is considered one of the best prospects in this draft (regardless of position) and the Chiefs could use the upgrade on the inside.

Jaguars select CB Dee Milliner:

I know, I shout about how the Jag need a LT and then as soon as people start to agree I change my mind. This pick could still go to the line, but Eugene Monroe held his own at LT last year and the Jags have cleaned out the secondary since my first posting. Milliner provides a fit for Gus Bradley’s scheme and gives them a solid building block for the defense regardless of the front.

Raiders select DL Shariff Floyd

I stand by the Raiders taking Floyd, though if Milliner is available I think he’s a consideration. If Floyd goes to the Chiefs as some suspect this pick likely goes to Dion Jordan or Jarvis Jones.

Eagles select OLB Dion Jordan

This might make too much sense and with King Dunlap signing with San Diego, athletic Tackle Eric Fisher is a possibility here, but I still like Jordan’s skill set and knowledge of Kelly’s defense to put him over the top.

Lions select LT Luke Joeckel

I don’t think Joeckel is the first choice necessarily, but with Jeff Backus retired, Joeckel pairs well with last years top pick Riley Reiff keeping big money QB Matt Stafford safe.

Browns select QB Geno Smith

The Browns don’t want Brandon Weeden, and while he’ll likely stay with the team through 2013, I don’t expect him to make it to a third year with the Browns. Smith has the arm to excel in Norv Turner’s offense and the type of speed that Head Coach Rob Chudinski will covet. I also expect the Browns to make a run at recently released WR Brandon Lloyd.

Cardinals select LT Eric Fisher

The Cardinals need to upgrade the offensive line, and they’ll take the best tackle here whether it’s Fisher, Joeckel or Johnson. I don’t buy Geno Smith here. Hoyer and Stanton are both back-ups who never got a fair shake as starters, so maybe they’ll surprise us, more likely though, I don’t think the Cards will see enough separation between Smith and the next few guys and will take their chance in the second or third round.

Bills select G Johnathan Cooper:

Andy Levitre leaves a hole in the Bills line, and I think they make plugging it a top priority here. Cooper can come in and play at a high level immediately which will allow the Bills to continue to get maximum production out of Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller.

Jets select WR Robert Woods:

The Jets have a lot of needs on defense and if they go that way I like Kenny Vacarro as a versatile safety who can help in run and pass (as well as soften the blow of a Revis departure.) But first I think the Jets need to upgrade their offensive weaponry. Woods may not be the fastest WR on the board, but he has good natural hands and will excel at running the intermediate routes necessary in new OC Marty Morningweg’s West Coast offense. The same can’t be said of last year’s 2nd round pick Stephen Hill or even of the Jets current number 1 receiver Santonio Holmes. If the Jets expect Sanchez to improve, they need to give him someone to throw to. Cordarelle Patterson (who went at #6 in my last draft) isn’t vas polished running routes, and trends too similar to Hill’s skill set. Similarly, Tavon Austin (who went at #8 in my last draft) has a skill set similar to Jeremy Kerley.

Titans select S Kenny Vaccaro

If the Jets do pass on Vaccoro, he won’t fall far proving a significant upgrade to the Titans secondary which sorely missed CB Cortland Finnegan (who followed Jeff Fisher to the Rams) last year.

The Alex Smith trade has really boosted the buzz surrounding the Chiefs and more specifically what they may do with the number 1 overall pick. As it stands now Branden Albert is in talks with the team and seems interested in staying (so long as he stays at LT) assuming a deal gets done, Luke Joeckel is out of the equation with the top pick. The Chiefs other top free agent is Dwayne Bowe, who still has one more day to be slapped with the franchise tag for the second year in a row. Bowe wasn’t pleased to get the tag last year and I doubt he will be this year, but as far as I know, talks on a long term deal aren’t going anywhere. Seems like Bowe wants out and if KC had another option they’d let him walk, or at least test free agency.

This would leave WR as a pretty big weakness for the Chiefs, but Andy Reid put together some of his best seasons in Philly with questionable talent at receiver (remember Hank Baskett?) Still, they’ll need someone to line up opposite Jon Baldwin and Cordarelle Patterson could make sense. He’s an explosive playmaker, who can contribute in the return game. (who’s similar in build and playing style to boy per cbssports.com’s scouting report) He’s still raw after only 1 year playing at Tennessee, and though he’s often listed as the best receiver available, he’s generally considered a low end top 10 overall prospect. It’s not the ideal situation for KC, but it could free up cap space and allow the Chiefs to add one of the free agent cornerbacks (which could eventually include current Eagle Nnamdi Asomougha) to pair with Brandon Flowers, and maybe add a few of Alex Smith’s old teammates with WR Ted Ginn and DE/DT Ricky-Jean Francios who are both set to become free agents and may not be retained by San Francisco.

Ideally, the Chiefs would like to trade the pick if they resign Albert, hopefully shop it to a team that’s needy along the O-Line, possible the Cardinals (7) or Dallas (18) who could both use their draft picks but might be willing to surrender a mid-rounder to move up and secure their line with the best prospect available rather tahn waiting to see who falls to them.