It’s on! Will I do as well as Gene Smith? Probably not. But what really matters is, will I do as well as the other Black and Teal writers? Follow the jump to find out!
1. Carolina Panthers – Cam Newton – QB – As much as I don’t think this guy is good enough to go number one, I think that the Panthers need a new face for the franchise, even if it’s a reach to take Newton with number one.
2. Denver Broncos – Patrick Peterson – CB – John Fox wants to start things right. Champ Bailey will eventually lose a step (hopefully not soon, he’s a pleasure to watch play), and his role may soon turn to mentor. The Broncos horrible defense must look to the future and know that they won’t always have Champ back there to cover the top receivers. Peterson is the best available player and may be the best player at his position for years and years to come. Denver can’t afford to let him slip past.
3. Buffalo Bills – Marcell Dareus – DE/DT – I don’t think the Bills have another choice. Unless Chan Gailey believes his defense is better than it is (it isn’t) and trades back in the first round to acquire more picks, this is the most logical choice for the Bills.
4. Cincinnati Bengals – Jake Locker – QB – Obviously the Bengals need a new quarterback. I’m not entirely sold on a lot of the quarterbacks in this draft, and the Bengals probably aren’t either. Fortunately, most of the Bengals decisions are only half-baked at best. I don’t think Locker is worth number four, but I think the Bengals may. He could be a very strong quarterback and I think he can learn their system rapidly.
5. Arizona Cardinals – Blaine Gabbert – QB – Yes, three quarterbacks in the top five (it’s a weird year here). Remember when the Cardinals were good? What piece of that puzzle left? Kurt Warner (and Boldin, but let’s not dwell). Fill that void and….
6. Cleveland Browns – A.J. Green – WR – Colt McCoy could really use a little help, don’t you think?
7. San Francisco Forty-Niners – Von Miller – Combining Miller and Patrick Willis could make the Niners defense straight up mean. With no quarterbacks even worth the top ten left on the board (and their unfathomable desire to keep the Smiths) San Fran will improve their defense with a man whose motor never stops.
8. Tennessee Titans – Nick Fairley – DT – A retooling of the defense is the only way the Titans will become competitive again. I think Kerry Collins still has some left in the tank, quarterback can wait a few rounds or even another year.
9. Dallas Cowboys – Prince Amakumara – CB – Did you watch a Dallas game last year? Yeah, that’s why.
10. Washington Redskins – Robert Quinn – DE – With Quinn still sitting on the board, the Redskins will pull the trigger. Quinn will immediately make an impact and will shore up the defense for years. Shanahan is getting a permanent fix with Quinn and can move toward fixing the offense in later rounds.
11. Houston Texans – J.J. Watt - DE – Houston pairs Watt with Mario Williams and the AFC South has troubles. I think this is the smart move with Quinn gone, and I think the Texans will know that they’re setting themselves up well with Watt.
12. Minnesota Vikings – Phil Taylor – DT – This is going to be a reach, but I think the Vikings (who I’ve watched fail for years and years and years) will follow the planet theory (over six feet over 300 lbs) and take Phil Taylor. The Williams Wall is going to be ending soon and without solid blockage in the middle of the defensive line, Jared Allen and co. can’t get it done. While not as sexy as Wilkerson or Liuget, Taylor is a logical need pick for the Vikes.
13. Detroit Lions – Anthony Castonzo – OT – Matt Stafford, meet your new best friend.
14. St. Louis Rams – Corey Liuget – DT – The St. Louis Rams could use help on the offensive side and may take Julio Jones with this pick. But I trust Sam Bradford to develop rapidly and become a good enough QB to handle pressure. Liuget will allow the Rams to be even more competitive on defense and keep the game close(r) for Bradford to win.
15. Miami Dolphins – Ricky Stanzi – QB – Chad Henne is not the answer in Miami. Period. Stanzi will allow the Dolphins offense to explode (I have a lot of faith in their receiving corps) or he will force Henne to become the quarterback the Dolphins thought he could be. Keep in mind that while Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown will be free agents (eventually) they will probably end up back with Miami, especially Williams who probably still hasn’t paid them back.
On the next page, find out who the Jaguars pick!