Pick: Sheldon Richardson DT, Missouri
Analysis: All six Vikings losses in 2012 (seven if you count the playoffs) came against mobile quarterbacks. More athleticism and speed is desperately needed from the middle of their defense, and we are thrilled to see Richardson fall into our laps here. The guy is a constant presence that creates havoc at the line of scrimmage and will be the perfect successor to Kevin Williams moving forward. Very happy with this pick.
Pick: Damonte Moore LB/DE, Texas A&M
Analysis: The Colts need desperate help rushing the passer, as they are losing Dwight Freeney after 11 seasons, and they really only have two guys that can play OLB in Robert Mathis and Jerry Hughes. Moore would instantly step in and possibly get the Colts back to the days when Quarterbacks had to fear both sides of the pass rush.
Pick: Kawann Short DT, Purdue
Analysis: Tank was a consideration here, but I chose to go with a guy who can play day one. Short will replace free agent Alan Branch as the starting 3-tech DT. He is the type of run stuffer that the Seahawks like at the spot, and will also upgrade the inside pass rush on 1-2 downs since he’s better in that regard than the player he’s replacing. The knock on Short is that he takes plays off, but that shouldn’t be a problem in Seattle since he’ll be taken off the field in obvious passing situations.
Pick: Eddie Lacy RB, Alabama
Analysis: This pick goes against form in a couple ways. The Packers haven’t taken a running back this high since taking Brandon Jackson in the second round in 2007. Some people don’t think there’s a running back with a first-round grade. I think Lacy is another Trent Richardson and this pick does stay true to form in that GM Ted Thompson is always unpredictable. The Packers need an every-down guy that can move the pile and Lacy would be a nice complement to Aaron Rodgers.
Pick: Keenan Alen WR, CAL
Analysis: I really, really wanted to take Jesse Williams or Brandon Williams with this pick, because Shaun Cody is a waste of DNA, but I simply can’t pass up Keenan Allen. With DeVier Posey’s Achilles injury and Kevin Walter’s having not yet invented a transmogrifier to turn him into something better than Kevin Walter, the need for a second WR opposite Andre Johnson is high. Allen appears to be the second coming of Anquan Boldin with his combination of size/strength and willingness to play over the middle. This should open things up for Andre Johnson, and, with any luck, one of the remaining DTs will be available later in the second round.
Pick: Brandon Williams, DT, Missouri Southern State
Analysis: I was tempted to select CB Johnthan Banks, who could be the answer for covering Tight Ends, a position that has taken advantage of the Broncos. However, if the QB doesn’t have time to throw, receivers are rendered useless. Brandon Williams is the impact player that will clog the middle, take up blockers and allow the Elvis Dumervil/Von Miller tandem to wreak havoc in opposing backfields as well as collapsing the middle of the pocket.
Pick: Deandre Hopkins WR, Clemson
Analysis: While Datone Jones (DL, UCLA) and his versatile defensive line play would be awfully tempting for the Patriots here, the off-season addition of former CFL star Armond Armstead allows them to be patient with the defensive line and take the top receiver on the their board. Johnthan Banks (CB, Miss. State) could also be an option, but there is a glut of talented cornerbacks that should be available at the 59th pick. Hopkins has the ability to separate down the field and the consistent hands needed to build Tom Brady’s trust. He runs precise routes and competes for every ball thrown his way. If the Patriots wait on receiver, Aaron Dobson (WR, Marshall) would be a target in the 2nd or 3rd round.
Pick: Margus Hunt DE, SMU
Analysis: With the top tight end and running back off the board, the Falcons elect to take Margus Hunt, a physical freak who looks and plays similar to Houston’s J.J. Watt. The biggest concern is Hunt’s age, as he’ll be 26 by the time the season starts. However, the Falcons’ release of star defensive end John Abraham suggests the team may go to a 3-4 defense, and players such as Pittsburgh’s Brett Keisel have succeeded at the 3-4 DE position despite being older (He’s 34). That, combined with the relative lack of football wear and tear on Hunt’s body, are why he’s a good fit for the Falcons in spite of his age.
Pick: Datone Jones DE, UCLA
Analysis: While the Niners are likely to be looking to fill only one starting spot through the draft with the likely departure of FS Dashon Goldson, the value with Jones here was too much to pass up. The defense took a major step back once DE Justin Smith sustained a shoulder injury. Jones has prototypical size and strength to provide depth to a line that rarely took a rest in 2012 and be the the heir apparent once the aging Smith retires. Others considered: CB Xavier Rhodes, FSU; S Jonathan Cyprien, FIU; DT Jesse Williams, Alabama.
Pick: Alec Ogletree LB, Georgia
Analysis: The Ravens have a hole to fill at ILB thanks to the departure of Ray Lewis and the impending free agency of Dannell Ellerbe(who seems to be pricing himself out of the Ravens range). Ogletree is a top 15 talent who is still on the board thanks to some off field trouble, but the Ravens have never been afraid to gamble on big talent with big problems before so they wont hesitate to take him.
Blogger: Tynan Pattrick