The NFL Draft is quietly sneaking up on us as it is now just over a week until Round 1 kicks off. I will leave the hardcore projecting to the Pros, but I will list each team’s needs and a few guys I like along with a few guys I do not like. If you want projections, browse around here. Starting at the top of the draft, we have:
St. Louis- Need just about everything except a running back.
Detroit- Anything defensively or maybe some interior linemen. Still need a lot.
Tampa Bay- Same boat as Detroit, but with a higher priority on defense.
Washington- Offensive lineman, or maybe a WR, though OL seems more likely and wise.
KC- Lineman or defensive back. Lots of people like Eric Berry here.
Seattle- Could use a new WR if they don’t go for Brandon Marshall. Some say QB, I say no.
Cleveland- Not picky, could use more defense or offensive line though, as most bad teams could.
Oakland- Need fast, but untalented players. Oh, wait, they have plenty. Special need for linemen, though are also not picky.
Buffalo- Need a QB, and could maybe use an OL or DL, though the best will be gone by now.
Jacksonville- Would like a DE add to their core, but a WR would be wise as well.
Chicago- OFFENSIVE LINE. If that fails, maybe some younger linebackers or anything back there to replenish an aging unit.
Miami- Could use an outside LB, maybe a guy in the secondary like Joe Haden.
SF- Depends on if the Alex Smith Project is over. Could really use a force on the interior.
Denver- If Marshall gets moved, a WR, if he stays, maybe just a run stuffer and maybe a corner. OL again always useful, but not as needed.
NYG- Needs in the secondary and possibly up front to help aging line.
Tennessee- Secondary depth needed, and a WR if easily available.
Carolina- Could use a foil to Steve Smith, but could also focus their efforts in replacing Julius Peppers up front.
Pittsburgh- With Santonio’s departure, could use a WR, though they could really use an offensive lineman who doesn’t let Big Ben get destroyed. Though evidently he will self-destruct on his own.
Atlanta- Could really still use help on defense.
Houston- Defense could use some addressing, though not too needy.
Cincinnati- Wide Receiver. I could definitely see a trade-up here.
New England- Defense. They need to get younger fast. Also have 3 2nd round picks so could move way up if they wanted.
Green Bay- Tackle. Keep Aaron Rodgers on his feet and reap the rewards.
Philadelphia- Maybe a Vick trade nets them another pick, but I could see the Eagles going secondary here, though not too needy.
Baltimore- Not often you say this about the Ravens, but defense. They need to cover better.
Arizona- QB, but not likely one they want here. Could use a safety or DB with Antrel Rolle’s departure.
Dallas- Maybe a younger offensive lineman to replace one of the old guys, and maybe a WR to add to the corps.
San Diego- A lot of change in SD. Could use a nose tackle, cornerback, running back, even a WR.
NYJ- Not many needs. Maybe a DT in case Kris Jenkins gets hurt again.
Minnesota- QB, but that is a different story.
Indianapolis- Defense would make sense, but so would offensive line.
New Orleans- Maybe a rushing DE to get more pressure?
If you feel I am wrong about your team, please let me know, that was done a bit hastily. Alright, time to do my best Todd McShay/Mel Kiper Jr. Impression. Scout time.
He has all the physical tools to be a great safety. he is 6’3″. 225 lbs and runs a 4.35 40 yard dash, I mean there is really little else you could want physically. However, he is injury-prone and doesn’t have the best coverage skills. He sounds like an Oakland Raider to me. I would really not be surprised at all to see him go at #8 to Oakland even though he is #27 on the Scouts Inc. Big Board. I will die laughing if they pick the fastest guy again.
Jimmy Clausen-QB-Notre Dame
It really depends on where he goes. Top 10 would be too high, but Round 2 would be far too late. Remember Chris Simms pre-ruptured spleen? Quality pro, capable of winning games, good leadership, nothing to unbelievable but very solid. That is how I see Clausen. He will not be a Pro-Bowler every year, but he will definitely help a team win. Very underrated is that he has been making the reads and throws the Pros make for 3 years, so the adjustment will be smaller, and he can definitely work under pressure since the Notre Dame offensive line helped him work on that by allowing rushers clean to the QB.
Golden Tate-WR-Notre Dame
I really like the man whose name demanded he go to Notre Dame. Think a cross between Steve Smith and Anquan Boldin for Tate. He is a real issue for DBs to tackle, is great after the catch, and is still really fast and works hard. Wide Receivers generally have a rough transition to the NFL, but I think he has what it takes to be an impact guy. I could definitely see him in Seattle or in Denver depending on which does not have Brandon Marshall.
I could definitely see this guy winning Defensive Rookie of the Year, even over Eric Berry, N’damujong Suh or Gerald McCoy. If he gets to play OLB in a 3-4 (basically a rush LB) he will put up very nice numbers. He should get taken in the first round, but if he lasts to the second, the Browns should jump on him as the OLB in their 3-4. He has a motor that just does not stop.
Got a player you would like our opinion on? I realize you probably do not, but if you do, comment with their name and I will add him to the list.