1. Kansas City Chiefs – OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M University
Reason: The Chiefs have done a solid job in rebuilding their team from the hiring of new head coach Andy Reid, acquiring quarterback Alex Smith from the San Francisco 49ers, and re-sign wide receiver Dwayne Bowe. With current left tackle Branden Albert currently on the trade block, protecting Smith's blindside becomes an immediate need.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars – DT Shariff Floyd, University of Florida
Reason: The Jaguars have hired former Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley as their new head coach. Based on Bradley's background and the Jaguars need for defensive line help, I believe that the Jaguars select the top defensive tackle in Floyd. Improving the interior of their defensive line should be a high priority.
3. Oakland Raiders – DT Star Lotulelei, University of Utah
Reason: With the departures of Richard Seymor, Tommy Kelly, and Desmond Bryant along the Raiders defensive line, an immediate need for help has become extremely critical. While Floyd would be a better fit for the Raiders scheme, Jaguars selecting him makes that difficult. As a result, Raiders select the versatile Lotulelei has the look to rebuild their defensive line under second year head coach Dennis Allen.
4. Philadelphia Eagles – OT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan University
Reason: With new exciting head coach Chip Kelly, the Eagles will look to pursue acquiring the necessary players to make this a dynamic offense. While Fisher lacks the sex appeal of a Chip Kelly type of player, the need to protect the quarterback is extremely important. There is very little separating Joeckel and Fisher in terms of talent so this becomes a great value pick for the Eagles.
5. Detroit Lions – CB Dee Milliner, University of Alabama
Reason: It seems like the Lions have needed to upgrade their secondary for many years now and have yet to find the right fit. Milliner is the obvious choice for top cornerback in this draft so this becomes a pick both based on need and value.
6. Cleveland Browns – DE/LB Dion Jordan, University of Oregon
Reason: With no glaring needs (a rarity for the Browns considering their history), they select the best player available in an effort to ensure roster depth. Following the mantra that a team can never have enough versatile and talented pass rushers, Browns select Jordan.
7. Arizona Cardinals – OT Lane Johnson, University of Oklahoma
Reason: The Cardinals have finally acquired someone that should be a starting quarterback as opposed to another team's third stringer starting for them with the acquisition of Carson Palmer. While he is no long term solution, the Cardinals have the luxury to select a player other than quarterback with this pick. After the laundry list of injuries to the offensive line last season, Cardinals need to protect Palmer.
8. Buffalo Bills – WR Cordarelle Patterson, University of Tennesse
Reason: While the Bills desperately need a quarterback, especially one who can compete with new acquisition Kevin Kolb, I believe the Bills will select new head coach Doug Marrone's former signal caller in Ryan Nassib in the second round. Patterson will help both top wide receiver Stevie Johnson and whomever is the starting quarterback.
9. New York Jets – DE/LB Ezekiel Ansah, Brigham Young University
Reason: The Jets have an immediate need for a pass rush specialist and Ansah is one of the best in this draft. In addition to his excellent size/speed combination, he brings the versatility and talent that will thrive under Ryan's defensive tutelage.
10. Tennessee Titans – S Kenny Vaccaro, University of Texas
Reason: The Titans are expected to address their defensive secondary early in the draft. Realizing the early success of safeties being selected early, Vaccaro will have the talent to play immediately and upgrading the Titans secondary.
11. San Diego Chargers – DE/LB Barkevious Mingo, Louisiana State University
Reason: With the expected departure of OLB Shaun Phillips and already losing Antwan Barnes, the Chargers will need to acquire pass rushing help. Mingo has the raw talent to succeed in the NFL and the opportunity to pair him with former first round pick Melvin Ingram might be hard to pass up. Another possibility is drafting an offensive lineman, another glaring hole on the team.
12. Miami Dolphins – CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida State University
Reason: The Dolphins lost former top cornerback Sean Smith earlier in the offseason and while they signed almost every top free agent, they did not find a suitable replacement for Smith. Rhodes is widely regarded as the second best cornerback prospect in this draft after Milliner.
13. New York Jets – OT/G DJ Fluker, University of Alabama
Reason: This selection is under the assumption that the Revis to Buccaneers deal is nearly finalized. The Jets have struggled on the offensive line mightily for past couple seasons, especially on the right side. They need to be able to protect either incumbent Mark Sanchez (or whomever else might win the starting job). The second of their first round selections helps fill an immediate need.
14. Carolina Panthers – DT Sheldon Richardson, University of Missouri
Reason: The Panthers struggled defending the run on their interior defensive line so they have to spend an early pick on upgrading the unit. Richardson has the talent to contribute right away to a rebuilding defense.
15. New Orleans Saints – DE/LB Jarvis Jones, University of Georgia
Reason: The Saints have the good fortunes of having a top five overall talent fall into their laps because of medical concerns. New defensive coordinator Rob Ryan will find creative and unique ways to maximize Jones' pass rushing skills.
16. St. Louis Rams – G Chance Warmack, University of Alabama
Reason: The Rams have to upgrade both their offensive line and wide receivers to ensure quarterback Sam Bradford's success. While Rams can easily select West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin here, I just believe that Warmack is too talented to pass up and will immediately help improve a porous line.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers – WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia University
Reason: The Steelers might not have the necessary cap room to retain wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders so they use this selection to find a talented compliment to returning wide receiver Antonio Brown. Roethlisberger will truly enjoy throwing to the elusive Austin.
18. Dallas Cowboys – G Jonathan Cooper, University of North Carolina
Reason: The Cowboys have made quarterback Tony Romo a very, very rich man. Now it is the time to ensure he has the protection give maximum return on that investment.
19. New York Giants – TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame University
Reason: The Giants have had a revolving door at tight end for past few seasons but addressing the position long term should be a priority. While not a position of greatest need, it is difficult to fathom GM Jerry Reese passing on the talented Eifert.
20. Chicago Bears – CB Desmond Trufant, University of Washington
Reason: With no immediate needs, the Bears have a luxurious position of drafting the best player available. Trufant will have the opportunity to develop at a comfortable place with the Bears before being a major contributor to the defense.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – OT Menelik Watson, Florida State Uni
Reason: With the strong possibility that right offensive tackle Andre Smith expected to leave, the Bengals will need to immediately fill the void. While this is a reach, Watson has the athleticism and talent to step in as starter for the competing Bengals.
22. St. Louis Rams – WR Keenan Allen, University of California
Reason: The Rams will need to upgrade the weapons around Bradford and the opportunity to select Allen with the second of their first round picks will provide good value. Allen has the elusiveness that will allow him to become a dangerous weapon for the Rams offense.
23. Minnesota Vikings – DT Sylvester Williams, University of North Carolina
Reason: The Vikings need to get younger along the defensive line. Williams has the measurables and has been compared to Kevin Williams –luck should have that the elder Williams can become a mentor to the younger Williams.
24. Indianapolis Colts – DE Margus Hunt, Southern Methodist University
Reason: The Colts will be in search of upgrading their defensive line, especially at the 3-4 defensive end. Hunt has been considered a first round sleeper and the Colts will surely look diligently into Hunt.
25. Minnesota Vikings – LB Kevin Minter, Louisiana State University
Reason: The Vikings previously selected a defensive tackle and will look to upgrade their linebacker position. Selecting Minter will help continue to rebuilding defense and serve as an additional building block for years to come.
26. Green Bay Packers – DE Datone Jones, University of California-Los Angeles
Reason: The Packers have no glaring weaknesses upon review of their roster so they should be in a position to select the best player available. Jones has the talent and versatility to be an early contributor for the Packers.
27. Houston Texans – WR DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson University
Reason: The Texans need to strongly consider upgrading their wide receivers behind Andre Johnson. As Johnson continues to get older, the need to find a legitimate compliment becomes more critical.
28. Denver Broncos – DE Bjoern Werner, Florida State University
Reason: The Broncos lost an elite pass rusher in Elvis Dumervil after a contract fiasco so the Broncos should pursue a replacement. Werner was widely considered an early favorite for a top seven selection but with schematic and injury concerns, he will fall to later in the first round.
29. New England Patriots – S Matt Elam, University of Florida
Reason: While the Patriots have signed Adrian Wilson to play strong safety alongside free safety Devin McCourty, the Patriots should look to select a young safety to develop long-term.
30. Atlanta Falcons – CB Jamar Taylor, Boise State University
Reason: With the departure of cornerbacks Brent Grimes and Dunta Robinson, the Falcons will need to address the position early in the draft. In addition to being one of the top cornerbacks in this draft class, Taylor is also an excellent fit into Mike Nolan's defensive scheme.
31. San Francisco 49ers – S Eric Reid, Louisiana State University
Reason: It is extremely difficult to project what the 49ers will do with this selection because they have several top 100 selections. I believe if they keep this pick, they could look to select a safety after the loss of Dashon Goldson.
32. Baltimore Ravens – WR Justin Hunter, University of Tennessee
Reason: The Ravens lost an excellent passing target in Anquan Boldin during the offseason because of salary cap issues after re-signing franchise quarterback Joe Flacco. As a result, the need to acquire a red zone target for Flacco becomes extremely important and having someone as talented as Hunter falling to them makes this an ideal selection.