With the scouting combine in full swing and the year's upcoming prospects working on enhancing their draft statuses, it seems like a good time to evaluate possibilities of where team might look in the first round. It is difficult to predict trades and what may change before draft date so this is just a rough idea of what direction I think every team would do if they were looking to stay at their current postion in the draft:
1.) St. Louis Rams- Sam Bradford, QB Oklahoma- Although the current thought process is that the Rams will look at one of the two dominant DTs pegged at the top of multiple Big Boards it seems more likely that Bradford will get more and more consideration as the draft approaches. Without a steady option at the position right now and with the unsuccessful history the Rams have drafting defensive lineman this pick will seem academic to Steve Spagnuolo when April arrives.
2.) Detroit Lions- Gerald McCoy, DT Oklahoma- With Bradford going to the Rams the Lions would find themselves in a postion to choose either one of the two highly rated DTs at the top of the board. I think the Lions will go with McCoy since he is the more complete player and has shown more consistency in his college career. He should also give Jim Schwartz the dominant DT he hasn't had since working with Albert Haynesworth in his tenure with the Titans.
3.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Ndamukong Suh, DT Nebraska- Although this may not be the biggest need for the Bucs Suh's value would be too much for them to pass up at number three. He may not be the prototypical tackle for the defensive system Tampa Bay runs but the physical gifts he possess could make him a playmaker wherever he ends up.
4.) Washington Redskins- Jimmy Clausen, QB Notre Dame- I think this could be the surprise pick of the draft. The Redskins may entertain offers for anyone looking to move up to select the ND product but I think Mike Shanahan would like to turn over a new leaf in Washington and bring in his own man to lead the team. Clausen is NFL ready and could flourish under Shanahan's guidance.
5.) Kansas City Chiefs- Eric Berry, S Tennessee- Many are arguing that Berry may not be a top 5 talent but then again few defensive backs carry the same features as Berry. His abilities to make plays on the ball in the air and read the pass could make him a valued asset in new coordiantor Romeo Crennel's defense.
6.) Seattle Seahawks- Russell Okung, OT Oklahoma State- With both QBs off the board the Seahawks are left with their choice of tackles. With the retirement of Walter Jones, Okung should be able to step in and immediately fill the position left by the former Pro Bowler.
7.) Cleveland Browns- Joe Haden, CB Florida- An easy choice for the Browns who could use an upgrade at corner to help slow down the QB tandem of Palmer, Roethlisberger and Flacco the AFC North brings.
8.) Oakland Raiders- Jason Pierre-Paul, DE South Florida- The perfect risk-reward type player that Al Davis has been accustomed to selecting over recent years. Pierre-Paul has an explosive first step and the speed to be an elite playmaker but has shown maturity issues and only has one year of solid results at the college level and could be a project.
9.) Buffalo Bills- Anthony Davis, OT Rutgers- The sudden retirement of OL Brad Butler all but forces the Bills to look for help on their offensive line. Davis could step in and immediately become the bookend left tackle the Bills have lacked since parting ways with Jason Peters.
10.) Jacksonville Jaguars- Carlos Dunlap, DE Florida- The Jaguars have yet to receive consistency from former high draft picks Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves so they will likely be once again in the market for a solid pass rusher. Although Derrick Morgan is more highly rated the Jaguars may take a shot on the talented Dunlap and hope he can overcome his recurring maturity issues.
11.) Denver Broncos- Dez Bryant, WR Oklahoma State- With the uncertainty of star WR Brandon Marshall up in the air the Broncos may look to take this year's highest rated receiver and be ensured at the position in case Marshall's days run out.
12.) Miami Dolphins- Dan Williams, NT Tennessee- With Bryant gone the Dolphins first round interest will turn towards defense. This may be slightly high with Williams' current value but Jason Ferguson's best days are behind him and Miami would be well advised to find a replacement.
13.) San Francisco 49ers- Rolando McClain, ILB Alabama- The Niners have the luxury of two first round picks and may find a talent like McClain too good to pass up. With Takeo Spikes aging McClain could come in and form perhaps the most formidable pair of 3-4 ILBs the league has seen in a long time with Patrick Willis.
14.) Seattle Seahawks- Derrick Morgan, DE Georgia Tech- Although they have more significant needs Morgan's value may be too much to pass on here and could help a pass rush that is starting to fall off wiht the aging of Patrick Kerney.
15.) New York Giants- Earl Thomas, CB/S Texas- With new coordinator Perry Fewell taking over the defense, there may be a shift to the Tampa 2 defense. So the G-Men could be looking for extra secondary help to improve their coverage schemes.
16.) San Francisco 49ers- Brian Bulaga, OT Iowa- With their second selection the 49ers will still have a selection of 3 of the top tackles remaining and Bulaga, a possible top 10 talent would be too much of a steal here to pass up.
17.) Tennessee Titans- Everson Griffen, DE USC- With Jevon Kearse past his prime and Kyle Vanden Bosch on the free agen market the Titans will be in postion to look for pass rush help this offseason. The Titans may be willing to take a chance on Griffen who is projecting as either a 4-3 end or a 3-4 OLB, but is a gamble due to the uncertainty of how consistent he could be.
18.) Pittsburgh Steelers- Maurkice Pouncey, C Florida- Possibly a reach here but the Steelers badly need to improve the inside of their line to help protect Big Ben and soldify their inside running game in the physical AFC North.
19.) Atlanta Falcons- Dominique Franks, CB Oklahoma- The Falcons may be tempted to take a defensive end here but the secondary was their major defensive weakness last season and Franks could give them an upgrade in a division that features Drew Brees.
20.) Houston Texans- C.J Spiller, RB Clemson- The dream scenario for Houston this would be. If Spiller slips past the Seahawks (who are rumored to be looking at FA runningbacks at the time) he could fall all the way down to Houston who currently does not have an established starter for the upcoming season.
21.) Cincinatti Bengals- Taylor Mays, S USC- Pretty much an ideal fit here. The Bengals have a reputation of taking gambles on players whose on the field talent is questioned by some off the field incidents. Mays has the talent to play like a top pick and could team Cincinatti's other young guns in the secondary and become one of the NFL's most dangerous units.
22.) New England Patriots- Brandon Graham, DE Michigan- Has the talent to develop into a star pass rusher at OLB in Bill Belichick's defensive scheme as long as his abilities at that position check out before the draft. If not the Pats may look at Sergio Kindle to fill this need.
23.) Green Bay Packers- Trent Williams, OT Oklahoma- With both starting tackles facing free agency the Packers could add one of the top physical talents in this years class who could fill in at either tackle position.
24.) Philadelphia Eagles- Sergio Kindle, OLB Texas- The Eagles are solid on the D Line but lack playmakers at the LB position. Kindle has the ability to rush the passer as well as drop back in coverage.
25.) Baltimore Ravens- Golden Tate, WR Notre Dame- With Derrick Mason's future still unclear and the lack of playmakers the Ravens have for Joe Flacco in the passing game this pick is a given. Tate's size may be a hit to his value but his knack for creating big plays cannot be overlooked.
26.) Arizona Cardinals- Jerry Hughes, OLB TCU- After losing Bertrand Berry to free agency the Cards could be looking for a replacement. Hughes is a stretch here but fits into Arizona's system and is coming off a strong combine performance.
27.) Dallas Cowboys- Mike Iupati, G Idaho- With the uncertainty of depth at OL for Dallas the Cowboys may be looking for help. Iupati has been soaring up draft boards and could be a steal for the Cowboys here and has the potential to slide out to tackle.
28.) San Diego Chargers- Ryan Mathews, RB Fresno State- With LT released and Darren Sproles' future in question it seems obvious the Chargers are looking for a backfield overhaul. Mathews was one of the NCAA's top rushers for the bulldogs and gives the Chargers a back who they can feature for years to come.
29.) New York Jets- Damion Williams, WR USC- Although they acquired Braylon Edwards in the offseason their passing game was still a disaster and did little to help them go to the next level. Williams has played with Mark Sanchez before and gives the Jets a viable third option.
30.) Minnesota Vikings- Jonathan Dwyer, RB Georgia Tech- With Chester Taylor hitting the market and Adrian Petersen struggling to hold onto the football the Vikings may look to take Dwyer to insure their backfield. CB is the other strong possibility.
31.) Indianapolis Colts- Brian Price, DT UCLA- Although the Colts boost an impressive pass ruch from their ends, their interior linemen were not so impressive. The very underrated Price could be a gem here and help solidify the Colts rundefense.
32.) New Orleans Saints- Bruce Campbell, OT Maryland- Giving Dreww Brees a solid tackle to protect his blind side can only improve the already deadly Saints offense and propel them to a whole new level.