1. Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
When healthy, Peyton Manning is still arguably the best quarterback in the game, but with his age and health concerns the Colts don’t have a choice: they have to take Luck. However, its almost a lose-lose situation for the Colts, because if they take Luck everybody will be saying they’re disrespecting Peyton Manning after he put that team on his back for more than a decade. But if they don’t draft Luck, then they are saying they don’t care about the future of their franchise.
2. St. Louis Rams
Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma St.
After a solid rookie year Sam Bradford took a step back this year, and that it was in part due to the lack of talent he had had the WR position. They did trade for Brandon Lloyd on the middle of season, but Lloyd isn’t the type of guy that’s going to single handedly win games. But Blackmon is. St. Louis has to draft Blackmon and give their franchise QB some weapons. With Blackmon and Lloyd on the outside and Stephen Jackson in the backfield, this could be an offense that could be productive in 2012.
3. Minnesota Vikings
Matt Kalil, OT, USC
I think the Vikings still have some confidence in Christian Ponder, so I don’t think they’ll take RG3 with this pick. But they’ll definitely want to keep Ponder off the ground, and Kalil should provide great protection and give Ponder to find the open receiver.
4. Cleveland Browns
Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
With the likelihood of Peyton Hillis not returning, the Browns will be looking to solidify they’re running game. It’s too early in Colt McCoy’s career to give up on him by drafting RG3. Richardson should also be able to take some pressure off of McCoy if he can manage to eat up 25-30 carries a game. And he can also help out in the passing game.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
With Ronde Barber getting close to the end of his career and a swirl of legal trouble surrounding Aqib Talib, the Bucs could use a stud like Claiborne to bring certainty to the Cornerback position. Some say he’s an even better corner than his former teammate, Pratrick Peterson. Claiborne is a guy that lockdown opposing receivers and eliminate them from the game.
6. Washington Redskins
Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
The Redskins have to find a franchise QB, because Rex Grossman and John Beck just simply aren’t the answer. Griffin is a guy that could come in and start right a way. By his second year I could see him turning the Skins into a playoff team. They need to surround with a few more weapons, but RG3 is definitely a guy that could the QB carousel in Washington.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars
Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina
After the combine I think Jeffery will prove that he is one of the three best receivers in the draft. And the Jags are desperate need of someone who can help out Blaine Gabbert and they’re inept passing game. Jeffery is a guy that can go up and out leap anybody for the ball. He doesn’t require a great pass in order to make a catch, and with Gabbert at QB he might not be seeing a lot of great passes, so he should fit right in.
8. Carolina Panthers
Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
With Gamble the only corner on the roster who’s talented enough to be starting on Sundays, I think the Panthers almost have to draft a corner with this pick. They could definitely use a linebacker to replace Thomas Davis, but they’ll still be able to find a solid linebacker in the second round or in free agency. And if Brandon Hogan can develop into a decent Nickel corner, then Carolina could go from being one of the worst secondarys to one of the best in just a season.
9. Miami Dolphins
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
I highly doubt the Dolphins are going to go into next season assuming that Matt Moore is going to be their starting QB. As Carolina fans know, Moore has a knack for playing well when his team has no shot the playoffs, but when he’s thrown in has the week 1 starter his skills start diminish. There were a couple qb’s last year that were drafted earlier than most people thought would be due to some teams needs for a franchise QB (like Ponder and Locker). I see that happening again this year and I believe Tannehill will be the beneficiary of that.
10. Buffalo Bills
Courtney Upshaw, LB, Alabama
The Bills are in need of a better pass rush and Upshaw is regarded as one of the best pass-rushing linebackers in this draft. I could also see them drafting Quinton Coples if he falls this far. The bills didn’t have a single player last season who had more than 5.5 sacks, so Upshaw should be able to make an impact with his presence by week 1.