With so much emphasis being put on player conduct by the NFL it's likely that some of the top-ranked prospects with off-the-field issues may return to school in an effort to rehab their images and, in turn, their draft stock. So for the time being I won't include players such as Jameis Winston, Dorial Beckham-Green, Devonte Fields, Noah Spence or any of the like until the January 15 deadline approaches to declare for the draft.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars - Randy Gregory DE/OLB, Nebraska
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Blake Bortles, Marqise Lee, Allen Robinson, Storm Johnson
Teams Needs: DE/OLB/S/CB/RB/OG
If the Jags end up with the No. 1 overall pick, they'll auction it off to the highest bidder looking to draft Marcus Mariota. Now that the Jags have their QB, LT, and WR corps of the future, it's time for Gus Bradley to start working his magic on the defense. They passed on Khalil Mack in favor of Bortles, but Randy Gregory could play the LEO position in Bradley's defensive scheme. When they do pick, it'll come down to Randy Gregory or Leonard Williams, and possibly Todd Gurley because Toby Gerhart doesn't look like a franchise RB.
2. Oakland Raiders - Leonard Williams DT/DE, USC
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Khalil Mack, Derek Carr, Gabe Jackson, Justin Ellis, Keith McGill
Teams Needs: LT/S/DE/DT/RB/ILB/WR
Donald Penn isn't the future at LT. Maybe Menelik Watson will pan out, but the Raiders should seriously consider an OT here. It's likely, though, the Raiders will continue to revamp their defense. They signed a lot of short-term solutions in free agency but in the long run they need more young talent to pair with Khalil Mack and Justin Ellis.
Oakland just fired head coach Dennis Allen. If they want to bring in a big name to replace him, that coach may want full personnel control which would mean that GM Reggie McKenzie would be fired too. That new coach may want to draft his own guy at QB, especially if Marcus Mariota is available, even after the team just spent a second-round pick on Derek Carr. With the Davis family in control who knows what could happen.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Marcus Mariota QB, Oregon
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Mike Evans, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Robert Herron
Teams Needs: QB/DE/ILB/OG
The Bucs were giving serious consideration to a lot of QBs in the 2014 draft. It doesn't sound like new Head Coach Lovie Smith has a lot of faith in Mike Glennon and 35-year-old Josh McCown has been terrible. Glennon did have his moments versus the Steelers however.
Defensively they could use another CB if Johnathan Banks doesn't progress and they could also stand to draft a defensive end.
4. St. Louis Rams - Amari Cooper WR, Alabama
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Greg Robinson, Aaron Donald, Lamarcus Joyner, Tre Mason, E.J. Gaines, Michael Sam
Teams Needs: FS/OG/WR/SLB/QB
The Rams got a king's ransom from the Redskins for the right to draft RGIII, now will they give one up for Marcus Mariota? With another ACL tear ending his season, we may have seen the last of Sam Bradford in St. Louis. He's not a free agent until 2016, but Jeff Fisher might just start planning for the future of the position here if they can move up for Mariota.
If we know anything about Jeff Fisher, it's that he likes to collect pass-rushers. In 2015, Chris Long will be 30 years old and very expensive. If the Rams want to start re-signing players at other positions, they might have to make some cuts and Chris Long could be one of them. If so, the Rams could take any one of the top pass-rushers here.
The best player available who fits any kind of a need is Amari Cooper. Kenny Britt is on a one-ear "prove it" deal, Brian Quick is showing improvements but is more of a number two WR, and Tavon Austin works best in the slot.
5. Tennessee Titans - P.J. Williams CB, Florida State
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Taylor Lewan, Bishop Sankey, DaQuan Jones, Zach Mettenberger
Teams Needs: CB/QB/OLB
Tennessee needs to call Jake Locker a bust and move on already. They drafted Zach Mettenberger and might give the reins to him for a season or two. One of the positions the Titans didn't get to address in the 2014 draft is CB. They lost Alterraun Verner in free agency and didn't replace him.They also need pass-rushers for their new 3-4 defense. It's a little early for P.J. Williams but he fits what Tennessee and the rest of the NFL seem to be looking for at CB. He's a tall, fast, athletic playmaker similar to Justin Gilbert.
6. Washington Redskins - Landon Collins S, Alabama
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Trent Murphy, Morgan Moses, Bashaud Breeland, Lache Seastrunk
Teams Needs: DE/ILB/CB/S/RT
Washington's secondary has been absolutely terrible. Their young safeties don't look like they are going to pan out and they also need a CB to pair with David Amerson. On offense, Tyler Polumbus will be a free agent in 2015.
Landon Collins has been on a tear this season. This might be high for him right now but he has the tools and makeup to grade out as high as Sean Taylor by the time the season is up.
7. Kansas City Chiefs - Brandon Scherff OT, Iowa
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Dee Ford, Phillip Gaines, De'Anthony Thomas, Aaron Murray
Teams Needs: OT/OG/WR/S/ILB
The Chiefs main issues appear to be on offense, particularly on the line. Eric Fisher has been a total bust, and they let their best interior players leave in free agency. The Chiefs also need a reliable pass-catcher for Alex Smith. Dwayne Bowe would be much better in a secondary role. Brandon Scherff fits the mold of the type of offensive linemen Andy Reid has traditionally gone after.
8. Cleveland Browns - Cedric Ogbuehi OT, Texas A&M
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Justin Gilbert, Johnny Manziel, Joel Bitonio
Teams Needs: WR/FS/OLB/DE/RT
Cleveland was seriously considering taking Greg Robinson had the Rams not taken him one pick earlier in the 2014 draft. Any OT they take would start out at RT, shifting Mitchell Schwartz to OG, and eventually take over at LT for Joe Thomas in a few years.
There will be plenty of quality OT prospects to choose from, but Cedric Ogbuehi, who might be better than Luke Joeckel or Jake Matthews, has the length and athleticism similar to Greg Robinson, as well as having familiarity with Johnny Manziel. Getting him here would be an absolute steal.
9. New York Jets - Trae Waynes CB, Michigan State
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Calvin Pryor, Jace Amaro, Dakota Dozier, Trevor Reilly
Teams Needs: QB/WR/RT/CB/RB
The Jets need wide receivers and cornerbacks. Stephen Hill was a bust and Eric Decker was a reach free agent signing. In the secondary they need another CB to pair with Dee Milliner as they currently have safety Antonio Allen playing CB.
If he's available expect the Jets to give a long, hard look at Todd Gurley. Chris Johnson has been a bust and Chris Ivory is not a feature back.
10. Minnesota Vikings - Todd Gurley RB, Georgia
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Anthony Barr, Teddy Bridgewater, Scott Crichton, David Yankey, Antone Exum
Teams Needs: CB/LB/OG/RB
The best-available players don't necessarily match up with the Vikings biggest needs. Given AP's off-field issues coupled with his decreased production and the fact he's approaching 30 years old, the Vikings should take this opportunity to draft a true successor in Todd Gurley.
Todd Gurley is often compared to Marshawn Lynch and Adrian Peterson. He combines track-star speed with the power of a mack truck, and he should buck the trend of top RBs falling into the second round.
The RB position might see a resurgence in 2015. Todd Gurley, Alabama's T.J. Yeldon, South Carolina's Mike Davis, and Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon are all better than the RBs who have come out of the draft in recent years.
During his time in Cincy, Mike Zimmer showed that he loves to collect CB's. The Vikings have one shutdown CB from Florida State in 2013 first-round pick Xavier Rhodes and here they can get a second in P.J. Williams if they choose to draft for need. They signed Captain Munnerlyn in free agency but he fits better in the nickel role.
11. New York Giants - Dante Fowler jr. DE, Florida
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Odell Beckham, Weston Richburg, Andre Williams
Teams Needs: OT/OG/DE/TE/OLB
The Giants offensive line has been atrocious so far but may just need time to gel. They've spent early picks on Weston Richburg and Justin Pugh, signed J.D. Walton in free agency, and William Batty is signed through 2018. So while they could draft an OT here it seems unlikely.
Defensively they are banking that Damontre Moore will step up and replace Justin Tuck. If that doesn't happen, they'll have to draft someone who can. As usual the Giants could use some upgrades at LB but they don't value the position.
12. Miami Dolphins - Ty Montgomery WR, Stanford
Notable 2014 Draft picks: JuWuan James, Jarvis Landry, Billy Turner, Walt Aikens, Jordan Tripp
Teams Needs: RB/LB/S/WR
Miami should continue to build the offense around Ryan Tannehill, even if there are whispers that the front office has soured on him. At RB, Miami signed Knowshon Moreno to a one-year "prove it" deal and they don't appear to have much faith in Lamar Miller. Todd Gurley would be a dream here and they could consider Melvin Gordon. But Mike Wallace has been a huge bust. The Dolphins need to draft a true number one WR and move Wallace to the slot where he flourished in Pittsburgh.
13. Cleveland Browns (via Buffalo Bills) - Shawn Oakman DE/DT, Baylor
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Justin Gilbert, Johnny Manziel, Joel Bitonio
Teams Needs: WR/FS/OLB/DE/RT
First, let me point out just how stupid it was for the Bills to trade this pick to move up for Sammy Watkins. Yes he's an elite talent and better than any WR they had on their roster. But essentially they traded Steve Johnson and this pick for him, so basically it's a wash since they failed to upgrade any of the biggest holes on their roster in the process.
Future winner of the Dontari Poe/Margus Hunt combine award for "how the hell is he that big and athletic," Shawn Oakman would form a fearsome duo with Phil Taylor in the front of their defense after they let Ahtyba Rubin leave in free agency. Oddly enough, both Oakman and Taylor are former Nittany Lions who finished their college careers at Baylor.
14. Carolina Panthers - Andrus Peat OT, Stanford
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Kelvin Benjamin, Kony Ealy, Trai Turner, Tre Boston
Teams Needs: OT/WR/CB/WLB
The Panthers had two major needs that should've been addressed in the 2014 draft. They filled one with Kelvin Benjamin but they failed to draft some protection for Cam Newton after the retirement of Jordan Gross. By far, LT will be their biggest need in 2015. Thankfully for them, this draft class is ripe with quality OT prospects. Otherwise this pick should be devoted to CB or perhaps a WR to pair with Kelvin Benjamin.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers - Marcus Peters CB, Washington
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Ryan Shazier, Stephon Tuitt, Dri Archer, Martavis Bryant, Daniel McCullers
Teams Needs: OLB/CB/OT/FS/TE
Surprise, surprise, we're a quarter of the way through the 2014 NFL season and the Steelers sit at .500. Since I can't give the Steelers a new set of coordinators, lets look at the positions of need that can be filled with this pick.
First off, this pick will almost certainly be used to upgrade a woefully under-performing defense. While I contend that scheme was partly to blame for the Tampa Bay loss, giving 7- to 8-yard cushions to opposing WR's, it's evident that this team needs to finally invest at least one early-round pick in a cornerback. Traditionally, the Steelers in the Kevin Colbert era haven't put much stock in the CB position, opting to draft tall, lanky, speedy developmental players in the middle rounds that could prevent the big play while the focus of the defense was to rush the passer. Unfortunately, this Steelers team cannot get consistent pressure, so the scheme as a whole is failing. Having a top-flight cornerback who can keep tight coverage beyond three to five seconds would mitigate the deficiencies in the pass-rush. And speaking of which...
The bread and butter of the Steelers' defense has been its ability to rush the passer, something they can no longer do very well these days. When Jason Worilds was brought back on a one-year transition tag, one of two things were going to happen. He would either prove his worth, pricing him out of Pittsburgh, or he wouldn't show up and the Steelers wouldn't want him back anyway. Regardless, the Steelers are going to have to look for a replacement in 2015.
Is it just me or does Mike Mitchell look completely lost in the Steelers defense? All of the guaranteed money on his 25 million dollar contract is paid in the first two years so the Steelers aren't likely to make a change until after next season.
Offensively, this team is pretty much set at just about every position in terms of talent, youth, or money. Heath Miller will be 32 years old this season but is still playing at a high level. While they could start searching for a successor, it's unlikely the Steelers would invest an early-round pick in a TE unless Miller has another serious injury.
One area on the offense that should concern every Steelers fan is the play at tackle. After signing his shiny new contract in the off-season, Marcus Gilbert hasn't shown much of a return on investment to date. He was absolutely abused by Elvis Dumervil in the loss to Baltimore. On the other side is plucky, seventh-round underdog Kelvin Beachum, who relies on technique in the absence of the typical physical prowess normally held by starting left tackles. While he has been consistent, he has also shown that his deficiencies in size and athletic ability can be exploited by the NFL's elite pass-rushers. As such, it should be prudent for the Steelers' front office to look into bringing in some competition, as there isn't much currently on the roster. Mike Adams is, well Mike Adams, someone with all of the physical gifts a left tackle could want, but with no technique to be found. He's virtually the polar opposite of Beachum. And then there's Wesley Johnson. While I think he was a fine late-round addition, I don't see him ever really challenging for a starting spot at OT, maybe at OG if or when the team decides to move on from Ramon Foster. Nevertheless he could become a valuable backup.
So who will the Steelers be looking to with this pick? Thankfully there should be a small handful of cornerbacks who fit the criteria of what the Steelers seem to prefer. P.J. Williams, Trey Waynes, Marcus Peters, and Alex Carter all have the size and physicality that the teams wants. As far as pass-rushers go, Shilique Calhoun would give them a chance to go back to the well of Le'Veon Bell's alma mater. If he's available, Dante Fowler would also be a great pick. Should the Steelers decide to invest a first-round pick on an OT, the top three of Cedric Ogbuehi, Brandon Scherff, and Andrus Peat are all elite talents, with the possibility that maybe one of them could be available here.
Given the needs of the Steelers and the talent available, the player who makes the best sense is Marcus Peters. He has a 6-foot, 198 pounds frame and plays with a lot of intensity and physicality. He held fellow first-round pick Ty Montgomery to only three catches for 12 yards while lined up against him. The one caveat is that, out of the four cornerbacks previously listed, he's probably the only one who won't run a 4.4 40-yard dash at the combine. My guess is he'll probably be right at 4.50. Will that be fast enough for the Steelers? Who knows. It could be another Darqueze Dennard situation. Although I will say that, while I personally was a fan of Dennard as a player, I like Marcus Peters more.
16. Houston Texans - Connor Cook QB, Michigan State
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Jadeveon Clowney, Xavier Su'a-Filo, C.J. Fiedorowicz, Louis Nix, Tom Savage
Teams Needs: QB/RT/RG/WR/S/RB
Houston needs to worry about their future at QB. Bill O'Brien draft Tom Savage in the later rounds but with a defense and a running game that can contend now do they have the time to wait? They also need a replacement at WR for Andre Johnson who will be 34 years old next summer and is looking to skip town, not wanting to wait through a rebuilding phase on offense.
Defensively their front seven appears to be set for the long term but they still have issues in the secondary.
17. Atlanta Falcons - Shilique Calhoun DE/OLB, Michigan State
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Jake Matthews, Ra'Shede Hageman, Devonta Freeman, Prince Shembo
Teams Needs: RT/OLB/OC/TE
After spending a lot of time, effort and free-agency dollars fixing the defense, Thomas Dimitroff will likely go back to doing what he does best, devoting all of his time and energy to making this an offensive-based team. Roddy White is expensive and he'll be 33 years old this upcoming season. With Sam Baker missing another season due to injuring the same patella tendon as last year, Jake Matthews future at LT is now. Lamar Holmes however is not the answer at RT. If they do draft for defense here it'll be for an outside rusher as they have already invested money and early draft picks on the line and in the secondary.
18. Dallas Cowboys - Ifo Ekpre-Olomu CB, Oregon
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Zach Martin, Demarcus Lawrence, Ben Gardner, Ahmad Dixon, Terrence Mitchell
Teams Needs: DE/DT/S/LB/RB/QB
Despite that fact that Tony Romo is entering the first year of the six-year, $108 million extension he signed last offseason, Jerry Jones has stated that he was still close to taking Johnny Manziel in the first round of the 2014 draft. If he enters the draft and is still available this pick could very well be Jameis Winston. Tony Romo is already 34 years old and has a long history of streaky play and choking in the playoffs. If not for his off-field issues, Winston could easily be the No. 1 overall pick and might provide the same kind of flash/media hype that Manziel would have brought to Dallas.
If they don't take a QB, this pick will almost certainly be used to upgrade what was a historically bad defense last season. They still need another DE to pair with Demarcus Lawrence, some interior help, and Jerry Jones sounds like he's ready to give up on Morris Claiborne. They were close to drafting Ryan Shazier in 2014, Dallas was even on the phone with him as he was being drafted one pick before by the Steelers, and could take his 2015 reiteration in Shaq Thompson. They were also considering Dontari Poe in 2012 and would certainly consider Shawn Oakman here.
IEO is the best man-cover CB in the draft. If he were taller than his listed height of 5-foot-9, he'd probably be the first CB drafted. But if he checks in any shorter, he could fall into the second day of the draft.
19. Chicago Bears - Eric Striker OLB, Oklahoma
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Kyle Fuller, Ego Ferguson, Will Sutton, Ka'Deem Carey, Brock Vereen
Teams Needs: CB/OC/RT/S/SLB
The Bears went into the 2014 draft needing to upgrade their defense and did just that, snagging four potential early starters/contributors. Kyle Fuller has been fantastic so far but the Bears need long-term term upgrades at the other three starting positions in the secondary. It's also just about time to call Shea McClellin a bust and move on. He didn't work out at DE and probably won't work at SLB either.
Eric Striker (excellent football name by the way) is getting knocked down some draft boards because of his listed size of 6-foot, 220 pounds but he has first round talent and could be taken much higher if he can put some weight on between the end of the college football season and the combine much like Ryan Shazier. He abused Cyrus Kouandjio in the Sugar Bowl last season.
20. San Fransisco 49ers - Devin Funchess WR/TE, Michigan
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Jimmie Ward, Carlos Hyde, Marcus Martin, Chris Borland, Brandon Thomas, Bruce Ellington
Teams Needs: CB/WR
The biggest issue the 49ers are likely to face is at WR. Michael Crabtree will be an oft-injured free agent and Anquan Boldin will turn 35 years old at the start of the 2015 season. They also need upgrades at cornerback.
Devin Funchess has made a good move from TE to WR. He was too slight of build for TE but at 6-foot-5, 230 pounds he has a solid Mike Evans-esque build and should garner a lot of intrigue at the combine.
21. Arizona Cardinals - Markus Golden DE/OLB, Missouri
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Deone Bucannon, Troy Niklas, Kareem Martin, Logan Thomas
Teams Needs: OLB/ILB/DE/OG/WR
Offensive line and LB are the two clear-cut needs for the Cardinals. 36-year-old John Abraham was put on IR which may finish his career. And whether it's Carson Palmer or Logan Thomas, the Cards need to invest in more than Jared Veldheer to protect their QB. Darnell Dockett will be 34 years old, coming off of an ACL tear, and entering a contract year in 2015 so Shawn Oakman would be a possibility if he is available.
22. Cincinnati Bengals - Denzel Perryman ILB, Miami
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Darqueze Dennard, Jeremy Hill, Will Clarke, Russell Bodine, A.J. McCarron
Teams Needs: OC/DE/ILB/SLB
Cincy has done a great job over the last few years of taking the best available player instead of reaching for need. Their biggest need, especially on the offense, is an upgrade at OC. Defensively they lost the pass-rushing prowess of Michael Johnson in free agency, could still use an upgrade at SLB, and need an upgrade over Rey Maualuga who is a free agent in 2015 anyway.
23. Philadelphia Eagles - Alex Carter CB, Stanford
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Marcus Smith, Jordan Matthews, Jaylen Watkins, Taylor Hart
Teams Needs: CB/ILB/WR/S
Chip Kelly likes taking players he's familiar with, either those he coached at Oregon or players he coached against in the Pac12. The Eagles could use another playmaker for Nick Foles. Injury-prone Jeremy Macklin will be a free agent and Riley Cooper is inconsistent. Defensively they still have issues in the secondary.
24. Indianapolis Colts - Melvin Gordon RB, Wisconsin
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Jack Mewhort, Donte Moncrief
Teams Needs: RB/CB/S/OLB/OC/WR
Indy would be a lot more dangerous if Andrew Luck had a consistent running game to balance out the offense. Trading for Trent Richardson was a mistake. Someone like Melvin Gordon would be a huge addition.
The Colts signed Erik Walden in free agency and drafted Bjoern Werner in the first round hoping to improve the pass-rush but so far they have been disappointments. Regardless, it's likely they will be given a little more time before being replaced. The real issue defensively is in the secondary. They could use upgrades at safety and a better compliment to Vontae Davis.
25. Baltimore Ravens - Vic Beasley OLB, Clemson
Notable 2014 Draft picks: C.J. Mosley, Timmy Jernigan, Terrence Brooks, Brent Urban
Teams Needs: WR/RB/S/CB
The Ravens rarely draft for need and typically take the best player available. They need a running back to replace Ray Rice and even though Steve Smith has been a great addition to the WR corps he is still 35 years old. Defensively they need a free safety to pair with Matt Elam and could use some more depth at CB given Lardarius Webb's injury history.
The best player available who makes any kind of sense for the Ravens is Vic Beasley. With his small frame he will be a liability against the run but given his speed he could be an effective situational pass-rusher, basically a better version of Bruce Irvin. Although it's worth noting that Beasley is roughly the same size Ray Lewis was when he entered the NFL.
26. Green Bay Packers - Shaq Thompson LB, Washington
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix, Davante Adams, Carl Bradford, Jared Abbrederis
Teams Needs: OLB/NT/TE/OC
Green Bay would have taken Ryan Shazier in the 2014 draft because they're looking to increase the speed of their defense. A.J. Hawk is in rapid decline and former safety-turned-linebacker Shaq Thompson offers the same kind of athletic prowess capable of covering TE's down the seam or effectively spying Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson, keeping them from breaking long runs as they have been known to do against a slow Green Bay defense.
27. Detroit Lions - Cody Prewitt S, Ole Miss
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Eric Ebron, Kyle Van Noy, Travis Swanson
Teams Needs: FS/DT/DE/CB
Detroit really wanted Anthony Barr because it's likely that DC Teryl Austin will eventually start moving the defense into a variation of a 3-4 scheme, especially once they no longer have Nick Fairly and Ndamukong Suh on the roster. Kyle Van Noy's versatility will certainly help with that, but he will more than likely play ILB, meaning that Detroit will need another outside rusher to pair with Ezekiel Ansah. As usual Detroit's biggest Achilles heel is the secondary. They are still waiting for their young CB's to pan out but could use another safety to pair with Glover Quin.
28. New England Patriots - Jalen Strong WR, Arizona State
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Dominique Easley, Jimmy Garoppolo, James White, Cameron Flemming
Teams Needs: OG/OC/CB/NT/S
The Patriots looked like a team built to win now, and they should be with Tom Brady already 37 years old, but this roster has a lot of cracks in it. The offensive line hasn't been able to protect him even before trading Logan Mankins to the Bucs. The WR corps have a bunch of question marks as well. defensively they need a long-term successor to Vince Wilfork and they need to rebuild their secondary.
29. San Diego Chargers - La'el Collins OG/OT, LSU
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Jason Verrett, Jeremiah Attaochu
Teams Needs: CB/OG/WR/TE/RB
The needs most likely to be filled here are for a CB to pair with Jason Verrett and a #2 WR. Keenan Allen was a steal in 2013 and Eddie Royal is great in the slot, but the Chargers need to bring in another WR to compete against Malcom Floyd after cutting Vincent Brown in the offseason. With injury-prone RB Ryan Mathews rookie contract up at the end of the season the Chargers could be looking for his replacement here as well. Offensive line has been an issue for the Chargers for a few years now, especially along the interior.
30. New Orleans Saints - Mike Davis RB, South Carolina
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Brandin Cooks, Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Khairi Fortt, Ronald Powell
Teams Needs: OC/ILB/OLB/CB/RB
The Saints defense has taken a step back from the gains it made in 2013. After inexplicably cutting Victor Butler they now need a reliable pass-rusher to pair with Junior Galette. The big issue though defensively is at CB. While Keenan Lewis has been a solid free agency pickup Patrick Robinson is a busted first round pick. They have already sorted out their issues at safety but the Saints could finish off their secondary by drafting a CB here. If they elect to go offense here they could draft a replacement for Mark Ingram, who is another first round bust, that is set to become a free agent in 2015.
31. Denver Broncos - Bernardrick McKinney LB, Mississippi State
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Bradley Roby, Cody Latimer, Lamin Barrow
Teams Needs: ILB/DE/RT
Denver wanted C.J. Mosley or Ryan Shazier because they have issues at LB, especially on the inside. With the offense humming along with Peyton Manning, they'll likely spend most of their picks taking defensive players who can contribute right away.
McKinney is versatile enough to play both inside and outside linebacker. He received a second-round grade from the draft advisory committee but returned to school and now has the chance to be a first-round pick.
32. Seattle Seahawks - Malcom Brown DT, Texas
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Paul Richardson, Cassius Marsh, Kevin Norwood
Teams Needs: DE/RT/OG/TE
Seattle needs to upgrade the right side of their offensive line. They spent an early round pick on Justin Britt so they will give him time to develop at RT. Defensively they need to restock the pantry on the line. They lost a lot of linemen in free agency in 2014 and are set to lose Cliff Avril in 2015.
33. Jacksonville Jaguars - Mario Edwards DE/DT, Florida State
Depending on whether the Jags take Randy Gregory or Leonard Williams in the first, they should address the other need here.
34. Oakland Raiders - Sammy Coates WR, Auburn
Oakland needs more reliable playmakers for Derek Carr. Coates' stock is falling due to errant play at the QB position at Auburn but his physical tools will put on a show at the combine, something the Davis family loves.
35. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Josue Matias OG, Florida State
The Bucs OG situation got a little better after trading for Logan Mankins but they still need one more. Matias doesn't get the recognition of Tre Jackson but he's a much better overall player with positional flexibility.
36. St. Louis Rams - Brett Hundley QB, UCLA
If the Rams can get Hundley in the second round they have to take him. He's had a terribly inconsistent season, partly due to the lack of talent around him, but Brett Hundley has all the physical tools to succeed in the NFL.
37. Tennessee Titans - Alvin Dupree DE/OLB, Kentucky
The Titans need edge rushers for their new 3-4 defense.
38. Washington Redskins - Ronald Darby CB, Florida State
Washington continues to rebuild their secondary.
39. Kansas City Chiefs - Kevin White WR, West Virginia
Kansas City' needs another WR to pair with Dwayne Bowe.
40. Cleveland Browns - Stephon Diggs WR, Maryland
Josh Gordon should be back in 2015 but with one more off-the-field incident his NFL career could be over. Diggs is working his way back from a broken fibula but he is an explosive playmaker and could be a steal here.
41. New York Jets - T.J. Yeldon RB, Alabama
Chris Johnson isn't the RB he used to be.
42. Minnesota Vikings - Karl Joesph S, West Virginia
The Vikings finally get another safety to pair with Harrison Smith.
43. New York Giants - Danny Shelton NT, Washington
The Giants once vaunted defensive line can't stop anyone. They need a space eater with some pass-rushing ability to replace Linval Joesph.
44. Miami Dolphins - Ameer Abdullah RB, Nebraska
Knowshon Moreno is a free agent in 2015.
45. Buffalo Bills - Rory Anderson TE, South Carolina
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Sammy Watkins, Cyrus Kouandjio, Preston Brown, Seantrel Henderson
Team needs: QB/TE/LB/RB
Sammy Watkins was an elite talent to be sure, but heading into the 2015 draft without a first round pick is going to hurt them in the long run. On the plus side, it looks they got an absolute steal with Seantrel Henderson in the seventh round.
Is E.J. Manuel the future at QB? They invested a first round pick in him so all they can do now is to try and build up the offense around him as much as possible. They re-signed 33 year old Fred Jackson and are rumored to be looking to trade C.J. Spiller, so they could potentially be looking for another RB if Spiller is traded. Scott Chandler was also re-signed but it was only to a two-year deal for minimal money and he could certainly be upgraded.
Defensively the big issue is at linebacker where the Bills are starting a bunch of castoffs. They will get Kiko Alonzo back from injury and Preston Brown should mature into a full time starter but could use an upgrade over Nigel Bradham.
Rory Anderson isn't getting a lot of attention nationally right now, partly because of inconsistent QB play, but he has the size and speed that today's NFL covets.
46. Carolina Panthers - KeiVarae Russell CB, Notre Dame
After addressing OT, the Panthers biggest issue will be at CB.
47. Pittsburgh Steelers - Hau'oli Kikaha DE/OLB, Washington
Given that they're the two biggest needs going into 2015, the Steelers should be using their top-two picks on a cornerback and an outside linebacker. Having already filled one, it's time to seek out the other.
It's by sheer coincidence that I have the Steelers taking back-to-back Huskies in the first-two rounds but, just as with Marcus Peters, Hau'oli Kikaha is the best available player who fills one of the Steelers' biggest needs. He checks in at 6-foot-3, 250 pounds and had an equally exciting matchup in the game versus Stanford, going against future first-rounder Andrus Peat. While he didn't register a sack against Peat, although he did have one in the game, his speed and strength gave Peat all he could handle while disrupting the backfield.
As with any prospect, Kikaha does come with the caveat of having a long injury history. He missed almost two seasons with separate ACL injuries. Obviously, the medical staff is going to have to evaluate him before the team considers making him a draft pick.
48. Houston Texans - DeVante Parker WR, Louisville
Andre Johnson isn't getting any younger and is already looking to skip town.
49. Atlanta Falcons - Spencer Drango OT, Baylor
Sam Baker is missing another season due to injuring the same patella tendon as last year. With Jake Matthews assuming the LT role for the foreseeable future, Lamar Holmes is not the answer at RT.
50. Dallas Cowboys - Michael Bennett DT, Ohio State
The Cowboys should take the best defensive player available. Last season they had zero pass-rush and a historically bad passing defense.
51. Chicago Bears - Anthony Harris SS, Virginia
Ryan Mundy is not the long-term starter as SS.
52. San Francisco 49ers - Arik Armstead DE/DT, Oregon
Justin Smith and Ray McDonald will both be free agents in 2016, with McDonald facing a possible suspension for domestic violence.
53. Arizona Cardinals - Rashad Greene WR, Florida State
Their are rumors that the Cardinals are unhappy with Larry Fitzgerald because of his decreased production and huge contract.
54. Cincinnati Bengals - Cedric Reed DE, Texas
Michael Johnson left and if Margus Hunt doesn't pan out they'll need to look for a replacement.
55. Philadelphia Eagles - Eric Kendricks LB, UCLA
DeMeco Ryans is a poor fit for a 3-4 defense and once again Chip Kelly loves his Pac-12 guys. And why not have the Kendricks brothers playing side-by-side in the middle of the defense?
56. Indianapolis Colts - Josh Shaw CB/S, USC
The Colts need an upgrade over Greg Toler. Josh Shaw is going to have to explain himself to NFL teams about why he lied about how he injured his ankles, but he has first round talent and no other off-the-field issues.
57. Baltimore Ravens - Reese Dismukes OC, Auburn
Jeremy Zuttah has definitely been an upgrade over what they had previously but the position could still be upgraded for the long-term.
58. Green Bay Packers - Ty Sambrailo OT, Colorado State
Green Bay is really struggling to protect Aaron Rodgers.
59. Detroit Lions - Christian Covington DT, Rice
The Lions have already declined the 5th-year option on Nick Fairley, and Ndamukong Suh is unlikely to be re-signed.
60. New England Patriots - Carl Davis DT, Iowa
Vince Wilfork will be 33 years old and is coming back from an Achilles tear.
61. San Diego Chargers - Nelson Agholor WR, USC
S.D. needs another WR to pair with Keenan Allen.
62. New Orleans Saints - Hroniss Grasu OC, Oregon
Jonathan Goodwin is 35 years old.
63. Denver Broncos - Henry Anderson DE/DT, Stanford
Denver can always use more D-line depth.
64. Seattle Seahawks - Laken Tomlinson OG, Duke
James Carpenter is a first-round bust who will be a free agent in 2015.
65. Jacksonville Jaguars - Ereck Flowers OT, Miami
The Jags need better protection for Blake Bortles.
66. Oakland Raiders - Cameron Erving OT, Florida State
Donald Penn and Khalif Barnes are not the long-term solutions at OT.
67. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Preston Smith DE, Mississippi State
Adrian Clayborn and Da'Quan Bowers have both been busts.
68. St. Louis Rams - Jalen Mills CB/S, LSU
This wouldn't be the first time Jeff Fisher took a gamble on a DB with first round talent but off-the-field issues.
69. Tennessee Titans - Kurtis Drummond S, Michigan State
Both of the Titans starting safeties will be free agents in 2016, while Michael Griffin was almost a cap casualty this past offseason.
70. Washington Redskins - Sean Hickey OT, Syracuse
Tyler Polumbus will be a free agent in 2015 and Morgan Moses looked awful in the preseason.
71. Kansas City Chiefs - Tre Jackson OG, Florida State
The Chiefs lost both of their starting OG's in free agency.
72. Cleveland Browns - Shane Ray DE/OLB, Missouri
Paul Kruger has been a disappointment free agent signing and Barkevious Mingo has not lived up to his first round status as of yet. Shane Ray is an undersized yet incredibly explosive athlete, kind of like a Vic Beasley lite version.
73. New York Jets - Derron Smith FS, Fresno State
The Jets need another safety to pair with Calvin Pryor.
74. Minnesota Vikings - A.J. Cann OG, South Carolina
Minnesota has been looking to upgrade at OG for years. A.J. Cann is very solid in the running game but has issues with speed rushers. Due to his small build for an NFL offensive lineman he's going to fall in the draft.
75. New York Giants - Jeff Heuerman TE, Ohio State
The only way to get Eli Manning back on track to get him a safety valve. They showed a lot of interest in TE's during the 2014 draft.
76. Miami Dolphins - A.J. Johnson ILB, Tennessee
Miami needs to rid themselves of all of the Jeff Ireland stink, including the bust free-agent acquisitions of Philip Wheeler and Dannel Ellerbe.
77. Buffalo Bills - Ramik Wilson LB, Georgia
The Bills have a bunch of castoffs at LB and Kiko Alonzo will be coming back from injury.
78. Carolina Panthers - Justin Hardy WR, East Carolina
The Panthers need some long-term weapons to match with Kelvin Benjamin.
79. Pittsburgh Steelers - Tyrus Thompson OT, Oklahoma
I've already mentioned how the Steelers need to bring in some competition at OT. Marcus Gilbert doesn't look like he's worth the new contract he got in the off-season and Kelvin Beachum, while a great technician, is stymied by his physical limitations. The backups are a physically underdeveloped Wesley Johnson and a woefully under-performing Mike Adams.
Tyrus Thompson has prototypical size at 6-foot-5, 336 pounds. He's solid in the running game but excels against the pass. Unfortunately, because of Oklahoma's weak schedule, Thompson hasn't really been challenged much this season by top-tier pass-rushers.
80. Houston Texans - Duke Johnson RB, Miami
They lost Ben Tate in free agency and Arian Foster has injury issues.
81. Atlanta Falcons - Austin Hill WR, Arizona
With the exception of Julio Jones all of the Falcons starting WR's are at least 30 years old.
82. Dallas Cowboys - Eddie Goldman DT, FSU
The Cowboys should spend multiple picks upgrading the defensive line.
83. Chicago Bears - Bronson Kaufusi DE, BYU
Jared Allen is not a long-term option at DE.
84. San Francisco 49ers - Jalen Collins CB, LSU
Chris Culliver should not be counted on at CB.
85. Arizona Cardinals - Ray Drew DE/DT, Georgia
Darnell Dockett will be 34 years old, coming off of an ACL tear, and entering a contract year in 2015
86. Cincinnati Bengals - Arie Kouandjio OG, Alabama
Cincy needs an upgrade at RG.
87. Philadelphia Eagles - Jake Fisher OG/OT, Oregon
Philly could upgrade at OG and once again Chip Kelly loves his Pac-12 guys. Fisher could replace Todd Herremans at RG and eventually take over for Jason Peters.
88. Indianapolis Colts - Eli Harold DE/OLB, Virginia
Robert Mathis is 33 years old and coming back from an Achilles tear while Bjoern Werner is looking like a bust.
89. Baltimore Ravens - Corey Robinson OT, South Carolina
Baltimore could use an upgrade at RT. Corey Robinson looks like Max Starks 2.0. His size makes him devastating in the running game but he lacks the lateral agility to handle speed rushers.
90. Green Bay Packers - Charles Gaines CB, Louisville
Tramon Williams is a free agent in 2015.
91. Detroit Lions - Lorenzo Mauldin DE/OLB, Louisville
Detroit will need another pass-rushing OLB when they convert to a 3-4 defense.
92. New England Patriots - D.J. Humphries OG/OT, Florida
N.E. has offensive line issues and Belechick has an affinity for Florida players.
93. San Diego Chargers - Wayne Lyons CB, Stanford
Brandon Flowers was only signed to a one-year "prove it" deal.
94. New Orleans Saints - Trey Flowers DE/OLB, Arkansas
N.O. inexplicably cut Victor Butler.
95. Denver Broncos - Steve Nelson CB, Oregon State
Chris Harris is a free agent in 2015.
96. Seattle Seahawks - Owamagbe Odighizuwa DE, UCLA
Cliff Avril will be a free agent looking for a big payday that Seattle won't be able to afford.