1. 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.
If Oakland lands the number one overall pick they will most likely auction it off to the highest bidder trying to land Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston. Of course they fired Dennis Allen and Reggie McKenzie could be next, and a new coach may want to draft his own QB even though the Raiders just spend a second round pick on Derek Carr.
2. 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
As with the Raiders, 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 or Jameis Winston. 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 isn't a franchise RB.
3. New York Jets - Jameis Winston QB, Florida State
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Calvin Pryor, Jace Amaro, Dakota Dozier, Trevor Reilly
Teams Needs: QB/WR/RT/CB/RB
The Geno Smith era should be coming to a close. If he had been a first round pick he likely would have been given another season at least, but Rex Ryan can't pass up the opportunity to draft a franchise QB after only taking Geno Smith in the third round.
Elsewhere the Jets need wide receivers and cornerbacks. Stephen Hill was a bust, Eric Decker was a reach free agent signing, and the trade for Percy Harvin is a waste of time. In the secondary they need another CB to pair with Dee Milliner as they currently have safety Antonio Allen playing CB.
4. 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. 35-year-old Josh McCown has been terrible and Mike Glennon, who his moments versus the Steelers, has largely been terrible as well.
Defensively they could use another CB if Johnathan Banks doesn't progress and they could also stand to draft a defensive end, especially after under-performing Da'Quan Bowers recent suspension.
5. Tennessee Titans - Amari Cooper WR, Alabama
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Taylor Lewan, Bishop Sankey, DaQuan Jones, Zach Mettenberger
Teams Needs: CB/QB/OLB/S/WR
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 need pass-rushers for their new 3-4 defense and have issues at safety. AT WR Nate Washington is a free agent and Kendall Wright has been an underwhelming first round pick. They also have high hopes for Justin Hunter but so far he has been unable to live up to them.
6. Atlanta Falcons - Shane Ray DE/OLB, Missouri
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 even though he has struggled this season. Lamar Holmes however is not the answer at RT. It seems unlikely that the Falcons would spend another high first round pick in back-to-back years on an offensive tackle, but this teams playoff hopes rest on Matt Ryan and right now he's getting killed.
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.
7. 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 young CB's Bashaud Breeland and David Amerson have played very well this season but the Redskins could use another CB. And their young safeties don't look like they are going to pan out. 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.
8. Chicago Bears - Shaq Thompson LB, Washington
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. Not to mention that 33 year old Lance Briggs is a free agent so LB is s big need.
Shaq Thomson has been an absolute beast this season. He's a smart, versatile, safety turned linebacker, sideline-to-sideline player, who already has four defensive touchdowns this season.
9. St. Louis Rams - Connor Cook QB, Michigan State
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Greg Robinson, Aaron Donald, Lamarcus Joyner, Tre Mason, E.J. Gaines, Michael Sam
Teams Needs: 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 or Jameis Winston? 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.
Connor Cook may be a slight reach but he should see his stock rise as we get closer to the draft. Even though he's not quite a finished product he plays in a pro-style offense, has a strong pocket presence with some mobility, and can make all the throws. He recently stated that he plans on returning for his senior year but he also mentioned that he would consider coming out if he was projected in the top 10.
10. 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.
Andrus Peat is the one OT prospect who was rated highly going into the season who has not disappointed. He handled Leonard Williams in their game versus USC. He has a long frame and nasty demeanor and compares favorably to Taylor Lewan.
11. New York Giants - Shawn Oakman DE/DT, Baylor
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 Beatty is signed through 2018 although there are rumors that he could be released this offseason. 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. Shawn Oakman fits the profile of the type of defensive linemen that the Giants seem to prefer.
12. 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
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. Jerick McKinnon Matt Asiata have been a pleasant surprises but neither is an elite talent like 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. His suspension for receiving money in exchange for autographs shouldn't affect his draft stock. A.J. Green was suspended four games for selling a game worn jersey and he still went fourth overall to the Bengals.
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. They drafted Xavier Rhodes and signed Captain Munnerlyn in free agency but he fits better in the nickel role.
13. Houston Texans - Kevin White WR, West Virginia
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 drafted Tom Savage in the later rounds, and traded for Ryan Mallett, 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. Also a free agent, Derek Newton has been terrible this season and Houston will likely replace him at some point.
Defensively their front seven appears to be set for the long term but they still have issues in the secondary. Kareem Jackson will be a free agent, so if he leaves they will most likely spend an early round pick on his replacement.
Kevin White has exploded this season out of relative obscurity. He could be a one-year wonder but with the season he is having he could challenge Amari Cooper to be the first WR drafted. He has a lean but muscular build, smooth acceleration, and the strength and tenacity to out-muscle defenders.
14. San Fransisco 49ers - Marcus Peters CB, Washington
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Jimmie Ward, Carlos Hyde, Marcus Martin, Chris Borland, Brandon Thomas, Bruce Ellington
Teams Needs: CB/WR/DE
The biggest issues the 49ers are likely to face is at wide receiver and cornerback. Michael Crabtree will be an oft-injured free agent and Anquan Boldin will turn 35 years old at the start of the 2015 season. In the secondary Chris Culliver and Perrish Cox are liabilities.
15. Cleveland Browns - Dante Fowler jr. DE/OLB, Florida
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Justin Gilbert, Johnny Manziel, Joel Bitonio
Teams Needs: WR/FS/OLB/DE/RT
Cleveland could go with a WR here to replace Josh Gordon, who is only one more off-the-field issue away from being banned from the NFL, but after already having spent a first round pick on the offense the Browns should look to improve their pass-rush.
The Browns will most likely lose Ahtyba Rubin and Jabaal Sheard in free agency. At OLB, in addition to losing Sheard, Paul Kruger has been a bust free agent signing and Barkevious Mingo has been pretty inconsistent.
16. Cleveland Browns (via Buffalo Bills) - Cedric Ogbuehi OT, Texas A&M
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.
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.
Cedric Ogbuehi was long-considered the top OT in this draft class, and a possible contender for the top overall pick, but it's been brutal few weeks for him. While he still flashes the athleticism to be an elite prospect, he clearly still needs time to refine his technique and add some upper body strength.
17. San Diego Chargers - La'el Collins OG/OT, LSU
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Jason Verrett, Jeremiah Attaochu
Teams Needs: CB/OL/WR/TE/RB/OLB
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, but they will have to decide on free agents King Dunlap and Nick Hardwick. With the road to the playoffs leading through Denver and Peyton Manning, for the next few years at least, the Chargers are best served continuing to upgrade their secondary.
At OLB Dwight Freeney will be a 35 year old free agent in 2015, Jarrett Johnson has been an underwhelming free agent signing, and 2012 first round pick Melvin Ingram missed almost all of the 2013 season with an ACL tear and has missed most of the first half of this season with hamstring and hip injuries. They drafted Jeremiah Attaochu in the second round last year but could still need another eventual starter because of Ingram's injury issues.
La'el Collins is in the similar mold of King Dunlap and D.J. Fluker. He has been nothing short of amazing this season, outplaying his peers such as Cedric Ogbuehi and Brandon Scherff. He definitely needs some refinement on his technique but he has an ideal body type for an OT and plays with maximum effort on every snap.
18. Baltimore Ravens - Trae Waynes CB, Michigan State
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. Plus even though he is likely to be re-signed, Torrey Smith is a free agent. Defensively they need a free safety to pair with Matt Elam and can definitely use more depth at CB.
19. Miami Dolphins - Jalen Strong WR, Arizona State
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. 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.
20. Seattle Seahawks - Shilique Calhoun DE, Michigan State
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.
Recently the Seahawks traded Percy Harvin to the Jets for a conditional late round pick but they tried to pry a starting TE from both the Browns and Broncos, so either they aren't happy with Zach Miller's production or they simply want a big-bodied receiving threat for Russell Wilson.
21. New Orleans Saints - Alvin "Bud" Dupree DE/OLB, Kentucky
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, although they did spend a second round pick on Stanley Jean-Baptiste. If they elect to go offense here they could draft a replacement for Mark Ingram, another first round bust, who is set to become a free agent in 2015. A tall WR who can replace Marques Colston, who appears to be on the decline, could also be an option as well.
22. Philadelphia Eagles - Ifo Ekpre-Olomu CB, Oregon
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.
IEO is one of the best man-cover CB's in the draft. While not perfect he has been better than most this season. 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.
23. Cincinnati Bengals - Vic Beasley DE/OLB, Clemson
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.
24. 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.
On the defensive side their biggest concern must be the pending free agency of Justin Houston. Given what they already pay Tamba Hali, and the fact that they used a first round pick on Dee Ford, it's likely that the Chiefs may not be able to re-sign him.
Like Reilly Reiff and Brian Bulaga before him, Brandon Scherff is another in a long line of Kirk Ferentz products who plays with solid technique but will get dinged by his average-at-best athleticism and short arms.
25. Dallas Cowboys - Bernardrick McKinney LB, Mississippi State
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Zach Martin, Demarcus Lawrence, Ben Gardner, Ahmad Dixon, Terrence Mitchell
Teams Needs: DE/DT/S/LB/RB/QB
Even though they are playing much better this season, 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, so they will definitely be looking at linebackers, especially since Bruce Carter and Justin Durant are free agents and Sean Lee his injury issues. Rolando McClain has been a pleasant surprise but it's too early to count on him for any future consistency.
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.
26. Indianapolis Colts - Arik Armstead DE/DT, Oregon
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 or Mike Davis could be a huge addition.
The Colts defense has progressed with each game except for being slaughtered by Ben Roethlisberger in week eight. Bjoern Werner is starting to play like a first round pick and Greg Toler has become a better compliment to Vontae Davis. However the Steelers game showed some weaknesses. With Cory Redding's age and pending free agency there is a need for depth upfront. They also need more depth at CB and possibly even a starter, sliding Toler into the nickel slot.
27. Pittsburgh Steelers - P.J. Williams CB, Florida State
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Ryan Shazier, Stephon Tuitt, Dri Archer, Martavis Bryant, Daniel McCullers
Teams Needs: OLB/CB/OT/FS/TE
This pick will be completely dependent on whether or not the Steelers re-sign Jason Worilds. They put a premium on the pass-rush, as evidenced by having three starting OLB's (when healthy) taken in the first round while Worilds was taken in the second. After a maddeningly inconsistent start to the season Jason Worilds as been on fire during the Steelers three game winning streak. As long as his demands aren't ridiculous the Steelers should re-sign him to a fair deal.
Aside from OLB, the CB position is a clear area of need. Unfortunately in the Kevin Colbert era the Steelers haven't put a lot of emphasis on using early picks on the position. This year I think that may change. Why you say? Well I think that the Steelers have finally gotten to a point where they have so much talent and/or youth and/or money tied up in every other position that they will have practically no choice but to invest an early pick at a position that needs one so much.
Offensively, this team is pretty much set at every position. Heath Miller will be 32 years old this season but is still playing at a high enough 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 could be a concern is 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. He played better in the rematch but still not up to par in my opinion. 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. Mike Adams surprised us all in his game and a half of work against the Texans and Colts. Maybe there is hope for him yet to supplant Gilbert or Beachum, but we only have one more season to find out before he becomes a free agent. If he's not starting by then it's likely he'll want to sign somewhere else.
So who will the Steelers be looking to with this pick? To me Marcus Peters is the top CB in this draft class. He's got the size, speed, and toughness to be an elite talent, although his hotheaded temper might/will turn off some teams. Not far behind him is Trae Waynes. He's a little slower, a litter stiffer than Marcus Peters but still a top talent. On the next tier are P.J. Williams and just behind him is Alex Carter.
As far as pass-rushers go, Shilique Calhoun would be an obvious choice. So would Kentucky's Bud Dupree. The realistic prized jewel, since the Steelers have no shot at Randy Gregory, is Dante Fowler. His stat line is pretty unimpressive, but that's only because teams actively game plan against him.
Anyone who is a fan of draft season, and peruses the various mainstream drafting sites, should see that there doesn't seem to be much consensus on the stock of many of the first round prospects beyond the top 6. In respected mock drafts I've seen Dante Fowler go everywhere from the 6-10 range and even as far back as 25. The same goes with the CB's. So it's really anyone guess here.
Given the Steelers need for a CB, and given the assertion that they will re-sign Jason Worilds, the player who makes the most sense is P.J. Williams. He was my preseason pick for the top CB in this draft class. This season he hasn't been quite as unblemished as many expected it to be, but he's consistently shown good instincts and combines speed, toughness in run support, and a 6-foot-0, 196-pounds frame that the Steelers prefer in their CB's. Getting him this late in the first round should garner a celebration all around from Steelers Nation who have been clamoring for the front office to spend a first round pick on the position.
28. 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.
29. Detroit Lions - Danny Shelton NT, Washington
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, although Darius Slay has played well this season, but could use another safety to pair with Glover Quin.
The Lions declined the 5th-year option on Nick Fairley making him a free agent in 2015, and will be out-priced for Ndamukong Suh who will almost certainly void the final year of his contract, so it makes sense for them to look for a DT prospect who can anchor the front of DC Austin's 3-4 defense.
30. Denver Broncos - Denzel Perryman ILB, Miami
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. If they do take an offensive player it will almost certainly be for a RT. They have alternated between Chris Clark and Cornick, neither of whom have offered much protection for Manning.
31. New England Patriots - Melvin Gordon RB, Wisconsin
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Dominique Easley, Jimmy Garoppolo, James White, Cameron Flemming
Teams Needs: OG/OC/CB/NT/S/RB
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 regardless of the roll they are currently on. The offensive line hasn't been able to protect Brady 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. A big issue this season has been the ineffectiveness of the running game, especially with Steven Ridley out for the year. Plus Ridley and Shane Vereen are both pending free agents.
32. Green Bay Packers - Eric Striker LB, Oklahoma
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 the Packers need a LB 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.
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 higher if he can put some weight on between the end of the college football season and the combine much like Ryan Shazier.
33. Oakland Raiders - DeVante Parker WR, Louisville
Oakland needs more reliable playmakers for Derek Carr.
34. Jacksonville Jaguars - Mike Davis RB, South Carolina
Toby Gerhart is not a franchise back.
35. New York Jets - Alex Carter CB, Stanford
They converted Antonio Allen from S to CB out of necessity to disastrous results.
36. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Ty Sambrailo OT/OG, Colorado State
When teams draft QB's in the first round they typically use their next pick getting him help. T.B.'s OG play has been atrocious.
37. Tennessee Titans - Cody Prewitt S, Ole Miss
Michael Griffin was almost a cap casualty this offseason and Bernard Pollard will be coming back from an Achilles tear.
38. Atlanta Falcons - Cameron Erving OT, Florida State
Atlanta has to do a better job of protecting Matt Ryan.
39. Washington Redskins - Mario Edwards DE/DT, Florida State
Washington needs to improve their interior pass-rush.
40. Chicago Bears - Jalen Collins CB, LSU
Chicago needs a long-term starter opposite of Kyle Fuller.
41. St. Louis Rams - Lorenzo Mauldin DE/OLB, Louisville
The Rams were interested in Khalil Mack because Jeff Fisher wants a pass-rushing SLB.
42. Carolina Panthers - Rashad Greene WR, Florida State
The Panthers need some long-term weapons to match with Kelvin Benjamin.
43. New York Giants - Malcom Brown DT, Texas
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. Minnesota Vikings - Spencer Drango OT/OG, Baylor
Matt Kalil has regressed and Minnesota could use upgrades at both OG spots.
45. Houston Texans - Brett Hundley QB, UCLA
Hundley is a better prospect than Tom Savage but is still not a finished product.
46. San Francisco 49ers - Ty Montgomery WR, Stanford
S.F. has several issues at WR that need to be addressed.
47. 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.
48. Buffalo Bills - Sammy Coates WR, Auburn
Notable 2014 Draft picks: Sammy Watkins, Cyrus Kouandjio, Preston Brown, Seantrel Henderson
Team needs: QB/TE/LB/RB
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 pay and he could certainly be upgraded. At WR they need a long-term WR to pair with Sammy Watkins. Robert Woods has been a slight disappointment and would probably workout better in the slot.
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.
49. San Diego Chargers - Ronald Darby CB, Florida State
S.D. needs another CB to pair with Jason Verrett.
50. Baltimore Ravens - T.J. Yeldon RB, Alabama
Justin Forsett is a free agent, and Bernard Pierce is more of a short yardage back. The Ravens need a starter to replace Ray Rice and Ozzie Newsome loves players from his alma mater.
51. Miami Dolphins - Ameer Abdullah RB, Nebraska
Knowshon Moreno is a free agent in 2015.
52. Seattle Seahawks - Devin Funchess WR/TE, Michigan
Seattle was looking to trade Percy Harvin for a TE, although Funchess may be used as a WR.
53. New Orleans Saints - Nelson Agholor WR, USC
Marques Colston could be a cap casualty this offseason. Robert Meachem is a free agent.
54. 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?
55. Cincinnati Bengals - Reese Dismukes OC, Auburn
Russell Bodine is not the answer at OC.
56. Kansas City Chiefs - Hau'oli Kikaha DE/OLB, Washington
Justin Houston is a free agent.
57. Dallas Cowboys - Eddie Goldman NT, FSU
The Cowboys should take the best defensive player available. Although they are playing better this year, last season they had zero pass-rush and a historically bad passing defense.
58. Indianapolis Colts - Karl Joesph S, West Virginia
Indy has issues in their secondary and Mike Adams is a free agent.
59. Pittsburgh Steelers - Nate Orchard DE/OLB, Utah
Even if the Steelers manage to re-sign Jason Worilds it's likely that they will still spend an early round selection on a pass-rushing OLB. It's the Steelers mantra that you can never have enough LB depth, this season has tested that for sure. Remember that when Worilds was taken in the second round of the 2010 draft, LaMarr Woodley was coming off of a 10 sacks season and James Harrison, while already 31 years old at the time, was a little more than a year removed from winning the defensive player of the year award and subsequently signing a 6-year deal.
Even in the second round there will be several good players to choose from. Lorenzo Mauldin, Hau'oli Kikaha, Eli Harold, and Nate Orchard will all garner attention from Colbert and Co. Orchard, a personal favorite of mine, especially will standout as a high character, tireless worker who uses excellent speed and first-step quickness to blow by offensive linemen. Originally recruited to play WR, the Utes quickly switched him to DE to take advantage of his size and quickness. He's added 60 pounds of muscle since his freshman season and checks in at 6-foot-4, 255-pounds. Against the Bruins this season he sacked fellow high draft pick Brett Hundley four times. He is also a devoted family man who is married with a young daughter. Nate Orchard was also born Nate Fakahafua but changed his last name to his adopted parents last names after his sophomore season to honor them.
60. Arizona Cardinals - Jalen Mills CB/S, LSU
Antonio Cromartie is a free agent.
61. Detroit Lions - Eli Harold DE/OLB, Virginia
The Lions need another edge rusher to fit into DC Austin's eventual 3-4defense.
62. Denver Broncos - Derron Smith FS, Fresno State
Rahim Moore and Quinton Carter are both free agents.
63. New England Patriots - Nick O' Leary TE, Florida State
N.E. needs more pass-catchers and Belechick has had more success drafting TE's than WR's.
64. Green Bay Packers - Tyrus Thompson OT, Oklahoma
Bryan Bulaga and Derek Sherrod are both injury-plagued free agents.
65. Oakland Raiders - Duke Johnson RB, Miami
Darren McFadden is an injury-plagued free agent.
66. Jacksonville Jaguars - Ereck Flowers OT, Miami
The Jags need better protection for Blake Bortles.
67. New York Jets - Antwan Goodley WR, Baylor
The Jets need better pass-catchers for their new QB.
68. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Preston Smith DE, Mississippi State
Draft busts Adrian Clayborn and Da'Quan Bowers are both free agents.
69. Tennessee Titans - Kevin Johnson CB, Wake Forest
Tennessee's secondary has suffered since losing Alterraun Verner to free agency.
70. Atlanta Falcons - Hroniss Grasu OC, Oregon
Joe Hawley and Peter Konz, a second round bust, are both on IR for the rest of the season.
71. Washington Redskins - T.J. Clemmings OT, Pittsburgh
Tyler Polumbus will be a free agent in 2015.
72. Chicago Bears - Anthony Harris SS, Virginia
Chris Conte is a free agent.
73. St. Louis Rams - Laken Tomlinson OG, Duke
Davin Joseph is a free agent.
74. Carolina Panthers - Steve Nelson CB, Oregon State
The Panthers secondary is a mess.
75. New York Giants - Sean Hickey OT, Syracuse
They could cut William Beatty in the offseason.
76. Minnesota Vikings - Charles Gaines CB, Louisville
Minnesota needs depth at CB.
77. Houston Texans - Kurtis Drummond S, Michigan State
Kendrick Lewis and Danieal Manning are both free agents.
78. San Francisco 49ers - Javorius Allen RB, USC
Frank Gore will be a 32 year old free agent and Marcus Lattimore is mulling retirement.
79. Cleveland Browns - Carl Davis DT, Iowa
Ahtyba Rubin is a free agent.
80. Buffalo Bills - A.J. Cann OG, South Carolina
Erik Pears is a 32 year old free agent.
81. San Diego Chargers - Josh Harper WR, Fresno State
Eddie Royal is a free agent and S.D. needs another pass-catcher regardless.
82. Baltimore Ravens - Pharaoh Brown TE, Oregon
Owen Daniels is a 31 year old free agent and Dennis Pitta has injury issues.
83. Miami Dolphins - Christian Covington DT, Rice
Jared Odrick is a free agent.
84. Seattle Seahawks - Arie Kouandjio OG, Alabama
James Carpenter is a free agent.
85. New Orleans Saints - Tevin Coleman RB, Indiana
Mark Ingram is a first round bust and a free agent in 2015.
86. Philadelphia Eagles - Jake Fisher OG/OT, Oregon
Philly could upgrade at OG and once again Chip Kelly loves his Pac-12 guys.
87. Cincinnati Bengals - Za'Darius Smith DE, Kentucky
Cincy misses Michael Johnson's pass-rush.
88. Kansas City Chiefs - Tre Jackson OG, Florida State
The Chiefs lost both of their starting OG's in free agency.
89. Dallas Cowboys - Cedric Reed DE, Texas
The Cowboys should spend multiple picks upgrading the defensive line.
90. Indianapolis Colts - Justin Hardy WR, East Carolina
Reggie Wayne, who is already 35 years old, and Hakeem Nicks are free agents.
91. Pittsburgh Steelers - Eric Murray CB, Minnesota
I've already mentioned that I believe the Steelers are at a point where because of the talent, youth, and money invested at every position that they can afford to start using early picks where they normally wouldn't. After having already filled their only two needs with their top two picks, the Steelers can start drafting the best players available regardless of need. Here that means using a third round pick on depth purposes, because while they should be flush with starters at CB they'll still need quality depth in today's NFL.
The beloved Ike Taylor is on his farewell tour, unfortunately from the bench right now, while the surprisingly solid Brice McCain was only signed to a one year "prove it" deal. As much as we would like to have him back it's likely that McCain will want to cash in on a rebound year. Antwon Blake has also looked good in limited snaps, but those are very limited snaps. Hopefully the newly minted Cortez Allen, currently sulking from the bench because of poor play, will rebound but going forward the only CB on the roster who can be counted on is Willie Gay. There's Carnell Lake's pet project Shaq Richardson, who failed to impress enough in the offseason that he was put on the practice squad but later put on IR to keep him off of the waiver wire. So long story short, the Steelers could spend two picks at CB.
Eric Murray, like a lot of good players stuck on middling teams, doesn't get a lot of national recognition. He's a very physical, excels in man coverage, with a good 6-foot, 195-pounds frame. ESPN's own Mel Kiper ranks him as his fourth best CB in the draft, I like him but not as much as Kiper, but because of a lack of INT's he'll probably fall in the draft.
92. Arizona Cardinals - Josue Matias OG, Florida State
Jonathan Cooper is looking like a bust and both OG spots need to be upgraded.
93. Detroit Lions - Jay Ajayi RB, Boise State
Detroit needs a more consistent running game to balance their offense.
94. Denver Broncos - Clive Walford TE, Miami
Even though Julian Thomas is likely to be re-signed, Jacob Tamme and Virgil Green are also free agents.
95. New England Patriots - Chaz Green OT/OG, Florida
Dan Connolly is a 32 year old free agent.
96. Green Bay Packers - Henry Anderson DE/DT, Stanford
B.J. Raji and Letroy Guion are both free agents.
97. Oakland Raiders - Quandre Diggs CB, Texas
Oakland's secondary is a mess.
98. Jacksonville Jaguars - Cam Thomas CB, Western Kentucky
The Jags can't cover anyone and Gus Bradley likes tall CB's.
99. New York Jets - Corey Robinson OT, South Carolina
Except for Nick Mangold the rest of the Jets offensive line has major issues.
100. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Jaquiski Tartt SS, Samford
The Bucs traded Mark Barron to the Rams.
101. Tennessee Titans - Trey Flowers DE/OLB, Arkansas
Tennessee needs OLB's that fit their new 3-4 defense.
102. Atlanta Falcons - Rory Anderson TE, South Carolina
Matt Ryan needs an athletic safety valve at TE.
103. Washington Redskins - Geneo Grissom OLB, Oklahoma
Brian Orakpo is a free agent.
104. Chicago Bears - Tony Lippett WR, Michigan State
Santonio Holmes and Josh Morgan are both free agents.
105. Tampa Bay buccaneer (via St. Louis Rams) - Ramik Wilson LB, Georgia
Outside of Lavonte David the Bucs aren't getting much from their LB corps.
106. Carolina Panthers - Owamagbe Odighizuwa DE, UCLA
Greg Hardy is a free agent.
107. New York Giants - Durrell Eskridge S, Syracuse
Antrel Rolle, Stevie Brown, and Quintin Demps are all free agents.
108. Minnesota Vikings - A.J. Johnson ILB, Tennessee
Jasper Brinkley is a free agent.
109. Houston Texans - Ellis McCarthy NT, UCLA
Jerrell Powe and Ryan Pickett are free agents in 2015.
110. Buffalo Bills (via San Francisco 49ers) - Garrett Grayson QB, Colorado state
Buffalo may not be ready to spend an early round pick on a possible replacement but they need to bring in some insurance in case they need to move on from E.J. Manuel.
111. Cleveland Browns - Alton "Pig" Howard WR, Tennessee
Miles Austin is a free agent.
112. Cleveland Browns (via Buffalo Bills) - Sam Carter C, TCU
Tashaun Gipson is a free agent.
113. San Diego Chargers - Bronson Kaufusi DE/OLB, BYU
Melvin Ingram has injury issues.
114. Baltimore Ravens - Daryl Williams OT/OG, Oklahoma
Jah Reid is a free agent.
115. Miami Dolphins - Damian Swann CB/S, Georgia
Louis Delmas is a free agent.
116. Seattle Seahawks - Ben Koyack TE, Notre Dame
Seattle was shopping Percy Harvin for a TE.
117. New Orleans Saints - Byron Jones CB, Connecticut
Patrick Robinson is a free agent.
118. Philadelphia Eagles - Austin Hill WR, Arizona
Jeremy Macklin is an injury-plagued free agent.
119. Cincinnati Bengals - Ray Drew DE/DT, Georgia
Cincy needs D-line depth. They have an affinity for UGA players.
120. Kansas City Chiefs - Tyler Lockett WR, Kansas State
Alex Smith needs more reliable pass-catchers.
121. Dallas Cowboys - Kevin White CB, TCU
Morris Claiborne has been a total bust.
122. Indianapolis Colts - Eric Rowe S/CB, Utah
Indy has issues in the secondary.
123. Pittsburgh Steelers - Jeff Heuerman TE, Ohio State
Is it time to start looking for an eventual replacement for Heath Miller? Probably not as he still has a couple of good years left in him, but that hasn't stopped the Steelers from using late round picks at the position. Besides, Matt Spaeth is a 30 year old free agent with only two catches on the season.
It's a crime how underutilized Jeff Heuerman is in OSU's offense. He'll never be confused with the Gronk's and Jimmy Graham's of the world, Heath Miller wasn't exactly an athletic marvel as a prospect either, but he's a sure-handed pass-catcher that I personally had rated as the second best TE prospect going into the season. He can find holes in the coverage and has soft hands, but the offense only uses him for his excellent blocking prowess. While I don't think he'll set the TE world on fire I do think he could be a steal in this draft class. And of course he'll get a look by the Steelers if for no other reason than because he goes to Dick LeBeau's alma mater.
124. Arizona Cardinals - Jake Ryan ILB, Michigan
Larry Foote is a 34 year old free agent.
125. Detroit Lions - Jarvis Harrison OG, Texas A&M
Rob Sims is a free agent.
126. San Fransisco 49ers (via Denver Broncos) - Michael Bennett DT, Ohio State
Justin Smith will be 36 years old at the start of next season.
127. New England Patriots - Leon Orr DE/DT, Florida
N.E. has D-line depth issues and Belechick has an affinity for Florida players.
128. Green Bay Packers - Bryce Petty QB, Baylor
Matt Flynn is a free agent. When Aaron Rogers goes down so does the teams playoff hopes.