After spending countless hours hunkered down in our make shift war room, pouring over hours and hours of Path to the Draft and various other draft shows, we’ve formulated our best guess as to where the top prospects will come off the board when Roger Goodell takes to the podium on Thursday night at Radio City Music Hall. With the Revis trade now finalized, its unlikely that the order will change much more before Thursday.
Matt Barkley’s stock has taken a hit with less then stellar play and a season ending injury. Geno Smith has looked great at times but not #1 overall pick great, at least not in the mind of the experts. Over the last couple seasons have seen rookie QBs be productive fantasy football players more than every before. Cam Newton, RGIII, and Andrew Luck have produced in a way that few rookie quarterbacks have in the past. There may not be that kind of talent in the 2013 draft.
With the 2012 NFL draft fast approaching (first round kicks off on Thursday April 26th)- we figured now is the time to unveil our UPDATED take on where the best collegiate players will end up. We don’t have any changes to the first 8 Picks but we can see a few trades (especially if Miami gets smitten with Tannehill). We will try to provide all of the relevant info including free agent additions / subtractions, team needs, potential injury stop gaps etc so without further adieu here is how we see the top 8 picks shaking out.
We see a run on the offensive and defensive lines with picks 9 through 16 with only one skill position player slotted to come off the board (Jets using the #16 pick on a much needed playmaker in Notre Dame WR Michael Floyd). Carolina is a dire need of upgrading the interior of the D-line and combine standout DT Fletcher Cox could sneak his way into the top 10. Buffalo could throw the first curve ball as rumors are heating up that they are looking to land LT Matt Kalil in a trade up to #3 with Minnesota (Vikings could look to land home town WR Michael Floyd at #10 – stay tuned.)
Cincinnati has two picks (#17 and #21) among picks 17-24 and while we think they address CB and OL – don’t rule out a potential WR addition opposite AJ Green. Cleveland is in need of a major offensive overhaul and we think they address the RB and WR positions with their two first round picks (can’t see QB Ryan Tannehill going at #4). If they are able to land RB Trent Richardson and WR Kendall Wright – their offense could be serviceable even with another year of Colt McCoy under center.
Denver’s acquisition of QB Peyton Manning could shape their draft strategy if Peyton demands another weapon – although WRs Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker are serviceable. Ultimately we feel Denver addresses the interior of the D-Line (Penn State DT Devon Still) following the free agent loss of Broderick Bunkley. We see two skill postion players going in the final 8 selections as Houston bolsters their WR corps with combine standout WR Stephen Hill (Ga Tech) and the Super Bowl Champion Giants select Va Tech RB David Wilson to add depth to a ground game that lost Brandon Jacobs via free agency and will need a backup plan if Ahmad Bradshaw’s foot problems linger.
With the first round just over 48 hours from kickoff – today we present a great resource for all Draftniks as FantasyKnuckleheads goes the extra yard to provide a 7 round mock draft for each of the 32 NFL teams. Trent Richardson is viewed by some as the best RB prospect since AP went #7 overall to Minnesota in 2007. T-Rich should here his name called among the top 5 picks.
Today we present the latest and greatest from SI’s Peter King who always has his ear to the pavement when it comes to the NFL Rumor Mill. King’s top 10 is similar to most but he projects just three WRs going in round 1 (Blackmon to St Louis, Michael Floyd to Carolina and Kendall Wright (owner of 16% body fat) to Chicago.