After last weekend’s win vs. the Giants and the Browns loss to the Cards, Washington slipped out of fourth pick down to 7th. Then yesterday we find out that Matt Barkley has decided to stay for his senior year at USC, which makes things that much harder for us to pick a QB. After taking stock of the teams expected to have the top 7 picks and their needs, here’s how I think the first few picks of the draft will pan out this coming April:
#1 – Indy
Needs: The next Peyton Manning.
Predicted Pick: Andrew Luck. Yes, RG3 is turning heads, and Luck was the runner up for the Heisman for the second year in a row, but hey… Indy has already been casing this guy long enough… seems they have their mind made up.
#2 – Minnesota
Needs: This is a team that has the 16th ranked offense in the NFL… not terrible but they could use some help in the secondary. Team is tied with Indy for dead last in the league with only 6 interceptions and 27th in pass defense giving up nearly 270 yards per game in the air. Not to mention, the team is 30th in the league in points given up per game at 28.0, with more than 19 pts coming in the air.
Predicted Pick: Morris Claiborne. I think they’ve kinda decided they’re set at QB, but they do have other needs.
#3 – St. Louis
Needs: What don’t they need. They don’t need a QB. But this team is dead last in the league in sacks given up per game (49) and last in hits on the QB (106). Rams are also 26th in the league in rushing, just below 100 yds/game. They are also 26th in the league in points given up per game (25.1) including being 24th in the league giving up 36 TDs. But they’re 12th in sacks and forced fumbles.
Predicted Pick: Matt Kalil. If he really formally enters… lol. First he says he will, then changes his mind. He says he will formally enter. And if he does, if the Rams have any sense at all, they protect their QB.
#4 – Jacksonville
Needs: Someone to protect Gabbert. Did anyone else see the game vs. Atlanta??? You have a top ten pick QB, and he’s getting TRAMPLED.
Predicted Pick: Jonathan Martin
#5 – Cleveland
Needs: What don’t they need… They could use a QB. Could use a RB (ranked 29th in rushing). They could use more offensive line help. They’re 9th in total defense (including 2nd in passing defense). They just can’t score points. Could be Washington’s biggest threat at picking a QB if they choose to do so. But 33 sacks given up and 74 hits to the QB is a good voucher for other help on offense. They could even use a WR/TE.
Predicted Pick: Trent Richardson or RG3 if he declares. Holmgren loves Griffin, but that run game needs more assistance than McCoy and Wallace.
#6 – Tampa Bay
Needs: They have issues scoring (26th in league) but bigger issues giving up points (31st). The best defensive player available at #9 goes to Tampa. If not, If Landry Jones is still hanging around at number nine, they pick him. All that said, I think they find Josh Freeman some help and pick one of these high ranked WRs and stock pile defensive picks in the later rounds.
Predicted Pick: Justin Blackmon
#7 – Washington
Needs: QB. Just don’t have a franchise guy. Won’t REALLY win without one. I think they re-sign Rex, but Beck could be gone. Need OL depth. Too much shuffling going on. You can’t have two right handed QBs and only one LT on the depth chart. That is a problem. Need CB/S. LaRon Landry was just put on the IR today to undergo Achillies surgery… Lord knows if he’ll be back next year. I think they probably keep him, but he may not be as effective. Really could use a shut down CB more than another safety though. There just isn’t one on this team as far as I’m concerned. Skins will continue to get burned downfield w/o a smothering corner.
Predicted Pick: Close call. Either Robert Griffin III (if he declares and isn’t snatched up by the Browns), or Landry Jones. I think Griffin is the more complete package once you factor in his instinctive athleticism, but a part of me tells me Kyle may not draft him. I think Mike would draft him, but we all know who’s really running this offense: Kyle M. Shanahan.
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