Everyone assumed that the Jets would try to pick up a quarterback who can’t actually throw with this pick, but they addressed that need a couple of weeks ago. Rex Ryan is a defensive-minded coach who will make sure that every little fraction of his defense is strong before he addresses anything else. The Jets’ pass rush isn’t as potent as some seem to believe it is, and Upshaw would change that fairly quickly. Both because of the way that he plays and his personality, Ryan will fall in love with this guy right off the bat.
CB, North Alabama
The Bengals need to address a number of positions, but none moreso than cornerback. There is actually a case to be made for Jenkins being the second best corner available in this draft, talent-wise, but his character flaws are a pretty big albatross. The Bengals don’t care about players with character issues, though, so they’ll happily welcome Jenkins with open arms.
Once an absolutely fierce pass rushing team, the Chargers have fallen on hard times in that regard as of late. Mercilus, who ate Big Ten offenses for lunch during his stint with the Fighting Illini, would fill a huge need for San Diego and would add some legitimacy to a defense in desperate need of some toughness.
WR, Notre Dame
This is another pick where a good imagination is necessary. Yes, in theory, the addition of Brandon Marshall should mean that the Bears look elsewhere come draft night. But given the talent that would be available at this point and the potential for what Jay Cutler could achieve with multiple talented wide receivers, Chicago won’t pass up on Floyd.
One of the less heralded pass rushers in this draft, Perry will work wonders for the Titans if they make him their first round pick. Last year, Tennessee was embarrassingly awful at getting after opposing quarterbacks. With Andrew Luck coming to the division and Matt Schaub returning from injury, this is one area that absolutely must get addressed.
RB, Virginia Tech
This is another pick we got absolutely destroyed for last time. Look, Wilson put up 1,709 yards and nine touchdowns last year, and he’s quite clearly the second best running back available in this draft behind Richardson. He’s not as versatile as the Alabama star by any stretch, but he’s got really impressive speed. Sure, the Bengals could add a wide receiver here like some seem to be projecting, but how would reaching for a receiver be any different than reaching for a legitimate running back?
The Browns need an upgrade at right tackle, and selecting Martin to address that hole makes sense in every regard. Once Cleveland gives McCoy a brand new wide receiver to throw to with the No. 4 pick, this will immediately become the next logical move to make.
CB, South Carolina
The Lions’ secondary was awful last year, and Gilmore is the fourth best cornerback option available in this draft. Detroit’s march back to becoming a legitimate franchise started with its solid defense, and Gilmore’s speed and size (plus good Combine showing) will make him an irresistible option for a management team that knows how to sniff out not-so-heralded talent.