Out of all of the Alabama players that will ultimately go in the first round, Hightower could go on to have the most impactful, impressive career. This guy has everything you need for success in the pro ranks, mentally and physically, and he’d be a natural fit in the Steelers’ 3-4. There is really no way he slips beyond this point.
The mind says that the Broncos will go defense with this pick, but the heart says that they’ll add another weapon for Peyton Manning to throw to. Eric Decker is solid and Demaryius Thomas has the talent to be a special player, but Wright would legitimize the Denver receiving group once and for all.
DE, Boston College
This is yet another pick that fans absolutely torched us for last time. Look, the Texans are going to want to shore up the pass rush here, not add a wide receiver that doesn’t even deserve to go in the first round. Curry didn’t have a great Combine, but he impressed a lot of people at his Pro Day and made a very legitimate case for himself as a first rounder. Plus, he has a knack for knocking the ball loose – an invaluable trait in defensive players at the next level. Given the talent that will be available at this point and what Houston is looking for, this selection makes a lot of sense.
DT, Penn State
The Patriots really need to upgrade the defensive line, and Still would be a good way to address that weakness. Beginning with the way he’ll smoothly fit into the 4-3 and ending with the way he’ll ultimately shore up New England’s interior line play, this is a pick that fits any which way you want to look at it.
Green Bay’s 2011 defense was largely driven by its ability to get interceptions. That knack for picking off opposing quarterbacks covered up a lot of holes. In this draft, Green Bay will look to bolster the defensive line with a big, strong (mildly raw) talent that is actually a pretty huge steal at this point.
The Ravens are in the unique position of having their defensive stalwarts returning for one more year, but knowing that their time in the NFL is limited. That gives Baltimore the freedom to select a versatile, talented ready-to-learn guy like Barron, and then letting Ed Reed tutor him until he’s ready to take over the reins. A perfect situation, really.
The Niners are set defensively, so the focus in the early part of this year’s draft for them will be entirely on the offensive end. Jim Harbaugh is familiar with Fleener’s work, and he’ll be giddy at the prospect of teaming up the most talented tight end in this draft with the talented tight end already on his roster. Alex Smith may call this pick in himself.
We’ll simply repeat what we said when we made this pick last time: Everyone has the Patriots taking another defensive player here, but this is too smart of an organization to needlessly reach for a player that could be gotten later. There are no worthy defensive players left that New England could take at this point. Konz doesn’t fill a need, per se, but he’s the best available player and in a weird way he’s a very Patriots-esque pick.
RB, Boise State
Martin is another guy that most anticipate won’t get taken until the second round at the soonest, but this will prove to be a byproduct of Wilson going as early as he did. The Giants lost some depth at running back this offseason, and Martin is arguably the most NFL-ready back not named Trent Richardson that we have in this draft.