The Buffalo Bills legitimately upgraded their defense this year between free agency and the draft, so all signs point to them experiencing much better results on that end next season. As long as Ryan Fitzpatrick offers something even remotely resembling solid production in 2012-13, the powers that be in Buffalo will turn their attention to helping him out in whatever ways they can. Shoring up the O-line with arguably the best tackle prospect in this draft would be a good start.
This time next year, the Seattle Seahawks will either look really smart or really stupid for their Bruce Irvin pick. No matter which one it is, though, regardless of whether he works out or not, Seattle management will need to focus a bit of additional attention on putting Matt Flynn in position to succeed. The Seahawks’ wide receiving group is iffy, at best, and picking up the second best wide receiver available would make a lot of sense.
The Miami Dolphins made their bed with that Ryan Tannehill selection. Now, regardless of what happens, you have to give the kid two to three years to succeed before you can even consider going in another direction. (Needless to say, we’re not particularly high on him.) And seeing as they’ll go into the 2013 Draft with their offense dubbed a work in progress, it would make sense for the Dolphins to switch their focus onto defense. Tyrann Mathieu is arguably the second best corner in this draft, and he’d make a lot of sense for a Miami team that ranked 16th in interceptions last year.
The Cincinnati Bengals could go in a number of different directions in next year’s draft, but upgrading the offensive line in a division as tough as the one in which they play is never a bad idea. Barrett Jones is one of the most versatile O-line guys available in next year’s class, and regardless of how Kevin Zeitler ultimately turns out (we have our questions), surely the Bengals will be able to find a place to plug him into.
CB, Mississippi State
After busting every Mock Draft on the planet when they opted to trade away the pick that should have been used on Morris Claiborne, it’s a virtual certainty that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers address the corner position in this year’s proceedings. Jonathan Banks is big and strong enough to compete in the NFL from the getgo, and his production will likely be very welcome on a squad whose cornerback situation is iffy heading into next year.
The Kansas City Chiefs will come out of the 2012-13 season realizing that they need a legitimate franchise quarterback. The opinions on what sort of pro Tyler Bray can be are mixed at this point. He obviously has what it takes to succeed at the next level from a physical standpoint; however, Bray’s collegiate record thus far isn’t one that exactly jumps off the page. This is going to be a huge year for him to prove himself as an NFL-ready quarterback. If he does what some feel like he can do, Bray could end up being the second quarterback off the board.
This pick is contingent on where exactly the Jacksonville Jaguars ultimately end up selecting. If they’re in the top seven, that means their season was a flop. And if their season is a flop, it will most likely be directly attributable to Blaine Gabbert being unfit to lead a franchise. If that’s how things ultimately shake out, then the Jags will go best quarterback on the board. However, if they end up picking right around this point, they’ll likely address defense. Xavier Rhodes is one of the more under-the-radar prospects available, but he should provide a legitimate boost to what will be a very uncertain secondary situation at this point next year.
RB, South Carolina
The Detroit Lions finished 29th in rushing yards per carry last year, and nothing about their roster says that their ability to pound the ball will improve in 2012-13. By this time next season, Marcus Lattimore will be recognized as the unquestionable best running back of this draft class. He’ll do wonders to an upgrade an offense that, running game aside, can be really special over the next few years.