ILB, Notre Dame
The Bills could go in one of several directions here, but the focus this year will most likely be on defense. Wide receiver could be a point of interest but, again, there won’t be much available at this point. There is a strong case to be made for taking either defensive tackle or linebacker, however, seeing as Manti Te'o had such a big Saturday (six tackles, interception, fumble), he’ll get the nod (for now).
DE, Florida State
Jesus, who knows. New York has serious holes on both offense and defense so, really, it’s mostly just a matter of who is on the board when they’re up to bat. Wide receiver is obviously a huge area of concern, but it won’t be addressed this late in the first round. The running game is questionable, however, it’s hard to envision Marcus Lattimore getting the nod here. That leaves defense. Bjoern Werner looked really strong this week (four sacks, forced fumble) and, while he may not be the flashiest of picks, he might be exactly what the Jets defense needs right now.
OT, Texas A&M
The Cowboys could go in a number of different direction here but, seeing they addressed the defense in the first round of last year’s draft, addressing the o-line in the first round of this year’s might make some sense. Acquiring Ryan Cook was a smart move, but it won’t address all that ails Dallas’ ability to protect. Jake Matthews is a good young piece, and he’ll be someone the Cowboys will be able to rely on for years to come.
The Lions will take the best player available at this point, and there is a reasonable argument to be made that Eric Reid should go in the top 10. That said, I just don’t see where he gets picked up. The teams noted above, with the exception of the Vikings, have more pressing needs than addressing the secondary.
RB, South Carolina
Marcus Lattimore looked good this weekend against Vanderbilt, but not good enough to justify a top 15 pick. Part of that is due to questions about whether his skills will translate, but part of it is also just because of the natural devaluation of the running back position over the past five years or so. Atlanta brass needs to start thinking about the post-Michael Turner Era, though, so this would be a smart pickup for them.
The Bears need to address either o-line or defense here. While defensive tackle could be a point of interest depending on who is available, given Alabama’s strong showing versus Michigan on Saturday, for now we’ll pencil in Chance Warmack.
San Diego could definitely use a wide receiver here, but they won’t find a non-risky one this late. Terrance Williams caught seven balls for 138 yards this week, so he might prove to be a risk worth taking if he can continue to produce like that for the rest of the season. (And if Kendall Wright doesn’t turn out to be a total disaster.)
QB, Virginia Tech
Okay, I’ll bite the bullet. I think Alex Smith will flop this year. I think he’ll revert to old form and cost the Niners a chip. And I think he’ll be replaced this summer by an up-and-coming youngster who, for now is Logan Thomas, but could turn into any one of a number of late first round quarterback depending on how the season progresses.