DE, Michigan State
Baltimore needs youth on defense, and that will likely take precedence over the team’s notable o-line concerns. William Gholston looked pedestrian versus Boise State this week but, presumably, he’ll pick it up as the year progresses.
The Texans would love to add a wide receiver, but that won’t be an option here. Kawann Short will provide Houston with some depth and, as he proved this weekend, can be a pretty nifty asset defending against the opposition’s special teams.
CB, Mississippi State
At a certain point this team is going to have to give Peyton Manning something to work with, but, this won't be that point. If David Amerson makes what happened last weekend into a regular thing, Johnthan Banks could quickly emerge as this draft’s top corner. He’ll probably go higher than 26 just by virtue of his skills set, however, I think the Broncos will actually be drafting higher than 26, so they’ll probably be able to land him anyway.
It wouldn’t kill the Giants to give Eli Manning something more to work with on offense, but they’ll likely focus on defense with this pick. The Longhorns didn’t blow anyone away with their defensive showing this week, and Jackson Jeffcoat wasn't particularly impressive from an individual standpoint, however, we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt for now.
Now that the Saints inked Drew Brees to his very pricey deal, they need to do their best to protect him. It’s obviously hard to make the case for any Michigan players after this weekend, however, Taylor Lewan seemed like he could handle himself well heading into the year. We’ll see what happens.
CB, Florida State
Pittsburgh is going to address some areas of concern in the first round this year (as opposed to taking best player), and cornerback is definitely an area of concern. There are varying opinions on how good Xavier Rhodes will be, but for now everyone seems to have him as a top three player at his position. It was tough to get a read on him based on a blowout victory over Murray State, though, so this is a guy who is worth keeping an eye on as the year progresses.
The Packers will continue to focus on defense in this year’s draft and T.J. McDonald would be an absolute steal here. Good size, speed and power. Championship pedigree (soon enough). Just an all-around great pick late in the first round.
Texas’ defense was kind of underwhelming this week, but Carrington Byndom was one of the team’s lone bright spots. This pick will probably change before the end of the year, but I think Eagles go defense here and Byndom is as good a placeholder as any at this point.
I take great pride in guessing who the Patriots will pick, and it’s too early to get a read on that right now. To be determined.