1. Cleveland Browns: Jarvis Jones
The kids from LSU have been getting a lot of love ever since the preseason, however, what Jarvis Jones has done thus far is pretty incredible. (Games like the one versus South Carolina happen. Nothing you can do about it.) He’s not as big as Sam Montgomery or Barkevious Mingo, but his 5.5 sacks, 37 tackles and one interception (!) through six weeks speak for themselves. Best defensive player in the country right now.
2. Indianapolis Colts: Star Lotulelei
His inconsistent performance versus USC leaves something to be desired, obviously, but there is no getting around the fact that Star Lotulelei is the best defensive tackle in the nation. Indy is going to address the defensive line this year, and you know management is salivating over how much better this kid looks in 2012 compared to 2011. (Which is saying a lot in itself.)
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Johnathan Hankins
DT, Ohio State
People are going to be demanding a quarterback here, but none of the quarterbacks in this year’s draft are worthy of a top-five pick. Not yet, at least. Johnathan Hankins has the perfect combination of size and speed to bolster Jacksonville’s defense.
4. Oakland Raiders: David Amerson
CB, North Carolina State
This team’s struggles on defense can be linked back directly to the secondary. While injuries admittedly play a huge role in this being Oakland’s major weakness, adding some new blood at corner would still do the squad some good. David Amerson hasn’t been very good this year and doesn’t deserve to be a top-four pick, but his size and potential will win management over.
5. New Orleans Saints: Sam Montgomery
This team’s defense is porous. Absolutely, positively porous. Regardless of where they finish, regardless of how the rest of this season goes – the defense must be addressed. Sam Montgomery is huge, requires a lot of attention, and should provide New Orleans with some much-needed toughness.
6. Kansas City Chiefs: Matt Barkley
The Matt Cassel experiment can officially be ruled a failure. Kansas City will go quarterback here, so at this point it’s just a matter of which one. Geno Smith puts up huge numbers, but we take those numbers with a grain of salt (for now). Tyler Wilson’s situation speaks for itself. Tyler Bray isn’t ready, yet. Matt Barkley is the last one standing – the top passer in this draft almost by default.
7. Miami Dolphins: Keenan Allen
WR, Cal Miami desperately needs a quality wide receiver. Keenan Allen is the best wide receiver in this draft. Problem solved.