QB, West Virginia
This pick remains unchanged. Geno Smith is a better quarterback than Matt Barkley, plain and simple. Along the same lines, there is no denying that he has done more with less than any other top ranked quarterback in the nation. West Virginia has struggled in recent weeks, obviously, but Smith has still a 70 percent passer who has only thrown five interceptions through 13 weeks.
Depending on what happens over the next few weeks with Chad Henne, Jacksonville’s quarterback problems may end up getting solved sans draft. Even if Henne flops, though, Matt Barkley isn’t a big enough upgrade over him to justify this high a selection. Jarvis Jones is arguably the most impactful defensive player in the SEC this season, and he would be a perfect fit for a Jaguars team that puts zero pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
On paper, it is very hard to justify picking Sam Montgomery over Star Lotulelei or Johnathan Hankins – particularly after this week’s LSU-Arkansas game. Both are better overall players when you take them on an individual basis. That said, Montgomery is the better fit for this Browns defense.
Ron Rivera is a goner and Cam Newton gets way too much attention from the media. Now that we have those two obvious notes out of the way, let’s focus on where Carolina really needs improvement: the front lines. Star Lotulelei would fit perfectly on this defensive unit. Great athlete. Can play both the run and the pass. Just a solid all-around player who will make life easier for everyone currently on this side of the ball.
Taking Dee Milliner this high is a bit of a reach, but Oakland desperately needs to address its injury-ravaged secondary. Johnathan Banks and Xavier Rhodes would work here, too.
OT, Texas A&M
Andy Reid is as good as gone. Michael Vick’s future depends on whether or not Chip Kelly is brought in. Regardless of whether it’s Vick or Nick Foles at the helm of the offense, though, the line needs a massive overhaul. Luke Joeckel is versatile enough to play right or left tackle, and he’ll be a great fit for an Eagles offense that is in desperate need of quality protection.
Defense is necessary for success in the NFC West, obviously, but Sam Bradford legitimately has zero passing options right now. This team’s wide receiver situation is embarrassing. Keenan Allen is the best receiving option available in this year’s proceedings, and he will provide a huge boost to an anemic group of receivers.