G, North Carolina
The fact that Andrew Luck threw a lot of picks was viewed as a huge red flag by his critics. What often went unnoticed, though, was how much worse his protection was than any of the other rookie quarterbacks’. Jonathan Cooper would go a long ways in giving Luck a little more time to throw next season.
The Seahawks are good on defense, at running back, and at quarterback. They desperately need a quality wide receiver, though. Unfortunately, there won’t be any of those available at this point. The choice will basically be between Justin Hunter and Robert Woods and, well, let’s just say Pete Carroll is way too smart to take a USC wide receiver in the first round.
Remember when once upon a time Sam Montgomery was projected to be a top-tier pick? Yikes. On the bright side, at least Les Miles got his money.
The Texans are going to go either wide receiver or linebacker here. Given the options at wide receiver, an underrated diamond in the rough-type like Kevin Minter makes a whole lot of sense.
A team that understands the importance of quality running backs like Denver would have loved to steal Giovani Bernard here, but he will be gone by this point. Taking the best defensive player available is the next most logical move.
With Tony Gonzalez gone, tight end would appear to be the way to go for Atlanta. Zach Ertz is the flavor of the month non-Tyler Eifert TE right now, but we would all be wise to revaluate that a little closer to draft day.
WR, West Virginia
The Patriots need another legitimate wide receiver; Tavon Austin is the most underrated wide receiver out there heading into the draft. This makes sense on every level.
With Ray Lewis and (most likely) Ed Reed gone next year, Baltimore has some big shoes to fill. It’s pretty difficult to find quality safeties, though, so if Matt Elam is still available here, he is the way to go.
This team is good enough to take a risk here. Robert Woods is big and supposedly knows how to catch the ball. Colin Kaepernick has a bunch of targets already, but one more won’t hurt. Especially not on a team this stacked with no visible weaknesses.