21 DALLAS COWBOYS: MARK BARRON, S, ALABAMA
The Cowboys have had major issues at the safety position for nearly a decade and it might finally be time to do something about it. Alabama’s Mark Barron is widely considered to be the top senior prospect at his position and is a consensus first round talent. Not only does Barron possess intriguing physical tools but his football intangibles also stand out, plus there is the added benefit of a Nick Saban pedigree. Barron is at his best in the box but has also flashed playmaking ability in coverage. The bar has been set awfully low, but Barron would likely be the best safety that Dallas has had since Darren Woodson. The Cowboys may also be in the market for a cornerback since Terence Newman is past his prime and overpaid. Another consideration could be the defensive line, where Dallas is solid but lacks a true difference maker. Don’t completely rule out a stud offensive guard or center either.
Id rather wait for a stud like Earl Thomas or Eric Berry if Sensy and Elam are going to continue to be solid.
8: CAROLINA PANTHERS: DRE KIRKPATRICK, CB, ALABAMA
It appears as though the Panthers have most of the pieces in place on offense, but there is still plenty of work to do on the other side of the ball. In fact, the Panthers could realistically use some help on all three levels of their defense. Considering the lack of quality and depth at the cornerback position it may prove difficult to pass on Alabama’s Dre Kirkpatrick, no pun intended. Kirkpatrick is a tall, rangy cover guy who isn’t afraid to hit someone and you can’t underestimate the value of playing for Nick Saban in what is basically a pro system. Kirkpatrick may not be the elite, shutdown corner that some have made him out to be but he would certainly be an upgrade over Captain Munnerlyn, who is best suited for nickel duty. Despite just using early round picks on Terrell McClain and Sione Fua the defensive tackle position is still a concern and it may finally be time to replace injury-prone outside linebacker Thomas Davis.
14: CHICAGO BEARS: DAVID DECASTRO, OG, STANFORD
Despite just using a first round pick on a blocker, the Bears offensive line is still in shambles. There is some talent on the edges but the interior is of particular concern, which is why Chicago may jump at the chance to add Stanford OG David DeCastro. In the NFL Draft the guard and center positions have traditionally been undervalued but that has begun to change in recent years. Just ask the Pouncey Twins! If ever there was an interior blocker worthy of being selected in the first round it is DeCastro. Not only is DeCastro big, tough, physical and aggressive but he is also mobile enough to pull and be a factor in space. DeCastro isn’t the type of sexy pick that is going to excite a fan base, but he has all of the tools to be one of the leagues best. The Bears could also use another playmaker for their passing game and Michael Floyd of Notre Dame would be the legitimate go-to target that they’ve been searching for. Don’t rule out a cornerback either because there is not much to speak of beyond Charlie Tillman
16: TENNESSEE TITANS: MELVIN INGRAM, DE, SOUTH CAROLINA
Even upon close examination of the Titans depth chart it’s difficult to pinpoint a ton of glaring holes. With that said there are a number of areas where they could stand to upgrade, one of which is defensive end. The cupboard certainly isn’t bare in Tennessee, but they lack a true impact pass rusher at the position. No prospect has improved his stock more this season than South Carolina’s Melvin Ingram, who entered the year as a potential Top 100 pick but is now firmly in the first round conversation. The versatile Ingram could contribute at end, tackle or linebacker depending on the scheme. A great athlete, Ingram seems to have a knack for being in the right place at the right time to make the big play. The Titans could also be in the market for another starting-caliber corner to play opposite Cortland Finnegan or perhaps a weakside linebacker to eventually replace the aging Will Witherspoon. Don't rule out a interior offensive lineman either because the Titans once potent rushing attack has floundered
11: KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: VONTAZE BURFICT, ILB, ARIZONA ST.
It’s relatively rare to see an inside linebacker selected in the top half of round one, but Vontaze Burfict of Arizona St. is the type of talent who could be an exception. A big, fast, athletic, violent ‘backer with a real nasty streak, Burfict has a tendency to get out of control at times and must get a better handle on his emotions but you’d rather have to reign in a guys aggressiveness than vise versa. The Chiefs could use an impact presence up the middle of their defense and Burfict would be a perfect compliment to Derrick Johnson. Kansas City still has some question marks along their offensive line, specifically at right tackle, so that could be a possibility as well and don’t rule out a nose tackle either. There is a contingent of Chiefs fans in favor of making a change at quarterback, but GM Scott Pioli probably isn't ready to throw in the towel on Matt Cassel yet
24 CINCINNATI BENGALS: CORDY GLENN, OG, GEORGIA
The Bengals have a reputation for taking chances on players with freakish physical tools in the early rounds and this selection would be another example of that. Georgia’s Cordy Glenn is a four-year starter who moved to left tackle as a senior after excelling at guard earlier in his college career. A mountain of a man with a truly rare blend of size, strength and athleticism, Glenn is a dominant mauler who will elicit comparisons to Shawn Andrews and Andre Smith. Cincinnati is solid on the edges but the interior of their offensive line leaves something to be desired and Glenn would represent a major upgrade. Depending on what they do with their earlier pick the Bengals may also be in the market for help in the secondary at either cornerback or safety. Don’t rule out a running back either, although at this point Alabama’s Trent Richardson appears to be the only sure - fire first rounder at the position.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: MOHAMED SANU, WR, RUTGERS
New England has some big names at the wide receiver position but most of them are either getting older or are already well past their prime. Since Randy Moss was sent packing the Patriots offense has lacked that physically imposing, downfield, jump-ball threat but Mohamed Sanu of Rutgers could fill the void. Up until just a few years ago the Scarlet Knights had never produced a first round pick in the NFL Draft, but Sanu could follow in the footsteps of Kenny Britt and Anthony Davis. Sanu hasn’t always put up eye-popping numbers but that is more a product of sub par play from the quarterback position than an indictment of his talent. An outstanding natural athlete with prototypical size, Sanu compares quite favorably to Britt but doesn’t come with all of the off-the-field baggage. Depending on what they do with their earlier pick the Pats could also opt for a pass rusher at either defensive end or outside linebacker and an upgrade at safety is probably called for as well. Then again, Bill Belichick will probably just trade this choice for a future first rounder..