Monday Morning Draft is a column that delves into the past weekend's action from a 2013 NFL Draft perspective. As the season goes on, the draft picture and slotting will become more clear, but every Sunday will provide a few hints for next April.
By Charlie Campbell.
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Blow For Barkley/Stink for Smith:
There will be a lot of turnover as the season progresses in the positioning of which team will land the No. 1-overall pick to have the first shot at USC quarterback Matt Barkley or West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith. Here are the top contenders following the Week 16 action.
Kansas City Chiefs:
Kansas City continued its losing ways against Indianapolis. The Chiefs were shut out on the road the week before by Oakland. Kansas City is now 2-13 on the season. If the Chiefs lose next week, they will lock up the first pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
A couple weeks ago, despite the Jovan Belcher tragedy that rocked the organization, the Chiefs overcame the adversity to get their second win of the season. Kansas City beat a weak Carolina squad, but that win was a tremendous accomplishment considering what the team was going through.
Quarterbacks Brady Quinn and Matt Cassel have been ineffective this year, and the Chiefs have to sell out for a franchise quarterback in the offseason.
Jacksonville played tough, but fell to the Patriots 23-16 on Sunday. The Jaguars are locked into the top of the 2013 NFL Draft and still could land the No. 1-overall pick if they lose and the Chiefs win next week.
Jacksonville won its second game of the year over the Titans. The Jaguars' other win came when it stole a game from Indianapolis with a last-minute 80-yard touchdown pass from Gabbert to Cecil Shorts in busted coverage. Jacksonville is 2-13 on the season.
This team is locked into a top-five pick and has the least talented roster in the NFL.
Oakland fell to 4-11 after being dropped on the road at Carolina. A week ago, the Raiders beat the Chiefs without managing to find the end zone. Oakland shut out Kansas City - 15-0. Three of the Raiders' wins have come against the Chiefs and Jaguars, so that is nothing to brag about. Oakland is short of the talent to compete on a weekly basis.
The previous regime traded for Carson Palmer and drafted Terrell Pryor. New general manager Reggie McKenzie and head coach Dennis Allen won't hesitate to start their rebuilding process with a franchise quarterback if there is one available that they like.
The Lions continued their disappointing year by getting dropped by Atlanta on Saturday night. Detroit's secondary had no answer for Matt Ryan and the Falcons' receivers. Last week, the Lions lost by four touchdowns to a terrible Arizona team.
Detroit has fallen to 4-11 and continues to finish the season on a sour note. The Lions' roster has a lot of holes in it, including a weak running game, a shaky offensive line and a terrible secondary. Detroit still has some great young talent, but the team needs to become more consistent and disciplined.
The good feelings from the Eagles' comeback win over Tampa Bay were quickly erased by a 21-point loss to Cincinnati. Yesterday, the Eagles played the red-hot Redskins tough, but lost 27-20.
Philadelphia plays the Giants in the final week of the season. The Eagles look poised to finish 4-12.
Let's Play Matchmaker:
This section will look at some of the top talent in college football and match those prospects up with teams that have a dire need at the position.
Detroit Lions: Logan Ryan, CB, Rutgers
The Lions' secondary was torched again, this time by Atlanta signal caller Matt Ryan. Detroit has a lot to figure out with its secondary. First, the team has to decide if it is going to re-sign veteran cornerback Chris Houston and safety Louis Delmas. The Lions sound more likely to pick Delmas if they have to make a choice, but even if they re-sign Houston, they need to upgrade the talent of their corners.
Logan Ryan was one of the top cover corners in college football in 2012. He has good length, speed and size. Ryan is a physical corner who battles receivers and doesn't hesitate to contribute in run defense. Those ball skills were on display with four interceptions and 14 passes broken up this season. Logan also contributed 87 tackles with five tackles for a loss. Detroit's secondary would have a nice upgrade with Ryan as a cover corner.
New York Jets: Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse
If the Jets fire head coach Rex Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum, it will be warranted because of their terrible management of the quarterback position. They gave the awful Mark Sanchez an unnecessary contract extension and never even gave Tim Tebow a chance after giving up a fourth-round pick for him. Tebow will be gone in the offseason with the Jets getting zero return on their investment. Plus, New York still has to find some competition for Sanchez.
If the team looks to the second day of the 2013 NFL Draft, Nassib would be a good choice. He is a gritty player who could handle the pressure of playing quarterback in New York. Nassib completed 63.2 percent of his passes for 3,619 yards with 24 touchdowns and nine interceptions this year. He played better than the numbers indicate as he had a weak supporting cast.
Nassib has good accuracy and decision-making, both traits that Sanchez struggles with. The Jets would improve their competition by taking Nassib with their second- or third-round pick.
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