Baltimore Ravens: Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
The Ravens missed Anquan Boldin last season and need to get more receiving weapons for Joe Flacco. Steve Smith is on his last legs and may not provide much in 2014. A receiver like Cooks could cause a lot of mismatch problems on the other side of the field from Torrey Smith. I wouldn't be surprised if Baltimore targets Cooks after trading down.
Cooks was one of the nation's leaders in receptions and receiving yards in 2013. He was superb for quarterback Sean Mannion. Cooks had 128 receptions for 1,730 yards with 16 touchdowns. He didn't get separation when matched up with Oregon cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and beat up on a lot of weaker competition early in the season. Cooks finished 2012 with 67 catches for 1,151 yards and five touchdowns.
The 5-foot-9, 189-pounder is undersized, but he could work as a slot receiver in the NFL. If Cooks weren't so small, he would go earlier. Cooks has the speed to stretch the defense and is very fast in and out of his breaks. Cooks also has excellent hands and is tough.
New York Jets: Odell Beckham, WR, LSU
The Jets need more receiving weapons. Eric Decker was a nice signing, but New York needs to build up a stable of wide outs. Reportedly, the Jets love Beckham and could trade up for him.
Scouts have told WalterFootball.com that they love the kind of weapon Beckham could be as a slot receiver and on the outside. They believe that Beckham could crack the top 20.
Beckham (5-11, 198) has the speed to stretch the field and shown the potential to make game-changing plays. He caught 59 passes for 1,152 yards with eight touchdowns in 2013. Against UAB, the junior returned a missed field goal 100 yards for a touchdown, returned a punt 60 yards for a score and caught five passes for 136 yards and three touchdowns. He had six receptions for 204 yards and three scores against Furman.
In 2012, Beckham led LSU in receiving with 713 yards on 43 catches and two touchdowns. He averaged 9.1 yards per punt return, too. Beckham had a strong 2011 season for LSU. The true freshman caught 41 passes for 475 yards and two touchdowns.
Miami Dolphins: Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame
The Dolphins have to revamp their offensive line before they turn Ryan Tannehill into David Carr version 2.0. Miami general manager Dennis Hickey puts an emphais on high-character players and will avoid drafting players who appear to be thugs, gang-bangers or have any drug issue. Martin fits a need and the player profile.
In 2013, Martin was excellent for the Fighting Irish. The senior's pass blocking looked better and was extremely reliable. Martin did a tremendous job of blocking Trent Murphy and finished the year with dominant game against Rutgers.
At the Senior Bowl, Martin did a superb job as an edge blocker in the one-on-ones. While Martin has short arms (32 1/4), he showed that he has the quickness and agility to mirror speed rushers. Martin also is strong for his size with the ability to anchor against bull rushers. With his success late in his senior season and at the Senior Bowl, Martin has given plenty of evidence that he can stay at tackle.
Martin (6-4, 308) improved over the course of 2012 and was an essential part of the Fighting Irish's success. His run blocking was strong for Notre Dame throughout the year.
Arizona Cardinals: Ryan Shazier, ILB, Ohio State
The Cardinals could go a lot of different directions with this pick, and Shazier is just one outcome. Arizona has shown interest in him, so perhaps the new regime is looking to replace Daryl Washington.
The 6-foot-1, 237-pound linebacker is extremely fast and instinctive. He has added about a dozen pounds since the end of the season. Shazier needed that weight for the pros, yet maintained his speed as he ran a blistering 40 at his pro day at less than 100 percent. Shazier is a seek-and-destroy linebacker who has the athletic ability to develop into being an asset in pass coverage.
Shazier opened the 2013 season with seven tackles and a tackle for a loss versus Buffalo. He missed time with cramps and also was burned on a wheel route for a touchdown. The junior played better in other games, including outings against Illinois and Michigan. Shazier had a mixed performance against Clemson. He recorded 143 tackles with 22.5 tackles for a loss, four passes broken up, four forced fumbles and six sacks for the year.
2012 was Shazier's breakout season as he collected 115 tackles, 17 tackles for a loss, one interception, 11 passes broken up, five sacks and three forced fumbles. He picked up 58 tackles, three sacks and two forced fumbles in 2011.
Green Bay Packers: Ra'Shede Hageman, DE/DT, Minnesota
The Packers could move on from B.J. Raji soon. Ted Thompson's actions spoke volumes when the Packers locked up Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews and others but decided to let Raji test free agency.
The 6-foot-6, 318-pound Hageman has speed and explosivity, yet still has the size to hold up at the point of attack. He had an impressive 2012 season and was one of the better interior defensive linemen in the Big Ten. The junior totaled 35 tackles, 7.5 tackles for a loss, two passes broken up, one forced fumble and six sacks. He had 13 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble in 2011.
In 2013, Hageman recorded 38 tackles, 13 tackles for a loss, seven passes broken up, one interception and two sacks. He saw his share of double-teams, but he needs to become more consistent. There were times where Hageman looked unblockable with power and explosion. He has great closing speed when he gets free of blockers. Hageman could fit a 3-4 or 4-3 defense.
Hageman had a solid week at the Senior Bowl and showed off a great combination of size, power and speed at the Combine. The only thing really lacking from his game is consistency.
Philadelphia Eagles: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
The Eagles could go with a corner, a safety or a pass-rusher in the first round. With the top safety gone, Dennard would be a nice fit as a press-man corner in Philadelphia's 3-4.
Dennard (5-11, 191) has nice coverage ability along with apparent speed and toughness. In 2013, he recorded 62 tackles with 10 passes broken up and four interceptions. The senior is a physical corner who needs to become more disciplined about his contact to avoid penalties, but he has some press-man ability and is a gritty defender.
Johnny Adams was expected to lead the Spartans' secondary in 2012, but it was Dennard who was the most impressive defensive back. He had a good year and was a First-Team All-Big Ten selection. The junior recorded 52 tackles with three interceptions and seven passes broken up. Dennard totaled three interceptions, 42 tackles and three passes broken up in 2011.
Kansas City Chiefs: Xavier Su'a-Filo, G, UCLA
It sounds like the Chiefs want to take a guard with their first pick, but are looking to trade down first. Xavier Su'a-Filo or David Yankey would make sense for Kansas City.
Su'a-Filo picked up in 2013 where he left off the previous year. The 6-foot-4, 307-pounder was rock solid for the UCLA in the run game and in pass protection. While the rest of the Bruins' offensive line had some struggles in 2013, Su'a-Filo's blocking in the pass game was steady for Brett Hundley. Because of injuries, Su'a-Filo had to play some left tackle. He did a decent job there, but his NFL future is at guard.
Su'a-Filo was a force for UCLA in 2012. He had an excellent season as a run-blocker for Johnathan Franklin. Su'a-Filo also was good at providing Brett Hundley with a clean pocket. Su'a-Filo started at left guard and chipped in some time at left tackle because of injuries. He was named a First-Team All-Pac-12 pick by the coaches and media publications.
Su'a-Filo was out of football in 2010 and 2011 while serving on a Mormon mission. Bruins head coach Jim Mora, Jr. made it an immediate priority to recruit Su'a-Filo back to UCLA. He set a Bruins record in 2009 with 13 starts at left tackle. The true freshman was an honorable mention All-Pac-10 selection and was on numerous All-Freshman teams.
Cincinnati Bengals: Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri
The Bengals lost Michael Johnson and James Harrison this offseason. With Geno Atkins coming off an ACL injury, it makes sense for Cincinnati to add another edge rusher to work with Carlos Dunlap and Margus Hunt.
In 2013, Ealy recorded 9.5 sacks, 43 tackles, 14.5 tackles for a loss, three forced fumbles, six passes broken up and an interception. The 6-foot-4, 273-pounder has an excellent combination of size and speed. All season, Ealy was tough at the point of attack on run downs and showed his pass-rushing prowess off the edge. He looks like a natural 4-3 defensive end who can stay on the field for all three downs.
While the Missouri defense was lit up by Auburn, Ealy showed up big with two forced fumbles, three tackles for a loss, one sack and five tackles. From start to finish in the Cotton Bowl, he ended his college career with a big-time presence against Oklahoma State. Early on, Ealy had a pressure to help cause an interception. At the start of the second quarter, he came close to a strip sack from the blind side, but Cowboys quarterback Clint Chelf got the pass off. During the second quarter, Ealy beat the left tackle with an inside rush to get a sack of Chelf. Ealy beat the left tackle with a speed rush and a bit of a rip move a couple plays later to shed a block on the outside before chasing down Chelf for another sack. Ealy had two sacks, six tackles and a pass batted.
Ealy contributed a decent 2012 season with 37 tackles, 10 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks, seven passes batted and a forced fumble.
San Diego Chargers: Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville
The Chargers need to improve their defensive backs and take the best one available. Pryor would be an upgrade next to Eric Weddle. He would help San Diego defend the Broncos' passing attack and the Chiefs' rushing attack. He makes sense for the Chargers.
The 5-foot-11, 207-pound Pryor is big, physical and has some ball skills. He made some big plays for Louisville in 2013 with 75 tackles, three interceptions, four passes broken up and two forced fumbles. Pryor has speed to go along with his size and can cover a lot of ground in the middle of the field.
Pryor notched 100 tackles and five forced fumbles in 2012. He was a Second-Team All-Big East selection for that performance. Pryor broke into the lineup as a freshman in 2011 with 43 tackles, two forced fumbles and two interceptions.
Pick change; previously Louis Nix, DT
Cleveland Browns: Kyle Fuller , CB, Virginia Tech
The Browns grab a cornerback to pair with Joe Haden.
Fuller has some real upside and ran well enough at the Combine to merit first-round consideration. The 6-foot, 190-pounder doesn't have elite speed, but he has quickness to go along with his size. Virginia Tech is typically a factory for defensive backs, so Fuller enters the NFL with plus preparation after getting playing time for four years. He has some man-coverage skills and experience playing on an island.
The 2013 season opener against Alabama gave Fuller the opportunity to be extremely impressive. He was excellent versus the Crimson Tide and did a superb job of smothering Amari Cooper in man coverage. Fuller had four tackles, an interception, at least one pass batted away, some good hits and solid play on special teams. He also played well against Georgia Tech with some fantastic run defense. Fuller had a pick and other nice plays against North Carolina, but was beaten on a double-move for a touchdown. The senior recorded 24 tackles, 10 passes batted and two interceptions in 2013.
As a junior, Fuller totaled two interceptions, five passes broken up, one forced fumble and 52 tackles. He made six starts as a freshman in 2010, recording 32 tackles and six passes broken up. Fuller improved his play in 2011 and started every game. He totaled 65 tackles with two interceptions, one forced fumble and seven passes broken up, along with being a Second-Team All-ACC selection.
Pick change; previously Johnny Manziel, QB
New Orleans Saints: Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State
The Saints need a more talent at receiver, and Benjamin would be a good understudy to Marques Colston.
Benjamin was a big-time play-maker for the Seminoles in 2013. Even though other receivers saw more targets, the redshirt sophomore produced a lot of long receptions for Jameis Winston. Benjamin had 54 receptions for 1,011 yards with 15 touchdowns for the year. The 6-foot-5, 240-pounder is a mismatch nightmare with a ton of upside. He has the speed to stretch a defense vertically as he torched Florida and cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy to the tune of 212 yards on nine catches and three scores.
Benjamin saw his first playing time in 2012. He caught 30 passes for 495 yards with four touchdowns.
Pick change; previously Kyle Fuller, CB
Carolina Panthers: Marqise Lee, WR, USC
The Panthers could go a lot of directions with this pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. The team needs long-term replacements for Steve Smith and Jordan Gross, as well as help at cornerback. However, free agency is almost forcing Carolina to make receiver the franchise's top priority in the 2014 NFL Draft.
The Trojans' quarterback play held Lee back in 2013, plus he had a knee injury to deal with. For the year, the junior totaled 57 receptions for 791 yards and four scores. Lee had a rough game against Arizona State since he dropped an easy pass that was intercepted and injured his knee on a punt return. The severe knee strain fortunately didn't damage any ligaments, but Lee missed some time. He flashed his 2012 form against Oregon State (5-105-1) and looked like his old self when he dominated Fresno State in the Las Vegas Bowl (7-118-2).
When healthy, Lee has the speed to stretch a defense vertically and is a threat to score on any reception. He generally has reliable hands and is a good route-runner. The 5-foot-11, 192-pounder was phenomenal in 2012 and was so dominant that he took over as USC's No. 1 receiver, while Robert Woods served as the secondary option. Lee hauled in 118 receptions for 1,721 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Lee broke into the starting lineup as a freshman in 2011. He had a big season playing opposite Robert Woods, hauling in 73 passes for 1,143 yards and 11 touchdowns.
New England Patriots: Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame
This pick makes a lot of sense. Vince Wilfork is aging and coming off an Achilles injury, and even asked to be released before re-signing. Youngsters Joe Vellano and Chris Jones have filled in well, but they are smaller tackles and Bill Belichick likes some size in the middle. Nix is a great fit for New England. He has the size to stuff the run and be the long-term replacement for Wilfork.
Nix (6-2, 331) was a stud in 2012. He was a disruptive force at the line of scrimmage, and his stats don't illustrate how much he dominated interior offensive linemen. The havoc Nix caused helped Stephon Tuitt and Manti Te'o to make plays. Nix totaled 50 tackles, 7.5 tackles for a loss, two sacks, five passes batted and one forced fumble for the season.
In 2013, Nix recorded 27 tackles with two tackles for a loss. He played well against Michigan, totaling four tackles and a tackle for a loss, and was very disruptive at the point of attack. Nix started slowly against USC before playing well in the final three quarters. His contribution to the pass rush was greater than the numbers indicate. Nix's season ended early after choosing to undergo knee surgery. He had been playing with a torn meniscus and went to Dr. James Andrews to have the knee fixed.
Nix is a huge run-stuffer who also can contribute to the pass rush. He should be a safe pick to be a disruptor at the point of attack.
Pick change; previously Stephon Tuitt, DE
San Francisco 49ers: Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame
I bet the 49ers are aggressive and move up in the 2014 NFL Draft. I could see them targeting Odell Beckham, Marqise Lee, Justin Gilbert or Bradley Roby in a trade up. I think San Francisco would prefer to go with cornerback or wide receiver with this pick, but there isn't one available who justifies a first-round pick. Hence, why they organization is likely to move. If the 49ers are stuck in this situation, they could take a young five-technique to groom behind Justin Smith. Tuitt would be a perfect fit for San Francisco.
The 6-foot-5, 304-pound Tuitt took college football by storm in 2012. He was a dominant force for the Fighting Irish with his combination of power and surprising quickness. Tuitt got overweight into the 310-320-pound range while rehabbing from surgery over the 2012-2013 offseason. That sapped some of his speed and explosiveness this year, but he still made big plays for his defense.
In 2013, Tuitt amassed 49 tackles with nine tackles for a loss, 7.5 sacks, two passes batted and a pick-six. He showed off his athletic ability with some pass pressures and a diving interception for a touchdown against Michigan. Tuitt played well against Arizona State with a strip-sack and other pressures.
Tuitt had his best game of the season versus USC. He dominated the line of scrimmage and had success going against guards and tackles. Tuitt recorded seven tackles with two sacks for his first multi-sack game of the year. He drew a holding penalty and had a lot of other pressures. Tuitt finished 2013 with a strong performance against Rutgers in the Pinstripe Bowl.
Throughout 2012, Tuitt lived in the backfield. He recorded 12 sacks, 47 tackles and three forced fumbles, plus returned a fumble 77 yards for a touchdown against Navy. Manti Te'o received all the headlines, but Tuitt and Louis Nix were phenomenal for the Fighting Irish. Like the rest of the Notre Dame defense, Tuitt had a disappointing performance in the National Championship against Alabama, but he was playing with a hernia.
Tuitt could be an excellent fit in the NFL as a 3-4 defensive end. He also could play end in a 4-3 and move inside to tackle in certain situations.
Pick change; previously Kelvin Benjamin, WR
Denver Broncos: C.J. Mosley, OLB, Alabama
Nate Irving didn't pan out and Denver lost Wesley Woodyard in free agency, so the Broncos could get some help in the middle of their defense. They could use a more reliable tackling presence in the front seven as well. Mosley fits the profile of the players Denver drafts.
Multiple sources told WalterFootball.com that they expect Mosley to slide. There are concerns about his knee, and linebackers have been sliding in the draft anyway - see Manti Te'o. In 2013, Mosley totaled 102 tackles with nine tackles for a loss, one forced fumble and five passes broken up. The senior showcased a well-rounded game with good run defense, pass coverage and blitzing ability.
In 2012, Mosley stepped up to set the tone for the Crimson Tide defense and helped lead the team to another National Championship. He was excellent and led the program in tackles with 107. The junior also notched two interceptions, four sacks, eight tackles for a loss, one forced fumble and two passes broken up.
The 6-foot-2, 232-pounder had an excellent debut in 2010. The freshman was third in tackles on Alabama's defense with 67. He also had 10 pass breakups and two interceptions, both of which were returned for touchdowns. Mosley was banged up some in 2011 and totaled only 37 tackles and 4.5 tackles for a loss.
Mosely thrives in pass coverage, so he is tailor-made for an NFL defense. Mosley has a lot of talent and had a very productive career for Nick Saban.
Seattle Seahawks: Joel Bitonio, G/OT, Nevada
I'm going to steal this pick from Walt's mock. The Seahawks need to improve the right side of their offensive line and Bitonio could start at guard or tackle as a rookie. Sources have said that the world champs are high on Bitonio.
Nevada had a bad 2013, but Bitonio played well in his final collegiate season. His performance against Anthony Barr was the highlight as he looked very good against one of the top pass rushers in college football. Bitonio did a great job of run blocking in 2012 for the nation's second-leading rusher in Stefphon Jefferson.
Bitonio continued to play at a high level at the Senior Bowl. He showed the ability to be a balanced blocker, and there are a lot of teams that are high on him. Bitonio (6-4, 302) might be a better fit as a guard in the NFL, but showed a lot of athleticism at the Combine.