Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Predicting the top 10 NFL draft picks

As the dust settles from the 2011 NFL season, teams are gearing up for the upcoming free agency period, followed by the 2012 Draft. Both provide opportunities for teams to fill their most glaring needs and try to obtain long-term solutions for their future. With that in mind, I’ll take a look at the top 10 draft picks in the upcoming draft and make projections based on teams needs and the talent available.

1. Colts- Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford This is a no brainer. Last week, the Colts cut future Hall of Famer, Peyton Manning, with every intention of making Luck the long-term replacement. It was a tough call for the Colts, but this was their chance to grab a quarterback for the next 15 years, rather than continue with Manning for another four or five, at best.

2. Redskins- Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor The reigning Heisman trophy winner exploded onto the scene and was simply dazzling. So much so, that the Skins traded three years worth of first round draft picks to jump up four spots to ensure they’ll be able to grab him. It’s a steep price indeed, but it was for something the Skins have desperately needed for the last two decades.

3. Vikings- Matt Kalil, OT, USC Kalil is probably the premiere offensive tackle in this years draft. The Vikings have plenty of needs, but Kalil will solidify their line for years to come.

4. Browns- Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama As if the Browns couldn’t do enough losing on the field, they lost their opportunity to move up and grab Griffin via the Rams number two pick. Now they may have to take a gamble and grab Richardson, who is an undeniably special talent, but at an unreliable position.

5. Buccaneers- Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU The Bucs need help in their secondary with the potential retirement of Ronde Barber, plus they have Aqib Talib getting arrested every time you turn around. Claiborne is the clear number one corner in this draft.

6. Rams- Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma St At this point, the Rams are just hoping and praying that Blackmon can stay on the board this long, so that they can grab him. Sam Bradford and Blackmon could potentially make a lethal combo for the next 10 years, which must be music to Bradford’s ears.

7. Jaguars- Quinton Coples, DE, UNC The Jaguars are flat out bad and need plenty of help in plenty of positions. Coples is a strong playmaker and can provide an instant boost to the Jaguars front line, which failed to consistently get after the quarterback in 2011.

8. Dolphins- Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa If the ‘Fins lose out on the Peyton Manning sweepstakes, which seems likely at this point, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them make a play for QB Matt Flynn in free agency or trade up to grab QB Ryan Tannehill. Nonetheless, Reiff is a solid, quick lineman that can turn Miami’s O-Line into one of the league’s best.

9. Panthers- Michael Brockers, DT, LSU After Cam Newton electrified the Panthers offense in 2011, their defense still lacked. Brockers would provide big time playmaking ability on their d-line, after he was a key cog on the number two defense in the country at LSU.

10. Bills- Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford After doing a brilliant job of protecting Andrew Luck for years, the Bills need that kind of protection for Ryan Fitzpatrick moving forward.

Tyler Galicia can be reached for comment at [email protected].

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Massachusetts Daily Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *