F. Dale Lolley Column

Steelers beat writer F. Dale Lolley predicts how the NFL draft could unfold

Where they could go: possible first-round draft scenario

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Without any clear-cut stars at the skill positions, the 2013 NFL Draft could prove to be one of the more interesting in years. Here’s one look at how things could go in the first round Thursday:


1. Kansas City, Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M – The Chiefs have a lot of needs – obviously – but Joeckel is considered perhaps the safest pick in this draft. Others to consider: Shariff Floyd, DT, Florida; Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan


2. Jacksonville, Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan – The Jags started their frachise with Tony Boselli as their first pick. Fisher gives them another franchise tackle. Others to consider: Shariff Floyd, DT, Florida; Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon


3. Oakland, Shariff Floyd, DT, Florida – After getting rid of Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly, this is an obvious need pick for the Raiders. Others to consider: Fisher, Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia


4. Philadelphia, Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia - New head coach Chip Kelly wants to run the spread. Smith gives him a top-rated QB to build with while Michael Vick starts one more season. Others to consider: Fisher; Milliner; Ziggy Ansah, DE, BYU


5. Detroit, Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon – The Lions have been building their defense around pass rushers. Others to consider: Milliner, Ansah


6. Cleveland, Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama – The Browns get a second top-notch corner to pair with Joe Hayden. Others to consider: Ansah


7. Arizona, Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma – The Cardinals have been awful protecting the quarterback the past two seasons. Others to consider: Ansah, Chance Warmack, G, Alabama


8. Buffalo, Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia – It’s too early for another quarterback here. Two WVU players in the top 10? That’s how good the offense was in 2012. About that defense. … Others to consider: Ansah


9. N.Y. Jets, Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah – The Jets lost Sione Pouha this offseason and replaced him with a 33-year-old Antonio Garay. Rex Ryan also would like to beef up the pass rush, but Lotulelei could be too good to pass up. Others to consider: Ansah; Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU


10. Tennessee, Chance Warmack, G, Alabama – Ansah’s fall continues as teams pass on potential for immediate needs. Warmack will help clear a path for Chris Johnson. Others to consider: Ansah; Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina


11. San Diego, Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina – The Chargers need offensive line help, though Ansah could make sense here, too. Others to consider: Ansah; Mingo; Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia


12. Miami, Ziggy Ansah, DE/OLB, BYU – The Dolphins could trade up to get ahead of Arizona and grab Johnson. If not, Ansah would be too good to pass up in this scenario. Others to consider: Mingo; Jones; D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama


13. N.Y. Jets, Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU – Rex Ryan reportedly loves Mingo’s athleticism. This is the pick they received for Darrelle Revis, so a corner would make sense as well. Others to consider: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State; Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State


14. Carolina, Sheldon Richardson, DT, Florida State – Missouri. The Panthers need corner help but are said to love Richardson as well. Others to consider: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas; Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State; Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington


15. New Orleans, Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia – The Saints are moving to a 3-4 and need outside linebackers. Others to consider: Fluker; Alex Ogletree, LB, Georgia


16. St. Louis, D.J. Fluker, OT/G, Alabama – The Rams covet Austin, but he’s long gone. They have another first-round pick to address safety or wide receiver and take the best remaining offensive lineman instead. Others to consider: Vaccaro; Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee


17. Pittsburgh, Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State – With Jones gone, the Steelers will wait on an OLB prospect. Cordarrelle Patterson is too raw, and this draft is deep in receivers. Kenny Vaccarro would be a consideration, but Rhodes can play corner or safety. Others to consider: Vacarro; Patterson; Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State; DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson


18. Dallas, Kenny Vacarro, S, Texas – With the top offensive linemen gone, the Cowboys grab the top safety on the board. Others to consider: Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State; Matt Elam, S, Florida


19. N.Y. Giants, Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State – Werner is the best pass rusher still available and the Giants love pass rushers. Others to consider: Watson; Trufant


20. Chicago, Alex Ogletree, LB, Georgia – After losing Brian Urlacher and Nick Roach, the Bears need linebacker help. An offensive lineman would work as well. Others to consider: Watson


21. Cincinnati, Matt Elam, S, Florida – The Bengals need safety help badly, though another receiver also would fill a need. Others to consider: Watson; Patterson


22. St. Louis, Cordarelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee – Patterson is raw, but has outstanding speed. The Rams have to give Sam Bradford somebody to get the ball to at some point. Others to consider: Elam; Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee; DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson


23. Minnesota, Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington – The Vikings could go for a receiver here, but corner is a pressing need as well. Others to consider: Hopkins; Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina


24. Indianapolis, Datone Jones, DE, UCLA – The offense is good, but the defense needs some pass rush help. Others to consider: Watson; Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State


25. Minnesota, Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina – Once a strong point, the Vikings’ run defense hasn’t been as good recently. Others to consider: Hopkins; Hunter; Jonathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State


26. Green Bay, Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame – Yes, Jermichael Finley is back for one more season, but the Packers need a long-term answer at TE. Eifert could be that option. Others to consider: Hokpins, Hunter; Alex Okafor, LB/DE Texas


27. Houston, DeAndre Hokpins, WR, Clemson – The Texans have been searching for a second receiving option to Andre Johnson for years. They get a good one in Hokpins. Others to consider: Hunter; Robert Woods, WR, USC


28. Denver, Jonathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State – The Broncos need to bolster the middle of their defense. Others to consider: Tank Carradine, DE, Florida State; Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU


29. New England, Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State – Taylor didn’t get the pre-draft talk like some of the other corners, but he’s a feisty playmaker. Others to consider: Carradine; Margus Hunt, DE, SMU


30. Atlanta, Tank Carradine, DE, Florida State – Carradine tore his ACL in November, but is healing well. He would have been a top 15 pick if completely healthy. Others to consider: Hunt; Okafor


31. San Francisco, Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International – The 49ers don’t have a lot of needs, but safety is one of them. Others to consider: Brown; Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama


32. Baltimore, Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee – Everyone knows how the Ravens like to throw deep. Baltimore passes on an obvious need at ILB and goes for another home run threat on offense. Others to consider: Brown, Ogletree, Minter



F. Dale Lolley can be reached at dlolley@observer-reporter.com.


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