Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Alex Smith Traded: My Thoughts

By: Brian Sanchez
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     The first words that come to mind when I think about the proposed Alex Smith trade are highway robbery. Luckily for the 49ers, this is a, "what have you done for me lately" league. Because of that, the fact that Alex Smith was one of the worst quarterbacks in the league for the first five years of his career is completely forgotten. There's even another way in which the 49ers are lucky, and that is the fact that the QB draft class this year is not exactly what you would call dominant. Because of that, the team with the first pick in the draft, a team that is desperate for a new QB, felt that they had to go elsewhere to get that piece. That made the Chiefs and 49ers natural trade partners.
     The trade as most understand it now is Alex Smith for a 2013 2nd round pick (34th) and a conditional early round pick in 2014 (2nd or 3rd round). The trade can not be official until March 12th when the new league year begins. That means there is still a chance another team can come in and make a better offer. This is highly unlikely for two reasons:

1. This is a very lucrative deal for the 49ers and it is hard to believe a team would give up more to acquire Alex Smith.
2. The 49ers want to do right by Alex Smith if they can. The Chiefs were reportedly on his short list of teams he would like to be traded to. So, Smith is happy, the 49ers are happy, the Chiefs are happy, everybody is happy happy happy. 

     As for the trade itself, both teams receive passing grades. The 49ers receive an A-. It is a second round pick and not a first rounder. Yes, it is the second pick in the second round. However, the argument that the second pick in the second round is basically a first rounder means I could say that the second to last pick in the first round is practically a second rounder. So I don't want to hear that. What I do want to hear is it is absolutely a pick of consequence in which the 49ers can draft a role player that can pay immediate dividends.
     The Chiefs receive a grade of a C+. I say that because that is exactly what I think Alex Smith's value is. He is a slightly above average QB. He will struggle in KC, because even though they do have some talent, they also have a lot of garbage. Is Smith an improvement? Of course. But that's not saying a whole lot. The question now becomes can Alex Smith thrive in a pass first offense? I have my doubts.
     As for my thoughts on Alex Smith being gone, I really have none. He was he, he happened, he was terrible, then he was decent, and now he's gone. It's not nearly as big of a deal as most are making it out to be. I have nothing against the guy. He took his benching like a champ. He is worse than Colin Kaepernick who was not given the job as much as he took it away. He said and did all the right things, and for that I applaud him. Now he's gone. So what. We have kid wonder Kaepernick at the helm and I expect something very productive to come from the picks we are going to get. Everybody gets what they want, especially Luke Joeckel, and with the exception of Geno Smith of course.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Alex Smith: Reading Between the Lines

By: Brian Sanchez
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Since the NFL Combine started, Jim Harbaugh and Trent Baalke have had to talk to the national media for the first time since the Super Bowl. The bulk of the conversations (or lectures in Harbaugh's case) have been about Alex Smith and what the 49ers plan to do with him. The 49ers coach and GM have come out with the clear agenda of letting everybody know that they are comfortable keeping Alex Smith. Do I believe them? Not for a second.
Nobody has supported Alex Smith as much as Jim Harbaugh
    I have watched enough episode of Pawn Stars to understand the idea of negotiation leverage. The 49ers are making sure they are controlling and setting the market for Alex Smith. The 49ers should not keep Alex Smith this season because he would cost them $9.5 million. That is a lot of money to put in to a back-up for a team trying to find money to keep their All-Pro Safety and keep TE Delanie Walker around. The rest of the league knows that too, so they are willing to wait until March, when Smith's contract becomes guaranteed, as they expect Smith to be released and then he can go anywhere he wants. If that were the case, the 49ers would have little to no negotiating power. They would be asking for a 5th, 6th, maybe even a 7th round pick, just to get something in return. So, why would other teams trade for Alex Smith if it would be ludicrous for them to do anything else but cut him? Because Jim Harbaugh is that crazy guy who just might do it.
49ers GM Trent Baalke
     I would give it a very slight chance, but if there was any coach willing to keep a back up QB for $9.5 million it would be Jim Harbaugh. And that is precisely why Alex Smith will get traded. Other teams know it would be crazy to keep Alex Smith this season. Those same teams also know that Jim Harbaugh is absolutely that crazy. So just Jim Harbaugh's personality alone sets up a sellers market.
     What should ease the minds of 49er fans everywhere is the fact that GM Trent Baalke is a little more sane and incredibly smart. He understands the important of depth and has shown a tremendous ability to build a roster. He knows that he can't lose a guy like Dashon Goldson in favor of a back-up QB. He is also smart enough to try and pit organizations against each other. He can tell teams like the Browns, Jaguars, Cardinals, and Chiefs that they don't have to wait and try to win Alex Smith in free agency, they can have him right now if they trade. Then, once he gets one offer he can orchestrate the auction and come out a winner.

Bonus: What do I expect to receive for Alex Smith? Ideally, a player who can play now. I'm not sure exactly who Baalke would target from each team, but they would do more than a pick. Now, if they were to receive picks I would imagine they would be conditional picks for 2014. This year the 49ers have the most picks in the draft and they don't have that many roster spots open. The conditions of the pick could depend upon wins or completions.

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NBA Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

By: Brian Sanchez
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I'll admit it, I have some odd choices on who are the winners and losers at this trade deadline. This is something I pride myself on. I may seem crazy now, but check back at the start of next season, I bet I'm right.

1. The biggest winners in my book are the Brooklyn Nets. They wanted Josh Smith badly and they had an offer on the table that the Hawks rejected. That offer was Kris Humphries, Marshon Brooks, and a first round pick. That's not a good enough deal to acquire anybody, really, so the Hawks struck out. But luckily for them, so did everyone else. Now Josh Smith will hit the free agent market and the Nets can us their Russian Billionaire money to out bid everyone for him.

2. I think the Orlando Magic did a very good job at the deadline. They were not going to be able to sign JJ Reddick in the off season, so it came down to seeing how much they could get for him now. They shipped him to Milwaukee for Doron Lamb, Tobias Harris, and Beno Udrih. The keys to the deal were Lamb and Harris. Both of those players came out of college before they should have and it has effected the early returns they've given their team. Well, they both just used Milwaukee as a training ground and now their roles will grow and they have a chance to shine. This is especially true for Tobias Harris who is a 6'8" 230 lb. wing player.

3. The Washington Wizards did well, and this is one where people will disagree. They shipped off Jordan Crawford to the Celtics for a couple of expiring contracts. Crawford is a gifted scorer but has seen his minutes decrease drastically over the last couple of weeks. The Wizards are trying to change the culture in D.C. and a discontent ball hog like Crawford is not in the picture, especially when they have John Wall and Bradley Beal. Now they have a little extra cash to land some role players who fit better this off season.

4. JJ Reddick. Yeah. He got out of Orlando, will probably get to play in the playoffs this year, and then can ditch Milwaukee and sign with anyone in the offseason. Score.


1. The Kings. Yeah. Moving on.

2. The Utah Jazz failed in my opinion. They are going to lose Paul Milsap and Al Jefferson this off season and chose to unload neither at the deadline. They have plenty of needs at the wing and the point. I have to believe they could have improved themselves at the deadline.

3. The Milwaukee Bucks are the anti-Rockets. They are below .500 but still cling to the eight spot in the East. They are sure first round knock outs because they'll play the Heat, Knicks or Pacers. So they trade young potential for JJ Reddick so they can be sure to hold on to the eight spot. Now, this off season, Reddick, Monta Ellis, and Brandon Jennings can all leave for greener pastures together.

4. Eric Gordon. He wants out of New Orleans badly and stated the Warriors were on the list of teams he'd like to play for. His ears probably perked up when he heard the Warriors were inquiring about him. At the end of the day, Gordon is still a future Pelican and he probably is not digging it.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Unsung Winners of the Trade Deadline

By: Brian Sanchez
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There were really no flashy deals at the trade deadline. There have been major trades this year with Rudy Gay and James Harden changing uniforms, they just weren't at the deadline. I would feel comfortable saying all the people like me who refreshed their Twitter feeds every five seconds waiting for an update thought today's was a deadline with a capital DEAD. I would also tend to say that not too many people would jump for joy when their playoff contending team only traded the last two players (Jeremy Tyler and Charles Jenkins) on the roster for second round picks, but I did, and this is why:

1. The Warriors are under the salary cap
Left: Charles Jenkins Right: Jeremy Tyler
Coming into the Thursday deadline the Warriors were $1.2 million over the cap. There was no way GM Bob Myers was going to dupe somebody in to taking Richard Jefferson or Andris Biedrins, so the only way to get under the cap was to trade two of the end of the bench players: Charles Jenkins, Jeremy Tyler, and Kent Bazemore. Bazemore has gone from a Summer League walk-on, to a guy who provides a couple minutes of defense a game and seems to have a future as a defensive role player in the league. So naturally, that only left Charles Jenkins and Jeremy Tyler, who project to be back-ups on non-playoff teams at their peaks in the league. So, why was it so important to be under the salary cap?

2. The Warriors are out of the luxury tax
Left: Owner Joe Lacob Right: GM Bob Myers
With the new CBA, there are steep penalties for being in the luxury tax. Now, the Warriors will enter the luxury tax at some point because owner Joe Lacob is willing to if the money is being spent on a difference maker. Lacob really cares about winning. He is, in a way, the anti-Cohan. Now there is something new for Lacob to dance around financially, and that is called the repeater tax. The repeater tax is in place to try and make sure large market teams can not continue to out spend small market teams at will. In it's most basic explanation, the repeater tax exponentially increases what teams that are constantly over the threshold have to pay. Usually, a team has to pay however far they are over the threshold as the tax. For example, if a team is $10 million over the cap, they have to pay an additional $10 million in luxury tax. For large market teams, this is no big deal. If that's the cost of having Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, and Pau Gasol on the Lakers, they say, "that's fine." But for teams that are in small markets like the Memphis Grizzlies, they are so desperate to not pay the tax that they were willing to give up Rudy Gay just to save the money. To pay the repeater tax you need to have been in the luxury tax for three of the past four years. If the Warriors would have stayed over the cap, they would have started the clock on their requirement to pay the repeater tax only to keep Jeremy Tyler and Charles Jenkins who usually only play in garbage minutes.

3. They have a reason to look forward to the draft
Before the trades of Tyler and Jenkins the Warriors had zero picks in this upcoming NBA Draft. Now at the very least they have two second rounders. What could come of those two picks? Honestly, I can't imagine. The Warriors are one of the youngest teams in the league, so the likelihood of them drafting two second rounders and signing them to contracts is low. But that does not mean the picks could not be useful. They could possibly be packaged in to moving up to the end of the first round when they may be able to find a player they like or draft a European player and stash him over seas. They could also be used in a trade again. You never really know, but one thing is for sure, most people trust GM bob Myers to do something smart that helps the team.

4. Nobody batted an eye at Klay trade rumors
Eric Gordon battles KlayThompson for the ball
This is probably the bit of information that came from this trade deadline that excites me the most. Klay was rumored to have been in the works of a trade for New Orleans SG Eric Gordon. Whether or not Gordon would make the Warriors that much better compared to the price of his contract s debatable but not what I care about for this instance. What excited me was, the Warriors trigger happy second-year SG was rumored to be on the move, and most fans seemed alright with it. Even beyond that, you could see Twitter was flooded with people saying they would love to have Eric Gordon and didn't mind that it cost Klay. I don't necessarily want Klay gone, but I also don't think he's that good. It was just that I expected their to be riots in the streets with people screaming that Klay is a great shooter, cheap, young, and should be going nowhere. But the openness to deal one of the Warriors young assets was thrilling to me. People want to win, and win now. If that costs Klay, so be it.

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Kicking Us While We're Down: The Maloof Story

That title may be a little dramatic. But it's essentially the case regarding Kings fans at this moment. The Kings were supposed to stay quiet during this year's deadline, since the sale of the team is causing enough distractions as it is. Yet today news broke that Thomas Robinson, Francisco Garcia, Tyler Honeycutt, and a second round pick were being sent to the Houston Rockets for Patrick Patterson, Cole Aldrich, and Toney Douglas.  It is shocking considering T-Rob was one of the best assets on the team and a key block for the future.  And the Kings got back who?

Kings fans are like Michael Scott, and the Maloofs are Toby.  Just hear me out.  Right now Toby is moving to Costa Rica forever, never to be seen again.  Except this time on his way out he burns the office down and Michael is sunsequently fired despite his pleas that Toby was the reason for the chaos.  Even after all the optimism recently with talks involving Ron Burkle and the NBA Board of Governors, this recent trade honestly just kills my team spirit.  I find myself rooting for our players to get traded and go on to better organizations, better coaches, better support in general. Robinson will flourish in Houston surrounded by shooters and playmakers, or they may just pawn him off to another team after his value rises and get an even better power forward.  And he'll do just fine wherever he ends up, because his development won't be stymied by this franchise. There's a reason Michael Scott always yells at Toby, and there's a reason that the hashtag #FTM exists (you'll figure it out).

Now this move is a cost-cutting move at its core, which are sometimes necessary.  Look at the Grizzlies: they have made two cost-cutting trades to get out of bad contracts, yet they are as relevant as ever.  That isn't what the Kings are doing though.  They have traded they're 5th overall pick in last year's draft, a highly coveted spot 8 months ago, for players that won't even be on the team next year.  It's LITERALLY as if draft day didn't happen for the Kings, even though Damian Lillard, Harrison Barnes, and Andre Drummond were picked immediately after Robinson.  But Robinson not having the same level of talent as those guys isn't the problem, it's the Kings. If Drummond were over here, he would have the same developmental problems because there is no chemistry or identity to this team.  Over the past few years there have been pieces that fit wonderfully on paper, solid players like Carl Landry, Chuck Hayes, JJ Hickson, and Robinson himself, but they never find any sort of role or purpose because of poor team construction and poor rotation consistency. That's why Patrick Patterson won't do anything in Sacramento either.  He was the 5th best player on a playoff team, yet he will be cast aside sooner rather than later.  

Basically, the Rockets had a few picks to trade at the beginning of the season and tried to get Robinson at the draft. Instead, they snag James Harden out of nowhere and still get Robinson with the scraps.  Beautiful.  Rockets GM Daryl Morey is most likely the smartest guy in the league, and it shows in his insanely young playoff team.  The Kings, or at least their fans, come out the bloody victims, with eyes swollen and spirits shot.  This is a lot cynicism, but the Maloofs deserve to be chased out of the league for what has happened in the past day and the past seven years.  I love this team, and always will, but my memories will be forever scarred because of one family who just couldn't stay out of their own way.  

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

49ers RB thoughts

By: Brian Sanchez

     I have received some questions about the 49ers draft which I love. My favorite and most intriguing question thus far is about the possibility of the Niners drafting a RB this year. Frank Gore is a beast, there is no doubt about that. However, in my eyes, he did seem to be losing some explosiveness as the season wore on. I do think he has 2-3 good years as a starting RB left in him. While that is the thought, he has had plenty of injury problems and one could strike on any given run. With that, there is the thought of the 49ers drafting a RB who could replace Gore as an every down back should this be the case. My answer as of this moment would be no, they won't.
     The most popular name I have heard from fans of the show has been Marcus Lattimore. Lattimore was a beast of a RB at South Carolina before his first ACL injury. As a matter of fact, he was a beast of a RB after that first ACL injury. This previous season he suffered ACL injury number two. He was not supposed to be ready for the Combine, but he is, and he says he will shock doctors with how he has recovered. His injuries alone drop him to the fourth round. It is going to take a mind blowing effort at the Combine for a team to spend a pick in the top three rounds on him. So, if he can have a similar career path to Frank Gore (who also had knee surgeries in college) and won't cost a pick of high value therefore lowering the risk: should the 49ers take Marcus Lattimore?
     I am not saying they shouldn't, I'm just saying I don't think they are willing to do so. First of all, most teams carry three running backs, and on rare occasions, they carry four. The 49ers are already one of those teams that carries four running backs. Frank Gore is the number one, he is the starter, he is going nowhere. Lamichael James came on strong at the end of the season showing he will be valuable and that he is very dynamic in the pistol read option formation. Don't forget about Kendall Hunter, he was the back up before going down with an injury and was incredibly effective. He should be back at 100% strength and will be on the team and fighting James for field time. The fourth RB is Anthony Dixon. As a RB he is rarely used, but he could not lose his job to Lattimore because Dixon is a key contributor on special teams which Jim Harbaugh values greatly. So my question to you, the reader, is this: Where would you put Lattimore?
     The idea of drafting a player and keeping them on the roster but having them inactive like they did last year with both Lamichael James and AJ Jenkins is in play. It did work out because when injuries struck the 49ers, those two players were ready to step in and contribute (even though AJ Jenkins had more drops than catches... and he only had one drop). But Lattimore's knees are already a ticking time bomb and wearing them out in practice without utilizing them during games would seem a bit silly. I don't think it is realistic to draft Lattimore in anticipation for Gore running out of gas in a year or two, because Lattimore may have to bow out of the league before Gore.
     If the 49ers do take a RB, expect it to be in the 6th round or later. Everybody is going to be looking for the next Alfred Morris (6th round) or Darryl Richardson (7th round). Expect it to be a player from a small school that does one thing exceptionally well i.e. lightning quick or Hulk strong. They don't need a RB now, and shouldn't in the near future, so I don't think a guy like Lattimore will be in play.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

2013 NFL Mock Draft: Pre Combine

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1. Kansas City Chiefs- QB Geno Smith, West Virginia
Do I think Geno Smith is the best player in the draft? No. Do I think he's good enough to be the numer one overall pick? No. Heck, I'm not even sure he's the best QB in the draft. What I do know is that the Chiefs are QB desperate and Geno Smith is the mobile kind of QB the league is falling in love with. If the Chiefs trade for Alex Smith or Nick Foles, then I think they go with Joeckel here.

Other Options:
1. Luke Joeckel- Brandon Albert is decent, often hurt, and expensive. If the Chiefs can find another QB they can take a LT starter from day 1.

2. Star Lotulelei- The Chiefs defensive line is terrible, if they can find a LT and QB elsewhere, Star makes sense.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars- DE Bjoern Werner, Florida St.
The Jaguars need Pretty much everything. Perhaps the main problem is the pass rush. When you look at the sack leaders this last season, they look like this: J.J. Watt 20.5 sacks, Jax Jags 20 sacks, Aldon Smith 19.5 sacks. That's embarrassing. They need someone who can get after the QB. It is difficult to get QB pressure from the DE position instead of a LB, so if you can draft that, get on it. That's what Werner represents. As a true DE he can both rush the passer and play the run.

Other Options:
1. Star Lotulelei- The Jags may want to increase the productivity inside instead of outside, especially with Terrance Knighton being a FA.

2. Damontre Moore- Just another pass rushing option for the Jags if they grade him out higher.

3. Oakland Raiders- DT Star Lotulelei, Utah
The Raiders have a great chance to be smart and get better. They are as soft as they come up the middle on defense, and in todays passing NFL, if you can't even stop the run, you are basically dead in the water. Lotulelei can play all along the defensive line and has the ability to take up multiple blockers and open holes for LB's, stop the run, and collapse the pocket with a strong pass rush.

Other Options:
1. Bjoern Werner- The Raiders really need D-line help, and if Lotulelei goes first they should jump on Werner

2. Geno Smith- The Raiders are reportedly high on Smith, and it would give them a chance to try a dual threat QB and cut Carson Palmer and that ridiculous contract.

4. Philadelphia Eagles- OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M
LT Jason Peters missed last season with a torn achilles, but when he is healthy he is very good. The Eagles also start a guy in Todd Hermanns at RT even though he is really a guard. The Eagles need a better line whether it's Vick or Foles under center. Joeckel is No. 2 on my big board and can either start at LT or RT from day one.

Other Options:
1. Staar Lotulelei- If he makes it this far, the Eagles should take a serious look at finally getting stronger along their D-line

2. Eric Fisher- If Joeckel is gone and they really want a LT, Fisher may just be worth pick number four.

5. Detroit Lions- DE Damontre Moore, Texas A&M 
The Lions already cut DE Kyle Vanden Bosch and are probably losing DE Cliff Avril. The are going to need a DE in a bad way, and even if they keep Avril they'll still have a hole across from him. Damontre Moore is a very good pass rusher off the edge and has good size for a 4-3 DE.

Other Options:
1. Bjoern Werner- While i'm skeptical that he would actually make it this far, there is no way the Lions could pass him up.

2. Dee Milliner- The Lions are in serious need of CB help and Milliner is the best available.

6. Cleveland Browns- OLB Dion Jordan, Oregon
The Browns are shifting in to a 3-4 defense and they are actually pretty well equipped for the change. The one thing they are missing is a 3-4 OLB opposite of Jabal Sheard. That also correlates with their need for a better pass rush. at 6'7" Jordan still has the athletic ability to be a stand up OLB and he has shown some decent covering skills.

Other Options:
1. Barkevious Mingo- Another option to fill the hole at OLB

2. Dee Milliner- Would look mighty good in a Browns uniform across from Joe Haden.

7. Arizona Cardinals- OT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan
Whoever the Cardinals start at QB needs protection and the Cardinals O-line is in the debate for worst in the league. Eric Fisher set the Senior Bowl ablaze by stopping every pass rusher that came his way dead in their tracks. He is a starting LT from day one and that is a commodity the Cardinals can't afford to pass up.

Other Options:
1. Tyler Wilson- The Cardinals may decide that they are in need of a QB and will take one at this pick despite the value.

2. Mike Glennon- Seriously, if the Cardinals don't get a LT it's going to be a QB

8. Buffalo Bills- QB Tyler Wilson, Arkansas
This honestly may not be as big of a reach as people think. The Bills love high character leaders with strong college track records. That sounds like Wilson to me. Wilson's team was so inept at Arkansas that I think they made him look bad. I have a feeling Wilson may be the best QB in this draft. The Bills need one, so they'll take one.

Other Options:
1. Mike Glennon- If the Bills don't like Wilson they can take their QB in Glennon

2. Cordarrelle Patterson- The Bills could use a game breaker across from Stevie Johnson and Patterson would fill that need.

9. New York Jets- DE/OLB Barkevious Mingo, LSU

If they Jets want to return to the playoffs they'll need a defense that can carry Mark Sanchez. That's how they used to do it, and they need to go back to that. Mingo is an uber athletic pass rusher who can play all over the defense. Rex Ryan will love the opportunity to line him up all over the field and let him pin his ears back.

Other Options:
1. Dion Jordan- Another versatile pass rusher if Mingo goes in Jordan's spot earlier.

2. Dee Milliner- If Revis and/or Cromartie leave the team they could look for Milliner to step in and start right away. 

10. Tennessee Titans- CB Dee Milliner, Alabama

The Titans have a couple of starting CB's in place but one of them, Alterraun Verner is entering his contract year. Milliner is number six on my big board and the Titans will see that they need more corners and Milliner can challenge to be a starter for day one. The Titans were ranked 24th in passing defense so they do need help.

Other Options:
1. Kenny Vaccaro- They could use the help at safety and Kenny is the best one in the draft.

2. Chance Warmack- Help CJ2k out by giving him the best player in the draft to block for him.

11. San Diego Chargers- OT Lane Johnson, Oklahoma

I do think this is a reach, but I don't know that the Chargers can do anything else. The Chargers O-line is horrendous. Philip Rivers may not be very good anymore, but we'll never know behind that line. There are better guards available, but I think the Chargers should swing for the fences. Johnson is incredibly athletic for a LT and the Chargers have to hope he pans out.

Other Options:
1. Jarvis Jones- Could replace Shaun Phillips at OLB

2. Johnathan Hankins- A new NT wouldn't be the worst thing in the world for the Chargers.

12. Miami Dolphins- WR Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee

The Dolphins need some help in their defensive backfield but they need even more help with their wide outs. Patterson is the best WR in this class. He has great size, good speed, and exceptional hands. HC Joe Philbin is an offensive guy and he likes what he has in Tannehill. Having no receivers will stunt his growth, so help the kid out.

Other Options:
1. Kenny Vaccaro- The Dolphins need a safety and Vaccaro would start from day one.

2. Sharrif Floyd- WIth Starks a free agent and Odrick out of favor, a dynamic DT could be on the menu for Miami

                               13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida St.

Bucs HC Greg Schiano loves physicality and toughness. The Bucs also desperately need a CB. They score both here with Xavier rhodes who is a big physical cover corner that likes to press at the line of scrimmage and body up on receivers.

Other Options:
1. Johnathan Banks- I really think the Bucs should take a CB and Banks is just another option.

2. Chance Warmack- The Bucs are becoming an excellent running team and Warmack would help take them to the next level.

                                      14. Carolina Panthers- DT Sharriff Floyd, Florida

Year in and year out it seems like the Panthers need a DT. Well, this is the draft to finally get one. Floyd has a great chance of shooting up boards after the combine. He is a DT that can get penetration at the point of attack and should instantly shore up the middle of the Panthers D-line.

Other Options:
1. Sheldon Richardson- They need a DT and have multiple options here

2. Cordarrelle Patterson- If he's still here they should take a good look. He could be the number two they need and he could be the number one when Steve Smith leaves.

15. New Orleans Saints- OLB Jarvis Jones, Georgia

The Saints are switching to a 3-4 defense and are lacking two spots for it. One is nose tackle but it may be too soon to take one. The other is a rush line backer. Jarvis Jones has the talent of a top five pick, but he also has spinal stenosis. He was at USC before the doctors there advised him to give up football because of his condition. He transferred to Georgia and was a beast there, but did he chew up two years of health he can't get back? The Saints have to take that chance and swing for the fences.

Other Options:
1. Ezekiel Ansah- Another pass rushing option on the outside for the Saints

2. Johnathan Hankins- Brodrick Bunkley may not be a NT so they could look for a replacement.

16. St. Louis Rams- S Kenny Vaccaro, Texas

The Rams have already stated that they want to upgrade the safety position. They will certainly be thrilled to see Kenny Vaccaro available with their first, first round pick. This is a deep and talented draft for safeties, and Vaccaro is head and shoulders above all the rest. He is a sure tackler and a great cover safety. If the Rams want to improve the safety position, here is a starter from day one.

Other Options:
1. Chance Warmack- Jeff Fisher traditionally doesn't take O-linemen in the first round, but Warmack could be an exception to the rule.

2. Cordarrelle Patterson- If he some how makes it this far I think they should capitalize.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers- DE/OLB Ezekiel Ansah, BYU

This pick is really up in the air. If Casey Hampton is gone then they need a NT and there are a few available. They may fall in love with a corner like Johnathan Banks and upgrade that position. They are also losing James Harrison and I think the strength of the team is their front seven so that's what they have to focus on. Ansah is a huge physical Pass rusher who is athletic enough to stand up as a OLB and I think Pittsburgh will like him a lot.

Other Options:
1. Kenny Vaccaro- Clark and Polamalu are getting older and are always hurt, drafting Vaccaro is great value and adressing a need before it officially becomes one.

2. Jarvis Jones- If he falls this far because of the spinal stenosis the Steelers could draft James Harrison's successor.

18. Dallas Cowboys- DT Sheldon Richardson, Missouri

The Cowboys are transitioning to a 4-3 defense and need a lot of help on the defensive line. Anthony Spencer is a free agent and going to be expensive, while Jay Ratliff has now coupled his poor play since his huge contract extension with a DUI. The Cowboys can take the best D-linemen available and start him on day one.

Other Options:
1. Johnathan Hankins- They may grade Hankins out higher which would make him the pick here.

2. Alec Ogletree- One of the few prospects that has the physicality and speed to be an OLB in the 4-3.

19. New York Giants- LB Alec Ogletree, Georgia

The Giants have made it very clear that they want better play out of their linebackers next year, and I think it has to start in the middle. Chase Blackburn just isn't going to cut it. Ogletree has the speed and strength to be a do it all MLB that will start from day one.

Other Options:
1. Johnathan Hankins- Maybe they want to fix the interior line.

2. Eddie Lacey- One of the few chances a RB goes in the first round. Lacey and Wilson could be a nice one-two punch.

                                            20. Chicago Bears- OT DJ Fluker, Alabama

If the Bears want to get any better anytime soon they need to keep Jay Cutler clean. They need help all along the offensive line and while there is a better guard available, Fluker makes sense. He can start at RT day one, and if he progresses he can be the cornerstone LT. But even if he doesn't, they have a long time starting RT.

Other Options:
1. Chance Warmack- He plays inside but would still address the need along the O-line

2. Tyler Eifert- He can help in the blocking game with his huge size and Cutler could use a steady TE.

21. Cincinnati Bengals- S Eric Reid, LSU

The Bengals are a good team with few glaring holes. One of those holes is at middle linebacker, however with Ogletree gone they should address their serious need at safety. Reid is a large, athletic safety who can hit just as well as he can cover. The fact that he could succeed in the SEC just bolsters his resume that much more.

Other Options:
1. Manti Te'o- If Ogletree is gone and they want a MLB, Te'o may be the guy.

2. John Cyprien- Safety should seriously be in play here and Cyprien is one of those players shooting up draft boards.

22. St. Louis Rams- WR Keenan Allen, Cal

Brandon Gibson and Danny Amendola are free agents. Even if they lose both of them, their young nucleus of Chris Givens, Brian Quick, and Austin Pettis. Keenan Allen is one of my favorite wide outs in the draft. He is a day one starter and a possession receiver, which is what that receiving core needs. Sam Bradford will love having him.

Other Options:
1. Chance Warmack- He's still here if Fisher will go O-line

2. Arthur Brown- If through the combine the Rams can decide he can play OLB he's the guy here.

23. Minnesota Vikings- WR DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson

The Vikings may be losing Percy Harvin, they may not be. Either way they still need more dynamic wide outs. They need to take pressure off of Adrian Peterson as much as they need to help Christian Ponder as much as possible. Hopkins a steady receiver. No peaks and valleys, just a solid number two.

Other Options:
1. Johnathan Hankins- The Vikings could use some new D-linemen and Hankins fits the bill.

2. Terrance Williams- Another option for them at WR if they like him more than Hopkins.

24. Indianapolis Colts- OG Chance Warmack

You may think I'm crazy for slotting him this low. I agree with you, this is way too low for him. But I am not making these picks as if I were the GM, I am trying to predict what each team will do. I made that mistake last year with David DeCastro. He was one of the best players in the draft, but because he played guard he fell to the Steelers at 24 just like Warmack this year. The Colts need two things, a running game, and better blocking for Andrew Luck. Warmack is so good that even from the inside, he does both. Steal of the draft.

Other Options:
1. Jonathan Banks- They could use just about anything on defense and Banks can start for them at corner from day one.

2. John Jenkins- He has the potential to be a top flight NT and could help them stuff the run.

25. Seattle Seahawks- DL Jesse Williams, Alabama

This is a gut feeling pick for me. The Seahawks always go against the grain. They like physical, nasty, tough, kind of wacky guys, and that's what they get. They also like every one of their players to either be ridiculously fast, or incredibly strong. Williams is very, very strong and even fills a need on the interior D-line.

Other Options:
1. Terrance Williams- They could use some receivers for Russell Wilson to play with and Terrance Williams could blossom in to a star.

2. Johnathan Hankins- D-line is a strong probability for them, and if they like Hankins over Williams, they could take him.

26. Green Bay Packers- CB Jonathan Banks, Mississippi St.

This is a pure value pick here for the Packers, not to mention it helps their weaker side of the ball. They need a lot of work on defense but banks should be able to challenge to be a starter right away and would be a great tandem partner with Tramon Williams.

Other Options:
1. Desmond Trufant- Another CB option if that's the way they want to go.

2. John Cyprien- They could really use a safety and he is a good one.

27. Houston Texans- LB Arthur Brown, Kansas St.

Arthur Brown will fill a need for Houston at MLB. He is a bit undersized, but he is lightning quick and fierce. He reminds me a lot of Navorro Bowman in San Francisco. Bradie James is getting older and breaking down in Houston and Arthur Brown has the ability to fly around and make plays. He is a candidate to fly up draft boards after the combine.

Other Options:
1. Tavon Austin- If they like what the smaller playmaker can bring to the table, they can grab him.

2. Terrance Williams- A large WR prospect who they could put across from Andre Johnson.

28. Denver Broncos- CB Desmond Trufant, Washington

Champ Bailey looks like his time has finally come to a close. Tony Carter is a free agent and his future is up in the air. The defensive line needs to get stronger but not as badly as they need a CB. A great Senior Bowl shot Trufant all the way up to being a first round pick.

Other Options:
1. Blidi Wreh-Wilson- They could really use a CB and he's another option.

2. Johnathan Hankins-They've needed help on the interior for a while and he could be the answer.

29. New England Patriots- DT Johnathan Hankins, Ohio St.

The New England Patriots will take a long look at WR Tavon Austin here but decide they need a more physical WR and there isn't a good choice. They will then look at being better in the middle of their defensive line. Hankins represents versatility which is what New England loves in their defensive players. Hankins can play DT in the 4-3 and DE in the 3-4. If something were to happen to Wilfork, Hankins could even play NT.

Other Options:
1. Tavon Austin- He could be electric in the fast paced Patriots offense as both a RB and a WR.

2. Matt Elam- The Patriots could really use an enforcer in their secondary.

30. Atlanta Falcons- TE Zach Ertz, Stanford

Atlanta has very few holes. They would like to strengthen the defensive line, but now that Tony Gonzalez is gone, they have a hole they need to fill at TE first. Ertz is more of a pass catcher than a blocker, but he is a serious threat. He stretches the field and he has excellent hands. He's no Tony Gonzalez, but he can play.

Other Options:
1. Tyler Eifert- He is another option at TE to fill the hole left by Gonzalez.

2. Sam Montgomery- He can play the DE in their 4-3 which is where they need depth.

31. San Francisco 49ers- S John Cyprien, Florida International

The 49ers are as solid a team as there is. With Kaepernick leading this team, the offense can be dynamic. It's still tough to run on the 49ers but it is getting easier and easier to throw on them. The way this draft has fallen, there just isn't a good CB option here. They also need safety help, it's just hard to tell which safety spot they need. Donte Whitner is becoming a liablity at the strong safety, but he is under contract. FS Dashon Goldson is a free agent and will demand a huge contract, and the 49ers are determined to keep him. If they can keep Goldson, then they should draft John Cyprien out of Florida International to replace Whitner at SS. Cyprien hits hard and is very fluid and fast with the ability to cover. He will be a major upgrade at the safety position. There will be OLB prospects later in the draft, as well as good prospects at WR, DL, and CB, but I do think to cupboard will be bare at safety by the 49ers second round pick.

Other Options:
1. John Jenkins- NT Isaac Sopoaga is a free agent and wasn't getting that much push at the end of the season.

2. Tavon Austin- Once again the 49ers are weak at WR. They will have to pat Crabtree soon so they can't spend big on more wide outs. Austin is unbelievably quick and could take over punt and kick return duties with Ted Ginn Jr.  gone. A.J. Jenkins is still developing so the 49ers need a right now WR prospect.

32. Baltimore Ravens- ILB Manti Te'o, Notre Dame

Te'o just sneaks in to the first round as the Raven replacement for Ray Lewis. This is a massive drop off, but it's about their only choice. They are going to have to shell out the dough just to keep Flacco and Boldin which means they will have to replace Lewis through the draft. I think Te'o has tackling issues as well as a lack of speed which drop him to the bottom of the first. However, since the Ravens play a 3-4 defense, Te'o will have help manning the middle, so he won't be exposed as badly as he was in the National Championship game.

Other Options:
1. Matt Elam- He is one of the very good safeties in the draft and could help replace Ed Reed if he leaves.

2. John Jenkins- It's been three years and Terrance Cody is still not producing. It may be time for a new NT.

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