Feb 24, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith (13) participates in a passing drill during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
8. Buffalo Bills – Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia. Of all the teams that filled their quarterback position in the off-season, Kevin Kolb is the weakest solution and isn’t the answer that General Manager Buddy Nix is looking for. Upside or downside, the Bills are one of the only teams in the NFL who look like they are going to let the 2013 season ride on one of this Draft class’s rookie signal callers. Also, the probability of any other team fighting with Buffalo for a quarterback before this selection doesn’t look all that high, so the Bills could get their new face of the franchise without the requirement of trading up. Reports are that Buffalo really likes Ryan Nassib of Syracuse could be true, or they could be a subterfuge: notably when the Bills lost interest in Geno Smith, his overall stock began a plummet the depth of which many draftniks are unclear of. And why not when the team most desperate for a quarterback is rumored to be dismissive of him? Despite the lack of ‘elite’ talent in the Draft this year, Smith is still the top quarterback available. Buffalo wanted to get the top signal-caller without sacrificing later picks, and with a few well-placed dropped comments from the front office, it looks like they’ll get him.
9. New York Jets – Jarvis Jones, DE/OLB, Georgia. Head Coach Rex Ryan has got to get something going in his slice of NYC, but as long as he is saddled with Mark Sanchez as a quarterback, the defense has got to be stout if the Jets want to win anything this year. Despite a lack-luster showing thus far as a Draft Prospect and medical concerns swirling, Jarvis Jones’s tape is terrifyingly good. With 12.5 sacks and 78 tackles in his final season as a Georgia Bulldog, Jones is easily the best player left on the board, spinal stenosis or not. At this point, there are still too many top rated defensive players on the board to make a reach for an offensive lineman or wide receiver, but those options are both areas of need for New York. If someone was looking to trade up, the Jets would be comfortable moving back to add picks, and subsequently talent; especially with this week’s addition of a second high first-round pick from Tampa Bay.
10. Tennessee Titans – Chance Warmack, G, Alabama. The recent addition of Andy Levitre is a considerable upgrade to the interior offensive line, but if the Titans want to cash in on their commitment to Chris Johnson then there are going to need to double-down. There has been some argument about Chance Warmack not being as athletic as the other top ranked guard in this class, Johnathan Cooper, but both history and film show that Warmack has been getting it done consistently against high-caliber opponents for two years. Don’t forget, Warmack was the driving influence behind both Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy. There has been some in Tennessee’s camp that are still waving the flag for a defensive player, but they are few. If Warmack is there, he’s coming off the board at 10.
11. San Diego Chargers – Star Lotulelei, NT, Utah. The chances that the Bolts stay in this position if all three of the premier offensive tackles are off the board are slim. If new General Manager Tom Telesco is hungry enough, he might trade up, but burning draft picks in your first year in a front office isn’t a great career move. Trading down might be an option, but if a player can hold them in place, it’s Star Lotulelei. At one point a Top 3 pick overall, Lotulelei has been cleared medically, but somehow slips out of the Top 10. San Diego fans won’t like not coming away with one of the monster tackles, but a player like Lotulelei can change a defense overnight. Further, he fills a huge position of need as the Chargers have struggled to find a legitimate replacement for Jamal Williams since his departure to Denver in 2010.