When the Kansas City Chiefs went into the 2012 NFL season, their team goals were probably competing for the division title, a playoff berth, and even the dream of everyone involved with the NFL, a Super Bowl championship. But their season quickly went south and the team became the laughingstock of the league. The Chiefs finished the season with a 2-14 record.
Just how bad were they? Towards the end of the season, a twitter page was created (@StanziNation) urging the Chiefs’ management to start Ricky Stanzi at quarterback. Yes, not Matt Cassel or Brady Quinn, Ricky Stanzi. But the one good thing to come out of the Chiefs’ awful season is that they get the Number 1 overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. What will the Chiefs do with the pick? Who else will be picked over the course of the top 10? I’ll tell you what I think in my mock draft...
Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
With the acquisition of QB Alex Smith the Chiefs probably won’t draft a quarterback here, and Joeckel is easily the best overall prospect in this draft. He looks great both on paper and on film, and last year he played in the nation’s toughest college conference, the SEC, where he had to block many of the other top professional prospects. Joeckel is the obvious choice at Number 1 because he’s someone who can anchor the Chiefs’ offensive line for years to come, and help them succeed next year.
Dee Milliner, CB, AlabamaThe Jaguars are desperate. It seems like no matter what they do, no matter who they draft, they just can’t win games consistently. The Jaguars are another team that has had very inconsistent quarterback play but won’t draft a QB because it’s too early to give up on young, former Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert. Milliner is a phenomenal athlete and player and was the anchor of the best defense in the nation at Alabama. He was dominant with 51 tackles and two interceptions from his cornerback position last year, and his playing style will transfer well into the pros.
Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, OregonJordan is someone who could help out most defenses in the league right away, even if it isn’t as a starter. He’s a phenomenal athlete at 6’6” and 248 lbs. He also had a 4.85 40-yard dash, and had 44 tackles and five sacks last year at Oregon. The Raiders are a team that is just one or two players away from being able to compete for the playoffs, and Jordan could help them out a lot.
Sharrif Floyd, DT, FloridaThe Eagles are a talented team coming off a bad season in a tough division. They don’t have any obvious needs, and Floyd is the best interior defensive lineman in the draft. The Eagles were sub-par defensively last year, and Floyd could be a quick fix, which is what you look for in the top 10.
Ziggy Ansah, DE, BYUThe Lions are another talented team coming off a disappointing season. Two years ago, we saw that Detroit has the ability to win games in the ultra-competitive NFC North, so all they need are a few quick fixes to be back in the mix. According to ESPN, Ansah is a “highly disruptive pass rusher and he’s just scratching the surface.” Ansah, like Floyd, is a great player who could step in right away, make plays for the Lions next year, and still have room to improve as his career progresses.
Eric Fisher, OT, Central MichiganMany think of Fisher as a rival with Joeckel as the top prospect in this draft. If he is still available to the Browns here at six, he is both the obvious choice and a steal. Fisher probably has better athletic upside than Joeckel, but only ranks below him because Joeckel is more polished and he played in the SEC, while Fisher played in the MAC.
Lane Johnson, OT, OklahomaThe Cardinals need offensive linemen, and since Joeckel and Fisher will most likely both be gone, Johnson should go here. He’s a great prospect, but he is often outshined by the other top offensive tackle prospects. It doesn’t matter what the Cardinals do with this pick, though. There is no way that they even compete in a deep division with a strong Seahawks team and the defending NFC Champion 49ers.
Chance Warmack, G, AlabamaThe Bills want Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib, but this is way too high of a pick for a prospect of Nassib’s caliber. The Bills may trade down for more picks and Nassib, but if they keep this pick, they will probably take Warmack to anchor their interior offensive line after losing Andy Levitre. Warmack is a powerful guard and the best interior offensive lineman in this draft.
Geno Smith, QB, West VirginiaIf you follow football, you know that the New York Jets will never compete for a Super Bowl with Mark Sanchez as their quarterback. Disagree? Search “butt fumble” on youtube. Smith is a phenomenal athlete with a great arm who can also make deep throws with incredible touch. He is probably the only QB in this class who can step in, start, and be productive in Week 1. The ceiling with Smith is so much higher than with Sanchez, and it is just common sense for the Jets to replace Sanchez if Smith is available here.
Star Lotulelei, DT, UtahThe Titans don’t have any depth on the interior defensive line, and Lotulelei is a player who’s going to fall from his early top-5 projection due to injury concerns. Supposedly he’s been cleared, so if he’s still available to the Titans, they will take him. If Lotulelei is completely cleared, the Eagles may pick him instead of Sharrif Floyd. If that happens, Floyd will probably end up being picked by the Titans here.