Fisher has ideal measurables in terms of size, arm length and hand span and the light feet you look for in a left tackle. He plays with excellent balance, does a great job with angles in the run game and has good lateral agility in pass protection. He can continue to get stronger in the lower half and play with more consistent pad level. If he does that, he can develop into a top-tier left tackle at the next level.
This might be a surprise to some, but his athletic upside probably fits what the Chiefs want to do. They will be a zone-blocking offensive line. They will run stretch plays, draws and misdirection, and that requires guys up front who are athletic in space. Fisher has the best feet at his position in the draft. He will step in immediately at left offensive tackle to protect new QB Alex Smith. If somehow the Chiefs can retain Branden Albert at right tackle, which is unlikely, they will have bookend offensive tackles for the next several years. To the Chiefs' credit, they have spent several draft picks in the past three years on the offensive line, so it's a position of some strength that will only get better with Fisher.
Joeckel isn't quite as athletic as Fisher, and that might be what separated the two for the Chiefs, but Jacksonville still gets a franchise left tackle. Joeckel is an excellent pass-blocker with above-average feet and balance and also has the power and nasty streak to move defenders off the ball as a run-blocker. And when you consider his SEC experience and the awareness he shows on tape, you don't question his ability to be a starter from day one.
The Jaguars have tried to fix this unit over the past couple drafts, but they aren't where they should be. They actually have more holes inside than outside, but Eugene Monroe is acceptable at left tackle, and Joeckel should step in immediately at right tackle. This is another zone-blocking offensive line, but they want a little more physicality in the run game. They must improve their edge pass protection -- they gave up an embarrassing 50 sacks in 2012. The Jaguars front office is from the Bill Polian school of draft philosophy, and that means selecting guys from big schools who have played against elite talent. That certainly describes Joeckel to a tee. This was an easy pick for Jacksonville.
At 6-foot-6 and 248 pounds, Jordan has a rare combination of length and athleticism. He is one of the most versatile edge players in this class, with the ability to line up at various spots along the defensive front and rush off the edge or cover receivers in space. He needs to continue to add bulk and strength, but his upside as a pass-rusher and overall high ceiling make him an intriguing prospect.
The more you look at what the Dolphins are doing on defense, the more this seems like an interesting fit. As a rangy guy who can play a 4-3 DE spot as the Dolphins transition from their old 3-4 front under new coordinator Kevin Coyle, Jordan has excellent edge pass-rush skills. But he also has the athletic ability, when they go to their hybrid 3-4 look, to either rush off the edge or drop into coverage. This defense will resemble the Cincinnati attacking scheme, and Jordan ran a high volume of plays in Oregon's up-tempo defense. He can team with Cameron Wake to give the Dolphins a terrific edge-rush package.
Johnson might have more upside than the two tackles selected before him. He has good athleticism and played quarterback, tight end and defensive end before moving to OT the past two seasons, though his limited experience and lack of elite awareness are likely what put him behind Fisher and Joeckel. However, Johnson has very good feet in pass protection and as a run-blocker, and he plays with an edge and won't back down against any defender.
In new head coach Chip Kelly's offense, you must have an offensive line that is athletic enough run a high volume of plays. Linemen must be able to block in space, get in and out of the huddle and show excellent awareness and the ability to adjust. Johnson fits this bill perfectly, both athletically and with his experience in an up-tempo offense. He gives this offensive line very interesting flexibility. If left tackle Jason Peters is healthy, Johnson can line up immediately at right tackle and move last season's starting right tackle Todd Herremans inside. That strengthens this entire unit. If Peters isn't what he once was physically, Johnson gives the Eagles insurance at left tackle.
Ansah has an elite combination of size and raw athleticism, but he is relatively inexperienced. However, on tape he shows natural instincts coupled with explosive power and excellent closing burst for a 271-pounder. He also has good versatility, with the ability to reduce inside and provide some interior pass rush. With his frame, tools and freakish athleticism, he has the potential to become a Pro Bowl-caliber player.
With all three elite offensive tackles off the board, this appears to be the Lions' highest-rated player, and he does fill a need. Both of Detroit's starting defensive ends from a season ago, Kyle Vanden Bosch and Cliff Avril, are gone. Ansah figures perfectly as an end rusher in the Lions' aggressive 4-3 defense, in which they like to attack without a lot of blitzes. Because of all the attention defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley receive, he should get a lot of one-on-one blocking situations. He's also a guy who can move around and play inside in some sub packages as a mismatch pass-rusher.
Mingo's lack of ideal production is a concern, and he needs to get stronger against the run, but there is no denying his potential as an edge-rusher. He has the explosiveness, flexibility and closing speed defensive coordinators covet. The way he moved in space at the NFL combine showed his ability to hold up in underneath coverage and excel if moved to OLB in a 3-4 scheme. He is also relentless chasing the ball, and he has the chance to become a more productive pro than college player.
In this traditional 3-4 defense, under coordinator Ray Horton, this fills the Browns' biggest need at outside linebacker. It also gives them a lot of flexibility. They have a productive edge-rusher at left outside linebacker in Jabaal Sheard, and they picked up productive pass-rusher Paul Kruger from Baltimore in free agency. Mingo gives them three athletic speed-rushers, and they can also show some 4-3 fronts at times -- especially in nickel and sub packages. The athleticism that this defensive front now has is going to be very tough to block in space. Horton loves to change his fronts and bring a variety of aggressive blitzes. Cleveland wants to play fast, but under control. This probably fits Mingo's skill set nicely.
A four-year starter, Cooper has rare movement skills for a 311-pound offensive lineman. He is an effective zone-blocker who covers up defenders at the first level and is smooth when attacking linebackers at the second level. That athletic ability also translates well in pass protection, in which he gets set quickly and stays in front of defenders. And don't mistake his lack of overwhelming power for a lack of toughness. He has the mean streak to thrive as an interior lineman in the NFL.
If there was ever a selection to fill a need, this would be it. Because of injuries and inconsistent personnel, this might be the weakest unit in the NFL over the past two or three seasons. Arizona's coaches seem to think that if their offensive line can get healthy, it will get better. But the Cardinals appear to need more. They could use an upgrade at all three inside positions, and they need to acquire at least one starting offensive tackle. In a perfect world, they would move left tackle Levi Brown to right tackle. Cooper doesn't fill the OT need, but he will probably start immediately at guard and improve the interior run game. Keep in mind that as an interior offensive lineman, his biggest strength might be in pass protection. This is an offensive line that gave up a league-worst 58 sacks last season.
Austin is the most explosive offensive weapon in this draft. He has an elite combination of quickness and top-end speed, with the ability to immediately get to full speed out of cuts. His versatility is also impressive. Austin can provide big plays at any point as a slot receiver, from the backfield and in the return game. He is undersized, but he is a tough player and proved durable during his four years at West Virginia.
This is the ultimate space player who fills a tremendous need for the Rams' passing game. They lost Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson in free agency, but they do like Chris Givens on the outside as a vertical guy. They are hopeful that Brian Quick will be much more productive than he was a season ago. That leaves Austin to be a versatile guy out of the slot for a pass offense that loves to attack the middle of the field. Austin can also line up outside, and he can even give them some snaps at varied alignments. He can certainly improve the Rams' return game from last season. The Rams are desperately looking for explosive plays, and this guy provides them. St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford likes his receivers to be able to sight adjust on the snap, so Austin will need a quick learning curve to get on the same page.
Milliner has an above-average combination of size, fluidity and top-end speed. What stands out most, though, are his instincts, use of his eyes in coverage and understanding of angles and leverage in coverage. In addition, he plays with an edge and brings a physical element in run support. He doesn't have ideal production in terms of interceptions, but that's about the only knock on his game.
We know that Rex Ryan can never have enough corners with the type of defense he plays. That's even more important now that Darrelle Revis is in Tampa Bay. This is a 3-4 defense that asks its corners to play a lot of tight man-to-man schemes, and they are on an island a lot of the time. With a mediocre pass-rush up front, these guys really have to hold their coverages longer than you might think. Milliner can play occasional off schemes, and he will be very versatile in their sub packages. He can step right into replace Revis. This means the Jets don't have to force the secondary to play Kyle Wilson outside, instead leaving him at nickel, where he is better-suited.
Warmack masks his lack of elite athleticism in pass protection with effort and sound fundamentals. His greatest strength is his ability to create movement and space in the running game. He shows excellent strength to move defenders off the ball at the point of attack, and his angles and footwork make him a surprisingly effective zone blocker. The experience of being a three-year starter from Alabama is also a plus, and he rarely misses an assignment in pass pro or the run game.
Coach Mike Munchak is a Hall of Fame offensive lineman, and this fits perfectly for what the Titans like to do. All three of Tennessee's interior starters wound up on injured reserve last season. While the Titans did a nice job in free agency of adding offensive guards Andy Levitre from Buffalo and Rob Turner from St. Louis, they would probably like to upgrade Turner at right guard. By nature, they are a physical, between-the-tackles run game, as they attack the defense. But they will occasionally run some zone looks, and Warmack has shown he can do that if asked. Tennessee is in pretty good shape at the offensive tackle position. So the interior of this offensive line should be as good as any in the NFL in 2013.
Fluker doesn't have the foot speed you're looking for in a left tackle, but his 36 3/8-inch arms make it tough for edge-rushers to turn the corner. His real value is in the run game. At 339 pounds, he engulfs smaller defensive ends, and he does not lose once he locks on to the defender's frame. Even though he carries a lot of weight, his effort is consistently above average and he rarely misses an opportunity to finish.
San Diego's offensive line was a disaster in 2012 and it negatively affected every part of the offense -- including a mediocre run game and terrible pass protection. The Chargers tried to address the offensive line in free agency with the addition of King Dunlap from Philadelphia at left offensive tackle, but he isn't the long-term answer. They probably went into this draft with a potential need for at least three new starters. Fluker will likely start immediately at right tackle, which suits his skill set. That could allow Jeromey Clary to either move to left tackle and compete with Dunlap or become a swing guy. San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers loves the vertical passing game, and he desperately needs guys on the edge who can hold up long enough for seven-step drops. Fluker might not be perfect in that area, but he's an upgrade.
Hayden has one of the best combinations of footwork and closing burst in the 2013 corner class. He is also rarely caught out of position. What separates him, though, are his playmaking instincts and ability to manufacture turnovers. He can get stronger and more consistent in run support, but overall Hayden shows a shut-down skill set in coverage.
This was one of the worst secondaries in the NFL a year ago. Part of the problem was corners with marginal cover skills. A bigger problem might have been the lack of an upfront pass rush. As a result, it puts the defensive backs on a lot of island situations. They are forced to blitz to create pressure, which means a lot of tight man-to-man coverages. The problem is that none of their guys did it very well. This will at least be a step in the right direction to allow Oakland's coaches to get back to more aggressive cover packages. They obviously hope that Hayden can be a shutdown corner like the type of player you used to identify with this secondary.
There are concerns about durability, character and an underwhelming workout, but on the other hand, tape trumps all. Richardson is a disruptive run stopper with an explosive first step and much better range than his timed speed would suggest. He needs work as a pass-rusher in terms of setting up moves and eliminating wasted motion. He has lined up at end at times, as well, and shown better ability to translate speed to power at that spot than he does inside.
He's a good football player, but he appears to be selected at a position that has pretty good depth for the Jets. However, they are looking for versatility on their defensive front. They are a traditional 3-4 defensive line, but they can go to 4-3 looks, and it's likely they think Richardson fits as a defensive end in the 3-4 and a defensive tackle in the 4-3, which makes him a three-down player. He also has the one-gap attacking skills that Rex Ryan really likes. But they already have one ascending player in Muhammad Wilkerson and another with unrealized talent in Quinton Coples. You continue to look at the Jets and wonder where the edge pass rush comes from, but Richardson will give them more physicality.
Lotulelei is a massive interior run defender with natural strength and power. He shows heavy and violent hands, is light on his feet and has above-average range to make plays outside the tackle box. He doesn't have ideal pass-rush ability, but he has the quickness and power to collapse the pocket from the inside and create disruption in the backfield. He will also occupy blockers and help protect the linebackers behind him.
The edge of this defensive front seven is really good, with defensive ends Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy. What the Panthers are missing is a dominating inside player to not only clog against the run, but also give them inside pass-rush pressure. Lotulelei will potentially give the ends more favorable blocking matchups. The happiest guy on the Panthers should be middle linebacker Luke Kuechly, because Lotulelei will eat up blocks and allow Kuechly to fly to the football. He should also dramatically upgrade the short-yardage offense, which wasn't very good last season. Lotulelei's overall presence will upgrade a defensive line that really struggled in producing tackles for loss.
Vaccaro can do a lot for a defense, and do it all well. He can match up with slot receivers underneath, play a center fielder role over the top, and also match up with tight ends. Outside of some slightly inconsistent tackling, he is also an excellent run stopper who fills hard from the high slot and is big enough to hold up in the box. If he had run a better 40 time he likely would have been picked earlier, but his speed is not an issue on tape and we have no concern that he is fast enough to hold up at the next level.
This was a horrible secondary a year ago, which gave up a ton of big plays against both the run and the pass. A lot of those came inside versus safeties who had no chance to play man-to-man or turn and run with wide receivers. Under new coordinator Rob Ryan, the Saints will be aggressive. They will blitz from all over the formation, and that requires safeties who can hold up on an island where they don't have to play soft zone schemes. Right now, it looks as if last year's starters need to be upgraded. Malcolm Jenkins has regressed, and age seems to be catching up with Roman Harper. Vaccaro will not only give the Saints an outstanding athlete on the back end of this defense, but he should also be a real asset in sub packages, because he's a guy who won't be exploited in coverage.
There is no questioning Manuel's physical tools, size, mobility and leadership qualities. However, the tape reveals concerns about his ability to get through progressions and make sound decisions under pressure. He also needs to improve his spotty accuracy, because he forces his receivers to adjust too often.
The quarterback position has been a revolving door for a while in Buffalo. You just got the feeling that this new coaching staff, under Doug Marrone, wanted to start with its own guy. The Bills already had a couple quarterbacks on their roster with Kevin Kolb and Tarvaris Jackson, and it's interesting that they passed on Geno Smith and Ryan Nassib. Manuel's upside could be very intriguing, although this coaching staff has been very secretive about its offensive philosophy. We will likely see creative personnel groupings, an up-tempo passing game with some read-option wrinkles and perhaps even see an old version of the K-Gun offense that the Bills ran years ago with Jim Kelly. This is a coaching staff which can afford the time to bring along Manuel, and it already has a potentially good run game to take some pressure off him. This selection seems to tell us this is going to be a very creative offensive package. It will be fun to watch, with a variety of exotic looks.
There are concerns about his long-term durability and whether his spinal stenosis diagnosis will affect the length of his career. The 40 time he turned in at his pro day also raises some eyebrows, and sent scouts back to the film. However, he is quicker than fast around the edge with an outstanding motor. He finds and gets to the ball as a run defender, and is relentless as a pass-rusher who doesn't have to win with his first move to get to the quarterback.
This appears to be a perfect marriage of a player that the Steelers really like who also fills their No. 1 need. Veteran James Harrison is gone, promising Jason Worilds hasn't played up to his expected potential, and this defense really needed an edge rusher to complement LaMarr Woodley. If Jones can step in immediately at right outside linebacker, it gives Pittsburgh a nice three-man rotation. What we have to keep in mind is that almost all of the Steelers' pass rush comes from the outside linebackers, with occasional blitz help from safety Troy Polamalu. But this defense, year in and year out, is only as good as its edge pressure, and Jones must give them that.
Reid's 2012 film was not quite as good as his 2011 tape, but he came on late in the season and showed how good he can be. He has great size and length, as well as excellent fluidity. He needs to clean up his angles in run support, though his range and closing burst provide him with a lot of upside both in coverage and as a run defender.
This defense is very aggressive, and it also wants its safeties to be effective in sub packages and stay on the field for all three downs. The 49ers will play combo coverages. They are outstanding tacklers, and Reid is a guy who seems to fit the mold. San Francisco lost free safety Dashon Goldson in free agency, and strong safety Donte Whitner is entering the final year of his contract. The 49ers have a couple young guys they like as depth players, but they don't appear to be ready. So the coaching staff will likely expect Reid to step in and start at free safety. As mentioned, one of the unique qualities of the 49ers defense is to have guys that never have to come off the field. Because of that, they are tough to expose in matchup situations. That should be a strength of Reid's.
There is some debate as to whether Pugh fits best at guard or tackle, because he has short arms at just 32 inches. There are concerns about his ability to protect the edge. But there is no debating his ability to be a starter immediately. He is an aggressive, fundamentally sound run blocker who gets in good position and sustains. And aside from his arm length, there is no reason to doubt him in pass protection. His footwork and balance, in particular, are impressive.
While the Giants probably didn't draft Pugh because of his versatility, they have needs both inside and outside on the offensive line. There is some debate whether he belongs at offensive guard or right tackle, and either position would be welcome. They might be OK at tackle with Will Beatty and get another year out of David Diehl. They also like young James Brewer at right tackle or guard, which gives them the option of moving Diehl inside. They will likely look at Pugh in both positions and find a spot where he can step in and start immediately. This has been a very good Giants offensive line for a long time, but they started to show cracks last season. Pugh will help.
Long is a raw prospect, but his size, strength, flexibility and athleticism give him one of the highest ceilings in the entire offensive line class. He has the versatility to play inside at guard and eventually kick outside to tackle with more experience in the league.
The Bears addressed their struggling offensive line in free agency with two new starters on the left side in Jermon Bushrod and Matt Slauson, and they moved OT J'Marcus Webb to right offensive tackle and Gabe Carimi to guard. However, the right side of this offensive line is still not at a comfort level. As much as this new coaching staff and Jay Cutler want to throw the ball downfield, they must improve their pass protection to give them the ability for the seven-step drops and seam routes they would like to run. Long probably fits in at right guard or right tackle as a starter, and if left guard Slauson struggles, Long could even fill in there.
Eifert is a versatile weapon who can line up in-line, in the slot or flexed wide. There is no receiver or tight end in this class in terms of attacking jump balls, and Eifert almost never loses 50-50 balls downfield. He also has the speed to work the seam and can pick up some yards after the catch. And while he will never be elite as a blocker, he can be an effective positional blocker.
Because this didn't appear to be a high need, it certainly looks as if the Bengals were picking the best athlete left on their board. They already have two decent tight ends in Jermaine Gresham and newly acquired Alex Smith. While neither are difference-makers, it's not a bad tandem. However, Eifert is an excellent matchup tight end. He can play in-line or flex, and what makes him interesting is that the Bengals have been looking for a quality No. 2 wide receiver to complement A.J. Green. Eifert may give them some of those matchup plays. Where he will really help this offense is in the red zone. In this new era of multiple tight-end sets, Eifert will allow the Bengals to get creative.
Trufant has an above-average blend of size, speed and foot quickness for a corner prospect. Add in his ability to anticipate breaks, and receivers have a tough time separating from him. He can also bump inside and match up with quicker slot receivers. There is also a lot to like about his willingness to cover the opponent's top receiver and compete on every snap. It also doesn't hurt that his older brother, Marcus, has had some success in the NFL. The two knocks on him are that he is not an elite playmaker, and could get stronger against the run.
This is a secondary that prefers to play nickel/sub packages almost 50 percent of the time. That requires multiple defensive backs. Dunta Robinson and Brent Grimes are gone. That leaves the Falcons with veteran Asante Samuel and young Robert McClain as starters, which makes this secondary a bit unsettled. They are very good inside at safety, but their ability to play with at least three corners in their base package is important, and Trufant gives them the flexibility to do that, which they didn't always have in 2012 because of injuries.
Floyd was one of the most improved prospects from 2011 to 2012. In particular, he was stronger in the lower body and more explosive up top. He lacks ideal length, but he has a quick first step and extremely strong hands to cause disruption. He found a home inside as a one-gap, penetrating 3-technique after playing end earlier in his career, and he should make an impact there at the next level.
He's a perfect fit in this Minnesota 4-3 under defense, where he can either play under tackle or nose tackle. With an aging Kevin Williams, the Vikings need to continue to add depth to maintain the four-man defensive-tackle rotation they had a year ago. Philosophically, they prefer to rush four and drop seven into coverage without a lot of blitzes, but they are very creative with movement and stunts up front. They love their defensive linemen to be one-gap penetrators, and that's exactly what Floyd can be. Minnesota never could have dreamed that he would still be on the board at this point.
Werner lacks ideal size and length, but is one of the more polished prospects we evaluated on tape. His quick, active hands stand out, and he does a great job playing with leverage to set the edge against the run, and can disengage and redirect to make the tackle. As a pass-rusher, he has a quick initial get-off and flashes a wide variety of moves. He lacks ideal athleticism in space, but he should hold up in underneath zone coverage.
As the Colts continue to make the transition from their old 4-3 defense to a 3-4 look, the only quality edge player they still have is Robert Mathis, although they did pick up Erik Walden in free agency from Green Bay. But what they get out of Walden, and age concerns about Mathis, give them some concerns. Werner has a chance to start as a 3-4 outside linebacker in the Colts' base package, and he's a sound player who will also upgrade them versus the run. In the Colts' sub packages, when they go to a four-man front, he can line up at left defensive end. For years, this organization has produced pass-rushers with a variety of moves and great hand use, and Werner fits perfectly in that category.
You just don't find many corners who run a 4.43 in the 40 at 6-foot-1½ and 210 pounds, and his length amplifies his range because he gets his hands on balls a lot of other corners won't. He is also effective against the run with his size. You'd like to see some improvement in terms of instincts and ability to anticipate breaks in front of him. Still, it's tough to deny his potential.
While Rhodes has good physical man-to-man skills, at first glance you might think he doesn't with this Tampa-2 defensive scheme. But he's actually perfect for it, because he can be effective against the run. He can certainly play zone coverages, and if they play man, he's very effective. Another wrinkle that they like to show is "cat" blitzes by their corners off the edge. That's something he does very well. This defense will stay in the nickel package more than you think. With veteran Antoine Winfield gone, and starter Chris Cook continuing to fight injuries, he should be able to step in and start immediately and be their third corner in sub packages.
Jones blew up at the Senior Bowl and has risen quickly since then. He is a little light, but he plays with leverage and has very active hands. He can win with first-step quickness in the run game and disrupt in the backfield, but Jones must play with better pad level as a pass-rusher. However, he flashes the quickness to win inside and outside as a pass-rusher.
The Packers really need physical defense ends in this base 3-4 front to set the edge against the run. It seems as if they are playing more nickel and dime schemes with four-man fronts. That requires a player with versatility. Jones is a natural fit at defensive end in the 3-4 and would probably move inside in the four-man front as that one-gap penetrator that they really like. With defensive linemen Ryan Pickett and B.J. Raji in the last year of their contracts, and inconsistency and injury concerns behind them, this unit needs that depth and versatility that Jones brings.
The first thing that jumps out about Hopkins is his hands. He has big mitts and snatches the ball out of the air. Hopkins also has the body control to adjust to passes outside his frame. He could do a better job streamlining his routes, but he has the quick feet to improve in that area. He's not a burner and won't consistently take the top off coverage, but his size and ball skills allow him to compete down the field.
Houston has been looking for a complementary wide receiver for Andre Johnson for as long as we remember, and they might have found their man. With limited weapons a year ago, Johnson was targeted almost 60 percent of the time in the passing game -- the highest rate in the NFL. Veteran Kevin Walter is gone, promising DeVier Posey is coming off an Achilles injury and Lestar Jean has promise but isn't yet ready. In all likelihood, expect Hopkins to step in and start and take away some coverage from Johnson. Hopkins isn't that ultimate deep threat who stretches the field, but he should be an effective third-down option.
There are some concerns about Williams' true playing weight. However, he is a disruptive interior run stopper with quick hands and feet. He can shoot gaps and get off blocks, and he has the pass-rush skills to stay on the field on third down. Williams might not have a lot of sacks, but he can disrupt and force quarterbacks to move off the spot in the pocket and make some tough throws.
The Broncos have done a terrific job of upgrading the interior of this defense, and they have a philosophy of building from the inside out. They have a nice inside trio of Kevin Vickerson, Mitch Unrein and Derek Wolfe, who can play inside and outside. Williams can give them a nice four-man rotation and create depth. When this inside group is playing well, it forces offenses to attack the edge, which allows pursuit to catch up. Denver has some slight concerns about age and durability at this position, so this looks like a bit of an insurance pick.
Patterson ranks with Tavon Austin as one of the most electric players in this class with the ball in his hands. However, he is a one-year FBS player and is extremely raw as a receiver in terms of route-running and reading coverages on the fly. There are questions about how much of an offense he can absorb right away, and his hands have been inconsistent on tape. He can immediately make an impact as a return man, and if the Vikings can find creative ways to get him touches, Patterson can still make a difference as he develops as a receiver.
With the departure of Percy Harvin, this was obviously a strong need. He will now team with new free-agent acquisition Greg Jennings to potentially give the Vikings a nice duo. But with the combination of injuries and inconsistency, the rest of Minnesota's receivers are huge questions marks -- although Jarius Wright looks like he could give them a nice three-receiver package out of the slot. The problem for the Vikings might be that they have a young quarterback with two new receivers. How quickly those receivers can pick up the offense will be critical to the Vikings' success.
Ogletree is a freakish athlete who on tape looked like a top-15 prospect, but off-field issues caused him to fall. He has sideline-to-sideline range and holds up well in space. He will never be an elite take-on linebacker and needs to use his hands better when shedding blocks, but there is no denying his playmaking upside. He can be an impact blitzer and has the fluidity and length to hold up against athletic, pass-catching tight ends in man coverage.
The Rams have two solid starters, strong-side linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar and middle linebacker James Laurinaitis, but their biggest need was at weak-side linebacker, where they just don't have a quality starter or adequate depth. Ogletree should be able to step in immediately, even though he's moving from inside to outside. The Rams will ask their linebackers to be involved in coverage. They will be on the move at all times, and this linebacker trio now has a chance to develop as a strong unit. Ogletree also gives them insurance if they lose Dunbar in free agency a year from now, but hopefully this trio can grow together.
Frederick is a nasty, versatile interior lineman who also has experience at guard. He is an effective hand-fighter who locks on and has the power base to create movement once in position. In terms of pass protection, he can anchor against power and masks his athletic limitations with sound footwork. It should also come as no surprise that a Wisconsin offensive lineman who can play multiple positions has great football IQ and rarely loses because of mental mistakes.
This was obviously a need pick to fill the biggest weakness of this offense from a year ago. The only quality offensive lineman the Cowboys can count on right now is left tackle Tyron Smith. A combination of injuries and inconsistency devastated this group a year ago, which is really disappointing, considering they thought they had fixed their interior problems. What's even more alarming about this offensive line is the fact that Tony Romo's agility allows him to take fewer sacks and hits than most quarterbacks. Frederick will have a chance to step in and start at any of the three interior positions.
The biggest knock on Elam is his lack of ideal height and length, but he plays with an aggressive demeanor that fits well with the Ravens' makeup. He makes a quick diagnosis in the run game, and his fluidity is comparable to that of a cornerback. In addition, he has a knack for making big plays, both in terms of delivering big hits as a run defender and relentlessly attacking the ball in coverage.
With the offseason loss of both starting safeties, Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard, this became a glaring need for the Ravens, although they tried to patch the secondary with a couple midlevel free-agent acquisitions. This is a defense that expects a lot of range out of its corners, and the Ravens want a skill package that includes the ability to play both man and zone schemes. A year ago, Baltimore played a lot of dollar coverages, with six defensive backs on the field at times. They obviously hope to get center-field range from Elam, and he should be an immediate starter because of need.