NFL Free Agents and Trades that Reshaped the first round of the draft
Chicago Bears: Most expected the Bears to either draft the best available tackle or tight end on draft day, but after signing Jermon Bushrod and Martellus Bennett on the first day of free agency, they can scratch left tackle and tight end off the board. Still, do not be surprised if they take one of the two excellent guards, Chance Warmack or Jonathon Cooper if available, or a right tackle, as there is still work that needs to be done on the line. But most likely, they will take the top available 4-3 linebacker, as they lost outside linebacker Nick Roach, Brian Urlacher is still a free agent and Lance Briggs only has one year left on his deal. Linebacker is now by far their biggest need.
Prediction: Bears draft LB Manti Teo 20th overall selection.
Atlanta Falcons: They crossed off their four biggest needs, signing running back Steven Jackson, convincing Tony Gonzalez to come back, resigning safety William Moore and resigning left tackle, Sam Baker. Their biggest need right now would be the interior of the offensive line, defensive end and cornerback, especially if they lose Brent Grimes. At this point, defensive end seems like the biggest need, as they cut John Abraham and have nothing left there, so Damontre Moore and Sam Montgomery seem like natural fits.
Predictions: Falcons Draft DE Damontre Moore 30th overall.
Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles were expected to either grab the best available offensive tackle, either Joeckel or Fisher, a rush linebacker, probably Oregon's Dion Jordan, to go with the Chip Kelly connection or cornerback Dee Milliner. With them signing Connor Barwin, that takes the rush linebacker need away, so it is down to Milliner or Fisher, with Joeckel most likely going first overall. The Eagles cut Nnamdi Asoumough and let Dominique Rodgers Cromartie leave as a free agent, so they needed two starting cornerbacks, but signed Baltimore's Cary Williams, so only one starter is needed and Milliner would be a fantastic fit. They are also desperate for a right tackle, considering that their quarterback is a lefty, who needs protection on his blind side. Fixing the offensive line is a bigger issue and holds more positional value, so expect them to go tackle, if Fisher is available. Despite getting Jason Peters back from injury, they still need another tackle..
Prediction: Eagles draft OT Eric Fisher 4th Overall
Seattle Seahawks: For a team thought to be contenders by many, they sure were busy in free agency. They traded for Percy Harvin, fixing their top need, adding a number one wide receiver. They also fixed their defensive end and pass rushing problems by signing Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril. So now their only real need is on the offensive line, which they will need to do, but they are without their first round pick, because of the Harvin trade.
Prediction: No First Round Pick
Cleveland Browns: Everyone expected them to take the best available pass rusher with their first round pick, as they are switching to a 3-4 defense and desperately needed one, but their big money signing of Paul Kruger, changed that need. They still need a quarterback, but do not seem to be interested in Geno Smith, so that leaves the interior of their offensive line and cornerback as their two big needs. It is doubtful that Dee Milliner will fall to the Browns, but if he does they will most likely draft him and it is way too early to draft a guard, so they would be best served trading down. If Eric Fisher is available he could be the pick and do not be surprised if Lane Johnson gets drafted by Cleveland, but at this point it is up in the air and they should trade down if they could, to a team who wants Geno Smith.
Prediction: Buffalo Bills Trades Up to 6, to jump Arizona to draft Geno Smith and the Browns draft Chance Warmack at 8th overall.
Tennessee Titans: After signing Andy Levitre, the top guard on the market, which was their biggest need, they now need to focus on their secondary. They picked up George Wilson to play next to Michael Griffin, but if Kenny Vaccaro is available they should consider drafting him. There is no other elite cornerback other than Milliner, but they will probably reach for whatever cornerback they like second most.
Prediction: Titans draft Xavier Rhodes at 10th overall
Miami Dolphins: They took care of their biggest need at wide receiver, by signing Mike Wallace to a huge contract and resigning Brian Hartline to a more than generous offer. They also splurged on linebackers Danelle Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler despite the complete lack of need for either player and franchised Randy Starks and in turn lost themselves Sean Smith, their top cornerback. They now need two starting cornerbacks and will most likely draft the top available cornerback, just like the Titans. They also need a left tackle, but all top three tackles will be gone by then.
Prediction: Dolphins draft Desmond Trufant at 12th overall
Kansas City Chiefs: After getting their quarterback in Alex Smith, franchising left tackle Brandon Albert and signing cornerbacks, Dunta' Robinson and Sean Smith, they have fixed their top three needs. Now this has opened the door for them to take the number one overall prospect in the draft, Luke Joeckel and either start him at right tackle, or move Albert to right tackle, which is their number one need. The only possible change is if they prefer Eric Fisher to Joeckel.
Prediction: Chiefs will draft Luke Joeckel first overall pick.
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