Given the Jason Peters trade, I would think the Bills would be very interested in Oher. But they can probably get an offensive tackle with the No. 28 pick they received from the Eagles, and quality pass-rushers like Orakpo certainly won't be available that low in the round. The Bills will ask Orakpo to play a 4-3 end position, which is his strong suit.
Tyson Jackson is the prospect the Broncos really want in this slot, but if he goes ahead of them, Ayers is the next best option. He's thought of as more of a 4-3 end, but the Broncos would need him to learn how to play in their 3-4. At 6-3, 272 pounds, Ayers is not too small to handle the dirty work of occupying blockers, and he's got a quick, first step to the quarterback.
Let's see if the Redskins get crazy and mortgage their future in a move-up for Sanchez. If not, they should feel fortunate if Oher lasts this long, given their need at right offensive tackle. If he's gone, that could push Ayers into their laps. Either way they should get a major need addressed.
The Saints face a very tough decision, because they like Cushing and need his athleticism and big-play-making potential at outside linebacker, but they're also enamored with Ohio State running back Chris "Beanie" Wells and Buckeyes cornerback Malcolm Jenkins. If they don't go Cushing, it's because they convinced themselves that he isn't quite worth that high of a pick, and Wells is.
The Texans can live with either Cushing or Jenkins, and one of them figures to be available at No. 15. Their third-best scenario would be to see a player like Ayers fall to mid-round.
The Chargers are a puzzling team to figure, because they have no glaring need and sit just beyond where logical picks such as Jenkins, Jackson and Oher figure to come off the board. Moreno gets the nod over Donald Brown and Beanie Wells if San Diego goes running back, but other possibilities to remember are Penn State defensive end-linebacker Aaron Maybin and USC inside linebacker Rey Maualuga.
As we've said for a couple weeks now, we'll only truly believe that the Jets are comfortable with either Brett Ratliff or Kellen Clemens at quarterback in 2009 when they pass on Freeman, the draft's third-rated passer. Oklahoma State tight end Brandon Pettigrew is another appealing option.
The Broncos would probably have to show some patience with Maybin, letting him develop into a 3-4 outside linebacker with some great edge rush potential. If they don't take Maybin, who wasn't expected to last this long, they could address their need at defensive tackle with Mississippi's Peria Jerry.
From all indications, the Bucs are indeed enamored with quarterback Josh Freeman. But they'll have to move up to get him. If the eschew that scenario, they should have their pick between Jerry and Matthews. Jerry reportedly isn't quite hefty enough for new defensive coordinator's Jim Bates' scheme, so we're giving them the versatile Matthews.
The Lions and their new defensive-minded head coach taking two offensive players in the first round would no doubt surprise some folks, but in Pettigrew they see a talent who would improve both their running game (he's a superb blocker) and their passing game, as a target for Stafford. And the Lions could still be in position to get defensive line help at No. 33 with Northern Illinois end Larry English or Boston College tackle Ron Brace.
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