With Dez Bryant going to No. 11 Denver, the Bengals will happily scoop up Gresham and continue their trend of adding more receiving weapons for quarterback Carson Palmer. If No. 22 New England covets Gresham as well it has plenty of ammo to trade up a few spots ahead of the Bengals and land the pass-catching tight end option the Patriots offense currently lacks.
With no Kindle, Graham or Gresham to pick from at No. 22, I love New England's odds of trading out of this spot (either up or down) and finding a player it has strong convictions about. But if the Pats don't move, we project they'll add Odrick to their defensive line mix, because he can play a stout 3-4 end slot in their defense. USC defensive end Everson Griffen is another prospect seen as an option.
My first round is probably the Packers' dream scenario, because in it they have their choice between Davis, one of the draft's top four offensive tackles, Idaho guard-tackle Mike Iupati, and Florida center-guard Maurkice Pouncey (and that doesn't even include Maryland tackle Bruce Campbell, who I have falling into the second round). Green Bay usually stays pretty true to its draft grades, and that should point to Davis, a top 10 prospect in the estimation of some NFL personnel men.
The trade of Sheldon Brown to Cleveland signals that the Eagles will be shopping for a cornerback either at No. 24, or No. 37 (the second-rounder they got from Washington in the Donovan McNabb trade). Jackson is climbing as the draft approaches and USC safety Taylor Mays is tumbling. The Eagles need help at both positions, but it seems more likely they go cornerback in the first round and look for a safety such as USF's Nate Allen early in the second.
The Ravens wouldn't let Dez Bryant, Jermaine Gresham or a Kyle Wilson get past them, but all three of those names are gone in our first round. So even with Anquan Boldin and Donte' Stallworth already added this offseason, Thomas becomes an easy addition to a vastly improved Baltimore receiving depth chart.
Inside linebacker is the Cardinals' top priority, but with Sean Weatherspoon gone to No. 19 Atlanta, Arizona will look next to either defensive tackle or the offensive line. Iupati would immediately upgrade the Cardinals at guard, and some project him as an eventual right tackle in the NFL. Many teams grade him in the teens in the first round, so he's a great value for Arizona at No. 26.
The Cowboys' need at offensive tackle has been front burner all offseason, and the choice of Brown reflects how a first-round run serves to push up the value of the second tier prospects at that position. Going safety remains a possibility, with both USC's Taylor Mays and South Florida's Nate Allen still available.
Houston passing on Mathews in favor of Texas safety Earl Thomas is a break for the running back-needy Chargers. If San Diego likes its rushing options in lower rounds, it could fill its vacancy at nose tackle with Alabama's Terrence Cody.
Having traded for Santonio Holmes last weekend, the Jets appear set at receiver and can look to add other pieces to their puzzle. Griffen adds some fresh legs to the pass rush, and would likely be used in a Terrell Suggs-like role in the Jets' 3-4 defense, perhaps hastening the end of the team's Vernon Gholston era.
McCourty continues the run on first-round cornerbacks that began at No. 13 with Joe Haden to San Francisco. Florida center-guard Maurkice Pouncey is the highest rated remaining player and also makes a nice option for the Vikings.
Pouncey could go considerably higher than this, but if he lingers, the Colts would do well to pounce and add a promising future starter to their interior offensive line. Pouncey would figure to be Pro Bowl center Jeff Saturday's eventual replacement.
The Saints are intent on getting more athletic at outside linebacker, and Hughes is an impressive edge rusher who should be able to generate pressure no matter if he's lined up at defensive end or outside linebacker.
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.