Here are some assorted thoughts on various teams upcoming first round draft selections. All of these teams are bad so far this season so hopefully this can give them some hope in these times of need. I included some people who I think are very obvious early decs from the 2023 class. Anyway here it is:
Most Likely Pick: RB DeSean Dockery, Louisville
Analysis: The Vikings have looked surprisingly competent on offense so far this season with Vardell and Keith Dunn both performing above expectation, but I still think they ought to try and recapture the magic of the Vardell+Henson duo. Dockery is a stud and I expect his draft stock to stay high throughout the offseason leading up to the draft.
The other big option for them is an EDGE rusher, especially DE. Justin Glass is old and mediocre. The team's pass defense is still bad but they've invested too much in the secondary already to keep throwing darts against that dart board so I think additional pressure from the pass rush is where they look to improve next. Primary targets here are Sebastian Smallwood and Timothy Key. They could also go for a wide reciever since Luke Cobb has improved the team so much. There are three great Wrs this year but I think Morgan Patton out of Penn State would pair especially well with Cobb and create a fearsome duo.
Most Likely Pick: FS Seth Scott, Colorado
Analysis: The Browns are honestly extremely tough to analyze here because they are the sort of team that is decent everywhere but elite nowhere (except WR1 and Center). With these sorts of teams that are solid but lacking special players when they take big time playmakers and that's exactly what Seth Scott is. He's one of the biggest ballhawks in CFBHC history with 10 interceptions last season and that sort of play would be a welcome step up from their current safety LaMichael Jones, who while competent isn't very exciting.
The other big option for them I think is offensive guard to replace the soon to retire Calvin Milloy. That option would probably be better if they were further down in the 1st because this class on the surface lacks elite OG prospects. Otherwise the team is full of solid young players so while they could upgrade elsewhere I don't think it's as likely as OG or safety.
Most Likely Pick: CB Kyle Cunningham, Baylor
Analysis: Indy has avoided picking high end corners for years now and I think it's finally starting to bite them in the ass. Forget about the run game, that pass defense is bottom 10 in the league right now despite the amount of pressure the Dline is getting. Cunningham is the best corner out of this relatively weak class for the position right now and I think he'd fit snuggly in at Indy.
Other positions they could go are runningback if it turns out Otero really is done for, I actually think Ricky Vega would be a great fit here and likely available wherever they pick, maybe even in the 2nd round. As usual they could also use an upgrade at center with Xavier Cueller. There aren't many good OLBs this draft but Jabari Fletcher wouldn't be bad to replace the aging Keyuo Clark.
New York Giants:
Most Likely Pick: QB Matt Jones, Purdue
Analysis: It looks like Davenport isn't gonna be a Giant after all and right now they're starting David Brezina so if they don't address quarterback this draft it will be an absolute tragedy for the team's fans. Matt Jones is my favorite QB of this draft so far and I think he'd fit nicely with the team they have in New York right now. I think Marcus Black could also be good if they want to go the scrambler route. Either works really but right now I favor Jones.
The Giants roster is honestly just plain terrible right now so I could see them going a lot of directions otherwise. Maybe they want to get their defense going with Smallwood. They could also look to trade down and select Jarvis Ward, Morgan Patton or Tyler White at wide reciever. But as I said before, I think their #1 priority right now has to be the QB position, so unless they address that in free agency I think it'll be their pick of Black or Jones.
Most Likely Pick: WR Tyler White, Penn State
Analysis: The Cowboys are better than their record for sure but the weaknesses they've shown are still real. The roster is extremely well rounded and I don't think there are any particular problem areas bigger then WR so I look for the Cowboys to draft one of the big three (Ward, Patton and White). I think White is the most likely to be available when Dallas picks but it could be any of them. A star WR could unlock Graham Burnett and provide some balance to their offense to provide the boost they need to become true superbowl contenders.
Other than wide reciever I could see them upgrading the secondary a bit with a free safety or CB2. Seth Scott would be interesting if they could grab him for example. Some of their olinemen are getting old so maybe they want to draft one for cap relief but that'd be kind of a waste IMO. Really I think the Cowboys going WR makes too much sense for it not to happen but we'll see, they could lose someone to free agency that opens up another hole before the draft.
Most Likely Pick: OT Alex Vasili, Penn State
Analysis: Assuming he declares I would love Vasili to the Chargers. They have a lot of needs but #1 to me is offensive line which is absolutely atrocious right now for them, the worst in the league. Vasili isn't sexy but he's played well enough over the course of his career that he'd be worth it in my opinion.
The Chargers have a lot of other places they could go besides OT. Their wide recievers are still bad so they could upgrade there. Aside from Oliphaunt their secondary isn't great so if they trade down they could get value there. Maybe they'll be sick of Matty Ice by the end of the season and take a chance on Black or Jones but I think in their situation it makes more sense to upgrade the supporting cast first.
Most Likely Pick: QB Marcus Black, Auburn
Analysis: As Sagebow has himself said publicly, RJ Stanford is most likely not the answer. If they can get their hands of Marcus Black I think it'd be an absolutely perfect fit, and I think Sage is going to aggressively pursue him assuming he declares. Matt Jones could also go here, and if the Steelers are cheeky and want to get some other positions they could probably go after someone like Ryan Harris or even Jordan North in the 2nd and 3rd rounds.
If they decide to hold off on QB until a bit later on they have a couple options in the 1st. They could grab Xavier Cueller at center for a needed upgrade to their offensive line. If a good DE or FS falls into their lap that wouldn't be a bad idea either if they wish to focus on the defensive end. The other obvious need is wide reciever, and as I've said many times by now there are plenty of options at that position, any of which would work well I think.
Most Likely Pick: DE Sebastian Smallwood, Alabama
Analysis: The Lions' stars being murdered in a ritual sacrifice to the pipe may actually be a good thing for them going into next season if they can secure Smallwood. He'd provide a nice bit of pressure for a Dline that really isn't performing great right now. Plus, Smallwood looks to be an absolute stud and maybe the best player overall in the draft. Hard to beat that.
The Lions could go wide reciever if they wanted to give Lecount some weapons in his return. Maybe they'll trade down and grab a playmaker at Free Safety like Seth Scott. With Otero gone the Lions are also prime candidates for DeSean Dockey and it honestly would not surprise me if the decision to trade Otero was made with Dockey in mind. One thing is for certain: regardless of who they choose, the Lions will be superbowl favorites next season.
Most Likely Pick: DE Timothy Key, Florida
Analysis: DE is a pretty large hole for thatfunk's newest team with EJ McQuarters as a starter, and Key is great because he has elite stats while also being a scheme fit for the Bengals' 3-4. While Key isn't the prototypical contain guy that isn't necessarily a bad thing and it could be a nice boost to the 2nd worst defense in the NFL right now, especially against the run.
The other positions I could see the Bengals upgrading are at the right side of the Oline and, maybe if they are feeling a bit cheeky, Joel King. The King has not performed up to par in Cincy so far despite a ton of support, so it's possible there's a revolution in Cincy if the right guy falls to them. Other than that the Bengals are looking pretty solid across the board right now, but we'll have to see what type of offseason disasters might beset them this time leading up to the draft.