As we kick off our 2012 NFL Draft coverage, Jamie Dukes goes through the first round to determine what needs each team would best be served to fill.
1. Indianapolis Colts -- The Colts are in uncharted territory with the departure of Bill Polian and the uncertainty of Peyton Manning's future. As such, drafting the next Peyton Manning, a.k.a. Andrew Luck, makes sense. In addition to Manning's uncertainty, Reggie Wayne is also a free agent. Anthony Gonzalez has been a bust and Lassie (Austin Collie) and The Waiter (Pierre Garcon) are ancillary pieces. Getting the next Wayne or Marvin Harrison also makes sense. Jamie's Judgment: Draft a quarterback, wide receiver or the best defender available.
2. St. Louis Rams -- It's Dr. Seuss time with Sam (Bradford) I Am in Rams Land. Sam is sad and needs a receiver to make him glad. He spent much of last year sitting on the sideline mostly because of hits from the blind side. Sam wasn't alone in his feeling of loss but little can be done without a vision from the Rams' new boss. Jamie's Judgment: Trade the No. 2 pick with Cleveland, which has two first-round picks (one via Atlanta).
3. Minnesota Vikings -- The welcome that NFL defenders gave Vikings rookie quarterback Christian Ponder has been anything but Christian. The best strategy for the Vikes is to add weapons around their young signal-caller and prized running back Adrian Peterson, who's recovering from reconstructive knee surgery. If USC tackle Matt Kalil is there, take him. If Kalil isn't available, grab Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon. Jamie's Judgment: In addition to getting Ponder more weapons, cornerback is a need.
4. Cleveland Browns -- If the Browns don't do what it takes to get Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, shame on them, considering they have the additional picks from the Julio Jones trade last year. If they stick with the slot and Blackmon is available, Colt McCoy needs another round in the chamber. Jamie's Judgment: Trade the selection and get more picks.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Ronde Barber just lost his BFF in Raheem Morris. The good news is that Barber just received his AARP card. Considering Aqib Talib always seems within an eyelash of a long-term suspension, cornerback makes the most sense. Jamie's Judgment: Take the pick of the litter, which would be LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne or Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick. If by some unnatural act Blackmon is there, Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman needs him.
6. Washington Redskins -- There's a saying that states a house divided against itself cannot stand, and although it's admirable that a coach like Mike Shanahan wants to position his son to be his successor, success must first occur. THE SKINS NEED A QUARTERBACK... Jamie's Judgment: Draft the best available offensive skill players.
Reuter: Top underclassmen
Now that the draft declaration deadline has passed, Chad Reuter scouts the underclassmen, including 'Bama's Dre Kirkpatrick. **More ...**
7. Jacksonville Jaguars -- THE JAGS NEED A WIDE RECEIVER! THE JAGS NEED A WIDE RECEIVER! Jamie's Judgment: Pass rusher is a glaring area of need, and it's time to find some other legs to tote the rock from the running back position.
8. Carolina Panthers -- The Cam Plan was a smashing success. Now I wonder if he can rush the passer. For most of the 2011 season, the toothless Panthers defense gummed their offensive opponents. The ferocity should return along with injured linebacker Thomas Davis. Defensive end Charles Johnson broke the bank in free agency and needs some help on the other side. Jamie's Judgment: In addition to an edge rusher, cornerback and safety are spots to target.
9. Miami Dolphins - The 'Fins need to put a call into Iron Mike Ditka to discuss how to orchestrate the Ricky Williams deal for RG3. This is radical, but the point is the Dolphins need a Hail Mary or it will be (Matt) Moore of the same. Jamie's Judgment: Take an edge rusher to compliment Cameron Wake, or find a speedy wide receiver.
10. Buffalo Bills - To Fitz or not to Fitz, that is the question. The Bills have hope, but baring a major roster and coaching turnover, Ryan Fitzpatrick, at best, is an average quarterback. Mystery abounds on the other side of the ball, as they can't stop anyone and some genius has decided to reduce potential sack-machine Marcell Dareus into an underachieving, 5.5 sack-tallying, 5-technique player. Jamie's Judgment: Find a tackle to keep Fitzpatrick upright, or a defensive end who can rush the passer.
11. Kansas City Chiefs - Romeo... Romeo... wherefore art thou quarterback, Romeo? Kyle Orton and Matt Cassel are serviceable quarterbacks, but serviceable only wins Super Bowls once a millennium. That is the primary weakness of this team that routinely has been at the top of the draft for a decade. Jamie's Judgment: Look for a franchise-caliber QB, WR or OT.
12. Seattle Seahawks - Pied Piper Pete Carroll picked a pair of pickled quarterbacks. Though Tarvaris Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst haven't been awful, their games have worms. See the above comments on serviceable quarterbacks. Jamie's Judgment: Find a franchise quarterback, wide receiver or cornerback.
13. Arizona Cardinals -Ken Whisenhunt, the Wizard of the Desert, worked some magic covering up his quarterback deficiencies. Kevin Kolb raised more questions than answers, and the Cardinals are in a Scott Mitchell-type no man's land, as they don't know what they have. Jamie's Judgment: Draft some offensive line help or a No. 2 wide receiver to play opposite Larry Fitzgerald.
14. Dallas Cowboys - The Jones Boys are the most competitive rebuilding team in the NFL, despite what you may hear from the skeptics. I suspect they are jealous because the general manager is a billionaire. The Cowboys retooled the offensive line, and now the secondary is up on the docket. Jamie's Judgment: Draft a franchise free safety, strong safety, cornerback or a thumper at linebacker.
15. Philadelphia Eagles -Andy Reid is the NFL's Iron Chef, but throwing ingredients in a bowl doesn't make a dish. It takes time in the oven, and at the end of the year the yeast was rising to the top. The missing ingredient for the defense is a thumper at middle linebacker, and there is no better fit than the Cookie Monster Luke "Keebler" Kuechly. Cinnamon and chili peppers don't mix, which is the case with Asante Samuel and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Jamie's Judgment: A strong safety or cornerback is a must this year.
16. New York Jets - The signing of Tony Sparano is an indication the Jets view Mark Sanchez as a goodfella quarterback and not a guy who can carry the franchise. The Jets need pass rushers, and that means Rex Ryan needs to go courting Alabama's Courtney Upshaw. Jamie's Judgment: Draft a defensive end, free safety, strong safety or outside linebacker.
17. Cincinnati Bengals - Marvin "The Magician" Lewis pulled a rabbit out of his hat this season. The Dalton Gang needs another year of seasoning and, more importantly, OTAs. On the defensive side of the ball, adding a pass rusher or a cornerback, like Nebraska's Alfonzo Dennard, is imperative to the growth of this ravenous pack of striped tigers ... or is that a den? Jamie's Judgment: Look for a free safety, running back, cornerback or a defensive end.
18. San Diego Chargers - An executive pardon was given to general manager A.J. Smith and coach Norv Turner. The franchising of Darren Sproles a few seasons ago proved to be a huge strategic error, as he eventually took off to New Orleans and just set the NFL record for all-purpose yards this season with the Saints. Last year's franchising of Vincent Jackson will probably have the same dire consequence, as the Chargers are not likely to pay the wide receiver the $14-plus million due with a successive franchising. Thus, Phillip Rivers would be losing two of his most productive weapons in back-to-back years. Jamie's Judgment: Wide receiver, outside linebacker, cornerback and defensive end are all possibilities.
19. Chicago Bears - It's time for the cruel and unusual punishment to end for Jay Cutler. It's time for coach Lovie Smith to find a wide receiver to cuddle up to Jay. Notre Dame's Michael Floyd makes a lot of sense because he's a chiseled beast of a wide receiver. Despite a Pro Bowl season, there were times where Charles "Peanut" Tillman was turned to peanut butter. Jamie's Judgment: Consider targeting two wide receivers or a top-tier defensive back.
20. Tennessee Titans - It's time for quarterback Matt Hasselbeck to call his sister-in-law to see what The View will be from the bench. The Titans are a young team, and any further delay in handing the reins to Jake Locker is a mistake. Jamie's Judgment: Concentrate on the defensive side with the best available defensive back or pass-rushing defensive end.
21. Cincinnati Bengals - There must be some unwritten rule that owners look in the phone book for prospective coaches. Unfortunately for Mike Zimmer they never get to the back of the directory. The Bengals also have a decision to make with Cedric Benson. Depending on the Bengals' draft board, a running back like Lamar Miller from Miami would be a viable option. Jamie's Judgment: Draft a free safety, running back, cornerback or defensive end.
23. Detroit Lions - Martin Mayhew has done a great job rebuilding this team by taking the best available player on the board. Enough already -- the Lions should be allowed to draft cornerbacks a day before the draft. Jamie's Judgment: Look for a cornerback or a running back. Did I mention cornerback?
24. Pittsburgh Steelers - How ironic is it that the Steelers are selecting at the number that was set on fire during the Tim Tebow coming-out party? Steelers fans have been complaining for years about the inconsistent play of the corners. Jamie's Judgment: Think about a tackle, running back, cornerback or defensive end.
25. Denver Broncos - Tebowmania has ramifications for the Broncos' draft room. For continuity's sake, they must draft a spread-option quarterback as a backup. Elway also has to bring in a college coach who has expertise. The Broncos are set at wide receiver, but need a tight end to who can hit the seam and work the flat. Stanford's Coby Fleener would be a great fit. Jamie's Judgment: Seriously take a look at a tight end, running back, cornerback or defensive end.
26. New York Giants - Jerry Reese's pieces overcame injuries to have a great season. The quiver is full of arrows, but cornerback is an area of need because it will allow Aaron Ross to move to safety. Brandon "The Tiptoe Burglar" Jacobs ran with purpose down the stretch, but because he never stopped running his mouth, a running back may be higher on the priority list. Jamie's Judgment: Look for Big Blue to target a free safety, running back or cornerback.
27. Houston Texans - The Texans' Pony Express lost a few horses along the way due to injury but the roster is in great shape. Today's NFL is all about improving the skill players, so it makes sense to grab the best cornerback or wide receiver on the board, which could be Rutgers wide receiver Mohamed Sanu or North Alabama cornerback Jenoris Jenkins.
Lombardi: Tom Terrific
28. New England Patriots - Once again, The Hoodie has 30 of the first 50 picks ... just kidding. With the 28th and 31st picks, the Pats have the luxury of deciding whether to move forward or backward. That said, the Wizard of Beantown has not been able to solve his secondary woes. But an elite edge rusher is equally in need. Jamie's Judgment: It's time to draft a free safety, cornerback or defensive end.
30. San Francisco 49ers -Jim Harbaugh has been the harbinger of great things in the Bay Area. Alex Smith has proven he's the man for the job, but to help his growth, providing him with a shiny new wide receiver would be like Christmas in April. Jamie's Judgment: Some skill position upgrades on offense are necessary, like a wide receiver or running back. Another cornerback wouldn't hurt.