New York Jets – Andrus Peat (Offensive Tackle, Stanford)
The Jets desperately need a quarterback, but Mariota is off the board. They could draft Jameis Winston, but he brings a ton of off-the-field issues that will be the centerpiece of the New York magazines. Instead, the Jets will draft Andrus Peat to help their offensive line. Michael Vick and Geno Smith both dealt with constant pressure from defenders, giving them no time to survey the field. Peat will help strengthen the offensive line and help against the pass rush.
Chicago Bears – Shaq Thompson (Linebacker, Washington)
The Chicago Bears have a desperate need on defense after being shredded by running backs during the last two seasons. Now, the Bears have a defensive-minded head coach in John Fox and a stud defensive coordinator in Vic Fangio. With needs on defense, the Bears will draft Shaq Thompson out of Washington who can play all linebacker positions as well as safety. Thompson is a strong, athletic defender with a penchant for big plays—Thompson scored four defensive touchdowns and caused three fumbles in 2013. Fangio should be able to fully utilize Thompson’s talent while fixing his tackling form.
Atlanta Falcons – Arik Armstead (Defensive End, Oregon)
The Falcons have been unable to generate any pass rush in the two seasons since they let John Abraham go to Arizona. During this time, the Falcons have relied on Osi Umenyiora and Kroy Biermann, both of whom have underperformed. Now that Dan Quinn (formerly of Seattle) has been hired as the head coach, the Falcons will need to find a player to get after the quarterback. Arik Armstead is a mountain of a man at 6’8”, and he has the powerful arms to push blockers back into the quarterback’s face. Armstead is raw, but he can be coached up to become an effective pass rusher.
New York Giants – Trae Waynes (Cornerback, Michigan State)
The Giants play in a division with Dez Bryant, Desean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, and Jeremy Maclin, so they need to find a cornerback to lock horns with those premier receivers. Trae Waynes from Michigan State is a taller cornerback at 6’1” who compares to Antonio Cromartie. Waynes excelled as the deep cover corner at Michigan State, and he consistently used his body to pin receivers against the sideline. The Giants need a bigger corner who can help keep Desean Jackson and Dez Bryant from making splash plays downfield.
Louis Rams – Jameis Winston (QB, Florida State)
The Rams have issues at quarterback, especially with the return of Sam Bradford from injury and the inconsistency of his backups. Jameis Winston would give Jeff Fisher a quarterback reminiscent of Ben Roethlisberger with which to run his offense. The Rams veterans should be able to keep Winston locked down and focused on improvement.