The Cubs' rebuilding process isn't much further along than the Twins' or the Astros' in terms of time, but they spent extravagantly in the international market before the new CBA's restrictions went into effect last summer, landing the Cuban toolshed Jorge Soler (and the Cuban flop Gerardo Concepcion, but we're not going to talk about him), then later using their international pool money on the Dominican pitcher with an electric arm currently known as Juan Carlos Paniagua, who has gone through more names than the thief known as Parker. The Cubs also scored big in last year's draft, addressing the system's lack of starting pitching candidates while also bulking up its depth in outfield prospects.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
a draft with no elite talent, Joeckel is the safest pick. He offers the
Chiefs an immediate upgrade at the all-important left tackle spot.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Jacksonville has been searching for a good pass rusher for almost a decade. Werner fills the need and brings a hometown flavor.
3. Oakland Raiders: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
The Raiders ranked 31st in sacks last season (1.6 a game). Moore offers a quick fix.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
will argue Lotulelei is the draft's top player. He offers a remedy for
the Eagles' porous run defense and the ability to line up in a 3-4 or
5. Detroit Lions: Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU
would be the perfect replacement for Cliff Avril, whose return to the
Lions is in doubt. Mingo's upside is incredible, with all-pro ability.
6. Cleveland Browns: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
is a game-impacting linebacker with a complete skill set. His
experience in Georgia's 3-4 defense puts him ahead of the curve.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Cardinals gave up a league-high 58 sacks last season and desperately
need an offensive tackle. Fisher is swiftly rising up draft boards.
8. Buffalo Bills: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
signed Ryan Fitzpatrick to a $62 million contract in 2011, then found
out he was not the answer. The franchise starts again with Smith.
9. New York Jets: Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
the Jets would like a pass-rushing linebacker. But Warmack fills a
desperate need at guard. He will immediately move to the top of the
depth chart in New York.
10. Tennessee Titans: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
defensive ends generated little in the way of a pass rush last season.
Ansah is being compared to Jason Pierre-Paul and has the wow factor
11. San Diego Chargers: DeMarcus Milliner, CB, Alabama
cornerback Quentin Jammer is 33, and his game has deteriorated.
Milliner brings much-needed youth and talent to the position.
12. Miami Dolphins: Keenan Allen, WR, California
quarterback Ryan Tannehill needs a consistent playmaking threat at
receiver. Allen fills the void, and his ability to stretch the field
complements the sure-handed possession receivers on Miami's roster.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
Bucs need a defensive tackle who can start immediately, and Richardson
is a Day 1 starter. His athleticism and playmaking skills are a perfect
fit for Greg Schiano's defense.
14. Carolina Panthers: Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
would prefer a receiver, but Hankins further stiffens the middle of the
defense and will make second-year linebacker Luke Kuechly even more
5. New Orleans Saints: Dion Jordan, DE-OLB, Oregon
versatility to line up at defensive end or drop into coverage as a
linebacker fills a pair of needs for the Saints. Pending surgery on his
shoulder could send up red flags.
16. St. Louis Rams: Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina
and simple, the Rams' offensive line needs help. Cooper improves the
run blocking and most important upgrades the protection of quarterback
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Alexander Ogletree, ILB, Georgia
ability to play sideline to sideline on all three downs and rush the
passer makes him the best replacement for veteran Larry Foote.
18. Dallas Cowboys: Jonathan Jenkins, DT, Georgia
is a dominant interior run stuffer with all-pro potential if he applies
himself. He's also a terrific fit for the Cowboys' new 4-3 alignment.
19. New York Giants: Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford
thought the Giants would select tight end Coby Fleener in the first
round last year. In Ertz, they get a more complete player at the
position and a replacement if free agent Martellus Bennett signs
20. Chicago Bears: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
Bears' pass protection ranked in the bottom half of the league last
season. Johnson, a former tight end, impressed scouts throughout 2012
and is the type of blocker quarterback Jay Cutler desperately needs.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
Michael Johnson and his 11½ sacks are gearing up for free agency; he
might not be back. Okafor would be a fine replacement on the field and
in the locker room.
22. St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins): Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
shoring up the corners in the secondary last year, center field remains
a problem for the Rams. Vaccaro is a rangy safety.