Here’s how D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution projects the top 10 picks of the NFL draft, which is set for April 25-27:
1. Kansas City: Luke Joeckel, LT, Texas A&M. The Chiefs appear set to stay at the top spot. “Luke Joeckel is the best left tackle in the draft, and we have several good left tackles,” ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper said.
2. Jacksonville: Dion Jordan, LB, Oregon. He went to Oregon as one of the top-rated tight end prospects in the nation. He moved to defense and played a hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker spot. He had 12.5 sacks over his last two seasons. He’s considered a 3-4 outside linebacker NFL prospect.
3. Oakland: Ziggy Ansah, DE, BYU. He is very raw. He didn’t start playing football until 2010. Some have compared him with Jason Pierre-Paul of the New York Giants.
4. Philadelphia: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah. He had a strong showing at his Pro Day after a heart condition kept him from working out at the NFL combine. Lotulelei lifted 225 pounds 38 times, according to NFL.com draft analyst Gil Brandt. The 38 reps would have tied SMU’s Margus Hunt and Missouri Southern State’s Brandon Williams for the most by any defensive lineman at the combine.
5. Detroit: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama. He was a three-year starter for the Crimson Tide and had six career interceptions. He’s expected to start early in his pro career because he has great size, athletic ability and ball skills.
6. Cleveland: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia. The Browns apparently will keep drafting quarterbacks until they get one to lead them back to respectability.
7. Arizona: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan. The Cardinals solved their quarterback problems by trading for veteran Carson Palmer. Now they can get him some protection. Fisher is considered the best pass protector in the draft.
8. Buffalo: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama. The Bills played five different players at right guard last season and need to stabilize their line. They could be a trade target if they want to fall back and select Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib.
9. New York Jets: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri. He ran a blazing 4.81 seconds in the 40-yard dash at Missouri’s Pro Day. Richardson was rated as the top defensive lineman in the nation coming out of high school, but had to start his career in junior college.
10. Tennessee: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida. He was named the 2009 Maxwell Football Club national high school player of the year. While his stats at Florida were subpar, NFL scouts like his combination of speed and agility for a big man.