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April 25, 2013

COMMENTARY: Draft short on stars but heavy on talent

MEADVILLE — Another year under the belt and another draft to get us ready for a new season. And once again, I am going to test my luck at mocking the draft.

This year, there is a lack of superstar talent. That said, this draft is loaded with players that should become solid starters in the NFL. So, while there is no Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III available, there are plenty of players that can put a team over the top.

With that in mind, here is what I think each team should do:

1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

Last year, the Chiefs’ quarterbacks were sacked or under pressure on 35.3 percent of drop backs against five or more rushers — the third highest rate in the NFL. Joeckel did not allow a sack against the blitz last season.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon

The Jaguars sacked the QB once every 32.9 drop backs using standard pressure in 2012, the worst in the NFL. Jordan would immediately improve that dismal number.

3. Oakland Raiders: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida

The Raiders are in desperate need of some youth on the defensive line that was gashed by the run. Floyd uses great leverage and power to blow up plays in the backfield. Sounds like a perfect fit.

4. Philadelphia Eagles: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

West Virginia QB Geno Smith is in play here, but I think it would be a major reach. Instead, I think the Eagles try to provide some protection to the QBs they have as well as RB LeSean McCoy.

5. Detroit Lions: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU

The Lions’ D-Line took a big hit with the loss of two of its top defensive ends in free agency. Ansah is a talented player who can step right in and fill some of that void.

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