- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter
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I asked draft analyst Mike Detillier of M&D Draft Report how, if the draft was unfolding this week, he’d see things going with those two picks.
While the Chiefs need a quarterback, he doesn’t see one worth the No. 1 spot and would give the Chiefs either Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei, or maybe Texans A&M Left tackle Luke Joeckel if Branden Albert were to move on as a free agent.
“Lotulelei is a tremendous inside force against the run, which has been a problem spot for them and he also gives you a real strong inside push,” Detellier said. “He is not a great inside pass rusher, but he is disruptive in the same element Haloti Ngata is. So I would go that route.
On to the No. 2 selection.
“For Jacksonville they need pressure people and I would select Texas A&M defensive end Damontre Moore,” Detillier said. “He’s a former outside linebacker who has grown into quite a pass rusher at defensive end and I think very highly of his potential and his pass rush skills and skill set.
“The Jaguars need to add a quality pass rusher at defensive end and Moore is the best of this group and a tremendous overall athlete and football player. He was a dominant player in the toughest conference in college football this past season.
“He has a lot of DeMarcus Ware-type pass rush skills and closing speed to the QB."
Another draft analyst, Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout, is currently projecting Joeckel to the Chiefs as he doesn't believe Albert's durability and play will command the contract he will want as a free agent.
Rang then plugs Lotulelei in for the Jaguars.
"All of the attention is heaped upon the Jacksonville offense but it was the Jaguars’ defense that was truly horrific this season," Rang said. "The Jags finished 29th in the NFL in rush defense, allowing an average of 141 yards per game and giving up 19 touchdowns on the ground.
"Worse, they finished dead last with just 20 sacks. NFLDraftScout.com’s top-rated defender all year long, Lotulelei has the ability to help the Jaguars improve in both areas immediately."
It’s just 115 days until the draft.
I suspect we’ll revisit this just a few times between now and then. The needs won’t change, but the philosophy for addressing them could depending on who replaces Gene Smith.
The Jacksonville Jaguars will draft second overall in April. The Kansas City Chiefs also finished 2-14, but as the Chiefs did so against a weaker schedule, they get the top pick.