Prime talent is always going to go first, with some misguided teams overvaluing players and positions. There are teams that are willing to move up to acquire that talent, every year the draft makes strange bedfellows. Last year was a beautiful example, as there were several blue-chippers and we moved up to get the last one. BPA is no longer a mystery in the league. Talent is going to move, some unworthy 'names' are going to drop.
There will be at least five offensive skill position players taken before eighteen. Maybe six or seven. Two or three QBs, Smith and whoever a team reaches for; EJ Manuel was moved to #2 QB by Mayock. One WR and one RB. Yes, even though the numbers say it makes little sense, Lacy will probably be gone.
There will be runs on positions in the areas of perceived talent. We will prob have four or five OL, DL and one or two Ss off the board. Would not be surprised if passrushers run. That brings us to about eighteen when counting Ogletree at LB.
We will probably see the first seventeen picks fall something like this order:
1 Luke Joekel
2 Dion Jordan
3 Dee Milliner/Tavon Austin (WR only because the Raiders own this pick,)
4 Ezekial Ansah
5 Chance Warmack
6 Geno Smith
7 Sharif Floyd
8 Eric Fisher
9 Eddie Lacy/QB#2
11 Barkevious Mingo
12 Lane Johnson/Jonathan Cooper/Fluker (I think Fluker may be a mid-1st rd reach,)
14 Tyler Eifert
15 QB # 3/Lacy/Austin
That would leave us with a few solid choices. If the norm holds true and a few skill position players are taken there is sure to be some prime choices for us steak and potato fans. Maybe J Coop, he would be gone based on talent, Terron Armstead or Lane Johnson getting picked up as Tackles would do a lot for us. There is almost certainly also going to be a very good D-lineman on the board. Would not be surprised to see us end up with Star, Sharif Floyd or Sheldon Richardson. Only D Jordan and Ansah seem to be consensus top-half picks.
We will have a decent safety on board when we choose. I do not pretend to know what team covets who, but from what I see happening, we will have one of Cyprien/Reid/Vaccarro to choose from. From everything I have seen, Ogletree is the only ILB/MLB in consensus for mid-first, so I'm sure our talent dept has a gem in mind.
This list only included names I like. I'm sure teams have crazy knowledge pools and there will be a name or two saving Bud Light a million bucks (believe I said it would be Cornelius Washington earlier this offseason,). We are sure to have a very good player available to us at eighteen, but can easily see us trading up once a Cooper or Lotulelie falls within our grasp. Another second day pick...
We could probably also trade back three slots and still get a top talent. Mid-first is when things fall away from consensus boards and you get a few head scratchers. Up to our scouting dept to have an ear on who is interested in who. If we did not have such a terrible record trading back recently, and positional value was not a major constant in the draft, (hat tips to BTB,) I'd be a proponent.
The draft is close enough to taste. I'm liking what I'm smelling... Meat and potatoes...