Predicting the 1st round of NFL draft

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The Panthers will be tempted to go back to the big guys. Then they will spot the little guy with the game-breaking skills on kick returns, as a receiver and even perhaps in a version of the wildcat. They can’t resist …

TAVON AUSTIN, WR, WEST VIRGINIA

15. NEW ORLEANS (7-9)

The Saints will take about 10 seconds of their allotted time to write down their pick, instantly improving their pass rush with a guy with good feel for getting to the quarterback and plenty of upside.

BJOERN WERNER, DE, FLORIDA STATE

16. ST. LOUIS (7-8-1)

St. Louis would have liked a shot at Austin _ receiver definitely is a need _ and could go for one here. But with another pick coming up soon where they can get a pass catcher, the Rams opt for the best safety in this draft.

KENNY VACCARO, S, TEXAS

17. PITTSBURGH (8-8)

As the Steelers keep insisting they are not a team in transition, one look at the roster says otherwise. Free agency losses hurt them, and they lack the depth they’ve had in their contending seasons. The first upgrade this year is …

STAR LOTULELEI, DT, UTAH

18. DALLAS (8-8)

They would have loved Vaccaro in their secondary. The Rams spoiled that, and the Cowboys consider bolstering their backfield and offensive line before taking the best man still unclaimed.

SYLVESTER WILLIAMS, DT, NORTH CAROLINA

19. NEW YORK GIANTS (9-7)

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