2013 1st Round NFL Mock Draft
We are just a week away from the NFL Draft and Commissioner Roger Goodell has done an impeccable job of making his sport relevant 365 days a year. I on the other hand have taken a break and moved on to HittingTheGreens.com, my golf site, but have come back to give my opinion on the upcoming draft.
1. Kansas City Chiefs
Luke Joeckel OT Texas A&M
I keep waiting for the reports of Joeckel and the Chiefs allegedly being in contract negotiations because this deal is as close to a lock as possible. The Chiefs have multiple needs but with the 1st overall pick they need something that they can build upon. Offensive lineman aren’t the flashiest pick, but after trading for disgruntled former no. 1 pick Alex Smith in the offseason they need to protect their future.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars
Eric Fisher OT Central Michigan
The Jags are another team with a lot of needs and the debate coming into the Draft was which offensive tackle the Chiefs would pick. I believe it would be smart of Jacksonville to draft whoever is left and in this case it’s Eric Fisher. There are tons of different projections at the no. 2 spot but the Jaguars are in a solid position. They just need to start making the right decisions for their franchise to improve. They have a lot of holes to fill but it would be nice to start building around the offensive line and protecting your Pro-Bowl running back and whatever QB you decide to throw back there.
3. Oakland Raiders
Sharrif Floyd DT Florida
The Raiders could very easily use their draft position as leverage, waiting to see who is taken off the board and possibly selling their pick. To be a team in the top 3 picks of the draft you clearly have needs and it may be in the best interest to turn this pick into more. If they don’t trade down it would be a great decision for them to take a player who could solidify your defensive line over the next few years. Floyd isn’t the most consistent player but his upside is huge and the room for development is enough for the Raiders to not let this opportunity pass them by.
4. Philadelphia Eagles
Dion Jordan OLB Oregon
Chip Kelly is going to need to draft a quarterback to run his offense! That’s all that you hear when you talk about the Eagles 4th overall pick but I think the competition between Mike Vick and Nick Foles is enough to let the former Ducks coach go out and get a former start linebacker from Oregon. Jordan is a versatile player that would give the Eagles the opportunity to move him around with relative ease. Reaching on a player like Geno Smith may not be the smartest decision for this franchise but it’s going to be a difficult sell to the fans in the city of brotherly love.
5. Detroit Lions
Dee Milliner CB Alabama
The Lions would love to have one of those offensive tackles slide to them at 5. If they aren’t picked before Detroit’s selection I would be surprised, whether by a team ahead of them or through a trade up scenario. Not to say that a top 5 pick in this year’s draft is a bad thing, the motor city kitties will still get a solid player on the defensive side of the ball. Hoping to compete against potent quarterbacks in the NFC North, the Vikings did add Matt Cassell, It wouldn’t hurt to get the best cornerback in the draft.
6. Cleveland Browns
Desmond Trufant CB Washington
If for some reason Milliner is still on the board at 6 he won’t be any more but I have him going 1 pick ahead of the Browns. Detroit and the rest of the NFL world knows that the Browns need to find someone to play opposite of CB Joe Haden. Trufant will be a great fit to shadow Haden and hopefully help blossom into one of the league’s best cornerback duos.
7. Arizona Cardinals
Lane Johnson OT Oklahoma
The Cardinals will take this pick and try to help out their offensive line by drafting the 6’6” lineman from Oklahoma. Johnson is the 3rd best tackle in the draft and if the Cardinals hope to improve their dismal offense a big young guy like Johnson will help. Carson Palmer isn’t exactly the fleet of foot and if Arizona wants to protect its recently acquired QB they should invest in a blindside bodyguard. Arizona may be so desperate for a big offensive tackle that they try to trade up and pick up Joeckel or Fisher if for some reason they fall. They won’t and I would be surprised if the Cardinals don’t take Johnson off the board, that is unless they trade down and bundle up picks.
8. Buffalo Bills
Geno Smith QB West Virginia
Of course many believe that the Bills will wait and pick Ryan Nassib later in the draft, like with their 2nd round pick but if Smith falls to 8 I’m quite certain he’s not making it to 9. The Bills are in a rebuilding situation and Tarvaris Jackson or Kevin Kolb aren’t the answer. Geno Smith has a big arm but I’m not quite sure how well he fits in the Bills new offense. If anything the Bills could easily trade this pick and get the player they want later along with something else. The deal would have to be just right for Buffalo to trade out of the top 10 but if they don’t and Smith is on the board he’s heading to Buffalo.
9. New York Jets
Jonathan Cooper OG North Carolina
The run on offensive lineman will begin early and 4 of the first 10 picks will likely be offensive lineman. The Jets organization has been in a downward spiral over the last few years and it isn’t getting any better. They have been rumored to be trading away their best defensive player, the quarterback they have is inept, nearly everyone but Rex Ryan has been replaced and Woody Johnson needs to do something to pull out of this nosedive. Taking the top ranked guard is not a sexy pick but it is a safe one and we’ll see how New York handles this situation next week. They could make a splash and reach on someone early but if they don’t want to rustle any feathers they will take Coop.
10. Tennessee Titans
Bjoern Werner DE Florida St.
The Titans are left in a position selecting the best available player and they likely could go with an offensive lineman but I think Bjoern Werner is the right choice. Werner may not be an explosive pass rusher on tape but his statistics last year speak for themselves and there’s room for improvement. Of Course new head coach Mike Munchak would Hall of Fame offensive line coach would like to get something to protect Jake Locker but Werner is best available and fills a hole on the defensive side of the ball.
11. San Diego Chargers
Jarvis Jones LB Georgia
The picks between the Titans and the Chargers could be swapped and Jarvis Jones may not even be on the board once it hits double digits but San Diego should hope he is. Jones seems like the prototypical LB and could make an immediate impact on a mediocre defense. Jones was nothing but a star during his time as a Bulldog and has been a top 10 prospect for the last two years. Really I could see Jones going as high as 2 to Jacksonville but don’t see him slipping any farther than the Chargers.
12. Miami Dolphins
D.J. Fluker OL Alabama
After letting Long walk to St. Louis the Fins are going to have to start revamping their offensive line and Fluker is the best option for them. After letting Reggie Bush walk in the offseason the running game is now in the hands of Lamar Miller and the 6’5” Fluker has the ability to give the young back some big holes. Fluker is much more of a rush blocking tackle but his pass blocking will undoubtedly improve over time.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Xavier Rhodes CB Florida State
Tampa Bay let Aqib Talib go to the Patriots last season and suffered because of it. They have been rumored to be in talks with the Jets over Revis but that hasn’t happened yet and the team should try to fix their problem in the draft. They could trade for one of the best cornerbacks in the game, a few years ago, but Revis is coming off of an ACL tear. Rhodes played college ball just up the Florida panhandle and is the 3rd best CB prospect in the draft. Even if the Bucs take Rhodes and still trade for Revis, they would have a predecessor in line to take over.
14. Carolina Panthers
Sheldon Richardson DT Missouri
The Panthers need some help to plug the middle and Sheldon Richardson has been a top talent since he left high school. He didn’t have the academics to attend a top tier school and went the JUCO route before heading to Mizzou. Richardson has a lot of potential it’s just a wonder how motivated he is going to be, not to mention his limited time against upper tiered talent.
15. New Orleans Saints
Barkevious Mingo DE LSU
The Saints hired Rob Ryan to come in as defensive coordinator and the team will be shifting to a 3-4 defense. That will result in some personnel changes and the Saints will find a great pass rushing DE/LB in Barkevious Mingo. The kid went to school just up the bayou and is extremely athletic making the sky the limit for his potential.
16. St. Louis Rams
Tavon Austin WR West Virginia
Austin will be the first wide receiver off the board and it won’t happen until the Rams make their pick at 16, barring any trades of course. Austin is a quick little receiver that will allow the Rams and Sam Bradford stretch the field for many years to come. Austin is a Percy Harvin type player and may not have had the stats to receive a first round selection but he has been linked to the Rams for a while. If St. Louis doesn’t pick Austin they will probably take Kenny Vaccaro as they are in desperate need of safety help and he likely won’t be there at 22.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers
Alec Ogletree LB Georgia
Ogletree has the versatility to play both inside and outside linebacker in the NFL and would be a great replacement in a depleted Steelers defense. Being a former safety Ogletree has great eyes on the field and in my mind is a top talent in this year’s draft. If Ogletree falls to 17 which he likely will it should be hard for the Steelers organization to pass on a player with so much talent.
18. Dallas Cowboys
Kenny Vaccaro S Texas
This is a match made in heaven as the Longhorn travels down the road to suit up as a Cowboy and play in Jerry’s World. Dallas is in desperate need for safety help and if for some reason they feel that Vaccaro will go before their selection they may even trade up. Dallas needs to fill this hole on defense and Vaccaro has all the skills that the Cowboys are looking for.
19. New York Giants
Chance Warmack OG Alabama
After missing the playoffs just a year since winning the Super Bowl the Giants aren’t looking to make any dramatic changes in their scheme. There will be some differences next year on the offensive side of the ball and Chance Warmack is a benefit in both the running and passing game. Warmack is a big body that will help up the middle but has the ability to pull when he needs to.
20. Chicago Bears
Tyler Eifert TE Notre Dame
Chicago welcomes a new coach and new strategies on both sides of the ball and drafting a golden domer for Jay Cutler to play with seems like a great decision. Having Brandon Marshall on the outside seemed to have rejuvenated the pouty QB and giving him a player of Eifert’s caliber gutting up the middle of the field could make this offense even more potent. Chicago could go out and take a defensive player to fill some holes on their aging defense or they could bolster an offense by taking the best player available.
21. Cincinnati Bengals
Menelik Watson OT Florida State
The Bengals have been in a contract dispute with Andre Smith and if they don’t come to an agreement before the draft, which seems unlikely, I think they go with a cheaper route by drafting his replacement. Watson is a project and would take some time to move him over to the left side but he has the size and talent to eventually transition.
22. St. Louis Rams (From Redskins part of last year’s RGIII trade)
Matt Elam S Florida
Jeff Fisher needs to find some help over the top defensively and I think it is a lock that the Rams use this selection on the defensive side of the ball. They will likely pick a safety and they have the pick of the litter after Vaccaro is off the board. I think that Elam is the 2nd best safety in the draft but they may go with a player like Jonathan Cyprien from Florida International due to his ability to play both safety positions.
23. Minnesota Vikings
Manti Te’o LB Notre Dame
Last year the Vikings went to work with a patchwork linebacking corps and it worked out for them pretty well. Te’o however will give this team a defensive leader that they are looking for at the 2nd line of the defense after Jasper Brinkley’s departure and E.J. Henderson’s the year before. The fake girlfriend stuff will die in the Minnesota media and Te’o can go back to focusing on being a 3 down linebacker. Did I mention that Spielman had dinner with Te’o the night before his pro-day, eerily similar to the events that occurred between Brad Childress and Percy Harvin…
24. Indianapolis Colts
Ezekiel Ansah DE Bringham Young
After letting Dwight Freeney go the Colts are in dire need of another pass rushing defensive end and Ezekiel Ansah is just that. You might think that the Colts are planning to add some more weapons to Andrew Luck’s offense but that can wait until later rounds. If Ansah falls this far, which I would be surprised if he does, the Colts would be crazy not to draft him.
25. Minnesota Vikings (From Seahawks as part of Percy Harvin trade)
Sylvester Williams DT North Carolina
Minnesota needs to re-create the Williams wall and although Pat is probably off somewhere eating cheeseburgers the Vikings can do just that by taking Sylvester Williams. The UNC defensive tackle is a big body that can help solidify an already good Vikings defensive line. Kevin Williams isn’t getting any younger and Jared Allen may be the most overrated player in the game but this pick could help pick up where those guys fall off.
26. Green Bay Packers
Eric Reid S LSU
Green Bay has been pretty lucky with the selections that Ted Thompson have made but he is one of the most difficult GM’s to predict. The Packers need help badly on the defensive side of the ball and with the departure of Charles Woodson, Green Bay needs someone to play alongside of Morgan Burnett. Eric Reid would be a great young talent to help start turning this defensive unit around. After re-signing Clay Mathews to a big contract the other day TT and GB will likely focus on pass defense early in the draft, if not maybe some offensive line help.
27. Houston Texans
Cordarrelle Patterson WR Tennessee
The Texans have a potent offense with Andre Johnson and a great running game but they have been lacking that 2nd option in the passing game. I’m not counting Arian Foster so Cordarrelle Patterson can come in and be just that. He isn’t the best route runner but he is a big target with soft hands that could pull some attention away from Johnson who isn’t getting any younger.
28. Denver Broncos
Datone Jones DE UCLA
After Elvis Dumervil’s agent flubbed his contract in Denver the Broncos have been on the lookout for his replacement. They had a deal but after not sending the paperwork over in time Dumervil left town for the Ravens and now Denver has a gaping hole on the defensive line. There is hope that Peyton Manning can get his old pal Dwight Freeney to come to town but that is a short term answer to a long term problem. Datone Jones is the type of player that could benefit from a little grooming and would be a great mentee for Freeney if he does decide to become a Bronco. If not Jones could be thrown to the wolves and still be productive due to his quickness, he just needs a little refining.
29. New England Patriots
Robert Woods WR USC
Ted Thompson and Bill Belichick, those are the wonders of the NFL world when it comes to the Draft. I would like to think I could evaluate the teams needs and figure it out but trying to think like BB has me picking Trojan’s standout wide receiver Robert Woods. The Patriots got rid of Wes Welker and replaced him with Danny Amendola but there are still some needs in the receiving corps. Woods would be a great fit on the outside and not being relied upon early and often will be beneficial for his development.
30. Atlanta Falcons
Jamar Taylor CB Boise St.
There has been a lot of talk that the Falcons are looking to trade up and address some of their needs. It shouldn’t come as a surprise after the Falcons jumped up to take Julio Jones a couple years ago, think how well that turned out. If the Falcons don’t make a move they will need to address to major holes on defense, cornerback and defensive end. You want to take the best player available but I have the dirty birds taking Taylor because he could make the biggest impact on their team right away.
31. San Francisco 49ers
Jonathan Cyprien S Florida International
I am not saying that Cyprien will be able to come in and replace what the Niners used to have but he is an explosive Safety that will make the departure of Dashon Goldson. Cyprien has been jumping up draft boards lately and probably won’t even be available here. Some believe that the kid from FIU is actually the 2nd best safety behind Vacarro meaning it could be Eric Reid or Matt Elam here. Either way the Niners don’t have a lot of needs and can focus on creating team depth but the safety position is one of those things that has to be addressed.
32. Baltimore Ravens
Kevin Minter LB LSU
Ray Lewis rode off into the sunset and is likely enjoying his retirement but the Ravens are left with a huge hole to fill. Not just because of Ray Ray’s retirement but because of all the players on the defensive side of the ball that left town. Kevin Minter is a solid LB that could play inside in the Ravens 3-4 defense and help Baltimore fans move towards the future. If Baltimore doesn’t take a LB with the last selection in the 1st round they should probably address their need at defensive end. The organization however could think that they need to find another weapon for their kick-ass QB but I have faith in Ozzie Newsome making the right decision.