2013 NFL Mock Draft (Wednesday, 24 April 2013)
1.) Kansas City Chiefs - LOT Luke Joeckel - Texas A&M
The Chiefs take the best player on their board and help secure Alex Smith's blindside. Equally skilled at both run blocking and in pass protection, Joeckel is a technically smooth player who refined his craft in the uber-competitive SEC this past season. Brandon Albert's situation remains nebulous leading up to the first day of the draft, but regardless of whether he is traded or moves to the right side, new HC Andy Reid and the Chiefs have found their LT for the next decade in Joeckel.
2.) Dion Jordan - OLB/DE Dion Jordan - Oregon
New GM Dave Caldwell and first year head coach Gus Bradley look to establish an identity for a franchise that has seemingly lacked one over the past couple of seasons. Jordan is widely regarded as the best defensive player in this draft, and his unique skill set is too much to resist for the Jaguars. Jordan's unique athleticism and scheme versatility give Bradley a talented cornerstone in which to rebuild Jacksonville's defense.
3.) Oakland Raiders - DT Star Lotulelei - Utah
Second year GM Reggi McKenzie has spent the early part of his tenure trimming fat while trying to build up a once proud franchise whose current roster is incredibly devoid of talent. A disciple of Ted Thompson in Green Bay, McKenzie stays true to his board and selects the big defensive tackle from Utah. The Raiders are incredibly thin at the DT position having lost DT Desmond Bryant to the Browns in free agency and with Richard Seymour being a free agent. Lotulelei steps right in and provides a massive cog in the middle of the Raiders depleted D-line.
4.) Philadelphia Eagles - LOT Eric Fisher - Central Michigan
New HC Chip Kelly will bring a much anticipated high-tempo offense to the City of Brotherly Love. With former All Pro LT Jason Peters recovering from a devastating ruptured Achilles, questions remain about the Eagles offensive line. If Peters returns to his old form, Fisher slides over the the right side. Otherwise, Fisher steps in an becomes the LT of the present and future.
5.) Detroit Lions - DE Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah - BYU
The Lions would have liked for either of the top 2 tackles to be available, and while they appear to really like Lane Johnson, they opt for the talented Ansah. Pairing Ansah on a defensive line with Suh and Fairley gives the Lions one of the fiercest front fours in the entire league. New to the game, once Ansah learns the nuances and refines his technique, he will be a dominant force.
6.) Cleveland Browns - CB Dee Milliner - Alabama
The Browns select the draft's consensus top corner (injury history notwithstanding) and pair him with soon to be All Pro corner Joe Haden. Milliner is a physical corner with elite top end speed, and while he may lack top notch ball skills, his coverage skills are enough to completely blanket receivers and shut them down.
7.) Arizona Cardinals - LOT Lane Johnson - Oklahoma
The Cardinals have one of the most porous offensive lines, and are looking to upgrade the position above all others. Lane Johnson is a former TE who has developed into an athletic LT. With the addition of strong-armed, but statuesque QB Carson Palmer, couple with the downfield passing game style favored by new head coach Bruce Arian's beefing up the line is paramount. Johnson's selection allows former first round pick LT Levi Brown to move to the right side, and suddenly a major weakness has become markedly better.
8.) Buffalo Bills - QB Ryan Nassib - Syracuse
New HC Doug Marrone opts for the singal caller he coached just a year ago at Syracuse. Nassib because the latest attempt to secure the QB position for the Bills, something which hasn't truly been achieved in almost a generation. While Nassib has some limits to his game, his knowledge of Marrone's system, along with his accuracy and intelligence are enough to convince GM Buddy Nix and company to pull the trigger on this selection.
9.) New York Jets - WR Tavon Austin - West Virginia
Simply put, the Jets lack playmakers on the offensiveness side of the ball. They need players who can put the ball in the end zone and create mismatches schematically. The drafted the athletically gifted WR Stephen Hill in the second round last season, but at this point he is still viewed as a prospect. Tavon Austin offers a unique gamebreaking ability that will be a welcome site for the Jets. Though Austin's physical attributes may raise concerns, his unique ability in space and his ability to excel when utilized from different positions (e.g. slot, outside, backfield) make him the most talented skill players in this entire draft. Such an addition is too tempting to for Jets to ignore.
10.) Tennessee Titans - DT Sheldon Richardson - Missouri
The Titans opt for the best defensive player left on their board, and turn to the supremely athletic and talented Richardson. While the Titans seemingly have a more urgent need at DE, Richardson's talent and overall explosiveness will improve the play of the entire defensive front line.
11.) San Diego Chargers - ROT D.J. Fluker - Alabama
The Chargers have vowed to protect QB Phillip Rivers this offseason and so far they have added serviceable, if unspectcular, T King Dunlap, but have lost G Louis Vasquez to division rival Denver. The addition of the road-grading Fluker may appear to benefit the run game more, but a QB's best friend is a defense that must remain honest in defending the run. The addition of Fluker will assure, if nothing else, that the Chargers will be able to run right.
12.) Miami Dolphins - DE Cornelius "Tank" Carradine - Florida State
Having spent big in free agency with the notable additions of WR Mike Wallace, TE Dustin Keller, and LBs Dannelle Ellerbe and Phillip Wheelers, the Dolphins continue to seek impact players for second year HC Philbin. Carradine is a three-down lineman with the ability to play the run and rush the passer with relative ease. Pairing him on a defensive line opposite pro bowl LDE Cameron Wake and franchise DT Randy Starks gives DC Kevin Coyle one of the most athletic and fierce defense lines in the league.
13.) New York Jets (from Tampa Bay Buccaneers) - OLB Barkevious "Kiki" Mingo - LSU
With the second of two first round picks, the Jets, again, look to add a gamechanger, and they add one to the defensive side of the ball this time with the athletically talented Mingo. Mingo will be the edge rusher Rex Ryan has always craved, and offers a unique skill set to be utilized in a wide variety of ways by the creative Ryan.
14.) Carolina Panthers - DT Sharrif Floyd - Florida
The Panthers beef up the interior of their defensive line in an effort to further solidify their defense. Floyd may very well be the best 3-technique tackle in this class, and his non-stop motor and skill set make him a no-brainer for the Panthers. Sharrif's addition will make it easier for the linebacking crew, led by DROY MLB Luke Kuechly, to attack the LOS and create impact plays (TFLs, TOs, etc) for a defensive not know for making many in recent seasons.
15.) New Orleans Saints - DE/OLB Bjoern Werner - Florida State
The Saints hired former Cowboys DC Rob Ryan to take over the same position under Sean Payton in New Orleans. The addition of Ryan means the Saints defense is transitioning to a 3-4 base. Although he played exclusively as a DE at Florida State, Werner is capable of playing as a 3-4 OLB, capable of setting the edge vs the run, and rushing the passer with a variety of pass rushing moves, along with speed around the corner.
16.) St. Louis Rams - S Kenny Vaccaro - Texas
The Rams go with the consensus number one safety in a rather deep safety class. Vaccaro offers the ability to be used as a chess piece for as he can play in the box, cover the slot, blitz effectively, and cover the deep half of the field. Vaccaro will join CBs Cortland Finnegan and Janoris Jenkins to form one of the more talented defensive secondaries in the NFL.
17.) Pittsburgh Steelers - DT Jesse Williams - Alabama
NG Casey Hampton appears to be on the home stretch of his career, and the Steelers have yet to find an adequate replacement whose job will be to consume blockers to free up the linebackers. Jesse Williams will do just that. Williams brings added value as he is versatile and skilled enough to also play the 5-technique along Pittsburgh's 3-man defensive front line.
18.) Dallas Cowboys - G Johnathan Cooper - North Carolina
The Cowboys recently made Tony Romo one of the highest paid players in the league. Protecting that investment now becomes paramount. Cooper is one of the more athletic and talented guards to enter the draft in a very long time. He can neutralize DTs, and DEs on stunts, in the pass pro and routinely gets to the second level in the running game. One of the more talented and complete players in this year's draft class, Cooper is only weighed down by the position he plays.
19.) New York Giants - CB Xavier Rhodes - Florida State
The Giants land a top player who falls right into their lap. GM Jerry Reese is known to stay true to his board and pick the best player available. At pick #19, Rhodes represents just that. I long-armed, thickly built corner, Rhodes also has elite height (6'2") and speed (4.41 forty) for the position.
20.) Chicago Bears - G Chance Warmack - Alabama
The Bears continue their efforts to revamp their offensive line, a position group that has been the team's Achilles heal the past couple of seasons. They added free agent LT Jermon Bushrod from the Saints, and they now add the best road-grading guard in the draft in Warmack. This also allows former first round pick Gabe Carimi to move to RG. Warmack may very well be the best offensive lineman in this class, and he will start at LG next to Bushrod, and suddenly a position of weakness has become a position of strength.
21.) Cincinnati Bengals - S Eric Reid - LSU
Recent history suggests that the Bengals generally attack an area of need with their first round pick. In subsequent rounds, they then generally apply apply a BPA strategy. Safety is arguably the biggest area of need for the club and adding a playmaker next to Reggie Nelson will be the final piece to forming a complete defensive puzzle. The Bengals prefer "pressure players" on the defensive side of the ball, and Reid fits the bill. A tall safety with great speed (4.53), Reid is also the most athletically gifted safety in this class (40+ inch vertical, and 130+" long jump). The Bengals prefer to have interchangeable safeties, and Reid allows them to do that, as he can play in the box or deep in coverage as a single high safety. Plus, he fits the big school pedigree that the Bengals seem to like and prefer of their first round picks. If Reid would have been allowed to enter the draft after his sophomore season last year, he arguably would have challenged Mark Barron as the top safety in that class (Barron was selected #7 overall). Aside from the physical tools, and perhaps equally as important to the Bengals brass, Reid brings intangibles which make him even more appealing. He is incredibly intelligent and known to be a student of the game. His leadership skills will also allow him to eventually become defensive captain for Mike Zimmer's crew.
22.) St. Louis Rams - WR DeAndre Hopkins - Clemson
After securing a defensive difference maker at pick #16, the Rams continue to search for offensive difference makers in an effort to surround QB Sam Bradford with as many weapons as possible. The Rams drafted two receivers fairly high last year (Brian Quick = second round and Chris Givens = fourth round), but they also lost their leading receiver in free agency when Danny Amendola opted for the greener pastures of New England. While Givens flashed major potential as a rookie, Quick remains an uncertainty at this point. DeAndre Hopkins may not be a burner, but he is a sharp route runner and savvy receiver who has the ability to make circus catches thanks to an incredible catching radius. He will line up on the outside opposite Chris Givens. With the additions of LT Jake Long and TE Jared Cook in free agency, the Rams have set off on their path of improving the play and protection around and for Bradford.
23.) Minnesota Vikings - DT Sylvester Williams - North Carolina
The Vikings opt for the big, physical DT as their second, first round pick. Williams will free up blockers for DE Jared Allen and will also be a massive cog in the middle of hte defensive line that they so desparately need.
24.) Indianapolis Colts - DE Datone Jones - UCLA
The Colts were major players in free agency and added some key players to the defensive side of the ball. Namely, Safety LaRon Landry, CB Greg Toler, OLB Erik Walden, NT Aubrayo Franklin, DE/DT Ricky Jean Francois, were added, and the team also re-signed CB Darius Butler. These additions allow second year GM (and 2012 Executive of the Year) Ryan Grigson to adopt a best player available approach. After last's year's draft essentially netted 5 offensive starters - Luck, Allen, Fleener, Hilton, and Ballard - the focus in this draft may shift drastically to the defensive side of the ball. Datone Jones is a talented and versatile defensive lineman who has the ability to play the 5-technique DE position in Chuck Pagano's scheme.
25.) Minnesota Vikings (from Seattle Seahawks) - LB Manti Teo - Notre Dame
The Vikings use the second of their two 1st round picks on Manti Te'o in an effort to further strengthen their defense. Te'o fits what the Vikings do defensively, and he brings an intensity level to the Vikings defense that has seemed to dissipate over the last few seasons, and even more so now with the release of veteran cornerback Antoine Winfield. Te'o slips right in between SLB Chad Greenway and WLB Erin Henderson.
26.) Green Bay Packers - ILB Arthur Brown - Kansas State
Outside of runningback, and depth on the offensive line, the Packers are set offensively. The problem with this team is the defensive side of the ball, and their division round playoff loss to the 49ers highlighted the glaring weakness of the Packers' defense. Arthur Brown is an athletic, instinctive linebacker who has the ability to cover running backs and tight ends as well as the ability to pursue from the weakside/backside. A player with a relentless motor and passion for the game, Brown will be a welcome addition to the Packers defense and become a day 1 starter at one of the ILB positions.
27.) Houston Texans - WR Robert Woods - USC
All Pro wideout Andre Johnson rarely speaks, so when he does, people listen, including GM Rick Smith and the rest of the Texans brass. Johnson needs help on the outside, and with the release of Kevin Walter, the uncertainty of second year WR Devier Posey (coming off a torn Achilles), and the fact that Keyshawn Martin appears to be destined to a returner role, the Texans opt for a playmaking receiver who can beat one-on-one coverage and punish teams who slide defensive help over to Johnson's side.
28.) Denver Broncos - DT Johnathan Hankins - Ohio State
The Broncos need help in the in the middle of their defensive line. After trading out of the first round last year, the Broncos first pick was University of Cincinnati DT Derek Wolfe. While Wolfe impressed during his rookie campaign, the club is looking for another big-bodied DT to pair alongside the second year player. Hankins is a mountain of a man, and if nothing else, will tie up blockers which could potentially allow for even more one-on-one matchups for Von Miller.
29.) New England Patriots - CB D.J. Hayden - Houston
The Patriots were able to re-sign CB Aqib Talib in the offseason, but are still looking to upgrade the position. If not for a near death injury suffered in practice late last season, D.J. Hayden may very well have been the first corner selected in this draft. Hayden offers an ideal blend of size, speed, and tenacity, and has an uncanny ability to come out of his breaks to make a play on the football. While his ball skills and hands may be less than elite, he is always in a position to make a play that will result in a contested catch or incompete pass. He fits the mold of a Patriots DB.
30.) Atlanta Falcons - OLB Jarvis Jones - Georgia
With the release of John Abraham, an already anemic Falcons pass rush became even more so. Jarvis Jones experiences a longer than usual slide due to his medical issues, as well as lack of ideal schematic fit. Though not comparable to Von Miller from a pure athletic perspective, Jones does share Miller's uncanny ability to pressure the quarterback, create plays, and overall be a distructive force in the oponnent's backfield. Better suited for a base 3-4 team, Jones can play the SLB position for a base 4-3 team like the Falcons, and his talent and skill set are too good for the Falcons to pass up at this point. The Falcons end his slide at pick #30.
31.) San Fransisco 49ers - TE Tyler Eifert - Notre Dame
49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh is also looking for innovative ways to improve and already dynamic offense. Harbaugh favors jumbo packages, unbalanced lines, 3 or 4 receiver sets, two tight end sets, three tight end sets, the Pistol and many more. Essentially, the 49ers offensive formations has invariably become a, "You name it, we got it" offense. The 49ers may have other pressing needs, but Eifert's skill is too much to ignore and pass at this point. Coupled with the fact that Delanie Walker left as a free agent, and the addition of Eifert makes even more sense. A tight end duo of Vernon Davis and Tyler Eifert will have Harbaugh and QB Colin Kaepernick smiling from ear-to-ear.
32.) Baltimore Ravens - ILB Kevin Minter - LSU
The Ravens lost as many as 6 defensive starters from their SB winning team, but GM Ozzie Newsome knows how to restock and reload in a hurry. Having added veterans Michael Huff and Elvis Dumervil, the Ravens may have actually improved in some areas. Additionally, CB Lardarius Webb returns from an ACL injury and Terrell Suggs is coming off a full offseason healthy, unlike last season when he partially ruptured his Achilles tendon. The Ravens did sign former first round bust Rolando McClain, but even before his most recent arrest last week, he offered no certainties at the position. Enter LSU LB Kevin Minter. While Minter may lack top-notch skills and athleticism, he is a tough, smart, instinctive player who is always around the football. He will plug right into the middle of the Ravens defense and be a Day 1 starter at one of the ILB positions.
33.) Jacksonville Jaguars - CB Johnthan Banks - Mississippi State
34.) San Francisco 49ers - S Matt Elam - Florida
35.) Philadelphia Eagles - CB Desmond Trufant - Washington
36.) Detroit Lions - CB Jamar Taylor - Boise State
37.) Cincinnati Bengals - WR Cordarrelle Patterson - Tennessee
38.) Arizona Cardinals - G/C Barrett Jones - Alabama
39.) New York Jets - QB Geno Smith -West Virginia
40.) Tennessee Titans - G Larry Warford - Kentucky
41.) Buffalo Bills - LB Alec Ogletree - Georgia
42.) Miami Dolphins - OT Terron Armstead - Arkansas Pine-Bluff
43.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - DE Damontre Moore - Texas A&M
44.) Carolina Panthers - S Jonathan Cyprien - Florida International
45.) San Diego Chargers - RB Johnathan Franklin - UCLA
46.) St. Louis Rams - DT Kawann Short - Purdue
47.) Dallas Cowboys - DT John Jenkins - Georgia
48.) Pittsburgh Steelers - WR Terrance Williams - Baylor
49.) New York Giants - OT Kyle Long - Oregon
50.) Chicago Bears - DE Alex Okafor - Texas
51.) Washnington Redskins - CB Blidi Wreh Wilson - Connecticut
52.) Minnesota Vikings - WR Justin Hunter - Tennessee
53.) Cincinnati Bengals - RB Eddie Lacy - Alabama
54.) Miami Dolphins - WR Keenan Allen - California
55.) Green Bay Packers - RB Montee Ball - Wisconsin
56.) Seattle Seahawks - DT Brandon Williams - Missouri Southern State
57.) Houston Texans - DE Margus Hunt - SMU
58.) Denver Broncos - S D.J. Swearinger - South Carolina
59.) New England Patriots - WR Markus Wheaton - Oregon State
60.) Atlanta Falcons - CB Darius Slay - Mississippi State
61.) San Francisco 49ers - CB Jordan Poyer - Oregon State
62.) Baltimore Ravens - S Shawn Williams - Georgia
63.) Kansas City Chiefs - TE Gavin Escobar - San Diego State
64.) Jacksonville Jaguars - QB Matt Barkley - Southern California
65.) Detroit Lions - OT Menelik Watson - Florida State
66.) Oakland Raiders - S Baccari Rambo - Georgia
67.) Philadelphia Eagles - QB E.J. Manuel - Florida State
68.) Cleveland Browns - WR Quinton Patton - Louisiana Tech
69.) Arizona Cardinals - CB/S David Amerson - North Carolina State
70.) Tennessee Titans - TE Travis Kelce - Cincinnati
71.) Buffalo Bills - DE Sam Montgomery - LSU
72.) New York Jets - RB Giovani Bernard - North Carolina
73.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - TE Zach Ertz - Stanford
74.) San Francisco 49ers - RB Le'Veon Bell - Michigan State
75.) New Orleans Saints - LT David Bakhtiari - Colorado
76.) San Diego Chargers - TE Vance McDonald - Rice
77.) Miami Dolphins - CB Logan Ryan - Rutgers
78.) St. Louis Rams - RB Christine Michael - Texas A&M
79.) Pittsburgh Steelers - OLB Corey Lemonier - Auburn
80.) Dallas Cowboys - S Phillip Thomas - Fresno State
81.) New York Giants - DT Bennie Logan - LSU
82.) Miami Dolphins - S Duke Williams - Nevada
83.) Minnesota Vikings - WR Ryan Swope - Texas A&M
84.) Cincinnati Bengals - CB Tyrann Mathieu - LSU
85.) Washington Redskins - OLB Brandon Jenkins - Florida State
86.) Indianapolis Colts - C Travis Frederick - Wisconsin
87.) Seattle Seahawks - RT Brennan Williams - UNC
88.) Green Bay Packers - S J.J. Wilcox - Georgia Southern
89.) Houston Texans - OLB Jamie Collins - Southern Mississippi
90.) Denver Broncos - LB Kiki Alonso - Oregon
91.) New England Patriots - DE/OLB Quanterus Smith - Western Kentucky
92.) Atlanta Falcons - RB Andre Ellington - Clemson
93.) San Francisco 49ers - DE/DT Jordan Hill - Penn State
94.) Baltimore Ravens - WR Stedman Bailey - West Virginia
95.) Houston Texans - S Shamarko Thomas - Syracuse
96.) Kansas City Chiefs - C Brian Schwenke - California
97.) Tennessee Titans - CB Robert Alford - SE Louisiana
Pick 118: DE Cornelius Washington - Georgia.
(The Bengals keep the Georgia 4th round pick tradition alive. Geathers = 4th round 2004; Atkins = 4th round 2010; Boling = 4th round 2011; Charles = 4th round 2012)
Pick 156: OT Ricky Wagner - Wisconsin
Pick 190: LB DeVonte Holloman - South Carolina
Pick 197: RB Kerwynn Williams - Utah State
Pick 240: CB/PR/KR Greg Reid - Valdosta State
Pick 251: DE Mike Catapano - Princeton
Take this for what it's worth (which is absolutely nothing). Comments and thoughts are always welcome.
We shall see starting tomorrow.
Merry Draftmas to all!!