Mock Draft 1.0 April 17, 2013
It’s that time of year where every NFL fan wonders who their team will take in the upcoming draft. Who will you watch pick up the phone when your team is on the board? By the way, wouldn’t it be great if the players messed with the cameras and every player in Radio City Music Hall picked up their phones every time so we wouldn’t actually know who was drafted until the pick is announced? Anyways, with only two weeks to go we’re putting out our first 2013 mock draft. Smile, frown or be angry at who I have your team taking. Don’t be afraid to comment or suggest changes, you may influence version 2.0.
1. Kansas City Chiefs
Positions of need: Defensive Line and Offensive Line
The Chiefs went out and got themselves a quarterback when they traded for Alex Smith. Smith has shown that he has the ability to play in the league given the right system, and new head coach Andy Reid should know how to use him. It would make sense for the Chiefs to trade down and pick a talented lineman later while also adding a defensive tackle. Though we have a better chance of seeing a skinny Andy Reid than a team trading up for the first pick. Therefore, drafting the best overall lineman in the draft makes sense for the Chiefs. They give some added protection to their quarterback and a strong body that can open up lanes for Jamaal Charles. They’ll take the safe route and draft Texas A&M’s Luke Joekel, but I’d rather see them take Star Lotuleilei and improve that 27th-ranked run defense.
Pick: Luke Joekel, OT, Texas A&M
2. Jacksonville Jaguars
Positions of need: Quarterback, Linebacker and Defensive Line
Could you name me the Jaguars defensive ends? I hadn’t even noticed Jason Babin went there halfway through last year. The Jaguars are like a vacuum where players disappear, unless you’re MJD. Blaine Gabbert is not the future of the franchise. I would call him mediocre but the Kevin Kolbs and Nick Foles of the world may get insulted. They’ll take a quarterback this draft, but not in the first round. They can get a talented QB in the second. The Jaguars need to put pressure on the passer, leaving them with one of the top rated pass rushers ─ Oregon’s Dion Jordan. Jordan brings much-needed speed and strength off the edge and will be a player able to make an immediate impact.
Pick: Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
3. Oakland Raiders
Positions of need: Defensive Tackle
The Raiders have a first round pick?! (I Google, Bing and Yahoo to make sure this is true) And they made a good trade for Matt Flynn?! What the hell is going on in Oakland?! The Raiders lost both Tommy Kelly and Richard Seymour this off-season, leaving them with a huge need at defensive tackle. This leaves them considering either Florida’s Shariff Floyd or Lotulelei. The scare of a heart condition caused Lotulelei’s stock to drop a bit, but health professionals have since ruled him perfectly healthy. I think the Raiders avoid the risk and play it safe by taking Floyd. Floyd brings about memories of Warren Sapp and can cause havoc at the line of scrimmage. So long as they take one of those tackles, not even the Raiders can mess this pick up. Then again, it’s the Raiders we’re talking about.
Pick: Shariff Floyd, DT, Florida
4. Philadelphia Eagles
Positions of need: Quarterback, Linebacker and Offensive Line
The Eagles have quite a few holes to fill and they have a lot of options available with the fourth overall pick. They can take Geno Smith, giving Chip Kelly a young, mobile quarterback to insert into his offensive scheme. They could take Utah’s Star Lotulelei, who would bolster their defensive line and is an absolute beast. Or they could take offensive tackle Eric Fisher, a player who many think is better than possible first-overall pick Luke Joeckel. I think it’s too big of a reach to take Smith here, and although they could use the offensive lineman, there’s no way they can pass up on Lotulelei.
Pick: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
5. Detroit Lions
Positions of need: Offensive Line and Defensive Line
The Lions lost Kyle Vanden Bosch, Cliff Avril and Jeff Backus this year. That leaves some major holes at the line of scrimmage. Although the Lions need a stout defensive line to handle the quarterbacks and running backs in the NFC North, I don’t think they can pass on Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher. He’s arguably the best offensive tackle in the draft, fills a position of need and protects Matt Stafford (who is no stranger to injury).
Pick: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
6. Cleveland Browns
Positions of need: Cornerback, Linebacker
The word is that the Browns are looking for a cornerback that can play opposite of Joe Haden. Well, it’s not going to get any better than Alabama’s Dee Milliner. Milliner instantly gives the Browns a great cornerback tandem and will improve a passing defense that ranked 25th in the NFL last year. They may be tempted to snag Smith here but there will be skilled quarterbacks available in later rounds. Also, they may be tempted to add a pass rusher by drafting Barkevious Mingo or Ezekiel Ansah, but if they pass up on Milliner the few Browns fans remaining may call it quits. Milliner immediately strengthens the Browns secondary and won’t be afraid to line up against the AFC North’s receivers.
Pick: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
7. Arizona Cardinals
Positions of need : Offensive Line. They need something that can actually move.
Prior to trading for Carson Palmer, it was a no-brainer that they were going to take a quarterback in the draft. The franchise has seemed to put their faith in Palmer as Larry Fitzgerald and Cardinals fans everywhere are trying to convince themselves that he could be good. The Cardinals have a huge need to protect their 33-year-old quarterback and buy him time. Palmer is not going to be out-running many defensive ends or outside linebackers. The Cardinals would shit themselves for Joeckel or Fisher, but they’ll both be gone by the seventh pick. I think that the Cardinals go offensive tackle over guard and snag Oklahoma’s Lane Johnson. Johnson wowed scouts at the combine after the 300-pounder ran a 4.72 40-yard dash. (Why do people wonder how players get concussed?) And hey if Palmer doesn’t pan out, Johnson used to play a little quarterback in junior college. He couldn’t do any worse than Arizona’s quarterbacks last year .
Pick: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
8. Buffalo Bills
Positions of need: Quarterback
I don’t want to hear any “they picked up Kevin Kolb, they don’t need to draft a quarterback this high.” It’s Kevin Kolb. The guy couldn’t look good throwing to Larry Fitzgerald. Kolb has become the guy that enters the game and everyone you’re watching the game with know he’s going to mess up, get hurt, or both. This is a franchise that has to take the best quarterback in the draft if he falls to them. They can’t afford to take a gamble on a second-round project. Draft West Virginia’s Geno Smith and finally get yourself a quarterback for the future.
Pick: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
9. New York Jets
Positions of need: Defensive Line, Linebacker and Wide Receiver
Rex Ryan and Gang Green are going to go for a pass-rusher here. They have great options available to them with both LSU’s Barkevious Mingo and Ezekiel Ansah on the board. Ziggy Ansah is a project that may take some time to develop, something that Rex Ryan’s job status may not afford. Mingo is one of the top outside linebackers in the draft and instantly helps the Jets pass rush. An effective pass rush is a necessity in a division with Tom Brady. The Jets are hoping that Mingo will be able to cause more fumbles than the ass of Mark Sanchez’s linemen.
Pick: Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU
10. Tennessee Titans
Positions of need: Offensive Line and Defensive Line
The Titans will probably be hoping that Lane Johnson is available here but I think they’ll be disappointed. They could take the best guard in Chance Warmack, but guards rarely go in the top 10. I think they go defensive line with BYU’s Ezekiel Ansah still on the board. Ansah, aka Ziggy, is 6 foot 5, 275 pound with elite speed, strength and agility (just look at his 4.6 40 time). Although he has only played football for a couple years, the Ghana native has near limitless potential. Ansah could be one of the elite pass rushers in the league in just a few years. If he falls out of the top five, he could easily fall here and be the steal of the draft.
Pick: Ziggy Ansah, DE, BYU
11. San Diego Chargers
Positions of need: Offensive Line and Linebacker
I’m hoping we will all get another year of seeing red-faced Phillip Rivers yelling at his o-line in his typical douchebag-like fashion. The Chargers want that to change and will be looking for a tackle to protect Rivers’ blindside. They would love a Joeckel, Fisher or Johnson here, but at this point they’ll be gone. This will leave the Chargers settling for a top guard. The Chargers need protection on the o-line and North Carolina’s Jonathan Cooper will provide it to Rivers. Congrats Cooper, I’ll soon see you on television getting yelled at by Rivers.
Pick: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
12. Miami Dolphins
Positions of need: Offensive Line, Defensive Line and Cornerback
The Dolphins lost their offensive line staple when Jake Long decided to head to St. Louis. We have hit that draft position where the highest-rated offensive linemen, defensive tackles, pass-rushers and Dee Milliner (the cornerback considered far above the rest) are gone. Jeff Ireland spent a lot of money giving Ryan Tannehill some weapons to throw to but it won’t be any good if the kid is always on the ground. They’ll go for the best offensive tackle left on the board and snag Alabama’s D.J. Fluker. It’s a reach, but the Dolphins can’t afford to risk a tackle not being there in the second round. Even his face says pick me!
Pick: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Positions of need: Cornerback, Tight End and Defensive Line
Rumors have it that the Bucs are going hard after Darelle Revis. I don’t see anything happening before the draft so it will remain a position the Bucs need to address in the draft. Tight ends don’t go this early in the draft, and they’ll be looking for a corner as it’s the bigger need. The Bucs like Florida State’s Xavier Rhodes. Barring the Bucs making a trade for Revis, they’ll address the cornerback problem and take Rhodes.
Pick: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
14. Carolina Panthers
Positions of need: Defensive Line, Cornerback and Wide Receiver
The Panthers need to address their defensive issues. At this point in the draft their best defensive option to fill that void would be to take Missouri’s Sheldon Richardson. He’ll be the best defensive tackle available at this point, and he even got an endorsement from veteran wide receiver Steve Smith. Cam Newton can only score so many points in a game and it’s time the Panthers focused on preventing the other team from getting into the end zone.
Pick: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
15. New Orleans Saints
Positions of need: Linebacker, Defensive Line, Safety and Offensive Tackle
As the third NFC South team in a row, the Saints will be on the receiving end of watching players they’d like go to their rivals. The Saints went out and got themselves Rob Ryan, who was unemployed for far longer than the five minutes he predicted. Ryan will want himself some pass rushers, and he’ll take a risk on a guy who slid a bit. Georgia’s Jarvis Jones didn’t do himself any favors with his draft or pro-day performance, but I can’t see him falling below here. The guy dominated in the SEC and upset me every week knowing that USC had let him go. Football speed is different than 40-speed and the guy can play. The Saints are snagging themselves a stud here that will fit right into their new defensive system.
Pick: Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia
16. St. Louis Rams
Positions of need: Wide Receiver, Safety and Linebacker
The Rams have a MAJOR need for wide receivers. After losing both Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson in free agency, the Rams starting receivers are Steve Smith, a 5-foot-11 receiver who hasn’t been relevant in a few years, and Brian Quick, last year’s second-round pick. The Rams will take the best receiver on the board with this pick, and it’s between West Virginia’s Tavon Austin and Cordarrelle Patterson. Although Patterson can play on the outside with his big body, Austin just has too much potential. Many compare him to Seattle’s Percy Harvin as he’s one of those guys that make plays as long as you get the ball to him. He’s a playmaker, something the Rams desperately need.
Pick: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
17. Pittsburgh Steelers
Positions of need: Linebacker, Defensive Line, Safety and Halfback
The Steelers are actually in a pretty good position at this point in the draft. Some mocks have the Steelers taking a wide receiver with this pick. The Steelers matched wide receiver Emanuel Sanders’ offer sheet earlier this week and this is the Steel Curtain we’re talking about. They would love a pass rusher but most of the top-rated pass rushers will already be taken at this point. Alec Ogletree looks good but the Steelers don’t like character issues or failed drug tests and DUIs. (And while their throwback jerseys look like prison stripe outfits, they don’t need someone who people think belongs in one). This will make them roll with Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro and stay true to their defensive roots. Vaccaro will provide some youth to the Steelers’ aging defense and help improve a secondary that was 27th in total interceptions last year. They took Troy Polamalu with the 16th pick 10 years ago, it’s time they brought in some help.
Pick: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
18. Dallas Cowboys
Positions of need: Offensive Line and Safety
This draft pick is between an offensive lineman and a safety. The Cowboys will be cursing the Steelers for taking Vacarro with the previous pick. The Cowboys paid big this off-season by extending Tony Romo’s contract. Besides the infamous ‘unclutchness’ factor, Romo is a solid quarterback. The Cowboys will pass on the safety here with Vaccaro gone and the Cowboys need to protect their investment. They’ll draft Alabama’s Chance Warmack as long as he’s still there. If Warmack is still there it would be a steal for the Cowboys as they get one of the best guards in the draft with the 18th pick. The Cowboys bought themselves a nice and expensive house, now they need a fence to protect it.
Pick: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
19. New York Giants
Positions of need: Linebacker and Defensive Line
The Giants need to be able to put pressure on the quarterback and stop the run. Osi Umenyiora is gone this year and Justin Tuck (and his crazy face mask) is a free agent next year. The Giants will happily take Bjoern Werner, a solid defensive end out of Florida State.
Pick: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
20. Chicago Bears
Positions of need: Linebacker and Defensive tackle
The Bears signed former Bronco D. J. Williams during free agency this year but they could still use another linebacker. Georgia’s Alec Ogletree fits perfectly for the Bears and could potentially be the replacement for Brian Urlacher. Ogletree’s speed and athleticism for his size in simply outstanding, and he’ll immediately impact the Bears defense. The Bears can transition smoothly from the Urlacher era by taking Ogletree with this pick.
Pick: Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia
21. Cincinnati Bengals
Positions of need: Cornerback, Linebacker and Halfback
I think that the Bengals take a linebacker here. It’ll be between Ogletree or Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o depending on who is left on the board. The Bengals would be more than happy to take Te’o with the 21st pick and would consider it a steal. Despite his fall from grace, Te’o can play football. The guy was a Heisman Trophy candidate for those of you that forgot. Although he wishes that his performance against Alabama was imaginary and his girlfriend was real, rather than the other way around, he won’t get past here.
Pick: Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame
22. St. Louis Rams (from the Washington Redskins)
Positions of need: Safety, Wide receiver and Linebacker
With Coradelle Patterson still on the board here, the Rams would be kicking themselves for not having snagged Kenny Vaccarro with the 16th pick. The Rams need a safety and Florida International’s John Cyprien has established a name for himself as a top safety in the draft. The Rams won’t be able to get him if they pass on him here and he fills a position of need. It’s the right fit for the right team.
Pick: John Cyprien, S, Florida International
23. Minnnesota Vikings
Positions of need: Wide Receiver, Linebacker and Defensive Line
This pick is a no-brainer with Tennessee’s Cordarrelle Patterson sitting on the board. The Vikings pick up a great wide receiver that will spread the offense a little bit more for Adrian Peterson. We all know that Christian Ponder can use all the help he can get. The Vikings have a good amount of draft picks this year and can address their other needs in the later rounds. Patterson just makes too much sense here.
Pick: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
24. Indianapolis Colts
Positions of need: Wide receiver, Cornerback and Safety
I think that the Colts need to go cornerback here. The have Vontae Davis on one side but could use another standout in their secondary. Washington’s Desmond Trufant is arguably the best corner in the draft and should be available at the 24th pick. The guy comes from some solid stock as his brothers Marcus and Isiaiah are both playing in the league. With Davis and Trufant playing alongside each other, the Colts should be able to handle opposing teams receivers and not make Luck throw 50 times a game.
Pick: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
25. Minnesota Vikings (from the Seattle Seahawks)
Hey look who’s already up again! The Vikings already snagged a wide receiver, so now they’ll be looking to bolster their defense. They would like a cornerback but the first rounders will already be gone at this point. I think they take North Carolina’s Sylvester Williams and keep in tradition with having huge dudes named Williams anchor their defensive line. There’s no way they can resist, and they snag the defensive tackle to help plug up the middle.
Pick: Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
26. Green Bay Packers
Positions of need: Safety, Defensive Line, Linebacker and Halfback
It’s time the Green Bay Packers got Aaron Rodgers a little bit of help. Their current running back rotation of ‘one of these guys might be good’ just isn’t getting it done. The Packers should take the best running back in the draft and snag Alabama’s Eddie Lacy. Lacy presents an actual threat and will let Rodgers destroy opposing defenses even more efficiently than he currently does. Defenses even may actually believe it’s a run on play- action plays! Help Rodgers out Green Bay, do the right thing.
Pick: Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama
27. Houston Texans
Positions of need: Wide Receiver
Let’s be honest, after Andre Johnson the Texans wide receivers suck. If opposing defenses snuff out the Texans’ run game, the Texans have trouble moving the ball through the air. By taking a wide receiver with this pick, the Texans improve an already dangerous offense, and allow Johnson to not constantly face double teams. The Texans offense goes from good, to downright scary. It’ll be between wide receivers Robert Woods and Cal’s Keenan Allen. Woods has fallen a bit after a disappointing 2012 campaign and I think they roll with Allen. Allen has good size, speed and excellent body control. The Texans will be right back in the Super Bowl race next year.
Pick: Keenan Allen, WR, California
28. Denver Broncos
Positions of need: Defensive Line, Halfback and Linebacker
John Elway and the boys don’t have to do much to be back in the Super Bowl picture next year. I think that the Broncos will be thinking between running back and a body to bolster their defensive line. I think they decide to live with their running backs and take Alabama’s Jesse Williams. Williams will help the Broncos defense and improves a team that can easily be in the Super Bowl next season.
Pick: Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
29. New England Patriots
Positions of need: Wide Receiver and Defensive Line
I would have put the secondary as a position of need but the Patriots recently got Adrian Wilson to start alongside Devin McCourty, solving their safety dilemma. It’s hard to predict what Bill Belichick will do this year, but with USC’s Robert Woods available, I think they take a wide receiver. The Patriots lost Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, and the Steelers matched their offer sheet to Emmanuel Sanders, so they could use some help at receiver. Woods is dangerous out of the slot and Tom Brady can never have too many weapons. While Woods has good, but not great speed, he is an excellent route runner. The Patriots offense demands good route-running skills and if Woods can get chemistry with Brady, watch out. If this happens, make sure to snag him in your fantasy drafts next year.
Pick: Robert Woods, WR, USC
30. Atlanta Falcons
Positions of need: Cornerback, Defensive Line and Tight End
The Falcons can use some defensive help but how do they resist passing up on the best tight end in the draft. Notre Dame’s Tyler Eifert could be the future replacement for Tony Gonzalez. We all know that Gonzalez is in his last season in the league, and who better to teach a young tight end. The move could even allow them to run some effective two tight end sets. Although they need the defensive help, I don’t see the Falcons passing up on Eifert.
Pick: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
31. San Francisco 49ers
Position of need: Safety
The 49ers defense doesn’t need much but with Dashon Goldson leaving the Super Bowl runner-ups, they need a safety. Florida’s Matt Elam is one of the top safeties in the draft and fits right into the 49ers’ needs. The 49ers have a bunch of picks in this draft and though they may make some moves, if Elam is on the board, they’re taking him. The best defense in the NFL may have just gotten better.
Pick: Matt Elam, S, Florida
32. Baltimore Ravens
Positions of need: Linebacker and Safety
I wish Manti Te’o was on the board so we could see him and Ray Lewis talking to each other later. It’d be such an awkward pair and Ray Lewis may even be able to inspire him to get a real girlfriend. With Te’o gone though, the Ravens still need to fill their hole in middle linebacker. They’ll take LSU’s Kevin Minter and begin to reload their defense. The Ravens blew up their team to give Joe Flacco his massive, dollar-devaluing contract, and Minter is the first piece in their hopes of remaining a contender.
Pick: Kevin Minter, LB, LSU
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