22 March 2013

2013 NFL Mock Draft: 10th Edition

Alabama CB DeMarcus Milliner
It's been a while folks, seemingly, since I last put out a mock draft due to a variety of reasons, mostly because of spring break and March Madness, but with around a month to go until the NFL Draft arrives, it's time to get back into gear. Here's my newest mock draft.
1. Kansas City Chiefs - Luke Joeckel, T, Texas A&M
I am going back to Joeckel for the top selection for the Chiefs. Yes they did franchise Brandon Albert but they did also cut right tackle Eric Winston, opening a hole at one tackle slot. And considering Albert is now only signed for next year, if he were to depart, the Chiefs would have a franchise left tackle in place. Joeckel has every skill that you want out of a franchise left tackle and he was brilliant this past season, playing a key role in Johnny Manziel's Heisman campaign. I think he is a little bit better of a prospect than Eric Fisher and thus he is the top pick as of right now.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars - Sharrif FloydDTFlorida
Floyd's draft stock has been rising and he now appears to be a lock for the top ten, and seems like a relatively safe bet for the top five at this juncture. It looks like Floyd can play either the 4-3 or the 3-4, which new coach Gus Bradley will appreciate as he likes to feature multiple defensive looks. Floyd is a very disruptive presence from the interior of the line and he showcased tremendous athleticism for a lineman. Jacksonville needs talent across the board, particularly on defense and especially on the line with the team finishing last in the league in sacks.

3. Oakland Raiders - Dion JordanDE/OLBOregon
Speaking of teams that struggled to rush the passer in 2012, the Raiders were just as bad as the Jaguars were as they finished 31st in the league with 25 sacks, ahead of only Jacksonville. The team has nothing opposite Lamarr Houston at defensive end and their linebackers are a mess and should look to find some help in a deep draft for pass rushers. Remember when we all thought that Jordan's shoulder injury would make him drop his stock? Well his shoulder checked out just fine and he absolutely tore up the combine across the board. He may still be raw and should put on some weight but his stock is on the rise big time.

4. Philadelphia Eagles - Eric Fisher, T, Central Michigan
You may have mentioned that I included Fisher's name in the discussion for the top overall pick and it is a discussion over whether Fisher or Luke Joeckel is the top offensive tackle in the draft. His stock was on the rise going into the Combine and he looked better than Joeckel in Indianapolis. Fisher has the athleticism and the flexibility needed for a big guy at tackle and he has got the skills you look for out of your blindside protector. Nobody knows for certain Chip Kelly is doing in Philadelphia and especially at quarterback but one thing he needs is to upgrade the offensive line and they have had troubles at tackle for years.

5. Detroit Lions - DeMarcus Milliner, CB, Alabama
When was the last time the Lions did not need a cornerback come draft time? It seems like every year they need help at corner and they fail to adequately address each time to where it continues to be a problem. With Chris Houston being a free agent this offseason, the Lions should look to take a corner at this spot and considering their strategy to take the best player on the board, Milliner makes a lot of sense. Milliner showed a lot of speed at the Combine and he was brilliant in 2012, shutting down half the field for the Crimson Tide.

6. Cleveland Browns - Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
The Browns really had some problems defending the pass and one way they could improve in that regards in finding a pass rushing complement for Jabaal Sheard, as they have struggled to find another threat opposite him. Ansah was awesome at the Senior Bowl and he was awesome at the Combine and his stock has been on the rise since. He is pretty raw and only started one year in Provo but he is drawing comparisons to Jason Pierre-Paul due to his freakish athleticism, which was on display in Indianapolis, and his high ceiling and we all know how that combination has tantalized personnel guys before.

7. Arizona Cardinals - Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
You want to hear a joke? The Cardinals' offensive line. You want to hear another joke? No you don't, but anyways, the Cardinals have themselves a truly pitiful offensive line that was statistically speaking the worst in the league with allowing the most sacks in the league with 58 and having the worst rushing attack as well. Therefore, taking an elite talent like Warmack is a wise decision, in my opinion. Warmack should immediately help Arizona's run game because he is an absolute mauler in the run game and he is athletic enough to pass block well. I would have given them Geno Smith but there have been reports that the club is not interested, for some strange reason.

8. Buffalo Bills - Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
I am pretty certain the Bills would be happy if they had the opportunity to take Smith at eight because I think they would be sticking their necks out if they took Mike Glennon, as I had been projecting them to do. They do seem set to take a quarterback based off of what GM Buddy Nix has said about the position and we have all figured out that Ryan Fitzpatrick is not good. Smith has ideal size, a good arm, strong accuracy and mechanics and has plus athleticism and I think it is pretty clear that he is the best quarterback in what is a mediocre quarterback crop.

9. New York Jets - Cordarelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Listen, I know that the Jets are an absolute mess at quarterback. Mark Sanchez has developed into a joke, Tim Tebow was never given a fair shot and Greg McElroy did not show a whole lot in his limited tryout at the end of the season. But, it is clear that the Jets are dearth of weapons in the passing game. Santonio Holmes is a quality wideout when he wants to be but he is unreliable. Stephen Hill showed why he fell in the draft a year ago with how raw he was and how he cannot catch (I'm sure those Jets fans who wanted him feel really smart right now). I do like Jeremy Kerley, but he's mostly a slot guy. Patterson may be raw but he is the most physically gifted wideout in the draft, with some folks comparing him in that regard to Julio Jones.

10. Tennessee Titans - Jonanthan Cooper, G, North Carolina
I have decided to mix it up with the Titans and move away from them going defense with this selection and go with Warmack. A key reason why Chris Johnson has been a disappointment of sorts these past two years has been the deterioration of the Tennessee offensive line. Steve Hutchinson was a big disappointment last year and the team has nothing opposite him. I know they just signed Andy Levitre, but the line still needs more help. And wouldn't you think that Mike Munchak, a Hall of Fame guard, would love to have a talent like Cooper to build his line around? Cooper is very experienced and has started every year in Chapel Hill. He is quick when blocking in the run game and is athletic enough to pass protect as well.

11. San Diego Chargers - Lane Johnson, T, Oklahoma
Among the reasons why Philip Rivers has seemingly regressed, probably the biggest has been the decline of a once-stout offensive line, which this past season gave up the fourth most sacks in the league. The retirement of Marcus McNeill really wounded this line before the season and they never recovered and they really have to address the issue early in this draft. Johnson's stock soared after the Senior Bowl and it has continued to do so in Indianapolis after he showcased his impressive athleticism and agility. He also had a really good senior campaign in 2012 in Norman.

12. Miami Dolphins - Xavier RhodesCBFlorida State
Miami was very aggressive in attacking their needs at the start of free agency but one spot that is still a big concern is at cornerback. Sean Smith was the corner on the club who was really any good, and he is now a Chief. Therefore, why not take a (somewhat) local guy to fill a big need? Rhodes is another guy that helped himself at the Combine as he overcame fears that he lacked speed with a strong 40-yard dash time of 4.43 seconds and a strong 10-yard split of 1.47 ticks as well. He has impressive size and is physical against not just the pass but against the run as well.

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
I have been mocking a corner to Tampa for many moons but for now, they seem focused on trying to bring Revis Island down to the Bay, plus the two top prospects at that position are off the board. They do need to generate some pressure from the interior and therefore, Lotulelei is a good choice. Lotulelei saw his draft stock drop after a heart issue was discovered at the Combine but he has tested out to be fine, with the result likely an effect of a virus, and he kicked butt and took names at his Pro Day. There is no denying his skill set and his tape at Utah is impressive.

14. Carolina Panthers - Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
A reason why I was not as bullish on the Panthers as others were this year was because I knew that the defense was not very good. One key problem with the defense was in the interior of the line, which has not been good since Kris Jenkins left town and they got gashed on the ground multiple times this year, Bryce Brown's performance being first on my mind. Richardson, he of the infamous "old man football" quote regarding Georgia, truly was awesome in 2012 for the Tigers with 75 tackles, four sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss. He is an athletic big guy who moves well in the trenches and has the arms to bat down passes as well.

15. New Orleans Saints - Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
The Saints were at their best on defense when they will attacking the opposing quarterback with aggressive blitz schemes and thus they were not a good fit for Steve Spagnuolo's scheme. Now as the team will switch to a 3-4, they need to bring in some edge rushers as they make the transition and it is a very good draft for that. Mingo came back after a great 2011 with a disappointing 2012 but thanks to his great speed and athleticism, he has a high ceiling.

16. St. Louis Rams - Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
The Rams just lost Danny Amendola in free agency to the Patriots and that leaves their already weak receiving corps in a bigger hole. The team really has to find some help for Sam Bradford at receiver, particularly in the slot, and the rising Austin looks to be a good fit. Austin smoked it in the 40-yard dash with a very impressive 4.34 40 and he quelled fears about his small frame by looking tremendous in the drills. Therefore, there is a reason why he was considered to be one of the winners of the Combine. His Pro Day was considered to be excellent, with some thinking this may be the low-end to where he goes.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers - Jarvis Jones, DE/OLB, Georgia
In a stat that may surprise you considering their history, the Steelers only sacked opposing quarterbacks 37 times this year, tying for only 15th in the league. In fact, their disappointing pass rush was one reason why the Steelers missed the playoffs. Pittsburgh should look to find some youth for their pass rush and taking the talented Jones would be smart. Many folks are thinking that Jones will fall due to the fact that his medical tests did not go very well at the Combine and while I think his stock will fall a little right now, the tape for Jones is simply too good for him to fall out of the first. Of course, that could change but I wouldn't count on it.

18. Dallas Cowboys - Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
In a good draft for safeties, Vaccaro is the cream of the crop. The Texas native has the ability to play both safety positions who has a good combination of athleticism and strength. He has great instincts, is aggressive and is good in both coverage, particularly man, and run support. The Cowboys could really use a talent like him as they have some major holes at safety as Gerald Sensabaugh was inexplicably cut a few weeks ago to save a little bit of money and Barry Church is coming off an Achilles tear. Monte Kiffin will love this kid.

19. New York Giants - Bjoern Wener, DE, Florida State
If there is one thing that the Giants have shown a tendency to do in the draft, it is to select talented pass rusher and quite frankly, in such a passing league, why not. And now more so than in years past, with Osi Umenyiora's contract expiring and Justin Tuck coming off a season with only four sacks, look for New York to draft a pass rusher. I think Werner's stock may drop a little because he showed in the Combine that he would be a poor fit for a 3-4 and he isn't an amazing athlete. However, you cannot deny this guy's talent for rushing the passer.

20. Chicago Bears - Alec Ogletree, OLB, Georgia
The Bears really need to find some reinforcements for their offensive line, which is what got Lovie Smith fired. Unfortunately, the prospects that would be available in this mock would also be reaches, so I think that the Bears would be off taking one of the best players on the board and a guy who would eventually replace Brian Urlacher. Ogletree had himself a great season and was a key reason why Georgia came pretty close to getting to the national championship. He is a great athlete who can cover the field from sideline to sideline and he is sound in coverage and in run support. He does come with some clear character concerns, but his talent will be too much to pass up.

21. Cincinnati Bengals - D.J. Fluker, T, Alabama
It was not easy, but Andre Smith has developed into one of the better right tackles in the league. However, he is still a free agent and there is no news as to if he will return to Cincinnati. If the team were to lose, they will have a big hole in their line, one that could be filled by Fluker. Fluker may not be the greatest pass protector in the world but he is an all-out mauler in the run game, which is great for a team that struggles to run the ball like the Bengals. Plus he is also versatile and he should be able to be a pretty good guard as well if need be.

22. St. Louis Rams (from Washington) - Arthur Brown, OLB, Kansas State
The Rams are actually not awful on defense and they have a couple of good linebackers in James Laurinaitis and JoLonn Dunbar, but they have nothing next to them. There are some good linebackers to be had in this draft, with this KSU product being one of them. Brown has seen his stock soar of late after an awesome Pro Day performance and save for his relatively small frame, he has everything you want out of a linebacker. He is a true sideline-to-sideline guy who is an excellent tacklers and can shed blockers relatively well.

23. Minnesota Vikings - Keenan Allen, WR, California
Christian Ponder is still a ways to go to become a good NFL quarterback, but to be fair, who the hell is he throwing to? Particularly now that the club traded Percy Harvin, their only threat at receiver, to the Seahawks. They really need to use their early picks for some receivers and could even double dip at the position with their two first rounders. Allen has a nice combination of good size and quality speed and is a guy that loves to attack passes in the air, which Ponder would appreciate. Also, Allen can help contributed in the return game.

24. Indianapolis Colts - Demontre Moore, DE/OLB, Texas A&M
The Colts' transition to a 3-4 defense did not result in a great pass rush as the team finished tied for 23rd in the league with 32 sacks. Robert Mathis has eight of those sacks and he was the only guy that could consistently apply any pressure on quarterbacks, and Dwight Freeney was recently cut. If the team wants to build a strong 3-4, they need some juice on the edge of their defense. Moore is a guy that did not helped himself at the Combine and he hurt himself with his awful bench press total of 12 reps, which was the worst of any defensive lineman.

25. Minnesota Vikings (from Seattle) - Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
Antoine Winfield had a very good run in the Twin Cities with the Vikes, but it was time for him to go because he was a shell of himself. The Vikings had a pretty disappointing secondary this past year, the ninth best statistically in the league, and with their two first round picks, they should look for some reinforcements.  Trufant has made himself a lot of money with brilliant performances in Mobile and Indianapolis and has shown tremendous coverage skills in man-on-man situations, which is important for Leslie Frazier's defense.

26. Green Bay Packers - Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
Once Packers tight end Jermichael Finley figured out how to catch the ball again, he put together one of the best seasons of his career in 2012. However, he still is a pretty inconsistent tight end and considering he is due around eight million next year, he is not likely to return to Titletown. So with two talented tight end prospects worthy to be selected in the first round, look for the Packers to pounce. Eifert has all the tools to be a real weapon in the passing game as he has got great hands, can take a hit and runs good route.

27. Houston Texans - DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
Hopkins can help stretch the field with his good downfield speed and he also gets good separation on defensive backs. He runs very good routes and knows how to catch, which you would think would be important for a wideout. He makes sense for the Texans, who have seemingly been in pursuit of a threat at receiver opposite Andre Johnson for many years and they do not seem so willing to bring back free agent Kevin Walter. It is time they used a high selection to fill the need.

28. Denver Broncos - Datone Jones, DE/OLB, UCLA
There is no way around it, the Elvis Dumervil situation was a fiasco and a complete embarrassment for the organization and his agent. For them to lose a key player on their club because they were late with their paperwork, that's a joke. Now they have a hole opposite Von Miller in their 3-4 defense and they should look to address it with one of their early selections in the draft. Jones is a very athletic end who has a great motor from the point of the snap and he has a very good first step but he is a little raw.

29. New England Patriots - Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
Remember when the Patriots traded away Richard Seymour to the Raiders way back when and nobody really knew why. Well, the team has struggled since to apply pressure on opposing quarterbacks from their defensive front and they never really found an adequate replacement for Seymour, which they can find here. Everybody's best friend Bill Belichick will appreciate Williams's versatility along the defensive line and he will also like Williams's stoutness in the run game as well as his underrated pass rush ability.

30. Atlanta Falcons - Tank Carradine, DE, Florida State
It really should be a prerogative for the Falcons this offseason to find some pass rush, because they were really awful rushing the passer in 2012. They only sacked opposing quarterbacks 29 times this past season and the only guy that could provide any consistent pressure, John Abraham, who had a third of the team's sacks, is no longer on the club. Even though he tore his ACL back in November, Carradine's store is soaring right now and he looks like he may go in the first round. Carradine is a end of solid size at 275 pounds and he is faster than you think.

31. San Francisco 49ers - Matt Elam, S, Florida
The 49ers may have themselves one of the elite defenses in football, but they currently have a big need at the safety position. Dashon Goldson, who was very good in 2012, signed with the Buccaneers for big money and opposite him, Donte Whitner struggled last year. They signed Craig Dahl, which means nothing. In a draft deeo with safeties, I highly doubt that Kenny Vaccaro will be available but there are quality prospects on the board, like this one. Elam may not be a huge guy but he plays bigger as he is very good in run support and also good playing in coverage, and does good work covering tight ends.

32. Baltimore Ravens - Kevin Minter, MLB, LSU
The Super Bowl champions are going to have rebuild their defense as they suffered a lot of losses in free agency across the board, but nowhere bigger, and probably more important, than at linebacker. Baltimore has to replace both of their inside linebackers as Ray Lewis retired and Dannell Ellerbe signed with the Dolphins. Given how crucial the position is to their 3-4, look for the Ravens to address it early and if Minter is available, he will be the guy. Minter is a guy that John Harbaugh will love as he is very physical and plays with a lot of intensity that his fellow players feed off of, not unlike a certain notable Ravens linebacker.

Check out more mock drafts courtesy of the great Walter Football.

2 comments:

  1. Its March 22nd, 2013 and your pick and explantion for the Browns is horrible. They just signed Kruger to start opposite Sheard and Groves as insurance if Sheard doesnt pan out at OLB.

    They likely wont address their front seven at all. The D-Line is completely set, there is no ILB worth taking near 6(not much of a need) and OLB isnt a much of a need either unless they trade Sheard.

    CB, FS, FB, TE are their biggest needs. RG and QB could use upgrades. There is only one player at 6th overall that makes sense for the Browns, that would be Milliner. Every other player worth a top ten pick isnt a need or is a pretty big reach for the situation the Browns have at their respective positions.

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    1. Very good point, I will update that for my next mock. Coming to think about it, not sure why I did not change it.

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