Mock Drafts

The dust has settled on Super Bowl 47 in New Orleans and the Baltimore Ravens are World Champions. While it was great to see such a well played game and all the pageantry that comes with the Super Bowl, both the Ravens and the 49ers will need to use this draft process as a catalyst for another good season. Both teams have some major issues to address and holes that need to be filled. Gone is the time when a Super Bowl winning team could just sit back, pick last in the draft, and continue on with success. With the NFL being such a parity driven league, no team, NO TEAM, can afford to miss on their draft picks in the early rounds.

With that being said, here is my first round complete Mock Draft for 2013. I will update this again as the Free Agency period closes in and the Combine process sorts out some risers and fallers at each position.

 

1. Kansas City Chiefs- OT Luke Joeckel, 6’6 310 lbs, Texas A&M

1Like I mentioned above, this all relies on if the Chiefs resign Albert. They have one of the best right tackles in the game in Eric Winston so they wont resign Albert and still take Joeckel. Joeckel is a plug and play Left Tackle who has exceptional pass protection skills and very quick feet. By far the best tackle prospect in the draft. Quarterback is a need, a very large need, but I just don’t see the Chiefs taking Geno Smith this high. All could change throughout the process, but I feel good about this pick.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars- DT Star Lotulelei, 6’4 320 lbs, Utah

2If you want to see a dominating performance from an interior lineman, put on the Utah vs USC game and watch number 92. Loutulelei was a beast for the Utes this season and one of the most dominating players to come out of college since Ndamakong Suh. The Jaguars need a lot of help with this roster, and I feel that Gus Bradley will try to build starting with his defense. The DL has issues, but they are better at DE with Jason Babin and Andre Branch than they are at DT. Terrance Knighton will be a free agent and they need to get Tyson Alualu some help inside. Lotulelei comes in from Day 1 as a starter and makes them a stouter defense.

3. Oakland Raiders- DE Barkevious Mingo, 6’5 240 lbs, LSU

3jpgThe Raiders are an interesting scouting report. They have a very poor defense that could use 1st round help at three different defensive spots (DT, DE, and CB). I feel their biggest need is getting a pass rush. Oakland was one of the worst teams in the NFL at getting to the QB and instant help along the line is needed. Mingo is one of those prospects that will test extremely well in this draft process and show elite skills that you look for in a 1st round pass rusher. With Tommy Kelly and Richard Seymour entering the twilight of their careers, I could see a need to upgrade at DT at this spot. However, Mingo is just too good of an upside to pass on and his value outweighs the next top rated DT, Sheldon Richardson of Missouri.

4. Philadelphia Eagles-CB Dee Milliner, 6’1 196 lbs, Alabama

4Chip Kelly is a hell of an offensive coach and he will need to be to help find a way to make up for a very poor offensive line in 2012. Granted, they were ravaged by injuries and when healthy have one of the best LT’s in the game in Jason Peter. They need help in a lot of areas and I don’t feel that they make an Offensive Lineman their first pick. On defense they were atrocious and what use to be an elite defensive backfield is no more. The Eagles will most likely part ways with Dominique Rodgers- Cromartie and Nnamdi Asoumugha is not producing at his contract level. Enter Milliner fresh off a National Championship season to help Kelly get it going. Milliner has elite cover skills and was coached by an NFL caliber staff at Alabama. He is long and has exceptional awareness and instincts  Corner is an easier transition then most NFL positions and I think Milliner starts from Day 1.

5. Detroit Lions- DE Bjoern Werner, 6’4 272 lbs, Florida State

5When doing this mock draft, my initial impression is that Detroit needs the most help at OL. Right tackle Gosder Cherilus is a free agent and they are getting OLD at left tackle, center and right guard. However, they used a 1st round pick on Riley Reiff and that helps shore up some tackle concerns they will have, at least until Jeff Backus is gone. Guard is a possibility, and Chance Warmack of Alabama could be the pick, but I think they have to look pass rush. Werner is a physical specimen who has solid pass rush skills and is very technically sound. Defensive end will be a need for the Lions, they are stout at DT but need help on the edge. Werner is an every down player, not just a situation specific pass rusher.

6. Cleveland Browns- OLB Jarvis Jones, 6’3 241 lbs, Georgia

6The Browns will be running a 3-4 scheme next year and will have to put some pieces together rin free agency and this draft to make it happen. The first step is drafting an outside linebacker who can help with the pass rush and still not be a liability in coverage. Jones is polished 3-4 scheme player who excels in the pass rush category. I have my doubts about him at times when I watch film, but he will test well and is a fit for what Browns DC Ray Horton says they want to do. Jones is a relentless worker on the field and he is a guy that has played A LOT at the SEC level.

7. Arizona Cardinals- OT Eric Fisher, 6’7 310 lbs, Central Michigan

7Bruce Arians will have his work cut out for him this off season  The Cardinals roster has a lot of question marks and they are in need of a stable quarterback to lead this team. However, I think they stick with what Kevin Kolb at QB one more year and try to find protection for him. They have play makers at wide receiver and a solid stable of backs, when healthy. Fisher is a fantastic left tackle prospect who would shore up that critical need for the Cardinals  He is a technician in his pass protection and really helped himself with his Senior Bowl performance. If they don’t trade out for more picks or take a QB, I think this is the way to go.

8. Buffalo Bills- QB Geno Smith, 6’3 214 lbs, West Virginia

8The first quarterback off the board most likely wont be this late. There are just too many teams in need of help at the signal caller position. However, in this early mock draft I have the Buffalo Bills taking a quarterback. They are in need of a change at the top, and Geno Smith is a play maker who can help this offense find some creativity and explosiveness  Doug Marrone obviously will have his choice to keep his college signal caller in Ryan Nassib, as he will be available at this spot. I just cant see Marrone staking his career on Nassib for his first pick of the new regime. Geno Smith is NOT a system quarter back. He has a cannon for an arm and is average to above average in the accuracy department. He puts tremendous touch on the ball. I think Smith will be a great prospect in the NFL and could help a team like the Bills immediately.

9. New York Jets- OLB/DE Dion Jordan, 6’6 243 lbs, Oregon

9Rex Ryan is firmly sitting on the hottest seat of any NFL head coach. The vaunted defense of a few years ago had a lot of trouble getting to the QB in 2012. Not only that, but they are getting pretty long in the tooth and could use an injection of youth. Through the draft the last couple of years the Jets have formulated a pretty solid front three for their defense. However, they could use someone opposite Calvin pace to help get more pressure on the QB. In steps Jordan, a long and lean prospect who has shown that he can play in coverage and also get to the quarterback. He needs work, but unless the Jets grab someone in free agency, there are not too many prospects like Jordan to help shore up that defense.

10. Tennessee Titans- Chance Warmack, 6’3 320 lbs, Alabama

10Hall of Fame offensive lineman Mike Munchak will be foaming at the mouth if Warmack falls to them at 10. The Titans have to get back to the running game and in starts by getting better and younger on the offensive line. Warmack comes in and plays right away fro any team in the league. He is an excellent run blocker who will open holes for Chris Johnson. I see the most “sure thing” of a prospect in Warmack and I think not only is he the best player on the board at this pick, he is also the most need for the Titans. Guards Steve Hutchinson and Leroy Harris are solid, but one is 35 and one is a free agent. Warmack steps right in and makes them better.

11. San Diego Chargers- OL Lane Johnson, 6’7 303 lbs, Oklahoma

lane-johnsonThe San Diego Chargers are by no means the high octane team that they once were very recently. However, new head coach Mike McCoy has done more with much less (insert Tim Tebow here) and can work with the supremely talented Phillip RIvers. The running game is a mess, and you can attribute that to the failures of Ryan Matthews to produce at a first round level and also to a porous offensive line. I think, and this could change in a week, that the Chargers have to build from within the offense and get that OL straightened out. Johnson is a rising star in the draft process and had an excellent Senior Bowl to really thrust his way into this position. He is a great pass protector, but if you put on the film you can see he plays with a mean streak. He will help shore up one major issue and the Chargers can address wide receiver concerns in later rounds.

12. Miami Dolphins- WR Cordarrelle Patterson, 6’3 205 lbs, Tennessee

cpNeed meets value here in this pick. The Dolphins invested a lot in the franchise by making Ryan Tannehill their franchise QB. However, they have no true #1 receiver for him to throw to. They have a pretty solid offensive line, even if they don’t resign Jake Long. They need to get more play makers on the outside and Patterson brings that immediately. Now, he is raw and he has only one season of big time football as he came from the Junior College route. But Patterson is a rare athlete who can out jump and out run defenders. He has great size and catching ability and in the right system he will thrive.

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- DT Sheldon Richardson, 6’4 295 lbs, Missouri

sh richjpgI have to give this pick my first anxiety attack. I think the Buccaneers have to get better at corner and they have to get younger, however, I don’t think there are that many 1st round talents that warrant reaching for at this spot. I think the Bucs can get a corner in the 2nd round that allows them to draft for need and a value at this pick. That is why I have them taking Richardson from Missouri. I love his athleticism and he has a great motor and fights from whistle to whistle. I think he is a better prospect than Gerald McCoy was coming out of school and if you pair them together you have the makings of a very young and very solid front seven.

14. Carolina Panthers- DT Sylvester Williams, 6’3 320 lbs, North Carolina

s willijpgThe Panthers have a pretty solid edge rushing tandem in Greg Hardy and Charles Johnson, and I think they have done well enough to get a few solid defensive tackles in the past couple of drafts in Andre Neblett and Sione Fua. However, they have to get a stout run defender who can pressure the QB on passing downs and Williams is just that. I think they haven’t found a player that has the strength and girth to take up multiple gaps and blockers since Kris Jenkins left. Williams has violent hands and can really get into the back field. He is someone who will rise through this process and I see him as a great mix of a pass rusher and run stuffer.

15. New Orleans Saints- DT Jesse Williams, 6’4 320 lbs, Alabama

j willijpgDefensive scheme changes can be tough, especially if the defense was as bad as the Saints were last year. The Saints have some players that are getting up there in age and they need to establish themselves in this draft up front. I feel that there is no true nose guard to anchor the middle of this defense on the team. By drafting Williams of Alabama the Saints can shift their personnel around and have a pretty stout front seven. Akiem Hicks, Brodrick Bunkley and Sedrick Ellis (if he is re signed) will be great ends in the 3-4 scheme that will free up the backers to make plays. Williams is a beast in the middle and plays with a fire and aggression that you can’t coach.

16. St. Louis Rams- WR Keenan Allen, 6’3 206 lbs, California

k allenjpgJeff Fisher did a pretty solid job last year in building his team up with players that were extremely talented but a little raw in fundamental skill level. The Rams still have issues on the offensive line, and after Free Agency I wouldn’t doubt that I change my decision on this pick to an offensive lineman However, as it looks now, the Rams do not have a true # 1 receiver on this team. My gut was telling me that they would take DeAndre Hopkins of Clemson but I just didn’t think he brought much more then the current wide outs they have RIGHT NOW. Allen is a gifted athlete who has separation speed and great body control. He out jumps defenders and is a solid route runner. He has some injury history but should clear all tests at the combine and team visits.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers- NG John Jenkins, 6’3 351 lbs, Georgia

jenkinsThis is the highest pick I have seen associated with the Steelers in a long time, and it doesn’t come without warrant. The Steelers are aging fast in a lot of key areas and I am having trouble with this pick. I think they have to try and build from the ground up and start fresh at nose guard. Jenkins is a load of a player and he is strong against the run. He will eat blocks and allow for the LB’s to roam and make plays. Casey Hampton is getting old and he is having trouble staying healthy. Another place the Steelers could look is Guard and pass rushing OLB.

18. Dallas Cowboys- OG Jonathan Cooper, 6’3 310 lbs, North Carolina

cooperTony Romo spent way too much time running for his life this past year. The Cowboys need help along the offensive line in a few spots and Cooper is the best lineman available. They have a lot of money invested at the tackle spots with Doug Free and Tyron Smith so the only natural way to take it is at Guard or Center. Therefore, I think Cooper is the best value/need player on the board. Cooper is a great pulling guard and moves his feet well. If you add his athleticism with his nasty disposition on the field, it makes for a player who can start from day 1 and have a long and success filled career.

19. New York Giants- DE Damontre Moore, 6’4 250 lbs, Texas A&M

d mooreMy Mock Draft has Moore slipping a lot more than other people have noted. I just think that Moore has his flaws and isn’t the player who can step in right away and be the starter from Day 1 like you need now out of your top 10 picks. Enter the Giants who have pretty good success with molding pass rushers into Pro Bowl players (JPP anyone?). The Giants are getting old at the position with Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora and have a pretty solid foundation on their roster that they don’t really need to draft a ready made starter. Moore is an elite pass rusher who has skills off the edge and is pretty solid in the run game. If he can sit and learn behind a great group of veterans then I think this pick is a slam dunk.

20. Chicago Bears- TE Tyler Eifert, 6’6 251 lbs, Notre Dame

t eifertjpgAll signs point to the Bears taking a tight end, but that does not mean it wont change in the next few months. The bears need help at inside linebacker, defensive tackle and offensive line. But one of the most glaring needs is to find a secondary receiver besides Brandon Marshall. Jay Cutler will be pounding the table to have Eifert and he will add immediate impact to the passing game. Also, Eifert has become a solid blocker in the run game and will be serviceable in that department.

21. Cincinnati Bengals- OLB Arthur Brown, 6’1 228 lbs, Kansas State

brownIf there was a true first round talent at running back, it would be easy for me to project this pick, at least in terms of where the Bengals are going to go with their choice. However, this position is losing value by the year as the NFL becomes more of a passing league and the running back is overlooked in offenses. Now, the position will never go away by any means, but teams can find value in the later rounds. That is why I say the Bengals don’t take RB in round 1 and they look to fill another glaring need, linebacker. Rey Maualuga and Manny Lawson are free agents and neither is a slam dunk to return. Therefore, the Bengals will look to grab one of the best linebackers in the draft in Brown. He is a physical and intelligent player who really is all over the field when you watch the film. He could play inside if needed, but I think the Bengals move Vontaze Burfict inside and Brown will play outside.

22. St. Louis Rams- OT D.J. Fluker, 6’6 335 lbs, Alabama

flukerWith their first selection, I have the Rams going with a wide receiver . These two first round picks could easily be flipped as we get closer to the draft and depending on players rising and falling, the Rams may go another direction. However, as it stands the Rams have to get better at right tackle. They can immediately upgrade the position by taking Fluker at this pick. Fluker is a mauler, a guy on film who engulfs defenders and is great in the run game. He will have his moments as a pass protector but it is not something of a major concern. He is technically sound and shows great fundamentals. Most players who project as a right tackle only are not always great values, but Fluker is rare in that he could occupy that spot for years to come, or kick inside to play either guard position. On a side note, he has quite possibly the longest arms in this years draft and he can use that to separate and punch with the best of them.

23. Minnesota Vikings- WR Robert Woods, 6’1 190 lbs, USC

woodsAdrian Peterson lead this team to the playoffs on his back and if the Vikings want to preserve Peterson for the future and allow for Christian Ponder to grow into the team’s leader, they have to get play makers. Wide Receiver is not a need, it is an issue. I think Percy Harvin will come back and play well, but he is a slot/novelty guy. The Vikings have to find size and speed to stretch the field. Woods is a polished route runner with great speed and return skills. He could help fill a vast hole on the outside and also could take pressure off the running game. I think Woods is the most complete receiver that is still on the board and has a higher Boom rating than Bust rating in my opinion. They could possibly take defensive tackle at this spot, but I only see that happening if they make a splash in free agency by signing a wide out.

24. Indianapolis Colts- DT/DE Shariff Floyd, 6’3 305 lbs, Florida

floydI had to take a step back from the keyboard and watch more film on this one. My mock draft works out in a way that the Colts biggest need, guard, isn’t a good selection at this point. Johnathan Cooper from UNC would be ideal here, but in my thought process he will be gone. That leaves another of the Colt’s three biggest needs (G,DT,WR) to be addressed. I wouldn’t be surprised if they went with a tall receiver here to counteract their smaller wide out group that is already on the team, but as of today I say they bolster their weak defensive front. Floyd reminds me a lot of Marcel Dareus of the Bills when he was coming out of school. Floyd is an above average athlete for a big man and can easily fit into a 3-4 end for the Colt’s system. The Colts need to help get Dwight Freeny, Robert Mathis, and Jerry Hughes to the quarterback and there is no better way then to get a big body on the line to occupy blockers. Floyd offers some versatility and is a rising draft prospect.

25. Seattle Seahawks- DE Ezekial Ansah, 6’6 270 lbs, BYU

ansashBefore it is all said and done, Ansah may be the “it” prospect that comes out of this year’s draft. He is also, without a doubt, the most raw prospect that has a first round grade. It will not surprise me that a team will move up and get him, but as of now I have him falling in the draft until now. The Seahawks are a team that don’t have “glaring” needs if you look at the roster. They are also a team not afraid to push the envelope on who to draft early. They don’t read mock drafts and they stick to their instincts and their board and pick the best player available. Ansah has an NFL ready physique and will only get more bulk and strength added to him going forward. He showed his skills in the Senior Bowl game and made some money for himself with a great week. The Seahawks need help at end, but they also need outside linebacker help and Ansah quite possibly could fill both spots during his career.

26. Green Bay Packers- S Kenny Vaccaro, 6’1 215 lbs, Texas

vaccaroGreen Bay doesn’t have that many holes to fill, it really comes down to making sure that they fill them well this off season. The defense had some major injury concerns last year and in all reality, they have a pretty solid front seven. However they are in desperate need of a 3-4 end and that would be an obvious pick here. But, another major need is at safety and the best one by far is Texas’ Vaccaro. He is a guy that Texas used all over the field and had him do a lot of free lancing, covering slot receivers and blitzing. He will fit in with what the Packers like to do. Add his value to the fact that Morgan Burnett is an average starter and Charles Woodson is just getting too far into his 30’s, Vaccaro is a great example in this Mock draft where need meets value.

27. Houston Texans- WR Terrence Williams, 6’3 205 lbs, Baylor

t willI like the possibilities that the Texans have in filling some of the more glaring needs in this draft and add some younger players in the later rounds and free agency to bolster a roster that could and should be favorites to win the AFC. The Texans bolster a lot of top end talent at some key positions, but are getting older if you want to look for a weakness. That is why I think they can use this pick to either trade out of the first round, or use it on the best available need position. That is where Baylor’s Williams enters. I am not cracking some elaborate code in saying that the Texans covet big bodied wide receivers and Williams is the best available at 27. He has quick feet and has been in a system where he has shown off his long speed and deep ball skills. I think he is a great fit for the Texans offense and add an immediate upgrade over Kevin Walter.

28. Denver Broncos- DT Kawann Short, 6’3 310 lbs, Purdue

shortWhen I was looking at the depth chart for the Broncos, a glaring hole is at defensive tackle. Both end of the season starters are free agents and over 30. That is not a solid combination for your roster to have. My immediate gut feeling went to Short of Purdue. I can honestly say he is the first person I think of fitting into the Broncos system and needs at this point in my Mock Draft. He had a very solid Senior Bowl week and looking back on his film and his stats, he makes a lot of plays in the backfield. His size will be a blessing for Von Miller, Elvis Dumervil, and Derek Wolfe and allow them to get more one on ones and those are the battles they can win at ease. Short can add value immediately.

29. New England Patriots- WR DeAndre Hopkins, 6’1 200 lbs, Clemson

hopkinsjpgThere really is nothing ever sexy about looking at the Patriot’s skill players (for the most part) and they have a lot of uncertainty this year in the wide receiving core. Four of their top 5 wide outs are set to be free agents in March and the usually frugal Patriots wont re sign all of them. I think that they need help in a few areas and they have a good enough offense and defense to draft the best available player here at this spot. Hopkins of Clemson is a play making machine. He goes about his business on the field and his abilities jump off the game film. I think he is the perfect fit for a system that bodes itself to selfless players and constant workers. Hopkins wont run in the 4.3’s I don’t think, but he has tremendous upside and pass catching abilities.

30. Atlanta Falcons- TE Zach Ertz, 6’6 250 lbs, Stanford

ertzTalk about being too early to tell. The Falcons are putting the full court press on Tony Gonzalez to stay around for one more run. If they are successful in doing that, the pick here goes to defensive end so we will keep a close eye on this in the weeks ahead as we figure out more on Gonzalez. But as it is, I think he retires and that leaves a major hole in this talented Falcons offense. Ertz can step in and make an immediate impact in the passing game. He will have the benefit of having two of the best outside receivers in the game to take the pressure off of him and open up the middle of the field. Ertz is a big target with a similar body type to Gonzalez. He isn’t the same athlete but he has great ball skills and above average speed for a player his size. Big break for the Falcons if they lose Gonzalez and can get a talent like Ertz at pick 30.

31. San Francisco 49ers- S Eric Reid, 6’2 208 lbs, LSU

reidOne thing that you can say for certain is that San Francisco’s pass defense struggled in the playoffs and an immediate need exists at Safety. Now, by no means do I think the 49ers are set in a lot of other areas, but as you would expect from a Super Bowl team, they don’t have many holes to fill. But safety is one that is the most prevalent and that is where LSU’s Eric Reid fits in. He has ideal size and speed to play in the NFL and he has a swagger about him that would fit right in with the 49ers. Reid can give up the deep ball on occasion and needs fundamental work, but he produced for LSU throughout his career and is a first round talent who has tremendous upside. As we saw last year with AJ Jenkins in the first round for the 49ers, they are not scared to take a chance.

32. Baltimore Ravens- ILB Kevin Minter, 6’2 242 lbs, LSU

minterWith Ray Lewis riding off into the sunset kissing the Lombardi Trophy, this one seems like a no brainer to me. The Ravens have to get help at inside backer. They are set on the defensive lines and have very few holes to fill that aren’t depth related. Besides inside linebacker, they need help at corner, but I think the need for an inside presence is too glaring. Minter is a polished prospect and a tremendous athlete. His upside can be noticed when watching him on film and he is a sideline to sideline player, like Lewis was. I like Minter over Manti Te’o and it is not because of the girlfriend hoax but because I just think Minter is a better athlete and has better polish in play recognition.

This list will be changing in the very short future I am sure. It has been fun to analyze the team needs and look to the future. I would love to say I am certain about my picks but I cant imagine I will get too many right off this list. The NFL: draft is just so fluid now and trades are always happening I think this is a great start for ScoutingBlitz and I look forward to updating my Mock Draft soon. Tomorrow I will start putting my Big Board in place and also listing my top players by position as I get closer to the Combine and Draft. Stay tuned.

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