Here is how I feel the first 32 picks will fall in the 2013 NFL draft. Please take the team positions with a grain of salt, as predicting the order of the draft this early is certainly an inexact science. (Underclassmen listed with an asterisk.)
Unless Blaine Gabbert progresses mightily in 2012, the Jaguars could easily be picking at the top of this 2013 NFL mock draft. Like Andrew Luck in 2012, Matt Barkley will probably be the top pick, barring some unforeseen event.
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Sam Montgomery, DE/OLB, LSU*
Featuring a lightning-quick first step and the frame to add a few pounds, Montgomery is the most electric pass-rush prospect for the 2013 NFL draft.
3. Minnesota Vikings: Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
Wilson, who helped Arkansas not miss a step after losing Ryan Mallett, may have a tougher time without receivers Jarius Wright and Joe Adams this year. That said, he has a live arm and NFL size and might challenge Barkley for supremacy.
4. Indianapolis Colts: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
The incredibly massive (6'4", 325) and surprisingly nimble Lotulelei will anchor a lucky NFL defensive line for the next 10 years.
5. Cleveland Browns: Jarvis Jones, DE/OLB, Georgia
Jones might a smart decision by coming back for another season of college football. The very physical linebacker plays a little like James Harrison in his prime.
6. Oakland Raiders: Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee*
Bray has exhibited good poise, a strong arm and improving accuracy. If he chooses to declare for the 2013 NFL draft, he could easily be a top-10 pick.
7. Washington Redskins: David Amerson, CB, NC State*
Amerson’s interception total in 2011 (12) is one of the only things to dwarf his size (6’2") at the corner position. He will be a first-round pick if he chooses to declare.
8. Arizona Cardinals: Oday Aboushi, OT, Virginia
The offensive tackle position certainly draws a premium in today’s NFL. Aboushi is our top prospect after having a very good junior season for the Cavs.
9. St. Louis Rams: Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU*
Like his teammate Sam Montgomery, Mingo has the potential to be an excellent pass-rusher in the NFL. He has a quick first step, but will need to fill out his frame to be more than a rush specialist.
10. New York Jets: Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma
Jones reportedly got a first-round grade from scouts last year, but chose to stay and develop his game one more year at Oklahoma. He has all the tools but needs to improve on the mental aspects of the game.
11. Dallas Cowboys: Brandon Jenkins, DE/OLB, Florida State
Jenkins looks the part of a 3-4 OLB in the NFL. He can create pressure around the edge and has the athleticism to learn the position.
12. Denver Broncos: Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina
Lattimore is coming of an ACL injury but if he returns to form, he will be the top running back in the 2012 NFL draft.
13. Seattle Seahawks: Devin Taylor, DE, South Carolina
Often overshadowed by his teammates Melvin Ingram and Jadeveon Clowney, Taylor is a very athletic and talented lineman himself.
14. Chicago Bears: Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech*
Thomas is bound to get some Cam Newton comparisons with his size and skill set. I’m not sure he is there yet, but his upside is off the charts.
Vaccaro was one of our favorite defensive backs in 2011. He is a physical tackler, can stick with slot WRs (Ryan Broyles in particular) and TEs, as well as covering in a deep zone.
16. Miami Dolphins: Ricky Wagner, OT, Wisconsin
Wagner is the next Badger to play in the NFL. I doubt he will make it out of the top 20 in the 2013 NFL draft.
17. San Diego Chargers: Robert Woods, WR, USC*
A dynamic receiving threat at USC, Woods has flashed that he is ready to make an impact in 2013 as a rookie.
18. Tennessee Titans: Keenan Allen, WR, Cal
Allen has fantastic hands and wonderful body control. Once he has the ball, he is a big-time YAC threat—Allen could certainly be an NFL returner as well.
19. Philadelphia Eagles: Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame
A surprise returner to school, Te’o is a very balanced linebacker. He plays the run and pass very well, making a large amount of impact plays.
20. Cincinnati Bengals: Jackson Jeffcoat, DE/OLB, Texas*
Similar to Montgomery and Mingo from LSU, Jeffcoat has the ability, size and speed to be an elite edge rusher in the NFL. If he can improve his consistency, he could see a big jump the board.
21. Buffalo Bills: Kawaan Short, DL, Purdue
Short is a penetrating defensive lineman that makes a lot of plays in the backfield. If he can get more consistent, he could end up being a top-10 pick.
22. Atlanta Falcons: Jonathan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
Banks made a good decision bypassing the 2012 NFL draft and its loaded CB class. He will certainly be a top-five corner in 2013.
23. Kansas City Chiefs: Barrett Jones, OL, Alabama
Jones has been an anchor for the Crimson Tide, playing multiple positions for the NCAA champs. He will probably kick inside in the NFL, but could still be a top-40 pick.
24. Detroit Lions: Robert Lester, FS, Alabama
Lester provides solid coverage skills, playmaking ability and the will to help against the run. He should be one of the top safeties off the board in the 2013 NFL draft.
25. New Orleans Saints: Kenny Tate, SS/LB, Maryland
Tate had a disappointing 2011 playing OLB and getting injured, but was fantastic playing safety in 2010. Let’s hope he regains his form for 2012.
26. Houston Texans: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
Eifert can do it all as a tight end. He is a good in-line blocker, but may be even better split out and running routes.
27. San Francisco 49ers: Alex Okafor, DE, Texas*
Okafor is an edge-rushing prospect that disengages well and can set the edge. We’re looking for him to have a monster year at Texas.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Knile Davis, RB, Arkansas
Like Lattimore, Davis is coming off of a bad injury. If he regains his form in 2012, he will challenge Lattimore to be the top running back off the board.
29. Baltimore Ravens: D.J. Fluker, OL, Alabama*
By coming back for another season of college ball, Fluker should vault his name into serious contention for a top-20 pick. His rare combination of size (6'6"/335), speed (4.95 in the 40) and agility can cover up a few technique issues.
30. Green Bay Packers: Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU
Everyone has seen the “Honey Badger” do his work. He is a bit small for the NFL, but will make up for it with his passion.
31. New England Patriots: Baccari Rambo, FS, Georgia
Rambo is a playmaker in both the run game and against the pass. He hits with authority and makes plays on the ball in the back end.
32. New York Giants: T.J. McDonald, FS, USC
McDonald is a very athletic safety that is finally starting to put it together on the field.