2013 NFL Mock Draft: Early Projections for All 32 Teams
The needs of each team are redefined now, and a fresh look ahead at which needs still need filled and which roster spots could be up for grabs is in order.
For the sake of consistency, the first draft order mirrors the 2012 selection orders (minus trades). Obviously, this will change how early quarterbacks are drafted, as well as other positions.
One important thing to note is that as of right now, there are few teams which need quarterbacks still in the NFL. Because of this, guys whom I believe will be top 10 next year (Tyler Bray, Matt Barkley, etc.) will fall.
1. Indianapolis Colts
Jackson Jeffcoat, Defensive End/Outside Linebacker, Texas
Now that Indianapolis has drafted their quarterback and tight ends of the future, it's time to look at building up a defense.
The Colts didn't address their need to get younger at OLB in the early stages of the 2012 draft. This pick gives them a dynamic, violent pass-rusher off the edge for Chuck Pagano's 3-4 defense.
This is his Terrell Suggs pick.
2. St. Louis Rams
Jarvis Jones, Outside Linebacker, Georgia
The Rams would love to see a wide receiver here, but the value on the board this early is on defense, if they don't trade back. Instead, Jeff Fisher grabs an athletic outside linebacker who can stop the run and rush the passer from a stand-up position.
Jones is a violent, athletic outside linebacker who will completely reshape the focus of the St. Louis defense. He's as good of a player as Von Miller was at Texas A&M.
3. Minnesota Vikings
Robert Woods, Wide Receiver, USC
The Minnesota Vikings were linked to Justin Blackmon in 2012 before selecting Matt Kalil. With no second-round pick and using their third on Josh Robinson at cornerback, the need for a wide receiver is paramount.
Woods is an elite talent on the edge and will be Christian Ponder's best friend. He's a crisp, clean route-runner who can really separate in space.
4. Cleveland Browns
Alex Okafor, Defensive End, Texas
Alex Okafor and Jabaal Sheard attacking the edge together will make beautiful music in Cleveland. The Browns filled their big needs at running back, quarterback and tackle in 2012, but they need to find pass-rushers if they hope to slow down the three playoff teams in their division.
One of the elite pass rushers in the game today, Okafor will have a big pre-draft rise.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Manti Te'o, Inside Linebacker, Notre Dame
The Buccaneers were looked at as a potential landing spot for Luke Kuechly in the first round before they drafted Mark Barron. They passed on him and will instead look at a better option in 2013, going after Manti Te'o.
Greg Schiano's first draft was all about toughness, and this one will be too. The Notre Dame linebacker has the strength and athleticism to play either inside or outside linebacker.
6. St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins)
Marcus Lattimore, Running Back, South Carolina
With their needs filled largely in the 2012 class, the St. Louis Rams need to add talent for Sam Bradford to work with. Steven Jackson has been great, but his career is coming to a close, and Isaiah Pead is a better fit as a third-down back.
Marcus Lattimore is a big, strong back who many had rated as a better back than Trent Richardson before he got hurt to start the 2011 college football season. Lattimore—if he checks out healthy—will be a stud.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars
Keenan Allen, Wide Receiver, Cal
Not a pressing need for the Jacksonville Jaguars, but neither Justin Blackmon nor Laurent Robinson are deep threats at the position.
Keenan Allen is.
Allen will bring speed and athleticism to the position where the Jaguars are lacking a threat who can turn every play into a touchdown.
A one-time weakness for the Jaguars, wide receiver is now a strength.
Previously this pick was Sammy Watkins, who is not eligible under NFL early entrant rules. Our apologies for the confusion.
8. Miami Dolphins
Sean Porter, Outside Linebacker, Texas A&M
The Dolphins have a need at outside linebacker in their 4-3 defense, and they could even look at Sean Porter as a potential third-down pass-rusher opposite Cameron Wake on nickel downs. Ideally, Porter is a stand-up linebacker who will help in attacking the passer.
Pass-rushers are plentiful in this year's class, and Porter is one of the best ones.
9. Carolina Panthers
Sam Montgomery, Defensive End, LSU
A rangy, athletic defensive end with good speed and burst off the edge, Sam Montgomery may be a best fit in a 3-4 defense, but he's a good fit as a right defensive end opposite a big, strong end like Charles Johnson.
Montgomery would have big sack potential here.
10. Buffalo Bills
Matt Barkley, Quarterback, USC
There is a great chance that someone trades up for Matt Barkley in this scenario, but with a mirrored draft order and no trades being predicted, it's most likely that Barkley would fall here to No. 10. Buffalo would draft him and let him compete with Ryan Fitzpatrick in 2013.
11. Kansas City Chiefs
Tyler Wilson, Quarterback, Arkansas
It may not be time to give up on Matt Cassel yet, but by this time next year, the Chiefs may be ready to go another direction at quarterback.
Wilson is a big-time passer with great field vision and the velocity to potentially surpass Matt Barkley as the No. 1 quarterback in this class.
12. Seattle Seahawks
Knile Davis, Running Back, Arkansas
The Seattle Seahawks have a big, strong running back in Marshawn Lynch—but he's getting up there in carries, and the team should strike while the iron's hot to find a good complementary back who can soon take over for Lynch. Davis will be healthy in 2013 and should tear apart the SEC on a loaded Arkansas roster.
13. Arizona Cardinals
Logan Thomas, Quarterback, Virginia Tech
By this time next year, we will have learned if Kevin Kolb is worth his salt or not. If not, Logan Thomas is the player we're tabbing with the most potential to jump up draft boards during the 2012 college football season.
If Kolb doesn't work out in year two of the project in Arizona, Thomas is the right guy to step in.
14. Philadelphia Eagles
Tyler Eifert, Tight End, Notre Dame
The Philadelphia Eagles have very few needs heading in to the 2012 season, making their 2013 draft more about value and filling potential future needs as opposed to filling immediate concerns.
Eifert is a big, strong tight end who will pressure the seam and really open up the offense. This is a move that will draw attention away from DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin on the edge.
15. Dallas Cowboys
Barkevious Mingo, Defensive End/Outside Linebacker, LSU
The Dallas Cowboys signed Anthony Spencer to a one-year franchise tender, meaning he's likely on the way out after the 2012 season.
Enter Barkevious Mingo.
Not only is that the best name ever for a defender, but Mingo is a dangerous pass-rusher with elite speed and burst off the edge. Rob Ryan will fall in love with this guy as his edge-rusher opposite DeMarcus Ware.
16. New York Jets
Seantrel Henderson, Offensive Tackle, Miami (FL)
A blue-chip tackle prospect whom the New York Jets would line up on the right side, opposite D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Henderson has incredible potential and world-class talent, but he's been very raw to date. This pick assumes he gets it together a bit in the 2012 season.
The Jets did a good job filling holes through the 2012 draft and free agency, giving them room to improve the offensive line here.
17. Oakland Raiders
Devin Taylor, Defensive End, South Carolina
The Raiders finally have a first-round pick to use, and they do the smart thing here by grabbing a pass-rusher who can eventually take over for guys like Richard Seymour. Taylor is a big body who can move around a bit and make plays.
Regarded very highly before the 2011 season, Taylor was ranked ahead of Melvin Ingram by most last summer.
18. San Diego Chargers
David Amerson, Cornerback, North Carolina State
A speedy cover man who has major potential to jump up the board, much like Morris Claiborne did during the 2011 season.
Amerson is incredibly physical and has the quickness to make plays on the ball in space. He can line up against No. 1 receivers in the NFL and take them on head-up. He needs to correct some small issues in his footwork coming out of his backpedal, but his upside is amazing.
19. Chicago Bears
Dee Milliner, Cornerback, Alabama
A classic Nick Saban player, Dee Milliner is a hard-nosed, press-cover corner who isn't afraid to step up and take on the best receiver on the offense.
Milliner is a bit green, having played behind Dre Kirkpatrick and DeQuan Menzie, but he will quickly acclimate himself as one of the best cover men in college football this season. Keep an eye on this kid.
20. Tennessee Titans
Barrett Jones, Guard, Alabama
The Tennessee Titans could have gone offensive guard as early as the first round in the 2012 class, and their fans would have been happy. Instead they added a stud No. 2 wide receiver in Kendall Wright. They'll get their blue-chip guard in 2013's first round.
Jones could technically play right tackle, too, but his potential at guard is close to David DeCastro's coming out of Stanford. When you watch Jones play, you see a technically savvy player who doesn't make mistakes and is a huge presence in the run game.
21. Cincinnati Bengals
Khaled Holmes, Center, USC
The Cincinnati Bengals truly have very few needs after a dominant showing in the 2012 NFL draft. Marvin Lewis and company did a great job filling needs and anticipating future needs.
In 2013 they'll look ahead to the offensive line.
Holmes will be a year-one starter on the interior offensive line, having the strength to play guard if the team doesn't want to slide him in at center.
22. Atlanta Falcons
D.J. Fluker, Offensive Tackle, Alabama
The Atlanta Falcons have a bit of a revolving door at left tackle, with the poor play of Sam Baker and the inconsistent upside of Will Svitek. They'll fix that problem here.
Fluker plays right tackle at Alabama, but much like Tyron Smith at USC, he'll make a quick move to left tackle once drafted. Fluker is a big, big man who is a phenomenal athlete as well.
He'll make Matt Ryan's life much easier.
23. Detroit Lions
Nico Johnson, Outside Linebacker, Alabama
A great fit for the Detroit Lions' attacking 4-3 defense, Nico Johnson is like a more athletic D.J. Williams in that he can play both inside and outside linebacker in a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme. He'll start out on the outside in Detroit.
Johnson's athletic ability is enough to keep the Lions defense attacking offenses off the edge. With so many of their needs filled during the 2012 draft and offseason, Detroit can afford to go defense here.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers
Brandon Jenkins, Outside Linebacker, FSU
The Steelers continue to get younger on defense by drafting a pass-rushing outside linebacker in Round 1. As James Harrison gets closer to retirement, this pick becomes more about need than value.
Jenkins almost left for the NFL in 2012—and he's a projected top-20 pick for the 2013 draft, depending on which underclassmen enter. A big senior season at FSU could push him much higher.
25. Denver Broncos
Johnthan Banks, Cornerback, Miss. State
Champ Bailey won't be able to play forever...at least we think not.
Bailey will eventually hang up his cleats, and when he does, the Broncos need a cornerback who can step in and be a true No. 1 defender. The Broncos have done a fair job filling their needs at the position, but none of the guys on the roster right now project as a future star.
Banks has exceptional strength and speed, bringing the ball-hawking mentality to make interceptions and big plays.
26. Houston Texans
Kawann Short, Defensive Line, Purdue
The Houston Texans are building a defense that can compete for years, and in 2012 they filled potential needs at outside linebacker and defensive end with good picks. Now they grab a nose tackle.
Short is a bit light for the classic nose-tackle position, but Houston has gone with smaller, attacking nose tackles in under Wade Phillips. Much like Jay Ratliff in Dallas, Short will be able to penetrate and hold up blockers at the zero-technique position.
27. New Orleans Saints
Jelani Jenkins, Outside Linebacker, Florida
A punishing tackler on the edge, Jelani Jenkins is exactly what the New Orleans Saints need at linebacker. Paired with Curtis Lofton and David Hawthorne, Jenkins would round out a young, athletic linebacker corps in New Orleans.
Jenkins doesn't have great size at 6'0" and 233 lbs, but he packs a huge punch when closing on the ball.
28. Green Bay Packers
C.J. Mosley, Inside Linebacker, Alabama
Can we all agree that A.J. Hawk isn't as good as everyone wanted him to be? It's time to find a better option at inside linebacker next to Desmond Bishop. With Nick Perry and Clay Matthews on the edge, Green Bay can round out an attacking linebacker corps with this pick.
C.J. Mosley is a big hitter at middle linebacker, and he's athletic enough to track the ball between the hashes. He's also not bad in coverage.
29. Baltimore Ravens
Kwame Geathers, Defensive Tackle, Georgia
The Baltimore Ravens do a great job finding tough, hard-nosed football players who are winners. That's Kwame Geathers.
A physical presence in the middle of the defense, Geathers isn't quite the athlete that Haloti Ngata is, but he'll be able to slide in and help Ngata pressure the line of scrimmage and make plays against the quickly improving offensive lines in the AFC North.
30. San Francisco 49ers
Baccari Rambo, Strong Safety, Georgia
The San Francisco 49ers did a good job loading up a defense through the draft and free agency, but there are still needs to be filled.
Good NFL teams will quickly add a third safety to combat the double-tight-end sets of the NFL today. Donte Whitner has been a good strong safety, but he could be upgraded from. Whitner is a strong tackler, and Rambo is an even stronger tackler who won't miss plays in space.
Whitner gave up a few big plays in the playoffs, and getting a third safety like Rambo will help with the big-play passing attacks of the NFC.
31. New England Patriots
Jonathan Hankins, Nose Tackle, Ohio State
The New England Patriots grabbed two big defensive playmakers in the 2012 first round. In 2013 they can look to get younger on the defensive line by getting a big, nasty nose tackle to eventually replace Vince Wilfork.
Hankins is a monster in the middle of the defensive line. With a good 2012 season, he has major potential to jump up the board.
32. New York Giants
Ricky Wagner, Offensive Tackle, Wisconsin
There is no safer school to draft an offensive tackle from than Wisconsin. Ricky Wagner has left-tackle potential in the NFL with big, strong hands and a lean frame that shows he could add 10-15 lbs of bulk and dominate at the point of attack.
Wagner may be a better prospect than Gabe Carimi was when the Chicago Bears drafted him late in the 2011 first round.