2013 NFL Mock Draft: Best Draft Scenarios for First-Round Teams
The 2012 NFL draft is in the books. While some teams made the most of their picks (such as the Pittsburgh Steelers and the St. Louis Rams), others, unfortunately, did not fare so well (looking at you Jacksonville Jaguars...a punter in the third round?).
With that said, some fans may well be looking for a way to scrub off the stench of a bad draft, and in order to help those suffering fans get though the weekend let's hit the fast forward button and take a look ahead at how next year's first round might play out.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Matt Barkley, QB, USC: It may well be that the Jacksonville Jaguars drafted that punter in the third round because they're intimately aware of just how bad the team's offense will be in 2012.
2. Indianapolis Colts: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama: The addition of Andrew Luck solves only one of the Colts' multiple problems. After a year spent mostly running for his life, Luck will be begging for better pass protection next year.
3. Cleveland Browns: Robert Woods, WR, USC: The Browns apparently decided that building an offense around a 28-year-old rookie isn't a terrible idea. However, it might be nice if Brandon Weeden had someone to throw the ball to.
4. Miami Dolphins: Sam Montgomery, DE/OLB, LSU: The Dolphins took some steps forward in the 2012 draft, but with a rookie quarterback under center and a defense in transition this season likely won't be pleasant on South Beach.
5. Minnesota Vikings: David Amerson, CB, NC State: The Vikings added Central Florida's Josh Robinson in the draft, but no matter how talented Robinson may be he's not going to single-handily solve Minnesota's problems at cornerback.
6. St. Louis Rams: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M: The Rams allowed the most sacks in the National Football League in 2011. That's not a problem that's going to be fixed overnight, especially after the team didn't draft an offensive lineman until the fifth round this year.
Our most experienced group on our football team is the offensive line, and we only have one senior there," head coach Kevin Sumlin said. "Those guys have led us this spring and adapted to what we're doing. They're experienced and tough, and we're going to count on them heavily this fall.
7. Oakland Raiders: Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma: The Raiders gave up a ton to get quarterback Carson Palmer. However, Palmer is 32 and has a pretty extensive injury history, so after a disappointing 2012 campaign Oakland will look to the future at quarterback.
8. Arizona Cardinals: Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas: It wouldn't be the NFL draft without quarterbacks going early, and one more bad year from Kevin Kolb should be enough to convince the Cardinals that he isn't the answer at the position.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU: The Buccaneers traded down this year, passing on cornerback Morris Claiborne. By this time next year, a pressing need at cornerback will have become a gaping hole given Ronde Barber's age and Aqib Talib's penchant for getting arrested.
10. Seattle Seahawks: Keenan Allen, WR, Cal: Sidney Rice has been a bust in the Emerald City to this point, the team ignored the wideout position in the 2012 draft and the 6'3", 205-pound Allen topped 1,300 receiving yards for the Bears last season.
11. Buffalo Bills: Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina: Fred Jackson isn't getting any younger, and C.J. Spiller isn't getting any bigger. That could lead the Bills to look at the backfield in next year's draft and Marcus Lattimore, who piled up 1,000 total yards in only seven games in 2011.
12. St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins): Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State: The Rams added a pair of wideouts in this year's draft, but they're so barren at the position right now that the rebuild will likely continue next season.
13. Carolina Panthers: Kawann Short, DT, Purdue: The Panthers ranked 25th in the NFL in run defense in 2011 due in large part to poor defensive tackle play, and somewhat puzzlingly Carolina ignored the middle of the defensive line in this year's draft.
Purdue coach Danny Hope described what makes Short so special on conference call.
“He really changes the game from the defensive tackle position,” Hope said.
“He could really be a dominant player on a national level. He’s a 325, 330 pound tackle with a special athletic ability, so the better he gets the better we’re going to get.”
14. Tennessee Titans: Wes Horton, DE, USC: Mike Martin was a nice addition. But after ranking 31st in the NFL last year in sacks and after getting to the quarterback a paltry 28 times in 2011, the Tennessee Titans still need to upgrade the defensive front.
15. Denver Broncos: Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame: The 255-pound run-plugger topped 150 tackles in 2011, and Te'o would be an upgrade on second-year pro Nate Irving, who has been slow to adjust to the NFL.
16. Kansas City Chiefs: Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee: Unless the Kansas City Chiefs make a serious run at the playoffs in 2012 the Matt Cassel is apt to be toast, which would send the Chiefs to the draft in 2013 searching for his replacement.
17. Chicago Bears: Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU: The talented, versatile Tigers standout would help further bolster a Bears front seven that just got better with the addition of Boise State defensive end Shea McClellin.
18. New Orleans Saints: DeMarcus Milliner, CB, Alabama: I have absolutely no idea what will happen over the course of the next year in the Big Easy. That team went through the looking glass months ago, and things haven't even stopped getting weirder yet.
19. Cincinnati Bengals: Barrett Jones, G/C, Alabama: The middle of the offensive line is an area of need for the Bengals even after adding Kevin Zeitler. The 311-pound Jones is a solid blocker and versatile player capable of manning both the guard and center positions.
20. Dallas Cowboys: Jarvis Jones, DE/OLB, Georgia: The Dallas Cowboys tagged outside linebacker Anthony Spencer in 2012. But if Spencer doesn't turn it on this season, Dallas may be forced to look to the draft to improve the pass rush around DeMarcus Ware.
21. San Diego Chargers: Johnathan Hankins, NT, Ohio State: The Chargers brought back veteran Antonio Garay on what is essentially a one-year deal in 2012, which will leave the Bolts looking for a beefeater next season.
Johnathan Hankins dropped at least 15 pounds during winter conditioning and said he feels comfortable in spring practice at 320. Coaches have singled out Hankins and DL John Simon, who are returning starters, as the defensive standouts. "I'm moving good. I'm not getting tired," Hankins said. "My pass rush has been pretty good."
22. New York Jets: Michael Dyer, RB, Arkansas State: Dyer may be 2013's version of Janoris Jenkins, with immense ability and a seeming inability to stop screwing up. However, he should dominate in the Sun Belt if the former Auburn star can stay out of trouble.
23. Atlanta Falcons: Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina: The 5'10", 205-pound Bernard gained over 1,600 total yards as a redshirt freshman in 2011. If Bernard declares after another big season, he would be an excellent heir apparent to Michael Turner in Atlanta.
24. Philadelphia Eagles: Ciante Evans, CB, Nebraska: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie may be playing his last season in Philadelphia as the vaunted secondary that looked so good on paper last year keeps getting ripped to shreds.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers: Tom Wort, ILB, Oklahoma: The Steelers chose to forgo grabbing James Farrior's replacement with Dont'a Hightower, and while Larry Foote can hold down the fort for a bit it's a temporary fix.
It’s something you’ve got to do at linebacker,” Wort said. “It’s the same way it’s been every level I’ve played at. You’ve got to step up and be a leader, be that kind of guy. It’s something I’m used to. It’s something I’m ready for, something I take in stride.
26. Detroit Lions: Khaled Holmes, G/C, USC: The Lions addressed the tackle position in this year's draft with the addition of Riley Reiff. That makes an upgrade on the interior of the offensive front the focus when next the Lions draft.
27. Baltimore Ravens: Robert Lester, S, Alabama: Ed Reed has been a staple of the Ravens secondary for several seasons now. But the end of Reed's career is growing closer by the day, and Baltimore needs to procure a replacement in the near future.
28. San Francisco 49ers: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State: Carlos Rogers played some of the best football of his career last season but, will be 31 when the 2012 season starts. By this time next year, San Francisco will be looking to get both better and younger in the defensive backfield.
29. New York Giants: Chris Faulk, OT, LSU: The New York offensive line began to show its age markedly at times last season. While that didn't stop the Giants from winning Super Bowl XLVI, the team is going to have to begin retooling.
30. Houston Texans: C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama: The departure of DeMeco Ryans leaves the Texans with a hole at inside linebacker opposite Brian Cushing. Mosley's experience in the 3-4 defense from his time in Tuscaloosa would appeal to Houston.
31. New England Patriots: Ray Graham, RB, Pitt: It would be interesting to see what the New England offense could accomplish with a more explosive weapon in the backfield. Apparently, the Patriots are now in the habit of actually using their draft picks. I know...I was scared, too.
32. Green Bay Packers: Johnathan Banks, CB, Mississippi State: Star cornerback Charles Woodson may well be headed for retirement or a switch to safety in 2013, leaving the Packers with an even bigger void at cornerback than they already have.
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