2013 NFL Mock Draft: Matt Barkley and Safest Round 1 Picks
Of course, this is all speculation, as several underclassmen could decide to stay in school for another year.
Still, of those players eligible for next year's draft, it's easy to see which ones are sure-fire stars.
That being said, here's my 2013 NFL mock draft with info on each pick and a more in-depth look at the safest bets.
2013 NFL Mock Draft
The biggest lock of the 2013 draft is Matt Barkley. He'll be receiving the same amount of hype Andrew Luck dealt with this past season, and no matter what, the Trojan QB will be the No. 1 pick.
If the team that lands the No. 1 pick doesn't need a QB, they're going to trade back because other teams will be gunning for Barkley.
Barkley knows the game well, has a strong arm and has plenty of experience as a leader. He has improved with each year, and he'll shine bright in his final college season, making him an easy draft pick.
Is Matt Barkley a lock for the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft?
2. Indianapolis Colts: D.J. Fluker*, OT, Alabama
Fluker is listed at 6'6", 335 pounds. He could always decide to stay in school, but it will be tough will all the attention he'll be receiving at the end of the year.
The Crimson Tide standout is a beast in the trenches, and any team would be lucky to have such a great player. Fluker is going to be a phenomenal NFL player for many years.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Sam Montgomery*, DE/OLB, LSU
Montgomery may not leave early, but if he does, his likely stellar 2012 season will garner him a great deal of hype, causing a team with a high draft pick desperate for a better pass rush to take the gamble on him.
4. Minnesota Vikings: Marquess Wilson*, WR, Washington State
Wilson is listed at 6'4", 183 pounds, and after thriving in Mike Leach's system this upcoming season, he's going to be talked about a great deal. He'll need to bulk up for the NFL, but he has a ton of potential to thrive.
5. Miami Dolphins: Robert Woods*, WR, USC
Woods is listed at 6'1", 190 pounds, which might be a little generous on the height. Still, he has incredible hands and speed, which will make him a very enticing pick in the 2013 draft.
6. Arizona Cardinals: Tyler Bray*, QB, Tennessee
If you're 6'6" and have a strong arm, you're going to be noticed by NFL teams. Should Bray stay healthy all season long, he's going to put up superb numbers, intriguing tons of NFL teams along the way.
Bray has all the tools be an elite QB at the next level, making him a no-brainer pick for the 2013 draft if he declares.
All Bray needs is to land in the right situation and be surrounded by a couple good receivers, and he'll have no trouble putting up great stats.
7. St. Louis Rams: Jake Matthews*, OT, Texas A&M
Listed at 6'5", 305 pounds, Matthews can assert himself as the top lineman in the draft if he's able to excel with the move to the SEC. He'll be facing much harder talent, and with a solid year, Matthews will easily be a top draft pick.
8. Oakland Raiders: Tyler Wilson*, QB, Arkansas
Wilson is set to have another astonishing season, which will be crucial for his draft stock in 2013. With multiple teams in need of QB and this class loaded with top guys, Wilson will definitely be a high pick.
9. St. Louis Rams (via WASH): Marcus Lattimore*, RB, South Carolina
Should Lattimore remain healthy all year, I see no reason why he wouldn't declare for the draft. He'll easily be the top running back in the class.
Lattimore has superb vision on the field, great power and speed, as well as impressive elusiveness.
He's a safe bet for Round 1 next year, as he'll certainly make an impact as a rookie.
10. Seattle Seahawks: Jarvis Jones*, DE/OLB, Georgia
Perhaps the best pass rusher of next year's class, Jones shouldn't have any problems performing at such a high level this upcoming season.
I would be very surprised if he doesn't leave for the NFL. Jones would have been a first-round pick in the 2012 draft, so you know he will continue to build up hype for the 2013 draft.
The only good part about that is that Jones has the skill to back up all that hype.
11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: David Amerson*, CB, N.C. State
Amerson might opt to return to school, but should he put up another strong season this year, he'll be a highly-coveted prospect.
12. Buffalo Bills: Jelani Jenkins, OLB, Florida
Jenkins is an absolute stud. He's a relentless defender who flies off the edge, which will be just what Buffalo needs.
13. Tennessee Titans: Tyrann Mathieu*, CB, LSU
Mathieu is bound to have another stellar year, and even if he doesn't have the same hype as this past season, his exceptional return skills will entice a team a great deal, making him a high draft pick if he declares.
14. Carolina Panthers: Johnathan Hankins*, DT, Ohio State
Another beast in the trenches, Hankins is going to be dominant this upcoming year. He'll be a great fit for Carolina, a team in dire need of big bodies up front to stop the run and disrupt the opposing QB.
15. Denver Broncos: Keenan Allen*, WR, Cal
The Broncos need stronger wideouts for the future of their franchise, so drafting Allen here would be the wise choice.
16. Kansas City Chiefs: Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame
Te'o is going to generate a lot of attention for the 2013 draft. He's a superb leader and one hell of a football player.
The Notre Dame standout should easily be a top draft pick next year, as he will definitely be on the safest bets in the 2013 draft.
Te'o never quits, and he covers practically the entire field, which NFL teams will love.
17. Chicago Bears: Barkevious Mingo*, DE/OLB, LSU
With a strong 2012 campaign this coming season, Mingo will continue to gain a lot of hype, which will do wonders for his draft stock.
18. Cincinnati Bengals: Brandon Jenkins, DE/OLB, Florida State
Jenkins is a very sound football player, and there is little doubt that he would have been a late first-round or early second-round pick this year. Next year his stock will improve, and some team will be thrilled to get such a fine defensive player.
19. San Francisco 49ers: Barrett Jones, G/C, Alabama
The 49ers would be playing it smart by adding exceptional depth to their offensive line. Jones' versatility on the line makes him quite the sexy pick, if you happen to find the offensive line sexy, that is.
20. Dallas Cowboys: Sharrif Floyd*, DT, Florida
An incredible talent, Floyd would be a huge boost for the Cowboys, a team that has to keep getting better on defense if they are ever going to win it all.
21. New York Jets: Knile Davis, RB, Arkansas
This is a bit of gamble pick, but there's no denying the Jets need help in the backfield, and this upcoming season will prove that again. Davis has some health concerns but should he go injury free in 2012, his draft stock will thrive.
22. Philadelphia Eagles: Ricky Wagner, OT, Wisconsin
Another skilled big boy coming from Wisconsin, Wagner will carry the legacy of Badgers' offensive lineman being high draft picks.
23. New Orleans Saints: Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma
It's no secret Jones could use some work on his game, so sitting behind Drew Brees for a few years would be ideal. He has the potential to be great, and with a little time he can reach that.
24: San Diego Chargers: T.J. McDonald, S, USC
Pairing McDonald with Eric Weddle would be a great move by the Chargers, although they could look to help the offense here as well.
25. Atlanta Falcons: Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
Atlanta will think long and hard about drafting a tight end here, but the smart move is to go with the best available player. With John Abraham getting older, drafting a great pass rusher like Okafor would be a splendid move for the Falcons.
26. Baltimore Ravens: Chris Faulk*, OT, LSU
It never hurts to stockpile great talent on the offensive line, which is exactly what Baltimore should do in next year's draft.
27. New York Giants: Xavier Nixon, OT, Florida
Nixon will need a strong showing this coming season to keep his draft stock high, but that shouldn't be a problem for such a powerful lineman.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kawann Short, DT, Purdue
Short is a top-notch defensive tackle who would be a great fit for the aging Steelers' defense.
29. Detroit Lions: Xavier Rhodes*, CB, Florida State
The Lions will consider helping the offense here, but Rhodes is too good to pass up should he declare. Further improving the depth in the secondary would be a tremendous move for Detroit.
Will C.J. Mosley declare for the NFL Draft next year?
30. Houston Texans: C.J. Mosley*, ILB, Alabama
With Dont'a Hightower gone, it is now Mosley's time to shine for Alabama. A dominant performance this upcoming year will result in his name being considered as a Round 1 prospect, and even though he could return to school, jumping to the NFL would be a wise decision.
31. New England Patriots: Khaled Holmes, G/C, USC
Using this pick to stack the offensive line with more talent would be a good move for the Patriots. After all, keeping Tom Brady safe should always be priority No. 1 for New England.
32. Green Bay Packers: Tony Jefferson*, S, Oklahoma
The Packers secondary needs to get younger and have better depth, and Jefferson would give them exactly that should he declare next year.
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