2013 NFL Mock Draft: Projecting Where the Top QBs Land

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2013 NFL Mock Draft: Projecting Where the Top QBs Land
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A year after four quarterbacks—Cam Newton, Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert and Christian Ponder—went in the first round, the 2012 NFL draft gave us three more first-round quarterbacks in Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Ryan Tannehill. 

While early in the process, the 2013 draft may produce four quarterbacks who are first-round quality. USC's Matt Barkley, Tennessee's Tyler Bray, Arkansas' Tyler Wilson and Oklahoma's Landry Jones will each enter the 2012-13 season with first-round grades. 

In our 2013 NFL mock draft, we highlight where the top four quarterbacks may land next April.

 

1. Oakland Raiders: Matt Barkley, QB, USC

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The Raiders could be in for a slip next season, as new GM Reggie McKenzie attempts to rebuild the flawed roster he inherited this offseason. That could be bad news for quarterback Carson Palmer, who has no ties to the new regime and struggled during his short time in Oakland last season. Arguably college football's best player for 2012-13, Barkley would immediately give the Raiders a future at the game's most important position. 

 

2. Cleveland Browns: Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State 

The Browns failed to get a No. 1 receiver in the 2012 draft, so there's a hole to fill here.

3. Miami Dolphins: Sam Montgomery, DE/OLB, LSU

The Dolphins get Montgomery to place opposite Cameron Wake and form a dominant pass-rushing duo.

4. Indianapolis Colts: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama 

The Colts got their franchise quarterback in Andrew Luck. Now they have to protect him. 

5. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jelani Jenkins, OLB, Florida

Don't count the Jaguars out of the hunt for a first-round quarterback if Blaine Gabbert doesn't show improvement with a stronger supporting cast next season. 

6. Minnesota Vikings: Robert Woods, WR, USC

Same goes for the Vikings—2011 first-round pick Christian Ponder has to make strides in year two to ensure his job is safe for 2013 and beyond. 

7. Arizona Cardinals: Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee

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Kevin Kolb has the most important season of his professional season coming up in 2012. While the Cardinals ponied up a steep price for the former Eagles backup, there's no doubt that Arizona would look at a first-round quarterback if Kolb struggles again next season.

Bray has all the physical tools you want in an NFL quarterback, but needs to put it all together for the Vols in 2012.

8. St. Louis Rams: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

With two first-round picks, the Rams can look to rebuild the offensive line at tackle here.

9. St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins): David Amerson, CB, N.C. State

The team signed Cortland Finnegan and drafted two others last week, but Amerson could be the best player available here. 

10. Seattle Seahawks: Keenan Allen, WR, Cal

For either Matt Flynn or Russell Wilson to grow into a playoff caliber starting quarterback, Seattle needs to continue stockpiling offensive weapons. 

11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU

Mathieu is undersized, but you can't put a number on his playmaking ability.

12. Tennessee Titans: Kawann Short, DT, Purdue

The Titans haven't had a dominating inside presence since Albert Haynesworth.

13. Carolina Panthers: Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State

Carolina may not have done enough to shore up the interior of the defensive line, which was a big hole in 2011.

14. Denver Broncos: Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina

Lattimore could be the Trent Richardson of the 2013 draft, but injury worries will push him into the middle of the first round.  

15. Kansas City Chiefs: Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma State

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The Chiefs have done well in creating a balanced roster on both sides of the ball, but there's one major question mark, and it comes at quarterback. Matt Cassel is serviceable, but the Chiefs will have to ask themselves if they think he's a Super Bowl-caliber player.

If 2012 doesn't give them that definitive answer, taking a quarterback in the first round next April is certainly in the cards. Jones may have been a first-round pick had he come out in this year's draft.

16. Chicago Bears: DeMarcus Milliner, CB, Alabama

The Bears depth chart at cornerback is worrisome, even if the team has never had dominant outside cover men during Lovie Smith's reign.  

17. Cincinnati Bengals: Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU

Mingo could be a fast riser as an athletic, versatile pass-rusher, and the Bengals haven't shied away from hybrid linebackers.

18. San Francisco 49ers: Barrett Jones, G/C, Alabama

If there's one area where the 49ers are lacking, it's on the interior of the offensive line. 

19. Dallas Cowboys: Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas

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A little bit of a surprise here, but what if the Cowboys fail to make the playoffs again in 2012? Will Jerry Jones continue to give Tony Romo his unquestioned support? Or could Wilson, a well-polished player who quarterbacks Jones' alma mater, be a possibility? I wouldn't rule out the chance. 

20. New York Jets: Michael Dyer, RB, Arkansas State

If the Sanchez-Tebow experiment crashes and burns, quarterback could certainly be an option. 

21. Buffalo Bills: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State

The Bills are getting close to being a serious contender in the AFC. If Ryan Fitzpatrick holds that process back, getting a first-round quarterback makes a lot of sense for GM Buddy Nix. 

22. Philadelphia Eagles: Ricky Wagner, OT, Wisconsin

Who knows how Jason Peters will recover from his Achilles' tendon injury, so the Eagles get Wagner as an insurance policy.

23. New Orleans Saints: Jarvis Jones, DE/OLB, Georgia

Jones could be a top-10 pick next April with another big year in Athens. 

24: San Diego Chargers: T.J. McDonald, USC 

There was talk about McDonald being a first-round pick had he come up for last week's draft. Next year he should be a lock.

25. Atlanta Falcons: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida

The Falcons need to add more big bodies inside, where the team struggled for stretches during 2011. 

26. Baltimore Ravens: Alex Hurst, OT, LSU

How long can the Ravens count on Bryant McKinnie at left tackle? Hurst gives them a future at the position. 

27. New York Giants: Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame

Te'o is the kind of sideline-to-sideline linebacker that would thrive behind the Giants talented defensive line.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Monte Ball, RB, Wisconsin

Depending on how Rashard Mendenhall recovers from his knee surgery, running back could be a 2013 need for the Steelers.

29. Detroit Lions: Alex Okafor, DE, Texas

After passing on several talented pass-rushers early in the 2012 draft, the Lions go back to well with Okafor in '13. 

30. Houston Texans: C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama

Time will tell if the Texans made a mistake in dealing DeMeco Ryans. If they find out it was a mistake during 2012, Mosley makes a fine replacement. 

31. New England Patriots: Khaled Holmes, G/C, USC

The Patriots have gotten All-Pro level production from Logan Mankins and Brian Waters, but both players are getting up there in age. 

32. Green Bay Packers: Tony Jefferson, S, Oklahoma

The Packers released Nick Collins this offseason after feeling uncomfortable with his recovery from neck surgery. If Green Bay's defense continues to slide without Collins in 2012, safety should be a high priority. 

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