2013 NFL Draft: One Prospect Each NFL Team Must Target
Now that each team has played a handful of games, we have an idea of what—or, more specifically, who—they need in the 2013 NFL draft. For example, the Cardinals need help on the offensive line, the Dolphins need a true No. 1 wideout, the Chiefs need a quarterback and the Browns need...a lot.
So here is a list of each NFL team, in alphabetical order, and one prospect they must target. Predicted draft order is also taken into consideration—not every team can realistically target Geno Smith, sorry.
Who: OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan
Simply put: Well, the Cardinals have surrendered a league-high 23 sacks through five games. Need I say more?
Who: RB Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina
Simply put: Though the Falcons air it out more now than recent years, Lattimore forces defenses to stay honest. He's also a reliable receiver out of the backfield.
Who: CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida State
Simply put: A seasoned starter, Rhodes is physical at the line of scrimmage and fluid in his movements.
Who: QB Tyler Wilson, Arkansas
Simply put: Don't let the dip in stats fool you; Wilson is a very efficient quarterback. He has prototypical size (6'3", 220 pounds), arm strength and surprising athleticism.
Who: WR Robert Woods, USC
Simply put: Outside of Brandon LaFell and an aging Steve Smith, Cam Newton has few weapons to work with on the outside. Woods can also play slot and contribute in the return game.
Who: OT Brennan Williams, North Carolina
Simply put: The dream scenario is Manti Te'o replacing Brian Urlacher; the realistic scenario is Williams solidifying an otherwise shaky line.
Who: OG Chance Warmack, Alabama
Simply put: Keeping Andy Dalton upright is the top priority. I mean, how else will he have time to throw the ball to A.J. Green?
Who: DE/OLB Barkevious Mingo, LSU
Simply put: With Mingo as a pass-rush specialist, Joe Haden as a shutdown corner and a solid supporting cast, the Browns become a top pass defense.
Who: S Eric Reid, LSU
Who is the top wide receiver in this class?
Simply put: A natural center-fielder, Reid has range, above-average ball skills and can step up in the box to lay the wood.
Who: TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame
Simply put: If this actually happens, feel sorry for the rest of the AFC West. Eifert is an athletic tight end with an unfair catching radius. Add Peyton Manning to the mix, and it's double unfair.
Who: CB David Amerson, North Carolina State
Simply put: He set a new ACC and school record with 13 interceptions as a sophomore. He already has three more this year. The Lions have yet to pick off a pass in four games.
Green Bay Packers
Who: S T.J. McDonald, USC
Simply put: Expected to draft late in the first round, the Packers likely have their eyes on upgrading the secondary. McDonald is a playmaker at free safety, strong in run support and pass coverage.
Who: WR Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee
Simply put: The 5-0—and very deep—Texans don't need much. As defenses focus on stopping Andre Johnson, Patterson could capitalize on single coverage.
Who: DE/OLB Jarvis Jones, Georgia
Simply put: The Colts—after focusing primarily on offense in last year's draft—need a ton of help on defense. No better place to start than with my No. 1 overall prospect.
Who: QB Matt Barkley, USC
Simply put: Blaine Gabbert is not getting any better. And no, it's not too early to pull the plug. Barkley is an experienced leader ready to step in and compete.
Kansas City Chiefs
Who: QB Geno Smith, West Virginia
Simply put: Gaudy numbers aside—1,996 yards for 24 touchdowns and zero interceptions in just five games—Smith is the guy to turn this team into an actual contender.
Who: WR Keenan Allen, California
Simply put: A true No. 1 receiver teamed with Ryan Tannehill and Reggie Bush makes for a real lethal three-headed attack.
Who: CB Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State
Simply put: Fills a need, and in the NFC North, you can never have too many corners. Banks has proven himself against elite competition and could easily start as a rookie.
New England Patriots
Who will be the No. 1 overall pick in 2013?
Who: WR Terrance Williams, Baylor
Simply put: As if Tom Brady needed more weapons. Williams has top-flight speed, good size and has proven productive even without RG3 under center.
New York Giants
Who: DE Damontre Moore, Texas A&M
Simply put: Huh, another defensive end—isn't that a bit excessive? Nope. Moore, still a junior, has tallied 19 sacks in his career as a speed-rush demon.
New York Jets
Who: DE Bjoern Werner, Florida State
Simply put: Werner is having a monster season—6.5 sacks, 10 tackles for a loss and one forced fumble—and skyrocketing up draft boards.
New Orleans Saints
Who: DE Sam Montgomery, LSU
Simply put: In the modern pass-happy NFL, pass-rushers are a hot commodity. Montgomery has a knack for getting after the quarterback in a hurry, using power, technique and an array of moves.
Who: DT Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State
Simply put: Fans are clamoring for a new quarterback, but this is the right pick. It's not too often you see a 330-pound lineman equally effective as a run-stuffer and pass-rusher.
Who: S Tony Jefferson, Oklahoma
Simply put: The Eagles need depth at safety. Jefferson, should he declare, is arguably the premiere safety in the entire draft. He has manned both safety spots, nickel and outside linebacker for the Sooners.
Who: DE/OLB Corey Lemonier, Auburn
Simply put: The defense needs a youthful spark. Lemonier has an explosive first step, relentless motor and uses his hands well to shed would-be blockers.
St. Louis Rams
Who: OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M
Simply put: The current o-line resembles an automatic door—as opposed to an impenetrable wall. Joeckel is the elite tackle of this class; he'll start Week 1.
San Diego Chargers
Who: DE/OLB Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas
Simply put: Whether at end or outside linebacker—where he projects at the next level—Jeffcoat provides plenty of speed and power off the edge.
San Francisco 49ers
Who: OG/T Barrett Jones, Alabama
Simply put: Coach Jim Harbaugh covets versatility; Jones has lined up—and performed admirably—at center, guard and tackle for the Crimson Tide.
Who is the top cornerback in this class?
Who: WR Justin Hunter, Tennessee
Simply put: A weak receiving corps has handcuffed the Seahawks offense. Hunter is a big, physical target with sure hands and sub-4.5 speed. His addition would open up the playbook.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Who: CB Dee Milliner, Alabama
Simply put: After giving up 510 yards to Eli Manning and Co., enough is enough. Milliner is a gluey corner with two interceptions and nine passes defended this season.
Who: DT Star Lotulelei, Utah
Simply put: Star is the best all-around defensive tackle prospect. He takes on multiple blockers and still finds a way to make plays.
Who: LB Manti Te'o, Notre Dame
Simply put: RG3 is the quarterback of the future on offense; Te'o is the same for the defense. He pressures the quarterback, stops the run and can drop back in coverage.
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