Updated 2013 NFL Mock Draft: Who's No. 1? Geno or Barkley?
It hasn't been long since our last mock draft update, but so much has changed since then. Mainly, the explosion of Geno Smith. Has he overtaken Matt Barkley as the No. 1 pick in the draft? Where do the two superstar quarterbacks land on draft day?
See where the two wind up in our updated mock, along with every other pick in Round 1.
1. Cleveland Browns: Matt Barkley (QB, USC)
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If the Cleveland Browns are picking No. 1 in the 2013 draft, that infers a couple of things. First, Tom Heckert and Mike Holmgren will likely not be coming back for another go-around with the team, and there will be a new regime coming in.
Second, if the Browns are picking this high, Brandon Weeden likely did nothing to endear himself to a new regime who will want to bring in their own guy. In Washington, we are seeing how bringing in a top talent at QB can quickly transform a struggling franchise.
Many are clamoring for Geno Smith here at No. 1, but while Smith is a tremendous prospect, Barkley is the more complete prospect. He is playing in an NFL-style offense currently, proving to be as close to a "sure-thing" as you will see in a QB prospect in the NFL draft.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jarvis Jones (OLB, Georgia)
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This situation would be almost identical to the Broncos' draft in 2011. They could have gone any number of directions but decided to go with who they considered to be the top defensive playmaker, and that was Von Miller.
Another similarity is that Von Miller, like Jarvis Jones, was thought to be a 3-4 OLB exclusively. However, Denver knocked that pick out of the park, and Von Miller is a huge reason why the Broncos are where they are now.
Jarvis Jones is just a phenomenal athlete, and while he may be best suited for a 3-4 edge spot, there's no reason this athlete can't do the same thing Von Miller did. He's got the size and strength to play the run, and if used correctly, Jones could be a dominant defensive player quickly for the Jaguars.
3. Oakland Raiders: Geno Smith (QB, West Virginia)
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While not all his fault, the Carson Palmer experiment has failed, and he's just not a long-term solution for this team. What Oakland needs most, is some consistency—in the front office, in a head coach and in a quarterback. Oakland continues to constantly change the makeup of their team and they can't build on anything.
A great first step would be to bring in a star franchise QB who the team could build around and rely on for years to come. Geno Smith is playing at such a high level that it's not inconceivable that he could go No. 1 overall.
Geno Smith is the dynamic player that the Raiders typically love. He puts up the huge numbers, but he possesses the mechanics and mental makeup that set him apart as a complete quarterback.
4. New Orleans Saints: Barkevious Mingo (DE, LSU)
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There are a myriad of reasons as to why the Saints have gotten off to such a dreadful start, but one of the biggest struggles the Saints have had the past couple of years is the lack of a pass rush from their defensive line.
With Steve Spagnuolo as their defensive coordinator, they won't be relying on the blitz as much, and they will want more production out of their front four. In the past, the Saints always preferred bigger defensive ends. However, Spagnuolo will take versatile guys who can slide around the defensive line to take advantage of mismatches.
Mingo had a big year last season with 15 tackles for loss and eight sacks, and he is looking even better so far this year. Mingo uses his speed and brute strength to dominate offensive linemen and get into the backfield. He's exactly the player the Saints are looking for.
5. Kansas City Chiefs: Tyler Wilson (QB, Arkansas)
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This was Matt Cassel's "do-or-die" year in Kansas City, and it looks like it might already be dead! It's time to pull the plug on this experiment and get somebody in there in whom Kansas City fans can actually put some hope. The Chiefs have a lot of talent on their roster, but they just need somebody to instill some energy and be a leader. Matt Cassel is not that guy.
If they are picking anywhere near the top 10 this year, there is no question they should take one of the fine QB prospects available in the 2013 draft.
In our scenario here, they miss out on Barkley and Smith, but Tyler Wilson is a very nice consolation prize. He has the arm strength and accuracy to perform in the NFL and is a great decision-maker, extremely tough and capable of leading a team.
6. Miami Dolphins: Sam Montgomery (DE, LSU)
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This pick could go any number of ways for the Dolphins, as they really don't have too many positions that could really be considered "strengths" on either side of the ball.
Getting a pass-rusher wouldn't be a bad option for Miami. When the Dolphins moved from a 3-4 to a 4-3, they needed guys who could play the DE spot. With Cameron Wake the lone legit pass-rusher on the roster, they need more help. Luckily for them, this draft class is loaded with elite pass-rushers, and they'll have a chance to get one of the best.
Sam Montgomery might be the most talented pass-rusher in the draft. He's everything you look for in an edge rusher: powerful and explosive with excellent experience.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Star Lotulelei (DT, Utah)
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This is a value pick more than anything, as you cannot pass up a talent like Lotulelei at this point.
Lotulelei has the ability to be a game-changer and dominate games from the defensive tackle spot, which is very rare and invaluable. He's got the perfect size at 6'3", 325 pounds and possesses the ability to simply overpower his defenders. He also displays uncanny quickness and explosion for a man of his size.
Tampa actually has a lot of good, young talent on its defense, but it is severely lacking a pass rush and a star player to build around. Lotulelei gives the team both things, as he will constantly receive double-teams inside, allowing the pass-rushers more room to work.
He will improve every aspect of this defense, and if Josh Freeman could show any type of consistency, the Bucs could be dangerous.
8. Indianapolis Colts: Manti Te'o (LB, Notre Dame)
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Indianapolis spent last offseason building the offense around new franchise QB Andrew Luck. With a lot of promise there, the team can now focus their attention on building up the defense to fit Chuck Pagano's 3-4 defensive scheme.
Pagano had so much success at Baltimore because he had a strong leader at LB with Ray Lewis. Manti Te'o might never be Ray Lewis, but he is a very good leader and would be a great fit as an ILB in the 3-4. Te'o can do it all. He is an excellent run stuffer with the ability to shed blockers, while also excelling in coverage.
The Colts used their first pick last year to get the leader of their offense; why not do that this year with the defense?
9. New York Jets: Robert Woods (WR, USC)
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It's happening! All the expectations and pressure the Jets brought on themselves over the past few years has come crashing down on them, and things are getting ugly.
Next year, Rex Ryan's job will likely be on the line, so it's doubtful he takes a rookie QB, and taking an interior lineman like Chance Warmack (which would be the smartest pick), isn't going to satisfy the front office and fans.
The Jets are going to blame Mark Sanchez's struggles on his not having any weapons at receiver, which is somewhat legitimate, as Santonio Holmes was really the only receiving option for the offense.
Drafting Robert Woods would be an "all-in" selection, taking his elite talent and hoping that pairing him with Stephen Hill will fix their problems on offense. Whether it would work or not is questionable, but with all the pressure on the Jets, they need to do something bold.
10. Tennessee Titans: Chance Warmack (Guard, Alabama)
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People can blame Chris Johnson all they want for his lack of success, but a big part of his struggles have been the result of the play of the Titans' interior line—specifically, the guard spots.
This past offseason, the Titans opted to sign Steve Hutchinson instead of drafting David DeCastro. Among other moves (and non-moves), this one is not looking good for the Titans right about now. Tennessee would be best served to draft a young, stud guard who could pave the road for Chris Johnson, or if they cut him loose, whoever they have have at running back.
The Titans could get that in the first round with Chance Warmack from Alabama. Warmack is a beast of a lineman and has been opening up running lanes for Crimson Tide RBs for years. Warmack should be able to step right in and make a huge difference from day one.
11. Carolina Panthers: Jonathan Hankins (DT, Ohio State)
Carolina has the athletic playmakers on offense and defense to be successful, but to take the next step, it needs to get stronger in the trenches. Either an offensive or defensive lineman would be fine here, but the best value resides with the defensive tackles.
With guys like Lotulelei, Short and Hankins, the Panthers should be happy to scoop up any one of them.
Nine out of 10 years, Jonathan Hankins is certainly the No. 1 DT off the board. As an overpowering nose tackle at 6'3", 340 with surprising quickness and explosion, he can be dominant in any defensive scheme. He possesses the ability to collapse the pocket up the middle with brute strength and also has the athleticism to get off blockers and get up the field.
12. Detroit Lions: DeMarcus Milliner (CB, Alabama)
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You'd think that since the Lions offense feasts on opposing teams' mismatches in the secondary, they'd realize that opposing teams do the exact same thing to them. In today's NFL, you can never have too many corners, so Chris Houston and Bill Bentley are not enough.
In a loaded class of cornerbacks, DeMarcus Milliner is the No. 1 corner with the ability to be that "shutdown corner" that all teams desire. Like all Nick Saban-coached corners, he is big, strong and physical. He excels in bump-and-run and is an elite athlete as well.
Milliner is the type of corner you can leave on an island, and he doesn't require much safety help. He will allow the Lions to shade defensive help to other places where they need it.
13. Buffalo Bills: Tyler Bray (QB Tennessee)
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Buffalo faces a fork in the road; does it decide to sink or swim with Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB, or does the team cut its losses and get a big-time franchise QB?
If it was up to us, we've seen enough of Fitzpatrick to know he just can't take the Bills to the next level. Another factor is, do they like the guys available enough to pull the trigger on a QB in the draft?
We like Bray at this point because not only does he possess a very high upside, but he's been a three-year starter in the SEC and continues to improve with each year, if not each game. He's got the size and arm strength you love, is a leader and is a very smart kid who has the mental ability to play quarterback at a high level in the NFL.
14. Seattle Seahawks: Bjoern Werner (DE Florida State)
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All the talent is there for the Seahawks to be serious contenders in the NFC. It's all up the QB play and how Russell Wilson plays in crunch time. With all the pieces in place on offense, the 'Hawks can afford to go for the best available player on defense.
At this point, Bjoern Werner would look like a perfect pick for Seattle! Some will question the pick and point to Seattle taking Bruce Irvin in the first round last year, but even people in Seattle will tell you that Irvin was not taken to be a building block on that defense. He's a defensive "weapon" who will see less than 50 percent of snaps more often than not.
Bjoern Werner, on the other hand, is the type of defensive end who can be a dominant force on all three downs. At 6'4", 275, he is a powerful end who teams can't successfully run at and also uses his blend of power and quickness to collapse the pocket consistently.
15. Dallas Cowboys: Eric Reid (Safety LSU)
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Just because Dallas spent this past offseason improving its cornerbacks, it doesn't mean its done with the secondary. Safety has been a big issue for the Cowboys for a long time, and they've been left untouched for far too long.
Getting a talented safety like Reid would do wonders for the 'Boys. Reid has the athletic ability of a free safety and the power of a strong safety. This will allow the Cowboys to give Reid free reign, playing all over the field and using his instincts to make plays.
Combining Reid with Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr could elevate the Cowboys into the discussion for one of the best young secondaries in the NFL. Dallas also continues to have interior offensive line problems, so Barrett Jones would be a good pick here too, but we know the Cowboys rarely take O-linemen in the first round.
16. Minnesota Vikings: Kawann Short (DT Purdue)
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For the longest time it was almost impossible for teams to run on the Vikings. A big part of that was because of the Williams Wall. Kevin and Pat Williams were two very talented defensive tackles who demanded a lot of attention and freed up the rest of the defense. Pat Williams has since retired, and Kevin is no spring chicken.
With the Vikings still looking to rebuild their defense, it wouldn't be a bad idea to get another stud DT in there to pair up with Kevin. Kawann Short isn't a household name, but that's mainly because he plays at Purdue. Short has a very good combination of speed and power, which makes it extremely tough to deal with him. Short can play both DT spots in the 4-3, which will really help him with the Vikings.
17. St Louis Rams: Keenan Allen (WR California)
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Jeff Fisher has this team on the up-and-up, but to take the next step, they need to get some weapons and playmakers. Danny Amendola, Brandon Gibson and Brian Quick are nice players, but adding a talent like Keenan Allen would really open things up for Sam Bradford.
Allen is being used as a possession receiver right now, as an outstanding route-runner who never drops a pass. However, in the NFL where he won't be double- and triple-teamed (or playing with his brother at QB), he has the athleticism and speed to be a deep threat as well.
If the Rams can add a guy like Allen here, and then add offensive line help with their next pick, St Louis could really make some serious noise!
18. St Louis Rams: Taylor Lewan (OT Michigan)
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St Louis' future is tied to how Sam Bradford performs, so it needs to dedicate their two first-round picks this year to helping him succeed.
In recent years, the Rams have spent couple of early picks on offensive linemen the past few years with Jason Brown being a complete bust and Rodger Saffold looking average but unable to stay healthy. St. Louis has to protect QB Sam Bradford, and the best way to do that would be to draft a LT and move Saffold to RT or guard.
This draft is full of talented tackles, and the Rams should have no problem finding one here at No. 18. Taylor Lewan is a very good athlete for somebody his size (6'7"). He moves his feet and will do well protecting Bradford's backside.
19. Pittsburgh Steelers: Luke Joeckel (OT Texas A&M)
While some would challenge this mock selection and say the Steelers have recently selected Marcus Gilbert and Mike Adams in the second round, that wouldn't preclude them from taking Joeckel here.
Marcus Gilbert was a major reach when he was selected and has proved that with his underwhelming play thus far. He doesn't have the athleticism to play tackle at a high level in the league. Mike Adams is raw, but at the very least he should be a solid right tackle.
If the Steelers selected the very talented Luke Joeckel, Mike Adams could work at right tackle, while Gilbert could move to guard, where he has always been best suited to play. Joeckel has all the makings of a long-time reliable left tackle in the league.
He has ideal size and his footwork is impeccable, showing excellent technique in both run block and in pass protection.
This one pick improves three spots on Pittsburgh's O-line.
20. New York Giants: DJ Fluker (OT Alabama)
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No matter how well Eli Manning plays, as long as Tom Coughlin is the head coach, the Giants want to be a run-first team.
But one of the struggles they've had is the offensive line. Mainly, they haven't been able to replace their veterans with good, young talent. William Beatty was supposed to be their LT of the future, but he hasn't gotten the job done.
With all the OT talent in this draft, the Giants could easily get an outstanding player here. One guy that could really work out well for them is DJ Fluker from Alabama.
Fluker has played RT for the Crimson Tide, but he has the athletic ability and feet to play the left side. The Giants could put Fluker at RT or even a guard spot to get him acclimated before eventually moving him to LT. Either way, Fluker fits the Giants' profile of a physical run-blocker.
21. San Diego Chargers: Barrett Jones (OL Alabama)
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San Diego used to have one of the best run-blocking units in the league, led by Marcus McNeil and Kris Dielman. Both players had their time in San Diego cut short, which has resulted in the Chargers really struggling to run the ball.
It's so rare to find a guy like Barrett Jones who literally could play any position on the offensive line and pretty much has. He's started games at left tackle, guard and center, the epitome of versatility.
Jones has near-perfect footwork, enabling him to guard the edge in pass protection while also mirroring defenders. Jones also has the size, strength and mean streak to play the interior. There isn't a team in the league who wouldn't love to have Barrett Jones, and the Chargers would be lucky to get him here.
22. Cincinnati Bengals: T.J. McDonald (Safety USC)
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Cincinnati currently is starting Reggie Nelson and Taylor Mays as their two safeties, and while both have their moments, they would be wise to get somebody who they can truly rely on.
If T.J. McDonald were to be available at this spot, the Bengals should run to the podium to draft this guy.
He's the physical, "in-the-box" safety Mike Zimmer loves to have, but unlike some of the guys he has been stuck with, McDonald is an outstanding athlete who is not limited in coverage. He profiles as a "thumper" who will step up and hit you but has great range to go sideline-to-sideline.
23. Arizona Cardinals: Aaron Murray (QB Georgia)
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Arizona would be remiss to pass on a quarterback with its first pick of the 2013 NFL draft. With five or six first-round prospects, the Cardinals will have the chance to draft a signal-caller with significant upside whether they are great, bad or mediocre. Chances like this don't come often, and the Cardinals would be wise to pull the plug on the Kolb/Skelton experiment and take a QB to really inspire confidence.
Aaron Murray doesn't have the star power of Matt Barkley or Geno Smith, but it is very tough to poke holes in this guy's game. He's got the arm to make all the throws, is accurate, makes good decisions and is a leader.
Christmas in April for Larry Fitzgerald!
24. Denver Broncos: Jackson Jeffcoat (DE Texas)
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The 2013 NFL draft is loaded with outstanding pass-rushers, and there is a legitimate possibility that there could be seven or eight pass-rushers taken in the first round. So picking late in the first round, teams will have a chance to take a guy who normally would go in the top 10 to 15 picks.
Denver already has an established pass rush led by Von Miller, but taking another supreme talent like Jackson Jeffcoat could allow them to be even more creative. Jeffcoat is such a smooth, explosive athlete with the ability to play all over the D-line. He's at his best when trying to turn the corner, but he has the size and strength to fight in the trenches and be on the field for all three downs.
Can't go wrong with a pick like this!
25. Philadelphia Eagles: David Amerson (CB/S NC State)
David Amerson started out this season as the clear-cut No. 1 cornerback, a guy many thought would go in the top 10 to 15. However, Amerson has not lived up to expectations so far this season, so his stock has slipped, and many are now questioning whether he has the athleticism to play cornerback at the next level.
We still maintain Amerson can succeed at corner, but his skill set translates very well to the safety position as well. He has good size at 6'1" with outstanding instincts and ball skills.
Philly is set at cornerback, but they have struggled mightily at the safety position ever since Brian Dawkins left. If available here, the Eagles may very well be tempted to take the talented Amerson and mold him as a safety in their defense.
26. Chicago Bears: Dallas Thomas (Guard/Tackle Tennessee)
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If you're an NFL fan in the slightest, you know the struggles the Bears have had along the offensive line. The team ignored the problem last offseason, but with Cutler getting battered again this year, they need to do something.
They need a LT, but you never know if they'll actually take one, considering Mike Tice's love for J'Marcus Webb. But the guard spot is just as dire. RG Lance Louis has played well, but the LG spot is a sieve. If they can't get a LT here, they could "settle" for one of the elite guards.
Dallas Thomas has been great so far for the Tennessee Volunteers. He's got outstanding athleticism to go along with his 6'5", 310 frame, and his technique is as good as it gets for a big man. He'd be a great pickup for the Bears here!
27. Green Bay Packers: Marcus Lattimore (RB South Carolina)
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It's safe to say that the Packers haven't had a consistent presence at RB since Ahman Green. Sure they've had guys come in and have good seasons (Ryan Grant and James Starks), but nobody that they have been able to count on year after year.
They've been able to cover up for their lack of rushing with the passing attack, but it's starting to catch up with them. Maybe it's time to invest a high pick in somebody they won't have to worry about.
Marcus Lattimore would be a steal and a perfect fit at this point. After suffering a torn ACL last year, Lattimore has bounced back rather quickly and doesn't show any ill effects from the injury. He's a tough runner that has the speed and explosion to make people miss and hit the home run.
28. New England Patriots: Johnthan Banks (CB Mississippi State)
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Although New England may have more pressing needs on their roster, I see no possible way Johnthan Banks would fall past the No. 28 pick. Even him lasting this far seems unlikely.
This draft is loaded across the board, and there is bound to be a couple guys who get bumped down due to no fault of their own.
You can argue that Johnthan Banks is the No. 1 cornerback in the draft. He's right there with DeMarcus Milliner, and you can't go wrong either way. For the Patriots, Devin McCourty is playing at a high level, but Ras-I Dowling can't be relied on and Kyle Arrington is nothing special.
On draft day, someone would very likely trade up for Banks if he started to fall into the 20s, but if available, the Pats would jump all over him.
29. Atlanta Falcons: Alex Okafor (DE Texas)
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Ray Edwards was a big free-agent signing for the Falcons last year and was supposed to help propel their pass rush, which had become stagnant. However, he didn't live up to the free-agent hype in year one, and along with an aging John Abraham, they could add some juice to their pass rush.
Alex Okafor profiles as a power rusher who can walk his man into the backfield while also making him very tough to run on. Along with that, Okafor also has the speed to be dangerous around the edge along with the quickness to be his man inside or outside.
In such a deep class of pass-rushers, the Falcons get a steal here in Okafor, who could easily be a top 15 pick in most drafts.
30. Baltimore Ravens: Justin Hunter (WR Tennessee)
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When the Ravens drafted WR Torrey Smith, many thought they were drafting a WR that was purely a deep threat. However, everybody is starting to learn that Smith is developing into an elite all-around WR.
As Baltimore transitions into an offensive team, the team needs a few more pieces to help out, mainly another WR. Sure the Ravens have Anquan Boldin, but he is at the end of his career and would be better off working in the slot.
Justin Hunter has enjoyed a very productive career at Tennessee and would give the Ravens another receiver to provide a deep threat, but yet still help move the chains.
31. San Francisco 49ers: Corey Lemonier (DE/OLB Auburn)
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San Francisco has arguably the best defense in the league. However, they still have some areas to get deeper that could make them even better (scary huh!). One of those spots is at outside linebacker.
Two years ago, the 49ers took Aldon Smith with the seventh pick overall. Smith has been a force rushing the passer and is developing into an every-down linebacker. They have Ahmad Brooks as well, but behind him there isn't too much, and Brooks' game isn't an edge rusher.
Corey Lemonier is starting to get a lot of attention. He's about the only really talented player on Auburn's defense, yet he is still able to wreck havoc. Lemonier is an excellent athlete, so he should be able to transition to the 3-4 without much effort.
32. Houston Texans: Tony Jefferson (Safety Oklahoma)
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The transformation that Houston's defense has taken is truly remarkable. What was once thought to be a liability not too long ago is now one of the biggest reasons that the Texans could find themselves in the Super Bowl. The biggest reason has been the addition of DC Wade Phillips, but they've also benefited from hitting on some really good draft picks and signing CB Jonathan Joseph.
Right now they have Glover Quin (converted CB) and Danieal Manning as their two safeties. Both are nice players, but neither is going to be mistaken for an impact player. Houston would benefit from adding another safety like Tony Jefferson.
He flies all over the field, playing like a missile. Jefferson also excels when he's playing center field and flying to the ball. He can also match up man to man if needed, which only enhances his stock.
Nolan Vasan is the founder of NFL Draft Geek.