2013 NFL Mock Draft: Latest Picks, Predictions and Trades in 1st Round
Unfortunately, many NFL fans are already thinking about—even obsessing over—the NFL draft. Even those with good teams are keeping an eye on their possible future additions.
At this point, mock drafts are nearly entirely guesswork. Players are just beginning to move up and down boards, and we have only the slightest clue of a draft order.
However, mock drafts present an opportunity to match up needs with values, and more importantly, give fans an idea who to look out for.
And honestly, why not?
This draft order is based off Matt Miller's week 6 power rankings.
1. Cleveland Browns: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
It's unfair to blame Cleveland's struggles on Brandon Weeden, but Geno Smith is the type of player teams don't pass on. He's that good.
Smith has excellent physical ability, but his pocket presence and composure are what make him special. He can throw the ball better with defenders all around him than most can with a clean pocket.
If the Browns don't take Smith here, they likely auction off the pick to the highest bidder, picking up multiple first-round picks in the process.
2. New York Jets: Barkevious Mingo, LB, LSU
It's hard to say what direction the Jets would go if their season ends this badly. One thing is for certain though—they need pass-rushers.
Though he is somewhat undersized, Barkevious Mingo is a premier pass-rushing prospect. His first step is one of the best to ever see the NFL draft, and he adds a versatile pass-rush repertoire as well.
If a new regime is in place, Matt Barkley would certainly be an option too.
3. Oakland Raiders: Matt Barkley, QB, USC
Carson Palmer has failed to rejuvenate the Oakland offense, and the current regime has no ties to the veteran quarterback, so it makes perfect sense that the Raiders would look to move on.
Matt Barkley has disappointed some in 2012, but he's still worthy of a top-five pick. He's a fairly safe pick who could develop along with Oakland's offense.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
The Jaguars have needs all over the place, so they have the flexibility to go with the best player available. That is almost certainly Star Lotulelei.
Lotulelei is a physical beast capable of playing any interior line position. His size, athleticism and strength make him a truly dominant player who makes an impact on every down. There is no limit to what he can do.
5. Tennessee Titans: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Even after signing Kamerion Wimbley, the Titans need to improve their pass rush. The team would be wise to address the issue early.
Bjoern Werner is a big defensive end with the athleticism to develop into an elite threat off the edge. He truly has the ability of a complete, dynamic defensive end in the NFL.
6. Kansas City Chiefs: Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
Kansas City has been dreadful in 2012, and once again, Matt Cassel has struggled. Clearly, it's time for a change at quarterback.
The entire Arkansas team has been terrible, but Tyler Wilson remains a legitimate quarterback prospect. He needs some work, but his talent is undeniable, and in time, he could be a fantastic quarterback in the NFL.
7. New Orleans Saints: Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
Cameron Jordan is still struggling to rush the passer, and Will Smith's career with the Saints could soon be over. Either way, though, defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo needs more defensive ends to properly implement his scheme.
A rare physical specimen, Dion Jordan has fantastic upside. His burst and 6'7" frame give him a rare skill set. The Oregon star is an athletic freak who could take the NFL by storm.
8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia
Simply put, the Buccaneers need help across the board. Fortunately, there is still one elite talent available in Jarvis Jones.
Jones is probably limited to playing linebacker, but he has elite pass-rushing ability. A Von Miller-like player, Jones has a fantastic first step and attacks the quarterback with ease. There is huge ability here.
9. Indianapolis Colts: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Andrew Luck is showing positive signs, but the offense around him still needs work. The offensive line is perhaps the most dire unit.
Luke Joeckel isn't a Joe Thomas-type prospect, but he is a future starting left tackle. That's more than worth a top-10 pick, especially for a team with a young quarterback.
10. Carolina Panthers: Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
Carolina's defense is terrible, and its defensive tackles are a big reason why. The Panthers can't stop the run, and it's not because of the team's linebackers.
Johnathan Hankins is a big, run-stopping defensive tackle with the athleticism to make plays in the backfield. An immediate starter, Hankins has long-term upside to go with his ability to play right away.
11. Buffalo Bills: Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
Ideally, the Bills would add a quarterback to replace Ryan Fitzpatrick, but there really isn't a great option available. Instead, Buffalo adds an impact wideout to go opposite Stevie Johnson.
Justin Hunter is loaded with talent. The Tennessee wideout has legitimate No. 1 receiver upside. Hunter alone won't fix Buffalo's offense, but he would help free things up and make some plays on his own.
12. Detroit Lions: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
Detroit's secondary has been an issue for years, and the team never seems to really address it. Like the offensive line last year, though, it may finally be unavoidable.
Xavier Rhodes is a terrific athlete with great size. He has shutdown cornerback upside and should be able to contribute as a rookie. There's risk here, but there's also huge reward.
13. Miami Dolphins: Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
The Dolphins have some pieces on defense, but they still have some holes. One of those holes is opposite the always-dominant Cameron Wake.
A talented defensive end Sam Montgomery is primarily a pass-rusher. He has upside in that role, but he doesn't have truly elite potential. Montgomery will likely be an above-average defensive end, just not a star.
Opposite Wake, though, Montgomery should be plenty productive.
14. San Diego Chargers: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
San Diego could go a number of ways here, including offensive line. However, with Quentin Jammer aging, it may be time to add another cornerback.
At this point, Dee Milliner is a steal. The Alabama star has big upside and is already quite the playmaker. Milliner should, at minimum, work as a nickelback in his rookie season, but he could start on the outside.
15. Seattle Seahawks: Keenan Allen, WR, California
If Seattle wants to move forward with Russell Wilson, it would be wise to surround him with more talented receivers. Right now, Wilson doesn't have much to work with out wide.
Keenan Allen is a big, athletic wideout with plenty of upside. He has some flaws—especially when it comes to catching the football—but his talent is undeniable.
16. St. Louis Rams (from Washington): Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
Sam Bradford has enjoyed one year of decent offensive line play, and it's been two years since that happened. Now, Bradford is constantly under pressure, rarely having enough time to throw from a clean pocket.
Taylor Lewan may end up as a right tackle in the NFL, but he would still be a huge upgrade at left tackle for the Rams. At this point, any starting-caliber offensive lineman is an upgrade for the Rams.
17. Dallas Cowboys: Johnathan Jenkins, DT, Georgia
For years now, it seems people have been projecting the Cowboys a nose tackle. Jay Ratliff is aging and has never been ideal for the position. Could it finally happen?
Johnathan Jenkins is a big, immovable nose tackle. He isn't an overly dynamic player, but he clogs up the run game and is rarely pushed off the ball. There's a big market for players like that.
18. Philadelphia Eagles: Eric Reid, S, LSU
Philadelphia's defense is better than it was in 2011, but there remains room for improvement. At safety, the Eagles lack a star and could stand to upgrade.
At 6'2", 210 pounds, Eric Reid has great size and can either defend the pass or stop the run. This—not some huge playmaking ability—makes Reid a legitimate mid-first-round pick.
19. Cincinnati Bengals: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
Cincinnati's defensive ends are, at best, inconsistent. There is certainly talent in the unit, but there isn't much depth, and even the quality of the starters is debatable. Besides, as the New York Giants have proven, a team can't have too many defensive ends.
A big, athletic defensive end, Ezekiel Ansah is still raw but has plenty of upside. Ansah has proven the always-valuable ability to rush from the interior defensive line, and he can defend the run too. The physical specimen offers ability few defensive ends in this class possess.
20. Denver Broncos: Barrett Jones, C, Alabama
Denver's offensive line isn't great by any means, and center is a particularly weak spot. Peyton Manning is still a great player, but unlike in Indianapolis before, he needs an offensive line.
Barrett Jones is primarily a center, but he can move all over the offensive line. This versatility gives Jones's future NFL team increased flexibility, while also demonstrates his athleticism.
21. New York Giants: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
Once again, right tackle is an issue for the Giants. Eli Manning's quick decision making makes the issue manageable, but an improvement would certainly help out the New York offense.
D.J. Fluker may not be worth this pick, but he is capable of starting on the right side. Fluker is a big, powerful lineman with great run-blocking ability. Though he isn't great in pass-protection, he should be good enough.
22. Arizona Cardinals: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
How long has the Arizona offensive line been among the NFL's worst? Currently, the Cardinals need to upgrade at a variety of offensive line spots, the most pressing of which is left tackle.
Jake Matthews may not really be a blindside protector, but he is better than anything Arizona has on its current roster. Long term, Matthews can play right tackle, though it's hard to imagine the Cardinals continuing to upgrade along the offensive line.
23. Green Bay Packers: Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina
Green Bay's offense has failed to meet expectations in 2012, partially due to its complete lack of a rushing attack. Even a team with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback occasionally needs to run.
Marcus Lattimore is undeniably talented, but he is returning from a torn ACL and has already carried quite a workload in college. However, Lattimore would add another dimension to the Packers' offense and could make a huge difference.
24. Minnesota Vikings: Robert Woods, WR, USC
Percy Harvin is an incredible talent capable of taking over games. However, the Vikings lack a legitimate No. 2 option in the passing game. Really, they don't even have a No. 3 option.
Many project Robert Woods to go higher than this, but his lack of upside hurts him. Woods is a safe pick, but he will never be a No. 1 wide receiver capable of dominating performances. He will be a good player, nothing more.
25. St. Louis Rams: Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor
The Rams' offense isn't completely without talent, but it has a long way to being dynamic. Right now, the team's wide receivers especially need work.
A big wide receiver, Terrance Williams has great deep speed. He's still a bit raw, but his overall ability gives him fantastic upside. Williams and Brian Quick would give St. Louis some talent on the outside.
26. Pittsburgh Steelers: Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame
The Steelers' defense isn't what it used to be, its aging linebacker corps is part of the reason. Pittsburgh has addressed defense early in recent drafts, and it must continue to do so.
A big, physical linebacker, Manti Te'o is a perfect fit in a 3-4 defense. Te'o's physical play and pass-rushing ability are perfect for the scheme, and he is still athletic enough to play in space. At 26, Te'o is a potential steal.
27. Chicago Bears: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
Chicago's offensive line is consistently awful. Ideally, the Bears would add a left tackle, but that really isn't an option here. Instead, they look to add a dominant guard.
Chance Warmack has elite ability along the interior offensive line. He's a road-grading run blocker with enough athleticism to excel in pass-protection.
In other words, he's exactly what the Bears' offensive line lacks.
28. Baltimore Ravens: Corey Lemonier, LB, Auburn
Baltimore's strength has gradually shifted from its once-dominant defense to its offense. Now, the Ravens are looking to improve on defense. Baltimore has depth across every position, but the team needs more dynamic talent.
A college defensive end, Corey Lemonier isn't a pass-rushing phenom, but he is a complete player. Lemonier has decent pass-rushing ability, but his overall play is what makes him special. This is a three-down player in the NFL, capable of playing in a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme.
29. New England Patriots: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
New England has improved its defense, primarily because of its successful 2012 NFL draft. However, the unit is still in need of plenty of work, especially in the secondary.
Kenny Vaccaro is a complete safety who can defend the run or play in coverage. Bill Belichick has always valued versatility, and though Vaccaro may never be a star, he won't be a weakness in any area either. That's what the Patriots strive for.
30. Atlanta Falcons: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
With Tony Gonzalez nearing retirement, Atlanta will soon need to find a new tight end. And whenever BPA matches up with a need, it's always foolish to go another direction.
Tyler Eifert isn't exactly a dominant athlete, but he's a good receiver. The Notre Dame star does a great job of using his big frame to get open and catch the football. He isn't a Gonzalez-esque star in the NFL, but he is a solid option who can be moved all over the field.
By adding Eifert, the Falcons continue to build a young, dominant offense.
31. Houston Texans: Kawann Short, DT, Purdue
It's almost impossible to come up with a legitimate need for Houston. Somehow, the Texans really don't have any weaknesses. So they might as well go with the best player available, right?
Kawann Short is a talented defensive tackle with impressive schematic versatility. He can hold strong against the run or penetrate the backfield. This is a perfect combination for Wade Phillips's scheme, which could ask him to do either one.
32. San Francisco 49ers: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
San Francisco has an elite defense, but it's not because of the team's secondary. In fact, the 49ers have only one legitimate cornerback in Carlos Rogers, and even he isn't exactly Darrelle Revis.
Johnthan Banks isn't a perfect player, and he has a lot to work on. However, he is fairly talented and has upside down the line. It may take time for Banks to contribute, but with few immediate needs, the 49ers can afford to not receive immediate results.