Expert Consensus 2013 NFL Mock Draft at the NFL's Midseason Mark
Asking five NFL-draft writers to agree on anything is tough, which is why I asked four of the best in the business to help me conduct a midseason mock draft.
The results weren't always a consensus, but it does give you, the reader, a ton of insight into where different players may rank as of this writing and what each NFL team's biggest need is perceived to be.
In most cases, we were all in agreement about position groups or need, but in some, we were all over the map.
1. Cleveland Browns
Bloom: QB Geno Smith, West Virginia
Brugler: DE Sam Montgomery, LSU
Dove: OLB Jarvis Jones, Georgia
Schottey: QB Geno Smith, West Virginia
My pick: QB Geno Smith, West Virginia
For the most part, we all agreed that the Cleveland Browns need to replace quarterback Brandon Weeden, or at least that the Browns will replace Weeden when a new general manager is in place.
Existing quarterbacks rarely survive changes in the front office unless they are elite. Weeden is improving each week, but no one could truthfully call him an elite quarterback. At 29 years old, Weeden needs to show a ton over the next 10 games to be kept around as the starter in 2013.
2. Kansas City Chiefs
Bloom: QB Matt Barkley, USC
Brugler: QB Geno Smith, West Virginia
Dove: QB Matt Barkley, USC
Schottey: QB Tyler Wilson, Arkansas
My pick: DT Star Lotulelei, Utah
Four of our five panelists chose a quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs. As the lone holdout, I would have as well if there was a quarterback in this class worth selecting this high.
If Geno Smith is available, as Dane suggested, the Chiefs should definitely select him. Matt Barkley or Tyler Wilson, though, I'm not quite sold on as options for the No. 2 overall pick. Perhaps by April one of the two will have pulled ahead enough to justify the faith my fellow draft gurus are placing in the senior quarterbacks.
3. Carolina Panthers
Bloom: DT Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State
Brugler: DT Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State
Dove: DT Star Lotulelei, Utah
Schottey: DT Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State
My pick: DT Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State
It's pretty obvious that the new general manager of the Carolina Panthers will need to beef up the defensive line.
Former GM Marty Hurney ignored the position before the 2012 season, and it's resulting in the Panthers having one of the game's worst run defenses. Before the team can take the next step to challenge the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints in the division, it has to get better penetration in the middle of the offensive line.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars
Bloom: QB Tyler Wilson, Arkansas
Brugler: DE Barkevious Mingo, LSU
Dove: QB Geno Smith, West Virginia
Schottey: OLB Barkevious Mingo, LSU
My pick: OLB Jarvis Jones, Georgia
The Jacksonville Jaguars need defense, at least according to our group. It would be tough to argue with Geno Smith if the West Virginia quarterback is still on the board, but it's unlikely at this point that he'd get by Cleveland and Kansas City.
What the Jaguars need most is help with pass-rushers. Whether that comes from a down lineman or an outside linebacker who can play a Von Miller-like role, they just need someone who can get to the quarterback.
5. New Orleans Saints
Bloom: DE Sam Montgomery, LSU
Brugler: DT Star Lotulelei, Utah
Dove: DE/OLB Barkevious Mingo, LSU
Schottey: OLB Jarvis Jones, Georgia
My pick: DE Dion Jordan, Oregon
Anyone else get the feeling that the New Orleans Saints need help on defense?
This is a team with much more talent than its record shows, but if it's selecting this high in April, the team will be in a great position to add a pass-rusher to the fold. And as long as Steve Spagnuolo is the defensive coordinator, it'll need to add pass-rushers.
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bloom: CB Dee Milliner, Alabama
Brugler: OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M
Dove: OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan
Schottey: DE Sam Montgomery, LSU
My pick: DE Sam Montgomery, LSU
Mr. Schottey and I both agreed that LSU defensive end Sam Montgomery would be a good fit here, as defensive end is a need for Tampa with Adrian Clayborn struggling and Da'Quan Bowers hurt.
Dane and Jon seemed to go best player available with the two offensive tackles, and I'd have to think either player would start on the right side opposite Donald Penn. The wild card is Bloom's choice of Dee Milliner, who would bolster the cornerback position in the event that Aqib Talib is let go.
7. Oakland Raiders
Bloom: OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M
Brugler: QB Matt Barkley, USC
Dove: DT Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State
Schottey: QB Matt Barkley, USC
My pick: CB Dee Milliner, Alabama
There will be a strong push from the fanbase if Matt Barkley is available here, and that pick does make some sense for Oakland if you don't believe in Terrelle Pryor's future with the team. There's also the fact that the Raiders simply need to add talent, almost regardless of position.
Barkley would be the sexy pick, but the selection of Joeckel would fill out the offensive line if he can play right tackle. Johnathan Hankins would allow the defense to transition to a younger front, while Dee Milliner would fill arguably the team's biggest hole at cornerback.
8. Detroit Lions
Bloom: DE Bjoern Werner, FSU
Brugler: CB Dee Milliner, Alabama
Dove: CB Dee Milliner, Alabama
Schottey: DE Bjoern Werner, FSU
My pick: OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M
The picks for the Detroit Lions are a bit all over the place, but two of our guys agreed that defensive end will be a need. That's tough to argue with, especially if Cliff Avril walks in free agency.
The pick of Dee Milliner would be great, as Detroit desperately needs help at cornerback. How about Luke Joeckel? If 2012 first-rounder Riley Reiff can play on the right side, he and Joeckel would form a dynamite duo at tackle for the next decade.
9. Cincinnati Bengals
Bloom: ILB Manti Te'o, Notre Dame
Brugler: OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
Dove: DE Sam Montgomery, LSU
Schottey: CB Dee Milliner, Alabama
My pick: ILB Manti Te'o, Notre Dame
A strong group of young players in Cincinnati has fans excited about the future. If the front office can grab an impact player like ILB Manti Te'o, the Bengals have to pull the trigger on it now. Likewise, Sam Montgomery would give the team a truly consistent pass-rusher, and Dee Milliner would be an upgrade next to Leon Hall at cornerback, but it assumes the team would move 2012 first-rounder Dre Kirkpatrick to a backup role or free safety.
10. Buffalo Bills
Bloom: WR Keenan Allen, Cal
Brugler: WR Keenan Allen, Cal
Dove: ILB Manti Te'o, Notre Dame
Schottey: OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M
My pick: QB Tyler Wilson, Arkansas
Adding help at wide receiver was on the minds of two of our virtual general managers, and it's easy to see why. The Buffalo offense does need another option outside of Stevie Johnson. Adding a premier tackle prospect like Luke Joeckel would give the team some flexibility and likely move 2012 second-rounder Cordy Glenn to his more natural spot on the right side.
Tyler Wilson, if he's still on the board, would allow Buffalo to move away from Ryan Fitzpatrick, but for that to happen, Chan Gailey would have to be on his way out of the Bills' head-coaching position.
11. St. Louis Rams
Bloom: OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan
Brugler: OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan
Dove: OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
Schottey: OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan
My pick: OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan
Well, talk about a slam dunk. Our experts all agreed that the St. Louis Rams need a left tackle; the biggest question will be which player is available when it's their turn on the board. With two picks in the first round, St. Louis is in a great position to add two impact players on offense.
12. St. Louis Rams (from Washington)
Bloom: WR Robert Woods, USC
Brugler: OG Chance Warmack, Alabama
Dove: WR Justin Hunter, Tennessee
Schottey: WR Keenan Allen, Cal
My pick: WR Keenan Allen, Cal
If the Rams are able to grab a left tackle with their first pick, moving on to add a wide receiver next makes a lot of sense to our panel.
The team has promising prospects in Chris Givens and to some extent, Brian Quick, and Danny Amendola is a star in the slot, but it needs an outside presence. Any of the three receivers listed above would be instant starters for the St. Louis offense.
13. Tennessee Titans
Bloom: OG Chance Warmack, Alabama
Brugler: DE Bjoern Werner, FSU
Dove: DE Alex Okafor, Texas
Schottey: ILB Manti Te'o, Notre Dame
My pick: OG Chance Warmack, Alabama
The Titans have a list of needs spanning both sides of the ball, but mostly, we can focus on the trenches when looking at where to add depth this offseason.
If Chance Warmack is there, the Titans have to select him. Their run game is hurting in part because of Chris Johnson, but also because their guard play has been terrible. Warmack would fix that problem.
The idea of getting a defensive end is a good one, as Kamerion Wimbley is a one-man pass-rushing crew right now. Tennessee couldn't go wrong by selecting either Werner or Okafor.
14. New York Jets
Bloom: OLB Jarvis Jones, Georgia
Brugler: OLB Jarvis Jones, Georgia
Dove: WR Keenan Allen, Cal
Schottey: DE/OLB Damontre Moore, Texas A&M
My pick: OLB Barkevious Mingo, LSU
It's safe to say our team wanted the New York Jets to add a pass-rusher here.
Four of the five guys paneled picked a pass-rusher for the Jets' first-round pick, and that's pretty tough to argue with. Dove's selection of Keenan Allen is likely a best-player-available spot, but would also fill a need.
The Jets have many, many holes to fill and couldn't go wrong with either a wide receiver or outside linebacker.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers
Bloom: DE Damontre Moore, Texas A&M
Brugler: CB Johnthan Banks, Miss. State
Dove: RB Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina
Schottey: DT Star Lotulelei, Utah
My pick: LB C.J. Mosley, Alabama
The Pittsburgh Steelers have seven starters over 30 years old on defense, which is why four of our draft gurus went defense here.
The Pittsburgh front office does a great job of identifying needs and then drafting to fill holes—maybe as good as any team in the league in this regard. With so many spots opening up on defense this year and in the next few years, it would be wise for the team to focus its energy on adding youth and speed on defense.
16. Indianapolis Colts
Bloom: DT Star Lotulelei, Utah
Brugler: DE Dion Jordan, Oregon
Dove: DT Sylvester Williams, North Carolina
Schottey: WR Robert Woods, USC
My pick: WR Robert Woods, USC
The Indianapolis Colts are playing better than expected, but they are still in rebuilding mode. With their first pick in the 2013 draft, Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano need to hit another home run like they did in 2012 with Andrew Luck.
There are two schools of thought at work here. One, draft a wide receiver to eventually replace Reggie Wayne and grow up with Luck. Or two, get better on defense. Either strategy could work for the team as it tries to improve from the worst team in the league to a contender.
17. Dallas Cowboys
Bloom: LB C.J. Mosley, Alabama
Brugler: OG Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina
Dove: OG Chance Warmack, Alabama
Schottey: OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
My pick: QB Matt Barkley, Alabama
The offensive line has been an issue for Dallas all season, even after Jerry Jones brought in two new guards through free agency. You can see the imprint of that need in three of the five picks above. But why the hell is Matt Barkley listed up there?
Tony Romo has shown who he is, and while he's capable of being a very good quarterback at times, he'll never be elite. At 32 years old, we know who he is and who he will be. What Dallas doesn't have is a young quarterback behind him to eventually take over. It needs one.
If Matt Barkley falls in this draft, don't be shocked to see the Cowboys move in to add a quarterback of the future.
18. Philadelphia Eagles
Bloom: FS Eric Reid, LSU
Brugler: DE Damontre Moore, Texas A&M
Dove: OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M
Schottey: OG Chance Warmack, Alabama
My pick: SS Kenny Vaccaro, Texas
The Philadelphia Eagles could go a lot of directions here, but ultimately, it all depends on who is calling the shots. If the team fails to make the playoffs, it's very likely that Andy Reid will be fired and a new regime will be in place for the 2013 draft. If so, anything is possible.
There are clear areas of need for the Eagles right now. Danny Watkins hasn't panned out at guard. The two young safeties are wildly inconsistent. Depending on who is making this pick, a lot could happen.
19. Seattle Seahawks
Bloom: WR Justin Hunter, Tennessee
Brugler: WR Robert Woods, USC
Dove: WR Robert Woods, USC
Schottey: WR Terrance Williams, Baylor
My pick: OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
One of the NFL's best defensive teams, you can clearly see the need to add offensive firepower in our mock-draft selections.
Four of our five guys, and everyone but myself, opted for a wide receiver here. That's tough logic to argue with. The Seahawks do need help at receiver, and this is a good class of pass-catchers. The reason for my selection of Jake Matthews is that the Seahawks also need a right tackle. No offense to Breno Giacomini, but the team needs a long-term starter on the roster.
20. Arizona Cardinals
Bloom: OT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan
Brugler: ILB Manti Te'o, Notre Dame
Dove: DE Dion Jordan, Oregon
Schottey: LB C.J. Mosley, Alabama
My pick: QB Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech
There is a lot to talk about here.
The Arizona Cardinals have a lot of needs, and their current three-game losing streak highlights that fact. Dane, Jon and Michael all went defense while selecting some of the top players left on their respective boards. A team like Arizona can easily afford to add more young defenders, and all three have this in mind with their picks.
21. Miami Dolphins
Bloom: SS Kenny Vaccaro, Texas
Brugler: WR Justin Hunter, Tennessee
Dove: TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame
Schottey: WR Justin Hunter, Tennessee
My pick: WR Justin Hunter, Tennessee
The Miami Dolphins need help at wide receiver. And they need that help now.
The trade that sent Brandon Marshall to Chicago left the team without much talent or depth at wide receiver. Brian Hartline has been exceptional this season, but in today's NFL, you need at least three good receivers. If Justin Hunter is on the board, he's a no-brainer for Jeff Ireland.
Tyler Eifert would also help, and we do love the Notre Dame tight end's upside. No matter who the player is in late April, it should be a pass-catcher.
22. Denver Broncos
Bloom: CB Johnthan Banks, Miss. State
Brugler: TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame
Dove: DT John Jenkins, Georgia
Schottey: DT John Jenkins, Georgia
My pick: DT John Jenkins, Georgia
The Broncos are playing very well and improving each week, but there are still spots on the roster where a lack of talent is overwhelming the team. One such spot is defensive tackle. Adding the big body of John Jenkins would instantly upgrade Denver's run defense.
The selection of Johnthan Banks would also be a good one. He's a nice value here, and as Champ Bailey creeps toward retirement, the team needs to get younger and faster at cornerback.
23. San Diego Chargers
Bloom: DT John Jenkins, Georgia
Brugler: OT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan
Dove: OT Brennan Williams, North Carolina
Schottey: OT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan
My pick: OT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan
The San Diego Chargers thought they had their left-tackle spot fixed when they signed Jared Gaither, but as has been the case throughout his career, he's hurt this season. If the San Diego front office finds itself in a position to get better at left tackle, the Chargers need to move on it.
It's tough to argue with John Jenkins here, as he would be a massive upgrade at nose tackle, but the overwhelming need is at offensive tackle.
24. Green Bay Packers
Bloom: TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame
Brugler: OL Dallas Thomas, Tennessee
Dove: LB C.J. Mosley, Alabama
Schottey: SS Kenny Vaccaro, Texas
My pick: RB Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina
For a team so good, the Green Bay Packers have quite a few holes to fill this offseason.
The team will face a tough decision regarding Jermichael Finley at tight end, and his drops this year may be reason enough not to lock him up long-term. That would open the door for Tyler Eifert.
Dallas Thomas would add depth on the offensive line and could even be a potential starter at left guard if he develops as expected. Both Kenny Vaccaro and C.J. Mosley would be first-year starters on defense.
Marcus Lattimore's stock may have slipped some, but the hard-charging back would be an ideal fit in Green Bay's one-cut scheme. Imagine a faster, younger Cedric Benson.
25. New England Patriots
Bloom: WR Terrance Williams, Baylor
Brugler: DE Alex Okafor, Texas
Dove: DE Bjoern Werner, FSU
Schottey: OG Barrett Jones, Alabama
My pick: DE Alex Okafor, Texas
Three of our five went pass-rusher here, and if you've watched the New England Patriots this year, you've seen why.
The Patriots went defense-heavy in the 2012 draft, but that's still a big need for the team heading into the offseason. Alex Okafor or Bjoern Werner make sense as potential defensive ends or outside linebackers in a 4-3/3-4 scheme.
Terrance Williams would give Tom Brady a true vertical threat, something they currently lack. The pick of Barrett Jones is a classic Bill Belichick move, and one that would fill a void on the interior of the Pats' offensive line.
26. New York Giants
Bloom: OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
Brugler: CB Xavier Rhodes, FSU
Dove: CB Johnthan Banks, Miss. State
Schottey: CB Johnthan Banks, Miss. State
My pick: DE Bjoern Werner, FSU
Jerry Reese has been one of the best general managers in the NFL over the last five years, slowly and steadily building a team that can't be beat in the playoffs. It'll get to restock the cupboard with plenty of talent to choose from.
The Johnthan Banks pick makes a lot of sense, and two of our guys went for Banks, with another adding Xavier Rhodes. Cornerback has been a need, and Reese has shown in the past that he'll go after cornerbacks in the first round.
Jake Matthews would give New York consistency and some future at right tackle; this is a smart pick if Matthews is still on the board. As for Bjoern Werner, Reese loves defensive ends, and if there's a value player on the board, he won't be afraid to select him.
27. Minnesota Vikings
Bloom: DE Dion Jordan, Oregon
Brugler: DT John Jenkins, Georgia
Dove: DT Sharrif Floyd, Florida
Schottey: DE Dion Jordan, Oregon
My pick: WR Terrance Williams, Baylor
The Minnesota Vikings' defensive line needs some help, and our virtual general managers are there for them. Four of the five (and all but me) went after new faces to anchor the trenches on defense. Sharrif Floyd and John Jenkins would slide in next to Kevin Johnson, reinventing the strength of the Vikings' front four.
Dion Jordan's athleticism would be unreal lined up opposite Jared Allen, although Brian Robison is a very similar athlete on the left side of their line.
The other GMs didn't consider wide receiver, but for me, it's a major need. Giving Christian Ponder more targets and taking attention off Percy Harvin and Adrian Peterson has to be a focus for the front office.
28. San Francisco 49ers
Bloom: DT Sheldon Richardson, Missouri
Brugler: OG Barrett Jones, Alabama
Dove: DE Damontre Moore, Texas A&M
Schottey: CB Xavier Rhodes, FSU
My pick: CB Johnthan Banks, Miss. State
The San Francisco 49ers will almost get two rookie classes in 2013, considering their 2012 class has barely seen the field this season. What this does is give Trent Baalke and Jim Harbaugh a ton of young players on the rise.
For the most part, we agreed that the 49ers needed to add to an already-strong defense by continuing to pick up young players at key positions. Sheldon Richardson could eventually replace Justin Smith. Damontre Moore would look great opposite Aldon Smith. A need at cornerback exists due to Carlos Rogers' age.
The 49ers are one of the most balanced teams in the game, which means anything could happen when their pick is on the clock.
29. Baltimore Ravens
Bloom: FS T.J. McDonald, USC
Brugler: FS Eric Reid, LSU
Dove: FS Tony Jefferson, Oklahoma
Schottey: DE Alex Okafor, Texas
My pick: DE Damontre Moore, Texas A&M
Defense, defense, defense.
Ozzie Newsome is one of the best general managers in football because of his ability to identify players who can make an early impact on his roster. If he's paying attention, he'll see a trend in our picks—getting younger on defense.
Ed Reed is likely to retire after this season, and currently, no one on the roster is even close to replacing him. Three of our general managers drafted with an eye toward his free-safety position, and they're wise to do so.
Baltimore is also likely to look at outside linebackers for its hybrid defensive system. Alex Okafor and Damontre Moore are both versatile enough to play defensive end or stand up at linebacker.
30. Chicago Bears
Bloom: OT Dallas Thomas, Tennessee
Brugler: LB C.J. Mosley, Alabama
Dove: LB Khaseem Greene, Rutgers
Schottey: OT Brennan Williams, North Carolina
My pick: TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame
The Chicago Bears really have a lot of areas where they can get better. The most identifiable need is at left tackle.
Two of our GMs went right for the meat of the problem and drafted offensive linemen. Were there a higher-rated player left on my own board, I would have, too. Getting better along the offensive line has to be a priority for Phil Emery this offseason.
Dane's pick of C.J. Mosley is a fun one, as he could become a future starter at inside linebacker in replacing Brian Urlacher, but in the meantime, he's quick enough to play on the outside opposite Lance Briggs. Same for Khaseem Greene, a guy who's making plays all over the field at Rutgers.
31. Houston Texans
Bloom: OG Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina
Brugler: WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia
Dove: WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia
Schottey: TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame
My pick: WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia
Four out of five picks are used to address the passing game directly. It's easy to see that the Houston Texans have some catching up to do on offense.
Andre Johnson is still capable of being elite, but defenses are able to key on him without another threat in the passing game. I openly begged the Texans to draft Kendall Wright last year, as he would have been an ideal option in their scheme. Tavon Austin is very similar and, likewise, would open up the Houston passing game with his speed and yards-after-catch ability.
32. Atlanta Falcons
Bloom: DE Alex Okafor, Texas
Brugler: DT Sharrif Floyd, Florida
Dove: DE Ezekiel Ansah, BYU
Schottey: RB Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina
My pick: DT Sheldon Richardson, Missouri
The NFL's only undefeated team apparently has some issues on the defensive line. Four of our five picks address the Atlanta Falcons' defensive line, with only Michael Schottey branching out at running back (still a very good value pick, in my opinion).
The Falcons would benefit from outside pass-rushers like Okafor and Ansah, either of whom could replace John Abraham once he retires. Richardson and Floyd would both be looked at as upgrades in the middle of the defense, where Atlanta has invested draft picks, but with little impact thus far.