2013 NFL Mock Draft: First Round with Rookie Stat Projections
As we enter the second half of the NFL season, the draft order and team needs are beginning to take shape. And as the college season begins to wind down, we're starting to get a clear picture of which prospects are rising and falling.
A number of highly-touted prospects, including Matt Barkley, may not like the direction their stock is headed.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Geno Smith is the heavy favorite to go number one overall at this stage of the draft process and would have to struggle mightily down the stretch this season to change anyone's mind.
Projected rookie stat line: 16 games started, 3,250 yards, 18 touchdowns and 18 interceptions
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU
Mingo hasn't been as dominant as expected this season, but his athleticism speaks for itself. Even if he doesn't conclude this year with the stat line many were expecting, his offseason workouts should solidify him as one of the top prospects in this year's draft class.
The Jaguars have so many holes to fill that they could go in any number of directions. A pass rusher is definitely one of those needs, and Mingo would be a nice fit in defensive coordinator Mel Tucker's system.
Projected rookie stat line: 5.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 40 tackles
3. Cleveland Browns: Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
While the offense still needs some work, the distribution of talent in this draft class may dictate the Browns go defense with their first selection.
The Browns defense is one of the best young units in the league and they may only be one or two pieces away from truly being a playoff-caliber defense.
Sam Montgomery could help boost the Browns pass rush which is one of their only weak areas on that side of the ball.
Projected rookie stat line: 6.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 55 tackles
4. Carolina Panthers: Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
The Panthers must improve their run defense and adding a behemoth like Hankins in the middle of their defensive line would be a significant upgrade.
Hankins combination of size and athleticism is extremely rare and all but guarantees him a spot in the top 10. He could be an immediate star at the next level.
Projected rookie stat line: 4.5 sacks, 30 tackles, 2 forced fumbles
5. Oakland Raiders: Dee Milliner, CB. Alabama
The Raiders secondary is a mess and should be overhauled this offseason.
This may be a little early for Milliner, which makes me believe the Raiders will be a candidate to trade down on draft day if they land in the top five and elect not to select a quarterback.
Milliner isn't quite on the same level as recent highly-drafted cornerbacks such as Patrick Peterson and Morris Claiborne, but he's in the next tier.
Projected rookie stat line: 3 interceptions, 10 pass breakups, 55 tackles
6. Buffalo Bills: Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
Three years ago I probably wouldn't place Tyler Wilson in the top 10 of a mock draft. But the rookie wage scale has allowed teams to take more risks on first-round quarterbacks in recent years and Wilson could be the beneficiary of this new trend in 2013.
The Bills also have enough talent on offense to make them feel comfortable putting a rookie quarterback on the field. Wilson isn't the most talented quarterback in this draft class, but in Buffalo he just might put together the best rookie season.
Projected rookie stat line: 16 starts, 3,520 passing yards, 22 touchdowns, 19 interceptions
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
The Bucs have a decent offensive line, anchored by the underrated Donald Penn at left tackle. But the right side of the line has been an issue and an upgrade is needed.
Joeckel, who plays left tackle at Texas A&M, would be a nice fit in Tampa and would give the Bucs the offensive line that Josh Freeman and Doug Martin need to excel.
Projected rookie stat line: 16 starts, 6 sacks allowed
8. Tennessee Titans: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
The Titans 28th-ranked rushing defense isn't going to be fixed with the addition of one player, but adding Werner would be a start.
Werner isn't the most explosive lineman in this year's draft class, but he may be the most complete. He compares favorably to Chris Long, who has quietly developed into one of the most well-rounded defensive linemen in the game.
Projected rookie stat line: 5 sacks, 37 tackles, 2 forced fumbles
9. New York Jets: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
Yes, the Jets need help on offense. But there may not be enough talent on that side of the ball to ensure they land a difference maker in the first round.
The Jets also have holes on defense, primarily at linebacker. As a team, the Jets have recorded just 12 sacks this season. They don't have anyone on the roster capable of consistently getting the quarterback.
Jones could be an immediate impact player in Rex Ryan's defense due to his experience in the 3-4 scheme at Georgia.
Projected rookie stat line: 7 sacks, 40 tackles, 1 forced fumble
10. Indianapolis Colts: Star Lotulelei, DT Utah
The Colts are much improved this year in many aspects of the game, but the one area that remains a serious concern is the run defense. They currently rank 29th in the league, allowing 4.8 yards per attempt on the ground.
Lotulelei's stock has fallen slightly due to some inconsistent play, but size and athleticism should make him an early first-round pick. He would be an immediate upgrade in the center of Colts defensive line.
Projected rookie stat line: 3 sacks, 30 tackles, 1 forced fumble
11. Cincinnati Bengals: Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame
Rey Maualuga has been nothing but a disappointment over the past two seasons and the Bengals should strongly consider moving on after the season.
Te'o would be an immediate upgrade over Maualuga and could develop into a strong leader on the defensive side of the ball for the Bengals.
This may be high to project Te'o at this point, but the Bengals are close to being serious contenders and have enough depth at other positions to make a selection that could be considered a luxury pick.
Projected rookie stat line: 2 sacks, 87 tackles, 2 interceptions
12. St. Louis Rams: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
The Rams top priorities this offseason should be to upgrade Sam Bradford's protection and upgrade the weapons around him. Fortunately, with two first-round picks they can address both needs.
The Rams should jump at the chance to add Warmack if he's on the board due to the drop off in talent at the position. Warmack is a rare elite interior line prospect and could a true difference maker from the time he sets foot on the field in St. Louis.
Projected rookie stat line: 16 starts, 2 sacks allowed
13. Detroit Lions: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
The Lions pass defense has fared better than expected this season, but there is still an obvious lack of talent in the secondary.
Dee Milliner and Johnthan Banks are the clear-cut top prospects at cornerback in this year's draft class and the Lions should have both player high on their draft board.
Banks would start immediate for the Lions and would likely be their number-one corner from the time he set foot on the field.
Projected rookie stat line: 4 interceptions, 50 tackles
14. St. Louis Rams: Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
Justin Hunter hasn't fully lived up to expectations this year, but from a pure talent perspective he is the cream of the crop among this year's draft-eligible prospects. He has the potential to make an A.J. Green-like impact at the next level and would be a welcomed addition in St. Louis.
The Rams would likely also consider Keenan Allen, who is more polished but has less upside than Hunter.
Projected rookie stat line: 40 receptions, 720 yards, 5 touchdowns
15. San Diego Chargers: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
According to Pro Football Focus, Chargers right tackle Jeromy Clary has allowed six sacks this season, third most among offensive tackles.
Right tackle is a position that has needed an upgrade for years in San Diego and this may be their opportunity to make a chance.
Lewan has the athleticism to play on either side of the line. He's still developing as a pass protector, but has the talent to anchor their offensive line for the next decade.
Projected rookie stat line: 16 starts, 8 sacks allowed
16. Miami Dolphins: Keenan Allen, WR, California
The Dolphins have to upgrade the talent around Ryan Tannehill if they want to see him continue to develop. The combination of Davone Bess and Brian Hartline just isn't going to get the job done.
Allen has the size and speed to be a number-one receiver in the NFL and would be an ideal candidate to grow with Tannehill over the next few years.
Projected rookie stat line: 40 receptions, 715 yards, 5 touchdowns
17. Arizona Cardinals: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
The Cardinals have been lacking a tight end in their offense for years and it may finally be time to add a playmaker at the position.
Eifert could probably start for the Cards next week if he were eligible and would immediately become one of the favorite targets in Arizona.
Having a playmaker at tight end to work the middle of the field would help open things up on the outside for Larry Fitzgerald and others.
Projected rookie stat line: 30 receptions, 490 yards, 3 touchdowns
18. Dallas Cowboys: Barrett Jones, OG/C, Alabama
The way the Cowboys season is going, big changes could be coming in Dallas possibly influencing their approach to the draft. But if things remain relatively unchanged at key positions, fixing the offensive line is the top priority.
Barrett Jones is one of the top interior linemen in the draft who could play guard or center in Dallas.
Projected rookie stat line: 16 starts, 4 sacks allowed
19. New Orleans Saints: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
The Saints need to overhaul one of the league's worst defenses, which currently ranks 30th against the pass and 31st against the run.
Given the depth at defensive line in this year's draft class, fixing the run defense should be the direction they go in the first round.
Richardson is one of the fastest rising prospects this year and should excel as a three-technique tackle in New Orleans.
Projected rookie stat line: 3 sacks, 28 tackles
20. Minnesota Vikings: John Jenkins, DT, Georgia
The Vikings defense has been one of the pleasant surprises around the league this season, but there are still some holes to fill.
Nose tackle remains an area of concern and the Vikings should take advantage of the depth at the position in this year's draft class.
Jenkins could be the third true nose tackle off the board in the first round this year and would start immediately in Minnesota.
Projected rookie stat line: 2 sacks, 23 tackles, 1 forced fumble
21. Philadephia Eagles: Matt Barkley, QB, USC
Yes, the Eagles just drafted Nick Foles. But it was by Andy Reid and his regime, which likely will not be around for the 2013 season. If the Eagles make significant personnel changes, you can bet they'll bring in a new quarterback.
Barkley's stock continues to fall as evaluators are realizing the limitations of his game. That said, he still has enough potential to warrant a late first-round pick and a team like the Eagles may pull the trigger.
Projected rookie stat line: 16 starts, 3,250 yards, 15 touchdowns, 18 interceptions
22. Seattle Seahawks: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
The Seahawks have the defense to compete right now, but the league's 31st-ranked passing offense needs a significant boost.
Cordarrelle Patterson is in the midst of a breakout season and has actually overshadowed teammate Justin Hunter at times. He could be brought in and groomed as the future number-one receiver in Seattle.
Projected rookie stat line: 40 receptions, 650 yards, 2 touchdowns
23. Denver Broncos: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
The Champ Bailey era is winding down and there is limited depth behind him on the depth chart.
The Broncos would be wise to target a guy like Rhodes in the first or second round to groom behind Bailey for a year or two before taking over as the number one corner.
Projected rookie stat line: 2 interceptions, 32 tackles
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
D.J. Fluker is a fringe first-round prospect, but if the Steelers decide to address the offensive line again you can bet he's their guy.
The Steelers have never been concerned with athleticism in their linemen. Instead, they love big-bodied linemen who can clear out space for the power running game. Fluker fits their mold perfectly.
Projected rookie stat line: 12 starts, 6 sacks allowed
25. New England Patriots: Damontre Moore, DE/LB, Texas A&M
Damontre Moore has shot up draft boards this season and looks like one of the premier pass rushers in this draft class.
The Patriots began the rebuilding process on defense last year, adding three significant pieces to the front seven in the draft, but there's still work to be done. Belichick's system relies on depth, and Moore would be the perfect addition as a situational pass rusher early in his career.
Projected rookie stat line: 5 sacks, 35 tackles
26. Green Bay Packers: Eric Reid, FS, LSU
It's time for the Packers to start thinking about life after Charles Woodson.
Eric Reid has struggled as of late, but still looks like the cream of the crop at safety in this year's class. He's a good bet to be first at his position off the board and should sneak into the late first round, especially if a team like the Packers has an immediate hole to fill.
Projected rookie stat line: 2 interceptions, 41 tackles
27. Baltimore Ravens: Robert Woods, WR, USC
While the defense is still strong, the Ravens are now an offensive football team. And they would be wise to solidify the unit this offseason in order to make a serious run in 2013.
Robert Woods would be an ideal fit in the role that Lee Evans was supposed to fill last year for the Ravens, and a nice compliment to Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin.
Projected rookie stat line: 30 receptions, 435 yards, 2 touchdowns
28. Chicago Bears: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
The Bears need to improve the protection around Jay Cutler in order to complete their offense. Fortunately, this is shaping up to be a fairly strong class of offensive linemen.
Matthews plays on the right side at Texas A&M, opposite Luke Joeckel, but could make the switch to the left side at the next level.
Projected rookie stat line: 16 starts, 5 sacks allowed
29. New York Giants: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
The Giants offensive line is in a minor rebuilding mode and a few more changes could be coming this offseason.
Fisher is one of the best under-the-radar prospects at this stage of draft process and could climb into the late first round. He would be an ideal fit at right tackle in New York.
Projected rookie stat line: 16 starts, 5 sacks allowed
30. San Francisco 49ers: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
While their depth is impressive, the 49ers need to add a few more weapons on offense before the unit can be considered dangerous.
Austin isn't a number-one receiver and never will be, but he has the ability change the game even with minimal touches. And Jim Harbaugh and his staff are creative enough to use him to keep defenses on their toes.
Projected rookie stat line: 25 receptions, 420 yards, 20 carries, 164 yards
31. Houston Texans: Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor
Even without RG3, Terrance Williams is having a stellar season at Baylor. He may lack the upside of some of the other top receiver prospects in this class, but has the ability to make an immediate impact as a second or third option in Houston.
This would be a luxury pick for the Texans, but one that could put them over the top if they were to fall short of the Super Bowl this year.
Projected rookie stat line: 35 receptions, 420 yards, 3 touchdowns
32. Atlanta Falcons: Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
With relatively few holes to fill, the Falcons will likely be focused on adding the best available player.
With such a deep class of defensive ends, the Falcons would be wise to grab someone who has slipped down the board and groom him behind John Abraham.
Projected rookie stat line: 2 sacks, 25 tackles
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