2013 NFL Mock Draft: Week 11 Edition
Welcome to Week 11 of the 2012 NFL season. And quite frankly, this means one of two things if you're a fan.
If your team is contending, then you're looking at a postseason appearance. If your team isn't, then you're probably Googling those prospects they might need.
Luckily for those bummed-out fans, I'm here to help.
Here's my Week 11 edition mock of the 2013 NFL draft's first round.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Season stats: 159.28 RAT, 3,038 YDS, 31 TD, 3 INT, 71.2 Comp %
Although their cheering as QB Matt Cassell left Sunday's game with an injury was terribly ill-mannered, perhaps the Chiefs fans were trying to send a message to the front office. Matt Cassel is clearly not the answer.
Geno Smith, however, can be.
Throughout his impressive 2012 campaign, Smith has shown plenty of franchise quarterback-type ability. He has exhibited incredible arm strength, great accuracy and often remains very poised in the pocket. Smith does, however, need to improve on his footwork to enhance his rushing game.
Smith has come down to earth a bit these past few weeks but is still a top-five talent in this class.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
Season stats: 56 Tackles, 17.0 TFL, 10.5 Sacks, 1 INT, 5 FF
Although Blaine Gabbert isn't the guy who'll lift this franchise out of the cellar, going with a quarterback doesn't make much sense for Jacksonville here. Geno Smith is already taken and Matt Barkley should not warrant the second overall selection.
Grabbing the best available talent in this spot has to be the thinking. Jarvis Jones, the top-rated player in this entire class, is a no-brainer pick for the Jaguars.
Jones is one of, if not the best, pass-rushers in this class. He exhibits excellent burst off the snap, which is just one of his many advanced skills in the pass-rush game. Add that to his explosive speed and non-stop motor and you have a heck of a prospect.
This outside linebacker has, in fact, drawn some eerie similarities and comparisons to Denver's Von Miller.
Jones is even considered an above-average defender against the run and in coverage.
3. Cleveland Browns: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU
Season stats: 29 Tackles, 5.5 TFL, 4.0 Sacks
If Jarvis Jones is the draft's top pass-rusher, this guy may very well be a close No. 2. Barkevious Mingo of LSU is a straight-up beast when it comes to getting to opposing quarterbacks.
The skills that cannot be taught are exactly what Mingo possesses. He has ridiculous size, incredible speed and great athleticism. He utilizes that speed to burst off the line and close in on the offense.
There's no doubting the upside of this outside linebacker. Mingo has the physicality and skill set to become a top-flight pass-rusher in the NFL.
With Jones off the board, the Browns shouldn't mind settling for Mingo here. He'll give them a disruptive presence that they've been missing for quite some time.
4. Carolina Panthers: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
Season stats: 33 Tackles, 9.0 TFL, 4.0 Sacks, 3 FF
Carolina's offense certainly has a promising future. Its defense, however? Eh, not so much.
With the exception of a few bright spots, the Panthers' defense has been less than stellar over the past two seasons. In fact, it may have been the anchor holding them down from an eight- or nine-win season a year ago.
So, with a chance to finally add an interior defensive presence they've been sorely missing since the departure of Kris Jenkins, the front office would be ecstatic to see Utah's Star Lotulelei on the board here.
Lotulelei possesses ridiculous physical attributes. He's huge, he's powerful and he's rather quick for a man his size. Lotulelei is extremely explosive off the snap and creates nothing but havoc when penetrating past opposing offensive lines.
Carolina could also opt for Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel given its aging offensive line. But because they will have the luxury of waiting on that at least another year, they should fix a long-standing problem here with Lotulelei.
5. Oakland Raiders: Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
Season stats: 50 Tackles, 4.0 TFL, 1.0 Sacks
Oakland would have the luxury of being open to the best available player when its turn comes around. And being that defensive tackle Tommy Kelly has about a zero percent chance of returning next season, perhaps the Raiders will opt for a big body to fill that void.
It so happens the best player available at this point would be a defensive tackle.
Hankins, 6'4" and 325 pounds, possesses a very desirable skill set from the looks of his one-and-a-half seasons as a Buckeye. In addition to being the traditional big-man run-stuffer, Hankins does often exhibit some explosiveness en route to breaking down opposing lines.
The Raiders could opt for quarterback as well. But if they remain in this spot, the value of the pick if they selected either Tyler Wilson or Matt Barkley wouldn't make much sense. Besides that, Carson Palmer should suffice for at least another season.
6. Buffalo Bills: Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
Season stats: 146.83 RAT, 2,803 YDS, 18 TD, 10 INT, 60.9 Comp %
Buddy Nix is going to be out for a quarterback this offseason.
Despite throwing wads of cash at their current quarterback, the Bills should be intelligent enough to realize that Ryan Fitzpatrick is far too inconsistent to lead them anywhere. That should make the third-highest-rated quarterback of the class, Wilson, rather appealing.
Tyler Wilson, a senior, has flown a tad under the radar this year as has the rest of the Arkansas squad. (But to his credit he has been missing his top three receivers as well as his head coach.) Regardless, he appears to possess that next-level ability.
He is a good decision-maker, he reads defenses well and often exhibits a professional-style intellect. Wilson also has a strong and accurate arm to add alongside his scout-friendly physical attributes.
7. Philadelphia Eagles: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Season stats: ---
Luke Joeckel of Texas A&M is at the very top of a considerably thin class of offensive linemen. Joeckel, 6'6" and 310 pounds, will most likely end up as someone's franchise left tackle.
He's quick, light on his feet and possesses the agility to evolve into a top-notch pass protector. The tackle also is very solid in the run game.
If the draft started today and he dropped to Philadelphia at No. 7, then this could easily be the best pick of the first round. Given the Eagles' struggles to protect their quarterback (specifically Michael Vick), then they should have no problem going with the second-highest-rated player in the class.
Joeckel could move right into the line and allow Todd Herremans to get back to the guard spot.
8. St. Louis Rams (from Washington): Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame
Season stats: 92 Tackles, 5.5 TFL, 1.5 Sacks, 6 INT
This year's version of Luke Kuechly is Notre Dame's Manti Te'o. Actually, Te'o looks as though he'll translate much easier to the NFL.
The Notre Dame product and Heisman hopeful can move into the strong-side spot, opposite James Laurinaitis and Jo-Lonn Dunbar. The linebacker spot isn't an incredible need for the Rams, but going with the best available player is a strategy that is rarely argued.
Te'o is an all-around appealing prospect. He has good instincts, an advanced run defense and very solid, great athleticism. Te'o also shows flashes of brilliance in the pass rush with his reads and closing speed.
9. New York Jets: Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
Season stats: 28 Tackles, 11.0 TFL, 6.0 Sacks, 1 FF
Desperately needing an addition to their pass rush, the Jets should opt for the best available defensive end or outside linebacker. Sam Montgomery of LSU would be exactly that.
Montgomery is long, athletic and has a non-stop motor. With a little more work, his game should translate well to the next level given his rush defense and bull-rush abilities.
The Tiger may be able to help Rex Ryan get his defense back to what it was a few years ago.
10. St. Louis Rams: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
Season stats: ---
With their second first-rounder, the Rams would likely address their offensive line.
Luckily for them, Michigan's Taylor Lewan could be sitting there for them.
First off, Lewan is a physical monster. The guy stands at an outstanding 6'7" and 310 pounds. If Lewan continues to impress this year, he may go even higher than the late first.
Lewan has surpassed Jake Matthews of Texas A&M as the second-highest-rated lineman in the class.
11. Tennessee Titans: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Season stats: 44 Tackles, 4.0 TFL, 1.5 Sacks, 2 INT, 1 FF
The Tennessee Titans failed to bring in a first-round talent at the cornerback position last year. And since losing Cortland Finnegan to St. Louis, their pass defense has struggled quite a bit.
The top corner in this draft is Alabama's Dee Milliner.
Milliner, 6'1", has surpassed David Amerson as the No. 1-rated cornerback in the draft. In fact, he has worked his way into the top 10 list of the entire class.
12. Cincinnati Bengals: Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
Season stats: 36 Tackles, 8.5 TFL, 5.0 Sacks, 3 FF
Cincinnati could definitely used some help in its pass rush. Oregon's Dion Jordan should be an early candidate for the team's 2013 first-rounder.
Consider Jordan this year's version of Bruce Irvin. The only difference is that most people will hear Jordan's name before the draft.
At 6'6" and 246 pounds, the guy specializes in running down opposing quarterbacks. He has great burst, speed and athleticism. Jordan can rush the quarterback from multiple spots and chase down tight ends and halfbacks in man coverage.
Given his tremendous upside, expect to hear a lot more of Oregon's freakish pass-rusher heading into April.
13. San Diego Chargers: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
Season stats: ---
Raise your hand if you think San Diego needs some offensive line help. I guarantee Philip Rivers raised his hand on that one.
Anyway, the O-line struggles for the Chargers have been pretty transparent. Their protection ranks 28th this season, allowing Rivers to taste the turf 18 times in six games.
Texas A&M's Jake Matthews, second only to fellow teammate Luke Joeckel, can certainly help.
Matthews is quick and athletic. He often exhibits great instincts, intellect and should fit well into any NFL blocking scheme.
14. Miami Dolphins: Keenan Allen, WR, California
Season stats: 61 REC, 737 YDS, 6 TD
California's Keenan Allen is the top pass-catcher in the class.
Allen has quite a bit of talent and seems to be the complete package. He isn't your tallest guy, but he has got a lot of tools many scouts drool over. Allen is considerably strong, runs his routes very well and is very adept at picking up yards after the carry.
He's extremely aggressive and has big-time playmaker ability.
Whenever you draft a franchise quarterback like Miami has done with Tannehill, you then must go out and get him a franchise wide receiver to grow with.
15. New Orleans Saints: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
Season stats: 74 Tackles, 20.0 TFL, 12.5 Sacks, 1 FF
Defensive end Will Smith is not as good as he used to be and is owed $10 million come next season. So what does that mean? You guessed it; he won't be back.
So in an effort to fill that spot in otherwise weak pass rush, New Orleans could opt for the intriguing Damontre Moore.
Moore, 6'4" and 250 pounds, has been climbing up many draft boards as of late. He's been extremely productive in the nation's top conference and should be ready to hear his name called on Day 1 if he continues to do so.
16. Dallas Cowboys: Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
Season stats: ---
This pick should come down to a defensive lineman and an offensive lineman. But since the offensive line is in much worse shape in Dallas, it'll be hard to believe that the Cowboys will pass up the best interior offensive lineman in this group.
Chance Warmack is the top guard of the draft class. He has the power, athleticism and attitude to assure himself a first-round selection come April.
If the Cowboys are looking to re-sign Tony Romo after season's end, they might as well invest in some protection for him.
17. Arizona Cardinals: Matt Barkley, QB, USC
Season stats: 160.04 RAT, 2,972 YDS, 33 TD, 13 INT, 64.8 Comp %
Before the 2012 campaign started, Barkley was the consensus No. 1 overall selection. But due to some annoying struggles and stellar play from fellow QB Geno Smith, Barkley has slipped down to be the draft's second- or even third-best play-caller.
Regardless, this guy has flashed some signs of franchise quarterback material.
Barkley sees the field very clearly, operates well under a pro-style offense and possesses numerous intangibles needed for the pros.
He doesn't have a cannon for an arm, nor does he exactly scare teams if he chooses to take off and run. But Barkley does have a slightly above-average arm that has been NFL-ready for two years.
This situation is very comparable to that of Matt Leinart's. Leinart, a USC quarterback, found himself slipping during the first round of his draft. Sure enough, Arizona rolled the dice on him.
Although they struck out immensely with Leinart, I certainly expect Barkley to be a much more worthwhile investment.
18. Detroit Lions: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Season stats: 29 Tackles, 12.5 TFL, 8.0 Sacks, 1 FF
If they can't get to Dee Milliner, perhaps the Detroit Lions could go for a pass-rusher. Bjoern Werner is just one of many first-round pass-rush talents in this considerably deep class.
Werner, 6'4" and 273 pounds, is an incredibly promising prospect. For one, he's very explosive off the snap. Werner uses his great combination of speed and physicality to burst through opposing lines.
The Florida State Seminole also possesses nice closing speed, which has him disrupting teams' backfields.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
Season stats: 51 Tackles, 2.0 TFL, 4 INT, 1 FF
Most fans will tell you that Greg Schiano and the Bucs have something sweet brewing down in Tampa Bay. They have drafted rather well the past few seasons, cementing the likes of Doug Martin, Adrian Clayborn and Mark Barron into their bright future.
But with Ronde Barber inching towards retirement and Aqib Talib now gone, there must be some additions made to the cornerback spot. And quite frankly, the secondary has just been plain horrific the past few seasons anyway.
Johnthan Banks has a very solid skill set and has seen some top-tier competition playing in the SEC. He has nice size, good ball skills and is very physical. Banks has no problem keeping up on routes and is very effective in his defense against the fade.
20. Minnesota Vikings: John Jenkins, DT, Georgia
Season stats: 30 Tackles, 1.0 TFL
John Jenkins, 6'3" and 351 pounds, is your prototypical nose tackle. He has tremendous strength and is extremely light on his feet for a player his size. Jenkins is solid off the snap, draws plenty of double-teams and utilizes his extension well to fend off blockers.
Minnesota should be looking to bulk up the middle of its defensive line this offseason. Kevin Williams will be turning 33 in August and does not have an effective tackle next to him on the line.
21. Seattle Seahawks: Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
Season stats: 65 REC, 979 YDS, 8 TD
With an average of under 200 passing yards per game, the Seattle Seahawks currently have the fourth-worst aerial attack in the league. Can we blame that on Russell Wilson? Perhaps.
But to really see what this guy has to offer, he needs a little more help than what he has now.
Sidney Rice and Golden Tate are pretty good players in their own right. Is either of them a No. 1 though? Nope.
Plain and simple, Justin Hunter is an athlete.
In addition to being an incredibly athletic football player, Hunter was actually a track star. He possesses a great combination of size, speed and skill. Hunter uses his burst to fend off defenders and adjusts very well to the ball.
22. New York Giants: Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
Season stats: 52 Tackles, 12.0 TFL, 8.5 Sacks, 3 FF
If he falls here, then Alex Okafor should be snatched up the New York Giants. As we very well know, general manager Jerry Reese often goes with the best available talent with his first selection. Reese also loves to add pass-rushers for his defensive coordinator.
Okafor has great speed on the edge, is very solid against the run and can play in a number of spots on defense.
23. Pittsburgh Steelers: C.J. Mosley, OLB, Alabama
Season stats: 83 Tackles, 5.0 TFL, 4.0 Sacks, 2 INT, 1 FF
With most of its defense on the latter sides of their careers, Pittsburgh should look to retool.
The best available defensive player at this point should be Alabama's C.J. Mosley.
Mosley doesn't have incredible size but does have the skill set to succeed in the NFL. He's very productive, versatile and may very well be the best pure linebacker in the class, according to Bleacher Report's Matt Miller.
24. Indianapolis Colts: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
Season stats: 52 Tackles, 7.5 TFL, 4.0 Sacks, 1 FF
Missouri's Sheldon Richardson is a relatively hot name of late. Richardson has had a beast of a season thus far. On top of that, he has the necessary skills to get to the next level.
Richardson uses his hands very well and can use his burst to get into the backfield.
The Indianapolis Colts should look to start building up on defense. Their offense looks extremely promising under rookie Andrew Luck, so now it's time to address the other side of the ball.
25. Denver Broncos: Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
Season stats: 18 Tackles, 8.0 TFL, 5.0 Sacks
At 6'3" and 320 pounds, North Carolina's Sylvester Williams is easily one of the top interior linemen in the draft.
The big man has catapulted himself up draft boards with a huge improvement in his pass-rushing ability this year. After racking up only 2.5 sacks a season ago, Williams has already doubled that total halfway into the 2012 campaign.
The UNC Tar Heel certainly possesses the size and athleticism needed to translate successfully to the NFL.
Denver has been needing some interior line help. Here it is.
26. New England Patriots: Matt Elam, S, Florida
Season stats: 52 Tackles, 7.0 TFL, 1.0 Sacks, 3 INT
New England has to be looking to add some secondary help this offseason. The Patriots could really use a solid safety to bulk up on their very vulnerable defense.
Florida's Matt Elam has begun his rise up draft boards. The Gator is physical, covers a lot of ground, judges the ball well and is a very intelligent player.
27. Green Bay Packers: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
Season stats: 34 REC, 470 YDS, 3 TD
Despite whatever has been said, Jermichael Finley is probably on his way out in Green Bay. In addition to the chunk of cash he's owed next season, it seems as though QB Aaron Rodgers doesn't pass to him very often.
A nice replacement for Green Bay could be Notre Dame's Tyler Eifert.
Eifert runs solid routes, has great hands and could be an effective blocker at the next level. Although his numbers don't show it, Eifert should develop into a very useful tight end in the NFL.
28. San Francisco 49ers: Eric Reid, S, LSU
Season stats: 66 Tackles, 1.0 TFL, 2 INT
The Niners could be looking to reinforce their secondary this offseason.
Eric Reid is one of the top secondary players in the class. He's very well-rounded against both the run and pass and can cover some good ground.
Reid has speed, power and instincts to be successful in the NFL.
29. Baltimore Ravens: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
Season stats: 43 Tackles, 1.5 TFL, 2 INT
Ed Reed has been teasing retirement for quite some time now, so before the Ravens get burned by Reed, they should look for his successor.
Kenny Vaccaro possesses great instincts as he is always around the ball. He covers plenty of ground, has good size and can utilize his quickness to run down the offense.
30. Chicago Bears: Barrett Jones, G/C, Alabama
Season stats: ---
Barrett Jones' skill and versatility will make him an interesting commodity for teams who boast weak O-lines. Jones can play anywhere on the line; that should interest Jay Cutler.
He has great form, uses his hands well and is constantly developing his technique. Jones is extremely valuable in pass protection and plays the role of drive blocker for the ground game.
31. Atlanta Falcons: Morgan Breslin, DE, USC
Season stats: 26 Tackles, 12.0 TFL, 7.0 Sacks
Morgan Breslin of USC has been putting up some bulky stats. Add that to his athleticism and size, and we may have a solid first-rounder.
Look for Atlanta to add to its pass rush. Ray Edwards is gone and John Abraham can be cut given the deal he was signed to.
32. Houston Texans: Robert Woods, WR, USC
Season stats: 61 REC, 653 YDS, 10 TD
Houston has to start looking for a No. 2 and an eventual replacement for Andre Johnson.
Robert Woods of USC could be a very nice fit.
The USC product has ridiculous speed, soft hands and nice size. He runs routes very well and picks up plenty of yards after the catch.