2013 NFL Mock Draft: Mapping out the Entire 1st Round After NFL's Week 10
Defense reigns supreme at the top of the 2013 NFL draft.
That said, Geno Smith will still go No. 1 overall, thanks to the desperate need the NFL's worst franchises have for a franchise quarterback.
After Smith, though, the water's a bit murky regarding the other "top" quarterback prospects across the nation. For instance, Matt Barkley isn't a first-round quarterback on my board right now, but given the lack of talent at the position this season, he'll likely be drafted in the first round, a la Blaine Gabbert and Christian Ponder in 2011.
It's important to remember that all scouts rank players differently, so please take that in mind as you peruse my latest mock draft.
1. Kansas City Chiefs
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Geno Smith, Quarterback, West Virginia
The Kansas City Chiefs need a quarterback.
As good as the defensive players are at the top of the draft, there's no doubt that the Chiefs' first priority will be to land a quarterback to carry the franchise for the next decade or so.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars
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Jarvis Jones, Outside Linebacker, Georgia
The Jacksonville Jaguars could go in any number of directions at this point, as the team's roster is full of holes. But after seeing what kind of impact Von Miller has had in Denver, the Jags won't be able to resist a chance to land their own lightning in a bottle.
Jones is a player who is equally effective in coverage and as a pass-rusher, and a year or two in an NFL weight room will give him the strength he needs to be a stud against the run, too.
3. Cleveland Browns
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Sam Montgomery, Defensive End, LSU
The Cleveland Browns have an exciting young defense that promises to keep them in games for years to come, but this team is still in need of a dominant pass-rusher.
No matter how talented the Browns secondary is, it will continue getting burned without a solid pass rush to complement their young defensive backs.
Montgomery is this year's most complete defensive end, and his ability to consistently bring pressure will immediately make a big impact on this team.
4. Carolina Panthers
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Star Lotulelei, Defensive Tackle, Utah
Luke Kuechly has really come on strong of late, but he and his defensive mates still need a behemoth in the middle to plug up the holes on defense.
Lotulelei is an extremely strong young man who has enough quickness to penetrate through double-teams and make plays. When he isn't making the plays himself, he's allowing his teammates to do so while he occupies multiple blockers.
5. Oakland Raiders
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Johnathan Hankins, Defensive Tackle, Ohio State
The Oakland Raiders have needs across the board.
Taking Hankins here makes sense when you consider that Tommy Kelly and Richard Seymour are on their last legs and the team has allowed some embarrassing rushing totals this season.
Hankins is a huge run-stuffing defensive tackle that is also capable of penetrating into the backfield on passing plays. He is a cornerstone player for whichever team drafts him, and he's ready to step onto the field and contribute in a major way from day one.
6. New York Jets
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Tyler Wilson, Quarterback, Arkansas
Mark Sanchez is finished as the New York Jets' franchise quarterback, if he ever was one.
Mike Tannenbaum, if he's still around, will not risk drafting another USC quarterback this high, so he'll opt instead for Wilson—a player with more to offer the team than Matt Barkley anyway.
Wilson possesses the intangible qualities that make players around him better. Barkley, on the other hand, has had the best talent in the nation around him, and he's been mediocre this season, throwing 13 interceptions.
7. Philadelphia Eagles
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Luke Joeckel, Offensive Tackle, Texas A&M
If the Philadelphia Eagles could take two players here, they would both be offensive linemen.
No matter if it's Michael Vick, Nick Foles or Joe Montana behind center, no quarterback will find success behind the offensive line the team has currently on its roster.
Joeckel is easily this year's top lineman, and he'll be an instant starter on the left side for Philly.
8. Buffalo Bills
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Manti Te'o, Middle Linebacker, Notre Dame
To say that Te'o deserves to win the Heisman Trophy is taking it a bit far, but there's no doubt that this young man is going to be a heck of an NFL player.
The Bills have been embarrassed on defense all year long, and many of the struggles stem from a lack of talent in its linebacking corps. Te'o's presence in the middle of the Bills defense would go a long way to fixing what ails this group.
9. St. Louis Rams (via Washington Redskins)
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Jake Matthews, Offensive Tackle, Texas A&M
Since the beginning of the season, the St. Louis Rams' greatest need has been at offensive tackle, and here in the middle of the season, nothing has changed on that front.
Sam Bradford has performed admirably without the benefit of a competent offensive line, but he'll shine all the brighter with some protection.
Matthews doesn't receive as many accolades as Luke Joeckel, but the two of them are responsible for anchoring one of the best pass-blocking offensive lines in college football.
10. St. Louis Rams
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Keenan Allen, Wide Receiver, California
Thanks to their deal with the Washington Redskins in 2012, the St. Louis Rams will have two picks in the top 10 of the 2013 NFL draft.
And after taking care of their No. 1 priority with their previous pick, the Rams will finally give Sam Bradford a legitimate No. 1 wide receiver.
Allen would be even more hyped if he played for a big college with a top-tier quarterback throwing him the ball. After the NFL Scouting Combine next spring, we may see him higher on draft boards than he is now.
11. Tennessee Titans
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Bjoern Werner, Defensive End, Florida State
The Tennessee Titans have trouble putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks, so drafting a pass-rusher is a big priority.
Werner is a relentless worker with an excellent understanding of the game. He's also a speedy pass-rusher who can get around a corner with the best of them, and he'll make Kamerion Wimbley's life a bit easier in the years to come.
12. Arizona Cardinals
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Chance Warmack, Offensive Guard, Alabama
It's no secret that the Arizona Cardinals have the NFL's worst offensive line. This unit can't pass block, can't run block and makes playing quarterback a job worthy of hazard pay—just ask Kevin Kolb and John Skelton.
While most folks think offensive tackle in situations like this, the Cardinals need just as much help on the interior of their line, and taking Warmack would give them plenty of that, and he brings the healthy, nasty attitude over which offensive line coaches salivate.
13. Detroit Lions
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Dee Milliner, Cornerback, Alabama
Milliner was abused at times against Texas A&M, but he's still one of the top players in the 2013 NFL draft class, provided he decides to come out and declare at the end of the season.
The Detroit Lions could sure use the help, too.
After getting burned by Christian Ponder and the Minnesota Vikings in Week 10—without Percy Harvin, no less—it's clear that the Lions need to make drafting a cornerback their top priority in 2013.
14. San Diego Chargers
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Taylor Lewan, Offensive Tackle, Michigan
The San Diego Chargers have needed to draft an offensive tackle early in the draft for about three seasons, and 2013 will finally be the year they make the right move.
Lewan is an excellent run-blocking tackle who is also getting better as a pass-blocker. He's played with Denard Robinson for the past few seasons, so acclimating to a non-mobile quarterback may take some adjustments, but he's certainly up to the task.
15. Dallas Cowboys
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Barkevious Mingo, Defensive End/Outside Linebacker, LSU
The Dallas Cowboys have been searching for a player to play opposite DeMarcus Ware for the past few seasons, without any real success.
Mingo is a raw player with insane upside, but he doesn't come without risk. Right now, he's somewhat of a one-trick pony, as he relies purely on his quickness and speed to get into the backfield. He'll need to develop a bigger repertoire of moves and some strength before he's ready to become an elite pass-rusher.
16. Miami Dolphins
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Justin Hunter, Wide Receiver, Tennessee
There's not a position the Miami Dolphins need to improve more on their roster than wide receiver.
Hunter is a burgeoning star who combines size, speed, athleticism and excellent hands. It won't take him and Ryan Tannehill long to become an elite combo—much like Andy Dalton and A.J. Green are for the Cincinnati Bengals.
17. New Orleans Saints
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Damontre Moore, Defensive End, Texas A&M
There isn't another player shooting up draft boards faster than Moore.
He's proven to be an effective player against the run and the pass, compiling 20 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, including 12.5 sacks.
The Saints need help across the board on defense, but they can't go wrong drafting this young man to improve upon their anemic pass rush.
18. Cincinnati Bengals
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Kenny Vaccaro, Strong Safety, Texas
The Cincinnati Bengals have the makings of a dominant defense. When their cornerbacks are healthy and playing together, they have as talented a group as any team in the NFL.
The only missing piece is a top-flight strong safety.
Vaccaro has proven to be the top strong safety in this year's draft class, and he would be an instant improvement over Taylor Mays, a player who's been a big liability for the Bengals in 2012.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Eric Reid, Free Safety, LSU
Imagine Mark Barron and Reid in the same secondary.
That's a frightening thought for opposing offenses, and it would be a big step in the right direction for one of the NFL's worst pass-defending units.
And though it would be logical for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to draft a cornerback or defensive end, free safeties with Reid's talent don't come along all that often.
20. Minnesota Vikings
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John Jenkins, Defensive Tackle, Georgia
The Minnesota Vikings need to get younger and stouter in the middle of their defense.
Jenkins may be taken long before this by the time next April rolls around, but for now, the Vikings will be content to take him with the No. 20 overall pick to solidify their defensive line for years to come.
21. San Diego Chargers (via Trade with the New York Giants)
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Matt Barkley, Quarterback, USC
A.J. Smith has to be seeing what we're all seeing from Philip Rivers these days: The guy has lost his arm, and he's lost his way late in games.
With that in mind, I present to you a trade.
The New York Giants trade their first-round pick for the Chargers' second- and third-round picks (or something along those lines).
Barkley will stay in Southern California and attempt to revitalize a franchise that has been missing a spark for the last handful of years.
22. Seattle Seahawks
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Tyler Eifert, Tight End, Notre Dame
The Seattle Seahawks have not been shy about drafting players they like better than other teams since Pete Carroll took over a few years ago.
Many experts still don't have Eifert as a first-round talent, but from what I've seen, he's going to be just as valuable to the team that drafts him as Jimmy Graham or Rob Gronkowski. Both of those guys would be drafted in the first round this season, and so will Eifert.
Bringing in a talented tight end will be a big part of Russell Wilson's development, and the Seahawks will continue to build a winning team.
23. Indianapolis Colts
Eric Fisher, Offensive Tackle, Central Michigan
It's been incredible to witness Andrew Luck this season, as he has led his team to a 6-3 record through Week 10. That said, every time I watch him play, I wonder how much better he might be with some competent play from his offensive line.
The Indianapolis Colts need help across their offensive line, but the first goal must be to provide Luck with some blindside protection.
Fisher is not as highly regarded as many of his peers from bigger schools, but he has the makings of an excellent starting left tackle in the NFL.
24. Green Bay Packers
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Barrett Jones, Offensive Lineman, Alabama
The Green Bay Packers offense struggles to protect Aaron Rodgers, and it also struggles to provide running lanes.
Jones is an incredibly diverse lineman who can play all five positions, and he will be a starter at guard from day one until Jeff Saturday can't play anymore. After that, he has the makings of a fine NFL center.
25. Denver Broncos
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Matt Elam, Strong Safety, Florida
The Denver Broncos have been impressive lately on defense, but the team still needs to add some talent to its secondary.
Ever since Brian Dawkins left the lineup, the Broncos have been missing something.
Elam is a hard-hitting, ball-hawking strong safety that would give this team the element it's been missing.
26. New England Patriots
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Johnthan Banks, Cornerback, Mississippi State
The Achilles' heel of the New England Patriots continues to be the lack of talent in the team's secondary.
Drafting Banks would go a long way towards improving the roster in that regard, as he's a physically imposing young man who possesses excellent speed, hands and instincts.
And if Aqib Talib pans out, the team's weakness in 2012 could become an incredible strength going forward.
27. San Francisco 49ers
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Sheldon Richardson, Defensive Tackle, Missouri
The San Francisco 49ers are known for having one of the best defensive lines in football, but I'm not as excited as most when it comes to this group.
Justin Smith is still a bull in the trenches, but Ray McDonald and Isaac Sopoaga have both disappointed me this season. It's time to inject some more youth and talent into this group, and Richardson has all the tools to become an excellent 3-4 defensive end.
28. Baltimore Ravens
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Robert Woods, Wide Receiver, USC
I'm not a huge fan of the Joe Flacco, air-it-out show, but if that's the way the Baltimore Ravens are going to play the game, then they need to give him more weapons—especially with Anquan Boldin nearing the end of his career.
Woods is an elite athlete who excels after the catch—a perfect complement to Torrey Smith's speed down the field.
29. Chicago Bears
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Dallas Thomas, Offensive Tackle, Tennessee
How often must Jay Cutler get hurt before the team's front office gets a clue?
The Chicago Bears have made do with J'Marcus Webb for long enough. Former offensive lineman Mike Tice is the team's new offensive coordinator, and he's going to make some noise about fixing this problem.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers
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Jesse Williams, Nose Tackle, Alabama
At the age of 35, Casey Hampton is nearing his NFL expiration date, and the Pittsburgh Steelers have yet to find a worthy replacement.
Look no further.
Williams has been stuffing the middle for 'Bama's defense this year, showing the athleticism, strength and agility it takes to play the nose tackle position at the next level. He's made his case as a first-round talent.
31. Atlanta Falcons
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Dion Jordan, Defensive End, Oregon
It's hard to believe Jordan started his college career with the Ducks as a wide receiver.
He brings his elite athleticism and speed to the defensive line these days, and the Atlanta Falcons could use him as a situational pass-rusher for a year or two until John Abraham is ready to retire.
After that, Jordan will be physically ready to handle the full-time load, and he'll be a force of nature on the edge for the Falcons for a long time.
32. Houston Texans
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Tavon Austin, Wide Receiver, West Virginia
Imagine how dangerous the Houston Texans offense would be with a Wes Welker-type receiver in the slot to take pressure off of Andre Johnson on the outside.
Austin's incredible speed and off-the-line quickness—not to mention his insane change-of-direction prowess—would turn the Texans' plodding, workhorse offense into a supercharged stallion.