2013 NFL Mock Draft: Predictions for Entire First Round
As the college season winds down, the landscape of the 2013 first round is beginning to come into focus. As a result, a number of new faces have climbed into the top 10 (including Notre Dame's Manti Te'o), and a number of big names (most notably Matt Barkley) fall out of the first round altogether.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
There are question marks all over the roster in Kansas City but it starts at quarterback.
Geno Smith would be a gamble with the No. 1 pick, but few teams with a glaring hole at the position have been able to pass up the top signal-caller in the draft when in this position.
Some may want to put Matt Barkley in the conversation, but don't believe the hype. That ship has sailed, and Geno Smith has solidified his spot as the top quarterback in the draft.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
Johnathan Hankins reminds me of B.J. Raji when he was entering the draft out of Boston College. Like Raji, Hankins has the elite size to play the role of nose tackle, but also has surprising athleticism for his size.
In Jacksonville, Hankins would be a perfect fit on the interior line next Tyson Alualu.
3. Carolina Panthers: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
The Panthers defense has a number of glaring holes to fill, but it all starts up front with the defensive line.
Adding a physical presence on the interior line would go a long way toward freeing up their pass-rushers on the edge. Lotulelei is the type of player that requires double teams on nearly every play and would be a difference maker as a space eater in Carolina.
4. Cleveland Browns: Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia
The Browns are just a few pieces away from having a legitimate playoff-caliber defense, and the addition of a strong-side linebacker such as Jones could help put them over the top.
Jones plays in the 3-4 defense at Georgia, but has enough athleticism to remain at the position in a 4-3 scheme. His physical style of play would fit nicely in Dick Jauron's defense and help shore up the Browns run defense.
5. Oakland Raiders: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Werner wouldn't be your typical Al Davis draft pick, but those days are done in Oakland.
The Raiders' inconsistent defense needs a physical presence like Werner in the front seven. While he isn't the most athletic lineman in this year's class, he is the most well-rounded.
Werner's style of play reminds me of Rams defensive end Chris Long.
6. Philadelphia Eagles: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
With significant changes likely coming in Philly, you have to wonder if it'll cut ties with a few members of its expensive secondary. Nnamdi Asomugha has been a disappointment, and he may simply cost too much to keep around for a rebuilding process.
If it moves on, Milliner would be an intriguing replacement. He has established himself as as the premier cornerback in this year's draft class and should come off the board in the top 10.
7. Buffalo Bills: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
Matt Barkley will definitely be linked to the Bills in many mock drafts, but it hasn't been Buddy Nix's style to reach to fill a need.
Instead, the Bills will likely settle for the best available player, as they have done in recent years. In a deep class of defensive ends, the Bills would be wise to bring in another pass-rusher to pair with Mario Williams, who has struggled at times in his first year in Buffalo.
Moore has been one of the fastest risers this year and is now in the top-10 discussion.
8. Detroit Lions: Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame
The Lions are one of the most undisciplined teams on defense and are in need of a culture change on that side of the ball. It's not easy for a rookie to step in and take on a leadership role, but Te'o may be one of the few capable of the challenge.
Te'o would immediately step into a starting role as the mike linebacker and should excel due to the Lions strong defensive line playing in front of him.
9. St. Louis Rams: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
If Joeckel is still on the board, it's a safe bet he'll wind up in St. Louis.
The Rams desperately need to upgrade Sam Bradford's protection, and Joeckel is the front runner to be the first offensive lineman off the board.
If Joeckel has any competition, it would come from Taylor Lewan, who may have more upside but isn't as developed and would be more of a risk.
10. Arizona Cardinals: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
The Cardinals offensive line is a mess, currently featuring two rookie tackles from the fourth and seventh rounds of the 2012 draft. While adding yet another rookie may seem like a step in the wrong direction, the Cardinals need someone to build around.
Lewan may not offer much in terms of an immediate upgrade, but he has as much upside as any lineman in this year's class. His size and athleticism will make him an early first-round pick, even if he needs a year or two to fully develop.
11. New York Jets: Barkevious Mingo, DE/LB, LSU
There could be significant changes coming in New York, which may shake up its draft plans. But as of right now, it's safe to assume the draft's top pass-rushers will be high on its board.
Mingo is far from a finished project, but New York may actually be a perfect fit for him for that reason. The Jets need a pure pass-rusher, which is what Mingo does best. They could ease him into more extensive duties while utilizing him as a pass rush specialist early in his career.
12. Miami Dolphins: Keenan Allen, WR, California
Davone Bess and Brian Hartline have done a nice job working with Ryan Tannehill, but neither will be confused for a No. 1 receiver anytime soon.
There isn't an elite receiver prospect in this year's class, but Allen seems to have emerged as the consensus top available talent. He has all the physical tools necessary to excel in the NFL and should flourish once he's given the opportunity to work with a more talented quarterback than he had at Cal.
13. San Diego Chargers: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
The son of Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews has been slightly overshadowed by teammate Luke Joeckel, but Matthews is right there in the mix to be the next lineman off the board behind Joeckel.
Matthews plays on the right side at A&M and would likely take on the same role in San Diego. The Chargers have been searching for a competent right tackle for the past few seasons, and he could finally be the answer.
14. St. Louis Rams: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
Even if the Rams select a lineman with their first pick, don't be shocked if they double dip.
Warmack would help protect Sam Bradford, but would also improve their interior run blocking. He's a physical lineman who has excelled at paving the way for Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy over the past few seasons.
15. Tennessee Titans: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
The Titans have some talent on defense, but are still a few pieces away.
Richardson put together a strong year at Missouri and is likely to test the NFL draft waters. He's a solid athlete for an interior lineman and would be a nice fit next to Jurrell Casey in the middle of Tennessee's defensive line.
16. Cincinnati Bengals: John Jenkins, DT, Georgia
The Bengals run defense has been a disappointment at times this season and could really use a space-eater in the middle of the line to close some holes.
The addition of a true nose tackle like Jenkins would also open things up for the Bengals linebackers to make some plays, which could help the struggling Rey Maualuga.
17. Dallas Cowboys: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
The Cowboys failed to adequately address their offensive line last offseason, and it's come back to haunt them. This year, the primary focus needs to be upgrading the protection around Tony Romo and adding the run blockers necessary to help out DeMarco Murray in the run game.
Cooper is a notch below Chance Warmack, but still a legitimate first-round pick and would be a significant upgrade on the Cowboys line.
18. New Orleans Saints: Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
The Saints run defense needs a boost, and a nose tackle like Jesse Williams may be the solution.
Williams isn't an elite athlete, but he's a stout run defender who can plug holes and take on double teams.
Sedrick Ellis is set to become a free agent, and the Saints may be ready to move on from the somewhat disappointing former first-round pick. Williams would be the perfect replacement.
19. Minnesota Vikings: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
Thirty-five-year-old Antoine Winfield doesn't have much left in the tank, and the Vikings are already lacking depth around him in the secondary.
Banks has the size to match up with some of the bigger receivers in the league, which should interest the Vikings who go up against Calvin Johnson and Brandon Marshall twice each year.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
The Bucs have so many holes in the secondary, they can't afford to pass up on the best available cornerback.
Rhodes is still developing, but has the size and athleticism to become a true No. 1 corner at the next level. Rhodes would start immediately in Tampa and would be in a great position to learn from veteran Ronde Barber.
21. Seattle Seahawks: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Patterson's stock has risen considerably this season, and he may end up coming off the board before highly-touted teammate Justin Hunter.
The Seahawks need to give Russell Wilson a weapon to grow with over the next few years, and the 6'3" Patterson would be an ideal fit.
22. Indianapolis Colts: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
The Colts rebuilt the offense last year, but their attention needs to turn to the defensive side of the ball this offseason.
Chuck Pagano's hybrid defense requires versatile linemen, and Floyd would be an excellent fit. He's strong enough to hold his ground against the run and play inside in the 4-3 sets, but also has enough athleticism to get into the backfield and line up at end in the 3-4.
23. New York Giants: Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
The Giants have relatively few holes to fill and will probably simply take the best available player. In a deep class of defensive ends, that means they're likely to add some depth to their front seven.
Montgomery hasn't fully lived up to expectations this year, but he has the potential to develop into a well-rounded defensive end. New York would be the ideal landing spot for any defensive end due to the fact that he won't be forced to take on a significant role early in his career.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Matt Elam, S, Florida
The Steelers don't have an immediate hole to fill at either safety position, but this franchise has always done an excellent job filling holes before they open up.
Both Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark are on the back nine of their careers. And due to the fact that the Steelers defense relies heavily on their production, they would be wise to start to develop their replacements sooner rather than later.
25. Denver Broncos: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
Peyton Manning has worked wonders with a very mediocre receiving corps in Denver this year. The addition of a reliable tight end like Eifert could really open things up for their passing game.
The Broncos' window of opportunity with Manning is small, so they shouldn't reach to add a developmental receiver, but Eiftert has the skill set to contribute immediately.
26. Green Bay Packers: Eric Reid, S, LSU
After a disappointing season, Reid's stock has fallen, but his raw talent could still land him in the late first round.
The Packers secondary has struggled at times this year, and upgrades are needed at multiple positions, And if Charles Woodson hangs up the cleats, they would suddenly have a glaring hole at free safety.
27. New England Patriots: Ezekiel Ansah, DE/LB, Brigham Young
Not every team will be willing to gamble on Ansah, who still needs to develop before he's ready to make an impact in the NFL. But the Patriots have the depth on the defensive side of the, and Bill Belichick has always been willing to gamble and get creative with their draft picks.
Ansah's size and athleticism would make him an ideal fit for the Patriots' hybrid defense, and he could prove to be one of the steals of the first round.
28. Chicago Bears: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
The Bears absolutely must upgrade the protection around Jay Cutler and should probably consider trading up the first round to make sure they get their guy.
If they stay put in the late first round, Fisher should be one of their targets. He may take some time to transition from the MAC to the NFL, but there's little doubt that Fisher has the strength and fundamentals to excel at the next level once he adjusts to the speed of the game.
29. Baltimore Ravens: Quinton Patton, WR, Louisiana Tech
Patton has quietly put together an impressive year at Louisiana Tech and is starting to get some recognition as a potential first-round selection.
The Ravens don't have a glaring hole at receiver, but if they want to put their offense over the top, they may need to bring in another weapon for Joe Flacco. The trio of Patton, Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin would create significant matchup problems for most defenses.
30. San Francisco 49ers: Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
Justin Hunter is the most talented receiver in this year's draft class and has the potential to develop into an elite receiver at the next level.
However, Hunter has failed to live up to expectations this season and shown a lack of focus on the field. All those mistakes will likely cost him in the draft, but his raw talent will still put him in the first-round conversation.
31. Atlanta Falcons: Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
The Falcons have a strong defensive front seven, but they could use some depth and a young pass-rusher to groom behind John Abraham.
Jordan is still developing as an all-around lineman, but has the ability to contribute immediately as a pass rush specialist.
The addition of a young pass-rusher would likely help extend the career of Abraham, as they could use a deeper rotation of ends to keep everyone fresh.
32. Houston Texans: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
The Texans don't need any immediate help on offense, but the addition of a weapon like Austin could put the unit over the top.
Austin will never be a true No. 1 receiver, but his versatility and elusiveness in the open field will make him a difference maker at the next level.
A small slot receiver like Austin would be an excellent complement to Andre Johnson.