2013 NFL Mock Draft: Teams in Desperate Need of Offensive Upgrade
At this point in the NFL season, it's pretty clear which teams will be making picks at the top of next year's draft, and there are some teams that are in desperate need of an upgrade on offense.
Some of the worst teams in the NFL will be looking to shore up the quarterback position, while others will be looking for a solid running back or a playmaking wide receiver to throw the ball to.
Let's take a look at squads that must upgrade their offense through the 2013 NFL draft.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
After the failures of Matt Cassel to make an impact behind center for Kansas City, the Chiefs took a shot with Brady Quinn as their signal-caller, but once again failed with that experiment. Quinn will be taking the snaps for the rest of the season, but the Chiefs would be wise to take a quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick.
Smith will undoubtedly be the best quarterback in this draft, so it makes sense for Kansas City to take a chance on him as its franchise quarterback of the future.
Not only does Smith have a great arm with the ability to make all the throws, he also has great athleticism that will make him a menace to opposing defenses whenever he leaves the pocket.
Smith is a solid all-around quarterback, and he could finally give the Chiefs some stability and talent at the quarterback position.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
The Jags would love to improve their offense in this draft, but there is simply no player worth taking in this spot on the offensive end that will make a real impact for this squad.
Drafting Lotulelei with the No. 2 pick would be a huge boost for a poor defense, and it would help rebuild what was once a feared Jacksonville defense in years past.
3. Carolina Panthers: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
Like the Jags, the Panthers want to surround franchise quarterback Cam Newton with more weapons, but this pick will likely be a defensive one for Carolina.
Jones gives the Panthers a stud at the outside linebacker position, and that will help improve this team's poor defense against both the run and pass.
4. Cleveland Browns: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Much like last year's draft, the Browns are in desperate need of a playmaker on offense, but there won't be one to be had this early in the draft.
Werner will give the Browns a great pass-rusher for years to come who will help them put more pressure on opposing quarterbacks, giving relief to their weak secondary.
5. Oakland Raiders: Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
With their current quarterback situation not ideal, the Raiders might look to draft a quarterback in this spot, but defense is a much more pressing issue for this team.
Montgomery would be a huge improvement for Oakland on the defensive side of the ball, and his pass-rushing abilities could go a long way in making the Raiders a more balanced team.
6. Philadelphia Eagles: Matt Barkley, QB, USC
The implosion of Michael Vick in 2012 and the uncertain future of rookie Nick Foles will make it absolutely necessary that the Eagles go for a quarterback in this spot.
Sure, defense is also an issue for this team, but there is nothing more important to a franchise than a quarterback, and drafting Barkley will give the Eagles a fresh start behind center.
Not to mention, head coach Andy Reid could be on his way out of Philly after another dreadful season for the Eagles, and with a new sheriff in town on the sidelines, a new franchise quarterback should be the first step in the rebuilding process.
Barkley has a strong arm and the ability to make all the throws necessary to be a NFL quarterback. Being able to hand the ball to a top back like LeSean McCoy would also take a ton of pressure off the rookie quarterback in the early going.
If he were drafted, Barkley might not even see the field in 2013 if Foles were to prove to be the better quarterback for the moment, but Barkley would no doubt be in the future plans of this team.
7. Buffalo Bills: Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame
The Bills would love to get themselves a franchise quarterback in this draft, but there simply won't be one available for them.
Instead, the Bills will have to make an improvement to their bad defense, and Te'o will give this team a star linebacker, adding credibility to a defense that had trouble stopping the pass and run in 2012.
8. Detroit Lions: Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
The Lions are having serious problems stopping the run in 2012, so pairing Ndamukong Suh with another stud defensive tackle would certainly help.
Hankins would give Detroit two very big men up the middle to help them stop the run, and that would be a nightmare for opposing rushing attacks.
9. St. Louis Rams: Keenan Allen, WR, California
Quarterback Sam Bradford has gone through yet another season without a No. 1 receiver to throw the ball to. If head coach Jeff Fisher and the Rams want their franchise quarterback to succeed, they must give him a playmaker on offense.
Allen's size and athletic ability make him the perfect fit for the Rams at the No. 9 spot in the 2013 draft. Not only would he be a reliable option for Bradford when St. Louis needs a big play, but he'd also take a ton of pressure off some of the other Rams receivers.
This team has a few bright spots in its receiving corps—namely Danny Amendola as a slot receiver—but they still need someone on the outside to make plays, and Allen is just the guy to do it.
10. Arizona Cardinals: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU
Arizona has all sorts of problems on both sides of the ball and are in desperate need of a quarterback. But at this point in the draft, adding a franchise signal-caller will be impossible.
Stopping the run has been a huge problem for Arizona this season, so adding Mingo will help the Cards protect against opposing rushing attacks breaking big plays to the outside.
11. New York Jets: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
With the best receiver already gone in the 2013 draft, the Jets will have no choice but to make an addition to their pathetic offensive line.
The Jets were most successful in the Rex Ryan era when they had a strong running game, and building a strong offensive line is the first step in returning to that success. Not to mention, Mark Sanchez will never improve if he doesn't have time to throw the ball.
Joeckel will give the Jets a solid tackle to help rebuild their offensive line alongside Nick Mangold and D'Brickashaw Ferguson.
Drafting an offensive lineman at this spot in the draft might not be the flashy, news-making pick the Jets' management usually prefers, but it would be the smartest choice. If this works out, New York could return to the days when they could actually run the ball, and Sanchez won't be running for his life on a down-to-down basis.
12. Miami Dolphins: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Alabama cornerbacks are normally NFL-ready in their first season, and Milliner should be no different.
The Dolphins have been horrid against the pass in 2012, and Milliner would help improve their secondary in a big way as a shutdown corner.
13. San Diego Chargers: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
The Chargers passing and rushing attacks both fell far short of expectations this season, so helping Phillip Rivers and this offense by adding some extra protection will benefit this team greatly.
Lewan is a big, strong offensive lineman who would help the Chargers fill in one of the holes in their offensive line, thus giving Rivers more time to throw the ball. When he's at his best, Rivers can sling it all over the field, and that normally translates to wins for this team.
To help complement the passing attack, Lewan will also give some much-needed help to a Chargers rushing attack that ranks No. 25 in the NFL. That type of balance will make it much more difficult for opposing defenses to plan for San Diego, and that could help the Chargers return to playoff contention immediately.
14. St. Louis Rams (via Washington): Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
After getting themselves a playmaker with their first pick in the draft, the Rams should look to boost their offensive line after ineptitude and injuries have contributed to them falling far short of acceptable the past few seasons.
St. Louis' defense has been much improved in 2012, so the 2013 draft will be all about helping Sam Bradford succeed in the years to come. Fisher is a great option to do just that, and he will no doubt help Bradford get more time in the pocket.
Not to mention, the Rams will look to make things easier for what appears to be their No. 1 option of the future at running back, Daryl Richardson.
Opposite Rodger Saffold, Fisher would be just the addition the Rams need to shore up what has been an abysmal offensive line during the Bradford era. With both Saffold and Fisher being young, St. Louis would be set at the tackle position for at least the next five seasons.
15. Tennessee Titans: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
There is no other way to say it: Tennessee was horrible on the defensive end this season.
Moore will be the best pass-rusher on the board at this point in the draft, so this pick makes all the sense in the world if the Titans are serious about rebuilding their defense.
16. Cincinnati Bengals: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
Cincinnati could use someone to help it stop the run, but there won't be any player worth taking at this point who could make a dent.
The Bengals would be better served beefing up their offensive line, and Matthews gives them the chance to add depth to the O-line.
17. Dallas Cowboys: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
The Cowboys are sporting the worst rushing attack in the NFL this season, so it's obvious they need a ton of help up the middle. On top of that, Dallas needs to help give Tony Romo some more time in the pocket to make plays, considering he is the focal point of its offense.
Warmack would give the Cowboys a stud protecting them up the middle for years to come and should solve their rushing attack woes with a healthy DeMarco Murray next season.
18. New Orleans Saints: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
The Saints have so many holes on the defensive side of the ball, you couldn't possibly make a bulletproof argument for which position they need to address first.
However, cornerback would be a nice place to start, and Banks could be the shutdown corner that the Saints are looking for. At the very least, Banks will be a nice addition to one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL.
19. Minnesota Vikings: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
It appears the Vikings have their quarterback of the future in Christian Ponder, Adrian Peterson isn't going anywhere and Minnesota's defense is rock solid. With all that being said, another playmaker at wide receiver would be a huge boost for this team's offense.
A young quarterback can never have too many weapons at his disposal, and Ponder's job will be a lot easier if the Vikings add Hopkins to the mix.
Percy Harvin is the biggest threat the Vikings have in their receiving corps, but he is also the main focus of defenses every Sunday, and that certainly makes it tougher for the star receiver to do his job.
If Minnesota drafts Hopkins, Harvin will instantly have another receiver to help take some of the pressure off him once Hopkins gets going. On the flip side, if Harvin is being doubled, that means Hopkins will enjoy single coverage, and that will make it much easier for the rookie to get his career off the ground.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
When the Bucs were at their best in this league, they sported one of the best defenses in the NFL. In 2012, Tampa Bay's defense has left a lot to be desired.
Jordan is a talented pass-rusher who will put pressure on opposing quarterbacks, and that will be a welcome improvement for the worst pass defense in the NFL.
21. Seattle Seahawks: John Jenkins, DT, Georgia
Seattle would love to add a playmaker at wide receiver to give quarterback Russell Wilson some more options, but that player doesn't exist here.
All that will be left is to take the best defensive player on the board, and Jenkins is the man. Boosting their run defense should be a priority for the Seahawks in this draft.
22. Pittsburgh Steelers: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
The Steelers could use some help up the middle defensively, and Richardson will be the best option at this pick in the draft.
Sure, Pittsburgh does have other needs to address, but there won't be a more valuable player to take in this spot than Richardson.
23. Indianapolis Colts: Eric Reid, FS, LSU
The Colts need to address their pass defense after this season now that their offense is clearly on solid ground, thanks to Andrew Luck.
Ranked No. 19 in the NFL against the pass, Reid is the perfect fit to help give some credibility to the Colts' secondary.
24. New York Giants: Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
Williams will be the last solid defensive tackle in the first round, so the Giants would be wise to jump all over this pick.
New York would love to add someone up the middle who will help clog the running lanes, forcing opposing running backs into the not-so-loving arms of guys like Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora and Jason Pierre-Paul.
25. Denver Broncos: C.J. Mosley, OLB, Alabama
From the Broncos' lips to the football gods' ears. If Mosley were to fall this far in the draft, Denver would be foolish not to take him.
Mosley is a talented defender who can play both linebacker positions, and that type of flexibility would give the Broncos scary depth on defense.
26. Green Bay Packers: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
Green Bay's defense as a whole has improved greatly this season, but the pass defense still needs some work.
Ranked No. 22 in the NFL, the Packers need to add a cornerback who can make an impact, and Rhodes is that guy. If successful, Green Bay could be looking at a top defense down the road to go along with its explosive offense.
27. New England Patriots: Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
The Patriots are ranked No. 29 in the NFL against the pass this season, so a pass-rusher would be the best bet in this spot.
Okafor would give head coach Bill Belichick the force on the end that he needs. Opposing quarterbacks have been too comfortable in the pocket this season, and that has got to change in 2013.
28. Chicago Bears: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
With a great defense, two solid running backs and a No. 1 receiver, the Bears should look to improve the tight-end position with a talented player like Eifert.
Eifert proved to be a stud during his time at Notre Dame, and his presence on this roster would give Jay Cutler another much-needed option through the air.
29. Baltimore Ravens: Cornellius Carradine, DE, Florida State
The Ravens defense has been disappointing this season, and it's time to start looking to the future on that side of the ball.
Carradine has a good amount of upside and could prove to be a solid pass-rusher in this league, boosting Baltimore's defense, which ranked No. 23 and 26 against the pass and run, respectively.
30. San Francisco 49ers: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
It appears Colin Kaepernick is the quarterback of the future in San Francisco, so why not give him more options to throw to?
The 49ers should look to add some depth at the wide-receiver position next season, leaving Patterson as the most sensible pick.
31. Atlanta Falcons: Barrett Jones, OG, Alabama
The Falcons are a top team in this league, so their needs are few and far between. However, depth on the offensive line couldn't hurt, and Jones would give some aid to Atlanta's struggling rushing attack.
32. Houston Texans: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
Like Atlanta, Houston doesn't need much, as this team is already the best in the NFL. But if there is one need you can point to, it's the lack of a solid No. 2 option opposite Andre Johnson.
Austin has great upside, and his eventual progression could take some pressure off one of the best receivers in the league.
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