Along with the holiday season comes the long-awaited-for anticipation of the NFL postseason. Fans and players of 12 franchises will be ready to gear up for exciting playoff matchups in hopes of reaching the penultimate game, Super Bowl XLVII.
But for the other 20 teams, the next biggest event in store is the 2013 NFL draft.
Here is my Week 17 mock of the draft's first round.
Season stats: 164.6 RAT, 4,001 YDS, 40 TD, 6 INT, 71.4 Comp %
Off-field distractions aside, the Kansas City Chiefs and their fans should be looking forward to the 2013 draft. And with Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn posing more questions than answers, the Chiefs could have a shot at reeling in a franchise quarterback.
Geno Smith of West Virginia could be that guy.
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 is clearly the best quarterback prospect in the draft and an overall top-five talent of the class.
Season Stats: 42 Tackles, 10.0 TFL, 5.0 Sacks, 3 FF
With Geno Smith off the board and Tim Tebow likely making his way to Jacksonville, quarterback is not the way to go here. The Jaguars should opt for the best available defensive player if they remain in this slot.
The pick should come down to Jarvis Jones and Star Lotulelei. Jones would make sense given the team's lack of a pass rush. His neck injury, however, could end up being a legitimate reason not to spend the second overall pick on the Georgia Bulldog.
If that's the case, the Jaguars should have no problem picking up the top defensive talent in this draft with Utah's Lotulelei.
Lotulelei possesses ridiculous physical attributes. He's huge, he's powerful and he's stunningly quick for a man of his size. The Utah product is extremely explosive off the snap and creates nothing but havoc when penetrating past opposing offensive lines.
He's not a pass-rushing threat per se, but he will shore up a weak defensive line. Lotulelei's presence would patch up the run defense and free up Jacksonville's pass-rushers at times.
Season Stats: 103 Tackles, 5.5 TFL, 1.5 Sacks, 7 INT
Taking an inside linebacker with the third overall pick isn't conventional. But given the immense talent of Manti Te'o as well as Oakland's need at the position, we could see the Heisman runner-up go here.
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. And, of course, the leadership skills of the linebacker have been well noted throughout his Notre Dame career.
The Raiders are lacking any type of direction on defense. Restructuring their defense around Te'o would be a huge step in making this franchise matter again.
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.
Joeckel has to be the primary target for Philadelphia in this draft. Whether it's Nick Foles or somebody else in the imminently new regime, the Eagles must bulk up their pass protection. This offensive line is a mess and could really use the best tackle in the class.
Season Stats: 40 Tackles, 18.0 TFL, 13.0 Sacks, 1 FF
Luckily for Detroit, it would encounter a scenario where a need meets a value. The Lions should be looking for a defensive end with Cliff Avril possibly gone via free agency.
Bjoern Werner is now considered the top defensive end in this 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.
Season Stats: 143.8 RAT, 3,387 YDS, 21 TD, 13 INT, 62.1 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 second-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.
Season stats: 77 Tackles, 22.5 TFL, 12.5 Sacks, 1 INT, 7 FF
Although I consider Jarvis Jones as one of the top five talents in this draft, his spinal stenosis condition might have teams shying away. We've seen injury history damage draft stock before, and this situation could end up as one of those. (See Bowers, Da'Quan)
So he could drop a little. Regardless, 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. He should help a young team with some talent in Cleveland, giving them a legitimate prospect to build around on defense.
Season Stats: 80 Tackles, 20.0 TFL, 12.5 Sacks, 1 FF
Tennessee will be looking to bulk up on its pass rush in the offseason. If Texas A&M's Damontre Moore is there for the Titans, they would waste little to no time sending in that pick.
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 would be an absolute steal here if he declares for the draft.
Expect Moore's versatility and overall athleticism to have him atop many team's draft boards come April.
Season stats: ---
Arizona really needs a starting quarterback. But before the Cardinals even consider bringing in a future franchise guy, they must retool their weak offensive line.
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.
Season Stats: ---
Although he hasn't been atop his game this season, much of Philip Rivers' struggles has come as a rest of his constantly changing offensive line. The Chargers have to add some much-needed depth in their pass protection to get into contention once again.
Taylor Lewan is a physical monster. The guy stands at an outstanding 6'7" and 310 pounds. He's very solid in both pass and run blocking, which can be attributed to his agility and natural ability at the spot.
Season Stats: 51 Tackles, 4.0 TFL, 1.5 Sacks, 2 INT, 1 FF
Cartwheels. Yes, cartwheels.
If Dee Milliner drops to the Bucs, a team truly desperate for a cornerback, everyone in Tampa should be doing cartwheels in April.
Milliner, 6'1", is lengthy, physical and knows how to hang with wideouts. As the top corner in this class, expect Milliner to translate his skill set rather well on Sunday afternoons.
Teaming him up with fellow Alabama alum Mark Barron should give this coaching staff a nice infusion of talent in the secondary.
Season Stats: 157.6 RAT, 3,273 YDS, 36 TD, 15 INT, 63.6 Comp %
Jets fans might be puking at the prospect of bringing in another USC quarterback. But if Matt Barkley is still on the board for the Jets, why not?
Mark Sanchez won't be starting next year, Tim Tebow will be gone and Greg McElroy certainly isn't anything to write home about. Barkley's 2011 campaign has damaged his once incredibly high draft stock but could make his hike back up team boards with his pre-draft workouts.
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 a year. He also has to improve his decision making, something that resulted in him throwing 15 interceptions.
Unless the Jets dig deep to acquire a worthy starting quarterback, there's no reason why they shouldn't take a gamble on a guy with Barkley's potential.
Season Stats: 61 REC, 737 YDS, 6 TD
With all three of the elite offensive tackles off the board and plenty of defensive tackles to choose from later, Carolina could go out and get Cam Newton a much-needed weapon. The Panthers have to eventually bring in a future No. 1 wide receiver to grow with their franchise player.
Keenan Allen has seen his draft stock take an untimely hit in the midst of his left knee injury. But as long as he checks out for the combine, look for him to regain his status as a legitimate mid-first-rounder.
Allen isn't your fastest guy but is an incredible playmaker. He has soft hands, is considerably strong and is very explosive. Allen is also a great route-runner and is certainly not a stranger to picking up yards after the catch.
The North Carolina native can develop into Newton's go-to guy and even give the Panthers a dangerous option to turn to special teams.
Season stats: 36 Tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1.0 Sack
The rising Jesse Williams should be a nice addition to a Pittsburgh defense looking to revamp.
This is a powerful, powerful man. Williams is good at the point of attack, uses his bull rush effectively and is an all-around disruptive force in the middle.
His stock has taken a nice boost and can even go bit a further with the national title game and the combine coming up.
Season Stats: 59 Tackles, 2.0 TFL, 4 INT, 1 FF
If they can't take a wide receiver worth their while here, the Miami Dolphins could turn to the best available corner to patch up their shaky secondary.
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.
Season Stats: 44 Tackles, 10.5 TFL, 5.0 Sacks, 3 FF
Steve Spagnuolo and the Saints have to bring in a pass-rushing talent to start fixing up their generous defense. Dion Jordan may be the perfect fit their defensive scheme.
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.
Season stats: ---
There's no doubt St. Louis must look to address its offensive line woes during the offseason. Chance Warmack would be an incredible start if he's still on the board.
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. And even though he hasn't played a snap in the league, Warmack could end up as an All-Pro talent. Yes, he's that potent.
The Alabama product is a top-10 talent in the class but could see his stock take a very minor hit since teams rarely use their first-rounder on a guard. Either way, Warmack will immediately help the interior of a very inept St. Louis line.
Season Stats: 75 Tackles, 10.5 TFL, 4.0 Sacks, 3 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.
With Chance Warmack just swiped away, Dallas could opt for some depth on its defensive line with a big-time playmaker in Richardson. Drafting the Missouri product would allow a move to the outside for the oft-injured Jay Ratliff.
Season Stats: 55 Tackles, 4.0 TFL, 1.0 Sacks
Their latest showing against the Baltimore Ravens proved that the Giants defense needs to improve at the point of attack. New York must add some depth to its defensive line and can do so with a big body up the middle.
Johnathan 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.
He has slipped down boards of late. Hankins needs to make up for his lack of production with a solid showing at the upcoming combine to reboot his stock.
Season stats: ---
If any team needs offensive line help, it's Chicago. Jay Cutler may not have the chops to carry this team as far as it should go, but the Bears need to give him a chance with a formidable offensive front.
Eric Fisher is a hot name of late. In addition to being a monster at 6'7", 305 lbs, Fisher is a relatively polished talent. He has long arms, quick feet and active hands. The Central Michigan product is very disciplined in the run game and could climb up draft boards very soon.
Season Stats: 50 Tackles, 2.0 TFL, 1.0 Sack
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.
Season Stats: 92 Tackles, 3.5 TFL, 2 INT, 2 FF
This may be a small reach, but Cincinnati shouldn't mind addressing its need for a safety here.
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.
Season Stats: 33 Tackles, 5.5 TFL, 4.0 Sacks
After going with an offensive talent with their first pick in the round, the St. Louis Rams should turn their focus to the other side of the ball. Barkevious Mingo could drop right into their laps.
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.
Season Stats: 95 REC, 1,764 YDS, 12 TD
Baylor's Terrance Williams has just been straight-up scary this season. In addition to having great physicals (tall, lanky, long), Williams is a burner when it comes to straight down-the-field routes. His speed and leaping ability make him a nice red-zone threat.
Seattle needs a playmaker on the outside. Williams, 6'2", can be that threat for Russell Wilson and crew.
Season Stats: 53 Tackles, 11.5 TFL, 8.0 Sacks, 3 FF
Indianapolis must start looking to build up its defense to remain in contention. Alex Okafor, listed as a defensive end, is versatile and can fill the team's need at outside linebacker.
Okafor has great speed off the edge, is very solid against the run and can play in a number of spots on defense.
Season Stats: 92 Tackles, 3.5 TFL, 2 INT, 2 FF
Ray Lewis may be on the cusp of retirement. And as disheartening as it may sound to Baltimore fans, they need to start searching for his replacement.
Alec Ogletree of Georgia could be a possibility.
Season stats: ---
Barrett Jones' skill and versatility will make him an interesting commodity for teams. With San Francisco's offense becoming a lot more flexible with Colin Kaepernick under center, perhaps Barrett Jones could be of great use.
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.
Season Stats: 44 REC, 624 YDS, 4 TD
Despite whatever has been said, Jermichael Finley is probably on his way out of Green Bay. In addition to the chunk of cash he's owed next season, Aaron Rodgers doesn't pass to him very often anyway.
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.
With all the major offensive tackles and guards already taken, Green Bay will have to wait for the next round in addressing its pass protection.
Season Stats: 81 Tackles, 1.0 TFL, 2 INT
Despite its improvement on defense this season, New England still has to bulk up its secondary.
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.
Season stats: 35 Tackles, 1.0 TFL, 3 INT
Xavier Rhodes of Florida State may be a candidate to add depth to Denver's secondary and serve as an eventual replacement to the great Champ Bailey.
Rhodes, 6'2" and 215 pounds, is a big corner that often engages in very physical play with opposing wide receivers. He's good in press-man coverage, is solid against the run and certainly has the skill set to find himself taken on day one of the draft.
Season Stats: 109 REC, 1,266 YDS, 12 TD, 598 Rush YDS, 3 Rush TD
West Virginia's Tavon Austin has done nothing but produce for the Mountaineers this year. He's quick with his feet, can accelerate fairly well and is a good cutback runner.
Austin's game has drawn some comparisons to Minnesota's Percy Harvin given his speed and production in the slot.
Houston needs another viable option outside of Andre Johnson to keep Matt Schaub going.
Season Stats: 32 Tackles, 12.0 TFL, 7.0 Sacks, 1 FF
Atlanta will be delighted to address its defensive end need with a potent talent like Sam Montgomery.
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.
He can work in the scheme as a defensive end or even an outside linebacker.