NFL Draft: NFL Mock Draft Post-Week 15
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
Two more weeks are left in the NFL regular season, but most of the early draft order seems to be set.
The 2013 NFL Draft will be weaker at the quarterback and running back positions, but appears to be better for offensive and defensive linemen and linebackers, so teams wanting to improve at the line of scrimmage can improve greatly, while teams needing a signal caller most likely won't love what they get.
With that in mind, here is how I see the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft after Week 15.
Playoff Team Draft Order
Under this scenario, the Broncos would win the Super Bowl.
Patrick Smith/Getty Images
The last twelve draft spots are decided based upon where teams finish in the playoffs, so here is how I see it.
No. 21: No. 6 seed Cincinnati Bengals lose to No. 3 seed New England Patriots in AFC Wild Card round.
No. 22: No. 6 seed Chicago Bears lose to No. 3 seed San Francisco 49ers in NFC Wild Card round.
No. 23: No. 5 seed Indianapolis Colts lose to No. 4 seed Baltimore Ravens in AFC Wild Card round.
No. 24: No. 5 seed Seattle Seahawks lose to No. 4 seed Washington Redskins in NFC Wild Card Round
No. 25: St. Louis Rams from Washington Redskins, who are No. 4 seed and lose to No. 1 seed Atlanta Falcons in NFC Divisional Round.
No. 26: No. 4 seed Baltimore Ravens lose to No. 1 seed Houston Texans in AFC Divisional Round.
No. 27: No. 3 seed San Francisco 49ers lose to No. 2 seed Green Bay Packers in NFC Divisional Round.
No. 28: No. 3 seed New England Patriots lose to No. 2 seed Denver Broncos in AFC Divisional Round.
No. 29: No. 2 seed Green Bay Packers lose to No. 1 seed Atlanta Falcons in NFC Championship.
No. 30: No. 1 seed Houston Texans lose to No. 2 seed Denver Broncos in AFC Championship.
No. 31: No. 1 seed Atlanta Falcons lose to No. 2 seed Denver Broncos in Super Bowl.
No. 32: Denver Broncos win Super Bowl.
Chiefs Trade No.1 Pick to Jaguars, Who Select QB Geno Smith, West Virginia
Geno Smith will be the next top 10 quarterback picked to lead the Jaguars franchise.
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
Chiefs Trade No. 1 pick to Jaguars for No. 2 pick, No. 33 pick in second round and No. 95 pick in fourth round.
Though the Chiefs have an obvious need at quarterback, there are potential free agent and trade options that would be intrigued with the offensive line and skill player talent in Kansas City. These players include Michael Vick, Joe Flacco, T.J. Yates, Kirk Cousins, Jason Campbell, Ryan Mallett, and Matt Flynn.
However, there could be options in the second round like Matt Barkley, Mike Glennon, E.J. Manuel and others that Kansas City would feel more comfortable building around.
For Jacksonville, however, they need to get a quarterback in this draft since it has become obvious that Blaine Gabbert is not the guy, and there is not the talent base or fan base that intrigues any free agent quarterbacks.
Smith is no Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III, but if he can play better than Blaine Gabbert, he will be a good selection who will continue to develop, as will the Jacksonville team.
No. 2: Kansas City Chiefs Select MLB Manti Te'o, Notre Dame
Manti Te'o would make the Chiefs' linebacker core elite.
Mike Stobe/Getty Images
As bad as their season has been, the Chiefs' defense has actually been pretty good.
Despite allowing 26.2 points per game, a lot of early season blowouts are responsible for that stat, as is an offense that is only scoring 13.9 points per game that puts the defense at an instant disadvantage.
Adding Manti Te'o to a linebacker group that already has Pro Bowlers Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson, along with second-year stud Justin Houston, who has 10 sacks this season, would give Kansas City a foundation on defense with leadership abilities for the entire unit.
While quarterback is a huge need after the turnover fest this season, the fact remains that last year's draft proved that you could get a quarterback in the early to middle rounds. Plus, with the extra picks from Jacksonville, there is the potential to trade up for a signal caller.
Te'o could be the next Ray Lewis, and would join with young defensive studs like Brandon Flowers and Eric Berry to create a defensive back seven that would rival some of the best in the league.
No. 3: Oakland Raiders Select DT Star Lotulelei, Utah
Star Lotulelei will be the gap-stopper who the Raiders hope can stop the run.
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
The Raiders' defense is last in scoring, allowing 28.7 points per game, sixth worst in pass defense and twelfth worse in rushing, so there are no levels of the defense that don't look awful.
Richard Seymour could leave via free agency, so Lotulelei can either be a 4-3 tackle or 3-4 nose tackle with the ability to stop the run. He won't be an instant impact player on defense in terms of forcing turnovers like Jarvis Jones, but he will open up opportunities for others to make the plays.
Carson Palmer isn't perfect, but if the Raiders can get an average defense through improvements in free agency and the draft, they could contend for a playoff berth.
No. 4: Philadelphia Eagles Select OLB Jarvis Jones, Georgia
Jarvis Jones would give the Eagles great defensive versatility.
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images
While the Eagles' offensive line has been awful this season, it has also missed All-Pro Left Tackle Jason Peters all year and Right Tackle Todd Herremans late this year, so the line will improve greatly with their presence next season.
Meanwhile, the defense has not gotten the consistent pressure needed to force turnovers. Jarvis Jones is a poor man's Von Miller, and would form a great trio with DeMeco Ryans and Mychal Kendricks.
Jones can play as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 formation or play the Von Miller role as a 4-3 linebacker who can play on the defensive line on passing downs. He would fill two needs as a third linebacker and pass rusher, versatility the Eagles need on their defense, regardless of who the coach is.
No. 5: Detroit Lions Select OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M
Luke Joeckel could form a great pairing with 2012 first-round pick Riley Reiff.
Scott Halleran/Getty Images
The Lions could have the best offensive line in the NFC North division if they decide to get younger at certain positions.
One move would be to let left tackle Jeff Backus go, as his streak of 186 consecutive games started ended this year, and he is also 35. It is also time for Gosder Cherilus to either play on the interior or be let go as well because of his inconsistency at right tackle. There is also last year's first-round pick Riley Reiff.
While the Lions' pass-rush is inconsistent, Matthew Stafford is the franchise, and an offensive line that can protect him and open up holes in the running game to alleviate pressure off the passing game will allow the defense to play with a lead, meaning they can be more aggressive.
Also, center Dominic Raiola will turn 34 this month, so if Alabama's Barrett Jones is available early in the second round, don't be surprised if Detroit goes in that direction.
No. 6: San Diego Chargers Select CB DeMarcus Milliner, Alabama
DeMarcus Milliner would begin a new era in the Chargers' secondary.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
The Norv Turner era looks to be ending in San Diego, and with it maybe some free agents.
Cornerback Quentin Jammer, who will turn 34 in June, along with fellow corner Antoine Cason could leave in the free agent market. That would make corner the biggest need for a team that also needs consistency at the offensive line and some youth in the linebacker group.
Milliner is the most talented secondary player from Alabama during Nick Saban's coaching regime, as his ability to line up outside and in the slot, along with his strong tackling makes him a player who could have a rookie impact similar to Morris Claiborne.
The Chargers need that type of player to pair with Eric Weddle in order to build a more consistent secondary, as Cam Newton's performance showed some big holes there.
No. 7: Buffalo Bills Select QB Tyler Wilson, Arkansas
Tyler Wilson may be the quarterback of the future for the Bills.
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images
Pro Football Talk's Josh Alper wrote last month that General Manager Buddy Nix told a local radio station that he wanted to draft a good young quarterback that could be a franchise quarterback.
While this draft class may not be the right one to guarantee yourself the opportunity at one, Tyler Wilson has a great pedigree with four years of tutelage under Bobby Petrino, and played well this year despite turmoil and a new group of receivers outside of Cobi Hamilton.
Wilson has consistently shown toughness and grit to go along with NFL smarts and arm, the last two things not possessed by Ryan Fitzpatrick. If he is the pick, Wilson could either stay behind Fitzpatrick for a year or start immediately, depending on who is on the coaching staff and front office next season.
No. 8: Cleveland Browns: DE Damontre Moore, Texas A&M
Damontre Moore could give the Browns the pass rusher they need to help their young secondary.
Scott Halleran/Getty Images
Damontre Moore recorded 12.5 sacks and 20 tackles for loss in the regular season, and would be the perfect fit opposite Jabaal Sheard on the Browns defense.
The talent on the defense isn't too bad with D' Qwell Jackson in the middle, Sheard, Phil Taylor and Ahtyba Rubin inside at tackle, and Joe Haden and T.J. Ward in the secondary. Although they are tied for seventh in the league in sacks with 36, no one has more than Juqua Parker's six, and that is a problem.
Though Cleveland could use some help at receiver, there are no elite prospects in this draft at that position, but Moore's dominance in the SEC can give the Browns an elite pass-rusher. This move could be subject to change depending on what happens with Pat Shurmur at head coach, and whether the regime in place believes Brandon Weeden should be the quarterback going forward.
No. 9: Carolina Panthers Select DT Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State
Ron Rivera needs a run-stuffing defensive tackle with pass-rushing ability that he had in Chicago with Tommie Harris.
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images
The Panthers' run defense is ranked 17th in league. The lack of performance from the defensive line outside of Charles Johnson, along with Bryce Brown's dominance of the defense on Monday Night Football makes it clear that the Carolina defense needs some interior push.
Ron Rivera's Chicago Bear defenses always played well in the middle, and the linebacker core is set, and there are no elite secondary players outside of DeMarcus Milliner, though this pick could change if Rivera doesn't retain the job.
No. 10: Tennessee Titans Select DE Bjoern Werner, Florida State
A Titans defense previously known for great defensive line play needs a player like Bjoern Werner to regain that identity.
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Tennessee is tied for 18th in the NFL with 31 sacks, but Kamerion Wimbley has been a disappointment with only five sacks, tying with linebacker Akeem Ayers for the team lead.
Born in Berlin, Germany, Werner was the ACC's Defensive Player of the Year after leading the conference in quarterback sacks (13.0) and placing second in tackles for loss (18.0), and is a technician who can make plays in the running game as well.
With former first-round pick Derrick Morgan disappointing with only 4.5 sacks, the Titans need a consistent pass-rusher who can also play on all four downs, and Werner is that player.
No. 11: Arizona Cardinals Select OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan
Taylor Lewan could fix the Cardinals' offensive line issues.
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Though the Cardinals need a quarterback, they are running away with the most sacks allowed at 52, seven more than the second place team, the Green Bay Packers. No quarterback would survive that consistent beating
Lewan is a tremendous athlete that would allow Levi Brown, if he returns, to play at right tackle, improving two positions with one pick. Plus, a receiving core of Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, Andre Roberts, and Early Doucet can make any quarterback look good if they have time to make throws.
This pick could definitely change if Ken Whisenhunt is let go at the end of the season.
No. 12: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Select CB Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State
Johnathan Banks would start a re-structuring of the Buccaneers' secondary.
Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports
Though the Buccaneers are fifth in the NFL with 17 interceptions, they are the worst-ranked pass defense in the NFL, and looked awful against the Saints on Sunday.
Eric Wright's four-game suspension, along with the trade of Aqib Talib has decimated the depth of the secondary, and a player like Johnthan Banks that shut down the SEC's best receivers and recorded four interceptions.
With a franchise quarterback in Josh Freeman, an elite running back in Doug Martin and some great receivers, the Buccaneers' biggest need is the secondary and defense overall, so look for a defense heavy draft.
No. 13 Miami Dolphins: OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
Jake Matthews could reunite with former A&M coach Mike Sherman and quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Jake Matthews played for Mike Sherman, the Dolphins' offensive coordinator, at A&M, and is the cousin of the Packers' Clay Matthews and the Eagles' Casey Matthews.
Because rookie Jonathan Martin is playing at left tackle with Jake Long out for the season and may be a better fit for the Dolphins' zone-blocking scheme, SB Nation's The Phinsider's Keith Beebe believes Jake Long could leave via free agency.
If he does, Matthews could fit well with Sherman's system as either the left or right tackle, and would give the Dolphins a young tackle tandem that would protect fellow former Aggie Ryan Tannehill for the next decade. The Dolphins could look at receiver if they find someone they love at this point, though that is highly unlikely.
No. 14: New York Jets Select DE/OLB Dion Jordan, Oregon
If Rex Ryan stays in the Big Apple, Dion Jordan could be the pass-rushing linebacker he has always been looking for.
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
Monday night's disaster kept the Jets out of the playoff hunt, but there are not a lot of quarterback solutions available for the Jets. If you think Matt Barkley is one, remember that they just benched the last quarterback they took from USC in the first round (via Bleacher Report).
They could go after Michael Vick or Alex Smith in free agency, and taking a second-round pick puts a lot less pressure on the player they select.
Rex Ryan has never had a one-man pass-rushing machine since Adalius Thomas in Baltimore, and the 6' 7'', 245-pound Dion Jordan has lined up in the slot covering receivers, as a defensive lineman, and a linebacker.
Jordan could pair well with young pass-rushers like Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples, as he has garnered 12.5 sacks the last two seasons despite not getting a ton of pass-rushing opportunities with his play at other positions, and Oregon's ability to pull starters midway through games.
This pick definitely could change if Rex Ryan is fired.
No. 15: New Orleans Saints Select DT Sheldon Richardson, Missouri
Sheldon Richardson could replace disappointing 1st round pick Sedrick Ellis in the Big Easy.
Ed Zurga/Getty Images
Sedrick Ellis has been a huge disappointment since being selected No. 7 in the 2008 NFL Draft, recording no sacks this season.
The Saints need someone who can both stop the run and put pressure up the middle, and can make a lot of tackles. Richardson is that player, as he led the SEC in tackles this season with 75 and also recorded 10.5 tackles for loss, four sacks, three forced fumbles and a blocked field goal.
New Orleans' defense has improved greatly since the first half of the season, with the exception of the Giants game, and does have the talent in the back seven to be very good. All it needs is some talent in the front four, and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo can run the scheme he used to get the Giants to a Super Bowl title over the undefeated Patriots.
No. 16: St. Louis Rams Select OG Chance Warmack, Alabama
Chance Warmack is a special talent who can help the Rams build a great offensive line.
Butch Dill/Getty Images
The Rams have played better offensively this season, but still have allowed 35 sacks in 14 games, tied for 10th worst in the league.
The return of center Scott Wells from an early-season injury in Week 12 has helped the Rams go 3-1 in their last 4 games, but Barry Richardson is anything but a starting right tackle. If Jake Long leaves Miami and St. Louis wants to sign him, they can move Rodger Saffold to the right tackle spot.
With Harvey Dahl at right guard, there is one remaining position to upgrade on the offensive line. Warmack is as good as any guard prospect ever, and adding him to this offensive line would make it very good already, and possibly elite if the tackle situation is fixed.
The Rams could go receiver but could also have many free-agent options in Dwayne Bowe, Mike Wallace, Wes Welker, and Greg Jennings.
No. 17: Pittsburgh Steelers Select OLB Barkevious Mingo, LSU
Barkevious Mingo (#49) could be James Harrison's eventual replacement in Pittsburgh.
Stacy Revere/Getty Images
Though the Steelers seemed to rank first in defense every year, the Cowboys' performance against them showed that the pass-rush isn't good enough against the elite quarterbacks.
I don't know what the Steelers will do with James Harrison after this year, but his days as an every-down player and elite pass-rusher are officially over. Mingo's speed and athleticism would give Pittsburgh a new look in an NFL that now includes more up-tempo offenses.
While the Steelers' offensive line issues continue, a lot of it is due to injuries and development from young players with talent like Mike Adams and Marcus Gilbert. Plus, Ben Roethlisberger will get sacked a lot because of his willingness to stand in the pocket longer than most quarterbacks.
No. 18: Minnesota Vikings Select ILB Alec Ogletree, Georgia
Alec Ogletree could be the athletic inside linebacker that allows the Vikings to play multiple fronts.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
The Vikings' defense has improved greatly, but Jasper Brinkley does not complement Chad Greenway and Erin Henderson enough for it to be a potentially lethal group of linebackers.
While Alec Ogletree is not the consistent player that Manti Te'o is, his athletic ability is off the charts, and would be perfect for a sideline-to-sideline middle linebacker in Minnesota's Cover-Two scheme.
No. 19: Dallas Cowboys Select NT John Jenkins, Georgia
At 6' 3'', 358 lbs, John Jenkins could be a one man run-stuffing machine for the Cowboys.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Jay Ratliff's injury-plagued season showed it is difficult for him to be an every-down player, let alone who can both be a consistent run defender and pass-rusher.
However, John Jenkins could be the type of nose tackle that Rob Ryan's brother had in New York with Kris Jenkins, which would make the Cowboys one of the best rushing defenses in the league while opening up opportunities for Sean Lee and Bruce Carter at inside linebacker.
Jenkins' presence would also allow Dallas to put Ratliff at a more natural 5-technique end, and bring him in on pass-rushing downs consistently. The Cowboys ability to stop the run would improve their secondary's chances of making game-changing plays, as it has the talent to do so.
No. 20: New York Giants Select DE Sam Montgomery, LSU
Sam Montgomery would be a great fit in New York as a replacement for Osi Umenyiora.
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Osi Umenyiora is 31 and in the last year of his contract. There is no way the Giants can pay him as an elite pass-rusher when they already have two on the roster in Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul.
Sam Montgomery would be the player to replace him, yet the Giants could bring him along slowly and put him in positions to succeed, as Tuck and Pierre-Paul can play inside on pass-rushing downs.
General Manager Jerry Reese has been great at picking the best player on the board, and this is just another example.
No. 21: Cincinnati Bengals Select WR Justin Hunter, Tennessee
Justin Hunter would be a great No. 2 to A.J. Green.
Butch Dill/Getty Images
With an extra second-round pick from Oakland, the Bengals can afford to take the best available player.
Though Mohamed Sanu played well before his season ended and Andrew Hawkins has been a good complementary receiver to A.J. Green out of the slot, the Bengals are missing an explosive option outside of Green.
Justin Hunter recorded over 1,000 yards receiving despite returning from a torn ACL in less than a year, and could be 100 percent of his old self by the start of next season. Before the injury, in his first three games of his sophomore season, Hunter caught 17 passes for 314 yards and two touchdowns.
If he can regain that explosiveness, he would be a Julio Jones-type addition as a No. 2 receiver to A.J. Green, and give Andy Dalton one of the best receiver duos in the league.
No. 22: Chicago Bears Select OT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan
Eric Fisher could replace the inconsistent J'Marcus Webb in Chicago.
Matthew Holst/Getty Images
Chicago has allowed the sixth-most sacks in the league with 41, so it should come as no surprise that Jay Cutler has had injury issues again this season.
J'Marcus Webb has not progressed as a pass protector, so it is time to get someone in who can provide consistency at the left tackle position. That someone is Eric Fisher, who is compared to fellow Central Michigan alum Joe Staley, according to NFL.com.
Cutler is the franchise, and though a pass-catching tight end like Tyler Eifert would be nice, you can't use weapons if you don't have the time to wait for them to get open.
No. 23: Indianapolis Colts Select OG/C Barrett Jones, Alabama
Barrett Jones is the most versatile interior offensive lineman in the draft, and could be the center of the future in Indianapolis.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
The Colts have allowed the ninth-most sacks in the league, and the running game isn't fantastic, either.
The best run-blocking team in college football is Alabama, and it is led by a player who has been an All-American at left tackle, guard, and center this year in Barrett Jones. Jones can play any of the interior positions. He has the potential to be the Jeff Saturday that Peyton Manning had for Andrew Luck.
An intelligent and versatile player like Jones can allow for Luck to have someone who can see the field for adjusting to blitzes and audibles at an even higher level, something that sounds a lot like the last long-time starting quarterback for the Colts.
No. 24: Seattle Seahawks Select WR Terrance Williams, Baylor
Terrance Williams would pair well with Sidney Rice while allowing Golden Tate to move to the slot.
Brett Deering/Getty Images
Terrance Williams was named as a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff award for the nation's best receiver after catching 95 passes for 1,764 yards and 12 touchdowns.
The 6'2'', 205-pound wide receiver is an explosive down the field receiver who can make plays as a possession receiver as well. The Seahawks have the talented Sidney Rice who isn't a pure No.1, but Williams and Rice can be a pair of average No.1 receivers who would allow Golden Tate to move to the slot.
Russell Wilson's ability to throw the ball down the field requires great deep receivers, and Williams would give him another option to air it out off of play action.
No. 25: St. Louis Rams (From Washington Redskins) Select S Eric Reid, LSU
Eric Reid (#1) would give the Rams a big-time talent at safety to pair with a great group of young corners.
Stacy Revere/Getty Images
Craig Dahl is not good enough to complement the trio of Cortland Finnegan, Janoris Jenkins, and Trumaine Johnson at corner.
Eric Reid is 6'2', 208-pounds, and has been the leader of a young secondary that lost Tyrann Mathieu before the season and still played extremely well. Quintin Mikell is a good player who knows the system, St. Louis needs an explosive safety who is not afraid to be an enforcer, which Reid is not.
The Rams could also go with Kenny Vaccaro or Matt Elam.
No. 26: Baltimore Ravens Select ILB C.J. Mosley, Alabama
C.J. Mosley could play with Ray Lewis in Baltimore.
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images
Fellow Crimson Tide alum Courtney Upshaw is on the Ravens roster, so Mosley would have a familiar face on the defense.
Whether he would start immediately or not depending on the future status of Ray Lewis and Jameel McClain. Mosley is the type of versatile player that the Patriots added in Dont'a Hightower who can play both inside and outside.
Mosley led the team with 99 tackles and was a finalist for the Butkus Award for the nation's best linebacker. His stellar season has included seven tackles for loss, four sacks, two interceptions, one recovered fumble and a forced fumble.
No. 27: San Francisco 49ers Select S Kenny Vaccaro, Texas
Kenny Vaccaro could replace DaShon Goldson or Donte Whitner in San Francisco.
Erich Schlegel/Getty Images
Dashon Goldson was franchised last season, but even if he does stay, Donte Whitner has been inconsistent as a coverage player, and the 49ers could look to add someone more explosive.
Kenny Vaccaro has recorded 100 tackles this season while finishing First-Team All-Big 12, and was the most consistent back seven player on Texas' talented but underachieving defense.
Vaccaro's 218-pound frame allows him to both absorb and create a lot of punishment, and would be a tough secondary player Jim Harbaugh loves to coach.
No. 28: New England Patriots Select WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia
Tavon Austin may be the player Bill Belichick picks to replace Wes Welker.
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
SB Nation's Pats Pulpit writer Austin Martin wrote in September that Wes Welker could leave like other Patriot greats like Richard Seymour, Deion Branch, and Ty Law.
While Welker has had an NFL record five seasons with at least 100 catches, he will turn 32 in May, and the Patriots have already given big contracts to their tight end duo of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.
Austin played in the same offensive system that Welker played in at Texas Tech when now West Virginia Head Coach Dana Holgorsen was the Wide Receivers coach, so there won't be a huge scheme change for Austin. He played in a slot and running back role this year, and has over 100 catches in each of the last two years.
If anyone could replace Wes Welker in New England, it would be Tavon Austin.
No. 29: Green Bay Packers Select TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame
Tyler Eifert could give Aaron Rodgers a much more consistent option at tight end then Jermichael Finley.
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
The Milwaukee Journey Sentinel reported that Jermichael Finley will be cut or traded this off-season (via SB Nation), so the Packers could be looking at a new tight end.
Finley has been an inconsistent pass catcher, and his agent called out Aaron Rodgers for his leadership (via ProFootballZone.com). Tyler Eifert is extremely consistent, winning the 2012 John Mackey Award for nation's best tight end
He is a cross between Jason Witten's combination of toughness and blocking and Rob Gronkowski's underrated athleticism and ability to make impressive catches. Though Greg Jennings could leave via free agency, Eifert can replace him in that he can line up in multiple spots and be a go-to-guy for Aaron Rodgers.
No. 30: Houston Texans Select WR Keenan Allen, California
Keenan Allen could give the Texans the No.2 receiver opposite Andre Johnson they have always wanted.
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
When the New England Patriots forced players outside of Andre Johnson to win one-on-one match-ups, the Texans had no one who could answer.
Kevin Walter is an average possession receiver who is more of a No. 3. Lestar Jean is a nice story but not a game-changer, and rookies Keyshawn Martin and Devier Posey are complementary players. Matt Schaub does have a great trio of tight ends in Owen Daniels, Garrett Graham, and James Casey, but Johnson will get double coverage in every playoff game this year.
In order to change their fortune in future seasons, the Texans need to add a receiver that Bleacher Report's Matt Miller calls the most dynamic in this draft. He is athletic enough to be a dangerous punt and kick returner, and versatile and tough enough to play in the slot.
No. 31: Atlanta Falcons Select OG/C Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina
Jonathan Cooper could give the Falcons a young interior line for the future.
USA TODAY Sports
Tar Heel running back Giovanni Bernard has been a surprise star the past two years, and one big reason is guard Johnathan Cooper.
Cooper can play both center and guard, and has great fluidity for someone close to 300 pounds. Center Todd McClure will turn 36 in February, and the Falcons drafted Peter Konz in the second round last year, so McClure could be let go in the off-season to make way for the talented Konz.
Konz, Cooper and Justin Blalock would form a great young trio in the interior to get a more consistent push in the running game. After all, that would fix Atlanta's only offensive weakness.
No. 32: Denver Broncos Select DT Kawann Short, Purdue
Kawann Short would help the Broncos get young on the interior defensive line.
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
With defensive tackles Kevin Vickerson and Justin Bannan free agents in 2013, the Broncos have to regain depth in the interior defensive line while also getting younger.
They can start that process with Kawann Short, who gave Notre Dame's talented offensive line issues in a game early in the season, and is great at getting inside pressure on quarterbacks.
If Tavon Austin were to fall, don't be surprised if Peyton Manning were to push for him since Brandon Stokley will turn 37 in June, and Austin would give the Broncos an elite trio of receivers with Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker.