2013 NFL Mock Draft: Biggest Impact Players That Will Start Right Away

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IDecember 31, 2012

PASADENA, CA - OCTOBER 13:  Defensive tackle Star Lotulelei #92 of the Utah Utes battles offensive lineman Torian White #77 of the UCLA Bruins as he rushes quarterback Brett Hundley #17 at the Rose Bowl on October 13, 2012 in Pasadena, California. UCLA won 21-14.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The 2013 NFL draft is going to be front loaded with defense. 

This draft is not short on pass rushers, and there are very few teams that wouldn't like a boost at that increasingly valuable phase of the game.

Below, in the full first-round mock, there will be three pass rushers highlighted who will make an instant impact. 


1. Kansas City Chiefs (2-14): Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia

Geno Smith's draft stock took a big hit with a rough second-half to the season, but he will erase that sour taste with a great combine. I wouldn't be shocked if the Chiefs traded down, but they are desperate for a quarterback that they'll take Smith at No. 1 if they have to. 


2. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14): Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M

Why Moore Will Make an Instant Impact

For starters, Moore is going to have no trouble finding playing time. The Jacksonville Jaguars are dead last in sacks by averaging just 1.1 per game. The Jags have plenty of holes to fill, but this is a huge priority, and they won't be able to pass on the talented Moore. 

The 6'4", 250-pound Moore is an absolute beast. He played defensive end this year in college, but he was an outside linebacker previously, so he will fit well in a 4-3 or a 3-4.

Moore has a good burst off the snap, but he does not have to rely on that. He is strong enough to beat lineman with a bull-rush or with his hands.

He has the ability to register double-digit sacks as a rookie.

He is not just a pass rusher either. Moore is solid against the run. While he won't be an elite run stuffer right off the bat, he will be far from a liability.


3. Oakland Raiders (4-12): Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State

Only because of the just-mentioned Jaguars are the Raiders not last in sacks. They need a boost, and Werner will be an instant upgrade. 


4. Philadelphia Eagles (4-12): Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

The Eagles don't have enough quarterbacks to afford drafting anything but an offensive lineman here and Joeckel is the best of the bunch. 


5. Detroit Lions (4-12): Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU 

The Lions will likely be choosing between a corner and a pass rusher with their first pick. There is better value with pass rusher at this point in the draft. 


6. Cleveland Browns (5-11): Chance Warmack, G, Alabama

While drafting a guard with the No. 8 pick is not the sexiest pick, that doesn't mean it isn't smart. Warmack is dominant in both the run and pass game, and he will make the whole Browns' offensive line better. 


7. Arizona Cardinals (5-11): Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas

The Cardinals have to find a real NFL quarterback. Wilson has a better arm than Matt Barkley, and his accuracy and decision-making is similar. Wilson will be the second quarterback taken.


8. Buffalo Bills (6-10): Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah 

Why Lotulelei Will Make an Instant Impact

The Buffalo Bills just spent a premium draft pick on defensive tackle Marcell Dareus. But their defense was still horrid and they were weak up the middle against the rush.

Lining up Lotulelei next to Dareus would help eliminate this. While it is risky spending another first-round pick on a defensive tackle, Lotulelei is worth it.

The guy is a candidate to go higher than this, but I see him slipping and the Bills will be the real winners.

Lotulelei is everything a team looks for in a defensive tackle. The 6'4", 320-pound beast is shockingly quick off the ball, and he has strength to spare.

He is far too well-rounded to be called just a pass rusher, but he will definitely be applying plenty of heat on the quarterback. 


9. New York Jets (6-10): Keenan Allen, WR, California

The Jets need a quarterback, but are they really going to draft Matt Barkley and risk stepping right into Mark Sanchez part two? 

I see them going for a veteran quarterback and using the first pick to find him someone to throw to.


10. Tennessee Titans (6-10): Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama 

The Titans need help all over the field on defense. Milliner is a good value here and an instant upgrade for Tennessee.


11. San Diego Chargers (7-9): Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

The Chargers have to improve their offensive line—and that needs to start with the tackle position. Jared Gaither is competent, but he can't stay healthy, and he can only handle one side of the line. 

Lewan is polished enough to start from Day 1. 


12. Miami Dolphins (7-9): Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame

Karlos Dansby has two years left on his contract, but it is for just over $15 million and he is 31 years old. Te'o is a nice value and it would allow the Dolphins to either trade or release Dansby to save the cap space.


13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9): Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State

The Buccaneers' pass defense is in shambles. Banks is a potential lock-down corner and a good value here.


14. Carolina Panthers (7-9): Jonathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State

The Panthers need to get more physical at the point of attack. Hankins is a load. He will help clog the running lanes and provide occasional pressure on the quarterback. 


15. New Orleans Saints (7-9): Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon

The Saints have to get better on defense. Jordan is an amazing athlete with a high pass-rush ceiling and even the ability to cover tight ends on pass plays. He will likely start off as a linebacker. 


16. St. Louis Rams (7-8-1): Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

The Rams need a wide receiver, but they are adverse to drafting them in the first round. There also isn't a good value at that position here. 

Barry Richardson is a liability at right tackle and Rodger Saffold can't stay healthy. This is a smart and safe pick.


17. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8): C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama

The Pittsburgh Steelers have to get younger on defense. Mosley looks custom-made for the Steelers. 


18. Dallas Cowboys (8-8): Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas

The Cowboys can complete their secondary with this ball-hawking safety. 


19. New York Giants (9-7): Barrett Jones, OL, Alabama

The Giants will be hoping Anderson falls to them, but with him off the board, they will be forced to look elsewhere. 

Instead they will grab an upgrade for the offensive line. 


20. Chicago Bears (10-6): Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

The Bears have to get better on the offensive line. They must take the best tackle available with their first pick.


21. Cincinnati Bengals (10-6): Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia

Jones is a natural-born pass rusher. This will give the Bengals a fearsome pass rush with Geno Atkins rushing up the middle and Jones and Michael Johnson rushing from the outside. 


22. St. Louis Rams* (From 10-6 Washington Redskins): Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee

So I just said the Rams were adverse to taking receivers in the first round, but they have to give Sam Bradford another weapon with their second pick, right?


23. Minnesota Vikings (10-6): David Amerson, CB, North Carolina State

Starting corner Antoine Winfield is 35, and the Vikings need a boost to their 23rd-ranked pass defense.

Amerson is a tall, ball-hawking corner that is at home in man or zone. 


24. Indianapolis Colts (11-5): Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU

Why Montgomery Will Make an Instant Impact

The Colts will be another team looking for secondary help and not finding a good value. Instead, they will try to improve their pass defense by adding someone who can rattle the quarterback.

Montgomery plays defensive end at LSU, but the 6'5", 260-pound Montgomery is athletic enough to play as an outside linebacker in the Colts' 3-4.

He will need serious refining in pass coverage, but he shouldn't be covering anyways. Montgomery knows how to get to the quarterback.

He is strong enough to get off of blocks and he is fast enough to be a pure edge rusher. He will be a force on pass defense the moment he steps onto the field.


25. Baltimore Ravens (10-6): Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU

Like the Steelers, the Ravens' defense must get younger. Ansah has shades of a young Terrell Suggs, and he would certainly look good playing on the opposite side of him. 


26. Seattle Seahawks (11-5): Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia

The quick Tavon Austin is going to be a dangerous slot receiver and a nice weapon underneath for the Seahawks when Russell Wilson is on the move. 


27. Green Bay Packers (11-5): Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina

Cooper is an excellent fit for the Packers zone-blocking scheme and he will also be an instant upgrade in pass protection. 


28. New England Patriots (12-4): Dallas Thomas, G, Tennessee

Thomas is a well-rounded guard and a solid and safe pick here for the Patriots, who need an upgrade at this position. 


29. San Francisco 49ers (11-4-1): Johnathan Jenkins, DT, Georgia

The 49ers can always use fresh bodies on defense. Jenkins is a physical tackle that will fit right in with the 49ers style of play and he would boost San Francisco's rotation. 


30. Denver Broncos (13-3): Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina

The Broncos need a fierce inside-presence on their defensive line to help clog the run game and take some of the attention off of their edge pass rushers. 


31. Houston Texans (12-4): Robert Woods, WR, USC

The Texans need someone else besides Andre Johnson that opposing defenses must pay attention to on the outside. 


32. Atlanta Falcons (13-3): Shariff Floyd, DT, Florida

The Falcons' rush defense is terrible. Floyd will be a nice anchor in the middle of the defensive line.