Most fan bases would rather their team not select a lineman in 2013 NFL mock drafts.
Is the 2013 draft class underrated?
It’s a boring—necessary, but boring—pick. After all, it’s difficult to find a lineman’s highlight reel on YouTube unless it’s a lethal pass-rusher.
To satisfy the just-give-me-highlights fans, here’s a mock focusing on the class’ top prospects who play skill positions.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Geno Smith (QB, West Virginia)
No one scores less than the 13.9-points-per-game Chiefs because they lack a respectable quarterback.
If they select Smith, they’ll have a respectable quarterback.
After the WVU gunslinger completed 45 of 51 pass attempts for 656 yards and eight touchdowns against Baylor, it seemed like he had the Heisman Trophy and first overall pick locked up.
Well, he lost the Heisman to Johnny Manziel after his numbers dipped to a pitiful 284.5 passing yards a game and the Mountaineers defense decided to just sit back, relax and enjoy being on the same team as Geno Smith. But Smith and his 40-6 touchdown-to-interception ratio should still go No. 1 as long as KC secures the pick.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jarvis Jones (OLB, Georgia)
Tyson Alualu is the Jags’ team-leader in sacks with a whopping—brace yourself for this—2.5 sacks this season.
Jones has 12.5 this season, which are almost as many sacks as the 15 the entire Jaguars team has compiled this season. He’s the best pass-rusher in the 2012 draft class, but he’s capable of playing outside linebacker in a 4-3 defensive front a la Von Miller. So, Jones would not only instantly become Jacksonville’s best pass-rusher, but he would also provide a boost to their 32nd-ranked run defense.
3. Oakland Raiders: Star Lotulelei (DT, Utah)
Oakland needs to draft a defensive tackle because Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly will ultimately make a combined $13.5 million this season for their grand total of 40 tackles and four sacks (and counting!).
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Luke Joeckel (OT, Texas A&M)
Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer recently reported that Jeremy Maclin was quoted saying of Nick Foles, “I think he can be special. His intangibles are off the chart,” so at least for now, Philly is more likely to protect Foles than replace him.
5. Detroit Lions: Manti Te’o (LB, Notre Dame)
Detroit’s greatest weakness isn’t a lack of talent, but leadership.
Sure, the Heisman Trophy finalist would greatly bolster the Lions’18th-ranked run defense. But more importantly, he would give them a Ray Lewis-like presence in their locker room. Drafting Te’o wouldn’t guarantee that every single one of Detroit’s players stay out of trouble next offseason, but he would at least keep them focused on game day.
6. San Diego Chargers: Taylor Lewan (OT, Michigan)
San Diego needs to protect Philip Rivers before it officially ruins the once elite quarterback.
7. Buffalo Bills: Matt Barkley (QB, USC)
Chan Gailey and Ryan Fitzpatrick need to go and, having started four years in a pro-style offense, Barkley is ready to hand the football to C.J. Spiller now.
8. Cleveland Browns: Damontre Moore (DE, Texas A&M)
Cleveland’s pass rush isn’t as pathetic as Jacksonville’s, but it’s still pretty poor as the 34-year-old Juqua Parker is the only player on the team with more than five sacks.
9. Carolina Panthers: Jonathan Hankins (DT, Ohio State)
Carolina’s greatest weakness is still their 17th-ranked run defense, but the 6’3”, 335-pound Hankins would fill that hole quite snuggly.
10. Tennessee Titans: Chance Warmack (G, Alabama)
Tennessee must either trade Chris Johnson while he still has value or put an offensive line in front of him that would allow the back to use his historic speed.
11. Arizona Cardinals: Barkevious Mingo (OLB, LSU)
Zona needs a QB that’s capable of getting Larry Fitzgerald the ball now—not in a couple of years—and no Cardinal besides Daryl Washington has recorded more than 4.5 sacks this season.
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DeMarcus Milliner (CB, Alabama)
If Mark Sanchez played the Bucs’ defense every week, he would still have a job—they’re surrendering 310.6 yards through the air a game, the most in the league.
13. Miami Dolphins: Cordarrelle Patterson (WR, Tennessee)
Only two Phins have recorded at least 300 receiving yards this season.
14. New York Jets: Tyler Wilson (QB, Arkansas)
Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reported that Tim Tebow wants out and the Jets will attempt to trade Sanchez, leaving former seventh-round pick Greg McElroy as the only quarterback on the roster.
15. New Orleans Saints: Bjoern Werner (DE, Florida State)
The only Saints with more than four sacks this season are Cameron Jordan and Will Smith, and the latter is 31 years old.
16. St. Louis Rams: Tyler Eifert (TE, Notre Dame)
Sam Bradford deserves better than Lance Kendricks who’s ranked 29th amongst tight ends in receiving yards.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Dion Jordan (OLB, Oregon)
James Harrison is 34 years old and has missed 10 games the past two seasons due to injury.
18. Dallas Cowboys: Sheldon Richardson (DE, Missouri)
Dallas’ run-stopping ability is mediocre as its ranked 15th in yards and 20th in rushing touchdowns surrendered.
19. Chicago Bears: Jonathan Cooper (G, North Carolina)
The Bears’ offensive line once again rank near the bottom of the NFL in sacks (27th) and quarterback hits allowed (28th)—the story of Jay Cutler’s tenure in Chicago.
20. New York Giants: Alec Ogletree (ILB, Georgia)
New York doesn’t have a single player ranked in the top 50 in tackles this year.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Kenny Vaccaro (S, Texas)
Chris Cocker is 32 years old and recorded his first interception since 2009 this season, Reggie Nelson has just two and Taylor Mays still hasn’t picked off a pass since being drafted.
22. St. Louis Rams: Eric Fisher (OT, Central Michigan)
The Rams’ O-line is ranked 23rd in sacks and 24th in QB hits and must do whatever it takes to turn Bradford’s career around while they still can.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Justin Hunter (WR, Tennessee)
Percy Harvin is still the Vikings' leading receiver and he hasn’t played since Week 9—Christian Ponder needs another chance with a legitimate arsenal before they make him walk the plank.
24. Indianapolis Colts: John Jenkins (DT, Georgia)
To beat the Houston Texans, Indy must first stop Arian Foster who rushed for 165 yards against them in Week 15.
25. Baltimore Ravens: Khaseem Green (ILB, Rutgers)
Green, who’s racked up 125 tackles this season, is worthy of being drafted as the 37-year-old Ray Lewis’ replacement.
26. Seattle Seahawks: Keenan Allen (WR, California)
Russell Wilson has a passer rating of 95.5 this season, but the Seahawks are ranked 27th in passing yards because Sidney Rice and Golden Tate are the only competent wideouts on their roster.
27. Green Bay Packers: Barrett Jones (OT, Alabama)
Jones—who can play every position on the offensive line, but may not be best suited for left tackle—is a reach, but the Packers need to select the best hog available because Aaron Rodgers gets sacked way too often (second-most in the league) for an elite QB.
28. New England Patriots: Sam Montgomery (DE, LSU)
No one on New England besides Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich have more than three sacks this season.
29. San Francisco 49ers: Ezekiel Ansah (OLB, BYU)
Aldon Smith and his 19.5 sacks (more than all of the Jaguars combined!) gives the 49ers a monster pass rush, but no one else on their squad has more than 5.5—selfish Smith.
30. Denver Broncos: Giovani Bernard (RB, North Carolina)
Imagine the Broncos with a running back that’s capable of scoring every time he touches the football—actually, if you’re a fan of an AFC West team, don’t do that because it’ll ruin your week.
31. Atlanta Falcons: Sharrif Floyd (DT, Florida)
Defensive tackle is the Falcons’ greatest defensive need as their run defense is ranked just 24th in the NFL.
32. Houston Texans: Terrance Williams (WR, Baylor)
Imagine the Texans with a wide receiver who defenses actually have to keep an eye on across from Andre Johnson—actually, if you’re a fan of an AFC South team, don’t do that because it’ll ruin your week.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.