2013 NFL Mock Draft: Pro Bowl Week Edition
As we head in Sunday's Pro Bowl festivities, the 2013 NFL Draft is inching ever so closer.
Sure, perhaps draft talk in January may be a tad premature for some, but in actuality, the season for picking has already begun.
Who will Kansas City take with the first overall selection?
How many quarterbacks should you expect to go in the first round?
And which teams will bulk up their trenches in a draft full of both offensive and defensive line talent?
All of these questions and more are answered in the following mock draft.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
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New Kansas City general manager John Dorsey recently claimed that the team will be selecting the best available player at No. 1, regardless of need. And being that no team is ahead of them, the Chiefs should have nothing to hide.
Geno Smith, however, could serve as an exception.
Throughout his impressive 2012 campaign, Smith has shown some signs of franchise quarterback-type ability. He has exhibited incredible arm strength, great accuracy and often remains very poised in the pocket. Smith isn't much of a threat on the ground, but he is a solid athlete nonetheless.
The Chiefs franchise and its fan base has suffered from poor quarterback play for much too long. If head coach Andy Reid believes that he can develop Smith, then this a gamble that the organization must consider.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
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Jacksonville just brought in Gus Bradley, the now-former defensive coordinator for the Seahawks, as their new head coach. Under Bradley, Seattle's defense alternated between 4-3 and 3-4 schemes.
Texas A&M's Damontre Moore, a hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker, should be a prime candidate for the Jaguars' in the first round.
Moore, 6'4" and 250 pounds, has been climbing up many draft boards as of late. He's been extremely productive in the SEC, finishing off with two very impressive seasons in the nation's top conference.
His intelligence, versatility and knack for getting to the quarterback will be extremely useful for a defense that has fallen off significantly in recent years.
3. Oakland Raiders: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
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Oakland will have the luxury of picking up the best available defensive talent with the third overall pick.
Star 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 depleted defensive line. Lotulelei's presence would patch up the run defense and free up Oakland's pass-rushers by drawing double teams.
Lotulelei is the top defensive player on my board and possesses the highest ceiling of any prospect in the first round.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
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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 is also 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 Chip Kelly's 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.
5. Detroit Lions: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
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With Kyle Vanden Bosch under-performing and Cliff Avril possibly leaving via free agency, Detroit should be in the market for a new defensive end.
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, and 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 on a constant basis.
6. Cleveland Browns: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
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Cleveland has quite a few holes to fill, but going with the top remaining talent on the board is never a bad strategy.
Jarvis Jones is one of the best, 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.
The outside linebacker is even considered an above-average defender against the run and in coverage.
Jones' spinal stenosis may scare some teams away, but until we get a clear picture of his condition, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
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The Arizona front office must have thrown a fit when both Taylor Lewan and Jake Matthews opted to return to school for 2013. And with Luke Joeckel already off the board at this point, the Cardinals won't be able to nab an offensive tackle worthy of such a high selection.
Instead, they may turn their attention towards bringing in their first competent quarterback since Kurt Warner.
Tyler Wilson 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 he often exhibits a professional-style intellect. Wilson also has a strong and accurate arm to add alongside his scout-friendly physical attributes.
8. Buffalo Bills: Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse
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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.
And ever since the Bills hired Syracuse's Doug Marrone as their head coach, Ryan Nassib has been linked to Buffalo.
The three-year starter for the Orange can be best described as your prototypical gun slinger. Nassib's arm strength immediately pops out on tape. In addition to his ability to throw the fastball, he is very solid in terms of accuracy and often exhibits sound footwork in the pocket.
Nassib, however, has a tough time getting off his first read and has a tendency to forgo a check down or throwaway in favor of something unavailable downfield.
You can compare Nassib's draft value to that of Ryan Tannehill's last year. He isn't necessarily a top-ten talent but could be taken much higher due to the position he plays.
9. New York Jets: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU
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For the Jets to get back to their 2009-2010 defensive glory days, they must add some pass rushers into the fold. Barkevious Mingo, who has seen his stock fluctuate of late, is once again an option for Rex Ryan and company.
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.
10. Tennessee Titans: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
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Tennessee may very well find their replacement for the recently departed Cortland Finnegan, who signed with St. Louis prior to last season. As a result of his departutre, the Titans defense struggled mightily in 2012 and could use a top defensive talent in the first round.
Milliner, 6'1", has the skill set to become one of the league's top corners. He's physical, he's aggressive and he's very adept at recognizing opposing routes. Milliner isn't an interception machine but he does use his lengthy frame to break up passes.
11. San Diego Chargers: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Just as Arizona probably did, the San Diego front office may have gone berserk when two of the top three offensive tackles that were projected to be in this draft class went back to school. Philip Rivers had a remarkably poor season in 2012 and desperately needs some help in front of him.
Eric Fisher is a hot name of late. In addition to being a monster at 6'7" and 305 pounds, 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 quickly.
12. Miami Dolphins: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
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Many mock drafters are slotting in a wide receiver for Miami here at No. 12, but that's a need that can easily be addressed for the Dolphins in free agency.
Instead, they should find a pass rushing presence opposite Cameron Wake with their first-rounder.
Given his size and overall athletic ability, Ezekiel Ansah out of BYU should have some teams salivating come April. Ansah is explosive out of his stance, can change directions very effectively and has a non-stop motor.
His size, more specifically his long arms, will obviously work in his favor in the NFL. Ansah, however, is a raw talent and may need to bulk up to hang around in the trenches.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi
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Most fans will tell you that Greg Schiano and the Bucs have something sweet brewing down in Tampa Bay. They have drafted rather well in the past few seasons, obtaining the likes of Doug Martin, Adrian Clayborn and Mark Barron.
But with Ronde Barber inching towards retirement and Aqib Talib now gone, there must be some additions made to the cornerback spot. And quite frankly, the secondary has just been plain horrific the past few seasons anyway.
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.
14. Carolina Panthers: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
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Many may be lobbying for a defensive tackle to be taken with Carolina's first-round pick, but given the fact that this particular class is deep at the position, new general manager Dave Gettleman could look to build around his franchise quarterback in Cam Newton.
To be frank, the future of this franchise rides on Newton. If he continues to take the hits that he did last season, the Panthers may not be around long enough to reach the postseason.
Enter Chance Warmack.
Warmack is the top guard in this draft class. He has the power, athleticism and attitude to assure himself as 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 and will immediately add depth to a very thin offensive line. Warmack should help keep Cam off the ground and keep the team's very expensive rushing attack of DeAngelo Williams, Mike Tolbert and Jonathan Stewart going.
15. New Orleans Saints: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
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Missouri's Sheldon Richardson is a relatively hot name of late. Richardson has had a beast of a season thus far, and, 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.
Steve Spagnuolo and the Saints have to bring in a pass-rushing talent to start fixing up their porous defense.
16. St. Louis Rams: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
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Everyone knows that St. Louis should be sniffing out some offensive line help in the first round, but if Eric Fisher and Chance Warmack are already gone, they can sit back for some better value with the 22nd overall pick.
Instead of focusing on the offensive line, they may opt for some help at wide receiver.
Given his size and raw ability, Cordarrelle Patterson is gradually becoming the top receiver in this class.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
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Defensive ends Ziggy Hood and Cameron Heyward had a tough time getting to the opposing quarterbacks last season, and Pittsburgh could use a presence up the middle to eat up some double teams.
Jesse Williams is a powerful, powerful man. He is good at the point of attack, uses his bull rush effectively and is an all-around disruptive force in the middle.
18. Dallas Cowboys: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
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With the addition of defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin comes a switch to a 4-3 set on defense for Dallas. And with the integration of a new scheme comes the need for more specialized personnel.
Enter Sharrif Floyd.
Floyd, one of the more overlooked first round talents, is a great athlete. He uses nice speed off the edge, uses his hands well on blocks and often breaks into opposing backfields. Floyd is also very versatile as he played in multiple spots on Florida's defensive line during his collegiate career.
Bringing in Floyd would give Dallas a playmaking presence in the middle of the their line in Kiffin's Tampa 2 defense.
19. New York Giants: Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
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The Giants always seem to be in the market for pass rushers and this year should be no different. There are question marks surrounding Osi Umenyiora, so drafting a defensive end wouldn't hurt.
The freakish Dion Jordan may be a nice fit for New York.
At 6'6" and 246 pounds, the guy is a considerably appealing prospect.. 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.
Jordan possesses tremendous upside but must shake off his shoulder injury to maintain his solid stock.
20. Chicago Bears: Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia
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If Brian Urlacher hasn't reached his end yet, he's pretty damn close, and Chicago needs to bring in a fresh talent at the inside linebacker position to help ease that eventual pain.
Alec Ogletree of Georgia could be a possibility.
Ogletree, a converted safety, has certainly given us a nice glimpse at his extensive skill set. He is always around the ball, moves very well from sideline to sideline and is not a stranger to big time hits.
Expect Ogletree's athleticism and versatility to be a major plus come draft day.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
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Cincinnati shouldn't mind addressing its need for a safety here with the talented Kenny Vaccaro.
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.
22. St. Louis Rams (via Washington): Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina
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After using the first of their two first-round picks on a wideout, St. Louis should have a decent crop of offensive lineman to choose from at No. 22. At this point, North Carolina's Jonathan Cooper is the best available talent.
Cooper is a solid athlete and a very good pass protector. He is quick in picking up his blocks and is considerably agile for a guy his size.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Keenan Allen, WR, California
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Minnesota should be on the lookout for more options at wide receiver.
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 the fastest guy but he 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.
24. Indianapolis Colts: Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
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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.
25. Seattle Seahawks: Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
Seattle could certainly use an interior line presence on defense to stuff runs and free up pass rushers.
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 in order to reboot his stock.
26. Green Bay Packers: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
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The lack of protection in front of Aaron Rodgers is no mystery. Look for Green Bay to address that long standing need in the upcoming draft.
Lane Johnson—a former quarterback, tight end and defensive end—is certainly an option. Johnson's agility, physicality and overall frame has made him one of the big risers in this class.
27. Houston Texans: Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU
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Houston needs an upgrade opposite of Brian Cushing, and there should be an inside linebacker available and worthy of a selection here.
For now, that's Kevin Minter.
Although his name hasn't been heralded as much as his fellow Tigers in this draft class, Minter is an appealing prospect at the position. He exhibits great instincts, effectively uses his hands to shed blockers and comes off reads very well.
28. Denver Broncos: John Jenkins, DT, Georgia
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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.
Denver still needs an effective interior presence, and Jenkins could be their man.
29. New England Patriots: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
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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.
With Wes Welker on the cusp of free agency, New England may very well need a replacement.
30. Atlanta Falcons: Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
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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 as an outside linebacker.
31. Baltimore Ravens: Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame
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The details of Manti Te'o and his imaginary girlfriend are still a bit fuzzy at this point. So until teams actually find out what had actually happened, I'll have Te'o slip to the bottom of the first round.
Te'o is an all-around appealing prospect. He has good instincts and great athleticism,a nd he is especially great against the run. Te'o also shows flashes of brilliance in the pass rush with his reads and closing speed as well. And, of course, the leadership skills of the linebacker have been well noted throughout his Notre Dame career.
With Ray Lewis hitting retirement, Baltimore will have to sniff out a worthy successor.
32. San Francisco 49ers: Eric Reid, S, LSU
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