With the NFL regular season over, it's officially time for the 2013 NFL draft talk to begin.
And with draft talk, of course, comes mock drafts.
At this point, mock drafts are a bit frivolous—we don't even know the full first-round order—but fun nonetheless. And is there a better way for a frustrated fan to forget that his team isn't in the playoffs than to think about the draft?
We know the big names and the teams picking at the top. But just how will the first round of the 2013 NFL draft fall?
The issue in such a draft is which quarterback to take. Geno Smith and Tyler Wilson both warrant consideration, but Mike Glennon possesses the physical ability to impress scouts.
Glennon comes from a pro-style offense, and at 6’6”, 230 pounds has perfect size. His arm strength is also a huge positive for the junior quarterback.
The Chiefs could easily still draft either Smith or Wilson, but Glennon’s potential will appeal to many teams, and the Chiefs could be one of them.
By now, it should be clear to everyone that Blaine Gabbert isn’t going to work as a starting quarterback. Chad Henne has had plenty of chances to prove he can but has failed to do so in five NFL seasons.
Unless the Jaguars bring in Tim Tebow—and honestly, who still thinks he’s a legitimate starting option?—they are without a quarterback. It’s hard to say which quarterbacks will still be on the board here, but Geno Smith is the best option.
The 6’3”, 225-pound Smith is a good athlete with solid physical tools. His pocket presence and accuracy make him stand out, however.
Jacksonville could pick any of three quarterbacks here, but it seems obvious the team needs to take one of them.
In 2012, the Raiders ranked 27th in the NFL with just 27 sacks. Clearly, the team needs to upgrade its pass rush.
A great athlete, Bjoern Werner has elite pass-rush ability. The 6’4”, 255-pounder is flexible and versatile enough to play in either a 4-3 or 3-4 defense, and his dynamic first step is just as valuable in either scheme.
Werner isn’t great against the run, but he isn’t terrible either, and his constant motor makes up for any lack of power. The Florida State product’s immediate pass-rushing potential is incredible though, and he could immediately reach double-digit sacks.
Carson Palmer hasn’t proven to be the answer yet, so a quarterback remains possible. Oakland could also use a nose tackle, and Star Lotulelei is available.
On the whole, Philadelphia’s roster has plenty of talent. It’s missing a few pieces, though, and quarterback is one of them.
Michael Vick is likely gone, and Nick Foles doesn’t seem to be the Messiah. Unless the Eagles’ new head coach—whoever that may be—has faith in Foles, it seems logical for the team to select a quarterback here.
Tyler Wilson had a rough senior campaign, playing with a new head coach and terrible offensive line. The rough senior campaign doesn’t affect Wilson’s enormous potential, though, as his physical tools are just as great as ever.
Wilson is a terrific athlete with great mobility, and his arm is perhaps the best in the draft. He makes some bad decisions, but he also creates plenty of big plays to compensate.
If the Eagles choose to forego a quarterback, they will probably turn to offensive tackle Luke Joeckel. Joeckel has franchise-left-tackle potential and could be a fixture along Philadelphia’s offensive line for a decade or more.
Even with Cliff Avril in Detroit, the Lions had just 29 sacks in 2012, good for 24th in the NFL. However, Avril and his 9.5 sacks will likely leave in free agency, which makes Detroit’s pass rush even worse.
Cue Dion Jordan. At 6’6”, 245 pounds, Jordan isn’t a fit in every defense, but he can work in Detroit’s scheme, which frequently stands up its defensive ends. To compensate for his lack of bulk, Jordan offers elite burst, speed and length.
At Oregon, Jordan frequently dropped back in coverage, often covering the slot. He can continue to do this in the NFL, while disrupting backfields with his dynamic pass-rush ability.
The Lions’ other options here include offensive tackle Luke Joeckel, who is probably the best player available, and another defensive end such as Ezekiel Ansah.
Cleveland’s pass rush actually wasn’t terrible in 2012, but, shockingly, the team’s most glaring need is at defensive end. Jabaal Sheard has one side locked down, but Frostee Rucker isn’t exactly holding down the other one.
Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah isn’t getting much hype as a top-10 pick yet, but he will be by the time the draft arrives. At 6’6”, 275 pounds, Ansah is a physical freak with unlimited potential.
At BYU, Ansah plays everywhere from nose tackle to outside linebacker. He could similarily more around in the NFL, while dominating as a pass-rusher.
If the Browns don’t go with Ansah, they could take another defensive end in Damontre Moore. They could also take linebacker Manti Te’o or cornerback Dee Milliner.
Arizona has two main weaknesses: quarterback and offensive line. With the top three quarterbacks gone, the Cardinals turn to the line here.
Luke Joeckel is a premier left tackle prospect, combining excellent length with great athleticism. Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller said Joeckel is the best left tackle he’s ever scouted.
Joeckel isn’t quite as strong as a run-blocker as he is pass-protector, but he’s still above-average there.
Clearly the best player available, Joeckel is without a doubt the best available option. The only other possibility is Matt Barkley if Arizona deems him worthy of the pick.
With the NFL’s No. 31 run defense, Buffalo is in need of upgrades in the front seven. It’s not at defensive tackle, where the team has Kyle Williams and Marcel Dareus, so it must be at linebacker.
Though he’s not an elite athlete, Manti Te’o is big, strong and stout against the run. He could provide an immediate upgrade at either middle or outside linebacker.
Te’o’s coverage skills won’t draw rave reviews, but his ability against the run is incredibly valuable. He is the very definition of an enforcer.
Unless the Bills go quarterback, there isn’t another legitimate option here. The team is in desperate need of upgrades at linebacker, and Te’o happens to be a good one.
The Jets’ usually-superb defense faltered in 2012, falling to No. 25. Its struggles against the pass can be attributed to Darrelle Revis’ absence, but its No. 26 run defense cannot be.
Mohamed Wilkerson and Quinton Coples look like long-term fixtures at defensive end, but nose tackle is wide open. Fortunately, Star Lotulelei is available and a perfect fit at nose tackle.
Lotulelei, a 6’3”, 320-pounder, possesses incredible power and block-shedding ability. He is also athletic enough to rush the passer from the interior line. A likely day-one starter, Loutlelei would be an instant upgrade for the Jets.
New York could also use another pass-rusher, and Damontre Moore or Jarvis Jones could be options. Of course, with Mark Sanchez at quarterback, a new signal-caller is all too possible.
Tennessee’s defense is downright awful, and it is especially in need of help along the defensive line. The Titans could use a presence along the interior line, but they really need a pass-rusher.
Sheldon Richardson could help with both of those problems.
A 6’3”, 295-pounder, Richardson plays defensive tackle but is athletic enough to kick outside to end. At either position, he has double-digit sack potential.
In all honesty, Richardson should probably be gone by now, but the board fell in Tennessee’s favor. Even if the Titans would rather draft a pure defensive end, Richardson is too talented to pass on.
However, it’s still possible Tennessee would go with a defensive end, and Damontre Moore is a tempting option.
San Diego’s offensive line is easily its biggest weakness. Philip Rivers was under pressure all year, and the team’s run-blocking isn’t great either.
Jake Matthews plays right tackle due to Luke Joeckel’s presence on the left side, but he will likely switch in the NFL. The 6’5”, 305-pounder is more than athletic enough to stick on the blind side.
Though Matthews isn’t as good in pass-protection as his teammate Jockel is, he is more powerful and better in the run game. Matthews’ overall play makes him worthy of a top-10 pick, and he could go higher in 2014 should he choose to return to Texas A&M.
The Chargers could also upgrade at cornerback, and Dee Milliner is a good value. San Diego may prefer Eric Fisher or Taylor Lewan over Matthews at tackle as well.
The Dolphins would love to add a wide receiver here, but the value doesn’t match up with the pick. Therefore, Miami goes with another pressing need: cornerback.
Many project Dee Milliner in the top 10, but he falls just outside of it here. Milliner is an all-around solid player with good athletic ability and cover skills.
Though Milliner is likely to develop into a solid starter, he probably won’t be an elite player, which causes him to drop a little. However, probability is still key in the draft, and Milliner has enough upside to be worthy of the pick here.
Miami could still go with Damontre Moore at defensive end, though he isn’t quite as good value. It’s also possible that the Dolphins will reach for a wide receiver such as Keenan Allen.
Unfortunately for Tampa Bay, Dee Milliner just went off the board, leaving the Buccaneers with the second-best cornerback. However, with the NFL’s worst pass defense, Tampa Bay doesn’t have any other options here.
Johnthan Banks is a big cornerback who may actually have more upside than Milliner does. His athletic ability and large frame has caused some to project him to safety, but he is quick enough to stick on the outside.
Banks isn’t quite as athletic as Antonio Cromartie, but he does have similar upside. He may take some time to develop, though, as he is still raw.
The Buccaneers’ other options here are limited. The team would be foolish to not address its pass defense, and Banks is undoubtedly the best way to do so.
Carolina’s run defense wasn’t as bad as one might expect, but given its linebackers, it should be much better. The problem is obvious after a quick glimpse at the roster.
The Panthers entered the 2012 NFL draft with a gaping hole at tackle but failed to address it. Now, the situation is even more dire.
Jesse Williams is a stout defensive tackle often projected as a nose tackle in a 3-4 defense. However, he is athletic enough to play in a 4-3, though he won’t offer a great pass rush.
Williams is difficult to move in the run game, but he doesn’t make a ton of plays in the backfield. Still, he would have a huge impact on Carolina’s run defense, clogging up holes and freeing up the team’s talented linebackers.
The Panthers could prefer Johnathan Hankins at tackle, and an offensive lineman such as Eric Fisher or Taylor Lewan is possible.
Just 28th in sacks, the Saints clearly struggled to pressure the quarterback in 2012. Will Smith, once an excellent defensive end, is now well past his prime and in need of replacing.
Damontre Moore isn’t an overly explosive pass-rusher, but he is relentless and does a decent job of getting by slower offensive tackles. Moore may not be a premier sack guy in the NFL, but he is capable of reaching double digits.
Moore isn’t too big at just 6’4”, 250 pounds, but he is powerful enough to play against the run. If he adds some bulk, his technique and motor could turn him into a well-above-average run-defender.
New Orleans could also be looking to add a defensive tackle, and Johnathan Hankins is tempting at this point. Linebacker Arthur Brown is another option with potential.
St. Louis’ offensive line is horrific and in need of upgrades across the board. The most urgent, though, is at left tackle, where Rodger Saffold doesn’t appear to be the long-term answer.
Eric Fisher isn’t an elite prospect by any means, but he is athletic enough to protect Sam Bradford’s blind side. At 6’8”, 305 pounds, Fisher possesses great length but could benefit from some additional weight.
Fisher’s biggest flaw is—as you might expect from his size—his lack of power. Stronger defensive ends can overpower him, and his high stance often leads to him surrendering leverage.
At some point, the Rams have to address the offensive line. However, with another first-round pick coming up, they can afford to wait a bit. St. Louis could look to add a wide receiver like Keenan Allen here, and a linebacker is another option.
It’s nearly impossible to imagine a more perfect fit than this. James Harrison is likely done as a Steeler, and Jarvis Jones is the ideal replacement.
Generally, Pittsburgh prefers short, high-leverage pass-rushers on the outside of its 3-4 defense. Jones stands at just 6’3”, with his lack of length often cited as a weakness.
An athletic player with surprising power, Jones has great pass-rushing potential. He isn’t Von Miller like many had hoped, but that’s not really a fair criticism either. Jones’ balance, strength and burst give Dick LeBeau yet another dangerous weapon.
Pittsburgh could also be looking for Casey Hampton’s replacement, and either Johnathan Hankins or Jesse Williams would work. A wide receiver is also possible if Mike Wallace leaves in free agency.
Dallas seems fine at offensive tackle with Tyron Smith and Doug Free, but its interior line is an absolute mess. Among the three players, there may not be a single legitimate starter.
Chance Warmack would fix that issue. A stout, 6’3”, 320-pound guard, Warmack is incredibly powerful, capable of moving the biggest of defensive tackles.
However, Warmack isn’t a pure power run-blocker. He’s also athletic enough to play in space, and he does a good job in pass-protection.
The Cowboys have plenty of needs, so they could go several ways here. If Anthony Spencer leaves in free agency, Barkevious Mingo becomes a possibility at outside linebacker. A defensive lineman like Johnathan Hankins is possible, as well.
Shockingly, the Giants were last in the NFL with just 20 sacks on the year. The team’s run defense wasn’t great either, allowing 4.6 yards per carry.
New York could remedy this by once again drafting a defensive end, but a defensive tackle makes just as much sense. Johnathan Hankins has more than enough talent to go here.
Hankins, at 6’3”, 325 pounds, is a big tackle with surprising athleticism. He is capable of either penetrating the backfield or taking up blockers on a given play. His motor, however, runs hot and cold, and he could play with more nastiness.
No one would blame New York for drafting Osi Umenyiora/Justin Tuck’s replacement here, and Barkevious Mingo could be tempting, though he isn’t a great fit in a 4-3 scheme. A linebacker like Arthur Jones is also appealing.
There is plenty of talent on Chicago’s offense, but a porous offensive line seriously hinders the unit. Drafting Gabe Carimi hasn’t helped, so Chicago is forced to try again.
A big offensive tackle with a mean streak, Taylor Lewan is athletic enough to play left tackle but could end up on the right side. Lewan possesses great length and is a monster run-blocker.
In fact, Lewan’s run-blocking prowess and less incredible pass-blocking ability has drawn comparisons to fellow Michigan product Jake Long. Lewan isn’t quite as athletic as Long, but he does have considerable upside.
Chicago needs a receiving tight end, but Tyler Eifert is probably a reach at this point. A linebacker like Arthur Brown could make sense.
Danny Amendola is a free agent, and even if he re-signs with the Rams, St. Louis needs more help at wide receiver. Sam Bradford can’t win with the current crop at the position.
An excellent athlete, Keenan Allen isn’t a great vertical threat, but he compensates in other areas. Allen possesses terrific yard-after-the-catch ability and can run through or around nearly any defensive back.
He has occasionally struggled with drops, but Allen makes some truly incredible catches. Though he doesn’t have No. 1 wide receiver upside, Allen could develop into a solid weapon.
Even after adding Eric Fisher, the Rams could look to draft another lineman such as guard Jonathan Cooper. A linebacker is also an option.
On offense, Minnesota essentially has Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin. There isn’t another legitimate weapon of note.
Quinton Patton could change that. A terrific athlete, Patton possesses blazing speed and can run away from nearly any defensive back. He can also move around the field, much like Harvin, who coincidentally was drafted with the No. 22 selection as well.
Patton isn’t a physical player, and he will sometimes struggle to beat the press. His vertical ability and quickness offer huge playmaking potential, though.
Minnesota could also look to add a defensive tackle, as the Williams Brothers are now far removed from being a thing.
With A.J. Green and Jermaine Gresham, the Bengals have two solid offensive weapons. However, they would benefit from another wide receiver with vertical ability.
Though he is incredibly raw, Cordarrelle Patterson has great upside. The 6’3”, 205-pounder is big, fast and explosive. He could develop into a star wideout.
It will take time for Patterson to reach his potential, but if and when he does, the Bengals will be tough to stop on offense. Some may see this as a luxury, but it’s the only way for Cincinnati’s offense to really move forward.
The Bengals could use a defensive end opposite Michael Johnson, and a running back would also make sense, though the value may not be here.
Baltimore’s once dominant defense is well into its decline. The biggest factor? The team’s lack of linebacker talent.
With a few draft picks, that could change. Arthur Brown would be a good start. Brown is a standard chase-and-tackle linebacker, frequently invading opposing backfields.
At times, Brown may struggle to shred blocks, but he is active all over the field, making play after play. That’s what Baltimore needs.
The Ravens could draft a pass-rusher to replace impending free agent Paul Kruger, as well. As always, though, general manager Ozzie Newsome will have his eye on the best player available.
This is essentially a dream scenario for Indianapolis. The Colts are in desperate need of defensive upgrades, and a potential star falls right into their laps.
Barkevious Mingo falls this far largely due to schematic issues. The 6’5”, 240-pounder is really only a fit in 3-4 defenses and 4-3 teams will probably shy away from him.
In a 3-4, however, Mingo has incredible upside. He’s an explosive pass-rusher with tremendous speed and length. His lack of size could prove an issue, and he still needs to develop as a pass-rusher, though.
The Colts do still need help along the defensive line, and Datone Jones would be a great fit at end. John Jenkins is a possible fit at nose tackle.
The whole world saw how much the 49ers rely on Justin Smith when he missed time with a torn triceps. Smith is already 33 years old and is only going to become more injury-prone with time.
He may not be Smith, but Datone Jones is a legitimate option at defensive end. At 6’4”, 280 pounds, Jones will need to bulk up some, but he really isn’t much smaller than Smith himself.
Jones is a great athlete with excellent versatility. He is more than capable of rushing the passer or defending the run, and he could prove a valuable weapon down the line.
Along the defensive line, the 49ers could also opt for nose tackle John Jenkins. A cornerback or safety would also make sense, and several options remain available.
For years, Houston has been lacking a secondary receiving option behind Andre Johnson. The team’s offense is still doing fine, but it could be even more dominant with another playmaker.
And playmaker is just the term for Tavon Austin.
Austin moves all around the field, playing wideout, slot receiver and running back at times. His explosion, quickness and speed all make him a potential star.
Though he may never be a typical starting wideout, Austin will make plays. He’s a potential Percy Harvin, and there isn’t an NFL team that wouldn’t love to have Harvin’s abilities.
The Texans could still use a nose tackle moving forward, and John Jenkins is on the board. If they want a more traditional wideout, Terrence Williams is available.
This pick is everywhere, but it’s popular for a reason. Tony Gonzalez’s career is nearing its end, and the Falcons need to find his replacement at tight end.
A big body and athletic pass-catcher, Tyler Eifert is a borderline first-round talent worthy of the pick here. He doesn’t have elite vertical speed, but the Notre Dame star is more than capable of getting open.
Eifert’s size and body control make him a fantastic red-zone target. He can work out of the slot or in tight, and his versatility adds a dimension to Atlanta’s offense.
With John Abraham aging and no one of note opposite him, the Falcons desperately need a defensive end, as well. The team’s run defense could also use some work, so either a defensive tackle or linebacker is possible.
Aaron Rodgers was the NFL’s most sacked quarterback in 2012, and it’s not his fault. Green Bay needs some upgrades along its offensive line.
The Jeff Saturday acquisition served its purpose for the Packers, but he’s done starting in the NFL. Fortunately, Barrett Jones is a viable replacement.
Jones is as versatile as linemen come, capable of playing any of the five offensive line positions. However, his best position is center, where his length, athleticism and intelligence serve to his benefit.
Green Bay’s defense is still in need of help, and Ted Thompson could look to add a linebacker or cornerback early. A running back would also make sense for the Packers.
It seems like New England is constantly drafting cornerbacks, and there’s a reason for that.
Their current cornerbacks are bad.
At this point, Bill Belichick seems likely to keep trying until he succeeds at the positions, so it’s time to draft another one. Welcome, Xavier Rhodes.
At 6’2”, 210 pounds, Rhodes is a huge cornerback and a terrific athlete to boot. He has tremendous upside, but he needs to work on his technique, and his results haven’t always been great.
The Patriots could also seek a defensive end to play opposite Chandler Jones, and a safety is always possible. Don’t rule out a wide receiver or interior lineman either.
Seattle’s offense has succeeded thanks to Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson, but it could be better with some upgrades at wideout. Believe it or not, Golden Tate doesn’t scare many opposing defenses.
In time, Terrance Williams could.
The 6’2”, 205-pounder is fast and athletic with big-play ability. His route-running needs some work though. Also, Williams isn’t a physical player by nature, and he can be overpowered by defensive backs.
Though Williams certainly has some flaws in his game, Seattle needs his size and speed on the outside. A deep threat could do wonders to the team’s offense.
The Seahawks could also add a linebacker, though the unit isn’t bad. Really, Seattle has few enough weaknesses that it can safely draft the best player available if it doesn’t like its options at wideout.
Denver had the NFL’s No. 3 run defense in 2012, but it wasn’t because of the team’s defensive tackles. The Broncos needed help there last offseason, and that hasn’t changed.
Despite weighing in at 6’3”, 320 pounds, Sylvester Williams is a terrific athlete with great burst and quickness. He is not, as you might expect, a run-stuffing defensive tackle.
Williams’ physical ability makes him a frequent presence in the backfield. He could develop into a huge playmaker on a Denver defense that already has many.
The Broncos don’t have too many needs outside of defensive tackle, but if they aren’t confident in Ronnie Hillman, they could draft a running back. No team can have enough cornerbacks either.