2013 NFL Mock Draft: 5 Biggest 1st-Round Steals
Prep your calenders accordingly because the 2013 NFL Draft is just a few months away (April 25).
Twenty teams have been sent home for the offseason, and as the other 12 duke it out in the playoffs, the league's bottom-dwellers can fully devote their resources to scouting prospects.
Of course, most playoff teams are there in part because they draft well. Quality teams often strike gold late in the first round, selecting underrated players at great value.
With that in mind, we will focus on a few potential draft day steals in today's mock draft.
*Biggest potential steals will be marked with an asterisk
1. Kansas Chiefs (2-14): Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
This season, the Chiefs ranked last in both passing yards (169.6 per game) and passing touchdowns (eight), so they must address that position immediately. Given that there are no obvious franchise quarterbacks in this class, don't be surprised if Kansas City trades down a few spots before selecting one.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14): Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
Barkevious Mingo and Bjoern Werner could also be options here, but Moore's versatility will be an attractive asset to the Jaguars. He can play on either side of the line in a 4-3 defense and can even play OLB in the 3-4.
3. Oakland Raiders (4-12): Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Werner is solid against both the run and the pass, so he would immediately improve Oakland's porous defense.
4. Philadelphia Eagles (4-12): Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Milliner has good size (6'0", 197-pounds) and ball skills. With some proper coaching, he will be a shutdown corner in the NFL.
5. Detroit Lions (4-12): Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame
The Lions had one of the worst defenses in the league this season. Te'o, a 2012 Heisman finalist, would provide stability and leadership in the middle.
6. Cleveland Browns (5-11): Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU
The Browns could use an elite pass-rusher, as they ranked 25th in the NFL in opponents' passing yards (245.2). Mingo, with his incredible explosiveness off the edge, would be a solid addition.
7. Arizona Cardinals (5-11): Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
The Cardinals desperately need a quarterback, but I doubt they'd reach for one here. Joeckel is a rare talent at the tackle position, and he could anchor Arizona's offensive line for the rest of this decade.
8. Buffalo Bills (6-10): Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
The Bills have several needs, so I wouldn't be surprised if they traded down to collect multiple picks. One thing they must address is wide receiver. Hunter, who has great height, speed and ball skills, would be a great option.
9. New York Jets (6-10): Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
This would be an excellent pickup for New York, as Jones is a top-five talent. Rex Ryan would be absolutely thrilled if he falls to the Jets.
10. * Tennessee Titans (6-10): Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
I'm not in love with Lotulelei like many of people are, but he would be an absolute steal at No. 10. He is an elite run-stopper, and his mobility is amazing for a man his size (6'3", 320 pounds). Lotulelei would instantly improve the Titans run defense.
11. San Diego Chargers (7-9): Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
Cornerback Johnathan Banks is also an option here, but look for the Chargers to shore up their offensive line if Lewan is available.
12. Miami Dolphins (6-10): Keenan Allen, WR, California
The Dolphins had a solid year considering they started a rookie QB and had a first-year head coach on the sidelines. If they can get another weapon for Ryan Tannehill, Miami will be even better next season.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-10): Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
Tampa Bay gave up the most passing yards in the NFL this season (297.4 per game). Banks, a tall corner with good ball skills, would help solve that problem. He also likes to get involved in run-stopping, which is just an added bonus.
14. Carolina Panthers (7-9): Jonathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
The Panthers need a big, physical defensive tackle to wreak havoc around the line of scrimmage. Hankins (6'3", 335-pounds) is definitely capable of that.
15. New Orleans Saints (7-9): Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
New Orleans finished dead last in the NFL in yards allowed. Adding Jordan, a versatile athlete with great speed, would be a good idea for Sean Payton and Co.
16. St. Louis Rams (7-8-1): Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
The Rams also need an outside linebacker, but look for them to upgrade their O-line here. Cooper is an excellent pass protector who should help keep Sam Braford on his feet next season.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8): Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia
Larry Foote will be 33 next season, so the Steelers would be wise to pick up a young inside linebacker.
Ogletree is the perfect option, as he possesses sideline-to-sideline speed and the ability to deliver explosive hits. He is great against the run, and he can cause problems as a pass-rusher as well. I don't have him ranked as high as Te'o right now, but Ogletree may end up being the best inside linebacker from this class.
18. *Dallas Cowboys (8-8): Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
Tony Romo could use some more protection up front, as Doug Free hasn't lived up to expectations, and Tyron Smith is a walking false start penalty. Warmack is one of the most NFL-ready players in the draft, so he would be a great value pick here.
He's an excellent run blocker, using his powerful upper body and perfect situational awareness to drive defenders back and pick up blocks downfield. DeMarco Murray would love running behind Warmack.
19. New York Giants (9-7): Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
The Giants' high-profile pass-rushers disappointed this season. They ranked just 22nd in sacks (33) and 28th in opponents' passing yards (254.3 per game).
Ansah is an incredible athlete who has only been playing football since 2002. With his size, speed and versatility, he could develop into one of the most effective defensive ends in the league.
20. Chicago Bears (10-6): Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
The Bears have plenty of talent, but they will continue to miss the playoffs if they can't protect Jay Cutler. Fisher (6'7", 297-pounds) would instantly improve Chicago's O-line.
21. Cincinnati Bengals (10-6): Matt Elam, SS, Florida
The Bengals need some youth in the defensive backfield, and I think Elam will end up being one of the steals of the draft.
He's got great speed, he's an explosive hitter and his coverage skills are above average for a safety. Paired with last year's first-round pick Dre Kirkpatrick, the Bengals secondary would be set for the next few years.
22. St. Louis Rams (from Washington): Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA
After addressing their O-line at No. 16, look for the Rams to go defense here. They have a glaring need at outside linebacker, and Barr is the best available after Jarvis Jones.
23. Baltimore Ravens (10-6): Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
The aging Ravens defense could use another run-stopper. Williams, a 6'2" 320-pound senior, could be exactly what they need. He excels at clogging running lanes, and he's a decent pass-rusher as well.
24. Minnesota Vikings (10-6): Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
The Vikings have the most one-dimensional offense in the league, and that's not just because Christian Ponder is playing quarterback. Minnesota's receiving corps lacks depth and durability, so adding a wideout makes sense here.
Austin is tiny (5'8", 173-pounds), but he is one of the fastest players in his class.
25. Indianapolis Colts (11-5): Johnathan Jenkins, DT, Georgia
Look for another defensive tackle to go off the board here, as the Colts are one of many teams that need help in the run game. Jenkins is absolutely massive (6'4", 363-pounds), and he is surprisingly quick for his size.
26. Seattle Seahawks (11-5): Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Russell Wilson could use another weapon, and Patterson would be a good option. He's got good height for the position, and he will be one of the fastest receivers at the combine. If he improves his route running, he would form a great trio with Sidney Rice and Golden Tate.
27. *Green Bay Packers (11-5): Barrett Jones, C, Alabama
The Packers don't have any glaring needs, but they could use some depth on the offensive line. The versatile Jones, who can play center or either guard position, would be a smart selection here.
Jones could also end up being one of the steals of the draft. He is as reliable as any player in this draft, and he could be a fixture on the Packers' O-line for the rest of Aaron Rodgers' career.
28. San Francisco 49ers (11-4-1): Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
The 49ers already have one of the best defenses in the NFL, but they could use some more depth on the defensive line. Injuries hurt them in their blowout loss to Seattle this season, and if they don't add another D-lineman, they could have similar issues next season.
Richardson is a solid run-stopper, and he might be the quickest defensive tackle in this class.
29. *Houston Texans (12-4): Robert Woods, WR, USC
The Texans need someone to take some attention away from Andre Johnson, and Woods would be the perfect option. He could either start opposite Johnson or operate in the slot.
Woods doesn't have great size, but he's certainly big enough to survive the rigors of the NFL. He was also one of the most productive receivers in the country this season, catching 76 passes for 846 yards and 11 touchdowns.
I expect him to eventually be the best receiver from this class.
30. *New England Patriots (12-4): Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
The Patriots are one of the best drafting teams in the league, and I expect them to strike gold again with Kenny Vaccaro.
Vaccaro has unbelievable cover skills for a safety, and he would immediately improve a Pats' secondary that allowed 271.4 passing yards per game this season. Vaccaro isn't great against the run, but he's very active, and his coverage abilities make up for any other weaknesses.
31. Atlanta Falcons (13-3): Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
John Abraham is getting older, and Atlanta could use a long-term replacement at defensive end. Montgomery has good size (6'4", 245-pounds), he's a disciplined run-stopper and he plays with a fiery passion.
He would be a great addition this late in the first round.
32. Denver Broncos (13-3): Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
It's only fitting that a defensive tackle closes out the first round. The Broncos have several DTs heading for free agency after the playoffs, so it makes sense for the to add one through the draft.
Floyd is a good option, as he led Florida with 11 tackles for loss this season. He isn't the most polished player, but his unique blend of size and athleticism will make him a menace at the next level.
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