The 2013 NFL Draft is an excellent opportunity for teams to build on 2012—rectifying the mistakes that might have existed or consolidating on certain strengths.
For many teams, making a key first-round move up the board can be the difference between picking up another good player and picking up a star player—someone that a defensive or offensive front can be built around for the next few years.
We saw it right throughout the 2012 NFL Draft when moves like the Washington Redskins for Robert Griffin III led them from mediocrity to the NFL Playoffs, or from the New England Patriots to get Chandler Jones and rectify their defensive errors of the year before.
Key moves up can yield great reward for NFL teams, and so it will be once again in 2013. Read on to see some of the teams that desperately need to make first-round moves up the board in the draft this year.
New Orleans Saints
With Sean Peyton back at the helm of New Orleans, expect the Saints to have another strong draft in 2013, with a shock move up the boards not out of the question.
As good as their Drew Brees-led offense is, their inability to make a stop on defense and get their star quarterback back on the field hurt them greatly throughout the season. New Orleans could look to change that with a move up to grab a strong defensive pass-rusher.
The Saints currently have the 15th pick in the draft, and whilst there are still some solid defensive ends and linebackers likely to be available at that time, New Orleans could make a big move up for a player like Jarvis Jones or Manti Te'o.
The Georgia linebacker, Jones, is unlikely to fall outside of the top 10, which could very well happen for Te'o also. That means that the Saints would need to go up and get either player, which although it seems unlikely, could be the best thing for this franchise after all that happened in 2012.
Minnesota benefited greatly from having two picks in the first round last year, and could be a surprise team to move up again this year in search of more talent.
The Vikings could use help on either side of the ball, with key needs at wide-receiver, linebacker and defensive tackle all apparent for Leslie Frazier's side.
They are unlikely to move up high to pick a receiver—especially when there will no doubt still be some good ones available late in the first round or early in the second—but they could definitely move up for a good defensive tackle or even for Manti Te'o.
Jared Allen is a dominant pass-rusher, but should they also be able to pick up the Notre Dame linebacker, they would have that extra presence to watch out for in the box, and a player to take some of the focus off Allen.
The NFC North, with Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford and Jay Cutler continues to be very strong through the air, and the Vikings ability to get to those quarterbacks quickly could be the difference between the playoffs or bust in 2013.
Same thing goes for a defensive tackle.
The 2012 NFL season will have been a huge disappointment for the Dallas Cowboys, who will once again be heartbroken to miss the NFL Playoffs.
What's worse for Dallas is the fact that they can't even claim to be second-best in that division now, with the emergence of Robert Griffin III potentially sparking a new dominance to be had by the Redskins and Giants in the NFC East.
To keep pace with those two teams next year, Dallas could be a surprise team to move up the board here and snag a great defensive pass-rusher to complement Demarcus Ware.
Yes, the Cowboys do need assistance across their offensive line, but with plenty of good lineman still available in the draft class this year, they will know that moving up the boards now could be the difference between a good year and a year competing once more for the divisional crown.
Against two great quarterbacks in RG3 and Eli Manning in particular, Dallas could be eyeing a move for Utah defensive tackle Star Lotlulelei, who is projected to go top-10 in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Few can see Lotlulelei falling further than say fifth, which means that the Cowboys could possibly move up and swap with the Detroit Lions, or even the Oakland Raiders if they think that their pick isn't going to be available later on in the round.
They had great success going up and getting Morris Claiborne last year—a move that few saw coming—and could try to repeat the process again in 2013.
Which teams do you see moving up in the first round in 2013?
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