2013 NFL Mock Draft: Analyzing Full First Round After Wild Card Weekend
One round of playoff action is in the books, meaning another group of fanbases will begin looking toward the 2013 NFL draft. The same can be said for the front offices, which are searching for a group of young players capable of sparking a deeper run next season.
Even though this year's class isn't riddled with as many budding superstars as the last few, it does have a good amount of depth. That means teams picking later in the first round can still walk away with an impact player if they play their cards right.
Without further ado, here's a mock draft of the first round following the wild-card games, with a deeper dive into three picks based on team need more than value.
1. Kansas City Chiefs (2-14): Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Andy Reid arrives to Kansas City to see a quarterback situation that features Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn. Both struggled mightily, and now it's up to the new coaching staff to find and identify somebody to take over moving forward.
Right now, that looks like Smith. The West Virginia product had a terrific season season with 42 touchdowns and just six interceptions. He's the type of player who can step right into the starting lineup like this season's crop of talented rookies. The supporting cast still needs work, though.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14): Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Since the Jaguars finished dead last in sacks, it's clear they must address their pass-rushing options before next season. Werner possesses immense upside.
3. Oakland Raiders (4-12): Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
Oakland finds itself in a similar position to Jacksonville. Finding an edge rusher to help slow down opposing passing attacks is a must, and Jones is the best available after Werner.
Is Joeckel worth a top-five pick?
4. Philadelphia Eagles (4-12): Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Even though Michael Vick took a lot of heat for his play, there's only so much he could do behind one of the league's worst offensive lines. Joeckel will help change that.
5. Detroit Lions (4-12): Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU
The Lions' offense features more than enough talent to compete for a playoff spot, but defensive upgrades are sorely needed. Mingo should be the first of several picks to help the unit.
6. Cleveland Browns (5-11): Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
Another pass-rusher with a terrific track record of chasing down the opposing quarterback. The Browns have multiple options with this pick, but Moore presents the best value.
7. Arizona Cardinals (5-11): Matt Barkley, QB, USC
Although Barkley's stock took a hit during his final season with the Trojans, he gets a chance to rebuild it leading up to draft day and there's a good chance that happens.
8. Buffalo Bills (6-10): Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame
The Bills would love for a franchise quarterback to be available at this point, but it's not likely. Te'o will help a defense that severely underperformed this season.
9. New York Jets (6-10): Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
A brutal passing attack means the Jets are forced to rely on the run, but there weren't enough holes opened by the offensive line for the ground game to succeed.
10. Tennessee Titans (6-10): Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
It's hard to see Milliner falling beyond this point. He's the top cornerback on the board and there are too many teams in need of one for him to suffer a major slide.
11. San Diego Chargers (7-9): Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
Philip Rivers was sacked nearly 50 times in 16 games. If that doesn't tell the front office that offensive line upgrades are needed, nothing will. Matthews is a star in the making.
12. Miami Dolphins (7-9): Keenan Allen, WR, California
While the wide receiver class lacks top-end talent, Allen has the potential to reach that level. After hauling in nearly 100 passes in his sophomore season, his numbers dipped in 2012, but that was mostly due to poor quarterback play at Cal.
His combination of size and quickness make him a good fit for the Dolphins, who have very little depth at the position outside of Brian Hartline and Davone Bess. Allen would give Ryan Tannehill another target to help his development under center.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9): Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
Banks is one player who will be forced to defend his value during the draft process. His play fell off during the season's second half, but he has the talent to become a shutdown corner.
14. Carolina Panthers (7-9): Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
The landing spot of Lotulelei is going to have a trickle effect throughout Round 1. He could go as high as the top three, but the Panthers are a good fit and he would present good value at No. 14.
Will the Saints make the playoffs next season?
15. New Orleans Saints (7-9): Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
Given the plentiful turmoil surrounding the Saints this season, missing the playoffs shouldn't be a major surprise. The offense is still in good shape. A few defensive upgrades and they'll be back in business.
16. St. Louis Rams (7-8-1): Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
Slowly, but surely, the signs of progress are starting to become more obvious in St. Louis. Adding more talent to the offensive line in front of Sam Bradford remains a priority.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8): Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
Missing the playoffs is rare for the Steelers. It should open the team's eyes about its aging defense and need to reinforce the unit with some young talent heading into next season.
18. Dallas Cowboys (8-8): Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
While Tony Romo is usually blamed for every Cowboys loss, the Dallas offense is actually in good shape. Improving the defense should lead to more favorable results, and help Romo escape the spotlight.
19. New York Giants (9-7): Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU
Minter is an interesting prospect. While Te'o is clearly the top inside linebacker available, Minter also has first-round ability and there's a big drop off after him at the position.
20. Chicago Bears (10-6): Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Having a porous offensive line isn't a new issue for the Bears. They must continue to work on it until Jay Cutler can actually feel some semblance of comfort in the pocket.
21. Cincinnati Bengals (10-6): Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
The Bengals could opt to go for a wide receiver to pair with A.J. Green instead, but Montgomery represents better value and would really help the defense.
22. St. Louis Rams (via 10-6 Washington Redskins): Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor
Having upgraded the offensive line earlier in the round, the Rams now turn their attention to the receiving corps. Currently, the Rams have a lot of question marks at the position. Danny Amendola is a talented player, but injuries continue to be a concern.
Enter Williams, who racked up 97 catches for 1,832 yards and 12 touchdowns in his senior season at Baylor. It was his second straight season with at least 10 touchdowns. That type of reliability is exactly what the Rams need to improve their aerial attack.
23. Minnesota Vikings (10-6): Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Percy Harvin is a dynamic weapon when healthy, but the Vikings need another receiver that can provide some support to Christian Ponder, whose weapons have been lacking.
24. Indianapolis Colts (11-5): Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
The Colts' cornerbacks were torched far too often against the Ravens. The secondary must improve if the team is going to make a deep playoff run in the coming years.
What should the Ravens address in Round 1?
25. Baltimore Ravens (10-6): Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
Adding another playmaker to the offense would be the best route for Baltimore. Even though the defense wasn't as dominant, the pieces are still in place for the unit to succeed.
26. Seattle Seahawks (11-5): Robert Woods, WR, USC
This makes four receivers in a span of five picks, which makes sense. There isn't much value for WRs early in the round, but there are a lot of players on the border between the first two rounds.
27. Green Bay Packers (11-5): Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
Aaron Rodgers got sacked 51 times during the regular season. The Packers can't afford for their franchise player to take that kind of punishment every week and expect him to stay healthy.
28. Houston Texans (12-4): Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
The story remains the same for the Texans. They need another receiver to take some of the pressure off Andre Johnson. Kevin Walter isn't a threat to opposing secondaries.
29. San Francisco 49ers (11-4-1): Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
Even though the 49ers wouldn't mind adding a wide receiver, the recent run eliminated the position's depth. They are better off adding another piece to an already strong defense.
30. New England Patriots (12-4): Matt Elam, SS, Florida
It's clear the Patriots' offense doesn't need any help. New England can spend another draft looking for upgrades on defense with hopes of solidifying that unit in the near future.
31. Denver Broncos (13-3): Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Denver features one of the most complete rosters in the league, so it can afford to take the best player available at this point. Floyd fits the bill and can make a quick impact.
32. Atlanta Falcons (13-3): Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
Tony Gonzalez is nearing the end of the line, which means the Falcons need to find a new red-zone target for Matt Ryan. Eifert excelled in that role with the Irish.
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