2013 NFL Mock Draft: First-Round Projections Before NFL Title Game Weekend
With the conference championship games nearly set, we have a much better idea of the weaknesses each team needs to address in the offseason.
A handful of top prospects decided to stay in school, which will make the 2013 first round extremely interesting in late April.
Let's take a look every opening-round pick.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
The Kansas City Chiefs need new direction at the quarterback position under new head coach Andy Reid. Though Geno Smith isn't as polished as Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III were a year ago, he has franchise signal-caller potential.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
No team totaled fewer sacks than the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2012. With Jarvis Jones, they'll get a springy athlete with a nonstop motor who is an exquisite counter to Andrew Luck in the AFC South.
3. Oakland Raiders: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
The Oakland Raiders have aging interior defensive tackles, and Star Lotulelei is the type of bulky, versatile and rather disruptive talent who can be a defensive foundation for the Bay Area team that's still trying to find its way.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Luke Joeckel is in the Joe Thomas mold and could be even lighter on his feet as a pass-blocker.
The Philadelphia Eagles will get 31-year-old Jason Peters off an Achilles injury, but that's just it: Peters isn't young anymore, and Achilles injuries can limit a player's inherent athletic ability.
Joeckel is the perfect choice.
5. Detroit Lions: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Dee Milliner hasn't received Patrick Peterson or Morris Claiborne-type publicity in 2012, but he's big, fast and possesses desired ball skills.
The Detroit Lions need to shore up their secondary, and they can start by selecting this sound Alabama cornerback prospect.
6. Cleveland Browns: Damontre Moore, OLB/DE, Texas A&M
Damontre Moore is a terrorizing edge-rusher who is blessed with a fine combination of size, speed and sheer power.
The Cleveland Browns have the primary components of an elite defensive unit, and Moore is the pass-rushing specialist Rob Chudzinski's team needs to take the next step.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
With Jake Matthews and Taylor Lewan headed back to their respective schools, the Arizona Cardinals will address their unsettled quarterback situation.
Though Tyler Wilson and Arkansas experienced a dreadful season in 2012, the signal-caller has all the natural tools to be a viable quarterback at the NFL level.
8. Buffalo Bills: Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse
Ryan Nassib has the size, arm strength and pocket poise to develop into a sound professional quarterback.
The Buffalo Bills have been searching for a franchise signal-caller since the moment Jim Kelly retired. With Doug Marrone as Buffalo's new coach, he'll take his college quarterback in hopes of a fast and easy transition.
9. New York Jets: Bjoern Werner, DE/OLB, Florida State
The New York Jets have plenty of holes on their roster, but they could especially use more youth on their defense. Quinton Coples and Bjoern Werner can be the franchise cornerstones on the edge and will be aided by the presence of emerging interior defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson.
10. Tennessee Titans: Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon
Dion Jordan has some Jason Pierre-Paul in him. He has an enormous frame (6'6'', 245) and is just as comfortable dropping into coverage as he is getting after the quarterback.
This Oregon product will complement Kamerion Wimbley well.
11. San Diego Chargers: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
The San Diego Chargers desperately need to bolster their offensive line. While some will view this pick as an infamous "reach," it's not. Eric Fisher is long and lean and will instantly be plugged in as either the right or left tackle.
12. Miami Dolphins: Keenan Allen, WR, California
In all likelihood, the Miami Dolphins will look to add a receiver in free agency, but if they don't, they must address that position in the draft.
A midseason injury has kept Keenan Allen off the radar, but when healthy, he's one of the steadiest wideouts in the 2013 class.
Ryan Tannehill's new best friend.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
Johnthan Banks isn't the prospect Dee Milliner is, but he is a strikingly similar prospect.
The vastly experienced corner is big, physical and isn't limited athletically—a perfect blend for a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that got shredded through the air in 2012.
14. Carolina Panthers: Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
Jesse Williams is the run-plugging, block-occupying defensive tackle.
That's exactly what the Carolina Panthers need. His presence will make Luke Kuechly even more of a productive tackling machine.
15. New Orleans Saints: Sheldon Richardson, DL, Missouri
Sheldon Richardson is a mammoth individual at 6'4'' and 295 pounds.
Cameron Jordan came on as the main pass-rushing defensive end for the New Orleans Saints this year, but as a whole, the team's defensive line struggled.
The Missouri product will add much-needed beef and versatility.
16. St. Louis Rams: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Cordarrelle Patterson isn't a well-known prospect in the 2013 draft class.
At 6'3'' and 205 with blazing speed, the youngster exudes upside and is the type of big and fast receiver the St. Louis Rams need.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State
Arthur Brown is a fleet-footed outside linebacker prospect who can cover, blitz the quarterback and make his presence felt as sure tackler.
The Pittsburgh Steelers need an infusion of youth to their defense, and Brown will instantly be a star in Dick Lebeau's defense.
18. Dallas Cowboys: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
Chance Warmack is the safest player, at any position, in the entire 2013 draft class. He's an athletic interior offensive line prospect with good technique and immense power.
The Dallas Cowboys need to better protect whoever is the starting quarterback in the future, and Warmack will pave many running lanes for the ferocious DeMarco Murray.
19. New York Giants: Ezekiel Ansah, DE/OLB, BYU
Ezekiel Ansah is a lot like Jason Pierre-Paul when he entered the professional ranks.
The BYU product is raw but has a menacing build and can make awe-inspiring athletic plays coming off the edge. After a disappointing year for the once vaunted New York Giants defensive line, this pick makes sense.
20. Chicago Bears: Dallas Thomas, OT, Tennessee
The Chicago Bears won't content for a Super Bowl if Jay Cutler has a shoddy offensive line in front of him.
Dallas Thomas is big and athletic enough to take over J'Marcus Webb's left tackle spot in 2013.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
The Cincinnati Bengals are close to making a deep run in the playoffs, and a talented safety will help them in the future.
Kenny Vaccaro is a ball-hawking free safety who can replace unrestricted free agent Chris Crocker.
22. St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins): Justin Pugh, OT, Syracuse
The St. Louis Rams got their No. 1 receiver with their first opening-round pick; now they look to the offensive line.
Justin Pugh isn't a household name, but at 6'6'' and 300 pounds with good footwork, he's a perfect pass-blocking left tackle prospect.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor
The Minnesota Vikings need more receiving talent.
While the offense will always go through Adrian Peterson, Christian Ponder must be developed if Leslie Frazier's club is to perennially contend in the NFC.
Terrance Williams is a lanky long strider and can separate from defenders down the field.
24. Indianapolis Colts: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
Andrew Luck had an incredible rookie season, but didn't have much of an offensive line in front of him. D.J. Fluker isn't an elite offensive tackle prospect, but with some coaching, he could be a mauling offensive lineman at the NFL ranks.
25. Green Bay Packers: Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame
The Green Bay Packers can score with anyone, but their defense ultimately let them down in 2012 and early 2013.
Manti Te'o's stock dropped after a forgetful performance in the national title game, but he's still one of the premier linebackers in his class.
As an inside linebacker in the Packers' 3-4, the Notre Dame star can focus on stopping the run.
26. Houston Texans: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
The Houston Texans need more offensive diversity, and the slippery Tavon Austin is the guy who can help Gary Kubiak's club with that.
He is a yards-after-the-catch menace, and he can make defenders miss in the open field.
27. Atlanta Falcons: Barkevious Mingo, OLB/DE, LSU
Barkevious Mingo is a pure pass-rushing maven—something the Atlanta Falcons could use after a regular season in which they only mustered 29 sacks.
Remember, John Abraham will be 35 in May.
28. Denver Broncos: Eric Reid, S, LSU
One play doesn't make a career, but the Denver Broncos will have a hard time moving forward with Rahim Moore as their starting safety.
Eric Reid has plenty of top-level experience and will be an instant upgrade to the back end of that defense.
29. Baltimore Ravens: Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia
Alec Ogletree doesn't have the prototypical inside linebacker build at 6'3'' and 232 pounds, but he is oozing with athletic ability and lowers the boom when attacking downhill against the run.
With Ray Lewis calling it quits, Ogletree will be be welcomed in Baltimore.
30. Seattle Seahawks: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
The Seattle Seahawks are a power running team that sprinkles in some read-option to allow Russell Wilson to make plays with his feet.
However, they could use more talent at wide receiver.
DeAndre Hopkins is a downfield burner with good short-area burst, and he will make Sidney Rice and Golden Tate even more effective.
31. New England Patriots: Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
The New England Patriots could use more bulk on their defensive interior, and the 6'3'', 320-pound Johnathan Hankins could be a future replacement to Vince Wilfork at the nose tackle spot that's vital to the 3-4.
32. San Francisco 49ers: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Justin Smith makes the San Francisco 49ers defense click.
While he isn't ready to retire, he will be 34 in September, and Jim Harbaugh's club could use another disruptive interior defensive lineman.
That's exactly what Sharrif Floyd is.