Alabama's Dee Milliner is the best cornerback this draft.
Folks, the 2013 NFL Draft is closing in fast and another mock of the entire first round is no better way to satisfy that anxious craving.
Now that we're down to the conference championship games and Super Bowl XLVII just around the corner, draft season is virtually upon us.
And in a class that's more defensively-dominated, a cornerback such as Alabama's Dee Milliner will gain additional exposure. For one, the Tide are known for generating numerous NFL prospects and Milliner is simply next in line from Nick Saban.
Secondly, the Crimson Tide are appealing once again after winning another national championship in impressive fashion. So where does Milliner, the Tide and other pro prospects from around the country land in Round 1?
Let's check out another installment for this offseason.
Unless the Kansas City Chiefs end up trading down, expect Geno Smith at No. 1 overall.
K.C. desperately needs to rebuild under center, and Smith's strong arm and mobility is a start.
He's also quite accurate and brings the potential to quickly develop under Andy Reid.
A franchise builds with a quarterback, and then a guy who can get to the quarterback.
Jarvis Jones is this draft's sack-master and his knack of creating turnover opportunities bodes well for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Considering the lack of quarterback pressure and run defense from the Jags in 2012, Jones turns that around in 2013.
Not only did the Oakland Raiders lack a pass rush, but they also failed to stop the run and are getting older up front.
Therefore, landing Florida State's Bjoern Werner adds talented-depth and youth to the position.
Possessing reliable instincts against the run and for getting pressure, Werner reacts fast for knocking down passes squeezing the edge. In short, he's a complete player.
Allowing 48 sacks is 2012 cost the Philadelphia Eagles quite a bit, even when healthier.
And in order to ensure constant dependability along the offensive line, Luke Joeckel is needed.
Arguably the best prospect in the 2013 draft, Joeckel walled off the edge better than anyone in the SEC. His size, lateral quickness and explosive power when pass-blocking allowed Johnny Manziel plenty of time to survey from the pocket.
He's also a sound run-blocker to extend lanes at the second level. LeSean McCoy then enjoys more efficient production.
With Cliff Avril set to be a free agent and Kyle Vanden Bosch turning 35 years old next season, the Detroit Lions have to land a pass-rusher for the future.
Even if Avril comes back, Vanden Bosch is on the back end of his career and Damontre Moore will fit right in.
Having the skill set to rush and stuff the run, Moore will take Detroit's front line to another level. A strong defensive front is needed to compete with the Packers and Vikings.
Allowing a 63.0 completion percentage and giving up 27 passing touchdowns this season, the Cleveland Browns must get Dee Milliner.
He solidified his status as the top cornerback with an impressive display in the BCS national title game.
Playing with great consistency all season for Alabama, Cleveland putting Milliner opposite of Joe Haden will take an immense amount of pressure off the front seven. Given the Browns' potential pass rush, Milliner and Haden would lock it down every week.
The Arizona Cardinals quarterbacks were sacked 58 times in 2012 and the team averaged a mere 3.4 yards per rushing attempt.
It's doesn't matter which part of the line needs the most help, Arizona could not block anyone.
Whether it was on the edges, up the middle or just one-on-one, the Cardinals don't give up that many sacks and lack a ground game without the entire offensive line failing miserably. Factor in the NFC West fielding strong defensive fronts and Chance Warmack addresses a dire need.
The Cardinals can then see more production at the line of scrimmage to set up play-action pass.
Because of his field awareness and quick reactionary skills, Manti Te'o can play inside or outside 'backers for the Buffalo Bills.
Now yes, Alabama totally demolished Te'o and the Irish in the title game.
At the same time, Te'o still finished with 10 tackles despite a underachieving performance. Buffalo has the defensive front to take on blocks and clog running lanes, Te'o's instincts will significantly benefit as a result.
In turn, the Bills improve against the run and become a more complete defense.
Aging at linebacker the New York Jets have to establish a more consistent pass rush.
LSU's Barkevious Mingo possesses the acceleration and quickness to wreck in the backfield, which only enhances those in coverage.
Mingo needs to develop more against the run, but his overall athleticism will get Gang Green to better control the line of scrimmage.
The Tennessee Titans had all kinds of defensive issues throughout 2012.
Giving up a 66.3 completion percentage and 31 passing touchdowns, a prospective corner in Johnthan Banks will take away half the field.
Along with blanketing in man coverage, Banks brings the short-area quickness to help with run support. As a solid playmaker to generate turnovers, Banks' presence will allow Tennessee's front seven to focus more on stuffing the run next season.
Philip Rivers was sacked 49 times in 2012.
To no one's surprise, Rivers had a frustrating campaign that resulted in 15 picks and fumbling 15 times (13 from passing attempts).
That affected the rushing attack, which got only 3.6 yards per attempt. So, the San Diego Chargers have to select Central Michigan's Eric Fisher at No. 11 overall.
Fisher may not have played the stellar opponents of Luke Joeckel, but he is more athletic than at first glance and presents a good base. And it's that kind of balance required to wall off the edge in pro football.
Keenan Allen can certainly be considered a reach here for the Miami Dolphins.
Then again, Ryan Tannehill needs a big target capable of making plays downfield and over the middle.
Miami has to present a receiver capable of drawing double coverage, because others such as Brian Hartline and Davone Bess will definitely get open underneath or against man-to-man.
Combining Allen's size and leaping ability, Tannehill's development will accelerate courtesy of his own potential.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could definitely go a few directions with the No. 13 selection.
Needing to improve the secondary, reaching for Eric Reid, Matt Elam or Xavier Rhodes is a worthy risk.
Going with Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei quickly upgrades the line and Tampa's front seven. Although the Bucs ranked No. 1 in rush defense, that was in large part due to few teams attempting to run against them.
Lacking a pass rush and the ability to control up front, Lotulelei's wreckage in the backfield and skill to draw double-teams will take pressure off the linebackers and defensive backs. Tampa is young across the board, so getting top talent to dominate the point of attack will develop the younger secondary players.
Already fielding a set of reliable pass-rushers led by Charles Johnson, the Carolina Panthers have to improve on the interior.
Their lack of a run defense is what cost the Panthers in close games this season, so Sheldon Richardson can spruce up Carolina.
Complemented by the edge defenders and instinctive linebacker Luke Kuechly, Richardson won't see many double-teams. The end result is a greater impact from a player capable of causing constant turbulence behind the line.
No defense can help its team in pro football by allowing an average of 5.2 yards per rushing attempt.
Well, that's how the New Orleans Saints performed up front in 2012 and they also recorded just 30 sacks.
Competing in a pass-oriented division, New Orleans selecting Johnathan Hankins will put more pressure on opposing quarterbacks. With the talent to slip off blocks and stuff the run inside, the Saints will get inflated production from Will Smith and Cameron Jordan.
To fully understand the St. Louis Rams' potential, Jeff Fisher's squad went 4-1-1 in the NFC West this season.
As one of the top defensive divisions in pro football, the Rams were consistent against their rivals.
Unfortunately, that was not the case when playing outside the division. Still looking to establish a stronger ground game, North Carolina's Jonathan Cooper is the perfect answer.
Cooper brings the lateral agility and quickness to pull across the line and lead upfield. Additionally, he can drive immediately to the second level and move fast between his teammates for reliable pass protection.
The Pittsburgh Steelers may have finished with the No. 1 ranked overall defense in 2012, but that wasn't indicative of the total output.
Pittsburgh failed to generate turnovers and get a consistent pass rush, which made it suspect to balanced offenses.
Include their aging front seven and Oregon's Dion Jordan is quite appealing. He has the speed, size frame and tenacity to quickly develop as a 3-4 defensive end or outside 'backer. With the elements put together, Jordan possesses unlimited potential in the Steel City.
A key reason why the Dallas Cowboys again finished in disappointing fashion was the run defense.
Now without question were injuries part of it, although no team is exempt to that each season.
Factor Jay Ratliff's age (will be 32 before next season) and durability concerns, John Jenkins solves a major issue in Big D.
A bulldozing force in the trenches, Jenkins can control two gaps and clog running lanes across the line. He also brings a better pass-rushing talent than given credit, which will complement DeMarcus Ware's presence on the outside.
The New York Giants aren't exactly young along the offensive line.
Despite Eli Manning still getting dependable pass protection, tackle David Diehl will be 33 at the beginning of next season and Sean Locklear will be 32.
So, taking D.J. Fluker in Round 1 solidifies the future of Manning's line and will keep the running game consistent. Fluker can easily be overlooked because of Alabama's overall talent, but he still brings great size, footwork and power to the position.
Jay Cutler needs a receiving tight end to target downfield.
Notre Dame's Tyler Eifert fits perfectly, because he's proven to beat double coverage and out-jump anyone man-to-man.
And with Brandon Marshall lined up on the outside for the Chicago Bears, Eifert will see plenty of open space at the intermediate level. Count his ability as a run-blocker—which will get overlooked as Eifert is still improving—and the Bears offense hits another level.
Despite a strong pass rush and run defense, the Cincinnati Bengals were unreliable in coverage.
The secondary didn't generate many turnovers and gave up a 61.8 completion percentage. In the postseason, Matt Schaub completed 76.3 percent of his throws to knock Cincy out.
The Bengals also aren't young in the secondary. Chris Crocker is 32, Nate Clements is 33 and Terrence Newman is 34. Selecting Eric Reid in the first round simply ensures better playmaking talent at safety and a prospect capable of rolling down for run support.
Cincinnati is fine elsewhere on defense and upgrading the coverage will get Marvin Lewis a playoff win.
Sam Bradford needs that explosive receiving target to stretch defenses and take chances downfield.
Terrance Williams is just the man to give St. Louis a stronger passing attack, because of his acceleration and big play potential.
The Rams already have the ground game to set up the pass, bringing in Williams will easily field more balance in tough division.
Adrian Peterson is going to dominate on the ground, regardless of the Minnesota Vikings' overall talent.
Just imagine, though, how much more effective he can be with help from a stronger passing game.
Pretty scary, right?
Christian Ponder's need to develop aside, Tennessee's Cordarrelle Patterson brings the size and complete receiving package to get a defense on its heels. Ponder's mobility and working play-action will allow for some chances downfield, which at the very least, will prevent opponents from constantly loading eight or nine in the box.
Until the Indianapolis Colts can stop the run, a deep postseason run won't happen.
Take into account the age of some of their front seven players during 2013's season—Dwight Freeney (33), Robert Mathis (32), Cory Redding (33)—and getting Alex Okafor addresses a key area.
Possessing the size and athleticism to become a dominant edge-rushing force, Okafor can immediately contribute as a 3-4 defensive end or outside 'backer. He knows how to create havoc in the backfield and also brings the wherewithal to stifle against the run.
The Seattle Seahawks basically have a complete team, but getting Russell Wilson another receiver isn't a bad idea.
Robert Woods has No. 1 target potential and coming from USC, Pete Carroll will develop him rather quickly.
Holding the top gear and route-running athleticism to make plays at every dimension of the field, Woods' additional only makes Seattle a more dangerous playoff contender.
Barrett Jones is the most versatile offensive lineman in the 2013 draft.
With experience combined with a dynamic ability from playing across Nick Saban's offensive line, Jones will work everywhere for Aaron Rodgers.
Also, the Green Bay Packers allowed 51 sacks of Rodgers during the regular season and Jeff Saturday is 37 years old. Jones replenishes the talent along the line, and consistency for run and pass-blocking so Mike McCarthy can call a balanced attack.
The 2012 season was a breakout performance for Kevin Minter.
Displaying the ability to defend quickly against the run, shield in coverage and make plays in the backfield, he suits well for the Houston Texans.
Lacking any reliable coverage at the intermediate level from the inside 'backers, Houston was eviscerated by the best of quarterbacks last fall. The selection of Minter brings greater promise to the Texans' defensive front, because the pass-rushers are then given a bit more time to apply pressure.
The Denver Broncos' pass defense was exploited in the postseason.
Failing to lockdown in man coverage and take advantage of playmaking opportunities, it's no surprise the Broncos were upset at home.
To avoid such a collapse again, Florida State's Xavier Rhodes adds dependability. He can get physical at the line, help with edge run support and drop back in zone and react quickly to any developing play.
Possessing bigger size for a cornerback, Rhodes's ability to play press and allow few yards after the catch keeps Denver dominant on defense.
If the Baltimore Ravens want to continue making deep playoff runs, drafting BYU's Ezekiel Ansah will suffice.
At 6'6, 270 pounds, Ansah is capable of blowing up blocking schemes as a 3-4 defensive end.
In also having impressive quickness and lateral movement for his size, Ansah can knife across the line and clog multiple running lanes. The Ravens would only improve with consistency against the run, and another division title will occur with more young talent in the front seven.
Along with Jonathan Babineaux turning 32 years old next season, the Atlanta Falcons must upgrade along the defensive line.
Allowing an average of 4.8 rush yards per carry in the regular season, Atlanta needs a cerebral player with a knack for making plays.
Alabama's Jesse Williams brings a great amount of toughness to the position, and he can constantly draw double-teams. In filling gaps to plug running lanes, the Falcons improve against the run and Mike Smith's defense shuts opponents down more consistently.
Bill Belichick's defenses have continued to impress throughout the postseason and the same occurred last year.
However, if one small weakness remains it's defending the pass over the middle and back deep.
Just as was exposed in Super Bowl XLVI, New England did give up a 62.1 completion percentage this regular season. Taking Matt Elam at the end of Round 1, though, brings an aware defender who is capable of jumping routes and rolling down to the intermediate level.
A complexion of blitzes can also occur, because Elam's dynamics in covering slot receivers and helping against the run will let the front seven be more aggressive.
Although the San Francisco 49ers are extremely dominant against the run, Jim Harbaugh's defense must get some younger talent in the trenches.
Mainly due to Justin Smith turning 34 next season and Isaac Sopoaga turning 32, Purdue's Kawann Short solidifies the Bay Area's future up front.
Short is a beast at controlling the line of scrimmage, and his ability to accumulate sacks and tackles for loss will greatly impact San Francisco. After all, dominating at the point of attack is where the 49ers work best on each side of the ball.
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