2013 NFL Mock Draft: First Round Projections After Divisional Round
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The 2013 NFL draft is beginning to take shape as the playoffs reach the conference championship round.
Head coaching vacancies are also starting to be filled, so teams can start working on their blueprints for the draft. Some teams, on the other hand, have to wait to form their strategy until a new coach is hired.
With the divisional round of the playoffs come and gone, here's an updated of how the first round will unravel. The order is via NFL.com.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Geno Smith doesn't look like the pro prospect that Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III did, but he's the top quarterback in the draft.
The Kansas City Chiefs have a lot of pressing needs and could very easily take Luke Joeckel here.
With Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn currently under center, selecting a QB is the right way to go. Smith has some flaws, but with time and the right coaching, he'll develop into a very good NFL quarterback.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
The Jacksonville Jaguars have arguably more holes to fill than the Chiefs do. They finished 30th in team defense, so that's the place to start.
With Dave Caldwell's hiring as general manager, it looks to be a sign that Jacksonville management is committing to Blaine Gabbert. Caldwell did a good job in helping to develop Matt Ryan and provide him with a solid group of receivers.
3. Oakland Raiders: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
Jarvis Jones is the kind of all-around prospect who can help the Oakland Raiders defense in a variety of ways. He can rush the passer, defend the run or drop into the secondary and provide pass coverage.
Oakland's defense was respectable, ranking 18th in the league, but the Raiders could use some improvements on that side of the ball.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
The Philadelphia Eagles' offensive line has been a bit of a mess this year. Luke Joeckel might be the closest thing to a can't-miss in this draft.
They can wait at least another round or two to draft a quarterback around which they can rebuild the offense. With Joeckel and a QB selected, this could lay the groundwork for the Eagles' rise back up the standings.
5. Detroit Lions: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
No team was as disappointing as the Detroit Lions. Their defense, in particular, was poor, and rushing the passer was a major issue.
Bjoern Werner's strength and athleticism ensure that he's the best pass-rusher in the draft. No defensive end in the draft is better at coming off the edge.
6. Cleveland Browns: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
Regardless of the past, the Cleveland Browns are a team that's on the way up. Their 5-11 record could be a blessing in disguise as it allowed the team to obtain an early pick.
The Browns lack an elite pass-rusher, so Moore would immediately fill that hole.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Matt Barkley, QB, USC
Matt Barkley's stock plummeted during his senior year. His tools were under a major microscope, and teams have realized that he's not the elite prospect he was thought to be.
Barkley could still be an upgrade in Arizona, where the Cardinals have arguably the worst QB situation in the league.
8. Buffalo Bills: Tyler Wilson, QB Arkansas
Ryan Fitzpatrick isn't a terrible quarterback, however, at 30 years old, he's not the player you want to be your franchise QB right now.
The Buffalo Bills could go with Mike Glennon or Ryan Nassib here. It's Tyler Wilson, though, who they should draft. His arm strength might be the best in the draft, and his propensity for throwing himself out of situations could improve with the right coaching.
9. New York Jets: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU
Barkevious Mingo will need some time to fully develop his skills. The one thing holding him back right now is his inexperience at the college level. He's got the tools to excel in the NFL though.
10. Tennessee Titans: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
The Tennessee Titans ranked only 26th against the pass. Dee Milliner was one of the best corners in the country last year, and he's by far the best prospect in the draft. Milliner can get in there and immediately become the Titans' best cornerback.
11. San Diego Chargers: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
12. Miami Dolphins: Keenan Allen, WR, Cal
It's too bad for the Miami Dolphins need a wide receiver in such a weak class. Keenan Allen would be a reach here, so Miami might hold out for a receiver in the later rounds.
If they're dead-set on taking one in the first round, Allen is the best option for the Dolphins.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
The Tampa Buccaneers were dreadful against the pass, ranking last in the NFL. Milliner might fall to 13, but Jonathan Banks would be a solid second option.
14. Carolina Panthers: Jonathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
Defensive tackle is a problem area for the Carolina Panthers. With Greg Hardy and Charles Johnson, Carolina got plenty off the edge. The Panthers were weak up the middle, and Jonathan Hankins would help to solidify the defensive line as a whole.
15. New Orleans Saints: Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
The New Orleans Saints had a historically dreadful defense, giving up the most yards in NFL history. It's almost a foregone conclusion they'll look to defense in the draft.
16. St. Louis Rams: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
Offensive guards generally aren't selected very high. With Sam Bradford's development in 2012, it's clear he's the franchise QB the St. Louis Rams thought they were drafting. Now they just need to surround him with a solid offensive line.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame
Manti Te'o's draft stock took a hit after the BCS title game. Much of the criticism has been over exaggerated. His potential isn't the highest of some other linebackers in the draft. Few are as NFL-ready as Te'o, though, and that's majorly in his favor.
18. Dallas Cowboys: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Sharrif Floyd doesn't have the explosiveness of some other defensive tackles in the draft, but he has the game of a run-stuffing tackle. He should fill the void well with the Dallas Cowboys.
19. New York Giants: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
For quite a while, the New York Giants hanged their hats on their elite pass-rushing unit. Ezekiel Ansah has a boatload of potential, but the draft is littered with players who never fulfilled their vast amounts of raw talent. If Ansah can get it all together, the Giants could have a real start on their hands.
20. Chicago Bears: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
With Jake Matthews' return to Texas A&M, the crop of offensive linemen took a big hit. The Chicago Bears have needed to improve their offensive line for a while now, though, and Lane Johnson is still a very good option to help stabilize Chicago's line.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
Cincinnati had one of the best defensive lines in the NFL, but the Bengals are going to have to pay their young linemen sooner or later. Sam Montgomery can provide depth for the organization, giving it a little more flexibility in deciding who to jettison.
22. St. Louis Rams (via Washington Redskins): Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
With the lack of elite receivers, St. Louis should look to tight end. Tyler Eifert had a very good career at Notre Dame and has established himself as the best in the draft at his position.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Adrian Peterson alone isn't enough for the Minnesota Vikings' offense. They need to establish an aerial threat, and Cordarrelle Patterson would help that to happen.
24. Indianapolis Colts: Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
The Indianapolis Colts struggled to contain the run. Jesse Williams is one of the strongest players in the draft, so he should be very good at the line of scrimmage as a run-stuffer.
25. Seattle Seahawks: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
Consistency is the biggest issue for Sheldon Richardson. He's a very good pass-rusher for a defensive tackle, and he can do very well in stopping the run. He may not be able to turn it on over the course of an entire season.
26. Green Bay Packers: Barrett Jones, C, Alabama
Green Bay's offensive line has been a major concern. Barrett Jones would fill a major hole and give Aaron Rodgers a center with whom he can build a major rapport over the years.
27. Houston Texans: Robert Woods, WR, USC
The Houston Texans need to get a wide receiver with which to complement Andre Johnson. There isn't enough in the Texans' group of receivers to provide a steady second option for Matt Schaub.
28. Denver Broncos: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
Champ Bailey has long been the best cornerback in the league. He's never been more exposed as he was in the divisional-round loss to the Baltimore Ravens. The Denver Broncos need to consider looking for a younger alternative.
29. Baltimore Ravens: Matt Elam, SS, Florida
Ed Reed's career is in its twilight. Ray Lewis gets a lot of deserved credit for why the Baltimore Ravens' defense was so good. Reed, though, was one of the best defenders of his era. The Ravens need to start think of a long-term option to replace Reed.
30. San Francisco 49ers: Eric Reid, FS, LSU
Drafting a safety would allow the San Francisco 49ers to let Dashon Goldson walk at the end of the season. Eric Reid might not be as good as Goldson, but his ball-hawking skills mean it won't be long before he's one of the better safeties in the league.
31. New England Patriots: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
Tavon Austin's playmaking ability brings a different dimension to the New England Patriots' air attack. The organization needs to get some more receivers worthy of having Tom Brady as their quarterback.
32. Atlanta Falcons: Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford
Tony Gonzalez might be having a fantastic season, but he's 36 years old. The Atlanta Falcons need to be looking at grooming his replacement.
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