2013 NFL Mock Draft: Breaking Down Every Team's Most Immediate Need
The 2013 NFL Draft will once again see every team in the National Football League looking to build on their roster for the upcoming season.
For several teams, the draft will be about providing depth and cover once more—simply strengthening on positions that they might already be relatively sound in.
Yet many teams will also see the draft as a much-needed boost to their team's offense or defense, for they could pick up those one or two players that could revolutionize a season—turning them from pretenders into contenders once more.
Whatever the situation, every team will head into the 2013 NFL Draft knowing that they can improve their team by bringing in fresh, new talent for next year.
No team in the NFL is completely perfect at every position; every team's have needs for next season that need to be addressed at some point in the off-season.
Here's the biggest need for every NFL team in 2013 and a first-round mock draft with players that could address those immediate needs for next season.
1. Kansas City Chiefs—Geno Smith, Quarterback
They desperately need a new quarterback, and whilst Geno Smith isn't a slam dunk opening pick like Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III was, he's still a significant upgrade on whoever else they'd be lining up under center next season.
It's no good having four all-Pro lineman if you still can't throw the football—making Smith the most logical choice here for Kansas City.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars—Bjoern Werner, Defensive End
In 2012, Jacksonville finished dead last in the league with just 20 sacks.
Their pass rush simply wasn't getting to their opponents with any real menace which, for a team that plays Andrew Luck twice a year, really isn't a good thing.
Bjorn Werner then is a huge pick for this team in terms of his pass-rushing ability, and he'll no doubt become a Day 1 starter for Jacksonville because of it.
3. Oakland Raiders—Jarvis Jones, Outside Linebacker
The Oakland Raiders need help all across the defense heading into 2013, so the No. 3 pick here could be spread out on a number of different players.
Picking up Jarvis Jones to help get some more pressure from the edge is key for the Raiders next year, if not for the fact that they're in the same division as Peyton Manning.
Oakland tends to shy away from linebackers in the opening round, but not even they can pass up the opportunity to improve on their pass rush—ranking 31st in sacks in 2012.
4. Philadelphia Eagles—Luke Joeckel, Offensive Lineman
Philadelphia's O-line was supposed to be one of their strengths last season, but like so much else, it proved to be nowhere near as good as promised.
Adding Luke Joeckel is a step back towards the skill and raw power that was promised from this line, and the fact that the best player in the draft is still on the board by the time the fourth pick comes along is simply a steal for Philly.
5. Detroit Lions—Dee Milliner, Cornerback
Dee Milliner is clearly the best secondary player available in the 2013 NFL Draft, and the Detroit Lions will prove that by picking him here.
The Lions' pass rush and overall defense was simply horrendous last season, but their biggest need is someone who can contain the likes of Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler twice a year, as well as Brandon Marshall and Jordy Nelson.
Milliner is their go-to guy in that regard.
6. Cleveland Browns—Damontre Moore, Defensive End
Damontre Moore is a guy that led Texas A&M in tackles, tackles for loss and sacks throughout the regular season last year, which sounds exactly like the kind of guy that Cleveland desperately need.
The AFC North continues to strengthen itself with every year, and if the Browns aren't careful, they could fall even further behind the other three, so it's important that they start to plug some gaps on that defense and bring some pressure once more.
7. Arizona Cardinals—Star Lotulelei, Defensive Tackle
The Arizona Cardinals do have some big needs on offense as well this year—most notably being at quarterback—but the best player to draft here isn't a new guy to get beat up under center.
The Cards need to improve their offensive line and they need to continue to consolidate on defense, which is what they'll do here with Star Lotulelei.
He is the best player on the board and probably a top-five prospect; Arizona needs to not reach and pick up the best player available at the time.
8. Buffalo Bills—Tyler Wilson, Quarterback
Buffalo would love to try and pick up Ryan Nassib in the second round of the draft, but it's highly unlikely that the quarterback is still around then.
And seeing that Nassib is too much of a reach for a top-10 pick, the Bills' desperate need for a new quarterback sees them look to Tyler Wilson for some relief.
Wilson looks to have all the tools to succeed in the NFL, and in this passing league, should be able to find his feet pretty quickly in Buffalo.
9. New York Jets—Barkevious Mingo, Outside Linebacker
The thought of Matt Barkley just sitting there will definitely be tempting for Jets fans who had to suffer through whatever last year was from Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow, but Barkevious Mingo is the right pick for this franchise to be making.
Sanchez can make good throws throughout the season; what the Jets can't seem to do is stop their opponents and get a good pass-rush going at all.
That makes Mingo is the right pick every single time.
10. Tennessee Titans—Chance Warmack, Offensive Guard
Chance Warmack is a truly talented footballer who is without doubt the best offensive lineman available in the 2013 NFL Draft.
The Titans need some serious help right across the park, but head coach Mike Munchak (who was a former top-10 offensive lineman) will see just how important keeping the pocket from collapsing will be for this team throughout the season.
Warmack will also be instrumental in the Titans' run game next year.
11. San Diego Chargers—Eric Fisher, Offensive Tackle
San Diego needs a left tackle; Eric Fisher is available on the board. Perfect.
Philip Rivers continues to have his ups and downs for this franchise, but what he desperately needs is somebody to protect his blindside at left tackle so he can get the ball to what has quickly become a very good crop of receivers on this team.
If Rivers has time to make his throws, then the Chargers will continue to win football games, and could finally start challenging again consistently.
12. Miami Dolphins—Cordarrelle Patterson, Wide Receiver
Cordarrelle Patterson is a fantastic wide-receiver who fills the Dolphins need for a talented, physical and fast receiver in their new offensive under Ryan Tannehill.
Greg Jennings is still an interesting option for the 'Fins to pursue in free agency, but even if they sign the Packers receiver, Patterson is still the right pick.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers—Xavier Rhodes, Cornerback
Tampa Bay really weren't that far off competing offensively last season; they were just unable to make consistent enough plays on defense to truly threaten their opponents.
Playing against Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Cam Newton for half of the season, the Bucs need a guy who can defend by himself, one-on-one and make the play they need him to make—meaning that Xavier Rhodes is the guy they need in 2013.
14. Carolina Panthers—Sheldon Richardson, Defensive Tackle
Carolina's defense, while fairly solid on the edge, is still in some desperate need for improving after getting blown to pieces at times throughout 2012.
Sheldon Richardson, who led all SEC interior defensive linemen with 75 tackles last year, is therefore a great pick for the Panthers here.
15. New Orleans Saints—Dion Jordan, Defensive End
New Orleans was terrible on defense last year, and will be looking to improve that significantly in the 2013 NFL Draft, which is filled with defensive talent.
Dion Jordan is a great pick for the Saints' pass rush, which needs to get going if New Orleans is going to stop the likes of Ryan, Newton and Josh Freeman during the year.
Jordan's speed alone makes him a great top-15 pick here.
16. St. Louis Rams—Jonathan Hankins, Offensive Tackle
Sam Bradford can make big plays when his offensive line protects him, making the need for a new offensive tackle key here for the Rams.
I'd expect both first round picks here for the Rams to be spend on their O-line, which can improve significantly here with some might see as a strange pick—Jonathan Hankins. Hankins is more thought to suit a 3-4 defense than than of a 4-3, but give the time that he has spent both in the middle and on the outside, there's little doubt that he would be a great pick for the Rams here.
St. Louis need to bulk up in the middle, and Hankins helps that happen.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers—Manti Te'o, Inside Linebacker
Whatever happens with his "girlfriend," Manti Te'o is still a quality linebacker who should not be judged on the one bad game he had in the BCS Title Game.
Te'o is a great fit into the 3-4 scheme at Pittsburgh, and given the Steelers' need for some new pass-rushing weapons, picking up the Notre Dame star seems like the best decision they could make at the moment, especially given Teo's hidden speed.
18. Dallas Cowboys—Shariff Floyd, Defensive Tackle
Dallas is shifting to a new look defensive front, so the presence of a guy who can play both inside and outside of the line will be key here for the Cowboys.
Shariff Floyd has shown he can get great penetration off the line and would be a great complement to the likes of DeMarcus Ware and Jay Ratliff.
19. New York Giants—Ezekial Ansah, Defensive End
The Giants are in some desperate need on the defensive front given Osi Umenyiora's likely to be on free agency and Justin Tuck coming off an injury-marred season.
Ezekiel Ansah is the younger model that can achieve similar results for the Giants in 2013, especially if the Giants can develop like him like they did Jason Pierre-Paul. Ansah still needs plenty of work, but is definitely worth nabbing here if you're the Giants.
20. Chicago Bears—Lane Johnson, Offensive Tackle
Lane Johnson is an offensive tackle that the Bears are simply not going to pass on—not when their O-line played the way that it did throughout last season.
Both the Minnesota Vikings' and Green Bay Packers' pass rush always have big days out against Chicago; picking up Johnson here will finally start to buck that trend.
21. Cincinnati Bengals—Arthur Brown, Inside Linebacker
The biggest question mark about whether the Bengals take Arthur Brown or not here is as to whether Chicago took him with the previous pick or not.
If Brown is still free, the Bengals to pick him up and in doing so, nab the impact player on defense that they've been searching for some time now.
Their pass rush is very strong at the moment; adding in a guy who made racked up 111 tackles in 2012 makes it that little bit more incredible.
22. St. Louis Rams (Washington)—Dallas Thomas, Offensive Tackle
The emergence of Brandon Gibson last year means that the Rams don't have such a desperate need at wide receiver as they did at the start of last season.
That allows St. Louis to continue to build their offensive line here with Dallas Thomas, who is a really safe grab here for the Rams. Thomas is able to play pretty much any position on that front line other than center, which could turn out to be very useful during the season.
23. Minnesota Vikings—Keenan Allen, Wide Receiver
With Patterson already off the boards, Minnesota turn to Keenan Allen here to fill their biggest need of 2013—finding someone to fill the shoes of Percy Harvin.
Lost in amongst Adrian Peterson's incredible running was the fact that the Vikings are without a genuine No. 1 wide receiver at the moment, and in desperate need of finding one before the start of the 2013 season. Allen is the Vikings guy here given bis safe hands and ability to pick up the first down after making the catch.
24. Indianapolis Colts—Johnthan Banks, Cornerback
Johnthan Banks isn't the quality that Dee Miliner is in terms of being an elite cornerback prospect, but he's still a quality player who would make a huge difference in the Colts' backfield in 2013.
Andrew Luck has done great things with Indy already in 12 months, and who knows where this team will be at the end of the 2013 season because of that. However, they won't make that jump into being a genuine contender until they can get consistent plays out of their defense.
Vontae Davis has one side covered, so Banks is a great fit for the other side and for the Colts in 2013—a potential steal with the 24th pick of the draft.
25. Seattle Seahawks—D.J. Fluker, Offensive Tackle
The breakout play of the Seattle Seahawks' defense in 2012 was something that nobody saw coming, and it means that they're biggest need is now on their offensive line.
Fluker is perfect for a power-run offense like the Seahawks currently have going at the moment, who had a big season for the Alabama Crimson Tide doing exactly what Seattle will want him to do here—not let anybody past him all season long.
26. Green Bay Packers—Barrett Jones, Offensive Guard
The Packers might have been bundled out of the playoffs in spectacular fashion by Colin Kaepernick, but their biggest need isn't on defense in the opening round.
Nick Perry and co. will be returning next season from injury, so their pass rush will be significantly better than it was in the NFC Divisional Round. What won't be better without improvement here is their offensive line, which really needs to step up and help Aaron Rodgers out.
Jones can play tackle, guard and center if needed for the Packers, and will be key in eliminating the sacks and hits that Rodgers faces far too often. This could be a big signing for the Pack, as they seek to establish some NFC dominance once more.
27. Houston Texans—Kevin Minter, Inside Linebacker
Tim Dobbins and Bradie James are both set for free agency this season, and with Brian Cushing still coming back from injury, linebacker is a big need for the Texans early in the 2013 NFL Draft.
The LSU linebacker Minter notched 130 tackles last season, and could well be a starter at the position that sees some significant results early in the year. Especially given the pass rushing strengths that are around him in this Texans side.
28. Denver Broncos—Alec Ogletree, Inside Linebacker
The Broncos have a stack of defensive tackles heading for free agency, so they may well look to upgrade permanent in the 2013 NFL Draft here.
Whomever they pick will benefit greatly from the strength of the pass rush that Denver has on the outside, and Ogletree fits that bill well, particularly given the assistance that the linebacker will provide to the outside linebackers and secondary.
29. New England Patriots—Tavon Austin, Wide Receiver
Picking up a wide-reciever here is almost a no-brainer for New England, who see Wes Welker on his way to free agency and without a whole lot of other excellent options this season.
As seen with injuries to both Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots are in need of some receiving depth this season, with guys like Julian Edelman simply not the class that many are looking for—unlike Tavon Austin from West Virginia.
The receiver caught over 100 passes in 2012 and play from pretty much anywhere on the field—out wide, in the slot, even in the backfield when needed. Throw in some blistering speed and Austin becomes a great pick here for the Patriots.
30. Atlanta Falcons—Tyler Eifert, Tight End
With star tight end Tony Gonzalez most likely played his last game of the Atlanta Falcons, Matt Ryan and the offense desperately need another strong recruit at the position to continue next year.
The Notre Dame tight end is the best in the draft this year, and his athleticism has the potential to turn him into one of the better offensive rookies throughout the season. Ryan heavily relied on Gonzalez last year, which means Eifert could see plenty of targets coming his way early on also.
31. Baltimore Ravens—Terrance Williams, Wide Receiver
Joe Flacco continued to be hold and cold when throwing the football downfield this season, but when he's hot, wide receivers could well be in for a big day at Baltimore.
Problem is, that outside of Anquan Boldin (who is yet to post a 1,000-yard season) and Torrey Smith, the Ravens don't have another real talented guy to throw the ball too.
Like Austin, Terrance Williams has some incredible pace on him and would be a great fit into the Ravens offense here—giving Flacco another option underneath than simply checking the ball down to Ray Rice and hoping for a 26-yard conversion.
32. San Francisco 49ers—Jesse Williams, Defensive Tackle
The 49ers are looking very strong right across the field at the moment, though they could still certainly use some additions in a number of places this season.
One of those has to be defensive tackle, where depth could certainly be added to this brilliant front-seven—something that could be done by bringing in Jesse Williams.
Williams was solid for Alabama in a 3-4 defense, but is extremely talented and could really play anywhere on the line for San Francisco. They would definitely have the most explosive, strongest and deepest front seven in the business then heading into 2013.
Agree? Disagree? What should your team be looking for in the draft?
Comment below or hit me up on Twitter: Follow @dantalintyre
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