With the trivial nonsense of the NFL season behind us, we can now dive head first into the NFL draft.
While there will still be some jumbling of draft boards by the combine, I've still got a good feeling about how the first round is going to play out.
In my first post-Super Bowl mock below, I'll give extra analysis and attention to three of the more controversial picks in my projection.
Langford's 2013 NFL Mock Draft
1. Kansas City Chiefs (2-14): Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Why Smith is the Chiefs' Pick
Anyone who watched the Chiefs play one snap of offense last season knows this franchise needs a quarterback. The problem is, the Chiefs are a season too late to the QB party.
Unlike last year, there is no quarterback teams, scouts and fans know has to be the No. 1 pick.
However, I expect the Chiefs to grab for the high ceiling of Geno Smith.
Smith is not as good a runner as McNabb, but he has solid mobility. He is also a more advanced passer than McNabb was. Smith has good arm strength and amazing touch. He throws a beautiful deep ball.
At 6'3" and 220 pounds, Smith has the body to take the punishment of the NFL.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14): Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
The Jaguars need help all over the field, and they cannot afford to whiff on this pick. Lotulelei is a freak athlete and a safe pick at No. 2.
3. Oakland Raiders (4-12): Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
The entire defense was horrid, but with all the talented pass-rushing talent at the top of this draft, Oakland, who finished 31st in sacks last year, would be foolish to look anywhere else.
4. Philadelphia Eagles (4-12): Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Luke Joeckel is strong and nimble. He is an ideal blind-side protector, and the Eagles definitely need offensive line help.
5. Detroit Lions (4-12): Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU
The Lions need someone on the edge of the line that can get to the passer. Mingo is a natural pass-rusher.
6. Cleveland Browns (5-11): Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
Why Warmack is the Browns' Pick
Taking a guard with the sixth pick in the draft isn't exactly going to get a fanbase doing back flips, but that doesn't make it a bad pick.
Warmack might just be the safest pick in this draft. He will be a perennial Pro Bowler.
The Alabama product is a true mauler. He is a solid 320 pounds and has an attitude. He will blow defenders off the ball and finish his blocks.
Trent Richardson will be running off Warmack's hip just like he did in college. Warmack is also excellent in pass protection. He uses hands well and is fundamentally sound.
7. Arizona Cardinals (5-11): Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
The Cardinals have to find a quarterback. The good news is that it won't be hard for them to find an upgrade. I like Tyler Wilson over Matt Barkley here. The two have similar games, but look for the Cardinals to avoid the second coming of Matt Leinart.
8. Buffalo Bills (6-10): Matt Barkley, QB, USC
Ryan Fitzpatrick is not the answer at quarterback. Barkley can make all the throws and he has good accuracy.
9. New York Jets (6-10): Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
The Jets need a quarterback, but with the three top signal-callers off the board they will add the explosive Jones.
10. Tennessee Titans (6-10): Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
The Titans must improve their pass defense. They will likely be looking at defensive ends and corners. Milliner is the best value here.
11. San Diego Chargers (7-9): Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Fisher has a chance to be the first lineman taken, but I think the lack of tape on him against elite competition will leave teams hesitant. The Chargers won't let him get past 11 though.
12. Miami Dolphins (7-9): Keenan Allen, WR, California
Keenan Allen will add some much-needed explosion to the Dolphins' offense.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9): Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
Tampa Bay's pass defense disintegrated as the season wore on. Rhodes has all the tools to be a shutdown corner.
14. Carolina Panthers (7-9): Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
The Panthers need some power in the trenches. Hankins is a nice start.
15. New Orleans Saints (7-9): Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
Damontre Moore will bring a much-needed pass-rushing threat to the Saints.
16. St. Louis Rams (7-8-1): Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
With two first-round draft picks the Rams can really maximize value with their picks. Johnson moves well and will be a nice boost in pass protection.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8): Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
The Steelers need to get back to being the Steelers and that means beating the opposition up with their defense. Williams has the body and strength to handle nose tackle in the Steelers 3-4.
18. Dallas Cowboys (8-8): Johnathan Jenkins, DT, Georgia
Dallas must get stronger up the middle. Jenkins will clog some serious running lanes and get penetration into the backfield.
19. New York Giants (9-7): Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
The Giants' were getting torched on pass defense. Their corners are inadequate and Banks is an instant upgrade.
20. Chicago Bears (10-6): D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
The Bears must get better on the offensive line. Fluker will be an instant starter.
21. Cincinnati Bengals (10-6): Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
The Bengals already have a fearsome defensive front, but the speedy Jordan will be too much for the Bengals to pass on.
22. St. Louis Rams* (From 10-6 Washington Redskins): Cordarrelle Patterson, WR
The Rams have to get more explosive on offense. Patterson has the height and speed to go deep.
22. Minnesota Vikings (10-6): DeAndre Hopkins, WR
Christian Ponder needs all the help he can get. DeAndre Hopkins and Percy Harvin will give the Vikings the outside threats needed to stretch the field.
24. Indianapolis Colts (11-5): Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
The Colts need to add athletes on defense. Montgomery is dynamic, and he has the skills to make the switch to an OLB in a 3-4.
25. Seattle Seahawks (11-5): Robert Woods, WR, USC
Russell Wilson needs someone who can really stretch the field. Woods is an excellent fit.
26. Green Bay Packers (11-5): Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina
Aaron Rodgers may retire if the Packers don't draft a lineman. A tackle would be nice, but at this point in the draft, Cooper offers much better value.
27. Houston Texans (12-4): Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
The Texans need more speed on offense. Austin has plenty of that.
28. Denver Broncos (13-3): Shariff Floyd, DT, Florida
Shariff Floyd will give the Broncos someone on the interior to take some of the attention off their outstanding edge pass-rushers.
29. New England Patriots (12-4): Matt Elam, SS, Florida
Much to Joe Flacco's liking, the Patriots' secondary needs some work. Elam is solid in pass and run defense.
30. Atlanta Falcons (13-3): Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
The Falcons have to bring in some talent to help with their rush defense. Williams will solidify the middle of the line.
31. San Francisco 49ers (11-4-1): Barrett Jones, C, Alabama
Starting center Jonathan Goodwin is 34 and a free agent next season. The 49ers will find his replacement in the draft.
32. Baltimore Ravens (10-6): Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame
Why Te'o is the Ravens' Pick
Wherever Te'o goes, he will bring his cloud of controversy with him. A month ago, Te'o seemed headed for the top 10 of the draft.
Then he played horribly in the BCS National Championship Game and had the bizarre story of a hoax girlfriend. One of the most attractive things about Te'o prior to this mess was his intangibles.
That strength has been muted. This will leave him falling, but he won't last past the Ravens. Baltimore needs a replacement for Ray Lewis, and they aren't going to do any better in this draft than Te'o.
Te'o lacks the amazing athleticism of Lewis, but he still moves well, and he has the instincts and wherewithal it takes to play middle linebacker in the NFL.
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