2013 NFL Mock Draft: Immediate Projections Following Super Bowl XLVII
The Super Bowl, and the amazing amount of hype it always generates, is officially a thing of the past. Teams around the NFL will now shift their attention toward the NFL draft, which always grabs plenty of attention in its own right.
Unlike previous years when the first overall pick was decided long before draft day or even the scouting combine, there are still plenty of question marks surrounding what the Kansas City Chiefs will do. They need a quarterback, but the options are less than thrilling.
What they ultimately decide to do will have a trickle-down effect on the entire opening round. With that in mind, here's a complete mock draft of Round 1 with a deeper dive into three prospects fans should keep an eye on over the next few months.
Who should the Chiefs draft No. 1?
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
New head coach Andy Reid would have loved to see an Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III waiting for him after taking his new post. That's not the case, which makes Joeckel the wise pick.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
The Jaguars featured the league's worst pass rush in 2012 with just 20 sacks. Addressing that issue should be atop their to-do list this offseason and Werner would be a terrific start.
3. Oakland Raiders: Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU
Much like Jacksonville, the Raiders had serious issues when it came to rushing the passer. Mingo's combination of size and athleticism make him an extremely intriguing prospect.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
The Eagles' pick obviously depends on what they decide to do with Michael Vick. The veteran is coming off two straight down seasons and will force head coach Chip Kelly to make a tough decision right off the bat. If Vick isn't in the plans, there's a good chance Smith is the pick.
Smith threw for over 4,200 yards and 42 touchdowns during his senior season at West Virginia. His high completion rate (71 percent) would also make him a good fit for the fast-paced offense Kelly will likely employ in Philadelphia.
While there's still a chance he ends up going to the Chiefs with the first pick, it's starting to seem more likely that he'll be available when the Eagles are on the clock. He would allow Kelly to begin shaping the team's new identity right away.
5. Detroit Lions: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
The Lions are a potential swing team. They could go numerous different directions with this pick to fill needs on defense, but the top-end upside of Moore would probably be too much to pass up.
6. Cleveland Browns: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
Jones keeps the pass-rushing theme alive by becoming a member of the Browns. This pick could turn into a quarterback by draft day if Cleveland decides Brandon Weeden is not the answer.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
Larry Fitzgerald continues to wait for a quarterback who can get him the ball. Kevin Kolb and Co. certainly couldn't get the job done. Wilson's big arm will make it easy for Arizona to take a chance.
8. Buffalo Bills: Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse
Buffalo hired Syracuse's head coach and offensive coordinator. That doesn't automatically mean they are targeting Nassib, but it sure increases the odds given Ryan Fitzpatrick's struggles.
9. New York Jets: Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
The Jets must find a way to improve their rushing attack. There are no running backs worth taking at this point, so upgrading the line with Warmack is the way to go.
10. Tennessee Titans: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
Lotulelei has been mentioned as a potential pick inside the top three, so if he slides to No. 10 it would be tough for the Titans to bypass him. He can wreak havoc in the middle.
11. San Diego Chargers: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Although things can always change, San Diego taking an offensive tackle with its first pick appears to be one of the early locks of the draft. Fisher is a good fit.
12. Miami Dolphins: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Don't be surprised if Milliner starts rising up teams' boards during the draft process. Playing at Alabama gave him the experience necessary to step in and excel right away at the next level.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
The Buccaneers are undoubtedly hoping Milliner slides to them. If not, Rhodes is a solid backup plan to upgrade a secondary that was far too inconsistent and lacks depth.
14. Carolina Panthers: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
Even though Richardson isn't generating a lot of hype during the early portion of the draft process, it's only a matter of time. His combination of natural ability with a relentless drive give him the look of a NFL star in the making.
It's always tough for a defensive tackle to stand out because much of what they do is grunt work. Whether it's shutting down running lanes or taking on multiple blockers, the good ones don't always have big numbers on the stat sheet, but they make a huge impact.
Richardson is the type of player who can clog the middle with his size, but he also possesses enough quickness to become a constant presence in the opponent's backfield. The Panthers should be ecstatic if he ends up falling into their lap.
15. New Orleans Saints: Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
New Orleans is going to score a lot of points. Stopping the opponent from racking up even more continues to be a major issue. Montgomery wouldn't fix the problems alone, but he'd be a big addition.
16. St. Louis Rams: Keenan Allen, WR, California
It's tough to fairly assess Sam Bradford's future in the NFL given his lack of weapons in St. Louis. It's a weak class for wide receivers, but Allen is the best of the bunch.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame
The Steelers have an aging defense that's in need of a tough infusion over the next couple seasons. They shouldn't let a sliding Te'o get past them after his strong Notre Dame career.
18. Dallas Cowboys: John Jenkins, DT, Georgia
While most of the focus when the Cowboys lose is on Tony Romo, improving the defense would make the polarizing quarterback's job a lot easier. Jenkins is a monster at the tackle spot.
What should the Giants address in Round 1?
19. New York Giants: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
Banks would be a welcome addition to a Giants secondary that struggled due to injuries and lackluster play. A down year from the pass rush exposed those weaknesses.
20. Chicago Bears: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
Jay Cutler gets hit way too much for a franchise quarterback. Johnson should be able to make an immediate impact and make sure Cutler can finally find some comfort in the pocket.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
Jordan, who excelled in Oregon's fast-paced system, would bring more energy to a Cincinnati defense that relies heavily on players with endless motors.
22. St. Louis Rams (via WSH): Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford
As mentioned for St. Louis' previous pick, Bradford needs help on offense. That includes at the tight end position, where Lance Kendricks hasn't developed at the rate many were expecting. He had just 42 catches in his second season.
Knowing that, taking Ertz to further improve Bradford's options would be the right move. It doesn't mean Kendricks can't remain a part of the offense, but it would give the Rams some added flexibility in two tight end sets.
The Stanford star reeled in 69 passes for nearly 900 yards and six touchdowns. It shouldn't take him long to get acclimated to the next level after playing in the Cardinal offense, which is always a positive when a team is weighing its options.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR Tennessee
After watching Adrian Peterson carry the offense on his back for the entire season, the Vikings front office should have figured out it's time to add some more weapons in the passing game.
24. Indianapolis Colts: Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
The Colts' pass rush isn't the force it was when Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis were both unstoppable off the edge. They need some reinforcements to help attack the QB.
25. Seattle Seahawks: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
Now that the Seahawks have found a franchise quarterback in Russell Wilson they must continue to surround him with playmakers. Austin would definitely fit the bill.
26. Green Bay Packers: Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
Okafor racked up 4.5 sacks in Texas' bowl victory over Oregon State. That performance turned a lot of heads, so don't be surprised if he moves up the list by April.
27. Houston Texans: Eric Reid, S, LSU
The Texans would probably prefer to take a wide receiver at this spot to play opposite Andre Johnson, but there just isn't one worth taking. So they add to the secondary instead.
28. Denver Broncos: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Denver's defense, which was solid throughout the regular season, gave up 38 points in the team's playoff loss. Since the offense can light up the scoreboard, expect a defense-heavy draft for the Broncos.
29. New England Patriots: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
Aqib Talib was a smart addition by the Patriots. But when he got hurt in the playoffs, it was clear they are still lacking in the defensive backfield. Trufant can help right away.
30. Atlanta Falcons: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
With Tony Gonzalez likely riding off into the sunset after a tremendous career, the Falcons need to find someone to replace him in the offense. Eifert is the best option available.
31. San Francisco 49ers: Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
The 49ers don't have any glaring weaknesses, which means they can afford to select the best player available. Based on this draft, that would be Hankins.
32. Baltimore Ravens: Matt Elam, S, Florida
Joe Flacco's improved play in the postseason helped alleviate most of the team's concerns on offense. So the Ravens can take a young safety to help the defense.
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