2013 NFL Mock Draft: Three Rounds Before the NFL Combine
The combines are right around the corner, and this year's NFL draft will be a great one for teams that need multiple starters. The talent level is off the walls—especially in the defensive front seven and on the offensive line.
With 32 teams looking for the best possible fixes for their teams, it only makes sense to try and project the best team and player matches. So follow along as we look at the first three picks for each and every team in the NFL.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: DT Star Lotulelei
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Size: 6'4", 325 pounds
The two biggest holes on the Kansas City Chiefs right now are the left tackle and quarterback positions. I'm projecting them to sign Alex Smith or Matt Flynn for their starting quarterback and to take a developmental one later on. I'm also thinking that Branden Albert re-signs with the team.
In looking the Chiefs over, one need stood out: nose tackle for their 3-4 defense. And the best defensive tackle in the draft is Star Lotulelei. He would allow Dontari Poe to move to a more natural end spot, and he would also give the Chiefs an anchor in the middle of the defense who can also pass rush.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: DE Damontre Moore
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Size: 6'4", 250 pounds
School: Texas A&M
The Jaguars need pass rush. They need quarterback, offensive line and just about everything else too. But most of all, they need a pass rush. Here, I have them taking someone who will be perfect for Gus Bradley's defense in DE Damontre Moore.
Moore is a speed-rushing talent who can play both a 3-4 linebacker and a 4-3 defensive end and should fit the "Leo" role to a T. He has trouble against the run sometimes, as he'll get washed out of plays, but that will improve with more experience with his hand on the ground.
3. Oakland Raiders: QB Geno Smith
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Size: 6'3", 214 pounds
School: West Virginia
The philosophy on quarterbacks is simple: If you don't have one, get one. If you get one and he sucks, get a new one. This is a case of the latter. Carson Palmer was an investment, but he was terrible. So, the Raiders must get someone who can lead their team properly.
Geno Smith is that guy. He has work ethic on the Russell Wilson and Matt Ryan levels. He also has an arm that can hit any target. His mobility is excellent, but he is a pass-first quarterback despite having the ability to be a zone-read dual threat.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: OT Luke Joeckel
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Size: 6'6", 310 pounds
School: Texas A&M
Left tackle Jason Peters is coming off of an Achilles injury and won't be the same in 2013 or after, due to the injury and his aging. The Eagles will be best suited to bring in a guy to start right away at left tackle so that they can move on from Peters and save future cap space.
To replace him, they take the best player in the draft: Luke Joeckel. He's a guy with experience blocking for mobile quarterbacks. He's also got great size for a left tackle in that he isn't too big or bulky and should be able to withstand Chip Kelly's up-tempo offense.
5. Detroit Lions: DE Bjoern Werner
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Size: 6'4", 272 pounds
School: Florida State
With just Kyle Vanden Bosch and Ronnell Lewis under contract, the Lions need someone who can get after the passer in 2013. Cliff Avril looked good, and if they can re-sign him, they should. However, they would still need a starting-caliber defensive end on their line next to Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley.
Bjoern Werner is an excellent fit in the Detroit defense. He would truly benefit as a lead pass rusher next to Suh and Fairly and can stuff the run proficiently as well. Werner would take over as the left end, and Vanden Bosch should be relegated to what he is worth now—a rotational role.
6. Cleveland Browns: OLB Jarvis Jones
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Size: 6'3", 241 pounds
With the Browns bringing in Ray Horton and moving to the 3-4, there are questions about how the talent fits. The defensive line seems to be in great shape, with Phil Taylor, Ahtyba Rubin and Billy Winn as the projected starters. However, the linebackers are a piece away from being complete.
Jabaal Sheard looks like he should be able to do well as the strong-side linebacker. The middle should be well-manned with D'Qwell Jackson and James-Michael Johnson. This is where Jarvis Jones comes in.
Take him, put him on the weakside and tell him to pass rush and stuff the run similar to how Terrell Suggs is used in Baltimore. Then, watch him and the entire defense thrive.
7. Arizona Cardinals: OT Eric Fisher
Size: 6'7", 305 pounds
School: Central Michigan
The weakest part of the Cardinals was not their quarterback situation. It was their offensive line. With Levi Brown coming back from injury and Bruce Arians coming in with better blocking schemes, it would not shock me to see the Cardinals bypass a quarterback for an offensive lineman.
The left tackle hole is still too big for the Cardinals not to address. Eric Fisher has shown the athleticism and footwork needed to be a top left tackle in the NFL. He would fit right in as a starter, and with Brown moving to right tackle, the Cardinals would be able to have large open competition for the guard spots.
8. Buffalo Bills: QB Tyler Wilson
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Size: 6'3", 220 pounds
Ryan Fitzpatrick has been mediocre ever since signing his new contract. The Bills are actually at a point where they can cut the failed quarterback without taking any hit to the cap and should even save money (h/t BuffaloNews.com's Mark Gaughan).
Tyler Wilson is a top quarterback in this draft. Between his leadership, arm and footwork, the pocket passer should enjoy his time behind the Buffalo offensive line. With targets Stevie Johnson, C.J. Spiller, Scott Chandler and T.J. Graham, he should be able to succeed early and often.
9. New York Jets: QB Mike Glennon
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Size: 6'6", 232 pounds
School: North Carolina State
When you don't have a good quarterback, and your team is in position to get one, you take him. Otherwise, you'll be looking for another quarterback very soon. That same logic should be applied here to the Jets and Mike Glennon.
He's tall and lanky, but has a great arm and a ton of potential. He's very similar to Matt Ryan of the Falcons in that regard. However, the intangibles may or may not be there. If they are, he will be 10 times the quarterback that Mark Sanchez has been in New York for much less investment.
10. Tennessee Titans: CB/S Dee Milliner
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Size: 6'1", 199 pounds
Jason McCourty and Al Verner are excellent starters at cornerback. However, the Titans need someone who can compete at both safety and the nickel. Dee Milliner can compete for the starting right cornerback spot and even the free safety spot.
His play in the national championship game solidified the opinion that he can play the boundary cornerback or nickel role in the NFL. With the rise of the nickel defenses in the NFL, Milliner will be very valuable as someone who can play right corner in the base defense and slot corner in the nickel defense.
11. San Diego Chargers: OLB Dion Jordan
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Size: 6'7", 243 pounds
Despite taking Melvin Ingram in the first round last season, the Chargers could still use help in their linebacker corps. Shaun Phillips and Antwan Barnes are both free agents, and someone is needed to come in and play the weak outside linebacker role.
Dion Jordan is a freak athlete who has shown the ability to rush the passer effectively. He's also been able to set the edge well in both a stand-up alignment and with his hand down. However, he will have to get better in coverage to be a top linebacker in the NFL.
12. Miami Dolphins: WR Cordarrelle Patterson
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Size: 6'3", 205 pounds
Miami needs someone who can be its No. 1 wide receiver. Brian Hartline showed that he has the talent to stick around, and Davone Bess is best suited for the slot receiver role. Cordarrelle Patterson is an intriguing fit because of his similarities to both Julio Jones and Percy Harvin.
Much like Jones and Harvin, he's a raw athlete with excellent speed and can be used anywhere on the field. However, unlike those two, he has just one season of experience on the Division I-FBS level. Expect Patterson to take some time learning the offense. But once he gets it down, he will be very dangerous.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: CB Johnthan Banks
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Size: 6'1", 185 pounds
School: Mississippi State
Tampa Bay's biggest weakness on the team and defense is its secondary. Both cornerbacks need to be replaced, and so does their starting safety. With their first pick in the draft, taking Johnthan Banks would be the prudent move, as he could come right in and lock down the No. 1 cornerback role.
He's big and fast. He also has great hips for his height and should be able to man up on the more physical receivers he'll see in the NFC South, like Roddy White, Marques Colston and Brandon LaFell. He should slide in on the same side as last year's first round pick Mark Barron and will team well with him in brackets on the top receivers.
14. Carolina Panthers: DT Sheldon Richardson
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Size: 6'4", 295 pounds
Carolina's biggest hole on its defense for the past few years has been its defensive tackles. They seem to have filled one of the major holes with Dwan Edwards this past season in free agency. However, they need to add more raw talent to the mix.
Sheldon Richardson is an ideal pick here. While he doesn't have the ideal weight for a defensive tackle in the NFL, he has the frame to add some more size if need be. His biggest attribute comes from his speed and agility. He compares favorably to Gerald McCoy of the Buccaneers, and the Panthers would be lucky to have him slip.
15. New Orleans Saints: OLB Barkevious Mingo
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Size: 6'5", 240 pounds
School: Louisiana State
The Saints are moving to the 3-4 and have also fired defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. While they only have a couple of good pieces for it, they didn't have many good pieces for the 4-3, so a conversion will be easier. With Curtis Lofton and David Hawthorne at inside linebacker, the biggest need is outside linebacker.
Barkevious Mingo is a true athlete but doesn't have the polish or technique needed to go top 10. However, with the right coaching, Mingo could be a scary good outside linebacker in the 3-4. If he's taught how to use his athleticism correctly and can pick up both strategy and technique, he will be a Pro Bowl player sooner rather than later.
16. St. Louis Rams: OG Chance Warmack
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Size: 6'3", 320 pounds
Rodger Saffold and Scott Wells are solid players, as are Harvey Dahl and Robert Turner. However, the Rams need someone who can dominate at left guard and give them a ridiculously good interior line with Dahl and Wells.
That's where Chance Warmack comes in. He's a long-term answer at left guard for any team. He's been Alabama's starter for two of its last three National Championship teams. He's a road-grading run-blocker and a wall as a pass-blocker. He even is an excellent pulling guard and should be able to dominate in the NFL from day one.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: NT/DE Jesse Williams
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Size: 6'4", 320 pounds
Despite Steve McLendon looking like a great fit for the nose tackle spot long term, the Steelers need to look into a talent who can play at both nose tackle and defensive end. McLendon can be a great fit as the starter, but to have someone like Jesse Williams rotate with him would give the Steelers a top-notch nose tackle situation.
Then, at defensive end, Ziggy Hood hasn't been great, and Williams would be a massive upgrade to Al Woods in the rotation. Jesse Williams is a dominant player and has potential to be a poor man's Haloti Ngata in the defensive scheme.
18. Dallas Cowboys: OG Jonathan Cooper
Size: 6'3", 295 pounds
School: North Carolina
The Dallas Cowboys went out and got a pair of guards before the 2012 season, but only one of them, Nate Livings, panned out. Mackenzy Bernadeau looked like the player who rightfully sat on the bench in Carolina for years.
By selecting Jonathan Cooper in the first round, Dallas can open up its running game and provide Tony Romo with more protection. Cooper would plug right in at left guard, and Nate Livings would slide over to right guard. With Tyron Smith and Doug Free at the tackles, the Cowboys would just need a center to complete their line.
19. New York Giants: OT Lane Johnson
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Size: 6'6", 302 pounds
William Beatty is a free agent this offseason, and the Giants need better protection from both sides of the offensive line anyway. Lane Johnson is a former quarterback who understands protections and schemes. He also has the size and mobility to play the left tackle spot effectively.
His frame is long, and he has one of the best kick-steps in the draft this year for left tackles. His pass protection skill will translate well in the NFL, as he is already very polished there. He will have to improve run blocking long term, but that can come with time.
20. Chicago Bears: MLB Alec Ogletree
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Size: 6'3", 232 pounds
Brian Urlacher is a free agent, and at 35, there are questions about whether he will be coming back for the 2013 season. The Bears need someone to replace him on and off the field in the long term, and Alec Ogletree can do it.
Ogletree is a converted safety, much like Urlacher is. He's able to play in both the 3-4 and 4-3 defense and will allow defensive coordinator Mel Tucker to have a three-down linebacker like what he had in Jacksonville with Daryl Smith.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: ILB Arthur Brown
Size: 6'1", 231 pounds
School: Kansas State
Arthur Brown is a perfect fit for the Mike Zimmer defense. He can come in right away and be the starting middle linebacker for 10 years. Brown is a top-notch coverage linebacker who has the leadership and talent to excel in the Bengals defense.
He should be protected on runs very well by the talented pairing of defensive tackles in Cincinnati of Domata Peko and Geno Atkins. Even if the Bengals re-sign Rey Maualuga, they should still go with Brown because Maualuga has shown to be more talented outside than in the middle.
22. St. Louis Rams (from Washington): WR Keenan Allen
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Size: 6'3", 210 pounds
The Rams need a No. 1 wide receiver. They only have Brian Quick and a pair of players who don't even deserve roster spots under contract at the position for 2013. Even if they re-sign Danny Amendola and/or Brandon Gibson, they will still need a true No. 1.
Keenan Allen is definitely that guy. He had arguably the worst quarterback since Reggie Ball throwing him the football over the past three years. While he's not the fastest player on the field, he's a big, strong receiver who finds the holes in zone defenses and runs great routes.
23. Minnesota Vikings: DT Sharrif Floyd
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Size: 6'3", 305 pounds
The interior of the Vikings defensive line could use a talent infusion. Letroy Guion is average at best, and Kevin Williams is now 32 years old. Sharrif Floyd can play the 3-technique, the 1-technique and the 5-technique and allows the Vikings to be more flexible with the fronts that they use.
Floyd has experience in both the 4-3 and 3-4 fronts as a Gator and should be able to bring the Vikings more interior pass rush on their defensive line. He'll have to develop as a run defender, but with the amount of passing going on in today's NFL, he can pick that up as he goes.
24. Indianapolis Colts: ILB Manti Te'o
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Size: 6'2", 255 pounds
School: Notre Dame
In the 3-4, the inside linebackers are crucial. The Indianapolis combination of Pat Angerer, Kavell Conner and Jerrell Freeman lacks the talent to be long-term solutions as starters in the defense. The Colts could use someone who is a rock in the middle of the defense with the talent to play there and lead for the long term.
Manti Te'o is definitely the guy who can take over a long-term role as a leader and talent in the middle of the defense. He could start instantly as the strong inside linebacker and play there for the next 10 years as a great fit for Chuck Pagano's defense.
25. Seattle Seahawks: WR Terrance Williams
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Size: 6'2", 205 pounds
Seattle has some of the best offensive players in the NFL. However, it needs a talented receiver who can compete with Sidney Rice and Golden Tate for a starting spot. Terrance Williams has been playing out of his mind this season for Baylor.
Williams' 97 catches for 1,832 yards and 12 touchdowns have shown that he can be relied upon as a No. 1 receiver in an offense and a top target. He will be able to challenge Rice and Tate right away and give Russell Wilson a great target to team with them.
26. Green Bay Packers: S Kenny Vaccaro
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Size: 6'1", 218 pounds
With Charles Woodson over the age of 35 and playing strong safety now due to his lack of speed, a safety is sorely needed for the long term success of the Packers defense. Kenny Vaccaro is an excellent fit at either strong or free safety in the defense that Dom Capers runs.
This versatility will allow the Packers to put their best four or five members of the secondary on the field at the same time. Vaccaro's ability to cover deep and cover slot receivers will be beneficial to the Packers and will allow them to maximize Rookie of the Year candidate Casey Hayward.
27. Houston Texans: DE Ezekiel Ansah
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Size: 6'6", 270 pounds
School: Brigham Young
The Texans run a heavy rotation of their defensive ends, and with Antonio Smith entering the last season of his contract, it would make sense for the Texans to draft his heir apparent. Jared Crick is talented, but he's not a long-term solution as the right side end in the 3-4.
On the other hand, Ezekiel Ansah has the talent to be a star in the 3-4. With the right coaching and technique work, he could be a dangerous addition to the Texans line that features MVP candidate J.J. Watt. A true nose tackle could also be a thought here, but the idea of Ansah and Watt on the same line could prove too tempting for the Texans.
28. Denver Broncos: DT Kawann Short
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Size: 6'3", 315 pounds
Denver's biggest hole on its defense, outside of secondary, is defensive tackle. The Broncos have just two under contract in Mitch Unrein and Sealver Siliga. Those two combined for a total of 417 snaps in 2012. So there is at least a need for a body in the middle.
Add in that Derek Wolfe's best fit is likely as the 3-technique defensive tackle, and this pick would just fortify the interior of the defense. Kawann Short played very well in the Senior Bowl and showed that he wasn't just a pass rush specialist who could collapse the pocket. He can play the run very well too.
29. New England Patriots: WR Tavon Austin
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Size: 5'9", 171 pounds
School: West Virginia
The only receivers of consequence under contract for the Patriots are Brandon Lloyd and Matthew Slater. They will need more talent at the position in 2013, and going with a guy like Tavon Austin would be a brilliant move for the versatility of their offense.
Austin can play running back and receiver and even is a great return specialist. His all-around versatility combined with his speed will give the Patriots a unique option to work into their offense. He would also allow them to let Wes Welker leave and get a big-money contract elsewhere.
30. Atlanta Falcons: DE Alex Okafor
Size: 6'4", 260 pounds
The Atlanta Falcons need pass rush outside of John Abraham. The best place that will come from is another defensive end who can be moved around the formations just like Abraham and rotational talent Kroy Biermann are.
Alex Okafor is a talent who can take on a role similar to what Abraham plays. By giving Atlanta a defensive end who is actually worth his salt across from Abraham (instead of the worthless Ray Edwards), the Falcons should have a much more effective pass rush in 2013.
31. Baltimore Ravens: S D.J. Swearinger
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Size: 5'11", 210 pounds
School: South Carolina
With Ed Reed and Ray Lewis likely in their last years as Ravens, it's time for the Ravens to bring in an emotional leader. The play from Ed Reed is much more important to replace than the play from Lewis, as the deep ball is all but eliminated with him on the field.
Enter in D.J. Swearinger. While he's not Ed Reed, he could very well be another Brian Dawkins. He's a hard hitter. He's also one of the best coverage safeties in the country. He's wholly underrated, but his play on the field and leadership off of it will make him a top pick.
32. San Francisco 49ers: NT Johnathan Hankins
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Size: 6'3", 322 pounds
School: Ohio State
Isaac Sopoaga is a free agent, and Justin Smith is 33 years old and coming off of a tricep injury. The 49ers need multiple defensive line talents. The biggest thing they need is a long-term solution at nose tackle.
That's what they'll get here. Johnathan Hankins will be able to come right in and start at nose tackle. Hankins can also play in the sub packages as an interior pass-rusher who will collapse the pocket from the inside—something they didn't have during the season.
Round 2 (Picks 1-4)
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1. Jacksonville Jaguars: OL Barrett Jones, Alabama
Jacksonville gets lucky here, as the Swiss Army knife of offensive linemen lands right in its lap. Barrett Jones has won both the Outland Trophy as a left tackle and the Rimington Trophy as a center. His versatility will allow the Jaguars to plug him in anywhere on the line and have a solid piece there.
2. Kansas City Chiefs: QB Ryan Nassib, Syracuse
Developmental quarterback is definitely a need at a minimum in Kansas City. Ryan Nassib is an excellent fit, as he has all the tools but needs to put them all together. Andy Reid will need to mold him into a franchise quarterback, but if anyone can mold Nassib, it's Reid.
3. Philadelphia Eagles: CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida State
With Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie as a free agent, the Eagles will need a talented corner to replace him. Xavier Rhodes has a ton of potential in the NFL. He should be able to come in and start right away for the weak Eagles secondary.
4. Detroit Lions: CB Desmond Trufant, Washington
Jonte Green and Bill Bentley are the best corners currently on the roster. That's not what you want as a team trying to be competitive in the pass-happy NFC North. Desmond Trufant could come right in and start as the long-term left cornerback, much like his brother Marcus did for the Seahawks.
Round 2 (Picks 5-8)
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5. Cincinnati Bengals (from OAK): S Eric Reid, Louisiana State
Taylor Mays has been quite a disappointment, and Chris Crocker is currently a free agent. This is the ideal chance for the Bengals to get someone to pair with Reggie Nelson. Eric Reid has a ton of potential to be a talented strong safety in the NFL, and if anyone can get it out of him, Mike Zimmer can.
6. Arizona Cardinals: TE Zach Ertz, Stanford
After fixing the offensive line with Levi Brown coming back and Eric Fisher in the first, the combination of Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Roberts and Michael Floyd could use some help in the passing game. Zach Ertz is a tight end in the mold of Tony Gonzalez and would be a great addition to the passing offense.
7. New York Jets: OLB Sam Montgomery, Louisiana State
The Jets need some younger, more versatile pass-rushers, and Sam Montgomery is definitely a good fit for their multiple front defense. Montgomery can play either the down end when they do their 4-3 packages or the stand up linebacker in the 3-4 packages and can be effective at both.
8. Tennessee Titans: OL Dallas Thomas, Tennessee
Despite having four very good offensive linemen in Michael Roos, Steve Hutchinson, David Stewart and Fernando Velasco, the Titans need a right guard. They don't have any right guards under contract, and Dallas Thomas is someone who can take right over at the position.
Round 2 (Picks 9-12)
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9. Buffalo Bills: WR DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson
A new quarterback should always have at least one good receiver. Teaming "Nuke"—as Clemson fans call him—with Stevie Johnson, Scott Chandler and T.J. Graham will benefit new quarterback Tyler Wilson. The Bills have an excellent line and pair of running backs. This pick would complete their offense.
10. Miami Dolphins: DE Margus Hunt, Southern Methodist
The move to the 4-3 has been beneficial for the Dolphins, but one way to become more effective is to get someone who can actually play defensive end well as the starting left end. Margus Hunt is a raw prospect, but he should be able to contribute as the strong-side end effectively in both the passing and running games.
11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: S Matt Elam, Florida
After going with a corner in the first round, the Buccaneers finally get someone to replace Ronde Barber at free safety. The combination of Matt Elam and Mark Barron would give the Buccaneers a pair of hard-hitting safeties who can both cover and play the run well.
12. Carolina Panthers: CB Jordan Poyer, Oregon State
Chris Gamble is likely to be a cap casualty for the Panthers. Unfortunately, they don't have anyone who can step right up and start against No. 1 or No. 2 wide receivers. Jordan Poyer may not be ready for No. 1 guys right away, but he has the tools to compete with No. 2 guys and to develop into a No. 1 corner.
Round 2 (Picks 13-16)
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13. San Diego Chargers: OT D.J. Fluker, Alabama
San Diego has some of the worst offensive linemen in the NFL. They will benefit from taking anyone to help out. D.J. Fluker will be a starter instantly at the right tackle spot, and if they can re-sign Louis Vasquez, he would secure the right side of the line long term.
14. St. Louis Rams: LB Khaseem Greene, Rutgers
St. Louis needs a long-term solution at outside linebacker. Khaseem Greene can play weak-side linebacker in the 4-3. He's good in coverage and has the ability to attack the ball in the air. He's also an excellent blitzer, but he can sometimes get burned due to his over-aggressive nature.
15. Dallas Cowboys: RB Eddie Lacy, Alabama
Dallas has an excellent running back in DeMarco Murray. However, he gets injured quite a bit, and they need someone who is better than Felix Jones at gaining yards every play. Eddie Lacy proved that he could do just that against Notre Dame and a defense that hadn't allowed many rushing yards or touchdowns all season.
16. Pittsburgh Steelers: LB Kevin Minter, Louisiana State
Larry Foote is a free agent, and Stevenson Sylvester isn't starting quality. Kevin Minter is. He's an excellent run defender and can play the thumping "Ted" role early on in his first season. However, as he picks up coverages, he will only get that much better in the Steelers defense.
Round 2 (Picks 17-20)
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17. New York Giants: TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame
Martellus Bennett gave the Giants a good year, but here they take the slipping Tyler Eifert in a "best player available" model. Eifert is a prototypical tight end in every sense of the word. His ability to get the ball in the seam, make acrobatic catches and block everyone makes him a top-three tight end in this year's class.
18. Chicago Bears: OL Justin Pugh, Syracuse
The Bears' biggest need is on the offensive line. While Justin Pugh may not be the ideal fit for left tackle, he can definitely play the other four line spots. He would be best utilized as a left guard with Gabe Carimi as a left tackle. These two moves would give the Bears a very talented blind side.
19. Washington Redskins: OT Kyle Long, Oregon
When you invest in a quarterback as the Redskins did, you have to make sure he also stays standing. Kyle Long is an ideal fit as a right tackle in the Shanahan zone-blocking scheme and would be an excellent fit on the Redskins line next to Chris Chester.
20. Minnesota Vikings: WR Justin Hunter, Tennessee
The Minnesota Vikings have a great wide receiver in Percy Harvin. However, they need a starting-caliber player across from him. Justin Hunter has a lot of Roddy White in his game and would be an excellent fit for Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder's development into a better quarterback.
Round 2 (Picks 21-25)
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21. Cincinnati Bengals: RB Johnathan Franklin, UCLA
With how talented the offensive line is in Cincinnati, there was no reason for BenJarvus Green-Ellis to rush for just 3.9 yards per carry. That's where Johnathan Franklin comes in. He's got great vision and speed and should be able to create a ton of plays for the Bengals in the rushing and receiving game.
22. Miami Dolphins (from IND): OT Oday Aboushi, Virginia
This pick is made with the thought that Jake Long is allowed to leave and sign elsewhere. Jonathan Martin would then flip to the left side of the line, where he was more comfortable in college. Oday Aboushi can play the right tackle position then and allow the Dolphins to have the same level of effectiveness from their tackles in 2013.
23. Green Bay Packers: OG Larry Warford, Kentucky
Green Bay has one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL. Josh Sitton is an excellent guard, but T.J. Lang could be improved upon easily. With Bryan Bulaga coming back from injury and bringing in a guy with speed and power like Larry Warford, the Packers could truly improve their offensive line.
24. Seattle Seahawks: DT John Jenkins, Georgia
Best player available rules here. John Jenkins is more than worth the pick as someone to rotate in with Brandon Mebane, Red Bryant and Alan Branch. His 350+ pound frame will allow the Seahawks to improve their run defense even more than they already have.
25. Houston Texans: CB Logan Ryan, Rutgers
Houston needs some more depth in its secondary at both corner and safety. Logan Ryan is the type of player they select to go for a safety role because of his experience at corner and his larger size. He would be able to compete early for a role as the third safety and nickel corner and could provide a ton of versatility to the looks in the Houston defense.
Round 2 (Picks 26-30)
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26. Denver Broncos: DE Datone Jones, UCLA
With Derek Wolfe moving inside in this scenario to join first-round pick Kawann Short, the need for the Broncos to get a starting end is there. Datone Jones is similar to Patrick Kerney both in build and in his play. Jones has 10-sack potential every year and could end up as the ideal fit on a line with Short, Wolfe and Elvis Dumervil.
27. New England Patriots: S Jonathan Cyprien, Florida International
The Patriots have an excellent free safety in Devin McCourty. They need a strong safety, though, and Tavon Wilson isn't a good fit for it. Jonathan Cyprien is a coverage safety who can knock you into next Tuesday. That would be ideal for a Patriots secondary that hasn't had an enforcer like that since Rodney Harrison.
28. Atlanta Falcons: RB Giovani Bernard, North Carolina
Michael Turner is a likely cut with a salary of over 5.5 million in 2013 and a performance that doesn't justify it. Giovani Bernard is an explosive talent at running back, both as a runner and a receiver. He can break a long run at any time and is effective between the tackles—something Atlanta needs to compliment Jacquizz Rodgers.
29. Baltimore Ravens: OL Travis Frederick, Wisconsin
The Ravens have four pieces to a very talented offensive line under contract for 2013: Matt Birk, Kelechi Osemele, Marshall Yanda and Michael Oher. They need the fifth man to tie everything together. Frederick can start as a guard and then, when Birk retires, he will move to center long term.
30. San Francisco 49ers: WR Robert Woods, Southern California
In a case of best player available, the 49ers take Robert Woods and have a wide receiver who can actually contribute—unlike A.J. Jenkins. Woods runs excellent routes and can find the soft spots in zones. He would be a nice present for Colin Kaepernick after earning the starting job.
Round 3 (Picks 1-4)
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1. Kansas City Chiefs: WR Markus Wheaton, Oregon State
Kansas City needs work in its receiving corps. Markus Wheaton is the kind of receiver that Andy Reid likes, and he has size to go with his speed. He should be able to compete with Jonathan Baldwin and Steve Breaston for the No. 2 wide receiver spot.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: CB Will Davis, Utah State
Aaron Ross is the only cornerback of consequence still under contract for the Jaguars in 2013. They will need at least depth for the 2013 season, and Will Davis can come right in and play the nickel. He has the talent to develop into a starting corner and has playmaking abilities that will benefit Jacksonville's defense.
3. Detroit Lions: S Phillip Thomas, Fresno State
Cornerback is a need, but so is safety, with Louis Delmas as a free agent and Amari Spievey being just average. Phillip Thomas has range and could compete right away for the starting job with Spievey and even win it as a rookie.
4. Oakland Raiders: DT Brandon Williams, Missouri Southern
Oakland's best plan of action on defense looks like a 3-4 switch. However, they are some pieces away from it. With Brandon Williams they could get someone who can play a nose tackle in the 3-4 and in the 4-3 alignments they would be running.
Round 3 (Picks 5-8)
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5. Philadelphia Eagles: S Tony Jefferson, Oklahoma
The Eagles don't just need a corner; they could really use a safety, as well. Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman are average at best, so they need someone who can come in and play the middle of the field in the passing game.
6. Cleveland Browns: WR Marquise Goodwin, Texas
The Browns have talent on the outside in Josh Gordon and Greg Little. Travis Benjamin is questionable in the slot, though. And at returner, Josh Cribbs currently is not under contract. Marquise Goodwin is a former Olympian who has the talent to shock the NFL with his speed as a slot receiver and returner.
7. Arizona Cardinals: LB Chase Thomas, Stanford
After adding some talent on the offensive side of the ball, the Cardinals go defense here. Paris Lenon should retire after this season, and there's a hole next to Daryl Washington because of it. Chase Thomas can play inside or outside in the 3-4 alignment that the Cardinals run and would be great value here.
8. Tennessee Titans: TE Jordan Reed, Florida
Jared Cook is a free agent, and Taylor Thompson looks like a project that is still taking some time. Jordan Reed is very similar to the departing free agent. He's a top-notch receiver with great speed. However, Reed's blocking leaves a ton to be desired, despite his willingness to take on anyone.
Round 3 (Picks 9-12)
Sylvester Williams taking down Idaho's quarterback.
Grant Halverson/Getty Images
9. Buffalo Bills: DE Cornelius Carradine, Florida State
The Bills need someone who can play opposite Mario Williams on the weak side of the defensive line. "Tank" Carradine is a perfect fit for the scheme and role because it's exactly what he played on a loaded Florida State line. He will rotate early with Mark Anderson and Chris Kelsay but should finish with the starting job.
10. New York Jets: OG Alvin Bailey, Arkansas
Matt Slauson and Brandon Moore are both free agents, and one of them won't get re-signed. Alvin Bailey is a bigger bodied offensive guard, but he still has the movement ability to play in either a man or zone-blocking scheme—something that will highly benefit the Jets.
11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: CB David Amerson, North Carolina State
After taking Johnthan Banks in the first round, the Buccaneers take another corner who would fit Greg Schaino's defense here in David Amerson. Amerson can push for a starting job with how poor Eric Wright and E.J. Biggers played in 2012.
12. San Francisco 49ers (from CAR): DE Sylvester Williams, North Carolina
After getting a nose tackle in the first round, the 49ers need to get a defensive end. Ray McDonald and Justin Smith can start and play a ton of snaps, but they will need someone who can rotate in as a third defensive end and keep them fresh.
Round 3 (Picks 13-16)
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13. New Orleans Saints: QB Matt Barkley, Southern California
Drew Brees is 34 and has a deal that's easy to get out of should he retire early. Matt Barkley is a quarterback who needs some polish but has the potential to be a long-term star. He has to get in the right situation, though, and New Orleans would definitely be that.
14. San Diego Chargers: WR Quinton Patton, Louisiana Tech
San Diego needs someone who can contribute in their offense at receiver. Danario Alexander is a great fit for the new offense under Mike McCoy, but they need someone across from him since Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal were busts.
15. Miami Dolphins: WR Stedman Bailey, West Virginia
The best fit for the Dolphins at wide receiver long term is Stedman Bailey. While he won't start right away, he will provide competition and depth at both sides of the formation and in the slot. Bailey is an excellent route runner and could wind up starting if Brian Hartline doesn't return.
16. St. Louis Rams: RB Andre Ellington, Clemson
Stephen Jackson is 29 and a free agent. It would be surprising to see him re-sign with the Rams in 2013. Andre Ellington is an all-around running back who could take the starting job right away from last year's draft picks Daryl Richardson and Isaiah Pead.
Round 3 (Picks 16-20)
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17. Pittsburgh Steelers: QB Tyler Bray, Tennessee
A quarterback? Yes. A quarterback. Charlie Batch and Byron Leftwich are both mediocre and not guys you want to lead your team. Also, they are free agents. Tyler Bray has an excellent arm and will fit in the Steelers system well. He just needs to sit behind someone and learn as a backup. This is the best fit for the Steelers and the long-term quarterback situation.
18. Dallas Cowboys: DE Brandon Jenkins, Florida State
With Dallas moving to the 4-3 Tampa 2 defense, DeMarcus Ware has already accepted his new role as a defensive end. Anthony Spencer isn't under contract, but he would be an excellent fit in the scheme. However, they need depth, and Jenkins can come right in as a rotational guy and play 40-50 percent of the snaps while learning from Ware and Spencer.
19. New York Giants: S T.J. McDonald, Southern California
The Giants need at a minimum some depth at safety. They will be best served to take a guy here in T.J. McDonald who could turn into their starter with some seasoning. He's an excellent deep ball safety and could create a larger umbrella for the defensive coverages in New York.
20. Miami Dolphins (from CHI): RB Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina
Reggie Bush is a free agent this offseason. While the Dolphins love Bush, it makes no sense to overpay him. They could easily start Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas while they wait for Marcus Lattimore to fully heal up and be a long-term solution at running back.
Round 3 (Picks 21-24)
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21. Minnesota Vikings: LB Sean Porter, Texas A&M
Jasper Brinkley and Erin Henderson are both free agents this offseason. The Vikings need depth at linebacker at a minimum, anyway. Sean Porter could take over at weakside linebacker right away and team with Audie Cole and Chad Greenway for one of the most underrated linebacking corps in the NFL.
22. Cincinnati Bengals: DE John Simon, Ohio State
With just Carlos Dunlap and Jamaal Anderson under contract for 2013, the Bengals need at least a rotational pass rusher at end. John Simon has a lot of potential in his game and reminds me a lot of Charles Johnson of the Panthers. He's got a shorter, stocky frame but gets great bursts off the snap and plays the pass and run well.
23. Washington Redskins: DT Kwame Geathers, Georgia
The Redskins have some raw talent on defensive line. They could use a big body on their defensive line, and the 6'6" 355 pound Kwame Geathers can play both defensive end and nose tackle. He would start out in the rotation at multiple spots but should work his way to full time nose tackle after his first year.
24. Indianapolis Colts: OT Menelik Watson, Florida State
Anthony Castonzo is a great talent to protect Andrew Luck. However, Ben Ijalana should play left guard, and Winston Justice should be allowed to walk away. Menelik Watson is very raw but has the talent to start at right tackle right away and help protect last year's first round pick and franchise QB Andrew Luck.
Round 3 (Picks 25-28)
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25. Seattle Seahawks: OT Chris Faulk, Louisiana State
Seattle has a right tackle who would be better at guard than at tackle in Breno Giacomini. Chris Faulk would be able to come in and challenge him for the starting spot and should be able to win it. Faulk is a better pass-blocker than run-blocker but should be able to be an upgrade in both over Giacomini.
26. Green Bay Packers: RB Montee Ball, Wisconsin
Despite a solid year in 2010, James Starks has been average since. Cedric Benson is an unrestricted free agent, and there's a need for a back who has experience in a zone scheme. Montee Ball has 3,753 yards and 55 touchdowns in the scheme for Wisconsin over the past two seasons and is a great fit for the Packers offense.
27. Houston Texans: WR Da'Rick Rodgers, Tennessee Tech
Andre Johnson is nearing the end of his great career, and Kevin Walter doesn't have the talent to be a No. 2 wide receiver. Da'Rick Rogers is a top talent at the position and would open up the Texans offense for the long term. He has future No. 1 potential and could give the Texans the replacement for Johnson long term.
28. Denver Broncos: CB Dwayne Gratz, Connecticut
When you give up a huge play in the final seconds of a game, and that's why you aren't in the AFC championship game, there's a need at cornerback. Dwayne Gratz has shown that he has a ton of potential as a pro cornerback. With guidance from Champ Bailey, he could be special.
Round 3 (Picks 29-32)
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29. New England Patriots: LB Zaviar Gooden, Missouri
The Patriots need a 4-3 coverage linebacker for their nickel packages. Jerod Mayo is already good in coverage, but Brandon Spikes and Dont'a Hightower have deficiencies there. Gooden is an excellent all-around linebacker from Missouri, but with the lack of 4-3 teams, he will slip in the draft.
30. Atlanta Falcons: TE Travis Kelce, Cincinnati
Tony Gonzalez is likely retiring this offseason, and the Falcons need to find someone to replace him. Travis Kelce is a wholly underrated talent and a great fit for the Falcons offense. He can be used everywhere on the field and is a talented blocker. He also has the speed to stretch a defense in the seam.
31. Baltimore Ravens: ILB Jonathan Bostic, Florida
Ray Lewis in his prime, he is not. However, Jonathan Bostic is a better player on the field today than Ray Lewis is. He has excellent potential as a big-bodied linebacker in the middle of a 3-4. He can blitz and can play the run well and should be able to contribute right away.
32. San Francisco 49ers: OLB Corey Lemonier, Auburn
Cam Johnson was a seventh-round pick who is still trying to earn playing time in the rotation, and Clark Haggans is 36 years old and about to retire. Corey Lemonier will be a great fit as a rotational outside linebacker to give starters Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks breathers when they need them.
Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL Draft. He is also the Falcons analyst at Drafttek, runs the NFL Draft Website ScarDraft.com and hosts Kvetching Draftniks Radio.