Geno Smith remains an option for the Chiefs.
It's Super Bowl week, which means another 2013 NFL mock draft to broaden the water-cooler debates beyond the big game.
Where will West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith land?
Well, his fate for one, currently resides with the Kansas City Chiefs. K.C. is presented with a plethora of options at No. 1 overall, so fortunately [roughly] three months remain until this year's draft.
Factor in the NFL Scouting Combine and pro days, and stocks will rise and fall between now and late April. Here, as it stands entering Super Bowl XLVII, the latest first-round mock installment for 2013.
The Chiefs have to land Geno Smith at No. 1 overall, as quarterback is a top priority.
Neglecting to do so will leave Smith open to the Jacksonville Jaguars and/or Arizona Cardinals, depending on how far back K.C. trades down, of course.
He would develop under Andy Reid, however. And the 2013 draft also provides other offensive line and receiver talent to consider later on. Smith is the best signal-caller this spring, and K.C. needs him to quickly rebuild.
Jacksonville needs a pass rush after lacking much of one throughout 2012.
Jarvis Jones immediately solves this problem and helps improve the Jags' run defense as well.
In a division featuring solid running backs such as Chris Johnson, Arian Foster and the potential of Vick Ballard, Jacksonville must find a way to control the line of scrimmage.
And get a lot more quarterback pressure.
The Oakland Raiders were atrocious against the run and pass and failed to consistently establish a pass rush.
Also, Oakland's front line of defense needs some talented youth.
Before kickoff in 2013, Andre Carter will be 34 and Dave Tollefson will be 31. Include Richard Seymour at 33 and Tommy Kelly at 32, and you'll see that drafting Bjoern Werner addresses multiple areas.
Possessing reliable instincts and quick reaction skills as well, Werner brings the tenacity to develop right away.
Not only is Luke Joeckel the best available player for the Philadelphia Eagles at No. 4, but he fills a dire need of pass protection.
He's a key reason Johnny Manziel stood upright in the pocket in 2012, despite facing rugged SEC defenders.
Joeckel can also run block better than given credit, although that aspect will get overlooked due to his dominance against the best of pass-rushers. Checking out the stud rushers of the NFC East, Joeckel will transition nicely.
With no consistent pass rush or run defense, the Detroit Lions will remain at the bottom of the NFC North.
Selecting Damontre Moore takes a turn for the better, because he can apply quarterback pressure and squeeze the edge against the run.
Given the combo of size and athleticism, Moore significantly improves the Lions up front. And he is a great complement to Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley along the defensive line.
Giving up too many big plays and failing to generate more turnovers cost the Cleveland Browns last season.
Taking Dee Milliner provides Joe Haden with an SEC-sidekick in the secondary.
Milliner plays with discipline and is a reliable playmaker when needed.
His addition completes Cleveland's defense as the Browns present a sound pass rush to complement the improved coverage.
Fielding the worst pass protection and rushing offense in 2012, the Arizona Cardinals bolster the offensive line with Chance Warmack.
As an interior lineman, Warmack will help control the inner workings of the pocket and quickly create running lanes from the snap.
Arizona must improve at controlling the trenches, and Warmack's strength and balance will fare nicely in the defensively tough NFC West.
Mario Williams needs a strong complement in the Buffalo Bills' front seven.
Dion Jordan is just the answer because his explosiveness, top speed and size gives Buffalo a competitive advantage.
The Bills, as desperate as they are for a quarterback, also need to enhance the pass rush and run defense. It's a risk taking another quarterback inside the Top 10, so either trading back or going with Jordan suffices.
Here, though, Buffalo lands a prospective franchise rusher to help apply pressure to Tom Brady. The end results are greater odds at winning the AFC East.
Along with his aging linebackers, Rex Ryan needs a faster and younger pass-rusher to fit his 3-4 scheme.
Barkevious Mingo suits accordingly courtesy of being a solid rusher and possessing impressive lateral quickness.
We know the New York Jets will lock-down in coverage so getting Mingo to bring additional pressure is a great complement. Although he needs to develop better in coverage, Mingo's natural athleticism will pay dividends to control the line of scrimmage.
As bad as the Tennessee Titans were against the run in 2012, they were considerably worse against the pass.
Enter Johnthan Banks, who has a knack for generating turnovers and not allowing much after the catch.
With impressive instincts and the ability to help with run support, Banks spruces up Tennessee's secondary. In turn, the front seven benefits by shutting down more consistently against the run and gets better quarterback pressure.
Despite the San Diego Chargers' ability to move the ball in 2012, the offense failed miserably at pass protection.
This is why the Bolts struggled inside the red zone and on third down.
Selecting Eric Fisher at No. 11 makes for a 180-degree turnaround, because Philip Rivers will be effective with some pocket protection. Fisher presents a solid base and quick feet to move laterally and wall off the outside.
A byproduct of that comes in the form of inflated numbers from Rivers next season.
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill was given decent pass protection as a rookie and was backed by a sound running game.
What the Miami Dolphins need to provide him with is a deep threat receiver.
Keenan Allen has the size and strength to set a defense on its heels. With Tannehill's strong arm and mobility and the dynamics of Reggie Bush, Allen won't face double coverage and he'll have the opportunity to split Cover 2 zones.
Include slot man Davone Bess, and Miami's offense increases efficiency next season.
Star Lotulelei is definitely worthy of a Top 10 pick, so the Tampa Bay Buccaneers get fortunate at No. 13 overall.
Although the Bucs were solid against the run last season, they didn't defend the run nearly as much as the pass. In short, Tampa was eviscerated because it lacked coverage and a pass rush.
Lotulelei will help dominate the interior of the trenches and get the edge rushers into favorable one-on-one matchups. The Bucs then improve their pass rush, and the coverage follows suit to field a complete defense.
The Carolina Panthers have the personnel to significantly improve defensively in 2013.
Still, no defense will help its offense without the ability to stop the run and force punts.
Carolina was supremely weak in the trenches last year, so drafting Sheldon Richardson addresses this dire need.
The guy can draw/split double-teams, win one-on-one situations to prevent running lanes from forming and apply quarterback pressure. And in the pass-first NFC South, getting to the quarterback is required to contend for the division title.
Failing to defend the run cost the New Orleans Saints throughout 2013.
That vulnerability allowed opponents to dictate the game's tempo and minimize the potential onslaught of Drew Brees.
The selection of Johnathan Hankins quickly flips New Orleans up front, as his size and quickness will plug gaps across the line and wreck the backfield party with quarterback pressure. The Saints force more punts, and Brees is provided with additional possessions to push the pace.
Given the NFC West's level of tenacious defense, the St. Louis Rams must spruce up the offensive line.
Jonathan Cooper is great for the inside, because he's well aware of picking up blitzes and assisting the tackle and center if no threat presses his gap.
Cooper also possesses the quickness to move laterally and extend running lanes. He can get around the edge and lead or bull forward in short-yard situations. The Rams, as a result, get consistent pass protection and improve their red-zone offense.
In 2012, the Pittsburgh Steelers uncharacteristically lacked a dominant pass rush and the ability to consistently control the line of scrimmage.
Even worse, Pittsburgh is only getting older in the front seven and is in great need of some talented youth.
Fortunately, Ezekiel Ansah fits the Steelers quite well. He brings the raw power and athleticism to contribute as a 3-4 defensive end, or he can utilize his size as a 3-4 outside 'backer. Coming off a strong Senior Bowl performance, Ansah continues to see his draft stock rise.
His physical play will be welcomed in the Steel City.
The Dallas Cowboys need to look for the eventual replacement of Jay Ratliff along the defensive line.
Along with his off-field problems, Ratliff will be age 32 before next season. And it was his solid production from 2006 through 2009 that assisted DeMarcus Ware's impact.
John Jenkins is equally capable of taking Ratliff's contributions to an unforeseen level. With the ability to get quarterback pressure, Jenkins will constantly draw double-teams against the run and free up the linebackers.
His quickness will also pay dividends when reacting to screens, draws and clogging gaps to create backfield turbulence.
At some point the New York Giants must get younger across the offensive line.
Eli Manning enjoyed reliable pass protection throughout 2012, but the excellent pass-rushers of the NFC East will capitalize in 2013.
Drafting Lane Johnson allows the Giants to maintain solid pass protection moving forward.
He possesses a cerebral approach to recognize blitz packages and will get up-field to polish running lanes. Plus, Will Beatty and Sean Locklear enter this offseason as free agents.
Unless the Chicago Bears want to trade up to land a top offensive lineman, Tyler Eifert is the next best alternative.
Eifert brings a receiving threat to Chicago from the tight end position.
He'll constantly face winnable situations, because Eifert has proven to beat double-teams and will dominate anyone man-to-man. Jay Cutler provides the strong enough arm to make every throw, so his receiving corps is now complete.
Additionally, Eifert knows how to effectively block downfield to create second-level running lanes.
Combine an aging secondary with giving up a 61.8 completion this regular season, and you'll see that the Cincinnati Bengals must get Kenny Vaccaro.
The inability to consistently blanket in man and zone coverage cost Cincy's defense throughout 2012.
Vaccaro brings the quick instincts and lateral agility to isolate in man and the awareness to upgrade Cincinnati's zone. The Bengals already field a strong pass rush, and Vaccaro's impact will complement the front seven to a great extent.
Now that St. Louis addressed the offensive line, going with receiver Cordarrelle Patterson nearly completes the offense.
Jonathan Cooper upgrades the pass protection for Sam Bradford and the running game to set up play-action.
Patterson folds into the equation by using his size for blocking downfield and burning defenders deep. His ability to leap and haul in passes at each field dimension will move the chains, allowing the Rams to present an impressively balanced attack.
Adrian Peterson is rightfully the focal point of the Minnesota Vikings offense.
And with his presence forcing defenses to load the box, Minnesota's passing game needs to take advantage.
This will happen with Terrance Williams out wide.
Williams brings the acceleration and solid route-running to quickly make plays after the catch, and Christian Ponder's mobility will assist on longer developing plays. Considering that Williams will see nothing but man coverage courtesy of Peterson, his potential significantly increases.
What evolves is Williams stretching defenses and the Vikings gaining balance to control the tempo.
Andrew Luck and the offense is why the Indianapolis Colts pulled an excellent turnaround in 2012.
Now it's the defense's turn to pull its weight in the quest for completing the team.
Failing to stop the run and get constant quarterback pressure hurt Indy all season.
That ineffectiveness seeped into the coverage, which then opened the floodgates to an opposition scoring. Alex Okafor solves this issue, because he brings the athleticism to halt the ground game and blast his way into the backfield.
Factor in the aging Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis, and Okafor replenishes Indy's pass rush for 2013.
There are few, if any, weaknesses on the Seattle Seahawks.
One, however, is needing another deep threat receiver that can also rack up plenty of yards after the catch.
DeAndre Hopkins fills this void perfectly, because he'll always face single coverage and have space over the middle. Seattle's ground game and Russell Wilson's mobility will force linebackers to honor the run, which will create shallower zones and the occasional run blitz.
Hence, the vacated/vulnerable intermediate level and the option to make plays downfield as well.
The long-time Indianapolis Colts center announced his intention to retire after 14 seasons today during an appearance on 1070 The Fan.
“We’ll finish it with sunsets in Hawaii and call it a much better career than I would have anticipated,” Saturday said on the “Grady and Big Joe Show.”
Jeff Saturday retiring leaves an enormous vacant lot in the Green Bay Packers' offensive line. Barrett Jones not only brings the talent to immediately contribute at center but his versatility bodes well for any spot in the trenches.
Green Bay must provide Aaron Rodgers with better pass protection and develop a more consistent ground attack. Jones possesses the field awareness and experience to get the Packers controlling the line.
The Houston Texans struggled against the pass when facing an elite quarterback in 2012.
Even worse, Jacksonville's Chad Henne torched Wade Phillips' defense in Week 11.
Taking Xavier Rhodes in Round 1, however, quickly presents a bigger cornerback to get physical at the line. Rhodes' size and strength for the position is a competitive advantage in Cover 1 and 2, and he'll also help with edge run support.
The Denver Broncos can go a few directions at No. 28 overall.
A cornerback or safety addresses the need for better coverage in 2013 and the eventual replacement of Champ Bailey, who reaches age 35 before next season.
Alec Ogletree addresses the linebacker need opposite Von Miller. Wesley Woodyard has proven to control the inside before, and Keith Brooking turns 38 in the middle of 2013's campaign.
Ogletree's supreme athleticism and playmaking skill set is perfect to complement Miller and create a force-field at the intermediate level. The Broncos then get more overall quarterback pressure and can shut down even better against the run.
The New England Patriots still possess the offensive prowess to score at will and push the pace on any defense.
It's Bill Belichick's defense—and more specifically a lack of reliable coverage—that has cost the Pats in the postseason.
Reaching for Matt Elam is definitely a risk, but Elam has the knack for quickly reacting in Cover 1, 2 or 3 and brings the pain with each hit. The guy allows few yards after the catch, will fill running lanes and is capable of creating turnovers to give Tom Brady extra possessions.
The Atlanta Falcons are on the brink of making multiple runs at the Super Bowl.
That level of consistency, though, will get cut short without an improved run defense.
Therefore, drafting Jesse Williams to bolt through the line and create backfield havoc is a great solution. He plays tough and physical and will quickly close running lanes by beating his man or knifing through double-teams.
Atlanta has the defensive personnel elsewhere to create turnovers. It's improving upon the battle up front that is required.
Imaginary things aside, Te'o certainly has immense shoes to fill and holding him to those expectations would be unfair.
On the other hand, Baltimore also provides the reliable veteran talent around him so that he can quickly develop.
The guy already brings excellent instincts and playmaking skills to the table. He'll transition nicely in a division that forces linebackers to stuff the run and finish tackles.
Te'o will also help the Ravens generate more turnovers, as his pass defense greatly improved throughout 2012.
The San Francisco 49ers are extremely dominant in their front seven.
Despite Justin Smith and Isaac Sopoaga as aging defensive linemen, the Niners get impressive interior quarterback pressure and consistently clog the running lanes.
Kawann Short proved throughout college that he can ruin an offense in the backfield. His quickness and knack for finding the rock suits well in the Bay Area, which benefits the linebackers to makes plays at the line.
In other words, Short is needed to eventually take over for Smith and/or Sopoaga up front. His potential will keep the 49ers controlling the point of attack in the NFC.
Follow John Rozum on Twitter.