2013 NFL Mock Draft: Players Who Deserve More Hype
The 2013 NFL draft class has plenty of highly touted studs that are expected to be stars in the league for years to come, but there are other prospects that simply aren't getting their due love from experts.
Whether it's off-the-field issues that are affecting them or a lackluster finish to their respective college careers, these players should be getting more respect on draft day.
Let's take a look at who fits the bill, as well as how the entire first round will shake out.
*Note: Players article focuses on are in italics
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
With a new coach in Andy Reid and a new era beginning in Kansas City, the Chiefs could be looking to start fresh behind center as well, thus it makes sense they would choose the best quarterback on the board in Smith.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
The Jags need to start rebuilding their defense if they hope to return to respectability in the years to come. Werner is a nice fit on the edge of the Jags' defensive line and should be a dominant pass rusher in the NFL.
3. Oakland Raiders: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
The concerns over Jones' spinal stenosis condition may have forced teams to rethink drafting this stud, but that would be a huge mistake.
While a member of the USC Trojans, Jones was diagnosed with a mild case of the condition after a routine hit in 2009. Afterwards, USC refused to clear him for contact, thus his days were finished with the Trojans.
However, Jones would move on to Georgia where the Bulldogs happily accepted his incredible abilities on their team. In his time with the program, Jones compiled over 20 sacks in two seasons, including the 14.5 he collected during the 2012-13 season, good enough for tops in the nation.
So are teams taking a chance on Jones in this year's draft?
I think it's safe to say they will be considering this condition could end his career early, but as was proven by Georgia and USC, sometimes taking a chance can pay off big time, while not taking that chance can prove to be detrimental.
Jones is still an incredible athlete who possesses the kinds of skills that few, if any, linebackers in this draft do. The Raiders—or any team in need of an impact defender for that matter--would be foolish to pass on such a talent because of a "what if" scenario.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
The Eagles need to get some protection for whoever it is they start at quarterback next season. Joeckel is far and away the best offensive lineman in this year's draft, so this pairing seems like the perfect fit.
5. Detroit Lions: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
The knock on Moore is that he doesn't have much athletic ability, but that shouldn't stop him from having success in the NFL.
Moore compiled 12.5 sacks last season for the Aggies, which was good enough for No. 8 in the country. Clearly Moore's athletic ability didn't stop him from dominating at the collegiate level.
While straight power alone won't be enough for Moore to be successful in the NFL, developing better mechanics should put him over the top.
Moore will have a chance to work with some of the best defensive line coaches in the world in order to improve those mechanics and that will no doubt help him overcome a lack of athleticism at the position.
6. Cleveland Browns: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Cleveland was ranked No. 25 against the pass last season and could use some help in its secondary. Milliner is an Alabama product and as is the case with most defensive studs from the program, he is the best at his position in this draft and ready to make an immediate impact in the NFL.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
It's quite possible the Cardinals add yet another quarterback to their already messy situation at the position, but passing on a future star like Lotulelei who possesses incredible size and strength will be impossible for Arizona to do.
8. Buffalo Bills: Matt Barkley, QB, USC
With a new sheriff in town in Doug Marrone as head coach, the Bills will look to bring in a new signal-caller. Barkley was once held as a top quarterback prospect, but his stock has since taken a hit. However, thanks to Ryan Fitzpatrick's presence on the roster, Marrone can bring Barkley along slowly and develop him into a quarterback that will fit Marrone's system in the future.
9. New York Jets: Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU
New York had plenty of issues getting to the quarterback last season, so an improvement on the defensive line is certainly due. Mingo will give head coach Rex Ryan a big, athletic pass rusher to help put some pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
10. Tennessee Titans: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
Plenty of Titans fans may have an issue with drafting a guard at this spot in the draft, but they should make an exception for Warmack.
The former Alabama guard is a stud, plain and simple. He was easily one of the best offensive lineman in all of college football last season and was a huge reason for the Crimson Tide's success on the offensive side of the ball.
At 6'5'' and 320 pounds, Warmack is NFL-ready the day a team picks him, so there won't be much time, if any, until he is an every down guard in this league.
And the fact that he's still young leaves room for the big man to add bulk to his frame, so chances are he will be super-human big in just a few years.
If there was ever a pick that will help the Titans up the middle, Warmack is the best bet.
11. San Diego Chargers: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
After Joeckel, Fisher is estimated to be the next best tackle on the board. While many will question Fisher's abilities because of a lack of quality opponents during his college career, the Chargers will still be getting a big, strong lineman who could potentially help their struggling offensive line.
12. Miami Dolphins: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Looking at the several mock drafts available courtesy of many experts, there is no consensus as to who is the best receiver in this draft. The only certainty is that it's between Patterson and Keenan Allen.
But the Dolphins—who are in desperate need of another option for quarterback Ryan Tannehill—would be wise to make Patterson their choice at this spot.
Patterson is a physically gifted player whose combination of size and speed can't be matched in this year's class. Furthermore, no receiver on the draft board can combine those qualities with the kind of downfield ability that Patterson has displayed.
On top of that, Allen finished his last year in college early due to a knee injury, so the questions will remain in regards to his overall health as the draft approaches. There are no such questions about Patterson, thus further cementing his status as the best bet at his position in the NFL draft.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
Vaccaro makes the most sense for the Bucs in this spot. The former Texas product is easily the best safety in this draft and could be a future replacement for Ronde Barber. With his ability to play both safety positions, Vaccaro's versatility makes him a must-pick in this spot.
14. Carolina Panthers: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
The Panthers' defensive line didn't exactly get the job done last season, so an attempt at improvement is no doubt in the works. Richardson is a stud who has the necessary strength to be a successful pass rusher up the middle, helping give some credability to Carolina's defensive front.
15. New Orleans Saints: Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
The Saints' defense was dreadful last season and it proved that no matter how good your offense is, a soft defense can erase all of it. The first step to toughening up New Orleans' defense is adding a pass rusher and Jordan will be the best on edge at this point in the draft.
16. St. Louis Rams: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
Injuries and ineffectiveness have plagued the Rams' offensive line ever since Sam Bradford took over, so adding some help on the inside should be a priority. Cooper could be that answer and should be able to give the Rams some resistance to opposing pass rushes.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame
After a disappointing National Championship Game that saw Te'o look like a shell of himself, Te'o's draft stock has taken a major hit according to some experts.
However, it would be a huge mistake for teams in need of a linebacker to allow him to fall off their respective boards.
Te'o was a tackle machine during his tenure at Notre Dame, compiling over 100 tackles in each of the last three seasons. On top of that, Te'o has a nose for the ball and great hands to pick off opposing quarterbacks.
It also can't be overlooked that Te'o was the leader of one of the best defensive units in the country.
A single bad game might look bad, but it has nothing to do with his talents on the field. Te'o is still one of the best defensive players on the board and the Steelers would be happy to make him their next great linebacker.
18. Dallas Cowboys: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
With a switch to the 4-3 defense under new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, the team would be smart to add a solid defender up the middle. Floyd will be the best left at his position when the Cowboys' pick comes up, so that makes this a perfect fit.
19. New York Giants: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
The Giants have gotten by with Corey Webster as their No. 1 cornerback for long enough, but last year proved they can no longer do that. Rhodes has the size and speed to compete with some of the league's bigger receivers on the outside, which would no doubt be an instant upgrade over Webster.
20. Chicago Bears: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
Only four quarterbacks in the NFL were sacked more than Jay Cutler, so clearly the Bears have a major problem in that department. That means building a reliable offensive line will be essential moving forward and Johnson is the first step in the right direction.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Alec Ogletree, OLB, Georgia
Ogletree's versatility as either an inside or outside linebacker should be intriguing to the Bengals. What's more intriguing is the possibility that Cincinnati pairs Ogletree with Vontaze Burfict. I'm sure opposing quarterbacks around the NFL aren't as excited for such a tandem as Bengals fans are.
22. St. Louis Rams (From Washington): Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
Now that the Rams have their offensive lineman in the first round, it's time to add an impact player to their receiving corps. Eifert is the best tight end in this year's class and the combination of blocking and receiving ability makes him a must-pick for St. Louis.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Keenan Allen, WR, California
The Vikings need some playmakers on offense in order to help take some pressure off of Adrian Peterson, and that's with Percy Harvin on the roster. But seeing as how Harvin could potentially move on after this season, Minnesota must focus on this need even more.
24. Indianapolis Colts: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
If the Colts want to take it to the next level and become a Super Bowl contender, they must improve their defense, namely the secondary. Banks will be the best corner available at this spot in the draft and could help improve what was a dreadful pass defense in Indianapolis.
25. Seattle Seahawks: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
With the Seahawks being rock solid on defense, it's time to focus on strengthening their offensive line. Eventually, Seattle would love for Russell Wilson to remain in the pocket on a more consistent basis to avoid injury, so taking Fluker and beefing up the offensive line is the right idea.
26. Green Bay Packers: Barrett Jones, C, Alabama
With the departure of Jeff Saturday imminent, the Packers could be looking to add some depth at center. It remains to be seen if the Packers plan on sticking with Evan Dietrich-Smith at the position, but even if they do, Jones has the versatility to play multiple positions on the offensive line.
27. Houston Texans: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
Each and every Sunday, opposing defenses can focus on stopping Andre Johnson of the Texans with little worry that other receivers will burn them. That's why the Texans need to choose a receiver with their pick and Austin is the guy they should take.
28. Denver Broncos: Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU
Denver is set on the offensive side of the ball, but defense is where they could make some improvements. Minter would be a great addition to the team's linebacker corps when combined with Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil.
29. New England Patriots: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
Wes Welker is likely all but finished with the Patriots as he becomes a free agent, so the Pats will have some big shoes to fill when he leaves. Hopkins has the ability to catch passes on the outside or over the middle, so naturally this relationship works.
30. Atlanta Falcons: Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
After getting little pressure on Colin Kaepernick during the NFC Championship Game, it was more evident than ever that the Falcons needed some help in the pass-rushing department. Montgomery would give the Falcons what they need as his quick feet will make him a terror on the edge.
31. Baltimore Ravens: Matt Elam, SS, Florida
With Ed Reed potentially on his way out in Baltimore, the Ravens could be looking for his replacement in this draft. Elam will be the best at his position on the board in this spot and could be groomed to be the next great safety for the Ravens.
32. San Francisco 49ers: Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
San Fran will be playing with house money in this spot, seeing as how they are already incredibly talented on both sides of the ball. It'll be all about depth with the No. 32 pick and Williams' versatility will give them some much needed depth on the defensive line.
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