2013 NFL Mock Draft: Players Who Will Make Immediate Impact at Next Level
The NFL draft is a great opportunity for teams to build their rosters for the long term. However, some teams will get an NFL-ready player who will make an immediate impact the day they step on the field.
It isn't easy to find these types of prospects, but normally one can draw the conclusion that a draft pick will become an immediate player for a particular team based on his size, natural ability and overall dominance at the collegiate level.
Let's take a closer look at which players fit this description.
*Note: Players piece focuses on are in italics
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Smith might need some work in order to make it in the NFL, but he is an intriguing prospect nonetheless. The Chiefs are in definite rebuilding mode, so Andy Reid's squad is a perfect fit for a young quarterback trying to develop.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Werner was one of the most talented pass-rushers in college football this past season, compiling 13 sacks, and those skills should translate to NFL success almost right away.
For starters, Werner is a big man at 6'4'' and 255 pounds. Granted, he could add some more bulk to his frame, but he's certainly off to a good start in the size department.
The former Florida State defensive end is a terror on the edge, possessing the type of speed and off-the-ball explosiveness that allows him to flat out run around opposing offensive linemen.
But Werner isn't limited to just speed as he also has immense strength that gives him an advantage when trying to go through an offensive lineman.
Not only is Werner a vicious pass-rusher, but he can also play against the run effectively, thus allowing him to stay on the field for more downs per contest.
3. Oakland Raiders: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
Jones was nothing short of a dominant pass-rusher at the collegiate level as he led the NCAA in sacks with 14.5 last season.
The Georgia product would be a great fit for any defensive scheme, with the ability to play both inside and outside linebacker positions.
Jones is explosive off the ball, so that immediately gives him an edge against opposing offensive linemen. He might not be the biggest of the bunch, but Jones has incredible speed that allows him to run around anyone trying to stop him.
He also has a knack for getting his hands on the ball, as evidenced by the nine forced fumbles he had during his collegiate career.
The only knock on Jones is his medical condition, spinal stenosis, which could potentially end his career early. Despite that, he should make an impact in the NFL from day one.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Joeckel was one of the key offensive linemen for the Aggies, helping quarterback Johnny Manziel win the Heisman Trophy.
His size is the first thing that jumps out at you. The former Aggies tackle stands at 6'6'' and 310 pounds, so clearly he is big enough to hang with the big boys in the NFL.
Joeckel's athleticism is another impressive quality. Most guys his size have a tough time making quick movements to adjust to the pass rush, but Joeckel makes those same moves look effortless.
Strength is another important facet of Joeckel's game as the big tackle is strong enough to push even the most elite pass-rushers to the outside and away from the pocket. That same strength allows him to push defenders backwards and to the ground, making him an effective run-blocker as well.
5. Detroit Lions: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
Moore could be an effective pass-rusher in the NFL one day, but the Lions will have a project on their hands if they choose to take him. Still, athleticism is his biggest issue, but Moore does have the raw skills to be effective in the future.
6. Cleveland Browns: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
With his pedigree coming from Alabama coach Nick Saban, Milliner may be close to NFL-ready, but he isn't there just yet. Footwork is a concern for Milliner at this stage in his young career, but some work with NFL coaching should be able to help fix those issues.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
Another NFL-ready prospect, Lotulelei is a huge prospect at 6'4'' and 320 pounds, making him an ideal fit up the middle for any defensive line right away. Not only that, but Lotulelei possesses the type of speed that makes him a super-human athlete.
Strength is a huge plus in Lotulelei's game and gives him the ability to simply overpower offensive linemen. On top of that, he is explosive off the snap, which is a necessity to be an effective run-stopper in the NFL.
Lotulelei is a versatile lineman and can play in different schemes as well as line up in different positions on the field. That should help him adapt to any system he plays in early on in his career.
8. Buffalo Bills: Matt Barkley, QB, USC
With the Ryan Fitzpatrick experiment proving mostly unsuccessful, the Bills will take Barkley in the hopes that he is the next great signal-caller in the franchise's history. Some work will be necessary to make Barkley an ideal quarterback, but he has the tools to get to that point someday.
9. New York Jets: Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU
The Jets seriously lacked a solid pass rush last season, but the addition of Mingo should help in that department down the road. His athleticism is impressive and he does have raw football skills, but some development is needed to complete the transition to the NFL.
10. Tennessee Titans: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
One of the bigger offensive linemen in the college game, Warmack's 6'3'' 320-pound frame ensures he will be an unmovable force on the offensive line from the jump.
Warmack was a huge reason for the success of Alabama's rushing attack the past few seasons and his strength and drive-blocking ability will make him a force for the Titans' inside rushing attack.
Athleticism isn't Warmack's best trait, but he does have sufficient athleticism to have success in the NFL. He is certainly a better fit for a run-heavy offense, but with a little extra work, Warmack can be an effective pass-blocker, as well.
11. San Diego Chargers: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
The Chargers' bread and butter has always been their passing attack since Phillip Rivers took over, so it's only natural that they attempt to build up their offensive line. Fisher would be a nice fit here, but it remains to be seen how he can compete in the NFL after facing a lackluster college schedule.
12. Miami Dolphins: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Patterson has a great mix of size and speed in his arsenal, so that makes him the best receiver on the board in this draft. The Dolphins need to expand their offensive attack with more receivers, so Patterson is a great fit for this team.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
When the Bucs were at their best in the past, defense was the key. Building up their secondary is a must and a versatile safety like Vaccaro may be just what the doctor ordered.
14. Carolina Panthers: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
Carolina drafted Luke Kuechly last season to help shore up the middle of their defense, but more work is still needed in that department if the Panthers hope to resurrect their defense. Richardson is a beast in the making in the NFL and could be a dominant force up the middle with some work.
15. New Orleans Saints: Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
We know all about the various weapons the Saints' offense has, but defense is the major issue this team has. Jordan's presence on the edge will give New Orleans a legit pass-rusher for years to come.
16. St. Louis Rams: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
The first order of business for St. Louis will be to beef up its offensive line this offseason and that quest will continue in the draft. Cooper should give the Rams some depth right away, but expect it to be a year or two before he makes a serious impact in the NFL.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame
Te'o was once thought to be a top 10 pick in this year's draft, but his stock has since taken a hit for both on- and off-the-field issues. That's fine for the Steelers, who will happily draft Te'o and attempt to turn him into their next great linebacker.
18. Dallas Cowboys: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Along with Monte Kiffin's arrival to Dallas will be the switch to a 4-3 defense. In this instance, the Cowboys will need another body up the middle to give them a hand, so picking Floyd in this spot makes the most sense.
19. New York Giants: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
A glaring weakness in the Giants' defense has been in their secondary and clearly Corey Webster is not the stud the team was hoping for. Rhodes has the potential to be that stud for New York, so the Giants' best bet would be going in that direction.
20. Chicago Bears: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
Jay Cutler suffered numerous injuries last seen as a result of a poor offensive line. If the Bears truly expect to get better offensively, they must put together a better group up front. That goal starts with drafting Johnson, amongst making other moves during this offseason.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Alec Ogletree, OLB, Georgia
The Bengals have built themselves a solid defense in past years, but the linebacking corps could use another body on the outside. Ogletree seems to be the best fit at this spot in the draft and could become a stellar linebacker at the pro level.
22. St. Louis Rams (From Washington): Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
Eifert is easily the most complete tight end in this year's draft, possessing both solid blocking and receiving skills. Granted, there's much room for improvement moving forward, but Eifert would be a steal this late in the first round.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Keenan Allen, WR, California
The Vikings can't expect to keep winning with their one-dimensional rushing offense led by Adrian Peterson. Improvements must be made to the receiving corps and as long as he can get healthy and stay that way, Allen could be the answer to Minnesota's problems.
24. Indianapolis Colts: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
The Colts are moving in the right direction as far as their offense is concerned, but defensively they are a mess. The biggest problem was their pass defense, which was among the worst in the league. Banks will be the best cornerback on the board at this point, so the Colts must pounce on him.
25. Seattle Seahawks: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
Seattle has a bright future on the offensive side of the ball thanks to Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch. It would be a good idea for the Seahawks to continue to build their offensive line to keep that future moving forward, so Fluker is the logical choice with this pick.
26. Green Bay Packers: Barrett Jones, C, Alabama
The Packers made a late switch from Jeff Saturday to Evan Dietrich-Smith during the season, but that still didn't help Green Bay's dreadful offensive line. Jones is a great fit because he can line up in multiple positions on the offensive line, allowing the Packers to utilize him however they need to.
27. Houston Texans: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
We all know Houston can run the ball as good as any team in the NFL, but its passing attack needs some work. Matt Schaub doesn't have many weapons at his disposal, but Austin could be the answer for the Texans.
28. Denver Broncos: Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU
The focus for the Broncos in this year's draft will be on the defensive end as they already have plenty of weapons on offense. Denver could use another linebacker up the middle to help complement its two studs on the outside, so an inside linebacker like Minter is a great fit for this team.
29. New England Patriots: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
Tom Brady loves him some weapons on offense, so the potential of losing Wes Welker could hurt a bit. However, the Pats could go the inexpensive route and look to replace Welker through the draft. Hopkins will be New England's best bet at this late stage in the first round.
30. Atlanta Falcons: Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
The Falcons are just about set on the offensive side of the ball, so defense will be a major focus for this team in the draft. Montgomery is easily the best pass-rusher left on the board here, so Atlanta would be wise to take him.
31. Baltimore Ravens: Matt Elam, SS, Florida
The Ravens aren't getting any younger on defense and an injection of youth is absolutely necessary to help keep this unit relevant in the future. Elam won't be a major impact right away, but with a little work and patience he could come close to filling Ed Reed's shoes one day.
32. San Francisco 49ers: Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
The Niners need some depth on their defensive front and Williams would give them that. Granted, he won't be a stud right away, but he won't need to be with all the talent the 49ers have on their defense.
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