NFL Mock Draft 2013: Disasters Sitting on Day 1 of NFL Draft
There are plenty of NFL draft prospects who look like potential studs at the next level, but there are some players who are disasters in the making for the teams choosing them.
Busts come in all shapes and sizes as well as positions, but the quarterback position is the most likely candidate for failure in the NFL. These players face immense expectations due to the importance of the position, and sometimes they cannot live up to those expectations.
This year, there are a few young quarterbacks set to be chosen in the first round that will fall victim to that fate.
Let's take a closer look at some of the first-round picks who will end up as busts in the NFL.
*Note: The players this piece focuses on are in italics.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
This year's draft class doesn't have any surefire quarterbacks, but Smith is thought to be the best on the board. The Chiefs new head coach, Andy Reid, could be looking to start fresh behind center and groom a new franchise quarterback.
Smith put up solid numbers this past season for West Virginia, compiling 4,205 yards and 42 touchdowns to only six interceptions, while completing 71 percent of his passes.
But Smith didn't fare so well against the likes of Texas Tech and Kansas State, both Mountaineer losses. He certainly looked invincible at the start of the season, but Smith didn't finish as strongly and his once-dominant numbers took a dive.
The West Virginia product has a great arm that makes him a threat to throw the deep ball, but he's proven to have problems in the short passing game, mostly with putting too much heat behind his shorter throws.
On top of that, Smith's pocket presence isn't anything to write home about. He'll often hold onto the ball for too long and that will make him an easy target in the NFL. With a superior pass rush at the next level, one has to wonder if he can make smart decisions with the uptick in pressure.
As we've learned with quarterbacks in the past, arm strength isn't everything. Clearly Smith has that working for him, but it remains to be seen if he can deal with the pressure he'll be facing if he joins a lackluster roster in Kansas City.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Against both the pass and run, the Jags were one of the worst teams in the NFL in 2012. Without many weapons on the offensive end, Jacksonville must sport a better defense if it hopes to compete next season. Werner would be a great addition on the edge, giving the Jags a legit pass-rusher who will make it uncomfortable in the pocket for opposing quarterbacks.
3. Oakland Raiders: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
As the NCAA's sack leader, Jones was a dominant force at the collegiate level for Georgia and looks to be a can't-miss prospect coming right out of college.
You have to love his athleticism and burst, both making him a terror on the defensive end. Jones explodes off the ball with the best of them, which gives him a huge advantage against opposing tackles.
However, size is an issue at this point, and Jones will need to add some bulk to his frame if he hopes to compete against the giants that are NFL offensive linemen. That shouldn't get in the way of future success, though, and is an easy fix.
It was a condition that doctors discovered when Jones was injured after taking a routine hit while playing for USC. It ended his days with the Trojans as the program would not clear him to play for risk of further injury.
Still, there's no telling how Jones' condition will respond to hits from NFL players and it could potentially impact him in the future.
If you remember, Michael Irvin's career was cut short due to the same issue, but he was able to at least have a 12-year career in the NFL. Peyton and Eli Manning's brother, Cooper, wasn't as fortunate, as his career was never able to get off the ground thanks to the condition.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Based on his size and overall ability, there's no question Joeckel is the best tackle in this draft. The Eagles had major difficulties buying time for their respective quarterbacks during the 2012 campaign and that can't continue if this team wants to rebound from a 4-12 season.
5. Detroit Lions: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
The Lions could use a talented pass-rusher on the edge to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks, so taking a shot with Moore makes the most sense at this point in the draft. Athleticism remains a question for the defensive end, but his strength and technique should help put him over the top.
6. Cleveland Browns: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Cleveland needs to improve its secondary for next season, and building a youthful foundation couldn't hurt. Milliner is an Alabama product, and Nick Saban's squads normally produce the very best on the defensive end that college football has to offer.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
With no major impact offensive certainties this early in the draft, the Cardinals will look to build upon their defense. While its pass defense was solid, Arizona finished No. 28 against the run in 2012. The big-bodied Lotulelei should help boost the defensive line up the middle. Look for Arizona to address its quarterback needs in free agency or by trade, if possible.
8. Buffalo Bills: Matt Barkley, QB, USC
Like the Chiefs, the Bills have a new head coach in town, Doug Marrone. That being said, the team could look to move on from the Ryan Fitzpatrick era as it hasn't proven to be much of a success.
A year ago, Barkley seemed like a surefire NFL quarterback who would make it at the professional level. However, after a less-than-stellar senior season, Barkley isn't such a safe bet anymore.
Barkley threw for 3,273 yards with 36 touchdowns and 15 interceptions, while completing 63 percent of his passes. But he didn't do much to help his team in its losses to Stanford, Arizona and UCLA. To make matters worse and create more doubt, Barkley wasn't able to finish the season due to a shoulder injury.
In his last four games (1-3), Barkley threw 14 touchdowns and nine picks. By comparison, the USC product threw just six interceptions in his first seven games.
Besides a horrid finish to the season that has left many with a sour taste in their mouths, Barkley has some glaring negatives that he must address if he wants any chance at success at the next level.
Deep throws are a major area of concern for Barkley, as he doesn't possess the arm strength nor accuracy to make said throws at the NFL level. Also, if Barkley doesn't have adequate time to throw the ball, he is a lock to make mistakes and has poor judgement with his throws to begin with.
If Barkley made poor decisions that led to major mistakes at the collegiate level, there's no telling how badly opposing defenses will eat him up in the pros. The Bills will likely take him anyway, but it will prove to be a grave mistake on their part.
9. New York Jets: Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU
New York has so many holes on offense, you would think this would be the place to address at least one of them. However, the Jets have so many young, inexperienced pieces on offense already, they will likely look to insert veterans in those holes if possible. Head coach Rex Ryan will instead add some youth to his defense, and Mingo is a fearsome pass-rusher who could dominate on the edge.
10. Tennessee Titans: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
The Titans did not run the ball with success in 2012, so an improvement on the offensive line is absolutely necessary in this draft. Drafting Warmack will give Tennessee a prospect with great size and strength who can help the team immediately.
11. San Diego Chargers: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
If it felt like Philip Rivers was running for his life every Sunday during the 2012 season, it's because he was. The Chargers lacked any resistance to opposing pass-rushers upfront, and their passing game suffered as a result.
That's a shame considering Rivers has so many weapons to get the ball to. Obviously this needs to change, so the Chargers will look to Fisher to help them out, which could prove costly in the long run.
Fisher played at Central Michigan and, unfortunately for the big tackle, his squad didn't play many quality opponents. In fact, the Chippewas only played one ranked opponent this past season, Michigan State, and got pummeled, 41-7.
Off the line, Fisher doesn't overpower opposing defenders and this could make him a liability in the run game. His inability to fire off the line will present a problem in short-yardage situations.
Also, Fisher's judgement on when to engage pass-rushers on passing plays can present a problem for the quarterback he's protecting, and he doesn't use his length to his advantage in those instances.
Fisher's size is no doubt impressive, but it has also hindered the Central Michigan product, and his lacking of certain fundamentals could make the move to the NFL a difficult one.
12. Miami Dolphins: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Patterson has the best combination of size and speed at the receiver position in this draft. His ability to play over the middle or on the outside will give the Dolphins the versatile weapon they are so desperately seeking in their receiving corps.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
While the Bucs were the best in the NFL against the run in 2012, they were ranked No. 32 against the pass, which simply has to change. Vaccaro can play both safety positions and has a nose for the ball, which should help improve Tampa Bay's dreadful secondary.
14. Carolina Panthers: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
Drafting Luke Kuechly last season was the first step toward improving up the middle, but the Panthers must continue to build on that selection and bring in a big body. Richardson no doubt fits the description and should be an upgrade from the first day he steps onto the field.
15. New Orleans Saints: Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
As much as the Saints could use some offensive line help, their rankings of No. 31 and No. 32 against the pass and run, respectively, prove defense should be the main focus in this draft. New Orleans desperately needs someone who can get to the quarterback, and Jordan's athleticism makes him a perfect candidate to give the Saints the pass-rusher they need.
16. St. Louis Rams: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
The Rams saw a vast improvement in their defense last season, but offensively this team is stuck in neutral. Pressure on Sam Bradford is a constant, so this team needs an offensive lineman who can help alleviate that issue. Cooper is a physical presence on the inside who will not only help protect Bradford, but also create some big holes for St. Louis' interior rushing attack.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame
Pittsburgh does have some holes on the offensive side it needs to address, but getting a shot at a prospect like Te'o will be too hard to pass up. The Steelers are infamous for grooming elite linebackers in the NFL, and Te'o no doubt has the goods to be their next successful project.
18. Dallas Cowboys: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
The biggest weakness the Cowboys had on defense was against the run, finishing with the No. 22 run defense in the NFL. Dallas must add a big, physical presence up the middle to help that problem and Floyd is the best candidate to fill the void.
19. New York Giants: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
Year after year, we hear all about how great the Giants' pass rush is, and as a result their horrid secondary is ignored. But this past season, the Giants got burnt deep far too many times, which has left fans screaming for an upgrade in their pass defense. Rhodes is the smartest choice New York can make with this pick in regards to need, and he should give the Giants a boost in the secondary for years to come.
20. Chicago Bears: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
The Bears certainly aren't lacking weapons on offense, so it comes as a surprise that they had the No. 29 passing attack in the NFL in 2012. The biggest cause of this ineptitude was an inconsistent offensive line, which made things far more difficult for Jay Cutler. Johnson will be the best available offensive lineman on the board at this spot in the draft, and that makes him a lock to join Chicago.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Alec Ogletree, OLB, Georgia
Cincinnati is pretty solid up the middle defensively, so now all that's left is to make improvements on the outside. Ogletree is a versatile linebacker with a big-hit ability and great athleticism that will help him put pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
22. St. Louis Rams (From Washington): Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
Offensive lineman: check. The next order of business for the Rams is delivering a playmaker for their quarterback, and Eifert is the smart choice. Not only is he a threat in the passing game, but Eifert's improved blocking skills also make him a versatile tight end prospect.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Keenan Allen, WR, California
Minnesota had the No. 2 rushing attack in the NFL last season. It was the complete opposite in the passing attack, however, as the passing game ranked as the No. 31 unit in the league. The predictability of the Vikings offense must change if they want continued success, and a receiver like Allen would be a step in the right direction.
24. Indianapolis Colts: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
Both the defensive and offensive lines of the Colts could use an upgrade, but this team's secondary is by far the biggest weakness. If Indianapolis was to choose Banks, it would be setting up a solid foundation on which to build its secondary.
25. Seattle Seahawks: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
Overall, the Seahawks are in great shape on both sides of the ball, but one area that could be improved is the offensive line. Fluker would give the Seahawks a boost on the edge and should help neutralize some of the better pass-rushers in the NFL.
26. Green Bay Packers: Barrett Jones, C, Alabama
The most glaring weakness on the Packers last season was the offensive line. With multiple issues upfront and only one pick in the first round, a versatile lineman like Jones would be ideal.
27. Houston Texans: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
Houston could use some help in its secondary, but without a viable cornerback available at this point in the draft, the Texans will choose a receiver instead. The pick of Austin works because the young playmaker will be able to line up with Andre Johnson, and that should help give him plenty of space to work with.
Who is the better inside linebacker?
28. Denver Broncos: Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU
Shoring up the middle of their defense should be a focal point this offseason. We already know how good the Broncos are on the edge, but just imagine if they had a solid presence on the inside. Minter could be the answer here, adding to an already scary front seven.
29. New England Patriots: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
New England has enjoyed some high-powered offenses in recent seasons, so it's likely that is a trend it desires to continue. Look for the Pats to address their defensive needs with veterans in free agency, while their first pick of the draft should be Hopkins, who could end up being Wes Welker's replacement.
30. Atlanta Falcons: Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
This team needs a presence on the edge and the Falcons could solve that issue by picking Montgomery. The LSU product utilizes great footwork and strength and is no stranger to having success against bigger offensive linemen.
31. San Francisco 49ers: Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
There aren't really too many needs for the 49ers to fill during this draft. In a case like this, it will be all about adding some extra bodies to back up the guys that are already on the roster. Williams will fit nicely with San Francisco and should have plenty of time to develop.
32. Baltimore Ravens: Matt Elam, SS, Florida
With their future uncertain at safety, the Ravens will look to answer a few questions by addressing their needs in the secondary. Elam is the logical choice to start moving this defense into the future as Father Time begins to catch up to them.
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