2013 NFL Mock Draft: Jarvis Jones and Franchise Players Flying Under Radar
In the first round of the NFL Draft, every franchise is looking to select its next cornerstone—a player who will become the face of the organization and its most dominant force on the field.
Unfortunately, not every team will find that player this spring.
Here we'll mock up the entire first round of the 2013 NFL Draft, taking a closer look at all 32 picks and breaking down a few under-the-radar franchise talents along the way.
*Note: Franchise players flying under the radar are italicized.
No. 1. Kansas City Chiefs (2-14): Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M, OT
With no real franchise quarterbacks coming out this spring, the Kansas City Chiefs could very well opt for the franchise offensive lineman.
At 6'6" and 310 pounds, the Aggies' Luke Joeckel is a stud on the outside edge, and would add a tremendous boost to the Chiefs' struggling offensive front.
No. 2. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14): Damontre Moore, Texas A&M, DE
A 6'4", 250-pound pass-rusher, Texas A&M's Damontre Moore is the ideal fit for Jacksonville—a team that gave opposing quarterbacks all day to throw the football in 2012.
No. 3. Oakland Raiders (4-12) : Star Lotulelei, Utah, DT
The Raiders are desperate to start winning again, and one way to ensure success is to add talent on the defensive side of the ball. Utah's Star Lotulelei is a force at the line of scrimmage and could help bolster Oakland's front seven in the coming years.
No. 4. Philadelphia Eagles (4-12): Eric Fisher, Central Michigan, OT
A 6'7" offensive tackle, Eric Fisher is only going to gain support as the draft nears. Look for a team like Philadelphia to reach for him at No. 4.
The Eagles' offensive line issues have been well documented, and Chip Kelly will likely want to patch things up on the line before he addresses any other needs.
No. 5. Detroit Lions (4-12): Jarvis Jones, Georgia, LB
Georgia's Jarvis Jones was a destructive defensive force in college, and now looks to transition into the NFL version of a havoc-wreaking defender.
Although some don't consider Jones to be a franchise player, he certainly possesses the potential to become one. His ability to move from side to side and also pressure the passer will make him a star at the next level.
With a team like Detroit, Jones would quickly become the face of the defense—and one of the franchise's most pivotal pieces.
No. 6. Cleveland Browns (5-11): Bjoern Werner, Florida State, DE
Cleveland's defense has been nothing to sneeze at in recent seasons, but if there is a pressing need, it's certainly at defensive end—where the Browns have lacked an elite pass-rusher for some time now.
Werner possesses an exceptional motor that will surely lead to a plethora of sacks.
No. 7. Arizona Cardinals (5-11): Geno Smith, West Virginia, QB
A 4,000-plus yard passer in each of the past two seasons with the Mountaineers, Geno Smith is a strong-armed signal-caller with accuracy good enough to make it in the NFL.
With very few standout quarterbacks entering the draft this year, Smith looks to be the first taken.
No. 8. Buffalo Bills (6-10): Manti Te'o, Notre Dame, LB
Manti Te'o's production at Notre Dame impresses and his nonstop motor sets him apart.
No. 9. New York Jets (6-10): Barkevious Mingo, LSU, DE
At No. 9, the Jets would be wise to go after a talented pass-rusher rather than reaching for an offensive weapon that they could potentially acquire in the later rounds. LSU's Barkevious Mingo isn't a fully-developed beast on the outside edge, but he has all the athleticism required, plus room to improve.
No. 10. Tennessee Titans (6-10): Chance Warmack, Alabama, G
The hands-down best guard available this spring, Bama's Chance Warmack is 325 pounds of elite offensive lineman.
No. 11. San Diego Chargers (7-9): Lane Johnson, Oklahoma, OT
Talented blindside protectors are difficult to come by, and that's why I believe Oklahoma's Lane Johnson becomes the third offensive tackle to hear his name called within the first 11 picks in 2013.
No. 12. Miami Dolphins (7-9): Keenan Allen, California, WR
Keenan Allen is one potential franchise player flying under the radar in 2013. The former California Golden Bear boasts all the attributes that NFL coaches love to see in an elite wide receiver.
Allen has the size and build to make it right away at the next level. In addition to the physical, the drive is there with Allen. That is why the Miami Dolphins would be wise to bolster their receiving corps with the young talent.
You won't find a more competitive receiver with a better pair of hands than Allen. He's got franchise player written all over him. It may be in fine print, but it's there I assure you.
Which NFC South team will have the best first-round?
No. 13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9): Dee Milliner, Alabama, CB
Tampa Bay needs some help on the outside, and Alabama's Dee Milliner is just the guy to assist in that area. Milliner would be able to make an immediate impact for Greg Schiano's Bucs.
No. 14. Carolina Panthers (7-9): Sheldon Richardson, Missouri, DT
You'd be hard-pressed to find an offensive lineman capable of keeping Missouri's Sheldon Richardson out of the back field. The 6'3", 290-pound defensive tackle is as explosive as they come and will make a name for himself at the next level by bursting through the line and making plays.
No. 15. New Orleans Saints (7-9): Dion Jordan, Oregon, DE
The New Orleans Saints must address the defensive side of the ball this spring, and Oregon pass-rusher Dion Jordan would be an excellent way to start.
A versatile athlete, Jordan would add another dimension to the Saints' desperate D.
No. 16. St. Louis Rams (7-8-1): Kenny Vaccaro, Texas, S
Arguably the best safety coming out this spring, the Longhorns' Kenny Vaccaro boasts tremendous cover abilities and durability, making him a safe bet at No. 16 for St. Louis.
No. 17. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8): Ezekiel Ansah, BYU, DE
Pittsburgh's defense didn't look anything like itself in 2012, failing to generate turnovers and missing out on key stops late in close games.
Brigham Young's Ezekiel Ansah isn't going to develop into a takeaway machine, but with some solid coaching, he could become the Steelers' next great terror coming off the edge.
No. 18. Dallas Cowboys (8-8): Kawann Short, Purdue, DT
The Dallas Cowboys need to generate a bigger push at the line of scrimmage to become a more fearsome defensive unit, and Purdue's Kawann Short is just the man to do it.
Although many overlook defensive tackles during the draft—treating them as nothing more than human walls—the truth is that they can set the tone for a defense year in and year out. That's why Short has franchise player potential. He's a strong leader and a dedicated player.
Dallas needs a guy like that, someone who's willing to work and set the tone for his teammates.
No. 19. New York Giants (9-7): Shariff Floyd, Florida, DT
Shariff Floyd is a versatile defensive lineman who can help bring some youth to New York's aging D-line.
No. 20. Chicago Bears (10-6): Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame, TE
No one would dare make the comparison between Notre Dame's Tyler Eifert and Tony Gonzalez, but the 22-year-old certainly has a bright future in the NFL.
A 6'6", 250-pound pass-catcher, Eifert reflects how the tight end position is evolving. No longer do teams look for a talented blocker with a solid set of hands. Nowadays it pays to have an elite athlete at the position, someone who can create matchup nightmares and run like a wideout.
That's why Eifert could be a franchise player for the Chicago Bears, a team in need of another downfield target to team up with wide receiver Brandon Marshall.
Which Georgia LB will have the better NFL career?
No. 21. Cincinnati Bengals (10-6): Alec Ogletree, Georgia, LB
Alec Ogletree definitely boosted his stock with his performance against Alabama in the SEC Championship Game last December. I wouldn't be surprised if a fringe team like Cincinnati took a run at him in the middle of the first round.
No. 22. St. Louis Rams (via Washington Redskins (10-6)): Johnathan Jenkins, Georgia, DT
A big man who can help shut down opposing running backs for the Rams for years to come.
No. 23. Minnesota Vikings (10-6): Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee, WR
Christian Ponder isn't entirely to blame for the Vikings' underwhelming passing attack in 2012. He needs some help on the outside.
Tennessee's Cordarrelle Patterson, a 6'3", 205-pound target could help take the pressure off Ponder and Adrian Peterson.
Which 2012 Wild Card team will finish with a better record in 2013?
No. 24. Indianapolis Colts (11-5): Sylvester Williams, North Carolina, DT
A massive, 320-pound run-stopper, North Carolina's Sylvester Williams has the motor and the quickness to make a difference at the next level. With the Colts looking to return to perennial playoff contender status, he'd be a huge add.
No. 25. Seattle Seahawks (11-5): Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State, DT
Seattle is knocking at the door, but the Seahawks need a few more pieces to become Super Bowl champions. Adding a mighty defensive tackle like Ohio State's Johnathan Hankins would be an ideal first step.
No. 26. Green Bay Packers (11-5): D.J. Fluker, Alabama, OT
If the Packers want to return to the Super Bowl, they can't have Aaron Rodgers running for his life.
Alabama's D.J. Fluker is a solid prospect and one who would bring some stability to Green Bay's vulnerable offensive line.
No. 27. Houston Texans (12-4): Tavon Austin, West Virginia, WR
Andre Johnson isn't getting any younger and that's why the Texans would be wise to pursue a shifty playmaker late in the first-round in 2013.
West Virginia's Tavon Austin possesses both the speed and versatility that Houston's offense lacks at the moment. He's a bit undersized at 5'8" and 175 pounds, but explosive nonetheless.
No. 28. Denver Broncos (13-3): Xavier Rhodes, Florida State, CB
The Baltimore Ravens embarrassed Denver's secondary in the playoffs this past January, convincing the Broncos that they must bolster their defense on the outside, perhaps by adding Florida State corner Xavier Rhodes in the first-round.
No. 29. New England Patriots (12-4): Matt Elam, Florida, S
Bill Belichick loves to draft Florida Gators, and Matt Elam would help fill a need for the Pats in the secondary. The hard-hitting safety is an excellent option late in the first round for a perennial Super Bowl challenger in New England.
No. 30. Atlanta Falcons (13-3): Sam Montgomery, LSU, DE
If the Falcons hope to take the next step in 2013, from NFC Championship Game to Super Bowl, then they will need to maintain a fierce pass rush. That's where LSU's Sam Montgomery comes into play.
Atlanta could use a high-energy player like Montgomery, who will never give less than maximum effort.
No. 31. San Francisco 49ers (11-4-1): Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina, G
By drafting a talented offensive guard like Jonathan Cooper, the Niners will ensure that their offensive line remains dominant for years to come.
No. 32. Baltimore Ravens (10-6): Kevin Minter, LSU, LB
Kevin Minter is another stellar prospect flying under the radar this year. The former LSU linebacker was a tackling machine for Les Miles in 2012, racking up 130 tackles this past season, including 20 in a loss to Florida last October.
With Ray Lewis retired, Minter would be welcomed sight for Ravens coaches and fans.
At 6'2", 245 pounds, the junior brings ideal measurements to the table, as well as excellent instincts. Although he would have a lot to live up to following in Lewis' footsteps at inside linebacker, he would have the youth factor on his side.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.
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