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Mel Kiper Mock Draft 2013: Analysis of Latest Pre-Combine Draft

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Mel Kiper Mock Draft 2013: Analysis of Latest Pre-Combine Draft
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Mel Kiper, Jr. released his latest 2013 NFL mock draft just after Super Bowl XLVII in early February.

Also, with the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine coming up, there's plenty to discuss across pro football's spectrum regarding draft season.

Kiper's mock has some expected prospects going in the Top 10, as well as those who are slated to go at the back end of Round 1 without surprise. There are, however, some interesting selections as well.

So, let's break it all down and get the debate started. 

 

Note: To view Kiper's latest mock draft via the link above, ESPN's Insider account is required.

 

1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT (Texas A&M)

Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Taking arguably the draft's top overall prospect is a good move, because 2013 isn't nearly as talented at quarterback as last season. Joeckel fills a need and is the right value.


2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Damontre Moore: DE (Texas A&M)

This would be an excellent selection here for Jacksonville. The defense is in dire need of an edge-rusher, and Damontre Moore fits nicely. Although, Texas A&M going No. 1 and No. 2 overall is a bit surprising.


3. Oakland Raiders: Star Lotulelei, DT (Utah)

The Raiders desperately need to improve against the run. For proof, just watch the Tampa Bay game. Star Lotulelei will get the job done. His size and power alone for Oakland makes this a great mock pick.

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4. Philadelphia Eagles: Dee Milliner, CB (Alabama)

This is an interesting selection for the Eagles, but Philadelphia's pass defense was suspect in 2012. The front seven didn't help much either. Given their secondary's overall established talent, the Eagles giving up 33 passing touchdowns certainly does make Dee Milliner an appealing prospect.

 

5. Detroit Lions: Jarvis Jones, LB (Georgia)

In a division that features the Green Bay Packers' dangerous offense, a stronger pass rush is required. Jarvis Jones fills a significant void for the Lions, and the Motor City does improve its run defense as well. Should Jones get taken before No. 5, however, there are plenty of front-seven studs to get Detroit back on track.


6. Cleveland Browns: Bjoern Werner, DE (Florida State)

Bjoern Werner to Cleveland is a solid pick, but only because Kiper has Dee Milliner off the board to Philadelphia.

Needing to improve their coverage, the Browns can utilize Werner's instincts multiple ways. Not to mention he'll help the perimeter against the run.


7. Arizona Cardinals: Eric Fisher, OT (Central Michigan)

This is a great projection for the Cardinals, simply because Eric Fisher is a technically sound pass protector. At the same time, Arizona really needs to enhance the offensive line for a safer pocket and to establish a running game.

 

8. Buffalo Bills: Alec Ogletree, LB (Georgia)

Without question, Alec Ogletree fills a dire need at linebacker for Buffalo. At the same time, though, he is a bit undersized for the linebacker position in a 4-3 and has limited experience at the position compared to other prospects. Additionally, he comes with risk after being charged with DUI, per NFL.com.

Provided he bulks up without losing speed and athleticism, Ogletree will be a beast for the Bills. But his success at Georgia also goes to the talent on that entire defense as well.

 

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9. New York Jets: Dion Jordan, DE (Oregon)

Just by his size and athleticism alone is Dion Jordan an excellent selection for the Jets.

As a vulnerable run defense and lacking a consistent pass rush, Jordan helps Gang Green's front seven. Backed by a solid pass defense, Jordan will get some coverage sacks as well.

 

10. Tennessee Titans: Barkevious Mingo, DE (LSU)

Barkevious Mingo is a nice pass-rushing addition for the Titans.

However, Tennessee did record 39 sacks despite giving up a 66.3 completion percentage and 31 passing touchdowns. This defense has to upgrade the secondary, so although Mingo would help enhance the rush, getting better in the secondary addresses a greater need.

 

11. San Diego Chargers: Jonathan Cooper, OG (North Carolina)

San Diego is a nice spot for Cooper because the Chargers need to spruce up the offensive line. Cooper will help with the ground game and he's also a reliable pass-blocker.

 

12. Miami Dolphins: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR (Tennessee)

With just one impressive season under hit belt, No. 12 is a reach for Cordarrelle Patterson.

Miami certainly can use a standout receiver, but California's Keenan Allen projects better as a more established target.

J. Meric/Getty Images

 

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Manti Te'o, LB (Notre Dame)

If anything, the Buccaneers have to address the secondary. The absence of a pass rush and reliable coverage cost Tampa heavily in 2012, so Manti Te'o only helps bolster the run defense and intermediate coverage.

Offenses will simply continue to attack the Bucs' downfield unless a top cornerback is taken to develop as a No. 1 coverage player.

 

14. Carolina Panthers: Sheldon Richardson, DT (Missouri)

This is a perfect spot for Sheldon Richardson. The Panthers need an interior rusher capable of clogging running lanes and taking on blockers for Luke Kuechly and Charles Johnson.

 

15. New Orleans Saints: Sharrif Floyd, DT (Florida)

This is another great position for a defensive tackle, because much like Carolina, New Orleans must upgrade its interior defensive front and get a guy that will stuff the run and draw double-teams.

 

16. St. Louis Rams: Lane Johnson, OT (Oklahoma)

St. Louis does itself a favor by enhancing the offensive line in a defensively tough division. With Sam Bradford's array of receiving targets, as well as another Round 1 selection, Lane Johnson allows the Rams to field more balance.

 

17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Ezekiel Ansah, DE (BYU)

Not only do the Steelers need youth in Dick LeBeau's defensive front, but they also need versatility.

Ezekiel Ansah does just that as a capable pass-rusher and run-defender.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

 

18. Dallas Cowboys: Chance Warmack, OG (Alabama)

Chance Warmack is definitely a great fit for Dallas, but it would be surprising to see him drop this far.

As arguably the best offensive line prospect in the 2013 class, Warmack has Top 5 potential. Although the previous offensive line picks by K.C., Arizona, San Diego and St. Louis are great, Warmck is arguably a better fit for each.

 

19. New York Giants: Zach Ertz, TE (Stanford)

The Giants don't need offense, they need defense.

Recording a mere 33 sacks last season, Big Blue also allowed an average of 4.6 yards per rush. Zach Ertz would be a great addition to Eli Manning's receiving corps, but Martellus Bennett proved to be a reliable option in 2012.

 

20. Chicago Bears: D.J. Fluker, OT (Alabama)

For one, it's reasonable to expect Chicago trading up to draft a top offensive line prospect. Secondly, D.J. Fluker is not a dominant pass-blocker, and Jay Cutler needs stronger pocket protection.

 

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Kenny Vaccaro, Safety (Texas)

The Bengals need better coverage players to assist the pass rush. Kenny Vaccaro has the man and zone skills to lock it down. In turn, Cincinnati's pass rush gets a bit more time to apply pressure.

 

22. St. Louis Rams (via Washington Redskins): Keenan Allen, WR (California)

Should Keenan Allen be available here the Rams will get a steal at the back end of Round 1. Allen possesses Top 15 potential, so as long as a deep-threat playmaking receiver gets selected here, St. Louis will immediately improve.

 

23. Minnesota Vikings: Sylvester Williams, DT (North Carolina)

The defense is already sound against the run and for applying quarterback pressure. And with Christian Ponder at quarterback the Vikings have to get him more playmaking receivers. 

Should Minnesota address defense, though, the secondary must get more help as it gave up a 63.9 completion percentage and managed only 10 picks last season.

 

24. Indianapolis Colts: Johnthan Banks, CB (Mississippi State)

Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

Although the Colts didn't get much of a pass rush in 2012, the coverage wasn't reliable either.

Johnthan Banks brings the field awareness that makes him capable of shutting down one side. Do not, however, be surprised if he gets selected sooner.

 

25. Seattle Seahawks: Johnathan Hankins, DT (Ohio State)

Allowing an average of 4.5 yards per rush last season, Seattle gets a rock in Johnathan Hankins for stifling any ground game. The next step is for the outside rushers to accumulate more sacks and force fumbles.

 

26. Green Bay Packers: Eddie Lacy, RB (Alabama)

It's a deep running back class for Rounds 2 and 3, so reaching for Eddie Lacy isn't a bad idea. Although the Packers need to upgrade the offensive line, Lacy's complete skill set adds balance to Green Bay.

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27. Houston Texans: Quinton Patton, WR (Louisiana Tech)

Matt Schaub orchestrates a balanced offense focused around Arian Foster, so adding a receiver isn't nearly as important as improving the pass defense.

The Texans struggled against elite quarterbacks, which put more pressure on the offense. Instead, taking a cornerback such as Xavier Rhodes or Desmond Trufant would suffice. 

 

28. Denver Broncos: Kawann Short, DT (Purdue)

The Broncos' defensive line is capable of controlling the line of scrimmage. Otherwise, Denver doesn't rack up 52 sacks and allow only 3.6 per rushing attempt.

The secondary cost Denver in the postseason, and that impacted the front seven's ability to dominate. Kawann Short is certainly a stud capable of creating backfield havoc, but a cornerback with No. 1 potential is a greater need in Round 1.

A linebacker to play opposite of Von Miller also fits, because it would help the intermediate coverage and edge run defense.

 

29. New England Patriots: Matt Elam, Safety (Florida)

Pass defense cost the Patriots last season, just as it did against the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI. Matt Elam's dynamics in coverage and instincts to roll down will help at all field dimensions.

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30. Atlanta Falcons: Tyler Eifert, TE (Notre Dame)

The Falcons need to get younger at tight end and Tyler Eifert's potential is unlimited. His dependability against any coverage will simply derive attention from Julio Jones and Roddy White.

 

31. San Francisco 49ers: John Jenkins, DT (Georgia)

San Francisco is aging along the defensive front, so landing John Jenkins helps the future.

Presenting the size capable of clogging two gaps, Jenkins will inflate the numbers of the 49ers' linebacking corps.

 

32. Baltimore Ravens: Kevin Minter, LB (LSU)

Baltimore can almost select anyone to play inside linebacker, because the Ravens possess great talent elsewhere in the front seven. Therefore, Kevin Minter's responsibilities will be limited, allowing him to develop and produce efficiently.

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