2013 NFL Mock Draft: Predicting Where Top WR's Will End Up

Jesse Reed@@JesseReed78Correspondent IFebruary 19, 2013

BERKELEY, CA - OCTOBER 06: Wide receiver Keenan Allen #21 of the California Golden Bears catches a pass for a touchdown past cornerback Sheldon Price #22 of the UCLA Bruins during the third quarter at California Memorial Stadium on October 6, 2012 in Berkeley, California. The California Golden Bears defeated the UCLA Bruins 43-17. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

There isn't a single wide receiver in the 2013 NFL draft class worthy of a top-10 pick, but that doesn't mean guys like Cordarrelle Patterson and Keenan Allen aren't going to be excellent pros.

This year's class is loaded with elite defenders that will dominate the top half of Round 1. That being said, there are certainly teams in need of receivers.

So where might the top wide receivers land in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft?

1. Kansas City Chiefs—OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M

The Chiefs would be smart to steer clear of selecting a quarterback with this first pick, and though Brandon Albert has been solid on the left side, he's nowhere near as good as Joeckel projects to be. Joeckel will be much cheaper to sign than Albert, too, making this an easy pick.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars—DE Bjoern Werner, Florida State

Jacksonville's pass-rush was practically invisible last year, and the team's defense suffered greatly against the pass as a result. Werner is one of the most solid players at any position in this year's draft, and he would be a starter from Day 1.

3. Oakland Raiders—QB Geno Smith, West Virginia

Terrelle Pryor is still very much a project quarterback, and Carson Palmer is way too expensive to keep on in 2013. There's no better time than the present for Reggie McKenzie and the Raiders to draft the quarterback of the future.

4. Philadelphia Eagles—DT Star Lotulelei, Utah

The Eagles need to shore up all three levels of their defense, but winning starts in the trenches. Lotulelei will upgrade the team's defensive line in a major way, and he's one of this year's can't-miss picks.

5. Detroit Lions—OT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan

If Matthew Stafford is ever going to realize his incredible potential, the Lions need to protect him. Fisher is this year's premier pass-blocking offensive tackle, and he'll be a tremendous upgrade over Riley Reiff, who would move over to the right side.

6. Cleveland Browns—OLB Dion Jordan, Oregon

A switch to a 3-4 defensive scheme under new defensive coordinator Ray Horton necessitates this pick. The Browns will need to bring in multiple pass-rushers this season, and Jordan is an elite prospect who possesses a seemingly unlimited amount of upside.

7. Arizona Cardinals—QB Mike Glennon, North Carolina State

Let me be clear: I'm not a fan of Glennon. That said, the Cardinals need a quarterback who can attack vertically to make use of their receivers, and he has the strongest arm of any quarterback in this year's draft class. 

8. Buffalo Bills—DE Damontre Moore, Texas A&M

Mark Anderson was a massive disappointment last year, and the Bills need to add another pass-rusher to play opposite Mario Williams. Moore isn't the best athlete in this year's draft class, but his relentless pursuit and knack for getting to opposing quarterbacks will make him a dangerous defender in the NFL.

9. New York Jets—QB Tyler Wilson, Arkansas

Mark Sanchez needs someone behind him who can legitimately push him to either get better of get out of the way. Wilson's leadership and strong arm makes him the ideal candidate for the job.

10. Tennessee Titans—S Kenny Vaccaro, Texas

There weren't many teams in the NFL worse at stopping opposing passing attacks last year than the Titans, and it's clear that Michael Griffin is trending the wrong way. Vaccaro would give Tennessee some much-needed stability in its secondary.

11. San Diego Chargers—CB Dee Milliner, Alabama

San Diego would have loved to see Fisher's name still on the board, but since there isn't an offensive tackle worth reaching for, the Chargers will do the next-best thing and upgrade their secondary.

12. Miami Dolphins—WR Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee

The Dolphins would be wise to bring in a young, talented receiver to grow with Ryan Tannehill, even if the team lands a coveted free-agent receiver this spring.

Patterson is this year's top receiving prospect. Blessed with elite speed, long arms, a tremendous ability to leap up and grab balls at their highest point and incredible open-field moves, he's going to be a phenomenal playmaker in the NFL.

The upside is certainly there for Patterson to become an elite player, but he's still rough around the edges—especially where route running is concerned. He'll primarily be a deep threat for his first year or two, but given some time and good coaching, he'll turn into a star.

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers—DE Barkevious Mingo, LSU

The Bucs are getting younger and faster on defense, and the team desperately needs to add pass-rushers to round out what's fast becoming a dangerous unit. Mingo is really raw, but his upside is nearly unfathomable.

14. Carolina Panthers—DT Sharrif Floyd, Florida

Carolina features one of the best young linebacking corps in the NFL, but the team is in need of a dominant defensive tackle to round out its front seven. Floyd has been rising up draft boards over the past month or so, and he'll be a nice addition to the team's defense.

15. New Orleans Saints—OLB Jarvis Jones, Georgia

Jones led the nation in sacks last season with 14.5, but a medical condition called spinal stenosis might cause his stock to tumble a bit on draft day. Should he fall to the Saints here, New Orleans will not hesitate to land this playmaker to add to its new 3-4 defense under Rob Ryan.

16. St. Louis Rams—OT Lane Johnson, Oklahoma

Sam Bradford will end up becoming a terrific pro quarterback if the Rams ever provide him with a competent offensive line and some playmakers. Check one: Land Johnson, a burgeoning star on the left side.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers—NT John Jenkins, Georgia

Casey Hampton isn't likely to return to Pittsburgh in 2013, and the team desperately needs to upgrade its defensive line. Jenkins has a tendency to take plays off, but there's no doubting his natural abilities as a nose tackle.

18. Dallas Cowboys—DT Sheldon Richardson, Missouri

The Cowboys are short on talent on their defensive line, especially on the interior. Drafting Richardson to play inside Monte Kiffin's defense will go a long way towards remedying that situation.

19. New York Giants—DE Ezekiel Ansah, BYU

Last year saw the Giants' pass-rushing numbers take a huge tumble, and Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora have both lost a step. It's time to add another dynamic pass-rusher to play opposite Jason Pierre-Paul, and Ansah fits the bill.

20. Chicago Bears—OG Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina

Chicago needs to bring in more than one offensive lineman in 2013 to solidify a unit that has failed to protect Jay Cutler the past couple of seasons. Cooper is an excellent pass-blocking guard and he is also an able run-blocker.

21. Cincinnati Bengals—ILB Manti Te'o, Notre Dame

Rey Maualuga isn't likely to return in 2013, unless he comes back at a discounted rate. Even if the free agent re-signs with Cincinnati, he's not a three-down linebacker, and adding Te'o to the team's defense would give the Bengals a dynamic front seven.

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

As we previously mentioned, the Rams need to add playmakers in order for Bradford to flourish. The Titus Young experiment lasted less than a week, and St. Louis is still searching.

Allen is a dynamic playmaker who excels in open space. He doesn't possess elite speed, but his ability to make tough catches combined with his prowess after the catch matches up well with Bradford's skills as a passer. 

The only knock on Allen is that he's coming off a knee injury, but a strong showing at the NFL scouting combine will alleviate those concerns.

23. Minnesota Vikings—WR Terrance Williams, Baylor

Percy Harvin may or may not be back with Minnesota in 2013, but regardless of how his situation plays out, the Vikings need to add a receiver.

Williams was one of the most productive receivers in college last year, hauling in 97 passes for 1,832 yards and 12 touchdowns. He needs to improve his consistency when it comes to route running and his hands, but he has all the physical tools to become a dominant outside receiver in the NFL.

Williams isn't as flashy as Patterson, but he has the ability to make an impact for the Vikings similar to the one Michael Crabtree made for the San Francisco 49ers in 2012. 

24. Indianapolis Colts—DT Kawann Short, Purdue

The Colts made an impressive transition to the 3-4 scheme last year, but there are still some glaring holes on the team's roster as it pertains to this scheme. Adding a rock-solid defender in the middle like Short will make a huge difference in the team's ability to stuff the run next season.

25. Seattle Seahawks—TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame

The Seahawks don't have a ton of needs, and the team has talked about adding pass-rushers in 2013, but adding a dynamic tight end like Eifert would turn the team's offense into a juggernaut.

26. Green Bay Packers—OG Larry Warford, Kentucky

Green Bay's offensive line has been atrocious the past couple of years, both on passing and running plays, and it's time for a remedy. Warford is a dominant run-blocking guard who is also a capable pass-protector, and he would be an instant starter for the Packers.

27. Houston Texans—WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia

Houston has been searching for a receiver to complement Andre Johnson for a few years now, to no avail. 

Austin isn't a typical outside receiver, at 5'9" and 175 pounds, but his ability to make plays in space and underneath coverage would open up things for Johnson in a major way. 

There isn't a receiver with better open-field skills than Austin, who can move laterally almost as fast as he can vertically, and his ability to make big plays on screens would really help Houston stretch defenses from sideline to sideline—something that would open up the running game inside for Arian Foster.

Adding Austin would go a long way towards making Houston's offense more diverse, which has been missing in a major way for the past few years in Gary Kubiak's attack.

28. Denver Broncos—DT Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State

The biggest weakness for Denver at this time is on its defensive line, specifically at defensive tackle. Adding a dominant big man inside would transform the Broncos already dominant defense into a dynamo.

29. New England Patriots—CB Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State

New England's defense made major strides in the right direction last year against the pass, but the team still needs to improve. Banks is a ball-hawking cornerback with one-on-one cover skills who would be an instant starter in 2013. 

30. Atlanta Falcons—TE Zach Ertz, Stanford

Tony Gonzalez may or may not be back in 2013, but regardless of his status the team needs to add a young playmaker to take his place. Ertz will be a dominant tight end in the NFL, both as a blocker in the running game and as a receiver in the passing game. 

31. San Francisco 49ers—CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida State

The 49ers' secondary was exposed in the playoffs, and it's imperative that the team address this need early in the draft. Rhodes is a big, physical cornerback who may end up becoming a true lockdown player in the NFL, and the 49ers would be getting a steal to land him here at the bottom of Round 1.

32. Baltimore Ravens—S Eric Reid, LSU

Ed Reed might not make a return in 2013, depending on what Ozzie Newsome decides to do, and the Ravens need to add a dynamic safety to pair with Bernard Pollard, regardless of Reed's status. Reid can cover ground like a gazelle in the open field, and he's a capable defender against the run.

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78 


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