2013 NFL Mock Draft: Players Sure to Rise After the Scouting Combine

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2013 NFL Mock Draft: Players Sure to Rise After the Scouting Combine
Joe Robbins/Getty Images


The 2013 NFL Scouting Combine is well underway, and while the event doesn't end until Tuesday, a number of players have already earned themselves some money. 

The annual exhibition at Indianapolis' Lucas Oil Stadium pits scantily clad football prospects not against one another, but rather against the cruel eyes of scouts, suits and stopwatches.

While tape supersedes numbers in many (if not all) scouting circles, a good combine showing can still drastically alter one's stock—for better or for worse.

Here's a look at how Round 1 might shake out with an emphasis on those who did well in Indy.

Note: Highlighted players will be WRITTEN IN CAPS.

 

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

Why not a quarterback, you ask? Simple. Andy Reid builds from the inside out, and the Chiefs—while not a mess on the inside—could definitely use some building.

 

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

Given need and availability, it's not hard to figure the Jags will take an end. But which one? The smart money says Moore, who, much like former teammate Von Miller, might be a great return on investment at No. 2 overall.

 

3. Oakland Raiders: DT Star Lotulelei, Utah

The market has cooled a bit on Lotulelei, who won't work out at the Combine due to medical concerns. But at the end of the day, his immense upside (especially at a position where Oakland needs help) is far too much to pass up.

 

4. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: QB GENO SMITH, WEST VIRGINIA

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Did Geno Smith blow competition out of the water during Sunday's combine workouts? Not quite. But did he establish himself as the clear-cut No. 1 QB? I think he did.

And that was just during on-field activity. Smith is as impressive as they come with regards to interviews, poise, etc.—something that often goes overlooked as one the combine's most important facets. Especially at a position like quarterback that literally becomes the face of a franchise.

Yes, Michael Vick signed a new deal, and no, Nick Foles is not off the roster yet. But the former is just a one-year commitment and the latter might not be the case much longer.

If Chip Kelly falls in love with Geno (who, by the way, ran the fastest 40 of any signal caller) there's no way he'll pass him up.

 

5. Detroit Lions: CB Dee Milliner, Alabama

Is any team-player competition a better match in Round 1? Probably not. Milliner, the draft's consensus top defensive back, will be called in to help remedy one of football's leakiest secondaries.

 

6. Cleveland Browns: DE Bjoern Wener, Florida State

Werner doesn't have the pass-rushing prowess (or upside) of a Jarvis Jones, but he'll be serviceable. Against the run, though, he could be a true difference maker for years to come. In the AFC North, that's a valuable commodity.

 

7. ARIZONA CARDINALS: OT ERIC FISHER, CENTRAL MICHIGAN

Eric Fisher NFL Player Comparison

Fisher isn't technically "rising" to this spot since his Senior Bowl performance pretty much guaranteed him top-10 stata. But the combine might help him go even further than that.

The former Chippewa showed off his unique blend of size and athleticism in Indianapolis this week, supplementing his 6-foot-7 frame with a 40 in the ballpark of five seconds. 

Per Rotoworld.com, NFL Network's Mike Mayock insists that Fisher is "just as good a football player" as projected top pick Luke Joeckel. Tangibles like this further serve that argument in a big way.

 

8. Buffalo Bills: ILB Alec Ogletree, Georgia

A recent DUI arrest is enough to give teams pause, but hey: It's certainly less of a character concern than the next-best ILB. Ogletree is a physical freak that would plug a big hole in Buffalo.

 

9. New York Jets: OLB Jarvis Jones, Georgia

Speaking of physical freaks coming out of Mark Richt's defense. In 2016, there's a good chance we point at Jones as the best player to come from this class. The Jets couldn't be happier to get him at No. 9.

 

10. Tennessee Titans: DE Barkevious Mingo, LSU

Mingo's a better version of his partner-in-crime, and fellow first-round prospect, Sam Montgomery. Whether he realizes his prodigious upside is a story for a different day.

 

11. San Diego Chargers: OT Lane Johnson, Oklahoma

Is Lane Johnson one of the top-11 prospects in this draft class? Probably not. But is he the best tackle remaining for a team that desperately—repeat: desperately—needs one? You bet.

 

12. Miami Dolphins: WR Keenan Allen, California

There are plenty of questions surrounding Allen, who's seen as the draft's top receiver despite an injury plagued senior campaign. But the Dolphins need to see what they have in RyanTannehill, and until they get him a real receiver, there's no way to know for sure.

 

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: CB Jonathan Banks, Mississippi State

Much like Lane Johnson, you could debate whether or not Banks deserves to go top-13. But the Bucs got shredded on the back end last season, and he's certainly the best remaining CB.

 

14. Carolina Panthers: DT Sharrif Floyd, Florida

Floyd is flying up draft boards as of late, and might not even be around for Carolina to scoop up at No. 14. But for now they thank their lucky stars to get a perfect fit for their porous interior defense.

 

15. New Orleans Saints: DE/OLB Dion Jordan, Oregon

I'll bite my tongue once again; Oregon's Dion Jordan might be the fastest-rising player in this year's draft. Whether it be 3-4, 4-3, or any sort of newfangled system that comes to be, Jordan will be able to get to the passer at will.

 

16. St. Louis Rams: OG Chance Warmack, Alabama

The Rams are more pressed on the outside than the inside, but Warmack this low is too valuable to pass up. And it's not like St. Louis can't use an upgrade at guard.

 

17. Pittsburgh Steelers: DT John Hankins, Ohio State

Casey Hampton is a likely bet to leave town this summer, so Hankins might be needed sooner than later. That's not typically the Steelers' method, but they'll have to hope they can make it work.

 

18. Dallas Cowboys: OG Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina

Much like St. Louis two picks before them, Dallas is thrilled to find a guard this low just because he's a guard. Cooper is great value along the interior who could drastically help DeMarcoMurray's production.

 

19. New York Giants: TE Zach Ertz, Stanford

Martellus Bennett simply didn't cut it over the middle last season, so the G-men will look to go out and add the draft's best tight end. It's a position that Eli Manning desperately relies on.

 

20. Chicago Bears: ILB Manti Te'o, Notre Dame

We saw Ray Lewis, one of the great modern linebackers, retire after 2012-13, and Brian Urlacher could soon follow suit. Is there a better role model, both on and off the field, for Te'othan he?

 

21. Cincinnati Bengals: S Kenny Vaccaro, Texas

Reggie Nelson played great at free safety this season, but the other side poses more questions than answers. Vaccaro is a big-time in-the-box threat who should help in an absurdly physical division.

 

22. St. Louis Rams: WR Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee

Scouts are drooling over Patterson's measurable potential, so much so that they're willing to overlook a lack of statistical production. But St. Louis is willing to roll the dice late with a pick they acquired for Robert Griffin III.

 

23. Minnesota Vikings: DT Sheldon Richardson, Missouri

Minnesota's identity has always been derived along the defensive line, but the incumbent guys aren't exactly spring chickens. Richardson could learn from some of the best in the game before, hopefully, eventually, becoming one himself.

 

24. Indianapolis Colts: DE Sam Montgomery, LSU

It was hard for Montgomery to stand out on tape, playing next to a better version of himself inBarkevious Mingo. But the burly Tiger managed to earn a first-round grade in spite of that, which speaks volumes to the quality of his tape.

 

25. Seattle Seahawks: DT Sylvester Williams, North Carolina

Seattle really doesn't have too many holes to fill, so they can take some depth at a guy who plugs literal holes. Williams won't be rushed along and could soon help a defense that, while great, is not particularly big size-wise. 

 

26. Green Bay Packers: DT John Jenkins, Georgia

B.J. Raji isn't gonna be around forever, so the Packers—who, like Seattle, don't have many glaring needs—would do well to start prepping for the future. Jenkins is a man-child, perfectly tailored to play 3-4 nose tackle.

 

27. Houston Texans: DE/OLB Ezekiel Ansah

Ansah was hot for a while early, but now there are seeds of backlash surrounding his stock. Will it drop him out of the first round? No. But it'll almost certainly keep him behind Dion Jordan.

 

28. Denver Broncos: DT Kawann Short, Purdue

Short was inconsistent over his tenure at Purdue, but when he showed up he really showed up. Denver can afford to slow-play his potential, but eventually their thin defensive front might need some steadiness in the middle. 

 

29. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: WR TAVON AUSTIN, WEST VIRGINIA

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Some look at Tavon Austin and see Dexter McCluster which isn't a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination. But others, myself included, look at him and see much greater things. Like,Wes Welker great.

Austin sees it too. He told The Baltimore Sun that he watches a lot of Welker tape, calling him his "No. 1 guy" before saying he thinks he's "a little quicker and faster than him."

A 4.34 40 in Indianapolis seems to suggest that's the case.

 

30. Atlanta Falcons: TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame

Football plain comes east to Efiert, whose game has a weird, effortless quality about it. If Tony Gonzalez comes back for one more year and helps refine that raw ability, Eifert could turn into something special.

 

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

The Niners' secondary got exposed in a big way on a couple of big stages this postseason. Atlanta and Baltimore both found avenues for big passing plays, something Rhodes might be able to come in and, eventually, work toward fixing.

 

32. Baltimore Ravens: LB Kevin Minter, LSU

Penn State is traditionally though of as Linebacker U, but you could do a lot worse than Louisiana State. Minter is a solid prospect who fits the Baltimore mold and fills a palpable hole up the middle.

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