NFL Mock Draft 2013: Best Draft Solutions for Every NFL Team
The 2013 NFL draft is fast approaching, and although it may seem like teams have plenty of time to determine who they want to take with their first-round selection, the evaluation process is a tedious one.
With pro day workouts next up on the pre-draft schedule, NFL scouts, coaches and executives are running out of time to assess all of the talent coming out. Luckily, the draft is a three-day process.
Here we'll run down the entire first round of the 2013 NFL draft, taking a look at the best draft solution for each team.
No. 1. Kansas City Chiefs (2-14): Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M, OT
With the Kansas City set to bring in Alex Smith via a trade with San Francisco, Luke Joeckel is primed to become the top overall pick. Joeckel has prototypical size at 6'6", 306 pounds, and he's athletic enough to hold down the blindside for years to come.
No. 2. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14): Barkevious Mingo, LSU, DE
KeKe Mingo stole the show at the combine, running a blazing 4.58-second 40-yard dash and showcasing his athleticism in the vertical and broad jumps.
Mingo would be an excellent solution to one of the Jaguars' biggest weaknesses: their lack of a pass rush. Jacksonville finished dead last in the NFL a year ago, recording just 20 sacks in 16 games as a team.
Even if the former LSU star isn't taking down opposing quarterbacks play after play, he'll be opening up lanes for his teammates and disrupting the pocket.
No. 3. Oakland Raiders (4-12) : Star Lotulelei, Utah, DT
A lot of question marks remain when it comes to Star Lotulelei's health, but assuming he can continue playing football at a high level, the Raiders would be foolish to pass on him at No. 3.
No. 4. Philadelphia Eagles (4-12): Dion Jordan, Oregon, DE
Philadelphia's pass rush went missing far too often last season. Plus, first-year head coach Chip Kelly is familiar with Dion Jordan. After all, he coached him last January in the Fiesta Bowl.
No. 5. Detroit Lions (4-12): Dee Milliner, Alabama, CB
While the Lions' pass defense did rank towards the middle of the pack in 2012, it surrendered 26 touchdowns through the air and snagged just 11 interceptions in 16 games, ranking 19th and 23rd in those categories respectively.
Alabama's Dee Milliner is hands down the best defensive back coming out in 2013 and is sure to cure some of those ailments in the secondary.
Milliner's cover skills are tremendous, and his knack for the position shows off in his ability to diagnose plays early and make the right play each and every time.
No. 6. Cleveland Browns (5-11): Bjoern Werner, Florida State, DE
Bjoern Werner is a solid fit in Cleveland, where he could help pressure the quarterback and also provide a significant presence in the running game. His durability and motor stand out above all.
No. 7. Arizona Cardinals (5-11): Geno Smith, West Virginia, QB
I'm not sure that West Virginia's Geno Smith is the solution to all of Arizona's problems offensively, but he'll certainly help. An athletic passer with a big arm, Smith's production in Morgantown was beyond impressive, as most were forced to describe his numbers as video game-like.
Smith has great feet in the pocket and shows solid awareness as well.
No. 8. Buffalo Bills (6-10): Eric Fisher, Central Michigan, OT
The Bills would certainly like to get their hands on Geno Smith at No. 8, but if he's off the board then, Central Michigan's Eric Fisher would be the next best player available.
Buffalo could also trade out of this pick and look to bring in an accomplished signal-caller along with some more talent.
No. 9. New York Jets (6-10): Sharrif Floyd, Florida, DT
Sharrif Floyd's stock is rising at the right time. He's a versatile defensive lineman who won't be stuck at any one position at the next level. That should make him an attractive potential selection for Rex Ryan and the Jets.
No. 10. Tennessee Titans (6-10): Chance Warmack, Alabama, G
A 6'2", 317-pound road grader, Alabama's Chance Warmack isn't going to wow anyone with athleticism, but he's incredibly tough, strong and brings tremendous awareness to the table.
Warmack is sure to develop into a dominant NFL lineman for years to come.
No. 11. San Diego Chargers (7-9): Damontre Moore, Texas A&M, DE
There was a point in time where Damontre Moore was talked about as a potential No. 1 overall pick in 2013. But some character issues have quieted that conversation.
Still, Moore is one of the best athletes coming out of college football this spring.
No. 12. Miami Dolphins (7-9): Keenan Allen, California, WR
Cal's Keenan Allen has been compared to NFL star Jordy Nelson. He has No. 1 receiver potential and would be a solid pickup for Miami, a team in need of weapons on the outside.
No. 13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9): Lane Johnson, Oklahoma, OT
The Bucs could look to shore up their offensive line at No. 13 by taking a cool, calm and collected player in Oklahoma's Lane Johnson. The athletic offensive tackle plays a smooth game on the outside and has all sorts of upside.
No. 14. Carolina Panthers (7-9): Ezekiel Ansah, BYU, DE
Ziggy Ansah is one athletic defender. Whether Carolina wants to use him at defensive end or as a linebacker on occasion, he can star in multiple roles while also contributing on special teams.
Ansah, who is 6'5", 271 pounds, ran a 4.63-second 40-yard dash at the combine.
No. 15. New Orleans Saints (7-9): Jarvis Jones, Georgia, LB
Jarvis Jones has loads of physical talent, but some question marks health-wise are likely keeping some teams from looking at him as a potential top-10 pick.
I can't imagine New Orleans would pass on him at No. 15 if he's still on the board.
No. 16. St. Louis Rams (7-8-1): Tavon Austin, West Virginia, WR
Look for the Rams to target big-play threat Tavon Austin at No. 16 overall this year, as he might not be on the board when St. Louis picks again at No. 22. Austin ran a 4.34-second 40-yard dash at the combine and would fill a major need for the Rams at wideout.
He could also provide a change of pace as a return man.
No. 17. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8): Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina, G
If the Steelers hope to get their 26th-ranked rushing attack going in 2013, they should look to North Carolina's Jonathan Cooper—a big-time guard with excellent awareness and versatility.
No. 18. Dallas Cowboys (8-8): Sheldon Richardson, Missouri, DT
In addition to their inconsistent running game offensively, the Cowboys defense let them down in 2012. Selecting Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson at No. 18 would give Dallas a punch at the line of scrimmage, ultimately leading to a better defensive showing in 2013.
No. 19. New York Giants (9-7): Datone Jones, UCLA, DT
UCLA's Datone Jones should be a force at the next level. He's strong and possesses an exceptional burst off the line.
New York's defensive line isn't at all what it once was during the Giants' Super Bowl runs, so Jones would be an ideal solution in the first round.
No. 20. Chicago Bears (10-6): Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame, TE
An athletically gifted tight end, Notre Dame's Tyler Eifert would be a great solution for Chicago's lack of explosiveness in the passing game.
No. 21. Cincinnati Bengals (10-6): Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee, WR
Tennessee's Cordarrelle Patterson is an explosive wideout with awesome leaping ability. He could develop into a reliable No. 2 receiver alongside A.J. Green in Cincinnati, providing Andy Dalton with two tremendous downfield targets.
No. 22. St. Louis Rams (via Washington Redskins) (10-6): Kenny Vaccaro, Texas, S
St. Louis will have two selections in the first round this year, so going offense and then defense is probably the smartest move. Texas' Kenny Vaccaro would be an excellent choice at No. 22 if he's still on the board.
If not, Florida International's Jonathan Cyprien would be a solid backup plan.
No. 23. Minnesota Vikings (10-6): Desmond Trufant, Washington, CB
Minnesota's secondary ranked 24th in the NFL a season ago. Plus, star cornerback Antoine Winfield is set to turn 36 this summer.
Washington's Desmond Trufant had a solid showing at the combine last month and is sure to make an impact at the next level as a speedy cover corner.
No. 24. Indianapolis Colts (11-5): Sylvester Williams, North Carolina, DT
Only three NFL teams were worse at stopping the run in 2012 than the Indianapolis Colts. That's why North Carolina's Sylvester Williams would be an ideal solution for Chuck Pagano's squad in 2013. He could bolster the defensive line and help Indy win more often at the point of attack.
No. 25. Seattle Seahawks (11-5): Alec Ogletree, Georgia, LB
A team on the rise like Seattle is perhaps best suited to take on a complicated talent like Georgia's Alec Ogletree. There are some off-field concern with Ogletree, but there's no doubt about what he can do between the lines.
He can cover in pass defense and also chase down ball-carriers in a hurry. Pete Carroll's coaching style is unique, we know that, and it could perhaps help bring out the best in Ogletree as a pro.
Which 2012 divisional-round loser will have the best first round?
No. 26. Green Bay Packers (11-5): Eddie Lacy, Alabama, RB
The Packers have had a revolving door at running back in recent years and can take some pressure off Aaron Rodgers in 2013 by drafting a strong, bruising back in Alabama's Eddie Lacy.
No. 27. Houston Texans (12-4): Kevin Minter, LSU, LB
Kevin Minter's production as LSU was impressive, and he's the perfect fit in the middle of Houston's emerging defense.
No. 28. Denver Broncos (13-3): Xavier Rhodes, Florida State, CB
If there was one glaring weakness in Denver's disappointing playoff loss to Baltimore last January, it was the secondary, which was routinely burned by the Ravens' wide receivers.
Florida State's Xavier Rhodes is a strong tackler and is big enough to cover taller receivers.
No. 29. New England Patriots (12-4): Matt Elam, Florida, S
Florida's Matt Elam is a no-brainer for the Patriots if he's still available at No. 29. He boosted his stock at the combine and could bring a hard-hitting style to New England's vulnerable secondary.
No. 30. Atlanta Falcons (13-3): Zach Ertz, Stanford, TE
This pick depends a lot on Tony Gonzalez's decision. But assuming he stays true to his word and retires, Stanford's Zach Ertz would be the ideal solution for Atlanta. A 6'6", 250-pound pass-catching tight end, he would instantly become a favorite target for Matt Ryan.
No. 31. San Francisco 49ers (11-4-1): Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State, CB
San Francisco's secondary looked shaky in its Super Bowl loss, which could lead to the Niners drafting one of the top defensive backs late in the first round. Johnthan Banks had a poor showing at the combine, but what he put on tape at Mississippi State should be more than enough to warrant a first-round selection.
No. 32. Baltimore Ravens (10-6): Manti Te'o, Notre Dame, LB
Depending on whether the Ravens believe Manti Te'o's on-field production at Notre Dame will translate to the next level, Baltimore could steal a high-energy inside linebacker with the last pick of the first round.
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