2013 NFL Mock Draft: Sure Things for Every First-Round Team

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2013 NFL Mock Draft: Sure Things for Every First-Round Team
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The 2013 NFL combine clued us in on which players have first-round potential and which guys should be reserved for the second round or later.

The draft is one of the best ways for NFL teams to bolster their depth chart and/or build themselves into contenders.

While there are no sure things when it comes to draft day, here's my latest mock draft for the first round.

*Picks most likely to happen are denoted in italics.

 

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

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Following the acquisition of Alex Smith from the San Francisco 49ers, the Kansas City Chiefs can focus on keeping their new quarterback safe by bolstering their line with Luke Joeckel with the No. 1 pick.

NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reports that Kansas City is interested in the young offensive tackle while Football Outsiders found that the Chiefs' offensive line ranked 27th in the NFL last season in pass protection.

Kansas City could be in for a surprisingly decent season offensively if it pairs Joeckel with Smith and Pro Bowl running back Jamaal Charles.


2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

The No. 1 priority for Jacksonville should be to add a pass-rusher on the defensive line, but with Dee Milliner sitting there after an excellent combine, it'll be hard for the Jaguars to pass him up. There are plenty of second-round talents at DE, which is why I like Jacksonville to take the best corner in the draft.

 

3. Oakland Raiders: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida

After an excellent showing at the combine, defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd all but assured himself of a top-five pick.

The 6'3", 297-pound defensive lineman showed quick feet and a tremendous ability to change directions, putting together one of the best combines in recent memory.

He ran a 4.92 40-yard dash and was solid in the vertical and long jumps.

The Raiders were ranked 18th in total defense last season and could use a monstrous tackle like Floyd on that defensive line to stop the run and make some plays for the Oakland's defense.


4. Philadelphia Eagles: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

This Philadelphia team has a bunch of needs, but in a dynamic offense like Chip Kelly's, strong offensive linemen are a must. Not only would this pick keep the QB safe—whomever it ends up being—but it could revamp the Eagles' running game as well.


5. Detroit Lions: Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon

The Lions have a huge need for a pass-rusher, and ex-Oregon defensive end Dion solidified himself as a top pick at the combine. The Jordan-Chip Kelly reunion is enticing at the No. 4 pick, but I like Jordan to Detroit come April.


6. Cleveland Browns: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU

Ziggy Ansah confirmed our suspicions at the combine: The man is a freakish athlete.

He ran a 4.6 in the 40 and could bring his raw talent to the Cleveland Browns, who ranked No. 23 in total defense last season.


7. Arizona Cardinals: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

In my mind, this should be a guaranteed pick for the Arizona Cardinals.

To say their quarterback situation in 2012 was miserable would be an understatement, and Geno Smith is the best QB in the 2013 draft.

Smith ran an impressive 4.59 40-yard dash at the combine—the quickest of any QB in Indy—proving his athletic abilities to any doubters.

After Smith put up video game-like numbers at West Virginia in 2012, Larry Fitzgerald's eyes should be lighting up at the thought of catching passes from him in 2013.

 

8. Buffalo Bills: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma

There's a lot of talk about the Bills drafting a QB in 2013, but Buffalo needs someone to protect the QB first.

As NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah notes, the drafting of Lane Johnson would allow the Bills to move Cordy Glenn to the RT spot 

 

9. New York Jets: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee

Sure, the New York Jets could go the defensive route, but sooner or later this team has to address the offense.

I’m going to spare you all of my Mark Sanchez jokes, but Cordarrelle Patterson is one of the most gifted wideouts in the draft, owning 6’2” size and 4.42 speed.


10. Tennessee Titans: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina

Protecting Jake Locker and giving Chris Johnson room to run is obviously the key for Tennessee’s offense, making this an obvious choice.

The Titans owned the 31st-ranked run-blocking offensive line last season, according to Football Outsiders, and must address the O-line to be competitive in 2013.

Cooper submitted a solid all around combine in Indianapolis—a combine that proved his worth as a top pick in April’s draft.

The offensive line is a glaring need for the Titans, and I think they take care of it early in the draft. 

 

11. San Diego Chargers: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

Defensive tackle Star Lotulelei’s heart condition may have dropped him out of the top five, but if he’s healthy, he has the skill set to be a top DT in the NFL.

With the Chargers’ defense already being solid against the rush, it can be that much stronger with the likes of Lotulelei bolstering the interior of the line. 

 

12. Miami Dolphins: Keenan Allen, WR, California

Harry How/Getty Images

No disrespect to Brian Hartline, but the Miami Dolphins need a clear No. 1 wide receiver who can make big plays down the field.

At 6’2”, 206 pounds, Allen is built for making big plays for an offense owning great ball skills and a propensity for separating from defenders.

After Hartline, the Dolphins seriously lacked production in the passing game.  While Allen won’t immediately make Miami a contender, he’s certainly a step in the right direction for the Dolphins with the 12th  pick.


13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Xavier Rhodes, CB, FSU

The Bucs owned the NFL’s worst pass defense in 2012 and would largely benefit from drafting a corner like Xavier Rhodes.

Rhodes is a 6’1” cornerback with excellent hands and feet. The only question about him entering the combine was his speed, to which he silenced us all by blazing a 4.43 40-yard dash.

Tampa Bay’s secondary was scorched all season long last year, surrendering 30 TDs through the air and allowing an NFL-worst 4,758 yards.

In a pass-heavy division like the NFC South, the Bucs must bolster their secondary.

 

14. Carolina Panthers: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri

The Panthers need an active 3-4 defensive tackle that can clog up the middle and stop the run, which is what 294-pound Sheldon Richardson does.

Richardson has drawn comparisons to Cullen Jenkins and should be able to make an immediate impact for any NFL team.

 

15. New Orleans Saints: Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU

I've been saying all along that Barkevious Mingo was going to New Orleans, and I'm not about to back down now.

Mingo had an outstanding workout at the combine and could very well be off the board by the time the Saints and their worst total defense is up to pick.

 

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

Chance Warmack looked subpar at the combine, but luckily for him, NFL scouts don't base draft stock off of one workout.

Warmack has shown the ability to dominate in the run-blocking game, which is what the St. Louis Rams need, as they scored just five rushing TDs last season.

 

17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M

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After missing the playoffs in 2012, the Pittsburgh Steelers need to get their defensive identity back.

His combine performance has his stock falling, but Damontre Moore could serve as a suitable outside linebacker in Pittsburgh's 3-4 defense.


18. Dallas Cowboys: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama

It's not a sexy pick by any means for the Cowboys, but among Dallas' needs are an offensive tackle.

Football Outsiders tells us that the 'Boys owned the 22nd-ranked run-blocking defense in 2012—an area D.J. Fluker can solidify.

 

19. New York Giants: Datone Jones, DE, UCLA

With Osi Umenyiora's likely departure, the New York Giants will no doubt be looking for an athletic pass-rusher, especially in a division with mobile quarterbacks.

Don't put it past Jerry Reese to take Datone Jones in the first round for the G-Men.

 

20. Chicago Bears: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame

The Chicago Bears received absolutely no production from the tight end position in 2012 and should have their eyes on Tyler Eifert.

Eifert had an outstanding showing at the combine and would be an immediate starter in Chicago's offense.


21. Cincinnati Bengals:  Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas

Already building upon a playoff appearance in 2012, the Bengals could have a shot at the best safety in the draft, Kenny Vaccaro.

Vaccaro could very well be off the board way before Cincinnati picks, but if he's still there, the Bengals won't pass him up.

 

22. St. Louis Rams: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia

Sam Bradford needs weapons around him for St. Louis to compete next season, and after the dominant year that Tavon Austin had at West Virginia last year, he proved to be a weapon in all facets of the game, including on special teams.

 

23. Minnesota Vikings: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson

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With Percy Harvin's situation still up in the air, the Minnesota Vikings need a play-making wide receiver.

DeAndre Hopkins was one of the most dominant wideouts in all of college football last season and could bring that talent to Minnesota.


24. Indianapolis Colts: Menelik Watson, OT, FSU

While I think this will be a defensive-minded draft for Indy, the Colts do need to upgrade the offensive line.

At 6'5", 310 pounds, Menelik Watson has the raw talent and mobility to be an NFL blocker.

 

25. Seattle Seahawks: Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU

The Seahawks already own one of the best defenses in the NFL, and if they draft LSU's Sam Montgomery, they'll be that much better.

The defensive end boasted seven sacks last season and could make an impact for Seattle in 2013.

 

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

It's time for the Packers to establish a running game, and Eddie Lacy is one of few backs who can do that for an NFL team next season.

Lacy is easily the best back in the draft and would be an immediate starter for Green Bay in 2013.


27. Houston Texans: Bjoern Werner, DE, FSU

It wasn't an impressive showing at the combine for Bjoern Werner, but the tape says he still has first-round talent.

Werner racked up 13 sacks last season and could bring that talent to a Houston defense that had 44 sacks in 2012.

 

28. Denver Broncos: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington

Cornerback Desmond Trufant established himself as a first-round pick after running a 4.38 40-yard dash time at the combine. He would be a good pick for Denver here, who should be looking bolster its secondary after being gashed by Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens in the postseason.


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

Butch Dill/Getty Images

Depending on what goes on with Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd, New England may be in the market for a wide receiver.

The Patriots should also be looking at a corner like Johnthan Banks, as the Pats sported the 29th-ranked pass defense in the NFL last season.

 

30. Atlanta Falcons: Alex Okafor, DE, Texas 

The Atlanta Falcons should be looking to add a pass rusher, and Alex Okafor fits the mold.

Okafor recorded eight sacks last season and has proven to be a durable defender during his time at Texas.

 

31. San Francisco 49ers: Margus Hunt, DE, SMU

I wasn't originally sold on Margus Hunt, but after seeing what he did at the combine, I think he's worthy of a first-round pick.

The 49ers make a lot of sense for Hunt, who could be an eventual replacement for Justin Smith, who will turn 34 at the beginning of the 2013 season.

 

32. Baltimore Ravens: Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame

After a poor showing at the combine, Manti Te'o's draft stock took a hit, but ending up on the Baltimore Ravens isn't necessarily a bad thing.

The Ravens need a middle linebacker, and I'm willing to bet Te'o would rather play for a contender than a team sitting in the basement of their division.

 

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