2013 NFL Mock Draft: Smart Moves for Every Franchise
Teams don't always make the smart move in the NFL draft. The lure of potential, bolstering an already stacked part of the team or prolific college numbers can all lead to a team going for a questionable draft pick.
Sometimes it pays off and sometimes it doesn't. That is just the nature of the draft. The same thing can be said for smart picks as well. There are no sure things in the draft.
Still, there are definitely picks that make sense. These are the smart picks, and these are the ones that will populate this mock draft.
I'll pay extra attention to the most interesting of these picks and will mark those by placing the pick in italics.
Langford's 2013 NFL Mock Draft
1. Kansas City Chiefs (2-14): Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
When the Kansas City Chiefs placed their franchise tag on left tackle Branden Albert (via Mike Garafolo of USA Today) that meant they no longer had to take a tackle with the No. 1 pick, but it doesn't mean that they shouldn't.
The Chiefs haven't yet been able to reach a long-term deal with Albert and they may not be able to. That means he could walk after the end of next season. The Chiefs can ease the pull of this concern by adding a talented rookie to the tackle position, while also enjoying the luxury of having talented tackles for both sides of the line this year.
However, what Albert's return does mean is that the Chiefs should go with Luke Joeckel over Central Michigan's Eric Fisher here.
Both are great prospects. However, Joeckel will be better in run-blocking as he refines his pass-blocking footwork. This makes him an excellent fit for right tackle as he starts his career.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14): Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
The Jaguars only tallied 20 sacks last year. That had them comfortably last in the league in this department. That must improve.
This draft is loaded with pass-rushing talent, and Bjoern Werner is certainly one of the players that can get to the passer. However, it is his all-around play that makes him the smartest pick here.
3. Oakland Raiders (4-12): Shariff Floyd, DT, Florida
Richard Seymour's contract was voided and he almost certainly won't be back. Tommy Kelly has a cap hit of $11 million this upcoming season, and will almost certainly get the ax as the Raiders continue to rebuild.
That means the Raiders will likely enter next season without either of their starters from a season ago.
Also, their main backup, Desmond Bryant, is a free agent. You know, this guy:
So, Oakland is essentially going to have to start from scratch at the defensive tackle position, and they will be able to do so with a supreme talent.
Shariff Floyd is a beast with a complete game. He is a monster against the run and he has the explosion to get to the passer. This move fits on many levels.
4. Philadelphia Eagles (4-12): Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
The Eagles have to add some pass protection and someone to seal the edge in order for Chip Kelly to be able to run his style of offense.
Fisher has all the tools to be a great tackle in this league.
5. Detroit Lions (4-12): Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
Dion Jordan is one of the best athletes in this draft. He has a a tantalizing size/speed ratio, and he makes sense for the Lions here.
Detroit needs an increased edge pass rush, and Jordan will bring that.
6. Cleveland Browns (5-11): Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
Ezekiel Ansah has been shooting up draft boards and for good reason. He is the complete package.
His addition will help the Browns solidify their defense.
7. Arizona Cardinals (5-11): Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Larry Fitzgerald undoubtedly thinks this is a very smart pick. The Cardinals need an upgrade at the quarterback position.
This team has suffered through some terrible play at the position the last few seasons.
While Kevin Kolb showed some signs of improvement, his season ended early when he was put on the injured reserved list. With injuries a growing concern with Kolb, the Cardinals must find a better option.
While questions surrounding his consistency persist, Smith is clearly the best quarterback in this class, and he would be an instant upgrade for the Cardinals.
8. Buffalo Bills (6-10): Matt Barkley, QB, USC
Ryan Fitzpatrick is not the future of the Bills. He is an average-at-best signal-caller who, in all likelihood, has reached his ceiling.
Barkley, while not standing out in any particular aspect, has all the tools needed to start in the NFL.
9. New York Jets (6-10): Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
The Jets must get to work on fixing their struggling run game, and they won't find a better boost to those efforts than Chance Warmack.
Warmack is a mauler, and he will be dominant in the run game from day one.
10. Tennessee Titans (6-10): Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Dee Milliner is easily the best corner prospect in this draft. The Titans, who were 20th in yards allowed per pass last season, will not ignore that fact.
He will be an instant upgrade for Tennessee.
11. San Diego Chargers (7-9): Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
The Chargers' only solid tackle is Jared Gaither, and he can't stay healthy.
With a nice group of offensive linemen in this draft, San Diego will address this need with their first pick.
12. Miami Dolphins (7-9): Cordarrelle Patterson, WR
The Dolphins have to help Ryan Tannehill's progression as an NFL quarterback by giving him some weapons.
Patterson is definitely that. He has a nice size/speed combination and will be able to stretch opposing defenses.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9): Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
By the end of last year, Tampa Bay's pass defense was nearly nonexistent.
Xavier Rhodes is a physical corner and an excellent NFL prospect.
14. Carolina Panthers (7-9): Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
Star Lotulelei has the talent to go higher in this draft. However, he also has a heart condition that will keep him on the board until No. 14.
The Panthers, who need to add muscle to their defensive front, won't let Lotulelei fall past No. 14.
15. New Orleans Saints (7-9): Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU
New Orleans must improve their terrible defense. Barkevious Mingo is a great athlete with the ability to rush the passer.
This will help the Saints improve on their 31st-ranked pass defense.
16. St. Louis Rams (7-8-1): Keenan Allen, WR, California
Keenan Allen is a smooth and natural receiver. He can run any route and he is ready to contribute in the NFL.
He will get plenty of chances to do that on a Rams team that needs receiver help.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8): Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
The Steelers must start investing in their proud-but-aging defense.
Moore plays with an edge and he is a solid athlete. He will be a nice fit in Pittsburgh. He is an outstanding pass-rusher, and he has college experience as an end and an outside linebacker, which will work nicely in the Steelers' 3-4.
18. Dallas Cowboys (8-8): Kawann Short, DT, Purdue
At 6'3" and 299 pounds, Short has a good body for a defensive tackle.
With the Cowboys moving to a 4-3, they are going to need a boost on the interior of their defensive line, and Short will be a big boost.
19. New York Giants (9-7): Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
The Giants can't rely solely on their pass rush to carry their pass defense. Last year, their corners were routinely victimized.
Johnthan Banks will help solidify that slumping pass defense.
20. Chicago Bears (10-6): D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
The Bears have to find a way to keep Jay Cutler healthy, and they won't be able to do that until he gets some pass protection.
D.J. Fluker would certainly help keep some of the heat off of Cutler.
21. Cincinnati Bengals (10-6): Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
Injury concerns will keep Jarvis Jones from going higher in this draft. However, they can only keep him on the board for so long.
The Bengals will see the potential Jones will give the team to have the league's most feared pass rush, and they won't pass.
22. St. Louis Rams* (From 10-6 Washington Redskins): Kenny Vaccaro, FS, Texas
With the luxury of two picks in this first round, the Rams have plenty of options and chances to maximize value.
Kenny Vaccaro is a nice value here, and he will help solidify the Rams secondary.
22. Minnesota Vikings (10-6): Robert Woods, WR, USC
The Vikings need to find a reliable passing game to help take some of the defensive attention off of Adrian Peterson.
Robert Woods has the range and hands that will help give quarterback Christian Ponder the consistent target he needs.
24. Indianapolis Colts (11-5): Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
The Colts need a blocker-eating, run-stuffing nose tackle.
Jesse Williams, at 323 pounds with the strength to go with it, is just that.
25. Seattle Seahawks (11-5): Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
The Seahawks must increase their pass rush if they want to take the next step in the NFL postseason.
Datone Jones is an excellent fit.
26. Green Bay Packers (11-5): Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina
Aaron Rodgers is getting hit way too often. The Packers must do a better job of protecting their franchise player.
With the top tackles off the board, Green Bay will look to land this highly regarded guard.
27. Houston Texans (12-4): Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
Andre Johnson will be 32 at the start of next year, and regardless of age, Houston needs another dynamic player at the receiver position.
Austin is certainly that. He has the kind of big-play capability that will help open things up for the Texans offense.
28. Denver Broncos (13-3): Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
The Broncos' defensive front is much stronger on the edge than it is up the middle. Johnathan Hankins brings a big body and would help solidify the interior of this defensive line.
29. New England Patriots (12-4): Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
New England must improve on a pass defense that finished 29th last season.
Trufant, while undersized, is an outstanding athlete, and he has the goods to play in man or zone.
30. Atlanta Falcons (13-3): Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
The Falcons must get more physical in their defensive front. Williams will bring added muscle and help an inconsistent run defense.
31. San Francisco 49ers (11-4-1): Barrett Jones, C, Alabama
The 49ers have a pressing need at center. Last year's starter, Jonathan Goodwin, is a free agent, and at 34, he isn't a good long-term option anyway.
Jones is. He has all the tools to be a starter in the NFL for a long time.
32. Baltimore Ravens (10-6): Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU
The Ravens will be looking for someone to replace Ray Lewis. Well, maybe "replace" is not the right word. There is no replacing a player of that caliber.
However, Minter would ensure that middle linebacker continues to be a strength for the Ravens.
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