2013 NFL Mock Draft: Best Draft Solutions for Every NFL Team
Although it takes a full roster of players to win in the NFL, the past has shown that a great draft can change a lot.
The Seattle Seahawks put together a great first few rounds in 2012 by selecting Bruce Irvin, Bobby Wagner and Russell Wilson. Each of these guys played a big role in the playoff push last season and will be with the team for a long time.
Front offices will continue to make adjustments through free agency to fill needs, but this year's draft is full of big-time prospects that will make an impact in a hurry.
Here are the best options for each team in the latest mock draft.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
The Kansas City Chiefs ended last year's regular season with a 2-14 record and a lot of projected holes. However, the organization has done a good job filling these spots before the draft even comes into play.
While this should prevent the team from drafting another left tackle, general manager John Dorsey has previously stated that he would have no problem having both Albert and Luke Joeckel on the roster, according to Adam Teicher of the Kansas City Star:
Who’s to say both of those guys are locked in to playing left tackle? Maybe one plays left guard, center, right guard, right tackle. You put your best five offensive linemen out there.
The strategy is questionable, but the pick is solid as Joeckel will be a great bookend tackle for years to come.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Few people have risen as much in the draft over the past couple of months as Sharrif Floyd. The defensive lineman possesses the versatility to play either tackle or end and has the quickness to cause disruption at either position.
After Geno Smith, who is the best quarterback in the draft?
Jacksonville needs someone who can get into the opposing backfield, and Floyd is the best player to do that in the first round. However, expect a few more defensive linemen to be taken later in the draft.
3. Oakland Raiders: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
If Geno Smith is off the board by this point, the Raiders are unlikely to reach for another quarterback. They have needs on the defensive line and at linebacker that must be filled at some point in the draft.
However, there is a big separation between Smith and the rest of the class. He has great accuracy and showed in the combine that he is also very mobile. Oakland would be making a mistake to pass on this potential franchise quarterback.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
Dion Jordan showed off his athleticism at the combine and his ability to play not only defensive end, but also outside linebacker in a 3-4 system.
Of course, new Eagles head coach Chip Kelly is well aware of this after spending time with Jordan at Oregon. With Philadelphia, the pass-rusher will be able to move around to be utilized to the best of his ability.
The team can then use later rounds to improve the offensive line and possibly grab a quarterback.
5. Detroit Lions: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Although Detroit could use a defensive end to replace Kyle Vanden Bosch, a pass-rusher could be found after in the draft. Someone like Dee Milliner will not be available.
The Alabama cornerback is undoubtedly the best cornerback in the draft and has the size and speed to stick with the better receivers in the NFL. If the Lions want to beat the Green Bay Packers, Milliner is the person to help get it done.
6. Cleveland Browns: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
Jarvis Jones will be one of the biggest question marks on draft day due to his recent injury status, according to Dan Hanzus of NFL.com.
Bleacher Report's Medical Expert Dan Siebert stated in an article that teams should be cautious about future injuries:
Though he may not be at increased risk for permanent damage—at least as far as we know—the possibility of repeated injury cutting into playing time can scare teams from drafting him at a high position.
That being said, he has not had a problem since 2009.
There are few better prospects than Jones when he is actually on the field. The dominant pass-rusher will provide the Browns with high sack totals and overall intimidation of quarterbacks that have to get the ball off in a hurry.
He could make the entire defense better and represents good value at this spot in the draft.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Eric Fisher has been on the rise and could be off the board by this point, but the Cardinals cannot afford to pass on him if he is still available.
By selecting this elite pass-blocker, Arizona can solidify the offensive line and be able to draft one of a number of solid quarterbacks that should still be available in the second round.
8. Buffalo Bills: Matt Barkley, QB, USC
There are a lot of teams in need of a quarterback in this draft. However, it is uncertain which teams will actually pull the trigger.
If Matt Barkley performs well at his pro day, he could certainly end up being worth a first-round pick. The only thing preventing him from being a solid starter is his turnovers; cut those out and he will be golden.
9. New York Jets: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU
While Barkevious Mingo did not put up high sack totals with LSU, he flashed his potential at the combine. He showed not only elite speed in the 40-yard dash, but great explosiveness in the broad jump and vertical jump.
Grabbing Mingo will help the team get back to its roots as a tough defensive squad. The later rounds could then be used for offensive linemen and possibly even a quarterback.
10. Tennessee Titans: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
Like the Jets, Tennessee has an identity as a hard-nosed team built on running and defense. Last season, there was no room for Chris Johnson to run.
Chance Warmack is a mauling guard that will clear up holes on offense and could immediately become one of the best in the NFL at his position.
11. San Diego Chargers: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
Teams might be cautious about drafting Lane Johnson due to his inexperience at the offensive line position. However, that could also be a strength considering how much such a supreme athlete can improve.
San Diego needs to upgrade the offensive line, and Johnson will be the best tackle available at this point in the draft, making it a natural fit.
12. Miami Dolphins: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Most expect the Miami Dolphins to grab a wide receiver in free agency. As of now, however, this is the biggest need on the team.
Even with the addition of a Greg Jennings or Mike Wallace, Cordarrelle Patterson would be a great selection at this point in the draft. He is a natural pass-catcher and has the potential to be a big-time player in the NFL.
You can never have too many of these guys on the roster, especially with a young quarterback.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
There is some debate over which is the best cornerback after Dee Milliner, but Desmond Trufant showed a lot at the combine. He has elite speed, plus the height at 6'0" to hold his own in man coverage.
Tampa Bay had the worst pass defense in the NFL last season. Whichever cornerback is available at this point is the right pick.
14. Carolina Panthers: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
Star Lotulelei is another player who has seen his stock drop due to a medical issue. He was unable to participate in the scouting combine due to an apparent heart condition.
This could cause some teams to shy away, but it is important not to forget that he is a dominant space eater when on the field. He would be a perfect fit with the Panthers as someone who can take on blockers and free up the rest of the defense to make plays.
Maybe the second pick could then be used for a safer pick at receiver. Steve Smith certainly cannot remain the only target for Cam Newton forever.
15. New Orleans Saints: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
New Orleans needs help pretty much everywhere on the defensive side of the ball after a miserable 2012 season. Bjoern Werner represents great value as a player that was among the best in college football in sacks last year.
He also bring a great deal of youth and athleticism to a unit that desperately needs both.
16. St. Louis Rams: Jonathan Cooper, OG, UNC
While Jonathan Cooper might not have the overall ability of Chance Warmack, he still provides value in the first round as one of the strongest linemen in the class and someone who can move around well for the position.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
Damontre Moore fell after a poor performance at the combine where he looked slow and unathletic. This could end up being good for the Steelers, as they can grab a player with great instincts that can rush the passer or defend the run.
The Steelers must get younger on defense and Moore will help accomplish that goal.
18. Dallas Cowboys: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
There are a number of boom-or-bust prospects in every draft, but Ezekiel Ansah might be the biggest. The BYU defensive end has shown little ability to be a good football player, but most project his athleticism to serve him well in the NFL.
It might take some time for him to develop, but it will be worth it for the Cowboys.
19. New York Giants: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
Although Johnthan Banks ended up disappointing in the 40-yard dash at the combine, speed is not the strength of his game. He is a big, physical cornerback that would help him cover the new generation of strong receivers.
In the NFC East, the Giants need someone like this rather than a track star.
20. Chicago Bears: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
Ideally, an offensive linemen would be here for the Bears. Instead of reaching, the team would be better off trying to get someone like Kyle Long in the second round.
In the first round, the Bears can continue to help Jay Cutler by giving him another target to throw to. Brandon Marshall is great and Alshon Jeffery showed promise, but Tyler Eifert would be a big improvement in the middle of the field.
The Notre Dame tight end has very soft hands and his 6'5" size will allow him to be a big-time target in the red zone.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
Kenny Vaccaro is one of those players that you simply want on the field for your team. He has great instincts and is versatile enough to play either free safety or strong safety in the NFL.
Cincinnati has the opportunity to fill its biggest need right away and then use the rest of the draft to pick the best available players.
22. St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins): Alec Ogletree, OLB, Georgia
After solving an offensive problem with the first pick, the Rams need to improve on the defensive side of the ball with the second pick.
Alec Ogletree can play either inside or outside linebacker in a 4-3 system and has the lateral quickness to cover every part of the field. St. Louis had a good defense last season, but Ogletree could help the unit take the next step toward great.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
Sometimes you have to look past size to see a game-changer at the wide receiver position. Despite being only 5'9", Tavon has elite speed and agility that allows him to score from anywhere on the field.
Besides Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin (who may or may not be staying) the Vikings have no one else that scares opposing defenses. Austin can give Christian Ponder one more weapon on offense.
24. Indianapolis Colts: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
Like the Bears, the Colts would love to draft an offensive lineman at this point. That is simply not a smart move.
However, there was also a big issue last season in the pass defense for Indianapolis. The cornerbacks struggled to stay with opposing receivers and it often led to big plays.
Xavier Rhodes has good athleticism for the position to help him defend the pass as well as come up and help against the run.
Now that the Colts are playoff contenders once again, they have to start drafting for immediate needs. This is a good place to start.
25. Seattle Seahawks: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
After Seattle nailed last year's draft with some risky picks, nothing should surprise people this time around. Still, the team has a need at defensive tackle as someone who can penetrate into the backfield from the middle of the field.
Sheldon Richardson fits that description and would be a good selection at this point.
26. Green Bay Packers: Matt Elam, S, Florida
Matt Elam might be a little undersized for a safety, but he more than makes up for it in his speed and instincts. He can cover a lot of ground and make up for the mistakes of himself and others.
Who is the best receiver in the draft?
Green Bay could use some depth in the secondary, especially with Charles Woodson no longer on the team.
27. Houston Texans: Keenan Allen, WR, California
Tavon Austin might have passed Keenan Allen on many big boards, but the Cal receiver is still a first-round talent.
He has more prototypical size and would help provide the Texans with some offensive balance opposite Andre Johnson.
28. Denver Broncos: Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
Denver is really fortunate to be picking late in this draft. Defensive tackle is the biggest need and this class is incredibly deep at the position.
A bunch of players will go before Johnathan Hankins, but he will be a starter in the NFL for many years.
29. New England Patriots: Eric Reid, FS, LSU
Anyone who watches the Patriots can easily say that they need help in the secondary. Even if the positions are filled, depth is always important.
Eric Reid is a ball-hawking safety that makes plays on passes in the air as well as anyone else in the class.
There will also be a bunch of receivers available in the middle rounds for New England to add.
30. Atlanta Falcons: Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama
Eddie Lacy did not work out at the combine. Lucky for him, none of the other running backs separated themselves from the pack in his absence.
Atlanta could find a running back in free agency, but it would be better off grabbing a fresh, young player in the draft that could take over full-time duties for the next few years.
31. San Francisco 49ers: Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
San Francisco might be one of the most complete teams in the NFL, but depth along the defensive line is a concern. These unheralded players are the key to the great defense and the 49ers want to keep that going.
It is unlikely that the 49ers draft another wide receiver in the first round after taking A.J. Jenkins last season, but do not be surprised to see one taken at some point in the draft.
32. Baltimore Ravens: Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU
Manti Te'o could have been the top inside linebacker selected, but there are too many issues involved with him at this point. Most notably, he is simply not the athlete that teams thought he was during his senior year at Notre Dame.
This provides a great opportunity for Kevin Minter to take his place. The LSU star is better in run coverage and can also take on blockers and move them aside with ease.
The Ravens need someone to replace Ray Lewis, and Minter is the best person to do that.
A lot will happen before the NFL draft. Follow me on Twitter to keep up with the latest news and analysis.
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