2013 NFL Mock Draft: Updated Projections for Entire First Round
The franchise tag deadline and various other moves have shaken up the 2013 NFL draft picture.
This talented class boasts incredible depth at most positions. The riskiest prospects that may go in round 1 have outstanding upside, while there are several productive collegians who seem like surefire immediate starters in the pros.
Here is an updated mock of the entire first round, with a specific focus on picks that have been most affected by transactions made during this young offseason.
1. Kansas City Chiefs (2-14): Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
As ESPN reports, the Chiefs have decided to use the franchise tag on left tackle Branden Albert and also retain WR Dwayne Bowe and punter Dustin Colquitt.
There are so many ways the Chiefs could go in this slot, which includes trading down. But considering that Albert wouldn't be thrilled to slide over to guard should KC draft a tackle at No. 1 (h/t USA TODAY), this pick should change.
No cornerback has ever been selected at No. 1 overall in the modern drafting era, but the Chiefs are going to have a hard time gaining assets if they want to trade down. They used a second-round pick to acquire former 49ers QB Alex Smith, which doesn't give them much leverage.
That leads to the selection of Milliner, who had a scintillating combine performance highlighted by a 4.37 40-yard dash. He ranks only below Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel, Florida's Sharrif Floyd and Central Michigan's Eric Fisher on Scouts Inc.'s big board.
Milliner could line up opposite Brandon Flowers and instantly provide the Chiefs with a formidable corner duo to complement Eric Berry and three Pro Bowl linebackers.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14): Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Pretty much a no-brainer here for the Jags. Floyd is an extremely versatile tackle who can even play on the outside due to his uncommon speed and quickness for his size. He is of the same mold of the big, physical linemen that new head coach Gus Bradley coached with the Seattle Seahawks.
3. Oakland Raiders (4-12): Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
As Steve Corkan of the San Jose Mercury News reported, the Raiders chose not to franchise any of their players, including several key defenders. Such a development makes defense an even more pressing priority than it already was.
Lotulelei's draft stock is down due to a heart condition, which is nicely broken down by Ryan Carreon of DeseretNews.com.
It is unclear what triggered the heart condition for Lotulelei or how long he has been dealing with it, but it hasn't seemed to affect him much on the gridiron to date.
With Richard Seymour all but gone at this point, Lotulelei is a logical choice to fill the void—assuming he's healthy. The Raiders' defense was absolutely miserable in 2012, and adding a double-team commander like Lotulelei should help immediately.
4. Philadelphia Eagles (4-12): Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon
Cuts to Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson at defensive tackle were affordable. The prospective switch to a 3-4 defense allows 2012 first-round pick Fletcher Cox to presumably anchor the middle of the defense.
The linebacking corps could use an upgrade, though, as could the pass rush. That's where Jordan comes in. He is connected to newly hired Philadelphia coach Chip Kelly from their days at the University of Oregon.
Jordan has a ton of upside and the athletic versatility to hold his own in a variety of roles. But what would be most immediately effective is utilizing him as an edge rusher on the strong side.
5. Detroit Lions (4-12): Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
Milliner has been a popular pick here, but he should be off the board at this point. Instead, it's his former Crimson Tide teammate Warmack that gets the nod.
As many times as QB Matthew Stafford drops back to pass, the Lions could stand to protect him more. Having already used a first-round pick last year on offensive tackle Riley Reiff, Warmack would provide even more protection on the inside.
Not only that, but Warmack would be a huge asset in run-blocking. If the Lions are able to have a more balanced offense, they could become unstoppable.
6. Cleveland Browns (5-11): Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
Spinal stenosis continues to stunt interest in Jones. However, it hasn't really been a problem for several years while he's been battling away in the extremely physical SEC. The Browns need a difference maker on defense, and Jones would be a great fit in Ray Horton's 3-4 outfit.
7. Arizona Cardinals (5-11): Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Although considered by many to be the top overall prospect of the draft, the many needs on defense for the NFL's lackluster teams drop Joeckel to No. 7. He will immediately come in and protect presumed starter Kevin Kolb's blind side, which should give the oft-injured signal-caller a chance to show what he can truly do.
8. Buffalo Bills (6-10): Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
As head coach Doug Marrone indicated, it is going to be an open quarterback competition between Tarvaris Jackson and incumbent Ryan Fitzpatrick. That shouldn't exactly ignite the imaginations of Bills fans.
Instead, how about Smith? His 4.59 40-yard dash speed could be lethal in a zone-read look with C.J. Spiller, and he seems to have way more upside than any current options on Buffalo's roster.
9. New York Jets (6-10): Matt Barkley, QB, Southern California
The hiring of Marty Mornhinweg as offensive coordinator makes Barkley an ideal fit with the Jets, since he is familiar with the West Coast offense.
Barkley would provide competition for fellow USC alum Mark Sanchez, who has struggled mightily over the past two years after guiding the Jets to two straight AFC Championship games.
If all were to go according to plan, Barkley could take the reins and hopefully have a healthy Santonio Holmes, second-year big target Stephen Hill and TE Dustin Keller—if he re-signs.
It's still difficult to tell whether Barkley was a beneficiary of his outstanding supporting cast with the Trojans or if he is truly worthy of a top-10 pick. But he is the best bet for the Jets' immediate future—unless they want to stick it out another year with Sanchez.
10. Tennessee Titans (6-10): Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia
Off-field concerns aside, Ogletree made the most tackles for the Bulldogs this past season despite being suspended for four games. Although he ran into more trouble with a recent DUI, the Titans should take a risk on him. He can line up inside or outside and make countless plays in coverage and against the run.
11. San Diego Chargers (7-9): Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
The Senior Bowl week showcased how dominant Fisher can be against some of the best pass-rushers coming out. Philip Rivers will be thrilled to have better protection on his blind side, which should cut down the turnovers and make the Chargers a more efficient offense in 2013.
12. Miami Dolphins (7-9): Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
Since the tag was placed on DT Randy Starks officially, the Dolphins aren't likely to meet CB Sean Smith's huge demands. That makes the draft a cheaper route to address the cornerback issue.
Rhodes is loaded with potential and gifted with rare size and athleticism for his position. Although he's not as good in the slot, that won't be his place in the NFL. The former Seminole is an aggressive, jam-coverage type of player who can match up with big targets on the outside.
Tackling is a bit suspect, but Rhodes has the ball skills, route recognition, recovery and closing burst to become a wonderful corner. The Dolphins ranked 26th against the pass in 2012, and Rhodes should help that immediately.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9): Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
Cornerback is deep in this draft, and with an earlier second round pick, the Bucs should be able to snag a solid prospect. Ansah is one of the greatest athletes in this draft, and head coach Greg Schiano would love to plug him into the defense and see if he can help a putrid pass rush from a season ago.
14. Carolina Panthers (7-9): Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Receiver isn't being discussed by many as a need for Carolina, but Steve Smith is only getting older, and the Panthers don't have many viable options outside of him. Adding another explosive target would help Cam Newton immensely, and Patterson is widely considered to be the best receiver in the class.
15. New Orleans Saints (7-9): Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
In a transition to the 3-4 defense under new coordinator Rob Ryan, the Saints will need to upgrade the talent on that side of the ball. Mingo could serve as an edge-rushing specialist who also has the range to make plays on the perimeter against running backs and read-option QBs.
16. St. Louis Rams (7-8-1): Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina
With franchise-leading rusher Steven Jackson out of the picture, the Rams could go for Bama's Eddie Lacy here. But Jeff Fisher likes who he has, although neither Daryl Richardson nor Isaiah Pead weigh 200 pounds. Cooper will help run-blocking, but will especially afford Sam Bradford more time in the pocket to hit big plays down the field.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8): Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama
The fallout between Rashard Mendenhall and the Steelers' brass makes this one not much of a surprise. Lacy is 231 pounds of brute force and surprising quickness, and Pittsburgh needs to establish a far better running game to protect Ben Roethlisberger's style of reckless abandon.
18. Dallas Cowboys (8-8): Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
As Todd Archer of ESPN Dallas points out, the Cowboys' release of Gerald Sensabaugh makes them extremely thin at the safety position—which they arguably were before that move was made.
A formidable cornerback duo exists with Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne, yet there has to be a big concern about the rest of the defensive backfield. That's where Vaccaro would be a huge asset to America's team.
Vacarro flies to the football, and is equally as good at stepping into the box and stuffing the run as he is in man-to-man coverage. A lot will be asked of him and the secondary in Monte Kiffin's Tampa 2 scheme, which fits Vaccaro's style of play very well.
19. New York Giants (9-7): Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
A very productive defensive end with the Seminoles, Werner fills a surprising need for the Giants. Their characteristically awesome pass rush was lacking in 2012, and it resulted in a much worse defensive performance overall. It was a big reason they didn't make the playoffs to defend their Super Bowl title.
20. Chicago Bears (10-6): Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
The domino effect that started when the Chiefs snagged Alex Smith and when the Bills and Jets decided to go quarterback culminates in Bears QB Jay Cutler finally having some much-needed improved pass protection. Johnson is freakishly athletic for his position, and projects very well as a left tackle.
21. Cincinnati Bengals (10-6): Keenan Allen, WR, California
Giving Andy Dalton another weapon is certainly not a bad option. In the wild-card against the Houston Texans, Dalton was lost when A.J. Green was taken out of the game plan. The Bengals should take Allen, who has an outstanding combination of size and dangerousness after the catch to be a solid No. 2 opposite the superstar Green.
22. St. Louis Rams (via Washington Redskins): Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
Eifert is a formidable receiving threat and just the type of player that could thrive in Brian Schottenheimer's offense. He called plays for the New York Jets when Dustin Keller's career got off to a stellar start, and Eifert has the upside to do even more.
23. Minnesota Vikings (10-6): Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
At 6'4" and 196 pounds, there is still room for Hunter to fill out a little more. As a junior he showed no ill effects from the ACL injury that kept him out for nearly all of the previous year.
The Vikings will need another receiver to help balance the offense driven by Adrian Peterson, especially if Percy Harvin ends up leaving.
24. Indianapolis Colts (11-5): Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
Badly in need of a corner, the Colts should strongly consider Trufant. He ran a 4.38 40-yard dash and a 3.85 20-yard shuttle drill at the combine. That shows off the type of agility, change of direction and natural instincts that Trufant has to help Indy's secondary right away opposite Vontae Davis.
25. Minnesota Vikings via Seattle Seahawks (10-6): Margus Hunt, DE, SMU
Acquired from Seattle in the trade for Percy Harvin, Hunt has arguably the biggest upside of anyone in the draft, and his combine numbers speak for themselves. He would be a steal at No. 25.
26. Green Bay Packers (11-5): Arthur Brown, ILB, Kansas State
Brown plays bigger than his "undersized" stature would indicate. An all-around solid tackler with good speed, range and coverage ability, Brown was a standout for the Wildcats—and would have a strong bid for early playing time on a unit that has struggled for the past two years.
27. Houston Texans (12-4): Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
There aren't many better options in the slot than Austin, who had a sensational college career and seems to have all the tools to succeed in the pros. For being just 5'8 and 174 pounds, it's hard to believe Austin got 225 pounds up 14 times on the bench press. That shows he has the strength to beat press coverage, and should make him an asset for Houston for years to come.
28. Denver Broncos (13-3): Kawann Short, DT, Purdue
Somewhat of a raw prospect in terms of technique, but Short has all the athleticism to pull off the complete package. The Broncos have players like Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller that would be surrounding him on defense, which would create a dynamic front seven that few opponents could match up against in the future.
29. New England Patriots (12-4): Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
It's likely that Richardson doesn't fall this far. Still, the Patriots need a little more security on defense, and Richardson provides that. His relentless motor and burst off the line with Vince Wilfork would make the Pats' defense much more intimidating.
30. Atlanta Falcons (13-3): Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
After cutting John Abraham, the Falcons really don't have any defensive ends who are particularly good at rushing the quarterback. Jones is very much an upstart who proved he could take on anyone at the Senior Bowl. He is also 6'4" and 283 pounds, which gives him both great size against the run and likely bull-rushing capabilities at the next level.
31. San Francisco 49ers (11-4-1): Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
The injury to Justin Smith last year proved that the Niners could definitely use some help on the interior defensive line. Cornerback should be a need, but the team has so many picks that it can afford to take a shot at Hankins here.
The 320-pounder can play three downs if needed, and is particularly stout against the run.
32. Baltimore Ravens (10-6): Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU
Minter only started one season for the Tigers, but managed to stand out big time in a group full of future NFL players. The Ravens have a lot of needs to address this offseason, and drafting Minter will at least help build depth in the wake of Ray Lewis' retirement.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?