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2013 NFL Mock Draft: Easiest Moves with the Biggest Impact

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2013 NFL Mock Draft: Easiest Moves with the Biggest Impact
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Not all first-round selections are easy to make. And not all can guarantee a big impact.

But with the 2013 NFL draft approaching quickly, there are a handful of picks that look to be no-brainers. Whether filling a crucial need or stealing a talented player late in the round, these moves can best be categorized as easy and full of impact.

Below we'll run down the entire first round of the 2013 NFL draft, taking a closer look at some of the easy, big-impact moves that should be made.

*Easy moves with big impact are italicized.

 

No. 1. Kansas City Chiefs (2-14): Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M, OT

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Although Kansas City recently put the franchise tag on offensive lineman Branden Albert, Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel is viewed as the best player available this year.

There's the potential that the Chiefs could trade out of the top pick now that they have their new quarterback in Alex Smith, but assuming they decide to hang on to it, Joeckel makes the most sense for a team that surrendered 40 sacks a season ago.

 

No. 2. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14): Barkevious Mingo, LSU, DE

Keke Mingo showed remarkable athleticism at the NFL Scouting Combine in February, plus he's one of the more versatile defenders coming out of college football in 2013. He can play outside linebacker or operate on the defensive line. 

Whatever position he plays, he could help Jacksonville pick up more than 20 sacks this coming season. And even if he's not sacking the quarterback, Mingo is a sure tackler and will be a source of constant defensive pressure on the outside edge.

 

No. 3. Oakland Raiders (4-12) : Sharrif Floyd, Florida, DT

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Sharrif Floyd could potentially be a Top Five pick in 2013 before it's all said and done. The former Florida Gator is rising up draft boards at the ideal time and would be an easy choice for the New York Jets in the first round. 

Not only were the Jets anemic in the pass-rush category last year (tied for 25th with 30), but if Floyd is still on the board at No. 9, he'd be a steal for a team coached by one of the great defensive minds in Rex Ryan. Floyd would be a great fit in New York that's for sure, and unless his stock continues to skyrocket, he'll likely hear his name called somewhere in the Top 10.

 

No. 4. Philadelphia Eagles (4-12): Dee Milliner, Alabama, CB

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Alabama's Dee Milliner is going to be a difference-maker at the next level. His cover skills are excellent and his fearlessness and instincts are just as impressive. He may not record a ton of interceptions but throwing on him will certainly be a challenge.

A multidimensional player, Milliner isn't limited to locking down his man in passing situations. The former Crimson Tide star can also charge quick to the line of scrimmage to deliver a big blow to the ball-carrier when he recognizes running plays.

It certainly doesn't hurt that he ran a 4.37-second 40-yard dash at the combine in February.

 

No. 5. Detroit Lions (4-12): Dion Jordan, Oregon, DE

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With Milliner off the board, Detroit could go after a talented pass-rusher like Oregon's Dion Jordan. Cliff Avril's departure for Seattle means that the Lions have a void to fill at defensive end.

 

No. 6. Cleveland Browns (5-11): Bjoern Werner, Florida State, DE

Having selected a quarterback and a running back in the first round of last year's draft, Cleveland would be wise to address its defense. Florida State's Bjoern Werner is a strong defensive end who plays with a motor that Browns fans are sure to fall in love with.

With Paul Kruger already signed, Cleveland would be working towards building one of the most talented defensive fronts in football.

 

No. 7. Arizona Cardinals (5-11): Geno Smith, West Virginia, QB

The Arizona Cardinals need a lot of tools on offense, but at pick No. 7, they could make perhaps the easiest move of the 2013 NFL draft by selecting West Virginia star Geno Smith. The Cardinals haven't had a steady hand under center since Kurt Warner, and Smith is an easy choice considering how weak this year's quarterback class is.

A 4,000-plus-yard passer his last two seasons with the Mountaineers, Smith has the accuracy and arm strength to make it in the NFL. His pocket presence is also superb. He shows exceptional awareness on most occasions and possesses the size to throw over larger defenders.

 

No. 8. Buffalo Bills (6-10): Eric Fisher, Central Michigan, OT

Like the Cardinals, the Buffalo Bills are in the market for a quarterback and could look to trade up before the draft in order to secure Geno Smith. For now, they're at No. 8, and the best player available is the massive Eric Fisher from Central Michigan.

 

No. 9. New York Jets (6-10): Star Lotulelei, Utah, DT

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Drafting Utah's Star Lotulelei will be anything but an easy move this April if teams don't find out more information about his current health condition. But assuming he's cleared to play at a high level, New York could take the risk at No. 9.

 

No. 10. Tennessee Titans (6-10): Chance Warmack, Alabama, G

What's not to love about Alabama's Chance Warmack? No, he's not going to wow you with his speed or leaping ability. But he will drive defenders off the ball and clear gaping holes for running backs at the next level.

Warmack is the best guard coming out this year, along with North Carolina's Jonathan Cooper, and a team like Tennessee could really benefit from his services.

I'm sure Chris Johnson wouldn't mind the pick.

 

No. 11. San Diego Chargers (7-9): Lane Johnson, Oklahoma, OT 

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Only Arizona, Green Bay and Jacksonville gave up more sacks than the San Diego Chargers in 2012, which makes the Bolts' decision an easy one at No. 11. Oklahoma's Lane Johnson is super athletic and is developing into a tremendous tackle.

This pick could have a huge impact on the Chargers, who can't seem to keep pressure off Philip Rivers. Johnson can improve in the awareness and run-blocking areas, but he's already a sensational pass protector. If he's on the board when San Diego arrives on the clock, this move is seemingly a sure thing.

 

No. 12. Miami Dolphins (7-9): Keenan Allen, California, WR

With Mike Wallace on his way to Miami, the Dolphins can ensure that they surround second-year passer Ryan Tannehill with sufficient weapons by targeting the sure-handed Cal wideout in the first round.

 

No. 13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9): Damontre Moore, Texas A&M, DE

This tweet from NFL.com senior analyst Gil Brandt says it all when it comes to Damontre Moore's plummeting draft stock: 

However, assuming most teams have seen the tape on the former Aggies star and recognize that he has tons of physical gifts, there's no way someone doesn't take a chance on him with a first-round selection. 

Consider this: Tampa Bay recorded only 27 sacks this past season. Plus, the Bucs lost star defensive end Michael Bennett to Seattle in free agency this offseason. 

 

No. 14. Carolina Panthers (7-9): Ezekiel Ansah, BYU, DE

Ziggy Ansah has speed, agility and all sorts of athleticism, making him a promising pick for a team like the Carolina Panthers. The Brigham Young star is 6'6", 270 pounds, but runs like a wide receiver.

 

No. 15. New Orleans Saints (7-9): Jarvis Jones, Georgia, LB

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There are still some questions surrounding Jarvis Jones' health, which could potentially hurt his chances of being drafted inside the Top 10 this spring. Still, I don't think he'll make it past the Saints at No. 15. 

Jones' style of play would fit in nicely in a lot of places, particularly in New Orleans where playmaking defenders excel on the fast turf of the Superdome.

 

No. 16. St. Louis Rams (7-8-1): Tavon Austin, West Virginia, WR

Tavon Austin's lightning-fast 40-yard dash at the combine certainly gave his stock a lift. St. Louis could really use Austin's big-play threat in 2013 and beyond, making him an easy first-round move for the Rams. 

Sam Bradford and company have been lackluster to say the least in recent seasons. Not only has St. Louis' offense ranked poorly in terms of production, but the unit hasn't even been much fun to watch. And now the Rams really need a wide receiver after losing Danny Amendola to New England this March.

Drafting Austin at No. 16 would at least ensure that St. Louis' offense would bring another dimension to the table next season. The former West Virginia playmaker can also impact the game on special teams as a shifty return man.

 

No. 17. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8): Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina, G

Injuries are a part of the game, sure, but they really decimated Pittsburgh in 2012. It seemed the  Steelers lost a different offensive lineman each week on their way to finishing 8-8. North Carolina's Jonathan Cooper would be a smart pick at No. 17.

He's definitely the most versatile guard coming out this year and would fit in beautifully with Pittsburgh's run-first style.

 

No. 18. Dallas Cowboys (8-8): Sheldon Richardson, Missouri, DT

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Dallas can't expect to contend for the NFC East crown in 2013 if it's surrendering over 125 rushing yards per game. Missouri's Sheldon Richardson could help shrink that average while generating more push up the middle for the Cowboys.

 

No. 19. New York Giants (9-7): Datone Jones, UCLA, DE

Anything the Cowboys can do, the New York Giants can do better. UCLA's Datone Jones is another promising defensive lineman coming out of the college ranks this spring. Jones would be able to fill a need on the defensive front for Tom Coughlin's G-Men following the release of Chris Canty

 

No. 20. Chicago Bears (10-6): Khaseem Greene, Rutgers, LB

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A senior linebacker out of Rutgers, Khaseem Greene has all of the intangibles that coaches love, and he's an above average tackler despite his lack of intimidating size. With Chicago having addressed its needs on the offensive line and at tight end through free agency, this move would make a lot of sense. 

 

No. 21. Cincinnati Bengals (10-6): Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee, WR

Unless the Bengals are content to move on with 5'7" Andrew Hawkins as their No. 2 option below A.J. Green, then Tennessee's Cordarrelle Patterson would be a great choice in the first round. 

Patterson has size and big-play ability.

 

No. 22. St. Louis Rams (via Washington Redskins) (10-6): Kenny Vaccaro, Texas, S

St. Louis will have two first-round picks in this year's draft thanks to last year's pre-draft trade with the Washington Redskins. After taking a wide receiver (Tavon Austin) with the 16th overall pick, expect the Rams to go defense at No. 22 (or vice-versa). 

It's looking more and more unlikely that Texas' Kenny Vaccaro will be on the board still approaching the late-first round, but in this mock, he's available and fits in well with Jeff Fisher's defense.

 

No. 23. Minnesota Vikings (10-6): Desmond Trufant, Washington, CB

The Vikings could look to draft offensive help at No. 23 but based on how suspect Minnesota's secondary looked down the stretch in 2012, defense is just as smart a route. Washington's Desmond Trufant has been gaining momentum, and his skill set would be a solid pickup for the Vikings.

Plus, the acquisition of Greg Jennings helps reduce Minnesota's need to draft a wideout in the first round.

 

No. 24. Indianapolis Colts (11-5): Sylvester Williams, North Carolina, DT

North Carolina's Sylvester Williams is a monster in run defense, and that's just what the Indianapolis Colts need. They ranked 29th in rush defense a year ago, and need to shore up their defensive front in order to improve their chances of making a deep postseason run in 2013.

 

No. 25. Minnesota Vikings (via Seattle Seahawks (11-5)): Alec Ogletree, Georgia, LB

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Minnesota will get two first-round picks in 2013 after agreeing to ship Percy Harvin to Seattle (via FOX Sports' Jay Glazer):

Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree would be a solid pick for the Vikes at No. 25. Sure, he may bring along a little extra baggage, but his physical abilities are undeniable. 

 

No. 26. Green Bay Packers (11-5): Eddie Lacy, Alabama, RB

Although the Packers could look to Alabama's D.J. Fluker for offensive line help at No. 26, Eddie Lacy would be a better pickup if Green Bay is looking to add another dimension to its offense. A powerful, bruising back, Lacy can break arm tackles with ease and help Aaron Rodgers move the chains. 

 

No. 27. Houston Texans (12-4): Kevin Minter, LSU, LB

Kevin Minter would be an excellent fit in Houston. The former LSU linebacker produced awesome numbers with the Tigers, and his sound defensive play could help Houston reach the next level, which would be the AFC Championship Game in 2013.

This would be a good move in the wake of linebacker Connor Barwin's departure to Philadelphia.

 

No. 28. Denver Broncos (13-3): John Cyprien, Florida International, S

After watching Denver's secondary get burned time and time again by Baltimore, it's safe to say that the Broncos could use their first-round selection on a young player in the secondary. Denver brought in an experienced cornerback in Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in free agency so adding a big-play safety like John Cyprien is the next logical move.

 

No. 29. New England Patriots (12-4): Matt Elam, Florida, S

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This pick is a no-brainer for Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots. Matt Elam fills a need in the secondary and could make an instant impact as a hard-hitting safety. 

New England has struggled to rebuild its secondary in recent seasons, but the former Gator would be a tremendous late-first round addition. He's strong and plays the game with an unrivaled intensity. That said, it's only a matter of time before Elam is starting consistently and making plays in the passing game.

 

No. 30. Atlanta Falcons (13-3): Xavier Rhodes, Florida State, CB

With Tony Gonzalez set to return and Steven Jackson on board, Atlanta will need to address its defense in the first round this year. Florida State's Xavier Rhodes would be an easy move for the Falcons, who cut cornerback Dunta Robinson this offseason.

 

No. 31. San Francisco 49ers (11-4-1): Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State, CB

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San Francisco is arguably the most complete team in the league, but the last time we saw the 49ers, they were getting lit up by Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII

Mississippi State's Johnthan Banks wouldn't be a steal per se but a very smart addition by the Niners in the late-first round.

 

No. 32. Baltimore Ravens (10-6): Manti Te'o, Notre Dame, LB

The 32nd overall pick might as well be the second round of the draft, so why not take a risk? Plus, for the defending Super Bowl champions, Notre Dame's Manti Te'o would fill a need at inside linebacker following the retirement of legend Ray Lewis

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

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