2013 NFL Mock Draft: Bjoern Werner and More Game-Changing First-Round Locks
Bjoern Werner is the kind of defensive end that makes an impact on any down or in any situation. That is the kind of player who changes the way a team can call their defensive plays and the way the opposition tries to attack that defense.
That is what game changers do, and Werner is not the only one in this draft who will change games.
In my full first-round mock below, I'll highlight (in italics) several players who will be game changers in the NFL.
Langford's 2013 NFL Mock Draft
1. Kansas City Chiefs (2-14): Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Once the Chiefs placed the franchise tag on left tackle Branden Albert (via Mike Garafolo of USA Today) the first pick became much harder to predict.
However, Joeckel is still an outstanding prospect at tackle and a quality selection. What will sway the Chiefs to this pick is that Joeckel's ceiling is as high as any of the defensive players who the Chiefs may contemplate, and he has a higher floor.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14): Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
The Jaguars have holes all over the place. Honestly, they could pick any position and you could say, "well, the Jaguars filled a need with that pick." However, two key things will sway them to Werner.
First, of all their holes, there isn't one more glaring than their lack of a pass rush. The Jaguars were securely last in the NFL with just 20 sacks last year.
This will lead them to taking a player who can rush the passer—and then our second key item comes into play.
The Jaguars will select Werner because he brings a fierce pass rush, but it is far more than just a pass rusher.
Werner has solid explosion, good strength and the frame to play right away in the NFL.
While I wouldn't expect him to be among the league leaders in sacks, he is the kind of defensive linemen who makes the others around him better. He does that with his effort and his ability to dictate that he receives extra attention.
3. Oakland Raiders (4-12): Shariff Floyd, DT, Florida
The Raiders need a complete makeover at defensive tackle, and they will start that process with the third pick.
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 abysmal pass protection will doom Chip Kelly's offense. Kelly needs space and blockers who can seal the edge.
Eric Fisher is an athletic tackle with the ability to be dominant.
5. Detroit Lions (4-12): Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
Detroit needs to add some athleticism and a pass rush on the edge of their defense. Dion Jordan will definitely bring that.
He is a bit raw, but he is athletically gifted and a solid pick here.
6. Cleveland Browns (5-11): Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
Like Werner, Ezekiel Ansah is the complete package. He is solid against the run and can get to the passer.
This will be a nice piece as the Browns fill out a young and talented, but incomplete defense.
7. Arizona Cardinals (5-11): Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Geno Smith is not the kind of game changer at quarterback that Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III were last year. His talent simply isn't on the same level.
However, Smith will definitely change the way the Arizona Cardinals play their games.
As fantasy owners know, the bad quarterback play for the Cardinals has all but rendered Larry Fitzgerald's all-world talent moot.
Sure, Kevin Kolb showed some improvement when healthy, but Smith can make all the throws and he will allow the Cardinals to open up their offense and utilize Fitzgerald's talent.
Smith has to work on his consistency and decision making, but he as all the tools to be a very good quarterback in the NFL.
8. Buffalo Bills (6-10): Matt Barkley, QB, USC
This will be a very interesting pick. The Bills have to identify their quarterback of the future, because it's not Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Matt Barkley is a solid quarterback, and while he may be a bit of a reach here, we have gotten use to seeing quarterbacks go earlier than expected in the first round.
9. New York Jets (6-10): Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
With all the talk about the Jets' quarterback position, it is easy to forget that when this team has been at its strongest under Rex Ryan, it had a brutal run game.
Chance Warmack will help them get back to that. This young man is a true mauler.
10. Tennessee Titans (6-10): Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Dee Milliner is ready to step on an NFL field and start. The Titans, and they 20th ranked pass defense, will be ecstatic if they have a chance to draft him.
11. San Diego Chargers (7-9): Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
Philip Rivers is getting beat into a struggling quarterback. The Chargers have to give him more protection, and they are hurting for that.
They have Jared Gaither for the tackle position and little else, and Gaither can't stay healthy.
12. Miami Dolphins (7-9): Cordarrelle Patterson, WR
Cordarrelle Patterson was essentially unheard of before the start of last season, as he was transferring from a junior college to Tennessee.
He made an immediate impact and quickly started grabbing scouts' attention as he hauled in 46 catches for 778 yards and 5 receiving touchdowns last year.
At 6'3", 205 pounds and the speed and leaping ability to make plays down the field, Patterson has all the tools to be a stud in the NFL.
This guy isn't just limited to deep passes either. He is dynamic once he gets the ball in his hands. Last season he scored touchdowns not just catching the ball, but also rushing and returning punts and kickoffs.
The Dolphins desperately need a boost at wide receiver. Patterson will help them open up their offense and will be a nice fit with Ryan Tannehill, who throws an excellent deep ball.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9): Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
Tampa Bay isn't going to get any better until it fixes its pass defense. It has to be the Bucs' main priority, and they would be wise to use their first pick towards those ends.
Xavier Rhodes is a physical corner and an excellent prospect.
14. Carolina Panthers (7-9): Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
Star Lotulelei's heart condition will keep him from going much higher in the draft.
However, combine the Panthers' need for some beef up front and Lotulelei's immense talent, he won't slide past No. 14.
15. New Orleans Saints (7-9): Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU
The Saints defense was very balanced last year. Unfortunately for them, they balanced in their ineptitude.
That makes Barkevious Mingo a nice pick here. He can put some heat on the passer and is no slouch against the run.
16. St. Louis Rams (7-8-1): Keenan Allen, WR, California
The Rams have a promising young defense. Now they need an infusion of talent on the offensive end.
Keenan Allen is a nice fit here. His great hands and solid quickness will give Sam Bradford a reliable target.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8): Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
Pittsburgh must add some young talent on defense. Moore is a great fit.
He has college experience as a defensive end and at outside linebacker, which will make him a nice versatile piece in the Steelers' 3-4.
18. Dallas Cowboys (8-8): Kawann Short, DT, Purdue
The thing about moving to a 4-3 is, you need an extra interior defensive lineman. Kawann Short will help solidify the Cowboys front.
19. New York Giants (9-7): Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
The Giants need a corner. Anyone who watched this team get torched for big pass plays as it came up short of the playoffs knows this.
Banks is a solid talent and should be an immediate upgrade in the Big Apple.
20. Chicago Bears (10-6): D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
D.J. Fluker has a great frame and long arms to play tackle. He doesn't have terrific foot speed, which may relegate him to the right side of the line, but the Bears could certainly benefit from his services.
21. Cincinnati Bengals (10-6): Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
Jarvis Jones was slated to go much higher in this draft, but injury concerns will keep him on the board.
The Bengals won't be able to pass on his tremendous potential, as they hope he can help give the Bengals the best pass rush in the league.
22. St. Louis Rams* (From 10-6 Washington Redskins): Kenny Vaccaro, FS, Texas
Having already added a wide receiver, the Rams will be able to look for someone to complete their defense.
Kenny Vaccaro has nice range and ball skills, and he will help solidify the back of the Rams' defense.
22. Minnesota Vikings (10-6): Robert Woods, WR, USC
The Vikings have to find some way to get a strong enough passing game to take some of the attention off of Adrian Peterson.
Robert Woods has good hands and will be a reliable target for Christian Ponder.
24. Indianapolis Colts (11-5): Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
The 323-pound Jesse Williams will look great in the middle of the Colts 3-4 defensive line. The Colts need to add strength and muscle in the middle of their defense. Williams will do that.
25. Seattle Seahawks (11-5): Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
The Seahawks must bolster their defensive line and pass rush, especially considering that Chris Clemons tore his ACL in the playoffs.
Datone Jones is an explosive defensive end who will help Seattle get to the passer.
26. Green Bay Packers (11-5): Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina
The Packers must improve in their offensive front five—I'm sure Aaron Rodgers agrees.
The Packers may go for a tackle here. However, they will get a much better value with this quality guard.
27. Houston Texans (12-4): Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
The Texans must add another weapon in the passing game.
Tavon Austin is the kind of receiver who can turn a five-yard slant into a long touchdown. That is exactly what this offense needs to open things up for Andre Johnson and Arian Foster.
28. Denver Broncos (13-3): Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
Johnathan Hankins has the body and strength to play defensive tackle in the NFL from day one. This would help the Broncos complete their front seven.
29. New England Patriots (12-4): Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
The Patriots have been patching together a weak secondary for years. They need to start adding some talent.
Trufant is a great fit for the Patriots. He is small, but he is fast, and he can play in man or zone coverages.
30. Atlanta Falcons (13-3): Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
Atlanta's defensive front seven is too soft. They can be victimized by the run and worn down over the course of a game.
Williams will add some nice muscle and attitude in the middle of their defensive line.
31. San Francisco 49ers (11-4-1): Barrett Jones, C, Alabama
The 49ers are going to need a center, and Barrett Jones is the best in this draft.
Not only that, his fiery ways will allow him to be an extension of coach Jim Harbaugh as he captains his linemates.
32. Baltimore Ravens (10-6): Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU
As you might have heard over the course of the Ravens improbable run to the Super Bowl, Ray Lewis has retired.
The Ravens are in an excellent place to grab his replacement.
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