2013 NFL Mock Draft: Perfect Placement for Every College Star in First Round
With the 2013 NFL draft coming up quickly, there’s a huge clamoring of fans trying to find out where their favorite collegiate stars are going to land.
Unfortunately, some of the biggest names aren’t even first-round talents, but there are a handful of notables that should be selected on the first day of the draft this April.
Let’s take a look at where some of these big-name prospects are going to wind up in our latest first-round mock draft.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Ever since Alex Smith became a member of the Kansas City Chiefs, Joeckel began looking like the perfect fit for the organization.
He’s a worthy No. 1-overall pick, as he has the potential to make numerous All-Pro teams and could be the team’s anchor at the left tackle position for years to come.
The Chiefs have plenty of needs, but found their quarterback and now need to work on protecting him to find success.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Floyd is a versatile defensive lineman with the size and athleticism to play either a 4-3 defensive tackle or 3-4 defensive end.
This Florida star has been one of the biggest risers in the class, which isn’t much of a surprise considering the amount of different skills he brings to a team.
Beyond that, he’s a disruptive pass-rusher who should aid the Jaguars in putting some pressure on the opposing signal-caller, an area where they greatly struggled in 2012.
3. Oakland Raiders: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Smith is the top quarterback prospect in the class, making it sensible for a team like the Raiders to take a chance on him.
While he started the 2012 campaign hot, the Mountaineers eventually fell out of contention and the quarterback struggled with them.
Regardless, he showed great accuracy, above-average athleticism and good arm strength on tape, and in workouts. With Reggie McKenzie’s job potentially on the line in this draft, he could do much worse than upgrade the quarterback position with the No. 3 pick.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon
Jordan’s a versatile pass-rusher with insane athleticism and a great knack for disrupting plays before they start.
Whether he’s standing up at outside linebacker or coming off the edge as an end, he’s going to find a way to put pressure on the passer. The Eagles definitely need someone with his skills and it wouldn’t be shocking to see his former coach at Oregon, Chip Kelly, influence the decision here.
5. Detroit Lions: Dee Milliner, CB, Detroit
Milliner is a rock-solid athlete with great coverage skills. He may need to work on his hands a bit, but intercepting passes is not what the cornerback position is all about.
As long as he’s stopping big plays from happening and locking down the game’s best receivers, the Lions secondary will receive a huge boost from this ‘Bama star’s presence.
6. Cleveland Browns: Ezekiel Ansah, OLB, BYU
While the Browns have a lot of needs on both sides of the ball, a true 3-4 outside linebacker for their new defensive look is an ideal pick.
Ansah is the best on the board, largely due to his in-game talents (MVP of the Senior Bowl) and great workouts at the combine. With Cleveland loading up the offense with young talent in recent years, expect them to work on the defense in 2013.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
There’s a stretch of three teams coming up that all need signal-callers, but we feel that none of the remaining QB prospects (Matt Barkley, Mike Glennon, Tyler Wilson, etc.) warrant this lofty of a draft consideration.
Fisher would be the best pick for the Cardinals, as the big tackle can help improve not only the pitiful passing game in Arizona, but a rather weak running game as well.
If he brings some stability to the O-line, perhaps one of the many Cardinal quarterbacks may look average or possibly even better.
8. Buffalo Bills: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
The Bills need playmakers on offense, and Patterson seems to be the best available on the board.
He has the size, speed, hands and sheer athleticism to become a star in the NFL, it’s just a matter of him running better routes and getting more reps.
It may take a bit for this kid to develop, which isn’t a huge deal considering Buffalo needs to find a franchise QB in the meantime.
9. New York Jets: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU
Mingo is a top-notch pass-rushing talent, which is exactly what the Jets should be looking for in 2013.
If they can’t go out and draft a franchise signal-caller (there aren’t any worthwhile at No. 9), they’d be foolish not to improve one of the biggest areas of concern they had in 2012.
This LSU product projects to be a stud defender and should assist Gang Green in rounding back into playoff form in the near future.
10. Tennessee Titans: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
Lotulelei’s heart issue has hurt his stock, but there’s no reason he should fall outside the top-10 if he’s cleared to play.
The Titans need a player with his versatility, strength and athleticism along their defensive front, and they would be getting a bargain if the Utah stud falls to them here.
11. San Diego Chargers: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
The Chargers must upgrade their offensive line to bolster a mediocre running game and give Philip Rivers time to throw the rock.
Johnson would be the best available prospect to take here, as he can address both those issues with his immense athleticism, size and strength.
12. Miami Dolphins: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
The ‘Phins nabbed a dynamic No. 1-receiving option to foster Ryan Tannehill’s development in Mike Wallace, so they should look to the other side of the field at No. 12.
We expect Miami will lean toward defending the pass and nab Rhodes, a top-tier cornerback that should be able to immediately grab one of the two starting positions in the secondary.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
Vaccaro is an interesting selection here for the Bucs, as they have a bigger need for corners over safeties, especially after inking Dashon Goldson to a deal.
However, there’s a chance veteran Ronde Barber does not return, leaving a void that only a truly talented prospect like this Longhorn could fill.
If Barber does stick around, Vaccaro has plenty of experience at nickel cornerback and should be able to reprise that role in Tampa.
14. Carolina Panthers: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
The Panthers were mediocre against both the pass and run in 2012, meaning they should look to take the most versatile defender with this mid-first round selection.
Werner certainly fits the bill, as he can hold his own in running downs and has the athleticism required to shed blockers and pressure the quarterback in passing situations.
15. New Orleans Saints: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
Jones is dealing with the fallout from his spinal stenosis issue, but should not fall past the Saints at No. 15.
The Bulldogs star is one of the best defensive prospects in this class, making him a can’t-miss pick for a New Orleans defense that was historically bad last season.
16. St. Louis Rams: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
It would be borderline insane if Warmack fell further than No. 16 to St. Louis.
While the Rams don’t necessarily need his services, he would be a major upgrade to the interior of their offensive line and should be a stalwart there for the foreseeable future.
The ‘Bama standout is one of the better guard prospects we’ve seen in a long time and any potential fall could see plenty of organizations maneuvering to stop it.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
Richardson may not be the big nose tackle that Pittsburgh likes to put in the middle of its defensive line, but he has the versatility and athleticism to slot over to defensive end in the system.
With the Steelers going 8-8 in 2012, we expect Richardson could be the first of many improvements to their defensive unit.
18. Dallas Cowboys: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
The Cowboys need as much offensive line help as possible, making Cooper a perfect fit here at No. 18.
This mauler will knock around the opposing lineman, creating space for the talented rushers in the Dallas backfield to work with and alleviating some pressure on Tony Romo.
19. New York Giants: Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
Okafor is an ideal 4-3 defensive end, which is exactly what the G-Men are looking for.
This team’s strength over the past five years has been the pass-rush, but the Giants have gotten away from that identity lately.
If Big Blue wants to get serious about pressuring the passer, this Longhorns standout would be the right selection.
20. Chicago Bears: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
Fluker is an experienced lineman who has played for a championship team.
The Bears would be wise to gamble on his winning ways and install him along their flailing offensive line.
If this ‘Bama star can keep Jay Cutler from being sacked and clear some lanes for Matt Forte, there could finally be another playoff game in Chi-Town
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia
Ogletree’s recent DUI arrest hurt his stock significantly, but we can’t see him falling past the Bengals at No. 21.
This organization is renowned for giving troubled players an opportunity to shine, which could once again pay dividends with a prospect this skilled.
22. St. Louis Rams (from Washington): DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
The Rams may lose a number of familiar faces in their receiving corps this offseason, making wideout a primary concern in the draft.
Hopkins is a skilled player who could develop into a great No. 1-option for QB Sam Bradford to throw at. Even if Hopkins doesn’t turn out to be elite, he should be reliable and foster the young quarterback’s development.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Keenan Allen, WR, California
The Vikings have a huge need at wide receiver now that Percy Harvin has been traded to the Seattle Seahawks.
It's a huge loss that is detrimental to Christian Ponder's potential development into a franchise signal-caller.
This franchise needs to immediately address the huge void in the wideout-corps by giving its QB more weapons via the draft.
With superstar running back Adrian Peterson having already faced stacked boxes throughout the 2012 campaign, the Vikings cannot afford to whiff on landing a productive wideout with this pick.
24. Indianapolis Colts: Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
Hankins is a solid defensive line player who would represent an immediate upgrade for the Colts.
While Andrew Luck was one of the most-hit quarterbacks in 2012, we imagine the team will draft lineman later and try to improve one of the poorer defenses in the league.
25. Minnesota Vikings (from Seattle): Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
If you roll the tape on Moore during his time with the Aggies, you’ll see an outstanding football player. Do the same for his combine performance and you’ll observe a mediocre athletic talent at best.
Depending on which footage the league’s general manager put more stock into, Moore could land practically anywhere in the first round.
We have him falling to Minnesota at No. 25, a steal for a team that already grabbed a top-flight receiver at No. 23 and could use a solid 4-3 defensive end here.
26. Green Bay Packers: Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama
While the Packers could go with an O-lineman to bolster their running game and help out Aaron Rodgers, we think they’ll cut out the middleman and grab the top running back in the draft.
Lacy is coming off an impressive MVP performance in the BCS Championship Game and has the strength, speed and athleticism to become a feature RB in the NFL.
27. Houston Texans: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
Austin’s athleticism wowed the crowd at the combine and should have him falling inside the first round in April.
The Texans need a No. 2-receiver to take some heat off Andre Johnson, and the organization could eventual develop the Mountaineers speedster to take over the star’s role in the offense in a couple of years.
28. Denver Broncos: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
Speaking of players being drafted to eventually replace superstars, Trufant could be the heir to Champ Bailey in Denver.
The elite cornerback isn’t going to play forever and will eventually suffer a decline, something the Broncos must brace for sooner than later. Trufant is the best cornerback talent on the board and should come no later than No. 28.
29. New England Patriots: Matt Elam, S, Florida
While some aren’t sold on Elam as a first-round prospect, we think he’d be perfect here for New England.
The Patriots need a safety who can make plays, has the athleticism to hang with any receiver or tight end he’s up against and is smart enough not to give up any home run strikes.
This Florida standout could definitely be their guy.
30. Atlanta Falcons: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
The Falcons will have Tony Gonzalez back in 2013, but need to prepare for his eventual departure in the draft.
Eifert is a stud tight end who could immediately take on a lead-receiving role in the Atlanta offense and fits perfectly here at No. 30.
It will be interesting to see if he could play the Aaron Hernandez to Gonzalez's Rob Gronkowski.
31. San Francisco 49ers: Margus Hunt, DE, Southern Methodist
We’d be beyond shocked if the Niners don’t make a move up in the first-round come draft day, especially with 15 total picks in the event.
If they stay put—it’s completely unreasonable to expect them to—Hunt wouldn’t be a bad fit for the organization.
He absolutely dominated the combine and has a ton of potential, which the Niners can develop on such a deep roster.
32. Baltimore Ravens: Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
There are plenty of options left on the board here at No. 32, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
Williams makes sense as a nose tackle for this organization, as he has a mean streak to augment his productivity.
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