NFL Mock Draft 2013: Projecting Studs and Duds of the First Round

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NFL Mock Draft 2013: Projecting Studs and Duds of the First Round
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The NFL draft is never a certainty and teams always run the risk of selecting a dud who doesn't work out in the league.

However, for all of those duds, there are also a bunch of studs who could help change the face of a franchise for years to come from their respective position.

Let's take a look at some potential studs and duds in this year's draft, as well as a full mock for the entire first round as the majority of pro days approach.

 

1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M (Stud)

Joeckel has long been considered the best prospect in this draft and it was his protection that helped freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel win the Heisman. On top of that, Joeckel happens to play at one of the most important positions a team can fill: left tackle.

It remains to be seen just what the Chiefs will do with their No. 1 pick after slapping the franchise tag on Branden Albert, but the release of Eric Winston should open up some space for Joeckel to slide right in and contribute from day one.

Joeckel can make an impact right away as long as KC has the room for him.

 

2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida (Stud)

Floyd's stock is at an all-time high after the combine and he's seen his position in the first round skyrocket as a result. The Florida product was once a middle to late first-rounder, but now finds himself as a top-five pick.

That's good news for the Jags who could use some help up the middle to stop opposing rushing attacks. Jacksonville ranked No. 30 in the NFL against the run last season, so something must be done to improve that glaring weakness.

The Florida product could be the answer and he should be able to help clog the running lanes for opposing running backs.

 

3. Oakland Raiders: Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon (Stud)

Jordan is also benefiting from a great combine showing in which he proved he has the athleticism to play either the defensive end or outside linebacker position. That type of versatility is not only impressive, but it will make him that much more wanted by teams in the first round.

Over the last two seasons in Oregon, Jordan compiled 12.5 sacks, 23.5 tackles for loss and four forced fumbles.

The Raiders finished near the bottom of the league in the sack department last season, so adding a pass-rusher like Jordan has become an absolute necessity in this year's draft.

 

4. Philadelphia Eagles: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

Fisher solidified his status as a top tackle in this year's class after the combine and that performance has moved him up the draft board to a top five pick. The Eagles need all the help they can get on the offensive line after finishing in the top five in sacks allowed last season.

 

5. Detroit Lions: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

Despite a shoulder injury, Milliner was able to show he was the No. 1 corner in the 2013 draft and his timetable for return will be before training camp starts. The Lions need to land themselves a top-flight corner to improve their defense further and Milliner certainly fits the bill.

 

6. Cleveland Browns: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia

The NCAA's sack leader has seen his stock take a hit thanks to an old neck injury suffered in college, but that can't erase just how much potential and overall talent Jones has. The Browns could use some help in their front seven and an elite pass-rusher like Jones will be a nice fit.

 

7. Arizona Cardinals: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia

The Cardinals didn't have any success with their options behind center last season, so an upgrade is a must and hopefully it will be a long-term solution. Smith is the best quarterback in this draft and while the Cards might be reaching here, teams sometimes do when they need a quarterback.

 

8. Buffalo Bills: Matt Barkley, QB, USC (Dud)

Barkley didn't throw at the combine and will instead wait until USC's pro day to show NFL scouts his stuff. That will prolong the concerns over his abilities and potential viability as an NFL quarterback and he must kill it at the pro day to be a top 10 pick.

The biggest concerns over Barkley is his lack of arm strength and his poor decision-making when under pressure in the pocket. Although, Barkley has been praised for his football I.Q. and leadership.

Buffalo hasn't gotten much out of its current quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick, so if Barkley can prove he has the goods to be a NFL quarterback, the Bills will likely take him with this pick.

 

9. New York Jets: Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU

Mingo's overall combine showing proved he has the natural skills to be a great NFL pass-rusher, now all that's left is for him to develop those skills as he's still a bit raw. Head coach Rex Ryan's squad is still a few seasons at least from competing, so it has the time to develop such a project.

 

10. Tennessee Titans: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama

Blocking up the middle is an area the Titans should look to improve upon in order to give their quarterback more time in the pocket and help open up bigger holes for Chris Johnson. Warmack is ready to start on his first day in the NFL with his size and strength, so the Titans could get a nice return in his first season.

 

11. San Diego Chargers: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma (Stud)

Johnson had a stellar combine that saw him top both Fisher and Joeckel in the bench press and 40-yard dash. Not to mention, Johnson displayed some sensational footwork that will help make him a great all-around blocker.

The Oklahoma product was once thought to be a late first-rounder, but he now appears to be creeping into the top 10 or somewhere near it as draft day approaches.

The Chargers were unable to get their passing attack off the ground last season because of poor offensive line play. Johnson should help in the pass protection as well as opening things up to the outside for San Diego's running game.

 

12. Miami Dolphins: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State

Rhodes' athleticism was on full display at the workouts and he is by far the second-best cornerback in this year's draft. The Dolphins do need some help in the receiving corps, but they should be able to fill that need in free agency, so beefing up the secondary will be the next focus.

 

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State

Werner could've been a top-five pick, but his combine showing was less than stellar and that has sent him down draft boards. The Bucs were one of the worst teams in the NFL in sacks last season, so adding a pass-rusher like Werner makes sense.

 

14. Carolina Panthers: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee

Cam Newton needs some new toys to play with and Steve Smith could use another receiver to line up across from him to take some pressure off. Patterson is a talented receiver who can line up on the outside and give the Panthers just what they need.

 

15. New Orleans Saints: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The Saints desperately need to rebuild their defense if they hope to compete next season and stopping the run is one of the areas that needs some help. Lotulelei has the most talent of any defensive tackle in this year's class, but a heart condition has dropped him down the draft board.

 

16. St. Louis Rams: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas

The Rams defense is on the right track and they got some great secondary play from Cortland Finnegan and Janoris Jenkins last season, but safety is a need that must be filled for next season. Vaccaro can play both safety positions and has experience lining up as a slot corner, so he could be the answer to multiple needs for the Rams.

 

17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU

After a solid Senior Bowl and a good combine, Ansah's name has quickly shot up draft boards into the first round. Seeing as how the Steelers are reportedly "drooling" over the thought of Ansah as a 3-4 linebacker, this seems like an inevitable pick.

 

18. Dallas Cowboys: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri

New defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin will have the Cowboys playing a 4-3 defense, which is a switch from Rob Ryan's 3-4 defense last season. So, not only do the Cowboys need another body up the middle to fit their defense, but they also need help stopping the run and Richardson can certainly help in both areas.

 

19. New York Giants: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M (Dud)

Moore was once a candidate to be a top pick in this draft, but the combine has sent his stock going in the opposite direction.

Scouts were down on Moore's athleticism and while he proved that should be a concern, Moore also posted a horrid bench rep total that will have people doubting his strength as well.

However, the Giants need a pass-rusher and having a former top prospect fall this far should be an intriguing pick up. It remains to be seen just how Moore will work out in the NFL, but I'm sure the G-Men are willing to find out.

 

20. Chicago Bears: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama

The Bears have holes all over their offensive line and they must address those issues if they hope to keep Jay Cutler on the field for an entire season. Fluker will be the best tackle left on the board, so this pick makes sense for the Bears.

 

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Alec Ogletree, OLB, Georgia

The Bengals could use some help in their linebacker corps and adding a versatile player like Ogletree would certainly help. The Georgia product in not only a solid linebacker in the traditional sense, but he can also drop back into coverage to defend the pass.

 

22. St. Louis Rams (From Washington): Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia

Danny Amendola's future in St. Louis is still a bit murky and if he does decide to leave, the Rams will be looking for another slot receiver. Austin is crazy fast and will be an explosive player at the next level, so that makes him the right fit for the Rams.

 

23. Minnesota Vikings: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina

The Vikings are best off building on their strengths offensively and that means beefing up the offensive line so Adrian Peterson doesn't have to run over as many people next season. Cooper is a beast on the front line and should give Peterson a lot more room to run in the future.

 

24. Indianapolis Colts: Margus Hunt, DE, SMU

The Colts were not good at getting to the quarterback last season and that won't make improving their pass defense any easier. Hunt could be a solid pass-rusher on the edge and proved so after a great showing at the combine.

 

25. Seattle Seahawks: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson

The Seahawks don't have many holes, but they could use another playmaker for Russell Wilson to throw the ball to. Hopkins has great hands and is explosive enough to give Seattle exactly what it needs.

 

26. Green Bay Packers: Barrett Jones, C, Alabama

The Packers have several questions on their offensive line and what better way to address them then to select a versatile offensive lineman. Jones has experience playing all over the offensive line so he could fill multiple needs during his rookie season.

 

27. Houston Texans: Keenan Allen, WR, California

The Texans would be wise to add some weapons on offense to take some pressure off of Andre Johnson and give Matt Schaub some more options. Allen is a threat from anywhere on the field and should be a great fit with Houston.

 

28. Denver Broncos: Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU

Adding depth to the linebacker corps would be an ideal move here for the Broncos and Minter is a great fit for such a need. The LSU product should be a solid linebacker for years to come, but he has plenty of time to develop with all the talent around him.

 

29. New England Patriots: Eric Reid, S, LSU

New England's secondary was lacking a bit last season and adding an impact safety will be a priority this offseason. Reid will be the closest thing to what the Pats need deep this late in the first round, so this is a selection that makes sense.

 

30. Atlanta Falcons: Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU

The Falcons need to add a pass-rusher at some point in the offseason and the draft should be a good place to do it. Montgomery is no stranger to going up against bigger linemen during his college career and should be a great fit on the edge for Atlanta.

 

31. San Francisco 49ers: Datone Jones, DE, UCLA

Not only is Justin Smith getting up there in years, but the Niners desperately need to add some depth on defense after battling multiple injuries last season. Jones' is a talented pass rusher who will not only add depth, but he can also be a potential future replacement for Smith.

 

32. Baltimore Ravens: Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame

Te'o wasn't impressing anyone at the combine, but it isn't likely to erase all of his college accomplishments in the blink of an eye. The Heisman Trophy finalist still has time to reverse the negative thoughts about his game at Notre Dame's pro day, so he'll remain in the first round until then.

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