NFL Mock Draft 2013: Ideal Draft Situations for Every First-Round Team
It was a crazy day in the NFL Monday, and its effects are sure to resonate throughout the 2013 NFL draft.
The biggest news was that of Percy Harvin being traded to the Seattle Seahawks (h/t Jay Glazer). A move that not only gives new needs to Minnesota, but also gives it two first-rounders and Seattle none.
With the wild day in the bag, and the NFL free-agency market about to open, here's a new NFL mock draft addressing some of the most ideal situations for teams and prospects in the first round.
1. Kansas City Chiefs (2-14): Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
The Kansas City Chiefs have been full of bold moves this offseason, but they've helped set the team up to have a highly successful draft.
By trading for Alex Smith, the Chiefs have absolved themselves of a need for a QB, so they can now pass on suspect prospects. They also released tackle Eric Winston, a move that turned heads, but makes sense.
Not only do the Chiefs now save money by not having to pay Winston, it also frees them up to select Luke Joeckel—arguably the draft's best o-line prospect—No. 1 overall.
Joeckel's very good at picking up blitzes, and has the quick feet to provide great pass protection for Smith. While incredibly aggressive, Joeckel has a mature mentality on and off the field.
In other words, he's the ideal No. 1 this year for Kansas City's new offense.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14): Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
The Jaguars have a need at quarterback, but Geno Smith isn't the answer for a franchise that's trying to get smarter.
Physically, Dion Jordan isn't the biggest prospect out there, but he's as athletically gifted as they come.
Jordan—who originally played wide receiver at Oregon—has the speed and cunning to be a very good DE/OLB hybrid player. He'll be an instant upgrade to Jacksonville's pass-rush.
3. Oakland Raiders (4-12): Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
The Raiders have needs on the defensive line, and they have their pick of the litter at No. 3 overall.
Scouts continue to find the bad in Werner, but it's impossible to ignore the good. He's got a great motor, plays hard and has the quick step you want from a leading pass-rusher.
And while he's great at getting to the quarterback, he's just as good at playing against the run. Sounds like a solid pick.
4. Philadelphia Eagles (4-12): Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
The Alex Smith trade means that Philadelphia inevitably loses out on Luke Joeckel, but Eric Fisher is still a great pick.
Fisher has done nothing but impress scouts since the end of the college football season. He plays composed, doesn't bend against defenders and works well in any protection scheme.
With the Eagles hoping to improve on last year's offensive woes, Fisher is a solid pick to shore up that front line.
5. Detroit Lions (4-12): Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
The Lions continue steps to rebuild their defensive line, and Ezekiel Ansah could be the final puzzle piece.
Ansah may be the most athletic prospect in the draft. He comes in at 6'6", 273 pounds, and tried his hand at basketball and track before settling for football.
The best word to describe Ansah's build is "lanky," which allows him great reach at opposing quarterbacks. He can appear raw at times, but his combination of overall speed and instincts make him a force on the field.
With a defensive end like Ansah, the Lions could have one of the best pass-rushers in the NFL heading into 2013.
6. Cleveland Browns (5-11): Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Despite Adam Schefter's report that Dee Milliner will require surgery this March to repair a torn labrum, the Alabama product remains Cleveland's best option at No. 6 overall.
Milliner is arguably the draft's best cornerback prospect, a position that almost every NFL team could use upgrades at. Pair him up with Joe Haden, and the Browns have a deadly duo of shutdown corners.
7. Arizona Cardinals (5-11): Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
The Cardinals have plenty of needs, but quarterback remains the most glaring of them all. With other teams ahead of Arizona passing up on Geno Smith, he won't fall any further No. 7.
It's hard to find a QB situation much worse that Arizona's, and the dual-threat Smith would add a dynamic new weapon to Bruce Arians' system.
8. Buffalo Bills (6-10): Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
The Bills could certainly reach for a quarterback here, but their situation isn't as dire as other teams'—Ryan Fitzpatrick is sporadic, but he's not horrible.
If Buffalo does look for a second-round bargain at quarterback, then defense makes the most sense for its first-round pick.
Jarvis Jones' upside took a big jump over the weekend, when it was announced by NFL.com's Dan Hanzus that league doctors had cleared him of any spinal issues.
Jones is an aggressive defender, and he's very good at finding the quarterback. He can be stuffed against the run at times, but has the tools to grow in this department.
With a need for another pass-rushing threat, as well as a solid defender on the edge, the Bills could do no wrong with Jones.
9. New York Jets (6-10): Matt Barkley, QB, USC
It is laughable that the Jets would take another USC product at quarterback in the first round, but the situation is that dire in New York.
Matt Barkley was once considered a top prospect for the NFL, and even though USC wasn't an elite team in 2012 Barkley still had a solid season.
The arm and tools are there, and if New York really wants to shake up its QB situation Barkley is the way to go.
10. Tennessee Titans (6-10): Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Sharrif Floyd's draft stock has exploded after a strong showing at the combine, and it's hard to imagine a scenario in which he falls out of the top 10.
The Titans' once stout defense saw tons of regression last season, and they need a hard-nosed player up front. Floyd would be a great anchor to build that front-seven around.
11. San Diego Chargers (7-9): Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
Even with Joeckel and Fisher off the board, the Chargers' draft plan can't change: improve the offensive line. Lane Johnson is the best option at No. 11, though it's a bit of a reach.
12. Miami Dolphins (7-9): Keenan Allen, WR, California
The draft's wide receiver picture remains muddled, but it's still very likely that the weapon-less Dolphins reach for someone at No. 12.
Allen's knee remains an issue—he's reportedly going to meet with Dr. Andrews—but if he looks healthy on his workout day his stock will remain high.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9): Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
Xavier Rhodes may be a reach here, but Tampa Bay's secondary issues have to be addressed in the first round. Rhodes' play can be inconsistent at times, but he has the size and toughness to be a solid corner in the NFL.
14. Carolina Panthers (7-9): Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
A lot was made of Star Lotulelei's heart condition heading into the combine, but it's now being reported that the former Utah star will be able to run through everything during his on-campus workout.
Health issues aside, Lotulelei has all the tools to be a great NFL defensive tackle.
There's a lot of speed in this year's class, and Lotulelei is far from the fastest. But he makes up for that in size (6'3", 320 pounds) and versatility. And even though he's not blazing, he does still have a quick first step.
The Panthers would be lucky to get Lotulelei at this point in the draft. His size would help shore up their front seven, while causing some much needed disruption in the middle of the line.
As long as Lotulelei's healthy, this is a perfect match.
15. New Orleans Saints (7-9): Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
New Orleans is looking to get back on track in 2013, and that starts with improving the pass rush. Damontre Moore has great length and versatility, making him an intriguing threat.
The Saints have plenty of options in the middle of the first round, but Moore is the best way to go.
16. St. Louis Rams (7-8-1): Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
With two picks in the first round, St. Louis is bound to focus on its anemic offense over its underrated, but solid, defense. No. 16 is best spent on a top-tier lineman, such as the draft's top guard Chance Warmack.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8): Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
With James Harrison officially released, Pittsburgh's linebacker situation has gone from bad to dire. Barkevious Mingo has the athleticism to move into a linebacker role for the Steelers.
He may not have the best instincts at times, but he has time to grow. Mingo's most dangerous tool is speed, which makes him an elite pass-rushing threat at the next level.
18. Dallas Cowboys (8-8): Kenny Vaccaro, FS, Texas
The Cowboys need support down the middle of the field, while adding some oomph to the secondary. Texas' Kenny Vaccaro is arguably this draft's best safety, making him a solid reach at No. 18.
19. New York Giants (9-7): Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
New York's pass rush took major steps back last season, and they need to find some new blood. Sheldon Richardson makes his living off defending the run, but his ability to cause disruption in the backfield gives him plenty of upside.
20. Chicago Bears (10-6): Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
While the Bears would love to get their hands on a Johnson or a Warmack, it probably won't happen this late. Jonathan Cooper is still a great pick to shore up that ailing offensive line. He's big, athletic and a great first-rounder.
21. Cincinnati Bengals (10-6): Alec Ogletree, OLB, Georgia
The Bengals have plenty of ways to go at No. 21, whether that be adding depth up front (offensively and defensively) or solidifying other parts of their team.
Alec Ogletree would be a solid pick here, as he helps shore up Cincinnati's linebacker corp. The former Bulldog is as explosive as they come, making him a great fit for the aggressive Bengals.
22. St. Louis Rams* (from 10-6 Washington Redskins): Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
This pick is really dependent on Keenan Allen's knee. If Allen is healthy, Cordarrelle Patterson could easily fall this far. If he's not, then Patterson probably goes to Miami, and Allen falls to the Rams.
As long as Allen makes his workout day, it's safe to assume he stays higher up. Meaning the Rams get a steal here with Patterson.
The 6'3", 205-pound wideout from Tennessee has great size for an NFL wide receiver. That, combined with his athleticism and speed, could make Patterson an elite weapon at the next level.
With Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson possibly on their way out, the Rams need some kind of receiving threat. Patterson has the size to be a threat downfield, but also the speed and route-running ability to be dangerous in the slot.
Drafting a versatile receiver like Patterson here would be an instant upgrade in St. Louis, providing one more building block for that growing offense.
23. Minnesota Vikings (10-6): Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
Well, Percy Harvin is gone. What do you do now? Find his replacement.
Tavon Austin is close to Harvin in terms of being fast and undersized (5'8", 173 pounds), but lacks that overall physicality Harvin uses to draw separation. He still has some blazing tools that would make him a great NFL receiver.
24. Indianapolis Colts (11-5): Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
The Colts could go just about anywhere here, but with Andrew Luck holding up the offense it seems more likely they go with defense. Datone Jones is a solid pass-rusher and will help add some aggressiveness to that defensive front.
25. Minnesota Vikings* (from 11-5 Seattle Seahawks): Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
With their second first-rounder at No. 25 overall, it seems likely the Vikings focus on landing a solid defensive talent.
Jared Allen isn't getting any younger, and adding someone on the defensive line would help. Alex Okafor has great pass-rushing skills and will add a lot of pressure to quarterbacks in 2013.
26. Green Bay Packers (11-5): D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
Green Bay's needs remain on the offensive line and at running back. As team's get better at finding diamond-in-the-rough options at tailback late in the draft, o-line makes the most sense in the first round.
D.J. Fluker isn't considered an elite tackle in this year's draft, but offensive line is so deep he's still a great talent.
Fluker should provide an instant upgrade to the Packers, which is something they need. And his blocking abilities should resonate throughout the entire offense—improving that running game.
Giving Aaron Rodgers more time to throw the ball will be a scary thought for any opponent facing the Packers next season.
27. Houston Texans (12-4): Robert Woods, WR, USC
Houston could go defense here and look to draft a safety, or they could focus on offense. Reaching for a receiver could be the better move, making Robert Woods a great prospect at No. 27 overall.
28. Denver Broncos (13-3): Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
When a team is as solidly built as Denver is heading into next season, it's hard to deem where a draft pick will be spent. So it's safe to assume the Broncos add to their fortunes and give another weapon to Peyton Manning.
Tyler Eifert is the best tight end of the draft. And while he's got great receiving tools he's also a strong all-around player.
Eifert has prototypical tight end size, and he knows how to control his body in order to make the hard catches. He's also continued to hone his blocking skills and should be able to hold his own in the NFL.
Denver isn't hurting for receiving threats, but adding a viable weapon in the middle of the field is far from a waste here.
29. New England Patriots (12-4): Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
The Patriots continue to search for ways to fix that secondary, and Desmond Trufant could be the answer. The former Husky has had a very solid offseason, propelling himself into the first round.
Trufant has great cover skills, and a never-back-down mentality. Sounds perfect for New England.
30. Atlanta Falcons (13-3): Kawann Short, DT, Purdue
Atlanta is bound to focus on defense in this year's draft, specifically its d-line. Kawann Short will help solidify that run defense, while providing plenty of pressure in the pass rush.
31. San Francisco 49ers (11-4-1): Eric Reid, FS, LSU
With a trade for Anquan Boldin in the bag (h/t Jim Corbett), the 49ers don't have to worry about reaching for a wide receiver. Instead they can turn their attention towards shoring up the secondary.
Reid has great cover skills and is opportunistic with turnovers. Always the hard worker, he could thrive in San Francisco.
32. Baltimore Ravens (10-6): Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame
Despite everything that has gone on with the Notre Dame linebacker, it's still hard to imagine a scenario in which Manti Te'o falls completely out of the first round.
The Ravens have plenty of needs at linebacker, and Te'o provides that run-stopping ability they'll be missing from Ray Lewis' departure.
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