2013 NFL Mock Draft: Ideal Homes for First-Round Studs
The NFL draft is approaching, but not before the mighty free-agency period.
Free agency will certainly change the dynamics of the draft. Teams will add players during this time and eliminate previous draft needs. This has already been the case with trades of Percy Harvin and Anquan Boldin.
Despite all the movement, there are certain studs that will definitely find their ideal homes during the last weekend in April.
1. Kansas City Chiefs (2-14): Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
The Chiefs used free agency to get their man at quarterback. Now they have to protect him.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14): Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Teams have fallen in love with Floyd as a potential playmaker on the defensive line. The Jaguars need all the line help they can get.
3. Oakland Raiders (4-12): Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Carson Palmer isn't the guy to center a re-build around and too many questions surround Terrelle Pryor. The Raiders need a clear-cut quarterback of the future. Geno Smith will be that in Oakland.
4. Philadelphia Eagles (4-12): Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
The Eagles are looking to get younger and more athletic under new head coach Chip Kelly. They also need help in the secondary. That group struggled and only came up with eight interceptions on the year last season.
Milliner isn't a ball-hawk, but his coverage skills should lead to quarterbacks forcing throws elsewhere on the field. He fits into the new system that the Eagles are trying to build.
As Philly looks to re-shape its offense and find a quarterback, Milliner would tighten up the defense and improve the team from day one. Drafting Milliner could also make Nnamdi Asomugha expendable to save the Eagles a good amount of cap space.
5. Detroit Lions (4-12): Ezekiel Ansah, OLB, Brigham Young
6. Cleveland Browns (5-11): Barkevious Mingo, OLB, Louisiana State
Mingo is filled with potential, but questions remain regarding whether or not he will be able to tap into that or not. The Browns take a risk by grabbing him, though. For a team a few players away from a playoff run, this could be a big move for Cleveland.
7. Arizona Cardinals (5-11): Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
The Cardinals need a quarterback, but if they don't improve their offensive line it won't matter who they have back there. Fisher will give the Cardinals an anchor on the line and allow them to look for a quarterback later in the draft.
8. Buffalo Bills (6-10): Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Adding a big-play wide receiver should help the Bills realize whether they were right or wrong to give Ryan Fitzpatrick a contract extension. With Patterson, Stevie Johnson and C.J. Spiller, the Bills will have some offensive weapons for 2013.
9. New York Jets (6-10): Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon
This is a slam-dunk pick for the Jets should Jordan fall into their arms. They have struggled to get to the quarterback and Jordan excels at that.
10. Tennessee Titans (6-10): Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
The Titans are starting to build something behind Jake Locker. They need to protect him and their old guards don't have many years left.
11. San Diego Chargers (7-9): Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
The most important thing for the new coaching staff is to make improvements along the offensive line. Philip Rivers will continue to struggle unless the Chargers get him some protection. Once they get their offensive line figured out, they have enough talent elsewhere to get back to being competitive.
Johnson, who kept Landry Jones upright at Oklahoma, is definitely the right man to do this. He's a bit behind Joeckel and Fisher, but he has plenty of potential. This isn't the most attractive pick to get fans behind the regime, but it makes the most sense for the team.
12. Miami Dolphins (7-9): Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
The Dolphins need a wide receiver, but they also need defensive help with Sean Smith likely leaving the team. The talented and good-sized Rhodes will give the Dolphins great value and allow them to look at wide receivers in the next round.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9): Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
There are still concerns surrounding Lotulelei, but if the big defensive tackle receives a clean bill of health he will definitely contribute. The Bucs' defense was among the worst in the NFL, giving up the most passing yards. Lotulelei should anchor the line and allow the Bucs to focus on getting their players to the quarterback.
14. Carolina Panthers (7-9): Sheldon Richardon, DT, Missouri
The Panthers also need help on the defensive line and will benefit from the depth of his draft class. Richardson's rare size and speed combo will help him come into Carolina and give the Panthers a force from the start of training camp.
15. New Orleans Saints (7-9): Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia
Another player with health concerns, Jones' draft stock is largely based on how specific teams and their medical staff's view him. The Saints need a new identity on defense and Jones is a player capable of helping them achieve it.
16. St. Louis Rams (7-8-1): Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
The Rams are in need of safety help after cutting Quentin Mikell. They have a chance to grab the best safety in the draft with Vaccaro.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8): Damontre Moore, OLB/DE, Texas A&M
The Steelers had a major need at outside linebacker, especially considering their release of James Harrison. Moore struggled at the combine with a lack of explosiveness that should scare many teams off. Despite this lack of athleticism, Moore shows an ability to get to the quarterback.
The Steelers need to add some young talent to their aging defense. They still have plenty of talent and great coaching, but they need more playmakers. Moore should help them get pressure on opposing quarterbacks and get back to being an elite defense.
18. Dallas Cowboys (8-7): Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
Tony Romo has been the victim of enough abuse at the hands of opposing pass-rushers. His offensive line needs to give him more time and figure out whether the team should stick with the veteran quarterback.
19. New York Giants (9-7): Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Another player that will fall because of this draft class' richness on the defensive line, Werner will fit perfectly with the Giants. He has the potential to come in and rescue the Giants' pass rush that disappeared last season.
20. Chicago Bears (10-6): Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
The Bears have been very proactive in giving Jay Cutler weapons, adding Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall last offseason. Eifert will give the Bears yet another weapon to keep up with the offenses around the NFC.
21. Cincinnati Bengals (10-6): Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia
The Bengals may need to replace Ray Maualuga who could leave via free agency. Ogletree would be a nice addition the young Bengals defense.
22. St. Louis Rams (via Washington Redskins) (10-6): D.J. Fluker, OG, Alabama
After going defense with their first pick in the draft, the Rams use their second pick on their offensive line. Sam Bradford is the quarterback of the future, but the team needs to do a better job of protecting him.
23. Minnesota Vikings (10-6): Keenan Allen, WR, California
After trading Percy Harvin to the Seattle Seahawks, the Vikings absolutely need to draft a wide receiver with one of their two first-round picks. They are likely to enter the draft extremely weak at the position, despite whatever they do in free agency.
Allen would be a nice get in the first round because of his all-around receiving skills. He can play whatever receiver position, has good hands and isn't afraid to work over the middle. He will be a nice asset for the Vikings to build up their receiving corps around.
24. Indianapolis Colts (11-5): Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
The Colts desperately need help in the secondary. Trufant's ability to cover outside receivers will attract the Colts and help them solidify their defense.
25. Minnesota Vikings (via Seattle Seahawks) (10-6): Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
The Vikings could go in a number of directions with their second pick in the first round after trading Harvin. While they have plenty of holes on offense, they also need to improve on the defensive line.
26. Green Bay Packers (11-5): Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International
After releasing Charles Woodson, the Packers need help at the safety position. Morgan Burnett is now the veteran of the group and the Packers can't be convinced that either M.D. Jennings or Jerron McMillian is the right guy. Neither has played consistently enough at a high level.
Cyprien would instantly improve the Packers' defense with his great range and physical play. Among NFC heavyweights, the Packers lack physicality. Drafting Cyprien would help change this and give them another playmaker. Getting drafted by Green Bay would be perfect for Cyprien as he would get a chance to contribute right away.
27. Houston Texans (12-4): Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
The Texans have a slow, aging offense that needs to add a new dimension. The diminutive Austin will add just that as a great slot receiver in Houston.
28. Denver Broncos (13-3): Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
The Broncos could have a serious need on the defensive line if Elvis Dumervil is released. Hankins should be able to get back some of the production missed by not having Dumervil.
29. New England Patriots (12-4): Robert Woods, WR, Southern California
The Patriots need more offensive weapons for Tom Brady. That need will grow tenfold if Wes Welker signs elsewhere during free agency. Woods gives them a smooth, all-around guy that will thrive playing with Tom Brady.
30. Atlanta Falcons (13-3): Cornelius Carradine, DE, Florida State
The Falcons need some pass rush to get the most out of their talented secondary. Carradine's stock could be higher if not for his ACL injury in 2012. The Falcons take a risk and hope to get a big reward.
31.San Francisco 49ers (11-4-1): Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
The 49ers' biggest weakness is definitely in their secondary. Chris Culliver got abused in the Super Bowl and should be replaced with the strong Banks.
32. Baltimore Ravens (10-6): DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
After trading Anquan Boldin to the 49ers, the Ravens need a new, cheaper and younger wide receiver. Hopkins was ridiculously efficient during his college career, using his body well to make plays for the Tigers.
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