2013 NFL Mock Draft: Updated Projections for Every First Round Selection

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistMarch 14, 2013

Feb 22, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Southern California quarterback Matt Barkley speaks at a press conference during the 2013 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 NFL draft is approaching fast, and while most teams have an idea of what they will be looking for in the first round, the wild free-agency period has thrown a wrench in the works.

This is how the latest projections shake out for every first-round selection.

Highlighted players are italicized.


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

With the trade for veteran quarterback Alex Smith (h/t Pro Football Talk) and the release of veteran tackle Eric Winston (h/t USA Today), the Kansas City Chiefs made it abundantly clear that they will take Texas A&M left tackle Luke Joeckel at No. 1 overall.


2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon

There have been a few names predicted to land with the Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 2 overall, but with a league-worst 20 sacks in 2012, each name associated with this pick has been a pass-rusher. The player with the most raw talent and upside will be Oregon outside linebacker Dion Jordan, and that’s who the Jaguars will select.


3. Oakland Raiders: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida

The departure of defensive tackles Desmond Bryant (h/t NFL.com) and veteran Richard Seymour (h/t San Jose Mercury News) has left a giant void for the Oakland Raiders, and only a top-tier prospect like Sharrif Floyd of Florida can help begin the rebuilding process.


4. Philadelphia Eagles: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia

After receiving a clean bill of health from doctors (h/t Dan Pompei of the National Football Post), standout pass-rushing outside linebacker Jarvis Jones from Georgia is climbing up draft boards once again.

If the Eagles don’t feel there is an offensive lineman worth the No. 4-overall pick, they will take Jones and thrive with him as the linchpin of the defense.


5. Detroit Lions: Ezekiel Ansah, DE/OLB, BYU

When you see BYU pass-rushing defensive end/outside linebacker Ezekiel Ansah on tape, he is one of the most physically gifted players in the 2013 draft. While he is very rough around the edges—stamina is low and has struggled with consistency (h/t NFL.com)—Ansah has the raw talent to be a star on a team like the Detroit Lions.


6. Cleveland Browns: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU

The Cleveland Browns are like every other team in the NFL with their need for an elite pass-rusher off the edge, but the organization could have a future NFL star fall into their lap at No. 6 with LSU star Barkevious Mingo.

After being a top performer in four of the five events he took on at the NFL Scouting Combine (h/t NFL.com), the game film backs up the fact that he is a raw physical specimen that could develop into an elite player in the league for a long time.


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

The Arizona Cardinals haven’t had any consistency at quarterback since Kurt Warner retired, and new head coach Bruce Arians needs to start his tenure off with a bang. Selecting a talented QB prospect with as much upside as West Virginia’s Geno Smith at No. 7 will be a risk worth taking in the long run.


8. Buffalo Bills: Matt Barkley, QB, USC

The Buffalo Bills made the right decision when they cut veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (h/t ESPN), but the team does not have a player on the roster that could legitimately start in the NFL and lead a team to the postseason.

That’s where a potential star like Matt Barkley comes into play at No. 8 in the draft.

Barkley would have been a top pick in the 2012 draft if he had come out last year, but inconsistency and an injury to his shoulder during his senior season (h/t CBS Sports) has dropped the talented prospect on many teams' boards.

As much as this selection will be filled with risk, Barkley has the upside to reward the Bills tenfold if he lives up to his potential.


9. New York Jets: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

The possibility of New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis being traded (h/t Long Island Newsday) has opened the door for the team to take the top CB on the board at No. 9, Alabama’s Dee Milliner.


10. Tennessee Titans: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee

Wide receivers Nate Washington and Kenny Britt are likely not the future of the Tennessee Titans' organization, but a hard-working WR like Tennessee’s Cordarrelle Patterson would be a perfect fit. Plus, the hometown fans would love the former Volunteers’ star.


11. San Diego Chargers: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

The San Diego Chargers were awful protecting quarterback Philip Rivers last year (allowed 49 sacks and 70 hits on the quarterback in 2012), and having a potential starter from Week 1 at left tackle like Eric Fisher fall to No. 11 is the perfect scenario for the team.


12. Miami Dolphins: Chance Warmack, G, Alabama

The Miami Dolphins have already made a big splash in free agency (h/t ESPN), but the necessity to protect QB Ryan Tannehill is still evident. The team should address that need via the draft—especially if Miami doesn’t re-sign Jake Long (h/t NFL.com)—by selecting Alabama’s Chance Warmack.


13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

The heart condition discovered at the combine will inevitably hurt Star Lotulelei’s draft stock (h/t ESPN), but his raw talent and a positive prognosis (h/t Deseret News) won’t have him falling very far. The already impressive run defense will get a new weapon that can also be a force against the pass.


14. Carolina Panthers: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri

The Carolina Panthers are building a rather impressive defensive unit under head coach Ron Rivera, and he will add another defensive tackle cog in his system with the talented Sheldon Richardson from Missouri.


15. New Orleans Saints: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State

The New Orleans Saints were an abysmal 31st in the NFL in 2012 against the pass (allowing 292.6 yards per game), and a difference-maker at cornerback like Florida State’s Xavier Rhodes is the kind of player that will help change the culture on the Saints’ defense.


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

After cutting safety Quintin Mikell (h/t ESPN), it’s clear the St. Louis Rams will be looking to replace the veteran through the draft. The best fit at No. 16 would be talented Texas Longhorns safety prospect Kenny Vaccaro.


17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Damontre Moore, DE/OLB, Texas A&M

The Pittsburgh Steelers released veteran outside linebacker James Harrison (h/t ESPN), and taking a legitimate first-round talent like Texas A&M star Damontre Moore at No. 17 will be the perfect fit for the team's future.


18. Dallas Cowboys: Jonathan Cooper, G/C, North Carolina

The Dallas Cowboys will be desperate to protect quarterback Tony Romo and produce a consistent rushing attack in 2013. Selecting a talented offensive line prospect like Jonathan Cooper from North Carolina is a no-brainer.

Cooper is arguably the best interior offensive lineman coming out in 2013, not just because of his strength and ability playing at all three interior positions (right/left guard and center), but because of his experience as a college starter (four years).

The North Carolina standout will walk right into the NFL and be a starter from Week 1.

Any great rushing attack starts with focus on running the ball between the tackles, and that scheme requires elite interior linemen. Cooper will be the perfect addition to a Cowboys team desperate for that inside advantage.


19. New York Giants: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State

The success the New York Giants had with a raw prospect like Jason Pierre-Paul will have the team salivating at the possibility of drafting Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner at No. 19. If the team coaches Werner up like they do every end, the Giants will have a bona-fide star on their hands.


20. Chicago Bears: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma

There is so much depth across most positions in the 2013 draft that it’s possible a potential star in the NFL like Oklahoma offensive tackle Lane Johnson could fall all the way to the Chicago Bears at No. 20. If this comes to fruition, the Bears could have the steal of the draft.


21. Cincinnati Bengals: Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia

All signs point to Cincinnati Bengals middle linebacker Rey Maualuga testing the free-agent market (h/t Maualuga’s Twitter), and the team will have to start evaluating backup plans. If Maualuga signs with another team, expect the Bengals to snag Georgia’s Alec Ogletree at No. 21 overall.


22. St. Louis Rams (via Redskins): Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia

The St. Louis Rams have lost wide receiver Danny Amendola to the Patriots in free agency (h/t ESPN), so selecting a talented receiver with many of the same traits as the speedy possession receiver would be a no-brainer. Enter West Virginia star Tavon Austin.


23. Minnesota Vikings: Keenan Allen, WR, Cal

The Minnesota Vikings traded Percy Harvin to the Seattle Seahawks (h/t ESPN) and must replenish the wide receiver position in the first round with the best player available. At No. 23, look for Cal standout Keenan Allen to fit the mold of what the Vikings have in mind.


24. Indianapolis Colts: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama

With last year’s No. 1 overall draft pick under center in Andrew Luck, it’s imperative that the Indianapolis Colts protect the young star. Winston Justice didn’t get the job done last year, but a raw prospect like Alabama’s D.J. Fluker will be the right choice for the future of the franchise.


25. Minnesota Vikings (via Seahawks): Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State

The Vikings acquired the No. 25 overall pick from the Seahawks in the trade for Harvin (h/t ESPN), and they will make the most of the move by taking the future of the franchise on defense. That will be Kansas State star middle linebacker Arthur Brown.


26. Green Bay Packers: Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State

The Green Bay Packers were 17th in the NFL against the run (118.5 yards allowed per game), but the team has the chance to add a potential starter in defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins. This would be a great fit if the Ohio State star falls this far.


27. Houston Texans: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson

As talented as Andre Johnson is for the Houston Texans, it’s clear that the team must add depth at the wide receiver position. When a talented player like Clemson’s DeAndre Hopkins falls to No. 27, the decision will be simple.


28. Denver Broncos: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State

Veteran Champ Bailey has been a star over his career, but the Denver Broncos should be trying to find the next star at the CB position. That’s where a talented prospect like Mississippi State’s Johnthan Banks is a perfect fit for John Fox’s defensive schemes.


29. New England Patriots: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington

Of all the players the New England Patriots could take in the latter stages of the first round, the player that fits the team’s needs with the most upside should be cornerback Desmond Trufant.

While there have been questions about the cornerback's open-field tackling ability (h/t NFL.com), Trufant comes from a family that features two other NFL players (brothers Marcus and Isaiah) and the Patriots will take their chance with that lineage.

New England’s secondary was abysmal in 2012, and while Trufant hasn’t showed the skill or talent to be the No. 1 cornerback for the Patriots in his rookie season, he has more than enough raw skill to play the No. 2 receiver. He could easily develop into a top cornerback with the right training and experience.


30. Atlanta Falcons: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame

Despite the news that veteran tight end Tony Gonzalez would return for one more season (h/t ESPN), the Atlanta Falcons must think long term with the team’s first-round pick and select the future of the franchise at TE, Notre Dame’s Tyler Eifert.


31. San Francisco 49ers: Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama

Head coach Jim Harbaugh loves his hard-hitting defensive unit, so when a talented defensive tackle (a position of need for the San Francisco 49ers) like Alabama’s Jesse Williams falls to No. 31, there is no question he will end up in the Bay Area.


32. Baltimore Ravens: Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU

The retirement of defensive leader and Pro-Bowl talent Ray Lewis was well documented, but the underrated abilities on and off the field for LSU middle linebacker prospect Kevin Minter will not fall past John Harbaugh at No. 32.



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