2013 NFL Mock Draft: What the 1st Round Looks Like After the Free Agency Blitz

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2013 NFL Mock Draft: What the 1st Round Looks Like After the Free Agency Blitz
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After the free agency blitz erased quite a bit of needs for teams around the NFL, mock drafts are ever changing with each move that is made.

Everyone is trying to get as close as possible, but there are still a ton of moves left to be made and this is just a rough estimate of what will happen. Here's what my current projection would look like if the NFL held their draft today:

 

1. Kansas City Chiefs: DE Sheldon Richardson (Missouri) JR, 6'2-1/2", 294 pounds

Kansas City's biggest need is along the front line. Despite not being the tallest player, Richardson is a great fit for the Chiefs' 5-technique role at defensive end. He's got long arms and a quick release off the snap. The only thing that could hurt him is off-the-field antics when he was in college. However, the Chiefs need talent in general, and Richardson would be a great fit.

 

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2. Jacksonville Jaguars: DE Barkevious Mingo (Louisiana State) JR, 6'4-1/4", 241 pounds

Jacksonville has a tremendous need for a Leo in their new 4-3 under alignment. Barkevious Mingo is someone who can fit the role to a T. He's got great leverage when he rushes the passer, and the role of continually attacking the quarterback's blindside would give the Jaguars the perfect fit for their defense.

 

3. Oakland Raiders: DT Sharrif Floyd (Florida) JR, 6'2-5/8", 297 pounds

Losing Richard Seymour hurts, but that's just one piece of the puzzle. It looks like the Raiders are sticking with Carson Palmer and will be going with a quarterback in the third round or later instead. Due to this, they have a need at defensive tackle that should be addressed early. Sharrif Floyd is a beast at the 3-technique and will be a great complement to Christo Bilukidi and Tommy Kelly on the interior.

 

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4. Philadelphia Eagles: OLB Dion Jordan (Oregon) SR, 6'6-1/4", 248 pounds

The Eagles and Dion Jordan would be a match made in heaven. While the Eagles also need a long-term solution at quarterback, it makes too much sense for them to take their head coach's old defensive monster from Oregon. Dion Jordan will be a tremendous steal as a 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL. He has Julian Peterson-level potential and long term will be a dominant factor in any defense.

 

5. Detroit Lions: DE Ezekial Ansah (BYU) SR, 6'5-1/4", 271 pounds

The best pure athlete in the draft, Ezekial Ansah, would be a great fit for the Lions at five. Despite needing a corner or a left tackle, they need multiple defensive ends, and Ansah could easily start and produce well in their wide-9-style scheme. With a little technique work and a lot of patience, Ansah could develop into one of the top five pass-rushers in the game and is worth this selection.

 

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

6. Cleveland Browns: QB Geno Smith (West Virginia) SR, 6'2-3/8", 218 pounds

Unfortunately, Cleveland has no quarterback that is worthy of starting in the NFL. And yes, I know they just took Brandon Weeden last year, and there's a ton of love for Colt McCoy. But with a new owner, new GM and new head coach, it's always best to wipe the slate clean and take a new quarterback. They luck out here and get the best quarterback in the draft hands down in Geno Smith.

 

7. Arizona Cardinals: OT Luke Joeckel (Texas A&M) JR, 6'6", 306 pounds

Arizona's biggest need is on the offensive line at left tackle. By getting back Levi Brown from injury, they will be getting someone who can slot in at their weak right guard spot. But they need a true, long-term solution at left tackle. Luke Joeckel is easily the best left tackle in the draft this year. If the Cardinals plan on bringing in another quarterback through the draft, they should be fine in the second, so taking a tackle is imperative in the first.

 

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

8. Buffalo Bills: CB Dee Milliner (Alabama) JR, 5'11-7/8", 201 pounds

After taking Stephon Gilmore last season and Aaron Williams the previous year, it's tough to believe that the Bills would go with a corner again. However, they still don't have a true No. 1 cornerback and Dee Milliner can be that guy for them. With a pairing of Milliner, Gilmore and the recently re-signed Leodis McKelvin at corner, they could even move Williams to a more natural safety spot.

 

9. New York Jets: DT Star Lotulelei (Utah) SR, 6'2", 311 pounds

After releasing Sione Pouha the Jets have a hole on their defensive line. Despite the fact that they drafted Kenrick Ellis in the third round in 2011, Star Lotulelei would be too much value for them to pass up at No. 9 overall. The bright side to this pick is that Lotulelei can also play end in the 3-4 and should be able to give Rex Ryan a ton of situational versatility on his defensive line.

 

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10. Tennessee Titans: OG Chance Warmack (Alabama) SR, 6'2", 317 pounds

Despite signing top free-agent guard Andy Levitre to a huge contract, the Titans still need another guard on the line. With Fernando Velasco looking solid as a center, Levitre coming in at left guard and Michael Roos and David Stewart already excellent tackles, the Titans should take this chance to bring in the best guard in the 2013 class. Chance Warmack is a monster and would be able to take their offensive line to the upper echelon.

 

11. San Diego Chargers: OT Eric Fisher (Central Michigan) SR, 6'7-1/4", 306 pounds

Jared Gaither was a complete bust as a free-agent signing in 2012. Between back injuries and other ailments, the massive left tackle should find himself unemployed in 2013. That leaves a gaping hole at left tackle, and Eric Fisher is the right guy to fill it. The combination of Fisher, Johnnie Troutman, Nick Hardwick and new acquisitions Chad Rinehart and King Dunlap will make for a massively improved offensive line.

 

12. Miami Dolphins: DE Bjoern Werner (Florida State) JR, 6'3-1/4", 266 pounds

Miami is in need of someone to play the right defensive end spot and eventually be the long-term replacement for Cameron Wake as the primary pass-rusher. Bjoern Werner is a top-tier player who will fit best as a right end in the NFL. He's a great pass-rusher who can seal the edge in the running game. The only real questions surrounding his game surround his inexperience.

 

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: CB Xavier Rhodes (Florida State) JR, 6'1-1/2", 210 pounds

Even if the Buccaneers bring in Darrelle Revis (via Yahoo! Sports), they should still take a corner early in the draft because of how poor both corners were for them in 2012. Xavier Rhodes is an in-state talent who is one of the best corners in the draft. His top-end speed and ability to lock down receivers in one-on-one coverage will help Tampa actually field a credible defense in 2013.

 

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14. Carolina Panthers: S Kenny Vaccaro (Texas) SR, 6'0", 214 pounds

Haruki Nakamura is an awful excuse for an NFL safety. He should be easily replaced by Texas' Kenny Vaccaro. Vaccaro is a tremendous coverage safety who has the ability to lay the hammer down in the secondary. The only questions surrounding him are related to an off-the-field incident where he was arrested in college.

 

15. New Orleans Saints: OLB Jarvis Jones (Georgia) JR, 6'2", 245 pounds

Jarvis Jones falls to the middle of the first round because he's a poor fit for the 4-3 at either defensive end or linebacker. However, he's the ideal 3-4 outside linebacker and Rob Ryan will love having the weapon that he is on defense. He's a purely dominant pass-rusher who will destroy anyone and everything in his path. Oh, and he plays the run well too.

 

16. St. Louis Rams: WR Tavon Austin (West Virginia) SR, 5'8-1/2", 174 pounds

St. Louis lost their slot and outside threat to free agency. Tavon Austin is a beast at both and should end up being the same explosive threat in the pros that he was in college. Despite being small, his speed and change of direction ability make Austin a top wide receiver in the draft. However, he can also play running back and returner and should be used as a weapon more than as just a receiver.

 

17. Pittsburgh Steelers: OT Lane Johnson (Oklahoma) SR, 6'6", 303 pounds

This is more of a best player available move than a true need. Mike Adams shouldn't exactly be trusted as the left tackle though and the this will allow the Steelers to run out probably one of the best young offensive lines in the NFL. Lane Johnson has the potential to be the best left tackle out of this draft. Going left to right, it would be Lane Johnson, Marcus Gilbert, Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro and Mike Adams.

 

18. Dallas Cowboys: OG/C Jonathan Cooper (North Carolina) SR, 6'2-1/8", 311 pounds

Dallas could use help at either right guard or center after poor performances from their starters this year. Jonathan Cooper could play either spot effectively and should be the pick here. He would be the ideal fit for the interior of Dallas' line and would be a tremendous upgrade over Phil Costa and Mackenzy Bernadeau.

 

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

19. New York Giants: DE Cornellius Carradine (Florida State) SR, 6'4", 276 pounds

Another pick that is more of a best player available selection than anything else, Cornellius "Tank" Carradine is a supremely talented defensive end in the mold of current Cincinnati Bengal Carlos Dunlap. He's a force against the run and has the potential to be a 10-or-more-sack guy every season. If he can prove he's completely healthy at his pro day, he could go top 10.

 

20. Chicago Bears: OT Menelik Watson (Florida State) JR, 6'5-1/8", 310 pounds

Sure the Bears brought in Jermon Bushrod and have Gabe Carimi and J'Marcus Webb on the roster. But only one of them is suitable to play tackle—Bushrod. Put Carimi and Webb as the guards and Bushrod at left tackle and there is still a massive need for a right tackle. The new rookie salary rules give the Bears the ability to take a great athlete in Menelik Watson and play him at right tackle while they make sure Jermon Bushrod is worth the money they gave him.

 

21. Cincinnati Bengals: LB Arthur Brown (Kansas State) SR, 6'0", 241 pounds

Cincinnati needs a ton of talent in the linebacker corps. Outside of the surprisingly good Vontaze Burfict, the cupboard is bare there. Arthur Brown is a top five talent in the draft who slips because teams don't value guys who can play inside linebacker in the 3-4 or middle linebackers in the 4-3 that high anymore. He would be able to come in and enjoy free reign behind one of the best defensive lines in football.

 

22. St. Louis Rams (from WAS): OG D.J. Fluker (Alabama) JR, 6'4-5/8", 339 pounds

Even if the Rams do bring in Jake Long, they need someone to play left guard. D.J. Fluker is a great college right tackle, but projects better to the inside in the pros. He would excel at left guard and with his length, no one would get around him on the inside. The Alabama lineman is used to playing with pro-caliber talent and should be able to complete a line that would feature Harvey Dahl, Scott Wells, Rodger Saffold and the aforementioned Long.

 

23. Minnesota Vikings: WR Cordarrelle Patterson (Tennessee) JR, 6'1-7/8", 216 pounds

Despite being one of the most physically gifted receivers in the draft, Cordarrelle Patterson isn't one of those with the best football intelligence yet. He can develop but it will be a project that will require him to be used in a multitude of ways early on. Patterson can fill the shoes of Percy Harvin easily while also giving the Vikings a chance to get him more up to speed on the offense and work on his body catching.

 

24. Indianapolis Colts: DT Jesse Williams (Alabama) SR, 6'3", 323 pounds

As much as I loved Josh Chapman's abilities in college, he was a ghost his first season as a pro due to a knee injury. Unfortunately, he should be easily replaced and so should the starter Brandon McKinney. Adding Ricky Jean-Francois and Jesse Williams will allow the Colts to actually run their 3-4 defense the way they want to. Williams is a bowling ball at 323 pounds and will anchor the middle of that defense. 

 

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

25. Minnesota Vikings (from SEA): DT John Jenkins (Georgia) SR, 6'4", 346 pounds

Letroy Guion is not the right guy to play right next to Kevin Williams. So the Vikings should take someone who will be that true plugger in the middle of the defense. Here, John Jenkins is the perfect fit as he can play both a 1-technique nose tackle and a 2-gap defensive tackle in the 4-3. He would be able to replicate what Pat Williams did during the Williams wall days of the Vikings' defense.

 

26. Green Bay Packers: DE Datone Jones (UCLA) SR, 6'3-7/8", 283 pounds

The Packers have excellent depth but not excellent starters at their defensive end spots. They need a truly great fit for the right end on the defensive line. Datone Jones has the ability to be a long-term eight-to-10-sack player in the defense that Dom Capers runs. He reminds me of Patrick Kerney with his ability to seal the edge in a 5-technique but also play 3-, 6- and 7-techniques.

 

27. Houston Texans: WR Keenan Allen (California) JR, 6'2-1/8", 206 pounds

Andre Johnson is a great player, but he's getting older now and the Texans don't have a No. 2 with the release of Kevin Walter. Keenan Allen has the potential to be a long-term No. 1 reciever in the NFL. He's got the speed, strength and route-running ability to dominate in the pro game. Put him with a top talent like Johnson, and he could end up as a top five receiver when all is said and done.

 

28. Denver Broncos: S Jonathan Cyprien (Florida International) SR, 6'0", 217 pounds

After getting demolished in deep coverage in the playoffs, the Broncos need to replace at least one of their deep safeties. Jonathan Cyprien is a talent along the lines of Rodney Harrison. He's not going to get beat deep nearly as often, and he can lay the wood. He's able to play both in the box and deep and could end up as a great all-around safety in the NFL.

 

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

29. New England Patriots: S D.J. Swearinger (South Carolina) SR, 5'10-1/2", 208 pounds

New England needs a true coverage safety to add to its current assortment of talent. D.J. Swearinger is a team captain and great leader for the Gamecocks. Now he can parlay that into a locker-room presence for the Patriots. He's got great coverage skills despite testing towards the average athletically at the combine. His abilities are very similar to Jairus Byrd's 

 

30. Atlanta Falcons: CB David Amerson (North Carolina State) JR, 6'1", 205 pounds

After free agency took strong safety, tight end, running back and left tackle off the Falcons' needs list, they still have a huge need for a cornerback. Even if they do re-sign Brent Grimes, he is coming off an Achilles injury. They need someone who can provide depth and future starting abilities behind Asante Samuel. David Amerson is a beast in terms of his ball skills with 18 interceptions over the past two seasons. Asante would love to have the next him on the roster.

 

31. San Francisco 49ers: CB Desmond Trufant (Washington) SR, 5'11-5/8", 190 pounds

Carlos Rogers, Chris Culliver and Tarell Brown are arguably the worst group of corners to start a Super Bowl in the past five years. The influx of talent that a No. 1 corner would bring is huge for them. Desmond Trufant has the potential to be a No. 1 corner in the NFL and is a great fit for the 49ers scheme. His ability to play man-to-man coverage would make Vic Fangio salivate as it's where the Washington corner truly excels. 

 

32. Baltimore Ravens: LB Sio Moore (Connecticut) SR, 6'0-3/4", 245 pounds

Baltimore is missing talent in its linebacker corps with three of its four starters from its Super Bowl victory either retiring or leaving through free agency. They have Courtney Upshaw to replace Paul Kruger, but they need someone to replace Ray Lewis and Dannell Ellerbe. Sio Moore is tremendous in coverage and blitzing and should be able to play the Mike role that Ray Lewis did very well. He doesn't have the same leadership—but then again, no one does.

 

All stats used are either from Pro Football Focus's Premium Stats, ESPN, CFBStats or the NFL. All contract information is courtesy Spotrac and Rotoworld. All recruiting rankings come from 247Sports.com.

Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL Draft. He also runs the NFL Draft Website ScarDraft.com and hosts Kvetching Draftniks Radio.

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