2013 NFL Mock Draft: Definitive Choices for Every First-Round Team

Michael DulkaContributor IMarch 19, 2013

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The NFL Draft is just over a month away, but free agency has already given shape to team needs. With the major spending out of the way, teams that missed out on coveted players must now shift their attention towards filing holes with rookies. 

During the time left before the draft, the landscape will likely change as teams make trades and/or start to sift through the remaining free agents. 

As of now, here are the definitive choices for each team in the first round. 

1. Kansas City Chiefs (2-14): Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

The Chiefs got their man at quarterback by trading for Alex Smith, which should definitively put the debate of taking Geno Smith first overall to bed. Now the Chiefs need to protect Smith and give him chances to be successful. The best overall player in the draft, Luke Joeckel, gives them an anchor on the offensive line for years to come. 

Despite not showing as much athleticism as Eric Fisher during the combine, Joeckel showed much better on film. He makes up for whatever raw athleticism that he lacks by using his body extremely well to get the most production. 

2. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14): Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

The Jaguars need as much help as they can get in the trenches on both sides of the ball. With Blaine Gabbert as the franchise quarterback, the Jaguars need some players in front of him to keep him upright. 

3. Oakland Raiders (4-12): Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida 

Another team needing help in the trenches, the Raiders are looking to replace Desmond Bryant, who left the team during free agency. Floyd gives them a monster defensive lineman who can help establish some strength in the middle of the field.

4. Philadelphia Eagles (4-12): Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon

Dion Jordan impressed at the combine with his freakish athleticism and build. New Eagles head coach Chip Kelly knows him well and won't let him pass in the draft. Jordan will help to rebuild the Eagles defense after the release of many of the "Dream Team" signings.

5. Detroit Lions (4-12): Ezekiel Ansah, DE, Brigham Young 

The Lions need to figure out a way to replace the impact of Cliff Avril and Kyle Vanden Bosch. In a division with high-octance passing attacks led by Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler, the Lions need a player on defense that can make big plays from the start of training camp. The freakish and still-learning Ansah will do just that. 

6. Cleveland Browns (5-11): Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

The Browns are just a few playmakers away from having a top defense in the league. Dee Milliner will give them another solid corner that will allow the rest of the defense to flourish.

7. Arizona Cardinals (5-11): Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia 

The Cardinals desperately need to find the answer at quarterback. Last year they tried Kevin Kolb, John Skelton, Ryan Lindley and Brian Hoyer, getting limited production from each. Geno Smith gives them a chance to finally have a franchise quarterback that can be the answer for the foreseeable future. 

Smith isn't likely to have success right out of the gates and the Cardinals are going to have to be patient with him. He has many of the physical tools needed to be a successful quarterback and also boasts enough athleticism to help him escape the pocket. 

8. Buffalo Bills (6-10): Matt Barkley, QB, Southern California

After cutting Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Bills are definitely in the market for a new quarterback this offseason. Matt Barkley gives them a top-end prospect who has the potential to be the best passer from this draft class within a few seasons. 

9. New York Jets (6-10): Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU

The Jets' defense has faltered the last few seasons, mostly because a lack of pass rushing coming from their front-seven. Barkevious Mingo should help the Jets get some pressure and take pressure off their secondary. 

10. Tennessee Titans (6-10): Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama

With the retirement of Steve Hutchinson, the Titans need a player to come in and compete right away at the offensive guard position. For the Titans to have success next season, they need Jake Locker to be protected and stay healthy. Chance Warmack gives them the best odds of that happening. 

11. San Diego Chargers (7-9): Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma 

Lane Johnson makes a lot of sense for the Chargers, as they've struggled to protect Philip Rivers. Their recent lack of success has had much to do with this. Johnson should be able to come in right away and contribute. 

12. Miami Dolphins (7-9): Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State

A lack of athleticism at the combine has dropped Bjoern Werner's stock and the Miami Dolphins are set to benefit. With many offensive pieces in place, they need to shift their attention to the defensive side of the ball. 

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9): Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

There are still health concerns surrounding Star Lotulelei, but with his overall talent and potential, he should still be drafted fairly high. His draft stock truly depends on how individual teams view his medical situation. Assuming the Buccaneers give Lotulelei the green light, he would help to turn around a defensive line that struggled mightily last season. 

Lotulelei shows great explosiveness off the snap, which helps him against both the pass and the run. He should have little problem having an immediate impact against the run. It might take him longer to showcase his skills against the pass, but the potential is definitely there. 

14. Carolina Panthers (7-9): Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri 

The Panthers also need some help on the defensive line and should get assistance from Richardson. The incredibe depth of defensive linemen in the draft class will certainly benefit the Panthers who could get a top-10 talent with pick 14. 

15. New Orleans Saints (7-9): Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia

The Saints need to build a new defensive identity following the scandal and poor performance of last season. Jones will give the Saints an athletic player who can come in and disrupt offenses from the first day. Having so many offensive playmakers, the Saints need to get some guys on the other side that can do the same. 

16. St. Louis Rams (7-8-1): Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina

The Rams have done a nice job to improve their offense during the offseason with the signings of Jared Cook and Jake Long. Jonathan Cooper gives them a chance to make their offensive line even better and give Sam Bradford some hope of making it through the season. 

17. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8): Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M

The Steelers need to insert some youthful talent into their defense. Damontre Moore didn't show as much athleticism at the combine as expected, which will hurt his draft stock. The Steelers will gladly take the productive player. 

18. Dallas Cowboys (8-7): Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State

The Cowboys are another team that struggled on the lines last season. They were knocked around up-front and the rest of the team had issues as a result. Johnathan Hankins will give them a big body that can help move people around and open things up for their pass rushers. 

19. New York Giants (9-7): Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame

Despite signing former Oakland Raiders tight end Brandon Myers, the Giants could use a playmaker at the tight end position. With talented wide receivers Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz, the Giants would benefit from a guy opening up the middle of the field. Manning would also benefit from having a solid dump-off option. 

Eifert is widely considered the top tight end in the draft because of his all-around play. He can come in and make an impact in the passing game and with his blocking. With Nicks, Cruz and Eifert as weapons for Manning, the Giants will have one of the top passing attacks in the league. 

20. Chicago Bears (10-6): Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State 

Brian Urlacher's future remains uncertain, and frankly, the Bears could use an upgrade at the position. They need a player to match Urlacher's instincts and leadership, but with more athleticism and play-making ability. Brown can give them that with his poise and athletic play.

21. Cincinnati Bengals (10-6): D.J. Fluker

The Bengals' offense is coming together nicely with Andy Dalton and A.J. Green as the centerpieces of the franchise. They need to put more together around those players. Part of the equation is to beefing up the offensive line. 

22. St. Louis Rams (via Washington Redskins): Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas

The Rams are in the market for a new safety, and Kenny Vaccaro is the best in the draft class. His smooth play makes him a great option for a day one-starter. 

23. Minnesota Vikings (10-6): Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee 

The Vikings need more wide receivers. Despite signing Greg Jennings, there just aren't many other options out there to get legitimate talent. Adding Patterson wouldn't just give them another receiver, but a young play-making threat. 

24. Indianapolis Colts (11-5): Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington

The Colts need better play from the cornerback position. They spent some money in free agency, but could get the talented Trufant in the draft. He showed great instincts and coverage skills with the potential to become a very good corner. 

25. Minnesota Vikings (via Seattle Seahawks): Datone Jones, DE, UCLA

The Vikings have a lot of young talent on defense, but would benefit from adding players to the defensive line. They have gotten decent production out of their defensive line, but their rotation wasn't always as strong as it could have been. Star defensive ends Jared Allen (30) and Brian Robinson (29) aren't exactly young, either. 

Jones impressed during his time at the Senior Bowl and continued to move up draft boards during the combine. His explosiveness would be a great addition to the Vikings defensive line. He would give them a threat at the position for years to come. 

26. Green Bay Packers (11-5): Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International 

The Packers haven't been able to successfully find a safety to pair with Morgan Burnett. Jonathan Cyprien would give them that and a player who can add a much-needed physical presence to the team with his hard-hitting ability. 

27. Houston Texans (12-4): Keenan Allen, WR, California

The Texans' offense needs some other talent outside of Andre Johnson and Arian Foster. The well-rounded Keenan Allen would give them another option and help open things up for Johnson. Plus, when compared to the rest of the Texans' offense, Allen's a road-runner. 

28. Denver Broncos (13-3): Kawann Short, DT, Purdue

The Broncos would benefit from some life on the defensive line to help free up Von Miller. The Purdue product, Kawaan Short, is definitely a candidate to do just that. His rare combination of strength and speed make him an interior pass-rushing threat.

29. New England Patriots (12-4): Robert Woods, WR, Southern California

Danny Amendola won't solve the Patriots' issues at wide receiver. They don't have much depth or talent beyond him. They have been forced too much to rely on their tight ends. Robert Woods gives them a strong prospect to add to their offense. Woods has shown the detail and focus that the Patriots require.  

30. Atlanta Falcons (13-3): Cornellius Carradine, DE, Florida State

The Falcons need a player to replace John Abraham and help them get pressure on the quarterback. With as talented an offense as you can find in the league, the Falcons need to add some defensive playmakers to match. 

31. San Francisco 49ers (11-4-1): Eric Reid, S, LSU

The 49ers could end up adding a veteran safety during free agency, but the smarter option may be to wait until the draft. There is a plethora of talented safeties that should be available, including Eric Reid. If the 49ers fall in love with Kenny Vaccaro or Jonathan Cyprien, they have the assets to trade up. 

32. Baltimore Ravens (10-6): Kevin Minter, LB, LSU

The Ravens need to replace Ray Lewis, and Kevin Minter gives them a great chance to do so. Minter is a smart, disciplined player who can help contribute right away and possibly even offer an upgrade at the position. 


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