2013 NFL Mock Draft: Ideal Choices for Each First-Round Pick

Pete Schauer@@Pete_SchauerCorrespondent IMarch 23, 2013

Nov 24, 2012; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles defensive end Bjoern Werner (95) celebrates after recovering a fumble during the second half of the game against the Florida Gators at Doak Campbell Stadium. Gators defeated the Seminoles 37-26. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Multiple NFL teams have been active in free agency but it's the 2013 NFL draft that has the majority of fans excited for the future of their favorite teams.

While it's nearly impossible to predict what NFL brass will do once they're inside the draft room, we can speculate the ideal spots for NFL prospects to land and begin their NFL careers.

So what are the best choices for some of the best college football players? Let's take a look.

Ideal choices are denoted in italics.

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

With a new head coach and quarterback looking to change the Chiefs’ offensive scheme in 2013, Kansas City should be looking to grab the best offensive lineman (and possibly the best player) in the draft, in former Texas A&M tackle Luke Joeckel.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon

After a strong 2012 campaign with Oregon, Dion Jordan could bring his hard-nosed defense to the Jacksonville Jaguars’ defensive line—a defense that ranked dead-last in terms of sacks last season, with just 20.

Jordan can play along the defensive line or as an outside linebacker, making him one of the most versatile defenders in the draft.

3. Oakland Raiders: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida

The 2013 draft has a few defensive tackles worthy of a top pick, but Sharrif Floyd is the guy for Oakland.

The Raiders need to seriously bolster the interior of their defensive line and Floyd is solid stopping the rush and getting to the quarterback—something Oakland’s defensive line sorely lacks.

4. Philadelphia Eagles: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

There wasn’t a lot of running room for LeSean McCoy last season, and Football Outsiders agrees, as it ranked Philly’s run-blocking offensive line No. 28 in the NFL.

With a Chip Kelly-led offense, the running game must be at a premium and I think the Eagles go with offensive tackle Eric Fisher.

5. Detroit Lions: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU

Who wouldn't want to pair a freak athlete like Ezekiel Ansah with the always dangerous Ndamukong Suh?

The Lions amassed 34 sacks last season, and while that was more than a team like the New York Giants, Detroit needs to get more pressure up front to bail out its struggling secondary.

After a dominant performance in the 2013 Senior Bowl, Ansah has emerged as a top defensive player in the NFL draft and would undoubtedly be a welcomed addition to a subpar Lions defense.

Ansah should be on the board when the fifth pick comes around and Detroit would be crazy to pass him up, unless it plans on drafting Dee Milliner to help out the secondary. 

6. Cleveland Browns: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

Dee Milliner blew us all away at the NFL combine by running a 4.37 40-yard dash and establishing himself as the best corner in his class.

The Browns were owners of the 25th-worst pass defense last season and would receive an immediate upgrade by pairing Milliner with Joe Haden.

7. Arizona Cardinals: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma

The quarterback spot is still a huge question for the Arizona Cardinals but they must address the offensive line first in the form of Lane Johnson.

The Cardinals’ run-blocking was terrible in 2012, and without a legitimate QB under center, expect Arizona to be relying on the running game a lot in 2013.

8. Buffalo Bills: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia

With no Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Buffalo Bills are in need of a quarterback, and Geno Smith is the best option in the draft.

Smith posted video game-like numbers last season while throwing a mere six interceptions and would bring a dual-threat talent to Buffalo’s QB spot.

9. New York Jets: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia

We all know how much Rex Ryan loves defense, and with Jarvis Jones sitting there at No. 9, New York won’t pass him up. Jones is an NFL-ready linebacker who covers the entire field and possesses excellent wrap-up tackling skills.

10. Tennessee Titans: Chance WarmackOG, Alabama

With the addition of Shonn Greene, the Tennessee Titans will still be looking to pound the ground behind Chris Johnson and Greene next season, highlighting the need for help on the offensive line.

Johnson made it known that he wasn’t to blame for the offensive struggles last season but a talent like Chance Warmack will help Tennessee’s offensive line troubles.

11. San Diego Chargers: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina

Is it an exciting pick for the San Diego Chargers? No.

Is it the right pick for them? Yes.

Philip Rivers was the second-most sacked quarterback in the NFL last season while Football Outsiders ranked the Chargers' offensive line the worst in the NFL in pass protection.

Rivers is one of the better QBs in the league when he has the time and weapons to throw to, but the veteran hasn't had much of either the past few seasons.

Look for San Diego to draft an offensive guard like Jonathan Cooper to bolster the offensive line for 2013.

12. Miami Dolphins: Xavier Rhodes, CB, FSU

Without Sean Smith, the Miami Dolphins seriously lack a cover corner, but that can be fixed with the help of FSU’s Xavier Rhodes.

Rhodes has excellent cover skills and a propensity to help out against the rush, which could be key in Miami’s attempt to rise to the top of the AFC East.

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri

Tampa Bay could go a few different routes at No. 13, but whatever way it goes, it better be on the defensive side of the football.

I think a guy like Sheldon Richardson—who can stuff the run and reach the QB—is a great pickup for the Bucs, who were an all around terrible defensive team in 2012.

14. Carolina Panthers: Star LotuleleiDT, Utah  

The Panthers are another team in need of a defensive tackle, and despite some health concerns around Star Lotulelei, he’s still a top-15 talent in the upcoming draft.

Lotulelei has an excellent combination of height and speed that helps him shed blockers on the offensive line and make plays for his defense.

15. New Orleans Saints: Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU

After sporting the NFL’s worst defense in 2012, the New Orleans Saints would be wise to draft a talent along the defensive line like Barkevious Mingo.

Mingo is a versatile defensive end who tracks and finds running backs in the hole and uses his 6’4” frame to create havoc for quarterbacks.

16. St. Louis Rams: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia

Tavon Austin is the perfect candidate to fill the void left in the slot position by Danny Amendola.

Austin gets it done in all facets of the game—receiving, rushing and kick returning—and would easily become a favorite target of Sam Bradford’s if St. Louis takes him at No. 16.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee

The exit of Mike Wallace to Miami highlights a need for a big playmaker for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

At 6’2”, Patterson blazed to a 4.42 40-yard dash time and has the ability to be a vertical threat down the field for Ben Roethlisberger.

18. Dallas Cowboys: Kenny Vaccaro, SS, Texas

The Dallas Cowboys' defense has been a disappointment for the past few seasons, mainly due to a lack of pass rush and playmakers in the secondary.

As the best safety in his class, Kenny Vaccaro can come up to the line of scrimmage and stick a slot receiver with the best of them.

19. New York Giants: Bjoern Werner, DE, FSU

After a down season from the New York Giants' defensive line in 2012, GM Jerry Reese will be looking to bolster that line and get back to the postseason.

The probable departure of Osi Umenyiora highlights a need along the defensive line for the G-Men and an athlete like Bjoern Werner is the perfect fit. Werner collected 13 sacks for the Seminoles last season and has the non-stop motor New York's defensive line is built upon.

In a division with Robert Griffin III, the Giants need an active defensive line that can contain the quarterback and running game.

Werner proved to be effective against the run at FSU and would be the ideal selection for Big Blue.

20. Chicago Bears: Arthur Brown, ILB, Kansas State

It’s clear that Brian Urlacher won’t be back with the Chicago Bears next season, meaning Chicago must look toward the draft for a replacement.

Former K-State inside linebacker Arthur Brown is a raw defender who possesses excellent speed and tackling skills to fit into the Bears’ defensive scheme.

21. Cincinnati Bengals: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama

After having A.J. McCarron’s back, tackle D.J. Fluker will be moving on to the NFL and could be protecting Andy Dalton in 2013, who was sacked the third-most of any NFL QB last season.

At the 21st spot in the draft, Fluker is the best option to fix a brutal pass-protection problem for the Bengals.

22. St. Louis Rams (via Washington): Matt Elam, FS, Florida

As a safety who’s not afraid to line up in the box and lay big hits on receivers, Matt Elam is the perfect pick to bring his physical and emotional play to St. Louis.

The Rams have a hole at safety that needs to be filled and they should address that need with the former Florida safety.

23. Minnesota Vikings: Keenan Allen, WR, California

Along with Greg Jennings, Keenan Allen could be part of an improved offensive attack in 2013 for the Minnesota Vikings.

Allen was a reliable No. 1 receiver at Cal and comes with the potential to rack up yards after the catch with a stiff arm or juke move.

24. Indianapolis Colts: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M

The weakest part of the Colts is their defensive line, and if Indianapolis is going to be a yearly contender under Andrew Luck, Indy must draft defense. Damontre Moore can play both DE and OLB and has the motor to be a tough NFL defender.

25. Minnesota Vikings (via Seattle): Alec OgletreeILB, Georgia

Middle linebacker is a huge need for the Vikings and former Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree could be the answer. Ogletree’s sideline-to-sideline skills and athleticism definitely make him a first-round option for Minnesota.

26. Green Bay Packers: Eric Reid, FS, LSU

With a need for a safety following the release of Charles Woodson, I think Green Bay takes care of that issue right away with Eric Reid in the first round.

While Reid isn’t the best safety in his class, he displayed excellent cover skills at LSU and isn’t afraid to make big hits over the middle.

27. Houston Texans: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson

The Houston Texans desperately need a wide receiver to complement Andre Johnson, and DeAndre Hopkins is that guy.

Hopkins recorded more than 1,400 receiving yards last season and scored 18 touchdowns, highlighted by two three-TD games against Duke and Ball State.

28. Denver Broncos: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington

People get lost in the talent of Dee Milliner and forget just how good of a pick Desmond Trufant can be at the end of the first round.

The Broncos need to shore up their secondary, and with two of his brothers already playing in the NFL and his body of work at Washington, there’s no doubting Trufant has the skill set to be an NFL corner.

29. New England Patriots: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State

New England should be looking to improve its secondary, after the Patriots ranked 29th in pass defense in 2012.

Johnthan Banks has the height, speed and cover skills to play in New England’s secondary with Aqib Talib.

30. Atlanta Falcons: Alex Okafor, DE, Texas

The Atlanta Falcons recorded a mere 29 sacks last season and lost 10 of those sacks when they cut John Abraham.

Alex Okafor recorded eight sacks at Texas last season and could be a starter in Atlanta come the 2013 season.

31. San Francisco 49ers: Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International

The San Francisco 49ers’ safety issues were on display against the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII. While Jonathan Cyprien isn’t a fix-all option for the Niners, he’d definitely add depth and talent to San Francisco’s secondary with his solid build and range against the run.

32. Baltimore Ravens: Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU

Kevin Minter is the pick for the Baltimore Ravens in the first round following the retirement of Ray Lewis.

Minter started all 13 games last season and led the team in tackles for loss (15) and compiled four sacks. He looks to be the more NFL-ready linebacker over Manti Te’o and would be a great addition to a Ravens defense that has been depleted during the offseason.

Follow me on Twitter: 


    LAC Scout Was Why Lamar Didn't Run 40

    NFL logo

    LAC Scout Was Why Lamar Didn't Run 40

    Alec Nathan
    via Bleacher Report

    Players Under the Most Pressure at Minicamp

    NFL logo

    Players Under the Most Pressure at Minicamp

    Maurice Moton
    via Bleacher Report

    Brett Favre Looking to End Youth Tackle Football

    NFL logo

    Brett Favre Looking to End Youth Tackle Football

    Green Bay Packers
    via Green Bay Packers

    Does the NFL Have a Referee Problem?

    NFL logo

    Does the NFL Have a Referee Problem?

    Mike Florio
    via ProFootballTalk