2013 NFL Mock Draft: Full Analysis of Entire First Round
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We move ever closer to one of the most exciting days of the sports year; the NFL draft, which is a little more than a month away.
As time continues to tick down, NFL teams are busy formulating their draft strategy before NFL commissioner Roger Goodell takes the podium on April 25.
Here's what every NFL team should do in the draft's first round.
1. Kansas City Chiefs, Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M, OT
Chiefs fans, for the first time in a while, have to be pretty dang excited. Their team picked up Alex Smith from the 49ers and re-signed Dwayne Bowe for a few more years. As the Chiefs continue to build their team, Joeckel will be a perfect addition.
With a great backfield and a few other extremely talented skill players on offense, Joeckel is a pick for the future, which looks pretty bright for the Chiefs. Joeckel, who can block for the pass and run, is a great option to take over for Branden Albert if he decides to test free agency next season.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars, Eric Fisher, Central Michigan, OT
The Jags are all-around rough. A strong tackle in Fisher would be a great way for Jacksonville to get things rolling in the right direction again as it continues to rebuild a struggling franchise from the ground up. He gets the call because he's the next guy after Joeckel who could have an immediate impact on a team.
3. Oakland Raiders, Sharrif Floyd, Florida, DT
The Raiders' rushing defense has been rough for a while, ranking 18th during the last season. While the Raiders have a lot of other spots to fill, Floyd would be their best bet. He had an amazing combine, showing off his versatility and insane power.
Floyd is the kind of player you don't have to worry about. He does what he needs to do and gets the job done. He can have a huge impact on this defense.
4. Philadelphia Eagles, Dee Milliner, Alabama, DB
With the loss of Nnamdi Asomugha, the Eagles need a great athlete in their defensive backfield. Dee Milliner is the best corner in this year's class and will have an immediate impact on a struggling defense that lost one of its most talented players.
5. Detroit Lions, Ezekiel Ansah, BYU, DE
The Lions pulled off a huge move in free agency picking up Reggie Bush. As their offense continues to get more terrifying, their defense just gets worse. After losing Kyle Vanden Bosch and Cliff Avril, the Lions need to focus on the defense in this year's draft.
Ansah is a monster at defense end. He has freakish abilities to make big plays against the run, both to the inside and outside. The Lions need a defense to support their insane offense because, as it sits, the Lions' defense won't stand up to a shootout with other teams in the NFC North, let alone the rest of the league.
6. Cleveland Browns, Dion Jordan, Oregon, DE/LB
Where do the Browns start? They're missing a ton of everything and Jordan can help point their terrible defense in the right direction. Jordan is ultra-fast off the edge and has good lateral speed and pursuit skills. He'd be a perfect fit for a bad defense.
7. Arizona Cardinals, Geno Smith, West Virginia, QB
Smith is an above-average passer with decent arm strength and excellent ability to fit the ball in tight spots. The Cards don't have any options on their depth chart and Smith is the best QB available. It's as simple as that. You can't play in the NFL if you can't throw the rock.
8. Buffalo Bills, Jarvis Jones, Georgia, OLB
The Bills need a defender of the future, and that defender is Jarvis Jones. He's been commanding the attention of SEC double-teams for a few years now and is the kind of athlete the Bills need on defense. Jones is a safe pick for the Bills, who need a sure thing.
9. New York Jets, Barkevious Mingo, LSU, DE
The Jets allowed more than 4.3 yards per carry last season, which is bad. The Jets' defense was pretty rough all-around, but their defensive line struggled the most. Mingo is a monster athlete with a motor that simply won't quit. The Jets need to shore up their pass rush from the edge. Mingo is the man who can do that.
10. Tennessee Titans, Jonathan Cooper, UNC, G
Cooper is a great interior lineman who fits perfectly into the Titans' zone-blocking scheme. Cooper could have an immediate impact for the Titans and could play as soon as they need him. Cooper is an explosive athlete who has just enough speed to get to the second level.
11. San Diego Chargers, Lane Johnson, Oklahoma, OT
The Chargers can't gamble here. They need someone to protect Philip Rivers. Johnson doesn't necessarily have to come in right away, but he's a smart enough player that he can learn the playbook quickly and get into the game. The Chargers have been hanging on the periphery of the playoffs for a few years, A great lineman could help shore up their offense.
12. Miami Dolphins, Keenan Allen, California, WR
The Dolphins already signed Mike Wallace to a huge deal in free agency, but they would be wise to go with a young wideout to back him up. With the loss of Reggie Bush, the Dolphins need more talented skill players on offense. Allen is the most pro-ready wideout in the draft.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Kenny Vaccaro, Texas, S
The Bucs have a terrible secondary. Vaccaro can help to fix that. He is no doubt the best safety in the draft and would be a great option for Tampa Bay. He's a solid zone defender and has the much sought-after ability to line up on pass-catching tight ends. He could have an immediate impact on a struggling Tampa defense.
14. Carolina Panthers, Star Lotulelei, Utah, DT
Lotulelei's health issues are unfortunate, but assuming he's able to keep playing football, he has top-pick talent as a defensive tackle. He's strong, fast and agile and would be a huge help to a Carolina defensive line that doesn't have much on depth after Charles Johnson.
Lotulelei would be a great complement to Johnson in the pass rush because of his ability to take up multiple blockers. He's great in both pass-rush and run defense and could be a major part of Carolina's team for years to come. Star would be just that for the Panthers; a star.
15. New Orleans Saints, Sheldon Richardson, Missouri, DT
The Saints' offense hasn't been the issue for a long time. Their obvious struggles come on defense, and Richardson would be a great way for them to shore up their defensive line. He's an expert at eating up multiple offensive linemen and has the ability to make big plays in the backfield.
16. St. Louis Rams, Tavon Austin, West Virginia, WR
With the loss of Steven Jackson and Danny Amendola, the Rams have needs on offense. Tavon Austin would be a huge help for Sam Bradford. Austin, who has big-play ability, won't lead the NFL in touchdowns, but he could be a huge help for an offense that lost some of its biggest names.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers, Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame, TE
Eifert is easily the best tight end available in this year's draft. The loss of Mike Wallace will be much easier to bear with the addition of a guy like Eifert. He has amazing hands and an amazing ability to find a seam and stretch a defense vertically. He would give the Steelers another big-play option on offense.
18. Dallas Cowboys, Chance Warmack, Alabama, G
This one is pretty simple. The Cowboys need to improve their offensive line and Warmack is the best interior lineman available. He instantly makes their line better. He could well be one of the best offensive lineman in the NFL if he has an opportunity to get a little stronger and time to pick up the playbook.
19. New York Giants, Sylvester Williams, UNC, DT
Williams is one of the best defensive tackles in this year's draft. The Giants have great defensive linemen on the edge and an OK interior line. But adding a young guy like Williams would help all aspects of their defense. His ability to take on multiple blockers would free up the Giants' talented defensive ends and provide more depth at the interior spots.
20. Chicago Bears, D.J. Fluker, Alabama, OT
While the Bears could go for a skill player here, they should go for Fluker. He is one of the most underestimated players on the board. He has amazing footwork and can pass-lock with the best of them.
Fluker would have time to work his way into the playbook. While while his pass-blocking is solid, he really shines in the running game. He made a career destroying SEC defenses and could very easily make the transition to the NFL game.
21. Cincinnati Bengals, Alec Ogletree, Georgia, LB
The Bengals nailed it when they drafted Vontaze Burfict last year, and they have a great opportunity to snag another steal in the first round with Alec Ogletree. The Bengals need to shore up the linebacker position on their young defense, and Ogletree could have an immediate impact. The linebacking corps of the Bengals could make their defense one to watch in the next five years.
22. St. Louis Rams (From Washington), Menelik Watson, FSU, LT
The Rams snagged the No. 22 spot from the Redskins, which gives them two picks in the first round. The Rams should keep their young QB happy and get him a lineman to go with their first pick of Tavon Austin. Watson is an impressive young lineman who, if given time, could be a solid left tackle in the NFL.
23. Minnesota Vikings, Justin Hunter, Tennessee, WR
The Vikings, like the Dolphins, nabbed a great wideout in free agency. The Vikes stole Greg Jennings away from their NFC North rival, the Green Bay Packers, but they shouldn't stop there. Their passing game has struggled. But if they continue to bring in talented wideouts, we might see Adrian Peterson finally break the rushing record.
24. Indianapolis Colts, Damontre Moore, Texas A&M, DE
Unfortunately for Indy, it appears that Dwight Freeney is finally moving on. Moore is a raw athlete, but given time he could be their next Freeney. He made his Aggie career terrorizing offenses with his ability to make plays in the opponent's backfield. Moore would be a solid grab for the Colts and would do wonders for a struggling defense.
25. Minnesota Vikings (From Seattle), Bjoern Werner, Florida State, DE
Minnesota helped their offense with the first pick and have an opportunity to help their defense with the pick they received from Seattle. The Vikings' defense has lost a few steps in the last few years, but it's still pretty solid. Getting an impressive athlete like Werner would help their aging defensive line stay on the field for a few more seasons.
26. Green Bay Packers, John Jenkins, Georgia, DT
The Packers have been the team to beat in the NFC North for the last two seasons, but they haven't been able to get it done when it really matters. While a lot of people are calling for an Eddie Lacy pick here, I disagree.
The Packers can get by with a running-back-by-committee approach. They don't need a workhorse like Lacy. It would help, of course, but it's not the biggest need. The Packers need to shore up their defense which struggled in the postseason, especially against the 49ers. The Packers need a strong interior lineman to take pressure off Clay Matthews and the rest of the playmaking linemen.
Jenkins is a big dude who can blow things up in the backfield and clog up running lanes. He could spell B.J. Raji and make up for the Jerel Worthy pick in last year's draft.
27. Houston Texans, Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee, WR
The Texans got a huge free-agency pickup in Ed Reed and are coming off a great year that ended in disappointment. Their backfield and defense are solid, but their vertical attack has struggled in the last few years. With the Texans having aging wideouts who can't make plays down the field consistently, Patterson will be an immediate big-play threat vertically. With all the attention on Andre Johnson and Arian Foster, he could shock a lot of defenses.
28. Denver Broncos, Desmond Trufant, Washington, DB
The Broncos' defensive unit was solid last season, but their secondary is getting old. While guys like Champ Bailey are still above average, there's nothing bad about preparing for the future with a talented DB like Trufant.
29. New England Patriots, Xavier Rhodes, Florida State, DB
Unlike the Broncos, the Patriots need to improve their secondary as soon as possible. It was one of the few weak spots on the team and had a hard time stopping any serious threats in the passing game. Rhodes would be a great help. He's a physical guy who can really get in a wideout's head.
30. Atlanta Falcons, Zach Ertz, Stanford, TE
The Falcons have most of the pieces they need to succeed, especially after picking up Steven Jackson in free agency. Tony Gonzalez is probably in his final season, so they'll need to start grooming his replacement.
Ertz is a great route-runner and is lightning fast off the line. And next season would be a great opportunity for Ertz to learn from the best before he takes over.
31. San Francisco 49ers, Margus Hunt, SMU, DE
Hunt is older at 25, but he could be a big help to an already stellar 49ers defense. He's a monster. He's taller taller than 6'8'' and runs a 4.6 40-yard dash, which is ridiculous. He wouldn't have to hop right into a starting role in San Francisco. The 49ers would give him a chance to slowly work his way up to NFL speed. His raw talent and ability are enough to be a passable defensive end, but the environment in San Francisco could make him a Pro Bowler.
32. Baltimore Ravens, Manti Te'o, Notre Dame, LB
The Super Bowl champion Ravens lost a few big names from their defense, notably Paul Kruger, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. As they move into the post-Lewis era, they need to crown his successor soon so they can start grooming a new face of the defense. Manti Te'o is the perfect man for the job.
Both Lewis and Teo dealt with extreme media scrutiny early in their careers and they're both similar players. They're great in the run game and are ball hawks in the passing game.
Te'o is the kind of guy a city can get behind and would be a great fit for the Ravens.
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