2013 NFL Mock Draft: What Your Team Is Likely to Do on Draft Day
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
It's easy to get overhyped for Round 1 of the 2013 NFL draft.
A new sense of hope is restored to every fan base in pro football, so year-round we dissect what each franchise will potentially do in late April.
What actually unfolds is obviously a different story.
And depending on your team's needs combined with the pool of prospects, countless outcomes remain possible. Therefore, to give perspective on what to expect when the Kansas City Chiefs go on the clock, let's dive into another mock draft.
Note: Highlighted players in italics.
Who should K.C. draft at No. 1 overall?
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, Tackle (Texas A&M)
The Chiefs won't make a quick turnaround without better pass protection. Well, Luke Joeckel's impact will help reduce turnovers and get the ground attack moving for stronger balance.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Star Lotulelei, DT (Utah)
Jacksonville needs Star Lotulelei to bolster the pass rush. He's a versatile athlete within the trenches that offers the power and knack for finding the rock behind the line. Plus Terrance Knighton did leap across the states to Denver in free agency.
Even better, Lotulelei has been cleared according to Joe Schad of ESPN.com:
The NFL has been told "it is safe" for Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei "to participate in professional athletics without restrictions," according to a letter provided to teams that was written by Dr. Josef Stehlik of University of Utah Cardiology.
In short, expect the Jaguars to quickly control the trenches in 2013.
3. Oakland Raiders: Dee Milliner, CB (Alabama)
Dee Milliner possesses the talent to isolate man-to-man and maintain a physical presence in zone coverage. Oakland lacked a reliable pass defense in 2012, so landing Milliner immediately closes off half the field.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Eric Fisher, Tackle (Central Michigan)
Although Philadelphia misses out on Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher has just as much potential. As a dominant pass-blocker he'll wall the edge to create a comfortable pocket. And as the Eagles' passing attack gets established, Fisher's athleticism helps bolster the running game for balance.
5. Detroit Lions: Bjoern Werner, DE (Florida State)
Detroit's pass rush takes a hit with Cliff Avril bolting to Seattle, according to NFL.com's Albert Breer. The Lions get a fast filler, though, with Bjoern Werner. Werner's overall skill set to rush, squeeze versus the run and knock down quick passes complements Ndamukong Suh quite nicely.
6. Cleveland Browns: Dion Jordan, DE (Oregon)
Despite missing on Milliner, Cleveland does itself a favor with Dion Jordan. Paul Kruger signed via free agency—per Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun—and Jordan is a perfect addition for depth, talent and dominating the line of scrimmage.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Chance Warmack, Guard (Alabama)
No team has a chance to win without dependable pass protection and a ground game. Arizona unfortunately did not have either in 2012. Chance Warmack helps turn the Cardinals around; however, as he's a punishing run-blocker and provides the lateral balance and strength to pass block.
8. Buffalo Bills: Geno Smith, QB (West Virginia)
The Bills present the rushing attack to wear defenses down up front. Getting Geno Smith simply increases the effectiveness of play-action, as well as preventing opponents from stacking the box.
9. New York Jets: Sharrif Floyd, DT (Florida)
The Jets need to control the line of scrimmage better to assist the pass defense. This all begins and ends with the defensive line, which warrants the selection of Sharrif Floyd. His brute power and ability to crash a backfield emphatically improves the New York's run defense and pass rush.
10. Tennessee Titans: Ezekiel Ansah, DE (BYU)
In 2012 Tennessee defense allowed an average of 4.2 yards per carry and recorded 39 sacks.
Still, 11.5 of those sacks came from linebackers Akeem Ayers and Zach Brown and only one defensive end (Derrick Morgan) stood out.
The Titans also ranked No. 24 against the run and finished a frustrating 6-10. Desperately needing to field a stronger perimeter defense, BYU's Ezekiel Ansah provides the repertoire to impact from draft day onward.
Although he offers just one distinctively productive college campaign, Ansah performed quite well for the Cougars.
He logged 62 tackles, 13 of which were for loss and defended nine passes. He then followed that up with a dominant Senior Bowl performance of 3.5 tackles for loss, one forced fumble and one pass defended.
The momentum continued through the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine, where Ansah delivered 4.63 seconds on the 40-yard dash and 4.26 seconds on the 20-yard shuttle. In short, his explosive power and consistency to disrupt a backfield immediately pulls Gang Green around 180 degrees.
11. San Diego Chargers: Lane Johnson, Tackle (Oklahoma)
Lane Johnson is one of this draft's most impressive athletes. And his ability to quickly redirect while maintaining balance is just what Philip Rivers needs for pocket protection. By the same token, Johnson's talent will get upfield to extend running lanes.
12. Miami Dolphins: Desmond Trufant, CB (Washington)
Miami ranked No. 27 in pass defense last season and recorded only 10 picks. Clearly the coverage must improve with Desmond Trufant, despite the addition of Brent Grime through free agency (via Mike Garafolo of the USA Today). He supplies the playmaking talent and his top speed will help win one-on-one situations, which will give more possessions to Ryan Tannehill and the offense.
13. New York Jets (via Tampa Bay): Xavier Rhodes, CB (Florida State)
The Jets just received this pick from Tampa Bay as Darrelle Revis was traded:
Yes! It's officially a done deal: Darrelle Revis is a Buccaneer! Bucs trade 2013 1st-rounder and conditional 2014 4th or 3rd to Jets.— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@TBBuccaneers) April 21, 2013
Xavier Rhodes is the perfect solution to fill the spot. Because of solid size and explosive power to the position, Rhodes will lock down in press coverage, make plays in zone and assist with perimeter run support.
14. Carolina Panthers: Kenny Vaccaro, Safety (Texas)
Carolina fields front seven defenders such as Charles Johnson and Luke Kuechly to make plays. The secondary has to get Kenny Vaccaro for more blanketed coverage. His body control and reliable tackling will limit yards after the catch when rolling down, but Vaccaro's also capable of sitting in Cover 1 and 3 to help over the top.
15. New Orleans Saints: Barkevious Mingo, LB (LSU)
The Big Easy was just that on defense throughout 2012. It was unfathomably easy for offenses to move the ball on the Saints defense, a unit that gave up an average of 440.2 total yards per game.
To no one's shock, New Orleans ranked No. 31 against the pass and No. 32 against the run.
So, drafting LSU's Barkevious Mingo helps the Saints gradually put together a better defense. Presenting good size and acceleration to dart around the edge for quarterback pressure, Mingo will also play strong gap control versus the run.
The past three seasons he compiled 15 sacks and defended 11 passes, but it's not wowing numbers that will impact. His shear athleticism will flush the quarterback out of the pocket and squeezing the perimeter against the run assists the linebackers to flow over blocks.
Considering that he timed out 4.58 seconds on the 40-yard dash and 6.84 seconds on the three-cone drill at the combine, Mingo's burst at the snap is a competitive advantage. The end result will be better control up front to give the secondary more playmaking opportunities.
16. St. Louis Rams: Tavon Austin, WR (West Virginia)
Opting for Tavon Austin upgrades the receiving corps for Sam Bradford. His skill set to rack up yards after the catch and widen zones will prevent defenses from constantly stacking the line to control the line. Then, St. Louis establishes balance to score efficiently.
What should Pittsburgh do in Round 1?
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jarvis Jones, LB (Georgia)
For Pittsburgh to return to the postseason Jarvis Jones is the answer. He'll instantly return the pass rush back to normal and help generate turnovers in the process. As a result, the Steelers offense is given more possessions in better field position.
18. Dallas Cowboys: Jonathan Cooper, Guard (North Carolina)
Dallas has the receiving talent to press a defense on its heels. But the Cowboys have to establish a better running game to keep opponents off balance. Enter Jonathan Cooper who packs a punch off the snap and is capable of pulling outward to lead upfield. Big D establishes a strong rushing attack and Tony Romo benefits in setting up the pass.
19. New York Giants: Sheldon Richardson, DT (Missouri)
It's imperative that the Giants replenish the defensive line with Sheldon Richardson. Chris Canty tweeted his signing to the Ravens, and Jay Glazer of FOX Sports reported of Osi Umenyiora's move to Atlanta. Richardson's potential is impressive, as he will wreck a backfield and draw blockers to free up the linebackers. Additionally, New York still features Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul in the trenches.
20. Chicago Bears: Alec Ogletree, LB (Georgia)
Giving up 4.2 yards per rush in 2012 made the Bears just vulnerable enough to play-action. Bringing in Alec Ogletree, however, sports a quick defender to fill lanes from the second level and shell in coverage. Plus he can apply quarterback pressure when needed to further complement the secondary.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Matt Elam, Safety (Florida)
Florida's Matt Elam is a much more versatile than at initial glance.
His 5'10", 208-pound frame bodes well to roll underneath the intermediate level and zone off slot receivers and tight ends. At the same time, this ability allows Cincinnati to blitz its linebackers with more confidence.
Elam can also react fast versus the run and sit back in Cover 2 and 3 to generate turnovers. The past two years for the Gators he defended 18 passes, returned six interceptions for 91 yards and made 22 tackles for loss.
Given that the Bengals allowed a 61.8 completion percentage and managed only 14 picks, utilizing Elam in multiple coverage schemes will complement the sound front seven. The overall contributions of Elam then increase turnovers, isolate the edge against the run and get opponents into tougher third-down situations.
22. St. Louis Rams (via WAS): Arthur Brown, LB (Kansas State)
The Rams don't need to look any further than Arthur Brown to keep their front seven solid. A versatile linebacker with the confidence to pass rush, fill lanes and sink into coverage he'll quickly impact St. Louis' defense. Additionally, Brown's instincts and field awareness will inflate the production of James Laurinaitis and Jo-Lonn Dunbar.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR (Tennessee)
A deep threat receiver becomes a competitive advantage in the NFC North, that is, provided the ground game is respectable enough to set up the pass. This isn't an issue for the Vikings, and Cordarrelle Patterson's playmaking talent will stretch defenses to give more balance in Minnesota.
24. Indianapolis Colts: Damontre Moore, DE (Texas A&M)
Indianapolis recorded only 32 sacks in 2012. Damontre Moore stockpiled 12.5 last season and logged 21 tackles for loss. His presence for the Colts will quickly field a tougher front seven, which only enhances Indy's threat as an AFC contender.
25. Minnesota Vikings (via SEA): Manti Te'o, LB (Notre Dame)
Minnesota, as reported by Jay Glazer of FOX Sports, landed Seattle's Round 1 pick via trade. And in providing the defensive line talent to control the trenches, the Vikings complete their front seven with Manti Te'o. He'll see clear paths to the ball-carrier and a bit more time when sinking in coverage courtesy of Jared Allen and Co. Plus his short-area quickness bodes well to impact between the tackles.
26. Green Bay Packers: Kawann Short, DT (Purdue)
Addressing the defensive line comes in the form of Kawann Short. He's an excellent complement to Clay Matthews on the inside, because Short is tenacious for creating havoc behind the line. As a result, Matthews faces fewer double-teams and inflates production.
27. Houston Texans: DeAndre Hopkins, WR (Clemson)
Houston's best odds for becoming stronger Super Bowl contenders is in the passing game. Andre Johnson needs a complementary sidekick and DeAndre Hopkins is the solution. After averaging 17.1 yards per catch in 2012, Hopkins' ability to stretch a secondary also prevents a defense from loading up front against Arian Foster.
28. Denver Broncos: Alex Okafor, DE (Texas)
According to Garrett Downing of the Ravens' official website, Elvis Dumervil signed with Baltimore.
There's no need to panic in Denver, though, because the 2013 draft offers an abundance of top-heavy talent along the defensive front. And coming in at No. 28 overall is Texas' Alex Okafor.
He amassed 19.5 sacks, 104 tackles and forced six fumbles for the Longhorns between 2011 and 2012. So, clearly Okafor is capable of enjoying inflated numbers by lining up in the same front as Von Miller.
Despite the Broncos' dominance in the trenches last year, the secondary will become increasingly suspect without the front seven sustaining its consistency. Okafor provides the jolt at the snap to win one-on-one situations, but also the lateral quickness and body control to contain the outside.
Ultimately, his impact will be felt from the get go, because Okafor won't have an expanded role of responsibilities: Just rush the passer, control the exterior of the line and fold back inside to take away the cutback lane.
29. New England Patriots: Keenan Allen, WR (California)
New England will always have a strong passing attack with Tom Brady. It does, however, need a deep target to press the coverage back to open up the intermediate level. Keenan Allen's size and leaping ability supplies this area, not to mention the route-running talent to make plays over the middle.
30. Atlanta Falcons: Sylvester Williams: DT (North Carolina)
More talented depth along the front wall will amplify the potential of Atlanta's defense. Sylvester Williams brings the ability to plug gaps and eat blocks for the linebackers. A byproduct of this allows Osi Umenyiora (who signed via Jay Glazer) to apply more quarterback pressure and constrict the perimeter versus the run.
31. San Francisco 49ers: Jonathan Cyprien, Safety (Florida International)
Safety Dashon Goldson bounced the Bay Area for Tampa Bay in free agency, per Adam Schefter. That said, Jonathan Cyprien is now the future of the 49ers' coverage. Mesh his reliable knack for being around the ball, size to deliver hits and help against the run, San Francisco immediately replenishes its pass defense.
32. Baltimore Ravens: Robert Woods, WR (USC)
Despite Te'o off the board, Baltimore instead spruces up the receiving corps with Robert Woods. Joe Flacco already has two deep threats in Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones, so fielding Woods in the slot presents another underneath target for Flacco. Woods knows how to get upfield after the catch, and he'll see an extended time to develop since he'll never face double coverage.
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