2013 NFL Mock Draft: Likely Moves for Each Round 1 Selection
The 2013 NFL draft is now less than a month away. While scouts are still attending Pro Days and individual workouts, most teams should have a pretty good idea of what direction they are going to head in the opening round by this point.
In the case of teams drafting early, that means narrowing down their targets to a couple players atop their draft board. Teams picking later in the round probably have to go more generic by identifying a few positions they want to upgrade, and then decide based on who's available.
Either way, all 32 front offices should have a plan in place. With that in mind, here's an updated mock draft of the entire first round. A deeper dive is taken into a couple of toss-up picks that could change the course of the round, which are denoted by italics.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Joeckel or Eric Fisher is the decision Kansas City must make. While both tackles are capable of anchoring lines, the Texas A&M star's experience versus tougher competition gives him a slight edge.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
Although the Jaguars have no shortage of holes to fill before getting back into playoff contention, none are bigger than the pass rush. Jordan would give them a versatile, high-upside option off the edge.
3. Oakland Raiders: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Quarterback could be in play here, but it doesn't present the best value for Oakland. Upgrading the defensive line with a potential game-changing tackle, a rare commodity, is the right way to go.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
The Eagles are the first team on the board that could go several different directions with their pick. They could opt for Geno Smith to be their quarterback of the future or the top available defensive end, which would be Ansah in this instance.
Yet, Fisher seems like the best option. Philadelphia's need at quarterback isn't urgent and this year's lackluster QB class means waiting to address that area is the right way to go. Fisher is a prospect who can step in and instantly fortify the line.
If the Eagles are going to make a major turnaround next season, they must be able to protect the quarterback. It doesn't matter if it's Michael Vick or Nick Foles, if the QB is under as much pressure as last season, the offense will struggle to put up points.
5. Detroit Lions: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Corner is a major weakness for the Lions, which will make it incredibly difficult for them to pass on Milliner. He's ready to make an immediate impact and is clearly the top prospect at the position.
What should Cleveland address in Round 1?
6. Cleveland Browns: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
Adding Paul Kruger from the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens was a step in the right direction for Cleveland's pass rush. The work is not done, though. Ansah would still be a wise selection here.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
Johnson is an overlooked prospect because all of the focus at tackle is on Joeckel and Fisher. The Oklahoma product belongs in the same category and would be a nice addition to a needy Arizona line.
8. Buffalo Bills: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Even though the prevailing opinion is the Bills will use this pick on a quarterback, it's far from a lock. Patterson would be a better addition, and they can still find a solid QB prospect in Round 2.
9. New York Jets: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
It's time for the Jets to make a statement. They can't continue to fool themselves into believing Mark Sanchez is the answer. Taking Smith would finally show they know change is needed.
10. Tennessee Titans: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
Warmack is receiving a challenge from Jonathan Cooper for the top spot among guards. Both players would be good fits for the Titans, but the Alabama prospect remains the safer choice.
11. San Diego Chargers: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
If any offensive tackles from the top tier drop to San Diego, that player will be the pick. Since that's not the case here, the Chargers should instead grab Lotulelei to bolster the defensive line.
12. Miami Dolphins: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
Right now, this seems like one of the most likely picks of the entire round. The Dolphins need a corner, Rhodes presents solid value outside of the top 10 and he can help the team right away.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Even though the Bucs should focus on upgrading the defense with their first pick, exactly what position they should target is up for debate. They have needs at defensive end, defensive tackle and cornerback on a unit that ranked 29th in yards allowed last season.
When the draft process began, Werner was often being projected inside the top five. He's slid a bit due to a perceived lack of initial burst, which is key to beating NFL tackles. It also shows the importance of natural athleticism for prospects hoping to improve their stock.
That said, Werner is still one of the premier pass-rushing prospects in the draft. Tampa Bay would be getting solid value on a player that should only continue to improve with experience. Another solid step toward rebuilding the defense.
14. Carolina Panthers: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
Carolina should definitely be targeting a defensive tackle with this pick. It just comes down to which prospect they prefer from a class that will get depleted pretty quickly. Richardson is the best option.
15. New Orleans Saints: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
If Jones is still on the board when the Saints pick, they will probably run to the podium with their selection. He would be an ideal fit for the team's defense and possesses top-10 talent.
16. St. Louis Rams: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
Since Cooper is a potential top-10 pick, the Rams should take him with their first pick of the round. They can then use their later pick to fill the obvious void at wide receiver and get more total value.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
The Steelers have to decide between taking a wide receiver or adding some youth to an aging defense. The latter is the better direction to go based on the players available, with Moore being the best.
18. Dallas Cowboys: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
Jerry Jones' Cowboys are an organization that loves flash. Drafting an offensive tackle in the first round isn't the flashy thing to do, but it's what the team needs. Fluker would be a great addition.
19. New York Giants: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU
New York's vaunted defense gave up more yards than all but one team last season. A main reason why was decreased pass-rushing production, which Mingo would help fix despite his sliding down boards a bit.
20. Chicago Bears: Margus Hunt, DE, SMU
Hunt is the latest player to make a move up draft boards. Assuming he lives up to the growing amount of hype, he would form a dynamic edge duo with Julius Peppers in Chicago.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Kenny Vaccaro, FS, Texas
The Bengals have a lot of needs for a team that went 10-6 last season. Luckily, the foundation of the roster remains strong, so a good draft should keep Cincinnati in playoff contention. Wide receiver, offensive tackle, defensive end and safety are among the voids left to fill.
Based on the available players, that could be narrowed down to wide receiver or safety at No. 21. While A.J. Green could use a better supporting cast, it would be hard for the Bengals to pass on the top overall safety in Vaccaro.
He's shown the ability to drop into the box to help in run support and also features good enough ball skills to operate as a roaming free safety. He would be a terrific addition to the secondary, and the Bengals should still be able to find a serviceable receiver later in the draft.
22. St. Louis Rams (via WSH): Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
Now the Rams get their wide receiver. Austin is a player the team will be able to move around the formation to create mismatches and should be the safety valve Sam Bradford needs.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Keenan Allen, WR, California
The arrival of Greg Jennings from the rival Green Bay Packers filled one need on the outside for Minnesota. There's still another one to fill, however, which is where Allen comes into play.
24. Indianapolis Colts: Alec Ogletree, OLB, Georgia
There are multiple needs on the defensive side of the ball for Indianapolis. Deciding which one to address first will likely come down to which players are still left at No. 24. Ogletree is a good fit.
25. Minnesota Vikings (via SEA): Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
Okafor is a prototypical high-risk, high-reward pick for Minnesota. There were times in college when he would disappear in games, but when he was involved, he usually made a major impact.
26. Green Bay Packers: Arthur Brown, OLB, Kansas State
Brown is a solid all-around linebacker. While he's not going to excel in any single area, he can make plays from sideline to sideline, cover tight ends and help in run support.
27. Houston Texans: Quinton Patton, WR, Louisiana Tech
Andre Johnson continues to post monster numbers despite having no other threats on the outside. Imagine what he's capable of with a player like Patton taking some defensive attention away. Wow.
Are the Broncos AFC favorites?
28. Denver Broncos: Matt Elam, SS, Florida
With the Broncos clearly gearing up for a championship run, they should focus on players in the draft who are ready to contribute instead of developmental options. Elam fits the bill.
29. New England Patriots: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
New England needs much better play from its secondary, especially when playoff time rolls around. Trufant is an underrated prospect that should quickly work his way into a major role.
30. Atlanta Falcons: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
Tony Gonzalez is back, but that doesn't mean the Falcons can lose focus on the future. Bringing in a player like Eifert to learn from the longtime star and eventually fill the void would be a smart move.
31. San Francisco 49ers: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
If the 49ers would have received better play from their secondary, there's a good chance they would be Super Bowl champs right now. Banks is the best corner on the board to help fix the issue.
32. Baltimore Ravens: Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame
The round started with a decision between Joeckel and Fisher for Kansas City. It ends with a decision between Te'o and Kevin Minter for Baltimore. Slight edge still goes to the Notre Dame linebacker.
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