2013 NFL Mock Draft: Step-by-Step Moves for Entire First Round
With the 2013 NFL draft fast approaching, team scouts and executives are beginning to get a clearer picture as to who they'll be selecting in the first round on April 25.
Unfortunately as fans, that leaves us on the outside looking in, basing our projections off of combine and pro day workouts and a player's body of work in college.
That said, here are my latest predictions for every team in the first round. Teams that I think are solid fits for each other are denoted by italics.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
The Kansas City Chiefs will be looking for an offensive tackle to keep newly acquired quarterback Alex Smith safe and to open up some holes in the running game for Jamaal Charles.
Luke Joeckel has emerged as arguably the best player in the entire class and I think the Chiefs take him at No. 1.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
The Jacksonville Jaguars have issues up and down their depth chart, but it all starts on defense.
The Jags sported the NFL's least amount of sacks in 2012—only 20—and would benefit from drafting a versatile pass-rusher like Dion Jordan out of Oregon. Not only can Jordan make plays along the defensive line, but he can drop back into coverage as an outside linebacker.
At 6'6", 248 pounds, Jordan possesses excellent speed and athleticism that helps him stick slot receivers and tight ends in the passing game or get off blocks and reach the quarterback at defensive end.
No matter how Jacksonville decides to employ his services, Jordan is the right pick for the Jaguars at No. 2.
3. Oakland Raiders: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Seeking help in the middle of their defensive line, the Oakland Raiders will get it with Sharrif Floyd out of Florida.
Floyd excels at stopping the run and has the ability to reach the quarterback as well, which is a solid starting point for Oakland.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Chip Kelly needs athletic offensive linemen who can get down the field and block on screen passes, which is why I have him and the Philadelphia Eagles drafting Central Michigan's Eric Fisher. I think Fisher has the mobility to be an asset to Kelly's spread offense in 2013.
5. Detroit Lions: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
What the Detroit Lions would get in Ezekiel Ansah is a freak of an athlete who can bull-rush his way through an offensive line for a sack or track down running backs from behind in the hole.
He had an excellent Senior Bowl and definitely proved his worth as a top 10 pick in the upcoming draft.
6. Cleveland Browns: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Pairing the best corner in the draft, Dee Milliner, with another solid cover corner in Joe Haden would be one of the best moves the Cleveland Browns made in years.
There's no doubt the Browns need more weapons on offense, but drafting a talent like Milliner could pay huge dividends in the future.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
The QB situation in Arizona is still messy, so I wouldn't be surprised to see the Cardinals go after Geno Smith, but the bottom line is that they need to bolster the offensive line.
Football Outsiders ranked Arizona's offensive line the worst in terms of run blocking last season, highlighting the need for an offensive tackle like Lane Johnson.
8. Buffalo Bills: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Geno Smith isn't definitely deserving of a high pick, but with the lack of talent in the 2013 quarterback pool, he's likely a first-rounder.
Buffalo is one of many teams with a top 10 pick that needs a quarterback and I really don't see how the Bills can compete in 2013 unless they draft one.
Might as well make it the best in the draft in Geno Smith.
9. New York Jets: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
If Geno Smith somehow makes it past No. 8, I think the New York Jets have to take him.
Since I don't see that happening, I like Gang Green to bolster its defense by drafting Jarvis Jones, who owns excellent tackling skills and can match up against pass-catching tight ends like those the New England Patriots feature.
10. Tennessee Titans: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
We all know how unhappy Chris Johnson was with his offensive line last season, and with the addition of Shonn Greene this year, I think Tennessee realizes it has to strengthen the line.
Chance Warmack has emerged as a top name along the line in his class and the Titans should take him as long as he's still there at No. 10.
11. San Diego Chargers: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
After being sacked the second-most times in 2012, Philip Rivers is surely hoping for help on the offensive line.
One of Jonathan Cooper's best strengths is in the pass-blocking game, where Football Outsiders ranked San Diego's offensive line dead last.
It's a no-brainer.
12. Miami Dolphins: Xavier Rhodes, CB, FSU
With Sean Smith long gone to Kansas City, the Miami Dolphins have to address the cornerback spot.
Xavier Rhodes can make an immediate impact as a rookie because of his size (6'1"), speed (4.43) and ability to pitch in against the rush.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
Tampa Bay sported the NFL's worst pass defense in 2012, and in order to change that for the upcoming season, it all starts up front.
Drafting a guy like Sheldon Richardson, who can clog up the middle, allows for pass rushers on the outside to wreak havoc in the backfield, and he's also a stout run defender.
14. Carolina Panthers: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
Star Lotulelei's health concerns make it difficult to project where he's going to be drafted in the first round, but regardless, I don't see him making it out of the first round.
Lotulelei has some of the quickest hands and feet for a player that size and his pass-rush skills are just as solid as his talent against the run, making this an excellent pick for the Carolina Panthers.
15. New Orleans Saints: Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU
The Saints owned the league's worst rushing defense in 2012 and had just 30 sacks, but that could change with the drafting of Barkevious Mingo.
Mingo has the physicality to go up against NFL offensive linemen and challenge them at the point of attack, which would make this selection a step in the right direction for New Orleans' defense.
16. St. Louis Rams: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
You can't say enough about what Tavon Austin brings to the table as a receiver, rusher and kick returner, which is why I think he's the perfect fit for the St. Louis Rams.
St. Louis has a need for a slot receiver with Danny Amendola gone to New England (not that he was ever that reliable anyway), and Austin excelled in the slot at West Virginia.
At 5'8", Austin ran a 4.34 40-yard dash at the NFL combine and is arguably the most explosive route runner of his class. Not only does he contain big-play ability through the air, but he has excellent vision as a kick returner.
Once he has the ball in his hands, Austin is always a threat to make defenders miss and bring it to the house, which is precisely what the Rams are looking for.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Tennessee's Cordarrelle Patterson will be the second wideout off the board, as the Pittsburgh Steelers need a replacement for Mike Wallace.
At 6'3" with 4.42 speed, Patterson has the skills to stretch the field like Wallace did, making him another possible big-play receiver for Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers' offense.
18. Dallas Cowboys: Kenny Vaccaro, SS, Texas
The Dallas Cowboys have a lot of work to do on defense if they're going to make it to the playoffs in 2013, and I think it all starts at the safety position.
Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne are suitable corners but Kenny Vaccaro would upgrade the safety position for Dallas and give its secondary a better chance of stopping passing attacks in the NFC East.
19. New York Giants: Bjoern Werner, DE, FSU
The loss of Osi Umenyiora to the Atlanta Falcons highlights a need along the defense line for the New York Giants.
Bjoern Werner was a monster at Florida State last season, compiling 13 sacks and causing havoc in opponents' backfields—something he could bring to the G-Men in 2013.
20. Chicago Bears: Arthur Brown, ILB, Kansas State
When you talk about a raw middle linebacker who can be a force stopping the run, you're talking about Arthur Brown.
Chicago is in dire need of a middle linebacker without Brian Urlacher, and I seriously believe Brown can be a staple in the Bears' defense for years to come if they take him at No. 20.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
The Bengals owned the 28th-worst pass-protecting offensive line in 2012, according to Football Outsiders, making D.J. Fluker the pick for Cincinnati. Fluker did an excellent job of keeping A.J. McCarron safe at Alabama and I think he can do the same for Andy Dalton.
22. St. Louis Rams (via Washington): Matt Elam, FS, Florida
A successful draft for the Rams would be snagging a wide receiver and safety in the first round, and if Matt Elam is there at No. 22, St. Louis has to take him.
Without Quintin Mikell, the Rams have a need at safety and Elam is the complete package at the position.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Keenan Allen, WR, California
Keenan Allen put together a productive career at California and could be a crucial member of the Minnesota Vikings' offense in 2013 along with Greg Jennings.
The 6'2" wideout owns excellent separation and route-running skills and would be the perfect complement on offense to Jennings and Adrian Peterson.
24. Indianapolis Colts: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
The No. 24 overall pick should definitely be on the defensive side of the ball for the Indianapolis Colts.
They owned the NFL's 26th-ranked defense last season and would benefit by drafting Damontre Moore from Texas A&M, who owns great pass-rushing skills, racking up 81 tackles and 12.5 sacks last year.
25. Minnesota Vikings (via Seattle): Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia
Aside from wide receiver, the biggest need for the Minnesota Vikings is a middle linebacker who can quarterback the defense.
Ogletree is excellent at stuffing the run and closes quickly as a reliable tackler. The Vikings would be lucky to get this caliber of a player at 25th in the draft.
26. Green Bay Packers: Eric Reid, FS, LSU
Without Charles Woodson manning the secondary, Green Bay has a hole to fill at safety.
Former LSU safety Eric Reid has the instincts and awareness on defense to make a difference for the Packers and is physically gifted enough to stick pass-catching tight ends.
27. Houston Texans: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
One glaring need for the Houston Texans this offseason is at the wide receiver position.
When Andre Johnson is recruiting Chad Johnson to come play for your franchise (via NFL.com), you know it's time to step up and add a playmaker at wideout.
Clemson's DeAndre Hopkins was the definition of a play-making wide receiver for the Tigers in 2012, catching 82 balls for 1,405 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Hopkins showed the ability to stretch the defense and create havoc against the secondary, as evident by two three-touchdown games last season.
Houston is already set with Matt Schaub under center and Arian Foster in the backfield but needs another weapon on the outside to complement Andre Johnson, which is why Hopkins is the perfect fit for the Texans at No. 27.
28. Denver Broncos: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
In order for Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos to make a deeper run in the postseason, the secondary has to be addressed.
The Baltimore Ravens exploited that weakness in the 2012 playoffs, which is why I think the Broncos go out and get a corner like Desmond Trufant to bolster the secondary in 2013.
29. New England Patriots: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
The New England Patriots are always finding young talent on the defense and they'll do it again if they draft Mississippi State's Johnthan Banks.
Banks has the cover skills and awareness to aid the Pats' 29th-ranked passing defense from a season ago.
30. Atlanta Falcons: Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
Maybe the Atlanta Falcons go a different route now that the Osi Umenyiora deal is done, or maybe the Falcons continue building along the defensive line with a talent like Alex Okafor.
Look no further than what he did against Oregon State in the Alamo Bowl (eight tackles, 4.5 sacks) for evidence of his talent on the defensive line.
31. San Francisco 49ers: Jonathan Cyprien, FS, Florida International
You may not know much about Jonathan Cyprien, but you will after he's selected in the first round by a defensive-minded team like the San Francisco 49ers.
Donte Whitner and Dashon Goldson could have used some help in Super Bowl XLVII, which is why I think the Niners look to add depth at the safety spot with the No. 31 pick.
Is Manti Te'o deserving of a first-round pick?
32. Baltimore Ravens: Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame
While questions still linger about Manti Te'o, his 4.71 40 time helped his draft stock and I think someone takes him in the first round.
I'm not necessarily saying he's deserving of a first-round pick, but since the Baltimore Ravens need a middle linebacker, I think they go with Te'o as a hopeful fill-in for Ray Lewis in 2013.
Follow me on Twitter: Follow @Pete_Schauer
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?