2013 NFL Mock Draft: Move-by-Move Manual to the First Round
Although the NFL draft is often unpredictable, there are certainly moves that make the most sense for each team.
Obviously, not every top prospect will turn out to be a Hall of Fame player. Chances are good that there will be quite a few busts in this first round.
However, general managers across the league would do well on draft day if they select these players in the first round. Here is a pick-by-pick look at the 2013 NFL draft.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
The Chiefs have plenty of options with the first overall pick, but many believe it has come down to two offensive linemen: Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher.
While Fisher has done well to boost his stock this offseason, Joeckel has proven himself as an elite blocker in games against top competition. The Texas A&M tackle is a safer choice and should be taken first overall.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Jacksonville has a lot of needs, especially on the defensive end. However, very few NFL teams can be successful without a big-time quarterback.
It is obvious from the past season that neither Chad Henne nor Blaine Gabbert is a long-term answer for the Jaguars. However, Geno Smith could be that franchise player that the organization is looking for.
The West Virginia quarterback completed 71.2 percent of his passes last season and had an incredible 42-6 touchdown-to-interception ratio. It is obvious that he has what it takes to succeed in the NFL, and the Jaguars would be making a mistake by passing on him.
3. Oakland Raiders: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
After trading for Matt Flynn (via Seahawks.com), the Raiders are unlikely to draft a quarterback in the first round.
Taking a long-term project in one of the middle rounds is still possible, but Oakland will most likely give the former Seattle Seahawks backup a chance to start.
As a result, the Raiders should select Sharrif Floyd, who is a versatile player who can start at any spot on the defensive line. He is someone who will improve both the pass and run defense next season.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
The Eagles gave up a lot of sacks last season, but the lack of pass-rush on the other side of the ball was just as big of a problem.
Dion Jordan would give the squad an athletic player who can line up at either end or linebacker and play in coverage as well. After playing for Chip Kelly at Oregon, the young player would excel with him in Philadelphia.
5. Detroit Lions: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
After long-time left tackle Jeff Backus announced his retirement last month, the Lions all of a sudden had a huge hole on the left side of the offensive line.
Fortunately, Eric Fisher should be available, and he is one of the top prospects in the entire draft. With great strength, technique and agility, the Central Michigan tackle will be in the league for a long time.
6. Cleveland Browns: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
The Browns have talented Joe Haden at cornerback, but he is not enough to carry the secondary by himself. Adding Dee Milliner would automatically make this one of the top duos in the league.
With great speed and instincts, the former Alabama star has the ability to be one of the top cover cornerbacks in the NFL.
There will be solid pass-rushers later in the draft for the Browns to take, but Milliner is by far the best player at his position and the team cannot let him slip by.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
There is no denying the fact that the Cardinals need a quarterback and they need an offensive tackle. However, it is starting to seem like they will go in a different direction with this pick.
Instead of reaching for either position, Arizona could look to add a talented pass-rusher with off-the-charts potential. Ezekiel Ansah is incredibly raw, but he has elite athleticism and could become a Pro Bowler in only a few years.
If the front office does not have faith in the quarterback class, this is a solid secondary option.
8. Buffalo Bills: Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse
As Peter King of Sports Illustrated reported, the signing of Kevin Kolb will not prevent the Bills from drafting a quarterback in the first round. This is a smart move, as the former Cardinals quarterback is unlikely to be a long-term solution in Buffalo.
There are plenty of options for the Bills, but Ryan Nassib has looked impressive over the past few months, and new coach Doug Marrone is familiar with him after coaching the quarterback at Syracuse.
If Marrone feels like he is a good option, it does not make sense to wait until the second round.
9. New York Jets: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
The Jets need to add a pass-rusher to get the team back to its roots as a strong defensive team.
Jarvis Jones seemingly could go anywhere in the first round, but New York would be smart to take him with the No. 9 overall pick. He is a talented playmaker who will instantly improve the defense as he makes things difficult on opposing quarterbacks.
10. Tennessee Titans: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
Like Jones, Star Lotulelei has seen his stock drop a bit since the end of the college football season. However, his loss is the Titans' gain, as the squad would be getting one of the top defensive linemen in the draft.
He is strong enough to defend the run up the middle, and he also has the quickness to penetrate into the backfield with consistency. Basically, he is a nightmare for opposing offenses, and Tennessee will be lucky to grab him.
11. San Diego Chargers: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
San Diego cannot afford to pass on an offensive lineman in the first round. The weak line has caused the entire offense to struggle over the past couple of seasons, but someone like Lane Johnson could turn things around in a hurry.
While the tackle is still inexperienced at the position, he has already shown that he has plenty of talent to stick in that spot for a long time.
12. Miami Dolphins: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
Wide receiver was the biggest need of the offseason, but that was taken care of through free agency when the Dolphins signed Mike Wallace.
The next biggest need, however, is at cornerback after the defense allowed the 27th most passing yards last season. Xavier Rhodes is the best available and he has the athleticism to defend the top receivers or handle the run if needed.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
Tampa Bay would likely be very disappointed to see Xavier Rhodes come off the board one pick ahead of them. Regardless, the Buccaneers need to draft a cornerback with this pick.
Desmond Trufant might not have the strength of Rhodes, but he has elite speed and the ability to stick with the top receivers around the league.
Considering the squad has to play two games each against the top passing offenses of the Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers, adding a cornerback is a must. Trufant will help things right away.
14. Carolina Panthers: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
The Panthers picked a good draft to need a defensive tackle. With an incredibly deep class, Carolina can add a talented Sheldon Richardson that might have been a top 10 pick in other years.
His ability to take on blockers will truly help improve this defense to be one of the best in the league.
15. New Orleans Saints: Kenny Vaccaro, FS, Texas
After fielding one of the worst defenses in the league last season, there are few spots where the Saints cannot improve on that side of the ball.
Kenny Vaccaro will help right away due to his versatility. He can play either safety position, or he can guard receivers in a nickel package.
For a team looking to contend next season, the Texas safety is a coach's dream on defense.
16. St. Louis Rams: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
St. Louis should be thrilled if Chance Warmack can make his way down to the No. 16 pick of the draft. The offensive guard is one of the best prospects in the entire class, but interior linemen are rarely selected high in the first round.
However, the Rams desperately need to improve up front, as it would make the rushing attack that much better next season.
With two picks in the first round, St. Louis has to make sure at least one of them is a safe pick. Warmack is as safe as they come as a guaranteed star at the next level.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU
There are a lot of question marks about Barkevious Mingo. He did not get a lot of production at LSU, and he lacks upper-body strength to succeed on the defensive line.
However, the Steelers can use him as a 3-4 outside linebacker that is used primarily as a pass-rusher. If the team can harness Mingo's athleticism and teach him more technique, he could be a big-time performer at the next level.
18. Dallas Cowboys: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
Only Arizona averaged fewer rushing yards per attempt last season than the Cowboys. While injuries had something to do with it, a weak offensive line was the bigger problem.
Jonathan Cooper has great strength and mobility for the position and can create plenty of space for the running backs behind him.
19: New York Giants: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
A perceived lack of speed has dropped Bjoern Werner down draft boards, but the Florida State star is still a talented pass-rusher.
The Giants have shown over the years that they have no issue overloading on players at the offensive line if they have an ability to get to the quarterback. Werner can do that and the pressure will make things easier on the struggling secondary.
20. Chicago Bears: Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia
With Brian Urlacher no longer leading the defense, Chicago will need to draft his replacement. While Alec Ogletree has a long way to go to reach his predecessor's level, he has plenty of room to grow.
The former safety has great speed that he can use to cover the entire field from sideline to sideline. He has also shown the ability over the past few years that he can tackle as well as any linebacker in the class.
Additionally, Ogletree has unteachable instincts that allow him to find ball-carriers, and that will help him excel in the NFL regardless of where he goes.
21: Cincinnati Bengals: Matt Elam, S, Florida
Although the Bengals defense was solid overall last season, a great defensive line helped mask a weakness at safety.
Matt Elam is a bit undersized for the position, but he is a quick player who is also a hard-hitter. He can make opponents pay for going over the middle, which would make a big difference on the Bengals defense.
22. St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins): Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Not many teams ahead of the Rams are in need of a receiver, which leaves Cordarrelle Patterson to St. Louis as the second pick.
The Tennessee product is still a little raw at the position, but he has excellent hands and will be a big help for quarterback Sam Bradford on the outside.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
Even after adding Greg Jennings, Minnesota still needs players who can spread the field. Otherwise, opponents will continue to keep at least eight men in the box against Adrian Peterson, and possibly more.
However, Tavon Austin is a big-time playmaker who can turn any play into a touchdown. The receiver is one of the fastest players in the class and will be a perfect slot receiver for the Vikings.
24. Indianapolis Colts: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
After Andrew Luck's incredible season, the Colts are set at quarterback for the near future. Unfortunately, most of the roster is still up in the air.
Damontre Moore would be the best available prospect at this point and he represents great value. He is a bit slow, but he is a talented football player who can excel against both as a pass-rusher and a run-stopper.
Either one will help the Colts return to the playoffs next season.
25. Minnesota Vikings (from Seattle Seahawks): Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
After grabbing a receiver with the first pick, Minnesota should look to improve the defensive side of the ball with their second first-round selection.
Sylvester Williams could help the Vikings maintain one of the top defensive lines in the league for years to come.
26. Green Bay Packers: Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
The Packers had a huge improvement in the pass-rush from two years ago to last season, but you can never have too many guys that can get to the quarterback.
Datone Jones is quickly rising up draft boards and has the ability to provide penetration into the backfield from either the inside or outside on the defensive line.
27. Houston Texans: Keenan Allen, WR, California
Andre Johnson is still one of the top receivers in the NFL, but he cannot do it all himself. The Texans need to add another receiver to provide some balance on the offense.
Keenan Allen has good size and great athleticism for the position and should be a solid secondary target to take the pressure off Johnson.
28. Denver Broncos: Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
Even though the Broncos had one of the top defenses in the league last season, they could still use some help on the defensive line.
Johnathan Hankins can clog the defense with his size and prevent any opponent from running up the middle. This will make Denver almost impossible to beat on the ground.
29. New England Patriots: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
New England has plenty of young players in the secondary, but many of them struggle because they do not have the physicality necessary to succeed in the NFL.
That is not a problem for Johnthan Banks.
The Mississippi State cornerback is very strong and can play with the bigger receivers in the league. This ability will help the Patriots instantly improve on the defensive side of the ball.
30. Atlanta Falcons: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
Eventually, the Falcons will need a replacement for Tony Gonzalez. Tyler Eifert is not as good as good as the legendary tight end yet, but he has the talent to come close.
Eifert can be a big target in the red zone for Matt Ryan and he could help the team seamlessly transition to the post-Gonzalez era.
31. San Francisco 49ers: Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
While the 49ers seem like they need little help on defense, depth could be a real problem next season.
They need someone else to handle the tough duty of anchoring the defensive line, and Jesse Williams has the skill to be the defensive tackle of the future in San Francisco.
32. Baltimore Ravens: Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame
No matter where Manti Te'o is selected in the draft, it is certain to make headlines. While some scouts are concerned over his lack of speed, you cannot rule out his instincts and tackling ability which he showed throughout his career.
Baltimore needs to replace not only Ray Lewis but also Dannell Ellerbe and Paul Kruger in the linebacking corps. Te'o is a good place to start.
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