The needs of a team can completely change throughout the course of the NFL's free agency period. Big signings are made that can single-handedly shore up an area of need.
With that in mind, several teams' needs have changed leading up to the draft on April 25. For example, don't expect the Kansas City Chiefs to draft a quarterback early after signing former San Francisco 49ers signal-caller Alex Smith. The Tennessee Titans likely won't take a guard at No. 10 overall after signing veteran Andy Levitre. The Miami Dolphins have less of a need at receiver and cornerback after inking Mike Wallace and Brent Grimes respectively.
Free agency isn't over yet, but we've already seen some big-time signings. Here's my latest 2013 NFL mock draft, with an emphasis on how free agency has changed the league's landscape.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
After signing Alex Smith, the Chiefs will most likely take an offensive tackle here. Adam Schefter of ESPN tweeted after Luke Joeckel's pro day on March 8 that it would be a surprise if the Chiefs didn't draft him.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon
The Jaguars didn't make a whole lot of high-impact free agency signings, but Dion Jordan has the potential to be a difference-maker in their "Leo" linebacker position right away. He's also expected to visit the Jaguars before the draft.
3. Oakland Raiders: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Linebacker Kevin Burnett was a nice signing for Oakland, but Vance Walker and Pat Sims aren't enough at the defensive tackle position. Sharrif Floyd has the tools—and the work ethic—to be a dynamic player against the run and the pass.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
The Eagles made some nice signings during free agency, but offensive tackle is clearly still a position of need. Eric Fisher's agility stands out: He ranked second in the broad jump (116.0 inches) and tied for first in the 20-yard shuttle (4.44 seconds) among offensive linemen at the combine.
5. Detroit Lions: Ezekiel Ansah, DE/OLB, BYU
Re-signing cornerback Chris Houston was big for the Lions, but—while Jason Jones is a decent player—he doesn't offer the pass-rushing skills that someone like the electric Ezekiel Ansah could. The Lions lost star defensive end Cliff Avril in the offseason.
6. Cleveland Browns: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
The signing of outside linebacker Paul Kruger pointed to the Browns most likely grabbing a cornerback early in the draft. Dee Milliner is the best and most complete corner in the class.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
OK, so the Cardinals released Kevin Kolb and acquired Carson Palmer, but I don't buy that they wouldn't draft Geno Smith if he's available here. He has a lot of upside. Plus, ask Raiders fans how Palmer worked out for them in Oakland.
8. Buffalo Bills: Matt Barkley, QB, USC
The Bills may have Kevin Kolb now, but they would be foolish to rest their hopes on him. Matt Barkley likely won't excel in a vertical passing system in the NFL, but I like his chances to succeed in the Bills' system.
9. New York Jets: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU
Signing guard Willie Colon was a nice move by the Jets. That doesn't address their pass rush (or lack thereof), though. Barkevious Mingo is raw, but he possesses the athleticism to be a high-impact pass-rusher as an outside linebacker.
10. Tennessee Titans: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
Signing guard Andy Levitre seemed to point to the Titans addressing a different position of need. As a pure pass-rusher on the outside, I believe Jarvis Jones is worth the pick.
11. San Diego Chargers: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
Adding running back Danny Woodhead was a nice move, but grabbing a young offensive tackle who can help protect Philip Rivers appears to be the next course of action for the Chargers. Lane Johnson ranked second in the 40-yard dash, second in the vertical jump, first in the broad jump, second in the three-cone drill and fifth in the 20-yard shuttle among offensive linemen at the combine.
12. Miami Dolphins: Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
The Dolphins signed Mike Wallace and Brandon Gibson and re-signed Brian Hartline, then signed former Atlanta Falcons cornerback Brent Grimes. Not bad. Bolstering the offensive line is the next step. Chance Warmack is my No. 1 guard in the class, with the ability to be a Pro Bowler at the next level.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
Dashon Goldson could provide a nice one-two punch with the young Mark Barron on the back end. Finding an interior defensive lineman who can stop the running game in its tracks while having the ability to rush the passer would be a good way to go. There are concerns about Star Lotulelei's possible heart condition, but if his health checks out, I like him in Tampa. His 38 reps on the bench press on his pro day on March 20 would have tied him for first among defensive linemen at the combine.
14. Carolina Panthers: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
Receiver Domenik Hixon could be a nice complementary piece to Steve Smith with the Panthers. The Panthers are in serious need of a high-impact defensive tackle, though. Sheldon Richardson's combination of size (6'2", 294 pounds), strength and athleticism is hard to ignore.
15. New Orleans Saints: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Free agency signings Junior Galette and Victor Butler both played well in 2012, but they don't offer the game-changing ability that Bjoern Werner could. Werner may not possess the explosiveness as some other prospects at his position, but he's a football player plain and simple. I like his pass-rushing repertoire, combined with his intelligence and motor.
16. St. Louis Rams: Kenny Vaccaro, FS, Texas
After losing Craig Dahl and cutting Quintin Mikell during the offseason, the Rams are in need of a high-impact safety. Landing Kenny Vaccaro—the best all-around safety in the class—would be a dream come true for Jeff Fisher and Co. I could even see them trading up in the draft if they think he isn't going to fall to them.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
Losing Mike Wallace will certainly hurt, but the Steelers also need someone opposite Ike Taylor in the secondary. Xavier Rhodes would be hard to pass up here, especially given he's the type of tough, physical corner that Pittsburgh loves.
18. Dallas Cowboys: Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina
It was smart for the Cowboys to franchise outside linebacker Anthony Spencer. However, they do need a guard. Jonathan Cooper would be an excellent pick here—he's not a better overall prospect than Warmack in my mind, but he does have the kind of athleticism that could make him a solid starter for years to come in Dallas.
19. New York Giants: Alec Ogletree, OLB, Georgia
The Giants' troubles in the linebacking corps have been well-documented. Re-signing offensive tackle Will Beatty in the offseason allows the Giants to focus on said linebacking corps. Alec Ogletree certainly comes with his fair share of character concerns, but if he can stay out of trouble off the football field, his explosiveness dictates that he will be a very good player on it.
20. Chicago Bears: Arthur Brown, ILB, Kansas State
Brian Urlacher's age has caught up to him and the Bears need to go a different direction now. Arthur Brown has been widely praised throughout the draft process. He's 6'0" and 241 pounds (small for an inside linebacker in the NFL), but he plays much bigger than his size. He's physical and tenacious, and he has the tackling skills, range and instincts to complete the picture.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
With the Bengals likely to lose offensive tackle Andre Smith, they need to find someone who could provide some sort of stability at the position. D.J. Fluker has lost weight since Senior Bowl week—alleviating a big concern (no pun intended)—and I could see him landing in Cincy.
22. St. Louis Rams (via Redskins): Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
The Rams lost Danny Amendola to the Patriots in free agency. Tavon Austin—who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.34 seconds at the combine—is just the kind of player the Rams need to replace Amendola in the slot.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams is due $7.5 million in 2013-14 and he's declining. Sylvester Williams has soared up draft boards during the draft process. He has displayed the athleticism, strength and work ethic to be a big-time nose tackle at the next level.
24. Indianapolis Colts: Datone Jones, DE/OLB, UCLA
Dwight Freeney won't be in Indianapolis next season. UCLA's Datone Jones has just the kind of versatility to fit the Colts' new 3-4 system.
25. Minnesota Vikings (via Seahawks): Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
The Vikings signed veteran receiver Greg Jennings during free agency, but they lost Percy Harvin. They need an explosive athlete to make up for that. Cordarrelle Patterson is very raw and he needs to work on his route-running, but he has the physical tools to eventually be a weapon in the NFL.
26. Green Bay Packers: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
The Packers managed to keep Jermichael Finley this offseason, but that doesn't mean they'll keep him beyond 2013-14. Tyler Eifert could be mentored in his first year in the league, then catapult into the starting spot if the Packers decide to part ways with Finley after the season.
27. Houston Texans: Keenan Allen, WR, Cal
The Texans lost safety Glover Quin but added a stop-gap at the position in Ed Reed. They still need to find a complement to Andre Johnson in the receiving corps. Keenan Allen could be a steal here, with the athleticism and hands to be a threat right out of the gate.
28. Denver Broncos: Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
The Broncos picked up defensive tackle Terrance Knighton in free agency, but he's certainly not a game-changer. There are questions about Johnathan Hankins' dedication to the game, but—if motivated in Denver—he has the quickness and strength to be an impact player in the middle for the club.
29. New England Patriots: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
After Alfonzo Dennard was convicted of felony assault on a police officer, the Patriots need to find a cornerback fast. Desmond Trufant would be a dream pick. There is so much to like about this kid—from his size to his toughness to his coverage ability.
30. Atlanta Falcons: Tank Carradine, DE, Florida State
The Falcons lost John Abraham this offseason and they need to find a successor. Before tearing his ACL last season, Tank Carradine was outplaying Bjoern Werner at Florida State. He has a personal workout coming up. If teams are comfortable about his health, I could see him being a first-round pick. His combination of explosiveness and footwork is eye-opening.
31. San Francisco 49ers: Eric Reid, FS, LSU
I love Eric Reid here. The 49ers lost Dashon Goldson to free agency and the signing of Craig Dahl doesn't make up for that. Reid showed at his pro day that he can be a complete safety. We already know he's imposing against the run.
32. Baltimore Ravens: Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU
Dane Bruglerof CBSSports.com noted that Kevin Minter ran the 40-yard dash in 4.67 seconds at his pro day, which was a much better time than what he registered at the combine. I also like his agility and sideline-to-sideline ability. Ray Lewis retired this offseason and Dannell Ellerbe signed with the Dolphins.
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