2013 NFL Mock Draft: Updated Look at Best Option for Every Team in Round 1
The 2013 NFL draft should be one of the most memorable in recent times. Mostly, it's because there should be near chaos in the first round due to the high number of prospects ranked so close together. The amount of consensus is minimal.
Look no further than the first pick for a perfect example. Prevailing wisdom says the Kansas City Chiefs will select an offensive tackle with the top selection, but the debate between Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher rages on. There are a lot of toss-up choices like that in Round 1.
It should make for a lot of intrigue throughout the first 32 picks. Multiple teams will probably have to scrap their plans after things don't fall their way. With that in mind, here's an updated look at the first round with a deeper dive taken into three picks as marked by italics.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
As mentioned above, the Chiefs are likely to opt for an offensive tackle here. Not a major difference between the top two, but experience against tougher competition gives the Texas A&M star an edge.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
The Jaguars finished dead last in the NFL last season in sacks. They had just 20 over the course of 16 games, which amounted to five less than any other team. It's difficult to build any type of defensive momentum with that little pressure.
So, while Jacksonville certainly has a lot of issues to address before it's talking about a return to the playoffs, upgrading the pass rush should be atop the list. That's why Jordan makes the most sense with the second overall pick.
The Oregon product can play defensive end or outside linebacker, possesses a terrific combination of size and athleticism and has only begun to show what he's capable of. He can become the star the Jaguars defense needs.
3. Oakland Raiders: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Although the Raiders have some talented pieces on offense, the unit will struggle to gain any traction until it settles on one quarterback. Smith can eventually step in and become that guy.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
A lot of prospects have gone through a slide or two throughout the draft process. Floyd is not one of them. His tremendous upside on the interior of the offensive line makes him a solid selection early.
5. Detroit Lions: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
If Fisher doesn't end up going to Kansas City, he should still come off the board somewhere inside the top five. He's the type of player who's ready to step in immediately and anchor a line for a long time.
6. Cleveland Browns: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Since the Browns are in desperate need of another cornerback, Milliner should be the pick. Xavier Rhodes made a charge toward the top spot at the position, but the Alabama product is still on top.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
Protecting the quarterback was a major issue for the Cardinals last season. They allowed four quarterbacks to get sacked a total of 58 times. Johnson should help turn that problem around.
8. Buffalo Bills: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Projections for what the Bills will do are all over the map. In reality, it should be a simple decision. They desperately need another playmaker on offense and Patterson, with his speed, is the best one available
9. New York Jets: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
New York should be looking for a pass-rusher at this spot. There is no shortage of options at defensive end/outside linebacker, but Ansah is capable of helping the Jets defense right away.
10. Tennessee Titans: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
Chris Johnson is the Titans' most valuable offensive asset. So it makes sense to build the rest of the unit around him, which means upgrading the line with an extremely talented guard in Warmack.
11. San Diego Chargers: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
Under ideal circumstances, San Diego would watch as one of the draft's top offensive tackles fell right into its lap. That's not the case, however. But landing Lotulelei has a good chance to work out for the better in the long run.
The Chargers need to fill a couple voids on the defensive side, including tackle. Lotulelei has all the tools to become a top-tier tackle, starting with the power to handle multiple blockers and a good understanding of how to read the play.
Given the fact there should be a couple offensive tackles available in the later rounds to fill that need, the Chargers shouldn't reach for one. Take Lotulelei, let him play right away and watch him flourish into a key contributor.
12. Miami Dolphins: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
The Dolphins would be getting real good value if Rhodes fall to them. He could sneak into the top 10 with the Browns, but the need for corners between Cleveland and Miami isn't very pressing.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Here is a second straight pick from Florida State, which certainly had a star-studded defense last season. Werner should provide a boost to a Tampa Bay defensive group that was 29th in yards allowed last season.
14. Carolina Panthers: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
Out of all the picks in the opening round, Richardson to the Panthers is one of the most likely. He would be a good fit for the team's defense and should still be on the board when Carolina picks.
15. New Orleans Saints: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
New Orleans should use almost every draft pick it owns on defensive players. The offense is going to score, but the Saints must start finding a way to keep teams from marching down the field with ease.
16. St. Louis Rams: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
The Rams could decide to go wide receiver here if they think one of the teams before their next pick in the round will steal the one they want. If not, Cooper is the best available player to help their line.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
Even though Pittsburgh's defense ranked first in yards allowed last season, it needs to start bringing in some young players to make sure it stays at that level in the future. Moore has plenty of upside.
What should the Cowboys target in Round 1?
18. Dallas Cowboys: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
The Cowboys are an improved offensive line and better injury luck away from having a top offense. While the health factor is unpredictable, they can bolster the front five by taking Fluker.
19. New York Giants: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU
Mingo has gone through one of the biggest slides since the end of the college football season. Originally slated around the top five, he would arrive to the Giants with a huge chip on his shoulder.
20. Chicago Bears: Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
Having a dominant pass rush to go along with a secondary that's proven it can force turnovers would be a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks. Jones can help create pressure opposite Julius Peppers.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Kenny Vaccaro, FS, Texas
Vaccaro continues to inch up the draft as it becomes more apparent that he's easily the top free safety available. His versatility would also allow him to play different roles for the Bengals, if needed.
22. St. Louis Rams (via WSH): Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
Austin makes it to the Rams, who should quickly scoop him up. His quickness should make him an instant success at the next level and begin the process of giving Sam Bradford some help.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Keenan Allen, WR, California
Adrian Peterson carried the Minnesota offense on his back last season. He did an incredible job, racking up nearly 2,100 rushing yards on 348 carries, but the Vikings can't expect him to handle that type of burden every single season.
He needs help. Adding Greg Jennings to the mix will help and Kyle Rudolph should continue his development. Another pass-catching option is still necessary, though—especially since Christian Ponder is a limited quarterback. There must be talent around him to succeed.
Enter Allen. He doesn't have blazing speed, but he's a big, physical presence on the outside that is going to out-muscle a lot of cornerbacks. It will also allow him to work over the middle, giving Ponder a big target for plenty of easy completions once they get on the same page.
24. Indianapolis Colts: Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
Robert Mathis needs a new pass-rushing partner after the departure of Dwight Freeney. Okafor needs to become more consistent, but he can make the transition to outside linebacker and has serious potential.
25. Minnesota Vikings (via SEA): Margus Hunt, DE, SMU
The Vikings have some needs in their front seven, so it just comes down to which prospect they prefer now that the top names are gone. Hunt is a steady contributor that possesses impressive raw power.
26. Green Bay Packers: Alec Ogletree, OLB, Georgia
Finding a linebacker that can make plays from sideline to sideline should be Green Bay's objective. Ogletree and Arthur Brown would both fit the bill, but the slight edge goes to the Bulldog.
27. Houston Texans: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
Houston is the easiest team to fill out for the mock draft. The Texans have needed a No. 2 receiver for a while and it's finally time to address the issue. It would really help round out the offense.
28. Denver Broncos: Matt Elam, SS, Florida
Since the Broncos are in good shape offensively, they can focus on the defense in the draft. Defensive tackle and safety are the two positions they will likely target early, with Elam getting the nod here.
29. New England Patriots: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
Trufant is a player that could eventually end up going around the middle of Round 1. If he slides to New England, the Patriots shouldn't waste any time adding him to a still shaky secondary.
30. Atlanta Falcons: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
Even though the Falcons do have a couple other needs, it would be hard for them to pass on Eifert. It would secure the future of the tight end position and he would benefit from Tony Gonzalez's presence.
Would Banks be a good fit for the 49ers?
31. San Francisco 49ers: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
The 49ers are definitely in the Super Bowl contender category once again heading into next season. Finding more depth for the secondary, which Banks would provide, is critical.
32. Baltimore Ravens: Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame
Where Te'o ultimately lands will be one of the biggest stories in the draft. While his workouts weren't overly impressive throughout the process, it's still hard to imagine him falling out of Round 1.
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