2013 NFL Mock Draft logo2013 NFL Mock Draft

Mel Kiper Jr. 2013 NFL Mock Draft: Buying or Selling Each Pick

Nick KostoraContributor IIIApril 15, 2013

Mel Kiper Jr. 2013 NFL Mock Draft: Buying or Selling Each Pick

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    Mel Kiper Jr. is one of the most trusted names surrounding the NFL draft, but it is not always easy to get behind every pick in his mock drafts.

    Every year he releases numerous mock drafts in preparation of the real event and his latest effort (Insider membership required to view) raises just as many questions as it does answers. So why not analyze each and every one of his first round selections?

    Does it make sense for the Philadelphia Eagles to take Geno Smith with at No. 4?

    How about the Kansas City Chiefs making Luke Joeckel the No. 1 pick in the draft?

    These are just a few of Kiper's choices that we will analyze, so let's get started... 

1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

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    What Kiper Says:  

    They could play Joeckel at right tackle in 2013 with the goal of moving him to the left side next year; they could start Joeckel on the left side immediately to reduce the adjustment pains he could experience in shifting next year and have Albert hold down right tackle; or they could continue to entertain trade offers for Albert and try to recoup some value they traded away in the deal for Alex Smith. 

    Analysis:

    It is hard to argue with the Chiefs filling a clear need with one of the safest picks in the draft class. There is no bona fide superstar available with the top selection, so locking down Joeckel makes a lot of sense. He has all the physical tools to excel at the next level and has 39 college starts to his credit.

    It is never exciting to see an offensive lineman go as the top pick, but there are no QBs, RBs or other skill position players worthy of the distinction. Joeckel can come in at either tackle spot and be an All-Pro for the next decade.

     

    Verdict: Buying

2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Ezekial Ansah, DE, BYU

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    What Kiper Says: 

    The Jaguars have been saddled with a deficient pass rush for years now, and I think they will take advantage of the opportunity to take a high-ceiling 4-3 defensive end who, yes, needs some development, but should still give them impact in 2013.

    Analysis:

    The Jacksonville Jaguars feel like an organization without a clear direction at this point. Jacksonville has cap space, but has made almost no waves on the free-agent market. What is the team waiting for?

    The roster needs both depth and talent at many positions. Therefore it is understandable that Kiper sees the team looking at a defensive end with potential in the first round. The problem is that the Jaguars have struggled when drafting defensive linemen in the first round and need immediate impact players.

    Can Ansah be a difference-maker right away? He is still somewhat raw, but physically imposing at 6'5", 271 pounds.  In other words, he is a risk. And a risk that the Jaguars cannot afford to take.

     

    Verdict: Selling

3. Oakland Raiders: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida

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    What Kiper Says:

    Floyd is a dynamic young player, has played inside and on the edge and uses great leverage and power to drive blockers back and blow up plays. Given that it's not set exactly which base defense the Raiders will operate out of primarily in 2013, adding versatile defensive line talent also adds scheme flexibility. Floyd is young, and while very good already, provides a high-ceiling building block for a team in need of those types of players.

    Analysis:

    This is a smart move for an organization that has seen a mass exodus of defensive linemen this offseason. Tommy Kelly, Richard Seymour and Desmond Bryant are all gone, meaning that bodies will be needed in a hurry.

    However, Floyd is more than just a body. He has great burst and is extremely versatile for a player his size. As Kiper mentions, he can fit into multiple schemes and is far from the best he can be. Floyd is a clear standout in this class.

     

    Verdict: Buying 

4. Philadelphia Eagles: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia

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    What Kiper Says:

    If you have a great quarterback, or even a pretty good one, you're going to lock him up. In drafting Smith, the Eagles are in a good position to develop an athletic, talented thrower to succeed specifically in Kelly's offense, but without the requirement that he must start from day one. 

    Analysis:

    Geno Smith makes sense for the Phiadelphia Eagles. He is the type of mobile quarterback that fits the scheme of new head coach Chip Kelly. Still, he is not worth a top-five selection.

    Smith has a lot of developing to do and will not be ready start in the NFL for at least two seasons. He flashed moments of brilliance at West Virginia, but has a ton of improvement needed with his mechanics and decision making.

    Sometimes you have to reach for a player that perfectly fits what you are trying to do, but is Smith really a player worthy of such a leap?

     

    Verdict: Selling

5. Detroit Lions: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

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    What Kiper Says:

    If Ansah is off the board, Detroit can sprint to the podium with the assurance that it has upgraded at cornerback, which is the second-biggest need for this team. Milliner is ready to start and succeed early, and defensive line depth in this draft should have the Lions confident they can add pass-rushing value in Round 2.

    Analysis:

    Detroit Lions GM Martin Mayhew has traditionally followed a "best player available" mentality when it comes to the draft and that is unlikely to change this year. Luckily, this may be the year that the BPA also happens to fill the team's desperate need for a cornerback.

    Dee Milliner is the only CB that belongs in the top 10 discussion. He has tremendous skill, speed and athleticism. Milliner would be able to start immediately for the Lions and be a key contributor. Yes, there are other huge holes to fill along both the offensive and defensive lines, but the secondary has gone unaddressed for too long.

     

    Verdict: Buying

6. Cleveland Browns: Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon

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    What Kiper Says:

    Jordan is a long, explosive pass-rusher with freakish athleticism and an ability to operate effectively in space. This is a guy you want to unleash in a 3-4. I think between getting him on the field and Jabaal Sheard making strides, the Browns can take a big step forward up front.

    Analysis:

    There are so many different directions that the Cleveland Browns could go at this pick that it is hard to argue any player being the selection. Jordan definitely makes a lot of sense, as he could create instant pressure with his skills as a pass-rusher. 

    Cleveland's 3-4 defense could use playmakers and Jordan is most certainly going to make his presence felt right away at the NFL level. He is somewhat reminiscent of Bruce Irvin, who came out of last year's draft as a pure pass-rush specialist. The difference here is that Jordan actually has a more well balanced game and can handle himself against the run.

    If Cleveland believes he is an every-down player at the next level then this pick is a no-brainer.

     

    Verdict: Buying 

7. Arizona Cardinals: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

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    What Kiper Says:

    They need to be able to form a pocket on a consistent basis in 2013, and that means even if Fisher is off the board here, they could still look to a tackle such as Lane Johnson. They also have a need at guard, so the presence of Fisher could allow them to move someone inside. Yes, they have other needs, but keeping Palmer upright should be the top priority.

    Analysis:

    It would be easy to simply say "YES!!!!!" here, but I will give more detail. The Arizona Cardinals had one of the worst offensive lines in recent memory last season and it at least contributed to the team's bad quarterback play.

    Now, with Carson Palmer at the helm, the need for improved offensive linemen becomes greater. Palmer is a glorified pylon in the pocket and could benefit from having the 6'7", 306-pound frame of Fisher protecting his blindside.

    Arizona has plenty of needs, but Kiper is right to say that "keeping Palmer upright should be the top priority."

     

    Verdict: Buying

8. Buffalo Bills: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina

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    What Kiper Says:

    Cooper is a great guard, a player capable of challenging for a trip to Hawaii as a rookie. Given the situation at QB, the Bills should take advantage of the opportunity to fill the biggest void they have up front.

    Analysis:

    The Bills are in a tough spot here because they just lost one of the best guards in the league to free agency in Andy LeVitre. Now the team is handcuffed into finding a suitable replacement.

    Fans are not going to get excited about this pick, but it is a necessary one and Cooper is more than up to the task of joining an underrated offensive line. He has solid footwork, a good frame and is going to be a consistent presence at guard for the next decade.

    A player like Chance Warmack obviously makes sense too, but it is hard to argue with Cooper here.

     

    Verdict: Buying

9. New York Jets: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU

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    What Kiper Says:

    The Jets need an athletic difference-maker on the edge for Rex Ryan. I've said before the interior of the defensive line should be a strength with Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples, but the Jets need edge speed. Mingo is a freak athlete and could become a star under Ryan's tutelage.

    Analysis:

    This is a great fit if it actually comes to pass. Mingo would gel perfectly with Rex Ryan's 3-4 defense as a pass-rusher and could be an answer to the aging players currently making up the foundation of the unit.

    Mingo is another one of those skilled players that is going to get to the quarterback on a consistent basis. His natural fit may actually be in a 4-3 defense, but the prospect of him blitzing off the edge in Ryan's 3-4 defense is enticing, to say the least.

     

    Verdict: Buying

10. Tennessee Titans: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama

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    What Kiper Says:

    Adding Warmack simply provides an immediate upgrade on the interior of your offensive line. One of the more dominating run blockers to enter the draft in years, Warmack is what I'd call a "no excuses" addition to your team. If your running back isn't better running behind Warmack, it might be time for a new back.

    Analysis:

    There are no weaknesses to Chance Warmack's game at offensive guard. He excels at pass-blocking, but is one of the best run-blocking prospects in years. Warmack is big at 6'2", 314 pounds, but is surprisingly agile and can keep up with even the quickest of defensive linemen.

    The Titans have a clear need at the position and Warmack would be of great benefit to Chris Johnson as he tries to regain his "CJ2K" form of just a few short seasons ago. Any team could realistically take Warmack and find a way to validate it, but Tennessee is one of the smartest spots for him to end up.

     

    Verdict: Buying

11. San Diego Chargers: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma

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    What Kiper Says:

    A good player who is only going to get better, Johnson can become the successor to Jared Gaither. Injuries along the offensive line have really diminished the offense over the past couple of seasons, and Philip Rivers has taken a step back because of it. Johnson, a former junior college quarterback, is a pretty gifted athlete for his size, and has been a star during the evaluation process.

    Analysis:

    The only better case scenario for the San Diego Chargers here is that Eric Fisher or Chance Warmack fall down to No. 11. San Diego needs players that can block for quarterback Philip Rivers. Signing King Dunlap in the offseason hardly qualifies as shoring up the issue.

    Lane Johnson is one of the most athletic offensive linemen in this draft and at 6'6", 303 pounds he can certainly compete immediately in the NFL. He allowed just two sacks last season at Oklahoma and has surprisingly good form for someone that is a converted quarterback.

    It's easy to see the Chargers trading up for a Joeckel or Fisher, but at No. 11 this is a great pick.

     

    Verdict: Buying

12. Miami Dolphins: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama

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    What Kiper Says:

    The Dolphins have made personnel upgrades in their passing game, but they don't want the problem to become protection or an inability to run the ball and create short-yardage situations where they can open up the playbook. They do need another pass-rusher, but Fluker makes sense.

    Analysis:

    Losing Jake Long to free agency opens up a hole at left tackle for the Miami Dolphins, so it makes sense that Kiper would look to the best available tackle on the board in D.J. Fluker. However, Fluker is a large step behind Lane Johnson and a giant leap behind Fisher and Joeckel.

    The Dolphins showed this offseason that they are an organization that is willing to make a big splash, as evidenced by the signings of Mike Wallace, Dannell Ellerbee and Dustin Keller.

    Fluker would be a reach at No. 12 and would not fit with the moves Miami has been making. The more likely scenario is that they address another problem in the secondary by drafting some home-grown talent in Xavier Rhodes from Florida State.

     

    Verdict: Selling

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

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    What Kiper Says:

    This isn't the top need for the Bucs, but now that Lotulelei has been cleared medically, he becomes a steal at this spot on the board. Cornerback is a need, but the drop off from Milliner to the best available option is enough where the Bucs miss out on some board value if they take one here. You simply can't have enough depth on the defensive line, and Lotulelei is one of those rare defensive tackles with the potential to become dominant.

    Analysis:

    Here is one of the rare surprise moves from Kiper, as he sees the Buccaneers turning their attention towards Star Lotulelei. The Utah defensive tackle could literally go anywhere from 2-20 in the first round, so it is hard to predict where he eventually ends up. However, Tampa Bay has a glaring need at cornerback and, again, Xavier Rhodes is still on the board.

    It is true that you can never have too much defensive line depth and Lotulelei has the potential to be a Pro Bowl player, but Tampa Bay is only a few moves away from being a real contender. Assuming the Darrelle Revis rumors do not pan out, it would make the most sense for the Buccaneers to grab a cornerback early in the draft.

     

    Verdict: Selling

14. Carolina Panthers: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri

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    What Kiper Says:

    Richardson can occupy blocks given his initial burst and his ability to read, identify and make tackles against the run himself. The Panthers need to come out of this draft with some help for the interior of their D-line.

    Analysis:

    The Carolina Panthers need a 3-technique defensive tackle and Sheldon Richardson is one of the best that this class has to offer. He will be a huge help to the Panthers porous run defense and really open up rushing lanes for the linebackers behind him.

    Richardson can occupy blockers or shed them. He is agile for a big man and has quick-twitch movement that helps him to get off the line in a hurry. If the pieces are on the board then Carolina may look towards a cornerback or an offensive lineman, but Richardson is a smart pick.

    Kiper is absolutely right when he says that Carolina needs interior defensive line help and drafting Richardson is a step in the right direction.

     

    Verdict: Buying

15. New Orleans Saints: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia

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    What Kiper Says:

    Jones has lost a little juice lately because he wasn't impressive at his pro day, but we're still talking about a player who led the nation in sacks, and did it against the best competition in college football. He brings a relentless style and provides a perfect pass-rushing fit at outside linebacker for a defense that needs more talent up front.

    Analysis:

    Jarvis Jones does not yet possess a well-rounded game. He is a pass-rusher, pure and simple, making him a bit of a one-trick pony right now. Kiper is right to suggest that Jones has lost some of his luster lately after a poor pro day, but the film does not lie. Jones can get to the QB.

    The good news for Jones is that he may be the best pass-rusher in this entire draft and the fact that he excelled in the SEC only drives home the point that he is one heck of a talent. Barkevious Mingo and Jones are going to be interchangeable on draft day because either one could go before the other, but Jones has a clearer skill.

    The Saints could use that edge pass-rusher and it is not hard to see them calling Jones' name. The middle of the first round is where the draft really opens up and picks can go in any direction, but Jones is a good fit for New Orleans.

     

    Verdict: Buying

16. St. Louis Rams: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia

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    What Kiper Says:

     Austin is one of the true home run threats in this draft, and while he's perfect to work in the slot, given his speed, route-running skills and soft hands, this is a player you can get creative with. The loss of Amendola leaves a void, but Austin could even be an upgrade.

    Analysis:

    Perhaps no team in the NFL needs skill position players more than the St. Louis Rams. Therefore Kiper's selection of Tavon Austin to the St. Louis Rams at pick No. 16 is near perfect. Austin can line up in the slot, in the backfield, on special teams and wherever else the Rams see fit.

    He will spread out the field both horizontally and vertically for quarterback Sam Bradford and fill the void left by the departed Danny Amendola. It's easy to see another team making the leap for Austin prior to the pick, but St. Louis clearly needs a top-notch wide receiver.

     

    Verdict: Buying (emphatically)

17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame

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    What Kiper Says:

    Eifert gives the Steelers a different kind of matchup headache for defenses -- one that doesn't directly replace Mike Wallace, but adds a new dimension to the offense. In fact, he might do more to offset the loss of Wallace than another speed threat would because he allows them to diversify. Eifert has the speed to stretch the seam and also develop routes to the edges, and can't be effectively covered by anybody.

    Analysis:

    It is easy to understand the direction that Kiper sees the team going here. Tight end Heath Miller is coming off an injury and Tyler Eifert is a hard-nosed player that fits the Steelers system. He would be an immediate goal-line threat and has sure hands.

    There will be some that want to see the Steelers quickly try to fill the void left by Mike Wallace on the outside, but the only real options for that are Robert Woods from USC and Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson out of Tennessee.

    While those are great players, Eifert is the safest pick of the bunch and can help both in the short term and down the road once Heath Miller moves on.

     

    Verdict: Buying

18. Dallas Cowboys: Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina

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    What Kiper Says:

    There might be other needs, but if the Cowboys can't put together a decent rotation on the interior of that defensive line, the conversion to a 4-3 is going to be a personnel mess. Enter Williams, an active, powerful, interior presence who can occupy blocks and give the Cowboys a much-needed jolt of youth up front.

    Analysis:

    The Dallas Cowboys are making the difficult transition to Monte Kiffin's Tampa 2 defense, but Kiper seems too hung up on the team's need for players on the defensive line.

    Yes, Sylvester Williams is a strong defensive tackle that could be of great benefit to Dallas, but secondary issues are staring this team in the face and Kenny Vaccaro out of Texas is still on Kiper's board. How could Jerry Jones possibly pass on Vaccaro if he is on the board at this spot?

    Vaccaro can do just about everything in the secondary and would be a remedy to many of the Cowboys' problems. Williams is not a bad pick, but there is a much better one to be made.

     

    Verdict: Selling

19. New York Giants: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington

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    What Kiper Says:

    In Trufant, you get a player who will make your secondary better regardless of where the needs are, because Trufant can do it all. Slot or outside, man or zone, you're going to get an effective talent. Needs at linebacker can be addressed further down the board. Trufant makes sense here, and the value fits the slot.

    Analysis:

    Fellow draft expert Todd McShay showcased an interesting stat in his most recent mock draft (Insider membership required to view):

    No team allowed a higher completion percentage or more yards per attempt last season on throws more than 10 yards downfield than the Giants. Trufant's 4.38-second 40-yard dash time was third best among defensive back prospects.

    Between the words of Kiper and McShay there is little else left to say. The New York Giants need a cornerback and Trufant is a good one. Kiper does still have Xavier Rhodes on his board at this point, but either one of them is a good pick here.

     

    Verdict: Buying

20. Chicago Bears: Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame

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    What Kiper Says:

    If they want a reliable long-term solution, Te'o provides a great fit. Put all the drama, the combine 40 time and all the surrounding hoopla aside, and what you get in Te'o is a good football player. He's instinctive, makes tackles and is extremely effective when the defensive line provides coverage.

    Analysis:

    When you get past all the recent drama that has surrounded Manti Te'o, you will find an excellent middle linebacker that can be a long-term solution for any 4-3 defense. The Chicago Bears have a clear need after parting ways with Brian Urlacher and Te'o has the type of leadership qualities that can make him a suitable replacement.

    Kiper highlights his instincts and ability to make sound tackles, but the bigger aspect of this pick is simply the fact that he is right fit for this team. Whether this was pick No. 10 or No. 32 it is the right landing spot for Te'o.

     

    Verdict: Buying 

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia

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    What Kiper Says:

    Ogletree can provide some coverage relief, but he'll also attack the line of scrimmage and make plays in the backfield. He can get caught over-pursuing, but that's a good problem to have. Marvin Lewis can bring the best out of him.

    Analysis:

    Something about this pick just feels off. The Cincinnati Bengals could use help in the linebacking corps, but there is depth later in the draft. This feels like a spot where the Bengals need to look for a cornerback, running back or offensive tackle.

    Is it too high to takle Eddie Lacy out of Alabama? Maybe, but not by much. Ogletree is obviously not a waste of talent at this spot, though. He is stout against the run and is developing his skills against the pass. His athleticism makes him an intriguing player and he could develop into something exceptional. Still, this just does not feel like the right spot for Ogletree.

    Kiper clearly disagrees, but this is not his critique of his work.

     

    Verdict: Selling

22. St. Louis Rams: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas

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    What Kiper Says:

    Darian Stewart and Rodney McLeod are currently penciled in as the starters, so drafting Vaccaro guarantees you an upgrade at safety in a division where safeties are vital. San Francisco, Seattle and Arizona all can test you deep, and in a couple of cases, you need safeties who can fly up to make plays on QBs who are willing to run.

    Analysis:

    If everything works out the way that Mel Kiper envisions it will then the St. Louis Rams will have an exceptional first round of the draft. Bringing in Tavon Austin would be a major coup, but Kenny Vaccaro would be an absolute steal at pick No. 22.

    It's hard to envision him falling this far down, but this is Kiper's world and we are just living in it at the moment. He points out that Darian Stewart and Rodney McLeod are not great safeties, which is a fair point. The Rams need upgrades at the position and Vaccaro is one of the most promising safeties to come out in recent years.

    This is an amazing selection if it is given the chance to happen. Otherwise, look for the Rams to target a running back or maybe an outside linebacker.

     

    Verdict: Buying

23. Minnesota Vikings: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee

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    What Kiper Says:

    Patterson needs work as a route-runner, but he's not just a straight-line deep threat on the edge. This is a guy you can move inside because he has the burst that can make him a tough cover, and he is electric with the ball in his hands -- something they'll miss in Harvin.

    Analysis:

    The Minnesota Vikings have acknowledged their need at wide receiver by signing Greg Jennings, but he is far from the final piece of the puzzle and the team still needs more skill position players. At 6'2", 216 pounds, Patterson has the size to play on the outside, but is versatile enough to also be a slot weapon.

    He is a high-risk/high-reward player, but at No. 23 their is simply too much upside to overlook him. Kiper notes that Patterson is more than just a vertical threat and he is absolutely right. The Vikings can do a little of everything with him and attempt to fill the void left by Percy Harvin.

     

    Verdict: Buying

24. Indianapolis Colts: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State

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    What Kiper Says:

    If the value on the offensive line isn't there, I think Rhodes makes a lot of sense. The Colts were active in free agency, adding help in a handful of spots, but Rhodes has the chance to be the best cornerback on the roster after he gets a little seasoning. For a team that might feel it'll be playing from ahead more and more in the future, the secondary needs to be a priority.

    Analysis:

    This seems like far too late for Xavier Rhodes to finally come off the board. He is the second-most-talented cornerback in the draft behind Dee Milliner and there are plenty of teams with needs in the secondary. Still, if the board does play out how Kiper projects, this is a great pick for the Colts.

    Indianapolis could use some upgrades at cornerback and Rhodes could be a starter immediately. Kiper notes that this pick will be made "if the value on the offensive line isn't there," but there are plenty of linemen still on his board. A guy like Menelik Watson or Justin Pugh could fit here.

     

    Verdict: Buying

25. Minnesota Vikings: Kevin Minter, LB, LSU

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    What Kiper Says:

    If the season started tomorrow, the Vikings might have journeyman Tyrone McKenzie at middle linebacker, so Minter gives them a player they can feel good about penciling into that spot in Week 1. He makes good reads, is a steady tackler and should be provided effective cover based on what the Vikings have up front.

    Analysis:

    There seems to be a consensus among analysts that the Vikings will lock down a linebacker with one of their first two picks, so with Cordarrelle Patterson already in the fold it makes sense that Kiper has Kevin Minter as the pick at No. 25.

    In reality, a player like Alec Ogletree or Manti Te'o could still be on the board, but Minter would not exactly be a bad selection. He has had a consistent career at LSU and can make sideline to sideline tackles. Minter is not going to wow you with his athleticism, but he has good form and is going to be in on most tackles.

    Minter knows the position and is a smart player. Kiper's description of him makes sense, but he still feels like a reach in the first round. Minter is a guy with second-round talent.

     

    Verdict: Selling

26. Green Bay Packers: Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama

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    What Kiper Says:

    The Packers have lacked top-end reliability and explosiveness at running back, and that's what Lacy can give them. He ran behind a great line at Alabama, and he offers the best combination of power and open-field shiftiness in this draft. He's the guy in this class who can run with power but also break off some big runs. He also catches the ball well and can be a good safety valve for Aaron Rodgers.

    Analysis:

    Eddie Lacy is going to settle in somewhere at the back end of the first round and the Green Bay Packers have to be salivating at the chance to bring him into the fold. Kiper notes that Lacy is an all-around player, which is true, but the fact that he can be a consistent between the tackles runner is the most intriguing aspect of Lacy.

    The Packers have struggled to find a legitimate No. 1 RB in recent years and that is exactly what Lacy will be. He has a solid 5'11", 231-pound frame and hits the hole with authority. Green Bay needs to quit looking for stopgap solutions and bring in a long-term option at running back. Lacy is that guy.

     

    Verdict: Buying

27. Houston Texans: Robert Woods, WR, USC

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    What Kiper Says:

    The Texans need to find a reliable route-runner who can create space both underneath and down the field in their scheme, which offers a steady diet of play-action passes and demands that receivers can set up defenders. Woods has extremely reliable hands and is underrated in his ability to stretch defenses over the top.

    Analysis:

    The Houston Texans are one of the toughest teams to determine a direction for in this draft. The team has a couple of clear needs, including right tackle, wide receiver and defensive line. Therefore Kiper's choice of Robert Woods for this selection makes sense.

    Woods is one of the safest wide receivers in this class. Kiper notes that he has sure hands and is a good route-runner. He can beat defenders over the top and settle in nicely over the middle of the field. 

    There are other receivers who could fit, including Clemson's DeAndre Hopkins or Cal's Keenan Allen, but Woods is the right fit here to play opposite Andre Johnson.

     

    Verdict: Buying

28. Denver Broncos: D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston

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    What Kiper Says:

    They should be playing from ahead plenty in 2013, and they'll need depth in the secondary. If not for a freak injury that nearly cost Hayden his career, we'd be talking about him as a challenger for the best cornerback on the board. His ceiling is that high. Now fully recovered, he's ready to impact a defense in 2013.

    Analysis:

    Champ Bailey's career is going to end eventually, which means that a cornerback could make sense here for the Denver Broncos. There is no one glaring weakness for the Broncos, but there are plenty of marginal issues.

    They could look for help on the defensive line or at linebacker, but Kiper is right to say that Denver will need depth in the secondary. Hayden is an interesting player because he is coming off a serious injury and has a ton of upside. He excels in man coverage and forces turnovers with regularity.

    Desmond Trufant and Xavier Rhodes are both safer options if still on the board, but it is hard to argue with Hayden at pick No. 28.

     

    Verdict: Buying

29. New England Patriots: Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee

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    What Kiper Says:

    The presence of Brandon Lloyd provided at least some cover for what the Patriots like to do in the short and intermediate areas with their tight end duo, but now having filled the slot receiver position with Danny Amendola, they're definitely in the market for a receiver who provides a legitimate speed threat, someone who will keep safeties in fear of creeping up. The additions of Donald Jones and Michael Jenkins don't fill that void. Hunter has elite straight-line speed and is a potential touchdown on any play. He offers a constant threat.

    Analysis:

    The New England Patriots always seem to be looking for a deep threat at wide receiver. Randy Moss used to fill that void and Brandon Lloyd attempted to in the past few seasons, but the Patriots could use a long-term option at the position.

    Justin Hunter is a guy with all the potential in the world. He is 6'4", 196 pounds and has all the athleticism you could ask for. Jump balls and extended vertical routes are his specialty and Kiper suggests that Hunter would force safeties to stay deep on even the most obvious of rushing downs. Hunter could be the threat that quarterback Tom Brady needs and would be a nice complement to Danny Amendola.

    Defensive line is another option, as is fellow deep threat Keenan Allen, but Hunter has the potential to be great.

     

    Verdict: Buying

30. Atlanta Falcons: Kyle Long, OL, Oregon

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    What Kiper Says:

    A very good athlete for his size, Long was asked to utilize a lot of short-area power and quickness at Oregon. He gives the Falcons some options. They have an immediate need at guard, and because Long has played both tackle and guard, he could step into the guard role and help the offensive line in 2013, then offer a future at either tackle position. 

    Analysis:

    Kyle Long is a good player, but he seems like a reach at pick No. 30. Kiper gives plenty of good reasons for Long being the Atlanta Falcons' selection here, but there are so many other (and more intriguing) ways that the team could go.

    Tight end Zach Ertz out of Stanford is still on Kiper's board, as is cornerback Jamar Taylor out of Boise State and defensive end Bjoern Weaver from Florida State. Again, there would be nothing wrong with Long, and Kiper even points out that he can play both guard and tackle, but the pick would be underwhelming.

     

    Verdict: Selling

31. San Francisco 49ers: Margus Hunt, DE, SMU

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    What Kiper Says:

    Pound for pound, Hunt is as good an athlete as you'll find in this draft, and the 49ers currently have a roster that allows them to draft for ceiling at this slot. Hunt could add a little bulk and could become a rotation player behind Smith this season, with the potential to become that rare kind of impact pass-rusher in a 3-4 scheme from the defensive end position.

    Analysis:

    The San Francisco 49ers need defensive linemen and Margus Hunt is one who could really breakout if given time to develop properly. Kiper points out that he is one of the best athletes in the draft and San Francisco can afford to wait for him to reach his peak.

    Hunt is a massive 6'8", 277 pounds, which means that he needs to add weight to his frame. Still, having a guy like Justin Smith ahead of him is a good sign. However, San Francisco could go in several other directions here. The team needs secondary help and would also be hard-pressed to pass up wide receiver Keenan Allen out of Cal, but Hunt has so much promise.

    Kiper may have nailed this one on the head.

     

    Verdict: Buying

32. Baltimore Ravens: Jonathan Cyprien, S, FIU

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    What Kiper Says:

    Cyprien is an experienced player who can step in immediately. He's a smart player, takes good routes to the ball and is an effective tackler in space. This is a deep safety class, so the Ravens could certainly go another route here, particularly if one of the interior linebackers (Minter? Te'o?) is still around at this slot.

    Analysis:

    This pick is one of the few that simply feels flat out wrong. The Baltimore Ravens do need safety help after the departure of Ed Reed, but there is a glaring hole in the wake of Ray Lewis' retirement. How can Baltimore possibly look at any other position besides linebacker?

    Cyprien is a quailty player that does have borderline first-round potential, but even Kiper notes that this is a particularly deep safety class and the Ravens can afford to wait on that need. However, a top-notch linebacker must be brought in as soon as possible, especially with Dannell Ellerbee departing via free agency.

     

    Verdict: Selling

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