NFL Mock Draft 2013: Cheat Sheet for All Round 1 Selections
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One way to view the 2013 NFL draft is as a whirlwind of chaos because the potential that anything can happen will, in fact, happen.
Whether it's a prospect getting selected sooner than anticipated or top talent falling past expectations, that's just the beginning. We've seen countless trades suddenly occur, which has an immediate impact on the subsequent selections.
If anything, draft strategy must include multiple plans to adjust as the event unfolds. Similar to a game, mid-draft adaptation reveals the better-prepared teams and builds momentum for the rest of the offseason.
Here, we simply take a look at what to expect when the Chiefs go on the clock.
Note: Highlighted players in italics.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, Tackle (Texas A&M)
Kansas City is in the midst of a quick turnaround. Going with Luke Joeckel at No. 1 overall keeps the rushing attack dominant, but also helps improve the pass protection. Now that the Chiefs have added balance, K.C. makes a solid run at the postseason.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Star Lotulelei, DT (Utah)
Jacksonville couldn't stop the run in 2012, nor did it have a reliable pass rush. Solving this problem quickly happens with the addition of Star Lotulelei. As a defensive tackle capable of menacing the backfield, Lotulelei's power and short-area quickness will make the Jaguars tougher in the trenches.
3. Oakland Raiders: Dee Milliner, CB (Alabama)
Without a shutdown corner the Raiders won't challenge for the division. Dee Milliner brings this capability as he's explosive and possesses great top speed. Factor in the talent for press coverage, and Milliner jams receivers at the line while also helping against the run.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Eric Fisher, Tackle (Central Michigan)
Philadelphia's offense presents impressive athletes at receiver and running back. But the Eagles won't move the ball with control until the offensive line improves. Enter Eric Fisher, a tackle who will anchor the edge of the line in pass protection and extend running lanes from the backside.
5. Detroit Lions: Bjoern Werner, DE (Florida State)
Bjoern Werner is an instinctive player with the talent to squeeze the edge against the run and apply quarterback pressure. The Lions have to help their secondary with a stronger front-seven because generating turnovers will win the field-position battle. As a result, Detroit's explosive offense gets on the field more often to push the tempo.
6. Cleveland Browns: Dion Jordan, DE (Oregon)
Cleveland's front-seven must present an array of pass-rushers to disrupt a quarterback's timing. Dion Jordan certainly bolsters this area, which in turn complements the secondary. With more turnover opportunities created, the Browns limit big plays and get off the field on third down.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Chance Warmack, Guard (Alabama)
The Cardinals were incredibly weak on the ground throughout 2012, not to mention in their pass protection. Landing Chance Warmack significantly bolsters each area because of his excellent footwork and tenacity when run-blocking. Warmack's force on the interior establishes the run and that sets up the pass to generate balance.
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8. Buffalo Bills: Geno Smith, QB (West Virginia)
Buffalo doesn't need a high-flying offense to make a run at the postseason. However, the Bills need a quarterback with a quick release and consistent accuracy to produce on play action. Already featuring the ground game with C.J. Spiller, Geno Smith's talent will pay dividends thereafter to keep defenses honest.
9. New York Jets: Ezekiel Ansah, DE (BYU)
The backbone of the Jets since Rex Ryan took over has been the defensive front seven. When that didn't produce in recent years, New York face-planted and missed the postseason. Opting for Ezekiel Ansah in the draft is a step in the correct direction. He has the agility and power to defeat one-on-one blocking situations, as well as the acceleration to chase down running backs and quarterbacks behind the line.
10. Tennessee Titans: Xavier Rhodes, CB (Florida State)
Tennessee fielded a contradictory defense last season. The front seven were respectable at controlling the line, but the coverage failed miserably at a consistent rate—even in the run-oriented AFC South. That said, presenting Xavier Rhodes will lock away half the field with his size and power. Capable of quickly generating speed at the snap, Rhodes will isolate in Cover 1 and 2.
11. San Diego Chargers: Lane Johnson, Tackle (Oklahoma)
San Diego can still rely on Philip Rivers to lead it toward the postseason. The playmakers exist at receiver and running back to field balance and take advantage of scoring opportunities.
Developing sustainable ball movement, balance and minimizing turnovers starts by fixing the pass protection. Rivers was sacked 49 times a season ago and opting for Lane Johnson patches the blindside.
For starters, Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones was sacked a mere 23 times total in 2011 and 2021. Given how much the Sooners toss the rock, defenses were provided with plenty more sack opportunities against Oklahoma than most opponents.
But Johnson's ability to wall off the edge constantly proved his reliability was invaluable.
He's also one of the draft's most athletic prospects in regards to instant explosiveness and acceleration. At the very least, Johnson bolsters San Diego's ground game by extending lanes and giving Rivers more time to survey the field.
12. Miami Dolphins: Desmond Trufant, CB (Washington)
The Dolphins are edging closer to becoming legit playoff contenders. Miami first acquired Brent Grimes in free agency, per Mike Garafolo of the USA Today. Pairing him with Desmond Trufant simply completes the secondary to complement the pass rush and run defense. Ultimately, Miami generates more turnovers to win the possession battle.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Sharrif Floyd, DT (Florida)
Sharrif Floyd is a force in the trenches at plugging gaps and slipping blocks to pressure a quarterback. Although he doesn't wow on the stat sheet, Floyd's impact on Tampa Bay assists the edge-rushers in recording more sacks. The result allows the suspect pass defense better playmaking opportunities in a pass-happy division.
14. Carolina Panthers: Kenny Vaccaro, Safety (Texas)
Carolina, similar to Tennessee, fielded a sound front seven, but lacked in pass defense last year. Sprucing up the coverage with Kenny Vaccaro helps cut back on completions. The pass rush then gets more pressure, and Vaccaro's ability to locate the rock should lead to the Panthers winning more consistently on third down.
15. New Orleans Saints: Barkevious Mingo, LB (LSU)
Failing to put the opposing quarterback under duress or stop the run in 2012 was detrimental to New Orleans' defense. Immediately addressing the situation with Barkevious Mingo, though, helps steer the Saints back in the correct direction. He plays with consistent assignment discipline, not to mention possesses the initial jump at the snap to constrict running lanes and collapse the pocket.
16. St. Louis Rams: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR (Tennessee)
An advantage in the NFC West—from an offensive perspective—is attacking downfield to negate the opposing pass rush. St. Louis gets this with Cordarrelle Patterson, a receiver who averaged 16.9 yards in 2012 and brings more versatility than he is given credit.
Although he was a one-hit wonder for Tennessee, Patterson's quick impact in college football's toughest conference displays his potential in a nutshell. The ability to rack up yards after the catch or blaze past a Cover 1 cornerback forces a defense to alter its coverage packages.
In addition, Patterson collected 308 rushing yards and 772 total return yards for the Volunteers last season. His talent to widen linebackers and defensive ends as horizontal threats lengthens interior running lanes.
Contributing as a return specialist will help the Rams win the field-position battle. Consistently giving the offense solid starting point just complements coach Jeff Fisher's defense.
Regardless of the Rams' overall offensive success, field position from Patterson keeps the opposition backed into its own territory. St. Louis also possesses the defense to shut high-powered attacks down.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jarvis Jones, LB (Georgia)
Pittsburgh must combine youth and talented depth in its front seven to rebound this season. That begins with Jarvis Jones, whose constant wreckage of the backfield increases the number of forced turnovers. A by-product of that results in better field position to assist the offense with extra possessions.
18. Dallas Cowboys: Jonathan Cooper, Guard (North Carolina)
Dallas has the passing game to really press a defense on its heels. Finding a running game is the next step, which starts by selecting Jonathan Cooper. He supplies the ferocity at driving defenders off the ball and chipping to the second level. Include his awareness for pass-protecting and the Cowboys present solid balance in 2013.
19. New York Giants: Sheldon Richardson, DT (Missouri)
The Giants' forte of asphyxiating the scrum that occurs up front was how Big Blue made its Super Bowl runs. It's obvious that aspect was not consistent enough throughout 2012. Therefore, electing to snag Sheldon Richardson would help bulldoze the trenches between the tackles. What's unveiled are freed-up linebackers to make plays and more production from Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck.
20. Chicago Bears: Alec Ogletree, LB (Georgia)
Alec Ogletree is the perfect fit for Chicago because the Bears need a fast-reacting linebacker to fill lanes and isolate slot receivers in coverage. Although D.J. Williams (via Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune) and James Anderson (via ESPNChicago.com) were brought in off the market, Ogletree's entire skill set upgrades the pass rush and helps create an intermediate umbrella in coverage.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Matt Elam, Safety (Florida)
Matt Elam possesses the field awareness and ball skills to drastically increase Cincinnati's turnover ratio. At the same time, the Bengals offer the pass rush and run defense to force opponents into one-dimensional situations. If anything, Elam's contributions halt drives early on to help Cincy win the field-position battle.
22. St. Louis Rams (via WAS): Arthur Brown, LB (Kansas State)
The Rams are on the brink of becoming a major threat to the rest of the NFC. The defense just needs Arthur Brown to develop a coverage shield against slot receivers and tight ends, which complements the dominant pass-rushers. Factor in Brown's instincts and he also bolsters the run defense.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Tavon Austin, WR (West Virginia)
Minnesota winds up with Tavon Austin to replace the void left by Percy Harvin—who was traded according to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports. His route-running ability to redirect while maintaining speed is the best area of impact as that draws attention from linebackers and safeties. In turn, Adrian Peterson is not the total focus of opposing defenses.
24. Indianapolis Colts: Damontre Moore, DE (Texas A&M)
The Colts didn't present a reliable pass rush in 2012. Well, that immediately changes in 2013 with the addition of Damontre Moore. Possessing the athleticism to slip blocks at the snap, Moore's overall talent amplifies the pass rush to complement the upgraded secondary.
25. Minnesota Vikings (via SEA): Kawann Short, DT (Purdue)
To go with Harvin's move to Seattle, Jay Glazer also reported that Minnesota received this pick. So, the Vikings get Kawann Short for causing even more turbulence in the backfield. The combination of him and Jared Allen control the line of scrimmage, allowing the Vikings' vulnerable pass defense to see more plays on the ball.
26. Green Bay Packers: Sylvester Williams, DT (North Carolina)
Sylvester Williams brings the size and strength to stalemate blocking schemes at the immediate point of attack. This niche becomes an advantage for Green Bay. The Packers need to stuff better versus the run. Already possessing a dependable pass rush and coverage, taking Williams completes the defense to enhance Titletown's Super Bowl odds.
27. Houston Texans: DeAndre Hopkins, WR (Clemson)
Houston remains a strong AFC contender for 2013, but the Texans must sport a more-explosive aerial assault to surpass conference foes.
Clemson's DeAndre Hopkins enters the mix at No. 27 overall to act as Andre Johnson's protege. For one, Hopkins averaged 17.1 yards per catch last season and scored 18 times. Secondly, Johnson turns 32 years old before the season begins.
In short, getting the next young playmaker for the passing game is now. In a few years, Hopkins will be developed and much more established to take over the No. 1 receiver spot. His incredible knack for stretching defenses and working man-coverage defenders becomes quite the advantage.
No defense can afford to isolate Hopkins with a bracketed zone or typical double coverage either, because Johnson is still capable of making plays. There's also Arian Foster to slam the trenches, which will keep linebackers and nickel/dimebacks occupied.
Hopkins will be relied on against one-on-one and to split zones at each level. All he must do is keep snagging the rock and moving the chains.
28. Denver Broncos: Alex Okafor, DE (Texas)
The essence of Denver's defense is its ability to crush the quarterback. Entering the draft, though, the Broncos need to find Von Miller a sidekick with Elvis Dumervil moving to Baltimore, per Mike Klis of the Denver Post.
Alex Okafor is an excellent prospect in Round 1, because he has the nose for making plays behind the line. Plus, he'll never see double-teams with Miller's presence at linebacker.
29. New England Patriots: Keenan Allen, WR (California)
The agent for California wide receiver Keenan Allen told PFT Tuesday he has not been informed of any problems regarding the drug test his client took at the NFL Scouting Combine in February.
JT Johnson, Allen’s agent, said he has not been notified regarding his client’s test results.
“We have received no notifications. None,” Johnson told PFT Tuesday afternoon.
That said, Allen still fits the mold for the Patriots. Fielding a sound rushing attack to draw up defenders, Allen's addition enhances the balance to sustain effective ball movement.
30. Atlanta Falcons: Jesse Williams, DT (Alabama)
The Falcons could smell the Super Bowl last season, but fell short. The thing is, Atlanta faced two strong NFC contenders in January that presented physical running games.
Sniffing the NFC title, however, mainly happened courtesy of an unrelenting passing attack that kept defenses from blitzing. As for the Falcons' defense, this unit has to dominate the battle up front in 2013 for a better chance of reaching the main stage.
Allowing an average of 4.8 yards per carry and recording a dismal 29 sacks last season, Atlanta got tougher with the addition of Osi Umenyiora in free agency (via Jay Glazer). Complementing him along the line is Alabama's Jesse Williams.
The Falcons now present a dynamic duo at the snap for closing running lanes and collapsing each dimension of the pocket. Williams won't light up the stat sheet, but his rock-solid balance and power will draw blockers to create pileups and restrict the extension of gaps.
As a result, Atlanta's linebackers meet ball-carriers in the trenches and the sack count increases. Ultimately, the secondary then gets more interception opportunities in favorable passing situations.
31. San Francisco 49ers: John Cyprien, Safety (Florida International)
A gaping wound occurred in San Francisco's secondary when Dashon Goldson signed with the Buccaneers, as reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. The crater gets immediately filled, though, with John Cyprien. Offering the size, tackling and instincts to make plays in and near the box, Cyprien benefits from the 49ers' front seven and reacts nicely in Cover 2 and 3.
32. Baltimore Ravens: Manti Te’o, LB (Notre Dame)
Manti Te'o's short-area quickness and body control fit Baltimore to a T. The Ravens provide the pass-rushing personnel to work the edges, so Te'o produces at a solid rate between the tackles. Counting his coverage awareness and Baltimore avoids derailing in 2013.
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