2013 NFL Mock Draft: Picks in Round One That Teams Must Make
The first round of the 2013 NFL Draft is starting to come into focus. There are still plenty of question marks that won't get answered until certain teams actually make their selections, but the prospects themselves are starting to settle into a general area.
Now that the draft process is basically over, the main storyline has remained the same. The amount of depth in the class far outweighs its star power. It's an unfortunate reality for teams picking inside the top 10, which were hoping to land a superstar who could make an instant impact.
Let's take an updated mock draft of the entire opening round with the draft now just one week away. A closer look is taken at three selections throughout the first 32 picks, as denoted by italics. The wait is almost over.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Normally, the first pick is locked in quite some before the draft. The Chiefs haven't given any indication to suggest that this time around, but Joeckel is the best option.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
Jacksonville should understand after last season, when it ranked dead last in sacks, how hard it is to build a defense without a pass rush. Jordan can help to end those struggles.
3. Oakland Raiders: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
It's amazing how many different scenarios are in play with Smith. He's probably the toughest player to place out of all the first-round prospects. That said, Oakland needs a quarterback of the future.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
If Smith is still available here, the Eagles could take a chance on him and wouldn't be forced to start him right away. If not, Floyd is a high-upside tackle that would solidify the line.
5. Detroit Lions: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Detroit has an offense that's ready to soar. Making sure the offensive line is prepared to handle its important role is key and leads to the selection of Fisher.
6. Cleveland Browns: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Milliner is exactly what the Browns need. A defensive back who can step right in opposite Joe Haden and make big plays. It would be a tandem with plenty of potential.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
Even though taking an offensive tackle in the opening round, especially when he's not the top one available, isn't going to excite the fanbase, it's the right move for Arizona. Johnson is a very talented prospect worthy of being a top 10 pick.
The Cardinals allowed their various different quarterbacks to get sacked many times last season. When the most important position on the field is under that much pressure on a constant basis, it becomes very difficult to have any sustained success.
Arizona hopes Carson Palmer can solve its quarterback issues, at least in the short term. Taking Johnson to upgrade the offensive line would go a long way in making sure he gets a clean pocket to work with and, given his lack of mobility, that's crucial.
8. Buffalo Bills: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
There simply isn't enough quarterback value here for the Bills to take one. They are much better off taking Patterson first and then taking a field general in the second round.
9. New York Jets: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
Going with an edge rusher is the right move for the Jets. There are no shortage of choices, but Ansah is versatile enough to fit the system and should be ready to play right away.
10. Tennessee Titans: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
Although interior offensive lineman rarely receive top-10 hype, Warmack is the type of prospect who deserves it. He would blast open a lot of running lanes for Chris Johnson.
11. San Diego Chargers: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
Lotulelei would give the Chargers the tackle they need to complete their defensive line. Jonathan Cooper is another possibility, but doesn't provide as much value overall.
Which CB will have a better NFL career?
12. Miami Dolphins: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
The Dolphins ranked 27th in passing yards allowed last season. Rhodes has all the tools necessary to play a key role in turning around the secondary starting in Week 1.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Another team with major pass-rushing issues, the Bucs should select Werner because he's the most prepared end left on the board. He's a solid all-around lineman.
14. Carolina Panthers: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
While Carolina would benefit from taking an offensive playmaker, Richardson is the safer choice. He would upgrade a defensive line that sorely needs another tackle.
15. New Orleans Saints: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
The Saints should definitely select a defensive player with this pick. They allowed more than 440 yards per game last season, which was more than 50 YPG more than any other team. Part of that was due to the team's high-scoring, fast-paced offense, but a lack of top-end talent was the main reason.
So it just comes down to which area on that side of the ball they want to address first. Given the prospects available here, Jones makes the most sense. There are questions about his ability to make a successful transition, but his natural ability is obvious.
In order to overhaul the defense quickly, the Saints will be forced to take some chances. Jones could bust out, but the odds are just as good or better that he turns into a key asset for New Orleans. That upside makes him the right target in Round 1.
16. St. Louis Rams: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
St. Louis shouldn't pass up the chance to take Cooper. The team needs to do a better job of protecting Sam Bradford and the North Carolina product has an ideal skill set.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
Moore was slated to go much earlier when the draft process began, but the Steelers aren't going to complain. They get a very talented prospect in the second half of Round 1.
18. Dallas Cowboys: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
It's time for the Cowboys to focus on upgrading in the trenches. It doesn't matter how many playmakers a team has if its constantly losing battles at the point of attack.
19. New York Giants: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU
The Giants aren't going to let a talent like Mingo get past them, especially after a down tick in pass-rushing productivity last season. He's worth the gamble here.
20. Chicago Bears: Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
There's no doubt Chicago needs some secondary rushing options on the edge. It all comes down to which one it prefers at this point. Jones would be a solid choice.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Kenny Vaccaro, FS, Texas
Cincinnati could receive some trade interest for this selection from teams hoping to land the draft's top safety. The Bengals would be better off keeping it and taking Vaccaro themselves.
22. St. Louis Rams (via WSH): Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
It's impossible to know if Sam Bradford is the franchise quarterback the Rams need. The franchise hasn't put enough talent around him since taking him with the first pick in 2010 to find out. Usually, building a young QB's supporting cast is a top priority.
So far, that hasn't been the case in St .Louis, but that should change in the draft. After taking a guard to help protect Bradford earlier in the round, the Rams now select Austin, a wideout with game-breaking speed that can cause serious issues for defenses out of the slot.
The importance of slot receivers is on the rise throughout the NFL, which makes Austin even more valuable. By no means is he the only upgrade that's needed to help the Rams offense, but he would be a major step in the right direction.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Keenan Allen, WR, California
Even though the Vikings offense is going to go through Adrian Peterson, the team must still find ways to upgrade the passing game. Allen is one way to do it.
24. Indianapolis Colts: Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
This is the type of pick the Colts can afford to make now that they are perennial playoff contenders again. Okafor isn't a lock to become a key contributor, but his upside makes him worth taking.
25. Minnesota Vikings (via SEA): Arthur Brown, OLB, Kansas State
Brown is a versatile linebacker. He would help a Vikings defense that ranked in the middle of the pack overall last season. He also presents good value at No. 25.
26. Green Bay Packers: Alec Ogletree, OLB, Georgia
Another linebacker that could help an improving defense. Ogletree can excel in space and is capable of handing tight ends in coverage, which is key at the next level.
27. Houston Texans: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
The Texans offense should really be one of the best in the NFL. The lack of a second target in the passing game has held it back, but Hopkins would fit the role.
28. Denver Broncos: Matt Elam, SS, Florida
Denver is in the title conversation, so the focus should be on players capable of making an impact during their rookie season. Elam definitely falls into that group.
29. New England Patriots: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
It's hard to imagine the Patriots passing on Trufant if he slides to them. Their secondary is still a work in progress and he should make a pretty smooth transition.
What should the Falcons draft in Round 1?
30. Atlanta Falcons: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
Eifert would be a dual-purpose selection. He can handle specific packages right away and then can take over as the top tight end whenever Tony Gonzalez officially retires.
31. San Francisco 49ers: Eric Reid, FS, LSU
The 49ers have a lot of picks to work with, so they might do some wheeling and dealing. As long as they stay in this spot, taking Reid to replace Dashon Goldson would be a wise move.
32. Baltimore Ravens: Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame
Te'o might never become the superstar he looked like at some points during his career at Notre Dame. That doesn't mean he won't be a productive member of a defense, though.
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