NFL Mock Draft 2013: Comparing Expert Picks from Around the Web

Wes StueveContributor IIIApril 22, 2013

NFL Mock Draft 2013: Comparing Expert Picks from Around the Web

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    The 2013 NFL draft is less than a week away. Of course, rumors are flying much too fast for anyone to keep track of them all. That's why there are mock drafts.

    But this isn't just one mock draft—it is five. This article will take a look at what five NFL draft experts expect to happen on Thursday. We will look at Rotoworld's Josh Norris,'s Daniel Jeremiah, ESPN's Todd McShay and Mel Kiper and CBS Sports' Dane Brugler's mock drafts.

    What is the consensus for each individual pick? This should be a good way to tell just that, as five of the draft's premier experts express their opinions.

1. Kansas City Chiefs

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    Brugler: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

    Jeremiah: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

    Kiper: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

    McShay: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

    Norris: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M


    The general consensus here seems to be Luke Joeckel with only Brugler going in another direction, opting for another offensive tackle in Eric Fisher. Most people seem to expect Joeckel to be the pick, and it makes sense.

    The Chiefs released right tackle Eric Winston and are attempting to trade left tackle Branden Albert. They are setting themselves up to pick a tackle, and Joeckel is, by many, considered to be the best player in the draft.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Brugler: Dion Jordan, LB, Oregon

    Jeremiah: Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon

    Kiper: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU

    McShay: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

    Norris: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia


    With only one player receiving multiple votes, this pick is much more divided. Dion Jordan's fit in Gus Bradley's defense certainly makes him an appealing option for Jacksonville. Ezekiel Ansah doesn't seem as great of a fit, and he is a less likely selection.

    There have been rumors linking Jacksonville to Geno Smith and Eric Fisher. Smith would make sense, as the Jaguars desperately need to replace Blaine Gabbert. With Eugene Monroe at left tackle, Fisher is a puzzling fit.

3. Oakland Raiders

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    Brugler: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

    Jeremiah: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida

    Kiper: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida

    McShay: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida

    Norris: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida (after trade with Arizona)


    We again get more of a consensus here. Though Norris projects a trade-back first, four of the five analysts predict Oakland to draft Sharrif Floyd. Floyd is a great fit to replace Desmond Bryant, who left for Cleveland in free agency.

    There also have been rumors connecting the Raiders to an offensive tackle, and an available Joeckel would be tempting. The addition would give Oakland two bookend tackles, as Jared Veldheer moves to the right side. 

4. Philadelphia Eagles

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    Brugler: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma

    Jeremiah: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia

    Kiper: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia

    McShay: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma

    Norris: Star Loutulelei, NT, Utah


    This pick features three projections, including two surprising Lane Johnson picks. Earlier in the draft process, Philadelphia looked as a possible destination for Joeckel, but the offensive tackle picks died down once it became obvious Joeckel wouldn't last that long. Johnson is a outstanding athlete with upside, but few would argue that he is a top-four pick.

    Geno Smith would be a great fit to run Chip Kelly's offense. Smith can throw to all levels of the field and is athletic enough to run. Star Lotulelei would add a physical presence in the middle of a weak defensive line in the Eagles' new 3-4 defense. 

5. Detroit Lions

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    Brugler: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU

    Jeremiah: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

    Kiper: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

    McShay: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU

    Norris: Ezekiel Ansah (after trade with Jets)


    With three votes, Ezekiel Ansah clearly wins this one. Ansah excelled at the Senior Bowl while playing for Detroit's coaching staff, and his upside is outstanding. The 6'5", 271-pounder is a great athlete with great power.

    However, Fisher also would be a strong option. The Lions, who lost both their starting offensive tackles this offseason, have a desperate need along the offensive line. Fisher is worthy of the pick. 

    Dee Milliner isn't quite as talented as Ansah or Fisher, and he arguably addresses a lesser need, though Detroit's cornerback position isn't a strong spot by any means.

6. Cleveland Browns

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    Brugler: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

    Jeremiah: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

    Kiper: Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon

    McShay: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame

    Norris: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama (after trade with Miami)


    Dee Milliner, the majority winner here, makes a lot of sense for Cleveland. The Browns don't have much at cornerback after Joe Haden, and Buster Skrine is the starter there. Milliner is a great athlete with size and coverage ability. He and Haden would form an incredible duo.

    Jordan also would be an excellent fit.

    Despite adding Paul Kruger in free agency, Cleveland's pass rush isn't set, and Jordan could be a nightmare in Ray Horton's 3-4 defense. Tyler Eifert makes less sense. He isn't a top-10 talent, and tight end isn't one of Cleveland's top needs. 

7. Arizona Cardinals

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    Brugler: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

    Jeremiah: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma

    Kiper: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

    McShay: Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon

    Norris: Eric Fisher (after trade with Oakland)


    Three of the projected picks here are offensive tackles. Norris and Kiper have Eric Fisher as an option, making him the pick. For Jeremiah, Fisher is gone, so Lane Johnson is the guy. Either offensive tackle is a fit, though Arizona likely would prefer the stronger Fisher.

    Jordan also would make sense for the Cardinals. The team lacks a premier pass-rusher, and Jordan could be an animal, especially in a 3-4 defense such as Arizona's. Star Lotulelei is a bit more puzzling, though it is possible. He would play nose tackle for the Cardinals.

8. Buffalo Bills:

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    Brugler: Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse

    Jeremiah: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia

    Kiper: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina

    McShay: Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse 

    Norris: Ryan Nassib (after trade with San Francisco)


    More and more, it looks as if Buffalo head coach Doug Marrone could be reunited with quarterback Ryan Nassib. The Bills have been heavily linked to Nassib, and the team does have a desperate need at quarterback.

    Tavon Austin, however, also would be a logical pick. Austin would add a dynamic playmaker to Buffalo's offense. Jonathan Cooper would help replace Andy Levitre at guard, though he is a less likely option.

9. New York Jets

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    Brugler: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU

    Jeremiah: Ezekiel Ansah, DE BYU

    Kiper: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU

    McShay: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU

    Norris: Dion Jordan (after trade with Detroit)


    There is a theme here. The Jets seem likely to take a pass-rusher. Whether it is Barkevious Mingo, Ezekiel Ansah or Dion Jordan is hard to say. In all likelihood, though, it will be one of them.

    Jordan offers more versatility with his ability to move around and play in coverage. Mingo has the most pass-rushing upside. Ansah is the best run defender and can move around the defensive line. He also offers considerable upside. This comes down to which skill set the Jets prefer. 

10. Tennessee Titans

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    Brugler: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama

    Jeremiah: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina

    Kiper: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama

    McShay: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

    Norris: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama


    Only McShay projects a non-guard here. Tennessee signed Andy Levitre in free agency but still has a huge hole along its interior offensive line. Jeremiah picks Cooper, citing his versatility and athletic ability.

    The others choose Chance Warmack.

    Warmack is more powerful and dominating than Cooper, though he has a less impressive body type and is probably limited to playing guard. McShay mocks Dee Milliner to the Titans. Milliner would be a strong value at this point, and few teams would deny additional help at cornerback. 

11. San Diego Chargers

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    Brugler: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina

    Jeremiah: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama

    Kiper: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma

    McShay: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina

    Norris: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama


    All five analysts expect an offensive lineman to be the Chargers' pick. Two project offensive tackles, but the other three go with guards. It is nearly impossible to say which guard San Diego would prefer.

    Chance Warmack and Jonathan Cooper would be welcome additions. Warmack is more powerful, but Cooper is better in space and could play center. 

    Lane Johnson would immediately start at left tackle for the Chargers, where his athleticism would be a valuable asset. D.J. Fluker probably would play right tackle, though he could kick inside to guard. 

12. Miami Dolphins

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    Brugler: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama

    Jeremiah: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State

    Kiper: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama

    McShay: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama

    Norris: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma (after trade with Cleveland)


    This is yet another offensive line pick. Miami lost Jake Long in free agency, so it makes sense that the team would look to add an offensive lineman. However, of these players, only Lane Johnson is capable of playing left tackle. 

    D.J. Fluker would have to play on the right side, forcing Jonathan Martin to the blind side, where he isn't as good a fit. Chance Warmack is a guard only, so he isn't a great fit. Xavier Rhodes is a darkhorse pick. Miami lost Sean Smith in free agency, and the position remains less than solid.

13. New York Jets (from Tampa Bay)

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    Brugler: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame

    Jeremiah: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame*

    Kiper: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah*

    McShay: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia

    Norris: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame


    The Jets acquired Tampa Bay's first-round pick after trading Darrelle Revis. With two first-round picks, the team has considerably more flexibility. Brugler and Norris believe this could result in Tyler Eifert heading to New York.

    Eifert would replace Dustin Keller, who left in free agency. He's a dynamic receiver who can stretch the field down the seam. Tavon Austin would add an explosive element to a largely talentless offense. Kiper's Star Lotulelei projection was for the Buccaneers, not the Jets. 

    *Did not have New York owning the No. 13 pick. Projection was for Tampa Bay.

14. Carolina Panthers

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    Brugler: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida

    Jeremiah: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

    Kiper: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri

    McShay: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

    Norris: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State (after trade with Pittsburgh)


    For the most part, analysts project a defensive tackle to the Panthers—and for good reason.

    Carolina's defensive tackles are weak. If Star Lotulelei is available, he would be a perfect fit and a tremendous value. Sharrif Floyd also would be a steal. Sheldon Richardson would be a high-risk/high-reward option.

    Then there is the wild card in Xavier Rhodes. Rhodes is a big, athletic cornerback with huge potential. The Panthers could use help at cornerback. The only question is if the team will prioritize it above a defensive tackle.

15. New Orleans Saints

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    Brugler: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia

    Jeremiah: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU

    Kiper: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia

    McShay: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama

    Norris: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU


    The most surprising projection here is D.J. Fluker. However, after losing Jermon Bushrod in free agency, the Saints could look to add an offensive tackle. The other four picks fall more in line with the general consensus.

    If he's available, New Orleans likely will prefer Barkevious Mingo to Jarvis Jones. Mingo is the more dynamic talent, and he has more upside. Jones is a plausible backup plan, though, and he could easily be the pick.

16. St. Louis Rams

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    Brugler: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia

    Jeremiah: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas

    Kiper: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia

    McShay: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas

    Norris: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas


    After signing Jake Long, the Rams are no longer in a position where they need to draft an offensive lineman. Instead, they can focus on adding a weapon for Sam Bradford or improving their defense. This array of projections reflects that.

    Tavon Austin would be a much-needed playmaker on a sparkless St. Louis offense. He could affect the game from anywhere on the field. Kenny Vaccaro would bolster the Rams' safety position, addressing a big hole at safety.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Brugler: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State

    Jeremiah: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia

    Kiper: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame

    McShay: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia

    Norris: Cornellius Carradine, OLB, Florida State (after trade with Carolina)


    With James Harrison out of the picture, Pittsburgh needs to add a pass-rusher. Jarvis Jones fits the team's type—he's short, powerful and shows great use of leverage. Cornellius Carradine would be an intriguing high-upside option, however.

    Tyler Eifert is a puzzling projection. The Steelers still have Heath Miller—though he is recovering from injury—and he is a solid starter. Xavier Rhodes would make sense, however. The loss of Keenan Lewis in free agency makes cornerback a priority for Pittsburgh. 

18. Dallas Cowboys

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    Brugler: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri

    Jeremiah: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri

    Kiper: Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina

    McShay: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri

    Norris: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina


    As Dallas adjusts to Monte Kiffin's 4-3 defense, it will need to add talent along the defensive line. Sheldon Richardson is exactly the classic penetrating defensive tackle Kiffin has featured for years. He would be a perfect scheme fit and address a big need.

    Sylvester Williams isn't quit the same player Richardson is, but he is still a solid fit in Kiffin's defense. Jonathan Cooper also would be a great value here, and he would likewise fill a hole. The Cowboys' offensive line isn't a great unit by any stretch, and Cooper can play guard or center.

19. New York Giants

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    Brugler: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State

    Jeremiah: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama

    Kiper: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington

    McShay: D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston

    Norris: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri


    It's hard to project the Giants' pick, as this wide array of predictions evidences. Bjoern Werner is an explosive defensive end whose pass-rushing ability would help replace Osi Umenyiora. Sheldon Richardson would offer an explosive presence along the interior defensive line.

    Cornerback isn't a huge need for New York, but it isn't a strong spot either. Neither D.J. Hayden nor Desmond Trufant is a great value here, though both are talented players. D.J. Fluker could fill in at right tackle, a position of considerable weakness for the Giants. 

20. Chicago Bears

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    Brugler: Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina

    Jeremiah: Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina

    Kiper: Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame

    McShay: Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia

    Norris: Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State


    Chicago seems likely to upgrade its defense, but it could do so in several ways. Sylvester Williams would be a strong presence next to Henry Melton, giving the team a dynamic unit.

    Manti Te'o and Alec Ogletree would help replace Brian Urlacher. Te'o is more of a run defender to Ogletree's coverage linebacker, but either one could be a fit. Jamar Taylor is a talented cornerback, but the Bears seem to have much bigger needs. 

21. Cincinnati Bengals

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    Brugler: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas

    Jeremiah: Eric Reid, S, LSU

    Kiper: Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia

    McShay: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee

    Norris: Johnathan Cyprien, S, Florida International


    Cincinnati is in a great position. The team has a few needs but none so desperate that they can't wait. Safety is perhaps the Bengals' biggest need, though.

    Kenny Vaccaro is a well-rounded player who can defend the run and cover the slot. Johnathan Cyprien is perhaps more talented but is more raw and isn't quite as ready to contribute.

    Eric Reid also is a great talent, though his film isn't as impressive as Vaccaro's or Cyprien's. Cordarrelle Patterson is a tremendous talent with the ball in his hands, and he could be dynamic next to A.J. Green.

    Meanwhile, Alec Ogletree is exactly the type of player Cincinnati prefers: an outstanding talent who has had trouble off the field. 

22. St. Louis Rams (from WAS):

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    Brugler: Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia

    Jeremiah: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee

    Kiper: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas

    McShay: Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama

    Norris: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee


    It seems clear that the Rams will look to add an offensive skill player early. Cordarrelle Patterson would be a tremendous fit. The 6'3", 210-pounder is fast, explosive and quick. The Rams could use him in many ways.

    Eddie Lacy would address a need at running back, but he simply isn't a first-round value. Kenny Vaccaro would help out a weak safety unit. Alec Ogletree would offer a dynamic talent at linebacker to play next to James Laurinaitis. 

23. Minnesota Vikings

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    Brugler: Cornellius Carradine, DE, Florida State

    Jeremiah: Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame

    Kiper: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee

    McShay: Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina

    Norris: Keenan Allen, WR, California


    Minnesota would certainly like a wide receiver to help replace Percy Harvin, but that might not be the best option. If available, though, Cordarrelle Patterson would be a fine pick. His dynamic ability could immediately make an impact. 

    Cornellius Carradine is a top-10 talent who could fall due to a torn ACL suffered last year. Jared Allen and Brian Robison are playing on expiring contracts. Sylvester Williams would be an upgrade along a shoddy defensive tackle unit, and Manti Te'o would help bolster the team's run defense from linebacker.

24. Indianapolis Colts

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    Brugler: Datone Jones, DE, UCLA

    Jeremiah: Cornellius Carradine, DE, Florida State

    Kiper: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State

    McShay: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State

    Norris: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia


    The Colts desperately need to upgrade their defense, which explains the positions suggested here. Cornellius Carradine would be a talented addition to help rush the passer in Indianapolis' 3-4 defense. Similarly, Jarvis Jones offers pass-rushing upside.

    Datone Jones is an outstanding fit and could start immediately in Chuck Pagano's scheme. He offers impressive athleticism and pass-rushing ability from the interior defensive line. Xavier Rhodes is the only non-front-seven player here. However, the Colts' secondary is porous, and Rhodes offers huge upside at a high-priority position. 

25. Minnesota Vikings (from SEA)

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    Brugler: Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame

    Jeremiah: Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama

    Kiper: Kevin Minter, LB, LSU

    McShay: Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame

    Norris: Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame


    The Vikings need to improve their front seven. That easily explains the five names here. Jesse Williams is a big, physical presence who refuses to give ground and could immediately help Minnesota's run defense.

    Kevin Minter and Manti Te'o are physical, run-defending linebackers who can start from Day One. Neither has tremendous upside, however. Either might be considered a reach, but they would both help out the Vikings as rookies. 

26. Green Bay Packers

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    Brugler: Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State

    Jeremiah: John Cyprien, S, Florida International

    Kiper: Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama

    McShay: Matt Elam, S, Florida

    Norris: Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama


    Green Bay has more needs than one might expect from such an outstanding team. It could go in several directions with its first pick. Menelik Watson would give the Packers a high-potential option at offensive tackle where their young players haven't progressed.

    Eddie Lacy would give Green Bay a high-profile running back the team has needed for a few years now. However, Lacy really isn't a good value here. John Cyprien is a talented safety who would offer the physical presence its secondary lacks.

    Jesse Williams is a strong defensive lineman capable of playing nose tackle or five-technique in Green Bay's 3-4 scheme. His versatility and play against the run are both positives.

27. Houston Texans

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    Brugler: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson

    Jeremiah: Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia

    Kiper: Robert Woods, WR, USC

    McShay: Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee

    Norris: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson


    For years, Houston has needed a wide receiver opposite Andre Johnson. The team might finally get him this year. DeAndre Hopkins measures in at 6'1", 214 pounds. He isn't an outstanding athlete, but he can catch the football and gain yards. He's a good No. 2 wide receiver.

    Justin Hunter is a higher-upside option. He has legitimate No. 1 wide receiver potential, though he probably won't reach it. Hunter is a strong vertical threat. Robert Woods doesn't seem like a great fit. He's probably just a slot receiver in the NFL and isn't worth a first-round pick.

    Houston doesn't have a huge need at inside linebacker, and Alec Ogletree isn't a real scheme fit. He is, however, a tremendous talent who would add an interesting dynamic to Wade Phillips' defense. 

28. Denver Broncos

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    Brugler: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington

    Jeremiah: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State

    Kiper: Kyle Long, OG, Oregon

    McShay: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State

    Norris: Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State


    The Broncos are one of the NFL's best teams. Obviously, then, Denver doesn't have too many needs and can afford to target the best player available. Bjoern Werner combines the two approaches. The explosive defensive end would help fill Elvis Dumervil's void and is a tremendous value at the end of the first round.

    Arthur Brown doesn't really address a huge need, but he's a superb talent. He could start immediately and compete for defensive rookie of the year honors. Kyle Long could be called a reach, and guard isn't a huge need for Denver after signing Louis Vasquez.

    Desmond Trufant similarly doesn't address a huge need. However, he is talented, and NFL teams can never have enough cornerbacks. 

29. New England Patriots

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    Brugler: D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston

    Jeremiah: Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State

    Kiper: Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee

    McShay: Datone Jones, DE, UCLA

    Norris: Datone Jones, DL, UCLA


    It's impossible to guess what Bill Belichick might do in the draft. However, all three of these positions look like possible options. Datone Jones would be an intriguing fit. The 6'4", 280-pounder is capable of playing inside or outside in New England's many defensive looks. He has pass-rushing potential to go with strong run defense.

    Justin Hunter is an outstanding talent who would give New England a much-needed downfield threat at wide receiver. Jamar Taylor and D.J. Hayden are talented cornerbacks with starting potential. Taylor is probably more NFL ready. 

30. Atlanta Falcons

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    Brugler: Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State

    Jeremiah: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington

    Kiper: Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford

    McShay: Justin Pugh, OG, Syracuse

    Norris: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State


    Atlanta's two needs are at defensive end and cornerback. Jamar Taylor might be the team's best-case scenario. The talented cornerback is ready to contribute, and he has an excellent upside. 

    Desmond Trufant also is talented and could help out as a rookie. Justin Pugh is an intriguing guard option, but guard isn't a priority for the Falcons, who have much bigger needs. Zach Ertz would address a big need at tight end, but he isn't dynamic enough to justify a first-round pick. The return of Tony Gonzalez also makes this need less urgent. 

    Bjoern Werner would be an excellent option if he's on the board. Werner has 10-sack potential as a rookie, so he could help the Falcons immediately. 

31. San Francisco 49ers

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    Brugler: Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama

    Jeremiah: Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford

    Kiper: Margus Hunt, DE, SMU

    McShay: Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford

    Norris: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia (after trade with Buffalo)


    The 49ers have flexibility here. The team's plethora of draft picks gives it the option to trade up, and its relatively few needs allow it to draft an outstanding talent if one is available. Tavon Austin could be the result of this flexibility. Austin is the biggest playmaker in this draft, and he could make San Francisco's offense even more terrifying. 

    Zach Ertz would replace Delanie Walker as the team's backup tight end. Ertz is a solid blocker while Margus Hunt is an incredible talent with potential. However, he's already 25 and needs work as a football player. 

    Jesse Williams would help replace Isaac Sopoaga along the defensive line. Williams is a big, physical player who is consistently strong against the run.

32. Baltimore Ravens

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    Brugler: Kevin Minter, LB, LSU

    Jeremiah: Matt Elam, S, Florida

    Kiper: John Cyprien, S, Florida International

    McShay: Eric Reid, S, LSU

    Norris: Matt Elam, S, Florida


    Baltimore is losing a lot of its top 2012 talent, especially on defense. This explains the safety and linebacker projections above. None of these safeties can replace Ed Reed, but one could help. The Ravens also have Bernard Pollard to replace.

    John Cyprien is an outstanding talent with tremendous size. He could conceivably play either safety position. Eric Reid is similarly talented, but his draft stock is based more on upside than current ability. He also is limited to playing free safety.

    Matt Elam isn't as athletic as Cyprien or Reid. However, he is a big hitter who can defend the run and play in coverage. Kevin Minter is a strong run defender, who fits well inside Baltimore's 3-4 defense. 

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