NFL Mock Draft 2013: Latest Projections for First Round

Alex Kay@AlexPKayCorrespondent IApril 23, 2013

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 01:  Xavier Rhodes #27 of the Florida State Seminoles looks on against the Northern Illinois Huskies during the Discover Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on January 1, 2013 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The 2013 NFL draft is mere days away, meaning there is no better time to take another look at how the first round could shake out.

Whether you are looking to see where the top prospects are going to land or which direction your favorite team could go in, we have you covered.

Keep reading to see a complete and updated look at the top 32 picks in the latest edition of our NFL mock draft.


1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, Tackle (Texas A&M)

The Chiefs would instantaneously improve by adding Joeckel, arguably the best pass-protector and top overall prospect in the class.

With Alex Smith under center and a bunch of new pieces on the roster, Kansas City will continue its drastic offseason overhaul with this pick.


2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Star Lotulelei, DT (Utah)

Jacksonville has needs across the board, but none is more urgent than improving the meek defensive line.

Lotulelei is an elite run-stopper and pass-rusher, as he is strong enough to hold his own against run blockers and quick enough to beat his man off the edge and knife into the backfield.


3. Oakland Raiders: Dee Milliner, CB (Alabama)

The Raiders defense was lacking significantly in the secondary last season, making Milliner a slum-dunk selection for the organization.

While defensive line is still a concern, Oakland GM Reggie McKenzie did an excellent job re-tooling in that department and can now nab an elite cornerback with the No. 3 pick in this draft.


4. Philadelphia Eagles: Eric Fisher, Tackle (Central Michigan)

Philly’s offensive line figures to be much healthier and should be a major improvement over last year, but Fisher’s presence could push this unit to become one of the best in the league.

This massive tackle has the agility to take on the quickest finesse rushers and strength to pancake the power linemen and linebackers he will face. Many consider him equal to Joeckel and the value is too much for the Eagles to pass up here.


5. Detroit Lions: Bjoern Werner, DE (Florida State)

Werner is the complete package at the defensive end position, which is exactly what a team with a struggling defense, like Detroit, needs.

This Seminoles star is quick enough to blast off the line and disrupt plays in the backfield, while strong and smart enough to squeeze the edge and contain the run.


6. Cleveland Browns: Dion Jordan, DE (Oregon)

The Browns defense may be on the up-and-up, but Jordan would be extremely tough for the organization to overlook here at No. 6.

This young man is an athletic freak that can line up all over the field, relentlessly get to the quarterback, make plays on the ball and even drop back into coverage. He’s exactly the type of prospect this improving D needs for the long haul.


7. Arizona Cardinals: Chance Warmack, Guard (Alabama)

The Cardinals' atrocious offensive line will be significantly better with the addition of Warmack.

After acquiring QB Carson Palmer, Arizona needs to bolster what was arguably the worst offensive front in the entire NFL last season. Warmack is the best guard prospect to come out in years and immediately improves both the running game and passing attack in the desert.


8. Buffalo Bills: Geno Smith, QB (West Virginia)

The Bills need a franchise quarterback, so they’ll go out and get one here at No. 8.

While Smith may need some work on his arm strength, he’s a smart player that gets the ball out quickly and extremely accurately. He’s a downright deadly passer that can squeeze the rock through tight windows, which shouldn’t be much of an issue in Buffalo.

Because the Bills’ running game is so dangerous, Smith will likely not be the primary focus for defenses. He’ll benefit from play-action passes and extra time to throw as a result.


9. New York Jets: Sharrif Floyd, DT (Florida)

The Jets need to fill some holes in their rushing defense, while also adding a player that can find his way to the quarterback in one-on-one coverage.

Floyd is the man for the job, as the big Florida product can hold his own against the run and even slip into the backfield to disrupt when he’s left alone.


10. Tennessee Titans: Ezekiel Ansah, DE (BYU)

Ansah will improve a Tennessee defensive front that looked a bit lethargic at times in 2012. This Senior Bowl MVP and scouting combine stud may be a bit raw, but he’s clearly improving rapidly and has all the upside you could ask for in a pass-rushing prospect.

Ziggy could even become the best defensive lineman on the Titans roster as soon as the 2013 campaign, assuming he pans out quickly.


11. San Diego Chargers: Lane Johnson, Tackle (Oklahoma)

Philip Rivers holds the keys to the Chargers' success in 2013, but he won’t be able to do anything with them if he’s peeling himself off the turf every other snap.

Johnson is a major upgrade at tackle and should be able to give the signal-caller plenty of time to make his reads, look off defenders and get the ball down the field.


12. Miami Dolphins: Desmond Trufant, CB (Washington)

Trufant is a high-upside corner that should be able to eventually earn a starting nod by next season. Brent Grimes and Richard Marshall will likely hold down the position this year, but Grimes is on a one-year deal and Marshall will be playing out the last year of his contract in 2014.


13. New York Jets (via Tampa Bay): Xavier Rhodes, CB (Florida State) 

The Jets traded Darrelle Revis to Tampa Bay in exchange for this selection, which the franchise should immediately use to nab another cornerback.

While the secondary wasn’t a major area of concern for Gang Green in 2012, surprising considering Revis’ injury, coach Rex Ryan can’t be sure that his squad will be as fortunate in 2013.

This 6’1” corner is an absolute beast of an athlete and would make a perfect fit across from Antonio Cromartie. The two would be able to shut down the biggest and fastest receivers in the league, allowing the Jets to concentrate on defending against the run—a huge weakness last season.


14. Carolina Panthers: Kenny Vaccaro, Safety (Texas)

The Panthers need to bolster the secondary by adding a reliable safety that can defend against the pass and come up to support the run.

Vaccaro is great at split decisions and an absolute playmaker due to his ability to see plays before they develop and react instantly with his sheer athleticism.


15. New Orleans Saints: Barkevious Mingo, DE (LSU)

The Saints trotted out one of the worst defenses in the history of the league last year, making a high-upside pass-rusher and potential run-defender like Mingo a lock if he’s still available.

New Orleans would love to send this young man off the edge into the backfield, while also using him to funnel runners toward the teeth of the defense—instead of bouncing it outside for big gains.


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

The Rams are a good receiver or two away from making some real noise in the NFC West.

While it’s going to be tough for this squad to compete with the 49ers and Seahawks, Austin’s presence will make things a bit easier. He’s a speed demon that is always a threat to break a big play.

He possesses the skills to make things happen both in the return game and out of the backfield.


17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jarvis Jones, LB (Georgia)

The Steelers direly need to rejuvenate the ailing and aging linebacker corps, a unit that was once one of the most feared in the league.

From the get-go, Jones would become one of the top tacklers on the team and make an impact as an occasional pass-rusher.


18. Dallas Cowboys: Jonathan Cooper, Guard (North Carolina)

With Tony Romo’s massive extension on the books, the team has to provide him with some running support and protection.

Cooper is the top-rated guard available and perfectly addresses both those areas of concern.


19. New York Giants: Sheldon Richardson, DT (Missouri)

Big Blue’s defensive line was a mess in 2012, a large reason why the team wasn’t able to defend its Super Bowl crown.

If the G-Men bring a run-stopping tackle like Richardson into the fold, their defensive ends and outside linebackers can get back to doing their job of putting relentless pressure on the quarterback.


20. Chicago Bears: Alec Ogletree, LB (Georgia)

The Bears need to invest in some young talent to cultivate at the linebacker position.

Ogletree is the top player on the big board at the position and fits perfectly in the Windy City, as he’s one of the best athletes, a phenomenal tackler and even a serviceable pass-rusher when he’s given the opportunity.


21. Cincinnati Bengals: Matt Elam, Safety (Florida)

The Bengals have to start locking down top receivers and taking the ball away from the opponent if they are going to make the step from token playoff team to actual contender.

Elam may be a bit of a reach here, but the Gators star can force fumbles, cause interceptions and help defend against the pass.


22. St. Louis Rams (via WAS): Arthur Brown, LB (Kansas State)

The Rams were vulnerable to the run in 2012, an area of concern that can be addressed by tabbing Brown at No. 22.

The K-State stud is an absolute beast that will not concede an inch once he makes contact with the ball-carrier.


23. Minnesota Vikings: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR (Tennessee) 

With Percy Harvin shipped to Seattle, the Vikings have to make a splash here and add a high-upside player to the receiving corps.

Patterson is definitely their man, as the Volunteers product has the size, athleticism, hands and ball skills to beat his defender and make plays all over the field.

While he has a thing or two to learn about separation, especially against top NFL cornerbacks, he could wind up becoming the top playmaker in this draft class and revitalizing the Vikings’ passing attack.


24. Indianapolis Colts: Damontre Moore, DE (Texas A&M)

Moore may not be the pure athlete that many thought he was, but roll the tape on this young man and you will see a productive pass-rusher and acceptable run-stopper.

He’s a great fit for the Colts, as this team needs all the help it can get along the defensive front.


25. Minnesota Vikings (via SEA): Manti Te’o, LB (Notre Dame)

The Vikings need to complement their strong defensive line play by nabbing an opportunistic linebacker.

Te’o is a safe pick, as the instinctive ILB can make plays on the ball and cover practically any short or intermediate route. He’s also a world-class tackler and run-stopper, two areas in which Minnesota could use his skills.


26. Green Bay Packers: Kawann Short, DT (Purdue)

Short will help keep double-teams off the best pass-rushers and run-stuffers in Green Bay.

He may not project as a superstar in the NFL, but he’s a gritty player that can do all the little things to make his teammates better.


27. Houston Texans: DeAndre Hopkins, WR (Clemson)

Hopkins is a solid receiver with good hands and the ability to take pressure off of Andre Johnson in the Houston passing game.

He may not have the high ceiling as some of these other WR prospects, but he’s a safe pick here at No. 27.


28. Denver Broncos: Alex Okafor, DE (Texas)

With Elvis Dumervil in Baltimore, the Broncos have a chance to bring a cheaper pass-rusher into the mix.

Okafor knows how to get into the backfield and will be extremely useful on passing downs this coming season.


29. New England Patriots: Keenan Allen, WR (California)

Don’t sleep on the Patriots continuing to add weapons for Tom Brady this offseason, as it seems TE Rob Gronkowski could potentially miss some time with forearm complications.

Allen is an electrifying wideout that brings much to the table and could immediately make highlight catches for big gains in this vertical offense.


30. Atlanta Falcons: Sylvester Williams, DT (North Carolina)

Osi Umenyiora’s presence (h/t) Jay Glazer added the pass-rusher this team needed. Now it needs to look toward the run defense.

The Falcons have the offensive firepower to win a Super Bowl, so beefing up the front seven has to be a priority. Williams is the best on the board and should have no problem clogging the lanes with his massive frame.


31. San Francisco 49ers: John Cyprien, Safety (Florida International)

The Niners have a ton of picks and plenty of room to maneuver around the board during the draft, but they could stay put if Cyprien is available.

This young man is a great playmaker with perfect size and instincts for the position. He could eventually nab a starting job and help this team make another run to the Super Bowl.


32. Baltimore Ravens: Kevin Minter, LB (LSU)

Minter is a consistent backer that has a nose for the football and was regularly found making plays for the Tigers during his tenure with the school.

He’s not going to replace the retired Ray Lewis’ veteran leadership, but Minter will make sure the team’s production doesn’t dip too far without the star linebacker lining up for the defending champs.


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