Although the 2013 NFL draft class doesn't feature much star power, its depth combined with the fact there should be multiple twists and turns in Round 1 makes up for it. The uncertainty should make for a memorable opening night from start to finish.
One thing to keep in mind over the next day leading up to the first pick is that most of the reports that don't come directly from a team must be taken with a grain of salt. There's a lot of work going on behind the scenes which makes for a lot of headlines, but it's almost impossible to separate fact from fiction.
All the gamesmanship simply adds to the draft atmosphere. Here's a look at an updated mock draft of the opening round with a closer look at three selections that have changed recently, which are denoted by italics.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Although the Chiefs have multiple voids to fill, Joeckel remained in the top spot throughout most of the draft process because he's a rare safe pick in a class with plenty of question marks.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon
Upgrading the pass rush should be Jacksonville's top priority heading into the draft. There are no shortage of edge rushers available, but Jordan holds a slight edge over the rest.
3. Oakland Raiders: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Few prospects in the draft feature more natural, raw talent than Floyd. If he can turn that into ability at the next level, he will be a major piece of the Oakland defense. The Raiders like high-upside players.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
The Eagles are the first major turning point of the opening round. They could go at least three different directions with the fourth pick. Ultimately, Lotulelei seems like the best option, beating out an offensive tackle or an outside pass-rusher.
Lotulelei is an extremely intriguing prospect. His combination of quickness and strength is what every team searches for in a defensive tackle. He also illustrated an ability to completely take over games at the collegiate level.
There are concerns about his inability to showcase those talents on a weekly basis, but if he can develop some consistency at the next level, he has all the tools to become a top tackle. The fact he was medically cleared (via CBS Sports) pushes him back into the top five.
5. Detroit Lions: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
The Lions should sport one of the league's most explosive offenses. Questions along the offensive line could derail those plans, which means taking Fisher would be a wise investment.
6. Cleveland Browns: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
It would be a surprise if the Browns let Milliner get past this pick. He's the top corner in the class and would form a rock-solid combo on the outside with Joe Haden.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
One reason Arizona has gone through so much trouble finding a reliable quarterback is the lack of protection. A mediocre one behind a shaky line is a recipe for disaster. Johnson is a quality prospect.
8. Buffalo Bills: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
The Bills shouldn't draft a quarterback here. Wide receiver is an equally big need and Austin presents more value than any QB in the class. He's exactly the type of downfield threat the offense needs.
9. New York Jets: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU
By acquiring another pick in the opening round, New York can afford to take Mingo here. He's a talented prospect that could become a huge star in the Jets' system, but needs some time to develop.
10. Tennessee Titans: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
If the Titans are going to make a playoff charge, it will be with Chris Johnson playing an Adrian Peterson-like role on offense. Building a better line in front of him is the next step.
11. San Diego Chargers: Jonathan Cooper, OG, UNC
It's reached a point where it appears the Chargers are going to select the top available offensive lineman with this pick. Under this scenario, that would be Cooper. D.J. Fluker is the other option.
12. Miami Dolphins: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
The Dolphins are yet another team that could go with an offensive lineman. But corner is also a need and Rhodes represents really good value at this point in the round.
13. New York Jets (via TB): Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
The long-term answer to the Jets' quarterback woes isn't on the roster. Mark Sanchez has been given more than enough chances to prove himself and the three players behind him on the depth chart haven't shown the ability or durability necessary to hold down the job.
Since New York now has two picks in the first round, it has the flexibility to take Smith here. Although there's been some talk about other quarterbacks overtaking him by draft day, he's still the best overall prospect at the position.
The Jets wouldn't be forced to throw him right into the starting lineup, which would allow for him to go through a more natural progression. By the time Sanchez and Co. have worn out their welcome next season, Smith should be ready for game action.
14. Carolina Panthers: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
For a round that features so many different possibilities, Richardson to the Panthers has been in place for a while. It's a good fit for both sides and the Missouri product can make a quick impact.
15. New Orleans Saints: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
The potential reward involved with selecting Jones outweighs any risk by the middle of Round 1. The collegiate star could finally help New Orleans start to turn around its struggling defense.
16. St. Louis Rams: Kenny Vaccaro, FS, Texas
It took a little longer than expected, but Vaccaro is finally generating the buzz that's usually associated with the top player at a shallow position. He's a good fit for the Rams.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
Ansah could easily be selected in the top 10, but the number of pass-rushers available means at least a couple are going to slide. It works out well for the Steelers, who need some reinforcements.
18. Dallas Cowboys: Sylvester Williams, DT, UNC
After being viewed as a fringe first-round prospect for most of the draft process, Williams is making a late move up the board. The Cowboys certainly need to bulk up in the trenches.
19. New York Giants: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Like the Steelers, the Giants should benefit from a deep group of pass rushers by selecting one that falls into their lap. In this case it would be Werner, who was once a top-five mock selection.
20. Chicago Bears: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
Chicago is one team that could go a myriad of different ways with its pick. Ultimately, it would be hard for the Bears to pass on a prospect like Fluker should he fall this far.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Eric Reid, FS, LSU
The Bengals are probably hoping Vaccaro is still on the board, but that doesn't seem likely. Reid is a solid backup plan who's ready to step right into the lineup.
22. St. Louis Rams (via WSH): Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
It's time for St. Louis to get Sam Bradford some help. Taking a wide receiver with one of its two picks in Round 1 is a must. Patterson has the dynamic playmaking ability the offense has lacked recently.
23. Minnesota Vikings: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
Although the Vikings are going to remain a run-heavy team, they are still in need of a No. 2 receiver. Hopkins isn't generating much hype, but he's a very good all-around talent.
24. Indianapolis Colts: Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
Finding somebody to play opposite Robert Mathis should be Indianapolis' goal in the first round. Jones is versatile enough to fit the Colts' scheme and is the best rusher on the board.
25. Minnesota Vikings (via SEA): Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame
The landing spot for Te'o will be one of the major talking points of the opening round. He failed to help his stock during the combine, which limits how high he can go. He would definitely fall in the category of somebody who's a better football player than natural athlete.
Minnesota has emerged as a logical fit. The Vikings are in need of an inside linebacker and were able to fill their biggest need (wide receiver) with their first pick in the round. It opens the door to take a chance on Te'o with hope he can make a major impact on the defense like he did at Notre Dame.
The college star is capable of playing strong run defense right out of the gate. Only through training camp and preseason games will they find out if he can handle passing-down duties in his first season. Either way, he should be a solid addition for the Vikings.
26. Green Bay Packers: Arthur Brown, OLB, Kansas State
Brown is a linebacker capable of playing on the inside or the outside. He's shown the ability to make plays from sideline to sideline, which is exactly what the Packers need.
27. Houston Texans: Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
It seems like the Texans are finally ready to finding a second receiver to help Andre Johnson after ignoring the issue for far too long. Hunter is the top wideout left on the board.
28. Denver Broncos: Cornellius Carradine, DE, Florida State
After being pegged as a second-round prospect for a majority of the process, Carradine could sneak into the bottom portion of Round 1. The Broncos have enough depth to take a chance on him.
29. New England Patriots: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
Trufant could go earlier in the round, but it's tough finding the right fit. If he does slide to the Patriots, the team should take him in a heartbeat given the ongoing secondary concerns.
30. Atlanta Falcons: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
The increased importance of tight end's should help Eifert's stock, but probably not as drastically as he would hope. The Falcons definitely need to secure the future of the position.
31. San Francisco 49ers: Jonathan Cyprien, SS, FIU
While San Francisco's defense was reliable throughout the regular season last year, some flaws were exposed in the playoffs. Cyprien would add some much-needed depth to the defensive backfield.
32. Baltimore Ravens: Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU
Finding an inside linebacker to replace Ray Lewis is going to be a long-term task. All the Ravens can do it take the best player available at the position, Minter, and hope he produces at a reasonable level.
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