With the 2013 NFL draft nearly upon us, speculation is running rampant with regards to which teams are targeting which players. It's nearly impossible to tell what is legitimate and what is merely a smokescreen, but that is what makes this time of year so exciting.
The landscape of the draft is constantly changing, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers dealing the 13th-overall selection to the New York Jets in exchange for cornerback Darrelle Revis has shaken up mock drafts everywhere as one change can affect the entire first round.
Here is a full, first-round mock draft complete with the latest projections for every team in the first round, and including the updated draft order.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
The Chiefs have been linked to countless prospects at No. 1, but the obvious pick is Joeckel and they'll ultimately make the right decision by taking him.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
Jacksonville is in such disarray that it could go in a number of different directions, but the Jags will go for a home run by selecting the enigmatic Ansah.
3. Oakland Raiders: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
The case of Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd in this draft is certainly an interesting one. Floyd wasn't overly productive for the Gators and it can be argued that he wasn't exactly a game-changer either, but he has ideal measurables and impressed a lot of scouts at the combine and at his pro day as well. If there is one team out there that tends to bite when it comes to non-game performance, it's the Oakland Raiders.
It's clear that the Raiders have a major need at defensive tackle, so Floyd would make sense at No. 3 in one respect. At the same time, Star Lotulelei of Utah was a more productive player in college and he was considered the better prospect prior to the combine. There is an inherent risk in paying for potential rather than performance, and that is precisely what the Raiders will be doing if they go with Floyd at No. 3.
With that said, it seems very likely that Oakland is going in that direction. Perhaps it will work out and result in Floyd fulfilling his immense potential, but there are a lot of "ifs" involved. The Raiders would probably be best off trading down if at all possible so they can fill other holes and still get Lotulelei, but if they stay at No. 3, Floyd will probably be the selection.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon
The Eagles need personnel to fit their new 3-4 defense, and Jordan makes perfect sense as he played under head coach Chip Kelly at Oregon.
5. Detroit Lions: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Detroit would probably be happy with any of the top three offensive tackles in the draft, and especially Fisher, as the Lions have had plenty of opportunities to scout the Central Michigan product.
6. Cleveland Browns: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
It might behoove the Browns to trade out of this slot as they have so many holes on their roster, but they can't go wrong with a shutdown corner like Milliner.
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7. Arizona Cardinals: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
The Cardinals know that one of the elite offensive tackles will probably be there for them at No. 7, and Johnson is the one who is most likely to survive the gauntlet.
8. Buffalo Bills: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
While the Bills have a need at quarterback, they're best off waiting for a more talented class and taking a potent offensive weapon like Austin in the interim.
9. New York Jets: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU
Last year, the Jets defense lacked the bite that it possessed in previous seasons under Rex Ryan, so it's paramount to nab a relentless pass-rusher such as Mingo.
10. Tennessee Titans: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
The Titans don't have many glaring needs across the board, but Rhodes would be a logical selection in order to fill the void left by Cortland Finnegan.
11. San Diego Chargers: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
San Diego's window of opportunity has closed with regards to winning a Super Bowl, but Warmack could solidify the offensive line and make the Chargers as pesky team to play.
12. Miami Dolphins: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
The Dolphins intend to challenge the New England Patriots for the AFC East crown this season, but they'll need an anchor along the defensive line such as Lotulelei to do it.
13. New York Jets (via Tampa Bay): Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Things have certainly gotten a lot more interesting in the middle of the first round as the Jets acquired Tampa Bay's No. 13 overall pick in exchange for Revis. With the Jets filling one major need at No. 9 by taking Mingo, they have some options here. Taking a corner to replace Revis would make sense, but there isn't one worthy of this selection, so the Jets might as well swing for the fences and take the first quarterback of the 2013 draft.
West Virginia's Geno Smith could conceivably go anywhere in the first round and possibly even fall to the second. There aren't many teams that are actively seeking quarterbacks, and while it seems like the Jets are oddly content with Mark Sanchez under center, that simply can't be the case. Sanchez is a train wreck, David Garrard isn't the answer and Tim Tebow could very well be cut, so there is absolutely room for a guy like Smith on the roster.
There's no point in suffering through another year with Sanchez because it's blatantly obvious that he isn't the answer. Smith has some question marks of his own, but at least he's accurate and has the capability to make big plays unlike Sanchez. Gang Green's fans desperately need something to get excited about, and Smith should spark what has become a dejected fanbase.
14. Carolina Panthers: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
Unless an elite prospect falls, it almost seems like a given that the Panthers will select Richardson in order to rectify their porous run defense.
15. New Orleans Saints: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
Offense wasn't the problem for the Saints last season, so they would be wise to take a pass-rusher like Jones to improve their new 3-4 defense.
16. St. Louis Rams: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
The Rams have a couple of glaring needs and there is absolutely no question that the main hole is at safety, so Vaccaro is an obvious pick at this juncture.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
While the Steelers would probably love to grab a pass-rusher to replace the departed James Harrison, the top ones are off the board and Eifert could replace the injured Heath Miller at tight end.
18. Dallas Cowboys: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
The Cowboys need to do everything possible in order to protect quarterback Tony Romo, and Fluker would give them impressive bookends along the offensive line.
19. New York Giants: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
No team rotates pass-rushers quite like the Giants, so New York would be an ideal landing spot for a talented prospect such as Werner.
20. Chicago Bears: Jonathan Cooper, OG, UNC
The Bears' biggest issue over the past couple seasons has been keeping their offensive skill position players healthy, and Cooper's blocking should help them in that regard.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Matt Elam, S, Florida
Cincinnati has a fantastic defense, but there is a definite weakness at safety, so Elam is a perfect fit even if it is somewhat of a reach at No. 21.
22. St. Louis Rams (via Washington): Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
The Rams are in great position in this draft as they have a couple of big needs and two first-round selections to fill them. After taking Vaccaro at No. 16, St. Louis absolutely must do something about the wide receiver position. Quarterback Sam Bradford certainly hasn't lived up to his lofty draft status thus far, but he can't be expected to take the next step and reach the next level if he has no competent pass-catchers on the roster.
Their receiver situation was rough last year and it's even worse now as Danny Amendola signed with the New England Patriots and Brandon Gibson signed with the Miami Dolphins. That leaves the Rams with very few proven options at the position. Bradford needs a guy who can stretch the field, keep the defense honest and open up things underneath, and that is what Tennessee wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson should be able to do.
While Patterson really only has one year of collegiate production under his belt, he proved to be a dynamic playmaker, which is something the Rams lack. There is some risk in taking Patterson as he hasn't shown that he can get the job done over a significant period of time, but he has enough talent to warrant the No. 22 selection.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia
The Vikings desperately need some playmakers behind their defensive line, and Ogletree is a guy who can run around and make some plays at the linebacker position.
24. Indianapolis Colts: Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
Indy appears to be in a transitional period when it comes to the defensive front seven, which makes Jones an ideal fit along the defensive line.
25. Minnesota Vikings (via Seattle): Sylvester Williams, DT, UNC
The interior of Minnesota's defensive line is aging rapidly, so Williams can step in, start and contribute in a major way from day one.
26. Green Bay Packers: Margus Hunt, DE, SMU
Green Bay got very little production from its 3-4 defensive ends last season, but Hunt has immense potential and could be a very special player if he develops.
27. Houston Texans: Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
The Texans needed a receiving complement for Andre Johnson five years ago and the need still stands, so Hunter would make a lot of sense here.
28. Denver Broncos: Cornellius "Tank" Carradine, DE, Florida State
With Elvis Dumervil signing in Baltimore, the Broncos desperately need to add some depth to the defensive line, and Carradine would be a big help in that regard.
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29. New England Patriots: Keenan Allen, WR, California
The Patriots have some great weapons in the form of Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and Danny Amendola, but there is no outside receiving threat on the roster, so Allen has to be on their radar.
30. Atlanta Falcons: Arthur Brown, OLB, Kansas State
Atlanta was very close to representing the NFC in the Super Bowl last season and there aren't many needs on the roster, but the Falcons can afford to improve the linebacker position with Brown.
31. San Francisco 49ers: John Cyprien, S, Florida International
The 49ers have more picks in this draft than they know what to do with, so they might as well get their biggest need out of the way early by taking a safety such as Cyprien.
32. Baltimore Ravens: Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame
Te'o is very much in danger of falling outside the first round, but the Ravens need to replace Ray Lewis and will point to Te'o as the guy who can do it.
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