NFL Mock Draft 2013: Last-Minute Predictions for Entire First Round
The unpredictability is about to finally come to an end.
This year, there is no Andrew Luck. There is no Robert Griffin III. There isn't even a Trent Richardson. With no clear-cut superstar, the outlook of the first round has been shaken up more times than a James Bond martini, and I'm pretty sure the teams themselves still don't really know what they are going to do.
Nevertheless, after months of scouring scouting reports, reading an endless line of mock drafts and getting engulfed in heated debates, fans and media will be able to put all the speculation to rest on Thursday.
Let's take one final projection at the unpredictable first round.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
While there a number of different ways the Chiefs could go here, the feeling for a while has been that Luke Joeckel will be the pick.
Joeckel had a tremendous season protecting Heisman quarterback Johnny Manziel, and he only continued to back it up with impressive workouts and a terrific Pro Day.
With new head coach Andy Reid at the helm, this may be the most sure pick of the draft.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
There will be pressure to replace Blaine Gabbert, but with a relatively weak quarterback class, the Jaguars will likely give the incumbent one more year before drafting his replacement.
That still leaves a number of options, as Dion Jordan and Sharrif Floyd would both give the Jaguars a needed injection of ferocity to a defensive line that accrued a measly 20 sacks last season.
Nevertheless, rebuilding starts on the offensive line, and Eric Fisher has the ability to hold down the left tackle spot for a very long time.
3. Oakland Raiders: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
With the exception of Matt Flynn and Rashad Jennings, the Raiders have zeroed in on addressing their defense this offseason—by my count, nine signings already on that side of the ball.
Look for that to continue with the addition of Sharrif Floyd. His production at Florida was a little underwhelming, but he's a perfect fit in a 4-3 defense and has the tools to make an impact right away.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon
Lane Johnson will get a long look here, as will Star Lotulelei, but it will be too hard to pass up the most dangerous edge rusher in the draft.
Last year, the Eagles managed just 30 sacks and eight interceptions, both of which ranked near the bottom of the league. Adding the electric Dion Jordan will not only directly improve the former, but it will also indirectly help the latter.
5. Detroit Lions: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
The Lions will be hoping Jordan—who is a fit as a 4-3 defensive end, as well as a 3-4 OLB—falls to them, and if he doesn't, I wouldn't be surprised if they looked to trade back.
If not, Johnson certainly isn't a bad backup plan, as he has the look of a star left tackle in the future. He and Riley Reiff, who has flexibility across the line, could anchor that line for a long time.
6. Cleveland Browns: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
The Browns have young weapons on offense, some stars on defense in Joe Haden and D'Qwell Jackson and have added Paul Kruger and Quentin Groves through free agency.
Some worry about Dee Milliner's health issues, but he is still the consensus No. 1 corner in the draft, and shouldn't see his stock slip.
Pairing the former Alabama star with Joe Haden and moving Buster Skrine to the slot would take this secondary to the next level.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
The Cardinals have surprisingly ignored their shaky offensive line in the offseason, but that just means they won't reach for one with this prime pick.
If Fisher and Johnson are off the board, look for them to go with Star Lotulelei, who is healthy and has the talent to be the No. 1 overall pick.
New head coach Bruce Arians is an offensive guy, but it will difficult to pass on a player of Lotulelei's caliber at this spot.
8. Buffalo Bills: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
The Bills went out and added Kevin Kolb in the offseason, but he is not the answer for the future. Neither is Tarvaris Jackson. Or Aaron Corp.
Syracuse's Ryan Nassib is quickly gaining steam here, but Geno Smith has always been the No. 1 guy, and I don't think the recent talk of his diminishing stock is warranted.
9. New York Jets: Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
Who will record the most sacks as a rookie?
With the Jets now in complete rebuild mode, it's time to find some playmakers on both sides of the ball who will inject some energy into the game.
Look no further than Mingo, who has the lightning-fast speed and impressive athleticism to cause havoc in the backfield.
10. Tennessee Titans: Ezekiel Ansah, BYU, DE
Chance Warmack is an option here, but the Titans signed Andy Levitre and Robert Turner in the offseason, meaning they are likely to look elsewhere with this first pick.
Ansah is versatile, but he's much more dangerous in a 4-3 scheme like this one. The Titans pass rush is already good, but this selection would transform it into scary.
11. San Diego Chargers: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
The Chargers have done well to address a mediocre offensive line in the offseason, but I wouldn't be surprised if they continued to bulk up the interior.
Chance Warmack is undoubtedly the best guard in this draft, and he has been rocketing up draft boards as a result.
12. Miami Dolphins: Tank Carradine, DE, Florida State
The Dolphins are a good bet to trade out of this pick, but if they stay put, I've got them surprising with the in-state pick of Tank Carradine.
The former Seminole recently put to rest any questions about his health with this jaw-dropping workout:
And now his stock is quickly rising. The uber-talented pass-rusher is going to go much earlier than most expect.
13. New York Jets: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
Many believe the Jets will look to add a cornerback with the pick they acquired in the Darrelle Revis trade, but as I mentioned before, they should be in the market for exciting playmakers.
Austin, who might not even fall this far, is an explosive athlete with the skill set to catch the ball out of the slot, lineup at running back or return kicks.
14. Carolina Panthers: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
It's widely assumed at this point that the Panthers will take a defensive tackle, and while North Carolina's Sylvester Williams will get a look, Richardson's production speaks for itself.
In two seasons with the Tigers, he racked up 112 total tackles, 18.5 for a loss and 6.0 sacks. Combine that with his skill set, and you've got a pretty safe pick at this point.
15. New Orleans Saints: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
With the switch to a 3-4 defense, the Saints will be looking for an edge pass-rusher who can not only fit the new scheme, but can take some of the pressure off the beatable secondary.
I'd say Jarvis Jones, who racked up 24.5 tackles for loss, 14.5 sacks and forced seven fumbles as the most dangerous defensive player in college last season, fits that description.
16. St. Louis Rams: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
After losing Danny Amendola to the New England Patriots, the St. Louis Rams' starting wide receivers are now Brian Quick, Austin Pettis and Chris Givens.
There is some potential there, but no true No. 1.
Patterson has some issues, but he is a freakish athlete with the size, leaping ability and lightning-fast speed to give Sam Bradford a true top target.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
The Steelers could use a youth movement on the defensive side of the ball, but they learned last year about the important purpose that depth on the offensive line serves.
How the opening picks play out will dictate this selection, but if D.J. Fluker drops this far, the Steelers will snatch him up quicker than a bear snatches garbage out of a dumpster.
18. Dallas Cowboys: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
The 'Boys struggled to run the ball with consistency last season, and Nate Livings isn't getting any younger.
Guard should be the pick here, especially if Cooper—who has the athleticism to get upfield and around the corner on sweeps—is still available.
19. New York Giants: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
Corey Webster is solid, but starting to get older. Prince Amukamara is a breakout candidate, but hasn't yet lived up to his draft-day billing. Terrell Thomas is attempting to return from his third torn ACL.
The Giants, who continually gave up big plays last season, need depth on the outside, and Xavier Rhodes' physicality makes him a terrific fit.
20. Chicago Bears: Alec Ogletree, OLB, Georgia
The Bears don't have a ton of obvious holes, but they would be well served to add a young linebacker after replacing Brian Urlacher with 30-year-old D.J. Williams.
Alec Ogletree is a polarizing prospect, but some believe he is good enough to go in the top 10.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
There's a very good chance Kenny Vaccaro fails to slip this far, but if he does, the Bengals should be ecstatic.
Cincinnati needs a safety, and the Texas star has oozing talent as the draft's top safety.
22. St. Louis Rams (via Redskins): Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International
The Rams have a dangerous pass rush, solid linebackers and an elite cornerback tandem on the outside. Grabbing a safety will complete Jeff Fisher's defense.
Cyprien has been garnering heaps of positive buzz over the past few weeks. He has the talent to contribute right away.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
The Vikings could look to add another weapon in the receiving game across from Greg Jennings, but cornerback is also a position of need.
With Trufant still on the board, they won't hesitate in adding the physical, fluid athlete.
24. Indianapolis Colts: Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
Although the Colts have made several additions on defense this offseason, I fully expect them to continue to bolster that side of the ball.
Jones is technically a defensive end, but he has the versatility to play across the line in Indianapolis' 3-4 defense. His production was impressive at UCLA, and he would be a nice addition to this young squad.
25. Minnesota Vikings (from Seattle): Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
After grabbing Trufant two picks earlier, the Vikings can look to bolster the interior of their 4-3 defense.
Not only is Sylvester Williams a good value here, but the Vikings have a good track record with defensive tackles with the same last name. So, there's that.
26. Green Bay Packers: Keenan Allen, WR, California
The Packers don't have a ton of needs, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to add a wide receiver with Greg Jennings gone and James Jones hitting free agency next year.
Keenan Allen is an underrated talented who would explode in this offense.
27. Houston Texans: Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
The Texans also need a wide receiver, as the depth behind Andre Johnson is underwhelming at best.
Hunter is a game changer who could instantly take some of the focus off of Houston's superstar.
28. Denver Broncos: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
The Broncos led the NFL in sacks last year, but with Elvis Dumervil departed due to fax machine issues, they could stand to add a playmaker on the outside.
Werner has a combination of quickness and strength that allow him to get into the backfield with consistency.
29. New England Patriots: Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State
Aqib Talib is freshly inked, but the Pats could still use some depth on the outside.
Jamar Taylor doesn't have elite size, but he is magnificent in coverage and has the versatile skills to make an impact for Bill Belichick right off the bat.
30. Atlanta Falcons: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
I think the Falcons will be hoping for Taylor to fall to them, but they'll settle for the next best corner on the board.
31. San Francisco 49ers: Eric Reid, S, LSU
Dashon Goldson is gone, and Craig Dahl isn't the long-term answer in his void.
Eric Reid has been climbing up draft boards, and he has the combination of agility and strength to be a terrific fit in San Francisco's physical defense.
32. Baltimore Ravens: Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State
Not only are the Ravens going to be in the market for a linebacker to replace Ray Lewis, but Arthur Brown is a terrific value at this spot.
The from Kansas State star has sideline-to-sideline speed, instincts and terrific open field tackling. I wouldn't be surprised if he went 10 picks before this.
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