Day 1 of the 2013 NFL draft has finally arrived and the wait is all but over.
And in light of the draft later on Thursday, another full first-round mock is set to break down.
Where do the Chiefs finally go at No. 1 overall? Which athletes get selected sooner than anticipated? What prospects end up falling further than expected?
To that end, let's check out how it all unravels when Kansas City goes on the clock.
Note: Highlighted players in italics.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, Tackle (Texas A&M)
The overall talent of Luke Joeckel makes Kansas City a postseason contender. He’ll dominate the edge when pass-blocking and brings the initial quickness to extend running lanes. Jamaal Charles then sees enhanced numbers and the Chiefs field excellent balance.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Star Lotulelei, DT (Utah)
In a run-oriented division the Jaguars struggled along the defensive line. Star Lotulelei’s lateral agility and power, though, will stifle blockers at the snap to close gaps. He also brings the reactionary skills to get quick interior quarterback pressure.
3. Oakland Raiders: Dee Milliner, CB (Alabama)
Oakland’s defense can make some great strides in 2013 with Dee Milliner isolating half the field. He’s a physical corner that will jam up receivers in Cover 1 and 2, as well as get off blocks to defend the run. This impact simply allows for more blitz calls and the safeties to help on the opposite side.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Eric Fisher, Tackle (Central Michigan)
The offensive philosophy of Chip Kelly requires a complete lineman. Eric Fisher is the perfect answer, because he’s a force when run-blocking and possesses rock solid pass protection skills. Ultimately, that cuts down Philadelphia’s turnovers and helps maintain balance.
5. Detroit Lions: Bjoern Werner, DE (Florida State)
Detroit’s lackluster run defense was a vehement disadvantage in 2012. So, a quick fix comes from Bjoern Werner who supplies the assignment discipline to squeeze the edge. As a result, Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley collapse the inner gaps and the ‘backers make more plays at the line.
6. Cleveland Browns: Dion Jordan, DE (Oregon)
Presenting a better pass rush will propel Cleveland into the playoff picture.
The shear athleticism of Dion Jordan will defeat single blocks on the outside, but he can also slip underneath to collapse the pocket. At the very least, Jordan controlling the perimeter provides more turnover opportunities for the secondary.
Last season, Cleveland managed only 17 interceptions, but did record 38 sacks. With Jordan rushing the passer, though, the amount of duress on the quarterback increases to force ill-advised throws.
Between 2011 and 2012 he accounted for 23.5 tackles for loss and created four fumbles. Oregon wasn't the most dominant of defensive fronts, but Jordan's impact controlled his side and that will transition to Cleveland.
Combine his size and explosiveness and Jordan helps the Browns field one tough front seven.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Chance Warmack, Guard (Alabama)
Chance Warmack fits perfectly in the NFC West. It’s a physical division that relies on winning the battle up front and that’s exactly what Arizona missed in 2012. Warmack’s forte is to punish defenses in the trenches, but he also has the footwork and strength to secure the interior of the pocket.
8. Buffalo Bills: Geno Smith, QB (West Virginia)
Geno Smith possesses solid decision-making skills and the accuracy to spread the field. Even better, he won’t be the focal point of Buffalo’s offense as C.J. Spiller will punch the gut of every front seven. Smith’s addition simply gives the Bills a more capable passing attack to work consistently off play action.
9. New York Jets: Sharrif Floyd, DT (Florida)
Sharrif Floyd is a force within the trenches to wreck the backfield. And the Jets need him to field a more suffocating front seven. Gang Green was outworked along the line last season and with Floyd slipping blocks, New York controls more up front in 2013.
10. Tennessee Titans: Ezekiel Ansah, DE (BYU)
The Titans had a sound pass rush last year, but need more production from the defensive line. Ezekiel Ansah brings the quickness to rush any gap to complement Akeem Ayers and Zach Brown. He’ll also stalemate blockers at the line against the run, which gets Tennessee in more favorable positions on second and third down.
11. San Diego Chargers: Lane Johnson, Tackle (Oklahoma)
The athleticism of Lane Johnson is easily his most marketable aspect for the Chargers.
At the combine he smashed the drills by clocking 4.72 seconds on the 40-yard dash, 4.52 on the 20-yard shuttle, 7.31 on the three cone drill and exploding to 118 inches on the broad jump. So, it's not surprising that Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones was sacked a mere 23 times between 2011 and 2012.
A major part of the Sooners' aerial onslaught is because of Johnson's ability to consistently seal the blindside. He'll do wonders for Philip Rivers as a rookie. The Bolts gave up 49 sacks in 2012 and Rivers still completed 64.1 percent of his throws.
Mesh that with better pass protection and San Diego will feature a much more capable passing attack. In addition, Johnson's balance and footwork bodes well to establish a ground game.
With the pocket protection improved and Rivers spreading the field, defenses won't focus on stopping Ryan Mathews. In short, the Chargers find great balance in 2013 and Johnson's talent develops as a key reason.
12. Miami Dolphins: Desmond Trufant, CB (Washington)
Even with the addition of Brent Grimes (via Mike Garafolo of the USA Today), Desmond Trufant enters Miami’s secondary to complete the coverage. Trufant’s ball skills and explosiveness are great for Cover 1, not to mention pressing in Cover 2 and assisting versus the run.
13. New York Jets (via Tampa Bay): Xavier Rhodes, CB (Florida State)
The Jets landed Tampa Bay’s Round 1 pick through the Darrelle Revis trade according to the Buccaneers’ Twitter feed:
Yes! It's officially a done deal: Darrelle Revis is a Buccaneer! Bucs trade 2013 1st-rounder and conditional 2014 4th or 3rd to Jets.— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@TBBuccaneers) April 21, 2013
That said, taking Xavier Rhodes is a good filler at cornerback. His size and short-area explosiveness will isolate in man coverage, as well as help with perimeter run support.
How does Carolina's 2013 regular season finish?
14. Carolina Panthers: Kenny Vaccaro, Safety (Texas)
Struggling in coverage and competing in a pass-first division puts a limit on Carolina’s potential. Therefore, the Panthers need Kenny Vaccaro to shield at the intermediate level. This impact allows for more blitzes, which complements the defensive line and ultimately generates more turnovers.
15. New Orleans Saints: Barkevious Mingo, DE (LSU)
Marginal improvement from the defense will get New Orleans reentered in the postseason race. With the offense to push the pace, the defense selecting in-state prospect Barkevious Mingo spruces up the front seven courtesy of great acceleration and awareness to monitor the perimeter.
16. St. Louis Rams: Tavon Austin, WR (West Virginia)
Certainly one of the draft’s most explosive players, Tavon Austin will contribute as receiver, running back and return specialist. At its core, the impact from Austin significantly helps St. Louis win the field position battle and sustain offensive balance.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jarvis Jones, LB (Georgia)
Pittsburgh recorded 37 sacks in 2012, which is not terrible.
That said, it is uncharacteristic of the Steelers, a defense known for constantly menacing quarterbacks and generating turnovers. Plus, only 10 interceptions were snagged and that restricted Pittsburgh's odds of winning the field position battle.
Therefore, the Steelers rebound in 2013 with Georgia's Jarvis Jones. He's a nightmare for blocking schemes, because Jones amassed 44 tackles for loss and forced nine fumbles for the Bulldogs in two seasons.
With the instant reactionary skills to beat linemen at the snap, Jones will quickly impact to soon draw double-teams. As a result, the rest of Pittsburgh's front seven takes advantage of favorable blocking mismatches to get pressure.
More sacks are then collected, as well as turnovers created to provide the offense with additional possessions. Not to mention better field position.
18. Dallas Cowboys: Jonathan Cooper, Guard (North Carolina)
Until Dallas establishes a running game the Cowboys won’t contest for January. Jonathan Cooper is a beast for drive-blocking defenders at the snap, which in turn, immediately creates polished lanes. A by-product of that enhances the threat of play action, and Big D finds impressive balance to move efficiently.
19. New York Giants: Sheldon Richardson, DT (Missouri)
A tougher run defense gets New York back into the playoff discussion. Adding Sheldon Richardson presents a fast defensive tackle to track from the backside and eventually draw double-teams. As a result, Big Blue receives more production from Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck to suffocate the line.
20. Chicago Bears: Alec Ogletree, LB (Georgia)
Chicago bringing in Alec Ogletree addresses its ability to expand the blitz package. Doing so helps field an even more dominant run defense and lets the secondary play more press coverage. Factor Ogletree’s instincts when simply reacting and the Bears halt drives early to win the field position battle.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Matt Elam, Safety (Florida)
Upgrading the secondary with Matt Elam increases Cincinnati’s odds of making a deep playoff run. His reliable playmaking skill set shields in zone at all levels, plus Elam has the body control to blanket in man coverage to complement the front seven.
22. St. Louis Rams (via WAS): Arthur Brown, LB (Kansas State)
St. Louis will be in the postseason mix. But drafting Arthur Brown puts the Rams in better position. Already presenting a stellar defensive line, St. Louis utilizes Brown’s quick instincts and lateral movement to fill lanes, as well as isolate tight ends and slot receivers in coverage. If anything, he develops as a nice addition next to James Laurinaitis and Jo-Lonn Dunbar at the second level.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR (Tennessee)
The Vikings won’t be a pass-oriented offense this season, but lining Cordarrelle Patterson out wide will occupy the secondary. Courtesy of excellent quickness and route running, Patterson’s impact gives Minnesota balance and forces a defense to honor the play-action pass. Obviously that also allows Adrian Peterson to face fewer defenders in the box.
24. Indianapolis Colts: Damontre Moore, DE (Texas A&M)
The 2012 campaign was one impressive turnaround for the Colts. Going from 2-14 to 11-5 and making the playoffs warrants high praise.
But for Indianapolis to avoid flopping in 2013 it must address the defensive front.
In the midst of a miraculous run toward the postseason, Indy significantly lacked a pass rush (only 32 sacks), run defense (allowed 5.1 yards per carry) and hardly generated any turnovers (forced just six fumbles).
So, drastically enhancing the front line of defense is Damontre Moore of Texas A&M. During his tenure for the Aggies, Moore racked up 45 tackles for loss, forced eight fumbles and collected 26.5 sacks.
His knack for defeating single blocks from the snap will apply immediate quarterback pressure. Also, Moore's lateral quickness and instincts will track down from the backside and close lanes playside. Include the Colts' improved secondary and Moore's impact helps generate turnovers by winning the battle up front.
25. Minnesota Vikings (via SEA): Manti Te’o, LB (Notre Dame)
The Vikings are the final team with another first-rounder, after the Percy Harvin trade according to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports. And with it, Minnesota opts for Manti Te’o. A solid playmaker between the tackles, Te’o will benefit from the strong defensive line with clean paths against the run. Include his coverage awareness and Te’o shells the second level to increase forced turnovers.
26. Green Bay Packers: Kawann Short, DT (Purdue)
The Packers electing for Kawann Short provides an immense boost to the run defense. Short is among the best around at crashing the backfield, and Green Bay won’t last long in January without stuffing the run. By the same token, Short knows how to pass rush and that develops as a strong complement to Clay Matthews.
27. Houston Texans: DeAndre Hopkins, WR (Clemson)
DeAndre Hopkins is a big deep threat receiver to push a secondary on its heels. Houston needs him to act as Andre Johnson’s sidekick. Well, this duo definitely bolsters the Texans’ passing game, but more importantly, prevents a defense from constantly stacking the box versus Arian Foster.
28. Denver Broncos: Alex Okafor, DE (Texas)
Although Elvis Dumervil bolted for Baltimore, (via Mike Klis of the Denver Post) the Broncos find a replacement in Alex Okafor. Supplying a quick jump at the snap, Okafor increases the pass rush and wins the immediate point of attack. Von Miller then produces more and Denver continues dominating the trenches.
29. New England Patriots: Keenan Allen, WR (California)
New England must get Tom Brady a standout No. 1 receiver to capitalize after it establishes the run. Keenan Allen offers this capability, because his size and leaping talent becomes an advantage on play action and inside the red zone.
30. Atlanta Falcons: Sylvester Williams, DT (North Carolina)
Atlanta is teetering on the edge of taking over the NFC. Getting more physical along the defensive line will make that happen with Sylvester Williams, a defensive tackle that has a knack for disrupting blocking schemes. With Osi Umenyiora on board—per Jay Glazer—Williams never gets double-teamed and smashes the backfield to take pressure off the linebackers and secondary.
31. San Francisco 49ers: John Cyprien, Safety (Florida International)
Ever since Dashon Goldson jumped ship to Tampa Bay in free agency, as reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, San Francisco has needed to replenish at safety. Well, John Cyprien possesses the wherewithal in coverage to make plays on the ball, not to mention help against the run. And his size and athleticism alone will isolate tight ends and slot receivers one-on-one.
32. Baltimore Ravens: Robert Woods, WR (USC)
Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones will continue to stretch the field. So, Baltimore has to find an underneath target for Joe Flacco in Robert Woods. Possessing the initial quickness to win against man coverage, Woods is also capable of adjusting mid-route to split zones. Flacco's efficiency then increases and the Ravens generate even more balance.