2013 NFL Mock Draft: Complete 1st-Round Picks and Analysis
Over the past few years, the NFL draft has become a quasi-sport of its own.
With thousands of mock drafts, podcasts and television shows dedicated to the seven-round selection process, the draft is more popular than ever.
Although it's tough to project how teams will finish before a single down has been played, it's always fun to take an early look at the first-round possibilities for 2013.
That being said, here's my ultimately inaccurate, but best-fit look at next year's draft.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
With the first pick in the 2013 NFL draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars select...Tyler Wilson. And so ends the Blaine Gabbert experiment.
Ultimately, Gabbert's poor pocket presence and inaccuracy will end his brief reign as the Jaguars' starting quarterback.
By selecting Wilson, the Jaguars will finally find their franchise quarterback. The 6'3", 220-pounder had a tremendous junior season, leading the SEC with 3,638 yards and a 24:6 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
Although Wilson lost receivers Greg Childs, Jarius Wright and Joe Adams to the draft, he's talented enough to overcome their departure and ascend to the top of the draft.
2. Indianapolis Colts: Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
With Chuck Pagano putting his stamp on the Indianapolis Colts, the team's defense will have a whole new look in 2012.
For over a decade, the Colts have emphasized speed in their Tampa-2 defense. However, the Colts are transitioning from their undersized 4-3 system to a 3-4 defense.
Though Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis have been a dominant duo, they have traditionally rushed from a three-point stance.
Between Freeney's age, contract and positional switch, the Colts will be looking for his replacement in the upcoming draft.
Barkevious Mingo is an incredibly gifted athlete on one of the best defenses in the country.
The 6'4", 240-pounder needs to bulk up, but the sack master has a chance to be a special player at the next level.
3. Minnesota Vikings: Robert Woods, WR, USC
Although they ultimately selected USC left tackle Matt Kalil in 2012, the Minnesota Vikings heavily considered Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon with the third pick, according to Jeremy Fowler of the Pioneer Press.
The Vikings did add former Arkansas Razorbacks Greg Childs and Jarius Wright, but neither project to be long-term No. 1 receivers.
Fortunately for Minnesota, Southern Cal's Robert Woods fits that description.
As a freshman, the 6'1", 190-pounder opened eyes with 65 catches, 792 yards and six touchdowns while averaging 25.6 yards per kick return.
In just his second year, Woods exploded for 111/1,292/15, despite playing across from freshman sensation Marqise Lee.
Adding Woods to an offense with Percy Harvin, Adrian Peterson and Kyle Rudolph could be deadly.
4. Cleveland Browns: Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
Just two picks later, the Cleveland Browns make Sam Montgomery the second LSU pass-rusher to go in the top four.
Like teammate Barkevious Mingo, Montgomery has the prototypical frame for an elite pass-rusher, but he could add a few pounds.
After posting 44 tackles and nine sacks, Montgomery earned First-Team All-SEC honors.
Both he and Mingo should improve in 2012 and should easily go in the top 10.
The Browns' only real pass-rushing threat is 2011 second-rounder Jabaal Sheard. Montgomery would instantly upgrade a defense devoid of playmakers.
5. Miami Dolphins: Keenan Allen, WR, California
Before he arrived at the University of California, Keenan Allen was the top-rated safety in the 2010 class, according to Scout's Inc.
The 6'3", 205-pounder is an excellent athlete who's still learning the nuances of playing wideout.
Though he still has some growing to do, posting 98 catches for 1,343 yards and six scores last year shows his immense potential.
With Brandon Marshall out of the picture, the Miami Dolphins desperately need a No. 1 receiver for 2012 first-round pick Ryan Tannehill.
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: David Amerson, CB, North Carolina State
As if David Amerson's 6'3" frame weren't enough to get him noticed, his ACC-record 13 interceptions in 2011 certainly did.
In just his second season of college football, the North Carolina native shattered the record books after posting zero picks in his freshman season.
With Ronde Barber moving to safety in 2012, according to Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be in the market for his replacement.
Because of his size and ball skills, Amerson should be an excellent fit in Tampa.
7. St. Louis Rams: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
Standing 6'3", 325 pounds, Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei is one giant man.
The 2011 Morris Trophy winner dominated the Pac-12 to the tune of 44 tackles, including nine for loss.
His incredible strength and power as a run defender make him a constant target for double-teams.
Although the St. Louis Rams drafted LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers in 2012, Lotulelei is the best player available, and the Rams aren't exactly stout up the middle.
Adding Lotulelei to a line that already features three-first rounders in Brockers, Chris Long and Robert Quinn could be devastating for the next decade.
8. Oakland Raiders: Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
Defensive tackles don't always fill the stat sheets, but Johnathan Hankins isn't like everyone else.
The 6'4", 317-pounder eats up blockers and chases down running backs like no other interior lineman in the country.
Despite playing on a very good defense, Hankins was Ohio State's fourth-leading tackler in 2011.
To go along with 67 tackles, Hankins made some big plays in the backfield, including 11 tackles for loss and three sacks.
With Richard Seymour's career winding down and Tommy Kelly getting up there in age, Hankins could learn from two of the league's better interior players before breaking into the starting lineup in 2014.
9. St. Louis Rams (via Washington Redskins): Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
Before he tore his ACL last season, Justin Hunter was well on his way to establishing himself as one of the premier receivers in the SEC.
In just three games, the 6'4", 200-pounder tallied 17 catches for 314 yards and two scores.
The former track star boasts a fantastic combination of size, speed and body control that should enable him to become a top playmaker for Sam Bradford and the St. Louis Rams.
If he's able to regain his pre-injury form, Hunter should be a first-round lock.
10. Seattle Seahawks: Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame
Just his name alone should intimidate you, but Manti Te'o's play on the field is on another level.
The former mega-recruit came to Notre Dame with high expectations and has done everything to exceed them.
Built like a tank at 6'2", 255 pounds, the Fighting Irish's leading tackler opted to return for his senior season despite being a projected first-round pick in 2012.
An absolute animal in the run game, Te'o has posted 261 tackles over the past two seasons.
With David Hawthorne gone, Te'o would be an instant-impact defender for Pete Carroll in Seattle.
11. New York Jets: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
After spending two seasons at USC, Jarvis Jones transferred to the University of Georgia.
So far, that looks like a good decision.
After sitting out 2010 per transfer rules, Jones took the SEC by storm last season.
Playing 3-4 outside linebacker, the 6'3", 241-pounder earned First-Team All-American honors after posting 70 tackles, 19.5 for loss and 13.5 sacks.
As long as he can prove he wasn't a one-year wonder, the Bulldogs' best pass-rusher should go in the first round.
12. Carolina Panthers: Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas
A consensus 5-star prospect coming out of Plano West Senior High School, Jackson Jeffcoat stayed at home to attend the University of Texas despite scholarship offers from some of the country's top programs.
Blessed with incredible physical tools, Jeffcoat finally started living up to his hype as a sophomore, recording 66 tackles, including an incredible 21 for loss, and eight sacks.
With Charles Johnson entrenched on the right side, Jeffcoat would be an intriguing athletic mismatch on the left.
13. Buffalo Bills: Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech
At 6'6", 262 pounds with a rocket arm and fantastic athleticism, it's hard not to compare Logan Thomas to Cam Newton.
In high school, Thomas excelled at quarterback as a junior before dominating at tight end as a senior. The former 5-star recruit even recorded 80 tackles and four picks as a defensive back, according to his profile on the Hokies' website.
As a first-year starter in 2011, the dual-threat monster proved to be a player with a ton of upside. In 14 starts, Thomas threw for 3,013 yards and 19 touchdowns while rushing for 11 more.
Because of his athleticism and big arm, Thomas would be an ideal fit in Chan Gailey's offensive system and a big upgrade from Ryan Fitzpatrick.
14. Arizona Cardinals: Matt Barkley, QB, USC
If he were a few inches taller and had a little more arm strength, it would be tough not to slot Matt Barkley as the first overall pick.
However, with limited size and athleticism, the USC star could slip on draft day.
What he lacks in athletic ability he makes up for with accuracy, poise and leadership.
The top overall prospect from 2009 elected to return to Southern California for his senior season in hopes of winning a national championship.
With two dynamic weapons in Robert Woods and Marqise Lee, Barkley figures to have a strong senior year.
For the Arizona Cardinals, Kevin Kolb isn't the answer, and getting a pro-ready quarterback like Barkley at pick No. 14 would be a gift.
15. Tennessee Titans: Xavier Rhodes, CB, FSU
With Cortland Finnegan departing to St. Louis, the Tennessee Titans could use a future No. 1 corner.
Like Finnegan, FSU's Xavier Rhodes brings an element of toughness and physicality that should fit in well for the Titans.
At 6'2", 209 pounds, Rhodes has ascended into one of the top defenders in the ACC.
With a big redshirt junior season, he could vault himself up draft boards.
16. San Diego Chargers: Chris Faulk, OT, LSU
A former 4-star prospect, Chris Faulk brings a heavy punch to LSU's ground attack.
Standing 6'5", 325 pounds, the Tigers' left tackle had an excellent first season as a starter.
While the LSU defense gained most of the national attention, Faulk's play earned him Second-Team All-SEC honors.
In a fairly deep offensive tackle class, Faulk has a chance to emerge as the top prospect at his position.
With Marcus McNeill gone and Jared Gaither's checkered history, Faulk could solidify a rebuilt offensive line.
17. Dallas Cowboys: Sean Porter, OLB, Texas A&M
At just 6'2", 230 pounds, Sean Porter isn't an imposing linebacker. What he is is a dominant pass-rusher.
Drawing comparisons to former teammate Von Miller, Porter excels as an edge player in Texas A&M's 3-4 scheme.
The rising senior led the Big 12 with 9.5 sacks in 2011 and figures to be an ideal fit opposite DeMarcus Ware in Dallas.
18. Denver Broncos: Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina
South Carolina's hopes for an SEC title took a huge hit when star running back Marcus Lattimore tore his ACL in the middle of the season.
Then again, when your running back carries the ball 412 times in 20 career games, it hurts to lose your workhorse.
While Lattimore will never wow anyone with his straight-line speed, he boasts an impressive blend of power and acceleration.
The former top high school running back is looking to make his way back from last season's injury, and if he does, he could be John Fox's newest first-round back.
19. Cincinnati Bengals: William Gholston, DE, Michigan State
If you could draw up the perfect defensive end, it would be William Gholston.
An imposing presence at 6'7", 275 pounds, the Michigan State stud hasn't filled up the stat sheet but boasts incredible upside.
Another former 5-star recruit, Gholston has terrific athleticism for a man his size.
For a team that has spent high draft picks on physical freaks like Carlos Dunlap and Michael Johnson, it only makes sense that the Bengals pull the trigger on this potentially dominant defensive end.
20. Kansas City Chiefs: Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee
Limited to only 12 career starts, University of Tennessee's Tyler Bray doesn't boast the credentials of some of the other first-round quarterbacks.
However, in watching his limited play, there's a lot to like about the Volunteers' signal-caller.
Standing 6'6", Bray has a great frame for an NFL quarterback to go along with a smooth release and good accuracy.
With Matt Cassel largely underwhelming during his time in Kansas City, the Chiefs would be upgrading big time with the big Bray.
21. Atlanta Falcons: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
In 2008, the Atlanta Falcons spent two first-round picks on what they hoped would be two offensive cornerstones. While it appears they hit on quarterback Matt Ryan, their second selection, offensive tackle Sam Baker, hasn't produced like a first-rounder should.
With Baker entering his contract year, the Falcons could upgrade on the sometimes inconsistent left tackle.
Luke Joeckel spent last season protecting Ryan Tannehill's blindside, earning All-Big 12 Conference Second-Team honors.
The 6'6", 310-pounder would upgrade an offensive line that has seen some turnover in recent years.
22. New Orleans Saints: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
The draft's top senior corner could have been a high-round pick in 2012 but decided to return for his final year.
Blessed with great size (6'2", 185 pounds), Johnthan Banks is one of the better corners in the SEC, recording five interceptions in 2011.
With fellow conference stars like Dre Kirkpatrick, Morris Claiborne, Stephon Gilmore and Brandon Boykin gone to the NFL, Banks may finally get the credit he deserves.
The New Orleans Saints defense doesn't feature a ton of playmakers, so Banks' ball skills would be a valuable asset.
23. Baltimore Ravens: T.J. McDonald, S, USC
Coming from a program that has produced Ronnie Lott, Troy Polamalu and Taylor Mays, playing safety at USC is no easy task.
Playing at the same school where your father earned All-American honors makes things just that much more difficult.
Luckily for T.J. McDonald, his stellar play has earned him some praise of his own.
The hard-hitting free safety has blossomed into a first-round prospect who is capable of making plays on the ball and in the run game.
With Ed Reed nearing the end of his career, McDonald would be a fantastic fit in a secondary that already features two excellent young corners in Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb.
24. Houston Texans: Ricky Wagner, OT, Wisconsin
Wisconsin just continues to churn out NFL-caliber offensive linemen.
Over the past two drafts, five Badgers' offensive linemen have heard their names called on draft day, including first-rounders Gabe Carimi and Kevin Zeitler.
Ricky Wagner should be next in line to be selected on Day 1.
With Eric Winston gone, the Texans need to replenish their depth.
Wagner, who stands 6'6", 320 pounds, has played both left and right tackle, which should help his draft stock.
25. Chicago Bears: Barrett Jones, G, Alabama
A true Swiss-Army knife on the line, Alabama's Barrett Jones figures to be high on draft boards due to his extensive starting experience at multiple positions.
The 6'5", 302-pounder won the Outland Trophy in 2011 as the nation's premier interior lineman.
During his three-year career, Jones has started 25 games at right guard and 10 at left tackle.
As senior, Jones will once again be on the move as he shifts to center for the departed William Vlachos, according to Mark Schlabach of ESPN.
For a Bears team that continually has issues along the offensive line, Jones would be the ultimate prize.
26. Detroit Lions: Eric Reid, S, LSU
Often overshadowed by 2012 draftees Morris Claiborne and Brandon Taylor, LSU safety Eric Reid has a chance to be an impact player at the next level.
With prototypical size and speed, Reid has continually improved while emerging as a leader in the Tigers' secondary.
As a sophomore, Reid garnered Second-Team All-SEC honors after posting 65 tackles, two interceptions and two forced fumbles.
Pairing Reid with former second-rounder Louis Delmas could give the Detroit Lions a versatile, tough pair of safeties.
27. New York Giants: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
Being the son of a Hall of Fame offensive lineman, it only makes sense that Jake Matthews followed in his father Bruce's footsteps.
Texas A&M's other first-round bookend obviously has great bloodlines, but he has more than a solid pedigree.
The former top-ranked high school guard has grown from a 270-pound senior into a 305-pound mauler.
Although the New York Giants brought in Matthew McCants and Brandon Mosley via the draft, neither possesses the total package of Matthews.
28. Green Bay Packers: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
A favorite of NEPatriotsDraft.com, Kenny Vaccaro's tenacious style and ability to line up at multiple spots makes him an intriguing 2013 draft prospect.
In his first season as a full-time starter, Vaccaro exploded for 82 tackles, two sacks, two interceptions and eight passes defended.
With a great combination of size (6'1", 215 pounds) and 4.5 speed, the Texas Longhorn appears to be a good fit in the backend for Green Bay's defense.
29. Pittsburgh Steelers: Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU
It's very rare for a cornerback to be a Heisman Trophy candidate.
Charles Woodson won college football's top individual prize in 1997, and no defensive back has done it since.
Last year, Tyrann Mathieu finished fifth in the Heisman race, but the fact that he was even a finalist shows how much respect he has in the world of college football.
Despite measuring only 5'9", 175 pounds, Mathieu is an elite playmaker on both defense and special teams.
The pint-sized but big-hearted corner recorded 70 tackles, two picks, six forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries while returning two punts for touchdowns.
For an aging defense, Mathieu would be an injection of youth and versatility that could help ease the eventual loss of Troy Polamalu when he retires.
30. San Francisco 49ers: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
Ranked the third-best prospect of the 2009 class, D.J. Fluker came to Alabama with a ton of hype.
So far, the mammoth right tackle hasn't disappointed.
Tipping the scales at 6'6", 335 pounds, Fluker is an imposing presence on the right side of the Crimson Tide's talented offensive line.
He's regarded as a nasty run blocker with enough athleticism to hold up in pass protection.
With Anthony Davis failing to live up to his first-round pedigree, Fluker could be a steal at the end of Round 1.
31. Philadelphia Eagles: Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
Like his teammate Jackson Jeffcoat, Alex Okafor came to Texas with huge hype as a 5-star prospect.
And like Jeffcoat, Okafor finally started putting it together in 2011.
The nearly 6'5" defensive end showed signs of being a great pass rusher with eight sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss.
With an excellent first step and an ideal frame, Okafor can probably play outside linebacker in a 3-4 or defensive end in a 4-3.
The Philadelphia Eagles have no problem collecting pass-rushers and could see the Texas standout as a value pick at the end of Round 1.
32. New England Patriots: Kawann Short, DT, Purdue
Bill Belichick values college players with experience, versatility and character.
Purdue defensive tackle Kawann Short fits those criteria.
The 6'3", 310-pounder is a stout run defender who displays a knack for getting in the backfield. In 2011, he compiled 54 tackles, including 17 for loss, to go along with an impressive 6.5 sacks.
With his frame, Short could become Vince Wilfork's successor at nose tackle or possibly be a five-technique.
Either way, the New England Patriots would be getting a productive defender who was voted a co-captain by his teammates.