2013 NFL Mock Draft: Early First-Round Predictions for Every Team
The most controversial part of a mock draft this early in the season is the draft order. I decided to use Matt Miller's (of Bleacher Report) power rankings as a basis for my draft order.
Just using the power rankings as they were wasn't enough. I also had to simulate a playoff scenario to ensure that the back end of the draft was accurate.
It's early in the process, and many of these prospects will rise and fall as the season progresses. The NFL draft process is very fluid. As it stands now, these are some of the prospects that I currently have as potential first-rounders.
No. 1: Arizona Cardinals
Pick: Logan Thomas, Quarterback, Virginia Tech
It's obvious that the Arizona Cardinals don't have the long-term answer at quarterback on their current roster. Both Kevin Kolb and John Skelton have shown very little this preseason. This means that the Cardinals will be looking for a quarterback in the upcoming draft. Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas is the most physically gifted quarterback available.
I currently have USC's Matt Barkley rated higher on my board, but Thomas has much more upside. That's the difference between the two prospects: Barkley has a lower ceiling and higher floor, while with Thomas, the sky is the limit.
Thomas isn't just an athlete. He also has good throwing mechanics and football IQ. Some will want to compare him to Cam Newton, but Thomas is a much more refined passer than Newton was at this stage in his career.
Selecting Thomas gives the Cardinals a legitimate quarterback of the future, and it allows them to move on from the terrible Kevin Kolb trade.
No. 2: Cleveland Browns
Pick: Barkevious Mingo, Defensive End/Linebacker, LSU
Outside of quarterback play, generating pressure on the quarterback might be the most important aspect of football. This is why someone like LSU's Barkevious Mingo will be in high demand come April. He's an elite pass-rusher who's continuing to develop. His potential is as great as any player's in this entire draft class.
Mingo generates most of his pressure because of his quickness and burst off the line. However, he also has a good power move that helps him keep blockers on the defensive.
While he is a bit undersized, Mingo plays with tenacity and leverage. This is why he can be considered both a defensive end and an outside linebacker prospect.
The Cleveland Browns used this past draft to add talent on the offensive side of the ball. They now have an opportunity to continuing developing their defense. Teaming Mingo with Jabaal Sheard, Phil Taylor and Ahtyba Rubin gives Cleveland a potentially dominant defensive line.
No. 3: Miami Dolphins
Pick: David Amerson, Cornerback, NC State
The Miami Dolphins are a team with a wide range of needs. This means they can focus on selecting the best player available. At this point, NC State's David Amerson both fits a need and is a highly talented player. Miami's trade of Vonate Davis means there's a hole at one of the cornerback spots.
Amerson's ball skills are what makes him such a valuable prospect. He uses his great instincts and hands to collect interceptions. His ability to read the quarterback and drive on the ball is matched by no one in college football. There's no need to look any further than the 13 interceptions he recorded last season.
The Dolphins have a glaring hole at the wide receiver position that they must address. However, prospects like USC's Robert Woods and Cal's Keenan Allen aren't worthy of the No. 3 overall pick.
Don't overreact to Amerson's poor showing this past weekend. He is an elite talent who can have a bad day.
No. 4: St. Louis Rams
Pick: Taylor Lewan, Offensive Tackle, Michigan
The failure of Jason Smith shouldn't make the St. Louis Rams hesitant to draft an offensive tackle early in the draft. Because Smith was a bust, the Rams have a major need at offensive tackle. Michigan's Taylor Lewan has an elite skill set that makes him an excellent left tackle prospect.
Lewan uses his athleticism, quickness and good balance to protect the quarterback. His ability to quickly go from stance to set ensures that he's in good position. This is a player who can protect the edge against the top-level speed rushers.
In the running game, Lewan explodes off the line and attacks the defenders. He plays with a lot of attitude and a nasty disposition. He doesn't have great strength or bulk, but his inside hands and use of leverage allow him to generate a push off the line.
Adding Lewan will allow the Rams to shift Roger Saffold to right tackle. This pick essentially improves two spots on the line.
No. 5: Oakland Raiders
Pick: Matt Barkley, Quarterback, USC
Carson Palmer still has a year or two left as a starting quarterback in the NFL. However, that doesn't mean he'll the starting quarterback of the Oakland Raiders. This is a franchise that is looking to completely change the culture and makeup of the team. This includes bringing in a quarterback like USC's Matt Barkley to lead them through the rebuilding process.
Barkley is my top-rated quarterback in this draft class, but he falls a little because of team needs and his lack of elite athleticism. Despite some concerns about his size and arm strength, Barkley has the potential to develop into a Drew Brees-like quarterback (as I break down in this article).
His strong leadership skills and experience going through a tough situation at USC make him a perfect candidate to lead the Raiders.
If Oakland decides to stick with Carson Palmer, the Raiders could target a defensive playmaker like Utah's Star Lotulelei, Texas' Alex Okafor or Florida's Sharrif Floyd.
No. 6: Indianapolis Colts
Pick: Star Lotulelei, Nose Tackle, Utah
The Indianapolis Colts have the base of a potentially potent offense in place. However, they have a ton of needs on the defensive side of the ball. Utah's Star Lotulelei would provide them with a difference-maker along the defensive line. He's the type of player who could play all three defensive line spots in the Colts' 3-4 alignment.
Lotulelei is both quick and powerful, which allows him to control the line of scrimmage. He is a disruptive player who can both rush the passer and make plays behind the line of scrimmage. The Colts need someone like Lotulelei who can make potentially game-changing plays.
Indianapolis could line him up at both the five-technique and nose tackle spot. This type of versatility only increases his value.
If the Colts part ways with Dwight Freeney this offseason, someone like Georgia's Jarvis Jones and Oregon's Dion Jordon come into play. Nose tackles are important, but not as important as a pass-rushing outside linebacker.
No. 7: New York Jets
Pick: Jarvis Jones, Outside Linebacker, Georgia
This preseason exposed a lot of holes on the New York Jets' roster.
One of the biggest issues is at the outside linebacker position. Rex Ryan's 3-4 system requires an outside linebacker who can generate pressure on the quarterback. Bryan Thomas, Calvin Pace and Aaron Maybin are decent but not elite. Georgia's Jarvis Jenkins has the potential to consistently top the double-digit sack mark.
Jones possesses a wide-range of pass-rushing skills, including both a power and speed rush. His burst off the line allows him to gain the edge. However, it's his balance that allows him to flatten out and get after the quarterback. When his speed rush aren't effective, Jones uses leverage and inside hand placement to generate a bull rush.
If the Jets are picking in the top 10, that means Mark Sanchez had a terrible season. So there's a possibility that someone like Tyler Wilson or Geno Smith comes into play. It's also possible that a running back like Marcus Lattimore is on the Jets' radar.
No. 8: St. Louis Rams (from Washington)
Pick: Robert Woods, Wide Receiver, USC
At some point, the St. Louis Rams have to add a difference-maker at the wide receiver position. They are asking Sam Bradford to develop into a top-notch quarterback, but aren't provided him with the proper weapons. USC's Robert Woods is a consistent and reliable target. He would be the perfect player for Bradford to develop alongside.
Woods doesn't have elite speed or size, but he knows how to get open. His quick-twitch ability and route-running helps him create separation. Defensive backs can't identify the route he's running until he's already generating space.
His route-running is enhanced by his hip fluidity and good balance. Woods also does a great job locating the open holes in the zone. Bradford can feel comfortable that Woods is in the right position at all times. That type of consistency is what helps young quarterbacks develop.
No. 9: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Pick: Alex Okafor, Defensive End, Texas
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are set on the offensive side of the ball, but they need more playmakers on defense. They especially need someone to come in an help generate pressure on the quarterback. Last year, they recorded a league-low 23 sacks.
Texas' Alex Okafor boasts the skills needed to instantly improve Tampa Bay's pass rush. He is an explosive athlete who also possesses a good range of pass-rush moves. His snap awareness and quick first step make him a major threat to bet the offensive line to the edge. He's also balanced enough to drop his pad level, flatten out and register the sack.
Okafor would be a great complement to Adrian Clayborn, who is better at stopping the run than rushing the passer.
Depending how the season goes, the Buccaneers could also be in the market for a new quarterback. Josh Freeman's time to prove himself is running out. Quarterbacks like Arkansas' Tyler Wilson and West Virginia's Geno Smith could therefore be on Tampa Bay's radar as well.
No. 10: Minnesota Vikings
Pick: Sharrif Floyd, Defensive Tackle, Florida
The Minnesota Vikings defense was at its best when it had the Williams Wall anchoring the interior of the defensive line. With this pick, the Vikings have an opportunity to add another explosive defensive tackle to the lineup. Florida's Sharrif Floyd is a disruptive player who would fit nicely alongside Kevin Williams.
Floyd's versatility adds to his value, as he has the skills to line up at both defensive tackle and at end. He quickly gets off the ball, which allows him to penetrate the pocket and wreak havoc in the backfield.
But Floyd isn't just a pressure player; he also has a very strong anchor.
Minnesota could use him as a three-technique, where Floyd could use his quickness to disrupt the timing of the offense. Opposing offenses would have a tough time handling both Floyd and Williams.
The Vikings have a major need at the wide receiver position as well. Someone like Cal's Keenan Allen would be a good fit. His size and big-play ability would complement Percy Harvin's game.
No. 11: San Diego Chargers
Pick: Keenan Allen, Wide Receiver, California
The San Diego Chargers tried to address their need at the wide receiver position via free agency. However, both Eddie Royal and Robert Meachem have been unable to remain healthy. After dealing with Vincent Jackson and Malcolm Floyd's durability concerns, the Chargers have to be fed up with unreliable wide receivers. Cal's Keenan Allen has the potential to immediately solve the Chargers' wide receiver problems.
At 6'3", 210 pounds, Allen has the size the Chargers typically covet at the wide receiver position. He uses that size to attack the ball at its highest point. His strong hands and body control allow him to catch the ball in traffic. Allen is big-play threat who fits nicely in the Chargers' vertical attack offense.
There's a possibility that Allen isn't available at No. 11 overall. He has a ton of upside and with a strong year could work his way into the top 10.
No. 12: Jacksonville Jaguars
Pick: Johnathan Hankins, Defensive Tackle, Ohio State
Both Tyson Alualu and Terrance Knighton are good defensive tackles, but neither are spectacular. Ohio State's Johnathan Hankins has the ability to be a real difference-maker along the defensive line. He boasts a rare combination of size and explosiveness. Hankins would immediately be more disruptive than both Alualu and Knighton.
What Hankins does best is eat up space and support the run. However, he's not like the typical nose tackle prospect. His ability to penetrate the pocket, quickly disengage and make plays away from his frame is what separates him. He isn't the type you ask to occupy blockers, as he's much better at getting off blocks and making the tackle.
Depending how this thing with Maurice Jones-Drew plays out, the Jaguars could look to someone like South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore to fill the void. Lattimore is a stud running back who could quickly make people forget about Jones-Drew.
No. 13: Seattle Seahawks
Pick: Sean Porter, Linebacker, Texas A&M
Many want to compare Sean Porter to former Texas A&M linebacker Von Miller. However, Porter is more of a complete linebacker than Miller. He does a good job rushing the passer, supporting the run and dropping back in coverage.
This season, everyone will get a good look of how versatile Porter is, as Texas A&M is moving to a 4-3 system. The Seattle Seahawks could use a player like this in their linebacker corps.
Porter would be a younger and more talented replacement for Leroy Hill.
Seattle's team needs might be the most fluid of all the teams in the NFL. Depending how he season plays out, the Seahawks could target a quarterback, offensive tackle or a linebacker.
Russell Wilson had a great preseason, but nobody knows how he's going to play over the course of an entire season. Someone like Arkansas' Tyler Wilson or West Virginia's Geno Smith could look attractive to Seattle should Russell Wilson fail.
No. 14: Carolina Panthers
Pick: Jake Matthews, Offensive Tackle, Texas A&M
The Carolina Panthers have Jordan Gross locked up at the left tackle position, but they have a major hole on the right side. Texas A&M's Jake Matthews would immediately upgrade the position and start from day one. He also has the skill set to develop into a left tackle and eventually replace Gross.
It's important that the Panthers make sure they have a plan in place to keep Cam Newton protected. That starts on the offensive line and ensuring they have things in place for the future.
Matthews isn't the most athletic offensive line prospect in this draft class. However, he has excellent technique and knows how to use angles. This allows him to protect the edge and ensures that he isn't beat by more physically talented players.
In the running game, Matthews does a good job of gaining inside hand placement and driving defenders off the line. He constantly keeps him feet moving, a low pad level and takes balanced steps. This is why he's so effective in this area.
No. 15: Dallas Cowboys
Pick: Dion Jordan, Outside Linebacker/Defensive End, Oregon
This is an absolute steal for the Dallas Cowboys, as Oregon's Dion Jordan has top-10 talent. He drops to this spot because he projects as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 system. The teams drafting before Dallas in this mock either had more pressing needs or run a 4-3 attack.
Jordan is an elite athlete with the explosiveness to generate a ton of pressure on the quarterback. He's also a very sudden player, which only adds to his pass-rush ability. Offensive lineman struggle to keep Jordan in front of them and get their hands on his frame.
His athleticism plays a major role in his potential, but Jordan's nonstop motor and football IQ are what will make him a special player. It's easy to tell he wants to get better and make impact plays.
The Cowboys would be filling a major need with this pick. They need someone opposite DeMarcus Ware to help generate a pass rush. Anthony Spencer just isn't cutting it, and he also is heading towards free agency next season. Jordan would be a cheaper and more talented replacement for Spencer.
No. 16: Tennessee Titans
Pick: Dominique Easley, Defensive Tackle, Florida
The Tennessee Titans have a collection of decent defensive tackles like Jurrell Casey, Sen'Derrick Marks, Mike Martin and Karl Klug. However, none of those players have the upside of Florida's Dominique Easley. He's a balanced player who both holds at the point of attack and makes plays behind the line of scrimmage.
Tennessee could use him at both the three-technique or nose tackle spots along its defensive line. At this point in his career, Easley is a bit raw but his natural potential is obvious. It's his strength and quick burst that make him such a difference-maker.
Kenny Britt's future remains in question, and that could force the Titans to pull the trigger on a wide receiver at this spot. Someone like Washington State's Marquess Wilson has a chance to work his way into this part of the draft.
No. 17: Denver Broncos
Pick: Manti Te'o, Linebacker, Notre Dame
Joe Mays has done a good job at middle linebacker for the Denver Broncos, but his potential is limited. Notre Dame's Manti Te'o has both the size and the speed to make a ton of impact plays. He's the type of linebacker who can come up and hold at the point of attack while also ranging sideline to sideline.
A linebacker corps of Te'o, Von Miller and D.J. Williams has the potential to be the best unit in the NFL. John Fox is a defensive-minded coach, and he will make sure his voice is heard in the decision-making process.
Denver could also target a defensive tackle prospect like Florida's Dominique Easley, but he's not available in this mock. Actually, addressing the defensive tackle position might be the team's biggest need. The Broncos moved this year's top pick, Derek Wolfe, to defensive end, leaving Justin Bannan and Ty Warren as the starters
No. 18: Buffalo Bills
Pick: Marquess Wilson, Wide Receiver, Washington State
At this point, Washington State's Marquess Wilson is a fringe first-round prospect with the upside to work his way into the middle of the first round.
The Buffalo Bills were aggressive this offseason in their attempt to address their No. 2 wide receiver spot. However, they struck out on both Robert Meachem and Mario Manningham. Wilson has the ability to fill that role.
Wilson's size and length are what make him such an intriguing prospect. He's an aggressive player who uses that length to attack the ball at its highest point. His savvy route-running ability helps him provide the quarterback with an open target.
While not a burner, Wilson does a good job changing speeds and using his size to make plays down the field.
No. 19: Detroit Lions
Pick: Marcus Lattimore, Running Back, South Carolina
The Detroit Lions are having zero luck with the current running backs on their roster. Mikel Leshoure has had both off-the-field and injury issues, Jahvid Best can't stay healthy, and the same can be said for Kevin Smith.
Landing Marcus Lattimore would quickly solve the running back problem in Detroit.
Lattimore is a quick, powerful and shifty runner. His ability to quickly change direction and accelerate makes him a dominant player. He's the type of back who can turn nothing into a big gainer. Lattimore would turn the Lions from a pass-heavy team to a well balanced offense.
The only question surrounding Lattimore is the health of his knee. He must show that he's 100 percent recovered from last year's ACL injury. However, if he has a strong enough season, he could come off the board much earlier.
No. 20: Philadelphia Eagles
Pick: Tyler Wilson, Quarterback, Arkansas
Even if Michael Vick has a strong season, the Philadelphia Eagles must start to think about the future. Vick has shown that he'll always be an injury concern, and that's no way to run an organization. Tyler Wilson would be a steal at pick No. 20, and he'd be hard for Andy Reid to pass up on.
Some will point to Nick Foles play this preseason, but you have to remember that Reid does a great job developing and moving quarterbacks. He could select Wilson here and trade Foles for a few picks down the road.
Wilson possesses excellent arm talent and ability to run an offense. He can make all the throws, and extend the play with his feet. He is the type of player who could become an elite quarterback with the right coaching.
No. 21: Pittsburgh Steelers
Pick: Eddie Lacy, Running Back, Alabama
Rashard Mendenhall's inconsistency as a running back will force the Pittsburgh Steelers to address the position in the offseason. Neither he nor Issac Redman has shown enough for the Steelers to move forward with them as the starter.
Alabama's Eddie Lacy is the type of powerful runner Pittsburgh typically covets.
Lacy isn't just a big back, he also has an explosive burst and big-play potential. However, it's his size and ability to break tackles that make him an impact player. Defenders have a real tough time bringing him. Lacy is rarely stopped by first contact, and he always finishes the run with the pile moving forward.
He and Chris Rainey would make a great pair in the Steelers' backfield. They'd complement each other and make it difficult for defensive coordinators to develop a game plan.
No. 22: Cincinnati Bengals
Pick: Tony Jefferson, Safety, Oklahoma
For all his athletic ability, Taylor Mays just doesn't have the ability to hold up in coverage as an NFL safety. The Cincinnati Bengals are taking a major risk inserting him into the starting line. They'll quickly realize that he isn't the long-term answer at the position. Instead, Oklahoma's Tony Jefferson possesses the skill set needed to fill that role.
Jefferson is an explosive athlete with exceptional coverage skills and toughness. I love his ability to come up and play man-to-man cover on slot receivers or tight ends. Oklahoma uses him in deep coverage a lot, and he boasts the speed to range from sideline to sideline.
I see a lot of Earl Thomas in Tony Jefferson.
The NFL is a pass-heavy league, which means it's important to have talent and depth in the secondary. Jefferson is the type of player who will provide solid play and make an immediate impact.
No. 23: Atlanta Falcons
Pick: Ricky Wagner, Offensive Tackle, Wisconsin
Sam Baker's struggles make the left tackle position a major need for the Atlanta Falcons. Matt Ryan is the franchise's only hope of making a run at the Super Bowl, and they must ensure he is protected. Wisconsin's Ricky Wagner boasts the size, quickness and balance needed to keep Ryan upright.
At 6'6", 317 pounds, Wagner has the look of an NFL offensive lineman. He combines fluid movements and solid technique with that excellent size. Wagner uses his long arms and quick shuffle to keep defenders in front of him. He can reach the edge before speed rushers and anchor against power rushers.
In the running game, he is more of a finesse blocker who would be a good zone scheme fit. However, he has the frame needed to add more strength and become a more powerful run blocker. Atlanta shouldn't be too concerned about his run-blocking skills.
This is a team with a ton of talent in the passing game, such as Julio Jones and Roddy White. The Falcons would be wise to join the NFL trend and be come more pass-oriented.
No. 24: New York Giants
Pick: Tyler Eifert, Tight End, Notre Dame
Throughout Eli Manning's career, he has always utilized the tight end position. Players like Jeremy Shockey, Kevin Boss and Jake Ballard have all had good success with Manning as their quarterback. The problem is that all three are no longer on the New York Giants' roster. Notre Dame's Tyler Eifert has the talented needed to be better than all of Manning's previous tight ends.
Eifert boasts excellent size, leaping ability and hands. He's a major threat to attack the seam and impact the entire passing game.
The Giants could use another pass-catching threat to come in and take some pressure off of Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks.
New York also needs help at the offensive tackle position. Someone like Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel, North Carolina's Brennan Williams or Alabama's D.J. Fluker are other options.
No. 25: Kansas City Chiefs
Pick: Bjoern Werner, Outside Linebacker/Defensive End, Florida State
Kansas City has good depth all across its roster, which makes it tough to find a fit here. Florida State's Bjoern Werner is the type of impact player who makes it tough to pass up on him.
Werner is a defensive end/outside linebacker prospect with good quickness and an advanced arsenal of pass-rush moves. His high football IQ helps him decide when to use a speed or power rush. Some will criticize him for his size, but his use of leverage erases most of those concerns.
The Chiefs would use him at the outside linebacker spot and ask him to help Tamba Hali rush the passer.
If the season doesn't quite play out like this, the Chiefs will be looking at some of the quarterback prospects. Arkansas' Tyler Wilson and West Virginia's Geno Smith would make sense.
No. 26: Baltimore Ravens
Pick: Kenny Vaccaro, Safety, Texas
The past few seasons, the Baltimore Ravens' offseason has focused on the future of Ed Reed. He has been slowed by injury and is obviously feeling his age. Losing Reed would be a disaster for the Ravens, as they don't have a player capable to replacing him.
That said, Texas' Kenny Vaccaro is the type of athlete that could step in and make an impact as a rookie.
Nobody is going to replace Ed Reed, but the Ravens need someone with good athleticism and potential to stick in the lineup. Even if Reed comes back for another season, Baltimore needs a long-term replacement plan. This is a team that knows the importance of having a play-making safety.
Linebacker is also an area the Ravens could address. Both Alabama standouts C.J. Mosley and Nico Johnson would be good fits in Baltimore.
No. 27: Chicago Bears
Pick: Luke Joeckel, Offensive Tackle, Texas A&M
It's very obvious that the Chicago Bears now realize that J'Marcus Webb isn't the answer at the left tackle spot. The fact that they held an open competition and waited to make their decision until later in the preseason speaks volumes.
Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel is the type of pass protector the Bears need to add this offseason.
He is a terrific athlete with good balance and fluid movements. He does a good job quickly getting into his kick slide and reaching the edge. Even the top speed rushers in the NFL will have a hard time getting around Joeckel.
The only questions surrounding his game is his strength and run-blocking ability. At times, he can get pushed back into the pocket by a bull rush. He also struggles to generate a good push in the running game. These are all issues that can be corrected by time in the weight room.
At this point, the Bears need to be more worried about protecting the passer than opening running lanes. A sleeper to look out for is North Carolina's Brennan Williams, who is a good looking prospect in his own right. He might get overlooked because he plays the right tackle spot, but he's absolutely talented enough to slide to the left side.
No. 28: New Orleans Saints
Pick: Sam Montgomery, Defensive End/Linebacker, LSU
There's a lot of hype surrounding Sam Montgomery, but the fact is, he just isn't a top-10 talent. However, he's a good fit at the end of the first round.
The New Orleans Saints must provide Steve Spagnuolo with the pieces he needs to run his defense. Montgomery is the type of edge rusher who would excel in Spagnuolo's scheme.
Quickness and an explosive first step are how Montgomery makes an impact. He's an aggressive player who's always in pursuit of the football. He might be a little undersized for the position, but Spagnuolo knows how to align his players so they succeed.
New Orleans also has some issues at the offensive tackle spot, where Jermon Bushrod hasn't played at an elite level. This might be a good spot for North Carolina's Brennan Williams to come off the board. See the previous breakdown of Williams.
No. 29: Houston Texans
Pick: Justin Hunter, Wide Receiver, Tennessee
Tennessee's Justin Hunter is an electrifying athlete who has the potential to be one of the top wide receivers in this draft class. However, he hasn't shown enough consistency or durability to come off the board earlier than this spot. Luckily for the Houston Texans, they're able to land a top-notch playmaker to lineup opposite Andre Johnson.
Houston has the potential not only to be Johnson's complement, but to be his long-term replacement.
Over the years, Johnson has struggled to remain on the field. His injury issues have put the Texans in a tough spot. With Hunter, they'll be getting a player that can be equally as effective as Johnson.
Addressing the offensive line is also a possibility for the Texans. A massive right tackle prospect like Alabama's D.J. Fluker would also be a great fit.
No. 30: Green Bay Packers
Pick: Johnathan Banks, Cornerback, Mississippi State
The Green Bay Packers know that Charles Woodson isn't going to play forever, so they must find a replacement. Mississippi State's Johnathan Banks is a similar player in that he plays with a lot of tenacity.
Banks is an aggressive defender who loves to support the run and gamble to passes to his side of the field. While he might be a bit undersized, he plays much bigger than his numbers suggest. His good leaping ability is what allows him to match up against the bigger targets in the NFL. What makes him such a difference-maker is his instincts, as well as his ability to drive on the football.
Banks' short-area burst allows him to close on the ball and make a play on the ball. He'd be a great fit for the Packers and would help improve an area of weakness.
No. 31: New England Patriots
Pick: Dee Milliner, Cornerback, Alabama
Alabama's Dee Milliner has the talent and upside to develop into an elite NFL cornerback. His good size helps him man-up on any NFL receiver. This is exactly what the New England Patriots need to get themselves back in the Super Bowl-winning ways.
Tom Brady is still playing at a high level, but he's starting to age, and eventually, his skills will start to take a step back. It's important that New England starts to rebuild its defense to take some pressure off of Brady.
After using two first-round picks to upgraded the talent in the front seven, addressing the secondary is a must-do in the 2013 draft.
No. 32: San Francisco 49ers
Pick: Chance Warmack, Guard, Alabama
Chance Warmack is an explosive player who generates a great push off the line. He's more talented than David DeCastro, who went in the first round of this draft.
The San Francisco 49ers are built to win games by playing tough defense and running the football. Warmack fits that game plan perfectly.
Guards have slowly started to become a first-round staple in the draft. There's a chance that Warmack comes off the board much earlier than this. San Francisco landing him late in the first round is an absolute steal.
This pick helps Alex Smith hold onto the starting job in San Francisco. He needs a strong rushing attack in order to be truly successful.