2013 NFL Mock Draft: Workout Warriors Who'll Soar Up Draft Boards

Mike Hoag@MikeHoagJrCorrespondent IIJanuary 2, 2013

Dec 1, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Alec Ogletree (9) tackles Alabama Crimson Tide running back T.J. Yeldon (4) during the third quarter of the 2012 SEC Championship game at the Georgia Dome.  Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 NFL draft is full of high-caliber players at each position. Offseason activities often give some prospects the edge when it comes to draft time. These players are known as "workout warriors."

Huge Scouting Combine or Senior Bowl performances have been known to propel and solidify the draft stock of some of the top talents in college football.

There are several players in this year's draft that are highly regarded as hard workers who could bolster their stock.

These guys aren't the only ones, but they do have a good shot of shooting up most big boards as the draft gets closer and closer.

Take a look at an entire first-round mock draft with these workout warriors italicized and described in detail.

1. Kansas City Chiefs (2-14): Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia

The Kansas City Chiefs need a quarterback and Smith is the highest-profile pick in this draft. There are some favorable pieces in place in Kansas City


2. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14): Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

Beefing up the middle of the league’s worst rush defense (148.1 yards per game allowed) seems to be a good starting point for the Jags. Right?

3. Oakland Raiders (4-12): Damontre Moore, DE/OLB, Texas A&M

No one ever said the Oakland Raiders were predictable. Moore is a freakish athlete that exploded in his junior season at Texas A&M.

He was overshadowed by all of the things that Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel and the team’s offense did, but he won’t go unnoticed in April.

He successfully made the conversion to defensive end due to his relentless work ethic.

By getting in shape and adding mass he’s shown he can get down and dirty in the gym and do what it takes to better himself.

In that way, the Raiders will be in love with his potential to improve their struggling pass rush.

4. Philadelphia Eagles (4-12): Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

This pick is pretty self-explanatory. No matter who is QB in Philly next year, he will have a little more time to get a pass off if the Eagles add the best tackle in the draft.

5. Detroit Lions (4-12): Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame

The Detroit Lions are losing themselves into a favorable position in the draft. Sitting at No. 5, they’ll have a very tough decision but will ultimately be blown away by the offseason performance of Heisman runner-up Manti Te’o.

Te’o is already known as a workout warrior and it shows with his intensity and sheer power on the field.

The thing that will push him this high in the draft isn’t just his instincts and high-profile college career. His power gives him an ability to take on and power through NFL blockers, something the Detroit Lions could greatly use in the middle of their defense.

6. Cleveland Browns (5-11): Jarvis Jones, DE, Georgia

The Browns could definitely use someone like Jones rushing the passer relentlessly from the RDE position. Frostee Rucker is a free agent at the end of the season, so this pick makes sense.

7. Arizona Cardinals (5-11): Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

No quarterback is going to be able to do very much in Arizona until the offensive line gets shored up. An offensive tackle is a must here for the Cards.

8. Buffalo Bills (6-10): Matt Barkley, QB, USC

Ryan Fitzpatrick’s inconsistency and propensity to turn the ball over has cost the Bills. It may be too early to give up on him considering he’s owed a good amount of money, but it is too big of a risk to move forward with him as the unchallenged starter.

9. New York Jets (6-10): Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia

New York has issues all over its roster, but defense has suddenly emerged as one of the biggest concerns. Mark Sanchez is still due a ton of money in 2013 and will likely get one more chance to prove he can be the franchise player the Jets hoped they had drafted No. 5 overall. 

That’s where Alec Ogletree comes in. He’s not going to get downfield and catch touchdown passes, but he can be a solid rock in the middle of the Jets defense. Bart Scott is declining and it’s showing on the field for the Jets.

Ogletree is also the biggest and most freakish first-round prospect in this year’s draft. His offseason performances will be enough for the Jets to see their future star defender and snatch him up.

10. Tennessee Titans (6-10): Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State

Werner is the best fit and best player available for the Titans at this point. Their pass defense will thank them by adding a physical edge-rusher into the mix for 2013.

11. San Diego Chargers (7-9): Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

Philip Rivers is not very good under pressure. Philip Rivers was under pressure a lot in 2012. Case closed. The only way to solve the issue and get Rivers back to playing at a Pro Bowl level is to make sure he is protected in the pocket.

12. Miami Dolphins (7-9): Keenan Allen, WR, California

The next step for the Dolphins is adding a big target and home-run threat like Allen for their young QB. Ryan Tannehill won’t complain about this pick, that’s for sure.

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9): Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

Trading Aqib Talib to New England makes this move a necessity. They may draft one or two more corners throughout the remainder of the draft, as well.

14. Carolina Panthers (7-9): Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State

Carolina’s defense was much improved this season but it still had problems stopping the run. Hankins is the guy to best help rectify that if he’s still available at No. 14.

15. New Orleans Saints (7-9): Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina 

The Saints were second-to-last in rush defense only to Jacksonville. They need to do something to clog the running lanes in the middle of their defensive front, and Williams is a good start.

16. St. Louis Rams (7-8-1): Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama

Warmack is a potential steal this deep into the draft and will immediately help both protecting Sam Bradford and opening holes for whoever is toting the ball out of the backfield in 2013.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8): Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU 

The Steelers' defense has been hit hard by injuries in recent years, and in the AFC North teams desperately need healthy bodies. Pittsburgh needs to bring in a hybrid-type player to counter future injuries and aging veteran superstars.

18. Dallas Cowboys (8-8): Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU 

Rob Ryan is a defensive genius and would be thrilled to have a player of Ansah's caliber. Few defensive players could ask for a better coach to play for to start their career, and he'll have the luxury of learning from an elite pass-rusher in DeMarcus Ware. 

19. New York Giants (9-7): Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State

This isn’t a knee-jerk reaction to Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons torching the Giants 34-0 in Week 15. But that doesn't hurt the case for the Giants going with a CB at this point in the draft.

20. Chicago Bears (10-6): Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

The Bears need blockers to give Jay Cutler more time next season or they will never be able to get better in the NFC North division. Their offensive line play was terrible in 2012.

21. Cincinnati Bengals (10-6): Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU

The Bengals are getting better and better up front and could really make a statement by adding a top talent like Montgomery in the offseason. Michael Johnson is set to hit free agency, and even if he re-signs, this is a good pick for an emerging defense.

22. St. Louis Rams, From Washington (10-6): Barrett Jones, OL, Alabama

Jones is versatile, huge and can play anywhere on the offensive line. The Rams were lucky to have added Chance Warmack a few picks earlier, and they won’t complain about nabbing his teammate in another attempt to shore up the trenches.

23. Minnesota Vikings (10-6): Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee 

Christian Ponder needs help on offense, at least in the passing game. Adrian Peterson has the running game locked down for the next couple of seasons, at least, so adding a wideout would be a nice complement.

24. Indianapolis Colts (11-5): Johnathan Jenkins, DT, Georgia

Controlling the line of scrimmage against power running teams will be a key for the Colts if they hope to make any progress in the AFC standings next season. If they can’t hold it down in the trenches, teams like Houston and New England will continue to pound the football at them at the point of attack.

25. Baltimore Ravens (10-6): Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon

Getting Jordan here would be ideal for Baltimore, who could definitely use him rushing the passer on the edges of its defense.

26. Seattle Seahawks (11-5): Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas

The only thing scarier than the current Seahawks secondary is the thought that they can get even better in this draft. Vaccaro will make them even better.

27. San Francisco 49ers (11-4-1): Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia

The 49ers are looking for explosive playmakers. Last year they picked LaMichael James and A.J. Jenkins, and this year they’ll take a gamble on arguably the most explosive player in this draft.

28. Green Bay Packers (11-5): Jonathan Cooper, G/C, North Carolina

Aaron Rodgers was the most-sacked quarterback in the NFL throughout the regular season. Getting a player like Cooper this deep in the first round would be a dream come true for Green Bay. The team could also benefit from a better power-rushing game, and Cooper would definitely help in that regard.

29. New England Patriots (12-4): Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor

Williams has the type of speed that is appealing to virtually anyone. His ability to haul in nearly everything thrown his way makes him a prime target for Tom Brady.

30. Denver Broncos (13-3): Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame

Peyton Manning could use another top-tier tight end to throw to in the waning years of his career. Also, Eifert is the guy that help will usher in a new era as well for Brock Osweiler, the presumed heir to Manning’s throne.

31. Houston Texans (12-4): Matt Elam, S, Florida

Houston needs reliable over-the-top coverage, and Elam could help begin the process of doing that.


32. Atlanta Falcons (13-3): Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford

Tony Gonzalez is one of the top options for Matt Ryan, but he’s not going to be around forever. Snagging Ertz here makes sense with Eifert off the board and much of the top-tier defenders gone as well.

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