February 26, 2013
Ok, so here it is. My long awaited 2013 Mock Draft. I know everyone has been itching to see what my extremely educated predications would be. Right? Well, the 2013 combine is over and players have (justifiably or not, that is an argument for another day) made or lost millions of dollars based on how fast they run and how high they jump inside of a controlled setting. You may think I say that mockingly, but I am a combine junkie. I watch it every year, and am drawn into all of the little things that people think are stupid. That being said, I do see the problems with putting too much stock into those numbers. To be a first round talent, first and foremost you have to be a football player. That is why some players didn’t fall through the ranks of my list, sometimes a football player is a football player and doesn’t deserve to be stripped of his first round grade because he can’t run in a straight line as fast as a guy with half his production. So, read and enjoy. I will update this a few times before April, so keep your eyes open.
1. Kansas City Chiefs – OT – Luke Joeckel – Texas A&M
The Chiefs pretty much need a game changer at every position. Looking at their roster will make anyone uncomfortable. Their team needs a lot of help, and it needs it soon. One of the positions that they desperately need a game changer at is QB. Then why didn’t I pick a QB you ask? The best QB on the board, by leaps and bounds, is Geno Smith. And Geno Smith is not valuable enough to take at number 1. I think the chiefs could make a trade down, and may get Geno in the first round, but at pick number 1? I hope not. That would be overvaluing a player at its finest. So Kansas City, clear the ruble and begin where the game starts – the OL. Luke Joeckl deserves the top spot at OT and if KC stays at pick 1, he should get the call.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars – DE – Bjoren Werner – Florida State
Another team that, in my opinion needs a QB, but again, not this high. The Jaguars need help on the defensive side of the ball. They were last in the league in sacks last year, so an elite pass rusher is essential. John Babbich, the Jaguars new DC, is a 30 year coaching veteran who will want to implement a hard nosed defense. That won’t be possible if the Jags cant get the QB. Werner will be an immediate help in their pass rush. The kid is no slouch against the run either, and is the best DE in the draft. He didn’t show out at the combine, but I don’t think he did bad enough to drop out of the top 5 – unlike Domontre Moore. Last week, I might have gone with Moore in this spot, but his combine showing was less impressive than I hoped for, and his 40 time may hurt his stock. So, bring on the German.
3. Oakland Raiders – DT – Star Lotulelei – Utah
The Oakland Raiders need a few upgrades on the defensive side of the ball. I think DT is more essential than a DB for this team, so I’m passing over Dee Milner. I initially had Florida’s Sherriff Floyd rated slightly higher than Lotulelei, but Lotulelei just looks more like a Raider. 6’2”, 311 lbs, and a beautiful beard. Floyd weighed in at the combine a little on the light side, “only” 297. While Floyd might be more athletic, Lotulelei is more Raider.
4. Phillidelphia Eagles – OT – Lane Johnson – Oklahoma
I admit, this has been the toughest call for me so far. The Eagles have a brand new coaching staff, headed by offensive genius Chip Kelley. However, it will likely be their defense that changes the most drastically. No more wide-nine bologna. I wouldn’t be surprised if Dee Milliner came off the board here to sure up that secondary. But, it is no secret that the Eagles struggled on the OL last year, unusually high number of injuries or not. Lane Johnson made some money over the weekend, he was top among OL in almost every category. The TE turned OL showed off his athleticism, and Chip Kelley was probably drooling at that size and speed. LT Jason Peters is expected to return to starting duties, but I think last season combined with Johnson’s excellent workout over the weekend makes him too good to pass up. He is strong enough to play RT until his time comes on the other side.
5. Detroit Lions – CB – Dee Milliner – Alabama
The Lions need a DB. Badly. Dee Milliner is the best on the board, and a sure fire top 5 pick. He is a complete CB that will be able to completely erase a WR after a little bit of seasoning in the NFL. He struggled a bit in combine drills with his ball skills, but that isn’t something I saw during his time at Alabama. If he is available here, I don’t think the Lions will blink before entering their pick.
6. Cleveland Browns – DE – Barkevious Mingo – LSU
Ok, here it is. The first player that I am probably overvaluing based on combine results and pure athleticism (I don’t count Lane Johnson. He played against a higher level of competition than Eric Fisher, and his measurables show his skill). Don’t get me wrong, Mingo has been productive for LSU, but it is his measurable that are going to make NFL coaches giddy. He has a slight frame, but running a 4.58 40 yard dash makes up for it. He will be able to outrun some DBs on whatever team that drafts him, and will be an immediate help in the pass rush. He will be a perfect fit in a 3-4 defense, just like the one that new DC Ray Horton plans to run at Cleveland.
7. Arizona Cardinals – QB – Geno Smith – West Virginia
And here it is people, the team who is desperate enough to take a QB in the top 10, even without a QB having actual top 10 value. Arizona needs someone behind center, and Geno Smith is the best available. Arizona may look to make a trade before April and get this role filled, but until that happens I think they will take Smith.
8. Buffalo Bills – ILB – Alec Ogletree – Georgia
I think Ogletree is the second best linebacker on Georgia’s squad, so it surprises even me that I have him being drafted before Jarvis Jones. However, the Bills need help inside, not out. And Ogletree is the best ILB in the draft. I will hear no arguments for Manti T’eo.
9. New York Jets – OLB – Ezekiel Ansah – BYU
My how the Jets have fallen. It was a slow crash that everyone not a Jets fans, on the inside at least, liked watching. It is like a train wreck that one just can’t look away from. Their drafting hasn’t been great, and no matter what they do, they can’t seem to find that ever-elusive pass rusher. Ezekiel Ansah will give them that. He is a bit raw, but we know Rex Ryan loves to take risks on projects.
10. Tennessee Titans – DE – Damontre Moore – Texas A&M
The Titans could use an OL or two, but they need a DE. I could see them reaching for Chance Warmack here, but that seems like a reach to me for a player who can only play OG in the NFL. He will be a good one, but I don’t think he warrants a top 10 pick. Moore offers Tennessee a solid pass rush off the end. His poor combine numbers excluded, this kid can play football, and deserves to be a top 10 pick.
11. San Diego Chargers – OT – Eric Fisher – Central Michigan
When I started writing this, I didn’t expect Fisher to drop out of the top 10. He is a very good OT, and will have a long and prosperous career in the NFL. Lane Johnson’s showing at the combine is the only reason I have him outside the top 10, if he sneaks in before, I wouldn’t be surprised. He fits the chargers need for a true LT.
12. Miami Dolphins – WR – Cordarrelle Patterson – Tennessee
I asked my Miami native roommate who he wanted to see the Dolphins draft. He said a new GM. However, since Jeff Ireland is still employed, lets try to enter his mind on draft day. The Dolphins have not had a true number 1 receiver in a number of years. Cordarrell Patterson is the only receiver in this class worthy of a top 15 pick. I think he could be an immediate impact player for the Dolphins and give Ryan Tannehill the help he needs.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – S – Kenny Vaccaro – Texas
Ronde Barber hasn’t said he is going to retire, but he hasn’t renounced those rumors either. He may be getting older, but he is still playing at a high level. However, when he does decide to step away, the Bucs will need a safety to complement Mark Barron. Taking a safety with your first pick two years in a row might sound a little crazy, but they need help in the defensive backfield.
14. Carolina Panthers – DT – Sherriff Floyd – Florida
How did this guy get this far down my board? He might be the best DT in the draft, and is an athletic freak (I know I have another DT ahead of him, I already explained why). He is a little light for an every-down 3 tech, but the panthers can just feed him a little extra before games. The guy is an athlete, and will be a good fit in the Panther’s scheme.
15. New Orleans Saints – OLB – Jarvis Jones – Georgia
Jones dropped this low just because of Ezekiel Ansah’s combine performance and Rex Ryan’s propensity towards taking calculated risks. However, the saints are moving to a 3-4 and need an OLB that can get to the QB. Jarvis Jones is that type of player.
16. St. Louis Rams – OG – Chance Warmack – Alabama
The Rams need help on the interior of their line. Chance Warmack is the best OG in the draft. He wouldn’t have fallen this far if he was able to play another position on the line. However, he is a pure road grader on the interior and will likely start immediately for the Rams.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers – OLB/DE – Dion Jordan – Oregon
Jordan is a guy who helped his stock tremendously with a good showing in combine drills. The Steelers need a pass rusher, and if Jordan is still available they will snatch him up.
18. Dallas Cowboys – OG – Jonathan Cooper – North Carolina
This is a guy who plays with a nasty streak. His knock, before coming to the combine was his weight. However, he added 30 lbs to his frame and his drills didn’t suffer from it. If he can keep the weight on during the season, he will be a force to be reckoned with in the middle of the field.
19. New York Giants – TE – Zach Ertz – Stanford
The New York giants are good at most positions, not great, but at least solid. They could use an upgrade in more than one area, but TE is a position that they need a consistent threat. With the growing role of the TE in the NFL, Zach Ertz has become fairly valuable. He solidified his role as the top TE at the combine, and will be a big pickup for the Giants here.
20. Chicago Bears – OT – DJ Fluker – Alabama
The bears need help blocking. Period. People give Jay Cutler a hard time for being whiney, which he is, but a lot of it stems from spending a lot of time on his back. Fluker is a solid RT who is mean enough to play OG. He will be an upgrade for the Bears.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – ILB – Manti T’eo – Notre Dame
I have long thought T’eo overrated. A fake girlfriend scandal and a poor showing at the combine and he has dropped significantly in coaches’ eyes as well. However, someone is going to give him a shot in the first round. Rey Maualuga is a free agent, and isn’t expected to be with the Bengals next season. So, they may very well be the team to take that shot. I want it noted I don’t think he deserves to be drafted this high, and maybe in 2.0 I will figure out how to drop him from the first round completely.
22. St. Louis Rams (From Washington Redskins) – WR – Justin Hunter – Tennessee
Hunter had an impressive showing at the combine. Too bad he was outshined by fellow teammate Cordarrell Patterson. Even though, he did an outstanding job and jumped up to the number 2 WR. The rams could use a WR with his size and skill set, and will be a solid second selection for their first round.
23. Minnesota Vikings – WR – Kennan Allen – California
Kennan Allen has been a freak on the collegiate level. He has been nursing a knee injury, so he didn’t participate at the combine. However, barring anything unforeseen at his Sr. Day and being cleared by doctors, this is a good place for him to come off the board. If he had participated at the combine he may have been higher on my board, at least switched with Justin Hunter.
24. Indianapolis Colts – CB – Xavier Rhodes – Florida State
The colts need some help on the defensive side of the ball. They also need some help on the OL, but at this spot in the draft, a CB is more valuable. This is a player who caught my eye at the combine. He has a history of knee injuries, but has the talent to be a starting CB. Due to Jonthan Bank’s average showing at the NFL combine, I have Rhodes jumping him to be the second CB off the board.
25. Seattle Seahawks – DE – Datone Jones – UCLA
As good as Seattle’s defense was, they didn’t have a perpetual penetrating DL. I realize they scheme to their LBs, but I cant see them passing up a DE that can get to the QB, especially since Chris Clemmons tore his ACL last season. Jones is the best available at this position. He ran the 40 faster than Manti T’eo, and he has some weight behind him to tie up blockers in the run game. The more I think about it, the more I think he is the perfect fit for Pete Carroll’s defense.
26. Green Bay Packers – DT – Johnathan Hankins – Ohio State
The Packers need a RB. However, I think for this draft class, they will be better in the 2nd or 3rd rounds going for a Stephan Taylor or Onterio McCaleb, depending on the style RB they think they need to complement the passing game (I’m a fan of pounding the rock, so would lean to Taylor). So, how about someone to stop the run then? I picked Hankins here, mainly because I want to see him play next to BJ Raji. He didn’t wow at the combine, and he may slip to the second round, but the guy has size you can’t teach and will plug holes allowing Green Bay’s LBs to do their job.
27. Huston Texans – WR – Tavon Austin – West Virginia
Another Guy who jumped up because of his combine performance. A 4.34 40 will do that for you. His speed and elusiveness will be a good compliment to the Texan’s WR corps.
28. Denver Broncos – DT – Kwann Short – Purdue
The Bronco’s need a DT. Short didn’t participate at the combine, but has been consistently graded as a first round talent. I admit that I haven’t seen the guy play, and youtube isn’t much help. But, I trust the grades others have given him and DT is a need here. So, good for him.
29. New England Patriots – CB – Jonthan Banks – Mississippi State University
Jonathan Banks was the winner of this year’s Thorpe Award, even so he was the second best CB in the SEC and the third best available for this draft. His 40 time wasn’t amazing at the combine, but he makes up for lack of speed with smart play and a long body.
30. Atlanta Falcons – TE – Tyler Eifert – Notre Dame
Lets all be honest, Tony Gonzalez can’t be great for much longer. He is considering retiring, and even if he doesn’t he won’t be around for long. The Falcons need a TE to fill in that role. Eifert is a solid TE prospect who will try to fill the shoes of the future hall of famer, and will only be better if he gets a season or two under the tutelage of Gonzalez.
31. San Francisco 49ers – NT – Johnathan Jenkins – Georgia
Jenkins is getting some competition from Brandon Williams from Missouri Southern State, but in the end I think that Jenkins will win out. He has the tendency to take plays off, but I think that Harbaugh and Co. will get that out of him. He only participated in the bench press, so he better do well at Georgia’s Sr. Day, because Williams will gladly take this spot.
32. Baltimore Ravens – S – Eric Reid – LSU
The Ravens will look to replace Ray Lewis, but I don’t know who would be worth the pick here. Certainly, there will be no one to replace Ray Lewis. The Ravens may also lose Ed Reed next year, and if not next season, soon. So a Safety here seems like the next likely scenario. Eric Reed is the best safety left. He did well at the combine, and would be able to immediately contribute.
By: Dylan S. White