From January until just moments before the draft begins, it seems there are enough mock draft’s out there to match the volume of Romance of the Three Kingdoms. So I usually hold off until at least after the combine to post my first mock of the year. Sure, they’re usually way off and really funny to go back and look at, but with a top 10 that has the least amount of “locks” that I have ever seen, there should be some surprises this year.
With that in mind, here is the first version of my mock draft that I will update once per week until the draft happens on April 27, 2013.
1. Kansas City – Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A & M – I never believed Geno Smith would go number one overall. With the acquisition of Alex Smith, a franchise tackle is needed to protect him and Joeckel is the top talent in the draft.
2. Jacksonville – Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida - Floyd was considerend a top 15 guy back in January and now I’m seeing him as high as number one overall in some mocks. He’ll fit in with a team that had a poor pass rush last season.
3. Oakland – Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon – Another guy that has shot up the draft board, Jordan will fill a need with Richard Seymour and Desmond Bryant unlikely to be back. If only they avoid the temptation to take Geno Smith here.
4. Philadelphia – Sheldon Richardson, DE/DT, Missouri – With Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson not being a fit for the 3-4 switch, the need for pass rushers will have Chip Kelly jumping for a player like Richardson.
5. Detroit – DeMarcus Milliner, CB, Alabama – It’s rare that a corner goes in the top five unless he is a remarkable talent or the team has an enormous need. That would be why the Lions go with Milliner here.
6. Cleveland – Ezekiel Ansah, DE/OLB, BYU – With Juqua Parker-Thomas aging and hitting free agency, a replacement is needed with the switch to the 3-4 defense. Ansah is now being mocked in the top five routinely. If he’s there, Cleveland will rush to the podium.
7. Arizona – Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia - While I think Arizona should rebuild their offensive line before setting yet another quarterback up to fail, they’ve shown me no reason in the past that they will make the right pick here.
8. Buffalo – Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee – With Geno Smith off the board, Buffalo likely looks for a quarterback early in round two and goes with a compliment to Stevie Johnson.
9. New York (Jets) – Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State – Once talked about as a top three pick, Werner slides into the laps of the pass rush hungry Jets here at great value.
10. Tennessee – Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan – For Jake Locker to truly succeed and Chris Johnson to show if he has any of his previous ability left, the offensive line should be top priority in Tennessee and Mike Munchak knows it.
11. San Diego – Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma – What a difference a good combine and Senior Bowl can have for a guy. This is a huge need for San Diego and Johnson should fit the scheme well.
12. Miami – Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington – With Sean Smith hitting free agency, the Dolphins go for a corner with Cordarrelle Patterson off the board.
13. Tampa Bay – Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas – With Trufant likely their target and no other corner being worth this selection, Vaccaro fills a different need for the Bucs with Ronde Barber hitting 38 this year.
14. Carolina – Star Lotulelei, NT, Utah – I remember seeing a mock a few weeks ago that had Lotulelei going number one overall. But just as a good combine can help you, not working at one can make you slide. Carolina decides that the risk is worth it.
15. New Orleans – Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU – Mingo doesn’t move too far from LSU as the Saints will have a need for stud pass rushers with the switch to the 3-4.
16. St. Louis – Chance Warmack, G, Alabama – I have had the Rams going wide receiver here the whole offseason, but with two picks in the first round, they’ll address the offensive line when a player like Warmack slides.
17. Pittsburgh – Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia – Teams like the Steelers have been so good for so long because they always seem to take a risk on the “red flag” prospects with high potential. Jones, a top 3 talent, certainly fits that bill and fills a huge need.
18. Dallas – Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina – For all of the griping about Tony Romo from Cowboys fans, he played very well last season. Imagine what he can do with some actual pocket protection.
19. New York (Giants) – Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M – Every year the draft pundits jump on the Giants for taking yet another pass rusher then later marvel at just how outstanding their pass rush is. With the end of the Osi era in New York, Moore will fit in perfect.
20. Chicago – Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia – For as great as Brandon Marshall was last season, it was him and just some guys out there. Austin will be an immediate threat as a compliment.
21. Cincinnati – Manti T’eo, ILB, Notre Dame – All jokes aside, Teo is still a top 20 talent. It’s cliche to mock him to the Bengals, who usually don’t care about character flags or distractions. But they’ve earned that cliche over the years.
22. St. Louis (from Washington) – Keenan Allen, WR, California – Getting out of the first round with a stud offensive lineman and wide receiver will have Sam Bradford feeling a lot better.
23. Minnesota – Jonathan Jenkins, DT, Georgia – The Vikings need a big boy next to Kevin Williams who can actually push the pile. Jenkins is incredible value at this spot.
24. Indianapolis – D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama – With the franchise quarterback in place, the Colts will look to make sure he stays upright for the next decade by building a stud offensive line.
25. Seattle – Kawann Short, DT, Purdue – It just doesn’t seem fair when a defense as dominant as Seattle’s can get better at this spot in the draft, but by adding an interior pass rusher like Short, it absolutely will.
26. Green Bay – Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame – If Jermichael Finley isn’t back in 2013, the addition of Eifert here is a foregone conclusion.
27. Houston – Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia – The Texans usually stay far away from prospects with “character issues” like Ogletree has, but with Brian Cushing coming back from an ACL injury and no one else on the roster capable of being an impactful starter, they take a risk.
28. Denver – Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina – Williams had a superb Senior Bowl and that pushed him up into the first round for teams looking to improve their interior pass rush.
29. New England – Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International – With Patrick Chung hitting free agency and Devin McCourty perhaps moving back to his natural corner position, Cyprien sneaks into the first round.
30. Atlanta – Datone Jones, DE, UCLA – With the surprise cut of John Abraham, the Falcons will take the best pass rusher available ar 30. Jones fits the scheme and will break camp as a starter.
31. San Francisco – Matt Elam, S, Florida – After getting lit up in the Super Bowl, I expect the team to bring in the eventual replacement for Donte Whitner with this pick. Elam, once considered the best safety in the draft, will have every chance to supplant him in camp.
32. Baltimore – DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson – Probably the “safest” wide receiver in the first round, Hopkins has the opportunity to battle for a starting spot if Anquan Boldin is indeed released as has been rumored.
Filed under: 2013 NFL Draft
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