2013 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

Posted: February 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

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After a moderately successful season picking games against the spread, SkoodSports is ready to take a crack at the NFL Draft. Of course, not even Nostradamus himself could accurately pick every selection in the first round. But, it is the challenge that makes it so interesting. There are destined to be a couple of versions of this mock with trades and combine information yet to come. So, without further ado, here is SkoodSports’ 2013 NFL Mock Draft (version 1.0):

1. Kansas City Chiefs – OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M

Many mocks have West Virginia QB Geno Smith going to Andy Reid at this pick. However, Smith is far from a polished prospect. The worst pick a team can make is a reach on a QB at #1 (see Russell, Jamarcus). Taking the wrong guy under center can not only derail a franchise’s growth, but also end a coach’s career. Andy Reid’s arrogance and ability to tutor QB’s will lead him to take the best player available and look elsewhere for a franchise signal-caller. Joeckel is considered the finest prospect in the draft, and will protect the blindside of whomever Reid decides to go with for a decade to come.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars – DE Bjoern Werner, Florida State

New Jacksonville coach Gus Bradley is a shrewd defensive mind who benefited from a slew of pass-rushers in Seattle led by Chris Clemons and Bruce Irvin. Jacksonville’s current roster is devoid of impact playmakers on either side of the ball. Expect Bradley to solidify that defense with the selection of a playmaker like Werner. The German-born Seminole has great quickness off the ball and is still raw, having not started playing the sport until he was 15.

3. Oakland Raiders – DE Barkevious Mingo, LSU

The Raiders have some nice tools on offense. But, their defense took a massive step backwards in 2012 under first-year coach Dennis Allen. Oakland has long had a philosophy of drafting for potential, tools, and talent over experience (see Russell, Jamarcus and Heyward-Bey, Darrius). Barkevious Mingo has unlimited ability. The long-armed, explosive athlete is surprisingly instinctive and refined as a football player. However, he has only started five collegiate games. Sounds right up the Raiders’ alley.r

4. Philadelphia Eagles – NT Star Lotulelei, Utah

The rumors are swirling that Chip Kelly plans to hire a defensive coordinator to switch the Eagles from their longtime 4-3 alignment to a 3-4. If this is the case, then the team will have to make drastic changes in personnel. It is conceivable that Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry, and Trent Cole could suffice as 3-4 rush outside-linebackers. Fletcher Cox could then move to the outside as a 3-4 defensive end. However, one thing the Eagles do not have (and have not had on their roster since Hollis Thomas) is a big road-grader in the middle to clog up the holes and allow the linebackers free reign over the opposing running game. Star Lotulelei is the best nose-tackle on the board. He could immediately step in as a starter under a new defensive coordinator.

5. Detroit Lions – RB Eddie Lacy, Alabama

No player saw his draft stock rise during bowl season more than Eddie Lacy. After sitting behind Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson his first two years in Tuscaloosa, the 6’0, 220 lb monster back burst onto the scene in 2012. His legs are fresh and his moves are impressive. Detroit has been wildly one-dimensional the past few years. Whilst getting an improvement on defense would be nice, the Lions could use a running game to control the clock and make play-action passes to Calvin Johnson more believable.

6. Cleveland Browns – OLB Jarvis Jones, Georgia

New Browns coach Rob Chudzinski would love to get a playmaking WR for Brandon Weeden at this pick. However, no wideout in this draft is deserving of a top-five selection. So, the team is forced to improve their defense with the addition of Jones. One of the best pass-rushers in the class, Jones can also hold his own against the run, as evidenced in Georgia’s narrow SEC Championship Game loss to Alabama. There are some injury questions, as the redshirt Junior was diagnosed with a case of spinal stenosis in 2009 and some NFL doctors may be hesitant to clear him.

7. Arizona Cardinals – QB Geno Smith, West Virginia

Talk about a best-case scenario for Bruce Arians and the Cardinals. In a draft with a weak QB class, Arizona gets the best of the bunch at #7. The Kevin Kolb experiment is waning. Injuries and inconsistency will contribute to Arians finding a new, fresh face to put under center in 2013. Smith may have some question marks. But, he has the mobility and arm strength that scouts love.

8. Buffalo Bills – OT Erik Fisher, Central Michigan

A lot of belief that the Bills will go QB here under new coach Doug Marrone. I do think that Buffalo will get a QB in this draft. But, I doubt it is at #8. Marrone’s QB whilst at Syracuse, Ryan Nassib, will be available later in the first round or in the second. I think that is the route that the former New Orleans Offensive Coordinator will go. Buffalo had the likes of Cordy Glenn and Sam Young starting at tackle last year. It is time for an upgrade.

9. New York Jets – WR Keenan Allen, California

Plaxico Burress caught 8 touchdowns for the Jets in 2011. After losing both “Cheddar-Bob” and Santonio Holmes for the 2012 season, the New York passing game went down the tubes. There’s no question that the Jets need weapons on offense since they are stuck with Mark Sanchez for the foreseeable future. Allen is a big (6’3, 210 lb) target who should provide Sanchez with a reliable red-zone threat.

10. Tennessee Titans – DE Damontre Moore, Texas A&M

Damontre Moore’s fall culminates in the former Aggie going #10 to Tennessee. The Titans’ defense was a collective disappointment in 2012. They became the first team in history to surrender 30+ points in each of their first five games. Moore is a talented rusher with run-stopping tools who could go as high as #2 in the draft. The Titans would be licking-their-chops if they found him waiting for them at #10.

11. San Diego Chargers – OG Chance Warmack, Alabama

Chance Warmack is a top-10 talent playing a position rarely taken in the top-20 of the draft. San Diego needs playmakers for Philip Rivers after losing Vincent Jackson and Darren Sproles in consecutive offseasons. But, the draft is not top-heavy with offensive skill-position talent. It is, however, filled with road-graders like Warmack, a 6’2, 322 pound monster who was a unanimous All-American. A starter for 39 games during his career with the Crimson Tide, the Atlanta native is light on his feet and able to get good push on defensive tackles whilst showing good lateral ability against speed-rushers. New coach Mike McCoy would probably prefer a bookend tackle. But, with Fisher and Joekel off the board, replacing Rex Hadnot next to Nick Hardwick would be a fine move for an offensive coach.

12. Miami Dolphins – CB Dee Milliner, Alabama

Another member of the national champion Crimson Tide is off the board. Miami surprised many by dealing #1 Cornerback Vontae Davis to Indianapolis prior to the start of the 2012 season. Sean Smith is a capable starter in the secondary. But, Bryan McCann had zero interceptions last year starting on the opposite side. Milliner has size (6-1) and speed (4.47) and should be a huge addition to a team that still has to play two games a year against New England’s vaunted vertical attack.

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – CB Jonathan Banks, Mississippi State

The Buccaneers had the 32nd ranked pass defense last season. In other words, it could not get any worse for their secondary. They used their first pick to select S Mark Barron last year. There’s a good chance they use another top pick to further improve their woeful secondary. Jonathan Banks has had over 50 tackles each of his last three seasons, as well as 16 turnovers forced either through interceptions or forced fumbles. A playmaker is what Banks can become and in Tampa Bay, they need defensive playmakers.

14. Carolina Panthers – DT Sharrif Floyd, Florida

Carolina drafted BC Linebacker Luke Kuechly in the first round in 2012. A year later, he is their second consecutive winner of a Rookie of the Year award. They’ll go for three straight with former Gator Sharrif Floyd. At 6-3, Floyd has the size you look for to knock down balls in what has become a passing league. He does not carry much girth at 303 pounds, but, Floyd is a versatile talent who has played both end and tackle on Florida’s front. In the Gators’ Sugar Bowl loss to Teddy Bridgewater and Louisville, Floyd recorded two sacks.

15. New Orleans Saints – DE Ezekiel Ansah, BYU

I would not be surprised to see the pass rushing specialist from Brigham Young go in the top-five. After all, this has become a passing league, and the best way to stop a passing game is to get to the QB. The 6-5, 274 pound wrecking ball possesses a rare combination of size, athleticiscm, and power. I would not be surprised to see him go as high as Detroit or Philadelphia in the top-five. New Orleans, however, finds a need here as they will be switching from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense. Ansah, who has compared himself in the past to Jason Pierre-Paul and Clay Matthews, could thrive in either format.

16. St. Louis Rams – OT Lane Johnson, Oklahoma

Another lineman is off the board as St. Louis looks to replace Barry Richardson on the right side with Oklahoma’s Lane Johnson. The 6-6, 302 pound road-grader looked good at the Senior Bowl, and is more athletic than most linemen. After all, Johnson was a high school QB before transitioning to TE with the Sooners in 2010. Halfway through that season, he converted to the other side of the ball, suiting up for Bob Stoops as a DE. In 2011, Johnson switched to OT and has never looked back.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers – OT DJ Fluker, Alabama

Pittsburgh’s offensive line has been the bane of their existence for years now. Even when they were winning Super Bowls in 2005 and 2008, they did it in spite of mediocre line play. This may be a bit of a reach at 17. But, there’s no denying the need. Pittsburgh could look to go pass rusher to replace the aging James Harrison. With most of the rushers off the board, I think they will consider trading down and grabbing this proven winner. What is the one thing the Steelers have forever been known for? The answer is running the football. They have gotten away from that philosophy in recent years. But, Fluker is the best run-blocker in this draft and a healthy Rashard Mendenhall with lanes to run through could propel Pittsburgh back into the playoffs in 2013.

18. Dallas Cowboys – DT Sheldon Richardson, Missouri

Much of the news out of JerryWorld has been regarding Dallas’ switch from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense. With that move, they will need to pick up at least one defensive tackle this offseason. Jay Ratliff, whilst a talented interior presence, shamelessly blew a .16 and was charged with a DUI just months after his teammate was killed by a drunk driver. The 6-3, 295 pound Richardson has speed (4.89) and size. His one flaw is experience, as he did not become a full-time starter until Missouri moved to the SEC in 2012. However, his 75 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, a blocked kick, and a 60-yard fumble return all suggest that Richardson is the perfect compliment on the line to DeMarcus Ware and Ratliff.

19. New York Giants – OLB Alec Ogletree, Georgia

The Giants recently released OLB Michael Boley, so there is certainly a need at the position. The Giants won their two Super Bowls behind defense, and while it would be nice to improve the offensive line, the value just is not here at 19. Ogletree is a former safety with terrific athleticism and range. Not only that, but, he has proven to be one of the best special teams players in the country, something critical for youngsters in the NFL. Many compare the former Bulldog to Atlanta’s Sean Weatherspoon. I doubt that Giants’ coach Tom Coughlin would have much of a problem with that.

20. Chicago Bears – TE Zach Ertz, Stanford

The Bears once again fell short last season and it led to the firing of Lovie Smith. New coach Marc Trestman is a QB guru who will look to keep Jay Cutler playing consistently all season. One way to ease the mind of any signal-caller is by getting him a security blanket over the middle. Yes, Cutler and Brandon Marshall formed a dominant duo last season. But, TE Kellen Davis has never progressed like they would have liked. Zach Ertz is the top TE on the board. At 6-6, 252 pounds, he presents a tall target for Cutler on check-downs. He led the Cardinal in catches (69), yards (898), and receiving touchdowns (six) last season.

21. Cincinnati Bengals – ILB Manti Te’o, Notre Dame

All the off-the-field issues aside, Manti Te’o is still a first round talent. Prior to the national title, he was projected by most to go in the top-ten. Cincinnati has shown in the past that they do not mind selecting players with significant character concerns. Te’o’s problems as different, as he is a victim of the 21st century’s 24-hour news cycle. Cincinnati’s defense was much improved last year. But, placing Te’o in their corps of linebackers would only improve their consistency.

22. St. Louis Rams (via Washington) – SS Matt Elam, Florida

Quintin Mikell is just about done, and St. Louis will need to find a replacement for the former Boise State Bronco. Matt Elam is the consensus top safety in the draft. He combines decent speed (4.53), size (5-10, 202), and ball-hawking ability (six interceptions) to become a star safety in the NFL.

23. Minnesota Vikings – WR Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee

When Percy Harvin went down once again last season, the Vikings were left with retreads like Michael Jenkins in their starting lineup. Yes, Adrian Peterson is the best there is at RB. But, backs always struggle the year after they rush as much as Peterson did (especially coming off of major knee surgery). Cordarrelle Patterson could go in the top-15 because of his size (6-3) and ability to stretch the field (16.9 average per catch). He would be the perfect compliment to the speedy yet diminutive Harvin.

24. Indianapolis Colts – DT John Jenkins, Georgia

The Indianap0lis defense struggled mightily at times last year. After switching to a 3-4 from a 4-3 in the offseason prior, the Colts were left sticking square pegs in some round holes. NT Antonio Johnson was capable in the middle. But, Jonathan Jenkins of Georgia presents an option that is too good to pass up. Every great 3-4 defense has a great behemoth to plug into the middle. Jenkins, who stands at 6-4, 360 pounds, would fill that hole to a T. They say he is built like a Coke machine. Good luck moving him.

25. Seattle Seahawks – DT Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State

Seattle’s defense was dominant last year. But, the unit was lacking an interior pass-rushing precense. “Big Hank,” as he has become known in Columbus, started every game as a Junior, recording four tackles for loss. His rare combination of size and foot quickness make him an integral asset to a pass rushing defensive line.

26. Green Bay Packers – CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida State

Green Bay’s defense was victimized by woeful pass coverage at times last year. Say what you will about the phantom Hail Mary against Seattle, but, any CB with knowledge or skills would have knocked the ball down. Colin Kaepernick also had his way with the Packers’ defense in January. With Charles Woodson a FA and a fossil, the Packers need someone to rely on opposite Tramon Williams. If Rhodes runs a sub 4.50 40-yard dash, he should go higher than this.

27. Houston Texans – FS Kenny Vaccaro, Texas

Why not take a hometown boy to fill your biggest need? The Texans’ secondary resembled Texas States’ against high-powered offenses last year. Once the season went on, you could see that their biggest hurdle to reach the promised land was their woeful pass defense. JJ Watt can only do so much if no one can cover. Enter Vaccaro, who could certainly go higher than this, but falls because of team needs. He is fast, tough, and a heck of a hitter.

28. Denver Broncos – DE Dion Jordan, Oregon

A lot of analysts have Jordan going in the top-10. Once it gets closer to the draft, we will see where his stock is and this pick could change. The Broncos do not have many needs. They could look to get a young O-lineman (you can never have enough). But, at this pick, Jordan is just terrific value. He is a monster (6-7, 241) with long arms and a great motor. Imagine a front-seven in Denver with Jordan and Von Miller bringing the pass rush. Scary!

29. New England Patriots – CB Desmond Trufant, Washington

I would probably expect a trade here. Bill Belichick loves to move down and stock up on draft picks. This would be a terrific spot for a QB needy team (Kansas City/Buffalo?) to trade up and land a Matt Barkley or Mike Glennon. But, I do not like to predict trades. So, what does New England need the most? The answer is secondary help. There’s a lot of talk that the team could let Aqib Talib walk due to, among other things, his immense character concerns. Trufant is a senior with a ton of experience and speed (4.49). He really stood out among a talented North team in the Senior Bowl.

30. Atlanta Falcons – DE Datone Jones, UCLA

The run on defense continues. Atlanta could look at a tight end to replace the retiring Tony Gonzalez. But, their offense is not a major weakness. John Abraham is not getting any younger, and it appears as though the end is near for the veteran pass rusher. Enter Jones, who played virtually every position along the UCLA line during his career. The 6-4, 280 pound rusher is so explosive that he was able to bull-rush tackles as talented as Erik Fisher when they went eye-to-eye.

31. San Francisco 49ers – WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia

The 49ers have a new, young QB to build around. It’s not often that you can say that your second-year QB has Super Bowl experience. Now, they need to find him some weapons. Michael Crabtree, Frank Gore, LaMichael James, and Vernon Davis are nice. But, you saw how limited the 49ers were at receiver by the fact that Randy Moss was starting in the big game. Yes, they did just grab AJ Jenkins last year. But, Austin brings a game breaking ability that no one on that roster has. Well, I suppose Ted Ginn does, but, his hands of steel certainly do not stand up to Austin’s. Imagine a game breaker like this former Mountaineer taking reverse hand-offs and running the read-option with James and Kaepernick.

32. Baltimore Ravens – OG Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina

The Super Bowl champions have a lot of moves to make this offseason. Once they get the Joe Flacco situation sorted out, they will need to replace some of the guys keeping him alive. C Matt Birk is at the end of the line, and whilst it was nice to see him win one before he went out, his clock is ticking. Some teams have Cooper rated in the top-10. If he falls to Baltimore, why wouldn’t they take him?

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