2013 NFL Mock Draft 4.0

Posted: April 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

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Update: Changes to picks 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9. 10, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 30, 31, 32

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

It appears as though Joeckel will be the pick. When Andy Reid took over in Philadelphia in 1999, he already had Tra Thomas and then signed Jon Runyan to build a bookend duo at the tackle position. Joeckel, combined with Branden Albert (if he’s not dealt), will provide K.C. with a similar duo for years to come. 

2. Jacksonville Jaguars – OT Erik Fisher, Central Michigan

Gus Bradley knows defense. But, he also knows that no offense is going to succeed without a capable line. Bjoern Werner, who was previously mocked here, has seen his stock fall dramatically. Meanwhile, OT Erik Fisher put together one of the finest combines of anyone. Bradley will use his later picks to stock up on defensive players. Fisher’s rise will culminate with the first two selections being offensive linemen.

3. Oakland Raiders – DT Sharrif Floyd, Florida
(Previously: CB Dee Milliner, Alabama)

The consensus pick seems to suggest that Floyd is going to be a Raider come Thursday night. I personally think that Geno Smith has a good chance of being the pick. But, after the JaMarcus Russell fiasco, the Raiders cannot screw up another top-five pick on a QB. Floyd is one of the sure things of this draft, and will adequately replace Richard Seymour in the middle of their defensive line. 

4. Philadelphia Eagles – DE/OLB Dion Jordan
(Previously: QB Geno Smith, WVU)

If Fisher or Joeckel somehow fall here, they would immediately become the favorite to go to Philadelphia. Many believe the Eagles will grab Lane Johnson if the former two are not available. But, I am skeptical of taking the third best tackle in the draft at the fourth pick. Chip Kelly knows Dion Jordan, and his selection would provide the Eagles’ defense with an impressive group of pass rushers at OLB in the 3-4.

5. Detroit Lions – DE Ziggy Ansah, BYU
(Previously: DE Barkevious Mingo, LSU

Detroit lost Kyle Van Den Bosch and Cliff Avril this offseason. They need to reinforce their pass-rush in the draft. The coaching staff had a close look at Ansah in the Senior Bowl and is, according to WalterFootball.com, “smitten with him.”

6. Cleveland Browns – CB Dee Milliner, Alabama
(Previously: WR Cordarelle Patterson, Tennessee)

In my opinion, this is the earliest that Milliner should go. He is no Darrelle Revis (even though Revis went outside the top-10 when he was drafted), but, he is the best corner on the board and will be a #1 in the NFL eventually. Combined with Joe Haden, he will provide the Browns with a bona fide shutdown duo. Star Lotulelei or Lane Johnson are legitimate possibilities here. As is a trade.

7. Arizona Cardinals – OT Lane Johnson, Oklahoma

With the immobile Carson Palmer in tow, Arizona should focus on improving their disastrous offensive line. Johnson had a great Senior Bowl, and is as athletic as linemen come. A former high school QB and TE in his underclassman years with Oklahoma, Johnson would be the third tackle taken in the top seven.

8. Buffalo Bills – QB Ryan Nassib, Syracuse
(Previously: DE/OLB Dion Jordan, Oregon)

Doug Marrone, Nassib’s head coach at Syracuse, is now the frontman in Buffalo. The most knowledgeable of experts are now suggesting that the former Orange signal-caller is fair game at #8.

9. New York Jets – DE/OLB Barkevious Mingo, LSU
(Previously: OLB Jarvis Jones, Georgia)

The Jets desperately need to improve their pass rush now that they do not have the prowess of Darrelle Revis in the secondary. Mingo is the best rusher available, and will allow them to use the pick acquired from Tampa Bay on an offensive difference maker if they choose to do so.

10. Tennessee Titans – Chance Warmack, Alabama
(Previously: DE Damontre Moore, Texas A&M)

Either Warmack or Jonathan Cooper could go here. Tennessee signed Andy Levitre to a lucrative contract in the offseason. But, they still could use help at guard and Warmack is the BPA at this point, anyway.

11. San Diego Chargers – Jonathan Cooper, UNC
(Previously: OG Chance Warmack, Alabama)

Part of me wants to put Tavon Austin here now that Warmack is off the board. After all, the Chargers have lost a lot of offensive talent the last few seasons and Philip Rivers’ stats have been affected dramatically. But, Rivers will not be putting up any stats unless the Chargers find him some protection. Cooper or Warmack, whomever is available, will be the pick.

12. Miami Dolphins – CB Xavier Rhodes

With Sean Smith gone via free agency, the Dolphins need to find a starting CB who can help contain Tom Brady and the Patriots twice a year. Rhodes is the top bump-and-run corner in the draft with explosive range and length at 6’1. His 4.43 forty-yard dash guaranteed that Rhodes would see his stock rise.

13. New York Jets (From Tampa Bay) – WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia

If the Jets are going to be stuck with Mark Sanchez, they might as well find him some talent to give the ball to. Let’s face it, Sanchez wasn’t exactly blessed with a strong supporting cast last season. Austin may be too small to be a consistent threat in the NFL. But, he will provide game-breaking ability that Rex Ryan has not had on the Jets since Braylon Edwards.

14. Carolina Panthers – DT Sheldon Richardson, Missouri

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 Missouri Tiger Sheldon Richardson. With Sharif Floyd off the board, the Panthers go with the next available defensive tackle, a position of dire need on defense. 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 defense to Kuechly and Jon Beason.

15. New Orleans Saints – DT Star Lotulelei, Utah
(Previously: DE Ezekiel Ansah, BYU)

The Saints’ defense has long been a bane to their success. Their conversion to the 3-4, meanwhile, leaves them with plenty of holes to fill and not a lot of time to do it. Lotulelei was a top-5 pick until concerns about his heart surfaced during the winter. But, those suspicions have been tempered, and he has been cleared by doctors. Star would provide the Saints with a “star” nose tackle to clog up the holes on their new three man front.

16. St. Louis Rams – FS Kenny Vaccaro, Texas

A hybrid defender with the size, speed, and athleticism of elite safeties, Kenny Vaccaro’s stock has risen a bit thanks to a strong combine and the failures of others at his position. Known as a hard hitter in Austin, Vaccaro should step right in and give St. Louis’ defense an attitude that they have been missing for a long time.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers – LB Jarvis Jones, Georgia
(Previously: OT DJ Fluker, Alabama)

The Steelers have forever been known for their ferocious defense and pass rush. James Harrison is now a Bengal, and Mike Tomlin will need to find a long-term replacement for the former DPOY. Jones is a bit of an enigma, and there are injury concerns. But, when on, he is a top-5 defensive player in this draft and getting him at 17 would be the ultimate coup for the team with the most Super Bowls in history.

18. Dallas Cowboys – DT Sylvester Williams, North Carolina

I flirted with Eddie Lacy in this spot. But, I was reminded by Cowboys fans that Jason Garrett could have Emmitt Smith and Walter Payton in the backfield and he would still line up for a 4th and inches with four wide receivers. Monte Kiffin’s Tampa-2 defense requires a quick, gap-penetrating defensive tackle. Who knows what the story is with Jay Ratliff? Sylvester Williams has shown that his first step is undeniably one of the best in the draft.

19. New York Giants – OT DJ Fluker, Alabama
(Previously: LB Alec Ogletree, Georgia)

Alec Ogletree would certainly fill a need. But, no one wins championships without a quality offensive line. Fluker is the best available, and he holds significant championship pedigree.

20. Chicago Bears – LB Alec Ogletree, Georgia
(Previously: DE Bjoern Werner, Florida State)

Without Brian Urlacher in the middle, the Bears will need to find a replacement for their former All-Pro MLB. Ogletree was the top LB available and would help infuse some youth into the new “Monsters of the Midway.”

21. Cincinnati Bengals – S Matt Elam, Florida

This hard-hitting safety is seeing his stock rise as the weeks go by. Elam combines decent cover skills with a reckless abandon that makes defensive coordinators salivate. Cincinnati has decent cover corners, but has not had the stellar “over-the-top” help that the best teams always do. After all, they have played Troy Polamalu and Ed Reed twice a year for the past decade.

22. St. Louis Rams (via Washington) – WR Keenan Allen, California

The Rams are in need of a playmaker or two on offense. It remains to be seen whether or not Steven Jackson or Danny Amendola will return. But, even if they do, the Rams need a game breaker #1 type receiver that Amendola or Brandon Gibson just does not provide. Allen has speed and size that would certainly help Sam Bradford emerge from mediocrity.

23. Minnesota Vikings – WR Cordarelle Patterson, Tennessee
(Previously: WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia)

The concern with Patterson here is that he really reminds me of Troy Williamson in that he has tremendous athleticism and size yet is very inconsistent. Still, teams rarely learn from their mistakes, and the Vikings are desperate for a deep threat to go alongside Greg Jennings.

24. Indianapolis Colts – S Eric Reid, LSU
(Previously: DT John Jenkins, Georgia)

Indianapolis improved their secondary last season by trading for Vontae Davis. Still, their D was far from above-average in 2012. Reid is the best safety available and will provide the Colts with a dynamite duo of he and Antoine Bethea.

25. Minnesota Vikings (From Seattle) – DE Bjoern Werner, Florida State

(Previously: DT Sharif Floyd, Florida)

What a steal it would be to get the raw talent of Werner at the 25th pick. A raw, European talent, Werner didn’t even begin playing the sport until he was 14. Now, he is a likely first round pick. Minnesota will not be able to resist combining Werner with Jared Allen to give them one of the best pass rushing duos in football.

26. Green Bay Packers -TE Zach Ertz, Stanford
(Previously:  MLB Manti Te’o, Notre Dame)

Anybody with a pulse can tell that the Packers are getting sick of Jermichael Finley. A formerly heralded tight end, Finley has combined a lethal dose of limited production and insubordination, most of which is contract related. He is one of the highest paid tight ends in football and does not warrant that price with his performance. Ertz is the #1 pass catching tight end in the draft and would give Aaron Rodgers another reason to smile, as if his new contract was not enough.

27. Houston Texans – WR Justin Hunter, Tennessee
(Previously: NT Star Lotulelei, Utah)

ESPN’s Todd McShay believes that Justin Hunter will have a better career than his collegiate teammate, Cordarelle Patterson. Houston has not had a gamebreaker next to Andre Johnson since the former Miami Hurricane became a superstar.

28. Denver Broncos – DE Datone Jones, UCLA
(Previously: S Eric Reid, LSU)

The Broncos lost Elvis Dumervil in the offseason, and didn’t exactly have the most dynamic duo at defensive end prior to his departure, anyway. Jones has size (6-4, 283) and decent speed for an end (4.75).

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. 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 – CB Johnthan Banks
(Previously: DE Datone Jones, UCLA

Despite the fact that he’s got a very “Jrue Holiday” style first name, Banks deserves to go in the first 35 picks in the draft. At 6-2, 185, he is a big corner who would provide Atlanta with just what they needed after Dunta Robinson and Brent Grimes left this offseason.

31. San Francisco 49ers – WR Robert Woods, USC
(Previously: RB Eddie Lacy, Alabama)

The 49ers will stay in-state and select Woods at the back end of the round. They would love to land one of the first round graded safeties, but they’re all off the board. Therefore, the 49ers should look at a wide receiver to surround Colin Kaepernick with weapons. Woods is flying up the draft boards after a great Pro Day in which he ran a 4.36 short shuttle and a 6.83 three-cone drill.

32. Baltimore Ravens – MLB Manti Te’0, Notre Dame
(Previously: G Jonathan Cooper, UNC)

Manti Te’0 should be a first round pick. I was tempted to put him in a couple of earlier positions, such as Minnesota with one of their two selections. But, he ended up falling. If the Ravens are able to land him, they will gladly make the selection and replace Ray Lewis with the former Fighting Irish star.

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