Draft Nuggets 2013: Entry #13
By Jeff Bowers of www.thesportsnarrative.com
Mock Draft 1.0
As the calendar turns to April, the NFL Draft is just 3 weeks away. The last of the scheduled Pro Days and private workouts conclude soon and chalkboards in War Rooms across the NFL begin to fill with the names of prospects. Every team has their own scouts and therefore their own opinions of every player, making the idea of predicting the events of April 25th-27thlike playing whack-a-mole. The draft is a fluid and ever changing process that can make any “experts” best ideas outdated before they hit the paper or the internet. But it is exactly that drama that makes the draft so much fun. With that being said, here’s an early look at a projection of the first round of the NFL Draft. These selections were based around the players who have reportedly had meetings with each team, be it at the Combine or at a private work out, though that information is not always complete. Note that my final mock draft will be published the day before the draft.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
I will give the Chiefs front office credit: they are doing their due diligence with the first pick. However, this is seemingly obvious. Joeckel will slide immediately into the starting LT spot for the Chiefs next season.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon
The draft really begins with the Jaguars at pick #2 and their options. New head coach Gus Bradley (former DC of the Seahawks) has said he wants to build his defense around speed and that means adding Jordan and his 4.54 speed.
3. Oakland Raiders: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
With the trade for Matt Flynn from the Seahawks, the Raiders are free to fill one of their other many, many holes with the #3 pick. Floyd’s size and speed will be very welcome to the middle of the Raiders defense.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Star Lotulelei, DL, Utah
With his under-performing heart reportedly checking out, Star is back into the top 5. The Eagles are converting to the 3-4 and need help along the defensive line and this big man’s versatility to the nose or end will put some teeth back into that Eagles defense.
5. Detroit Lions: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
With the retirement of Jeff Backus, the Lions have a big need at LT and will fill it with this pick. Fisher’s emergence during the draft process has been very impressive and will have him penciled in to start in front of Matt Stafford next year.
6. Cleveland Browns: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
The Browns were very busy in free agency but still need a compliment to Joe Haden at CB. Millner’s just happens to also be the best prospect left on the board as well and makes this pick a no-brainer.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
The top 10 is usually not a place you find guard prospects, but Warmack is an exception to that rule. Though the Cards’ biggest need is really at OT, Warmack is just too talented to pass at #7. Lane Johnson could also be the pick here, but that’s a bit of a reach and drafting for need over the best player available.
8. Buffalo Bills: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
The Bills must be living right. A few months ago it looked as though they might have to trade all the way up to #2 to get their QB, but the process has yielded the Bills can sit right at 8 and take a guy they hope is their franchise QB of the future. They hope.
9. New York Jets: Ezekiel Ansah, DE/OLB, BYU
The Jets bolster their pass rush with the raw potential of Ansah. With Rex Ryan coaching for his job this season, the Jets must return to that pressure style defense that got Ryan the job in the first place.
10. Tennessee Titans: Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
The Titans, having bolstered their offensive line in free agency, look to get a pass rusher in the first round. And Mingo fits that bill to a tee as a pure pass rusher.
11. San Diego Chargers: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
To keep Phillip Rivers upright and back to his form, the Chargers need to bolster their offensive line. Though Johnson is a bit of a reach at 11, the need to plug in an immediate starter will probably override the best player available choice. Whichever OL falls from above, be it Warmack, Cooper or Johnson, should be the pick in SD.
12. Miami Dolphins: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
The Dolphins add to their big off season by nabbing the best safety in the draft at #12. Vaccaro’s ability to cover like a corner while playing safety like Charles Woodson is perfect for Philbin’s Green Bay South.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
This pick is still in flux as talk of the Darelle Revis trade seemingly rekindles. The Bucs need help at CB, whether it be Revis or Rhodes. If the Jets attain this pick, look for DT Sheldon Richardson, WR Tavon Austin or possibly even QB Ryan Nassib to go here.
14. Carolina Panthers: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
I’m still not sure why the Panthers didn’t draft a DT in last year’s draft, but they finally make amends by drafting Richardson at 14. Richardson should put some teeth on that Panthers pass rush again.
15. New Orleans Saints: Jarvis Jones, DE/OLB, Georgia
With former Cowboys DC Rob Ryan getting hired in New Orleans, the Saints will be transitioning to the 3-4 and need a big-time pass rusher on the edge. Jones had an incredible college career but hasn’t measured well and has some injury concerns.
16. St. Louis Rams: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
The Rams find their replacement for Danny Amendola in the explosive Austin. With he and developing Brian Quick on the other side, the Rams are giving QB Sam Bradford some weapons finally.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
The Steelers lost their #1 receiver when Mike Wallace signed with Miami, so they add a new #1 in Patterson. With size and speed, Big Ben should enjoy having a new target.
18. Dallas Cowboys Jonathan Cooper, G/C, North Carolina
The Cowboys are finally addressing their biggest weakness last season: the interior of the offensive line. Cooper’s versatility to play all 3 positions inside will make him an instant starter.
19. New York Giants: Datone Jones, DE/DT, UCLA
The Giants love drafting pass rushers and ironically they have a need at defensive end this year. Jones is a Justin Tuck starter kit that will make a great compliment to JPP up front.
20. Chicago Bears: Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia
The Bears find a true replacement for Urlacher in Ogletree. They just have to hope he stays out of trouble.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama
The Bengals need a game changer at RB, and get it in Lacy. Though some concerns over his overall speed remain, he has a formal workout scheduled for April 11th.
22. St. Louis Rams: D.J. Fluker, OT/G, Alabama
The Rams have already beefed their O-line with the addition of Jake Long at LT. Fluker gives the Rams options to play at either guard or RT and is a road grader in the run game.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
The Vikings would love to keep the wide receiver roll going, but instead fill a big need on the defensive line with Williams
24. Indianapolis Colts: Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State
Former Ravens DC now head coach of the Colts Chuck Pagano drafts a player who is drawing comparisons to Ray Lewis in Arthur Brown. Makes only too much sense.
25. Minnesota Vikings: Keenan Allen, WR, California
The Vikings finally get their WR and replacement for traded Percy Harvin in Allen from Cal.
26. Green Bay Packers: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
The Packers take the best player available and fill a big need with Werner at 26.
27. Houston Texans: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
The Texans get a compliment for Andre Johnson and a player to stretch the field in the speedy Hopkins.
28. Denver Broncos: Tank Carradine, DE, Florida State
The Broncos are in a prime spot to trade down if some teams get desperate for QBs. But if they stay in this spot, look for the Broncos to take the fast rising Seminole DE.
29. New England Patriots: Kawann Short, DT, Purdue
The Pats add another versatile defensive lineman to add with Wilfork on the front line.
30. Atlanta Falcons: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
The Falcons GM is known for taking the best player available, and here he gets not only a top CB but a great return man as well.
31. San Francisco 49ers: Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International
The 49ers have a big need at safety, losing Dashon Goldson to free agency. Cyprien has really emerged since the end of the college football season and jumps all the way up into round 1.
32. Baltimore Ravens: Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State
The Ravens learned last year just how important their LT spot was, as the loss of Bryant McKinney to injury almost cost them the playoffs. Look for Watson to be the last name crossing