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NFL

2013 NFL Draft: Week 4 Update 1 Round

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2013 NFL Draft

NFL Draft
Jerry Lal-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 NFL Draft is less than a month away and things are really starting to heat up. The slotting for the teams is locked in, and for the most part free agency is settled as it will effect the starters in the league. But what we do have this time of year is lots of speculation and smokescreens causing players to move all over draftnik’s boards and mock drafts. Anyone who has done this sort of thing for very long is guilty of it. They do their best, but sometimes that rumor is just too tempting not to act on.

For this latest update, I decided to buy into some of the speculation and smokescreens and with that come a few controversial projections about players. Obviously this always centers around the quarterback and while I have spent most of the offseason trying not too include many first round quarterbacks, but for this incarnation, I went into a full on quarterback frenzy. Two quarterbacks in the first round, all of which in the top eight picks. Many pundits have said that with so many veteran quarterbacks changing teams it means that these teams have soured on the notion of drafting a quarterback early.

I disagree with that premise. These teams are back for a reason. And a key reason for them being bad is their poor quarterback play. Adding in another bad quarterback isn’t going to fix that. Has there ever been an instance when a bad quarterback has left one bad team and gone to another bad team and suddenly become good?

So feel free to read, share and pick apart this latest one round mock draft. It’s just another angle on what promises to be one of the most interesting and exciting NFL drafts in a long time.

Curt covers the Pittsburgh Steelers, the NFL draft, and college football for Rant Sports. Connect with Curt on Twitter @nfldraftboard.

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1.1-Kansas City Chiefs-Luke Joeckel, OT Texas A&M

NFL Draft
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

I am sticking with Joeckel as the top pick for another week. The Chiefs have made no comment about trading tackle Branden Albert, and while they claim to have narrowed it down to four, I still believe that Joeckel is the top guy. I'm sure the Chiefs are going to try and trade this pick if possible, and that would change everything, but until then I am sticking with the big left tackle here.

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1.2-Jacksonville Jaguars-Geno Smith, QB West Virginia

NFL Draft
Rob Christy-USA TODAY Sports

It's fascinating that critics of Smith say that the Jaguars interest in him is a smokescreen, but rumors the Jaguars want to trade out of the pick because they don't want Smith must be genuine. Everything else aside Smith is an ideal pick for the Jaguars for a team with a new owner, new head coach and a fan base that is in dire need of success.

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1.3-Oakland Raiders-Star Lotulelei, DT Utah

NFL Draft
Russ Isabell-USA TODAY Sports

A clean bill of health put Lotulelei back into the top five. He's the best interior defensive lineman in this draft, and is an easy choice for the Raiders. Of course should Smith slip past the Jaguars he would make a very nice pick as well. But if things unfold like this, the Raiders have to take the big punishing defensive tackle here.

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1.4-Philadelphia Eagles-Eric Fisher, OT Central Michigan

NFL Draft
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles are doing a nice job of putting in some work on re-building this team. But in new head coach Chip Kelly's offense he needs a very talented offensive line to make the reads and blocks that are expected. Fisher is a dynamic run blocker and while 4 might be a bit high for him, he certainly fits the bill for what they need.

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1.5-Detroit Lions-Barkevious Mingo, DE LSU

NFL Draft
Derick Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Mingo is an interesting player, because he might not be the perfect fit for what the Lions believe they need, he is the type of dynamic player that could help further the development of the Lions defense. He can line up wide and force the opposing offensive line to defend and leave gaps on the interior for those big defensive tackles. With the top two tackles off the board, Mingo is my pick here.

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1.6-Cleveland Browns-Dion Jordan, LB Oregon

NFL Draft
Jim Rider-USA TODAY Sports

I know much has been made about the moves the Browns have made this offseason in particular on defense. But this team still only have one viable option at the rush outside linebacker position. Jordan is a special type of athlete who just needs the right scheme and some good coaching to allow him to blossom into a real star in the league.

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1.7-Arizona Cardinals-Ezekial Ansah, DE/LB BYU

NFL Draft
Josh D. Weiss-USA TODAY Sports

I seriously considered giving the Cardinals a quarterback with this pick, but they seem committed to another re-tread quarterback in Carson Palmer. So why not balance out something old and average with a young player like Ansah who has the potential to end up an elite pass rusher in the league.

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1.8-Buffalo Bills-Matt Barkley, QB USC

NFL Draft
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

I mock a quarterback here as the meteoric rise of Barkley stops in Buffalo. While I disagree Barkley is a top 10 pick, I have always been a fan of drafting the quarterback if you need one. And the Bills need one. The Bills will have to make some moves to get the offense to fit the bill around his skill set, but if they do that, Barkley can be successful.

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1.9-New York Jets-Desmond Trufant, CB Washington

NFL Draft
James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

For most the consensus top cornerback in this draft is Alabama's Dee Milliner. I haven't felt that way, and so I'm fine putting the big physical press corner Trufant here. The Jets like to play plenty of man coverage, leaving their cornerbacks out on an island, and Trufant is much better in this regard than Milliner.

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1.10-Tennessee Titans-Dee Milliner, CB Alabama

NFL Draft
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

The Titans have several options with this pick. They could upgrade at multiple spots along the defensive line but instead I am going to turn to the secondary and Milliner. The Titans will likely look to move out of this spot, maybe for a team looking to go get an offensive tackle or defensive end, but if they sit put Milliner would be a nice piece to their defensive puzzle.

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1.11-San Diego Chargers-Lane Johnson, OT Oklahoma

NFL Draft
Derick Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Johnson's name has been written in ink to the Chargers for awhile now. And I have no doubt if Johnson falls this far he'll be the pick. But by the draft they Chargers might need to trade up to get him. If they don't, and Johnson is gone, I would think they have to go with one of the remaining pass rushers on the board.

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1.12-Miami Dolphins-Chance Warmack, OG Alabama

NFL Draft
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Dolphins have done a nice job filling multiple needs on both sides of the football. But no matter what else they do, they play of the offensive line is of utmost importance. Warmack would be plug and play at either tackle spot and help whichever tackle lines up next to him.

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1.13-Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Sharrif Floyd, DT Florida

NFL Draft
Derick Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Buccaneers get a nice surprise with Floyd falling to them at 13. Some question his handwork on the inside and losing leverage, but make no mistake he's a penetrating 3-technique with a nose for the ball carrier. He can add a nice interior pass rush to an up and coming defensive line.

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1.14-Carolina Panthers-Xavier Rhodes, CB FSU

NFL Draft
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Panthers are another team with multiple spots on defense that can use an upgrade. I like Rhodes in the Panthers defense, and could have a greater impact early than an interior defensive line. There's always the chance the Panthers could take a shot on a wide receiver to give quarterback Cam Newton another weapon, but Rhodes seems to make the most sense here.

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1.15-New Orleans Saints-Jarvis Jones, DE/LB Georgia

NFL Draft
Daniel Shirley-USA TODAY Sports

I might be the only draftnik that still have Jones in the top half of the first round. He's hanging by a thread, but he's still there for me. Free agent signings aside the Saints still need to add a rush outside linebacker, and as I have always contended Jones in the right system where he's allowed to attack and freelance he can be a terror.

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1.16-St. Louis Rams-Tavon Austin, WR WVU

NFL Draft
Peter Aike-USA TODAY Sports

Second shocker of first round I suppose as Austin is the first wide receiver off the board. But all things being equal the only thing Patterson has on Austin is height and Austin wins on every other facet of their games. Not to mention the Rams have nice young receivers for the perimeter of the offense, but Austin adds the slot player they need so badly.

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1.17-Pittsburgh Steelers-Kenny Vaccaro, S Texas

NFL Draft
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Vaccaro holds here as the pick. Most of the top rush linebackers are gone, and so the Steelers front office go best player available, which in this case also fills a serious need. The Steelers really like Vaccaro and I won't be shocked if they move up to get him.

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1.18-Dallas Cowboys-Sheldon Richardson, DT Missouri

NFL Draft
Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

With the Cowboys moving at a 4-3 base defense, one serious need is going to be an attacking and penetrating 3-technique pass rushing defensive tackle. I'm not sure why Richardson doesn't more pub as a pass rusher because he is as good as it gets from the inside. Excellent hands, strong upper body and quick feet.

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1.19-New York Giants-Tank Carradine, DE FSU

NFL Draft
Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

As Carradine's health improves so does his draft stock, but for now I think picking at 19 is reasonable. Carradine at 100 percent goes 10 picks sooner, so he really is a bargain here. The Giants love defensive lineman who can fill lots of different roles and Carradine is big enough to slide inside and agile enough to rush off the edge. Carradine is a different kind of player over the speed rush only types in this draft, and will likely be long gone by this pick come April.

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1.20-Chicago Bears-Arthur Brown, LB K-State

NFL Draft
Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears have a real need in the middle of their defense and Brown is an exciting and explosive player. The one worry about Brown is his health. As pundits begin removing him from their first rounds I have to wonder if there is something with his health that the public is not privy to and his draft stock can tumble. But if he's healthy the Bears would get a tremendous playmaker who can work from sideline to sideline.

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1.21-Cincinnati Bengals-Cordarrelle Patterson, WR Tennessee

NFL Draft
Spruce Durden-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals get a gift here as Patterson slips a little and lands in their laps at 21. Patterson is raw, but after the catch he's ultra-dynamic and would make a perfect pair for wide receiver AJ Green. There may be more pressing needs for the Bengals, but Patterson would almost certainly represent the best player available at this point.

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1.22-St. Louis Rams(from Washington)-Jonathan Cooper, OG North Carolina

NFL Draft
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The re-build on offense continues with Cooper who's a big, agile and technically superior guard prospect who excels in run blocking and getting to the 2nd level. The Rams must get a new emphasis on the run game next season and that could start with adding a player like Cooper.

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1.23-Minnesota Vikings-DeAndre Hopkins, WR Clemson

NFL Draft
Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings made a big move in trading away wide receiver Percy Harvin, but even in adding veteran wide receiver Greg Jennings, the receiving corps needs help. Hopkins is a grossly underrated receiver who had the ability to line up anywhere on the field and run all the routes. Hopkins has also shown to be a willing blocker on the edge, which can only help the Vikings run game.

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1.24-Indianapolis Colts-Bjoern Werner, DE/LB FSU

NFL Draft
Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

The Colts have done a nice job in putting together a 3-4 defense but you can never have enough pass rushing outside linebackers. Werner has a ton of potential, but he needs to put it all together and play with better effort on every down. If he can do that he could would be an easy 10 sack a season kind of player.

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1.25-Minnesota Vikings(from St. Louis)-Johnthan Banks, CB Mississippi State

NFL Draft
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings secondary is woefully lacking in terms of depth. Cornerback Antoine Winfield is gone and that leaves a spot for a young talent like Banks to come in and impress. I like Banks more than most and have no problems putting him this high in the draft. His coverage skills are very good and he's not shy about the run game.

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1.26-Green Bay Packers-Damontre Moore, DE/LB Texas A&M

NFL Draft
Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

The Packers would be in great shape if Moore slid to them this late in the round. Moore isn't a triangle numbers type of player, but you put on the tape and you see he's very productive. He has experience as both a down defensive end and a stand up outside linebacker which the Packers could use to get him more involved in the defense.

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1.27-Houston Texans-Keenan Allen, WR Cal

NFL Draft
Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

There was a time when Allen was considered a top 10 pick, but some offseason injury trouble has allowed other receivers to pass him up. But make no mistake Allen can play. He's been the focal point of the Cal offense, and has worked under constant double teams and was still incredibly productive. He can run all the routes, is fearless in traffic and has solid hands. He'd be the pairing for wide receiver Andre Johnson that he's never had.

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1.28-Denver Broncos-Alex Okafor, DE Texas

NFL Draft
Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

With the surprise exit of defensive end Elvis Dumervil, a pass rushing defensive end becomes a top priority. I like Okafor for a 4-3 because he is good at setting the edge in the run game, doesn't shy away from contact, is a good tackler, and on passing downs plays with a nice first step and excellent leverage. Paired with pass rush specialist Von Miller, Okafor should be able to have plenty of one on ones that he can win.

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1.29-New England Patriots-Sylvester Williams, DT North Carolina

NFL Draft
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Some have heralded that Williams is the best defensive tackle in this draft. I might agree if it weren't for the fact that too often he's not sure what do to with himself once he gets a free run at the ball carrier. He appears lost at times and misses far too many plays to be a top pick. But for the Patriots, they can use Williams as part of a defensive line rotation, working him in at nose tackle and even some end, which would allow his quickness and high level of hand work to show.

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1.30-Atlanta Falcons-Tyler Eifert, TE Notre Dame

NFL Draft
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

I'm not sure how a pick like Eifert will be received by the Falcons community. Cornerback is probably a more pressing need, but with the depth of this cornerback class, getting one in the next round should be easy. So instead the Falcons can have the luxury here of drafting yet another weapon in the offense, and a player in Eifert who would make for a seamless transition when and if tight end Tony Gonzalez ever decides to retire.

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1.31-San Francisco 49ers-Jesse Williams, DT Alabama

NFL Draft
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers have the luxury of their pick of positions here, so I think if it works out this way, Williams is far and away the best player on the board this late in the round. Williams is one of my favorite players in this draft and I really think in a 3-4 system he could have a huge impact in that 0-technique nose tackle just crushing centers on his way to the backfield.

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1.32-Baltimore Ravens-Alec Ogletree, LB Georgia

NFL Draft
Daniel Shirley-USA TODAY Sports

The Ravens have had a very up and down offseason since winning the Super Bowl. They have lost a lot of talent but are making moves to get their roster built back up. A player like Ogletree who is able to play inside or outside would allow the Ravens some options when it comes to where they want to use him. Ogletree has had some off field concerns but a team like the Ravens would be just what he needs to keep his head on straight and optimize his talent.