2013 NFL Mock Draft: Complete First-Round Edition, 32 Picks
2013 NFL Mock Draft: Complete First-Round Edition, 32 Picks, Any Major Surprises?
The 2013 NFL Draft has almost arrived. From Apr. 25-27, all of the questions from one of the most unpredictable drafts in recent memory will get answered.
Who will the Kansas City Chiefs select with the No. 1 pick? Who is the best offensive tackle among Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher and Lane Johnson? Who will draft Geno Smith? Is Smith the only quarterback worthy of a first-round selection? Will the Miami Dolphins trade up in an attempt to draft an offensive tackle or cornerback? What projected first-rounders will fall? What projected second-rounders will make a first-round entrance?
Unlike most drafts, the 2013 NFL Draft is full of safety prospects who are projected as potential first-round selections. There are approximately five offensive linemen who could get chosen within the first 12 picks, two of whom are guards. Chance Warmack and Jonathan Cooper are regarded as two of the best guard prospects of the last decade.
How much uncertainty is in this draft class? Some analysts project Bjoern Werner as a Top 5 pick. Other people think he may last until Day 2. Xavier Rhodes is another player who could go anywhere from Top 10 to Day 2. For a team who owns a draft pick in the late 20s or early 30s, they have a chance to capitalize on any player who unexpectedly plummets.
This slideshow is a 2013 NFL mock draft that includes picks from all 32 teams. No trades have been included in this version. Furthermore, I’ve included a backup plan for each of the Top 20 representatives. Continue with slideshow.
No. 1 (Kansas City Chiefs): Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Nothing new here; on to the next slide.
Backup Plans: OT Eric Fisher
No. 2 (Jacksonville Jaguars): Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
This team needs help in almost every area. Despite that, the Jaguars aren’t expected to trade down. So they’ll likely pursue a franchise quarterback or someone who can help a defense that generated an NFL-worst 20 sacks.
Backup Plans: DE/LB Dion Jordan, Best Player Available, Trade Down
No. 3 (Oakland Raiders): Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Reinforcements are needed on a defensive line that must overcome the losses of Richard Seymour, Desmond Bryant and Matt Shaughnessy. No better option than Sharrif Floyd.
Backup Plans: Best Player Available, Trade Down
No. 4 (Philadelphia Eagles): Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Unless the Eagles are in love with one of the players, they should consider a trade-down and acquire more picks. Regardless of where they pick, first-year head coach Chip Kelly must protect his quarterback. It’s been an ongoing issue for years now that must get addressed.
Backup Plans: Trade Down, DE/LB Dion Jordan, CB Dee Milliner
No. 5 (Detroit Lions): Dion Jordan, DE/LB, Oregon
After losing Cliff Avril and Kyle Vanden Bosch this offseason, I can’t see Jim Schwartz passing on the opportunity to use Dion Jordan as a 4-3 defensive end. He’s all about his four-man pass-rush schemes.
Backup Plans: Best OT Available, CB Dee Milliner
No. 6 (Cleveland Browns): Star Lotulelei, DL, Utah
After sacrificing their second-round pick on last year’s supplemental draft, the Browns would benefit from a trade-down. But if they keep that pick, look for them to get help in the defensive backfield or add another quality defensive lineman opposite Desmond Bryant.
Backup Plans: CB Dee Milliner, S Kenny Vaccaro, Trade Down
No. 7 (Arizona Cardinals): Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
Someone must protect Carson Palmer or whoever is playing quarterback.
Backup Plans: Trade Down, OG Jonathan Cooper, OG Chance Warmack, S Kenny Vaccaro
No. 8 (Buffalo Bills): Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
The Bills desperately need a starting quarterback. But unless they trade up or Geno Smith falls to them at No. 8, they’ll probably wait until Rounds 2-3.
So many options with this pick. If Cordarrelle Patterson or Tavon Austin are Buddy Nix’s targets, then he needs to trade back into the teens. Not enough value at No. 8.
Backup Plans: WR Cordarrelle Patterson, WR Tavon Austin, Trade-Up for Geno Smith, Trade Down, S Kenny Vaccaro, G Chance Warmack, LB Jarvis Jones
No. 9 (New York Jets): Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
Both starting safeties (Yeremiah Bell, LaRon Landry) departed this offseason. If Darrelle Revis gets traded, that’s three-fourths of the starters in the secondary. While Jarvis Jones is a fine talent, there are questions that stem from his combine workout and his spinal stenosis.
Kenny Vaccaro is the safer choice; however, if the Jets can get pick No. 13 from the Buccaneers, then they may draft him there. In that scenario, the Rams (No. 16) and Cowboys (No. 18) become threats to move up past No. 13.
Backup Plans: LB Jarvis Jones, OG Chance Warmack
No. 10 (Tennessee Titans): Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
Adding Andy Levitre and either Chance Warmack or Jonathan Cooper to an offensive line should pay huge dividends.
Backup Plans: OG Jonathan Cooper, DL Sheldon Richardson, CB Desmond Trufant
No. 11 (San Diego Chargers): Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
It all starts in the trenches. And while the speedy wide out is tempting, it means little when Philip Rivers is getting massacred from a lackluster offensive line. Don’t pass on one of the top offensive-guard prospects in the last decade. Cooper replaces Louis Vasquez, who departed for the Broncos.
Backup Plans: WR Tavon Austin
No. 12 (Miami Dolphins): Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
With extra picks in Round 2 and Round 3, there’s a great chance that the Dolphins move into the Top 5 and take Lane Johnson or Dee Milliner. If the Dolphins stay at No. 12? Look for them to take best cornerback available.
Backup Plans: Trade Up, CB Xavier Rhodes
No. 13 (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
Numerous mock drafters have penciled-in Xavier Rhodes at No. 13. But with his health and lack of scheme versatility, I’m thinking Rhodes will drop a bit.
If the Buccaneers don’t trade this pick for Revis, don’t automatically assume they’ll take best cornerback available. Someone like Sheldon Richardson or even Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah could continue a trend of first-round and second-round defensive linemen that include Gerald McCoy, Brian Price, Adrian Clayborn and Da'Quan Bowers.
Backup Plans: Trade Up, DE Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah, CB Xavier Rhodes
No. 14 (Carolina Panthers): Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah, DE, BYU
First-year Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman believes in the “Best available” philosophy. When Gettleman was a personnel man with the Giants, they were always drafting defensive ends (e.g. Mathias Kiwanuka, Jason Pierre-Paul). That strategy helped the franchise win two Super Bowls.
Speaking of JPP, Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah is a player who’s often compared to him. With Sheldon Richardson, Kenny Vaccaro and Desmond Trufant all off the board, Gettleman will have even more reason to pursue BPA over need.
Backup Plans: Best Player Available
No. 15 (New Orleans Saints): Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU
With just five picks in this draft and nothing in Round 2, the Saints have a difficult assignment in revamping their defense to Rob Ryan’s 3-4 scheme. A trade-down is very possible, even likely.
If the Saints keep the pick, look for them to add a pass-rush specialist, something they’ve lacked for the last couple of seasons. How fitting that LSU star Barkevious Mingo could play that role. Would the Saints take him over Jarvis Jones? If the Saints wanted to reach, Johnathan Hankins is a versatile defensive lineman who’d fill a void as a 3-4 defensive end.
Backup Plans: Trade Down (Acquiring Second-Round Pick), DL Johnathan Hankins, LB Jarvis Jones
No. 16 (St. Louis Rams): Matt Elam, S, Florida
It’s a bit of a reach; however, the Rams can take care of their safety issue at No. 16 instead of allowing Matt Elam or Jonathan Cyprien to fall to a slew of teams who could draft safety before No. 22.
Backup Plans: WR Cordarrelle Patterson, WR Tavon Austin, S Jonathan Cyprien
No. 17 (Pittsburgh Steelers): Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia
With Kenny Vaccaro off the board, the Steelers would probably choose between Jarvis Jones and one of the other top safeties. Wide receiver is another possibility, especially if Emmanuel Sanders leaves.
Normally, this team doesn’t invest such high picks on their linebackers. But if Jones is best player available on the Steelers’ board, I think they take a risk on his health issues.
Backup Plans: S Jonathan Cyprien, DL Johnathan Hankins, WR Tavon Austin
No. 18 (Dallas Cowboys): Larry Warford, OG, Kentucky
Protecting Tony Romo is a must. For the Cowboys, the success of their running game—and $108 million quarterback—depends on it.
Backup Plans: Best Offensive Lineman, S Jonathan Cyprien
No. 19 (New York Giants): Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia
At No. 19, who is the best player on the Giants’ draft board? They’re not the team who drafts on positional need. That’s evidenced with their quantity-approach to drafting defensive ends, putting themselves in a situation where they had to move Mathias Kiwanuka to outside linebacker.
Since 1984, the Giants haven’t drafted a linebacker in the first round. Alec Ogletree or Jarvis Jones (if he falls past 17) could change that.
Backup Plans: LB Arthur Brown, DE Alex Okafor, DE Bjoern Werner
No. 20 (Chicago Bears): Barrett Jones, C, Alabama
Here’s a team who found their head coach in the Canadian Football League. In no way is that discrediting general manager Phil Emery—it’s just that he has shown that he’ll travel down unconventional paths.
For the Bears, an interior offensive lineman is a must. Although Barrett Jones and Kyle Long are projected as second-round picks, I envision Emery coveting them over D.J. Fluker, who could move inside.
Unless the Bears are scared off from the foot injuries, they’ll take advantage of the top center in a class that isn’t deep.
Backup Plans: G/T Kyle Long, LB Arthur Brown, LB Kevin Minter, WR Tavon Austin
No. 21 (Cincinnati Bengals): Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International
At No. 21, most mock drafters appear to favor D.J. Fluker. That’s assuming that Andre Smith doesn’t re-sign. But when one considers that pass-protection isn’t Fluker’s strength, how logical of a fit is he for a team who just surrendered 46 sacks?
Look for them to have interest in a versatile linebacker (Arthur Brown) or one of the top safeties (Jonathan Cyprien). Maybe they give more offensive firepower to Andrew Dalton (Tavon Austin, Cordarrelle Patterson).
No. 22 (St. Louis Rams): Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Playmakers were needed even before Danny Amendola bolted this offseason. How about putting Cordarrelle Patterson or Tavon Austin on that AstroTurf GameDay Grass 3D System? Bring back some memories of the “Greatest Show on Turf.”
No. 23 (Minnesota Vikings): Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
Here’s a team who doesn’t shy away from using first-round picks on wide receivers. After trading Percy Harvin to the Seahawks, the Vikings would love it if the draft went this way.
No. 24 (Indianapolis Colts): Bjoern Werner, DE/LB, Florida State
I’m not very high on Bjoern Werner. But if he falls to No. 24, the Colts could see it as too much value to pass on. Let’s not forget that their pass-rush specialists include Erik Walden and Jerry Hughes.
No. 25 (Minnesota Vikings): Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State
How about a middle linebacker? Gil Alcaraz IV of Rant Sports agrees. But with Alec Ogletree already taken, would they feel comfortable with Arthur Brown, Kevin Minter or—dare I say—Manti Te’o?
If not, they could fill their void at defensive tackle with Johnathan Hankins. The bonus with this: it would make for some very unhappy Packers fans.
No. 26 (Green Bay Packers): Johnathan Hankins, DL, Ohio State
For the Packers, defensive lineman is their No. 1 priority. They could use Johnathan Hankins, although he’s a strong possibility to get drafted at No. 15, No. 17, No. 23 or No. 25. If that happens, Sylvester Williams becomes the pick.
No. 27 (Houston Texans): Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
For the Texans, wide receiver is a huge need. While the Texans could wait another round before they address it, they must also consider a nose tackle with one of their first two picks. The first round is too early for a part-time player such as Jesse Williams.
Wide receiver it is.
No. 28 (Denver Broncos): Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
Voids are present throughout the Broncos defensive line. At No. 28, the Broncos could use a defensive tackle (Sylvester Williams) or a defensive end. They must replace Elvis Dumervil and there’s no guarantee that Dwight Freeney is the answer in 2013.
No. 29 (New England Patriots): Keenan Allen, WR, California
This offseason, the Patriots lost their top two receivers in Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd. There’s no guarantee that Danny Amendola—or even Rob Gronkowski—can stay healthy. Look for one of their early picks to help Tom Brady.
No. 30 (Atlanta Falcons): Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
… So why doesn’t Johnthan Banks have an “a” in the middle of his name?
Now that I got that off my mind, the Falcons could use more depth at cornerback. Brent Grimes wasn’t re-signed, Dunta Robinson was released and Asante Samuel is 32 years old. In a division with Sean Payton and Drew Brees, that won’t work.
Another option: Tyler Eifert, a potential replacement for Tony Gonzalez.
No. 31 (San Francisco 49ers): Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
There’s a good chance that the 49ers package some of their picks and trade-up. But if the 49ers stay, they’ll target a big-bodied cornerback (e.g. Xavier Rhodes, David Amerson), 3-4 defensive end (e.g. Margus Hunt, Sylvester Williams) or a safety if one of the top three fall.
No. 32 (Baltimore Ravens): Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State
For a defending Super Bowl champion, the Ravens have many holes to fill. Who will protect the blindside of their new $120 million-plus quarterback? Their options may include Menelik Watson, Kyle Long and D.J. Fluker.
Want to wait on an offensive tackle? Other options include Sylvester Williams, Damontre Moore and safety.