Tuesday, April 23, 2013

2013 NFL Mock Draft (Part 1)

1- Kansas City Chiefs - Luke Joeckel - T- Texas A&M -

 For a team that went 2-14 this past season, the Chiefs are surprisingly in good shape. Yes it's true that they couldn't win games, but they weren't blown out in too many of them. They solved their two biggest problems already in head coach and quarterback. Having Andy Reid and Alex Smith in those positions is looking pretty good. Trading for Alex Smith showed everyone what they thought of Geno Smith, which could be a theme in this draft. The top of this draft has some quality defensive players as well as a few stud offensive lineman. Being that the Chiefs already have a decent defense in play that actually had several probowlers despite the 2-14 record, it seems like they are going to go the offensive line direction with this because they could really use some help protecting Alex Smith if they expect him to lead them to a playoff push and who knows what's going to happen with Branden Albert. It's a toss up between Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher. Eric Fisher might be the slightly more athletic tackle, but I can't seem to get myself to pick against the man who helped protect Johnny football this past season.

2- Jacksonville Jaguars - Dion Jordan - OLB - Oregon -

Now the Jaguars are a messed up franchise right now. All the top 5 prospects are guys they could use. They really need a quarterback and thus Geno Smith would be really tempting for them, but for some reason I think they are in the mood to give Blaine Gabbert one last chance and instead take a quarterback with their second round pick. They badly need a cornerback, but it's too early for Dee Milliner at number two. They could pick whichever offensive lineman the Chiefs don't select (Eric Fisher in this instance) as their o-line was awful last season. But I think that they are going to go defense with this pick. Sharrif Floyd would be tempting but they really could use some pass rushing because they were dead last in the league in terms of sacks and Dion Jordan is someone who could help with that. He's a versatile player that could either play outside linebacker or defensive end for the Jaguars, both of which are huge needs.

3- Oakland Raiders - Sharrif Floyd - DT - Florida -

It's easy to make the pick for a team that only has one or two major concerns. It's harder to make a pick for a team like the Raiders that are just awful and getting worse. The Raiders are so devoid of talent that they could use just about anyone. The one thing they did have going for them is a decent offensive line, so none of our top tackles will be considered here. They traded for quarterback Matt Flynn and do have Terrell Pryor as a backup, so I think Geno Smith is out of the question as well, although I think they will take a second round flyer on a quarterback because neither of those guys is proven. With no other offensive prospects at this point in the draft, defense is where they will go and honestly they just need to pick the best defensive player available at this point, which happens to be Florida DT Sharrif Floyd.

4- Philadelphia Eagles - Eric Fisher - T - Central Michigan -

The Eagles are a pretty big wild card in this draft as they could go several different ways at this point that would significantly effect how the rest of this draft goes. New head coach Chip Kelly has some pretty big decisions to make and starts right at quarterback. They've decided to keep Michael Vick, but also have Nick Foles and Dennis Dixon in the mix. I honestly doubt that Geno Smith will be added to that mix, but we'll see how high on him Chip Kelly is as he could see him as the perfect quarterback to run his offense. The Eagles have had a lot of drama in the defensive backfield as both Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominic Rodgers-Cromartie were both busts for the Eagles and you might think Dee Milliner could step in and fit that role, but the Eagles were quite active bringing in defensive backs in via free agency so I think that will be ignored for now. The Eagles do need some big help with their rush defense and pass rushing, so I think if either Dion Jordan or Sharrif Floyd fall to them, they will jump at that. If neither are available they might take good looks at both of the top defensive linemen from the state of Utah in Ziggy Ansah from BYU and Star Lotulelei from Utah, but in this particular situation they have potential number one overall pick Eric Fisher sitting here and being that they also had an awful offensive line last season, I think they will jump at the chance of getting better protection for whoever they decide to go for at quarterback this season.

5- Detroit Lions - Ziggy Ansah - DE - BYU - 

The Lions are in a pretty good position here. They aren't as bad as their draft status makes it seem. They are a decent team that had a lot of bad luck last season and thus they will get rewarded with a good draft pick. The Lions always seem to need a corner, so don't be surprised if Dee Milliner is the choice here, but  as I look at, they have more pressing issues on the line that they need to take care of. First off, Jeff Backus has retired and so they could really use one of the top left tackles in the draft. Unfortunately for them in this mock, I have Eric Fisher being taken by the Eagles and although they could and probably will take a long hard look at Lane Johnson, I think if both Joeckel and Fisher are off the board they will look to the other side of the line where they need help. Kyle Vanden Bosch got cut after a bad season and Cliff Avril got signed by the Seahawks, so they've got nothing. This is where Ziggy from BYU really helps them. Ziggy is pretty new at football, but was born to play it and was an absolute monster in his final season at BYU. The Lions will most likely keep him at defensive end, but if they wanted to he's really versatile and could even play a bit at linebacker or even defensive tackle if they needed him to.

6- Cleveland Browns - Dee Milliner - CB - Alabama - 

It's really embarrassing when you are already looking to find a replacement for your first round quarterback selected last year, not because he was awful, but because he turns 30 this year. Despite the age, I don't think the Browns have much of an interest in Geno Smith this year. And quite honestly, a lot of people keep thinking that another new quarterback will solve the Browns' problems, but it doesn't matter who plays quarterback, they will all fail if they have no one to throw the ball to. It's been a long time since the Browns have had a good receiving corps and in a tough AFC North, that's a huge problem. I really think the Browns need to look long and hard at Tavon Austin at this point, but I think it's a touch too early for him. The Browns' defense hasn't been awful, but they could use some upgrades and more depth in a few positions, although at number six most of the defenders that they could help them are also a bit of a reach. This is why I think it may benefit them to trade down a few spots. There's several teams out there that may want to jump on players such as Lane Johnson or Geno Smith, namely the Jets, Dolphins, and Chargers and that would help the Browns out a lot. However, if they choose to stay put, I think the obvious choice here is Dee Milliner. A cornerback tandem of Joe Haden and Dee Milliner could pose some serious problems for opposing offenses.

7- Arizona Cardinals - Lane Johnson - T - Oklahoma - 

The Cardinals' offense is a complete mess and it makes me feel bad for Larry Fitzgerald because he's pretty much all they have on offense. The biggest problem is that since Kurt Warner has retired, no one has stepped up and done well at the quarterback position. Despite that, though, it is apparent that the team never had any interest in Geno Smith. Even if they hadn't traded for Carson Palmer, apparently they were content with Drew Stanton instead, so he's out of the question. With that out of the way, who they will pick is quite obvious, especially if Lane Johnson falls right to them. They had the league's worst offensive line last season as they had both most sacks allowed and fewest total rushing yards. If Lane Johnson is gone, it is most likely that they will take either Chance Warmack or Jonathan Cooper, depending on which guard they have higher on their board.

8- Buffalo Bills - Chance Warmack - G - Alabama - 

The Bills spent a lot of money on defense last offseason and unfortunately it didn't quite work as great as they had hoped. However, the word on the street is that this pick is going to be an offensive player, which is probably a smart move. Now the Bills did give up on Ryan Fitzpatrick this season so it's quite obvious they are in the market for a quarterback and unless they want to screw their franchise even more by putting their faith in Kevin Kolb and Tarvaris Jackson, a quarterback needs to be taken. This could be the home of Geno Smith, but apparently they don't have much interest in him and instead rumors are going around that they may select Ryan Nassib, EJ Manuel, or Matt Barkley with this pick, which I think is really stupid because there is a good chance that at least one of those three will be available when they pick in the second round and if they have their eyes on one specific one, they can trade up a few spots to the beginning of the second round or the end of the first to get him. I don't really like predicting stupidity, so I'm not going to pick that for them. Instead I think they will look at two other holes in their offense. First off, they really need a number two receiver to compliment Stevie Johnson as they lost both Donald Jones and David Nelson in the offseason, so at this point Tavon Austin is going to be extremely tempting, but I predict that they will end up going guard with this pick because they have a huge hole to fill due to Andy Levitre walking in free agency. This could be Johnathan Cooper here, but I will instead go with my gut and say Chance Warmack gets his name called.

9- New York Jets - Barkevious Mingo - OLB - LSU - 

The Jets make no sense to me and if they don't have a miraculous turnaround, they are pretty much asking for Rex Ryan to get fired at the end of the season. Heck, I thought he was gone at the end of this one, but they kept him for some reason. The Jets' biggest concern is right at quarterback where they have the huge mess of Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, and Greg McElroy. They added David Garrard to the mix this offseason because apparently they thought that would make it better. Geno Smith thus makes a ton of sense for the Jets and now that they have two first round picks, I think they can be daring enough to pick him. But not yet. They have picks 9 and 13 and no one in between those picks will take Smith so they can afford to wait. They can also package these picks up and move up in the draft if they have their eyes on someone they really want, but if they don't do that, I think the first thing they will address is their pass rush defense and Mingo is a player that would help a lot with that.

10- Tennessee Titans - Jonathan Cooper - G - North Carolina - 

There are a few players that will be picked in the top ten that the Titans would love to have fall to them, mainly players like Ziggy Ansah and Dee Milliner, but both of those players are gone in this draft, so the Titans will have to go for plan C. The Titans' rush game wasn't great this past season as Chris Johnson had nowhere to go with the terrible offensive line. The Titans were very active in free agency and did score Andy Levitre from Buffalo, so that is a huge help, but they could use even more help and grabbing Johnathan Cooper if he is still available would help sure up that offensive line and thus get CJ2K back to form. They also could use help in several spots defensively as they were able to get to the quarterback a lot, but not much else on defense as they ranked towards the bottom of the league in both rushing and passing defense, so perhaps a Star Lotulelei or Xavier Rhodes would be an option as well.

11- San Diego Chargers - Tavon Austin - WR - West Virginia -

The Chargers may need to make friends with the Cleveland Browns in this draft. The Browns could afford to move down and take a guy like Tavon Austin or Xavier Rhodes while picking up a few extra draft picks in the process. Meanwhile the Chargers desperately need a stud lineman at either guard or tackle and at this point all the players they will be looking at will be gone. If they trade up to 6 then Lane Johnson would be the perfect pick for them. If they can't pull off a trade and Johnson, Warmack, and Cooper are all gone, they will go with the next best option in selecting Tavon Austin because Phillip Rivers, in addition to desperately needing some lineman to protect him, could really use some receivers to throw to because they never really replaced Vincent Jackson. Austin is a small receiver, but is a speed demon that really knows how to catch passes and make plays.

12- Miami Dolphins - Xavier Rhodes - CB - Florida State -

The Dolphins have done a fantastic job in free agency and will be a force to be reckoned with in the AFC East, or at least in the wild card race. However, they do have a few things they need to take care of still, first being the fact that they lost Jake Long to the Rams and never replace him. At this point there are no tackles available unless they want to reach a bit for DJ Fluker. They could also make friends with the Browns and move up to number 6 and snag Lane Johnson but if they can't get a deal done, they will be content with staying at this spot and instead solve another problem, that being cornerback. There is a chance that Xavier Rhodes will be gone at this point, but if he is available, it will be the smart pick for the Dolphins.

13- New York Jets - Geno Smith - QB - West Virginia -

First off allow me to call the Jets dumb once again. I have no idea why they decided that trading the best cornerback in the league in Darrell Revis was a good idea. I suppose when he got hurt they learned that they could do well enough off with just Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson and decided to save some money. Meanwhile back in Tampa Bay, the Bucs are ecstatic. But what is done is done and now the Jets have the luxury of selecting twice in the top 15 and thus if Geno Smith is still available at 13, which I think is very likely, they will pull the trigger. That will create a domino effect that will help them decide to finally trade or release Tim Tebow and probably Greg McElroy, too. Rex Ryan will be stubborn and still start the season with Mark Sanchez, but he will buckle for a final time in New York and the Geno Smith era will begin. And maybe if the Jets find some receivers for him to throw to and a running back for him to hand the ball off to, Rex Ryan might even save his job.

14- Carolina Panthers - Star Lotulelei - DT - Utah -

If the draft happens this way, the Carolina Panthers will definitely be salivating and it won't take them long at all to make their pick. To be cliche, Star was a star at Utah and will be a star in the NFL. He was even rumored to be the number one pick for a while and at the very least would've been a top three pick, but a medical scare caused his draft stock to plummet. Meanwhile the Carolina Panthers have nothing at defensive tackle, so he will fit in perfectly here. If Star does get picked earlier, the Panthers will select the next best DT option in Sheldon Richardson or may even take a look at CB Desmond Trufant because they are in desperate need of a corner as well. Also, don't be surprised if they jump on a receiver because Steve Smith won't last forever and Cam Newton needs some people to throw the ball to.

15- New Orleans Saints - Jarvis Jones - OLB - Georgia - 

A nightmare season for the Saints was almost salvaged as they ended at 7-9. Their offense had their typically firepower that could've done it, but the problem was that they almost literally had no defense. While this pick could in theory go to upgrade the tackle position, they seriously just need to take the best defensive player available as they could use help at just about every defensive position. In this situation Jarvis Jones is definitely the player that fits that bill. The man is a monster linebacker that is a top five talent, but will drop due to injury concerns and a few other minor things. So it's a bit of a risk picking him, but it could turn out to be high reward.

16- St. Louis Rams - Kenny Vaccaro - S - Texas -

The Rams have lacked a top receiver for several years now, probably since Tory Holt. Sam Bradford has only been average since he was drafted number one by the Rams and part of that problem is that he's never had much to throw to, so that really needs to be fixed in the first round because they've picked tons of receivers in the later rounds hoping that one of them would develop into a number one receiver but no one has. Danny Amendola was the closest they've come to a top receiver, but he is gone to the Patriots now leaving the Rams with nothing. If Tavon Austin falls to them, then that is the obvious pick here, but I really doubt that happens. At this point they could take Corderelle Patterson, but the thing here is they also own the 22nd pick and there will be several good receiving options for them at that point. In addition to receiver, the Rams are also starting over with safety as both Quintin Mikell and Craig Dahl are gone and have yet to be replaced. If Kenny Vaccaro is still on the board he is the top safety in the draft and unlike the receiver position, a similar stud safety won't be available at 22, so they need to put off receiver for a bit and jump on this.

Click here for picks 17 - 32

1 comment:

  1. If anyone happens to look back at this and is about to laugh at me for getting almost all the picks wrong, know that I did an update on this the day before the draft where got 4 of the first 5 correct. I just didn't post it. But that is the beauty of the draft! Not even the experts can correctly pick the draft. One wrong pick or one trade and your whole mock gets switched up. That's why when looking at my mock draft, it's important to read my comments to see what I think the teams need and the type of player they could pick