2013 NFL Mock Draft: Pre-Super Bowl Mock With Analysis
In a blink of an eye, the 2012 NFL season is just about over, as all we have left to enjoy is a sorry Pro Bowl and the Ravens and 49ers duking it out in this year’s Super Bowl. That’s still enough to get excited about, but if you’re not a Baltimore or San Francisco fan, there’s a pretty good chance your’re glued to the rumor mill and have your sights locked in on the 2013 NFL Draft.
As you may have guessed, we here at NFLSoup.com are exactly the same way. We’re getting our own NFL Draft fix as we feed you yours, and we’re at it again as we analyze and ponder how the draft could go down. This time, we’re doing it before Super Bowl 47 hits us like a ton of bricks.
Without further haste, here’s a look at how the first 32 picks could go down in this year’s draft:
1. Kansas City Chiefs - Matt Barkley, QB, USC
I had Geno Smith here in my last mock, but after looking closer at these guys I believe Barkley is the better prospect. It’s actually pretty close, but I’d still go with Barkley, and I think Andy Reid will, too. Reid loves to throw in his offenses, and he needs a guy who has a shot at making an impact right away. Barkley has a solid skill-set and has experience under center. I think he makes a ton of sense here, even though he’s over valued as a #1 overall selection.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars - Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
The Jaguars continue to be a sad story in most respects, but this isn’t the place to reach for a quarterback, and it sounds like they still want to see what they have in Blaine Gabbert. Unless they pull a shocker, I think they’re chasing for help in their pass-rush. The talent is lacking there, and Werner would be an immediate impact guy who just won’t quit.
3. Oakland Raiders – Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
Oakland has a lot of holes, but there are arguably none bigger than their defensive line. Tommy Kelly is over paid and overrated, and Richard Seymour is aging and probably out the door. Lotulelei gives them an athletic force on the line, and also gives them excellent versatility. He’s the best value and due to his upside and the great need for pass-rush help, he makes the most sense for their current system.
4. Philadelphia Eagles – Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Chip Kelly may not be in love with making the safe, smart choice with his first ever pick, but he simply has to. Philly is hurting at the tackle spot and really needs to address the position asap. Whether it’s Nick Foles, Michael Vick or someone else under center in 2013, they need to be protected. Joeckel is without a doubt the top tackle prospect, and it would make no sense for him to drop from this spot.
5. Detroit Lions – Jarvis Jones/DE/OLB, Georgia
Some will say it’s impossible for Jones to fall this far, but his size isn’t ideal and he’ll have to find the right fit/system. Detroit could use both secondary and pass-rush help and with arguably the best talent sliding to them, this pick becomes a no-brainer.
6. Cleveland Browns – Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
Cleveland has their building blocks on offense, so short of getting another passer to push Brandon Weeden, most of their moves should be on making a solid 2012 defense even better. Landing an elite pass-rusher like Moore is a great step in the right direction.
7. Arizona Cardinals – Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Smith could go #1, here, or drop considerably. Right now, I think he’s a solid prospect and Bruce Arians would probably be more than happy to work with him. It’s no secret that the Cardinals can’t walk into 2013 with their current crop of bottom feeder quarterbacks. (Take a look at the Arizona Cardinals Draft Needs)
8. Buffalo Bills – Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse
Mike Glennon and Tyler Wilson could go here, too, but I think the Bills go with Nassib, who has some hot and rising stock. The Bills haven’t been shy about wanting to move on from Ryan Fitzpatrick, while new head coach Doug Marrone reuniting with Nassib makes some sense here.
9. New York Jets – Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon
The Jets have a defensive coach who knows nothing about offense, so short of the team taking the plunge with Mike Glennon or Tyler Wilson here (which they certainly could do), I’m guessing they draft defense. Jordan would help improve their pass-rush immediately.
10. Tennessee Titans – Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
Tennessee could really use some help at guard and corner, but at least they’re getting a stud pass-rusher in Mingo. They already have two solid ends, but Mingo rounds out their rotation and strengthens the unit.
11. San Diego Chargers – Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
San Diego can go in a number of directions, but I think protecting Philip Rivers is the route to go. Fisher is just about neck and neck with Luke Joeckel according to some, so the Chargers are arguably getting a major steal here.
12. Miami Dolphins - Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Miami needs to upgrade at receiver one way or another and Patterson is arguably the most physically gifted receiver in this draft. Ryan Tannehill would be pleased. (Check out the Miami Dolphins Team Needs)
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Aqib Talib got traded so the Bucs have to start over at corner. I could see Milliner going as early as to Detroit at the #5 spot, but with Tampa needing corner help so badly, this would work out perfectly.
14. Carolina Panthers – Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
The Panthers need to stop playing around. Their defense got better in 2012, but their run defense is still a weak point. It’s time to add the space-eater in the middle they should have in the last two drafts. Hankins fits the bill.
15. New Orleans Saints – Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
Ditto for the Saints. Word is they’re transitioning to a 3-4, but they can still make great use of Richardson. They need more talent on that defensive line any way you shake it.
16. St. Louis Rams - Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
The Rams could opt for a receiver here, but there’s some good receiver talent and they don’t need to have a knee-jerk reaction. They could stand to improve their interior o-line play, though, and Warmack is the best in this draft class.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers - Ezekiel Ansah, DE/OLB, BYU
Ansah is raw and inexperienced, but that’s just how the Steelers love their 3-4 ‘backers. James Harrison is 36 going on 100, so it’s time to find a suitable replacement they can groom.
18. Dallas Cowboys – Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
Dallas finally has a solid crew of corners to put to good use, but their safety play still isn’t meeting expectations. They could nab Vaccaro here to help make their secondary one you won’t want to mess with.
19. New York Giants – Manti Te’o, MLB, Notre Dame
Te’o has the talent to go much higher, but he’s not really a freak athlete and the hole girlfriend hoax thing could leave a bad taste in some GM’s mouths. I like him in Chicago if he slips past the Giants, but they badly need a leader in the middle of their defense.
20. Chicago Bears – Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
If Te’o is gone, look for the Bears to go all fundamental on us and beef up their shaky offensive line. Incoming head coach Marc Trestman likes to pass, so a tackle is possible here, too, or even a tight end. Cooper is just a great guard with nice versatility, though, so I love the value in this pick.
21. Cincinnati Bengals - Alec Ogletree, MLB, Georgia
The Bengals are weak at linebacker and Ogletree has loads of potential. He could be the guy they thought Odell Thurman was going to be for them years ago. I bet you never thought you’d hear that name again, did you?
22. St. Louis Rams (via Redskins) – Keenan Allen, WR, California
The Rams passed on getting a receiver a few selections earlier, and they probably get the guy they want here, anyways. Allen has speed that kills and some will argue he’s the best wide receiver on the board when the draft starts. St. Louis takes him in case Danny Amendola jets in free agency and Brian Quick doesn’t pan out.
23. Minnesota Vikings – Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
What ever happened to the ‘Williams Wall”? Well, Kevin Williams is getting older, and Pat Williams has been retired for years. It’s time to prepare for a bit of a transition there by adding in a beast to roam the middle of the defensive line. Floyd will fit in perfectly next to Williams.
24. Indianapolis Colts – John Jenkins, DT, Georgia
The Colts don’t yet have all the pieces for their 3-4 defense, which allows them to draft just about anywhere on defense in this draft. They could easily get a pass-rusher here, but their d-line is painfully boring in terms of talent for this system. Jenkins helps off-set that a bit.
25. Seattle Seahawks - Sam Montgomery, DE/OLB, LSU
Chris Clemons tore his knee up and we all know how the Seahawks love their pass-rushers. Consider Montgomery both an insurance pick, as well as another talent to add to the heap in Seattle. The Seahawks could also go after a stud receiver with this pick if they felt inclined.
26. Green Bay Packers – Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina
Green Bay actually has a lot of needs, but few could be too much more important than getting a legit feature back. Cedric Benson may never be the same due to a foot injury, and all their other backs are too average. Lattimore is trying to return from a devastating knee injury, but think Willis McGahee and this pick actually makes a good amount of sense. Giovani Bernard could also be the pick here.
27. Houston Texans – Kevin Minter, MLB, LSU
Brian Cushing went down last year and Houston’s defense was never the same. Think he mattered a bit, do ya? Minter is a stellar inside linebacker that will provide depth and can help Cushing out in Houston’s 3-4 right away.
28. Denver Broncos - Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
Banks is probably too good to fall this far, but there is good talent in this draft and corner isn’t a gigantic need for a ton of teams like it was last year. Banks could hear his named called earlier if Milliner doesn’t fall to the Bucs, but the Broncos work on finding an eventual successor to Champ Bailey with this selection.
29. New England Patriots – Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
Wes Welker could be gone and the Patriots only have Brandon Lloyd at receiver after him. It’s time for a youth injection at wide receiver in New England.
30. Atlanta Falcons – Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
Some say Zach Ertz is the better tight end, but I still think Eifert is more fluid and has better potential as a play-maker. With Tony Gonzalez “97%” sure he’s retiring, the Falcons need to make sure the drop-off at tight end isn’t alarming.
31. Baltimore Ravens - Eric Reid, S, LSU
The Ravens will have to replace both Ray Lewis and Ed Reed this year. Lewis will be a lot easier to replace due to his slow decline over the past few years, while Reed’s ball-hawking won’t be easy to replicate. Reid is a quality safety with nice potential. He’ll have to do.
32. San Francisco 49ers – Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
The 49ers have no glaring holes in terms of impact players, so I think they just beef up their run defense by adding the meaty Williams to the mix. They could also add depth at corner or take another shot at an impact wide receiver.
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