We’re finally down to just hours before the 2013 NFL Draft begins and 32 men are elevated to the professional level of football. Suspense has developed as it’s rumored the Chiefs could surprise with the #1 pick. I don’t see it. Tonight should have guys in the trenches flying off the board early and often. The skill positions just aren’t loaded with impact players this year. I do think this is a class that has a few potential perennial Pro Bowlers. This is the final 2013 NFL Mock Draft so let’s hope it’s right!
1. Kansas City Chiefs – Luke Joeckel (OT – Texas A&M)
While some are speculating it’ll be Eric Fisher, I think Joeckel is a more proven talent having played SEC talent week last year and is ready.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars – Eric Fisher (OT – Central Michigan)
I think the Jags would love to trade down here and pick up additional picks. They have so many holes on their roster. Fisher is a great prospect though and with the struggles they’ve had at QB, solidifying the blindside should help some.
3. Oakland Raiders – Sharriff Floyd (DT – Florida)
The Raiders’ phone line will be burning up if Joeckel and Fisher are the first two picks. Several team are wanting a tackle and know Lane Johnson has a good shot of leaving their board at pick 4. If the Raiders keep the pick they’ll address their aging defensive line.
4. Philadelphia Eagles – Lane Johnson (OT – Oklahoma)
Chip Kelly needs a mobile lineman and Johnson should transition well to his scheme.
5. Detroit Lions – Ziggy Ansah (DE – BYU)
This is where the draft will start to really get interesting. The Lions have a few different ways they could go. They could try to solidify the offensive line if a tackle falls to them here or even grab one of the elite guard prospects. They’re probably headed to the D-line but passing up Dee Milliner will be difficult.
6. Cleveland Browns – Dee Milliner (CB – Alabama)
Numerous needs make this a tough pick to determine. I think they’ll go with the best player available.
7. Arizona Cardinals – Dion Jordan (OLB – Oregon)
The Cardinals look to beef up their pass rush to have someone to chase down the young QB’s in their division Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson and Sam Bradford.
8. Buffalo Bills – Chance Warmack (OG – Alabama)
The big question here is does Doug Marrone take his QB from Syracuse, Ryan Nassib. Nassib is a good prospect but grabbing him this high is a big gamble for a first year coach. I think the Bills are spending all day trying to find a trade partner to move down. If they hold the pick I think they take the best prospect in the draft.
9. New York Jets – Tyler Eifert (TE – Notre Dame)
The Jets make a bit of a surprise here and grab the best pass catcher in the draft. Mark Sanchez will have to feel better knowing he’ll have this big target available.
10. Tennessee Titans – Star Lotulelei
The Titans need help on the D-line and grab a guy who was once considered to be in contention for the top spot. Health concerns dropped him but he could be a solid player for years in Tennessee.
11. San Diego Chargers – D.J. Fluker (OT – Alabama)
The run on tackles early in the draft move Fluker up the board quickly. He’s a mountain that should be able to keep defenders off of Phillip Rivers.
12. Miami Dolphins – Jonathan Cooper (OG – North Carolina)
If it hasn’t gone down by the time the 12 pick happens, expect the Dolphins to pick up the phone and seal the deal on trading for the Chiefs’ Branden Albert. They Dolphins would love to see Tyler Eifert here and could be a prime target to move out of this spot as well for a team looking to move up and grab a pass rusher. If they Dolphins stand pat, they grab a great pass protecting OG and their offensive line is looking solid for the upcoming season.
13. New York Jets (from Tampa Bay Buccaneers) – Barkevious Mingo (DE – LSU)
They could grab him at 9 but I think knowing there’s not a huge risk in him being selected 10-12, they let him go and grab Eifert at 9 knowing the Dolphins could snap him up at 12.
14. Carolina Panthers – Sheldon Richardson (DT – Missouri)
He fits with what they’re looking to do in Carolina. I wouldn’t be surprised here though if they went with Tavon Austin.
15. New Orleans Saints – Jarvis Jones (OLB – Georgia)
I think it’s going to be really difficult for Sean Payton to pass up Tavon Austin here but he’ll focus on upgrading a horrendous defense by getting an outstanding pass rusher.
16. St. Louis Rams – Tavon Austin (WR – West Virginia)
The Rams hope adding Austin can return them to being the “Greatest Show on Turf”.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers – Alex Ogletree (ILB – Georgia)
I think he’ll be a perfect fit with the Steelers and make an impact right away for them.
18. Dallas Cowboys – Sylvester Williams (DT – North Carolina)
The ‘Boys need an offensive lineman but I can’t see them reaching again to take one here. They take a guy who could challenge for a starting spot as they transition to a 4-3 defense.
19. New York Giants – Bjoern Werner (DE – Florida State)
The Giants could look at the secondary here but I think there will be a glut of players available there for them in round 2. I think they’ll look at Werner to replace the loss of Osi Umenyora this offseason.
20. Chicago Bears – Manti Te’o (LB – Notre Dame)
Seems the Bears are looking for a leader and tackling machine. I have a lot of doubts about Te’o in the NFL but the Bears look like they’re willing to take the chance.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – Kevin Minter (LB – LSU)
Minter will start day 1 in Cincinnati and could become a big-time playmaker for them.
22. St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins) – Kenny Vaccaro (S – Texas)
Rumors have the Rams wanting to trade back from this spot but it might be tough to do unless a team wants to jump up and grab a QB here. I think Jeff Fisher grabs a safety to anchor his secondary.
23. Minnesota Vikings – Robert Woods (WR – USC)
Minnesota needs a LB but seeing two go off the board right in front of them might have them look at a receiver here or defensive lineman. There’s a bunch of receivers all who could go here. I think Woods is the choice for his route running.
24. Indianapolis Colts – D.J. Hayden (CB – Houston)
The Colts made the playoffs but need help in a lot of places. I think they may look at taking the best player available here. Secondary help will certainly be useful as they try to make it back to the playoffs.
25. Minnesota Vikings (from Seattle Seahawks) – Desmond Trufant (CB – Washington)
Playing Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford and Jay Cutler each twice a season means you can never have too many good cover guys. They grab one here.
26. Green Bay Packers – Eddie Lacy (RB – Alabama)
The Packers might finally have a back. If Lacy falls to them here it’d be a steal and he could be looking at a huge season. With Aaron Rodgers being able to drop back and shred defenses, it should give Lacy big holes to run through as a rookie.
27. Houston Texans – Cordarrelle Patterson (WR – Tennessee)
The Texans will jump at the chance to land this playmaker. While he’s raw, he can learn from Andre Johnson and could have superstar potential.
28. Denver Broncos – Tank Carradine (DE – Florida State)
The Broncos need to improve the pass rush after the Elvis Dumervil fiasco. I think the take a chance on Carradine here. If he’s healthy by week 1 he can start and make an impact.
29. New England Patriots – Xavier Rhodes (CB – Florida State)
Rhodes is a guy who could be the best cover guy in the draft but there are some concerns about him. Bill Bellicheck will take the risk like he did with Aqib Talib.
30. Atlanta Falcons – Datone Jones (DE – UCLA)
They need to replace John Abraham on the defensive line and grab a guy who’s worked his way into the first round.
31. San Francisco 49ers – Matt Elam (S – Florida)
The loss of Dashon Goldson makes safety a priority for the defending NFC Champs. They debate Elam or Eric Reid. I think Elam fits them a little bit better.
32. Baltimore Ravens – Eric Reid (S – LSU)
The lost Ed Reed this offseason and will replace him in round 1 with a great safety out of LSU.