Mike's 2013 NFL Mock Draft (Senior Bowl Update 4/19/13)
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
This is what I wrote for my first mock draft back in January and nothing has changed:
The main focus for the Chiefs is going to be on moving the ball down the field more efficiently than they did in 2012. Currently, the buzz at the offensive tackle position has centered around seniors Eric Fisher and Lane Johnson, but Joeckel should stick as the top player at the position. Comparisons to former top overall pick Jake Long are warranted.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
Jacksonville managed only 20 sacks this past season. That was, by far, the fewest in the NFL. For that reason, I expect the team to select its favorite pass rusher with this pick. I still have Bjoern Werner ranked as the top pass rusher in this draft class, but Ansah’s freakish athletic ability might appeal to Jacksonville.
3. Oakland Raiders: Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon
The Raiders are a good bet to take a talented pass rusher that gets past Jacksonville. Oakland’s defense only tallied 25 sacks in 2012. The total was good for 31st in the NFL. Truthfully, the team’s best option would be to trade down and acquire more selections. Eric Fisher is also a solid option, but Jared Veldheer has been strong at left tackle for the past couple years.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Geno Smith is the perfect fit for Chip Kelly’s high tempo offense because he has experience in a similar system at West Virginia. The return of Michael Vick shouldn’t detour the Eagles from taking a player viewed as being the long term answer at quarterback.
5. Detroit Lions: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
I think I’ve been saying that the Lions should draft a franchise left tackle every year since Ray and I began running this website. I’m not sure Riley Reiff is the answer. He may be better suited at right tackle or perhaps even guard and mainstay Jeff Backus has retired. Fisher is spent Senior Bowl week dominating opposing defensive linemen. He’s the real deal and a lock to be selected in the first half of the draft’s opening round.
6. Cleveland Browns: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Milliner is easily the best cornerback in this draft and I can’t see him falling any further than this. I have the Alabama product ranked as the top overall player in the draft. The tandem of Milliner and Joe Haden would create nightmares for opposing passing attacks.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
This is another selection that I haven’t changed throughout the entire process. Just as I said with Milliner and the Browns, this is the furthest I can see Lane Johnson falling. He has the ability to start at left tackle as a rookie, but he won’t immediately provide the same stabilizing force as Joeckel and Fisher. Instead, the appeal with Johnson is his immense potential. He has a chance to develop into a franchise left tackle, but he’s still raw. He’s only a couple years removed from playing quarterback!
8. Buffalo Bills: Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse
Buddy Nix recently said he believes a franchise quarterback will be available when the team is placed on the clock and I agree. I don’t personally think Ryan Nassib is a future franchise quarterback. Instead, I view him as a mediocre starter in the same mold as Jason Campbell. However, I do believe he will be selected in the first round. This selection is going to come down to whichever signal caller Buddy Nix and Doug Whaley likes best. That could be Nassib, E.J. Manuel, or Matt Barkley.
9. New York Jets: E.J. Manuel, QB, Florida State
Mark Sanchez is only on the roster because of his terrible contract and rumors suggest he could end up being pawned off on Tampa Bay in a Darrelle Revis trade. There’s nobody else on the roster that has a chance to become a quality starter. I believe there’s a chance that the Jets are holding off on sending Revis and Sanchez to the Buccaneers until after they’ve had a chance to select a new quarterback in the first round. In doing so, new general manager John Idzik doesn’t have to worry about other teams interfering with the selection. E.J. Manuel is the most underrated player in the entire draft. Ray and I each had him ranked as a first round pick in December. Slowly, it seems the national media is starting to catch on as well.
10. Tennessee Titans: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
I don’t buy all of this talk that the Titans are going to draft an interior offensive lineman with this selection. The team already gave Andy Levitre a huge deal and that eliminated the potential for Chance Warmack to land in Tennessee. You don’t draft right guards 10th overall. I suppose the Titans could view Jonathan Cooper as an elite prospect at center, but the bet here is that the Titans add to their defense. Xavier Rhodes is a guy that I’ve been mocking as a high first round pick for the past two years. Why stop now?
11. San Diego Chargers: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
The Chargers need a lot of help along the offensive line. This makes each of the draft’s top interior linemen legitimate possibilities. However, the team also lacks explosiveness on offense. Tavon Austin would give Philip Rivers a weapon that he severely needs if he is going to successfully revive his career.
12. Miami Dolphins: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
I though Floyd was one of the most underrated prospects when the draft process started because I didn’t see many mock draft that had him in the top half of the first round. As time has gone on, however, I think he’s become a tad overrated. Floyd has exciting potential to become a pass rushing threat from the inside, but I don’t buy the hype that he’s a top 3 selection. The tools are there, but he needs to put them all together. He is a solid value somewhere between picks 10-15.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
Again, here is what I wrote in my first mock draft of the season. I see no reason to change this projection:
The Buccaneers have serious issues at cornerback. Two new starters will likely be needed in 2013. Trufant was one of the most impressive players during Senior Bowl week. He flashed ability that backed up his impressive collegiate career at Washington.
14. Carolina Panthers: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
Lotulelei would vastly improve Carolina’s run defense. He isn’t going to tally a lot of sacks, but he could be plugged into the middle of the defense as a stabilizing force for a number of years. It sounds like the health scare at the combine is thankfully a false alarm.
15. New Orleans Saints: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
The Saints are going to draft a player to improve their historically awful defense. Vaccaro is a better player than LSU pass rusher Barkevious Mingo and I like Bjoern Werner better as a defensive end in a base 3-4.
16. St. Louis Rams: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
The Rams are still trying to get Sam Bradford on track and this is why I believe they must continue to attempt to put him in the best possible situation to succeed. The signing of Jake Long should help tremendously, but the addition of Warmack could provide Bradford with the best blindside protection in the league.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
I knew Jones would see a drop in his stock. He has too many red flags to be considered the top 5 pick that many once thought he’d become. Still, I maintain my belief that he will ultimately be selected in the 1st round because of his incredible production on tape. The Steelers are currently rebuilding their defense and are rumored to be high on Jones.
18. Dallas Cowboys: Jonathan Cooper, C, North Carolina
The Cowboys could really use some help at guard and there happens to be a very good prospect at the position available in this scenario. Cooper and Warmack should each be easy selections if either is still available.
19. New York Giants: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
The Giants have a need for a right tackle and Fluker is the best available player on the board. The team has a reputation of drafting the best available player on its board with each selection. That’s good enough for me.
20. Chicago Bears: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
The Bears have a lot of flexibility with this choice because they don’t have many needs. I’m going to stick with the choice of Tyler Eifert. Here’s what I wrote in January:
I still like Eifert just a tad more than Stanford’s Zach Ertz. However, either one of them would have been my clear top ranked tight end if they had been in last year’s class. Both are legit first round prospects because they can block and make plays downfield.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Patterson is an absolute matchup nightmare. He has freakish athletic ability and a knack to pile up YAC. However, I’ve heard some whispers that he has a character red flag. On the bright side, I don’t believe that has anything to do with drugs, work ethic, or even immaturity. I’ll leave it at that. This is a luxury selection for Cincinnati, but it would absolutely be the right choice because of the amazing potential of a Patterson-A.J. Green duo.
22. St. Louis Rams (from Washington): Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
I believe Justin Hunter’s issues with drops this past year were a result of missing a large portion of time due to his 2011 knee injury. Even with the drops, Hunter was a terrific playmaker. I honestly feel that Hunter will be drafted much higher than many are currently projecting because he has game breaking talent and clear #1 receiver potential.
23. Minnesota Vikings: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
Ray and I both love DeAndre Hopkins. His final collegiate game against LSU solidified his stock as a first round prospect as far as I’m concerned. He isn’t a burner, but he has strong reliable hands.
24. Indianapolis Colts: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU
Andrew Luck has the Colts back on track, but the defense still needs a lot of help before the team will be able to take the next step. Indianapolis could select a player at any position on the defense except safety. Mingo and Bjoern Werner are the best players left on the board and I like Mingo as the better fit at outside linebacker.
The team has been tied to Margus Hunt. I believe this is too high to select the raw defensive end. He could develop into a great player, but he hasn’t shown that he’s ready to make an immediate impact in the NFL. Regardless of what I think, Hunt should hear his name called as one of the top 40 picks.
25. Minnesota Vikings (from Seattle): Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
I expect this choice to come down to defensive tackle and cornerback if the Vikings draft a receiver with their first selection like they have in this projection. As far as I’m concerned, Sylvester Williams is the best player available at either of those positions. I could see him coming off the board as early as the 14th pick to Carolina.
26. Green Bay Packers: Bjoern Werner, OLB, Florida State
I like Werner better at defensive end, but this would be a tremendous value for Green Bay. Personally, I like Werner more than Ezekiel Ansah.
27. Houston Texans: Robert Woods, WR, USC
Woods projects as an excellent slot receiver in the NFL. The Texans are held back because their offense lacks secondary weapons. Too much of each week’s game plan is centered on Arian Foster and Andre Johnson. If the team decides to draft an outside threat, I expect Terrance Williams to be the choice.
28. Denver Broncos: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
Moore would have been a top 5 selection if not for one of the worst combine performances in history. The big question is whether or not is apparent lack of athleticism will prevent him from becoming a strong pass rusher in the NFL. Da Monster could be a steal this late in the first round.
29. New England Patriots: Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State
I think the Patriots are focusing this selection on a cornerback. Jamar Taylor and Mississippi State’s Johnthan Banks are both strong possibilities. The Patriots have also done a lot of homework on USC receiver Robert Woods. He isn’t available in the scenario and I believe the team needs a receiver to play on the outside rather than the slot anyway.
30. Atlanta Falcons: Cornellius Carradine, DE, Florida State
Atlanta did a nice job patching holes at running back and tight end earlier in the offseason. The two biggest areas of concern are at defensive end and cornerback. Tank Carradine could help replace some of the pass rush ability that was lost when John Abraham was cut.
31. San Francisco 49ers: Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford
Why not? Ertz gives a stacked 49ers squad even more firepower. There are a number of directions the 49ers could go and a trade up is possible if not likely. This could also be a landing spot for controversial cornerback D.J. Hayden from Houston.
32. Baltimore Ravens: Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State
This selection gives Florida State five first round selections in this projection. The Ravens just made a large investment in Joe Flacco and now it’s time to settle the situation regarding the protection of his blind side. Watson may not be able to step in and start as a rookie, but he could be a very strong value down the road.
33. Jacksonville Jaguars: Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
Jones is a great fit at the other defensive end position in Gus Bradley’s defense.
34. San Francisco 49ers (from Kansas City): D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston
The 49ers can afford to roll the dice on a first round prospect recovering from a close to fatal health scare.
35. Philadelphia Eagles: Arthur Brown, ILB, Kansas State
Brown could slip into the first round if 4-3 teams think he can play middle linebacker.
36. Detroit Lions: Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame
The Lions could go in a number of directions in the second round and adding to the defense should be a high priority. I don’t think Te’o is fast enough to play middle linebacker in the NFL, but he could be a good starter on the outside.
37. Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland): Alec Ogletree, OLB, Georgia
Ogletree is a first round talent, but he makes poor decisions off the field and has questionable work ethic in the film room.
38. Arizona Cardinals: Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International
Cyprien has enjoyed a stellar draft process starting with his performance at the Senior Bowl. He won’t get past the 2nd round.
39. New York Jets: Cornelius Washington, OLB, Georgia
I love Washington’s potential. He didn’t put up great numbers at Georgia because he played the 5 technique and occupied blockers for teammate Jarvis Jones.
40. Tennessee Titans: Matt Elam, S, Florida
Elam is my top ranked safety in this draft class. He flies to the ball and seems to be in on every play. Concerns about his height creating mismatches against opposing tight ends are overblown.
41. Buffalo Bills: Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU
The Bills will hope that Minter pans out better than the last middle linebacker they drafted from LSU. This selection goes a long way toward strengthening last season’s leaky run defense.
42. Miami Dolphins: Justin Pugh, OT, Syracuse
The Dolphins have made some nice acquisitions during the offseason, but the loss of Jake Long is going to hurt them tremendously unless another starting tackle is acquired.
43. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Ryan Swope, WR, Texas A&M
Swope provides the Tampa offense with a quality slot receiver to go along with its two big outside threats.
44. Carolina Panthers: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
Richardson has the potential to be a steal in the second round. He could develop into one of the top players in this draft. The only reason he falls this far is because his production at Missouri didn’t match his potential.
45. San Diego Chargers: Terron Armstead, OT, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Armstead was the best player at the East-West Shrine Game. He looked good during practice at the Senior Bowl and his stock has continued to soar since then.
46. St. Louis Rams: Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama
The Rams have a chance to put themselves on the NFC West map with a strong draft. There will be plenty of quality safeties available in the 3rd round so this is the selection to scoop up a talented runner to help offset the loss of Steven Jackson.
47. Dallas Cowboys: Kyle Long, OG, Oregon
Long and Cooper would solidify the offensive line and protect the team’s major investment at quarterback.
48. Pittsburgh Steelers: Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA
The Steelers could use a lead back added to their rotation.
49. New York Giants: Khaseem Greene, OLB, Rutgers
Greene is a great prospect with amazing production in the Big East. It would be a solid choice if the Giants end up selecting him in the first round. The only reason he fell so far in this projection is because he plays a position that isn’t really at a premium for base 4-3 teams. This is a slam dunk in the second round.
50. Chicago Bears: Kevin Reddick, MLB, North Carolina
Reddick is a better option at middle linebacker than aging veteran D.J. Williams.
51. Washington Redskins: David Amerson, CB, North Carolina State
The Redskins have an exciting future, but the defense still needs a lot of help. Amerson is a physical freak and a ball hawking playmaker.
52. Minnesota Vikings: A.J. Klein, MLB, Iowa State
Klein’s biggest knock going into the combine was his perceived lack of speed. He put those doubts to rest with a strong showing in Indianapolis and should be a second day selection as a result.
53. Cincinnati Bengals: Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina
The Bengals just re-signed Bernard Scott, but they could still be looking for a runner with more upside than their current tandem in the draft.
54. Miami Dolphins (from Indianapolis): Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
I think the Dolphins are going to use a couple of these first few picks in a package to move up. However, I’m not projecting trades in this mock so cornerback is a logical need to address.
55. Green Bay Packers: Margus Hunt, DE, SMU
Hunt may go a lot earlier than this. In fact, he could be in play for the team’s first pick. If he slid this far, which would be the worst case scenario for him, I think Green Bay would run to the podium.
56. Seattle Seahawks: John Jenkins, DT, Georgia
Jenkins is currently the missing piece on Seattle’s defensive line. He would provide the team with an athletic nose tackle…which is almost an oxymoron.
57. Houston Texans: Jesse Williams, DE, Alabama
Williams is an athletic defensive lineman that will appeal to teams with base 3-4 defenses because he can play both nose and end.
58. Denver Broncos: Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin
The Broncos need a hammer in the run game to complement Ronnie Hillman.
59. New England Patriots: Keenan Allen, WR, California
Allen is a prototypical possession receiver. It’ll be interesting to see where he is drafted after running a 4.7 forty yard dash time at his recent workout. In addition, scouts question his attitude and work ethic. There are also reports that he may have been red flagged during a drug test at the combine. I wouldn’t be shocked if he fell out of the top 100, but he has a lot of talent as well.
60. Atlanta Falcons: Darius Slay, CB, Mississippi State
The Falcons are a very good team, but weaknesses at corner and pass rusher are a bad combo. Those issues need to be resolved in order to prevent a step back next year.
61. San Francisco 49ers: Eric Reid, S, LSU
The 49ers are rumored to be very interested in Reid. He may even be in consideration earlier.
62. Baltimore Ravens: Quinton Patton, WR, Louisiana Tech
Anquan Boldin was traded to the 49ers and that opened up a major hole opposite speedster Torrey Smith.
63. Kansas City Chiefs: William Gholston, DE, Michigan State
Gholston looks the part, but he also comes with questions about his work ethic.
64. Jacksonville Jaguars: Matt Barkley, QB, USC
The Jaguars have publicly stated that Blaine Gabbert will be given another season to show he can become the team’s franchise quarterback, but Barkley is worth the gamble in the 3rd round.
65. Detroit Lions: Robert Alford, CB, Southeast Louisiana
Alford showed that his small school success wasn’t a fluke by holding his own at the Senior Bowl.
66. Oakland Raiders: Gavin Escobar, TE, San Diego State
The Raiders currently have nobody on their roster that can be confused with a starting NFL tight end.
67. Philadelphia Eagles: Johnathan Hankins, NT, Ohio State
Hankins would fill a void and act as the starting nose tackle next to Fletcher Cox.
68. Cleveland Browns: Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor
Williams is the type of big tall receiver that Cleveland’s new offensive coordinator Norv Turner covets.
69. Arizona Cardinals: B.W. Webb, CB, William & Mary
Webb proved he could play well against tougher competition at the Senior Bowl. He should be a top 100 lock.
70. Tennessee Titans: Larry Warford, OG, Kentucky
Warford is a safe dependable solid second round choice. That makes him a great value in the third round.
71. Buffalo Bills: : Markus Wheaton, WR, Oregon State
The Bills need a receiver that can stretch the field. Wheaton is a much better value than last year’s 3rd round choice, T.J. Graham.
72. New York Jets: Chistine Michael, RB, Texas A&M
The Jets simply cannot go into next season with Mike Goodson as the lead back. He can’t stay healthy and he puts the ball on the ground too much.
73. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Dwayne Gratz. CB, Connecticut
Tampa has to find two cornerbacks in this draft.
74. San Francisco 49ers (from Carolina): Sio Moore, LB, Connecticut
Moore started his excellent draft process with a strong showing at the East-West Shrine Game.
75. New Orleans Saints: Jamie Collins, OLB, Southern Miss
Collins put on a show at the combine.
76. San Diego Chargers: David Quessenberry, OL, San Jose State
Scouts love Quessenberry’s position versatility.
77. Miami Dolphins: Aaron Dobson, WR, Marshall
Dobson is a steady reliable receiver that doesn’t drop passes.
78. St. Louis Rams: D.J. Swearinger, S, South Carolina
Each one of the Rams picks in this scenario could become immediate starters.
79. Pittsburgh Steelers: Stedman Bailey, WR, West Virginia
We like the value Bailey provides even more than his former teammate, Tavon Austin.
80. Dallas Cowboys: J.J. Wilcox, S, Georgia Southern
Wilcox may only last until the third round because he played at a small school. He’s raw, having only played one season at safety, but he’s already learned the position well enough to have enjoyed a great week of practice at the Senior Bowl.
81. New York Giants: Jon Bostic, MLB, Florida
Bostic probably seured a second day pick after a strong pro day.
82. Miami Dolphins (from Chicago): Shamarko Thomas, S, Syracuse
Thomas is a tad small, but he is a great athlete and his playmaking skills should allow him to develop into a starter.
83. Minnesota Vikings: David Bakhtiari, OT, Colorado
This is a great value as Bakhtiari provides immediate position versatility and long term potential at tackle (even though the team is currently strong at tackle).
84. Cincinnati Bengals: Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State
We are a lot higher on Poyer than many others. He may have to play nickel in the NFL, but that’s basically a starting position now.
85. Washington Redskins: Bacarri Rambo, S, Georgia
Rambo will be a great NFL player if he keeps himself out of trouble.
86. Indianapolis Colts: John Simon, OLB, Ohio State
Simon owns a relentless motor and should be a solid NFL pass rusher even though he may have trouble in pass coverage.
87. Seattle Seahawks: Brian Schwenke, OG, California
Schwenke is the top zone blocking center in this year’s class, but the Seahawks would use him at guard.
88. Green Bay Packers: Brian Schwenke, C, California
Schwenke looked great all week at the Senior Bowl. He should be an immediate starter in a zone-blocking offense.
89. Houston Texans: Trevardo Williams, OLB, Connecticut
Williams is a devastating and underrated pass rusher.
90. Denver Broncos: Brandon Williams, DT, Missouri Southern
This Denver team continues to fill the few holes they have remaining.
91. New England Patriots: Luke Marquardt, OT, Azusa Pacific
The Patriots are a good bet to draft someone a little off the radar here. Marquardt is extremely raw, but he has tremendous potential.
92. Atlanta Falcons: Vance McDonald, TE, Rice
It isn’t really typical of the Falcons to draft a player with character red flags so I think the team would go with McDonald over Travis Kelce.
93. San Francisco 49ers: Quanterus Smith, OLB, Western Kentucky
Smith registered 3 sacks against Alabama earlier this year and would be on the first round radar if not for his season ending injury.
94. Baltimore Ravens: Earl Wolff, S, North Carolina State
Wolff is one of the best prospects that nobody seems to be talking about. He misses a few too many tackles, but I like his chances of becoming a quality NFL starter.
95. Houston Texans: Matt Scott, QB, Arizona
Scott has some interesting raw tools. I don’t buy the comparison to Colin Kaepernick, but he’s got a chance to become a starter if he can alter his motion a bit. Currently, his three-quarter delivery leads to too many passes being batted at the line of scrimmage.
96. Kansas City Chiefs: Da’Rick Rogers, WR, Tennessee Tech
If Rogers can focus on becoming a great NFL receiver, it’ll happen. However, his checkered past suggests that’s a huge question.
97. Tennessee Titans: Travis Kelce, TE, Cincinnati
Kelce is a second round value based on his talent alone. Character red flags push him down a round.