2013 NFL Mock Draft (3 Full Rounds, Pittsburgh Steelers Picks Rounds 1-7)

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Round 3

 

63. Kansas City Chiefs: Sio Moore ILB/OLB (Connecticut)

Derrick Johnson will be 32 years old soon, and Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend and himself last year.  Thus, Chiefs might want to find an athletic play-maker to develop at inside linebacker, and Sio Moore could be just the player.  Moore (6’1″ 245 lbs.) enjoyed a great offseason workout period (4.65 40 yard dash at The Combine, 29 bench press reps, 38″ vertical jump), and is coming off of a solid senior season (72 tackles, 8.0 sacks, 15.5 tackles for loss).  Moore also possesses some pass-rushing ability as well, and I am sure that Kansas City’s defensive brass could find creative ways to the former Husky in said fashion.

 

64. Jacksonville Jaguars: Sam Montgomery DE (Louisiana State)

The Jaguars ranked last in the League with a total of 20.0 sacks last year, and had their fair share of issues putting consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks from their defensive line.  Jacksonville’s pass-rush was so anemic that defensive tackle Tyson Alualu led the team with 3.5 sacks.  Montgomery (6’5″ 260 lbs.) established himself as one of the S.E.C.’s better pass-rushers during his career in Baton Rouge, and put up 13.0 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks during the 2012 season.  Despite Sam’s recent comments about how he “took games off” at Louisiana State, he is unlikely to fall out of the 2nd day of the Draft due to how talented he is as a pass-rusher.

 

65. Detroit Lions: Johnathan Franklin RB (UCLA)

It’s a shame that Jahvid Best’s career did not work out, because he was a fabulous player.  Unfortunately, injuries are a part of the game, and the Lions are in need of an “every-down” running back.  I’ve talked at length about Johnathan Franklin (5’10″ 205 lbs.) since the offseason began, and I believe he could be a solid “sleeper” prospect.  The former Bruin set career highs in carries (282), rushing yards (1,734 yards), rushing touchdowns (15), catches (33), receiving yards (323 yards), and touchdown catches (2).  While Franklin is not “elite” in any facet of the game, he does a solid job on the ground, as a pass-catcher, and should fit well in a zone-blocking scheme with his solid field-vision.

 

66. Oakland Raiders: Kyle Long OT/OG (Oregon)

Oakland’s offensive line is in need of help at guard and tackle, and if Kyle Long falls to them in Round 3, I believe that they would have to consider taking him.  Long (6’6″ 304 lbs.) should be able to transition well as a right tackle at the pro level.  Like most Oregon offensive linemen, Long possesses quick feet, and is a solid down-field blocker.  Although he only started 1 season with the Ducks, his athleticism and upside should make him a mid-Day 2 pick, regardless of his past issues when he attended Florida State.  Plus, I am sure that general manager Reggie McKenzie is well aware that Kyle is the son of former Raider Hall of Famer Howie Long.

 

67. Philadelphia Eagles: David Bakhitari OT (Colorado)

The Eagles’ Offensive Line was an injury-plagued “dumpster fire” last year, and help is needed at multiple positions including Left and Right Tackle.  Demetress Bell and King Dunlap played horribly, and Jason Peters suffered another season-ending injury.  At the very least, David Bakhitari could be an answer to the Eagles’ woes at the left or right tackle positions.  David Bakhitari  (6’4″ 299 lbs.) was a three-year stater at Colorado, and played both right (2010) and left tackle for the Buffaloes (2011-2012).  Although Bakhitari is a bit on the “small-side” for a tackle at the pro level, he possesses more than enough agility and athletic ability to make the move to guard or even center.

 

68. Cleveland Browns: Markus Wheaton WR (Oregon State)

Brandon Weeden could use more offensive weapons to throw to during his second year, and the Browns need some more explosiveness on that side of the ball.  Wheaton (5’11″ 183 lbs.) reminds me a little of Antonio Brown, and I am sure that the Browns would love to add a prospect like him to their roster.  The former Beaver enjoyed a career year in 2012 as he not only caught 91 passes for 1,244 yards and 11 touchdowns, but rushed for 2 touchdowns also.  With solid speed and route-running ability, Wheaton would be a nice compliment to Josh Gordon and Greg Little.  Plus, I am sure that new offensive coordinator Norv Turner would love to use Wheaton in a field-stretching capacity as well.

 

69. Arizona Cardinals: Jamie Collins OLB (Southern Mississippi)

Arizona’s pass-rush was inconsistent at best last season, and the Cardinals must find an effective outside edge rusher.  A while back, I mentioned Jamie Collins (6’3″ 250 lbs.) as a potential mid-Round steal for the Steelers to take to shore up their pass-rushing needs, and Collins’ stock has risen since offseason workouts began.  Collins moved from defensive back to linebacker to defensive end during his collegiate career, and was one of Conference USA’s most feared pass-rushers over the last two years.  Overall, Collins registered 190 tackles, 16.5 sacks, 39.5 tackles for loss, 5 forced fumbles, and 3 interceptions.  While Collins is a bit raw in terms of his ability to “set the edge” against the run game, he could be a lethal situational pass-rusher while he develops as an outside linebacker.

 

70. Tennessee Titans: Barrett Jones OG/C/OT (Alabama)

Jones (6’4″ 306 lbs.) not only won the 2012 Rimington Trophy (top center in college football), but he also won the 2011 Outland Trophy (top interior lineman in college football).  Although Jones will not blow anyone away with his quickness or agility, he is a heady player who can use his leverage well and possesses good fundamentals.  Jones was a 4-year starter at Alabama and started at center, right guard, and left tackle, and his versatility will definitely be a big help to help out along the interior of the Titans’ make-shift offensive line.


71. Buffalo Bills: D.J. Swearinger SS (South Carolina)

Although the Bills kept Jairus Byrd, they were only able to sign him with the franchise tag.  In addition, they lost George Wilson back in March, so Buffalo’s defense could stand to use some depth at safety.  An experienced player, Swearinger started two-and-a-half years (33 Starts) at South Carolina over his career, and emerged as one of college football’s most feared and dangerous hitters (here and here).   A tough, in-the-box defender, Swearinger can hold his own in run-support and made 80 tackles during his junior year, and 79 last season. The former Gamecock also had a knack for forcing turnovers and creating big-plays as he racked up 6 interceptions, 4 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, and scored 2 defensive touchdowns over his career.

 

72. New York Jets: John Jenkins NT (Georgia)

I am sure that Rex Ryan misses coaching Haloti Ngata for so many years.  It is always a big help for a 3-4 defense to have a stout, and immovable nose tackle.   So Ryan might want to take Johnathan Jenkins (6’3″ 358 lbs.) if he slips into Round 2.  Jenkins is a space-eating and prototypical 0-technique who had himself a productive senior season in Athens (50 tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss, 1.0 sack, 14 quarterback hurries), and should be a terrific gap-clogging player at the professional level.  Unfortunately, Jenkins does not provide much in the form of a pass-rush, and might only project to be a 2-down player.  Plus, one must also question if the former Bulldog will be able to keep his weight in check.

 

73. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Ryan Nassib QB (Syracuse)

Josh Freeman will be a UFA after this season, and Tampa Bay’s new coaching staff has no allegiance to him.  If Freeman fails to impress this year, the Buccaneers might try to find an insurance policy in this year’s draft.  Nassib (6’2″ 227 lbs.) was Marrone’s starting signal-caller at Syracuse for three years and improved each and every season with the Orange in the areas of: completions, completion percentage, passing yards, and passing touchdowns.  Last year was Nassib’s finest as he threw for 3,753 yards and 26 touchdowns as the Orange won the Pinstripe Bowl.

 

74. San Francisco 49ers: Gavin Escobar TE (San Diego State)

I am a huge fan of Gavin Escobar (6’6″ 254 lbs.), and I believe that he could very well turn out to be the best tight end from this year’s Draft class.  Recruited to San Diego State as a pass-receiving tight end, Escobar had to learn to block under the Brady Hoke and Rocky Long regimes as the Aztecs employed a ground-heavy attack.  While Gavin is not an amazing blocker, he can perform effectively when he is called upon do it.  As I stated before though, the former Aztec’s soft hands, and ability to make tough catches (2011-2012: 93 catches, 1,323 yards, and 13 touchdowns) are what should make him a lock to be a Day 2 pick.  Teams are moving to “12″ personnel packages now (1 back, 2 tight ends), and Escobar would form a terrific duo with Vernon Davis.


75. New Orleans Saints: Blidi Wreh-Wilson CB (Connecticut)

Even though the Saints acquired Keenan Lewis, their pass defense ranked 31st in passing yards allowed last year.  If they cannot sign Nnamdi Asomugha, they could still stand to use some depth and a future starter at cornerback.  Wreh-Wilson (2012: 47 tackles, 1 interception, 9 passes defended) is similar to Johnthan Banks from a frame-perspective (6’1″ 195 lbs.), but possesses a surprising amount of athleticism for a taller player at his position.  If the former Husky cornerback can prove that his 40 time at his Pro Day was no fluke, he could have a shot to be taken in the early to middle part of Day 2 by a team intrigued by his size/speed combination.

 

76. San Diego Chargers: Jordan Poyer CB/FS (Oregon State)

The Chargers lost both Quentin Jammer and Antoine Cason to Free Agency and could stand to use some depth to challenge Derrick Cox, Sherrece Wright, and Marcus Gilchrist at cornerback.  The 6′ 191 lb. corner was one of Oregon State’s best defensive players over the last two years, and has some terrific ball-skills (2011-2012: 11 interceptions and 26 passes defended).  A three-year starter for the Beavers, Poyer also played free safety at Oregon State, and did a fine job as a kick and punt returner too.  Because San Diego faces the likes of Dwayne Bowe, Jonathan Baldwin, Eric Decker, and Demaryius Thomas within their own division, the team will need to invest in a cornerback of Poyer’s physical stature and ball-skills.


77. Miami Dolphins: Andre Ellington RB (Clemson)

Miami lost Reggie Bush this offseason, and could be in the market for a running back if the franchise is not sold on Daniel Thomas and Lamar Miller.  Ellington is a small (5’9″ 199 lbs.) yet shifty back who enjoyed a very successful career at Clemson (33 rushing touchdowns, 2 receiving touchdowns, and 1 kick return touchdown).  The former Tiger running back topped 1,000 yards on the ground during the 2011 (1,178) and 2012 (1,081) seasons, and has a good set of hands to contribute in the passing game.  At the very least, Ellington should serve as an effective 3rd down back, and help out with kick and punt return duties.

 

78. St. Louis Rams: Joseph Randle RB (Oklahoma State)

The Rams’ offense needs a replacement for Steven Jackson, and could find good value in a running back like Joseph Randle.  At least to me, the former Cowboy is an “Every-Down Back” with not only terrific skills as a runner (2,633 rushing yards and 38 touchdowns in 2011 & 2012), but a pass-catcher (71 catches for 490 yards and 2 touchdowns in 2011 & 2012) as well.  Randle would give Sam Bradford a solid weapon to turn to as a runner, and would be an excellent safety-valve out of the backfield after his time spent in Oklahoma State’s wide-open offense.

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