That’s right readers, it’s “Mock Draft Time” at N.P.C.. As the title states, today’s 2013 NFL Mock Draft will feature each and every selection in Rounds 1 and 2, and as I promised in the last installment: some projected trades. I should mention that these trades are purely speculation, and the values exchanged are based on the “Draft Pick Value Chart” from CBS.Sportsline.
For now though, let’s get on to the Mock:
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel OT (Texas A&M)
Kansas City’s brass could instantly upgrade their “tackle situation” with Texas A&M’s former blind-side protector. The 6’6″ 306 lb. Joeckel was the 2012 Outland Award winner, a 2012 consensus All-American, and a three-year starter for the Aggies (39 Games, 39 Starts). While the nimble Joeckel is not a “road-grading” type of tackle, his quick feet and sound blocking technique will help him to be a fantastic blind-side pass-protector for years to come.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dion Jordan DE/OLB (Oregon)
Although the Jason Babin signing helped towards the end of last year, Jacksonville’s brass would be wise to bolster their pass-rush at some point in this month’s draft. The Jaguars ranked dead last in the league with a total of 20.0 sacks last fall, and they could not create consistent pressure off of the edges. Last year, Jordan put up 44 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, 5.0 sacks, and forced 3 fumbles, and has a unique frame (6’6″ 248 lbs.), and an athletic skill-set (surprisingly in pass-coverage) which could make him an attractive option for the Jaguars to target at #2 if he recovers well from his recent shoulder surgery.
3. Oakland Raiders: Shariff Floyd DT (Florida)
Tommy Kelly and Desmond Bryant are gone, and the Raiders need help at defensive tackle. Floyd (6’3″ 297 lbs.) has become of the draft’s hottest commodities as of late, and he played both defensive end and defensive tackle at Florida. Last year, Floyd played his best football last season on the interior as he displayed a surprising combination of agility, power, and quickness for a man his size. Overall, Sharrif notched 46 tackles, 3.0 sacks, and a team-leading 13.0 tackles for loss during his junior season, and will garner interest from teams who employ 3-4 and 4-3 defensive schemes in Round 1.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Star Lotulelei DT (Utah)
Now that the Eagles are switching to a 3-4 defensive scheme, they would best served to acquire an athletic 5-technique who can also chip in for some gap-clogging in the trenches. Despite being double-teamed and keyed on for much of the season, Lotulelei (6’2″ 311 lbs.) was a 1st Team All-Pac-12 performer in 2012 as he amassed 42 tackles, 5.0 sacks, 11.0 tackles for loss, 3 forced fumbles, and 4 fumble recoveries. If teams shy away from Lotulelei due his heart issue, the Eagles might still snatch him up in a “Best Player Available” scenario.
5. Detroit Lions: Ezekiel Ansah DE (Brigham Young)
Detroit will likely need some serious help at defensive end position if they wish to create any pressure off of the edge in future seasons. Cliff Avril left for a new deal in Seattle, and Kyle Vanden Bosch was just recently released too. Ezekiel Ansah has turned heads throughout the offseason, and could inevitably find himself in the top 5 when “Draft Weekend” rolls around this month. Despite the fact that Ansah is newer to the game of football, the 6’5″ 271 lb. defensive end had a fine 2012 season as he made 62 tackles, 13.0 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks during his first year as a starter with the Cougars.
6. Miami Dolphins: Dee Milliner CB (Alabama)
(Trade w/ Cleveland: Swap 1st Round picks (#6 overall) and (#12 overall), Miami sends 2nd Round pick (#42 overall pick) to complete deal)
While the Dolphins need an offensive tackle to add to the mix, I for one could see them trading up to select Dee Milliner if he falls past the Lions at #5. I would not be sold on Brett Grimes after his Achilles injury, plus the team has lost Sean Smith and Vontae Davis over the last two years. If the Dolphins wish to challenge New England and Tom Brady, then they must upgrade their situation at cornerback pronto. Milliner (6′ 200 lbs.) had a terrific 2012 season as he logged 22 passes defended over the team’s 14 games, and added 54 Tackles and 2 Interceptions to his statline as the Crimson Tide won the national championship. The cornerback prospect is also willing to mix it up in the run game, and has the size, speed, and man-coverage skills to be an effective starter at the professional level.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Eric Fisher OT (Central Michigan)
Arizona’s offensive line surrendered a League high 58.0 sacks last year, and Bobby Massie and D’Anthony Batiste looked lost at the tackle positions numerous times in 2012. If the Cardinals want to have insurance in case their starting left tackle leaves, they could elect to go the “safe route” and take Eric Fisher at #7 overall. The 6’7″ 306 lb. Fisher was a 1st Team All-MAC performer last season, and also possesses some versatility to his game. Although he played most of his collegiate career at left tackle, he did start games at right tackle and right guard earlier in his career with the Chippewas. So even if Fisher doesn’t pan out on the blind-side, Arizona’s coaching staff could find another place for him along their porous offensive line.
8. Buffalo Bills: Geno Smith QB (West Virginia)
Even though the franchise signed Kevin Kolb, I cannot see how Buffalo’s brass would view him as any sort of long-term answer. In the event that Geno Smith (6’2″ 218 lbs.) falls to Buffalo at #8 overall, I believe that the Bills’ new head coach Doug Marrone will be interested in acquiring him. The strong-armed, accurate, and athletic former Mountaineer (2012: 369 for 518 (71.2%), 4,205 Yards, 42 TD’s, and 6 INT’s) would be a nice fit in Marrone’s offense as the Bills begin the long process of rebuilding, and also give the franchise a young and talented signal-caller to build around over the coming seasons.
9. New York Jets: Cordarrelle Patterson WR (Tennessee)
2013 could be the “Last Stand” for both Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez in New York. If the Jets wish to make their anemic passing offense better, they could roll the dice on Cordarrelle Patterson of Tennessee. The 6’2″ 216 lb. junior was a phenomenal kick returner and wide receiver at the junior college level before he came to Knoxville this past year, and boy did he make a splash in 2012. Over 11 games, Patterson caught 42 passes for 690 yards and 4 touchdowns, he rushed for 270 Yards and 3 touchdowns, and returned 1 kickoff and 1 punt for touchdowns. Although his skill-set is still very raw, Patterson just makes plays when he has the football in his hands, and teams must respect his speed.
10. Tennessee Titans: Bjoern Werner DE (Florida State)
If Tennessee elects to fill their cornerback needs later in the draft, they could opt to bolster their pass-rush and select “The Germinator” if he is still on the board at #10. Although the Werner (6’3″ 266 lbs.) is relatively new to the game football, he continued to improve his pass-rushing skills as he logged 18.0 tackles for loss and 13.0 sacks from his defensive end position last season. It would be wise for the Titans to invest in a defensive end to pair with Derrick Morgan and spell Kamerion Wimbley over the coming years. Plus, Werner’s ability to stop the run would make linebackers like Zach Brown and Akeem Ayers even more effective players.
11. San Diego Chargers: Lane Johnson OT (Oklahoma)
The Chargers need to improve their pass-protection, and their pass-rush. If Lane Johnson somehow falls to #11 overall, I cannot see San Diego passing on the talented offensive tackle. The former Sooner (6’6″ 303 lbs.) is an intriguing prospect who played quarterback in high school and at junior college, and spent time at Tight End and defensive end in Norman as well. For the last two years though Johnson has manned both the right (12 Starts) and left (11 Starts) tackle spots, and has the potential to be a stable pass-protector down the road at either the left or right tackle positions.
12. Cleveland Browns: Tavon Austin WR/SB (West Virginia)
(Trade w/ Miami: Swap 1st Round picks (#6 overall) and (#12 overall), Miami sends 2nd Round pick (#42 overall) to complete deal)
The Browns need a speedy pass-catcher to team with Greg Little and Josh Gordon, and they might be wise to take a long look at Tavon Austin. Not only did Austin top the 100 catch mark during his junior season, he had an even more productive senior campaign as he recorded 114 grabs for 1,289 yards and 12 touchdowns. But Austin not only shined in the passing game for the Mountaineers, he also was effective in the run-game as he rushed for an incredible 643 yards and 3 touchdowns.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Xavier Rhodes CB (Florida State)
Even though the Buccaneers are bringing back Eric Wright at a discounted price, their secondary is still a bit of a mess. If Tampa Bay is unable to acquire Darrelle Revis, they will probably look for a cornerback early in this year’s draft. Xavier Rhodes (6’1″ 210 lbs.) was a 1st Team All-ACC cornerback as he racked up 39 tackles and 3 interceptions during the 2012 season as the most talented player in the Seminoles’ defensive backfield. A team can never have too many corners in today’s N.F.L., and Rhodes is terrific in man-coverage situations because he can use his physical stature to his advantage.
14. San Francisco 49ers: Barkevious Mingo OLB (Louisiana State)
(Trade w/ Carolina: Swap 1st Round picks (#31 overall and #15 overall), San Francisco sends 2nd Round pick (#61 overall) and 3rd Round pick (#74 overall) to Carolina to complete deal)
The 49ers have 13 draft picks, and are primed to make a move up into Round 1 this month. San Francisco could use another athletic pass-rusher to compliment Aldon Smith, and their front office might be interested in Barkevious Mingo if he falls this far down the draft board. Sporting a 6’4″ and 241 lb. frame, Mingo possesses a tremendous amount of speed (4.58 40 Yard Dash) and agility (6.84 3-Cone Drill) off of the edge which should help him translate well to the professional level. The biggest issues with Mingo however deal with how raw his skill-set is and his limited production (4.5 sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss) at Louisiana State last season.
15. New Orleans Saints: Jarvis Jones OLB (Georgia)
The Saints could stand to acquire a 3-4 pass-rusher this offseason. New Defensive Coordinator Rex Ryan could be intrigued to take Georgia’s Outside Linebacker Jarvis Jones. Although Jones’ “spinal stenosis” condition and poor Pro Day workout could scare scouts away, some teams in need of an athletic pass-rusher are sure to be willing to gamble on the former Bulldog. Last season, Jones (6’2″ 245 lbs.) racked up 24.5 tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks, and would be a bargain for the Saints if he falls all the way down to #15 overall.
16. St. Louis Rams: Kenny Vaccaro FS/SS (Texas)
The Rams lost Craig Dahl in March, thus a replacement at the free safety position must be found. Vaccaro (6’1″ 218 lbs.) was the Longhorns’ leading tackler last year (104) and added 4.0 tackles for loss, forced two fumbles, and made 2 interceptions as well. A two-and-a-half year starter at Texas (31 Starts, 50 games), Vaccaro played both free and strong safety during his collegiate career, and is adept at helping with coverage in the slot in “Big Nickel” packages too.