Well it took me awhile to finish but despite a strikingly sloth-like pace in completing it, I present to you my 2013 NFL Mock Draft. Admittedly the first half looks alarmingly similar to fellow Cafe writer R.J. White’s recently published mock but bear with me, I threw in some curveballs later in the round. The first round of the NFL Draft is never short on surprises or shenanigans (shall we all fondly recall the profound loss of words we experienced when Christian Ponder went 12th overall) and I tried to consider that when constructing this mock. I didn’t mock any trades because of sheer unpredictability but I’ve provided brief commentary on some of the more troubling picks in order to explore other possible outcomes. Feel free to comment on how little I know or how wrong I’m going to be below, and a happy NFL Draft to all!
1 – Kansas City Chiefs
Luke Joeckel, OT – Texas A&M
2 – Jacksonville Jaguars
Dion Jordan, OLB – Oregon: It is plausible that the Jaguars select a quarterback, presumably Geno Smith, but Dion Jordan is a significantly better player. I can’t imagine Jacksonville, whose pass rush is atrocious, would pass on arguably the most talented player in the draft for a quarterback that displayed quite shaky accuracy and consistency throughout his college career.
3 – Oakland Raiders
Sharrif Floyd, DT – Florida
4 – Philadelphia Eagles
Eric Fisher, OT – Central Michigan: I quite nearly mocked Geno Smith here and I still believe there is an outside shot it happens. Chip Kelly is going to want his own young guy to groom and every year quarterbacks go earlier than expected. Nevertheless, with the potential this year for QBs to fall a bit, I think the Eagles will make the safe pick that greatly improves their offense -in my opinion Fisher is every bit as good as Joeckel.
5 – Detroit Lions
Ezekiel Ansah, DE/OLB – BYU
6 – Cleveland Browns
DeMarcus “Dee” Milliner, CB – Alabama
7 – Arizona Cardinals
Chance Warmack, OG – Alabama: A lot of people are mocking a tackle to the Cardinals here but I just don’t put Lane Johnson or especially D.J. Fluker in the same conversation with the first two tackles off the board. Johnson showed flashes at Oklahoma but strikes me as inconsistent, and Fluker is so monumentally slow and jerky off the snap that I don’t believe he’ll play tackle for long in the NFL; selecting a tackle converting to guard seventh overall just doesn’t make any sense.
8 – Buffalo Bills
Ryan Nassib, QB – Syracuse: For the longest time I wasn’t buying this pick but with what I’ve been reading the last few days, this is looking more and more likely. The Bills seem content to pass on Geno Smith but are clearly in the market for a quarterback. It’s rumored that this pick is between Nassib and Matt Barkley, and considering Buffalo is effectively deciding between two second-round quarterbacks I doubt they pass on the guy with extended experience playing for their new head coach. You may notice that this first round mock has left out Geno Smith. It’s not that I don’t expect him to go in the first round, I certainly do, but without mocking any trades I just couldn’t find a place for him. I’d expect him to be off the board by around the 25th pick, almost certainly to a team that traded up to get him.
9 – New York Jets
Star Lotulelei, DT – Utah
10 – Tennessee Titans
Jonathan Cooper, OG – North Carolina
11 – San Diego Chargers
Lane Johnson, OT – Oklahoma
12 – Miami Dolphins
D.J. Fluker, OT/G – Alabama: Miami gets desperate after losing Jake Long in free agency and takes what in my opinion is a huge reach.
13 – New York Jets
Barkevious Mingo, OLB – LSU
14 – Carolina Panthers
Sheldon Richardson, DT – Mizzou: This just strikes me as the perfect pick for Carolina. Richardson is a very strong player that would immediately shore up an increasingly suspect Panthers defensive front. Richardson could combine with Luke Kuechly to build a strong foundation for that defense for years to come. A receiver is also a possibility, but although the 2013 receiver class is somewhat lacking in clearly elite prospects, it’s rather deep into the second and third rounds, providing plenty of options for the Panthers on day two.
15 – New Orleans Saints
Jarvis Jones, OLB – Georgia
16 – St. Louis Rams
Kenny Vaccaro, S – Texas: Many will mock a receiver to St. Louis at 16, but despite other obvious needs, the Rams have a glaring hole at the safety position.
17 – Pittsburgh Steelers
Alec Ogletree, LB – Georgia: I’ve heard that Pittsburgh will pass on Ogletree, perhaps because of character concerns, but I believe come draft day their need for linebacker help and the Georgia product’s monumental talent will sway them. He struggles a bit when run at directly but is a monster in pursuit and can rush the passer as well. He looks like an all-pro 4-3 OLB who should also be effective in the 3-4.
18 – Dallas Cowboys
Eric Reid, S – LSU: I don’t believe they would make this pick if it weren’t for the Cowboys’ undeniable deficiencies at the position. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jerry Jones trade up in order to secure Vaccaro either.
19 – New York Giants
Tyler Eifert, TE – Notre Dame: Eli has always been relatively fond of throwing to his tight end, and an athletic pass-catcher like Eifert could be a great addition to their ever-talented offense. Martellus Bennett was very successful with the Giants last year, and I’d be lying if I told you Eifert wasn’t a far better receiver.
20 – Chicago Bears
Tavon Austin, WR – West Virginia: Despite drafting Alshon Jeffrey last year, the Bears still need receiver help. Austin would be lethal in the slot.
21 – Cincinnati Bengals
Eddie Lacy, RB – Alabama
22 – St. Louis Rams
DeAndre Hopkins, WR – Clemson
23 – Minnesota Vikings
Xavier Rhodes, CB – Florida State
24 – Indianapolis Colts
Menelik Watson, OT – Florida State
25 – Minnesota Vikings
Manti Te’o, LB – Notre Dame
26 – Green Bay Packers
Marcus Lattimore, RB – South Carolina: Call me crazy but this just seems like the sort of draft day nonsense we might see. If his rehab goes well, he could start the year on the PUP and gear up for a Packers playoff run, no? I still believe that, in the long run, Lattimore will be the most successful running back from the 2013 class; crazier things have happened.
27 – Houston Texans
Cordarrelle Patterson, WR – Tennessee
28 – Denver Broncos
Tank Carradine, DE – Florida State
29 – New England Patriots
Jamar Taylor, CB – Boise State
30 – Atlanta Falcons
D.J. Hayden, CB – Houston: There is a very real chance the Falcons attempt to move up.
31 – San Francisco 49ers
Jonathan Cyprien, S – Florida International: San Francisco might even be more likely than Atlanta to trade up; the Niners have an exorbitant amount of picks this year.
32 – Baltimore Ravens
Justin Hunter, WR – Tennessee
Brett Koenig is a fantasy football enthusiast that has been involved in the game for almost a decade now. You can find him perusing the cafe as "Guru13".
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