We had a 2013 NFL mock draft back in May of 2012. Then we had one in late August. Around the middle of the college football season, in October, we did another mock. Then we did a 4th mock for the 2013 draft during Thanksgiving week. The last mock was in January, when the non-playoff teams draft order was set. Below is what I think will happen in the April draft based on team needs. Obviously, things could change after free agency begins.
1 Kansas City Chiefs – Luke Joeckel, OL, Texas A&M. Alex Smith trade locks this in, basically. Unless of course they trade the pick to move down and acquire more picks.
2 Jacksonville Jaguars – Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia. I’m still sold on him despite the negative chatter about his old neck injury. If you want to talk about big players disappearing in big games in college (Mingo), then you must talk about Jones dominating big games. I’d love to see him in the Jets’ 3-4.
3 Oakland Raiders – Sharrif Floyd, DL, Florida. Not nearly as high on him as everyone else. Aren’t all players who go to Oakland destined to flop?
4 Philadelphia Eagles – Dion Jordan, LB/DE, Oregon. Chip Kelly recruited him to Oregon. I wanted to go OL here, given the Eagles have Cole (who just got a new deal) and Graham, but some see Jordan at OLB because he can excel in coverage. Knowledge of defending the read option (RG3, ahem) obviously a plus.
5 Detroit Lions – Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama. No change from last mock.
6 Cleveland Browns – Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah, DE, BYU. Athletic freak in the mold of Jason Pierre-Paul or Jevon Kearse probably helped himself more than anyone at the Combine. From relative unknown during the season to Top 10. Ansah tried out for the BYU hoops team twice, failed, then decided to try football.
7 Arizona Cardinals – Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia. The “buzz” is Matt Barkley. Not buying it. Is that the power of Sexton/CAA talking? I think Smith is the first QB taken.
8 Buffalo Bills – Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia. Too high? Off-the-field issues, but too talented to pass up. The run D gave up 145 ypg last year, and this isn’t a draft heavy on ILBs.
9 New York Jets – Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU. Don’t think he’ll be the second coming of Vernon Gholston. Yes, I’d love him to fall here. Copes/Wilkerson/Mingo could be a nasty pass-rushing trio.
10 Tennessee Titans – Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah. How many teams will be scared off by the heart issue? For a guy I’ve had Top 5 for months, there’s enormous value here. Assuming he’s given a clean bill of health soon, I think he’ll move up to #2.
11 San Diego Chargers – Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma. Fastest-rising offensive lineman in the last week based on an incredible Combine.
12 Miami Dolphins – Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee. Can’t see an offensive skill position player going higher than here.
13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State. Worst secondary in the NFL adds the 2nd best cornerback available.
14 Carolina Panthers – Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee. Too high? It’s either defensive tackle or a receiver. If Star falls this far, do the Panthers grab him?
15 New Orleans Saints – Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington. Did he overtake the not-very-fast Johnathan Banks at the Combine?
16 St. Louis Rams – Chance Warmack, G, Alabama. Guard or tackle, the Rams need help on the OL. If Patterson or Hunter are available here, I think they probably grab one of them. Offensive skill players are a huge need. (See #22.)
17 Pittsburgh Steelers – Jonathan Cooper, G, UNC. Gave a lot of thought to Sheldon Richardson here, but given what happened to the last DL they drafted … the Missouri DT probably has too many red flags. Pittsburgh is re-working its OL, and it sounds like they’ll need a guard.
18 Dallas Cowboys – Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri. Are they going back to the 4-3? If so, Richardson would be an ideal fit. The secondary also needs help, and Elam or Vaccaro at safety could make sense.
19 New York Giants – Khaseem Greene, LB, Rutgers. No change from last mock.
20 Chicago Bears – Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame. No change from last mock.
21 Cincinnati Bengals – Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia. No change from last mock.
22 St. Louis Rams – Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama. Had my doubts that he was just dominating behind an incredible offensive line, but the BCS title game sold me. If Steven Jackson departs, Lacy could start immediately. Or do they go WR (Allen, Williams) and grab someone like Bernard in the second round?
23 Minnesota Vikings – Keenan Allen, WR, California. A sprained posterior cruciate ligament kept him out of the Combine, but Dr. James Andrews said surgery wasn’t necessary. Still like him as a 1st rounder, though.
24 Indianapolis Colts – Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State. No change from last mock.
25 Seattle Seahawks – Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M. Had him top five in the last mock, but he must have read all the positive press about him – he showed up at the Combine looking doughy, ran a slow 40, and only benched 225 12 times. I think he’ll rebound for his Pro Day and stay in the first round.
26 Green Bay Packers – Gavin Escobar, TE, San Diego State. I like him a bit more than Stanford’s Zach Ertz, and although the Packers need help on defense, I think they’ll have plenty of options in later rounds.
27 Houston Texans – Eric Fisher, OL, Central Michigan. Mayock and Kiper love him, seem to think he’s a Top 10 lock, I just think there’s far too many teams with defensive needs. I think he’ll rise post-free agency.
28 Denver Broncos – Kenny Vaccaro S, Texas. Do you want me to replay the Baltimore Ravens game again? Vaccaro probably goes in the Top 15, but if he falls this far, the Broncos will do backflips.
29 New England Patriots – Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi St. Yes, I’m sticking with cornerback.
30 Atlanta Falcons – Kevin Minter, LB, LSU. Thought long and hard about having Manti Te’o go here, but went with the Tigers’ star ILB.
31 San Francisco 49ers – Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama. Fifteen picks in the draft, five in the top 93. Probably a Patriots’ scenario, right? Trade up or down?
32 Baltimore Ravens – Matt Elam, S, Florida. If Boldin walks, do they grab a WR? The defense is still getting old. Will Ed Reed return? Elam should slide in easily.