2013 NFL Mock Draft Updated: December 27th, 2012
1. Kansas City Chiefs-Geno Smith, QB West Virginia (Scouting Report)
It’s been stating multiple times by everybody doing a mock draft that Smith is not exactly a clear-cut top pick. However, quarterbacks always rise to the top of the draft, and the Chiefs desperately need help under center. Smith has an intriguing blend of size and arm strength and has good safety valves for a rookie in Dwayne Bowe and Tony Moeaki. Behind a solid Chiefs offensive line, he should be able to stay upright enough to work out the kinks and turn into an above-average starting quarterback in the league.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars-Bjeorn Werner, DE Florida State (Scouting Notes)
Werner is a player that I’ve liked for a couple years now. He doesn’t flash, but he is a smart football player who does everything well. He can get after the quarterback, seal against the run, and understands his gap assignments perfectly. I don’t believe the Jaguars will re-sign Babin, so Werner could step in and fill an immediate need on their front seven.
3. Oakland Raiders-Star Lotuleili, DT Utah (Scouting Report)
The Raiders are brutal against the run; they’ve proven that over and over again this season. Lotuleili is an impressively large and physical player who can play in multiple fronts. He has a strong lower body and an emerging pass-rushing arsenal, which means, at worst, he’ll shore up their run defense.
4. Philadelphia Eagles-Luke Joeckel, OT Texas A&M (Scouting Report)
This is what happens when you build an offensive line around Bills cast-offs. With Bell unable to make an impact and Jason Peters suffering a pretty serious knee injury, the Eagles were a mess at tackle this year. As bad as Vick was, a lot of it had to do with the fact that he was running for his life. Joeckel can be a Jake Long-type bookend for the next decade.
5. Detroit Lions-Dee Milliner, CB Alabama (Scouting Notes)
The Detroit Lions seem to refuse to address the cornerback position. They’ve started a rotating group of guys opposite Chris Houston, and the results were disastrous. If they are going to compete against the Packers every season, they need to stop the pass. Milliner is probably my favorite prospect in the draft. He’s such a hard-nosed player who is always around the ball. He can make a play in the air, or blow up an opposing wide receiver. He’d immediately upgrade the Lions.
6. Buffalo Bills-Manti Te’o ILB Notre Dame (Scouting Report)
This is the ideal situation for the Bills. They will need to wait on pins and needles for the Raiders and Lions, two likely destinations for Te’o, but if he gets by them, expect the Bills to jump. Their linebacking corps has constantly been out of place, out-played, and lacked leadership. Te’o can help in all areas. He’s a vocal leader and one of the most instinctual linebackers to come out of the draft in years.
7. Cleveland Browns-Jarvis Jones, DE/OLB Georgia (Scouting Report)
Jabaal Sheard was a solid addition last season, but he’s found some trouble getting into the backfield regularly this season. Part of the reason for that is that teams have gotten leads on the Browns and continued to run the ball, but it’s also simply that the Browns don’t have a lot of other talent on the line. Jones can be the solution. He’s the type of hybrid DE/OLB that the NFL is moving towards these days. He may never turn into Von Miller, but even if he slightly resembles the former Aggie, it’s a win for the Browns.
8. Tennessee Titans-Damontre Moore, DE Texas A&M (Scouting Report)
There are no major, glaring weaknesses on the Titans, but they simply don’t get after the quarterback. Nowadays in the NFL, you need to disrupt the passing attack in order to be successful. Moore is turning into a rather explosive pass-rusher. He’s still improving his technique, but he has the natural instincts to turn into a viable pass-rusher.
9. Arizona Cardinals-Tyler Wilson, QB Arkansas (Scouting Notes)
Yes, this is early for Wilson, but quarterbacks always get taken above their value point in the first round. The Cardinals absolutely cannot walk away from this draft without a franchise quarterback. Wilson didn’t have the senior season that many people expected from him, but the arm strength and accuracy are still there. He’s a better fit as a mid-late first rounder, but the Cardinals need to reach to secure this pick.
10. San Diego Chargers-Taylor Lewan, OT Michigan (Scouting Notes)
Much like the Eagles, the Chargers have made their quarterback look terrible by refusing to protect him from defenders. Rivers’ skills are certainly declining, but he has a few good years left in the tank. Lewan is still a bit rough around the ages, but he’s extremely athletic and plays with a real mean streak; that can often lead to penalties, but you’d rather your offensive lineman be aggressive because it can give the offense an identity.
11. Tampa Bay Bucs-Johnthan Banks, CB Mississippi State (Scouting Notes)
The Bucs can’t stop anybody through the air, and they got rid of their best corner when they traded Talib to New England. I don’t see anyway they don’t take a corner in the first round. At 6’1”, he’s a larger corner who can defend the pass and also come up and help in run support. He’s not one of the fastest corners in the country, but he reads routes well enough to stay with opposing receivers.
12. New York Jets-Barkevious Mingo, OLB LSU (Scouting Report)
Yes, the Jets offense is terrible, but it’s also taking attention away from the fact that their defense is not producing either. Wilkerson is their leading pass-rusher, as a 3-4 defensive end, with only six sacks. Enter Mingo. He can give the Jets defense back some energy and make quarterbacks worry again.
13. Carolina Panthers-Johnathan Hankins, DT Ohio State (Scouting Report)
The Panthers run defense is terrible. Their offense is starting to get a little bit more consistent under Cam Newton, but they are never going to win until their defense can start getting offenses off the field. Kuechly was a tremendous pick, but he needs some help in front of him. Hankins is a big, strong body who can help get into the backfield and also keep lineman off of Kuechly.
14. Pittsburgh Steelers-Jake Mathews, OT Texas A&M (Scouting Report)
Big Ben has earned a reputation for being one of the more elusive pocket quarterbacks in the league. The problem is, he’s needed to be elusive for years now. The Steelers offensive line has been a problem for too long. They added DeCastro last year, but they need some help on the outside as well. Mathews played mainly right tackle in college, but he has the foot speed to make the transition over to the left side and help give Big Ben less happy feet.
15. Miami Dolphins-Keenan Allen, WR California (Scouting Report)
Wide receiver is the Dolphins number one need. With some late season wins, they’ve moved down in the draft order enough to actually take one without it being a reach. Allen is unquestionably the best receiver in this class. He’s no Julio Jones or AJ Green, but he’s a strong receiver who can help give Tannehill another option on the outside.
16. New Orleans Saints-Sheldon Richardson, DT Missouri (Scouting Notes)
Amidst the entire bounty scandal, the Saints defense lost some of its aggressiveness. Spags has slowly started to turn the product around, but the Saints need some more talent too. Richardson has really moved up boards with a strong year this year and is the type of player the Saints can move around on the line to help shore up the run defense.