It’s finally here, Christmas Eve for NFL franchises, the 2013 NFL Draft has arrived. SportSmasher.com has been breaking down scenarios, discussing prospects with scouts and sifting through rumors for months on end. It’s time for our FINAL mock draft of 2013:
1 ) Kansas City Chiefs – Luke Joeckel, OT (6’6 306lbs) Texas A&M – I am hearing that this pick is down to Joeckel and Eric Fisher, and the pick is contingent on if the Chiefs trade starting franchise tagged starting left tackle Branden Albert or not. If the Chiefs trade Albert (the rumor is they will 95% trade him to the Dolphins for a second round pick, and are just holing out in the hopes of a better offer) the pick will be Joeckel. If the Chiefs are unable to unload Albert, they prefer Eric Fisher, because he has experience on the right side and he could play there opposite Albert for a season. Trading Albert would allow the Chiefs to get back into the second round of a deep draft, they traded their second round pick to the 49ers for quarterback Alex Smith. I think the trade goes down, and I think the Chiefs draft Joeckel.
2 ) Jacksonville Jaguars – Dion Jordan, DE (6’6 248lbs) Oregon – The Jaguars had the worst pass rush in the NFL last season, it is a position that they have to upgrade immediately under their new head coach, former Seahawks defensive mastermind Gus Bradley. During the 2013 NFL combine, Dion Jordan tested off the charts, running a 4.60 40-yard-dash and showing that he is fluid enough to play standing up and explosive enough to play with his hand in the dirt. There is no doubt that Jordan needs to add a lot of strength to his lanky frame, but he has great speed and athleticism which should make him an excellent pass rusher right away, and he has the skills to develop into an every down defensive end. Gus Bradley got the Seahawks to reach for an explosive, athletic pass rusher in the 2013 draft when the Seahawks selected Bruce Irvin, and there is no doubt that Jordan is a better prospect. I think Jordan to the Jaguars makes a lot of sense. NOTE: The Jaguars are telling other teams that they will draft an offensive tackle here, but the rest of the league seems to think this is a smokescreen, and the Jaguars are trying to bait a team into paying greatly to trade into the second spot to secure an offensive tackle. If they stay at two, which is likely, I think the pick is Jordan.
3 ) Oakland Raiders – Eric Fisher, OT (6’7 306lbs) Central Michigan – I hear that this is the spot where the second offensive tackle (Fisher or Joeckel) will be drafted, at first I heard it was by the Raiders themselves, but I am now hearing that they have a trade in place which will allow them to get multiple draft picks back in return. The Raiders have no second round pick and a ton of needs, so if they need to maximize the value of this pick, either with Fisher or by way of trade. Fisher has a high ceiling, was excellent at the combine as he showed why he has quickly risen up NFL Draft boards, displaying strength and athleticism. He has crushed the entire draft process, dominating the senior bowl, testing well at the combine.
4 ) Philadelphia Eagles – Star Lotulelei, DT (6’4 311lbs) Utah – Hearing that new Eagles coach Chip Kelly has his fingers crossed that pass rusher Dion Jordan, who he coached at Oregon, falls into his lap here. He is a perfect fit for the Eagles new 3-4 defense, and Kelly has not been shy in his praise of Jordan during the draft process. However, that is unlikely to happen, and the next player on Kelly’s wish list is massive Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei. Lotulelei is a dominant defensive tackle who commands double teams, pushes the pocket, and destroys plays in the backfield as they develop. He is violent with his hands and plays with great leverage, although he will never be an explosive interior pass rusher, he will make rushing the passer much easier for his teammates by dominating the interior line. The attention he commands makes the game easier on everyone else. NOTE: The Eagles will try to trade down if Jordan is off of the board, their target is still Lotulelei, but they think they can grab him a few spots later.
5 ) Detroit Lions – Ziggy Ansah, DE (6’5 271lbs) BYU – I truly believe that the Lions are on the cusp of being an excellent team, however I knew that they overachieved in 2011, and knew they would take a step back in 2012. The Lions need a better pass rush, especially after losing Cliff Avril in free agency, and they get an excellent prospect here in Ansah. He has been the fastest rising prospect in this draft class, and he absolutely destroyed the combine, he ran a 4.63 40-yard-dash plus looked excellent in space and showed power, speed and agility. He would instantly upgrade the Lions pass rush and could become one of the best players in this draft with some more experience, he just started playing football his junior year in high school, his ceiling is extremely high due to the ridiculous athleticism and natural strength he has for his size.
6 ) Cleveland Browns – Dee Milliner, CB (6’0 201lbs) CB Alabama – The Browns are trying desperately to trade down from this pick to regain the second round selection that they lost when they picked Josh Gordon in the supplemental draft last season, and I think they have a good chance, because several teams (including the Chargers and Ravens) will want to trade ahead of the Arizona Cardinals to select Lane Johnson. If they are unable to trade out of this slot, I hear the pick comes down to Barkevious Mingo or Dee Milliner. In this scenario, Milliner is the pick, he is the best corner in this class and answered all questions about his speed at the combine by running a blazing 4.37 40-yard-dash. He has good size to go along with his speed and has a nose for the football. He would start in the Detroit secondary from day one, opposite Joe Haden, he plays both the run and the pass well and would be a great fit in the Browns defense.
7 ) Arizona Cardinals – Lane Johnson, OT (6’6 303lbs) Oklahoma – The Arizona Cardinals finally got a big armed quarterback who can deliver the ball to Larry Fitzgerald downfield when they traded for Carson Palmer, now they need to find a way to keep him upright. Johnson is another one of the hotter prospects in the draft right now, he was a junior college quarterback, then he transferred to Oklahoma where he was a tight end at first who eventually bulked up to play offensive tackle. He showed the athleticism of a former skill position player at the combine, when he ran a 4.72 40-yard-dash, but also showed strength on the bench press. I would not be shocked if five years down the road Johnson is the best offensive tackle in this class, he is so athletic and has the frame to add a lot of power and bulk, his ceiling is extremely high. NOTE: The Cardinals are not panicking, they have been quiet amongst all of the draft chaos, and seem content to take the best player on their board.
8 ) Buffalo Bills – Ryan Nassib, QB (6’2 230lbs) Syracuse – I have heard that the Bills have talked to numerous teams about trading down in the draft (including the Atlanta Falcons who apparently love Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson). We know that new Bills coach Doug Marrone loves quarterback Ryan Nassib, who he coached at Syracuse, and wants him to start for the Bills next season. I think Nassib ends up on the Bills in the first round of the draft, but I think it is later than the #8 spot after a trade down, so I am giving him to the Bills in this mock. NOTE: The Bills divisional rival New York Jets have also floated the rumor that they love Ryan Nassib, and that they are considering taking him with the ninth pick in the draft. This is being done to scare the Bills into selecting Nassib at eight, so the Bills think twice about trading down, which would allow a team to slip right in front of the Jets and grab a player that they covet. NOTE: Also hearing the Bills like USC quarterback Matt Barkley, either way, they will look to trade down.
9 ) New York Jets – Barkevious Mingo, DE (6’4 241lbs) LSU – I am hearing that the Jets front office love Mingo as an outside linebacker, think he will be a perfect fit for their defense, and are hoping he is on the board with the ninth pick. In his case he is. Mingo has an extremely high ceiling, he is an athletic freak (4.59 40-yard-dash), but he has to get stronger and learn effective pass rushing moves. However, he has a killer first step and will be an excellent situational pass rusher as a rookie, who will develop into a lot more over time. NOTE: The Jets need a ton of help, and I am hearing that they are attempting to trade out of their second first round pick (#13) in order to gain more selections. It will be tough, everyone is trying to trade down.
10 ) Tennessee Titans – Chance Warmack, G (6’3 317lbs) Alabama – The Titans have a nice set of young defensive tackles in Jurrell Casey, Karl Klug and Mike Martin, so that is not a position of need. They also signed Andy Levetrie in free agency, so guard is not as big of a need as it was, but they could still use another one making Chance Warmack a solid option. A thick and powerful guard with sneaky athleticism despite his gut, Warmack packs a powerful punch. He has the skill set to be a multiple time All Pro, and will help in the running game, where he drives lanes open for the Titans running backs. Following the additions of Warmack and Levetrie, the Titans will have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, something head coach Mike Munchak values greatly.
11 ) San Diego Chargers – D.J. Fluker, OT (6’6 335lbs) Alabama – If new head coach Mike McCoy wants to rebuild this franchise quickly, it is best to start in the trenches, and keep quarterback Phillip Rivers upright. The Chargers offensive line was atrocious last season, they need to totally revamp the entire unit to give their skill position players a chance to make plays. Fluker is an absolute an absolute mauler in the run game, who plays with a nasty streak, and can hold his own in pass protection. Running behind Fluker will improve their running game immensely, and take pressure off of Phillip Rivers as he drops back to pass. I think the Chargers would be lucky to find D.J. Fluker on the board here, I know one team in the top ten absolutely loves him, I am just not sure who that team is. NOTE: The Chargers are one of the draft’s most active teams and have been trying to trade up to secure a top offensive tackle.
12 ) Miami Dolphins – Tyler Eifert, TE (6’6 250lbs) Notre Dame – The Miami Dolphins went into this offseason lacking playmakers, but they filled this need in free agency, signing wide receivers Mike Wallace, Brandon Gibson and tight end Dustin Keller. Ryan Tannehill now has many targets in the passing game, which was a huge problem for the Dolphins last season. The team still lacks a big target that can become a matchup nightmare in the passing game, especially in the red zone, and I hear that the coaching staff is enamored with Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert. He can be used in two tight end sets with Dustin Keller, but is also able to split out wide or even line up in the slot, where his size/speed combo becomes a major problem for defenders. NOTE: The most active team over the past few days has been the Miami Dolphins, who as mentioned above, are trying to trade one of their second round picks to Kansas City for left tackle Branden Albert. Apparently the Dolphins do not like any of the players that will be available in the twelfth slot, because they are aggressively trying to trade, both up and down. We know they like Eifert, and would rather select him later in round one, if they can get some assets back.
13 ) New York Jets – Tavon Austin, WR/KR (5’9 175lbs) West Virginia – Austin is the most explosive player in the draft, a true threat to score whenever he has the ball in his hands, and while Tampa is strong on the outside they lack a slot receiver. Austin will return punts and kickoffs, and on offense, defenses will always have to take notice on where he is lined up since he threat to take every reception to the house. If the Jets can get creative and get him the ball on screen passes or quick-hitters, he could score a lot of touchdowns, which the Jets desperately need. Austin could open up the Jets stagnant offense. NOTE: The Jets are trying to trade out of this pick as mentioned earlier, but if they already get their pass rusher, why not select the most electrifying playmaker in the draft?
14 ) Carolina Panthers – Sharrif Floyd, DT (6’3 297lbs) Florida – This would be a dream scenario for the Panthers, who desperately need help at defensive tackle in front of stud middle linebacker Luke Kuelchy, and they get a steal here in the sliding Floyd. He was very impressive at the combine, running a 4.92 40-yard-dash and showing excellent quickness and agility. I have heard some concern among scouts that he has short arms for a defensive tackle, which could make disengaging from blockers a problem for him, however I do not see that as an issue. He is strong, is very quick and agile and is blessed with a great first step. NOTE: If Oakland, as rumored, trades out of the third slot they could be targeting Floyd in a trade down scenario. He may not last this long, and if he is gone, the pick would be Sheldon Richardson here.
15 ) New Orleans Saints – Jarvis Jones, OLB (6’3 245lbs) Georgia – The Saints had the worst defense in the NFL last season by a wide margin, and now they are switching to the 3-4 defense, so adding a Blue Chip pass rusher like Jones is a must. Jones was built to play outside linebacker in the 3-4 defense, where he was voted a Two-Time first team All-American at Georgia. During those seasons, Jones racked up a total of 155 tackles, 33.5 tackles for a loss and 28.0 sacks. He is not the type of player that blows you away with combine numbers, what blows you away is Jones’ productivity, and he should instantly become an impact player for the Saints defense. NOTE: The Saints really need help at offensive tackle, Sean Payton has admitted that it keeps him up at night, so if somehow Fluker slides this far he could be the pick. The Saints do not have a lot of ammo to trade up, so I think they sit right here and go defense.
16 ) St. Louis Rams – Kenny Vaccaro, S (6’1 210lbs) Texas – The Rams were a much improved team in 2012 and since they traded the second overall pick to the Washington Redskins, who paid a hefty price to draft quarterback Robert Griffin III, they have a lot of room to improve again in the 2013 draft. They already improved their offensive line by signing former All Pro tackle Jake Long, and their biggest need is playmakers on offense, and safety where they could use two players. They fill a need here by drafting Kenny Vaccaro, who is the top rated safety prospect in the draft, and will not be around by the time they are on the clock with their 22nd overall selection. The Rams will still need to find weapons on the outside of the passing game for quarterback Sam Bradford, but with all of their extra picks, they can afford to take the top player on the board at a need position here.
17 ) Pittsburgh Steelers – Alec Ogletree (6’2 242lbs) Georgia – I have heard that the Steelers have made upgrading inside linebacker a priority this offseason, and they get a very productive one here in Alec Ogletree, the speedy tackling machine from University of Georgia. Ogletree is an absolute freak athlete, who makes plays all over the field, and is excellent in coverage. He sees plays develop and seems to be in on every tackle, in fact he lead the Georgia Bulldogs in tackles, despite being suspended for the first four games of the season. He is a former safety, he does have some off the field issues that the Steelers will have to be willing to look past to select him here. NOTE: I am hearing that, if he is on the board, this is the furthest Ogletree’s teammate Jarvis Jones slips. The Steelers also like safety Kenny Vaccaro. Since they were the two previous picks, one could easily slide here.
18 ) Dallas Cowboys – Jonathan Cooper, G (6’3 311lbs) North Carolina – The Cowboys offensive line problems are different than those most organizations commonly have, most teams have problems finding their tackles of the future, but in Dallas the tackles are good and the interior offensive line is a mess. Jonathan Cooper is one of the best offensive guards to enter the NFL in quite some time, and I have him ranked just slightly behind Chance Warmack, he is a powerful blocker in the run game who is also strong against interior pass rushers. This is a major need for the Cowboys, so much so that I would not be surprised to see them draft another guard later in the draft, it has been that big of a problem. Cooper has All Pro potential at guard, there is a good chance he does not last this long, because interior lineman tend to slide on draft day. Make no mistake about it, Cooper is one of the best players in this draft, just not at a prime position. NOTE: Vaccaro would also fill a need if he slid this far, but guard is a huge need, and Dallas gets a good one in Cooper. Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson is another player they like, and it’s a need position, since they are switching to the 4-3.
19 ) New York Giants – Tank Carradine – DE, (6’4 276lbs) Florida State – The Giants allowed the second most yards in the NFL this season, and they lost longtime defensive end Osi Umenyiora to the Atlanta Falcons in free agency, and they live by the philosophy that you can never have enough pass rushers. I have heard from a source that the Giants absolutely love Carradine, and despite the fact that he is coming back from a torn ACL in November, he could easily be the Giants pick at #19. Carradine is a physical specimen who bench pressed 225lbs 32 times and ran a 4.75 40-yard-dash, he can really pressure the quarterback, and his quick return from this knee injury has been described as “Adrian Peterson Like”. Adding Carradine to a pass rush that already includes Jason Pierre-Paul, Mathais Kiwanuka and Justin Tuck could make the Giants even more dangerous. NOTE: The Giants have not been quiet about their love for Alabama guard Chance Warmack, but I see no way that he lasts this long on draft day, and it’s not the Giants style to trade up. The Giants could also really use an upgrade at linebacker, but with Ogletree off of the board, I do not think they reach for one. NOTE: Two players to keep an eye on later in the draft are cornerback Darius Slay from Mississippi State and tight end Nick Kasa from Colorado. Slay was rising, but a torn meniscus may cause him to slide into the Giants laps. Kasa has been working out with Giants tight ends coach Mike Pope.
20 ) Chicago Bears – Manti Te’o, LB (6’1 241lbs) Notre Dame – The Chicago Bears and new head coach Mark Trestman made some huge moves in free agency to finally stabilize their offensive line, which has been the team’s Achilles heel for a long time now, like signing tackle Jermon Bushrod and guard Matt Slauson. They also signed tight end Martellus Bennett, who is one of the better blocking tight ends in football, and is also a threat in the passing game. The offense in Chicago should be much improved, however, they lost the heart and soul of their defense when they opted not to resign Brian Urlacher. In this scenario the Bears opt to replace him with Heisman Trophy finalist and one of the most productive linebackers in Notre Dame history, Manti Te’o. If Te’o can put his catfish scandal in the rear view mirror, he will develop into a productive sideline-to-sideline linebacker, who can become the leader of a defense. Chicago is very pro-Notre Dame, and Te’o should catch less flack there than in other cities, as long as he produces.
21 ) Cincinnati Bengals – Eddie Lacy, RB (5’11 231lbs) Alabama – The Cincinnati Bengals are a team on the rise, and as long as Andy Dalton and their young offensive weapons continue to improve, they are a few roster tweaks away from one of the best cores in the NFL, I absolutely love their organizational depth. Although they have “The Law Firm” BenJarvus Green-Ellis on the roster, I do not think he will ever be anything more than solid, but unspectacular and they Bengals have virtually nothing after him on the depth chart. A back such as Eddie Lacy, who is the only running back in this class who is worth a first round pick, would bring power and explosiveness to the Bengals ground game. Lacy is not a one-tick-pony, he also has good hands and can catch the ball out of the backfield, plus he is already great in pass protection. Having a better running game will allow Andy Dalton continue to develop as a passer, and will help the Bengals offense blossom. NOTE: I know for a fact the Bengals also love Houston cornerback D.J. Hayden and he could be the selection here. I gave them Lacy because, if they want a corner, they can get a decent one in round two.
22 ) St. Louis Rams – DeAndre Hopkins, WR (6’1 214lbs) Clemson – In this scenario, the Rams have already drafted a safety, and can pursue a downfield weapon in the passing attack. They need to find players who can catch deep balls in the passing game to open op the offense, and Hopkins is an explosive playmaker with enough size, he can turn quick hitters into a big gain and has the ability to make circus catches. The Rams worked out Hopkins twice in for days directly prior to the NFL Draft, and head coach Jeff Fisher was present for the second of those workouts, so drafting Hopkins seems very logical for the Rams.
23 ) Minnesota Vikings – Sheldon Richardson, DT (6’3 294lbs) Missouri – If the draft breaks like this, the Minnesota Vikings should rush to the podium to select Sheldon Richardson, they would be lucky that he is on the board. I could see Richardson getting drafted as early as #14 to the Carolina Panthers, but the rise of Sharrif Floyd and the overall depth of the position has caused Richardson to slide a bit. The Vikings have had a strong defensive line for years, however longtime defensive tackle Kevin Williams will be 33 years-old at the start of this season, and Minnesota has to start looking for their defensive line of the future. Richardson is a very productive player who has great awareness and recognition on the field. He is excellent at sniffing out delayed handoffs and screens, he does not fall for misdirection, and he even generates a nice pass rush from the inside. It would be surprising if he is still on the board this late in the draft. NOTE: I doubt that Richardson lasts this long, we know the Atlanta Falcons love him, and have discussed trading up to acquire him.
24 ) Indianapolis Colts – Desmond Trufant, CB (6′ 190lbs) Washington – The Indianapolis Colts, lead by rookie sensation Andre Luck, were the most surprising team of the 2012 season. They need to hit a home run with their first round pick, since they traded their second round pick to the Miami Dolphins for cornerback Vontae Davis. Although they do need pass rushers and could use help at inside linebacker to upgrade their defense, which they should focus on heavily during this draft, following a few very nice under-the-radar offensive moves in free agency. The Colts have Vontae Davis and Greg Toler as their starting cornerbacks, without a lot of depth behind them, so in this scenario they grab a corner with star potential in Desmond Trufant. The younger brother of former Seahawks Pro Bowler Marcus Trufant, he is excellent in coverage and is always in the right place at the right time, has a great feel for the game and the speed to run with receivers deep. He can play all over a defense, might contribute as a nickelback on defense, and develop into a starter down the road.
25 ) Minnesota Vikings – Geno Smith, Quarterback (6’3 214lbs) West Virginia – As I have said in the past, I am not a fan of current Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder, and when they drafted him I thought his ceiling as “good game-manager backup QB”. I still think I am right, and if the Vikings want to contend during the Adrian Peterson era, an upgrade at quarterback is needed, and they get one here in Geno Smith. Christian Ponder cannot make every NFL throw, and if he did not have Adrian Peterson as a threat to run the ball behind him, I think he would have struggled immensely. Smith actually reminds me a lot of Tony Romo, which is not an insult, he reminds me of Romo because they do the same things well. They both have a quick release, are very athletic in the pocket and have great feet, they both use their athleticism to extend plays. I call him “pocket athletic.” Smith is not a running quarterback, he is a pocket passer, who will be able to get the ball to Greg Jennings downfield in Minnesota.
26 ) Green Bay Packers – Kyle Long, OG (6’6 313) Oregon – The Green Bay Packers had zero running game last season, which is a big problem, because they have one of the most unstoppable passing offenses in the league. They have drafted several offensive linemen in recent years, but have not found a star that they can rely on, and who can really solidify the unit. The addition of Long could help solidify the Packers offensive line, which will protect Aaron Rogers, and help the running game improve. Howie Long’s son and Rams’ defensive end Chris Long’s little brother, Kyle Long is a hot prospect over recent weeks, he has excellent size and has the versatility to slide outside and play tackle. The Packers could use a versatile offensive lineman who can play various positions, and they get a good one here, in Long.
27 ) Houston Texans – Cordarrelle Patterson, WR (6’2 216lbs) Tennessee – The Texans are excellent defensively, but really lack an outside weapon on offense for quarterback Matt Schaub across from the aging Andre Johnson, it is time to find another wide receiver and Cordarrelle Patterson would be an excellent pick. He has good size, great speed (4.42 40-yard-dash) and hands, but his best attribute is his body control. He can adjust in the air or on the fly to make catches on bad balls, and often turns those catches into big gains. There has been some recent talk that Patterson is sliding a bit on draft boards due to his poor interviews, however he could be a star in the NFL, and the Texans are desperate to find one who can instantly upgrade their passing offense.
28 ) Denver Broncos – Bjoern Werner, DE (6’4 266lbs) Florida State – Bjoern Werner’s draft stock has taken a hit recently, because he does not stand out during workouts and did not impress at the combine, but he has loads of an attribute you cannot teach. He has an extremely high motor and plays with maximum effort from whistle to whistle on every play, and is an extremely productive player, who has a great feel for the game. Although his ceiling is not as high as some of the pass rushers who were drafted ahead of him, he will not be a bust, and will play in the NFL for a long time. Denver has a small window to win with Peyton Manning at the helm, and Werner will be ready to contribute from day one, has a little poor man’s J.J. Watt to his game. Always active, bats down passes, chases down plays from the backside.
29 ) New England Patriots – Jamar Taylor, CB (5’11 192lbs) Boise State – The New England Patriots need to focus on upgrading their pass defense if they are going to make another run at the Lombardi Trophy in the Tom Bray Era, and I have been told that their front office has been “all over” Jamar Taylor during the draft process, so it is a decent bet he will be an option for the Patriots here. Taylor is a hot draft prospect as of late, he excels in both man and zone coverages, and is not afraid to mix it up and play the run. High character guy, hard worker, can play outside or in the slot. I am hearing that teams feel he is one of the safer prospects in the draft, so he could be gone long before this, rising quickly.
30 ) Atlanta Falcons – D.J. Hayden, CB (5’11 191lbs) Houston – The Atlanta Falcons lost cornerbacks Donta Robinson and Brent Grimes in free agency and could really use an upgrade at the position behind Asante Samuel, because a once deep position now looks to be a thin one on the depth chart. Hayden is one of the hottest names in the NFL Draft process, I know that he is generating interest as low as the Saints at pick #15, he has all of the tools to develop into an excellent corner. Great fit for Atlanta, he will learn from Asante Samuel, and will get better by matching up with Roddy White and Julio Jones in practice every day. NOTE: The Falcons are apparently trying to trade down, and I have heard that their target is either Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner or Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson.
31 ) San Francisco 49ers – Datone Jones, DE (6-4, 283) UCLA – What do you get the team that has everything? The 49ers are the deepest team in the NFL, they are absolutely loaded, and stumbled in stud quarterback Colin Kaepernick who has lead them to a Super Bowl. They do have some aging players on their roster, including defensive end Justin Smith, and they could use some beef in the trenches to keep their defense the force that it currently is for the foreseeable future. Datone Jones is a big, nasty defensive end who is strong at the point of attack and would fit perfectly in the 49ers 3-4 defensive scheme. He is even versatile enough to play interior line in certain situations, he is excellent at holding the point of attack, and would be a great replacement for Justin Smith down the road.
32 ) Baltimore Ravens – Menelik Watson, OT (6’5 317lbs) Florida State – The Super Bowl Champions clearly think that offensive tackle is a major need, considering they are attempting to trade WAY up in the draft to select Oklahoma’s Lane Johnson, but if they are unable to do so Watson is a nice fit here. Watson is a former basketball and soccer player growing up in England, played center on the Marist basketball team, but knew he was too small to play professionally and looked for other options. Has an NFL frame, long arms, and is an excellent athlete who can add more muscle and bulk. Has only played two years of football, still learning the game, and will be a project in the NFL. Watson’s frame and athleticism make him very intriguing as a prospect, was a right tackle at Florida State, but has all of the tools to develop into a left tackle in the NFL. NOTE: The Ravens thought they filled their at inside linebacker in free agency when they signed talented but troubled former Raiders first round pick Rolando McClain, however he was arrested AGAIN over the weekend and cannot be counted on, so linebacker could be a need.
33 ) Jacksonville Jaguars – Jonathan Cyprien (6′ 217lbs) Florida International – In this scenario, the Jaguars already have selected pass rusher Dion Jordan, and they decide to continue to upgrade their defense. The safeties currently on their roster are Chris Prosinski, Dwight Lowery, Antwon Blake and Alan Ball and this will not be good enough for new head coach Gus Bradley. He loves big, physical athletic defenders and that is exactly what rising safety prospect Jonathan Cyprien is. He can step in and be a big part of a rebuilt defense in Jacksonville.
34 ) San Francisco 49ers – Matt Elam, S (5’10 208lbs) Florida – The 49ers select a versatile defensive lineman with their first round pick, then use the pick they acquired from the Kansas City Chiefs in the Alex Smith trade to select a physically gifted safety prospect in a deep safety class who can fill in for free agency defector Dashon Golson. Matt Elam is the kind of player that all NFL fans want on their team. Has a knack for the big play, will deliver punishing hits, he forces fumbles and makes interceptions. I know that you can find safeties in the later rounds, but not ones like Elam, this sounds like blaspheme to Philadelphia Eagles fans but he reminds me of Brian Dawkins.
35 ) Philadelphia Eagles – Justin Hunter, WR (6’4 200lbs) Tennessee – The Eagles have a lot of smaller wide receivers on the roster, so here, they take a big explosive target who can improve their passing game. In 2011, Justin Hunter had 16 catches for 302 yards and 2 touchdowns through TWO games, until a torn ACL ended his season prematurely. Hunter has regained his explosiveness and had 73 catches for 1083 yards and 9 touchdowns last season. He needs to get stronger and add bulk, he is far too skinny, but he has the frame for it.
36 ) Detroit Lions – Xavier Rhodes, CB (6’2 210lbs) Florida State – I have heard that the Lions believe they can grab a cornerback with their second round pick, and they get a good one here, who is sliding due to no fault of his own. Rhodes could go much earlier than this, but he has slipped a bit, due to the rise of other corners (Trufant, Taylor, Hayden). Rhodes is a long and athletic cornerback, who should develop into an excellent pro, he has the size to match up with bigger receivers and the speed to run with speedsters downfield.
37 ) Cincinnati Bengals – Khaseem Greene, OLB (6’1 241lbs ) Rutgers – The Bengals grabbed the best running back in the draft in the first round, and now they use the pick they acquired from Oakland in the Carson Palmer trade to select a linebacker who excels in coverage. The Bengals have some excellent linebackers on that roster (Harrison, Maualuga, Burfict) but none who you would feel comfortable dropping into coverage on third down. Here they grab Greene, a converted safety, who is the best coverage linebacker in the draft.
38 ) Arizona Cardinals – Matt Barkley, Quarterback (6’2 220lbs) USC – The Cardinals got their left tackle of the future here in Lane Johnson, and although they have already upgraded the quarterback position in Carson Palmer, he is an expensive player who is getting older. They need a quarterback of the future who they can groom behind Palmer, and he will have no problem teaching Matt Barkley, as the two both attended USC. If Barkley declared after his junior year, he would have been a top ten pick, but he elected to return for his senior year. Injuries to his non-throwing shoulder and other issues at USC forced Barkley’s stock to take a major hit, however, he still has the skill level to become an excellent NFL quarterback. With Barkley under center, a player who can make every throw, Larry Fitzgerald will be happy for the rest of his Cardinals career.
39 ) New York Jets – Zach Ertz, TE (6’6 250lbs) Stanford – The Jets already upgraded their pass rush with Mingo and found an explosive playmaker in Tavon Austin, now they land a reliable intermediate target in the passing game in Zach Ertz. The Jets do not have a decent tight end on the roster, since Dustin Keller left as a free agent, and they get a good one here who can immediately help their quarterback.
40 ) Tennessee Titans – Keenan Allen, WR (6’3 205lbs) California – Keenan Allen is still coming back from a knee injury which cost him some games in 2012, and the injury has cost him in his draft preparation process, and forced him to look slow in workouts. Now some character concerns have surfaced after red flags from a masking agent in his urine at the combine which will knock Allen into the second round. Make no mistake about it, Keenan Allen can play, he has strength and quickness to get open and can make big plays downfield, and the Titans need playmakers on offense.
41 ) Buffalo Bills – Justin Pugh, OG (6’5 307lbs) Syracuse – The Bills already got their quarterback of the future in this scenario with Ryan Nassib, and Doug Marrone goes back to his old program Syracuse again, and selects Nassib’s teammate Justin Pugh. Pugh will replace Andy Levetrie, which makes him a nice fit, because of his versatility along the offensive line. He will be a guard who can slide to tackle in a pinch.
42 ) Miami Dolphins – Terron Armstead, OT (6’5 306lbs) Arkansas-Pine Bluff – A physical freak and raw talent, Armstead ran the fastest 40-yard-dash time in the history of the NFL combine for an offensive lineman with a 4.65 40-yard-dash, who played well in both the Senior Bowl and the East-West Shrine Game. The Dolphins may trade this pick to Kansas City for Branden Albert, but if they don’t, Armstead could be a steal this far down the draft board who can develop into the eventual replacement for Jake Long.
43 ) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Sylvester Williams, DT (6’3 313lbs) North Carolina – If this were to happen, it could be the steal of the draft for the Buccaneers, who get a tough defensive tackle who plays with a nasty streak and is projected as a first round pick in the second round. Williams plays with a nasty streak, has violent hands, and is ready to contribute right away. The Bucs trade away their first round pick but still get a first round talent.
44 ) Carolina Panthers – Robert Woods, WR (6’1 201lbs) USC – Cam Newton needs playmakers, and although he is not the big target Newton needs, Woods is an excellent fit. He runs great routes, catches everything, and showed he is fast enough to produce in the NFL. He can develop into a safety blanket for Cam Newton for the forseeable future and will catch a ton of balls.
45 ) San Diego Chargers – Quinton Patton, WR (6’1 204lbs) – Louisiana Tech – Patton is not a burner but does have speed as evidenced by his 4.52 40-yard-dash, he is coming off of a monster season, and he should become a reliable target in the pass heavy NFL of today. He has great hands, runs sharp routes, and knows how to get open. Has a great feel for the game, confuses defensive backs, has them shaking their heads after plays. Against Texas A&M this season, Patton had 21 catches for 233 yards and 4 touchdowns. Read that back to yourself. He would be the perfect complement to Andre Johnson and would help take the Texans passing offense to the next level. Philip Rivers needs a smart receiver who he can trust, and Patton could be that player.
46 ) St. Louis Rams – Montee Ball, RB (5’11 215lbs) Wisconsin – The Rams will be disappointed if the draft breaks this way, because they love Rutgers linebacker Khaseem Greene, and hope to land him with this selection. With needs at safety and wide receiver already taken care of in round one, they grab one of the most productive running backs in college football history and select Montee Ball. After Steven Jackson left in free agency, they do not have a lot of depth at running back, with just Isaiah Pead and Daryl Richardson on the roster. Ball could be a star.
47 ) Dallas Cowboys – Eric Reid (6’1 213lbs) LSU – The Cowboys are staying away from flashy players in this draft, and sticking to their needs, which hopefully for fans of the team, they actually do. Reid is a talented safety prospect who can deliver the big hit, but also has the range to get deep in coverage and make a play on the ball, and is tough against the run. He will be reunited with former LSU teammate, cornerback Morris Claiborne.
48 ) Pittsburgh Steelers – Jonathan Jenkins, DT (6’4 346lbs) Georgia – In this scenario, the Steelers have already gotten an impact inside linebacker, and now they find an excellent defensive lineman on the board, who may projected as a first round pick. The massive and deceptively quick Jenkins can line up all over the Steelers three man front, and can eventually take over for nose tackle Casey Hampton.
49 ) New York Giants – Darius Slay, CB (6′ 192lbs) Mississippi State – A hot prospect, who may thought could sneak into the first round of the draft, a torn meniscus will cause Slay to slide a bit on draft day. However he is an excellent prospect who may be able to start on Sundays right away, so the Giants get a bargain here, and a big addition to the future of their defense. They have been one of the teams most interested in Slay.
50 ) Chicago Bears – Sam Montgomery, DE (6’3 262lbs) LSU – The Chicago Bears could use another defensive end, as Julius Peppers is getting older, and even if he excels again they could use another pass rusher. The talent is there with Montgomery, however he never put it all together at LSU, maybe he will learn for the great Peppers and turn into a monster in the NFL.
51 ) Washington Redskins – Larry Warford, OG (6’3 332lbs) Kentucky – the Redskins do not have a first round pick, so they need tobe sure to hit a home run here. Protecting RGIII and opening holes for Alfred Morris is key, so they draft massive guard Larry Warford. He is thick and powerful guard who is a road grader in the running game and can start right away in the trenches.
52 ) Minnesota Vikings – Kevin Minter, LB (6’0 245lbs) LSU – Another steal for the Minnesota Vikings, they have already upgraded defensive tackle and quarterback, and now they find the inside linebacker they have been looking for in Minter. A short, stout linebacker, Minter has excellent instincts and should be able to rack up tackles in Minnesota right away.
53 ) Cincinnati Bengals – Jesse Williams, DT (6’3 323lbs) Alabama – The Bengals have already upgraded running back and linebacker in this draft, why not pick a defensive tackle who will immediately be one of the strongest men in the NFL in the Aussie out of Alabama. Williams is massive, tough, and would make the already tough Bengals even nastier in the trenches.
54 ) Miami Dolphins – Jonathan Banks, CB (6’2 185lbs) Mississippi State – The Dolphins have already upgraded tight end and offensive tackle here, and although they could use another pass rusher, they go to the secondary and draft Banks. An excellent player in college, Banks still needs some polishing in coverage, but he has a nose for the ball. He is long and his height gives him an advantage in the red zone.
55 ) Green Bay Packers – Margus Hunt, DE (6’8 277lbs) SMU – The Packers take a gamble on pure potential here, and draft physical freak Margus Hunt, who they hope can develop. The native of Estonia was sent to the United States to train for shot put and discus, in which he won gold medals in the 2006 Junior World Championships. He has an 82 inch wingspan, but he still benched 225lbs 38 times and then ran a 4.60 40 yard dash at the combine. He also displayed a 34.5 inch vertical leap. He is still very raw and does not quite understand how to play football yet, he is a project for sure, but if the Green Bay coaching staff can unlock his potential he will be a force.
56 ) Seattle Seahawks – Kawann Short, DT (6’3 300lbs) Purdue – The Seahawks add some depth along their defensive line, and get a good player who could be selected in the first round, but inconsistency and depth at the position has pushed him down a bit. He jumps into the Seattle defensive line rotation right away and provides an interior pass rush.
57 ) Houston Texans – Jonathan Hankins (6’3 320lbs) Ohio State – A big space eating defensive tackle, who will never get much of a pass rush, but holds the line and stuffs the run. Hankins fell for the same reasons that Kawann Short fell, inconsistency and depth at the position. He looked like a top fifteen pick at times last season, but was awful at others, and needs to keep his weight down but the potential is clear.
58 ) Denver Broncos – Blidi Wreh-Wilson, CB (6’0 191lbs) UConn – Denver clearly needs to get younger and more talented in the secondary if they want to win a title with Peyton Manning under center. Wreh-Wilson is a solid all around corner with good speed who is only available because of the depth of talent at the position Todd McShay has a man-crush on him.
59 ) New England Patriots – Cornelius Washington, OLB/DE (6’4 265lbs) Georgia – The Patriots got better at cornerback in round one, and add a physical freak pass rusher here, who destroyed the NFL combine. Washington ran a 4.53 40-yard-dash and completed 36 reps of 225lbs on the bench press, just incredible numbers for a man of his size, and he is versatile enough to play standing up or with a hand in the dirt in the Patriots scheme.
60 ) Atlanta Falcons – Damontre Moore, DE (6’4 250lbs) Texas A&M – After improving their secondary in the first round, the Falcons get a much needed pass rusher in the second round, in the wildly productive Damonte Moore. Nobody’s draft stock has taken a bigger hit than Moore, he was once projected as a top ten pick, but he showed up unprepared at the combine and was very disappointing. Not being prepared for the combine is one of the worst things a player can do, and it killed Moore’s draft stock, as he came off as lazy. Still, he was very productive and extremely talented, maybe Osi Umenyiora can help het the best out of him.
61 ) San Francisco 49ers – David Amerson, CB (6’1 203lbs) NC State – Was a turnover machine at NC State, he has 13 interceptions in 2011 (led NCAA), had four multi-interception games, and returned two interceptions for touchdowns. Amerson is a long corner who excels in coverage and rips jump balls away from wide receivers downfield. Speed was a major question for Amerson, but he answered all of those questions by running a 4.35 40-yard-dash, but is still a bit of a corner-safety tweener at the next level.
62 ) Baltimore Ravens – Arthur Brown, LB (6’0 241lbs) Kansas State – The Ravens signed Rolando McCalin to fill their void at inside linebacker, and while he is talented he is also very unpredictable, and cannot be counted on. Here, the Ravens select Arthur Brown, who is a little small but is an absolute tackling machine who was one of the more productive linebackers in college over the past few seasons.
Just Missed The Cut Logan Ryan, CB (5’11 191lbs) Rutgers, Barrett Jones, OL (6’5 305lbs) Alabama, Corey Lemonier, DE (6’4 255lbs) Auburn, Dallas Thomas, OL (6’5 300lbs) Tennessee, Bennie Logan, DT (6’3 290lbs) LSU, Mike Glennon, QB (6’7 225lbs) NC State Shawn Williams, S (6′ 218lbs) Georgia, Tony Jefferson, S (5’11 210lbs) Oklahoma, Tyler Wilson, QB (6’2 218lbs) Arkansas, Le’Veon Bell, RB (6’1 244lbs) Michigan State, Gavin Escobar, TE (6’6 255lbs) San Diego State, William Gholston, DE (6’7 280lbs) Michigan State, Stedman Bailey, WR (5’10 193lbs) West Virginia, Giovani Bernard, (5’10 206lbs) North Carolina, Terrance Williams, WR (6’2 208lbs) Baylor, Nick Kasa, TE (6’6 270lbs) Colorado, Ryan Swope, WR (6′ 205lbs) Texas A&M, Alex Okafor, DE (6’5 264lbs) Texas, Brandon Williams, DT (6’1 335lbs) Missouri Southern, Shamarko Thomas, S, Syracuse (5’10 213) Syracuse, Tyrann Mathieu CB, LSU, Sio Moore, LB, Connecticut, D.J. Swearinger, S (5’11 208lbs) South Carolina, Robert Alford, CB, S.E. Louisiana, J.J. Wilcox, S, Georgia Southern, Jonathan Franklin, RB, (5’10 196lbs) UCLA, Vance McDonald, TE (6’4 267lbs) Rice
SportSmasher.com 2013 NFL Draft Content:
2013 NFL Mock Draft (Version 7.0) Final – Rounds 1 & 2 (04.25.2013)
2013 NFL Draft Rumors: 72 Hours Until Round One (04.22.2013)
2013 NFL Draft: All-Sleeper Team – Defense (04.19.2013)
2013 NFL Draft: All-Sleeper Team – Offense (04.18.2013)
2013 NFL Mock Draft (Version 6.0) Rounds 1 & 2 (04.17.2013)
2013 NFL Draft Rumors: Ten Days Away From Draft Day (04.15.2013)
2013 NFL Draft Big Board (Version 2.0) (04.03.2013)
2013 NFL Combine: Winners & Losers (02.25.2013)
2013 NFL Draft: Ranking The Pass Rushers (02.14.2013)
2013 NFL Mock Draft: Version 4.0 (02.14.2013)
2013 NFL Draft Big Board (Version 1.0) (02.08.2013)
2013 NFL Mock Draft (Version 3.0) (01.24.2013)
Geno Smith: Dispelling The NFL Draft Myths (01.17.2013)
2013 NFL Mock Draft (Version 2.0) (11.30.2012)
2013 NFL Mock Draft (Version 1.0) (10.19.2012)
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