It’s that time of year again. With the Dallas Cowboys sitting out once again on the post-season, we look ahead to the upcoming 2013 NFL Draft. We will now begin providing a new mock draft of the first round every week all the way up until the event in April.
Apr 26, 2012; New York, NY, USA; A general view of the NFL shield logo before the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
With no further ado, here is our first, first round NFL mock draft of the year:
NOTE: This is as accurate a draft order as possible. Currently, the top 28 spots are set. The remaining picks will be determined as team’s are eliminated from the playoffs.
NOTE: This is a Mock Draft so trades are not projected because it is too hard to predict what teams are willing to give up to get a prospect, or what a team is willing to accept to move out of their initial spot.
1. Kansas City Chiefs – Luke Joeckel – OT – Texas A&M
The Chiefs are in dire need of a quarterback, but there just is not a quarterback available to draft with the first overall pick. When in need of a quarterback the next best thing is to get a Left Tackle to protect the blindside for years to come. Joeckel is the best lineman in the Draft and he has the footwork and power to translate to the NFL.
Other Possibilities: Geno Smith – QB – West Virginia, Star Lotuelei – DT – Utah, Damontre Moore – DE – Texas A&M
2. Jacksonville Jaguars – Star Lotulelei, Defensive Tackle, Utah
The Jaguars are in need of so many things it is ridiculous to even think about what they will do with the second pick. If you think back to the days of Mark Brunell and the glory of the Jaguars, you will notice one thing stands out. Defensive line play. They need a strong defensive line and that starts in the middle. Lotulelei has been compared to Ndamakong Suh when he came out of Nebraska, so if he reaches that kind of potential he could be a good piece to build around in Jacksonville.
Other Possibilities: Jarvis Jones – OLB – Georgia, Damontre Moore – DE – Texas A&M
3. Oakland Raiders – Jarvis Jones – OLB – Georgia
Jarvis Jones has been number one on the board for most of the college season. He is a freakish athlete that can play all three linebacker positions. He can play straight outside line backer, he can slide inside and play in the middle, and he can also put his hand in the ground and rush the passer. His versatility makes him a huge option for the Raiders. Oakland got rid of their first round pick from two years ago, Rolando McClain late in the 2012 season, so they have a huge opening at the LB position.
Other Possibilities: Damontre Moore – DE – Texas A&M, Manti Te’o – MLB – Notre Dame
4. Philadelphia Eagles – Damontre Moore – DE – Texas A&M
The Eagles are happy with their DE Trent Cole and Brandon Graham, but if there is one thing we have learned from the New York Giants, you can never have too many elite pass rushers. The Giants drafted Jason Pierre Paul when it was not a need position and the fellow NFC East foe would be smart to do the same here. The Eagles released Jason Babin so they need another guy that can rotate at DE and Moore is the best pure pass rusher in the Draft. He can be a great player that can learn from Cole and eventually be a great tandem with Graham in the future.
Other possibilities: Dee Milliner – CB – Alabama, Manti Te’o – MLB – Notre Dame,
5. Detroit Lions – Dee Milliner – CB – Alabama
The Lions defensive backs are a mess. They need serious help at both cornerback and safety. Notre Dame provided the blue print for Milliner to rise up the draft board in the championship game. Every time Notre Dame tried to test Milliner he passed with flying colors. Milliner is the best shut down corner in the draft.
Other Possibilities: Barkevious Mingo – DE/OLB – LSU, Manti Te’o – MLB – Notre Dame, Bjoern Werner – DE – Florida State
6. Cleveland Browns – Bjoern Werner, Defensive End, Florida State
Cleveland is one of the youngest teams in the league and they were a team that got better as the year went on. They lost many close games, but had many chances to beat the teams on their schedule. They need a major overhaul of the defensive line, they have a former first round pick in Joe Haden in their secondary and D’Qwell Jackson is a stud at middle linebacker. Now is a time to get a significant pass rusher to go along with the other two stud defensive players. Werner is a foreign born player so he is raw with skills, but full of abilities. The Browns can mold him into whatever they need based on the philosophy of their head coach. He can be a rush end in a 4-3 or be a stand up OLB in a 3-4 style defense.
Other Possibilities: Barkevious Mingo – DE/OLB – LSU, Johnathan Hankins – DT – Ohio State
7. Arizona Cardinals – Chance Warmack – G – Alabama
The Cardinals have a major need at QB, but just like the Chiefs there is not a reason to take a quarterback this high in this draft class. That being said, the best thing is to get an offensive line to protect whoever is taking snaps next season. Warmack is the best lineman from the best offensive line not only this season but in the history of college football. He is a large body and moves very well for his massive size. He is the perfect guy to build the new Cardinals offensive line around and will be a foundation for the offense for years to come.
Other Possibilities: Geno Smith – QB – West Virginia, Eric Fisher – OT – Central Michigan, Lane Johnson – OT – Oklahoma
8. Buffalo Bills – Manti T’eo, Linebacker, Notre Dame
The Bills are another team stuck with the conundrum of drafting a need at quarterback, even though there is not one worthy of this high pick. The Bills are in need of a leader on defense and there is no better leader in the entire draft than that of Manti Te’o. He fits a need for the Bills at Linebacker and gives them the leader they so desperately need. Sad to know that a rookie can come in and be the best leader on the team, but that’s the state of affairs in Buffalo.
Other Possibilities: Geno Smith – QB – West Virginia, Keenan Allen – WR – California, Eric Fisher – OT – Central Michigan
9. New York Jets – Kenny Vaccaro, Safety, Texas
The Jets are in a state of disarray in the front office. They need to figure out a consensus direction. They have too much money tied up in Mark Sanchez to move him at this juncture. They have limited cap space to re-sign their pro bowl safety LaRon Landry, so they will need to find a replacement. Vaccaro is a good tackler and is a very good cover guy. He will be a nice replacement for Landry in the jets secondary and with Darrelle Revis returning and Antonio Cromartie stepping up this year, the Jets will have a formidable secondary if they get a safety in the draft.
Other Possibilities: Barkevious Mingo – DE/OLB – LSU, Eric Fisher – OT – Central Michigan
10. Tennessee Titans – Barkevious Mingo – DE/OLB – LSU
The Titans have not had an elite pass rusher since the first go around of Javon Kearse. They have speed on defense, but they need someone who can do both rush the passer and stop the run. Mingo is the perfect fit for Tennessee. He can play both with his hand in the ground and standing up. he can rush the passer just as well as he can play the run. He will need to show athleticism and skills at the combine, but if he passes, he will be a big pick up for a Tennessee defense in need of play makers.
Other Possibilities: Johnathan Hankins – OT – Ohio State, Sheldon Richardson – OT – Missouri