2013 NFL Mock Draft: How Senior Bowl Is Affecting Draft Board

Kenny Vaccaro is a potential Patriots first-round pick who could improve their secondary.

NEPD Staff Writer: Dan Hope

Updated: 1/25

Many prospects have either moved up or down the 2013 NFL mock draft board this week as a result of their performance in practices at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.

Central Michigan left tackle Eric Fisher and Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib are among those who have worked their way high up the board with strong weeks in Mobile. Read through the following pages to see where many others Senior Bowlers fall in this three-round mock draft.

1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M (Jr.)

The Kansas City Chiefs desperately need to upgrade at quarterback, but as Chiefs owner Clark Hunt told 610 Sports Radio two weeks ago, there is no “clear-cut” No. 1 talent at the position in this draft class. As a result, the Chiefs could instead turn to drafting the most solid all-around prospect in the draft class, Texas A&M left tackle Luke Joeckel.

It is important not to read too closely into Hunt’s comments — those could have been a smokescreen — but general manager John Dorsey could also advocate the “best player available” strategy. No quarterback, including Arkansas’ Tyler Wilson, was able to set themselves apart from the class at the Senior Bowl, and the Chiefs might not suffer a significant drop-off in quarterback talent should they wait until Round 2.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia (Jr.)

New Jacksonville Jaguars head coach and former Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley will certainly be looking for playmakers early in the draft who can improve a defense that ranked 30th in total defense and 29th in scoring defense this past season.

That should leave the Jaguars deciding between the three best defensive players in the draft: Georgia outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei and Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner.

Any of those would be a great choice for the Jaguars, but the best choice is Jones.

The Jaguars desperately need a playmaker at linebacker. Jones could be a Von Miller-type player. He would be an immediate upgrade at strong-side linebacker and could line up as a pass-rushing defensive end in likely passing situations.

3. Oakland Raiders: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State (Jr.)

The Oakland Raiders were one of the NFL’s worst pass-rushing teams this past season, registering only 25 total sacks over the course of the season.

Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner could help fix that problem. Werner is an explosive rusher off the edge with great speed, length and rush technique, but he is also a strong run-stopper. Werner is one of the best players available high in the draft, and he would fill one of the largest of many needs on the Raiders defense.

4. Philadelphia Eagles: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama (Jr.)

The Philadelphia Eagles invested heavily two offseasons ago in the starting cornerback tandem of Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. The Eagles’ secondary has seriously underperformed each of the past two seasons, however, which could have them moving on from either or both of them and looking for new talent at the position.

With very good size and length, quickness, physicality, instincts and ball skills, Milliner is the best cornerback prospect in the 2013 draft class. It is unclear what defensive scheme the Eagles will use as they have not yet hired a defensive coordinator, but Milliner can fit any system.

5. Detroit Lions: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M (Jr.)

Cliff Avril, the Lions’ best pass-rushing defensive end, will likely leave as a free agent after failing to agree to a long-term contract extension last offseason. Meanwhile, Kyle Vanden Bosch is 34, his play is declining and he is entering the last year of his contract with the Lions.

That should prompt the Lions to find a replacement pass-rusher early in this year’s draft. With top cornerback Dee Milliner off the board, they would be smart to draft one of the class’ best pass-rushers and best players available is Texas A&M’s Damontre Moore.

Moore is a great athlete who does a great job making plays off the edge, and he is solid against the run as well. He would be not only an immediate replacement but a potential upgrade over Avril.

6. Cleveland Browns: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU (Jr.)

Jarvis Jones, Bjoern Werner, Dee Milliner and Damontre Moore would all be terrific first-round choices for the Browns, so this scenario is far from ideal. With that said, LSU’s Barkevious Mingo would be a fine choice if the Browns decide to switch to a 3-4 or hybrid defense under new defensive coordinator Ray Horton.

The Browns’ greatest need is for a premier pass-rusher, and they would get that from Mingo. While Mingo’s junior-year productivity was lower than expected, he is an explosive pass-rusher with terrific burst and athletic ability.

Although a defensive end at LSU, Mingo is a long but lanky athlete who is best suited to convert to 3-4 outside linebacker. While that position change can be a tough adjustment, Mingo has the speed, lateral athleticism and ability to drop into coverage to excel as an outside linebacker.

7. Arizona Cardinals: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

New Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians could draw from his success as the Indianapolis Colts’ offensive coordinator last season in helping general manager Steve Keim decide who their first-round pick should be. That could lead him to one of two conclusions.

Arians knows first-hand that with the right quarterback under center, a drastic offensive turnaround is possible. He can also draw from his experience in Indianapolis, however, and realize poor offensive play helped keep the Colts from making a run once they got into the playoffs.

Arians has been at the Senior Bowl this week, but even those of us who watched practices on NFL Network were impressed by Central Michigan offensive tackle Eric Fisher. Fisher was already the clear-cut No. 2 offensive tackle in the draft class, but a strong Senior Bowl week could push him into the top 10 picks.

There is no quarterback close to being Andrew Luck in this year’s draft class, so the Cardinals’ best bet would be to draft Fisher, who would be an immediate upgrade at left tackle for an offensive line that struggled immensely last season.

8. Buffalo Bills: Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse

No quarterback has done enough to establish himself as the top signal-caller in the draft class, which means that the quarterback-needy teams could all have different quarterbacks on the top of the board. For Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone, that could draw him to Ryan Nassib, a talented quarterback who he has coached for the past four years at Syracuse.

Nassib is not the best quarterback prospect in the draft class, but neither Arkansas’ Tyler Wilson nor West Virginia’s Geno Smith is a clear-cut better choice either.

Marrone and the Bills won’t necessarily be drawn to Nassib because of the obvious link between them. He would be a logical choice, however, because of his physical tools, familiarity with Marrone’s offense and being used to playing in cold weather.

Nassib would be better value in Round 2, but in a weak class of quarterbacks, he may not even make it outside the top 10 picks. Notre Dame middle linebacker Manti Te’o no longer looks like a slam-dunk top-10 pick, and the Bills will almost certainly be looking to draft a quarterback in the first two rounds as a potential upgrade over Ryan Fitzpatrick.

9. New York Jets: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia

The New York Jets’ first-round pick should be a decision between a quarterback and a pass-rusher. With four potential fits at pass-rushing outside linebacker already off the board, and being in a position in Round 2 where the remaining top quarterbacks could already be gone, drafting a signal-caller here would be smart.

With that strategy, the two best choices with the No. 9 overall pick would be Arkansas’ Tyler Wilson and West Virginia’s Geno Smith. Between the two, Smith is the better fit for the West Coast offensive scheme that new offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg will implement in New York.

Smith is a mechanically-sound quarterback with a great release, good mobility and good accuracy on timing routes. The Jets need to find a new signal-caller to replace the Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow circus, and although a risky top-10 selection, Smith may have the most upside of any quarterback in the draft class.

10. Tennessee Titans: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

There are only four prospects in this draft class who should be sure-fire top-10 picks, and Utah’s Star Lotulelei is one of them. Defensive tackle is not among the Titans’ greatest needs, but Lotulelei’s value is too good to pass up in this scenario.

Lotulelei can be a consistent difference-maker, something the Titans do not have on their interior defensive line. He is a massive nose tackle who is very disruptive as both a penetrator and interior pass-rusher, and who clogs gaps and is a tough man to move with his size and strength.

11. San Diego Chargers: Chance Warmack, G, Alabama

An offensive mind, new San Diego Chargers head coach Mike McCoy ought to know that the key to reviving the Chargers offense is to fix their offensive line issues.

The Chargers’ biggest need is at left tackle, and Oklahoma’s Lane Johnson is a rising offensive tackle who would be a slight reach but fill that need. That said, both of the Chargers’ starting guards are unrestricted free agents, and Alabama’s Chance Warmack is the best offensive lineman available.

The Chargers should make a strong effort to re-sign right guard Louis Vasquez, but Warmack could be an immediate upgrade over Tyronne Green at left guard. Warmack would help the Chargers immediately in both pass protection and power run-blocking. The best guard in the draft class, he is well worth a top-15 pick.

12. Miami Dolphins: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi

Having traded Vontae Davis last offseason, the Miami Dolphins opened up a need for another cornerback to start across from Sean Smith in their secondary. Mississippi State’s Johnthan Banks is a solid all-around cornerback who could fill that void and give the Dolphins a formidable duo at the position.

Banks is a big, athletic and physical cornerback who consistently played well against SEC competition. He is an NFL-ready playmaker who would be an immediate upgrade in the Dolphins secondary.

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State (Jr.)     
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have one of the NFL’s best defensive tackles in Gerald McCoy, but fellow 2010 NFL draft pick Brian Price did not pan out. That has left the Buccaneers with a hole to fill at the position, and Ohio State’s Johnathan Hankins is great value outside the top 10.

A big, powerful, 320-pound nose tackle, Hankins would be a great complement for McCoy. Hankins has the combination of strength and quickness to occupy multiple blockers at once, opening up McCoy and the rest of the Buccaneers’ defensive front seven to make more plays.

14. Carolina Panthers: Jesse Williams, NT, Alabama

The Carolina Panthers have a major need at defensive tackle, and even with Star Lotulelei and Johnathan Hankins off the board, there are plenty of good first-round options still available.

The Panthers’ emphasis should be for a defensive tackle who can shut down the run, so the best fit for them is Alabama’s Jesse Williams. Williams is a strong and powerful nose tackle who is quick off the snap and can occupy blockers at the line of scrimmage.

15. New Orleans Saints: Alex Okafor, DE, Texas

The New Orleans Saints could use reinforcements at all three levels of their defense, and one of the key upgrades they should be looking to make is to add another pass-rusher.

With many pass-rushers off the board, the Saints would be smart to draft one in the first round, and Texas’ Alex Okafor is proving himself as a first-round pick at the Senior Bowl. Okafor doesn’t blow opponents away with speed or strength, but he is an explosive rusher off the edge who uses his hands very well.

Okafor can contribute on any down, but would especially be an asset on pass-rushing downs, giving the Saints a playmaker off the edge enabling them to use Cameron Jordan as an inside rusher.

16. St. Louis Rams: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma

The St. Louis Rams need to add an offensive tackle to bookend with Rodger Saffold. Off a strong week at the Senior Bowl, Oklahoma’s Lane Johnson has pulled away from the pack as the draft class’ No. 3 offensive tackle.

Johnson is a long offensive tackle with tremendous feet, and he has the frame to continue adding bulk and become stronger. He has excelled on both sides of the line at Oklahoma, and does a great job in pass protection of anchoring his opponents and keeping them away from the quarterback.


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24 Responses to “2013 NFL Mock Draft: How Senior Bowl Is Affecting Draft Board”

  1. Pam says:

    I can definitely see the Bengals taking a safety 1st pick. But no way will they wait past 2nd round for a RB. Its their biggest need period! The Bengals have a lot of cap space. 51 mill They can afford to sign some of their key players on D. These Mocks crack me up. No one does their homework o any team but their favorite. And its impossible to mock before FA.

  2. Dano S says:

    Here is my prediction for Pats.
    1 traded for a #2 and #4.
    2 traded for a # 3 and #5.
    2 Larry Warford G Kentucky
    3 Alex Okafor DE Texas
    3 Bennie Logan DT LSU
    4 Montee Ball RB Wisconsin
    5 Sean Porter OLB Texas A&M
    7 Adrian Bushell CB Louisville
    7 Alonzo Highsmith OLB Arkansas.

  3. JV says:

    I would take Elam all day over Vaccaro. Vaccaro missed a ton of tackles in 2012. I like the idea of the Pats upgrading the DL as well. Kyle Love and Deadrick are backups on any other team.

    Once again I think the Pats will do everything they can to trade out of the first (dont blame them) and try and pick up an additional 2nd rounder and 4th rounder.

  4. ernesto says:

    Vaccaro would be a nice pick but he will be gone. BB will probably want pick because the lack them in this years draft. Another pass rusher could be taken in the first to pair with chandler Jones

    • steve earle says:

      Agree Vacarro will go well before 29. Bill may look to inside DT before pass rush guy because lots of DT’s who can pressure up the middle and stop the runs in this draft. After top 20 most pass rushers are tweeners with questionable ability to set the edge on runs. If Bill can find one great but expect a DT.

  5. EccentricFan says:

    Interesting strategy for the Bills. Taking Nassib and starting him to excite fans and sell tickets while at the same time all but guaranteeing the Bills will be in a good position to draft his replacement next year.

    But seriously, I can’t imagine Buddy Nix sees Nassib as the best QB in the draft, especially with talk out of Mobile that he’s been disappointing and Glennon and Wilson have both looked much better. I try to stay hopeful every year, but if Nassib is taken at 8 and with every QB on the board still available, I’m giving up on the year before it’s even started and devoting my time to building a fan movement to fire Buddy Nix instead.

    Because even if he just let Marrone talk him into it, he’s still proven he’s completely incompetent.

    • BillsDraft says:

      Glennon has not looked ‘much better’ than Nassib. Glennon is thin, awkward, has very little mobility, has terrible footwork, locks in on one receiver, throws the ball into coverage when pressured, and is not really that accurate. The only thing, the ONLY thing, he has been doing better than the others at the Senior Bowl practices is throwing the ball deep and all the amateur ‘scouts’ there (otherwise known as blog writers who managed to get a press pass) are oohing and ahhing over that and are hyping him up. Glennon will be a bust in the NFL.

      I think Wilson is slightly better than Nassib but there isn’t really a lot of difference between them and Nassib already knows the offense. I think they both will be solid, but not spectacular NFL QBs and either of them would be a good choice for the Bills at #8.

    • JV says:

      My buddy is a season ticket holder for the Bills and trust me Nassib will not excite their fans.

  6. Hunter says:

    Looks good, but from everything I’ve heard Poyer is this year’s Stephon Gilmore, and will be off the board way before 62. I agree with Russell, I’d love to see Poyer at the Pats. If both Talib and Arrington (I’m praying for this) leave then the Pats are down to 1 solid CB, with Dowling as the wildcard. I’d like to see them go out and get Tracy Porter and figure out what the long-term plan with McCourty is. I can’t see them leaving him at safety if they have Wilson, Gregory, and draft Vaccaro in the first.

    • Russell Easterbrooks says:

      I think Arrington is gone, but the Pats put the “tag” on Talib and see what he can do after a full year. I like Vaccaro but feel he is gone at Pats 1st pick. If the Pats trade back with a mid-round team for an early 2nd and 4th pick, 7th pick,they would have a better chance at CB Poyer, and look for another S/CB like D.J. Swearinger, at #62 , or a guy I like DaVonte Holloman S/LB in the 4th.

      • steve earle says:

        Right, no way Vacarro comes down to 29 but there are still several 1st rd talent there for us like Rhodes, Datone Jones, Chris Faulk. Trading down and hoping some talent will be there isn’t worth the risk although it may be just what BB will do but I hope not.

        • Russell Easterbrooks says:

          I agree no-way Vaccaro is on the Board at 29. IF the Pats trade QB Ryan Mallett, for a 3d and a 4th pick, Bill may not trade back IF he sees a guy he wants. I think Datone Jones moves up to top 20 first round. Not sold on Rhodes, do like CB Jordan Poyer, a VERY high IQ player, good size at 6 190, runs a 4.49 40. The 2nd round is to late for Poyer, so maybe him.
          The Pats scouted #4 of South Carolina’s games this year. Were they watching; D.J.Swearinger S/CB, or DeVonte Holloman S/LB ???? I like Holloman, 6’2″ 234 runs a 4.62 40

        • steve earle says:

          Datone Jones withdrew from Sr. Bowl with shoulder injury, question of surgery. Can never be sure but usually this would drop a prospect out of the 1st rd. unless he’s a big name. I think jones will go mid 2nd.

    • steve earle says:

      I don’t see Downing as anything except down the road certenly not a wild card. He couldn’t stay on the field in collage and it’s worse for him in the NFL. On McCourty, he’s a decent safty but a poor corner so he’s a safty or nothing. So what’s wrong with Talib? He and Dennard did a good job when they got to play. Better to draft Rhodes and have three good cb’s on hand, oh and keep Arrington as inexpensive insurance. Heck Bill could still go after Porter because you can bet someone will go on the ir list at some point and depth at a critical position is a good thing.

  7. Russell Easterbrooks says:

    Fairly good Mock, tho the Pats would take Dante Jones DE/T over Logan. With the signing of DE/T Armstead. If Talib leaves, (I think they put the Tag on him) I would Take , CB Jordon Poyer #2, and I like Simon at #3.
    Tho I feel very sure Bill trades back out of the first, which will change things depending on the aquirred picks.

    • Jim R says:

      Yep, trading down and out.

    • steve earle says:

      I don’t understand your take on Armstead Russell, he was undrafted last year, had to play in the CFL, as far as I see he is camp fodder. What do you see that I don’t?

      • Russell Easterbrooks says:

        He has a year in the CFL, and was not drafted because of medical issues. I think he will be on the roster next year. Scott, Cunningham, Forston are gone. Armstead, Pryor, DE/LB Simon (draft pick) make the team.

      • Russell Easterbrooks says:

        The Tape on Armstead in CFL looks solid,run stopper, Avg. Pass rusher, high motor ,works hard, keeps blocker away from his body with strong hands.Holds up Double teams fair, does not spilt them .
        Whats not to like about Simon, if you watch the tape you will see Rob Ninkoich, only stronger at the point of attack and better in the run game . Most Scouts see him as to small at 6’11/2″ for DE, which I agree, (thats why the 3d round most likely) but I think he plays just like Ninkoich. With some work needed on his coverage in drops. Also has entangables that Bill will like.

  8. Jagsman says:

    man the 1st 2 rounds are brutal.

    Bradleys bringing the seahawks style 4-3 over to us which makes the Leo Position a Big Need and Jarvis Jones isnt good at that and isnt an improvement over allen. id go with moore or Star to upgrade that DLINE.

    as for the 2nd round pick i could understand barkley but i have to think Rhodes is the Perfect corner for Bradleys scheme and given that our 2 starting cbs are fas as well as middleton as well as ross Possibley being cut makes CB a Higher need as wellas the great fit with Rhodes.

    i do like that 3rd round pick in shorts. fills a need and imo would be a good steal there.

    in the 4th i would go with another CB or Brandon Williams.

    • biju says:

      Bradley is going to run a 4-3 there for sure, but I’m not certain that he’ll bring the exact same plan over to Jacksonville. I could be wrong, but I always thought that the LEO role was more Pete Carroll and also a scheme fit to take advantage of Red Bryant and his agility as a huge man.

      I would think with the Jags personnel he would run a more traditional 4-3 over, but then again I’m not as in-tune with your roster. And maybe I missed him already discussing how he’s going to run it. I just think this was scheming due to situation instead of situating to fit scheme.

      Good luck next year–we’re bummed Bradley is gone but I think he’s going to be a great head coach. If not, feel free to send him back…

  9. Phil says:

    Why is no one talking about Sio Moore? A coverage linebacker that can really play. I would take him over Simon.

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