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

17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame

When a Twitter follower asked me prior to the BCS National Championship Game if I thought Manti Te’o could fall to the Pittsburgh Steelers, I told him it was unlikely the Notre Dame middle linebacker would make it outside of the top 5.

Three weeks later, following a very poor performance against Alabama and a girlfriend hoax that will certainly lead to intense questioning from NFL teams, it now seems plausible Te’o could still be available.

With Te’o still on the board, he is the best choice for the Steelers. He could fill the role James Farrior excelled in for years as a gap-filling, run-stopping inside linebacker next to Lawrence Timmons.

Larry Foote is a 32-year-old unrestricted free agent, and Te’o is the best player available in this scenario. Without a nose tackle or offensive tackle worth drafting at this point, Te’o looks like the best choice.

18. Dallas Cowboys: Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas

Tony Romo is a talented quarterback, but he is 32 years old, mistake-prone and has only led the Cowboys to one playoff appearance in the past five seasons. As Romo enters the final season of his contract, the 2013 NFL Draft would be a smart time to draft his heir apparent.

Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson isn’t projected to be the No. 1 overall pick this time around, but if he makes it to the second half of the first round, he is well worth taking a chance on. Wilson is the most polished downfield pocket passer in the draft class, and a year of development could have him ready to make a big impact as a starter in 2014.

Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones never shies from making a splash with personnel decisions. Drafting the franchise’s quarterback of the future from his alma mater would certainly do that.

19. New York Giants: Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU (Jr.)

The New York Giants need to upgrade across the linebacker corps. LSU’s Kevin Minter would be great value in the second half of the first round, and could be the perfect fit to fill a need at middle linebacker.

Minter is a playmaking middle linebacker who would give the Giants a truly consistent and sound run-stopping presence at the position. He is a very good lateral athlete who can make plays all over the field, and he is also very solid in coverage.

A need for reinforcements in the Giants’ defensive front seven started to show this season, and Minter’s value should not be passed upon here.

20. Chicago Bears: Barrett Jones, OL, Alabama

No offensive lineman on the Chicago Bears is good enough that his starting spot should be guaranteed going into next season. The Bears’ biggest need is to rebuild their offensive line, so drafting the best offensive lineman available would be a smart first-round strategy.

Alabama’s Barrett Jones is a perfect fit because of the versatility he brings to the offensive line. He excelled at every offensive line position for the Crimson Tide, and could be a potential upgrade at either guard spot, center or right tackle.

North Carolina guard Jonathan Cooper would also be a great choice to improve their interior line, but Jones’ versatility gets the nod for a team that could also use him at any of four offensive line positions.

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Eric Reid, FS, LSU (Jr.)

Eric Reid’s stock has slipped a bit after a disappointing junior season, but he is still the best safety prospect in the 2013 draft class. The Bengals need an upgrade at safety next to Reggie Nelson and should pounce on the LSU product if he is available.

Reid is a terrific athlete who covers deep effectively, and he is also a sound tackler and hard hitter who makes plays near the line of scrimmage. He has had some issues with inconsistency and penalties, but has huge talent and upside.

Nelson is capable of shifting to strong safety. Adding Reid could be a big step in solidifying the back end of the Bengals’ defense.

22. St. Louis Rams: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame (Jr.)

The Rams offense made positive strides this season, but should still be looking to add more weapons for quarterback Sam Bradford. While tight end is not truly a position of need for the Rams, Notre Dame’s Tyler Eifert could give Bradford a go-to downfield receiving weapon in the middle of the field.

Eifert’s combination of size, athleticism and ball skills fit the modern “basketball player” prototype of tight ends that is all the rage in today’s NFL. In addition to giving the Rams a big downfield receiving threat, he is also a solid blocker who could contribute to the team’s run-blocking efforts.

23. Minnesota Vikings: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri (Jr.)

Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson is one of the most quickly-rising players in the 2013 NFL draft class. He could come off the board much earlier than the No. 23 overall pick, but available in this scenario, the Minnesota Vikings should not pass him up.

The Vikings need an explosive penetrator at defensive tackle to start next to Kevin Williams. Richardson, who may be the best pass-rushing interior lineman in the draft class, would be a great fit.

The Vikings’ interior defense hasn’t been the same since Pat Williams’ departure broke up the “Williams Wall” at defensive tackle. The Vikings have an opportunity to restore that strength inside by selecting Richardson.

24. Indianapolis Colts: Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina

This draft selection in this scenario should be a no-brainer. The Indianapolis Colts desperately need to improve their interior offensive line, and North Carolina guard Jonathan Cooper is a terrific guard prospect who stands out as the best player available.

Cooper has outstanding feet for a guard, combined with great size and power. For a team that gave up far too much interior pressure this past season, Cooper could be an immediate upgrade and potential star at either left or right guard.

25. Seattle Seahawks: Robert Woods, WR, USC (Jr.)

The Seattle Seahawks’ passing offense made incredible strides with rookie quarterback Russell Wilson this season. The Seahawks can make Wilson even better by adding a go-to option and playmaker at wide receiver.

Having recruited him while at USC, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll should know a thing or two about Robert Woods. He should know Woods is as good as any wide receiver in the draft class.

Woods is knocked for having subpar measurables, but he is an outstanding route-runner with great hands, open-field quickness and playmaking ability. He can line up outside and in the slot, and could quickly become Wilson’s most reliable and dynamic weapon.

26. Green Bay Packers: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida (Jr.)

The Green Bay Packers haven’t gotten much pass-rush production from their defensive linemen this season. To fix that, the Packers should be looking for a quick interior lineman who can line up alongside B.J. Raji or Jerel Worthy in their two-man base nickel defensive front and as a 5-technique defensive end in the 3-4 package.

Florida’s Sharrif Floyd, an explosive interior defensive lineman with great athleticism and quickness, would fit that description. He is an effective interior pass-rusher and a good run-stopper.

27. Houston Texans: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson (Jr.)

The Houston Texans need to find a legitimate No. 2 threat at wide receiver to line up across from Andre Johnson. Clemson’s DeAndre Hopkins is the best playmaker among wide receivers in this draft class and could be the missing piece to the Texans offense.

Hopkins is an athletic receiver who is good at tracking balls downfield, and he is a good route-runner with consistent hands. The addition of Hopkins could attract coverage away from Johnson and give quarterback Matt Schaub another reliable and explosive weapon.

28. Denver Broncos: John Jenkins, DT, Georgia

The Denver Broncos need to upgrade at defensive tackle. Specifically, they need a big, powerful nose tackle who can improve their interior run defense.

Georgia’s John Jenkins, a massive 350-pound-plus nose tackle, would be a perfect fit. He has great quickness for his size and can contribute as a powerful run-stopper and an interior bull-rusher.

Stamina and consistency are issues for Jenkins to overcome, but he has the overall game to develop into a three-down force for the Broncos’ four-man front.

29. New England Patriots: Kenny Vaccaro, SS, Texas

The Patriots’ pass defense made significant strides this season with the trade for cornerback Aqib Talib and emergence of rookie cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, but there is still a need for playmakers and depth on the back end of their defense.

Texas’ Kenny Vaccaro would be a very good fit. In coverage, Vaccaro would be an upgrade over Steve Gregory at strong safety, while he is also very solid against the run and has the versatility to play free safety and slot cornerback.

Vaccaro could be an upgrade at strong safety, while also giving them a pair of safeties who can both play cornerback if needed for depth reasons in Vaccaro and Devin McCourty.

30. Atlanta Falcons: Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama (Jr.)

The Atlanta Falcons have a number of great options who would be great fits for both value and need as late first-round picks available to them in this scenario. The best choice may be Alabama’s Eddie Lacy, the top running back in this year’s draft class.

Michael Turner is on the decline, leaving the Falcons looking for a new feature back. Lacy could be exactly what the Falcons need. He is a big and powerful between-the-tackles runner with good speed and open-field moves with the durability to hold up over a heavy load of carries.

31. Baltimore Ravens: Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia (Jr.)

Ray Lewis will have his chance to go out and top when the Baltimore Ravens play in Super Bowl XLVII, but that will be his final game before his retirement. The Ravens need to draft his replacement at inside linebacker to start next to Dannell Ellerbe, and Georgia’s Alec Ogletree would be a terrific fit.

Like Lewis, Ogletree has outstanding speed for a linebacker and is a big, hard-hitting tackler. A converted safety, Ogletree is effective in coverage and a solid run defender.

32. San Francisco 49ers: Margus Hunt, DE, SMU

As Justin Smith has battled a torn triceps down the stretch this season, it has exposed a lack of depth at defensive end on their three-man front. Their best backup defensive end, Ricky Jean-Francois, is an unrestricted free agent, so the 49ers need to find another player who can rotate in with Smith and Ray McDonald on the defensive front.

At the end of the first round, SMU’s Margus Hunt would be a player well worth taking a chance on. While he is a very raw talent and inconsistent performer, he has huge upside and an exceptional combination of length and athleticism.

Hunt will need to bulk up to play defensive end in the 3-4 scheme, but his 6’8” frame and inside pass-rush ability give him huge potential at the position. A player who is still very much developing, the 49ers could give him a perfect situation where he could start as a rotational player and gradually develop into an every-down player.


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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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