2013 NFL Mock Draft: Updated Projections As Free Agency Shifts Draft Strategies

17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon

The Pittsburgh Steelers need to make reinforcements at all three levels of their defense, but the greatest of those needs is to add a pass-rushing outside linebacker following the release of James Harrison. If Oregon’s Dion Jordan is still on the board in the second half of Round 1, the Steelers may not be able to pass him up.

Jordan’s game remains raw and he has had issues with a lingering shoulder injury, but he is an outstanding athlete whose best fit is as a 3-4 outside linebacker. He needs to become more developed in his pass-rush technique, but is an explosive athlete off the edge with huge upside.

The Steelers need to reinvigorate their pass-rush, and the long, athletic Jordan could be the player they need to do that.

18. Dallas Cowboys: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida

Considering Florida’s Sharrif Floyd could be in play at the No. 1 overall pick, getting him at No. 18 overall would be terrific value for the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys could really use an upgrade at defensive tackle as they switch to a four-man front in the Tampa 2 defense, and should not pass up Floyd here.

Floyd is an explosive athlete who can be an impact player as an interior penetrator. He is strong and a playmaker in run defense, while he can also give the team another interior pass-rushing threat alongside Jason Hatcher.

19. New York Giants: Cornellius “Tank” Carradine, DE, Florida State

The New York Giants pass-rush started to lose its luster last season. With Osi Umenyiora an unrestricted free agent and Justin Tuck entering the last year of his contract, the New York Giants could very well target another pass-rushing defensive end to line up opposite Jason Pierre-Paul with their first-round pick.

Cornellius “Tank” Carradine’s stock is hurt by a torn ACL suffered in November, but assuming he can recover fully, he is one of the draft’s most talented pass-rushing defensive end. The Giants could afford to bring Carradine along slowly in 2013 — potentially starting his season on the Physically Unable to Perform list — but groom him as Tuck’s eventual replacement in the lineup in 2014.

Carradine is a well-rounded and explosive defensive end with star pass-rushing potential. Going forward, Pierre-Paul and Carradine could be one of the NFL’s elite pass-rushing combinations.

20. Chicago Bears: Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU

The Brian Urlacher era may have reached its end in Chicago, which leaves the Bears in need of a new middle linebacker. As the best middle linebacker in the draft class, LSU’s Kevin Minter would be a great choice to fill that void at the No. 20 overall pick.

Minter is a quick, instinctive playmaker who consistently makes plays on the ball all over the field. He does not wow athletically, but is an effective blitzer, can drop into coverage and is ready to take on a leadership role in the middle of an NFL defense.

The Bears need to find a new leader for their linebacker corps, and if Minter is still available with their first-round pick, he should be the guy.

21. Cincinnati Bengals: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama

As right tackle Andre Smith remains unsigned more than a week into free agency, it looks like a realistic possibility that he may not return to the Cincinnati Bengals next season. If that is the case, the perfect fit to replace him would be D.J. Fluker.

There are many similarities between the two players: like Smith, Fluker is an Alabama prospect who is both a powerful run blocker and effective pass blocker on the right side of the line, with a good combination of length, bulk and athleticism.

Fluker may not be the choice Bengals fans want to see in the first round, but if the Bengals do not retain Smith or sign another free-agent right tackle, he would make a lot of sense as the No. 21 overall pick.

22. St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins): Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia

The St. Louis Rams could still use more playmakers on their offense, and with the loss of Danny Amendola to the New England Patriots, they also need a new slot receivers. Bringing both of those together, the Rams would make a great choice by adding a tremendous slot receiver and explosive offensive weapon in West Virginia’s Tavon Austin with one of their two first-round draft picks.

With a rare combination of open-field quickness and straight-line speed, Austin can turn any play into a big play. He is a truly dynamic offensive weapon who makes up for his lack of size with crisp route-running and the speed and moves to run away from defenders.

The Rams have made some key additions in free agency to help quarterback Sam Bradford by signing tight end Jared Cook and left tackle Jake Long, but adding Austin would give Bradford another fantastic weapon to work with.

23. Minnesota Vikings: Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State

With one of their two first-round picks, the Minnesota Vikings should be in the market for an upgrade at defensive tackle. Ohio State’s Johnathan Hankins is great value at the No. 23 overall pick, and could be exactly what they need on their interior defensive line.

Hankins is a big, powerful nose tackle with good quickness and penetration ability for his size. He can be both a space-eater and a disruptive force inside next to Kevin Williams, which the Vikings have not had since Pat Williams’ 2011 departure broke up the “Williams Wall.”

24. Indianapolis Colts: Chance Warmack, G, Alabama

The Indianapolis Colts have already made a strong effort in free agency to build up their previously-shaky offensive line with the signings of former Patriots guard Donald Thomas as well as right tackle Gosder Cherilus, but this would be an absolute dream scenario for the Colts. If Chance Warmack falls to the No. 24 overall selection, the Colts should snap him up without hesitation.

The Alabama guard could fall due to the position he plays, but he is among the draft’s top overall prospects. A powerful mauler who has great technique and also very good movement skills for an interior lineman, he and Thomas could form a fantastic guard combination in Indianapolis for the next four seasons.

25. Minnesota Vikings (from Seattle Seahawks): Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee

After going defensive tackle two picks earlier, the Minnesota Vikings should be in the market for another wide receiver to start opposite Greg Jennings with the No. 25 overall pick, one of the picks they acquired from the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for star playmaker Percy Harvin. If available, Tennessee’s Cordarrelle Patterson would be a great choice and value selection.

Like Harvin, Patterson is a game-changer with the ball in his hands. He is a big receiver who can stretch the field outside and make plays downfield, but like Harvin, he is a player who the Vikings can be creative with getting the ball into his hands, whether that is as an outside receiver, in the slot, as a runner out of the backfield or as a kick/punt returner.

The Vikings could really benefit from adding a bigger downfield weapon for quarterback Christian Ponder as well, and they can get that with Patterson.

26. Green Bay Packers: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame

Even if Jermichael Finley is back with the Green Bay Packers next season, he is entering the final season of his contract, and with the Packers already losing Greg Jennings and Tom Crabtree, the Packers could use another weapon in the passing game. Selecting Notre Dame’s Tyler Eifert would be good value late in the first round, and would give the Packers another inside weapon at the tight end position.

The Packers’ offense utilizes many weapons throughout a game, and if the Packers are going to add a receiving threat early in the draft, adding the best receiving playmaker among tight ends in the 2013 draft class makes the most sense.

27. Houston Texans: Eric Reid, FS, LSU

The Houston Texans’ late collapse at the end of a promising season centered much around the deep passing plays they gave up in the secondary late in the season. The Texans need to add a playmaker to their secondary, and have a void at free safety following the departure of unrestricted free agent Glover Quin.

Eric Reid’s stock dropped after a subpar junior season, but he is still the most gifted safety in the draft class. Reid is a very good athlete who can both solidify and add a playmaker for the Texans in the secondary, especially in deep coverage. He is well worth a late first-round pick.

28. Denver Broncos: Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame

The Denver Broncos should be looking to strengthen their interior run defense, and one way they can do that is by upgrading at middle linebacker. Notre Dame inside linebacker Manti Te’o has seen his stock slip in recent weeks, but he is great value late in the first round, and could be a great addition to the Broncos’ linebacker corps.

While he disappointed by coming into the combine smaller than expected at only 241 pounds, he is a sound run-stopper who fills holes well and makes plays in space. With overblown off-field issues aside, Te’o is one of the best players available at this point in the draft and worth a late first-round pick.

29. New England Patriots: Robert Woods, WR, USC

The New England Patriots signed Danny Amendola and Donald Jones in the first week of free agency, but have no other legitimate wideouts on the roster. After losing Wes Welker and releasing Brandon Lloyd, the Patriots have a major need for more playmakers in their receiving corps, and USC’s Robert Woods would be a terrific choice late in Round 1.

Woods is a very good all-around wideout who is a great fit for the Patriots’ offense. He is an exceptional route-runner who is great at making plays on the ball, and can line up both outside and inside. He could immediately become a go-to receiving option for quarterback Tom Brady.

30. Atlanta Falcons: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M

Following the release of John Abraham, the Atlanta Falcons have a major need for a pass-rushing defensive end. The Falcons are likely to pursue one with their first-round draft pick, and could get good value late in the first round with Texas A&M’s Damontre Moore.

Moore’s stock is slipping due to in-season overhype of him as a prospect, but he remains among the best pass-rushers in the 2013 draft class. He is a skilled rusher off the edge who can be a productive, three-down defensive end at the next level.

In terms of both value and need, Moore makes sense at the No. 30 overall pick.

31. San Francisco 49ers: Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State

With five selections in the first three rounds of the draft, the 49ers have a lot of flexibility with their picks this year, but one area they must address early and often is their secondary. The 49ers need to upgrade at cornerback, and would make a smart choice by selecting Boise State’s Jamar Taylor with their first pick.

A physical cornerback who excels in press man coverage, Taylor would be a very good fit and upgrade in the 49ers’ defensive scheme.

32. Baltimore Ravens: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson

Having traded Anquan Boldin to the San Francisco 49ers, the Baltimore Ravens are in need of another wideout to take his place in the lineup. Fortunately for the Ravens, Clemson’s DeAndre Hopkins would be a good fit.

Like Boldin, Hopkins is a very skilled receiver who is physical, has great hands and goes after the football to get it in the air. He is not the most explosive receiver in the draft class, but he accelerates well, is a very good route-runner and has enough quickness to make plays in the open field.

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56 Responses to “2013 NFL Mock Draft: Updated Projections As Free Agency Shifts Draft Strategies”

  1. Nick says:

    Even though the pats have only five picks this draft, what are the chances they double dip in the receiver position? BB did it before with the TE and RB, why not now with the receivers? Complete the offense for the future. Players like Hunter, Hopkins, Woods, and Dobson would help the offense take it to the next level.

  2. Gary says:

    I’d love to see Dion Jordan slip to #17 insofar as I’m a Pittsburgher and a huge Steeler fan. But, I don’t think it likely. Jarvis Jones, if questions persist about his health, I can see at 17, maybe. But, Shariff Floyd at #18…I don’t think so. Then, to have Eddie Lacy, the only truly legitimate first round RB at 48, well, I had to stop there. Come on man!!! If he gets past Green Bay at 26 the GM of the Packers should be
    executed, not just fired.

  3. J H TARBORO says:

    U. of Geogia LB Jarvis Jones had a disappointing pro day today and it could hurt his draft stock, but not if they watch his game tapes.

  4. joe says:

    Im sorry but this is the worst mock draft ive ever seen. That other one the other night was so much better. This looks like a mock draft from October

  5. joe says:

    Seriously, this guy Dan gets paid to write this garbage. This is the worst mock draft I’ve. Seen yet. First everyone knows KC will either take a OL or trade it also cb banks going ten or something and DE floyed going around 15th. COMMON MAN, this looks like a mock draft from October. I hope you wrote this for free. Dan should have paid me for wasting my time reading this

  6. J H TARBORO says:

    I have a feeling 4QBs are coming off the draft boards in the first 12 picks and most mock drafts are going to be off by 3 spots.

    • Ryan says:

      I wouldn’t have said this before the rookie wage scale, but with the little money 1st round picks make and the fact they are guaranteed a 5th year. There is NO reason to not take a leap on a QB in the first, get the guy you want and hopefully you build around him. Its not like your paying him a lot of money any more, if he doesn’t work out (Weeden) draft again next year.

      • J H TARBORO says:

        Ryan, i looking at how free agency is going to change draft boards and you see some teams talking about receivers, when half their team is missing, knowing they could use CBs, OTs, DTs etc. I don’t apologise for wanting Tavon Austin for the Patriots but it might be a slim to no chance but maybe not, i have been looking at some of teams that need receivers in front of us in the draft, some may value the larger receivers over Austin and ignorance is bliss.

    • cc says:

      You mean around the spot to one of the teams where BB needs to trade Ryan Mallet at with a cpl other players attached like Cunningham, Edelman, and Deaderick?
      That 12th type spot?

  7. Russell Easterbrooks says:

    Another possible trade partner for the Patriots is the Cowboys.
    With the Patriots sending #29 1st to Dallas for #47 2nd, and #80 3d round.
    This would improve the Cowboys pick by moving up 18 picks, from thier 2nd pick. Allowing them OT D.J. Fluker, and DE Datone Jones
    The Patriots draft may look like;
    #47- CB Jordan Poyer
    #59- DT Brandon Williams
    #80- LB Cornelius Washington
    #91- WR Mark Harrison

  8. joeisme says:

    You have the Packers taking a SIXTH tight end in the first round. Idiotic! When they need so much D help they won’t waste a pick on a TE. Round 2 you have them taking a DT. Again wasted pick. They are loaded with DTs. They need 3/4 DEs. Inside wasn’t their problem. Containing the corner was their biggest weakness. They will go in rounds 1&2 one of the following: LT if one slips to them-3/4 DE-Safety-RB in the second or third round only.

  9. td says:

    Am I the only one that thinks BB sees his TE’s as WR’s? Gronk and Hernandez will get 90 catches each if they play 16 games. That leaves Amendola as the 3rd option, probably Vereen as 3rd down back and Jones/yet to be determined as the other wideout. Even though Lloyd had decent stats last year BB was not ready to pay him $4mil as the 4th/5th option.

    The biggest need is pass defense. Do they improve it by getting cover guys, improving the rush or a combo of both. Knowing BB it will be a combo, but not by spending big $$. They need at least one more cover corner and an interior rush guy.

    • AM says:

      Certainly the TEs are (ideally) more prominent in the passing game than the WRs in Belichick’s current system, which is the reverse of most other teams. I think the real issue is that they need someone to threaten down the field in order to keep opposing safeties honest; that in turn opens up the middle of the field and the running game. If Hernandez can be that guy, then the need for another WR is substantially diminished, but I’m not sure he has the raw speed for it.

      Agreed on the pass defense–I’m inclined to think improving the pass rush is the first preference, although part of that will hopefully come from current player development. I’d really like to see either Freeney or Abraham on the roster as a situational pass rusher.

      • td says:

        I’m all for getting Abraham and throwing him in for just pass rushing. He has great production as a pass rush specialist

  10. Stephen S says:

    Hmm I was just thinking which would you rather have Robert Woods in the 2nd or trade the third to Pittsburg for Emmanuel Sanders

  11. Jim R says:

    If they do not move, I do not think they will take a WR in the first 3 rounds.
    Rd 1- CB Rhodes/Trufant/Banks
    Rd 2- DE Lemonier/Simon/Golhston/Simon/Taylor
    Rd 3- Best Ol available or Corner again

  12. Hunter says:

    Can someone explain the fascination many have with the Patriots adding a DT in the draft in the first three rounds? The team literally has ONE proven receiver on the roster in Amendola, who is also injury prone, followed by a developmental prospect in Jones (I live outside Buffalo, the Bills fans are glad to see him go), a ST Captain and a bunch of practice squaders. In the secondary, they have a scumbag with bad hips who also has injury issues, a guy who may or may not be in jail/facing NFL suspension, Kyle “Broken Coverage” Arrington, Dowling and Cole. The way this draft played out, how on earth could you not pick Rhodes/Trufant first and Patton/Wheaton in the 2nd?

    Meanwhile, at DT, the Pats have Pryor, Armstead, and Deaderick, competing for that spot next to Wilfork, with Forston and Love also on the roster. Pryor is the player that everyone is looking for, when healthy. He was a great interior pass rusher two seasons ago.

    I just don’t get how they could pick their 9th ranked DT when higher ranked DBs and WRs are on the board.

    • Hunter says:

      And I didn’t even mention all of the Free Agent DTs that are still out there that could contribute on 3rd down.

      • cc says:

        They need a real DT, not cheapest retreadz or other team leftovers.
        An actual young top tier, tenacious, tough, enthusiastic, high motor-go getter!

    • Ryan says:

      Lets be realistic here:
      1. Dennard will not spend time in jail and even if he does a weekend in jail at most he will be at camp and a starter on day one. Also, he will not face ANY suspension from the NFL. The offense happened while he played college football.

      2. Talib who you refer to as a scumbag plays football very well.

      But I will more than agree with you that CB and WR are early needs. Maybe even RT if we don’t sign anyone.

    • kdog says:

      Personally, I don’t think Deaderick is better at his position than Talib and Dennard are at theirs (YMMV).

      There’s certainly a case to be made for strengthening the DL as a means for helping the secondary succeed.

      That said, if you do want a difference-maker on the DL, you likely have to get him in round 1 or 2.

      It seems to me that the CB value in this draft is 3rd round, WR value is 2nd or 3rd round.

      I think we could go a lot of different ways in this draft. . . DT is only one. . . you have to draft players, not positions.

      All that said, I agree with those who have said they’d draft Rhodes in this scenario – or trade back!

    • AM says:

      I agree that WR and CB are major issues, but I think the focus on DT is based on the fact that the team’s pass rush is awful.

      When Chandler Jones went down with an injury, the rush was virtually nonexistent–any team that depends on a rookie that much for such a critical aspect badly needs a talent infusion. Ninkovich is solid to good, but he’s not really a rusher; more of a “hustle” player. Wilfork is unbelievable, but he’s just one player. That leaves one spot on the line that isn’t producing and can be upgraded. Hence, the focus on upgrading at DT. (Armstead may be that guy, of course, but there’s no telling just yet.)

  13. Ryan says:

    Many mocks have Tavon lasting until 23 with Minn. If the Patriots had to give up a pick or two, would it be worth it to get him at this point?

    With Ammendola and possibly Edelman I’m not sure we would take him anyway? Thoughts?

    • J H TARBORO says:

      Absolutely, only if we can trade Mallett for picks

    • Hunter says:

      No. The Patriots do not need a slot receiver, they need a perimeter guy (or 3). Also with only 3 useful draft picks I don’t see a scenario worth trading up for, unless it’s to get Trufant, and even then I’d be hesitant due to deep CB options

      • Ryan says:

        My thought being the same as last year. With Ballard, Ras I, Demps, Vega and Armstead. I’m not sure the Pats have as many roster spots as we would like to think. While there is no guarantee any of them make the team. It just feels like we want quality over quantity.

        • Ken W says:

          Good point, but depends on how many they lose to FA.

        • J H TARBORO says:

          Ryan i hope Demps comes back from Track&field to make the squad, think of the real possibilities if we get this guy acclimated into our offense, i was watching his youtube highlights again, he is no lie the fastest running back and he has really good hands too. If BB and Mcdaniels can get Demps back to football and get him committed to the game, this realistically could be the best weapon the Patriots have and Leon Washington’s stay could be cut.

        • AM says:

          I agree that there are always fewer roster spots than it appears, but I have a feeling that three of those guys (Demps, Dowling, Vega) may not even make the team. There are also usually surprise cuts that require backfilling.

  14. Ken W says:

    If this is how it went I would prefer this:

    1st Rhodes CB
    2nd Patton WR
    3rd Ertz TE (great value)

    • Ryan says:

      Love it until TE, dont we have like 6 on the roster?

      • patsfan says:

        Im with you. Not sure why they would use one of their limited picks on a TE. There are 5 on the roster with 3 of them under 25 I think. I do like Rhodes and Patten tho.

        I think they trade back for a 2nd and a couple of 4s and double up on WR in the 2nd and 3rd round. I would like Hopkins, Patton, Allen or Wheaton. After that draft on value, trading back when the value isnt there for remaining needs of DT, CB, Interior OL, LB/DE.

        • Ken W says:

          I agree that the Pats don’t need a TE, but I also know that BB likes to take best player available most of the time. It would be better to trade back and get a 4th and 5th or 6th. Then you could get:

          Micah Hyde, CB, Iowa
          and a OLineman

  15. Ken W says:

    Warmack should be in the top ten, top 15 at worst due to position.

  16. Ken W says:

    Ertz at the end of the 3rd! The difference between him and Eifert isn’t that big.

  17. Stephen S says:

    Hmm Woods over Hopkins, Trufant, Cyprien and Jones tough call I’d personally would take Hopkins over Woods durabilty concerns me but Trufant over Hopkins and address receiver later thats my two cents for what its worth lol.

  18. Kjb008 says:

    No offense but this 1st round is trash. Way to many reaches.

  19. Russell Easterbrooks says:

    Well I think the Patriots trade back, with Tampa.
    #29 1st for, #43 2nd, #109 4th, #123 4th. This allows Tampa to get DT Lotulelei with #13, and CB Rhodes with #29.
    The Patriots look like:
    #43- DT Brandon Williams
    #59- LB/DE Cornalius Washington
    #91- OG/T Brian Winters
    #109- CB Micah Hyde
    #123- WR Mark Harrison
    7th- TE Mychal Rivera
    7th- OG/C T.J. Johnson

    • Ryan says:

      I like the thought process but I’d imagine the Patriots would get more than that.

      My guess is a 2nd 3rd and a 5th.

    • J H TARBORO says:

      i hope it happens

    • Hunter says:

      I will literally punch a baby if the Patriots draft a DT before CB and WR

      • munchkin says:

        Let it go man. Love, Deaderick and and an oft injured Pryor are part of the long term problem, not the solution. If they can get a DT at 29 that is a value pick then I am all for it. The offense isn’t a problem, they can score points. The D needs help. And with Dennard, Talib and Arrington the need along the D line may be greater. BPA, if that is a WR so be it.

      • Russell Easterbrooks says:

        Wilfork is not getting an younger, and BB needs to think of the future. If Wilfork gets hurt,…. The Dline is in trouble. I think DT Brendon Williams is a guy that the Patriots will target, and CAN get. Jesse Williams will be an option, but chances are he is gone early.

        • cc says:

          All day DT/NT@ 29!
          A long awaited compliment to Wilfork on the line.
          imo jessie williams is who I’m shooting for & I use a next year 3rd round pick tossed in if I need 2 jump for him and swap.

    • AM says:

      I doubt that Rhodes will be available at #29, but if he is, forget trading back–the Patriots should pounce.

  20. Ryan says:

    Love Woods in the first and Alford in the 3rd. I’m not sure Woods will be there, but then again I personally have him a lot higher than most. The whole draft will hinge on how many QB’s and OT’s/OG’s go in the first round. A lot of good talent could fall as a result. Otherwise I really see the Pats moving out of the first. Possible trade with the Chiefs.

  21. Steve Leggett says:

    NO WAY Pats draft Woods here – maybe with their 2nd pick. Too many good DL, OL & CB’s available.

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