With free agency taking up just about most of March, we’re now in April—or better off known as “NFL draft month.” With that being said, let’s take a look at my latest mock draft as we sit just a few weeks away from the 2013 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
There hasn’t been any guarantees to who the Kansas City Chiefs will be selecting with the first overall pick in this year’s draft—but I’d have to go with Luke Joeckel. He’s ultimately the popular No. 1 pick in most mocks and the way I look at it is that Joeckel has the potential to be a player along the lines of Joe Thomas or Jake Long.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
The Jags could pick just about anyone at this point and they’d help their team. Jacksonville is a team of many needs and one of them being their pass-rush department—Dion Jordan should fill that void.
3. Oakland Raiders: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Forget Geno Smith; Hello Matt Flynn. The Raiders will not be drafting a quarterback with their first selection in the draft as the team acquired Matt Flynn from the Seattle Seahawks on April 1. Oakland severely needs some help on their defensive line and Sharrif Floyd should add some much-needed play-making abilities to their defense.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Hands down, Dee Milliner is this year’s best cornerback. Philadelphia parted ways with cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie this offseason and will look at Dee Milliner to be the team’s future No. 1 corner.
5. Detroit Lions: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Year after year, we say the same thing: The Detroit Lions need help along the offensive line; they need to find a way to protect Matthew Stafford. Well, hopefully Eric Fisher out of Central Michigan can be that guy.
6. Cleveland Browns: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
Xavier Rhodes would be an ideal selection for the Cleveland Browns as their search for a reliable cornerback to play opposite of Joe Haden would come to an end.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
It doesn’t matter if it’s Carson Palmer or Geno Smith playing quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals—that quarterback is going to need protection. With that being said, the Cardinals have one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL as they gave up a whopping 58 sacks in 2012. Arizona desperately needs stability on their offensive line.
8. Buffalo Bills: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
I’m not saying that I approve or disapprove of this pick, but the Buffalo Bills need a quarterback and Geno Smith is arguably this year’s best available quarterback prospect.
9. New York Jets: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
Rex Ryan is always looking for a pass-rush to add to his incredibly aggressive and pressure-oriented defense— Georgia’s Jarvis Jones should fit in just fine with the Jest.
10. Tennessee Titans: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
Alabama’s Chance Warmack is the second best player in this year’s draft. For the Titans sitting at No. 10 overall and looking for help at offensive guard, this couldn’t be a much better scenario.
11. San Diego Chargers: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU
With Shaun Phillips still unsigned, the Chargers will gladly settle with Barkevious Mingo at No. 11. The Chargers will then move into the future with two young and very explosive pass-rushers in Melvin Ingram and Barkevious Mingo.
12. Miami Dolphins: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
In many draft big boards, experts have Ezekiel Ansah listed inside of the top 10—which clearly makes this a value pick for the Dolphins. Granted, Miami needs help at cornerback despite signing Brent Grimes, but there aren’t any corners worthy of the 12th overall pick at this point. With that being said, Ansah has a unique combination of size and athleticism and should bolster Miami’s defense.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
Unlike the Miami Dolphins, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers desperately need a cornerback. Desmond Trufant might be a bit of a reach at 13th overall, but he will fill one of Tampa’s glaring holes on their defense.
14. Carolina Panthers: Star Lotuleli, DT, Utah
Once regarding as a top 10 draft pick, Star Lotuleli’s stock has dipped a bit due to his detected heart condition. I like to compare Lotuleli to someone along the lines of Kevin Williams of the Minnesota Vikings. Carolina really needs help along their defensive front and assuming if Lotuleli is healthy, he should be quite the stud for the Panthers.
15. New Orleans Saints: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
Jonathan Cooper offers quite the value as he can play either offensive guard or center. The New Orleans Saints need to have an excellent offensive line in order to succeed with the likes of Drew Brees at quarterback.
16. St. Louis Rams: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
It’s about time Sam Bradford gets some help—Tavon Austin has the potential to be a top tier wide receiver in years to come. Austin is one of the most explosive offensive skill-positions that I have ever scouted and should make quite the lethal duo with Bradford at quarterback.