NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko
One last attempt at putting all the puzzle pieces together. With so much uncertainty remaining this will be without a doubt one of the toughest mock drafts to finish. Even this is considered a weaker draft, I feel as though 50 players could be picked in the first round. I’m ready to get this thing started and see who picks who. Here is my FINAL mock draft of the 2013 NFL Draft season.
Reminder you can still pick up my draft guide right here: Draft Guide . Last chance to learn about all the top prospects with in depth scouting reports on over 200 players.
1. Kansas City Chiefs – Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
I’ve had Luke Joeckel going here for a long time and I’m not backing off my prediction right now. Screw Jay Glazer, Luke Joeckel is the best player in this draft and Joey Dorsey comes from the Ron Wolf school of drafting. If both players are rated equally the fact that Joeckel played at the bigger school is likely the tie breaker. Joeckel was the consensus pick before the coaches got involved, if Joey Dorsey is running this franchise Joeckel is the pick.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars – Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
This pick is a bit of a head-scratcher since the Jaguars already have a Left Tackle in Eugene Monroe, so Fisher will slide into the Right Tackle position initially. Fisher has been a four year starter and plays with a meanstreak. He dominated the Senior Bowl had a near perfect combine and has elevated his stock to the point where he is potentially the top overall pick. Eventually, Fisher will be the LT in Jacksonville, but right now he pairs with Monroe to give Jax a very good young OT tandem.
3. Oakland Raiders – Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
The Raiders would be tempted if Joeckel or Fisher fell to them at pick three. When looking at the Raiders roster, one can’t help to notice the lack of talent and depth on their defensive line. Head Coach Dennis Allen is a defensive coach and I’m sure he would like to add young talent to his rebuilding defense. Floyd has the highest upside out of any defensive tackle in the draft. He is best suited to play the 3-Tech where he can use his quickness and speed to penetrate. Floyd has a great motor and a back-story that is reminiscent of Michael Oher.
4. Philadelphia Eagles – Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
The Eagles will have their choice between Lane Johnson and Dion Jordan. Most expect the Eagles to take the OLB who has connections to Chip Kelly, but I believe at the end of the day they take Lane Johnson. There isn’t a better fit for the Eagles in this draft. Johnson is the most athletic tackle to ever enter the draft and in order to run his offense successfully he needs athletic lineman. Their line was a train wreck late last season and even though they are getting some pieces back, they still need lots of help.
5. Detroit Lions – Ezekial Ansah, DE, BYU
The Lions would love to get their hands on the top offensive tackles, but it’s looking unlikely that they are going to be available. With all three off the board the Lions have their choice of any pass rusher in the draft. Both Mingo and Jordan are still on the board, but Ansah is the better fit for the 4-3 defense. The Lions coaching staff got a first hand look at Ansah at the Senior Bowl and while he was quiet during the week, he dominated the actually game.
6. Cleveland Browns – Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon
The Browns would be ecstatic to get Dion Jordan at #6. I have been told he is their top option on the board. It’s clear they are still looking to add pass rushers and athletes on the outside and there isn’t a more versatile player than Jordan. While Jordan can rush the passer, his value comes from his ability to play in space, cover and run with smaller receivers. He’s the total package.
7. Arizona Cardinals – Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU
The Cardinals have a huge hole at Outside Linebacker and have yet to upgrade the position this off-season. Mingo has the ability to be special. He has an electric first step, can close on the QB and attack. His long, wiry build makes him very tough to block as he can bend and flatten off the edge.
8. Buffalo Bills – Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse
It might be here or it might be via a trade down, but I feel comfortable predicting that the Bills will land Ryan Nassib in this draft. The buzz is too strong and the connection with Doug Marrone runs deep. Nassib played in upstate New York and the Bills badly need a QB. This pick is a massive reach, but it has “Bills” written all over it.
9. New York Jets – Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
The Jets are desperate for offensive play-makers and they only way they can assure themselves of getting Austin is by taking him with their first pick. There are too many variables between picks 9 and 13 to risk losing the player they need the most. If Mingo makes it to this pick he has to be an option, but with him off the board they take the electric all-purpose player.
10. Tennessee Titans – Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
The late momentum is enough to carry Cooper past Chance Warmack. Quite simply Cooper is a cleaner prospect. He’s a much better athlete, runs better, can play center and he is one of the most mobile OG I have ever seen. After adding Andy Levitre in free agency, the Titans are able to fill their other OG spot with a Pro Bowl caliber lineman.
11. San Diego Chargers – Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
Whether it’s a guard or tackle it doesn’t matter, the Chargers need to take an Offensive Lineman with this selection. They would be very lucky to get a player the quality of Chance Warmack this deep into the draft. Warmack is a plug and play Guard with overwhelming power and force. He dominated all comers at the college level and is likely the most NFL ready player in the entire draft. After taking a Guard in the first look for the Chargers to come back with an OT later on in the draft.
12. Miami Dolphins – Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
The recent news about Milliner’s back and the fact the top ten is chalk full of offensive and defensive linemen hurts the top corner’s stock. The Dolphins would be thrilled if Milliner fell this far as CB is one of their top remaining needs. It’s tempting to go with DJ Fluker here, but the thought is the Branden Albert trade will be completed before the Dolphins hand in this selection.
13. New York Jets – Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
There aren’t many natural landing spots for Geno Smith in the first round. I think he goes in the first round and most likely to a team in this area. After landing his teammate with their first selection, the Jets come back and get their CB of the future. Let’s face it the Jets are a train-wreck and have holes all over the team. But, there are a lot more holes on the offensive side of the ball than they defensive. Hence, taking two offensive players with their picks.
14. Carolina Panthers – Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
It’s no secret the Panthers need defensive tackle help. Star Lotulelei is an absolute steal at this point in the draft. As I said in my last mock, there just aren’t many landing spots for defensive tackles if they slip past the Raiders at #3. Star has an explosive blend of quickness and power. He has a great motor and I believe he can play in a variety of schemes.
15. New Orleans Saints – Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
The Saints secondary was downright awful last season and the league isn’t becoming any less pass-centric. Rhodes is a bigger cornerback that excels in man-coverage situations. Rhodes can also play some safety if needed. After adding Keenan Lewis in free agency the Saints secondary suddenly looks formidable.
16. St. Louis Rams – Kenny Vaccaro, FS, Texas
The Rams would love to get their hands on Tavon Austin, but unless they trade way up they aren’t going to be able to get their hands on him. Their other huge need area is at safety. If they want him, they have to take Kenny Vaccaro here, because there are a lot of teams behind them that would love to get their hands on Vaccaro. The Rams can come back at pick 22 and get their wide receiver.