NFL Mock Draft 2013: Mike Loyko
Last Updated: January 1st, 2013
NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko
1. Kansas City Chiefs (2-14)
Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Hardly a consensus, but Kansas City seems resigned to taking a Quarterback with their draft pick. While Smith isn’t a sure thing he does possess a combination of athleticism, arm talent and accuracy that will separate him from the rest of the pack. Kansas City has talent on the roster and if they get the right QB they can contend immediately. This is a critical pick for the future of the franchise.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14)
Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
The Jaguars desperately need pass rushers and this draft is deep with them. Despite somewhat of a down season Mingo still possess the most explosive pass rush ability in this draft. His combination of speed, quickness and agility make him a nightmare to block when he is interested. He needs to get stronger and if he does, he has all the makings of a star. It seems every year Jacksonville is near the bottom of the league in sacks and looking for pass rush help, now they get a chance to add a pass rusher like Mingo they can’t pass it up.
3. Oakland Raiders (4-12)
Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
The Raiders were awful rushing the passer this past season, adding an 3-4 rush linebacker like Jarvis Jones will give the Raiders a player to build their defense around. Dennis Allen was in Denver when they drafted Von Miller and he knows the impact an explosive rush linebacker can have. As long as Jones’ medicals check out he should be the pick here.
4. Philadelphia Eagles (4-12)
Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
Most pundits are penciling OT Luke Joeckel into this selection, however I think Star helps solidify their front seven for a decade to come. The Eagles one of the best LT in football back next season in Jason Peters and will have other opportunities to address their offensive line. Defensive tackles with the athleticism and power combination of Lotulelei only come around so often and when you have a chance to take one you have to do it.
5. Detroit Lions (4-12)
Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame
The Lions defense lacked discipline, leadership and playmaking ability all season. The results of their awful season is that a LB like Manti Te’o falls right into their lap. Te’o can have a huge impact on their defense as well as in the locker room. It’s tough passing up an OT or a CB like Dee Milliner here, but Te’o is a special player who can add so much to the middle of their defense.
6. Cleveland Browns (5-11)
Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Another pass rusher in the top ten and another potential star player. The Browns struggled to get to the QB this season and in the today’s NFL if you can’t rush the passer your defense is going to get carved up. The Browns have a legit young #1 CB in Joe Haden, a good pair of talented defensive tackles and a stud at MLB. It’s time for them to add to their pass rush and Werner is the best one left. He’s probably the most complete DE in the draft, with his combination of explosive burst off the edge and his ability to set the edge and make tackles at the line of scrimmage.
7. Arizona Cardinals (5-11)
Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
If this happens the Cardinals should sprint to the podium and turn in their card. No team in the NFL needs a stud LT like the Arizona Cardinals. The position has been a clear weakness for years and while their QB position is equally as bad they can’t pass up the opportunity to get a franchise caliber LT with the 7th pick.
8. Buffalo Bills (6-10)
Matt Barkley, QB, USC
The Bills watched a bunch of other teams get their QB of the future while they neglected the position in last year’s draft. Another season of Ryan Fitzpatrick undercenter only reinforced the fact that he isn’t the answer. Barkley’s stock has been hurt this season and most people have written him off. I still believe that he has the necessary tools and intangibles to be a franchise QB. Mike Glennon is the hot name right now and could be the pick here, but I think Barkley will make teams upset they passed on him in a couple years.
9. New York Jets (6-10)
Damontre Moore, DE/OLB, Texas A&M
The Jets might want to go QB here, especially with a new GM coming in to call the shots, however I believe if a player that is as talented as Moore is available you have to pick him. The Jets defense is predicated on getting pressure on the QB and they struggled to do it last season. Moore would be the ideal fit for NYJ because he has experience playing both DE in the 4-3 and OLB in the 3-4. He lives in the backfield and continually disrupts the offensive flow. Rex Ryan will find away to best utilize Moore and replace aging and unproductive veterans like Bryan Thoms with a young pass rusher nicknamed “Damonster”
10. Tennessee Titans (6-10)
Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
The Titans really felt the loss of Cortland Finnegan this season. Their secondary was a shell of itself giving up huge yards and the most points allowed in the NFL with 471. By adding a number one CB like Milliner, Jason McCourty can move back to slot CB where he was great during the 2011 season. Milliner has good size and length, he can match up against the physical receivers that gave the Titans so much trouble this season. Milliner gets his hands on a lot of balls, showing good change of direction and mirror skills. To top it all off he can set the edge and tackles well in run support.
11. San Diego Chargers (7-9)
Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
Matthews is on the fence about whether or not to enter the draft if he does he should be the pick here. If he returns look for another OT like Taylor Lewan. The Chargers OL was held together by glue and tape last season. They were never able to deal with the loss of Marcus McNeil and it severely effected their downfield passing game. Matthews is a very athletic tackle who can play on either size. He excels as a run blocker right now, but has the frame and ability to become a cornerstone OT in the NFL.
12. Miami Dolphins (7-9)
Keenan Allen, WR, California
It’s painfully clear the Dolphins need at least one playmaker at the WR position. QB Ryan Tannehill showed enough promise in his rookie season to feel optimistic about the future, but he’s going to need some help. Allen is a big, smooth possession wide receiver. He’s got the size, length, speed combo that the Dolphins need, but he can also impact the passing game at all three levels. He showed a good understanding of how to get open vs. zone defense and with a real QB he could flourish.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9)
Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
Playing in the NFC South it’s imperative that you have a solid secondary or your going to get torn apart on a weekly basis. The Bucs traded Aqib Talib mid-season, which left a big hole at one CB spot. Banks is an aggressive corner with ideal size and length for the position. He possesses good instincts and makes alot of plays on the ball. If he’s on the board he should be the pick for Tampa.
14. Carolina Panthers (7-9)
Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
Richardson would be the perfect pick for the Carolina Panthers who are always looking to fix their interior defensive line. The Panthers were once again a mediocre run defense, with a lack of talent at the tackle position. MLB Luke Kuechly is a keeper and adding a explosive, penetrating DT who can draw double teams, rush the passer and make plays at the line of scrimmage would be exactly what the Panthers need.
15. New Orleans Saints (7-9)
Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
The Saints defense was an absolute mess this season. It’s almost certain they will use this first pick on a defensive player. Hankins is a massive DT who can play in different schemes, he can immediately replace Sedrick Ellis who has been a disappointment over the last few seasons. Hankins will bring an athletic run defender with good burst to the defensive front which allowed an NFL high 147 yards rushing per game.
16. St. Louis Rams (7-8-1)
Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
The Rams made a lot of progress under new Head Coach Jeff Fisher, but their offensive line continued to struggle all year. Their starting guards were Rob Turner and Shelley Smith, when you have a QB like Sam Bradford you need to protect him. Warmack is perhaps the most NFL ready player in the draft. He is an absolute road grader in the run game and has excellent strength to anchor as a pass protector. Warmack will go a long way to solving the Rams OL struggles.