2013 NFL Draft: Top Remaining Targets on Defense

Manti Te'o Notre Dame

Where does Manti Te’o fall on day two of the 2013 NFL Mock Draft?

NEPD Staff Writer: Tony Santorsa

To little surprise, the New England Patriots traded their No. 29 overall pick and backed out of the first round in the 2013 NFL Draft.

The Patriots traded the 29th overall pick to the Minnesota Vikings for a second (52), third (83), fourth (102) and seventh round picks (229). According to the trade value chart, New England acquired 862 points while just giving up 640 points.

New England will now enter Friday with two picks in the second round (No. 52 and No. 59) and two picks in the third round (No. 83 and No. 91). One thing to take into consideration is that the Patriots might not have a top pick in the second round, but they now have enough ammo to trade up the board if they really like a prospect in the early end of the second round.

With that being said, let’s take a look at the 10 best remaining targets on defense.

1. Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame

It’s certainly surprising to see Te’o still available, but he won’t be available for much longer once the second round starts. There’s no debating that Te’o has what it takes to be a top tier inside linebacker at the NFL-level, but perhaps teams are just over-analyzing his whole “Catfish scandal.”

2. Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State

This is something that I figure that the Patriots would target. Taylor is a versatile cornerback as he has experience in both man and zone coverage. Along with being versatile, Taylor is a very physical cornerback and his skill-set should translate nicely at the professional-level.

3. Jonathan Cyprien, SS, Florida International 

Jonathan Cyprien is an extremely physical safety and is very passionate about the game of football—he has what it takes to be a “field general” in the back of an NFL team’s secondary. Cyprien should be one of the first players gone once the second round starts.

4. Cornellius “Tank” Carradine, DE, Florida State

Tank Carradine certainly has the talent worthy of a first round pick, but he is coming off of a season-ending ACL tear. Carradine plays with a very high-motor and a very quick first-step at the snap of the ball. However, Carradine’s biggest knock if his consistency.

5. Margus Hunt, DE, Southern Methodist 

Not too many people are talking about Margus Hunt, but he has a ton of potential and upside. Ultimately, Hunt is a raw player—he has some developing to do. However, if Hunt reaches his potential he could be a successful 5-tech or 3-tech defensive linemen.

6. Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama

The best way to describe Jesse Williams is “thick.” Williams will bring a strong presence to any team’s interior defensive line. Ideally, Williams is a 3-4 nosetackle, however he can play in the 4-3. Williams is a very hard worker and has what it takes to be a leader and shouldn’t be on the board for long come Friday.

7. Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State

I’m a pretty big fan of Arthur Brown and I would have thought that he’d be a solid fit with the Baltimore Ravens at No. 32 overall. Brown is one of the more passionate players on the board and is ultimately the ideal linebacker prospect that any NFL would be looking for. Let’s just say he’s very well-rounded, he’s not great at anything, he’s just good at everything.

8. Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State

Standing at 6’2″, Johnthan Banks should be able to match-up well against just about any wide receiver that the NFL has to offer. Banks has experience in man and zone coverage, but isn’t the greatest cornerback when it comes to zone. However, Banks is great in man but if a wide receiver does get past him, there’s little chance that Banks will make up that ground he’s lost.

9. Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU

Kevin Minter is someone that I’d like to think that the Patriots would target. Minter has solid sideline-to-sideline speed and will cover a lot of ground at the NFL level. Minter isn’t the greatest pass-rusher, but he’s great against the run and is stout in dropping back into coverage.

10. Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State

Johnathan Hankins is a big boy, as he stands in at 6’4″ and weighs a whopping 317 pounds. For being as large as he is, Hankins is actually a pretty impressive athlete as he can balance his body weight very well. Ultimately, Hankins can play all along the defensive line but he’s raw as he’s lacking moves and technique.

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2 Responses to “2013 NFL Draft: Top Remaining Targets on Defense”

  1. MaineMan says:

    I don’t see a need for ILB; I really don’t think Spikes is going anywhere else in 2014.

    Jamar Taylor – For 2013, the Pats don’t need another starting boundary corner (except as an injury replacement). However, an opportunity to snag a strong, football smart guy who’s been very successful in all coverages and who could easily start, especially in 2014, should be difficult to pass up.

    Banks has also been very successful, but doesn’t have Taylor’s athleticism.

    At this point, it seems to me that both Tavon and Adrian Wilson may well push Gregory into a part-time reserve role. it would be nice to have a guy like Cyprien to replace him and to take over for the elder Wilson as the #3 safety in a year, but I don’t see this as one of the more critical needs.

    Carradine and Hunt appear to be very talented, committed, high-character, high-motor guys and either would be a great addition as a premier edge-guy, but I still feel that the interior DL roster is the bigger weakness (and an enormous vulnerability if Wilfork get hurt).

    Williams has been falling apparently due to his lack of pass rush, though he’s pretty solid at the PoA and may, even as a rookie, be a better “temp” replacement for Wilfork than Love (who the Pats should still keep around since he’s also pretty good).

    Hankins seems to have much more talent than Williams, but it apparently comes with significant issues wrt effort. William Campbell (Michigan) may be nearly as talented as Hankins, also has similar effort issues, but will almost certainly be available as a UDFA.

  2. AM says:

    Taylor, Carradine, Banks or Hunt would be excellent acquisitions (in that order). Te’o may be a very good player, but he’s just not a fit for the Patriots right now. I’d also add D.J. Swearinger and Robert Alford a little bit further down the board.

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