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Mock Draft

April 25, 2013

1. Chiefs

Need: WR, RT, CB, NT, 3-4 DE

Pick: Luke Joeckel

Logic: He’s the #1 player on my board, Gil Brandt’s board, Daniel Jeremiah’s board, and Corey Chavous’ board. Also I think Branden Albert will be traded during the draft so taking the #1 player at what soon will be a need position seems like a slam dunk.

2. Jaguars

Need: QB, DE, CB, RT, OG

Pick: Eric Fisher

Logic: Mayock has him as the #1 player on his board but most have him as a top 5-10 player. He doesn’t necessarily fill a need as Eugene Monroe has been a very solid LT the past few seasons but he’s a free agent at the end of the year and there are those that think Fisher has a higher upside than Joeckel (I do not). The new coach and GM in Jacksonville are going safe with this pick as Fisher could be great but at worst will be a very good RT and has far less bust potential than Dion Jordan who has also been rumored at #2 for some time.

3. Cardinal (trade with the Raiders)

Need: LT, 3-4 OLB, S, WR

Pick: Lane Johnson

Logic: Currently Lane Johnson and Tavon Austin are the two most coveted players in this draft. With Joeckel and Fisher going 1-2 the Dolphins, Chargers, Lions, and Cardinals all will be eyeing a way to get Johnson so while I have Johnson as the #3 pick in this draft I don’t think it will be for the Raiders. I have the Cardinals moving up for Johnson as the Raiders want to drop down but not too far and going from #3 to #7 would still allow them to get one of the coveted DTs that they were planning on taking at #3 anyway.

4. Eagles

Team Needs: NT, S, RT, RG, CB

Pick: Dion Jordan

Logic: There’s too much smoke for this to not make sense as they could use a versatile 3-4 OLB, the current candidates on their roster all are converted defensive ends with no experience at the position, and Kelly has a history with Jordan. Dion has elite upside but he’s lower on my board than others as he wasn’t incredibly productive and doesn’t have long arms yet if Kelly takes him #4 it should scare the rest of the NFL as he knows Jordan better than anyone and that means he’s sure Jordan will deliver on his immense potential.

5. Lions

Team Needs: CB, OT, RG, S, C

Pick: Ziggy Ansah

Logic: While Milliner is tempting as CB is their biggest need and he’s #3 on my board most don’t have as high a grade on Milliner so I went with a stud DE. Both Cliff Avril and Kyle Vanden Bosch aren’t on the roster anymore so it’s another need area, there are a lot of holes on this roster, and with Lane Johnson off the board they won’t be able to address the LT position which I think is their preference.

6. Brown

Team Needs: CB, 3-4 OLB, QB, S, LB

Pick: Barkevious Mingo

Logic: This is just a shot in the dark as the Browns have played this draft process perfectly. No one knows who is really calling the shots, “Is this Joe Banner’s draft or Michael Lombardi’s,”and there hasn’t been a peep out of them so they could go Geno Smith, Dee Milliner, Shariff Floyd, or Barkevious Mingo. I have Mingo due to value as pass rushers are worth Top 10 picks and 3-4 OLB is a bigger need than QB or 3-4 DE. I really believe they will give Brandon Weeden a 2nd year before moving on so I don’t buy the reports that Smith or even EJ Manuel is the pick here.

7. Raiders

Team Needs: (DT, QB, RT, DE, S)

Pick: Shariff Floyd

Logic: Reggie McKenzie is a “stick to your board” type GM so I could definitely see him going highest rated player here but if he tilts to need at all DT is the pick AND could also be the highest rated player on his board. To move down to #7, pick up a 2nd or 3rd round pick, and still get a stud DT makes perfect sense for the Raiders.

8. Bills

Team Needs: WR, CB, QB, RT, DT

Pick: Tavon Austin

Logic: To me the pick comes down to Austin and Milliner (top 2 players on my board still available and top 2 needs for them) with Austin winning out as I suspect they trade up with their 2nd round pick to grab a QB in the late 1st so why not pair the rookie QB with a stud playmaker like Austin.

9. Jets

Team Needs: PR, RB, S, TE, QB

Pick: Dee Milliner

Logic: What better way for fans to forget about Darrelle Revis than by drafting his replacement. While on the surface the CB position looks pretty set with Antonio Cromartie and former 1st round pick Kyle Wilson it’s actually a need area, what isn’t for the Jets, as management has soured on the attitude of Cromartie and he likely will be traded or cut sometime in the next year. It actually wouldn’t shock me if they traded Cromartie on Day 3 for a mid round pick after they secure Milliner’s services. A pass rusher is another option but the 1st round is deep at that spot so I think they take Milliner now and pass rusher at #13.

10. Titans

Team Needs: CB, RG, DE, TE, WR

Pick: Chance Warmack

Logic: The Titans are one of the few teams that do not seem to take into account positional value when drafting. They have a long history of drafting guards, safeties, linebackers, and running backs early in the draft despite the common perception that the 1st round should be used for more valuable positions such as QB, LT, and Pass Rusher. They already solidified one guard position with the overpriced signing of Andy Levitre in free agency and I suspect they solidify the other spot with Chance Warmack. He better become an All Pro otherwise this will be horrible value.

11. Chargers

Team Needs: LT, CB, 3-4 OLB, S, CB

Pick: Kenny Vaccaro

Logic: The Chargers are in a tough position as they really need a LT yet with the top 3 off the board they will be looking either CB, 3-4 OLB, or S. In this scenario I gave them Kenny Vaccaro who has a higher grade on most boards than Xavier Rhodes or Jarvis Jones (I have a much higher grade for both than Vaccaro but I’m done venting about how bad he will be as a 1st round pick).

12. Dolphins

Team Needs: LT, CB, 3-4 OLB, OG, S

Pick: Xavier Rhodes

Logic: The Dolphins and Chargers couldn’t be more like the same team. Both want to move up to get a stud LT in this draft but if that isn’t an option will likely decide between CB, S, and 3-4 OLB. With Vaccaro off the board the Dolphins take Xavier Rhodes and continues their history of drafting large cornerbacks (Sean Smith, Vontae Davis, etc.)

13. Jets

Team Needs: PR, RB, S, TE, QB

Pick: Jarvis Jones

Logic: I think the Jets will either should go offense with both picks (Austin/Eifert) or defense with both picks (Milliner/Jones). In this case with Austin gone the decision was easy to make and getting the #1 CB and #1 Pass Rusher in the entire draft (on my board at least) would be a good way to start rebuilding this team.

14. Panthers

Team Needs: DT, S, CB, OT, WR

Pick: Star Lotulelei

Logic: Prognosticators have put DT as the #1 need for the Panthers each of the past three seasons yet the position has yet to be addressed early in any draft. Maybe this time will be different as the player many have as the #1 DT in the draft (#4 on my board) falls to them in this scenario. If Vaccaro is here he would give them pause as DT and S are their top 2 needs.

15. Saints

Team Needs: LT, 3-4 OLB, CB, DT, S

Pick: Desmond Trufant

Logic: The Saints are in a bad spot as the top LTs and 3-4 OLB pass rushers are all off the board. I have them reaching a bit with Trufant who fills their next biggest need, cornerback, but they could reach at LT with Menelik Watson, take a RT in DJ Fluker, or choose Sheldon Richardson despite him not fitting well in a 3-4 scheme. I suspect they will trade down out of this pick if they can.

16. Rams

Team Needs: S, WR, OG, S, RB

Pick: DeAndre Hopkins

Logic: The Rams want either Austin or Vaccaro yet with both off the board word is they will settle for DeAndre Hopkins who has a higher grade than any of the other safety options available (Elam, Reid, Cyprien, etc.). The Austin to Rams logic is too strong though and with two first round picks this year and next they definitely have the fodder to move up. Look for them to trade up for Austin but if they get stuck at #16 they’ll take Hopkins.

17. Steelers

Team Needs: 3-4 OLB, LT, CB, NT, 3-4 DE

Pick: Matt Elam

Logic: I can’t find a good fit here as the value is OG (Cooper) yet I don’t see them taking an OG back to back drafts in the 1st round or DT (Sheldon Richardson) but he doesn’t fit a 3-4 scheme at all. Elam isn’t great value at #17 but with no 3-4 OLB prospects worth the #17 pick I could see them getting Troy Polamalu’s future replacement or trading back. Manti’s first opportunity at being drafted is at this spot by the way.

18. Cowboys

Team Needs: S, DT, RT, RG, RB

Pick: Sheldon Richardson

Logic: I would do backflips if Sheldon fell to the Cowboys at #18. He’s good value (#13 player on my board), fills a need, and fits the 4-3 tampa 2 scheme perfectly. This is such a great pick that I continue to state that the Cowboys should explore trading up a few picks to guarantee they get Richardson as it’d be worth giving up their 3rd round pick for a move up 3-5 spots and possibly a few teams would be willing to accommodate the lower asking price (usually a move up in the 1st entails giving up a 2nd rounder).

19. Giants

Team Needs: CB, S, RT, LB, DE

Pick: DJ Fluker

Logic: Despite the DE position looking relatively strong with JPP and Justin Tuck I think the Giants are ready to pounce on their next great pass rusher if a top level talent falls. With this not happening (unless they agree with me that Demontre Moore’s drop has been too extreme due to his Combine performance) I suspect they will go OT. The choices are DJ Fluker, Justin Pugh, and Menelik Watson with Fluker being my choice as he’s the highest ranked on my board and gives them a physicality in the run game that I think Tom Coughlin would like to add.

20. Bears

Team Needs: LB, OG, DT, S, WR

Pick: Jonathan Cooper

Logic: The Bears have lucked out and have two outstanding options in Jonathan Cooper and Alec Ogletree staring them in the face at #20. Considering OG and LB are their two biggest needs they can’t go wrong but I gave them Cooper in this spot as many mock drafts have him in the Top 10 so they likely would consider him better value.

21. Bengals

Team Needs: RT, S, CB, DT, LB

Pick: Eric Reid

Logic: With Ogletree staring them in the face here I wonder if they will already be regretting signing Jerome Harrison in free agency as Ogletree fits their scheme much better and would add speed to bulkier linebackers like Rey Mauluga and Vontaze Burfict. Yet due to their recent signing I’m giving them Eric Reid as safety is a need and they play a lot of zone so he’d fit their scheme well.

22. Rams

Team Needs: S, WR, OG, S, RB

Pick: Jonathan Cyprien

Logic: Word is the Rams want to move up with their 1st round pick at #16 (for Austin or Vaccaro) and move back with their 2nd 1st round pick at #22. That makes sense as last year their quantity over quality strategy worked well for them and despite adding a lot of talent they still have a number of holes on their roster. If they are unable to trade back I suspect they will take a safety or the best player available (Ogletree or Eddie Lacy make sense). I ended up giving them Cyprien as they play a lot of man coverage in their secondary and Cyprien would be a much better fit than Eric Reid.

23. Vikings

Team Needs: CB, DE, WR, S, OG

Pick: Manti Te’o

Logic: Linebacker is a need and the rumor of the Vikings loving Te’o is too old to be a smokescreen. I’d be shocked if they stayed where they were at and chose two players at #23 and #25 so most likely they choose Te’o if available and then move back with their 2nd selection.

24. Colts

Team Needs: OG, CB, RB, WR, S

Pick: DJ Hayden

Logic: I almost went with Ogletree just based on value but CB is there 2nd biggest need and DJ Hayden has recently been skyrocketing up draft boards with Mike Mayock even having him surpass Dee Milliner as the #1 CB. I’m a little more skeptical of him but he fits a need and has impressive athleticism.

25. Bills (trade)

Team Needs: WR, CB, QB, RT, DT

Pick: Ryan Nassib

Logic: Rumor has swirled for awhile that the Bills love Nassib and both Jon Gruden and Greg Cosell (NFL Films) have him as their #1 QB so it’s really not that much of a stretch to see him as the 1st QB off the board. I have them taking Tavon Austin at #8 and then them trading back into the 1st round to secure their QB.

26. Packers

Team Needs: DT, OT, C, S, OG

Pick: Sylvester Williams

Logic: Members of the Packers have recently stated that they will do everything in their power to make the 2013 Packers stronger and tougher. To me that points to their pick being either an offensive or defensive lineman. On that front the best three players are Menelik Watson, Justin Pugh, and Sylvester Williams with the DT being the pick since Watson and Pugh are more finesse tackles.

27. Texans

Team Needs: WR, RT, 3-4 OLB, NT, S

Pick: Cordarrelle Patterson

Logic: The rumors are swirling that the Texans want a wideout in the 1st round. With Patterson on the board I think they oblige as he has elite size/speed and with Andre Johnson to mentor him he possibly could work out. I’m not a fan of the extremely raw player out of Tennessee but admit this fit makes sense and could work out in the end. A RT like Menelik Watson makes sense here too.

28. Broncos

Team Needs: DE, DT, RB, CB, S

Pick: Bjoern Werner

Logic: With Werner surprisingly dropping this far Elway takes little time to turn in the card with Werner’s name on it as DE is their biggest need and he’d be a great place to start in replacing Elvis Dumervil’s production.

29. Cleveland Browns (trade)

Team Needs: CB, 3-4 OLB, QB, S, LB

Pick: Tyler Eifert

Logic: The Patriots are always down to trade back in a draft and with Belichick’s relationship with Michael Lombardi (Cleveland Browns in the 90’s) I think this fits perfectly. Cleveland’s TE depth chart is the worst in the league and the #1 TE on most boards somehow fell this far. Most mocks have him in the Top 12 picks but I didn’t see a fit except with the Browns, Bills, and Jets who all have more pressing needs. Eifert could certainly go that high as he’s well regarded but, just like guards, tight ends usually fall on draft day.

30. Falcons

Team Needs: CB, DE, RT, LB, CB

Pick: Demontre Moore

Logic: Moore at one point looked like a Top 10 pick yet due to a poor Combine there’s a good chance he isn’t even taken in the 1st round. With the Falcons top needs being CB and DE I think Moore will get a long look as his collegiate production was elite and on film he looked explosive which somewhat mitigates his poor 40.

31. 49ers

Team Needs: S, 3-4 DE, WR, NT, CB

Pick: Justin Hunter

Logic: If a run on safeties occurs like my mock draft shows (4 taken in the 1st round) then I suspect the 49ers will look to either address the WR position or the DL. Jesse Williams is a player I’m not a huge fan of but he fits their scheme well as a run stuffer. In the end I gave them the flashier Justin Hunter as he has Top 10 measurables and could provide the deep threat they are lacking.

32. Ravens

Team Needs: ILB, S, ILB, WR, CB

Pick: Menelik Watson

Logic: I almost put Kevin Minter here as the ILB position is such a need right now for the Ravens but that’d be a reach for need and Newsome almost never drafts off need in the 1st round. Menelik Watson is a much high ranked player and could team with Michael Oher to give the Ravens two tackles to anchor their offensive line. Also it would push last year’s 3rd round pick Kelechi Osemele inside to OG where he fits best.


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