2013 Football Nation Mock Draft: Version 1.0
1 Kansas City Chiefs: OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M – The Chiefs reportedly have swung a trade to acquire quarterback Alex Smith from the 49ers, and will now add a prime left tackle in the Draft to protect their prized acquisition.
Plus Kansas City reportedly remains high on Joeckel even though he failed to impress at the Combine, so we give him the edge over Fisher for the No. 1 pick.
2 Jacksonville Jaguars: DT Sharrif Floyd, Florida – Floyd’s stock has skyrocketed through the Combine and Jacksonville will grab the Draft’s top defensive tackle to aid their brittle defensive interior. And with a name that sounds like Sheriff, Floyd is bound to help sell tickets for the struggling franchise as well.
3 Oakland Raiders: DT Star Lotulelei, Utah – Star may or may not have a heart condition, but he will be Oakland’s pick if he proves to be fine, as the Utah standout has massive upside to become a dominant force in the trenches, and the AFC West franchise needs help up front after giving up 18 rushing TDs in 2012.
4 Philadelphia Eagles: CB Dee Milliner, Alabama – The Chip Kelly Era is off to a good start as Philly needs a shutdown cornerback with both Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nnamdi Asomugha not expected back, and Milliner may be the best overall player in the Draft.
5 Detroit Lions: DE Bjoern Werner, Florida State – A deathly silence will come over Detroit’s War Room as they really wanted to land Milliner, but after the tears dry, they will boost their pass rush with Werner as Plan B, as they mustered just 34 sacks in 2012 and Cliff Avril is currently a free agent.
6 Cleveland Browns: DE/OLB Dion Jordan, Oregon – Cleveland needs to add bigger guns to their pass rush as Jabaal Sheard led the club with a paltry seven sacks in 2012, and Jordan will be a great fit as they move back to a 3-4 defense this season.
7 Arizona Cardinals: OT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan – The Cardinals will consider Geno Smith or Matt Barkley here, but will then realize there is no sense taking a quarterback who will be tossed around like a rag doll every Sunday due to horrid blocking. So Fisher will be the pick, and many analysts believe he is a better prospect than Joeckel.
8 Buffalo Bills: QB Geno Smith, West Virginia - Smith may not be an elite prospect or in the same class as Andrew Luck or RG3, but will still be miles better than Ryan Fitzpatrick, and the Bills should be sold on this upgrade after Smith put in a solid showing at the Combine.
9 New York Jets: OLB Barkevious Mingo, LSU – The Jets gravely need a rush linebacker, and will pull the trigger on Mingo as the answer to their lingering problem as he dazzled at the Combine, namely running a 4.58 in the 40. Gang Green Nation, mark this as a Bingo for Mingo.
10 Tennessee Titans: DE Ezekiel Ansah, BYU – Tennessee will give strong deliberation for Chance Warmack, but will ultimately address their bigger need on the defensive line with Ansah, who the team will be banking on to light a fire under their lukewarm pass rush.
11 San Diego Chargers: OT Lane Johnson, Oklahoma – There are more than a few scouts who believe Johnson is actually the best offensive tackle prospect in the Draft, and San Diego lassoes the former Oklahoma standout in a bid to make the airways less turbulent for pilot Philip Rivers after being sacked a career-high 49 times in 2012.
12 Miami Dolphins: WR Cordarelle Patterson, Tennessee – Miami fans rejoice – the team will address their glaring need for a wide receiver, and land the best one in the Draft in Patterson. This pick enhances their investment in quarterback Ryan Tannehill as their 2012 first-rounder as well.
13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida State – Ronde Barber will blow out 38 candles on his birthday cake before the Draft and the team is considering cutting the erratic Eric Wright. And after Tampa Bay ranked in the NFL cellar in pass defense in 2012, it will not take defensive-minded coach Greg Schiano long to pull Rhodes off the board.
14 Carolina Panthers: DT Sheldon Richardson, Missouri – Richardson played for Missouri while the Panthers were misery to watch on defense in 2012. Ron Rivera will pull the disruptive defensive tackle off the board here if he plans on coaching in Carolina beyond 2013.
15 New Orleans Saints: OLB Jarvis Jones, Georgia – The Saints will need a dangerous pass rusher on the outside as they move to a 3-4 defense under new coordinator Rob Ryan this season, and will take a gamble on Jones’ upside here despite being a potential health risk (spinal stenosis).
16 St. Louis Rams: OG Chance Warmack, Alabama – After doing a double-take that the former Alabama mauler is still on the board, the Rams grab Warmack at pick No. 16. And coach Jeff Fisher’s plan to add better protection for young quarterback Sam Bradford is off to a great start.