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2013 NFL Mock Draft 1.

Kansas City Chiefs- Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M- It’s not often that a player who isn’t a quarterback goes #1, but this class makes it very likely that the first selection will not be a signal caller. The Chiefs have a solid blindside protector in Brandon Albert, but he’s a free agent and Joeckel- who has been compared to players like Joe Thomas and Jonathan Ogden- would be an obvious step up. I’d expect Andy Reid to solidify his supporting cast, put up a mediocre 2013 season with an Alex Smith type at the helm, then get “his guy” in 2014.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars- Star Lotulelei, DL, Utah- The Jaguars really messed up when they beat the Colts in week 17 last year, costing themselves a chance at Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III. Justin Blackmon still has a great chance of being of a #1 receiver down the line, but quarterbacks of that caliber only come along once a decade, and the Jags sure as hell need someone new under center. However, I just don’t think enough of Geno Smith or Tyler Wilson to mock one of them here. Lotulelei, the monstrous nose tackle from Utah, can anchor against the run and use his athleticism and quickness to penetrate and attack the backfield. He has scheme versatility and can play in whatever system new head coach Gus Bradley installs. 3. Oakland Raiders- Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State- The Raiders probably don’t remember what it’s like to have a first round pick at this rate- and back when they did, they weren’t too great at using them, picking massive busts Rolando McClain and JaMarcus Russell and taking the mediocre Darrius Heyward-Bey with 3 of their last 4 first rounders. At 3rd overall there are a number of directions they could go, and which one they choose could have a lot to do with what defensive scheme they plan on favoring. If they are going to use primarily 4 man fronts, Werner is the best pick. He lacks the ability to play anywhere but the traditional 4-3 defensive end spot, but his explosive first step, mauling hands and huge strength make him a force on the outside. Some have compared him to Vikings star Jared Allen, but his playing style is more reminiscent to Rams Pro Bowler Chris Long. 4. Philadelphia Eagles- Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, Louisiana State- Mingo couldn’t crack 5 sacks in the 2012 regular season which is offputting, but some of the league’s best pass rushers (Jason Pierre-Paul, Aldon Smith) were just as unproductive in college. Mingo is the classic raw, high upside prospect- his combination of freaky length, burst and pure speed is something you can’t find anywhere else, but his technique needs major work. Other than a decent spin move, Mingo doesn’t have much to throw at opposing linemen other than a full steam ahead bull rush. He will have to learn to better utilize his length and make better use of his hands to unlock his full potential, but under Chip Kelly, who has a great track record in player development, he could blossom.

5. Detroit Lions- Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan- When Jake Matthews and Taylor Lewan decided to return to school, some started to knock the 2013 tackle class. Fisher heard these rumblings and dominated the senior bowl practices, containing pass rushers with ease with his smooth footwork, athleticism and mammoth 6’7” frame. The Lions could look at a defensive back- Dee Milliner or Kenny Vaccaro- at this spot, but with Jeff Backus still manning the blindside, Fisher would be too good to pass up.

6. Cleveland Browns- Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia- Geno, for all of his flaws, is still the best QB in this class. Tyler Wilson is a gamer who lacks arm strength, Ryan Nassib has arm strength but poor mechanics and gets flustered easily, E.J. Manuel can’t make his progressions fast enough, Matt Barkley lacks the physical tools to be a starter in the league, Zac Dysert is ineffective in the intermediate part of the field and Mike Glennon’s accuracy goes out the window when he’s pressured. Smith isn’t perfect, but he has a big arm, a quick release, and moves smoothly in the pocket even though he doesn’t have elite speed. Of top 5 pick QBs in recent memory, Smith is a lot closer to Sam Bradford than Cam Newton or Robert Griffin III despite his ethnicity. Rod Chudzinski, the new coach in Cleveland, has had tremendous success developing QBs throughout his career, would be thrilled to land a prospect like Smith to build his first team around. 7. Arizona Cardinals- Sharrif Floyd, DL, Florida- The Cardinals’ defense is perhaps the most young and exciting in the NFL- Daryl Washington has turned into an all-pro quality linebacker, Sam Acho has been a draft day steal, and 2011’s 5th overall pick, Patrick Peterson, has lived up to the hype. However, Calais Campbell could use a little help up front. Dan Williams is a decent player, and if his motor ran a little hotter he could be a force, but so far that has not been the case. Sharrif Floyd is a wrecking ball in the middle, collapsing pockets with his bull rush and making plays in pursuit despite his size. With his combination of mammoth strength to plug against the run and his nifty hand and footwork that allows him to get into the backfield, Floyd can take over games like few others in this class. He’s not getting mocked this high quite yet, but it’ll happen. 8. Buffalo Bills- Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas- Yes, the Bills need fresh blood at quarterback. Yes, they spent a high second round pick on Aaron Williams in 2011 and a top 10 pick on Stephon Gilmore last year, but with a stout defensive front and talent at the skill positions, their secondary is still their biggest area of need for which there is top 10 talent available. There have been a lot of elite safety prospects in recent years- Earl Thomas, Eric Berry, Mark Barron, and so on- but Vaccaro might be the most complete force of any of them. Kenny V has freakish length, great straight line speed, agility and fluid athleticism, but his skills stand out just as much as his physical tools. He’s comfortable in the box as the eighth man against the run or as a blitzer off the edge. He rarely gets beat in the open field, keeping the play in front of him at all times, and he’s reliable in coverage. Don’t count him out as a top 5 pick.

9. New York Jets- Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas- I want to love Tyler Wilson- he’s the kind of QB that I tend to favor- he may not throw the ball 70 yards from his knees, but he had the requisite arm strength for the college game and excelled with his fearless mentality, squeaking balls into ultratight windows and hitting his athletic targets over the middle in stride with plenty of velocity. However, when watching his college tape, it becomes evident that Wilson’s game runs out past 15 yards- he throws very well on a level plane, but when he is asked to put air under the ball and drop it into his receivers’ hands from above, he struggles. That said, his attitude and playing style will give him plenty of chances in the NFL, and the Jets, years removed from having anything resembling a championship quarterback, might be keen on giving the razorback a shot with their offense. 10. Tennessee Titans- Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama- The Titans’ defense has really come along well. They added Kamerion Wimbley and enjoyed a breakout year from 2011 first round pick Derrick Morgan, making their front seven quite imposing. However, Cortland Finnegan left a big hole in their secondary, which Milliner would go a long way towards filling. Though he’s somewhat soft in the run game and is known to miss more than an ideal number of tackles, Milliner is a fluid athlete with top notch mirroring ability from a program that has sent DBs Javier Arenas, Kareem Jackson and Mark Barron to the NFL via the top two rounds in the last three years. 11. San Diego Chargers- Chance Warmack, G, Alabama- Once an offensive powerhouse, the Chargers have struggled to score points in recent years. They could take a wide receiver, but, with so many talented pass catchers in this year’s class and the Bolts’ struggles in the run game, a player like Warmack makes sense at 11. Warmack is the best guard prospect in a very long time- even more highly regarded than players like Mike Iupati and David DeCastro were during their draft years. He has great size and athleticism, and his technique shines on film. There’s no such thing as a can’t-miss prospect, but I really, really doubt Warmack will be anything but a pro bowl guard. 12. Miami Dolphins- Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M- The ‘phins are another team who could use a young wide out, and Cordarrelle Patterson or Keenan Allen could get looks here, but my theory is that the large quantity of high end receiving talent in this class will cause teams to wait on picking them. The Dolphins were much better than expected last year, and it looks like they made a good call pouncing on Ryan Tannehill, even if Russell Wilson would have been a better choice. They may not retain Jake Long, which could make Lane Johnson a possibility here, but Damontre Moore would be a gift this far down. Though overrated, Moore has plenty of great traits. He accelerates quickly and finishes plays consistently, and his strength helps him make plenty of arm tackles against the run, and when he gets into the backfield, the quarterback probably isn’t getting away cleanly. However, you don’t often see Moore beat the tackle off the edge with a rip or a spin, nor do you see him attack the interior line and penetrate. His motor,

ability in pursuit and sure tackling will make him coveted, but I don’t see him as a truly elite passrusher. Rather, he’s a universally solid but not especially exciting all-around defensive end prospect who would fit in beautifully next to Cameron Wake. 13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington- Johnthan Banks has been considered the #2 corner for a while, but Desmond Trufant’s stellar senior bowl week may have vaulted him into top 15 consideration. I’m buying into the hype- Trufant has NFL bloodlines and plays with swagger and competitive fire while staying in control, similar to Richard Sherman of Seattle. Unlike Sherman though, he’s a more traditionally sized corner with closing speed and pure cover skills that could really help bolster a Tampa Bay secondary that still needs help despite the addition of Mark Barron last year. 14. Carolina Panthers- Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri- With Luke Kuechly and Charles Johnson, the Panthers have the foundation of a good young defense in place. Their biggest area of need on D is the interior line- Sheldon Richardson can fix that. He’s not the disruptive force that Star Lotulelei and Sharrif Floyd are, but his nonstop motor and speed will get him drafted highly. He doesn’t have the flashy ability to penetrate and live in the backfield like the other top DTs, but he is consistent against the run and glides laterally, making plays in pursuit like few players his size can. 15. New Orleans Saints- Ezekiel Ansah, DL, Brigham Young- Ansah has been an enigma since he burst onto the scene, first tabbed as a Margus Hunt-esque raw physical specimen who could bookend a 3 man front, then seen by some as a Jason Pierre-Paul type freak with elite athleticism and versatility. The truth is, he’s somewhere in between. He’s not going to burn up the track and he doesn’t have the quickness or slippery quality of a Pierre-Paul, but he has some of the best hands of anyone in this defensive line class and uses his big time strength to toy with offensive linemen. I had Ansah tabbed as the second pick in my last mock, and despite his 3.5 TFL performance in the Senior Bowl game, I’ve cooled on him a bit- he’s more of a versatile, oversized end in the mold of Israel Idonije or Justin Tuck than he is an edge rusher with big time sack upside like Aldon Smith or JPP. The Saints spent a high pick on Cameron Jordan in 2011, but he hasn’t panned out as they’d hoped, and Ansah can make a fine 3-4 end for their scheme. 16. St. Louis Rams- Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma- He’s not Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher, but Lane Johnson projects as a starting left tackle at the next level thanks to his length and prowess against the run. A lot of things that were said about Riley Reiff last year can be said about Johnson- he’s as good as he is because of his technique rather than his athleticism. That said, he does have the length that Reiff lacked, and will likely go higher than Reiff did. Sam Bradford would be thrilled if the Rams pulled the trigger on Johnson, as he’d have a competent blindside protector for the first time since his Oklahoma days.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers- Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia- With their window starting close, the Steelers are the perfect team to roll the dice on Jarvis Jones. Without his spinal stenosis, Jones would likely go in the top 10. However, his medicals are quite cloudy, and players with the same condition have been forced into early retirement in some cases. With an atomic first step off the edge and a relentless play style, Jones has the makings of an NFL sack artist if he can stay on the field. He definitely isn’t Von Miller, who he is often compared to, though. His lack of strength really shows up against the run, where he often gets neutralized by blocks and exploited. He can impact games as an Aldon Smith/Bruce Irvin type one trick pony, but he belongs in this range of the draft considering his weaknesses on the field and his medical concerns. 18. Dallas Cowboys- Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State- I figured I’d be mocking the Cowboys an interior lineman, but their offensive line really improved as a group as the year went on, opening holes for DeMarco Murray and giving Tony Romo clean pockets. Instead, I’ll give them Johnthan Banks, a great value at this slot. Similar in play style to Dee Milliner, Banks can shadow receivers with the best, but needs to play with more physicality and sure up his tackling. In the modern, pass-heavy NFL though, good cover corners are a precious resource. 19. New York Giants- Dion Jordan, OLB/ILB/DE, Oregon- If I were a defensive coach, I’d salivate over what Dion Jordan can bring to the table in terms of versatility. Standing a lean 6’7”, 235, Jordan was a jack of all trades at Oregon as a senior after initially being recruited as a tight end. The ability to play multiple spots is Jordan’s calling card- he can be used as an edge rusherthough his skills at that spot are raw, and shows the requisite abilities necessary to play any linebacker position. He’s a silky smooth athlete with impressive acceleration for his size, and was used to cover slot receivers and tight ends frequently as a duck. As sexy a prospect as he may be, I have trouble mocking him much higher than this because I don’t see an elite skill. He flashes impressive pure passrushing ability off the edge, and he’s instinctive in the open field, but there are better edge rushers, and better pure linebackers, so Jordan’s primary use would be to disguise defensive fronts and keep the offense on their toes. The Giants seem to like grabbing “fallers,” as they did when they picked Prince Amukamara in 2011, or Rueben Randle last year. 20. Chicago Bears- Terron Armstead, OT, Arkansas-Pine Bluff- I had not heard of Armstead until his coming out party at the Shrine game and subsequent strong performance at the Senior Bowl as a fill-in, but when I heard the hype I dove into his film. Armstead is an imposing human beinghe’s of average height for an NFL tackle but his massive upper half is somewhat reminiscent of classmate D.J. Fluker. Unlike Fluker, however, Armstead shows the breadth of skills to protect the left side in the NFL. He has the requisite sink and anchor ability to guard the blindside in the passing game, but he really stands out against the run. He locks on to defenders and uses his massive frame to create openings, then follows the play to the second level with his excellent motor and deceptive straight line speed. Whether the Bears recognize it or not, they need a player like Armstead.

21. Cincinnati Bengals- Arthur Brown, Jr., ILB, Kansas State- If Arthur Brown Jr. was a baseball prospect, he’d be Cody Buckel. He has all the talent in the world, a diverse skillset, and has had success at every level he has played. However, Buckel is a short right handed pitcher, and Arthur Brown is an undersized inside linebacker. It took Buckel a long time to get his due, and Brown is still working on solidifying himself as the best inside backer in the draft, but in my mind he’s been there for quite a while. He glides all over the field, taking good angles and disrupting plays from sideline to sideline. Brother of Eagles rookie Bryce Brown, Arthur can stuff the run, disrupt passing lanes, play capable coverage or act as a blitzer. I expect him to fill a Brian Cushing-like role at the next level, and to be an instant hit. His presence would really help the Bengals, who need to find a way to keep Rey Mauauluga off the field. 22. St. Louis Rams- Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee- Having already snagged a player to keep Sam Bradford on his feet, the Rams can now grab someone for him to throw to. Cordarrelle Patterson is hyped by some as a top 10 talent, and I agree as far as raw physical gifts are concerned. However, he’s very raw compared to the other top wide receiver talent available. He has explosive speed, tremendous quicks and is a threat downfield or with the ball in his hands. However, the finer points of his game need serious polish. While he can make some beautiful catches, high pointing the ball and using every inch of his long frame to his advantage, he generally displays an inconsistent catch radius. He often catches the ball close to his body, and despite the outstanding footwork he shows in the open field he has a tendency to round off his routes a bit, and NFL backs will capitalize where his college competition couldn’t. That said, Patterson has an extremely high ceiling and plays with energy and physicality, making him a very Jeff Fisher pick. 23. Minnesota Vikings- Keenan Allen, WR, Cal- The receivers begin flying off the board here, as the preseason #1 WR goes to Minnesota. Keenan Allen struggled through a disappointing 2012, hurt by poor quarterback play and injury trouble. However, he still possesses the elite catch radius and size that made him such a coveted prospect. He’s not a burner like Patterson, but he’s an instinctive receiver, erupting out of his cuts and getting separation consistently. His quickness and big frame also make him a threat after the catch. Allen is a very complete WR prospect, and in a good NFL offense, he has a chance to shine. Having a reliable short/intermediate target like Allen would allow the Vikings to turn Percy Harvin loose, finally. 24. Indianapolis Colts- Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State- Their young offensive core in place, the Colts can now shift their focus towards retooling their aging defense. Their biggest need is a corner across from the up-and-down Vontae Davis, and Xavier Rhodes is one of the best prospects on the board. With big size and closing speed, Rhodes makes up for what he lacks in fluidity as a pure cover man. The Seahawks’ 2012 defense was the best in football, and their use

of bigger corners in Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman will surely help prospects like Rhodes to get looks early. 25. Seattle Seahawks- DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson- The Seahawks were a breakout team down the stretch, dominating opponents on defense and running an efficient offensive attack under Russell Wilson. The team could really reach new heights in 2013 if they add a dynamic target for Wilson, who is already a borderline elite QB. DeAndre Hopkins certainly qualifies- he’s long, lanky and has speed to burn. Hopkins is comfortable catching the ball on short routes and muscling for yards, but his best skill is his ability to high point the ball- he makes full use of his length to go up and get the ball better than anyone in this draft class not named Tyler Eifert. He could add to Seattle’s budding passing game and give Wilson a much needed red zone target. 26. Green Bay Packers- Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina- I’m tempted to give the Packers Chris Schwenke, since he fills their immediate need (center), and is a perfect fit for a zone blocking team like Green Bay. However, I’m a firm believer in taking the best player who fills a need, and if the Packers go for Cooper, the rest of the interior line will work itself out. Most years, Cooper would be the top guard in the class, but Chance Warmack will keep him out of the early first round. His athleticism jumps off the screen, and he’ll be a rock on whichever offensive line he’s drafted into. 27. Houston Texans- Markus Wheaton, WR, Oregon State- The sexy pick is Tavon Austin, but he doesn’t fit the Texans’ offense as well as a more traditional receiver, since the Texans use three receiver sets sparingly. As electric as Austin is, Markus Wheaton has been steadily rising my draft board since the first time I put on his film. He stands 5’11”, and has top notch straight line speed, so Mike Wallace comparisons were bound to come up, but he’s a much more complete player than Wallace was when he came into the league. Even though he’s under 6 feet, Wheaton has long, strong legs that generate powerful cuts and separation, and his sure hands give him a bigger catch radius than most players his size. In addition to his talents catching the ball, Wheaton plays with a blue collar mentality- fighting plays to the end as a blocker and completing all of his routes. He has #1 receiver potential in the Chad Johnson mold, and he could be eased in across from Andre Johnson. 28. Denver Broncos- Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama- John Fox ran a run heavy offense in Carolina, and obviously as long as Manning is in town running the ball will be an afterthought, but the Broncos have very few needs, and thus have the luxury of pouncing on a talented back here to add another dimension to their offense. Lacy has a molasses slow first step, but has a wicked second gear and turns into a wrecking ball in the open field. With a bulldozer frame and extremely strong legs that he keeps churning to push the pile, Lacy has feature back potential, and is more of a John Fox player than the other top RB prospect, Giovani Bernard. 29. New England Patriots- Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia- I think Austin’s 40 time will be slightly disappointing, a la Kendall Wright, and he’ll end up a late first round pick when he probably

belongs in the early 20s or late teens. An electric open field player who is a threat to score on any play, Austin has all the traits that the Patriots look for in offensive weapons. Lightning quick with a breakaway second gear, Austin can take the ball short and make defenders miss, burn defensive backs deep, and attack the middle of the field. He’s short, but he’s built strongly and doesn’t get muscled around by physical corners and could add a whole new dimension to any offense he ends up in, much like Percy Harvin and Randall Cobb have on their teams. 30. Atlanta Falcons- Alex Okafor, DE, Texas- With John Abraham aging, the Falcons should look to add a younger piece to their defensive line early in the draft. Alex Okafor is the best end on the board- he’s not an elite athlete, and he really only fits as a 4-3 end, but he’s skilled and has great football instincts. He uses his hands as weapons at the point of attack, rarely being swallowed up at the snap and ripping through linemen. He’s a good finisher once in the backfield, and has a knack for forcing fumbles. He’s a very complete 4-3 end, even if he’s limited to that spot, as he combines strength against the run with a crafty pass rushing approach. 31. Baltimore Ravens- Kevin Minter, ILB, Louisiana State- It’s too easy to give the Ravens an inside linebacker, and I’m tempted to throw in another wide receiver, but Kevin Minter is very likely to go in the first round. Minter is a force against the run, attacking the ball and stopping plays cold. However, he has question marks in the passing game. He’s stiff in the hips and looks awkward as he moves sideline to sideline. However, he’s consistently praised for leadership and work ethic, and those qualities along with his elite play against the run will get him drafted highly. He’s better than Manti Te’o, girlfriend hoax or not. 32. San Francisco 49ers- Blidi Wreh-Wilson- I like the idea of a corner to San Fran, as much as I want to give them Quinton Patton. Carlos Rogers has really turned into a great player the last couple seasons, but he’s still haunted by inconsistency, and adding depth the secondary would be in the Niners’ best interest, considering their lack of needs elsewhere. There are a few corners who could fit into this slot, but I went with Wreh-Wilson over Darius Slay and Logan Ryan because he has three names.