Monday, February 11, 2013

2013 Mock Draft 2.0

So the more I examine players, the more my opinions on them change.  This is what is supposed to happen.  As I sit and write this mock draft, I am struggling a little.  One part of me wants to show off my "prognotication" skills and tell you all what I think will happen.  But then, where is the value in that?  Nope, I'm sticking to my guns and telling you about what I think the teams should do.

I still have a lot more film to watch, so I will be changing my opinions even further in the near future, but this is where I stand today.  Keep in mind the combine will confirm or change some of my opinions too, so this too could have an impact on future mocks, but for now, lets get to the picks.  This time, we roll 64 deep.

1.       Kansas City Chiefs – Luke Joeckel, OT, TAMU
Andy Reid is the new boss in town, and this team needs some rebuilding.  I am not sold on Matt Cassell as a starter in the league, but there is no one in this draft at the QB position worthy of the first overall pick.  Actually, at this point I'm not sold on any QB as a first round pick.  There are however a few players who could go here.  I think in the end, Reid chooses Joeckel, who is currently the top OT and overall player on my board.  Remember that all QBs look the same on their back, so keeping whomever is behind center upright has got to be a priority.

2.       Jacksonville Jaguars – Jarvis Jones, DE/OLB, Georgia
The Jags are also going to be under new leadership in 2013.  Gus Bradley earned his stripes as the DC in Seattle.  There, he was fond of putting pressure on the QB with speed off the edge. Last year Bradley added Bruce Irvin in round one, and used him very well.  Jones grades out higher than Irvin did last year.  Jones is explosive, and uses his hands and feet very well to batter and blow past blockers.  I think Bradley will fall in love with Jones, and rightly so.

3.       Oakland Raiders – Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
The Raiders have themselves a few holes to be filled this offseason, but I see none as a higher priority than at corner.  Dee Milliner was the best corner in the nation this year, on the best defense in the country, against the best competition anywhere. Milliner can do everything you want from a corner, and I think he will be a great addition to the Oakland secondary.  Milliner is one of the best players on my overall board, and could be a big time anchor in this secondary which is in need of a rebuild.

4.       Philadelphia Eagles – Demontre Moore, DE, TAMU
Lots of different options for the Eagles and new HC Chip Kelly to consider.  They could easily go up front on their offense, and in that case, guys like Eric Fisher and Lane Johnson come into play.  If they look defense, Kelly could look to bring Dion Jordan with him from Oregon.  I have Moore rated slightly higher at the DE poistion though, and so I have him selected.  Moore earned his nickname "DeMonster" because of how big he can play, and the Eagles, need so big time defensive playmakers.

5.       Detroit Lions – Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
Like the Eagles, it is entirely possible that the Lions look to bolster their o-line.  Matt Stafford would certainly appreciate it.  But their defense, although talented, continually under performs.  Dion Jordan is a flexible quick defender capable of many different things.  I think his versatility and speed will be too much for Detroit to pass on.

6.       Cleveland Browns – Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
Cleveland is again in the position of the rebuilding franchise.  I have not been a supporter of Brandon Weeden as a franchise QB, but again, there is no QB worth taking.  The Browns have holes all over though, so using this pick on Lotulelei, the best DT in the draft, and best player left available could be a great building block for the future.

7.       Arizona Cardinals - Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
The Cards are another QB hungry team, but again, no choice worth making here at that position.  Like so many other QB needed teams though, getting better at QB will be helped by getting better up front.  Both Eric Fisher and Lane Johnson are in play with this pick, but as of right now, I have Johnson graded out just slightly higher.  Getting Johnson here, and a QB in round 2 could help this franchise start moving in the right direction, and make Larry Fitzgerald a happy camper.

8.       Buffalo Bills - Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee 
The Buffalo Bills have holes on both sides of the ball, but are still a team who could be on the rise this year.  Sure, they could use an upgrade over Fitzpatrick at QB, but having some targets to throw to would hurt either.  This team needs to put another playmaker opposite Stevie Johnson to open up opposing defenses.  Patterson is a great talent, but is very raw.  I think he could be a boom/bust type player, but for the Bills, I see it as worth the risk here.

9.       New York Jets - Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
My goodness are the Jets a mess.  They kept Rex Ryan at the helm, but replaced Mike Tannenbaum.  Then they dropped both coordinators too.  This team needs to get a new leader under center, but there is no one worth grabbing here, and I am not convinced the franchise is ready to give up on Sanchez.  Last year the looked to Quentin Coples early, despite having a gaping hole at RT.  The team did nothing to fill that hole, and Sanchez and McElroy paid the price.  Maybe this year they wont make the same mistake again.  Fisher could be the impact player they need to help this team.

10.  Tennessee Titans - Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
The Titans are a team that is making progress.  It may not be as fast as some would like, but I do think this team is moving in the right overall direction.  Jake Locker is emerging as the leader of the future for this franchise, and to help him along the team needs to do a better job at protecting him.  Although they do have some needs at the tackle spot, I see the need inside to be greater. Chance Warmack is one of the best college guards to come out of college football... ever.  If he reaches his full potential, he will be a difference maker.

11.  San Diego Chargers - Manti Te'o
The night before the National Championship game, this pick was a no brainer.  The Chargers need matched so perfectly with the west coast native and his big game play.  Then came the poor play in the title game, followed by what might just be the most bizarre story to have ever happened to a college football player.  Now we have a guy with talent, but some real personality / ethical questions to answer.  Still, I think football wins out, and soon enough, we will all forget about Manti Te'o and the catfish story.

12.   Miami Dolphins – Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
Miami took some steps forward in 2012, but they have some holes still to be filled.  The most noticeable right now are at wide out, corner, and safety. Of the players at those positions, I think Kenny Vaccaro would be the best fit.  He is an immediate  improvement over anyone currently on their roster.  He showed a year ago he can be a physical player.  This past season he took a step back, but I think a strong combine showing will have him moving back up boards again soon.

13.   Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Johnathan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
A year ago the Bucs opted not to fill their hole at corner, and they paid for it big time this year.  Now, it is an absolute must for this franchise to come away from the offseason with two new starters at the corner position.  An additional OLB, S, and RT are also needed.  Plus the team could be in the market for a QB too.  Of all of those needs, corner is clearly the most significant, and Johnathan Banks should be the man to get the call.  He can run, cover, and tackle, and he did it against the best competition anywhere in the nation during college.

14.   Carolina Panthers - Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
The Panther's primary needs are at WR, DT, and OT.  Of the players still available Sharrif Floyd has the potential to be the biggest impact player of the group.  Some people have Floyd rated as a top 5 talent, and the more I see of him the more I like.  With a talent like this still available, I think the Panthers will wait on their two other needs.

15.   New Orleans Saints -Bjoern Warner, DE, Florida State
Warner is a talented end, but he is making me concerned the more I watch him.  He can be an impressive presence, but he takes too many plays off, and doesn't come off the line with the kind of impact he will need at the next level.  Both of those qualities can be coached though, and Payton is the type of coach who gets the most out of his players.  Warner does fill a need for the Saints too, which makes this an appealing selection.

16.   St Louis Rams - Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU
The Rams made some strides from a year ago, but now they need to capitalize on another draft to continue to rebuild.  This team has holes on both side of the ball that they could fill.  Barkevious Mingo is an exceptional talent that could play hand up or down, and is the top player on the board overall.  Since he fills immediate needs for the Rams, this is an easy selection.

17.   Pittsburgh Steelers - Johnathan Hankins, DT Ohio State
Pittsburgh was hit very hard by injuries this past season, so their record is not really reflective of their talent level.  This gives Pittsburgh flexibility with this pick.  They will look at both corner and running back, but in the end choose Hankins as the heir apparent in the middle of their defensive front.  He is a highly regarded prospect who should do a good job filling up the middle.

18.   Dallas Cowboys - Ezekiel Ansah, DE/OLB, BYU
Dallas is such an enigma.  Every year they seem to have the talent to make a run, and every year they somehow disappoint the fans in Big D.  Like some other teams, the Boys have some real talent, so they can be flexible with this selection.  Ansah is a very raw player with big time upside.  With a guy like Ware on the roster to mentor the youngster, this pick makes too much sense not to happen.

19.   New York Giants - Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU
The Giants disappointed many this year when they failed to make the playoffs only one season after winning the Super Bowl. Overall, the team failed to perform at a few different positions and could use an upgrade.  Filling out the o-line will be a consideration but in the end they will look to the tackling machine Minter to fill the gap they have at MLB.  Minter is a very sound ball player, and would fit well in the defense of Big Blue.

20.   Chicago Bears - Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia
The biggest issue the Bears have faced over the last three seasons is the porous o-line they have.  This has created erattic play from Cutler, and thus, inconsistent results.  This teams o-line needs are primarily at tackle, and thus the raw Menelik Watson will garner real consideration.  They also need to look at their defense where it appears it is time to pass the torch from stalwart MLB, Brian Urlacher.  Alec Ogletree is a solid prospect who is moving on up my board, and would fit in well at Soldier Field.

21.  Cincinnati Bengals - Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
The Bengals continue to improve.  They still have some holes though.  I think another RB and WR will both be drafted this year, but I see that happening in later rounds.  Here, I think the Bengals would be best served adding some help to the defense. Richardson is a huge presence on the defensive front who will make it very difficult for opponents to run against.  I think he can be an immediate contributor to this club that is already good, and getting better.

22.   St Louis Rams via Washington - Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
Thanks to the RG3 deal a year ago, the Rams have another pick here in the first round.  After addressing defense with their previous pick, they can now add the very talent Jonathan Cooper who can sturdy up the interior of this offensive front.  Cooper can be used as a guard or a center, and the Rams and Sam Bradford will be very excited to have him in the fold.

23.  Minnesota Vikings - Keenan Allen, WR, Claifornia
Minnesota was considerably better than I expected this year.  I still don't care for Ponder as a starter, but if the Vikes are to continue to improve, he will need more weapons.  Matt Kalil added the presence up front they needed.  Now they need a target  to throw to, especially considering the request of Percy Harvin to leave town. Keenan Allen is in the top tier of WRs in this years class, and will be a good addition to this offense.  Minnesota is lucky he is still available at this point.

24.   Indianapolis Colts - Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State
Andrew Luck was hit more times than any other QB last year, so the Colts have to protect their budding superstar.  Menelik Watson is the offensive equivalent to Ezekiel Ansah.  He is raw but immensely talented.  Adding a talent like this who could develop alongside some of the other Colts stars could be a match made in heaven.

25.  Seattle Seahawks - DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
This Seattle club is getting close.  In fact, despite the success of the Niners this year, they could go in as one of the favorites in the NFC next season. They need just a few more pieces on either side to make a real run.  The biggest of these gaps is another weapon for QB Russel Wilson.  Hopkins is a budding talent who grades out just slightly higher than Tennessee's Justin Hunter.  Hopkins is an incredible athlete, and would be a great addition to the Hawks.

26.   Green Bay Packers - Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
The Pack was a little disappointing to me this year, as they began the year my favorite for the Super Bowl.  Despite not winning it all, they are still a very good team, who only needs a few pieces for it to all come together. Adding a stud RB should be their top priority, but there is not a RB worth taking at this point.  Eddy Lacy could get consideration though.  Adding some depth at corner and linebacker would be their next look, and Xavier Rhodes is a prospect who I like a lot.  His stock will improve more after the combine, and then the draft experts out there will get on board with this guy.

27.  Houston Texans - Eric Reid, S, LSU
Despite coming into the season as everyone's favorite "under the radar" pick, the Texans still had a lot of expectations placed on them.  When they didn't make the AFC title game, many were disappointed.  This is a good team, that still needs a few pieces. Another WR and an ILB could be used, but their secondary, although improved, also needs to be solidified.  Eric Reid is an interesting player. I think he has the talent to be better than what we have seen from him so far.  I think the Texans will see that too, and make him their choice at this juncture.

28.  Denver Broncos - Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
Peyton Manning is the man.  He comes to Denver after "career threatening" injuries, and propels this team to the top of the AFC.  Sure, they lost a close one to the Ravens in the AFC Championship, but man does this Manning fella make a difference.  Now to take some final steps before next season's run at the crown.  One of the most used weapons by Manning during his Indy days was his TE.  Currently, the Broncos TEs are serviceable  but not great.  Adding a weapon like Eifert could make this offense even more dangerous, and just watch out then.

29.   New England Patriots - Barrett Jones, OL, Alabama
The Patriots will have some options with this pick, and I think that WR Justin Hunter will get some real consideration here.  The Pats also have some holes on the o-line though, and New England knows how important keeping superstar Tom Brady upright is.  Barrett Jones played OT, OG, and C in college, all at an amazing level.  His Saban pedigree will be valued by Belichick and Jones will be the choice.

30.   Atlanta Falcons - Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford
Last year, Stanford TE Coby Fleener was the top name in the NFL draft amongst TEs.  Good for him, because although he was an Andrew Luck favorite, he was not the best TE on that Cardinal team. That honor belongs to Zach Ertz.  Ertz would be joing a team that Hall-of-Famer to be Tony Gonzalez is leaving.  This team has some real dynamic weapons, and played good football this year. If Ertz can come in and mostly replace Gonzalez, this team could push again.

31.   San Francisco 49ers – Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
Despite losing the Super Bowl, I think San Fran has a better shot at returning to the big game next year than the defending champs do.  This is a very good team, and they have the freedom to pick the best player available.  At this point, that honor goes to Sam Montgomery, who can come in a learn from Justin Smith and provide a young impact player at DE.

32.   Baltimore Ravens - John Cyprien, S, Florida International
The Raven are the champs thanks to a masterful playoff run.  It surprised some, but remember that I had them as the AFC Champs at the start of the season.  Ray Lewis is now retired, and it is a must to replace him.  Unfortunately, any ILB would be a reach here.  Matt Birk and Ed Reed are no longer young either, and of the two positions, Cyprien is the top player on my board.  This kid has been under the radar for some time, but after the combine, everyone will know his name.  He may have played at a small school, but his play is anything but.

33. Jacksonville Jaguars - Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
34. Kansas City Chiefs - Matt Barkley, QB, USC
35. Philadelphia Eagles - DJ Fluker, OT, Alabama
36. Detroit Lions - Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
37. Cincinnati Bengals via Oakland - Eddy Lacy, RB, Alabama
38. Arizona Cardinals - Mike Glennon, QB, NC State
39. Cleveland Browns - Pick Forfeited
40. New York Jets - Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
41. Tennessee Titans - Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
42. Buffalo Bills - Dallas Thomas, OT, Tennessee
43. Miami Dolphins - Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
44. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Chris Faulk, OT, LSU
45. Carolina Panthers - Robert Woods, WR, USC
46. New Orleans Saints - Pick Forfeited
47. St Louis Rams - Matt Elam, S, Florida
48. San Diego Chargers - Tharold Simon, CB, LSU
49. Dallas Cowboys - Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
50. Pittsburgh Steelers - Logan Ryan, CB, Rutgers
51. New York Giants - Vance McDonald, TE, Rice
52. Chicago Bears - Justin Pugh, OT, Syracuse
53. Cincinnati Bengals - Corey Lemonier, DE, Auburn
54. Washington Redskins - Margus Hunt, DE, SMU
55. Minnesota Vikings - Arthur Brown, OLB, Kansas State
56. Miami Dolphins via Indianapolis - Blidi Wreh Wilson, CB, UConn
57. Seattle Seahawks - Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
58. Green Bay Packers - Alex Okafor, DE/OLB, Texas
59. Houston Texans - Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor
60. Denver Broncos - Kawann Short, DT, Purdue
61. New England Patriots - Quinton Patton, WR, La Tech
62. Atlanta Falcons - Datone Jones, DE/OLB, UCLA
63. San Francisco 49ers - Larry Warford, OG, Kentucky
64. Baltimore Ravens - Gerald Hodges, MLB, Penn State