In a unique approach to “Mock Drafts”, I’ve done the entire 1st round of the 2013 NFL Draft going strictly by our board and my valuation of team needs.
Though it may be a bit “unexpected” with many picks, keep in mind three things: 1.) I’m a needs-focused drafted. 2.) We have four first round grades on quarterbacks. And 3.) Every team, just like us and other online scouting teams, have wildly different boards.
With that, enjoy!
1 . Kansas City Chiefs - Eric Fisher - OT - Central Michigan
-The debate rages on between Fisher vs. Joeckel on what the actual Chiefs brass would do. For me, despite both players have the same final grade for us, the answer is fairly simple: Take Eric Fisher. Fisher has played left and right tackle in his college career (Joeckel hasn’t) and has more athletic upside than Luke Joeckel.
2 . Jacksonville Jaguars - Geno Smith - QB - West Virginia
-I was in support of Blaine Gabbert coming out of college, but the fit with Jacksonville was doomed from the beginning, and he seems “beyond repair” as long as he’s a Jaguar. Geno Smith is a franchise quarterback, and you don’t pass on one unless you have one.
3 . Oakland Raiders - Sheldon Richardson - DT – Missouri
-The Raiders need defensive line help in the worst way, and Richardson is the top defensive player in the draft on our board. If Geno Smith was here, he’d be the pick.
4 . Philadelphia Eagles - Jonathan Cyprien - S - Florida International
-A bit of a reach (both in real life and on my board), the Eagles have done a fantastic job adding pieces to their defense in free agency to the point where they really only have a need at safety. Cyprien gets the nod over a 5-technique (Sharrif Floyd) and an offensive tackle (Luke Joeckel).
5 . Detroit Lions - Luke Joeckel - OT - Texas A&M
-The Lions get lucky, with arguably the top player in the draft falling to them at pick #5 and with that player filling a major need. Hopefully Matt Stafford can get the protection he needs.
6 . Cleveland Browns - Kenny Vaccaro - S – Texas
-Dion Jordan and Kenny Vaccaro were tough to pick against for this pick, as both would fit what Cleveland’s trying to do defensively. However, they have two capable pass rushers now (I’m a Jabaal Sheard fan), and Vaccaro gives them a unique hybrid safety to utilize.
7 . Arizona Cardinals - Dion Jordan - OLB – Oregon
-Offensive tackle would “seem” like the obvious pick, but I’ll go Dion Jordan for two reasons: One, a rookie left tackle won’t fix this team’s pass protection problems with the talent of pass rushers in the NFC West quickly. And two, the Cardinals need a pass rusher who can also contain Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick in space.
8 . Buffalo Bills - Ryan Nassib - QB - Syracuse
-The Bills need a franchise quarterback, and we’ve graded Nassib as one. He obviously can transition smoothly into Doug Marrone’s system, and he should beat out Kevin Kolb pretty quickly in training camp.
9 . New York Jets - Tyler Wilson - QB - Arkansas
-Adding to the defense would be a nice luxury for this rebuilding roster, but they need a franchise quarterback who can weather a bad year or two and the intense scrutiny of New York. What Tyler Wilson went through in Arkansas this year shows he can do both, and he’s worth a first round pick.
10 . Tennessee Titans – Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
-The Titans interior presence is lacking right now, and Star offers some scheme diversity to keep this front seven a strength. Dee Milliner is also a strong option for Tennessee.
11 . San Diego Chargers - Lane Johnson - OT - Oklahoma
-The Chargers get “lucky” in having a top left tackle fall to them, but I’m not completely sold on the “elite” expectations Lane Johnson has garnered recently. The Chargers should be excited, yet cautious, if they land Johnson.
12 . Miami Dolphins - Bjoern Werner - DE - Florida State
-Battling for our top defensive player ranking, the Dolphins should be excited and run to the podium to take Bjoern Werner. He can bookend Cam Wake for the future, and this team SHOULD be able to either add Brandon Albert via trade or get a OT in round two.
13 . Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Matt Barkley - QB - USC
-Josh Freeman has proven that he’s not the answer at quarterback for this team, and they need a heady, calm, and polished quarterback to orchestrate this run-first offense. Barkley fits that well, can start day one, and finally gives this young offense the franchise piece it needs.
14 . Carolina Panthers - Keenan Allen - WR - California
-Finding a consistent and long-term weapon for Cam Newton is a must in this draft, especially with Steve Smith likely in his last year with the team. Pairing Keenan Allen with Brandon LaFell gives a talented starting duo for Newton to utilize.
15 . New Orleans Saints - Corey Lemonier - OLB - Auburn
-The Saints have a glaring need at pass rusher at the moment, and Corey Lemonier is the top rusher on our board (yes, over Ezekiel Ansah) and fits well in our board ‘s rank (he’s at #17).
16 . St. Louis Rams - Quinton Patton - WR - Louisiana Tech
-Brian Quick was the team’s high ceiling pick at receiver last year, and he should have a much better 2nd year. However, they need a reliable and decisive pass catcher to give Sam Bradford some comfort-ability. Patton is our 2nd rated WR in this class, and fills in for Amendola smoothly.
17 . Pittsburgh Steelers - Dee Milliner - CB - Alabama
-Getting a great value here, the Steelers need to address the cornerback position if they hope to contain Josh Gordon, AJ Green, and Torrey Smith long-term.
18 . Dallas Cowboys – Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
-It’s unique that he’s on the board, but combining the fact that team’s don’t need 3/5-techniques above them and the Cowboys need more interior talent, the Cowboys are lucky to get a great value in Floyd.
19 . New York Giants - Kevin Minter - ILB - LSU
-Linebacker has been a consistently neglected position for the Giants, but they get their pick between Minter and Brown here. Minter is a great value here (a Top 15 player for us) and finally gives this team an adequate replacement for Antonio Pierce.
20 . Chicago Bears - Xavier Rhodes - CB - Florida State
-Finding cornerbacks with scheme versatility and the ability to press and win in the short area is difficult. While they have needs elsewhere (Arthur Brown is intriguing), Rhodes is a good value and gives this team a long-term answer at cornerback.
21 . Cincinnati Bengals - Arthur Brown - OLB - Kansas State
-Brown is a fantastic athlete at linebacker who can fill a multitude of spots for the Bengals. Likely, his best fit is playing outside, leaving Burfict on the interior, and giving this front 7 two athletic linebackers to continue to build around.
22 . St. Louis Rams – Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
-Even after adding Jake Long, finding more offensive line help would be a wise decision for the Rams at this point in the draft. Warmack can step in right away to put alongside Jake Long.
23 . Minnesota Vikings - Ezekiel Ansah - DE - BYU
-Really a value pick because there’s no ILB value on the board, Ansah gives this team the ability to capitalize on young offensive line’s in division (Packers, Lions, Bears) and some versatility for the future.
24 . Indianapolis Colts - Johnthan Banks - CB - Mississippi State
-Despite trading for Vontae Davis last year, this team still has defensive back issues. Banks is both a good value here and gives this team some physical cornerback play to keep this team in the playoff mix.
25 . Minnesota Vikings - Robert Woods - WR - USC
-After signing Greg Jennings, this team still needs receiver help. Basically trading Percy Harvin for Robert Woods could (surprisingly) be a “win” for the Vikings thanks to Woods’s upside.
26 . Green Bay Packers - Barkevious Mingo - OLB - LSU
-The addition of Nick Perry last year was an intriguing one, and one that I’m not sure will work out long-term. Having him rotate (and battle) with the high risk/high reward Mingo may be ideal for both players.
27 . Houston Texans - Tyler Eifert - TE - Notre Dame
-Houston needs another consistent offensive weapon to help Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson remain productive, and Tyler Eifert is the best of the “playmakers” on the board.
28 . Denver Broncos - Tank Carradine - DE - Florida State
-After losing Dumervil and “set” to start Derek Wolfe and Robert Ayers at defensive end (not good), they’ll take the best defensive end available. Carradine is the ideal fit here.
29 . New England Patriots - Alex Okafor - DE - Texas
-Okafor isn’t often talked about, but his ability to win inside and out thanks to develop hand usage should allow him early NFL success. He can likely work at defensive and 3-technique for the Patriots, and adds versatility for their front 7.
30 . Atlanta Falcons - Tavon Austin - WR - West Virginia
-A bit of a luxury pick, the Falcons don’t have a “need” at receiver. But Austin can be much more than that for this team, and it’s exciting to imagine what this team can do by keeping Austin inside of Roddy White and Julio Jones.
31 . San Francisco 49ers - John Jenkins - DT – Georgia
-With few needs, the 49ers can add to their front three with this pick, grabbing the best nose tackle available in John Jenkins, who’s our 4th rated DT.
32 . Baltimore Ravens - Zach Ertz - TE – Stanford
-Eric Reid is a strong possibility here, but Zach Ertz is an overall better value based on our board. With Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta restricted free agents, neither one may need to be in the long-term plans with the talent Ertz possesses.