Let’s preface this again by saying that I think Matt Barkley winds up in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft but I see it coming via trade in the latter portions of round one, ala Brady Quinn. Ouch that comparison hurts. Another name that will be popping up is Aaron Murray. If Murray can take it to the ‘Bama defense and find his way into the National Title game, he will see a major rise in his draft stock, should he decide to declare. Anyways, here’s my latest 2013 NFL Mock Draft, as always feel free to leave comments.
1. Kansas City Chiefs – Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
There’s not a lot of good in KC right now. Massive and sweeping changes are needed as no one appears safe. It will start with the GM and work it’s way down to all ranks of this coaching staff. April will signal the dawn of a new era of quarterback play in KC as the Chiefs distance themselves from Matt Cassel. Geno Smith hasn’t played as well as of late but is the best option available. I don’t see this pick as a massive reach but with no clear cut No. 1 pick, he makes too much sense for a team in need.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars – Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
I flip flopped from Bjoern to Damontre and back to Bjoern. Werner is an impressive prospect that will only get better with NFL coaching. Jacksonville creates no pressure on opposing QB’s and I can’t see them sticking with a starting tandem of Jeremy Mincey and Andre Branch. Mincey could be relegated to the bench as they choose to see what they have in Branch. Werner gives them an immediate disruptive force off the edge that everyone is seeking.
3. Oakland Raiders – Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
This pick has to be spent along the front seven. This pick could be Manti Te’o, Jarvis Jones, Damontre Moore or really any front seven impact player. But I think they turn the page on the aging middle of their defensive line. Tommy Kelly is almost assured of being a cap casualty leaving a spot in the middle for Lotulelei. Let’s see if Star can rejuvenate Richard Seymour.
4. Philadelphia Eagles – Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
If Luke Joeckel is on the board when the Eagles select it should be a mad sprint to the podium. They get nothing out of their current tackle rotation and Jason Peters is aging and injured. Joeckel is my top rated prospect in the draft and carries a higher grade than 2012 4th pick, Matt Kalil.
5. Cleveland Browns – Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
It seems that wherever the Browns pick, Jarvis Jones tends to find a landing spot. The Browns defense has played fairly well as of late but are in need of an impact pass rusher to team with a solid defensive line. This pick is most likely a DE or OLB but if Jones checks out medically he has to get consideration in the top five.
6. Carolina Panthers – Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
DT is a major need but I think Johnathan Hankins slips a bit because of his inconsistent play late in the season. The Panthers could use some help in protecting Cam Newton. This selection allows Jordan Gross to slide to the right side and Lewan man Newton’s blind side.
7. San Diego Chargers – Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame
After watching San Diego this week it solidified my belief that they absolutely need to come away from this draft with offensive line help. That said, I can’t see them passing on a talent like Te’o early in this draft. The OL will have to wait until later rounds, not making Phillip Rivers a happy camper.
8. Buffalo Bills – Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
This pick wasn’t very popular in my last mock but I’m sticking with Wilson to the Bills. Chan Gailey may get a lifeline and rest his future hopes on a rookie, it’s better than Fitz. I really like the fit of Wilson with Chan Gailey and Buffalo.
9. Tennessee Titans – Matt Elam, SS, Florida
The play of the Titans safeties has been abysmal. I really can’t see them going into next season with the combo of Jordan Babineaux and Michael Griffin. Elam is a solid all around safety that is reminiscent of Earl Thomas. His size may be the only downside to Elam’s game and it will be overlooked with his play in 2012.
10. Detroit Lions – Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
If Damontre Moore makes it down to Detroit, fans should be jumping for joy. I think Moore is good enough to warrant a top five selection, so snagging him with the 10th pick constitutes a steal for Martin Mayhew.
11. Arizona Cardinals – Mike Glennon, QB, North Carolina State
Glennon was clearly the most unpopular pick in my last mock draft but I’m sticking with the N.C. State signal caller. I think his skill set warrants a top 15 pick in this draft. Arizona has nothing at the QB position and can’t feel comfortable going into 2013 with John Skelton, Kevin Kolb, and Ryan Lindley. I see a Brandon Weeden type season from Glennon in year one.
12. New York Jets – Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA
It’s looking less and less that Rex Ryan (or Mike Tannenbaum for that matter) will be with the team in 2013. The Jets are in need of playmakers on either side of the ball. Barr is a one-year wonder with an out-of-this-world skill set. He’s exactly the type of player the Jets should be looking at in this draft. An impact player that can pressure the quarterback…sign me up.
13. St. Louis Rams – Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
Has Sam Bradford been David Carr-ed? The Rams are in desperate need of help on the offensive line. Warmack is the best of available OL and one could make a case for him being the second best OL in this draft. He’s a special talent at the guard position that warrants a top 15 selection.
14. Miami Dolphins – Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
I think the Dolphins let Jake Long walk, which would put Jake Matthews in play. For now, I’m sticking with a corner for the Dolphins are 26th against the pass and have little quality or depth at cornerback and should use a pick in the top two rounds on the position.
15. St. Louis Rams (f/WAS) – Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU
Mingo could play a Von Miller role in Jeff Fisher’s defense. I really like the marriage of Mingo and Fisher and think this is a phenomenal landing spot for the ultra talented DE. His conversion to standing up should be an easy one. This selection makes too much sense to neglect.
16. Dallas Cowboys – Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
If Jake Matthews is on the board when Dallas selects and he’s not the pick, Jerry Jones should fire himself. Matthews is a great fit and gives Dallas a couple of bookends to protect Tony Romo’s life. Romo has taken a beating this year making OL a must in the early rounds of our 2013 NFL Mock Draft.
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