We saw some unreal performances in Indianapolis that will be sure to throw mock drafts in a tailspin. We attempt to thwart the hype in our post-Combine 2013 NFL Mock Draft.
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1. Kansas City Chiefs – Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
The Alex Smith trade is official…well sort of. Andy Reid has hitched his cart to Alex Smith for better or worse, Chiefs fans. The goal will be to keep Dwayne Bowe and attempt to ensure he has a solid blindside protector. I think they let Brandon Albert walk as he’ll command big dollars with back issues. They let someone else pick up the tab on that one and move on.
This pick could come down to Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher. John Dorsey and Andy Reid will have to debate which OT has the most promise out of the two. Flip a coin, as they both bring special qualities. For now, we’ll go with Joeckel in a photo finish.
I’m locked into Dion Jordan with this pick. It just makes too much sense to me that Gus Bradley would find his Chris Clemons/Bruce Irvin as there isn’t one on the current roster. Dee Milliner should get some love here as Gus has been vocal about finding a physical press corner. Milliner fits the bill and I was close on making a corner the No. 2 overall selection.
3. Oakland Raiders – Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Reggie McKenzie isn’t tied to Carson Palmer or Terrelle Pryor. Way back when I was mocking quarterbacks to the Raiders but as the group began tailing off, I began changing that selection up to defense. With Geno officially out of the mix at No. 1, I think it’s going to be difficult for the Raiders to pass on him if he’s sitting there for them.
That said, this defense is broken…badly. I would put my hopes in Pryor or Palmer and take the best defensive player on the board. Floyd gives the Raiders a penetrating 3T that can pressure and shoot gaps to destroy the action in the backfield. The Raiders have to make finding defensive talent a priority in the draft.
4. Philadelphia Eagles – Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
If the Eagles are unable to keep Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and/or Nnamdi Asomugha they will have nothing at the corner position except for an adequate slot.
Dee Milliner is fresh off dispelling the myth that he couldn’t run. His hands let him down a bit but the reality is that teams will be interested in his big body, physical play, and speed. He will have them thinking thoughts of a faster but shorter Richard Sherman which may be too much for the Eagles to pass on.
Eric Fisher doesn’t have to move far. He’s a Michigan kid that stays in Michigan. The Lions have nothing at LT and Gosder Cherilus is a free agent and had a surgery in Germany in the offseason. Defensive end is clearly a big need but Fisher is the best player available at a spot of need. Protecting Matt Stafford is a major priority for this team as they need to do everything possible to ensure he maximizes his talent. Finding a receiver to complement Calvin Johnson will be the next step for this offense.
If the Lions go with a DE, look for Ezekiel Ansah to come off the board at this point. The Lions staff worked with Ansah at the Senior Bowl and have seen what he’s capable of in the wide 9.
6. Cleveland Browns – Ezekiel Ansah, DE/OLB, BYU
This is an intriguing pick and the Browns could be in an interesting position to make a deal. Geno Smith is still out there and the Cardinals could be licking their chops to make Smith the quarterback to begin the Bruce Arians era. We don’t mock trades but if the Bills or Jets really like Geno they could do a deal with the Browns to get ahead of the Cardinals.
The other scenario could have the Browns pulling the trigger on Smith. Mike Lombardi wasn’t a fan of the Brandon Weeden selection but for now, we’ll go defense here.
Ezekiel Ansah brings more intrigue than any prospect in the draft, for me. He brings loads of versatility to Ray Horton’s defense as he can stand up or put his hand in the dirt. He’s a special player but also brings more risk than any prospect at this point.
Cutting Kevin Kolb takes $7.5 million to the bank. If Kolb doesn’t restructure his deal, it’s a certainty that they will be moving on from him as their starter. Brian Hoyer is a restricted free agent and they would be wise to tender him as a stopgap and possible bridge to Geno, if he isn’t ready.
Bruce Arians vertical offense could find its man with Geno Smith. Smith throws a great deep ball and Larry Fitzgerald could be a happy man if Smith is the pick.
8. Buffalo Bills – Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU
I really debated going offensive line with this pick. If the Bills lose Andy Levitre in free agency that leaves a hole at LG making Chance Warmack a logical selection. If they really wanted to upgrade the line, they could look at going with Lane Johnson and moving Cordy Glenn to right tackle.
Cordarrelle Patterson would look nice on the outside but the WR depth in the draft could keep them from taking a risk on Patterson. Instead, they make new DC Mike Pettine very happy by giving him a versatile rush linebacker in Barkevious Mingo. Mingo showed off his freakish athleticism at the Combine and will have DC’s salivating with his versatility.
9. New York Jets – Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
At some point you just need to draft good football players. It’s not a sexy pick and they could go for a splash player like Cordarrelle Patterson or Jarvis Jones. Instead they opt to strengthen their offensive line. Which wasn’t great in 2012 and will be worse in 2013 unless they can find upgrades to Vladimir Ducasse and Dennis Landolt.
Warmack is arguably one of the best football players in the draft. We could debate positional value all day but the bottom line remains that he’s a Pro Bowl caliber player at a position of need.
10. Tennessee Titans – Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
Sheldon Richardson falling to No. 10 is an enormous steal in my book. Richardson’s potential is through the roof. He had a so-so Combine which has some down on the Missouri disruptor.
The Titans are good but not great in the middle of their defense. Jurrell Casey, Karl Klug, and Mike Martin are solid, young DT’s but none offer the potential that Richardson brings to the table.
11. San Diego Chargers – Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
Lane Johnson proved that what was on tape wasn’t a fluke. He’s the most athletic tackle in the draft and has boatloads of upside. The offensive line deficient Chargers would be foolish to pass on a future stud left tackle at No. 11 and I don’t see it happening. I wialso don’t believe they will be able to stay put and still pick up Johnson. I’m not sure he won’t wind up in the top 9 picks of the draft when it’s all said and done.