Now that the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine has officially ended, it’s time to restructure what the 2013 NFL Draft will look like come April 25th. College prospects all around the country arrived and departed the annual showcase with hopes of shooting themselves up team’s respective draft boards. While some certainly solidified their place as top prospects in this year’s draft, others did themselves no favors by performing poorly at the Combine. Pro Days and individual work outs could change the tone for many prospects as we inch closer the “D-Day”, but nonetheless, these are critical times for prospects all around. This is DraftInsider’s 2013 NFL Mock Draft: 3.0. This is our first two-round mock of the 2013 draft season. We hope you enjoy, and if you feel like we’re completely wrong on a certain pick, or if you happen to love on of our picks, make sure to spread the word and interact.
1) Kansas City Chiefs – Luke Joeckel OT Texas A&M
Andy Reid and the Chiefs recently traded their 2013 second round pick for former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith, ultimately closing the door of possibility for any of the top quarterbacks to be taken with the first overall selection. Joeckel is an immediate upgrade from veteran offensive tackle Branden Albert, and will start and contribute immediately.
2) Jacksonville Jaguars – Sheldon Richardson DT Missouri
Normally when you find yourself drafting second overall, you have certain glaring needs that you have to address. However, for the Jaguars, they’re in the perfect position to take the best player available on their draft board. When all is said and done, the Jaguars’ highest rated player available could be Missouri product Sheldon Richardson. Richardson is one of the most versatile athletes in this draft, and my top rated defensive tackle available. Richardson could play a role similar to Derek Wolfe in Denver, where he plays inside, and slides out on top of the tackle to rush the passer.
3) Oakland Raiders – Geno Smith QB West Virginia
If you’re the Oakland Raiders, heading into the 2013 campaign with Carson Palmer or Terrelle Pryor as your starting quarterback has to be a major concern for you. While Smith is not the third best player in this draft, he’s certainly the top quarterback available. The Raiders have been reported to be in love with Smith, dating back to this year’s Senior Bowl. The Raiders could look to reach here for Smith if they feel he is “their guy”, or they could look to trade back, and hope he’s available later in the first round.
4) Philadelphia Eagles – Dion Jordan OLB Oregon
“Stick with what you know” should be the motto for Chip Kelly and the Eagles with the fourth overall pick. Kelly needs insurance with this pick, and by that I mean he needs a player that will give him the best chance to succeed in year one in one of the most highly scrutinized markets in all of sports. Jordan provides Kelly comfort in the sense that he knows the defensive he’s going to be running, and his learning curve will be minimal. Jordan is an explosive, versatile player that will be able to be plugged in from day one and contribute immediately at a high level.
5) Detroit Lions – Eric Fisher OT Central Michigan
Do you draft a corner to sure up your defense? or do you protect your franchise quarterback who needs to be on his feet to throw to one of the most prolific wide receivers of all time? I think that’s a fairly easy answer, and it’s protecting your quarterback so that he can rifle the ball to Calvin Johnson. Eric Fisher is ten times over an upgrade from Riley Reiff, who’s a better and more natural fit at guard or right tackle, assuming Gosder Cherlius leaves via free agency this off-season. Fisher is one of the premiere offensive tackles in this draft, and is rated neck-and-neck with Luke Joeckel, both of whom can be categorized as “franchise” left tackles.
6) Cleveland Browns – Dee Milliner CB Alabama
When you look at the offensive competition the Browns will have to put up with in 2013, think of the following names. Joe Flacco, Ben Roethlisberger, A.J. Green, Torrey Smith, and Ray Rice. For a team that struggles annually, you need to make sure you’re competitive defensively in order to compete period. The Browns have a lot of good pieces all around their tea, but drafting the top corner available in the draft to pair with a young stud in Joe Haden would certainly improve their chances of being a more competitive opponent in their division.
7) Arizona Cardinals – Lane Johnson OT Oklahoma
Perhaps no prospect in this entire draft has helped his stock rise more than Oklahoma’s Lane Johnson. The former quarterback turned tight end, turned premiere offensive tackle started his meteoric rise to the top of the draft with an extremely impressive Senior Bowl, as well as an over the top performance at this year’s Combine. Johnson is an extremely athletic offensive lineman that could very well be the answer for what can be described as an “absolutely putrid mess” in Arizona in the trenches.
8) Buffalo Bills – Barkevious Mingo OLB LSU
The Bills need to continue to build their defense around their highly priced, and highly profiled playmakers. Mario Williams has the Bills by the throat with his $50 million dollars guaranteed and will surely look to see the team surround him with defensive play makers. Adding Mingo to line up opposite of Williams, along with Jarius Byrd and Marcel Dareus provides the Bills with an impact defensive line-up that could help them compete immediately in the AFC East if the right offensive pieces are put into place. Mingo is a raw talent, but with the right coaching can be molded into one of the best defenders in this entire draft.
9) New York Jets – Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah OLB BYU
If there’s one team in the NFL that will reach on a player based on the hype created around him before the draft, it’s going to be Rex Ryan and the New York Jets. Ansah is raw, but his production this past season with the Cougars can’t be overlooked and Ryan loves to take chances on players he feels he can mold into the NFL’s next great star. Ansah could be that player, or he could be the player that sends Rex packing.
10) Tennessee Titans – Chance Warmack OG Alabama
The Titans have holes on the offensive line that they need to fill in order to see the top quality production out of running back Chris Johnson that they had when he ran for over 2,000 yards just a few short years ago. They also have a young quarterback in Jake Locker that needs to be kept on his feet in order to drive the offense down the field and into the end zone. Warmack provides stability along the offensive line, and could easily be a starter for the Titans for well over a decade.
11) San Diego Chargers – Johnathan Cooper OG North Carolina
Much like the Tennessee Titans, the Chargers too have needs on their offensive line. While offensive tackle is their most pressing need in the trenches, the Chargers could look to add a stud in Cooper here with the 11th pick. Cooper is an athletically gifted freak who will provide insurance in the passing game for quarterback Philip Rivers, as well as give running back Ryan Mathews big gaping holes to run through in 2013 and beyond.
12) Miami Dolphins - Cordarrelle Patterson WR Tennessee
The Dolphins drafted quarterback Ryan Tannehill in the 2012 NFL Draft with the expectation that he will be their guy to lead the franchise for many years to come. As we all know in the NFL, a quarterback isn’t of much value with out weapons around him. While Patterson may be a raw product, he is scarily athletic, and a natural play maker because of that. Patterson would be a great addition line up opposite of Brian Hartline, and would give Miami a threatening passing attack to help them compete in the AFC East.
13) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Sharrif Floyd DT Florida
The Buccaneers need a versatile athlete on their defensive line that could line up along side Gerald McCoy, as well as slide outside to rush the passer on third downs. Floyd is that player, being that he is quick enough to line up on top of the tackle and rush the edge, as well as bull-rush opposing centers and guards, creating havoc in the backfield. Floyd would start immediately in Tampa, and could be in contention to become one of their best defensive players in year one.
14) Carolina Panthers – DeAndre Hopkins WR Clemson
Cam Newton came along in the latter part of last season, and will need weapons to ensure continued success in 2013. Veteran wide out Steve Smith isn’t getting any younger, and is on the decline of his career with the Panthers. Hopkins is an explosive, play making receiver that would be suited well to learn from like-minded players in Smith and Newton. Hopkins could be tutored along by Smith to eventually take over as Newton’s prime target in what is already a scary looking offense.
15) New Orleans Saints – Star Lotulelei DT Utah
The New Orleans Saints were on of the NFL’s biggest disappointments in 2012, and with the transition to the 3-4 base defense, will look to sure up the core of their defensive unit by finding an anchor inside. Star provides versatility along their defensive line, as he can play the nose tackle position, but can also slide out to the three-technique if they use a hybrid 4-3 front. Don’t be surprised to see Lotulelei fall this far, as many have projected him to be a top-five prospect. Star does have health concerns that need to be solidified before draft day if he’s going to move up on team’s draft boards.
16) St. Louis Rams – Kenny Vaccaro S Texas
The Rams could look to go wide receiver here depending on how they feel their current receivers are developing, but don’t overlook the fact that Jeff Fisher will look to continue to build his defense. The rams have quality defenders all along the front seven, and selected a few cornerbacks recently that have contributed early. Vaccaro gives the Rams versatility in center field, and could play either strong or free safety in the NFL. Texas has always machined quality secondary defenders that have produced long-term in the NFL, Vaccaro will proudly carry that torch.