2013 NFL Draft: DraftInsider’s Mock Draft 3.0

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17) Pittsburgh SteelersJohnathan Hankins DT Ohio State

The Steelers recently released veteran defensive tackle Casey Hampton and will look to fill that need here in the first round by selecting Ohio State product Johnathan Hankins. Hankins would be a perfect fit in the Steelers’ 3-4 defense as a nose tackle, much like Hamtpon Was. Hankins could start right away in Pittsburgh, and provide the quickness and strength that the team lacked with the aging Hampton over the last half-decade or so.

18) Dallas CowboysD.J. Fluker OT Alabama

Doug Free is not a starting right tackle in the NFL, at least not anymore. The Cowboys could either move Free inside to guard, or release the highly over priced lineman. By selecting Fluker with the 18th pick, they assure themselves a quality starting caliber right tackle, and an immediate upgrade from Free. They could look to keep Free on for one more year and have him play guard alongside Fluker, who would be well suited to have someone next to him with NFL experience at right tackle.

19) New York GiantsAlec Ogletree ILB Georgia

The Giants are in desperate need of a quality presence in the middle of their defense. The athletic, versatile Ogletree is exactly what they need, and could be an impact player for the Giants immediately. While Ogletree does have some off the field concerns that might drop him come draft day, I don’t see him falling farther than this, especially when the Giants have a pressing need at his position.

20) Chicago BearsTyler Eifert TE Notre Dame

If there’s one thing Bears’ quarterback Jay Cutler wants more than a solid offensive line, it’s his former tight end Greg Olsen. Olsen was traded to the Panthers when former offensive coordinator Mike Martz was with the team, as his offense called for more of a blocking tight end who wasn’t a threat in the passing game. It’s no secret that Cutler desperately misses Olsen, and could have his prayers answered with a player who possesses a very similar skill set to Olsen in Eifert.

21) Cincinnati BengalsBjoern Werner DE Florida State

It was recently reported that the Bengals will use the franchise tag on defensive end Michael Johnson, keeping him with the team at least through 2013. By adding Werner, the Bengals would have one of the most feared defensive lines in all of football, already having studs like Johnson and Geno Atkins. Werner could line up opposite of Johnson in week one and be a threat right from the first snap.

22) St. Louis Rams (via Washington Redskins) – Keenan Allen WR California

No one will debate that while the Rams are young at wide receiver, they don’t have one receiver that can take over a game. Keenan Allen could be that player, but will need to develop during his first year with the team. He could be Bradford’s prime target for years to come if he can create chemistry with the Rams highly paid franchise quarterback.

23) Minnesota VikingsTavon Austin WR West Virginia

What do you when you trade Percy Harvin? You draft the next Percy Harvin. Austin may be the quickest player I’ve ever, yes ever, watched on tape. He’s an explosive receiver that can create havoc in open space with his athleticism, and would be the ideal replacement for the Vikings’ if indeed they do look to move Harvin off the roster.

24) Indianapolis ColtsDesmond Trufant CB Washington State

Vontae Davis filled a need for the Colts last off-season after being traded to the Colts from the Dolphins, but has no clear cut opposition on the defense with him. Trufant comes from a successful NFL family, and is a big, speedy corner who would compliment Davis extremely well. The Colts have to be very happy solidifying a top defensive need here with the 24th overall pick.

25) Seattle SeahawksCornelius “Tank” Carradine DE Florida State

While some may be much higher than myself on Carradine, I think that it’s more hype than anything else. I don’t take the Combine too much into consideration, and I won’t here with Carradine. Sure, he blew the doors off of Lucas Oil Stadium last week, and that’s fantastic. However, I don’t consider him a top-10 pick, and won’t unless I see something about his game that gets me on the edge of my seat. Carradine is a great pick for Seattle here with the 25th selection, as Carradine, in my opinion compares very well to a current Seahawk in Chris Clemons.

26) Green Bay PackersXavier Rhodes CB Florida State

The Seminoles are taking over the bottom half of the first round in this year’s draft, as the Packers look to sure up their secondary by selecting Rhodes 26th overall. Rhodes is a top-15 talent, but will see himself slip due to positional needs by the teams selecting ahead of Green Bay. Rhodes can and will start right away for the Packers opposite of Pro-Bowler Tramon Williams

27) Houston TexansMenelik Watson OT Florida State

It continues with the Seminoles, Ironic, isn’t it? For the third straight pick a Florida State prospect is off the board with the Texans selecting recent riser Menelik Watson to sure up their offensive line. The Texans had hoped to draft a receiver to compliment, and eventually take over for Andre Johnson, but there’s just simply no answer for them with the 27th pick here.

28) Denver BroncosJordan Poyer CB Oregon State

Champ Bailey is aging, and declining. With the NFL  moving towards a full-on passing league, the Broncos need to stay with the trend and solidify a need on their defense by drating Poyer here. Poyer is an explosive corner, who has faced great talent in the Pac-12 throughout his career. He could be mentored while playing opposite of Bailey in Denver, and eventually become his replacement after learning from one of the game’s all-time greats.

29) New England PatriotsKawaan Short DT Purdue

One of more pressing needs in New England is depth along the defensive line. Short would provide youth and athleticism to go along with a young rising star in Chandler Jones. Vince Wilfork is nearing the decline of his career and Short has the ability to play the nose tackle if need in the absence of Wilfork in the future.

30) Atlanta FalconsZach Ertz TE Stanford

With future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez possibly retiring, the Falcons need to find a replacement for one of quarterback Matt Ryan’s favorite Targets. Even if Gonzalez does return in 2013, Ertz couldn’t ask to be in a better position than learning from the best tight end of all time. Ertz is more athletically gifted than Gonzalez, but can’t ignore what Gonzalez can teach him about the game and the position, even if Gonzalez isn’t the same player he once was.

31) San Francisco 49ersJarvis Jones OLB Georgia

What a bittersweet day draft day will be for Jarvis Jones. Once predicted as a top-five overall selection, Jones sees himself fall due to medical concerns and numerous red flag grades from teams across the league. The 49ers have 15 picks in this years draft, and if Jones falls to them due to his medical issues, there’s no reason the 49ers shouldn’t take a risk on what could up being the final defensive piece to their Super Bowl hopes.

32) Baltimore Ravens–  Eric Reid S LSU

Future Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed may not be back with the Ravens in 2013, and Baltimore needs to assure themselves of a play maker in his possible absence. Reid could be that player to replace “The Hawk” and start immediately. While Reid may not be overall better than Florida International’s Jonathan Cyprien, he fits the ravens better at this point.