By: Eric Serna
This is my full 1st round mock draft for the 2013 NFL Draft. I previously posted my 7 round mock draft for the Jacksonville Jaguars, which is still up on the site, so check that out. But for the sake of time and your convenience, I am only doing a mock for all the teams who have a 1st round pick, which means this is excluding the Seattle Seahawks, as well as the Washington Redskins (AND now officially the Tampa Bay Buccaneers). I have done the research based on the needs of all the teams, as well as best player available should the draft play out this way. Keep in mind, I personally believe there will be some major trades this year, so predicting where a player will go is very difficult, this year more then most. With that said, I have done this mock with no projected trades, just the pick for each team based off of my opinion. Please feel free to debate them in the comment section, and I hope that you enjoy my 1st round mock draft!
With the 1st pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs select:
Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
The Chiefs say publicly that they have 4 players on their board to pick with the #1 overall pick. I believe the pick will come down to only 3 players: Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher, and Dion Jordan. Although Fisher has a slight edge on Joeckel athletically, I would take Joeckel with the #1 overall pick this year. He is a tackle from the SEC who was impressive in his blocking this past year. Fisher is a small school prospect with major upside. Jordan would be a major wild card, but this Chiefs team looks much more ready to win now despite having the first pick this year. With playoffs, and yes, a fighting chance at the division title, the Chiefs select the safest choice for their franchise by selecting Joeckel.
With the 2nd pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars select:
Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon
The Jaguars have promise. Although they are at the bottom of the league as far as talent, they have a chance this year to change that. Making Dion Jordan the pick here would help change that. I don’t believe any QB is worth taking this year in the top 10 (but the need for QB’s will push prospects there). I refuse to believe that Geno Smith should go in the same spot Robert Griffin III went last year. Dion Jordan could play both OLB and DE, and fill the Leo position perfectly in head coach Gus Bradley’s defensive scheme. Any player picked here, for this team, would be a reach just based off what we need to be competitive this year. Although he is raw, I think this team needs to count on his potential and make a hit or miss type of pick. They passed that opportunity in one of the recent drafts with Jason Pierre-Paul. This time I don’t see them passing again.
With the 3rd pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders select:
Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
After some intense research for this mock draft involving all 32 teams, I realized that the Raiders, not the Jaguars, have the worst roster in the NFL. Where it shows the most, is in the middle of the defensive line. They barely had it last year, in games such as the one where they let Doug Martin completely manhandle them on the ground. I would pick Sharrif Floyd over Star Louteleli by a very small margin. Either prospect would help this team immediately though, and the fact that the Raiders only have a few draft picks this year means that they should go this route with their first round pick.
With the 4th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles select:
EJ Manuel, QB, Florida State
I’m going to be honest. I wanted my mock draft to be different. I’m not sold on Geno Smith being the #1 QB in this draft. I picked EJ Manuel at first based off preference. But the more and more I look into it, the more I realize this is more likely to happen then Smith to the Eagles. The Eagles sent the whole nine yards in terms of their personnel, just like the Jaguars did as well. But I don’t believe he would fit the Eagles offense they way Manuel would. I see Manuel having more athletic ability, which would spark an offense missing what Micheal Vick offered in his Comeback Player season. He’s a natural leader and towers at roughly 6’5, 237 lbs. I would say Manuel hasn’t tapped all of his potential, where as Smith is better as of today. But that fact is Smith regressed a lot as the year went on, and that really concerns me. With Vick on the roster for this year, I would take Manuel here.
With the 5th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions select:
Tavon Austin, WR, WVU
SURPRISE! Next pick is also one you may not of been expecting. This one is exciting for me. I LOVE watching Tavon Austin. I haven’t felt this way about a player being so explosive, including the likes of DeSean Jackson, and of course Percy Harvin. And I like him even more. This kid played running back in high school, moved to WR in college, and is a dual threat player who hasn’t had any issues with injury on the field (despite his small body frame) or any off the field problems, unlike both Jackson and Harvin. The thought of Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, Reggie Bush, AND Tavon Austin is scary. For the Lions sake, they will see that and draft this guy.
With the 6th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select:
Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
The Browns will be praying for Milliner to drop to them, and in this mock, he is still available to them at the #6 pick. There is nothing across from Joe Haden at the corner position, and Milliner is easily the best corner in the draft. The Lions and Browns could easily swap choices with Austin and Milliner though, because the Browns need a play maker at WR to upgrade from Greg Little playing across from Josh Gordan, who showed flashes as a supplemental draft pick last year.
With the 7th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Arizona Cardinals select:
Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
If the Lions don’t take a shot on Tavon Austin, I would say Eric Fisher won’t make it past the Lions, and Lane Johnson would be a possibility here. But I wouldn’t be surprised that Fisher would be here. It’s fairly obvious now after the Carson Palmer trade that offensive tackle has to be targeted early in the draft. Although recent reports mention an interest in Star Lotulelei, the Cardinals have more pressing needs up front.
With the 8th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills select:
Geno Smith, QB, WVU
So Geno Smith is NOT the first QB off the board in my mock, or the first WVU player drafted in the first round. That sounds crazy….or does it? With how close we are to the draft, shouldn’t we know where the first QB is going this year? No one is even agreeing on who the #1 prospect at QB is!! He could fall here if another QB is taken in the top 5 picks. New head coach Doug Marrone had success at Syracuse with Ryan Nassib. I could only think for him here by saying the sky would be the limit if he had Geno Smith instead of Tavaris Jackson and Kevin Kolb.
With the 9th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the New York Jets select:
Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
The Jets have A LOT of needs, more then some teams picking in front of them surprisingly enough. And although they have some more pressing needs then DT, Lotulelei would be a best player available scenario. He was used all over the defensive line at Utah, and would be a nice addition to a Jets defense that needs help along the line. I wanted to mock a QB to the Jets, but I honestly think Rex Ryan will be saved or go down with Mark Sanchez at the helm. Lotulelei would be a valuable choice here.
With the 10th pick in the NFL Draft, the Tennessee Titans select:
Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
There have been a lot of questions about Jarvis Jones medically. A lot of people think that he will fall because of it. Until I started doing this mock, I thought he would fall to the early 20’s in the first round. But I keep looking at past drafts. And history tells us that play making, pass rushing players do not slide, but get taken earlier then expected. The ability to get to the QB is hard to find. And Jones proved last season at Georgia he has the talent to do just that. A team like the Titans could take a chance on Jones to be another cog on their defense, despite the medical concerns.
With the 11th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers select:
Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
Year after year the Chargers shoot themselves in the foot and never become more then the over-hyped team they really are. Now they are starting fresh with a new GM and coach who can hopefully take the talent on this team and do more then the personnel before them. One glaring need for San Diego is the tackle position. Lane Johnson is by default the 3rd best tackle. Default because of the other two tackle prospects having a slight edge over him, and that has even been debated. This would be a solid pick for a team who would like to avoid rebuilding.
With the 12th pick in the NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins select:
Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
Picking for the Dolphins was a little difficult. They have some glaring needs at corner and tackle, but Ansah is falling if he goes past this pick, so for the best player available, the Dolphins pick Ansah to pair with Cameron Wake to terrorize the opposing QB. They could go corner here, or reach for a tackle, but you can’t beat the value of this pick.
With the 13th pick in the NFL Draft, the New York Jets select:
Xavier Rhodes, CB, FSU
I’m choosing this pick for either the Jets or Bucs, since I am positive this pick will be traded for Darrelle Revis. The Jets would only have Antonio Cromartie as a solid corner and could use an upgrade over the inept Kyle Wilson. If the Bucs keep the pick, they need corner help more then any team in the league, so they would have to reach for another corner if Rhodes isn’t available. But in this mock he is, and he would be an immediate upgrade and serviceable starter for the 2013 season.
UPDATE: This pick now officially belongs to the New York Jets after trading Darrelle Revis. I decided to keep my original description up since the news came after I had finished my mock draft. Just a side note, what a STEAL for Tampa Bay. 6 years, 96 million dollars. NOT ONE DOLLAR GUARENTEED!?!? AND only for a 1st round pick this year, and a fourth/third round pick at worst next year? Jets fans have to be completely disappointed in the way the franchise is heading. I agreed with trading Revis, but I would think the Jets would get more for arguably the best corner in football, even coming off a torn ACL. Good job Tampa Bay.
With the 14th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers select:
Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
The Carolina Panthers really need to provide more weapons for Cam Newton. But the next play maker is a reach in my opinion at #14. In comparison, Tavon Austin will not fall past this pick. So the Panthers select the next big need, which is DT. Sheldon Richardson was the lone bright spot on a disappointing first SEC season for Missouri. The fact that a DT recorded 75 tackles on the year is staggering. He has a non-stop motor, and the underwhelmed Panthers defense could use it to there advantage.
With the 15th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the New Orleans Saints select:
Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
This is almost too much of a match to happen. But in this mock, I call the shots, and a perfect fit means this pick happens here. Barkevious Mingo is too small to be a DE, but with some added size in the offseason he could pull it off. At the very least, he would be a valuable addition to Rex Ryan, using him in the same way he used DeMarcus Ware in Dallas. Mingo had a drop off in production last year, but pass rushers get moved up on draft boards, and this fills a need for the Saints.
With the 16th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the St. Louis Rams select:
Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
The Rams have some serious needs at safety. Kenny Vaccaro is the top consensus safety this year, and the Rams fill a need while arguably taking the best player available. This is a good spot to grab the safety from Texas, as Mark Barron on Alabama went in the top part of the 2012 Draft. I don’t see that happening this year, making this a good pick up for the Rams.
With the 17th pick in 2013 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers select:
Bjoern Werner, DE, FSU
This is probably one of my favorite pass rushers coming out this year. And the Steelers need to get more from the defensive line, so adding Bjoern Werner would be a warm welcome to the German native. He has distinct awareness, good size and build for a DE, and has a good history of production when he has played on the field. The Steelers could take a chance on a pass rushing linebacker, a safety to groom for Troy Polamalu’s eventual replacement, as well as some more help along the offensive line. But this year is the year you want to draft defensive lineman, and the Werner is a great fit for the Steel Curtain.
With the 18th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys select:
Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
Dallas just paid Tony Romo for being a passing stat stud with a sub-par regular season win percentage, and one playoff win. I get why they paid him, and it’s not the worst signing ever. But now Jerry Jones needs to draft around Romo (which he should have already been doing) and give the Cowboys more help along the offensive line, specifically the guard position. Chance Warmack has been projected as high as #5 to Detroit. Why is he available at #18 then? One name comes to mind: David DeCastro. DeCastro was projected as high as the Top 10, but the simple fact is guards are not taken that high. He drew comparisons to Steve Hutchinson, had a good combine and was displayed as the safest guard to be picked in the draft in recent memory, yet still dropped to the 24th pick. The Cowboys have their pick between Warmack and Jonathan Cooper. I like Warmack as a better prospect.
With the 19th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the New York Giants select:
D.J. Fluker, OT/G, Alabama
The Giants have for years had one of the best and strongest offensive lines in the NFL. But last year showed, the Giants have a need to fill up front. D.J. Fluker has received a lot of attention as the 4th best prospect behind the main 3 (Joeckel, Fisher, Johnson). He may be moved to guard in the pros, but he does have the possibility to play tackle. Luckily, both would fill a need or upgrade the current starter on the roster. Linebacker has been a need for a long time in New York, but they have proven to win with a dominant offensive and defensive line. This will bolster their protection for Eli Manning.
With the 20th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears select:
Alec Ogeltree, ILB, Georgia
Chicago doesn’t seem to be bring back Brian Urlacher under any circumstances, so they need to fill the position by adding Alec Ogeltree. Playing at a high level when not dealing with off the field issues, Ogeltree had 111 tackles on the Georgia defense. A former safety, Ogeltree made a smooth transition to inside linebacker, showing excellent pass coverage ability. He will fit right in on the high turnover and scoring Chicago defense if he can avoid any more off the field problems.
With the 21st pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals select:
Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame
Manti Te’o has had his stock soar after a great season which included 113 tackles and 7 interceptions, then drop tremendously with the BCS championship/Girlfriend Hoax/Combine performance, to then go back to a first round prospect after his Pro Day. I am sure Te’o will be drafted in the first round. Marvin Lewis and the Bengals could catch him here at the 21st pick and upgrade their linebacker core. Alabama running back Eddie Lacy was in consideration for this pick, but I believe there is SO much depth at running back for later rounds, that no running back gets chosen in the first round. They should re-sign Andre Smith, eliminating the need for tackle, leaving safety and linebacker as the only immediate upgrades needed in the first couple of rounds. Te’o would be my pick for the Bengals while targeting safety in the next two rounds.
With the 22nd pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the St. Louis Rams select:
Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Cordarrelle Patterson is a hard prospect to evaluate. At the start of the draft process, he was considered the top receiver prospect before the emergence of Tavon Austin’s incredible Combine performance. Then as draft analysts started to break down Patterson and his game, it showed how raw a prospect he really is. Obviously the kid has talent, with as much speed and explosiveness you want out of a receiver. But he falls for lack of experience, and luckily for the Rams, they give Sam Bradford a big weapon in a division that now looks to be one of the toughest in the league.
With the 23rd pick in the NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings select:
Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
With Antoine Winfield no longer on the roster, the Vikings are thinner at corner now then at the end of the season. They do have a couple of needs, but none bigger then corner. Desmond Trufant, the younger brother of Marcus Trufant (Seattle Seahawks CB), was a lock-down man to man corner with great speed to cover receivers (ran a 4.38 40 yard dash). He was one of the main reasons for Washington’s main highlight of the year in defeating Stanford, and was a solid contributor all year, despite the fact that teams tried not to throw in his direction. This is a player that would immediately be a major factor in the defensive backfield.
With the 24th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts select:
Jonathan Cooper, OG/C, North Carolina
As amazing as Andrew Luck was last year, it was noticeable that he would have had much more success with a better offensive line. Here, the Colts can shore up the inside of their line with an athletic Jonathan Cooper. He can be versatile enough to also play center if needed, which is an added bonus. His strength was questioned before the NFL combine, where he put some of those questions to rest by being one of the leaders in the bench pressing drills. Like Chance Warmack, Cooper could go higher, but guards tend to fall. The Colts get lucky with a top prospect falling in their laps.
With the 25th pick in the NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings select:
Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
In this mock, the Vikings handled their biggest concern already with Desmond Trufant at corner. Now they can take a weapon to line up across Greg Jennings and relieve pressure off the MVP Adrian Peterson. Justin Hunter would be a Top 10 pick this year had he not suffered an ACL injury in his second season for the Volunteers. He is showing however, the farther he gets from when the injury occurred, the stronger and faster he gets. He can play on the outside and in the slot, giving Christian Ponder someone to replace Percy Harvin in a way. With his size and speed (6’4, 196 lbs, 4.44 40 yard dash), the Vikings take a shot on Hunter with their second first round pick.
With the 26th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers select:
Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
One of the more all around TE prospects to come out in recent memory, Tyler Eifert was the offensive star for Notre Dame this past year, blocking and receiving as a TE, and even lining up as a WR for the Fighting Irish. He is a reliable and proven pass catcher, and his a better blocker then what most think, although he can improve that aspect of his game a little more. Aaron Rodgers would love to have this safety net on his team at TE instead of Jermichael Finley, who has been a complete disappointment. The Packers have some needs all across the board, but here they take a player who will improve the offense, which is a scary thought since they were still dominant last year with an inept TE and no Greg Jennings.
With the 27th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans select:
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
The Houston Texans finally find a eventual successor to Andre Johnson. DeAndre Hopkins lit up the scoreboard with 18 touchdowns and just over 1,400 yards this past season. He did this playing across from Sammy Watkins, who is arguably more talented the Hopkins. The Texans also need help across the offensive line, but the depth in this draft is fairly good for lineman, so I would take Hopkins to play across from Johnson and learn from one of the games best.
With the 28th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos select:
Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
With the loss of Elvis Dumervil, the Bronco select Datone Jones to replace him. Denver is an overall pretty solid team, so they can afford to take a shot on Jones as a prospect who’s potential is increasing as he continues his career into the pros. He had 62 tackles last year, with 19 for a loss, and 5.5 sacks. With a nice frame at 6’4, 283 lbs, Jones has the strength and speed to create even more havoc as a rookie in the NFL. Although he needs to work on his pass rushing moves, he is an intriguing prospect none the less, and is worth a shot on a Denver team who needs to fill the need at DE.
With the 29th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots select:
Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State
New England doesn’t have too many holes in it’s roster, but it’s secondary was picked on last year, which is why they went home in the AFC championship game. They do have some pieces at corner in Aqib Talib, Kyle Arrington, and Alfonzo Dennard. But Talib is only on a one year deal, Arrington is a little overrated as a starting corner, and Dennard is going to be coming fresh out of jail for assaulting a police officer while he was in college. So the corner position is by no means set in stone. Here the Pats upgrade the position with Jamar Taylor, who along side Talib, should form quite the tandem. Taylor is very good in man coverage, and while his technique needs some work on, there is no doubt about his talent (51 tackles, 4 interceptions in 2012, and a 4.39 40 yard dash). The Patriots continue to get more talented across the board with this selection.
With the 30th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Atlanta Falcons select:
Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
The Falcons could use some more help along the defensive line, and I have them taking Sylvester Williams to strengthen the middle of the defensive line. I won’t spend too much time on the Falcons though, because this team is the one team that has been reported WILL move up in this years draft. I think they will be targeting a pass rusher or corner back in my opinion. But on the off chance they stay in this spot, Williams would be a nice pickup to develop at the next level.
With the 31st pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers select:
Matt Elam, S, Florida
I know this is opposite from what I mocked in my 7 round Jaguar mock where I had Matt Elam fall to the first pick in the second round. But since I am doing this mock draft in my point of view, I don’t see how the 49ers can let Matt Elam pass them with the loss of Dashon Goldson. Margus Hunt is a very strong possibility here, but the 49ers have so much ammo they can trade up to get him in the early second round. Elam would bring a strong defensive presence to an already superior defense. The rich get richer, again.
With the 32nd pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Superbowl Champion Baltimore Ravens select:
Keenan Allen, WR, California
Joe Flacco gets a weapon to try and replace Anquan Boldin. Keenan Allen suffered from bad QB play and lack of talent on his team’s offense. He’s also recovering from a knee issue that ended his season early. Allen though, is a player who goes and fights for the ball, with underrated speed. He is a physical receiver that the Ravens enjoyed with Boldin lined up across from Torrey Smith. Now they get a player who can take advantage of his opportunities at the No. 2 or 3 receiver spot for the Superbowl champs.
That is my full 1st round mock draft! Feel free to tell me your opinion on it, and if you disagree with me, tell me who you would choose instead! We are almost on Draft Day! Be on the lookout for us at Everbank Field for the Jaguars Draft Party. We will be there for the live reaction to the Jaguars first round pick, be on hand to hear GM David Caldwell and HC Gus Bradley talk to the fans about the pick, and we are hoping to have the initial reaction and fan opinions on camera to post before the end of the weekend, if not sooner. Again, thanks for all the love and support, we really appreciate it. Hope you enjoyed the mock draft and the site as well!