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Thoughts, news and notes from the sports staff of The Saratogian newspaper, located in historic Saratoga Springs, New York. The gang in the corner office on Lake Avenue give you the post-game wrap-ups, news and notes from the games we cover and opinions about the sports we read about every day.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

2013 NFL Mock Draft: 12/19/2012


By ANDREW CHAMPAGNE
Twitter.com/AndrewChampagne

Thanks to Walter Cherepinsky for listing this draft on his database. If you want to take a look at a ton of different mocks, check out http://www.walterfootball.com . Also check out http://www.dcprosportsreport.com/MockDraft.htm , as they were kind enough to link to us as well.

With that, on to the latest mock!

1) Kansas City Chiefs (2-12): Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia

For a little while, I considered not mocking a quarterback to the Chiefs at #1. Then they played the Raiders and couldn’t move the ball against one of the worst defenses in the NFL. Change needs to come to KC’s offense, and if they like Geno Smith, I think they’ll pull the trigger on him with the top pick.

2) Jacksonville Jaguars (2-12): Jarvis Jones, DE/OLB, Georgia

The Jaguars could easily trade down and wait for a quarterback. Chad Henne played well for a few weeks, but has regressed after replacing Blaine Gabbert. Still, I think Jones is too valuable to pass up. He gives Jacksonville another piece on a defense that the front office has put a priority on improving (see the acquisitions of Jason Babin and Paul Posluszny as examples).

3) Oakland Raiders (4-10): Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame

The Raiders could also plug their defensive line with Star Lotulelei, but defensive line is loaded in this year’s draft class and they can address that need later. Instead, they use the #3 pick on the safest prospect around. Rolando McClain wants out, and Oakland desperately needs young leadership on defense, which is exactly what Te’o provides.

4) Philadelphia Eagles (4-10): Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

Philadelphia let Michael Vick get massacred behind the line, and without reinforcements, the same thing will happen to Nick Foles. You need to protect quarterbacks, and here, the Eagles are in position to take the best offensive lineman in the draft. This seems to be one of the more agreed-upon picks in the mock draft universe, so there’s no reason to change it at this point.

5) Detroit Lions (4-10): DeMarcus Milliner, CB, Alabama

The best player available is Star Lotulelei, but the Lions certainly aren’t lacking at defensive tackle. If they want to improve their front seven, they could reach for Barkevious Mingo or Damontre Moore, but Milliner isn’t a reach and improves a below-average secondary. He should be able to step in and contribute right away.

6) San Diego Chargers (5-9): Matt Barkley, QB, USC

It’s apparent that San Diego will likely clean house at the end of the year. The new head coach and GM will both likely want a high-profile replacement for Philip Rivers, who was once a very good quarterback but who’s turned into a turnover machine this year. This may be a bit of a reach for Barkley, but he’s a local product who could provide a jolt of excitement to a team that desperately needs one. If he impresses at the Combine, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the Chargers pull the trigger.

7) Buffalo Bills (5-9): Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU

As tempted as I may be to mock Star Lotulelei to Buffalo, the Bills invested a ton of money in Mario and Kyle Williams. Talent-wise, Mingo could be a reach at #7, but he gives the Bills a talented, versatile edge rusher who can play the run well. Given how disappointing Buffalo’s run defense has been (it’s currently 30th in the NFL), this pick makes sense.

8) Cleveland Browns (5-9): Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

This is a huge break for the Browns, who could use an upgrade at defensive tackle and get one with one of the best players in the draft. I could also see Cleveland taking Damontre Moore, but Ahtyba Rubin has regressed after an 82-tackle season a year ago and Lotulelei is just way too talented to pass up at #8.

9) Carolina Panthers (5-9): Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State

Carolina gets the draft’s first gut-punch, as they could REALLY use Star Lotulelei and may very well trade up to get him. However, Hankins is also a very good prospect. He enjoyed a great junior year at Ohio State, and he’s one of the best players available at this point in the draft.

10) Tennessee Titans (5-9): Damontre Moore, DE/OLB, Texas A&M

Tennessee’s run defense is near the bottom of the NFL at 25th overall, and they can address that in a big way here. Moore could have gone several spots before this to either Buffalo or Cleveland, but in this scenario, he heads to Tennessee, where he can fill plenty of holes on a defense in desperate need of playmakers.

11) Arizona Cardinals (5-9): Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma

Larry Fitzgerald is wasting one of his prime seasons thanks to three quarterbacks that can’t get him the ball. It’s no secret that I’m high on Landry Jones. If he had entered the draft last year, he’d have likely been a first-round pick. Instead, he continued one of the more underrated quarterback careers in the country and may have made himself a considerable amount of money. I think he’ll turn heads at the Combine, and he’s certainly an upgrade here.

12) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-8): Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State

Tampa Bay traded Aqib Talib, and their cornerback situation wasn’t rosy to begin with. With Ronde Barber likely retiring, they need to restock the defensive backfield. Rhodes is the second-best defensive back in the draft, and he’d be a welcome addition to Greg Schiano’s squad.

13) Miami Dolphins (6-8): Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

It almost pains me to mock Lewan this high. While he’s a very good offensive lineman, this draft doesn’t have many of those as compared to previous years, so he’ll go earlier than he should. Miami may need an offensive lineman, as Jake Long may not return following a season-ending injury. If Long does not return and Lewan is available, it’s a decent fit.

14) New York Jets (6-8): Mike Glennon, QB, N.C. State

This situation is nothing short of an absolute trainwreck. Mark Sanchez has been benched, Tim Tebow won’t get a chance to play, and Greg McElroy likely won’t turn into the next version of Joe Namath despite sharing an alma mater with the Jets legend. I wouldn’t be at all shocked if they traded up for a quarterback, and I pretty much need to mock them one in this spot, even if it's a colossal reach.

15) New Orleans Saints (6-8): Bjoern Werner, DE/OLB, Florida State

New Orleans has some gaping holes on their defense. A defensive tackle would be ideal, but Sheldon Richardson may be a slight reach at this point. Werner, though, provides versatility and value at this point in the first round. He does need to get a little bigger, but he’s anchored FSU’s defense and should be a very solid pro.

16) St. Louis Rams (6-7-1): Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

I could see St. Louis trading draft picks with one of the 5-9 teams, as there’s a drop from Taylor Lewan to the rest of the offensive linemen in this draft. I can’t predict that here, even though it makes sense, so I’ll mock Fisher here. He played at a smaller school, but has a chance to move way up the board with a good showing at the Combine.

17) Pittsburgh Steelers (7-7): Barrett Jones, OT/OG, Alabama

Every year, it seems like Pittsburgh needs help on the offensive line. They drafted David DeCastro a year ago, but Jones is a versatile guy who can play four different positions up front. With their offensive line seemingly a patchwork unit every year, that kind of depth would be invaluable.

18) Dallas Cowboys (8-6): Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU

Dallas could use some reinforcements on the defensive line. They could take a tackle and move Jay Ratliff outside, but in this scenario, Montgomery is one of the best players available and fits Dallas’s defensive schemes.

19) Chicago Bears (8-6): Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia

Brian Urlacher is one of the best to ever play his position, but he’s getting older and is a free agent at the end of the year. With his health now in question, it wouldn’t be shocking to see the Bears take Ogletree, the consensus #2 inside linebacker behind Manti Te’o, if he’s still on the board.

20) New York Giants (8-6): Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon

The Giants love drafting defensive players who can get into the backfield, and that’s exactly what makes Jordan so effective. He’s a tweener, but the Giants have had success with players like him, and he presents a very good value at #20.

21) Cincinnati Bengals (8-6): Alex Okafor, DE/OLB, Texas

Okafor isn’t quite the “wreak havoc” player Jordan is, but he’s a safe, experienced, and versatile player. The Bengals could use a presence like him to take some pressure off of highly-regarded defensive tackle Geno Atkins.

22) St. Louis Rams (6-7-1, from Washington (8-6)): Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama

Two offensive linemen? Well, first of all, there’s a very real chance St. Louis trades one of these picks to move up. Secondly, it’s not like the line couldn’t use a makeover. Sam Bradford could use time to throw, and Steven Jackson isn’t getting any younger. Warmack makes sense here from a value standpoint as well, and in this scenario, he and Eric Fisher instantly provide fresh life in the trenches.

23) Minnesota Vikings (8-6): Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee

Minnesota is dead-last in the NFL in passing yardage. Part of that has to do with having arguably the best running back in the league, but Christian Ponder doesn’t have much to work with outside of Percy Harvin. That changes with this pick, as Hunter quickly adds a quality #2 threat.

24) Indianapolis Colts (9-5): Johnathan Jenkins, DT, Georgia

You can run on the Colts, whose front seven ranks 23rd in the NFL. Their defensive tackle situation isn’t promising, and while the defense as a whole has overachieved this year, they need reinforcements, which Jenkins helps provide.

25) Baltimore Ravens (9-5): C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama

The Ravens probably want Ogletree, but he’s not available in this mock. Still, if they’re searching for a replacement for the injured Ray Lewis, Mosley could be it. He’s a talented player who has helped lead one of the best defenses in college football.

26) Seattle Seahawks (9-5): Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri

Sheldon Richardson’s been rising on a lot of teams’ boards. His stock is at an all-time high after a big senior season, and he provides quality defense against the run. That’s been the one issue with the Seahawks this year, so this is a nice fit.

27) Green Bay Packers (10-4): Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas

Green Bay needs help in defending the pass, especially with Charles Woodson getting older. Vaccaro’s stock has gone up after a 100-tackle senior season, and he’s gotten better in playing against the pass as well. He’s not a supremely-gifted athlete, but he’s a smart player who’d fit in on a smart, experienced team.

28) New England Patriots (10-4): Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor

Wes Welker is in a contract year, Brandon Lloyd has only recently heated up, and an over-the-hill Deion Branch is playing a ton of snaps. This could be a real need position for the Patriots this coming offseason, and Williams is the best wideout available at this point. I could also see the Pats taking a defensive lineman, but that position is very deep.

29) San Francisco 49ers (10-3-1): Eric Reid, S, LSU

Reid came into the year as a first-round prospect. He has plenty of experience on a high-quality defense, and he fills a need since Donte Whitner hasn’t been as solid as the rest of the Niner defense.

30) Denver Broncos (11-3): Giovani Bernard, HB, North Carolina

Willis McGahee just suffered a bad MCL injury, and Ronnie Hillman, while explosive, may not be an every-down back. Bernard is a big-play threat every time he touches the football. He averaged 214 all-purpose yards per game, good for third nationally, and he’s probably the best back in the draft class. Despite the improved play of Knowshon Moreno, we don't know if he can maintain that yet.

31) Atlanta Falcons (12-2): Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU

Atlanta’s coming off a huge win over the Giants, but in previous weeks, their front seven hadn’t been impressive. Ansah is a high-upside player with a knack for getting into the backfield. The Falcons have had problems at defensive end, and this takes a step towards addressing them.

32) Houston Texans (12-2): Kawann Short, DT, Purdue

Short has a rare blend of size and athleticism. Unlike some defensive tackles, he can get to the quarterback pretty well, and that’s an asset from the nose tackle scheme the Texans run.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a quick note. DT is the strongest position for the woeful Browns outside of OT. They have Rubin, Taylor, Hughes and Winn. CB, OLB or OG will be the pick most likely. A trade down is a good possibility with no second round pick.

December 20, 2012 at 4:12 PM 

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