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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.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

2013 NFL Mock Draft: 2/7/13 (TWO ROUNDS)



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 and http://www.sbnation.com/nfl-mock-draft/2013/1/15/3869542/2013-nfl-mock-draft-database , as they were kind enough to link to us as well.

With that, on to the latest mock!

1) Kansas City Chiefs (2-14): Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

I actually got some complaints for putting Joeckel at #1. First of all, we monitor comments on this blog, so if you’re ripping something and name-calling with the nametag ‘anonymous,’ chances are it won’t make the final cut.

Anyway, Geno Smith hasn’t done enough to be in play here yet. If he has a great Combine, maybe I’ll reconsider, but the offensive line is a question mark. Brandon Albert may not be back, as he’s repeatedly said he has no desire to play guard. Joeckel would step right in and give whatever QB the Chiefs go with time to process the play.

2) Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14): Damontre Moore, DE/OLB, Texas A&M

I hate dropping Jarvis Jones down, but his spinal condition, while not an issue during a stellar 2012 season, may be a red flag this high up in the draft. Jones may be a stud in the making, but Moore is also a ferocious pass rusher that the Jaguars desperately need, so he’s far from a bad pick.

3) Oakland Raiders (4-12): Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

My, how times have changed. Manti Te’o was here for a while, but his off-the-field troubles cost him a decent amount of money. Meanwhile, Lotulelei may have turned down an invite to the Senior Bowl, but he’s by far the best defensive tackle prospect in the draft and he fills a massive need for the Raiders in the middle of a porous defensive line.

4) Philadelphia Eagles (4-12): DeMarcus Milliner, CB, Alabama

The Eagles desperately want to improve their offensive line, but Joeckel is off the board and no other lineman is of any value here unless you’re REALLY high on Eric Fisher (he’s a good prospect, but not #4-overall good). However, the defensive backfield could also use an upgrade, and the Eagles can address that need with the top defensive back prospect in the draft. If the Eagles really want Fisher, they can trade down to grab him later in the top 10 picks.

5) Detroit Lions (4-12): Bjoern Werner, DE/OLB, Florida State

Jones continues his slide. The last time around, I had him going here, but the consensus being formed is that Werner is the safer pick. While the logic behind that is debatable (with the new rookie contract caps, there’s MUCH less risk with players like Jones who may not have the longest careers), Werner is a very good prospect with room to improve off his stellar form at Florida State.

6) Cleveland Browns (5-11): Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU

The pick here is either Mingo, Jones, Ezekiel Ansah, or Dion Jordan. Personally, I like Mingo best, although it’s a total judgment call at a position absolutely loaded with talent in this year’s draft. At any rate, the Browns need an edge rusher, and they can certainly address it here.

7) Arizona Cardinals (5-11): Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia

Larry Fitzgerald wasted one of his prime seasons thanks to three quarterbacks that couldn’t get him the ball, and Ken Whisenhunt is gone. Matt Barkley could also play his way into this discussion with a strong showing at the Combine, but for now, Smith is the top quarterback available in a weak draft class.

8) Buffalo Bills (6-10): Jarvis Jones, DE/OLB, Georgia

Geno Smith shouldn’t make it past #8 if Arizona goes in another direction, but in this mock, he’s gone. Personally, though, I feel like the Bills are getting a steal here. Jones is a premier talent who may be falling due to something that isn’t even an issue. There’s no denying he can wreak havoc in the backfield, and this should give the Bills another playmaker in the front seven.

9) New York Jets (6-10): Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon

Like Buffalo, New York needs an edge rusher. Jordan is an athletic freak who knows how to wreak havoc in the backfield. The lone hesitation with him is a torn labrum, one he’ll reportedly have surgery on before the draft, but he’s a very good fit for the Jets in this spot, and it shouldn’t affect him when preparations for the 2013 NFL season begin. If Darrelle Revis gets dealt, I could also see them drafting Johnthan Banks or Xavier Rhodes, or even moving up for DeMarcus Milliner, but for now, Jordan’s the pick.

10) Tennessee Titans (6-10): Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State

The Titans had some pieces on defense, but nobody fearsome up the middle. That changes with this pick, as Tennessee grabs the top defensive tackle left on the board. Hankins, who’s coming off a very strong junior year at OSU, replaces Sen’Derrick Marks and has the potential to be a game-changer.

11) San Diego Chargers (7-9): Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

As much as I'd really like to mock Matt Barkley or Landry Jones to San Diego, I can't do it. Philip Rivers somehow threw for over 3,600 yards this year, and despite being a turnover machine for much of the year, I don't think they replace him. Instead, I'll give them Fisher, who became the #2 tackle prospect in the draft once Taylor Lewan unexpectedly decided to return for his senior season at Michigan.

12) Miami Dolphins (7-9): Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee

The first gut-punch of the mock goes to the Dolphins, as they needed a high-quality tackle prospect in the worst way and won’t get one after Lewan took his name out of the prospect pool. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the Dolphins trade this pick for a move in either direction, but for now, I’ll give them Hunter. He’s undoubtedly a reach, but Miami needs playmakers in the passing game. Brian Hartline and Davone Bess are fine complementary players, but neither is a #1 receiver, and Hunter has the potential to be that kind of wideout.

13) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9): Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State

Word is the Bucs are extremely high on Banks, and there’s reason for that. He had an injury late in the season, but if he’s shown to have overcome it, he’s the second-best corner in the draft behind DeMarcus Milliner. That’s a welcome addition for Tampa Bay, whose secondary desperately needs playmakers.

14) Carolina Panthers (7-9): Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri

Carolina did its best to save Ron Rivera’s job, and he’ll return to the Panthers next year. However, their 4-0 surge to end the year cost them a shot at a high-impact defensive tackle, which they sorely need. Richardson, though, has been flying up draft boards. He was all over the field this year for the Tigers, and can rush the passer from the tackle spot, a rare quality that could push him into the top half of the first round.

15) New Orleans Saints (7-9): Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame

I’m stopping Te’o’s free-fall here, and here’s why. Sean Payton said he wants to shift New Orleans to a 3-4 defensive scheme in the wake of firing his defensive coordinator. The Saints already have one very good inside linebacker in Curtis Lofton, and here, they solidify the middle of their new defense with a guy who has the best on-field skillset of any player left in the draft.

16) St. Louis Rams (7-8-1): Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama

St. Louis needs some help on the offensive line. Warmack isn't just the best guard available, he's probably the best offensive lineman left, period. He's assumed a leadership role with the Crimson Tide, and should be a very good pro.

17) Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8): Alex Okafor, DE/OLB, Texas

Okafor’s stock is soaring. He shined in the Alamo Bowl and has been tearing it up at the Senior Bowl, and as such he’s gone from a fringe first-rounder to the #17 pick. Pittsburgh needs new blood in their front seven, and Okafor’s versatility is a definite plus.

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

Dallas could use some reinforcements on the defensive line, especially in the wake of Jay Ratliff stupidly getting arrested for a DWI months after a teammate driving under the influence killed another Dallas player. Montgomery is one of the best players available and fits Dallas’s defensive schemes. I’ve had this pick set in stone for a while, and it makes a ton of sense.

19) New York Giants (9-7): Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU

This has become a cliché pick because people see a ton of Jason Pierre-Paul in Ansah. I don’t know if the BYU product has THAT much potential, and I’m not as high on him as a lot of other mock drafts are (several have him going sixth overall despite how raw he is), but he’s a fantastic athlete with a ton of room to grow. Plus, Osi Umenyiora is approaching free agency and may not be back with the Giants next year.

20) Chicago Bears (10-6): Keenan Allen, WR, Cal

Marc Trestman got the Bears job. This means a quarterback guru will be calling the shots in the Windy City, and as such, Jay Cutler may get another young target to take some attention off of Brandon Marshall. Alshon Jeffery had his moments, but was hurt for part of the season. Allen makes sense value-wise, and gives a talented offense another weapon.

21) Cincinnati Bengals (10-6): Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia

Te’o should not drop further than this, and if he’s not available (as is the case in this mock), Ogletree also presents a very good value. The only problem with Ogletree are some questions about his character, but the Bengals have shown that they don’t mind those issues as much as other teams.

22) St. Louis Rams (7-8-1, from Washington (10-6)): Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas

I like Vaccaro a lot, and his stock has been rising because NFL GM’s like him, too. He may not be an athletic freak, but he’s a smart player with great instincts who can play against both the run and the pass. St. Louis has an OK pass defense, but it’s not great (15th in the NFL), and Vaccaro is one of the best players on the board.

23) Minnesota Vikings (10-6): Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor

Many thought Terrance Williams would have a down year without RG3 under center at Baylor. All Williams did was catch 97 passes for 1,832 yards and 12 touchdowns. He has a ton of tools to like, and here, he gives a Vikings offense that desperately needs a playmaker opposite Percy Harvin a guy who can score any time he touches the football.

24) Indianapolis Colts (11-5): Johnathan Jenkins, DT, Georgia

The Colts have a ton of holes they need to fill in the middle of their defensive line. Jenkins is probably the best defensive lineman left in the draft at this point. He’s a huge presence at 6’4” and nearly 360 pounds, and he also has shocking agility for a man his size.

25) Seattle Seahawks (11-5): Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee

The only thing missing from Seattle’s resurgence has been a top-tier receiving threat for Russell Wilson. Patterson is raw from a technical standpoint, but he’s got a ton of physical gifts you look for in a wide receiver. At #25, with some outlets now projecting him as a top-15 pick, this is a value Pete Carroll and company can’t pass up.

26) Green Bay Packers (11-5): Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State

Rhodes slipping this far is shocking. I personally think he might be the second-best cornerback prospect in the draft. He has good size and speed, and can also be very physical in coverage. Green Bay’s secondary isn’t getting any younger, but here, they may be able to fill that need with a tremendous value.

27) Houston Texans (12-4): Kawann Short, DT, Purdue

The Texans need to fill their need at defensive tackle with this pick. J.J. Watt is a beast, and Antonio Smith also had eight sacks, but they’ve got nothing up the middle. Short changes that, and also brings a unique ability to rush the passer from the nose tackle spot.

28) Denver Broncos (13-3): Barrett Jones, C/OG/OT, Alabama

I could also see the Broncos taking a running back like Giovani Bernard, but Knowshon Moreno’s finished the year well and probably deserves a shot at the starting spot next year. Besides, Jones, the most versatile lineman in the draft, is a great value at the back end of the first round who can play every position on the o-line.

29) New England Patriots (12-4): Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia

New England has a big need at receiver, especially if Wes Welker does not come back. Fortunately, wide receiver is a deep position in this year’s draft, and with this pick, they get a playmaker who put up some big numbers in the WVU Air Raid offense this past season.

30) Atlanta Falcons (13-3): Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame

Tony Gonzalez appears to be hanging it up following Atlanta’s loss in the NFC title game. Regardless of whether he does or not, Eifert is easily the top tight end in this year’s draft class. If Gonzalez retires, Eifert can start right away, and if he doesn’t, the Notre Dame product can learn from one of the best to ever play the position.

31) San Francisco 49ers (11-4-1): DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson

Michael Crabtree quietly put together a very solid year, but no other wide receiver had more than 449 receiving yards. Randy Moss may retire, and Mario Manningham is coming off a knee injury, meaning that finding a high-quality wide receiver should be at the top of San Francisco’s off-season to-do list.

32) Baltimore Ravens (10-6): Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington

The newly-crowned champions still have a need at corner. The team had trouble defending the pass at times this year with a depleted secondary, and if Lardarius Webb isn’t 100% after a season-ending injury, Trufant makes a lot of sense at the back end of the first round.

SECOND ROUND

33) Jacksonville Jaguars: Matt Barkley, QB, USC

Anyone who still thinks Blaine Gabbert can be an effective starting quarterback needs to have their head examined. The Jags need to address that position in the draft, and if Matt Barkley is still on the board in the second round, this is a no-brainer.

34) Kansas City Chiefs: Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas

Wilson made himself a lot of money despite missing the entire season. Unless you want to talk yourself into Mike Glennon (and I don’t) or aren’t scared about Landry Jones’s horrible Senior Bowl (and I am), no other QB makes sense at this point, and there’s no arguing that the Chiefs need one given their horrid passing game last season.

35) Philadelphia Eagles: Jonathan Cooper, OG/C, North Carolina

There’s no arguing Philadelphia’s offensive line needs improvement. Cooper isn’t a tackle, but he can play all three interior positions and provide an upgrade somewhere as Chip Kelly looks to give his quarterback time to make plays.

36) Detroit Lions: Robert Woods, WR, USC

Detroit released Titus Young, and even before that, they could have used a reliable receiver to take attention away from Calvin Johnson. Woods formed an explosive combination at USC with Marquis Lee, and could easily be part of another one in Detroit.

37) Cincinnati Bengals: Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina

I love Bernard, and I wish I could have mocked him in the first round, because I think he’s got the potential to be a big-time playmaker. This is a solid landing spot for him, though. BenJarvus Green-Ellis isn’t anything special, so he should battle for playing time right away.

38) Arizona Cardinals: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama

Arizona’s offensive line was probably the worst in the NFL last year, so the Cardinals should certainly use a high pick to improve it. Fluker is a decent value here, and was part of a fantastic line at Alabama that spurred the Tide to a national championship.

39) New York Jets: Bennie Logan, DT, LSU

The Jets were horrid against the run last season because they didn’t have much talent in the middle of their defense. Some mocks have Logan sneaking into the first round, so this is a very good pick from both a value and need perspectives.

40) Tennessee Titans: Margus Hunt, DE/DT, SMU

I had the Titans take a defensive lineman in the first round, but their line was abysmal at times during the 2012 season. They could use a ton of new blood, and Hunt’s ceiling is sky-high. He’s an athletic freak with versatility who may wind up being a steal if he goes this late in April.

41) Buffalo Bills: Mike Glennon, QB, NC State

I’m not a Glennon fan. He didn’t impress me in a loss to Vanderbilt in the team’s bowl game, and he was one of many QB’s who put forth dreadful performances in the Senior Bowl. However, Buddy Nix may be on the hot seat. As such, he may use this pick on a guy he sees as a potential starting quarterback.

42) Miami Dolphins: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma

Jake Long may not return to Miami, and if that happens, they’ll be in need of a new tackle. Johnson was a reach at #11, but had a great Senior Bowl and is a steal in the middle of the second round.

43) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State

I have the Bucs doubling up on corners because their secondary is very, VERY thin. Taylor may be a slight reach, but assuming Tampa Bay doesn’t make a splash in free agency, they need new blood in their pass defense.

44) Carolina Panthers: Larry Warford, OG, Kentucky

While some of Carolina’s non-Cam Newton rushing woes were injury-related, it’s also true that the team’s offensive line has struggled at times. Warford is the best lineman available, especially after a very solid performance at the Senior Bowl.

45) San Diego Chargers: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida

San Diego has a very experienced group of linebackers, but their line is just so-so, especially at defensive tackle. Floyd has been soaring up draft boards as of late, and may very well wind up in the first round.

46) St. Louis Rams: Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama

Daryl Richardson was very good in spell duty as a rookie, and if Steven Jackson doesn’t return, he could see a much bigger role. However, Isaiah Pead is an unknown quantity, and Lacy provides a power runner that the Rams wouldn’t have in this scenario.

47) Dallas Cowboys: Eric Reid, S, LSU

Reid, at one point, was a first-round prospect. Given that the Cowboys have needs at safety, this is an excellent fit. Reid could come in and compete for playing time immediately while also reuniting with former LSU teammate Morris Claiborne.

48) Pittsburgh Steelers: Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama

Pittsburgh will likely use this draft to fill a ton of needs in the front seven. Plenty of their core players are getting up there in age, including Brett Keisel, who turns 35 this year. Williams could have gone much earlier and has good potential.

49) New York Giants: Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU

Michael Boley was released to open up some cap room, and as such, the Giants now have a hole at linebacker. Minter has some issues in pass coverage, but is exceptional against the run and could be an asset in the right system.

50) Chicago Bears: Dallas Thomas, OT/OG, Tennessee

It sounds like a broken record at this point since we say it every year, but Chicago needs to improve its pass protection. Offensive linemen have gone like crazy in this mock, but Thomas is a good value pick here that fills a need.

51) Washington Redskins: Matt Elam, S, Florida

Washington’s secondary could use an upgrade. While there aren’t any cornerback prospects that make sense, Elam is probably one of the best players left on the board.

52) Minnesota Vikings: E.J. Manuel, QB, Florida State

In all honesty, I could see the Vikings trading down. They have a need in their back seven, but no adequate corners are left to fill it. Instead, though, I’ll give them Manuel. If Terrance Williams doesn’t help and Ponder is still a mediocre QB with Percy Harvin and Kyle Rudolph around him, maybe it’s time to groom a replacement.

53) Cincinnati Bengals: Datone Jones, DE, UCLA

Jones had a great Senior Bowl, and he fills a role in Cincinnati. Geno Atkins is a stud at defensive tackle, and the more talented players the Bengals can put around him, the more room he should have to operate.

54) Miami Dolphins: Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina

Another guy who had a great Senior Bowl, Williams could take up space in the middle of the defensive line and open up space for Cameron Wake. Maybe he doesn’t fit Miami’s scheme to the best degree, but he’s probably the most talented defensive player available.

55) Green Bay Packers: Joseph Randle, RB, Oklahoma State

The Packers get a steal, as Randle, at one time, was the top-rated running back on many boards. Green Bay doesn’t have a playmaker in the ground game. Maybe that’s not a huge need with Aaron Rodgers calling the shots, but Randle is a hard runner who can also block and catch passes out of the backfield.

56) Seattle Seahawks: Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State

There aren’t many questions about Brown’s talent, but his size (6’1”, 228 pounds) may cause him to drop on draft day. The Seahawks aren’t shy about going against the grain with their draft picks, though, and as such, this pick makes a ton of sense.

57) Houston Texans: Quinton Patton, WR, Louisiana Tech

Houston has long been searching for a #2 receiver behind Andre Johnson. Patton didn’t play against great competition at Louisiana Tech, but made the most of his opportunity at the Senior Bowl with a solid performance.

58) Denver Broncos: Robert Alford, CB, Southeastern Louisiana

Another small-school player, Alford may be a bit of a reach, but he fills a huge need for the Broncos. Their secondary was awful against Joe Flacco, and 37-year-old Champ Bailey may finally be showing his age.

59) New England Patriots: Jon Cyprien, S, Florida International

29th against the pass in 2012-13, it’s clear the secondary needs to be upgraded. Cyprien is a versatile player who shined at the Senior Bowl. He’s a hard hitter who can also assist in pass coverage.

60) Atlanta Falcons: Tank Carradine, DE, Florida State

There’s no denying Carradine has talent, and there’s also no doubt this is a need position for the Falcons. The question mark here is an ACL injury Carradine suffered during the 2012 season. If he’s healthy, though, he could be a huge steal.

61) San Francisco 49ers: D.J. Swearinger, S, South Carolina

San Francisco’s front seven is fantastic, but their group of safeties is just so-so. Swearinger, a captain for the Gamecocks and a physical presence, hits hard and covers well, so he should be an instant upgrade.

62) Baltimore Ravens: Kyle Long, OG/OT, Oregon

Bryant McKinnie’s comeback is a great story, but he’ll turn 34 in September and may be running out of quality years. Long is versatile, and adds depth all over the offensive line.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

chargers have a great dline DE Liuget,Reyes,Martin, Thomas, all young and stout

February 8, 2013 at 4:42 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Horrible Packer draft. When they need help in so many places, OT-DL-SS-ILB they won't take a RB before the 3rd round.

February 8, 2013 at 4:52 PM 

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