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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.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

2013 NFL Mock Draft: 3/19 (TWO ROUNDS)


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 . Also check out and , 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

This pick is all but set in stone with the news that K.C. released Nick Winston. Plus, Alex Smith going here means the Chiefs won't draft Geno Smith, and defense wasn't K.C.'s problem last year.
2) Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14): Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon

I had Jarvis Jones here, then replaced him with Damontre Moore. Jones’s medical condition raises a red flag, and Moore bombed at the Combine with a 4.9 40 time. Meanwhile, Jordan is a physical freak who can rush the passer or cover slot receivers. He may need to get a little thicker and more physical, but there’s no doubt he has the ability to wreak havoc coming off the edge.
3) Oakland Raiders (4-12): Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida

Star Lotulelei’s heart condition couldn’t have popped up at a worse time. He was a consensus top-five pick, and his stock is falling. Floyd, meanwhile, has been flying up draft boards. Mike Mayock compared some aspects of his play to Warren Sapp, which is certainly a nice standard.
4) Philadelphia Eagles (4-12): DeMarcus Milliner, CB, Alabama

I wouldn't be stunned if the Eagles took Eric Fisher, but Chip Kelly and company have put a priority on revamping their defense. There's still a need at cornerback despite the signing of Cary Williams, and they can fill it with the top defensive back in this year's draft class.

5) Detroit Lions (4-12): Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

I'm a little torn between Fisher and Ezekiel Ansah, as both fill huge needs. This is based solely on the current draft class, one that's rich in defensive talent but not in quality offensive linemen. The Lions lost Gosder Cherilus to free agency and Jeff Backus to retirement, so Fisher obviously fills a pretty big gap.

6) Cleveland Browns (5-11): Ezekiel Ansah, DE/OLB, BYU

The Browns have made a couple of moves in free agency to shore up their defense, including signing Paul Kruger away from the Ravens. Still, they need playmakers for their new 3-4, and that's what Ansah brings to the table. I wouldn't be surprised if they traded down, especially if Buffalo wants Geno Smith, but for now, Ansah is the pick.

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

Smith looked very good at the Combine. He ran a good 40, and his throws were indicative of a good quarterback prospect. Arizona needs help under center in the worst way possible, and if Smith is still available at #7, new head coach Bruce Arians will be very happy. If not, I could easily see the Cardinals taking an offensive tackle, but in this mock, they get a possible franchise quarterback in the making.

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): Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas

The Jets have a huge need at safety after losing both Laron Landry and Yeremiah Bell. Vaccaro has been rising up draft boards, and while safety prospects generally don't go this early in the draft, this is a weird draft, and you can't say the Jets don't have a history of surprising draft picks.

10) Tennessee Titans (6-10): Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

We still don’t know just how severe Lotulelei’s heart problem is. For now, I’ll slot him here, simply because the Titans desperately need an impact player in the middle of their defensive line. There’s no denying Lotulelei has a ton of talent. He’s also generally thought to be a high-character guy, so if the heart condition turns out to be fairly minor, this could be a steal.

11) San Diego Chargers (7-9): Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma

Lane Johnson wowed scouts at the Combine with his athleticism. That doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s going to be a fantastic player (remember scouts fawning over Robert Gallery’s 40 time?), but there’s no doubt that he’s climbing up draft boards and that San Diego has needs on their offensive line.

12) Miami Dolphins (7-9): Bjoern Werner, DE/OLB, Florida State

I've had Cordarelle Patterson here for a few mocks, but the Dolphins just upgraded their receiving corps with Mike Wallace and Brandon Gibson. They do have needs elsewhere, most notably at tackle and across from Cameron Wake on the defensive line. Werner fills the latter need nicely.

13) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9): Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington

Trufant’s stock is at an all-time high after big performances at the Senior Bowl and the Combine. He’s performed well enough to emerge as the #2 cornerback option in the draft class, and there’s no doubt the Bucs need help in the defensive backfield. The Aqib Talib trade created a huge hole, and Ronde Barber has to retire at some point, right?

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

There are people saying Richardson could go even earlier than this. He certainly has the athletic ability to, and this is probably as low as he’ll go. Carolina’s defensive line is porous, and the Panthers gave up several big games to opposing running backs in the 2012-13 season.

15) New Orleans Saints (7-9): Damontre Moore, DE/OLB, Texas A&M

Damontre Moore's poor Combine performance is a red flag, but this is a great fit. Moore is tailor-made for New Orleans's new 3-4 defense, and they've got plenty of gaps to fill on it after a godawful year on that side of the ball in 2012.

16) St. Louis Rams (7-8-1): Cordarelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee

St. Louis did sign Jared Cook, but Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson both left. Patterson is very raw, but has the most physical tools of any wide receiver in this draft class and the Rams desperately need playmakers for Sam Bradford.

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

Okafor’s stock has definitely improved in the past few months. He turned heads in the Alamo Bowl, and his Senior Bowl performance was one of the best of any defensive player that attended. He’s a low-risk player that doesn’t take plays off, and his versatility should only help him come April.

18) Dallas Cowboys (8-8): Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU

Both LSU edge-rushers have seen their stocks fall as of late. Mingo was once a top-10 pick, but now it looks like he’ll go in the middle of the first round. The Cowboys have a ton of holes on defense, and could certainly use someone to draw attention away from DeMarcus Ware. Mingo could easily be that kind of complementary player.

19) New York Giants (9-7): Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia

The Giants may be searching for a defensive end, and could have jumped on Okafor or Mingo if they were available. In this mock, though, they’ll zero in on Ogletree, probably the top inside linebacker prospect in the draft. There are some character issues here, most notably his pre-Combine arrest, but the Giants released Michael Boley and have depth issues at that position.

20) Chicago Bears (10-6): Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia

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. Austin had a great Combine that featured a scorching 40 time. He gives Cutler another downfield weapon, and with him, the passing game becomes very formidable.

21) Cincinnati Bengals (10-6): Xavier Rhodes, CB/S, Florida State

Rhodes is a physical defensive back that can play either corner or safety. Cincinnati's pass defense isn't bad, but they also weren't all that great a year ago, and you can never have too many quality defensive backs, especially in the current pass-happy era of football.

22) St. Louis Rams (7-8-1, from Washington (10-6)): Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama

St. Louis lucks out a bit in this mock, as nobody from 17 to 21 has a huge need at the interior line spots. The Rams just signed Jake Long, and this also gives them an upgrade at either left or right guard.

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 the newly-acquired Greg Jennings a guy who can score any time he touches the football.

24) Indianapolis Colts (11-5): Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State

Hankins fell with a horrid performance at the Combine. He looked heavy, and he ran like someone who was out of shape. However, Indianapolis has a big need in the middle of their defensive line, and if Hankins gets back in shape and plays like he did this past season at Ohio State, he’s a steal at #24 overall.

25) Minnesota Vikings (10-6, from Seattle (11-5)): Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame

On the surface, this may seem like a puzzling pick. However, the Vikings have a huge need at linebacker, as their only proven starter there is Chad Greenway, and the team as a whole struggled against the pass last season, an area Te'o can instantly improve. Te'o suffered at the Combine, but Adam Schefter reported that he would not drop out of the first round.

26) Green Bay Packers (11-5): Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State

Banks didn’t do himself any favors at the Combine, but his game tape is solid and there’s no doubt Green Bay has voids to fill in the secondary. Charles Woodson is moving on, and the unit wasn’t anything special this past year anyway.

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): Jonathan Cooper, OG/C, North Carolina

I could also see the Broncos taking a running back like Eddie Lacy or Giovani Bernard, but Knowshon Moreno’s finished the year well and probably deserves a shot at the starting spot next year. Cooper was strong at the Combine. He showed very strong agility for a man his size, and his versatility means he can play all three interior line positions.

29) New England Patriots (12-4): Keenan Allen, WR, Cal

The Patriots obviously lost Wes Welker to Denver, and they also let Danny Woodhead go to San Diego and cut Brandon Lloyd. That leaves targets for other players, and while Danny Amendola and Shane Vereen should get plenty of looks, they need to be on the lookout for young wide receivers. Allen slipped a bit in this mock, but is a first-round talent who can instantly earn playing time in this offense.

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

Tony Gonzalez is not retiring despite doing his annual tap-dance around the subject. Still, he's not getting younger, and Tyler Eifert is easily the top tight end in the draft.

31) San Francisco 49ers (11-4-1): Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
The Niners let Isaac Sopuaga walk, leaving a pretty big hole on the defensive line. Williams is a little bit of a reach, but he's an agile, versatile player who defends both the run and the pass well.

32) Baltimore Ravens (10-6): Kevin Minter, LB, LSU

Minter is an old-school, run-stopping inside linebacker that may have trouble fitting into some new-age defensive schemes. However, an old-school, run-stopping inside linebacker just retired from Baltimore’s Super Bowl-winning team, so Minter would be a pretty nice fit for the Ravens.


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) San Francisco 49ers (from Kansas City): Tank Carradine, DE, Florida State

The Niners may have a need behind Justin Smith, who turns 34 and is going into the final year of his contract. Carradine is a bit of a risk coming off a knee injury, but all signs are that he's healthy, and when he is, he's a first-round caliber player.

35) Philadelphia Eagles: Barrett Jones, OG/C/OT, Alabama

There’s no arguing Philadelphia’s offensive line needs improvement. Jones isn’t a tried and true tackle, which is what the Eagles probably need, but he can play anywhere he’s asked and is a proven leader.

36) Detroit Lions: Margus Hunt, DE, SMU

Hunt is very raw, but has a ton of speed and could develop into a solid pass-rusher off the edge at the NFL level. The Lions have a big need there, as mentioned in the first round, and Hunt provides both insurance and a high upside.

37) Cincinnati Bengals: Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama

I still like Giovani Bernard a lot, but Lacy has become the consensus top back in the draft. He’s a powerful runner that could compete for time immediately in Cincinnati. BenJarvus Green-Ellis isn’t anything special, and if Cincy’s line continues to be one of the top run-blocking units, Lacy has a chance to be an impact player.

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: Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
Pretty good scenario here for the Jets, who need wide receivers in the worst way possible. Justin Hunter had a great Combine, and I've been mocking him in the first round for a while, but he slips here through no fault of his own.

40) Tennessee Titans: Matt Elam, S, Florida

Tennessee needs help all over the defense, and I think they’ll take advantage of a deep defensive draft with their first couple of picks. Elam is a physical player who has openly said he wants to be the next Ed Reid, and while his ceiling may not be THAT high, he can certainly step right in and contribute in Tennessee.

41) Buffalo Bills: Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee
I like Bray much more than Ryan Nassib, who is the cliché pick because Doug Marrone coached him at Syracuse. Bray has a big arm and was impressive at the Combine. The Bills could very well trade up for either Geno Smith or Matt Barkley, but for now, Bray is the pick.

42) Miami Dolphins: Dallas Thomas, OT/OG, Tennessee
Miami needs help on the offensive line given the departure of franchise left tackle Jake Long. It wouldn't shock me if the Dolphins traded up with this pick or traded down in the first round for D.J. Fluker, but since I can't mock trades, Thomas is the pick.

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. Plus, this isn’t as much of a reach as it was before the Combine, where the Boise State product clocked in at 4.37 in the 40.

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: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
Danario Alexander is a restricted free agent and could very well leave in free agency. Philip Rivers needs more to work with in the passing game, and Hopkins proved to be a reliable wideout in college.

46) St. Louis Rams: Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina

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 Bernard is a playmaker who can also impact a game as a kick and punt returner.

47) Dallas Cowboys: Bennie Logan, DT, LSU
Monte Kiffin's new 4-3 scheme needs some new blood for it to be effective, and that's what Logan provides. He's a solid defensive tackle that fills a need alongside Jay Ratliff.

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: Datone Jones, DE, UCLA

The Giants will likely have a need at defensive end since Osi Umenyiora is a free agent. Jones had a great Combine and is the kind of player the Giants love drafting.

50) Chicago Bears: Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State

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 Watson is a good value pick here that fills a need.

51) Washington Redskins: Jon Cyprien, S, Florida International

Washington’s secondary could use an upgrade. While there aren’t any cornerback prospects that make sense, Cyprien is probably one of the best players left on the board. He’s been flying up draft boards as of late and could go much earlier than this.

52) Minnesota Vikings: Blidi Wreh-Wilson, CB, Connecticut
As I mentioned earlier, Minnesota was very bad against the pass last year. In their division, they have to worry about Aaron Rodgers, the Matt Stafford-Calvin Johnson duo, and a Marc Trestman offense, which means they need to find cornerback help.

53) Cincinnati Bengals: Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State

As many as four Bengal linebackers could be on their way out of town during free agency. If that’s the case, Cincy should use this pick to help fill that void. Brown doesn’t have great size, but he’s a versatile player who defends both the run and the pass very well.

54) Miami Dolphins: Robert Alford, CB, Southeastern Louisiana

Alford comes from a small school, but he hinted at big talent during the Combine, where he posted a sub-4.4 40 time. The Dolphins are in need of help in their back seven, and they’ll likely use an early pick to address that need.

55) Green Bay Packers: Kyle Long, OG/OT, Oregon

Green Bay’s offensive line is aging, and they need to protect Aaron Rodgers. Like many other top offensive line prospects, Long can play a number of different positions up front, and it doesn’t hurt that he’s got fantastic NFL genes.

56) Seattle Seahawks: Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
A huge, huge fall continues for Montgomery, but Pete Carroll hasn't shied away from taking players with character issues. If he coaches Montgomery up and gets all his talent out of him, this may wind up being the steal of the draft.

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 opportunities at both the Senior Bowl and the Combine.

58) Denver Broncos: Eric Reid, S, LSU

Reid slipped in this mock through no fault of his own, and he may be a welcome addition in Denver. Their secondary was awful against Joe Flacco, and 37-year-old Champ Bailey may finally be showing his age.

59) New England Patriots: Darius Slay, CB, Mississippi State
New England struggled against the pass last year, and again, you can never have too many quality corners. Aqib Talib is a very good player, but Alfonzo Dennard has off-the-field baggage and the rest of their secondary isn't great.

60) Atlanta Falcons: Corey Lemonier, DE/OLB, Auburn

Defensive end is a big problem for the Falcons, and it was an issue even during a stellar season. Lemonier had an impressive showing at the Combine with a 4.6 40, and he’s bulked up a little as well. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him go in the second round.

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

San Francisco’s front seven is fantastic, but their group of safeties is a question mark, especially after the defection of DaShon Goldson. 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: David Amerson, CB/S, N.C. State
Baltimore's secondary is a huge question mark. Lardarius Webb suffered a bad season-ending injury, and chances are Ed Reed won't be back. Amerson adds versatility to a group that could have plenty of needs when it tries to defend its Super Bowl title.


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