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Saturday, 2 March 2013

Sosayitisaid's 2013 Mock Draft: 1.0

My first mock of 2013 is here. If any of these picks turn out right in April I'll be shocked, but hey, we all love a bit of self-indulgent guess work! Don't like what I have to say? Shout it from the rooftops! Or just comment, hit us up on twitter or facebook, or hunt me down and tell me to my face.

Let the wrongness begin after the jump!



1              Kansas City Chiefs - Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

So Alex Smith is the answer to all the KC quarterbacking woes? Up to two 2nd round picks says Andy Reid thinks so, and the only way to give Smith a chance to succeed is to protect the investment with the best OT in the draft. This pick assumes that KC don't resign incumbent LT Brandon Albert to a big money deal, which they could still do, and would throw a big spanner in the works. However, Mike Mayock puts Joeckel's talent in the "Joe Staley to Joe Thomas range", and that's something every team wants.

2              Jacksonville Jaguars - Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon

The Jaguars have a lot of needs to fill, but the league's worst pass rushers need help. Many have Bjoern Werner considered here as a standard 4-3 end, but the hiring of Bob Babich as Jaguars DC, a linebackers coach by trade, makes me think he might have something to say about Lewis' natural ability to rush from a 2pt stance.

3              Oakland Raiders - Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida

This pick has DT written all over it, but it's only recently that Sharrif Floyd has fought his way into top 5 consideration. The questions raised over Star Lotuleilei's heart condition and his inability to work out in Indy have slashed his value, so the former Gator takes his place as the best DT prospect in what is a strong class for big bodied D-linemen. The Raiders have a lot of needs, and were there a standout QB in play then he could be on his way to Oakland, but there just isn't, so a pick that will improve their entire defense is the one to make.

4              Philadelphia Eagles - Demarcus Milliner, CB, Alabama

Yes, their Offensive Line was horrible in 2012, and the chance that Jason Peters, Jason Kelce and Todd Herremans all come back from injury in previous form is slim, but with names like that on the roster it's hard to invest another high pick on an OT, no matter how good. Dee Milliner represents the closest skill player to a "sure thing" in this draft, and with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie hitting free agency and Nnamdi Asomugha rumoured to have been asked to either take a massive pay cut or leave, this pick is almost a no-brainer now.


5              Detroit Lions - Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State

Comparisons to Chris Long are abound for Werner, the top 4-3 DE in the class. I fully expect the Lions to shop this pick right up til the lights turn on in Radio City, and if someone falls in love with Eric Fisher or Geno Smith they might find a partner looking to jump ahead of the Cardinals at 7, but if they stay where they are Werner would be a fine addition, particularly with KVDB out of the picture. Line Werner up alongside Suh, Fairley and co and the Lions DL continues to look scarier.


6              Cleveland Browns - Damontre Moore, DE/OLB, Texas A&M

There are plenty of directions this Browns team could go at 6, but the BPA at this point, Eric Fisher, is not a need for them with Joe Thomas still on board. I had this pick drawn in before the Combine, and after Moore only benched 225 twelve times and pulled up during his 40, his stock may have plummeted, but pass rush remains a desperate need for Cleveland, so I'll keep him here for now. One potential guy rocketing up the order who might find himself at 6 by April? Ziggy Ansah...

7              Arizona Cardinals - Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

The Arizona Cardinals OL was horrible in 2012, particularly at OT. Eric Fisher is the BPA, fills a huge need, and at this point is a complete no-brainer for Arizona. IF Fisher falls to them, they'll be delighted, but don't be surprised if someone jumps above them to snag him at 6. The other option for Arizona is QB, and with all option at this position still on the board they might fall for one of them.

8              Buffalo Bills - Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia

The first QB off the board. If this happens, I'll hate the pick, but I think Ryan Fitzpatrick has outstayed his welcome in Buffalo, and Ralph Wilson wants a new figurehead. The Bills OL is vastly improved (particularly if Andy Levitre stays), and they have a superb running game, plus Stevie Johnson on the outside, so pretty much everything you could want for a new QB to succeed. What the Bills don't have is a defensive backfield, Jairus Byrd can't cover the whole field by himself, so if Dee Milliner falls or Kenny Vaccaro intrigues them enough, maybe the Bills do the right thing and pass on a QB this high.

9              New York Jets - Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas

Speaking of Vaccaro, here he is. Another team that needs a QB, but I suspect the Jets will still feel the pain of reaching for Sanchez so won't risk another high-profile failure. Instead, they bring in much needed help at DB, which could easily become a CB pick if Revis is gone by April.

10           Tennessee Titans - Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama

Only when the best player in the draft is an interior lineman could he fall to pick 10 and it still be considered a high selection. Ok, maybe a kicker or punter too, but  they don't count. Warmack is awesome, will turn into a 12 years starter for the Titans, and will eventually be looked back on as a great value pick. Chris Johnson will be happy too, as he finally might not get hit in the backfield, and a bit more interior security will help Jake Locker. The only thing that might keep Warmack sliding is if the Titans think they need pass rush more. They probably do, but passing on Warmack would be a massive error.

11           San Diego Chargers - Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma

One place Warmack WILL NOT fall past is San Diego at 11. If he's on the board still, he'll be a Charger. As it happens, Lane Johnson is my mock here, as his performance at the combine has pushed him into the Top 10 pick conversation. He just misses out for me, but is good value for a team still desperate to replace Kris Dielman and Marcus McNeill.

12           Miami Dolphins - Cordarelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee

Tannehill worked out well, and their offensive line (if Jake Long stays in town) is still decent with Mike Pouncey deserving a ProBowl berth and Richie Incognito earning one. What the offense needs desperate is a viable #1 receiver, which Cordarelle Patterson best represents in this class.

13           Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State

There are two options for Tampa. CB or OT. With the three best tackles off the board already by 13, Xavier Rhodes becomes the obvious pick, with his ability to play corner or safety. Combined with last year's first round pick Mark Barron and this Tampa secondary looks strong, which they need to compete in a division with Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Cam Newton...

14           Carolina Panthers - Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

It's a long way from #3 where Star was sitting on numerous mocks before his heart condition emerged, and he could fall even further depending on the severity of what doctors find out. His "low cardiac ejection" is not a disease itself, but may be a symptom of an underlying condition, or as his agent claims, of his weight loss. Regardless, teams will have question marks by his name now, it's just a question of which team is most convinced he is healthy. Carolina is desperate for a DT to help their run game and stop their LBs taking so much punishment. If Lotuleilei's health doesn't scare them, they'll be delighted he falls to 14.

15           New Orleans Saints - Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri

Another NFC South team with a need at DT fills a hole. The Saints have moved on from Spagnuolo as DC, and will bring in a big body to plug up a D that was one of the worst in NFL history. Richardson is a hard player to peg, and some have raised questions about whether his talents will transfer to the NFL, but the need for a DT is too great for the Saints to pass on him.

16           St Louis Rams - Jonathan Cooper, OG, UNC

The Rams have 4 positions they need to address with their 2 first round picks: OL, OLB, S, and WR. The value for OLB and S lies elsewhere in this class, so they take the 2nd best interior lineman in the draft. Along with Harvey Dahl, Cooper will instantly give the Rams a hugely powerful Guard combo, and if Scott Wells can stay healthy, a complete interior. Cooper has the ability to play at Centre too, and his versatility will be a real draw. He's not the OT that St Louis would love, but he's a big need. That said, if the Rams can snag one of the available O-Linemen in free agency, this pick may be to replace the presumed departed Danny Amendola.

17           Pittsburgh Steelers - Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia

Jones is a balancing act. Is his undeniable talent enough to outweigh the risk of his spinal stenosis, that could feasibly end his career with just one of the wrong kind of hit. The fact is this: somehow the Steelers always seem to end up able to draft a standout talent lower in the 1st round than they should be able to, and they have the kind of locker room that could nurture Jones into a star. A great fit for player and team.

18           Dallas Cowboys - DJ Fluker, OT, Alabama

The 'Boys need a man. A big one. The only question is whether it's to play on their OL or DL. Doug Free has been a resounding failure at LT, and he needs replacing, or at the very least moving inside. DJ Fluker may be better suited to Right Tackle than Left, but any improvement over Free would be massively welcomed.

19           New York Giants - Sylvester Williams, DT, UNC

For me, this is the toughest pick to mock in the whole first round. Do they go DB to cover their porous secondary? Do they bring in a LB that can stop the run? Or do they pick a big body to cover the LBs they already have? I had Alec Ogletree mocked here until very recently, but Williams did far more to impress me at the Combine.

20           Chicago Bears - Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame

If the Bears had a tight end who could catch, they might have held off their horrible collapse in 2012 to scrape into the playoffs. It's not normally a highly valued position, but with an improving OL, a true #1 receiver, a top RB and a turnover machine of a D, the Bears have the luxury of picking a real need here and taking the best player at his position in the draft. Eifert will start from day 1, and probably come close to a ProBowl berth straight away too.

21           Cincinatti Bengals - Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia

I don't trust Vontaze Burfict as far as I could throw him, and if he had anything to say about it that wouldn't be very far. Combined with Rey Mauluga's issues on and off the field, I see ILB as a need for the Bengals, and they've never been afraid to pick a guy with some negative character traits...

22           St Louis Rams - Keenan Allen, WR, Cal

The receiver the Rams have needed in the worst way since Torry Holt left? Maybe. But it's a pick they have to make if Amendola moves on. Allen can be a true #1, with Chris Givens providing a deep threat and perhaps Brandon Gibson and Brian Quick working inside and in the red zone. Some have Tavon Austin rising into R1, but his skill set is something that Rams already have on board.

23           Minnesota Vikings - Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State

The Vikings are a team with numerous needs despite playing their way into the post-season in 2012, so at this stage of the draft they take the best player available at a need. Hankins is a unit that can be a second coming of the Williams Wall. Not sure what they'll call it with him involved, the Hankins Halt?

24           Indianapolis Colts - Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU

Now in a 3-4 D, the Colts need to replace former stalwarts Freeney and Mathis. Mingo doesn't have the size or power to play 4-3 DE in the NFL, so an outside rushing position the Colts will slot him in at will suit his body type best. If the Colts like Ziggy Ansah's ability to play from a 2pt stance, and his stock doesn't rise too much, he could be the pick here, but momentum suggests he might be gone long before I've mocked him.

25           Seattle Seahawks - Menelik Watson, OT, FSU

The Seahawks have found almost all their missing pieces. Russell Wilson has solved a lot of problems all by himself, but even his elusiveness can't offset the horror that has been Breno Giacomini's play at RT. Manchester, UK, born and bred, Watson has had a strange route to the NFL, via a basketball team in Spain, followed by Marist and Saddleback colleges, and finally a single year of football at FSU. It might be a huge reach to take Watson in the first round when he's still so early in his football career, but look at it this way: his physical talent is undeniable, he doesn't have the wear and tear of 4 years of college ball, and if he's this good after 1 year at FSU, how good could he be after a year or two with NFL coaches? Plus, the Seahawks like picking surprising OTs at about this stage of the draft (see James Carpenter).

26           Green Bay Packers - Barrett Jones, OL, Alabama

Is this too high for Barrett Jones? Maybe. Does he fill a need for the Packers? You bet he does. "ProBowler" Jeff Saturday is retired, and their tackles stunk in 2012, not to mention the Packers seem to determined to enter every season with as few OL on the roster as possible (usually 6/7), so a guy who can play all 5 positions on the OL, and will likely be a 10 year interior starter in the NFL, looks like a perfect pick to me.

27           Houston Texans - Ezekiel Ansah, DE/OLB, BYU

Honestly, Ansah won't still be around at 27, but if by some miracle he is, the Texans could use him. JJ Watt was phenomenal in 2012, but you have to figure with an off-season to prepare opposing OLs will have a chance to adjust to his unique talents. Brooks Reed is a decent pass rusher, but Ansah will be better. They could also look to go WR here.

28           Denver Broncos - Kawann Short, DT, Purdue

One of very few holes on this Broncos team is at DT, so with a deep top class in this draft, even at 28 the Broncos can get a baller. Derek Wolfe was drafted early last year, but played more at DE than DT except in obvious passing situations, so a big body like Short will be a welcome addition.

29           New England Patriots - Johnathan Banks, CB, Mississippi State

Talib probably won't be sticking around, and Alfonzo Dennard could be on his way to prison, so DB is a need for Belichick and co. As usual however, Bill could do just about anything here, or more likely, not be picking here at all having dealt to wherever he pleases.

30           Atlanta Falcons - Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU

Falcons have released John Abraham and Michael Turner. That makes this pick one of two positions. I've plumped with Sam Montgomery as the Falcons new, and much needed, pass rusher, but they could easily make Eddie Lacy the only RB selected in the first round of this year's draft. End seems like a far more pressing need though.

31           San Francisco 49ers - Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington

It has taken Joe Flacco to smoke the 49ers DBs in the Superbowl for people to finally see what I've been saying since the pre-season, that their passing D is badly overrated. "They benefit from the from 7 being amongst the league's best, but against better passing offenses they can come unstuck" was specifically how I put it. Trufant will be a nice addition, hopefully moreso than their last 1st round pick AJ Jenkins who had literally no impact on 2012 at all.

32           Baltimore Ravens  - Manti Te'O, LB, Notre Dame

Why not? Ray Lewis is gone, so the Ravens need a new ILB to rally around. Te'O may have his detractors, huge questions against his name, and a below part physical showing at the combine, but since when has physical ability been a prerequisite for playing MLB in Baltimore? Not since Ray stopped being able to cover in about '09.

- Phil Gaskin (@sosayitisaid)
- The Pulling Linemen

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