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Wednesday, 24 April 2013

TPL Roundtable Mock Draft

For this mock draft we've decided to go in a different direction. Rather than doing one individually we decided to split the 1st round between us, adding a little bit of spice to a normally bland affair.

Toby will be taking picks 1, 4, 7 etc while Gur handles selections 2, 5, 8 etc and Phil presides over 3, 6, 9 etc.



With the 1st pick the the 2013 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs select....

Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

It's the standard selection, and while it's not particularly "exciting" for most fans it just makes too much sense. Alex Smith needs time in the pocket and the situation with Brandon Albert means the Chiefs could well need a new reliable left tackle for 2014. Luke Joeckel isn't on the same level as Matt Kalil was in last years draft, but he's still a very capable player who should be able to handle the best pass rushers around. (Toby Durant)

With the 2nd pick the the 2013 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars select....

Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia

Yes, it may be a reach, but I do think we'll see Smith's name called when the Jags step up to the podium, thanks mostly to twitter chatter a few weeks ago: over the space of a few days, the Raiders traded for Matt Flynn, the Cardinals traded for Carson Palmer and the Bills signed Kevin Kolb. Several draft analysts, former front office types and NFL insiders put that flurry of QB moves down to one thing: the belief that the Jags will take a quarterback. That stuck with me enough to make Geno Smith the pick here. (Gur Samuel)

With the 3rd pick the the 2013 NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders select....

Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida

He's shot up draft boards since the combine in Indy, and with his rare physical skill set and size he's a great fit for Oakland at 3. Of course, Oakland need a lot of pieces still, and they don't really have a QB, so if Geno Smith makes it past the Jags they'll take a good look at him. (Phil Gaskin)

With the 4th pick the the 2013 NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles select....

Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

With Asomugha and Rodgers-Cromartie leaving town and the injured offensive line talent returning this pick makes too much sense. Yes, taking a tackle as insurance for Peters and allowing the Eagles to move Todd Herremans back inside is a definite possibility but in the NFC East with Eli Manning and his duo of wide outs, the talented Dez Bryant and Robert Griffin III running around Philadelphia need a corner they can rely on. (TD) NB: This selection was made before Milliner's medical history was revealed but I still feel pretty good about it.

With the 5th pick the the 2013 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions select....

Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

Two of Matthew Stafford's four years in the league have ended in injured reserve; now this past offseason, they've cut one guard, lost a tackle to free agency, and had their long-time left tackle retire. Keeping Stafford healthy is imperative, making Fisher the obvious choice. (GS)

With the 6th pick the the 2013 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select....

Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon

Another team with multiple needs, but pass rush is the most glaring. They may have added Paul Kruger in the off-season, but he's not the answer to all their problems, and a dynamic threat off the edge like Jordan will help their secondary too. (PG)

With the 7th pick the the 2013 NFL Draft, the Arizona Cardinals select....

Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma

The Cardinals are more than happy to see one of the top left tackles still on the board. Even with Levi Brown returning from injury in 2013 the Cards need as much new talent on the O-Line as they can get their hands on. (TD)

With the 8th pick the the 2013 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills select....

Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse

Another QB reach here, but Buddy Nix has been harping on since the middle of last season that the team needs a new quarterback, and I doubt Kevin Kolb is what he had in mind. Still, Kolb has a role - he did play for two highly respected offensive minds in Andy Reid and Ken Whisenhunt, and can bring that insight into the QB room to help teach a young prospect. The problem is, of course, he needs a young prospect to teach, and with quarterbacks always going higher than people expect, rather than gamble on who might be on the board in the second round, new head coach Doug Marrone gets re-united with the quarterback he's been coaching the past few years. (GS)

With the 9th pick the the 2013 NFL Draft, the New York Jets select....

Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida St.

Now with two picks in the top 13, the Jets have a lot of options. QB is still a huge question, but so is DB and rush LB. With the great 1st round value in pass rushers this year, the Jets will grab a top corner to soften to loss of Revis to Tampa and still give them the option to get a linebacker in a few picks time. (PG)

With the 10th pick the the 2013 NFL Draft, the Tennessee Titans select....

Ziggy Ansah, DE, BYU

Ansah could go as high as 4 so to find him available at 10 is a great boon for a Tennessee team than could use a DE improvement to get more consistent pressure. They finished 9th in the league with 39 sacks last year, but a lot came from blitzing linebackers (Akeem Ayers & Zach Brown combined for 11.5 sacks). If the Titans can convert Ansah's raw potential into production then they'll be able to compete with Houston and Indy. (TD)

With the 11th pick the the 2013 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers select....

Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama

The Chargers' offensive line is in a terrible, terrible state, and Chance Warmack is one heck of a draft prospect. If Lane Johnson were still on the board, I'm not sure they go guard here - Warmack's better, but the premium is always going to be on a tackle; but with the top three tackles gone, Warmack's the easy choice here. (GS)

With the 12th pick the the 2013 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins select....

Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina

They already have a decent OL, but losing Jake Long will hurt them. There's no tackle value left on the board for them at 12, so they look the make an already good interior OL better, bringing Cooper in to replace the mountain of John Jerry at guard to play alongside Pouncey and Incognito. (PG)

With the 13th pick the the 2013 NFL Draft, the New York Jets select....

Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia

With Phil going DB at 9 i'm staying away from Kenny Vaccaro here and also staying away from a QB since they're almost certainly in "tank" mode for the 2013 season. The Jets need to get younger at linebacker and get some more pressure on opposing QB's, so Jarvis Jones joins Gang Green. (TD)

With the 14th pick the the 2013 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers select....

Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia

The Panthers are stuck with the least productive offense in a high-powered O division. Without the firepower to contend against ATL or NO, they can't go against their other division rivals with no receiving threats whatsoever (since, y'know, Smith may as well not suit up now that he's going against Revis), so they give Cam Newton a sorely-needed second downfield threat in Austin. (GS)

With the 15th pick the the 2013 NFL Draft, the New Orleans Saints select....

Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

Tough choice here, Lotulelei or Sheldon Richardson... I've gone with Star because of his scheme fit and his physical prowess. Richardson would also make a nice 3-4 DE for this new-look Saints D, and now Lotulelei has been medically cleared there's no reason not to take him. (PG)

With the 16th pick the the 2013 NFL Draft, the St. Louis Rams select....

Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas

Had Austin or Lotulelei fallen they would have been very tempting options. But since they're off the board there's really only one option in Kenny Vaccaro. The Rams have a great pair of cornerbacks but they need a safety who can roam down into the box and help with coverage over the middle, Vaccaro can be that guy. (TD)

With the 17th pick the the 2013 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers select....

Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU

The Steelers are definitely a team in transition. They've remade their previously old, old and very old offensive line with young talented prospects who retain high potential but have struggled with injuries, particularly their young tackles. That leaves linebacker as the position group that needs upgrading the most, especially with James Harrison's failed bluff that left him on the street well into free agency. They plug that hole with the prospect with the most fun to pronounce name in years, Barkevious Mingo. (GS)

With the 18th pick the the 2013 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys select....

DJ Fluker, OT, Alabama

Doug Free is horrible. So is Phil Costa. So something to make this OL better is a must. If Fluker can slot in at RT, with Tyron Smith at LT, it means the Cowboys can try kicking Free inside. If someone like Cooper, who can play C, is still on the board, Dallas would be all over him. (PG)

With the 19th pick the the 2013 NFL Draft, the New York Giants select....

Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida St.

Sheldon Richardson keeps falling and he's so very, very tempting here, but as the Giants "GM" I have to take into account their love for defensive ends. With Osi leaving town and Justin Tuck slowing down a guy with Werner's engine is going to be too good to turn down. (TD)

With the 20th pick the the 2013 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears select....

Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame

When the Bears had a solid tight end in Greg Olsen, they completely misused him, a direct result of Mike Martz doing Mike Martz things. Once the old codger was gone, they didn't have a tight end worth a damn on the roster. Of course, the Patriots have shown the NFL the Ancient Way of the Two Tight End Set, and all the mismatch nightmares it can cause (assuming both tight ends are healthy). The Bears have Martellus Bennett to run the traditional underneath routes of a tight end, but I've decided to go 'nu-skool NFL' on the Bears' behalf (much as the Colts did last year), so here they go with Eifert to stretch the middle of the field - because with Eifert stretching the middle, Brandon Marshall racing down the outside, Bennett abusing the underneath and Matt Forte always a weapon in the flats and out the backfield, Jay Cutler should have everything he needs - except an offensive line, of course. (GS)

With the 21st pick the the 2013 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals select....

Eric Reid, S, LSU

They just don't have any good safeties. They also don't have a good MLB, but the way Reid has flown up draft boards I think he'll be the pick rather than Ogletree/Te'o here. Especially considering the issues Mauluga has had in the past, the Bengals might want someone a bit more reliable. (PG)

With the 22nd pick the the 2013 NFL Draft, the St. Louis Rams select....

Alec Ogletree, OLB, Georgia

I get a second Rams pick and can continue to stack their defense with a rangy linebacker who can give support to James Laurinaitis in all facets of the defense. Jeff Fisher will be able to handle the character concerns and with the Janoris Jenkins pick last year the Rams showed they were willing to take the talent despite off-field issues. (TD)

With the 23rd pick the the 2013 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings select....

Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri

Simple pick here: Guiton isn't able to hold down more than a rotational role successfully next to a much-aging Kevin Williams, and Sheldon Richardson is by far the best player left on the board. I don't see how the Vikings could not draft Richardson if he falls this far. (GS)

With the 24th pick the the 2013 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts select....

Menelik Watson, OT, Florida St.

Brit first rounder. The Colts certainly need help on both lines, and having invested a silly amount of money in not-too-special pass rushers it figures they'll look to the OL in the draft. Watson is the best remaining OT prospect, although raw, and could be the protection Luck needs for the next 7-10 years. (PG)

With the 25th pick the the 2013 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings select....

Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee

With the pick they got back for Percy Harvin the Vikings take their Harvin replacement. Christian Ponder needs a lot of help on the outside if he's ever to convert the flashes of serious talent into consistently good play. If the Vikings don't get wide receiver help then teams are going to be double covering Kyle Rudolph, and that just makes no sense. (TD)

With the 26th pick the the 2013 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers select....

Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama

By far the biggest need here is offensive line, but there's no-one on the board worth taking (I can't justify taking Pugh here). The Packers didn't have a 100-yard rusher last season so instead of protecting Aaron Rodgers with linemen, the best running back in the draft will at least deflect some defensive attention away from the best quarterback in the game, and add yet another dimension to an offense that seems spoiled by more dimensions than Hugh Everett thought of (ill-understood quantum mechanics similes are all the rage, right?). (GS)

With the 27th pick the the 2013 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans select....

Keenan Allen, WR, Cal

I think I've mocked the Texans taking a WR high every year for the past 5. They still need a viable #2 opposite Andre Johnson, and with him reaching his 30s, Houston are now looking for his heir apparent too. (PG)

With the 28th pick the the 2013 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos select...

Demontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M

The Elvis Dumervil debacle left a big hole at defensive end for the Broncos and while Sylvester Williams or Justin Pugh perhaps offer more talent the need for an every down presence on the edge overrides them. (TD)

With the 29th pick the the 2013 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots select....

DJ Hayden, CB, Houston

The Patriots have needed help in the secondary for a long time now, and DJ Hayden has had his draft stock rise meteorically of late, ending up as the top corner on both Mike Mayock's and Greg Cossell's big boards. They re-signed Aqib Talib, but as a Bucs fan, I can assure you that's not much of a solution, as his constant hamstring injuries leaving him unavailable at the back end of most seasons. Hayden's too good for a team with as watery a secondary to pass up. (GS)

With the 30th pick the the 2013 NFL Draft, the Atlanta Falcons select....

Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington

No Grimes, no Robinson, need DBs. Desmond Trufant has all the skills to be a top level corner in the NFL, and the Falcons will snap him up at 30. I wouldn't be surprised if the Falcons take a good look at the top TEs available here though. Even with Gonzalez returning, he can't go on forever, so if Eifert falls or they really like Ertz... (PG)

With the 31st pick the the 2013 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers select....

Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International

With Dante Whitner giving up more touchdowns than any other safety and Dashon Goldson leaving town there's room for new blood at safety for the 49ers. Cyprien has a lot of buzz and is in the discussion for the title of "2nd best Safety in the class" so he's nice value here. (TD)

With the 32nd pick the the 2013 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens select....

Matt Elam, S, Florida

The Ravens lost two of their great leaders this offseason with Ray Lewis's retirement and Ed Reed's moving on in free agency. With Dannell Ellerbe also lost in free agency, and Bernard Pollard cut (apparently in retribution of a mid-season locker room rebellion), that leaves massive holes throughout the middle of the defense that have to be filled if the defending Super Bowl champs have any hope of repeating. The choice here is between Manti Te'o and Matt Elam, and I simply don't trust Te'o at this level after the National Championship game, so it's Elam who'll police the back end of the Ravens' D with FA acquisition Michael Huff. (GS)

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