We are less than 24 hours away from the 2013 NFL Draft, so it’s time to unleash my final mock draft of the year.
I expect there to be a lot of movement in Thursday’s first round, so this draft could go haywire very quickly, but there’s a lot of talent to be had as team’s will attempt to solidify their future.
With that being said, let’s take a look at my final 2013 NFL Mock Draft of the season
1. Kansas City Chiefs
Player Name: Luke Joeckel
Position, School: OT, Texas A&M
After the Alex Smith trade, it is all but certain that the Chiefs get the tackle to help protect him. Joeckel is a guy that could come in and play either side for Andy Reid from day one and be a cornerstone at left tackle in Kansas City for a long time.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars
Player Name: Eric Fisher
Position, School: OT, Central Michigan
The Jaguars need a legitimate pass rusher badly, but the chance to land a top flight tackle is too much to pass up here. Fisher could potentially go No. 1 overall, but shouldn’t make it past the Jags at No. 2.
3. Oakland Raiders
Player Name: Sharrif Floyd
Position, School: DT, Florida
The Raiders acquired Matt Flynn so they likely won’t go quarterback here. What they do need is quality young talent on the defensive front. Floyd has played inside and on the edge and is explosive with great leverage and power.
4. Philadelphia Eagles
Player Name: Dion Jordan
Position, School: DE/OLB, Oregon
It’s tempting to take a shot on Geno Smith here, but they have the opportunity to land a potentially dominant pass rusher. If one of the top two tackles make it this far, I would expect Chip Kelly to go that route, but if they aren’t, Jordan has to opportunity to be a beast for the Eagles.
5. Detroit Lions
Player Name: Ezekiel Ansah
Position, School: DE, BYU
The Lions can take the best player on the board, but in this case it fills a huge need. The Lions can address their woeful pass rush by grabbing one of the best pass rushers in this class. He will need to develop, but Ansah will make an impact in 2013. Jacksonville could take him at No. 2 and if they do, the Lions could target a corner here which will help fix their pass defense as well. But if Ansah is available, they can’t pass on him.
6. Cleveland Browns
Player Name: Geno Smith
Position, School: QB, West Virginia
The Browns would ideally target Jordan or Ansah here, but they also have to think about a quarterback or potentially a corner like Dee Milliner. Cleveland has had a different starter under the center the past six seasons. It may not be the conventional pick, but the Browns need a legitimate quarterback and Smith may be too good to pass up here.
7. Arizona Cardinals
Player Name: Lane Johnson
Position, School: OT, Oklahoma
Carson Palmer gives them some flexibility as Bruce Arians doesn’t have to reach for a quarterback here. They do have a need on the offensive line though and targeting a tackle or guard to help protect Palmer makes a lot of sense. They have been rumored to be inquiring on Kansas City’s Branden Albert, but if they don’t make a deal for him, Johnson is a safe pick.
8. Buffalo Bills
Player Name: Ryan Nassib
Position, School: QB, Syracuse
Here’s where things get a little crazy. The Bills need a quarterback and even though they could get Nassib in the second round, they could pull the trigger for him here. Buffalo has been rumored to be hot after both Nassib and USC’s Matt Barkley, but here’s thinking that new Bills coach Doug Marrone sticks with the guy he is familiar with.
9. New York Jets
Player Name: Barkevious Mingo
Position, School: DE, LSU
Mingo has the potential to be an outstanding pass rusher, something the Jets need badly. He’s athletic and can be a difference maker on the edge. New York could go Jarvis Jones here, but Mingo seems like a great fit for Rex Ryan.
10. Tennessee Titans
Player Name: Dee Milliner
Position, School: CB, Alabama
Milliner’s injury history could result in him sliding down some, but I can’t see him making it out of the Top 10. If he makes it this far it’s a gift for the Titans who were the 26th worst pass defense in the league a year ago. Milliner is the best corner on the board and could make an impact in Tennessee right away.
11. San Diego Chargers
Player Name: Jonathan Cooper
Position, School: OG, North Carolina
Philip Rivers has been getting slaughtered behind a terrible offensive line. Finding their left tackle for the future has to be a top priority, but with the top ones off the board already it doesn’t hurt to grab the best guard on the board. Cooper is as safe as a pick as there is in this draft and will help rebuild the Chargers offensive line.
12. Miami Dolphins
Player Name: Tyler Eifert
Position, School: TE, Notre Dame
I’m predicting the Dolphins to acquire Albert so that will solve their problem at tackle. They could still look at D.J. Fluker or a guard in Chance Warmack, but I like the addition of Eifert to this offense. The Dolphins will add just another weapon for young quarterback Ryan Tannehill and Eifert is the type of player who will create matchup nightmares for opposing defenses.
13. New York Jets (from Tampa Bay)
Player Name: Tavon Austin
Position, School: WR, West Virginia
It’s tempting for the Jets to look at a quarterback here, but it’s too early to pull the trigger on one here. Instead they take the best player on the board in Austin. Despite his size Austin could be the best playmaker in the draft and will give whoever is under center in New York a weapon that can do just about anything.
14. Carolina Panthers
Player Name: Star Lotulelei
Position, School: DT, Utah
The Panthers need to get better stopping the run and need to find a defensive tackle. It’s also nice that player happens to be the best player left on the board at this point. Lotulelei has the potential to become a dominant defensive tackle and fills an immediate need in Carolina.
15. New Orleans Saints
Player Name: Chance Warmack
Position, School: OG, Alabama
The Saints are moving to a 3-4 and need to find a top pass rusher. Georgia’s Alec Ogletree is an option but the Saints are going to go with the best player on the board and at this point that’s Warmack. It can’t hurt to add a potentially dominant lineman so the pick makes sense.
16. St. Louis Rams
Player Name: Kenny Vaccaro
Position, School: S, Texas
The Rams could go multiple directions with this pick, but I like them to target a safety here. Vaccaro is a steal this late as he is as good in coverage as he is a physical presence. The Rams have no depth at safety so Vaccaro is a guy who can come in and start right away.