KC and Justin’s 2013 NFL Mock Draft— Version 1.0

So KC and I felt that doing a joint mock draft where we each did picks would be something cool for the HTTR24-7.com website. With that in mind I(Justin) will be doing the odd numbered picks and KC will do the even numbered picks. After each selection, we’ll have a brief reasoning as to why we chose the player. So with that we hope you all enjoy this article!

1. Kansas City Chiefs- Geno Smith, QB , West Virginia

hen you look up and down the Kansas City roster there really isn’t a ton of needs, except the one glaring weakness at the Quarterback position. While the QB class of 2013 isn’t the same as the 2012 class, Geno Smith has certainly solidified himself as the top QB. With new HC Andy Reid in Kansas City, the acquisition of Geno Smith could be one that puts the Chiefs back into the playoffs in the 2013 season.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars- Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State

The Jaguars were so desperate for a pass rush this season, they took on the big contract of Jason Babin even though their season was long over. The Jaguars fell off as a team defensively and have had trouble generating a pass rush for several season. Bjoern Werner instantly upgrades their d-line, and should the Jags decide to keep Babin on, they would have one heck of a one-two punch as pass rushers

3. Oakland Raiders- Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

Oakland has struggled to generate any pass rush and it doesn’t just stem from one area of the DL. With young talent with Lamar Houston, adding in Star at DT would be one of the best moves for Oakland, especially with the talk of moving to a 3-4 D. What makes Star an impressive prospect is his ability to be a multi scheme player. Expect the DL to take off with Star manning the middle.

4. Philadelphia Eagles- Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

Quarterback Nick Foles was sacked an astounding 20 times in 5 games as the Eagles starter, and quarterback Michael Vick didn’t do much better behind the Eagles line as he was sacked 28 times and had his season ended early again. Luke Joeckel is the best pure offensive tackle in this draft, bar none, and whomever is the Eagles quarterback in 2013 will do well with this franchise left tackle.

5. Detroit Lions- Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

While I can certainly see the Lions here taking a DE, there are many needs in the defensive secondary and with that I chose Milliner for them. Dee provides a strong CB who plays well in man coverage. He should be able to come in right away and compete for the #1 CB job and help provide some stability in the back half of that D. Look for the Lions to address DE in round 2 then.

6. Cleveland Browns—Jarvis Jones, DE/OLB, Georgia

Despite their bad record, the Browns have a team that’s closer to being good than being bad. The inability to get pressure on the quarterback was a consistent problem for them throughout the year, however, as second year defensive end Jabaal Sheard, while showing some progress, never took that next step to become the pass rusher he was meant to be. Jarvis Jones gives the Browns the pass rush they’ve desired, while also helping improve their linebacker core. If things go correctly, Jones could be the drafts’ Von Miller, excelling in passing situations.

7. Arizona Cardinals- Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon

While I know the Cardinals need OL help in the worst way, Jordan is too good of a prospect to pass up here for them. Jordan would provide a versatile pass rush threat who would fit very well in the 3-4 D. Since we don’t project trades in this mock I can’t do it, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Arizona trade down and take Chance Warmack.

8. Buffalo Bills— Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas

It’s not a secret that the Bills want to get a quarterback in this draft. Buddy Nix has flat out said the Bills are looking to address their quarterback woes, after Ryan Fitzpatrick failed to live up to expectations. As usual in the draft, quarterbacks all tend to get pushed higher in the draft than expected.

New head coach Doug Marrone and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett will want to install a high tempo, spread type of offense, and they need a smart quarterback to run it. Tyler Wilson has a strong, accurate arm, sneaky athleticism of the Aaron Rodgers variety, and operated a true pro style attack in college. If the Bills throw their support 100% behind developing this young quarterback, they may have finally solved the answer to the “who can replace Jim Kelly” riddle.

9. New York Jets- Keke Mingo, OLB, LSU

As long as Rex Ryan is the HC I fully expect the Jets to continue to add parts to that D. Barkevious(Keke) Mingo is one of the more dynamic players in the 2013 class, but also had a down year. This is a bit of a gamble pick, but if this plays out correctly, then watch out for the Jets D as they’ll finally have a dominate pass rusher. Look for the Jets to possibly look at WR help here, but if they do so I’d expect them to trade down and acquire more picks. If not I expect them to take one in round 2 and attempt to target a player like DeAndre Hopkins from Clemson.

10. Tennessee Titans —- Matt Elam, FS, Florida

The Titans defense got absolutely scorched last year, in no small part due to poor safety play. Both of the Titans starting safeties Jordan Babineux and Michael Griffin are set to become free agents next year, which leaves a gaping hole in their secondary should either, or even both, leave.

Matt Elam seems like the kind of candidate who will have a Mark Barron-esque rise in the first round. Elam combines the talents of being a hard hitting, firm tackler in the box safety with the range, speed, and instincts it takes to play free safety in deep coverage. That kind of versatility will serve the Titans well.

11. San Diego Chargers- Jesse Williams, NT, Alabama

I look at the Chargers here and I see a team that needs to fix a lot of areas between the O and D, but also I see a good need at NT and Williams is one of the best NT prospects in this class. Williams will provide an anchor for the Chargers 3-4 D and provide some stability to that DL. Williams does need to improve on his pass rush technique and still is a raw player at times, but the pay off is a possible 10+ year NT for the Chargers. Look for the Chargers to possibly look at Chance Warmack here or possibly an OT like Eric Fisher or Lane Johnson.

12. Miami Dolphins —- Terrence Williams, WR, Baylor

Ryan Tannehill may have had some of the typical rookie struggles in his first year, but he showed more than enough talent and ability to showcase that he could finally be the Dolphins’ long awaited franchise quarterback woes. Tannehill’s struggles seemed more based on the talent (or lack thereof) around him rather than his own ability. The Dolphins could use an offensive lineman as Jake Long struggled this season before going on IR, and he’s scheduled to hit the free agent market. But with Jake Matthews and Taylor Lewan both returning for their senior seasons, the depth at tackle takes a tiny bit of a hit.

The Dolphins absolutely need a playmaker at wide receiver, as Brian Hartline and Davone Bess, while solid, don’t provide a solid, number one receiving option. Baylor’s Terrence Williams proved this season that his production was not solely a side effect of having Robert Griffin III throw him the ball; he lead the nation in receiving yards with 1,764 with 95 receptions and 12 touchdowns. He’s a solid route runner with great hands and ball skills. Tannehill to Williams could get the Dolphins offense rolling in a big way.

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State

Tampa Bay has a pretty solid O and DL, but that secondary does need help as they can’t rely on guys like Eric Wright to be outside starters. Banks has a so-so year for the Bulldogs, but still in my mind is a top 20 pick. The Bucs could go other routes and a trade down here could be a great option for them, but adding in a player of Banks caliber has to be tempting and could help push Tampa back into the playoffs. I wouldn’t be surprised if Tampa does look at QB at some point in the draft after another mediocre year from Josh Freeman. Not something they do immediately, but if they find value they could very well select another QB to groom under Josh.

14. Carolina Panthers— Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee

If Hunter is available at 14, the Panthers will run up to the podium. Cam Newton took a solid step forward in 2012, but it’s clear he still needs pieces around him. Steve Smith is still capable of making plays, but he’s not getting any younger, and Brandon LaFell has showed flashes, but hasn’t proven he can be “the next” guy. A Newton-to-Hunter combination could turn an already potent Panthers attack into an even more explosive one. Hunter has the size, speed and ball skills you want in a number one receiver. Even though he’s got rare athletic ability, he’s a little raw, and he’s still trying to regain back some of his explosiveness, but in the Panthers can develop him, they have a potential All-Pro at the wide receiver position.

15. New Orleans Saints- Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri

If Richardson(who I believe is a top 10 pick) falls to 15 past the Panthers, the Saints have to be running up the podium to make this selection. Richardson is one of the more dynamic D players in this class with his quickness he has even though he’s a DT. New Orleans this year struggled on D both in the pass game and also in the run game, but adding a player of Richardson’s caliber to collapse the pocket will be huge for Steve Spagnuolo who had a great DL in New York. Richardson needs to work on his ability to become an overall player, but Richardson can come in and provide immediately what the Saints hoped they had back when they drafted Sedrick Ellis.

16. St. Louis Rams— DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson

This first pick for the Rams will say a lot about their draft strategy. Sam Bradford was able to remain healthy and played solid if not outstanding football for the Rams. The Rams tried to solve their wide receiver woes in round 2 of the 2011 NFL Draaft when they drafted Brian Quick, but Quick was rarely on the field. They also drafted Chris Givens, who, while a nice surprise as a deep threat, isn’t a number one receiver. Danny Amendola is oft injured and is staring down free agency.

The Rams still need an offensive tackle, but getting Bradford a playmaker like Hopkins could be just the thing to help him take the next step. Hopkinss speed and YAC ability makes him a solid option that can be put in the starting line up right away; it’d be hard to argue you could find another receiver like him later in the draft.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers- Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

The Steelers are starting to get a little older on D, but that offensive line is still one of the worst in the NFL. While adding in DeCastro was a huge upgrade for the Steelers, but now adding in a player of the caliber of Eric Fisher would be huge. Fisher has good feet and is the epitome of a technician. Uses sound technique and makes sure to consistently stay in front of his opponent. This would allow Mike Adams to stay at RT and now the Steelers have the makings of a solid offensive line now. Possible that the Steelers look for a S here with guys like Polamalu getting older in that case I’d expect them to look at a guy like Kenny Vaccaro from Texas.

18. Dallas Cowboys— Kenny Vaccarro, S, Texas

The Cowboys spent a first round draft pick and big time money “fixing” their secondary when they took Morris Claibourne and signed Brandon Carr. Unfortunately, the addition of two solid corners did not make up for poor safety play; Danny McCray and Gerald Sensabaugh were victimized much of the season. So Jerry Jones continues his somewhat surprising trend of making sensible, not-completely-flashy draft picks and takes Kenny Vaccarro. If the Cowboys can find a solid d-tackle and another safety, they could have the beginnings of a very good defense.

19. New York Giants- Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU

This pick just makes too much sense right? I mean Ansah is another pass rush guy who fits well into what the Giants love to do. Ansah is a raw product and will take time to develop, but just see his development the past 2 years has been remarkable. He has very good awareness already but is raw with his pass rushing ability and his technique. He would be a great fit to sit behind Osi, JPP and Tuck and let him develop slowly, but when he’s ready watch out.

20. Chicago Bears— Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and general manager Phil Emery have both mentioned that they need to get better at attacking the middle of the field; i.e, they need a consistent tight end, and none of the guys they have on the roster are it. Eifert improved as a run blocker, but his role in the Notre Dame offense somewhat shrunk because of inconsistent quarterback play. Still, Eifert has the kind of skillset you dream for in a tight end, and he can certainly make the plays in the middle of the field that guys like Matt Spaeth couldn’t. The Bears have a near continuous need for offensive linemen, but getting Cutler another weapon is almost as important.

21. Cincinnati Bengals- Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU

The Bengals have a need at DE and with Michael Johnson set to hit FA this offseason they may be looking to replace him. Sam Montgomery is a gifted pass rusher, but has noted off the field issues as well as some worrisome issues on the field. If there was a DC who I felt could get the most out of Montgomery though it would be Mike Zimmer. Another option here could be Giovanni Bernard from UNC, although I just don’t see a RB going in the 1st round this year. Bengals could go Jonathan Hankins here if they want to develop two of the top DT’s in football, but Montgomery seems to be the better pick here.

22. St. Louis Rams (via Washington)— Chance Warmack, G, Alabama

The Rams offensive line has given up 35 sacks a season for the past three season. While the Rams could use a left tackle, there’s no one available at this point. They also need help in the interior line. Chance Warmack is the best guard in the draft and the best lineman available. The Rams would be foolish not to take him if he’s there. Their line needs all the help it can possibly get.

23. Minnesota Vikings- Johnathan Hankins DT Ohio State

Well the slide for Hankins stops here with the Minnesota Vikings. Hankins is a talented player, but didn’t play well his senior year and at the same time disappointed many scouts with his play against lesser competition. The Vikings need help though with the interior of their DL and Hankins can provide that early on. Hankins needs to provide a better pass rush ability, but early on can be a good run stopping DT. Hankins and Kevin Williams would be a nice tandem for that talented Vikings DL.

24. Indianapolis Colts- Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina

Andrew Luck was one of the most hit and most sacked quarterbacks in the league this season. While part of that is due to Colts’ offensive scheme, the Colts o-line lacks talent and depth. They need an upgrade at left tackle to allow Anthony Castonzo to play right tackle, but with the prime left tackle talent gone, they take the next best offensive lineman in Jonathan Cooper, who will have to add some size if he wants to play guard, but could also be a good fit for the Colts at Center.

25- Baltimore Ravens- Manti Te’o LB Notre Dame

The free fall for Te’o ends here as he goes to the Ravens to take over for the retiring Ray Lewis. Te’o had a great story this year at Notre Dame and was a key player for the Fighting Irish, but also a lot of this season overrated Te’o from where he truly should be taken which is in the 15-25 range. Te’o is a very good 3-4 ILB fit and having guys like Haloti Ngata in front of him will allow Te’o to flow to the ball and make plays. Expect Te’o to have a long career in Baltimore.

26. Seattle Seahawks— Da’Rick Rogers, WR, Tennessee Tech

Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider and Pete Caroll’s first three draft picks were characterized by high risk, high reward players. Before getting kicked out of Tennessee for a positive drug test, Rogers was a near shoe-in to be a first-round draft pick. He’s got rare physical gifts that would make him a huge asset to Seattle’s receiving core, which, while good, doesn’t have a true number one. Caroll and Scheineder took a chance on Bruce Irvin and were able to get solid production out of him, and Caroll was even able to milk a solid year out of “Big” Mike Williams. If anyone can manage to turn Rogers around, it’s the Seahawks.

27. Green Bay Packers- Robert Woods WR USC

I usually don’t know what to project for the packers since they usually play things very close to the vest. Last year they made a great selection with Nick Perry who can become an immediate starter for a long time. Adding Robert Woods would add another dynamic weapon to add to that receiving corps. With the likely departure of Greg Jennings in FA, Woods can come in right away and be a very good player for the Packers. Look for woods to be a potential OROY candidate in this scheme.

28. San Francisco 49ers—Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia

Last season, the 49ers shocked many people when they chose Syracuse prospect A.J Jenkins in the first round. Jenkins struggled in training camp, struggled more in preseason, and hasn’t recorded a single catch this season; he’s only been active in 3 games this year.

If the Niners are committing to Colin Kaepernick going forward, they will need more explosive players. Tavon Austin is just the guy they need; explosive, great route runner, awesome kick returner. He adds an element to this offense they’re still looking for; downfield speed, to compliment receivers like Michael Crabtree and a (hopefully healthy) Mario Manningham.

29. Houston Texans- Arthur Brown ILB Kansas State

The Texans have a pretty good D, but with the loss of Brian Cushing they just haven’t been the same since. While the secondary does need some help, they can’t pass up taking one of the best ILB prospects in this class. Brown has had a great 2012 and while he isn’t the biggest guy, he makes plays and will always be a force in either a 4-3 or 3-4 D. Look for the Texans to take the a playmaker in the 2nd round to help add weapons to that O.

30. New England Patriots— Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State

In all likelihood, the Patriots will probably trade down here, as they only have 5 draft picks, and none in the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds. But if they do stand pat, they’ll look to continue to upgrade a defense that, while improved, still needs some tweaking, particularly if they don’t re-sign Aqib Talib.

Jordan Poyer has been a favorite of mine and Justin’s for a while, hoping he’d last until the Redskins second round pick. That’s unlikely, as Poyer has all the makings of a potential stud. Good in man or zone, and good as a returner as well, the Pats would love to have a guy like Poyer in their defense.

31. Atlanta Falcons- Zach Ertz TE Stanford

Tony Gonzalez could very well be retiring at the end of the year and the Falcons need to find a replacement for him. Zach Ertz is the top overall TE in this class and provides exactly what the Falcons will love. Ertz is a mismatch problem who will prove to be a long term starter in the NFL. Atlanta could go other routes here if they want to especially DE if they want to upgrade that part of the D. CB is another option if they truly do lose Grimes in FA.

32. Denver Broncos— Kawann Short, DT, Purdue

If it’s one thing the Broncos playoff lost did, it was showcase that the Broncos still need to generate a pass rush. They have Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil off the edges, but they don’t have anyone in the middle of their d-line to create pressure. Kawaan Short was slowed by an ankle injury, but getting someone on the d-line who can shove the pocket around has to be a priority for Denver going forward.

NOTE: This mock draft was created before this weekend’s playoff games so the order has changed.

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