DraftBrowns.com Staff Writer: Justin Higdon
2013 NFL Mock Draft (updated 12/31/12)
1. Kansas City Chiefs – Tyler Wilson QB Arkansas: The Chiefs will likely be ushering in a new head coach and general manager, but they most certainly will be looking for a quarterback no matter what. Wilson is tough, has a strong arm, and is able to deliver throws from many different arm angles. He has the skill set and mental make up to start from Day One.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars – Geno Smith QB West Virginia: Smith could easily go Number One, but recent buzz seems to favor Wilson. Either prospect will represent an upgrade for the Jaguars, who are ready to walk away from Blaine Gabbert just two seasons after taking him with the 10th overall pick. Like Kansas City, Jacksonville is looking at a probable shakeup in the front office, and the new general manager will be starting fresh at quarterback. Good news for Geno Smith too: fewer cold weather games to worry about.
3. Oakland Raiders – Sheldon Richardson* DT Missouri: Richard Seymour is a free agent after the season and won’t be back. Richardson is an ultra-talented underclassman who has already announced his intentions to go pro. He has tremendous quickness and powerful hands. He can make himself skinny to get between blockers or bull rush his opponent back into the quarterback. The bottom line is that Richardson applies pressure up the middle in a variety of ways, and would be an impact player on Oakland’s defensive front immediately.
4. Philadelphia Eagles – Jake Matthews* OT Texas A&M: With left tackle Jason Peters on the shelf all season with an Achilles injury, Philly quarterbacks were sacked 48 times, and pressured or hit dozens of others. If Peters has a clean bill of health and the team is confident that he can return to form, they may choose to go in another direction here. But even with a healthy Peters, Matthews would serve as a huge upgrade at right tackle, where he played for the Aggies last season.
5. Detroit Lions – Bjoern Werner* DE Florida State: Cliff Avril is a free agent after the season, and the Lions’ other starter, Kyle Vanden Bosch is 34 years old and has just one year left on his deal. Backups Lawrence Jackson and Willie Young are average at best. Werner is explosive off the edge and is coming off a monster junior season in which he racked up 13 sacks and 18 tackles for loss. Damontre Moore, Dion Jordan and Ziggy Ansah are also in play here.
6. Cleveland Browns – Damontre Moore* DE Texas A&M: Cleveland’s 2012 free agent acquisitions, Frostee Rucker and Juqua Parker, did a decent job rotating in with Jabaal Sheard and rookie Billy Winn. But Parker is a free agent and the unit could use an upgrade. Moore finished his college career with 26.5 sacks and 44 tackles for loss, and proved to be a force against the run in addition to his pass rushing presence. He goes full speed ahead on every play, and shows discipline on the field. Moore ran into some trouble off the field in 2011, when he was arrested for marijuana possession. Now, a year and a half removed from the incident, he appears to have left his problems in the past, and has let his play on the field do the convincing for him.
7. Arizona Cardinals – Dion Jordan OLB Oregon: Jordan has become one of the more interesting prospects in the draft, as people attempt to determine where he fits in the NFL. One thing nobody will dispute right now is that Jordan is a gifted athlete with potential to provide help with the pass rush, among other possibilities. Jordan has experience in coverage, often lining up over the slot receiver at Oregon, and gives a team like the Cardinals some flexibility. Some fans may want a quarterback in this slot, but Arizona appears poised to give Kevin Kolb another opportunity for now.
8. Buffalo Bills – Star Lotulelei DT Utah: Defensive tackle may not appear to be a need with Kyle Williams and Marcel Dareus in the fold. But the Bills run defense was gashed constantly, and the two starters have no depth behind them. Lotulelei fortifies the line, and he’s the best player available on the board.
9. New York Jets – Mike Glennon QB North Carolina State: It’s no secret that the Jets quarterback situation became the butt of many jokes by the end of the 2012 season. Glennon may seem like a stretch in the top ten, but some analysts consider him the top quarterback in the draft. The Jets may be saddled with Mark Sanchez’s horrible contract for one more season, but there is no reason they can’t start moving on right now.
10. Tennessee Titans – Ezekiel Ansah DE Brigham Young: 2010 first round pick Derrick Morgan has been a disappointment, and the Titans’ defense as a whole struggled against the run and the pass. Ansah has only been playing football for three years, but he has proven to be a quick study. While he doesn’t have the eye-popping sack totals of Werner and Moore, he shows good instincts and promise as a pass rusher, and will be ready to move into the starting lineup sooner than later.
11. San Diego – Luke Joeckel* OT Texas A&M: The third Aggie off the board, it’s hard to picture Joeckel lasting this long. In fact, it’s entirely plausible that he could be drafted first overall if Kansas City sours on the quarterback class. But in this scenario, Joeckel slides a bit due to Philly preferring Matthews’ upside, and other teams filling other holes. The Chargers would be doing backflips after relying on an undrafted rookie left tackle in 2012.
12. Miami Dolphins – Cordarrelle Patterson* WR Tennessee: Patterson has only played one year of major college ball, but he’s rumored to be leaving for the NFL. In his lone season for the Volunteers, he amassed almost 1900 all-purpose yards and scored 10 total touchdowns. He scored five as a receiver, three as a runner, and one each on kickoff and punt returns. Patterson has excellent size and is a dynamic runner in the open field. He’d provide the Dolphins and quarterback Ryan Tannehill with the big time weapon they lacked this year.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Johnthan Banks CB Mississippi State: Once Aquib talib was traded, the Buccaneers were left without any semblance of a shut down corner, and opposing quarterbacks feasted on their secondary. Banks is the best corner in the draft and will provide an immediate upgrade over current starters Eric Wright and E.J. Biggers.
14. Carolina Panthers – Johnathan Hankins* DT Ohio State: 2012 starter Dwan Edwards is a free agent, and fellow starter Ron Edwards ended the season on injured reserve and will be 34 next season. Hankins’ presence would pay immediate dividends in Carolina.
15. New Orleans Saints – Barkevious Mingo* DE Louisiana State: Will Smith will be 32 years old next season, and there is not a lot of depth behind Smith, and fellow starter Cameron Jordan. Mingo may have had a quiet 2012 season, but he’s a terrific athlete with enticing pass rush potential.
16. St. Louis Rams – Taylor Lewan* OT Michigan: The Rams have suffered from poor line play for years, and their attempt to rectify that by drafting Jason Smith second overall in 2009, wound up being a failure. Lewan has the combination of skill and nastiness that NFL teams will love. And while some teams may view him as more of a right tackle than left, he could help St. Louis on either side.