DraftBrowns.com Editor: Brendan Leister
Now that April is upon us and free agency has settled down, it seems like a good time to release my second mock draft of the pre-draft process. Remember that this is merely a prediction of what will happen in the first round. I am leaving my personal evaluations of the players out of the equation. Please feel free to comment at the bottom of the page with any positive or negative feelings you have regarding the mock. (The player “names, positions, schools” that include hyperlinks are linked to our prospect profiles in case you wish to read more about each prospect.)
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Eric Fisher, Left Tackle, Central Michigan
Many seem to be split on whether Eric Fisher or Luke Joeckel is the top left tackle in the draft. I believe that Fisher is the better prospect and I also believe that he has more upside in the long-term. If the Chiefs decide to select a left tackle with the first pick, I expect Fisher to be the pick.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Geno Smith, Quarterback, West Virginia
In two years as the Jaguars’ starting quarterback, Blaine Gabbert still hasn’t lived up to what the team hoped he would be. The Jaguars have a new regime in place and they have a need for a franchise quarterback. If they are confident in Geno Smith’s potential, he should be the pick.
3. Oakland Raiders: Sharrif Floyd, Defensive Tackle, Florida
The Raiders are deprived of talent at nearly every position on their roster and are in position to take the best player available with the third pick. Sharrif Floyd is highly regarded by scouts and evaluators around the NFL and he would give the Raiders a pass rush presence in the middle of their defensive line.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Star Lotulelei, Defensive Tackle, Utah
With the Eagles transitioning to a 3-4 defense, they are in need of help on the defensive line. Star Lotulelei has the talent and versatility to play at a high level at any of the three defensive line positions in a 3-4. I expect the Eagles to draft the best player available and if Lotulelei checks out medically, there is a great chance that he will be just that.
5. Detroit Lions: Luke Joeckel, Left Tackle, Texas A&M
The Lions have a need for a left tackle and Luke Joeckel is regarded by many as the best in the draft class. If Joeckel slips to five, it will be extremely difficult for the Lions to pass on him.
6. TRADE: Miami Dolphins (from Cleveland): Lane Johnson, Left Tackle, Oklahoma
The Dolphins have a huge need at the left tackle position and with the two top players at the position off the board, don’t be surprised if they try to trade up with the Browns. With the Cardinals and Chargers also in need of a left tackle, do not be surprised to see them do what they can to move up to this spot on draft day to secure a left tackle as well. The price to move up will likely be a second round pick at the very least. Lane Johnson has the talent and potential to develop into a top flight left tackle in the NFL. He is a tremendous athlete with the frame to add weight.
7. TRADE: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (from Arizona): Ezekiel Ansah, Defensive End, BYU
With Lane Johnson off the board at six, expect the Cardinals to entertain trade offers for the seventh pick. It has been speculated that the Buccaneers may have an interest in moving up for Ezekiel Ansah. Ansah has enormous upside as a defensive end that can also move inside on passing downs. He would be an ideal replacement for Michael Bennett, who moved on to the Seahawks in free agency.
8. Buffalo Bills: Dion Jordan, Outside Linebacker, Oregon
Bills’ defensive coordinator Mike Pettine has made it known that the team is installing a multiple front 3-4 defense. Dion Jordan is a good fit for this type of scheme due to his unique talent and versatility. Jordan has experience dropping in coverage, rushing the passer and also with his hand in the dirt and standing up.
9. New York Jets: Barkevious Mingo, Outside Linebacker, LSU
The Jets have one of the least talented rosters in the entire NFL and they are in need of impact talent. Barkevious Mingo has the talent and potential to develop into one of the best players from this entire draft class. Mingo would also give the Jets a pass rush presence off the edge that they’ve been missing for years.
10. Tennessee Titans: Dee Milliner, Cornerback, Alabama
The Titans don’t have a big need at the cornerback position and they could decide to entertain trade offers if the draft plays out the way it has up to this point. Dee Milliner has a good chance of being the top player available on the Titans’ board if they keep the pick. Milliner is a very talented cover corner and he will be drafted early due to the fact that he’s a talented player at a premier position.
11. San Diego Chargers: Kenny Vaccaro, Safety, Texas
The Chargers are in need of a strong safety to slot in beside all-pro free safety Eric Weddle. Kenny Vaccaro is a great fit because his versatility would allow the Chargers to be extremely creative with the way they use their safeties and disguise what they’re trying to do on defense. Vaccaro and Weddle would give the Chargers one of the top safety tandems in the NFL for years to come.
12. TRADE: Cleveland Browns (from Miami): Tyler Eifert, Tight End, Notre Dame
If the Browns are able to acquire a second round pick in a trade down, do not be surprised to see them make the trade. In this scenario, they did just that. Tyler Eifert is the most talented tight end in the entire draft class and he would give the Browns another young dynamic talent on offense; joining running back Trent Richardson and wide receiver Josh Gordon. The Browns still need a tight end to pair with Jordan Cameron and Eifert is a perfect fit.
13. TRADE: Arizona Cardinals (from Tampa Bay): Chance Warmack, Offensive Guard, Alabama
With the Cardinals missing out on the top three left tackles in the class, they decided to trade down and target the next best offensive lineman on their board in this scenario. Chance Warmack is arguably the top offensive guard prospect in the entire draft class. He would give the Cardinals an elite talent on the interior of their offensive line.
14. Carolina Panthers: Tavon Austin, Wide Receiver, West Virginia
Tavon Austin would give the Panthers a dynamic threat from the slot and in the read option game with Cam Newton. Austin has a great chance at becoming the most dangerous offensive player to come out of this entire draft class.
15. New Orleans Saints: Bjoern Werner, Outside Linebacker, Florida State
With this pick, I am projecting that the Saints will be comfortable enough with Bjoern Werner standing up to select him with the 15th pick. I personally prefer Werner as a left defensive end in a 4-3 defense, but a team could overlook the fact that he doesn’t look overly fluid dropping into space. Outside linebackers in 3-4 defenses are asked to rush the passer much more often than they are asked to drop into coverage so Werner would have a chance to successfully make the transition.
16. St. Louis Rams: Jonathan Cooper, Offensive Guard, North Carolina
Jonathan Cooper is in the discussion with Chance Warmack for the title of best offenisve guard prospect in the 2013 NFL Draft class. Cooper is extremely athletic for the position and he brings versatility in that he may even be able to line up at center. He would likely be able to step in and start at left guard from day one for the Rams.