By: Steve Balestrieri
With the NFL Combine in the books and free agency just around the corner, the next big event after that will be the 2013 NFL Draft. While free agency will vastly change how teams draft boards shake out it is always fun to do a ‘too-early’ mock draft for Round 1 and bounce around some names and get others’ opinions on players and for the New England Patriots, there are a lot of interesting ways for the team to proceed.
With the trades going on or rumored to be….we’ll stick to the draft list as it stands right now….so please don’t yell and scream about who’s picking where…it’s not official… yet.
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So without further ado, my ‘too-early Mock 2013 NFL Draft 1.0 for the first week of March, follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments, slings, arrows etc. that invariably follow these mocks:
1. Chiefs: Luke Joeckle, LT Texas A&M, with KC reportedly having taken another in a long line of SF QBs, Andy Reid will want to protect Smith’s blind side, if this pick isn’t traded away as part of the package for Smith.
2. Jaguars: Bjoern Werner, DE Florida State, the Jags are starting from scratch. They need help badly at the OL, QB but were woeful rushing the QB.
3. Raiders: Star Lotulelei, DT Utah, I could see them going for a QB here and right now Lotulelei has an apparent heart condition that could drop him but for now he stays here and the Raiders need help with Seymour and Bryant likely gone.
4. Eagles: Eric Fisher, T Central Michigan, Eagles need help protecting their QBs from landing on IR and Chip Kelly has a long term one here.
5. Lions: Dee Milliner, CB Alabama, The Lions need help rushing the passer but they can address that later, their secondary needs revamping as well.
6. Browns: Dion Jordan, OLB Oregon, The Browns are going to a 3-4 and need and explosive edge rusher. Jordan fits the bill perfectly.
7. Cardinals: Matt Barkley, QB USC Bruce Arians needs a QB, LT and needs them quickly. Not sure Barkley is that “Andrew Luck” guy this season…
8. Bills: Barkevious Mingo, OLB LSU, Could see the Bills going QB here, but with them franchising Byrd, their making Pettine’s defense a priority and Mingo besides having the best name in the draft gives them an athletic edge presence.
9. Jets: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M, the Jets haven’t had that big edge rushing guy that Rex Ryan wants for his defense. Moore can stand up or put his hand down and get to the QB.
10. Titans: Chance Warmack, OG Alabama, what? A guard in the 1st round? Yes and Warmack is an instant answer for TN’s need there. A light on his feet, excellent run-blocker.
11. Chargers: Lane Johnson, OT Oklahoma, this would be a no-brainer if Fisher were still on the board, but wouldn’t be shocked to see them go DT here.
12. Dolphins: Cordarelle Patterson, WR Tennessee, perhaps the best WR of the draft goes to the Dolphins who had only three TD receptions by wide-outs last season. Still a bit raw, but can get them separation.
13. Buccaneers: Jonathan Banks CB Mississippi State, Bucs need help in the secondary and Banks is a big corner, like Talib the guy he’ll replace.
14. Panthers: Sharif Floyd, DT Florida, the Panthers need help in the interior line and Floyd who is very quick, tough and athletic will be a good fit.
15. Saints: Ezekial Ansah, DE BYU, Ansah has freakish athletic potential for someone his size. Was recruited to run track. Can put his hand down or stand up as an OLB.
16. Rams: Jonathan Cooper, OG North Carolina, another guard in the first round…Cooper will fill a big position of need for the Rams.
17. Steelers: Jarvis Jones, OLB Georgia, he could be heir apparent to James Harrison and under Dick Lebeau could be an outstanding 3-4 OLB, who brings the heat off the edge.
18. Cowboys: Sheldon Richardson, DT Mizzou, Monte Kiffin is revamping the Dallas DL and Richardson is effective against the run and the pass.
19. Giants: Menelik Watson, OT FSU, the G-men need help at tackle and Watson is a kind of the under the radar guy who is a bit raw but has prototypical size.
20. Bears: Tyler Eifert, TE Notre Dame, the Bears need to get Cutler his go-to guy and will make an immediate impact.
21. Bengals: Datone Jones, DE UCLA, Jones lining up opposite Michael Johnson should give the Bengals some excellent bookend pass rushers.
22. Rams: Kenny Vaccaro, S Texas, the Rams need a safety to line up next to Quinton Mikell and Vaccaro will step right in replace Dahl.
23. Vikings: Tavon Austin, WR West Virginia, everyone’s favorite player out of the combine, Austin is uber-fast, athletic and may replace Percy Harvin. But can he hold up physically? I have my doubts.
24. Colts: Jonathan Hankins, DT Ohio State, with help needed at both the OL and DLs, Hankins can play NT, DT and is very stout at the POA.
25. Seahawks: Jesse Williams, DT Alabama, Pete Carroll’s defense will be even better as they add yet another Tide player. Maybe a bit of a stretch in Round 1 but he’s got good speed and can play immediately.
26. Packers: Eric Reed, S LSU, the Packers need help in the middle of their defense, with Woodson heading out, Reed can step in and take his place. Could go ILB here as well.
27. Texans: Kevin Minter, ILB LSU, the Texans middle of their defense was banged up badly last season and with Cushing returning from injury, they need help there. Minter is an active playmaker who will start immediately.
28. Broncos: Desmond Trufant, CB Washington, anyone who watched the playoffs could see that Champ Bailey is beginning to slide and Trufant will be able to learn from the best.
29. Patriots: I see a trade down here, but for the sake of argument…. Logan Ryan, CB Rutgers, none of the sexy names that NE fans have been hammering out. Ryan heads up the NJ Turnpike to 95 and Foxboro….because Bill Belichick always does the opposite of what everyone expects.
30. Falcons: Zach Ertz, TE Stanford, Matt Ryan will need to get acquainted with Tony Gonzalez’s replacement.
31. 49ers: Xavier Rhodes, CB Florida State, the Niners need help in the secondary as it is probably the only weak spot on the team. With a slew of draft picks and more supposedly coming they will be able to address all of them and then some.
32. Ravens: Manti Te’o, ILB Notre Dame, with Ray Lewis retiring this is a perfect fit on many levels. Forget about his off-field issues, (I seem to remember Lewis having them) Te’o can play very well and will be a good fit. And he’ll replace that rah-rah, spiritual role that Lewis perfected over time….
Stay tuned for Mock Draft 2.0 coming soon…..