By: Steve Balestrieri
With the 2013 NFL Draft starting tonight, one of the most interesting and fun periods of the season begins. With so many variables, it’s very difficult to always predict where players are going but as always, fans love to pick through and at them.
So with this Mock Draft 4.0, we’ll take a look at how we think this will play out. Of course there are always the inevitable trades that occur as teams look to grab a player of their choice before someone else does.
The question most New England Patriots fans want to know is what will the team do with the #29 pick? I believe that they may opt to trade down in the first round and pick up an extra 2nd round pick and a mid-round pick since they have no 4th, 5th or 6th round picks.
So with Mock 4.0 let us take a look at some changes from the previous mock draft:
1. Kansas City — Luke Joeckel, T, Texas A&M
I’ve been sticking with this one all along and not going to change it now
2. Jacksonville — Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
The Jaguars need help in a lot of spots, their pass rush is one of them and Jordan fits the bill. Will give them some speed off the edge.
3. Oakland — Lane Johnson, T, Oklahoma
The Raiders will go for the best player available and that may include Floyd but I think the draft will have a run on offensive linemen early.
4. Philadelphia — Eric Fisher, T Central Michigan
Philly lost both its starting corners in free agency but have signed Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher. With those players in the fold, they’ll add another corner later but need help keeping their QBs upright and on the field.
5. Detroit — Ezekiel Ansah, DE/OLB, BYU √
With Aaron Rodgers putting up Madden like numbers against them twice a year, they need to address some issues on defense and the Lions were supposedly very high on Ansah at the combine.
6. Cleveland — Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Sorry Pats fans, Mallett won’t be traded here during the draft although I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Browns trade down here and pick up some extra value. This could be a prime spot for them to do it. Watch to see if the Jets slide up here.
7. Arizona — Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
The Cardinals could use some help rushing the QB from the edge and Floyd would be a great candidate for them and give them a formidable group with Dockett and Campbell. They could opt for an edge rusher here, we had Mingo here earlier.
8. Buffalo — Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse
The Bills released Ryan Fitzpatrick and brought in Kevin Kolb, and his comments aside, he will be the QB only until they feel Nassib is ready. Although I think it’s a mistake, Nassib has shot up boards lately and someone always overrates a QB in the first rd.
9. NY Jets — Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
The Jets need help rushing the passer and have already signed Antwan Barnes. This will help them get the edge rusher that they’ve been lacking badly. I think they may slide up to #6 to keep him from Arizona.
10. Tennessee — Chance Warmack, G, Alabama √
The Titans need help on both the offensive and defensive lines, so this pick could easily go the other way. But Warmack will help the offense quickly, something the Titans sorely need. Great pass protection and explosive.
11. San Diego — D.J. Fluker, T, Alabama √
The Chargers could still go for defense as we pointed out in Mock 1.0 but the protection across the board in the Bolts OL has been poor and Fluker is a good place to start. Is versatile, can move around. If Warmack is still available….they may go here.
12. Miami — Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
In earlier mocks we had them taking WR Coradelle Patterson but that was prior to Mike Wallace and Brandon Gibson, as well as the re-signing of Brian Hartline. With Sean Smith gone in free agency, the Fins need a physical corner Milliner is the best CB on the board.
13. New York Jets — Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
This pick ended up being the property of the New York Jets in the Darrelle Revis trade and Austin gives them the playmaker they need on offense out of the slot.
14. Carolina — Star Lotulelei, NT, Utah √
They could also opt for a safety here, Vaccaro would be a good fit, but they can’t pass up the big man in the middle who is coming off some medical issues but has tremendous upside.
15. New Orleans — Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas √
Plenty of options here for New Orleans, OT, DT or S the Saints need help in a secondary that was woefully bad last season.
16. St. Louis — Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia
If Vaccaro is still here, I think he’s the pick but the Rams may decide to go for some linebacking or WR help here.
17. Pittsburgh — Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia √
The Steelers need help at OLB replacing James Harrison who signed with the Bengals after being released. Could also see them easily going for a safety here.
18. Dallas — Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
If Vaccaro or Elam is still on the board Dallas might jump at either to upgrade the safety position. But after handing Tony Romo a big extension the Cowboys need help in the interior of the offensive line protecting their investment and Cooper would immediately help and start.
19. NY Giants — Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
Rhodes is a big (6’2, 215) physical corner that thrives in man coverage. I think he’s a perfect fit for the Giants and should step in immediately
20. Chicago — Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
The Bears could easily go for a LB here, in fact Kevin Minter may be their choice, but Eifert is a too tempting target to pass up and gives QB Jay Cutler a favorite target in the middle of the field. Eifert is a big, versatile, athletic option at tight end with very good ball skills.
21. Cincinnati — Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State
The Bengals big needs are in the middle of the field on their defense at linebacker and safety, Brown gives them an immediate upgrade.
22. St. Louis — DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
The Rams went defense on their first pick and now need an offensive playmaker. The Rams are high on Hopkins and supposedly were impressed with him during a recent workout.
23. Minnesota — Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
One of the Vikes biggest need is at tackle, Richardson is versatile and will step in and play from Day 1. He’ll team up with the aging Kevin Williams to clog the middle for Minnesota.
24. Indianapolis — Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State √
Werner is versatile and play either DE position or line-up at OLB in the 3-4. Werner is more than just a pass rusher, he’s shown good run defense and has an above average football IQ.
25. Minnesota — Keenan Allen, WR, California
The Vikings add another talented WR for Christian Ponder in Minnesota. Allen is a big, 6-2, 205 WR who should pair well with Greg Jennings. Good size and speed, sure-handed and makes plays for the ball in the air.
26. Green Bay — Datone Jones, DE/DT, UCLA √
The Packers have a need for help with a push from the DL and Jones is a big upgrade. He should take some of the heat off of Clay Matthews immediately.
27. Houston — Cordarelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
The Texans need a WR and Patterson provides them an excellent target opposite Andre Johnson.
28. Denver — Tank Carradine, DE, Florida State
With Elvis Dumervil gone the Broncos need an edge rusher that can get to the QB. Although he’s rehabbing from an injury, Carradine who is shooting up the draft boards is a great fit.
29. New England — Robert Woods, WR, USC
The Patriots under Bill Belichick have never selected a WR in the first round, the last time the Patriots did with Terry Glenn. I’ve had them going defense here from Day 1, but just call this a hunch. Woods could step in and play from Day 1 and would give the Patriots that outside the numbers guy they lack. If there is a willing partner, don’t be surprised to see a trade down here.
30. Atlanta — Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
The Falcons will fill a huge need by taking Trufant who is another player linked to the Patriots and in fact may be gone by #30. But with the Falcons losing two CBs in free agency, this move makes total sense.
31. San Francisco — Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International
The Niners have tons of draft picks and can go in any number of ways here. I think they may go with Cyprien who is shooting up draft boards recently or go with Elam or Swearinger to beef up the safety position.
32. Baltimore — Matt Elam, S, Florida √
The Ravens lost both Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard, their starting safeties during free agency. They’ve worked Elam out and reportedly are very high on him.