Another week, another 2013 NFL Mock Draft. Last week I went out on a limb and gave Andy Reid a defensive player at the top of the draft. This time I'm doing the same thing but going in a different direction.
Even more importantly this time around is the likelihood of quarterback dominos falling. Kevin Kolb is going to Buffalo, Matt Flynn is going to Oakland and Carson Palmer is possibly going to Arizona. That mixes things up in the first round quite a bit.
I think it's unlikely we'll see a first round that is entirely quarterback-less; if we hit the 20-pick range and nary a quarterback's been taking, someone's going to make a move back up for Geno Smith (or another quarterback they prefer). And we'll see plenty of guys taken in the top 50 -- my guess is that teams like Buffalo and Arizona may decide to roll the dice on someone like Kolb and Palmer (or Drew Stanton) as a starter and try to snag a quarterback like a Mike Glennon or Ryan Nassib in the second round to groom for the future.
Love a pick or hate a pick? Leave your thoughts in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @WillBrinson.
1. Kansas City Chiefs -- Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M -- Was tempted to give the Chiefs another defensive player this time, but the offensive line has to be a concern in 2013, especially with Branden Albert not planning to show up on time as of right now. We've also seen Andy Reid invest in a stud left tackle before -- he nabbed Jason Peters from Buffalo -- and Joeckel could set him up for the long haul in KC.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars -- Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida -- There's the upside of grabbing a local guy and the added bonus of Floyd being a very nice fit for the Jaguars. He could slot in next to Tyson Alualu and combine with Jason Babin and Jeremy Mincey to form a dangerous defensive line. There's tons of chatter about Geno Smith at No. 2 but I have a hard time buying it.
3. Oakland Raiders -- Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU -- With Flynn now in Oakland, Reggie McKenzie can focus (like we've been saying he would do anyway) on fixing his defense. Or starting to fix it -- it's going to be a long rebuilding process. So Ansah fits in that sense; he's a high-upside guy that the Raiders can be patient with because of their issues on the unit as a whole.
4. Philadelphia Eagles -- Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan -- If Chip Kelly loves Geno, maybe this is the spot. But there are plenty of other needs for Philadelphia, and adding a blue-chip, athletic offensive lineman who would work perfectly in Kelly's system is one of them.
5. Detroit Lions -- Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU -- Losses on the defensive line -- particularly at defensive end as Cliff Avril and Kyle Vanden Bosch departed this offseason -- means a need to grab a pass rusher. Mingo needs to add weight but could make an impact early with Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley occupying blockers.
6. Cleveland Browns -- Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon -- The Browns would be tempted to go cornerback here, but the upside of grabbing a potentially elite (and definitely versatile) pass rusher like Jordan is to great to pass on.
7. Arizona Cardinals -- Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma -- The Palmer saga could affect how Arizona drafts here (will affect?) but for whatever reason, I actually believe Bruce Arians when he says he'll roll forward with Drew Stanton. He's going to need someone to protect his quarterback though, and I don't believe Arians when he expresses confidence in his current linemen.
8. Buffalo Bills -- Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia -- Kevin Kolb's not the answer long-term. And he might not be the short-term answer either. Smith is nice value here and the Bills can set themselves up for the future by pairing him with Doug Marrone and plugging him in the new coach's fast-paced offense. It will be interesting to see -- and might very well change this pick -- whether Buffalo thinks it could get Nassib or Glennon in the second round, however.
9. New York Jets -- Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama -- Once again: A large portion of this pick is predicated on the Jets dealing Darrelle Revis. If that doesn't happen -- and surely it will at some point -- then maybe this changes. I'd be stunned to see them go somewhere other than defense.
10. Tennessee Titans -- Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah -- Having beefed up their offensive line by adding Andy Levitre during free agency, the Titans look to add talent on the other side of the ball by nabbing the highly-talented tackle from Utah who fell some because of health concerns.
11. San Diego Chargers -- Jonathan Cooper, G, UNC -- The Bolts might prefer one of the top tackles falling to this spot in order to protect Philip Rivers blindside, but they'll live with vastly improving the offensive line thanks to Cooper's athleticism and sneaky strength.
12. Miami Dolphins -- Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State -- Still crazy how this pick changed before and after free agency. Before Miami needed a wide receiver. Now they have an abundance of them, with Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline, Brandon Gibson and Davonne Bess filling out the depth chart. They don't have a cornerback, though, and Rhodes provides them one.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington -- There's got to be an importance placed on improving the secondary for the Bucs. Grabbing Lil' Trufant, even as high as No. 13, would be a strong way to do so. Even stronger if they managed to pair him with Darrelle Revis.
14. Carolina Panthers -- Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri -- The Panthers have needed a strong defensive tackle for a few years now, but they've also drafted outside the box instead (and done quite well, producing a pair of rookie of the year winners in Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly). This year they stick to the script and grab the hole-plugging Richardson.
15. New Orleans Saints -- Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia -- The pieces are reasonably set up for New Orleans 3-4 defense to work well out of the gates. Adding another strong pass-rushing piece like Jones is only going to make it come out stronger.
16. St. Louis Rams -- Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas -- There could be cries for St. Louis to nab an offensive lineman with one of their two picks, but that's something Jeff Fisher's never done with a first-round pick. Instead, I think he sees some safety-needing teams between 16 and 22 and grabs the top guy on the board to beef up a rapidly-improving secondary.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers -- Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia -- In this mock, the Rams probably hate Vaccaro for the rest of his life, since Pittsburgh snares their potential target at 22. But such is life. You don't think about the Steelers using a first-round pick on a wideout, but Austin would be a tremendous fit for Todd Haley's offense.
18. Dallas Cowboys -- Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama -- Pistols raised and firing, Jerry Jones should run up to the podium himself to grab Warmack if he falls this far. The mauling Alabama guard would do a lot to a) improve the run game and b) protect Tony Romo, even if Jones says the latter isn't important despite the large extension he just handed out.
19. New York Giants -- Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State -- Like I said the last time I mocked this pick: the Giants quietly need to re-stock their pass rushers. Osi Umenyiora is gone and Justin Tuck's heading into a contract year. They'll need someone to pair alongside Jason Pierre-Paul going forward. Werner was once considered a top-five pick so this is nice value.
20. Chicago Bears -- D.J. Fluker, OL, Alabama -- Yes, the Bears have a lot invested in their offensive line in recent years. But is it really a lock to work out? Fluker gives them some versatility on the line and an insurance policy if their other recent picks bust out when trying to line up on the opposite side of newly-acquired tackle Jermon Bushrod.
21. Cincinnati Bengals -- Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama -- I liked it so much last time I did that I'm running it back -- the Bengals get the first (and only) running back off the board in the first round. BenJarvus Green-Ellis is a nice runner but he's not dynamic and Cincy needs someone who can do more on the ground in their offense. Lacy is that guy.
22. St. Louis Rams (via Washington Redskins) -- Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee -- And this is why the Rams gamble and don't go wideout at No. 16. There are other legit weapons out there to acquire for Sam Bradford. Patterson is very much raw, but he's also very much a talented playmaker and could make a difference quickly.
23. Minnesota Vikings -- Keenan Allen, WR, California -- A run on wide receivers pushes the Vikings to use their first first-round pick on a wideout. Allen will shoot back up draft boards if he has a strong pro day in April and even though Minnesota went out and got Greg Jennings in free agency, they still need help for Christian Ponder.
24. Indianapolis Colts -- Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State -- With all of Ryan Grigson's signings this offseason, do the Colts even need to draft? Haha, of course they do. And even though they inked Erik Walden in free agency, linebacker is still an area of need. Brown might be small but he'll outperform his draft slot even this early.
25. Minnesota Vikings (via Seattle Seahawks) -- Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame -- People might hate the pick and I might not care. I see a locker room stuffed with Notre Dame alums, many of whom were Te'o teammates, and a need at linebacker. I also think there's some "value" here if the Vikings perceive Te'o to be a talented player; I don't like him as a first-round pick but this isn't me making a bunch of picks. It's what I think will happen when the draft comes around.
27. Houston Texans -- DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson -- Like just about everyone who's doing a mock draft, I've got the Texans taking a wideout with their first-round pick. That either means the need is too obvious or that they won't end up doing that. It's hard to imagine them going a different direction unless all their top guys are off the board, though.
28. Denver Broncos -- Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M -- Moore is a versatile pass-rusher who's falling because of poor workouts. But with the loss of Elvis Dumervil in free agency, Denver needs some help at defensive end. Moore could provide value and slot into the Broncos rotation quite well.
29. New England Patriots -- Sylvester Williams, DT, UNC -- Secondary is still a need in New England (when is it not?) and adding a pure pass rusher would be nice too. But Williams versatility on the offensive line -- he could fit in 3-4 or 4-3 schemes -- would be a bonus to a coach like Bill Belichick who values diversity in his schemes.
30. Atlanta Falcons -- Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State -- Perhaps Atlanta would like to find the heir to Tony Gonzalez, but right now cornerback is too much of a need. And Thomas Dimitroff might not draft for need, per se, but he understands the importance of getting a player to fill a key spot from the draft. Banks is that player, even if Atlanta would prefer one of the other cornerbacks falling.
31. San Francisco 49ers -- Eric Reid, S, LSU -- The 49ers need to add bodies to their secondary and could eventually pair Reid up with Donte Whitner to create a strong duo in their defensive backfield.
32. Baltimore Ravens -- Matt Elam, S, Florida -- Hard-hitting, play-making safety who can step in and make an impact from Day 1? Yes that sounds familiar and something that the Ravens might be interested in.