2013 NFL Mock Draft: NFL free agency changes teams' drafts
Midway through free agency and we've got a better idea of what teams need when we fire out a 2013 NFL Mock Draft.
Last we looked at a 2013 NFL Mock Draft around these parts, the news of the Percy Harvin trade was shaking things in a pretty big way.
And now we've gotten an even bigger shake-up thanks to free agency wrapping up. Teams -- especially those up top of the draft -- haven't completed filling their roster by any means, and it's entirely possible we'll see some moves in the second stage of free agency that will completely nullify the current rosters.
Additionally, teams don't just draft for need. They target talent. But oftentimes the combination of the two truly drives draft picks. Let's look at who teams could be eying part-way through free agency.
1. Kansas City Chiefs -- Eric Fisher , LT, Central Michigan -- Kansas City has been busy this offseason, but they still need to shore up one of the tackle spots. Grabbing Fisher gives them versatility with Branden Albert and the left side of the line.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars -- Dion Jordan , DE, Oregon -- This pick is just going to the the best player with the most upside on the defensive side of the ball. I keep leaning Jordan.
3. Oakland Raiders -- Shariff Floyd, DT, Florida -- Oakland needs to find an anchor in the middle and Floyd represents just that, with a chance to be much more.
4. Philadelphia Eagles -- Luke Joeckel , LT, Texas A&M -- Philly did a fantastic job filling some defensive holes during free agency, landing Bradley Fletcher and Cary Williams to fill the void of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nnamdi Asomugha . Kenny Phillips and Patrick Chung will help beef up the secondary too. Joeckel gives them a foundation on the line for the future.
5. Detroit Lions -- Ezekial Ansah, DE, BYU -- Perhaps Detroit might want someone who's less raw, given their losses of Cliff Avril and Kyle Vanden Bosch on the defensive line. But Ansah's upside is hard to ignore, and it's not a stretch to see the Lions grab the talented pass rusher to fill the void left by free agency.
6. Cleveland Browns -- Dee Milliner , CB, Alabama -- Free agency was all about getting guys who can play in Ray Horton's 3-4 defensive scheme, and it netted the Browns a pass rusher in Paul Kruger , linebacker Quentin Groves and defensive tackle Desmond Bryant . With Milliner falling to sixth, Cleveland gets a shot at pairing him with another star SEC cornerback in Joe Haden .
7. Arizona Cardinals -- Chance Warmack , OG, Alabama -- Can Arizona really be set with Drew Stanton at quarterback? The release of Kevin Kolb means they're still looking for their "franchise" guy, but they also need a lot of help on the offensive line, despite Bruce Arians protestations to the contrary. That's why I'm giving them the mauling Warmack here.
8. Buffalo Bills -- Geno Smith , QB, West Virginia -- The Bills released Ryan Fitzpatrick and now they're stuck with Tarvaris Jackson under center. Is there any doubt they have to draft a quarterback this year? If Smith doesn't fall, we could see Matt Barkley , Mike Glennon or Ryan Nassib as a tremendous reach here.
9. New York Jets -- Star Lotulelei , DT, Utah -- Even though the Jets need a lot of help on offense, they lost a ton of defensive players during free agency. Lotulelei slipping because of combine health issues gives them value here. Obviously, the Darrelle Revis situation could change the way this pick goes.
10. Tennessee Titans -- Kenny Vacarro, S, Texas -- With the Titans signing Andy Levitre in free agency, it's harder to see them investing once again in a guard (although it wouldn't be the worst move to make given their line, honestly). Instead, we'll have them beef up their secondary with the addition of Vacarro.
11. San Diego Chargers -- Lane Johnson , OT, Oklahoma -- This is a penciled-in pick for mocks across the country. San Diego not getting some protection for Philip Rivers going forward would feel borderline criminal.
12. Miami Dolphins -- Xavier Rhodes , CB, FSU -- So much for a wideout here! Not sure if you saw, but the Fins signed all the wideouts, nabbing Mike Wallace , Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson . They lost their left tackle Jake Long and their top cornerback in Sean Smith , though, and they'll try to fill the latter hole here.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Barkevious Mingo , DE, LSU -- The Darrelle Revis situation could change the way this situation goes too; Mingo falling this far (how did that happen??) means they'll jump all over the top guy on the board and nab value.
14. Carolina Panthers -- Sheldon Richardson , DT, Missouri -- Carolina has no money and therefore must fill out defensive needs through the draft. Richardson fills a major hole at defensive tackle.
15. New Orleans Saints -- Jarvis Jones , OLB, Georgia -- Another guy who fell and it works out quite nicely for New Orleans. Maybe they reach on a cornerback if they end up not landing Nnamdi to pair with Keenan Lewis , and this could change if they sign Victor Butler . But for now we'll give them the upside of Jones at a nice value.
16. St. Louis Rams -- Cordarrelle Patterson , WR, Tennessee -- Another raw wideout, but a guy who's capable of being a game-changing playmaker at the next level. Jake Long shores up Sam Bradford 's blindside, but St. Louis still needs to get him viable weapons.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers -- Tavon Austin , WR, West Virginia -- You know how Mike Wallace didn't fit in Todd Haley's short-game passing system? Tavon Austin will.
18. Dallas Cowboys -- Jonathan Cooper , OG, UNC -- Jerry Jones can talk all he wants about Tony Romo not needing protection. But he's wrong. Cooper will help Romo and the run game immediately.
19. New York Giants -- Bjoern Werner , DE, FSU -- It's odd to think that a pass rusher is a need for the Giants, but with Osi Umenyiora out the door and Justin Tuck facing a contract year, they need to add some depth at defensive end. Werner slipping here lets them do that.
20. Chicago Bears -- Alec Ogletree , LB, Georgia -- With their linebacking corps getting older, the Bears need to re-stock some. Ogletree lets them do just that.
21. Cincinnati Bengals -- D.J. Fluker , RT, Alabama -- As of right now, it's a position of need, but it's entirely possible Andre Smith will re-sign before I even finish writing this mock draft. Until they lock him down, though, Fluker works well.
22. St. Louis Rams (via Washington Redskins ) -- Matt Elam , S, Florida -- The better situation for Jeff Fisher involves Vaccaro and the wideout of his choice here, but things got hectic. So the Rams will grab the hard-hitting Elam to shore up the backend of their secondary.
23. Minnesota Vikings -- Keenan Allen , WR, California -- The Vikes went out and paid Greg Jennings in free agency but still have a need at wide receiver. Assuming Allen has a good pro day in early April, he could be a very nice value here.
24. Indianapolis Colts -- Damontre Moore , DE, Texas A&M -- Indy beefed up their cornerback situation by signing Greg Toler and bringing Darius Butler to pair with Vontae Davis . So in this scenario, I've got them going with a pass rusher who fell because of concerns about size. Moore can play outside in Chuck Pagano's defense.
25. Minnesota Vikings (via Seattle Seahawks ) -- Desmond Trufant , CB, Washington -- The Vikes dumped Antoine Winfield during their purge of defensive players over the course of free agency. Trufant can make an immediate impact on their secondary.
26. Green Bay Packers -- Arthur Brown , LB, Kansas State -- An undersized thumper who's only not higher because of his size. Brown would improve the speed of Green Bay's defense, something that became a necessary move after the loss to the 49ers.
27. Houston Texans -- DeAndre Hopkins , WR, Clemson -- Having let go of Kevin Walter , the Texans wideout depth chart is dangerously thin. Hopkins would pair nicely with the last receiver Houston used a first-round pick on in Andre Johnson .
28. Denver Broncos -- Datone Jones , DE, UCLA -- Having lost Elvis Dumervil due to his contract snafu, the Broncos need to add another pass rusher in the draft. Jones is just that.
29. New England Patriots -- Robert Woods , WR, USC -- The Patriots still have a major need at wideout despite the Danny Amendola and Donald Jones signings. Perhaps they'd like to see some more depth fall, but Woods could step in and impact the Pats passing game with his route-running right away.
30. Atlanta Falcons -- Tyler Eifert , TE, Notre Dame -- No more Eddy Lacy! And why should there be, given the Steven Jackson signing. Instead the Falcons look to fill the eventual Tony Gonzalez void by drafting a first-round talent who can learn for a season under one of the game's all-time greats.
31. San Francisco 49ers -- Johnathan Hankins , DT, Ohio State -- The Niners will look to beef up their interior by adding the big-bodied Hankins, who represents nice value falling all the way down to 31.
32. Baltimore Ravens -- Kevin Minter , LB, LSU -- Lot of defections for the Ravens at linebacker and they've got to get better there. Minter helps them do that out of the gate.
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