Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Extra Points: Mock Draft version 1.0

By John McMullen

PHILADELPHIA - The Baltimore Ravens' coronation as Super Bowl XLVII champions puts the lid on the 2012 NFL season and is the unofficial kickoff to the league's offseason, specifically free agency and the draft.

For the 31 teams looking up at the Ravens on the mountain top, it's the first opportunity to close the gap and begin their climb toward the game's ultimate prize.

With that in mind and the Indianapolis scouting combine on the docket for later this month, it's time to take our first look at the 2013 NFL Draft set for April 25-27 in New York City's famed Radio City Music Hall.

1. Kansas City Chiefs - Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M - A lot of Andy Reid's success in Philadelphia was tied to Donovan McNabb, but don't underestimate the bookend tackles Big Red had for years in the City of Brotherly Love, Tra Thomas and Jon Runyan. The guess here is Reid doesn't think a signal-caller is worthy of the No. 1 spot, so it's either about trading down or taking Joeckel, the Aggies' left tackle who should step in and play at a high level for the next decade.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars - Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State - The Jags are concerned with their pass rush, specifically their lack of a consistent one meaning Georgia hybrid Jarvis Jones, who may be the most athletic edge player in the draft will get a long look. Werner, however, is the far more consistent and well-rounded option for Jacksonville's new management team of general manager David Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley.

3. Oakland Raiders - Star Lotuleili, DT, Utah - The Raiders were awful against the run in 2012 and Lotuleili is the draft's best interior lineman, a strong, physical player who fits in playing multiple techniques and should develop into an elite run stuffer.

4. Philadelphia Eagles - Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia - Philadelphia needs help all over, but Chip Kelly wants a quarterback with movement skills and the ability to handle his up-tempo philosophy. That's not Nick Foles. Smith has an intriguing blend of size and arm strength along with athleticism to handle Kelly's read-option calls.
5. Detroit Lions - Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU - The Lions could be in the market for Cliff Avril's replacement and Mingo seems like a slightly better fit in a traditional 4-3 than Jones. The LSU product is raw but has great size and the athleticism to excel in a zone-blitz scheme.

6. Cleveland Browns - Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M - New Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton ran the 3-4 in Arizona, but Cleveland has been running the 4-3 and has some pieces it doesn't want to scrap. That is likely good news for Moore, who seems more versatile than Jones and can fit either scheme as an edge player thanks to an elite first step.

7. Arizona Cardinals - Matt Barkley, QB, Southern California - Maybe Barkley is a bit of a reach here, but it's time to move on from the Kolb-Skelton-Lindley nonsense which derailed the Cards and Ken Whisenhunt last season. New coach Bruce Arians did wonders with a rookie quarterback in Indianapolis last season and while Barkley is no Andrew Luck, he is still the most NFL-ready signal- caller among this year's group.

8. Buffalo Bills - Mike Glennon, QB, North Carolina State - Another quarterback -desperate team makes the leap here with Glennon. The Bills simply can't sell Ryan Fitzpatrick to their fan base again and Glennon certainly has NFL size and arm strength but must improve upon shaky mechanics.

9. New York Jets - Jarvis Jones, DE/OLB, Georgia - The Jets get lucky when Jones drops into their laps, giving Rex Ryan the elite pass rusher he has lacked in North Jersey.

10. Tennessee Titans - Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama - The draft's best cornerback, Milliner could join Alterraun Verner in the Tennessee defensive backfield and give the Titans an elite pair on the outside. Milliner has smooth hips, gets his head around quickly and has great ball tracking ability.

11. San Diego Chargers - Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan - The main reason Philip Rivers took a huge step back last season was the ineffectiveness of his offensive line. The 6-foot-7 Fisher is clearly the second-best left tackle on the board with the wingspan and athleticism to excel. He just needs to add strength in order to deal with the bull rush.

12. Miami Dolphins - Keenan Allen, WR, California - The Dolphins want playmakers for Ryan Tannehill, and Allen is the most well-polished receiver on the market. Tennessee's Cordarrelle Patterson has more speed and the bigger ceiling, but Allen is quicker and projects as an elite route runner in time.

13. Tampa Bay Bucs - Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington - A great Senior Bowl week gets Trufant into the top half off the first round. The Bucs weren't able to stop anyone through the air in 2012 and still need Aqib Talib's replacement. Trufant has experience in both man and zone concepts, so he should be a nice fit for Greg Schiano.

14. Carolina Panthers - Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri - The Panthers need to sure up their run defense and Richardson is a big body with a knack for penetration while playing the 3-technique. That ability to slice into the backfield could keep opposing offensive lineman off Luke Kuechly.

15. New Orleans Saints - Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU - The Saints need a lot of help on the defensive side of the ball and Ansah has one of the highest ceilings in the draft -- an athletic, explosive talent who some have compared favorably to Jason Pierre-Paul.

16. St. Louis Rams - Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama - The Rams need more playmakers for Sam Bradford, but they also need to sure up the offensive line in front of him. Warmack is far quicker than his body indicates and excels at getting to the second level and walling off linebackers.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers - Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State - Casey Hampton now has 12 NFL seasons under his imposing belt, so getting the heir apparent is imperative and Hankins has excellent feet and the natural size to carry more weight, two keys when projecting nose tackles.

18. Dallas Cowboys - Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama - Whether Jay Ratliff is back or not, the Cowboys need help on the interior of the defensive line since they will be moving to a 4-3 under Monte Kiffin. Williams is the type of player who is a handful at the point of attack.

19. New York Giants - Dion Jordan, DE/LB, Oregon - When the Giants have been successful, it's usually because of their pass rush and the need to replenish there after a down season is imperative. Jordan needs to add strength and fill out, but has rare athleticism for his size and could be a good value pick here if his balky shoulder is OK.

20. Chicago Bears - Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma - The Bears need to address their offensive line woes and will likely chose Johnson, a left tackle prospect over Alabama's D.J. Fluker, who projects on the right side. Even though there is a new regime in the Windy City, Gabe Carimi should get another shot at right tackle while the team absolutely must upgrade over J'Marcus Webb on the left side. Johnson was once a high school quarterback, so he understands the passing game and mirrors well. He will need to continue to add strength, however.

21. Cincinnati Bengals - Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia - The Bengals will be looking linebacker or defensive end since Michael Johnson is a pending free agent. A former safety, Ogletree has rare range for a linebacker and could be a three-down guy early in his NFL career.

22. St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins) - Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee - After helping Bradford on the offensive line the Rams will get their quarterback a deep threat in the rangy Patterson, who will really develop into something if he can focus more and stop rounding off his routes.

23. Minnesota Vikings - John Jenkins, DT, Georgia - The Vikings would love to get receiver help for Christian Ponder, but with Patterson off the board, they will look to fortify the interior of the defense, where Kevin Williams is slipping at under tackle and Letroy Guion has underachieved on the nose. At 6- foot-4 and nearly 360 pounds, Jenkins will remind some Minnesotans of Pat Williams, a virtually immovable object who can tie up two blockers at will.

24. Indianapolis Colts - Datone Jones, DE, UCLA - Jones looks the prototypical base end for Chuck Pagano's 3-4 scheme. Jones has a long arms, a lively body and a good first step which helps him occupy blockers.

25. Seattle Seahawks - Alex Okafor, DE, Texas - Chris Clemons' ACL injury in the postseason means the Seahawks will be looking at pass rushers, and Okafor would be a solid pick at this stage. A high motor guy with great strength, Okafor was the best two-way defensive end in the country last season. He isn't a natural speed rusher, however, and his long-term future may be as a base left end.

26. Green Bay Packers - Barrett Jones, OG, Alabama - The Packers could go a number of ways. They could finally solve their running back woes by taking Alabama's Eddie Lacy or snare either Notre Dame's Tyler Eifert or Zach Ertz of Stanford at tight end if they waive goodbye to Jermichael Finley. That said, the offensive line is still the main concern in Titletown, or at least it should be. Fluker could be an option if they want a natural tackle, but Jones is more versatile and could be ideal at a number of positions, giving Mike McCarthy more options.

27. Houston Texans - Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia - The Texans really need to get a complement to Andre Johnson and Austin may be the best slot receiver in the draft. Although undersized at 5-9 and 175 pounds, Austin was a running back in high school and enjoys the physicality of the game.

28. Denver Broncos - Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame - Jacob Tamme and Joel Dressen were solid players for the Broncos in 2012, but Eifert is a difference maker at tight end. He has the hands to be a security blanket, is a plus blocker in the running game and high points the football better than just about anyone on the pro level.

29. New England Patriots - Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas - Center field has been an issue for the Patriots, and Vaccaro has the ideal combination of size and athleticism to roam from sideline to sideline as an NFL free safety.

30. Atlanta Falcons - Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford - The Falcons will try to convince Tony Gonzalez to play one more season, but even if they can do it, they must start thinking about the future, and Ertz is too good to pass up at this point. Ertz is a very good blocker and understands how to use his body to shield defenders.

31. San Francisco 49ers - DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson - Randy Moss is likely history in the Bay Area, so adding Hopkins opposite Michael Crabtree should make Colin Kaepernick even more dynamic in 2013. Hopkins has strong hands and plucks the ball out of the air, but is a lot like Patterson in that he needs to sharpen his routes.

32. Baltimore Ravens - Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame - A poor national championship game against Alabama along with his bizarre personal scandal has sent Te'o plummeting, but the Ravens are a perfect fit. They can afford to take a chance, and with Ray Lewis retiring, Baltimore needs an inside linebacker. Te'o, of course, is best-suited for a 4-3, but if he runs well enough at the Combine, the Ravens should take the leap.

Other players with first-round grades:

Eddie Lacy - running back - Alabama

Jonathan Cooper - offensive guard - North Carolina

D.J. Fluker - offensive tackle - Alabama

Sam Montgomery - defensive end - LSU

Sharrif Floyd - defensive tackle - Florida

Kevin Minter - inside linebacker - LSU

Xavier Rhodes - cornerback - Xavier

Jonathan Banks - cornerback - Mississippi State

Matt Elam - safety - Florida

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