Welcome to my 2013 NFL Draft Preview. This preview will cover Round 1 and Picks 1-32 in the draft. Granted, there will be some trading going on throughout the draft (whether up or down), so if the draft stayed pat,this is how it will go…
The Chiefs could use help on both sides of the ball,but I think taking Joeckel would be the wise choice after releasing Eric Winston in the offseason. Kansas City seems to be high on Joeckel and even though some are speculating that Eric Fisher of Central Michigan may go higher, I think the Chiefs will select Joeckel.
Other potential picks: Eric Fisher, Dion Jordan
New Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley is focusing on building a team on speed. If that’s the case, I think Jordan is their guy. I think he is the fastest guy in the draft and could possibly be the best player in the draft. He is already drawing comparisons to Aldon Smith of the 49ers. Jordan would surely help a defense that ranked last in the league in 2012.
I originally had Geno Smith in this slot,but I think the Jags are going to give the Blaine Gabbert experiment one more year.
Other potential picks-Geno Smith,Sharrif Floyd
This guy might be the best player available to some,even the Raiders. There has been a lot of buzz surrounding him,even comparions to J.J. Watt. This pick for Oakland makes total sense given that Richard Seymour is gone as well as Tommy Kelly who is now with the Patriots. The Raiders need pressure up front as they were next to last in sacks last season (Jacksonville).
Other potential picks- Dion Jordan, Star Lotulelei
The Eagles need serious help on the offensive line and selecting Fisher makes total sense. If Luke Joeckel is still available, it’s possible that he gets taken here instead of Fisher but since we have him going to Kansas City, it’s Fisher who will get the nod to Phildelphia. I wouldn’t be surprised if Lane Johnson of Oklahoma got selected here as he is moving up everyone else’s draft boards.
Other potential picks-Star Lotulelei,Geno Smith,Lane Johnson
With the retirement of Jeff Backus, the Lions need serious help at left tackle and that’s where Lane Johnson comes in. He may be a bit of a project, but he has a lot of upside as his draft stock has risen in recent weeks. Detroit could also use this pick on a defensive player as well, most likely on Ezekiel Ansah of BYU. I,however, think the Lions will snag Johnson before another team after them can do so.
Other potential picks- Ezekiel Ansah, Eric Fisher
The Browns may trade down to get this guy, but I think they can get him at this spot. Some people say he is overhyped, but we’ll see if that’s the case during his NFL career. At Alabama he was a playmaker and has the potential to be a game changing cornerback. Despite coming off of shoulder surgery and a flat combine, I think he will be the first secondary player taken in this draft.
Other potential picks-Ezekiel Ansah,Star Lotulelei
The Cardinals need pass rush help, and when you face guys like Frank Gore and Marshawn Lynch twice a year (and even Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson), you’ll need it. Ansah has a lot of upside. The speed,the size, he has the total package and can play tackle if need be.
Arizona should take this guy if he is available at the seventh spot. I can’t see them taking anyone on offense other than maybe Geno Smith, maybe Star a Star Lotulelei goes here,but I see the Cards taking Ansah.
Other potential picks-Star Lotulelei, Geno Smith
The Bills need a quarterback for future, and Kevin Kolb isn’t it. He is your quarterback for right now. I think if the Bills draft Nassib, it needs to be for the future. He has a lot of upside, he was very accurate in college and makes his teammates better. If he sits and watches for a while like Colin Kaepernick did, there’s no telling what he can do. Change needs to take place for the Bills, a team who has yet to see the postseason since the 21st Century began.
Other potential picks-Tavon Austin
The Jets have several avenues they can go down with the ninth selection,but I think the most imporant one is getting a receiver and doing it now. If the Jets insist on having Mark Sanchez as their guy, they better get him some people to throw to. Austin might be that guy that helps New York’s receiving core.
Sure,he’s tiny,but he’s fast and very dangerous when he has the ball. I think Austin has the potential to be a game changer and could help a very ineffecient offense.
Other potential picks-Star Lotulelei,Xavier Rhodes
The Titans need help at guard and Warmack should fill that void if he is to be selected. He has great size, should be able to start right away,though at 6’2″ he may be shorter than what teams may prefer. He proved to be an anchor and a solid pass protector at Alabama and with a young quarterback in Jake Locker, he will need a lot of protection against guys like J.J. Watt in that division.
Other potential picks-Xavier Rhodes,Jonathan Cooper
Many teams above the Chargers may have some interest in him, but I think this is where he ends up. One reason he may fall this far is due to health issues he has had with his heart. I think Lotulelei is a guy San Diego could use and is probably the best player available at this position.
They may get a receiver here like a Cordarelle Patterson, but I think they’ll select Lotulelei.
Other potential picks-Cordarelle Patterson,Jonathan Cooper
Many other draft boards have Rhodes at this spot and I feel no differently. Miami needs help in the secondary and if they like him enough, they’ll select him. Rhodes matches up well with bigger receivers,two of which play tight end in their division on the same team. He’s also very physical,something the Dolphins desperately need. I don’t really see them choosing anyone else at this spot. Maybe a receiver, but who?
The Jets need some help on the defensive line and there are several prospects for that need in this first round,but Richardson will likely be that guy for them. Yes, cornerback is also a need with Darrelle Revis gone to Tampa Bay,but Richardson’s a very disruptive DT and very fast and could also play defensive end. He will be a great fit for coach Rex Ryan and the Jets’ defense overall.
Other potential picks-Xavier Rhodes,Barkevious Mingo
The Panthers need help at safety. I think Vaccaro is the best safety in this draft. He has great strength and athleticism which, in that division is needed,especially when big play receivers like Julio Jones,Roddy White,and Vincent Jackson are there.
I also think Shelden Richardson, if available, could do here. I have him going to Tampa Bay, so I think Vaccaro is Carolina’s next best bet in round one.
Other potential picks-Shelden Richardson,Barkevious Mingo
The potential for Mingo is there and the Saints could use a pass rushing option in their new 3-4 defense. There is a ton of knock on him regarding his work ethic and that he might be only suited to play linebacker, but at this point New Orleans could use some help on defense. It hasn’t been very good the last few years, so Mingo could be a great addition to Sean Payton’s lineup.
This pick could also be used to upgrade their secondary.
Other potential picks-Kenny Vaccaro
The Rams need a receiver and they need one now. Sam Bradford has nbody to throw to and really hasn’t for years (save for when Danny Amendola was actually healthy). Patterson just might be that guy, he could also be available at the 22nd spot for the Rams, but who’s to say he will be available then? If I’m the Rams I take him as soon as possible. He is explosive and tough to tackle in the open field and he may be of benefit to Bradford if selected by St. Louis.
Other potential picks-Alec Ogletree,D.J. Fluker
If Patterson is gone by the time Pittsburgh is on the lock, they just might select his teammate Justin Hunter. The Steelers do need some help at wideout with Mike Wallace in Miami now. He has great size, leaping ability and is a great weapon in the red zone. There are concerns that me may not be as fast as he was before his 2011 knee injury.
The Steelers could also choose Jarvis Jones with this pick as James Harrison is now in Cincinnati.
Other potential picks-Jarvis Jones
Dallas’ interior offensive line is in shambles,but UNC’s Jonathan Cooper could be of help. It is very possible that Jerry Jones could move up the draft and snag Cooper earlier,but for our purposes, I have him drafted at their usual 18th spot. He is a great pass protector, somebody who can protect Tony Romo who,for a while now,has needed it. He can hit blocks on the run and is a very durable. If they don’t move up to get him,expect them to select either D.J. Fluker or Alec Ogletree.
Other potential picks-Alec Ogletree, D.J. Fluker
The Giants should be drafting an offensive guard here and now that we have Jonathan Cooper off the board, Fluker is arguably the next best offensive lineman left on it. The Giants have next to nobody at the tackle position and Fluker can even be moved to guard if need be. If New York wants an offensive lineman who can bully a defender, who is physical,and is on his A game when it counts, Fluker is their man.
Other potential picks-Alec Ogletree
It’s not too far of a stretch for the Bears to be reaching for a tight end with this pick. Sure, they have already signed Martellus Bennett,but teams nowadays are looking to have more than one tight end and why not give Jay Cutler more receiving options?
Eifert is very quick and is a threat down the middle of the field. I can see why the Bears have been rumoured to be in the market for a tight end. At this pick it isn’t too much of a surprise to see him go here. He could even go earlier.
Cincinnati is in the market for a safety, they should’ve got one earlier in the draft last year, but something tells me they’ve learned their lesson. Elam could be their guy here, I think he would be a much better player than Taylor Mays (who is proving to be a bust as seasons go by) and Reggie Nelson. If the Bengals don’t choose him, they may go after Clemson’s Eric Reid
Other potential picks-Eric Reid
It’s crazy to think that Ogletree could fall this far, but the Rams may pick him up at pick #22. They may even snag him at the 16th pick, but receiver needs should come first. I think the reason for the slip down the draft board are his recent off the field issues. The Rams could use help at outside linebacker and Ogletree could be their guy.
Other potential picks-Jarvis Jones
Minnesota needs to replace Percy Harvin, he was such a big game changer for them and the Vikings can address possibly their biggest need with a guy like Hopkins. He has a few character flaws and was accused to trashing a hotel room at the combine, but Minnesota probably won’t care. They want to see what he can do on the field.
Other potential picks-Sylvester Williams, Jarvis Jones
The Colts may be looking to upgrade their defensive line. Williams could be the guy they choose to help do that. Cory Redding is still there,but at age 33 he may not have a few seasons left in the sun. Williams is 6-3, 314 and is very fast has the ability to make that big splash play. Indianapolis could use a guy with such talent that he has.
Other potential picks-Datone Jones
Many people don’t expect Jones to fall this far in the first round let alone the entire draft,but the Vikings will be happy he did. A lot of general managers will probably bit jilted by his spinal issues, but he is the best player left on the board at this pick which is what Minnesota may need to do. Rumor has it they are also interested in Manti T’ Eo,but I think Jones may be a better fit.
Other potential picks-Manti T’ Eo
Green Bay’s secondary needs a lot of improvement and BSU’s Jamar Taylor could be the answer. Taylor has been noted to have a strong work ethic and has tremendous upside. Sure,the Packers could also use a tailback or a receiver, but there will be more in the later rounds of the draft. The Patrios have strong interest in Taylor,so it might pay off to take him before they get a chance (if they haven’t taken the opportunity to move up to get him,of course).
Though many may not agree that Watson is worthy of a first round pick, he is however, full of upside and a lot of promise. He’s also been known to show more athleticism on the field and that’s what the Texans want to see (and I’m sure Arian Foster would as well). He may be a geam in Houston’s offensive line for years to come. They also need a receiver,but that can be accomplished in later rounds.
In the wake of Elvis Dumervil’s departure, the Broncos have a spot to fill. Though he may slip because of his November ACL injury, Carradine is recovering faster than expected. Buzz is generating around his potential to be a first round draft pick and Denver may look to select him if Sylvester Williams isn’t available by the time they pick.
Other potential picks-Sylvester Williams
I’m not entirely crazy about this selection as a Patriots fan,but if I know Bill Belichick, I know he likes guys that may have some baggage. The Pats have history with either acquiring or drafting players with baggage. T’ Eo has his issues, but he is a very talented linebacker who could help New England instantly on defense, something the team has needed work on for years. The secondary could also use help,but if there’s a DB on their radar, they’ll more than likely move up from this spot in order to get him. But for our own purposes alone, let’s keep T’ Eo here.
I had Trufant originally in the Top 15, but he is slipping a little and the Falcons will be crazy not to take him to fill one of their top needs. Dunta Robinson is gone and Atlanta could use Trufant’s grittiness and good cover skills to give the Falcons what they need at that position. Sure,he’s only 5-11, 190 ,but good things do come in small packages,so to speak. Look for Atlanta to pick him up here.
31. San Francisco-Eric Reid, S Clemson
San Francisco’s secondary got lit up in the Super Bowl and now with Dashon Goldson in Tampa Bay, now is the time for the 49ers to upgrade their secondary, and with Clemson’s Eric Reid they will certainly do that. Jonathan Cyprien of Florida International is also a possibility,but I think Reid is the better prospect, a guy who should maybe go earlier, but feels perfect for the 49ers at pick #31.
Other potential picks-Jonathan Cyprien
With Ed Reed in Houston and Bernard Pollard released, the Ravens should look for a safety to fill that hole. Matt Elam could be that option, but if he isn’t there, perhaps Jonathan Cyprien can be that next best safety for Baltimore. At 6-0,210, he is built to take on big receivers, hits very hard, and at FIU was a four year starter, perfect for the Ravens who could possibly start him right away (Sorry,Michael Huff!)