All of the workouts are over, the evaluations are done and now we play the waiting game. Only 29 of the 32 NFL teams currently have first-round picks, but that doesn’t mean just 29 teams will be making picks on Thursday night. In 2012 only 27 teams ended up picking in the first round, but in 2011 31 of the 32 teams selected a player in the first round. So, don’t be surprised if teams trade out of the first or back into the end of the round on Thursday.
As for the actual picks, Texas A&M’s Luke Joeckel appears to be the consensus for the Chiefs at No. 1 overall, but Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher is still in contention for the honor. But after those two, predicting the rest of the first round is very much a crapshoot. Defenders like Oregon’s Dion Jordan and Florida’s Sharrif Floyd have piqued the interest of many teams, but either could come off the board anywhere from No. 2 all the way into the mid teens.
The big position of question continues to be the quarterbacks, though. Geno Smith tops most boards, but there have been a lot of rumors about Syracuse’s Ryan Nassib and USC’s Matt Barkley in recent days, making the possibility of multiple quarterbacks going in the first round even more likely.
The Patriots, meanwhile, will sit and wait patiently well into the first night before even taking a stab at their draft board. Wide Receiver, secondary and defensive line are all glaring needs that they will have to address at some point but, with just five picks to their name heading into this weekend, don’t be surprised if they trade out of the first round altogether this year. Sorry, Patriots fans.
With so many prospects to sift through and more uncertainty than in any year before, let’s dive right in and see what the final mock draft of 2013 has in store.
Editor’s Note: Draft order is as follows for the first round of this year’s draft.
1. Kansas City Chiefs (2-14): Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Joeckel has been the pick all along. The Chiefs know what they’re doing.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14): Dion Jordan, OLB/DE, Oregon
The Jaguars need some fresh faces to fill out their new uniforms and Jordan will look damn good throwing down quarterbacks while sporting the black and teal.
3. Oakland Raiders (4-12): Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Quick, name three players on the Raiders defense… Give up yet? Yeah, they need Floyd.
4. Philadelphia Eagles (4-12): Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Lane Johnson is the so-called “perfect fit” for Chip Kelly‘s offense, but Fisher is still the better player.
Previous pick: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
5. Detroit Lions (4-12): Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
If the Lions don’t trade out of here, which has been rumored, then Johnson would make the most sense.
Previous pick: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
6. Cleveland Browns (5-11): Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Pairing Milliner with Joe Haden will create some excitement for Browns fans, who can forget about Jimmy Haslam‘s problems for at least a few hours.
7. Arizona Cardinals (5-11): Ezekiel Ansah, DE/OLB, BYU
The left tackles are all gone, so getting a defensive playmaker like Ansah should be next up on Bruce Arians‘ priorities list.
Previous pick: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
8. Buffalo Bills (6-10): Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
Doug Marrone may be inclined to trade back into the back of the first round for Ryan Nassib to find his quarterback, making offensive line the next big need.
Previous pick: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
9. New York Jets (6-10): Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
If Milliner falls maybe they snatch up Darrelle Revis‘ replacement. If not, Geno gives them a quarterback to compete with Mark Sanchez.
Previous pick: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
10. Tennessee Titans (6-10): Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
The Titans could use an athletic defensive end, too, but Lotulelei is just too tempting to pass up here.
Previous pick: Ezekiel Ansah, DE/OLB, BYU
11. San Diego Chargers (6-10): Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
D.J. Fluker is also an option here, but his Alabama line mate is still the better pure lineman.
Previous pick: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
12. Miami Dolphins (7-9): D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
Replacing Jake Long is the real concern, but getting a strong right tackle is pretty important too.
Previous pick: Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
13. New York Jets [via Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9)]: Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU
The Jets waited on Mingo at No. 9, but the risk pays off as he lands in New York anyway.
14. Carolina Panthers (7-9): Shelden Richardson, DT, Missouri
The Panthers couldn’t stop the run in 2012, but Richardson should help change that.
15. New Orleans Saints (7-9): Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
Trufant’s speed should help the Saints against the pass.
Previous pick: Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU
16. St. Louis Rams (7-8-1): Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
Austin is the best offensive playmaker in this draft and Sam Bradford can finally breathe a sigh of relief.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8): Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
The Saints could grab Jones two picks before, but the Steelers won’t let him pass if he’s sitting here at 17.
18. Dallas Cowboys (8-8): Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
Jerry Jones may be tempted to get Tony Romo a new toy on offense, but in the end he goes with a need over a want.
Previous pick: Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
19. New York Giants (9-7): Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Osi Umenyiora and Chris Canty left a big hole in the Giants’ defensive line, forcing their hand to address it through the draft.
Previous pick: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
20. Chicago Bears (10-6): Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
Jay Cutler is in a contract year, so the Bears will give him all the weapons necessary to prove he is the answer long term.
21. Cincinnati Bengals (10-6): Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
The Bengals seem to think they’ll have tackle Andre Smith back on the roster next season, turning their attention to the next biggest need this offseason: the secondary.
22. St. Louis Rams [via Washington Redskins (10-6)]: Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia
The Rams could use a heavy hitter to set the tone in their secondary. Boom, Elam it is.
Previous pick: Matt Elam, S, Florida
23. Minnesota Vikings (10-6): Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
The Vikings don’t appear intent on signing Brian Urlacher after all. So, Ogletree could address their need at inside linebacker.
Previous pick: Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia
24. Indianapolis Colts (11-5): Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
Indy is all set passing the football on offense, but they’re still having trouble defending it. Rhodes should provide a big boost in the secondary.
Previous pick: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
25. Minnesota Vikings [via Seattle Seahawks (11-5)]: Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame
Te’o may be surrounded by controversy, but the Vikings know he still has the talent to be a
Previous pick: Keenan Allen, WR, California
26. Green Bay Packers (12-4): Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State
There is no way the Packers trade up into the top-10 to get one of the big three, but Watson is a sturdy tackle with lots of potential. Plus, he can help Aaron Rodgers right now.
Previous pick: Jonathan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
27. Houston Texans (12-4): Matt Barkley, QB, USC
I’m not necessarily saying the Texans will take Barkley — though Matt Schaub may not be the franchise quarterback they once thought — but this is a prime spot for the Bills, Cardinals, Browns or any number of teams to trade back into the first round and get their man.
Previous pick: Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State
28. Denver Broncos (13-3): Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
Elvis — Dumervil that is — has left the building, and the Broncos need a replacement in the pass rush. Look no further than the talented UCLA end.
Previous pick: Cornellius “Tank” Carradine, DE, Florida State
29. New England Patriots (12-4): Cornellius “Tank” Carradine, DE, Florida State
There is a good chance the Patriots trade back with a team looking to get a quarterback. If they do stay here, though, Carradine would give them a good complement to Chandler Jones.
Previous pick: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
30. Atlanta Falcons (13-3): D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston
Hayden ran in the low 4.4s at his Houston pro day and seems to be fully healthy, making him a steal at this point in the draft.
Previous pick: Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
31. San Francisco 49ers (11-4-1): Margus Hunt, DE, SMU
The 49ers are positioning themselves to move up but, without predicting a trade, Hunt seems like a great fit to replace Justin Smith.
Previous pick: Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
32. Baltimore Ravens (10-6): Keenan Allen, WR, California
They don’t have Anquan Boldin anymore, so why not take the closest thing this draft has to offer.
Previous pick: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Dropped: Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State; Matt Elam, S, Florida; Jonathan Banks, CB, Mississippi State; DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson; Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama;
Newcomers: Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina; Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame; Matt Barkley, QB, USC; D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston; Margus Hunt, DE, SMU;
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