2013 NFL Draft: Mock Draft, Version 4.0

Eric Fisher has earned his way into the top-5 picks for the NFL Draft.

Below is the first Mock Draft since the start of free agency.  Take a read, and I welcome all comments! What’s the point of having a mock draft if it isn’t torn apart, right? Feel free to share, too! And with the first pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs select…

1) Kansas City Chiefs Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan: Geno Smith had been the selection here for the first three mock drafts on FRG.  However, the signing of Alex Smith and Chase Daniel has made it far less-likely that the Chiefs will take a quarterback at the top of the draft.  With Branden Albert’s status still somewhat uncertain (whispers of trade rumors started circulating last week), the Chiefs will take the highest-rated tackle on their board.  At the end of the day, that player will be Eric Fisher.
2) Jacksonville Jaguars Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia: The Jaguars could go in a lot of different directions here.  I’ve gone back and forth on whether this is where Mingo hears his name called, but I simply can’t see the Jaguars beginning a new regime with Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne as the quarterback options.  Smith is clearly the top passer in this year’s draft, and in the opinion of FRG, the only surefire first-round player at the position.  While he might not be the ultimate franchise quarterback prospect, he is a player that projects as a quality starter in the NFL.  The Jaguars won’t right the ship until they fix their quarterback situation.  Smith might just be the answer.
3) Oakland RaidersRaiders Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah: The Raiders could go in a number of directions this April, but the value of Star Lotulelei will be too much to pass up. Lotulelei presents the Raiders with a disruptive interior defensive lineman who plays stronger than any other prospect in the Draft. Lotulelei will be a starter from day one and be a mainstay in the Black Hole.  While Sharrif Floyd (Florida) has been climbing up draft boards since December, Lotulelei’s body of work suggests that he should be the Raiders’ pick.
4) Philadelphia Eagles
Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M: Luke Joekecl is a tick behind Eric Fisher at the top of FRG’s offensive tackle rankings, but he has has all the tools you look for when projecting a high-level starting left tackle prospect.  The Eagles offensive line struggled mightily last year, and with Jason Peters attempting to come back from multiple Achilles injuries, the Eagles simply cannot afford to ignore the position in the draft.  Joeckel is the second-best left tackle prospect available, and if Peters is able to make a full recovery, the Eagles will have a wealth of riches at the position.  Joeckel and Peters would become a fantastic tackle duo in the City of Brotherly Love.
5) Detroit Lionslions Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma: With the loss of Gosder Cherilus to the Colts and the retirement of Jeff Backus, the Lions suddenly have a glaring need at the tackle position.  With Riley Reiff as the only viable tackle on the roster, Lane Johnson becomes the perfect fit.  Johnson is an athletic specimen who projects as a left tackle in the NFL.  The Lions need to protect their most important asset, quarterback Matthew Stafford.  Johnson accomplishes that goal.
6) Cleveland Brownsbrowns Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU:  FRG’s No. 1 overall player, Barkevious Mingo slides to the sixth overall selection due to team needs and concerns over his size and schematic fit.  He makes perfect sense for the Cleveland Browns and new defensive coordinator Ray Horton.  Horton used the 34 in Arizona but is inheriting a team with 43 personnel.  Mingo is scheme-diverse and will be a shiny new toy in Cleveland.  Bottom line, and regardless of scheme:  Pin Mingo’s ears back and let him get to the quarterback.
7) Arizona Cardinalscardinals Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon: The Arizona Cardinals need to add an additional pass-rushing presence to the roster to compliment Calais Campbell.  A player like Jordan will give opposing offenses fits as an edge rusher.  While not quite a finished product, Jordan has a ceiling as high as any prospect in the 2013 NFL draft.  While some mock drafts suggest the Cardinals will grab a quarterback here, FRG is of the belief that they’ll “get to the quarterback” in the first round.
8) Buffalo Bills Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas: FRG does not have Tyler Wilson graded as a top-10 player for the 2013 NFL draft.  We view him as a fringe first-round pick, but with the Bills in dire need for a quarterback, Wilson (while a reach) makes the most sense here.  The release of Ryan Fitzpatrick makes it all but a certainty that the Bills are taking a passer at No. 8, and with the quarterback grades all over the map this year, it’s anyone’s guess exactly who the pick will be.  Sticking to our board, however, it has to be Tyler Wilson.
9) NY Jetsjets Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georiga: Once considered a player that would battle to be the No. 1 pick overall, Jones has become a victim of the scouting process in the months since the end of the college football season.  While some of the criticism and concern is justified, the bottom line is that Jones is a playmaker.  Assuming all of the concerns relating to his neck are in his rear-view mirror, Jones will be a plug-and-play starter for the Jets on day one.
10) Tennessee Titanstitans Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama: Yes, the Titans just spent a lot of money on Andy Levitre. And yes, there are some other directions they could go here (like defensive end). But selecting Warmack would actually make their Levitre investment even better.  With the selection of Warmack, the Titans will solidify the interior of their offensive line for potentially the next decade.  And while the offensive guard position isn’t one that is generally taken in the top-ten selections, Warmack is an exception to the rule.
11) San Diego Chargerschargers Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State: This pick will come as a shock to many, but not FRG.  Watson is one of the premier offensive tackle prospects in the 2013 NFL draft, and with three tackles going in the top-5, the Chargers won’t risk a run on the position later in the first round and before they pick again in the second.  Watson is a bit rough around the edges, but he projects as a quality starting left tackle in the NFL.
12) Miami Dolphinsdolphins Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama: The Dolphins added a lot of offense in free agency, specifically with the signing of Mike Wallace.  If the draft falls the way it has here, Miami will be able to lock up the top-rated corner in this year’s class, and upgrade a positional group that is pedestrian at best.  If the Dolphins have Milliner fall to them, there might not be a more improved (on paper) team in the league.
13) Tampa Bay Bucstampa Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame: Conventional wisdom suggests that the Bucs will look to upgrade their pass defense, but with no viable option at the tight end position for Josh Freeman and company, Eifert could make a sneaky rise up the first round.  Tight end is becoming a premium position in any successful passing offense, and Eifert has pro bowl level talent.
14) Carolina Pantherspanthers Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri: Richardson is one of FRG’s highest value players. It wouldn’t surprise me if Richardson is long gone by this point in April, but for purposes of this Mock Draft, he’s Carolina’s pick. The Panthers need help at the defensive tackle position, and Richardson presents as a borderline elite 3-technique prospect for the NFL. He is the quickest defensive tackle available in the 2013 Draft, with movement skills that will rival some of the linebacker prospects. He’s a penetrating, disruptive force that will pay immediate returns by collapsing the pocket in pass rushing situations.
15) New Orleans Saints Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida: The Saints need to add talented, athletic defensive tackles to their roster in an effort to see who fits best in the 34 front that they will be running in 2013.  While Floyd doesn’t project as a true NT, he is plenty athletic enough to play DE in a 34.  Much like Richardson, however, Floyd could be long gone by pick 14.
16) St. Louis Rams Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia: Austin has the highest overall grade of any offensive skill player, and in our opinion, is the most explosive offensive weapon available in 2013.  The recent departure of Danny Amendola opens the door for Austin to immediately take over as the slot receiver in St. Louis.  And in our opinion, it’s an upgrade for the Rams.
17) Pittsburgh Steelerssteelers Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee: The loss of Mike Wallace will have a direct impact on the Steelers’ draft plans.  And with rumors of Emmanuel Sanders to the Patriots swirling, Pittsburgh is in need of an explosive playmaker for Big Ben.  Patterson is the best combination of size and speed at the receiver position in the 2013 NFL draft, and would be brought in to assume the “Wallace” role.
18) Dallas Cowboyscowboys Jonathan Cooper, OG, UNC: It’s no secret that the Cowboys need help along the interior of their offensive line. Watching Demarco Murray (RB, Dal) continually try to make something out of nothing frustrated Cowboy fans across the Country. Fortunately for Dallas, Jonathan Cooper could be sitting there for them at the 18th selection. Cooper is FRG’s highest-graded offensive lineman, (even higher than Warmack who was mocked to the Titans at No. 10.)  He is a rare specimen.  Cooper has the potential to be a 10+ year starter and pro bowl caliber player.
19) NY Giantsgiants Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida St.: Werner is a top-10 talent who for some reason has slipped all the way to the Giants in this mock draft.  The Giants love grabbing pass rushing ends, and Werner is one of this class’ best.  What was once a position of strength for the Giants is now starting to look like a one trick pony:  JPP.  Adding Werner to the mix will keep the Giants pass rush as one of the best in the entire league.
20) Chicago Bearsbears DJ Fluker, OT, Alabama: If the draft falls this way for the Bears, it will be the worst-case scenario in Chicago.  You can bet your life on the fact that Emery will be trying his best to trade out, but if there’s no partner to dance with, the Bears would select the mauling run blocker from Alabama.  Fluker is not a left tackle in the NFL, and he won’t have to be in Chicago with newly signed Jermon Bushrod in place.  As of the date of this mock, the Bears haven’t signed any additional linemen; one signing won’t fix the train wreck.  Fluker will come in and be the starting right tackle, moving Carimi inside to guard.  While not the sexy or ideal pick for the Bears, it’s one that will get them better.
21) Cincinnati Bengalsbengals Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU: Strictly a value pick here for the Bengals.  With no player jumping off the board to fill a need, Cincy grabs the player with the most upside at this point in the draft.  Ansah is considered by some to be a top-10 talent.  FRG has him right around this range, and it’s ironic that the mock fell this way.  Ansah will be able to grow and develop within the deep Bengals defensive line, and could emerge as a force a year or two from now.
22) St. Louis Ramsrams Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas: The Rams will be jumping for joy if Vaccaro is still on the board at pick No. 22.  The Longhorn will provide the backend of the Rams secondary with some playmaking stability and will add to what is already an impressive young unit.
23) Minnesota Vikingsvikings John Jenkins, DT, UGA: The signing of Greg Jennings has alleviated some of the pressure for the Vikings to draft a wide receiver in round one. As a result, Minnesota will grab the best remaining defensive tackle on the board, which to FRG is John Jenkins. Jenkins is one of the premier defensive players in this draft, and much like Sheldon Richardson, could hear his name called much higher than this mock suggests. However, if it falls this way, the Vikings will take the mammoth 350+ pound defensive tackle. The Vikings need to start getting younger at defensive tackle.  Jenkins is the perfect combination of need meeting value.
24) Indianapolis Coltscolts Xavier Rhodes, CB, Fla St.: Vontae Davis (CB, Ind) played pretty well for the Colts last year and has secured himself a spot in the secondary for the foreseeable future. However, there’s much to be desired across from him, and Rhodes offers the most upside of the remaining corners on the board. Rhodes’ stock is on the rise, and he may even challenge Milliner for the first corner drafted.  However, if the draft falls the way this mock did, Rhodes is the pick.
25) Minnesota Vikings


Keenan Allen, WR, Cal:The Vikings draft falls perfectly if the talented Cal receiver falls to No. 25 in the first round.  The trade of Percy Harvin to the Seahawks created a need at WR that was alleviated by the Greg Jennings signing, but the opportunity to add a talent like Allen is something the Vikings simply cannot pass up.  Allen would be the most talented receiver in Minnesota since Randy Moss (no, he’s not as talented as Randy Moss), and would provide Christian Ponder with the most talented receiving corps he’s had in his short tenure as the Vikings starter.
26) Green Bay Packerspackers Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama:  The Packers tried signing Steven Jackson, a signal that they’re not completely sold on the running backs currently on the roster.  And while there are needs on the defensive side of the ball that they could address here, the Packers are a good bet to be a team that snatches up a running back in round one.  While Lacy isn’t the highest-graded running back for FRG, he will likely fit the mold that the Packers are looking for in a potential bell-cow for Aaron Rodgers and company.
27) Houston Texanstexans Robert Woods, WR, USC: The Texans cannot ignore the wide receiver position any longer, as Andre Johnson is slowly entering the final lap of his career (at least, his dominant years).  Woods is the best route-runner in the 2013 NFL draft class and, assuming his ankle issues don’t linger into his pro career, will line up from day one and contribute for the Texans.  Woods is a receiver that will make plays on all three levels of the field and is the perfect understudy to Andre Johnson.
28) Denver Broncosbroncos Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio St: Johnathan Hankins, who looked like he was en route to hear his name called in the top-10 of this year’s Draft, has lost some steam since  around November.  But he still presents as a quick, light-footed interior defensive lineman who can shed blockers well. He has been criticized for not giving 4 quarters of effort on a consistent basis, but  he has a lot of upside and will be a nice value pick for the Broncos late in round 1.
29) New England Patriotspatriots Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington: Trufant, and his 47 career starts, is the perfect need meeting value pick for the Patriots at the bottom of the first round.  With New England’s secondary in a transitional period, adding a young, athletic player like Trufant is exactly what the Patriots would like to do.  Trufant is a very competitive athlete; something that will surely go over well with Coach Belichick.
30) Atlanta Falconsfalcons Alex Okafor,DE, Texas: The Falcons appear ready to start addressing their defense in this year’s Draft, as the offense is running like a well-oiled machine. That said, don’t be surprised if Atlanta is in play for a RB here, with Andre Ellington or Eddie Lacy real possibilities. However, Okafor is the guy.   Okafor is a solid, all-around defender who will be effective both vs. the pass and the run. He will make an immediate impact in Atlanta and will challenge for a starting role.
31) San Francisco 49ers49ers Datone Jones, DE, UCLA: The 49ers will be in position to draft for luxury at the bottom of the first round, and Datone Jones presents just that. He has enjoyed a meteoric rise up draft boards since the Senior Bowl, and is now almost unanimously considered a first-round player. The 49ers don’t have a glaring need at defensive end, but much like the Giants recent success has proven, adding talent to your pass rushing arsenal is always a good route to take. Jones has violent hands and a high motor. He could be a scary addition to the 49ers.
32) Baltimore Ravensravens De’Andre Hopkins, WR, Clemson: The Ravens will need to find a replacement for Anquan Boldin and will be thrilled to see De’Andre Hopkins on the board.  Hopkins, much like Robert Woods, is a high-level route-runner who has the ability to make a play on every level of a passing attack.  He will bring a more dynamic element to the offense than Boldin was able to, and paired with Torrey Smith will provide Joe Flacco with a very talented, young wide receiver duo.