I'll be running two mocks of the entire 1st round and this is the first. The second will come around a week before the draft, scheduled for the end of this month. Some of you may hate who I picked for the Saints at 15, but it's very difficult to simulate because so much depends on what happens ahead of the Saints. The one thing we absolutely want to root for is for quarterbacks to get drafted early. The more, the better. Consensus seems to suggest Geno Smith will be a top 10 pick, with some even guaranteeing he'll be in the top 5. After him, though, there could be no one else before 15. We're hoping for two, maybe even three. Below I present you with my first NFL 2013 mock draft.
- Kansas City Chiefs: OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M – Any thought they might take a quarterback evaporated when they picked up both Chase Daniel and Alex Smith in the offseason, while parting ways with Matt Cassel (now a Viking). Now the key for the Chiefs will be protecting their trigger man. Joeckel is a can’t miss prospect destined for Pro Bowl greatness. The writing for this pick was on the wall the minute they let Eric Winston walk.
- Jacksonville Jaguars: DE Dion Jordan, Oregon – The Jaguars had 20 sacks last year, good for dead last in the NFL. No team needs pass rushing more desperately than them. Barkevious Mingo, Ezekial Ansah and Jarvis Jones are all considerations here too, but Jordan is the most polished and has the least amount of question marks. Geno Smith is also gaining a lot of traction for this pick because the new regime didn't invest in Blaine Gabbert, but the stat I mentioned in the first sentence convinces me otherwise.
- Oakland Raiders: DT Sharriff Floyd, Florida – Star Lotulelei was in consideration here, but even with a clean bill of health, a heart scare is too worrisome for the 3rd pick overall. Floyd is the next best tackle. I think the Raiders consider Geno Smith here but they are gun shy going with a quarterback based on what happened with JaMarcus Russell.
- Philadelphia Eagles: OT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan – if you watched the Eagles play the Saints this past year, you know what their problem is. The Saints are not known for their pass rush, but they were in Michael Vick’s grill all game long. I wouldn’t be shocked if they reached for a quarterback either, though.
- Detroit Lions: CB Dee Milliner, Alabama -- the Lions have a number of different ways they can go. While I think Star Lotulelei is the best player on the board, they are stacked at defensive tackle and that’s probably the one position they don’t need. The Lions need a receiver to pair with Calvin Johnson, they need a pass rusher, and they need a corner. I think it comes down to Ansah, Mingo, Dee Milliner and Lane Johnson the tackle to help keep Stafford upright. Ultimately, they don’t want to pass on the best corner in the draft.
- Cleveland Browns: DE Ezekial “Ziggy” Ansah, BYU -- I would not be surprised to see them go quarterback here with Geno Smith and surprise everyone. They just traded away Colt McCoy and can’t feel too good about Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell on their depth chart. Ultimately, though, that’s just too big of a reach with so many good players available. Ansah is raw but arguably the best athlete in the draft.
- Arizona Cardinals: QB Geno Smith, West Virginia– They almost got four quarterbacks killed last year. I think the Cardinals could take a quarterback to groom behind Carson Palmer but right now they also need offensive line stability. I think it’s between Lane Johnson and Geno Smith here. Ultimately, they can’t trust Palmer will give them anything.
- Buffalo Bills: QB Matt Barkley, USC – With Ryan Fitzpatrick gone they will now need a new guy to groom. I don’t think anyone in Buffalo looks at Kevin Kolb as a long term solution. Matt Barkley is their guy and he could start over Kolb from day one, unless Geno Smith falls to them.
- New York Jets: LB Jarvis Jones, Georgia -- The Jets will go with the BPA and boost their defense in the process. The only question is whether they go with Star Lotulelei or Jarvis Jones. Mingo is also under consideration here. Ultimately, Jones fills a bigger need.
- Tennessee Titans: OT Lane Johnson, Oklahoma– With Ryan Fitzpatrick brought in to back up Jake Locker, the key now is protecting their passer who will be out of the pocket a good deal. Johnson is the best lineman on the board.
- San Diego Chargers: DE/LB Barkevious Mingo, LSU -- The Chargers also desperately need offensive line help but the value just isn’t there. If any of the linemen I’ve listed are still available at 11 they will take them for sure. They love the idea of Mingo, though, who could bring them back to the days when Shawne Merriman was unstoppable getting to the quarterback.
- Miami Dolphins: G Chance Warmack, Alabama – If you notice a common theme here it’s how many teams are desperate for offensive line help. Most teams feel good about their quarterback position with few exceptions and are looking for the right guys up front to help protect them. The Dolphins reach.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DT Star Lotulelei, Utah – I personally think Lotulelei is the best player in the draft, and if not for this heart scare that drops his stock he could have been a top 2 pick. The Bucs are shocked and elated he fell this low and at this point it’s too good to pass up. The Bucs do need major help at corner, though, so Xavier Rhodes is under major consideration.
- Carolina Panthers: WR Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee: The Panthers are bummed Lotulelei didn’t last one more pick, that was their guy if he’s still there as he would be the BPA and it would fill their need. The Panthers consider Cordarrelle Patterson at receiver here and Sheldon Richardson at DT. Ron Rivera is a defensive guy so I lean towards Richardson with my head, but my gut tells me they won’t be able to resist getting a new weapon for Cam with Steve Smith getting up there in age.
- New Orleans Saints: S Kenny Vacarro, Texas -- Lots of interesting options here. You could go Bjoern Werner if you wanted a pass rushing defensive end/linebacker. But the Saints feel pretty heavy at that OLB position with Butler, Wilson, Galette, Herring and Vilma. You could go with Sheldon Richardson if you wanted run support, although I’m not convinced he makes sense in a 3-4. They could also take Kenny Vacarro if they needed secondary help. Personally I like the idea of trading down for additional draft picks. There’s really no tackle worthy of a pick at this point, but obviously Lane Johnson is the guy if he falls this low. Similarly, if Mingo or Lotulelei drop this low I think they are both no brainers. In the end I think the safety play was abysmal for the Saints last year and Vacarro will represent the future on the back end, not Roman Harper.
- St. Louis Rams: WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia – The Rams were stupid to not pick a receiver last year. They are overdue in getting Sam Bradford some help and with Danny Amendola gone this is an absolute no brainer. They do consider Eddie Lacy, though, too.
- Pittsburgh Steelers: DE/LB Bjoern Werner, Florida State – I know Jordan Grove is disgusted that the Saints passed on Werner in this mock draft since he picks Werner in every single mock he does, but I want to be clear that I like the Werner pick for the Saints. I just think Vacarrro makes more sense for the team now that they have Victor Butler. Anyway, the Steelers get who they think is the best player available.
- Dallas Cowboys: G Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina – Like many teams the Cowboys are desperate to protect their investment and they just spent a nice chunk on Romo. The line was horrid last year and Cooper will help it.
- New York Giants: DT Sheldon Richardson, Missouri – the Giants take the best player available and are elated Richardson fell this far.
- Chicago Bears: LB Alec Ogletree, Georgia – it’s time for the heir apparent to Brian Urlacher to step in and the Bears believe they’ve got his long term replacement in Ogletree.
- Cincinnati Bengals: DE Damontre Moore, Texas A&M – Before poor combine workouts, Moore was once considered a top 5 prospect in the draft. The decorated collegian will have a chip on his shoulder and the Bengals will view him as a major defensive boost.
- St. Louis Rams: RB Eddie Lacy, Alabama – The Rams come out of the first round with two huge playmakers and couldn’t be happier about the boost they’ve given their quarterback and offense. Lacy will replace Steven Jackson as the new lead back, and paired with Austin this offense will get better in a hurry.
- Minnesota Vikings: DT Sylvester Williams, North Carolina: When a guy is the BPA and he fills a need it’s the perfect scenario, and for that reason the Vikings have an easy pick to make here.
- Indianapolis Colts: WR Keenan Allen, California: The Colts want to continue to develop Andrew Luck by giving him weapons and Reggie Wayne isn’t getting any younger.
- Minnesota Vikings: CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida State – With Antoine Winnfield in limbo the Vikings need to groom a replacement, though this need and pick could change if Winnfield returns.
- Green Bay Packers: T D. J. Fluker, Alabama – Fluker is massive and while he probably doesn’t have the feet to play left tackle he would still help the Packers’ line tremendously with his size and power. Rodgers took a beating last year and the Packers need some help up front.
- Houston Texans: WR DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson – We saw this guy play a good defense against LSU in the Peach Bowl and absolutely destroy them almost single handedly. The Texans need a playmaker to pair with Andre Johnson, who’s now 30.
- Denver Broncos: DT Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State – Hankins is a beast on the interior and will help the Broncos get back to where they were defensively in 2011.
- New England Patriots: CB Desmond Trufant, Washington – By far the BPA in my opinion, the Patriots are desperate for secondary help as leaky as they’ve been the last two years.
- Atlanta Falcons: CB Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State --With Brent Grimes and Dunta Robinson both gone, the Falcons are desperate for corner help… especially since they play Drew Brees twice a year and they know the Saints will be surging. They will debate between Banks and D.J. Hayden of Houston. If Trufant falls to them, he will be the pick.
- San Francisco 49ers: NT John Jenkins, Georgia – The 49ers don’t have many holes on their roster and they have a boatload of picks, so look for them to potentially move up. Jenkins is a guy that would help them against the run, though. He’s a huge guy around 350lbs and the 49ers need to replace Sopoaga.
- Baltimore Ravens: LB Manti Te’o, Notre Dame – With Ray Lewis gone and the Ravens looking to rebuild their defense, this will be a high profile player they can add and feel good about. Te’o has some leadership qualities and character they think will help develop his game.
Seeing as you drafted a reasonable number of OTs in front of the Saints I think the Saints will not go OT with this draft setup.
I do not thing the Cardinals will go QB though. Rather go WR to put someone opposite Fitzgerald with a pure passer QB. Draft a project QB low. You do not go get Palmer for 2 years and basically give up on him 3 weeks later in the draft. Nor your option for the Browns to go QB. They got Weedon and though he might not be super you can not draft a QB every year. Fans will hate you for it and it is a sure way to get yourself fired and laughed at by your peers. Bills might go Smith, but they also might go defense and have Colb manage the game. I think a lot of teams do not want to waste a high pick on a QB this year.
Jets... I am seriously thinking they might go for Geno Smith if he falls to them. Really would anything the Jets do surprise you here? They might throw in the 2nd round pick and Revis to the Bucs for a trade up to take an defensive player just before that player is drafted by the Saints.
Your explanation on the pick for S makes sense. Harper is not what we want there, but really a Safety in round 1? He is the top Safety true, but the Saints have guys that can intercept as long as the QB is going to throw fast with lots of pressure. Saints need pressure. I like them to pick Werner at that point, unless the 49ers want someone up high. Get that NT Jenkins and have a great guy to be there maybe not the start of the season but in a very good rotation, a potential star. Then since nobody picked an S get the 1st or 2nd S out there and let him be the reason this is the last year for Harper at the Saints.
Juge... you are too much in love with a safety in the first round and you hate Matieu too much. There is no way the first round is Not front 7 or OT. Although I think mock drafts are a waste of time this is a nice post with your thoughts on the players that are possible first round prospects. You did your study and again I can profit and learn about the players and the teams ahead of the saints needs. Thank you very much I will start reading now :)
@SaintsNationBlg He’s an overrated prospect to me and is like a Jenkins clone to me. Pass pass pass.
@SaintsNationBlg We can agree to disagree. Not a fan of his tape.