2013 NFL Mock Draft: Combine performances could push players up

USA TODAY Sports

It's the week of the NFL Combine, so we're deep in the heart of draft season.

Although Mel Kiper and other analysts have said there isn't a quarterback for the No. 1 pick, he's still the choice for the Kansas City Chiefs (for now). But now there's a caveat. Smith may be the choice for the Chiefs, but will they still have the first overall pick on April 25?

Since it's Combine week (SB Nation is well-represented in Indianapolis), this mock projects some players timing well and rising up the draft board. Think it doesn't happen? Stephon Gilmore wasn't a top 10 pick before the Combine last year. Players like Doug Martin, Kelechi Osemele and Dontari Poe helped themselves in Indianapolis a year ago as well.

If you have a mock draft, please share it in the comments in lieu of no FanPosts being on the site.

Pick Player Position Height Weight Class
1. Kansas City Chiefs
Geno Smith, West Virginia
QB 6'3 215 Sr.

Kansas City will be busy at the NFL Combine this week, heavily scrutinizing the likes to Smith, Utah's Star Lotulelei and Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel. They'll also begin the process of searching for a trade partner. The best bet for Kansas City is that they'll hope to find a team wanting Joeckel, if they can bring Branden Albert back. Joeckel is the best player in the draft and and there are a few teams needing a left tackle. I think the Chiefs will end up with Smith, but maybe not with the No. 1 pick.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars
Barkevious Mingo, LSU DE 6'5 240 Jr.

The Jaguars are putting Jason Babin at the important Leo position, but Mingo is a much better fit. Look for him to be one of the superstars in Indianapolis. While he did have a down year statistically, the LSU defense called for him to play more contain and not over-pursue. He's athletic enough to play with his hand in the dirt or on his feet.

Barkevious Mingo scouting report

3. Oakland Raiders
Star Lotulelei, Utah
DT 6'4 320 Sr.

The Raiders will be in a difficult spot with the third pick and Smith is gone. The team needs help along the defensive line, whether its a pass rusher or a run stopper. With Richard Seymour gone and Desmond Bryant an unrestricted free agent set to cash in, the Raiders could be forced to take Lotulelei. He can play both tackle spots in a four-man front and anywhere in a three-man set.

Star Lotulelei scouting report

4. Philadelphia Eagles
Dion Jordan, Oregon
DE/OLB 6'7 245 Sr.

Just about everyone has slotted an offensive tackle to the Eagles. We're as guilty of it as anyone. But what if the training staff is adamant that Jason Peters will be back healthy? If he is, does a team take a right tackle in the top five? It's unlikely. Instead, look for Chip Kelly to make do with the pieces he has on offense and look for a difference maker on defense. Kelly is fully aware of Jordan's athleticism, and knows how to properly use him in the team's new 3-4.

Dion Jordan scouting report

5. Detroit Lions
Damontre Moore
DE 6'4 250 Jr.

Cliff Avril is a free agent and Kyle Vanden Bosch was cut. In a draft that's top-heavy in pass rushers, the Lions would be wise to strike with a player like Moore. While he doesn't have an elite first step, he's a relentless player and can hold up against the run particularly well.

6. Cleveland Browns
Dee Milliner, Alabama
CB 6'1 199 Jr.

If Jordan, Mingo and Moore are gone, the Browns could be left choosing between Georgia's Jarvis Jones and Milliner. Either choice would help the team's defense. Corner Sheldon Brown was routinely beat in coverage, and the Browns could finally be looking for an upgrade opposite Joe Haden. That could bump Brown over to safety, fixing up the team's entire secondary. With the second most free agent money to spend, Cleveland could be hot after Baltimore's Paul Kruger.

7. Arizona Cardinals
Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M
OT 6'6 310 Jr.

Just how does the best player fall to this point in the draft? I don't do trades in mock drafts, but Arizona could be the team Kansas City finds as a trade partner. Arizona would get a franchise left tackle and the Chiefs would stay in the top 10. There has been some momentum for Mike Glennon here, but it's looking less likely quarterbacks will be a hot commodity early in the draft. Of course, that could change when we get more information on which players teams are after.

8. Buffalo Bills
Jarvis Jones, Georgia
OLB 6-3 230 Sr.

This is a carryover pick from our last mock draft, but it just seems to fit perfectly. The Bills need a linebacker that can disrupt the pocket and that's Jones' specialty. He's a player who will need a big Combine showing, both in the testing portion and during medical checks.

9. New York Jets
Chance Warmack, Alabama
G 6-3 320 Sr.

For a team that seems like it just needs to catch a break, this would be a disastrous scenario for the Jets. The best pass rushers are all off the board, and this is too early for a running back. The decision here would be Warmack, Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro or a trade back. It's true, guards don't get drafted this highly, but it's arguably the Jets' biggest need after a pass rusher. It's hard to see them taking a third first round defensive lineman in as many years or a wide receiver.

Chance Warmack scouting report

10. Tennessee Titans
Bjoern Werner, Florida State
DE 6'4 255 Jr.

Although Werner will have to learn to play with more aggression (especially when the player doesn't come his way), this would be a value pick for the Titans. There's been some momentum of late for Vaccaro, but this is too high of a pick. Werner should be able to start as a rookie and make an impact.

Bjoern Werner scouting report

Team Player Position Height Weight Stars
11. San Diego Chargers
Eric Fisher, Central Michigan
OT 6'7 305 Sr.

If Fisher is available when the Chargers pick, look for them to run their draft card up to the podium. He may not slide this far, but the Chargers could also be aggressive and try to move up for a desperately needed left tackle.

12. Miami Dolphins
Keenan Allen, California
WR 6'3 210 Jr.

This is a pick we're sticking with for the moment. There have been knocks on Allen of late, but he's a much better fit for Miami's offense than a player like Cordarrelle Patterson. Allen is at his best when he can catch a short pass and get yards after the catch. He would fit nicely as Miami's top wide out.

Keenan Allen scouting report

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sharrif Floyd, Florida
DT 6'3 303 Jr.

Cornerbacks have been popular choices for the Buccaneers, and justly so. But the team also needs to add a player next to rising star Gerald McCoy. Roy Miller is a free agent and the options on Tampa's roster are sparse. Floyd is rapidly ascending mock drafts and if the NFL boards agree with media assessments, this could be a steal.

Sharrif Floyd scouting report

14. Carolina Panthers
Sheldon Richardson, Missouri
DT 6'4 295 Jr.

This is a pick that has become pretty regular, not only here but on several mock drafts. For Carolina, Richardson is a perfect combination of scheme fit, need and value. Richardson is lightning fast and relentless off the line of scrimmage.

Sheldon Richardson scouting report

15. New Orleans Saints
Ezekiel Ansah, BYU
OLB/DE 6'5 274 Sr.

Ansah doesn't get a lot of discussion as a 3-4 outside linebacker, but he should. Don't forget, he wanted to play on BYU's basketball team, not the football team. He's an athlete who just happened to play end at BYU. He should have the agility to play standing up and is only beginning his development.

16. St. Louis Rams
Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
OT 6'6 302
Sr.

If one of the top three offensive tackles happens to fall to the 16th pick, the Rams should pounce. If they wait, a player like Johnson will be gone by the 22nd pick. Although he's best-suited for left tackle, Johnson can play on either side of the Rams' line.

Lane Johnson scouting report

17. Pittsburgh Steelers
Jesse Williams, Alabama
DT 6'4 320 Sr.

Casey Hampton is set to enter free agency and at 35, his career may be at its end. Even if the Steelers bring him back on a one-year deal, upgrading the middle of their defense is a must. Williams may be coming off a knee injury, but it shouldn't negatively impact his future play. He's a powerhouse nose that can push the pocket or take up multiple blockers.

Jesse Williams scouting report

18. Dallas Cowboys
D.J. Fluker, Alabama
OT 6'5 355 Sr.

If there ever was a right tackle suited for the Dallas Cowboys, it's Fluker. He's a powerful run blocker who can drive defenders backward with ease. The Cowboys can benefit from the depth at defensive tackle this year and wait improve the team's new front four.

19. New York Giants
Kevin Minter, LSU
MLB 6'2 245 Jr.

After releasing Michael Boley, the Giants' needs on the defense continue to grow. Minter specializes in working between the tackles and stopping the run. That's good for New York, one of the league's worst run-stopping teams.

20. Chicago Bears
Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina
G 6'3 310 Sr.

Right guard Lance Louis is an unrestricted free agent, as are backups Chilo Rachal and Chris Spencer. The Bears have needed to upgrade their offensive line for several years, and a player like Cooper is well worth the 20th pick in the draft. He's a quick-footed guard that can beat defensive linemen off the snap and get out on the move.

Jonathan Cooper scouting report

More: Complete NFL Draft coverage

Team Player Position Height Weight Stars
21. Cincinnati Bengals
Kenny Vaccaro, Texas
S 6'1 218 Sr.

At this point, Cincinnati is a hard team to pin down. No team has more money to spend on free agents, but few teams have as many big-time free agents of their own. The pick for the Bengals is going to change often leading up to the draft. The known about Cincinnati is that they generally draft more toward need in the first round. Safety is among the team's bigger issues and Vaccaro is easily the best in the class.

22. St. Louis Rams
Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee
WR 6'3 205 Jr.

No Rams receiver broke 700 yards receiving last season and the team doesn't a player that projects as a No. 1. Patterson isn't a refined pass catcher. His route running is raw and he catches with his body too much. But when he actually gets the ball in his hands, he's as dangerous as anyone in this year's draft.

Cordarrelle Patterson scouting report

23. Minnesota Vikings
DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson
WR 6'1 205 Jr.

The Vikings have a few needs, chief amongst them youth on defense. But a wide receiver like Hopkins could do wonders for Christian Ponder's career. It would also give Minnesota some flexibility with Percy Harvin going forward.

24. Indianapolis Colts
Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State
DT 6'3 317 Jr.

The Colts have needs on each level of their defense, and have two unrestricted free agents on the line (Fili Moala and Antonio Johnson). Many think Hankins is a nose, but that's not the case. Particularly in Indianapolis, that spot would go to Josh Chapman. Hankins was at his best at OSU when he played end in three-man fronts. Haloti Ngata comparisons are a cop out, but Hankins could be used in a similar way.

Johnathan Hankins scouting report

25. Seattle Seahawks
Datone Jones, UCLA
DE 6'4 275 Sr.

Look for the Seahawks to upgrade their defensive line this offseason, despite taking Bruce Irvin in the first round last year. Jones is in the same mold as Jason Jones, a free agent for Seattle that went on injured reserve in December. He's a better fit than a player like Sam Montgomery because he can take on blockers better, but can do just enough as a pass rusher.

26. Green Bay Packers
John Jenkins, Georgia
DT 6'3 358 Sr.

BJ Raji is one of the better defensive linemen in the NFL, but he plays a staggering number of snaps for the position. If the Packers drafted Jenkins, he take some snaps away from Raji and eventually be Ryan Pickett's replacement at nose tackle.

27. Houston Texans
Arthur Brown, Kansas State
MLB 6'2 231 Sr.

The Texans need to add a playmaker at inside linebacker in the event that Brian Cushing gets injured again. Brown is the most athletically gifted linebacker in the draft and can make plays all around the field. Many consider him undersized, but he's not much smaller than current Texans Tim Dobbins or Darryl Sharpton.

28. Denver Broncos
Alec Ogletree
MLB 6'3 232 Jr.

Although Ogletree enters the NFL with copious baggage, he's the kind of middle linebacker the Broncos desperately need. He can drop in coverage to play tight ends in zone or man situations. He's not an overly powerful linebacker, but the Broncos need athleticism in their front seven.

29. New England Patriots
Xavier Rhodes, Florida State
CB 6'2 217 Jr.

New England's secondary was improved when they traded for Aqib Talib, but he's a free agent and there's no guarantee he comes back. The Patriots have just three corners under contract for next season and will likely draft a corner at some point. Rhodes is a high value choice and he may get some looks at safety in the NFL.

Xavier Rhodes scouting report

30. Atlanta Falcons
Sam Montgomery, LSU
DE 6'5 260 Jr.

This is a pick that's become common place in my mock drafts. Montgomery can push himself higher in the first round with a good Combine showing, but he's never been known as an athletic dynamo. He would give the Falcons some much-needed youth on the line and ease the eventual departure of John Abraham.

Sam Montgomery scouting report

31. San Francisco 49ers
Jonathan Cyprien, Florida International
S 6'0 209 Sr.

Cyprien is a fast riser who should be one of the stand out performers at the Combine this week. He's a fluid safety prospect that can run and hit. In other words, he's the kind of player the 49ers could have used in the Super Bowl.

32. Baltimore Ravens
Manti Te'o, Notre Dame
MLB 6'2 255 Sr.

This has become another common choice in my mock drafts. The fit is just too perfect. The Ravens don't need an athletic sideline-to-sideline middle linebacker. They need a player that's smart on the field and can make the calls for the defense. Te'o should quickly break the starting lineup on a 3-4 team and be a fixture for years.

Manti Te'o scouting report

Special thanks to Bud Elliott of SB Nation recruiting and Tomahawk Nation for the mock draft layout.

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