2013 NFL mock draft: Pushing through smoke screens

Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE

This time of the year is all about the art deception. Trick your opponent and gain an advantage. The smoke screen.

Draft rumors are running hot and heavy with players being brought in on personal visits as NFL teams finalize their draft boards. The key this time of year is to try and cut through the smoke and figure out fact from fiction.

Generally, the top seven picks in this week's mock draft are pretty common if you've read our stuff previously. The Chiefs seem to be doing as much as possible to make everyone think the pick at No. 1 is wide open. I'm less certain and sticking with Luke Joeckel.

The big change comes with Buffalo and the eighth pick. The Bills are always a hard team to try and guess on, and this year is no different.

As always, we encourage everyone to post their own mock draft in the comments. If you would like to see a second round added to the mock, let me know and I'll try to get it together by mid-week.

Pick Player Position Height Weight Class
1. Kansas City Chiefs
Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M
OT 6'6 306 Jr.

The smoke coming out of Kansas City is heavy, and it's not just from barbecue joints anymore. See that? A joke. Ha-ha. The Chiefs are supposedly considering eight to 10 players with this pick, and Andy Reid likes Geno Smith. Allegedly. Apparently. Who knows. Chances are the Chiefs are hoping to find a trade partner to pick up the second-round pick that was used in the Alex Smith trade. If they keep the pick, Joeckel is a smart choice. He can play the right side for a year and make Branden Albert expendable in 2014.

Luke Joeckel scouting report

2. Jacksonville Jaguars
Geno Smith, West Virginia QB 6'2 3/8 218 Sr.

We think the Jaguars are interested in Geno Smith, despite Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports suggesting it might just be a "careful rouse (sic)." Besides, he's the smart choice. Blaine Gabbert hasn't become the player the Jaguars expected and the current personnel staff didn't draft him. If Smith isn't the choice, a player that can play Leo is a good option, most likely Dion Jordan.

Geno Smith scouting report

3. Oakland Raiders
Sharrif Floyd, Florida
DT 6'2 5/8
297 Jr.

The Raiders are heavy after Matt Flynn. Great. But if Smith isn't the pick for Jacksonville, the Raiders should take him. We've had Floyd as the pick for Oakland for quite some time. It finally released Tommy Kelly and has a need on the line. The choice, if Smith is not there, could be down to Floyd and Star Lotulelei.

Sharrif Floyd scouting report

4. Philadelphia Eagles
Eric Fisher, Central Michigan
OT 6'7 1/4
306 Sr.

The signing of Connor Barwin affords the Eagles some flexibility with the fourth overall pick. It means Philadelphia doesn't have to go after a pass rusher here. The Eagles are relying on Jason Peters and Todd Herremans to come back from injury. Even if they do, they might not be a fit for Chip Kelly's offense.

Eric Fisher scouting report

5. Detroit Lions
Ezekiel Ansah, BYU
DE 6'5 1/4 271 Sr.

If Fisher is off the board, the Lions should go after a high upside defensive end like Ansah. Although Lane Johnson would get consideration to replace the retired Jeff Backus, the hole at end is just as great.

Ezekiel Ansah scouting report

6. Cleveland Browns
Dee Milliner, Alabama CB 6'0
201 Jr.

The Browns have sort of painted themselves into a corner with the sixth pick. Get it? Another joke. Come on, it's April Fool's. Anyway, the Browns have gone after the better starting cornerbacks in free agency and come up empty. The player opposite Joe Haden is the defense's biggest need, and Milliner is a good value.

Dee Milliner scouting report

7. Arizona Cardinals
Lane Johnson, Oklahoma
OT 6'6 305 Sr.

Although they improved toward the end of the season, neither Bobby Massie or Nate Potter are as good as offensive tackle as Johnson could be. Guard and pass rusher may be just as big of a need for the Cardinals, but both of those positions could be found later in the draft.

Lane Johnson scouting report

8. Buffalo Bills
Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee WR 6'1 7/8 216 Jr.

Patterson could be the type of athletic playmaker that Bills general manager Buddy Nix could covet. He can be used in a variety of ways and knows how to get himself open. He's the most athletic wide receiver in the draft this year with solid size. The Bills have little after Stevie Johnson, and the signing of Kevin Kolb means the team doesn't have to overdraft a quarterback.

Cordarrelle Patterson scouting report

9. New York Jets
Dion Jordan, Oregon
OLB 6'6 1/4
248 Sr.

A player with Jordan's pure ability would be hard to pass up with the ninth pick in the draft. Jordan or guard Chance Warmack would be solid picks for the Jets. Jordan is the choice here because of better positional value in the first round.

Dion Jordan scouting report

10. Tennessee Titans
Chance Warmack, Alabama
G 6'2
317 Jr.

Despite signing high-priced free agent Andy Levitre, the Titans still need to do some work on the interior of the offensive line. Warmack may not be as versatile as Jonathan Cooper, but he's a much better pure guard prospect.

Chance Warmack scouting report

Team Player Position Height Weight Class
11. San Diego Chargers
Barkevious Mingo, LSU DE/OLB 6'4 241 Jr.

The Chargers have several glaring needs on their roster. Everyone knows they need an offensive tackle, particularly after releasing Jared Gaither. But as they move to a zone blocking scheme, guard is another hole. On the defense, the Chargers need some front seven help. Which is more important, a pass rusher like Mingo or defensive lineman like Star Lotulelei? Mingo is the choice largely because Larry English has busted and Melvin Ingram has underwhelmed.

Barkevious Mingo scouting report

12. Miami Dolphins
Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame
TE 6'5 1/2
250 Jr.

The Dolphins have done a lot in free agency, and could be positioning themselves for a trade down (or up if they really want a certain player). With the best offensive linemen gone, getting another weapon for Ryan Tannehill would be a wise move. Wide receiver signing Mike Wallace won't do a lot for Miami in the red zone, so Eifert could be the perfect security blanket.

Tyler Eifert scouting report

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Xavier Rhodes, Florida State CB 6'1 1/2 210 Jr.

Whether it’s a player like Rhodes or Desmond Trufant, cornerback has to be the top first-round priority for the Buccaneers. Chances are this pick could get flipped for Darrelle Revis. If it is and the Jets are picking here, cornerback may be the 13th pick in the draft regardless.

14. Carolina Panthers
Star Lotulelei, Utah DT 6'2 1/2
311 Sr.

Need and value. The Panthers would be ecstatic if a player of Lotulelei's caliber is available with the 14th pick. Whether it's him or Sheldon Richardson, it looks like the Panthers will be able to hit on one of the defensive tackles in the draft.

Star Lotulelei scouting report

15. New Orleans Saints
Jarvis Jones, Georgia
OLB 6'2
245 Sr.

There are several different players on defense the Saints could after with the 15th pick. A versatile defensive lineman like Johnathan Hankins is a good fit in a three-man front. A safety like Kenny Vaccaro would help the coverage unit. But Jones is the top pass rusher left and that's what Rob Ryan's defense needs to really get going. I think Martez Wilson could move to the outside, and the team obviously like Junior Galette. Jones may be a better pass rusher than both straight away.

Jarvis Jones scouting report

16. St. Louis Rams
Kenny Vaccaro, Texas
S 6'0 214 Jr.


With Dallas and Cincinnati picking behind them, the Rams may not want to risk losing out on Vaccaro. He's an excellent coverage safety that can drop back in zone or press the slot. A wide receiver will get consideration, but there will be one out there with the 22nd pick. Vaccaro may not be.

Kenny Vaccaro scouting report

17. Pittsburgh Steelers
Tavon Austin, West Virginia
WR 5'9 174 Sr.


The SB Nation
writers mock draft is really starting to sway me on why the Steelers should go after a wide receiver in the first round. And Austin just looks like he would be a perfect fit in that offense, doesn't he? He'd effortlessly replace Mike Wallace, and may be an even better player.

Tavon Austin scouting report

18. Dallas Cowboys
Sheldon Richardson, Missouri DT 6'2 1/2
294 Jr.

A defensive lineman of Richardson's caliber would be difficult to pass up – particularly with Vaccaro off the board. The other option could be a guard like Jonathan Cooper or right tackle like D.J. Fluker, but Richardson grades out as the better player. He would also speed up the team's transition to Monte Kiffin's 4-3 defense.

Sheldon Richardson scouting report

19. New York Giants
Tank Carradine, Florida State DE 6'4 1/4 276 Sr.


Carradine's pure potential is as great as any defensive linemen in the draft this year. He's a highly athletic player with size, so he fits the Jerry Reese mold.

Tank Carradine scouting report

20. Chicago Bears
Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina G 6'2
311 Sr.


The Bears have made some good moves to improve the offensive line, adding left tackle Jermon Bushrod and guard Matt Slauson. They can complete the line transformation with a player like Cooper. He's an excellent value with the 20th pick and can play all three interior line spots. A middle linebacker could get a heavy look here as well.

Jonathan Cooper scouting report

More: Complete NFL Draft coverage

Team Player Position Height Weight Class
21. Cincinnati Bengals
Jonathan Cyprien, Florida International
S 6'0 1/4
217 Sr.

I'm still under the assumption that the Bengals get a deal done with Andre Smith. If not, this pick becomes D.J. Fluker. That leaves Cincinnati open to go after Cyprien, a talented safety prospect that can run and hit. Another wide receiver or a running back could get some consideration with this choice, but Cyprien could have a bigger impact on the team.

22. St. Louis Rams
DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson
WR 6'1 214 Jr.

See how this works out? If the Rams go after a safety at 16, they don't have to worry about the position drying out by pick 22. In our last mock, they went wide receiver at 16 and Vaccaro and Cyprien were gone by 22 so we pushed Eddie Lacy into this spot. In this scenario, the Rams could take the best available wide receiver. Hopkins is our top wide out this year, and he's a dangerous outside receiver.

DeAndre Hopkins scouting report

23. Minnesota Vikings
Arthur Brown, Kansas State
LB 6'1 231 Sr.

The Vikings need young athleticism on defense and Brown is the most athletic linebacker in the draft. He’s a run and tackle linebacker who can truly play sideline to sideline. He’s an upgrade over Tyrone McKenzie, though the Vikings will likely consider players like Alec Ogletree or Manti Te’o as well. Adding a good defensive tackle should be a priority in this draft as well, but they can sit on the position for a round or two.

Arthur Brown scouting report

24. Indianapolis Colts
Damontre Moore, Texas A&M
DE/OLB 6'4 1/2
250 Jr.

The signing of underrated cornerback Greg Toler frees the Colts up to go after a front seven player on defense. Whether it's Moore, Jesse Williams or Datone Jones, the Colts should be able to find a starter in the first round. Moore just happens to be the best front seven player available at this point.

25. Minnesota Vikings
Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State DT 6'2 7/8 320 Jr.

If the Vikings are content with Greg Jennings being their No. 1 receiver, a player with Hankins' ability could help improve an aging defensive line. Hankins was a versatile player for Ohio State and made plays from a variety of spots on the line.

Johnathan Hankins scouting report

26. Green Bay Packers
Eddie Lacy, Alabama
RB 5'11
231 Jr.

In the actual draft, this is one of the picks that could be traded to a team wanting to come up for a quarterback. The Packers have a good roster and some players coming back from injury. If they keep the pick, they could go after a safety, defensive lineman or a running back. Lacy may not be Trent Richardson, but he should routinely generate positive yards and give the Packers a lead running back.

27. Houston Texans
Keenan Allen, California
WR 6'2
206 Jr.

Although the Texans drafted two wide receivers last year, Devier Posey won't be healthy at the start of the season and Keshawn Martin is more of a slot receiver. With Andre Johnson getting older, the Texans would be smart to draft a player now that can eventually become the team's No. 1 wide receiver.

28. Denver Broncos
Alec Ogletree, Georgia MLB 6'2 1/2
241 Sr.

Finding a pass rusher to replace Elvis Dumervil will be difficult with the 28th pick. If there isn't a pass rusher that can play right end, the Broncos would be smart to fall back on their biggest need: middle linebacker. There is some character risk with Ogletree, but his level of talent and athleticism would be hard to pass up.

29. New England Patriots
Desmond Trufant, Washington
CB 5'11 5/8 190 Sr.

Trufant has has been skyrocketing up mock drafts, so New England may be fortunate to get him with the 29th pick. It's true, the Patriots have struck out on defensive backs, but it only takes one to be a home run. Get it? It's Opening Day in baseball. Is the draft almost here yet?

30. Atlanta Falcons
Bjoern Werner, Florida State
DE 6'3 1/4
266 Jr.

Although Osi Umenyiora has been added, he only had six sacks last season. Werner's value is too good to pass up with the 30th pick. He's even capable of standing up and rushing from the outside linebacker spot, if asked.

Bjoern Werner scouting report

31. San Francisco 49ers
Jesse Williams, Alabama
DT 6'3 3/8
323 Sr.

After losing Isaac Sopoaga in free agency, the 49ers have a hole in the middle of their defense. Ian Williams is a solid player, but more of a backup. If they happen to keep this pick, San Francisco has its pick of nose tackles with Williams and John Jenkins of Georgia. While we’ve often considered a safety or defensive end for San Francisco, the value of Williams here is too good to pass up. He can play inside or outside.

Jesse Williams scouting report
32. Baltimore Ravens
Manti Te'o, Notre Dame
MLB 6'1 1/4
241 Sr.

The Ravens need to fill both middle linebacker spots, so it might come to which player like better, Te'o or LSU's Kevin Minter. We've gone with Te'o often in the past, so he's the pick again. While his ceiling is low, he's a plug and play linebacker.

33. Jacksonville Jaguars - DJ Fluker, OT, Alabama
Too good of a talent to pass up as a right tackle. Defensive line is an issue, but Fluker is BPA.

34. San Francisco 49ers - Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
Although San Francisco got a defensive lineman in Jesse Williams in the first round, Jones has value and can play five technique.

35. Philadelphia Eagles - Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
More size for the Eagles defense. Williams can play end opposite Fletcher Cox.

36. Detroit Lions - Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
There really isn’t a good offensive tackle prospect left for the Lions, and Banks is a good value.

37. Cincinnati Bengals - Jamie Collins, OLB, Southern Mississippi
Vontaze Burfict had a stellar rookie year and Rey Maualuga is being brought back. But if he struggles, Burfict could be pushed to them middle and the Bengals could use Collins. He can play the weak or strong side.

38. Arizona Cardinals - Larry Warford, G, Kentucky
Although the Cardinals were given an offensive tackle in the first round and have big needs, adding more line talent is key.

39. New York Jets - Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford
Mark Sanchez has had a rocky career, but when is the last time he had a tight end to fall back on like Ertz? He’s not a blocker, but the Jets need players that can catch the ball.

40. Tennessee Titans - Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
The Titans' defense has Kamerion Wimbley and little else in regard to pass rushers. Montgomery's had a strange offseason, but fits nicely here.

41. Buffalo Bills - EJ Manuel, QB, Florida State
If Doug Marrone were not the head coach of the Bills, would anyone even be talking about Ryan Nassib here? No. But why Manuel? Because he can spin a good ball and has good upside. If Kevin Kolb wasn’t on the roster, Manuel wouldn’t be the pick. He’s not a rookie starter type. But given a season to learn, Manuel could develop into a very good player.

42. Miami Dolphins - Matt Elam, S, Florida
Both of Miami’s starting safeties are in the final year of their contracts, and Elam may even be able to push for playing time as a rookie.

43. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Gavin Escobar, TE, San Diego State
Tight end is arguably the biggest need for the Buccaneers and Escobar is rated as the best available.

44. Carolina Panthers - Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
The Panthers have added wide receivers in free agency, but need a receiver that can be a No. 1. Of the wide receivers left, Hunter has the best chance to do so.

45. San Diego Chargers - Kevin Minter, MLB, LSU
The Chargers need to find an inside linebacker to play next to Donald Butler.

46. St. Louis Rams - Justin Pugh, OT/G, Syracuse
The Rams did well to address offensive tackle with Jake Long. A player like Pugh would help them continue adding talent up front.

47. Dallas Cowboys - Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State
Offensive line talent for a team that needs a right tackle and/or a guard.

48. Pittsburgh Steelers - John Jenkins, DT, Georgia
Pittsburgh’s defense is built around a nose tackle and Casey Hampton’s career is near an end.

49. New York Giants - D.J. Swearinger, S, South Carolina
With needs in the secondary, Swearinger would be a great pickup. He’s a good athlete, can hit and is good in coverage.

50. Chicago Bears - Khaseem Greene, LB, Rutgers
Greene is sliding a bit because he’s not a special talent. But he’s dependable, can tackle and drop in coverage. While he was classified as an outside linebacker at Rutgers, he often lined up in the middle and should be able to play either spot in the NFL.

51. Washington Redskins - Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State
Taylor has been quickly rising up mock drafts, so he’s something of a steal with the 51st pick.

52. Minnesota Vikings - Robert Woods, WR, USC
The Vikings may have signed Greg Jennings, but need wide receiver talent. Woods is a stellar route runner with good hands.

53. Cincinnati Bengals - Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina
While the Bengals could wait still to take a running back, Bernard is too good to pass on with the 53rd pick.

54. Miami Dolphins - Logan Ryan, CB, Rutgers
Miami’s need for cornerback help is evident and at this point Ryan is the best one available by a fair margin.

55. Green Bay Packers – Eric Reid, S, LSU
Reid is a good talent, but maybe not great in any area. He’s a solid piece for the Packers’ secondary, which is in need of secondary help.

56. Seattle Seahawks - Kawann Short, DT, Purdue
Despite the fact that the Seahawks have seemingly added every defensive lineman available, Short fits as the three-technique that may be lacking.

57. Houston Texans - Margus Hunt, DE, SMU
Hunt’s talent is too much to pass up at this point. He could be in a rotation with Antonio Smith.

58. Denver Broncos - Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
After getting rid of Elvis Dumervil, the Broncos need someone that can play right end. Okafor isn't the biggest, but he can hold up at end and should come along as a pass rusher.

59. New England Patriots - Quinton Patton, WR, Louisiana Tech
The Patriots have to come out the draft this year with a good wide receiver. Patton has his flaws, but he can be a very good talent.

60. Atlanta Falcons - Terron Armstead, OT, Arkansas Pine-Bluff
The Falcons created a hole releasing Tyson Clabo. This is a little early for Armstead, but he should be good on the right side.

61. San Francisco 49ers - Travis Kelce, TE, Cincinnati
After losing Delanie Walker, the 49ers need another tight end. Kelce is a good athlete and is a solid blocker.

62. Baltimore Ravens - Shamarko Thomas, S, Syracuse
Following the loss of Ed Reed, it’s important for the Ravens to find a safety that can come in and start as a rookie.

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