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2013 NFL mock draft: Star back on the rise

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The 2013 NFL Draft is just about a month away, and we're starting to zero in on several teams. Others remain a complete mystery.

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We're back this week with another collaboration mock draft. Matthew Fairburn handled the even-numbered picks while I did the odds. Doing a mock with another person is a fun challenge. It adds an element of unpredictability, matched only by the ongoing SB Nation writers mock.

Luke Joeckel of Texas A&M remains the top choice for the Kansas City Chiefs. Because we don't do trades in mocks, look for that to continue. The top three picks have been the same for a good month, actually. After that is when the draft really opens up. After a solid pro day, Utah's Star Lotulelei is creeping back up the draft. How high should he rise?

For anyone scoring at home, this is the first mock draft we've done in a long time where Manti Te'o doesn't get picked in the first round. The draft just so happened to fall that way. As always, there are plenty of disagreeable picks. Think you can put a better mock together? Put one in the comments and prove it.

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

Branden Albert signed his franchise tender last week and the Chiefs immediately began the process of finding a trade for him. Even if he’s not traded away, it’s hard to see him playing more than one more season for the Chiefs. Because of that, Joeckel should be the pick. He’s the top offensive tackle in the draft this year and Kansas City has to find protection for Alex Smith. Regardless of what the fans might think, Andy Reid thinks Smith is the quarterback of the near future. Joeckel will help protect their investment, even if that means playing on the right side for a year.

Luke Joeckel scouting report

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

At this point, we know the Jaguars are interested in Geno Smith. The question is how interested. While the team sent a good portion of its front office to the West Virginia pro day to scout the quarterback, that doesn’t necessarily mean general manager David Caldwell is sold on him. At this point, given the team’s big need at quarterback and the fact that Smith is the best prospect at the position, the Jaguars will probably pull the trigger. But we don’t know Caldwell’s tendencies, so he could have all of us thrown for a loop.

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

There are quite a few signs pointing to Sharrif Floyd being the best defensive tackle in the 2013 NFL Draft. He sits atop Mel Kiper’s venerable big board. NFL Network’s Greg Cosell prefers him over Star Lotulelei. He has garnered comparisons to Ndamukong Suh. While we may not rate Floyd quite as highly as others, he’s still a talented, high-ceiling lineman. The Raiders have lost several key pieces up front and a player like Floyd could make players like Desmond Bryant and Richard Seymour a distant memory.

Sharrif Floyd scouting report

4. Philadelphia Eagles
Star Lotulelei, Utah
DT 6'2 1/2
311 Sr.

After signing a pair of cornerbacks in free agency and bringing in Connor Barwin, the Eagles are now able to use the No. 4 overall pick on either the offensive or defensive line. With Star Lotulelei's performance at his pro day last week, he's back in the top five. Fletcher Cox is currently the only piece of the 3-4 defense that the Eagles have long-term. Lotulelei is our top available player and can fit in all along the defensive line. He presents more positional value than Eric Fisher, who would be stuck playing right tackle if Jason Peters is healthy.

Star Lotulelei scouting report

5. Detroit Lions
Eric Fisher, Central Michigan
OT 6'7 1/4
306 Sr.

Following the retirement of Jeff Backus, the Lions are in need of a left tackle. The team won’t come out and say Riley Reiff can move there, and it’s probably for the best. If the Lions can add an athletic talent like Fisher, it would allow Reiff to play on the right side where he’s much better suited. A pass rusher will get a long look from general manager Martin Mayhew, but it’s just as important to keep franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford upright.

Eric Fisher scouting report

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

The Browns just spent big on the pass rush in free agency, freeing them up to address the secondary. Dee Milliner is the draft’s best cornerback and could form a great tandem with Joe Haden.

Dee Milliner scouting report

7. Arizona Cardinals
Barkevious Mingo, LSU DE/OLB 6'4 241 Jr.

The Cardinals need pass-rush help in a big way. The team gets a fair amount of pressure from end Calais Campbell and middle linebacker Daryl Washington, but they don’t have anyone on the outside that can consistently get to the quarterback. Mingo can line up opposite Sam Acho, who is much more adept at dropping back in coverage.

Barkevious Mingo scouting report

8. Buffalo Bills
Dion Jordan, Oregon
DE/OLB 6'6 1/4 248 Sr.

The Bills want to find ways to get after the quarterback and do so with versatile players. Dion Jordan is a perfect fit. He brings upside as an edge rusher to go with his coverage ability. Something tells me defensive coordinator Mike Pettine could find a way to use Jordan’s skills.

Dion Jordan scouting report

9. New York Jets
Chance Warmack, Alabama
G 6'2 317 Jr.

The goal for the Jets this season is to run the ball with free agent signing Mike Goodson. They added Willie Colon to the offensive line, but need to find parts for the interior. There’s no better option in the draft this year than Warmack. He’s a brutish blocker that can play right or left guard and start as a rookie.

Chance Warmack scouting report

10. Tennessee Titans
Xavier Rhodes, Florida State
CB 6'1 1/2
210 Jr.

The Titans spent big money on a guard in free agency, filling their biggest need. Now, the team needs to address the secondary. An aggressive, physical cornerback like Xavier Rhodes would be a nice fit in Tennessee. After addressing safety in free agency, the Titans can afford to spend a top 10 pick on a cornerback.

Team Player Position Height Weight Class
11. San Diego Chargers
Lane Johnson, Oklahoma OT 6'6 305 Sr.

Current left tackle Jared Gaither has played a grand total of nine games for the Chargers in two seasons. While the defensive line will be a possible target with this pick as well, Corey Liuget is quickly becoming a very good five technique and Cam Thomas is at least serviceable at nose tackle. The talent at offensive tackle drops off dramatically after Johnson is off the board, but there will be plenty of defensive line talent in the second and third rounds.

Lane Johnson scouting report

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

The Dolphins have made an effort to surround Ryan Tannehill with more talent this offseason, re-signing Brian Hartline and adding Mike Wallace to the fold. Now they add arguably the most talented skill player in the draft in tight end Tyler Eifert. The tight end is becoming a weapon in today’s passing offenses, and Eifert fits the mold of the elite players at the position.

Tyler Eifert scouting report

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Desmond Trufant, Washington
CB 5'11 5/8
190 Sr.

Whether it’s a player like Trufant or someone like Xavier Rhodes, if available, 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
Sheldon Richardson, Missouri DT 6'2 1/2
294 Jr.

The Panthers get a steal here, as our No. 2 defensive tackle falls to them at No. 14. Sheldon Richardson could get drafted much higher than this. With the lack of talent Carolina has on the interior of the defensive line, adding a disruptive player like Richardson could bolster the front seven for the foreseeable future.

Sheldon Richardson scouting report

15. New Orleans Saints
Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State
DT 6'2 7/8
320 Jr.

In this scenario, the Saints would likely consider an outside linebacker like Jarvis Jones, but they just gave a fair amount of money to Junior Gallette and Martez Wilson should be able to play the other outside spot. On the defensive line, the Saints have Cameron Jordan and are hoping that Akiem Hicks can become a nose tackle. Will Smith should fit at the other end spot in Rob Ryan’s 3-4 defense, but he’ll be 32 at the start of the season. Hankins can play end or nose in a 3-4 and would give the Saints some flexibility.

Johnathan Hankins scouting report

16. St. Louis Rams
Tavon Austin, West Virginia
WR 5'9 174 Sr.


The Rams lost Danny Amendola in free agency, making their need for a wide receiver even more glaring. Tavon Austin has aced the pre-draft process and may even be off the board at this point. St. Louis will continue to try and surround Sam Bradford with weapons, and this may be his most dangerous one yet.

Tavon Austin scouting report

17. Pittsburgh Steelers
Jarvis Jones, Georgia
OLB 6'2 245 Sr.


Jones could slip some in the draft because of his poor pro day and persistent questions about his health. The Steelers get a steal in Jones. He’s a much better replacement for James Harrison than Jason Worilds.

Jarvis Jones scouting report

18. Dallas Cowboys
Kenny Vaccaro, Texas
S 6'0
214 Jr.

The Cowboys have apparently shown a lot of interest in Kenny Vaccaro in the pre-draft process. Jerry Jones isn’t exactly the best at hiding his hand, so it’s not hard to believe that they are targeting him. Vaccaro has some question marks, but he’s a versatile weapon for a secondary that could use another piece.

Kenny Vaccaro scouting report

19. New York Giants
Ezekiel Ansah, BYU
DE 6'5 1/4
271 Sr.


If Ansah isn’t picked by the Detroit Lions or Tennessee Titans, he could slip some. Don’t forget that as much of a physical talent as he may be, he’s a project player. And Ansah may exclusively be a 4-3 end. So what better place for him to land than in New York, a staunch 4-3 team with a history of developing linemen?

Ezekiel Ansah scouting report

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


The Chicago Bears have their left tackle, but they aren’t finished upgrading the offensive line. Jonathan Cooper is a worthy first-round talent, despite the lack of positional value for guards. He’s every bit the prospect David DeCastro was a year ago and would be a nice value pick for the Bears.

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.

This pick has typically been a linebacker like Arthur Brown of Kansas State. But the Bengals brought back Rey Maualuga, which might take linebacker out of the discussion in the first round. Right tackle D.J. Fluker has also been a popular choice for Cincinnati, but Andre Smith remains a free agent and is running out of places to sign. So lets assume that Smith returns to the Bengals. If he does, that opens Cincinnati to go after whoever they think is the best safety left on the board. Cyprien would fit nicely next to Reggie Nelson.

22. St. Louis Rams
Eddie Lacy, Alabama
RB 5'11 231 Jr.

The Rams are in a tough spot with their second first-round pick. After addressing wide receiver at No. 16, both of the top safeties and guards are off the board. Instead of reaching for a safety, the Rams grab the best running back on the board to help replace Steven Jackson. The NFL Draft has never seen a first round without a running back.

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 Colts were active in free agency, filling a ton of needs and spending all of Jim Irsay’s money. While Indianapolis signed a rush linebacker, the team could use another talent at that spot. Damontre Moore falls in this version of the mock draft, which is a nice value for the Colts.

25. Minnesota Vikings
DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson
WR 6'1
214 Jr.

The Vikings did just sign Greg Jennings to a big-money contract, but it shouldn’t stop them from adding more talent to the wide receiver corps. Although he may not be the first wide receiver off the board, he’s our best pass catcher in the 2013 NFL Draft. He profiles as a Roddy White-type who can get himself open on the outside. That aspect of his game could be important for the development of quarterback Christian Ponder.

26. Green Bay Packers
Bjoern Werner, Florida State
DE/OLB 6'3 1/4
266 Jr.

We don’t like Bjoern Werner much as a linebacker, but the fact is teams have asked him about making the switch. The Packers need to find a way to get after the quarterback outside of Clay Matthews. Nick Perry was drafted a year ago but spent his rookie season injured. This is a value pick for the Packers.

Bjoern Werner scouting report

27. Houston Texans
Alec Ogletree, Georgia MLB 6'2 1/2
242 Jr.

Other than Ed Reed, the Texans have been relatively quiet in free agency. While Brooks Reed is likely to get moved to the inside, a player like Ogletree can stay on the outside. Ogletree may have some character concerns, but there are no questions about his athleticism and playmaking ability. He’s a fluid linebacker adept at dropping in coverage. That would allow Brian Cushing to pay more attention to the run and blitzing.

28. Denver Broncos
Tank Carradine, Florida State
DE 6'4 1/4
276 Sr.

After the Elvis Dumervil fiasco, the Broncos could be in the market for a defensive end. For a team with as strong a roster as Denver’s, Tank Carradine would make a ton of sense. He may not be back to full strength at the beginning of the season after tearing his ACL in November, but the upside he presents at the defensive end spot is higher than any player in this class. If he’s healthy by mid-season, the rest of the league will be kicking itself.

Tank Carradine scouting report

29. New England Patriots
Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee
WR 6'1 7/8
216 Jr.

The Patriots may have added Danny Amendola to replace Wes Welker, but the team created a hole by releasing Brandon Lloyd. Patterson is a superb athlete with potential. Remember what Randy Moss did in New England’s offense? Patterson could be that same type of deep threat. He can also help fill in on return teams and give Bill Belichick a gadget player.

Cordarrelle Patterson scouting report

30. Atlanta Falcons
Datone Jones, UCLA
DE 6'3 7/8
283 Sr.

The Falcons have been trying to bolster the pass rush for years. While they are closing in on free agents at defensive end, a young talent at the position is needed. Datone Jones can play all over the defensive line and make an impact right away.

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.

Jesse Williams scouting report
32. Baltimore Ravens
Keenan Allen, California
WR 6'2 206 Jr.

After losing Anquan Boldin, the Ravens have a need at wide receiver. Torrey Smith will continue to stretch the field deep, and California’s Keenan Allen could become the team’s new possession receiver. Allen is underrated because of the injury that caused him to miss the end of the season. He won’t fall out of the first round.

Keenan Allen scouting report

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

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