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2013 NFL Mock Draft: Closing in as Thursday nears

We've persisted through free agency, countless workouts, rumors and smoke screens. Finally, it is NFL Draft week.

Justin K. Aller

It's sort of funny. After more than four months of weekly mock drafts, we're back to where we started on several picks in the mock draft. As we inch closer to Thursday, several of the picks in this week's mock look familiar.

Of course, the big difference is that the New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers finally consummated the trade of Darrelle Revis. Now in possession of two first-round picks, the Jets are practically in full rebuild mode. For the most part, they're in luck because the strengths of the draft this year nicely match their needs.

Another noticeable difference you'll see in this mock is the absence of Geno Smith. Other than maybe Philadelphia, he hasn't been connected with teams in the top ten. If he's not picked by the Bills or Jets, he could tumble on draft night.

For all you mock draft lovers out there, fear not. Despite the draft being just days away, this is not my final 2013 mock draft. Check back on Wednesday night for the final version. Also look for a final mock draft from Matthew Fairburn before Thursday as well. In addition, we'll have second-round mocks after the first round is complete (along with a ton of other great content during the draft). And if you're a real sicko, we'll have 2014 mock drafts on Sunday or Monday to go along with a new top 64 big board. We do the draft here all year, so stick around.

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

There is still some confusion on where exactly the Chiefs will go with the first overall pick. The majority believe it will be Joeckel. However, Eric Fisher is still a strong possibility, as is Dion Jordan to a lesser degree.

Luke Joeckel scouting report

2. Jacksonville Jaguars
Dion Jordan, Oregon
OLB 6'6 ¼ 248 Sr.

There has been a lot of discussion about the Jaguars drafting an offensive tackle with the second overall pick. The logic is that the team hasn't started the process to extend left tackle Eugene Monroe. But the team has a more immediate need with a player that can line up at the Leo position. Besides, Jordan has the most upside of any pass rusher in the draft this year.

Dion Jordan scouting report

3. Oakland Raiders
Sharrif Floyd, Florida
DT 6'2 297 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.

Sharrif Floyd scouting report

4. Philadelphia Eagles
Star Lotulelei, Utah
DT 6'2 ½ 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. 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 ¼ 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 or guard 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 and need to figure out if Jabaal Sheard can play linebacker. Dee Milliner is the draft’s best cornerback and could form a great tandem with Joe Haden. It won't be a surprise if the Browns go with Houston cornerback D.J. Hayden in the first round instead. They could also be hoping to trade down.

Dee Milliner scouting report

7. Arizona Cardinals
Chance Warmack, Alabama
G 6'2 317 Jr.

Cardinals general manager Steve Keim seems to like his team's offensive tackles quite a lot. He may not be so fond of the guards on his roster. Warmack would be an immediate contributor on the offensive line.

Chance Warmack scouting report

8. Buffalo Bills
Ryan Nassib, Syracuse
QB 6'2 227 Sr.

Ryan Nassib shouldn't be the pick for the Buffalo Bills. But more and more, indications are showing the Bills are deciding between him and Matt Barkley. The number of people backing Nassib is only growing and include the likes of Jon Gruden and Greg Cosell.

9. New York Jets
Tavon Austin, West Virginia
WR 5'9 174 Sr.

The Jets need to find playmakers on both sides of the ball. Offensively, Austin is arguably the best pure playmaker in the draft. He can be used inventively and is dangerous with the ball in his hands.

10. Tennessee Titans
Ezekiel Ansah, BYU
DE 6'5 ¼ 271 Jr.

There are several different directions the Titans could go in the first round. A cornerback makes sense, as does another piece for the offensive line. A pass rusher like Ansah, though, will be difficult to pass up.

Ezekiel Ansah scouting report

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

After releasing Jared Gaither, the Chargers have to find a starter at offensive tackle in the draft. The team could end up choosing between Johnson and guard Jonathan Cooper. Because tackle is a bigger impact position, especially in pass protection, Johnson should be the choice.

Lane Johnson scouting report

12. Miami Dolphins
Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame
TE 6'5 ½ 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. It's true Jeff Ireland doesn't value tight ends in the draft, and the Dolphins have never taken one in the first round. Eifert is just too good of a fit.

Tyler Eifert scouting report

13. New York Jets
Barkevious Mingo, LSU
OLB 6'4
241 Jr.

Whether they go after a pass rusher with the ninth pick or here, the Jets have to add a difference-maker at linebacker. The team has nice pieces in the front line and Mingo would give them the pass rusher it desperately needs.

Barkevious Mingo scouting report

14. Carolina Panthers
Sheldon Richardson, Missouri DT 6'2 ½ 294 Jr.

The Panthers need to add talent at defensive tackle, and Richardson is rated as our No. 2 defensive tackle this year. He is a disruptive player in the middle and has the speed to be an efficient pass rusher.

Sheldon Richardson scouting report

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

As they transition to a 3-4 defense, the priority for the Saints should be finding pass rushers. Jones is the most natural 3-4 linebacker in the draft this year. NFL teams didn't expect him to test out incredibly well, so his falling draft stock is more of a media creation than anything else.

Jarvis Jones scouting report

16. St. Louis Rams
Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina
G 6'2 311 Sr.

The Rams will likely see Tavon Austin come off the board before they pick. That leaves them to decide between another wide receiver, a safety or a guard like Cooper. If he happens to slip this far, the Rams should pounce. He's a very athletic blocker that will only get better.

Jonathan Cooper scouting report

17. Pittsburgh Steelers
Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee
WR 6'2 ⅞ 216 Jr.

There has been a lot of speculation that Patterson may drop out of the first round, but the Steelers need to find a playmaker to replace Mike Wallace.

Cordarrelle Patterson scouting report

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

If the top three defensive tackles are off the board, the Cowboys should focus on a safety like Vaccaro. They've shown a fair amount of interest in the Texas product throughout the draft process and they'd be fortunate to land him.

Kenny Vaccaro scouting report

19. New York Giants
Tank Carradine, Florida State DE 6'4 ½ 276 Sr.

If the Giants can't get Ezekiel Ansah, Carradine is a nice consolation. He ran well at his personal workout last week and projects out as a good right end prospect. He can rush the passer and has the functional strength to play the run well.

Tank Carradine scouting report

20. Chicago Bears
Alec Ogletree, Georgia MLB 6'2 ½ 242 Jr.

The Chicago Bears have done a nice job of adding pieces to the offensive line and at tight end. That should allow the team to focus on finding a new middle linebacker. From a potential standpoint, Ogletree is the best option.

More: Complete NFL Draft coverage

Team Player Position Height Weight Class
21. Cincinnati Bengals
Jonathan Cyprien, Florida International
S 6'0 ¼ 217 Sr.

Should the Bengals lose out on Kenny Vaccaro, they can still get a very good safety prospect in Cyprien. Of the two, he's can support the run better and is a more powerful tackler.

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

If the Rams don't take a wide receiver with the 16th pick in the draft, there's a strong chance they choose one here. With Patterson and Austin off the board, the Rams could look at Hopkins. A sure-handed outside receiver, Hopkins would be a good target for Sam Bradford.

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 not the most powerful player and will need to be kept clean by the defensive line. But he can get to the ball in a hurry and finish nicely.

Arthur Brown scouting report

24. Indianapolis Colts
Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State
DT 6'2 ⅞ 320 Jr.

The Colts will have Josh Chapman this season, but adding a player like Hankins is insurance if he gets injured again. In fact, Hankins is a considerably better player. He can play any position on a three-man front. There have been questions about Hankins' effort, but that's only because he was overused at Ohio State.

25. Minnesota Vikings
Robert Woods, Southern California
WR 6'0
203 Jr.

It's easy to forget that entering the 2012 college football season, Woods was routinely talked about as the top wide receiver in the nation. He was slowed by injuries last season and got overshadowed by sensation Marqise Lee. But Woods is a savvy route runner with good hands. He gets the nod over Keenan Allen because he's a more dependable player.

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

Since trades weren't done for this mock, Green Bay was stuck with the pick. But with Geno Smith on the board, this would be a popular pick to trade into. The Packers' needs don't have a lot of first-round value. By default, a running back is the choice and Lacy is the top player at his position.

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

Opposite Andre Johnson, the Texans have little talent. With Johnson soon turning 32, it's time to finally add a solid No. 2 receiver that can eventually replace him. Allen is a big, strong receiving target who specializes in getting yards after the catch.

Keenan Allen scouting report

28. Denver Broncos
Bjoern Werner, Florida State
DE 6'3 ½ 266 Sr.

After the Elvis Dumervil fiasco, the Broncos could be in the market for a defensive end. Werner slides down to here because he's not a quick-twitch pass rusher with elite closing speed. But he has room to grow as a blitzer and is sound against the run.

29. New England Patriots
Xavier Rhodes, Florida State
CB 6'1 ½ 210 Jr.

The Patriots should have their choice of cornerbacks with the 29th pick. It's a good thing because Aqib Talib is only on a one-year deal and there are few promising corners. Rhodes is a lot like Talib and should be able to start on the outside straight away.

30. Atlanta Falcons
Menelik Watson, Florida State
OT 6'5 ⅛ 310 Sr.

All indications are that Watson is going to get drafted in the first round. With the release of Tyson Clabo, Atlanta is a natural landing spot for the raw but athletic Watson.

31. San Francisco 49ers
Datone Jones, UCLA
DT/DE 6'3 ⅞ 283 Sr.

While there are a couple players that can line up at the nose, it might be more important for the 49ers to find a player that can succeed Justin Smith at end. Jones is a good value with the 31st pick. He played inside and outside at UCLA and has the power base to line up in a 3-4 system.

32. Baltimore Ravens
Manti Te'o, Notre Dame
MLB 6'2 ¼ 241 Sr.

With this pick, we're officially back to where we started in our mock drafts. Te'o has long been associated with the Ravens in mocks, and now the talk from NFL circles is confirming it. That is, of course, as long as the Ravens don't deal the pick, which some expect.

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

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