With the NFL draft just a few months away, we can now speculate on which teams will be targeting certain players. Numerous factors go into the mock draft process, such as the Senior Bowl, NFL scouting combine, Pre-Draft visits and Pro-days. However, despite these certainties, even ESPN Draft guru Mel Kiper has trouble getting it right. I have been mocking drafts for seven years now, as it is my favorite time of the off-season, so without further ado, here is my second mock of 2013, enjoy!
1. Kansas City Chiefs NT Star Lotuleilei (Utah)- The Chiefs desperately need help up-front, and with Andy Reid at the helm, you can bet your money he will go defensive line with his first pick.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars
T Luke Joeckel (Texas A&M)- The Jaguars desperately need help in many areas, but with Luke Joeckel on the board he’s too good to pass up and should be the cornerstone of the Jags offense for the next 10 years.
3. Oakland Raiders
DE/OLB Jarvis Jones (Georgia)- The Raiders defense lacked a legitimate pass-rusher this year and Oakland suffered because of it. Look for GM Reggie McKenzie to solidify the need by picking the best pure pass-rusher in the draft.
4. Philadelphia Eagles
G Chance Warmack (Alabama)- New head coach Chip Kelly will run some type of a spread offense and will need the right personnel to help run the scheme. With Chance Warmack, they get not only the “best player available” but the best interior offensive lineman in the draft.
5. Detroit Lions
DE/OLB Damontre Moore (Texas A&M)- With Warmack off the board, the Lions will pick the best player available (BPA) regardless of position and Moore fits the bill. With linebackers DeAndre Levy and Justin Durant becoming free-agents, the Lions will look for their replacements via the draft, and Moore just so happens to fill the need.
6. Cleveland Browns
DE Bjoern Werner (Florida State)- With new VP of Player Personnel Michael Lombardi taking over operations you can bet your money he will go defense. Cleveland’s pass defense ranked 7th worst in the NFL, and with Werner still on the board, it would be a wise investment to lock him up in Rob Chudzinski’s new defensive scheme.
7. Arizona Cardinals
T Eric Fisher (Central Michigan)- Bruce Arians and company will need to shore up that offensive line, if they hope to have any success in 2013. The Cardinals allowed 58 sacks in 2012, enough said.
8. Buffalo Bills
OLB Barkavious Mingo (LSU)- After last year’s spending frenzy on both Mario Williams and Mark Anderson, the Bills thought they had everything in place. However, after this year’s disappointing season, the Bills ranked second worst against the run, giving up 145.8 yards. Look for them to improve their defense via the draft starting with outside linebacker Barkavious Mingo. GM Buddy Nix loves SEC talent, and the fact that Mingo played for both LSU while also filling a glaring need, fits perfectly.
9. New York Jets
CB Dee Milliner (Alabama)- Although the New York Jets ranked 2nd in pass defense, it seems like CB Darrelle Revis is all but gone. Therefore, making the cornerback position their highest priority. With no outside linebacker worth drafting at this position, the Jets nab another ACC talent in the first-round, in Milliner.
10. Tennessee Titans
ILB Manti Te’o (Notre Dame)- Te’o slides here to no one’s surprise. All the media attention being given to the “girlfriend hoax” has compromised his integrity and leadership ability. However, despite this setback, he is still talented enough to land in the Top 10, and with a huge need at middle linebacker look for the Titans nab Te’o.
11. San Diego Chargers
DE/OLB Dion Jordan (Oregon)- This was a tough choice between DT Sylvester Williams and Oregon’s hybrid DE/OLB Dion Jordan, but for now I will give the edge to Jordan. With OLB Shaun Phillips contract looming this off-season, adding Jordan as his viable replacement seems to be the most logical choice.
12. Miami Dolphins
WR Keenan Allen (Cal)- In a very weak WR draft class, the Dolphins reach for yet another weapon for quarterback Ryan Tannehill to work with. The Cal-product should provide as a great compliment to WR Brian Hartline, who enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2012, and help Tannehill in his maturation process as a quarterback.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
S Kenny Vaccaro (Texas)- The Bucs defense was the epitome of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. While the rush defense was tops in the league, their pass defense was the worst, giving up (297.4) passing yards through the air, and that’s where Vaccaro comes into play. The heart and soul of the Longhorns defense, Vaccaro will instantly upgrade a porous secondary. Head coach Greg Schiano loves team captains, and he gets another one in Vaccaro.
14. Carolina Panthers
CB Johnthan Banks (Mississippi St.)- Panthers head coach Ron Rivera covets players with high production, therefore making Banks the logical selection. The secondary is due for a much needed upgrade, as they only mustered seven interceptions during the 2012 regular season. With Banks in the lineup, he will help solidify the position, and be the playmaker the Panthers sorely need.
15. New Orleans Saints
NT Johnathan Hankins (Ohio State)- If the Saints don’t go defense with this pick then something is seriously wrong. The Saints defense in 2012 was down right horrible. Teams consistently ran down their throats, week in and week out, and was giving up big chunks of yardage. With the uncertainty of DT Sedrick Ellis returning to the “Big Easy,” the Saints should draft a young and cheaper alternative in his place, and Hankins fits in nicely.
16. St. Louis Rams
OLB Alec Ogletree (Georgia)- With the Rams maintaining their 4-3 defense, they will need more depth at the linebacker position. With Ogletree still on the board, and LB Rocky McIntosh’s future in limbo, look for the Rams to select Ogletree, as he’s tough, physical, and fast.