We are still 194 days (and counting), but it is never too early to start talking about the 2013 NFL Draft!
Every month until the college football season is complete, I will be updating a monthly mock since the sport is so fluid.
Players, teams with their tendencies and often uncontrollable tough luck (and injuries) and failure to execute ends up costing them. The following draft order is just based on the current standings mixed in with how I currently feel how the season will unfold. Enjoy!
1. Cleveland Browns: Geno Smith, West Virginia (Quarterback)
Ownership will be completely topsy-turvy with Mike Holmgrem likely leaving which means the Brandon Weeden experience will only be a one-year rent. Plus, the former Oklahoma State star may only be around for a few more season as he will soon be entering his 30s.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Matt Barkley, USC (Quarterback)
Blain Gabbert is atrocious and there is no other way to put it nicely. He often forgets how to read a defense because the pressure is relentless and just when you think he has a guy wide open, he stares him down and misses another player who was wide open. While he could improve, it just isn’t working as a starter these days and this is a quarterback driven league. They desperately need a QB if they hope to even finish at 8-8 every year.
3. Oakland Raiders: Star Lotulelei, Utah (Defensive Tackle)
This interior beast cannot be blocked in the Pac-12 and taking his talents to the AFC West would be an immediate plus. The division has struggled with their defensive tackles and Lotulelei is athletic enough to play anywhere on the defensive line.
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jarvis Jones, Georgia (Outside Linebacker)
Even being compared to Lawrence Taylor may be a bit too much, but this pass rusher has been obliterating SEC quarterbacks for the last two seasons. A lock for the first round last season, nothing has changed but a slight increase in his stock.
5. Kansas City Chiefs: Tyler Wilson, Arkansas (Quarterback)
The Chiefs need a quarterback if they want a crack at a wide open division, and the accurate Razorback that has gone through a lot can still see his name called in the early stages of the first round with production for a disappointing team.
6. Carolina Panthers: Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State (Defensive Tackle)
This hoss up front is a menace and the Panthers defense is in shambles these days. They can hang in there with enough talent, but they need a run stuffer that will allow Charles Johnson and Jon Beason to pin their ears back.
7. New Orleans Saints: Bjoern Werner, Florida State (Defensive End)
This Seminoles junior could come back for his senior season, but a top 10 finish and any sort of BCS bowl may have their best players declare a year early. Werner would be replacing Will Smith and it is not like Cameron Jordan has done much thus far.
8. New York Jets: Luke Joeckel, A&M (Left Tackle)
Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow need to both go, but clearly the Jets organization will not do that for at least for one more season after this one barring they lose 12-plus games. The playmakers around them are a joke and acquiring Steven Jackson and a better target down the field would be a start.
9. Tennessee Titans: Manti Te’o, Notre Dame (Middle Linebacker)
The Titans defense is the second worst in football for points allowed and the world beaters they have would make a good bagel (zero). Te’o is one bad man that can turn into a next level player.
10. Miami Dolphins: Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State (Cornerback)
The best defensive back far in this draft, the kid is an absolute ball hawk and he was arguably better than Morris Claiborne was two years ago. Instead the Honey Badger got more talk and this top 10 selection will be just the beginning of a fine career.
11. St. Louis Rams (From Washington Redskins): D.J. Fluker, Alabama (Offensive Tackle)
The team’s biggest need has to be their offensive line with Bradford still remaining under duress. Plus, the NFC West has transformed into a poor mans version of the AFC North. Loaded with legit defenses, a big hoss like Fluker would offset that.
12. Indianapolis Colts: Barkevious Mingo, LSU (Defensive End)
KeKe as they call him could play outside linebacker, but he is so quick that he will simply become a Bruce Irvin (but better) type of player. The Colts defense needs all the help it can get.
13. St. Louis Rams: Keenan Allen, California (Wide Receiver)
The Rams receivers simply stink compared to any playoff regardless if we are talking about the NFC or AFC. They need some help, especially if they lose Steven Jackson (Marcus Lattimore could be intriguing here if that is the case).
14. Seattle Seahawks: Chance Warmack, Alabama (Offensive Guard)
Seattle already has a tough running game to begin with, but this unstoppable force is quite the road blocker.
15. Arizona Cardinals: Sam Montgomery, LSU (Defensive End)
Those Bayou Bengals are always loaded with lineman and this Tiger is ready to join a division loaded with defensive pass rushers.
16. Buffalo Bills: Tyler Bray, Tennessee (Quarterback)
E.J. Manuel or Logan Thomas would not be a bad option here either, but the Bills need a quarterback that has a cannon for an arm. Fitzpatrick has been plagued by one of the worst arms in all football for a starter. While the Bills could make a run in the crazy race for the wild card hunt, they will have to seriously consider an upgrade to compete in their division.
17. Detroit Lions: Dee Milliner, Alabama (Cornerback)
Detroit is currently one of only two teams (Oakland) that has failed to record an interception. Yes, that is sad and they will not be improving too much. Also, they rely way too much on the arm and freakish skills of Stafford and Calvin.
18. Minnesota Vikings: Terrance Williams, Baylor (Wide Receiver)
Christian Ponder has been playing well and that is saying something since Percy Harvin and Adrian Peterson are the only other ones that have basically done it all so far. Williams is the whole package and is a freak athlete that reminds your truly of Hakeem Nicks (but tad taller).
19. San Diego Chargers: Sharrif Floyd, Florida (Defensive Tackle)
The Gators have a ton of studs on defense and the Chargers simply will pray they can get some sort of beast from the SEC to help turn around their mediocre defense up front.
20. Denver Broncos: Matt Elam, Florida (Strong Safety)
The secondary has been getting lit (as has entire defense), and a safety that can do it all would surely be a great fit.
21. Pittsburgh Steelers: Damontre Moore, A&M (Outside Linebacker, Defensive End)
The Stelers are always known for their linebackers, except they are getting longer in the tooth. Plus, the team speed isn’t quite there anymore and they could also use a lineman too.
22. Cincinnati Bengals: Justin Hunter, Tennessee (Wide Receiver)
Andy Dalton and A.J. Green may be the best young duo in the AFC, but Justin Hunter would help out this offense quite a bit. Don’t be shocked if they look for a running back here either (or wait until next pick).
23. Green Bay Packers: Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame (Tight End)
Jermichael Finley has been brutal these days in Lambeau and D.J. Williams is nothing more than a solid backup. Eifert has legit speed and can become a Pro Bowler (especially in the slot) with Mr. Rodgers threading the needle.
24. Dallas Cowboys: Jake Matthews, A&M (Offensive Tackle)
Dallas has those sexy playmakers on both sides of the ball, but improvement needs to be made up front in the NFC East.
25. New York Giants: Arthur Brown, Kansas State (Middle Linebacker, Outside)
One of the best linebackers in college currently, the G-Men need somebody to replace Chase Blackburn and Brown’s athleticism and nose for the ball would be a major upgrade.
26. Philadelphia Eagles: Xavier Rhodes, Florida State (Cornerback)
The Eagles could do a lot with this first round pick, but they have been getting lit up on defense. This former garnet and gold star is your typical rangy and lanky corner that can be a pest on Sunday’s.
27. Chicago Bears: Alec Ogletree, Georgia (Middle Linebacker, Outside)
Brian Urlacher will not be playing his whole life in the Windy City and Ogletree is an explosive athlete that would look good with this current thrilling defense.
28. Baltimore Ravens: Williams Gholston, Michigan State (Defensive End)
They could take Holmes out of USC or Jones of Alabama with Matt Birk turning 37, but another freak on this defense could not hurt.
29. Houston Texans: Taylor Lewan, Michigan (Offensive Tackle)
Houston needs some help on their offensive line since it is the vocal part of having guys like Foster and Schaub so successful.
30. Atlanta Falcons: Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina (Running Back)
Could you imagine this offense with Marcus Lattimore running wild? Jacquizz Rodgers is a third down type of back that they will use similar to Warrick Dunn, but Turner officially becomes a free agent in two seasons. Grooming the next ‘Burner’ caliber of a back would not be a bad idea.
31. San Francisco 49ers: Eric Reid, LSU (Safety)
This Bayou Bengal was considered a can’t miss prospect, but his coverage skills haven’t been the best. Still, the Niners franchise tagged Dashon Goldson and they may not keep Donte Whitner, who is arguably their weakest starter on a devastating defense.
32. New England Patriots: Johnathan Jenkins, Georgia (Defensive Tackle)
Vince Wilfork is a beast, but he isn’t getting any younger and this ‘Dawg is quite the horse for the current 3-4 scheme of Georgia.