With the 2013 NFL Draft just hours away, here’s my final 2013 NFL mock draft on the first round!
Note: Though plenty of teams will inevitably move up and down, the mock draft excludes trade scenarios.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
After striking a trade for QB Alex Smith and releasing starting right tackle Eric Winston, Kansas City’s decision with the No. 1 overall pick is almost a foregone conclusion, albeit Luke Joeckel and trading down are also options.
The Chiefs will reportedly take Fisher with the first overall pick, per Pro Football Talk.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon
Jacksonville must bolster its front seven after finishing dead last in sacks last year. Dion Jordan possesses the athletic ability to drop into coverage and defend tight ends and fits seamlessly into Gus Bradley’s defense in the Leo spot.
3. Oakland Raiders: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Oakland finished next-to-last in the league in sacks in 2012. Sharrif Floyd is a very versatile, extremely explosive defensive tackle and will have huge impact in the trenches of the Raiders’ new-look defense.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
The Eagles bolster their offensive line with arguably the top tackle in this year’s draft.
5. Detroit Lions: Ezekiel Ansah, DE/OLB, Brigham Young
The departures of Cliff Avril and Kyle Vanden Bosch are an indication that the Lions are looking to add new, fresh talent in the trenches. General Manager Martin Mayhew once again takes the best player available. Ezekiel Ansah is a raw, but versatile NFL-ready run-defender who has seen his stock soar since the Senior Bowl and provides a big boost to Detroit’s pass rush. Oh, and Mel Kiper Jr. has lost his mind.
6. Cleveland Browns: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Brandon Weeden has talent and plenty of potential. But he’s been slow to develop he’ll turn 30-years-old in October. Moreover, nobody on the management staff was with the team when Weeden was selected with the No. 22 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Geno Smith is worth the risk in the No. 6 spot and this new regime wants to make a statement right away on draft day.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
After allowing at least 50 sacks in each of the last three seasons, Arizona can’t afford to pass on Lane Johnson. It’s also important to remember that this team has the best group of QBs in the NFL (LOL).
8. Buffalo Bills: Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse
The Bills will continue to flounder in mediocrity until they land a franchise QB. Ryan Nassib might be seen as a reach by some, but the former Syracuse star signal-caller has a ton of ties with this regime.
9. New York Jets: D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston
Yeremiah Bell took his talents down to South Beach and LaRon Landry landed in Indianapolis. The Jets overhaul the back-end of their defense after trading Darrelle Revis with the fast-rising D.J. Hayden.
The Titans acquired Andy Levitre, but they still need another guard and GM Ruston Webster has stressed interest in overhauling the offensive line this offseason. Jonathon Cooper is also a solid steal in the No. 10 spot.
11. San Diego Chargers: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
San Diego surrendered 49 sacks in 2012 and finished 27th in rushing, 24th in passing and next-to-last in total offense. D.J. Fluker might be seen as a slight reach, but he will make life easier for Philip Rivers.
12.Miami Dolphins: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Miami must address the cornerback position after losing Sean Smith and Vontae Davis on the open market in back-to-back offseasons. Dee Milliner drops due to surgery-related concerns, but he’s a huge steal here.
13. New York Jets: Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
New York needs to revamp its front seven this offseason and Barkevious Mingo is a local product and arguably the top overall prospect still available. He’ll also make life easier for an overmatched Jets secondary.
14. Carolina Panthers: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
The Panthers pounce on former Missouri Tigers DT Sheldon Richardson, who addresses one of the team’s top offseason needs and is also being recruited by one of its premier players—veteran wide receiver Steve Smith.
15. New Orleans Saints: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
The addition of Keenan Lewis is a big boost to the Saints’ secondary, but New Orleans still desperately needs to improve along the front seven and at the back-end of the defense after finishing next-to-last in the league in passing and scoring and dead last in rushing and total defense in 2012. Kenny Vaccaro possesses the man coverage skills and aggressiveness that will be coveted in Rob Ryan‘s 3-4 defense. The top safety in this draft class is also a solid open-field tackler and strong off the edge as a blitzer.
16. St. Louis Rams: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
Receiver was the Rams’ most pressing need before Brandon Gibson took his talents to South Beach and Danny Amendola landed in New England, so they must pick up a playmaker for Sam Bradford right away on draft day.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
The Steelers revamp their front seven and get a sure-fire steal with Star Lotulelei at No. 17.
18. Dallas Cowboys: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
The best way to improve in the ground game and prevent some of the poor passes and erratic play late in games from QB Tony Romo is to surround him with better protection. Chance Warmack is a colossal steal at No. 18.
19. New York Giants: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
After acquiring ex-Eagles defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins, the Giants complete the overhaul in the trenches with the addition of Bjoern Werner, arguably the best 4-3 defensive end in this entire draft.
20. Chicago Bears: Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State
The Bears bolster their offensive line with the addition of Menelik Watson, who possesses rare athletic ability for his tremendous frame with light feet, an explosive first step and a powerful punch to boot.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia
The weakside linebacker spot looks to be opened up as Vontaze Burfict moves to the middle for Rey Maualuga, who slides to the strongside. Alec Ogletree bolsters the Bengals front seven, which is already pretty rock-solid.
In a surprise move, the Rams choose another receiver in the first round. Hopkins had a great workout for the team and even if he was guilty of the Combine hotel room incident, that doesn’t mean much to St. Louis.
The Vikings opt to bolster their front seven right away on draft day and pull the trigger on another star product out of Notre Dame who comes off a solid display at his Pro Day by the name of Manti Te’o.
Minnesota must add another receiver to compliment Greg Jennings and replace Percy Harvin. Scouts have cooled on Cordarrelle Patterson due to his limited major-college experience, but he’s a steal in this spot.
Green Bay needs to generate a more consistent pass-rush in the trenches. Margus Hunt adds a different, much-needed element to the Packers’ D-Line and is a huge upgrade over C.J. Wilson at 3-4 DE on the right side of the line.
Houston has to find a new No. 2 receiver who will have a significant and immediate impact to line up opposite Andre Johnson. Justin Hunter fits the bill and adds some versatility to the Texans’ offense.
Tank Carradine is a Top-10 talent, but his stock dropped after he tore his ACL in November. However, Carradine—Elvis Dumervil’s replacement—has recovered quicker than expected and is a steal at No. 28.
The Patriots don’t have much of an interior pass rush. They may spend an early draft choice on a complement for Vince Wilfork. Sylvester Williams has the size and versatility that Bill Belichick covets.
The Falcons are expected to trade up, but this is a trade-less mock. Xavier Rhodes is a big, physical CB who offers excellent value for the Falcons and provides an immediate impact at the back-end of the defense.
Tyler Eifert will be able to provide an immediate impact in the 49ers’ high-powered, constantly-tweaking offense, but won’t have too much on his shoulders due to the assortment of weapons this team already has on offense.
Baltimore needs to bolster the back-end of its defense after the departures of Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard, along with other needs in the front seven. Enter Matt Elam, an aggressive and hard-hitting safety with great instincts.
Michael Gartman is a College Football and NFL Senior Writer, the AFC South and NFC West Lead Writer and the Founder, CEO of GridironGrit.com. He’s also about to start reporting on topics across all sides of the political spectrum and analyze important issues in the liberty movement for a political website. Follow him @_MichaelGartman on Twitter. Be sure to ‘like’ Gridiron Grit on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @GridironGrit to keep up with the latest coverage on college football, the NFL and more!