18 Remaining NFL Free Agents Who Could Have An Impact

The draft is over, but teams with needs still have hope. The end of the draft usually kicks off a 2nd wave of free agency featuring players that teams were waiting until after the draft to sign. This year, more than any recent year, that group is loaded and has many players who could be starters and have impacts in 2013. These 18 players are all worthy of a cheap one year deal and could have value as a starter or key rotational player this season.

1. DE John Abraham

Why he’s still available: Abraham turns 35 next month. He’s also no longer capable of playing a full set of snaps because of his declining durability and mediocre run stopping skills. In an effort to keep him fresh, the Falcons played him on fewer than 70% of their snaps last season and his next team may have to go even lower than that as he ages. He might just be a pass rush specialist at this stage of the game and he’s not viewed as a good fit for the 3-4.

What he can still bring to a team: However, if brought in as a pass rush specialist, he can still have a major impact for a team, provided his skills haven’t fallen off a cliff in his age 35 off-season. Despite his limited snaps last year, he was still one of the league’s most productive pass rushers, totaling 10 sacks, 8 hits, and 38 hurries. He graded out as ProFootballFocus’ #5 end both overall and rushing the passer and he ranked 6th in pass rush efficiency.

Potential fits: Detroit, New Orleans, Atlanta

2. S Quentin Mikell

Why he’s still available: He turns 33 in September and showed declining coverage skills last year, grading out below average in coverage on ProFootballFocus. It’s possible his asking price is too high as well. He was set to make 6 million dollars this season with the Rams, a big part of the reason why he was cut.

What he can still bring to a team: His salary was probably the only reason he was cut though. The Rams could have easily still seen him as a capable starter, just not worth what they were paying him. He actually graded out as ProFootballFocus’ 5th rated safety last year, which is a little misleading because so much of his high rating was based on his ability as a blitzer, which is not the #1 thing teams look for in a safety. It was also uncharacteristic of him when you look at his career as a whole and may not be something he keeps up long term. However, his rating as a run stuffer, something teams do still care about, was very good, grading out as the 3rd rated run stuffing safety in the league last year. He’s still a starter at the right price.

Potential fits: Cleveland, Arizona, Buffalo, NY Jets, San Diego, Carolina, St. Louis, Dallas, Cincinnati, Washington

3. OT Eric Winston

Why he’s still available: Unlike the two players above him on this list, Winston is not particularly old (he turns 30 in November), but anytime a player is released in back-to-back off-seasons on reasonably priced contracts, it raises a bit of an eyebrow. He’s also purely a right tackle, a position that seems to be devalued in the NFL. It’s probably the deepest position left on the market and Winston’s asking price is rumored to be too high.

What he can still bring to a team: I think Winston is being unfairly discriminated against for being cut two off-seasons in a row. Both were special circumstances. The Texans cut him last off-season because they were so pressed for cap space and the Chiefs cut him this off-season because they had the opportunity to replace him with the #1 overall pick, which turned out to be offensive tackle Eric Fisher, who looks poised to play in Winston’s old spot this year. However, Winston has graded out as ProFootballFocus’ 5th and 9th rated right tackle in the NFL in 2011 and 2012 respectively, doing so in two different schemes, so he’s not purely a zone blocking tackle. He’s a starter somewhere in this league and probably an above average one at that.

Potential fits: Detroit, Arizona, Miami, Dallas, Washington, Houston

4. OLB Daryl Smith

Why he’s still available: Smith is on the wrong side of 30, turning 31 last month and he missed all but 117 snaps with injury last year, not returning until week 16. In those 117 snaps, he graded out as a below average player on ProFootballFocus.

What he can still bring to a team: All you have to do is watch his 2011 tape to see what he can do for you when he’s right. Smith was ProFootballFocus’ 2nd ranked 4-3 outside linebacker, behind only Rookie of the Year Von Miller, excelling in all 3 facets of the game, run stuffing, coverage, and blitzing. It’s unclear if he can even be that player again, but he’s worth a shot. If he can be even half as good as he was in 2011, he’s a dependable starter.

Potential fits: Jacksonville, Oakland, Tampa Bay, NY Giants, Minnesota, Atlanta

5. S Kerry Rhodes

Why he’s still available: Like Mikell, Rhodes is aging and his asking price is probably too high at this point. He turns 31 in August and was set to count 6 million against Arizona’s cap this season, which led to his release. He’s also known for being very inconsistent. Though he had a strong season this year, he missed significant time with injury in 2011 and graded out below average on ProFootballFocus in 2010. He’s also rumored to have attitude and work ethic issues.

What he can still bring to a team: At the end of the day, this was actually ProFootballFocus’ 4th rated safety last year and heading into his age 31 season, it’s not inconceivable that he could continue to be a solid starter for another year or two. He’s not as old as some players on this list and he excelled in both coverage and against the run last season.

Potential fits: Cleveland, Buffalo, NY Jets, San Diego, Carolina, St. Louis, Dallas, Cincinnati, Washington

6. OT Tyson Clabo

Why he’s still available: Right tackle has become a devalued position and it’s also one of the most loaded positions still remaining on the market. With a strong right tackle draft, teams were not going to rush to sign the remaining right tackles available in free agency in a buyer’s market. Clabo also turns 32 in October.

What he can still bring to a team: Now that the draft is over, teams that didn’t fill their right tackle vacancy should call pretty quickly. While he’s only a right tackle, Clabo is as consistent as they come ranking 8th, 11th, 2nd, 1st, and 5th among right tackles on ProFootballFocus over the last 5 years and graded out well above average in each of those 5 seasons. He’s equally good as a run stuffer and pass protector and hasn’t had a negative grade in either of those facets in any of the last 5 seasons and, in typical Atlanta Falcon fashion, he’s only committed 22 penalties in those 5 seasons as well.

Potential fits: Detroit, Arizona, Miami, Carolina, Dallas, Washington

7. MLB Karlos Dansby

Why he’s still available: We have another over 30 player here as Dansby turns 32 in November. Though he’s played every down over the last few years, he’s shown declining coverage skills and may end up having to play just two downs at some point in the future.

What he can still bring to a team: Dansby was ProFootballFocus’ 13th rated middle linebacker last year. For comparison, Dannell Ellerbe was 14th, but because Ellerbe is 4 years younger, he got 35 million from the Dolphins and Dansby got cut. He’s still a starter in this league and should be an every down player for at least one more season. He’s also as scheme diverse as they come, playing middle linebacker in a 3-4 and outside linebacker in a 4-3 in his career, excelling in both.

Potential fits: Kansas City, Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, NY Giants, Minnesota, Houston, Denver, Atlanta

8. OT Bryant McKinnie

Why he’s still available: He turns 34 this season and he’s been a pretty big headache since he’s entered his 30s, getting cut by the Vikings after the lockout for showing up at over 380 pounds and then last season barely playing for the Ravens because of weight and durability issues.

What he can still bring to a team: However, once he got himself into playing shape and the Ravens allowed him back on the field, he played very, very well. He played just 418 snaps with almost all of them coming in the post-season, but after Joe Flacco and maybe Anquan Boldin, there wasn’t a more important player to their Super Bowl run. McKinnie played above average at left tackle, which allowed Michael Oher and Kelechi Osemele to play their natural positions of right tackle and left guard respectively.

Joe Flacco was sacked just 6 times in 4 post-season games and at the end of the day, he was the Super Bowl MVP and the Ravens were hoisting the Lombardi. For that reason, the Ravens almost have to give him another chance and he’s a better fit for them than anywhere else because they understand his issues best, but if they, for whatever reason, don’t show interest in him, I wouldn’t be shocked if he signed elsewhere.

Potential fits: Arizona, San Diego, Baltimore

9. DE Dwight Freeney

Why he’s still available: The future Hall of Famer was not himself last year, as he graded out below average on ProFootballFocus. He also missed the equivalent of 3 games with an injury that slowed him down until about week 8 and he turned 33 in February.

What he can still bring to a team: After he got healthy last year, Freeney ended the season actually pretty well. Though he struggled mightily against the run throughout, Freeney managed 4 sacks, 8 hits, and 25 hurries in his final 9 regular season games, before a poor showing in their post-season game in which he was held to just 1 hurry by the man one spot above him on this list. If he can stay healthy, he could be a dangerous pass rush specialist, especially in his natural 4-3 scheme. I don’t think he was ever a good 3-4 fit.

Potential fits: Detroit, New Orleans, Atlanta

10. S Gerald Sensabaugh

Why he’s still available: He turns 30 in June and after a strong 2011, Sensabaugh declined in 2012, grading out as ProFootballFocus’ 73rd ranked safety out of 88. He also happens to play a position where it’s a buyer’s market right now, especially after such a strong safety draft.

What he can still bring to a team: He’s not over the hill yet and his 2010 and 2011 tapes are both very good as he graded out above average in both seasons. I think he’s still a starter in this league. Now that the draft is over, he’ll get interest somewhere.

Potential fits: Jacksonville, Cleveland, Arizona, NY Jets, San Diego, Carolina, St. Louis, Cincinnati

11. S Charles Woodson

Why he’s still available: While other players on this list are old, Woodson is old by even those standards. He’s a future Hall of Famer, but he turns 37 in November. He made a free agency tour before the draft, but didn’t get anyone interested and there’s rumors he may just hang them up after a season in which he missed 9 games with injury.

What he can still bring to a team: Still, in the 7 regular season games he played last season, he graded out as an above average player, though a very poor showing in a post-season game against San Francisco dropped his rating to negative on the season overall. He’s versatile enough to play both slot cornerback and safety, something he did last year in Green Bay and he only allowed 8 catches on 18 attempts on the slot last year, which made him one of the better slot coverage backs in the league last year, albeit in a limited sample size.

Potential fits: Cincinnati, San Francisco

12. G Brandon Moore

Why he’s still available: He turns 33 in June and he plays a non-premium position at guard. He may also still have some of that Jet stink on him.

What he can still bring to a team: As far as guards go, there were few better last year. Only 3 guards, and 2 right guards, graded out better than he did on ProFootballFocus and despite his age that should earn him another starting job. He was equally good as a run and pass blocker and only committed 4 penalties. Also, Mark Sanchez thinks he has a real cushy butt.

Potential fits: Jacksonville, Buffalo, San Diego, Indianapolis

13. DE Israel Idonije

Why he’s still available: A tweener defensive lineman who didn’t play a full set of snaps, Idonije turns 33 in November. Also, while he’s been productive, teams may be attributing that more to his supporting cast on Chicago’s defensive line (as well as defensive line coach genius Rod Marinelli) than anything else. Prior to a breakout 2010 season at age 30 in Chicago, he was no one. He might not be scheme diverse.

What he can still bring to a team: He may just be a rotational player, but he’s very efficient and he’s as versatile as they come. On 467 pass snaps, he recorded 9 sacks, 5 hits, and 37 hurries and also graded out above average against the run. Despite playing a good portion of his snaps at defensive tackle last year, Idonije graded out as ProFootballFocus’ 12th rated 4-3 defensive end and overall he actually graded out slightly higher than the much more heralded Julius Peppers. He’s versatile enough to play end on running downs and tackle on passing downs and could theoretically play 3-4 end at 6-5 275. His ideal fit, however, would be another cover 2 scheme and I think he has the most value to Chicago.

Potential fits: Jacksonville, Oakland, Tampa Bay, Chicago

14. DT Richard Seymour

Why he’s still available: Seymour turns 34 in October and is coming off a season in which he missed the final 9 games with injury. He also reportedly has very high contract demands and wants to play for a contender and could retire if he doesn’t get the right fit at the right price.

What he can still bring to a team: If he still wants to play, however, Seymour still has something to offer. He’s succeeded in both a 3-4 and a 4-3 scheme in his career, including last year in a 4-3 in Oakland. Before he got hurt, he was very, very good in 7 games and in spite of his short season, he still finished the season as the 14th ranked defensive tackle on ProFootballFocus. If healthy, he could still be a valuable rotational lineman in either a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme, provided he wants to play.

Potential fits: New Orleans, Seattle, Green Bay, Denver, New England

15. OLB Nick Barnett

Why he’s still available: Like so many players on this list, Barnett’s age isn’t doing him any favors as he turns 32 in May. Despite being an every down player in Buffalo last year, Barnett may have to be just a two down player going forward.

What he can still bring to a team: Barnett played almost every snap for the Bills last season and he’s scheme diverse, succeeding in both a 3-4 and a 4-3 in his career. He graded out as an above average linebacker on ProFootballFocus, ranking 9th among 4-3 outside linebackers and posting a positive grade in coverage and against the run. He should have one more year in him as an every down player.

Potential fits: Kansas City, Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, NY Giants, Minnesota, Houston, Denver, Atlanta

16. OLB Thomas Howard

Why he’s still available: While he’s young by these standards (30 in July), Howard is coming off a season in which he didn’t play a single snap after tearing his ACL. That type of thing might not be a huge deal for a higher rated player, but Howard was a marginal starter before his injury. Right now, he’s a question mark.

What he can still bring to a team: He’s not over the hill in football years yet and before his injury, while he was a marginal player, he was still an every down linebacker in Cincinnati, excelling in coverage, though struggling mightily against the run to bring his grade on ProFootballFocus to right around 0. He has a role somewhere.

Potential fits: Tampa Bay, NY Giants, Minnesota, Atlanta

17. RB Ahmad Bradshaw

Why he’s still available: Bradshaw had has countless foot surgeries and has really never been healthy in his career. The Giants finally had enough of his injury issues this off-season and decided to let him go after another surgery. He’s taken visits since, but he hasn’t been able to convince anyone he’s healthy enough and he plays a position that’s become devalued in the NFL over recent years, especially ones with injury problems.

What he can still bring to a team: For all his injury issues, he’s actually missed only 7 games in the last 4 years, totaling 831 carries over that span and topping 1000 yards twice, including 1015 last year. One of the toughest players in the NFL, Bradshaw has always been able to tough it out and play effectively. At his age 27, he’s not over the hill even by running back standards. He’ll have to prove he’s healthy before he gets signed, which might not come until July, but once he does, he’ll get signed and he should have a role somewhere in the NFL this season.

Potential fits: San Diego, Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, NY Giants

18. S Ronde Barber

Why he’s still available: While this list has some old players, Ronde Barber is ancient even by these standards. The oldest defensive player in the league, Barber recently turned 38 years old and is contemplating retirement. He might also not be willing to sign with anyone else except Tampa Bay, the team with whom he’s played his entire 16 season career. After adding Darrelle Revis through trade, Dashon Goldson through free agency, and Johnathan Banks through the draft this off-season and Mark Barron through the draft and Eric Wright through free agency last off-season, there just might not be a spot for Barber in Tampa Bay.

What he can still bring to a team: A hybrid slot cornerback/safety, Barber actually played very well last season in his new role, grading out as ProFootballFocus’ 10th rated safety, missing just 8 snaps all season. The Buccaneers could opt to bring him back as a slot cornerback behind Revis and Wright while Banks develops as the 4th cornerback with the idea of becoming a starter in 2014 and beyond opposite Revis with Wright set to hit free agency next off-season. He probably could, if he so chooses, get work elsewhere eventually.

Potential fits: Tampa Bay, Dallas

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

2013 Round 2 and 3 Re-Draft

33. Jacksonville Jaguars- CB Johnthan Banks (Mississippi State)

34. San Francisco 49ers- TE Zach Ertz (Stanford)

35. Philadelphia Eagles- QB Geno Smith (West Virginia)

36. Detroit Lions- OT Menelik Watson (Florida State)

37. Cincinnati Bengals- RB Eddie Lacy (Alabama)

38. Arizona Cardinals- MLB Arthur Brown (Kansas State)

39. New York Jets- QB Ryan Nassib (Syracuse)

40. Tennessee Titans- S Jonathan Cyprien (Florida International)

41. Buffalo Bills- WR Justin Hunter (Tennessee)

42. Oakland Raiders- QB Matt Barkley (USC)

43. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- DE Tank Carradine (Florida State)

44. Carolina Panthers- CB Jamar Taylor (Boise State)

45. San Diego Chargers- G Larry Warford (Kentucky)

46. Buffalo Bills- TE Vance McDonald (Rice)

47. Dallas Cowboys- DE Margus Hunt (SMU)

48. Pittsburgh Steelers- RB Johnathan Franklin (UCLA)

49. New York Giants- MLB Kevin Minter (LSU)

50. Chicago Bears- MLB Manti Te’o (Notre Dame)

51. Washington Redskins- S DJ Swearinger (South Carolina)

52. New England Patriots- CB Darius Slay (Mississippi State)

53. Cincinnati Bengals- DE Damontre Moore (Texas A&M)

54. Miami Dolphins- OT Terron Armstead (Arkansas-Pine Bluff)

55. Green Bay Packers- RB Montee Ball (Wisconsin)

56. Seattle Seahawks- WR Quinton Patton (Louisiana Tech)

57. Houston Texans- MLB Jon Bostic (Florida)

58. Denver Broncos- DE Corey Lemonier (Auburn)

59. New England Patriots- WR Markus Wheaton (Oregon State)

60. Atlanta Falcons- DE Cornelius Washington (Georgia)

61. San Francisco 49ers- NT Jesse Williams (Alabama)

62. Baltimore Ravens- WR Keenan Allen (California)

63. Kansas City Chiefs- MLB Kiko Alonso (Oregon)

64. Jacksonville Jaguars- QB Matt Scott (Arizona)

65. Detroit Lions- WR Stedman Bailey (West Virginia)

66. Oakland Raiders- DT Kawaan Short (Purdue)

67. Philadelphia Eagles- NT Johnathan Hankins (Ohio State)

68. Cleveland Browns- CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson (Connecticut)

69. Arizona Cardinals- QB Mike Glennon (NC State)

70. Tennessee Titans- CB Robert Alford (Southeastern Louisiana)

71. Buffalo Bills- OLB Jamie Collins (Southern Mississippi)

72. New York Jets- TE Travis Kelce (Cincinnati)

73. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- TE Gavin Escobar (San Diego State)

74. Dallas Cowboys- DT Bennie Logan (LSU)

75. New Orleans Saints- NT Brandon Williams (Missouri Southern)

76. San Diego Chargers- RB Giovani Bernard (North Carolina)

77. Miami Dolphins- RB Christine Michael (Texas A&M)

78. Buffalo Bills- CB David Amerson (NC State)

79. Pittsburgh Steelers- S Phillip Thomas (Fresno State)

80. Dallas Cowboys- RB Stepfan Taylor (Stanford)

81. New York Giants- DT Akeem Spence (Illinois)

82. Miami Dolphins- CB Jordan Poyer (Oregon)

83. New England Patriots- G Dallas Thomas (Tennessee)

84. Cincinnati Bengals- WR Da’Rick Rodgers (Tennessee Tech)

85. Washington Redskins- CB Logan Ryan (Rutgers)

86. Indianapolis Colts- G Brian Winters (Kent State)

87. Seattle Seahawks- OLB Jelani Jenkins (Florida)

88. Green Bay Packers- OT David Quessenberry (San Jose State)

89. Houston Texans- OT Vinston Painter (Virginia Tech)

90. Denver Broncos- RB Le’Veon Bell (Michigan State)

91. New England Patriots- WR Ryan Swope (Texas A&M)

92. St. Louis Rams- S Sanders Commings (Georgia)

93. San Francisco 49ers- CB Tyrann Mathieu (LSU)

94. Baltimore Ravens- MLB Zaviar Gooden (Missouri)

95. Houston Texans- NT John Jenkins (Georgia)

96. Kansas City Chiefs- 3-4 Malliciah Goodman (Clemson)

97. Tennessee Titans- DE Alex Okafor (Texas)

2013 NFL Mock Draft FINAL

This is my final mock draft. It’s only the first round. For my final 7 round mock draft (with a different 1st round, but whatever) from Sunday Night, click here.

*=Player has worked out privately with team drafting him

1. Kansas City Chiefs- OT Luke Joeckel* (Texas A&M)

When I started this mock, a bunch of reports started coming out that Eric Fisher would be this pick, just a few days after reports came out that Luke Joeckel was close to a lock for the #1 pick. It’s weird that we don’t know for sure who the #1 pick will be heading into draft day this year, but this is a weird year in general. Nothing is set in stone.

I’m sticking with my original pick Luke Joeckel. He and Fisher are both good players and I think if they’re truly planning on keeping Branden Albert long term, Fisher makes the most sense because he’d be the better of the two at right tackle. Unlike Jacksonville at 2, taking a right tackle with the first overall pick wouldn’t be a bad move for the Chiefs because they have so few needs (while the Jaguars need so many things). However, it doesn’t look like they’re going to be keeping Albert long term. He could have a new team as soon as tomorrow afternoon as the Chiefs are in talks with the Dolphins about a trade.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars- OLB Dion Jordan* (Oregon)

This pick really reminds me of the Morris Claiborne/Matt Kalil debate last year with the Vikings at 3. Kalil, once seen as a mortal lock for the pick since the Combine, suddenly got competition (at least according to the media) from cornerback Morris Claiborne, even though the Vikings desperately needed to protect their former 1st round pick quarterback and even though a cornerback hadn’t been taken in the top-3 in 15 years and even though the Vikings ran a cover 2 system that doesn’t require great cornerbacks and even though it was a much deeper cornerback class than left tackle class.

People started putting Claiborne there, but I stuck with Kalil just because it made so much more sense. The Claiborne interest proved to be smoke intended to get the Browns at 4 to seriously think the Vikings were considering moving down further than 4 and allowing a team to get above them to draft Trent Richardson. The Browns took the bait and gave up a 4th round pick to get someone they probably would have been able to get if they had stayed up as the Vikings likely never had any intentions of moving down past 4. And the Vikings got their man at 4 and an extra pick, which they used to move back up into the 1st round to grab Harrison Smith, an impact player in their secondary as a rookie.

Dion Jordan has been the consensus pick here for a while, but suddenly Eric Fisher has become the vogue pick with reports from all across the league saying that many NFL people expect the Jaguars to take Eric Fisher 2nd overall, even though about a week ago the same reports were saying that no one around the league has any clue what they were doing at 2. I’m not buying it. Like taking Claiborne at 3 last year, taking Fisher at 2 makes no sense for the Jaguars. With all they need, they can’t use the 2nd pick in the draft on a right tackle and even if Fisher were to be a long term left tackle, he’d only be displacing Eugene Monroe, a 2014 free agent and probably the best player on their roster right now.

Dion Jordan would help this football team so much more. They’d take him #2 overall and use him much like the Broncos use Von Miller, also the #2 overall pick. On obvious passing downs, he’d be an ideal Leo rusher for them at defensive end in Gus Bradley’s Seattle style system. That’s the Chris Clemons/Bruce Irvin/Cliff Avril role. At the end of the day, I’m going with the pick that makes the most sense with conflicting reports from “league sources” and that’s Jordan. They may just be trying to generate trade interest with a Fisher smokescreen.

3. Detroit Lions (TRADE)- OT Eric Fisher* (Central Michigan)

This is the first of several trades I’m projecting. If the Lions really want Eric Fisher, they’ll have to move ahead of Philadelphia, who I don’t think passes on him. Along with Luke Joeckel and maybe Dion Jordan, Fisher is seen as one of the top-2 or top-3 players in this draft class and he’d fill a huge need for the Lions at left tackle with Jeff Backus gone and Riley Reiff expected to play either right tackle or right guard next season.

I don’t think the Lions would take Lane Johnson at 5. It’s not how they operate and while Johnson could go to the Cardinals at 7 or to a team trading up at 5 or 6, it would be out of desperation and need not because he’s the 6th or 7th best player in this draft class. Left tackle is just a premium position that teams will reach for (like quarterback) and this left tackle class falls off a cliff after Johnson. The Lions, however, don’t operate that way.

They give up a 2nd round pick to the Raiders to move up and the Raiders gladly do it given all they need. Besides, they can still take their top target Sharrif Floyd at 5 because Philadelphia is highly unlikely to take him given that he’s not an ideal fit for the 3-4. Or the Raiders could trade down again and accumulate more picks, which they obviously need. Stay tuned.

4. Philadelphia Eagles- NT Star Lotulelei* (Utah)

The Eagles miss out on Eric Fisher, so they go to their secondary target, who I believe to be Star Lotulelei. Now that his heart has checked out, he’s back in the top-5 discussion and the Eagles are known to be very interested. He could play both nose tackle and 5-technique defensive end in the sub packages and, while he’s still a bit raw as a pass rusher, he could also rush the passer from the interior on passing downs out of sub packages. I expect the Eagles to take either Fisher or Lotulelei here, making it 9 of 11 years in which they’ve used their first pick on an offensive or defensive lineman.

5. San Diego Chargers (TRADE)- OT Lane Johnson* (Oklahoma)

AJ Smith only once used a pick higher than a 3rd rounder on an offensive lineman in his tenure in San Diego dating back to 2004 and it shows. They have major holes at left tackle, left guard, right guard, and right tackle. They ranked 31st in the NFL in pass block efficiency, worse than even the Cardinals and only ahead of the Colts. With top offensive lineman Louis Vasquez signing with the Broncos, things will only get worse next year unless they do something. Smith was fired, so they can finally get an upgrade on the offensive line.

They’ll have to trade up to get one of the top-3 tackles, however, which is what they do here, giving Oakland another 2nd round pick to move up 6 spots. With Branden Albert likely Miami-bound, the Chargers become the favorites to move up into the top-6 to grab Johnson. I think the Raiders are more likely to move down than Cleveland, who is most frequently predicted to move down. While they could stay put and take Floyd, I think, given all that they need, they’ll take the 2nd round pick and take best available at 11.

6. Cleveland Browns- CB DeMarcus Milliner* (Alabama)

As I just mentioned, many people expect the Browns to be the ones who move down, but right now, it sounds like they’re pretty locked onto DeMarcus Milliner. He might not be the 6th best player in this class, but the Browns’ biggest need is at cornerback and he’s by far the best cornerback in this draft class. They Browns have a top-10 grade on him. He’d fill a big need opposite Joe Haden.

7. Arizona Cardinals- RLB Ezekiel Ansah* (BYU)

If the top-3 tackles are off the board at 7, it will be the worst case scenario for the Cardinals, but it’s looking more and more like that’s going to happen. If the Cardinals want Johnson badly, they may have to move up to 5 or 6 themselves to secure him. Or they could just take the best available player at 7. Sam Acho, O’Brien Schofield, and Quentin Groves really didn’t do a good job of getting pressure from the rush linebacker position for the Cardinals this year and Groves left as a free agent anyway. Right now, they only have 3 outside linebackers on the roster. They could add another rush linebacker through the draft if the value makes sense, which it does here.

8. Buffalo Bills- QB Ryan Nassib* (Syracuse)

Last time, I had the Bills moving down to 11 and taking Nassib and picking up an extra pick, but with the Jets at 9 and 13 (a trade up spot above 11) also having interest in him, the Bills may just want to play it safe and grab their guy here. Nassib has generated a lot of buzz as the possible top quarterback off the board and he’d be an obvious fit for the Bills, who have Nassib’s former college coach Doug Marrone and who need a quarterback possibly more than anyone else in the league. At the very least, they’ve shown the most interest in adding a first round quarterback.

GM Buddy Nix, who is normally very candid about this type of thing, has made it known they want a quarterback. First he said, “I don’t want to leave here without a franchise guy [at quarterback] for the future in place. I have not said that before but I’m saying it now because it’s fact.” He also said this: “I think there’s a time that in the era that you’re in and the development of your team, there’s a time when you can move up a round to take a quarterback. And I think the time’s now for us. We need a good, young quarterback, and we’re going to do our best to get him.”

He also recently defended this quarterback class and said that taking a quarterback at 8 would not be a reach. His exact quote was this: “This quarterback class is better than everybody thinks it. Five or six of those guys, maybe seven, do a lot of things good and do them good enough to win. I’ve said this from the start, that two or three of these guys will be franchise quarterbacks. I believe that.” Ideally, they’d like to trade back further and grab Nassib in the teens, but if they can’t, they’ll be more than happy to take a guy they think will solve their long standing quarterback need here.

[yard_barker]

9. New York Jets- RLB Barkevious Mingo* (LSU)

The Jets really need someone to help what was the 27th best pass rush in the NFL last year in terms of pass rush efficiency. Calvin Pace is heading into his age 33 season and really hasn’t played well over the last 2-3 years anyway. They’re reportedly very smitten with Barkevious Mingo. They’ll probably take him with one of their two first rounds picks. With their other, they’d probably like to trade down and accumulate more picks.

10. Tennessee Titans- G Jonathan Cooper* (North Carolina)

Interior linemen almost never go in the top-15. I know that. Mike Pouncey is the highest drafted interior lineman since 1997, going 15th overall in 2011. Chris Naoele went 10th in 1997, but he’s the last true interior lineman to be a top-10 pick. However, if there ever were a year for that to happen, it’s this one. This draft class is pretty devoid of top level talent, which means elite players at positions like guard could go higher than they ordinarily would. On top of that, Chance Warmack and Jonathan Cooper are among the best guard prospects in the last decade.

One of them makes a ton of sense for the Titans at 10. Right guard is by far their biggest need and GM Ruston Webster has made it known he’s not against taking a guard in the first round. Highly plugged in beat writer Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean has Warmack as the Titans’ pick at 10 right now. Chris Johnson is great when he has great blocking, but when the offensive line isn’t opening up holes for him, he’s pretty bad. Why do you think he has such good games against bad run defenses and bad games against good run defenses? Their run blocking was better last year than in 2011, but they still need help.

Center Fernando Velasco was their best interior lineman and Andy Levitre, a free agent acquisition, will lock down the left guard position. However, right guard is still a major need. That position was a rotating door last year. I’ve had Chance Warmack over Jonathan Cooper here in recent weeks because Warmack is a better fit as a right guard in a non-zone blocking scheme than Cooper, but it sounds like the Titans view Cooper is the better prospect regardless. They’ve worked out him privately and shown a lot of interest in him, while Warmack wasn’t even brought in for a visit. Cooper is also more and more emerging as the top guard prospect in this draft.

11. Oakland Raiders- DT Sharrif Floyd (Florida)

This has to be the ideal situation for the Raiders. Floyd is probably their #1 draft day target but because 4 of the 7 teams between 3 and 10 run 3-4s (Floyd isn’t a good fit for a 3-4) and the other 3 (Detroit, Buffalo, Tennessee) don’t need a defensive tackle, he could definitely be available here at 11 if the Raiders don’t take him at 3. At the end of the day, I expect the Raiders to end up with Floyd. Though they didn’t meet with him privately at their facilities, they did meet with him at his Pro Day, where they sent a large group of personnel. In this scenario, they do so and pick up a pair of extra 2nd round picks in the process.

12. Miami Dolphins- G Chance Warmack (Alabama)

This is where it started to get really tough for me. I’ve had Jonathan Cooper here in recent weeks and he was a perfect fit. They need both tackle and guard help and Cooper can be an immediate starter at either left or right guard and a perfect fit for their zone blocking scheme. They’ve put a lot of emphasis on the offensive line on draft day under Jeff Ireland and appear poised to do so again, even taking a guard inside the top-15 even though that’s rare. They did the same thing with center Mike Pouncey a few years ago.

However, Cooper is off the board. Chance Warmack, the other top guard prospect, isn’t too shabby either, but he’s not an ideal zone blocking guard. DJ Fluker, the right tackle option, meanwhile, is a terrible zone blocking scheme fit. Besides, I think they eventually end up with Branden Albert, which would make him unnecessary. Xavier Rhodes, the top cornerback, is a really poor scheme fit as well. They let both Vontae Davis and Sean Smith go because they’re going to more zone coverage, which Rhodes doesn’t fit. It’s no surprise they’re trying to trade down, in which case they would target tight end Tyler Eifert or a cornerback like Desmond Trufant. If they can’t do so, I think Warmack makes the most sense.

13. San Francisco 49ers (TRADE)- 3-4 DE Sheldon Richardson (Missouri)

I mentioned earlier the Jets would like to trade down. They may have more needs than anyone else in the league. The 49ers are a team that could have a lot of interest in trading up. They have 13 picks overall, including 5 in the first 3 rounds and they package 2 of them (31 and 34) to move up here and grab a player they really like. In my last mock, I had them moving up for Tavon Austin and he could still make sense here for them, but right now it sounds more like they’d be interested in a defensive lineman if they were to move up.

Five-technique defensive end Justin Smith will be a free agent heading into his age 35 season next off-season. Expect the 49ers to prioritize extensions for Aldon Smith and Colin Kaepernick next off-season before re-signing him, so 2013 might be his last year with the 49ers, if not his last year in the NFL. The 49ers need to find a long term successor. The Falcons could also be an option to move up here and take Richardson as they’re rumored to be interested in doing so.

14. Carolina Panthers- WR Tavon Austin* (West Virginia)

The Panthers have been looking for a complementary receiver opposite Steve Smith for years. Dwayne Jarrett, Brandon LaFell, Armanti Edwards, David Gettis, Kealoha Pilares, Joe Adams, none of these guys have really worked out. LaFell is the best of the bunch and he’s marginal at best. With Smith turning 34 in May, that need is more dire than it’s ever been.

Over the next 2-4 years, Smith can be expected to go from top flight receiver to complementary player to gone. That’s just what happens to receivers around this age. Even the average top-20 receiver (in terms of yardage all-time) has his last 1000 yard season at age 34-35, averages 48 catches for 594 yards and 3 touchdowns for 2 more seasons after age 34-35, and is done playing by age 36-37. Drafting another receiver early this year isn’t a bad idea. They’re known to be interested in Austin, who they’ve worked out privately. They may see some similarities to Steve Smith, a similar sized player.

15. Dallas Cowboys (TRADE)- S Kenny Vacarro* (Texas)

I’ve said in recent weeks that while I view Vaccaro as a perfect fit for the Cowboys, he’s unlikely to make it past both the Rams at 16 and the Steelers at 17. However, if he’s there at 15, the Cowboys could move up 3 spots, give the Saints, who are without a 2nd rounder, an extra pick (a 3rd rounder by the trade value chart), and take him there. The Cowboys have a need at both safety spots and Jerry Jones has a noted history of loving players from the states of Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. Unsurprisingly, they’re known to be very interested in Vaccaro.

16. St. Louis Rams- WR DeAndre Hopkins* (Clemson)

After losing Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson in free agency, the Rams are now missing 2 of their top-3 receivers from last year and it wasn’t a strong receiving corps to begin with. They’ve added Jared Cook and Chris Givens, their leading receiver last year, could be headed for big things in his 2nd year in the league. However, Brian Quick is still incredibly raw, though they haven’t given up on him. Austin Pettis, meanwhile, is only a backup caliber player. They also have just 5 receivers on the roster as of this writing and two of them have never caught a pass in the NFL. Just like Quick last year, Hopkins had a last minute workout with the Rams this year that reportedly went very, very well. He then met with them again privately at Clemson earlier this week.

[google_ad]

17. Pittsburgh Steelers- RLB Jarvis Jones* (Georgia)

Right now, I think this pick will be between Cordarrelle Patterson and Jarvis Jones. I don’t consider Tank Carradine a candidate here because they don’t want to use a 1st round pick on someone whose position they’d have to change. Jones would fill their need for a pass rusher opposite LaMarr Woodley and, because he played in a 3-4 in college, he won’t be a conversion guy. Patterson, meanwhile, is someone else they’re known to be interested in and he would fill a big need at wide receiver. However, for right now, I think Jones is the better prospect. Patterson’s stock is falling back down to earth after a ridiculous Combine, much like Stephen Hill last year. Some even believe he could fall to the 2nd round now.

18. New Orleans Saints- CB Xavier Rhodes (Florida State)

The Saints miss out on Jarvis Jones, who probably would have been the pick at 15, by trading down, but I don’t think they’ll see Xavier Rhodes as a bad consolation prize. They have so many needs on defense and no 3rd round pick so I think they’ll be fine with this scenario. Rhodes can immediately compete with Jabari Greer for a starting job opposite Keenan Lewis. Greer is owed 9 million over the final 2 years of his contract in 2014 and 2015 and becomes very easy to cut next off-season. His play last year was pretty bad and he won’t be back for 2014, his age 32 season, if he doesn’t turn it around in a hurry. There’s a reason the Saints were still going after cornerback in free agency after signing Keenan Lewis.

19. New York Giants- OT DJ Fluker (Alabama)

DJ Fluker is a rising prospect right now, with some saying he could go as high as 7th to Arizona. I don’t have him that high and I think it would be ridiculous to use a top-10 pick on a pure right tackle in an off-season where Tyson Clabo, Eric Winston, and Andre Smith are still available and Sebastian Vollmer and Phil Loadholt had to take less than they were expected to get. However, I don’t see the Giants passing on him at 19. They’re known to be very interested in him and he’d fill a huge hole at right tackle.

20. St. Louis Rams (TRADE)- OLB Alec Ogletree* (Georgia)

The Rams are known to be very interested in Alec Ogletree, but they’ll either have to take him at 16 or trade up ahead of Cincinnati from 22 to take him because the Bengals are also known to be very interested in him. Their interest in DeAndre Hopkins makes the latter scenario more likely than the former as they trade away a 4th rounder to move up 2 spots with the Bears and take Ogletree. At the end of the day, I expect the Rams to end up with DeAndre Hopkins and Alec Ogletree.

JoLonn Dunbar randomly had a solid year as a 3-down linebacker for the Rams, but he might still be better as a 2-down linebacker in the future. Ogletree could play every down with Laurinaitis and allow Dunbar to be a 2-down linebacker and come out on passing downs. He’d replace the mediocre Rocky McIntosh in that role. As for the Bears, their likely target is not an option to go to Cincinnati at 21 and the Bengals rarely trade so they can feel confident he’ll be available at 22.

21. Cincinnati Bengals- S Eric Reid* (LSU)

The Taylor Mays experiment didn’t last long. The Bengals were forced to move Nate Clements from cornerback to safety to play alongside Reggie Nelson and they also re-signed Chris Crocker mid-season and he saw some playing time. They can’t rely on that long term. Both Crocker and Clements are free agents and are heading into their age 33 and 34 seasons respectively. They need a new starter next to Nelson.

The Bengals tend to lock onto position by round and address their biggest needs first. Safety would qualify this year. While Jonathan Cyprien will probably overall be seen as a better prospect than Eric Reid and Matt Elam, the Bengals prefer big school kids so they’ll probably have Reid and Elam higher on their board than Florida International’s Jonathan Cyprien, though defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer did work him out privately during draft week. They’ve worked out both Reid and Elam privately and it was tough to choose between them here, but Reid has the size that Zimmer prefers in a defensive back.

22. Chicago Bears (TRADE)- TE Tyler Eifert (Notre Dame)

The Bears already signed Martellus Bennett this off-season, but according to Draft Insider Tony Pauline, that won’t preclude the Bears from taking a tight end in the 1st round. Tyler Eifert is a rising prospect right now with a good chance to go in the top-20. He’s the consensus top tight end and could be seen as the best available player here for the Bears. While Bennett is more of an inline tight end, Eifert can move all around the formation and would allow the Bears to use a bunch of two-tight end sets and creative looks. Jay Cutler will be really happy (or as happy as Jay Cutler can be) with this off-season if the Bears add Eifert here after adding Bennett, Jermon Bushrod, and offensive minded Head Coach Marc Trestman.

23. Minnesota Vikings- MLB Manti Te’o* (Notre Dame)

The Vikings obviously have a need at wide receiver, but they pick at 25 in two more picks and it’s unlikely the Colts take a receiver at 24 so they’ll probably wait until that pick to take a receiver. With pick 23, I expect them to address defense, especially the front 7. Te’o is still expected to go in the 1st round when all is said and done and the Vikings appear to be the team most comfortable with him. He’d fill a massive need at middle linebacker.

24. Indianapolis Colts- RLB Tank Carradine (Florida State)

The Colts signed Erik Walden in free agency and they also have former 1st round pick Jerry Hughes in the mix, but that shouldn’t preclude them from taking a rush linebacker through the draft. Hughes has been very underwhelming in his first 3 years in the league, while Walden has been awful as a spot starter for the Packers over the last 2 years, grading out as ProFootballFocus’ worst rated 3-4 outside linebacker two years running. Besides, Robert Mathis is also getting up there in years. He might not be around in 2014, owed 5 million heading into his age 35 season.

[switch_ad_hub]

25. Minnesota Vikings- WR Justin Hunter (Tennessee)

Even after adding Greg Jennings, the Vikings still need another wide receiver opposite him. Besides, Jennings is turning 30 this season and might not be worth his contract once he’s into year 4 or 5 so they need to think about developing a long term #1. They’ll probably take one with one of their two 1st round picks. At the end of the day, even after trading Harvin, they’ll end up with a better receiving corps in 2013 than 2012 and have an extra 1st rounder to spare.

26. Green Bay Packers- 3-4 DE Datone Jones (UCLA)

The Packers’ defensive line got absolutely no pass rush in 2011. They used a 2nd round pick in 2012 on Jerel Worthy to help them out there, but that might not be enough. They still ranked just 30th in pass rush efficiency in 2012 as only Clay Matthews could get consistent pressure. They could use a 2nd pick on a pass rushing defensive lineman for their 3 man defensive line.

27. Houston Texans- OT Menelik Watson (Florida State)

The Texans lost the right side of their offensive line last off-season. They drafted a right guard in the mid rounds last year and could take right tackle this year. Derek Newton and Ryan Harris split snaps there last season, but Newton struggled and Harris, the better of the two, is still an unsigned free agent. Lance Zierlein of the Houston Chronicle, who admits he is not a big fan of Watson, believes the Texans love him and that he’s going to go in the top-27 picks. He’s a project, but he’d obvious be a natural fit for their zone blocking scheme and fill a need, so the intrigue is understandable, even though I side more with Zierlein on Watson’s long term projection.

28. Denver Broncos- CB Jamar Taylor* (Boise State)

Don’t ask me why, but reports suggest that the Broncos will target cornerbacks early in the draft, probably in the first round. They have Champ Bailey obviously and just signed Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Also, Tony Carter and Chris Harris played well last season. Finally, they have Omar Bolden, a 2012 4th round pick who only fell because of a knee injury he’s since recovered from. DRC was only signed to a one year deal and Bailey could be eventually moved to safety, but I don’t get why they’d use a premium pick on a cornerback when they already have 5 presumably locked into roster spots. Anyway, it’s not my call. If they’re interested in cornerbacks in the first round, Taylor makes a lot of sense. They’ve worked him out privately and they are reportedly smitten with him.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars (TRADE)- QB Geno Smith* (West Virginia)

With the recent buzz that Ryan Nassib could be the first quarterback off the board, suddenly, Geno Smith’s stock has been sent into a tailspin. If he gets past the Bills, he could fall into the 20s and that could happen. Right now, people around the league have no clue where he’s going to end up. I don’t think he falls out of the first round, but he could fall this far. Someone will likely trade up for him before the first day is over, however.

That team could very well be the Jaguars, but the Eagles and Jets could also have interest. The Jaguars have shown the most interest in him, however, and give up a 5th and a 6th rounder to move up 4 spots from 33. They’ll consider him at 2 and earlier this week it looked like it would be down to him and Dion Jordan at 2 so if they can come out of the first round with both, you have to think they’d be very happy. The Patriots, meanwhile, are without picks in rounds 4-6 and love to trade down. They’ll take a 5th and 6th round pick to move down 4 spots to 33, where there will be plenty of cornerbacks for them to choose from.

30. Atlanta Falcons- CB Desmond Trufant* (Washington)

After cutting Dunta Robinson, cornerback becomes a big need for the Falcons. Asante Samuel just turned 32 and might only be with the Falcons for one more season and Brent Grimes is gone. Rhodes could step in as an immediate starter opposite Samuel and allow Robert McClain to remain on the slot, where he was very good last season. Jamar Taylor is seen as their primary target right now, if they don’t trade up for DeMarcus Milliner or Xavier Rhodes or a pass rusher (which is think is unlikely because they don’t want to give up their 2nd rounder of their 2014 1st rounder). However, I don’t think they’ll see Trufant as a bad consolation prize.

31. New York Jets- CB DJ Hayden (Houston)

Rex Ryan loves cornerbacks. Former Ravens scout and current NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah says that when Ryan was their defensive coordinator in Baltimore, he would always come into the draft room and try to persuade them to take another cornerback, regardless of whether or not they actually needed one. He might not have the power he once had in New York, but I still think he gets a cornerback early.

Cornerback isn’t as huge a need as people think even though they’ve lost Darrelle Revis. The Jets still had the 6th ranked pass defense in terms of YPA last year even though Revis barely played. However, Rex Ryan will still want to replenish depth. He took a cornerback in the first round in Kyle Wilson in 2010 even though he had Revis and Antonio Cromartie. He can do the same thing now even though he has Cromartie and Kyle Wilson.

DJ Hayden is a rising prospect right now with a ton of buzz on him after his once life threatening heart injury was cleared. Some teams will have him off their board entirely, but others will see him as the top available cornerback. According to sources, he’s actually seen as the consensus top cornerback in this draft class and compared to Stephon Gilmore, who went 10th last year. He looks like a safe bet for the first round. Rex Ryan was the only Head Coach present at his Pro Day this week and reportedly came away impressed.

32. Baltimore Ravens- MLB Arthur Brown (Kansas State)

Ray Lewis is obviously retired and, while Dannell Ellerbe played well in his absence, he’s gone as a free agent. Jameel McClain is a mediocre player who will be coming off a major injury in 2013 and even if he can lock down a starting spot, the Ravens run a base 3-4, so they need two starting linebackers. Middle linebacker will be a priority of their off-season.

Just missed:

S Jonathan Cyprien (Florida International)

WR Cordarrelle Patterson (Tennessee)

DE Margus Hunt (SMU)

DE Bjoern Werner (Florida State)

DT Sylvester Williams (North Carolina)

[google_ad]

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

NFL Draft Week: Monday Mock Draft

*=Player has worked out privately with team drafting him

1. Kansas City Chiefs- OT Luke Joeckel* (Texas A&M)

The Chiefs cutting Eric Winston is probably a sign that the Chiefs will go offensive tackle at the top of the draft. Winston was a fine player for the Chiefs last year, reasonably priced, and cutting him provided minimal cap relief for a team that wasn’t really backed up against the cap to begin with. You don’t make that move unless you feel you have an opportunity to replace him with a special talent.

Unless they view 2012 3rd round pick Donald Stephenson, who was awful in limited action last season, as that special talent, it’s very likely that special talent is either Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher. While Fisher has his supporters and people who believe he’s a better tackle than Joeckel, I’m not going to stray from convention here. Joeckel is as close to a consensus top talent as we have in this draft class and the Chiefs are known to be very interested in him. The rumors that the Chiefs are actively shopping Albert make it even more likely that Joeckel ends up being the pick. Joeckel would be the left tackle with Stephenson at right tackle in that scenario. Either way, Joeckel looks to be all but locked into this spot.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars- OLB Dion Jordan* (Oregon)

There are two things the Jaguars have done a lot of this off-season. They’ve talked up incumbent Blaine Gabbert excessively and they’ve spent an awful lot of time with top quarterback prospect Geno Smith. Either they have very strong interest in making Geno Smith the #2 overall pick or they want to build around Gabbert in 2013. It can’t be both and it might not be either (they could go quarterback in the 2nd round), but they’ve really done a good job of making it unclear what their choice will be, with some around the league saying that they have “no clue” what the Jaguars are going to do at #2. The Jaguars say they have it narrowed down to 2 players and that they have no interest in moving back, but who knows what you can believe.

While I see two options for this pick, I actually believe the Jaguars know exactly what they’re doing with this pick. I don’t know exactly what that is, but whether it be Geno Smith or Dion Jordan, I think they know who they want. Last week I had Geno Smith mostly because Blaine Gabbert sucks, but they could just as easily take a quarterback in the 2nd round or take Geno Smith later in the first if Buffalo passes on him. Dion Jordan is becoming more and more the consensus at this point. They’d take him #2 overall and use him much like the Broncos use Von Miller, also the #2 overall pick. On obvious passing downs, he’d be an ideal Leo rusher for them at defensive end in Gus Bradley’s Seattle style system. That’s the Chris Clemons/Bruce Irvin/Cliff Avril role.

3. Detroit Lions (TRADE)- OT Eric Fisher* (Central Michigan)

This is the first of several trades I’m projecting. If the Lions really want Eric Fisher, they’ll have to move ahead of Philadelphia, who I don’t think passes on him. Along with Luke Joeckel and maybe Dion Jordan, Fisher is seen as one of the top-2 or top-3 players in this draft class and he’d fill a huge need for the Lions at left tackle with Jeff Backus gone and Riley Reiff expected to play either right tackle or right guard next season.

I don’t think the Lions would take Lane Johnson at 5. It’s not how they operate and while Johnson could go to the Cardinals at 7 or to a team trading up at 5 or 6, it would be out of desperation and need not because he’s the 6th or 7th best player in this draft class. Left tackle is just a premium position that teams will reach for (like quarterback) and this left tackle class falls off a cliff after Johnson. The Lions, however, don’t operate that way.

They give up a 2nd round pick to the Raiders to move up and the Raiders gladly do it given all they need. Besides, they can still take their top target Sharrif Floyd at 5 because Philadelphia is highly unlikely to take him given that he’s not an ideal fit for the 3-4. Or the Raiders could trade down again and accumulate more picks, which they obviously need. Stay tuned.

4. Philadelphia Eagles- NT Star Lotulelei* (Utah)

The Eagles miss out on Eric Fisher, so they go to their secondary target, who I believe to be Star Lotulelei. Now that his heart has checked out, he’s back in the top-5 discussion and the Eagles are known to be very interested. He could play both nose tackle and 5-technique defensive end in the sub packages and, while he’s still a bit raw as a pass rusher, he could also rush the passer from the interior on passing downs out of sub packages. I expect the Eagles to take either Fisher or Lotulelei here, making it 9 of 11 years in which they’ve used their first pick on an offensive or defensive lineman.

5. San Diego Chargers (TRADE)- OT Lane Johnson* (Oklahoma)

AJ Smith only once used a pick higher than a 3rd rounder on an offensive lineman in his tenure in San Diego dating back to 2004 and it shows. They have major holes at left tackle, left guard, right guard, and right tackle. They ranked 31st in the NFL in pass block efficiency, worse than even the Cardinals and only ahead of the Colts. With top offensive lineman Louis Vasquez signing with the Broncos, things will only get worse next year unless they do something. Smith was fired, so they can finally get an upgrade on the offensive line.

They’ll have to trade up to get one of the top-3 tackles, however, which is what they do here, giving Oakland another 2nd round pick to move up 6 spots. With Branden Albert likely Miami-bound, the Chargers become the favorites to move up into the top-6 to grab Johnson. I think the Raiders are more likely to move down than Cleveland, who is most frequently predicted to move down. While they could stay put and take Floyd, I think, given all that they need, they’ll take the 2nd round pick and take best available at 11.

6. Cleveland Browns- CB DeMarcus Milliner* (Alabama)

As I just mentioned, many people expect the Browns to be the ones who move down, but right now, it sounds like they’re pretty locked onto DeMarcus Milliner. He might not be the 6th best player in this class, but the Browns’ biggest need is at cornerback and he’s by far the best cornerback in this draft class. They Browns have a top-10 grade on him. He’d fill a big need opposite Joe Haden.

7. Arizona Cardinals- RLB Ezekiel Ansah* (BYU)

If the top-3 tackles are off the board at 7, it will be the worst case scenario for the Cardinals, but it’s looking more and more like that’s going to happen. If the Cardinals want Johnson badly, they may have to move up to 5 or 6 themselves to secure him. Or they could just take the best available player at 7. Sam Acho, O’Brien Schofield, and Quentin Groves really didn’t do a good job of getting pressure from the rush linebacker position for the Cardinals this year and Groves left as a free agent anyway. Right now, they only have 3 outside linebackers on the roster. They could add another rush linebacker through the draft if the value makes sense, which it does here.

8. Oakland Raiders (TRADE)- DT Sharrif Floyd (Florida)

The Raiders maneuver all around the top-10, but end up with their guy here at 8. They pick up a pair of 2nd rounders moving down from 3 to 11 and they give up a 4th rounder to move back up here to 8. This has to be the ideal situation for them. Floyd is probably their #1 draft day target but because 3 of the 4 teams between 3 and 8 run 3-4s (Floyd isn’t a good fit for a 3-4) and the other (Detroit) doesn’t need a defensive tackle, he could definitely be available here at 8 if the Raiders don’t take him at 3. He could even slip all the way to 11 where the Raiders originally were after trading down because the Jets run a 3-4 and the Titans don’t really need a defensive tackle. At the end of the day, I expect the Raiders to end up with Floyd. As for the Bills, they can take their target at 11. They want a quarterback, but also want to trade down first.

[yard_barker]

9. New York Jets- RLB Barkevious Mingo* (LSU)

The Jets really need someone to help what was the 27th best pass rush in the NFL last year in terms of pass rush efficiency. Calvin Pace is heading into his age 33 season and really hasn’t played well over the last 2-3 years anyway. They’re reportedly very smitten with Barkevious Mingo. They’ll probably take him with one of their two first rounds picks. With their other, they’d probably like to trade down and accumulate more picks.

10. Tennessee Titans- G Chance Warmack (Alabama)

Interior linemen almost never go in the top-15. I know that. Mike Pouncey is the highest drafted interior lineman since 1997, going 15th overall in 2011. Chris Naoele went 10th in 1997, but he’s the last true interior lineman to be a top-10 pick. However, if there ever were a year for that to happen, it’s this one. This draft class is pretty devoid of top level talent, which means elite players at positions like guard could go higher than they ordinarily would. On top of that, Chance Warmack and Jonathan Cooper are among the best guard prospects in the last decade.

One of them makes a ton of sense for the Titans at 10. Right guard is by far their biggest need and GM Ruston Webster has made it known he’s not against taking a guard in the first round. Highly plugged in beat writer Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean has Warmack as the Titans’ pick at 10 right now. Chris Johnson is great when he has great blocking, but when the offensive line isn’t opening up holes for him, he’s pretty bad. Why do you think he has such good games against bad run defenses and bad games against good run defenses? Their run blocking was better last year than in 2011, but they still need help.

Center Fernando Velasco was their best interior lineman and Andy Levitre, a free agent acquisition, will lock down the left guard position. However, right guard is still a major need. That position was a rotating door last year. Right now, I have Warmack over Cooper for non-zone blocking teams, especially ones who need right guards rather than left guards, so I have Warmack here, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Cooper were the first guard off the board.

11. Buffalo Bills (TRADE)- QB Ryan Nassib* (Syracuse)

Here’s a surprise pick or I guess it would have been if I had made it 2 days ago. Nassib has generated a lot of buzz as the possible top quarterback off the board and he’d be an obvious fit for the Bills, who have Nassib’s former college coach Doug Marrone and who need a quarterback possibly more than anyone else in the league. At the very least, they’ve shown the most interest in adding a first round quarterback.

GM Buddy Nix, who is normally very candid about this type of thing, has made it known they want a quarterback. First he said, “I don’t want to leave here without a franchise guy [at quarterback] for the future in place. I have not said that before but I’m saying it now because it’s fact.” He also said this: “I think there’s a time that in the era that you’re in and the development of your team, there’s a time when you can move up a round to take a quarterback. And I think the time’s now for us. We need a good, young quarterback, and we’re going to do our best to get him.”

He also recently defended this quarterback class and said that taking a quarterback at 8 would not be a reach. His exact quote was this: “This quarterback class is better than everybody thinks it. Five or six of those guys, maybe seven, do a lot of things good and do them good enough to win. I’ve said this from the start, that two or three of these guys will be franchise quarterbacks. I believe that.” Ideally, they’d like to trade back further and grab Nassib in the teens, but if they can’t, they’ll be more than happy to take a guy they think will solve their long standing quarterback need here.

12. Miami Dolphins- G Jonathan Cooper (North Carolina)

The Dolphins don’t trade up for a tackle in this scenario because I have them trading pick #54 for Branden Albert, but they could still take an offensive lineman. Neither Richie Incognito nor John Jerry are good fits for their zone blocking scheme and free agent signee John Jerry is a mediocre player signed to a one year deal. Incognito and Jerry will be free agent next off-season as well. They’re known to be unhappy with their situation at the position. Cooper would be a perfect fit for their blocking scheme and an instant upgrade over everyone they have.

Jeff Ireland has put a lot of value on the offense line before, using first round picks on Jake Long and Mike Pouncey and a 2nd round pick on Jonathan Martin since 2008 and they could use another premium pick again this year and take Cooper. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Omar Kelly believes this pick will come down to Cooper, Tyler Eifert, and Xavier Rhodes if they stay put and don’t move up for DeMarcus Milliner. He eventually goes with Cooper and I agree.

Cooper would be the first guard to go higher than 15 since Chris Naoele went 10th in 1997 (unless Chance Warmack goes first). However, if there ever were a year for that to happen, it’s this one. This draft class is pretty devoid of top level talent, which means elite players at positions like guard could go higher than they ordinarily would. On top of that, Chance Warmack and Jonathan Cooper are among the best guard prospects in the last decade. Besides, the Dolphins took Pouncey, a center, 15th in 2011, so this isn’t that much of a stretch for them.

13. San Francisco 49ers (TRADE)- 3-4 DE Sheldon Richardson (Missouri)

I mentioned earlier the Jets would like to trade down. They may have more needs than anyone else in the league. The 49ers are a team that could have a lot of interest in trading up. They have 13 picks overall, including 5 in the first 3 rounds and they package 2 of them (31 and 34) to move up here and grab a player they really like. In my last mock, I had them moving up for Tavon Austin and he could still make sense here for them, but right now it sounds more like they’d be interested in a defensive lineman if they were to move up.

Five-technique defensive end Justin Smith will be a free agent heading into his age 35 season next off-season. Expect the 49ers to prioritize extensions for Aldon Smith and Colin Kaepernick next off-season before re-signing him, so 2013 might be his last year with the 49ers, if not his last year in the NFL. The 49ers need to find a long term successor. The Falcons could also be an option to move up here and take Richardson as they’re rumored to be interested in doing so.

14. Carolina Panthers- WR Tavon Austin* (West Virginia)

The Panthers have been looking for a complementary receiver opposite Steve Smith for years. Dwayne Jarrett, Brandon LaFell, Armanti Edwards, David Gettis, Kealoha Pilares, Joe Adams, none of these guys have really worked out. LaFell is the best of the bunch and he’s marginal at best. With Smith turning 34 in May, that need is more dire than it’s ever been.

Over the next 2-4 years, Smith can be expected to go from top flight receiver to complementary player to gone. That’s just what happens to receivers around this age. Even the average top-20 receiver (in terms of yardage all-time) has his last 1000 yard season at age 34-35, averages 48 catches for 594 yards and 3 touchdowns for 2 more seasons after age 34-35, and is done playing by age 36-37. Drafting another receiver early this year isn’t a bad idea. They’re known to be interested in Austin, who they’ve worked out privately. They may see some similarities to Steve Smith, a similar sized player.

15. Dallas Cowboys (TRADE)- S Kenny Vacarro* (Texas)

I’ve said in recent weeks that while I view Vaccaro as a perfect fit for the Cowboys, he’s unlikely to make it past both the Rams at 16 and the Steelers at 17. However, if he’s there at 15, the Cowboys could move up 3 spots, give the Saints, who are without a 2nd rounder, an extra pick (a 3rd rounder by the trade value chart), and take him there. The Cowboys have a need at both safety spots and Jerry Jones has a noted history of loving players from the states of Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. Unsurprisingly, they’re known to be very interested in Vaccaro.

16. St. Louis Rams- WR DeAndre Hopkins* (Clemson)

After losing Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson in free agency, the Rams are now missing 2 of their top-3 receivers from last year and it wasn’t a strong receiving corps to begin with. They’ve added Jared Cook and Chris Givens, their leading receiver last year, could be headed for big things in his 2nd year in the league. However, Brian Quick is still incredibly raw, though they haven’t given up on him. Austin Pettis, meanwhile, is only a backup caliber player. They also have just 5 receivers on the roster as of this writing and two of them have never caught a pass in the NFL. Just like Quick last year, Hopkins had a last minute workout with the Rams this year that reportedly went very, very well. He then met with them again privately at Clemson earlier this week.

[google_ad]

17. Pittsburgh Steelers- RLB Jarvis Jones* (Georgia)

Right now, I think this pick will be between Cordarrelle Patterson and Jarvis Jones. I don’t consider Tank Carradine a candidate here because they don’t want to use a 1st round pick on someone whose position they’d have to change. Jones would fill their need for a pass rusher opposite LaMarr Woodley and, because he played in a 3-4 in college, he won’t be a conversion guy. Patterson, meanwhile, is someone else they’re known to be interested in and he would fill a big need at wide receiver. However, for right now, I think Jones is the better prospect. Patterson’s stock is falling back down to earth after a ridiculous Combine, much like Stephen Hill last year. Some even believe he could fall to the 2nd round now.

18. Oakland Raiders (TRADE)- CB DJ Hayden* (Houston)

The Raiders continue wheeling and dealing in the 1st round as they send two 2nd round picks to the Saints for the 18th overall pick and a 4th round pick. That gives the Saints a pair of second rounders and a pair of third rounders. It may sound strange that the Raiders would trade away the picks they accumulated considering all they need, but at the end of the day, I think has to been seen as the ideal situation for them. They basically got those two 2nd rounders for free considering they moved down to get someone they otherwise would have just taken at 3 and they basically turn them into a free 1st rounder. This gives them a pair of 1sts to replace their lost 2nd round pick. They also ended up moving down a few spots in the 4th round, but that’s pretty irrelevant.

DJ Hayden is a rising prospect right now with a ton of buzz on him after his once life threatening heart injury was cleared. Some teams will have him off their board entirely, but others will see him as the top available cornerback. According to sources, he’s actually seen as the consensus top cornerback in this draft class and compared to Stephon Gilmore, who went 10th last year. He looks like a safe bet for the top-20 and the Raiders, who have worked him out privately, would love to trade back up to get him if he falls this far and fill their massive cornerback need.

19. New York Giants- OT DJ Fluker (Alabama)

DJ Fluker is a rising prospect right now, with some saying he could go as high as 7th to Arizona. I don’t have him that high and I think it would be ridiculous to use a top-10 pick on a pure right tackle in an off-season where Tyson Clabo, Eric Winston, and Andre Smith are still available and Sebastian Vollmer and Phil Loadholt had to take less than they were expected to get. However, I don’t see the Giants passing on him at 19. They’re known to be very interested in him and he’d fill a huge hole at right tackle.

20. St. Louis Rams (TRADE)- OLB Alec Ogletree* (Georgia)

The Rams are known to be very interested in Alec Ogletree, but they’ll either have to take him at 16 or trade up ahead of Cincinnati from 22 to take him because the Bengals are also known to be very interested in him. Their interest in DeAndre Hopkins makes the latter scenario more likely than the former as they trade away a 4th rounder to move up 2 spots with the Bears and take Ogletree. At the end of the day, I expect the Rams to end up with DeAndre Hopkins and Alec Ogletree.

JoLonn Dunbar randomly had a solid year as a 3-down linebacker for the Rams, but he might still be better as a 2-down linebacker in the future. Ogletree could play every down with Laurinaitis and allow Dunbar to be a 2-down linebacker and come out on passing downs. He’d replace the mediocre Rocky McIntosh in that role. As for the Bears, their likely target is not an option to go to Cincinnati at 21 and the Bengals rarely trade so they can feel confident he’ll be available at 22.

21. Cincinnati Bengals- S Eric Reid* (LSU)

The Taylor Mays experiment didn’t last long. The Bengals were forced to move Nate Clements from cornerback to safety to play alongside Reggie Nelson and they also re-signed Chris Crocker mid-season and he saw some playing time. They can’t rely on that long term. Both Crocker and Clements are free agents and are heading into their age 33 and 34 seasons respectively. They need a new starter next to Nelson.

The Bengals tend to lock onto position by round and address their biggest needs first. Safety would qualify this year. While Jonathan Cyprien will probably overall be seen as a better prospect than Eric Reid and Matt Elam, the Bengals prefer big school kids so they’ll probably have Reid and Elam higher on their board than Florida International’s Jonathan Cyprien, though defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer did work him out privately during draft week. They’ve worked out both Reid and Elam privately and it was tough to choose between them here, but Reid has the size that Zimmer prefers in a defensive back.

22. Chicago Bears (TRADE)- TE Tyler Eifert (Notre Dame)

The Bears already signed Martellus Bennett this off-season, but according to Draft Insider Tony Pauline, that won’t preclude the Bears from taking a tight end in the 1st round. Tyler Eifert is a rising prospect right now with a good chance to go in the top-20. He’s the consensus top tight end and could be seen as the best available player here for the Bears. While Bennett is more of an inline tight end, Eifert can move all around the formation and would allow the Bears to use a bunch of two-tight end sets and creative looks. Jay Cutler will be really happy (or as happy as Jay Cutler can be) with this off-season if the Bears add Eifert here after adding Bennett, Jermon Bushrod, and offensive minded Head Coach Marc Trestman.

23. Minnesota Vikings- MLB Manti Te’o* (Notre Dame)

The Vikings obviously have a need at wide receiver, but they pick at 25 in two more picks and it’s unlikely the Colts take a receiver at 24 so they’ll probably wait until that pick to take a receiver. With pick 23, I expect them to address defense, especially the front 7. Te’o is still expected to go in the 1st round when all is said and done and the Vikings appear to be the team most comfortable with him. He’d fill a massive need at middle linebacker.

24. Atlanta Falcons (TRADE)- CB Xavier Rhodes (Florida State)

The Falcons are rumored to be interested in moving up from 30. It’d make sense given their recent history, just two years after moving up 21 spots in the 1st round for Julio Jones. Sheldon Richardson is a name that’s being mentioned, but I don’t think he’s the only player they’d move up for. If Rhodes falls into this part of the first round, they’ll be working the phones and the Colts, who are without a 2nd round pick, make sense as a trade partner. They wouldn’t be able to recoup their 2nd round pick (the trade value chart says the Falcons would have to give up their 3rd rounder), but they’d still add a valuable asset.

After cutting Dunta Robinson, cornerback becomes a big need for the Falcons. Asante Samuel just turned 32 and might only be with the Falcons for one more season and Brent Grimes is gone. Rhodes could step in as an immediate starter opposite Samuel and allow Robert McClain to remain on the slot, where he was very good last season.

[switch_ad_hub]

25. Minnesota Vikings- WR Justin Hunter (Tennessee)

Even after adding Greg Jennings, the Vikings still need another wide receiver opposite him. Besides, Jennings is turning 30 this season and might not be worth his contract once he’s into year 4 or 5 so they need to think about developing a long term #1. They’ll probably take one with one of their two 1st round picks. At the end of the day, even after trading Harvin, they’ll end up with a better receiving corps in 2013 than 2012 and have an extra 1st rounder to spare.

26. Green Bay Packers- 3-4 DE Datone Jones (UCLA)

The Packers’ defensive line got absolutely no pass rush in 2011. They used a 2nd round pick in 2012 on Jerel Worthy to help them out there, but that might not be enough. They still ranked just 30th in pass rush efficiency in 2012 as only Clay Matthews could get consistent pressure. They could use a 2nd pick on a pass rushing defensive lineman for their 3 man defensive line.

27. Houston Texans- OT Menelik Watson (Florida State)

The Texans lost the right side of their offensive line last off-season. They drafted a right guard in the mid rounds last year and could take right tackle this year. Derek Newton and Ryan Harris split snaps there last season, but Newton struggled and Harris, the better of the two, is still an unsigned free agent. Lance Zierlein of the Houston Chronicle, who admits he is not a big fan of Watson, believes the Texans love him and that he’s going to go in the top-27 picks. He’s a project, but he’d obvious be a natural fit for their zone blocking scheme and fill a need, so the intrigue is understandable, even though I side more with Zierlein on Watson’s long term projection.

28. Denver Broncos- DE Tank Carradine (Florida State)

Elvis Dumervil was cut because his agent doesn’t know how I use a fax machine. A lot of people made fun of him, asking how could he not know how to use a fax machine? The answer is simple. It’s not 1998. Why is anyone using a fax machine still? Anyway, they’ll need to find an end through the draft. Their free agent options to replace him are all over 30 and they’ll need a long term solution behind whoever it is (probably Dwight Freeney). Tank Carradine is an interesting prospect right now. A first round talent, Carradine tore his ACL late in the season, but he ran a 4.93 40 at 276 pounds at his Pro Day this week and is having a remarkable recovery. He could end up being a top-20 pick and his stock is on the rise.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars (TRADE)- QB Geno Smith* (West Virginia)

With the recent buzz that Ryan Nassib could be the first quarterback off the board, suddenly, Geno Smith’s stock has been sent into a tailspin. If he gets past the Bills, he could fall into the 20s and that could happen. Right now, people around the league have no clue where he’s going to end up. I don’t think he falls out of the first round, but he could fall this far. Someone will likely trade up for him before the first day is over, however.

That team could very well be the Jaguars, but the Eagles and Jets could also have interest. The Jaguars have shown the most interest in him, however, and give up a 5th and a 6th rounder to move up 4 spots from 33. They’ll consider him at 2 and earlier this week it looked like it would be down to him and Dion Jordan at 2 so if they can come out of the first round with both, you have to think they’d be very happy. The Patriots, meanwhile, are without picks in rounds 4-6 and love to trade down. They’ll take a 5th and 6th round pick to move down 4 spots to 33, where there will be plenty of cornerbacks for them to choose from.

30. Indianapolis Colts (TRADE)- 3-4 DE Margus Hunt* (SMU)

The Colts won 11 games last year despite replacement level talent all over the field, but they’ll have to play better to match that win total in 2013. Despite one of the easiest schedules in the league, they still had a negative points differential and the worst points differential in NFL history by an 11-win team. They won just 3 games against .500 or better teams and 2 games total by more than a touchdown (one of which was against the Jaguars). There’s a reason they couldn’t hang with the big boys in the post-season as the Ravens exploited their issues defensively and on the offensive line in their 24-9 victory.

However, they had a lot of cap space this off-season to add talent to a young and improving nucleus so I gave them a good chance to improve their level of play in 2013 and still make it back to the playoffs. That being said, I don’t like what they did with their cap space. It wasn’t just that they overpaid players; it’s the type of players they overpaid. If you’re going to overpay players, make sure they’re players who can have a big impact. I don’t know how much guys like LaRon Landry, Gosder Cherilus, Erik Walden, Ricky Jean-Francois, Greg Toler, and Donald Thomas will help this team (I did like the Thomas deal though, that wasn’t an overpay). They would have been better off signing two or three higher end free agents and filling other needs through the draft.

Now it’s unclear which position they still view as a major need and for that reason it’s unclear what they’ll do in the 1st round. Rush linebacker, offensive line, cornerback, and defensive line should all be considered, but they may not view them all as major needs. I’m giving them Hunt here because I think he’s one of the best available and because I think defensive line is their biggest need right now. Even after signing Jean-Francois, they need more youth there. Aubrayo Franklin, recently signed cheap, turns 33 this season at nose tackle, as does starting five-technique defensive end Cory Redding. They’ve worked Hunt out privately and he’s seen as a first round lock by several sources.

31. New York Jets (TRADE)- S Jonathan Cyprien* (Florida International)

The Jets lost both of their starting safeties from 2012. They’ve brought in mediocre veteran Dawan Landry and they have a pair of 2012 late round picks, Josh Bush and Antonio Allen, but they will still probably add a safety through the draft. Cyprien probably won’t make it out of the first round so he makes a lot of sense here for the Jets. Cornerbacks Desmond Trufant and Jamar Taylor are also options, but one of them is more likely to be available when they pick at 34 than Cyprien.

32. Baltimore Ravens- MLB Arthur Brown (Kansas State)

Ray Lewis is obviously retired and, while Dannell Ellerbe played well in his absence, he’s gone as a free agent. Jameel McClain is a mediocre player who will be coming off a major injury in 2013 and even if he can lock down a starting spot, the Ravens run a base 3-4, so they need two starting linebackers. Middle linebacker will be a priority of their off-season.

Just missed:

CB Jamar Taylor (Boise State)

WR Cordarrelle Patterson (Tennessee)

CB Desmond Trufant (Washington)

DE Bjoern Werner (Florida State)

DT Sylvester Williams (North Carolina)

 

[google_ad]

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

2013 NFL Mock Draft 4th Round

1-16 17-32 2nd round 3rd round 4th round 5th round 6th round 7th round

 

98. Jacksonville Jaguars- OT Vinston Painter (Virginia Tech)

Cameron Bradfield is a pretty mediocre right tackle and the Jaguars new regime has mentioned on several occasions that they’d like to add someone else to the mix there. They’ve worked Painter out privately.

99. Kansas City Chiefs- OT Reid Fragel (Ohio State)

If the Chiefs trade Branden Albert, they could double up on offensive tackles. Donald Stephenson would be the right tackle in that scenario and he was awful in a few spot starts at left tackle last season. The 2012 3rd round pick could be better in 2013, especially on the right side, but they need competition for him.

100. Oakland Raiders- QB Tyler Wilson (Arkansas)

Trading for Matt Flynn won’t preclude the Raiders from taking a quarterback, especially if they accumulate more picks. Flynn’s salary is non-guaranteed in 2014 and he’s unproven. Meanwhile, the only other quarterback they have on their roster is Terrelle Pryor. Pryor was drafted about 3 rounds earlier than anyone else would have drafted him by Al Davis and the new regime doesn’t seem to be a fan of his. He was 3rd string behind Matt Leinart all last year until week 17 and when he did get to play, he was very inconsistent.

101. Philadelphia Eagles- G David Bakhtiari (Colorado)

The Eagles could need to take an offensive lineman at some point. There are a lot of uncertainties with guys coming off of injuries. From their expected 2012 offensive line, three suffered major injuries, while right guard Danny Watkins got benched. Bakhtiari can play tackle and guard and maybe even some center.

Side note: If I were drafting players based solely off of their name, David Bakhtiari would be the first pick. He sounds like a Dothraki. Dothraki never bust. Bleedy Ray Wilson would be a close 2nd. Syracuse’s Shamarko Thomas is 3rd because, I mean, of course he is. Christine Michael is last.

102. Minnesota Vikings- CB Will Davis (Utah State)

The Vikings could use some cornerback depth after cutting Antoine Winfield. 2012 3rd round pick Josh Robinson struggled as a rookie, while AJ Jefferson and Chris Cook are both heading into the final year of their respective deals. Davis probably wouldn’t do much other than special teams as a rookie, but he could have a role in 2014 and beyond. They’ve worked him out privately.

103. Arizona Cardinals- S JJ Wilcox (Georgia Southern)

After cutting both of their starting safeties this off-season, I expect the Cardinals to add a safety through the draft at some point. Rashad Johnson is not a proven starter, while Yeremiah Bell is a 35-year-old who was signed on just a one year deal. With only 3 safeties currently on the roster, it’s likely they are saving a spot for someone they draft. They’re known to be interested in Wilcox.

104. Cleveland Browns- S Don Jones (Arkansas State)

I don’t know why the Browns cut Usama Young, a cheap, young functional starter, but they’ll need to replace him. Eric Hagg is behind him on the depth chart, but they reportedly want him to focus more on special teams next season. They’ll probably add a veteran after the draft, but that won’t stop them from drafting one in the mid rounds. They’ve worked Jones out privately.

105. Buffalo Bills- CB Logan Ryan (Rutgers)

The Bills are expected to move Aaron Williams from cornerback to safety in his 3rd year in the league. This makes a lot of sense. Williams, a 2011 2nd round pick, struggled mightily in coverage at cornerback in his first two years in the league and his lack of coverage ability won’t be as exposed at safety, a position many projected him to before the draft. However, they really need cornerback depth now as Leodis McKelvin is unreliable.

106. New York Jets- WR Stedman Bailey (West Virginia)

The Jets are stuck with Santonio Holmes for another year and Jeremy Kerley and Stephen Hill have some upside, so they probably won’t spend a premium pick on a receiver this year, but they’ll probably add one in the mid rounds of a deep receiver class, especially if they accumulate this many picks.

[yard_barker]

107. Tennessee Titans- S Sanders Commings (Georgia)

Michael Griffin, Bernard Pollard, and George Wilson are their top-3 safeties for 2013, but none are locks to be back in 2014. Pollard and Wilson are veterans signed to just one year deals, while Michael Griffin was awful in 2012. Owed 6.2 million in 2014, he won’t be given another chance to bounce back if he plays in 2013 anything like he did in 2012. The Titans will probably add a safety at some point through the draft. Commings is a hot prospect right now. He’s taken 5 private visits, one of which was to Tennessee. He can play cornerback and safety and could be this year’s Tavon Wilson.

108. Carolina Panthers- CB BW Webb (William & Mary)

After cutting Chris Gamble, the Panthers’ need for a cornerback became even more desperate. Captain Munnerlyn, Josh Thomas, and Josh Norman are currently their top-3 cornerbacks and none of those guys are proven starters, let alone #1 cornerbacks. They don’t have a 3rd round pick and they have other needs, but this is a deep cornerback class so they’ll take one at some point.

109. New Orleans Saints- CB Leon McFadden (San Diego State)

Even after signing Keenan Lewis, they could add another cornerback. That’s how bad their secondary is. Patrick Robinson was benched and Jabari Greer could eventually be a cap casualty. They’re known to be targeting cornerbacks early and this is a deep cornerback class.

110. San Diego Chargers- QB Tyler Bray (Tennessee)

I believe that Philip Rivers’ recent struggles have more to do with his horrific supporting cast than anything, which is why I think they need to build around him early in the draft. However, I don’t know that for a fact and he’s owed 15.75 million in an age 34 contract year in 2015 so they’ll have a big decision to make on him coming up soon. They should add a developmental backup behind him at some point. Bray has a lot of upside and is worth a shot here in the 4th round for a team like San Diego.

111. Miami Dolphins- RB Andre Ellington (Clemson)

Reggie Bush is gone and Andre Ellington can do some of the same sort of things, namely play 3rd downs behind Lamar Miller. The Dolphins’ coaching staff is reportedly not thrilled with Daniel Thomas, a product of the old regime and Ellington would be a better fit for their scheme as a backup than him.

112. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- CB Tyrann Mathieu (LSU)

Even after trading for Darrelle Revis, the Buccaneers could still use cornerback help. Eric Wright is the only other proven cornerback on their roster and he struggled mightily last year. He had his salary slashed down to 1.5 million this season, which isn’t even guaranteed, and he’ll be a free agent next off-season. Mathieu will probably never replace him on the outside, but he can be a good nickel back and special teamer for them. They’ve worked him out privately.

113. St. Louis Rams- DT Jordan Hill (Penn State)

The Rams don’t have a lot of depth at defensive tackle. They could use someone to push Kendall Langford next to Michael Brockers. Langford struggled in his first year of a 4-year deal in 2012 and might not be back in 2014, owed 5 million, unless he can get his act back together.

114. Dallas Cowboys- RB Stepfan Taylor (Stanford)

Felix Jones is a free agent and the Cowboys reportedly don’t trust either Phillip Tanner or Lance Dunbar as primary backups behind the injury prone DeMarco Murray. They’re known to be interested in Taylor and will reportedly target him in the 3rd or 4th round range.

115. Pittsburgh Steelers- S Duke Williams (Nevada)

Dick LeBeau mentioned that he’d like to see the Steelers add a young safety to the mix. That makes sense. Ryan Clark is heading into his age 34 season and Troy Polamalu, though younger heading into his age 32 season, just doesn’t seem to be able to stay healthy anymore. Look for them to address this in the first few rounds of the draft. Williams is a nice developmental safety for LeBeau to work with. They’ve worked him out privately.

[google_ad]

116. New York Giants- CB Marc Anthony (California)

The Giants struggled mightily against the pass last year, ranking 31st in the NFL. Jayron Hosley and Corey Webster were the worst offenders. Webster took a massive pay cut and will be back, but he’s now 31 and he’s not getting any better any time soon. He’ll be a 32-year-old free agent next off-season. Hosley, meanwhile, could bounce back as he was just a rookie, but he was also just a 3rd round pick and 3rd round picks only become starters around 30% of the time.

117. Chicago Bears- WR Marquise Goodwin (Texas)

The Bears are going to let Devin Hester focus on returns next year, rather than trying to turn him into a receiver, which is what they should have done 4 years ago. Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery are a great possession receiving duo, but they’ve expressed an interest in adding more of a speed element to their offense so they take Marquise Goodwin here.

118. Cincinnati Bengals- QB Landry Jones (Oklahoma)

Bruce Gradkowski left as a free agent and the Bengals have expressed interest in adding a developmental quarterback to be Andy Dalton’s backup. Landry Jones fits the range.

119. Washington Redskins- S Bacarri Rambo (Georgia)

The Redskins could definitely double up on safeties and they’re known to be interested in Rambo. Brandon Meriweather is their top safety, but he tore his ACL in November and was having trouble staying healthy even before that. He can’t be counted on. Neither can any of their other safeties. Madieu Williams, Reed Doughty, and DeJon Gomes aren’t very good and Williams is also a free agent.

120. Minnesota Vikings- G Oday Aboushi (Virginia)

The Vikings could use competition for both Charlie Johnson and Brandon Fusco, who were the weak points on an otherwise very strong offensive line. Imagine how good Adrian Peterson would be with better guard play in front of him. They’ve worked Aboushi, a collegiate tackle and conversion candidate, out privately.

121. Indianapolis Colts- RLB Ty Powell (Harding)

The Colts signed Erik Walden in free agency and they also have former 1st round pick Jerry Hughes in the mix, but that shouldn’t preclude them from taking a rush linebacker through the draft. Hughes has been very underwhelming in his first 3 years in the league, while Walden has been awful as a spot starter for the Packers over the last 2 years, grading out as ProFootballFocus’ worst rated 3-4 outside linebacker two years running. Besides, Robert Mathis is also getting up there in years. He might not be around in 2014, owed 5 million heading into his age 35 season.

122. Green Bay Packers- RLB Trevardo Williams (Connecticut)

The Packers love drafting best available and this pick makes a lot of sense. Clay Matthews is obviously the real deal and they obviously still believe in 2012 1st round pick Nick Perry opposite him. However, when those two missed time with injury this year, Erik Walden and Dezman Moses were atrocious in their absence. Packers’ fans must be thrilled that the Colts signed Walden this off-season. They need better depth.

123. Seattle Seahawks- TE Ryan Otten (San Jose State)

The Seahawks don’t have a ton of needs, but Zach Miller hasn’t really contributed as a pass catcher like they had expected, catching 63 passes in the two last seasons combined. His blocking is good, but owed 5.8 million in 2014, that might not be enough for him to stick on the roster. Otten has the kind of speed Pete Carroll desires from the tight end spot anyway, something no one on their roster currently really has. It’s no surprise they’re known to be interested in him.

124. Houston Texans- S Josh Evans (Florida)

The Texans replaced Glover Quin with Ed Reed, but Reed turns 35 in September so they have to start thinking about the future at safety. They’ll spend a pick on a developmental safety at some point.

[switch_ad_hub]

125. Denver Broncos- DE Sam Montgomery (LSU)

Whoever the Broncos sign to replace Elvis Dumervil is probably going to be on the wrong side of 30 because all of their remaining options are over 30 (it’ll probably be Dwight Freeney). Given that, they could use a pick on a developmental pass rusher behind him to go with Freeney and Robert Ayers.

126. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- TE Nick Kasa (Colorado)

The Buccaneers have two great outside receivers in Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams, but they don’t have much to work with in the intermediate part of the field. Jackson and Williams combined for 2380 receiving yards, but after those two, no one else had more than 472 receiving yards and that was running back Doug Martin. They added Kevin Ogletree at wide receiver, but they still need a tight end.

127. Atlanta Falcons- RB Mike Gillislee (Florida)

Steven Jackson is an upgrade over Michael Turner, but he turns 30 in July and has 2395 career carries. He’s 26th all-time in rushing yards at 10135, but the average top-25 all-time running back has his last 1000 yard season in his age 30 season at 2602 carrier carries. And after players have their drop off, they average just 169 carries per season at 3.5 yards per carry and just 5 touchdowns, so they’re really a non-factor as a back. I don’t think they’ll be able to count on him in 2014 and beyond and they clearly don’t view Jacquizz Rodgers as anything more than a complementary back. Here’s a back he can complement long term.

128. San Francisco 49ers- RB Marcus Lattimore (South Carolina)

I really like this fit. Frank Gore is probably heading into his last year with the team. They have Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James for the future, but neither of those two is the type of power, interior runner that Lattimore can be when healthy. The 49ers have plenty of picks and can afford to take a flier on Lattimore. He wouldn’t have to play a single snap as a rookie if he’s not ready, but he could be another very good and very cheap asset for their future in 2014 and beyond.

129. Baltimore Ravens- WR Chris Harper (Kansas State)

Anquan Boldin is gone and the Ravens need a starting receiver opposite Torrey Smith. They have some intriguing young internal replacements like Tandon Doss, Tommy Streeter, and Deonte Thompson and also veteran Jacoby Jones, but they could still take a receiver in the early to mid-rounds. It’s a deep receiver class. Harper would complement Smith well. He’s been compared to Anquan Boldin and the Ravens are known to be interested in him.

130. Baltimore Ravens- C Barrett Jones (Alabama)

Gino Gradkowski is a 2012 4th round pick penciled in at center following Matt Birk’s retirement, but they could use some competition for him. Jones is versatile enough to play all 5 spots on the line even if he can’t beat out Gradkowski so that will appeal to the Ravens.

131. San Francisco 49ers- 3-4 DE Lavar Edwards (LSU)

Five-technique defensive end Justin Smith will be a free agent heading into his age 35 season next off-season. Expect the 49ers to prioritize extensions for Aldon Smith and Colin Kaepernick next off-season before re-signing him, so 2013 might be his last year with the 49ers, if not his last year in the NFL. The 49ers need to find a long term successor.

132. Detroit Lions- CB Brandon McGee (Miami)

The Lions retained Chris Houston, who played well last season, and have three cornerbacks going into their 2nd year in the league that they like, but the Lions could still add another cornerback at some point in the draft.

133. Atlanta Falcons- C Brian Schwenke (California)

They have more pressing needs, but the Falcons lost two starters on the offensive line from last season, one at center and one at right tackle. They will probably add an interior offensive lineman and an offensive tackle through the draft. Schwenke is the former. They’ve worked him out privately.

 

Go on to 5th round

[google_ad]

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

2013 NFL Mock Draft 5th Round

1-16 17-32 2nd round 3rd round 4th round 5th round 6th round 7th round

 

134. Kansas City Chiefs- RLB Sean Porter (Texas A&M)

The Chiefs addressed their pressing needs and are now free to focus on depth. Porter would provide much needed depth at rush linebacker and they’ve hosted him privately. Justin Houston and Tamba Hali are great, but Houston has just 2 years left on his deal and Hali is a veteran with a big contract and we all know how fast those guys can be kicked out of town if they don’t perform.

135. Jacksonville Jaguars- S Cooper Taylor (Richmond)

Taylor is an intriguing prospect. The 6-5 228 pound Georgia Tech transfer has gone on 6 visits, including one to Jacksonville. They make the most sense for him considering they have a big hole at safety after cutting Dawan Landry and considering new Head Coach Gus Bradley comes from Seattle. The Seahawks love big strong safeties and Taylor might remind Bradley of Kam Chancellor, who also went in the 5th round just 3 years ago.

136. Philadelphia Eagles- S Tony Jefferson (Oklahoma)

Even after adding Kenny Phillips and Patrick Chung, the Eagles probably aren’t done adding safeties. Neither of those guys can stay healthy, while Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman were arguably the worst starting safety duo in the NFL next season.

137. Detroit Lions- DE Devin Taylor (South Carolina)

With only 3 defensive ends on the roster, one of whom could play defensive tackle on passing downs, the Lions could easily double up on defensive ends through the draft.

138. Seattle Seahawks- OT Luke Marquardt (Azusa Pacific)

The Seahawks drafted James Carpenter in the first round in 2011, but he seems to have been converted to guard after struggling on the field and with injuries in his first two years in the league. Breno Giacomini is their new right tackle and he could be upgraded. With only 3 offensive tackles on the roster as of this writing and no backups with any experience, it’s very possible they’ll look to the draft for a developmental right tackle.

139. Cleveland Browns- WR Kenny Stills (Oklahoma)

Greg Little is still really inconsistent with drops on the outside opposite Josh Gordon. He could be moved to the slot long term, so the Browns have a need for a developmental outside receiver. The Browns have worked out Stills privately.

140. Arizona Cardinals- RB Montee Ball (Wisconsin)

Ryan Williams has never been able to stay healthy, while Rashard Mendenhall is coming off a down year and is only on a one year deal. Ball would be a solid #3 back and is a good value at this point in the draft.

141. New Orleans Saints (TRADE)- OT Brennan Williams (North Carolina)

The Saints get this pick from the Jets for Chris Ivory in a predicted trade. The Saints let Jermon Bushrod walk because they don’t value the left tackle position as much as most teams because Drew Brees has excellent pocket presence and a quick release. Advanced statistics show that Bushrod was just a middle of the road starter that Drew Brees turned into a 2-time Pro Bowler. For this reason, I don’t expect them to use a premium pick on an offensive tackle, but they’ll have to add one at some point. New left tackle Charles Brown has an injury history, while right tackle Zach Strief is coming off an injury plagued season himself.

142. Tennessee Titans- OLB Gerald Hodges (Penn State)

Colin McCarthy played well down the stretch as a 4th round rookie in 2011, after taking over as the starter midway, but injuries kept him off the field in 2012 and he was pretty bad when he did play. They could use competition for him and competition across their young linebacking corps. Veteran presence Will Witherspoon is not expected back, so they are pretty thin there.

143. Buffalo Bills- OLB DeVonte Holloman (South Carolina)

GM Buddy Nix has spoken about the need to upgrade their linebacking corps and I don’t think he was referring to just cutting Nick Barnett and replacing him with Manny Lawson. Lawson is just a two-down linebacker. Middle linebacker Kelvin Sheppard really struggled last year. Nigel Bradham, meanwhile, is still very inexperienced.

[yard_barker]

144. New Orleans Saints- S John Boyett (Oregon)

Malcolm Jenkins and Roman Harper were awful for the Saints last season, but it looks like they’ll be given another shot in 2013. They’re unlikely to both be starting in 2014, however. Jenkins will be a free agent next off-season, while Harper will be owed 6.15 million, which he won’t see unless he turns it around in a hurry. The Saints could add safety depth in the middle rounds. They’ve worked out Boyett privately.

145. San Diego Chargers- WR Ace Sanders (South Carolina)

The Chargers’ receiving corps is a mess. Malcom Floyd is not a #1 receiver and, heading into his age 32 season, he’s not getting better any time soon. Meanwhile, Danario Alexander looked like a #1 receiver down the stretch last year, but he was available on waivers mid-season because he is so injury prone. The Chargers don’t seem to have a ton of faith in him either, slapping only a right of first refusal tender on him and leaving him available for other teams to sign away. He’s also going to be a free agent next off-season. Vincent Brown has some potential, but he’s coming off a broken ankle. Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal did nothing in their first season with the team after signing as free agents. Sanders could go as high as the 3rd round and he’s a steal in the 5th.

146. Miami Dolphins- CB Kayvon Webster (South Florida)

The Dolphins could definitely double up on cornerbacks in a deep cornerback class. Brent Grimes is an aging injury prone player signed to just a one year deal, while Richard Marshall and Dimitri Patterson could both be cap casualties eventually. Webster isn’t a big name, but he’s drawing interest, going on three private visits so far, including one to the Dolphins.

147. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- OLB Zaviar Gooden (Missouri)

Lavonte David and Mason Foster are two good young linebackers, but they have a hole at that 3rd linebacker spot. They have some internal candidates to replace the injured/released Quincy Black, but none of them are obvious long term solutions. They could add another linebacker through the draft.

148. Carolina Panthers- WR Aaron Dobson (Marshall)

The Panthers have been looking for a complementary receiver opposite Steve Smith for years. Dwayne Jarrett, Brandon LaFell, Armanti Edwards, David Gettis, Kealoha Pilares, Joe Adams, none of these guys have really worked out. LaFell is the best of the bunch and he’s marginal at best. With Smith turning 34 in May, that need is more dire than it’s ever been. They could address the position earlier than this, but Dobson makes sense here in the 5th.

149. St. Louis Rams- G Hugh Thornton (Illinois)

The Rams essentially traded Robert Griffin because they believed in Sam Bradford. Bradford has shown promise, but they need to get him more help. Adding Jake Long and Jared Cook this off-season will help, but he still needs more. The Rams have a huge hole at left guard. They’ve worked out Thornton privately.

150. Pittsburgh Steelers- MLB Nico Johnson (Alabama)

Larry Foote was brought back on a three year deal, but he’s heading into his age 33 season and they aren’t paying him like a starter. Besides, it’s highly unlikely he plays out all 3 years. The Steelers will try to find a long term solution at inside linebacker next to Lawrence Timmons either this off-season or next.

151. Dallas Cowboys- TE Dion Sims (Michigan State)

Tight end doesn’t look like an obvious need, but they’ve lost both Martellus Bennett and John Phillips behind Jason Witten in the last two off-seasons respectively. They ran a lot of two-tight end sets when they had Bennett, but not last year with Phillips as the #2 tight end. They have James Hanna, a 2012 7th round pick, but he doesn’t block like they like. Sims does. The Cowboys have had a private visit with him.

152. New York Giants- S Rontez Miles (California-PA)

The Giants lost Kenny Phillips to free agency this off-season. That might not seem like a huge deal because he was oft injured and Stevie Brown stepped big time in his absence this year, but the Giants were still a much better team when Phillips was healthy because it allowed them to use 3-safety looks and line Antrel Rolle up on the slot on passing downs. They’ll target safeties through the draft. Miles has been brought in by them for a private visit.

153. Chicago Bears- MLB Keith Pough (Howard)

The Bears could definitely double up on linebackers in the draft. James Anderson and DJ Williams are mediocre veterans, while Lance Briggs is heading into his age 33 season. They don’t really have much depth. Pough has been brought in by the Bears for a private visit.

154. Washington Redskins- OT Ricky Wagner (Wisconsin)

All the Redskins have at right tackle is Jeremy Trueblood and Tyler Polumbus. Polumbus graded out as one of the worst right tackles in the league last season. Trueblood was one of the worst in the league in 2011 with Tampa Bay and was benched early last season. They could add another player in the mix.

[google_ad]

155. Minnesota Vikings- S Shawn Williams (Georgia)

Harrison Smith is the only safety on the Vikings roster you can really count on. Williams adds more depth. With so many picks, expect them to use at least one on a safety.

156. Cincinnati Bengals- MLB Kevin Reddick (North Carolina)

The Bengals re-signed Rey Maualuga and signed James Harrison this off-season, instead of waiting for the draft to add talent at linebacker. That may come back to hurt them as they have plenty of premium picks and few needs. Maualuga was arguably the worst middle linebacker in the league last year and Harrison is only a two down linebacker in a 4-3. I still expect them to add a linebacker at some point, however.

157. San Francisco 49ers- QB Zac Dysert (Miami-Ohio)

The 49ers have a billion picks so a selection like this makes sense. Dysert is a developmental quarterback for Jim Harbaugh and he has the kind of mobility and arm strength needed to effectively run their system. I know they added Colt McCoy, but he’s a free agent next off-season and not an ideal scheme fit long term.

158. Seattle Seahawks- DT Stefan Charles (Regina)

The Seahawks don’t really need much, but they could use a developmental interior defensive lineman. They’ve worked out the Canadian prospect Charles privately.

159. Green Bay Packers- RLB Chase Thomas (Stanford)

The Packers could double up on rush linebackers because they lack depth and because they draft purely off their board. Unlike Trevardo Williams, who they took in the 4th round, Thomas is versatile enough to play middle linebacker as well.

160. Houston Texans- NT Montori Hughes (Tennessee-Martin)

Earl Mitchell and Shaun Cody split snaps at nose tackle this year, but neither really played well. Cody is a free agent anyway.

161. Denver Broncos- S TJ McDonald (USC)

Rahim Moore gets a lot of heat for what happened in the playoffs. While that might have been the single worst snap for any defensive back in the league this year, he was generally a solid, above average player up until that point. However, opposite him, Mike Adams is heading into an age 32 contract year. They have Quinton Carter, a former 4th round pick, behind him as a developmental prospect and future starter, but they could use another player in the mix.

162. Washington Redskins- TE Mychal Rivera (Tennessee)

Fred Davis is only signed to a one year deal and coming off a torn Achilles. Logan Paulsen, meanwhile, isn’t much of a pass catcher. They could take a pass catching tight end in the mid to late rounds.

163. Atlanta Falcons- OT Jordan Mills (Louisiana Tech)

As I mentioned earlier, the Falcons will probably add an interior offensive lineman and an offensive tackle through the draft. The already did the former. Mills would be the latter.

[switch_ad_hub]

164. Cleveland Browns- RLB John Simon (Ohio State)

New Browns GM Michael Lombardi always used to say on NFL Network that he wishes he could take a defensive lineman or a pass rusher with every pick in the draft. Even though it’s not a real need, I expect the Browns to use several mid to late round picks on defensive linemen and pass rushers, especially if they’re as good of values as Simon.

165. Baltimore Ravens- NT Kwame Geathers (Georgia)

The Ravens are known to be interested in upgrading the nose tackle position. Ma’ake Kemoeatu is a free agent heading into his age 34 season this off-season and former 2nd round pick Terrence Cody has never been able to beat him out for the starting job. They seem to have soured on the former Alabama prospect because of his constant issues with weight and effort. Geathers can push him and maybe start long term in 2014 and beyond.

166. Miami Dolphins- S Robert Lester (Alabama)

Rashad Jones and Chris Clemons will both be free agents next off-season so the Dolphins, who don’t have very good depth at the position, will probably add a safety at some point in the draft.

167. Green Bay Packers- WR Aaron Mellette (Elon)

The Packers lost Greg Jennings this off-season, which isn’t a big deal because he’s been oft injured and Jordy Nelson, James Jones, and Randall Cobb are more than capable of holding down the fort as their top-3 receivers. However, they don’t really have any depth behind those 3 so the BPA loving Packers could dip into this deep receiver class in the mid rounds.

168. Baltimore Ravens- CB Tharold Simon (LSU)

The Ravens have a bunch of picks and could add a cornerback if it makes sense, which it could considering the depth of this class. Cary Williams is gone and Lardarius Webb is coming off a torn ACL.

 

[google_ad]

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

2013 NFL Mock Draft 7th Round

1-16 17-32 2nd round 3rd round 4th round 5th round 6th round 7th round

 

207. Kansas City Chiefs- C Braxton Cave (Notre Dame)

Rodney Hudson returns from injury for the Chiefs on the offensive line, but the Chiefs could add another center behind him. They don’t have much depth in case he gets hurt again and Andy Reid loves his offensive linemen.

208. Jacksonville Jaguars- G JC Tretter (Cornell)

Right tackle isn’t their only position of need on the offensive line. Will Rackley is currently penciled in at left guard. He was awful as a 3rd round rookie in 2011 and then missed all of last year with injury. It might sound weird that a 7th round pick could see significant action as a rookie, but Mike Brewster, the current backup, saw significant action as an undrafted rookie last year. He was atrocious and Tretter would be an immediate upgrade. Rackley and Brewster both might be better off long term at center, where Brad Meester is on his last legs.

209. Oakland Raiders- G Lane Taylor (Oklahoma State)

The Raiders add a 2nd offensive lineman here. They’ve worked Taylor out privately and he’d provide depth at guard. 2012 3rd round pick Tony Bergstrom will start at left guard next season, while Mike Brisiel is coming off a down year at right guard. He’s not a good fit for their new power blocking scheme anyway.

210. Philadelphia Eagles- TE Chris Gragg (Arkansas)

Chip Kelly loves his tight ends. Despite adding James Casey to go with Brent Celek, they’ve worked out several in the draft process. One of those tight ends is Gragg, whose straight line speed would make him a natural fit for Kelly’s offense. It’s no surprise they’ve shown interest in him.

211. Detroit Lions- S Jonathan Meeks (Clemson)

Even though they re-signed Louis Delmas and signed Glover Quin, the Lions could still bring in another safety. Delmas is often injured and no one else on their roster has looked remotely like they belonged when pressed into duty. They’ve worked out Meeks privately.

212. Philadelphia Eagles- RB Kenjon Barner (Oregon)

If he’s still available in the 7th round, I don’t see why Chip Kelly wouldn’t bring in his Oregon speedster even though they don’t have an obvious need at the running back position. Barner could push Chris Polk for #3 back duties and would more likely to make the roster than really anyone else they could take here.

213. Minnesota Vikings- OLB Etienne Sabino (Ohio State)

The Vikings take another linebacker. Manti Te’o in the 1st round solidifies the middle, but Erin Henderson on the outside is a pretty one dimensional run stuffer who struggles when asked to play in reverse and drop into coverage.

214. Minnesota Vikings- WR Cobi Hamilton (Arkansas)

A 3rd receiver? Well the Vikings have a severe need at the position and a ton of picks. Besides, Hamilton is a good value in the 7th round.

215. New York Jets- RLB Armonty Bryant (East Central Oklahoma)

The Jets accumulated a ton of picks by trading away the 9th pick and Darrelle Revis so they could triple up on edge rushers. They’ve worked out Bryant privately.

216. Tennessee Titans- WR Zach Rogers (Tennessee)

Kenny Britt is entering a contract year and he’s yet to be able to consistently stay healthy and stay out of trouble. Meanwhile, the Titans don’t seem to want to pay Nate Washington his 4.2 million dollar salary in 2013. If they can’t trade him, he’ll probably be cut. Expect the Titans to target receivers in the mid to late rounds. They’ve worked Rogers out privately.

217. Miami Dolphins- WR Ryan Spadola (Lehigh)

Davone Bess could be on his way out so the Dolphins could still take a receiver in the late rounds. They’ve worked out Spadola privately.

218. Philadelphia Eagles- C Dalton Freeman (Clemson)

It would surprise me if the Eagles didn’t come out of the draft with at least two offensive lineman. Freeman could eventually push Jason Kelce, who struggled mightily as a rookie and then missed most of last year with injury.

[yard_barker]

219. Arizona Cardinals- CB Johnny Adams (Michigan State)

The Cardinals could add cornerback depth from a good cornerback class after losing Greg Toler to the Colts. Adams is a good value in the 7th round.

220. Seattle Seahawks- CB Demetrius McCray (Appalachian State)

Like they did with a safety in the 6th round, the Seahawks add another defensive back who fits what they look for here in the 7th round and take a tall, long cornerback. They love their defensive backs.

221. San Diego Chargers- RB Stefphon Jefferson (Nevada)

The Chargers added Danny Woodhead behind Ryan Matthews, but they still could use another running back. Woodhead is just a 3rd down specialist and not a real threat to steal significant carries away from Mathews. They need someone who is because Mathews is much better when working in tandem with another back.

222. St. Louis Rams- TE Levine Toilolo (Stanford)

Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer loves tight ends. Even though they have Jared Cook and former 2nd round pick Lance Kendricks, the Rams could still add one late if the value makes sense. Toilolo is a project as a receiver, but he’s an NFL ready blocker and has all the tools to develop into a well-rounded tight end. I don’t know why he isn’t being mentioned as a mid-round pick.

223. Pittsburgh Steelers- TE Jake Stoneburner (Ohio State)

Heath Miller is a question mark for next season after tearing his ACL in December. The Steelers don’t have anyone on the depth chart behind him that can catch passes so I expect them to bring in a tight end through the draft.

224. Miami Dolphins- K Dustin Hopkins (Florida State)

Dan Carpenter’s roster spot is reportedly in jeopardy as the Dolphins could save 3 million against the cap cutting him and he’s a marginal kicker anyway. Hopkins would replace him.

225. New York Giants- DE Quanterus Smith (Western Kentucky)

I’ve had the Giants spending an early pick on a defensive end in recent mocks after Osi Umenyiora left as a free agent, but it now sounds like Mathias Kiwanuka will moving back to defensive end either full time or on obvious passing downs next season, so it’s not a pressing need. However, it wouldn’t be like the Giants to not add an edge rusher, especially with Justin Tuck in an age 30 contract year. They’ve worked out Smith privately. He may have to redshirt as a rookie with an injury problem, but he could prove to be a steal.

226. New England Patriots- WR TJ Moe (Missouri)

The Patriots could double up on receivers. Moe has the kind of short area quickness that the Patriots value, leading all wide receivers in the 3 cone drill at the Combine.

227. Cleveland Browns- CB Adrian Bushnell (Louisville)

The Browns could double up on cornerbacks given their need at the position. There’s nothing really tying Bushnell to the Browns, but he’s a draftable prospect that would make sense for them here.

228. Washington Redskins- WR Mark Harrison (Rutgers)

Pierre Garcon can’t stay healthy. Josh Morgan is heading into a contract year. Santana Moss is potential cap casualty heading into his age 34 contract year.

229. Minnesota Vikings- G Randy Richards (Missouri State)

The Vikings could use upgrades at both guard spots so with a ton of picks, they could double up on the position.

230. Indianapolis Colts- MLB Steve Beauharnais (Rutgers)

The Colts could use another middle linebacker in the mix. Their defense as a whole got destroyed last season, despite a fairly weak schedule.

[google_ad]

231. Seattle Seahawks- DE Rufus Johnson (Tarleton State)

More pass rush may seem like the last thing the Seahawks need, but they don’t really need anything and they’ve worked out Johnson privately.

232. Green Bay Packers- WR Charles Johnson (Grand Valley State)

The Packers don’t necessarily need another wide receiver, but they don’t really need anything at this point. They’ve worked out Johnson privately, one of two teams to do so (Patriots), and I think the small school kid gets drafted. He could be a welcome addition for a team that lacks experience after the top-3 receivers, should he make the roster. Given how they operate, it wouldn’t surprise me if they doubled up on receivers.

233. Houston Texans- RB Cierre Wood (Notre Dame)

Gary Kubiak is a Mike Shanahan disciple so he likes taking running backs late who fit the scheme regardless of need. That makes sense this year as Ben Tate is heading into a contract year and they don’t have anyone else to back up Arian Foster. Wood would be a good scheme fit and could end up being another late round zone blocking steal.

234. Denver Broncos- OLB Nathan Williams (Ohio State)

The Broncos’ linebacking corps could use an addition. Williams would compete for a roster spot and a special teams role as a rookie.

235. New England Patriots- DT Cory Grissom (South Florida)

Vince Wilfork turns 32 in November and will be owed 7.5 million in an age 33 contract year in 2014. As we know, the Patriots will not be loyal to you if you don’t play up to your salary. Meanwhile, Kyle Love and Brandon Deaderick are both average situational players at best, while newcomer Anthony Armstead is still an unknown. They’ll add a defensive tackle at some point. They’ve worked Grissom out privately.

236. Atlanta Falcons- TE Josh Hill (Idaho State)

Tony Gonzalez returning makes it so the Falcons won’t be forced into taking a tight end early, but they could still take one. Gonzalez is unlikely to be around in 2014 and they still need a successor. They could take a developmental one in the mid to late rounds and ease him into some two-tight end sets down the stretch. They didn’t run a lot of those last season as they don’t have a capable 2nd tight end.

237. San Francisco 49ers- C Joe Madsen (West Virginia)

Jonathan Goodwin will be a free agent heading into his age 36 season next off-season so 2013 could easily be his final season with the team. They don’t have an obvious replacement so they could add another developmental interior offensive lineman in the late rounds with so many picks.

238. Baltimore Ravens- FB Tommy Bohanon (Wake Forest)

Vonta Leach might be the best fullback in the game, but he’s still a fullback. His cap number for 2013 is 4.33 million (as opposed to 1.33 million if they cut him) and he’s reportedly the next on the chopping block should the cap pressed Ravens feel the need to open up more cap space. Given that, it makes sense that the Ravens have worked out some fullbacks, including Bohanan.

239. Philadelphia Eagles- MLB Michael Clay (Oregon)

Chip Kelly brings in another one of his Oregon guys late. They’ve worked out Clay privately. He’s too small to be a starter, but he’s a versatile and willing special teamer and a coach’s dream character wise. I bet Kelly brings him with him to Oregon either with their final pick of the 7th round or as an undrafted free agent.

240. Cincinnati Bengals- S Bradley McDougald (Kansas)

The Bengals’ need at safety is big enough that they could double up on the position if they see it fitting. McDougald is a draftable safety and makes sense for the Bengals, who have way more picks than pressing needs.

241. Seattle Seahawks- QB Jeff Tuel (Washington State)

Is Brady Quinn really the long term solution behind Russell Wilson? He’s only signed to a one year deal so I expect them to add a quarterback at some point.

242. Seattle Seahawks- G Jamaal Johnson-Webb (Alabama A&M)

As I mentioned earlier, the Seahawks have subpar play at left guard, right guard, and right tackle. They took a tackle earlier and now they add another guard into the mix.

[switch_ad_hub]

243. Atlanta Falcons- CB Rod Sweeting (Georgia Tech)

The Falcons lost two top cornerbacks this off-season so it only makes sense they could double up on the position. Sweeting is a local prospect that the Falcons have shown interest in, meeting with him at his Pro Day.

244. Atlanta Falcons- MLB Sam Barrington (South Florida)

The Falcons take a linebacker here with hopes that he can eventually push Stephen Nicholas and Akeem Dent. Their poor linebacking corps were a big part of the reason why they were among the league’s worst against the run this season.

245. Detroit Lions- OT LaAdrian Waddle (Texas Tech)

I expect the Lions to come out of this draft with two offensive linemen. They’ve worked Waddle out privately.

246. San Francisco 49ers- CB Josh Johnson (Purdue)

Nnamdi Asomugha and Tarell Brown will both be free agents next off-season, while Carlos Rogers could be a cap casualty. Expect the 49ers to spend one of their picks on cornerback depth, even if they trade away a bunch of their picks to move up.

247. Baltimore Ravens- 3-4 DE Will Pericak (Colorado)

Pericak provides extra depth on the defensive line if he makes the roster. They’ve worked him out privately.

248. Tennessee Titans- CB Khalid Wooten (Nevada)

The Titans could easily double up on cornerbacks. They seem to like Wooten. He’s the only late round prospect they’ve brought in for a private workout. They could target him in the 6th or 7th round and he’s here for them late in the 7th.

249. Atlanta Falcons- WR Anthony Amos (Middle Tennessee State)

The Falcons don’t have a lot of wide receiver depth behind Julio Jones, Roddy White, and Harry Douglas. Amos is a small school receiver that I expect to get drafted. The Falcons haven’t worked him out privately, but they met with him at the East/West Shrine Game, where he was one of the stars of the week.

250. Miami Dolphins- TE Matt Furstenburg (Maryland)

The Dolphins have been linked to Tyler Eifert and Zach Ertz in the 1st and 2nd rounds respectively, as Dustin Keller is just on a one year deal. If they don’t get either, expect them to still add a tight end at some point.

251. Cincinnati Bengals- WR Denard Robinson (Michigan)

I really didn’t know what else to give the Bengals and I didn’t know where to put Denard Robinson either, so this seemed like a match made in heaven. He’ll compete to make their roster as a slot receiver/scat back.

252. San Francisco 49ers- S Zeke Motta (Notre Dame)

The 49ers take a 2nd safety. Not only did they lose Dashon Goldson this off-season, but Donte Whitner will be a free agent next off-season. Despite making the Pro-Bowl, Whitner actually really struggles in coverage, allowing a league leading 12 touchdowns this season, including playoffs. He was responsible for almost half of the 26 passing touchdowns they surrendered this season. Motta will make a solid special teamer as well.

253. New York Giants- TE Michael Williams (Alabama)

The Giants brought in Brandon Myers, but only on a one year deal, much like Martellus Bennett last year. They still have 2012 4th round pick Adrien Robinson, but could add another tight end. The Giants require their tight ends to block and that’s Williams’ specialty. Eli has made decent receivers out of blocking tight ends before.

254. Indianapolis Colts- OT Garrett Gilkey (Chadron State)

The Colts could come out of this draft with two offensive lineman. The recently signed Gosder Cherilus is very injury prone at right tackle.

 

Players drafted by school:

Alabama 10

LSU 9

Georgia 9

Florida State 9

Florida 8

Oregon 6

Tennessee 6

Ohio State 6

Notre Dame 5

Texas A&M 5

Clemson 5

North Carolina 5

South Carolina 5

 

[google_ad]

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]