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Row12.com - A Community of Sports Writers and Fans!                                               ***Attention Writers***
 
2013 NFL Mock Draft 2.0
By Matt Horkman

1. Kansas City Chiefs -- Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
The hiring of Andy Reid as head coach has many thinking quick turnaround in Kansas City. Reid is notorious for getting production from his offense, but offensive line woes plagued his Philadelphia teams late in his tenure there. Selecting Joeckel ensures that won’t happen in Kansas City. Having played against the Big 12 and SEC, Joeckel’s already battle tested. He’s ready to enter the picture and give a franchise 10 good years on the left side.
Geno Smith
Alternative: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

2. Jacksonville Jaguars -- Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Reports suggest Jacksonville’s interest in Smith is heating up. This follows a brief flirtation with idea of acquiring Matt Flynn, who’s now an Oakland Raider. I’m going to connect the dots and assume the new regime doesn’t believe in Blaine Gabbert. Scouts love Smith’s size, arm, and athleticism. A strong pro day workout reassured their beliefs. Personally, I‘m in the skeptical camp, but the only opinions that matter are head coach Gus Bradley’s and general manager David Caldwell‘s.

Alternative: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

3. Oakland Raiders -- Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Losing defensive tackles Desmond Bryant and Richard Seymour created a void along Oakland‘s defensive line. Floyd’s explosive off the ball and consistently gets penetration into the backfield. He’s an ideal three-technique with excellent size and athleticism. More importantly, he has the potential to develop into a special player.

Alternative: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

4. Philadelphia Eagles -- Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
Switching to a 3-4 requires beef up front. The Eagles did sign nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga, but Lotulelei is a different animal. He’s a violent run defender and versatile enough to play any position on the defensive line. Pairing him with last year’s first-round pick Fletcher Cox, gives Philadelphia a foundation on their defensive line.

Alternative: Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon

5. Detroit Lions -- Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Despite drafting Riley Reiff last year, Detroit remains in the market for an offensive tackle. Enter Fisher who solidified his draft stock with a strong senior bowl and combine. He’s a good athlete with ideal size, and his pass protection is good enough to make him a day one starter. Drafting him allows Detroit to relegate Reiff to the right side, giving them a pair of bookend tackles to keep Matthew Stafford upright.

Alternative: Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon

6. Cleveland Browns -- Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon
Signing outside linebacker Paul Kruger gives Cleveland options, but it doesn’t solidify their pass rush. Drafting Jordan does. He’s a tall, lengthy, athletic pass rusher capable of developing into an elite pass rushing linebacker. Bringing him into the fold allows Cleveland to employ Jabaal Sheard to situational duties, while moving Kruger to defensive line in sub packages, where he was productive in Baltimore.

Alternative: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

7. Arizona Cardinals -- Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
Trading for quarterback Carson Palmer allows Arizona to select their future signal caller later. Their first-round priority should be upgrading an offensive line that gave up a league-leading 56 sacks. Johnson’s an ascending prospect with both left and right tackle experience. He’s an incredible athlete and does a great job of finishing blocks.

Alternative: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

8. Buffalo Bills -- Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
Some may shy away from Ansah because of his lack of production and experience. However, he’s the total package with a nasty combination of size, speed, and strength. He may need a year to learn the game, which is why a first-year coach with job security may be more willing to take a chance. Regardless, it’s a risk worth taking if he develops into an all-pro defensive end.

Alternative: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama

9. New York Jets -- Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
It’s not a matter if, but just a matter of when the Jets trade cornerback Darrelle Revis. The all-pro is in the final year of his contract and the Jets are reportedly shopping him. Drafting or acquiring his replacement remains an off-season priority. Milliner is a great value pick at the backend of the top 10. He’s physical at the line of scrimmage and excels in man-to-man coverage.

Alternative: Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU

10. Tennessee Titans -- Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU
Last off-season, Tennessee made a splash when they signed defensive end Kamerion Wimbley. His six sacks were hardly game changing, plus he turns 30-years-old during the regular season. Mingo is a younger, more dynamic alternative.

Alternative:  Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee

11. San Diego Chargers -- Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
While the Chargers need to address their offensive line, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that they’ll need to jump Arizona to land one of the three left tackles. They could select one of the two guards (Chance Warmack & Jonathan Cooper), but they aren’t going to impact the game more than Austin would. The Chargers have a ton of possession targets for quarterback Philip Rivers, but they lack playmakers. The addition of Austin gives their offense a much needed adrenaline boost.

Alternative: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina

12. Miami Dolphins -- Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
In less than a year, Miami has lost both starting cornerback. They traded Vernon Davis to Indianapolis last August, and Sean Smith left via free agency. Rhodes fits the profile of bigger, physical cornerbacks. He's also an outstanding athlete. The Dolphins could count on him starting on day one.

Alternative: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas

13. New York Jets (From Tampa Bay) -- Jonathan Cooper, OG, North CarolinaDarrelle Revis
Revis to the Bucs isn’t official yet, but I believe it’ll happen either before or during the draft. The Bucs gave up 4,758 passing yards last season. That was last in the NFL. Revis is worth the No. 13 pick, and reports suggest that a long-term contract is easily reachable. On the other side, the Jets want to get back to ground and pound football. A guard fits that style and Cooper has more momentum than Warmack because of his combination of size, strength, and athleticism.

Alternative: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee

14. Carolina Panthers -- Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
Winners of five of their last six games, Carolina enters the off-season with hope of a postseason run this season. They have a young, ascending roster, but they do have a couple of glaring needs. One of them is defensive tackle. Richardson’s a strong, quick-footed defensive tackle with an explosive enough first step to develop into an interior pass rushing force. The Panthers could stand to add two new starters inside. Drafting Richardson would give them one.

Alternative: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee

15. New Orleans Saints -- Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
With the hiring of Rob Ryan as defensive coordinator, the Saints are transitioning to a 3-4 on defense. They want to create more big plays and Ryan’s defense centers around creating plays with a pass rush and a swarming secondary. Vaccaro fits the latter. He was a first-team, all-conference player in 2011 (and second-team in 2012). He has good size, is fluid in coverage, and can serve as the last line of defense in any secondary.

Alternative: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia

16. St. Louis Rams -- Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Going into his fourth year as a starter, Sam Bradford has yet to play with a dynamic receiver. The Rams have two first-round picks and odds are good they’ll rectify that mistake with one of them -- possibly both. Patterson has an excellent combination of size (6-2 & 216 pounds) and speed. He’s the big-play receiver Bradford’s been waiting for St. Louis to draft.

Alternative: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama

17. Pittsburgh Steelers -- Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
The Steelers are a franchise with a proud history at linebacker, but they enter the draft needing two new starters at the position. Jones is an explosive rush linebacker and is relentless in his pursuit of quarterbacks. His underwhelming pro day has created a fuss, but he has plenty of good tape.

Alternative: Alec Ogletree, MLB, Georgia

18. Dallas Cowboys -- Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
An underachieving offensive line is among the many variables holding Dallas back. Whether it’s center, guard, or tackle, Dallas needs options along the offensive line. Enter Warmack, who’s a good pass protector and dominate run blocker. He’d bring a nasty streak back to Dallas reminiscent of soon-to-be Hall of Fame guard Larry Allen.

Alternative: Matt Elam, S, Florida

19. N.Y. York Giants -- D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
Like rival Dallas, the Giants enter the draft needing to upgrade their offense. General Manager Jerry Reese won’t reach for needs, but the Giants No. 19 selection matches up well with the value of the offensive lineman available. Fluker’s built solidly (6-5 & 339 pounds) and has freakish arm length of 37 inches.  His weight needs monitoring, especially in the off-season, but he’s a very good right tackle prospect.

Alternative: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State

20. Chicago Bears -- Alec Ogletree, MLB, Georgia
The decision by middle linebacker Brian Urlacher to reject Chicago’s one-year offer creates a need for Chicago. They did sign D.J. Williams, but they need to inject their aging defense with youth. Like Urlacher, Ogletree is a former safety with outstanding athleticism. He can defend the pass, shows good pursuit, and is a three-down starting linebacker.

Alternative: Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State

21. Cincinnati Bengals -- Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Quietly, Cincinnati has assembled a strong core of young players. They have a reputation of drafting and developing young players, especially along their defensive line. Werner fits that philosophy. He doesn’t do anything particularly great, but there aren’t many significant red flags that make you dislike him as a player. He’s just a solid football player.

Alternative: Matt Elam, S, Florida

22. St. Louis Rams (From Washington) -- Matt Elam, S, Florida
Defense is the rule of law in the NFC West. The Rams could solidify theirs with a safety. Elam is a thumper. He tackles well and is capable of covering the slot. If he were two inches taller, he’d be a top 10 pick. His combination of ball skills, range, and tackling makes him the most polished safety available.

Alternative: Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama

23. Minnesota Vikings -- Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
The Vikings need to replenish the middle of their defense with upgrades at defensive tackle, middle linebacker, and strong safety. Williams is phase one of that equation. He doesn’t dominate in any facets, but he offers good size, hustle, and physical play.

Alternative: Robert Woods, WR, USC

24. Indianapolis Colts -- Margus Hunt, DE, SMU
Entering year two of their transition on defense, the Colts still lack key components to make their 3-4 defense work. Their run defense was especially atrocious, as they finished 29th overall. They need more bodies up front and Hunt’s an excellent addition. He’s an outstanding athlete and has the frame (6-8 & 277 pounds) to bulk up and become a force of havoc in any d-line.

Alternative: Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama

25. Minnesota Vikings (From Seattle) -- Robert Woods, WR, USC
Signing Greg Jennings helps, but it doesn’t solidify Minnesota’s receiving corps. The Vikings still need to add another young pass-catcher to take pressure off Adrian Peterson. Woods is an excellent pick. He possesses good speed, runs crisp routes, and has soft hands. If he lives up to his 2011 tape, then this could be a steal at the backend of round one.

Alternative: Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International

26. Green Bay Packers -- Eric Reid, S, LSU
Former defensive player of the year Charles Woodson’s departure created news this off-season. Many consider safety a position of need because of his release. Losing his leadership stings, but Green Bay’s already replaced him with cornerback Casey Heyward. Their hole at safety stems from losing Nick Collins to injury in 2011. Reid’s a logical replacement. Eric ReidHe’s the best size and speed safety available. His 2012 season was somewhat of a letdown, but he’s a playmaking, centerfield type of safety. His best football is ahead of him.

Alternative: Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama

27. Houston Texans -- Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
The Texans are a balanced team in the sense that they can run and pass. If you examine the bigger picture, though, their threats are Arian Foster and Andre Johnson. They must find a complimentary pass-catcher opposite of Johnson. Eifert was very productive in 2011 and 2012, catching 103 passes for 1,488 yards and nine scores. He’s a better prospect than former teammate (and now Minnesota tight end) Kyle Rudolph.

Alternative: Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State

28. Denver Broncos -- Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
Last postseason, Baltimore exposed aging cornerback Champ Bailey by attacking him vertically. The Broncos will turn to the draft to right the wrong. They’d be elated if Trufant fell into their lap at No. 28. He’s aggressive, quick-footed, and breaks on the ball well. He does have a tendency to grab a lot and he won‘t get away with it in the pros, but there’s nobody better to learn the ropes from than Bailey.

Alternative: Tank Carradine, DE, Florida State

29. New England Patriots -- Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
At the backend of round one, Hunter provides big-play ability and value. He goes up and gets the ball at its highest peak and he uses his size to out position defensive backs. He also has the straight-line speed to consistently separate from defenders. He’d be Tom Brady’s first legitimate deep threat since Randy Moss.

Alternative: Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama

30. Atlanta Falcons -- Tank Carradine, DE, Florida State
Luring tight end Tony Gonzalez back and signing running back Steven Jackson may have extended Atlanta’s championship window one more year. They still need to address their defense, though. Carradine is coming off a torn ACL. He sustained the injury versus Florida last November. Before the injury, he was productive with 11 sacks, and one of the biggest disruptors in college football. This is a potential steal, if he makes a full recovery.

Alternative: Alex Okafor, DE, Texas

31. San Francisco 49ers -- Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
The off-season has hit San Francisco’s d-line hard. They watched Ricky Jean-Francois sign a big deal with Indianapolis, in addition to parting ways with Isaac Sopoaga. Williams is a 300-plus pound space eater that dominates versus the run. He may have to come off the field during sub packages, but he commands double teams, and could immediately compete for playing time.

Alternative: Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International

32. Baltimore Ravens -- Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State
You don’t win a Super Bowl without good players. The Ravens found that out as teams swarmed in and signed several of their marquee players. They won’t panic and reach for a need. They’ll simply select the best player on their board. Watson’s a good candidate. He’s a quick-footed left tackle prospect. The Ravens offense played its best with Michael Oher on the right side, so plugging Watson in at left tackle, gives them bookend tackles to protect their $120 million dollar quarterback.

Alternative: Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International

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