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Final 2013 NFL Mock Draft
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's 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.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars -- Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Many scoff at the notion of Jacksonville selecting an offensive tackle. They were last in sacks a year ago, so Oregon‘s Dion Jordan is the logical choice. There’s a bigger picture at work, though. The Jaguars aren’t making the playoffs with or without Jordan next season, so they need to think two, three years down the road. Fisher’s already an outstanding pass protector and his run blocking is only going to improve. It’s not the flashy pick, but the draft is about taking the best player available. Simply put, Fisher’s better than Jordan.

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.

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.

5. Detroit Lions -- Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
Despite drafting Riley Reiff last year, Detroit remains in the market for an offensive tackle. 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. Drafting him allows Detroit to relegate Reiff to the right side, giving them a pair of bookend tackles to keep Matthew Stafford upright.

6. Cleveland Browns -- Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Feeling the need to address their secondary, Cleveland should turn to Milliner. There are some late medical concerns, so teams will have to clear him with their doctors. Nevertheless, he’s physical at the line of scrimmage, and he excels in man coverage. His aggressiveness and pedigree (coached by Alabama’s Nick Saban) should keep him in the top 10.

7. Arizona Cardinals -- Dion Jordan, OLB, OregonDion Jordan
Linking Arizona to an offensive lineman makes sense. Last season, they allowed 56 sacks, which was last in football. Since their move to a 3-4, however, they’ve lacked a pass rushing threat from their outside linebackers. Drafting Jordan gives them that threat. He’s a tall, lengthy, athletic tweener capable of developing into a very good edge rusher.
 
8. Buffalo Bills -- Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse
I’m not breaking any news here, but Nassib played for new Buffalo head coach Doug Marrone at Syracuse. Most were assuming Buffalo would target Nassib in round two. Recent history, however, suggests teams coveting a respective quarterback reach for them. File this one under that scenario.

9. New York Jets -- Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
Expect the Jets to walk away with some combination of Cooper, Chance Warmack, Tavon Austin, and Barkevious Mingo. Both Tennessee and San Diego need a guard, so I suspect the Jets roll the dice and select one of the guards at No. 9. The Jets are looking to return to ground and pound football, so improving the trenches is a necessity. Cooper’s combination of size, strength, and movement makes him a great fit for that style.

10. Tennessee Titans -- Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
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 this year. Ansah’s the total package with a nasty combination of size, speed, and strength. He may need a year to learn the game, but he could develop into the next Jason Pierre-Paul.

11. San Diego Chargers -- Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
While the Chargers need to address their offensive line, it’s becoming increasingly obvious they’ll need to trade up to land one of the three left tackles. They could select one of the two guards (Cooper or Chance Warmack), 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.

12. Miami Dolphins -- Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
I wouldn’t use this pick on a tight end, but there’s no denying Miami’s willingness to build around quarterback Ryan Tannehill. It’s been their off-season priority. 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.

13. New York Jets (From Tampa Bay) -- Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU
It’s become a tradition to link the Jets to pass rushers this time a year. As an attacking rush linebacker, Mingo finally would solve the problem. He’s explosive off the ball and turns the corner really well. His shoddy run defense may make him just a situational player, but Ryan’s creative enough to utilize his strengths, while covering up any weaknesses.

14. Carolina Panthers -- Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
Winners of five of their last six games, Carolina enters the off-season with hope of a 2013 postseason run. 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.

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.

16. St. Louis Rams -- Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
Last year, the Rams made it a priority of improving their defensive line by signing Kendall Langford and drafting Michael Brockers. This year, they may do the same, but with their offensive line. They already signed left tackle Jake Long and the addition of Warmack solidifies the unit.

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.

18. Dallas Cowboys -- Eric Reid, S, LSU
Guard remains the No. 1 priority, but evidence points towards Reid as the contingency plan. Jerry Jones values height, weight, and speed players. He also drafted cornerback Morris Claiborne last year, so there’s a comfort factor with LSU prospects. Finally, Jason Garrett attended Reid’s pro day, which was a resounding success.

19. N.Y. York Giants -- D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
Like rival Dallas, the Giants enter the draft needing to upgrade their offensive line. 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.

20. Chicago Bears -- Manti Te’o, LB Notre Dame
Because of Alec Olgetree’s off-field issues, Te’o gets the edge over the Georgia linebacker. The Bears have done their homework on Te’o, as the team needs to replace middle linebacker Brian Urlacher, who rejected a one-year offer earlier this year.

21. Cincinnati Bengals -- Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International
Four safeties could hear their name called in round one and Cyprien's among them. He’s an in-the-box strong safety that’ll provide another intimidating presence in Mike Zimmer’s defense. He didn’t play against high-level competition, but that’s a tiny nitpick in his body of work.

22. St. Louis Rams (From Washington) -- DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
Going into his fourth year as a starter, quarterback 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. Hopkins has visited with St. Louis twice, which tells me they like him. He wouldn’t be my choice, but he’s a polished route runner capable of developing into a No. 1 under the right circumstances.

23. Minnesota Vikings -- Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Plucking receiver Greg Jennings from Green Bay was a nice coup for Minnesota, but he turns 30 in September, so the team still needs to inject youth into their receiving corps. Trading up isn’t out of question, but Minnesota could easily see Patterson fall into their laps. The Vikings need targets for quarterback Christian Ponder and Patterson’s combination of size (6-2 & 216 pounds) and speed is a nice addition.

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.

25. Minnesota Vikings (From Seattle) -- Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
Losing Antoine Winfield is a kick to the gut for Minnesota‘s secondary. Trufant could replace him. He’s aggressive, quick-footed, and breaks on the ball well. He does have a tendency to grab a lot, but the Vikings need corners to slow down some of the aerial attacks in the NFC North.

26. Green Bay Packers -- Matt Elam, S, FloridaMatt Elam
Many consider safety a position of need because of Charles Woodson‘s release. Losing his leadership stings, but Green Bay’s void at safety stems from their failure to replace Nick Collins, who suffered a career-ending injury in 2011. Elam’s a thumper. His combination of ball skills, range, and tackling makes him the most polished safety available. If he were two inches taller, he’d be a top 10 pick

27. Houston Texans -- Robert Woods, WR, USC
The Texans are a balanced team in the sense that they can run and pass. If you examine the bigger picture, though, their only threats are Arian Foster and Andre Johnson. They must find a complimentary receiver opposite of Johnson. Woods is the perfect fit. 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.

28. Denver Broncos -- Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA
This is my hunch. I rank Franklin and Michigan State’s Le’Veon Bell as the draft’s top running backs. Of the two, it seems Franklin’s generating some last-minute buzz. The UCLA star can run between the tackles, operate in space, and pass protect. The latter makes him especially tempting for Denver, who could use an every-down running back to complete their offense.

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.

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. 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.

31. San Francisco 49ers -- Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
With a plethora of draft picks, San Francisco could very well move into the draft‘s top 20 to secure the player they want. I could see them moving as high as No. 15 to guarantee they get Vaccaro. However, they also need to address the defensive line after losing Isaac Sopoaga and Ricky Jean-Francois. Williams would not be my choice, but the North Carolina defensive tackle offers good size, hustle, and physical play.

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.

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