2013 NFL Mock Draft 2.0

No truth to the rumor that Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree patterns his game after Judge Dredd. - Kevin C. Cox

The final pre-NFL Combine mock draft of the season picks up where the last one left off: a defense-heavy top 15 mixed with a couple of inflated value picks (see: quarterbacks) and a prototypical prospect for the Dolphins at No. 12 overall. The scope of the 2013 NFL Draft has greatly changed during the last month, though, and this mock will reflect that with some twist selections in the top 10.

What a difference a month can make. When we last visited the projected first round of the 2013 NFL Draft, it was late December, bowl season was just underway and the NFL's draft order for non-playoff teams wasn't even finalized. Of course, we now know where 30 of the league's 32 teams will pick in late April, and we know which college players will be available, thanks to the mid-January deadline to declare for the NFL Draft. Do those facts make it any easier to construct a mock draft in late January? Hell no. That doesn't mean we won't try, though. And for some teams, the prospect options are at least getting a bit clearer.

Without further ado, let's get to the good stuff.

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Kansas City Chiefs

1

Luke Joeckel

OT

Texas A&M

Only three offensive tackles have gone No. 1 overall since 1968, but Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel could become the fourth entry in that book. The Chiefs and new head coach Andy Reid desperately need a quarterback to get the culture turned around in Kansas City, but in a draft offering very little in terms of franchise-caliber QBs, you go with the sure thing. In this case, a cerebral, technically sound left tackle like Joeckel fits the bill. Remember: inadequate (see: non-existent) pass protection was one of the main reasons for Reid's dismissal from Philadelphia, so expect him to warm up to the 2013 tackle class in a hurry.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

2

Bjoern Werner

DE

Florida State

Let's see--the Jaguars need to bolster their anemic pass rush and sell tickets? Surely a Northern Florida-based talent like Bjoern Werner could help on both counts, as he's a drop-in-the-bucket 4-3 end prospect who smothers the run, manhandles quarterbacks and can occupy passing lanes ala J.J. Watt. Other defensive ends in this year's class might be more developed pass-rushers than Werner, but none are as well-rounded or intelligent as the Seminole product.

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Oakland Raiders

3

Star Lotulelei

DT

Utah

Arguably the best pound-for-pound talent in this year's draft class, Lotulelei is practically a steal here for the Raiders. The Haloti Ngata comparisons aren't unrealistic, either--Lotulelei is a difference maker as a pass-rusher and run defender, and he's very comfortable in situations where he must take on multiple blocks (it's not uncommon to see Lotulelei cause problems while triple-teamed).

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Philadelphia Eagles

4

Eric Fisher

OT

Central Michigan

Chip Kelly's first priority in Philadelphia should be to acquire the long-term solution at left tackle that Andy Reid just could not find during his last few years with the Eagles. Fisher has prototypical size (6'7", 305) and technical polish, and possesses the footwork to negate speed rushers and the strong base necessary to handle the bull rush. Fisher's performance at the Senior Bowl this week has strengthened his status as one of the top two offensive tackles in the 2013 draft. An impressive showing at the Combine next month could cement his spot in the top 5.

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Detroit Lions

5

Dee Milliner

CB

Alabama

Defensive end is high up on the list of priorities in the Motor City, but in a draft with so much talent and depth at the position, the Lions can afford to address the other roster hole that has murdered them the last few seasons: cornerback. Milliner's a fiery, physical defender with the size and short-field quickness to win in zone sets, and the fluidity, awareness and hips to develop into a very good man-coverage corner.

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Cleveland Browns

6

Damontre Moore

DE

Texas A&M

It's purely by circumstance that an elite-level pass-rusher like Damontre Moore can slide all the way down to No. 6 overall, but that's the furthest he'll fall this April. Cleveland needs a bullish edge rusher to power its new 3-4 scheme, and Moore has the quick first step, strength and excellent hand usage to contribute immediately. Dream scenario for the Browns.

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Arizona Cardinals

7

Geno Smith

QB

West Virginia

Here comes the first quarterback selection in 2013. Smith's senior season at West Virginia ran hot and cold, but he has the decision-making ability, downfield accuracy and above-average mobility that Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians looks for in his quarterbacks. Expect Smith to have one of the strongest Combine/pro day performances of any quarterback in this class.

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Buffalo Bills

8

Jarvis Jones

OLB

Georgia

While Damontre Moore could slide due to team needs within the top 5, Jones could drop a few spots for a different reason: spinal stenosis, which Jones suffered while playing for USC, could scare off some teams in search of a "sure thing" within the top 10. He's also reportedly not much of a workout guy, which could have an effect on his Combine and pro day performances. Still, he represents insane value at No. 8 overall, and would greatly improve the Bills' overall pass rush.

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New York Jets

9

Mike Glennon

QB

N.C. State

Glennon probably made some money last weekend when Joe Flacco went up to Foxborough and thoroughly beat up the Patriots. Like Flacco, Glennon is right on the cusp of having too much height (6'6") for the position. And like Flacco, Glennon has the big arm necessary to pierce the East Coast wind in December and January. Questions remain about Glennon's instincts and accuracy, but a strong pre-draft season could land him with Gang Green on draft night.

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Tennessee Titans

10

Chance Warmack

G

Alabama

We've read for a while that Warmack is a guard worthy of a top 10 selection, and a team like the Titans could make that a reality on draft night. Warmack is the total package at the position--immovable in pass protection and a prototypical bulldozer in the running game (ask Notre Dame's defense--they'll admit as much). Warmack would be the ideal addition to a Tennessee offensive line that desperately needs to get stronger and more agile along the interior.

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San Diego Chargers

11

Jonathan Cooper

G

North Carolina

Yep, that's consecutive guard selections inside the top 15. This spot is all Eric Fisher if the Central Michigan product is still on the board. If he isn't, the Chargers can kick off the Mike McCoy era by selecting a premier prospect to address the team's second-biggest need: offensive guard. North Carolina's Jonathan Cooper is as talented an interior lineman as former Stanford Cardinal (and 2012 first-round pick) David DeCastro, and has the pure agility to get to the second level in a blink, and the strength and footwork to dominate as a pass protector. Cooper would be an immediate contributor for a team that needs an immediate contribution at his position.

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Miami Dolphins

12

Dion Jordan

DE

Oregon

In terms of a speed/length prospect, Dion Jordan represents an ideal fit in Miami's hybrid defensive scheme. And should he get his weight up to the 255-260 range by March, he'll look the part of a lanky-yet-powerful JPP-type pass-rusher with berserk upside and advanced capability as a coverage defender. The Dolphins like what they have in ends Cameron Wake and 2012 third rounder Olivier Vernon, but as the New York Giants have proven time and time again, it's hard to go wrong with a rotation of powerhouse pass-rushers. Jordan's pass-rushing tools are still developing, but his bull rush greatly improved through the course of this season, and he also flashed the makings of an effective rip move. Some will point to Jordan's bust potential, but few No. 12 selections have his ceiling and skill set.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

13

Johnthan Banks

CB

Mississippi State

We know Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano places a high premium on grit and physicality in the secondary, and reports indicate that the Bucs are already looking in Banks' direction. A long corner with good technique and speed, Banks is ideal in press-man and zone sets. He'll bring some playmaker ability to the table, too. Currently the No. 2 prospect in a sneaky good corner class.

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Carolina Panthers

14

Sheldon Richardson

DT

Mizzou

Richardson, the best 3-technique in this draft class, is the ideal prospect for a Panthers squad that couldn't be in worse shape at the defensive tackle position. The former Mizzou standout is a do-everything powerhouse in the Geno Atkins mold, and though he lacks polish in terms of pass-rushing ability, Richardson's lightning-quick first step and tendency to play with outstanding leverage make him a frequent visitor to the opposing backfield.

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New Orleans Saints

15

Manti Te'o

ILB

Notre Dame

The draft's most controversial prospect lands with the league's most controversial team. The Saints need a leader to take over the mike linebacker spot from Jonathan Vilma, and would be wise to at least consider Te'o's excellent value at this spot. The Notre Dame linebacker is a cerebral, technically-sound prospect with very good coverage instincts and above-average technical ability. Best of all, he and the Saints could bond together and put their respective pasts behind them.

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St. Louis Rams

16

Kenny Vaccaro

S

Texas

You have to be impressed with the Jeff Fisher-authored turnaround in St. Louis. What once was a miserable defensive unit for the Rams is now a loaded front seven and an upside-laden cornerback duo led by 2012 turnover vacuum Janoris Jenkins. Where St. Louis hasn't improved, however, is at safety, as the deep middle of the field was a friendly place for opposing receivers this season. A prospect like Vaccaro would rectify that problem in a hurry. The Texas safety boasts very good speed, pure playmaker instinct, ideal size and the flexible skill set to line up at free or strong and contribute at a high level. Put Vaccaro between Jenkins and cornerback Trumaine Johnson and you have the makings of a scary-good secondary.

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Pittsburgh Steelers

17

Barkevious Mingo

DE

LSU

Mingo's speed and length would serve as a shot in the arm to a Steelers defense that has seen declining production off the edge the past two seasons. Mingo is technically raw--his tape shows poor hand usage and an absolute lack of power rush moves--but he's physically gifted as all get-out, and would be an ideal project for Dick LeBeau and Co.

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Dallas Cowboys

18

D.J. Fluker

OT

Alabama

With the two elite-level guard prospects off the board, Dallas could use this pick to reinforce the right side of its offense line (a very friendly place for opposing pass-rushers this season). Fluker was a key component on a dominant Alabama offensive line in 2012, and with Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith would form one of the better protection bookends in the league. Mauler size mixed with above-average agility and technique.

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New York Giants

19

Ezekiel Ansah

DE

BYU

An obvious mock selection, but why change a proven formula at this point? With Osi Umenyiora headed out the door, and Justin Tuck beginning to show signs of aging, the Giants should think about bringing in a long, angular pass-rush talent to pair with stud defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. Ansah, like Barkevious Mingo, is extremely raw in terms of instinct and technique, and has only been around the game for a short time. You can't teach freak speed and length, though, and Ansah has plenty of both.

Bears_small_medium

Chicago Bears

20

Lane Johnson

OT

Oklahoma

The Bears' annual decision to mortgage their left tackle position is a big reason why Jay Cutler has struggled to remain healthy during his four years in Chicago. The mortgaging must cease if the Bears want to become a genuine, long-term contender in the NFC, and Oklahoma's Lane Johnson is a franchise-caliber left tackle who can shore up Chicago's protection woes in a hurry. The Sooners product boasts advanced technical grasp in terms of footwork and hand use, and has enough lower-base strength to hold his own against power rushers at the next level. Following a strong Senior Bowl week, he's officially the No. 3 tackle in this year's class.

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Cincinnati Bengals

21

Alec Ogletree

ILB

Georgia

There's a lot to like about the Bengals' defense, but a glaring lack of premier athleticism at linebacker held Cincinnati back at points this season. That's an easy fix by way of rocket-fueled, Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree. Questions about his ability as a run defender were to put to rest during the SEC Championship Game, and Ogletree's ability to get after the quarterback is arguably the best of any interior linebacker in this class. A pure sideline-to-sideline talent with rare upside and physical tools.

Rams_small_medium

St. Louis Rams
(from Washington Redskins)

22

Cordarrelle Patterson

WR

Tennessee

Here come the 2013 receivers. St. Louis saw a real improvement in its offensive structure in 2012, but there was a reason why the Rams wanted Justin Blackmon at the No. 6 spot last April: their receiver corps lacks a legitimate playmaking identity. Patterson was a pure slasher for the Vols this season, and has the open-field vision and burst to turn defenses inside-out at the next level. Route-running ability and consistency will be the main questions for Patterson entering pre-draft season, but even those won't be enough to scare off a receiver-needy organization late in the first round. Think of him as a bigger Randall Cobb.

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Minnesota Vikings

23

DeAndre Hopkins

WR

Clemson

Patterson might be the best overall playmaker in this year's receiver class, but De Andre Hopkins is the most consistent and well-rounded prospect in the group. A go-to target who welcomes contact and thrives on making tough grabs, Hopkins put together first-round-caliber tape while shredding LSU's secondary in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl on New Year's Eve. He doesen't have elite speed or size (6'1", 205) for the position, but he's a difficult jam at the line of scrimmage, and does some of his best work over the middle of the field. He's also very good in 50/50 ball situations. Very similar to Falcons receiver Roddy White in terms of size and skill set.

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Indianapolis Colts

24

Johnathan Jenkins

DT

Georgia

Indianapolis did an excellent job this season of playing the 3-4 scheme with 4-3-oriented talent. That's not a long-term approach, though, and the Colts have the opportunity to anchor its defense with a premier 0-technique talent like Jonathan Jenkins. At 360 pounds, Jenkins looks the part of a classic two-gap clogger, but he's more agile than people think, and will make himself a frequent visitor to opposing backfields. Conditioning is the main question with Jenkins, but he brings rare agility and size to the position.

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Seattle Seahawks

25

Sam Montgomery

DE

LSU

Defensive end Chris Clemons' season-ending ACL injury proved to be Seattle's undoing in NFC Divisional Round, as the Seahawks were unable to mount any consistent pressure on Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. With a loaded secondary and promising linebacker group, the Seahawks can afford to get a little creative and grab the best pass-rusher on the board. Montgomery projects best at 4-3 end, and he was actually more consistent and disruptive than LSU teammate Barkevious Mingo this season. Montgomery also profiles as a high-end run defender.

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Green Bay Packers

26

Tyler Eifert

TE

Notre Dame

The rich get richer. Green Bay's receiver group is already an advanced bunch, and the addition of a pure seam threat like Eifert could really put the Packers over the top in the NFC. Remember, Jermichael Finley did his best work in the flats. Eifert, on the other hand, is a pass catcher of the downhill variety. And though he's mediocre as a blocker, he's the definition of mismatch in the passing game.

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Houston Texans

27

Shariff Floyd

DT

Florida

It's hard to imagine the Texans needing more talent on their defensive line, but a 5-technique-approved prospect like Floyd could be irresistible to Houston late in the first round. Floyd has the ability to take on and absorb multiple blocks, and he's legitimate backfield threat, as well. Arguably a top three run defender in this year's defensive tackle class.

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Denver Broncos

28

Johnathan Hankins

DT

Ohio State

Hankins is the premier run-stuffer that Denver so sorely lacked this season. A true 1-technique prospect with an unbeatable anchor and good quickness off the line of scrimmage, Hankins will command a constant double team at the next level--a scary visual, considering that the Broncos' defense is chock full of speed rusher. Hankins' ability to saw into the backfield makes him a prototypical run defender, but he could use a little bit of refinement in the pass-rush department.

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New England Patriots

29

Keenan Allen

WR

California

The Patriots at this point need to continue adding weapons, especially with the pending departure of Wes Welker and the fact that New England doesn't have much in the playmaking department outside of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez (no, Brandon Lloyd is not a game changer in Foxborough). Allen is a big target (6'3") equipped with pinpoint route-running ability and very good hands for the position. A bit of a plodder, though, and it's unclear whether Allen can consistently contribute (say that five times fast) to the Pats' vertical game. Still, he represents big-time value late in the first round.

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Atlanta Falcons

30

Zach Ertz

TE

Stanford

Regardless of whether or not Tony Gonzalez decides to ride off into the sunset, the Falcons need to get proactive and find Matt Ryan a new tight end/safety valve. Ertz was monstrous in 2012 despite inconsistent quarterback play, solidifying his reputation as a seam stretcher and ideal red zone target. He's not the same level of playmaker or route runner as Tyler Eifert, but he's further along as a blocker.

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Baltimore Ravens

31

Kevin Minter

ILB

LSU

Probably the most obvious pick in this draft will reside at No. 31 or 32 overall. With Ray Lewis set to retire following the Super Bowl, the Ravens need to find a vacuum-like tackling presence at inside linebacker, and Minter was a whirling dervish for the Tigers this season. Not a prototypical linebacking talent in terms of size or speed, but Minter reads the game at a high level, is a sure tackler and rarely takes false steps. A do-everything prospect for the team that is about to lose a linebacker that quite literally did everything during his NFL career.

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San Francisco 49ers

32

Matt Elam

S

Florida

The Falcons sure saw something they liked about San Francisco's secondary prior to the NFC Championship Game, and spent most of that contest challenging 49ers safeties. Elam can help with that issue, as he's multi-dimensional safety who can line up anywhere on the field and contribute at a high level. Need a centerfielder? He can do that. Need a safety who isn't afraid to get up close and personal on the line of scrimmage? Elam did plenty of that in Gainesville. A fearsome hitter with a nice blend of speed and recognition skills, and he really blossomed into a leader for the Gators this season.

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