Each week Fansided.com will have a new mock draft to preview and showcase this upcoming April’s draft. For more in depth analysis of each pick, be sure to visit the Fansided site of your favorite team and check back each Monday for a new and updated Mock Draft.
NOTE: This is as accurate a draft order as possible. As the season nears it’s conclusion, the accuracy of the draft positioning will become more pin point. Here is the current draft order.
1. Kansas City Chiefs – Geno Smith, Quarterback, West Virginia
At the end of the season, the Chiefs are going to undergo some serious change. A new general manager, a new head coach and a new stable of talented players. When a new regime takes over, the first thing they need to do is evaluate the quarterback position. That means they will be sifting through the eligible quarterbacks in this year’s draft class and take the man that they think can be the biggest difference maker. This year, that is West Virginia’s Geno Smith.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jarvis Jones, Outside Linebacker/Defensive End, Georgia
The Jaguars need to upgrade along the defensive front seven. One way to do that would be by selecting a player like Jones that has been compared to Denver’s Von Miller. Jones can play with his hand in the dirt and make some plays standing. Jones is battle tested in the toughest conference in college football and he has shown he is an elite pass rusher that can change a game.
3. Philadelphia Eagles – Luke Joeckel, Offensive Tackle, Texas A&M
The Eagles aren’t going to be able to get anything going until they solidify their offensive line. Joeckel is the clear number one prospect at his position and the Eagles will need to pull the trigger. If Nick Foles is going to have any success moving forward, he is going to need a reliable left tackle and that is just what Joeckel will provide.
4. Oakland Raiders – Star Lotulelei, Defensive Tackle, Utah
The Raiders desperately need to upgrade their talent along the defensive line. Luckily for them, that is the strength of the 2013 NFL Draft class. Oakland will have their pick from multiple top tier prospects at a position of need. As it stands now, Lotulelei will be the top available player along the defensive line. Don’t rule out a pass rusher for Oakland, either.
5. Cleveland Browns – Barkevious Mingo, Outside Linebacker/Defensive End, LSU
The Browns would love to land Jarvis Jones with their first pick, but Mingo is an excellent consolation prize. Mingo is considered one of the most naturally gifted pass rushers in this year’s draft class and his size/speed/strength combination has NFL personnel excited about his potential.
6. Tennessee Titans – Bjoern Werner, Defensive End, Florida State
Bjoern Werner is a name that is rapidly rising up NFL Draft boards and he could end up being selected in the top three. For now, Werner would be a perfect fit in Tennessee. As the nation’s most consistent pass rusher, Werner would bring some much needed production to the Titans defensive end position.
7. Detroit Lions – Manti Te’o, Linebacker, Notre Dame
In typical Detroit Lions fashion, the team will go with the best player on their board. Grabbing a linebacker like Te’o may not be as big of a need as grabbing a top tier cornerback, but at this point Te’o is too good to pass up. This could be a spot where teams would be looking to jump up ahead of Buffalo and Arizona to snag a quarterback, in which case they could land the corner they desire like Dee Milliner or Johnathan Banks.
8. San Diego Chargers – Dee Milliner, Cornerback, Alabama
Milliner is the clear number one cornerback prospect in this draft. Milliner could have gone to Detroit just a pick earlier, so if he remains on the board it would be the pick San Diego needs to make. Two of the Chargers top defensive backs will become free agents after the season and they can ill afford to allow a top talent like Milliner slip through their fingers.
9. Buffalo Bills – Damontre Moore, DE/OLB, Texas A&M
It may not be the biggest need for the Bills, but after the past two weeks they have shown they desperately need help on the defensive side of the ball. You can never have too many pass rushers and Moore is considered a possible top 5 talent. Moore still has a lot of room to develop and he could learn behind Mario Williams and Mark Anderson before he is ready to make a major impact.
10. Carolina Panthers – Johnathan Hankins, Defensive Tackle, Ohio State
Carolina would love to get their hand on Star Lotulelei, but he will be long gone before the Panthers are on the clock. Hankins would provide the team with a big body to place along their interior line and hopefully improve their rush defense.
11. Arizona Cardinals – Matt Barkley, Quarterback, USC
In my last mock, I had Matt Barkley falling out of the first-round all together. There has been some talk that it may be the case for Barkley who has some size and arm strength concerns, but with the recent success of Russell Wilson, someone will take a risk on Barkley and no team could be in more need than the Cardinals. The fans surely don’t want to sit through another season with Kolb, Skelton and Lindley playing under center.
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Johnathan Banks, Cornerback, Mississippi State
At this point in the draft, selecting Johnathan Banks could appear as a bit of a stretch based on his draft stock but it is a move the Buccaneers almost have to make. After trading away Aqib Talib to the Patriots, Tampa Bay needs to find a replacement in the secondary.
13. Miami Dolphins – Taylor Lewan, Offensive Tackle, Michigan
I wanted to put a player like Dion Jordan from Oregon here for the Dolphins, but it seems increasingly likely that the Dolphins will allow Jake Long to test the free agent waters and walk this season. If that is the path they choose, they will need to upgrade left tackle if Ryan Tannehill will have any chance of success moving forward.
14. New Orleans Saints – Sam Montgomery, Defensive End, LSU
A lot of mock drafts have the Saints addressing the interior defensive line, but when you are playing in a division with Matt Ryan, Cam Newton and Josh Freeman, you need to rush the passer. Montgomery is a stud edge rusher who would bring a different dynamic to the Saints defense. It may not be the popular pick, but a talented edge rusher should be welcomed by any fan base with open arms.
15. St. Louis Rams – Jake Matthews, Offensive Tackle, Texas A&M
Sam Bradford need some help, so the Rams can help him out by grabbing the other offensive tackle from Texas A&M. When you play on the same team as Luke Joeckel and are still able to stand out on the film, you know you have the chops to transition to the NFL and make an impact. Matthews would be just what Philip Rivers ordered.