After the Super Bowl concluded the 2012 NFL Season on Sunday, football fans turn their full focus to the 2013 NFL Draft. Ravens fans can continue to enjoy their big Super Bowl XLVII win, but the rest of the league is ready to move on. Every team will need to be tweaked, re-shaped, or turned over this offseason and the Draft is a huge part of the team-building process in today’s NFL.
With all the impact players selected on the offensive side of the ball in the last few years, it’s important for fantasy football owners to be aware of the rookies who will make an impact next season. It used to be conventional wisdom to avoid rookies in fantasy football, but with Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck, RG3, Alfred Morris, Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick, and others exploding onto the scene after the last few drafts, rookies are now very viable fantasy options.
Here’s our first Mock Draft of this offseason with plenty more to come as we work through the pre-draft process.
Each FantasyCPR mock draft is featured in the mock draft databases at WalterFootball.com, DC Pro Sports Report, Sports Jabber, hailredskins.com, eatdrinkandsleepfootball.com, and fftoolbox.com. Each site keeps track of a huge number mock drafts all over the web, so if you’re a draft junkie they’re great places to get your fix of info… Clicking the link for the team will take you to the site on the Fansided network dedicated to that particular team and to get daily draft-dedicated coverage visit Fansided brethren nflmocks.com and withthefirstpick.com
Nov 24, 2012; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles defensive end Bjoern Werner (95) celebrates after recovering a fumble during the second half of the game against the Florida Gators at Doak Campbell Stadium. Gators defeated the Seminoles 37-26. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
1. Kansas City Chiefs
Luke Joeckel, OT-Texas A&M
Analysis: There’s a good chance the Chiefs move down a bit in the draft and pick Geno Smith while letting someone move up for the consensus best player in the draft. It’s still way to early to project trades so in this first version I’ll have KC staying put and taking Joeckel. If he’s the pick, he’ll help Jamaal Charles be even better while becoming a fixture up front for the Chiefs. I think Joeckel will be the pick, but I don’t think it’ll be the Chiefs who keep this pick.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars
Bjoern Werner, DE/OLB-Florida State
Analysis: Werner would instantly help the Jags depleted pass rush. Jacksonville has a host of needs, but would be wise to stay in-state and grab Werner for the defensive front.
3. Oakland Raiders
Star Lotulelei, DT-Utah
Analysis: Oakland’s defense has aged less-than-gracefully and they need an impact player in their defense. Lotulelei is versatile and will help take up space in the middle and blow up plays as an inside rusher. The Raiders could go lots of directions with this pick since they have areas of need at multiple positions.
4. Philadelphia Eagles
Geno Smith, QB-West Virginia
Fantasy Impact: Chip Kelly needs the right quarterback for his offense, and the best one in this year’s class is Smith who will make a solid addition if he’s still on the board. Smith was a little up-and-down this year for the Mountaineers but can definitely be successful in the right system with the playmakers on the Eagles roster. Smith may not be a QB1 in his first year and burst onto the scene like RG3, Andrew Luck, and Russell Wilson did this year. He may not even get the full-time starters role if the Eagles acquire a QB elsewhere, but he could be a good pick if he’s there for Chip at this point. Training camp, preseason, and the off-season will go a long way to deciding Smith’s value, but he could be a solid QB2 provided he’s at the helm from game #1 for the Eagles.
5. Detroit Lions
Damontre Moore, DE-Texas A&M
Analysis: In a division with Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler, the Lions need the ability to get after the quarterback. With Ndamukong Suh on one side and Da Monster on the other the Lions will be able to get after the QB. The secondary needs improvement too, but look for Detroit to address that need in the later rounds.
6. Cleveland Browns
Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB-LSU
Analysis: Mingo is perfect for the Browns new 3-4 defense and will be a beast coming off the edge. Cleveland needs help in multiple areas, but at this point it’s too early for another quarterback and Michael Lombardi will take a player who can be a big part of his team’s defensive rebuilding.
7. Arizona Cardinals
Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Analysis: The Cardinals need a quarterback, no question. The problem is there’s not any great options on the board, and even if there were they couldn’t keep him upright behind their porous offensive line.
8. Buffalo Bills
Matt Barkley, QB-USC
Fantasy Impact: There seems to be little doubt that Buffalo will go with a QB at this pick. It will most likely be Barkley or Mike Glennon from NC State. Barkley will be a nice pickup for the Bills and their new head coach Doug Marrone and I think he’ll be a solid NFL QB for the Bills. For fantasy purposes, he lacks the upside of the dual threat QB’s but could be a solid QB2 given the Bills weapons on offense if he gets the starts right out of the gate.
9. New York Jets
Dee Millner, CB-Alabama
Analysis: If the Jets trade Darrelle Revis, they’ll need a top cover corner to continue to do what the do on defense. Millner has the size and skill to step in and start in the NFL right away as the top CB in this year’s class.
10. Tennessee Titans
Analysis: Warmack is a great grab at this point in the draft for the Titans who need help along the offensive interior. The Titans offense has some great weapons if Jake Locker continues to develop and getting him help up front will definitely go a long way to helping the former Washington Huskies QB.
11. San Diego Chargers
Xavier Rhodes, CB-Florida State:
Analysis: With the Chargers starting corners free agents and the top offensive line options off the board, it makes sense for them to consider Rhodes who is a tough, physical corner who has the potential to matchup well with the bigger wide receivers in the league.
12. Miami Dolphins
Keenan Allen, WR-California
Fantasy Impact: The Dolphins saw enough from Ryan Tannehill in year one to give him another year or two under center, but he needs options at wide receiver if he wants to take the next step. The Miami offense could use a big, possession receiver who runs nice routes with explosion after the catch. Allen is the best fit and is considered by most the best receiver in a deep but not star-studded wide receiver class. If the Dolphins do go wide-out, whoever they choose will have enormous potential in fantasy since he’ll immediately have the chance to become a top option in a developing offense.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Johnthan Banks, CB-Mississippi State
Analysis: After trading the pick to Dallas last year instead of taking Morris Claiborne, the Bucs are still in need at the CB position. They also traded away Aqib Talib last season and could cut Eric Wright and get out of his guaranteed money. Banks is a big corner who excelled even in the SEC meaning he should have a relatively smooth transition and can impact the needs Bucs secondary right away.
14. Carolina Panthers
Sheldon Richarson, DT-Missouri
Analysis: Richardson is a tackling machine up the middle and with Luke Kuechly behind him can solidify the Panthers run defense for years to come. The Panthers defense needs to improve and this would be a big step in the right direction.
15. New Orleans Saints
Jarvis Jones, DE-Georgia
Analysis: The Saints need help on defense and getting Jones this late in the first round could pay off if he can overcome injury concers. I don’t think Jones will last this long but he does need to overcome the concerns about his spinal stenosis to move up on the board.
16. St. Louis Rams
Kenny Vaccaro, S-Texas
Analysis: Jeff Fisher’s rebuilding of this team is exciting to watch and picking up more key pieces in this year’s draft will continue that process. The Rams are building around their defense and Vaccaro would be a huge part of that. He’s flying up draft boards now and may go much higher, but the Rams would be thrilled to see him here at this point.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers
Ezekiel Ansah, DE-BYU
Analysis: The Steelers defense needs a boost and Ansah’s emergence at the Senior Bowl makes him an awesome addition at this point in the draft. He’s only played football for a few years but should excel if Dick LeBeau gets the chance to coach him up.
18. Dallas Cowboys
Johnathan Hankins, DT-Ohio State
Analysis: Hankins will be a huge pickup for Dallas as they move from a 3-4 to a 4-3 under Monte Kiffin. His versatility and run-stuffing ability will pay off as they look to slow down their NFC East foes.
19. New York Giants
Lane Johnson, OT-Oklahoma
Analysis: Johnson is the best tackle left on the board and a solid fit for the Giants need help with Will Beatty and Sean Locklear headed for free agency. Johnson had a great Senior Bowl and has risen this far and could even go higher if he grades well at the combine.
20. Chicago Bears
Tyler Eifert, TE-Notre Dame
Fantasy Impact: The Bears aren’t known for taking pass-catchers in the first round and could definitely go with Alec Ogletree to replace Brian Urlacher, but I think that Eifert would be an incredible fit into the Bears scheme and give Jay Cutler even more weapons in his offense. The Bears should allow Alshon Jeffery to continue to develop on the opposite side of Brandon Marshall and adding a pass-catcher over the middle with great hands like Eifert gives Jay Cutler another great target especially in the red zone.
21. Cincinnati Bengals
Dion Jordan, DE/OLB-Oregon
Analysis: The Bengals offense continued to develop this year and their defense is seen by many to be one pass-rusher short of being an elite unit. Jordan could go as early as the top ten, but is a great value for the Bengals at a position of need at this point in the draft.
22. St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins)
Cordarrelle Patterson, WR-Tennessee
Fantasy Impact: Patterson is an elite playmaker whose stock is soaring right now. If he’s still available this late, the Rams will jump at the opportunity to add a big-play threat on the outside for Sam Bradford. The receivers on the Rams roster currently have shown flashes of talent but not consistency. This would be a big-time addition and could pay off in boosting Bradford back into the top-QB2 levle and Patterson could be a fantasy WR3 option immediately in St. Louis.
23. Minnesota Vikings
Terrance Williams, WR-Baylor
Fantasy Impact: Williams has the upside to be the top receiver in the class. He could be a huge addition alongside Percy Harvin and Kyle Rudolph in the Vikings passing game. If the Vikings can get another reliable pass-catcher, Christian Ponder could continue his development and Adrian Peterson would only be more effective with a more balanced offense.
24. Indianapolis Colts
Jonathan Cooper, OG-North Carolina
Analysis: The Colts need help along the inside of their offensive line and Cooper could start immediately to help the Colts protect their investment from last year’s draft, Andrew Luck. Cooper moves very well for a guard and will be a big asset to the Colts in both the run and pass protection
25. Seattle Seahawks
John Jenkins, DT-Georgia
Analysis: The Seahawks are usually one of the teams that surprises in the draft, but they always seem to get good players. Jenkins would seem to fill a need on the inside of the line and fits with the Seahawks workman-like attitude on defense.
26. Green Bay Packers
Barrett Jones, C/OG-Albama
Analysis: Lots of Packers analysts are starting to look at Jones as the best fit for the Packers. With Jeff Saturday on his way out, the Pack will need a smart run-blocking center and Jones would appear to be a great fit for Green Bay.
27. Houston Texans
Alec Ogletree, MLB-Georgia
Analysis: The Texans defense was never the same after Brian Cushing went down. With Cushing expected to return, he could play alongside Ogletree behind J.J. Watt making the Houston defense that much better. Ogletree would help the Texans stop the run which with their running game could put them back into the race for the top of the AFC next season.
28. Denver Broncos
Sharrif Floyd, DT-Florida
Analysis: The Broncos have three unrestricted free agents along their defensive front and could use a tackle to plug in next to last year’s second-round pick Derek Wolfe. This would give them a young interior to the defensive line that can stuff the run and also make plays getting after the quarterback. Floyd is rising quickly and may go earlier, but the Broncos will be thrilled if he’s on the board this late
29. New England Patriots
DeAndre Hopkins, WR-Clemson
Fantasy Impact: The Patriots are most likely going to go with a wide receiver or corner back, but with Bill Belichick at the helm you never know what surprises are in store. If they do go wide receiver, DeAndre Hopkins play-making ability would be extremely attractive. Whoever the get at wide-out will have to share targets, but could pay off big-time if they connect with Tom Brady and establish themselves as an option in one of the best offenses in football.
30. Atlanta Falcons
Margus Hunt, DE-Southern Methodist
Analysis: The Falcons need a pass rusher and Hunt is expected to grade off the charts at the combine. Remember Mike Smith is a defensive coach first and with the tools he has on offense should be able to stock his defensive front with this pick.
31. San Francisco 49ers
Eric Reid, S-LSU
Analysis: Reid is the second-best safety in the draft and the Niners need to help their secondary behind a great defensive front seven. As Joe Flacco proved, their secondary was beatable especially deep and Reid would be a big piece to add to fill that void going forward.
32. Baltimore Ravens
Kevin Minter, MLB-LSU
Analysis: Maybe you heard that Ray Lewis is supposed to retire? After riding off with a win in the Super Bowl, look for the Ravens to waste little time getting their replacement. Minter could be an instant replacement with great ball skills and the ability to make tackles in bunches.
In the weeks to come continue to check back here at CPR for the latest on what could go down on draft day and what it could mean for your teams (real and fantasy) for next year.
So what do you think? Who did I miss who’s rising up your board and who should your team take in this situation? Let me know your feedback in the comments and check back next week to see what adjustments are made as we head into the thick of draft season.