The third version of my 2013 NFL Mock Draft begins to root through the muck of "how will they and how should they draft." I start to look past just need and overall talent, and consider draft histories of each team, and the value they place at each position. Each team is different, and I'll my do my best to get into their heads...
1. Chiefs- Geno Smith, QB West Viginia
2. Jaguars- Star Lotulelei, DT Utah
3. Raiders- Shariff Floyd, DT/DE Florida
4. Eagles- Luke Joeckel, OT Texas A & M
5. Lions- Datone Jones, DE UCLA
6. Browns- Dion Jordan, OLB Oregon
7. Cardinals- Tyler Wilson, QB Arkansas
8. Buffalo- Matt Barkley, QB USC
I flipped the picks in the first two spots, because of a tale of two QBs. First, the Chiefs will select the best QB in April, and that's far and away, Geno Smith. It's their biggest need, and history tells us you make that call on Draft Day, win or lose. As far as the Jags are concerned, they laid out their cards in support of Blaine Gabbert...at least for now. I expect they draft a QB next year, when the class is more athletic and well, just better overall. In the meantime, new HC Gus Bradley takes the big disrupter out of Utah, to make some hay up front. Big Shariff Floyd rockets into my top three for two reasons, (1) His motor is off the charts and he won't come off the field even in sub packages. (2) His versatility will allow the Raiders to let Richard Seymour go out to pasture. Floyd can be a beast inside, but also solid on the outside as a 5 technique. Day one starter. Joeckel stays put, as does Datone Jones (especially since they released overpaid DE Kyle Vanden Bosch). The more I watched Mingo, the less convinced I became on his value this high in the Draft. Conversely, the more I watched Jordan, the more I loved his versatility. There's significantly more upside here for growth as a playmaker, and still fills the same need at OLB for the Browns. The two QBs, Wilson and Barkley stay put for now, because I'm still convinced teams will take QBs higher than expected come Draft Day...they just do.
9. Jets- Bjoern Werner, DE FSU
10. Titans- Kenny Vaccaro, S Texas
11. Chargers- Eric Fisher, OT Eastern Michigan
12. Miami- Lane Johnson, OT Oklahoma
13. Buccaneers- Dee Miliner, CB Alabama
14. Panthers- Sheldon Richardson, DT Mizzou
15. Saints- Ezekial Ansah, OLB BYU
16. Rams- Chance Warmack, OG Alabama
17. Steelers- Keenan Allen, WR Cal
18. Cowboys- Barkevious Mingo, OLB LSU
I bump Werner up a few spots and give Rex Ryan more muscle up front to create headaches for Tom Brady. While losing Revis to the highest bidder is a real possibilty via free agency, collapsing the pocket will do more to improve their secondary if he does, rather than try to find Revis 2.0. Werner is a raw brute, that sheds blocks with basic muscle pass rush moves, will learn plenty under Rex. Another scary building block to pair with Coples and Wilkerson. Kenny Vaccaro and Fisher stay put in Tennessee and San Diego respectively, while the threat of losing Jake Long to the highest bidder, makes adding a true LT a big priority for Miami. We won't kid ourselves in thinking Jon Martin is a blind side protector that will carry the torch in Long's absence. Instead, he'll stay on the right, and make way for the talented Lane Johnson at LT. Johnson is in the mold of Nate Solder, long but with room to grow and excellent feet. He'll make Phins fans quickly forget about the regressing Long, who's quite honestly a better fit at RT anyway. Milliner and Richarson remain at 13 and 14, and Ezekial Ansah is a gift to new DC Rob Ryan in New Orleans. I love Ansah as a finishing 3-4 outside linebacker, and I think his limited pass rushing tool box will improve under Ryan. In the very least, the presence of Ansah in the run game greatly improves the sieve they trotted out in 2012. Big Chance Warmack stays put at #16, as does Keenan Allen at #17. The more I watch Barkevious Mingo, the more I think he flashes too much. Too often I see him disappear vs. one on ones, and fly off the edge unblocked on others. He's a terrific speed guy off the edge, and an impressive sideline to sideline OLB in run support. I just need to see more from him. Will Kiffin bring out the best in him? One would hope, and Anthony Spencer is likely to be paid by someone else once free agency begins in March.
19. Giants- Jarvis Jones, OLB Georgia
20. Bears- Manti Te'o, LB Notre Dame
21. Bengals- Eddie Lacy, RB Alabama
22. Rams (from Washington Redskins) - Arthur Brown, LB Kansas State
23. Vikings- Cordarelle Patterson, WR Tennessee
24. Colts- Xavier Rhodes, CB FSU
25. Seahawks- Damontre Moore, DE Texas A &M
26. Packers- Menelik Watson, OT FSU
Last go round, I had the Giants selecting an OT, but with Johnson climbing up boards, the Giants address another need (with the release of Michael Boley) and take the talented Jones at #19. Jones has some injury concerns (spinal stenosis diagnosis), but if medically cleared can be a steal this low, a prospect once thought of a top 8 selection before the medicals leaked. Te'o and Lacy stay put in their respective landing spots, as does the talented Arthur Brown at #22. Cordarelle Patterson makes his way up my board this week. Why? Well, not because he's my favorite prospect, far from it actually. I'm just now beginning to wake to the clarity that certain players and player types will still be high on draft boards. Big, fast and strong, Patterson is the prototype. The Vikes haven't had a "prototype" since Randy Moss left town...the first time. The "X-Man" Xavier Rhodes stays put to help out Chuck Pagano's poor secondary, and Damontre Moore lands at #25, to add some pass rush help up front , while Chris Clemons makes his return from ACL surgery. Menelik Watson? Wasn't he in "Coming to America?" He played the cop on the episode of "Who's Your Mama", right? Well not exactly. Watson is a former basketball standout with little football experience, who stepped right in at right tackle, and dominated for Florida State. Forgive my man crush for a moment, but this kid has all the tools to be a dominant blind side tackle in the NFL, and if the Packers agree, they may finally get their offensive line experiment right. Watson is long limbed, has great push in the run game, and terrific feet in pass protection. He still needs some refinement, but I think he could be a ten year All-Pro with the right coaching. After whiffing on Bulaga and Sherrod and pushing Marshall Newhouse to the blind side with a rash of OL injuries, they have to get this one right. Watson would be the right pick in this man's opinion.
27. Texans- Quinton Patton, WR Louisiana Tech
28. Broncos- Johnthan Banks, CB Mississippi State
29. Patriots- Desmond Trufant, CB Washington
30. Falcons- Tyler Eifert, TE Notre Dame
31. Niners- D. J. Swearinger, S South Carolina
32. Ravens- Jonathan Cyprien, S FIU
The Texans keep Quinton Patton at #27, as do the Broncos at #28 with Champ Bailey heir Johnthan Banks. Another prospect that continues to impress me with his ability to compete and make plays, is Desmond Trufant. He's equal parts Cortland Finnegan and Asante Samuel, which means he might be a bit of an asshole, but also a talented press corner and zone ballhawk. The Pats either have one or the other, never both in the same player. Belichick will love his versatility, and with Aqib Talib potentially leaving via free agency for a fat payday, cornerback (not WR or S) becomes their biggest need. Paired with Dennard, the Pats get two "smallish" CBs, but compete to the whistle on every play. I'm officially off the Zach Ertz hype train, and settling in to Eifert Station. Tyler Eifert is a solid pass blocker, but more importantly, is a big red zone target with soft hands and fights for every catch. I'll still be looking at other TEs like Kelce and Escobar in the coming weeks, but for now, it's Eifert and everyone else. Easy choice for the Falcons, in the wake of potentially losing Tony Gonzalez to retirement. Swearinger and Cyprien are still moving up many boards as we speak, but I still like them to round out round one for me, meeting immediate needs for both the Niners and Ravens.
That wraps up Mock 3.0, send hot pics of your mom or racist Portuguese slurs my way via twitter @RumfordJohnny. Cheers.