The 2012 NFL Draft is now complete. And while we’ll begin harshly criticizing picks and players despite the fact that haven’t gotten their chance to prove themselves, keep in mind two things, NFL Draft fans: Players drafted in all rounds can surprise and be impact play-makers….and there’s always next year!
On that note, here is our First 2013 NFL Mock Draft. Draft Order is based on my (very rough) 2012-2013 expectations. See where the four quarterbacks, three USC Trojans, two running backs, and who got their hands on the 1st overall pick.
1 . Minnesota Vikings – Robert Woods, WR, USC*
-Getting a solid option opposite Percy Harvin may be wiser than replacing Christian Ponder.
2 . Oakland Raiders – Matt Barkley, QB, USC
–If the Raiders struggle like I anticipate, it’ll be because Carson Palmer isn’t the answer. Go with another USC product, 2nd best QB in the last 5 drafts.
3 . Arizona Cardinals – Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech*
-If Ken Whisenhunt is still around, he could have himself another Big Ben type quarterback.
4 . St. Louis Rams (via Wash) – Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame
–Stealing this pick from Washington, the Rams can like Te’o outside and have an elite front 7.
5 . St. Louis Rams – Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina
-Likely Steven Jackson’s final season in St. Louis, Lattimore is a rare running back that, like Trent Richardson, is well worth a Top 5 pick.
6 . Miami Dolphins – Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas
-He’ll need to bulk up signficantly, but he’s too good of a pass rusher to pass on here. Cameron Wake needs some pass rushing help to stay successful.
7 . Buffalo Bills – Ricky Wagner, OT, Wisconsin
-Maybe a slight reach, the Bills get a possibly the Outland award winning OT as their right (maybe left) tackle of the future.
8 . Tampa Bay Bucs – Jonathan Banks, CB, South Carolina
-Passing on Claiborne and Gilmore in the 2012 draft, the Bucs will need to move on from Aqib Talib, getting his replacement here.
9 . Cleveland Browns – Cobi Hamilton, WR, Arkanass
-Brandon Weeden needs as much as help as he can get, and they can’t bank on Greg Little being a consistent starter as of now.
10 . Cincinnati Bengals – Keenan Allen, WR, California
-Passed on receivers in the first round of 2012, Keenan Allen could have a monster year, helping Andy Dalton out of what I expect to be a down sophomore season.
11 . Carolina Panthers – Kawan Short, DT, Purdue
-Fletcher Cox wasn’t the answer for the Panthers in 2012, but Short may be in 2013. A better fit and a great space eater.
12 . Indianapolis Colts – Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
-Unsure if Mathis or Freeney are ideal fits in the new defense, but Jones sure would be.
13 . Jacksonville Jaguars – Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame*
-Got top receivers for Gabbert in 2012 draft, giving him another along with Marcedes Lewis will only further his progression.
14 . New York Giants – Tavarris King, WR, Georgia
-Didn’t get Mario Manningham’s replacement in 2012, so I’d guess Eli Manning needs Victor Cruz to have another elite season to be successful. Doubt it happens again, and they go WR.
15 . Chicago Bears – Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
-Brandon Marshall won’t be enough for this team, and after adding pass rushing in 2012, they need to get more complete receiver options for Cutler. Hunter’s ceiling is through the roof.
16 . New Orleans Saints – William Gholston, DE, Michigan State
-Coach Spagnuolo will bang the table for more pass rushing help, and Gholston is a freak athlete.
17 . New York Jets – Jon Cooper, OG, North Carolina
-Need more offensive line help, the Jets get a fantastic guard prospect that’s powerful on the interior.
18 . Seattle Seahawks – Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
-Barring a deep playoff run, don’t rule out this team trading up to get Matt Barklet REGARDLESS of where they are. Wilson would be a solid settling prize, though.
19 . San Diego Chargers – TJ McDonald, S, USC
-Safety is still a big need, and McDonald has elite potential. He’d complement Eric Weddle nicely.
20 . Pittsburgh Steelers – Nico Johnson, ILB, Alabama
-A safe, solid inside linebacker, he’ll shine this year without Hightower/Upshaw in a still elite Alabama defense.
21 . San Francisco 49ers – Robert Lester, S, Alabama
-Playmaking deep safety, the 49ers will need to build up secondary after passing early in the 2012 draft.
22 . Kansas City Chiefs – Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee
-Even if the Chiefs make the playoffs, Matt Cassell’s future isn’t safe. Bray may go higher.
23 . Denver Broncos – Chase Thomas, OLB, Stanford
-More of a luxury pick here, the Broncos don’t have a whole lot of needs on defense, so going best player available would be wise.
24 . Houston Texans – Greg Reid, S, LSU*
-Now they have pass rushing depth, getting a big play safety could solidify this defense.
25 . Tennessee Titans – Devin Taylor, DE/OLB, South Carolina
-Would have strongly considered him in the 2012 draft if he declared, the long, talented rusher fits their mold of 1st rounders.
26 . Atlanta Falcons – Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin
-Michael Turner is winding down, and the Falcons may need a day one starter by 2013. Ball will have wear-and-tear, but he has elite vision, patience too.
27 . Philadelphia Eagles – Gerald Hodges, OLB, Penn State
-Will still need linebacker help next season Hodges is a safe, reliable pick that will fit the trend of Penn State starting linebackers, with the ceiling to be maybe the best of the past few years.
28 . Green Bay Packers – David Amerson, CB, NC State*
-Put up awesome numbers in 2011, if he can do it again, he’d be a steal here this late for the Packers.
29 . New England Patriots – Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
-Patriots are going to start needing some fresh playmakers, and Austin certainly fits that mold.
30 . Detriot Lions – Kenny Tate, S, Maryland
-Unsure if he’s a linebacker or safety, the Lions may need a bit of both in 2013 draft. Plus, Tate could be a fantastic Joker TE coverage option.
31 . Dallas Cowboys – Andre Ellington, RB, Clemson
-I’m expecting big things from the Cowboys this season, but regardless, they’ll need more playmakers in the backfield. Eillington has elite speed/big play ability.
32 . Baltimore Ravens – Brandon Jenkins, DE/OLB, Florida State
–After winning the Super Bowl, the Ravens look to keep a strength a strength, get another solid pass rusher.
-Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma
-Da’Rick Rodgers, WR, Tennesse
-DJ Flucker, OT, Alabama
-Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
-Barrett Jones, OG/OC, Alabama
-Larry Warford, OG, Kentucky
-Wes Horton, DE, USC
-Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
-Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
-Star Lotului, DT, Utah
-Jelani Jenkins, OLB, Florida
-Sean Porter, OLB, Texas A&M
-Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
-Tyran Mathieu, CB/S, LSU
-Baccari Rambo, S, Georgia
-Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas