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Old 10-04-2012, 10:58 AM    (permalink
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Default First 2013 mock (detailed analysis, one BIG name omitted)

1.Cleveland Geno Smith, West Virginia QB

Iíve had a feeling for weeks now that I was going to mock Geno No.1 when I finally put together my first mock, and his performances since have only strengthened my conviction. Baylor might not have a very good defense, but Genoís performance Saturday would be mind-blowing if it was a pro day. He has demonstrated outstanding arm strength, accuracy and anticipation through the early part of 2012, and I expect him to ride a Heisman trophy campaign to the top pick in the draft. Even a year after spending a first rounder on a QB, Smith gets the nod, because the gap between him and Weeden is just that large.

2. Oakland Jarvis Jones, Georgia OLB

Jones appears to be about the only consensus elite prospect at this point in the draft process, and with a couple more monster performances, he should assure himself a spot in the top three. My guess is that Carson Palmer will play well enough that the Raiders will choose not to reach on another QB, and instead take the best pass rusher in the draft. Like Von Miller, I think Jones fits better in a 3-4 but is a disrupter in whatever system he plays.

3. Miami Barkevious Mingo, LSU DE

The Dolphinsí top need is a WR, but Keenan Allen and Justin Hunter would be reaches here. The Phins are also in the midst of a transition to a 4-3 and are in desperate need of a pass rusher outside of Cameron Wake. Mingo has elite burst and flexibility and is the best closer from a 4-3 DE position in the draft.

4. Kansas City E.J. Manuel, Florida State QB

The Chiefs are clearly a mess, and it begins with the QB. Unless Ricky Stanzi saves the year for KC, it looks like theyíll be picking very high and in the market for a QB of the future. At this point, Iíve been very impressed with Manuel and think he has the most upside of any QB outside of Geno. Matt Barkley is the logical choice here, but I really think people are underestimating just how far he could drop, especially if he doesnít finish the year like he did last year.

5. Tennessee Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State DT

The Titans have a couple of good, active DTs in Mike Martin and Karl Klug, but neither have the size to really control the middle and stop the run. Hankins has been super-impressive this season on an otherwise disappointing Buckeye defense and has only solidified his status as a potential to 5 draft pick. At close to 335 pounds, Hankins is rare in that he has no questions about his motor and is capable of supplying one-gap penetration in addition to being able to hold stout at the line of scrimmage.

6. Jacksonville Dee Milliner, Alabama CB

CB is one of the top priorities the Jags didnít get to address in the 2012 draft, and it shows. Outside of Rashean Mathis, it is really hard to get excited about what Jacksonville throws out on the defensive perimeter. Milliner should be one of the top risers after a fantastic beginning to the 2012 season. Milliner is fluid, tough and is proficient is a variety of coverage packages. He is not the shutdown prospect Morris Claiborne was, but he is a more complete player.

7. Jets Keenan Allen, California WR

If the Jets end up picking this high, itíll be clear there are issues in the passing game. With so much money committed to Mark Sanchez and no legitimate receiving options now that Santonio is down for the year, the Jets opt to give Sanchez another chance with a terrific talent who has great speed, good hands and create after the catch. He is one of the few WR prospects that can threaten every part of the field.

8. Tampa Bay Jonathan Banks, Mississippi State CB

One of my pet prospects in the draft, Banks is a remarkably consistent, versatile and scheme-diverse DB who might not wow anybody with measurables but has elite technique and instincts. I think heíll pass some of the more physically gifted DBs with superior tape. The Bucs are a mess at the CB position right now, and they probably will have to address the position in both free agency and the draft.

9. St. Louis Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M OT

You canít fault the old Rams regime for not trying to fix the O line situation, but it just hasnít worked out. They have already parted ways with No. 2 overall pick Jason Smith, Rodger Saffold is, at best, an average LT, and Barry Richardson and Wayne Hunter are prototypical journeymen. Joeckel offers the best combination of size, athleticism and production in a weak OT crop.

10. Buffalo Eric Reid, LSU S

The Bills continue to build one of the best young secondaries in the league, pairing Reid with Jairus Byrd. Reid has been a standout in a loaded Tigers secondary since arriving on campus. He is a ballhawk of the highest order. I only question whether or not heíll maintain this high of a draft stock through the workouts.

11. New Orleans Corey Lemonier, Auburn DE

In an absolutely stacked year for pass rushers, Lemonier is getting surprisingly little buzz. Maybe that has something to do with the menagerie of talented defenders in his own conference, but Lemonier has the production and the physical tools to become an elite edge rusher at either DE or OLB. I expect the Saints to rebound a bit when Joe Vitt is allowed to coach the team, but the lack of a good pass rush will continue to haunt the team throughout the season.

12. Indianapolis Star Lotulelei, Utah DT

This is a dream scenario for the Colts. They finish with a relatively successful first season behind a great rookie QB, and land a top ten talent at their biggest position of need. Lotulelei is a top five pick in many mocks so far, and we may get a good look at him tonight if top C prospect Khaled Holmes is able to play. Regardless, Chuck Pagano (weíre pulling for ya bud) would jump at the chance to take a player eerily similar to Haloti Ngata.

13. St. Louis* Justin Hunter, Tennessee WR

This is a bit of a projection, because Hunter certainly doesnít have the resume yet to merit this pick. His stat line this year is impressive, but he has dominated the weaker competition the Vols have played while being good not great against the better teams. I remain confident heíll put together a couple big performances for GMs to feel confident pushing him up the board with his remarkable physical talent. The Rams take Hunter over the more accomplished Robert Woods because they feel he can become a true No. 1 target.

14. Seattle Kawann Short, Purdue DT

At this point, I feel Short is one of the more underrated players in the draft. He has elite get-off, plays with outstanding leverage and has been one of the most disruptive DTs in the game with 30 TFLs the last two years. In the one game Iíve seen him play this year, he was great against a solid Notre Dame O line. To my surprise, Seattle didnít address the defensive interior in April. One standout DT to pair with Brandon Mebane can really put this D over the top.

15. Carolina Robert Woods, USC WR

Woods wonít go as high as his press clippings and stats suggest he should, but I really canít imagine him falling out of the top 20. Woods is a polished, precise route runner and hands catcher who wonít add the same vertical threat of the aging Steve Smith, but will greatly boost an undermanned WR corps. Cam will need a top weapon once Smith decides to hang them up.

16. Minnesota Sam Montgomery, LSU DE

Montgomery doesnít fill the Vikingsí biggest need, but he is an incredible value at 16, and you can never have too many impactful pass rushers. Montgomery isnít quite the prospect his running mate Mingo is, but he is even more productive in college and certainly has the talent of a top ten pick.

17. Detroit Desmond Trufant, Washington CB

Trufant is another CB creeping up draft boards with a strong 2012 campaign. The much-younger brother of Seawaks CB and top ten pick Marcus, Trufant displays many of the same skills of his pro bowl brother. Scouts will get many chances to observe Trufant under pressure this year against the likes of Oregon, Cal and USC. As a weekly observer of the Lions, this defense is painful to watch when they donít get a pass rush.

18. Dallas T.J. McDonald, USC S

Had the Boys not traded up for Morris Claiborne, they would have traded up for Mark Barron. Gerald Sensabaugh is a solid free safety, but Dallas currently has UFL talent outside of him. Luckily for Dallas, this is a strong year for safeties, and McDonald looks like the second best and a good fit at strong safety. McDonald is a bit like Taylor Mays, except for, you knowÖ the bad at football thing.

19. Arizona Taylor Lewan, Michigan OT

Lewan will go high because he is an OT in a lean OT crop, and he is just too big, long and athletic not to. I have big questions about Lewanís overall game, but the talent is there. Heíll just have to overcome some very shaky film against Michiganís better competition. Arizona canít ignore the line again, can they?

20. Pittsburgh Manti Teío, Notre Dame ILB

Get ready for this pick to show up again and again and again in mock drafts to the point where youíre already penciling Teío onto the Steelers depth chart. Teío looks to have made a very good choice coming back to school as he is finally playing with the physicality we have long suspected he is capable of. To be clear, he is in nowhere near the same class of Luke Kuechly, but he has settled into a solid first round pick. Many assume he wouldíve gone in the first round last year, but I donít believe that to be the case.

21. Chicago David Amerson, N.C. State DB

One of the seasonís great tumblers, it is apparent now that Amerson cannot be a pure man corner at the next level. However, you canít knock his ball skills or play-making ability. Amerson fits nicely in the Bears Cover 2 scheme where he can probably play a variety of positions and track the ball from anywhere on the field.

22. San Diego Terrance Williams, Baylor WR

Malcolm Floyd is having a nice year as a No. 1 target, but the Chargers arenít deep at WR. Williams is a big, physically gifted receiver who will continue to put up fictitious-looking numbers in Baylorís run-and-shoot offense.

23. Philadelphia Kenny Vaccarro, Texas S

The Eagles have been trying to fix the safety position for years, and I doubt theyíre completely thrilled with starting the injury-prone Nate Allen and overachieving Kurt Coleman. Vaccarro is an intelligent and instinctive playmaker. He may not be great in isolation matchups but he is terrific when allowed to freelance.

24. New England Arthur Brown, Kansas State OLB

Bill Belichick might as well be a woman with how much I understand him, so Iím just going to give him one of my favorite players in the entire draft. It is hard to watch a K State game and not come away impressed with #4. Brown is fast and instinctive and makes plays against the run and the pass. He has also played inside and outside in his career, so BB has to like that versatility. Right?

25. Cincinnati Bjoern Werner, Florida State DE

Even if Carlos Dunlap and Michael Johnson continue playing like this all year, the Bengals have to be concerned about their depth at DE. The Germanator has been impressive every time Iíve watched him the past two years. He isnít the flashiest, but he just takes care of his responsibilities and plays with an exceptional motor.

26. Denver Carrington Byndum, Texas CB

The Broncos are aging and vulnerable at CB, and itís time bring in some high-upside prospects to play behind the veterans and supply much-needed help in sub packages. Byndum has ton of potential and weíll see him tested against Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey this week.

27. Giants William Gholston, Michigan State DE

You donít think Jerry Reese will go another year without spending a high round pick on a defensive lineman, do you? Gholston has had an collegiate career, much like his cousin. You watch him against Georgia, Michigan and Ohio State last year, and you think heís a top ten pick. You watch him against MAC schools, and you wonder why he is on the field. If anyone is willing to gamble on talent, itís the Giants.

28. San Francisco John Jenkins, Georgia DT

Finding holes on this team is hard, but I really donít think they are elite at NT. Opinions vary on Jenkins, and his value will depend on the scheme. However, he has some really good tape, and he should put up great triangle numbers. For a 350 pound NT, that usually means a ticket to the first round.

29. Green Bay Chance Warmack, Alabama OG

I wanted to put Warmack higher, but he is just a guard. Oh well, Ted Thompson will take it. The Pack have shuffled an array of no-names at OG the past few years, and while the position might not be a huge priority, it canít hurt to solidify the position with an elite talent like Warmack.

30. Baltimore Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina OG

Cooper ranks just below Warmack in my eyes. Starting LG Bobbie Williams is 37, and canít be considered the long-term answer. The Ravens depend on running the football in between the tackles, so OG is more important to them than most teams in the league.

31. Atlanta Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame TE

Another pick from the Makes Too Much Sense to Actually Happen Catalogue of Cliched Mock Draft Selections, the Falcons take the best TE in the draft to replace one of the greatest TEs to ever play the game. No need to waste any more time analyzing this pick.

32. Houston Aaron Dobson, Marshall WR
In spite of the Texansí prowess in all aspects of the game, another solid starting WR is clearly their biggest need. Dobson might not be the fastest, but he is big and physical with phenomenal hands. Sort of like that one WR theyíve had there for about ten years.
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