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2013 NFL Mock Draft

Sports Staff |
April 25, 2013 | 1:08 a.m. PDT

The former Aggie Joeckel will be this year's top pick. (Matt_Velazquez/Creative Commons)
The former Aggie Joeckel will be this year's top pick. (Matt_Velazquez/Creative Commons)
Welcome to the official Neon Tommy NFL Mock Draft! Ten of our finest writers got together and projected how the first round will shake out. Each writer developed a mini draft board, the length of which depended on what number a team was picking (i.e. Carolina had 14 names on its board as it will pick 14). No trades were theorized.

1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel -- OT -- Texas A&M
Jacob Freedman: Branden Albert is on his way out of Kansas City (sooner or later), but the Chiefs find his replacement right in their laps. Joeckel is 6-foot-6, 310 pounds, and has been linked to Kansas City the entire draft process. I believe the Chiefs are shopping the pick, but if they keep the pick, then there is little doubt Joeckel is their guy.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dion Jordan -- OLB/DE -- Oregon
Rachel Kohn: While many project that the Jaguars will pick Geno Smith, I am hesitant to say the Jags will use first-round picks on a quarterback twice in three years. Look for them to pick a defensive end with athletic versatility and pass rush ability, namely Jordan.

3. Oakland Raiders: Sharrif Floyd -- DT -- Florida
Matt Padavick: Sharrif Floyd is a 6-foot-3, 303-pound monster from the University of Florida. He is extremely quick off the ball and uses his hands well to get through blockers. His lateral agility allows him to get through gaps in the defense to get to the ball carrier efficiently. Floyd improved every year at Florida, and his presence on the field will improve a Raiders defense that was in the bottom half of the league in both yards passing and rushing allowed.

4. Philadelphia Eagles: Star Lotulelei -- DT -- Utah
Jordan Gary: This seems like a fairly obvious pick. After being medically cleared for his heart condition, Philadelphia continued their already strong interest in this defensive tackle. With the ability to start this upcoming season, Star offers much of what the Eagles need. He is versatile in 3-4 and 4-3, can stay on the field for three downs to pressure the quarterback, which is rare for someone of his size, and is the perfect replacement for the departed Cullen Jenkins.

5. Detroit Lions: Lane Johnson -- OT -- Oklahoma
Darian Nourian: The former high school quarterback reminded scouts of his athleticism at the NFL scouting combine, and thus moved up the draft boards. The 6-foot-7, 303-pound Johnson is considered a rare athlete because for his size. He is as fast as a tight end and still has phenomenal agility to let him glide with pass rushers. He started 11 of 13 games at left tackle for the Sooners last season and was named a third-team All-American.

Milliner + Haden = scary CB tandem. (Matt_Velazquez/Creative Commons)
Milliner + Haden = scary CB tandem. (Matt_Velazquez/Creative Commons)
6. Cleveland Browns: Dee Milliner -- CB -- Alabama
Kohn: With the passing attacks in the AFC North, the Browns are in desperate need of a shutdown corner to play opposite Joe Haden and create arguably the best cornerback tandem in the league. Dee Milliner brings the strength to match up against receivers at the line of scrimmage and speed to stay with them down the field.

7. Arizona Cardinals: Eric Fisher -- OT -- Central Michigan
Gary: The Cardinals are in obvious need of an offensive tackle for their not-quite-so stellar offensive line. Enter Eric Fisher. Praised for his athleticism, he brings a lot to the table for Arizona. He is great at run blocking and will offer much needed pass protection for new signal caller Carson Palmer, and after being one of the most sacked teams for the past three years, that is vital.

8. Buffalo Bills: Chance Warmack -- G -- Alabama
Matthew Tufts: Warmack fills the void left by the loss of Andy Levitre. The thick, 6-foot-2 guard has the power and technical skills to handle elite defensive tackles, which will open up holes for C.J. Spiller and the Bills’ devastating rushing attack. Playing for Alabama in the tough SEC, Warmack is the type of player that can make an impact during Week 1.

9. New York Jets: Jarvis Jones -- OLB -- Georgia
Jeremy Bergman: With the unceremonious departure of Darrelle Revis, Gang Green needs a corner, badly. But with Milliner off the board, it is too early to reach for Xavier Rhodes. Barkevious Mingo, a hybrid backer and lineman, is an option, but he may be too small for the Jets’ three-man line. The Jets will "settle" for Jarvis Jones, who will provide energy and athleticism to an old depleted LB corps. Hopefully, Rhodes will be there at No. 13.

10. Tennessee Titans: Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah -- DE -- Brigham Young
James Santelli: As much as I would like the Steelers to monopolize defensive linemen named Ziggy, but the Titans could use some help after finishing 25th in defensive DVOA. Ansah, a native of Ghana, has unmatched size and speed and collected 13 tackles for loss in his first year playing defense full-time. Starters Derrick Morgan and Kamerion Wimbley are adequate, giving Ansah some needed development time.

11. San Diego Chargers: Jonathan Cooper -- G -- North Carolina
Will Robinson : Poor Philip Rivers. His offensive line was taken to the woodshed last night, parting wider than the Red Sea. Plus, starting guard Louis Vasquez decided he’d rather ski than surf, joining the division rival Denver Broncos. Cooper’s a monster who can be plugged in immediately, leading the way for Ryan Mathews and giving Rivers some peace of mind – well, as much that can be found on the gridiron.

12. Miami Dolphins: Xavier Rhodes -- CB -- Florida State
Aaron Fischman: The Dolphins find themselves in an interesting situation, because if they don’t trade up from their current No. 12 spot, they’re extremely unlikely to land one of the three best offensive tackles (Joeckel, Fisher or Johnson) in the draft. Let’s not forget that offensive tackle is easily their most glaring hole. If Miami’s uncomfortable reaching for D.J. Fluker, they will probably target Milliner or Rhodes at cornerback. The Fins could use secondary help.

13. New York Jets: Tavon Austin -- WR -- West Virginia
Max Meyer: The entire Jets offense was a disaster last year, and they need to add more weapons. Austin is a prolific playmaker who has a chance of making every play a big one. It’s just too bad that if he’s selected by the Jets, he’ll be facing Darrelle Revis in Week 1 instead of at practice.

14. Carolina Panthers: Alec Ogletree -- LB -- Georgia
Nourian: The 6-foot-2, 242-pound Ogletree is considered one of the best athletes at his position in the draft after converting from the safety position. In the Bulldogs 3-4 defense, he was an impact player with his big hits and momentum changing turnovers at inside linebacker. However, it wouldn’t be surprising if he made the move to weak side linebacker in a defense that uses a four-man front; this would be expected because Ogletree struggles to get over the top of blocks, but is great at chasing and closing.

15. New Orleans Saints: Barkevious Mingo -- DE -- Louisiana State
Meyer: Their defense couldn’t stop a lick in the 2012 regular season, so it’s obvious that the Saints will select a player on that side of the ball with their first selection of the draft. Mingo is a great pass-rusher who will make an immediate impact his rookie season. It’s also nice that he’ll be playing in New Orleans after spending his collegiate career at LSU.

16. St. Louis Rams: Kenny Vaccaro -- S -- Texas
Gary: The Rams need help on both offense and defense, but they desperately need a safety, and Kenny Vaccaro is the best option for one in this year’s draft. He’s great all-around, whether it be making tackles, forcing fumbles or just covering receivers. Though he has a few inconsistencies, with training, Vaccaro should shape up to largely improve the Rams defense.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Desmond Trufant -- CB -- Washington
Santelli: While the Steelers' D still stuffs the run, the passing defense is merely average. With Milliner and Rhodes gone, Trufant represents the best chance for solid cornerback depth. It's a bit of a reach, but a four-year starter like Trufant could quickly slide in opposite Ike Taylor after the departure of starter Keenan Lewis.

18. Dallas Cowboys: Sheldon Richardson -- DT -- Missouri
Bergman: In a draft loaded with big uglies on both sides of the line, Richardson will certainly fall despite his enormous talent -- and gut. He received second-team All-SEC honors last year when he led all SEC linemen in tackles (75) and he tallied 4 ½ sacks. The Cowboys need depth and youth on the aging defensive line that anchored a bottom-tier run defense last season.

Despite a negative offseason, Te'o won't slip out of the first round. (Scott Enyeart/NT)
Despite a negative offseason, Te'o won't slip out of the first round. (Scott Enyeart/NT)
19. New York Giants: Manti Te’o -- LB -- Notre Dame
Meyer: Holy Lennay Kekua! Yes, Te’o does have his fair share of the off the field questions, but there’s no doubt he was the anchor of last year’s highly rated Notre Dame defense. Te’o is a strong tackler and he fills the hole that the Giants have at middle linebacker. I just hope that the New York media doesn’t eat him alive his rookie season.

20. Chicago Bears: Justin Pugh -- G -- Syracuse
Tufts: A tackle throughout college, Pugh has been knocked for his size; however, his athleticism and mobility more than make up for it. In what very well may be the make or break season for Jay Cutler’s Chicago career, the Bears need to protect their quarterback. As a guard in Chicago rather than a tackle, Pugh doesn’t need the long arms to fend off defensive ends.

21. Cincinnati Bengals: D.J. Fluker -- OT -- Alabama
Robinson: A little-known fact: Having Andre Smith, start at right tackle is not a good thing. Well, he’s gone, so why not pick up another former member of the Crimson Tide? Fluker can be the second- or third-best tackle in a loaded class. Plus, Andrew Whitworth on the left side is on the wrong side of 30. Though he just made his first Pro Bowl, players don’t improve after 30 (unless you’re Barry Bonds, who did in the Major Leagues with absolutely zero controversy).

22. St. Louis Rams: Cordarelle Patterson -- WR -- Tennessee
Tufts: One of the most athletic players in this year’s draft, Patterson gives the Amendola-less Rams the potential of a standout wide receiver. Though considered a raw talent, Patterson can quickly develop a connection with Sam Bradford giving the young quarterback a new downfield target. If he learns quickly, he could develop into one of the best offensive weapons from this year’s draft.

23. Minnesota Vikings: Sylvester Williams -- DT -- North Carolina
Padavick: Sylvester Williams comes out of North Carolina at 6-foot-3, 313 pounds. Williams possesses a large build but he is one of the quickest defensive linemen in the draft. He is extremely versatile as he is able to play any position on the line and has a swim move that can rip through any blocker. Williams has only played football for five years, so he has a lot of room to grow. He will strengthen an already strong Vikings rush defense and dramatically improve a passing defense that ranked 24th in the league last year.

24. Indianapolis Colts: Bjoern Werner -- DE -- Florida St.

Fischman: Indianapolis’ 3-4 defense utilizes linebackers more than defensive ends, but Dwight Freeney’s departure and Robert Mathis’s advancing age make Bjoern Werner not that bad of a pick, especially at No. 24. Werner only began playing football at the age of 15, so he’s extra high on potential. D.J. Fluker (OT), Alec Ogletree (OLB) and Barkevious Mingo (DE/OLB) are other options, but it’s doubtful that Ogletree and Mingo will be available.

25. Minnesota Vikings: Larry Warford -- G -- Kentucky
Padavick: Larry Warford is looking to be the first offensive lineman from Kentucky to be selected in the NFL Draft since 1993. He stands at 6-foot-3 and 332 pounds with quick feet and a low center of gravity that allows him to mirror his man in pass protection. He hustles down field to block for his runners, which will win the heart of Adrian Peterson. Minnesota ranked second in yards rushing last year, and, with the addition of Warford, will likely be the top rushing team in the league in 2013. Its passing offense was a completely different story, as they ranked almost dead last at 31st. Warford will give either Christian Ponder or Matt Cassel a ton of time to find new target Greg Jennings, which will greatly improve this team.

26. Green Bay Packers: Kyle Long -- G -- Oregon
Freedman: The Packers are solid at the guard spot, but Long has the size and the raw athleticism to fill in at tackle or move back to guard in the case of injuries. Long is short on college experience, but can be molded into a versatile sub on a Green Bay line that seems to always be ravaged by injuries.

27. Houston Texans: Geno Smith -- QB -- West Virginia
Santelli: Really? You're going to leave Geno Smith untouched all the way until pick No. 27? Okay, fine, bring Geno to Houston. He showed enough at WVU to convince me. He's got the arm and the skills to compensate you for the bills. Matt Schaub has finally proven to be a steady starter, but he'll be 32 when the season starts. Yes, yes, that five-year, $66.2 million contract is still in play. Give Geno two seasons to get comfortable under center and learn the offense. Let's do this.

28. Denver Broncos: Jonathan Jenkins -- DT -- Georgia
Robinson: Public opinion would indicate a defensive back would go to Denver after last year’s disastrous end to the season. Well, public opinion can be wrong. Rahim Moore is just a rising third-year player and Champ Bailey, though old, is typically still Champ Bailey on most days. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie joins up. Executive vice president of football operations John Elway could certainly leap at Tank Carradine to replace Elvis Dumervil, but Jenkins will go quite nicely with Kevin Vickerson and Derek Wolfe in the middle of the defensive line.

29. New England Patriots: Jamar Taylor -- CB -- Boise State
Fischman: Considering the loss of super-reliable Wes Welker, the Rob Gronkowski injury and the Patriots’ inability to pry Emmanuel Sanders from Pittsburgh, head coach Bill Belichick should consider going the wideout route in the first round. However, New England will take a cornerback instead, because there’s more depth there. Trufant, Taylor and even D.J. Hayden are possibilities. Robert Woods and DeAndre Hopkins are the top receiver talent likely to be available, but neither possesses spectacular speed.

30. Atlanta Falcons: Damontre Moore -- DE -- Texas A&M
Freedman: Moore’s stock has fallen far out of the top-five, but this is still the same guy people said was the better of the two when he was playing alongside Von Miller on Texas A&M’s defensive line. Moore had 12 ½ sacks and 21 tackles for loss last year, and the Falcons can afford to take a risk on someone who could add a dynamic dimension to their defensive front.

31. San Francisco 49ers: Eric Reid -- S -- LSU
Bergman: And the rich get richer. How Reid has fallen to the second-to-last pick in the first round is beyond me! A top-three safety out of the SEC, Reid is an all-around athlete, playing the pass and run game equally well. His diversity will fit smoothly with the aggressive and well-rounded Niners defense that was exposed by big pass plays in Super Bowl XLVII (see: Jacoby Jones).

32. Baltimore Ravens: Jonathan Cyprien -- S -- Florida International
Kohn: The defense of the Super Bowl champions will look completely different in the 2013 season, especially at the safety position. The Ravens need a safety and Cyprien fills that hole. He is one of the hardest-hitting safeties in the draft and would be a great replacement for the physical void left by the departure of Bernard Pollard.



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