The 2012 NFL season is coming to an end and college bowl games have begun. Underclassmen are declaring for the 2013 NFL draft and that all means one thing: mock draft season is here.
For fans of some NFL teams, the draft is the only real reason to get excited about their team. The addition of a stud college player always offers a vast amount of hope to even the most dismal franchises. The draft offers a moment of hope where all fans can be irrational, ignore all the evidence available and proclaim that the pick their team just made has them contending for a Super Bowl.
We are going to execute a mock draft using a few essential criteria. We will look at draft order and team needs. We will use a blend of the “best player available” approach in conjunction with each team’s most urgent need to make their selection. The draft order is based on the standings after Week 14.
Let’s take a look at this full two-round mock draft.
1) Kansas City Chiefs
Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Smith is a very accurate passer and is an immediate upgrade over any Chiefs quarterback. He has great upside and is the best quarterback in the draft for a team that desperately needs better quarterback play.
2) Jacksonville Jaguars
Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Werner is a terror at the edge of the defense. He has the size and power to bull rush, and the quickness to bend around the edge and get to the quarterback.
3) Oakland Raiders
Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
Lotulelei is a massive interior lineman with an incredible get-off and the power to disrupt the opposing teams back field. He is going to anchor this defensive line for many years.
4) Philadelphia Eagles
Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Joeckel dominated SEC competition in 2012 and that says enough about the most talented tackle in the draft. He is a finesse tackle, but this team is rebuilding and starting with the draft’s best left tackle is a smart move.
5) Detroit Lions
Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
Warmack is the best interior offensive lineman to enter the draft in recent memory. He would step in, start immediately and upgrade the offensive line for the Lions.
6) San Diego Chargers
Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
Matthews fits a huge need for the Chargers as they have struggled to get good tackle play in 2012. Matthews will stabilize the left side of the line immediately.
7) Buffalo Bills
Keenan Allen, WR, California
Allen pairs with Stevie Johnson to give the Bills a lethal combination for quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Bills need a play maker in this draft to help their offense, and Allen is exactly that.
8) Cleveland Browns
Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
The Browns play in a division with receivers like Mike Wallace, Torrey Smith and A.J. Green. The addition of a player like Vaccaro helps the back end of the defense in a big way.
9) Tennessee Titans
Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
Jordan is an athletic freak with longs arms and an impressive burst off the edge. The Titans need to get more pressure on the quarterback. Jordan gives them that ability.
10) Carolina Panthers
Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
Richardson is a disruptive force on the interior of the defense. He can play the 0, 3 or 5 technique and will eat space, freeing the Panthers defensive ends to go and get the quarterback.
11) Arizona Cardinals
Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
Lewan is a gift for the Cardinals at this point in the draft. He is a very solid left tackle and plays in a position of desperate need for the Cardinals.
12) Tampa Bay
Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
The Buccaneers traded troubled cornerback Aqib Talib to the New England Patriots during the 2012 season, and they get the draft’s best cornerback in Milliner.
13) Miami Dolphins
Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
Moore might be the best pass rusher in the draft. He brings an element that the Dolphins do not have right now in a player that can really get to the quarterback.
14) New Orleans Saints
Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame
Te’o is a talented player with solid coverage skills as an inside linebacker. He brings an element of character and playmaking ability to the Saints.
15) New York Jets
Robert Woods, WR, USC
Woods enters the picture in New York and adds talent to the depleted receiver group. He is a reliable, talented player that quarterback Mark Sanchez can rely on immediately, and going forward.
16) St. Louis Rams
Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
The Rams need to add some talent on their offensive line. Fisher does that, and he is good value at this point in the draft.
17) Pittsburgh Steelers
Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
Hankins is a monster in the middle of the defensive line, and he is the perfect player to fit the mentality of the Steelers defense.
18) Dallas Cowboys
Sam Montgomery, DE/OLB, LSU
19) New York Giants
Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi
Banks gives the Giants a cornerback with great size at 6’2″ and 185 pounds. He has the mentality to step up and defend the run and the coverage skills to be a solid cornerback for the Giants.
20) Chicago Bears
Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
Quarterback Jay Cutler and the Bears really need a tight end to get the ball to down the seams, and most importantly in the red zone. Eifert is a massive need and a value for the Bears at this point in the draft.
21) Minnesota Vikings
Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor
The Baylor product is a nightmare when he has the ball in his hands, and his speed is something the Vikings can use to open the field for running back Adrian Peterson.
22) Cincinnati Bengals
Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
Ansah is young to the game of football, but he has displayed the skills to hurt college offenses from multiple positions. The Bengals get a utility player that can get to the quarterback and disrupt offenses.
23) St. Louis Rams (via Washington Redskins)
Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
Mingo has the potential to be a steal because of his skills in rushing the passer. He is raw, but he has great length and the Rams could simply unleash him with talent like defensive tackle Michael Brockers eating up space inside.
24) Seattle Seahawks
Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
Austin is a gifted play maker who can help the Seahawks offense in multiple ways. He is a matchup nightmare because of his speed and he can be an asset to the Seahawks as a slot receiver and in the return game.
25) Indianapolis Colts
Barrett Jones, OC, Alabama
Jones has displayed the athletic ability to play all across the Alabama offensive line, but his real value is playing center for the Colts for many years.
26) Baltimore Ravens
C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama
Mosley is a perfect fit for the Ravens playing inside linebacker. He can play very fast and is a striker from sideline to sideline. Mosley adds more talent to the Ravens defense.
27) Green Bay Packers
Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford
The Packers are moving on from current tight end Jermichael Finley, and the Packers need to replace his production in their offense. Ertz is a nice addition here.
28) New England Patriots
Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia
Ogletree is a player that can play in different alingments and be a productive player. He is a physical striker, and head coach Bill Belichik loves his SEC players.
29) San Francisco 49ers
Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
Cooper stabilizes an already solid offensive line, but he is an elite senior interior lineman.
30) Denver Broncos
Kawann Short, DT, Purdue
Short has the ability to penetrate gaps and eat space for their other defensive players.
31) Houston Texans
Oday Aboushi, OT, Virginia
The Texans have a need on the offensive line and Aboushi fills the need. He is big tackle with the frame to get bigger.
32) Atlanta Falcons
Corey Lemonier, DE, Auburn
The Falcons have a few aging players, and they need to address a few of these positions. Defensive end John Abraham’s best days are behind him, and the Addition of Lemonier helps the Falcons pass rush.
33) Kansas City Chiefs
Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU
Minter is a big, athletic linebacker who can make plays from the inside linebacker position.
34) Jacksonville Jaguars
Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
I am not sure if the experiment with Blaine Gabbert is over, but if the Jaguars can add Wilson, they should. He is an excellent quarterback with as lot of upside.
35) Cincinnati Bengals (via Oakland Raiders)
Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina
Bernard has explosion in his game that the Bengals do not get form their current running back group.
36) Philadelphia Eagles
Brandon Jenkins, DE, Florida State
The Eagles have some defenders that are getting long in the tooth, and Jenkins fits the 4-3 defense the Eagles run perfectly.
37) Detroit Lions
Eric Reid, S, LSU
The Lions really need some help at the safety position. Starters Amari Spievey has a very bad concussion, and there is some thought that he may not return. Reid is an instant starter for the Lions.
38) San Diego Chargers
D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
Fluker is a dynamic right tackle with incredible size. He stabilizes the Chargers offensive line.
39) Buffalo Bills
Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
Jones has spinal stenosis, and the back issue has him slipping. He is a great value here.
40) Cleveland Browns
Forfeited the pick due to the selection of Josh Gordon in the supplemental draft in 2012.
41) Tennessee Titans
Khaseem Greene, LB, Rutgers
Green is a very solid outside linebacker who is a very productive player and can help the Titans linebacker group right away.
42) Carolina Panthers
Aaron Dobson, WR, Marshall
Dobson has sneaky-fast speed and perhaps the best pair of hands in the draft. He makes unbelievable catches and pairs nicely on the other side of wide receiver Steve Smith. Dobson has an immense catching radius and will help the often inaccurate Cam Newton.
43) Arizona Cardinals
Matt Barkley, QB, USC
Barkley is a value pick for the Cardinals at this point in the draft. There are concerns about his arm strength, but he is a very polished quarterback having played in the USC pro-style offense.
44) Tampa Bay
David Amerson, S, North Carolina State
Amerson played at cornerback in college, but the transition to safety is best for him at the NFL level. Paired with Mark Barron, the Buccaneers have a fantastic pair of safeties who can play the deep half of the field, and step up to defend the run.
45) Miami Dolphins
Matt Elam, S, Florida
Elam pairs nicely with Dolphins cornerback Sean Smith. The Dolphins have a few aging pieces in their secondary and Elam helps them in the long-term.
46) New Orleans Saints
Forfeited the pick (Bounty-Gate)
47) New York Jets
Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
Rhodes is a very big cornerback who can play a very physical brand of football. The Jets can use his size and skill in their secondary.
48) St. Louis Rams
Quinton Patton, WR, Louisiana Tech
The Rams really need to get play-makers on the field for young quarterback Sam Bradford. Patton is a player who can stretch the field and open up things for the Rams passing attack.
49) Pittsburgh Steelers
Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
Williams is a player that can benefit from great leadership in the locker room and a coaching staff that can get him ready to play. He is a prefect fit for the Steelers.
50) Dallas Cowboys
Cobi Hamilton, WR, Arkansas
The Cowboys need a third option in the passing game, and a player that can take the torch from Miles Austin. Hamilton is a polished wide receiver, and a player that Cowboys can put to work right away.
51) New York Giants
Justin Pugh, OT, Syracuse
The Giants have an aging group of offensive linemen, and the addition of Pugh helps the line get younger. He is a capable tackle and a player the Giants can take their time with.
52) Chicago Bears
Ricky Wagner, OT, Wisconsin
The Bears need to find a way to keep their quarterback upright, and the addition of Wagner injects the line with some young talent.
53) Minnesota Vikings
Michael Glennon, QB, North Carolina State
Glennon is a developmental player, but there are lots of things to like in his game. He is very raw, but he is a player with very good upside and there are concerns with current quarterback Christian Ponder and his future with the Vikings.
54) Cincinnati Bengals
Tony Jefferson, S, Oklahoma
Jefferson has great physical skills and will step up and deliver a blow to a ball carrier. He has great instincts and is athletic enough to make a difference immediately.
55) Washington Redskins
Melvin White, CB, Louisiana-Lafayette
White is a upgrade for the secondary with great size at 6’1″ and 195 pounds. He is an athletic cornerback with very solid coverage skills.
56) Seattle Seahawks
Margus Hunt, DE, SMU
Hunt is an enormous football player with exceptionally long arms and good physical skills. He is another player that could step in and help right away.
57) Miami Dolphins (trade from Indianapolis)
Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Floyd is as very under rated football player and a plug-and-play piece for the Dolphins.
58) Baltimore Ravens
Robert Alford, CB, Southeastern Louisiana
Alford is a small school football player but he is a baller. He will be participating in the Senior Bowl, and he will get to show off his skills on a the big stage. I fully expect him to show well against better competition, ultimately raising his draft stock. Simply put, Alford can flat out play.
59) Green Bay Packers
Lawrence Warford, OG, Kentucky
Warford is an upgrade for the struggling Packers offensive line. Aaron Rodgers has been sacked more in 2012 than any other quarterback, and the offensive line help is necessary.
60) New England Patriots
Brandon Williams, DT, Missouri-Southern
Williams is a small school product but he is an athletic marvel. At 6’2″ and 335 pounds, Williams is expected to run a sub five second 40-yard dash. He is a violent football player who set the schools sack record as a senior, playing all along the defensive line, but mainly from the nose.
Williams is a name to remember, as he is playing at the Senior Bowl and a good performance there and at the combine will send him rocketing up the boards like Dontari Poe did last year.
61) San Francisco 49ers
Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State
Wilson is a dynamic player who excels in jump ball situations and in spreading the field. Wilson is super thin and needs to add some bulk, but he is a very talented wide receiver.
62) Denver Broncos
Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
Jones is a player that is very versatile. He can play in multiple positions in a variety of sets. Jones has had a great senior season and is a good value late in Round 2.
63) Houston Texans
Da’Rick Rogers, WR, Tennessee Tech
The Texans need a player with some explosive skill to line up on the other side of Andre Johnson. Rogers is that player and he has great size at 6’3″ and 205 pounds with good athletic abilities.
64) Atlanta Falcons
Andre Ellington, RB, Clemson
The Falcons only have so much more time with current back Michael Turner. Jason Snelling and Jaquizz Rogers are adequate, but the Falcons need a primary running back to take Turner’s job when he is done.