Fans everywhere are waiting to see who the next young man their favorite NFL team will pick on day 1 of the 2013 NFL draft. We have all been scouring the internet for informed opinions and best of all…mock drafts. Let’s get a few things out of the way quickly, mock drafts are USELESS. But dammit if they aren’t a hell of a good time. There will be draft day trades (this draft order is essentially useless) and none of us have any information that is going to help make an informed decision that everyone else doesn’t already know. These General Managers know what they are doing…most of the time and it is now our turn to sit and wait. But, despite all these warnings and disclaimers, I still can’t get enough of it. I’m going to publish my own 2013 NFL Mock Draft…Front Office Edition!! Just like my MLB picks from a few weeks ago, you can all come back here and rip me to shreds after the end of the first round. I decided to go a little bit outside the box, but you’ll see that soon and I’ll explain myself down below the draft table. Leave your comments and let me know what you think the picks will be/are/should have been.
|2013 NFL Mock Draft|
If you’ve spent any time looking at mock drafts like I have, you’ve noticed that Texas A&M OT Luke Joeckel has been the big name in this draft. Pundits actually do a pretty good job of predicting the first few picks, but this year is one of the most out-of-the-ordinary drafts in a long time. There is NO uncontested number 1 pick in the 2013 draft. I think that Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher has a much higher upside as a pass blocker and the Chiefs will look to take Fisher because of that upside combined with his high floor as well.
At #2 overall, the Jaguars have become a very popular topic to guess when the group of 3 top OTs in this draft will get drafted. There has been word around the press lately that the Jags are interested in Joeckel or Fisher (whichever one drops), but let’s not forget that this has all come recently…in the aptly named “Lying Season”. The Jags have a decent offensive line and will look to upgrade the pass rush with BYU’s Ezekial “Ziggy” Ansah.
Oakland is an interesting team as they have never been a team that anyone could create an informed opinion on what they would do. Under Al Davis they would often pick the most exciting combine numbers and choose those players, as referenced by taking former Maryland WR Darrius Heyward-Bey in the top 10. With a new front office making the decisions, they are a bit of an unknown. They have lost too many DTs to not address that need and that is why they will go with medical scare, DT Star Lotulelei.
Even though Luke Joeckel was seen as the sexy top draft pick in recent days, I think we can safely throw out the usual top 100 when discussing what the Philadelphia Eagles and head coach Chip Kelly will do. They need help on the offensive line and that lineman needs to be quick, smooth and light…a real athlete at the left tackle position. To me, that absolutely screams Lane Johnson. He is a converted QB -> TE -> DE -> OT and the fact that he was able to play all of those positions in his career shows the type of athleticism we are dealing with. He’ll need to utilize all of it when Chip Kelly gives him a call on Thursday night.
Finally, the 5th overall pick and the Detroit Lions. They would love to get cornerback help and probably are not scared of Dee Milliner. He was the top rated corner the entire draft process until…again…the lying season. However, when the consensus safest tackle in the draft shows up at your doorstep, you can’t pass it up. Luke Joeckel falls to Detroit at five and they can’t help but take him as their LT for the next 10 years.
Overview of 6-32
In an effort to keep the space down a bit, I will just pick out a few of my themes, surprising picks and favorite teams to explain. I know, space has never been much of an issue for me, but I do want someone to read this, well maybe I do. ANYWAY, West Virginia WR Tavon Austin has been the talk of the draft ever since his exciting showing at the NFL Combine. There is always at least one or two players that get everyone excited when they put up big numbers at the Combine, and this year, it is Tavon Austin. If all three top tackles fall off the board before the Arizona Cardinals pick at #7, I think they will look to give new head coach Bruce Arians more weapons to play with and will crush the hopes of countless teams that were hoping Austin would fall to them. I can see it now, Austin and Fitzgerald lined up on the same side of the field…take your pick defenses.
San Diego will surprise by taking TE Tyler Eifert. They will be grooming someone to take over for the oft-injured Antonio Gates and this will also help shore up a very small portion of the blocking woes. Eifert is the best receiving tight end in this draft but is no slouch as a blocker, he will be the future weapon for the next QB in San Diego…after all Rivers isn’t going to last much longer, right?
There are three things you can count on in the NFL draft; 1) teams will overdraft at the QB position, 2) teams don’t value the safety position anywhere inside the top 20, 3) ditto for offensive guards. Every year there are some guards that the pundits classify as huge on talent. If you take the best player on the board, then you should take one of these guys, and yet, they always drop till around pick 20 at least. It isn’t a premium position and they will drop again this year. I keep hearing that there will be two offensive guards taken in the top ten and I just don’t see it. Teams will wait till the later rounds or take a tackle and move a failed tackle inside to guard. As far as the first point goes, I didn’t put Ryan Nassib or Geno Smith in the first round because no late team is going to take them, but an early second round team will likely trade back into the first to take one or both of these signal callers.
Having said both of those things and believing they hold true…I believe that the Carolina Panthers will rightly buck the trend and take safety Kenny Vaccaro. If you watched them fold game in and game out you saw why they need this high draft pick. They couldn’t hold a lead and they couldn’t keep teams from going over the top on them. They need the help and will take the top safety in the draft.
Yes…Yes, Bears fans I’m still here with you, don’t worry. I’ve become less and less of a fan of Phil Emery as time has gone on. He likes to play fast and loose, which is great after dealing with Jerry Angelo, but there is a happy medium and I don’t think Emery has found it. I really can’t see exactly what Emery is going to do (which I’m sure is the idea behind his tactics) but if we are lucky, we will see linebacker Alec Ogletree heading to Chicago. He is an athletic player capable of playing MLB and hitting those deep seem routes we are used to seeing Urlacher covering. Emery has surprised before and I wouldn’t be surprised if he went wild here again. If someone is looking to trade up for a QB, Emery will be begging to move down I suspect.
Finally, the famous Bill Belichick, the man whose drafts have not been nearly as successful in recent season. After CB Desmond Trufant does not fall to the Patriots, I think they will look to bolster a weak WR corp. Keenan Allen will be the pick and he just feels like a Patriot, he is the most NFL ready WR and will help to fill that non-slot receiver position that most teams use.
Again, there were no trades here and there DEFINITELY will be, but I just can’t fathom projecting that. Here are the picks and I hope you enjoyed the read. Call me crazy, call me stupid, argue with me, hate me, maybe even love me, but leave some comments and let’s talk this thing out!