Post-combine Mock Draft: Offensive linemen dominate top 10
|02.28.13 at 9:20 am ET|
With the annual scouting combine in the books for 2013, it’s time to take another look at the overall landscape of the first round.
The overall takeaway from Indianapolis is that this is a draft that’s all about offensive linemen, boasting depth at tackle and featuring two blue-chip guard prospects. None of the tackles may be Joe Thomas, but there are enough of them that any team in need of someone to protect its quarterback’s blind side should have options.
One team need changed at the top, as the Chiefs don’t even have to think about reaching for Geno Smith after trading for Alex Smith.
1. Chiefs (2-14) — Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
I don’t project trading of picks in mock drafts, but I’ve never wanted to more in my life. Now that the Chiefs have addressed the quarterback position with their second-round pick, they should re-sign Branden Albert, trade down and fill another need. Left tackle isn’t a big need, and letting Albert walk just so they can draft another good left tackle to replace him wouldn’t provide them with much organizational progress.
2. Jaguars (2-14) — Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
A lot of folks think that Dee Milliner could be the pick here. Yes, he ran well at the combine, but Milliner as a top-five pick, let along a top-two pick, is a bit of a stretch. The Jaguars need sacks almost as much as they need a quarterback, so Jones is the better fit.
3. Raiders (4-12) — Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
This might be a tad high for Floyd, but he helped his stock immensely at the combine and could now be the first defensive lineman selected in what is a very deep class at the position. Both Richard Seymour and Desmond Bryant are free agents, the latter of whom was arrested over the weekend.
4. Eagles (4-12) — Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Mike Mayock says that Fisher has closed the gap between he and Joeckel considerably, so there’s a chance that the Central Michigan product won’t even be on the board by the time this selection is made. If teams trade up with teams not from Kansas City, he would likely be their target.
5. Lions (4-12) — Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
The Lions would have a really tough decision to make if this scenario were to arise: Do they add a potential star corner and address what is seemingly always an area of need, or do they grab a defensive end to replace the aging Kyle Vanden Bosch? Both Vanden Bosch and Cliff Avril are free agents.
6. Browns (5-11) — Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
A guard in the top 10? That hasn’t happened since 1997, when the Saints drafted Chris Naeole 10th overall, but it figures to happen this year with Warmack and Jonathan Cooper solidifying themselves as two of the top players in this class. Warmack could come in and play right away over John Greco or Shawn Lauvao.
7. Cardinals (5-11) –Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
Reports came out during the combine saying that the Cardinals wouldn’t let Matt Barkley get past them at No. 7 overall. Bluff called. The Cardinals need a quarterback badly, but if a team is to roll the dice in the first round on a signal-caller this year, it shouldn’t be for Barkley, but for Smith. With Johnson, they improve their offensive line with a giant, athletic tackle who Mayock says is a better prospect than Nate Solder was two years ago.
8. Bills (6-10) — Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
General manager Buddy Nix wants a franchise quarterback so badly that if there’s any team that wants Smith, it should move ahead of Buffalo to grab him just to be safe. Alec Ogletree could be a fit for the Bills a year after they missed out on Luke Kuechly, but his off-the-field concerns might hurt his stock enough that they could wait and see if they can grab him or Manti Te’o in the second round. They shouldn’t hold their breath for either.
9. Jets (6-10) — Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon
Jordan was one of the top performers at the combine, running a 4.60 40-yard dash. Not too bad for a guy who stands at 6-foot-7, and his athleticism is drawing comparisons to Aldon Smith. With Quinton Coples already on board at defensive end, Jordan would be an outside linebacker, which is where he projects best anyway.
10. Titans (6-10) — Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
We had Cooper here in our first mock draft and noted that 10th overall might be a little early for him. That isn’t the case anymore, as his 35 reps of 250 pounds showed that he’s plenty strong to handle defensive linemen in the NFL.
11. Chargers (7-9) — Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
This would be a tough spot for the Chargers, who would take the best of the top five offensive linemen available. With the three tackles and two guards off the board in the top 10 picks in this scenario, the best value is at pass-rusher. Mingo easily leapfrogs Damontre Moore, who had a very rough showing in Indy.
12. Dolphins (7-9) — Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
The Dolphins don’t have a No. 1 receiver, and Patterson projects to be one. He has the body type at 6-foot-2 and 216 pounds, but it was his 4.42 40-yard dash that solidified him as this draft’s premier outside receiver. Ryan Tannehill is legitimate, so getting him some legitimate weapons would do wonders.
13. Buccaneers (7-9) — Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
Ansah may be too big a risk for teams picking this early, as you really need to hit on picks at the top of the draft, but all it takes is one team to fall in love with his athleticism. He isn’t the next Jason Pierre-Paul, despite how popular that line of thinking has become. Pierre-Paul didn’t have much FBS experience, but he had played football since high school. Ansah has only known how to play football for three years. He’s got all the talent in the world, but is it worth the risk to find out whether he can put it to good use?
14. Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
Lotulelei was a projected top-five pick entering the combine, but the discovery of a heart condition during medical testing both prevented him from working out in Indianapolis and made it very tough to tell how far he might fall. Lotulelei is undergoing further tests back in Utah.
15. Saints (7-9) — Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
Jordan sure would look good in a Saints uniform, but they’d need to move up into the top 10 to get him. Considering they don’t have a second-round pick, that might be tough to do without depleting their draft currency. With Roman Harper a rumored candidate for release, Vaccaro would make sense.
16. Rams (7-8-1) — Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
Patterson would be a logical option if he were to fall this far, but the Rams can still upgrade their passing game if he’s gone. Eifert is strong in the passing game and further solidified that with a 4.68 40-yard dash. He also blocks well, making him balanced enough to warrant selection this high.
17. Steelers (8-8) — Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Werner wasn’t impressive at the combine, but he was impressive enough at Florida State, picking up 13 sacks in his senior season. Another falling option at defensive end for the Steelers would be Texas A&M’s Damontre Moore.
18. Cowboys (8-8) — Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
The Cowboys need help at guard and center, but this might be a bit too high for Kentucky’s Larry Warford. Instead, they can capitalize on value and take Richardson to address another need. Depending on what happens with Lotulelei, Richardson could be the first defensive tackle off the board.
19. Giants (9-7) — Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia
Ogletree picked the wrong time to go out and get a DUI, so he faced plenty of questions at the combine about his actions earlier in February. Top inside linebackers rarely fall far in the draft, but his character concerns might make him an exception. He’s still a better prospect than Manti Te’o.
20. Bears (10-6) — D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
This draft boasts so much talent at tackle early on, so the Bears needn’t fret should Joeckel, Fisher and Johnson all be off the board by the 20th pick, which they figure to be. At the very least, Fluker could start at right tackle from the get-go. Tavon Austin would be a luxury pick they’d probably love to make, but there are no luxury picks when the offensive line needs repairing.
21. Bengals (10-6) –Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
Will Moore fall this far after faring the worst in the bench press among all defensive linemen (12 reps)? Perhaps, and if he does, the Bengals could get some value thanks to a rough combine performance that also saw him run a 4.95 40-yard dash. Oglretree would be a good fit if he’s available.
22. Rams (from Redskins) — Keenan Allen, WR, California
Allen didn’t work out at the combine, electing to rest his sprained knee and wait until his Pro Day on April 9, but don’t forget about him. He shouldn’t be too far behind Patterson, as he has similar size and a fuller statistical rÃ©sumÃ©. Assuming the Rams bring back Danny Amendola, they’d be wise to take the bigger Allen over Austin, as having both Amendola and Austin might be a bit redundant.
23. Vikings (10-6) — Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
Before you freak out at the idea of Hunter going before Austin, consider that the Vikings are in a similar situation to that of the Rams. They need help at receiver, but they already have a Percy Harvin type. In fact, they actually have Percy Harvin. Unless they trade him, there’s no need for the same type of receiver.
24. Colts (11-5) — Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
Colts general manager Ryan Grigson did a fantastic job in his first draft with the team last year, and he said at the combine that he wouldn’t completely rule out the idea of going after multiple defensive tackles this year. Hankins would be the best fit for the Colts, as he’d step in at nose tackle.
25. Seahawks (11-5) — Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
Sorry, Golden Tate, but Austin’s slide ends here. The Seahawks need receiver help, and with the bigger guys off the board, they can give Russell Wilson a remarkably electric option that would offer far more than Tate.
26. Packers (11-5) — Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
Not a gigantic need for the Packers, but with there no value at running back or center this early (Travis Frederick would be the guy should they opt for the latter in the first round), they might as well take advantage of the defensive tackles in a very deep class.
27. Texans (12-4) — Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame
Did you hear Te’o ran a 4.82 40? People need to pump the breaks on the overreactions to everything we do and don’t know about Te’o, both on and off the field. Here’s what we do know: He’s a smart inside linebacker and there are a lot of teams that could use one. Te’o next to Brian Cushing would strengthen that defense.
28. Broncos (12-4) — Kawann Short, DT, Purdue
Short is another wait-and-see guy, as he didn’t work out at the combine due to a hamstring injury. Denver’s defensive tackles weren’t anything to write home about last season, and starters Justin Bannan and Kevin Vickerson are free agents.
29. Patriots (12-4) — Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
The cornerback picture is rather cloudy after Milliner, but there are enough first-round talents to go around. Until proven otherwise, Rhodes figures to be the best fit for the Pats. He’s thick, athletic and hits hard. He doesn’t have any experience at safety, but Mayock sees him as the type that could shuffle between positions.
30. Falcons (13-3) — Larry Warford, OG, Kentucky
The Falcons could look for someone to share carries with Jaquizz Rodgers, as they are expected to release Michael Turner. The more productive way to spend the pick would be to solidify their line. Might this be the rare year when three guards are selected in the first round? It’s a decent bet.
31. 49ers (11-4-1) — Matt Elam, S, Florida
Elam can fall here if the Patriots let him, but they might think long and hard about grabbing the Florida product, especially if Rhodes is off the board. If they don’t take him, Elam would be a no-brainer pick for the 49ers, who could use upgrading over Donte Whitner and Dashon Goldson.
32. Ravens (10-6) — Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
The Ravens have bigger needs than cornerback, but Trufant is likely racing up draft boards after running a 4.38 40 to follow up an impressive showing at the Senior Bowl. Trufant is the younger brother of current NFL cornerbacks Marcus Trufant and Isaiah Trufant.