Not the most “Skilled” Draft (2013 NFL Draft Preview)

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The NFL is a league that rewards the flashy players as the “skilled” players are the ones who touch the ball the most. These players, the quarterbacks, wide receivers, and running backs, will always get the headlines and the focus. Throughout the season the stats and the talk all surround these players while the other players like the lineman sit back and rarely get talked about. This is just what the game is about as certain players just have the camera on them while they are making plays while others do not. This attitude also goes into the draft where the biggest names tend to be those players who touch the ball more often than not. The draft is always built around those players that could make the biggest impact in the game by scoring. Quarterbacks usually highlight the draft class as they quickly become the stories of the first day of the draft. Last year this rang true as the NFL Draft would see more NFL ready QBs drafted than ever before. In all five QBs would start in the NFL in their first season with some quickly becoming fan favorites and potential superstars. Last year was a dream draft class for so many teams that were always searching for that QB that an NFL team needs to win a Super Bowl. There were plenty for the taking last year as many teams found their QB of the future and are in a much better place now because of it. Drafting a QB can change a franchises stock very quickly like the Washington Redskins and the Indianapolis Colts who drafted Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck and immediately became stronger franchises. This year there will be a few franchises that wish they could follow the same map but unfortunately it may not be in the cards this draft. Those at the top of the draft board this year had to rethink their strategies for rebuilding a team as the draft will not go about the easiest route. There are not many of those breakout players in this year’s draft as the “skill” players that everyone talks about are not in great abundance in this draft class. Even though that is the case the skill is still very high as teams will be looking to those players who may not be seen but will have a major impact. Offensive and Defensive lineman will share the limelight in this draft and they will be great on the field on Sundays even if they are not heard of every play. This year does not contain the superstars that 2012 did but it does contain players that could change a team’s future even if it is in a smaller way. As teams look to rebuild and march to the start of a new season they will bring a new group of young stars to the NFL in hopes that this group will change their franchise for the near future.

 

Round 1 Mock Draft

1. Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs biggest issue is their QB but knowing there would not be one worthy of the #1 pick in this year’s draft they would sign Alex Smith. With their QB found, for now, they focus on the next priority, protecting their new QB, as they will look to the line for the top pick.
Who They Will Draft:
Luke Joeckel, OT (Texas A&M)

2. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars, like every team at the top of the draft board, needs a QB bad but drafting one of the QBs this early is not a smart idea. The Jags could very well take Geno Smith but the smarter pick would be to take their pick of one of the many defensive ends in the draft.
Who They Will Draft:
Dion Jordan, DE (Oregon)

3. Oakland Raiders
The Raiders have never been known for playing it safe but things are changing in Oakland and they could be starting to draft smarter. If this is true they will try to rebuild a team by solving their biggest need at defensive line where they hope to get one of the best defensive players in the draft.
Who They Will Draft:
Sharrif Floyd, DT (Florida)

4. Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles have been in need of a better offensive line for years now and they will continue to draft to try to find that stronger line. They will get somewhat lucky as a great offensive tackle should fall to this spot giving them a solid left tackle for the future.
Who They Will Draft:
Eric Fisher, OT (Central Michigan)

5. Detroit Lions
The Lions had a bad offseason this year as they would lose a number of players including a lot of their offensive line. They will now look to the draft to try to fill that hole as they should take the best lineman available at this position in the draft.
Who They Will Draft:
Lane Johnson, OT (Oklahoma)

6. Cleveland Browns
The Browns are continuing to rebuild their team and are trying to piece together a team that can compete in today’s NFL. The next piece may just be another cornerback to help Joe Haden and they will have their pick of the top corners in the draft.
Who They Will Draft:
Dee Milliner, CB (Alabama)

7. Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals are in desperate need of some help at the offensive line but unfortunately it doesn’t look like that help will be available at #7. With little other options the Cardinals will go for a raw but exciting talent at defensive line that will have the time to develop as a backup.
Who They Will Draft:
Ezekiel Ansah, DE (BYU)

8. Buffalo Bills
The Bills have made it clear that they are looking for a QB in the draft as they released Ryan Fitzpatrick and have not found a replacement. The smart move would be to trade down and take a QB later in the draft where they will still be available but if they take the pick it will be a QB.
Who They Will Draft:
Ryan Nassib, QB (Syracuse)

9. New York Jets
The Jets need a QB as Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow do not seem to be the answer but there are no QBs to take this high especially when they have other issues. The Jets will likely not add another QB to the already murky depth chart as they will go with a pass rusher who can make an impact.
Who They Will Draft:
Barkevious Mingo, DE (LSU)

10. Tennessee Titans
The Titans are a running team and they always will be as long as they have Chris Johnson and although they went out to get help in the interior line more is always better. The Titans will continue to try to build their line from the inside out and will take the top guard in the draft.
Who They Will Draft:
Jonathan Cooper, OG (North Carolina)

11. San Diego Chargers
The Chargers are looking to protect Phillip Rivers and give him a chance to carry the team and to do this they need to find more linemen. With no superstar tackle to take at this point they will likely go with an interior lineman taking the second best guard in the draft.
Who They Will Draft:
Chance Warmack, OG (Alabama)

12. Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins have a number of needs as they continue to rebrand their team but many of those needs will not be solved at this point in the draft. One that could, is their defence as they will likely look to take a cornerback to help them matchup with the great passers in the league.
Who They Will Draft:
Xavier Rhodes, CB (Florida State)

13. New York Jets (from Buccaneers)
The Jets would get another chance to fill another spot after trading Darrelle Revis to the Buccaneers and they will look to add a weapon to the offence. There really is nobody on the Jets that can be a breakout player at the Tight End spot and they will get one with their second first round pick.
Who They Will Draft:
Tyler Eifert, TE (Notre Dame)

14. Carolina Panthers
The Panthers have their superstar QB and they need to protect him but they can solve that problem later in the draft. Instead they will continue their rebuilding but drafting another defensive star and will feel lucky when they see who is available.
Who They Will Draft:
Star Lotulelei, DT (Utah)

15. New Orleans Saints
There should be no question as to where the Saints want to go with this draft as they desperately need defence to continue to compete with the top teams. They will have a few impact players to choose from and should look to an impact player who can stay in state for his NFL team.
Who They Will Draft:
Jarvis Jones, OLB (Georgia)

16. St. Louis Rams
The Rams have a few holes they need to fix especially after losing Steven Jackson but some of those holes can be fixed later in the draft. One hole they can fix is at wide receiver where they will take the most diverse athlete in the draft and add a type of player that many teams want.
Who They Will Draft:
Tavon Austin, WR (West Virginia)

17. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers lost Mike Wallace but were able to keep Emmanuel Sanders and now will look for yet another receiving threat for Ben Roethlisberger. They will have plenty of receivers to choose from but with their love affair with deep threats one player seems to shine more than others.
Who They Will Draft:
Cordarrelle Patterson, WR (Tennessee)

18. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys are a team that seems to always be a question mark on draft days as they continue to be rebuilding in almost the same position. This year is no different as Jerry Jones will once again look to the draft to build a secondary.
Who They Will Draft:
Kenny Vaccaro, SS (Texas)

19. New York Giants
The Giants don’t traditionally take an offensive lineman in the first round but they need to protect their best asset in Eli Manning. They will jump on the chance to add a top talent on the line and snatch one of the top prospects in the draft.
Who They Will Draft:
D.J. Fluker, OT (Alabama)

20. Chicago Bears
The Bears have always been a defence first team but that defence is aging and the defensive players that were the heart of the defence are no longer there. The Bears have a number of issues but they will want to continue their defensive mindset by drafting a replacement for Brian Urlacher.
Who They Will Draft:
Alec Ogletree, ILB (Georgia)

21. Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals seem to be near ready to truly compete in the playoffs but they do need to fill a few holes before they become favorites. One of these holes is in their pass defence which they looked at in 2012 and could look to again in 2013.
Who They Will Draft:
Eric Reid, FS (LSU)

22. St. Louis Rams (from Redskins)
Giving up their second overall pick in 2012 has given the Rams another chance to fill a hole in their team as they pick their second player. The They still need a running back but it may be too soon to draft one as they might be able to grab one in the second round so they could go for another defensive player here.
Who They Will Draft:
Matt Elam, FS (Florida)

23. Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings know what they need and that is a middle linebacker but then comes the most controversial decision they might make. There will be a middle linebacker waiting for them here or at 25 and not taking him needs to be their top priority.
Who They Will Draft:
Manti Te’o, LB (Notre Dame)

24. Indianapolis Colts
The Colts are in need of an outside linebacker but they may not find any natural outside linebackers at this point in the draft. They will likely take a defensive end they can convert and in that category there are plenty of options in this draft.
Who They Will Draft:
Bjoern Werner, DE (Florida State)

25. Minnesota Vikings (from Seahawks)
The Vikings will benefit from having two picks so close together and the two players could be picked with either spot. The Vikings may have already solved their biggest need and they will try now to provide their young QB with a legitimate pass threat.
Who They Will Draft:
Keenan Allen, WR (California)

26. Green Bay Packers
The Packers have one position that they almost always need to find and yet for a team that prides themselves on their drafts they never seem to solve that issue. They need a running back and it is about time they take a running back in the first round rather than waiting to find one later.
Who They Will Draft:
Eddie Lacy, RB (Alabama)

27. Houston Texans
The Atlanta Falcons are perfect examples of what can happen when you add a good wide receiver on the opposite side of a great wide receiver. The Texans will try to find that player to go alongside Andre Johnson as Matt Schaub will get another weapon on the offence.
Who They Will Draft:
Justin Hunter, WR (Tennesee)

28. Denver Broncos
The Broncos resurgence was one of the best stories last year and they would like to keep it going after a strange offseason. The departure of Elvis Dumervil leaves a hole on the defence that the Broncos need to fill quickly and they will do just that.
Who They Will Draft:
Damontre Moore, DE (Texas A&M)

29. New England Patriots
The Patriots have been one of the more active teams in the draft year after year so trading out of this spot will not surprise anyone. If they do pick someone they could go for someone who can add another pass rusher to the team after selecting a defensive end last year.
Who They Will Draft:
Margus Hunt, DE (SMU)

30. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons may not be staying here as rumours of them moving up to fill one of their big needs are swirling. If they do end up staying here they could look to find a cornerback that can help Asante Samuel and fill a spot that quickly became empty this offseason.
Who They Will Draft:
Desmond Trufant, CB (Washington)

31. San Francisco 49ers
The problem with coming in second place in professional sports is that the options for you to fill any holes at the draft are limited. The Niners need a safety but there may not be any left to take in the first round and so they will move to their next need at nose tackle.
Who They Will Draft:
Sylvester Williams, DT (North Carolina)

32. Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens have had a very interesting offseason as the defending Super Bowl Champions saw some of their best players leave in free agency or retirement. They will never find a replacement for Ray Lewis but they can and will try to find someone to fill the hole in the middle of the defence.
Who They Will Draft:
Arthur Brown, ILB (Kansas State)

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