The fourth version of my 2013 NFL Mock Draft ignores manufactured Combine hype, and sticks to the meat and potatoes of my previous mocks, but with a generous side of "impact." Despite the national disdain for this QB class, I still think 1-3 could still eventually crowbar their way in, you'll just have to read on to find out...
1. Chiefs- Geno Smith, QB West Viginia
2. Jaguars- *Star Lotulelei , DT Utah
3. Raiders- Shariff Floyd, DT/DE Florida
4. Eagles- Luke Joeckel, OT Texas A & M
5. Lions- Bjoern Werner, DE FSU
6. Browns- Dion Jordan, OLB Oregon
7. Cardinals- Eric Fisher, OT Eastern Michigan
8. Buffalo- Barkevious Mingo, OLB LSU
With the Combine nearly in the rearview mirror, I'm not budging Geno Smith from the top spot until I see Andy Reid pick Nick Foles up at the airport in March. *ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported on Sunday that Lotulelei was diagnosed with a heart condition, and it's unclear at the moment how it will affect his draft stock. In the short term it may answer questions about perceived inconsistent effort on film. For now, Star stays put until we know more in the coming weeks leading up to the Utah Pro Day. Luke Joeckel is still the top OT off the board (at least in my opinion) and secures the 4th spot. Dion Jordan's surgery won't be a hindrance to Cleveland, as they grab a dynamic OLB for Ray Horton's defense in time for training camp. Big Eric Fisher finally anchors an otherwise porous Cardinal offensive line at LT, and Barkevious Mingo gives new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, an explosive speed rusher off the edge at OLB. Have to admit, I did extensive work on Mingo, and for the most part he played contain in the LSU defense in 2012, and looked pretty vanilla to the pass rush community. That said, he still flashed and showed what he can be if used correctly. Pettine will get the most out of his ability.
9. Jets- Ezekial Ansah, DE BYU
10. Titans- Tank Carradine, FSU
11. Chargers- Lane Johnson, OT Oklahoma
12. Miami- Cordarelle Patterson, WR Tennessee
13. Buccaneers- Xavier Rhodes, CB FSU
14. Panthers- Sheldon Richardson, DT Mizzou
15. Saints- Dee Milliner, Alabama
16. Rams- Chance Warmack, OG Alabama
17. Steelers- Jonathan Cooper, OG North Carolina
18. Cowboys- Kenny Vaccaro, S Texas
Ziggy Ansah remains in my top 10. Why you ask? Freakish ability and upside. That's the earmark of this draft. A whole lot of "what can be", and I think Ansah can be a great one. Tank Carradine vaults into my top 10, again you ask WHY? All the questions. Well, it's simple, while Werner (who I still love as a top 5 pick for his "JJ Watt after taxes" ability) gets to flash like a freak at FSU, while the "Tank" faced doubles and chip blocks more often than not, and showed a ridiculous motor.Tank's ACL recovery is the only stumbling block to a top 5 seating. He'll help right away in Tennessee, in a defense in desperate need of a pass rush. Lane Johnson may be moving up my board soon, but for now he protects Jethro Rivers' blind side in San Diego. This year's "It Girl" at WR, Cordarelle Patterson is selected by Miami, in the hopes that he's a bigger, better version of Percy Harvin. With Milliner's surgery looming, Xavier Rhodes benefits by being the 1st CB taken in this year's Draft. A complete CB, Rhodes has the sixe, coverage ability and is a sound tackler. A great fit for Schiano's young defensive backfield. Sheldon Richardson stays put at #14 for Carolina, and is looking more and more like a steal at this point. The Saints released Johnny Patrick in a cap clearing move, and grab arguably the best (even though he'll be recovering from surgery) CB in the class in Milliner. Worth the relatively low risk at #15. Big Chance Warmack stays put at #16, despite being one of the best OL in the Draft, OGs just don't come off the board any higher. It's science...I swear. Speaking of OGs, the Steelers get a steal in athletic guard Jonathan Cooper, who's a perfect fit alongside David DeCastro in Todd Haley's new zone blocking scheme. Safety Kenny Vaccaro falls a bit in my latest mock, but is a great value to the Cowboys who need an enforcer on the back end.
19. Giants- Menelik Watson, OT FSU
20. Bears- Manti Te'o, LB Notre Dame
21. Bengals- Arthur Brown, OLB Kansas State
22. Rams (from Washington Redskins) - Tavon Austin, WR West Virginia
23. Vikings- Larry Warford, OG Kentucky
24. Colts- Corey Lemonier, DE Auburn
25. Seahawks- Datone Jones, DE UCLA
26. Packers- Jonathan Cyprien, S FIU
The Giants need OL help, namely OT help. I've been lauding the high ceiling of Watson for weeks now, and I think he's found his home with the Giants. He'll develop into a fine LT for years to come. Te'o gave his 14 minute press conference at the Combine on Saturday, and in the very least, won over the media in attendance. He stays put at #20 and fills the big shoes of Brian Urlacher in Chicago. Arthur Brown lands with Cincinnati and offers up flexibility in Mike Zimmer's defensive LB corps. Danny Amendola who? When you have a more explosive, younger and cheaper option in Austin, no brainer pick for Jeff Fisher. Austin also offers up immediate help on special teams, as well as being the new binky for Sam Bradford. My favorite interior lineman, Larry Warford, brings his big hindquarters to Minnesota, to open holes for All-Planet RB Adrian Peterson. Corey Lemonier vaults into the top 25, because that's what pass rushers do on Draft Day. Watching Lemonier's 2012 tape is underwhelming, but his 2011 tape is impressive. Will GMs see the same guy? I think they will. Datone Jones spoke openly at the Combine ( per @StevePalazzolo ) about now Seahawks LB coach, Ken Norton Jr. (then USC LB's coach with Pete Carroll) recruiting him hard when he was a still a pup. Jones would be a monster on the Seahawk DL alongside the likes of Bruce Irvin, Chris Clemons and Red Bryant. The Packers miss out on Menelik Watson this go round, but address an equally big need at safety, by selecting Senior Bowl standout, Jonathan Cyprien. Cyprien has the potential versatility of former safety Charles Woodson, who was recently released.
27. Texans- DeAndre Hopkins, WR Clemson
28. Broncos- Desmond Trufant, CB Washington
29. Chiefs (trade with New England)- Keenan Allen, WR Cal
30. Falcons- Tyler Eifert, TE Notre Dame
31. Niners- Jesse Williams, DT Alabama
32. Ravens- D.J. Swearinger, S South Carolina
The Texans finally land a WR that isn't named Kevin Walter, to pair with stud Andre Johnson. Hopkins is my #2 WR in this years draft, and flaunts tough hands in traffic, and amazing 2nd level speed after the catch. He may end up being the best in his class, and a nice weapon for Matt Schaub. The Broncos need help in the secondary, as witnessed by the torching served up by one Joe Flacco and Torrey Smith in the playoffs. Desmond Trufant is one of my favorite CBs in this class, a well rounded defensive back with excellent cover skills and a hunger to compete. A nice fit for John Fox's talented young defense. The first trade! Andy Reid continues his draft day trade tradition with Bill Belichick, and snipes the talented Keenan Allen from the WR hungry masses in round two. New England gets to stock up on round two and three picks in return. The Falcons may lock up Tony Gonzalez for one more year, but until they happens, they grab his replacement in the talented Mr. Eifert. I'm seriously underrating one of my favorite DTs in this draft in Jesse Williams, but he just keeps falling into the lucky laps of the Niners. I expect that to change in the coming weeks, as he could be this year's "Poe" only vastly more talented in my opinion. The hard hitting, press covering safety, D.J. Swearinger stays put at #32 and rounds out round one for the World Champs.
That wraps up Mock 4.0, send bad intentions or mail order beer my way via twitter @RumfordJohnny. Cheers.