The NFL Scouting Combine: Where rising up draft boards happens.
At least, that's what the more athletic prospects in the draft class tend to do.
The 2013 class boasts plenty of explosive defensive prospects, but what about the offensive side of the ball?
Well, it turns out that there are some eye-catching players in the receiving corps this year, as well as on the offensive line (yes, offensive linemen can be athletic for their size).
Here's a look at my latest 2013 NFL mock draft based on my observations through Day 5 of the NFL combine. Offensive prospects who have improved their stock at the combine are in italics.
*Note: All marks at the combine via NFL.com
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
I expect the Chiefs to find a quarterback either via trade or free agency. In that case, drafting the top offensive tackle in the class would be a smart move.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
The Jaguars need a defensive end and Bjoern Werner has displayed the speed, power, football IQ and instincts to be a strong player on the edge.
3. Oakland Raiders: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Sharrif Floyd has exploded up draft boards after the 297-pounder ran the 40-yard dash in 4.92 seconds at the combine. The Raiders need some help up the middle, and Floyd has the athleticism, strength and motor to be a disruptive player at the next level.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
With Joeckel and Floyd gone, I expect the Eagles to address their secondary with Alabama's Dee Milliner, the No. 1 cornerback in the class. Milliner has exhibited the coverage skills and ability against the run to be an impact player in the NFL.
5. Detroit Lions: Ezekiel Ansah, DE/OLB, BYU
This may be a bit of a reach for a raw prospect in Ezekiel Ansah, but when you draw comparisons to Jason Pierre-Paul, there's a reason. Ansah's athleticism and explosiveness are evident—he could develop into a nightmare off the edge.
6. Cleveland Browns: Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon
Dion Jordan helped his draft stock at the combine when he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.60 seconds. Many draft experts have him pegged inside the top 10 and the Browns need an explosive pass-rusher at outside linebacker.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Eric Fisher has soared up draft boards. Some actually believe he may become a better offensive tackle than Joeckel. Fisher's agility stands out—he ranked second in the broad jump (116.0 inches) and tied for first in the 20-yard shuttle (4.44 seconds) among offensive linemen at the combine.
8. Buffalo Bills: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Geno Smith may not be worthy of the No. 1 overall pick this year, but the Bills will gladly take him at No. 8 overall. Smith has the arm and mobility in the pocket to be a starter in the NFL—he just needs to work on that accuracy.
9. New York Jets: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU
The Jets would love to add someone with Barkevious Mingo's potential to the linebacking corps. Mingo is raw, but his athleticism is hard to ignore.
10. Tennessee Titans: Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
Chance Warmack could go earlier than this, but I expect him to land here. He's rated by many draft experts as the No. 1 guard in the class and the Titans need to bolster the interior of the line.
11. San Diego Chargers: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
Lane Johnson continues to impress with his combination of athleticism, strength and technique. He's being mentioned among the likes of Eric Fisher so he must be doing something right.
Oh yeah, he ranked second in the 40-yard dash, second in the vertical jump, first in the broad jump, second in the three-cone drill and fifth in the 20-yard shuttle among offensive linemen at the combine.
Philip Rivers could use a standout left tackle like Johnson.
12. Miami Dolphins: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
The Dolphins need weapons for young quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Cordarrelle Patterson is widely regarded as the most promising receiver in the draft. He ranked sixth and fifth in the 40-yard dash and vertical jump respectively among receivers at the combine, despite weighing in at 216 pounds.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
Xavier Rhodes has the size (6'1", 215 pounds), physicality and toughness to stack up well against the bigger receivers in the league. The Buccaneers need some bite in their secondary.
14. Carolina Panthers: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
There are some concerns about Star Lotulelei after he was diagnosed with a heart condition, but it's hard to ignore his power, agility, quickness and burst at the defensive tackle position. It would be hard to imagine him dropping farther than this. He could become a Pro Bowler in the NFL with his skill set.
15. New Orleans Saints: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
After being diagnosed with spinal stenosis, the explosive Jarvis Jones appears to have fallen a bit down draft boards. Still, it's going to be hard for the Saints to pass up on the electric pass-rusher given their transition to the 3-4 scheme. Jones is worth the risk here.
16. St. Louis Rams: Jonathan Cooper, G/C, North Carolina
Jonathan Cooper posted an official time of 5.07 seconds in the 40-yard dash, which isn't bad considering he's currently listed at 311 pounds. An outstanding pass-protector with the athleticism to move around the line, Cooper has gained the attention of plenty of NFL teams.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Damontre Moore, DE/OLB, Texas A&M
Damontre Moore posted just 12 reps at 225 pounds on the bench press at the combine. That has given pause to scouts everywhere. There were already concerns that his athleticism and explosiveness were overrated. Still, you can't ignore the instincts and burst he displayed at Texas A&M. Adding a young pass-rusher like Moore might be the move for Pittsburgh.
18. Dallas Cowboys: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
The Cowboys need help up the middle, and Sheldon Richardson's athleticism and motor figure to make him a top-20 selection come draft day.
19. New York Giants: Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
Datone Jones has risen up draft boards and the Giants would like to add a 4-3 defensive end. Jones has the combination of quickness, power and dedication to surprise at the next level.
20. Chicago Bears: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
The Bears are in great need of an impact player at tight end. Tyler Eifert showed promising speed and power at the combine and we all know about his hands. He was labeled a "top performer" by NFL.com in every combine activity he participated in.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU
Kevin Minter could potentially be the first inside linebacker selected in the draft. He displayed the sideline-to-sideline ability, tackling skills and instincts at LSU to transition nicely to the NFL.
22. St. Louis Rams (via Redskins): Kenny Vaccaro, FS, Texas
This would be a coup for the Rams if they got a guard of Jonathan Cooper's caliber and landed the top free safety in the draft in Kenny Vaccaro, who displayed the coverage skills at Texas to be an impact player on Jeff Fisher's defense.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Keenan Allen, WR, Cal
There are some who believe Clemson's DeAndre Hopkins would be a better selection here (myself included), but I think the Vikings take the more athletic prospect in Keenan Allen, who has the height to go up and snatch balls out of the sky.
24. Indianapolis Colts: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
Desmond Trufant has soared up draft boards. His athleticism, toughness and instincts were on full display in Senior Bowl week. The Colts need to add talent to the secondary.
25. Seattle Seahawks: Cornellius Carradine, DE, Florida State
There are concerns about a torn ACL Cornellius Carradine suffered in 2012, but his combination of athleticism and strength would make him a nice fit on Seattle's line.
26. Green Bay Packers: Arthur Brown, OLB, Kansas State
The Packers need to add speed to the defense and Arthur Brown exhibited the instincts, sideline-to-sideline ability and toughness to transition nicely to the NFL. Brown's versatility also allows Green Bay to shuffle him in different schemes.
27. Houston Texans: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
It's possible that the explosive Tavon Austin is drafted sooner than this (he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.34 seconds at the combine), but if he makes it to the Texans you would have to think they nab him. Austin would be a terrific complement to Andre Johnson in the slot.
28. Denver Broncos: Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
Johnathan Hankins has to keep his weight under control, but he's displayed impressive fluidity and coordination for being listed at 335 pounds. Defensive tackle is a position of great need in Denver.
29. New England Patriots: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
Johnthan Banks' coverage skills could make him a welcome addition to the Patriots' secondary. He has a lot of experience in zone coverage, but many believe he's best suited as a press corner. Either way, he's displayed the ball skills and competitiveness to be an asset in the secondary.
30. Atlanta Falcons: Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
The Falcons would like to add a pass-rusher on the edge. Alex Okafor has the size, strength and burst to transition to the NFL and he could be one of the more pro-ready defensive ends in the class, given his technique.
31. San Francisco 49ers: Jonathan Cyprien, SS, Florida International
Jonathan Cyprien has risen dramatically up draft boards since Senior Bowl week. He not only has the hitting ability and tackling skills to be an asset against the run, he's displayed the range and instincts to hold the back end of the secondary. With Dashon Goldson potentially on his way out of San Francisco, the 49ers may grab Cyprien as their next starting strong safety.
32. Baltimore Ravens: Eric Reid, FS, LSU
If the Ravens lose Ed Reed, they will need to find a free safety. Enter Eric Reid. With good size at the safety position (6'2", 208 pounds), Reid possesses the athleticism, instincts and toughness to hold down the back end for Baltimore down the line.
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