The 2013 NFL draft is less than three weeks away. As the time continues to dwindle, the first round should finally begin to stabilize after months of players moving up and down the board due to their performance throughout the draft process.
While some of the names slated to go in the opening round have changed over the past couple months, the overall theme of the draft class has remained the same. It's definitely a year where the depth is more prominent than the star power.
Although fans and teams drafting inside the top 10 prefer superstars, the high number of players capable of making an immediate impact should mean a lot of franchises walk away from the draft happy. To illustrate that, here's a complete mock draft of Round 1 with three deeper dives denoted by italics.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Despite a challenge from Eric Fisher for the top spot among offensive tackles, Joeckel continues to stand above the rest at the position. In this case, that also comes with being the first overall selection.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
The Jaguars should get their choice of any available pass rusher, which is the team's biggest need. Jordan's combination of athleticism and quickness off the edge makes him the best bet.
3. Oakland Raiders: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Smith was sliding and it was starting to appear that his spot in the top 10 was in danger. Then Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports stated he's a lock to get picked inside the top five. NFL insiders usually don't make that type of decree without some solid information.
So now the question becomes which team within the first five will take him. The Jaguars are a possibility, but their need to upgrade the pass rush is immense. So the Raiders, who lack a proven backup behind Matt Flynn, are seemingly the best fit.
The West Virginia product wouldn't be forced into the starting lineup right away, which would help alleviate some of the pressure. Smith's college numbers are off the charts (42 passing TDs as a senior) and that could be enough to get the Raiders to take a chance on him.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
If Smith gets past the Raiders, Philadelphia is another possible landing spot for the draft's top quarterback. The Eagles also need help along the defensive line, which leads them to Floyd.
5. Detroit Lions: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
It's hard to see the Lions passing should one of the draft's two star offensive tackles fall here. They need to bolster the protection in front of Matthew Stafford, who attempted over 700 passes last season.
6. Cleveland Browns: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Milliner has established himself as the draft's top corner, which should secure his spot inside the top 10. The Browns, who ranked 25th against the pass last season, would appear to be an ideal fit.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
Even though Johnson isn't quite on the same level as Joeckel or Fisher, he's not far behind. For a team like the Cardinals, which allowed 58 sacks last season, he's worth taking a chance on at No. 7.
8. Buffalo Bills: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
The Bills shouldn't take a quarterback here. There just isn't enough value given all their other needs. Wide receiver is one of them and Patterson would bring a much-needed vertical threat to the offense.
9. New York Jets: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
Ansah has a very wide range of picks where he could go, ranging from the top five to the teens. Ultimately, the Jets would be wise to take a chance on him as they retool the previously vaunted defense.
10. Tennessee Titans: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
Anything the Titans can do to help open more running lanes for Chris Johnson is a smart move. Warmack is a tremendous guard prospect with immense upside, making him worth a top-10 pick.
11. San Diego Chargers: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
San Diego could become a prime trade target for teams looking to move up because the team's biggest need, offensive tackle, has been depleted already. Lotulelei makes the most sense if the Chargers stay.
12. Miami Dolphins: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
The Dolphins ranked 25th in passing yards allowed in 2011 and 27th in 2012. So it's clear the secondary needs to improve for the team to starting trending toward the playoffs. The addition of Brent Grimes will help, but it doesn't completely address the issue.
That's why taking Rhodes, the draft's second-best cornerback, is the right move. The Florida State star combines strong coverage skills with good playmaking skills and versatility that would allow him to fit in virtually any scheme.
He's also not the type of player who's going to shy away from physical play. That's key in today's NFL where the wide receivers are getting bigger and stronger. It forces corners to match that physicality or get burned. Rhodes will be up to the challenge.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Werner is the type of player who could step right into the lineup and improve Tampa Bay's 30th-ranked pass rush. Whether he will ever develop into a superstar rusher is certainly up for debate.
14. Carolina Panthers: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
The common theme for Carolina's pick is defensive tackle. It just comes down to which prospect at the position is the best one available when it picks. In this draft scenario, that would be Richardson.
15. New Orleans Saints: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
Since there is such a wide range of opinion about Jones' pro potential, he's become one of the toughest players to place. The Saints shouldn't let him slip by if he falls to them in the middle of the round.
16. St. Louis Rams: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
St. Louis is making steady progress toward the playoffs, but there are still a couple areas that need attention. One is the questionable offensive line, which would be helped by the addition of Cooper.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
Moore is the type of prospect that could turn into a steal this deep in the round. Questions about his first step, a key pass-rushing trait in the NFL, might force him to slide and leave him for the Steelers.
18. Dallas Cowboys: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
Tony Romo has been sacked 72 times over the past two seasons. Finding a way to keep the pocket clean should be near the top of Dallas draft to-do list. Fluker makes sense as a part of the deep tackle class.
19. New York Giants: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU
The Giants should take a chance on Mingo if he's still available. He's slid a bit due to questions about his ability to transition to the NFL with a lack of a secondary pass-rushing move, but his upside is obvious.
20. Chicago Bears: Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
Jones would be a perfect player opposite of star veteran Julius Peppers. He has all the tools to become an effective rusher, but is still working on turning that raw talent into ability. Peppers would help.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Kenny Vaccaro, FS, Texas
It wouldn't be a surprise if the Bengals went for a wide receiver here to give Andy Dalton another weapon. That said, safety is a big need and it's a position that doesn't have nearly as much depth as WR.
22. St. Louis Rams (via Washington): Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
The Rams have two picks in the opening round and one must be used on a wide receiver. It's been impossible to make a fair judgment on Sam Bradford because the young quarterback has dealt with a subpar line and a lackluster supporting cast.
Just like the addition of Jake Long will help the line, selecting Austin would give Bradford a promising weapon. Those two players alone wouldn't be enough to move the Rams offense even to an average level, but they at least represent some upgrades.
Austin is a lightning-quick receiver that will likely do his best work in the slot. He can cause serious matchup problems with his elite quickness and improve route-running ability. It wouldn't be a surprise to see him emerge as Bradford's favorite target right away.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Keenan Allen, WR, California
The Vikings' offense is still a work in progress aside from Adrian Peterson. The addition of Greg Jennings will help, but they still need another wideout. Allen is the best one left on the board.
24. Indianapolis Colts: Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
Indianapolis desperately needs another pass rusher to play opposite of Robert Mathis. Okafor has flashed some serious potential, and that's what teams are looking for at this point in the round.
25. Minnesota Vikings (via Seattle): Margus Hunt, DE, SMU
Hunt is an intriguing prospect who's making some serious noise as draft day approaches. Whether he's done enough to crack the first round is yet to be seen, but the SMU product has made a strong case.
26. Green Bay Packers: Alec Ogletree, OLB, Georgia
The Packers offense is going to score a lot of points without any further additions. A vast majority of the draft should be spent trying to further upgrade a defense that made positive strides last season.
27. Houston Texans: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
Andre Johnson needs help on the outside. It's been true for a handful of seasons, and it remains true heading into the draft. The Texans should finally address the issue by grabbing Hopkins.
28. Denver Broncos: Matt Elam, SS, Florida
Denver needs help along the defensive line and in the secondary. Since there are fewer ready-to-play safeties in the draft, the Broncos should opt for Elam to start their draft class.
29. New England Patriots: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
It's no secret the New England secondary has had its fair share of struggles in recent seasons. Trufant is an underrated prospect who would be a perfect pick for the corner-needy Patriots.
30. Atlanta Falcons: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
Tony Gonzalez is back for at least one more season, but that shouldn't stop the Falcons from looking to the future. Eifert can learn from the legend and then slide into a more important role in the future.
31. San Francisco 49ers: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
San Francisco's defensive backfield was exposed in the playoffs after a solid regular season. Banks can help add some depth to the secondary and should play his way into a starting role eventually.
32. Baltimore Ravens: Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame
The battle for top inside linebacker between Te'o and Kevin Minter will probably go right down to the wire. It's still hard to imagine Te'o falling out of Round 1 after some early top-10 hype, though.
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