With the Senior Bowl and the Texas vs. Nation game in the books it is high time that some mock drafting is underway. That age old tradition of crawling inside the minds of NFL general managers and trying to deduce just what player’s will be selected by which team come April.
With the combine and free agency yet to come the first mock draft of the year is easily the trickiest to pull off with any modicum of accuracy. And let’s be honest here for a minute, there is nothing like the feeling of looking at a team’s current roster and having the opportunity to decide whom I think fits best on that team.
Have I ever hit an entire first round pick-for-pick? Nope. Have I even hit the 50% correct plateau? Nope. Will I ever stop rolling out mock draft after mock draft, year after year? C’mon man!
Without further ado…
1. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS-Luke Joeckel, OT, (Texas A&M): Andy Reid lost Pro Bowl LT Jason Peters for the entire 2012 season. The Philadelphia offensive line collapsed and Reid lost his job. The Chiefs and Reid get their LT for the next ten years and pending free agent LT Branden Albert either accepts a move to OG or is allowed to walk.
2. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS-Bjoern Werner, DE, (Florida State): If at first you don’t succeed…Bless the Jaguars hearts as they continue to draft the DE position in hopes of bolstering their perennially anemic pass rush. If they can manage to resign Jason Babin and team him with the pass rushing specialist Werner they may at long last have an actual NFL caliber pass rush.
3. OAKLAND RAIDERS-Damontre Moore, DE, (Texas A&M): Only the Jaguars had fewer sacks than the Raiders last season so look for them to address the situation early. The entire defensive line is in need of an overhaul and Star Lotulelei (DT/Utah) is also a possibility here.
4. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES-Dee Milliner, CB, (Alabama): While Geno Smith (QB/West Virginia) seems to be the more logical pick to lead the new Chip Kelly led Eagles offense I think the new head coach zigs when expected to zag. The Philly defense was horrible last season and in the pass happy NFC East a top-level cornerback will be a hot commodity.
5. DETROIT LIONS- Barkevious Mingo, DE, (LSU): Detroit needs help everywhere on their defense and Jarvis Jones (OLB/Georgia) is also a possibility. Milliner would have been a nice choice here as well but if the Eagles snag him then look for the Lions to try and bolster a pass rush that will likely be losing Cliff Avril and Kyle Vandenbosch.
6. CLEVELAND BROWNS- Jarvis Jones, OLB, (Georgia): Cleveland will gladly take Jones here if the Lions decide to pass on him and get some help for their pass rush. He’ll need to be medically cleared due to the spinal stenosis condition and once he is you can bet new defensive coordinator Ray Horton will find ways to utilize the athletic LB out of Georgia.
7. ARIZONA CARDINALS- Geno Smith, QB, (West Virginia): This is a weak class of quarterbacks and Smith is the best of the lot. Arizona has a glaring need at QB and new coach Bruce Arians is just the man to help Smith make the transition from the gimmicky WVU offense into an NFL quarterback.
8. BUFFALO BILLS- Mike Glennon, QB, (North Carolina State): Tyler Wilson (QB/Arkansas) could also be an option here and even possibly the still kicking himself for staying in college Matt Barkley (QB/USC). Glennon needs to fill out his 6’6” frame as he matures but has the skill set to make all the throws and the upside to intrigue the Bills enough to make him the surprise second QB off the board.
9. NEW YORK JETS- Kenny Vaccaro, S, (Texas): The Jets need a lot of help both offensively and defensively but no offensive skill positions warrant a selection this high. LaRon Landry will want more money than the Jets will be willing to pay and likely leave via free agency and Vaccaro is a solid replacement that can step right in and start. The kid has a nose for the football and is a hard-hitting technically sound tackler.
10. TENNESSEE TITANS- Chance Warmack, OG, (Alabama): The Titans want to continue the resurrection of their rushing attack and Warmack will help mightily in making that happen. This is high for a guard to be selected but Warmack is that good and warrants the selection, as he will open holes for CJ2K to actually run through instead of dance behind.