So after last week, the rankings changed quite a bit. We saw a Cardinals team miraculously upset the defending AFC Champs.We saw Seattle manhandle a Dallas Cowboys team that was coming off a huge victory against the Super Bowl Champs. But most importantly for this list, we have three new teams to mock for this weeks list. So without further adu, here comes the number one pick.
Pick 1 – Cleveland Browns Previous: Pick 2
Matt Barkley – QB USC Barkley
I know I ripped into Weeden last week, but to my defense, he deserved it. And I still have the Browns taking Barkley. That’s because through two games, Weeden has ranged from the worst quarterback ever to above average. And its going to take more than just above average to fix Cleveland. However, if Weeden looks like last week for the rest of the year, I fully expect the Browns to trade this Pick to somebody who wants Barkley. Like the Chiefs, but more on them later.
Barkley is looking to bounce back after his rough outing against Stanford. He was pressured often, which can mess with any quarterback (i.e. Manning against the Falcons last week). However, it did demonstrate his biggest weakness as a QB, which is the fact he isn’t that great an athlete. If given time, he can rip defenses apart, as his ball placement reminds me of a 2011 version of Drew Brees. He isn’t an Andrew Luck or RG3 type player, but he is the best QB in the 2013 draft class, and will likely be a top pick.
Pick 2 – Jacksonville Jaguars Previous: Pick 4
David Amerson – CB NC State Amerson
The Jags regressed in Week 2, but who wouldn’t against Houston. However, the game demonstrated Jacksonville’s dire need of a shutdown corner. This team still has the same holes and same talent, and thus I kept the pick exactly the same.
Amerson is clearly the top corner in the nation at the moment, and he has size that is so rare in a player at his position. Standing at 6’3’’ he can contend with any receiver in the NFL. I know I’m overhyping the guy, and I don’t care. Whoever drafts him will have a tremendous player and talent that could play either corner or safety, and he can change the entire defense.
Pick 3 – Oakland Raiders Previous: Pick 8
Luke Joeckle – OT Texas A&M Barkevious Mingo – DE LSU
Mingo would be a great upgrade for Oakland’s defense, but the Raiders are falling apart fast. While Carson Palmer looks great despite his lack of receivers. And McFadden is one of the most talented backs in the NFL when he is healthy (which is rare). The best way to help both of them succeed would be to improve the offensive line. And what better way than to draft the top tackle this year.
Joeckle continues to be a force at the left tackle position. While he isn’t as good a prospect as Matt Kalil was last year, he is a great technician, and knows how to get into position to stop the elite pass rushers. He will have plenty of opportunity to continue proving himself this year.
Pick 4 – Minnesota Vikings Previous: Pick 5
Star Lotulelei – DT Utah Lotulelei
In 2012, the Vikings draft and free agency was all about the development of Christian Ponder. In 2013, the draft needs to be about filling in the remaining holes that this team has. One of the biggest holes has to be the nose tackle. And if the Vikings have Lotulelei drawing the double teams, maybe Jared Allen can do more than just draw dumb penalties.
Lotulelei has among the quickest jumps off the snap. He can bull rush the passer, and can disrupt the run with the best of them. He is a force in the middle, and gathers tackles like its his job. Which it is. So that line was worthless. But the addition of Lotulelei could fix a defensive line that has suddenly become a weakness.
Pick 5 – Kansas City Chiefs Previous: Ranked 19th
Jarvis Jones – OLB Georgia N/A
The first team to drop into the bottom 10 are the disappointing Chiefs. There were so many expectations for this team, especially from me. And boy have they let me down. The defense looks like a giant hole, the run game can’t get anything going, and they stand 0-2. Not much else can go wrong at this point.
There may be more pressing needs for this team, but when the most talented player in the draft falls to you at pick 5, you take him. And what a huge boost Jones could be for the Chiefs. All the pressure he could bring, along with his coverage skills, could be just the fix this team needs. He, along with Eric Berry and Tamba Hali, will carry this defense into the elite.
Pick 6 – Indianapolis Colts Previous: Pick 1
Johnathon Hankins – DT Ohio State Jarvis Jones – OLB Georgia
Ah, shoot. The Colts just missed out on the pick that could be the face of the defense for the future. So instead they will settle with grabbing the future nose tackle for their new 3-4 defense. Antonio Johnson is not a long term answer.
Hankins is a bit inconsistent, but he is a powerful being. He can drive blockers back easily. He demands double teams, and that is what a 3-4 nose tackle needs to do. With him taking on the center of the offensive line, the playmakers behind him (Mathis & Freeney) are free to roam and blow up any plays the offense tries to do. It is the least glamorous job on the defense, as he won’t get the numbers (unless you’re Haloti Ngata), but it is the lynchpin of a great 3-4 defense.
Pick 7 – Tennessee Titans Previous: Ranked 22nd
Barkevious Mingo- DE LSU N/A
Tennessee had a rough outing again, and they might try to help out Jake Locker with this pick, either by getting some O-Line, or drafting yet ANOTHER receiver (which will not be the case). But I think the best way to help out Locker (other than getting a good running back. Seriously, what the hell Chris Johnson?) is to improve the defense. And Mingo is the best defensive player available.
He is a draft and development type of player, as he still needs to get some of his technique down, but nobody has bigger upside. Mingo fits best as a 4-3 defensive end, but he can play as a rush backer in a 3-4. His pass rushing skills are tops, and even though he doesn’t have any sacks yet, he continues to pressure the quarterback. This pressure is causing some erratic throws, and is a big part of their 3-0 record and their number 2 ranking in the nation. He could become the next big thing on the defensive line for the Titans.
Pick 8 – Miami Dolphins Previous: Pick 3
Keenan Allen – WR Cal Allen
So apparently I was wrong. Reggie Bush can do everything. But if Miami is serious about Ryan Tannahill, they will give him a talented receiver to help his development. Whether the team does it through the draft or free agency isn’t here or there. But this is assuming that they acquire one through the draft. And there is no better receiver in the 2013 draft than Allen.
Allen is everything you want in an elite receiver. He has size, hands, and has among the best instincts that a receiver could have. He can settle in against zone coverage well, and knows how to use his size to dominate the smaller corners that have the unfortunate task of covering him. He is a beast, and Miami needs a receiver like I need air. It just makes sense.
Pick 9 – New Orleans Saints Previous: Ranked 16th
Kawann Short – DT Purdue N/A
The final team that fell into the bottom ten, the Saints look like they are falling apart. Drew Brees doesn’t look like Drew Brees, and the defense seems non-existent. Remember the Panthers team that didn’t do anything against the Giants? That same team ripped New Orleans apart. This is not the same team as a year ago, and the team’s struggles are demonstrating how important coaching truly is. It’s too early to say that 2012 is lost, but certainly not too early to think it.
Lucky for the Saints, falling this far in the draft will allow them to snatch up one of the classes greatest playmakers in Short. He is constantly in the backfield and knows how to use his hands to shed blockers. He could be a big part in a 2013 rebound season for the Saints, who will pick in the top 10 come draft day. You read it here.
Pick 10 – St. Louis Rams Previous: Pick 6
Chance Warmack – OG Alabama Robert Woods – WR USC
What? The Rams aren’t drafting a receiver? Well, after seeing how terrible the O-Line has played, and how Brandon Gibson seems to be developing, I can’t justify the Rams not going with the best Offensive Lineman in the draft. There will be some receivers available in the later rounds, and you don’t get a lineman like Warmack often.
Warmack continues to anchor the talented Alabama line, and that line has helped lead the team to a 3-0 start. He may be the best run blocker in college football, and has the ability to attack the second level. His pass blocking skills are elite. If he wasn’t a guard, he would be a top 3 pick.
Bonus – Pick 11 – Buffalo Bills Previous: Pick 9
Manti T’eo – ILB Notre Dame Chance Warmack – OG Alabama
I know this is only a top ten mock, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the best rant anyone has ever directed towards my writing. To sum it up, I’ll give the opening paragraph. “Wait, a minute. What part of Buffalo’s OL is broken and in need of fixing? The part that gave up the fewest sacks in the NFL last season and hasn’t given up one sack yet this year? The part that’s been a major factor in Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller’s success? The rookie LT Cordy Glenn who has been outstanding in his first two games in the NFL?”
Pretty solid right? There was more, and I did rebuttal. But while I still think Chance Warmack would be a great addition to the Bills, he isn’t available in this mock any longer. And even if he was, as it was so clearly pointed out to me, the Bills do have other, more pressing needs. Specifically at linebacker. Drafting the rapidly rising Te’o would give them not only a defensive playmaker, but a genuine leader for the quarterback of the defense as well. He is a sound tackler and great in coverage. And Buffalo needs an upgrade at that position. Badly.
So thank you Ben, and thank you to all who read. Don’t be afraid to rip my ideas apart. I actually enjoy your degrading words towards my opinions. I don’t exactly know why, and that is something I should probably look into, but for now, my 2nd mock is done.
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