Hello and welcome to our First Annual Mock Draft. It also happens to be our first non-television related article ever. In this mock draft we play the roles of the GMs for many teams. We decided to go back and forth between the two of us to make it more challenging. We flipped a coin (Kevin was victorious) to decide who picked for the odd teams and who picked for the even teams. We allow trades in any form so if Jesse wanted to trade for an odd numbered pick then he would have to make a deal with Kevin. If he wanted to trade for an even numbered pick he could trade himself. The rules are simple, the stakes are pretty low and the analysis is sub-par (on Kevin’s end at least). Please enjoy.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel – OT, Texas A&M
Kevin: Gotta love years when the big question is, “which offensive tackle will be taken first overall?” I probably could have spent more time trying to differentiate between Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher but I did not. I hear the two are neck-to-neck and Joeckel gets the slight nod.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dion Jordan – DE/OLB, Oregon
Jesse: As much as the Jaguars would love to get a new quarterback here and move past the Blaine Gabbert debacle, new head coach Gus Bradley is inheriting a team that finished dead last in sacks in 2012. I went with Jordan because if you have to deal with Andrew Luck in your division for the next 10 plus years, you better be able to generate a better pass rush than that. Seeing as Bradley was Seattle’s defensive coordinator last season, I think he’d tend to agree.
3. Oakland Raiders: Star Lotulelei – DT, Utah
Kevin: This pick came down to Star and Shariff Floyd, DT, Florida. While most mocks have Shariff in the black and silver, I went ahead and chose Star for the evil empire. To be fair, Star was a highly regarded prospect in the early days of the 2013 NFL Draft mocks. He only dropped due to health concerns. Plus I wouldn’t put it past Al Davis to come back as a ghost and force the new management to draft a guy named ‘Star’. (Jesse’s note: Upon reading this, all I’ll be able to think of now when the Raiders are on the clock is Reggie McKenzie and Dennis Allen nervously pacing around their war room wearing Ghostbusters outfits. Not because they would be opposed to drafting Star, but an Al Davis ghost? Can you imagine how hideously frightening that would be?)
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Geno Smith – QB, West Virginia
Jesse: I know, I know, this is way higher than Smith deserves to go. But this is a quarterback driven league and every year teams will overdraft signal callers out of desperation and this draft is no different. Despite all that, Smith is an intriguing fit into Chip Kelly’s crazy offense and he is certainly athletic enough to make the kind of impact plays we’ve seen from RG3 and Colin Kaepernick. Besides, the Eagles’ brass seems less than impressed with Nick Foles and Michael Vick only has one year left on his contract.
5. Detroit Lions: Eric Fisher – OT, Central Michigan
Kevin: Disclaimer: This is the pick the Lions should make but most likely will not make. Why not? They like making a splash. They want attention. They are the middle child of the NFL. Sure they have had some minor accomplishments that you, as a parent, could be proud of but surely not enough to be your favorite (that actually probably describes the Jets better). Anyway I think its important to protect their franchise QB with this pick. Fisher is a player that could easily go number one overall and they can get him at the fifth spot. Despite this, I fully expect them to screw this up. Although they also need a corner so I could see them going that way too.
6. San Diego Chargers (Trade with Cleveland): Lane Johnson – OT, Oklahoma
Kevin: Upon hearing the Browns’ desire to trade back, San Diego quickly jumped on the opportunity. Look, the Browns have a history of screwing up big moves…well screwing up everything actually. Therefore any team that partakes in the big moves will most likely benefit in a big way. Its foolproof. Trust me, I took a logic class in college. Anyway the Chargers panic when the top 2 tackles are taken off the board. They see a window and decide to jump in to take a player that will have a huge impact on their mediocre offensive line. Meanwhile the Browns QB Brandon Weeden is older than Joe Flacco, Mark Sanchez and Aaron Rodgers (by 2 months). Seriously, look it up.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Chance Warmack – G, Alabama
Kevin: My fictional GM gig is starting to exhaust me. Thanks to a trade this is my third straight pick. But I continue on for my reader. No ‘reader’ should not be plural. That is not a grammatical error. When I sat down to do my research for the Cardinals I only highlighted one area of need. That was offensive line. It is a complete joke and they need help. Just take the best offensive lineman available Cardinals. Please. With all top 3 tackles taken, the Cardinals will have to do with the top guard.
8. Buffalo Bills: Jonathan Cooper – G, North Carolina
Jesse: I came THIS close to opting for Tavon Austin here, and if he winds up going in the top 10 I think this is the likeliest spot. Owner Buddy Nix has gone on the record saying that his team is looking for a franchise quarterback and that they don’t necessarily need a guard. However, I take pretty much everything that teams say before the draft with a grain of salt, and with Geno Smith off the board already, there’s no other quarterback who’s worth taking here. Cooper is considered by some to be the best player in this draft class, and he’ll help offset the loss of Andy Levitre, who signed with the Titans in free agency.
9. New York Jets: Dee Milliner – CB, Alabama
Kevin: I am starting a new thing. The NY Jets are now known as the NY Jesters. I’m not sure if most trends start out on a random blog written by a nobody but I might as well try. Sure it might not be too creative but it makes me smile every time I envision Mark Sanchez in a jester suit during the Buttfumble. And yes, I capitalized Buttfumble because it is now officially recognized as a major event. Seriously though, it is hilarious to realize that the Jesters just traded away their best player in Darrelle Revis while they still have Tim Tebow on their roster. I love Tebow but I still cannot believe he outlasted Revis Island. So the Jesters have a big hole to fill. Luckily Milliner fell into their laps and now they can use a high draft pick to replace a player that did not need replacing in the first place. Only the New York Jesters…
10. Tennessee Titans: Sharrif Floyd – DT, Florida
Jesse: Though Tennessee may have been banking on one of the two guards or Milliner being their selection here, they will happily end the fall of the scheme-versatile Floyd, one of the most athletically gifted defensive tackles to come around in some time. The Titans were gashed for over 2,000 yards rushing a season ago and I have a feeling that Floyd would remind their fans of Albert Haynesworth. I’m talking about the guy who was a dominant force while in Tennessee, not the worthless, overpaid slob that he later became. (Kevin’s note: You reminding Titans’ fans about Fat Albert is even worse than me renaming the Jesters. Ouch.)
11. Cleveland Browns (Trade with San Diego): Ezekiel Ansah – DE/OLB, BYU
Jesse: If I’m Cleveland, and in this scenario I most certainly was, I’m thrilled with what I’ve pulled off here. Not only was I able to trade back a few slots and acquire some more picks, but I also nabbed one of the players that I was targeting with the sixth pick anyway. Ansah isn’t the most polished prospect, and there may be some growing pains as he learns to adjust when opposing offenses try to isolate him, but since when do potential red flags scare off the Browns? If he pans out, Ansah would be another uniquely talented addition to what’s already a pretty solid front seven, and he’d form a nasty pass rushing duo along with former Raven Paul Kruger. (Kevin’s note: Poor Ansah, he never had a shot at reaching his potential once the Browns’ traded back to draft him. RIP Ezekiel Ansah’s career.)
12. Miami Dolphins: Xavier Rhodes – CB, Florida St.
Jesse: Some mock drafts I’ve seen have Rhodes falling into the 20’s, but I don’t see how that will happen when there’s so many corner-needy teams selecting in the teens. Only five other teams surrendered more yards through the air than the Dolphins did in 2012, and that has to change if they want to have any real shot at catching up to the Patriots. Rhodes presents Miami’s defense with a steady presence in the secondary and has the potential to become a true shutdown corner, which should help fill the hole left by veteran Sean Smith.
13. New York Jesters (Trade with Tampa Bay): Barkevious Mingo – DE, LSU
Kevin: Man, Jesse sure is kicking my ass with this write-up. He actually sounds like he knows what he is talking about. Good for him. On the other hand, the New York Jesters select Barkevious Mingo. Why? Because you would pay to see a 6’5″, 240 pound man named Barkevious in a Jesters’ hat. Yes I am still working the Jesters joke. Get over it. (Jesse’s note: Now that George R.R. Martin of ‘Game of Thrones’ fame has made his disgust with the Revis trade public, the whole Jester joke is even more perfect. Too bad Kevin hates ‘Game of Thrones’.)
14. Carolina Panthers: Sheldon Richardson – DT, Missouri
Jesse: After bsing my way through my first six picks, I’m finally presented with a no-brainer here at no. 14. Carolina has been trying to fix the middle of their defense since they lost Kris Jenkins a few years back, and Richardson will help them contain the high-octane attacks of New Orleans and Atlanta. He’s not a bad pass-rusher either.
15. New Orleans Saints: Jarvis Jones – OLB, Georgia
Kevin: The Saints are difficult to gauge this season. They are now officially Bounty free and will have their coach back in control. They still have Drew Brees so they are sure to be a force this season. Unfortunately the Bounty Fiasco (I do not associate with the word ‘-gate’ to describe everything scandalous that happens in our society. Damn you Watergate!) wiped out their defense pretty bad. Look for them to fill their pass rusher need here.
16. St. Louis Rams: Tavon Austin – WR, West Virginia
Jesse: I seriously doubt the Rams will be able to just passively wait here if they hope to nab Austin, but in this mock that’s exactly what happened. After watching Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson bolt in free agency, Jeff Fisher is desperate to find more playmakers to help Sam Bradford. There’s not a player in this draft who’s more electric with the ball in his hands than Austin, who should become one of the premier slot receivers in the NFL.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Tyler Eifert – TE, Notre Dame
Kevin: I love this pick. Not only for the Steelers but for my own entertainment too. You see when I announced this pick Jesse let out a mix of a gasp and a groan. He was shocked but also pissed. It was beautiful. Apparently Tyler caught his eye for one of his teams down the line. This pick is already a victory in my eyes. The Steelers picking a TE in the first round is about as risky a move that the conservative team will allow themselves to make. This is the equivalent of the time your friend who works out 24/7 allows himself a protein bar and calls it his “dessert” because it technically has chocolate in it. The Steelers need help in the receiving game and giving them a big tight end that can catch is sure to get Big Ben excited. Normally getting Big Ben excited is a bad idea. But its okay here. Go ahead Big Ben!
18. Dallas Cowboys: Kenny Vaccaro – S, Texas
Jesse: For a franchise that gives away money like it’s candy every offseason, the Cowboys sure have a ton of needs. They could use some upgrades on their offensive line, as Tony Romo won’t even live to spend all his money if he doesn’t get better protection, and the defensive line is nothing to write home about either. Every starter is 30 or older. However, I don’t think either of those needs are as pressing as the one at safety, where Vaccaro would represent a vast improvement over the scrubs they have now. He’s aggressive and has a nose for the ball, traits that should serve him well in Monte Kiffin’s Cover 2 defense.
19. New York Giants: Desmond Trufant – CB, Washington
Kevin: Lots of needs here and absolutely nothing funny for me to say. What a disappointment. The Giants could really use a starting caliber corner and Trufant has all the characteristics.
20. Chicago Bears: Alec Ogletree – LB, Georgia
Jesse: As much as Bears fans have mourned the end of the Brian Urlacher era, they had to know it was coming. The former defensive standout has lost a step and then some, and the Bears simply couldn’t depend on him to stay healthy. Despite all of that, the loss of Urlacher leaves a gaping hole right in the heart of Chicago’s defense, and to help rectify this issue they should pick up Ogletree here at no. 20. His speed and athleticism at the linebacker position is a sight to see, and that alone will provide the Bears with a significant upgrade over what they had before and now. Oh, and this is where I had planned on drafting Eifert, but Kevin went and ruined that for me. Asshole.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Eddie Lacy – RB, Alabama
Kevin: This pick might surprise a few people but I love the idea of a Dalton-Green-Lacy tandem. This pick would be more of a luxury than a necessity but it is a calculated risk that could pay off for the Bengals. Lacy brings a rare combination of size and speed and could really help this offense take the next step.
22. Buffalo Bills (Trade with St. Louis): Ryan Nassib – QB, Syracuse
Jesse: Kevin pointed out that the Bills could probably wait even longer to trade back into the first round and still wind up getting Nassib, and that’s probably true. No matter when they decide to pull the trigger, I fully expect them to do so somewhere in this range, and the Rams were as suitable a trading partner as anyone else. New head coach Doug Marrone brought Nassib along nicely over at Syracuse, and the guy has a rifle for an arm and is as tough as nails.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Keenan Allen – WR, California
Kevin: With the loss of Percy Harvin to the Seahawks the Vikings have a great opportunity to draft some impact players by having 2 out of the next 3 picks. I hope Keenan Allen likes the cold and pressure. He will feel both while trying to fill in Harvin’s shoes in Minnesota.
24. Indianapolis Colts: D.J. Fluker – OT, Alabama
Jesse: Addressing their offensive line isn’t the Colts’ top priority in this draft, but they are stunned to see Fluker still available at this point. The only thing more important than getting a franchise quarterback is keeping that quarterback upright, and Anthony Castonzo struggled at times to protect Andrew Luck’s blind side. Fluker would be in upgrade in that respect, allowing Castonzo to shift over to the right side.
25. Minnesota Vikings: Sylvester Williams – DT, North Carolina
Kevin: Another audible gasp from Jesse. He fully expected Manti Te’o to go here. Which brings up a burning question I have been thinking about. How will Te’o know where he was drafted to? I highly doubt he trusts phones anymore and he has obviously never heard of Skype (Speaking of, here is a tangent for the tangent that I am currently on. Has there even been a more obvious marketing opportunity than Te’o and Skype and/or Facetime? Seriously this idea benefits both parties. Just film a simple commercial of Te’o using Skype to call his family and have some small joke about checking in to make sure they exist or something. Bam. Problem solved. Te’o makes fun of himself and instantly everyone stops and they think of him as a lovable guy. Meanwhile Skype gets heavy traffic because they generally do not advertise as it is. I need to go into marketing.) Also Te’o declined an invite to the actual draft. You know he can’t look at Twitter either since Te’o jokes could run rampant all day. Basically he won’t hear by phone, he won’t appear in person and he has to avoid Twitter. He might not know what team drafted him for sure until training camp. Even then I expect him to be skeptical…Oh this is the Vikings pick? My bad. They take the best available DT to open up their dangerous D-line.
26. Green Bay Packers: Menelik Watson – OT, Florida St.
Jesse: Aaron Rodgers was sacked 51 times in 2012, which is a pretty big concern considering how valuable he is to that franchise. Watson is the best tackle left on the board and Green Bay probably has him ranked as high as anyone else they could draft here, so why not?
27. Houston Texans: Robert Woods – WR, USC
Kevin: Honestly I probably should have gone for Cordarrelle Patterson here but it looks like the Texans love Woods. They have a big need at WR since Kevin Walter is gone. The fact that they need a WR because of the fact that Kevin Walter is gone is just further indication that they NEED a WR. Here they get some much needed help for Andre Johnson and Matt Schaub.
28. Denver Broncos: Bjoern Werner – DE, Florida St.
Jesse: I hated making this pick. The Broncos never, and I mean NEVER, draft who I want them to draft, so this is just a cruel tease. Every year I zero in on two or three prospects who I think would be great fits in Denver, get my hopes up that they might actually pick one of them, only to be disappointed when they pass on the players I like for somebody else. Every. Single. Year. And besides, I was really looking forward to watching Kevin agonize over this one, because he’s just as worried about who we’ll get this year as I am. Oh well. Back to this pick. I want the Broncos to draft Te’o here, and I could ramble on for hours and hours why I want them to do that, but I’ve already taken up more than enough space. However, the silver lining here is Werner, who is an absolute steal this late in the first round, and has the potential to make everyone forget about Elvis Dumervil in a hurry. Plus my parents used to have a dog named Bjoern, so they’d get a kick out of that.
29. New England Patriots: Tank Carradine – DE, Florida St.
Kevin: As much as Jesse hated picking for his favorite team (no pity from me) I hated picking for the Patriots. How the hell am I supposed to predict the behavior of this team? Of course I would have traded back had Buffalo not already traded in to get Nassib. Whatever. For the Pats it comes down to Tank and Datone Jones. Jones seems like the safer pick so I naturally thought like the Pats and chose the high-risk, high-reward pick.
30. Atlanta Falcons: Jamar Taylor – CB, Boise St.
Jesse: The Falcons really really need a corner. Lucky for them, there’s an abundance of quality corners available in this draft, so if they choose to go elsewhere here, they’ll have plenty of opportunities to snag one later. Mike Mayock from NFL Network believes Taylor is the best corner in the entire draft. I believe that Mike Mayock knows a hell of a lot more about prospects than I do. That made this one pretty easy for me.
31. San Francisco 49ers: Datone Jones – DE, UCLA
Kevin: I am about 95% sure that the 49ers won’t be picking here when the time comes. They have a truckload of draft picks (apparently they went the opposite way of the Raiders in regard to draft picks. The Raiders can’t seem to keep them, the 49ers can’t seem to get rid of them) and plenty of opportunities to move up. Unfortunately I can’t quite figure out where they will move to or who they will target. In case they are picking here, they will target their D-line.
32. Baltimore Ravens: Manti Te’o – LB, Notre Dame
Jesse: And of course, it would be fitting for the Broncos to pass on Te’o just to spite me, only to see him get scooped up by the Ravens at the end of the round. Hell, those fuckers in Baltimore have already stolen a Super Bowl and Elvis Dumervil from me this year, why not go for the hat trick? Alright, enough bitterness, on to the analysis. The Ravens already lost Ray Lewis and Dannell Ellerbe this offseason, and now that Rolando McClain has been arrested for like the hundredth time in the past few years, I highly doubt they’re counting on him to fill that void. Enter Te’o, who despite all the controversy and the poor performances at the combine and against Alabama, has what it takes to be a standout middle linebacker in this league. He’s a student of the game, a leader of men, can make all the tackles and has the sideline to sideline speed to defend the run and lock down tight ends in coverage. Oh hey, those are all the reasons the Broncos should draft him! I hate the Ravens so much. So very, very much.