So the 2013 NFL Combine is behind us. We now have a clearer indication of the top draft prospects after they were put through their paces in Indianapolis. Here is a Mock Draft reflecting the progress of College hopefuls as we move ever closer to Draft Day. 1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A & M. While I still think this pick might be Geno Smith, word coming out of the Chiefs is they have traded for 49ers QB Alex Smith. This is not the smart way to go in my opinion. Certainly not at the price (2nd Round, 2nd next year). This pick now becomes a no-brainer. If they want their investment to thrive he must be given time to go through his progressions. Joeckel is the best Offensive Tackle prospect in this Draft and is in the top 5 on everyone's boards. He cemented this status by having a solid Combine and fills a huge need for the Chiefs. They have to keep whoever is throwing the ball upright, something Cassell and Quinn haven't had the luxury of. Joeckel should be a first day starter at Left Tackle and that position will not be a worry for the foreseeable future. 2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Shariff Floyd, DT, Florida. With the top rated Defensive Tackle, Star Lotulelei, not permitted to participate in the Combine after his medical revealed a heart condition, Floyd becomes the pick here. The Jaguars simply can't afford to take the risk and as of right now I imagine Lotuleilei is off most Draft boards. Floyd has been flying up Draft boards in recent weeks, some scouts actually had him above Lotuleilei even before his heart condition. This is a simple pick for the Jags if they do as intended and stick with Blaine Gabbert. Floyd fills a huge need as the Jags Defensive Line is a joke. Floyd will change that, he will eat up space and is a phenomenal pass rusher for his size. Will make an instant impact on an extremely weak Jags Defensive front. 3. Oakland Raiders: DeMarcus Milliner, CB, Alabama. The Raiders have been known to pull a surprise or two on draft day and after an extremely impressive combine Milliner is the pick here. Milliner has cemented himself as a Top 5 prospect in recent weeks and will be a tremendous addition to this defense. They could go for a pass-rusher but this is a deep D-Line class and they can look to the later rounds for help there. Stanford Routt hasn't justified the large contract the Raiders gave him and they need to find the long term replacement for him should he be released. Milliner is fast, strong and should have no trouble covering Receivers at the next level. An instant upgrade for the Raiders at Corner without question. The Raiders aren't scared to Draft the best athlete available regardless of team needs, much to their detriment over the years. Milliner is a slam dunk prospect that will thrive in the NFL. 4. Philadelphia Eagles: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan. It looks like the Eagles are going to go with Michael Vick, for this season at least. Vick re-structured his deal and will 'compete' for the starring position. This isn't a terrible move by Kelly as Vick seems to be a perfect fit for his offensive scheme. They will consider Geno Smith here if he is available. Their offensive line was on life support at times last season and for Vick to be utilised he must be upright. Fisher is the logical pick here. He has had a sensational off-season. Impressing scouts with his work ethic and his awareness at the Senior Bowl and had an incredible Combine. Some scouts have even predicted he will be the first overall pick by the time evaluations are over. Fisher has elite footwork and can play either Tackle position. With Jason Peters returning from a serious injury on the other side the Eagles will have two quality tackles that will, at the very least, give Vick a chance to be successful. 5. Detroit Lions: Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon. Kyle Vanden Bosch is gone, victim of the Salary Cap restrictions. He will need to be replaced. The Lions will have the pick of numerous pass-rushers here. However, I feel Dion Jordan will be the one they choose. First off, he is a high character individual. The Lions have had trouble with off-the-field incidents in the past and would be reluctant to commit to one this high in the Draft. Jordan has been a great role model at Oregon and should slot in at Defensive End with ease. He has an incredible burst and is elusive enough to avoid blockers and pressurise the Quarterback. He does have a shoulder issue that would require further examination but I can't see that being an issue in the long-term. Jordan was one of the Combine sensations and his athleticism and potential makes him worth the risk in the top 5. 6. Cleveland Browns: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU. I think the new management gives Brandon Weeden one more year. There have been rumours that the Browns will consider Geno Smith here, but there are far more pressing needs for this team than at Quarterback. Ansah may seem like a reach here but he was sensational at the Senior Bowl and a solid Combine has cemented this position for Ansah. He has the same athleticism of a Jason Pierre-Paul or a Vernon Gholston. Two players whom players took risks on and ended up in two very different ways. This draft is very weak at the top so I think you will see more gambles than in previous drafts. 7. Arizona Cardinals: Chance Warmack, G, Alabama. Granted, this is high for a Guard to be taken, but Warmack is just that special. It appears as if Kolb's bloated contract is going to give him another year to prove himself so the line will need to be solidified to give Kolb and Beanie Wells a chance to aid the all-world receiver Larry Fitzgerald. Warmack is equally as good in run or pass support. Is as dominant a guard as we have seen for decades. He is a guaranteed 12 year starter barring injuries and will be an All-Pro within 2 years of being in the league. Yes, he is that good. 8. Buffalo Bills: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia. Finally a team rolls the dice on Smith. This is an ideal scenario for the Bills as they have made no secret of their desire for a Quarterback in this draft. I still think that if they really want him they may have to trade up to acquire him. He had an extremely impressive combine and people's opinion of him is more positive now than it was at the end of the College Football season. He threw well at the combine and scored well, being the fastest QB there is also going to help his stock. His pro day will only help him as he will be throwing to familiar receivers and if he interviews well he could go even higher than that if someone decides he is worth the gamble to trade up for. 9. New York Jets: Bjorn Werden, DE/OLB, Florida State. This pick will ultimately depend on what the Jets do with the rest of their overpaid stars. They have trimmed their salary cap considerably but that has left them extremely short on the defensive side of the ball. Werden will instantly upgrade their pass-rush, which was almost non-existent last year. Werden is relentless in his pursuit of the Quarterback and his motor and work-ethic will see him as a Rex Ryan favourite in no time at all. If Werden is not the pick here, they may look to Wide Receiver or Defensive Tackle. However, if they don't get somebody to pressure Tom Brady they have no hope of doing any damage in their division. 10. Tennessee Titans: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma. Lane Johnson has flown up Draft boards during the off-season. This rise was confirmed as he was one of the standout Lineman at the Combine. Many thought his performance would elevate him into the Top 10 and Tennessee has a need to upgrade their offensive line. For whatever reason, Chris Johnson has had two subpar years. This could be because of the Quarterback play, teams focusing on him or the play of the line in-front of him. Johnson is an exceptional run blocker and should provide Johnson with a better opportunity to get back to being a star Running Back. 11. San Diego Chargers: Corradelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee. This is the nightmare scenario for San Diego. The top 4 offensive lineman are taken and there temptation to reach for another should not be given into. The free agent pool for offensive lineman is deep, plus they can look in the second round for one. Corradelle Patterson is the best receiver in this class and would be the replacement for Vincent Jackson they missed last year. He tested very well at the Combine and has the ability to stretch the field. He has sensational hand-eye co-ordination and is an imposing Red-Zone threat. Patterson is another candidate to go higher than this with teams below the Chargers needing help at receiver with the picks to trade up. 12. Miami Dolphins: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas. The Dolphins will be delighted if they can get Patterson, as there isn't another receiver worth a high pick. Vaccaro is a pretty good consolation prize as they are desperate for help in their secondary. After trading Vontae Davis they were exposed all too often on the back end of their defense. Vaccaro is a gifted athlete with extreme intelligence and reads the game incredibly well. Whilst the Dolphins will need more if they are to catch the Patriots. Acquiring Vaccaro will be a pretty good start. 13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington. Trufant, as expected, was one of the stars of the Combine. He ran one of the fastest 40 times of the week and he looked tremendous in agility drills. There is now little doubt among scouts that he is a top 15 prospect. This fills a huge need for the Bucs as they have been short in the secondary after trading Talib. Add to that an ageing Ronde Barber playing what will most likely be his last season and Cornerback becomes their number one need. Trufant has the ability to be a shitdown corner at the next level. While he will make some mistakes as a rookie he is tremendous value here. 14. Carolina Panthers: Sheldon Richardson, DT/DE, Missouri. The Panthers need help on the interior of their defensive line and Richardson is incredible value here. He can play the 3 or the 5 technique and is nothing short of a bully when it comes to dominating offensive lineman. He is explosive off the line and has a great change of direction for a man his size. Should be a huge improvement to what the Panthers already have. They haven't had a dominant presence upfront since Julius Peppers departed for Chicago. Richardson has the potential to be the guy they have been missing for 2 years. 15. New Orleans Saints: Jarvis Jones, DE/OLB, Georgia. Jarvis Jones is one of the most intriguing prospects in this draft. He is unquestionably a top 5 prospect in terms of his ability. That is not the issue with Jones, everyone's fears were confirmed at his physical at the Combine. It did reveal a spinal condition that will cause some teams grave concerns. Some have even wiped him off their draft board altogether because of this worry. With this tight cap teams are unwilling to take the risk with this big of a question mark. If the Saints are smart, they will take Jones at 15. He is perfect for Rob Ryan's system and would do some serious damage as the rush linebacker in this system. He has the potential to have double digit sacks in his first season and has definite Pro Bowl potential. This is all conditional to his spinal condition not being as serious as everyone suspects. We should know more as we get closer to Draft day as Teams will be incredibly thorough in their analysis of Jones. 16. St. Louis Rams: Jonathan Cooper, G/C, North Carolina. The Rams need to upgrade their offense. Both their weapons for Bradford and their protection of him. They go with protection first as this is an underrated group of receivers and they can find one with their other first round pick. They take the best offensive lineman available here. Cooper can play a variety of positions comfortably and would be an upgrade anywhere on the line. Giving Bradford more time in the pocket has to be Jeff Fisher's first priority come draft day. 17. Pittsburgh Steelers: DeMontre Moore, DE/OLB, Texas A&M. There is a general thought that Moore could fall on Draft day. Lack of productivity and off-the-field issues will cause some teams to pause before taking him, especially at the top end of this draft. I wouldn't discount the Raiders at 3, where I had him going originally. I feel there are better options available for them. The Steelers are one of those teams who have no qualms drafting prospects who slide on Draft because of the character issues. Moore also fits a huge need for the Steelers. James Harrison is on the decline and may not even be brought back. Moore could step right in and the Steelers wouldn't miss a beat. If he wants to be, DeMontre Moore can be a star in Dick LeBeau's defensive scheme. 18. Dallas Cowboys: Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU. Make no mistake, the Cowboys won't hesitate is Mingo falls this far. He has the potential to be a Top 10 talent but others needs have him falling to 18. The Cowboys are moving back to the 4-3 defense under Monte Kiffin and will need someone with Mingo's size and strength opposite DeMarcus Ware, who is expected to move to end. The Cowboys will be playing a lot of Tampa 2 this year and that will mean the majority of plays will be. 4/5 man rushes. Mingo will have to develop his technique to evade tackles if he's to succeed at the next level. 19. New York Giants: Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia. Ogletree is another with bags of potential but with many questions that surrounding him. His attitude has come into question on occasion but his physical prowess should be enough to overcome this and make the Giants take the risk. Ogletree is a great reader of the game and could easily play SAM or MIC Linebacker in the Giants 4-3. Their Linebackers are seen by most as the weak link of their defense and adding Ogletree would provide them with the youthful energy their defense was missing last season. 20. Chicago Bears: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia. It's pretty simple for the Bears. This pick will either be an offensive lineman or a wide receiver. Their defense was among the best in the league last year and although they are a bit long in the tooth, they should be able to stay at that level of consistency for at least one more season. Offense must take priority, Cutler was far too reliant on Brandon Marshall last season and almost solely looked to him in critical situations. He needs another trusted target. Austin blew up at the Combine, he has elite speed, great hands and is tough enough to run routes across the middle. He was Geno Smith's favourite target at West Virginia and although he will need coaching up, he should find the transition to the next level easier with the presence of an all-pro Receiver opposite him in the lineup. 21. Cincinatti Bengals: Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU. This pick is your typical best player available coinciding with a huge need. It is apparent for all to see that the Bengals can not rely on Ray Maulauluga. The former USC standout hasn't adapted to the pace of the NFL. Minter would take some of the pressure off him should they decide to keep him around. Minter is great in run support and has an incredible burst to the ball that the Bengals have been sorely missing. 22. St. Louis Rams: Keenan Allen, WR, California. Sam Bradford gets another weapon here with the pick they acquired from the Redskins in the RG3 trade. Allen didn't work out at the Combine due to injury, but this hasn't really affected his draft stock. Allen will quickly become Bradford's most trusted target and he is a big play waiting to happen at any given time. His pro day will be crucial, if he shines then he may go higher than this but if the scenario works out like this the Rams will have no hesitation in choosing Allen here. 23. Minnesota Vikings: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah. What a traumatic experience the Combine was for the top player on most Scouts Draft boards. After his medical, it was revealed that Star had a heart condition and he wasn't granted clearance to participate. A devastating blow as he was a lock for the top 3. Until there is a clear diagnosis on the severity of his condition he cannot be considered in the top 20. Some teams will have wiped him off their boards altogether after this news, which came as a shock to all concerned. The Vikings need to find the heir apparent for Kevin Williams, who is 33 but still playing good football. If Star falls this far and his strenuous medical tests come back satisfactory there isn't a chance he gets past the Vikings. This is a developing situation and if his condition isn't as severe as first feared, he will be selected much higher than this. 24. Indianapolis Colts: Barrett Jones, OL, Alabama. The Colts need help on their Offensive line. Barrett Jones is a perfect fit to be the long awaited replacement for Jeff Saturday. He can play anywhere on the line and his versatility is a great asset to have during this evaluation period. Extremely intelligent, good footwork and a locker room leader at National Champions Alabama. Jones should find the transition to the NFL as easy as anyone in the Draft. 25. Seattle Seahawks: Kawann Short, DT, Purdue. The Seahawks have an impressive defense, one of the toughest in the entire league. One thing lacking is some pass rush up the middle. Short will solve this problem. He is rapidly moving up draft boards with his impressive senior bowl showing and his speed off the block will impress Carroll. He had an impressive combine which will ensure he is a late first round pick. 26. Green Bay Packers: Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama. The Packers don't have many holes, even though they did underachieve last year. One criticism of them was their running game. They used 6/7 different Running Backs and this is not good for the teams offensive cohesion. They can't seem to rely on any back on their roster to produce on a consistent basis. Lacy is far and away the best back in this class. Following in the footsteps of Alabama alumni Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson, Lacy would provide the Packers with the every down back they have sorely missed over the years. Aaron Rodgers is exceptional but they are too reliant on him to make plays. Lacy would take the pressure off with his powerful, relentless running style. 27. Houston Texans: Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame. Some people have stated that Te'o could fall out of the first round altogether. I disagree, too many teams at the end of this draft need help at Middle Linebacker for that to happen. Teams are sure to be put off by the media circus that enveloped Te'o during his time at the Combine. What was more concerning was his testing. He ran a 4.82 40 and was extremely rigid in his agility drills, claiming he was lethargic. The 'Catfish' incident has clearly taken it's toll on the Notre Dame standout. The Texans could slide him next the Brian Cushing and watch him flourish. This is a good team and let's face it, it's not New York. The media might be less harsh on him here than in other parts of the League. This is a great venue for Te'o to try and thrive at the next level. Whether he will be allowed to do that remains to be seen. 28. Denver Broncos: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State If the Broncos playoff loss taught us anything, it was that they lack speed in their secondary. Champ Bailey was torched numerous occasions by Torrey Smith and this will have to be rectified. Enter Xavier Rhodes, who has speed to burn and could easily match strides with the NFL's quickest receivers. He must improve his strength and awareness, but scouts are very high on him and he is a lock to now go in the first round after a series of impressive tests. Learning from a future hall of fame player in Bailey will do wonders for him too. 29. New England Patriots: Jonathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State. The Patriots could go receiver here, dependent on what they do with Wes Welker. However, Tom Brady re-structuring his deal would suggest Welker and other key free agent Aqib Talib will be re-signed. Vince Wilfork is still playing at an elite level but he won't be around forever. Hankins will provide the Patriots with a powerful presence alongside Wilfork while they groom him as his eventual replacement. 30. Atlanta Falcons: Datone Jones, DE, UCLA. Datone Jones has been flying up Draft Boards in recent weeks. He is a physical specimen with room to develop his body as he matures. With John Abraham in the Twilight of his career and the over-paid Ray Edwards a distant memory, a pass rushing specialist is a priority for the Falcons in this Draft. Judging by the reports on Jones they will be lucky if he lands to them here as his stock is rising all the time. For now though, they get lucky. 31. San Francisco 49ers: Jonathan Banks, CB, Miss. State. Thanks to the Alex Smith trade, the 49ers now have 15 Picks. This includes the 33rd pick. So they are in a fortunate position with plenty of options. They may look into trading for stars Percy Harvin or Derrelle Revis. They could also trade up in the Draft if a player takes their fancy. For the moment, they have the luxury of taking the best player available. Banks has had his critics since returning from injury and didn't have the greatest of Combine's. However, I still feel he has the potential to succeed in the NFL. The 49ers need help in the secondary and they could even convert Banks to the Safety position, much like the Saints did with Malcolm Jenkins, with great success. The 49ers movements on draft day will make for fascinating viewing. 32. Baltimore Ravens: Arthur Banks, LB, Kansas State. The Ravens need is obvious, they need to find a replacement for Ray Lewis. Whilst this will be an almost impossible role for whoever is chosen, Banks has shown glimpses of his talent and would fit in well in the Ravens locker room. The Super Bowl Champions have a small window with an ageing defense but Banks makes a lot of sense here. We believe Lewis will have some input in his replacement and he will like Banks' intensity and work ethic. Dean Jones: Follow me on Twitter @DeanJones_
April 08 2014 10:05 AM EPL NEWS: FIVE FINALS TO GLORY - WILL LIVERPOOL WIN THE TITLE?
April 08 2014 9:46 AM EPL NEWS: FIVE FINALS TO GLORY - WILL LIVERPOOL WIN THE TITLE?
April 08 2014 9:41 AM EPL NEWS: FIVE FINALS TO GLORY - WILL LIVERPOOL WIN THE TITLE?