With the college season over, and the NFL season making starting its run on the home stretch, Todd McShay released his first official mock draft of the season. His draft board has been dominated by lineman, and these projections are no different, with 14 ends and tackles making the first round.
McShay's mock draft was based on NFL teams current records and playoff predictions, along with assumptions that each playoff team would advance according to seeding. His mock draft does not include draft-eligible non-seniors who have not made their intentions known.
1.) Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah - Kansas City Chiefs:
While McShay states that the Chiefs do in fact need a quarterback, he does not think any quarterback in this draft class is worthy of being first overall. I agree with this statement, but I just hope a decent quarterback comes around when the Chiefs make their second pick. There is no doubt that the Chiefs need a pass-rusher, but they might need to go to a skill-pick here. Whoever the quarterback may be in the 2013 season, he is going to need all the help they can get if they want to be competitive.
2.) Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M - Jacksonville Jaguars
With a league-low of 14 sacks per season, there is no doubt that the Jaguars need a pass rusher this year, and I support this pick here. Despite them signing Jason Babin, a upgrade at this position is a priority. Moore in my opinion, is the best pass rushing prospect in the draft, so if they want to go this route, this is a good pick up. I definitely believe they have to bring in someone to compete at the quarterback position, and I also believe they need another receiver to complement late-blooming Justin Blackmon. Their secondary is a little scarce but definitely not worthy of using a top 5 pick on it.
3.) Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State – Oakland Raiders
The Raiders have posted up 17 sacks this season, and there defensive ends Lamarr Houston and Matt Shaughtnessy are a combined weight up 585 pounds. The Raiders definitely need to address some concerns, mainly had skill positions like quarterback and receiver, but if they want to go the defensive line route, Werner would be a great fit giving that line more speed.
4.) Luke Joeckel, DT, Texas A&M – Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles have many, many issues to iron out, number one being their coach. After that is squared away, bringing in some competition for Nick Foles, as well as a corner should be their concerns. Upgrades at defensive line would help, but I don’t see this pick happening. There are too many concerns right now for the birds, and with Jason Peters, Jason Kelce, and Todd Herremans all returning from the injured reserve next season, they may need some help on the line, but they could do that during free agency. A skill player is where they should be aiming for here. If they were to go this route, Joeckel did start all 37 games at left tackle in his first three seasons with Texas A&M, so he definitely is doing something right.
5.) Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State – Carolina Panthers
The Panthers are much better against the pass than the run, so a defensive tackle makes sense here. Hankins can clog up the middle, but also has the quickness to get to the quarterback. With Cam Newton coming off a rough year, the Panthers main concern should be trying to bring in help for their franchise quarterback, like a receiver or dynamic running back. Maybe not a first round pick, but those areas need to be addressed if they want to be competitive.
All in all, I really don’t see a top 5 of the NFL draft shaping up this way, with having all 5 being linemen. Plus, it’s boring. Put in some skill players in there, mix it up. I know this is a first mock draft, so this could completely change. I like all these picks for these teams, but I don’t necessarily think some of them should be this early.
You can find Todd McShay’s full mock draft by going to espn.com, and subscribing to ea insider.