NFL

Joeckel earns top spot in TSN.ca's NFL Mock Draft 1.0

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Justin Boone, TSN.ca
3/1/2013 1:51:04 AM
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In a year with no clear-cut top choice, the NFL Draft is sure to be as unpredictable as ever.

TSN.ca's NFL Editor Justin Boone delivers his first Mock Draft of the year as he takes a look at where QB Geno Smith, OT Luke Joeckel and the rest of the first round prospects may end up in April.


1. Kansas City Chiefs

Luke Joeckel - OT - Texas A&M

With Alex Smith joining the team at quarterback, the Chiefs will be free to use the first pick to bolster another position on their roster. Joeckel is a smart player who knows exactly how to get the most of his talents and can take over if Branden Albert leaves in free agency. The Texas A&M blocker is a hard worker, dedicated to improving and should develop into a premier player.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars

Star Lotulelei - DT - Utah

Lotulelei's heart condition has left his draft stock in doubt. If he is cleared medically, he remains one of the top talents in this draft. Lotulelei is a massive run stuffer, who consistently draws double teams. As an unbelievable athlete, Lotulelei can be a difference maker for Jacksonville and the type of player they desperately covet in their front seven.

3. Oakland Raiders

Sharrif Floyd - DT - Florida

The Raiders have a variety of needs, but with Richard Seymour set to become a free agent they will be forced to address their defensive line. Floyd will give them a versatile defender, who flashed some impressive speed at the combine for a man his size. If Lotulelei's health condition proves to be serious, Floyd could become the first defensive lineman off the board.

4. Philadelphia Eagles

Eric Fisher - OT - Central Michigan

The Eagles have suffered through two seasons of poor offensive line play, made worse by injuries. Chip Kelly will be in the hunt for athletic blockers and Fisher stood out for that very reason at this year's combine and Senior Bowl. While he won't receive as much hype as Joeckel this season, Fisher will use his athleticism and movement to become a dependable starter in Philadelphia.

5. Detroit Lions

Dee Milliner - CB - Alabama

Alabama hasn't produced many elite level NFL cornerbacks, but Milliner might put an end to that. Milliner is a lock to be the first corner taken this year and for good reason. He has plenty of experience against top-tier competition and has the size to match up with even the biggest NFL wideouts. His combine performance (4.37 in the 40-yard dash) only solidified his status.

6. Cleveland Browns

Ezekiel Ansah - DE/OLB - LSU

After a breakout senior season, Ansah is set to be a first round pick in the NFL draft and the Browns will welcome his unique skills to their defence. A native of Ghana, Ansah is a very raw talent with maybe the most potential out of anyone in this class. Run defence is an issue at the moment, but much like Jason-Pierre Paul, he could develop into an elite pass rusher.

7. Arizona Cardinals

Chance Warmack - OG - Alabama

Warmack may be the best player in this draft, but offensive guards aren't valued enough to go first overall. Warmack is the type of tough interior lineman who can help a team dominate the line of scrimmage. He will instantly improve Arizona's blocking and his drive and skill make him capable of becoming one of the league's best at the position.

8. Buffalo Bills

Geno Smith - QB - West Virginia

With Alex Smith going to the Chiefs, Geno Smith's biggest suitor may be the Bills. While he may not be in the elite class of an Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III, Smith is an excellent athlete with above average arm strength and accuracy. General manager Buddy Nix is in the hunt for a franchise quarterback and even if he has to trade up a few spots, he may do so to land Smith.

9. New York Jets

Dion Jordan - DE - Oregon

The Jets are another club in search of help off the edge. Jordan is a very versatile player who can play in almost any scheme and can provide a speed rush. Rex Ryan has a good history with getting the most out of his defenders. Jordan will need to add muscle and become a student of the game, but under Ryan he could be an outstanding player.

10. Tennessee Titans

Kenny Vaccaro - S - Texas

The Titans need help in their secondary at both corner and safety. With Milliner off the board, they will turn their attention to the best safety prospect. Vaccaro is coming out of a program known for producing above average defensive backs and he will be the latest example. He is strong in coverage and against the run, meaning he can play either safety position.

11. San Diego Chargers
 
Lane Johnson - OT - Oklahoma

There is no way that San Diego can enter the 2013 season without upgrading their offensive line and finding a way to protect Philip Rivers. Johnson had an impressive performance at the Senior Bowl, showing a good ability to deal with quick rushers off the edge. Johnson is now a lock to be drafted in the first round and is the clear third choice behind Joeckel and Fisher.

12. Miami Dolphins
 
Sheldon Richardson - DT - Missouri

This pick is made simple by the fact that defensive tackle Randy Starks is on the way out via free agency, leaving the  Dolphins to find his replacement in the draft. Richardson may not be as big as some of the other defensive tackles, but he uses his quickness to get penetration. Richardson may not get the sack, but he often causes problems in opponents' backfields.

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
 
Bjoern Werner - DE - Florida State

Defensive help is on the way at either cornerback or defensive end. With the 13th pick, the Buccaneers won't be able to pass on Werner, who is one of the best defensive ends available. Werner has only been playing football for five years, but in that time he has become an excellent defender. Werner has no off-switch and will give everything to his new team.

14. Carolina Panthers
 
Johnathan Hankins - DT - Ohio State

The Panthers run defence has been abysmal the last couple of years and the best way to cure that is with a monster in the middle of their defensive front. Hankins has the size to draw double teams in the interior of the line, but has limitations as a pass rusher. While he needs to improve his technique, Hankins will be a force to reckon with at the next level.

15. New Orleans Saints
 
Barkevious Mingo - DE/OLB - LSU

As the Saints transition to a 3-4 defence, they will be in the hunt for a pass rusher on the outside. Mingo's athleticism and body type are ideal for the pro game. While physical attributes don't always translate to on-field production, Mingo is poised to wreak havoc off the edge in the NFL. The addition of Mingo is a solid first step towards an overhaul on New Orleans' defence.

16. St. Louis Rams
 
Jonathan Cooper - OG - North Carolina

Jeff Fisher knows how to build a successful team and he's doing it from the line of scrimmage out. The Rams have a strong young defensive line and now Fisher will look to stabilize the offensive group. Cooper isn't a dominating lineman, but instead uses his mobility and technique to excel as a blocker. Cooper's presence will only help to give Sam Bradford more time in the pocket.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers
 
Jarvis Jones - OLB - Georgia

Despite being diagnosed with spinal stenosis, Jones is arguably the most dangerous pass rusher in this draft class and could be a top-five pick, depending how teams evaluate his medical situation. His falling draft stock won't scare away the Steelers, who will take advantage and add a player with elite talent. With James Harrison's future with the team in doubt, Jones could be in a perfect situation.

18. Dallas Cowboys
 
Sam Montgomery - DE/OLB - LSU

If Anthony Spencer decides to sign elsewhere in free agency, the Cowboys will have a hole across from DeMarcus Ware. Montgomery played on a very talented defensive unit at LSU and he could bring his relentless motor to Dallas. Montgomery can be a disruptive pass rusher, able to use his size and strength to take on blockers or dig in against the run.

19. New York Giants

Manti Te'o - ILB - Notre Dame

After dealing with an embarassing hoax, which put him in the headlines, Te'o made matters worse with a poor showing at the combine. Other linebackers have fallen in the draft, only to use that as motivation in the pros. Te'o is still the type of aggressive ballhawk that teams covet at inside linebacker, a position the Giants would be happy to upgrade.

20. Chicago Bears
 
D.J. Fluker - OT - Alabama

If you watched a Bears' game last season you know that they need to find a way to keep Jay Cutler away from harm. Fluker is a massive tackle, who can completely dominate with his size and strength. Fluker is especially skilled in the running game, where he could open lanes for Matt Forte. There is simply no way the Bears can avoid taking an offensive lineman.

21. Cincinnati Bengals
 
Alec Ogletree - ILB - Georgia

Ogletree comes with some off-field baggage, including a recent arrest for DUI. The Bengals have never been scared off by character concerns and that won't change this year. Ogletree has superb speed to go along with explosive tackling ability. An added bonus is that Ogletree has shown glimpes of being a pass rusher as well, and can play inside or outside.


22. St. Louis Rams (via Redskins)

Keenan Allen - WR - California

With their second pick of the first round, it's time for St. Louis to give Sam Bradford a weapon in the passing game. While a few of the Rams' receivers showed ability a year ago, Allen brings a nice complement of skills to the field. Allen has the size, speed and athleticism to be a top target at the pro level, but it's his competitive nature that will make him rise to the top.

23. Minnesota Vikings
 
Cordarrelle Patterson - WR - Tennessee

Keeping up with the Packers, Lions and Bears isn't easy and the Vikings can't always rely on Adrian Peterson to save the day. Patterson will be an asset whether they trade Percy Harvin or not. Patterson has ideal size and showed how he can stretch the field, avering 16.9 yards per catch last season. The Tennessee product has all the tools to be a go-to receiver in the NFL.

24. Indianapolis Colts
 
Xavier Rhodes - CB - Florida St.

The Colts' secondary has been very generous the last couple seasons and it may be time to do something about it. Rhodes has established himself as the second-best cornerback in this year's draft class, based on his long frame and physicality. Rhodes isn't scared to battle with receivers, but isn't much of a tackler when it comes to run defence.

25. Seattle Seahawks
 
Sylvester Williams - DT - North Carolina

Even with defensive coordinator Gus Bradley leaving, the Seahawks' defence will still be one of the better units in the league. Williams will give them a new threat - a presence on the inside of their defensive line. Projected to play the three-technique or five-technique, Williams is exceptional against the run and is a hard worker in all areas.


26. Green Bay Packers
 
Eddie Lacy - RB - Alabama

The Packers were unable to find a consistent running game last season with any of the backs on their roster. Lacy may not have elite speed, but he has an excellent blend of power and agility, which will help take pressure of the passing game. Lacy is coming off a national championship season at Alabama and he will fit right in with a team that is accustomed to winning like Green Bay.

27. Houston Texans
 
Tavon Austin - WR - West Virginia

The Texans have made it very clear that they require a second receiving option behind Andre Johnson (or third if you count TE Owen Daniels).  Austin has a smaller build, but he is incredibly dangerous with the ball in his hands. The West Virginia pass catcher is electric to watch and he could be a very effective weapon in Houston, adding another threat to their offence.

28. Denver Broncos
 
Desmond Trufant- CB - Washington

With Peyton Manning now leading the offence, it's time for the Broncos to stock the shelves on defence. Trufant has parlayed a solid Senior Bowl with an excellent combine and is now in the forefront of every scout's mind. The Washington product has perfect size to match up with any receiver. Trufant could be a steal late in the first round.

29. New England Patriots
 
Kawann Short - DT - Purdue

New England will continue to bolster their defence, which has been their weaknees in the post-season. Short is a stout run defender, but also has superb pass rushing skills for an interior lineman. Playing next to Vince Wilfork, Short could give the Patriots' defensive line a nice infusion of talent. Short isn't a superstar, which makes him perfect for New England.

30. Atlanta Falcons
 
Tyler Eifert - TE - Notre Dame

With Tony Gonzalez potentially retiring, the Falcons' offence will have an opening at tight end. Eifert's ability as a blocker sets him apart from the other tight ends this year. Eifert is an elite pass catcher who combines a massive frame with excellent speed. Eifert will be sought after on draft day and may not be available for the Falcons by the time April arrives.

31. San Francisco 49ers
 
John Jenkins - DT - Georgia

Jenkins is one of the biggest players in the draft this year and will use his strength and frame to clog up running lanes. The 49ers don't have many weaknesses, but adding depth to the interior of their defensive line is never a bad decision, especially when that player is a space eater like Jenkins. The Georgia defender isn't fast, but he has good agility for a man his size.

32. Baltimore Ravens
 
Damontre Moore - DE - Texas A&M

A few months ago, Moore was considered one of the best pass rushers in this class. After combine, the shine has come off a bit, but waiting to scoop him up will be the Super Bowl Champions. Moore is an explosive pass rusher, who can play defensive end or outside linebacker depending on the system. He is solid against the run and could become a very special player.

Luke Joeckel (Photo: Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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