Last update: Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012.
Major changes in all 3 rounds.
Next update: Next week. Follow me @walterfootball
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2013 NFL Mock Draft - Round 2
Kansas City Chiefs: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
The Chiefs are terrible. They need to clean house and start over, as the awesome @saveourchiefs Twitter handle will tell you. They have to fire people in the front office, including Scott Pioli, who has done an awful job. They also need to find a franchise quarterback. Thanks to dumb turnovers, as seen all year, they're currently projected to have the No. 1 overall selection, which means they'll be in position to take Geno Smith.
Smith is now atop the mock again in the wake of Matt Barkley's struggles. Barkley injured his shoulder against UCLA, so his chances of revitalizing his stock are slim.
By the way, I'm doing this live because I thought it'd be fun to get instant feedback. I'm going to post my mock anyway, so why not do it this way? Follow @walterfootball for updates.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Jarvis Jones, DE/OLB, Georgia
I've been mocking a quarterback to the Jaguars for the longest time because it's been clear that Blaine Gabbert is a sunk cost. I argued that there was no way in hell Jacksonville could go into the 2013 season and sell its fans on Gabbert for another year.
However, two things have happened. First, Matt Barkley has completely fallen off and cannot be taken at No. 2 overall. And second, Chad Henne has been brilliant in two starts. What the Jaguars can sell the fans on is Henne as a bridge to a young quarterback they take in Round 2. Thus, they'll be free to snag someone as talented as Jarvis Jones.
Jones would be a huge boost to a defense that has missed strongside linebacker Daryl Smith all year. Smith is a free agent, so if he's not re-signed, Jones would be a worthy replacement. He would function as Von Miller does in Denver, rushing the quarterback in obvious passing situations.
Oakland Raiders: Star Lotulelei, NT, Utah
Is there any doubt the Raiders need help at defensive tackle in the wake of Doug Martin's near-record performance?
Tommy Kelly is a bum who doesn't care about winning, as evidenced when he laughed after prolonging a San Diego drive with a pair of offside penalties. He's played so sluggishly this year and was especially bad versus Tampa, so there's no chance he's going to see a penny of his $6.5 million salary in 2013. He's as good as gone, and 15-year-old head coach Dennis Allen is a fool for not cutting him after the opener.
Pick change; previously Damontre Moore, DE
Cleveland Browns: Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame
Mel Kiper recently predicted that the Chiefs would take Manti Te'o No. 1 overall. While I disagree with that - they're almost forced to go with Geno Smith - I could see Te'o being selected in the top five. I never would have projected any non-pass-rushing linebacker to go this high in the past, but things have changed. Consider:
1. With the new CBA, teams can focus on the top player available rather than positional value because rookies aren't making nearly as much anymore.
2. Many teams are using matchup-nightmare tight ends, so linebackers who can cover these tight ends are now much more prevalent.
3. Te'o is the best player available in a very weak class.
Te'o makes lots of sense for the Browns if Jarvis Jones is off the board. He could either play the middle, which would move D'Qwell Jackson to a more natural weakside position, or they could just station Te'o at strongside linebacker, where he would replace the soon-to-be-retired Scott Fujita.
Philadelphia Eagles: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Is there any doubt that the Eagles have to upgrade their offensive line? Their tackle position is in shambles. Jason Peters tore his Achilles; Demetress Bell has been a bust signing; while King Dunlap simply sucks. Even if Peters comes back close to 100 percent, an upgrade could be made at right tackle, which would allow Todd Herremans to move back to his natural guard position.
Luke Joeckel had a slow start to his 2012 campaign, but he's improved tremendously, even stifling the LSU pass-rushers. He could easily go in the top five; a team could easily leap the Eagles and snag him at No. 4. More on that in a bit.
Carolina Panthers: Johnathan Hankins, NT, Ohio State
I was told by a reliable source not to mock Fletcher Cox to the Panthers because they were satisfied with their current group of defensive tackles. Based on the rushing yardage they just surrendered to Bryce Brown, I highly doubt they'll feel the same way in April. Besides, Johnathan Hankins is one of the best players available.
I'm sure Carolina would love Luke Joeckel though. To get him, it would have to leap the Eagles and select him at No. 4. I'm sure the Browns would be willing to trade down because Manti Te'o would be available at No. 6.
Pick change; previously Star Lotulelei, DT
Buffalo Bills: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
General manager Buddy Nix, who is generally forthcoming about his offseason plans, told the media that he plans on drafting a franchise quarterback. This could occur in the second round, however, because there aren't any signal-callers worth taking this high. Plus, Ryan Fitzpatrick has played well enough lately to convince Buffalo to bring him back another year.
If the Bills eschew Matt Barkley, they could go with a defensive end. They spent tons of money on Mario Williams and Mark Anderson this offseason, but while the former has picked up his play lately, the latter has been dreadful whenever he's been on the field. Buffalo needs to put as much pressure on the quarterback if it wants to unseat the Patriots in the division.
Damontre Moore recently said he plans on returning to school, but he did leave the door open by saying, "I'll look at it." What he'll see is everyone projecting him to be a top-eight pick. That could prompt him to change his mind.
Pick change; previously DeMarcus Milliner, CB
San Diego Chargers: DeMarcus Milliner, CB, Alabama
Both Quentin Jammer and Antoine Cason will be free agents following this season. The Chargers will have to find some reinforcements at cornerback if they lose either defender.
DeMarcus Milliner is one of the top prospects available and is well worth taking at No. 8 overall.
Pick change; previously Johnathan Hankins, NT
New York Jets: Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
All Jet fans want a quarterback right now, but unless the front office is fired, it'll probably stick with Mark Sanchez and/or Tim Tebow for one more season rather than starting over. They'll blame it on Sanchez not having weapons.
Well, this isn't exactly a weapon for Sanchez, but New York has to take the best player available this early. The Jets' inability to get to the quarterback needs to be fixed. Aaron Maybin was recently cut, while Calvin Pace has struggled for the most part.
Barkevious Mingo has also struggled at times this year, but his potential and 2011 production still makes him a top-15 projection.
Tennessee Titans: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Tennessee definitely has bigger needs than a defensive end, but the NFL Draft is all about taking the best players available who makes sense, especially this early in the process.
The Titans have zero depth behind Derrick Morgan and Kamerion Wimbley, and in a division that features Matt Schaub and Andrew Luck, they need all the pass-rushing help they can get.
Pick change; previously Sam Montgomery, DE
Arizona Cardinals: Matt Barkley, QB, USC
Thanks to a poor senior campaign and a shoulder injury, Matt Barkley has fallen out of the top 10. He could even go later than this, but the Cardinals may take a chance on him. John Skelton has proven that he's not the long-term solution, while Kevin Kolb, who is also iffy, cannot stay healthy. Arizona needs a franchise quarterback, and Larry Fitzgerald, who generally has a say in whom his team drafts, may pull for Barkley.
Detroit Lions: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
The Lions' draft strategy is to pick the top player on their board. They went with an offensive tackle last year, but they've shown that they're not afraid of doubling up on positions.
Jeff Backus' career is quickly coming to an end, while Gosder Cherilus, who is a mediocre talent, will be a free agent in March. Detroit needs a bookend for Riley Reiff.
Pick change; previously Chance Warmack, G
St. Louis Rams: Keenan Allen, WR, California
The Rams missed out on Justin Blackmon a few months ago. As the Jaguars traded ahead of them, Jeff Fisher reportedly slammed his glasses on the table. He went on to draft Brian Quick and Chris Givens, but neither has shown any signs of become a starting receiver in the NFL. Givens has caught an occasional deep pass, but Quick hasn't even been active in most games. Keenan Allen obviously has a much better chance of becoming a legitimate No. 1 target for Sam Bradford.
Pick change; previously Taylor Lewan, OT
Miami Dolphins: Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
The Dolphins go with the best player available. Cameron Wake is the only player on this roster who consistently gets pressure on the quarterback, and that simply can't be the case if you're trying to unseat Tom Brady and the Patriots in the AFC East.
Dion Jordan, who is having an amazing 2012 campaign, is just too good to pass up, and he fills a need anyway, albeit a slightly lesser one.
Pick change; previously Bjoern Werner, DE
St. Louis Rams: Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
Guards seldom go in the top 15, but Chance Warmack has a shot because he's a special talent. Besides, he's the top prospect available who makes sense for St. Louis.
The Rams desperately need to upgrade their offensive front. Jeff Fisher played against the Texans twice per year when he was with Tennessee, and he watched Houston completely ruin David Carr's career by not building a competent offensive line around him. He won't want to make the same mistake with Sam Bradford.
Pick change; previously Keenan Allen, WR
New Orleans Saints: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
Sedrick Ellis has been a bust. He'll be hitting free agency this March, so it's unlikely he'll be back with the team. Canadian Akiem Hicks has played well, but the Saints need someone next to him who can rush the passer on the interior. Sheldon Richardson, who has been phenomenal this season, could be that guy.
Go to 2013 NFL Mock Draft: Picks 17-32
Sorry for cutting this into two halves; I've received complaints about load times and putting the mock draft on two pages saves bandwith.
2013 NFL Mock Draft - Round 3
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