Last update: Wednesday, Dec. 5, 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 have been playing better lately, but they are still 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.
This pick will be a quarterback, by the way. Smith, Barkley or maybe some other signal-caller will balloon to the top. It always happens. Remember in 2010 when ESPN was projecting either Da'Quan Bowers or Nick Fairley at No. 1 to Carolina? Well, Cam Newton raised his stock enough. The same thing will happen this spring.
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 right now. And second, Chad Henne was brilliant in two starts prior to playing Buffalo. 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 lost all respect in the locker room for not cutting him after the opener.
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 four, right after a quarterback and some order of Jarvis Jones and Star Lotulelei.
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 and Jamaal Charles, 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 Star Lotulelei or Luke Joeckel though. To get them, it would have to leap the Eagles and select either at No. 3. The problem is that Oakland needs a stud like Lotulelei.
San Diego Chargers: Damontre Moore, DE/OLB, Texas A&M
The Chargers just spent a first-round pick on a rush linebacker (Melvin Ingram), so why would they do that again? Well, Shaun Phillips will be a 32-year-old free agent next March, so San Diego will need a complement for Ingram. Besides, Damontre Moore, along with Manti Te'o, is the best player available.
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
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.
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.
Arizona Cardinals: Matt Barkley, QB, USC
Thanks to a poor senior campaign and a shoulder injury, Matt Barkley may fall out of the top 10. However, the Cardinals definitely could 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. Oh, and let's not forget Ryan Lindley, who might just be the worst signal-caller in NFL history.
Arizona needs a franchise quarterback, and Larry Fitzgerald, who generally has a say in whom his team drafts, may pull for Barkley.
Detroit Lions: DeMarcus Milliner, CB, Alabama
The Lions' draft strategy is to pick the top player on their board. It just so happens that the best prospect available happens to fill a huge need.
It's no secret that Detroit has major holes in its secondary. The Lions spent an early pick on Bullet Bill Bentley has been a bit of a disappointment thus far. Unfortunately, Detroit won't be able to see what he can do for the rest of the year because he's on injured reserve.
Pick change; previously Taylor Lewan, OT
Buffalo Bills: Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
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 (via trading up in this case) or Tyler Wilson, 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.
Barkevious Mingo has also struggled at times this year, but his potential and 2011 production still makes him a top-15 projection.
Pick change; previously Damontre Moore, DE
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.
Miami Dolphins: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
It appears as though Jake Long will not be back with the Dolphins next year. Miami will have to pay him more than $15 million if it franchises him, which doesn't seem like a lucrative option because he's coming off a down season. He may not want to re-sign to a long-term deal either, so if he leaves, the Dolphins will have to find a new left tackle. Why not another Michigan product?
Pick change; previously Dion Jordan, DE
New York Jets: Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon
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 and/or Greg McElroy 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.
Pick change; previously Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB
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 the former hasn't shown any signs of become a starting receiver in the NFL. Givens, meanwhile, seems like he could be the real deal. Adding Keenan Allen to go along with Givens and Danny Amendola would give Sam Bradford a pretty formidable receiving corps to work with.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
The Buccaneers decided they didn't like Morris Claiborne very much, so they traded out of the No. 5 spot in the 2012 NFL Draft and selected Mark Barron two picks later. They really need cornerback help, especially in the wake of the Aqib Talib trade, so they'll almost have to remedy that need at this juncture. Maybe another SEC defensive back will be the answer.
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
2012 NFL Mock Draft
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