Brendan Riley and Bryan Krall present picks 1-8 of their first 2013 NFL Mock Draft.
8. Buffalo Bills
Riley: Tyler Wilson (QB Arkansas)
This pick would absolutely be a reach, but seems very possible. Bills GM Buddy Nix has already said he plans to draft a franchise QB in this year’s draft.
While not a single QB this year jumps out and screams franchise QB there are a few who have a shot at making it and Wilson is one. Out of all the QBs left on the board Wilson is easily the most NFL ready and could step in to start this season.
Krall: Barkevious Mingo (DE LSU)
The Bills have a promising defense built around their defensive line, so they could gain a lot by replacing Mark Anderson with a guy like Mingo.
Adding Mingo to this defensive line would allow the Bills to simply use him as a pass rusher, not requiring him to do more than he can handle now, as he’s still a very raw player.
Having a defensive line of Mario Williams, Marcel Dareus, and Mingo would make that unit one of the best in the NFL.
7. Arizona Cardinals
Riley: Star Lotulelei (DT Utah)
Ideally the Cardinals would take a QB here, and it’s not completely out of the question, but this year’s draft doesn’t appear to permit that pick.
That being said I actually would love this pick for the Cardinals. Lotulelei may just be the best player left at this point on the board and fits a need for the Cardinals who allowed almost 140 yards per game on the ground last season.
Krall: Eric Fisher (OT Central Michigan)
The Cardinals have had a struggling offensive line for a while now, and that needs fixing regardless of what QB is under center.
Despite coming from a MAC school, Fisher’s really impressed scouts so far with his athleticism and ability to handle more talented DE’s. QB’s are going earlier and earlier in the draft, so there’s a strong possibility the Cards decide to take one here but I think getting their LT of the future is a bigger need. Drafting a QB can wait till the 2nd round.
6. Cleveland Browns
Riley: Barkevious Mingo (DE/OLB LSU)
Mingo can play as a traditional DE or a rush LB. In terms of long-term upside, Mingo is one of the top players in this draft, but he is not be there yet.
Mingo’s numbers were a little weak but with his size and athleticism Mingo could be a dynamic pass rusher for the Browns.
Krall: Jarvis Jones (OLB Georgia)
The Browns are switching back to the 3-4 and they need a pure pass rushing outside linebacker to take some pressure off their solid secondary. Jones fits the bill perfectly, and could wreak some havoc across from Jaabal Sheard. Jones could go as high as #2 to Jacksonville if his spinal stenosis checks out with doctors.
If not, he could take a DaQuan Bowers-type fall. Still, it’s hard to say no to a guy who led the NCAA with 14.5 sacks in 2012.
5. Detroit Lions
Riley: Damontre Moore (DE/OLB Texas A&M)
With so many teams in the top interested in pass rushers and so many pass rushers at the top of this year’s list, things could really flip around, but with whose left on the board Moore makes the most sense.
Moore provides an amazing combination of speed and size, and has both experience as an OLB and a DE, and could help make up for 1 of the 2 starting DEs the Lions very well may have to replace this season.
Krall: Dee Milliner (CB Alabama)
With their hands kind of forced here, the Lions have no choice but to go with Milliner. However, Milliner’s the best choice regardless, although a DE to replace Cliff Avril such as Werner or Moore would make sense, corner has been a weak point on the Lions for as long as I can remember (possibly since their last championship..in 1956).
If Detroit could resign Chris Houston, their secondary could be a real strength in 2013.
4. Philadelphia Eagles
Riley: Luke Joeckel (OT Texas A&M)
This would be a great spot for the eagles to trade down. However, if they stay here, Joeckel makes the most sense. Joeckel is a top overall prospect in the draft, and while OT is not a major need for the eagles, it will be awful tough for a new head coach to turn down a potential franchise lineman for years to come.
Krall: Damontre Moore (DE/OLB Texas A&M)
The Eagles spent a ton of money to revamp their defense two off seasons ago and needless to say, their plans fell through. They struggled to get any pass rush going this season, even going as far as to releasing veteran DE Jason Babin mid-season.
If faced with this scenario, new HC Chip Kelly could draft a QB, but I think he decides to go with a veteran QB or sticks with Nick Foles and start to restructure that defense. Moore is a can’t-miss prospect who excels in putting pressure on the QB, something the Eagles would gladly welcome.
3. Oakland Raiders
Riley: Jarvis Jones (OLB Georgia)
The Raiders finished just ahead of the Jaguars in sacks coming in 31st. Jones is the best pure pass rusher in the entire draft so this pick makes perfect sense. This pick does of course come with injury concerns, but with the upside here, this pick has too much upside for the raiders to turn down
Krall: Geno Smith (QB West Virginia)
The Raiders haven’t had a franchise QB since Rich Gannon, and 2013 could be the year to find one. Carson Palmer is a serviceable veteran, but he isn’t getting the job done and the Raiders need to think about getting their QB of the future (Terrelle Pryor doesn’t count). Smith could rise or fall big like any QB in this draft, but as of right now he’s the clear cut #1 QB.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars
Riley: Bjoren Werner (DE Florida State)
Jaguars would love to take a QB here but without a major reach, it would make no sense. The Jaguars’ ranked last in sacks in 2012 and DE appears to be a strong point in this draft.
Jarvis Jones would be the other pick I would make here, but with injury concerns and the transition that would need to be made from 3-4 to 4-3 makes Werner the safer pick.
Krall: Bjoern Werner (DE Florida State)
I would love to give the Jags a QB here but like I stated earlier, there’s really no one who’s really stood out, and they have a serviceable option in Chad Henne if they wanted to wait another year before drafting their franchise QB.
Either way, the Jags have needed a pure pass-rusher for what seems like since their existence as a franchise and Werner could be their guy here. He completely blew up the college football ranks this year (13 sacks in 2012), not to mention he’s been relatively injury free throughout his entire career.
1. Kansas City Chiefs
Riley: Geno Smith (QB West Virginia)
The Chiefs need an awful lot of help and there is no doubt QB is a major position of need for the Chiefs and Geno Smith is the best option (pre-combine that is). With Andy Reid as the new head coach, I would expect him to find is new QB via draft, and Geno Smith fits the mobile QB philosophy that Reid seems to have had in the past.
Krall: Luke Joeckel (OT exas A&M)
For the first time in as long as I can remember there isn’t a legit #1 pick out there, so with no QB in mind I think Joeckel makes the most sense here. If you have the first pick in the draft, the safest pick is usually your best choice and there’s no one that’s a safer pick than Joeckel, who can solidify the LT spot on Andy Reid’s line for years.
Not to mention current LT Brandon Albert will be a FA this offseason, so the need is clearly there