Turn On The Jets Staff Writer, Frank Giasone with an updated NFL Mock Draft. Who does he see the Jets landing at 9? Find out right here and be sure to check back daily for updated draft content right as we inch closer to the big night next month.
1- Kansas City Chiefs: Eric Fisher, Offensive Tackle, Central Michigan-You really couldn’t put together a more confusing strategy to rebuild the offensive line than the new brain trust in KC has. After releasing Eric Winston and using the franchise tag on Brandon Albert, the Chiefs may be desperate to move out of the top spot. If they don’t, I have trouble seeing them choose anyone other than one of the top two left tackles. Seems odd to tag your starting LT at the end of a pretty good season, then ask him to move to RT. But…it would appear (if they can’t trade out), that’s exactly what the Chiefs plan to do.
2- Jacksonville Jaguars: Bjoern Werner, Defensive End, FSU- Head Coach Gus Bradley could go a myriad of directions at the No. 2 spot, including addressing the quarterback position, defensive end, or linebacker. With Werner, the Jags may have an opportunity to solidify the defensive end position with one of the most physically imposting defensive prospects in this draft. Recent reports from the FSU pro day have Werner intriguing some with his potential at the linebacker position in 3-4 looks, but his upside as a 4-3 defensive end will likely pique the interest of the Jacksonville front office.
3- Oakland Raiders: Shariff Floyd, Defensive Tackle, Florida- With so many issues on this roster, it’s a shock that the Jets have dominated the majority of need-related headlines this offseason. This Raiders team is a mess, and while Oakland could address almost every position on the roster with this pick, I see GM Reggie McKenzie wasting no time getting the Floyd pick in to the commissioner. Floyd, who could very-well end up being the best defensive player to come out of this draft class, will step in immediately as a starter on the defensive line.
4- Philadelphia Eagles: Dion Jordan, Defensive End/Outside Linebacker, Oregon- The Eagles could start rebuilding its defensive secondary by selecting Alabama’s Dee Milliner here, but using a top five pick on a cornerback isn’t something many GM’s like to do. With Jordan, Billy Davis’ defense will have a versatile defensive talent, capable of playing both outside linebacker and defensive end, depending on scheme.
5- Detroit Lions: Luke Joeckel, Offensive Tackle, Texas A&M- With Jeff Backus announcing his retirement, and reports surfacing that Detroit is considering moving 2012 first round pick Riley Reiff to guard, the Lions need to find a replacement at left tackle. Considering quarterback Matt Stafford has a “slight” tendency to shatter like glass, the Lions should probably make protecting him the top priority with this pick. The Texas A&M left tackle is projected by some to be the No. 1 pick, and I likely won’t make many friends with this projected fall to No. 5, but judging based on need of the first four teams in this draft, I don’t think I’m too far off. If Joeckel is here, I can’t see Detroit passing him up.
6- Cleveland Browns: Star Lotulelei, Defensive Tackle, Utah- With the Browns shifting to a 3-4 defense this year, Lotulelei would be another move in the right direction. After signing Paul Kruger away from the division rival Ravens, and with DE Jabaal Sheard set to move to the other OLB spot, an OLB isn’t the most likely pick for Cleveland. While they could go quarterback or decide to move on Ezekiel Ansah, matching up Lotulelei on a defensive line with Phil Taylor at nose tackle could make for a very dominant unit.
7- Arizona Cardinals: Chance Warmack, Guard, Alabama- They’re in the top 10 for a reason, meaning, they have a lot of holes to fill–especially on offense. While many will have new head coach Bruce Arians targeting a quarterback here, it’s pretty clear that the horrific offensive line in Arizona needs to be corrected for any quarterback to have success. While the Cardinals would love to see a tackle fall to No. 7, I’m not convined they’ll be comfortable reaching for Lane Johnson here. With Warmack, Arians gets a good start rebuilding the most important part of his offense.
8- Buffalo Bills: Geno Smith, Quarterback, West Virginia- I’m torn with this pick. Realistically, Buffalo should probably address its needy linebacker corps by targeting Jarvis Jones, Barkevious Mingo or Ziggy Ansah. But I’m not sure Head Coach Doug Marrone will want to start his season with Tavaris Jackson as QB No. 1 (would you?). This pick really hinges on Marrone’s belief (or lack thereof) in his former Syracuse QB, Ryan Nassib. If he doesn’t think Nassib will translate as a franchise QB in the NFL, Buffalo will strongly consider Smith (or another QB) at No. 8.
9- New York Jets: Ezekial Ansah, Defensive End, BYU- Things seem to have broken in the Jets favor in this mock, as Ziggy Ansah finds himself as the first selection of the John Idzik era. For the Jets, Ansah will provide Head Coach Rex Ryan with some versatility. At BYU, Ansah was used all over the defense, despite only being a starter for one season. Ideally, he’ll translate as a 3-4 OLB, but the fallback plan could be to put him on the defensive line if he doesn’t develop as an LB.
10- Tennessee Titans: Sheldon Richardson, Defensive Tackle, Missouri- The Titans could use some help on the interior of the defensive line, and in a 4-3 scheme, Richardson is arguably the best DT of the bunch. His ability to impact both the run and passing game is hard to miss, making him a terrific complement to Kamerion Wimbley and Derrick Morgan.
11- San Diego Chargers: Lane Johnson, Tackle, Oklahoma- I’m pretty sure Phil Rivers still wakes up in the middle of the night in cold sweats, thanks to the revolving door the Chargers call an offensive line. Similar to the Jets in recent years, San Diego has done a bad job of building talent around the once highly-touted quarterback, and Johnson is capable of playing both tackle and guard positions. It makes the most sense for a team that saw injuries dismantle its offensive line in 2012.
12- Miami Dolphins: Dee Milliner, Cornerback, Alabama-Miami is probably hoping an offensive tackle falls to them here so they can address the left tackle spot. But with the three top LT’s off the board, I have the Dolphins grabbing Milliner, rather than going with UNC guard Johnathon Cooper. Milliner will step in immediately and start for Head Coach Joe Philbin.
13- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Xavier Rhodes, Cornerback, FSU- This is assuming they don’t land Darelle Revis, of course. They’re reaching a bit for Rhodes, who’s big body and length is hard to ignore, but the need is obviously there. With reports surfacing that the Bucs are trying to move Eric Wright, it only makes sense for them to find a replacement.
14- Carolina Panthers: Tavon Austin, Wide Receiver, West Virginia- Steve Smith isn’t getting any younger, and the Panthers need to add another playmaker on offense to compliment quarterback Cam Newton. Austin might be the most explosive weapon in this draft and will open a ton of opportunities for Newton and the Panthers’ offense.
15- New Orleans Saints: Barkevious Mingo, Outside Linebacker, LSU- New Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan is bringing his 3-4 scheme to New Orleans, and will keep Mingo in Louisiana. Mingo is a work in progress, but will offer Ryan and the Saints, at the very least, a pass rusher at the OLB position.
16- St. Louis: Jonathan Cooper, Offensive Guard, UNC- The Rams dealt with tons of injuries and underwhelming production from its offensive line in 2012. While the front office addressed one of its needs by signing Jake Long as a free agent, Cooper will step in nicely alongside Long at LG and provide security for St. Louis’ somewhat injury prone quarterback, Sam Bradford.
17- Pittsburgh Steelers: Jarvis Jones, Outside Linebacker, Georgia- Once deemed a top 10 pick in this draft, a poor workout at his pro day combined with a spinal stenosis diagnosis, send the UGA outside linebacker falling to No. 17. The fall could be beneficial for both sides though, as Pittsburgh finds itself desperate for pass rushing talent. For Jones, is there really a better spot for a LB to land than Pittsburgh?
18- Dallas Cowboys: D.J. Fluker, Offensive Tackle, Alabama- The Cowboys desperately need help on the offensive line and while this may be a bit high for Fluker, he’s the best offensive lineman left on the board. Dallas also needs help along the defensive line, but I see them addressing that need a little later in the draft.
19- New York Giants: – Datone Jones, Defensive End, UCLA- We all know how much Jerry Reece loves his defensive lineman, and with Osi Umenyiora gone, and Justin Tuck showing his age the past few seasons, the Giants’ strength is quickly becoming a weakness. Jones will jump right in and produce for Big Blue, and could even spend some time at DT if the Giants want to get creative.
20- Chicago Bears- Alec Ogletree, Inside Linebacker, Notre Dame- Despite signing D.J Williams as Brian Urlacher’s replacement for the 2013 season, the Bears still need to find the longterm answer at middle linebacker. And considering Lance Briggs’ age, and the fact that Ogletree is capable of playing outside linebacker, this pick just makes sense for Chicago.
21- Cincinatti Bengals: Kenny Vaccaro, Safety, Texas- Lots of people are very high on Vaccaro, and the Bengals’ talent pool at the safety position is very shallow. Cincy could opt to pick up a linebacker here (I don’t believe Ray Mauluga is a solid answer at MLB), but for now, Vaccaro is the pick to sure up the Bengals’ defensive secondary.
22- St. Louis Rams: Cordarelle Patterson, Wide Receiver, Tennessee- The Rams got Bradford some protection with their first selection, now they look to improve his weapons. While still very inexperienced, Patterson might be the most physically imposing receiver in this draft and will likely be Bradford’s safety blanket.
23- Minnesota Vikings: Manti Te’o, Inside Linebacker, Notre Dame- The Vikings are in desperate need of help at middle linebacker, and while Te’o has his issues, he’s a hardworking and intelligent athlete that should translate in the NFL.
24- Indianapolis Colts: Johnathan Hankins, Defensive Tackle, Ohio State- Indy got its franchise quarterback last year–and then struggled to protect him (245 combined sacks, hits and hurries). If they’re lucky enough to have one of the top offensive lineman fall, that will likely be the pick. Since the top offensive lineman are off the board, Indy will look to address that need sometime on Day 2. With Hankins, the Colts get a defensive tackle who is capable of playing in both 3-4 and 4-3 fronts.
25- Minnesota Vikings: DeAndre Hopkins, Wide Receiver, Clemson- They addressed one need at pick No. 23, now they have a chance to address another with their second, first round pick. Despite picking up Greg Jennings in free agency, they still have a need at wide receiver. While they’d love to have a defensive tackle fall to them here, Hopkins is too tough to pass up. He could prove to be the best receiver of the bunch with his ability to catch everything that comes to him. Now, they just need to find a real quarterback.
26- Green Bay Packers: Eddie Lacy, Running Back, Alabama- Green Bay has been searching for a legit No. 1 running back for a while now, so they’ll be very happy to see Lacy -arguably the most complete back in this class- available for the taking here at No. 26.
27- Houston Texans: Keenan Allen, Wide Receiver, Cal- The Texans have to find a weapon to line up across from Andre Johnson, and Allen is that guy. His size, speed and ability to go up and get the ball will be a big help to QB Matt Schaub and the Texans offense, and could lead to Allen transitioning to the No. 1 option for Houston in a few years.
28- Denver Broncos: Sam Montgomery, Defensive End, LSU- With Elvis Dumervil heading to Baltimore, Denver could use some help on the defensive line. Montgomery has some character issues, including his admission that he took entire games off during his time at LSU. But in the end, the tape shows that he can play. If the Broncos can get him to focus and improve his work ethic (both big ifs), they’ll walk away with a great pick late in Round One.
29- New England Patriots: Robert Woods, Wide Receiver, USC- It sounds odd to say this, but the Pats could use some help at wide receiver heading into the 2013 season. After losing Wes Welker and parting ways with Brandon Lloyd, Bill Belichick is probably hoping for one of the top 3 receivers to fall to No. 29. That’s not the case in this mock, leaving the Pats to go with Woods, a disciplined route-runner with good hands who should translate into a very good NFL receiver.
30- Atlanta Falcons: Alex Okafor, Defensive End, Texas- With John Abraham out, the Falcons have to find another player capable of getting to the quarterback. Okafor’s ability to consistently rush the passer in the NFL is still up in the air, but his capabilities against the run make him a solid option for Atlanta at the end of Round One.
31- San Francisco 49ers: Tank Carradine, Defensive End, FSU- The 49ers can really go in any direction they please here, considering they have just under 200 picks in this draft. But when you look at their roster, the most glaring need is on the defensive line. Despite suffering a torn ACL, Florida State defensive end Tank Carradine is a solid find at No. 31, and will be a great addition to one of best defenses in the league.
32- Baltimore Ravens: Kevin Minter, Inside Linebacker, LSU- The Ravens need to replace Ray Lewis, which isn’t the easiest task in the world. But considering the talent on that defense, combined with the additions they’ve made during free agency, Minter should step right in at ILB in 2013.