As we are about to enter the month of April, we are a little more than three weeks away from the 2013 NFL Draft, which will be held at Radio City Music Hall in NYC from April 25th to 27th.
While today’s weekly mock draft update still goes four rounds, I will include Round 5 with my next update.
Here is currently how I see the draft playing out:
With a 2-14 record, the Chiefs did not win much last year, but they did win the tie-breaker over the Jaguars for the first overall pick in this year’s draft.
Neither Matt Cassel nor Brady Quinn was the long-term answer at quarterback for the Chiefs as the Chiefs passers combined to throw a league-low eight touchdowns and finished second behind only the Cardinals for most interceptions thrown (20) last year.
Perhaps they gave up too much, but the Chiefs traded their second-round pick (34th overall) this year and a conditional third-round pick (that could become another second-rounder) in 2014 to the 49ers for Alex Smith.
While the Chiefs were unable to re-sign left tackle Branden Albert to a long-term deal, they used their franchise tag to keep him on the roster for at least one more season. That said, they released right tackle Eric Winston earlier this offseason and are reportedly shopping Albert, which means Joeckel could be the pick here.
Not only does Texas A&M have Johnny “Football” Manziel, the Heisman Trophy winner, they had college football’s best pair of bookend tackles. With the move to the SEC, the Aggies faced their share of elite pass rushers and talented defensive linemen yet Joeckel more than held his own.
Playing on the left side with the son of Hall-of-Famer Bruce Matthews on the right side, Joeckel, the top-ranked prospect on our big board, possesses the prototypical size and athleticism you would want in a left tackle. While his run blocking is solid, Joeckel really excels as a pass blocker due to his technique, agility and quick feet.
No team had fewer sacks than the Jaguars (20.0) last season, which means this pick could very well be a pass-rusher. In fact, one player within the division, Houston’s J.J. Watt, the NFL Defensive Player of the Year, had more sacks (20.5) than the Jaguars had as a team last year.
Recruited as a wide receiver and having switched from tight end to defensive end only two seasons ago, Jordan (6-7, 243 pounds) is a little raw but he’s an explosive and smooth athlete with plenty of upside. Jordan played outside linebacker in 2012 and even covered the slot receiver at times for Oregon.
Jordan, who recently had surgery for a torn labrum, should be ready for training camp.
On a defense that ranked sixth in college football in rushing defense (96.6 yards allowed per game), Floyd led the Gators in tackles for loss and seems to be a lock as a top-five pick at this point.
Raiders defensive tackle Richard Seymour is an unrestricted free agent and the team released Tommy Kelly so Floyd should help fill the void. The Raiders ranked 28th in the NFL in scoring defense (27.7 points allowed per game).
Drawing some comparisons to Ravens stud defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, Lotulelei was likely to be the top defensive tackle selected in April and possibly even the top overall pick before the discovery of his heart condition at the NFL scouting combine.
As a First-Team All-Pac-12 selection in both 2011 and 2012, Lotulelei has had a strong season this year although double and triple teams prevented him from putting up eye-popping stats. Having been cleared to participate at Utah’s pro day last week, Lotulelei could very well work his way back into the top five provided he is medically cleared when the combine does medical rechecks in early April.
While Lotulelei could also play nose tackle, he is the No. 1 3-4 defense end in Mike Mayock’s rankings.
Perhaps a good problem, the Lions have a difficult decision as Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner, BYU defensive end Ezekiel Ansah and Fisher all make sense here.
During Senior Bowl practices, no prospect was more impressive than Fisher regardless of position. At 6-8 and 305 pounds, Fisher is the top senior left tackle prospect in this year’s draft class.
In addition, Fisher was more impressive than Joeckel at the combine and it’s certainly possible that Fisher, my No. 2-ranked prospect overall, could leapfrog Joeckel and even become the top overall pick in April.
With Jeff Backus retiring, they draft the best player available on my big board to take his place.
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