We are on the cusp of the 2013 NFL draft, likely the second biggest day in the season for NFL fans behind only the Super Bowl. It is a hyped, grandiose event that acts as the symbolic renewal, or turning of the wheel for each team. Think of it, if you will, as a sort of “out with the old and in with the new” kind of thing.
Of course, with every NFL draft comes a multitutde of mock drafts, done by fans and experts alike. This will be the fifth year I’ve done mock drafts (and my first with iSportsWeb), and it’s looking to be the craziest first round I’ve ever seen, to say the least. There’s already been some shuffling, with the Jets trading CB Darelle Revis to Tampa Bay for a first round pick this year, and a conditional fourth round pick in the 2014 draft.
That, and some other news and rumors out there, has altered my initial mock draft’s landscape a bit. If you haven’t checked out my first edition, check it out now for comparison.
For those that did read it, you’ll know that I do this as a contest of sorts, pitting myself against the “experts,” AKA the media. Here are those that I will be going head to head with:
From ESPN.com: Mel Kiper, Jr. and Todd McShay
From NFL.com: Gil Brandt, Charley Casserly, Charles Davis, and Bucky Brooks
From CBSSports.com: Rob Rang, Dane Brugler, Pat Kirwan, Pete Prisco, and Will Brinson
From SI.com: Don Banks
From FoxSports.com: Peter Schrager
From NBCSports.com: Josh Norris
Now, as with any sort of competition, there has to be way to keep score to separate the winner from the rest of the pack. Unfortunately, for mock drafts, it can’t be just as simple as number of right pics versus number of wrong ones. I’ve concocted a BS scoring system that’s admittedly a little convoluted (consisting of three “positive” scoring categories and five “negative” ones) but is designed that way to help prevent a bunch of ties. Here’s the break down:
1. Right On – Obviously these are the picks correctly predicted. Each Right On pick is worth 5 points.
2. Right Player, Wrong Team -This is for teams that trade up to a spot and take a player where the experts and I may have had them going anyway. If we got the right player in the right draft slot but for the wrong team, it is worth 3 points.
3. Right Position, Wrong Prospect – If any of us guessed a team would draft a particular position, but we had the wrong player at that position, it is worth 1.5 points. I included this because we have no real idea of how individual teams rate prospects of the same position. So these are “kind of right” and are awarded points for this.
The negative point categories are for predictions that did not meet any of the positive criteria. Since not one single part of these predictions were correct, I grade them based on how far they were off:
1. Picks 1-5 spots off – A player is taken 1-5 draft slots (up or down) from the predicted draft slot. .5 point deduction.
2. Picks 6-10 spots off – This results in a 1 point deduction.
3. Picks 11-15 spots off – This results in a 1.5 point deduction.
4. Picks 16+ off or not taken in 1st round – Results in a 2 point deduction. Even if a player was predicted to go 32nd in the first round and was taken with the 1st pick in Round 2, it would still be a 2 point deduction because that player was not taken in the first round.
Ok, now that that’s over, here’s my updated mock (one note: I’ve only added comments to the picks that have changed since v. 1.0).
1. Kansas City Chiefs – OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M
2. Jacksonville Jaguars – OLB Dion Jordan, Oregon
3. Oakland Raiders – DT Sharrif Floyd, Florida
– All the rumors I’ve been reading seem to indicate the Raiders have settled on Floyd if they don’t trade down, but Star Loutulelei or Eric Fisher could factor in as well.
4. Philadelphia Eagles – DE Ezekial Ansah, BYU
– Philly is still an option for Geno Smith, but Ansah could bolster a defense that registered only 30 sacks last year (T-25th). Rumors are also swirling that LSU DE Barkevious Mingo could be taken here as well.
5. Detroit Lions – OT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan
6. Cleveland Browns – CB Dee Milliner, Alabama
7. Arizona Cardinals – OT Lane Johnson, Oklahoma
8. Buffalo Bills – G Chance Warmack, Alabama
9. New York Jets – QB Geno Smith, West Virginia
10. Tennessee Titans – DT Star Lotulelei, Utah
– With the Eagles opting for a pass rusher, Loutulelei may fall to the Titans, but won’t fall any further.
11. San Diego Chargers – WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia
12. Miami Dolphins – S Kenny Vaccaro, Texas
– I see a lot of mocks where the Phins take CB Xavier Rhodes, but I’m not buying it. The weakest spot on the team is at safety, and Vaccaro could really make this a more dangerous defense in 2013.
13. New York Jets (from Tampa Bay) – DE Barkevious Mingo, LSU
– To be honest, I am certain there’s no way in hell the Jets keep both first round picks, but if they do, adding a pass rusher to a defense sorely in need of revamping would be a good move.
14.Carolina Panthers – WR Kennan Allen, California
15. New Orleans Saints – ILB Alec Ogletreee, Georgia
16. St. Louis Rams – WR Cordarelle Patterson, Tennessee
17. Pittsburgh Steelers – G Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina
– Hard to imagine Cooper actually falling this far, but if he does, it’s a match made in heaven after the departure of Willie Colon. It would give the Steelers two young, hungry guards to help protect Ben Roethlisberger and re-establish a punishing ground game.
18. Dallas Cowboys – DT Sheldon Richardson, Missouri
– With Miami taking Vaccaro, the ‘Boys focus on the next glaring area of need: the defensive line. Richardson could be an immediate updgrade over Jay Ratliff and/or Jason Hatcher.
The rest of the draft is still shaping up the way I originally had it, but here’s a refresher:
19. New York Giants – TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame
20. Chicago Bears – ILB Manti Te’o, Notre Dame
21. Cincinnati Bengals – OT D.J. Fluker
22. St. Louis Rams – RB Eddie Lacy, Alabama
23. Minnesota Vikings – WR Justin Hunter, Tennessee
24. Indianapolis Colts – CB Desmond Trufant, Washington
25. Minnesota Vikings – CD D.J. Hayden, Houston
26. Green Bay Packers – G Justin Pugh, Syracuse
27. Houston Texans – DE Margus Hunt, SMU
28. Denver Broncos – DE Bjoern Werner, Florida State
29. New England Patriots – DT Sylvester Williams, North Carolina
30. Atlanta Falcons – CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Connecticut
31. San Francisco 49ers – DT Johnathan Jenkins, Georgia
32. Baltimore Ravens – S Matt Elam
Some things to note:
1). I am betting that the Jets try and trade up with Cleveland so they can grab Dee Milliner to replace Darelle Revis (and yes, I know there are reports that the Jets are actually trying to trade down. Can you say “smoke screen?”).
2). If Cleveland gets the #10 pick from the Jets, they can still likely grab Geno Smith, if he is a primary target as reports suggest.
3). Minnesota is also still likely to trade up, looking for upgrades at WR. Look for a deal with either St. Louis (#16 overall) or San Diego (#11 overall). The potential targets could be either Tavon Austin or Cordarelle Patterson.
4). Though not a first round projection, I could almost guarantee Indianapolis tries to trade up into the 2nd round. They found a lot of late round gems last year, but lightning hardly ever strikes in the same spot twice.
5). Numerous other late round teams could try and trade out of the first round: Houston, New England, Atlanta, San Francisco, and Baltimore could all try and get into the beginning of the second and still get quality players while adding a few day 3 picks.
That’s it for now. I’ll keep my ear to the ground for any world shaking news, and update if needed Wednesday night.
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