NFL Mock Draft 2013: Eric Galko
MDD Editor: Eric Galko
Last Updated: August 8th, 2012
NOTE: SENIORS ONLY included in this Mock Draft.
1 . Minnesota Vikings
Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
With Adrian Peterson set to be not 100% to start the season and few talented weapons for Christian Ponder outside of Percy Harvin, it seems Christian Ponder may have a lackluster season. However, with the team addressing the offensive line last year and no receivers worth the pick here, the Vikings go with the best senior in the draft and keep a strength a strength on the defensive line.
2 . Oakland Raiders
Matt Barkley, QB, USC
If the Raiders do finish here, it’ll likely mean an end to the Carson Palmer reign as an NFL starting quarterback. Barkley is the best senior quarterback without question in my mind, and would be able to step in right away and assume the starting job.
3 . Arizona Cardinals
Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
While he may still be developing, his progression last year in year one with HC Dana Holgorsen should mean a wowing improvement as a senior. The Cardinals have no NFL worthy starter at quarterback, and Smith can be the dynamic athlete and elite talent at quarterback the weapons outside at receiver want.
4 . St. Louis Rams
Dion Jordon, DE, Oregon
Pairing Chris Long, last year’s first rounder Michael Brockers is scary enough for opposing defenses. But adding a tremendous athlete like Dion Jordon to the mix, and they could have one of the best defensive lines in football.
5 . St. Louis Rams (via Washington)
Ricky Wagner, OT, Wisconsin
After addressing the defensive line with their first Top five pick, they’ll use the Redskins pick (which should be lower than many are listing now) to address the offensive line. They got Bradford more receiver options in last year’s draft, but until he’s adequately protected, he’ll never have a chance to thrive.
6 . Cleveland Browns
Margus Hunt, DE, SMU
A rare athlete with tremendous upside (and Alex Brown, @ABXXV25 favorite), he should explode onto the NFL Draft scene next year if he can show any signs of development in his pass rush moves. Cleveland, still rebuilding, could take a shot on the high upside pass rusher to help complete their defense.
7 . Tampa Bay Bucs
Kawan Short, DT, Purdue
With Gerald McCoy dealing with injuries since coming into the league and the Bucs trading Brian Price, defensive tackle could still use an upgrade. Short has both the finesse and interior rush moves/leverage to be an effective interior presence at nose tackle.
8 . Cincinnati Bengals
Jonthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
Tough to find a set need for the Bengals right now as we since which rookies pan out, but Banks is the best player available and adding secondary help is always a must in the NFL Draft each and every year.
9 . Carolina Panthers
Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
Austin would give Cam Newton yet another dynamic weapon who could eventually run some of the same routes and get vertically similarly to fellow undersized receiver Steve Smith.
10 . Indianapolis Colts
Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
Now that they’ve added tight end help for Andrew Luck and already had receiver help in place, the Colts need to protect him for the future. The best offensive lineman left happens to be a guard, but Cooper has the talent to be among the NFL’s best early in his career.
11 . Jacksonville Jaguars
Aaron Dobson, WR, Marshall
Justin Blackmon needs to emerge as a near or set #1 receiver, but if they want Blaine Gabbert to succeed long term, they’ll need more youth at receiver. Dobson won’t have overly flashy stats at Marshall thanks to mediocre QB play, but he may be the draft’s best senior WR.
12 . New Orleans Saints
Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame
Despite bringing over Curtis Lofton, the Saints still need help at linebacker. Whether Lofton or Te’o needs to change positions (I believe Te’o can play the strong side well enough), they can’t afford to pass on linebackers.
13 . Buffalo Bills
Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
Lucky for the Bills that a quarterback of Wilson’s quality falls to #13 thanks to other teams not needing quarterbacks. Wilson would fit in well in the Bills offense, and could easily supplant Ryan Fitzpatrick early into his rookie season.
14 . Miami Dolphins
Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
Tough to choose between a true 4-3 pass rusher or receiver as the Dolphins biggest needs, but as of right here, the value goes Okafor over Cobi Hamilton. Jared Odrick doesn’t fit the 4-3 DE role well, nor does Cameron Wake. Okafor can fit in well and leave Odrick and Wake to be utilized more situationally.
15 . New York Giants
Zaviar Gooden, OLB, Missouri
The Giants have consistently had question marks at linebacker, and they still aren’t answered. Gooden isn’t talked about all that much right now, but he is the best true 4-3 outside linebacker in this class as of now and fills a need for the Giants.
16 . Chicago Bears
Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
The Bears STILL have glaring needs on the offensive line, and though Fisher may be a bit of a reach here, his ability to play left tackle likely is enough to make him worth the pick. Fisher is a fantastic athlete, has the upper body strength to redirect rushers, and has upside at left tackle.
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