2013 NFL Mock Draft (3 Full Rounds, Pittsburgh Steelers Picks Rounds 1-7)
33. Jacksonville Jaguars: Matt Barkley QB (Southern Cal)
If the Jaguars are done with the “Blaine Gabbert Experience,” then they might want to target a Quarterback on Day 1 or Day 2 of the Draft. I believe that Matt Barkley’s stock will rise once he comes back from his shoulder surgery, and teams begin to look at more film of him and his successful collegiate career as a whole (246 for 387, 3,273 yards, 63.6%, 36 touchdowns & 15 interceptions was a “down year” in 2012). Although Barkley might not be considered the most mobile of quarterbacks, he ran a Pro-Style system at Southern Cal, possesses a strong enough arm to make every throw on the field, and does so in an accurate fashion.
34. San Francisco 49ers: Margus Hunt DE (Southern Methodist)
Margus Hunt of Southern Methodist in time could develop into a 2-gap force, and he could develop into the perfect replacement for Justin Smith when the veteran eventually calls it quits. The 6’8″ 277 lb. Estonian picked up football after he arrived at S.M.U. as a member of the track-team, and has improved each and every season at the collegiate level. In 2012, Hunt registered 31 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, and 8.0 sacks to go along with 2 Forced Fumbles and an Interception for the Mustangs. Due to his height, Hunt also shined as a kick blocker, and managed to record 17 blocked kicks during his college career.
35. Philadelphia Eagles: E.J. Manuel QB (Florida State)
My guess is that Philadelphia will try to find a quarterback on Day 2 of the Draft, and the Eagles might elect to go with the athletic E.J. Manuel from Florida State. Manuel replaced Christian Ponder at Florida State and led the Seminoles to an Orange Bowl victory as a senior (263 for 387, 3,392 yards, 23 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, 4 rushing touchdowns). In addition to his large frame (6’4″ 237 lbs.), Manuel possesses a good deal of athletic ability as a runner, and thrower on the run. While Manuel’s decision-making under duress leaves much to be desired (vs. Florida last year) I still believe that he will be on the Eagles’ wish list of QB prospects.
36. Detroit Lions: Jamar Taylor CB (Boise State)
Detroit’s defense is in need of some play-makers in their secondary. The Lions amassed the 4th fewest interceptions in 2012, and would be wise to look for a starting cornerback. Jamar Taylor, who enjoyed a terrific workout at The Combine (4.39 40 yard dash, 22 bench press reps,), was a very productive player during his career at Boise State and has the ball-skills to be a factor at the pro level (2012: 51 tackles, 4 interceptions, 3 forced fumbles). In addition, Taylor possesses solid size (5’11” 192 lbs.) and speed to make him a fringe 1st Round candidate.
37. Cincinnati Bengals: Jonathan Cyprien SS (Florida International)
Although Reggie Nelson is signed long term, Chris Crocker (2013), Nate Clements (2013), and Taylor Mays (2014) will all be reaching UFA status soon. Thus, the Bengals could be looking to take a safety for depth/future starting purposes. Jonathan Cyprien’s stock seems to be rising fast, and there is good reason for that as the Florida International strong safety shined during Senior Bowl week, and enjoyed a solid 2012 season with the Golden Panthers (93 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, and 4 interceptions). Although Cyprien is not as agile as Matt Elam is in pass-coverage, he does possess decent size (6′ 217 lbs.), and can play with toughness near the line of scrimmage in run support.
38. Arizona Cardinals: Mike Glennon QB (North Carolina State)
New head coach Bruce Arians might say that he believes in Drew Stanton and Brian Hoyer, but logic tells me that Arians might want to acquire a young signal-caller to groom behind the veteran stop-gaps. The tall (6’7″ 225 lbs.) North Carolina State prospect did a fine job during his two years as a starter (4,031 passing yards and 31 touchdowns in 2012) after he took over for Russell Wilson back in 2011. Although Glennon’s completion percentage from last season (58.4%) and overall accuracy might be a cause for concern, his rifle-arm is sure to drive him up draft boards around the league.
39. New York Jets: Tyler Wilson QB (Arkansas)
New offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg could be intrigued by Tyler Wilson of Arkansas if he falls into the 2nd Round. After a terrific Junior campaign under Bobby Petrino (3,638 passing yards and 24 to 6 TD/INT ratio), Wilson (6’2″ 218 lbs.) struggled last year (3,387 passing yards and 21 to 13 TD/INT ratio) after Petrino was fired and the signal-caller sustained a concussion early during the regular season. Wilson should garner early 2nd Round consideration however as he possesses adequate arm strength, a good deal of accuracy, and a knowledge of a pro-style passing game from his time with the Razorbacks.
40. Tennessee Titans: Johnthan Banks CB/FS (Mississippi State)
The 2012 Jim Thorpe Award winner possesses a tall and lanky frame (6’2″ 185 lbs.), and has shown the ability to make plays on the football even as a zone-scheme guy (16 career Interceptions). Banks can also mix it up in the run-game (125 Tackles the last two seasons), and even has the skill-set to play the free safety position (he started at the position as a freshman in college). Banks’ 40 time at The Combine though (4.62) could drop him into Round 2 if teams were not impressed by his fastest pro day time in the workout (4.58).
41. Buffalo Bills: Arthur Brown ILB (Kansas State)
The Bills let go of Nick Barnett this offseason, and Kelvin Sheppard has yet to shine at the inside linebacker position. At his Pro Day, Brown measured in at a stout 6′ 241 lbs., and erased concerns about his overall weight and speed at his impressive pro day workout. Since he transferred from the University of Miami (FL) to Kansas State two years ago, Arthur has emerged as one of the best players in the Big XII as he recorded 101 and 100 tackles during his Junior and Senior campaigns to go along with 16.0 combined tackles for loss, and 3 interceptions. Brown’s stock could continue to rise, and it would not shock me if he sneaks into Round 1.
42. Miami Dolphins: Menelik Watson OT (Florida State)
Although the Dolphins have 2012 2nd Round pick Jonathan Martin to groom, they will still need another offensive tackle to take the place of Jake Long now that he is in St. Louis. If Menelik Watson falls to Miami in Round 2, and they have not taken an offensvie tackle at that point, this pick would make total sense. The English-born Watson was a former basketball player and boxer before he took up football recently at a junior college and then Florida State. Although he is raw in terms of his overall technique, the 6’5″ 310 lb. Watson has the upside and strength to develop into a stellar right tackle as a professional.
43. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tank Carradine DE (Florida State)
Da’Quan Bowers’ recent arrest hurts the Buccaneers as they will be looking to improve their pass-rush in 2013. Last year, Tampa Bay’s defense ranked tied for 29th in total sacks (27.0), and they definitely will need more pressure from the outside. Tank Carradine (6’4″ 276 lbs.) might have sustained an ACL injury in late-November, but he was in the midst of a career year with the Seminoles beforehand. After one year as a rotational defensive end, Carradine burst on the scene after Brandon Jenkins went down with a foot injury during the Seminoles’ opening game last year. Until Tank went down with his knee injury, he had racked up 80 tackles, 11.0 sacks, and 13.0 tackles for loss, and formed a lethal pass-rushing duo with Bjoern Werner.
44. Carolina Panthers: DeAndre Hopkins WR (Clemson)
Carolina needs an eventual replacement for Steve Smith, and a boost to their wide receiver corps as a whole. Thus, I believe that the Panthers might be intrigued to take the speedy yet physical DeAndre Hopkins (6’1″ 200 lbs.) if he is available in Round 2. Although he shared the wide receiver spotlight with his teammate Sammy Watkins, all Hopkins did at Clemson was produce during his three-year college career. After an incredibly productive Sophomore season which saw him catch 72 passes for 978 yards and 5 touchdowns, Hopkins improved to the tune of 82 catches for 1,405 yards and 9 touchdowns this past year as the Tigers won the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
45. San Diego Chargers: Dallas Thomas OG/OT (Tennessee)
Philip Rivers was bludgeoned last season as an assortment of backups did their best to stop the opposing pass-rushers. San Diego gave up 49.0 sacks last year (4th most in the entire league). One player who the Chargers could target early in Round 2 to replace the departed Louis Vasquez is the versatile Dallas Thomas of Tennessee. A two-year starter at left tackle with the Volunteers in 2010 and 2011 (37 career starts), Thomas kicked in to left guard last year and emerged as one of the best interior offensive linemen in the nation.
46. St. Louis Rams: Eric Reid FS (Louisiana State)
A two-year starter with the Bayou Bengals, Eric Reid emerged as another tremendously talented L.S.U. defensive back over the 2011 and 2012 seasons. A big-hitting and larger framed safety (6’1″ 213 lbs.), Reid proved willing to mix things up in the run-game and finished third on the team in tackles last year with 91 to go along with his 2 interceptions. The Rams lost Craig Dahl in March, and a replacement at free safety must be found. While Reid must prove he is agile enough to stay with more athletic tight ends, he is definitely worth a mid-2nd Round investment.
47. Dallas Cowboys: Alex Okafor DE (Texas)
A slip by Alex Okafor could benefit a team like Dallas who is in need of a defensive end to develop behind DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer as they transition to a 4-3 scheme. Last year, Alex racked up 68 tackles, 18.0 tackles for loss, and 12.5 sacks over 13 games, and did so with his talented pass-rushing mate Jackson Jeffcoat sidelined for most of the year with a pectoral injury. Equipped with a nice burst upfield for a bigger guy (6’4″ 264 lbs.), Okafor could make the Cowboys’ pass-rush even more potent.