2013 NFL Mock Draft: First Post-Free Agency Update
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Now that we are a few days into the free-agency period and the new official NFL league year, it is time to make an update to my four-round 2013 NFL mock draft.
Some teams have addressed many of their biggest needs via free agency to set themselves up to comfortably employ a best-player-available (BPA) in the draft; others still have glaring holes that need addressing.
For now (subject to change soon and often), here's how I see the NFL draft playing out:
With a 2-14 record, the Chiefs did not win much this 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. 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.
Although 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 if they can't agree to a long-term deal. On the other side, however, they released right tackle Eric Winston this offseason.
Unless they go defensive line here, this pick should be Texas A&M tackle Luke Joeckel, the consensus top prospect on our big board, or Central Michigan's Eric Fisher.
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 and 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 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 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, Houston's J.J. Watt, the NFL Defensive Player of the Year, had more sacks (20.5) than the Jaguars had as a team.
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, the No. 2-ranked prospect on our big board, could leapfrog Joeckel and even become the top overall pick in April.
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 due to become an unrestricted free agent and Floyd should help fill the void. In previous updates, I had Utah's Star Lotulelei in this spot. With his medical red flag, it's hard to envision him going this high until there is more clarity around the heart condition.
The Raiders ranked 28th in the NFL in scoring defense (27.7 points allowed per game).
Milliner, who was the top-ranked cornerback prospect out of high school, led the country in passes broken up (20) and was tied for first in passes defended (22). As a team, the Crimson Tide allowed only seven passing touchdowns while intercepting 19 passes last season.
When he ran a 4.37 forty at the combine, Milliner solidified himself as a top-five pick in the draft despite needing surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder.