After the Super Bowl concluded the 2012 NFL Season on Sunday, football fans turn their full focus to the 2013 NFL Draft. Ravens fans can continue to enjoy their big Super Bowl XLVII win, but the rest of the league is ready to move on. Every team will need to be tweaked, re-shaped, or turned over this offseason and the Draft is a huge part of the team-building process in today’s NFL.
With all the impact players selected on the offensive side of the ball in the last few years, it’s important for fantasy football owners to be aware of the rookies who will make an impact next season. It used to be conventional wisdom to avoid rookies in fantasy football, but with Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck, RG3, Alfred Morris, Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick, and others exploding onto the scene after the last few drafts, rookies are now very viable fantasy options.
Here’s our first Mock Draft of this offseason with plenty more to come as we work through the pre-draft process.
Each FantasyCPR mock draft is featured in the mock draft databases at WalterFootball.com, DC Pro Sports Report, Sports Jabber, hailredskins.com, eatdrinkandsleepfootball.com, and fftoolbox.com. Each site keeps track of a huge number mock drafts all over the web, so if you’re a draft junkie they’re great places to get your fix of info… Clicking the link for the team will take you to the site on the Fansided network dedicated to that particular team and to get daily draft-dedicated coverage visit Fansided brethren nflmocks.com and withthefirstpick.com
1. Kansas City Chiefs
Luke Joeckel, OT-Texas A&M
Analysis: There’s a good chance the Chiefs move down a bit in the draft and pick Geno Smith while letting someone move up for the consensus best player in the draft. It’s still way to early to project trades so in this first version I’ll have KC staying put and taking Joeckel. If he’s the pick, he’ll help Jamaal Charles be even better while becoming a fixture up front for the Chiefs. I think Joeckel will be the pick, but I don’t think it’ll be the Chiefs who keep this pick.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars
Bjoern Werner, DE/OLB-Florida State
Analysis: Werner would instantly help the Jags depleted pass rush. Jacksonville has a host of needs, but would be wise to stay in-state and grab Werner for the defensive front.
3. Oakland Raiders
Star Lotulelei, DT-Utah
Analysis: Oakland’s defense has aged less-than-gracefully and they need an impact player in their defense. Lotulelei is versatile and will help take up space in the middle and blow up plays as an inside rusher. The Raiders could go lots of directions with this pick since they have areas of need at multiple positions.
4. Philadelphia Eagles
Geno Smith, QB-West Virginia
Fantasy Impact: Chip Kelly needs the right quarterback for his offense, and the best one in this year’s class is Smith who will make a solid addition if he’s still on the board. Smith was a little up-and-down this year for the Mountaineers but can definitely be successful in the right system with the playmakers on the Eagles roster. Smith may not be a QB1 in his first year and burst onto the scene like RG3, Andrew Luck, and Russell Wilson did this year. He may not even get the full-time starters role if the Eagles acquire a QB elsewhere, but he could be a good pick if he’s there for Chip at this point. Training camp, preseason, and the off-season will go a long way to deciding Smith’s value, but he could be a solid QB2 provided he’s at the helm from game #1 for the Eagles.
5. Detroit Lions
Damontre Moore, DE-Texas A&M
Analysis: In a division with Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler, the Lions need the ability to get after the quarterback. With Ndamukong Suh on one side and Da Monster on the other the Lions will be able to get after the QB. The secondary needs improvement too, but look for Detroit to address that need in the later rounds.
6. Cleveland Browns
Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB-LSU
Analysis: Mingo is perfect for the Browns new 3-4 defense and will be a beast coming off the edge. Cleveland needs help in multiple areas, but at this point it’s too early for another quarterback and Michael Lombardi will take a player who can be a big part of his team’s defensive rebuilding.
7. Arizona Cardinals
Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Analysis: The Cardinals need a quarterback, no question. The problem is there’s not any great options on the board, and even if there were they couldn’t keep him upright behind their porous offensive line.
8. Buffalo Bills
Matt Barkley, QB-USC
Fantasy Impact: There seems to be little doubt that Buffalo will go with a QB at this pick. It will most likely be Barkley or Mike Glennon from NC State. Barkley will be a nice pickup for the Bills and their new head coach Doug Marrone and I think he’ll be a solid NFL QB for the Bills. For fantasy purposes, he lacks the upside of the dual threat QB’s but could be a solid QB2 given the Bills weapons on offense if he gets the starts right out of the gate.
9. New York Jets
Dee Millner, CB-Alabama
Analysis: If the Jets trade Darrelle Revis, they’ll need a top cover corner to continue to do what the do on defense. Millner has the size and skill to step in and start in the NFL right away as the top CB in this year’s class.
10. Tennessee Titans
Analysis: Warmack is a great grab at this point in the draft for the Titans who need help along the offensive interior. The Titans offense has some great weapons if Jake Locker continues to develop and getting him help up front will definitely go a long way to helping the former Washington Huskies QB.
11. San Diego Chargers
Xavier Rhodes, CB-Florida State:
Analysis: With the Chargers starting corners free agents and the top offensive line options off the board, it makes sense for them to consider Rhodes who is a tough, physical corner who has the potential to matchup well with the bigger wide receivers in the league.
12. Miami Dolphins
Keenan Allen, WR-California
Fantasy Impact: The Dolphins saw enough from Ryan Tannehill in year one to give him another year or two under center, but he needs options at wide receiver if he wants to take the next step. The Miami offense could use a big, possession receiver who runs nice routes with explosion after the catch. Allen is the best fit and is considered by most the best receiver in a deep but not star-studded wide receiver class. If the Dolphins do go wide-out, whoever they choose will have enormous potential in fantasy since he’ll immediately have the chance to become a top option in a developing offense.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Johnthan Banks, CB-Mississippi State
Analysis: After trading the pick to Dallas last year instead of taking Morris Claiborne, the Bucs are still in need at the CB position. They also traded away Aqib Talib last season and could cut Eric Wright and get out of his guaranteed money. Banks is a big corner who excelled even in the SEC meaning he should have a relatively smooth transition and can impact the needs Bucs secondary right away.
14. Carolina Panthers
Sheldon Richarson, DT-Missouri
Analysis: Richardson is a tackling machine up the middle and with Luke Kuechly behind him can solidify the Panthers run defense for years to come. The Panthers defense needs to improve and this would be a big step in the right direction.
15. New Orleans Saints
Jarvis Jones, DE-Georgia
Analysis: The Saints need help on defense and getting Jones this late in the first round could pay off if he can overcome injury concers. I don’t think Jones will last this long but he does need to overcome the concerns about his spinal stenosis to move up on the board.