One thing is certain about the 2013 NFL draft: There is no certainty when it comes to the No. 1 overall pick. The Kansas City Chiefs made it known over the weekend at the NFL Scouting Combine that they’re open for business when it comes to trading out of the top spot, but the question then becomes, who’s worth moving up for?
NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock calls the 2013 class lacking in elite talent and says there are serious questions about each of this year’s quarterbacks. That is of particular interest to teams like the Chiefs at No. 1 and the Buffalo Bills, who hold the eighth overall pick in the first round and have a need at the game’s most important position.
The draft does have good depth, however, especially at defensive tackle. That’s shown here, with six of the first 32 picks being made at the position. Despite questions about the quarterbacks, two of them go in the first seven picks in this version of how things might go.
While workouts won’t wrap up at the combine until Tuesday, here is The News’ first shot at what the first round will look like when the picks start being called out by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on April 25 in New York’s Radio City Music Hall.
1. Kansas City Chiefs. Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M. New General Manager John Dorsey and coach Andy Reid made it clear at the combine they won’t reach for their biggest need, a quarterback, if they don’t feel one is worthy of the top overall selection. Instead, they get someone to protect whoever will be taking snaps next season.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars. Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia. St. Francis grad David Caldwell hopes to grab a franchise quarterback with his first pick as GM. It’s time to move on from Blaine Gabbert and Caldwell has said the team has got no interest in the Tim Tebow circus coming to town.
3. Oakland Raiders. Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah. Durable three-year starter is an excellent run defender and above average as a pass rusher and fills a need for the Raiders, who are expected to part ways with Richard Seymour.
4. Philadelphia Eagles. Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M. Has the size (6-foot-4, 248 pounds) and flexibility to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. Has adopted former A&M linebacker and Broncos star pass rusher Von Miller as a mentor.
5. Detroit Lions. Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida St. Leaving school a year early after a monster season (13 sacks) for the Seminoles in 2012. Fills a big hole after the release of Kyle Vanden Bosch.
6. Cleveland Browns. Chance Warmack, G, Alabama. Gets to pave the way again for former Crimson Tide teammate Trent Richardson. Consider this some gamesmanship after Browns CEO Joe Banner said drafting Warmack “wouldn’t fit philosophically” with how the team was being built.
7. Arizona Cardinals. Matt Barkley, QB, USC. Don’t be swayed by the Matt Leinart comparisons. Quarterbacks always go higher than you think. Biggest need in the draft might be Arizona’s at QB.
8. Buffalo Bills. Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee. Positional need grew larger with the departure of David Nelson. Patterson has limited major college experience but has the measurables teams like. Sunday’s 40-yard dash time of 4.42 seconds is a great sign for his chances of being the No. 1 receiver selected.
9. New York Jets. Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon. Assuming his scheduled shoulder surgery next week goes well, Jordan can replace the released Calvin Pace. His athleticism should be intriguing to Rex Ryan.
10. Tennessee Titans. Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina. Offensive line allowed 39 sacks last season. Cooper helps fix that, and opens up some room for Chris Johnson.
11. San Diego Chargers. Eric Fisher, LT, Central Michigan. St. Francis grad Tom Telesco’s first pick for the Bolts is some protection for quarterback Philip Rivers. Fisher was a standout at the Senior Bowl.
12. Miami Dolphins. Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama. With several free agents, Miami might not be able to retain Sean Smith. Milliner would be an upgrade anyway. Like Jordan, Milliner will also have shoulder surgery, which might slide him down the board ever so slightly.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU. Ghana native has played for only three seasons, making for easy comparison to Jason Pierre-Paul. Ansah has scouts buzzing about his potential. Bucs need to generate better pass rush to help league-worst pass defense.
14. Carolina Panthers. Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida. Bills castoff Dwan Edwards was starting last year in Carolina, which explains the need. Floyd is versatile, playing every position along the D-line for the Gators.
15. New Orleans Saints. Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State. Massive (320 pounds) tackle can help the league’s worst run defense and anchor Rob Ryan’s 3-4 scheme.
16. St. Louis Rams. Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma. Former high school quarterback has the athleticism to show for it, running a 4.72 40 at the combine. Big-time potential.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers. Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas. Steelers get oft-injured Troy Polamalu’s eventual replacement.
18. Dallas Cowboys. Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri. Slides perfectly into new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin’s 4-3 scheme as a three technique.
19. New York Giants. Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia. Concern over Jones’ spinal stenosis is rumored to have had some teams slide him down their draft board. Team that drafts him will have to be comfortable with the medical reports.
20. Chicago Bears. Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame. Great combine numbers solidified his spot as the top tight end available and he provides another trusted target for QB Jay Cutler to go with Brandon Marshall.
21. Cincinnati Bengals. Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia. Bengals have never shied away from taking players with character concerns — like Ogletree, who was recently arrested on DUI charges.
22. St. Louis Rams. Keenan Allen, WR, Cal. Allen tore the posterior-cruciate ligament in his left knee in 2012, ending his season. Prior to the injury he caught 61 passes for 737 yards and six touchdowns in nine games. Allen tweaked the injury while training, so he didn’t run the 40 at the combine. He’ll do so at Cal’s pro day March 14.
23. Minnesota Vikings. Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina. The Williams wall is rebuilt. After losing ex-Bill Pat Williams to retirement, the Vikings add Sylvester Williams to the interior of the defense to join Kevin Williams.
24. Indianapolis Colts. D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama. It makes sense to keep investing in players to protect franchise quarterback Andrew Luck. Fluker has his own gravitational pull at 6-foot-5, 339 pounds. Can start at right tackle from Day One.
25. Seattle Seahawks. Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU. The exact type of project Pete Carroll will embrace. All the talent in the world, but didn’t always maximize it in college.
26. Green Bay Packers. Matt Elam, S, Florida. Need to replace Charles Woodson, and Elam is a big hitter who brings plenty of enthusiasm to the field every game.
27. Houston Texans. Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia. Austin proclaimed himself the best player in the draft at the combine. Gotta love that confidence. He would add a solid second option for Matt Schaub behind Andre Johnson.
28. Denver Broncos. Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama. Interior defensive linemen continue to fly off the board. Williams, who was born in Australia, started every game the last two seasons for the two-time defending national champions.
29. New England Patriots. Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State. The Pats gave up the fourth-most passing yards in 2012. Banks has good height at 6-foot-2, but needs to add weight to his 185-pound frame.
30. Atlanta Falcons. Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford. This pick provided they can’t convince Tony Gonzalez to delay retirement. If they can, Falcons should consider Alabama running back Eddie Lacy.
31. San Francisco 49ers. Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State. Super Bowl showed there are some holes in the secondary for the NFC champions.
32. Baltimore Ravens. Kevin Minter, LB, LSU. Minter has to step into the role vacated by the retirement of Ray Lewis.