2013 NFL Draft: Final Mock Draft Grades


The New England Patriots are still the AFC East’s Daddy.

For years, it has been such because, for years, the other General Managers and coaches in the division always proved to be too immature to inherit the crown from the Patriots.

Apr 25, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New England Patriots former player Joe Andruzzi (left) and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell make a Boston Strong presentation during the 2013 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday night’s first round of the 2013 Draft is a perfect example of that.

The New York Jets, Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins all were quite active in the round, looking for a way to get the impact players they need to compete with New England.  After all, the key to building a team is to build it to compete against the teams in your division – but all of this time, they’ve been building their teams to try and compete with the Patriots, always ending up beating up on each other instead…

…and it’s cute, right?  The children competing for Daddy’s admiration?  The fans of these teams are outraged this morning as the Jets, Bills and Dolphins once again proved why they are the Jets, Bills and Dolphins.

New York traded their star cornerback to Tampa for their first round pick – so having the 9th and 13th overall selections, they seemed to have the draft by the short hairs, until Buffalo traded down with St. Louis, the Rams taking the receiver that Rex Ryan coveted and sending Ryan scrambling for his backup plan…

…and this after the Dolphins set an ominous tone for the draft by trading up from the early teens to #3 overall, taking a player who is a medical red flag and may start the season on the PUP list.  New York followed that up by drafting a good corner with the 9th pick, but then blew everyone sideways by taking a 2nd round tackle at 13…

…and the Bills took their trade down pick from St. Louis and drafted a quarterback that they could have easily had in the second round.

Doesn’t make sense, does it?

These teams had a direct impact not only on the draft itself, but on our mock draft, which would have been a monumental success had the kiddies behaved themselves.

Regardless, We ended up being correct on Eight of our picks, had the proper position selected seven times and suffered through trades that affected seven teams selections – and here is how we graded the selections:

1. Kansas City Chiefs: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

There were rumblings about Fisher going 1st overall in the days leading up to the draft, but we declined to change our mock on subjectivity – and it cost us as the Chiefs went with the more versatile and nastier run blocker Fisher…Grade B

(Our pick: Luke Joeckel, LT, Texas A&M)

2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

There was tons of speculation that the Jags would take Jordan, But when Kansas City decided to take Fisher instead of Joeckel as the top pick in the draft, Jacksonville jumped on the chance at the franchise left tackle.  Now for a quarterback…Grade A

(Our pick: Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon)

3. Miami Dolphins (from Oakland): Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon

Miami had said all week that they wanted to move up in the draft, and when Jordan dropped to the Raiders at #3, the Dolphins made their move.  Jordan has some medical issues and could start camp on the PUP list, so it was a calculated gamble that may or may not pay off…Grade B

4. Philadelphia Eagles – Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma

Did anyone see this coming?  Obviously we didn’t, but with the Eagles in need of some many position players, they went with the safe bet and got their franchise tackle.  Now Chip Kelly can go crazy with his Bubble Screens, if he has any weapons to throw to…Grade A

(Our pick: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama)

5. Detroit Lions – Ezikiel Ansah, DE, BYU

With Fisher being taken #1 overall, along with two of the other top tackles in the class, the Lions turned to defense in a big way, taking the freakishly athletic Ansah.  Dude is a beast and should improve the already potent Lions pass rush…Grade A

(Our pick: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan)

6. Cleveland Browns – Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU

The Browns didn’t miss on this one, though it’s curious as to why they gave Paul Kruger many dollars and then draft Mingo.  We had them taking Ziggy Ansah because they had repeatedly said they needed more pass rush – and since the Lions got to Ziggy first…Grade B

(Our pick: Ezekiel Ansah, OLB/DE, Brigham Young)

7. Arizona Cardinals – Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina

Philadelphia’s surprise pick of Lane Johnson stunned the Cardinals and sent them into Plan B mode, but Cooper is no ordinary alternate plan.  They still scored with Cooper and made their line just that much better.  We’re kind of thinking they take a Tackle in the second round…Grade A

(Our pick: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma)

8. St. Louis Rams (from Buffalo) – Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia

We had the Rams taking Austin at 16, so we’re counting this as a win.  Jeff Fisher is not screwing around, and the Rams may emerge from this draft just as dangerous as their west coast brethren…Grade A+

( Our pick: Buffalo Bills – Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee)

9. New York Jets – Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

Buffalo trading down to allow St. Louis to leap frog the Jets for Tavon Austin was very well played by the Bills, so Plan B for the Jets was to take the best corner off the board, and now they have Darrelle Revis’ replacement – and at not nearly the expense…Grade A+

(Our pick: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, Louisiana State)

10. Tennessee Titans – Chance Warmack, G, Auburn

The Dolphins trading up to #3 had a trickle down effect on this mock and on the rest of the first round, forcing many teams to resort to alternative plans.  This is a prime example, as the Titans had Cooper more highly rated but ended up getting a fantastic guard nonetheless…Grade A

(Our pick: Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina)

11. San Diego Chargers – D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama

This is where the mock started to even out a little, and we nailed a few.  Miami’s movement still had an effect, but Fluker came up right where the Chargers had him and the snatched him right up…Grade A

(Our pick: Fluker)

12. Oakland Raiders (from Miami) – D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston

When the Raiders drink kool-aid, they really drink it.  A very late riser on the board as he was just very recently cleared to resume his football career after a freak accident at practice last season almost killed him.  With his heart repaired, he blasted onto the scene and the media hyped him and Oakland got him.  It’s a risk, but since when did that ever bother Al Davis?  Oh, wait.  Nevermind…Grade B

(Our pick: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State)

13. New York Jets (from Tampa) – Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri

When the Jets took Milliner at #9, we knew this pick was a goner – but this pick blindsided many fans and experts alike.  O.k., it hit everybody.  A second round talent, when – if they wanted a defensive tackle – the Best Tackle In The Class was still on the board.  Even Kiper was speechless, so if that’s what it takes to do that, we won’t give the Jets an F…Grade D+

(Our pick: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington)

14. Carolina Panthers – Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

The Panthers stayed the course and, thanks to Rex Ryan, was able to grab the player they really wanted.  He will terrorize Carolina’s opponents for a decade or more…Grade A+

(Our pick: Lotulelei)

15. New Orleans Saints – Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas

This was the pick all along, and they that all of the elite offensive linemen would be long gone by #15, and knew that no one was going to try and trade up to take Vaccaro.  The best player on a bad defense, it remains to be seen what real impact he’ll have, but at the middle of the 1st round, it’s good value…Grade A

(Our pick: Vaccaro)

16. Buffalo Bills – E. J. Manuel, QB, Florida State

The Bills had the opportunity to do something proper here and they blew it all to hell.  With the picks they got from St. Louis, they could easily have gotten Manuel down the board, but instead they reach for the big kid.  Not a bad player, but Buffalo could have gotten an elite receiver at this point and take Manuel with the later picks.  This one is going to hurt for a while…Grade D

(Our pick: St Louis Rams – Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia)

17. Pittsburgh Steelers – Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia

The Steelers are so smart – at least when it comes to evaluation.  They had this kid targeted, did their film work, their interviews and medical tests and looked at the entire package and not just Jones’ back issue.  They will reap the rewards of this pick for years…Grade A+

(Our pick: Jones)

18. San Francisco 49ers (from Dallas) – Eric Reid, SS, LSU

Well, a safety was taken here, but not the one we had picked, and not by the team we thought would be picking here.  The Niners scored big with the top rated safety on our board.  With he will be more than sufficient to replace the departed Dashon Goldson…Grade A

(Our pick: Dallas Cowboys – Matt Elam, SS, Florida)

19. New York Giants – Justin Pugh, G, Syracuse

This was where the draft went sideways.  Granted, the Giants could always use an upgrade at the position, but they have major issues on the defensive line – And while the Giants said they had him targeted all along, Pugh remains a big reach and could have been had in the second round…Grade C

(Our pick: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State)

20. Chicago Bears – Kyle Long, G, Oregon

The Bears reached a bit here as well, but at least they took a player in a need position.  Long is a project and probably would have slid to them in the second round, but we also thought Warmack would slip to #20…Grade B

(Our pick: Chance Warmack, G, Alabama)

21. Cincinnati Bengals – Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame

This one came out of left field as well, especially so now that the team has publicly stated that Jermaine Gresham remains the starting tight end.  It appears that the Cats are going to be producing their own “3 Personnel” packages.  Hopefully QB Andy Dalton is up to the task.  The need was at safety, and they still could score Cyprien in the second round…Grade B-

(Our pick: Jonathan Cyprien, SS, Florida International)

22. Atlanta Falcons (from St. Louis) – Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington

Excellent trade up for the Falcons who were probably thinking that Trufant wouldn’t make it past Indianapolis at 24 and certainly not the Patriots at 29.  Excellent move by the Rams as well…Grade A

(Our pick: St. Louis Rams – Eric Reid, S, Louisiana State)

23. Minnesota Vikings – Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida

How excited do you think the Vikings were to have this monster fall to them at 23?  The steal of the first round by far…Grade A+

(Our pick: Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State)

24. Indianapolis Colts – Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State

The Colts were a tricky one to try and guess, and they had their pick of many players that fell from their pre-draft status, so they decided it would be prudent to upgrade in their pass rush.  They got a really good player for this late in the draft…Grade B

(Our pick: D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston)

25. Minnesota Vikings – Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State

The Minnesota Vikings were the unrivaled winners of this draft’s 1st round.  First they had the top rated defensive tackle fall to them at 23, then the top rated press corner at 25?  Most of time it pays to stay put and take what comes your way…Grade A+

(Our pick: Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame)

26. Green Bay Packers – Datone Jones, DE, UCLA

This has all the signs of a targeted pick.  The Packers along with the Patriots and Ravens are known squatters that will stand their ground and take the players that fall to them, often trading down if a targeted player doesn’t fall to them to get better value in a lower round, but I we were cheering the Packers on right along with Gruden to take Lacy…Grade B+

(Our pick: Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama)

27. Houston Texans – DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson

Houston no longer has the issue of not having a bookend for Johnson.  Hopkins fits right into thier scheme and he fell right into their lap…Grade A

(Our pick: Hopkins)

28. Denver Broncos – Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina

The Broncos get a terrific defensive tackle, one that we had potentially falling to the Patriots.  He has all the tools to be a disruptor in the middle of that line…Grade B

(Our pick: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M)

29. Minnesota Vikings (from New England) Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee

The stunning draft continued for the Vikings, though many feel that they gave up way too much to move back into the first round, but they got another spectacular talent that fell way down the board.  When he was available at 29, the called Bill…Grade A

(Our pick: Markus Wheaton, WR, Oregon State)

30. St. Louis Rams – Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia

The Rams pulled a major coup in selected the talented Ogletree.  He was the best player on a solid defense and the fact that he’s a former safety has Fisher drooling at the possibilites…Grade A+

(Our pick: Atlanta Falcons –  Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State)

31. Dallas Cowboys (from San Francisco) – Travis Frederick, C, Wisconsin

Another head scratcher.  We had Frederick as a solid second day pick, but Dallas reached for him with a trade back.  Jerry Jones said he had Frederick targeted the whole way, so maybe he thought it wouldn’t seem as big a stretch at 31?  No, Jerry.  It still is…Grade C

(Our pick: San Francisco 49ers – Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame)

32. Baltimore Ravens – Matt Elam, SS, Florida

We had Ogletree pegged for this spot because of his experience at safety and his ability to provide a physical presence in pass defense.  But he was gone, so the Ravens went with a very good safety.  Smaller than what they are used to in Baltimore, but a nice pick anyway…Grade B

(Our pick: Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia)