NFL Team Needs and Mock Draft

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The 2013 NFL season is less than two weeks away from officially beginning.

All though there won’t be any actual games played until September, the free agency period begins on March 12 and the Draft is on April 25. The work and preparation that all 32 teams put into their off-season recruiting is intricate to success-no matter how small the transaction may seem- in the upcoming season (would the Ravens had made it very far without picking up Jacoby Jones?).

1.) Kansas City Chiefs- You don’t get to be the first-overall pick in the draft without having a ton of holes in all three phases of the game. The Chiefs made a minor upgrade by acquiring QB Alex Smith from the 49ers (for the 34th overall pick). They still have plenty of other areas of need and with the first overall pick they can select the best athlete that fills the greatest need.

Needs: OL, WR, DL, LB

PICK:  Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

2.) Jacksonville Jaguars- The Jags are probably the least talented team in the NFL. If it weren’t for injuries to many of the Chiefs players, Jacksonville would own the number one pick. While settling for with the (oddly appropriate) number two pick, the Jags can make a splash on their roster with anyone they choose. (Our recommendation would be to shop this pick and gain more picks to fill more areas of need)

Needs: QB, WR, OL, DL, LB, DB

PICK: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida

3.) Oakland Raiders- Oakland is one of the few teams in the top half of the draft that is truly rebuilding. With that being said, they need to restock their offensive firepower and protection. The success of Colin Kaepernick across the bay in San Francisco has the Raiders brass looking to Terrelle Pryor as their own version of the Read-Option QB. As the niners and Seahawks have shown, you need to have a good running game and a great offensive line to protect your signal caller. With Darren McFadden in the backfield, the O-line should be their main focus in the first round with wideout being the next investment.

Needs: WR, QB, OL, TE, DL

PICK: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

4.) Philadelphia Eagles-  Another team that is rebuilding, the Eagles have plenty of need along the offensive and defensive lines. There is also a lot of need in Philly’s defensive backfield. With Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie an Unrestricted Free Agent, and Nnamdi Asomugha performing well below his contractual expectations, the secondary is in dire need of a makeover.

Needs: OL, DL, DB, WR

PICK: Sheldon Richardson, DE/OLD, Missouri

5.) Detroit Lions- Easily last year’s most disappointing team in the NFL, after returning to prominence in the 2011 season. Detroit has a gaping need for a running back and with the free agency pool being a pretty good short-term solution for them, the Lions could go after a speedy running back like Reggie Bush to help fill a desperate need. Leaving the long-neglected defensive back  position as a strong possibility for Detroit’s first-round draft pick.

Needs:RB, DB, LB

PICK: DeMarcus Milliner, CB, Alabama

6.) Cleveland Browns- The Browns are-yet again- entering a rebuilding phase with a new front office and coaching staff. Cleveland seems to have finally nailed it with one of their top-10 picks in Trent Richardson but still have a lot of development to do with second-year QB Brandon Weeden. If they can get him some extra targets to throw to and some protection in this draft, Weeden should be able to avoid a sophomore slump.

Needs: OL, WR, LB

PICK: Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon

7.) Arizona Cardinals- Arizona is not far away from having a contending team, granted one of their biggest missing pieces is a NFL caliber QB. If they can land a guy in either free agency or the draft who can get the ball to Larry Fitzgerald and protect the ball, the Cards could be a wild card contender. They started the season 4-0, based off of the strong play from their defense. There isn’t much to improve there. The offense needs a heavy overhaul and Beanie Wells to stay healthy.

Needs: QB, LB, WR, OL

PICK: Chance Warmak, G, Alabama

8.) Buffalo Bills-  General Manager, Buddy Nix has said he is looking to draft a QB who can take the reigns of the Bills for the next 10+ years and bring them back to glory. Despite a quiet season from Mario Williams (10.5 sacks) the Bills are another team who are not too far away from being contenders. The defense is stacked with talent and the offensive line is fantastic. Between CJ Spiller- finally proving himself- and Fred Jackson (when healthy) splitting carries and creating a dominant running attack, the Bills need some receiver depth and consistent QB play.

Needs: WR, QB

PICK: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia

9.) New York Jets-  Where don’t the Jets need help? This team should just be able to lay out their top 10 players on a board, throw a dart and hand in the card to Roger Goodell. Mark Sanchez is all but done in New York. Rex Ryan won’t be too far behind if this season flops like the team did in 2012

Needs: QB, RB, WR, OL, DL, LB

PICK: Ezekiel Ansah, DE/OLB, BYU

10.) Tennessee Titans- Their a team with with a lot of uncertainty. They have the underachieving, overpaid Chris Johnson. A QB in Jake Locker who can’t stay healthy and of course the aged Matt Hasselbeck. There are plenty of holes to fill on this team. Number one should be keeping Locker healthy should be their top priority, while also supplying him with weapons.

Needs: OL, DB, WR

PICK: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma

11.) San Diego Chargers- Chargers fans need to brace themselves for a coming change. Phillip Rivers and Antonio Gates are past their prime and Ryan Matthews has been ineffective as the game changing running back the front office was hoping he’d be and injury prone.

Needs: QB, OL, DL

PICK: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State

12.) Miami Dolphins- Miami is going to see a major face lift all along their roster. The anchor to their offensive line, Jake Long is all but gone. Brian Hartline is a free agent. Inside lineman, Randy Starks will command a high price on the market. Offensively, getting a new starting left tackle is the smart choice. However defense could prove to be a larger need and they could go with a replacement for Starks.

Needs: OL, Dl, WR, DB

PICK: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee

13.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers- The Bucs are a team that seems to have a ton of potential but can’t quite reach it. They also don’t benefit from playing in the same division as the Falcons and Saints. There aren’t many holes for them to fill. Just adding depth and getting younger at key positions. QB Josh Freeman may only have one more year to prove himself before he get’s jettisoned for a younger QB

Needs: DB, OL, TE

PICK: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington

14.) Carolina Panthers- Offensively the Panthers should be fine for a few more years. Adding depth and an heir apparent to Steve Smith should be addressed somewhere in this draft, but is not a huge need. With Rookie of the Year Luke Kuechley and the return of Jon Beason should solidify a very good linebacking unit. If they can get healthy in the secondary and improve the pass rush, Carolina will be right back in the playoff hunt.

Needs: DL, DB, WR

PICK: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

15.) New Orleans Saints- With the suspension of head coach Sean Payton being lifted and new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan arriving, defense should be the key focus for the Saints draft weekend. The suspension of Payton showed holes in the Saints team and where upgrades need to take place. 

Needs: DL, LB, DB

PICK: Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU

16.) St. Louis Rams- Jeff Fisher will begin his second year as Rams head coach by addressing key needs along the offensive line to protect Sam Bradford and getting him weapons to throw to. If these needs are met the Rams should find themselves in the middle of a playoff race.

Needs: RB, OL, WR

PICK: Johnathan Cooper, OG/C, North Carolina

17.) Pittsburgh Steelers- The Steelers are getting old pretty much everywhere on the team. If they want to contend in the short term and can’t resign Mike Wallace they will need to restock their offensive weapons. In the past, Pittsburgh has been a run first team, but with Wallace’s emergence as a deep threat and the lack of production out of the backfield, QB Ben Roethlisberger has found himself dropping back more often than I’m sure even he’d like.

Needs: RB, WR, DL, LB, DB

PICK: Jarvis Jones, DE/OLB, Georgia

18.) Dallas Cowboys- Another team that has a Super Bowl’s worth of potential, but can’t quite tap into it, Dallas needs to find a solution to getting Tony Romo to the playoffs and a Super Bowl. At age 32 Romo may only have 2-3 years left of good football. If Jerry Jones can find a way to put his ego aside and let someone else take the reigns (won’t happen) the Cowboys could be contenders again. 

Needs: OL, DB, DL

PICK: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas

19.) New York Giants- Offensively, the Giants don’t have much to improve on. Adding depth is all they really need to do. The only thing holding the G-men back this past season was inconsistency and injuries.

Needs: DL, DB, LB

PICK: Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia

20.) Chicago Bears- The Bears can go in any direction this offseason, they are getting old on defense and need to continue to stock Jay Cutler with weapons. Julius Peppers may only have a few years left before he retires. Brian Urlacher appears to be all but gone. Where the Bears second-year GM, Phil Emery, chooses to go in the draft could make or break his campaign in Chicago this season.

Needs: OL, LB, DL, TE, DB

PICK: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame

21.) Cincinnati Bengals- The Bengals are a team that suffers from being in a division with as much talent as they have and more experience. With Ray Lewis retiring and Pittsburgh getting old, this season could prove to be the one that gets Cincy back in the division race and not just in the wild card hunt.

Needs: DB, LB, RB

PICK: Damontre Moore, DE/OLB, Texas A&M

22.) St. Louis (Via Washington)-

Needs: RB, OL, WR

PICK: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia

23.) Minnesota Vikings- The Vikings face a lot of tough decisions: Do they trade the disgruntled Percy Harvin? Do they try to pursue receivers via free agency to try and compliment his abilities and get defenses to respect them? The only question they don’t have to worry about asking is what will Adrian Peterson do for an encore? If it’s even 2/3s of what he did this past season, they should find themselves in the playoff hunt again.

Needs: WR, LB, DB

PICK: Xavier Rhodes, CB/S, Florida State

24.) Indianapolis Colts- Indy’s youth infusion needs to continue. Finding a receiver to replace the aging Reggie Wayne should be addressed somewhere in the draft. But focusing on defensive depth and running back should be the Colts top priority. 

Needs: RB, WR, DL

PICK: DJ Fluker, OT, Alabama

25.) Seattle Seahawks- Seattle is another team that seems to have nowhere to go but up. They have good depth all over. The ‘hawks pretty much just need to replace any potential free agency departures and build towards a bright future.

Needs: DL, LB, WR

PICK: Kawann Short, DT, Purdue

26.) Green Bay Packers- There a plenty of holes for them to fix on the defensive and offensive line. But priority number one should be to get a legitimate number one running back. The offensive line could use an upgrade, more than an overhaul and the defense could just keep using more depth if they want to keep their Super Bowl window open.

Needs: RB, OL, DL, LB

PICK: Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina

27.) Houston Texans- Houston’s window to get to and win a Super Bowl is still wide open. They just need to put their newfound playoff experience to good use once the season starts. Drafting a complimentary (and eventual replacement) receiver to Andre Johnson should be at the top of the list for the Texans.

Needs: LB, WR

PICK: Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU

28.) Denver Broncos- The Broncos have a very short opportunity to get back to a Super Bowl with Peyton Manning at the helm. John Elway knows first hand how important a consistent running game is to help a team lift the Lombardi Trophy. This is where Denver will go in the first round, almost no question about it.

Needs: RB, DB, DL

PICK: Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama 

29.) New England Patriots- Upgrades all along the defensive side of the ball will help the Patriots continue to dominate the regular season and their division. But their too old and thin on offense to sustain a deep playoff run. The front office should begin preparing for the end of an era in New England and maybe make a push for one final run to get Tom Brady and Bill Belichick ring number four.

Needs: DL, LB, DB, WR

PICK: Keenan Allen, WR, Cal

30.) Atlanta Falcons- With the release of Michael Turner the running game is going to rely heavily on Jacquizz Rodgers, an untested, mostly third down back. Running back could be a high priority for the balanced Atlanta offense. But finding replacements for John Abraham and picking up the slack for Ray Edwards would be equally as important.

Needs: RB, DL, TE

PICK: Datone Jones, DE, UCLA

31.) San Francisco 49ers- San Francisco’s pass rush should keep their secondary from showing any glaring holes from any potential free agency departures. But filling those holes will be on the top of their to-do list. Getting depth and replacing Randy Moss and Mario Manningham will also be on the draft list.

Needs: DB, WR

PICK: Johnathan Cyprien, S, Florida International

32.) Baltimore Ravens- Replacing a player of Ray Lewis’ caliber is never easy. However, if the Ravens want to be the first team to repeat as NFL champs since the 03-04 Patriots, they will need to fill that void left by Lewis’ retirement.

Needs: LB, DL, DB

PICK: Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State

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Josh

What's up, interwebs? It's time to get to know me a bit. I'm a nerd, just like you! I enjoy gaming, comics (of the book variety), books, cartoons, TV shows, sports and the internet! I'm a 90s kid at heart and always will be. As of right now my favorite comic book is Hawkeye by Matt Fraction. My favorite game series are a mix-mash of Portal, Mass Effect, and Assassin's Creed. My favorite shows are How I Met Your Mother, Scrubs, Wipeout, Young Justice and American Dad (to name a few). Plus a few old school shows thrown in here and there: Animaniacs, Batman: The Animated Series, Justice League (Unlimited), Tiny Toons, Power Puff Girls... You get the idea. I hope you like my stuff! (No not my STUFF, get your head out of the gutter)

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