Can you believe the 2013 NFL Draft is only 3 days away?!? Even though the draft prospects have gone through all the drills and interviews they could possibly be exposed to, there are several players moving up, while others are seeing their stock dip mightily. Ryan Nassib seems to be finding his draft stock escalating rapidly. So much that many believe he will be the No. 1 quarterback drafted. See why George Banko believes Nassib will be the steal of this year's draft. As for Geno Smith? Well, we've seen players ranked No. 1 for months in the offseason, only to see them slide down the list. Will the top 10 remain relatively the same?
This might look different than Kiper's usual mock draft. In the intro, Kiper goes on to say:
In the Grade A draft, I make a pick for each team at each spot, based on my projected needs and my prospect grades. Again, it is not a mock draft, but instead a look at how I would pick for each team at each spot.
1.1 Detroit Lions (via Kansas City) - Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama (Original Pick: Kansas City - Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M)
Every year the team with the No. 1 pick entertains offers to move down. It hasn't happened very often. But now that there is a rookie salary cap in place, a team with a huge hole at a certain spot can feel better about moving up without throwing tons of money at a player who has yet to take an NFL snap. But will the Lions want to sacrifice a boat-load of draft picks in order to secure the No. 1 corner in the draft? To secure the rights to RG3 and move up to No. 2 from No. 6 in 2012, the Redskins had to trade their first-round selections in 2012 (6th), 2013, and 2014, and a 2012 second-round selection. The Lions need more help outside of corner. And moving from No. 5 to No. 1 might come at an even steeper price. But if the Lions truly believe their defense is one player away from being good enough to stop the likes of Green Bay, they will pull the trigger.
1.2 Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14) - Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M (Original Pick: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan)
With the Chiefs out of the running for Koeckel, the Jaguars find themselves in a very solid situation as they lock up the No. 1 offensive tackle in the draft. I won't go through the explanation of why Joeckel should be the top option, so I will leave my previous explanation alone.
Eugene Monroe is set to make $3.8 million on the last year of his rookie deal in 2013 and could command top dollar in free agency next year. Fisher taking over in 2014 will not only keep the state of the left side of the offensive line intact, but will also be an excellent backup plan should they not be able to bring Monroe back. With Blaine Gabbert looking like the starter for at least one more season, getting more help on offense will help the team's front office evaluate whether or not Gabbert is as good as they think he can be.
1.3 Oakland Raiders (4-12) - Shariff Floyd, DT, Florida (Original Pick: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah)
Floyd has been getting a lot of hype recently, but is most of it media generated? Two separate NFL scouts told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel on 4/22 that Floyd is "overrated, " with one scout saying "Those idiots on TV made Floyd. He's not that good. He's not better than Ziggy Hood." Floyd is battling Utah's Star Lotulele as the first defensive tackle off the board. If the Raiders believe the same way and pass, Floyd could fall out of the top 10 completely.
With Milliner off the board, it makes sense for the Eagles to continue building towards their new 3-4 defense with one of the top overall prospects in this year's draft still available. They sealed up Connor Barwin, but you can never have too many solid linebackers to compete for a starting spot. Jordan is one of the safest picks of the draft if he winds up getting past the Jaguars.
If Andy Reid can trade down, nab more picks in this year's and next year's draft and STILL grab a top offensive tackle, it will be a really good start to the draft. Nabbing Fisher not only solidifies a position of need, but will also help the team build upon Reid's first year. The bigger question is how Reid will position the team in the rest of the draft. Reid had a track record of reaching for players while with the Eagles.
1.6 San Diego Chargers (via Cleveland) - Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma (Original Pick: Cleveland - Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon)
The Browns will slip down to No. 11 overall, with Kiper having them take Alabama OG Chance Warmack. Like the Chiefs, slipping down and getting more picks while also still landing a top position of need for Trent Richardson is a huge plus for a new front office regime. If the Chargers want Philip Rivers to stay upright, landing Johnson is huge. His value has shot up in recent weeks, but the Chargers may have easily stayed at No. 11 and still landed the guy they wanted.
1.7 Arizona Cardinals (5-11) - Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU (Original Pick: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia)
After the Cardinals were able to steal Carson Palmer on the cheap, quarterback isn't as pressing a need this year when there will be much more talent coming out in 2014. Offensive line still remains a concern, but landing Mingo makes sense as the defense tries to find it's footing again in the front seven.
1.8 Buffalo Bills (6-10) - Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU (Original Pick: Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia)
Ryan Nassib is really gaining momentum, so I still would not be surprised to see the Bills take the plunge and reunite their new coach with his former college quarterback. There is no doubt that the defense needs plenty of help across from Mario Williams, but landing a franchise quarterback as the new face of the team will help a shaky front office.
1.9 New York Jets (6-10) - Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia (Original Pick: Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU)
As if the team needed another hole to plug, dumping their best defensive player in Darrelle Revis to the Buccaneers may have saved the team the trouble in the salary cap department and a future re-signing. But with Revis gone, the defense can ill afford to make any mistakes in this draft. Jones is a good start for a team that has literally no pass rush, but Rex Ryan will have his hands full this year trying to make up for Revis' departure.
1.10 Tennessee Titans (6-10) Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina (Original Pick: Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina)
Kiper has the Titans staying put and also drafting the second best guard in the draft. No change here, but below is my original analysis:
Much like the Jaguars and Gabbert, the Titans will need to continue to improve the offensive line so they can evaluate Jake Locker. Rated as one of the top inside lineman before the Combine, Cooper's stock skyrocketed after putting in a strong bench press number and running much faster in the 40 considering he had added 30 pounds since the end of the college year. Cooper is a guy you can stick in at guard and forget about the position for 10 years.
Disagree? Agree? Want to rip me a new a-hole on something you REALLY don't agree with? Leave a comment below.