Day two of the Breakdown, and we focus on the teens. 19-10 will be a place of volatility this year. Teams who have their hearts set on that 1 player still at the top of their big board and will be willing to pay in future draft picks for the ability to get “their guy.”
19. New York Giants – Bjoern Werner DE/ Florida State – We begin with the home town team which is great because there has been a certain consistency to the Giants mock drafts up until now. The Giants more glaring needs are at CB, OL, and DE. If Texas FS Kenny Vaccaro is available I would have to say that’s the pick, but he has to get past the Dallas Cowboys who desperately need safety help and pick at (18) just before the Giants. Another option for the Giants would be Florida State CB Xavier Rhodes. Other drafts have Rhodes going as high as 12 to the Dolphins so his availability may not even be an option for the Giants. Finally is OLB/ILB Jarvis Jones from Georgia. Jones was considered top ten worthy before half the NFL got scared off from a diagnosis of Spinal Stenosis. If team doctors to medically clear him, he is an explosive a football player as the Giants could ask for and he would play at a position of weakness in the defense. Another position of weakness is DE after the loss of Osi to the Atlanta Falcons. Bjoern Werner really fits the mold of what the Giants look for. His size and weight are nearly identical to what Jason Pierre Paul’s were when he was drafted. They also share some other similarities of which I have spoken at length about in earlier mock drafts. DE’s and DT’s are not hard to come by in 2013; neither are OL for that matter. I’ll mention it again, if Rhodes or Vaccaro falls to the Giants, it’s a no-brainer. I don’t see that happening and therefore am keeping with my pick of Bjoern Werner.
18. Dallas Cowboys –. Kenny Vaccaro, S/Texas – Dallas let Gerald Sensabaugh walk this off season and only have Barry Church coming back off an Achilles injury. The need for a safety has to be a priority for the Cowboys. Vaccaro is a top 12 talent that falls to the Cowboys because of team need. If he gets past the Rams, Dallas will jump at the opportunity. There are also rumors that the Cowboys have fallen in love with North Carolina DT, Sylvester Williams. Williams will help fill a hole at both DT and in DE. I have Williams falling all the way to the Vikings.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers – Jarvis Jones OLB/ Georgia – The National Football Post reported Georgia OLB Jarvis Jones’ neck injury is “starting to look like it might be a non-factor on draft day,” and “there is little chance he falls out of the top ten.” Teams like the Steelers, who run like a well-oiled machine year in and year out are the type of franchise that are encouraged by taking a chance on a guy like Jones. Where so many other teams will pass on him due to his medical red flags, the Steelers, will do their due diligence to find him healthy and a heck of a football player. The release of James Harrison, who just signed in Cincinnati, also makes this move more likely.
16. St. Louis Rams – DeAndre Hopkins, WR/ Clemson – The rams booked two pre-draft workouts with Hopkins, much in the same way they did with Brian Quick last year. Quick was able to be taken in the 2nd round, where I don’t think that Hopkins would make it that far. Hopkins could fill a much needed hole for the Rams as their primary receiver and a guy who can grow in this offense, something Sam Bradford has yet to ever really have. Jeff Fisher may also look for any top offensive lineman that may fall out of the top 15. More and More skill position players will find themselves drafted in the first round, than had been predicted because though they are typically very risky, they also carry the most immediate rewards for their perspective teams.
15. New Orleans Saints – Barkevious Mingo, DE/ LSU – Mingo has been a favorite of Rex Ryan and the Jets, but as we inch closer to draft day, I believe their other needs will be addressed. Tennessee, San Diego, and Miami could all be going with an O-Lineman so Mingo has the potential of falling if the Jets don’t take him. Instead he’ll end up with a different Ryan in New Orleans and immediately put him in as a starter. Mingo has some of the best workout numbers of any prospect during the combine, but there is a fear he is a workout warrior and not a football player.
14. Carolina Panthers – Sheldon Richardson, DT/Missouri – The Panthers statistically had a top 15 defense in 2012 finishing 10th in the league for yards per game allowed. Richardson, who stands 6’2”, 294lbs., became Mizzou’s first-ever All-SEC designee, as he was named to the 2nd-team for his outstanding play. His presence should help solidify Carolina’s front seven.
13. New York Jets (Via Tampa Bay Buccaneers) – Jonathan Cooper, OG/North Carolina – I was certain the Revis deal was going through, but for the Jets sake, I had hoped for more than the #13th pick in this years’ draft. This is where newly hired GM John Idzik will earn his paycheck. My best guess is San Francisco moves up to #13 in order to grab Stanford TE Zach Ertz. San Fran has more picks than any other team in 2013, and Idzik knows he needs to fill more holes than what 1 player can do. He will trade down in the draft to acquire, heck I hope 2-3 picks! If the Jets decide to use this pick, the most recent news thinks the Jets will go with an OL with one of their top 2 picks. That’s great and makes a lot of sense. They can watch and see who may fall from grace into their laps at this point. I anticipate hopefully one of the two top guards to still be available, Cooper or Warmack. I understand the Jets are moving to a west coast offense. This should further influence them to solidify the line since Mark Sanchez had a tough time staying upright when he knew the system he was playing in. Cooper is an uber-talented guard and NFL’s Gil Brandt was quotes as saying he’s “the most purely athletic guard I can remember seeing” coming out of college. Cooper plays with “light feet, great balance,” and also showed a “nasty streak,” consistently “looking for contact.” Cooper is considered by some to be the best guard prospect in the class.
12. Miami Dolphins – Menelik Watson, OT/ Florida State –This kid is very intriguing. He has only played 2 years of football after coming over from Manchester England, but is considered by NFL.com’s Gil Brandt as a “very good offensive lineman.” Pursued by the likes of Oklahoma, Oregon, Auburn, Cal and Rutgers, Watson elected to sign with Florida State where he emerged as a starter in just his second season of playing the sport. The Dolphins have given Watson a lot of attention heading into the draft including two private workouts for the English native.
11. San Diego Chargers – Lane Johnson, OT/ Oklahoma – The new regime of GM Tom Telesco, HC Mike McCoy, and OC Ken Whisenhunt have a lot of work to do to keep the Chargers relevant. Johnson did 28 reps of 225lbs at the combine and with his strength will help Philip Rivers try to redeem himself after getting sacked on 50 of his 587 drop backs. The Bolts’ most glaring need is at left tackle, where Jared Gaither up and quit last season, and Johnson will also help fill the void on the right side where Louis Vasquez played before he departed to Denver. D.J. Fluker could also be a great pick here
10. Tennessee Titans – Chance Warmack, OG/Alabama – Warmack is on the radar for a lot of teams. The question has now become “when to draft a guard?” There is a growing concern that taking a guard early is a bad idea. Who says? I get that guards historically have never been drafted high, but their value is different in today’s more pass happy NFL. CBS Sports has Warmack as the second best prospect in this years’ draft behind only Luke Joeckel. Whatever lineman falls out of the top ten will be wearing Titan blue next year.
Keep an eye out for the top 9 picks tomorrow and we’ll keep you updated on all the latest news.
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