It’s unrealistic enough trying to forecast picks for all 32 teams in the NFL when odds are the general managers for each team haven’t even zeroed in on a specific guy yet. You add in trades and things get even crazier. However, trades happen every year and this time around will be no different so it’s my job to take a stab at which ones will take place.
Not solely for your reading entertainment, I have the Buffalo Bills projected as a trade partner on the first day of the 2013 draft. I genuinely believe Buddy Nix is desperate to move down the board far enough to still be able to get his guy and pick up another pick in the top half of this draft.
Thanks to a cornerback-starved team, I think it actually is going to happen.
The more I study this 2013 crop of prospects, the harder it becomes to forecast landing spots. There is rarely a consensus on the best players at any position and that holds true this year much more than others. If you take a list of the five best quarterback prospects in this class from 10 different experts, I submit to you that no two will exactly be the same.
The one thing I’m very confident in is that the Bills will use their first two selections on either quarterback or wide receiver. That seems obvious on the surface but in case you haven’t noticed, the Bills have shown any urgency to replace guard Andy Levitre in free agency, which means the position will be addressed in the draft. Chance Warmack, should he be on the board at eight will be intriguing to Nix, who surely has him ranked pretty high on his board.
If Dee Milliner or Dion Jordan happen to slip down to the eighth pick, things could get very interesting. For now, I’m paying Geno Smith no mind. Don’t listen to what other mocksters are telling you—the kid is going to be gone before the Bills are on the clock. Bank on it.
This mock differs from my first published on February 27, and I’m sure the next one (in a few weeks) will have a different look as well. But without further ado, here’s my second crack at a 2013 mock draft, going as far as Buffalo’s pick at No. 41.
1. Kansas City- Luke Joeckel, OT (Texas A&M): The trade for Alex Smith and release of Eric Winston, not to mention a probable trade of Brandon Albert make this pick a slam dunk, even if Andy Reid denies it. The only question to me is if they take Joeckel or Eric Fisher at the top. For now I’ll stick with what I had the first time.
2. Jacksonville- Sharif Floyd, DT (Florida): At nearly 300 pounds this kid ran a 4.92 at the Combine. By the way—he can also play. Jacksonville can go in a variety of directions as Milliner and Fisher could be in the mix, but Floyd ultimately will be the pick. I will admit I’m starting to warm up to the idea of Geno Smith.
3. Oakland- Geno Smith, QB (West Virgina): Sorry, Bills fans. Carson Palmer doesn’t cut it anymore and the Raiders got no one else behind him of worth. Smith may not be the next Andrew Luck but he’s clearly the best quarterback in this draft, and the Raiders aren’t going to let him pass by.
4. Philadelphia- Dion Jordan, DE (Oregon): Not only is he is a Chip Kelly guy, he’s a huge need in Philadelphia. If he happened to fall to eight the Bills would jump all over him.
5. Detroit- Dee Milliner, CB (Alabama): Detroit would sprint to the podium to hand in their card with his name on it, even though offensive tackle (Fisher) is equally as big a need.
6. Cleveland- Chance Warmack, G (Alabama): He’s not glamorous but in terms of straight draft grades I’d bet he’s very high on most boards.
7. Arizona- Eric Fisher, OT (Central Michigan): I don’t buy what new coach Bruce Ariens is saying about having confidence in Drew Stanton as a starter, but I don’t think the quarterback is coming this early, although Matt Barkley will be linked to this team plenty after his Pro Day on March 27.
8. Tampa Bay (TRADE) – Xavier Rhodes, CB (Florida State): There you have it, the Bills get the trade down I’m confident they want. I predict the Bucs fail to land Darrelle Revis and make this move to ensure getting the second best corner in the draft. For their efforts the Bills will and Tampa’s third-round (73rd overall pick) to move down six spots. I haven’t seen Rhodes this high in other mock drafts, but from what I gather this guy will be a top ten pick come draft day.
9. NY Jets- Cordarrelle Patterson, WR (Tennessee): I had Patterson going to the Bills in my first draft and if they stay at eight and/or don’t take a quarterback with their first selection, he’s still my pick. I hear the Jets are very interested in him…and they should be.
10. Tennessee- Ezekiah Ansah, DE/LB (BYU):
11. San Diego- Barkevious Mingo, LB (LSU):
12. Miami- Lane Johnston, T, (Oklahoma):
13. Buffalo (TRADE)- Ryan Nassib, QB (Syracuse): I’ve done everything I can to avoid selecting Nassib, at least in part because he’s been such the obvious pick. I can’t do that anymore. When it’s all said and done I think Nassib is their guy and has been all along. After cooling off in the draft buzz market Nassib steam is picking up. The Bills are an organization that appears to be telegraphing their offseason direction and with his head coach and offensive coordinator from Syracuse now in tow in Buffalo, it simply makes too much sense to not go this way. If you think otherwise you’re probably overanalyzing every other quarterback. I wouldn’t be shocked if they took him at eight at this point, if they couldn’t find a trade down partner.
A lot of people will talk about E.J. Manuel to Buffalo and I don’t hate the idea at all, but my gut tells me Nassib will be the guy behind center on opening week in 2013. I feel very strongly that the next Bills quarterback is going to be either Nassib or Manuel, with Nassib getting the edge because of staff familiarity.
14. Carolina- Star Lotulelei, DT (Utah):
15.New Orleans- Jarvis Jones, LB (Georgia):
16. St. Louis- Tavon Austin, WR (West Virigina):
17. Pittsburgh- Desmond Trufant, CB (Washington):
18. Dallas- Kenny Vacarro, S (Texas):
19. NY Giants- Alec Ogletree, LB (Georgia): Don’t be surprised to hear Ogletree’s name connected to the Bills in the final days leading up to the draft.
20. Chicago- Jonathan Cooper, G (North Carolina):
21. Philadelphia (TRADE)- E.J. Manuel, QB (Florida State): I think Chip Kelly’s interest in E.J. Manuel is very real. So real, in fact they work a trade with Cincinnati to move up for him. Michael Vick won’t last very long in Philadelphia and this kid can learn for a year or two. The Eagles move up because I think he gets snatched up in the late first-round otherwise.
22. St. Louis- Keenan Allen, WR (California):
23. Minnesota- Jonathan Banks, CB (Mississippi State):
24. Indianapolis- D.J. Fluker, OT (Alabama): As long as Andrew Luck is my quarterback I’d keep drafting an offensive linemen in the first round for the duration of his career.
25. Seattle- Sheldon Richardson, DT (Missouri):
26. Green Bay-.Eddie Lacy, RB (Alabama):
27. Jacksonville (TRADE) – Matt Barkley, QB (USC): Barkley has been on the board long enough. The Jags move up six spots to grab Barkley via Houston and the Blaine Gabbert era officially hits life support. For the record, if Barkley is on the board at 27 and Houston keeps the pick I think they’d take him too.
28. Denver- Jamar Taylor, CB (Boise State):
29. New England- Robert Woods, WR (USC): For what it’s worth—I think Woods will become the steal of the first round.
30. Atlanta- Tyler Eifert, TE (Notre Dame):
31. NY Jets (TRADE)- Arthur Brown, LB (Kansas State): Even though talks apparently fell apart between the Jets and San Francisco 49ers regarding a Revis trade, I think they’ll pick back up and this will be his landing spot. New York will not only get this end of the first round pick but at least two to three more conditionally. Jets coach Rex Ryan would love to have a linebacker like Arthur Brown on his defense.
32. Baltimore- Kevin Minter, LB (LSU):
33. Houston (TRADE)- Manti Teo, LB (Notre Dame): I still can’t believe how much he’s fallen in a few months. Last December I remember trying to figure out how many games the Bills had to lose over the final three weeks to see where they stood in the Te’o sweepstakes.
34. San Francisco- Margus Hunt, DE (SMU):
35. Cincinnati (TRADE)- Menilik Watson, OT: Traded their first rounder to Philadelphia and still get a quality tackle prospect.
36. Detroit- Cornelius Carradine, DE (Florida State):
37. Cincinnati- Quinton Patton, WR (Louisiana Tech): The Bills would love to get their hands on him in this round. Don’t think that’s going to happen.
38. Arizona- Mike Glennon, QB (North Carolina State): I’m very confident whether it’s standing firm or moving up the Cardinals are going to end up with Glennon. A perfect fit for an Ariens offense.
39. NY Jets- Datone Jones, DE (UCLA): After going receiver at nine the Jets are clearly turning back to defense. Ryan knows he’s coaching for his job in 2013.
40. Tennessee- David Amerson, CB (North Carolina State):
41. Buffalo- Aaron Dobson, WR (Marshall): I’m reasonably confident plenty of Bills fans have never heard of Dobson. You should start to get to know him. I’ve heard for a few months Buddy Nix really likes this guy, and he fits wonderfully into what he’s looking for in a wide receiver. Dobson doesn’t have very good straight line speed but has everything else in his repertoire. He’s big (6-3, 210), can “get open when he’s not open” as Nix was quoted as saying earlier this winter regarding what he wants in a pass catcher and he has extremely reliable hands.
Looking at my draft board and who’s available, I’m sure there are plenty of Bills fans who would clamor for Justin Hunter or Da’Rick Rogers in this spot. I’ll admit that Hunter is very intriguing to me, plus he’s from the SEC; a conference Nix is very fond of when it comes to draft weekend. But his hands can be inconsistent; I’ve heard he tends to play a little wild, which makes him mistake prone and his performances against tough conference foes last year leaves something to be desired.
Based on that along with Dobson’s strengths for this Buffalo Bills system, I think he’s the upset pick. That is, of course on the basis that the team takes a quarterback with their first pick and not Patterson. One thing I’m extremely confident is that quarterback and receiver will constitute their first two selections.
Remember as well—by trading down to get Nassib Buffalo would own the 71st and 73rd picks headed into round three.
See you in Mockville next month.