This is the sixth of this season's articles on newyorkjets.com about the draft and free agency from the independent personnel analysts at Real Football Services. It's Real Football's second Round 1 mock draft, and Wednesday we'll run Real's Round 2 mock. The final mock draft will appear next week.
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on newyorkjets.com represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the New York Jets organization, front office staff, coaches and executives.
Things could go a lot of different ways on draft weekend, that’s for sure. So we’ve mixed things up a bit from last week. But we still aren’t showing much love to the quarterbacks. We’ll see if next week we can bring ourselves to rank any of them in the first round.
1. Kansas City — Eric Fisher, T, Central Michigan
Fisher is slightly more athletic than Luke Joeckel, which might make him a better fit in Andy Reid’s pass-first scheme. He may also be easier to sign.
2. Jacksonville — Luke Joeckel, T, Texas A&M
The Jags need EVERYTHING. There isn’t a position on the board that can’t use improvement. If the near-consensus top LT falls to them, they should take him.
3. Oakland — Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Tommy Kelly is gone and so, most likely, is Richard Seymour. No matter what base defense the Raiders play, Floyd can be a fit … and an improvement for a team that got gashed by the run and didn’t generate enough pass rush in '12.
4. Philadelphia — Lane Johnson, T, Oklahoma
Smith, Milliner, Jordan and even Ansah could all be options here, but the fact remains that the O-line is the Eagles' greatest need, particularly at tackle. A former QB and TE, Johnson is extremely athletic for his size and has the mobility necessary for some of the things Chip Kelly may want to do with his offense.
5. Detroit — Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
The Lions will really be looking for a tackle here with Jeff Backus and Gosder Cherilus both gone, but corner is definitely a position of need. Milliner is big, physical and athletic and the top cover corner in the draft.
6. Cleveland — Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon
Though he’s raw and needs to add bulk, Jordan is explosive and athletic. But he is unbelievably versatile and can play almost anywhere on the field. He can rush the passer from a three-point or two-point stance, has sideline-to-sideline range vs. the run, and can play in coverage. An ideal impact hybrid defender.
7. Arizona — Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
A big-bodied (6'2", 317) protector who plays with great balance and body control. Warmack’s a roadgrader in the run game and is very athletic for his size in pass protection, which is key for a passer like Carson Palmer, who throws consistently from the midline.
8. Buffalo — Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina
Guards usually don’t go in the top 10, and now there are two. But if there’s going to be a legendary run on interior linemen, these are the guys to do it. Cooper is extremely athletic, can play all three interior line positions, and immediately steps in as the replacement for Andy Levitre, who is a much bigger loss than most fans realize.
9. JETS — Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
For us, the pick here is still Jarvis Jones of Georgia. He provides production and versatility as a pass rusher and a playmaker. But in an effort to give you a different view, we look to the cornerback position for first-round value.
Even if the Jets don't move
10. Tennessee — Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
The Titans could definitely use a pass-rush threat off the edge in their 4-3 front. A German national, Werner hasn’t been playing that long, but he’s figured it out. He recorded 23½ sacks, 35 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and 18 pass breakups in just two seasons.
11. San Diego — Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU
Though he has never played OLB before, and his technique is raw, Mingo's been compared by some to Bruce Irvin as an athletic pass rusher. He could provide immediate value as a situational rusher like Irvin and bolster a front seven that hasn’t made many impact plays in recent seasons.
12. Miami — D.J. Fluker, T, Alabama
This is the biggest reach on our board so far. But short of cornerback, right tackle might be the Dolphins' most pressing need. Fluker fills the bill as a pure run-blocking RT with great power and massive size.
13. Tampa Bay — Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
Corner is the top need for the Bucs, but the next corner on our board is too far a reach for us here. Some scouts have Ansah as a top-five player in this draft. Though we’re not big on picking potential high in the draft, Ziggy has earned comparisons to the Giants' Jason Pierre-Paul as an impact pass rusher. In this spot, he could contribute right away on passing downs and develop over the long term.
14. Carolina — Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
Now that he’s been medically cleared, Lotulelei is explosive, strong and powerful and can be dominant inside. That’s a help for Carolina, which has issues regarding age (Dwan Edwards is a 10-year vet) and production (Sione Fua had 13 tackles and no sacks in 2012) at the position.
15. New Orleans — Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
Jones has been extremely productive as a 3-4 OLB in college, which will be one less transition the Saints will have to worry about as they move to their new 3-4 scheme.
16. St. Louis — Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Tavon Austin is a playmaker who can attack a defense in a lot of ways, and he’s been extremely productive, but he’s not a No. 1 receiver. Patterson is also a triple threat as a receiver, runner and returner, but has the size, strength and versatility to line up anywhere and beat coverage.
17. Pittsburgh — Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
Heath Miller is recovering from injury and Matt Spaeth isn’t a major receiving threat. Eifert is. He can attack the vertical seam, is a proficient route runner, and creates matchup issues with his combination of size and speed.
18. Dallas — Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
The 'Pokes have needs on the O-line and D-line as well as at safety. But if a talent like Austin falls this far, they would be wise to grab him. Imagine how much better Tony Romo gets when he lines up Bryant, Austin, Witten AND Austin.
19. New York Giants — Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
A tackling machine with a nose for the ball, Vaccaro is also instinctive and versatile. He’s big and can drop in the box, cover in the slot and play the deep zones. Not fast, but vision and instincts get him where he needs to be.
20. Chicago — Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
Brother of Seattle’s Marcus and the Jets' Isaiah, Trufant knows the NFL deal and will make a smooth transition. He’s an aggressive, competitive corner with a knack for making plays and has great athleticism (4.3 40, 37½" vertical).
21. Cincinnati — Robert Woods, WR, Southern Cal
We love this player. Woods isn't the biggest, strongest or fastest receiver on the board, but he has great hands and runs impeccable routes. And talk about production — how about 250 catches, 2,933 yards and 32 TDs in three seasons? Paired with A.J. Green and Mohamed Sanu, that production can transfer to the NFL.
22. St. Louis — Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama
As we mentioned in last week’s mock, the defense was not the issue for this team in 2012. The Rams need offensive help and weapons for Sam Bradford. Lacy is a power back with the speed to gain the edge and can also be a receiving threat out of the backfield.
23. Minnesota — Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
A 6'3", 300-pounder who is athletic and has the burst to shoot gaps, Richardson could be an ideal 3-technique DT and an eventual replacement for Kevin Williams.
24. Indianapolis — Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
Jones has ideal size to play the 5-technique DE position in Indy’s 3-4, but has experience playing all positions across the D-line. He can move inside on passing downs.
25. Minnesota — Kevin Minter, MLB, LSU
Again, not the biggest or fastest, but Minter’s a very reliable tackler and extremely instinctive with excellent key-and-diagnose skills. He could step in as a starter as a rookie.
26. Green Bay — Eric Reid, S, LSU
Reid's a big, physical safety who’s not afraid of contact in the run game, and he has the length and cover skills to handle TEs and slot receivers on the seam.
27. Houston — Keenan Allen, WR, California
An experienced route runner with big hands, Allen could be the complement to Andre Johnson that Houston has been looking for.
28. Denver — Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
Williams is a high-character guy who has the size and strength to occupy blockers and the burst and quickness to attack the gaps. A versatile and powerful interior presence.
29. New England — Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
Compared by some to Vince Wilfork, Williams is an incredibly powerful player with a wide base and formidable strength (600-pound benchpress). Though an ideal two-gapping NT, he has some ability to play 5-technique DE as well. He’s an ideal Bill Belichick player.
30. Atlanta — Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State
A corner with good size, Taylor is at his best in zone and off-man coverage. He has 4.37 speed but also possesses great change of direction and a quick burst to close on receivers. He may be the replacement for the departed Brent Grimes.
31. San Francisco — Johnathan Hankins, NT, Ohio State
Hankins has the prototypical wide frame and size/strength combination to be an ideal two-gapping NT in the Niners' three-man fronts. But he’s extremely versatile with the ability to line up at DE and even drop in coverage.
32. Baltimore — Matt Elam, S, Florida
Elam is a hybrid safety who is at his best walking down into the box to support the run, but he can also play single high zones or cover in the slot when asked.
Wednesday: Real's Round 2 Mock Draft