NFL Mock Draft 2013 Picks 1-13

1. Kansas CityLuke Joeckel – I don’t love Joeckel and I think he has the lowest ceiling of the big three LTs in this draft, but Joeckel is ready to go out and play at a good level right now and that is exactly what Andy Reid and the Chiefs want and is in line with their whole off-season.

2. JacksonvilleSharrif Floyd – This one is simple, Floyd is the best player in this draft and is arguably the best DT in several years.  I believe he is a better player coming out of college with a higher ceiling than even Suh, and I am not the only one who feels this way.  Some believe that Dion Jordan will be the pick here, but the odds are better the Jordan will be the next Vernon Gholston than JPP.

3. Oakland Cordarrelle Patterson – I know this feels a lot like a Al Davis has risen from the dead, but this pick would accomplish one big thing for Oakland: it would make them exciting which is something they have not been in years.  Oakland just went out and got Matt Flynn and they need to give him some weapons, create some excitement, and put some butts in seats and Patterson is going to be better at that than any other player in this draft at doing those things for the Raiders.   Also,  he will help Flynn’s chances of succeeding.

4. PhiladelphiaLane Johnson – There is no question that the Eagles will take good hard looks at Eric Fisher, Dion Jordan, and Geno Smith here; but at the end of the day they will take the LT with the best upside in the draft who will be a great fit in the scheme that Chip Kelly is installing.  Right now Joeckel and Fisher are better LTs, but Johnson has the chance to be elite which is something I am not sure that either Joeckel or Fisher possess.

5. DetroitDee Milner – There is not a player in this draft that makes perfect sense for the Lions at 5, so they take the highest player on their board who will raise the talent level of the team.  Opinions on Milner vary, some believe he can be elite, while others think that he is overrated due to the lack of top end talent in this draft.  One thing is clear, he is the best DB in this draft and Detroit is thin at DB.

6.  ClevelandStar Lotulelei – I am not predicting trades in this mock, but this would be a prime place for a LT needy team to make a move to snag the last of the big three LTs, in this case Eric Fisher, not to mention the fact that there is not a clear pick for the Browns at 6.  If there is not a trade, then Lotulelei makes the most sense, as he is the best defender on the board.  Is DT a major need for Cleveland? No, but in my opinion he is the last of the high value defensive players.

7.  ArizonaEric Fisher – This is a DREAM scenario for the Cardinals, they stood pat and an elite player in this draft that fits their need falls right into their lap.  The biggest question is whether or not the Arizona staffer trips over their own feet in excitement running this pick up to the podium.

8.  BuffaloGeno Smith – The Bills have been busy all off season kicking the tires of every possible first round prospect that would return their phone calls.  I am not sure that the Bills love Smith, but if I were the GM of Buffalo I would pick Geno Smith at 8 and then snag Tyler Bray in the 3rd and then Landrey Jones in the 6th and have a Battle Royal in training camp between the draftees, Kevin Kolb and Tavares Jackson.  The odds of stumbling upon a franchise QB significantly go up in this scenario.  Lets face it, until you find a franchise QB you are just treading water.

9. New York JetsDion Jordan – I am not high on Jordan, something about him just does not jive with me, with that said if there is any place where he could thrive it would be in a 3-4 with an aggressive coach like Rex Ryan.  Is Jordan uncomfortably similar to Vernon Gholston? Probably. Should that deter the Jets?  Probably. Will it deter the Jets? Probably not.

10. TennesseeChance Warmack – Put simply, Warmack is one of the 8 elite prospects of this draft and he will be very hard for the Titans to pass on if he happens to fall to them, in this scenario he does.  I know Guards usually don’t go this high, but this is a draft unlike one in recent memory and all the old rules are out the window.

11. San DiegoZiggy Ansah – There are players that would be more fitting than Ansah for the Chargers in terms of need, but Ansah’s upside is simply to much to pass up.  The addition of Ansah, would give the Chargers two (Melvin Ingram) young versatile athletic D-Linemen for the future and you can simply not have enough pass rushers.

12. MiamiBjoern Werner – The phins were probably hoping that either Ansah, Johnson, or Milner slipped through to them, but in this case they did not.  While Werner is not an athletic freak, his fundamentals and positioning would pair well with Cameron Wake’s sheer athleticism.  However if I were a betting man, I put money on the Dolphins moving out of 12, maybe down, but probably up.

13. Tampa BayTavon Austin – This was a tough pick as there were a half dozens realistic possibilities for the Bucs here including Sheldon Richardson, Jonathon Cooper, Jarvis Jones, Xavier Rhodes, and Desmond Trufant.  At the end of the day, only Austin was irreplaceable in terms of skills sets as there is simply no one else like him in this draft while there are plenty of other good guards, pass rushers, and corner backs.  Not to mention the fact that Austin would bring a needed speed to passing game that has been more about size and strength.


Thursday Night Football

The fact that the NFL now has a Thursday night game every week cheapens the product just a little since it takes  a little of the scarcity out that makes the NFL so popular. It stinks that the game of the week is already being played.


I understand that the 49ers defense is great, but the Packers rushing attack is non-existent. The question is, how well can the Packers offensive line keep Aaron Rodgers clean against the Bears defense? Clean enough for the Packers to squeak a win at home to prevent an 0-2 home start to the season. The Bears will cover the 5 points and the point total will go over 51 points.

Why the ACC and Notre Dame got married

The ACC Council of Presidents has unanimously voted to accept the University of Notre Dame as a new member. The Irish will compete as full members in all conference sponsored sports with the exception of football, which will play five games annually against league programs.


With the addition of Notre Dame, the ACC’s future membership includes 11 institutions ranked among the top 58 in the 2013 U.S. News & World Report survey of “America’s Best Colleges,” more than any other conference also competing at the highest level athletically.


Both sides wanted each other. The additions of Syracuse and Pittsburgh for 2013 will make the ACC the unquestioned top college basketball conference in the nation, but the ACC is still a joke in football in comparison to the SEC, Big Ten, Pac 12, and Big 12. That is why they agreed to not force Notre Dame to join the conference in football. What TV network in their right mind wants to dish out big bucks for the rights to ACC football. As it shapes now, whichever Notre Dame games are not at home (NBC has rights) are up for grabs.


As for Notre Dame, they didn’t want to put up with the expenses of travel for non-revenue sports with the addition of Central Florida, Houston, Memphis, SMU, and Temple to the Big East for 2013. (Boise State and San Diego State will be football only in 2013 as Navy will in 2015). The additions of Memphis and Temple will keep the Big East relevant in basketball, but not compared to the ACC. Also, unless Brian Kelly can turn things around, Notre Dame is losing its relevancy with a younger generation of football fans. The Irish have not won a National Championship in 24 years. They might end up becoming full time football members if advertisers find that they’d rather sponsor games involving more relevant teams on another channel than marry Notre Dame and NBC.


The question is what five ACC teams will Notre Dame play. Will it rotate every year? Will it be random every year? Or will it be teams whom they either have a current or past rivalry with. The most games against ACC opponents in Notre Dame history are with Georgia Tech (34), Miami (25), Boston College (21), North Carolina (18), and Florida State (6). I guess we’ll eventually find out.

First NFL Sunday

Here we go…


Colts-Bears: The Colts defensive line will help keep this game close. Andrew Luck will not lose the game…the lack of playmakers for the Colts will lose this game. However, the Colts should cover the 10 point spread. The game should go under 43.5 points.


Eagles-Browns: Unlike the aforementioned game, the rookie QB here (Brandon Weeden) will have a tough time against a motivated defense. The Eagles were embarrassed for underachieving in the win-loss column. The fact that they are playing in Cleveland Browns Stadium won’t matter much. The Eagles will cover the 9.5 point spread and the game will go over 43.


Rams-Lions: The Rams will fight Detroit hard. Jeff Fisher’s teams often overachieve. The Lions have an inconsistent run defense & if they put eight in the box to stop Steven Jackson, Bradford could hurt them. The Lions will barely cover the 8 point spread due to the offensive explosiveness they will display in the second half. The game will go over 45.5 points.


Dolphins-Texans: Wade Phillips will blitz, blitz, blitz against a banged up Dolphins offensive line & a rookie QB in Ryan Tannehill. The Dolphins have no explosive playmakers on the perimeter. The Dolphins can exploit two new starters on the Texans offensive line. Arian Foster being banged up will allow the Dolphins to barely cover the 13 point spread in a Texans victory. As a result, the game will go under 42.5 points.


Falcons-Chiefs: Arrowhead is a tough place to play. However, this is quite a mismatch for the Chiefs. They have a defense that need blitzers to get to the QB. Matt Ryan will find the holes that are open. He will also kill a team if he has time to throw as well. Eric Berry needs to cover everybody, which is obviously impossible even if he is 100% back from his ACL injury. Atlanta will cover the 2.5 point spread and the total points will just go over 43.5


Jaguars-Vikings: This is the kind of game that led to the invention of the NFL Sunday Ticket. Maurice Jones-Drew is not going to start & Adrian Peterson is banged up. The Vikings will cover the 3.5 point spread, as their offensive line will give Christian Ponder enough time to find Percy Harvin. The game will barely be under 38 points.


Redskins-Saints: The key to this for the Redskins is time of possession. The problem is…will anyone other than Robert Griffin III be able to run successfully? Too bad DeAngelo Hall can’t cover everybody. The Saints will win and cover 7.5. The game will go oer 49.5


Bills-Jets: The Jets offensive preseason woes are well documented, but they did not show what was in store in the TebowCat offense. They are also going to force the Bills to beat them through the air. The Jets will win, but close as the Bills will cover the 3 point spread. The game will barely go over 38 points.


Patriots-Titans: The Patriots are only a 5.5 favorite on the road against Tennessee? Hmm…what do the odds makers know? The Patriots offensive line is a question mark against a young, but good Titans defensive line. That’s about it. The Patriots will cover the 5.5 points and the game will go over 47 points.


Seahawks-Cardinals: Real tough call here. Seahawks seem like the sexy pick, as they are 2.5 point road favorites. The loss of Levi Brown really hurts the Cardinals offensive line and they have an unstable QB situation. Marshawn Lynch is a little banged up for Seattle. Flip a coin. I’ll take the Seahawks covering the spread. Flip a coin again for the total. I’ll take the over at 40.5.


49ers-Packers: The game of the week. Both teams are really good. If the Packers corners play physical against lightweights like Michael Crabree and Randy Moss, that could disrupt the flow of the 49ers offense. As good as the 49ers defense is, Rodgers and company are a well oiled machine playing at home. The Packers will cover the 5 point spread and the game should go over 46.5 points.


Panthers-Buccaneers: This game has all of the ingredients of a blowout. The Buccaneers defense appears will struggle against the run. If they have to extra defenders up, look out. The Panthers are easily the pick with the 2.5 point spread and the game will go just under 47 points.


Steelers-Broncos: This game is quite simple. If it’s a quick strike kind of game, it favors the Broncos. If it’s a game of long sustained drives, it favors the Steelers. No Mendenhall = no problem. No D.J. Williams for the Broncos means that the Steelers will run and keep the ball out of Manning’s hands. The 1.5 road underdog Steelers will pull off the upset and the game will go under 46 points.

NCAA Week 2

A quick rundown on seven games:


Auburn-Mississippi State: While Mississippi State will be out to prove that they are not a joke, Auburn definitely doesn’t want to drop to 0-2. Auburn (+3) will actually win the game outright & the game will just go under 48.5 points.


Florida-Texas A&M: Kyle Field will be pumped as the noted 12th Man will be tough on Florida. But Florida’s defense will be the difference against a new Aggies starting QB. Take Florida with the one point spread with the score going over 49.5 points.


Washington-LSU: Steve Sarkisian is slowly getting things turned around up in Seattle, but the trip to Baton Rouge will be painful. LSU will cover the 23.5 point spread and the game will go under 53 points.


Nebraska-UCLA: I know the game is at the Rose Bowl and I know this Nebraska team has nothing to do with the one that lost in the Rose Bowl in a game etched in Miami (FL) fans memories with Jonathan Vilma destroying Eric Crouch in the national title game. Nebraska will win and cover the 5.5 point spread on talent alone. The game will go under 62 points.


Georgia-Missouri: Welcome to the SEC Missouri. Unfortunately they do not have Chase Daniel and Jeremy Maclin anymore. Georgia covers the two point spread and the game will go under 55 points.


Oklahoma State-Arizona: Oklahoma State won’t beat the Wildcats 84-0 like their win last week. However, they’ll stick it to Rich Rod and company on the road and cover the 10.5 point spread. The game will just barely go under 70.5 points.


Illinois-Arizona State: Illinois is a Big Ten sleeper that is getting absolutely no attention right now. Not only will the cover the four point spread at Tempe, but they will win the game outright. The game will go over 47.5 points.

Dolphins vs. Texans: A Prediction amongst Panic, Doubt, and Lost Faith

Yesterday, Don Banks of Sports Illustrated released his power rankings for the NFL in which he ranked the Miami Dolphins dead last at 32.  Banks avoids giving a clear reason why the Dolphins will be so bad other than an off handed reference to the Dolphins starting a rookie quarterback.  What Banks is more likely responding to is the overarching pessimism of Dolphin fans and the south Florida media following the 0-4 preseason and the trade of Vontae Davis.

On the other side of the coin, 4 out of 7 ESPN experts predict that the Houston Texans will go to the Super Bowl this year in an ESPN article entitled Expert predictions: Super Bowl XLVII.  From all indications the Dolphins and the Texans are two teams going in opposite directions.  Throw in the fact that Dolphins have never beaten the Texans, the game is being played in Houston,  the Vegas line is 12.5 points and what we have is a formula for a blowout.  The way this all lines up the Dolphins probably shouldn’t even bother getting on the plane because the game is already over and they have had some bad experiences with air travel recently.

I was recently chatting on the phone with another Dolphins fan when I boldly made the prediction that the Dolphins would beat the Texans on Sunday.  His response was a laugh and a prompting to post my prediction online, so here we are.  Right now, I am predicting that the Dolphins will beat the Texans on Sunday.  This belief is not based on some magic statistical formula or insider information, it is just my gut feeling.  Whenever a team is summarily dismissed from having any chance at success then end up having success.  When you are predicted to be the worst team in the NFL there is no more pressure and that is usually the point when a team becomes the most dangerous and the Dolpins are close to that point right now.  Beware Houston Texans there is a time when all the predictions in the world stop mattering and you have to actually play a football game and beat a real hungry team.


As much as the pageantry and tradition of college football is unmatched, the quality of play in the NFL is second to none and makes it more enjoyable to watch. So for you NFL fans, Happy New Year!


The Cowboys are like Notre Dame, they are always hyped up more than what they’re worth (I guess you can see my prediction tonight). Unless you run an offense that has nothing but three step QB drops, the battle in the trenches is what wins games. The Giants defensive line has such an advantage over the Cowboys offensive line that someone should get Kyle Orton on their fantasy team for when Tony Romo gets injured tonight. Oh wait, Orton would be useless right now too since Jason Witten, Dez Bryant, and Miles Austin are all banged up and there is no receiving depth.


It’s opening night and the Giants have shown they can succeed on the big stage. The Giants will cover the laughable 3.5 point spread. The point spread is not so laughable, but I’ll guess under 45 points.