SI.com’s 2013 NFL Fan Twitter Mock Draft
Tired of picking through all of the NFL experts’ mock drafts? Well, you had your chance to get in on the action.
We turned control over to you for Sports Illustrated‘s Fan Mock Draft. You voted on Twitter, pick-by-pick, for who each team should be drafted. Below are the results, along with some rapid-fire analysis.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M (77.8 percent of votes)
Also receiving votes: Eric Fisher (22.2 percent)
At this point, it would constitute a major surprise if the Chiefs do not go with either Joeckel or Fisher at No. 1 overall — especially as rumors of a possible Branden Albert trade to Miami swirl. Plenty of people are in Fisher’s corner in that debate. But the SI readers are sticking with Joeckel, who’s long been considered the top prospect in this draft.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia (60 percent)
Also receiving votes: Eric Fisher (25 percent), Dion Jordan (15 percent)
No faith in Blaine Gabbert, eh? With the opportunity to add for the Jaguars a high-impact defensive player like Jordan or a building block for the line in Fisher, the public instead opted for Geno Smith. Teams don’t take QBs this high with the plan to have them ride the pine, so Smith’s arrival could signal the end of the line for Gabbert in Jacksonville.
3. Oakland Raiders: Sharrif Floyd, DL, Florida (72 percent)
Also receiving votes: Dion Jordan (20 percent), Eric Fisher (8 percent)
So much for that top-five run on offensive tackles. The Raiders and Floyd have been linked for a very long time — an obvious pairing due to an absolute chasm along their defensive line. Floyd could slot in at several different positions and would add some immediate credibility to a shaky front.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon (88 percent)
Also receiving votes: Eric Fisher (6 percent), Star Lotulelei (5 percent)
Jordan gets reunited with his coach at Oregon, Chip Kelly, who knows as well as anyone how best to use the athletic edge rusher. That pick’s particularly useful for the Eagles as they transition from a 4-3 to 3-4 look on defense, though passing on Lotulelei may force them to look for a D-lineman later in the draft.
5. Detroit Lions: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan (98 percent)
Also receiving votes: Dee Milliner (2 percent)
With Fisher falling into the Lions’ laps, the choice here was an easy one. Either Milliner or defensive end Ziggy Ansah would fill needs for the Detroit defense, but Fisher and 2012 first-rounder Riley Reiff could pair on the Lions’ line for years. Plus, with Jeff Backus retiring and Gosder Cherilus signing in Indianapolis, Detroit badly needs help at tackle.
6. Cleveland Browns: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama (93 percent)
Also receiving votes: Chance Warmack (7 percent)
Browns fans stay the course here. This is a team that could use a second top-notch cornerback to pair with Joe Haden, and Milliner fits, despite some injury concerns. Any other choice really here would have been a reach for Cleveland.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma (76 percent)
Also receiving votes: Chance Warmack (24 percent)
And a third offensive tackle comes off the board at No. 7, which is a boon for the Cardinals and their miserable line. No team in the NFL allowed more sacks than Arizona last season (58), but with 2012 fourth-rounder Bobby Massie showing some glimmers of hope late in the season, the Cardinals could be primed for marked improvement.
8. Buffalo Bills: Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse (52 percent)
Also receiving votes: Ziggy Ansah (38 percent), Geno Smith (10 percent — already picked)
The Bills get their quarterback — and do so early, with their fans possibly feeling the pressure since Smith had come off the board at No. 2. Surprisingly, there was no love shown here for guard Chance Warmack, who could help the Bills replace Andy Levitre.
9. New York Jets: Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU (64 percent)
Also receiving votes: Tavon Austin (26 percent), Ziggy Ansah (10 percent)
Jets fans flirted with the notion of adding Austin, arguably this draft’s most exciting skill-position player. Instead, they handed Rex Ryan the player he might covet above all others here in Mingo. Coming off an 8.5-sack season at LSU (and with 29.0 career sacks over three seasons), Mingo solves the Jets’ need for a pass rusher.
10. Tennessee Titans: Chance Warmack, G, Alabama (88 percent)
Also receiving votes: Tavon Austin (5 percent), Cordarrelle Patterson (5 percent), Star Lotulelei (2 percent)
Chris Johnson could celebrate this pick, with Warmack taking over as the starter at right guard and free-agent signing Andy Levitre handling left guard. This is still higher than a lot of elite guards have gone in past NFL drafts, but the dominant Warmack appears worthy of a top-10 spot.
11. San Diego Chargers: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia (54 percent)
Also receiving votes: Jonathan Cooper (30 percent), Eddie Lacy (16 percent)
Pretty intriguing set of votes at the Chargers’ slot. The end result is that Philip Rivers and the San Diego offense wind up with a dynamic weapon. Cooper would have worked, too, for a team that struggled to block last year. The Lacy love came a bit out of nowhere, but it displays clear concern over Ryan Matthews’ ability to stay healthy for a whole season.
12. Miami Dolphins: Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina (76 percent)
Also receiving votes: D.J. Fluker (19 percent), Xavier Rhodes (11 percent)
A decisive triumph for Cooper, despite the Dolphins’ need at right tackle and cornerback. Cooper would help, as well — Miami signed stopgap guard Lance Louis in an effort to piece together a decent interior line.
13. New York Jets (from Tampa Bay): Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State (87 percent)
Also receiving votes: D.J. Fluker (8 percent), Tyler Eiert (5 percent)
With Tavon Austin off the board, the Jets double up on defense in Round 1, adding Rhodes to No. 9 pick Barkevious Mingo. After dealing Darrelle Revis to Tampa Bay, the Jets enter this draft hoping to find a reliable cornerback or two. Grabbing Rhodes here could turn their attention to offense later.
14. Carolina Panthers: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri (82 percent)
Also receiving votes: Kenny Vaccaro (18 percent)
Even with Star Lotulelei and Ziggy Ansah sliding down the draft board, the Panthers opt for Richardson here. And there’s nothing wrong with that call — Richardson is an exceptional athlete for an interior defensive lineman, and he could pay off huge for the Panthers.
15. New Orleans Saints: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia (87 percent)
Also receiving votes: Menelik Watson (11 percent), Star Lotulelei (2 percent)
Another team hunting for speedy outside defenders because of a move to the 3-4, the Saints scoop up Jones, who was once considered to be a top-five candidate in this draft. Those votes for Menelik Watson are telling, too: The Saints would like to find another tackle, even if they have to reach for one.
16. St. Louis Rams: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee (55 percent)
Also receiving votes: Tavon Austin (30 percent — already picked), Kenny Vaccaro (15 percent)
It is no great secret that the Rams are in the market for a big-play receiver, even more so with the reliable (if banged-up) Danny Amendola now a Patriot. Patterson, while raw, has the physical tools to be a tremendously productive player for years to come. He might just need some time to mature his game.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame (63 percent)
Also receiving votes: Ziggy Ansah (20 percent), Kenny Vaccaro (17 percent)
Jarvis Jones might have been the guy here had the Saints not pounced at 15. But with Jones already gone, the fans made the savvy pick of Eifert, a player that could wind up in the top 10 and definitely would help in Pittsburgh with Heath Miller rehabbing a devastating knee injury.
18. Dallas Cowboys: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah (58 percent)
Also receiving votes: Sylvester Williams (32 percent), Kenny Vaccaro (5 percent)
Their change from a 3-4 defense to the 4-3 puts an onus on the Cowboys to add depth along the line. Hard to do much better, at least for that purpose, than Lotulelei at 19. With Williams coming in second in the voting here, Cowboys fans evidently felt the D-line value far outweighed their options elsewhere.
19. New York Giants: Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
Also receiving votes: Bjoern Werner (18 percent), Kenny Vaccaro (11 percent), Alec Ogletree (7 percent), Sheldon Richardson (2 percent — already taken)
Back-to-back defensive tackles, as the Giants follow the Cowboys’ pick of Star Lotulelei by picking Williams. The Giants added Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson to beef up their defensive line, but Williams gives them a younger option to help round things out.
20. Chicago Bears: Ziggy Ansah, DE, BYU
Also receiving votes: Manti Te’o (21 percent), Alec Ogletree (13 percent), players already picked (4 percent)
Ansah’s long wait in the imaginary green room comes to an end at No. 20. The Bears have other needs — linebacker, specifically, hence the Te’o and Ogletree votes — but Ansah this deep is a total value pick. He’ll add another pass-rusher to the Julius Peppers-Corey Wootton end duo, and he won’t be asked to do too much in Year One.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Kenny Vaccaro (55 percent)
Also receiving votes: Desmond Trufant (29 percent), Eddie Lacy (11 percent), Jonathan Cyprien (3 percent), Menelik Watson (2 percent)
About as much uncertainty as we’ve seen with any selection in the fan mock. But the Bengals wind up scoring a player that hits on both need and value. Vaccaro is the consensus top safety available in this draft, and several teams prior to Cincinnati at 21 could justify him as a Round 1 pick.
22. St. Louis Rams (from Washington): Eric Reid, S, LSU (85 percent)
Also receiving votes: Alec Ogletree (13 percent), Kenny Vaccaro (2 percent — already picked)
Rams fans must have had their eyes on Vaccaro because when his name was called at No. 21 in our mock, they turned in force to Reid. This pick gives the Rams two immediate-impact hits in Round 1, with Cordarrelle Patterson the choice at 16. The Rams’ safeties are not up to par heading into the draft.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame (53 percent)
Also receiving votes: D.J. Hayden (25 percent), Tank Carradine (15 percent), Desmond Trufant (7 percent)
The Vikings land a much-needed linebacker and end the mystery surrounding Te’o’s status in our mock by grabbing the Notre Dame linebacker. The loss of Jasper Brinkley in the middle left Minnesota without any real answers there. Te’o would be asked to start right out of the gate.
24. Indianapolis Colts: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State (64 percent)
Also receiving votes: Datone Jones (16 percent), Desmond Trufant (11 percent), Eddie Lacy (9 percent)
Jones might have been a safer pick here — someone the Colts could plug in just about anywhere up front in their 3-4. Werner, though, might be a home-run find at 24. He’s probably a better fit for a 4-3 defense, but he might have the athletic prowess and pass-rushing skill to handle a slide to outside linebacker for the Colts.
25. Minnesota Vikings (from Seattle): D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston (72 percent)
Also receiving votes: Manti Te’o (24 percent — already taken), Desmond Trufant (4 percent)
The Vikings previously took Te’o at 23, so count those 24 percent as just making doubly sure. Hayden, meanwhile, is a player to keep an eye on heading into Round 1 — his talent clearly fits there, but how worried will teams be about a near-fatal injury from college? If that’s totally in the past, Hayden could be a star.
26. Green Bay Packers: Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama (59 percent)
Also receiving votes: Matt Elam (36 percent), Datone Jones (5 percent)
Once again, the Packers try to cure what ails them at running back. Lacy has had an up-and-down (mostly down) pre-draft campaign — he sat out the combine with a hamstring injury, then delivered a disappointing performance at his Pro Day. He still stands as arguably the best back in this class.
27. Houston Texans: Keenan Allen, WR, Cal (45 percent)
Also receiving votes: Justin Hunter (32 percent), DeAndre Hopkins (14 percent), Cordarrelle Patterson (9 percent — already taken)
Looks like the fans were determined to find someone to take the heat off star receiver Andre Johnson. Allen, Hunter and Hopkins all bring impressive resumes to the table. Allen might be the most polished of the three, and he’s capable of lining up anywhere Houston would want him.
28. Denver Broncos: Tank Carradine, DE, Florida State (41 percent)
Also receiving votes: Desmond Trufant (22 percent), Damontre Moore (19 percent), Bjoern Werner (13 percent — already taken), Montee Ball (5 percent)
The Broncos attended Carradine’s recent Pro Day, so there’s clear interest here. Carradine, still working his way back from a November ACL tear, could be eased into Denver’s rotation at defense end — and, if he’s as good as he was pre-injury, might wind up being the type of player that helps put the Broncos over the top.
29. New England Patriots: Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State (52 percent)
Also receiving votes: Alec Ogletree (31 percent), Johnthan Banks (12 percent), Margus Hunt (5 percent)
Taylor becomes the third cornerback taken in our mock, leapfrogging Trufant, who had been receiving votes for several picks. Adding Taylor to Aqib Talib, Alfonzo Dennard and Kyle Arrington would put the Patriots in much better shape at CB than they were in 2012, plus it would. All those players are 27 years of age or younger, too.
30. Atlanta Falcons: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington (48 percent)
Also receiving votes: Jamar Taylor (22 percent — already taken), D.J. Hayden (20 percent — already taken), Tyler Eifert (8 percent — already taken), Jordan Jenkins (2 percent)
After watching the 49ers pick their defense apart in the playoffs, it’s no surprise to see the Falcons focus on that side of the football. The aggressive Trufant has to be on Atlanta’s radar, with Dunta Robinson and Brent Grimes moving this offseason to Kansas City and Miami, respectively.
31. San Francisco 49ers: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
Also receiving votes: Jesse Williams (23 percent), Johnathan Cyprien (19 percent), Trade (12 percent), Tyrann Mathieu (4 percent)
Do the 49ers really need Fluker? Probably not, what with Joe Staley and Anthony Davis at tackle and the Mike Iupati-Alex Boone combo at guard. But at 31, as a team already in good shape and with a ton more picks, it’s tough to say no to a player who might be a top-15 pick. Cyprien, the safety from Florida International, might wind up being a real option Thursday.
32. Baltimore Ravens: Kevin Minter, LB, LSU (48 percent)
Also receiving votes: Alec Ogletree (43 percent), Manti Te’o (6 percent — already taken), Jonathan Cyprien (3 percent)
The Ravens would not mind if Round 1 played out in similar fashion to what we saw here. With the last pick in our mock, Baltimore had its choice of Minter, Ogletree, Cyprien, Matt Elam and several other potential first-rounders. Minter got the nod for a Baltimore team that has to replace both of its starting inside linebackers from its 2012 roster.