WASHINGTON, April 25, 2013 —Ladies and Gentlemen, the 2013 NFL Draft’s first round begins tonight at 7:30 p.m., ET at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. I know what you’re thinking: “This guy’s column is called the Fencing Coach!” But I happen to be an NFL aficionado as well.
Ever since my hairline began receding at the age of 19, I have enviously watched television each year to ogle at Mel Kiper Jr.’s beautiful hair that I would never be able to equal. To compensate for my lost hair follicles and be like Mel, I have mocked the draft every year to moderate success. Below, you will find my first round draft predictions.
As the former starting Tight End and Middle Linebacker for the Zeta Beta Tau flag football team at Division III Brandeis University, I believe I am qualified to mock this draft. Note: This mock draft does not project trades
1. Kansas City Chiefs- Luke Joeckel (OT, Texas A&M)
2. Jacksonville Jaguars- Dion Jordan (DE, Oregon)
3. Oakland Raiders- Sharif Floyd (DT, Florida)
4. Philadelphia Eagles- Star Lotulelei (DT, Utah)
5. Detroit Lions- Eric Fisher (OT, Central Michigan)
6. Cleveland Browns- Dee Milliner (CB, Alabama)
7. Arizona Cardinals- Lane Johnson (OT, Oklahoma)
8. Buffalo Bills- Chance Warmack (OG, Alabama)
9. New York Jets- Barkevious Mingo (OLB, LSU)
10. Tennessee Titans- Ziggy Ansah (DE, BYU)
11. San Diego Chargers- Tavon Austin (WR, WVU)
12. Miami Dolphins- Xavier Rhodes (CB, FSU)
13. New York Jets (From TB)- Geno Smith (QB, WVU)
14. Carolina Panthers- Cordarelle Patterson (WR, Tennessee)
15. New Orleans Saints- Jarvis Jones (OLB, UGA)
16. St. Louis Rams- Sheldon Richardson (DT, Missouri)
17. Pittsburgh Steelers- Kenny Vaccaro (S, Texas)
18. Dallas Cowboys- Cornelius “Tank” Carradine (DE, FSU)
19. New York Giants- DJ Fluker (OT, Alabama)
20. Chicago Bears- Arthur Brown (LB, KSU)
21. Cincinnati Bengals- Alec Ogletree (MLB, UGA)
22. St. Louis Rams- DeAndre Hopkins (WR, Clemson)
23. Minnesota Vikings- Jonathan Cooper (OG, UNC)
24. Indianapolis Colts- Margus Hunt (DE, SMU)
25. Minnesota Vikings- Justin Hunter (WR, Tennessee)
26. Green Bay Packers- Jonathan Cyprien (S, FIU)
27. Houston Texans- Kevin Minter (LB, LSU)
28. Denver Broncos- Datone Jones (DE, UCLA)
29. New England Patriots- Desmond Trufant (CB, Washington)
30. Atlanta Falcons- Matt Elam (S, Florida)
31. San Francisco 49ers- Eric Reid (S, LSU)
32. Baltimore Ravens- Barrett Jones (C, Alabama)
Possible trade scenarios/other thoughts:
* Look for Atlanta to be a potential trading partner with Detroit at #5. Atlanta has 11 picks in this draft, giving them plenty of trade ammo. With the departure of Brent Grimes and Dunta Robinson, Atlanta could look to leapfrog the Cleveland Browns at #6 to pick Alabama’s Dee Milliner (CB). Atlanta’s Thomas Dimitroff is willing to make bold moves to win. Remember Julio Jones?
* Speaking of lots of draft picks, the San Francisco 49ers have 13 picks, yes, 13. Seven of those selections are in rounds two through five. To say they have the means to trade up is an understatement. On a team with very few glaring needs, the 49ers could look to trade to the middle of Round 1 to address their weaknesses in the secondary. Xavier Rhodes and Kenny Vaccaro come to mind as potential targets. With the Jets possessing two first round picks, their pick at #13 could be the 49ers’ target area. Because, let’s face it, the NY Jets need all the future draft picks they can get. Losers.
* More on the Jets: My boldest pick here is having them take Geno Smith at #13. Wouldn’t you if your starting QB was Mark Sanchez?
* Color me not impressed with the QB talent in this draft. If any franchises are looking for an instant starter, they will be sorely disappointed. Geno Smith, Ryan Nassib, and EJ Emmanuel should be the first QBs off the board, but if I’m a GM, I’d take a developmental gamble in the mid-rounds with Zac Dysert, or Tennessee bad-boy Tyler Bray. DeAndre Hopkins (WR, Clemson) has had two eleventh hour meetings with the Rams. I get it, he’s talented, but why would you want to give first round money to a guy who literally poops all over a hotel room?
Damien is a competitive fencer and volunteer assistant coach at DC Fencers Club in Silver Spring, Md. Damien was the coach of a London 2012 Olympic Athlete in Modern Pentathlon. He is an A-rated epeeist and was a member of the 2012 North American Cup Gold Medal Men’s Epee Team.
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