End-of-regular-season NFL Mock Draft

The NFL regular season is over, time for a Mock Draft

12/31/13 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

22. San Diego Chargers: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

The Chargers' new offensive-minded coaching staff has the team generating plenty of offense, but the defense ranked 23rd in yards and 30th in takeaways. Pass coverage is the unit's biggest weakness, so a cornerback makes plenty of sense here.

23. Philadelphia Eagles: Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon

The Eagles are clearly set on offense, and they even have a formidable run defense. What they need are pass rushers and cover guys to improve their 32nd ranked pass defense. Ekpre-Olomu is the best of the bunch in this scenario, and he can reunite with his former college head coach Chip Kelly.

24. Kansas City Chiefs: Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt

The Chiefs need receiver help, but what they have to consider when taking a receiver is that Alex Smith struggles to get the ball downfield and to the sidelines. A guy like Paul Richardson - who some say is better than Matthews - does not make as much sense, as he is a tiny burner who stretches the field farther than Smith is comfortable throwing the ball. Matthews would be a great fit as a big possession receiver who can work out of the slot and come over the middle to make catches in traffic while taking big hits.

25. Cincinnati Bengals: Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State

Pass rushing may have been the least efficient area of the Bengals' team this year, and the team very well may let starting defensive end Michael Johnson walk as a free agent this offseason. That would leave a big hole at right end, and Crichton is probably the best player to fill that hole in this scenario.

Blog Photo - End-of-regular-season NFL Mock Draft26. Cleveland Browns (from IND): Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State

Some people are extremely high on Dennard - I've even read that he is the best corner in this draft class. A slow forty time, however, could bump him down towards the back end of the first round. The Browns need some offensive skill players and are stout defensively, but they have one glaring hole on defense - a No. 2 cornerback. Joe Haden can shut down opposing No. 1's pretty well, but opponents then simply pick on the other corners. Adding Dennard would bolster the secondary and make it tough to find any weaknesses in the Browns' defense.

27. New Orleans Saints: Dominique Easley, DT/DE, Florida

Coming off a torn ACL, Easley could be a steal here if he makes a smooth recovery. The Saints need to improve their front seven with some run stuffers, as they ranked 28th in yards allowed per carry this year. I think Easley would make a fine five-technique in a 3-4 base and would provide balance to an improved Saints defense.

28. New England Patriots: Eric Ebron, TE, UNC

Tom Brady apparently does not need a plethora of receiving weapons to lead an elite offense, but adding a versatile piece like Ebron definitely would not hurt, especially considering Rob Gronkowski's growing proneness to injury. In a worst-case scenario, Ebron could get starters snaps if Gronk can't make it back for the start of the season or gets hurt again. If Gronk can get healthy, Ebron can fill the void left by Aaron Hernandez, as he is best suited for a flex tight end role.

29. Carolina Panthers: Donte Moncrief, WR, Mississippi

Cam Newton is growing nicely as a passer, but his receivers are not growing with him. Steve Smith - who will turn 35 in May - just had his worst season since 2010, and no one else was a consistent receiving threat this year. At 6'3'' and 215 pounds, Moncrief has a nice size/speed combination and could be a versatile weapon for Cam and the Panthers.

30. San Francisco 49ers: Ra'Shede Hageman, DT/DE, Minnesota

Before last year's draft, there was a lot of talk about the 49ers selecting a player who would eventually succeed Justin Smith as a dominating presence on the defensive line. They didn't take a player like that, so it seems reasonable to think that they might do so this year. Hageman has shown plenty of run stuffing ability and flashes of pass rushing prowess.

31. Denver Broncos: Loucheiz Purifoy, CB, Florida

The Broncos are one of the most complete teams in the NFL, but one outlier is their 27th ranked pass defense. Their offense ranked first in both scoring and yards, and their defense gave up just 3.9 yards per carry, so the secondary seems to be the most logical area to address. Some say that fellow Gator Marcus Roberson is the better cornerback, but I think that Purifoy's athleticism will have scouts drooling and he'll move up in the draft due to upside.

32. Seattle Seahawks: Paul Richardson, WR, Colorado

Percy Harvin is a little slot machine who should be healthy and ready to rock in 2014, but the Seahawks still lack a consistent deep threat and outside presence. Richardson can fly, and as long as the Seahawks are willing to wait for him to bulk up (he's just 170 pounds), he could add a new dimension to their offense. Offensive line and cornerback could also be options here.
Notify me by email about comments that follow mine. Preview