NFL Betting: Early Projections for 2013 NFL Draft

David Lawrence

Friday, January 11, 2013 7:49 PM UTC

Friday, Jan. 11, 2013 7:49 PM UTC

Early Draft projections and how they might be selected by the teams who are first in line.

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NFL Betting: Early Projections for 2013 NFL Draft

The Kansas City Chiefs earned the right to select first overall in the 2013 NFL Draft and with a new head coach and general manager in tow, it’s assumed that they are ready to go in a fresh, new direction. Normally, that means drafting a quarterback but there might not be a game-changer on the board.

The Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders will follow suit with picks No. 2 and No. 3, and then the “Dream Team” Philadelphia Eagles and Detroit Lions will round out the top five.

Here are some early projections at what each team might do:

#1: Kansas City Chiefs

It was assumed that Matt Barkley would be the sure-fire top pick in the 2013 Draft but a disastrous senior season at USC – as well as a shoulder injury – torpedoed his stock. Instead, West Virginia’s Geno Smith will now be in conversation to be the top pick in the draft.

Realistically, the Chiefs have a decent offensive line, a good running game and a good defense. So, the passing game is where they need additional help. Andy Reid doesn’t usually draft high-profile quarterbacks, so don’t expect him to reach here. Look for the Chiefs to bolster their offensive line with Texas A&M’s Luke Joeckel.

#2: Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars are also a team in dire need of a quarterback, so Smith might be in play here. The Jags are similar to the Chiefs in that they have a competitive defense and a reasonable running game. So, it’s really the quarterback that holds them back.

However, it doesn’t seem like many people believe Smith can be a franchise guy. Sure, he’s talented but is he a game-changer? That’s what the Jags need at the position; not just someone who is the best of a weak bunch. Look for them to boost the defense with someone like Bjoern Werner. Their pass-rush is a glaring weakness and they will sooner address that than draft Geno Smith.

#3: Oakland Raiders

The Raiders were decimated by injuries in the 2013 season but one can – at least on paper – see a few building blocks on offense. Carson Palmer, Darren McFadden and some decent receivers probably means the Raiders won’t look at offense right away – even if their entire unit is wildly inconsistent.

Instead, look for the Raiders to help a porous defense thatgave up 27.7 points per game (28th in the NFL). The Raiders were right behind Jacksonville in sacks with just 25 on the year (31st in NFL). Look for them to try to hit it big with a linebacker who can rush, such as Georgia’s Jarvis Jones or LSU’s Barkevious Mingo. Then maybe they do better for our NFL Picks.

#4: Philadelphia Eagles

It’s shocking to see a team with as much talent as the Eagles drafting fourth overall but they were in fact that bad last season. They’ll probably have lots of holes to fill as the new coaching staff cycles out expired, overpaid veterans.

The Eagles could use a good offensive lineman as their quarterbacks get pummeled on the regular. Joeckel would be a fit if he is still around. Someone like Michigan’s Taylor Lewan or Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews would be ideal too. There’s talent on this roster but they were horrible on both lines of scrimmage last season. I would expect them to address their offensive line first.

#5: Detroit Lions

The Lions also seem talented on paper – at least more talented than 4-12 – but the numbers don’t lie. They have a number of holes. On offense, they can’t run the ball and there are no weapons to take away Calvin Johnson’s double- and triple-teams. Unfortunately, it’s not a good year for running backs – none that are top-five worthy yet – and the receiving crop isn’t that high-end either.

The Lions would be smart to trade back and pick up someone like USC’s Robert Woods later on in round one but how often do the Lions do something smart?

Their secondary is also deplorable as they allowed opposing quarterbacks to post a 91.7 quarterback rating against them. Unfortunately for them – yet again – no defensive backs appear to be top-five or top-10 worthy save for maybe Alabama’s Dee Milliner. That could change after the combine. If not, look for them to take the Alabama product.

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