NFL Mock Draft 2013: Fourth Round


November 3, 2012; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans running back Le

Round 4

  1. Jaguars- Le’Veon Bell, RB, Michigan State: The Jags need help everywhere, and even with MJD back from injury, they still need another back to take some of the load. Bell is a bigger back but not exactly a mauler, but he does have quick feet and great balance. Alfred Morris is a good comparison. Lots of upside with Bell.   
  2. Chiefs- William Gholston, DE, Michigan State: Andy Reid has never been shy to take productive college players that others only see the flaws, and Gholston fits that mold. The tape is hard to argue, even though some scouts may say he is too stiff. Gholston is a steal in the fourth round for a Chiefs team that desperately needs a few breaks.   
  3. Raiders- Robert Alford, CB, Southeastern Louisiana: The Raiders find one of the gems of the draft with Alford. A bit of an unknown out of Southeastern Louisiana, Alford brings speed and decent size to a Raider team that needs infusion of talents at pretty much every spot on the depth chart.     
  4. Eagles- Oday Aboushi, T, Virginia: The Eagles add another tough offensive lineman that may start right away. Aboushi had a great college career and has the attitude to succeed in the NFL, assuming he can contain his emotions. Aboushi can play on both sides, which adds to his value.   
  5. Vikings (from Lions)- Jordan Reed, TE, Florida: Kyle Rudolph proved last season that he can contribute in the NFL, but the Patriots have also shown how much damage teams can do with two productive tight ends. Reed and Ponder played together in 2010, so they do have a history which should help ease Reed’ initiation into the NFL.
  6. Cardinals- Kenny Stills, WR, Oklahoma: The Cardinals continue to add to their offense with the selection of the talented receiver out of Oklahoma in the fourth round. If Palmer has weapons and time to throw, he can still be effective. With Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, Andre Roberts and Kenny Stills, the Cardinals will have enough offensive firepower to compete in a suddenly stacked NFC West.   
  7. Browns- Cobi Hamilton, WR, Arkansas: The Browns know what they have in Josh Gordon and Greg Little, but after that, it gets very thin. Hamilton is a smooth runner and was extremely productive in college. Although he only ran a 4.50 forty time, Hamilton possesses a crucial skill receivers need to succeed in the NFL- he doesn’t slow down in and out of his cuts and runs great routes. Receivers like that are hard to cover for 60 minutes.   
  8. Bills- Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina: When Fred Jackson has been healthy; the Bills have been tough to deal with. The problem is, Jackson can’t stay on the field. I understand that this is replacing one issue with another, but Lattimore is too talented for the Bills to pass up in the fourth round, and his injury seemed more freak than the norm.
  9. Jets- Joseph Randle., RB, Oklahoma State: Shonn Greene is a Titan, and the Jets are thin at the running back position, regardless of a possible Chris Ivory trade. Randle was very productive in 2012 in not only the running game, but also in the passing game, which has been missing from the Jets offense since Ladainian Tomlinson retired.   
  10. Titans- Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma: Are the Titans convinced that Jake Locker is the guy? If they are, I sure don’t know what has shown them he is anything more than average in the NFL, at best. Maybe adding a player like Jones will push Locker, or maybe the Titans will find a legit starter in the fourth round. Jones was better as a junior than a senior, so I am looking forward to seeing him in camp and the preseason.  
  11. Panthers- Tavarres King, WR, Georgia: The Panthers need more playmakers for Cam Newton, and they find one with the speedy King. King has to get stronger to be able to contribute in the NFL on a consistent basis, and he also has to get over his bouts of inconsistency.
  12. Saints- Michael Buchanon, DE, Illinois: With Rob Ryan taking over the defense, players like Buchanon will be valued due to their flexibility. Buchanon was reported to be working out as a more traditional 4-3 defensive end during combines and pro days, but that doesn’t mean a lot. Buchanon’ length will be an asset for him in his NFL career.
  13. Chargers- Travis Kelce, TE, Cincinnati: Antonio Gates isn’t getting any younger, and Kelce isn’t a bad guy to eventually replace him. With his 6’5 frame and surprisingly good speed, Kelce appears to be one of those tight ends that are basically impossible to cover due to their athleticism. Kelce tends to have focus issues and had a few brain cramps in college that made many question his character which is the main reason he wasn’t selected higher.
  14. Dolphins- Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford: The Dolphins let Reggie Bush walk away, and with Daniel Thomas and Lamar Miller as their top two backs, running back has to become an area of focus in the later rounds for the Dolphins. Taylor runs with attitude and also is very good at using his blockers and his low and powerful frame to churn out extra yards. He is not the fastest straight line runner, but running backs don’t run forty yard dashes during games; this isn’t the Olympics.
  15. Buccaneers- Kevin Reddick, ILB, North Carolina– The Bucs have done a great job making over their defense, and the linebacking core has Mason Foster and Lavonte David locked in the middle and weak side spots, but is Jonathan Casillas the answer as the strong side linebacker? Reddick may be able to come in and fill that role right away for the Bucs, who have more than enough talent to carry a rookie in the starting lineup. 
  16. Rams- Brian Winters, G, Kent State: Sam Bradford is finally going to have some consistency in his coaching, and now they should try to make sure he has enough time to throw. Winters is a steal in the fourth. Winters has good hands, good feet and he explodes out of his stance, not to mention he is a gamer. Good find for the Rams.   
  17. Cowboys- Khaled Holmes, C, Southern California: The Cowboys have a need at center, and Holmes may be one of the more underrated players in this draft. Holmes got hurt early in 2012 and it affected his entire season. Jerry Jones has a history of liking USC offensive lineman, so this pick makes a lot of sense.   
  18. Steelers- Jamie Collins, OLB, Southern Mississippi: Collins has been projected as high as the second round, but there are too many questions about his motor for him to be a top pick. The Steelers are the perfect fit for Collins; they have a system that works and will ease Collins into their zone blitz scheme, although we may not see any dividends paid until next season. Collins looks the part, but many players that have looked the part haven’t worked out in the pros.  
  19. Giants- Cornelius Washington, OLB/DE, Georgia: The theme of the draft for the Giants has been defense, and that trend continues in the fourth round with the addition of the athletic Washington. Washington has shown flashes of being dominant, but his consistency has been an issue, hence the fourth round slotting. The Giants, like the Steelers, do a very good job of developing their young athletic defensive front seven players, so this is a good situation for Washington to go into.   
  20. Bears- D.J. Swearinger, SS, South Carolina: The Bears had a solid secondary in 2012 and also added Tom Zbikowski in free agency, but Swearinger is too hard to pass in the fourth round. There are good reasons for the slip though; Swearinger isn’t the fastest safety, he tends to struggle in pass coverage and uses his hands too much, and his size is also smaller than most teams want in a safety. Productivity in college does not guarantee success in the NFL.
  21. Bengals- Brian Schwenke, C, California: The Bengals have done well in addressing needs while finding talent in this draft, and the trend continues with the selection of Schwenke. Some point to his inexperience because he only started for one year at center, but the truth is that shows his versatility in learning to play a new position. A solid find for the Bengals who may play right away. 
  22. Redskins- Bennie Logan, DT, LSU: The Redskins step to the podium for the third time, and this time they look to add to the trenches on defense. Enter Bennie Logan out of LSU; Logan was productive in 2011, but his lack of growth within his overall game in 2012 pushes him down the draft board. If the Redskins can work with Logan and teach him to have more variety in his pass rushing moves, he could be a starter, and if not, he might simply be a back up or rotational player.  
  23. Vikings- B.W. Webb, CB, William & Mary: The Vikings go the small school route to address their need at cornerback with the speedy Webb. Webb excels in man coverage and has good closing speed and instincts in the passing game. He needs to work on his tackling and run support to become a more all around player.
  24. Colts- Terron Armstead, T, Arkansas Pine Bluff: The Colts may have had a surprisingly good season in 2012, but Andrew Luck got hammered, and even with the addition of Gosder Cherilus, the Colts don’t hesitate to snag the gifted athlete out of the tiny school in Arkansas. Armstead will need time to grow, but he is worth the pick in the fourth round for the young and rapidly growing Colts.
  25. Packers- Dwayne Gratz, CB, UConn– Another player that is projected as high as the second round, the Packers find the corner out of UConn still on the board in the fourth round. In a class like this, Gratz really shouldn’t go before the third round. He has issues with footwork, his overall instincts are questionable, and he might not be fast enough to play outside. Ted Thompson is hoping that his coaching staff can develop Gratz to be a contributor in the NFL, but it will take a lot of work.
  26. Seahawks- Vance McDonald, TE, Rice: McDonald is never going to be lauded for his blocking skills, and that will never change, but the one thing he can do- stretch the seam and give Russell Wilson another option in the middle of the field. McDonald was also lined up wide at times with Rice, and that flexibility will be a welcome addition to the Seattle offense.  
  27. Texans- JJ Wilcox, FS, Georgia Southern: The Texans addressed the corner position earlier in the draft, and now they look to add a safety. Wilcox is an intriguing prospect, showing incredible athleticism and great instincts. Some have questioned his acceleration, which can be a problem as a defensive back, but safeties with good instincts can usually make up for lack of make up speed with smarts.
  28. Broncos- Leon McFadden, CB, San Diego State: The Broncos pass defense in 2012 may have appeared to be sufficient, but their schedule was a joke, and once they faced a team in the playoffs that could give them a fight, the Broncos major flaws in the secondary were exposed. McFadden was very productive in college and has a pro-pedigree due to his uncle being a former MLB player. McFadden also has good feet, instincts, and is reported to have a “pro demeanor.”
  29. Buccaneers (from Patriots) – Chris Harper, WR, Kansas State: The Bucs need more depth at the receiver position, and Chris Harper is a good guy to help with that problem. Harper will never be known for his speed, but he has excellent hands, good enough quickness, and he looks the part of the prototypical possession receiver in the NFL.
  30. Falcons- Brandon Williams, DT, Missouri Southern State: The Falcons continue to address thin areas of the roster with the choice of the pass rushing defensive tackle out of Missouri Southern State. Williams may be a liability against the run in the NFL due to his smaller lower frame, but as a situational pass rusher, Williams may be a terror; he had 27 career sacks in college.
  31. 49ers- Brennan Williams, T, North Carolina: The 49ers have a plethora of picks in this draft, and they finally address the offensive line in the fourth round. Williams is another player in the draft with pro pedigree; Williams’s father, Brent, was a defensive end in the NFL for over a decade. This doesn’t guarantee success, but the sons of former players have an advantage of knowing the pitfalls to avoid. Brennan is a big kid and has a lot of talent, but it will take time to develop him.
  32. Ravens- Marquise Goodwin, WR, Washington State: I honestly believe this pick will be traded because the Ravens have the next two compensatory picks, but I’m not going to predict trades this late. Goodwin was a higher prospect going into 2012, but he had a tough year and eventually talked his way right off the team. Goodwin has the size, speed and hands to be a good receiver in the NFL, but he does have some serious growing up to do.   
  33. Ravens- Matt Scott, QB, Arizona: The Ravens grab a quarterback to develop behind Joe Flacco with the selection of the dual threat quarterback out of Arizona. The one trait that is most important for NFL quarterbacks is accuracy, and Scott may be the most accurate quarterback in this draft. The other trait that quarterbacks need is durability; the jury is out on whether Scott can last an entire season or not. He might be better served staying in the pocket and not running as much to avoid head shots.   
  34. Ravens- Hugh Thornton, G, Illinois: Pick number three in a row for the Ravens, and this time they address the offensive line again. Thornton is a big, mean, mauler, just the type of guy Ozzie Newsome is looking for. The Ravens recognize how important it is to give Flacco time, and Thornton looks like a prospect that may improve with NFL coaching. Thornton also displayed flexibility in college, playing both guard and tackle.
  35. Lions- Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA: The Lions did go out and sign Reggie Bush in the offseason, and they do still have Mikel Leshoure, but I get the feeling they are still not done at running back. Enter Johnathan Franklin out of UCLA; Franklin is just too good to pass up at this point. Projected in the second round by many, Franklin is pushed down the board due to depth at other positions, and the Lions find a fast, talented, hard runner that may steal carries in 2013.
  36. Falcons- Ryan Swope, WR, Texas A&M: With the final pick in the fourth round, the Falcons find the third receiver that they need. Ryan Swope is a tough, fast receiver with good hands that can play the slot and outside. Swope is a similar receiver to Danny Amendola, and with the two big wideouts on the outside and Tony Gonzalez inside, Swope could do damage in the Falcons offense.

Round 1:

Round 2:

Round 3:

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