With the Super Bowl and the scouting combine behind us, the 2013 NFL Draft is right around the corner. Come April, hundreds of incoming NFL hopefuls will have an opportunity to hear their name called on draft day. And in year's past, it had become relatively easy to predict the top-5 names off the board.
This year is something different altogether. With the lack of elite talent at quarterback, the first round of the draft has been invaded by defensive prospects. And the top-5 -- or the first overall pick for that matter -- remains a complete mystery. But on the bright side, it certainly makes this year's draft more exciting for football fans.
And draft analysts have had virtually no limitations when it comes to mock drafts.
On Monday, March 4, CBS Sports released an updated version of their mock draft, courtesy of Rob Rang and Dane Brugler. And when it came to their top-10 selections, they did not share a single pick, going in almost completely opposite directions.
Given how early the pick was, one of the more interesting discrepancies was at No. 3 overall with the Oakland Raiders. Rang has the Raiders selecting Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner, while Brugler has them taking Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd.
Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State: Like the Jaguars one pick ahead of them, the Raiders' inability to pressure opposing quarterbacks played a huge role in their disappointing 2012 season. With 25 sacks (including just 7.5 from their starting defensive ends), Oakland ranked 31st in the NFL. Werner led the ACC with 13 sacks as a junior. He locates the football quickly and uses his hands quite well, making him the most pro-ready of this year's pass-rushers. His presence could free the team to slide Lamarr Houston inside to defensive tackle, a better fit for the 6-3, 300-pound defender.
Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida: The Raiders need help in several areas, most importantly at quarterback, but do they reach for one with this pick or are they content with Carson Palmer and Terrelle Pryor for the short-term? With Richard Seymour and others set to hit free agency, Oakland needs to get stronger on the defensive line, drafting Floyd would be a great start.
Even though they selected different players, the consensus seems to be that the Raiders go defensive line with their first pick in the draft. In a division with Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers and now Alex Smith, Oakland has to get after the quarterback.
Either Werner or Floyd could be a game-changer on the defensive line.
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