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2013 NFL Mock Draft: Picks 1-7

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Now that the 2012 NFL Draft has come and gone, it’s only natural for us to look forward and see what 2013 may hold. When you’re dealing with a preseason mock draft, it’s important to note that team records can change drastically between now and when the year wraps up. Sure, the New York Giants won’t topple from the last pick to the first pick and the Indianapolis Colts won’t rise from the first pick to the last pick (right?), but aside from those two virtual certainties, pretty much anything else can happen.

In an effort to be fair to all the teams who may or may not be good next season, we won’t do the draft order based on our personal power rankings. Rather, we’ll just lift the draft order that our friends over at College Football Zealots used in their excellent 2013 NFL Mock Draft.

Here are the teams that will be selecting within the top seven: Minnesota Vikings, Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams, Indianapolis Colts, Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams (via this year’s trade with the Washington Redskins)

A few interesting storylines to keep an eye on heading into next season's draft: the Vikings presumably picked up Matt Kalil this year to ensure that Christian Ponder has a successful 2012-13 campaign. That said, would they really pass up on Matt Barkley if he's available? Will any of the offensive options that the Rams added in this year’s draft help Sam Bradford bounce back to what he was in his rookie season, or will they need to use their selections on another couple of playmakers? Who will be the Cleveland Browns’ quarterback by the end of next year, and how will that ultimately impact their drafting philosophy?

We analyze all that and more in our very, very early projections for picks Nos. 1-7.

(Note: Admittedly, this is based more on the order in which players should go than team needs…for obvious reasons.)

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