2013 NFL Draft Rewind

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Every NFL Draft we are flooded with initial grades on how well each team drafted and while those are fun to do it is not always a great indication of how well the team actually did. A better way is to be patient and wait three to four years to see how each player has done leading into what could be their second contract. So let’s take a look down memory lane to the 2013 NFL Draft to not only see how well each team did but how well my initial thoughts were! Listed below is what I wrote the night of the 2013 draft and how that player has done and how good of a pick it was.

 

1. Kansas City Chiefs: Eric Fisher OT Central Michigan

My Initial Analysis: It was no secret that the Chiefs were going to take a tackle with the first overall pick.  For the longest time it looked like it was going to be Luke Joeckel, but Fisher picked up steam the past couple of days.  Both players are very close, but Kansas City chose Fisher because he provides more upside.  But you have to wonder how Fisher would have done facing the competition that Joeckel had to face week in and week out in the SEC.  I would have taken Joeckel.

How he’s done: I didn’t like the Chiefs taking Fisher over Joeckel, but as it stands now they probably made the right choice of the two. Fisher hasn’t lived up to being the number one overall pick in the draft but he hasn’t been a total failure. Fisher has started since his rookie year and after struggling his first two years he’s developed into a capable starter. He’s never going to be the next Hall of Fame caliber player and may never make a Pro Bowl, but he’s at least not a liability at left tackle.

Pick Grade: C

 

2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Luke Joeckel OT Texas A&M

Initial Analysis: I get that Luke Joeckel is considered to be the top tackle in the draft, but I don’t get this pick at all. You are basically taking a right tackle here. You have Eugene Monroe who is one of the top 10 best  left tackles in the game, why take another tackle with the #2 pick. You need impact players on defense. Take Dion Jordan and give yourself a playmaker.  Now you take Joeckel to play RT and then lose Monroe after next year. Horrible pick. But that’s why they’ll be picking in the top five again next year.

How he’s done: Didn’t like this pick and it turned out to be a flop, but I successfully predicted the Jaguars would be picking in the top 5 in 2014 (Took Blake Bortles with the 3rd pick)! Joeckel has struggled in all three years as a starter and was graded by Pro Football Focus as the worst offensive tackle in 2014. Unlike Eric Fisher, Joeckel has lost his left tackle spot when the Jaguars signed Kelvin Beachum and struggled when they moved inside to guard before being injured again. It also doesn’t help that his 5th year option was declined.

Pick Grade: F

 

3. Miami Dolphins: Dion Jordan LB Oregon

Initial Analysis: When this trade got announced everybody thought they had moved up to get Lane Johnson. However the first shocker of the night was that they got Jordan instead. Make sense. They’ll more than likely get Brandon Albert and could really use another pass rusher opposite of Cameron Wake. Look for Jordan to start out as a pass rushing specialist, but he could push Jared Odrick instead to tackle where he is better suited.

How he’s done:  Jordon’s first three years has two different stories. Drug problems have caused Jordon to be suspended three different times and was finally reinstated into the league but because of knee injuries he hasn’t practiced yet. When on the field Jordon really struggled to show the pass rushing ability many thought he had coming into the draft. Jordan should be a reminder in the future that if a player doesn’t show the ability to rush the passer in college, we shouldn’t expect it to come naturally in the NFL.

Pick Grade: F

 

4. Philadelphia Eagles: Lane Johnson OT Oklahoma

Initial Analysis: Well the run on offensive tackles went early.  Johnson has been a rumored name for the Eagles because of a lack of talent on their offensive line and his athletic ability make him a good fit in Chip Kelly’s system.  Kelly loves tall athletic lineman and that fits Johnson to a T.  Johnson also has experience in a uptempo system, so that only makes it easier.  This may be a little early for Johnson, but he is one of the elite tackles and they don’t come around too often.

How he’s done:  I was a fan of Johnson who showed a combination of size, athletic ability, and nasty demeanor in college was able to be an immediate stud at right tackle. However Johnson has failed two drug tests and is currently out with a 10 game suspension and the Eagles offense has taken a noticeable step back with him out. But when he returns he’ll likely pick up where he left off and with Jason Peters nearing the end of his career, Johnson will likely slide over to left tackle then.

Pick Grade: A

 

5. Detroit Lions: Ezekiel Ansah DE BYU

Initial Analysis: After losing Cliff Avril in free agency the Lions needed to find somebody to provide a pass rush on the outside. Ansah is incredibly raw playing only a couple years of football, but he has that raw athletic ability you just don’t see. He should be a great fit because all he’ll be asked to do is rush the QB from that Wide 9 spot. But this has boom or bust written all over it.

How he’s done: While Ansah was a raw talent coming into the league he quickly developed into one of the best young pass rushers in the league. Even with the Lions losing Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley, Ansah has continued to shine and give offensive tackle fits.

Pick Grade: A

 

6. Cleveland Browns: Barkevious Mingo DE LSU

Initial Analysis:  Demarcus Milliner was the predicted pick here, but there was some talk of Mingo leading up to the draft.  It make sense.  The Browns only pass rushers are Paul Kruger and Jabaal Sheard.  Getting that third guy is extremely important, especially with Kruger not showing the ability to play against the run.  Mingo also is athletic enough to drop into coverage and set the edge on the run.  Could be the starter and allow Kruger to be in that familiar pass rushing specialist role he did so well in Baltimore.

How he’s done: While Mingo has found is way early into the starter outside linebacker role he hasn’t developed into the pass rusher we thought he’d be with only seven career sacks, not what you want out of the sixth overall pick. Mingo was traded during training camp to the Patriots and has only seen 40 total snaps this season.

Pick Grade: D

 

7. Arizona Cardinals: Jonathan Cooper G North Carolina

Initial Analysis: It’s clear that Arizona wanted to upgrade their offensive line and protect Carson Palmer. They probably wanted one of the tackles to fall to them. However they did end up with the top guard in the draft. Cooper excels at pass blocking and the Cardinals will need to because Arians loves to throw the ball deep. Add in that Cooper could move over to center at some point and this pick can get even better. Guards are rarely taken in the top ten but Cooper is worth it.

How he’s done: I was the head of the Jonathan Cooper fan club having him as one of my top 10 overall prospects so it was safe to say I loved this pick. However it didn’t worked out well for Cooper and the Cardinals as he suffered a horrible knee injury cost him his rookie year and really put him behind. It looked like he was starting to get back on track in year three but was traded to the Patriots this off-season in the Chandler Jones trade but rarely saw the field and was cut.

Pick Grade: D

 

8. St. Louis Rams: Tavon Austin WR West Virginia

Initial Analysis: Knowing that New York was likely to take Austin at #9, the Rams used their extra picks to move up and get the player that they needed to jump start their offense.  Austin should step right into Danny Amendola’s slot position and give Sam Bradford a receiver who is a threat to take it to the house every time he touches the ball.  Taking a 170 lb receiver in the top ten is risky, but Austin has rare speed and with a lack of elite skill players, they had to go up to get the top one.

How he’s done: Austin is by far not a bust, but he’s struggled to live up to his top 10 hype never getting more than 700 total yards in a single season and only 19 total touchdowns over his first three years. I’m not totally sold that the Rams have utilized him as well as they could though. He’s clearly the best receiver the Rams have and that may be part.

Pick Grade: B

 

9. New York Jets: Dee Milliner CB Alabama

Initial Analysis: The three players the Jets really wanted were all gone here.  Mingo, Cooper and Austin were all their targets at 9 and with them all gone they had to go to plan B.  Well that plan hopefully can step in and fill a void left by trading away Darelle Revis.  Milliner isn’t close to Revis, but he gives them a starting caliber corner to pair up with Antonio Cromartie.

How he’s done: Milliner was the top rated cornerback in this class and had every opportunity to lock down a starting role, but rookie struggles and injuries have kept him off the field. With all of that the organization hasn’t had much confidence in Milliner bringing back Revis and Cromartie and also signing Buster Skrine. New York didn’t pick up his 5th year option and then cut him during September from injured reserve.

Pick Grade: F

 

10. Tennessee Titans: Chance Warmack G Alabama

Initial Analysis: Even though they signed Andy Levitre in the off season to a boat load of money, it was clear that the Titans weren’t done and were willing to draft of the two elite guards.  Warmack is a good fit because he’ll be better at the right guard position opening up holes for Chris Johnson.  Warmack is a good pick and fit, but I wonder if they should have drafted Star Lotulelei to give them a better presence at DT.

How he’s done: Taking guards in the top 10 is never sexy and Warmack is a perfect example. However Warmack has started since day one and was be a big part of the Titans “Exotic Power” rushing offense this season helping the Titans to the third most rushing yards in the league before going on IR. Could they have gone with a more impactful player? Sure, but Warmack has been solid.

Pick Grade: B

 

11. San Diego Chargers: DJ Fluker OT Alabama

Initial Analysis: Going into the draft the Chargers had no other option but to improve the offensive line.  Without a lot of ammo they had to hope Lane Johnson fell to them here.  He didn’t and with the top two guards also off the board they went with the fourth best tackle in the draft.  Fluker may never be a left tackle, but he is an elite right tackle prospect and will do wonders to help keep Phillip Rivers clean.  Worst case scenario is that Fluker starts at right tackle, but don’t close the door on him at left tackle.  His long arms will help cover up some of his lack of lateral movement.

How he’s done: Much like his Alabama teammate that went before him, Fluker has been good but not spectacular. But that’s what you get out of a right tackle. Fluker had been a big reason why the Chargers quick strike passing attack and power running has been successful. Fluker also showed some position versatility moving inside to right guard allowing Joseph Barksdale to get into the lineup to get their best five lineman on the field.

Pick Grade: B

 

12. Oakland Raiders: DJ Hayden CB Houston

Initial Analysis: With Miami wanting to move up to get Dion Jordan the Raiders were able to move back and gain back a second round pick they traded away in the horrible Carson Palmer trade.  The trade looked even better when Sharrif Floyd (who they were rumored to take at #3) was still available.  However instead of taking an impact player, great value, and a glaring need they pass and draft a cornerback with some major questions.  Hayden has show a lot of ability, but he is coming back from a possible life threatening injury.  This is a very risky pick and it could turn out to be another Raider bust.

How he’s done: For all of the draft success that Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie has had recently (Mack, Cooper, Carr), it didn’t start out too good for him. Hayden has stayed relatively healthy but struggled on the field. So much that the Raiders brought in David Amerson and Sean Smith to be their starters moving Hayden into a reserve role. With cornerback being one of the few weaknesses on defense they’ll likely address it this off season and that could lead to Hayden being cut.

Pick Grade: F

 

13. New York Jets: Sheldon Richardson DT Missouri

Initial Analysis: I honestly don’t know what the Jets are doing with this pick.  Don’t get me wrong, I really like Richardson as a prospect.  But I just don’t know the fit.  Richardson does have the long arms and strength to play the 5 technique in the 3-4, but where is he going to play for the Jets?  They already have Muhammad Wilkerson and Quentin Coples at the defensive ends.  They need a nose tackle, is Richardson going to play that?  He doesn’t fit there.  Are the Jets going to play more four man fronts?  Maybe, but Ryan is a 3-4 guy.  Maybe this was a pick that will help the next coach after Ryan gets fired.

How he’s done: Richardson arguably could be the best player in this entire draft. I liked Richardson as a player but didn’t see where he was going to fit with the Jets. What I failed to see was that Coples wasn’t going to make it and Richardson would be moved all over the defensive line even seeing some time as a rush linebacker. Tremendous pick by the Jets.

Pick Grade: A

 

14. Carolina Panthers: Star Lotulelei DT Utah

Initial Analysis: Defensive tackle was such an area of concern that everybody had Sheldon Richardson mocked to the Panthers practically the entire time.  Richardson went the pick before, but the Panthers don’t have to worry because they got a better prospect anyways.  Star Lotulelei was one of the top prospects in the draft and if he would have gone #3 to the Raiders (before they traded it) nobody would have batted an eye.  To get him at 14 is a huge steal.  Lotulelei will come in right away and help a run defense that really struggled last year.  Can you imagine how good Luke Kuechly will be with Star in front of him?  Great pick here!

How he’s done: Lotulelei was a steal right back in 2013 and three years later is still a steal. Lotulelei has been a lynch pin for the Panthers Super Bowl defense. He’ll likely be a focal point for the Panthers to resign and the only reason why he won’t be back is because he’ll command more money than the Panthers would be willing to pay.

Pick Grade: A

 

15. New Orleans Saints: Kenny Vaccaro S Texas

Initial Analysis: The Saints secondary was awful last year and it had to be addressed.  They signed Kendrick Lewis to play corner, but they needed somebody to push Roman Harper who has really struggled. Vacacaro was ranked as one of the top safeties in the draft mainly because of his ability to play in coverage and help out in run support.  Under new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan they’ll blitz a lot and they need their safeties to be able to cover man to man and help out in deep coverage.  That suites Vaccaro very well.  Don’t be surprised if he’s starting by the mid season point.  And without a second round pick, the Saints felt they had to go this route.

How he’s done: After year two it looked like Vaccaro was going to be a bust getting benched and being rated was the third worst safety by Pro Football Focus. However once he settled into the strong safety role he has played much better. While he’ll likely never live up to being a top 15 selection, Vaccaro can continue to be a dependable starter.

Pick Grade: C

 

16. Buffalo Bills: EJ Manuel QB Florida State

Initial Analysis: Every year that Buddy Nix has been the GM for the Bills he’s telegraphed his first round pick.  This year was no different.  They stated they wanted a franchise QB and that is exactly what they did here.  But the surprise was who they took.  Everybody assumed that they’d take Ryan Nassib because he played for Bills Head Coach Doug Marrone at Syracuse.  However everybody forgot that the Bills also thought Manuel was pretty good too.  It’s tough to knock this pick because they were able to trade down and Manuel may have the most upside of any pick in this draft.

How he’s done: What a horrible year for a team to need a quarterback. EJ Manuel, Geno Smith and Mike Glennon were the three best drafted. Buffalo was hammered for making this pick and it’s turned out to be a bust. Manuel has struggled and was benched for Kyle Orton and then beat out by Tyrod Taylor. With Cardale Jones being drafted it looks like Manuel’s Bills tenure will end when his contract expires.

Pick Grade: F

 

17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jarvis Jones LB Georgia

Initial Analysis: This is the exact reason why the Steelers are always good and the Jaguars are always bad.  Instead of reaching for guys or taking risks on potential players, the Steelers wait and let good players fall into their laps.  They did it last year with David DeCastro and this year with Jones.  Jones fell because teams were scared off by slow 40 time.  But if you watch his tape you’ll see he dominated the SEC.  Jones fits in perfect for the Steelers and will step into the role that James Harrison had before he was cut.

How he’s done: I was as big of a Jarvis Jones fan as anybody but his lack of explosiveness has caused him to struggle initially in the NFL. After spending most of the first two years on the bench behind an aging James Harrison, Jones finally broke into the starting rotation in year three providing a good edge run defender. While Jones isn’t going to be the dominant pass rusher that I believed he would be, Jones will continue to be a solid role player on a talented defense.

Pick Grade: C

 

18. San Francisco 49ers: Eric Reid S LSU

Initial Analysis: All the rumblings of the 49ers wanting to move up to ended up coming true.  The early word is that they wanted Milliner if he started to slide, but it ended up being Reid.  There is a lot of different views on Reid, but there are very few safeties that have his physical skills and ability.  Reid has the size and length to match up with bigger tight ends and the speed and quickness to play the deep half of the field.  He’ll be looked to step into the role that Dashon Goldson left when he went to the Bucs.

How he’s done: Reid made an instant impact for the 49ers defense that was one of the best defenses in the NFL at the time. While injuries have cost him to miss games  he’s still one of the best defenders on the 49ers and a young impact player. With safety being such an important position young talented players like Reid don’t come around often. Reid has performed much better than Kenny Vaccaro who went ahead of him.

Pick Grade: B

 

19. New York Giants: Justin Pugh OT Syracuse

Initial Analysis: For a team that normal goes best player available and sticks to their board, this pick is surprising.  Pugh was getting a lot of attention, but he isn’t worth a first round pick.  Pugh has good fundamentals, quickness, and footwork.  But his lack of strength and bulk really cost him a lot. Pugh doesn’t have the length to play tackle and doesn’t have the strength to move inside to guard. He can’t anchor in against a good bull rush against defensive ends, so why would he be able to do that against NFL defensive tackles?  Horrible pick!

How he’s done: I was clearly not a fan of Pugh, let alone him being a top 20 pick. Pugh struggled initially at right tackle but when he moved inside to guard he thrived as is the 4th rated guard by Pro Football Focus so far this season. While Kyle Long who went a pick after him has been much better, it’s easy to say that Pugh has been one of the best interior offensive lineman taken in this class.

Pick Grade: B

 

20. Chicago Bears: Kyle Long OT Oregon

Initial Analysis: On the surface this looks like a good pick because Long gives them an athletic lineman to plug in at the right guard spot and improve an offensive line that has been a huge issue for the Bears and Jay Cutler.  Long is a good athlete and has a good strength.  He’ll fit in well with what the Bears want to do on the offensive line.  But Kyle Long isn’t worth the 20th pick in the draft.  Especially with Tyler Eifert and Sharrif Floyd still available.  Both of those players are more valuable and are bigger impact players.  Heck Floyd was a top 10 player in my opinion.  It looks like they wanted to move down to get Long but couldn’t find a trade partner and just reached on him instead.  It’s one thing to get the player you want, but that’s not a strategy you want to adopt.

How he’s done: I liked Long as the player but thought the Bears could have gotten a better player at this pick. Little did I know that Long would be the best guard in this class and arguably one of the best in the NFL year in and year out. In what’s been a shaky offensive line for the Bears they got a Pro Bowl caliber offensive lineman who will be a key cog for years to come. Great pick by the Bears.

Pick Grade: A+

 

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Tyler Eifert TE Notre Dame

Initial Analysis: Tight end was definitely not a need, but the Bengals just couldn’t pass on the tremendous value Tyler Eifert brings.  Eifert is a tight end but he’s more of a slot receiver than anything, but they’re drafting him to provide another weapon for Andy Dalton more than anything.  Adding Eifert gives the Bengals another red zone weapon in addition to AJ Green and an player to work the middle of the field.

How he’s done: It took Eifert a little time to get going however he’s blossomed into a true weapon this past season earning a Pro Bowl spot and was a huge reason why Andy Dalton was thriving before getting hurt. However injuries have been a big part of his NFL career missing most of his second season and having to get surgery this off season that cost him the entire first half of the season. If Eifert can stay healthy he’s easily one of the five best players at his position. But he has to stay healthy.

Pick Grade: A

 

22. Atlanta Falcons: Desmond Trufant CB Washington

Initial Analysis: When the Falcons want a player they are going to move up to get them. They did that with Julio Jones and they did it again here with Desmond Trufant. Atlanta needed another cornerback with the losses of Brent Grimes and Duanta Robinson and with Trufant sliding they moved up and pounced on him. Trufant should fit in well because he is an excellent cover corner who can also excel in zone coverage too.

How he’s done: Trufant has more than lived up to his draft slot and has emerged as one of the best young cornerbacks in the NFL. He has thrived playing both zone and now as a cover 3 cornerback. Trufant is so good that Atlanta’s defense has not been the same this year since he went on IR.

Pick Grade: A

 

23. Minnesota Vikings: Sharrif Floyd DT Florida

Initial Analysis: How Sharrif Floyd fell to the 23rd pick is astonishing.  Floyd was widely considered a top ten prospect and thought to be taken in the top five picks, let alone the third defensive tackle taken.  But everybody’s loss is Minnesota’s gain.  Floyd will step right into the 3 technique spot and give the Vikings a young dynamic tackle to pair next to Kevin Williams.  When the Vikings were making a run at the Super Bowl a couple of years ago the big reason was nobody could run on them with the play of their tackles.  Adding Floyd will also allow teams to focus less Jared Allen which is a dangerous thought.

How he’s done: I was head over heels on Floyd in the draft process and it showed with my above reaction. Floyd started off his career slow but has emerged into a high quality defensive tackle. A knee injury has cause him to miss most of the 2016 season but he’s been a big part in the Vikings defense being one of the best in the NFL.

Pick Grade: B+

 

24. Indianapolis Colts: Bjoern Werner DE Florida State

Initial Analysis: Werner’s stock really took a hit after a poor Combine performance where he looked stiff.  Werner’s best position is probably a strongside defensive end in the 4-3.  However the Colts run the 3-4 and wondering where he is going to play is interesting.  The common thought is that he’ll fill the role of Paul Kruger as the pass rushing specialist.  But Werner is a lot like JJ Watt in that he knocks down a lot of passes, so he could play some 5 technique.

How he’s done: Werner was sure an interesting pick mainly because he didn’t seem to fit in a 3-4 defense. Personally I thought he would be better served to play the 5 technique, but he Colts tried to pigeon hole him into a standing rush linebacker and he struggle so much that he was inactive for their playoff run. Werner was waived in the off season and picked up by the Jaguars but cut before the season started. Definitely a poor pick for Ryan Grigson and the Colts.

Pick Grade: F

 

25. Minnesota Vikings: Xavier Rhodes CB Florida State

Initial Analysis: Another great addition for the Vikings. They ended up cutting Antonio Winfield who was their best cornerback last year and they needed somebody to step up since Chris Cook has been a disappointment. Rhodes fits in great in their Cover 2 scheme and his size will come in handy against Calvin Johnson and Brandon Marshall who they’ll see four times next year. Rhodes is also a more fluid athlete than people think so that will help him in man coverage. The Vikings are definitely winners so far.

How he’s done: After getting Floyd to be an anchor of their defensive line, the Vikings got their number one cornerback here. Rhodes took a little time to get going, but has developed into one of the best young cornerbacks despite not earning a Pro Bowl appearance. His size and movement skills has allowed him to go toe to toe with top receivers like Julio Jones and Calvin Johnson and help to slow them down. Tremendous pick.

Pick Grade: A

 

26. Green Bay Packers: Datone Jones DE UCLA

Initial Analysis: Green Bay has never really replaced Cullen Jenkins when he left for free agency.  Jerel Worthy was drafted last year and failed to make an impact.  Here the Packers get a vastly underrated player in Datone Jones whose versatility makes him a great fit in the Packers 3-4 defense.  Jones can play a two gap system, be a penetrator, or even provide a pass rush off the edge.  He’s basically a better version of Cameron Jordan.  Another great pickup for the Packers.

How he’s done: While Jones has been an average player, he hasn’t proved to be a better version of Cam Jordon like I predicted. Jones has only started three games in his career, was suspended four games for violating the substance abuse policy and was even cut by the Packers before being brought back. Jones has played alright as a reserve player but has failed to live up as the first round pick they drafted him to be.

Pick Grade: D

 

27. Houston Texans: DeAndre Hopkins WR Clemson

Initial Analysis: We knew the Texans were going to be targeting a wide receiver early in the draft, but they couldn’t have imagined they were going to be able to get a quality player in Hopkins. DeAndre Hopkins is a sneaky good athlete who runs good routes and catches everything in site. He’ll be able to work the short to intermediate routes and help free up Andre Johnson.

How he’s done: I was a fan of Hopkins but I’d be lying if I thought he was going to be as good as he has developed into. Hopkins is one of the best receivers in the NFL. Even in a down year he’s thrived with poor quarterbacks like Matt Schaub, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brian Hoyer. It’s been mess this year but that’s all on Brock Osweiler. Can you imagine how good he would be if he actually got to play with a good quarterback?

Pick Grade: A

 

28. Denver Broncos: Sylvester Williams DT North Carolina

Initial Analysis: What a great pickup for the Broncos.  Denver’s run defense was one of the worst in the league last year and something had to be done to address it.  They signed Terrence Knighton to play the NT spot and now have a new starting 3 technique defensive end.  Williams is a stout defender who can play the run and has the speed and quickness to be a disrupter. Williams also fits in extremely well because on passing downs they’ll be able to slide Williams down to the NT spot when they move Derek Wolfe from DE to the 3 technique spot.  Denver fills a need with a perfect player for their defense.

How he’s done: When Williams was drafted the Broncos were playing a 4-3 defense and Williams was slow to develop a role, but when Wade Phillips came in Williams was the instant starter at the NT in his one gap 3-4. Williams has been an average at best defensive lineman and mainly being a space eater for the other defenders. While they did get a starter Williams hasn’t provided much of an impact and is taken out on passing situations.

Pick Grade: C

 

29. Minnesota Vikings: Cordarrelle Patterson WR Tennessee

Initial Analysis: There were a few people who thought that the Vikings could package their picks and move up to get Tavon Austin because he compared so much to Percy Harvin.  I’m not a big fan of those comparisons and if there was anybody in this draft that resembles Harvin it would be Cordarrelle Paterson.  Paterson is a raw playmaker who is a threat to score every time he touches the ball.  Paterson also has experience running the ball and is bigger than Austin.  The Vikings gave up a ton to get him, but they needed a playmaker bad, so it’s understandable.

How he’s done: After a rookie year where he flashed his playmaking ability with nine total touchdowns earning a Pro Bowl appearance and Norv Turner was coming in as the offensive coordinator a year after turning Josh Gordon into a dominant recevier the sky was the limit for him. Instead Patterson has regressed significantly and barely sees the field on offense. What has saved his roster spot is his return ability which resulted in two touchdowns this past season. Not what you want out of a first round pick.

Pick Grade: D

 

30. St. Louis Rams: Alec Olgetree LB Georgia

Initial Analysis: Jeff Fisher just has a way of getting troubled players to stay in line and reach their potential.  He did it last year with Janoris Jenkins and looks to do the same here with Olgetree.  Alec Olgetree was considered the top middle linebacker in the draft, but some where scared off by some of his off the field issues.  If it wasn’t for those he would probably be a top 20 pick.  Instead he’ll go the the Rams where there is strong leadership and take over one of the outside linebacker roles.  Add in his ability to rush the QB and the Rams are getting a great value here.

How he’s done: I was a huge Olgetree fan and felt he was the best linebacker in the draft and has proven to be so. He thrived as a weakside linebacker in Gregg Williams’ attacking defense that puts him into space and allowed him to blitz. Olgetree has taken a small step back since moving outside to the inside but should improve as time moves on.

Pick Grade: A

 

31. Dallas Cowboys: Travis Frederick C Wisconsin

Initial Analysis: Out of all the reaches that happened in the first round, this is probably the biggest.  It was no secret that the Cowboys needed to address the interior of their offensive line.  But they didn’t need to reach for Frederick here.  Frederick is the second best center in the draft and would be a better value at the end of the second round. Taking somebody like Larry Warford would have been a better option. But the Cowboys must have felt they wouldn’t get him if they waited.  Let’s hope that Frederick pans out.

How he’s done: I wasn’t alone in thinking that Frederick was a reach, but I didn’t like this pick and couldn’t have been more wrong (Even ranked Barrett Jones ahead of him…not good). Frederick started immediately at center and has turned into the best center in the NFL and an anchor to the Cowboys elite offensive line that has allowed rookies Ezekiel Elliot and Dak Prescott to thrive.

Pick Grade: A

 

32. Baltimore Ravens: Matt Elam S Florida

Initial Analysis: Every analysis believed that the Ravens were set to draft Manti Te’o with the final pick of the first round, but the Ravens instead focused on shoring up the safety position that was rocked in free agency.  Michael Huff was brought in to replace Ed Reed at free safety, but they didn’t have anybody at the strong safety spot to replace Bernard Pollard.  Elam fits the Ravens mindset of being fast and physical.  Just watching him play just screams Raven.

How he’s done: Elam had the look of a Ravens type of player and after year one it looked like he was the right pick. However he hasn’t been the same since that year getting beat out at safety and playing a nickel back role. His 5th year option was not picked up and with him barely playing so far this year it’s likely this is his last year he’ll be on the Ravens.

Pick Grade: F

 

Other Notable Players Taken

2nd Round, Pick #36: CB Darius Slay to Detroit
2nd Round, Pick #37: RB Gio Bennard to Cincinnati
2nd Round, Pick #44: DT Kawann Short to Carolina
2nd Round, Pick #48: RB Le’Veon Bell to Pittsburgh
2nd Round, Pick #52: LB Jamie Collins to New England
3rd Round, Pick #63: TE Travis Kelce to Kansas City
3rd Round, Pick #65: RG Larry Warford to Detroit
3rd Round, Pick #69: DB Tyrann Mathieu to Arizona
3rd Round, Pick #71: S TJ McDonald to St. Louis
3rd Round, Pick #75: OT Terron Armstead to New Orleans
3rd Round, Pick #76: WR Keenan Allen to San Diego
3rd Round, Pick #85: TE Jordan Reed to Washington
3rd Round, Pick #94: DT Brandon Williams to Baltimore
4th Round, Pick #109: OT David Bakhtiari to Green Bay
6th Round, Pick #181: RB Latavius Murray to Oakland
6th Round, Pick #194: RB Spencer Ware to Seattle

Notable Undrafted Free Agents

Arizona: S Tony Jefferson
Atlanta: OT Ryan Schraeder
Denver: RB CJ Anderson

Best Class

detroit-lions-logo Detroit Lions

Notable Picks: DE Ezekiel Ansah, CB Darius Slay, G Larry Warford, DE Devin Taylor, RB Theo Riddick
The Lions were a team that was on the rise and this draft class really help them become a team that can be a playoff contender year in and year out. Ansah is one of the best pass rushers in the NFL and Slay is one of the best corners. Warford was a steal (I gave him a first round grade) and Taylor has given them a role player at end. Theo Riddick may not be an every down running back, but he’s easily the best receiving backs in the league.

Worst Class

indianapolis-colts-logo Indianapolis Colts

Picks: DE Bjoern Werner, G Hugh Thorton, C Khaled Holmes, DT Montori Hughes, S Josh Boyett, RB Kerwynn Williams, TE Justice Cunningham
While Grigson gets praise for the Andrew Luck draft this class and several after are prime reasons the Colts have struggled this past couple of years and invested so much in free agency. Not one single player drafted in this class gave the Colts anything. Werner, Hughes, Holmes, Boyett, Williams and Cunningham have all been cut. That leaves Hugh Thorton as the sole survivor and he’s a back up on a poor offensive line.

Overall Thoughts

When looking back at this class it’s clear and obvious that the 2013 draft was devoid of talent with only two out of the top 15 being selected to at least one Pro Bowl. The second round did produce some true talent with guys like Jamie Collins, Darius Slay and Le’Veon Bell but after the second round it was hit and miss there. Even if you look at the quarterbacks the best that came out could be Mike Glennon and he’s a backup. Safe to say only a select few teams really boosted their teams here.

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