April 25, 2013

Live 2013 NFL Draft Grades: Round 1

2013 Live Draft Grades: Round 1 / Round 2
(Thursday, April 25, 2013)

Live Draft Grades for first round picks will be posted in real time. Below I will give my analysis of each pick and give a grade. Determining factors are: (Did they fill a need? Did they get good value? Etc.)

Also, check out my final 2013 NFL Mock Draft here, and see how I did this year.

1. Kansas City Chiefs
Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Ht: 6-7 Wt: 304 lbs. | Class: Senior

Analysis: With the first pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs select... Eric Fisher, Offensive Tackle, Central Michigan.

Whether it was Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher, the Chiefs had to tale a left tackle. Eric Fisher has the athletic upside to be a better tackle than Joeckel, and should be the Chiefs' starting left tackle for the next decade. Even if Branden Albert is kept, Fisher was too good to pass on.

Grade: A-

2. Jacksonville Jaguars
Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Ht: 6-6 Wt: 306 lbs. | Class: Senior

Analysis: With the second pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars select... Luke Joeckel, Offensive Tackle, Texas A&M.

Based on positional value, this pick doesn't make much sense. I have to penalize the Jaguars for drafting Luke Joeckel here, because they already have Eugene Monroe. However, Joeckel was arguably the best player available, and could eventually move to the left side. Not the ideal pick for fans, but a solid addition.

Grade: B-

3. Miami Dolphins
Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon
Ht: 6-6 Wt: 248 lbs. | Class: Senior

(via Oakland)

Analysis: With the third pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins select... Dion Jordan, Outside Linebacker, Oregon.

No one expected this. With so many picks available, I give the Dolphins a ton of credit for jumping ahead of the Eagles to select Jordan. He may not be the best pure pass rusher in this draft, but is versatile enough to do a ton of things with the Dolphins. They needed a pass rusher, and they got one. Not bad. They may see him as a Jason Taylor type.

*The Dolphins give up the 12th and 42nd overall picks. Not too bad. With picks to give, Dion Jordan is worth it.

Grade: A

4. Philadelphia Eagles
Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
Ht: 6-6 Wt: 310 lbs. | Class: Senior

Analysis: With the fourth pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles select... Lane Johnson, Offensive Tackle, Oklahoma.

Lane Johnson is so versatile, and Chip Kelly loves versatility. He'll be such a great fit in this offense. It's a perfect fit. Even if Lane Johnson starts at right tackle, that will technically be the blindside if Vick is under center. Even though I'm not as high on Johnson as others, he has the most upside of the three elite left tackles, and is a great pick for the Eagles.

Grade: B+

5. Detroit Lions
Ezekiel Ansah, DE, Brigham Young
Ht: 6-6 Wt: 272 lbs. | Class: Senior

Analysis: With the fifth pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions select... Ezekiel Ansah, Defensive End, Brigham Young.

Eh. Ezekiel Ansah is a reach here. The upside with this guy is tremendous, but he is very raw. The Lions coached him at the Senior Bowl and believe they can develop him. With the offensive tackles off the board, they had to fill another need... So I can't fault them for that.

Grade: C

6. Cleveland Browns
Barkevious Mingo*, OLB, Louisiana State
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 237 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: With the sixth pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select... Barkevious Mingo, Outside Linebacker, Louisiana State.

They got their guy without having to trade up, so good job by the Browns. I'm always for adding a pass rusher, but I have to knock them a little bit for taking Mingo. They already have Kruger and Sheard as their top two pass rushers, and I'm not a huge fan of drafting a third if you have other needs to address. Also, I have Mingo as a mid-late first round prospect, so not great value IMO.

Grade: B-

7. Arizona Cardinals
Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 308 lbs. | Class: Senior

Analysis: With the seventh pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Arizona Cardinals select... Jonathan Cooper, Offensive Guard, North Carolina.

The Cardinals missed out on Fisher, Joeckel, and Johnson, so I give them props for not reaching for D.J. Fluker. And with the top pass rushers off the board, they chose to upgrade the guard position by drafting Jonathan Cooper. I thought Chance Warmack would be a better fit for Bruce Arians' offense, but Cooper is a solid, and "safe" pick for them.

Grade: B

8. Saint Louis Rams
Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
Ht: 5-9 Wt: 173 lbs. | Class: Senior

(via Buffalo)

Analysis: With the eight pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Saint Louis Rams select... Tavon Austin, Wide Receiver, West Virginia.

When you have the chance to take a dynamic play maker in the first round, go for it. That's what the Rams did. They give up a 2nd, swap 3rds, and flip over a 7th round pick for Austin. Sam Bradford needs weapons, so I can't hate on them taking Austin. I wouldn't have traded up for Austin, but to each his own.

Grade: B-

9. New York Jets
Dee Milliner*, CB, Alabama
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 206 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: With the ninth pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the New York Jets select... Dee Milliner, Cornerback, Alabama.

Even though I view Milliner as more of a mid-first round prospect, the Jets could not afford to pass on him with Mingo, Jordan, and Austin all off the board. He's no Darrelle Revis, but he can be a solid number one corner. Solid pick.

Grade: A-

10. Tennessee Titans
Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 319 lbs. | Class: Senior

Analysis: With the tenth pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Tennessee Titans select... Chance Warmack, Offensive Guard, Alabama.

The Titans have now solidified their offensive line. After Andy Levitre this offseason, the other guard spot was up for grabs. Warmack is arguably the best guard prospect in the last decade. He is definitely of the top 10 players in this draft. When you fill a need and get grade value, that equals an A every time.

Grade: A

11. San Diego Chargers
D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 337 lbs. | Class: Senior

Analysis: With the eleventh pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers select... D.J. Fluker, Offensive Tackle, Alabama.

They reached for Fluker at 11. Fluker will be a Pro Bowl right tackle at the next level, but his inability to play left tackle hurts the value. They could kick him inside to guard as well. I don't completely fault the Chargers. The 5 elite offensive linemen were gone, and they have to protect Philip Rivers.

Grade: C+

12. Oakland Raiders
D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston
Ht: 5-11 Wt: 189 lbs. | Class: Senior

(via Miami)

Analysis: With the twelfth pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders select... D.J. Hayden, Cornerback, Houston.

Why? Hayden is such a great story, and is arguably the second best corner in the draft if you throw out the medicals. This is still a reach. Why pass on Star or even Floyd for a corner with a very concerning medical history? Al Davis is still making picks from Heaven I see.

Grade: B-

13. New York Jets
Sheldon Richardson*, DT, Missouri
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 295 lbs. | Class: Junior

(via Tampa Bay)

Analysis: With the thirteenth pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the New York Jets select... Sheldon Richardson, Defensive Tackle, Missouri.

I don't get it. Where does he fit? Star Lotulelei made much more sense as a plug and play nose tackle. They could have taken Jarvis Jones or even Geno Smith. Decent value at best, but where does he fit/play? Can't figure this one out.

Grade: C-

14. Carolina Panthers
Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 314 lbs. | Class: Senior

(via Tampa Bay)

Analysis: With the fourteenth pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers select... Star Lotulelei, Defensive Tackle, Utah.

Love it! Arguably the best player in this draft fell all the way to the 14th pick, and the Panthers did a great job of picking him up. He fills a huge need for them at defensive tackle, and the value is excellent in the middle of the first round.

Grade: A+

15. New Orleans Saints
Kenny Vaccaro, FS, Texas
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 217 lbs. | Class: Senior

Analysis: With the fifteenth pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the New Orleans Saints select... Kenny Vaccaro, Safety, Texas.

Really good pick by the Saints. They have some young pass rushers, and could have targeted a guy like Jarvis Jones here, but they were able to land the top safety in the draft. Kenny Vaccaro can literally do it all, and is a big upgrade at safety.

Grade: A

16. Buffalo Bills
E.J. Manuel, QB, Florida State
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 238 lbs. | Class: Senior

(via Saint Louis)

Analysis: With the sixteenth pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills select... E.J. Manuel, Quarterback, Florida State.

Who would have guessed that E.J. Manuel would have been the first quarterback drafted? Geno Smith was the consensus top quarterback, and even Ryan Nassib or Matt Barkley would have been ok. You just cannot reach for a developmental quarterback like Manuel. He has the tools, yes, but in the first round it's a major reach.

Grade: D-

17. Pittsburgh Steelers
Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 249 lbs. | Class: Senior

(via Saint Louis)

Analysis: With the seventeenth pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers select... Jarvis Jones, Outside Linebacker, Georgia.

Finally, Jarvis Jones comes off the board. This pick was a virtual lock if Jones would have made it to Pittsburgh, and he did. Great value, and you're also getting a stud pass rusher. Jones should be a really good replacement for James Harrison.

Grade: A+

18. San Francisco 49ers
Eric Reid*, FS, Louisiana State
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 213 lbs. | Class: Junior

(via Dallas)

Analysis: With the eighteenth pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers select... Eric Reid, Safety, Louisiana State.

The 49ers had to trade up in order to get Eric Reid. That's the reality. I view Reid as more of an early-mid second round pick, so it's a bit of a reach at 18. However, he fills a major need in the secondary, and is a really good fit for this defense.

Grade: B-

19. New York Giants
Justin Pugh*, OL, Syracuse
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 304 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: With the nineteenth pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the New York Giants select... Justin Pugh, Offensive Lineman, Syracuse.

Well, I'm not totally surprised, but the Giants could have had either one of the Florida State pass rushers. The good news, is that Justin Pugh is a versatile lineman who can play all 5 positions on the offensive line. He won't be a dominant player at any of the positions, but should be a solid starter.

Grade: C

20. Chicago Bears
Kyle Long, OG, Oregon
Ht: 6-6 Wt: 313 lbs. | Class: Senior

Analysis: With the twentieth pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears select... Kyle Long, Offensive Guard, Oregon.

No! Ok, it isn't a terrible pick, but Kyle long is a middle of Day Two prospect. He's versatile, and has upside, but he is a definite reach with the 20th pick. It's a shame the Bears choose now to draft an offensive lineman.

Grade: D+

21. Cincinnati Bengals
Tyler Eifert*, TE, Notre Dame
Ht: 6-6 Wt: 256 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: With the twenty-first pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals select... Tyler Eifert, Tight End, Notre Dame.

Whuuut? Ok, that was unexpected. My initial reaction was mild, but I warmed up to the idea of Tyler Eifert in this offense immediately. I can't be upset with a team who drafts for value, and that is exactly what the Bengals did. They have Jermaine Gresham, but they didn't necessarily have a true number two tight end. Greshman will play second fiddle to Eifert, however.

Grade: B

22. Atlanta Falcons
Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
Ht: 6-6 Wt: 256 lbs. | Class: Junior

(via Saint Louis)

Analysis: With the twenty-second pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Atlanta Falcons select... Desmond Trufant, Cornerback, Washington.

They needed a corner, but they did not need to trade up. Desmond Trufant is still a solid pick, and arguably the top senior corner in the draft. However, Xavier Rhodes would have made a little more sense IMO. Also, Jamar Taylor could have been had at the 30th spot. They also passed on some good pass rushers.

Grade: C

23. Minnesota Vikings
Sharrif Floyd*, DT, Florida
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 298 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: With the twenty-third pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings select... Sharrif Floyd, Defensive Tackle, Florida.

You have to love value picks. Sharrif Floyd was too good to pass on here. He's the best 3 technique in this draft, and the Vikings needed to upgrade at defensive tackle. Well done.

Grade: A

24. Indianapolis Colts
Bjoern Werner*, DE/OLB, Florida State
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 261 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: With the twenty-fourth pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts select... Bjoern Werner, Defensive End, Florida State.

Another good value pick here. The Colts were in a position to draft the best available player, and Werner made sense. He should be able to make the transition to outside linebacker in a 3-4. I have no problem with this selection.

Grade: A-

25. Minnesota Vikings
Xavier Rhodes*, CB, Florida State
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 207 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: With the twenty-fifth pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings select... Xavier Rhodes, Cornerback, Florida State.

Value is the theme right now. Xavier Rhodes gives the Vikings a true number one corner. I'm surprised that they did not select Te'o, but Rhodes is the big, physical corner they need to match up with Calvin Johnson and Brandon Marshall.

Grade: A

26. Green Bay Packers
Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 277 lbs. | Class: Senior

Analysis: With the twenty-sixth pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers select... Datone Jones, Defensive End, UCLA.

Not the biggest fan of Datone Jones, but this is a good choice for the Packers. Jones is one of the more versatile pass rushers in this draft, and should be a solid 5 technique defensive end in their 3-4 scheme.

Grade: B-

27. Houston Texans
DeAndre Hopkins*, WR, Clemson
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 214 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: With the twenty-seventh pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans select... DeAndre Hopkins, Wide Receiver, Clemson.

I had Cordarrelle Patterson rated higher, but I have no problem with this pick. DeAndre Hopkins is a very reliable receiver, who should be a Roddy White type at the next level. Perfect complementary receiver to Andre Johnson, and a nice weapon for Matt Schaub.

Grade: A-

28. Denver Broncos
Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 311 lbs. | Class: Senior

Analysis: With the twenty-eight pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos select... Sylvester Williams, Defensive Tackle, North Carolina.

I'm a little surprised that they passed on Carradine, but Sylvester Williams is one heck of a pick. He's a good fit in this defense, and has the talent to be a force on the interior. I did view him as more of a second round pick, but not a big reach.

Grade: B-

29. Minnesota Vikings
Cordarrelle Patterson*, WR, Tennessee
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 217 lbs. | Class: Junior

(via New England)

Analysis: With the twenty-ninth pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings select... Cordarrelle Patterson, Wide Receiver, Tennessee.

Love this pick. Cordarrelle Patterson is a play maker, and has a very high ceiling. With both Patterson and Jennings on the outside, this offensive becomes that much better. The Vikings gave up too much in my opinion (I believe a 2nd, 3rd, and a 4th at least), but Patterson is a very nice pick for them regardless.

Grade: B+

30. Saint Louis Rams
Alec Ogletree*, OLB, Georgia
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 242 lbs. | Class: Junior

(via Atlanta)

Analysis: With the thirtieth pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Saint Louis Rams select... Alec Ogletree, Outside Linebacker, Georgia.

Alec Ogletree was their guy, and being able to trade back and still get him is huge. He projects best as an outside linebacker at the next level, which is where he will start in St. Louis. To me, Arthur Brown is the better player, but Ogletree is a really talented prospect in his own right.

Grade: A-

31. Dallas Cowboys
Travis Frederick*, C/OG, Wisconsin
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 312 lbs. | Class: Junior

(via San Francisco)

Analysis: With the thirty-first pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys select... Travis Frederick, Offensive Lineman, Wisconsin.

Ridiculous. First of all, Jerry Jones traded back to the 31st pick and only got a third rounder back, then they pass on Sharrif Floyd and Johnathan Cyprien. Now? They reach for an interior lineman. Don't get me wrong, Frederick is a solid interior lineman who I would have been happy with in the second, but there was much better value here.

Grade: D+

32. Baltimore Ravens
Matt Elam*, SS, Florida
Ht: 5-10 Wt: 208 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: With the thirty-second pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens select... Matt Elam, Safety, Florida.

I had a feeling Ozzie Newsome would go with Elam. Cyprien is the better safety prospect, and they also could have had Te'o. It's definitely not a bad pick however, as they fill a need and grab a play making safety.

Grade: C+