2013 NFL Draft Order: Skill Position Choices Will Disappoint Teams Picking Early

Rick WeinerFeatured ColumnistDecember 14, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 02:   Ryan Lindley #14 of the Arizona Cardinals passes against the New York Jets during their game at at MetLife Stadium on December 2, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

For NFL teams seeking franchise quarterbacks, explosive running backs and dynamic wide receivers, the first round of the 2013 NFL draft isn't for them.

After watching QBs Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Ryan Tannehill, RB Trent Richardson and WR Justin Blackmon all come off the board in the first 10 picks of the 2012 NFL draft, it's important to note this year's edition offers nowhere near that level of top-flight talent at skill positions which can quickly change a team's fortunes.

That's not to say that there isn't any offensive talent to be found in the first round of the 2013 draft.

West Virginia's Geno Smith, USC's Matt Barkley and Arkansas' Tyler Wilson all project to be first-round picks, but none of the three can step under center in the NFL and start immediately.

For the Jacksonville Jaguars (2-11), Kansas City Chiefs (2-11) and Arizona Cardinals (4-9), three teams who will be picking early that all desperately need a franchise quarterback, any of the three would be solid selections.

Former first-round pick Blaine Gabbert has been a disaster in Jacksonville, and while current starter Chad Henne has done a decent job, neither player is the long-term answer.

Brady Quinn and Matt Cassel have failed to take advantage of the significant talent that surrounds them in Kansas City, while Arizona's trio of Kevin Kolb, John Skelton and Ryan Lindley have managed to make one of the league's best wide receivers, Larry Fitzgerald, totally irrelevant.

Speaking of wide receivers, there's no Larry Fitzgerald in this year's draft. 

California's Keenan Allen and West Virginia's Tavon Austin lead the way, but both are mid-to-late first-round selections. Teams like Jacksonville, Detroit (4-9), Arizona and Carolina (4-9), who could all use a second big-time wide receiver, would be stretching to pick either in the Top 10.

For a team that needs a running back, they can forget about looking for one in the first round altogether, for there is no Trent Richardson in this year's crop.

North Carolina's Giovani Bernard, Alabama's Eddie Lacy and Clemson's Andre Ellington lead this year's crop of running back prospects, but they aren't going to be looked at until the second round of the draft.

That's bad news for a number of teams previously mentioned—Jacksonville, Arizona and Carolina—who could all use a dynamic tailback in their backfields.

There will be some excellent players to come out of the Top 10 of this year's draft, but they aren't going to be the exciting offensive playmakers that many have come to expect to see taken early in the NFL draft.


Projected Top 10 Draft Order (based on current record and estimated finish)

1. Kansas City Chiefs (2-11)

2. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-11)

3. Oakland Raiders (3-10)

4. Philadelphia Eagles (4-9)

5. Carolina Panthers (4-9)

6. Tennessee Titans (4-9)

7. Detroit Lions (4-9)

8. Arizona Cardinals (4-9)

9. San Diego Chargers (5-8)

10. Cleveland Browns (5-8)