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NFL Draft 2013: Pressing Questions That Will Shape First Round

KANSAS CITY, MO - JANUARY 07:  Andy Reid talks to the media during a press conference introducing him as the Kansas City Chiefs new head coach on January 7, 2013 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistJanuary 10, 2013

The NFL draft and the events preceding it are all about questions. There are the obvious ones: Who will my favorite team draft? Is that selection a reach or great value? Should we trade up, down, left or right?

There are the more subtle ones: Should I really be impressed by that workout warrior? Is he a good fit for my team's system? Do his positive attributes overweigh any weaknesses or red flags?

And, of course, there are the hilarious ones: What if the New York Jets drafted Matt Barkley in the first round? Seriously, how amazing would that be?

But none of those are the types of questions I'm concerned with here. Rather, I want to present those pressing questions that will completely shape the first round. From determining the value of certain players to other folks possibly staying in college, these questions are will determine everything come April.

 

Will the Kansas City Chiefs select a quarterback?

This question has major implications for the top selection, because I feel fairly confident that the Chiefs will either select a quarterback with the top overall pick or the team will trade out of that spot but still draft a quarterback.

I would be surprised if the latter happened, if only because this draft doesn't have a consensus top player that other teams will vie to select. And I would be really shocked if new coach Andy Reid didn't select a quarterback while he tries to rebuild the Kansas City franchise.

I'm not a betting man, but if I was I would predict the Chiefs would end up selecting Geno Smith with the top overall pick. I have a feeling most teams will be shaping their draft boards with that possibility in mind.

 

What are the Jacksonville Jaguars going to do with the second pick?

The way I see it, the Jaguars have a lot of talented to players to choose from when they select. They could go for the dynamic linebacker Jarvis Jones, though I don't think he really fits their defensive scheme.

Will they go after a more traditional 4-3 end, like Damontre Moore of Texas A&M or Bjoern Werner of Florida State?

Might they surprise some folks and select the top tackle on the board, Luke Joeckel of Texas A&M?

Or will they go after dynamic run-stuffer and massive defensive tackle Star Lotulelei from Utah, probably the front-runner at this point?

What the Jaguars do will seriously impact the rest of the draft, and after the second pick is when I think you could see a lot of moving and shaking on the board, as teams will begin calling the Oakland Raiders at the third pick and Philadelphia Eagles with the fourth pick if a player they really want drops.

The Jaguars will have their pick of a lot of very talented players. They better nail this pick.

 

Will this draft class be strengthened by talented underclassmen declaring?

The 2013 draft class could potentially be very deep if a number of talented underclassmen declare, especially at offensive and defensive line.

Right now, no one is more important than tackle Jake Matthews of Texas A&M, especially after Michigan's Taylor Lewan decided to return for his senior season, Matthews could potentially be a top 10 pick, and if he declares for the draft will re-shape the entirety of the first round.

If he remains in school, several teams hoping to upgrade the position will be very upset, and a player like Eric Fisher of Central Michigan will see his draft-day value dramatically increase. With a number of talented underclassmen already declaring, Matthews has the ability to shake things up.

 

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