2013 NFL Draft Order: Projecting Greatest Potential Steals
Sometimes the dominoes just fall in your favor.
Several lucky teams could potentially nab some steals in the 2013 NFL draft, whether it be because of one player dropping due to a bad game or because of other teams' needs.
Here's a look at the teams I see finding a four-leaf clover in April.
New Orleans Saints (No. 15): Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame
Manti Te'o may have been a tackling machine in the regular season, but he choked in the BCS National Championship Game, missing numerous tackles and taking bad angles to the ball.
Te'o is still a clear-cut first-round prospect, but I could see him falling out of the top 10 and getting nabbed by the Saints, who are in desperate need of a run-stuffer at inside linebacker, at No. 15 overall.
There are questions about whether Te'o will be a Pro Bowler in the future, but he should be a solid starter if nothing else, and he's a good value pick here.
Baltimore Ravens (No. 25): Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
The Ravens could go a number of ways at this spot, but a versatile pass-rusher like Ezekiel Ansah would be hard to pass up here.
While teammate Kyle Van Noy stole the spotlight in the 23-6 victory over San Diego State in the Poinsettia Bowl, Ansah still registered five tackles, forced a fumble, broke up a pass and recorded an interception.
Not bad for a 6'6", 270-pounder.
The Ravens would gladly take a defensive prospect of Ansah's caliber, who I believe is underrated at this point.
Green Bay Packers (No. 26): Barrett Jones, C, Alabama
Given Barrett Jones' troubles with Notre Dame's Louis Nix III in the BCS National Championship Game, and the fact that he underwent surgery this week after a Lisfranc (foot) injury (per ESPN), it's possible that the 302-pounder drops in the draft.
But if Jones stays healthy moving forward, there are some who believe he could become an All-Pro in the NFL.
Jones is versatile enough to stay at center or swing to one of the guard spots if need be. Given the Packers' troubles on the interior line, this would be a great pick for them.
Atlanta Falcons (No. 28): Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
Tyler Eifert's stats in the national title game (six catches, 61 yards) don't tell the whole story.
While the quarterback play was inconsistent, Eifert showed he could be an asset, particularly when he made a highlight-reel catch against Alabama's top cornerback, Dee Milliner, that was mistakenly ruled incomplete.
With solid athleticism, body control and hands, Eifert would be a steal to replace Tony Gonzalez in Atlanta.
2013 NFL Draft Order
Note: picks 25-32 are projected and subject to change based on playoff results.
1. Kansas City Chiefs (2-14)
2. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14)
3. Oakland Raiders (4-12)
4. Philadelphia Eagles (4-12)
5. Detroit Lions (4-12)
6. Cleveland Browns (5-11)
7. Arizona Cardinals (5-11)
8. Buffalo Bills (6-10)
9. New York Jets (6-10)
10. Tennessee Titans (6-10)
11. San Diego Chargers (7-9)
12. Miami Dolphins (7-9)
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9)
14. Carolina Panthers (7-9)
15. New Orleans Saints (7-9)
16. St. Louis Rams (7-8-1)
17. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8)
18. Dallas Cowboys (8-7)
19. New York Giants (9-7)
20. Chicago Bears (10-6)
21. Cincinnati Bengals (10-6)
22. St. Louis Rams (via Washington Redskins) (10-6)
23. Minnesota Vikings (10-6)
24. Indianapolis Colts (11-5)
25. Baltimore Ravens (10-6)
26. Green Bay Packers (11-5)
27. Houston Texans (12-4)
28. Atlanta Falcons (13-3)
29. Seattle Seahawks (11-5)
30. New England Patriots (12-4)
31. San Francisco 49ers (11-4-1)
32. Denver Broncos (13-3)
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