Mel Kiper Jr 2013 NFL Mock Draft: Duds Who Cracked Expert's 1st-Round Projection

Steven CookFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 4, 2013

DALLAS, TX - SEPTEMBER 15:  Margus Hunt #92 of the Southern Methodist Mustangs at Gerald J. Ford Stadium on September 15, 2012 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

ESPN's Mel Kiper, Jr. is called the NFL draft guru for a reason, but he can't be perfect all the time. In his latest mock draft, there were a handful of players who surprisingly slipped into the first round.

The NFL draft is one of the most unpredictable events in sports, as final draft boards usually look nothing like even the best experts' projections. Players always emerge from the end of the draft to have stellar careers, while some top picks never show their true talent.

But regardless, these players listed below shouldn't crack the first round and will slip out of the first 32 picks by the time April comes around.

You can find Kiper's full first-round mock draft here

Let's take a look at the players who Kiper put in his first round that won't have highly successful NFL careers.


Margus Hunt, DE, SMU (32nd Pick)

Southern Methodist defensive end Margus Hunt has eye-popping physical tools–he's 6'8", 270 pounds and grew up on track and field—but he doesn't have the run-stopping skill to be a first-round selection.

Hunt is one of the best impact players in this draft, but he also tends to disappear from games for lengthy amounts of time. With his huge frame, he struggles to keep a low center of gravity when pursuing a run play. 

Pass-rushing is the name of the game for defensive ends, but about half the time you'll be expected to stop the run. You can't afford for your weakness to potentially be exposed like that.

CBS Sports ranks Hunt as the No. 9 defensive end, and there's no way that warrants a first-round selection, even if there are a ton of great D-ends in this draft. 


Kevin Minter, LB, LSU (29th Pick)

LSU is heavy with defensive prospects this year, and inside linebacker Kevin Minter is likely going to find himself a long-term home in the NFL. But it won't be with a team's top pick.

Kiper has Minter heading to Baltimore to replace Ray Lewis, but the similarities don't line up. Lewis has been able to succeed with his overpowering physical prowess and intelligence to sniff out plays.

While Minter has proved to be a cerebral player, he's far from the physical specimen that Lewis is. Assuming Minter will be Lewis' heir to the throne means there will be growing pains as the defense learns to adjust around him.

The Ravens, or any other team, aren't going to stretch this far for a player just because he fits a position of need. There are plenty of players they can pick who will serve as an immense boost, even to a team that won the Super Bowl this year.


John Jenkins, DT, Georgia (25th Pick)

It was awfully hard in recent years to watch a Georgia game and not see defensive tackle John Jenkins taking up a gaudy amount of space in the middle of the field. But he won't have the same impact in the NFL.

Jenkins, at 6'4" and almost 360 pounds, simply swallowed his competition and assumed two blockers on nearly every snap. But in the big league, he won't be nearly the same physical presence. 

His size allows him to be a run-stuffer, but he disappears on the pass rush. In a league that's becoming more prone to strong-armed quarterbacks, you need your linemen to at least make a mark every now and then on the quarterback.

Versatility is becoming more and more prevalent with defensive linemen, and Jenkins simply doesn't have that to the degree of being a first-round pick.


Who are your studs and duds of this year's draft class? Hit me up on Twitter.