2013 NFL Draft Order: Ranking Teams in Worst First-Round Positions

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistFebruary 7, 2013

The NFL draft is as much about where you are picking as it is who you are picking. Teams establish value for players based on film, performance and various workouts throughout the year, which leads to the ultimate decision of what to do on draft day. 

Going over the order for this year's draft, it is not difficult to see which teams are in less-than-ideal positions in the first round to fill the need(s) that they have. 

Unlike, say, the Major League Baseball draft, which should be about taking the best player available, NFL teams have to use the draft as a way to plug holes rather than go after the most talented name on the board. 

Here are the teams that will have a lot to think about when they are making their first-round selections.

No. 3: San Francisco 49ers (select No. 31 overall)

The NFC champions don't have a lot of pressing needs, though there are a few areas where they could start thinking about the future. 

Wide receiver and defensive tackle are the two biggest question marks for the 49ers moving forward. Justin Smith isn't going anywhere on the defensive line, but after he got hurt late in the season, the pass-rush was never the same. 

Randy Moss will be a free agent and he might want to go to a team that plans on using him more than Jim Harbaugh did in 2012. Mario Manningham tore his ACL late in the season, which could realistically delay his debut next season. 

The 49ers are lucky that this draft is deep on defensive tackles, though the likelihood that a 3-4 tackle like Georgia's John Jenkins is still around when they pick is slim. 

If they decide to go the wide receiver route again in the first round—remember A.J. Jenkins was taken with the No. 30 pick last year and rarely saw the field—there could be solid options like Tennessee's Justin Hunter or Cal's Keenan Allen available. 

But do you really want to use back-to-back first-round picks on the same position?

No. 2: Green Bay Packers (select No. 26 overall)

While the Packers do need help on the defensive side of the ball, particularly at linebacker, offensive line is their greatest need. Aaron Rodgers had a remarkable season again in 2012, yet, he was sacked 51 times, more than any other quarterback in the NFL. 

This draft isn't incredibly deep on offensive tackles, which is what the Packers need. Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel is the best on the board, but he's not making it out of the first two or three picks.

Central Michigan's Eric Fisher can play left tackle, but again, it's hard to imagine him being around at No. 26. 

As for the need at linebacker, the Packers are in the same dilemma with that position as they are at offensive tackle. There is depth at the position in the first round, though it is unclear whether that means one of their options will be there. 

Georgia's Alec Ogletree will be long gone. Notre Dame's Manti Te'o could be around, as could LSU's Kevin Minter. 

There are a few options, though like the 49ers, the Packers just drafted a linebacker in the first round last year. Do they want to go that route again?

No. 1: Detroit Lions (select No. 5 overall)

The Lions have invested so much time and effort into building their defensive line over the last few years—with good results. Even if you think Ndamukong Suh is dirty, it is hard to deny the impact he has when he is on top of his game. 

Yet, for all the good that has been done in building the defensive line, the Lions have completely missed out on the secondary. They haven't finished higher than 14th in pass defense since 2005, when they were 13th. 

This is a bad year for first-round cornerbacks anyway, but the Lions could miss out on the best one in this class (Alabama's Dee Milliner) by process of elimination. Since there isn't a quarterback worthy of the No. 1 pick, Kansas City will likely go offensive or defensive line. 

That leaves Jacksonville, which is likely to upgrade its anemic pass-rush, Oakland, which could go cornerback or defensive line and Philadelphia, which will either go cornerback or defensive line.

It's not to say that the Lions won't have options to choose from, but none of them address their biggest weakness. 


Full Draft Order (via NFL.com)

1. Kansas City Chiefs

2. Jacksonville Jaguars

3. Oakland Raiders

4. Philadelphia Eagles

5. Detroit Lions

6. Cleveland Browns

7. Arizona Cardinals

8. Buffalo Bills

9. New York Jets

10. Tennessee Titans

11. San Diego Chargers

12. Miami Dolphins

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

14. Carolina Panthers

15. New Orleans Saints

16. St. Louis Rams

17. Pittsburgh Steelers

18. Dallas Cowboys

19. New York Giants

20. Chicago Bears

21. Cincinnati Bengals

22. St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins)

23. Minnesota Vikings

24. Indianapolis Colts 

25. Seattle Seahawks

26. Green Bay Packers

27. Houston Texans 

28. Denver Broncos

29. New England Patriots 

30. Atlanta Falcons

31. San Francisco 49ers

32. Baltimore Ravens


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