NFL Draft 2013: Showcasing the Best Mid-Round Gems
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There's a plethora of talent projected to go in the middle rounds of the 2013 NFL draft. Ahead, we showcase the best mid-round prospects, as this entire class is quite unique compared to recent years.
We're typically used to quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers leading the pack, but 2013 is different with the offensive and defensive lines presenting the most depth. All other positions are back a few steps regarding top-heavy talent and expected first-rounders.
Mesh everything together, and the second and third days of this draft will be quite intriguing. The following players are just a snapshot of the talent available when we progress after Round 1.
David Bakhtiari, Tackle, Colorado
We know the NFL is a passing league. Quarterbacks need an athletic offensive tackle to seal the edge of the pocket.
Pass-rushers continue to get quicker and stronger, which makes Colorado's David Bakhtiari a great mid-round selection. Despite appearing a bit undersized (6'4", 299 pounds), Bakhtiari plays stronger and faster than at first glance.
Possessing sound footwork and a base for pass protection, his strength bodes well to stifle bull-rushers and hang with the faster defenders. His initial explosiveness is quite impressive as well, because Bakhtiari can get upfield to extend running lanes, reach from the back side and pull outside for screens.
On occasion he does get out of position, but his overall talent and potential will quicken his development.
Zac Dysert, QB, Miami (Ohio)
Zac Dysert is an interesting prospect in this quarterback class.
He brings the mobility and strong arm to make the NFL transition. Despite most of his snaps coming in the shotgun, Dysert possesses good mechanics and a fast release to make every throw.
At Miami (Ohio), he completed 63.8 percent of his throws and tossed 73 touchdowns to 51 picks. Last season was definitely his best, as Dysert connected for 25 scores to only 12 interceptions. He appeals to a West Coast offense because his ability to roll out and laser the rock to any spot will keep a defense guessing.
A concern about Dysert isn't so much decision-making as it is accuracy. He sometimes misses open targets by putting too much mustard on the pass. Nevertheless, when Dysert displays consistent accuracy on a drive, it's a glimpse of his potential, which is more than meets the eye.
Jordan Hill, DT, Penn State
The 2013 draft is drastically overloaded with talent along the defensive line, especially at the tackle position.
We could see five or six defensive tackles go in Round 1, which inflates the marketability of the mid-rounders. Penn State's Jordan Hill is part of that group.
The past two seasons he recorded 123 tackles, eight sacks and two forced fumbles. These numbers aren't electrifying, but opponents double-teamed Hill at a decent rate in a physical conference that focuses on controlling the line of scrimmage.
The Nittany Lions ranked No. 24 in rush defense in the country, and Hill was a key part of that front wall. He provides lateral quickness, assignment discipline and the strength to prevent blockers from driving him back.
Factor in his size of 6'1", 303 pounds, and Hill suits nicely as a 4-3 tackle or 3-4 defensive end.
Dion Sims, TE, Michigan State
Dion Sims possesses the talent to develop as a complete tight end in pro football.
He has the short-area quickness and size to run-block effectively and reach linebackers from the back side. Though he needs to build strength, Sims' athleticism bodes well to stifle defenders when blocking playside.
As a receiver he's a solid route-runner and is quite reliable. In 2012 he caught 36 passes for 475 yards and scored twice. Although these aren't impressive numbers, Michigan State featured a run-heavy offense that fed Le'Veon Bell the ball 382 times.
Sims proved dependable at helping create lanes and then setting up play-action. When targeted downfield, he made plays, and that will only increase with more opportunities in pro football. No defensive back will be able to isolate him one-on-one, and Sims will give his team a competitive advantage in the red zone.
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