2013 NFL Draft: Top 10 Myths About This Year's Draft
Welcome to the NFL draft silly season, where rumors, reports and speculations are aplenty.
While most of what we hear this time of year is nothing more than misinformation, let's take a look at a few of the myths surrounding this year's draft class and attempt to separate fact from fiction.
Here are 10 speculations about the 2013 NFL draft that are unlikely to come true in late April.
The Bills Will Draft a Quarterback in First or Second Round
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Buffalo Bills' general manager Buddy Nix wants to draft a quarterback, and he doesn't care who knows it.
Earlier this year, Nix told Buffalo radio station WGR 550: "Listen, we have said from day one, that we want to draft a good young quarterback. I don't want to leave here without a franchise guy for the future in place."
Nix and his staff have also invited at least six quarterbacks for private workouts, including potential first-round picks Geno Smith, Matt Barkley and Ryan Nassib.
But don't be fooled by Nix's apparent interest in this year's quarterback class. The chances of the Bills landing a franchise signal-caller are far from a sure thing.
Nix has needed a quarterback since he arrived in Buffalo, but he has consistently targeted the best available player in each draft.
While Bills' fans may be frustrated waiting for a quarterback, Nix refuses to give in to the desire for a quick fix. He's seen what has transpired in Jacksonville, Minnesota and Tennessee. Those teams all reached for quarterbacks in recent years and still don't have definitive answers at the position.
It's possible that Nix has finally found a quarterback he likes, but don't be shocked if he waits another year.
Manti Te'o Is a First-Round Lock
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Manti Te'o undoubtedly helped himself in the eyes of some teams by improving his time in the 40-yard dash at Notre Dame's recent pro day.
ESPN's Mel Kiper believes it all but removes the possibility of him falling to the second round of the draft:
Manti Te'o runs unofficial 4.71 40-yard dash at Notre Dame pro day. --- "Puts him in position to be a mid-1st rd pick" says Mel Kiper Jr
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) March 26, 2013
While Te'o certainly could land in the first round, the odds are still stacked against him.
When projecting where Te'o will land, we need to consider the teams with a need for an inside linebacker who struggles in coverage.
The Giants, Bears, Vikings and Ravens could all use an inside linebacker. However, each team is also lacking a true coverage linebacker. The Bears and Ravens, especially, need to consider how Te'o's coverage skills would hurt the dynamics of their defensive schemes.
To make matters worse for Te'o, this is an unusually strong class of inside linebackers at the top of the draft. Alec Ogletree and Kevin Minter could draw interest from teams in the first roundwith both considerably more effective in coverage than Te'o.
Arthur Brown is another elite coverage linebacker who may draw interest from some teams at inside linebacker.
Te'o is certainly in the first-round discussion, but his place within the top 32 picks is not written in stone.
Matt Barkley's Arm Strength Is a Liability
Matt Barkley NFL Player Comparison
Matt Barkley doesn't have Joe Flacco's arm, but he's no Colt McCoy either.
The issue for Barkley isn't getting the ball downfield. The problem is getting it there accurately.
Take a look at these two throws on consecutive dropbacks from a Souther Cal game video against Arizona State in 2011.
For starters, if Barkley can overthrow Marqise Lee with ease, questioning his arm strength is just silly. The issue raised by these wildly inaccurate throws is Barkley's inability to hit his receivers in stride downfield.
I charted Barkley's performance in five games from his junior and senior year. In those games, he completed just five of 25 passes at least 20 yards downfield. With receivers such as Lee and Robert Woods, that's an inexcusable percentage.
Zach Ertz and Tyler Eifert Are Equals
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Ertz and Tyler Eifert seem to be interchangeable in mock drafts. In reality, they're about as comparable as Jason Witten and Jacob Tamme.
Ertz is no slouch. He's a capable pass-catching tight end, but given his limited athleticism and struggles as a blocker, he pales in comparison to Eifert's all-around game.
Eifert is superior athlete and plays like a receiver in a tight end's body. He will rank among the most dangerous red-zone weapons in the league from the time he sets foot on the field.
In addition to his pass-catching ability, Eifert ranks among the best blocking tight ends in this year's class.
In an era when more and more tight ends would prefer to think of themselves as over-sized receivers, it's refreshing to see a guy like Eifert come along.
Eifert has a chance to come off the board within the top 20 picks, while Ertz could fall to early in the third round.
Chance Warmack Will Be the First Guard Selected
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Chance Warmack might be the next Larry Allen.
Few prospects have ever entered the draft with Warmack's size and athleticism. He's a dominant interior run-blocker who will immediately be an asset in the power-running game.
Is he the best interior lineman in this year's draft class? That may depend on who you ask.
There's a strong possibility that Chance Warmack won't be the first guard selected in this draft.— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) March 1, 2013
The reason NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah may be correct in his assessment of Warmack is that Jonathan Cooper may be a better fit for certain schemes.
Cooper is an elite athlete, who will be suited better for zone-blocking schemes and teams running a read-option offense.
Teams such as the Bills and Titans are among those who may have Cooper ahead of Warmack on their draft board. The Cowboys are a safe bet to prefer Warmack, but won't be on the clock until the 18th pick.
No Running Back Will Be Selected in the First Round
Eileen Blass-USA TODAY Sports
You have to search hard to find a mock draft with a running back in the first round, but if history tells us anything, someone will sneak in.
Not since 1963 has the first round concluded without a running back coming off the board.
There may not be an elite running back in this year's class, but there are a number of teams in need of a running back later in the first round.
Teams such as the Packers, Bengals and Broncos may be willing to reach to fill an immediate need in hopes of making a deep playoff run in 2013.
Eddie Lacy is the favorite to have his name called first, but others such as Giovani Bernard and Montee Ball are also first-round possibilities.
Ezekiel Ansah Is Too Raw to Be a Top-10 Pick
Ezekiel Ansah NFL Player Comparison
Ezekiel Ansah, who originally committed to BYU as a track athlete, is only three years into his football career. As a result, he's still learning the game and has drawn many comparisons to another recent newcomer to the sport, Jason Pierre-Paul.
While Ansah is new to football, he is far more polished than Pierre-Paul was at this stage of his career.
Ansah definitely needs to develop his pass-rush skills, but he is ready to immediately step into a starting role in the NFL and make a difference as a three-down lineman.
Unlike Pierre-Paul at the conclusion of his college career, Ansah is already a polished run-defender. He's strong at the point of attack and can easily disengage from blocks.
Few defensive ends enter the draft with the type of physical style of play that Ansah possesses to go with his impressive athleticism.
Ansah has only scratched the surface of his potential, but don't call him raw. This is an NFL-ready prospect.
The Chiefs Have Yet to Decide on Their No. 1 Pick
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The Chiefs would love you to believe that they're still considering Geno Smith at No. 1, but they're not fooling anyone.
Perhaps they haven't decided on the exact player they will select, but every move the Chiefs have made this offseason indicates that they will target either Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher.
Doubts were raised when the Chiefs placed the franchise tag on Branden Albert, but when they released right tackle Eric Winston, a gaping hole was once again created on the offensive line.
According to ESPN, the Chiefs are shopping the disgruntled Albert, who wants to remain at left tackle.
All this adds up to either Joeckel or Fisher landing in Kansas City, and any rumors to the contrary are simply smoke screens.
This Is a Weak Class for Wide Receivers
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
There isn't an A.J. Green, Dez Bryant or Justin Blackmon in this year's draft class of wide receivers, but what the class lacks at the top, it makes up for in depth.
It's possible that only two or three receivers will come off the board in the first round, but at least 20 will be in the conversation as potential Day 2 prospects.
This year's class is particularly deep with slot receiver prospects. Guys such as Tavon Austin, Robert Woods, Stedman Bailey and Ryan Swope could create mismatches in the slot and make an immediate impact.
We may not see many prospects from this class in future Pro Bowls, but there are a number of future starters to be found in this draft.
Character Concerns Will Hurt Draft Stock of Alec Ogletree
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
Alec Ogletree's DUI arrest prior to the combine could have been the nail in the coffin for some NFL draft prospects, but the NFL is an awfully forgiving place if you have enough talent.
In terms of raw physical tools, Alec Ogletree stands head and shoulders above his competition at inside linebacker in this year's draft. When presented with the option of gambling on Ogletree or settling for Kevin Minter or Manti Te'o, some team will likely roll the dice on the Georgia linebacker.
Ogletree's athleticism may be valued more now than ever, given the evolution of NFL offensive schemes. A sideline-to-sideline defender who can drop in coverage should be considered a hot commodity and could land him in the top-20.