2013 NFL Draft: 5 Players Who Will Be Drafted Too Low

Marques Eversoll@MJEversollAnalyst IApril 21, 2013

2013 NFL Draft: 5 Players Who Will Be Drafted Too Low

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    Each and every year, players are moved down draft boards for their size, speed and/or character concerns. But several years down the road, a draft class is put under the microscope, bringing several prospects to light as being drafted too low.

    A year ago, the Seattle Seahawks drafted Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson in the third round. Wilson went on to lead the Seahawks to the playoffs, accounting for 30 total touchdowns and a 100.0 passer rating.

    One year into the Russell Wilson Era in Seattle, teams are surely scratching their heads wondering how they let him go unclaimed until Round 3.

    Several weeks prior to last year's draft, we identified five players who would be drafted too low. Doug Martin, T.Y. Hilton and Lavonte David all made well on that classification.

    Now, let's take a look at five players in the 2013 NFL draft who will be drafted too low.

WR Quinton Patton (La. Tech)

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    Height: 6'0"

    Weight: 204 lbs.

    Draft Projection: Late 2nd/Early 3rd

    Should Be Taken: Late 1st

    Quinton Patton isn't the biggest, fastest or most athletic wide receiver in this year's class. But he brings everything to the table and may be one of the most complete receivers in the draft

    After beginning his college career at Coffeyville Community College, Patton transferred to Louisiana Tech, where he would go on to excel for the past two seasons.

    On draft day, Patton will likely come off the board after guys from bigger schools. But had Louisiana Tech gotten more national exposure, Patton wouldn't be an afterthought in regard to this year's crop of receivers.

    Against Texas A&M this year, the Louisiana Tech offense only had one thing (Patton) working for them. Patton caught 21 passes for 233 yards and four touchdowns in a 59-57 shootout loss. If he steps into the right situation at the NFL level, Patton will be a difference-maker immediately as a rookie.

FS Jonathan Cyprien (FIU)

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    Height: 6'0"

    Weight: 217 lbs.

    Draft Projection: Late 1st/Early 2nd

    Should Be Taken: Mid-1st

    Jonathan Cyprien is widely regarded as the No. 2 safety in this year's class behind Kenny Vaccaro. That's a pretty impressive accomplishment for a guy from Florida International University, considering he's ahead of Matt Elam (Florida) and Eric Reid (LSU) on most rankings.

    But in my opinion, Cyprien is much closer to Vaccaro than he is to Elam or Reid.

    Week in and week out, Cyprien stood out on the field. He possesses a nearly ideal build for the position and demonstrates a great deal of range in the passing game.

    As the league continues its trend to using athletic tight ends in the passing game, versatile safeties are in serious demand. At FIU, Cyprien was often used near the line of scrimmage as a run defender. But as the team's best defender, Cyprien was also counted upon to control the deep middle of the field.

    Cyprien looks like a safe bet to crack the end of the first round--and for good reason. But several years down the road, people will wonder why he didn't go even higher. 

OLB Jamie Collins (Southern Miss)

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    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 250 lbs.

    Draft Projection: Early 3rd

    Should Be Taken: Early 2nd

    The University of Southern Miss didn't win a single football game in 2012, but that was to no fault of linebacker Jamie Collins.

    The standout Golden Eagles linebacker recorded 10 sacks as a senior and enters the NFL draft as one of the most scheme versatile defenders. Collins fits the 3-4 defense perfectly as a pass-rusher at outside linebacker, and he also has the ability to play strong-side linebacker in a 4-3 scheme.

    Teams picking early in the second round would be wise to consider Collins, an athletic freak, and plugging him into the starting lineup immediately as a rookie.

    Collins caught the attention of many at the NFL Scouting Combine when he clocked a 40-yard dash time of 4.59 seconds. His explosiveness was on display by posting a 41.5" vertical and 11'7" broad jump.

    He likely won't be among the first several defenders to come off the board, but don't be surprised if Collins comes in and has a major impact for an NFL team as a rookie.

RB Gio Bernard (North Carolina)

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    Height: 5'8"

    Weight: 203 lbs.

    Draft Projection: Late 2nd/Early 3rd

    Should Be Taken: Early 2nd

    Gio Bernard only played two years of college football, but he excelled both seasons at North Carolina.

    In the present-day, pass-happy league that is the NFL, Bernard will fit in nicely with an offense that already has a good quarterback in place. He caught 92 passes in two years with the Tar Heels, who often operated out of the shotgun formation.

    It's understandable why some project Bernard as a second-tier, Day 2-type pick. He's inexperienced, undersized and played behind a great offensive line in college. But only playing two years of Division I football means Bernard has limited tread on his tires.

    A team picking late in the second round will be getting a great player in Bernard. And a few years down the road, there's a good chance he ends up being the best running back from this class.

WR Stedman Bailey (West Virginia)

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    Height: 5'10"

    Weight: 193 lbs.

    Draft Projection: Mid-3rd

    Should Be Taken: Early 2nd

    It's no secret why former West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith and wide receiver Tavon Austin could be among the first 10 picks in the 2013 NFL draft. The Mountaineers offense was sensational in 2012.

    But being overshadowed by Austin's astronomically high ceiling is fellow receiver Stedman Bailey.

    While he isn't the biggest (5'10") or the fastest (4.46) receiver in the draft, Bailey is a precise route-runner and routinely makes plays after the catch. And despite Austin being the matchup nightmare for opposing defenses, Bailey was the more productive receiver for the Mountaineers last season.

    Bailey entered the draft after his junior year in which he caught 114 passes for 1,622 yards and 25 touchdowns. But due to an extremely deep class of receivers, Bailey will likely come off the board at some point in the third round.

    Bailey—a teammate of Geno Smith in high school and college—will attend the draft as Smith's guest. But it wouldn't be a surprise at all if Bailey had the better NFL career.


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