NFL Draft 2013: Everything You Need to Know About This Year's Marquee Event

Justin Onslow@@JustinOnslowNFLContributor IIApril 22, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26:  Members of the United Sates Military are honored on stage during the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 26, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

For hundreds of NFL hopefuls, the draft represents more than an offseason event. To those prospects, being one of 254 players selected this weekend means the chance of earning a career playing the sport they love.

While those players wait anxiously for their phone to ring, NFL decision-makers are hurriedly pouring through rankings and numbers. The difference between winning and losing begins on draft day, and the pressure to make the right decisions is inherent with the job.

Fans are given an inside look at the entire process throughout the draft with tremendous coverage that has taken the event to a new level. Once a process that hardly garnered attention in the sports page of the local newspaper, the draft is now covered from pick No. 1 to “Mr. Irrelevant” and pick No. 254 with some of the most inclusive television coverage fans could ask for.

Months of speculation will come to an end this weekend, but there’s still plenty more to analyze. We’ll take a look at everything you need to know about the 2013 NFL draft, including times, television information, players to watch and more.

Where: Radio City Music Hall, New York City

When: Thursday, April 25, at 8 p.m. ET

Television: NFL Network


Day 2 Coverage: Friday, April 26, at 6:30 p.m. ET (Rounds 2 and 3)

Day 3 Coverage: Saturday, April 27, at 12 p.m. ET (Rounds 4-7)

Number of Picks: 254

First-Round Order

1. Kansas City Chiefs 9. New York Jets 17. Pittsburgh Steelers 25. Minnesota Vikings
2. Jacksonville Jaguars 10. Tennessee Titans 18. Dallas Cowboys 26. Green Bay Packers
3. Oakland Raiders 11. San Diego Chargers 19. New York Giants 27. Houston Texans
4. Philadelphia Eagles 12. Miami Dolphins 20. Chicago Bears 28. Denver Broncos
5. Detroit Lions 13. New York Jets  21. Cincinnati Bengals 29. New England Patriots
6. Cleveland Browns 14. Carolina Panthers 22. St. Louis Rams 30. Atlanta Falcons
7. Arizona Cardinals 15. New Orleans Saints 23. Minnesota Vikings 31. San Francisco 49ers
8. Buffalo Bills 16. St. Louis Rams 24. Indianapolis Colts 32. Baltimore Ravens

*Full draft order can be found at

Projected Top-Five Picks

1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

The Chiefs are in a position to take the best player available in this draft class. Without a glaring need at the quarterback position, Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel stands to be the first player selected in the draft.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon

Jacksonville hasn't had much early-round success in recent years. In order for new general manager David Caldwell to make a smart decision on Day 1, he'll have to take a player with versatility, upside and a pro-ready skill set.

3. Oakland Raiders: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida

The Raiders have a lot of holes to fill in this year's draft. Reggie McKenzie has to make the most of the opportunity and find a player who can be an impact player at a position of need. Florida's Sharrif Floyd fits the bill.

4. Philadelphia Eagles: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

Things are changing in Philadelphia. The 2013 offseason has been a period of major transitions, some of which are happening on the defensive side of the ball. In order to make it a seamless process, the Eagles may opt for an immediate starter and impact player on the defensive line.

5. Detroit Lions: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

The Lions need to protect their franchise quarterback. With offensive tackles Jeff Backus and Gosder Cherilus no longer around, Martin Mayhew has to make replenishing the position a top priority in the first round.

*Projections based on writer’s opinion.


Team With Most Picks: San Francisco 49ers (13)

The San Francisco 49ers made a trip to the Super Bowl last season, added some quality talent in free agency and now have 13 picks to work with in this year’s draft, including the No. 31 selection in the first round.

With a slew of picks to go around, expect the 49ers to be major movers throughout the draft, packaging selections to move up and down the board for players they want. No team will be as active as San Francisco this weekend.


Teams With Fewest Picks: New Orleans Saints, New England Patriots, Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers (5 each)

The Saints, Panthers, Bears and Patriots will have to make good use of their picks this year as each team has just five to work with. Given the amount of teams that will be trying to trade down in the first round, moving back on Day 1 to acquire more picks may be a problem for each of these teams.

Chicago and New England will be teams to watch near the bottom of the first round (20th and 29th, respectively). Should those teams be interested in obtaining more draft picks by trading back into the second round, there may be a market for their first-round selections.


Last 10 No. 1 Selections

Year Team Player Position
2012 Indianapolis Colts Andrew Luck QB
2011 Carolina Panthers Cam Newton QB
2010 St. Louis Rams Sam Bradford QB
2009 Detroit Lions Matthew Stafford QB
2008 Miami Dolphins Jake Long OT
2007 Oakland Raiders JaMarcus Russell QB
2006 Houston Texans Mario Williams DE
2005 San Francisco 49ers Alex Smith QB
2004 San Diego Chargers Eli Manning QB
2003 Cincinnati Bengals Carson Palmer QB

Biggest Storyline

As is often the case, quarterbacks have stolen the headlines leading up to the draft. But unlike recent years, this year's crop of signal-callers isn't giving much reason to be optimistic.

West Virginia's Geno Smith is the only quarterback garnering overwhelming consideration as a top prospect at the position. Where he is drafted Thursday will rely heavily on the need for franchise quarterbacks in the NFL.

USC's Matt Barkley and Syracuse's Ryan Nassib are also garnering some first-round consideration this year, as well at Florida State's E.J. Manuel. Of the trio, only Manuel was invited to be in attendance for the first round.

With a lot of uncertainty at the quarterback position, this year's group of signal-callers could play a big part in shaking up the entire draft.


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