2013 NFL Draft Projections: Teams That Will Find Hidden Gems Late

Tyler Brooke@TylerDBrookeSenior Analyst IIApril 24, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - AUGUST 26: Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson looks on during an NFL preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 26, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Packers won 24-21. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

General managers that draft well are usually loved by their fanbases.  This year will be no different, and they are teams bound to pick up a hidden gem or two in this year’s draft.

Here are a couple of teams that are most likely to pick up a true sleeper in the 2013 NFL draft.


Green Bay Packers

Ted Thompson has moved the Packers in the right direction due to his philosophy of drafting players and developing them rather than signing free agents.

So far, that’s been a pretty good strategy for Green Bay.

With names like T.J. Lang, James Jones and Brad Jones coming out of the third round or later, it’s safe to say that Thompson is doing something right.

One prospect the Packers may be looking at is Ryan Swope, the receiver out of Texas A&M.  He displays some very impressive quickness, as well as the willingness to block, which is a big plus in Thompson’s eyes.  His open-field ability could also continue to open up the passing game for Aaron Rodgers and company.

The Packers were able to win a Super Bowl with this philosophy, and several consecutive years of success have left most draft questions answered.  It’s a strategy that few teams use, but it seems to work for the Packers.


San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers fell just short of a Super Bowl victory, but with how solid the front office has been the past couple of years, you have to feel like this team is bound to find a big name late in the draft this year.

A big reason for that is simply the amount of draft picks this team has. With 13 draft picks, it’s hard to see the 49ers not bringing in someone that makes a name for themselves in 2013. 

One of the bigger needs right now for the 49ers is safety, and a guy that they might be able to pick up in the second round is Jonathan Cyprien from Florida International.  He is a guy that loves to hit despite his smaller size, and could make a pretty big impact in the run game.  Despite being from a smaller program, this prospect has some serious potential.

The odds are certainly on the 49ers' side to pick up a player that makes a big impact next season.  With 13 draft picks, it will be interesting to see who they bring in.


Indianapolis Colts

In his first season with the Colts, it appeared that Ryan Grigson knew what he was doing when it came to the NFL draft.  With how successful the 2012 draft was for this team, it isn’t a stretch to think the same thing could happen this year.

The Colts brought in more than a few guys in the draft that were able to come in and play last year, especially on offense.  This included Andrew Luck, T.Y. Hilton, Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen.  All of these guys made an impact last season, and this year they are looking to bring in a few other names.

One prospect in particular would be fascinating to watch in a Colts uniform.  Miguel Maysonet out of Stony Brook hasn’t been talked about by many scouts, and he is projected to be a seventh-round pick.  However, his decisiveness at the line of scrimmage and his vision made him a consistent workhorse back last season.  In his final year at Stony Brook, he averaged a ridiculous 7.4 yards per carry to go along with 21 touchdowns on the ground.

Whoever the Colts take, Grigson seems to know what he’s doing.  People questioned him drafting two tight ends last season, but that seemed to work out just fine.