NFL Draft 2013: Teams Sure to Botch Their Picks This Year
The 2013 NFL draft is sure to have excitement, including teams completely botching their picks. It seems to happen every year when a team in the first round makes a random selection or picks a prospect earlier than projected.
In 2003, the Minnesota Vikings probably made the biggest draft day blunder in recent memory. They waited too long to make their selection, allowing two other teams to jump in front of them and rapidly make picks.
There have been many other instances when teams such as the Oakland Raiders or Detroit Lions have overreached on a wide receiver that no other team had targeted in that spot.
Whatever the situation, organizations and general managers fold under the pressure and botch their picks on draft day.
New York Jets
The New York Jets’ front office has been under a microscope in the media lately due to the team’s poor play, management of quarterback Tim Tebow and the trade of Darrelle Revis. The Revis decision has created a hole in their defense, but it has given the Jets an additional pick in the first round.
Rex Ryan’s team struggled last year, especially on offense. It also has holes to fill on defense. Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson could use help in a secondary that no longer includes former Pro Bowlers Revis and safety LaRon Landry.
New York also could benefit from another pass-rusher, which is why many mock drafts have it taking players such as Barkevious Mingo or Jarvis Jones.
But if the Jets don’t choose an offensive playmaker with the ninth or 13th pick, they’re making a huge mistake. No matter how dominant the defense can become, it won’t matter if the offensive production doesn’t increase tremendously.
When the Jets are on the clock, they’ll have a chance to acquire an offensive weapon in wide receiver Tavon Austin or tight end Tyler Eifert. If they don’t address their offense, consider their draft botched.
The Oakland Raiders are notorious for making plenty of head-scratching decisions during previous drafts while under control of owner Al Davis. The Raiders had another poor season in 2012, so they’re back into the top three of this year’s draft.
As do the Jets, the Raiders have several positions they can upgrade, ranging from offensive to defensive linemen. General manager Reggie McKenzie helped patch his defense this offseason by adding Mike Jenkins and Usama Young to the secondary.
Still, Oakland’s top need is to solidify a defense that couldn’t stop anyone last year. With the No. 3 pick, the Raiders probably will have their choice of any defensive player. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, tackles Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher are expected to go with the first two selections.
As long as Oakland stays the course and takes a top defensive player such as Dion Jordan or Sharrif Floyd, it should improve. However, the Raiders are on my list because the organization has a history of making mistakes.
It has another opportunity this year.
St. Louis Rams
The St. Louis Rams have not been able to progress and contend for a playoff spot for many years. To take the next step and challenge in the difficult NFC West, they’ll have to add playmakers to the offense.
Sam Bradford does not get as much praise as other young quarterbacks because he simply hasn’t produced. Not by his fault alone, the Rams haven’t been a winner in years, and Bradford hasn’t compiled the numbers his coaches know he’s capable of.
By grabbing Jake Long in the offseason, the team has bolstered its offensive line and now must use the draft to help its quarterback.
With the No. 16 pick, St. Louis should have a good opportunity to pick West Virginia’s Tavon Austin. Austin has proved to be an excellent slot receiver with good quickness who can be a nightmare for secondaries. Any other choice that doesn’t involve a skill-position player is a bad move.
The Dallas Cowboys are one of the more interesting teams to watch on draft day every year. The main reason for all this excitement is owner and general manager Jerry Jones.
Jones never seems to be satisfied with the current position he has in a draft, making the idea of trading up or down a normal occurrence for the Cowboys.
Dallas has been successful lately in drafts, acquiring players such as wide receiver Dez Bryant and cornerback Morris Claiborne via the trade.
Unlike most teams on this list, the Cowboys are set at many key positions. According to most NFL.com mock drafts, Dallas will pursue an offensive or defensive tackle or a safety with its first-round pick.
Either of those options would benefit the Cowboys immensely. But if Jones decides to make a move, you never know what the outcome will be.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are once again at the top of another draft. Last year, the team traded up to choose wide receiver Justin Blackmon with hopes of helping Blaine Gabbert.
Owner Shad Khan can take several routes in the 2013 draft to make the Jaguars better. Despite speculation in mock drafts that the team might have an interest in Geno Smith, Jacksonville has too many problems to fix to take a risk on drafting a quarterback such as Smith.
One of the biggest necessities in today’s NFL is the ability to generate pressure on opposing quarterbacks. The league continues to be a passer's league, and if defenses can’t get to the quarterback they're in trouble.
This is why Jacksonville needs to draft an explosive defensive end or outside linebacker. Players such as Oregon’s Dion Jordan or BYU’s Ziggy Ansah would help a defense that recorded a league-worst 20 sacks last year.
If it chooses to go with a risky selection such as Smith, consider the pick ruined.