After months of waiting, the 2013 NFL draft is finally here.
Millions of football-starved fans will be tuning in on their TVs to soak in the first-round action on Thursday, April 25. If this year's extravaganza is anything like last year's, it will surely involve multiple trades.
Unlike last year's draft, it's unlikely that a quarterback will be selected in the first couple of picks, however, but that shouldn't diminish this year's class.
Offensive and defensive linemen dominate the top of the board, but these men are just as critical to a team's success than a quarterback is.
Here's what you need to know to make sure you don't miss a minute of the action.
When: Thursday, April 25 at 8:00 p.m. ET
Where: Radio City Music Hall in New York, NY
TV: ESPN and NFL Network
Biggest Storylines for Round 1
Who Will Be the First Man Off the Board?
It's a widely held belief that the Kansas City Chiefs will draft one of the top offensive tackles with the first pick of the draft.
Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher are both phenomenal prospects who have the ability to make an immediate and positive impact as starting left tackles.
ESPN's Adam Schefter won't be shocked if these two men end up going No. 1 and No. 2 overall:
Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter
Feeling is OTs Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher will be first two players picked Thursday night. Then Oakland's turn...4/23/2013, 8:12:03 PM
Truthfully, the Chiefs can't go wrong with either player.
Tune in on Thursday night to see which one they choose.
Will Manti Te'o Be Drafted in Round 1?
Te'o is one of the most recognizable and polarizing players in this year's draft. He's also one of the most decorated college players in history, but there's no guarantee he'll be selected in the first round.
With average athleticism and speed, Te'o will surely be a solid player at the next level, but he isn't the kind of dynamic athlete we've seen dominate the middle of the field in recent years.
NFL Films guru Greg Cosell recently answered questions about the draft and touched on Te'o, saying:
I think Manti Te’o will be a solid NFL player and we’ll stop there...I think he’s best in a confined area. If you look back over recent years, there have been a number of linebackers that have been better prospects coming out of college than Manti Te’o.
I think he’ll end up having a very nice NFL career and he’ll be a solid, good player. However, I do not think he’ll ever be spoken about as an impact defender.
There's a good chance Cosell isn't the only talent evaluator with this opinion. According to Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, one scout said, "We've kind of taken him off the board."
It will be fascinating to see how this plays out on draft day.
Which Risky Players Will Be Selected Early?
Last year, the Kansas City Chiefs took a big gamble on Dontari Poe, who blew scouts away with an impressive workout at the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine. From a purely physical standpoint, Poe had the tools to dominate the trenches, but he was raw and didn't produce well in college.
It remains to be seen if Poe will become the player the Chiefs hoped he'd develop into when he was drafted, but to this point, the franchise has not gotten a good return for its investment.
There are a few players like Poe who could be selected early in this year's draft, despite the fact that they have limited experience and/or production.
Ezekiel Ansah, Dion Jordan, Barkevious Mingo and Margus Hunt are a few defenders who could be overdrafted based on potential. All four have freakish athletic abilities, but there's no guarantee those abilities will translate well in the NFL.
On the offensive side of the ball, Cordarrelle Patterson has jaw-dropping physical traits, but his game is far from polished.
Chances are, at least a few of these men will be drafted early in Round 1, and it won't be shocking if all of them are selected before the round is up on Thursday night.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78 and don't forget to check out Bleacher Report's wall-to-wall draft coverage on the front page. Matt Miller, Aaron Nagler, Michael Felder and Josh Zerkle will be evaluating each and every pick live from New York!
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