2013 NFL Draft Grades: Full Round 1 Report Card

Michael SchotteyNFL National Lead WriterApril 25, 2013

2013 NFL Draft Grades: Full Round 1 Report Card

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    Dreams will come true and the direction of franchises will be forever changed tonight in New York City as the 2013 NFL draft kicks off at Radio City Music Hall.

    Draft picks come in all shapes and sizes...and they're all gambles. No matter how safe a pick looks on draft night, everyone has a chance to be a bust (see: Curry, Aaron). That said, some might call it a fool's errand to do live draft grades.

    Yet, the immediate analysis of picks has a ton of value. While we'll certainly know more in three or four years, it's silly to pretend we don't know anything on draft night. We can grade the ability of a team to meet its immediate and perceived needs. We can also grade the players selected against a consensus of the pick's value. Finally we can grade the fit of the player in his new team's system.

1. Kansas City Chiefs—Eric Fisher (OT Central Michigan)

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    Need: C

    Value: A-

    Fit: A

    I've been a big fan of Eric Fisher's since the Senior Bowl when he consistently dominated the elite pass-rushers that he didn't often face at Central Michigan. The Chiefs take a slight hit here because the need isn't real big and Branden Albert will likely need to be dealt or Fisher will end up playing right tackle—a no-no for a first-overall pick.

    The value gets a tiny hit here as well because Luke Joeckel (OT Texas A&M) is the better player right now and Fisher was selected as the better athlete.

    Still as long as Albert brings back picks and Fisher matures as a player like the Chiefs hope he can be, this could be a franchise-defining pick for Kansas City.

     

    Overall Grade: B+

2. Jacksonville Jaguars—Luke Joeckel (OT Texas A&M)

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    Need: C

    Value: A

    Fit: A

    Thanks to the Chiefs going another direction, the Jaguars get the best overall player on a lot of people's draft boards. The need is a hit here as well because Eugene Monroe is a great player (one of the best on the Jaguars' roster). Still, the value is just too good to pass up and when the top player falls to a team as talent-bereft as the Jaguars, they had to make the pick.

     

    Overall Grade: A-

3. Miami Dolphins (From OAK)—Dion Jordan (OLB/DE Oregon)

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    Need: A

    Value: A-

    Fit: A

    Huge trade up and pick here for the Miami Dolphins as they move up in front of the Philadelphia Eagles to grab Dion Jordan just before his college coach could grab him. Jordan can play either DE or OLB for the Dolphins, but I suspect he'll play the latter. His skills in coverage will be a huge asset for Miami and give a huge boost to its defense. He's not the best player on the board, but he's going to make a big impact in South Beach.

     

    Overall Grade: A

4. Philadelphia Eagles—Lane Johnson (OT Oklahoma)

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    Need: B-

    Value: B+

    Fit: A+

    Awesome fit for the Eagles as Lane Johnson fits as well as anyone in Chip Kelly's high-tempo offense. He's not a dominant run-blocker, but he'll be able to roll out and stay in front of Michael Vick. As a former skill position player, he's used to running quite a bit and won't slow down as Kelly pushes the tempo.

    The need isn't necessarily big, however, as the tackles weren't the problem in Philadelphia—at least, while Jason Peters was healthy.

     

    Overall Grade: B+

5. Detroit Lions—Ezekiel Ansah (DE Brigham Young)

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    Need: A+

    Value: B+

    Fit: A+

    This is a big pick for the Lions, though he's not the best player on the board and the Lions had to have wanted one of those top tackles to fall to them. While some might be surprised that they didn't go cornerback here, they are absolutely bare at defensive end where Cliff Avril and Kyle Vanden Bosch played last season.

    Ansah is a boom or bust pick, but he'll be a great fit in the Lions Wide-9 scheme and has a couple of great defensive line coaches to help him along.

     

     

    Overall Grade: A

6. Cleveland Browns—Barkevious Mingo (DE/OLB Louisiana State)

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    Need: B+

    Value: C

    Fit: B+

    Barkevious Mingo is a huge reach, but this pick is reminiscent of the Seahawks' selection of Bruce Irvin last year. If all the Browns ask him to do is rush the passer situationally, he can be a stud, but he might not be a three-down player...ever. Also, awfully surprised the Browns passed on Geno Smith. That one might come back to haunt them.

     

    Overall Grade: B

7. Arizona Cardinals—Jonathan Cooper (OG North Carolina)

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    Need: A

    Value: C

    Fit: A+

    This is too high (and I mean way too high) for an offensive guard. Worse yet, he's not even the best guard on the board. However, the pick gets a boost because he's the best guard for the Cardinals. Cooper is more polished than Warmack as a pass-blocker, so he'll work in Bruce Arians' offense in Arizona.

    Sadly, the lack of talent at the Cardinals' tackle position could keep the scoring from ever reaching the potential Arians is used to.

     

     

    Overall Grade: B+

8. St. Louis Rams (From BUF)—Tavon Austin (WR/KR West Virgnia)

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    Need: A

    Value: A-

    Fit: A+

    Austin is not the best receiver in the draft. He's hardly a receiver at all, because he doesn't fit on the outside and his skills in the slot aren't as polished as NFL teams would like. That said, he is an incredible weapon and will make the Rams' offense immediately more explosive. He can line up in multiple positions and become Sam Bradford's new best friend.

    Just get him the ball.

     

    Overall Grade: A

9. New York Jets—Dee Milliner (CB Alabama)

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    Need: A-

    Value: A

    Fit: A

    This is a great pick for the Jets, and their fans have to be glad that it came to them rather than the team going up and spending extra picks for a cornerback to replace Darrelle Revis. Honestly, the pick isn't the biggest need because Antonio Cromartie will be the No. 1 cornerback anyway and taking a No. 2 corner with so many needs on the roster seems like a luxury.

    That said, this is a great fit and Milliner's physicality and athleticism fits with what the Jets like to do with press coverage out on the edge.

    Check out Will Carroll's injury report on Dee Milliner.

     

    Overall Grade: A

10. Tennessee Titans—Chance Warmack (OG Alabama)

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    Need: B+

    Value: A+

    Fit: A+

    This is a fantastic value and pick for the Tennessee Titans who have been targeting Chance Warmack for quite sometime. The need isn't huge because Andy Levitre was already brought over in free agency, but this is going to be a huge pick for the health and success of Chris Johnson and Jake Locker.

    Positional value aside, Warmack is the best player in the entire draft.

     

    Overall Grade: A

11. San Diego Chargers—D.J. Fluker (OT Alabama)

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    Need: A

    Value: A-

    Fit: B

    I'm a huge fan of D.J. Fluker, but the fit on the Chargers isn't great. They need pass protectors and Fluker is a prototypical road-grading run-blocker. Seriously, he is a very talented prospect, but his upside still doesn't ever fix the Chargers' biggest issue—protecting Philip Rivers. The line was so atrocious, however, that the pick almost needed to happen.

    Great player, but a pick that reeks of desperation for San Diego.

     

    Overall Grade: B+

12. Oakland Raiders (From Miami)—D.J. Hayden (CB Houston)

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    Need: A

    Value: D

    Fit: A

    The fit is nice for the Raiders and it's great that they were able to trade down and still land a player they were rumored to be targeting. The value, however, is incredibly low on my board where I had him as a fringe starter and not a first-round player.

    Hayden's biggest issues is lack of overall athleticism (straight-line speed aside) and lack of size. He was bodied around often in Conference USA and could get eaten alive by bigger receivers in the NFL.

    Overall, an OK pick, but there were much better players available.

     

    Overall Grade: B-

13. New York Jets (From TB)—Sheldon Richardson (DT/DE Missouri)

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    Need: D

    Value: B+

    Fit: B+

    Terrible pick for the Jets, but this is still a fantastic player. The Jets have Quinton Coples and Muhammed Wilkerson at 3-4 defensive end and that's where Richardson fits best. He was my second-ranked tackle in the draft and the Jets get good value, and he fits what they want to do. Still, he'll likely be a rotational player when there were impact players still on the board.

     

    Overall Grade: C

14. Carolina Panthers—Star Lotulelei (DT Utah)

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    Need: A+

    Value: A+

    Fit: A+

    The best pick of the first round so far belongs to the Panthers who get the player they need and the top defensive player on my entire board. Lotulelei has a freakish motor and immense amounts of talent. He'll make Charles Johnson, Greg Hardy and Luke Kuechly very happy.

     

    Overall Grade: A+

15. New Orleans Saints—Kenny Vaccaro (S Texas)

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    Need: B+

    Value: A-

    Fit: A

    The Saints replace Roman Harper (at least down the road) with Vaccaro who is better in coverage and better in the box. Vaccaro has been my top safety all along and will get more chances on errant passes in Rob Ryan's defense than he ever did at Texas. The negative for the Saints here is that they may need to wait a year or two for this pick to reach its true potential.

     

     

    Overall Grade: A-

16. Buffalo Bills (From STL)—E.J. Manuel (QB Florida State)

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    Need: A

    Value: B-

    Fit: A

    I really like this pick for the Buffalo Bills and it says a ton about Ryan Nassib that his own college coach went with a guy that I've been saying all along has much better upside.

    E.J. Manuel isn't 100 percent ready right now, and he may not be the best quarterback in year one, but he's going to be able to get the team going vertically, and the Bills can install elements of college offenses to get him on the run.

    This pick is going to get panned across the media, but two years down the road, they'll regret it.

     

    Overall Grade: A-

17. Pittsburgh Steelers—Jarvis Jones (OLB Georgia)

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    Need: A

    Value: B

    Fit: A

    Good pick for the Steelers because he fits what they want in an edge-rusher and they have pretty big need for someone to get after the passer. I'm not a huge fan of Jones and I'm not sure that he'll be able to hold up against the run. He's also only a marginal athlete. Others (including Bleacher Report's Matt Miller) are high on him, so he can't be that bad.

     

    Overall Grade: A-

18. San Francisco 49ers (From DAL)—Eric Reid (S Louisiana State)

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    Need: A

    Value: B

    Fit: A

    The 49ers trade up and replace Dashon Goldson with a talented free safety prospect out of the SEC. The need and the fit are there, but the safety class is extremely deep and a comparable talent probably could have been had later in the first. On its face, an overreaction to losing Goldson, and there were probably better ways to use those picks.

     

    Overall Grade: A-

19. New York Giants—Justin Pugh (OG/OT Syracuse)

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    Need: A

    Value: C

    Fit: C

    Poor pick in my opinion for the Giants because I think Pugh will need to be a guard in the NFL and he is a better fit in a team that uses the zone-blocking scheme a lot more religiously than the Giants. This is a clear example of how runs at the top of the draft board can seriously change the landscape for teams in the teens. This is a reach and the Giants have other needs they could have filled on either side of the ball.

     

    Overall Grade: B-

20. Chicago Bears—Kyle Long (OG/OT Oregon)

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    Need: A

    Value: D+

    Fit: A

    This run on offensive linemen is embarrassing, and it's a bit of a shock to the many analysts who thought that offensive linemen weren't as important as other positions on the football field. The pick actually grades out higher than Pugh because Long is a much better fit for the Bears. Still, another huge reach for a team because it's so desperate to protect its franchise passer.

     

     

    Overall Grade: B

21. Cincinnati Bengals—Tyler Eifert (TE Notre Dame)

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    Need: B

    Value: A

    Fit: A

    The need isn't immense for the Bengals here, but Jermaine Gresham has struggled in his short NFL career and Andy Dalton needed more of a safety blanket than Gresham provided. Plus, this gives A.J. Green a little more space on the edge as opponents will be forced to guard the seam. Without position factored in, Eifert was the second-rated player on my board after Chance Warmack.

     

    Overall Grade: A-

22. Atlanta Falcons (From STL Via WSH)—Desmond Trufant (CB Washington)

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    Need: A-

    Value: B+

    Fit: A

    Trufant isn't my favorite corner in this draft, but he fits the off-man scheme that the Falcons have utilized under Mike Smith. He'll get pushed around a bit early on in his NFL career, but he won't be asked to cover No. 1 receivers and should be able to grow nicely with a great team around him. Nice trade up for need by the Falcons.

     

    Overall Grade: A-

23. Minnesota Vikings—Sharrif Floyd (DT Florida)

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    Need: A-

    Value: A-

    Fit: A

    This is how you draft.

    Floyd was never the top-five pick that he was considered by many in the media. His game tape is pedestrian and his production was even worse. Yet, to get a player at 23 that many considered worthy of a top-10 pick? That's huge for the Vikings. Floyd has skills that can be developed and he'll have a good team around him as well as a great mentor in Kevin Williams.

     

    Overall Grade: A-

24. Indianapolis Colts—Bjoern Werner (DE/OLB Florida State)

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    Need: A

    Value: A

    Fit: A

    Love this pick for the Colts and I've mocked it to them in the past. It's almost a perfect fit for their system because Werner is a great athlete and can stand up against the run out on the edge playing OLB in their 3-4 scheme. Chuck Pagano will turn Werner into a perennial Pro Bowl player.

     

    Overall Grade: A

25. Minnesota Vikings (From SEA)—Xavier Rhodes (CB/S Florida State)

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    Need: A

    Value: A

    Fit: A+

    This is a pick I often mocked to the Vikings earlier in the first round because he's such a great fit for them. He's a little reminiscent of the Chris Cook pick from a few years ago and is a player that the Vikings could use at either cornerback or safety. With Antoine Winfield gone, this was a much needed pick and the value is pretty fantastic. 

     

    Overall Grade: A

26. Green Bay Packers—Datone Jones (DT/DE UCLA)

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    Need: A

    Value: A-

    Fit: A

    Great pick for the Packers—if a little bit of a reach. Jones is a tweener and may not have the raw strength often needed from a 3-4 DE, but next to B.J. Raji, he'll be able to move around and rush the passer a little more than a normal end might be able to. This is a great fit at a position of need. Ted Thompson does it again.

     

    Overall Grade: A

27. Houston Texans—DeAndre Hopkins (WR Clemson)

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    Need: A+

    Value: B+

    Fit: A+

    Hopkins is a bit lower on my board than Keenan Allen and Cordarrelle Patterson, but teams have concerns on Allen's upside and Patterson's character. Yet, this is a perfect fit for Houston's offense and it's at a position of need. He'll be a great complement to Andre Johnson, a good intermediate threat for Matt Schaub and a willing blocker in its zone-blocking scheme.

     

    Overall Grade: A

28. Denver Broncos—Sylvester Williams (DT North Carolina)

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    Need: A-

    Value: B+

    Fit: A

    Williams is the No. 2 nose tackle/1-technique player in the draft and while I think it is a little early for him, he makes the Broncos' defensive line a lot better right away. He'll rotate with both Kevin Vickerson and Terrance Knighton and play snaps at both interior defensive line positions. This will give Von Miller even more room to work with outside.

     

     

    Overall Grade: A-

29. Minnesota Vikings (From NE)—Cordarrelle Patterson (WR Tennessee)

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    Need: A

    Value: A+

    Fit: A

    Fantastic pick for the Vikings who gave up a bevy of picks to get back into the first round. Patterson fell this far because of off-the-field issues, and the Vikings will need to make sure they monitor him closely, but the fit and value is amazing. Christian Ponder is a happy man right now.

     

    Overall Grade: A

30. St. Louis Rams (via ATL)—Alec Ogletree (LB Georgia)

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    Need: A

    Value: A

    Fit: A

    Love this pick for the Rams and often had it mocked to them higher in the round. That they were able to trade down and still land him is fantastic. The Rams have good defensive linemen and defensive backs, but other than James Laurinaitis, the team needed some talent and athleticism in the linebacking corps.

    Ogletree has some off-the-field issues, but Fisher did well with Janoris Jenkins last season and isn't worried about guiding young men without pristine pasts.

     

    Overall Grade: A

31. Dallas Cowboys (From SF)—Travis Frederick (C Wisconsin)

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    Need: A-

    Value: F

    Fit: A

    Terrible pick for the Cowboys as Jerry Jones reminds everyone why he needs to hire a real general manager. I have a fringe starter grade on Frederick and there are a number of centers above him. Moreover, the Cowboys have plenty of other needs and could've added plenty of talented players without reaching like this.

     

    Overall Grade: C-

32. Baltimore Ravens—Matt Elam (S Florida)

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    Need: A-

    Value: A

    Fit: A

    Ozzie Newsome strikes again!

    The addition of Elam will help the defense further improve from the mass exodus it endured during early free agency. Elam is a prototypical strong safety prospect and I like his ball skills—the Ravens will too.

     

    Overall Grade: A

    Michael Schottey is the NFL national lead writer for Bleacher Report and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Find more of his stuff at The Go Route.