The NFL draft never goes as planned, although that could be a good thing for many teams.
While a few teams chose to reach for a player they really wanted in the first round, others were fine waiting for a top prospect to fall to them later in the draft.
There were certainly reasons that each of these men fell down draft boards, but this led to a few teams getting great value in the middle to the end of the first round.
No. 14 Carolina Panthers: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
Prior to the NFL Scouting Combine, Star Lotulelei was considered a top-five pick. An apparent heart issue saw his stock fall a little, but a later MRI showed "no evidence of dysfunction" (via Kevin Patra of NFL.com).
Putting this issue behind him should have put the talented defensive tackle back among the top selections in the draft.
Unfortunately, the run of offensive linemen caused Lotulelei to fall to the Carolina Panthers, where they were waiting with open arms.
The Utah star can penetrate into the backfield as well as take on blockers, which will free up the team's talented defensive ends to make more plays.
This was likely the best-case scenario for the Panthers, and they should be more than satisfied with their first selection.
No. 22 Atlanta Falcons: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
Atlanta needed a cornerback in this draft after losing Dunta Robinson and Brent Grimes this offseason. The team was willing to trade up in the first round, but it seemed like the top players at the position would be taken too early.
However, the Falcons did not need to give up nearly as much as they should have to acquire Desmond Trufant.
Arguably the second-best cornerback in the draft behind Dee Milliner was still available at No. 22, and the team made the decision to move up eight spots in a trade with the St. Louis Rams.
Trufant has great speed and can use that to stick with the top receivers in the NFL. This move could end up being huge as the squad looks to contend for a Super Bowl this season.
No. 23 Minnesota Vikings: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
There were a couple of surprising slides in the first round, but few were as shocking as the drop by Sharrif Floyd.
With great versatility to play anywhere on the defensive line at a high level, many projected the defensive tackle to be taken as high as the No. 2 pick. That was not the case on Thursday night.
Instead, Floyd continued to drop due to apparent character concerns, according to Mike Mayock of NFL Network (via Chris Wesseling of NFL.com).
Then again, Jeff Darlington of NFL.com disagreed with this assessment:
Jeff Darlington @JeffDarlington
Mike Mayock said one league exec texted him about "character concerns" regarding Sharrif Floyd. I have "character concerns" about that exec.4/26/2013, 2:44:50 AM
As a result, the Vikings get to fill a position of need with one of the best overall players in the entire class with the No. 23 pick. Pair this with the selections of Xavier Rhodes and Cordarrelle Patterson, and Minnesota had a very good day.
Complete First-Round Results (via NFL.com)
|1||Kansas City Chiefs||Eric Fisher||OT||Central Michigan|
|2||Jacksonville Jaguars||Luke Joeckel||OT||Texas A&M|
|3||Miami Dolphins (via OAK)||Dion Jordan||DE||Oregon|
|4||Philadelphia Eagles||Lane Johnson||OT||Oklahoma|
|5||Detroit Lions||Ezekiel Ansah||DE||BYU|
|6||Cleveland Browns||Barkevious Mingo||OLB||LSU|
|7||Arizona Cardinals||Jonathan Cooper||OG||North Carolina|
|8||St. Louis Rams (via BUF)||Tavon Austin||WR||West Virginia|
|9||New York Jets||Dee Milliner||CB||Alabama|
|10||Tennessee Titans||Chance Warmack||OG||Alabama|
|11||San Diego Chargers||D.J. Fluker||OT||Alabama|
|12||Oakland Raiders (via MIA)||D.J. Hayden||CB||Houston|
|13||New York Jets||Sheldon Richardson||DT||Missouri|
|14||Carolina Panthers||Star Lotulelei||DT||Utah|
|15||New Orleans Saints||Kenny Vaccaro||S||Texas|
|16||Buffalo Bills (via STL)||E.J. Manuel||QB||Florida State|
|17||Pittsburgh Steelers||Jarvis Jones||OLB||Georgia|
|18||San Francisco 49ers (via DAL)||Eric Reid||S||LSU|
|19||New York Giants||Justin Pugh||OT||Syracuse|
|20||Chicago Bears||Kyle Long||OT||Oregon|
|21||Cincinnati Bengals||Tyler Eifert||TE||Notre Dame|
|22||Atlanta Falcons (via STL)||Desmond Trufant||CB||Washington|
|23||Minnesota Vikings||Sharrif Floyd||DT||Florida|
|24||Indianapolis Colts||Bjoern Werner||OLB||Florida State|
|25||Minnesota Vikings||Xavier Rhodes||CB||Florida State|
|26||Green Bay Packers||Datone Jones||DE||UCLA|
|27||Houston Texans||DeAndre Hopkins||WR||Clemson|
|28||Denver Broncos||Sylvester Williams||DT||North Carolina|
|29||Minnesota Vikings (via NE)||Cordarrelle Patterson||WR||Tennessee|
|30||St. Louis Rams (via ATL)||Alec Ogletree||ILB||Georgia|
|31||Dallas Cowboys (via SF)||Travis Frederick||C||Wisconsin|
|32||Baltimore Ravens||Matt Elam||S||Florida|
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