The first round of the NFL draft usually has some exciting players, and 2013 was no different. There were explosive receivers and athletic pass-rushers taken on Thursday night, and Friday will likely have even more exciting players taken.
Let’s take a look at some of the most exciting players taken in the first round.
Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
When it comes to pass-rushers, it doesn’t get much more intimidating than Dion Jordan.
The Miami Dolphins clearly felt that way, trading up from the 12th overall pick to No. 3 in a trade with the Oakland Raiders. They were able to snag Jordan and the front office clearly seems happy with the pick.
Jordan is an athletic monster in terms of NFL prospects. Listed at 6’6’’ and 248 pounds, he uses his impressive length and long arms to get separated from opposing linemen and getting to the ball-carrier. He possesses several moves to get into the backfield quickly, including a pretty impressive spin move. Thanks to his size and quickness, Jordan is arguably the top pass-rusher in the draft this year.
It’s hard to not like this pick for the Dolphins. They will be thrilled to have a guy like Jordan on the team, and he will certainly be fun to watch in Miami.
Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
The St. Louis Rams needed a weapon for Sam Bradford badly, and they finally found one in Austin. By trading with the Bills to move up to the No. 8 spot, they were able to land Austin.
Austin is not only the most electrifying receiver in the draft, he may also be the most electrifying player. After running the 40-yard dash in 4.34 seconds at the combine, it was pretty clear that he was the real deal. He is insanely quick on the field and gets plenty of yards after the catch when in the open field. He made big play after big play in college, and the Rams are hoping that will transition to the pros.
Plenty of people will be interested in seeing Austin play in the NFL. With so much speed and elite physical talent, it’s hard to argue with this pick.
Matt Elam, S, Florida
The Baltimore Ravens may have had the last pick in the first round, but they were able to add a very exciting defender. The team clearly needed help on defense at almost every position, but replacing Ed Reed was one of the bigger needs, and they were able to do just that by bringing in Matt Elam.
What makes Elam such an exciting pick is his hard-hitting mentality at the safety position. Even at 5’10’’ and 208 pounds, Elam finds ways to make some very big hits. He excels as a blitzer and can help defend the run. He is able to wrap up the ball-carrier rather than slide off, and he is able to blow up the backfield frequently.
There are few picks that seem to be a better fit than Elam with the Ravens. By replacing a hard-hitter with another one, the team is already back on track to building another Super Bowl-caliber team.