Predictions for Day 2 of the 2013 NFL Draft
Day 1 of the 2013 NFL draft is in the books, and there could not have been more surprises.
Few expected that kind of run on offensive linemen, with picks like Justin Pugh, Kyle Long and Travis Frederick jumping into the first round.
Who could have expected the wheeling and dealing done by the Minnesota Vikings to finish with three first-round picks—all potential starters on a playoff team? Not many expected the fall of Geno Smith all the way out of the first round while EJ Manuel went as the only quarterback.
The beauty of the NFL draft is found in its utter unpredictability.
I went 50 percent on my predictions for Round 1. I hit on the Dallas Cowboys' trade down and Manti Te'o's fall out of the first round, among others. I missed on the number of quarterbacks and running backs taken, as well as who the first overall pick would be.
While I'd love to do better in Rounds 2 and 3, I'll be content if the draft is just as unpredictable as it was on the first night.
We'll See a Run on Quarterbacks
This is a quarterback-driven league, but the NFL teams that need passers clearly didn't value Ryan Nassib, Geno Smith or Matt Barkley as first-rounders.
That said, a few teams in the first half of the second round still desperately need quarterbacks (Jacksonville, Oakland). Added to those two, the New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals could certainly add a passer if the fit is right, and Mike Glennon has been rumored to interest Chicago.
Unless everyone—and I mean everyone—in the media was wrong on all of these top-tier quarterbacks, we should hear their names called early on Day 2.
There Will Be More Reaches for Offensive Linemen
As much as it's a quarterback league, the NFL has apparently decided to start protecting its quarterbacks better.
So, while we'll likely see Menelik Watson, Terron Armstead and Larry Warford head off the board predictably in the second and third rounds, don't be surprised to see even more reaches.
The reaches in the first round are going to pull even more names up.
Some names to look out for: Reid Fragel (OT Ohio State), David Bakhtiari (OG/OT Colorado), Jordan Mills (OT Louisiana Tech) and Hugh Thornton (OG Illinois).
The San Francisco 49ers Will Continue to Wheel and Deal
The Niners had so many picks in this draft, it's not surprising to see them trade up in the first round. Don't be surprised to see them move up again in the second and third—perhaps multiple times.
All 32 teams get on the phone between Rounds 1 and 2, and it wouldn't be absurd to think that maybe the 49ers end up with the first pick of Round 2 simply to ensure they get the player they want. It would be a small jump, and the Jacksonville Jaguars could certainly use a midround pick.
By the time we get to Saturday, any players selected likely wouldn't play very much (if at all) for San Francisco, so look for the 49ers to attempt to maximize their chances in the top 100 picks.
Manti Te'o Will Fall Even More
While I've harped on Manti Te'o not being a first-round pick, he's clearly a second-round talent and should see his name called on Day 2.
However, with Arthur Brown and Kevin Minter still on the board, it's possible he falls even more than people expect, leading to plenty of commentary on the TV networks.
The more Te'o falls, the better position he'll be in. He had a good defense around him at Notre Dame, and he'll need a good line in front of him if he wants to succeed in the NFL.
Tyrann Mathieu Will Hear His Name Called
Tyrann Mathieu seemed convinced he would be a first-rounder, but his fall shouldn't last too much longer. I expect to see his name called some time on Day 2.
Teams believe in him. They know about his issues with marijuana, but they also believe he has learned from his mistakes.
He's mainly falling because he'll end up as a nickel back and return man at the next level. Late third round sounds like a perfect time to pick up that kind of piece to the puzzle.
Skill Positions Will Be More Valued Commodities in Rounds 2-3
Eddie Lacy fell out of the first round, giving us the first Round 1 without a running back in over 50 years.
Keenan Allen, Robert Woods, Zach Ertz, Justin Hunter and Johnathan Franklin all highlight the available skill-position talent—not to mention the aforementioned quarterbacks.
We'll see more offensive linemen and defenders drafted, but don't be surprised if there's a big run on the fantasy positions. Teams will realize that's where the value lies after the big run on non-skill players in the first.
The New York Jets Will Get More Defense
The New York Jets need a lot of help on offense, but they got through the first round without a pass-rusher or safety and could really boost their defense by continuing to stock that side of the ball.
Rex Ryan is clearly calling some of the personnel shots for the Jets, so it wouldn't be surprising to see them finish the defense on Day 2 and look for some underrated prospects for the offensive side of the ball on Day 3 and in free agency.
Tank Carradine, Margus Hunt or John Cyprien would look awfully good in green.
The Detroit Lions Will Find Another Wide Receiver
The Lions drafting a receiver is almost too easy of a prediction—one that could've been made for the past decade and had a solid chance every year.
Nate Burleson is aging, and Ryan Broyles is a good slot fit, but the Lions really want a player who can draw coverage away from Calvin Johnson on the other side of the ball. It was supposed to be Titus Young, but he forced his way out of town.
Expect the Lions to grab one of the top receivers in either Round 2 or 3. Keenan Allen (California), Robert Woods (USC), Quinton Patton (Louisiana Tech) and Markus Wheaton (Oregon State) are all great fits.
Ryan Nassib Will End Up as a Backup Quarterback
At this point, it seems like one of the top quarterbacks has to end up as a backup, and Ryan Nassib is as good of a selection as any. He's "NFL ready," but he lacks the tools to take a team to the next level by himself.
His own college coach passed on him to select the more physically gifted EJ Manuel in the first round, which sends a message to every other team looking at Nassib.
He could end up in Arizona as the heir apparent for Carson Palmer. New York could be another possibility as a backup for Mark Sanchez or David Garrard.
Cleveland and Jacksonville are really his best chances at a starting job, but he may not be able to supplant Brandon Weeden or Blaine Gabbert so easily.
New England Patriots Will Draft Someone Most Fans Haven't Heard Of
The Patriots traded out of the first round this year, scooping up four picks from the Vikings for the No. 29 overall selection.
At least one middle-round pick will be used on a player outside of Mel Kiper's top bajillion players, causing him and Mike Mayock to have heart palpitations while producers scramble to put a highlight tape together.
It's almost a game for Bill Belichick, who leaves no stone unturned for talent that fits his system and personalities that fit his locker room. Bonus points if the Patriots' next selection is the kid picked last on your local YMCA flag football team.
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.
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