With the conclusion of the 2013 NFL draft’s first round, there were some clear winners and losers around the league.
E.J. Manuel and Travis Frederick were the most obvious reaches, while there were several steals in the first round. The following are the best picks from Thursday night.
Jacksonville Jaguars (No. 2): Luke Joeckel, OT
With Kansas City selecting Eric Fisher No. 1 overall, the Jaguars were able to land Scouts Inc.’s top prospect (according to ESPN.com) with the second pick.
Joeckel provides the Jaguars with some much-needed talent on the offensive line. The Jaguars allowed the third-most sacks in 2012 (according to NFL.com). His presence should help Blaine Gabbert in his third pro season.
Though Joeckel was drafted very close to his projected spot, the Jaguars couldn’t have asked for a better deal. He will be a solid left tackle for a decade, and he could help turn around a struggling franchise.
New York Jets (No. 9): Dee Milliner, CB
With Darrelle Revis’s trade out of New York, the Jets needed another shut-down corner. They managed to steal Dee Milliner, the fourth-rated prospect in the draft (via ESPN.com), at No. 9 overall.
Milliner ran a 4.37 40-time at the NFL Scouting Combine (via NFL.com), and he pairs that speed with a solid 6’0” frame.
Milliner was easily the top cornerback in the draft, and he proved himself at Alabama in the toughest college football conference. The Jets got a great value at a position of need.
Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 17): Jarvis Jones, OLB
Jarvis Jones was one of the top linebacker prospects in the draft, along with his Georgia teammate Alec Ogletree.
The Steelers didn’t take Jones lower than his rating, as Scouts Inc. had him as the No. 20 overall prospect. Still, Jones was a great pick for Pittsburgh.
With controversial linebacker James Harrison heading to Cincinnati (according to ESPN.com), the Steelers needed another pass-rusher. Jarvis Jones had 14.5 sacks in 2012, making him the perfect candidate to take over for Harrison.
Fans wielding the Terrible Towel next year will be pleased with the Steelers’ top pick.
Minnesota Vikings (No. 23): Sharrif Floyd, DT
Sharrif Floyd was one of the elite talents in the NFL draft in 2013, but he dropped all the way into the second half of the first round.
Undoubtedly, this was the steal of the draft thus far.
Though defensive tackle wasn’t a huge need for the Vikings, Floyd was simply too good to pass up. He is a versatile player, and he will anchor their line for years to come.
NFL.com reported Mike Mayock’s comment saying “I give Rick Spielman and Leslie Frazier an awful lot of credit for pulling the trigger here at 23.” Indeed, credit Minnesota for selecting easily the best player available, even if it didn’t fit with their initial draft strategy.
Grades for Every Pick (Only trades from Thursday night are indicated)
Kansas City Chiefs:
Eric Fisher, OT (B+)
Luke Joeckel, OT (A)
Oakland Raiders–traded to Miami Dolphins:
Dion Jordan, OLB (B)
Lane Johnson, OT (B)
Ezekiel Ansah, DE (B)
Barkevious Mingo, DE (B+)
Jonathan Cooper, G (B+)
Buffalo Bills–traded to St. Louis Rams:
Tavon Austin, WR (A-)
New York Jets:
Dee Milliner, CB (A-)
Chance Warmack, G (A-)
San Diego Chargers:
D.J. Fluker, OT (B)
Miami Dolphins–traded to Oakland Raiders:
D.J. Hayden, CB (B)
New York Jets:
Sheldon Richardson, DT (B-)
Star Lotulelei, DT (B)
New Orleans Saints:
Kenny Vaccaro, S (B)
St. Louis Rams–traded to Buffalo Bills:
E.J. Manuel, QB (D-)
Jarvis Jones, LB (A-)
Dallas Cowboys–traded to San Francisco 49ers:
Eric Reid, S (B)
New York Giants:
Justin Pugh, G (C+)
Kyle Long, G (C+)
Tyler Eifert, TE (B)
St. Louis Rams–traded to Atlanta Falcons:
Desmond Trufant, CB (B+)
Sharrif Floyd, DT (A)
Bjoern Werner, DE (B-)
Xavier Rhodes, CB (B+)
Green Bay Packers:
Datone Jones, DE (B)
DeAndre Hopkins, WR (B-)
Sylvester Williams, DT (B)
New England Patriots–traded to Minnesota Vikings:
Cordarrelle Patterson, WR (B)
Atlanta Falcons–traded to St. Louis Rams:
Alec Ogletree, LB (B+)
San Francisco 49ers–traded to Dallas Cowboys:
Travis Frederick (C)
Matt Elam, S (B-)