NFL Draft 2013: Grading the First Round; Which Teams Reached?
The first round of the 2013 NFL Draft has officially come and gone. There were few surprises in the top 10, with offensive tackles Eric Fisher and Luke Joeckel going in the top two picks. However, one major surprise was that West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith will have to wait until the second round today to hear his name called.
But there are a few teams that got a little overzealous, and made some questionable selections very early in the draft. Let’s take a look at three of them:
New York Jets:
There is no doubt the Jets are interested in replacing recently departed cornerback Darelle Revis. That is why they selected Alabama corner Dee Milliner (9th) and Missouri defense tackle/end Sheldon Richardson (13th).
However, many have criticized New York for not using one of their high selections on a quarterback which they desperately need—for example Geno Smith.
Richardson is a fantastic player, but some are left wondering how he will fit into the Jets defensive scheme. The position at which he was drafted seems filled in their 3-4 defense with Qunton Coples and Muhammed Wilkerson at defensive end.
It will be interesting to see how many snaps Richardson plays early on.
New York Giants:
With the 19th overall pick the New York Giants selected Justin Pugh; an offensive guard/tackle from Syracuse. According to our own NFL National Lead Writer Michael Schottley, Pugh is used to a zone-blocking scheme—something the Giants don’t employ.
While it will be interesting to see how he adjusts in the NFL, the Giants may have benefited from looking elsewhere to fill their need at offensive line.
New England Patriots:
Bill Belichick is at it again. He continued his annual routine of trading down; swapping the No. 29 pick to the Minnesota Vikings. In exchange he stockpiled four of their picks. While some people like the move, others hate it. Several comment boards had people writing “quality over quantity Bill!”
Belichick has done a relatively good job at drafting players out of college. After all he recently found players like Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower.
But recently he has made some questionable selections as well, especially in the defensive secondary (Terrence Wheatley, Patrick Chung, Ras-I Dowling). With that history in mind, it would likely be in the best interest of the team for Belichick to have used his pick on an established NCAA player
But Belichick doesn’t always trade away first round picks; last year he selected both Chandler Jones and Hightower in the first round. There always seems to be a method to Belichick’s madness so we will have to wait and see if he does in fact have a trick up his sleeve.
Grading the 2013 First Round Picks:
- Eric Fisher (KC) – A
- Luke Joeckel (JAX) – A
- Dion Jordan (MIA from OAK) – A-
- Lane Johnson (PHI) – A-
- Ezekial Ansah (DET) – A-
- Barkevious Mingo (CLE) – C+
- Jonathan Cooper (AZ) – B-
- Tavon Austin (BUF) – A
- Dee Milliner (NYJ) – B
- Chance Warmack (TEN) – A
- DJ Fluker (SD) – A
- DJ Hayden (OAK) – C
- Sheldon Richardson (NYJ from TB) – B
- Star Lotulelei (CAR) – A
- Kenny Vaccaro (NO) – A
- EJ Manuel (BUF from STL) – B-
- Jarvis Jones (PIT) – B
- Eric Reid (SF from DAL) – B-
- Justin Pugh (NYG) – C
- Kyle Long (CHI) – C
- Tyler Eifert (ND) – A-
- Desmond Trufant (ATL from STL via WSH) – B+
- Sharrif Floyd (MIN) – B+
- Bjoern Werner (IND) – A
- Xavier Rhodes (MIN from SEA) – A-
- Datone Jones (GB) – A-
- DeAndre Hopkins (HOU) – B+
- Sylvester Williams (DEN) – B
- Cordarrelle Patterson (MIN from NE) – A
- Alex Ogletree (STL via ATL) – A-
- Travis Frederick (DAL from SF) – D
- Matt Elam (BAL) – A-
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