2013 NFL Draft Picks: Selections Who Will Thrive in Winning Environments
The 2013 NFL draft’s first round did not fail to disappoint in the drama department.
There were more than a couple of surprising picks, and a few players who were thought to be top-ten talents slipped into the grasp of playoff contenders.
Whether it has to do with injury concerns, production issues or questions from game tape, teams end up with their own player preferences. As a result, the strongest front offices make the no-brainer selection and leave NFL fans everywhere singing their praises.
All three of the teams below have made the Super Bowl the last four years. That’s no coincidence. They continue to strike gold in the draft and 2013 is no exception.
Jarvis Jones, Pittsburgh Steelers
The writing was on the wall for this selection, as Jones’ talent may be as good as any prospect selected in this draft.
Grade the Steelers selection of Jarvis Jones
It’s his spinal condition (stenosis) that scared teams away, but Pittsburgh gave more weight to Jones’ 14.5 sacks in 12 games at Georgia than any medical report.
The Steelers will be rewarded for their conviction, as Jones should be able to contribute immediately—he shouldn't get overworked thanks to the Steelers' linebacker rotation—and ultimately thrive in Dick LeBeau’s aggressive 3-4 system.
Eric Reid, San Francisco 49ers
Besides the Miami Dolphins, no team went out and got their man more than the Niners.
Jim Harbaugh and Co. like the combination of quickness and intensity in Reid’s game and hope he’ll be an more-than-adequate replacement at free safety for the departed Dashon Golson.
With one of the more complete defenses in the NFL, the 49ers will be expected to make the Super Bowl once again. Reid is no stranger to high expectations, having played three years for a national power (LSU) in college football's most competitive conference.
He has had some trouble with being too aggressive at times, but that’s the type of play that the Niners want out of their safeties. With that said, Reid should fit in seamlessly with San Francisco.
Justin Pugh, New York Giants
Did any prospect have a better night than Pugh? Before the draft, he was considered a borderline first-round pick at best, hoping to get drafted by a playoff team.
He got the next best thing: going to the Super Bowl champions one year removed, the New York Giants.
In addition, the Syracuse tackle heads to the Big Apple with an experienced line already in place. He won’t be pressured to start from day one, but he can earn the job if he outworks his competition.
Plus did you see that celebration? Check it out above.
It’s good to be Pugh today.
Mike Shiekman is a Breaking News Wirter for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter:
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