2013 NFL Draft Grades: How Teams Performed in the First Round

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2013 NFL Draft Grades: How Teams Performed in the First Round
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After a period of reflection and consideration over the first round of the 2013 NFL draft, opinions have changed a little bit from the initial knee-jerk reaction and grades to the first 32 picks on Thursday.

Some grades have changed entirely, others have stayed the same.

It's the nature of the beast with the NFL draft, largely because prospect evaluation is such a different animal between the thousands of scouts, NFL team personnel members and media members who try to decipher which players would look good in different uniforms.

There's nothing to predict now—the first round is in the books, and with that the expectations for 32 college prospects are now forever tied to the designation of being a first-round pick. As Day 3 approaches, here's a look at the latest grades from the first round for all 32 teams, complete with some additional analysis at the bottom of the page.

*For a complete look at the entirety of the 2013 NFL draft first round, click here. For B/R NFL Lead Writer Michael Schottey's individual grades, click here.

 

Team-By-Team 2013 NFL Draft Round 1 Grades

Team                      First-Round Pick(s)                           Grade
Arizona Cardinals       OG Jonathan Cooper A-
Atlanta Falcons CB Desmond Trufant A
Baltimore Ravens S Matt Elam B+
Buffalo Bills QB E.J. Manuel B
Carolina Panthers DT Star Lotulelei A+
Chicago Bears OG/OT Kyle Long C+
Cincinnati Bengals TE Tyler Eifert B+
Cleveland Browns DE Barkevious Mingo B-
Dallas Cowboys C Travis Frederick D
Denver Broncos DT Sylvester Williams B+
Detroit Lions DE Ezekiel Ansah B
Green Bay Packers   DE Datone Jones B+
Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins A-
Indianapolis Colts DE Bjoern Werner B-
Jacksonville Jaguars   OT Luke Joeckel A+
Kansas City Chiefs OT Eric Fisher A
Miami Dolphins DE Dion Jordan A-
Minnesota Vikings DT Sharrif Floyd, CB Xavier Rhodes,
WR Cordarrelle Patterson
B+
New England Patriots    N/A A-
New Orleans Saints S Kenny Vaccaro B+
New York Giants OG Justin Pugh
B-
New York Jets CB Dee Milliner, DT Sheldon Richardson  C+
Oakland Raiders CB D.J. Hayden B+
Philadelphia Eagles OT Lane Johnson B
Pittsburgh Steelers OLB Jarvis Jones A-
St. Louis Rams WR Tavon Austin, OLB Alec Ogletree A+
San Diego Chargers OT D.J. Fluker
B
San Francisco 49ers S Eric Reid
A-
Seattle Seahawks N/A N/A
Tampa Bay Buccaneers  N/A N/A
Tennessee Titans OG Chance Warmack
B-
Washington Redskins N/A N/A

 

Highlighting Specific Round 1 Teams

Kansas City Chiefs (Grade: A)

The Chiefs had a choice to make between Eric Fisher and Luke Joeckel with the No. 1 pick, and the choice ended up being the four-year man from Central Michigan.

After entertaining different ideas for the pick throughout the process, the Chiefs decided to hang on to No. 1 and make Fisher the left tackle of the future in Kansas City.

When it came down to it, Kansas City was getting an "A" for this pick by taking either tackle, in my book.

Tasked with both the blessing and the burden of the No. 1 pick, Fisher will always be graded on how well he performs in direct correlation to Joeckel. It would have been the same situation for the Texas A&M OT if he were chosen here, hence the "A" grade for the Chiefs.

Based on scouting reports and other players on the board, Kansas City really couldn't go wrong here. Fisher has a bit more athleticism and versatility, while Joeckel is more of a technician. Either way, the Chiefs nabbed their tackle of the future and did so without rocking the boat.

 

Dallas Cowboys (Grade: D)

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The sad, strange saga of Jerry Jones as a general manager in the post-Jimmy Johnson era continues.

With the No. 18 pick, Dallas was in maybe the most favorable position of any team in the draft. With targets Sharrif Floyd, Sylvester Williams and Eric Reid on the board, Jones and company could have used this pick to target either of Dallas' biggest defensive needs (DT, S).

Instead, he auctioned the pick off to the San Francisco 49ers. It's not a bad move by philosophy, but the Niners gave up only a third-round pick (No. 74) to swap first-round spots with Dallas and get a player who was clearly high on Jim Harbaugh's board.

To make matters worse, Dallas selected center Travis Frederick of Wisconsin with its first-round pick, a player who admitted he didn't expect to be drafted until Day 2 (h/t Jon Machota of The Dallas Morning News). 

Most had a second- or third-round grade on Frederick, who now has to beat out one of the three between Nate Livings, McKenzy Bernadeau and Phil Costa to earn a starting job. That's not to say Frederick is a bad player—there were just other players rated higher than this kid from Wisconsin.

It's getting harder and harder to understand Dallas' Round 1 strategy these days, even though you have to pat Jones on the back (ever so lightly) for picking up an additional third-rounder.

 

New England Patriots (Grade: B+)

New England is the only team that didn't have a first-round pick that gets a grade, specifically because it had a first-round pick before making a draft-night trade at the bottom of the round.

Minnesota saw a chance to get back into the first round to draft Cordarrelle Patterson at No. 29, and New England took full advantage, picking up four picks for the one and adding some depth to a draft class that would have been paltry otherwise.

New England always seems to find a way to get the best value out of one pick—even if that means not taking a player at all.

I gave the Patriots a B+ for passing on Justin Hunter here because I thought he might have been a good fit with the team. That being said, you really can't do any better than adding four picks for one in any sport, and New England does it again under Bill Belichick's philosophy.

 

St. Louis Rams (Grade: A+)

St. Louis moved up and down in separate deals on the evening, and ended up being one of only three teams (Jacksonville and Carolina being the others) that got an A-plus grade for its first round.

Leaving nothing up to chance, the Rams moved ahead of the New York Jets to nab WR Tavon Austin at No. 8, and then managed to pull off a trade with the Atlanta Falcons to get back the assets they used to move up the ladder.

With that No. 30 pick, the Rams took the most athletic player on the board, snagging Alec Ogletree from Georgia to add depth and speed to a defense that looks more and more like a Jeff Fisher unit that shouldn't be messed with.

By getting a replacement for Danny Amendola in the top 10 and then getting those assets back with another first-round pick in the process, you couldn't have had a more perfect first round if you were a Rams fan.

With additional picks to shore up other needs, the Rams made a bold statement in the NFC West on Thursday—the only kind of statement that matters in a talented division.

 

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