NFL Draft 2013 Results: Biggest Winners and Losers from Day 2
Day 2 of the 2013 NFL draft is approached differently by different teams.
Some teams need to add starters through the third round and even later. Playoff contenders are usually interested in rotational players, sub-package players, system fits and high-upside picks that can contribute in limited roles early on.
In many ways, the draft is won or lost in these rounds, as the picks are less risky than first-rounders, but the value that can be found in Round 2 and 3 can put a team over the top.
Winner: Manti Te'o and the Chargers
Manti Te'o didn't have to wait long to have his name called, so I won't keep anyone waiting while I talk about him. Te'o is a great fit for San Diego, where some of his deficiencies will be hidden inside the 3-4, and the defensive line in front of him is stout enough to keep him clean in order to flow and make plays near the line of scrimmage.
It was a reach in terms of the linebackers left on the board, but he'll step in and be a leader for the Chargers' defense and look to put the catfish hoax behind him.
As for the rest of the Chargers' Friday night? Adding Keenan Allen (my top receiver) is a great move, and he should step in immediately as a contributor on offense if he is healthy when the season starts.
Loser: Washington Redskins
I'm not sure if the Redskins had any recent tape on David Amerson. Honestly, if he can play like he did the year before, this will be an inspired pick, but he was burned often this past season and looks like a reach with so much cornerback talent on the board.
The next pick, Jordan Reed, might not crack the tight-end rotation with Fred Davis back and Logan Paulsen sure and steady.
Winner: Baltimore Ravens
Ozzie Newsome is my hero.
Arthur Brown is a fantastic replacement for Ray Lewis, and many had the potential successor going in the first round. Brown should be a starter right away and has tons of upside to become a truly special player in Baltimore.
Brandon Williams is a great pickup as well. He's a stout one-gap defensive tackle who'll find room in the rotation. If they put him next to Haloti Ngata, the gravitational pull alone should stop offenses from getting anywhere.
Loser: Centers in the NFC South
Kawann Short, by himself, is a great pickup for the Carolina Panthers. After they had already grabbed Star Lotulelei? That's just messing with people's minds. A lack of bulk on the inside has kept the Panthers' defense from showing their full potential for a while, but this is overkill.
The Saints also got their 3-4 nose tackle in John Jenkins, who should step right in and succeed as their pivot man.
If you're a center in the NFC South, just retire now...2013 isn't going to be any fun.
Winner: Arizona Cardinals
Adding Kevin Minter and Tyrann Mathieu assures fans that the Cardinals have plenty of LSU game tape lying around—Patrick Peterson's doing, no doubt. More importantly, these are two players that are the "best" at what they do in this draft class.
Minter was the best inside linebacker on my board. He'll become an immediate help as a run-stuffer up the middle. I love his upside and am confused how anyone had Te'o as a better player.
Mathieu is the best nickleback prospect. He'll always cover the slot and will likely fail if asked to step out to the perimeter, but in that limited role, he should shine.
Loser: Josh Freeman
Mike Glennon is going to get every opportunity to step in and supplant Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman—perhaps even in year one. Despite the fact the organization has surrounded Freeman with a ton of talent in recent years, he has regressed. Greg Schiano isn't a big fan of his and has no attachment to him.
The drafting of Glennon allows general manager Mark Dominik to deflect some of the pressure from ownership if "his guy" (Freeman) loses this QB battle.
Winner: San Francisco 49ers
There are teams in this league that would take Tank Carradine and Corey Lemonier as starting pass-rushers in their 3-4 defense. The Niners get to rotate them in (and potentially use Carradine occasionally at end) in an already-fantastic defense.
Vance McDonald is also a great replacement for Delanie Walker. Four picks so far and four picks that the Niners have impressed. This is a great class that could keep the Niners in contention for a long time to come.
Oh, and they have seven picks left.
Loser: Dallas Cowboys
Pack it in, Jerry Jones. We're reaching Al Davis-level territory of ruining your own team.
After reaching for Travis Frederick in Round 1, the Cowboys drafted two offensive weapons—Gavin Escobar and Terrance Williams—with their next two picks. Escobar is a matchup nightmare, but hardly a need for the Cowboys. Williams might not even be the third receiver on this squad.
All while ignoring trenches even more, leaving only one ridiculously overdrafted player to show for the biggest need on the entire team.
This isn't a Madden team, but a savvy Madden player might even be more adept at putting a roster together than the Cowboys' owner.
Winner: Aaron Rodgers
Eddie Lacy—a player many had mocked to the Packers in Round 1—fell to the Packers in Round 2. Lacy is a volume back who can pick up big chunks of yardage and (if he stays healthy) could be a poor man's version of Steven Jackson. Considering the Packers looked at Jackson in free agency, this isn't a surprising selection.
With a competent rushing attack to work with, Rodgers won't be wide open to as many shots to his body. The Packers are clear contenders for the NFC crown this season.
Winner: Jacksonville Jaguars
My big winner for the night is a team that I've panned often in the past.
The Jaguars came away with a top strong safety (John Cyprien) and a good mid-round cornerback prospect (Dwayne Gratz) that both fit their new system to a T. This is a clear example of a coach and a general manager in lockstep in regard to team needs and player fits.
The Jaguars have three starters with three picks and all the makings of a team on the rise. Even better, Ryan Nassib and Matt Barkley are still on the board for the Jaguars' first pick in Round 4.
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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