NFL Draft 2013: Players Who Landed in Ideal Destinations

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent IApril 28, 2013

ATHENS, GA - NOVEMBER 17: Jarvis Jones #29 of the Georgia Bulldogs celebrates after the game against the Georgia Southern Eagles at Sanford Stadium on November 17, 2012 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

In the NFL draft, sometimes it's where you go, not when you go, that matters.

For some of the players chosen in the 2013 NFL draft, their landing spots are more important than when they came off the board. Take former West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, for example.

Although he was passed over by the Buffalo Bills in the first round, he won't face the same intense scrutiny that Florida State's EJ Manuel will in 2013 after becoming the first and only quarterback taken in Round 1. He'll also have a great shot to win the starting job with the New York Jets.

In that spirit, let's take a closer look at a trio of players who landed in ideal destinations this spring.


Jarvis Jones Is Perfect Fit in the Steel City

If you ask me, the Pittsburgh Steelers made one of the first round's biggest steals in 2013, landing outstanding Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones at No. 17 overall. 

Jones plays like a Pittsburgh Steelers defender. After all, he led the nation last season with 24.5 tackles for a loss and 14.5 sacks. Jones should thrive in the Steel City, where he won't be assigned the task of turning a lackluster defense around.

Instead, he'll simply have to play his game and bolster an already-solid top five unit. 

Jones possesses a relentless motor and is a monster on third down. Watch for him to make an immediate impact in the middle of Pittsburgh's defense next season as the Steelers begin the post-James Harrison era.


Eddie Lacy Adds a Dimension to Pack's Attack

Much like Jarvis Jones, Alabama running back Eddie Lacy will find himself playing for a contender as an NFL rookie in 2013. Lacy was selected 61st overall in the second round by the Green Bay Packers on Friday.

The move was a brilliant one and a steal for the Pack, who now possess a threat in the back field who will take some of the pressure off of Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay passing attack.

Lacy rushed for over 1,300 yards and 17 touchdowns a year ago for the Crimson Tide, but he won't have to be the focal point of the Packers' offense in order to be successful. Rodgers is and will remain the face of the franchise after signing a massive extension, allowing Lacy to ease into his role at the next level.

This was a tremendous pickup for the Packers and an even better landing spot for Lacy, who will have an opportunity to contribute for a Super Bowl contender this coming fall.


Honey Badger Will Be Amongst Friends in Arizona

Tyrann Mathieu will have a golden opportunity to shine and develop into a Pro Bowl-caliber cornerback in the NFL after being selected by the Arizona Cardinals in the third round on Day 2.

The former LSU standout joins former Tigers teammate Kevin Minter as one of the Cardinals' 2013 selections and will also team up with former teammate Patrick Peterson in Arizona. Peterson and Mathieu starred in LSU's secondary together in 2010, combining for six interceptions that year.

Peterson, who has quickly developed into one of the league's premiere corners, recorded seven interceptions for the Cards last season and wasted no time after Arizona made its third-round selection, taking to Twitter to welcome his former teammates to the NFL.

Clearly, Mathieu will be among familiar faces as a rookie in 2013, which is arguably the best thing for him as he gets set to begin the next chapter of his career.


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