2013 NFL Draft Analysis: Top Picks Who Will Instantly Lead Teams to Playoffs

Dan Talintyre@@dantalintyreSenior Analyst IIApril 27, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 25:  Ezekiel Ansah of the BYU Cougars stands with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (L) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Barry Sanders (R) as they hold up a jersey on stage after Ansah was picked #5 overall by the Detroit Lions in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 25, 2013 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

The 2013 NFL draft is a chance for every team to make its squad better for the year/s ahead—something that many teams did with their top picks this year.

We might not have had the Andrew Luck-Robert Griffin III showdown at the top of the draft, but we still saw plenty of talent in the opening few rounds.

Moreover, we saw plenty of big-name players taken off the boards this year, whom teams will be looking to in order to regain playoff status down the track. 

However, this is not necessarily limited to the future—some picks from the 2013 NFL draft could have instant success this year and lead their teams to the playoffs.

Read on to see which teams (and picks) will do just that in 2013.


Manti Te'o, ILB, San Diego Chargers

Regardless of what happened outside of football, there's a couple of things that you can take to the bank about Manti Te'o—he's an absolute beast in the middle of the field, and he's grown up a lot in the past few weeks. Now how both of those will help him in the NFL still remain to be seen, but after trading up to get him, it's clear that the San Diego Chargers are sure about how good he can be.

In doing so, they may well have kept their chance at making the playoffs alive—though they are words we seem to say for San Diego every season and are left with egg on our face at the end of it all.

The Chargers—led by Philip Rivers—aren't that bad of a team. In fact, given the depth they've added at wide receiver, they've got a good offense on hand, providing that their O-line doesn't fall apart. Their biggest need was in stopping the run, which hurt them a great deal throughout the past few years.

Playing against Jamaal Charles, Darren McFadden and Willis McGahee all twice a year will do that to you, but the addition of Te'o could well change that in 2013.

If they can get stops on defense and give Rivers plenty of time to move the ball down the field, they may well find great success throughout the 2013 season.


Johnthan Banks, CB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Having already added Darrelle Revis in a huge trade with the New York Jets, Tampa ensured its  secondary strength for the year ahead by adding another great cornerback in Johnthan Banks.

Banks is not the most athletically gifted player, but he is a wise footballer who knows how to cover and make tackles in the open field. He is the perfect complement to Revis in the slot, and he will thrive under the instruction of one of the best cornerbacks ever to play the game.

Given that the Bucs have to play Drew Brees, Cam Newton, Matt Ryan and all their wide receivers during the year, the move is a very solid one by Tampa.

Josh Freeman has shown he can be an NFL star at times, and with Doug Martin in the backfield and an ever-growing receiving core, don't be surprised to see Tampa make a big shot at the playoffs this year—especially if the Bucs get on a roll, like they have done in years gone by.


Ezekiel Ansah, DE, Detroit Lions

It must be pointed out here that despite a woeful record in 2012, the Detroit Lions aren't that bad of a football team. Remember, it was only two seasons ago that they were in the playoffs with a wild card berth and quarterback Matthew Stafford had just passed for over 5,000 yards in the regular season.

Adding in some depth on the offensive line was needed from Detroit, but Ezekiel Ansah in the first round is a pick that Lions fans will be very happy with.

Yes, the likes of Barkevious Mingo, Dee Milliner and Star Lotulelei were all still on the boards. But the pickup of Ansah is one that adds great depth to their pass rush this season and allows them to dominate the edge against the likes of Adrian Peterson and Matt Forte in the ground game.

Aaron Rodgers is never fun to play against twice a year, and with their defensive line showing great inconsistency last season, Ansah will help their production in 2013. Especially given that the defensive end hasn't even shown his best talent yet—only potential of just how good he could be.

In three or four years time, this pick could seem like genius from Detroit.


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