2013 NFL Draft Grades: Overall Evaluations for Each Team
There were plenty of twists and turns in the 2013 NFL draft, whether it was teams trading up to get their guys or squads finding potential steals in the later rounds.
Some current bottom-feeders had nice drafts, while some title contenders strengthened their squads. Some teams simply made some confounding selections.
Here are my grades of all 32 NFL teams after the 2013 NFL draft, complete with analysis.
Best Picks: Jonathan Cooper (G), Kevin Minter (LB), Tyrann Mathieu (CB), Alex Okafor (DE)
Jonathan Cooper, Kevin Minter and Alex Okafor were all first-round prospects to me. The fact that the Cardinals got Okafor in the fourth round is amazing. Adding guard Earl Watford, running back Stepfan Taylor, receiver Ryan Swope and running back Andre Ellington were all solid value picks.
Best Picks: Desmond Trufant (CB), Malliciah Goodman (DE)
In Desmond Truant, the Falcons find an instant starter to replace the recently departed Brent Grimes. Malliciah Goodman was a nice pickup in the fourth round. But grabbing a second cornerback in the second round may not have been the best move considering other areas of need. Plus, I don't see Robert Alford as an instant impact player in the NFL.
Best Picks: Matt Elam (S), Arthur Brown (LB), Brandon Williams (DT), Kapron Lewis-Moore (DE)
If you're a Ravens fan, you have to be happy with this draft. Baltimore got a safety who can start right away in Matt Elam, an inside linebacker who an start right away in Arthur Brown and two solid linemen in Brandon Williams and Kapron Lewis-Moore.
Best Picks: Robert Woods (WR), Kiko Alonso (LB), Marquise Goodwin (WR)
I like Buffalo's picks of Woods, Alonso and Goodwin, but I question the franchise's judgment drafting quarterback E.J. Manuel at No. 16 overall. Quarterbacks such as Geno Smith, Matt Barkley and Ryan Nassib were all on the board at that point.
Best Picks: Star Lotulelei (DT), Kawann Short (DT)
The Panthers doubled up on defensive tackles with Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short, then found a running back in Kenjon Barner who could be an asset if used right. Lotulelei has great potential at the next level. Short could be a solid pro, too.
Best Picks: Jon Bostic (LB), Khaseem Greene (LB), Cornelius Washington (LB)
The Bears certainly loaded up on linebackers, and for good reason. It's going to be interesting to see how Bostic and Greene fit in Chicago. Washington will be a solid pick if Chicago intends on simply using him as a pass-rusher. I thought drafting Kyle Long at No. 20 overall was a bit of a reach, but it does add talent to the line.
Best Picks: Tyler Eifert (TE), Giovani Bernard (RB), Margus Hunt (DE)
It was essential to draft a tight end after Jermaine Gresham's season in 2012 and the Bengals managed to end up with the best tight end in the class. Giovani Bernard could also develop into a solid pro. Adding an athletic freak of nature in Margus Hunt in the second round can only help an already strong defense.
Best Picks: Leon McFadden (CB), Jamoris Slaughter (S)
While I do believe Barkevious Mingo can make a significant impact as a pass-rusher in the NFL, he's too raw and too one-dimensional to draft at No. 6 overall. Cornerback Leon McFadden and safety Jamoris Slaughter were good value picks in the third and sixth rounds respectively.
Best Picks: Gavin Escobar (TE), Terrance Williams (WR), J.J. Wilcox (S)
A lot of draft experts had center Travis Frederick as a third-round prospect. Well, the Cowboys took him at No. 31 overall anyway. That was a very strange (and poor) decision in my mind. But I do think the Cowboys got some value in Escobar, Williams and Wilcox in the second and third rounds.
Best Picks: Sylvester Williams (DT), Quanterus Smith (DE)
Landing Sylvester Williams at No. 28 overall was big for the Cowboys and I thought they got good value with defensive end Quanterus Smith in the fifth round, but I wasn't a fan of their picks of running back Montee Ball and cornerback Kayvon Webster in the second and third round, respectively. Both of those picks were reaches in my mind.
Best Picks: Ezekiel Ansah (DE/OLB), Larry Warford (G)
Ezekiel Ansah was a logical pick at No. 5 overall and I like the pick of guard Larry Warford in the third round, but I think the selection of Mississippi State cornerback Darius Slay at No. 36 overall was a bit risky, especially considering he's had a meniscus problem in his knees.
Green Bay Packers
Best Picks: Datone Jones (DE), Eddie Lacy (RB), David Bakhtiari (OT), J.C. Tretter (OT), Johnathan Franklin (RB)
What a fantastic draft by the Packers. They add an athletic pass-rusher to start opposite Clay Matthews, add one of the best running backs in the class in Eddie Lacy and make three very nice value picks in Bakhtiari, Tretter and Franklin (all selected in the fourth round).
Best Picks: DeAndre Hopkins (WR), D.J. Swearinger (S)
DeAndre Hopkins could become a star in the NFL, which would make the Texans offense unbelievably electric, considering they already have a strong offense with Andre Johnson. Adding safety D.J. Swearinger with the No. 57 overall pick was a nice move, too. I thought drafting offensive tackle Brennan Williams in the third round was a bit of a reach. Defensive end Sam Montgomery could be a solid player if he stays focused.
Best Picks: Hugh Thornton (G), Khaled Holmes (C), Montori Hughes (DT)
Hugh Thornton and Khaled Holmes were nice value picks who should only help young quarterback Andrew Luck. I think defensive tackle Montori Hughes could outplay his fifth-round selection. But I thought the Colts made a mistake drafting defensive end Bjoern Werner instead of Datone Jones.
Best Picks: Luke Joeckel (OT), John Cyprien (S), Dwayne Gratz (CB), Ace Sanders (WR)
Let's put it this way: If young quarterback Blaine Gabbert doesn't succeed next season with Luke Joeckel blocking for him, it may be time for the Jaguars to start looking in a different direction. Joeckel was the best offensive tackle in the class in my mind. Also, John Cyprien can be an immediate starter on the back end, while cornerback Dwayne Gratz and receiver Ace Sanders were nice value picks in the third and fourth rounds, respectively. Denard Robinson may not be a bad pick in the fifth round, either, depending on how Jacksonville uses him.
Kansas City Chiefs
Best Picks: Eric Fisher (OT), Travis Kelce (TE)
Although I thought the Chiefs should have drafted Joeckel instead of Fisher, I can't knock them too much, given I still believe Fisher will be a strong left tackle in the NFL. Also, Travis Kelce was one of my biggest sleepers in the draft. Former Arkansas running back Knile Davis could end up being a nice pick if he stays healthy.
Best Picks: Dion Jordan (DE/OLB), Jamar Taylor (CB), Mike Gillislee (RB)
I'm a big fan of Dion Jordan. The super-athletic prospect will look excellent on the same team as Cameron Wake. Jamar Taylor was a fast-rising prospect who the Dolphins ended up getting at No. 54 overall. Giving former Florida running back Mike Gillislee a chance in the fifth round was also a good move.
How would you grade the Vikings' draft?
Best Picks: Sharrif Floyd (DT), Xavier Rhodes (CB), Cordarrelle Patterson (WR)
The Vikings' first three picks had me sold. Sharrif Floyd just happened to fall into their lap at No. 23 overall, Xavier Rhodes is a physical cornerback who will help against the bigger receivers in the NFL and Cordarrelle Patterson should help Minnesota replace Percy Harvin. I love what Minnesota did in the draft.
New England Patriots
Best Picks: Logan Ryan (CB), Josh Boyce (WR)
I thought outside linebacker Jamie Collins and receiver Aaron Dobson were reaches in the second round, but Logan Ryan was a very nice value pick in the third round and he should help strengthen the secondary in due time.
New Orleans Saints
Best Picks: Kenny Vaccaro (S), John Jenkins (DT)
The Saints grabbed the best safety in the class in Kenny Vaccaro, then made some nice value picks with offensive tackle Terron Armstead and defensive tackle John Jenkins in the third round. I'm surprised the strong, quick Jenkins fell so far.
New York Giants
Best Picks: Johnathan Hankins (DT), Damontre Moore (DE)
If the Giants use Justin Pugh as a guard instead of a tackle, I like the pick at No. 19 overall. The Giants also got Johnathan Hankins and Damontre Moore in the second and third round respectively—they had been mocked in the first round for much of the year.
New York Jets
Best Picks: Dee Milliner (CB), Sheldon Richardson (DT), Geno Smith (QB)
The Jets got the best cornerback in the class in Dee Milliner to succeed Darrelle Revis in New York. They also landed Geno Smith—the top quarterback in the class—at No. 39 overall. And while some didn't understand the pick of Sheldon Richardson, I actually think it gives Rex Ryan room to rotate Quinton Coples back and forth between defensive end and outside linebacker in the 3-4.
Best Picks: Menelik Watson (OT), Tyler Wilson (QB)
Menelik Watson was a first-round talent who the Raiders got in the second round. Tyler Wilson has the potential to be a starting quarterback in the NFL in due time and the Raiders got him in the fourth round. The selection of cornerback D.J. Hayden at No. 12 overall was very risky (he survived a life-threatening injury last season at Houston), but Hayden does have the talent to be an impact player in the NFL.
Best Picks: Lane Johnson (OT), Zach Ertz (TE), Matt Barkley (QB)
The athletic Lane Johnson is the perfect offensive tackle for Chip Kelly's system. Zach Ertz could be an impact player at tight end. Nabbing Matt Barkley in the fourth round could end up being a solid pick. I even liked the selection of defensive tackle Bennie Logan, who should help in the interior for Philadelphia.
Best Picks: Jarvis Jones (OLB), Markus Wheaton (WR), Shamarko Thomas (S)
I'm a fan of Jones, Wheaton and Thomas and I think second-round selection Le'Veon Bell could be a nice fit in Pittsburgh's backfield. Jones has been knocked on his lack of elite athleticism, but he's a football player who understands leverage and angles.
San Diego Chargers
Best Picks: Keenan Allen (WR)
There are character concerns surrounding Keenan Allen, but he's a a first-round prospect as far as talent and the Chargers got him in the third round. I thought grabbing Alabama offensive tackle D.J. Fluker at No. 11 overall was a bit of a reach and I'm not the biggest fan of Manti Te'o, who was San Diego's second-round selection.
San Francisco 49ers
Best Picks: Tank Carradine (DE), Corey Lemonier (DE), Marcus Lattimore (RB)
I wasn't initially a fan of the 49ers trading up to grab LSU safety Eric Reid, but stealing Tank Carradine at No. 40 overall levels things out. Tight end Vance McDonald should help ease the loss of Delanie Walker in the offseason. And if Lattimore can come back from two devastating injuries, he has the talent to be a Pro Bowler.
Best Picks: Jesse Williams (DT)
Grabbing Jesse Williams in the fifth round is unbelievable. He was being discussed in the first and second round during the draft process. But nothing else about the Seahawks' draft really excited me. Running back Christine Michael can make an impact in the NFL, but there are legitimate character concerns surrounding him.
St. Louis Rams
Best Picks: Tavon Austin (WR), Stedman Bailey (WR), Barrett Jones (G/C)
Grabbing West Virginia receivers Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey will surely help quarterback Sam Bradford. I also was surprised Barrett Jones slipped so far. Nabbing him in the fourth round is a steal.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Best Picks: Johnthan Banks (CB), Akeem Spence (DT)
Johnthan Banks and Akeem Spence aren't eye-popping prospects, but they do have the potential to be nice players for the Buccaneers. Banks could be a good fit in Tampa as a press corner. The selection of William Gholston could either be a steal or a wasted pick; I don't see any middle ground with the former Michigan State defensive lineman.
Best Picks: Chance Warmack (G), Justin Hunter (WR), Blidi Wreh-Wilson (CB)
Chance Warmack—my No. 1 guard—will strengthen an offensive line that all of a sudden looks legit. After the signing of veteran guard Andy Levitre in the offseason, this is an eye-opening offensive line on paper. Grabbing the electric Justin Hunter should help out young quarterback Jake Locker in due time. I also really liked the pick of Connecticut corner Blidi Wreh-Wilson in the third round.
Best Picks: Jordan Reed (TE), Phillip Thomas (S), Brandon Jenkins (DE), Bacarri Rambo (S)
The pick of cornerback David Amerson in the second round was too much of a gamble in my mind. His agility is questionable and he doesn't have much experience playing man coverage. But, wow, what a nice next few picks. Jordan Reed, Phillip Thomas, Brandon Jenkins and Bacarri Rambo could all be starters in the NFL.
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