2013 NFL Draft: Highlighting Each Team's Best Individual Selection
One player rarely makes a draft; however, solid individual selections can go a long way, especially when they come in the late-round variety.
Nevertheless, teams surely understand that talent can be found throughout the draft, and the ones who did their homework, while balancing need, fit, and value are the ones coming out of this draft smelling like roses.
Obviously some teams had better overall drafts than others, but nearly every team has at least one pick they and their fan bases feel extremely confident about.
Ahead we break down each team's best individual selection, highlighting exactly why the pick and player could be a match made in heaven, as we look to put a bow on the 2013 NFL draft class.
Johnathan Cooper, G, North Carolina: Round 1, Pick 7
There are a ton of great picks to choose from when looking at the Cardinals' overall draft: Tyrann Mathieu, Alex Okafor, Stepfan Taylor, Ryan Swope, Andre Ellington—these are all players that should at some point have a big impact over the course of their respective careers.
However, if we want to go off sheer impact and smart drafting, then it's hard to argue with choosing the big man up front in Jonathan Cooper.
Yes, it's boring, but Cooper is such a solid, safe and dependable player it's hard not to give him credit, since he already plays what is probably the most unglamorous position in all of football.
At the end of the day, there are some bigger names that are equally deserving of this honor. However, it is Cooper who I think is the best selection from an overall football perspective.
After all, you know what they say: "Big people need loving too."
Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington: Round 1, Pick 22
Cocky and confident. Those are the two words I like to use when trying to describe one of the newest members of the Atlanta Falcons: Desmond Trufant.
However, for what Trufant spits out in trash he truly backs up with his play.
Arguably the best pure cover corner in this draft, Trufant's incredibly quick feet and change-of-direction skills allow him to recover when sometimes taking false steps.
Overall, Trufant needs to become less grabby when working on receivers, however, with NFL bloodlines and quality overall skills, Trufant was well worth the move up to secure his unique services—especially on a team that came into last week's draft a couple of players short at a key position of need.
Trufant effectively fills one of those key positions.
Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State: Round 2, Pick 24
Arthur Brown is one of those players who became a favorite of the NFL draft scouting community, but inevitably falls because of measurables, despite possessing immense natural football ability.
As usual, however, the Baltimore Ravens were once again able to find quality players at key positions of need, and Brown is perhaps the best example of this.
As a player with great range, Brown does nice job taking angles and flowing to the football. Yes, he can sometimes get caught up in the wash, but like most players who are somewhat undersized, Brown's fantastic instincts and overall awareness makes him a valuable three-down defender and player capable of starting early on in his career.
Whether Brown can fill the void left by Ray Lewis' retirement will remain to be seen. However, the team appears to be ready to turn over the keys to what they hope is their next All-Pro linebacker.
Surely Brown has more than enough talent to handle and do just this.
Robert Woods, WR, USC: Round 2, Pick 9
Overall, when looking at the Bills' draft, there are a lot of selections you question and don't feel particularly strong about.
One such pick, however, that all Bills fans should be in agreement with was their selection of wide receiver Robert Woods in the second round.
As one of the Trojans' all-time leading receivers, Woods offers the Bills another much-needed weapon opposite veteran Steve Johnson.
At USC, Woods excelled because of his ability to run smooth and efficient routes. He also displayed the hand-eye coordination to pluck nearly anything that came his way.
Clearly these are all very transferable skills and Woods should have no problem bringing his well-roundedness to a team in need of steadier and more consistent playmakers.
Woods can do just that.
Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah: Round 1, Pick 14
Each year elite players fall for one reason or another, and this year one of those players was defensive tackle Star Lotulelei.
Perhaps it was because of the strong offensive line or deep defensive line class, but the Panthers got one of the bigger first-round steals when they made Lotulelei the 14th overall pick in this year's draft.
For far too long now the Panthers defensive line has lacked a physical inside presence.
However, pairing Lotulelei with second-round pick Kawann Short finally gives Carolina the tandem in the middle to free up some of the team's talented linebacker corps.
Luke Kuechly is definitely one of the biggest benefactors of this draft class; however, it will be Lotulelei he has to thank for the clean alleys he will begin to see staring next fall.
Another example of how to improve two positions with one simple pick.
Khaseem Greene, LB, Rutgers: Round 4, Pick 20
In a draft that had some questionable early picks, Khaseem Greene is the selection that somewhat seemed to turn around the Bears draft class.
Much like former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, Greene is a converted safety who has made his living forcing turnovers, while always seeming to be in the right place at the right time.
There's a word for players like this and that word is "instinctual." As a player that trusts his eyes and rarely takes missteps, Greene is able to get the most out of his ability by possessing skills that just come natural.
Most notably of which are his abilities to diagnose the play and make quick reads.
All of these qualities will serve him well and likely earn him playing time sooner rather than later.
I consider that a worthy investment for what is nearly a fifth-round pick.
Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame: Round 1, Pick 21
In all my time spent looking at mock drafts and potential fits for teams, not once did I even see or consider Tyler Eifert as a potential first-round option for the Bengals at No. 21 overall.
After all, the team already has Jermaine Gresham in place, so it would seem odd that they would invest in another first-round tight end when they drafted one just three short seasons ago—and at the same overall pick, nonetheless.
Having said all that, the pick is beginning to make more and more sense.
What the Bengals now have is two vertical seam-stretching tight ends to go along with their already supremely gifted outside receiver in A.J. Green.
Clearly the best way to make your quarterback better is by building around him and giving him as many options as possible, which is what the addition of Eifert here does for quarterback Andy Dalton.
With the ability to stretch the field in multiple ways, the Bengals offense now adds yet another dimension to a team on the cusp of breaking out.
The addition of Eifert might just be the missing piece that sets this offensive over the edge.
Leon McFadden, CB, San Diego State: Round 3, Pick 6
Some might not see this as the Browns' best overall selection, but I would tend to disagree. Coming out of a smaller school and football conference, McFadden is corner that maintained a very low profile throughout the draft process, but has always been very much an underrated prospect.
In total, I have my reservations about the Browns draft class; however, McFadden is the one player I feel most confident about—even if some consider him to be a reach at the point where he was drafted.
Although he's a smaller corner at just 5'10", McFadden is a player who plays much bigger than his size and competes at a level of intensity that usually far outweighs his competition.
A try-hard corner with excellent feet and ball skills, McFadden is a defender that gets by on doing all the little things right, while giving consistent effort from snap to snap.
These are qualities that will make him a fan favorite in short time—all Browns fans have to do now is give him a chance.
Trust me, you won't be disappointed you did.
Gavin Escobar, TE, San Diego State: Round 2, Pick 15
It goes without saying that the Cowboys executed one of the biggest reaches in the first round when the team decided to use its 31st overall pick to select Wisconsin center Travis Frederick.
With that said, the team's second-round pick has to somewhat make up for a draft class that lacked the pizzazz we are used to seeing from a Jerry Jones-lead Cowboys draft.
In selecting Gavin Escobar the team is without a doubt already planning for the day Jason Witten chooses to finally hang up his cleats. Hopefully that day isn't anytime soon; however, if it is, at least the team now has a plan in place should they be forced to move on prematurely.
In the meantime, Escobar gives Romo yet another valuable pass-catcher and player that still has time to learn from one of the league's all-time greats on how to become a better all-around tight end and in-line blocker.
This is a great situation for Escobar to be heading into. I really like this fit and can see it paying dividends later on down the line; I just worry if the team actually did enough to help themselves right now.
Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin: Round 2, Pick 26
Living in Wisconsin—and Madison for that matter—I have had the pleasure of watching Montee Ball run for much of the past four years, as he went on to become one of the most productive and decorated running backs to ever put on a college uniform.
In fact, having accounted for an astounding 77 career rushing touchdowns and an equally amazing 924 career carries, Ball comes into the NFL with some impressive individual records, but also some notable wear and tear (h/t ESPN.com).
Nevertheless, Ball seems to be going into what is likely one of the most ideal situation for him personally moving forward. Much like Ball's junior season—in which Russell Wilson was the focal point of the offense—Peyton Manning and the passing game is the sheriff out in Denver.
Because of this, Ball doesn't have to be the main attention of the defense, much like he was this past year at Wisconsin. Instead, he can lurk in the shadows and take advantage of the play-action fakes and emptier box looks he will undoubtedly see with Manning back behind center.
It's the same kind of situation that allowed Ball to thrive in 2011, in a season people are still talking about here in Madison and probably will be for quite some time.
Because of these things I fully expect Ball to perform well in this offense, and once again prove his doubters wrong that he was not worth the 58th overall selection.
After all, sometimes finding the correct fit is more important than simply taking the best available player at any one position.
Denver's selection of Ball is a perfect example of this.
Larry Warford, G, Kentucky: Round 3, Pick 3
Coming into this draft, the Lions needed to address an offensive line that had lost three starters from just last season in Jeff Backus, Gosder Cherilus and Stephen Peterman.
Conventional wisdom would have been to take one of the top guards in either Chance Warmack or Jonathan Cooper at No. 5; however, the Lions got better value by waiting and selecting Larry Warford in Round 3.
As a dominating interior offensive lineman, Warford excels in the running game as a physical mauler and player who consistently wins at the point of attack.
His ability to "move the trash" will go a long way in helping open up holes for new running back Reggie Bush, while his ability to sink his hips and anchor down finally gives Matt Stafford the clean pocket he needs to step into his throws.
Getting a plug-and-play starter in the third round is impressive, and Warford is very much a safe player who has the ability to make an instant impact and offer quality return on investment as soon as next season.
Certainly something that would seem to separate this pick from the players the Lions selected in the previous two rounds.
Green Bay Packers
Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA: Round 4, Pick 28
Everyone wants to talk about what a steal the Packers got in Eddie Lacy in Round 2, but I'm not so sure Johnathan Franklin doesn't provide the better overall value in the fourth round.
As a back that's built low to the ground and exhibits an excellent blend of patience, burst and overall vision, Franklin will pair with Lacy to finally give the Packers the one-two punch in the running game they have went far too long without.
The best general managers do a good job of maximizing need with value, and Ted Thompson nailed this draft by making a pair of selections that only further complement the Packers' already potent offensive attack—once again proving why he is the man in charge up in Green Bay.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson: Round 1, Pick 27
The Houston Texans have been searching for their heir apparent to Andre Johnson for far too long, but if finally looks like they have found that player with DeAndre Hopkins.
An ideal No. 2 wide receiver, Hopkins will give quarterback Matt Schaub another dependable target, one that knows how to get open by running crisp and efficient routes.
The biggest knock on Hopkins coming in was his lack of ideal deep speed. However, as a receiver that catches everything and makes adjustments on the ball with superb body control, Hopkins will go a long way in improving this offense, finally giving the Texans a guy that can play "Robin" to Andre Johnson's "Batman."
Bjoern Werner, DE/LB, Florida State: Round 1, Pick 24
Even I must admit I was a little hesitant and initially questioned the fit when I first saw Werner's name roll across the ticker as the Colts' first selection.
Seen as more of a base 4-3 defensive end, Werner appears to be an odd fit at outside linebacker in the new 3-4 scheme.
However, after giving it some more thought, the selection isn't all that out of the ordinary.
In Indianapolis Werner will be asked to stand up and make more plays in space than he did at Florida State, but this is an obstacle that he can certainly hurdle, thanks to his change-of-directions skills and ability to move well laterally.
Werner's discipline and nearly impeccable instincts and awareness skills should also enhance his ability to set the edge versus the run, while batting down passes near the line of scrimmage—as he did so often down in Tallahassee.
Overall, Werner may lack a few of the elite traits you look for in an outside pass-rusher, but he is a very solid and dependable player with a skilled understanding of hand technique, leverage and spacing to make an immediate impact.
Surely their will be a period of transition as Werner adapts to his new position; however, what the Colts got was a value pick on a player that fell more for his lack of ideal athleticism than his lack of overall production.
Luke Joeckel, T, Texas A&M: Round 1, Pick 2
First, I'll start off by saying I am a big fan of the draft class first-year head coach Gus Bradley and general manager David Caldwell put together as a whole.
The additions to the secondary with players like Johnathan Cyprien and Dwayne Gratz among others are great fits for the defensive philosophy Bradley is trying to instill, while both Ace Sanders and Denard Robinson are scary players in space that add another dimension to this offense.
With that said, I thought the Jaguars' first pick and the draft's second overall selection was perhaps the best of the bunch.
Although tackle wasn't necessarily the team's biggest position of need, I give them credit for sticking to their board and taking the sure thing, as opposed to an unwarranted risk like Geno Smith or Dion Jordan.
Joeckel will immediately come in and upgrade one of the two tackle positions. He instantly makes this team better as a whole.
Overall, a great start for a franchise that seems to have been rebuilding for far too long.
I absolutely love what they were able to do from top to bottom.
Kansas City Cheifs
Eric Fisher, T, Central Michigan: Round 1, Pick 1
Few players have climbed an NFL draft board quite like Eric Fisher did in just one offseason. It's been quite the ascension for the tackle, who, according to Yahoo! Sports, was just a 2-star recruit coming out of high school and 48th best overall player in the state of Michigan in 2008.
Give credit to the Chiefs and Andy Reid for taking their best available player—and, like the Jaguars just after them—upgrading two positions with one simple selection.
Adding Fisher now gives the Chiefs two quality tackles with Branden Albert still in the fold and the flexibility to start their best player at the all-important left tackle position.
Needless to say, Kansas City is definitely one of the most improved teams from a year ago and this draft class is just another step in what has been an impressive offseason overall.
Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State: Round 2, Pick 22
For what it's worth, I was a fan of the Dion Jordan selection, although I understand why many fans would question if it was truly worth moving up, or if they even selected the correct player to begin with.
In Jordan, the Dolphins are getting a guy that can become an elite pass-rusher, opposite all-pro Cameron Wake, and management seems content in letting last year's second-round pick Jonathan Martin prove his worth protecting Ryan Tannehill's blindside next season.
With all that said, I do think Miami could have made a better effort to improve the offensive line with some of their subsequent picks, however, there is only so many holes a team can fill with one draft class.
One of the picks however, that is flying most under the radar was on a player that flew very much under the radar throughout this entire draft process—despite being one of the most well-rounded and balanced overall corners in his class.
Jamar Taylor was a steal at the 54th pick overall and he becomes an instant starter for a team that lost Sean Smith just this offseason.
With quick feet and good overall athleticism to turn and run, Taylor is a dependable cornerback fans will come to love, as he also displays the toughness and physicality to match up with bigger wide receivers on the outside.
Overall, he's a player I don't consider any less talented than first-round pick Desmond Trufant, who we touched base on a little while back.
Surely the Dolphins could have done much worse. Instead, they're getting two difference makers on the defensive side of the ball and two guys that improve an already talented unit overall.
Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida: Round 1, Pick 23
It pains me to say this being a Lions fan, but the Vikings may have had the best overall draft from top to bottom in the entire NFL.
It all started on Thursday night when Minnesota was able to land three first-round talents on players whose stock somewhat fell for one reason or another—at what happened to be three positions of need, nonetheless.
Cordarrelle Patterson fell mostly because of his raw route-running ability—and the fact that he only had one season of good college production. However; the upside was well worth the risk at where they were able to get him in the draft.
On the other hand, Xavier Rhodes is a long and extremely well put together athlete that excels in press coverage and gives the Vikings another corner to match up with some of the bigger and more talented receivers that call the NFC North home.
In the end though—while all of these picks were great—there was one that maximized value and filled a need better than any other.
Sharrif Floyd will instantly come in and start next to incumbent veteran Kevin Williams, filling a void that had yet to be replaced since big Pat Williams called the Land of Lakes his home.
Floyd had always been somewhat overhyped by the media and was never truly worth a top 5 pick; however, that does not mean he didn't deserve to be selected in the first round.
As one of the better leverage players in this draft, Floyd is NFL strong and should immediately help close-down gaps in the run game, while also improve the interior pass rush to help complement their sack master in Jared Allen on the outside.
One of the better drafts overall, Leslie Frazier and company hit on need, maximized value and found the correct fits that will pay immediate dividends.
Consider me jealous of what was an extremely impressive NFL draft haul.
New England Patriots
Jamie Collins, LB, Southern Mississippi: Round 2, Pick 20
The selection of Collins is an easy one to overlook on the surface. However, the Patriots very well could be getting one of the bigger steals in this draft.
As a player that tested out of the waters at the NFL combine, Collins is perhaps the most physically gifted and explosive pass-rusher to come out this year.
The fact that he played on a poor college team likely caused him to slide a little. But the versatility and athleticism he brings to the table offers plenty of upside, as a hybrid player who can do a lot of things for the Patriots defense.
At the end of the day it wasn't an attention-grabbing pick by any means, but Belichick and the gang seem to know what they're doing.
It's just one of the reasons why it wouldn't surprise me if Collins ends up being one of the better overall values when we look back on this draft five short years from now.
New Orleans Saints
Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas: Round 1, Pick 15
Although Sean Payton missed an entire year of coaching due to his suspension, it doesn't seem to have affected his ability to identify quality NFL talent.
With the selection of Kenny Vaccaro, New Orleans was able to fill a position of need while bringing in a versatile defender who will bring a new level of energy and enthusiasm to the back end of their defense.
A prime example of the "New Age" safety, Vaccaro has the ability to play multiple roles in the Saints' new 3-4 defense. Whether it's in the box near the line of scrimmage or back in coverage, Vaccaro excels in just about any setting, including one-on-one situations lined up over the slot receiver or tight end.
This type of versatility is hard to find and is the main reason why NFL teams are starting to place such extreme importance on finding safeties that can handle such an assortment of responsibilities.
Vaccaro is this player and then some, and will instantly improve the Saints' overall defense in what is easily one of the most offensively gifted divisions in the entire NFL, to say the least.
New York Giants
Justin Pugh, G, Syracuse: Round 1, Pick 19
Most Giants fans are probably going to disagree with this pick, but I thought it was a particularly solid one despite being somewhat of a reach.
A lot has been made of Pugh's arm length—or lack thereof—but he is still very much an incredibly balanced and well-rounded player.
With the capability to play multiple positions, Pugh's versatility instantly upgrades the Giants offensive line, and its not as if New York really needed to hit a home run with this pick in the fist place.
Instead what they did was go out and get a solid, smart and dependable lineman, who exhibits very good patience in his pass sets and knee bend to sit down and anchor on contact.
Clearly this is not a very sexy pick, nor is it one that gets the fanbase all that excited, but it is, however, an example of simply getting on base and not messing up your first overall pick.
And, sometimes that is all a team really needs to do when drafting for future NFL success.
Especially if you're a team as talented as the New York Giants.
New York Jets
Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia: Round 2, Pick 7
From one New York team to the next, the Jets were clearly in a different situation entirely from the team they share MetLife stadium with heading into this draft.
Coming in, the Jets needed to replace Darelle Revis, who they had recently traded to the Buccaneers, while hopefully finding their quarterback of the future.
Geno Smith is now that guy, while Dee Milliner is a much cheaper alternative to Revis, who offers similar upside as a shutdown-type corner.
I went back and forth on which of these two selections were better overall, however, in the end it became less about which pick was actually the best and more about which was the one everyone wants to talk about—so work with me on this one.
Clearly the winner is Smith, when it comes to the statement above. However, the question now becomes: Does he have what it takes to survive and endear one of the most relentless and unforgiving sports media markets out there?
The answer to that would seem to be clouded, judging by Smith's early decision to leave the NFL draft after not becoming a first-round pick—a decision he would later rescind by sticking around for Day 2.
Nevertheless, this knee-jerk reaction does bring up even more questions about his ability to compartmentalize and adequately handle the criticism that comes with being a quarterback in a city such as New York.
After all, this is the same city that basically took in and spit out the legendary Brett Favre, and, last time I checked, the Jets don't have any skill position players near or on the level of a Tavon Austin currently on their roster.
Clearly this is going to be an uphill battle for Smith and the Jets, but if anything, I give them credit for making the selection when and where they did.
Maybe now at least they can finally move on from an era known as "The Sanchize," since that guy has clearly more than worn out his welcome in a city that was already much too short on patience to begin with.
Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas: Round 4, Pick 15
As it turned out, Round 4 ended up becoming the round of the quarterback. A total of four signal-callers heard their names called in this round. However, the one with the best opportunity to earn immediate playing time has to be Tyler Wilson.
Known for his toughness, determination and grit, Wilson is a prospect who struggled last year, but could very well end up becoming the starter in Oakland before too long.
The team brought in Matt Flynn from Seattle. But if you remember, he also gave way to a rookie passer by the last name of Wilson just last season. Surely Flynn will be looking for a different outcome this time around; however, Wilson does bring another candidate into the fold and player completely capable of stealing Flynn's thunder for the second season in a row.
Looking at it right now this seems to be a three-man race when you also throw in Terrelle Pryor's name, however, I'm not so certain Wilson isn't already the most talented of the bunch.
With a nice right arm and starting experience in the battle-tested SEC, Wilson comes into the league with an impressive resume and set of tools for a fourth-round pick.
This was just one of the picks that made for what became a really nice draft overall—which is something we haven't been always been able to say about the Raiders' drafts in the past.
Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State: Round 7, Pick 12
Overall, the Eagles had what I like to call a very sound draft class. They didn't reach and they didn't panic; rather, they let the board come to them and picked the best player available that also filled a need.
Getting value when it comes to you is one of the arts of drafting, and while nearly every pick could have made this list, I chose to focus on one that's a little more off the beaten path.
Jordan Poyer is a player many thought coming in would hear his name called much sooner than he did. I personally considered him a solid Day 2 option, but his lack of deep speed and somewhat smaller size likely caused teams to hesitate and possibly even take him off their draft boards entirely.
Nevertheless, what the Eagles got could be an outright steal.
in a move and situation that was somewhat similar to last year when the team grabbed falling corner Brandon Boykin in the fourth, Poyer can come in on nickel packages and instantly create opportunities.
With fantastic instincts and incredible awareness in coverage, Poyer eats up everything in front of him and is very good at reading routes before breaking on the football. Sure, he will need help over the top, and yes, he doesn't quite have the foot speed to keep up with some of the games quicker receivers, but it's hard to find players that simply have a nose for the football.
Poyer already has this, and now he also has a gigantic chip on his shoulder.
Eagles fans should feel very lucky to be getting him where they did because Poyer is a straight-up playmaker—one who now also has extra motivation to make teams pay for passing on him so many times.
Markus Wheaton, WR, Oregon State: Round 3, Pick 17
Back-to-back Oregon State Beavers! Here, Markus Wheaton is a player that just seemed destined to become an eventual Steeler.
With blazing speed and a smooth stride, many evaluators compared him to Mike Wallace—who ironically is the player he is likely replacing in the Pittsburgh offense.
Surely Ben Roethlesberger would have liked a somewhat bigger target; however, Wheaton is a nearly seamless fit in an offense that likes to chuck it deep and stretch the vertical parts of the field.
Plus, Mike Tomlin seems to have a pretty good eye for receivers, judging by his most recent draft history.
Markus Wheaton is just more "proof in the pudding."
San Diego Chargers
Keenan Allen, WR, California: Round 3, Pick 14
A receiver drafted not all but three spots ahead of the player we just discussed, Allen is another one of those first-round talents that fell because of some rather extenuating circumstances that came at the most inopportune time.
After suffering a knee injury during the college football season, Allen missed most of the NFL draft process rehabilitating an ailment that never quite healed and allowed him to fully show off what made him such a unique talent during his time as a Cal-Berkley Bear.
Nevertheless, Allen is now a Charger, and regardless of what round he was selected in or what his 40-time was, he is still very much a talented football player and one that deserved to get drafted at least a round or two earlier.
Now, Allen will get to stay in California and play in an offense orchestrated up by Philip Rivers, where he is almost guaranteed to make a difference as soon as he puts on his new baby-powder blue.
I guess that's why they say everything happens for a reason.
San Francisco 49ers
Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina: Round 4, Pick 34
Speaking of everything happening for a reason, I'm not sure there was a better landing spot for Marcus Lattimore than the San Francisco 49ers.
A team with clearly very little holes, San Francisco had the luxury of taking a chance on a supremely talented player coming off two major knee injuries.
By now we all have heard the story and understand the background, but seriously, can it get any better than this?
In San Francisco, Lattimore won't be asked to rush back before he's ready. He can simply take his time on the PUP and come back once he feels healthy and stable—and it's not like the team really needs him this year, anyway.
With Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James all on the roster, there are probably few touches to go around as it already is.
Now, all he has to worry about is further rehabilitating his knee and taking his time, before coming back stronger than ever the year after next
Certainly Lattimore is a young man who's hard not to root for, but it goes without saying that this is a very low-risk, high-reward selection for the 49ers, and one the team should feel extremely confident about, judging by the character, attitude and level of perseverance of one Marcus Lattimore.
Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama: Round 5, Pick 4
You know that old saying that "the rich get richer?" Well, if I am any good at judging talent, then I would have to say the Seahawks did just this by bolstering an already impressive roster this past weekend.
With additions such as Jordan Hill in the third, Chris Harper in the fourth and Tharold Simon in the fifth, the Seahawks' overall draft is a prime example of finding players that fit your system, while also selecting them at points of value.
However, while all these picks were great, there is one that stood out from all the rest.
Much like the two players on the previous two slides, it was largely because of his medical and knee issue that caused Jesse Williams to fall all the way into the fifth round on Saturday.
Without this problem, Williams is probably a Day 2 pick at worst, but because teams are leery of injuries to the lower body, Williams fell far more than anyone expected.
Obviously there is risk involved with this selection. However, if his knee holds up, Williams is a fantastic value at where they got him in the draft.
After all, few players offer his level of versatility, and Williams' ability to anchor down and occupy blockers will only make him all the more valuable to the defenders working off his backside.
Yet another example of a player who helps you win games, while not necessarily putting up big-time stats.
St. Louis Rams
Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia: Round 1, Pick 8
What hasn't already been said about Tavon Austin? As one of the most dynamic players to come out of the draft in years, Austin offers a skill set and athletic ability rarely seen on Madden NFL video games, let alone an actual NFL team.
In fact, the first thing that crossed my mind when I saw the Rams trade up wasn't even if they were going to select Austin, it was now Sam Bradford really has no excuses.
I can guarantee Bradford was smiling from ear to ear when he heard the news, but this pick is more than just about adding what was likely the most sought after offensive player in this draft.
It was about sending a message to Bradford and sending it loud and clear—that message was simply this: "We are committed to you and focused on putting the pieces in place for you to be successful. Now it's put up or shut up time."
Only time will tell if this form of subliminal messaging will work, but at least we know this: The Rams now possess what is arguably the most dynamic player they have had since the days of "The Greatest Show on Turf."
Which should be more than enough to inspire a fan base to come out in the masses, and enjoy what very well could be a special season at the Edward Jones Dome.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State: Round 2, Pick 11
Turning a position of weakness into a position of strength in just one offseason is no easy task, but the Buccaneers appear to be well on their way to this with the addition of players like Johnthan Banks and Darrelle Revis in their secondary.
Banks was the team's second-round draft pick; however he is very much a player with first-round talent, production, size and intangibles.
With 12 career interceptions and plenty of length with his 6'2" frame, Banks has a combination of size and ball skills that now become part of what is already a completely revamped secondary in Tampa Bay.
Clearly head coach Greg Schiano was committed to accomplishing this task, and who can blame him when you play in the pass-happy NFC South with teams like the Saints and Falcons.
Certainly this offseason seems to have been focused on defending their divisional opponents' greatest strengths.
The addition of Banks will go a long way in helping them accomplish this.
Chance Warmack, G, Alabama: Round 1, Pick 10
Much like the Buccaneers did with their secondary, how can you not love what the Titans were able to do along their offensive line?
First the team added Andy Levitre in free agency, and now they go out and grab what is arguably the most dominating guard for a team that obviously committed to Chris Johnson and the overall vitality of the team's running game.
Center Brian Schwenke is another notable addition, but it is Warmack that becomes the road-grader that could really make this offense go and take pressure off young Jake Locker and the passing game.
Overall, I like what Titans management did as a whole with this draft class, and it goes without saying that teams would kill for an interior offensive line like the one that's now intact in Tennessee.
Just ask what Tony Romo thinks.
Phillip Thomas, S, Fresno State: Round 4, Pick 22
I personally don't know what is more exciting—watching RG3 jump around on his restructured knee or imagining all the turnovers and big plays that will surely take place this season in Washington D.C.?
After all, can you guess how many career interceptions exist between the three secondary players the Redskins drafted in David Amerson, Phillip Thomas and Bacarri Rambo?
As in, just one less than the Redskins' overall leader in total receptions for a wide receiver all of last season (Josh Morgan).
13 of these were at the hands of Phillip Thomas, and while others might think David Amerson was the team's best overall pick, it is Thomas who is the much more disciplined player overall and guy who can come in and start as a fourth-round selection.
That's pretty solid return on investment if you ask me.