Geno Smith: a brilliant choice or a colossal mistake by the Jets?
Whether it is one day or three years after a given NFL draft, each team’s set of picks are often collectively graded as either good or bad. In reality, however, almost every team’s draft class in every year has at least one very good pick and one very bad pick, with the rest falling on either side or somewhere in between.
None of the 254 selections in the 2013 NFL draft class have put on a pad yet for their new teams, so it remains very much unknown which side of the spectrum each pick will fall upon.
That said, with months of NFL draft scouting now in the books and the players slotted in with their new teams, we can take a look at each team’s draft and make an early evaluation of which picks were the best and the worst for their given teams, based on their draft value versus expected value, where each player went in comparison to the other players at their position and how each player fits the needs and schemes of the teams that drafted him.
Teams are listed in alphabetical order.
Best Pick: Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina (Round 1, No. 7)
The Arizona Cardinals had a tremendous first draft under general manager Steve Keim, but even with the many steals they had from Round 2-6, the best pick of them all was the one they made at the No. 7 overall pick.
Knowing that guards are rarely top-10 picks, drafting Jonathan Cooper that high in the draft is a statement of expectation that he will be an elite NFL guard. What makes this a great selection for the Cardinals is that Cooper clearly has the potential to be one of the league’s best guards.
Cooper will immediately bolster what was one of the NFL’s worst offensive lines last season, and he truly has All-Pro potential. He is a rare athlete for an interior offensive lineman with outstanding feet, but he also has very good size, strength and power. He excels as a pull blocker and a pass-blocker, but he can also drive defenders off the line as a straight-ahead, power run blocker.
Worst Pick: Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU (Round 3, No. 69)
Tyrann Mathieu proved during his two playing seasons at LSU that he has special playmaking ability, so if he can find a consistent role on the Cardinals and stay out of off-field trouble, this could turn out to be a tremendous selection. But in a draft where the Cardinals consistently got great value and made smart selection, this pick was a very big risk.
Mathieu was kicked off of LSU’s team prior to last season due to multiple failed drug tests, and he was later arrested for marijuana possession in October. He has to prove he can stay out of trouble off the field in order to produce on the field.
His game also has its issues. While he is a skilled playmaker with high upside as a nickel cornerback and punt returner, he is undersized for an NFL cornerback (5’9”, 186 pounds) and does not have great hip fluidity.
Best Pick: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington (Round 1, No. 22)
Thomas Dimitroff has made one thing clear in his six drafts as Atlanta Falcons general manager: If there is a player he believes is worth moving up the board for, he is not afraid to pull the trigger. The Falcons did it again in the 2013 NFL draft, giving up their third- (No. 92 overall) and sixth-round (No. 198 overall) selections to move up eight spots and select Washington cornerback Desmond Trufant.
It was an aggressive move for the Falcons, but a good one. Having lost Brent Grimes to free agency and released Dunta Robinson, the team desperately needed to find a potential No. 1 cornerback in this draft class, and Trufant has the potential to be that guy.
Trufant is arguably the best zone cover cornerback in the draft class, and had the Falcons stayed put, he may not have made it down to the No. 30 overall selection. He is a very good fit for their defense, and along with second-round pick Robert Alford (No. 60 overall), he addresses what was arguably the Falcons’ biggest need coming into this year’s draft.
Worst Pick: Stansly Maponga, DE, TCU (Round 5, No. 153)
Much of the Atlanta Falcons’ draft fit the same criteria: While they did not make any picks that will look like major steals, they did not make any selections that come off as being necessarily bad either. The most questionable of their choices, however, came in their selection of TCU defensive end Stansly Maponga in Round 5.
Maponga has had some impressive flashes, but was not a consistent player in his three years at TCU before declaring early. He is short for a 4-3 defensive end at only 6’2”, and he is not a particularly explosive athlete.
Having already drafted one defensive end in Clemson’s Malliciah Goodman, they could have gone in another direction with this choice, but even if they were set on drafting a defensive end, they could have gotten a better pick for both fit and upside such as Florida State’s Brandon Jenkins or Georgia’s Cornelius Washington.
Best Pick: Arthur Brown, ILB, Kansas State (Round 2, No. 56)
The Baltimore Ravens had one of the strongest top-to-bottom draft classes of any team this year, but the highlight of their draft came late in Round 2, when they moved up to draft a falling star in Kansas State’s Arthur Brown.
The Ravens gave up their fifth- (No. 165 overall) and sixth-round (No. 199 overall) selections to move up just six spots in Round 2 to select Brown, but it was well worth it. Outside of the top 50 picks, Brown is an absolute steal as an athletic linebacker with sideline-to-sideline range and the ability to be an impact player on all three downs.
Having lost Ray Lewis to retirement and Dannell Ellerbe to free agency, the Ravens had to find an inside linebacker in this draft who could be a playmaker both in attacking the run and in dropping back into coverage. The Ravens may have found the perfect fit for their need in Brown, who can aggressively attack and defeat blockers at the line of scrimmage but is also fluid at dropping back into coverage.
Worst Pick: Ricky Wagner, OT, Wisconsin (Round 5, No. 168)
The Baltimore Ravens needed to add offensive line depth at some point in this draft and finally did in Round 5 with the selection of Wisconsin offensive tackle Ricky Wagner, a tough and physical lineman who may have to kick inside to guard at the next level, but could provide depth at both guard and right tackle.
There were better offensive linemen still available on the board, however, when the Ravens made the choice to draft Wagner, who has limited athleticism and struggles as a pass-blocker.
San Jose State’s David Quessenberry would have been a better choice to provide depth both at guard and offensive tackle, or they could have gone with a high-upside offensive tackle in Ohio State’s Reid Fragel, who would have been their best choice to develop into a starting-caliber player opposite Michael Oher at tackle.
Best Pick: Robert Woods, WR, USC (Round 2, No. 41)
After drafting their quarterback of the future in E.J. Manuel with their first-round pick, the Buffalo Bills needed to add some weapons to their passing offense at wide receiver. The Bills did so in the second round by adding USC’s Robert Woods, arguably the best wideout in the draft class.
Woods does not have exceptional size or speed, but he has a very well-rounded and polished game. He is a tremendous route-runner who has consistent hands, good open-field quickness and the body control and physicality to make tough catches in the air and through traffic.
Woods is an NFL-ready wideout who should be able to step in immediately as a starter on the outside opposite Steve Johnson. He may not be a true deep threat, but he has all the tools to be a terrific possession receiver who can extend plays in the open field and make the most challenging of catches.
Worst Pick: E.J. Manuel, QB, Florida State (Round 1, No. 16)
The Buffalo Bills accomplished what they wanted to do in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft. They traded down eight spots to the No. 16 overall pick, picking up the St. Louis Rams’ second-round (No. 42) and seventh-round (No. 222) picks in the process (they did also swap third-round picks with the Rams), and drafted the top quarterback on their board.
The problem with that strategy, however, is that they didn’t draft the best quarterback on the board.
Although Florida State’s E.J. Manuel may have the most physical upside of any signal-caller in the draft class, he should not have been the first quarterback drafted. He has a big arm and good athleticism and running ability, but he remains a project who has to develop in terms of downfield accuracy and making stronger reads, especially when pressured.
In a quarterback class where there are no sure things, the Bills took a chance on the quarterback they believed in with their first-round pick, and he could turn out to be the franchise quarterback they need. But if he does not, and quarterbacks drafted significantly lower such as West Virginia’s Geno Smith or USC’s Matt Barkley turn out to be better NFL passers, they will certainly be reminded of their mistake.
Best Pick: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah (Round 1, No. 14)
Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei is as talented as any player in the 2013 NFL draft class. The Carolina Panthers got an absolute steal, and addressed their position of greatest need, when Lotulelei fell to them at the No. 14 overall selection.
Lotulelei is a defensive tackle who can do it all. With the size, strength and power of a dominant run-stopping nose tackle, but the explosiveness, quickness and inside rush moves of a pass-rushing 3-technique, Lotulelei can play either defensive tackle spot in a 4-3 defense and has star potential.
The Panthers needed to build up the defensive tackle position and did so in the first two rounds with two terrific players in Lotulelei and Purdue’s Kawann Short (No. 44 overall pick). In Lotulelei, they could have a superstar to be a force in the middle of their defensive line for many years to come.
Worst Pick: Edmund Kugbila, G, Valdosta State (Round 4, No. 108)
The Carolina Panthers made a surprising selection of an under-the-radar prospect when they drafted Valdosta State guard Edmund Kugbila in the fourth round. He is an intriguing project at guard with good size and athleticism but may have been a reach as an early Day 3 selection.
The Panthers could use an upgrade at right guard, and taking a chance on Kugbila could end up paying off for that reason. That said, he was a questionable choice with more pressing needs yet to fill (which they did not end up actually filling) at other positions including the secondary, wide receiver and even right tackle.
Best Pick: Khaseem Greene, OLB, Rutgers (Round 4, No. 117)
The Chicago Bears came in with a need to reinforce the linebacker position and drafted a couple of very gifted ones with the potential to develop into quality starters on the Chicago defense. The better of the two linebackers, though, was actually the one they drafted later, that being Rutgers’ Khaseem Greene.
Greene is a rangy, instinctive playmaker with the talent to be a very solid weak-side linebacker in the NFL. He does not have great measurables, but is a consistent tackler who can make plays all over the field, is effective at dropping back into coverage and is very good at striking ballcarriers to force fumbles.
The Bears do not have an opening for a new starter at the outside linebacker position yet, but Greene was great value as a fourth-round pick and should be able to play an immediate role in the Bears’ rotation while developing into an eventually integral part of their lineup.
Worst Pick: Kyle Long, OL, Oregon (Round 1, No. 20)
With very good athleticism for a 6’6”, 313-pound offensive lineman with NFL bloodlines, Oregon’s Kyle Long has the upside to develop into a terrific offensive lineman. That said, the brother of St. Louis Rams defensive end Chris Long and son of Hall of Fame defensive end Howie Long is a raw talent who only has one year of major college football experience and was a reach as a top-20 draft choice.
Having played guard at Oregon, his best immediate fit is likely on the interior offensive line, but he has developmental potential as both a left or right tackle. That said, he needs to build upon his strength and technique and may not be immediately ready to step in and start at any position.
Long would have been a great choice for his upside on Day 2, but at the No. 20 overall pick, he looked like a choice out of desperation with the top seven offensive linemen already off the board. He could turn out to be a star, but the Bears should have gone with a more polished, solid choice in Round 1 and waited for a chance at Long or another offensive lineman in Round 2.
Best Pick: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame (Round 1, No. 21)
The Cincinnati Bengals didn’t have a need at the tight end position, but with three picks in the first two rounds and few pressing needs on either side of the ball, they were smart to focus on value. By doing so, they ended up with one of the draft’s best players, and a player who will make an immediate and big impact on their offense, in Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert.
Eifert fits the prototype of the modern tight end, with a tremendous combination of size and athleticism that makes him a mismatch for both defensive backs and linebackers and enables him to stretch the field as a receiver. He has terrific hands and a great ability to make plays on the ball, and paired with Jermaine Gresham, he will give the Bengals a second big target in the middle of the field to make their offense even more explosive and difficult to stop.
Eifert does need to develop as an in-line blocker, where he is not great at this point, but he will make an immediate impact as another weapon in the passing game.
Worst Pick: Rex Burkhead, RB, Nebraska (Round 6, No. 190)
The Cincinnati Bengals needed to draft one dynamic, change-of-pace running back in this year’s draft, which they did in Round 2 with North Carolina’s Giovani Bernard. But with Bernard joining a stable that also includes BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Bernard Scott, Cedric Perrman and Daniel Herron, the Bengals had no need to draft another running back.
Nebraska’s Rex Burkhead is a solid runner who runs hard and has very good quickness in the open field, but he will have to really impress in training camp to beat out any of the team’s returning backs.
The team already drafted Bernard to be a change-of-pack, quick situational third-down back, while they already have Herron as a situational pass-protector and special teams player, which would be Burkhead’s most likely role if he were to make the roster.
Best Pick: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU (Round 1, No. 6)
Although the Cleveland Browns had already formed a solid starting duo of pass-rushing outside linebackers for their new 3-4 defense, it is always important to have a strong trio in a pass-rush rotation. Therefore, although the Browns had other needs at cornerback, safety and guard that they could have addressed with their first-round pick, they selected a player who can make an immediate impact on their defense in LSU’s Barkevious Mingo.
Mingo is well-suited to make the transition to outside linebacker from defensive end, as he is an explosive athlete who moves well in space, is a skilled pass-rusher with great burst and has the potential to drop back in coverage and make plays in that regard as well.
He can find an immediate role on the Browns’ defense as a situational pass-rusher and help the Browns bring more pressure against the quarterback, an area in which they struggled last season.
Worst Pick: Jamoris Slaughter, SS/OLB, Notre Dame (Round 6, No. 175)
After trading away picks in both the fourth and fifth rounds for 2014 draft selections, it was imperative for the Browns to hit on their sixth-round pick, their first pick of Day 3, and find an impact player. Instead, they drafted a player in Notre Dame’s Jamoris Slaughter who will likely be limited to special teams.
There are some aspects to like about Slaughter’s game: He is an aggressive defender who can attack the line of scrimmage, is a sound tackler and hitter and has some versatility between safety and linebacker.
That said, he is small for a linebacker and lacks the athleticism and coverage skills of a safety, making him effectively a “tweener” who could be a special teams standout, but will not make the impact on offense or defense that the Browns needed from a pick that was just their third selection of the entire draft.
Best Pick: B.W. Webb, CB, William and Mary (Round 4, No. 114)
The Dallas Cowboys made major reaches with both of their first two picks, but through the rest of their draft, they came away with five very good value selections. The best value selection of any of them was getting talented small-school cornerback B.W. Webb from William and Mary in Round 4.
Webb may come from a small school, but he has big game that could have warranted a Day 2 draft choice. He is an instinctive, athletic cornerback who has great ball skills and plays with physicality.
Webb does need to improve in man coverage but should be a good fit for the Cowboys’ new Tampa 2 defensive scheme given his playmaking range and skill in zone coverage. Webb was the 17th cornerback off the board but is likely to be a better player than many of the cornerbacks drafted in front of him.
Worst Pick: Travis Frederick, C/G, Wisconsin (Round 1, No. 31)
The Dallas Cowboys had a desperate need to upgrade their interior offensive line in this year’s draft, and their desperation showed when they made a massive first-round reach on Wisconsin offensive lineman Travis Frederick.
Frederick may turn out to be a capable starter at either center or right guard, where the Cowboys needed upgrades. But while he is a big, physical run blocker with starting potential, he has limited athleticism and poor footwork, which could cause him to struggle with quicker interior pass-rushers, while he offers little as a pull blocker.
The Cowboys would have been better off waiting until a later round to draft Frederick. They could have addressed another major need with a defensive tackle in Purdue’s Kawann Short or safety in Florida International’s Jonathan Cyprien.
Then they could have gotten better value on Frederick or another interior offensive lineman such as Kentucky’s Larry Warford, who is similar as a guard but stronger and quicker than Frederick and did not actually go until the third round, with their second-round pick.
Best Pick: Quanterus Smith, DE, Western Kentucky (Round 5, No. 146)
The Denver Broncos lost one of their two star pass-rushers this offseason, Elvis Dumervil, to free agency, so one of their needs in the draft was to find another pass-rushing defensive end who could fill in his shoes. They may very well have found that player at a tremendous value in Round 5 with the selection of Western Kentucky’s Quanterus Smith.
Smith’s stock fell as he is coming off of a torn ACL, which prevented him from participating in pre-draft workouts, but he is an explosive edge rusher who uses his hands well, has very good length, is a great athlete and can also play the run.
While he may not be an immediate fix as he continues to get healthy and then develop as a player, he has the potential to be as good of a player as Dumervil in time.
Had Smith been healthy, he likely would have been a Day 2 draft choice. Getting him in Round 5 was both great value, and a great fit to fill a significant need.
Worst Pick: Kayvon Webster, CB, South Florida (Round 3, No. 90)
In a deep cornerback class, South Florida cornerback Kayvon Webster was projected to be nothing more than a late-round draft choice. While adding cornerback depth was a smart move for the Broncos, there were many better options still available late in Round 3 than Webster.
Webster could develop into a solid contributor in the Broncos’ secondary. He is a fast, agile cornerback who tackles well and should be able to contribute on special teams if not immediately on defense. That said, he does not have great size (5’10”, 195 pounds), lacks natural ball skills and was far from being the best cornerback available on the board.
A better choice for the Broncos would have been B.W. Webb, who was selected in Round 4 by the Dallas Cowboys. Drafting a cornerback was a smart decision, but was not so much of a need where they should have taken a reach on Webster when there were legitimate Day 2 talents still sitting in position to be drafted.
Best Pick: Larry Warford, G, Kentucky (Round 3, No. 65)
Having released Stephen Peterman earlier this offseason, the Detroit Lions had a hole to fill at the right guard position. They filled that hole at great value with Kentucky’s Larry Warford, a massive, powerful road-grading blocker who is one of the best interior offensive line prospects in the draft class.
Warford would have been a solid choice had the Lions drafted him a round earlier at the No. 36 overall pick, but his value was too good to pass up in the third round. He is a very strong in-line run blocker who can really drive defenders off the line of scrimmage, but even at 332 pounds, he has surprising quickness and foot agility for his size.
Warford can be an immediate upgrade over what they had in Peterman at right guard.
Worst Pick: Sam Martin, P, Appalachian State (Round 5, No. 165)
The Detroit Lions had a need for a punter, but whenever a team decides to draft a punter rather than waiting to sign one as an undrafted free agent, it should be because the punter they select is significantly better than a player they could have gotten later. That was not the case with the Lions’ fifth-round reach on Appalachian State punter Sam Martin.
Martin was a good college punter, averaging 45.9 yards per punt (fourth in FCS in 2012), but the Lions could have waited and gotten two-time Ray Guy Award winner Ryan Allen out of Lousiana Tech, or strong-legged and athletic LSU punter Brad Wing, in Round 7, as both players went undrafted.
The pick may turn out to be smart if Martin develops into a top-flight NFL punter, but it seems like a waste of a pick when they could have waited and still gotten one of two NFL-quality punters (or in all likelihood, still drafted/signed Martin).
Best Pick: Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama (Round 2, No. 61)
The Green Bay Packers needed to upgrade their backfield and find a true feature back in the 2013 NFL draft. They were able to do that, and get great value in the process, by selecting Alabama’s Eddie Lacy late in Round 2, even after a trade down.
Alabama’s Eddie Lacy is a true power back and between-the-tackles runner with great size (5’11”, 231 pounds), and he can really lower his shoulder into contact and run through defenders. Yet although Lacy does not have great speed, he can also make defenders miss outside the tackles with good open-field moves, including a very strong spin move.
Before drafting Lacy, the Packers moved down six spots from the No. 55 overall selection, picking up a sixth-round pick (No. 173 overall) from the San Francisco 49ers in the process.
Lacy’s stock likely fell down the draft board as a result of a hamstring injury and subsequently disappointing pro day, but he is a well-rounded NFL back worthy of being the first running back selected, yet was only the fourth off the board.
Also strongly under consideration as the Packers’ best pick was their fourth-round selection of another running back, UCLA’s Johnathan Franklin, who should form a tremendous 1-2 punch out of the backfield with Lacy and is an explosive, well-rounded back who was great value as a late fourth-round pick (No. 125 overall pick).
Worst Pick: Kevin Dorsey, WR, Maryland (Round 7, No. 225)
The Green Bay Packers did a very good job throughout this draft of addressing areas of need and getting strong value, making their seventh-round picks the most questionable choices of the weekend.
Kevin Dorsey, who had just 18 receptions in his senior season at Maryland, was a surprise choice to be drafted at all. Drafting him over some very high-upside receivers still on the board, including Washington State’s Marquess Wilson and Elon’s Aaron Mellette, was a questionable decision considering his lack of special traits and collegiate production.
Best Pick: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson (Round 1, No. 27)
One of the Houston Texans’ biggest needs coming into this year’s draft was to find a legitimate No. 2 receiving threat to start opposite Andre Johnson and be a reliable weapon for the offense while helping to draw coverages off of Johnson. The Texans found a perfect fit for that role by selecting Clemson’s DeAndre Hopkins at the No. 27 overall pick.
A big, physical possession receiver who runs great routes, has strong hands and can really go up and make plays on the balls, Hopkins will consistently require coverages to account for him, as he already does a great job of getting open on his own and making plays in traffic.
He should help create more playmaking opportunities for Johnson, while coming up with plenty of plays on his own and being a target quarterback Matt Schaub can rely on to make plays downfield, catch the ball consistently and help stretch the field out more. Hopkins was solid value late in Round 1 and fits exactly what the Texans were missing on their offense.
Worst Pick: Sam Montgomery, OLB/DE, LSU (Round 3, No. 95)
The Houston Texans did not make any noticeably bad draft choices, but the one that could come be the most questionable is the selection of LSU pass-rusher Sam Montgomery.
In terms of pure ability, Montgomery is a steal as a third-round compensatory selection: He is a long, fast edge rusher who has good pass-rushing technique and is also solid against the run. That said, he has serious work ethic questions after freely admitting he used to take plays off at LSU, and he is not a great fit for a 3-4 defense.
Montgomery has big potential as a hand-in-the-dirt defensive end but will likely make the transition to outside linebacker in the Texans’ defense, which may not be a good fit for his game as he has minimal experience dropping back into coverage and is not the most fluid athlete in space.
Additionally, he does not have the strength, build or inside run-stopping game to be an effective 5-technique defensive end, although he may have more developmental upside in that position than at outside linebacker.
Best Pick: Bjoern Werner, OLB/DE, Florida State (Round 1, No. 24)
Florida State’s Bjoern Werner is a better fit to play defensive end in a 4-3 scheme than he is to drop back to outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme, but at the value of a late first-round pick, the Indianapolis Colts made a smart move in betting on Werner’s ability to make that transition.
Werner is the most complete pass-rushing prospect in the draft class, as a player who has an explosive first step and good speed and natural bend around the edge but also has great pass-rushing technique and is a very effective run defender.
While he does not quite have the pure athleticism coveted in a 3-4 outside linebacker, he looked fluid in linebacker drills at Florida State’s pro day. He is a very good run defender in space, and has the work ethic and all-around game to make the transition and be successful. He is one of the best overall prospects in the 2013 draft class and should immediately bolster the Colts’ pass rush opposite Robert Mathis.
Worst Pick: Justice Cunningham, TE, South Carolina (Round 7, No. 254)
The Colts made good picks from top to bottom in getting quality value and addressing areas of need, but they did make one “irrelevant” pick. That player is South Carolina tight end Justice Cunningham, who looks to be on the outside looking in to make the roster as the final selection—Mr. Irrelevant—of the 2013 NFL draft.
With Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen already on the roster, Justice Cunningham will have to beat out another former South Carolina tight end with more upside, physical gifts and receiving ability in Weslye Saunders to earn a roster spot.
He is a strong blocker who could be considered for a final roster spot as a situational player and special teams contributor, but while every other Colts draft pick projects to make an impact or address an important area of need, Cunningham may not do that.
Best Pick: Josh Evans, FS, Florida (Round 6, No. 169)
While Matt Elam was a first-round pick and received the lion’s share of the attention coming out of Florida for his highlight-reel hitting and playmaking ability, it is not preposterous to think that the Gators’ free safety, Josh Evans, could actually be the better NFL player.
A well-rounded safety with good size and athleticism and a solid game in both run-support and coverage, Evans was very good value as a sixth-round pick. The Jaguars may not get a big playmaker, but they did get a player with high upside and the talent to immediately provide competition to Dwight Lowery for his starting free safety spot.
Evans would have been a legitimate choice late in Day 2 or early in Day 3, but he was one of many strong additions to the Jaguars’ secondary in the 2013 NFL draft at great value in Round 6. Even if he is not immediately in the lineup, he should at least be a very solid backup free safety who can make an immediate contribution on special teams.
Worst Pick: Dwayne Gratz, CB, Connecticut (Round 3, No. 64)
Truthfully, David Caldwell had a fantastic first draft as Jacksonville Jaguars general manager, and the team did not make any choices that look bad on initial evaluation. If there was one pick that can be considered a reach from their draft class, that pick would be Connecticut cornerback Dwayne Gratz as the second pick of the third round.
While Dwayne Gratz is a rangy cornerback with good scheme verastility and ball skills, one would think that Connecticut’s No. 1 cornerback, Blidi Wreh-Wilson, would have been a better choice for the Jaguars as he was also still available. Wreh-Wilson is the long, athletic cornerback that has become a prototype for Jaguars coach Gus Bradley’s defense and is a more physical man-to-man cornerback with higher upside.
Gratz addresses a position of need and should be able to step in and play decently immediately, but he projected more as an early Day 3 selection than a third-round pick, making him not as good of a value as many of the Jaguars’ other selections.
Best Pick: Mike Catapano, DE, Princeton (Round 7, No. 207)
The Kansas City Chiefs got great value on a talented Ivy League prospect in the seventh round with the selection of the Princeton pass-rusher, who could end up making a surprisingly big impact in the Chiefs’ defensive front seven.
Catapano is a talented pass-rusher who has good athleticism, technique and power and can rush from both around the edge and inside. He is also very solid against the run, and at 6’4” and 271 pounds, he projects as a player who could have high upside as a 5-technique defensive end in the Chiefs’ 3-4 scheme if he can add 10-15 pounds of muscle.
If Catapano can make an early impact as a rotational pass-rusher, which he has the skill set to be able to, and provide quality depth on the Chiefs’ defensive front, he will be a steal as a seventh-round draft choice.
Worst Pick: Nico Johnson, ILB, Alabama (Round 4, No. 99)
The Kansas City Chiefs needed a physical, run-stopping thumper at the inside linebacker position, which they drafted in Alabama’s Nico Johnson. The problem with selecting Johnson at the No. 99 overall pick is that they drafted him about two rounds early.
While Johnson was a very promising player early in his Crimson Tide career, he failed to emerge as a star as a senior when Courtney Upshaw and Dont’a Hightower, instead fading into a rotational role. Johnson is a solid run-stopper with good size for the position, but he has limited athleticism and coverage ability, and will likely be limited to a rotational/special teams role.
The Chiefs should have waited on drafting him and found better value at another position of need, or added a player in Rutgers’ Khaseem Greene, who would have been a steal even at the top of Round 4 and is a better athlete with a much more complete game.
Best Pick: Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State (Round 2, No. 54)
Even after signing free-agent cornerback Brent Grimes earlier this offseason, the Miami Dolphins came into the 2013 draft in need of another starting cornerback. They found a player more than capable being that starter in Boise State’s Jamar Taylor, nearly a full round after Taylor should have come off the board.
Taylor may have dropped below the other top cornerbacks in the draft class due to a lack of size, but even at only 5’11” and 192 pounds, he should present a challenge to any wide receiver he faces. He is a very physical cornerback who is terrific at playing press man coverage and getting his hands on opposing receivers but also has the quickness, athleticism and instincts to excel in zone coverage.
Taylor is a playmaker who has very good ball skills and is a solid tackler. Given his physicality and athleticism, he projected to be a solid late first-round pick or early second-round selection. He can play both outside and in the slot and has the potential to be better than former first-round cornerback Vontae Davis, who they traded to the Indianapolis Colts prior to last season in exchange for this draft pick.
Worst Pick: Caleb Sturgis, K, Florida (Round 5, No. 166)
Apparently seeking a change at placekicker, the Miami Dolphins reached in selecting Florida’s Caleb Sturgis, the first kicker off the board, with one of two compensatory selections in Round 5.
While Sturgis had a very good and accurate career for the Gators, missing just four field goals over the past two seasons, he would have been more appropriate value as a seventh-round pick.
The best placekicker in the draft class, Florida State’s Dustin Hopkins, who has a stronger leg, was still available on the board, and drafting Sturgis over him while there was still plenty of talent at many other positions was a questionable decision on the Dolphins’ part.
Best Pick: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida (Round 1, No. 23)
The Minnesota Vikings needed to add a playmaker at defensive tackle in this draft class to line up alongside Kevin Williams and improve the team’s interior run presence. They were able to do that with their first of three first-round picks, getting great value in the process with the selection of Florida’s Sharrif Floyd.
Projected to go as high as the No. 3 overall pick by many draft prognosticators, Floyd would have been a reach there but was a steal as a late first-round pick. He is an explosive interior penetrator who can blow up running plays in the backfield with his power and quickness, is a skilled interior pass-rusher and has very good athleticism for his size.
The Vikings should have their best interior defensive line combination since the “Williams Wall” with the addition of Floyd, a potential star of their defensive front whose value was too good to pass up at the No. 23 overall selection.
Worst Pick: Travis Bond, G, North Carolina (Round 7, No. 214)
While one of North Carolina’s guards in Jonathan Cooper has the potential to be an NFL star, the other did not belong as a draft pick.
Travis Bond may be a massive guard, but he has sloppy weight and has a serious lack of foot skills and quickness. Having already selected a quicker, more efficient guard in UCLA’s Jeff Baca, the Vikings certainly did not need to reach on a guard in Round 7. Even if they were set on drafting an interior lineman, they could have found better talent in another player such as Arkansas’ Alvin Bailey.
Best Pick: Michael Buchanan, DE, Illinois (Round 7, No. 226)
Had the New England Patriots drafted Illinois’ Michael Buchanan for pass-rushing depth with one of their two third-round picks, it would have been a very solid choice on upside and not much of a surprise. They got tremendous value when Buchanan fell to their seventh-round pick.
Buchanan had a disappointing senior season following the departure of Whitney Mercilus last season, but he is a high-upside rusher with good length and explosive athleticism. As a seventh-round pick, he is a terrific choice as a developmental prospect whose skill set could be harnessed into a very impactful rotational edge rusher, even though he is not a particularly strong run defender.
Worst Pick: Duron Harmon, SS, Rutgers (Round 3, No. 91)
While the Patriots may have gotten a third-round talent in Round 7 with Buchanan, they may have drafted a seventh-round talent in Round 3 with strong safety Duron Harmon.
One of three Rutgers Scarlet Knights the Patriots selected in this year’s draft, Harmon is a solid hitter on the back end, but he was not projected to be an early draft pick and struggles both in tackling consistency in run support and in making plays in pass coverage.
The Patriots did not have a need to draft another safety in this year’s draft, but even if they had, there were a number of more highly-rated safeties still on the board above Harmon, including North Carolina State’s Earl Wolff and Syracuse’s Shamarko Thomas.
Best Pick: Terron Armstead, OT, Arkansas-Pine Bluff (Round 3, No. 75)
Having lost left tackle Jermon Bushrod to free agency this offseason, selecting a physically-gifted offensive lineman with the potential to develop into a strong successor at the position made a lot of sense in Round 3.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s Terron Armstead is a small-school offensive lineman with an exceptional combination of athleticism, length and power, and although his game is raw, he has developmental potential to be a franchise left tackle. He is a terrific pull blocker who can make blocks all over the field, and his upside made him very good value in Round 3, especially in a draft defined by offensive linemen coming off the board early.
While fixing the defense was the Saints’ biggest need in this year’s draft, Armstead’s value would have been tough to pass up. This is a selection that, even if he does not play immediately, could have large dividends within the next couple years.
Worst Pick: Rufus Johnson, OLB, Tarleton State (Round 6, No. 183)
For a team desperately in need of pass-rushing outside linebackers who fit their transition to a 3-4 defensive scheme, waiting until the sixth round to draft one was a questionable decision in itself. So was drafting a small-school diamond in the rough in Tarleton State’s Rufus Johnson, when there were more established players on the board at the same position.
Johnson could end up being a surprise sixth-round steal. He is a player with impressive physical tools, having run a 4.75-second 40-yard dash while measuring in at 6’4” and 266 pounds at his pro day, according to NFL.com.
That said, the Saints' decision to draft Johnson, with another player with very impressive physical tools but with large-school experience in Georgia’s Cornelius Washington still on the board, came as a questionable one.
Best Pick: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M (Round 3, No. 81)
A team that has built success around their pass-rushing prowess, the New York Giants needed to find another defensive end to add to the rotation and put pressure on the quarterback in this year’s NFL draft, with Justin Tuck entering the final year of his contract and having lost Osi Umenyiora to free agency.
They addressed that need and did so with great value when Texas A&M defensive end Damontre Moore fell to their third-round draft choice.
Moore’s stock dropped following disappointing pre-draft workouts that exposed a lack of explosive athleticism, but he is still a major steal in the middle of Round 3. He is a technically sound pass-rusher off the edge who can rush both outside and inside, has very good snap anticipation and plays with a consistently strong motor.
Moore needs to bulk up and become stronger to hold up as a three-down defensive end in the NFL, but he can make an immediate impact as a situational pass-rusher opposite Jason Pierre-Paul. Once considered a possible top-five overall pick, the Giants should be elated to have gotten Moore as late on Day 2 as they did.
Worst Pick: Justin Pugh, OT/G, Syracuse (Round 1, No. 19)
Drafting offensive line reinforcement early in the 2013 NFL draft was a smart decision for the New York Giants, but with the top offensive linemen off the board by the time they came on the clock with the No. 19 overall pick, it was not a level of need where they needed to reach just to address the position. But they did anyway, selecting a Day 2 talent in Round 1 with the choice of Syracuse offensive lineman Justin Pugh.
Pugh was a very good left tackle at Syracuse, and he is a good athlete who is physical and can attack the second level. That said, he will likely have to kick inside or at least to right tackle at the next level due to a lack of length (32-inch arms), and he could struggle with the power and strength of NFL defensive tackles and rushers.
The Giants would have been better off waiting until Day 2 to draft an offensive lineman and instead taken advantage of the value on the board at other positions by upgrading at pass-rusher with Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner, defensive tackle with Florida’s Sharrif Floyd or even cornerback with Florida State’s Xavier Rhodes.
Best Pick: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia (Round 2, No. 39)
It is rare for a team to be able to draft their top quarterback draft target in Round 2 when that prospect is rated as the top quarterback in the draft class by a majority of a draft prognosticators. That is exactly what happened, however, for the New York Jets, who got fantastic value in finding a potential, much-needed franchise quarterback in West Virginia’s Geno Smith.
Smith has some significant flaws in his game. He struggles at making reads and knowing when to get rid of the ball under pressure, while he has limited experience in a pro-style offense and needs serious work on his footwork.
That said, he is a physically impressive quarterback who has the arm strength, athleticism and ability to make any throw on the field that give him the potential to develop into a great NFL signal-caller.
Considering their need for an upgrade over Mark Sanchez at quarterback, Smith would have been a very smart first-round choice for the Jets at either the No. 9 or No. 13 overall selection. Instead, by biding the time and playing the draft board intelligently, the Jets got themselves a steal and a player to work with and hopefully build their team around.
Worst Pick: Brian Winters, OT/G, Kent State (Round 3, No. 72)
With Matt Slauson now with the Chicago Bears and Brandon Moore remaining unsigned, the New York Jets are replacing both of their starting guards from last season. They drafted one potential starter at guard in Kent State’s Brian Winters in Round 3, though he may be their worst value selection of the draft.
Winters is a physical offensive lineman who had great success as a left tackle at Kent State, but he will likely kick inside for the Jets due to a lack of length and athleticism for the position. Inside, he has solid potential but will have to make an adjustment to a new position and does not have great strength and power, making him more appropriate for a Day 3 draft choice.
This was not necessarily a bad selection as it will likely turn into a starter sooner rather than later, but in a draft led by some terrific value selections, Winters was not among those.
Best Pick: Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas (Round 4, No. 112)
The Oakland Raiders made a move for a potential starting quarterback earlier this offseason, trading two future draft picks to the Seattle Seahawks for Matt Flynn, but the search for a long-term franchise quarterback remains in play. The Raiders may very well have found that quarterback in the fourth round of this year’s draft with the selection of Arkansas’ Tyler Wilson.
Wilson had a disappointing senior season, but he is a polished pocket passer with good physical tools. He needs to become more consistently accurate and does not have great athleticism or a rocket arm, but he has all the skills necessary to develop into a quality starting quarterback in the NFL.
For the Oakland Raiders to get a quarterback with the polish and ability to compete for a starting quarterback job as early as his rookie season in Round 4, especially in a quarterback class that lacked any sure starters, they got tremendous value.
Worst Pick: Latavius Murray, RB, UCF (Round 6, No. 181)
Drafting running back depth in the late rounds of the draft certainly made sense for the Raiders. Drafting UCF’s Latavius Murray when more talented runners such as Clemson’s Andre Ellington were still on the board, was not as sensible.
Murray seemed like a throwback Raiders pick — a player with huge measurable upside as a very big running back (6’3”, 223 pounds) but also with speed (4.45 40 at his pro day, per the Orlando Sentinel) — but does not have the all-around game of a player like Ellington, who has terrific vision, good open-field quickness and ability to make defenders miss, whereas Murray is more of a one-speed, between-the-tackles runner.
In this case, Murray may have been what the Raiders were looking for and was not necessarily a bad choice, but there was better value at the position available.
Best Pick: Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State (Round 7, No. 218)
Projected by most to be a second- or third-round draft choice, Oregon State cornerback Jordan Poyer had a stunning fall to the seventh round in the 2013 NFL draft. While there may have been an off-field or medical issue unbeknownst to the draft media that caused his sharp fall down the board, he was a terrific value selection nonetheless for a cornerback-needy team in Round 7.
Poyer could easily end up being this year’s version of Alfonzo Dennard: a cornerback who did not have exceptional measurables but, after falling much farther in the draft than his talent would dictate, bounced back to establish himself as a starter. The Eagles have openings at cornerback that Poyer should get a chance to compete for, and he has a legitimate shot.
Poyer does not have great measurables, which may have hurt his stock, but he is a very instinctive cornerback who plays with physicality, has fluid hips and has great ball skills. Poyer has the potential to be a very solid No. 2 or 3 cornerback in the NFL and could see immediate playing time and huge value for the Eagles, who need help at the position.
Worst Pick: David King, DE, Oklahoma (Round 7, No. 239)
The Philadelphia Eagles did a tremendous job of picking for value and adding quality players throughout their draft this year, but their final selection of Oklahoma’s David King was a bit puzzling.
King was a rotational player at Oklahoma who did not make a major impact. He has the measurables to have some developmental upside as a 5-technique defensive end, but considering the Eagles also drafted LSU’s Bennie Logan and Utah’s Joe Kruger, King will likely be on the outside looking in for the team’s final roster.
Best Pick: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia (Round 1, No. 17)
The Pittsburgh Steelers came up with one of the most perfect matches for both player and team in the first round of this year’s draft when they selected Georgia outside linebacker Jarvis Jones.
In need of a pass-rushing outside linebacker to replace James Harrison, they found the closest thing to Harrison in the draft in a player who does not have ideal measurables for the position but is an aggressive, physical edge rusher who makes plays with his instincts, power, snap timing and hard hits.
The Steelers have had good success with shorter outside linebackers before in Harrison and LaMarr Woodley coming off the edge, and Jones may be more talented than either of them. He can be a three-down asset for the Steelers, as he is also very good at setting the edge and making stops in the backfield on run defense.
He was a good value selection in the second half of Round 1 and addressed one of the team’s most significant needs.
Worst Pick: Justin Brown, WR, Oklahoma (Round 6, No. 186)
Justin Brown started to come along strong in his senior season at Oklahoma and has solid physical tools, but he remains a raw talent at the position.
For the Steelers, who had already drafted a receiver in Oregon State’s Markus Wheaton but still needed more receiver depth, they would have been better off in drafting a more polished playmaker in Arkansas’ Cobi Hamilton.
While Brown’s upside and measurables are more impressive than those of Hamilton's, Hamilton is a very good downfield receiver who could step in and contribute immediately more than Brown can and would have both a very safe and valuable choice for Pittsburgh in Round 6.
Best Pick: Keenan Allen, WR, California (Round 3, No. 76)
Plagued by some significant concerns surrounding a lingering knee injury and his lack of downfield speed, it should not have come as a surprise that California’s Keenan Allen fell into the draft’s third round. That said, he is a very skilled possession wideout who could turn out to be a steal for the Chargers.
Allen is not much of a big-play threat, but he is a big, strong receiver who plays the ball aggressively, has strong hands and is a great route-runner. He has the skill set to be a reliable, go-to target as a No. 2 starter in the Chargers’ passing offense, and even without a significant need at the position, his value made him well worth a choice in Round 3.
Worst Pick: Brad Sorensen, QB, Southern Utah (Round 7, No. 221)
Drafting a young quarterback for depth and development purposes in the seventh round was a smart move for the San Diego Chargers. The decision to select Southern Utah’s Brad Sorensen may have been a mistake, however, when there will still a number of more promising quarterbacks including Miami (Ohio)’s Zac Dysert and Arizona’s Matt Scott still on the board.
Sorensen does have promising physical tools, including great size, a strong arm and a quick release. That said, he struggled with inconsistent downfield accuracy and questionable reads even at the FCS level and does not have much athleticism.
He was projected to be a possible seventh-round pick, but with better quarterbacks still on the board, the Chargers could have grabbed a signal-caller with just as much if not more physical upside, but with production against a higher level of competition and more readiness to play early if needed.
Best Pick: Quinton Patton, WR, Louisiana Tech (Round 4, No. 128)
Having signed Anquan Boldin earlier this offseason and with a deep stable of receivers that last year’s first-round pick, A.J. Jenkins, may have a tough time cracking, the 49ers certainly did not need to select a wideout in this year’s draft. They made a great decision, however, to take advantage of Quinton Patton’s value when he was still available on the board near the end of the fourth round.
A very productive receiver who has terrific body control, consistent hands and is a skilled route-runner, Patton would not have been shocking as a first-round draft selection. Why he fell down the draft board much farther is uncertain, but regardless, the 49ers came away with a very talented wideout who can easily work his way into the lineup with his polished game.
With few pressing needs, the 49ers could afford to make value selections and make strong positions even stronger, and that was exactly what they did with Patton.
Worst Pick: B.J. Daniels, QB, South Florida (Round 7, No. 237)
Of all 254 players selected in the 2013 NFL draft, South Florida’s B.J. Daniels projects as the least likely to make a 53-man roster next season.
He has little to no NFL potential to make it as a quarterback. Daniels is very short for an NFL quarterback, at only 5’11”, and although he’s a good athlete, he’s no Russell Wilson. Daniels is not a polished pocket passer, has a lackluster arm and really struggles with his accuracy (never completed more than 60 percent of his passes in a season at USF).
It is not as if the 49ers need their seventh-round picks to make the roster and contribute, as they already have a very strong roster, but with many great picks in earlier rounds, selecting Daniels stands out as the worst, or at least the least likely to produce any tangible results, of their picks.
Best Pick: Jesse Williams, NT, Alabama (Round 5, No. 137)
Jesse Williams was taken off of some NFL teams’ boards due to knee injuries, according to TFY Draft Insider’s Tony Pauline, but injury concerns aside, Williams deserved to be a first-round draft pick. In the fifth round, Williams was well worth the risk for the Seattle Seahawks, who could have gotten an absolute steal with the selection.
Williams is a massive, powerful nose tackle who has fantastic quickness and range for a player of his size. He is a terrific run stopper who can dominate at the point of attack but can also make plays all along the line of scrimmage.
In Seattle, Williams can provide great depth behind Brandon Mebane at nose tackle and figure into the rotation, where a limited role may suit his concerning knee best. If healthy, however, Williams has star potential as a nose tackle and makes an already strong defensive line even stronger.
Worst Pick: Spencer Ware, RB, LSU (Round 6, No. 194)
Even though Christine Michael has had serious character and durability concerns, and even though the Seattle Seahawks did not need a running back per se, it seemed inaccurate to anoint him as the Seahawks’ worst pick considering his immense physical upside that could make him a star.
But drafting another running back later, one who has also had off-field issues (suspended in 2011 for failed drug test) in LSU’s Spencer Ware, was a puzzling decision.
Ware has good size, but he does not exactly run defenders over, and he does not have great speed. His workload decreased over the course of his LSU career as other running backs emerged in front of him, and on a roster that already includes Lynch, Turbin and Michael, Ware’s chances of actually making the roster, or being needed to contribute, seem fairly slim.
Best Pick: Barrett Jones, OL, Alabama (Round 4, No. 113)
In what was likely a combined result of his dealing with a Lisfranc foot fracture and with his subpar athleticism for an offensive lineman, Alabama’s Barrett Jones fell to the fourth round of the draft. At that point, the Rams were smart to recognize their need for offensive line depth and Jones’ value, and they selected him with the No. 113 overall pick.
Jones played all five positions on the offensive line over the course of his career at Alabama and excelled everywhere he played. He brings that versatility to the NFL, along with toughness, physicality, intelligence and good footwork.
He may never be a star lineman at the next level, but he is polished and ready to step in at guard, center or even tackle. He could come in and immediately compete for the starting right guard spot, but as a fourth-round pick, he was selected in the perfect range to be used as a five-position backup on the offensive line.
Worst Pick: T.J. McDonald, FS, USC (Round 3, No. 71)
The St. Louis Rams came into the draft with a desperate need to upgrade at safety but could have done better at the position with their third-round pick than USC’s T.J. McDonald.
McDonald has some definite upside with a terrific combination of size and athleticism, and he is a big hitter who lined up everywhere from safety to defensive end at USC. But while McDonald is a very good run-support playmaker and safety blitzer, he struggles in deep coverage and could keep the Rams’ middle of the secondary as a liability against the downfield passing game.
With a need for well-rounded safety who have good athleticism, can cover and make plays deep, a player such as Georgia Southern’s J.J. Wilcox or Fresno State’s Philip Thomas, two versatile playmakers at the position who can play both safety spots, would have been better for value and fit than McDonald.
Best Pick: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State (Round 2, No. 43)
In the past week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have quickly turned the cornerback position into a strength from a weakness. After trading their first-round pick to the New York Jets for Darrelle Revis, arguably the NFL’s best cornerback if he makes a full recovery from a torn ACL, the Buccaneers made a great choice to upgrade the No. 2 spot opposite Revis by drafting Mississippi State’s Johnthan Banks at the No. 43 overall selection.
Banks likely dropped out of the first round due to speed concerns, having run a 4.61 40 at the combine, but he is a physical, instinctive and long cornerback with great ball skills, and he has a polished game ready to start for the Buccaneers now.
The Buccaneers needed to upgrade over Eric Wright to fully take advantage of the benefit of adding Revis to their secondary, and they did so with great value by getting Banks in Round 2.
Worst Pick: Mike James, RB, Miami (Fla.) (Round 6, No. 189)
Mike James was a solid running back for the Miami Hurricanes, but he was not a standout. In terms of NFL potential, he is a decent between-the-tackles runner but has limited upside and probably could have been had as an undrafted free agent.
A running back who can go between the tackles but also has more open-field running ability and explosion, Rutgers’ Jawan Jamison would have been a better value choice in the sixth round.
Best Pick: Lavar Edwards, DE, LSU (Round 5, No. 142)
While some had projected the Tennessee Titans would target LSU pass-rusher Barkevious Mingo should he be available when the Titans picked in Round 1, the Titans ended up getting teammate Lavar Edwards at a very good value spot in the fifth round.
While Edwards was a rotational player behind starters Mingo and Sam Montgomery for the Tigers, he could end up being as good as either one of them as an NFL player. He has a very promising combination of size and athleticism and showed at LSU that he is both a technical and fast pass-rusher off the edge, as well as a strong run-stopper who can make plays in space.
Edwards will likely remain in a rotational role behind Derrick Morgan and Kamerion Wimbley in Tennessee, but with experience in such a role, he could be in a position to excel and turn out as a steal as a fifth-round pick.
Worst Pick: Chance Warmack, G, Alabama (Round 1, No. 10)
Chance Warmack is one of the best all-around prospects in the 2013 draft class, and well worth a top-10 draft choice even as a guard. That said, the Tennessee Titans made guard too much of a priority by drafting one in the top 10, having already given Andy Levitre a lucrative, six-year, $46.8 million contract earlier this offseason.
The Titans did not come into the draft with many pressing needs, but what they needed was to add difference-makers on both sides of the ball. While Warmack is a terrific all-around guard with the strength, size and quickness to be one of the NFL’s best guards for many years to come, investing heavily into two guards is not what is going to make the Titans a contender, although it does shore up what was their biggest weakness last season.
Best Pick: Bacarri Rambo, FS, Georgia (Round 6, No. 191)
A physically gifted safety with impressive ball skills and the ability to strike ballcarriers with his hard hitting, Bacarri Rambo was projected as a possible second-round selection for the Washington Redskins. Instead, the Redskins took advantage of his free-fall down the draft board and ended up with a potential starter at the position in Round 6.
Rambo has some character concerns (multiple drug-related suspensions), but for a team desperately in need of an overhaul of the safety position, he was well worth taking a chance on so late in the draft, even after already selecting two safeties earlier in the draft in North Carolina State’s David Amerson and Fresno State’s Phillip Thomas.
Worst Pick: Jawan Jamison, RB, Rutgers (Round 7, No. 228)
Although Jawan Jamison is a talented back who was truly a steal in terms of value as a seventh-round selection, he may have been the Redskins’ worst pick of the day simply based upon overkill.
Having already drafted Florida State’s Chris Thompson in Round 5, and already having Alfred Morris, Evan Royster and Roy Helu on the roster at running back, there was not a need, and there may not be a roster spot for another running back.
In terms of value, though, Jamison’s hard running style, vision and open-field moves made him a great choice in Round 7. In a draft where the Redskins made consistent value choices and addressed their biggest need at safety, the other choices were just better.
Dan Hope is an NFL draft featured columnist at Bleacher Report, and was a National Draft Correspondent for this year’s live coverage of the 2013 NFL draft.