NFL Draft 2013: Mid-Round Players Who Will Become Superstars
Most NFL franchises look at their first-round draft choice as the pick that will address the biggest need and serve the most immediate impact, but these players picked later on will prove to reap that type of reward.
Just about every year, we see a player drafted with low expectations turn into a star for his team sooner rather than later. Last year it was Alfred Morris, who overtook the Redskins starting running back job and looked more the part of a first-rounder in retrospect.
This year will be no different. There are diamonds in the rough who are ready to make a splash on the NFL scene in 2013 and beyond.
Let's take a look at players who will become this year's Alfred Morris or perhaps even better.
Damontre Moore, DE, New York Giants
Once heralded as a top-five overall pick, things went south in a heartbeat for Damontre Moore, from Texas A&M, after a poor showing at the NFL Combine. But his spring performance isn't an indication of his worth on the field as much as his play with the Aggies was.
Moore has been an elite pass-rusher for some time and knows the rigors of playing against some of the best offensive lineman in the country. In fact, he comes from a school where he faced elite lineman in practice every day.
In New York, Moore has the perfect environment to succeed. They'll need help in the pass rush right away, needing to replace Osi Umenyiora and finding their new franchise pass-rusher.
Perhaps being picked 81st overall isn't the type of pick that has fans wooing, but Moore's football ability will be on display all throughout 2013 as he becomes the next great Giants defensive end.
Ace Sanders, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
If you watched South Carolina play in 2012, you may have noticed a guy running so fast that he nearly made cameras blur. That's Ace Sanders.
Sanders will likely be a special teams specialist early on in his career, but that isn't a knock on him at all. In fact, it's proof of his ability, and he should become one of the most electrifying punt and kickoff returners in the NFL.
Fortunately for Sanders, he'll enter a team that will need much more help than just in the return game. The Jaguars will undoubtedly need his receiving help alongside Justin Blackmon, where he could turn into a solid slot option who can go for a touchdown every time he touches the ball.
Teams have been more willing to pick up players like Sanders after seeing Percy Harvin's success (see: Tavon Austin going eighth overall), and Sanders will prove to be that type of player if Jacksonville features him the right way.
Tyler Wilson, QB, Oakland Raiders
One of the biggest surprises in my book from the NFL draft was the lack of talk about Tyler Wilson. The Arkansas quarterback boasted some of the best skills in this class, quarterback or not.
Wilson fell to the 112th overall pick, but he fell right into the perfect situation with the Oakland Raiders. The hapless Raiders haven't had a decent quarterback in years and likely won't have one this year with the arrival of Matt Flynn.
Oakland surely won't opt to go with the mid-rounder Wilson right off the bat, but they drafted him for a reason, and he'll provide some training camp competition for Flynn.
While 2013 may be Flynn's year to start, it won't last long, and Wilson will get his chance. Expect him to execute with Oakland's solid receiving core.
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