2013 NFL Draft: First Round Hits and Head-Scratchers on Draft Day

After just 32 picks, NFL teams and draft analysts are still perplexed (as usual) with the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Predictably, the unpredictable happened in round one, as we saw just one quarterback go, nine offensive lineman go early, and Rams and Vikings be the most aggressive first round teams.

Though it’s an “instant reaction” and we’ll need a full 2-3 years to full judge, here are my “hits and head-scratchers” from Day One of the 2013 Draft.

HIT: Eric Fisher 1st Overall to the Chiefs
Much was made of the Fisher vs. Joeckel debate, but and the end of the day, the Chiefs went with the best player on our board in Eric Fisher of Central Michigan. He’s an athletic, high upside left tackle who can start day one at left or right tackle. Though he’s not on par with past first overall picks, the Chiefs should be happy with Fisher in their franchise.

HEAD-SCRATCHER: Jonathan Cooper and Chance Warmack Top 10
As expected, two offensive guards went Top 10, and I just don’t see the value. The Cardinals took Jonathan Cooper to play inside Levi Brown and Bobby Massie (their tackles), which actually was an ideal fit scheme-wise. And the Titans, despite already paying a lot of money to fellow guard Andy Levitre in free agency, selected Chance Warmack. Both of these franchises are in the Top 10 for a reason: they aren’t that good. I’m not sure a guard will get them out of the Top 10 this year.

HIT: Tavon Austin 8th Overall to the Rams After Trade up
While I wasn’t in love with Tavon Austin as a prospect outside of the right system, it seemed clear that many NFL teams were. With him being linked to multiple teams in the Top 10, it was clear he’d end up there on draft day. The Rams, who said they’d be aggressive pre-draft, get the most exciting playmaker in this draft to help Sam Bradford.

HEAD-SCRATCHER:  Sheldon Richardson 13th Overall to the Jets
Value-wise, I loved the pick for the Jets. Richardson was our top rated defensive prospect in this draft, and was a “steal” at 13 overall. The question is, how will Rex Ryan use him? They already have Quinton Coples and Muhammed Wilkerson at the 5-technique, and Richardson is more of a 4-3 nose tackle. However, I have a feeling new  GM John Idzik doesn’t care about the fit, and he just wanted the best player available.

HIT: Star Lotulelei 14th Overall to the Panthers
The Panthers haven’t addressed the defensives tackle spot (despite it being a major need) the past three drafts, but finally got one here at pick 14. Likely waiting to see which defensive tackle (or Tavon Austin) would fall to them, Carolina got a Top 5 pick at a major need without trading up. Win for them.

HEAD-SCRATCHER: EJ Manuel as the Bills New Franchise Quarterback
I had heard pre-draft that EJ Manuel’s workout with the Bills was the most impressive of all the quarterbacks in the class, but I didn’t think new HC Doug Marrone would pass on his former quarterback Ryan Nassib for him. Manuel’s high upside, fantastic West Coast offense workout, and elite intangibles is likely what made him the first and only first round quarterback.

HIT: Minnesota Vikings Get Three Impact 1st Rounders in Floyd, Rhodes, and Patterson
The Minnesota Vikings are going all in. Despite trading away Percy Harvin, this team remained aggressive on draft day, trading their 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round picks to get a THIRD 1st rounder and selecting Cordarelle Patterson. He gives Christian Ponder a top weapon on offense, while Sharrif Floyd and Xavier Rhodes are two impact players for this defense.

HEAD-SCRATCHER: Kyle Long Goes 1st Round to the Bears
Outside of Lance Zierlin of TheSidelineView.com, no one expected Kyle Long to go in the first round, nonetheless 20th overall to the Bears. Long was just a two year starter for Oregon, playing guard and tackle in college but never dominating the way his top 20 pick warrants. Howie Long’s son and Chris Long’s brother, Kyle certainly has the pedigree for NFL success.

HIT: Bjoern Werner 24th Overall to the Colts
Despite Werner in a 3-4 defense being maybe a questionable fit, Werner was a fantastic value here at 24 in our eyes. He’s a strong, stout pass rusher who finishes tackles in the backfield and can work inside and out in pursuit. We’ll see if he can adapt to the 3-4 defense and make this pick worthwhile.

HEAD-SCRATCHER: Travis Frederick Goes 31st Overall to the Cowboys
Cowboys fans were likely excited for Jerry Jones to FINALLY add more offensive line help to this roster besides just Tyron Smith. However, after only getting a 3rd round pick to move down 13 spots (poor value), they selected Travis Frederick, a 3rd round valued center who can possibly play guard. Larry Warford, Menelik Watson, Terron Armstead, or Dallas Thomas were all much better values that the Cowboys passed on.

Eric Galko is the talent behind Optimum Scouting on the Bloguin Network.

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