Week 9 was arguably the best week so far for the 2013 1st round draft class. While no one had what I would call a breakout performance, it was very solid from top to bottom. Many of these players are starting to develop into quality starters, and we even saw some surprises from guys that have struggled. The top performer, in fact, has struggled as much as any of these players so far this season. Credit to Lane Johnson who bounces back to grade out as the best 1st round pick of the week, vaulting him three spots in the rankings. Here are the updated overall standings for the year:
1. Sheldon Richardson, DE for the Jets, originally drafted 13th: No surprise he remains in 1st place thanks to his massive built up lead, though Reid is closing the gap a tiny bit. This week Richardson had 4 tackles and got decent pressure on Drew Brees.
2. Eric Reid, S of 49ers, originally drafted 18th: He was on a bye this week and stays pat at #2.
3. Star Lotulelei, DT of Panthers, originally drafted 14th: The Falcons had nowhere to go on the ground against the Panthers, due in large part to Lotulelei being so dominant against the run. He had some good interior pressure too this week, deservingly staying at 3.
4. Kenny Vaccaro, S of Saints, originally drafted 15th: Vaccaro is the first mover of the week, up one spot to 4. He continues to be a key component in the Rob Ryan defense with his physical play around the line of scrimmage and good coverage. I don't think anyone expected just how versatile he would be. He played well and had 5 tackles to go along with a defended pass.
5. Alec Ogletree, LB of Rams, originally drafted 30th: He drops a spot for having a bad week overall. His high tackle total of 6 might make you think otherwise, but Ogletree struggled significantly against the run and was a big reason why Chris Johnson went nuts on the Rams.
6. Desmond Trufant, CB of Falcons, originally drafted 22nd: He stays 6th overall after a decent week where his coverage was good. He had 5 tackles and a defended pass and while Cam Newton lit up the Falcons, Trufant was absolutely not to blame. He continues to have a great season despite the Falcons having regressed so badly.
7. Ziggy Ansah, DE/LB of Lions, originally drafted 5th: A couple guys ahead of him played poorly this week, so the bye week moves him up two spots. That's just how the formula worked out. I guess sometimes it's better not to play.
8. DeAndre Hopkins, WR of Texans, originally drafted 27th: He stays put and while he had just 3 catches for 54 yards it included a sick grab for 31 yards down the field. He's still trying to get his timing with Case Keenum down.
9. Travis Frederick, C of Cowboys, originally drafted 31st: He's up two spots after having a rock solid performance on the interior in Dallas' borderline miracle win over the Vikings.
10. Tyler Eifert, TE of Bengals, originally drafted 21st: He rounds out the top 10 and he's very fortunate to stay this high after a poor game. He did contribute 3 catches for 14 yards but his blocking throughout was an epic disaster. He's down 3 spots.
11. Barkevious Mingo, LB of Browns, originally drafted 6th: He's down a spot but he quietly had 3 tackles in a nice Browns win.
12. Cordarrelle Patterson, WR of Vikings, originally drafted 29th: A week after being the highest graded 1st rounder for the week thanks to his 109 kickoff return, he followed it up with another explosive 45 yard kick return. He contributed little on offense, just 3 catches for 14 yards, though… so while he's someone you have to account for on special teams he needs to develop into a better receiver.
13. D. J. Fluker, T of Chargers, originally drafted 11th: He's up a spot this week after playing pretty well despite giving up a little bit of pressure in pass protection.
14. Kyle Long, G of Bears, originally drafted 20th: He drops another spot. I have to say I expected Long to be in the top 5 all season based on how he looked in preseason, and he's not bad, but he just can't shake this middle of the pack placement. His suspect rock blocking held him back this week.
15. Matt Elam, S of Ravens, originally drafted 32nd: He had 2 tackles including one for a loss. A pretty quiet day in the Ravens' loss to the Browns.
16. Xavier Rhodes, CB of the Vikings, originally drafted 25th: He's up a spot after a good week where he had 6 tackles and lots of involvement with the defense. Some of that high tackle number was due to being targeted, but he battled well and make some good plays too.
17. Tavon Austin, WR of Rams, originally drafted 8th: He's down a spot and quite frankly I'm surprised he's ranked this high. Austin just hasn't delivered for the Rams at the half way mark. He showed a little bit in the return game this week but Kellen Clemens and him clearly have no rapport as he's been phased out of the offense and had no receptions.
18. Dion Jordan, DE of Dolphins, originally drafted 3rd: He had two tackles but continues to be a disappointment in the pass rushing department. Unfortunately, he was drafted to be a great pass rusher. With Cameron Wake always needing to be accounted for you'd think he'd have more success.
19. Sharrif Floyd, DT of Vikings, originally drafted 23rd: He's up three spots after playing pretty well against the Cowboys. He had a fantastic day rushing the passer as he was credited with 4 hurries on Romo and a hit. He could never get to him for the sack, though.
20. D. J. Hayden, CB of the Raiders, originally drafted 12th: He's down a spot and I'm surprised it's not more. He was a disaster in coverage and had 1 tackle. Nick Foles torched the Raiders and Hayden's backfield mates for 7 touchdowns, enough said.
21. Lane Johnson, T of the Eagles, originally drafted 4th: As horrendous as this season has been for Johnson, he's the top ranked 1st round pick this week and it moves him up a much needed 3 spots. He won't play the Raiders every week but he had a dominant and clean game giving Nick Foles all the time he needed. His job becomes remarkably easier when he has a right handed quarterback with a decent release, I will say. Protecting left handed Michael Vick's blindside, a quarterback notorious for hanging on to the ball way too long, certainly hasn't helped Johnson's struggles this season. Nice to see him bounce back and with Foles' ascension he may continue to climb.
22. Jarvis Jones, LB of the Steelers, originally drafted 17th: His defense gave up 55 points to the Patriots, so no one on that unit is going to grade well. Jones had 2 tackles and certainly didn't contribute anything positive, though he wasn't in large part to blame.
23. Justin Pugh, G/T of the Giants, originally drafted 19th: The bye week didn't help him quite like it helped Ansah because the players around him did much better for the most part. The inactivity unfairly costs him 2 spots.
24. Chance Warmack, G of the Titans, originally drafted 10th: He's down a spot but he was fine overall this week. He did give up a sack but otherwise played ok.
25. Datone Jones, DE of Packers, originally drafted 26th: He had 2 tackles and a sack this week. That's right a sack! As terrible as he's been all year that is a major positive for him. He's up a spot.
26. Eric Fisher, T of Chiefs, originally drafted 1st: His best game of the season, bar none, and he's up a spot because of it. I've been hard on him this year but credit where credit is due. His run blocking in particular was great and the Chiefs hope he can build on the first performance he's had this year worthy of his draft status.
27. Dee Milliner, CB of Jets, CB of Jets, originally drafted 8th: Don't look now but he's up 3 spots and getting himself out of the cellar. He had 6 tackles and a defended pass this week. He played extremely well and was my 2nd best graded 1st round pick this week behind Johnson. He played a huge part in limiting Drew Brees and the Saints to 20 points. Perhaps he's finally turning a corner.
28. E. J. Manuel, QB of Bills, originally drafted 16th: He drops another 3 spots due to injury but it looks like he may return this week finally. Matt Flynn getting released and his return to practice is a good sign.
29. Sylvester Williams, DT of Broncos, originally drafted: He's been dealing with a neck injury so the bye week was good to rest up. He drops a spot.
30. Luke Joeckel, T of the Jaguars, originally drafted 2nd: Out for the year with an injury. He'll continue to drop and likely end the season 31st overall. His team was on a bye week this week.
31. Bjoern Werner, DE/LB of Colts, originally drafted 24th: He finally returned after an extended absence due to injury but only played about a dozen snaps as they ease him back in. He did nothing notable.
32. Jonathan Cooper, T of Cardinals, originally drafted 7th: Due to a season long injury, he will occupy this spot all season.
Lane Johnson +3 spots
Dee Milliner +3 spots
Sharrif Floyd +3 spots
Travis Frederick +2 spots
Ziggy Ansah +2 spots
Tyler Eifert -3 spots
E. J. Manuel -3 spots
Jarvis Jones -2 spots
Justin Pugh -2 spots