The season comes to a close and below are the final 2013 1st round draft pick rankings, 1 through 32, for the season. The highest graded player for week 17 was Dee Milliner, who notched two interceptions to end his season with a bang. He was the highest graded player in week 16, too, so he really dug himself out of the cellar. Milliner is like of few of his 1st round classmates in that he started very slow and really came on strong as the season progressed. Others started fast and faded down the stretch, and the guys in the top 8 or so stayed steadily good throughout the season. Week 17 hero Cordarrelle Patterson is another guy who started slow and progressively got better, as he graded second best in this final week. Some of these players will move on to the playoffs whereas others will shut it down for the offseason starting now. This list has no bearing on how these guys will grow in future seasons, but I think this below shows how they did in 2013 to give you a sense of who hit and who missed.
1. Sheldon Richardson, DE for the Jets, originally drafted 13th: A very quiet game defensively but he did rush for his second touchdown of the season on a goal line carry. Leave it to Rex Ryan to try crazy stuff. There's no question the Jets drafted a franchise cornerstone, though. Richardson won this exercise by a country mile and was clearly the best 1st round pick in year one. At 13th overall the value was tremendous.
2. Alec Ogletree, LB of Rams, originally drafted 30th: He was penalized twice this week, which sullied an otherwise solid performance yet again. He had 8 tackles which gives him a whooping 117 on the season, good enough for best on the team. He also had a tackle for a loss and a defended pass. He runs like the wind, he's a great tackler and has a nose for the football. No doubt the Rams hit a home run with him. Hard to believe he went 30th, what a steal.
3. Eric Reid, S of 49ers, originally drafted 18th: He jumps up two spots to end the year at 3. He had a very busy week as the Cardinals threw for 400 yards, but he held up on the back end. He had 10 tackles and a defended pass. The 49ers have to feel excellent about Dashon Goldson's replacement as I believe they got a better player. He will only get better. Another high value pick.
4. Desmond Trufant, CB of Falcons, originally drafted 22nd: He had another great week and ends the year very deservingly in the top 5. The Falcons drafted him to replace Dunta Robinson and they definitely got a better player, too. As bad as the Falcons were this year, Trufant is a core player now they can build around. This week he had 5 tackles, a fumble recovery and a dropped interception. At 22 he was clearly a home run pick.
5. Star Lotulelei, DT of Panthers, originally drafted 14th: He ends the year in the top 5 and he's a key part of the Panthers' interior as they head into the playoffs. As much of a monster as he is against the run, he also got a sack this week proving he's not a one trick pony. He had 2 tackles. I originally graded him as the top rookie in the draft going into the exercise, so I was floored he ever dropped that low. Clearly his red flag physical (heart issue) was a non factor.
6. Cordarrelle Patterson, WR of Vikings, originally drafted 29th: As low as he was through the first half of the season, it's truly a shock to see him finish the season up this high. But he's come on as strong as anyone. By the end of the season he's had a lot of Vikings fans saying "Percy Harvin who?" The Vikings won their finale 14-13, thanks to two Patterson touchdowns. He had a 50 yard run and a game winning reception. He had 2 catches for 31 yards and 2 runs for 54. He doesn't need many touches to make a huge impact and the Vikings have a terrific playmaker for years to come. At 29 the Vikings got a difference maker.
7. Kenny Vaccaro, S of Saints, originally drafted 15th: He dropped for 4 to 7 because he sat out week 17 as he's out for the season with a broken ankle. The injury is too bad because he's such a huge part of what the Saints do defensively. He played a significant hand in changing that defense from the worst in NFL history to #4 in the NFL in just one year. The Saints could really have used him in the playoffs. But he'll be back next year and there is no question the Saints made the right pick at 15.
8. Travis Frederick, C of Cowboys, originally drafted 31st: He struggled in pass protection this week but benefited from the quick release of Kyle Orton. You can always get centers later in the draft and Frederick is proof based on this solid season that sometimes you're better off taking a top center prospect over a second or third tier tackle.
9. Ziggy Ansah, DE/LB of the Lions, originally drafted 5th: He ends the year at 9 despite a quiet week 17 amidst the Lions' implosion. He was very hit or miss this year, but his 8 sack total is a clear indication he can get after the passer.
10. Barkevious Mingo, LB of Browns, originally drafted 6th: He finishes in the top 10, up a spot, despite a really inconsistent season with flashes of serious pass rushing potential. But since pass rushing is his real strength, he'll need to get more than 5 sacks next year if he wants to see the field more.
11. Lane Johnson, T of the Eagles, originally drafted 4th: Up two spots to end the season. He gave a neutral performance and gave up some hurries to the Cowboys, but played pretty well. His job got a lot easier this season when Michael Vick went to the bench.
12. DeAndre Hopkins, WR of Texans, originally drafted 27th: He had 4 catches for 35 yards. He started fast and really faded, kind of like the Texans. He and his team have nowhere to go but up. He finished with 52 catches for an impressive 802 yards, but just 2 touchdowns on the season.
13. Tyler Eifert, TE of Bengals, originally drafted 21st: Like Vaccaro he drops three spots in the rankings by not playing in week 17. That seems harsh but the grading points were that close in the upper teens. Eifert will really have to work on his blocking to become a full time solid starter, but he showed tons of promise in the passing game with his 39 catch 445 yard and 2 touchdown season.
14. Matt Elam, S of Ravens, originally drafted 32nd: He had 10 tackles, including one for a loss, but was beat over the top in coverage this week. Overall he seems like a pretty good and improving safety. He's no Ed Reed, though, that's for sure.
15. Kyle Long, G of Bears, originally drafted 20th: a very up and down first season for Long that saw its share of struggles, but he goes out on a high note. The Bears' o-line was equally dominant in pass protection and the run game against the Packers, and Kyle Long was a huge part of that, particularly in creating running lanes for Matt Forte.
16. Justin Pugh, G/T of the Giants, originally drafted 19th: He ends the year up three spots in the rankings thanks to a terrific showing against the Redskins where he just mauled anyone that came his way. He played by far his best game of the season and saved the best for last. The bottom line is Eli Manning got hit way too much this season and the Giants' o-line was in shambles all year. Pugh struggled in many games. But he does seem to be coming around.
17. D. J. Fluker, T of Chargers, originally drafted 11th: He's up 5 spots to end the year. He was a beast all game long against the Chiefs, but you have to wonder how hard they were trying given the fact that they were playing for nothing. This has been par for the course with Fluker this year… fantastic one minute and atrocious the next. If he brings his 'A' game for the playoffs, though, the Chargers could surprise some people. I wonder if the Chargers reached for him a bit at 11.
18. Sharrif Floyd, DT of Vikings, originally drafted 23rd: He's up two spots to end the year. He had 2 tackles, 1 for a loss, and has proven to be a bit of a one trick pony as a run defender.
19. Xavier Rhodes, CB of the Vikings, originally drafted 25th: He's down four spots due to injury as he ended up missing the final three games due to injury. Health is clearly the key for Rhodes going forward as he was exceptionally good when he was on the field this year. 19th feels very low for him, as he's clearly a top 10 performer this year when he's been in, but the bottom line is potential means little if you can't get on the field.
20. Chance Warmack, G of the Titans, originally drafted 10th: He drops two spots and overall I think he has not really justified the 10th overall pick. He's had some good games and some poor ones, but he started all season and held his own. Year two will be big for him. This week he did a poor job run blocking in particular.
21. Tavon Austin, WR of Rams, originally drafted 8th: Like Rhodes he's been out for a while with an ankle injury and he finishes at 21 (down 4 spots). He showed flashes of explosive play making ability but was way too inconsistent, even when he was on the field, this season.
22. Dion Jordan, DE of Dolphins, originally drafted 3rd: He had another very quiet 2 tackle game where he made no impact rushing the passer. With just 2 sacks for the year I think it's clear the Dolphins reached for him. He's not making the impact getting sacks at all as they had hoped to team him with Cameron Wake to give them a deadly tandem. I'm not ready to call him a bust yet, it's just year one, but his rookie season performance has to be very concerning.
23. Dee Milliner, CB of Jets, CB of Jets, originally drafted 8th: For the second straight week he's the highest ranked 1st round pick. For him to end at 23 is shocking considering how horrible he was earlier this year. He was literally the worst first round pick. He was benched twice for terrible play and I admit I was quick to write him off as hopeless. Out of nowhere the light has come on, though. This week he had 4 tackles, 5 defended passes and 2 interceptions of Tannehill. Maybe the Jets do have a starter quality cover guy for years to come in Milliner after all.
24. Jarvis Jones, LB of the Steelers, originally drafted 17th: At least he ended the year by having his best game, getting really involved in the flow. He had 9 tackles including one for a loss and a defended pass. We haven't see that kind of activity from him all season. As a "pass rushing specialist", though, finishing the season with just 1 sack has to be a major disappointment, though.
25. Eric Fisher, T of Chiefs, originally drafted 1st: He played limited snaps in a meaningless game. He's the weak link on the Chiefs' offense and has never come close to justifying the top overall selection.
26. Datone Jones, DE of Packers, originally drafted 26th: With the season on the line he saw 5 snaps on defense, despite some injuries faced by the team this year on defense. That should tell you how much the Packers value his contribution on the field right now.
27. Sylvester Williams, DT of Broncos, originally drafted: It'll be interesting to see how much the Broncos use him in the playoffs, because he's actually been decent the last few weeks after spending most for the season as a "redshirt" of sorts. He had 2 tackles this week and was good against the run. He's improved late this season which should hopefully bode well for next year.
28. Bjoern Werner, DE/LB of Colts, originally drafted 24th: He had a defended pass, played just 12 snaps and did very little. This could have been his write up for almost any week this season except for when he was injured and didn't play.
29. E. J. Manuel, QB of Bills, originally drafted 16th: He ended the year by not playing, and it'll be interesting to see what the Bills will do with him next year. When he was in he had some ok games and some disaster ones, but do the Bills honestly believe a guy that played average at best and couldn't stay healthy is their quarterback of the future?
30. D. J. Hayden, CB of the Raiders, originally drafted 12th: He's been on IR for a while. This is not the first time the Raiders would have completely blown their 1st round selection. Poor talent evaluation is an expectation with them at this point.
31. Luke Joeckel, T of the Jaguars, originally drafted 2nd: When he played he wasn't too impressive but he spent over half the season on IR.
32. Jonathan Cooper, T of Cardinals, originally drafted 7th: Hasn't played all season due to an injury.