2013 NFL Draft stands out for several reasons
With three of the top four overall picks going on offensive tackles (Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher to the Chiefs No. 1; Texas A&M’s Luke Joeckel to the Jaguars No. 2; and Oklahoma’s Lane Johnson to the Eagles No. 4), the 2013 draft will be remembered for its depth on the offensive line, not to mention a distinct lack of it at some notable positions.
Take quarterback for instance, a position has gone first overall in 11 of the previous 14 years, including a year ago, when three of them were taken in the first eight picks, all solid NFL starters in 2012.
This year, however, only one quarterback was taken in the first round, Florida State’s E.J. Manuel who went to the Bills with the 16th overall pick, and only three QBs total were taken in the first three rounds.
And it wasn’t just the quarterbacks that most teams shied away from early on, with no running backs taken in the first round for the first time since the early 1960s.
As for who were the winners and losers in this year’s draft? Only time will tell for sure, although most observers like what the Vikings did, trading up to add a third first-round pick and apparently getting value for all three, choosing defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, cornerback Xavier Rhodes and receiver Cordarrelle Patterson.
Floyd in particular could prove to be one of the best picks of the draft, with many experts rating him as the top defensive player in this year’s class and the best value overall in the opening round.
The Ravens, Rams, Steelers, 49ers and Packers each also seemed to fill their needs with solid picks over the three days.
The top defensive pick was Oregon’s Dion Jordan, who went No. 3 to the Dolphins, who traded up with the Raiders to grab the pass-rushing linebacker in what was the biggest surprise move on the opening day. Some draft experts believe the move was a stretch, although the Dolphins see him as the next Jason Taylor. Like with many of this year’s picks, we won’t know for sure about that one anytime soon.
Among the other big stories from this year’s draft was much-talked about Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, who dropped out of the first round to the Chargers at 38th overall, while the Raiders received plenty of praise for taking Houston corner D.J. Hayden with the 12th overall pick, something we don’t always say about the Raiders when it comes to first-round draft picks.