Chance Warmack, Jarvis Jones, Jonathan Cooper and Barkevious Mingo are among the NFL’s stars of tomorrow waiting to hear their name called at the Radio City Music Hall in New York

The 2013 NFL Draft: First Round Analysis

In depth analysis of each and every pick of the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft

By AJ Young - April 25 2013  

On the night of the first round, we provided live coverage of the draft with analysis of each and every pick as it was announced:


Draft day. There’s nothing like it. It’s like Christmas in the spring.


Welcome to our live coverage of the 2013 NFL Draft. With each pick and every trade, we’ll provide live up-to-the-minute analysis as the draft unfolds.


It’s been a busy few months at Down at the One HQ since the Super Bowl. We looked at over 50 prospects from each of the six BCS conferences as a part of our NFL Scouting Combine coverage. We argued whether the Chiefs should select a quarterback or an offensive tackle with the first pick before KC made our cases moot two days later by trading for Alex Smith. We assessed how the off-field troubles of the Honey Badger and Manti Te’o would affect them come draft day. We looked extensively at draft day trades in a three part piece dealing with the finances involved, the value of draft picks and who could potentially be on the move. We looked at the story of Eric Liles and the journey of a small school prospect. We ranked the top 60 players in the draft for our draft board before looking at each player individually, position by position, in our draft profiles. We tried to determine who might be a bust candidate and worried about the recent history of Alabama running backs. We mocked and then mocked, and then mocked again in an attempt to try and project how events will unfold. We made 32 predictions, including some really bold ones. And after all that, we’ve reached today; the 2013 NFL draft. Enjoy:


# Team Selection Analysis

E. Fisher, T, Central MichiganAnd with the first pick in the 2013 NFL draft, the Kansas City Chiefs make the pick we've been expecting for a few months now - just not the prospect that we expected. We expected Luke Joeckel to be the first tackle off the board but nevertheless, Kansas City have landed a supreme talent. The Chiefs get a stalwart left tackle that can protect Alex Smith's blindside and we saw in San Francisco that Smith is competent enough to lead a team deep in the postseason with solid pass protection in front of him. He enters the league as a Pro Bowl talent and I expect that to continue for many years to come.

L. Joeckel, T, Texas A&MHaving spent the 8th overall pick in 2009 on Eugene Monroe, the Jaguars now have bookend tackles to protect their quarterback. Blaine Gabbert is skating on thin ice and has struggled in the face of pressure; by selecting Joeckel, Jacksonville are trying to give Gabbert the best opportunity to succeed going forward but should he fail, their future signal caller will have more than adequate protection.
3D. Jordan, OLB, OregonThe Oakland Raiders traded this pick. The first trade of the draft. The Dolphins likely moved up to jump in front of the Eagles who they possibly thought would select Jordan. Miami were a middle of the road team in defending the pass in 2012 and will hope that Jordan enjoys similar production to that of Aldon Smith and Von Miller in recent years; college 3-4 linebackers that have consistently got after the quarterback off the edge. Given that Miami run a 4-3, I expect Jordan to transition to defensive end rather than play linebacker.

L. Johnson, T, OklahomaWith Jason Peters at left tackle, Johnson will play right tackle for the Eagles whilst incumbent starter at right tackle, Todd Herremans, will move inside to guard. Michael Vick is the Eagles quarterback for another year at least and given the punishment he's absorbed over the last few seasons, I'm sure he's over the moon that the Eagles went some way to shoring up an offensive line that ranked 28th in the league in 2012.

E. Ansah, DE, BYUJim Schwartz's defensive scheme is designed around pressuring the quarterback and with Suh and Fairley anchoring down the center of Detroit's 4-3 defense, quarterbacks should be having nightmares about the Lions front four. The Lions could have spent a pick on Milliner to improve their lackluster secondary but Detroit have all their eggs in one basket as they hope their top five defensive line in 2012 can ascend to the top in 2013. 

B. Mingo, OLB, LSUMingo has the potential to be one of the top young pass rushers in the league and opposite free agent acquisition Paul Kruger, will hopefully form a formidable pass rush in Cleveland. The Browns were in the bottom third of the league in 2012 at both defending the run and pass; Mingo will hopefully shore up their defense in 2013.

J. Cooper, G, North CarolinaNot a glamorous pick by any stretch but a fantastic selection by the Cardinals. Arizona's offensive line ranked dead last in 2012 as the Cardinals were horrifically inept in both the run and pass game. I'm shocked that Chance Warmack isn't the first guard off the board and I'm even more shocked that Shariff Floyd is still in the green room but Cooper is nevertheless an extremely talented prospect that will start in Arizona from day one.

T. Austin, WR, West VirginiaThe Buffalo Bills traded this pick. With New York poised to select Austin at 9 (I apologize Tom for mocking your first mock draft) the Rams moved up to get their guy. Austin finally gives Sam Bradford a weapon to work with and his abilities to make plays down the field will excite Rams fans for a long time. He runs a 4.34 forty and is undoubtedly the best receiver in the draft, in spite of his relatively small stature by NFL standards.

D. Milliner, CB, AlabamaRecent news that Milliner has undergone five surgeries will undoubtedly have pushed him down the board. Nevertheless, the Jets didn't hesitate to find a successor to recently traded Darrelle Revis. He's the most complete cornerback in the draft and can mirror receivers down the field; he doesn't have the ability to rack up interceptions like Revis but he has the potential to shut down a guy in a similar fashion.

C. Warmack, G, AlabamaAnd so  the tumble of Shariff Floyd continues. I thought they would have been better served adding some star power on a defense that hasn't been dominant since Albert Haynesworth left town. Warmack could be the top offensive lineman in the draft and will replace Andy Levitre who was lost to free agency. Chris Johnson and Jake Locker will be happy in Nashville; the Titans had the 31st ranked offensive line in 2012.

DJ Fluker, T, AlabamaThree Alabama prospects drafted in a row and the 6th offensive lineman picked in the first 11 selections. Fluker is a man mountain and although he might not be able to play left tackle at the next level, he's a solid prospect at right tackle and will go a long way to improving the Chargers porous offensive line. Rivers needs to improve but with better protection, hopefully he can return to the Rivers of old. A better run game will certainly help with that and Fluker is a monster in the trenches, excelling at opening holes for the running back.

DJ Hayden, CB, HoustonThe Oakland Raiders moved back in a trade with Miami. Oh dear. I was already typing their praises about selecting Shariff Floyd before the Raiders go and ruin it by selecting Hayden. Floyd would have been perfect given their losses at defensive tackle and Oakland could have easily justified spending the third overall pick on him. Instead they opt for a small school cornerback that's only on a limited number of draft boards. Our draft board ranks the top 60 prospects and my spreadsheet goes up to 100; Hayden is no where to be seen on either. He's a reach and there are a significant number of better prospects available, no matter whose draft board you're looking at.

S. Richardson, DT, MissouriAnd so the Jets fans boo. Like myself, I think many were expecting Floyd. Snagging Dee Milliner and Shariff Floyd would have been about the only scenario where Jets fans could feel good about the Revis trade. Nevertheless, Richardson is an outstanding prospect that can pressure the quarterback up the middle and disrupt running backs in the backfield. Next to Wilkerson, Jets fans will hope that Richardson can improve an 18th ranked defensive line in 2013.

S. Lotulelei, DT, UtahThe Panthers war room was likely overjoyed after the Raiders selection as it guaranteed them a shot at one of the top defensive tackles in the draft. Lotulelei could be a top five talent but due to a potential heart condition unearthed at the NFL Combine, naturally slid down teams' draft boards. With Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy flanking him at defensive end, the Panthers might have just created one of the best defensive lines in the NFL. Cam Newton and co. struggled to close out close games in 2012 and will hope their defense is able to hold up through four quarters in 2013; Lotulelei's high motor and disruptive nature should help with that.

K. Vaccaro, S, TexasAnother draft, another first round pick at defensive back for the Saints. After selecting Patrick Robinson and Malcolm Jenkins in recent years, the Saints try to improve the worst defense by yardage in NFL history by selecting the talented safety from Texas. Vaccaro didn't put up video-game numbers during his time in Austin and doesn't leave as NFL-ready as former teammate Earl Thomas but he represents an upgrade for the worst defense in the league.

EJ Manuel, QB, Florida StateThe Buffalo Bills moved back in a trade with St. Louis. Buffalo just broke the draft. I have Manuel down at the 76th best player in the draft and the 7th best quarterback available. I think Manuel is an unbelievable reach that they could have waited to select rather than draft at 16. He was an up-and-down quarterback at Florida State that failed to deliver when the Seminoles faced top quality opposition. He might have the physical tools but I'm not sure he has the ability to read NFL defenses, absorb an NFL playbook, makes checks at the line of scrimmage, and do all the little things that NFL quarterbacks have to do. He's a gunslinger that throws the ball into places it doesn't belong and he's about as raw as they come coming out of college. The Bills haven't made the playoffs in an eternity and I don't see that changing any time soon. They made a questionable hire at head coach and have followed that up with a questionable selection at quarterback. Geno Smith might not be a perfect quarterback but he's in a different league to Manuel.

J. Jones, OLB, GeorgiaWhat better way to replace James Harrison than drafting someone who looks even scarier? Jones has all the potential to be the best pass rusher in the draft and we might very well look back on the 2013 NFL Draft and wonder how Jones fell so far. His medical red flags with spinal stenosis likely haven't helped him but Jones is possibly the most productive pass rusher in the draft out of college and Steelers fans should be happy with this selection.

E. Reid, S, LSUThe Dallas Cowboys traded this pick. Niners fans will undoubtedly be disappointed. After trading up from pick 31, I expected them to select Sharif Floyd. The thought of Floyd lining up at defensive tackle in the 49ers front seven gives you goose bumps; defensive tackle is about the only hole on their roster. Nevertheless, the other hole is at safety and Reid will likely be plugged in from day one next to Donte Whitner. Trent Baalke and Jim Harbaugh haven't made many mistakes; San Francisco fans will hope that this isn't their first.

J. Pugh, G, SyracuseThe New York Giants had the 2nd best offensive line in run blocking and 3rd best offensive line in pass protection in 2012 making this somewhat of a curious selection, especially with their needs at linebacker and Alec Ogletree remaining on the board. Pugh started 34 games protecting the quarterback’s blindside over the course of his three year career at Syracuse and is an athletic prospect at guard. The Giants run game could be fearsome as a result of this pick and we all know how deadly Eli Manning can be on play action.

K. Long, OT, OregonChris Williams never panned out and alongside former first round pick Gabe Carimi, Long represents Chicago's 3rd roll of the dice at tackle in the first round since 2008. He's raw and I'm not sure he can start immediately. He's listed as a tackle but there's a chance he might have been drafted to play guard. Either way, Cutler needs all the protection he can get and Bears fans will be happy if it means the likes of Jason Campbell and Caleb Hanie aren't taking snaps on a Sunday afternoon for Chicago.

T. Eifert, TE, Notre DameAlongside Jermaine Gresham, that makes two tight ends drafted in the first round since 2010 for the Bengals. Some might say that Andy Dalton has reached his ceiling but the Bengals are giving him every opportunity to succeed; he shouldn't struggle to find players open with AJ Green, Mohamed Sanu, Gresham and Eifert running patterns down the field. Eifert is your consummate red zone threat and will give defensive coordinators around the league headaches on a weekly basis.

D. Trufant, CB, WashingtonThe St. Louis Rams traded this pick. A four year starter at Washington, Trufant might be the best all-around corner in the draft. He makes plays down the field, can support in the run game and covers receivers like a blanket. The Falcons cupboard was empty at cornerback with Dunta Robinson and Brent Grimes no longer with the team. Trufant will join Asante Samuel and hope to shore up a sometimes leaky Falcons secondary

S. Floyd, DT, FloridaIt's been a long time waiting in the green room for Shariff Floyd but finally he leaves wearing a purple hat. Vikings fans should be over the moon with this pick. Why he fell so far remains to be seen; talk of potential character concerns coupled with a lack of statistical production at getting after the passer in college are rumored to be the predominant reasons but the Vikings are getting an unbelievable talent at this point in the draft. He'll be hungry as a result of this tumble and learning from Kevin Williams will do wonders for the second best talent on our draft board.

B. Werner, DE, Florida StateAs a 4-3 defensive end in college with the size to play end in the NFL, I'm unsure where Werner will land on the Colts 3-4 defense. He primarily played with his hand in the dirt in college and to what extent he's able to transition to an outside linebacker, particularly given his size, remains to be seen. He's a top talent that could wreak havoc in opposing backfields.

X. Rhodes, CB, Florida StateBack to back Seminoles and the Vikings double dip on defense. Minnesota should be very pleased with their haul. Having moved on from Antoine Winfield, the Vikings have selected Rhodes to start immediately. Minnesota went from the 3rd overall pick in the 2012 draft to a playoff team almost overnight; I'm not sure their roster is as talented as the number of wins in the win column might show but they're a young team and Rhodes joins Harrison Smith in a budding young secondary.

D. Jones, DE, UCLAGreen Bay somewhat surprisingly didn't draft Ed Lacy but Packers' fans shouldn't be disappointed; there are plenty of running backs available later on. Jones is a multifaceted prospect that will likely primarily be used as an edge rusher on passing downs in his first season in Wisconsin. Green Bay's defensive line ranked in the bottom third in 2012 and the Packers will hope Jones can improve that in 2013. At UCLA, Jones never developed into the talent many thought he would but he won't be asked to start immediately and could be developed as a future starter over time.

D. Hopkins, WR, ClemsonHopkins looks every bit the part and is a great fit for Houston. Andre Johnson is no spring chicken and Matt Schaub needs more weapons in the Texans' run dominant offense. I've said it a number of times but the Chik-Fil-A Bowl against LSU was Hopkins' finest game in a Clemson uniform; he dominated late on showed the capabilities of a top NFL wide receiver. Defenses won't be able to leave him in one-on-one coverage and he opens the field up for Houston from day one.

S. Williams, DT, North CarolinaWilliams is more than just a space-eater at defensive tackle. He has legitimate pass rush skills and will cause disruption up the middle. Not only that, he should open up further opportunities for the likes of Von Miller coming off the edge. Williams turns 25 during the 2013 season so he should be entering his prime; he'll find the field early and could be an immediate impact player.

C. Patterson, WR, TennesseeThe New England Patriots traded this pick. The Vikings traded the farm to move up. A 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 7th round pick is a lot to give up but the Vikings should hopefully have landed three immediate contributors in the space of six picks. Patterson is an extremely talented receiver that would likely have been a top ten pick had he returned to Tennessee for his senior year. He only played one year in Knoxville after starting his career in the JUCO ranks but he racked up solid numbers across the board. He needs to improve his route running and cut out sloppy drops but Patterson makes Christian Ponder better. With Patterson, Greg Jennings, Kyle Rudolph and Adrian Peterson there to help Ponder out, the Vikings offense is infinitely better on paper than it was a season ago.

A. Ogletree, LB, GeorgiaThe St. Louis Rams moved back in a trade with Atlanta. A year after stealing Janoris Jenkins in the second round, Jim Fisher rolls the dice on a player with character issues again. If any coach is able to develop Ogletree, Fisher is one of them; Jenkins produced outstandingly last year and the Rams will hope that Ogletree enjoys a similarly successful rookie campaign. Ogletree is a top fifteen talent that has too many red flags against his name to be drafted that highly. Nevertheless, the Rams have landed a heck of a talent where they are and figure to get Ogletree on the field as soon as possible in the brutal NFC West.

T. Frederick, G, WisconsinThe Dallas Cowboys moved back in a trade with San Francisco. Jerry Jones shows his commitment to protecting his franchise quarterback by overdrafting a guard. Frederick has a second round grade on our board so I don't believe it's a terrible reach but a case could certainly be made that there's better prospects available. Dallas fans have every right to be disappointed; they traded back with the 49ers and only picked up a third round pick whilst missing out on Eric Reid in the process - a safety that would have started in the Cowboys safety corps from the outset.

M. Elam, S, FloridaHaving lost Bernard Pollard and Ed Reed, the Ravens go some way to repairing their secondary by selecting the hard-hitter out of Florida. Elam is likely a strong safety at the next level so will assume Bernard Pollard's roll of knocking Patriots players out of the game playing close to the line of scrimmage and supporting in the run game. He's a talented prospect but his skills in pass defense are questionable and he might be picked on by opposing signal callers as a rookie.


The best prospects available on day two of the 2013 NFL Draft

AJ Young is the editor of Down at the One. 

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