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2013 NFL Draft: First Round Analysis and Grades

The 2013 NFL Draft is finally upon us.  Check back here after every pick to read FRG Scouting’s analysis of the selection.  We will grade each pick on a scale of A (Great Pick) to F (Awful Pick).  Sit back, relax, and enjoy the 2013 NFL Draft!

1)  chiefsKANSAS CITY CHIEFS

SELECTION:  Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

ANALYSIS:  Fisher has been the highest graded OT for FRG Scouting since February.  It’s no surprise that the Chiefs decided that Fisher was the better option as the future blindside protector for Alex Smith, et al.  Fisher projects as a decade-long starter and potential pro bowl player at the position.  It remains to be seen what the Chiefs will do with Brandon Albert, but it’s certainly not a bad thing to have two great tackles on the roster.

GRADE:  A-

jagsnewlogo2)  JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

SELECTION:  Luke Joeckel, OT, TAMU

ANALYSIS:  The second best OT on FRG Scouting’s board, Joeckel will come in and play right tackle for the Jaguars.  While I question his overall strength to handle the bull rush vs. NFL defensive ends, Joeckel has the necessary athleticism to be a reliable pass protector in the NFL.  Assuming he gets a little stronger, the Jaguars now have one of the best young tackle duos in the NFL.

GRADE:  B

newdolphins3)  MIAMI DOLPHINS

SELECTION:  Dion Jordan, OLB/DE, Oregon

ANALYSIS:  The third best player on FRG Scouting’s Big Board goes exactly where we would have expected.   Thats said, with Barkevious Mingo still on the board, I would have rather seen the LSU speed rusher go here.   Jordan has the potential to be an elite pass rusher and a game changing talent.  Jordan immediately upgrades the Dolphins pass rush and will has a chance to have one of the best rookie seasons of any player in the class.

GRADE: B+

eagles4)  PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

SELECTION:  Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma

ANALYSIS:  Need meets value at the #4 pick.  Johnson is arguably the most athletic tackle available who shows all the signs of being an elite, pro bowl level talent at the position.  Johnson is tailor-made for the left tackle position in the NFL and should help bring stability to a unit that has been a glaring weakness for the Eagles as of late.

GRADE:  A-

lions5)  DETROIT LIONS

SELECTION:  Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU

ANALYSIS:  Anyone who has follows me on twitter knows that I’m not an Ansah guy.  He’s a huge risk.  He’s a raw, inexperienced player who lacks the technique and football IQ to make an immediate impact.  Ansah has all the physical tools you look for in a prospect, but I don’t think his explosive testing numbers translate to his performance on the field.

GRADE:  C-

browns6) CLEVELAND BROWNS

SELECTION:  Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU

ANALYSIS:  The top ranked player on FRG Scouting’s Big Board, Mingo will come in as a rookie and instantly become one of the best speed rushers in the NFL.  Had he been used differently by LSU this past season, and was given the chance to get after the quarterback, his sack numbers would’ve been much higher and he would’ve been in the discussion as the No. 1 pick overall.  Folks, you’re looking at the best player in the entire draft, and when we look back at the 2013 draft in a few years, the Browns will have hit a homerun.

GRADE: A+

cardinals7)  ARIZONA CARDINALS

SELECTION:  Jonathan Cooper, OG, UNC

ANALYSIS:  The No. 2 player on FRG Scouting’s Big Board, Cooper is arguably the best football player in this year’s class.  While not a glamorous selection, the Cardinals just added a 10 year starter up front.  Cooper is the perfect combination of strength and athleticism, and has rare feet for a man his size.  He is as close to a sure thing as you’ll find in any draft.

GRADE: A

rams8)  ST. LOUIS RAMS

SELECTION:  Tavon Austin, WR, WVU

ANALYSIS:  By far the most exciting and explosive offensive player in the Draft, Austin will come in and instantly upgrade the passing game in St. Louis.  He’s a massive upgrade over Danny Amendola and will bring Rams fans to their feet on a weekly basis. He’s a special talent with the ball in his hands both in the passing game and return game.

GRADE: A+

jets9)  NEW YORK JETS

SELECTION:  Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

ANALYSIS:  Not sure about this pick.  Granted, Milliner is the most talented corner  in the Draft with good enough athleticism and overall instincts for the position.  However, it’s hard to buy this pick when there were several, more talented defensive tackles still on the board.  A lot will depend on what they do at pick 13.  The Jets seemingly have replaced Revis now with Milliner in town, but they had a chance to take a more talented player like Star Lotulelei.

GRADE: C+

titans10)  TENNESSEE TITANS

SELECTION:  Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama

ANALYSIS:  The Titans revamped the interior of their offensive line in one offseason.  With Levitre signed via free agency, the addition of Chance Warmack gives the Titans the best young guard duo in the NFL.  Warmack WILL be a pro bowler who will pave the way for Chris Johnson and his successors for years to come.  Much like Cooper going to the Cardinals, selecting a guard won’t sell a lot of jerseys.  But it’s going to lead to a much more productive offense in Tennessee.

GRADE: A

chargers11)  SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

SELECTION:  DJ Fluker, OT, Alabama

ANALYSIS:  The Chargers have a glaring need at offensive tackle, and while I have major concerns about DJ Fluker’s overall athleticism, he’ll be given every chance to be the Chargers right tackle. In the event he can’t hang on the outside in the NFL, he’ll get kicked inside and be a dominant guard at the pro level.  That said, he’s not an elite tackle prospect nor does he project to be the kind of guard as either Cooper or Warmack.  It’s a bit of a reach.

GRADE: C+

Raiders12)  OAKLAND RAIDERS

SELECTION: DJ Hayden, CB, Houston

ANALYSIS:  Here’s the first shock for me in the first round.  While Hayden is a talented corner, the Raiders would’ve been able to grab a nearly equal talent at the position in the second round.  Yes, Hayden is a nice prospect, but with players like Star Lotulelei and Sheldon Richardson on the board…wow.  Not a good pick.

GRADE: D

jets13)  NEW YORK JETS

SELECTION:  Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri

ANALYSIS:  The Jets redeemed themselves with this one.  Richardson is the No. 7 player on the FRG Scouting Big Board, and our top overall defensive tackle.  He will be a penetrating force in the interior of the Jets defensive line.  It wouldn’t shock me one bit if Richardson challenges Barkevious Mingo as the NFL defensive rookie of the year.

GRADE: A

panthers14)  CAROLINA PANTHERS

SELECTION: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

ANALYSIS: Great value for the Panthers. Lotulelei is one of the safest, strongest and most explosive defensive players in the draft.  Lotulelei will be a starter from day one, and should have gone somewhere in the top 10.  At the beginning of the season, Lotulelei was considered a candidate for the first overall pick.  To grab a talent like him at No. 14 is simply a windfall.

GRADE:  B+

saints15)  NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

SELECTION:  Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas

ANALYSIS:  Need meets value perfectly here for the Saints.  Head and shoulders above the rest of the safeties in this class, Vaccaro will increase the overall level of athleticism in the secondary.  Vaccaro is a plug and play starter from day one and goes off the board exactly where he should in the  middle of the first round.

GRADE:  B

Bills16)  BUFFALO BILLS

SELECTION:  EJ Manuel, QB, Florida St.

ANALYSIS:  In a bit of surprise, Manuel is the first quarterback off the board.  Manuel offers the prototype measurables for the position.  He’s big, he’s athletic, and he has enough juice in his arm to be coached into a capable, if not quality, starting quarterback in the NFL.  That said, the Bills grabbed a second round prospect at the 16th pick overall.  A bit of a reach.

GRADE: C+

steelers17)  PITTSBURGH STEELERS

SELECTION:  Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia

ANALYSIS:  Jones is just a football player, folks.  Yes, his workout left a lot to be desired.  However, he’s faster and more athletic on the field than he showed during his pro day.  Jones will pressure the quarterback and continue the long line of productive outside linebackers for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

GRADE: B

49ers18)  SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

SELECTION:  Eric Reid, S, LSU

ANALYSIS:  Talented, athletic safety that will come in and start for the 49ers from his first day in training camp.  While his 2012 campaign at LSU wasn’t as consistent as expected, the 49ers had to make the move to upgrade their safety position.

GRADE:  B-

giants19)  NEW YORK GIANTS

SELECTION:  Justin Pugh, OT, Syracuse

ANALYSIS:  With Menelik Watson still on the board, I’m surprised the Giants went in this direction.  While Pugh is a nice player, I’m not sure he has the length to play tackle in the NFL.  Pugh is an intelligent and all-around effective player, but with a true tackle still on the board in Watson, I would’ve gone in another direction.

GRADE: C+

bears20)  CHICAGO BEARS

SELECTION:  Kyle Long, OG, Oregon

ANALYSIS:  By far, the worst pick in the first round so far.  Graded as a 5th rounder by FRG Scouting, Long has a “long” way to go before he is a starting level player in the NFL.  Sure, he has good pedigree, but Long would’ve been on the board in the third round.  Why the Bears decided to take him at No. 20 is beyond and reasonable explanation.  Just…awful.

GRADE:  F

bengals21)  CINCINNATTI BENGALS

SELECTION:  Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame

ANALYSIS: The Bears blunder made the Bengals richer.  Pairing Gresham with Eifert will give the Bengals a great pass catching duo at tight end.  Eifert is a red zone mismatch to pair with AJ Green inside the 20 yard line.  Great pick by Cincinnati which does nothing but help their young quarterback, Andy Dalton.

GRADE: B+

falcons22)  ATLANTA FALCONS

SELECTION:  Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington

ANALYSIS:  An experienced, athletic corner goes to a team that desperately needed an upgrade in talent at the position.  While I have Xavier Rhodes graded higher than Trufant, it’s still a nice pick for Atlanta.

GRADE:  B

vikings23)  MINNESOTA VIKINGS

SELECTION:  Sharrif Floyd, DT, Vikings

ANALYSIS:  While many are shocked that Floyd slipped this far, FRG Scouting had him at No. 22 on our Big Board.  He went right where he should go.  Floyd is good all-around defensive tackle who presents with good strength and explosion off the snap of the ball.  He needs to become more consistent with his technique. If he does, he has a chance to be a solid starter in the NFL.

GRADE:  B-

colts24)  INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

SELECTION:  Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida St.

ANALYSIS:  Absolutely great value for the Colts.  A relentless pass rusher, Werner will instantly improve the Colts pass defense with the pressure he will put on the quarterback.  A top 10 player on FRG Scouting’s Big Board, the Colts added a top-tier talent in the bottom 1/4 of the first round.

GRADE:  A

vikings25)  MINNESOTA VIKINGS

SELECTION:  Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida St.

ANALYSIS:  The Vikings bolstered their defense in the first round, first with Sharrif Floyd, and here with Rhodes.  Ranked as the No. 2 corner on FRG Scouting’s board, Rhodes will add a physical element to the secondary in Minnesota.  Rhodes doesn’t shy away from contact and is the best press cover corner in the class.  Nice get for the Vikings.

GRADE:  B

packers26)  GREEN BAY PACKERS

SELECTION:  Datone Jones, DE, UCLA

ANALYSIS:  The Packers hit a homerun, folks.  The No. 12 player on the FRG Big Board, Jones is a relentless, angry, aggressive defensive end that can slide up and down the defensive line.  Jones plays the run and pass equally effective, and will be an instant starter for Green bay.  Jones is going to be one of the bigger steals of the first round.

GRADE: A

texans27)  HOUSTON TEXANS

SELECTION:  De’Andre Hopkins, WR, Clemson

ANALYSIS: With the wide receiver class closely clustered, the Texans decided to go with Hopkins over guys like Patterson, Woods and Allen.  No argument from me on this one, as Hopkins is an efficient route runner and plays faster than his workout times would suggest.  Hopkins has “urgent” speed; he turns on an extra gear when the ball is in the air.  He’ll be a great understudy for Andre Johnson.  Very solid pick by Houston.

GRADE:  B

broncos28)  DENVER BRONCOS

SELECTION:  Sylvester Williams, DT, UNC

ANALYSIS:  Grabbing the No. 13 player on the FRG Big Board at pick 28 is a good thing for the Broncos.  Williams is a quick, penetrating defensive tackle who has enough strength to hold his ground against the run game.  Williams should’ve went a lot higher than the end of the first round.

GRADE: B+

vikings29)  MINNESOTA VIKINGS

SELECTION:  Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee

ANALYSIS:  An explosive but raw talent, Patterson is the type of electrifying wide receiver the Vikings have been missing for a long time.  Patterson is a threat to score every time he has the ball in his hands.  He will experience a steep learning curve initially in his career, but once he figures it all out, Patterson will be a legitimate weapon for the Vikings.  Had Patterson gone in top 10-15 picks, it would’ve come with a bit more risk than here at the end of the first round.

GRADE: B+

rams30)  ST. LOUIS RAMS

SELECTION: Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia

ANALYSIS:  Ogletree isn’t a first round player on FRG Scouting’s board, but at the 30th overall selection, he’ll come with a lot of upside.  He struggles to shed blockers and relies too much on his athleticism than the technique that is required to be a top-tier linebacker in the NFL.  I’d be more confident in Ogletree’s projection if he didn’t come into the league with first round expectations.  Boom or bust here.

GRADE: C+

cowboys31)  DALLAS COWBOYS

SELECTION: Travis Frederick, C, Wisconsin

ANALYSIS:  The second biggest reach in round 1 aside from Kyle Long (Bears).  Frederick is a nice player, but much like Long, he would’ve been around later in the draft.  The Cowboys needed to address the interior of their offensive line, so the pick is logical.  Just not sure the grade equates to the 31st overall selection.

GRADE: D+

ravens32)  BALTIMORE RAVENS

SELECTION: Matt Elam, S, Florida

ANALYSIS:  Matt Elam is a need more than value pick here, as he is likely to be the replacement for Ed Reed.  Elam is a physical player and the best remaining safety on the board.  Had the Ravens not grabbed Elam here, he would’ve certainly been a high-2nd rounder.  Elam isn’t a perfect player, but he’s a nice fit for the Ravens needs.

GRADE:  C+



About

Founder, Director of College Scouting for FRG Scouting | Winner of TheHuddleReport.com's 2014 Mock Draft competition | Former CFL scout |Attorney at Law | Member, FWAA | Married, father of two sons.


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