NFL Draft Grades 2013: Analysis Of First Round Results; Vikings, Rams, Bengals Have Big Night

Eric Fisher
Eric Fisher was taken with the top overall draft pick. www.nepatriotsdraft.com

The first round of the 2013 NFL Draft is in the books and many of the biggest names remain on the board.

Only one quarterback was selected on Thursday, leaving Geno Smith, Matt Barkley and Ryan Nassib still available. Smith attended the draft, in person, but never heard his name called.

Manti Te’o also went unselected. The Notre Dame product was predicted by many mock drafts to go anywhere between No.20 and No.32.

The night saw several trades, as the Miami Dolphins, St. Louis Rams Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers all moved up in the draft. The New England Patriots, Washington Redskins, Tampa Buccaneers and Seattle Seahawks will have to wait until Friday for their first selection. The Minnesota Vikings led the way with three picks in the first round.

Below are the complete results from Thursday’s first-round, as well as a draft grade for each pick.

  1. 1. OT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan (Kansas City Chiefs)

A-: After trading for Alex Smith in the offseason, the Chiefs draft a prospect who should help give their new quarterback some protection. It also gives them a potential replacement for Brandon Albert, who could be on his way out of Kansas City.

  1. 2. OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M (Jacksonville Jaguars)

B: The Jaguars need offensive line help if Blaine Gabbert is going to have any success in the NFL. However, the move may not do too much to improve the team’s 2-14 record from 2012.

  1. 3. OLB Dion Jordan, Oregon (Miami Dolphins)

C: Jordan could turn out to be a solid pass rusher, but he probably wasn’t worth giving the Oakland Raiders their second round pick to move from No.12 to No.3.

  1. 4. OT Lane Johnson, Oklahoma (Philadelphia Eagles)

A: Philadelphia desperately needed help on their offensive line and Johnson gives them just that. His athleticism makes him a rare breed at the tackle position.

  1. 5. DE Ezekiel Ansah, BYU (Detroit Lions)

B+: “Ziggy” could turn out to be the best player in the 2013 draft, but he could just as easily turn out to be a bust. The Lions do have some talent on the defensive line, though, so he’ll have help in his rookie season.

  1. 6. OLB Barkevious Mingo, LSU (Cleveland Browns)

B-: The Browns took the linebacker higher than many experts projected he would go, but he’ll likely improve their pass rush next season.

  1. 7. OG Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina (Arizona Cardinals)

A: Offensive guard may not be considered the most important position in the NFL, but the Cardinals got the best one in this year’s class.

  1. 8. WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia (St. Louis Rams)

A: Some are skeptical of Austin because of his size, but the Rams got Sam Bradford the playmaker that he needs. Even if he doesn’t become a great wide receiver, St. Louis got themselves a first-rate return specialist. Exchanging picks with the Buffalo Bills here was well worth it.  

  1. 9. CB Dee Milliner, Alabama (New York Jets)

B+: The Jets don’t need a whole lot of help on defense, but they replace Darrelle Revis and get one of the best defenders in college football in 2012.

  1. 10. OG Chance Warmack, Alabama (Tennessee Titans)

A-: Tennessee needs Chris Johnson to be an elite running back again and drafting a top guard could help that happen.

  1. 11. OT D.J. Fluker, Alabama (San Diego Chargers)

B-: Fluker isn’t as good as the offensive linemen that were taken in the top 10, but he should do a good job of protecting Philip Rivers on the right side.

  1. 12. CB D.J. Hayden, Houston (Oakland Raiders)

B+: Oakland was able to get the second best cornerback prospect in the draft and acquire a second-round selection in the process.

  1. 13. DT Sheldon Richardson, Missouri (New York Jets)

C-: Even after getting the No.13 pick in a trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Jets leave the first round without adding help on offense. Richardson is talented, but his impact will be minimal in 2013.

  1. 14. DT Star Lotulelei, Utah (Carolina Panthers)

B+: Carolina addressed one of their biggest needs with a player who has a lot of upside.

  1. 15. S Kenny Vaccaro, Texas (New Orleans Saints)

B+: The best safety in the draft should help a team that couldn’t stop the pass a year ago.

  1. 16. QB E.J. Manuel, Florida State (Buffalo Bills)

D: The Bills acquired a second-round and a seventh-round pick to move down to No.16, but this was the biggest surprise of Thursday night. Manuel’ stock rose in the days leading up to the draft, but he didn’t show enough in college to warrant a pick in the middle of the first round.

  1. 17. OLB Jarvis Jones, Georgia (Pittsburgh Steelers)

B+: Jones got to the quarterback with ease at Georgia and may have what it takes to replace James Harrison.

  1. 18. S Eric Reid, LSU (San Francisco 49ers)

B: It cost the 49ers a third-rounder, but Reid should be a nice addition to a defense that was already dominant in 2012.

  1. 19. OT Justin Pugh, Syracuse (New York Giants)

B: Pugh may never make it to the Pro Bowl, but he should give Eli Manning solid protection for the next several years.

  1. 20. OG Kyle Long, Orgeon (Chicago Bears)

B-: Long might be a bit of a reach this high in the draft, but Chicago desperately needs help protecting Jay Cutler, and being Howie Long’s son has to count for something.

  1. 21. TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame (Cincinnati Bengals)

A: Eifert could turn out to be the steal of the draft. He fills a need for the Bengals and is the best player at his position in the 2013 class.

  1. 22. CB Desmond Trufant, Washington (Atlanta Falcons)

B: Trading up to get Trufant was likely worth it, who’s experience in college should help him make an immediate impact for one of the Super Bowl favorites.

  1. 23. DT Sharrif Floyd, Florida (Minnesota Vikings)

A+: At one point, Floyd looked like a surefire top 5 pick. Minnesota filled a big need and left the first round with one of the most talented players in the draft.

  1. 24. DE, Bjoern Werner (Indianapolis Colts)

B: The ACC leader in sacks will give a boost to a defense that had troubling stopping opponents in 2012.

  1. 25. CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida State (Minnesota Vikings)

A-: This pick makes the Vikings the big winners of Day One. Rhodes can force quarterbacks into making mistakes and should be a bona fide starter next season.

  1. 26. DE Datone Jones, UCLA (Green Ba Packers)

B+: Jones doesn’t need to come in and contribute right away, but he should be a solid player for the Packers in the coming years.

  1. 27. WR DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson (Houston Texans)

B: Hopkins’ speed will make him very dangerous playing opposite Andre Johnson.

  1. 28. DT Sylvester Williams, North Carolina (Denver Broncos)

B-: Williams has the talent to be an above-average defensive tackle in the NFL. In his college career, though, he didn’t always look like a future star in the pros.

  1. 29. WR Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee (Minnesota Vikings)

C+: Patterson fills a need for the Vikings, but he remains a project. Only time will tell if it was worth Minnesota trading up with the New England Patriots.

  1. 30. ILB Alec Ogeltree, Georgia (St. Louis Rams)

B+: Ogeltree has had some issues off the field, but it would’ve been hard to pass up on the best middle linebacker in the draft at this spot.

  1. 31. C Travis Frederick, Wisconsin (Dallas Cowboys)

C-: This was an odd pick for Dallas at No.31. Frederick might turn out to be a productive pro, but he wasn’t worth a first-round selection.

  1. 32. S Matt Elam, Florida (Baltimore Ravens)

B+: With the last pick in the first round, the Ravens got a talented defender and filled an area of need.

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