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Stream of Consciousness - 2013 NFL Draft

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Apr 26, 2013


Off-the-cuff notes and analysis of the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft.

Stream-of-Consciousness

2013 NFL Draft

E-mail Pete Fiutak
Follow us ... @ColFootballNews 

Welcome again to my pretentious, goofy and self-serving stream-of-consciousness thoughts and notes on the big games, the broadcasts, the ads and the teams for the attention deficit disordered. E-mail me with your own thoughts and notes and what you'd like to see. 

- NFL, I’m begging – PLEADING – please don't go all NFLey with this.

Here’s what we’re in for.

1) Lots and lots of flag-waving and PR stunts to honor troops, first responders, victims, and everything in between, at inopportune times. Just when the draft is humming and there’s actual analysis to be done, everything will take a 180-degree turn when the NFL tries to attach itself to the applause for the true heroes.

2) A Manti Te’o lovefest, and not in the fun way. People, part of the reason Te’o was “the most decorated player in college football history” is because he played up his totally bullspit story and milked it for everything it was worth during the awards process. He’ll be a fine NFL starter. Let’s just leave it at that.

3) An all-out assault by the NFL trying to show that football is safe and all the steps are being taken to protect the players’ brains. There’s no way to prevent CTE in football since the protein build up comes from the consistent bip-bip-bip-bip-bip, and not necessarily concussions, and the NFL is going to do everything humanly possible to distract you from that. Don’t fall for the actor in a lab coat pretending to be working on the issue.

- And it has already started. Goodell in a pre-draft interview, "the NFL has gotten safer and better."

- Mike Mayock and Charles Davis are my guys and the best in the business, but for my own selfish, have-to-watch-the-car-wreck purposes, I’m working with the ESPNers.

- I really, really hope Kansas City goes with Eric Fisher No. 1. Nothing against Luke Joeckel, but as a guilty pleasure fan of the MAC, I’d love to see the Central Michigan guy go. However, as much as I love Fisher as a prospect, I fell hard for Dan Bazuin and Dan LeFevour, too.

- For all of ESPN’s whining about twitter, what does it do? It comes out with breaking news that KC is leaning towards Fisher. Seriously, how are Mort and Adam supposed to be able to do their jobs if they can’t deal with rumors and innuendo about what’s happening?

- How can you tell when a draft sucks? Every team is trying to trade down.

- All the GMs and scouts are saying the same thing: there’s one superstar, franchise-making quarterback in this draft who’s going to be the next big thing. The problem is that no one has any clue who it is.

- With time to develop and with the right team and coaching, that guy is E.J. Manuel.

- PLEASE, NFL Draft. Can you do anything to kick this thing off that's not cringe-worthy? Thanks for that, Joe Namath.

Kansas City - OT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan 6-7, 306
Overall Pick No. 1 CFN Position Rank: 2

CFN Analysis: The Chiefs will forever be married to one of the gutsiest No. 1 overall picks in a long, long time. Luke Joeckel is a rock of a prospect with no downside whatsoever and the potential to become a blindside protector for the next ten years. If Fisher is anything less than a franchise-changing Pro Bowl performer on a consistent basis, this will be criticized forever. But give KC credit for making a big call. Fisher is a terrific prospect who should be fantastic, but he’s the No. 1 overall pick now. It’s a new world he’s entering. 

- Is this Kansas City passing on Dan Marino to take Todd Blackledge?

- No, Jon Gruden, RG3 wouldn't have necessarily "worked out" for Indianapolis. He's already hurt with an injury that looks like will be a problem. Meanwhile, Andrew Luck appears to be truly special, and as great as Griffin was in his first year, again, the knock on him is his size, and that's not going to change.

- Gruden: "(Fisher) is what America is all about." FREEEEDOM! NFL DRAFT! Yeahhhh! U-S-A .. U-S-A.
 
Jacksonville - OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M (Jr.) 6-6, 306
Overall Pick No. 2 CFN Position Ranking: 1

CFN Analysis: The Jaguars have to be absolutely ecstatic to get Joeckel here. The pressure of the pick is all on Kansas City for taking Eric Fisher first, and now the Jaguars got a No. 1 overall pick for a No. 2 price. There’s no downside whatsoever to the selection with a cornerstone left tackle for the next ten years, minimum. He might not be a pure blaster, but he’s a premier pass protector. This was an easy, no-brainer pick.

- Now Jacksonville has its offensive tackle to protect for Teeee-bowwwwww.

- He physically looks like Tony Boselli, even if he's not the same run blocker or talent or prospect or cornerstone. 

Miami trade with Oakland - OLB Dion Jordan, Oregon 6-6, 248
Overall Pick No. 3 CFN Position Ranking: 6

CFN Analysis: I … don’t … get … it. Outside of being ultra-athletic and looking the part, what did he do at Oregon to become the No. 3 overall pick worth trading up for? He’s a pure pass rusher with a world of upside, and he could become a killer if he adds 15 pounds of muscle, but with Lane Johnson there to protect Ryan Tannehill, the Dolphins are taking a major chance.

- He's already being compared to Jason Taylor. He'd better be with the No. 1 overall pick.
  
Philadelphia - OT Lane Johnson, Oklahoma 6-6, 303
Overall Pick No. 4 CFN Position Rank: 3
CFN Analysis: Perfect. He should’ve gone No. 3 overall to Miami after its trade with Oakland, but he’s the perfect fit for Chip Kelly and the Philly offense. He’s ultra-athletic and can play in the up-tempo style without any sort of a problem. The third tackle taken in the first four picks, it’s not a slam dunk that he’s not going to turn out to be the best of the bunch. He’s a big-time athlete from a big-time program. The talent is there to be truly special.

Detroit - DE Ezekial Ansah, BYU 6-5, 271
Overall Pick No. 5 CFN Position Rank: 8

CFN Analysis: Great story, horrible pick. Not just a one-year wonder, he wasn’t even remotely on the map last year at this time and now he’s being asked to be a superstar. That’s the deal with the No. 5 overall pick – if you’re not a perennial Pro Bowl performer, you’re not the right pick. “Potential” guys with lots of work don’t belong in the top five, especially with so many sure things on the board. He might be good, but he’s a huge risk. A HUGE risk. Dominating at the Senior Bowl doesn’t necessarily mean as much as it might seem.

Cleveland - OLB Barkevious Mingo, LSU (Jr.) 6-4, 241
Overall Pick No. 6 CFN Position Ranking: 3

CFN Analysis: The Browns have to get more athletic and need more playmakers, but this is another big chance to take on greatness in the early part of the draft. Mingo is long on talent and athleticism and short of proven production, more of a workout warrior than a superior pure football player, but he’s a pass rushing prospect with special tools who could be a difference maker, but it’s a big deal that the Browns passed on Geno Smith and other offensive prospects to try upgrading the D.
 
Arizona - OG Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina 6-3, 311
Overall Pick No. 7 CFN Position Rank: 2

CFN Analysis: There was a thought late in the draft game about whether or not Cooper would go ahead of Chance Warmack, and he did. He’s a different type of blocker with more athleticism and more quickness, and while he’s not a blaster, he’s a good battler who can do it all. There’s no downside here, and an easy case could be made that he might be the best player taken in the first seven picks. He’ll be a key fixture of the Cardinal front line for a decade.

St. Louis from Buffalo - WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia (Jr.) 5-8, 174
Overall Pick No. 8 CFN Position Ranking: 7

CFN Analysis: Wes Welker was a function of the New England offense. Steve Smith of the Carolina Panthers is a wee bit bigger, and he’s an absolute killer of a No. 1 receiver. Find the smallish player like Austin in the NFL who’s worthy of the No. 8 overall pick. He’s a fun part of a puzzle and a great toy to play with, but with the eight, you need a superstar perennial Pro Bowl talent, and Austin is a specialist.

New York Jets - CB Dee Milliner, Alabama (Jr.) 6-0, 201
Overall Pick No. 9 CFN Position Rank: 1

CFN Analysis: NOW we have a player. Everyone projected and guessed early in the first round, and then the Jets filled in its Revis-sized hole with a big, fast corner who’s destined to be worthy of the top ten overall selection. He’s a perfect fit for a team that needed to get younger with more overall talent, and while losing Revis isn’t a plus, Milliner can take over and be rock-solid right away.

Tennessee - OG Chance Warmack, Alabama 6-2, 317
Overall Pick No. 10 CFN Position Rank: 1

CFN Analysis: You just knew Mike Munchak was going to load up on the offensive line. There was a time in the draft process when some – like Mike Mayock – had Warmack as the No. 1 overall prospect, and just about everyone has had him among the top five overall talents at some point. There are a few lingering injury concerns, but he’s the best pure run blocker in the draft, taken on the cheap at ten considering Jonathan Cooper went a few picks earlier.

San Diego - OT D.J. Fluker, Alabama (Jr.) 6-4, 339
Overall Pick No. 11 CFN Position Rank: 4

CFN Analysis: If San Diego wants to run the ball and blast away, it has its man. While he might not be the type to protect Phil Rivers’ blindside against the top speed rushers, he can be a power blocker who’s perfect for the Chargers’ right side. He can be tried out on the left side for a line that needs a ton of help, and he was a need pick taken at a great time.

Oakland from Miami - CB D.J. Hayden, Houston 5-11, 191
Overall Pick No. 12 CFN Position Rank: 8

CFN Analysis: There’s absolutely no questioning his ball skills and coverage abilities, but he’s not a pure tackler and there are always going to be big concerns considering how close he came to dying from a fluke injury. From all reports, it was a freakish occurrence that can’t happen again unless lightening strikes twice, but he still has to show whether or not he can come out and be the same sort of talent. There’s a HUGE risk here, but it’s the Raiders.

New York Jets from Tampa Bay - DT Sheldon Richardson, Missouri (Jr.) 6-2, 294
Overall Pick No. 13 CFN Position Rank: 4

CFN Analysis: It makes sense for the Rex Ryan defense. He’s a little flaky, he needs to have the switch flipped on all the time, and he needs to show he can really and truly be a pure three-technique tackle at the next level, but his talent and athleticism are undeniable. If Ryan can be Ryan and coach him up, this might be the proverbial right player with the right team taken at the right time. However, if Geno Smith becomes a superstar, Jet fans will always be grouchy with this pick.
 
Carolina - DT Star Lotulelei, Utah 6-3, 311
Overall Pick No. 14 CFN Position Rank: 1

CFN Analysis: Great value for a team that knows how to use defensive tackles. He’s a No. 1 overall pick talent taken on the cheap in the middle of the first round, and now that he’s been cleared medically, this was a fantastic value selection. He might not be a top-shelf interior pass rusher for the Panthers, but he doesn’t need to hang out in the backfield to be what this defense needs.

New Orleans - Kenny Vaccaro, Texas (SS) 6-0, 214
Overall Pick No. 15 CFN Position Rank: 2

CFN Analysis: The Saints gave up a bazillion yards and desperately needed defensive back help. Xavier Rhodes would’ve been a nice option, and there were other good safety options on the board, but Vaccaro is a player who’s a desperate need player who’ll be on the field right away with a chance to turn into a statistical star. He’s an instant upgrade pickup.

Buffalo - from St. Louis - QB E.J. Manuel, Florida State 6-5, 237
Overall Pick No. 16 CFN Position Rank: 2

CFN Analysis: What does it say about Ryan Nassib that he wasn’t taken by his former coach? What does it say about Geno Smith? Manuel has the biggest upside of any quarterback in the draft going to a coach in Doug Marrone who knows how to mold quarterbacks. It was a chance on greatness instead of playing it safe. It’s a bit of a reach, but if you’re going to reach, go for the guy who’s 6-5, close to 240 pounds and can move.

Pittsburgh - OLB Jarvis Jones, Georgia (Jr.) 6-2, 245
Overall Pick No. 17 CFN Position Rank: 1

CFN Analysis: Awesome. Seriously? The best pass rusher and the most productive defensive playmaker in the draft going to 17 to Pittsburgh? Take the best player available at the 17?! That’s why the Steelers are always great, and considering Jones is a top five talent, it’s a brilliant pick by the rock-solid organization.

San Francisco from Dallas - Eric Reid, LSU (Jr.) (FS) 6-1, 213
Overall Pick No. 18 CFN Position Rank: 1

CFN Analysis: While he’s not a big-time playmaker for the next level, he’ll start right away in the 49er secondary and will instantly be a leader and a key part to a potential championship puzzle. The best all-around safety in the draft, he might not be flashy, but he’ll fit in nicely as a good value pick considering Kenny Vaccaro going a few picks earlier.

New York Giants - OT Justin Pugh, Syracuse (Jr.) 6-4, 307
Overall Pick No. 19 CFN Position Rank: 9

CFN Analysis: The Giants didn’t bite on Manti Te’o. The franchise over the last several years has been built on a great pass rush and dominant offensive line, and now it’s getting back to its pounding ways with a blocker who can do it all. He’ll fit somewhere on the line, and even though he’s a tackle, throw him in at guard and all will be fine.

Chicago - OT Kyle Long, Oregon 6-6, 313
Overall Pick No. 20 CFN Position Rank: 6

CFN Analysis: It’s almost like Chicago is trying to outthink itself. With so many good prospects and good values on the board, the Bears reached for a second round talent, but they couldn’t move down after spending the last few weeks desperately trying to get out of the 20, and now they have a starter for a leaky O line.

Cincinnati - TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame (Jr.) 6-6, 251
Overall Pick No. 21 CFN Position Rank: 1

CFN Analysis: The Bengals gave Andy Dalton another weapon. Considered by some to be a top five overall talent, Eifert’s slide was Cincinnati’s big gain, getting the best tight end in the draft by far in the mid-to-late first round. It was a great steal for a team that needs more offensive playmakers. 

Atlanta from St. Louis from Washington - CB Desmond Trufant, Washington 6-0, 190
Overall Pick No. 22 CFN Position Rank: 4

CFN Analysis: A good, sound pick, he might not have the upside of Boise State’s Jamar Taylor, but the Falcons needed corner help and Trufant should be able to step in an produce right away. He’s a ready-made pro who might not be flashy, but he’ll be sound right away.

Minnesota - DT Sharrif Floyd, Florida (Jr.) 6-3, 297
Overall Pick No. 23 CFN Position Rank: 5

CFN Analysis: Phenomenal value. The production on the field doesn’t match the tools or skills, but in a draft full of reaches and projections, Floyd was considered a possible No. 3 overall pick to Oakland as recently as last week. The Viking defense loves athletic linemen and good defensive players from big schools, and in time, he has the potential to be the next great Minnesota defensive tackle.

Indianapolis - DE Bjoern Werner, Florida State (Jr.) 6-3, 266
Overall Pick No. 24 CFN Position Rank: 5

CFN Analysis: Considering he was thought to be a sure-thing top 15 pick a month ago, this isn’t a bad value pick. The Colts had the luxury of going several different directions, and with the aging pass rush needing an upgrade, Werner will bring the motor and energy to step in at one end spot from Day One.

Minnesota from Seattle - CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida State (Jr.) 6-2, 210
Overall Pick No. 25 CFN Position Rank: 3

CFN Analysis: Merry Christmas. Not only did the Vikings get a relative steal in Sharrif Floyd two picks earlier, but they also came up with a big, talented corner who can fill an instant void and need area. There are still several big concern areas and lots of work to do, but they upgraded their defense with some excellent talents in just two picks.

Green Bay - DE Datone Jones, UCLA 6-4, 283
Overall Pick No. 26 CFN Position Rank: 4

CFN Analysis: FANTASTIC pick at the right time. Versatile and very, very athletic, he can do anything for a defensive front, and he showed throughout the offseason workouts that he’s able work in any system and any style. Extremely quick off the ball, he’s a pass rusher who can help take the heat off of Clay Matthews.

Houston - WR DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson (Jr.) 6-1, 214
Overall Pick No. 27 CFN Position Rank: 2

CFN Analysis: Forget about the hotel stuff at the Combine – he’s fine. The Texans desperately needed a gamebreaking playmaker to step in for an injured DeVier Posey and to help out Andre Johnson, and he could rise up and be the heir apparent to No. 80 with a little bit of time. He knows how to handle himself in single coverage, and he’ll see plenty of it early on.

Denver - DT Sylvester Williams, North Carolina 6-3, 313

Overall Pick No. CFN Position Rank: 3
CFN Analysis: Tremendous value. He could’ve been a top ten pick without any worries whatsoever. An anchor, he’s a better run stuffer than Sheldon Richardson and he’s considered dead even with Star Lotulelei. He’s an anchor for all the great Bronco pass rushers to work around.

Minnesota - from New England - WR Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee (Jr.) 6-2, 216
Overall Pick No. 29 CFN Position Rank: 1

CFN Analysis: He’s a project and might need a little bit of work, but considering the Vikings just lost Percy Harvin, they got a bigger version who can be a go-to receiver in time. He’ll get the ball in a variety of ways as he fills a desperate need for an offense that needs receiving weapons. He’s a piece of a puzzle more than THE guy, but he’s a talent and one of the most dangerous targets in the draft.

St. Louis from Atlanta - OLB Alec Ogletree, Georgia (Jr.) 6-3, 242
Overall Pick No. 30 CFN Position Rank: 2

CFN Analysis: At the 30, you absolutely take the chance on greatness. Take away the off-the-field personality concerns and he’d have been a top 15 pick. He’ll be a pass rusher who works in a variety of ways and in a variety of roles for Jeff Fisher’s defense. He’s a difference-maker who’s taken in a nice spot considering all the problems.

Dallas - from San Francisco - C Travis Frederick, Wisconsin (Jr.) 6-4, 312

Overall Pick No. 31 CFN Position Rank: 1
CFN Analysis: Enough of that. Dallas could never get its center situation right last season, and now it has the best of the bunch who can sit in the middle of the line for a decade. It might not be the sexiest pick, but it works.

Baltimore - Matt Elam, Florida (Jr.) (FS) 5-10, 208
Overall Pick No. 32 CFN Position Rank: 4

CFN Analysis: Why is Baltimore always in the Super Bowl hunt? It passes on Manti Te’o for real, live players like Matt Elam. He’s not going to be Ed Reed, but he’s a terrific talent who’ll be an instant starter who’ll do his part for an always nasty defense.