2013 NFL Draft - 1st Round Analysis

Posted Apr 26, 2013

Breaking down and analyzing every first round draft pick.

2013 NFL Draft

First Round

2013 NFL Draft Team Analysis - AFC
EAST Buffalo | Miami | New England | NY Jets
WEST Denver | Kansas City |  Oakland | San Diego
NORTH Baltimore | Cincinnati  Cleveland | Pittsburgh
SOUTH Houston | Indy | Jacksonville | Tennessee

2013 NFL Draft Team Analysis - NFC
EAST Dallas | NY Giants | Philadelphia | Washington
WEST Arizona | San Francisco | Seattle | St. Louis
NORTH Chicago | Detroit | Green Bay | Minnesota
SOUTH Atlanta | Carolina | New Orleans | Tampa Bay    

1 1 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.

All of a sudden, he became the hottest prospect throughout the offseason, and while Luke Joeckel is the No. 1 tackle on the board, there are whispers that it’s not crazy to consider Fisher even better with a higher ceiling. Very tall with a prototype frame and huge wingspan, he’s impossible to get around and he could turn out to be a long time Pro Bowl performer as a star pass blocker. As good as he already might be, he could get far better needing more time in the weight room and with the ability to fill out his frame a bit more. However, he already busted his tail to start adding more weight just to get up to over 300.

He’ll have problems early on with the bull rushers and he’s not going to be a power blocker who’ll destroy his man, but he’s a technician who’s more than fine once he gets engaged – it’s over if he’s able to get low. He’ll always get after the block and will never take a play off with the right attitude to be an NFL cornerstone blocker.
CFN Projection: First Round

2 2 Jacksonville

OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M (Jr.) 6-6, 306
Overall Pick No. 2 CFN Position Rank: 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.

A pure technician, he’s a the prototype for how to be a tackle doing everything right with flawless technique, the right feet, the right hand pop and the ability to handle himself well against any time of pass rusher. He can’t be outsmarted by the creative ones, and he won’t be outhustled by the high-motor types, making it look easy in both the Big 12 and SEC. Athletic and quick off the blocks, he’s a left tackle who can sit on a line for the next ten years and be a franchise blocker to work everything around.

While he’s not necessarily a finesse blocker, he’s not going to destroy his man and throw him into the ninth row, walling off his guy rather than burying him. As good as he already is, he still needs to get a bit stronger and bigger, and there might be question marks about his quickness and athleticism if he gets up to 320 or so. At the moment, he’s not an intimidating force and he’s not going to scare an NFL defensive lineman, but he’s going to be special for a long, long time protecting someone’s blind side.
CFN Projection: First Round

3 3 Miami trade with Oakland

OLB Dion Jordan, Oregon 6-6, 248
Overall Pick No. 3 CFN Position Rank: 6
Miamitrade with Oakland - OLB Dion Jordan, Oregon 6-6, 248

Overall Pick No. 3 CFN Position Ranking: 6
CFN Analysis: 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.

A former tight end, he’s extremely athletic with an elite frame and great athleticism to grow into a top pass rusher. Fast and explosive, he can both fly into the backfield and can hang around with receivers in pass coverage. A tweener in a good way, he can work as a 4-3 pass rushing end or find a role as a huge 3-4 outside linebacker who’ll engulf everything that comes his way. Now he has to grow a bit more into his body and pack on more functional muscle. Too skinny and too light, he needs to beef up a bit to be able to handle himself as an end, and he has to learn how to stay upright when blockers try to chop him down. Even with all the concerns, teams are going to fall in love with his upside with a different skill set to develop and work with. He’ll be way, WAY overdrafted – he’s hardly a sure thing considering he’ll probably go in the top 15 – and he could disappoint early on. It’ll take a little while before he starts producing at a high level.
CFN Projection: First Round

4 4 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.

There was a time when tight ends would love to have worked out like Johnson did this offseason. Ridiculously fast and athletic for an offensive lineman, he went from being a good prospect to a must-have with a few big workouts and a great Combine. Not just an athlete, he has the technique and the tools to do everything right. He might not have quite the overall skills of Luke Joeckel or the upside of Eric Fisher, but blockers with his talents are rare. He could stand to be a bit bigger and isn’t going to be a powerful blocker, and he might need more time to grow into an NFL talent – there’s an obvious big jump from the Big 12 to the next level. He’s still learning on the fly and he’s not a finished product, but in time he should become a special all-around blocker. However, considering where he’s likely going to be taken, he could be a slight disappointment right away – that will quickly change.
CFN Projection: First Round

5 5 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.

Right out of central casting, he looks exactly like you’d want an NFL defensive end to be with the size, body frame. Throw in the athleticism and quickness, and on raw tools he’s an almost perfect prospect in terms of measurables. Still just scratching the surface, he didn’t take to football until late after starting out his career on the track team. Everything kicked in quickly as he became great against the run last season and started to put it all together as a pass rusher. His offseason workouts got everyone all hot and bothered, but he’s going to be way, way, WAY overdrafted with major bust potential. He still has to learn how to play and do all the little things right, and he doesn’t have nearly enough polish to be ready right out of the box. With his athleticism and skills he can be molded into something special, but if he’s not getting to the quarterback right away, he’s not going to be worth the lofty pick.
CFN Projection: First Round

6 6 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.

An elite athlete among elite athletes, he has unbelievable tools and upside. He might be a bit tall and rangy, but there’s room to add another 10-to-15 pounds and be a devastating end or stay as is and be a dangerous pass rushing specialist on the outside. A rare prospect, he has perennial Pro Bowl potential with the right coaching staff and the right fire lit under him. However, while he has the dream skills and has prototypical talents, he wasn’t that good an actual football player in college. If you’re looking at the Mingo as half full, the right defensive coordinator and position coach will look at him and think superstar. The Mingo is half empty view sees a mega-bust just waiting to happen who’ll be a maddening disappointment. You can’t teach what he already has, but you can teach what he can become.
CFN Projection: First Round

7 7 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.

A special, versatile blocker who’d be getting all the praise and all the attention among the guards if it wasn’t for Chance Warmack. Able to work anywhere on the line, including center, he’s a rare athlete for a player of his size with excellent movement and terrific all-around skills, able to beat up speedier interior pass rushers and with the strength to beat people up when needed. Tremendous in workouts, he’s very quick, very strong and very good in interviews, he’s almost the prototype. Almost. He has to work to get up over 300 pounds and will likely dip down below once the season starts. Built like a tackle more than a brutish guard, he might end up at center. If he can hold up and stay healthy, he’ll be a rock of an interior blocker for the next decade.
CFN Projection: First Round

8 8 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.

4.34. His 40 time wasn’t the fastest at the combine, but he was moving in a hurry. A darting speedster, he’s great with the ball in his hands in a variety of ways, used as a running back as well as a receiver, using his burst of speed to make things happen whenever he got his chances. Uncoverable as a slot receiver, he’ll be devastating when he gets the ball on the move with the ability to breakdown and blow past a defender. He’ll never block anyone and he’s going to get crushed when he goes across the middle, but he’s a true difference maker who’ll keep defensive coordinators up at night.
CFN Projection: First Round

9 9 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.

With great size and 4.38 speed, he has the right look and the right abilities to be a lockdown No. 1 corner with starting ability from the day he steps on the field. Not only is he a blazer, he can handle the bigger targets sticking to Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert in the BCS championship. Physical, he’ll hit and support against the run and won’t shy away from contact, coming up with the big pop and jam when needed. While he lived up to the prep hype from Day One and didn’t disappoint in any way, he was just okay when the ball was in the air and didn’t make as many big plays as an elite college corner should had. Not just an athletic talent, he has the drive and want-to to be better; he’ll work to become great. Almost no bust potential, he’s a sure-thing starter who can instantly be a team’s No. 1 corner.
CFN Projection: First Round

10 10 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.

A destructive blaster of a run blocker, he was the dominant force on a dominant force of an Alabama offensive line. Athletic for his size, he can get on the move to spring the big block, or he can sit in a phone booth and beat up his man – he can do it all. Forget about the workouts and the lack of quickness and raw speed in the drills; he doesn’t need to run 40 yards in the NFL. It would be nice if he was a bit taller. He’s not quite 6-3, and while he hovers between 320 and 325, he’s more wide than large. He doesn’t exactly look the part and doesn’t quite have the prototype body for an NFL guard.

He’s a pure football player more than a workout warrior, never getting knocked off his base and never, ever getting pushed back. Even so, he needs to get in better overall conditioning and shape and has to be ready to handle the quicker pace of an NFL game, but there’s almost no bust factor and it’s not crazy to suggest that he could be the best player in a relatively weak overall draft. Put him on the line and let him roll for the next ten years at a high level.
CFN Projection: First Round

11 11 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.

Unlike most of the other top tackles, Fluker is a blow up blocker with immense size and destructive abilities as a run blocker. Even though he’s big – too big – he moves well for his size and throws his man around like a rag doll when he locks on. Now he has to make sure he doesn’t get too big, able to balloon up to well over 350 pounds if he looks at a double cheeseburger the wrong way. While he’s going to be used as a tackle, he can’t play on the left side and has a long future as a guard, he’ll be great for a mashing ground attack with good upside for decent passing games. Don’t be shocked if the team that drafts him claims he was its top tackle on the board – and don’t be shocked if it’s for real.
CFN Projection: First Round

12 12 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.

Can he stay healthy? He suffered a frightening injury – the vena cava blood vessel tore away from the back of his heart - that almost cost him his life after a huge hit in practice late last season, and he wasn’t able to work out this offseason. When he’s right, he’s a dangerous all-around playmaker who’s great at attacking the ball and making the big play with blazing speed and good size. Able to jam and fight, he’s physical enough to battle receivers and not let them breathe. With the desire to get better, he’s always working and always looking to improve doing all the little things needed. He needs to use his quickness better and tends to get lazy in his technique, but it’s all about his health. Reportedly cleared to go, he’s one of the highest-rising prospects with No. 1 corner potential.
CFN Projection: First Round

13 13 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.

When he’s on and when the switch is flipped, he can be the most impressive defensive tackle prospect in the draft. However, the light is off way too often. There’s no questioning his quickness off the ball or his pass rushing potential with terrific technique and explosion off the snap, and his athleticism is outstanding as a 3-4 end or a 4-3 tackle, but the motor is a problem. He disappears way too often and isn’t big enough to occupy two blockers on a regular basis. If a blocking scheme wants to erase him, he’s invisible. When the good SEC lines wanted to take him out, he was gone. There’s a world of upside with Pro Bowl potential on sack stats, but he could be the type who’ll have one or two big games here and there and then disappear for stretches. The attitude is there because he has the talent to be a star – just ask him – but the motor has to be going 100% all the time.
CFN Projection: First Round

14 14 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.

If it wasn’t for a concern about his heart – literally, his heart and not his desire to play – he’d be a sure-thing top three overall pick if not No. 1 overall. While he’s not going to be a Haloti Ngata-like Hall of Fame-like rock in the middle, he’s a great anchor who not only holds up well against the run, but also can get off the ball in a hurry and get into the backfield. Keeping his weight and conditioning in check will be a must, and he’ll have to try to keep the pounds off to keep his quickness, but he’s ridiculously strong and won’t have any problems holding down the interior.

Does he have the fire and the punch to be great? He doesn’t kick it in full-tilt for a full sixty minutes, and he was way too inconsistent considering he was often the best player on the field. He has the interior quickness, but he didn’t generate enough big hits on the quarterback. He’ll have moments when he destroys a line, and there will be other times when he’s not heard from. Even so, he’s a Pro Bowl talent who’ll be a cornerstone of a defense is the medical problems aren’t too much to overcome.
CFN Projection: First Round

15 15 New Orleans - SS Kenny Vaccaro, Texas 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.

Texas defensive backs always look and play NFL-ready, but Vaccaro stands out from the pack. He’s not going to be another Earl Thomas, and he’s not a blazer, but he’s big with good enough versatility to be used in any style as a free or strong safety with big hitting skills and good ball hawking ability. The attitude and moxie aren’t a problem, and he’s confident whenever it comes time to make a big play. An elite special teamer, he has a bizarre knack for finding the ball on kick blocks. Needing to get functionally stronger, he had a bad offseason with mediocre workouts and not showing enough strength or quickness to think he can be among the elite of the elite defensive playmakers. However, once he turns it on and gets into shape, he’ll be a versatile force who’ll always be around the ball – but he has to want it.
CFN Projection: Second Round

16 16 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.

If you weren’t that great in college, why are you going to be special in the pros? Manuel was fine, but considering the expectations were through the roof, and considering he has all the tools and talents to have been something truly special, he was a slight disappointment. However, with the right coach and with a little bit of patience, the upside is there to be the best quarterback in the draft by far. He’s big with the right frame and the right look, and he has the perfect makeup to handle being a franchise quarterback. Very smart with a great drive and excellent leadership skills, he’s the prototype in every possible way except for one issue: production.

Again, he wasn’t bad at Florida State; he just wasn’t amazing considering everything he brings. However, on the plus side, if he can get with the right offensive coordinator and quarterback coach who can do just a little bit of tweaking on his reads – the smarts are certainly there to pick up an NFL playbook – and can somehow unlock his skills and take away his tentative nature, there’s a limitless upside. In this class of mediocre quarterback prospects, there’s the possibility of a boom pick here for relatively cheap.
CFN Projection: Second Round

17 17 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.

With Von Miller and Clay Matthews showing what a dangerous linebacker-sized outside pass rusher can do, Jones fits the type with a phenomenal burst off the ball and peerless closing speed. Smooth as glass, he cuts on a dime and doesn’t miss when he chases down a quarterback or a ball-carrier. Brilliant when he gets an offensive tackle out of position, one false step means it’s over and he’s in the backfield. He’s physical, but he can be run at and powered over – he’s at his best when he gets to chase people down. While there’s some concern about a wee bit of inconsistency in his motor and production, the big, glaring problem is his neck with a spinal issue that could potentially ruin his career with one wrong hit. Every football player at this level probably has spinal stenosis to some degree, but considering where he’ll likely be taken, there’s a big risk factor at play. However, if he’s fine and he’s able to last, he’s the best defensive prospect in a weak overall draft.
CFN Projection: First Round

18 18 San Francisco from Dallas - FS Eric Reid, LSU (Jr.) 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.

A pure baller, he’s a good, sound veteran who can rattle receiver with his huge hits. A leader among pro caliber defensive backs, he’s the quarterback who knows where everyone needs to be as he sees the game four steps ahead of everything else. Right for any system and extremely coachable, he’ll do whatever is needed to produce. As aggressive as they come, he beats up receivers on the way to get the ball, winning more than his share of battles. Surrounded by superior talent. He was a part of one of the most talented secondaries in college football over the last few years - he didn’t have to do as much as other top safeties. While he’ll get torched a bit and he tends to go for the big play and pop rather just do the necessary, he has all the skills with great quickness and good enough speed to be a perennial All-Pro. Everything is there to be special.
CFN Projection: Second Round

19 19 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.

Versatile enough to be a tackle or a guard, he can play anywhere on a line including left tackle. He’ll either be a powerful interior blocker or a quick right tackle, with good enough experience to handle himself well on the outside with excellent technique as a pass protector. He’ll never blast away on an NFL defense tackle, but he can wall him off and should be a functional starter. Needing to get stronger, he’s more of a zone-blocking prospect and doesn’t stand out as an elite prospect in any one area, but being a tweener, in his case, isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
CFN Projection: Second Round

20 20 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.

Is he a guard or a tackle? A former defensive end, he’s just starting to come into his own as a blocker. He’s a bit tall for a guard and isn’t really built for the interior, but he’s considered a possible option for the interior – he’s a tackle. With good feet and a nice frame, he has the look of an NFL tackle with a mean streak and the ability to finish the block and blast his man to spring the running game. He’ll need the right fit and he’ll need time to figure out exactly what his role is going to be, but he’ll be great for a zone-blocking scheme that allows him to get on the move a bit and he’ll be functional no matter where he ends up.
CFN Projection: Second Round

21 21 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.

With prototype size and speed, he’s like a big wide receiver with excellent athleticism and tremendous hands. A strong route runner, he works himself open and shows a huge catching radius – get the ball anywhere near him and he’ll get it. With his leaping ability and frame, he makes himself even bigger and can be used on jump balls around the goal line, and he can be a reliable third down target who becomes a quarterback’s best friend. The best part is that there’s still room to grow and improve with more bulk to be added to his frame with the ability to get up to 265 pounds without losing a thing. He’s not an elite blocker, but he’s fine, and while he’s going to struggle against the more physical linebackers, he’ll be fine against any defensive back. The sky’s the limit and he’ll become an elite target who fits the mold.
CFN Projection: First Round

22 22 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.

All the abilities are there to become a solid NFL starting corner for a long, long time, including the bloodlines with brothers Marcus and Isaiah each in the league. Big, fast and smooth, he moves and works like a professional defensive back and should be ready right out of the box. Sticky, he doesn’t lose his man and is more than happy to fight and battle a receiver for the ball. Not a great tackler, he’ll get the job done but he’s not the most physical of hitters and allows too many yards after the grab. Production-wise, he didn’t make nearly as many big plays as he should’ve considering his athleticism and experience, missing on way too many interception opportunities. He’s not going to be an elite corner to work a defense around, but he should be a good starter in nickel and dime situations and could shine as a No. 2 corner on the other side of an elite playmaker.
CFN Projection: Second Round

23 23 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.

Versatile with the ability to play in any spot in the 3-4, he can work as an end and be a tough pass rusher or he can sit on the nose and hold his own as an anchor. A superstar prep prospect, it took a little while but he came through and showed what all the hype was about as a smooth, quick defender off the ball and the motor to kill linemen who don’t bring it on every play. However, while he was a key part to a special run defense, the production and numbers weren’t there and he hasn’t yet reached his potential. On the good side, there’s a high ceiling with Pro Bowl tools, but he’s not a sure thing and can be erased by double teams and power ground games that run right at him. Even with all the concerns, there’s enough talent and athleticism to be special with a little bit of time and patience.
CFN Projection: First Round

24 24 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.

Way overhyped and way overrated, he came up with a huge game against a Florida offensive line that couldn’t pass block – see the Louisville’s performance in the Sugar Bowl – and with four of his sacks and five of his 18 tackles for loss coming in the opener against Murray State. Throw in the production against Savannah State and the big game against Wake Forest, and other than the Gator day, almost all of his big plays came in the first three weeks of the season. Erased by too many decent tackles and surrounded by tremendous talent on the Seminole front line, there are big concerns for a possible top ten overall pick. However, with the fight and motor to always be working, he’ll occasionally get in the backfield on want-to. He was a disappointment in offseason workouts after playing faster and quicker than he actually timed – that’s not necessarily a bad thing – but he’ll bust his tail to become a good NFL starter who could put up nice numbers with one big play a game.
CFN Projection: First Round

25 25 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.

With tremendous size and 4.4 speed, he looks the part with all the right abilities and skills – he’s right out of central casting. Strong, he’s able to provide the big jam at the line without a problem, and he’s fast and smooth enough to stay with the sleeker, faster receivers. Good for any style, he doesn’t have any problems getting physical and he’ll make the big tackle when needed. Even with his frame, his wheels and his leaping ability, he didn’t quite play up to the part in college, getting burned from time to time when it didn’t seem like he was focused enough. There are durability concerns suffering a knee injury a few years ago, but it didn’t slow him down. He’ll need a few years to fine tune his craft, but he’ll start from Day One. There’s perennial Pro Bowl upside.
CFN Projection: First Round

26 26 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.

Very big and very fluid, he moves well for a player of his size with the ability to play anywhere on the line from outside in a 4-3 or tackle in the right system. Able to cut on a dime, he can get the edge as a quick speed rusher at times or can rise up and stuff the run and hold his own against the stronger interior blockers. While he plays a bit high and gets chopped down a bit too easily, and he might not have a set position as a jack-of-all-trades, the tools are impressive enough to find a job for a long time once it all comes together. It might take a little bit of time and patience, and he has to make sure his motor is cranked up to 11 at all times, but he’s a terrific all-around football player who’ll turn into a solid starter.
CFN Projection: Second Round

27 27 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.

Everyone came to see Sammy Watkins in 2012, but it was Hopkins who stole the show, highlighted by a scintillating performance in the win over LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl catching 13 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns. The 4.5 speed is fine, but nothing special, but he’s a strong route runner and is tough as nails when he has to go across the middle. As good as he was, there’s still plenty of upside and potential as he’s just scratching the surface. Coaches will love him because he can block, and quarterbacks will adore him because he’ll catch anything thrown his way. He looks and plays like a No. 1 receiver, but he’s not and he needs a good, dangerous receiver on the other side to help take the attention away. He’ll do all the grunt work needed to make a play.
CFN Projection: Second Round

28 28 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.

With fantastic size and good toughness, he’s an intimidating force with pure nose tackle ability and run stuffing skills. Put him in the middle of the line and let him stop everything up. While he’s not going to get to the quarterback and he’s not going to get in the backfield nearly enough, that’s not necessarily going to be his job. However, he showed off shocking quickness at times at the Combine and he does everything he’ll need to do to improve – he’s a pro’s pro who’ll quickly become a leader of a line. The biggest concern is that this might be it. 25 this season, he’s not going to change by leaps and bounds and he’ll have to come up big – but not too big - right out of the box. If he looks at a double cheeseburger the wrong way he’ll slip up to 330 pounds, but he’s a good enough guy and a hard enough worker to think he could become a star for the next five years.
CFN Projection: First Round

29 29 Minnesota Vikings 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.

Very big, very fast, and very quick for his size. He has No. 1 wide receiver tools and is the one guy in the draft who looks like the next big thing. Absolutely effortless, he looks like he’s running in slow motion as he’s using his 4.4 speed to come up with dangerous plays in the open field. Creative and devastating on the move, he’s able to break his man down and get positive yards, especially as a punt returner. He’ll have no problems helping out his quarterback by taking away the 50/50 chances from the defensive back, and he’ll always be around the ball.

There’s some tweaking to be done, though. He needs to become a sharper, more consistent route runner, and he needs to prove that he can get the job done for more than one year after coming up from the JUCO ranks, but there won’t be a lot of patience. The upside is there to eventually become a perennial Pro Bowl performer, but he needs to dive into an NFL playbook – hard – and do all the little things right. Even so, as is he’s already going to be one of the most productive targets at the next level, but the sky’s the limit with the right coaching and effort. CFN Projection: First Round
30 30 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.

On pure talent, there’s no questioning that he might be one of the five best players in the draft. People with his size, speed and athleticism are rare, playing fast and always getting around the ball in a hurry with big-hitting skills once he arrives. He could be used as a pure pass rusher or kick inside when needed to hold up against the run. Again, on skill he has superstar, Pro Bowl potential, but his off the field, personality concerns are glaring. He’s had a ton of off-the-field problems and there are glaring, red flag character question marks. On the field, he didn’t have the offseason workouts to suggest that he’s an elite of the elite athlete, but on film and when the lights are on, he’s fantastic. There’s a risk considering his history, but on talent, and considering he could play in the middle or out, he could become a phenomenal steal outside of the top 15.
CFN Projection: First Round

31 31 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.

A typical Badger offensive linemen, he’s a very big, strong run blocker who flattens his man and keeps on rolling. Versatile, he could turn out to be a more natural guard in time, but he’ll start out at center where he’ll be fine for any scheme and any type, even though the foot-speed and quickness are sorely lacking. He has worked hard to transform his body a bit, dropping roughly 20 pounds but maintaining his strength and power. Even so, he’ll need to work a bit on his consistency – if he starts to do everything right and can get lower and underneath the pads a bit more, he’ll be truly dominant.
CFN Projection: Second Round

32 32 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.

A top playmaker who produced in big games at the highest level, he more than lived up to his immense prep hype improving year after year. His instincts got better as the game started to slow down for him, and the smarts matched up with his corner speed and huge hitting ability. Disciplined in pass coverage and solid against the run, he can do it all including be a team leader who’ll always bring the A effort. A bit too small, he can pop and plays bigger than his size, he’s a compact defensive back who doesn’t necessarily look the part. Off-the-field issues are going to be a concern, but he’s not a bad guy. More splashy than consistent, he’ll be a fan favorite and should go to a few Pro Bowls as a regular on the highlight shows.
CFN Projection: Second Round