The 2013 draft is finally over and to be honest I couldn’t be happier. As some choices still have some of us itching our heads, overall each and every team has promise to improve next season. Please enjoy my quick take on each teams’ pickups.
Arizona Cardinals: Still can’t believe they did not address the QB position, however they did take care of a plethora of issues. The main concern: the offensive line which should see vast improvement after the acquisition of stud G Jonathan Cooper. DB Tyrann Mathieu will be an interesting player to watch and his teammate LB Kevin Minter could make an impact right away as well. RBs Stephan Taylor and Andre Ellington also provide a new stable of backs ready for competition.
Atlanta Falcons: Although no big names CB’s Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford will instantly help the secondary as they were in desperate need of aid aside Asante Samule. TE Levine Tollolo is huge target and should also get plenty of help from future Hall of Famer Tony Gonazalez as he prepares to take over position in the coming seasons.
Baltimore Ravens: LB Arthur Brown and S Matt Elam come to aid a defense that is going through rebirth after the Ravens Super Bowl conquest. Huge offensive lineman Ricky Wagner is also a solid choice. Overall an extremely productive draft and Brown and Elam should play right away; a learning curve however is inevitable.
Buffalo Bills: Love the Bills taking a risk with the choice of QB E.J. Manuel and suspect that it will be a close competition between him and QB Kevin Kolb. I have a feeling that Manuel will be a stud and he just needs some time to develop into a customized game plan. WR Robert Woods is a solid 2/3 target and LB Kiko Alonso from Oregon could be a steal on the defensive side; may have a chance to start. Overall, things are looking up in Buffalo.
Carolina Panthers: DT Star Lotulelei will be a stud on the inside eventually and Kawann Short is not a bad pickup either in order to solidify the defensive line. I really love the pick-up of RB Kenjon Barner however, who didn’t get much love during the draft process. Something tells me he will really take some pressure off of QB Cam Newton.
Chicago Bears: The Bears picked up two linebackers in Jon Bostic and Khaseem Greene who were both absolute studs in college. On the offensive side T Kyle Long is a great pickup as he can play G as well. Overall a pretty meat and potatoes type board as the Bears head into training camp.
Cincinnati Bengals: QB Andy Dalton picks up a solid target in TE Tyler Eifert and RB’s Giovani Bernard/Rex Burkhead should bolster a running game that has been in disarray and in need of more firepower beside RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis.
Cleveland Browns: LB Barkevious Mingo needs to develop but could be a stud. CB Leon McFadden also could be a sleeper due to his lack of recognition as he played at San Diego State; he could potentially be a starter. T Garrett Gilkey was a nice late round pick up and should eventually step in to protect QB Brandon Weeden.
Dallas Cowboys: WR Terrance Williams has talent and could emerge into a solid WR beside Dez Bryant and Miles Austin. C Travis Fredrick provides new beef up front and TE Gavin Escobar will be a great understudy to Jason Witten. Overall, a pretty quiet draft from a team that is saving most of the drama for the fall.
Denver Broncos: DT Sylvester Williams adds a huge presence in the Denver middle while CB Kayvon Webster may have been taken too early, but should catch on. My main point here is RB Montee Ball and WR Tavarres King; both should make an instant impact as Manning enjoys his last few years chasing a Super Bowl Championship.
Detroit Lions: CB Darius Slay should start in the defensive backfield and G Larry Warford will provide instant protection for Stafford. Although, no overwhelming big names on this board, but RB Theo Riddick is an interesting pick as his versatility could prove to be huge for an offense looking to gain more of an edge.
Green Bay Packers: The Packers had a really great draft as the pick up of RBs Eddie Lacy and Jonathan Franklin should provide Rogers the running attack he has so desperately needed. Additionally, DE Datone Jones should add a spark to a unit already anchored by standouts B.J. Raji and Clay Matthews
Houston Texans: WR DeAndrew Hopkins provides a nice number two opposite of Andre Johnson. However, the Texans stayed mainly focused on defense as LB Trevardo Williams and DE Sam Mongomery will be nice options when Watt needs to take a rest. Additionally, S D.J. Swearinger will be a nice understudy to Hall of Famer Ed Reed.
Indianapolis Colts: DE Bjoern Werner should help out on the line right away however, will need time to adjust. Offensively, G Hugh Thorton and C Khaled Holmes once healthy should fight to get into the line-up as protecting QB Andrew Luck will always be priority number 1 in Indianapolis.
Jacksonville Jaguars: OT Luke Joeckel will take some pressure of Gabbert who the Jags have obviously decided to stick with. In addition, the speedy combo of WR’s Ace Sanders and Denard Robinson could be a legitimate threat on the offensive side of the ball. Defensively, Johnathan Cyprien and Dwayne Gratz should compete for starting spots in the secondary.
Kansas City Chiefs: OT Eric Fisher should help out immediately in the quest to protect Alex Smith. LB Nico Johnson and S Sanders Commings should also aid a defense and learn from stars such as LB Derrick Johnson and CB Brandon Flowers as they are polished defenders from the SEC. RB Knile Davis should also be a nice change of pace beside RB Jamaal Charles.
Miami Dolphins: DE Dion Jordan will help out the pass rush instantly as he is a great athlete. Obviously the Dolphins scouting department saw something many of the scouts didn’t as he flew under the radar. Additionally, LB Jelani Jenkins and CB Jamar Taylor should continue to bolster a unit that should only get better. RB Mike Gillislee and TE Dion Sims are nice pickups and if progress and aclimate quickly, should take pressure off Tannehill who is poised to have a great second season.
Minnesota Vikings: DT Shariff Floyd will be a great addition beside Kevin Williams and his teammate CB Xavier Rhodes will provide instant help in the secondary. The main story here however is the speedy WR Cordarerelle Patterson who the Vikings hope to fill the void of the departed Percy Harvin.
New England Patriots: A quiet draft in New England however, WR Aaron Dobson has the potential to help out right away given that Wes Welker is gone. Overall, the Pats stayed heavy on the defensive side of the ball in order to build depth where some of these no-names can hopefully learn and flourish under one of the best coaches in the NFL.
New Orleans Saints: S Kenny Vaccaro is a good pickup as the Saints defense was horrible this past season particularly in pass coverage. In addition the massive DT John Jenkins and shifty WR Kenny Stills should make immediate impacts as the Saints look to take advantage of their remaining time with Brees at the helm.
New York Giants: DT Jonathan Hankins is an absolute beast however, slipped a little bit. None the less this kid should get a long look on the interior defensive line. G Justin Pugh most likely will start at guard. The main story here is the acquisition of QB Ryan Nassib, this move really makes sense and he will be project and at the least a very solid backup choice.
New York Jets: CB Dee Miliner is a stud and will acclimate quickly into the defense. In addition, DT Sheldon Richardson is a sleeper and will make an impact immediately. The main story here obviously is the pick up of QB Geno Smith who nobody saw coming. Let the drama in New York begin.
Oakland Raiders: Oakland picks high again and takes D.J. Hayden who despite coming back from injury could make an instant impact. QB Tyler Wilson also ended up here and could be a project for down the line if QB Matt Flynn fails. TE Nick Kasa should help out right away as they lack depth at this position since Heath Miller left.
Philadelphia Eagles: OT Lane Johnson should fill a role on a horrible offensive line. In addition, TE Zack Ertz will provide a solid target at tight end. The main storyline resides however in Matt Barkley. I really didn’t understand this pick, but I have a feeling Jim Kelly could have a soft spot for him.
Pittsburg Steelers: LB Jarvis Jones and RB Le’Veon Bell to me seem like perfect fits for the style of football played in Pittsburg. Additionally, WR Markus Wheaton and Justin Brown could provide big Ben extra firepower as the Steelers try to make it back to the ship before the second half of Rothlisberger’s career.
St. Louis Rams: WR Tavon Austin is about to explode on the turf, while defenders LB Alec Ogletree and S T.J. McDonald will bolster the defense. In addition RB Zac Stacy could be a sleeper to take pressure off Austin, and aid in the replacement of the great Stephen Jackson.
San Diego Chargers: Manti Te’o wont be the complete answer on defense however, D.J. Fluker is a stud and will help right away. In addition, WR Keenan Allen will become Rivers favorite new target in a receiving core that is full of no-names.
San Francisco 49ers: S Eric Reed and DE Cornellius Carradine are studs and should start right away. RB Marcus Lattimore is also an interesting pick and with the help of NFL medical staff he should use the 2013 season to continue to get better. Overall, the 49ers made some vital moves that if work could put them over the hump.
Seattle Seahawks: DT Jesse Williams and Jordan Hill will help the defensive line right away and RB Christine Michael and Spencer Ware are two options that will take the pressure off Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson. Disregarding the draft, Percy Harvin was the main pick up here and should add another explosive dimension.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DE William Gholston slipped and QB Mike Glennon is a project. CB Johnthan Banks however, provides depth and he will be tutored by the best defensive back in the game named Derrelle Revis.
Tennessee Titans: G Chance Wamack is a beast and Justin Hunter is a sleeper at WR. The defense got help from picking up CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson and a potential sleeper in LB Zaviar Gooden. Ultimately, the secondary was looking for help beside SS Bernard Pollard and CB Alterraun Verner.
Washington Redskins: CB David Amerson should develop and aid the Redskins backfield quickly. Additionally, Bacarri Rambo was a nice late round pickup as well as LB Brandon Jenkins. Overall, it was a defense oriented draft but offensively TE Jordan Reed should provide a nice target once RG3 is up to full speed.