2013 NFL Draft: Grading the First Round

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How did your favorite team do in the first round of the '13 NFL Draft?

<p> Grading Every First-Round Pick of the 2013 NFL Draft</p>

The first round of the 2013 NFL Draft is complete and 32 new faces have joined the ranks of professional football. Some will play right away and become instant Pro Bowlers like first-rounders Matt Kalil, Andrew Luck, Doug Martin and Robert Griffin III did a year ago as rookies. Others rarely played like A.J. Jenkins (just three games played) or dealt with major injuries like Nick Perry (six games), David DeCastro (four games) or Dre Kirkpatrick (five games). Others like Detroit's Riley Reiff played, but simply didn't live up to the expectations.

In all, 24 of last year’s 32 first-round picks played in either 15 or 16 games last year. Needless to say, your first-round pick must be able to contribute quickly to justify the lofty draft status.

Last year’s grades included six “A’s” for Luck, Griffin, Trent Richardson, Morris Claiborne, Michael Brockers and Dont’a Hightower. San Francisco, for example, got a “C” for Jenkins, who reported to camp out of shape and rode the bench for the first 12 weeks. And the only “D” was for the Chiefs' selection of Memphis’ Dontari Poe. He played all 16 games without registering a sack, tackle for loss, forced fumble or fumble recovery. It wasn’t all Poe’s fault obviously, but Kansas City was the league’s worst team, fired its coach and still needs defensive line help.

But 2013 is a new season and the 2013 NFL Draft is a new opportunity to rebuild.

So how did your favorite team do in the first round?

1. Kansas City: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan (6-7, 306)
Team Needs: OL, DL, ILB, S
The Chiefs needed a lot of help and have gone defense in the first round in four of the last five years. With a new quarterback and Jamaal Charles in the backfield, protecting his skill players was a priority for Andy Reid. In a draft with no elite quarterback, the Chiefs did an excellent job filling the second most important position on the field. Fisher has great feet, a mean streak, a huge frame and little downside whatsoever. That said, there is a reason he is the first MAC player to be ever be taken No. 1 overall and only time will tell if Reid took the right left tackle.
First Round Grade: A-

I sat down with Central Michigan head coach Dan Enos last night just minutes after Fisher got selected:

2. Jacksonville: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M (6-6, 306)
Team Needs: DE, QB, DT, CB, OL
For my money, the massive left tackle from College Station is the best player in the draft. He has every possible box checked with elite ability, track record of success and upside. There is less downside with Joeckel than Fisher and the Jaguars should be applauded for taking the best available when he dropped into their laps. Blaine Gabbert hasn't gotten a real shot at competing at a high level and whether he is the answer or not, Jacksonville has a body guard for its quarterback for the next decade-plus. He will also help extend the career span of Maurice Jones-Drew.
First Round Grade: A+

3. Miami (from OAK): Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon (6-6, 248)
Team Needs: OL, CB, DE, TE
There is plenty of risk here for a team with a lot of needs. That includes the price to move up in the draft but also some risk involved in a player who needs to develop consistency. Jordan has Aldon Smith skills, size and upside but also disappeared at times early in his career. Was this simply the maturation process or was it a lack of focus and drive? Odds are his measurables and raw skill will remind people of Smith — or, perhaps, Jason Taylor.
First Round Grade: B-

4. Philadelphia: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma (6-6, 303)
Team Needs: OL, CB, QB, WR
Chip Kelly loves athletic linemen who can move in space and have great feet. The former quarterback is exactly that. He is a tremendous athlete who has excellent footwork, balance and quickness. He should develop the overall bulk and sheer power needed to play left tackle in the NFL but his type of upside athletically isn't coachable, it's innate. There is plenty of risk involved with a guy who hasn't played the position for as long as his peers, but there is elite upside here as well.
First Round Grade: B

5. Detroit: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU (6-5, 271)
Team Needs: OT, DE, WR, LB
The scouting report on Ansah is pretty straight forward. He is a raw prospect who hasn't played a lot of football at an elite level. He doesn't practice well and lacks overall fundamentals. Yet, every time the tape is running, he is making plays all over the field. He has tremendous physical talents and should refine his technique and overall discipline. With a need for a pass-rusher, the Lions tabbed the former Cougars hybrid backer/end.
First Round Grade: B

6. Cleveland: Barkevious Mingo, OLB/DE, LSU (6-4, 241)
Team Needs: OG, QB, WR, ILB
Defensive line is always a need for almost every team at all times. But the Browns could have used big-time help at a number of other positions. And underachieving, unproductive prospects who don't have great work ethic isn't the answer this high in the draft. On the positive side, Mingo has an elite frame with elite athletic ability and tons of upside. He also failed to produce at a high level — 4.5 sacks as a senior — for a team loaded with underachievers.
First Round Grade: C-

7. Arizona: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina (6-2, 311)
Team Needs: OL, OLB, TE, S
There is something to be said about downside and Cooper has none of it. The ceiling might not be as high as most traditional first-round picks as few guards can justify a pick this high, but the floor is about as high as any player at any position in the draft. He has great feet, a nasty streak and has produced at an elite level throughout his career. Is he better than Chance Warmack? That remains to be seen but Arizona — who's running game has struggled since... ever — got a player who can be plugged into the starting lineup on day one and likely won't leave for years to come.
First Round Grade: A-

8. St. Louis (from BUF): Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia (5-8, 174)
Team Needs: S, WR, OL, OLB
The Rams gave up plenty of value to move up to get Austin, but Jeff Fisher got his guy. Austin might be the only truly game-changing offensive skill position player in this draft and Fisher will have fun figuring out how to use his new toy. Some much-needed big-play ability is now at Sam Bradford's disposal. Fans can figure to see the small speedster in the backfield, on trick plays and on special teams. There is little downside to Austin other than his lack of overall size.
First Round Grade: B+

9. NY Jets: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama (6-0, 201)
Team Needs: OLB/DE, QB, OT, DB
There is some injury concern with Milliner but there should be no question about his ability to play cornerback. He should recover from off-season shoulder surgery and be ready to play early in 2013. He is a better all-around player at the position than fellow teammate and 2012 first-round pick Dre Kirkpatrick. The former No. 1-rated cornerback prospect in the nation in high school consistently made bigger plays, is a better tackler and is the best pure lockdown cover corner in the draft. He is a great player but does he fill a pressing need for a coaching staff facing a pivotal season?
First Round Grade: B+

10. Tennessee: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama (6-2, 317)
Team Needs: DE, S, OG, WR
The Titans running game has no excuses now that Chance Warmack and free agent signings Andy Levitre and Shonn Greene are coming to town. Warmack is a war-daddy of an offensive lineman who has little to no downside whatsoever. He is big, physical, nasty and has done nothing but win, and win big. The road grader will be in the starting lineup in Week 1. Titans running back Chris Johnson said it best on Twitter immediately following Warmack's selection: "THANK GOD."
First Round Grade: A+

Related: 2013's Best Day Two Prospects

11. San Diego: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama (6-5, 339)
Team Needs: OL, DB, WR, RB
Fluker has always been a big-time NFL prospect ever since he was the No. 1-rated offensive line recruit in the nation. He worked his way quickly into the starting lineup and eventually locked down the right tackle spot for a two-time national champion. However, he was beat out for left tackle by potential 2014 first-round sophomore Cyrus Koundjio. He has elite size but may not be suited for left tackle — and thus justifying this selection. A great right tackle for years to come isn't a bad consolation prize, but is it worth the No. 11 pick? He has little downside and fills a need, so the Bolts could have done much worse.
First Round Grade: B

12. Oakland (from MIA): D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston (5-11, 191)
Team Needs: CB, OL, DT, LB, QB
The ghost of Al Davis must be floating around the facilities in Oakland because this was a definite reach. Hayden has speed and made plenty of plays while at Houston — facing C-USA quarterbacks, offensive schemes and wide receivers. This pick feels emotional and rushed — much like most of Davis' draft picks — which the is worst thing any front office can do on draft day (see every good team's draft day strategy). Hayden will play early but there is way too much risk at No. 12. Trading down to get extra picks, however, and filling a need was extremely commendable.
First Round Grade: C+

13. NY Jets (from TB): Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri (6-2, 294)
Team Needs: DL, QB, OT, DB
As usual, the J-E-T-S fans faces were priceless in Radio City Music Hall. And while the Mizzou D-lineman wasn't the top defensive tackle on the board, this wasn't a reach. Richardson has been a elite prospect since his five-star days as a recruit and he provided excellent support up the gut for the Tigers. He is a big, powerful, athletic defensive lineman who should help the Jets' front immediately. Did they need a pass-rusher more? Maybe so. But Richardson is no reach and he was one of the few players for Missouri who belonged in the SEC after changing leagues.
First Round Grade: B

14. Carolina: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah (6-2, 311)
Team Needs: DT, DB, WR, OT
Despite the bizarre health issue that appears to be resolved (or contained), there is little downside with the big Utes defensive tackle. Few players produced at a more difficult position the way Lotulelei did for Utah the last two seasons. A former junior college prospect, he took time to find his stride, but his power, excellent fundamentals, toughness and motor make him an impact player at a rare position. To top it off, the Panthers did a great job filling one of its most pressing needs with what could be the best player at his position.
First Round Grade: B+

15. New Orleans: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas (6-0, 214)
Team Needs: OT, CB, DL, S
There is a lot to like about the Longhorns safety, but there is a lot to question about him as well. He is a gifted athlete with great speed and size for a player at his position. He is versatile and will be capable of dropping into the box against the run. However, he isn't as fluid in space as he needed to be to match up with many of his more talented peers in the Big 12 — like fellow 2013 NFL draftees Tavon Austin, Terrance Williams and Kenny Stills, for example. Additionally, his Texas defenses dramatically underachieved and were, by in large, extremely disappointing. The upside seems limited here but he has the talent to be serviceable.
First Round Grade: C

16. Buffalo (from STL): EJ Manuel, QB, Florida State (6-5, 237)
Team Needs: QB, WR, LB, G/C
This is likely to be the most controversial pick in the first round but its far from the worst. Manuel has every single physical tool an NFL offensive coordinator is looking for from both a physical and mental standpoint. He is a tremendously intelligent student of the game who leads by example and is focused on doing what it takes to be a winner. He has elite level size, athletic ability and was efficient throwing the football. He is one of just two players in NCAA history to start and win four bowl games. Consistency is a concern, but he is the most physically gifted and mentally grounded quarterback in the draft so it shouldn't be a surprise he is the first and only quarterback off the board in the first round. Does he need to refine his consistency in the pocket? Yes, but he is a gym-rat type who do what it takes to be successful.
First Round Grade: B-

17. Pittsburgh: Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia (6-2, 245)
Team Needs: RB, OT, LB, WR, DL
He doesn't posses ideal size for his hybrid position and he has dealt with a bizarre neck injury in the past, but Jones is an excellent player. If he stays focused on every play — the Steelers organization generally makes sure of work ethic — Jones has a chance to be a disruptive force. He showed the ability in the best league in America to dominate games on the attack off the edge. Once he gets rolling he was impossible to stop. His skills are a perfect fit in a system that knows a thing or two about undersized outside linebacker-pass rusher-types.
First Round Grade: B+

18. San Francisco (from DAL): Eric Reid, S, LSU (6-1, 213)
Team Needs: DL, S, OLB, TE
The 49ers had few needs and were already a Super Bowl frontrunner, but moving up to grab what could be the best safety in the draft is a power move that should force the NFC to take note. Eric Reid has the speed, size, toughness, quickness and smarts to be an elite player right out of the gate. He was the most consistent performer in a secondary loaded with talent... and turmoil. Reid was one of the few hard workers on this roster in 2012 and his ability to play in the box against the run as well as center field against the pass is invaluable on the next level. He is a future star and now he plays for Jim Harbaugh.
First Round Grade: A

19. NY Giants: Justin Pugh, OL, Syracuse (6-4, 307)
Team Needs: OL, LB, DB, RB
There is little downside with this pick. The Orange bookend tackle has loads of experience and has been widely recognized among his peers as one of the best in the game the last few seasons. He doesn't have the elite-level size or athleticism that a Joeckel or Fisher has, but he isn't few steps behind in any one category. Pugh is a polished passer who has a low(er) ceiling and high(er) floor that fills arguably the most pressing needs in the Giants locker room.
First Round Grade: B

20. Chicago: Kyle Long, OG, Oregon (6-6, 313)
Team Needs: LB, OL, CB, QB
The pick is the right position and the right upside, but it has tons of risk. The younger brother of former first-round pick Chris Long and NFL Hall of Famer Howie Long, Kyle brings excellent footwork and quickness to the offensive line. He has tackle size and athleticism but questions remain about his bookend talent skills. Guard is possible but right tackle feels like the right fit. This could be a sneaky good pick but also could come back to bite the Bears. Getting help at a key position of need was critical for Chicago and Long definitely helps the line of scrimmage no matter where he plays.
First Round Grade: C+

21. Cincinnati: Tyler Eifert, TE, Cincinnati (6-6, 251)
Team Needs: S, LB, RB, OL
The Irish tight end is an excellent player who is a sure-fire NFL starter as soon as he gets to camp. He has great size, speed, hands, awareness and plenty of potential as an inline blocker. The issue, however, is the depth chart. Former first-round pick Jermaine Gresham and undersized athlete Orson Charles already gives Andy Dalton two excellent receiving options at tight end. It's commendable picking who was likely the best available player on the board as Eifert likely was, but did the Bengals really need another pass-catcher?
First Round Grade: C+ (B+ player)

22. Atlanta (from STL/WAS): Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington (6-1, 190)
Team Needs: CB, DE, WR, DL
Fans in Atlanta should be cautiously optimistic with their new lockdown corner. Trufant has a great pedigree as an NFL legacy at defensive back to go with an interesting career trajectory. He broke into the Pac-12 in a big way with an excellent freshman season before plateauing for sometime before an improved final campaign. Under the tutelage of a rebuilt coaching staff at Washington, he blossomed in 2012 once again. Odds are he is a dependable starter for many years without ever really developing into one of the elite stars.
First Round Grade: B

23. Minnesota: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida (6-3, 297)
Team Needs: WR, MLB, CB, S
This might be the best pick in the first round, bar none. No team got more value and more talent with any one pick than the Vikings got with Floyd. Warren Sapp could not be a more perfect comparison as work ethic, burst or "get-off," size and power define the young nose guard. He can play in either technique as his disruptive abilities will play anywhere along the defensive front. Floyd never takes a play off and has the ambition and drive that made Sapp special for so many years in the NFL. The rest of the NFC North be warned, Floyd wouldn't be the first statement made by the Vikings on Thursday night.
First Round Grade: A+

Related: Sharrif Floyd's amazing journey to the NFL

24. Indianapolis: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State (6-3, 266)
Team Needs: OG, CB, OLB, RB
Werner is a hard-working, football junkie who will give it his all and provide dependable play at a key position of need. That said, questions arise as to where his true position lies and what his strengths will be on the next level. He is a fundamentally sound and refined young player but does he have the size for defensive end or the quickness for outside linebacker?
First Round Grade: C

25. Minnesota (from SEA): Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State (6-1, 210)
Team Needs: WR, MLB, CB, S
Few corners come packaged quite like Rhodes does. He has elite level, Patrick Peterson-type size and length for a cornerback, but he isn't the same raw athlete with the same quickness and agility of the No. 5 overall pick of the 2011 draft. He will definitely shift at some point in his career to a hybrid safety-corner role like Charles Woodson did and will be extremely effective. Rhodes is more than athletic enough to match up in man coverages in a division that features the largest and most physical wide receivers in the league — Calvin Johnson, Jordy Nelson and Brandon Marshall.
First Round Grade: B+

26. Green Bay: Datone Jones, DL, UCLA (6-4, 283)
Team Needs: S, OL, RB, DL
The similarities with the selection of Jones and the team's first-round pick last year should be a major case of deja vu for Packers fans. Jones was an elite recruit who blossomed into a playmaker during his junior season under a new coach for a Los Angeles Pac-12 school. Exactly like Nick Perry. There is some serious upside with Jones all along the defensive line as he brings elite size and athleticism to the table for Green Bay. However, he took a long time to develop and the risk is huge with a late bloomer who underachieved most of his career.
First Round Grade: C+

27. Houston: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson (6-1, 214)
Team Needs: WR, OLB, ILB, OT
Some players are perfect fits at perfect times for perfect teams. Landing on a great team with an established running game and Hall of Fame veteran to learn from at wideout is about as perfect a situation as "Nuke" Hopkins could have hoped for. He isn't as talented as former teammate and potential 2014 NFL Draft prospect Sammy Watkins but has great size, hands and toughness to make plays opposite Andre Johnson. He may be more of an elite No. 2 but few players in the first round will step into a more favorable situation to succeed than Hopkins.
First Round Grade: B+

28. Denver: Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina (6-3, 313)
Team Needs: MLB, S, DE, RB
The Broncos needed to fill some gaps along its defensive line Williams should do that quickly. While he may not be as productive or disruptive as Floyd or Lotelelei, he has good footwork and get-off. His quickness should allow him to rotate inside and out depending on game scenario and should give the Broncos continued flexibility along a reworked defensive line. It doesn't feel like a sexy pick for the Broncos, but building from the interior on a team loaded with offense is the right move.
First Round Grade: B-

29. Minnesota (from NE): Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee (6-2, 216)
Team Needs: WR, MLB, CB, S
Patterson is a big-time athlete who is dripping with talent and will contribute on special teams right away. However, he is a long way from being a productive No. 1 wide receiver, especially with a young quarterback who isn't overly talented. His size, burst and athleticism are elite for his position but his understanding of the position and its subtle nuances are far from NFL-ready, which is indicative of his junior college background. Look for him to be used in trick plays, short passes, on special teams and a few deep go routes for the first few seasons.
First Round Grade: B-

30. St. Louis (from ATL): Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia (6-2, 242)
Team Needs: S, WR, OL, OLB
Another sound decision from one of the best CEOs in the NFL. Fisher once again got his guy with this talented tackler from Georgia. Ogletree plays at one pace: fast. He needs to refine his game and pack on some bulk but he has the instincts, explosiveness and range to be an elite player for years to come. His physicality and burst is uncoachable.
First Round Grade: B+

31. Dallas (from SF): Travis Frederick, G/C, Wisconsin (6-4, 312)
Team Needs:
OL, S, DT, OLB
Frederick is a quality player who would be a starting member of most NFL offensive lines. In that sense, Jerry Jones might have finally made a quality first-round offensive line choice. But in typical Jones fashion, he likely misjudged the value of this player. If it difficult to fault someone for taking "their guy" but some had the Badgers versatile blocker going in the third round, not the first. Use of the second-rounder — pick 47 overall — would have been dramatically more prudent for the Cowboys.
First Round Grade: D+

32. Baltimore: Matt Elam, S, Baltimore (5-10, 208)
Team Needs: WR, OT, ILB, S
Replacing Ed Reed won't just happen with one first-round draft pick but Elam has some rare ability. He might be the hardest-hitting player in the entire draft as he patrols the secondary with reckless abandon. He is shorter than desirable but played with great speed and range for one of the best defenses in the best league in college football. That said, his out-of-control style of play occasionally caused him problems with over-reactions and penalties. There are some kinks to iron out but Elam goes a long way as the Ravens attempt to replace Reed, a surefire future Hall of Famer.
First Round Grade: B-

Player Pos. NCAA NFL Pick Grade
Luke Joeckel OT Texas A&M Jacksonville #2 A+
Chance Warmack OG Alabama Tennessee #10 A+
Sharrif Floyd DT Florida Minnesota #23 A+
Eric Reid S LSU San Francisco #18 A
Eric Fisher OT Central Michigan Kansas City #1 A-
Jonathan Cooper OG North Carolina Arizona #7 A-
Tavon Austin WR West Virginia St. Louis #8 B+
Dee Milliner CB Alabama NY Jets #9 B+
Star Lotulelei DT Utah Carolina #14 B+
Jarvis Jones LB Georgia Pittsburgh #17 B+
Xavier Rhodes CB Florida State Minnesota #25 B+
DeAndre Hopkins WR Clemson Houston #27 B+
Alec Ogletree LB Georgia St. Louis #30 B+
Lane Johnson OT Oklahoma Philadelphia #4 B
Ezekiel Ansah DE BYU Detroit #5 B
D.J. Fluker OL Alabama San Diego #11 B
Sheldon Richardson DT Missouri NY Jets #13 B
Justin Pugh OL Syracuse NY Giants #19 B
Desmond Trufant CB Washington Atlanta #22 B
Dion Jordan DE Oregon Miami #3 B-
EJ Manuel QB Florida State Buffalo #16 B-
Sylverster Williams DT North Carolina Denver #28 B-
Cordarrelle Patterson WR Tennessee Minnesota #29 B-
Matt Elam S Florida Baltimore #32 B-
D.J. Hayden CB Houston Oakland #12 C+
Kyle Long OL Oregon Chicago #20 C+
Tyler Eifert TE Notre Dame Cincinnati #21 C+
Datone Jones DL UCLA Green Bay #25 C+
Kenny Vaccaro S Texas New Orleans #15 C
Bjoern Werner DE Florida State Indianapolis #24 C
Barkevious Mingo DE/LB LSU Cleveland #6 C-
Travis Frederick G/C Wisconsin Dallas #31 D+

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