On the last day of the breakdown, draft day, we look at the highly controversial top 9 picks of the 2013 NFL Draft. This is a time of hype and deception, and it’s tough to read through all the smokescreens in order to really find the useful information. Let’s start with the other home team at # 9, the New York Jets.
9. New York Jets – Jonathan Cooper, OG/North Carolina – I know just yesterday I had Cooper going to the Jets at #13, but they can’t chance the Titans or Miami would take him before then. The Jets, more than most teams, need a starter from day 1 at probably 4 positions. If Tavon Austin is drafted by either Buffalo, or St. Louis as predicted, The N.Y Jets will tell all the viewers at #9 who exactly is making the decisions for the team. If they trade this pick… It’s Idzick. If they pick a defensive player, Rex Ryan is making the decisions, and if they pick a lineman, Woody Johnson is thinking longevity with his early pick in 2013.
8. St. Louis Rams 8. Buffalo Bills – Tavon Austin, WR West Virginia – Everything I have read today had mentioned that both the N.Y. Jets as well as the Bills are very high on Tavon Austin, but neither is as high on him as St. Louis. With St. Louis having two first round picks, the ability to move up is infinite. This also works in favor for Buffalo who has to pick in front of Minnesota to make sure they get their pick of a QB like Ryan Nassib at 16, or E.J. Manuel and still acquire more picks later this year, or possibly next. If the Jets don’t go after Nassib at #13, he will fall directly to Buffalo.
7. Cardinals – Star Lotulelei, DT/Utah – ESPN’s Todd McShay “loves” this guy. I also think he can play in either scheme (4-3 or 3-4) as both at DT, or DE. He beats the Offensive line early in games and often and makes his presence felt. At 6’3” 311lbs, Star has the prototypical size and strength to be an impact player right away, which is exactly what a first round pick should do for your team.
6. Oakland Raiders – Sharrif Floyd, DT/ Florida – Floyd racked up 13 tackles for loss, three sacks, and two kick blocks as a junior before declaring and NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah was quoted as saying, “everybody” has Floyd pegged as a top-five pick.” . At 6’3 297 pounds, and with a solid 40 time, Oakland loves highly touted athletic players of which Floyd definitely fits the mold. West Virginia WR Tavon Austin could also go here, or the Raiders could do something smart and move further down again in order to grab more talent, much like the Patriots do every year.
5. Detroit Lions – Ezekiel Ansah DE/ BYU – Ansah reportedly didn’t hire a trainer for the combine instead focusing on finishing his classes at BYU. His draft stock was already high but this news makes him seem kind of freakish. Measuring in at 6-foot-5 and 271 pounds with 35 1/8-inch arms, Ansah posted the sixth fastest forty times (4.63) of 37 defensive linemen who ran, and his 34 1/2-inch vertical tied for seventh. There is also a rumor that his 40 at the combine was the first one he ever ran in his lifetime. In 5 years’ time, this will either seem like the steal of the top 10, or a total bust.
4. Philadelphia Eagles – Luke Joeckel, OT/ Texas A&M – Chip Kelly gets to choose between a dynamic DE in BYU Ziggy Ansah or the consensus #1 for the last few months. I understand his new offense has been quoted by LeSean McCoy as being “a track meet” and I truly think that unless another team that is looking to move up, like the San Diego Chargers, trades into this position the choice will be Joeckel or North Carolina OG Lane Johnson.
3. Cleveland Browns – Geno Smith, QB/West Virginia – In the first trade of the NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders are said to be looking to trade down, and Cleveland has been rumored to be very interested in both, West Virginia QB Geno Smith, or BYU DE Ezekiel Ansah. Brandon Weeden was the last regimes QB, and unfortunately his biggest loss will be the fact that his new bosses didn’t draft him, and therefore will never have “their guy” until they draft “their guy.” There is also talk that if the top two tackles don’t go 1 & 2, Oakland would be willing to trade for nearly anyone who thinks the LT is a position of need and is willing to pay with multiple picks.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars – Dion Jordan, DE/Oregon – Dion is an anomaly. Most prospects unable to compete at either the combine or their pro day typically fall on draft boards. Instead, all this kid has done is run a 40 and he’s being considered as one of the best defensive players available this year. Jordan was unable to help his draft stock at the Oregon Pro day because he is recovering from a recent surgery to repair a torn labrum. He ran a 4.53 unofficial time at the combine, which is amazing. GM David Caldwell recently said, “We’re pretty close – It’s down to two people.” Most people believe the two he referenced are Oregon DE Dion Jordan and West Virginia QB Gen Smith., but there is new talk that OT Luke Joeckel or Central Michigan OT Eric Fisher depending on who Kansas City takes is a likely pick for Jacksonville. Again, I don’t see it. The Jags offense was woeful, but it’s still better than their defense.
1. Kansas City Chiefs – Eric Fisher OT/ Central Michigan – Yes for the first time in 3 months Texas A&M OT Luke Joeckel has fallen from the top spot. A lot of chatter has been made about Fisher being the favorite of Andy Reid and I can’t say there is a heck of a difference between him and Luke. It will come down to who the coaches liked more, and thought was the better guy. There has been some speculation the Chiefs will try to trade down, but I don’t see it.