By Billy Perlmutter

 

Well, football fans, it’s here. The 2013 NFL Draft is finally here. Over the past three months mock drafts made by experts have altered drastically, and even after all that time, we still have no idea who will be picked in the top five. This may not be the flashiest draft class, but this draft is sure to bring headlines and surprises. Throughout the night our experts here at Modest Pride will be giving on each and every pick, of this first round. Enjoy our grades, and enjoy the draft.

1. Kansas City Chiefs: Erick Fisher, OT, Central Michigan. After the flip-flopping of Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher throughout the upcoming weeks, it seems that Eric Fisher has prevailed to be the number one pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. This guy can move his feet, he’s quick – quicker than Joeckel – and that’s what seemed to be the deciding factor for the Cheifs. The safer pick probably would’ve been the left tackle from Texas A&M, but Fisher is sure to be a solid starter in the NFL. I’ll give this pick an A-: The Cheifs with this pick filled a need that they had on the offensive line. It’s not the sexiest pick, but in the long run, it’s the smart pick.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M. For much of the draft process it looked as if Luke Joeckel would be the number one pick. But, in the words of the great Dikembe Mutombo, “NO, NO, NO, not today!” Although the number two pick doesn’t solidify you as a trivia question, in this situation, it means more money for the 22 year old. Since the state of Florida has no income tax, Joeckel will in fact make more money than Fisher! That must mean something, right? Anyways, this is a great pick by Jacksonville, so congratulations Jaguars front office, you’ve earned yourself an A with this pick. The Jaguars O-Line last year was terrible, and over the last four years nobody else in the league has allowed more sacks than them. Joeckel in my opinion is the best player in the draft, that’s right better than Fisher, and will probably produce more in the upcoming couple of years than Eric Fisher. The Jaguars have a lot of problems, but they just solved one of them with the pick of Joeckel.

3. Miami Dolphins (Pick acquired in trade with Raiders): Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon. Our first surprise of the night has arrived! When word was announced that the Dolphins had traded up it was expected that they would take OL, Lane Johnson. But, instead, the Dolphins went with the defensive route. With Cameron Wake already rushing the passer, it appears Miami is trying to build some what of a two-headed monster in Wake, and Jordan. This wasn’t a major need of the Dolphins so I’m going to give this pick a B-/B. Jordan has the potential to be a Pro-Bowler, but his stamina and durability have been questioned. It would’ve made more sense for the Dolphins to go with an offensive lineman.

4. Philadelphia Eagles: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma. This pick makes sense. Why? Because Lane Johnson is an athletic freak. The 325 pound ran a 4.82 4o yard dash, and had a 34 inch vertical leap at the NFL Combine. That vertical leap is equal to Pro-Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green. That’s absolutely unreal. In Chip Kelly’s no-huddle, up-beat offense, Lane Johnson will fit right in. The Eagles get an A for this pick.

5. Detroit Lions: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU. You think Lane Johnson is a good athlete? Well wait ’till you see this guy. Ansah doesn’t look like he was born, rather he was chiseled by a sculpture. This guy is raw, coming out of Ghana, but when he finally figures out how to play in the NFL it’s going to be scary. With a background of soccer and track, Ansah is sure to impress at the next level. Detroit was lacking a pass-rusher on defense, and Ezekiel will fill that need. This pick fills a hole, but because there won’t an overwhelming amount of production Ansah over the next two years, I’ll give it an A-.

6. Cleveland Browns: Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU. This pick came quickly, and as a surprise. I didn’t see one mock that had MIngo going to Cleveland, but that just goes to show: What do we know? Mingo has a polished skill set and is sure to produce right away at the NFL level. With this pick, the Browns have created a force to be reckon with, now that they have Paul Kruger, and Barkevious Mingo rushing the passer. It came as a surprise, but the number six pick for the Browns will put up stats. A pass rusher wasn’t the Browns biggest need in this draft, so I’ll dish out a B+ for this pick.

7. Arizona Cardinals: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina. Cooper is durable, strong, and overall, just effective at the guard position. He’s sure to give Arizona a punch on the offensive line. Because Arizona is not a running team, and isn’t looking to become one, this pick comes as a little surprise, but it seems as if Cardinal front office members decided to go with the best player available. It’s hard to go wrong with picking a player of this caliber, so another B+ will be given out.

8. St. Louis Rams (Pick acquired in trade with Bills): Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia. This pick came at no surprise when it was announced that St. Louis had traded up to the eighth overall pick. Austin stands at just 5’8″, but is electrifying when he has the ball in his hands. Compared to Percy Harvin throughout the whole draft process, Tavon can be used in the slot, returning punts and kicks, and out of the backfield. Wherever you put this guy on the field, he has to be accounted for. The Rams needed a playmaker on offense, badly, and with this pick they got precisely that. A-/A for this pick.

9. Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama. After trading Darrelle Revis to Tampa Bay this past week, this pick makes sense. Milliner is physical, uses his hands well, and can run with the best of them. He doesn’t have great hands, but that’s something that can be developed. Although there have been concerns about Milliner’s shoulder, it’s never caused him to miss a start. It would’ve been nice to see the Jets draft Tavon Austin, because offense should be their main concern, but this pick definitely fills one of their needs. New York gets an A-.

10. Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama. Although high profile guard Andy Levitre signed with the Titans this offseason, they could still use a little help on the offensive line. Warmack, arguably one of the most talented players in the draft, could help this team that is focused on putting Chris Johnson in the best position to help the team. Their interior line should be greatly improved because of this pick. I give this pick an A-.

11. D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama. The third straight Alabama player is one of many offensive tackles to be selected high in this years draft. He has a great push on the line, putting this team in a good position to get back into contention in the AFC West. He is a strong blocker, who could help the Chargers who have struggled just to keep a running back healthy throughout the year. I give this an A-.

12. D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston. This Houston cornerback is talented in coverage and could help a Raiders team that has struggled in the secondary as of late. He is very talented, but this pick is a bit of a reach. He may be talented, but not all players are created equal, making it interesting to see how this works out in the future. I give this pick a B.

13. Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri. Richardson is a great pass rusher who has fantastic explosiveness with the ability to stop the run. This guy can do it all, making him very valuable to a rebuilding Jets team. He could be the pass rush the Jets need to prove that the Revis trade was the way to go. I give this pick a B+.

14. Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah. Lotulelei is a talented pass rusher who has fallen in the draft due to a recently found heart condition. Many may doubt Lotulelei’s durability and consistency, but the Panthers have needed exactly him for a while, making this a very smart pick. He will help this Panthers defense become something legitimate instead of just a flat out joke. I give this an A+.

15. Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas. Vaccaro is an elite safety who could significantly fix this atrocious excuse for a defense. The Saints are aiming to get back into the playoffs, and this could be their ticket in. He should be able to turn this team around in a big way. I give this pick an A.

16. EJ Manuel, QB, Florida State. Wow. Just, wow. I never would’ve suspected this pick in a million years. But, it’s a good pick. He is the most mobile quarterback in the draft, making this an important one in the draft. This should reward the Bills soon. I’ll give this a B.

17. Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia. Jones is probably the best replacement for James Harrison, seeing as he is the best outside linebacker in the draft, and him falling in the draft is astonishing. I give this pick an A+.

18. Eric Reid, S, LSU. Reid is fantastic in zone coverage, and the 49ers are filling opretty much their only need. He should be able to successfully replace Dashon Goldson, but the only doubt is if the trade-up was necessary. I give this a B.

19. Justin Pugh, OT, Syracuse. Pugh did a good job of protecting Ryan Nassib this year, but Syracuse wasn’t even that good. Honestly, I feel let down seeing as the Giants usually draft someone really good, but this year they didn’t. I give this a C.

20. Kyle Long, OT/OG, Oregon. Long is probably the best connected prospect in the draft, seeing as he is the son of Hall of Fame defensive end Howie Long and brother of elite defensive end Chris Long. I give this a B.

This concludes Live Draft Coverage, tune in tomorrow for a recap of picks 21-32.

 

Filed under: Billy Perlmutter, Joe Abitanta, NFL

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