At the conclusion of the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft, the Daily Guide delved into each pick with a brief analysis for each player chosen.
No. 1, Kansas City Chiefs – Eric Fisher (OT, Central Michigan); A fluid situation with current Chiefs left tackle Brandon Albert solidified Fisher at No. 1. His versatility will allow him to play either tackle position on offense, plus he has a higher ceiling than other tackles in the draft.
No. 2, Jacksonville Jaguars – Luke Joeckel (OT, Texas A&M); The Jaguars haven't had a quality left tackle since Tony Boselli in the late 90s. Count on Joeckel to protect Blaine Gabbert this season, and to protect him well.
No. 3, Miami Dolphins, from Oakland Raiders – Dion Jordon (DE, Oregon); Jordon offers the potential to cover receivers, stuff runs, and especially rush the passer. He is a freakish athlete, but nowhere near NFL-ready, however. Look out for his shoulder injury, too.
No. 4, Philadelphia Eagles – Lane Johnson (OT, Oklahoma); A solid pick to sure up an offensive line that allowed 48 sacks in 2013. With a year left on his contract, quarterback Michael Vick will benefit from Johnson so both can show his true potential. It helps that Johnson ran a no-huddle in college, similar to new coach Chip Kelly's offense.
No. 5, Detroit Lions – Ezekiel Ansah (DE, Brigham-Young); After ridding themselves of star pass-rushers Cliff Avril and Kyle Vanden Bosch, the Lions were in desperate need of a pass rusher to get after opposing quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler and Christian Ponder. It helped Ansah's cause that Detroit's defense was 20th overall in 2013.
No. 6, Cleveland Browns –Barkevious Mingo (DE, LSU); An athlete similar to Jordan, Mingo brings a certain pass-rushing swagger and can certainly get to the quarterback. With new defensive coordinator Ray Horton, by adding Mingo to recently signed Paul Kruger, Cleveland just got better on defense.
No. 7, Arizona Cardinals – Jonathon Cooper (OG, North Carolina); To protect quick-snapping quarterback Cam Newton, this pick is solid. As far as athletic guards go, Cooper is the most talented in any draft since 1997. He can pull, block in space, and can overpower defensive tackles.
No. 8, St. Louis Rams, from Buffalo Bills – Tavon Austin (WR, West Virinia); When Danny Amendola left, the Rams lost some offensive firepower. Austin is a Percy Harvin-type playmaker and will be a solid asset to budding quarterback Sam Bradford. Remember, it takes some time to develop receivers in the NFL.
No. 9, New York Jets – Dee Milliner (CB, Alabama); The absence of Darrelle Revis made this pick a must. Noted by many experts as the best defensive talent in the draft, Milliner played in an NFL-style defense and has all the tools necessary to succeed, including superb tackling.
No. 10, Tennessee Titans – Chance Warmack (OG, Alabama); The Titans started 11 different players on the offensive line and had the fewest rushing yards per carry average in the NFL in 2012. With Warmack, the Titans are counting on quarterback Jake Locker to become the star they thought he could be. Expect minor improvements to the running game.
No. 11, San Diego Chargers – D.J. Fluker (OT, Alabama); Roll tide. The Chargers were hoping to land Lane Johnson, but Fluker was the best tackle available at 11. More of a run-style tackle, Fluker can open holes for whichever running back can stay healthy and can help protect quarterback Philip Rivers.
No. 12, Oakland Raiders from Miami Dolphins – D.J. Hayden (CB, Houston); Perhaps a reach, Hayden was the best cornerback available and matches the Raiders biggest need, especially against Alex Smith, Philip Rivers, and Peyton Manning in the AFC West. Expect him to be a day one starter, but to take time to develop.
No. 13, New York Jets – Sheldon Richardson (DT, Missouri); After losing … to the Chiefs, the need for an explosive defensive tackle was present. An impressive combine elevated Richardson's status to a potential top-10 pick. Milliner and Richardson will be needed to help stop opposing quarterback Tom Brady.
No. 14, Carolina Panthers – Star Lotulelei (DT, Utah); A heart-warming story, this defensive tackle overcame heart issues to become a first-round pick. Essentially a non-existent pass rusher, Star offers more of an interior double-team-drawing presence. He should free up some space for surrounding pass rushers, including linebacker Luke Kuechly on early downs.
No. 15, New Orleans Saints – Kenny Vaccaro (S, Texas); Allowing more than 7,000 yards nets a sure-fire defensive pick, and the Saints pulled the trigger. The highest rated safety in the draft is a ball-hawking centerfielder who can create turnovers and cover slot receivers. Vaccaro needs to improve awareness and tackling in the NFL.
No. 16, Buffalo Bills, from St. Louis Rams – E.J. Manuel (QB, Florida State); This one is simple. New coach Doug Marrone needs a quarterback to compete with Kevin Kolb and Manuel is that guy. His dynamic ability makes him similar to a Kaepernick (with less arm strength) or Robert Griffin III (weaker running ability). He can make plays, but will begin as a turnover machine.
No. 17, Pittsburgh Steelers – Jarvis Jones (OLB, Georgia); Another SEC guy, Jones made a name for himself as a solid pass rusher. With the absence of veteran James Harrison (trade), Pittsburgh hopes Jones can fill that role down the road.
No. 18, San Francisco, from Dallas Cowboys – Eric Reed (S, LSU); Perhaps the most potential of any safety in the draft, Reed is a dynamic combination of size, speed, and athleticism. The signal-caller in LSU's defense, Reed is a leader who the 49ers will expect to start from day one.
No. 19, New York Giants – Justin Pugh (OT, Syracuse); Not sure about this pick. The Giants run an up-tempo offense often, but also operate in a traditional offense. Pugh also has short arms and in a league where long arms win leverage, Pugh might be a reach.
No. 20, Chicago Bears – Kyle Long (OG, Oregon); The Bears could have went multiple ways with this pick, but adding competition along the offensive line's interior seems logical. Gabe Carimi, Matt Slauson and Long will compete for a starting spot in 2013.
No. 21, Cincinnati Bengals – Tyler Eifert (TE, Notre Dame); Adding Eifert to Jermaine Gresham seems a little Belichick-esque. Having two athletic tight ends, receivers A.J. Green and Brandon Tate and a power running back in BenJarvus Green-Ellis will make Cincinnati the preseason favorite to challenge Baltimore for the AFC North.
No. 22, Atlanta Falcons, from St. Louis Rams – Desmond Trufant (CB, Washington); The most athletic cover guy in the draft can cover receivers in the slot, or out wide. Trufant can press with the best of them, too. Keep an eye out for his tackling, however.
No. 23, Minnesota Vikings – Sharrif Floyd (DT, Florida); Wow! Floyd fell to the latter part of the first round, but he'll prove doubters wrong. His tape shows he is a true defensive tackle who can draw the double team, penetrate in the run game, and get after opposing passers. Floyd is not an every down player right now.
No. 24, Indianapolis Colts – Bjoern Werner (DE, Florida State); A deep pass rusher draft offered the Colts a late chance to replace the great Dwight Freeney. He's not the strongest guy, but neither are the game's greats like Clay Matthews or Tamba Hali. Werner can bend around the edge and wreak havoc in opposing backfields. On running downs? Not so much.
No. 25, Minnesota Vikings, from Seattle Seahawks – Xavier Jones (CB, Florida State); Rhodes is the largest corner in the draft, or at least he plays like it. His physicality will match him with larger receiver liks Calvin Johnson and Brandon Marshall. Jones is better in man coverage.
No. 26, Green Bay Packers – Datone Jones (DE, UCLA); I thought Jones was a second round guy, but after watching film, I can see why Green Bay likes him. He isn't great at any one thing, but very efficient in both the run and pass – a true every down player.
No. 27, Houston Texans – DeAndre Hopkins (WR, Clemson); Hopkins is a head-scratcher. Tennessee's Cordarrelle Patterson was the highest rated receiver, but Houston already has that explosive playmaker in Andre Johnson. The Texans needed a burner opposite of Johnson and, with development, Hopkins has the potential to be that guy,
No. 28, Denver Broncos – Sylvester Williams (DT, North Carolina); He's no Vince Wilfork, but he could be. Denver took a quality interior lineman to offer depth at an already quality position. Williams can maintain the line of scrimmage and has the vision to see into the backfield. He does get stuck on blocks and will have to develop the strength and technique to shove opponents backward.
No. 29, Minnesota Vikings, from New England Patriots – Cordarrelle Patterson (WR, Tennessee); I'm in love with this pick. The Vikings need a guy who can step right in and compliment a quality running game with his receiving skills. Patterson is a big, physical receiver with huge hands and great leaping ability. His route running must improve before he can be an elite player.
No. 30, St. Louis Rams, from Atlanta Falcons – Alec Ogletree (ILB, Georgia); His off-the-field shenanigans are a problem, but when Ogletree is playing, he can do it all. His sideline-to-sideline speed is tremendous and he can stuff the run. Sub-par cover man with the need to improve play recognition. He seems scared of offensive lineman.
No. 31, Dallas Cowboys, from San Francisco 49ers – Travis Frederick (C, Wisconsin); These Wisconsin boys are big, burly, and powerful, and Frederick is no exception. He's not quick and not great in pass protection, but he can hold his own. Not sure about this pick, but owner Cowboys' Jerry Jones is always right.
No. 32, Baltimore Ravens – Matt Elam (S, Florida); The absence of Ed Reed made this pick possible. Elam is a heavy-hitting, run-stuffing highlight reel. His film speaks volumes of his ability. However, Elam gets caught guessing and can get out of position often. He sometimes would rather make a huge hit, rather than make a sure tackle.