|One of these guys - Joeckel or Fisher - will go No. 1 to Kansas City.|
Ah... the 2013 NFL Draft comes to us tonight with a few huge questions. The biggest questions, in my eyes, are: What happens with the first two picks, and what will Philadelphia do at No. 4 if the Eagles don't find a trading partner. Those moves seemingly will shape how the draft goes.
With the Detroit Lions' pick at No. 5 the draft could get interesting. If the Lions take Dee Millner - what I said Detroit should do without a second of hesitation in my earlier post on Detroit's draft needs - it leaves BYU's Ziggy Ansah in a potential free fall or as a hotly-coveted player resulting in an early trade. If Detroit does indeed take Ansah (or if the below Top 5 makes up the NFL Draft's Top 5 in some order) then it leaves potential Top-5 guys like Millner or Dion Jordan there for the taking.
I've projected trades in the past and projecting a wrong trade just makes a projected mock look ridiculous. Therefore, here is the draft with no projected trades. Last year's Mock Draft didn't have great numbers, but it was pretty much on with all other "experts" in the field. It nailed 22 of 32 eventual first rounders, pegged six picks in the exact spot and seven with the exact team (I had Jacksonville taking Justin Blackmon wherever the Jags picked; Jacksonville moved up to No. 5 from No. 8 to get him). Again, very pedestrian numbers but that's the typical crap shoot of the NFL Draft.
Here's my best take on what 2013 will bring (with a few comments afterward):
*The Patriots will NOT take QB Ryan Nassib at No. 29. That is one spot (or at the very least close to a spot) that some team will trade back into the first round to get "their guy." Maybe the Browns don't take Geno Smith at No. 6 or maybe the Raiders and Cardinals mortgage the future to get a shot at Nassib.
Honestly, once the draft gets past No. 15 everything will get crazy. From 22 on down everything is a guess equivalent to dart throwing. I do believe these should be all the first rounders (though a few WRs (Tennessee's Cordarrelle Patterson and Clemson's DeAndre Hopkins) could slip in. I couldn't find players I would drop, however. What it means is that some teams (are you listening, Detroit?) might have a shot at guys like Matt Elam, Jamar Taylor and Jonathan Cyprien early in Round 2. That is in addition to Desmond Trufant who very easily could be a first rounder.
THE STREAK LIVES: With Eddie Lacy going to Green Bay at No. 26 the streak of a running back being drafted in the first round survives. The last NFL Draft without a first-round RB: 1963. (There were only 14 first round picks in that draft but the point remains clear).
THE STREAK DIES: For the first time since 1953 no Big Ten player will go in the first round. That's a pretty telling statistic. The conference's best chance for that streak to survive: OSU DT Johnathan Hankins (currently ranked the No. 13 defensive lineman by NFL.com's grading) or Purdue DT Kawann Short (16th). I could see a team liking either - they're both 6-3 and 320 and 299 pounds, respectively - more than guys like Bjoern Werner or Cornellius Carradine.