The first round of the 2013 NFL draft occurred on April 25 at Radio City Music Hall in New York.
Thirty-two former college football players saw their dreams of entering the NFL come true; but with many draft experts considering this the most unpredictable draft in recent history, the question remains on just how productive will the young prospects turn out for the teams that selected them?
It’ll be years before that question can be answered; but for now, the AFRO Sports Desk will tell you which teams made the best and worst selections in the first round based on the needs they had heading into the April 25 draft night.
Winners of the First Round –
Perry Green: The winner of the first round easily was the Minnesota Vikings. Minnesota had three picks in the first round, all of which were in the tail end of the round and they made the best of each pick. They took Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd with the 23rd overall pick, Florida State cornerback Xavier Rhodes with the 25th overall pick and Tennessee receiver Cordarrell Patterson with the 29th overall pick. Each of these three players were ranked by draft experts as top 15 players, yet they all fell to the Vikings in the 20s. It was like Christmas in April. Floyd will instantly beef up the Vikings’ defensive front, while Rhodes will improve their secondary, which was one of the worst in the league last season. Patterson is considered the second best receiver in the draft and will help replace former Vikings explosive receiver Percy Harvin, who signed with the Seattle Seahawks this offseason.
Stephen D. Riley: The Kansas City Chiefs made the best pick of the first round, in my opinion. With the first overall pick in the draft, they took Central Michigan offensive tackle Eric Fisher, an outstanding lineman who has blocked for both pocket style quarterbacks and mobile quarterbacks. The Chiefs just hired former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid to take over the team and Reid has always been known as a coach who loves to get the passing game going. When he was in Philly, his offense would pass the ball 70 percent of the time, and to pass that much you’ve got to have a strong offensive line to keep the quarterback safe. With Fisher holding down the blind side of the offensive line, the Chiefs will be able to pass the ball as much as they want.
Losers of the First Round –
Green: The honor of the worst pick in the first round has to go to the Buffalo Bills. They took Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel with the 15th overall pick, a selection that still has NFL and college football analysts scratching their heads. Manuel was the only quarterback taken in the first round, which wasn’t too surprising because Buffalo was the only team that desperately needed a quarterback. The surprise, however, was that Manuel was the first quarterback taken. None of the top draft experts had Manuel ranked in their top five quarterbacks of the draft; he was widely considered a prospect that would fall into the later rounds of the draft, meaning Buffalo could have used their first round pick on a higher rated prospect and still could have taken Manuel later in the draft. Buffalo wasted their first pick on a guy that would have still been there for them to take in the second round, third round, or maybe even in the fourth round. It just doesn’t make any sense.
Riley: The New York Jets had the worst pick at ninth overall when they drafted Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner. You’re supposed to draft guys who can become the best at their position. They already had the best cornerback in the league in Darrelle Revis and they traded him to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers because they didn’t want to spend money to keep him. So what does that say to Milliner? "Hey, we don't want you to be great, just good enough not to demand too much money, because if you turn out to be great we won't pay you."
It’s just stupid to trade away your top corner, and then replace him with a cornerback with no ball skills. Besides, the Jets have serious problems on the offensive side of the ball that needed to be addressed. And unless Milliner can play receiver too, New York will still have one of the worst offensive units in the NFL.
Here’s the full order of the first round:
1. Kansas City - Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
2. Jacksonville - Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
3. Miami (from Oakland) - Dion Jordan, LB, Oregon
4. Philadelphia - Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
5. Detroit - Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
6. Cleveland - Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU
7. Arizona - Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina
8. St. Louis (from Buffalo) - Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
9. N.Y. Jets - Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
10. Tennessee - Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
11. San Diego - D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
12. Oakland - D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston
13. N.Y. Jets (from Tampa Bay) - Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
14. Carolina - Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
15. New Orleans - Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
16. Buffalo (from St. Louis) - E.J. Manuel, QB, Florida State
17. Pittsburgh - Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia
18. San Francisco (from Dallas) - Eric Reid, DB, LSU
19. N.Y. Giants - Justin Pugh, T, Syracuse
20. Chicago - Kyle Long, G, Oregon
21. Cincinnati - Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
22. Atlanta (from St. Louis, originally Washington's) - Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
23. Minnesota - Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
24. Indianapolis - Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
25. Minnesota (from Seattle) - Xavier Rhodes, DB, Florida State
26. Green Bay - Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
27. Houston - DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
28. Denver - Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
29. Minnesota (from New England) - Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
30. St. Louis (from Atlanta) - Alec Ogeltree, LB, Georgia
31. Dallas (from San Francisco) - Travis Frederick, C, Wisconsin
32. Baltimore - Matt Elam, S, Florida