Sunday, April 28, 2013

2013 NFL Draft

I like the draft but definitely am not one of those guys who can watch the entire process.  But it is a great time to get excited about what your teams do and what it may mean for them in the upcoming season.  I'll look at my Bills and Falcons as well as the local boys, the St. Louis Rams.  First if you like this stuff at all you have to be looking at Pro Football reference's website which give you easy links to drafts of the past as well as those for each team.  The best part is with each of those you can easily see how those picks have performed by showing you not only the careers stats for each player but also the number of seasons they were a starter, number of seasons they were named an All-Pro and how many times they went to the Pro Bowl.  Great stuff in an easy format from a great website.  If you aren't using this site then you are missing out.  Here is the link to the drafts - Pro Football Reference Draft Page
My philosophy on the draft is this.  Be excited but don't expect the world.  The draft is a crap shoot.  Just look at any draft (I gave you the link above) and you'll see that is true.  Doesn't mean your team won't score big but you have to take it all in in perspective.  No matter how much tape someone watches you'll never know for sure how good these guys are when they graduate to Sunday football.  But like any fan I'll be excited today for what "might be" this upcoming season. 
I liked the Falcons moving up to pick cornerback Desmond Trufant.  After losing Brent Grimes and Dunta Robinson this was a huge need which they also addressed in the second round by picking Robert Alford.  From there they took a tight end from Stanford and three defensive players (DE, CB, S) before grabbing a QB.  Overall I think they looked at their needs and addressed them.  Tony Gonzalez will probably retire after this season and they haven't made any big moves to help the defense which lost prominent players in the off season.   This team was very close to making it to the Super Bowl.  I think they needed to be aggressive in the draft and had 11 picks so it isn't a surprise they were.
The biggest "wow" moment of the first round was Buffalo picking EJ Manuel (Florida St.) with the 16th pick.  I don't think anyone was surprised that they traded back (with St. Louis) or that they took a quarterback but I don't think anyone saw them taking Manuel.  I'm not an expert on Manuel or any of the other top quarterbacks.  As a fan I heard much more about Geno Smith and thought that is who they were going to pick.  I just hope Buffalo wasn't wrong on this.  They haven't had a steady quarterback situation since Jim Kelly retired forever ago.  For now I'll just be excited about it and try not to have too high of expectations for the youngster.  Receiver Robert Woods (USC) was next.  The Bills need someone opposite Stevie Smith and the hope here is Woods is that guy.  Linebacker Kiki Alonso (Oregon), WR Marquise Goodwin (Tex) and safeties Duke Williams (Nevada) and Jonathan Meeks (Clemson) were next and all fill needs.  The secondary needs all kind of help so I was glad to see them go with safeties with back-to-back picks.  Next was the Florida State kicker.  I'm ok with picking a kicker in the draft but only in the later rounds.  These guys are too interchangeable.  The last pick was a tight end/h-back from Arkansas.  Manuel needs as much help as possible so hopefully this will be just that.  Good draft.  Hindsight will tell us if Manuel was the right pick so I'll go with it for now and I'm happy they drafted for needs and picked up some quality players throughout who can hopefully help Buffalo rebuild. 
Great job trading up and picking receiver Tavon Austin out of West Virgina.  QB Sam Bradford lost Danny Amindola to New England this off season and what was left of the receiving corps isn't much to speak of.  They then took linebacker Alec Ogletree (Georgia) with their second pick of the first round.  Another great pick.  He will probably move to the outside backer spot but could be a very good player for years to come.  They went with needs for their last five picks (S, WR, G, CB, RB).  Fans have to be happy.  They've been irritated over the lack of a decent receiving corps for years.  It has probably stunted Bradford's development and clouded the debate on how good a quarterback he really is.  My only question would be why they didn't go offensive line earlier.  They went big with the free agent pick up of tackle Jake Long but that line was horrible.  Still the team had many holes so it is hard to get to picky. 
Extra Points:
I agree with many that New England shot themselves in the foot.  With Brady aging it would seem that at some point they would trade up instead of back and try to get impact players who can help get them get over the top.  Hard to argue against a team who is right there every year but the fans must be frustrated...  The Vikes did a great job getting thee picks in the first round which should make an immediate difference in the new season...  No clue why Eddie Lacy fell as far as he did but Green Bay has to be one of the happiest teams out there.  They were able to address the defense in round one and still get a guy many thought as the best running back available...  Jets also benefited from a player falling as they grabbed quarterback Geno Smith on the second day of the draft.  Now they must trim the fat as they have five quarterbacks on the roster. 

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