The 2013 NFL draft was the most boring draft in the history of the league. The biggest name in the draft was Manti Te’o, who is mostly famous because of his fake girlfriend. It wasn’t as exciting as past years, but this draft was still just as important. What it lacked in flashiness, it possessed in depth. Which is why it is so pathetic that teams could still manage terrible picks.

5 Best Drafts

Baltimore Ravens: With Ed Reed and Ray Lewis gone from the Ravens, safety and linebacker were Baltimore’s most pressing needs, and that’s what they got. Matt Elam, the Florida safety, was a steal at the end of Round 1. He’s tough and finds the ball, and is a much better pick than Manti T’eo would have been. In Round 2, Ozzie Newsome took Kansas State linebacker Arthur Brown. Brown, again, is a very instinctive player who finds the ball. It will be hard for anybody to replace Ray Lewis, but there are many similarities between Brown and Lewis. Brown went to the University of Miami (FL), Lewis’ alma-matter, before transferring to Kansas State, and both linebackers are considered undersized, at 6 feet, 240 pounds. The Ravens spent the rest of the draft gaining depth that could lead them to the playoffs in the years to come.

St. Louis Rams: You can teach receivers to run routes and catch passes, but Tavon Austin has gifts that cannot be taught. His 40-yard-dash time was 4.34 seconds, and he had a 4.01 second 20-yard shuttle. Austin will be a deep threat as well as one of the most explosive special team players in recent history. Alec Ogletree was an incredible steal at the end of Round 1. The former Georgia Bulldog, along with Jarvis Jones, led UGA to the SEC Championship this season and would have been a top-10 pick if not for off-field issues. Jeff Fisher is not known to be the best coach for troubled players (see Vince Young), but at the 30th pick, Jones is one helluva steal. Third round pick, T.J. McDonald will instantly start at safety, and the Rams picked up another receiver, Austin’s WVU teammate Stedman Bailey, for more receiver depth. Lots of value and talent could make the Rams’ draft one to remember.

Eifert's specialty: the jump ball.
Eifert’s specialty: the jump ball.

Cincinnati Bengals: The Falcons showed us all just how important two elite receivers can be. The Bengals already have AJ Green, one of the most talented, up and comers in the NFL, and the selection of Tyler Eifert gives the Bengals another elite target. Eifert can line up at tight end, out wide, or at slot, and when it comes to snagging jump balls, nobody is better. In the second round, the Bengals took UNC running back Giovani Bernard, another incredibly versatile athlete. The Bengals turned to defense in round 3 by taking Margus Hunt, the 6’8 athletic freak from SMU. This is another very talented draft class for the Bengals, and all the athleticism should come through for them this year.

Pittsburgh Steelers: When I watched the SEC Championship, I thought to myself, “Jarvis Jones is going to dominate the NFL.” I would have expected a team to take him in the top-5. So at pick 17, this is more than a bargain, and the pick alone is enough to give them one of the five best drafts. Then they followed the Jarvis pick by getting Le’veon Bell out of Michigan State. Ever since Jerome Bettis retired, the Steelers have desperately needed a running back. Le’veon Bell is the typical Steelers running back: power, smarts, and toughness. I didn’t love the Landry Jones pick in the fourth round. First off, Jones is a Sooner, and secondly, he couldn’t dominate the Big 12, a conference that doesn’t play defense. Still, the Jarvis Jones pick still had enough value to give the Steelers one of the best drafts.

Lacy (left) and Franklin (right) will give the Packers a formidable ground attack.
Lacy (left) and Franklin (right) will give the Packers a formidable ground attack.

Green Bay Packers: The Packers, like the Steelers, desperately needed a running back. So, they got Eddie Lacy in round two. Then, they took Jonathan Franklin two rounds later. Eddie Lacy will be a dominate, power back, and Franklin will be the Packers’ speed back, creating a better version of the Panthers’ DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart combo.

5 Worst Drafts

New York Jets: I get the Dee Milner pick, but after that…WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? The Jets only strength is their defensive line. So, naturally they take a d-lineman with their second first-round pick. If it was not clear last year, Mark Sanchez does not play well when there is a QB controversy. So, what do the Jets do? Draft a polarizing QB to create controversy. Then, they decide to strengthen their o-line. Makes sense, the o-line was pathetic last year. So, they take a tackle from Kent State. I’m pretty sure my middle school football team played teams better than Kent State. The Jets are pathetic. They deserve to stink at this point.

Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins care so much about creating buzz around their team that they’ll never be competitive with the current management. Dion Jordan, the linebacker whom they traded up to get at pick three, never played a full game at Oregon. He’s very small, The Dolphins desperately needed some o-line help, but tackles aren’t the big names that ESPN likes to talk about, so that wasn’t an option for Miami. When the Dolphins start worrying about winning games, not press conferences, they’ll be competitive.

Jerry, Watching you routinely have a pathetic draft is one of my favorite traditions.
Jerry, Watching you routinely fail at drafting is one of my favorite traditions.

Dallas Cowboys: Isn’t it funny how the same teams routinely screw up year after year? The Cowboys wisely traded down to pick 31, but instead taking a safety (a major need), they took a center who wasn’t even the best lineman available. Next, Jerry Jones took tight end Gavin Escobar. Why would they choose a tight end in round two when they already have Jason Witten? In the fourth round, the Cowboys finally took a safety. But that safety, it turned out, went to…wait for it…wait for it…GEORGIA SOUTHERN! Do they even have a football team?

Philadelphia Eagles: I’m only going to focus on the Matt Barkley fourth-round pick. The only USC QB to ever be successful in the pros was Carson Palmer. Pretty much all Trojan QBs fail in the pros, and Barkley isn’t going to be any different.

First let’s look at that he went to: Philly is not a nice sports town. If Barkley is bad, fans will let him know. Barkley’s been beloved his whole life, so when boos start raining down on him, he’s going to crack under the pressure.

Now, let’s look at the team he went to: Mike Vick is the QB in Philly. Nick Foles is probably the backup. Barkley is not going to like being a third string—he’s started every football game he’s played in since he was 15. Barkley also isn’t going to know how to win a starting job. Everything has been handed to him his whole life.

Finally, let’s look at Barkley himself: Barkley has average arm strength, size, and football IQ, and his top speed is about the same as BJ Raji’s. Barkley, quite frankly, is a pathetic fit for Chip Kelly’s offense.

Kansas City Chiefs: It is absolutely unacceptable to mess up the first pick in the draft. Most agreed that Luke Joeckel was the best offensive tackle in the draft, but instead, KC took Eric Fisher, the tackle from Central Michigan. I understand, Fisher dominated the Senior Bowl, but who cares? The Senior Bowl matters less than a local pie eating contest. Here are some of the teams that Joeckel’s Texas A&M squad played last year: Florida, Alabama, LSU, Mississippi State, and OU. Here are some of the teams that Eric Fisher faced: Michigan State, Iowa, Toledo, Western Michigan, and Northern Illinois. At the number one pick, the name of the game is safety, and Fisher is anything but.

If this year’s draft was the hum-drum potatoes, then next year’s is the sizzilin’ steak. This year’s draft lacked QB’s. Next year’s features Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel, and Tajh Boyd. This year’s draft lacked star power. Next year’s features Jadeveon Clowney whose hit in the Outback Bowl was the biggest hit I’ve ever seen in a football game. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The Bears still have a Super Bowl to win.

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