1st Round Approaching: Five Draft Thoughts

D.J. Fluker won’t make it out of the first twenty or twenty-one picks. (Photo: US Presswire)

NEPD Editor: Matthew Jones

With the 2013 NFL Draft just days away, here are a few thoughts regarding some of the draft’s more intriguing storylines on the offensive side of the ball, as well as an overview of some potential first-day trade scenarios.

1. Many teams appear interested in trading up, especially because a number of teams in the same draft range are considering similar prospects. In order to draft one of the top three offensive tackle prospects, teams such as San Diego or Miami will be required to trade up. Wide receiver could be targeted by a number of teams in the mid-to-late first round, so it’s easy to imagine teams moving up to secure a particular prospect there as well. Some teams in the early second round may be looking to move back into the first for quarterbacks prospects, or teams could trade up for a prospect such as Florida State defensive end Cornellius Carradine or Florida International safety Johnathan Cyprien. With cornerback prospects such as Houston’s D.J. Hayden, Boise State’s Jamar Taylor, and Washington’s Desmond Trufant rising up draft boards in recent days, don’t be surprised to see clubs such as Minnesota, Denver, New England, Atlanta, and San Francisco jockeying for position on the first-round draft board.

2. It would come as no surprise if West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith slid out of the first round. Although he’s being projected as a likely first-round pick, most analysts have been forcing him into draft slots; at this point, most of the teams investigating quarterback prospects have been linked to other prospects. It’s possible that, for example, Buffalo prefers Southern California’s Matt Barkley or Syracuse prospect Ryan Nassib. Philadelphia could opt for Florida State passer E.J. Manuel, while North Carolina State quarterback Mike Glennon is a good fit in Arizona’s offense, now under incoming head coach Bruce Arians’ direction. Jacksonville could very well go with a pass rusher such as Oregon’s Dion Jordan in the first-round; they have also looked into prospects such as Manuel and Nassib. The New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings haven’t brought in Smith for private workouts.

3. Cordarrelle Patterson has received a handful of negative reports from anonymous insiders, but he should still be selected within the top twenty picks. It’s unlikely that a team such as Minnesota or St. Louis will be able to land him outside of that range; St. Louis would likely have to draft him with the sixteenth pick to secure his services. Pittsburgh could be interested, and another possibility is that Cleveland trades down from the sixth overall pick and drafts Patterson with the eleventh or twelfth overall pick in order to supply incoming offensive coordinator Norv Turner with the type of downfield threat his offenses are predicated upon. Other wide receivers with a shot at the first round include Tavon Austin (West Virginia), DeAndre Hopkins (Clemson), Robert Woods (Southern California), and Justin Hunter (Tennessee), loosely ranked. Keenan Allen (California), Quinton Patton (Louisiana Tech), and Markus Wheaton (Oregon State) appear destined for the second round.

4. How high could Tyler Eifert go? As high as eighth to the Bills. He is arguably the draft’s safest bet as far as offensive weapons are concerned; his combination of size and athleticism should earn him a spot in the draft’s first round. He represents a safer investment than Patterson or Tavon Austin, a receiving threat too big for defensive backs to cover and too athletic for linebackers to cover. As the league moves towards more tight end-oriented passing attacks, a prospect of Eifert’s caliber will be in high demand. It would come as a big surprise if he made it out of the first round; pre-draft speculation that Stanford’s Zach Ertz or San Diego State’s Gavin Escobar were superior prospects was baseless, although the latter two tight ends are likely to be selected in the second or third rounds of the draft. Vance McDonald (Rice), Travis Kelce (Cincinnati), and Jordan Reed (Florida) should go on the second day as well.

5. Alabama right tackle D.J. Fluker appears destined to become the most overdrafted prospect in the class; he does not successfully execute his blocking assignments with the consistency expected of a first-round pick, but will nonetheless be among the top twenty to twenty-five selections because of his combination of size and length. Cincinnati at twenty-one seems like the floor for Fluker at this point, as he would offer them a younger, cheaper alternative to Andre Smith. However, it would not be surprising if Fluker were selected before then, potentially as high as Arizona (seven.) Other possible destinations include San Diego (eleven), Miami (twelve), St. Louis (sixteen), the New York Giants (nineteen), and Chicago (twenty.)

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26 Responses to “1st Round Approaching: Five Draft Thoughts”

  1. PatsDJ says:

    1. There will be more trades this year than in last years draft. The Pats will trade pick #29.
    2. Ryan Nassib will be the 1st QB taken and Geno Smith will go after pick # 20.
    3. Only WR I like in round one is Tavon Austin. Everyone else is a round 2 talent to me.
    4. Tyler Eifert gets drafted somewhere between #11 – # 20 only TE to go round one.
    5. DJ Fluker goes top 15 maybe at 10 to Tenn.

    • Russell Easterbrooks says:

      I agree the Patriots trade, but I think #59 and QB Mallett to Tampa for, #43, #112.
      DJ Fluker is a 2nd rounder.
      Tavon Austin to the Jets

      • PatsDJ says:

        I think BB already has a couple draft trades for Mallet. Watch for Cleveland, Arizona, and Tampa Bay. If the Pats can make a deal they will draft a QB probally in the 3rd round. This is a poor QB class but, I like Tyler Bray of Tenn. Pats can develop him just as they did with Mallet.
        DJ Fluker will go higher then he should because this is a bad draft for skill players.
        Tavon goes top 10 maybe #9 to Jets.

      • MaineMan says:

        Not a bad idea, BB trading with his buddy Schiano when Schiano needs a QB. But I think Mallet plus a 2nd for merely a higher 2nd and a 4th might be too rich for BB. Maybe the #91 instead of the #59.

        Seems to me that there could also be similar deal available with Jacksonville. That maybe could be worth Mallett and the #59 for the #33 and the #98.

  2. Nuf Ced says:

    They resigned Orlovsky… It was a contract squeeze.

  3. J H TARBORO says:

    Some teams don’t have the money to sign all their potential picks and i can’t wait to see where players fall in draft, lots and lots of smokescreens!

  4. Nick says:

    With everybody talking about trading mallet, I was curious about Kafka. Is he any good? I really don’t know much about him other than he played for the eagles.

  5. Russell Easterbrooks says:

    Other opition is QB Mallett to Tampa for #73

    • Nuf Ced says:

      That will NOT happen. You keep commenting Mallet for a third but it makes no sense given the 3rd investment, CBA rule preventing Mallet signing an extension before 2014 and the fact Kafka is not an option. He couldn’t stick w/ the eagles by beating out Trent Edwards to hold a clipboard nor did ANY team pick him up during the 2012 season.

      I don’t understand why you are so assured of this

      • MaineMan says:

        It’s kinda tough to expect a guy to beat out even the likes of Edwards – or to expect him to be hired immediately by another team – when the guy has a broken wrist. Non-throwing side, BTW.

        The Pats had pre-draft scouted Kafka pretty well before Philly took him a couple rounds earlier than he was projected, and he did pretty well for Philly for the couple seasons before his injury (after Foles arrived). The Pats had him in for a workout last year almost immediately after Philly let him go and then signed him as the 2012 season was winding down, so it’s not as if he’s merely some random Camp arm pickup.

        The Pats apparently see something there that they still like, so I wouldn’t be so casual in ruling him out as a viable backup option in place of Mallett.

    • cc says:

      Can you say beaten drum Russ? OMG ALREADY

  6. Russell Easterbrooks says:

    Alot of teams are after QB’s in the early second, so Bill will be trading #29 back for an early second, my projection is Tampa. Patriots would get #43 #112, and #126

    • jim r says:

      That would work

    • Nuf Ced says:

      What QB will be available @29 that TB will be after?

      Everything out of Tampa papers and blogs indicates everyone at One Buc Place (except Schiano) is fine with Freeman.They will be spending a mid round pick on a developmental QB at best. Mark Dominik drafted Freeman and his big QB move was to resign Orlovsky. Why would he pull the trigger on this deal?

      • Russell Easterbrooks says:

        Tampa released Orlovsky, so they are looking for a solid guy if Freeman goes down.

        • Bill says:

          I think they just released him to redo his contract. He is still with bucs

        • Nuf Ced says:

          Nuf Ced says:
          April 22, 2013 at 10:38 pm
          They resigned Orlovsky… It was a contract squeeze

          —- I hate commenting on a mobile device!!! Sorry this appeared above

        • cc says:

          Mallet- Tampa- Mallet-Tampa-Mallet-Tampa-Mallet–Tampa-Mallet-TampaWTFRUSS?

          **Have you been licking sheets of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide & watching reruns of Crossing Over with John Edwards on a constant loop or something? GIVE IT A REST BRO.

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