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e draft. “I don’t want to sound like I’m saying this in hindsight [url=http://www.authenticsbaltimoreravens.com/cheap-robert-griffin-iii-jersey]Cheap Robert Griffin III Jersey[/url] , because you can debate whether the trade for Darrelle Revis was a good trade or not,” Dominik says. “But a big part of the reason why I felt like a first-round pick was worthy of Darrelle Revis was that I didn’t like the way the class looked that year, especially at the top of the draft.” He liked both tight end Tyler Eifert and cornerback Xavier Rhodes, but felt both were reaches at No. 13. The fact that the Bucs had finished dead last in the league in pass defense the season before fueled the push for Revis. “But then I was happy to get [quarterback] Mike Glennon [in the third round],” Dominik adds, “so it was kind of a weird class that way.” Glennon started 13 games as a rookie, and was an oft-rumored trade target after being supplanted by Josh McCown and then Jameis Winston. The Bucs wanted to keep him as a backup to Winston, but Glennon cashed in as a free agent this spring, signing a three-year, $45 million contract with the Bears.
The Jets turned the Buccaneers’ pick into one of the best selections of the first round. Defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson was the NFL’s defensive rookie of the year, and a Pro Bowler in his second season. His college film had some grading him as the top player in the Midwest—ahead of the No. 1 overall pick, Eric Fisher. The regime that drafted him [url=http://www.authenticsbaltimoreravens.com/cheap-mark-andrews-jersey]Cheap Mark Andrews Jersey[/url] , including former coach Rex Ryan and defensive line coach Karl Dunbar, saw a three-down player who was dominant in the best conference in college football (SEC), and the Jets had a plan for using him up and down their defensive line. There were some questions about his maturity coming out of Missouri, which have also surfaced in the pros (he’s been suspended by the NFL twice under its substance-abuse and personal conduct policies, and been benched by the team for tardiness)—and they may be his ticket out of town under new coach Todd Bowles and new GM Mike Maccagnan. But there was legitimate cheering in the Jets’ draft room that night in 2013. In a re-draft, Richardson would likely go in the top five.
There are 32 picks in the first round—in years without a Spygate or a Delfategate—but there are never 32 first-round talents. Evaluators grade players on both an absolute and relative scale, so they know when a class is down on talent. Mark Dominik, the former Bucs GM, recalls there being maybe 14 true first-round talents in 2013. In an average year, he says, there are about 18. The good news for next week’s draft? “In a year like this, there are maybe 23 [url=http://www.authenticsbaltimoreravens.com/cheap-jaleel-scott-jersey]Cheap Jaleel Scott Jersey[/url] ,” says Dominik, now an analyst for ESPN. “If this ’17 class had a top-tier quarterback, it would be going down as one of the best classes in a long time.”
Cautionary tale No. 1,345 about reaching for a quarterback: With the No. 16 pick the Bills drafted E.J. Manuel, who some teams had rated as a third- or fourth-round talent. He’s started a total of 17 games for Buffalo, winning six. There’s been a lot of attention on the 2017 draft class lacking a quarterback who is ready to step in as a Day 1 starter—and only time will tell. The 2013 class was flagrantly dry in the most important position on the field. Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III had declared early for the NFL the year before. Matt Barkley returned to USC for the 2012 season as a favorite for the Heisman Trophy and to be the No. 1 pick in 2013, but his stock tumbled after a mediocre senior year (he was drafted in the fourth round). West Virginia’s Geno Smith was the last man standing in the Radio City Music Hall greenroom, until the Jets selected him in the second round (he’s now a back-up with the Giants). At pick No. 73, N.C. State’s Mike Glennon was just the third quarterback taken, so most teams recognized the dearth of talent that year. Except for the Bills, who, as another team executive put it [url=http://www.authenticsbaltimoreravens.com/cheap-kenny-young-jersey]Cheap Kenny Young Jersey[/url] , exercised “wishful thinking—you can’t draft a quarterback because you need a quarterback.”
In this spot, the Steelers selected Jarvis Jones, an outside linebacker from Georgia. He recorded just six sacks in four seasons and is no longer in Pittsburgh. In the second round, the Steelers chose Le’Veon Bell, who became an All-Pro and is one of the top running backs in the NFL. They weren’t the only team that had more success later in the draft. Green Bay got more out of the second round (running back Eddie Lacy) and fourth round (left tackle David Bakhtiari) than the first round (Datone Jones). The Chargers and the Ravens’ first and second-round picks are no longer with them, but both organizations made their best pick of the draft in the third round—respectively, receiver Keenan Allen and defensive tackle Brandon Williams, core starters who have signed multi-year extensions. A confounding year, indeed.
Let’s put those two Pro Bowl nods for the top half of the first round in some context: In their first four years in the league, the top 16 picks in the 2012 draft had been to 11 Pro Bowls; the top half of the 2011 class had been to 28; even the top half of the 2009 class, also marked as a down year, had been to four Pro Bowls. The top half of the 2014 class [img]http://www.sndpic.com//nike_nfl_jerseys/nike_cincinnati_bengals/nike_bengals_365.jpg[/img][url=http://www.authenticsbaltimoreravens.com/cheap-orlando-brown-jr.-jersey]Cheap Orlando Brown Jr. Jersey[/url] , which has only been in the league for three years, has already received 17 Pro Bowl bids.
The 2013 talent lull had a lot to do with the previous draft. Eleven of the top 16 picks in 2012 were underclassmen—and they included franchise cornerstones such as Andrew Luck (Colts), Luke Kuechly (Panthers) and Fletcher Cox (Eagles). Only four of the top 16 picks in 2013 were underclassmen: Luke Joeckel, Barkevious Mingo, Dee Milliner and Sheldon Richardson. Only one, Richardson, is still with the team that drafted him.
Said Mike Mayock before the 2013 draft, “If you’re drafting 20 to 30, i.
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