MMQB - The 2013 NFL Draft: Weird, Strange and Confounding

Discussion in 'Draft Zone' started by Plankton, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. Plankton

    Plankton Well-Known Member

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    http://mmqb.si.com/mmqb/2017/04/20/2013-nfl-draft-weird-strange-confounding

    The NFL draft is an annual exercise in optimism, but hindsight is always part of the equation—it usually takes a few years to see how much of it was warranted. But going into the 2013 draft, the talent pool seemed to be half-empty rather than half-full. Comparing it to other years, Broncos GM John Elway presciently said, “Not nearly as many impact guys.” Another GM thought to himself, This board is probably a mess for everybody. It was the year between Andrew Luck and Jadeveon Clowney, when linemen were among the best and worst picks; when the bottom half of the first round would yield more Pro Bowlers than the top half; when a top pick who simply became a regular starter would be viewed as a “great” success. Six of the first 10 picks from the 2013 draft have already moved on to other teams—a stunning number. “I look back at that draft,” says one veteran talent evaluator, “as one of the most confounding drafts for us.” In the spirit of 32 picks, here are 32 takeaways from one of the strangest drafts in NFL history

    31
    The immediate reaction to the Cowboys’ selecting Travis Frederick at No. 31 was, at best, underwhelming. A Dallas Morning News headline the night of the first round read, “Cowboys’ execs appear glum after trade down in first round.” The collective reaction on the team’s live feed of the draft room was compared to the year prior, when there was clear jubilation over cornerback Morris Claiborne, who is no longer in Dallas. Our Albert Breer, then with NFL Network, quoted an AFC personnel man about the Frederick pick as saying, “Yuck.” Most teams had graded him as a second- or third-rounder. He didn’t overwhelm athletically, but not enough credit was given to the fact that he came from a pro-style offense at Wisconsin and that he had excellent technique. As one college scouting director says in retrospect, “The ceiling is important, but more important is: Where is his floor? And Frederick had a high floor.” Four years later, he’s been to three Pro Bowls and was named first-team All-Pro; he’s the anchor of an offensive line that powered the Cowboys to the No. 1 seed in the NFC last season. “The Cowboys got beat up for taking Frederick in the first round; people said, oh, they reached on him,” Mark Dominik says. “Well, it ended up being one of the best picks of the whole draft.”
     
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