When you have a pick in the top 10 of the NFL Draft, you hope that you’re going to get a franchise-altering player. If not, you’ll settle for a consistent, above-average starter.
A lot of teams didn’t get either of those things at the top of the 2013 NFL Draft.
No. 3 pick Dion Jordan, who was suspended for the entire 2015 season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy on Tuesday, is the most glaring example of a bust. But when you look at it, the 2013 Draft was pretty rough across the board.
No one picked in the top 10 has made a Pro Bowl and three of the 10 weren’t starters in 2014. Here was the top 10:
1. Eric Fisher, OL (Kansas City Chiefs) — Fisher has started consistently for the Chiefs but hasn’t distinguished himself. ESPN’s Mel Kiper said last year that Fisher wouldn’t have gone in the top-eight of the 2014 Draft.
2. Luke Joeckel, OL (Jacksonville Jaguars) — After missing almost all of his rookie year with an injury, Joeckel started all 16 games on a Jacksonville line that finished dead last in pass protection in 2014.
3. Dion Jordan, DE (Miami Dolphins) — Jordan barely got onto the field in his rookie year. He was suspended six games in 2014 and played only 20% of his team’s snaps. Now he’s out for all of 2015.
4. Lane Johnson, OL (Philadelphia Eagles) — While he hasn’t made a Pro Bowl, he has been a solid starter on an Eagles line that improved dramatically when Chip Kelly got there.
5. Ziggy Ansah, DE (Detroit Lions) — He’s probably the player on this list with the most potential. He has 15.5 sacks in his first two years and saw his playing time increase in 2014.
6. Barkevious Mingo, LB (Cleveland Browns) — He’s not the dominant edge rusher they thought he’d be, picking up just 2.0 sacks in 2014 in 11 starts.
7. Jonathan Cooper, OL (Arizona Cardinals) — Only played 17.4% of his team’s snaps in 2014 after missing his rookie year with a broken leg.
8. Tavon Austin, WR (St. Louis Rams) — He hasn’t been the electrifying playmaker many though he would be. He has started 11 games in two years, making just 31 catches in 2014.
9. Dee Milliner, CB (New York Jets) — After a tumultuous rookie year Milliner was benched in 2014 and only played 11.4% of his team’s snaps.
10. Chance Warmack, OL (Tennessee Titans) — He has started all 16 games both years.
So basically, best-case scenario you got an average NFL offensive lineman.
Going into the draft everyone knew that it’d be a bit of a crapshoot. There were no franchise-altering quarterbacks, dominant defensive linemen, or game-breaking skill players. A year before one of the best wide receiver drafts ever in 2014, only one WR was picked in the top 25 in 2013.
Teams that bet on a quarterback in 2013 all came up empty. Here were the first five quarterbacks selected:
- E.J. Manuel (16th overall, 1st round, Bills)
- Geno Smith (39th overall, 2nd round, Jets)
- Mike Glennon (73rd overall, 3rd round, Bucs)
- Matt Barkley (98th overall, 4th round, Eagles)
- Ryan Nassib (110th overall, 4th round, Giants)
Smith is the only nominal starter, and that might not be the case by August. For comparison, four quarterbacks were taken in the top-25 in 2012, and three of them are still starters (if you count RGIII as a starter).
2013 was the worst possible year to find a quarterback through the draft.
Grantland’s Bill Barnwell and Robert Mays did a hypothetical re-draft of the 2013 Draft last October. Sheldon Richardson was the clear No. 1 choice, but after that it got murky. Interestingly, the top three picks in real life — Fisher, Joeckel, and Jordan — didn’t make the top-20 of the re-draft.
There simply wasn’t a lot of high-end talent in that draft.
Based on Pro-Football-Reference’s “approximate value” stat — an advanced stat that quantified a player’s total contribution to his team — here are the 10 best players from the 2013 Draft through two seasons:
1. Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers (61th pick)
2. Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers (48th pick)
3. Kyle Long, Chicago Bears (20th pick)
4. Travis Frederick, Dallas Cowboys (31st pick)
5. David Bakhtiari, Green Bay Packers (109th pick)
6. D.J. Fluker, San Diego Chargers (11th pick)
7. Alec Ogletree, St. Louis Rams (30th pick)
8. Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals (37th pick)
9. Kennan Allen, San Diego Chargers (76th pick)
10. Eric Fisher, Kansas City Chiefs (1st pick)
It just goes to show how much luck is involved in the draft. One year, Andrew Luck might be there at No. 1. The next year, you might be looking at Eric Fisher and Dion Jordan.
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