The 2013 NFL Draft is flooded with pass rushers. At this point in the offseason there isn’t a quarterback that deserves to be drafted in the top ten, although it’s likely we see a quarterback or two slip into the back end of the top ten as that seems to happen every year (Ryan Tannehill). With the draft drawing closer and most Lions fans wanting to see the Lions address the secondary, I think most of us are curious to see which secondary players are options for the Lions in the first round. To this point, it’s looking like there is only one that warrants a top 10 pick and that’s Dee Milliner, cornerback from Alabama, and many think that drafting Milliner at five would be a reach. That may be but I believe there will be more than one secondary player drafted in the top ten in the 2013 draft, in fact, I believe there could be three.
To get a good idea of what might take place in this year’s draft we need to take a look at a few aspects of the 2012 draft and compare them to the 2013 draft.
Taking a look at how the 2012 draft played out for secondary players, Morris Claiborne, cornerback out out LSU, was off the board at six to the Dallas Cowboys, Mark Barron, safety from Alabama, was drafted the very next spot at seven by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Stephon Gilmore, cornerback from South Carolina found a home with the Buffalo Bills as the tenth overall pick bringing the total to three secondary players in the top 10.
Next we’ll take a look at the defensive line players. There were eight defensive lineman taken in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft. Looking at NFL.com’s mock drafts the three draft guru’s have 8-11 defensive lineman going in the first round. If we take a look at most of the mock drafts last season, not one had Mark Barron going in the top 10.
Next up are the quarterback prospects. In the 2012 draft we saw Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, and Ryan Tannehill go in the top ten, with Brandon Weedon going to the Browns at 22 overall, bringing the total to four. The experts at NFL.com currently have 1-3 quarterbacks being taken in the first round of this year’s draft. Finally, we’ll take a look at wide receivers, tight ends, and offensive lineman selected in the 2012 class compared to the projected first round picks in the 2013 class. The 2012 class saw 12 total players selected at wide receiver, tight end, and offensive line, while the 2013 draft class has 8-11 projected to go in the first round.
To some it all up, there are a lot of similarities when you compare the 2012 draft to the 2013, but the lack of talent in this year’s quarterback class will likely result in teams drafting 1-10 looking at the defensive side of the ball, especially with most wide receivers, tight ends, and offensive linemen being projected in the back end of the first round.
There were three secondary players selected in the top ten last year, and this year’s crop of prospects doesn’t feature a top quarterback. With five teams potentially needing help in the secondary (Eagles, Lions, Browns, Jets, and Titans) and the first round of the 2013 draft filled with pass rushing talent, how many secondary players could we see go in the top ten in this year’s draft? There are four big names that seem to be locks in the top ten at this point, Jarvis Jones, Damontre Moore, Bjoern Werner, and Luke Joeckel. Let’s not forget that there will undoubtedly be one quarterback that creeps up the boards into the top ten. That leaves five spots up for grabs in the top ten that could be filled by other positions, including those that play in the secondary.
I believe we will see a repeat of the 2012 draft which saw two cornerbacks and a safety taken in the top ten. Let’s not forget that the 2012 draft didn’t feature any mock drafts with Mark Barron or Stephon Gilmore going in the top ten at this point in the offseason. With a good showing at the combine, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw Dee Milliner, Xavier Rhodes, and Kenny Vaccaro ending up top ten selections come April. Each prospect has similar size and skill set as last year’s top three secondary players taken off the boards and there is definitely a need for playmakers in the secondary in the top ten.