Draft wrap-up: Patience is rewarded


Another NFL Draft is in the books, 254 new players with a chance to create a professional future, and 32 teams delighted for the moment with the work they’ve done.

And while there were an abundance of storylines, one thing that stood out about the 2013 NFL Draft was the remarkable restraint many teams showed.

There wasn’t an Andrew Luck or a Cam Newton — or perhaps even a Ryan Mallett — in this draft.

But even with the extreme financial penalty for missing on a first-round passer gone, teams didn’t line up to take the chance on a potential franchise quarterback as they have in the past. Only three quarterbacks were chosen in the first three rounds, the fewest since 2000 (the fabled Chad Pennington-Giovanni Carmazzi-Chris Redman draft).

The Bills fooled us all by taking E.J. Manuel in the first round, and even the Jets withstood the temptation to win the back pages by taking Geno Smith in the second. When Mike Glennon was the only third-rounder, it left names such as Matt Barkley and Ryan Nassib for the fourth, where the Eagles and Giants bought low.

Some of the best quarterback business was done by teams that didn’t take one.

The Jaguars might be more needy at the position than any team in the league, with Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne competing. But as bad as that might be, there’s no guarantee any of this year’s candidates are better. So since new general manager David Caldwell didn’t see value, he withstood temptation and restocked a bad team with many other parts they needed — most of them with speed.

But it wasn’t just at the quarterback position where the smart teams held fast.

After an unprecedented run on left tackles (three of the top four picks), teams with needs there started drafting guards and right tackles and defensive tackles instead of reaching. It would have been easy for the Chargers to move up for one of the top blind-side protectors, but by letting the board come to them, they found a solid starting right tackle in D.J. Fluker. Likewise, Arizona added a guard in Jonathan Cooper who could turn out to be the best value in the draft, and the Titans made Chris Johnson a better running back by drafting guard Chance Warmack (and center Brian Schwenke) to go with big-ticket free agent Andy Levitre.

And not to beat up on Manti Te’o any more than has already happened, the teams that needed him and didn’t draft him deserved notice as well.

The Vikings had a pair of late firsts, and used them on value picks Sharrif Floyd and Xavier Rhodes, both of whom figured to go sooner. Then they made a move for a third first-rounder, not for Te’o, but to take a receiver in Cordarrelle Patterson who has some Randy Moss-ish tendencies. The Bears also skipped an obvious need for a middle linebacker, and took a versatile but raw offensive lineman with good genes (Kyle Long).

The two Super Bowl teams (and two that should push them) exemplified the patience of the weekend as well.

The 49ers stockpiled picks, and used one on running back Marcus Lattimore, who might not play a down for them this year. The Ravens might have had interest in Te’o as well, but took their safety first (Matt Elam) before filling in at linebacker later (Arthur Brown).

The Packers added two running backs in Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin who could make a good team better, and the Seahawks used the benefit of a roster with few holes to take some chances on players with question marks, from running back Christine Michael to defensive tackle Jesse Williams.

Not every team has such luxuries. But the best things might come to the ones that were able and willing to wait this weekend.

42 responses to “Draft wrap-up: Patience is rewarded

  1. Apparently, God’s team just happens to have a rapist for a starting QB. Go figure.

  2. A dude named Christine is gonna have a rough time in the locker room. I hope he drives a 1958 Plymouth Fury.

  3. Clearly the Eagles dominated this draft. I cant wait for the Chip Kelly World Domination Tour 2013 to begin. Cause its a comin , and theres simply nothing you can do about it

  4. There were about six or seven Ryan Mallets in this draft, so I’m not sure why he was even referenced in the beginning of the recap.

    If anything, all of the QB’s were similar to Mallet; talented, flawed and picked outside of the first round, with EJ Manuel being the exception, as he was the only QB picked in the 1st round.

  5. Some teams had some good later rounds.
    Packers did well for themselves.
    The Vikings got the best haul with Rhodes, Floyd (who somehow fell to 23), and Patterson who is freakishly athletic. Watch the Sport Science on Youtube with this guy, I think he’s gonna be better than Tavon.
    Tavon is super fast but he is not Percy Harvin because Harvin has 20 lbs more muscle and iniates contact, Tavon is a speedster, more like a Devin Hester, Devone Bess type player

  6. “…even the Jets withstood the temptation to win the back pages by taking Geno Smith in the second.”
    What does that even mean? Wouldn’t “withstanding the temptation” usually mean not doing something? I’m confused.

  7. Now I understand . God didn’t want “his team” to work any more Sundays so that’s why they missed the playoffs.

  8. Everyone will call the Bills EJ Manuel pick a super reach, but had they not have pulled the trigger when they did, the Eagles, Browns, Raiders or Jets would have. Manuel was the QB with the highest ceiling in this draft and many teams blew smoke to hide their interest in him. Matt Barkley was drafted into the wrong type of system and will not see the field any time soon. Ryan Nassib will be wasted sitting on the bench behind super-reliable Eli Manning. Geno Smith may see the field, but is going to cause some ruckus in NY. Mike Glennon will also ride the pine for as long as his competition keeps playing well, which looks to be for a long while. The other QB’s were basically destined to play back-up for their careers.

  9. I’d like to know where the dummies were that swore to me that Tyler Bray would be drafted in the mid-rounds. Told you he’d be lucky if he were a 7th rounder, and he went undrafted just like other perceived big armed, ten cent headed QBs. Sucks for him that he listened to the people having him believe the hype.

  10. And then there are teams like the CowBabies, Browns and Jets that blew the big one as usual. Maybe next time.

  11. Wow ignoring Tyler Wilson is a mistake. He will become the greatest QB in this draft. He will be better than Andrew Luck, RG3 or any of those other guys. Wilson had nobody to throw to and he still put up great numbers

  12. Thou shall taketh no woman against her will, for if thou shall, a plague shall lay on thou and thine teammates and a great Saint shall condemn thine to the cellar. This Saint shall be called Tebow.
    Roethlisberger 3:16

  13. And then there was the Cowboys ……. I really feel sorry for you Cowboy fans, really I do.

  14. Manning threw more picks than Luck in his rookie year and didn’t lead his team to the playoffs. Yes RG3 is good but berating every other QB just makes you look silly.

  15. jredshoes says: Apr 27, 2013 8:16 PM

    Now I understand . God didn’t want “his team” to work any more Sundays so that’s why they missed the playoffs.

    Exactly, plus that annoying clown thinking God would go anywhere near D.C. 🙂

  16. 2 things: 1) Skinsfan. Luck threw 17 picks cause he was told as a rookie to throw the ball 50 times a game while your RG3 averaged 20. You throw more picks when you have almost triple the attempts. He also helped take a 2 win team to the playoffs with a crappy defense. 2) MultipleMiggs. If you mean the worse draft in history maybe. 2 more defensive players in the first round when u have no offensive talent to speak of, a QB in round 2 which makes a total of 6 on the roster. Draft a QB wo knowing for sure Rex will be back next year when you could have stuck with Sanchez for 1 more year and if you stunk epically could have drafted a true sure fire starting QB next year hand picked by a new coach. That makes NO SENSE.

  17. The Browns already have enough good players. They traded picks for picks next year when better players are available. ? ? ?

  18. In a highly unusual circumstance I have to give props to the 49ers. By taking Lattimore, they gave a guy who was down, because of injury, a chance to get to the bigs. That is the unkindest cut, to work your way up, maybe from the sandlot, to the threshold of achieving your dream, and then possibly watch that dream pass you by, like a ship in the night. That would be the very definition of, “heartbreak”.

    Hats off to the Niners for looking past the injury to the future, yours, and his.

  19. Not one of these qb’s in this draft will amount to much in the nfl. Not this year, next year or even the 3rd year. After that they will be lucky to be back ups. Geno was the best of the group and he has no shot making it with that circus act they call the NY Jets. EJ was barley good enough to play at FSU. Barkley plays at 33 speed not nfl speed. For him helmet rule or not somebody is gonna take his head off he plays so slow. Who’s left ..Nassib…not going to be any kind of a difference maker. I know the haters are coming but to play QB today you have to be special and this class of QB’S are a C- at best.

  20. Some GM said you have to let the draft come to you.

    I think he not only meant round-by-round.. but year-by-year as well.

    The teams at the top of the 1st needed a lot of help, not just QB. So, they drafted O-linemen instead. And let’s face it, next year, most of those teams will be right back there. At the top of the 1st round.

    So next year, when they’re drafting again.. those O-linemen will have a year of seasoning that’ll help their rookie QBs stay alive.

  21. Normally the down and dirty no name trenchmen only get noticed when they screw up. This draft was exceptional!

  22. Not getting the praise for the jags. Do you honestly mean to tell me there was not one single quarterback option available in the later rounds that could have helped them? There is a difference between not using a higher round pick to draft an overrated player and not getting one single player anywhere in the draft that could possibly help you at a position of major need.

  23. I am really happy for one of my favorite kids in this draft, Denard Robinson. I wish my team would have drafted him, but I am glad he got to celebrate being drafted.
    Also happy for Lattimore, another great kid. What a perfect situation he’s in.

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