I did one of these last year, and it was fun to go back and see how right or wrong (mostly wrong) I was on last years rooks, so I thought why not try it again. Quick legend, BSC = Best Case Scenario, WCS = Worst Case Scenario. So without further adieu...the draft class of 2013.
1st round pick # 28, Sylvester Williams, DT, UNC. Well..we finally got our DT. Between Pot Roast, Big Vick, Touchdown Mitch and Sly we have in my opinion a pretty good DT rotation. After reading his story, about where he came from and what he has overcome to get to here, I want to project him as the next Geno Atkins. However I will temper that, as DT's rarely dominate out of the gate. BCS I can see him becoming a Marcel Dareus, as his technique is raw but he seems to have the dogged determination to add that to his game. He has the physical tools, as even Warren Sapp was impressed with his quickness and burst at 320+. WCS, I would have to go with Marcus Thomas. I had high hopes for that guy. I think he had the tools..just not the desire. Lets hope Sly doesn't get complacent. Considering where he came from and what he has been through, I don't see that happening.
2nd round pick # 26 58th overall, Montee Ball, RB, Wisc. For a team that is supposed to throw the ball a lot, we have used 3rd and 2nd round picks in consecutive years on RB's. This tells me that Fox wants to improve the ground game which combined with DT, Decker, Welker, Tamme, Dreessen and (maybe) Orange Julius should make play-action passing a deadly part of our offense. Initially..I did not get the TD comparisons. But seeing this shows his balance, vision and patience, a staple of TD's running. I even saw a bit of nastiness. He showed his power at the Sports Science lab. I love that he is durable and does not fumble, but I wonder how much of his production in college was due to the number of carries he got and the fact that the Badger O-line would probably be better than a few NFL O-lines. But Matt Russel seems to have a real eye for guys that fit our system (but not the smarts to hire a cab...SMH) so if I had to compare him to someone, how about last years Shanny surprise with Alfred Morris? Sure, shifty, not super speedy but runs with some authority. If we get half of that production I would be thrilled. WCS would have to be someone like Alonzo Highsmith, incredible college production that never transferred to the NFL.
3rd round pick # 28 90th overall, Kayvon Webster, CB, South Florida. Meep Meep. If Al Davis was still alive, Kayvon would probably already be off the board by the time our pick rolled around. 4.4 guy, heard he ran a 4.3 in college and he has pretty good hips too. Is very physical for a CB (Kinda like Bolden last year). But he was not really all that highly rated and most mock drafts had him going in the 4-6 round range. But since our 3rd was toward the end its not a huge stretch. This is where a little blind faith in the coaching staff is called for. Cutting Drayton Florence for Tony Carter turned out well, Guys like Chris Harris (UDFA), Danny T (6th round pick), Steven Johnson (UDFA), and of course the great Wesley Woodyard (UDFA) all give me optimism that our coaching staff can see what others can not. As far as a BCS I have seen him compared to Antonio Winfield and that is a great one. He is stout against the run so with Chris Harris and Champ, both excellent tacklers we could see our run D get even better. WCS would be someone who had the physical tools, but could just not master the art of being an NFL DB. Someone like Jack Williams.
5th round pick # 13 146th overall, Quanterus Smith, DE, Western Kentucky. If not for this, we would not have got him in the 5th round. Why? Because of this. 3 sacks against the vaunted Alabama O-line that included San Diego's #11 overall pick DJ Fluker. Couple that with a 5 sack game against FIU and we could be on to something here. But I know what people are going to say. The Sun Belt conference? Who ever came out of there to be any good? Old school, how about Mean Joe Greene out of North Texas. Need something more recent? Antwan Barnes, from FIU. How about a superstar? DeMarcus Ware out of Troy. Is it premature to even dream he is any of those guys? For sure. But its nice to dream every now and then. BCS, how about DeMarcus Ware? He is just about the same size and shows great speed off the edge. WCS would be Jarvis Moss. I had such high hopes for that guy...
5th round pick # 28 161st overall, Tavarres King, WR, Georgia. This is where I really need some strong orange colored sunglasses. Not overly big or physical, not a guy who is going to high point the ball on a regular basis. Sure he has speed, but the go route is not exactly a staple of the Denver offense and being honest, is that not what Bubba Caldwell brings to the table? Most teams only carry 5 WR's and with DT, Decker, Welker and Trindon all but assured a roster spot that only leaves 1 spot. Is Tavarres better than Bubba? Orton? Robinson? 4 guys to fight over 1 roster spot? Of all our picks, this is the one I am not sold on. We probably wont get away with trying to stash Orton and / or Robinson on the PS, so 3 of those guys could be gone. Maybe we carry 6 and can keep 2 of those 4. Again, some blind faith is called for and that is what I am going on. BSC, maybe a Mike Wallace-ish go route type. WCS, Ashley Lelie. That guy could have been great, had the size and the speed, just couldn't put it together.
6th round pick # 5 173rd overall, Vinston Painter, OT, Virginia Tech. Fox made it a point to talk about his size and while he is not huge for an OT (6-4 and 306), its how he carries those 306 pounds is what is impressive. You could honestly tell me that he was 6-4 and 270 and I would totally believe you. But he is the very definition of raw, as he walked onto the Virginia Tech campus as a DT. But for his short time at O-line, he is doing pretty well. With Alex Gibbs back in the fold I could see him being a guy that we look to be a key backup or starting in a year or two. BCS is hard to peg with him, as no starting RT in the league is as light as 306. He is a bit of a rare breed as generally (not always) your RT is the big plodding Run block guy. But with more and more teams sending rushers from both sides it is as important as ever to have an athletic RT. We have a pretty good one in Franklin, but with all the big money that we will have to throw at DT, Von and Clady, there may be nothing left for Orlando. So...BCS is our Franklin replacement in a couple years. And for the WCS, how about Alex Barron? Was supposed to be a pretty good NFL tackle, but has failed to live up to the hype. But, if he doesnt pan out...its not like we wasted a high pick on him.
7th Round pick # 28 234th overall, Zac Dysert, QB, Miami of Ohio. From what I read, this guy was supposed to be one of the top passers in the draft. So..why was he there in the 7th round? After doing some research I have come up with one conclusion. No one knows why. I heard it was the market, then his pocket poise (Gruden harped on this pretty hard here) etc etc etc. We know that he has NFL size, and NFL caliber arm and has a nice over the top delivery. So at least they dont have to tweak that. But in the end, it does not matter how you get into the NFL...its what you do once you are there. Tony Romo was undrafted. Same with Kurt Warner. All I can say is, what better situation to fall into? Sitting a couple feet away from one of the greatest QB's in the NFL and having another one of the greatest QB's in NFL history just down the hall. BCS...Kurt Warner. He can make all the throws and was a 3 time captain at Miami of Ohio so the potential is there, its up to him to put it together. WCS, Tom Brandstater. Just enough talent to tantalize, only to ultimately not be able to get it done.
Well...thats a wrap. I enjoyed doing this as it also gave me a chance to get to know more about these guys. Hopefully more of these guys trend toward the BCS rather than the WCS, but that is the beauty of the NFL. You never truly know. Thanks for reading.