The 2013 NFL Draft was bound for unpredictability. Whether it was the weeks leading up that fed us near-guarantees about Luke Joeckel going No. 1 or Geno Smith going in the first round, it gave the feeling that teams and sources weren’t being totally up-front with the general public. Couple that with rookie wage scale limits that decrease the need for teams to negotiate contracts well before the draft, and by Thursday morning the margin between the mock drafts and reality already seemed like it would be greater than ever.
Now here we our Friday morning, with the benefit of hindsight on a wild first round and the ability to analyze just how crazy things went down. Below are the most surprising moves of the first round. This is not necessarily a criticism of these picks, but just a, wow.
Dallas Cowboys Select C Travis Frederick at No. 30
It’s never a fan-pleaser to take a center in the first round, but when that center’s not named Barrett Jones and many draft analysts had him pegged as a third-rounder, well, it’ll bring a certain measure of shock and awe to the audience.
New York Jets Select DT Sheldon Richardson at No. 13
The Jets seemed like the luckiest team in the world, having cut one of the league’s best nose tackles in Sione Pouha and before having Star Lotulelei fall right into their lap…until they passed him for a player most draftniks had fitted for a 4-3 scheme with one-gap responsibilities.
Buffalo Bills Select E.J. Manuel at No. 16
One of the most interesting questions entering draft day was whether any quarterbacks would go in round one and, if so, would it be Smith, Matt Barkley or Ryan Nassib? Well, Doug Marrone and Buddy Nix weren’t part of that conversation.