2013 NFL Draft: The First Round Winners

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2013 NFL Draft: The Winners of the First Round

Draft
Debby Wong- USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Draft is often described as educated guesswork, and the first round of the draft is always the most spoken round of the massively publicized event.

No player — despite how high they were drafted — is promised to have success in the NFL. There will be players who have Ryan Leaf-like fortunes, and there are players who will emerge from the depths of analyst’s big boards and become the next Victor Cruz, Richard Sherman, or Tom Brady.

With the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft less than 24-hours concluded, it may seem early to start declare which five teams had the best picks in the draft. Most people generally agree that a draft can’t be accurately evaluated until it is three years in the past. However, some selections did incite a greater amount of positive reaction than others.

Hence, the purpose of the following slides will be to chronicle the best first round selections of the NFL Draft.

These teams, while not necessarily making headline-making selections, all made selections that were the most befitting of their roster.

Sometimes, one good draft pick can make a team step through the window of NFL mediocrity and enter the playoffs. While the purpose of this article is not meant to predict any playoff contenders, these five teams chances of making the playoffs have been greatly enhanced by making appropriate, intelligent selections.

Some teams will be omitted, but the five teams on this list all made picks that are deserving of positive recognition.

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St. Louis Rams- Tavon Austin

Rams
Jerry Lai- USA TODAY Sports

Do you remember when the St. Louis Rams were criticized for not taking Justin Blackmon in the 2012 Draft? Well, they seemed to have atoned for what was — in hindsight — the appropriate evasive action. The Rams, once devoid of any laudable talent at the receiver position, now have a weapon that — like Desean Jackson — is a threat to score from any point on the field.

It has been a good offseason for former number one pick, Sam Bradford. He has received a top left tackle in Jake Long, and now he will have a player who promises to be positively electric on the professional level.

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Arizona Cardinals- Jonathan Cooper

Cards
Brad Penner- USA TODAY Sports

The NFC West — once the bottom of the NFL — is now the most talked about division in the league.

The Arizona Cardinals are a team that, while considered the weakest link in the risen division, can be more competitive in 2013 because of their first round selection.

New Head Coach Bruce Arians has picked a player that will do two things for his revamped Cardinals roster: protect veteran quarterback Carson Palmer, and create excellent running opportunities for the Cardinals’ running backs.

The Cardinals offense was immobile in 2012, mostly due to non-NFL quality quarterback play. But, it is true that their poor offensive line generated two injury-plagued seasons for Kevin Kolb.

With a veteran signal-caller and one of the top linemen in the Draft, the Cardinals could experience an offensive renaissance in 2013. It would be nice to watch the great Larry Fitzgerald to return to form — a player who has suffered due to the poor performance of his teammates.

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Cincinnati Bengals- Tyler Eifert

Bengals
Frank Victores- USA TODAY Sports

It has been repeated to the point of tedium that the NFL is a copycat league. That being said, are the Cincinnati Bengals trying to take notes from the New England Patriots’ explosive two- tight end offense?

The Bengals veteran tight end, Jermaine Gresham, is a two-time Pro Bowler who caught five touchdowns on 737 yards in 2012.

Now, the Bengals add Tyler Eifert to a roster that is becoming loaded with offensive weapons. Eifert — 6’5 and 250 pounds — is going to be another mammoth target for Andy Dalton.

Lead by the sensational A.J Green, the Bengals offense — along with their stout defense — could run away with the AFC North in 2013.

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Jacksonville Jaguars- Luke Joeckel

jags
Jerry Lai- USA TODAY Sports

Don’t expect the Jacksonville Jaguars to compete in the AFC South, a division with the Indianapolis Colts and the Houston Texans. But, their second-overall selection will help them establish an identity of offense.

Blaine Gabbert is still their quarterback, but Joeckel will be a building block of their offensive roster for years to come. The Jaguars now have their base, now it’s time to start the long rebuilding process back to relevance.

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San Francisco 49ers- Eric Reid

niners
Jerry Lai- USA TODAY Sports

The departure of Dashon Goldson left a gaping hole in the San Francisco 49ers’ secondary. The addition of Eric Reid adds a player who can pick up where Goldson left off — a player who can secure the back of an extremely stingy defense.

The 49ers remain 2013 Super Bowl favorites after key offseason moves, including their addition on Thursday Night.


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