Star Lotulelei DT Utah Round 1 Pick 14 to the Panthers
This is my first steal of the 2013 NFL Draft. Lotulelei has long been projected as a top 5 pick by many mock draft analysts. There was the combination of other teams needs and questions about his work ethic that led him to fall to the Panthers at the 14th pick. He did not qualify academically for BYU directly out of High School and instead had to go to Junior College before joining Utah before his Junior season. However, this was a miracle for the Panthers who have struggled on the defensive line without much depth. Star has lined up at every position on the defensive line in his college career so will be a nice addition to Carolina.
Shariff Floyd DT Florida Round 1 Pick 23 to the Vikings
Both of my first two steals are Defensive Tackles and that’s not all these two have in common. They both have been projected to go in the top ten of this draft for the past few months, but neither did. Like Lotulelei, Shariff Floyd will be able to step in right away and help the Vikings who already have a decent defensive line. Floyd falling this far in this draft is basically the result of teams not having the immediate need for DTs. Which was a blessing in disguise for Floyd because he now has veteran leadership alongside him on the Defensive Line.
Cordarrelle Patterson WR Tennessee Round 1 Pick 29 to the Vikings(traded with Patriots)
Many people thought that because of Cordalle Patterson’s raw skills and athleticism he could possibly be a top ten pick. Some scouts and draft analysts had him graded as the top WR prospect in this draft class but the questions about him only played in Division 1 football for one year led him to fall this far. The Vikings come up with their second steal of the draft by trading up with the New England Patriots to the 29th pick. They add another receiver after signing Greg Jennings during free agency so Patterson can come in and contribute right away as the number 2 receiver, then can continue to grow under the guidance of Jennings. They also needed to add more weapons to help Christian Ponder grow.
Arthur Brown ILB Kansas St. Round 2 Pick 24(Overall 56) to the Ravens
This may have been the steal of the draft in my eyes but no one will know for years to come.
The Ravens lost so many defensive players to free agency but most importantly they lost Ray Lewis to retirement. Arthur Brown was ranked as the 2nd ILB after Manti T’eo according to Mel Kiper Jr. (who I personally don’t usually agree with but he is the reference point when it comes to NFL prospects and he had Ogletree as his 2nd ILB but I see him playing more outside in the NFL) but somehow fell all the way to the 56 overall pick. I think Brown’s production and leadership will continue into the NFL as he slides into a rebuilding defense that needs a mic linebacker.
Eddie Lacy RB Alabama Round 2 Pick 29(Overall 61) to the Packers
There has been a RB drafted in the first round every year since 1963 when the NFL and AFL held separate Drafts, this was not the case in 2013. Even though Eddie Lacy has long been seen as the top running back in this years’ class, he was not drafted in the first round and was not even the first RB off the list. He even averaged more yards per carry(6.5) then his former Alabama running backs, Mark Ingram(6.2) and Trent Richardson(5.9), did their senior years. Reports say he slid due to injury issues stemming back to his high school days. This was a perfect scenario for the Packers who have needed a 3 down back for many years now. Lacy is an incredible downhill runner as well as a great pass blocker, who will help Aaron Rodgers stay protected.
Bonus: Keenan Allen WR California Round 3 Pick 14 (Overall 76) to the Chargers