If there’s one thing you can count on during the NFL Draft, it’s being surprised, and this year’s draft did not disappoint in that department. Here are the five biggest surprises of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Eddie Lacy was the fourth running back taken – Lacy was thought of as a possible first round pick, especially with the Green Bay Packers picking 26th overall, but Lacy managed to stay on the board until the 29th pick of the second round when Green Bay’s patience paid off for them and they were able to take him anyway. As surprising as it was for Lacy to fall that far, it was even more surprising to see three other running backs come off the board before him. The Bengals had coveted Giovani Bernard all along, but Lacy being passed up by the Steelers and Broncos for Le’Veon Bell and Montee Ball respectively was unexpected.
The Buffalo Bills took E.J. Manuel in the first round and not Ryan Nassib – This pick sent quite a few jaws to the floor. Ever since Doug Marrone became the head coach of the Bills, many speculated, and some even assumed, that Buffalo would draft Nassib after spending his college years with Marrone at Syracuse. But the Bills shocked everybody when they took Manuel 16th overall to be their quarterback of the future. Marrone’s connection to Nassib had many thinking he would be going to the Bills in either the first or second round while Manuel was not thought of by many to be a first rounder. Manuel may actually fit the offensive system Buffalo is going to run better than Nassib, but it was still quite a shock to see Marrone pass up the quarterback he groomed in college for someone else.
Mike Glennon was drafted before both Ryan Nassib and Matt Barkley – With all due respect to Glennon and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it’s hard to fathom how Glennon was off the board before either Barkley or Nassib. There wasn’t a lot of consensus on the pecking order of quarterbacks in this year’s draft, but most had Barkley and Nassib ahead of Glennon. Surprising as it was to see Barkley and Nassib wait until the fourth round to get selected, it was even more surprising to see Glennon come off the board even earlier in the third round.
Geno Smith dropped to the second round – No one was more surprised (and visibly upset) that Smith left Radio City Music Hall Thursday night without a home than Smith himself. Other than Ryan Nassib possibly going to the Bills, it was assumed that Smith would be the first quarterback drafted and that he would go somewhere in the first round. In the end, there just weren’t enough teams willing to use a first round pick on a quarterback considering how weak this year’s class was at that position, although once the second round started Smith didn’t have to wait too long to hear his name.
Tyler Bray went undrafted – It’s unusual for the most talented quarterback in a class to go undrafted, but then again this was an unusual class of quarterbacks. It’s no surprise why Bray went undrafted; despite his great talent he has some character issues, isn’t known for having a great work ethic, and lacks leadership, as well as several other essential intangibles for the quarterback position. However, it was still surprising to see none of the 32 teams take a chance on drafting Bray, while quarterbacks like Sean Renfree and B.J. Daniels were selected.