The 2013 NFL Draft is still some ways away, but we are now close enough to the big day to start making honest player assessments. Team needs are becoming increasingly clear, as is draft position. The specifics at the bottom of the draft may still change, obviously, but the losing teams who will get priority seating are going to stay largely the same.
You will notice very few quarterbacks and wide receivers (and no running backs) in the top 20. It may seem odd at first, but once you scan through the available talent it will probably make more sense. The lack of running backs is primarily due to Marcus Lattimore’s injury. He was the only running back we felt was worthy of a first round selection – obviously that isn’t going to happen now. Defense -- and to a lesser degree, offensive line -- is what the 2013 draft is all about, and the picks in this segment of the proceedings reflect that.
Before we dive into the picks, as always, a few maintenance issues we should get out of the way: 1. The draft order was determined by ESPN’s most recent power rankings. Obviously things will change as the season progresses, but that is the structure we opted to use for now. 2. We didn’t hold anyone’s performances from this weekend against them. (These guys have long résumés, there is no need to pick and choose individual outings.) 3. We weighed team needs over best player available whenever it was clear that a team had a really glaring hole. In the case of teams that didn’t have particularly glaring holes, we emphasized best player available.
With that in mind, you can check out picks 1-7 here.