With the 2013 NFL Draft fast approaching, now is as good a time as any to start assessing which teams will target what players on the big day. At this point every franchise’s weak points are a matter of public record. Similarly, after a lengthy season and a few weeks off, every prospect’s flaws have been dissected and evaluated to no end. All of the information necessary to make a qualified, reasonable decision is available.
The thing to remember heading into the proceedings this year is that there won’t be all that many quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers selected at the top. The Kansas City Chiefs obviously need a passer, so the No. 1 overall selection may end up being a quarterback, but don’t let that fool you.
Andy Reid and Co. are the exception, not the rule.
This is an offensive and defensive line draft, with more of an emphasis on the latter. That may not sound especially exciting, however, it’s worth remembering that superstar passers aren’t worth a whole lot if nobody is protecting them. Ask Michael Vick. Ask Kevin Kolb. Ask Jay Cutler. Along the same lines, pretty boy quarterbacks aren’t infallible – they can be taken down when they face good defensive lines. Joe Flacco wasn't exactly killing them softly during the regular season. Colin Kaepernick, as good as he was, is no Tom Brady. Both still made it to the Super Bowl.
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Good defense still matters in this league.
Despite the lack of star power, this draft may actually go down as one of the more consequential ones in recent memory. And if it does end up being as impactful as it has the potential to be, that could radically shift how future drafts go.
With all that in mind, here are our projections for the first seven picks of the 2013 NFL Draft.