My Favorite Picks for Last Week’s Draft
Last week football fans gathered to wait anxiously to see who their NFL teams would select from the college ranks. Some teams managed to drastically improve their teams (49ers, Bills) and some teams traded away this draft for past investments (Redskins), but either way, there is always a lot of excitement after the draft about who made the best picks. Here are a couple of my favorites from the 2013 NFL draft.
Jarvis Jones (LB Georgia) #17 Overall Pittsburg Steelers—I have always been a huge fan of the Jones’s while he was at Georgia for the ferocity he played the game with. Jones doesn’t appear to just want to make a tackle, he wants to embarrass anyone who thinks they can block him and punish the ball carrier when he finds them. He has impressive speed off the edge and could become a great pass rusher is put in the right position schematically. He looks to me like a younger, faster, stronger version of James Harrison was when he won the Defensive Player of the Year award in 2008. Jones will provide the fire and tenacity that the aging Pitt defense has been missing and will take control of games.
Robert Woods (WR USC) #41 Overall Buffalo Bills—In the pre-draft process I was always surprised how little noise there was about USC WR Roberts Woods. He was a total stud while in college, but got overshadowed by Marquise Lee and Matt Barkley. That combined with the disappointing season as a team Woods saw his stock drop dramatically. Luckily for Buffalo they now have a potential pro-bowl receiver to pair with Stevie Johnson outside and also open up the box for C.J Spiller to go to work. New quarterback E.J. Manuel will need all the weapons he can get if he is going to try and start from Day 1, which at this point is pretty likely.
Tyrann Mathieu (CB/S LSU) #69 Overall Arizona Cardinals—This pick was one of the most controversial in the draft by far. A lot of scouts and draft experts didn’t have Mathieu going in the third round because of his size and discipline issues ON the field, much less before he got kicked off LSU for failing more drug tests than he could count. However I am a believer that production is production no matter how you slice it and Mathieu is an animal on the field. He also goes to Arizona where they have his old teammate Kevin Minter and former LSU corner Patrick Peterson who Mathieu worked with while in football exile. If anyone can get Mathieu in line and maximize he potential it’s Peterson, who has already become a top corner in the NFL.
Barret Jones (C Alabama) #113 Overall St. Louis Rams- The former center for Saban’s Crimson Tide was one of my favorite players coming into the draft. He has outstanding versatility, playing guards, tackle, and center for the Crimson Tide. Not only that, but he was a 4 time Academic All American and is a concert level pianist. Beyond that he doesn’t take crap from anyone. In Alabama’s thumping of Notre Dame in the National Championship game Bama QB A.J. McCarron gave Jones and earful for not snapping the ball on time, Jones subsequently stood up and pushed McCarron aside like a rag doll. Its that kind of attitude that will make him a great center and leader for the Rams for years to come.
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