Experts not enthusiastic about 2013 NFL Draft
FEB 19, 2013 1:33p ET
Then again, it’s a regular occurrence.
Except this year having that high a pick is sort of like the Browns recent seasons: Nothing special.
Because the draft simply isn’t as loaded with standout players as it has been in the past. The buzz and sizzle are lacking as the NFL offseason kicks into gear this week with the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
A year ago, there was plenty of excitement and chatter.
But this year there is no Andrew Luck, no Robert Griffin III, no Trent Richardson. Heck, there’s not even a Matt Kalil, the offensive tackle the Vikings took fourth.
There are a bunch of guys, but none jump off the page or computer screen.
In NFL verbage, when a guy is “just a guy,” he’s one of many. This draft will produce good players, but it screams of a lot of folks who are “just a guy.”
Consider that the draft gurus who have somehow eeked out a living by studying film and assessing players are more than tepid in their assessment of the draft.
Mel Kiper actually said Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden would be the top quarterback taken if he were in this year’s draft.
And Mike Mayock of The NFL Network was pretty blistering in his appraisal.
“The top end of the draft, the top 10 picks, I don’t see the difference makers like we’ve had the last several years,” Mayock said on a conference call this week. “A couple of quarterbacks last year … Von Miller … Ndamukong Suh … you can go back and see those impact players each year where, before the draft, you knew who they were.”
Not this year.
“I wouldn’t’ want a top 10 pick this year,” Mayock said. “I think the fifth pick in the draft and the 25th pick are very similar.”
This might indicate a trade down is a good idea. A trade down sounds appealing for the Browns because they do not have a second round pick (surrendered for taking Josh Gordon in the supplemental draft). Move down, acquire another pick or two … sounds logical.
But for one reality: It takes two teams to make a trade.
“I think a lot of teams are going to look to move down, but I'm not sure there are a lot of teams looking to go come up,” Mayock said.
A year ago, there was talk that USC quarterback Matt Barkley could be a Browns target at the fourth spot. But Barkley stayed for his senior season, struggled and now may not make it into the top half of the first round.
The best quarterback is believed to be West Virginia’s Geno Smith, but few think he’s worth the sixth overall pick. Not that he won’t be taken high – especially with teams going more and more to the read-option offense – just that a team that does will be taking him higher than his ability warrants.
Bottom line: If the Browns are looking to upgrade at quarterback over Weeden, there is no clear-cut sixth pick there to do the upgrading.
Two of the best players are guards – Chance Warmack of Alabama and Jonathan Cooper of North Carolina – but teams are loathe to take guards high.
Most feel the Browns need to add to the defense, especially since there is a lack of three-four linebackers on the roster.
That points to several outside linebackers or defensive ends who could move outside, guys like Georgia’s Jarvis Jones, LSU’s Barkevious Mingo, Texas A&M’s Damontre Moore, BYU’s Ezekial Ansah or Florida State’s Bjoern Werner.
Another possibility is Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner.
But Milliner illustrates the reality of this year’s draft.
He’s the top corner on the board, but he’s not as good as his former college teammate Dre Kirkpatrick. A year ago, Kirkpatrick was the 27th player selected.