NFL draft: 8 things to glean from Day 1

BY foxsports • April 26, 2013

Here are eight things we gleaned from Round 1 of the NFL Draft, a quirky night of selections that resulted in seven offensive linemen and 10 D-line prospects coming off the board in the first 32 picks:

1. It's easy to feel indifferent about Eric Fisher (Chiefs), Luke Joeckel (Jaguars) and Lane Johnson (Eagles) going 1, 2, 4

To clarify, it's never a bad thing when NFL teams invest heavily in infrastructure picks along the offensive and defensive line. It's often the smart move to make, no matter how colorless.

But from a non-scout's perspective, it's impossible to know if Fisher, Joeckel or Johnson are next in the line of great offensive tackles (Joe Thomas, Jonathan Ogden) ... or just highly regarded, but ultimately underwhelming performers who'll move to a different position, in due time.

And who's to blame for this meh attitude? The TV networks, of course.

Overall, ESPN and NFL Network have demonstrated commendable passion for the draft, crushing viewers with an endless loop of talking heads and teary-eyed prospect interviews. But let's face it: The majority of highlights packages are marginal, at best, often putting that prospect in the best possible light.

Yes, I get that Fisher is 6-foot-7 and 306 pounds, but it's hard to know if he'll be a great NFL player when a TV network airs two clips of him leaning on defensive tackles from Ball State and Nortern Illinois, respectively. And when they showed Fisher taking on Michigan State last year, the clip featured a conservative encounter with an undersized pass rusher (Marcus Nash).

Where are the Orlando Pace-esque pancake blocks? Where are the extended power plays, with a remorseless tackle pushing a foe 40 yards before tossing him off the field, a la "The Blind Side"?

2. The Falcons must have had a fascinating chicken-and-egg debate in their Flowery Branch offices this week

The intra-cornerback discussion of Desmond Trufant (Atlanta's first-round pick) and Florida State's Xavier Rhodes (drafted three slots later) is interesting, considering the pair will be inexorably linked for seasons to come.

But it couldn't trump the Falcons' decision to choose cornerback over defensive end — or a pass-rushing linebacker — at No. 22 overall, after trading up eight spots earlier in the day.


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