Without star-studded QB class, NFL Draft lacks buzz
Posted April 23, 2013
The contrast between the 2012 NFL Draft and this year's speculative spectacle is rather stark.
Swap out the the likes of Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson and Ryan Tannehill for Luke Joeckel, Ezekiel Ansah, Geno Smith and Dee Milliner. The sexy skill position players just aren't there, which elevates the grittier positions of need that would typically be selected in the middle of the first round into top 10 territory.
That's not to say the current class coming out is weaker than previous classes. The NFL Draft is filled with tales of players taken in later rounds who went on to have fantastic careers. The 2013 edition just lacks obvious conversation starters like Jadeveon Clowney and Johnny Manziel.
That's why the Darrelle Revis trade was a much needed jolt to the NFL news cycle this week, even if the deal is pretty straight forward. The New York Jets managed to draw another first round pick without much leverage, while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers got the best player at that position. It's easy to declare the Bucs a winner in the trade, but that could all even out if the Jets don't screw up their rebuilding job. Considering it's the Jets, that's a big "if."
North Carolina will likely hear Jonathan Cooper's name called in the middle of the first round, while Sylvester Williams is projected to be taken later the same night. Running back Giovani Bernard has popped up between the second and third rounds of mock drafts. Kevin Reddick is ranked inside ESPN's top 100 players available.
NC State's Mike Glennon is ranked by ESPN as the 6th best quarterback available, but could picked up as early as the second round because of the NFL's new-found obsession with the position. David Amerson, once thought to be a late-first-round talent before last season, is now showing up as early as the back half of the second round.
There is no way to know how Sean Renfree would have been viewed in this year's crop of quarterbacks had he not torn his right pectoral muscle in Duke's Belk Bowl loss.
However, NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock considered Renfree a "diamond in the rough" for a team looking to pick up a backup. Meanwhile, wide receiver Connor Vernon should be picked up by a team in the later rounds this weekend.