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Best player-team fits in 2013 NFL Draft's first round

It's impossible to know whether a pick was smart on NFL draft weekend. Only time on an NFL field will prove that.

Some picks, however, just make sense. They fit. They should work for a variety of reasons. Here are my picks for the best fits from Thursday night.

1. Lane Johnson, OT, Philadelphia Eagles


The fast-paced Chip Kelly offense grabbed the most athletic player on the board at any position. Lane Johnson is the perfect tackle for Kelly's bubble screens and all the other plays that will take advantage of Johnson's movement skills. Kelly needs a tackle who can play a lot of snaps, not some road grader.

2. Kenny Vaccaro, S, New Orleans Saints

Jeff Duncan of The Times-Picayune called this one right. Don't worry about Kenny Vaccaro's position. (Or if Malcom Jenkins will play some cornerback.) Think about what Vaccaro will do in Rob Ryan's defense. He'll cover tight ends like Vernon Davis. He'll blitz. He'll do a little bit of everything. Ryan thrives on using versatile safeties like this.

3. Ziggy Ansah, DE, Detroit Lions


Ziggy Ansah's risk of becoming a massive bust went way down when he was drafted by the Lions. Jim Washburn's system will have him lining up wide. Ansah's speed will play well on turf, and he won't be asked to be some great run defender. He'll learn from one of the best teachers and technicians.


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4. Star Lotulelei, DT, Carolina Panthers


This is less about head coach Ron Rivera's system fit and more about the Panthers absolutely needing a player just like Star Lotulelei. This pick was the perfect marriage of desperate need with terrific value.

5. EJ Manuel, QB, Buffalo Bills


One of the most controversial picks of the night was one of our favorites. The Bills showed conviction by taking EJ Manuel. Mike Mayock said if he needed to build around one quarterback in this class, it would be Manuel. We love Manuel's skill set and smarts; he fits what head coach Doug Marrone wants to do. This is going to be a fun offense to watch.

6. Jarvis Jones, LB, Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers have struggled to find a young outside linebacker for years. Jarvis Jones didn't test well, but his pass-rush skills fit perfectly in the Dick LeBeau 3-4 defense tradition. Jones might not "replace" James Harrison right away, but he looks like a player destined to be a longtime Pittsburgh Steeler.

7. Tyler Eifert, TE, Cincinnati Bengals


Offensive coordinator Jay Gruden had to be thrilled that Tyler Eifert lasted until pick No. 21. He gives Gruden a great new toy to play with in a two-tight end offense. Unlike Tavon Austin with the St. Louis Rams, we're confident Eifert's offensive coordinator will know just how to use him.

8. Alec Ogletree, LB, St. Louis Rams


The Rams quietly have built up one of the better front sevens in football, but their outside linebackers were very weak. Insert Alec Ogletree, whose skill set is better suited as a weak-side defender than the inside, where James Lauranitis has things locked down.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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