Around the League  

 

2013 NFL Draft: Five AFC teams that failed to fill needs

Handing out team-by-team grades in the afterglow of last week's NFL draft is hazardous territory.

It's impossible to predict how these players will turn out, but we can measure whether organizations addressed their immediate needs.

Around the League examines the aftershocks of the 2013 NFL Draft for each team:

AFC East
» Bills | Dolphins | Jets | Patriots
AFC North
» Bengals | Browns | Ravens | Steelers
AFC South
» Colts | Jaguars | Texans | Titans
AFC West
» Broncos | Chargers | Chiefs | Raiders
NFC East
» Cowboys | Eagles | Giants | Redskins
NFC North
» Bears | Lions | Packers | Vikings
NFC South
» Buccaneers | Falcons | Panthers | Saints
NFC West
» 49ers | Cardinals | Rams | Seahawks

The Kansas City Chiefs found a bookend for quarterback Alex Smith in offensive tackle Eric Fisher, the Detroit Lions bolstered their defensive line with end Ziggy Ansah and the St. Louis Rams gave Sam Bradford a head-spinning weapon in Tavon Austin. Hard to pick those moves apart, but not everyone covered their bases.

Here are five AFC squads that came out of the 2013 NFL Draft with at least one glaring hole left unplugged. We'll hit the NFC on Thursday.

New York Jets, tight end


The Jets enjoyed a productive draft under John Idzik. The team's new general manager handed coach Rex Ryan a pair of defensive centerpieces in tackle Sheldon Richardson and cornerback Dee Milliner. Meanwile, Geno Smith gives Gang Green a young quarterback to develop, but who will he throw to? After losing tight ened Dustin Keller in free agency, Idzik failed to find his replacement. Tight end is critical to offensive coordinator's Marty Mornhinweg's West Coast scheme, and Jeff Cumberland doesn't exactly capture the imagination. While we're at it, the Jets also ignored one of the deepest wideout drafts in ages.

Oakland Raiders, defensive line


Like the Jets, the Raiders had needs everywhere. You can't nail them all, but Oakland remains paper thin on the defensive line. Instead of locking down tackle Sharrif Floyd at No. 3 overall, general manager Reggie McKenzie and Co. traded down to No. 12 (a move we liked) to grab cornerback D.J. Hayden (a move we question). Hayden is a dynamic defender with a likable backstory, but the Raiders arguably could have traded down a second time to grab him. Outside of taking nose tackle Stacy McGee in the sixth round, the Raiders did nothing to patch up a defensive front that could be one of the NFL's worst in 2013.

2013 NFL Draft grades by division
The draft is finally behind us. How did everybody do? Bucky Brooks breaks out the red pen and grades all 32 teams by division. More ...

Miami Dolphins, left tackle


It was the Dolphins that boldly swung a deal with the Raiders to move up to No. 3 overall. There's no arguing with the selection of pass rusher Dion Jordan, who gives the Dolphins a potentially game-changing presence opposite Cameron Wake. What they didn't pull off was a draft-day swap for Chiefs offensive tackle Branden Albert, who would have given Ryan Tannehill a reliable bookend heading into his sophomore season. Third-rounder Dallas Thomas is a versatile lineman who insists he can play tackle, but fits better at guard. Upshot: The Dolphins remain in play for Albert, unless they snag free agents Eric Winston or Bryant McKinnie.

San Diego Chargers, offensive tackle


Same story in San Diego, where the Chargers are dogged by a left-tackle-sized hole on their shaky O-line. To be fair, the Chargers used their first-round pick to grab right tackle D.J. Fluker out of Alabama, but, as with the Dolphins, the draft haul didn't rule out a trade for veteran help. McKinnie is on the radar.

Jacksonville Jaguars, quarterback


Schein: Post-draft pressure points
In the wake of the 2013 NFL Draft, Adam Schein identifies players, coaches and general managers in the crosshairs. More ...

The Jaguars comprehensively ignored this year's draft class of signal-callers. I love the addition of Arizona's Matt Scott after the process, but whispers of the Jaguars falling hard for Ryan Nassib didn't win out over addressing the secondary, a priority for coach Gus Bradley. The Jaguars appear more focused and creative of late, but going into the season with quarterback Blaine Gabbert already has spelled doom for two consecutive regimes.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

Fan Discussion

NFL News
CONTENT
15