The 2013 NFL Draft was called the most wide open draft ever. And that proved to be the case on Thursday night.
We have winners and we have losers from Round 1, "Schein Nine" style.
1) Vikings dominate another draft
I thought Sharrif Floyd was the best defensive tackle in the draft. I wouldn't have batted an eye if he had been picked third overall. He slipped to No. 23, and Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman pounced on someone I could have seen him trading up to pick. What a genuine steal. I also loved the needed selection of physical corner Xavier Rhodes with the pick that was acquired from the Seattle Seahawks in the Percy Harvin deal (No. 25). Then, to replace Harvin, Spielman traded with the New England Patriots to get back into the first round at No. 29 and nab Cordarrelle Patterson. Though he's not polished as a receiver, Patterson will instantly help on special teams.
Yet again, Spielman got the job done on draft day. This was an A+ draft.
2) Geno Smith and Manti Te'o plummet
Color me stunned. Geno Smith can play quarterback. He was champing at the bit to prove the haters wrong on Thursday night. I thought he would go in the top 10. He likely thought he was going somewhere in that range, too, to the Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns, Philadelphia Eagles or New York Jets. I think a lot of teams will eat crow after passing up on him. He could still wind up in the right place to succeed, but make no mistake: This is a major fall -- and surely a major blow to the ego and wallet. If I'm the Jacksonville Jaguars, I take him at No. 33 on Friday.
I thought Manti Te'o would go in the first round to the Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings or Baltimore Ravens. And then the Vikings passed on him -- three times! The girlfriend was fake, but the pain is real.
I still believe both Smith and Te'o will make a big impact in the NFL.
3) Rex wrecking the Jets?
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I said before the draft that the Jets should lock Rex Ryan in a closet. Well, he apparently found the key. What's next? Will he get a contract extension before Day 2?
Ryan's fingerprints are all over the Jets' picks. That's a problem, considering his past personnel failures and his status as what amounts to a lame-duck head coach.
The man the Jets took ninth overall, Dee Milliner, has had five surgeries. The significance of that can't be minimized. I didn't think he was the best player available in a group that included Smith, Floyd, Chance Warmack, D.J. Fluker, Tyler Eifert and Star Lotulelei.
Taking Sheldon Richardson at No. 13 made no sense, especially when Floyd and Lotulelei were still there at the DT position.
4) A true quarterback surprise
I thought there was a chance EJ Manuel would go in the first round -- but at the end. And I certainly didn't think he would be the only quarterback taken on Thursday night.
When the Buffalo Bills traded down, moving from No. 8 to No. 16, you had to know they were going to go with a quarterback. I thought it was going to be Ryan Nassib. I was wrong. Manuel is a fantastic person and leader with a big, strong arm and great athleticism, though he does need to improve his consistency.
He told me on Wednesday that he thought the Bills had interest. They did, in a major way. Beyond the "wow" factor, I really like this pick for Buffalo.
5) Browns take too much of a risk
I was not a believer in Barkevious Mingo, who had just 4.5 sacks last season. Sure, new Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton is sharp -- but this pick is way too "boom or bust."
6) No luck for the Lions
The only way the Detroit Lions could have been branded losers in this draft was if they had failed to land the offensive tackle they needed to aid Matthew Stafford with the fifth overall pick. Well, after pick No. 4, the three best tackles were gone. Ziggy Ansah is a fine defensive lineman, but missing out on that offensive tackle will hurt the win total in 2013.
With that said ...
7) Big boys win big
Eric Fisher deserved to go first overall to the Kansas City Chiefs. Having Fisher, coach Andy Reid and quarterback Alex Smith will translate to at least six more wins for Kansas City in 2013. Jacksonville then smartly followed with Luke Joeckel at No. 2.
I couldn't get enough of Chip Kelly picking Lane Johnson at No. 4. For all the talk about the Philadelphia Eagles' quarterbacks and defense, their offensive line has been awful the past few years. This was a tremendous selection.
And for all the Norv Turner bashing I've done over the past few years, and for all of the awful play from Philip Rivers, I know San Diego needed major help at tackle. Fluker will start -- and star -- from Day 1.
8) Cardinals and Titans hit the bull's-eye
I wrote before the draft that two of the best players in this class were the top two guards, Chance Warmack and Jonathan Cooper. And when you dive deep, it's not surprising that the two teams that got it right were the Arizona Cardinals and Tennessee Titans.
As for the Cardinals, this was their big area of need. New Arizona general manager Steve Keim is savvy -- and he's a former college offensive lineman.
Chris Johnson came on my SiriusXM radio show and said the Titans needed new offensive linemen. Well, after signing Andy Levitre, Tennessee drafted a Will Shields clone in Warmack. Titans coach -- and legendary lineman -- Mike Munchak loves Warmack. It's a natural and excellent fit.
9) Ram tough
The St. Louis Rams, who were on the move up and down through the draft, had a great first day. Tavon Austin is the home-run hitter they needed to team with quarterback Sam Bradford -- this was a great pick. Alec Ogletree, meanwhile, is a potential problem child, but he's also a stud. Rams coach Jeff Fisher knows how to deal with and maximize players with potential character problems. I'll bet Ogletree dominates under Fisher.