With all 254 selections in the books, it's time to reflect on the best value picks in the 2013 NFL Draft. These are the players I had rated much higher than their ultimate draft slots would indicate. Here are 10 guys who definitely fit the bill, listed in chronological order:
Schein: Round 1 winners, losers
Adam Schein says the Vikings knocked it out of the park in Round 1 of the 2013 NFL Draft. The Jets? Not so much. **More ...**
I had Floyd rated as a top-five player overall, yet the Vikings snagged him at No. 23. He is a quick, explosive defensive tackle who can be disruptive at the line of scrimmage. Floyd plays best when used in an upfield scheme.
Ogletree is the best 4-3 linebacker in this draft. He can play MLB, but is best suited for OLB. The Georgia product possesses very good speed and athletic ability, plus excellent instincts against both the run and pass. He should be a productive starter as a rookie in St. Louis.
Carradine dropped in the draft because of a knee injury that ended his final season at Florida State, but I thought he was one of the best pass rushers in this class. San Francisco gets a first-round talent in the second round. The 49ers can afford to wait on his recovery because they don't need immediate production.
Many people rated Lacy as the top running back in this draft and projected him as a possible first-round pick. Still, he makes this list largely because of the team that drafted him. The Packers will spread out defenses, providing Lacy with a bunch of one-on-one opportunities against defensive backs. His size and physical running style will create problems for safeties isolated in space. Lacy could have a big year in Green Bay, as defenses must concentrate on stopping Aaron Rodgers, first and foremost.
Before Allen hurt his knee last season, I had him rated as a late first/early second-round prospect. If the knee heels properly, he could be a steal in the third round. I thought Allen was a better college player than USC's Robert Woods (a second-round selection) because the Cal receiver did a better job separating from defenders on cuts.
I like Thornton's strength and power as a blocker. He played left tackle last season at Illinois, but his best pro position is offensive guard. I love his quick set in pass protection. He has a strong punch and can anchor well as a pass blocker. In time, he could be the Colts' best offensive lineman.
I rate him higher than Andy Dalton coming out of college, as Barkley is a more accurate deep passer. I think Barkley is a very similar prospect to Matt Schaub when he entered the NFL back in 2004; both players are smart and know where to go with the ball, but neither boasts a big-time arm.
Prior to a devastating leg injury in October, he was the best running back in this class and would've been a legitimate first-rounder in any year's draft. I loved his vision and quick-cut ability. He was a physical downhill runner who showed enough burst to get to the corner. After said injury, he is a risk, but I think it's a good risk for the 49ers -- they had extra picks and don't need Lattimore to contribute right off the bat.
In terms of pure ability, I thought Commings was a second/third-rounder. He blazed a 4.41-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, checking in at 6-foot, 216 pounds. I'd try him at cornerback first, and if that doesn't work out, move him to safety. As a cornerback at Georgia, he was a physical guy who pressed well, and I liked his instincts in zone defense, too. He was not very consistent in his off-man coverage, but did look more athletic in man-to-man drills at the combine. His growth in this area will determine whether he stays at cornerback in the NFL or moves to safety.
I had Williams as a second/third-round pick. I think he is a strong short-area player who can stack the run at the point of attack and make plays. However, I didn't see much of a pass rush in his Alabama days.