The Future Over Drafted of the 2013 NFL Draft
Written by Curt Popejoy on 07/17/2012
Every season you get those players who the media gets ahold of, and once that machine starts rolling it's less about how good a football player they are and more about how far up networks like ESPN and NFL Network can push them on a team's draft board. This year is no different and here are my 5 guys almost sure to be drafted higher than their talent would indicate and more about how far networks like ESPN and NFL Network can pimp them. Now, I don't fault the players. They go out and play hard and try to be drafted as high as possible. I get that. I fault the media who exaggerates their skills and potential, and teams who draft at times out of desperation.
1. Matt Barkley, QB USC-I am hopeful that during the course of the season, some other quarterback is going to steal the hearts of the media, but for right now, it's clearly Barkley. I've already been told, "there's no way Barkley isn't taken No.1 overall" and "if he declared, he'd have been taken ahead of RGIII." Poppycock. I understand that so many fell in love with all the USC players because they were so good last year in a season that didn't count, but from an objective standpoint, Barkley's arm is less than his peers, his size isn't ideal, and he doesn't throw with the urgency on short and intermediate routes to hit those small windows in the NFL. A guy like Tyler Wilson from Arkansas or Logan Thomas from Virginia Tech could blow up this year, and push Barkley way down. Fingers crossed...
2. Marcus Lattimore, RB South Carolina-I am including Lattimore on this list but it has less to do with his talent, and more to do with his injury. Until he can show me that he's healthy, and can sustain his production for a full season, he shouldn't even consider coming out early. I have seen him ranked in the top 20 for next year's draft, but I don't have a crystal ball that will tell me that he's fit and until I see it, I can't get on board. His skill set is definitely first round caliber, but running backs are so under valued, Lattimore is going to have to be special to get my attention like that.
3. Landry Jones, QB Oklahoma-My favorite move Jones made the past 2 seasons was to grow that fabulous mustache. Seriously, Jones has a very nice package of tools, excellent arm and accuracy, great size and solid footwork. But anyone who's watched him play closely over a period of time can see his lapses. Bad throws on easy routes, careless overthrows, and for every great play he makes, he'll make one that breaks your heart. This year with new targets Jones has a chance to step his own game up and lead that Sooner offense, and if he can, I will certainly move him up as well.
4. Tyler Eifert, TE Notre Dame-In recent years the TE position has become one of considerable glamor. Teams covet these big targets who can line up inline, block if need be, and still run great routes whether it's in a traditional formation or split wide like a wide receiver. While I believe that Eifert can do all those things, he's probably going to be drafted too high based on this tight end mania that is sweeping the league. I would consider Eifert a late first, early second round pick, but I won't be at all shocked if in a reach move he's taken around 12-15 in the first round, and with the potential talent in this draft, that's far too early. This isn't Antonio Gates. This isn't Gronk. He's more Heath Miller and should be drafted accordingly.
5. Tyrann Mathieu, CB LSU-The poster child for media darling, doomed to be over drafted. Mathieu captured everyone's attention with his bright yellow mowhawk, catchy nickname, and reckless and explosive style of play. Fun to watch, but when you break him down critically, there's not nearly as much to like in the NFL. He's undersized for a CB, his speed both timed and field isn't elite, and while he's a nice player in zone where he can play center field in the nickle and dime, his man skills are lacking and while he's an excellent return man, the new rules means his only chance to show it will be as a punt returner. I've read people say he's one of the 5 best prospects in the entire draft and the reality is, he's not one of the best prospects on his own team. In fact there are lots of folks, myself included who think Mathieu is going to end up as a nickle/slot corner only this season at LSU. Do you draft a college kid who can't crack the 2 deep high in the first? That question what rhetorical.
Last Edited: 07/17/2012