2013 NFL Draft – Five Things That Will Surprise Me

The 2013 NFL draft is finally here and this morning I will share the five things that will surprise me over the course of the next several days, not only with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but the draft as a whole.

1. I have beat this horse to death and I will beat it one last time. The last time that two “true” guards were drafted within the first 16 picks of the first round was 30 years ago. I will admit, if ever there was a year that the trend could be broken, this would be the year, but it will still surprise me nonetheless. Should this indeed wind up happening it will really show how weak that this draft class is at the top.

2. I am not going to as far to say that the Steelers will not draft a tight end at all this weekend as a trade to acquire a few picks would increase the chances of it happening. However, I will be surprised if one is taken in the first four rounds regardless. General manager Kevin Colbert said during his pre draft press conference that they insulated the position by signing back Matt Spaeth and David Johnson this offseason. When you throw in the fact that they probably haven\’t given up completely on David Paulson, along with the fact that Heath Miller shouldn\’t have to miss the first six weeks of the season on PUP, I just can\’t see them drafting Tyler Eifert in round one. If indeed they do draft Eifert, then perhaps Miller is worse off than I really think that he is and that will certainly be concerning to all of us.

3. I will be surprised if the Steelers don\’t come away with a running back in the first three rounds. Colbert has blasted the running back group all offseason, and as we sit here today, the Steelers still only have three running backs under contract for the 2013 season. How many do suppose they will also add as undrafted free agents? They need bodies.

4. I understand that this is a very weak quarterback class, but teams flinch and reach when it comes to the position. With that being said, I will be surprised if only one quarterback is drafted in the first round. I just don\’t know who that second one will be.

5. As far as the Steelers go with quarterbacks, I will also be surprised if they draft one in the first five rounds unless they work a trade to acquire more picks. Personally, I\’d much rather them not draft one at all and instead sign one or two after the draft. Sean Renfree and Ryan Griffin are two intriguing prospects and there is a good chance that one, if not both, wind up going undrafted. The Steelers signed Bruce Gradkowski for a reason and the last I heard, Ben Roethlisberger isn\’t going anywhere anytime soon and should even get an extension next offseason.

Now it\’s your turn. List a few things that you would be surprised to see on draft day, not only with the Steelers, but the draft as a whole.

  • steeltown

    To be honest, as I sit here today I would be surprised if Cooper, Warmack and Eifert are still on the board when the Steelers are on the clock.. and that, to your point Bryan is a result not only of the value of Cooper and Warmack, but the result of a very weak draft at the top

    I’d be surprised if Jerry Jones doesnt make some crazy move at #18, whether a trade up or a trade down

    I will not be surprised to see a VERY good player like Xavier Rhodes fall all the way to the bottom of the 1st Rd (maybe even out of the 1st altogether) due to overhype of other top CB’s as well as the number of highly graded Safeties this year

    And like Bryan, I’d be surprised if the Steelers dont draft a RB in the 2nd or 3rd Rd, we have no depth and no RB currently signed past 2013

    Lastly, I’d be surprised if we trade back,.. overjoyed, but surprised

  • It would Surprise Me if they:
    1. Move up in Rd 1
    2. Do not address the Safety position in first 3 rounds
    3. Take a DL/OLB in Rd 1
    4. Ignore Oline depth issues past Rd 4
    5. Draft a Punter ever again

  • steeltown

    I sure hope we get a Safety before the 4th Rd…. unless Thomas or Williams fall to mid 4th Rd, which I doubt

  • If Cooper or Warmack are not there, I would MUCH rather see them trade back, grab some picks and see them possibly pick up 2 safeties.

  • Everything Steelers

    It would surprise me if I get the call from the Steelers to be their first round pick at Safety(come on now, someone had to say it)

  • Ahmad

    I would be surprised if the Steelers traded up in the first or traded out of the 1st round completely.

  • $19122620

    I am at the other end, I would be totally shocked if both guards are not drafted in the top 16. For about four different reasons:

    First is based on the need for guards in the 1/3 of the draft. Secondly, is based on the caliber of players Cooper and Warmack are (said to be some of the best guard prospects in the last 10 years). Thirdly, is based on the lack of elite top end talent in this years draft. Lastly, is based on the fact that since they implemented a new rookie salary cap system under the new CBA, drafting a guard earlier is more justifiable. In other words, it is now more reasonable to draft a guard earlier since the contracts issued are much cheaper.

  • $19122620

    Yeah, based on the RB prospects Steelers brought in, it appears the Steelers have every intention on drafting a RB in the 2nd or 3rd.

    I have Xavier Rhodes going to the Packers (26th) in my mock draft, haha!

  • TJimmy

    I will be surprised if the Steelers don’t surprise us with an unanticipated pick.

  • David Edward

    Lol, you stole my thunder but spot on

  • Kysteeler

    Agreed! I will be so mad if they take Jarvis Jones in the 1st or any other OLB at 17. I could see something like Arthur Brown if they trade down.

    Would MUCH rather have Cooper over Warmack…

    ** Could be a sign (my wife is pregnant) that if my first born this year is a boy his name will be Cooper. Steelers won the Super Bowl when we started dating, won again when we got engaged, and went to the Super Bowl when we got married. Ben and I have the same birthday… random I know…

  • Maurice_hill_district

    I agree with you on each one of those, & for same reasons you explained.

    But I would be surprised if there are no surprises.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    First, I think the rules have changed for the draft. I think this impacts who is drafted when. Guard is still a position that doesn’t get paid a ton. In the past, you would end up paying a rookie guard more than some of your skill position players, but with the rookie salary scale now in place, that is less of a concern. Teams would let them slide and hope to get them in the later rounds. Now, if that player can make a difference…you take him.

    Second, if this teams allows Paulson and David Johnson to allow us to overlook Eifert, than we are just dumb. You don’t just take him to fill a need, you take him if you believe he is the best player still on the board. If you watch his highlights, he is used to lining up out wide. He is big with strong hands, you don’t overlook that just because you “think” you have the position filled.

    Third, I think the first priority for this team is adding picks…multiple picks at the draft. To me this could mean multiple trades back. Maybe you move down in round 1 adding a 2nd and a 3rd. You then take one of those 3rds and move down again adding a couple of 4ths. I would like to come out of this draft with 10 or 11 picks. Right now we have 8. Some moves are going to have to be made in order to make that happen.

  • Ha Ha! that’s great! As a Dad, let me say Congrats to you and Wifey. I too like Arthur Brown a little later on… Keep bringing that mojo!

  • Eric MacLaurin

    Teams don’t decide who to pick based on historical trends and the fact that you haven’t had 2 top 10 guards probably means you haven’t had 2 guards graded in the top 5 or 10 talents in a draft with no top 20 skill players.

  • grw1960

    I will be surprised if the Steelers do not trade up in the 3d or 4th round

  • David Edward

    I would be surprised if…
    1. if Cooper makes it to 17 for the reasons Craig mentions below. I think he goes top 10, and I think Warmack goes somewhere soon after.
    2. Jarvis Jones is as good as some seem to think he is (and he thinks he is). If he’s worthy of Steelers pick @ 17 then he should be going higher to a team like Jets or Saints who can use a 34OLB who can play right away. If they pass on him then Steelers shouldn’t be desperate enough to take their sloppy seconds.
    3. at least 4 or 5 of their picks didn’t come from players who visited. That’s basically the trend. Also, the first round pick will likely come from the group that Tomlin/Colbert went out to visit at their pro day.
    4. if I end up grading the Steelers draft B+ or higher. That’s mainly because I’m a tough grader. I don’t give out A’s unless the picks were brilliant moves, and a C isn’t necessarily bad just not well thought out.
    5. if the Steelers trade up or down in first. If there is a trade, maybe down in 2nd if they think they can still get a guy (Franklin?) and get another pick.
    6. if the Jets fans don’t annoy me. I will be attending the draft in person on Friday for day two. Jets fans are always annoying!

  • David Edward

    You are spot on about Eifert

  • mokhkw

    Agreed. To that I would also add the Rule Changes – it’s now illegal for OL to dive into the back of the DL’s legs ( guess that’s the last Pro Bowl Yanda makes then) and you can expect the legal hi/lo blocks made by OL to be made illegal again next offseason.

    In short, good athletic Guards will now become more sought after.

  • steeltown

    I almost posted something along the lines or your #6 comment

  • TheBlitz

    I agree with you.

    I was thinking about an unconventional pick especially if their targeted players (Jones, Vaccaro, or one of the Guards) are off the boards.

    QB – Geno Smith – I know I’m gonna have a lot of disagreement on this one – but I can see value there @ 17. If they are set on drafting a QB at some point why not get the best of the class. I don’t think BB is going to play at a high level for more than 3 more years. He’s too banged up. The injury he sustained last year wasn’t the result of a big hit but it almost cost him his life.

    DT – Sheldon Richardson, Bjoern Werner (could they be converted into 34 DEs ?). We need help and depth at the DE position. How about Sylvester Williams (from NC) – we still don’t know if Ta’amu and Fangupo are the answers at NT and maybe they take a stud to play NT and move McClendon to DE.

    CB – D.J Hayden or Xavier Rhodes. There is a lot of unproven commodity behind Ike and Cortez – not to forget that Cortez still has to confirm what we saw last season.

  • steeltown

    I like Xavier Rhodes, but they never take CB in the 1st Rd

    I do like Richardson and Werner

    And if you’re saying take a QB to be the eventual REPLACEMENT of Ben..then I sure hope they dont take Geno Smith or any QB in this draft for that matter, next year there will be a much better crop of QB’s coming out of college and the year after that………. that said, I disagree and think/hope Ben has 5-6 good yrs left

  • mokhkw

    1. If Jerry Jones doesn’t trade up to get ahead of the Saints to grab Vacarro. Apparently he wants Vacarro badly – he’s a Texas product who can help sell tickets for a team that is only average. It’s a decision based as much on marketing as it is talent.

    2. If the Steelers don’t take a NT in the top 100 with more talent available than any other year in memory. Usually you struggle to find 1 legit 3-4 NT, there are 5 this year.

    3. If any of the Top 6 WRs are still on the board when we pick at 48 ( 2nd Round)

    4. If they selected any WR in the 1st Round over TE Tyler Eifert ( a better player than any WR this year)

    5. If they do use a pick on a QB in any round.

  • I will go pick up a Tim Couch Browns jersey at the Goodwill Store and wear it for a week if they take Smith at 17…that being said, if he is still there I am sure we will certainly be able to have someone to trade our spot and grab some much needed picks from them.

  • Nolrog

    Geno Smith? There are no words . . . .

  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    If the Steelers don’t win it next year, we’ll count on you to the proper thing and get divorced in 2014.

  • mokhkw

    Not any recent CBs have been taken in the 1st, last one was Chad Scott in 97.(93 -Deon Figures, 87- Rod Woodson).

    I think this has more to do with the players that were available rather than the Steelers not wanting to. eg Revis went No.14 in 07 while we picked next at No.15 ( Timmons)

  • hergieburbur

    Yeah, if Smith is at 17, I expect a trade back.

  • hergieburbur

    My take is that this is one of the weakest drafts at the top in 30 years and there are about 15-20 true first round players in this draft. Both Guards fit that bill, so I would be surprised if they both fall past 20, and depending on how desperate teams get for need, not surprised at all if they are both gone by our pick.

  • Rob Erickson

    Historically, the Steelers like TEs who can block for the run as with some ability to catch. Mark Bruener then Heath Miller (Miller obviously the more accomplished receiver, but impeccable blocker). Even Spaeth is a decent blocker who can catch. They stretched with Paulson (more a receiver) and are regretting it. I don’t see them burning a 1st rounder on a non-blocking TE. Not their offensive style.

  • hergieburbur

    I would not be at all surprised if we pas on Jones if he falls to us. I also wouldn’t be shocked if they did take him and then go safer in rounds 2-4.

  • Pete

    I agree about the guards. I expect one or both to still be on the board when the Steelers draft. Only 3 times since 1990 has one gone higher than 17: 1997 (10th pick), 1995 (14th pick) and 1994 (16th pick). I would be extremely surprised if they are both gone by 17. I’d bet money that one will be available at 17.

    I would be surprised if Tyler Eifert is available at 17, along with the guards, that he is not taken by the Steelers. Seeing the damage NE does with two good catching TEs, I have a hard time seeing the Steelers let Eifert go at 17 if he is there. One could argue that 17 is poor value for Eifert but I don’t see the Steelers trading back.

  • hergieburbur

    A late QB wouldn’t surprise me overmuch. Nor would a top 6 WR being there are 48, as I think they are realistically all second rounders. But if they are gone, I think there will still be plenty of WR talent available either way.

  • hergieburbur

    I would be shocked if they trade up at all. Especially with how critical Colbert has been on the roster and repeatedly emphasized the need for every pick.

  • hergieburbur

    Yeah, I think Dave is wrong on Eifert. I think they will pick him, he is the best pass catcher in this draft.

  • hergieburbur

    Bleacher Report has us taking Brown at 17. Way too early.

  • hergieburbur


  • steeltown

    Yea its hard to tell just how much they like J.Jones.. they may really like him.. or they may have red flagged him and not want to risk the high draft pick……. guess we’ll see

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    You are spot on about HIM being spot on about about Eifert.

  • I will be surprised if the Steelers don’t…

    1. …draft at least one project in the first four rounds whose selection takes us aback and sends us flying for youtube and Walter Football to find out who he is (only to find he isn’t listed).

    2. …draft in no particular order…a S, CB, RB, WR, ILB, OLB, DE, & OT

    3. …pass on almost every player I WANT them to draft, including JJ Wicox, DeAndre Hopkins, Barrett Jones, L. Bell, Rasheem Greene, Christine Michael, and Jamie Collins. (I like WR Bailey and RB Franklin, too, whom I think they might select).

    4. …bring back Max Starks if they don’t draft an OT.

    5. …keep Casey Hampton’s phone number on speed dial if they don’t find a DE who can hold the edge better than Hood or Heyward…otherwise McClendon may have to switch positions.

  • HarryBackside

    I’m won’t be thrilled over the pick, but the more I think about it, the more I hope that Vaccaro is there at 17. He has good coverage skills, and should be able to compete for the NB job as a rookie. If that happens, then he’s on thfield for about half the defensive snaps.

    A lot of teams need a S, so I’m predicting a run on the position early. I think Vaccaro, Syprien and Elam are gone before 49.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    I’m confused. What makes you think he isn’t at the least a willing blocker? Have you watched his highlight tapes? What about actually watching games he played in last year? I have, he is a capable and willing blocker, and is at least as accomplished at blocking at this stage of his career as Miller was when we drafted him. Notre Dame ran the ball 190 times, more than all of the completions that Golson had on the year. Eifert had 50 of those catches. 50 out of 187 completions.

  • dgh57

    Yes I agree! Just don’t forget that a few teams will reach(or a team behind us trades in front of us to take something other than a guard) for talent not worthy of a high 1st rd. pick and the guards could slide down. Seems like teams do it every year.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    If jarvis jones is the pick, my television won’t survive. And I just bought it last week.

  • RW

    Bleacher report is awful.

  • RW

    Trade back and grab Elam and an extra pick.

  • hergieburbur

    That they are. I didn’t see that one, but I mostly go there for ironic entertainment.

  • dave

    Agree with point 1 – under the old CBA nobody ever wanted to take a OG in the top 10 or 15 picks and have to pay that rookie salary to an OG.

    Agree with point 2 – I don’t think Paulson or David Johnson should stop us from taking Eifert. There is room in a modern offense for 2 TE’s, and Heath Miller isn’t ready on opening day anyway

    Somewhat disagree with point 3 – depends on who is on the board at 17. I’d rather get 1 stud there than 2 decent guys in a trade…again, depends on who may be there at 17, but I look at the Polamalu trade in reverse as an example – I’d rather have Troy than Larry Johnson, Julian Battle, Brooks Bollinger. I would say, this is maybe the year to do it, since there theoretically isn’t much diiference between the guy at 25 and the guy at 40… There is a chance that one of the 6 or 8 players that Colbert said are “special” falls to 17. If not, then trade down, if possible.

  • Brendon Glad

    1)I will be surprised if the Steelers draft an OG early.
    2)I will be surprised if Heath Miller is not on the PUP list.
    3)I will be surprised if the Steelers draft a RB before Rd 4 or later.
    4) I will be surprised if the Steelers don’t address the woeful weakness in Safety depth VERY EARLY and then late as well.

  • $19122620

    Both guards gone in the top 10. Didn’t even make it to the teens.