Breaking down the draft
April, 30, 2013
By Adam Schefter | ESPN Insider
AP Photo/Denis PoroyThe Chargers were winners for Adam Schefter, adding three first-round-caliber players this weekend.Adam Schefter answers reader questions in his mailbag once a week during the NFL season. Got a query of your own? Submit it here.
Q: Adam, which were a couple teams you thought had the best drafts? I thought the St. Louis Rams did very well, as did the Cincinnati Bengals.
-- Jerry (Connecticut)
A: Actually liked a handful of teams, Jerry. Really liked what all the NFC West teams did, especially the Rams and Cardinals. St. Louis positioned itself to get the best wide receiver in this draft, and the Cardinals filled a lot of needs with eight different players who were captains of their college teams. I was a big fan of the Jaguars' draft -- thought new Jaguars GM Dave Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley crushed it. The Chargers, with their new GM Tom Telesco and head coach Mike McCoy, also managed to land three first-round-caliber picks, so they did well. And of course the Packers and Ravens do what they always do -- an overall really good job. But the truth is, it's easy to judge drafts today; we'll be a whole lot smarter about it in December.
Q: Were you surprised by the Dallas Cowboys' draft? I saw that Mel Kiper didn't like it and I tend to agree. They traded down in the first and then got Travis Frederick, a player they could've gotten later. What gives?
-- Jill (Texas)
A: I wasn't a fan myself, Jill, and that was also the opinion of a handful of general managers and head coaches I spoke with. One GM said Frederick ran the 40-yard dash in 5.6 seconds, which is going to make it tough for him to get to the second level of defenders. Another HC flat criticized Frederick and did not have complimentary things to say about him. My colleague, Ed Werder, surveyed a handful of teams and found most gave Frederick mid-round grades. With that said, former Colts GM Bill Polian put a second-round grade on him and likes him as a player. So at this time of year, there always are a variety of opinions. But it certainly seems the Cowboys went strong on a guy who maybe would have been there in Round 2 for them. However, if Frederick turns out to be a great player, then Dallas -- and not all the naysayers -- will have been proven correct.
Q: Adam, which prospects are NFL GMs most intrigued by? I think Cornelius Washington and Denard Robinson are two interesting players.
-- Kevin (New Hampshire)
A: The ones picked at the top of the draft, Kevin. Not to be a wise guy, but that's true, and that's such a broad-based statement. To me, the intriguing prospects usually are the ones who come from nowhere, like Florida International safety Jonathan Cyprien, who went to the Jaguars; or Grand Valley State wide receiver Charles Johnson, who went to the Packers; or Duke quarterback Sean Renfree, who went to the Falcons. We'll hear more and more buzz about intriguing players at OTAs and training camp, and that's when you begin to get an idea as to who really landed draft steals. Now it's just speculation.