- Mel Kiper Jr., Football analyst
In Round 1 of the NFL draft, you're drafting starters. It doesn't have to be Week 1, or even for most of the season, but if you're not getting a reasonable level of productivity out of most first-round picks, you're having problems. In the past four years, going backward from 2012 to 2009, the Oakland Raiders have had no pick; no pick; Rolando McClain; and Darrius Heyward-Bey to show for Round 1, and it's a big reason they're rebuilding that roster. The pick has to stick.
There are exceptions, of course. Maybe you have a developmental plan at QB; maybe the prospect is raw but with an extremely high ceiling. But each of the first 11 picks in last year's draft were starters immediately, and almost every first-rounder had an impact, outside of David DeCastro, who got hurt, and A.J. Jenkins, who ran into a stocked depth chart.
For this, I was asked to pick some "impact" players from Round 1. That means guys positioned for impact in 2013. This does NOT mean these are the best players in this draft. It's just noting who seems to have been drafted into a situation where they have a chance to succeed, and have the skills to do it.
Here they are:
More Kiper NFL draft content:
Mel Kiper looks at players who could play a key role for teams early on. Today he breaks down the first-round options.