Perhaps the only thing more impressive about the NFL draft than the amount of time it takes to complete all seven rounds is the amount of grades produced in the aftermath of each selection. The draft’s winners and losers are decided before any pick plays a down of professional football.
For all the immediate evaluation that is done, it is impossible to fairly assess a draft class without data and the gift of time. Starting with 2010, 110 Sports is going back and grading every NFL draft of the past decade on a team-by-team basis.
These grades are based first and foremost on production. Other factors were taken into consideration, but the primary goal is figuring out how successful teams were at identifying talent.
The second stop in the 2013 NFL Draft re-grade is the NFC East.
*All stats courtesy of pro-football-reference.com and accurate through the end of the 2019 season.
Picks: C Travis Frederick (31st overall), TE Gavin Escobar (47), WR Terrance Williams (74), DB J.J. Wilcox (80), DB B.W. Webb (114), RB Joseph Randle (151), LB DeVonte Holloman (185)
Best pick: Travis Frederick
Not only does Frederick have more starts than any other player in the Cowboys’ draft class has appearances, he is also a five-time Pro Bowler who earned First Team All-Pro honors in 2016. He started every game in his career until missing the 2018 season after being diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome. Frederick returned in 2019, starting all 16 games and making the Pro Bowl again. On March 23, 2020, he announced his retirement from football due to the effects of the illness.
Worst pick: Gavin Escobar
Escobar hauled in 30 passes for 333 yards in his 64-game career. He played in every game three of his first four seasons, never catching more than nine passes in a year. The three guys Dallas took immediately after Escobar — Williams, Wilcox and Webb — appeared in and started more games. He was easily the least impressive of the Cowboys’ five picks in the first four rounds.
Frederick’s unfortunate retirement at age 29 limits the ceiling of this group. Webb was the only player besides Frederick who was active in 2019. Williams produced 3,377 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns in his six-year career. All seven players started on multiple occasions in their career, which is rather rare. Really, this is about Dallas finding one of the top offensive linemen in football over the last seven years and then doing pretty well the rest of the draft.
New York Giants
Picks: OT Justin Pugh (19), DT Jonathan Hankins (49), DE Damontre Moore (81), QB Ryan Nassib (110), DB Cooper Taylor (152), OG Eric Herman (225), RB Michael Cox (253)
Best pick: Jonathan Hankins
This is a contest between Pugh and Hankins, with Hankins coming out on top thanks to 12 more appearances and being drafted 30 spots lower. He has started at least 14 games five times and all 16 games three times. The former Ohio State Buckeye’s career year came in 2014, when he registered career highs in sacks (seven) and tackles (51). He has 13.5 sacks in 98 games, 86 of which were starts.
Worst pick: Ryan Nassib
The hope with any quarterback taken between pick 110 and pick 150 is that they at least turn out to be a viable backup who sticks around for a while. The Giants did not get that in Nassib. He saw action in five games and completed nine passes while never making a start. Nassib spent time with the Saints and Jaguars after a four-year stint with the Giants but was released in short order by both teams. He last played in an NFL game on Dec. 27, 2015.
Both Pugh and Hankins have started 86 games and were active in 2019. The rest of the class has a combined 95 appearances and one start. That group includes selections in the third, fourth and fifth round. Finding serviceable players who go on to have long careers with their first two picks means the Giants aren’t going to look back on the 2013 draft as a catastrophe. It just wasn’t a particularly good draft either.
Picks: OT Lane Johnson (4), TE Zach Ertz (35), DT Bennie Logan (67), QB Matt Barkey (98), DB Earl Wolff (136), DE Joe Kruger (212), DB Jordan Poyer (218), DE David King (239)
Best pick: Zach Ertz
Ertz’s durability gives him the edge over Johnson, as he has missed six games in his career. In each of the last five years, Ertz has compiled at least 75 receptions and 800 yards. Since entering the league, the three-time Pro Bowler ranks 17 overall and second among tight ends in receiving yards with 5,743. That places him ahead of both Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham.
Worst pick: Earl Wolff
In the two seasons Wolff saw game action, he was on the field for a total of exactly 600 defensive snaps, 524 of which came as a rookie. Philadelphia released Wolff and Aug. 21. 2015 after just two years with the team. He had stints with Jacksonville, Washington and Indianapolis but was out of the league by early September every year after 2015. He appeared in 18 games and started five times.
Half of the eight-man draft class went on to start over 50 games and half was on a roster last season. Johnson and Ertz have both made three Pro Bowls, won a Super Bowl and spent their entire career with the Eagles. Unlike Nassib (see New York Giants above), Barkley’s been able to stick around as a backup for three different teams. It is not a transcendent group by any means, but it is still a pretty darn impressive one.
Washington Football Team
Picks: DB David Amerson (51), TE Jordan Reed (85), DB Phillip Thomas (119), RB Chris Thompson (154), DE Brandon Jenkins (162), Bacarri Rambo (191), RB Jawan Jamison (228)
Best pick: Jordan Reed
A slew of injuries — including seven concussions — have limited Reed’s career to 65 games. Still, he followed up an 87-catch season in 2015 with a trip to the Pro Bowl in 2016. Despite never appearing in more than 14 games in a season, Reed’s posted at least 465 receiving yards on five occasions. The unfortunate injuries are the only reason there is a discussion about who goes here.
Worst pick: Phillip Thomas
A torn Lisfranc ligament landed Thomas on injured reserve after Washington’s first preseason game in 2013. Hamstring and foot injuries during the 2014 preseason led to him being waived on Aug. 30. Washington signed Thomas to its practice squad and he eventually made it back onto the active roster. He played in eight games that season. Though he hung around the league until March 2017, those were the only games he ever appeared in.
Two of Washington’s first five picks (Thomas and Jenkins) did not play a down past 2014. Amerson, Reed and Thompson have all played in between 65 and 74 contests. Amerson tied for the league lead in passes defended in 2015 and Thompson actually has more receiving yards than rushing yards. Washington did fine considering it didn’t have a top-50 pick and was working with only seven selections.
Click here to see the entire draft grades series.
Photo by Keith Allison / Wikimedia Commons