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.
Let’s get started with the NFC North’s 2013 NFL Draft re-grade.
*All stats courtesy of pro-football-reference.com and accurate through the end of the 2019 season.
Picks: OG Kyle Long (20th overall), LB Jonathan Bostic (50), LB Khaseem Greene (117), OT Jordan Mills (163), LB Cornelius Washington (188), WR Marquess Wilson (236)
Best pick: Jordan Mills
Chicago found a gem in Mills, who has the most starts (84) and appearances (90) of anyone the Bears drafted. On four different occasions, he’s started every regular season game and been on the field for at least 96% of his team’s offensive snaps. Mills was a starter from the first game of his career, playing in 29 games over two seasons with the Bears. As a member of the Bills, he started all 16 games in three straight seasons from 2016 to 2018.
Worst pick: Khaseem Greene
Greene only saw the field in 2013 and 2014, playing in a total of 25 contests. He made four starts as a rookie and finished the season with an interception, a forced fumble and 28 tackles. His sophomore season was less productive with 16 tackles in 10 appearances. After Chicago waived him in May 2015, Greene spent time with the Buccaneers, Lions and Chiefs. He failed to survive final roster cuts in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
The Bears fared pretty well with only two picks in the top 100 (and six total) to work with, as all six guys reached the 25-game mark. Long made three consecutive Pro Bowls to begin his career but hasn’t played more than 10 games in a season since. Bostic — who has started 62 times — is coming off a career year that saw him record 105 tackles. Long’s injuries limit the ceiling of an extremely solid group.
Picks: DE Ezekiel Ansah (5), DB Darius Slay (36), OG Larry Warford (65), DE Devin Taylor (132), P Sam Martin (165), WR Corey Fuller (171), RB Theo Riddick (199), TE Michael Williams (211), LB Brandon Hepburn (245)
Best pick: Darius Slay
Since getting drafted in the second round, Slay has played in 103 of a possible 112 games, starting 94 of them. His breakout season came in 2017, when he tied for the league lead with eight interceptions and was named a First Team All-Pro The three-time Pro Bowler has picked off at least two passes every season since 2014. Slay tops the entire 2013 draft class in interceptions with 19 and passes defended with 104.
Worst pick: Devin Taylor
Remember the controversial facemask call that set up Aaron Rodgers’ “Miracle in Motown” Hail Mary in 2015? Taylor was the one who was penalized. Of his 18 career starts, 16 came in 2016. Even though he started every game, Taylor only played 65% of Detroit’s defensive snaps that season. He saw out his rookie contract with the Lions before becoming a free agent in 2017. Taylor signed with the Giants and was released for good on Nov. 14. He has since played in the Alliance of American Football and XFL.
In an average draft class, Taylor would not be anywhere close to the worst pick. This is no ordinary group though. Ansah’s 50.5 sacks are 18 more than any other player selected in 2013. Warford has 101 starts and three Pro Bowl selections to his name. Riddick produced 1,023 rushing yards, 2,238 receiving yards and 19 total touchdowns while Martin’s been the Lions’ punter for the past seven seasons. The first three players Detroit picked went on to make at least one Pro Bowl. Think about that.
Green Bay Packers
Picks: DE Datone Jones (26), RB Eddie Lacy (61), OT David Bakhtiari (109), C J.C. Tretter (122), RB Jonathan Franklin (125), DB Micah Hyde (159), DE Josh Boyd (167), LB Nate Palmer (193), WR Charles Johnson (2016), WR Kevin Dorsey (224), LB Sam Barrington (232)
Best pick: David Bakhtiari
The former Colorado Buffalo played every offensive snap for Green Bay as a rookie and did so again last season. He has started every regular season game five of the seven seasons he’s been in the NFL. All 106 of the two-time Pro Bowler and 2018 First Team All-Pro’s appearances have been starts. The Packers’ decision to select Bakhtiari is made even more impressive by the fact he’s spent his entire career with the organization. Any way you look at it, Bahktiari was a home run.
Worst pick: Datone Jones
Green Bay got 59 games, seven starts and nine sacks from Jones in his four years with the team. The Packers declined his fifth-year option and allowed Jones to move on after the 2016 season. Jones was on the roster of four different teams in 2017, eventually landing with the Cowboys. He signed with the Jaguars in June 2019 but was let go after participating in all four preseason games. Only nine of Jones’s 67 appearances have been starts.
Four guys (Lacy, Bakhtiari, Tretter and Hyde) with 60+ games played and 50+ starts is not a bad return from a late first-rounder, late second-rounder and nine picks in the last four rounds by any means. The knock on the group — aside from the disappointment of Jones — is that nobody else started more than 17 times. Another regular starter or two and the grade is an A- on the verge of an A.
Picks: DT Sharrif Floyd (23), DB Xavier Rhodes (25), WR Cordarrelle Patterson (29), LB Gerald Hodges (120), P Jeff Locke (155), OG Jeff Baca (196), LB Michael Mauti (213), OG Travis Bond (214), DT Everett Dawkins (229)
Best pick: Xavier Rhodes
The second of Minnesota’s three first round picks has more starts than the other two combined. Rhodes has been a starter in all 91 games he’s appeared in since 2014, missing just five contests in six seasons. He followed up a Pro Bowl selection in 2016 with another invitation and First Team All-Pro honors in 2017. Rhodes, a career-long Viking until signing with the Colts this offseason, registered a career-high 63 tackles and made his third Pro Bowl in 2019.
Worst pick: Sharrif Floyd
After playing in 43 games his first three seasons, Floyd’s career came to a rather abrupt end. A knee injury ended his 2016 season after just one game, leading to a surgery in September 2016. The surgery resulted in nerve damage that Floyd was never able to recover from. Minnesota placed him on the reserve/non-football injury list prior to the 2017 season, bringing his career to a close. Floyd compiled 9.5 sacks and 13 tackles for loss in 44 games.
The Vikings were the first team with three first round picks in the same draft since the Rams in 2001. Two of their three selections failed to live up to their billing and the rest of the draft class didn’t make up for it. Floyd was a non-factor after 2015. Patterson is an all-pro return man but has never posted 500 receiving yards in a season. Of the nine players Minnesota picked, only Rhodes has more than 33 starts. Even with his success, the Vikings wasted a once-in-a-decade opportunity to upgrade their team significantly.
Click here to see the entire draft grades series.
Photo by Kevind810 / Wikimedia Commons