- Round 1: QB Eli Manning
- Round 2: TE Jimmy Graham
- Round 3: CB Johnathan Joseph
- Round 4: OT Branden Albert
- Round 5: OLB/DE Tamba Ali
- Round 6: OLB/DE Jabaal Sheard
- Round 7: WR Josh Gordon
- Round 8: G Ben Grubbs
- Round 9: S Reggie Nelson
- Round 10: WR Miles Austin
- Round 11: DT Jason Jones
- Round 12: CB Brandon Boykin
- Round 13: RB Lamar Miller
- Round 14: DT Brandon Thompson
- Round 15: LB Wesley Woodyard
- Round 16: WR Andrew Hawkins
- Round 17:
- Round 18:
- Round 19:
- Round 20:
- Round 21:
- Round 22:
Round 1, Pick 16: Eli Manning, Quarterback
My plan all along was to draft a quarterback and build from there. I didn’t think the 16th pick would allow me to get a franchise type QB. I originally created a board with 18 quarterbacks that I would select when it was my turn. Eli Manning was 9th overall. As my pick approached, Manning and Matt Ryan were my two top players by a long shot. Russ Lande took Ryan the pick before me and I didn’t waste too much time picking Eli Manning.
Eli is 32-years old and has had some turnover-plagued seasons of late, but I haven’t seen a decline in physical skills yet and I plan on surrounding him with a better offensive line and ground game than what the New York Giants have given him recently. Eli can make any throw from the pocket regardless of pressure and seems to play his best in dire situations. Manning’s postseason and Super Bowl success tell the story of what he’s done and what he’s capable of doing for my team over the next four or five years.
Round 2, Pick 48: Jimmy Graham, Tight End
After selecting Eli Manning in round one, I wanted to surround him with premium talent. I was pretty much going offense with this pick as 9/10 of my Round Two targets were on that side of the ball. At the top of that list, C.J. Spiller, Dez Bryant and Jimmy Graham; all of them the best remaining at their respective positions.
Spiller was taken a few picks before me and the choice came down to Bryant or Graham.
It really wasn’t a contest as I looked closer. Jimmy Graham may be the most physically gifted tight end in the NFL and he can line up anywhere to create a mismatch. I wanted that wildcard. Graham is the chess piece that gives me the upper hand. Having a tight end that can move in space forces the defense to plan for every formation. Do they cover him in nickel with a CB/S? Or stay in their base defense and try to use a LB? With Graham, you have to feel like each situation is winnable. Defensive backs aren’t big enough and linebackers aren’t quick enough to cover him.
Eli Manning has had success using average-athlete tight ends in Kevin Boss, Martellus Bennett and Jake Ballard. Giving him a weapon like Jimmy Graham could really be productive and help cut out Eli’s mistakes with ‘easier’ throws to his tight end.
Round 3, Pick 80: Johnathan Joseph, Cornerback
With this pick, I feel like I got the last Tier One corner in this draft. My ties to Joseph are apparent, but since he’s left Cincinnati, he has become a household name. I always knew how good Joseph was while with the Bengals, but I think people are still underestimating his abilities as a number one CB.
I say this knowing the gravity of my words; Johnathan Joseph is the most physically gifted man to man corner in the NFL. His feet and hips are like no other. He runs very lightly and can change direction and close in a flash. He’s one of the very few corners that can play both sides of the field and shadow the opposing top receiver. Athleticism has never been an issue when Joseph was drafted. He needed to work on ball skills and run support. Both qualities turned into assets in his game after year three. Joseph found a toughness and swagger to go with elite fluidity, speed and acceleration. This goes without mentioning Joseph’s deceptive zone coverage. He knows his range and can bait Quarterbacks into throwing where he’s waiting for a big hit or pass breakup.
Joseph’s only major flaw is his durability. He always has some nagging injury that doesn’t allow him to play at 100% for an extended time. As the first defensive player on my team, we’re counting on his health to be on our side.
Round 4, Pick 111: Branden Albert, Left Tackle
This is another pick where I’m valuing rare athleticism over a complete player. Albert joins Joseph and Graham as some of the most physically gifted players in the NFL all on my team.
Albert has turned into a franchise LT and a very good pass protector. He’s fluid, quick footed and can mirror with the best of them. He could be a better run blocker, but the rest of his game is more than good enough to accept his lack of power. The best part of Albert is his versatility. If eventually an upgrade surfaces at Left Tackle, Albert can play the opposite side or kick inside to guard. As of now, he’s protection Eli Manning’s blind side.
Round 5, Pick 146: Tamba Ali, Outside Linebacker/Defensive End
Round 6, Pick 176: Jabaal Sheard, Outside Linebacker/Defensive End
Round 7, Pick 209: Josh Gordon, Wide Receiver
Round 8, Pick 240: Ben Grubbs, Guard
Round 9, Pick 273: Reggie Nelson, Free Safety
Round 10, Pick 303: Miles Austin, Wide Receiver
Round 11, Pick 336: Jason Jones, Defensive Tackle
The RSP Writers project is brought to you by the 2013 Rookie Scouting Portfolio. Learn more about the 2013 RSP Writers Project and check out the completed 2012 RSP Writers Project where we built teams under a realistic salary cap. You can try it yourself.