news features

2013 NFL Draft

Draft Review: First Round

Tue, Apr 30, 2013

By Phil Savage

Every NFL organization selected at least one Senior Bowl prospect this year with 94 of the total 117 participants (80%) being chosen over the draft weekend. Of the initial invited list of “position players”, 82 out of 92 prospects were drafted (89%). Here is a breakdown of each round and the number of prospects selected:

1 10 10 of 32 31%
2 9 19 of 64 30%
3 21 40 of 97 41%
4 19 59 of 133 44%
5 12 71 of 168 42%
6 12 83 of 206 40%
7 11 94 of 254 37%


Central Michigan offensive tackle Eric Fisher became the Senior Bowl’s 13th top overall choice in the history of the game when the Kansas City Chiefs tabbed him with the No. 1 pick. Ten years had passed since the Cincinnati Bengals chose Carson Palmer out of USC with the top pick in 2003.


  FISHER goes #1 to Chiefs

Eric came to Mobile as a mid-to-late 1st Round consideration, but proved during the week of practices that he deserved to be mentioned as one of the top prospects in the entire draft. With his natural frame and sturdy lower body, he showed the lateral athleticism to protect the edge in pass pro and the girth to block down in the run game. As a result, he received the Senior Bowl Practice Award for “Best Overall Performance” and that led to an impressive outing at the Combine.

Expected to be a day one starter, he will plug-in and play for the Chiefs with the added benefit of still having some significant upside potential. And, regardless of OT Branden Albert’s contract situation, Eric has the versatility to play on either side of the line.


Oklahoma OT Lane Johnson began his junior college at quarterback before becoming a tight end and defensive end in Norman. Through a series of injuries on the offensive line, he was approached about moving and never looked back.

Prior to Mobile, he was seen as a late 1st/early 2nd round prospect, but after winning every single rep in his 1-on-1 pass pro battles during the week, he left the Port City with possibility of going in the Top 15.

At the Combine, his rise continued when he ran 4.72 in the forty and worked out extremely well overall. Lane has the frame, long arms, athletic ability and temperament to have an extended, successful NFL career. Philadelphia made him the 4th pick and he should flourish in the expected up-tempo offense that will be installed by head coach Chip Kelly.


Coming into the draft, the Atlanta Falcons’ cornerback depth chart screamed for attenion. After his sterling performance at the Senior Bowl, Washington’s Desmond Trufant was forecast as a certain 1st Round candidate and Atlanta moved from #30 to #22 and nabbed the former All-Pac 12 first teamer. His hands and feet are tied together in press coverage and he has the overall athleticism to play off and react to throws in front of him.

In Mobile, he blanketed the competition on everything under 20 yards and, then at the Combine, clocked a 4.38 in the forty to secure his status. For the Falcons, he should be able to line up on the first day of mini-camp as a starter with the versatility of playing outside in Base and over the slot in Sub.


One of our “Solid-as-a-Rock” prospects, North Carolina DT Sylvester Williams, went 28th to the Denver Broncos. He brings tremendous consistency to the position because of his work ethic off the field and his competitiveness on it. He played through a bum ankle for the back half of the season at UNC and then showed up in Mobile and completed every practice and the game.

At the Combine, he continued his steadfast march into the 1st Round with a 5.03 in the forty and a very good position workout. For the Broncos, he should be a reliable asset on the inside with the ability to play the run and pass. Barring injury, he should have a productive NFL career.


The Detroit Lions coached the South team during Senior Bowl week and one of the added benefits of that task included working with BYU DE Ziggy Ansah. A virtual unknown coming into the 2012 season, he arrived in Mobile with tons of questions to be answered about his background and ability to transition his raw ability to the pro game. Because of their extensive behind-the-scenes exposure to him in the meetings and practices, the Lions chose him No. 5 overall as an ideal candidate that will fit their 4-3 Wide-9 system.

Everyone across the league will be anxious to see how fast he can turn his rare physical gifts into Sunday production. By the way he played on Senior Bowl Saturday, it should not take that long.


11. D.J. Fluker Alabama OT SAN DIEGO

First co-4th year Junior graduate to accept invitation to Senior Bowl, he should immediately upgrade the Chargers’ offensive line

16. E.J. Manuel Florida St. QB BUFFALO

Began rise up the charts at Senior Bowl and carried the momentum of his MVP game performance throughout the pre-draft process. One of classiest individuals in the entire draft, he won the Bills over with his size, athletic ability, personality and natural leadership skills.

19. Justin Pugh Syracuse OT NY GIANTS

Along with D.J. Fluker, became the first co-4th year Junior graduate to participate in the Senior Bowl. Will provide a versatile piece to the Giants’ offensive line as he continues to get stronger in the future.

20. Kyle Long     Oregon  OG  CHICAGO

Made the most of his time in Mobile despite being sick for the Tue/Wed practices. In an ironic twist, after Eric Fisher played the first two series of the game, Kyle saw action in the remaining three quarters and displayed the qualities needed to become a 1st round selection.

25. Datone Jones UCLA  DE  GREEN BAY

Bruins’ coach Jim Mora highly recommended Datone for the Senior Bowl and his prediction for him came true when he demonstrated his versatility for both the 3-4 and 4-3 schemes as well as his knack for rushing the passer from the inside. He will become a three-down lineman for the Packers almost immediately.



Phil Savage Phil Savage is the Executive Director of the Senior Bowl. He worked 20 years in the NFL as a coach, scout and executive, including two years as the Director of Player Personnel for the Baltimore Ravens and four years as the general manager of the Cleveland Browns.