2013 NFL Rookie Review: Third round steals

1/16/14 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

In the NFL Draft, taking a bad player with a third-round pick is not by any means a crippling blow to the future of the franchise, but there are plenty of gems available for the taking. Several third-round picks from the 2013 draft contributed at a high level this season, and I'm going to go over a few of those players. It is hard to label any third-round pick a "miss," especially this early on, but I've sprinkled in a couple of players who have not lived up to their third-round status.

OG Larry Warford (DET), 65th Overall: HIT: The Lions' offensive line was a question mark heading into the season, but it performed much better than expected, and Warford was a large part of the reason why. He played every single offensive snap for the Lions in 2013 while grading out positively in every facet of the game, according to Pro Football Focus. He excels at protecting the passer, but was also the best run blocker on the team.

Nov 28, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Sio Moore (55) on the sidelines during the game against the Dallas Cowboys during a NFL football game on Thanksgiving at AT&T Stadium. Dallas beat Oakland 31-24. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY SportsOLB Sio Moore (OAK), 66th Overall: HIT: The Raiders missed with their first two picks, but Moore was a steal here in the third round. PFF graded Moore as the third-best defender on the team, as he excelled against the run and in pass coverage. He registered 28 total pressures on just 192 pass rush snaps. He'll see an increased role in 2014.

S/CB Tyrann Mathieu (ARI), 69th Overall: HIT: This is just another example of why I support taking chances on kids who make mistakes in college. If the draft were done over, Mathieu could end up being an early first-round selection. He unfortunately tore up his knee in Week 14, but Mathieu would have been my choice for Defensive Rookie of the Year had he not gone down (and who knows, he might still be my choice). He plays both safety and slot cornerback at a high level, picking off two passes, defending nine, and forcing a fumble. He should be good for the start of next season, ready to dominate once again despite his small stature.

QB Mike Glennon (TB), 73rd Overall: HIT: No, Glennon did not light it up in his first year a la Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III, but he was more than serviceable for a third-round rookie. Glennon tossed 19 touchdowns to just nine interceptions while posting an 83.9 passer rating. Is he the answer in Tampa Bay for the long-term? I'm not sure, but he has certainly earned a look as the franchise signal caller, and that's pretty nice out of a third-round quarterback. I thought that Glennon would be horrible in the NFL, but I was admittedly wrong.
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