We are just over 24 hours away from the start of the 2013 NFL Draft. And this draft seems like it has more uncertainty at the top than any in recent memory. The first pick still hasn't been locked down and although most people think it will be Luke Joeckel there's a chance the Chiefs will look elsewhere. This uncertainty is probably a result of no player really standing out as the elite player at their position. There is debate about almost every position. So even though the Seahawks don't have a first round pick, I think there are plenty of interesting storylines. There are a few topics in particular that interest me.
Are any of these QBs any good?
It seems like people are talking themselves into all of the QB prospects. Geno Smith has talent, but he would have clearly been the #4 prospect in last year's draft (and #5 in a redraft). There's talk of Ryan Nassib going #8 to Buffalo because his old coach is there. I would say this is a huge mistake, but Miami did a similar thing last year with Tannehill and it worked (thought it would be a terrible move at the time). I just don't see any of these guys being the franchise QB like Russell Wilson or even at the level of an Andrew Luck or a Robert Griffith III.
Does Manti Te'o get fooled by mock drafts?
I would really like this questioned answered. Do you think he sees Kiper's mock and then runs out of his room shouting to his family about how he just got drafted by the Vikings? And then the next day reads McShay's and wonders why the Bears were now able to draft him? This poor guy might have been very confused over the past month.
Three intriguing question marks
I'm very interested to see where the following three players are drafted: DJ Hayden (CB, Houston), Tyrann Mathieu (CB, LSU) and Marcus Lattimore (RB, South Carolina).
Hayden is back to being considered a Round 1 CB after having a freak, life-threatening injury in practice. Back in November he had a major blood vessel tear in his chest. The injury is usually seen in car crash victims and it has an over 95% fatality rate. He has a clean bill of health and ran a great 40 at his pro day (some report 4.4 some say 4.3). Mayock saw enough to put him back as his #1 CB based on the tape and his improved health. Still, he hasn't been in pads and on the field since that injury. He might have the skills, but there's no way of telling if this kid is really ready to go out and starting hitting people again. Not sure how the fact that he almost died wouldn't be in the back of his mind every time he goes in to make a tackle. But, if a team is convinced it's not an issue than he will likely go in the Top 20.
Tyrann Mathieu's story is probably better-known because of his high-profile troubles at LSU. He looks to still be in good shape after a year off, but there's bound to be some rust. He was never the best cover corner and nothing has changed there. He probably wouldn't have been a first rounder even if he had played. But, the guy is clearly a playmaker. He can help in the return game and his ability to cause turnovers, specifically forcing fumbles, is enough to keep in the late-2nd to early-3rd discussion. My biggest concern with him is that, by sitting out a year, his nickname has become severely dated. Nobody gives a shit about the Honey Badger video anymore, so keeping that nickname would be stupid. He needs to adopt a new nickname to convey his reckless play such as Wheat Thins Puppet or Cunt Punter (hope you guys have read the sorority girl rant letter or watched the Michael Shannon reading of it).
Before Kevin Ware got a leg up on him, Marcus Lattimore was owned the title of "Most Gruesomely Injured Collegiate Athlete of 2012-13." Lattimore suffered an awful knee injury that ended his season (also tore his ACL in 2011). When healthy, Lattimore was one of the more effective backs in the nation and he was doing it against top-notch SEC defenses. By all accounts he will not be able to contribute significantly in 2013. With that in mind, it will be interesting to see who takes him based on the hope that he can regain his form (or even come back better like Adrian Peterson). My fear is that the 49ers, who have roughly 43 picks in this year's draft, will spend one on him in the late 3rd round (it would be there 5th pick already). They don't have too many holes to fill on their roster, so they can take a chance on him and place him on IR for a year. Gore is winding down his career (hopefully) and they can start grooming Lattimore to replace him. My hope is that this will jinx it and make this scenario not happen.
Check back later tonight or, more likely, early tomorrow morning for the official HCM 2013 Mock Draft. And remember to follow the site and Twitter tomorrow for all the breaking news and rumors.