(STATS) - The smartest players sometimes account for the smartest picks in the NFL Draft.
In 2013, the best values among FCS prospects in the draft came from Ivy League programs, says John McMullen, a national NFL columnist for FanRag Sports. This comes on top of other former subdivision players who have carved out pro careers.
"Most NFL decision makers now understand if a kid reaches the base skill set you need to play in this league, it doesn't matter if you are from Alabama or North Dakota State," McMullen said. "Talent is talent."
Part of a five-year look at the draft this week, the following is McMullen's assessment of the best, most underrated and most disappointing FCS picks from the 2013 draft. Parts 3-5, spanning the 2014-16 drafts, will run later this week. Check out Part I at https://tinyurl.com/lubcrll.
This year's draft will be held April 27-29 in Philadelphia.
2013 NFL DRAFT (19 FCS SELECTIONS)=
Atlanta Falcons (2nd, 60) - Robert Alford, CB, Southeastern Louisiana
New Orleans Saints (3rd, 75) - Terron Armstead, OT, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Dallas Cowboys (3rd, 80) - J.J. Wilcox, SS, Georgia Southern
Dallas Cowboys (4th, 114) - B.W. Webb, CB, William & Mary
Arizona Cardinals (4th, 116) - Earl Watford, OG, James Madison
Green Bay Packers (4th, 122) - J.C. Tretter, OT, Cornell
Baltimore Ravens (4th, 130) - Kyle Juszczyk, FB, Harvard
Indianapolis Colts (5th, 139) - Montori Hughes, DT, UT Martin
New York Giants (5th, 152) - Cooper Taylor, S, Richmond
Detroit Lions (5th, 165) - Sam Martin, P, Appalachian State
Green Bay Packers (6th, 193) - Nate Palmer, OLB, Illinois State
Houston Texans (6th, 195) - Alan Bonner, WR, Jacksonville State
Kansas City Chiefs (7th, 207) - Mike Catapano, DE, Princeton
Jacksonville Jaguars (7th, 210) - Demetrius McCray, CB, Appalachian State
San Diego Chargers (7th, 221) - Brad Sorensen, QB, Southern Utah
Pittsburgh Steelers (7th, 223) - Nick Williams, DT, Samford
Baltimore Ravens (7th, 238) - Aaron Mellette, WR, Elon
Seattle Seahawks (7th, 241) - Jared Smith, DT, New Hampshire
Detroit Lions (7th, 245) - Brandon Hepburn, ILB, Florida A&M
Best Player: J.C. Tretter (Green Bay) - After Tretter played tackle at Cornell, Packers general manager Ted Thompson raved about Tretter's athleticism and thought his Ivy League smarts would translate well to the center position in the professional ranks. It took a while, but Tretter settled in as a top-10 level center last season and was rewarded with a big-money, free-agent deal by Cleveland.
Most Underrated: Kyle Juszczyk (Baltimore) - Big name running backs like Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles remain unemployed right now, but Juszczyk was one of the first free-agent dominoes to fall in 2017 as a position that is an endangered species in the NFL - fullback. Juszczyk, though, was much more than just a fullback in Baltimore and is more of a utility-knife kind of player whom Kyle Shanahan expects to use at running back, H-back, fullback and even in the slot in San Francisco.
Most Disappointing: B.W. Webb (Dallas) - A lot of people in the NFL believed Webb would develop into a really solid nickel corner early in his career. Instead, he's already turned into a bit of a journeyman, having recently signed with Chicago after stints with Dallas, Pittsburgh, Tennessee and New Orleans.