Surveying the Early Season 2013 NFL Draft Busts

The 2013 NFL season has passed its first quarter and it has included a number of surprises (an undefeated Kansas City Chiefs team) and some disappointments (the winless New York Giants). For many rookies, they’re spending the season paying their dues while others have already hit the ground running.

But it hasn’t necessarily been a good thing as some may be considered early 2013 NFL draft busts.

RT Eric Fisher (Kansas City Chiefs) – This year’s No. 1 overall draft pick came with high expectations to have an immediate impact and well, he’s fallen short. Fisher has transitioned from left tackle to right tackle this season; he has struggled from a run-blocking and pass protection standpoint.

According to Pro Football Focus, he has a minus-6.5 grade, ranking him No. 62 of 72 league offensive tackles who have taken a minimum of 25 percent of his team’s snaps. He’s incurred four penalties and sat out from Sunday’s game due to a concussion.

RG Chance Warmack (Tennessee Titans) – This big right guard was also expected to hit the ground running but he has struggled already trying to deal with league pass rushers. Of 60 guards, Warmack sits at No. 55 for pass-blocking efficiency for those players who have played in 50 percent or higher of snaps.

What’s the deal with these Alabama alums transitioning to the NFL?

CB D.J. Hayden (Oakland Raiders) – The cornerback was drafted higher than expected by the Oakland Raiders and he has not lived up to the hype. An athletic player, he’s struggled in his first four NFL games. This was not helped by the fact he missed part of training camp from a pulled hamstring and abdominal surgery.

Hayden’s lack of experience may be attributing to him sitting in the bottom 10 for coverage snaps per reception at 6.5 and 2.7 in tackling efficiency, noted Pro Football Focus.

CB Dee Milliner (New York Jets) – Millner has been hit hard by the injury bug as well as playing for a team that thrives on drama and disarray. The latest problem for the rookie is a hamstring injury and earlier, he was dealing with a recovery from shoulder surgery that had him missing minicamps and then continuous problems at training camp.

Coach Rex Ryan said last week he hopes to see Millner return soon.

DT Sylvester Williams (Denver Broncos) – Williams had been drafted by Broncos to fill an immediate need and unfortunately he is yet to make an impact through the first quarter. Through 44 snaps, he has not done much. For the Philadelpia Eagles game, he had been scratched (nope, he was not injured) and in Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys, he had no stats either.

WR Tavon Austin (St. Louis Rams) – The Rams wanted Austin badly, trading up to No. 8 to snag him. The diminutive player was supposed to bring speed and explosiveness to the field but he hasn’t done much in his short NFL career.

He’s learning to be patient (a challenge for him) and had only 20 receptions for 124 yards with two scores through the first four games of 2013. On Sunday, he had three receptions with 32 yards. Austin has been averaging 6.35 yards in the air and the team is trying to figure what to do with him to improve his stats.

Some have blamed Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer’s play-calling as one issue but even if the team makes changes within its game plan, Austin needs to acclimate to his new system.


Debbie Baratz

Deb has been writing about the NFL and NCAA football for the last few years. She is a full-time writer and an avid sports fan. Follow her on twitter @ldbar.

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