The 2013 NFL Draft was one that fortified the age-old saying that football is won and lost in the trenches.
The first seven picks of the draft were along the offensive and defensive line. Offensive tackle Eric Fisher was the first overall selection, followed by offensive tackle Luke Joeckel. After that there were two more offensive linemen and three defensive linemen selected before wide receiver Tavon Austin was picked No. 8 overall as the first non-trench player drafted.
Throughout the draft, there were some selections that went on to have nice starters to their NFL careers. Lane Johnson, Kyle Long, Xavier Rhodes, Travis Fredrick and Deandre Hopkins highlighted the first round players. Zach Ertz, Darius Slay, Kawaan Short, Jamie Collins and Le'Veon Bell led a strong second round group after that. And players like Travis Kelce, Tyrann Mathieu, Terron Armstead, Keenan Allen, Jordan Reed and Micah Hyde gave their franchises some much appreciated Day 3 gems in the later rounds.
But amongst those strong Day 3 names, I purposefully left out the player who I believe was the biggest steal of this draft. For that, we have to go back to the trenches. With the 109th pick in the 4th round of the 2013 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers selected Colorado offensive tackle David Bakhtiari, and even though they were likely happy to get him, I am sure that even the Packers' front office pool didn't think they were selecting a player who would develop into one of the best offensive tackles in football.
At the age of 27, Bahktiari has become quite the professional football player, and there could even be a case made for him as the best left tackle in football.
Bakhtiari was the ninth offensive lineman selected in the 2013 NFL Draft. As is the case with most rookies, especially ones picked on Day 3, Bahktiari was not suppose to see much action in his first year. But after starting left tackle Bryan Bulaga went down with an ACL injury in training camp, Bakhtiari was moved in the starting slot to start the year. He went on to become the first player in Packers history -- a long history -- to start all 16 games as a rookie. Bakhtiari again started all 16 games of his sophomore season, as well.
In 2016, Bakhtiari made his first Pro Bowl. In both that year and the following year, he was also mentioned as a second team All-Pro. And in 2018, he was named first team All-Pro.
In a draft that heavily emphasized offensive linemen at the top, those teams looking for one in the first round missed the best of the bunch. In fact, they did in the second and third rounds, too.
For where he was drafted, how many players of his position were drafted before him and what he has become since, David Bakhtiari is the biggest steal of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Plus, there's this.