Power Ranking College Football's Top 100 Pro Prospects for the 2013 NFL Draft
For the next few days, the focus of the football world will again turn back to Indianapolis for the much-anticipated annual NFL combine.
Many of the stars of the 2011 college football season will be looking to strut their stuff and show off their skills for the pro scouts to see when they take the field for the various workouts and drills at Lucas Oil Stadium.
With a record number of underclassmen having declared for this year's draft, college football has lost many of its most prominent names. The good news is that there are plenty of up-and-coming younger players who appear ready to take center stage next season.
USC quarterback Matt Barkley may be considered the consensus favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick of the 2013 NFL draft, but Barkley certainly isn't the only college player that scouts will be paying close attention to during the 2012 season.
Here's a very early look at college football's top 100 eligible pro prospects for the 2013 NFL draft.
1. QB Matt Barkley, USC
The favorite to win the 2012 Heisman Trophy? Check.
The favorite to be the No. 1 pick of the 2013 NFL draft? Check.
The leader of a team that will enter next season as a top-ranked national title contender? Check.
It's pretty good to be USC quarterback Matt Barkley right now.
After leading the Trojans back to prominence with a 10-2 season in 2011, the star quarterback will now assume Andrew Luck's role as college football's biggest celebrity this offseason.
The question is, will he ultimately live up to the hype?
Barkley looks like he has the mental makeup to handle the high expectations, but any time you bypass being a guaranteed top-10 pick to return to school for another season, there's definitely going to be some pressure.
Still, if the 6'2'', 220-pound junior can replicate the success he had last season when he threw for over 3,500 yards and hit 39 touchdown passes, he shouldn't have much problem fulfilling his destiny and becoming the No. 1 pick of the 2013 draft.
Barkley may not have the prototypical size of a tall, pro-style pocket passer, but he makes up for it with pinpoint accuracy (69 percent completion percentage in 2011), leadership intangibles, football IQ and clutch play in critical situations.
It's hard not to like what Barkley has to offer, as he has everything, both physically and mentally, that you look for in a franchise quarterback.
Right now, the USC signal-caller definitely deserves to be the favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick in 2013, and it'll be very interesting to see how far he can take the Trojans next season.
2. DE/OLB Sam Montgomery, LSU
There's no doubt about which college team will have the best pair of defensive ends for the 2012 season. While both Florida State and Texas are in the conversation, it's clear that LSU will have the most dynamic defensive end duo in the country with Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo both returning for their junior years.
The two ends both have bright futures ahead of them, and each of them has the look of a future first-round pick, but the real elite prospect out of the two is Montgomery, who could have entered the 2012 draft and been selected somewhere in the mid-to-late first round.
Although he's only 6'4'', 245 pounds, Montgomery has no trouble making bigger offensive tackles look foolish on a regular basis.
Last year, the powerful edge-rusher led the Tigers with nine sacks and also notched 13 tackles for loss, as he proved to be the true leader of the most talented and deepest defensive line in the country.
Because of his size, Montgomery will probably have to make the switch to 3-4 rush linebacker in the pros, but he has the perfect build and skill-set for the position. It won't take him long to become one of the top pass-rushers in the NFL once he enters the league.
3. WR Robert Woods, USC
It’s only right that a quarterback the caliber of USC’s Matt Barkley has a top receiver to throw to that’s as good as Robert Woods is.
The former 5-star recruit is one of the most physically gifted receivers to come through the college ranks in years, and with Justin Blackmon now out of the picture, he looks ready to sit atop the throne as college football’s new No. 1 star receiver.
The 6’1’’, 180-pound sophomore has the size, speed, strength and hands combination that will make scouts drool.
Woods has everything you look for in an elite receiving prospect, and he looks like he’s well on his way to becoming a top 5 pick in the 2013 NFL draft.
4. QB Tyler Wilson, Arkansas
Some people around the SEC wondered how Tyler Wilson would fare trying to replace a highly productive and flashy quarterback like Ryan Mallett. But it didn't take long for those skeptics to realize that Wilson was the real deal. In his first season as a starter, Wilson outdid his predecessor, leading the Razorbacks to 11 wins and a Top Five national ranking.
The 6'3'', 220-pound junior threw for over 3,600 yards and completed 63 percent of his passes in 2011, and he proved to be a perfect fit for Bobby Petrino's offense.
From the rumblings that have emerged from Fayetteville and the offseason camp circuit, it sounds like there's little doubt that Wilson has the personality and mentality to be the leader of an NFL offense. It also helps that he's been blessed with NFL caliber arm strength and accuracy.
While he may not be able to catch Matt Barkley for the No. 1 pick, Wilson does have what it takes to be a top 10 pick in the 2013 NFL draft, and I ultimately envision him developing into a Tony Romo-type of passer in the NFL.
Look for Wilson to have Arkansas right in the thick of the SEC race in 2012, and don't be surprised if you start hearing Heisman buzz surrounding his name by the midpoint of the season.
5. DE Alex Okafor, Texas
With Sam Acho gone, the Texas defensive line needed someone to step up and become a leader last season, and DE Alex Okafor did just that, elevating his play and becoming a pass-rushing force. Okafor teamed with Jackson Jeffcoat to give the Longhorns one of the better defensive end duos in the country, and the bad news for Big 12 offensive tackles is that both will be back for 2012.
While Texas has had plenty of defensive linemen like Tim Crowder, Frank Okam and Kheeston Randall, who have failed to live up to their offseason hype in recent years, Okafor looks like he's the real deal.
Last season, the 6'4'', 260-pound junior racked up seven sacks, 14 tackles for a loss and 14 quarterback hurries, as he was a constant presence in opposing offenses' backfields.
What's really frightening is that Okafor is the type of pass-rushing prodigy who has only just really begun to tap his true potential. If he can manage to get a little stronger over the offseason, there's no telling what he could be capable of in 2012.
6. LB Manti Te'o, Notre Dame
In today's pass-happy NFL, inside linebacker has become one of the least important positions on the field. However, that doesn't mean that teams still aren't searching for physical run-stoppers like Patrick Willis, Ray Lewis and Demeco Ryans, who can control the box in intimidating fashion. One linebacker that certainly knows all about intimidating opponents is Notre Dame's Manti Te'o.
Te'o is a fierce competitor who is one of the strongest and most physical defenders in the country.
The former 5-star recruit from Hawaii arrived in South Bend amid a ton of fanfare, and during his three years in an Irish uniform, he's always given great effort and left it all out on the field, whether Notre Dame was struggling or not.
The 6'2'', 255-pound junior has racked up 324 total tackles in his college career, and he's been an absolute force in the middle of the Irish defense.
If he can improve his pass coverage skills, Te'o is the type of athletic and powerful inside linebacker who could flourish in a 3-4 defense in the NFL. Even though he plays a position that's been substantially devalued in recent years, the burly 'backer shouldn't have a problem cracking the top 15 of the 2013 NFL draft.
7. DE/OLB Brandon Jenkins, Florida State
Florida State DE Brandon Jenkins wasn't exactly a coveted commodity before the 2010 season, but that was before he absolutely exploded as a sophomore and had a huge breakout year, racking up 13.5 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss.
That performance set the bar extremely high for Jenkins going into this past season, however, and the 6'3'', 265-pound junior failed to meet those sky-high expectations.
While he may not have taken the next step and become a truly elite player like some expected him to, Jenkins did still notch eight sacks and 12 tackles for loss, which are certainly respectable numbers, especially when offensive lines are keying on you and double-teaming you on a regular basis.
Jenkins is without a doubt one of the quickest and most athletic defensive linemen in college football, and there's been times when he's just simply blown right by offensive tackles who were ill-equipped to handle his tremendous speed and burst off the edge.
If Jenkins can regain his 2010 form next season, you can bet a lot of NFL teams that employ a 3-4 defense will be interested in converting him to outside linebacker, as he has the potential to grow into a dynamic pass-rusher in the pros.
8. QB Landry Jones, Oklahoma
It wasn't that long ago that people were touting Oklahoma as the No. 1 team in the country and predicting that QB Landry Jones would be a 2011 Heisman finalist. However, after an inexcusable and surprising home loss to Texas Tech midway through this past season, that all went out the window.
While Jones may not have lived up to his preseason Heisman hype in 2011, he still had some very impressive performances throughout the season, totaling over 4,400 yards through the air and 29 touchdown passes.
If the 6'4'', 230-pound junior can cut down on the interceptions and play better in big spots, then Oklahoma should be right back in contention to win the Big 12 next season.
If Jones has the type of campaign he's capable of, there's no reason that he shouldn't be one of the first quarterbacks to come off the board in the 2013 NFL draft.
Jones may not be the type of player that will win an NFL team a bunch of championships, as he seems to be missing that all-important clutch trait. However, he does have the chance to be a Matt Schaub-Matt Cassel type of hybrid at the next level, and he has the arm strength and arm endurance to flourish as a pocket passer in a wide open passing system.
9. WR Marquess Wilson, Washington State
There are a lot of people around Pullman who are excited about Mike Leach's arrival at Washington State, and one person who should definitely be celebrating Leach coming to town is WR Marquess Wilson.
Wilson has already proven that he's one of college football's top receivers, especially after his monstrous campaign in 2011.
Last year, Wilson caught 82 passes for 1,388 yards and scored 12 touchdowns. Now, with Leach running the show, he should have plenty of opportunities to show scouts that he's got what it takes to be a true No. 1 receiver at the NFL level.
The 6'4'', 185-pound sophomore hasn't received a ton of national attention, as the Cougars haven't exactly been worthy of much publicity recently. However, he now has a head coach who knows what he's doing, and along with better play at the quarterback position with Jeff Tuel returning from an injury, Wilson should have a great opportunity to really stamp his name on the college football map next season.
If you have any questions about whether Wilson is legit or not, just go ask one of the many Pac-12 defensive backs who he toasted in 2011.
You can start in Tempe.
10. OL Barrett Jones, Alabama
Alabama's Barrett Jones has proven that he's college football's most versatile offensive lineman.
Before the start of the 2011 season, Jones handled a switch from guard to left tackle perfectly, and opened up plenty of big holes for RB Trent Richardson to run through on the left side of the line.
Jones was rewarded with the Outland Trophy for his eye-opening exploits at tackle, and if he had decided to leave Tuscaloosa after Alabama's championship run last season, he likely could have challenged to be a late-first-round pick in this year's NFL draft.
The 6'5'', 311-pound junior has instead decided that he wants to be the leader of the Tides' front five for one more year. However, it's still unclear if he will continue at left tackle, where former 5-star recruit Cyrus Kouandjio is waiting in the wings, or if he'll take over for William Vlachos at center.
Wherever Jones ends up playing next season, he's sure to continue pushing around overmatched defensive linemen, and whether it's on the outside or the inside is inconsequential.
Jones has a perfect blend of size, strength and agility, and he's equally effective in both pass-blocking and run-blocking.
During his career in a Crimson uniform, the three-year starter has proved his worth against the best competition that college football has to offer, and Jones has done more than enough to convince scouts that he's got what it takes to be the leader of an NFL offensive line.
11. LB Kevin Reddick, North Carolina
Many analysts and experts thought that Kevin Reddick had a great chance to crack the first round of the 2012 NFL draft. However, Reddick made the decision to come back to Chapel Hill for one more season and work on his game instead of joining teammates Zach Brown and Quinton Coples in the draft.
With Brown, last year's leading tackler, now gone, Reddick will be asked to be the undisputed leader of North Carolina's defensive front seven, and it should be a role he thrives in.
The 6'3'', 240-pound junior racked up 71 tackles in 2011, and he managed to show scouts that he has the type of speed and lateral quickness to chase ball-carriers from sideline to sideline.
Reddick is the type of player who looks like he was born to play linebacker in the NFL, and he should make a great living as a 4-3 middle linebacker in the pros.
12. RB Joseph Randle, Oklahoma State
Last season, a lot of attention was paid to the explosive passing combination of Oklahoma State QB Brandon Weeden and WR Justin Blackmon, but RB Joseph Randle turned out to be a key factor for the Cowboys' highly productive offense as well. In his first year as the main man in the backfield, Randle had no trouble replacing Kendall Hunter, running for over 1,200 yards and scoring 26 total touchdowns in 2011.
When you see that kind of rushing production on an offense that ranked fourth in the country with 595 pass attempts, you know you're dealing with a special type of back.
With Weeden and Blackmon both headed to the NFL, the 6'1'', 190-pound junior is set to be the focal point of Oklahoma State's offense in 2012, and it will be interesting to see if he can put up the same type of numbers now that defenses will be keying on him.
Randle not only has the size and muscular build to be a top NFL back, he also has the burst to get through the hole and the agility to make would-be tacklers miss in the open field.
13. DT Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State
At this point, it's tough to tell exactly which teams will be searching for a big run-stopper early in the 2013 NFL draft, but one player that could be available that will definitely fit that specific need is Ohio State's Johnathan Hankins.
Hankins may only be a sophomore, but he's already established himself as a true monster in the middle of the Buckeyes defense. The 6'3'', 335-pound behemoth has the size and the strength to eat up blockers on every snap.
Don't be fooled into thinking that Hankins is just a big body that's taking up space—last season, he proved that he has the surprising quickness and overwhelming power to shed blocks and penetrate into the backfield, finishing second on the Buckeyes with 10 tackles for a loss.
Hankins shares many of the same physical traits as one of this year's top defensive tackle prospects: Dontari Poe. Like Poe, he looks like he's destined to be a future top 20 pick, just as long as he can maintain his conditioning and stay in reasonably good shape.
14. LB Jelani Jenkins, Florida
Florida's defense is going to be one of the most talented units in the country next season, and there will surely be plenty of playmakers to watch at all three levels of the unit. The one Gator defender to really keep an eye on, though, will be LB Jelani Jenkins.
After racking up 75 tackles in 2011, Jenkins now seems to be well on his way to becoming one of the SEC's next big star defenders.
The 6'0'', 230-pound sophomore may not be the biggest 'backer in college football, but he possesses the type of speed, quickness and tenacity to more than make up for his lack of size.
The former 5-star recruit is loaded with natural ability, and with his type of recognition skills and athleticism, Jenkins seems perfectly built to be a terrific weakside linebacker for a 4-3 defense at the NFL level.
15. DE Dion Jordan, Oregon
This past season, Oregon DE Dion Jordan proved that he's not just an offensive tackle's worst nightmare, but a quarterback's worst nightmare too, blowing by tackles and blowing up plenty of QBs. Jordan finished with 7.5 sacks and 13 tackles for loss last year, which helped earn him first-team All-Pac-12 honors.
The imposing 6'7'', 240-pound junior still has some filling out to do, but if he can add a few good pounds and a little muscle over the offseason and still maintain his remarkable speed off the edge, he should develop into a truly scary pass-rushing threat.
Jordan has the type of frame, quickness and power that has already caught the attention of scouts, and if he can keep up the pace he set last season, he's only going to see his name continue to rise up draft boards throughout the 2012 season.
16. RB Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina
It's going to be very interesting to see how Marcus Lattimore will be able to perform after a torn ACL cut his 2011 season short.
It was a shame to see such a talented player go down with a serious injury, but if the 6'1'', 232-pound sophomore can get fully rehabilitated and make a big comeback next season, it will undoubtedly be one of the biggest stories of 2012.
Lattimore has only played in 20 games in his college career, but he's still been able to amass 2,609 yards of total offense and score 30 touchdowns.
The former blue-chip recruit is one of the most talented and physically imposing players in college football, and if he can get his knee right, he should be able to inflict plenty of punishment on SEC defenses in 2012.
Early in his career, Lattimore drew a lot of comparisons to Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, but personally, I think he'll develop into a slightly bigger and stronger version of Rashard Mendenhall once he makes it to the NFL.
17. OT Alex Hurst, LSU
LSU right tackle Alex Hurst may not have exactly had his greatest performance in the 2012 BCS Championship Game opposite Courtney Upshaw, but if you look back at the regular season campaign he had, it's easy to see that Hurst is one of the most talented tackles in the country.
The 6'6'', 340-pound junior opened up plenty of holes for LSU's deep stable of running backs this past season, and there was rarely a time when an opposing pass-rusher managed to slip by him.
With All-American guard Will Blackwell gone, Hurst will now assume the leadership role of LSU's offensive line.
If he can put his shaky performance against Alabama in the rear-view mirror and play like he did for the better part of last season, Hurst should be right in the hunt for the prestigious Outland Trophy. He also has a great chance to end up as the first offensive tackle selected in the 2013 NFL draft.
18. OLB Jarvis Jones, Georgia
Georgia has produced some standout outside linebackers in recent years like Justin Houston and Rennie Curran, and the next in line appears to be Jarvis Jones, a former transfer from USC. It didn't take long for Jones to make a name for himself the SEC, as the 6'3'', 240-pound redshirt sophomore flourished in his first season on the field in Athens, leading the conference with 19.5 tackles for a loss and 13.5 sacks.
Jones is one of the most explosive defenders in the country, and he showed last season that he can be an absolute terror coming off the edge in Georgia's 3-4 front.
If he checks out medically, NFL teams that use a 3-4 scheme will be highly interested in the talented linebacker's services. Jones has the chance to be a true defensive difference-maker at the NFL level.
19. CB Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State
Brodrick Brown may have earned All-American honors, and Markelle Martin may be the one who's garnering the publicity as one of the top safety prospects in the 2012 draft class, but if you actually watched Oklahoma State's defense play this past season, it was fairly easy to tell who the most talented player in the Cowboys' secondary actually was.
Cornerback Justin Gilbert may have been overshadowed by his fellow defensive backs, but when it comes to pure physical ability, there are few cornerbacks in the country than can compare to him.
This past season, the 6'0'', 205-pound sophomore finished with five interceptions, 10 pass breakups and 59 total tackles. However, it was his MVP performance against Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl that really got people talking.
Gilbert is definitely a special talent, and if he can build on his sophomore campaign and learn from the few mistakes he made last year, he could very well challenge to be the first cornerback selected in the 2013 NFL draft.
20. S Eric Reid, LSU
Tyrann Mathieu may be the most famous player in the LSU secondary, but he's not the best NFL prospect. That honor belongs to safety Eric Reid, who has all the makings of a future top-20 draft pick.
Reid is one of the most athletic safeties we've seen in the college ranks in years (that'll happen when you share the same DNA with a father who was a former All-American hurdler). Not only does he have the type of range and speed to make plays all over the field, he also has the instincts and intelligence that only truly elite safeties possess.
Reid finished tied with Mathieu for the team lead in tackles with 76, and he also picked off two passes, one of which was a crucial goal line takeaway against Alabama in the "Game of the Century"—a critical pick that might have been the single most important play of LSU's season.
The 6'2'', 205-pound junior definitely proved what type of playmaker he was in 2011, and next season, he'll get the opportunity to step out of the Honey Badger's shadow and show the country that he's one of the top defensive players in all of college football.
21. CB David Amerson, North Carolina State
Not many people were expecting big things from North Carolina State CB David Amerson before the start of the 2011 season, so when Amerson led the country with 13 interceptions, it really caught everyone's attention. Amerson showed fans and pro scouts alike that he's got a nose for the football unlike any other corner in college football.
The 6'3'', 195-pound sophomore has the type of size and speed to go toe-to-toe with any receiver in the country, and after his performance last season, Amerson's now managed to establish himself as one of the premier defensive backs in college football.
It will be interesting to see what the big, athletic corner can do for an encore next season.
Amerson won't get a ton of passes thrown in his direction in 2012, but even if his interception total takes a big hit, Amerson showed scouts enough last year to warrant first-round interest if he decides to enter the 2013 NFL draft.
22. WR Cobi Hamilton, Arkansas
Now that three of Arkansas' top receivers from 2011—Jarius Wright, Joe Adams and Greg Childs—have all left Fayetteville, there is going to be a lot of pressure on returning receiver Cobi Hamilton to step up and handle an expanded role as the team's go-to target. It's a good thing then that Hamilton is well-equipped for the responsibility.
The 6'3'', 210-pound junior is a big target who has the speed and athleticism to get open on all types of routes, whether they be short, intermediate or of the deep variety.
Because of the fierce competition for catches among the Arkansas' receivers last year, Hamilton only hauled in 34 passes, but that number is sure to rise dramatically next season.
The former high school track star is one of the fastest receivers in the country, and combining his speed and size presents a huge matchup problem for cornerbacks.
23. CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida State
Maybe it was a little too early to proclaim Xavier Rhodes the next Patrick Peterson, as he didn't exactly have the type of showcase season that I thought he would in 2011. However, I still feel strongly that Rhodes is an elite cornerback, and I think he's in store for bounce-back campaign in 2012.
The 6'2'', 215-pound redshirt sophomore shares many of the same physical traits that Peterson displayed when he was coming up through the ranks at LSU, and if he puts them to good use in 2012, he's going to have a lot of NFL scouts drooling over his pro potential.
Cornerbacks with his size aren't supposed to be able to move the way Rhodes does.
Physically, he can match up against any receiver in the country.
With Rhodes and his corner counterpart Greg Reid both returning, Florida State will once again have one of the top cornerback combos in the country. Scouts will likely be more focused on Rhodes, however, as he has the type of size and athleticism to develop into a better version of Dominique Rodgers-Comartie at the NFL level.
24. DT Kawann Short, Purdue
College football lost most of its top underclassmen defensive tackles. LSU's Michael Brockers, Memphis' Dontari Poe and Mississippi State's Fletcher Cox all declared early for the 2012 NFL draft, but there are a few potentially dominant DTs that are returning to school. One of them is Purdue's Kawann Short.
With Ryan Kerrigan having moved on to the NFL, Short was able to step out of the shadow of his former star defensive line mate and really show the Big Ten what he was made of in 2011.
The mighty 6'3'', 310-pound junior racked up 6.5 sacks and 17.5 tackles for loss last year, and he was a constant menace for offensive lines to have to deal with.
Short possesses the type of size, strength, power and quickness to embarrass any offensive lineman who tries to block him one-on-one, as he's the kind of interior presence who demands double-teams when he's playing at his best.
With fellow disruptive defender Bruce Gaston lining up next to Short once again in 2012, the Boilermakers should have one of the strongest defensive interiors in the country.
25. QB Geno Smith, West Virginia
My final year at West Virginia in 2009 was QB Geno Smith's first in the program, so I've seen him from the beginning, and it's been enjoyable to watch him grow over these past few years.
Now that he's got Dana Holgorsen to guide him and that cannon of an arm in the right direction, there's no telling what he's going to be capable of as a senior.
4,385 passing yards and 31 touchdown strikes was a nice audition, but the real show starts in 2012.
With Smith—and his two favorite targets, receivers Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey—coming back next season, there won't be many offenses that will be able to compare to West Virginia's this fall.
The 6'3'', 215-pound junior is definitely a quarterback on the rise, and now that he has a solid grasp on Holgorsen's offensive system, Smith should be ready to take the Big 12 by storm.
26. DE/OLB Barkevious Mingo, LSU
LSU defensive end Barkevious Mingo doesn't just have one of the coolest names in college football, he also happens to be one of the best overall players in the country.
Mingo stepped his game up in a big way in 2011, and he emerged as one of the top pass-rushers and backfield-penetrators in the country.
He used his long frame and terrific athleticism to his benefit, racking up seven sacks and 15 tackles for a loss last year.
The 6'5", 240-pound redshirt sophomore is truly a marvel to watch. He glides around the field with great elegance for his size before crushing whoever he sees with the ball in his hands.
Physically, Mingo looks like he could be a starting 3-4 rush linebacker in the NFL right now, and if he can produce and perform as expected next season, there's no doubt that he'll be a first-round pick in the 2013 NFL draft if he decides to come out.
27. WR Keenan Allen, Cal
Before the start of the 2011 season, most people expected to see Marvin Jones leading the way for Cal's receiving corps, but Jones was forced to take a back seat to sophomore sensation Keenan Allen.
Allen built off a great freshman campaign and managed to take his game to new heights in 2011, catching 98 passes for 1,343 yards.
At 6'3" and 205 pounds, the former 5-star recruit has the size, speed and the route-running ability to pose a major matchup problem for whoever tries to stick with him in coverage.
While he'll likely be overshadowed by USC's Robert Woods this offseason, don't be surprised if Allen gives Woods a real run for his money for the title of Pac-12's top receiving threat next season.
With Allen back in the fold, along with his half-brother, QB Zach Maynard, and RB Isi Sofele, the Cal offense has the chance to really turn some heads in 2012.
28. TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame
Tyler Eifert could have declared for the 2012 NFL draft and competed with Dwayne Allen and Orson Charles to be the first tight end selected. But instead, Eifert opted to return to South Bend and assert his dominance for another year.
With Allen and Charles both gone, Eifert will go into the 2012 season as the clear-cut top tight end in the country, and he'll once again have the chance to show off his skills as one of the main receiving targets in Notre Dame's spread offense.
This past season, the 6'6'', 250-pound redshirt sophomore hauled in 63 passes for 803 yards and scored five touchdowns, and it wouldn't be surprising if he ends up besting those numbers in 2012.
With rare athleticism for his size and the type of big frame that can be easily spotted by a quarterback, Eifert might just be a better overall tight end prospect than his predecessor, Kyle Rudolph.
If he performs up to his capabilities next season, Eifert shouldn't have much trouble solidifying his status as the best tight end available for the 2013 NFL draft.
29. CB Tyrann Mathieu, LSU
After becoming one of college football's most recognizable faces in 2011, LSU CB Tyrann Mathieu ended his breakout year with a terrible letdown performance in the BCS Championship Game against Alabama.
"Exposed" may be too strong of a word to describe what happened to Mathieu against the Tide, but the truth is, all of the Honey Badger hype that Mathieu had accumulated over the course of the 2011 season proved to be worthless against the eventual national champions. He was a complete non-factor in the game, and was victimized by quarterback A.J. McCarron on a multiple occasions.
Still, you have to appreciate all that Mathieu was able to accomplish in 2011, as his rise to fame turned out to be one of the biggest stories of the season.
While the 5'9'', 175-pound sophomore isn't big or fast enough to be a team's No. 1 corner in the NFL, scouts should love his versatility, and he should fit in well as a reliable nickel corner and dynamic kick returner in the pros.
If Mathieu can show the same type of flashes he did during his breakout 2011 campaign, and if his off-the-field background check turns out to be clean, the Honey Badger will likely be able to crack the first round of the 2013 NFL draft if he decides to come out.
30. S T.J. McDonald, USC
T.J. McDonald could have entered the 2012 NFL draft and challenged to be the second safety off the board after Alabama's Mark Barron.
McDonald, however, instead made the decision to return for his senior season, and he'll once again be one of the key leaders for USC's daunting defense.
Last year, McDonald led the team with three interceptions and finished with 67 tackles, and he proved to be the linchpin player in the secondary.
The 6'3'', 205-pound junior has all the physical skills and intangibles you look for in a playmaking safety, and you'll rarely ever see him get caught out of position.
McDonald is a cover safety who can come up and play the run well, and NFL defensive coordinators will surely find plenty of ways to utilize him in different looks and schemes at the next level.
31. CB Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State
Johnthan Banks could have joined his teammate Fletcher Cox and declared early for the 2012 NFL draft, but knowing that his ceiling was being a Day 2 pick, he instead decided to return to Mississippi State to try and boost his pro stock.
It's a decision that could turn out to be the best of Banks' career.
This past season, the 6'2'', 185-pound junior showed flashes of his prodigious potential on a routine basis, as he picked off five passes and broke up another nine. However, there are still some correctable flaws that he has to work on over the offseason to truly be considered an elite cornerback.
With his type of size, speed, smarts and ball skills, Banks has all the traits you look for in a first-round cornerback prospect. If he can put it all together next season and work out the little kinks in his game, you're going to see Banks' name come off the board pretty early.
32. DE William Gholston, Michigan State
William Gholston may be the cousin of colossal NFL bust Vernon Gholston, but don't expect pro franchises to hold that against him.
The major problem with Gholston is that he crossed the line from playing hard to playing dirty on a few occasions in 2011, including the time he drew negative publicity for twisting Michigan QB Denard Robinson's face mask at the bottom of a pile.
If the 6'7'', 280-pound sophomore can learn to harness his energy and focus it on playing effectively while still playing clean, Gholston could turn into a truly special type of pass-rusher.
While DT Jerel Worthy was hogging the attention on the Spartans' defensive line last year, Gholston was making his presence felt in opposing backfields on a weekly basis, totaling five sacks and 16 tackles for a loss.
Physically, Gholston looks like he's got the type of size, agility and strength combination to fit in as an end in either a 3-4 or a 4-3 system, and that type of versatility should only enhance his value.
If he can show scouts that he's overcome his bad lapses of judgement out on the field, then there's no reason to believe that Gholston won't be able to crack the first round of the 2013 NFL draft if he decides to declare.
33. OT D.J. Fluker, Alabama
Fellow offensive tackle Barrett Jones may have been the one who received most of the spotlight, and he may have been the one that ultimately ended up with the Outland Trophy by season's end, but when it comes to NFL potential, right tackle D.J. Fluker could actually have just as much pro potential as his decorated teammate.
Fluker is the type of powerful road-grading right tackle that NFL franchises are looking for to open up big holes in the running game, which is something he's done plenty of during his time in Tuscaloosa.
The 6'6'', 335-pound redshirt sophomore created huge holes for third-place Heisman finisher Trent Richardson in 2011, and he also showed that he has the footwork and agility to hold his own in pass protection, shutting down some of the SEC's elite edge-rushers last season.
The fact that Fluker is strictly a right tackle could hurt his stock, but with his type of run-blocking skills, he'll still be one of the most coveted offensive line prospects in the 2013 NFL draft if he decides to come out after next season.
34. S Tony Jefferson, Oklahoma
It didn't take long for Tony Jefferson to make a name for himself at Oklahoma. In his first season in a Sooner uniform, Jefferson earned Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors, and he found a spot on numerous freshman All-American teams.
He managed to carry over that early success into 2011, as Jefferson stepped up and became the undisputed leader of the Sooners' secondary this past season, leading the team with four interceptions and finishing the season with 74 total tackles.
The 5'10'', 199-pound sophomore was a key presence on Oklahoma's defense in 2011, and he'll now be one of the leaders of what should be a top Big 12 defense.
Jefferson loves to hit, and he's proven that he's adept at making key plays at critical junctures of a game, whether it's in coverage or run support.
With his size and physical ability, Jefferson could probably start for a few NFL teams right now. If he has another big season in 2012, there's a big possibility that he could be the first safety off the board in the 2013 NFL draft. That is, of course, if he declares.
35. RB Montee Ball, Wisconsin
After accounting for 2,286 total yards of offense and 40 touchdowns last season, there really wasn't anything left for Montee Ball to prove at the collegiate level. It seemed like a foregone conclusion then that he would enter his name into the 2012 NFL draft. However, Ball shocked everyone when he announced that he would return to Wisconsin for his senior year.
It's going to be nearly impossible for last year's fourth-place Heisman finisher to replicate the type of campaign he had in 2011, especially now that defenses will be keying on him without quarterbacj Russell Wilson there to keep them honest.
Still, just because his numbers will likely take a considerable hit, that doesn't necessarily mean that Ball's pro stock will drop way down.
Right now, Ball seems to be universally valued as a potential Day 2 pick.
He's not he biggest, fastest or shiftiest back in the country, but the bottom line is, Ball knows how to get the job done, and that's an important trait for a running back.
Yes, he'll likely have to settle for being a part of a two-back system in the pros, but that's not exactly a bad thing. With the proper role in the NFL, Ball's effectiveness will shine through.
Personally, I think Ball shares a lot of similar traits to New York Giants' running back Ahmad Bradshaw, and I could see him developing into a Bradshaw-type complementary back in the pros.
36. DT Sylvester Williams, North Carolina
With Quinton Coples moving back out to his more natural position of defensive end for the 2011 season, someone had to step up inside for North Carolina's defense. Defensive tackle Sylvester William did just that, quickly developing into an impact player in the middle of UNC's defensive line.
Last year, Williams ate up blockers like juicy steaks, and he made a habit out of stopping ball-carriers dead in their tracks any time they were foolish enough to run up the middle.
The powerful 6'3'', 320-pound junior finished the season ranked fifth on the team with 54 total stops—the same number as Michael Brockers, the top defensive tackle prospect in the 2012 NFL draft.
Williams could have turned pro after this past season, but one more year of development should serve him well, as he'll now have the chance to once again show pro scouts that he's the type of big, run-stuffing defensive tackle that can alter the way opposing offenses have to game-plan.
37. LB Jonathan Brown, Illinois
In each of the last two seasons, Illinois has produced some surprising defensive stars like Corey Liuget and Whitney Mercilus, and now it looks like the Illini have another star in waiting with LB Jonathan Brown. While Mercilus was garnering most of the accolades last season, it was Brown who was busy leading the team with 108 tackles while also notching six sacks.
The 6'1'', 235-pound sophomore is a better pure linebacker prospect than former Illinois product Martez Wilson, and his type of active and aggressive style of play would serve him well in a fast-flowing defensive system at the NFL level.
Brown has the speed, instincts and mean streak to develop into a feared defender in the pros, and if he can build off his big 2011 campaign next season, he'll definitely have to think long and hard about leaving school early and entering the 2013 NFL draft.
38. DE Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas
As the son of former first-round pick Jim Jeffcoat, everyone knew that Jackson Jeffcoat had the type of bloodlines to be great—they just had to see the talented young defensive end prove it on the field.
That's just what he did in 2011, as Jeffcoat led the Longhorns with eight sacks and 17 tackles for a loss.
The 6'5'', 250-pound sophomore showed that he was one of the best defensive ends in college football last year, and now he'll team back up with fellow end Alex Okafor in 2012 to give the Longhorns one of the best pass rushes in the country next season.
Jeffcoat is the type of tweener who could either add more muscle and line up as a 4-3 edge-rusher in the pros, or make the shift and stand up as a 3-4 outside linebacker.
No matter what position he ends up at in the NFL, one thing's for sure: Jeffcoat has the type of pass-rushing prowess to be an impact defender at the next level.
39. S Robert Lester, Alabama
Alabama has produced some tremendous defensive backs during the Nick Saban era, with the two most recent examples being safety Mark Barron and cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick—two players who are both destined to be first-round picks in the 2012 NFL draft.
With Barron and Kirkpatrick gone, though, it's now time for safety Robert Lester to shine as the leader and centerpiece of Alabama's secondary.
Lester is one of the most naturally gifted players to suit up for the Alabama defense in years, and given the type of great athletes that have come through the program recently, that's certainly saying something.
Although he may not be the most physical safety, the 6'2'', 210-pound junior has the type of speed, range and instincts to make big plays in coverage, as he showed that during his breakout 2010 campaignby finishing second in the country with eight interceptions.
With Barron, Kirkpatrick and DeQuan Menzie all gone, Lester will now be the elder statesmen of Alabama's defensive backfield.
Needless to say, NFL scouts will be very interested to see how the athletic safety handles his new leadership role in 2012.
40. RB Knile Davis, Arkansas
A preseason leg injury robbed us of the chance to see Knile Davis in action last year, which was a true shame, as Davis was the SEC's leading returning rusher going into this past season.
After rushing for 1,322 yards and scoring 14 touchdowns as a sophomore, many thought that Davis could make a serious run at the 2011 Heisman Trophy, but it just wasn't meant to be.
Now, after a year on the shelf, Davis will be looking to come back stronger than ever in 2012, and with quarterback Tyler Wilson forcing defenses to soften up, he should have plenty of room to do some serious damage to opposing defenses.
The 6'0'', 220-pound junior has an ideal blend of size, strength, speed, power, vision and balance, and if he's back at 100 percent, he should be able to remind fans and scouts what they were missing in 2011.
41. DE/OLB Corey Lemonier, Auburn
Auburn's defensive line had a lot of growing up to do in the 2011 season with a host of inexperienced players thrust into starting roles. But one of those new faces, defensive end Corey Lemonier, took it upon himself to become the type of disruptive force that the Tigers were in desperate need of.
After causing a few rumbles in 2010, Lemonier stepped into the starting lineup and flourished this past season. He ended up being the team leader with 9.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles for a loss.
The 6'4'', 240-pound sophomore is one of the best pure pass-rushers in the country, and he seems bound to make a tremendous impact in the SEC in 2012.
Lemonier is built like a beast, and has the perfect physical makeup and overall skill-set to make a seamless transition to 3-4 rush linebacker in the NFL.
42. WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia
West Virginia WR Tavon Austin was rarely mentioned in the same breath as college football's top wide receivers last season, but Austin certainly managed to take advantage of the national stage that he was given when the Mountaineers battled Clemson in the Orange Bowl.
Austin was one of the biggest stars of the 70-33 beatdown by the beach, as the explosive multi-dimensional receiver compiled 173 total yards and scored four touchdowns against the Tigers.
The performance capped off a campaign for which the 5'9'', 175-pound junior earned AP All-American honors after finishing the year with 2,574 total yards and 11 touchdowns.
Head coach Dana Holgorsen and quarterback Geno Smith will be looking to get the ball in Austin's hand as much as possible in 2011, giving the speedy receiver plenty of chances to show scouts that he has the potential to be a very dangerous weapon in the NFL.
43. S Bacarri Rambo, Georgia
Besides having a ridiculously awesome football name, Bacarri Rambo also has some serious skills, which were fully on display during his All-American campaign in 2011. After sitting out Georgia's season-opening loss to Boise State for undisclosed reasons, Rambo came back focused and motivated, and he turned out to be an absolute ball hawk in the back end of the Bulldogs defense.
The 6'0'', 218-pound junior finished second in the country with eight interceptions, and also broke up eight passes.
While he doesn't necessarily possess any standout traits, Rambo is a solid, well-rounded safety who showed that he has a nose for finding the football.
Next season, Rambo will be the key figure for what should be one of the best secondaries in the country.
44. C/OG Khaled Holmes, USC
USC has produced plenty of coveted offensive line prospects in recent years, and it looks like the next big export is destined to be center Khaled Holmes.
After switching over from guard before the start of the 2011 season, it didn't take long for Holmes to become an effective leader for the Trojans' front five.
The 6'4'', 310-pound junior proved to be an strong run-blocker, and he showed off his football IQ by making all of the important pass-blocking calls and shifts for a line that finished in a tie for first nationally with just eight sacks allowed.
Holmes has the versatile skill-set to play either guard or center in the NFL, but wherever he ends up in the pros, it looks like he should develop into a reliable starter and the type of consistent lineman that teams can count on week in and week out.
45. RB Stepfan Taylor, Stanford
No one knows what life after Andrew Luck will be like for the Stanford Cardinal, and it doesn't help that the offense is losing two of the top offensive linemen in the country—Jonathan Martin and David DeCastro—on top of losing one of the greatest college quarterbacks of all time.
Still, at least the Cardinal are welcoming back one of their key players to the offensive huddle for the 2012 season in running back Stepfan Taylor.
Because he happened to play in the same backfield as college football's most talked-about star, Taylor has been one of the most overlooked players in the country these past two years. All you have to do, though, is ask any Cardinal fan, and they'll tell you just how important of a piece he has been to Stanford's success.
The 5'11'', 208-pound junior rushed for a combined 2,467 yards and scored 28 touchdowns over the past two seasons, and now he'll be asked to be an even bigger work horse now that Luck's gone.
Taylor has shown that he has the strength and durability to handle a heavy workload, and should have no problem stepping up and being the valuable bell cow back that Stanford needs him to be next season.
46. DT Bennie Logan, LSU
LSU fans may be a bit concerned about the hole that Michael Brockers is leaving at defensive tackle, but the Tiger faithful shouldn't worry too much, as there are several capable reinforcements including Bennie Logan, Josh Downs and Anthony Johnson.
While both Downs and Johnson appear to have big futures ahead of them, the real defensive tackle to watch in Baton Rouge next season will be Logan.
The 6'3'', 287-pound sophomore looks like he's on the path to becoming the SEC's next big-time defensive tackle, and his potential was on full display last season when he racked up 51 tackles and wreaked havoc in the defensive interior.
Logan is a well-built, agile and powerful tackle who knows how to shed blocks and find the football. He should be in store for a huge breakout campaign in 2012.
47. OT David Bakhtiari, Colorado
Next year's offensive tackle class definitely won't be able to compare to this year's top-heavy group, but there will surely be a few tackles that emerge as coveted prospects.
One of them will be Colorado's David Bakhtiari.
While he may not be as physically imposing as former Colorado standout Nate Solder, Bakhtiari has all of the tools to be a successful starting tackle in the NFL.
Like most college offensive linemen, the 6'4'', 290-pound junior still has to get stronger to handle the bigger and more physical defenders that he'll face in the pros. However, he does possess the agility and footwork to develop into a versatile bookend in the NFL.
Since Colorado's outlook for 2012 isn't exactly all that great, Bakhtiari likely won't receive much attention this offseason, but he's definitely a candidate to shoot up draft boards if he has a big junior campaign.
48. QB Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech
It may be too early to start calling Logan Tomas the next Josh Freeman, but the sophomore signal-caller certainly bears a strong physical resemblance to the young Tampa Bay quarterback.
Like Freeman, Thomas is a tall, mobile passer who possesses the arm strength to make every throw in the book.
Last year, the sturdy 6'6'', 254-pound Virginia native showed plenty of flashes of his enormous potential, throwing for over 3,000 yards while accounting for 30 touchdowns.
Admittedly, there were times when Thomas struggled with his consistency, and the Hokies won't be able to afford those same mistakes without David Wilson in the backfield to bail him out next season.
Still, if the big sophomore signal-caller can improve on his accuracy and become the true focal point of the offense, it wouldn't be surprising to see Thomas guide Virginia Tech into serious contention for a BCS championship next season.
49. TE Zach Ertz, Stanford
Stanford may be losing its huge red-zone receiving threat Coby Fleener, but the Cardinal will return two of the top tight ends in the country in Zach Ertz and Levine Toilolo. Ertz battled through injuries in 2011, but even though he missed four games, the 6'6'', 249-pound junior still managed to make an impact for the Stanford offense, hauling in 27 passes and scoring four touchdowns.
With Fleener gone, the athletic tight end will be asked to take on an even bigger role, and don't be surprised if he actually ends up outproducing his former teammate, even without Luck at the helm.
Ertz has the type of size, speed and body control to make plays down the seam in the passing game, and like Fleener, he should be a valuable red-zone threat for the Cardinal.
50. WR Quinton Patton, Louisiana Tech
If you're looking for an under-the-radar prospect for the 2013 NFL draft who plays outside of the spotlight of the BCS, then look no further than Louisiana Tech receiver Quinton Patton.
Because he plays for a school that makes it onto national television about once a year, Patton may not be a household name just yet, but if he can match his success from 2011 next season, he's certainly going to create quite a buzz for himself.
Last year, Patton proved that he was one of the most explosive playmaking receivers in the country, hauling in 79 passes for over 1,200 yards and scoring 11 touchdowns.
The 6'2'', 195-pound junior has the speed and shiftiness to run circles around any cornerback that tries to match up with him.
While he may not face top competition on a weekly basis, it's obvious that Patton has a future in the NFL, and any team would be wise to inject his type of game-breaking speed into their offense.
The Top 100: 51-60
51. QB Mike Glennon, N.C. State
53. OT Morgan Moses, Virginia
54. RB Andre Ellington, Clemson
55. QB Tyler Bray, Tennessee
56. LB Sean Porter, Texas A&M
57. CB Dee Milliner, Alabama
58. S Matt Elam, Florida
59. RB Giovani Bernard, North Carolina
60. LB C.J. Mosley, Alabama
The Top 100: 61-70
61. RB Johnathan Franklin, UCLA
63. WR Terrance Williams, Baylor
64. OT Ricky Wagner, Wisconsin
65. QB E.J. Manuel, Florida State
66. DT Jordan Hill, Penn State
67. TE Chris Gragg, Arkansas
68. CB Desmond Trufant, Washington
69. QB A.J. McCarron, Alabama
70. OT Justin Pugh, Syracuse
The Top 100: 71-80
71. DE John Simon, Ohio State
73. QB/WR Denard Robinson, Michigan
74. OG Chance Warmack, Alabama
75. RB Spencer Ware, LSU
76. DE Kareem Martin, North Carolina
77. CB Johnny Adams, Michigan State
78. WR Tavarres King, Georgia
79. S DeVonte Holloman, South Carolina
80. TE Joseph Fauria, UCLA
The Top 100: 81-90
81. LB Nico Johnson, Alabama
83. DE Bjoern Werner, Florida State
84. CB Micah Hyde, Iowa
85. OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M
86. DE Stansly Maponga, TCU
87. WR Emory Blake, Auburn
88. OLB Michael Buchanan, Illinois
89. WR Kenny Stills, Oklahoma
90. DT Jesse Williams, Alabama
The Top 100: 91-100
91. WR Markus Wheaton, Oregon State
93. S Kenny Vaccaro, Texas
94. RB Zac Stacy, Vanderbilt
95. S Ray-Ray Armstrong, Miami
96. DE/OLB Ronald Powell, Florida
97. RB Kenjon Barner, Oregon
98. LB Gerald Hodges, Penn State
99. S Khaseem Greene, Rutgers
100. WR Da’Rick Rogers, Tennessee
Quarterbacks: The Top 10 Seniors
1. Matt Barkley, USC
3. Landry Jones, Oklahoma
4. Geno Smith, West Virginia
5. Mike Glennon, North Carolina State
6. E.J. Manuel, Florida State
7. Denard Robinson, Michigan
8. Jeff Tuel, Washington State
9. Alex Carder, Western Michigan
10. Collin Klein, Kansas State
Quarterbacks: The Top 10 Underclassmen
1. Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech
3. Aaron Murray, Georgia
4. A.J. McCarron, Alabama
5. Casey Pachall, TCU
6. Keith Price, Washington
7. Tajh Boyd, Clemson
8. Bryn Renner, North Carolina
9. Derek Carr, Fresno State
10. James Franklin, Missouri
Running Backs: The Top 10 Seniors
1. Montee Ball, Wisconsin
2. Stepfan Taylor, Stanford
3. Andre Ellington, Clemson
4. Johnathan Franklin, UCLA
5. Zac Stacy, Vanderbilt
6. Kenjon Barner, Oregon
7. Ray Graham, Pittsburgh
8. Cameron Marshall, Arizona State
9. Christine Michael, Texas A&M
10. Rex Burkhead, Nebraska
Running Backs: The Top 10 Underclassmen
1. Joseph Randle, Oklahoma State
2. Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina
3. Knile Davis, Arkansas
4. Giovani Bernard, North Carolina
5. Spencer Ware, LSU
6. Eddie Lacy, Alabama
7. Le’Veon Bell, Michigan State
8. Cierre Wood, Notre Dame
9. Fitz Toussaint, Michigan
10. Silas Redd, Penn State
Not Included: Henry Josey (Missouri), and Michael Dyer (Arkansas State)
Wide Receivers: The Top 10 Seniors
1. Cobi Hamilton, Arkansas
2. Tavon Austin, West Virginia
3. Quinton Patton, Louisiana Tech
4. Terrance Williams, Baylor
5. Tavarres King, Georgia
6. Emory Blake, Auburn
7. Markus Wheaton, Oregon State
8. Ryan Swope, Texas A&M
9. Keenan Davis, Iowa
10. Erik Highsmith, North Carolina
Wide Receivers: The Top 10 Underclassmen
1. Robert Woods, USC
2. Marquess Wilson, Washington State
3. Keenan Allen, California
4. Kenny Stills, Oklahoma
5. Da’Rick Rogers, Tennessee
6. Josh Boyce, TCU
7. Mike Davis, Texas
8. Devin Street, Pittsburgh
9. DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson
10. Stedman Bailey, West Virginia
Tight Ends: The Top 10 Seniors
1. Chris Gragg, Arkansas
2. Joseph Fauria, UCLA
3. Phillip Lutzenkirchen, Auburn
4. Michael Williams, Alabama
5. Jake Stoneburner, Ohio State
6. Jack Doyle, Western Kentucky
7. Ryan Griffin, Connecticut
8. Kyler Reed, Nebraska
9. Ryan Otten, San Jose State
10. Lucas Reed, New Mexico
Tight Ends: The Top 10 Underclassmen
1. Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame
2. Zach Ertz, Stanford
3. Jacob Pedersen, Wisconsin
4. Dion Sims, Michigan State
5. Levine Toilolo, Stanford
6. Gavin Escobar, San Diego State
7. Jordan Najvar, Baylor
8. Hutson Prioleau, Texas A&M
9. Jordan Reed, Florida
10. Arthur Lynch, Georgia
Offensive Tackles: The Top 10 Seniors
1. Alex Hurst, LSU
2. Ricky Wagner, Wisconsin
3. Justin Pugh, Syracuse
4. Tanner Hawkinson, Kansas
5. Oday Aboushi, Virginia
6. LaAdrian Waddle, Texas Tech
7. Brennan Williams, North Carolina
8. Matt Summers-Gavin, Cal
9. Mark Popek, South Florida
10. R.J. Mattes, North Carolina State
Offensive Tackles: The Top 10 Underclassmen
1. D.J. Fluker, Alabama
2. David Bakhtiari, Colorado
3. Morgan Moses, Virginia
4. Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M
5. Chris Faulk, LSU
6. Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
7. Seantrel Henderson, Miami
8. Zack Martin, Notre Dame
9. Taylor Lewan, Michigan
10. James Hurst, North Carolina
Interior Linemen: The Top 10 Seniors
1. Barrett Jones, Alabama
2. Khaled Holmes, USC
3. Chance Warmack, Alabama
4. Larry Warford, Kentucky
5. Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina
6. Chris Barker, Nevada
7. Omoregie Uzzi, Georgia Tech
8. Lane Taylor, Oklahoma State
9. Dalton Freeman, Clemson
10. Braden Hansen, BYU
Interior Linemen: The Top 10 Underclassmen
1. Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma
2. Alvin Bailey, Arkansas
3. Travis Frederick, Wisconsin
4. Andrew Rodriguez, Nebraska
5. Jon Halapio, Florida
6. Mason Walters, Texas
7. Zach Fulton, Tennessee
8. Tyler Larsen, Utah State
9. Andrew Miller, Virginia Tech
10. Chris Watt, Notre Dame
Defensive Tackles: The Top 10 Seniors
1. Kawann Short, Purdue
2. Sylvester Williams, North Carolina
3. Jordan Hill, Penn State
4. Jesse Williams, Alabama
5. Star Lotulelei, Utah
6. John Jenkins, Georgia
7. Baker Steinkuhler, Nebraska
8. Sheldon Richardson, Missouri
9. Joe Vellano, Maryland
10. Josh Boyd, Mississippi State
Defensive Tackles: The Top 10 Underclassmen
1. Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State
2. Bennie Logan, LSU
3. Kwame Geathers, Georgia
4. Ashton Dorsey, Texas
5. Byran Jones, Arkansas
6. Dominique Easley, Florida
7. Jeffrey Whitaker, Auburn
8. Akeem Spence, Illinois
9. Derrick Hopkins, Virginia Tech
10. Bruce Gaston, Purdue
Defensive Ends: The Top 10 Seniors
1. Alex Okafor, Texas
2. Dion Jordan, Oregon
3. Devin Taylor, South Carolina
4. John Simon, Ohio State
5. Datone Jones, UCLA
6. Damion Square, Alabama
7. Malliciah Goodman, Clemson
8. Wes Horton, USC
9. Brad Madison, Missouri
10. Cameron Meredith, Nebraska
Defensive Ends: The Top 10 Underclassmen
1. William Gholston, Michigan State
2. Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas
3. Kareem Martin, North Carolina
4. Bjoern Werner, Florida State
5. Stansly Maponga, TCU
6. Shariff Floyd, Florida
7. James Gayle, Virginia Tech
8. DeAndre Coleman, Cal
9. Ryne Giddins, South Florida
10. Darryl Cato-Bishop, N.C. State
Rush Linebackers: The Top 10 Seniors
1. Brandon Jenkins, Florida State
2. Sean Porter, Texas A&M
3. Michael Buchanan, Illinois
4. Chase Thomas, Stanford
5. Walter Stewart, Cincinnati
6. Devon Kennard, USC
7. Trevardo Williams, Connecticut
8. Cornelius Washington, Georgia
9. Travis Long, Washington State
10. Collins Ukwu, Kentucky
Rush Linebackers: The Top 10 Underclassmen
1. Sam Montgomery, LSU
2. Jarvis Jones, Georgia
3. Barkevious Mingo, LSU
4. Corey Lemonier, Auburn
5. Ronald Powell, Florida
6. Jeremiah Attaochu, Georgia Tech
7. J.R. Collins, Virginia Tech
8. David Gilbert, Wisconsin
9. Nosa Eguae, Auburn
10. Marcus Smith, Louisville
Traditional Linebackers: The Top 10 Seniors
1. Manti Te’o, Notre Dame
2. Kevin Reddick, North Carolina
3. Nico Johnson, Alabama
4. Gerald Hodges, Penn State
5. Kenny Demens, Michigan
6. Bruce Taylor, Virginia Tech
7. Kenny Tate, Maryland
8. Arthur Brown, Kansas State
9. Mike Taylor, Wisconsin
10. Alonzo Highsmith, Arkansas
Traditional Linebackers: The Top 10 Underclassmen
1. Jelani Jenkins, Florida
2. Jonathan Brown, Illinois
3. C.J. Mosley, Alabama
4. Alec Ogletree, Georgia
5. Tom Wort, Oklahoma
6. Shayne Skov, Stanford
7. Christian Jones, Florida State
8. Damontre Moore, Texas A&M
9. Kevin Minter, LSU
10. Chris Borland, Wisconsin
Cornerbacks: The Top 10 Seniors
1. Johnathan Banks, Mississippi State
2. Desmond Trufant, Washington
3. Johnny Adams, Michigan State
4. Micah Hyde, Iowa
5. Jordan Poyer, Oregon State
6. Rod Sweeting, Georgia Tech
7. Brodrick Brown, Oklahoma State
8. Demontre Hurst, Oklahoma
9. Greg Reid, Florida State
10. Branden Smith, Georgia
Cornerbacks: The Top 10 Underclassmen
1. Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State
2. David Amerson, N.C. State
3. Xavier Rhodes, Florida State
4. Tyrann Mathieu, LSU
5. Dee Milliner, Alabama
6. Merrill Noel, Wake Forest
7. Carrington Byndom, Texas
8. Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech
9. Nickell Robey, USC
10. Logan Ryan, Rutgers
Safeties: The Top 10 Seniors
1. T.J. McDonald, USC
2. Robert Lester, Alabama
3. Bacarri Rambo, Georgia
4. DeVonte Holloman, South Carolina
5. Kenny Vaccaro, Texas
6. Ray-Ray Armstrong, Miami
7. Khaseem Greene, Rutgers
8. John Boyett, Oregon
9. Vaughn Telemaque, Miami
10. D.J. Swearinger, South Carolina
Safeties: The Top 10 Underclassmen
1. Eric Reid, LSU
2. Tony Jefferson, Oklahoma
3. Matt Elam, Florida
4. LaMarcus Joyner, Florida State
5. Nickoe Whitley, Mississippi State
6. Hakeem Smith, Louisville
7. C.J. Barnett, Ohio State
8. Tre Boston, North Carolina
9. Tanner Miller, Iowa
10. Craig Loston, LSU
The Top 5 Senior Kickers
1. Dustin Hopkins, Florida State
2. Caleb Sturgis, Florida
3. Brett Maher, Nebraska
4. Drew Alleman, LSU
5. Dan Conroy, Michigan State
The Top 5 Senior Punters
1. Jeff Locke, UCLA
2. Quinn Sharp, Oklahoma State
3. Ryan Allen, Louisiana Tech
4. Jackson Rice, Oregon
5. Bobby Cowan, Idaho