2013 NFL Draft: Ranking the 50 Best Players in Next Year's Draft Class

James Christensen@@nepatriotsdraftContributor IMay 4, 2012

2013 NFL Draft: Ranking the 50 Best Players in Next Year's Draft Class

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    The 2012 NFL Draft is barely in its grave, and I am already two months in on my preparations for the 2013 NFL Draft.

    Here are my top-50 players that have eligibility for the 2013 NFL Draft, and just like last year, there are a lot of quarterbacks near the top of the list.

    You all know Matt Barkley is going to be first in line, but who will be my second quarterback on the list?


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    1. Matt Barkley, QB, USC (Scouting Report)

    Barkley is the closest thing to Andrew Luck that we have this year. I don't think he possesses the full package that Luck has, but Barkley is easily the most pro-ready quarterback on this list.

    2. Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas

    Wilson has an absolute cannon for an arm and has made all the NFL throws in Bobby Petrino's offense. I can see teams lining up to develop the next big arm come 2013. 


    3. Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia

    Jones is an impact play waiting to happen. He made the right choice in coming back for this season, as he has a legitimate chance of going in the Top 5 of the draft.


    4. Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

    If NFL teams haven't figured it out yet, huge defensive linemen that can move well don't come around too often. As high as Dontari Poe went, Lotulelei's tape is much more impressive.


    5. Sam Montgomery, DE/OLB, LSU

    This is the first of many LSU prospects on this list. Montgomery's lightning-quick first step and pass-rush ability will prevent him from falling too far come draft day.


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    6. Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee

    Bray doesn't have the polish of Barkley, but has the physical skills to be an NFL starter if he can clean up his decision making.


    7. David Amerson, CB, NC State

    Amerson's size (6'2") may necessitate a move to the free-safety position, but the fact remains that Amerson gets his hands on a lot of footballs.


    8. Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU

    Like Montgomery, Mingo is going to be looked at as a pass-rush specialist. In today's NFL, if you can rush the passer, you're going to be a first-round pick.


    9. Robert Woods, WR, USC 

    Woods and Barkley are going to have a big year. Woods runs great routes, has great speed and possesses fantastic hands. 


    10. Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame (Scouting Report)

    Te'o shocked the drafting community by coming back for his senior season, but if he ends up being 2013's version of Luke Kuechly, then everything will work out.


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    11. Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina

    If Lattimore is fully recovered from his ACL injury, the SEC needs to look out. Lattimore can pound the rock like no other.

    12. Kenny Vaccaro, CB/S, Texas (Scouting Report)

    I probably have Kenny Vaccaro rated higher than anyone else. That said, his ability to cover slot receivers and tight ends, blitz the quarterback, cover half the field and support the run should speak for itself.


    13. Jackson Jeffcoat, DE/OLB, Texas

    Jeffcoat is the second of three Longhorn defenders to make my list. Jeffcoat is an edge rusher that showed flashes of brilliance in 2011.


    14. Devin Taylor, DE, South Carolina

    Taylor was overlooked due to his famous defensive-line mates, but he is an athletic defensive end that has some scheme diversity. 


    15. Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech

    Thomas may end up going much higher than this if he is able to improve on his stellar 2011 season. There is nobody else like Thomas in this draft.


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    16. Knile Davis, RB, Arkansas

    Like Lattimore, Davis had a scary injury in 2011 and will need to prove that he is fully healed before heading to the NFL. Davis is a ridiculously strong human being.


    17. Sean Porter, OLB, Texas A&M

    Porter is going to get a lot of Von Miller comparisons due to his ability to come off the edge and make plays. He could easily climb much higher up this board with another great season.


    18. Brandon Jenkins, DE/OLB, Florida State 

    Jenkins made the right decision to come back for his senior season at Florida State. If he can continue to improve against the run and add new moves to his pass-rush repertoire, he could be one of the first pass-rushers off the board.


    19. Jonathan Banks, CB, Mississippi State

    Banks is another one of the new-breed bigger corners. He seems to play well against the bigger, more physical receivers that he will face a lot in the NFL.


    20. Oday Aboushi, OT, Virginia

    Aboushi has a long way to go with his technique and strength, but he has shown the movement skills necessary to be a starter at left tackle in the NFL.


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    21. Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU

    Everybody knows about Mathieu due to his "Honey Badger" moniker. Many draft analysts have Mathieu rated as a late-first-to-second-round pick, but his game-breaking return ability, passion and knack for the big play push him a little higher up my board. 


    22. Alex Okafor, DE, Texas

    Like Mingo and Montgomery, Jeffcoat and Okafor are going to be quite the pass-rush duo to watch in 2012. Now that he can play outside, look for Okafor to have a monster year.


    23. Robert Lester, FS, Alabama

    Not to let LSU have all the fun, Lester is our first Alabama prospect. Playing next to Mark Barron has that effect on people, but Lester looked like a starting-caliber free safety last year in Tuscaloosa. The NFL has had a hard time finding 32 of those lately.


    24. Barrett Jones, OL, Alabama

    Jones is a versatile lineman that could conceivably play at any position on the offensive line. I like him best at guard, and he could be this year's Kevin Zeitler or David DeCastro.


    25. Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame

    Eifert is going to get some comparisons to Rob Gronkowski due to his ability to block just as well as he catches. However, Eifert isn't quite the game-breaker that Gronkowski is. Regardless, Eifert should be the top tight end off the board.


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    26. Eric Reid, FS, LSU

    27. Kawaan Short, DL, Purdue

    28. Jonathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State

    29. D.J. Fluker, OL, Alabama

    30. Cobi Hamilton, WR, Arkansas

    31. Ricky Wagner, OT, Wisconsin

    32. Seantrel Henderson, OL, Miami

    33. Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma

    34. T.J. McDonald, FS, USC

    35. Tony Jefferson, S, Oklahoma

    36. William Gholston, DE, Michigan State

    37. C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama

    38. Chance Warmack, OL, Alabama

    39. Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia

    40. Jelani Jenkins, OLB, Florida

    41. Nico Johnson, OLB, Alabama

    42. Kenny Tate, LB/S, Maryland

    43. Chase Thomas, LB, Stanford

    44. Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State

    45. Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia

    46. Jesse Williams, DL, Alabama

    47. Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

    48. Keenan Allen, WR, Cal

    49. Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin

    50. Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee