2013 NFL Draft: Matt Barkley and 4 Names You Must Get to Know
Matt Barkley leads a group of talented quarterbacks and others who are looking to hear their name called early next April.
It has only been a month since the 2012 NFL draft, which means teams and fans are already looking forward to next year's version of the selection show.
Next year's class is rich in talent, and while it doesn't feature a headline-worthy top two like Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, there is plenty of talent looking to make the jump to the next level.
A few underclassmen join this group of college stars who will find their way to the NFL sooner rather than later.
Despite the somewhat spotty track record of Southern Cal quarterbacks, Matt Barkley is headed into the 2012 season as the consensus No. 1 NFL prospect.
He has mastered the pro-style offense during his years at USC, but questions still remain about his size and strength.
Scouts say he has tremendous accuracy, and that Barkley possesses the adequate arm strength to make every NFL throw.
He can put a bow on a stellar collegiate career if he plays well this season, which could very well make him the No. 1 overall pick in 2013.
Another immensely talented player from LSU, Barkevious Mingo is a versatile defender who projects as a 4-3 defensive end or a 3-4 linebacker at the NFL level.
Mingo is a freakish athlete who amassed eight sacks in 2012 against tough SEC competition. If he decides to declare next year, he should hear his name called relatively early on draft day.
South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore is coming off season-ending knee surgery, and if he can rebound from an ACL tear, he should be chosen early in next year's draft.
Lattimore is a bigger back with fluid feet, and some have compared his talent level to that of Alabama running back Trent Richardson, who was a top five pick last month.
Rehabbing from a serious knee injury is quite a task for any player, and it is particularly daunting for a running back, so it may be tough for Lattimore to achieve numbers like he had during his freshman campaign.
Lattimore might be start slow in 2012, but look for him to use his junior season to prove his worth to NFL teams and help the Gamecocks battle for an SEC title.
Manti Te'o is a true throwback who should thrive playing linebacker in the NFL someday.
Te'o has been a tacking machine during his career at Notre Dame and has over 300 tackles to his credit entering his senior year.
He will have to play well to make up for the loss of Aaron Lynch, and Te'o will most certainly be a first-round selection in 2013.
Tyler Wilson might have already leaped Landry Jones as the second best prospect at the quarterback spot, and he can solidify his positioning if he plays well in 2012.
Wilson has the entire package and showcased his talent last year, when he threw for over 3,500 yards and 26 touchdowns.
He only had six interceptions in his junior season, and Wilson could make himself a top five pick if he produces in his second full year as starter.