2013 NFL Draft: 3 Defenders Who Will Play Themselves into the Top 10

Ryan Heidrich@@Ryan_HeidrichCorrespondent IIJune 13, 2012

2013 NFL Draft: 3 Defenders Who Will Play Themselves into the Top 10

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    We are just a couple months from the beginning of the College Football season and teams will soon be taking the field with the hopes of reaching the Discover BCS National Championship game in Miami, Florida.

    While players are hoping for team success, many players are playing with intentions of moving up in the 2013 NFL draft and move inside the first ten picks.

    Bleacher Report’s NFL Draft Lead Writer, Matt Miller, has already released his first 2013 mock draft, which features defensive players being selected with six of the first ten picks.

    As the saying goes, defense wins championships, so here are three players that have the chance to work themselves up into the top ten of 2013 NFL Draft and give their respective teams a chance to win the Lombardi Trophy.  

Barkevious Mingo

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    Matt Miller currently has LSU’s Barkevious Mingo being drafted 15th overall by the Dallas Cowboys. Mingo has the ability to play both defensive end and outside linebacker, which could help his draft stock rise. 

    Mingo arrived in Baton Rouge in 2009, where he redshirted. In 2010 as a redshirt freshman he made one start on the year and finished with 35 tackles.

    2011 was a breakout year for Mingo, as he lead the Tigers and finished fourth in the SEC in tackles for loss with 13.5. He was named to the 2011 Second-Team All-Southeastern Conference by the AP, as well as being named the SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week after his two-sack performance against the Auburn Tigers.

    Mingo’s best asset is his explosiveness off the edge.  He is one the fastest defensive ends in the country. He runs the 40-yard dash in a scorching 4.57 seconds.

    In order to push himself into the top ten, Mingo will have to show scouts that he is stronger this season than he was last year. If offensive tackles can manage his speed then he is taken out of plays, but if he can release himself off a block he will be a nemesis for all SEC lineman this year. 

David Amerson

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    David Amerson of North Carolina State is the best corner that will be draft eligible in 2013.

    Matt Miller has him being taken as the first cornerback at number 18 by the San Diego Chargers. Amerson led the nation last year in interceptions with 13.

    If he can get near that number again this year, his draft stock will sky rocket. Much like Morris Claiborne last season, Amerson could jump to a high pick on draft day.

    Along with his 13 interceptions, Amerson added 59 tackles on his way to being named a Walter Camp and ESPN First Team All-American.  Amerson also brought home the Jack Tatum Award, which is given to the nation’s best defensive back.

    Amerson does not have many weaknesses, but if you had to pick on an area he needs to improve it would be his speed. He has been clocked at running a 40-yard dash at 4.52, which is not exactly NFL cornerback caliber speed.

    If Amerson has a strong 2012 season and runs well at the NFL Scouting Combine, he should be picked somewhere in the top ten. 

Star Lotulelei

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    Star Lotulelei is a dominant defensive tackle out of the University of Utah. He is nowhere to be found in Matt Miller’s first mock draft, however Miller has Lotulelei as the best defensive tackle in the draft.

    This draft is loaded with pass rushers from both the defensive end and outside linebacker positions. If a team in the top ten needs a defensive tackle, Lotulelei will be the first to go.

    The 6’4” 320 pound senior had a dominant 2011 season. He won the Morris Trophy as the Pac-12’s best defensive lineman as well as being named the Most Valuable Lineman in the Sun Bowl.

    Lotulelei recorded nine tackles for a loss as well as 1.5 sacks last year for the Utes.

    Lotulelei will get drafted in the top ten of the 2013 NFL draft.  Miller calls him the most dominate defensive tackle since Marcell Dareus, who was drafted third overall by the Buffalo Bills in 2011.

    Based on Lotulelei’s rare combination of size and speed, expect his name to be called early in the 2013 NFL Draft.