2013 NFL Draft: Logan Thomas and Superstars in the Making
Though the 2013 NFL draft is 10 months away, there are already several impact players, including Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas, who appear to be superstars in the making.
While there are certainly a number of quality quarterback prospects available, Thomas has the upside to be a true game-changer at the next level.
Beyond the Hokies signal caller, the draft's cream of the crop rests with a few impact defensive players.
Let's take a look at the 2013 NFL draft's superstars in the making.
Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech
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Although Matt Barkley and Tyler Wilson are the two hot quarterback prospects on the draft radar, Virginia Tech’s Logan Thomas has a chance to be even better.
Blessed with an incredible combination of size (6’6”, 262 pounds) and speed (4.65), the former high school tight end has significant upside.
In his first season as a starter the Cam Newton clone threw for 3,013 yards and accounted for 30 total touchdowns.
Because of his rare throwing arm, height and athleticism, Thomas could very well thrust himself into consideration for the top pick.
While there are definitely guys with more polish to their games, Thomas is the one with the highest ceiling.
Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
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The draft’s consensus top defensive tackle, Star Lotulelei has drawn comparisons to Ravens defensive lineman Haloti Ngata.
At first glance, it’s easy to see why.
Like his fellow Tongan, Lotulelei is a rare athlete. The 6’4”, 325-pounder has phenomenal strength to hold the point of attack, but is quick and explosive enough to get into the backfield.
According to Matthew Fairburn of Mocking the Draft, “Lotulelei will make an instant impact in the NFL as a run defender. He has an advanced ability to shed blocks and stop ball carriers for minimal gains.”
Although the Utah star isn’t a dominant pass-rusher, he has the tools to develop into one.
With the recent success of rookie defensive tackles like Ndamukong Suh and Marcell Dareus, Lotulelei should follow in their footsteps as a top-five pick.
Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame
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A combination of Ray Lewis and Junior Seau wrapped into one, Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o looks and plays like a future Pro Bowl linebacker.
The 6’2”, 255-pound monster hits like a tank, yet has the speed and athletic ability to fly around the field.
After arriving in South Bend, Ind. as one of the school’s highest-profile recruits, Te’o has managed to exceed expectations.
The senior’s resume includes an astounding 324 tackles, including 28.5 for loss, in 38 games.
Because of his build and 4.64 speed, the Fighting Irish’s defensive leader will appeal to both 3-4 and 4-3 teams as he can play multiple spots.
If he sticks as a 3-4 inside linebacker or 4-3 middle linebacker, look for Te’o to quickly rise to NFL stardom.
David Amerson, CB, North Carolina State
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The list of superstars in the making continues on defense with the nation’s top ball-hawk: David Amerson.
In 2011, the North Carolina State corner picked off an eye-popping 13 passes while chipping in 54 tackles.
Besides his sure hands and instincts, Amerson’s rare size for the position (6’3”, 194 pounds) makes him an intriguing selection.
His physical style of play should make him an excellent man-to-man corner, and I think he could become an excellent free safety if his size proves to be a detriment.
Ultimately, Amerson may shift back to his high school position, but there’s little doubt he’ll become a top-flight defensive back at the next level.
Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
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No list of superstars is complete without the game’s most important defensive position: a pass-rusher.
While his teammate Barkevious Mingo grabs more headlines, it is fellow defensive end Sam Montgomery who has the ability to become a superstar.
After red shirting in 2009 and playing in spot duty in 2010, the 6’4”, 245-pounder burst on the scene with 44 tackles and nine sacks last season.
Montgomery was named a third-team All-American by the Associated Press, but figures to improve in just his second season as a starter.
As a right defensive end, Montgomery is tasked with getting to the quarterback.
With a double-digit sack season, the LSU star should jump into consideration as the next great pass-rusher.