2013 NFL Draft: 5 Studs Who Will Compete for No. 1 Overall Spot
The 2013 NFL draft is almost a full year away, but it is not too early to start thinking about who might get drafted with the No. 1 overall pick. There are many things that will change throughout the upcoming college football season, and the outcome of the 2012 NFL season will play a huge part as well.
Every football season brings surprises, and the 2012 college and NFL seasons will be no different. With a little forward thinking, a small group of elite players can be targeted. These players are sure to be very early day one picks in the 2013 NFL draft.
There are many unknowns at this point. There is no way to know which team will be drafting first, or what their needs will be. The only thing we do have is a group of talented college football players that have a legitimate chance at being the first pick.
They are all in great situations, and they have the skill and play-making ability to be the player that kicks off the 2013 NFL draft. With great seasons in 2012, and the right team picking first, one of these players could find themselves in the position of having their name called first on draft day.
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Logan Thomas has a very good chance at being the first quarterback selected in the 2013 NFL draft. Looking at the recent history of the first overall pick, there is a very good chance that the No. 1 overall pick is a quarterback.
A quarterback has been selected with the first overall selection in eight out of the last 10 drafts, and 12 out of the last 15. The players who did not play quarterback and got drafted No. 1 were offensive tackle Jake Long in 2008, defensive Mario Williams in 2006 and defensive end Courtney Brown in 2000.
It is a safe bet that the team that finishes as the worst team in the NFL has had very poor quarterback play, or has been impacted by an injury that derailed their season. The team drafting No. 1 will be in need of a quarterback, and Logan Thomas is in a position to be that pick.
Thomas is 6’5” and 254 pounds, and he can move extremely well. It is expected that he will run a 40 time near the 4.6 range. In the new NFL, his size and speed combination is very valuable.
Many scouts will compare Thomas to Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, and that is fair from a size perspective. Newton had immediate success in the NFL, and Thomas has a comparable skill set.
Thomas has incredible arm talent, and is a huge quarterback. He really burst onto the scene as a sophomore, and if he makes another jump like that in 2012, he will be the first player taken in the 2013 NFL draft.
He needs to improve on many aspects of his game, as he is only a junior. With a good showing in 2012, Thomas will declare early for the NFL after his junior season. The possibility of going No. 1 overall will prove to be too valuable to pass up.
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Star Lotulelei is the nation’s most dominant defensive lineman. At 6’3” and 325 pounds, he is a dominant physical force. Rob Rang of CBSSports.com has reported that veteran NFL scouts have compared Lotulelei to Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata.
Lotulelei is big enough to play in the middle of the defense, and his footwork is good enough for him to be able to make plays in the backfield. He is a matchup nightmare for offensive linemen, and he is versatile enough to play all along the defensive line.
He is big enough, and has the strength to play nose tackle or the 3-technique. He is quick enough to play the 5-technique, and this versatility gives him a great advantage over other defensive tackles in the 2013 NFL draft.
Defensive tackles have the opportunity to make a bigger impact on defenses than most think. If a defensive tackle can command a double-team, it will open up things for the players around him. When a defensive lineman can dominate an offensive lineman physically, it sets the defense up for great things.
The Detroit Lions got an incredible impact from defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh in 2010. The Buffalo Bills are going to get this kind of impact from tackle Marcell Dareus in 2012. The teams that defend the best in the NFL all have a physically dominant interior player.
Lotulelei headlines a potentially weak defensive tackle class. He is a player that everyone will be watching as the 2012 college football season unfolds. If he has a strong season, he is a player that most certainly will be drafted at, or near the top of the draft.
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Robert Woods is the most complete wide receiver to enter the NFL draft in several years. Woods is 6’1” and 184 pounds, and he is an electric athlete. He has great speed, and incredible route-running ability. Woods also has very good hands, as drops are not an issue.
Woods is dangerous with the ball in his hands, as he is a player that adds a lot of yardage to his stats because of his ability to run after the catch. Woods has great burst, as he gets into and out of his breaks incredibly well.
Woods broke the Pac-12’s single season record for receptions with 111 as a sophomore, and the pro-style offense that the Trojans run has Woods ready to play in the NFL now. USC lines up Woods all over the field, and he will be able to play in the NFL on the outside, or from the slot.
The NFL is a pass-happy league, and teams are throwing the football now more than ever. Woods is a player that every team would love to have, because of how much he can do on the football field. He is a game-changer, a player that must be accounted for on every snap of the football.
Teams are adjusting to the way that offenses need to run, and players like Woods are more important now than ever. A player like Woods is incredibly valuable, and he will be more crucial going forward, because of the mismatch that he can create for an offense.
Woods ability to be selected at the top of the 2013 NFL draft rests more upon the team that is drafting No. 1 overall than anything. He needs the right circumstances, but if a team is looking at wide receiver with that pick, Woods will most certainly be the guy.
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D.J. Fluker is one of the most athletic offensive tackles that you will see in college football in 2012, and that is saying something, as Fluker is 6’6” and 335 pounds. Fluker is a gigantic football player, but a player that can really move his feet well.
Offensive tackle is one of the most important positions on a football field, and tackles are always taken early in the draft. The position plays a vital role in the success of an NFL offense, and filling the role of a franchise tackle is one of the most important things an NFL team can do.
Elite offensive tackles are very hard to come by, and it has been a few years since a great one has been drafted. Jake Long was drafted in 2008 by the Miami Dolphins, and he is the last truly elite offensive tackle to be drafted.
Fluker is the type of player that could change that. He is best known as a run blocker, but his physical gifts are what set him apart from the other tackles in this class. Simply put, he is the most talented tackle in this draft class.
He is a junior, and it is expected that he will declare for the NFL if he solidifies his draft stock during the 2012 college football season. The opportunity to be drafted No. 1 overall is something that players should never pass on.
Fluker plays in the SEC, and he will face a challenge every week. His talents will be on display against some of the best pass-rushers in the country, and he will get an opportunity to prove himself.
Fluker is going to have a great year for Alabama, and he will be in the running to be the first overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft.
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Jarvis Jones has a chance to set himself up as the best pass-rushing linebacker in the country. The Georgia Bulldogs are going to have one of the best defenses in the nation, and it will benefit Jones to play for them in 2012.
Jarvis Jones is 6’3” and 241 pounds. He had a great sophomore campaign, as he registered 13.5 sacks. Jones had one of the best seasons in college football last year, from a pass-rushing perspective. He finished the year tied for second in the nation in sacks.
Jones is a great athlete, as he demonstrates great ability to close on a defender. He has the ability to run a ball carrier down from behind, or to get to the quarterback. It is reasonable to compare Jones to Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller, and that is very high praise.
Jones is a terror on the edge of the defense, as he is a relentless force rushing the passer. He has great hands, and he uses them well to shed blockers. Jones is a player that can alter what the offense is trying do, and that means great value for NFL defenses.
There is great value in finding a player that can get after the quarterback, especially from the linebacker position. Jones projects to play in a 3-4 defense, as a defensive end/linebacker hybrid. Jones is going to be a highly sought after commodity in the 2013 NFL draft.
Jones is another player who plays in the SEC, and it will give him an opportunity to showcase himself each and every week. SEC competition is tough, and if Jones has another year in 2012 like he had in 2011, he will definitely be in the discussion to be the No. 1 overall pick.