2013 NFL Draft: 10 Darkhorse First Rounders
At this point, little regarding the 2013 NFL draft is certain, or even close to it. However, a few guys are being left out of the first-round talk when they definitely shouldn't be.
This time last year, few if any were talking about Robert Griffin III as a first-round pick. If that doesn't show how much a guy can be overlooked, nothing does.
Right now, mock drafts and rankings are telling you who to watch during the 2012 college football season. Here are 10 more guys to look out for.
Keith Price, QB, Washington
At just 6'1," 195 pounds, Keith Price will certainly have to overcome some obstacles to be drafted in the first round. As Robert Griffin III proved, though, size isn't everything.
Price is athletic enough to run, but he rarely does. His arm strength, however, is incredible, and the Washington quarterback can gun the ball downfield with the best of them.
Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama
A big, powerful back, Eddie Lacy doesn't have quite the ability Trent Richardson or Mark Ingram did, but he hasn't yet had a chance to carry the load, either. Lacy isn't overly explosive, but he runs hard and has great balance.
In limited playing time, Lacy has produced at a high level, gaining 1,080 yards on 151 carries. If nothing else, that's a sign of Lacy's potential.
Jake Stoneburner, TE, Ohio State
Even with his recent off-the-field issues, Jake Stoneburner has the potential to break out in Urban Meyer's offensive scheme. Stoneburner is one of Ohio State's most dynamic talents, and Meyer earned a reputation for developing tight ends at Florida.
The 6'5," 245-pounder caught seven touchdowns in 2011 while displaying his upper-level athleticism. And—for the first time in his career—Stoneburner will be playing on an offense that utilizes the tight end.
Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU
A big, 6'5," 222-pound quarterback, Zach Mettenberger has a big arm and plenty of physical ability. Mettenberger has just 11 career attempts—so he is an unknown—but few quarterbacks are more talented.
If Mettenberger makes the most of his talent and performs at a high level, he could be in the mix to be a top-10 pick. With how little we've seen of Mettenberger, though, it's hard to predict this happening.
Knile Davis, RB, Arkansas
Coming off a broken ankle, Knile Davis will need to show he has fully recovered; but he has shown the ability of an elite running back. The 226-pounder is unusually explosive for his size.
Unlike many big backs, Davis is a threat to score on any play; yet he can still carry the load like a powerback. Davis has true feature-back potential.
Da'Rick Rodgers, WR, Tennessee
A fantastic athlete with great size, Da'Rick Rodgers catches balls that few others can, but he also drops far too many easy catches. Clearly, consistency is an issue for Rodgers.
If he develops as a receiver, Rodgers' massive talent could propel him into the early first round. He has the upside of a No. 1 wideout in the NFL.
Dominique Easley, DT, Florida
Dominique Easley is returning from a torn ACL; but prior to the injury, he was college fooball's most explosive defensive tackle. Easley is the prototype three-technique.
The Florida star penetrates the backfield with ease, but can hold stout against the run as well. He truly has elite ability.
Levine Toilolo, TE, Stanford
At 6'8," 263 pounds, Levine Toilolo is a massive tight end with elite red-zone ability. Coby Fleener was a great tight end prospect, but his former teammate Toilolo may end up the better prospect.
Toilolo demonstrates good athleticism, soft hands and great strength to go with his massive size. Few tight ends offer the skills package Toilolo does.
Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
Dion Jordan is as physically talented of a defensive end as there is. The 6'7," 250-pounder has terrific athleticism and burst to go with his phenomenal length.
Jordan has already shown good pass-rushing ability, and he's still developing. By the time the 2013 draft rolls around, Jordan could be a top-10 pick.
Ray Graham, RB, Pittsburgh
It's always tricky to project how a running back will recover from a torn ACL, but Ray Graham's elusiveness is special. It's rare for a running back to make the cuts that Graham does routinely.
Though he is slightly undersized, Graham's agility and receiving ability make him a viable first-round prospect. This all depends on how well he recovers from his injury, though, as the knees are key to Graham's game.