2013 NFL Draft: Big Board of Top 50 Players
With the 2012 college football season just around the corner, that means one thing.
It's time to start talking about the 2013 NFL draft.
Sure, the draft is still a ways off, but it is never too early to get the discussion going. And besides, every fan needs to know who to watch, right?
USC quarterback Matt Barkley is the most famous of the group, but is he the best? In a class that seems loaded with prospects, Barkley is near the top, sure, but he doesn't claim the No. 1 spot.
50. Kwame Geathers, DT, Georgia
At 6'6", 350 pounds, Kwame Geathers is a large human being. The Georgia nose tackle is probably limited to a 3-4 scheme in the NFL, but he could develop into an excellent space-eater.
Geathers is great at what he does, which is stop the run. No team should expect him to make many plays in the backfield or rush the passer. He won't do that, but he also won't be pushed aside in the run game.
49. Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama
Yeah, Alabama has yet another running back. Eddie Lacy isn't as talented as Trent Richardson is, but the 5'11", 220-pounder is no slouch himself.
What Lacy lacks in speed, he makes up for in power. The Crimson Tide back is nearly impossible to tackle once he gets moving, and he has decent burst as well.
48. D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
D.J. Fluker is undeniably talented, but he is incredibly inconsistent. The 6'6", 335-pounder struggles against elite competition in both the pass and run game.
If he finally plays up to his ability, Fluker could end up a top-10 pick. At the moment, however, he simply isn't at that level.
47. Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
A big defensive back with the ability to play free or strong safety, Kenny Vaccaro is good at almost everything but great at nothing. He never seems to bust out and dominate.
However, opposing teams are almost completely unable to take advantage of Vaccaro on the field. He projects as the guy who doesn't make mistakes but doesn't make many plays either.
46. Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
A great athlete, Taylor Lewan has left-tackle ability. At 6'7", 302 pounds, however, he needs to add some bulk to a lengthy frame.
If he does gain weight, Lewan projects as a complete tackle with the ability to dominate in both run-blocking and pass protection.
45. Sean Porter, LB, Texas A&M
As his 9.5 sacks from 2011 show, Sean Porter can rush the passer. Unfortunately, Porter weighs in at just 6'2", 230 pounds, so he is a limited schematic fit.
In order to play in a 3-4 scheme, Porter will need to bulk up. If he is unable to do so, Porter will be limited to rushing from the linebacker spot in a 4-3 scheme. That could hurt his draft stock.
44. Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
A 6'2", 215-pound physical specimen, Xavier Rhodes has all the talent of a premier cornerback. He needs to refine his technique, though, and he is plagued by inconsistency.
With improved technique, Rhodes could shoot to the top of the draft. Currently, he isn't a first-round pick. That could change quickly.
43. Robert Lester, S, Alabama
A center-fielding safety, Robert Lester can play in coverage but struggles against the run. At 6'2", 210 pounds, Lester has the size to defend the run but lacks the skills.
Back deep, Lester is a ball hawk, and he is a threat to intercept or break up almost any pass across the middle. Lester could be a dangerous weapon in the secondary.
42. E.J. Manuel, QB, Florida State
Few quarterbacks are more talented than E.J. Manuel. The 6'5", 245-pounder has a rocket arm and great mobility, but he has a lot to work on.
Manuel struggles if his first read isn't open, and he needs to work on his touch, as well. At best, Manuel is a developmental first-round pick, but he will not be ready to play as a rookie.
41. Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU
The problem with Tyrann Mathieu is his size. Mathieu is, at best, 5'9", 175 pounds. That's not big enough to start at cornerback in the NFL.
Mathieu is probably a guy who moves around in the secondary in the NFL but lacks a starting position. His skills and motor will help, though.
40. Kevin Reddick, LB, North Carolina
An incredibly fast player, Kevin Reddick has true sideline-to-sideline speed. The 6'3", 240-pounder has the ability to play on all three downs, which is becoming more and more rare.
Reddick needs to work on shredding blocks, but he has the ability to develop into a complete player.
39. Kawann Short, DT, Purdue
Kawann Short has the ability to move around the interior defensive line, which could bump him up in the draft. Short can penetrate the backfield, and though he isn't great at just plugging gaps, he is capable of doing so.
Though he is classified as a penetrator, Short isn't explosive enough to make his living as a pure 3-technique. He will need to contribute in multiple areas.
38. Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State
Marquess Wilson is as productive of a wideout as there is in college football. The 6'4", 185-pounder needs to bulk up, but his frame and catching ability are rare.
Wilson's speed and burst are nothing special, and he sometimes struggles to separate. If he can bulk up, that would help him to use his size to get open.
37. Shayne Skov, LB, Stanford
Shayne Skov is a perfect fit in a 3-4 scheme. The Stanford linebacker is great against the run but lacks the speed to play sideline to sideline in a 4-3 defense.
Skov still needs to improve at shredding blocks, but his instincts and physicality make him a solid prospect.
36. Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
Tyler Eifert is the standard solid tight end who is good at everything but not overly dynamic. At 6'6", 250 pounds, Eifert has good length but lacks the bulk to be a great blocker.
The Notre Dame star has good but not great athleticism and doesn't run away from linebackers with ease. Though he will be a solid starter, Eifert will never be a Pro Bowl-caliber player.
35. Chris Faulk, OT, LSU
A 6'6", 325-pound left tackle, Chris Faulk is an excellent run-blocker and good athlete. Faulk has the ability to play left tackle in the NFL, but he needs to improve his footwork.
Speedier pass-rushers seem to beat Faulk with relative ease, and Faulk really needs to improve in pass protection. A few minor changes could be huge there, though.
34. Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas
Jackson Jeffcoat is a former top prospect who finally started to make the most of his talent at the end of 2011. It's possible the 6'5", 250-pounder is ready to break out.
Jeffcoat is explosive and powerful, but he needs to prove he can perform a high level. If he can, there is little not to like.
33. Jonathan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
A speedy cornerback, Jonathan Banks can run with the fastest of wideouts, but he struggles to hang with their bigger counterparts.
At 6'2", 185 pounds, Banks has excellent length to go with his athleticism. Banks needs to show that he can overcome his flaws and still perform at a high level.
32. William Gholston, DE, Michigan State
At 6'6", 278 pounds, William Gholston is an impressive athlete with great size. However, he lacks elite burst and may be limited to playing defensive end in a 3-4 scheme.
Gholston uses his power to make plays in the backfield, and he excels against the run. He simply isn't a great pass-rusher, though, so he is a questionable fit in a 4-3.
31. Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia
Though he plays inside in Georgia's 3-4 defense, Alec Ogletree's best fit is probably outside as a Will linebacker. The 6'2", 236-pounder is incredibly fast but sometimes struggles to get off blockers.
If he has to, Ogletree can probably play in a 3-4, but he would be best utilized playing from sideline to sideline, not in space.
30. T.J. McDonald, S, USC
An excellent athlete, T.J. McDonald can play either safety position. Whether he is defending the run close to the line of scrimmage or playing center field against the pass, McDonald is a valuable player.
However, McDonald isn't a huge playmaker, and that limits his value somewhat. The USC star won't be beat much in coverage and will make some plays against the run, but he won't force many turnovers.
29. Barrett Jones, OL, Alabama
Few offensive linemen are as versatile as the 6'5", 311-pound Barrett Jones. Jones can play any position along the line, though he is probably best off at guard.
Jones is a good athlete who can play in space or in the power run game. He doesn't really dominate at either, but he's above-average at both.
28. Da’Rick Rogers, WR, Tennessee
An excellent athlete with terrific size, Da'Rick Rogers has the ability of a No. 1 wide receiver. However, Rogers drops too many easy passes and needs to develop consistency.
With his natural ability, Rogers could end up a top-10 pick. He could also flop and end up at the bottom of the draft.
27. Ricky Wagner, OT, Wisconsin
Like former Big Ten competitor Riley Reiff, Ricky Wagner is a bit of a hybrid tackle. Wagner isn't athletic enough to dominate at left tackle, but he could play there at an average or above-average level.
At right tackle, however, the 6'6", 320-pounder could be an elite player. Wagner must continue to develop as a pass-blocker for any of this to be possible, though.
26. Ray Graham, RB, Pittsburgh
Though slightly undersized, Ray Graham has legitimate first-round ability. Graham epitomizes an elusive back, and he makes some simply jaw-dropping cuts.
Graham is, however, returning from a torn ACL that could affect his play. If Graham returns the same player, he should go in the first round as a potentially elite change-of-pace back.
25. Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
Though he is a decent athlete, Chance Warmack is best known for his incredible power. The 6'3", 320-pounder is an outstanding run-blocker with the ability to drive back the biggest and strongest defensive tackles.
Warmack could improve in space, but he is at least adequate there. And his ability in the power game more than makes up for any flaws there.
24. Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame
A great fit in a 3-4 defense, Manti Te'o is a powerful linebacker with decent coverage ability. However, Te'o isn't a great fit in a 4-3 scheme, as he is somewhat limited athletically.
In a 3-4, Te'o can utilize his block-shredding ability and strength to dominate against the run. He could be a scary player.
23. Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
At just 260 pounds, Alex Okafor is a surprisingly adept run-defender. Okafor can rush the passer as well, but his strength against the run is his best attribute.
The Texas star doesn't make a ton of impact plays, though, which undermines his all-around ability. There isn't much star potential here.
22. Knile Davis, RB, Arkansas
Weighing in at 6'1", 225 pounds, Knile Davis is surprisingly explosive. The Arkansas product can run inside and outside while also offering some value as a receiver.
Davis is recovering from a broken ankle that could cause some problems, but he should recover fine and establish himself as an excellent running-back prospect.
21. Devin Taylor, DE, South Carolina
Devin Taylor is as freakish of a defensive end as there is. The 6'7", 260-pounder is incredibly explosive and could develop into an excellent pass-rusher.
Now that he isn't competing with Melvin Ingram for playing time, Taylor should have an opportunity to establish himself as premier threat off the edge. He certainly has the ability.
20. Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
At 6'4", 335 pounds, Johnathan Hankins is the prototype nose tackle. Hankins isn't overly athletic and probably shouldn't play in a 4-3, but he could be great in a 3-4.
Because of his limited athleticism, Hankins doesn't get into the backfield too often. He also doesn't move backwards much in the run game, which is where he offers his value.
19. Dominique Easley, DT, Florida
Dominique Easley's problem is a torn ACL. Before the injury, Easley was among the most explosive defensive tackles in all of football. Now Easley needs to show that hasn't changed.
With his penetration ability, the Florida star is the prototype 3-technique. Few defensive tackles can take over a game like Easley can.
18. Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
Sam Montgomery is an explosive pass-rusher who struggles against the run. Montgomery utilizes a variety of pass-rush moves with success, but he isn't as explosive as other premier edge-rushers.
At just 6'4", 255 pounds, Montgomery is small and lacks the frame to gain a ton of weight. Though he could develop into a solid pass-rusher, Montgomery's ceiling as an everyday player is limited.
17. Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina
Before tearing his ACL, Marcus Lattimore was a powerful back with good but not great speed and burst. If Lattimore declines in any of these areas, he could be in trouble.
If he returns as the same player, though, Lattimore is a legitimate top-15 pick. The South Carolina star isn't quite Trent Richardson, but he will gain yards and score touchdowns at an elite level.
16. Levine Toilolo, TE, Stanford
Levine Toilolo isn't exactly a dynamic athlete, but at 6'8", 265 pounds, he doesn't have to be. With that size, Toilolo simply has to be a below-average athlete, and he's better than that.
Few tight ends dominate in the red zone quite like Toilolo does, and he is a threat in other areas of the field, as well.
Size can't be taught, and Toilolo is developing the skills that can be.
15. Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
At 6'7", 240 pounds, Dion Jordan has exceptional length but needs to bulk up. Even at his current size, Jordan is a premier threat off the edge.
Few defensive ends match Jordan's burst, and even fewer combine that explosiveness with his length. Jordan's upside is off the charts if he gains 20 pounds.
14. Margus Hunt, DE, SMU
It's hard to describe just how athletic Margus Hunt is. The 6'7", 288-pounder is a shot-and-disk star, and he reportedly runs a 4.6 in the 40-yard dash.
Hunt is an incredible kick-blocker, but he is developing as a defensive end. The SMU star is learning to rush the passer, and he can already defend the run at a high level.
There is no player in the 2013 draft with more potential than Margus Hunt.
13. Robert Woods, WR, USC
Robert Woods can run routes, catch the football and run. So why isn't he rated higher?
Because he' s just 6'1", 180 pounds.
Woods isn't quite explosive enough to make up for his lack of size, and he seems unlikely to ever develop into an elite player. He will be good, sure, but he will never be great.
But players with this high of floors don't fall too far.
12. Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
There may not be a faster defensive tackle in football than Sheldon Richardson. Now, fast is an odd trait for a defensive tackle, but Richardson takes advantage of his speed.
The Missouri star can penetrate the backfield, and he uses his speed to make tackles downfield. There is a ton of upside here.
11. Eric Reid, S, LSU
Though he weighs in at 6'2", 208 pounds, Eric Reid is a free safety. The LSU star isn't a freakish athlete, but he has great coverage ability.
Even as a sophomore, Reid was already refined, and he can play in all aspects of the game. Reid looks like a much superior prospect to Mark Barron, who went No. 7 in 2012.
10. David Amerson, CB, NC State
David Amerson's 13 interceptions in 2011 were certainly impressive, and even though he likely won't repeat the feat, he is an excellent prospect. At 6'3", though, there are some questions about whether Amerson can stick at cornerback.
Those same questions surrounded Patrick Peterson, and Amerson will likely answer in the same way. The NC State star has top-five potential to go with his insane upside.
9. Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU
Barkevious Mingo is awful against the run, but he is something as a pass-rusher. The 6'5", 240-pounder is unbelievably explosive, and he utilizes a plethora of pass-rush moves.
If Mingo can become just below-average as a run-defender, he could be in competition for the draft's first pick. He is that dominant off the edge.
8. Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
A 6'4" wideout with 4.4 speed, Justin Hunter is a rare prospect. He tore his ACL in 2011, but if he fully recovers, Hunter could be a top-five selection.
Hunter doesn't possess elite receiver skills, but his physical ability is dominant enough that it doesn't matter. There is some incredible upside here.
7. Matt Barkley, QB, USC
Matt Barkley has received tons of hype, but he isn't quite as good as he's made out to be. At 6'2", with limited arm strength, Barkley doesn't have elite upside.
Yes, Barkley is intelligent with incredible ball placement, but he can't throw to all parts of the field. Though that won't stop him from being a solid player, it will stop him from being elite.
6. Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia
The best pass-rusher in the 2013 draft, Jarvis Jones is limited by his size, but he possesses incredible ability. At 6'3", 240 pounds, Jones may be forced into a Von Miller-type role. Not like any team would complain if he produced like Miller.
Jones combines an elite first step with dynamic pass-rush moves. The only thing keeping him from being a sure-fire top-five pick is his size, which can be overcome.
5. Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
Star Lotulelei is a smaller Haloti Ngata. If that doesn't tell you how good he is, nothing will.
Lotulelei weighs in at 6'4", 325 pounds, and he utilizes a rare blend of athleticism and power to dominate. The Utah star can dominate at any interior line position.
Lotulelie still needs to improve as a pass-rusher, but he's so good against the run that it hardly even matters.
4. Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee
With a rocket arm and excellent pocket presence, Tyler Bray has the ability of a No. 1 overall pick. However, Bray still has a lot to work on.
The Tennessee star's perimeter accuracy is sketchy, and he needs to bulk up from a slender 210 pounds. Bray's decision-making is occasionally suspect, as well.
With that said, Bray has shown flashes of truly elite passing ability. And that was during just his sophomore year.
3. Keenan Allen, WR, California
Keenan Allen burst in and out of his breaks, utilizing his elite speed and explosiveness. But Allen isn't just some speester. He's also 6'3", 205 pounds.
Allen has the ability to become a truly dominant No. 1 wideout in the NFL. The California star is capable of playing in any type of offense.
Allen possesses no flaws that seriously hinder him as a player.
2. Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech
A 6'6", 254-pound mobile quarterback, Logan Thomas has drawn some comparisons to Cam Newton. Thomas isn't quite that athletic, but he does offer a similar skill set.
Thomas has a rocket arm and great pocket presence, and if he needs to, he can gain yards on the ground. The Virginia Tech star still needs to work on his accuracy and decision-making, but he has elite upside.
1. Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
The best pure passer in the draft, Tyler Wilson could have been a top-five pick in 2012. Wilson faces some questions from playing in Bobby Petrino's passing-friendly offense, but the two will be separated in 2012.
Wilson is a good athlete with great arm strength and accuracy. He does a good job of getting rid of the ball, and he delivers it on target.
Wilson already has many of the finer quarterback skills down, and he is also a tremendous talent. That's a fantastic combination.