2013 NFL Draft logo2013 NFL Draft

2013 NFL Mock Draft: Preseason Projections for College Football's Top Players

Danny FlynnSenior Analyst IAugust 7, 2012

2013 NFL Mock Draft: Preseason Projections for College Football's Top Players

1 of 44

    The 2012 college football season is now just a matter of weeks away, which means that it's time to start really focusing in on the top NFL prospects to watch this fall. 

    USC QB Matt Barkley may not be considered the same type of sure-thing prospect that this year's No. 1 overall pick, Colts QB Andrew Luck, was pumped up to be by the media last summer. Nevertheless, Barkley will still enter the season as the early face of the 2013 draft class. 

    This is a group that was hit hard by a record 65 early underclassmen entrants for the 2012 draft. Still, with so many potential star underclassmen coming up through the ranks, this has the chance to be just as deep of a class as the one we saw this year. 

    It's obviously too early to predict with any semblance of certainty what will happen next April, but when it comes to the NFL draft, it's never too early to start preparing. 

    With that in mind, here's a look at some early preseason 2013 NFL draft first-round projections for some of college football's top pro prospects.

1. Miami Dolphins: WR Keenan Allen

2 of 44

    School: California

    Class: Junior

    Height: 6‘3‘’

    Weight: 205

    Pro Comparison: Miles Austin

    The Miami Dolphins selected Ryan Tannehill to be their quarterback of the future with the eighth overall pick in this year's draft. The problem I had with the move is that no matter who starts at quarterback this season, whether it's David Garrard or Tannehill, the Dolphins are still going to be one of the worst teams in the league. 

    Given the fact that there will probably be at least five quarterbacks in the 2013 draft that will have higher ceilings than Tannehill, you have to wonder if Miami will ultimately find itself in a position that will have them regretting pulling the trigger on their supposed franchise savior a year too early. 

    For better or for worse, the team has to pin its hopes for a future turnaround on Tannehill's shoulders. 

    In order for him to fully succeed in the NFL, however, the Dolphins are going to have to find him a go-to No. 1 receiver, since neither of the team's top two current receivers—Davone Bess and Brian Hartline—can be counted on to fill that role. 

    That's why it will be interesting to see if Miami will be able to get its hands on next year's top receiver prospect Cal's Keenan Allen.

    Allen is a rare physical specimen who possesses a terrific combination of size, speed, hands, instincts, explosiveness and overall playmaking ability.

    The Pac-12 pass-catcher has all of the physical skills to develop into an elite receiver at the next level, and he could even be worthy of the No. 1 overall pick in next year's NFL draft. 

2. Minnesota Vikings: QB Matt Barkley

3 of 44

    School: USC

    Class: Senior

    Height: 6‘2‘’ 

    Weight: 230

    Pro Comparison: Drew Brees

    Knowing for most of the season that they would hold a high pick in the 2012 draft, the Minnesota Vikings probably did some considerable homework on Matt Barkley back in 2011 just in case he did declare for the draft like many were expecting. 

    The Vikings already have Christian Ponder, but there's simply no comparing the difference in levels of potential that both prospects possess. 

    Barkley isn't the same caliber of player as the big three recent quarterback prospects—Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Cam Newton—but he's just a notch below them. 

    If Ponder struggles in 2012, and the team goes off the rails without  RB Adrian Peterson, the opportunity to land Barkley somewhere in the top 5 could definitely be an option for Minnesota next April. 

3. Indianapolis Colts: OLB Barkevious Mingo

4 of 44

    School: LSU

    Class: Junior

    Height: 6‘5‘’

    Weight: 240

    Pro Comparison: Cameron Wake

    The Colts boosted their offense in the 2012 draft with picks such as QB Andrew Luck, RB Vick Ballard, tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen and receivers T.Y. Hilton and LaVon Brazill. 

    2013 will have to be more defensive focused, and one key area that will need to be addressed is outside linebacker, since aging starters Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney aren't exactly perfect fits for a 3-4 scheme. 

    There are plenty of potential end-outside linebacker tweeners that will be available, but the top 3-4 edge-rusher in the class will likely be LSU's Barkevious Mingo. 

    Mingo, who has only been playing organized football since his junior year in high school, is still a raw and unrefined talent. However, he's the type of unbelievable off-the-charts physical specimen that could go flying up draft boards this season. 

4. Seattle Seahawks: RB Marcus Lattimore

5 of 44

    School: South Carolina

    Class: Junior

    Height: 6‘0‘’

    Weight: 218

    Pro Comparison: Fred Jackson

    Physically, Marcus Lattimore is a better overall running back prospect than Adrian Peterson and Trent Richardson, the two most heralded backs to come out of the college ranks in the last decade.

    Lattimore has a freakish combination of strength, power, explosiveness, vision and instincts, and he's a better overall back right now at this stage in his development than most of the backs in the NFL.

    If Lattimore's knee holds up, he could definitely elevate himself into the top 5 conversation for the 2013 draft, and that's where a running back hungry team like Seattle could be waiting. 

    Starting back Marshawn Lynch is running out of chances and if he screws up again, the Seahawks could go looking for his replacement, and they won't be able to find a better pure running back prospect than Lattimore in 2013. 

5. Jacksonville Jaguars: CB Johnthan Banks

6 of 44

    School: Mississippi State

    Class: Senior

    Height: 6‘2‘’

    Weight: 180

    Pro Comparison: Chris Gamble

    If the Jaguars didn't trade up for WR Justin Blackmon in this year's draft, and instead chose to stay at the seventh slot, there's a good chance they would have selected South Carolina cornerback Stephon Gilmore. 

    Since they took Blackmon instead of Gilmore, there's still a noticeable hole at the cornerback position. Rashean Mathis will be 32 this season and Derek Cox will be in the last year of his contract.

    Jacksonville could be looking for a big, athletic corner like Mississippi State's Johnthan Banks to come in and defend some of the bigger, more physical receivers in the AFC such as Stevie Johnson, Andre Johnson, A.J. Green, Demaryius Thomas, Dwayne Bowe and Kenny Britt. 

    Banks has started 32 games over the last three years, racking up 12 interceptions, four sacks and 158 total tackles during his outstanding collegiate career. 

    Look for the Mississippi State cover artist to compete with N.C. State's David Amerson to be considered the top overall cornerback prospect in the 2013 draft. 

6. St. Louis Rams: OT D.J. Fluker

7 of 44

    School: Alabama

    Class: Junior

    Height: 6‘6‘’

    Weight: 335

    Pro Comparison: Orlando Franklin

    The Rams failed to address their pass-protection problem early on in this year's draft. Now, they'll be forced to again rely on Rodger Saffold and Jason Smith, who were both huge disappointments in 2011, to protect quarterback Sam Bradford. 

    St. Louis could use a reliable right tackle, and Alabama's D.J. Fluker would be a solid solution. 

    Fluker is one of college football's strongest run-blockers and he's a good enough pass-blocker to start from day one of his rookie season.

    If Smith doesn't take major strides and make major improvements in 2012, the Rams will be forced to look in another direction with one of their two first-round picks next April. 

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: CB David Amerson

8 of 44

    School: N.C. State

    Class: Junior

    Height: 6‘3‘’

    Weight: 194

    Pro Comparison: Jimmy Smith

    Tampa Bay could have taken highly regarded LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne with the fifth overall pick in this year's NFL draft, but instead, the Bucs traded back and picked up safety Mark Barron.

    Barron is the new leader in the defensive backfield, but the current cornerback combo of new overpaid free agent Eric Wright and constant off-the-field headache Aqib Talib has some evident flaws.

    If Tampa Bay ends up with a top-10 pick again in next year's draft, the Bucs could choose to select one of the two elite cornerback prospects—Mississippi State's Johnthan Banks or N.C. State's David Amerson.

    Amerson is a big, athletic ball-hawk who would be an ideal fix for Tampa Bay's secondary struggles.

8. Cleveland Browns: DE Bjoern Werner

9 of 44

    School: Florida State

    Class: Junior

    Height: 6‘4‘’

    Weight: 265

    Pro Comparison: Justin Smith

    The Cleveland Browns have one of the most talented young pass-rushers in the NFL, Jabaal Sheard, to unleash off the edge of their four-man front in 2012. However, besides Sheard, there really isn't another true starting caliber defensive end on the roster.

    Cleveland improved dramatically on offense by adding the duo of QB Brandon Weeden and RB Trent Richardson in this year's draft. But now the Browns have to find another run-stuffing defensive end to complement Sheard on the other side of the line.

    One end who could fit that need is Florida's Bjoern Werner.

    The German native is one of the strongest, smartest, most instinctive and physical defensive lineman in college football, and he should really begin to tap into his true top-10 potential in 2012.

9. Arizona Cardinals: QB Logan Thomas

10 of 44

    School: Virginia Tech

    Class: Junior

    Height: 6‘6‘’

    Weight: 262

    Pro Comparison: Josh Freeman

    Right now, Arizona has two backup quarterbacks—Kevin Kolb and John Skelton—competing to be the 2012 starter. The Cardinals could use a young starting quarterback to build around in the years to come, as they still try to recover from missing on Matt Leinart back in 2006 and losing Kurt Warner after the 2010 season.

    Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas is a junior signal-caller that could cause quite a stir in 2012, and he's the type of young elite quarterback prospect that a team like Arizona would love to have.

    While he may not be the same kind of dynamic playmaker that Cam Newton is, Thomas is an extremely mobile and athletic quarterback who could be a part of the new wave of dangerous dual-threat quarterbacks we're starting to see wash up on NFL shores these days.

10. New York Jets: WR Robert Woods

11 of 44

    School: USC

    Class: Junior

    Height: 6‘1‘’

    Weight: 190

    Pro Comparison: Hakeem Nicks

    The Jets are going to struggle mightily offensively in 2012 and neither of the two highly publicized quarterbacks—Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow—will be to blame.

    Instead, it will be the Jets' lack of playmaking receivers that will be their eventual offensive undoing.

    Santonio Holmes is not a legitimate No. 1 target, Jeremy Kerley is talented but nowhere near ready for the type of role he'll be asked to play this year, Stephen Hill is one of the rawest rookies in this class and Chaz Schillens is Chaz Schillens.

    Luckily for the Jets, there will be plenty of potential first-round wide receiver prospects in the 2013 NFL draft, and one of them will likely be USC's Robert Woods.

    Woods was one of the most productive receivers in the nation last season, catching 111 passes for 1,292 yards and 15 touchdowns, and he has the potential to be a game-changing No. 1 receiver in the NFL.

11. St. Louis Rams (From Redskins): LB Jarvis Jones

12 of 44

    School: Georgia

    Class: Junior

    Height: 6‘3‘’

    Weight: 241

    Pro Comparison: Von Miller

    Von Miller was considered a perfect physical fit to be a 3-4 rush linebacker in the NFL. Miller eventually ended up in a 4-3 system in Denver, though, but he proved that he could flourish even if he wasn't in the perfect scheme for his skill set. 

    Another top linebacker prospect that could be versatile enough to play in either a 3-4 defense or a 4-3 defense at the next level is Georgia's sack machine Jarvis Jones.

    Jones, who led the SEC with 13.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss in 2012, is a nightmare coming off the edge of Georgia's 3-4 defense, but he could fit into a traditional strongside or even weakside role in a 4-3 defensive scheme.

    St. Louis is a team that will be looking for help at outside linebacker in the 2013 NFL draft, and the Rams could definitely use one of their two first-round picks to address the issue.

12. Oakland Raiders: QB Geno Smith

13 of 44

    School: West Virginia

    Class: Senior

    Height: 6‘3‘’

    Weight: 214

    Pro Comparison: Matt Hasselbeck

    This will be the make-or-break year for Carson Palmer to prove himself in Oakland. The Raiders will be carefully monitoring his progress, knowing that he's going to cost a fortune in the last two years of his deal. 

    If Palmer doesn't show that he can lead this team to the promised land in 2012, the organization may have to part ways with him in order to avoid a salary nightmare. 

    That's why it wouldn't be surprising to see the Raiders take a look at a quarterback in the first round of next year's draft. 

    One signal-caller that Oakland could take an interest in is West Virginia's Geno Smith. 

    Smith has a strong and powerful arm and he's shown that he can be a smart decision-maker in Dana Holgorsen's pass-heavy scheme, throwing 31 touchdowns compared to just seven touchdowns in 2011. 

    The Mountaineer signal-caller could be the quarterback of the future that Oakland desperately needs. If Smith has a true showcase senior season like he's capable of, the Raiders might consider picking him in the top 15 in 2013. 

13. Dallas Cowboys: QB Tyler Wilson

14 of 44

    School: Arkansas

    Class: Senior

    Height: 6‘3‘’

    Weight: 220

    Pro Comparison: Eli Manning

    It's just a hunch, but something tells me that the Cowboys will be looking to get their hands on QB Tyler Wilson in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft.

    Wilson, who plays for owner Jerry Jones' alma mater Arkansas, shares a lot of the same physical traits as two NFC East quarterbacks Tony Romo and Eli Manning.

    The fact is, though, that even at a young age, Wilson's already shown that he can handle pressure-packed situations better than the current Cowboys quarterback. 

    If Romo fails to lead Dallas to the playoffs yet again in 2012, Jerry Jones could turn his focus to Wilson, who possesses the same type of physical tools that Romo has, only he's younger and more clutch.

14. Carolina Panthers: DE Alex Okafor

15 of 44

    School: Texas

    Class: Senior

    Height: 6‘4‘’

    Weight: 260

    Pro Comparison: Justin Tuck

    Alex Okafor is the type of humble, hard-working "lunch pail" type of player that scouts usually love.

    After making the switch from tackle back out to his more natural position at defensive end last offseason, Okafor excelled in 2011, notching seven sacks, 14 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and 14 quarterback hurries.

    One team that could use his strength on the outside of its defensive line is the Carolina Panthers.

    The Panthers need a proper pass-rushing complement to Charles Johnson, and a top end prospect like Okafor has what it takes to fill that need.

15. Kansas City Chiefs: QB Aaron Murray

16 of 44

    School: Georgia

    Class: Junior

    Height: 6‘1‘’

    Weight: 211

    Pro Comparison: Andy Dalton

    Kansas City will give quarterback Matt Cassel another chance to prove himself in 2012, but Cassel's leash certainly won't be long. Neither Cassel nor backup Brady Quinn seem like they're bound for a Super Bowl appearance any time soon, and most fans can't stand either one of them. 

    The Chiefs could use a poised pocket-passer who's a legitimate offensive leader, and Georgia's Aaron Murray is just that. 

    Murray would be an upgrade over Cassel and he might just be the right quarterback to finally lead an otherwise capable Kansas City team to an elusive AFC West crown at some point early in his career. 

16. Pittsburgh Steelers: NT Star Lotulelei

17 of 44

    School: Utah

    Class: Senior

    Height: 6‘4‘’

    Weight: 325

    Pro Comparison: B.J. Raji

    The Steelers would have loved to have gotten their hands on Memphis nose tackle Dontari Poe in this year's NFL draft, but the Kansas City Chiefs scooped him up long before Pittsburgh was put on the clock. 

    It's no secret that the aging Steelers defense could use some youth in a few key areas and nose tackle is one of them. 

    Utah's monster run-stuffer Star Lotulelei would be an absolutely home-run fit in Pittsburgh's 3-4 defensive scheme. 

    Lotulelei is destined to be the next high-profile Tongan tackle in the NFL, joining the likes of Haloti Ngata, Stephen Paea and Sione Pouha.  

17. Buffalo Bills: S Eric Reid

18 of 44

    School: LSU

    Class: Junior

    Height: 6‘2‘’

    Weight: 208

    Pro Comparison: Nate Allen

    One of the big rumors in the few days before this year's NFL draft was that Bills coveted Alabama safety Mark Barron. However, Buffalo never got a shot at him, since Tampa Bay snatched him up with the seventh overall pick. 

    Not to worry, though, because there should again be another big, physical and athletic SEC safety prospect available in the 2013 draft—LSU's Eric Reid. 

    Reid has the type of size, range, instincts and field awareness that NFL teams are looking for in a standout safety prospect.

    This should be the season that he steps out of teammate Tyrann Mathieu's shadow and shows the college football world that he's truly one of the sport's elite defensive backs. 

18. Denver Broncos: RB Knile Davis

19 of 44

    School: Arkansas

    Class: Junior

    Height: 6‘0‘’

    Weight: 226

    Pro Comparison: Matt Forte

    Denver may have one of the best quarterbacks of all time under center this season, but the Broncos just don't have the running backs to win a Super Bowl.

    Willis McGahee will be 31 in October, Knowshon Moreno is one of the most unreliable backs in the league and Ronnie Hillman has yet to prove himself, although he does have the potential to be a valuable 3rd down slasher. 

    One running back prospect that could step in and be Denver's featured rusher of the future is Arkansas' Knile Davis. 

    Davis possesses a rare combination of size, speed, power and vision, and he could end up being one of the most talked about players in college football in 2012. 

19. New Orleans Saints: OT Oday Aboushi

20 of 44

    School: Virginia 

    Class: Senior

    Height: 6'6''

    Weight: 310

    Pro Comparison: Michael Roos

    The Saints will have a decision to make at the end of the season about whether to re-sign Pro Bowl left tackle Jermon Bushrod, who is in the last year of his current contract. 

    Bushrod has developed into New Orleans' most reliable lineman in the trenches. However, it remains to be seen if an organization that just played contract hardball with the franchise's most valuable player, quarterback Drew Brees, will be willing to match his price. 

    If the team can't come to terms with Bushrod on a deal of his liking, the Saints could look to the draft to find a young tackle for the future.

    One top tackle prospect that could end up in the first round mix by the time the season ends is Virginia's Oday Aboushi. 

    Aboushi is a big, powerful and surprisingly agile bookend tackle who has the type of frame and physical skills that will really cause a buzz among the NFL scouting community this season. 

20. Detroit Lions: RB Montee Ball

21 of 44

    School: Wisconsin

    Class: Senior

    Height: 5‘10‘’

    Weight: 210

    Pro Comparison: Pierre Thomas

    Detroit may have one of the best passing games in the NFL, but there are still questions surrounding the team's running game, since the team's top two backs—Jahvid Best and Mikel Leshoure—aren't exactly proven commodities. 

    If Best and Leshoure can't give the Lions what they're looking for from the ground game in 2012, the team could go searching for a new No. 1 back early in the 2013 draft. 

    One player who would fit their offense incredibly well is Wisconsin's Montee Ball. 

    Last year, Ball rushed for 1,923 yards and 33 touchdowns and caught 24 passes for 306 yards and six touchdowns, as he proved that he was one of the most dynamic and explosive backs in the country. 

    If Ball can replicate his junior success this season, he'll have the chance to crack the top 20 of the 2013 NFL draft.  

21. Cincinnati Bengals: ILB C.J. Mosley

22 of 44

    School: Alabama

    Class: Junior

    Height: 6‘2‘’

    Weight: 232

    Pro Comparison: D’Qwell Jackson

    All three of Cincinnati's starting linebackers—Ray Maualuga, Thomas Howard and Manny Lawson—will be free agents after this season, and it's doubtful that the team will be able to re-sign all three.

    If the Bengals part ways with Maualuga, they will likely take one of the top inside linebacker prospects early in the 2013 draft. 

    One player that could entice the team's scouts and coaches is Alabama's C.J. Mosley. 

    Mosley is the latest in an impressive line of Tide linebackers, and he has as much natural physical ability as any other inside linebacker in the country. 

    A young linebacker like Mosley would actually be a long-term upgrade over the inconsistent Maualuga. 

22. Atlanta Falcons: DE Jackson Jeffcoat

23 of 44

    School: Texas

    Class: Junior

    Height: 6‘5‘’

    Weight: 245

    Pro Comparison: Robert Quinn

    Atlanta still doesn't have an adequate young replacement for 34-year-old John Abraham, whose best years are clearly behind him. 

    The Falcons will have plenty of potential impact pass-rushers to choose from in next year's draft, as it should be one of the 2013 class' strongest and deepest positions. 

    One particular prospect who would have no trouble taking the torch from Abraham in the coming years is Texas' Jackson Jeffcoat. 

    Jeffcoat—the son of former first-round pick Jim Jeffcoat—has got the explosion and power to develop into a difference-making defender at the NFL level. 

23. Tennessee Titans: DE Sam Montgomery

24 of 44

    School: LSU

    Class: Junior


    Height: 6‘4‘’

    Weight: 245

    Pro Comparison: LaMarr Woodley

    Sam Montgomery isn't just one of the most physically gifted eligible prospects for the 2013 NFL draft, he's also one of the most versatile as well. 

    Montgomery has the skill-set to make it in the NFL as either a 4-3 defensive end or a 3-4 rush linebacker. 

    One team that could use the talented Tiger's skills at end is the Titans, who haven't gotten the results that they expected from former first-round pick Derrick Morgan yet. 

    If Morgan doesn't finally put it all together in 2012, Tennessee could attempt to draft a player like Montgomery to boost a less-than-stellar pass-rush. 

24. Philadelphia Eagles: CB Tyrann Mathieu

25 of 44

    School: LSU

    Class: Junior

    Height: 5‘9‘’

    Weight: 175

    Pro Comparison: Cortland Finnegan 

    Tyrann Mathieu was one of the biggest breakout stars of the 2011 season, but now he's likely to spend 2012 as one of the most debated about prospects in the upcoming 2013 draft class. 

    Mathieu rose to prominence after his Honey Badger nickname went viral, but he's now gained critics and doubters who have questioned if he's really as good as his overnight hype. 

    There's no questioning that the talented playmaking corner is one of the best football players in the country. However, with many questioning his size, his ego, his coverage skills and his overall athleticism, Mathieu is going to be one of the most scrutinized cornerback prospects in recent memory. 

    One team that could use Mathieu's talents the most efficiently as a nickel corner is the Philadelphia Eagles, who could use a strong presence in the back end next to Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. 

25. Baltimore Ravens: ILB Manti Te’o

26 of 44

    School: Notre Dame

    Class: Senior

    Height: 6‘2‘’

    Weight: 250

    Pro Comparison: Brian Cushing

    Baltimore was lucky that Courtney Upshaw fell as far as he did in this year's draft, because Upshaw was worth considerably more than what the Ravens got him for. 

    Who knows, maybe the team could benefit from having one of the top inside linebacker prospects in next year's draft fall to them in a similar fashion in 2013. 

    Notre Dame's Manti Te'o would obviously make an outstanding replacement for Ray Lewis, and he would be a perfect fit for Baltimore's 3-4 defensive scheme. 

    As far as potential and talent are concerned, Te'o is worthy of a top-15 pick. However, since inside linebacker has become a downgraded position in today's pass-happy NFL, he could ultimately slide into the 20's in next year's draft. 

26. New England Patriots: DT Johnthan Hankins

27 of 44

    School: Ohio State

    Class: Junior

    Height: 6‘3‘’

    Weight: 317

    Pro Comparison: Ahtyba Rubin

    New England brought in two very intriguing and talented pass-rushers in this year's draft—Syracuse's Chandler Jones and Arkansas' Jake Bequette. They are two players that should make an immediate impact in 2012. 

    The Patriots chose to overlook the interior of the defensive line, however, and now they're left with Vince Wilfork as the only true impact player inside. 

    The 325-pound Wilfork will turn 31 this season, and it could be time to find a young stud to develop and groom as his ultimate replacement. 

    Ohio State's Johnathan Hankins is the type of strong, smart and active defensive tackle that would fit in well in New England's multi-look defensive system. 

    The 6'3'', 317-pound Hankins has the combination of size, quickness and power to develop into a Pro Bowl defender at the NFL level. 

27. Green Bay Packers: WR Da’Rick Rogers

28 of 44

    School: Tennessee

    Class: Junior

    Height: 6‘3‘’

    Weight: 206

    Pro Comparison: Darrius Heyward-Bey

    On the surface, Green Bay's receiver corps seems to be in fine shape. However, when you look deeper, you see that Greg Jennings will soon be a free agent and Donald Driver will soon be retiring. 

    Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson are quality young receivers, but the Packers can never have enough big, speedy receiving weapons on their roster. 

    Giving Aaron Rodgers a weapon like Tennessee's Da'Rick Rogers would certainly please the Pro Bowl quarterback, and it would give Green Bay's already lethal passing offense and even bigger boost. 

    Rogers may have some attitude concerns, but his star potential is undeniable.

28. San Francisco 49ers: DE William Gholston

29 of 44

    School: Michigan State

    Class: Junior

    Height: 6‘7‘’

    Weight: 278

    Pro Comparison: Calais Campbell

    San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh certainly doesn't shy away from players who have an edge, and Michigan State's William Gholston is a player who has definitely displayed an edge. 

    Gholston plays the game with reckless abandon, and he's one of the most tenacious defenders in the country.

    Sometimes, though, he lets his emotions get the best of him, as we saw last year with his two inexcusable unsportsmanlike conduct plays against Michigan.

    If the big, powerful pass-rusher can learn to control himself, he could develop into one of the top 3-4 defensive ends in the NFL within the next few years. 

    The 49ers could use an injection of youth on their defensive front , and Harbaugh and his staff could definitely become enamored with a physically impressive prospect like Gholston. 

29. Chicago Bears: DE Malliciah Goodman

30 of 44

    School: Clemson

    Class: Senior

    Height: 6‘4‘’

    Weight: 278

    Pro Comparison: Tamba Hali

    The Bears clearly overspent the 19th pick on Boise State's Shea McClellin, who was a late-1st to mid-2nd round prospect, especially with pass-rushers such as Chandler Jones, Nick Perry and Whitney Mercilus still on the board. 

    McClellin will be a strong situation player but he's a borderline starting talent, and neither he nor Corey Wootton will be able to fully handle replacing Julius Peppers. 

    Chicago could use a long, athletic freak phenom like Clemson's Malliciah Goodman, who will be one of the most impressive physical specimens in the 2013 class. 

    Goodman appears to be the next heralded Clemson defensive end prospect, and he has all of the makings of developing into a Jason Pierre-Paul-type of impact player at the NFL level. 

30. San Diego Chargers: NT Jesse Williams

31 of 44

    School: Alabama

    Class: Senior

    Height: 6'4''

    Weight: 320

    Pro Comparison: Haloti Ngata

    The Chargers have brought in two young players—Corey Liuget and Kendall Reyes, who they hope can man the defensive end spots in the team's 3-4 defense for the foreseeable future.

    The problem is San Diego is still in need of a young nose tackle, sincecurrent starter Antonio Gary will turn 33 this season. 

    One of the top nose tackle prospects that will be available in 2013 is Alabama's Jesse Williams. 

    Williams is a big, athletic and versatile lineman who manned both the defensive end and nose tackle positions for Alabama's top-rated defense last year. 

    The mammoth interior havoc-wreaker would be a perfect fit in between Liuget and Reyes in San Diego for years to come. 

31. Houston Texans: WR Josh Boyce

32 of 44

    School: TCU

    Class: Junior

    Height: 6‘0‘’

    Weight: 206

    Pro Comparison: Mike Wallace

    Houston has one of the top wide receivers in the NFL, Andre Johnson, but the Texans lack a true No. 2 weapon to complement him properly, as Kevin Walter is simply a glorified No. 3 receiver. 

    The team could look at one of the many potential top-tier receivers that could be available in 2013, and one in-state product that could catch the front-office's eye is TCU's Josh Boyce.

    Now that Justin Blackmon and Kendall Wright are gone, Boyce is going to be the Big 12's new "it" receiver, and his stock should go soaring in 2012. 

    Look for the explosive Horned Frog receiver to have a breakout campaign in his first season going against top-notch BCS competition. 

32. New York Giants: ILB Kevin Reddick

33 of 44

    School: North Carolina

    Class: Senior

    Height: 6‘3‘’

    Weight: 240

    Pro Comparison: Demeco Ryans

    The Giants don't have a tendency to take linebackers early in the draft. In fact, they've taken just one linebacker in the first three rounds just once—Clint Sintim in 2009—in the last six years. 

    The linebacker corps has now become one of the weakest links of the defense, and the time has come for New York to address the problem early in the draft. 

    The front office has had a tendency to focus in on ACC players during GM Jerry Reese's tenure, and one of the conference's top linebackers that they could covet is North Carolina's Kevin Reddick. 

    Reddick is one of the most athletic and instinctive linebackers in the country, and he could man the Mike 'backer position in the team's 4-3 defense for the next decade. 

2013 NFL Mock Draft: 1st Round Recap

34 of 44

    1. Miami: WR Keenan Allen, Cal

    2. Minnesota: QB Matt Barkley, USC

    3. Indianapolis OLB Barkevious Mingo, LSU 

    4. Seattle: RB Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina 

    5. Jacksonville: CB Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State

    6. St. Louis: OT D.J. Fluker, Alabama

    7. Tampa Bay: CB David Amerson, N.C. State

    8. Cleveland: DE Bjoern Werner, Florida State

    9. Arizona: QB Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech

    10. New York Jets: WR Robert Woods, USC

    11. St. Louis (From Washington): OLB Jarvis Jones, Georgia

    12. Oakland: QB Geno Smith, West Virginia 

    13. Dallas: QB Tyler Wilson, Arkansas

    14. Carolina: DE Alex Okafor, Texas

    15. Kansas City: QB Aaron Murray, Georgia

    16. Pittsburgh: NT Star Lotulelei, Utah

    17. Buffalo: S Eric Reid, LSU

    18. Denver: RB Knile Davis, Arkansas

    19. New Orleans: OT Oday Aboushi, Virginia 

    20. Detroit: RB Montee Ball, Wisconsin

    21. Cincinnati: ILB C.J. Mosley, Alabama

    22. Atlanta: DE Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas

    23. Tennessee: DE Sam Montgomery, LSU

    24. Philadelphia: CB Tyrann Mathieu, LSU

    25. Baltimore: ILB Manti Te’o, Notre Dame

    26. New England DT Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State

    27. Green Bay: WR Da’Rick Rogers, Tennessee

    28. San Francisco: DE William Gholston, Michigan State

    29. Chicago: DE Malliciah Goodman, Clemson

    30. San Diego: NT Jesse Williams, Alabama 

    31. Houston: WR Josh Boyce, TCU

    32. New York Giants: ILB Kevin Reddick, North Carolina

Other Quarterbacks to Watch

35 of 44

    A.J. McCarron, Alabama

    Casey Pachall, TCU

    Collin Klein, Kansas State

    E.J. Manuel, Florida State

    James Franklin, Missouri

    Keith Price, Washington

    Landry Jones, Oklahoma

    Mike Glennon, N.C. State


    Tyler Bray, Tennessee

    Zach Mettenberger, LSU

Running Backs to Watch

36 of 44

    Andre Ellington, Clemson

    Cierre Wood, Notre Dame

    Eddie Lacy, Alabama

    Giovani Bernard, North Carolina

    Joseph Randle, Oklahoma State

    Kenjon Barner, Oregon

    Le’Veon Bell, Michigan State

    Ray Graham, Pittsburgh

    Spencer Ware, LSU

    Stepfan Taylor, Stanford

Wide Receivers to Watch

37 of 44

    Cobi Hamilton, Arkansas

    DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson

    Justin Hunter, Tennessee

    Keenan Davis, Iowa

    Kenny Stills, Oklahoma

    Markus Wheaton, Oregon State

    Marquess Wilson, Washington State

    Ryan Swope, Texas A&M

    Tavon Austin, West Virginia

    Terrance Williams, Baylor

Offensive Tackles to Watch

38 of 44

    Alex Hurst, LSU

    Chris Faulk, LSU

    David Bakhtiari, Colorado

    Jake Matthews, Texas A&M

    James Hurst, North Carolina 

    Justin Pugh, Syracuse

    Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M

    Morgan Moses, Virginia 

    Ricky Wagner, Wisconsin

    Taylor Lewan, Michigan

Interior Linemen to Watch

39 of 44

    Barrett Jones, Alabama

    Chance Warmack, Alabama

    Cyril Richardson, Baylor

    Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma

    Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State

    Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina

    Khaled Holmes, USC

    Larry Warford, Kentucky

    Omoregie Uzzi, Georgia Tech

    Travis Frederick, Wisconsin

Defensive Tackles to Watch

40 of 44

    Akeem Spence, Illinois

    Bennie Logan, LSU

    Dominique Easley, Florida

    Jon Jenkins, Georgia

    Kawann Short, Purdue

    Kwame Geathers, Georgia

    Scott Vallone, Rutgers

    Sharrif Floyd, Florida

    Sheldon Richardson, Missouri

    Sylvester Williams, North Carolina

Defensive Ends to Watch

41 of 44

    Brandon Jenkins, Florida State

    Corey Lemonier, Auburn

    Damontre Moore, Texas A&M

    Devin Taylor, South Carolina

    Dion Jordan, Oregon

    James Gayle, Virginia Tech

    John Simon, Ohio State

    Margus Hunt, SMU

    Michael Buchanan, Illinois

    Wes Horton, USC

Linebackers to Watch

42 of 44

    Arthur Brown, Kansas State

    Chase Thomas, Stanford

    Denicos Allen, Michigan State

    Dion Bailey, USC

    Gerald Hodges, Penn State

    Jelani Jenkins, Florida

    Jeremiah Attaochu, Georgia Tech

    Nico Johnson, Alabama

    Sean Porter, Texas A&M

    Shayne Skov, Stanford

Cornerbacks to Watch

43 of 44

    Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Connecticut

    Carrington Byndom, Texas

    Dee MIlliner, Alabama

    Johnny Adams, Michigan State

    Jordan Poyer, Oregon State

    Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State

    Merrill Noel, Wake Forest

    Micah Hyde, Iowa

    Nickell Robey, USC

    Rod Sweeting, Georgia Tech

Safeties to Watch

44 of 44

    D.J. Swearinger, South Carolina

    Hakeem Smith, Louisville

    Isaiah Johnson, Georgia Tech

    John Boyett, Oregon

    Kenny Vaccaro, Texas

    Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State

    Matt Elam, Florida

    Robert Lester, Alabama

    T.J. McDonald, USC

    Tony Jefferson, Oklahoma

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices