After months filled with anticipation, football fans have finally gotten the chance to get a look at the big-name college players that they had heard so much about this summer.
Now that the 2012 season is officially in full swing, it’s time to begin seriously evaluating who the top prospects for the 2013 NFL draft really are.
Since we’re only a few weeks into the season, this is still just the beginning of the process. A lot will surely change in the coming months, as different players see their stock rise and fall.
I’ll be putting out my edition of the top 32 overall prospects along with individual position rankings each month leading up to next April.
Here’s a look at the September edition of college football’s top prospect rankings for the 2013 NFL draft.
LSU DE Barkevious Mingo is a rare physical specimen
After months filled with anticipation, football fans have finally gotten the chance to get a look at the big-name college players that they had heard so much about this summer.
There are a lot of great receivers in college football this year, but none of them possesses the type of complete physical package that Cal's Keenan Allen does.
Allen has an off-the-charts size-speed combination. Plus, he has the hands, route-running instincts, leaping ability and body control that you look for in an elite receiver.
The 6'3'', 210-pound junior arrived at Cal as a blue-chip recruit out of North Carolina, and it didn't take long for him to live up to his high school hype.
After catching 46 passes for 490 yards and five touchdowns as a freshman, Allen put together a huge sophomore campaign in 2011, hauling in 98 passes for 1,343 yards and six touchdowns.
Even though he's had to deal with inconsistent play from his quarterback Zach Maynard as well as questionable offensive play-calling, Allen has still been able to produce at a high level.
He's got all the traits that you look for in a potential star Pro Bowl receiver, and he's the type of game-changing playmaker that's worthy of a top 5 draft pick.
In today's pass-happy NFL, pass-rushers that can get to the quarterback on a consistent basis are considered almost as valuable as the actual quarterbacks themselves.
The 2013 draft class could feature the deepest group of top-tier pass-rushers that we've seen in over a decade. The most intriguing potential member of that group is LSU's Barkevious Mingo.
Mingo has only been playing organized football since his junior year in high school, but you certainly wouldn’t have been able to tell that from watching him last season.
He looked like a naturally gifted pass-rusher, who was at times simply unstoppable and unblockable.
The athletic and explosive 6’5’’, 240-pound junior notched eight sacks and 14 tackles for loss in his first season as a full-time starter in 2011, and he showed some simply awe-inspiring physical traits.
The long, lean and supremely athletic defensive end is cut from the same mold as other top recent pass-rushing prospects such as Aldon Smith, Bruce Irvin and Von Miller.
Although he still has to work on refining his overall technique and adding more bulk to his skinny frame, Mingo has the intriguing raw potential that should interest plenty of NFL teams that are looking to groom a young future star pass-rusher.
With the type of build and explosive athleticism that he possesses, Mingo could ultimately end up developing into an extremely disruptive 3-4 outside linebacker at the pro level.
While he may not be as polished as fellow LSU defensive end Sam Montgomery, Mingo actually has an even higher ceiling than his Tiger teammate.
There’s no telling just how high his stock could climb this season if he plays up to his potential and realizes how to fully unleash his extraordinary physical gifts.
Florida State's Bjoern Werner started off the 2012 season playing like a madman, as he racked up five sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss in just the first two games of the year.
Judging from his early performance, Werner certainly looks like he's ready to develop into an elite pass-rusher and a star NFL prospect this season.
The 6'4'', 265-pound junior is an incredibly strong lineman who plays the game with a mean streak.
The German native may still be a bit raw, but he's capable of causing plenty of chaos and havoc in the trenches.
Werner has everything you look for in a standout pass-rushing prospect—size, power, explosiveness, toughness, instincts and a non-stop motor. Plus, what’s so impressive and intriguing about him is that he has yet to come close to reaching his full potential.
If Werner continues to develop as expected, he could eventually turn out to be a Justin Smith-type of impact defensive end in the NFL. He clearly has all of the physical tools to dominate as both a run-stuffer and a pass-rusher at the next level.
Matt Barkley may not have had to deal with the same level of unprecedented hype and media focus that his former conference counterpart Andrew Luck had to deal with during the 2011 offseason.
Barkley still had a ton of pressure to live up to, though, as he came into this season as both the preseason Heisman favorite as well as the front-runner to be the No. 1 overall pick of the 2013 draft.
So far, the Trojan signal-caller has looked as good as advertised. He's currently on pace to throw for at least 50 touchdowns, something that hasn't been done by a college quarterback since Sam Bradford reached the total back in 2008.
The 6'2'', 230-pound senior has all of the physical tools and intangibles that NFL scouts are looking for in a potential franchise quarterback, and it's almost impossible to find a glaring weakness in his game.
Barkley may not have the desired height that you look for in a prototypical tall pro-style pocket-passer, or a true rocket for an arm. However, he makes up for it with his accuracy, decision making, coverage recognition and his overall mental makeup.
Pressure and high expectations haven't seemed to phase Barkley, which is great, because that's exactly what you want to see from the leader of your football team.
Now that LSU's Chris Faulk has unfortunately gone down for the season with a knee injury, Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel is now the clear-cut top eligible offensive tackle prospect for the 2013 NFL draft.
Joeckel is a former 4-star rated recruit out of Texas' Arlington High School, who has certainly lived up to his high school hype during his time in College Station.
The 6'6'', 310-pound junior has started every game of his collegiate career. Last year, he was one of the main reasons why the Aggies allowed just nine total sacks, which was the second lowest total in the country.
Although he's still more of a finesse athletic pass-blocker at this point, Joeckel definitely isn't afraid to get physical and mix it up in the run game.
If he continues to get stronger, Joeckel should develop into the type of complete franchise tackle prospect that is worthy of a top 10 draft pick.
Jarvis Jones may be able to run like a safety, but he definitely hits like a linebacker.
Just ask one of the many quarterbacks who have been on the receiving end of one of his vicious sacks.
The former USC transfer took down plenty of quarterbacks during his first year out on the field for the Georgia defense in 2011. In fact, the 6'3'', 241-pound junior led the SEC with 13.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss last year.
That dominant debut got everyone buzzing about his NFL potential, and he's managed to live up to the hype and play at a high level in the first few weeks of the 2012 season.
Jones has the perfect physical makeup that pro scouts are looking for in a disruptive 3-4 edge-rusher.
If doctors say everything is fine with his neck, there's no doubt that he'll be a top 15 pick in the 2013 draft if he chooses to declare.
Whitney Mercilus may have been the Illinois defender who received all the attention, garnered All-American honors and eventually became a first-round pick. However, Mercilus wasn't actually even the best player on his own defensive line last year.
Fellow defensive end Michael Buchanan may not have had the same huge sack total that Mercilus did in 2011, but he showed some outstanding pass-rushing ability. Last year, The 6'6'', 240-pound senior totaled 7.5 sacks and 64 tackles, including 13.5 tackles for loss.
Buchanan is the type of supremely athletic and versatile edge-rusher who could develop into either a standout 4-3 defensive end or 3-4 rush linebacker in the NFL.
The former 4-star rated recruit out of Illinois' Homewood-Flossmoor High School has the size, explosiveness off the edge and the strength at the point of attack that you look for in a difference-making defensive end.
If he plays up to his potential this season, Buchanan should become a highly coveted commodity in NFL scouting circles over the next few months.
Calling someone a "physical freak" probably isn't a great idea, unless of course, you happen to be talking about an athlete. Then it's considered a term of endearment.
There are a few "physical freaks" in college football this year, and one of them is Virginia Tech QB Logan Thomas.
Thomas is the type of big, athletic dual-threat signal-caller that can do major damage to a defense with both his arm and his legs.
The 6'6'', 260-pound junior can move extremely well for his size, and he compares favorably to big, mobile NFL quarterbacks such as Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger and Tampa Bay's Josh Freeman.
The physically gifted passer enjoyed a strong sophomore season in 2011, as he threw for over 3,000 yards, accounted for 30 touchdowns and helped lead Virginia Tech to an 11-win season and an ACC Coastal division title.
The one major concern about Thomas is that his accuracy still tends to be spotty at times, but that's something that can be improved with time and proper coaching.
There's no doubt that he possesses the type of rare physical package that will have scouts enamored with his potential.
If Thomas continues to hone his skills and improve, he has the chance to develop into a coveted franchise quarterback prospect for the 2013 draft.
NFL teams are always in search of versatile defensive tackles that are big and strong enough to shut down running games while still possessing the quickness and agility to be a factor as a pass-rusher as well.
One top tackle prospect that fits that mold is Ohio State’s Johnathan Hankins.
Last year, Hankins truly looked like a man among boys at times, as he proved to be one of the most stout run-stuffers in all of college football.
The huge 6’3’’, 317-pound junior finished the 2011 season with 67 total tackles, including 14 tackles for loss and three sacks.
Hankins proved that he was more than just a big body that could clog up running lanes and eat up double-teams. He showed that he could consistently break through blockers, penetrate into the backfield and make key momentum-shifting stops behind the line of scrimmage.
At this point in his development, Hankins is a more polished prospect than both Dontari Poe and Michael Brockers, two tackles who were both top 15 picks in this year’s NFL draft.
With the versatility to fill a variety of different roles and fit into either a 3-4 or a 4-3 defensive scheme, Hankins has the chance to rise up and become one of the most coveted defensive linemen available for the 2013 draft if he decides to declare after the season.
Although Tyrann Mathieu was the LSU defensive back who received all of the attention last season, you could make the case that his fellow Tiger teammate, safety Eric Reid, had just as good of a season as the Honey Badger.
Reid tied Mathieu for the team lead with 76 tackles in 2011, and he came up with one of the most important plays of LSU's season—a goal-line interception in the "Game of the Century" against Alabama, which likely saved the Tigers from defeat.
The 6'2'', 212-pound junior is one of the most athletic, intelligent and instinctive safeties that we've seen in college football in years. He belongs in the same conversation as former SEC greats such as Mark Barron, Eric Berry and LaRon Landry.
Now that Mathieu's out of the picture, it's time for Reid to show just how valuable he really is to the LSU defense as the veteran leader of the secondary in 2012.
Texas has produced plenty of notable NFL defensive back prospects in recent years such as Earl Thomas, Michael Griffin, Aaron Ross, Michael Huff, Cedric Griffin and Curtis Brown.
The Longhorns secondary is once again loaded with future pros such as safety Kenny Vaccaro and cornerback Quandre Diggs. However, the one player that scouts will be paying the most attention to in 2012 is cornerback Carrington Byndom.
Byndom looked like a budding star in his first season as a starter in 2011, racking up 56 tackles, including eight tackles for loss, picking off two passes and breaking up another 15 throws.
The 6'0'', 180-pound junior has the size, coverage ability, toughness and ball skills that scouts are looking for in an elite cornerback prospect and a potential top 20 draft pick.
N.C. State's David Amerson may have entered the 2012 season as the consensus top cornerback prospect, but Byndom looks like he's every bit as good as Amerson, if not better.
Justin Hunter was on his way towards putting together an outstanding sophomore campaign in 2011 before he sadly suffered a torn ACL in Tennessee's third game of the season.
After spending months working his way back to full health, Hunter is now playing like he has something to prove in 2012.
The 6'4'', 200-pound junior possesses simply amazing athleticism and body control for his size, and he has the ability to separate and create game-changing plays when called upon.
Judging from his eight-catch, three-touchdown performance in Week 2 against Georgia State, Hunter is sure to be QB Tyler Bray's go-to target this season.
With Bray tossing him the ball, look for Hunter to put up some huge receiving numbers in 2012.
In four out of the last five NFL drafts, the first running back selected has been a former SEC player. That trend will most likely continue in 2013 if South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore declares for the draft.
Lattimore is one of the most physically gifted running backs that we've seen in the college game since the turn of the millennium.
Unfortunately, a torn knee ligament has hampered him, and he's still clearly not fully recovered from the surgery he had just 10 months ago.
The 6'0'', 218-pound junior only played in 20 games before that injury sidelined him midway through the 2011 season, but he still managed to accumulate over 2,600 yards of total offense and score 30 total touchdowns before his injury.
While he may lack elite open-field breakaway speed, Lattimore has all of the other traits—size, power, explosiveness, vision and balance—to be an NFL team's bell-cow back.
Throughout the offseason, everyone was hyping up N.C. State CB David Amerson as a future top 10 NFL draft pick due to the fact that he picked off a whopping 13 passes in 2011.
Amerson certainly didn't back up all that talk in the Wolfpack's season opener against Tennessee. He got torched for two long first-half touchdowns, and he failed to make the type of impact that you would expect from an elite cornerback prospect.
Still, one bad performance shouldn't overshadow all that the 6'3'', 194-pound junior was able to accomplish last year.
The big, athletic ball hawk still has plenty of chances to redeem himself this season and regain his status as a shutdown corner.
Geno Smith's first year at West Virginia was my last year as a student there, but I've followed him very closely throughout his career, seeing basically every game he's ever played in.
It's been remarkable to watch Smith grow from the struggling freshman that I saw in the Gator Bowl against Florida State into the breakout star signal-caller that he's now become.
The 6'3'', 220-pound senior is the type of strong-armed, smart and accurate passer who is an absolutely perfect fit for Dana Holgorsen's air raid-style offensive attack.
Smith proved that last season when he easily adapted to the new system.
He completed nearly 66 percent of his passes for over 4,300 yards and finished with an outstanding 31-7 ratio of touchdowns to interceptions.
While he may not be nearly the same type of runner that last year's Heisman winner Robert Griffin III is, Smith possesses the same kind of explosive arm talent that helped RG3 become a star in 2011.
Now that he's had another offseason to learn all of the nuances of Holgorsen's system, there's no telling just what Smith will do to the Big 12 defenses he'll face this season.
After arriving at Utah as a 3-star rated JUCO recruit out of Snow College before the start of the 2010 season, Star Lotulelei was pretty much an unknown commodity going into his first year with the Utes.
Over the last two seasons, he's developed into one of the most dominant run-stoppers in the country, and he’s now got the full attention of NFL scouts.
The monstrous 6’4’’, 320-pound senior uses his mammoth size and overwhelming power to eat up blockers and clog up running lanes snap after snap.
Last year, Lotulelei earned first team All-Pac-12 honors after racking up 44 stops, including nine tackles for loss.
Although he doesn’t make a ton of flash plays, Lotulelei still fills his role perfectly, as he consistently demands double-teams and frees up space for others around him to make tackles.
We’ve seen plenty of tackles of Tongan descent such as Haloti Ngata, Sione Pouha, Fili Moala, Stephen Paea and Sione Fua, enter the NFL in recent years, and Lotulelei is now the next in line.
The huge nose tackle has the potential to grow into a valuable interior force at the next level, and he’s one of the best run-stuffing defensive lineman prospects of the last five years.
Now that Tyrann Mathieu is no longer at LSU, Johnthan Banks should be able to finally receive the recognition he deserves as the SEC's top cornerback in 2012.
While Mathieu and his Tiger teammate Morris Claiborne were hogging up most of the attention last season, Banks was putting together a terrific campaign of his own.
The 6'2'', 185-pound senior actually outproduced both Mathieu and Claiborne in 2011, as he totaled 71 tackles, including eight tackles for loss, five interceptions, nine pass breakups, three sacks and three forced fumbles.
Banks has the combination of size, speed, instincts and ball skills that scouts are looking for in a potential lockdown cover corner.
He showed off those traits in a Week 2 matchup against Auburn when he read QB Kiehl Frazier like a book and picked off two of his passes.
The three-year starter has already proven his true worth against some of the best competition that college football has to offer. Now, he'll be looking to cap off a great college career with his best season yet in 2012.
Sam Montgomery has all the traits that you look for in a star pass-rusher. Montgomery's a powerful, agile, tough and savvy defensive end who has a motor that never stops running no matter what quarter it is.
The 6'5'', 260-pound junior flaunted all of those traits last season when he racked up nine sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss.
Montgomery is a handful for even the most skilled offensive linemen to handle, as he's determined to break through blockers and get into the backfield on every single snap.
Although he's considered a bit light by NFL standards, the tenacious Tiger edge-rusher could fit in as either a 4-3 defensive end or a 3-4 outside linebacker in the pros.
Not only is Montgomery capable of winning some of college football's most prestigious defensive awards this season, he also has the chance to emerge as one of the most coveted pass-rushing prospects in the 2013 draft class.
If you watched the Texas A&M-Florida game in Week 2, there were more than a few plays where Aggies LB Sean Porter stood out.
There was one play in particular, though, that really caught my eye.
It was a play in the second half when QB Jeff Driskel was scrambling to the right, and Porter took Florida right tackle Chaz Green and threw all 310-pounds of him to the ground like he was a rag doll, as he chased Driskel to the sideline.
It's plays like those that truly show you the type of pure power that Porter possesses.
After a fantastic 2011 campaign, in which he racked up 9.5 sacks and 17 tackles for loss, Porter now looks like he's ready to prove himself against SEC competition this season.
The 6'2'', 230-pound senior may not be the true pass-rushing force that former teammate Von Miller was, but he's still got the chance to climb into the first round with a solid final season.
William Gholston is one of the scariest and most intimidating defenders in all of college football.
Gholston is a massive defensive end, who possesses unreal quickness and explosiveness for his size.
The 6'7'', 278-pound junior is a strong, physical and just flat-out mean edge-rusher who plays the game in a violent manner.
Last year, Gholston overpowered numerous offensive tackles, as he racked up five sacks and 70 total tackles, including 16 tackles for loss.
The problem was, he had a tendency to go over the edge at times, especially in a game against in-state rival Michigan when he committed two egregious personal fouls.
Scouts obviously have to be concerned about Gholston's lack of restraint, but there's no doubt that they're intrigued by his rare size-speed-power combination.
If Gholston can show some maturity in 2012 and still dominate like he did last year, he has the chance to be one of the top pass-rushing prospects for the 2013 draft.
Robert Woods was bothered by an ankle injury throughout the offseason, but so far, it hasn't hindered him at all in the first few weeks of the season.
Woods has looked exactly like the same player we saw catch 111 passes for 1,292 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2011.
The 6'1'', 190-pound junior put together a sensational 10-catch, two-touchdown performance in Week 2 against Syracuse.
It's hard to find many flaws in the explosive playmaker's game, as he has the size, speed, hands, ball-tracking ability and natural instincts that only truly special receivers can offer.
While Woods will have to share the spotlight with fellow standout Trojan receiver Marqise Lee this season, he should have no trouble putting together another All-American-caliber campaign in 2012.
Tyler Wilson was basically guaranteed to be a first-round pick if he had chosen to enter the 2012 NFL draft.
That's why it's easy to look back and second guess whether Wilson made the right decision to return to school for his senior year, since he experienced a head injury in just the second game of the 2012 season.
It remains to be seen how the rest of Wilson's senior year will unfold. Right now, though, he still has to be considered a first-round talent just based off of what he accomplished last season.
In his first year as a starter in 2011, the 6'3'', 220-pound senior completed 63 percent of his passes for over 3,600 yards and threw 24 touchdowns to just six interceptions.
More importantly, he led the Razorbacks to an 11-win season and a Top 5 national ranking.
Ultimately, Wilson has the potential to grow into a Tony Romo-style passer at the NFL level.
Last year's Outland Trophy winner Barrett Jones may be the most well-known member of Alabama's offensive line. However, Jones isn't actually the best overall NFL prospect that the Tide have in the trenches this season.
That honor belongs to the man that flanks Jones at left guard, Chance Warmack.
Warmack is a big, powerful and physical guard, who is one of the strongest and toughest run-blockers that you're going to find in college football this season.
The 6'3'', 320-pound senior is an experienced veteran who has been a starter since his sophomore season.
After opening up monster holes for both Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson over the last two years, Warmack is now once again one of the key cogs up front for Alabama's potent rushing attack.
In the last three NFL drafts, there were six interior offensive linemen that were selected in the first round, and it looks like Warmack will be the next one to join that illustrious group.
Manti Te’o had some high expectations to live up to after signing with Notre Dame, but he certainly hasn’t disappointed since arriving in South Bend as a 5-star rated prospect from Hawaii.
Te’o became an instant impact playmaker as a freshman back in 2009. During his collegiate career he’s developed into a true leader and one of the best defensive players in school history.
The 6’2’’, 255-pound senior has been a tackling machine, racking up 324 total stops in his first three seasons, and he's yet again on pace to pile up over 100 tackles in 2012.
Although he may still be somewhat of a liability in pass coverage, Te’o is a great run-stuffing inside linebacker who has the size, strength, instincts, tackling ability and toughness to shut down the middle of the field.
Since the importance of inside linebackers has become downgraded in today’s NFL, teams may be reluctant to spend a top 10 draft pick on Te’o. Nevertheless, given his combination of physical talent, intelligence and leadership ability, Te’o should still be one of the most coveted defensive prospects available in 2013.
Since 2006, Virginia has produced two offensive tackles—Eugene Monroe and D'Brickashaw Ferguson, who were top 10 NFL draft picks.
Now, the Cavs have another blindside protector—Oday Aboushi, who has evident first-round potential.
Aboushi is a 6'6'', 310-pound senior, who has started every game for the past two seasons. During that time, he's managed to grow into a dominant and fundamentally sound standout blocker.
The former 4-star rated recruit out of Brooklyn's Xaverian High School has the size and the sturdy frame that scouts covet in a young college tackle. He also has the foot speed and upper and lower body strength to excel as both a pass-blocker as well as a run-blocker.
The team captain is an excellent leader who has the potential to develop into a reliable decade-long stalwart starter for an NFL offensive line.
While he may not be a household name just yet, Aboushi will become a well-known name around scouting circles in the coming months.
You don't see many running backs in the NFL that tip the scales at over 240 pounds. Then again, we haven't seen many running backs that have come through the college game in recent years that can compare to Michigan State's Le'Veon Bell.
Bell is a big, strong and powerful bulldozer-type of back, who has no trouble running right over would-be tacklers. However, it's his surprising agility and athleticism for his size that makes him so intriguing.
The 6'2'', 244-pound junior can move extraordinarily well for his size, and he's more than just your ordinary between-the-tackles power back.
It looks like Edwin Baker was wise to leave Michigan State a year early, because he obviously would have had to take a back seat to Bell this year.
The star Spartan rusher seems like he's prepared to carry Michigan State back to the Big Ten title game in 2012, and it looks like he's going to wow NFL scouts along the way this season.
Corey Lemonier stepped into Auburn's starting lineup in 2011 and turned out to be the Tigers' most dominant defender and one of the SEC's top overall pass-rushers.
Last year, Lemonier racked up 47 total tackles, including a team-high 13.5 tackles for loss, as well as 9.5 sacks, which was the fourth highest total in the conference.
The 6'4'', 246-pound junior showed that he had an explosive burst off the edge and a knack for getting into the backfield.
While Lemonier is still somewhat of a liability against the run, he's already established himself as one of the premier pass-rushers in college football.
If he puts together another highly productive performance in 2012, the explosive edge-rusher will have to seriously consider leaving school a year early.
DE Michael Buchanan isn't the only player on the Illinois defense that has evident first-round potential.
CB Terry Hawthorne is another Illini defender that NFL scouts will surely be paying close attention to this season.
Hawthorne is one of the fastest and most athletic defensive backs in the country, and there's not a receiver in college football that he couldn't stick with stride for stride.
Not only does the 6'0'', 190-pound senior have terrific speed and coverage skills, he's also the type of tough, physical corner who loves to come up and make a big hit in run support.
He's a true playmaker in every sense of the word, and he has the physical skill set that will definitely catch the attention of NFL scouts.
Alabama may have lost both of its starting cornerbacks from last year—Dre Kirkpatrick and DeQuan Menzie. However, Nick Saban's defense looks like it has a new star cornerback to flaunt in 2012.
Dee Milliner is a former 5-star rated recruit out of Alabama's Stanhope Elmore High School, who has spent the last two years eagerly waiting to get his shot to be a full-time starter.
Milliner now has that opportunity, and he certainly made the most of it in the season opener against Michigan when he made five tackles, broke up four passes and picked off a pass and ran it back 35 yards.
The 6'1'', 182-pound junior has the size, speed and confidence to match up with any receiver in the country.
If Milliner plays up to his potential in 2012 and shows that he can shut down some of the SEC's top receivers, his name is only going to keep climbing up draft boards as the season wears on.
It only takes one quick look at Georgia's John Jenkins to realize that he's got what it takes to be a dominant 3-4 nose tackle in the NFL.
The 6'5'', 351-pound Jenkins is a monstrous lineman, who has the size and the strength to clog up the middle of the field and eat up blockers on every snap.
The former highly touted 4-star JUCO recruit definitely lived up to expectations during his first season in Athens. He was one of the main reasons that the Bulldogs ranked 11th in the nation in rushing defense in 2011.
NFL teams are always looking for big, disruptive defensive tackles that can shut down running lanes and cause chaos in the trenches, and Jenkins certainly fits the mold of what scouts are searching for.
North Carolina has one of the most underrated offensive lines in college football this year. The leader of that group is OG Jonathan Cooper.
Cooper is the type of rare offensive lineman that jumps off the screen when you watch the Tar Heels offense play.
The seasoned 6'4'', 295-pound senior has been a starter since his redshirt freshman season back in 2009, and each year he's managed to keep improving and getting better.
The 2011 second-team All-ACC pick possesses an outstanding combination of size, strength and agility, which allows him to excel as both a pass-blocker as well as a run-blocker.
Tampa Bay Bucs offensive guard Davin Joseph is the pro player that Cooper is most similar to in terms of physical makeup and playing style.
Although he may not be the truly dominant guard that Alabama's Chance Warmack is, Cooper definitely has the potential to be a late first-round pick in the 2013 draft.
Last year, Alex Okafor made the move back to his more natural position of defensive end after spending the 2010 season mainly at defensive tackle, and it turned out to be a switch that he certainly benefited from.
Okafor continued to take strides towards becoming an elite edge-rusher in 2011, as he racked up seven sacks, 14 tackles for loss and finished with 14 quarterback hurries.
The scary part is that the 6’4’’, 265-pound senior has only just begun to truly tap into his enormous potential, and he still has room to get stronger and develop an all-around pass-rushing repertoire full of different moves.
The smart, humble and hard-working veteran has the mental makeup and personality that will really win over a lot of NFL scouts. If he continues to develop into a dangerous pass-rushing presence, his name should really begin to climb up draft boards this season.
1. Matt Barkley, USC
2. Geno Smith, West Virginia
3. Tyler Wilson, Arkansas
4. Landry Jones, Oklahoma
5. E.J. Manuel, Florida State
6. Collin Klein, Kansas State
7. Mike Glennon, N.C. State
8. Matt Scott, Arizona
9. Ryan Nassib, Syracuse
10. MarQueis Gray, Minnesota
Alex Carder, Western Michigan
Colby Cameron, Louisiana Tech
Dayne Crist, Kansas
James Vandenberg, Iowa
Jeff Tuel, Washington State
Jordan Rodgers, Vanderbilt
Riley Nelson, BYU
Ryan Aplin, Arkansas State
Sean Renfree, Duke
Seth Doege, Texas Tech
1. Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech
2. Aaron Murray, Georgia
3. Tyler Bray, Tennessee
4. Keith Price, Washington
5. AJ McCarron, Alabama
6. James Franklin, Missouri
7. Zach Mettenberger, LSU
8. Tajh Boyd, Clemson
9. Bryn Renner, North Carolina
10. Taylor Martinez, Nebraska
Andrew Maxwell, Michigan State
Chase Rettig, Boston College
David Fales, San Jose State
Derek Carr, Fresno State
Nathan Scheelhaase, Illinois
Stephen Morris, Miami
Taylor Kelly, Arizona State
Terrance Owens, Toledo
Tyler Russell, Mississippi State
Tyler Tettleton, Ohio
1. Andre Ellington, Clemson
2. Johnathan Franklin, UCLA
3. Montee Ball, Wisconsin
4. Stepfan Taylor, Stanford
5. Christine Michael, Texas A&M
6. Kenjon Barner, Oregon
7. Rex Burkhead, Nebraska
8. (QB) Denard Robinson, Michigan
9. Dennis Johnson, Arkansas
10. Theo Riddick, Notre Dame
Cameron Marshall, Arizona State
Curtis McNeal, USC
D.J. Harper, Boise State
John White, Utah
Kendial Lawrence, Missouri
Mike Gillislee, Florida
Onterio McCalebb, Auburn
Ray Graham, Pittsburgh
Robbie Rouse, Fresno State
Zac Stacy, Vanderbilt
1. Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina
2. Le’Veon Bell, Michigan State
3. Giovani Bernard, North Carolina
4. Knile Davis, Arkansas
5. Joseph Randle, Oklahoma State
6. Eddie Lacy, Alabama
7. Alfred Blue, LSU
8. Silas Redd, USC
9. Waymon James, TCU
10. Spencer Ware, LSU
Branden Oliver, Buffalo
Charles Sims, Houston
Chris Nwoke, Colorado State
Cierre Wood, Notre Dame
Damien Williams, Oklahoma
Fitzgerald Toussaint, Michigan
James White, Wisconsin
John Hubert, Kansas State
LaDarius Perkins, Mississippi State
Michael Ford, LSU
1. Terrance Williams, Baylor
2. Dan Buckner, Arizona
3. Cobi Hamilton, Arkansas
4. Marcus Davis, Virginia Tech
5. Tavon Austin, West Virginia
6. Ryan Swope, Texas A&M
7. Aaron Dobson, Marshall
8. Markus Wheaton, Oregon State
9. Quinton Patton, Louisiana Tech
10. Keenan Davis, Iowa
Chad Bumphis, Mississippi State
Conner Vernon, Duke
DeVonte Christopher, Utah
Erik Highsmith, North Carolina
Emory Blake, Auburn
Lanear Sampson, Baylor
Marquise Goodwin, Texas
Roy Roundtree, Michigan
Tavarres King, Georgia
T.J. Moe, Missouri
1. Keenan Allen, California
2. Justin Hunter, Tennessee
3. Robert Woods, USC
4. Josh Boyce, TCU
5. Marquess Wilson, Washington State
6. Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt
7. DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson
8. Kenny Stills, Oklahoma
9. Stedman Bailey, West Virginia
10. Cody Hoffman, BYU
Anthony McClung, Cincinnati
Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee
Devin Street, Pittsburgh
Jared Abbrederis, Wisconsin
Kevin Norwood, Alabama
Michael Campanaro, Wake Forest
Mike Davis, Texas
Nick Harwell, Miami (Ohio)
Noel Grigsby, San Jose State
Tevin Reese, Baylor
1. Chris Gragg, Arkansas
2. Michael Williams, Alabama
3. Joseph Fauria, UCLA
4. Philip Lutzenkirchen, Auburn
5. Jake Stoneburner, Ohio State
6. Ryan Griffin, Connecticut
7. Kyler Reed, Nebraska
8. Ryan Otten, San Jose State
9. Travis Tannahill, Kansas State
10. Luke Willson, Rice
Ben Cotton, Nebraska
Brandon Ford, Clemson
Chase Clement, LSU
D.C. Jefferson, Rutgers.
Hubie Graham, Pittsburgh
Lucas Reed, New Mexico
Matt Furstenburg, Maryland
Mychal Rivera, Tennessee
Nate Nord, Louisville
Terrence Miller, Arizona
1. Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame
2. Levine Toilolo, Stanford
3. Dion Sims, Michigan State
4. Jordan Reed, Florida
5. C.J. Fiedorowicz, Iowa
6. Zach Ertz, Stanford
7. Crockett Gillmore, Colorado State
8. Jacob Pedersen, Wisconsin
9. Gavin Escobar, San Diego State
10. Jake McGee, Virginia
1. Oday Aboushi, Virginia
2. Brennan Williams, North Carolina
3. Alex Hurst, LSU
4. Ricky Wagner, Wisconsin
5. Xavier Nixon, Florida
6. Jordan Mills, Louisiana Tech
7. Matt Summers-Gavin, California
8. David Quessenberry, San Jose State
9. Tanner Hawkinson, Kansas
10. Fou Fonoti, Michigan State
Brian Winters, Kent State
Emmett Cleary, Boston College
Eric Fisher, Central Michigan
Jeff Nady, Nevada
John Wetzel, Boston College
LaAdrian Waddle, Texas Tech
Mark Popek, South Florida
Nick Becton, Virginia Tech
Patrick Ward, Northwestern
R.J. Mattes, N.C. State
1. Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M
2. D.J. Fluker, Alabama
3. Taylor Lewan, Michigan
4. Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
5. David Bakhtiari, Colorado
6. Morgan Moses, Virginia
7. Justin Pugh, Syracuse
8. James Hurst, North Carolina
9. Cameron Fleming, Stanford
10. Ja’Wuan James, Tennessee
*LSU’s Chris Faulk would be ranked if he wasn’t out for the season with a knee injury. Because of the injury, Faulk is expected to return for the 2013 season.
Brandon Thomas, Clemson
Chaz Green, Florida
Ed Olson, Minnesota
Jack Mewhort, Ohio State
Jeremiah Sirles, Nebraska
Kenarious Gates, Georgia
Kevin Graf, USC
Pat Eger, West Virginia
Seantrel Henderson, Miami
Zack Martin, Notre Dame
1. Chance Warmack, Alabama
2. Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina
3. Dallas Thomas, Tennessee
4. Larry Warford, Kentucky
5. Omoregie Uzzi, Georgia Tech
6. Travis Bond, North Carolina
7. Blaize Foltz, TCU
8. Chris Barker, Nevada
9. Lane Taylor, Oklahoma State
10. Chris McDonald, Michigan State
Braden Hansen, BYU
Brian Mulroe, Northwestern
Chris Jacobson, Pittsburgh
Hugh Thornton, Illinois
John Sullen, Auburn
Josh Dworaczyk, LSU
Josh Jenkins, West Virginia
Patrick Omameh, Michigan
Peters Drey, Purdue
Theo Goins, Central Florida
1. Alvin Bailey, Arkansas
2. Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State
3. Cyril Richardson, Baylor
4. Andrew Norwell, Ohio State
5. Mason Walters, Texas
6. Spencer Long, Nebraska
7. Josh Williford, LSU
8. Chris Watt, Notre Dame
9. John Martinez, USC
10. Chris Burnette, Georgia
Anthony Steen, Alabama
Austen Bujnoch, Cincinnati
Brandon Linder, Miami
David Yankey, Stanford
Houston Reynolds, BYU
Jon Halapio, Florida
Jon Lechner, Ohio
Trey Hopkins, Texas
Will Jackson, Georgia Tech
Zach Fulton, Tennessee
1. Barrett Jones, Alabama
2. Khaled Holmes, USC
3. Graham Pocic, Illinois
4. T.J. Johnson, South Carolina
5. Dalton Freeman, Clemson
6. Camden Wentz, N.C. State
7. Patrick Lewis, Texas A&M
8. Braxston Cave, Notre Dame
9. Mario Benavides, Louisville
10. James Ferentz, Iowa
Alec Johnson, San Diego State
Brian Schwenke, California
Drew Schaefer, Washington
Ivory Wade, Baylor
Joe Madsen, West Virginia
Kyle Quinn, Arizona
Nick Carlson, Wyoming
P.J. Lonergan, LSU
Tevita Stevens, Utah
Trent Dupy, Tulsa
1. Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma
2. Travis Frederick, Wisconsin
3. Jonotthan Harrison, Florida
4. Travis Swanson, Arkansas
5. Tyler Larsen, Utah State
6. Hroniss Grasu, Oregon
7. Andrew Miller, Virginia Tech
8. Weston Richburg, Colorado State
9. Brandon Vitabile, Northwestern
10. Zac Kerin, Toledo
B.J. Finney, Kansas State
Bryan Stork, Florida State
Dillon Farrell, New Mexico
Evan Swindall, Ole Miss
James Stone, Tennessee
Jay Finch, Georgia Tech
Kody Koebensky, Arizona State
Macky MacPherson, Syracuse
Russell Bodine, North Carolina
Sean Conway, Western Kentucky
1. Star Lotulelei, Utah
2. John Jenkins, Georgia
3. Jesse Williams, Alabama
4. Kawann Short, Purdue
5. Sylvester Williams, North Carolina
6. Josh Downs, LSU
7. Cory Grissom, South Florida
8. Jamarkus McFarland, Oklahoma
9. Joe Vellano, Maryland
10. Josh Boyd, Mississippi State
Aaron Tipoti, California
Abry Jones, Georgia
Adam Replogle, Indiana
Anthony McCloud, Florida State
Baker Steinkuhler, Nebraska
Everett Dawkins, Florida State
Jordan Hill, Penn State
Kaleb Ramsey, Boston College
Rob Lohr, Vanderbilt
Scott Vallone, Rutgers
1. Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State
2. Sharrif Floyd, Florida
3. Bennie Logan, LSU
4. Sheldon Richardson, Missouri
5. Akeem Spence, Illinois
6. Kelcy Quarles, South Carolina
7. Kwame Geathers, Georgia
8. Will Sutton, Arizona State
9. Derrick Hopkins, Virginia Tech
10. Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh
Ashton Dorsey, Texas
Beau Allen, Wisconsin
Bruce Gaston, Purdue
Byran Jones, Arkansas
George Uko, USC
Jeffrey Whitaker, Auburn
Justin Ellis, Louisiana Tech
Kerry Hyder, Texas Tech
Louis Nix, Notre Dame
Maurice Couch, Tennessee
1. Michael Buchanan, Illinois
2. Alex Okafor, Texas
3. Devin Taylor, South Carolina
4. Dion Jordan, Oregon
5. Malliciah Goodman, Clemson
6. Margus Hunt, SMU
7. Brandon Jenkins, Florida State
8. John Simon, Ohio State
9. Tank Carradine, Florida State
10. Datone Jones, UCLA
*Brandon Jenkins is out for the season with a foot injury.
Cameron Meredith, Nebraska
Cornelius Washington, Georgia
Craig Roh, Michigan
Damion Square, Alabama
Jamie Collins, Southern Miss
Lavar Edwards, LSU
Travis Johnson, San Jose State
Travis Long, Washington State
Walter Stewart, Cincinnati
Wes Horton, USC
1. Barkevious Mingo, LSU
2. Bjoern Werner, Florida State
3. Sam Montgomery, LSU
4. William Gholston, Michigan State
5. Corey Lemonier, Auburn
6. Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas
7. James Gayle, Virginia Tech
8. Damontre Moore, Texas A&M
9. Stansly Maponga, TCU
10. Dominique Easley, Florida
Ben Gardner, Stanford
Cassius Marsh, UCLA
Chidera Uzo-Diribe, Colorado
Denico Autry, Mississippi State
J.R. Collins, Virginia Tech
Kareem Martin, North Carolina
Kony Ealy, Missouri
Roosevelt Nix, Kent State
Ryne Giddins, South Florida
Will Clarke, West Virginia
1. Manti Te’o, Notre Dame
2. Sean Porter, Texas A&M
3. Kevin Reddick, North Carolina
4. Khaseem Greene, Rutgers
5. Nico Johnson, Alabama
6. Shayne Skov, Stanford
7. Arthur Brown, Kansas State
8. Gerald Hodges, Penn State
9. Zaviar Gooden, Missouri
10. Chase Thomas, Stanford
A.J. Klein, Iowa State
Alonzo Highsmith, Arkansas
Bruce Taylor, Virginia Tech
Demetrius Hartsfield, Maryland
DeVonte Holloman, South Carolina
Jake Knott, Iowa State
Jon Bostic, Florida
Kenny Tate, Maryland
Kiko Alonso, Oregon
Sio Moore, Connecticut
1. Jarvis Jones, Georgia
2. C.J. Mosley, Alabama
3. Jelani Jenkins, Florida
4. Kevin Minter, LSU
5. Jeremiah Attaochu, Georgia Tech
6. Alec Ogletree, Georgia
7. Jordan Hicks, Texas
8. Tom Wort, Oklahoma
9. Jonathan Brown, Illinois
10. Chris Borland, Wisconsin
Andrew Wilson, Missouri
Boseko Lokombo, Oregon
Christian Jones, Florida State
DeDe Lattimore, South Florida
Denicos Allen, Michigan State
Hayes Pullard, USC
Jake Ryan, Michigan
James Morris, Iowa
Kyle Van Noy, BYU
Tariq Edwards, Virginia Tech
1. Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State
2. Terry Hawthorne, Illinois
3. Jordan Poyer, Oregon State
4. Johnny Adams, Michigan State
5. Micah Hyde, Iowa
6. Rod Sweeting, Georgia Tech
7. Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Connecticut
8. Desmond Trufant, Washington
9. Marc Anthony, California
10. Demontre Hurst, Oklahoma
Aaron Hester, UCLA
Brodrick Brown, Oklahoma State
Corey Broomfield, Mississippi State
Devin Smith, Wisconsin
Dwayne Gratz, Connecticut
Leon McFadden, San Diego State
Nigel Malone, Kansas State
Travis Howard, Ohio State
Troy Stoudermire, Minnesota
T'Sharvan Bell, Auburn
1. Carrington Byndom, Texas
2. David Amerson, N.C. State
3. Dee Milliner, Alabama
4. Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State
5. Merrill Noel, Wake Forest
6. Xavier Rhodes, Florida State
7. Bradley Roby, Ohio State
8. Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech
9. Tyrann Mathieu*
10. Ricardo Allen, Purdue
*Tyrann Mathieu has been dismissed from the LSU football program
Aaron Colvin, Oklahoma
Antone Exum, Virginia Tech
Bennett Jackson, Notre Dame
Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State
E.J. Gaines, Missouri
Eric Gordon, Tennessee
Jimmy Legree, South Carolina
Logan Ryan, Rutgers
Nickell Robey, USC
Tharold Simon, LSU
1. Kenny Vaccaro, Texas
2. Shawn Williams, Georgia
3. T.J. McDonald, USC
4. Duke Williams, Nevada
5. Robert Lester, Alabama
6. Daimion Stafford, Nebraska
7. John Boyett, Oregon*
8. D.J. Swearinger, South Carolina
9. Bacarri Rambo, Georgia
10. Prentiss Waggner, Tennessee
*John Boyett is out for the remainder of the 2012 season with a knee injury
Bradley McDougald, Kansas
Brynden Trawick, Troy
Dexter McCoil, Tulsa
Drew Frey, Cincinnati
Jahleel Addae, Central Michigan
Jamoris Slaughter, Notre Dame
Jarred Holley, Pittsburgh
Jonathan Cyprien, FIU
Jordan Kovacs, Michigan
Rashard Hall, Clemson
1. Eric Reid, LSU
2. Matt Elam, Florida
3. C.J. Barnett, Ohio State
4. Isaiah Johnson, Georgia Tech
5. Tony Jefferson, Oklahoma
6. Ahmad Dixon, Baylor
7. Hakeem Smith, Louisville
8. Nickoe Whitley, Mississippi State
9. Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State
10. Isaiah Lewis, Michigan State
Brian Blechen, Utah
Charles Sawyer, Ole Miss
Craig Loston, LSU
Darwin Cook, West Virginia
Deone Bucannon, Washington State
Eric Bennett, Arkansas
Sean Parker, Washington
Tevin McDonald, UCLA
Tre Boston, North Carolina
Ty Zimmerman, Kansas State
1. Dustin Hopkins, Florida State
2. Caleb Sturgis, Florida
3. Brett Baer, Louisiana-Lafayette
4. Dan Conroy, Michigan State
5. Brett Maher, Nebraska
6. Brandon McManus, Temple
7. Tyler Bitancurt, West Virginia
8. Drew Alleman, LSU
9. Maikon Bonani, South Florida
10. Casey Barth, North Carolina
1. Jeff Locke, UCLA
2. Quinn Sharp, Oklahoma State
3. Ryan Allen, Louisiana Tech
4. Jackson Rice, Oregon
5. Ryan Epperson, Texas A&M
6. Bobby Cowan, Idaho
7. Tress Way, Oklahoma
8. Ian Campbell, UTEP
9. Dylan Breeding, Arkansas
10. Richard Kent, Vanderbilt
1. WR Da’Rick Rogers, Tennessee Tech
2. WR Aaron Mellette, Elon
3. OT Mark Jackson, Glenville State
4. RB Michael Dyer, Arkansas Baptist
5. QB Brad Sorensen, Southern Utah
6. RB Marcus Coker, Stony Brook
7. CB B.W. Webb, William & Mary
8. DT Brent Russell, Georgia Southern
9. DE Ben Obaseki, Indiana State
10. K Zach Brown, Portland State
1. WR Marqise Lee, USC
2. DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
3. WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson
4. DE Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame
5. RB De’Anthony Thomas, Oregon
6. DT Tim Jernigan, Florida State
7. WR Odell Beckham, LSU
8. QB Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville
9. CB Quandre Diggs, Texas
10. QB Braxton Miller, Ohio State
11. DT Anthony Johnson, LSU
12. OG Marcus Martin, USC
13. LB Trey Depriest, Alabama
14. CB Marcus Roberson, Florida
15. OT Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama
16. RB Malcolm Brown, Texas
17. LB Ryan Shazier, Ohio State
18. TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington
19. LB A.J. Johnson, Tennessee
20. LB Lamar Dawson, USC