2013 NFL Mock Draft: Where Will College Football's Top Pro Prospects End Up?
Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE
We're now heading into the seventh week of the college football season and the sixth week of the NFL season.
So far, we've had a big enough sample size to determine how the top college players are beginning to stack up in terms of their NFL draft value, and we've also gotten a good feel for the biggest weaknesses that each NFL team currently has.
That means that it's time to start coming up with predictions and projections for the 2013 NFL draft.
A lot is sure to change between now and April. Nevertheless, here's a look at where some of college football's top pro prospects could be headed.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars: QB Geno Smith
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Former No. 10 overall pick Blaine Gabbert has shown no signs of progress this year after a disastrous rookie campaign in 2011.
It's hard to give up on a young quarterback after just two seasons, but if Gabbert doesn't get better soon, Jacksonville will have to move in a new direction.
It looks like the Jaguars are set to have a top-5 pick in 2013, which means they could have a shot at one of the top two quarterback prospects—West Virginia's Geno Smith or USC's Matt Barkley.
At this point in the season, no other player in college football has been as impressive as Smith.
The strong-armed 6'3'', 220-pound senior has put up some insane numbers in his first five games. He's completed 81 percent of his passes for over 1,900 yards and thrown 24 touchdowns without tossing an interception.
Smith has the size, arm strength, accuracy, intelligence, coverage awareness and mobility that you look for in a potential franchise quarterback.
Right now, he has to be considered both the favorite to win this year's Heisman Trophy, as well as the front-runner to be the No. 1 overall pick in 2013.
2. Kansas City Chiefs: QB Matt Barkley
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Obviously, the Kansas City fan base has given up on QB Matt Cassel, and it's clearly time for the organization to do the same.
Chiefs fans may be hesitant about drafting a USC quarterback considering, recent Trojan signal-callers like Cassel, Matt Leinart and Mark Sanchez haven't exactly been stellar in the pros. However, Matt Barkley looks like he should be better than all three of them.
Barkley may not have the prototypical size or a true rocket for an arm that will wow scouts, but he makes up for it with his accuracy, intangibles and leadership ability.
The 6'2'', 230-pound senior has completed 64 percent of his passes for over 1,300 yards and thrown 15 touchdowns in five games this season.
In hindsight, Barkley probably should have capitalized on the tremendous success he had as a junior and left for the NFL when he had the chance. But the fact that he wanted to come back and win a national championship at USC does reveal a lot about his character and his personality.
Ultimately, the talented four-year starter should end up becoming the type of NFL quarterback that everyone thought Alex Smith was going to be when he was coming out of Utah back in 2005.
3. Cleveland Browns: DE Bjoern Werner
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It will be interesting to see what happens if the Browns end up with one of the first two picks in next year's draft.
Will Cleveland stick with struggling rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden, or will the Browns scoop up either West Virginia's Geno Smith or USC's Matt Barkley to be the quarterback of the future?
A lot will depend on whether Weeden can pick his game up and improve in the weeks to come.
If the team chooses to give the soon-to-be 29-year-old signal-caller another year, the Browns could look to address a defense that currently ranks 28th in the NFL.
Cleveland could use another defensive end to pair with Jabaal Sheard for the future.
The best defensive end in college football so far this season has been Florida State's Bjoern Werner.
Werner is a powerful and instinctive pass-rusher, who has totaled 6.5 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, four pass breakups, three quarterback hurries and a forced fumble in the Seminoles' first six games.
If he keeps developing as expected, the 6'4'', 255-pound junior has a chance to make a Jared Allen/J.J. Watt-type of impact at the NFL level.
4. Tamps Bay Bucs: DE Sam Montgomery
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Tampa Bay may have a solid young defensive end in Adrian Clayborn, but no one knows for sure just how he'll respond after suffering a serious season-ending knee injury.
When you compound that with the fact that 2011 second-round pick Da'Quan Bowers is starting to look like a lost cause, it's clear that the Bucs would be wise to add another young pass-rusher to the mix.
The team looks destined to be picking early in next year's draft, which may not be such a bad thing, because that means Tampa Bay could have a shot at an elite player like LSU DE Sam Montgomery.
Montgomery may be a bit undersized by NFL standards at 6'4'', 260-pounds, but he makes up for it with his tenacity, aggressiveness and non-stop motor.
In his last 20 games, the junior edge-rusher has racked up 11 sacks and 20 tackles for loss.
The standout defensive end would form a devastating duo with Clayborn for years to come.
5. Oakland Raiders: DT Johnathan Hankins
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If Oakland doesn't take a quarterback in the first round of the 2013 draft, the Raiders are going to have to fill one of the numerous holes on defense with their first pick.
The team currently ranks 25th in the NFL in total defense, giving up an average of 411 yards per game.
The problems start up front where the defensive line has severely underperformed this season, especially defensive tackles Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly.
Finding a future replacement for the aging 33-year-old Seymour has to be a priority.
If the Raiders end up in the top 10 as expected, they could have a chance to land the best tackle prospect in the 2013 class, Ohio State's Johnathan Hankins.
Hankins looks like a younger, more athletic version of New England's Vince Wilfork.
The 6'3'', 322-pound junior doesn't just eat up space. He moves incredibly well for his size, and he's shown that he can penetrate into the backfield and make impact plays behind the line of scrimmage.
6. Indianapolis Colts: OLB Jarvis Jones
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Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis have both played a key role in the Indianapolis Colts' success over the last decade. But the fact is, both players are on the wrong side of 30,
It could be time to find another young pass-rusher to groom for the future, especially since 2010 first-round pick Jerry Hughes has not developed into the player he was expected to.
There are a few potential top-15 picks that could potentially fit into the Colts' 3-4 defensive scheme, and one of the best is Georgia outside linebacker Jarvis Jones.
Jones has developed into the SEC's biggest defensive star after transferring from USC to Georgia.
The explosive 6'3'', 241-pound junior has totaled 19 sacks and 29 tackles for loss in just 19 games in a Bulldog uniform.
7. Carolina Panthers: WR Keenan Allen
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You can call it a sophomore slump if you want, but it doesn't change the fact that Carolina QB Cam Newton has dramatically regressed in his second year after an outstanding rookie season.
Newton's accuracy has waned, and his confidence has seemingly deteriorated.
Part of the problem could be that his best wide receiver is 33-year-old Steve Smith, who's well past his prime. Finding Newton a true No. 1 target has to be one of the Panthers' biggest priorities this offseason.
If they decide to find that player in the draft, Cal's Keenan Allen could be an intriguing option. Allen is a big, athletic and fluid playmaker, who possesses all the traits you want to see in a potential go-to target.
The 6'3'', 205-pound junior would finally give Newton the truly dangerous receiving weapon that he's lacked since entering the NFL.
8. Buffalo Bills: ILB Manti Te’o
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Buffalo would have loved to see LB Luke Kuechly drop to the 10th pick in the 2012 draft, but unfortunately the Panthers scooped him up at No. 9.
Kuechly would have really helped a defensive front seven that has been a massive disappointment so far this season. Buffalo currently ranks 30th in the NFL in run defense, giving up an average of 171 yards on the ground per game.
The team could use a big run-stuffing inside linebacker to help control the middle of the field, and that's just what Notre Dame's Manti Te'o can do.
Te'o has had a tremendous career in South Bend, and he's topping it off with his best season yet in 2012.
The 6'2'', 255-pound senior is the type of tough, physical and instinctive middle 'backer that would really help a team like the Bills improve against the run.
9. Tennessee Titans: OG Chance Warmack
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It's very rare to see an offensive guard picked in the Top 10. However, we haven't seen many guard prospects in recent years that can compare to Alabama's Chance Warmack.
Warmack is a powerful run-blocker who has opened up some huge holes for backs like Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy to run through during his time in Tuscaloosa.
The 6'3'', 320-pound senior also possesses the agility and footwork to go toe-to-toe with quicker defensive linemen in pass protection, as well as pull down the line with ease.
One team that could definitely use Warmack's services is the Tennessee Titans.
Tennessee's rushing attack has been anemic so far this season. The Titans rank 30th in the NFL in rushing offense, averaging just 65 yards on the ground per game.
Struggling star back Chris Johnson could definitely use a big powerhouse like Warmack to open up some holes for him.
10. St. Louis Rams (From Redskins): FS Eric Reid
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The Rams did a tremendous job of bolstering their defensive backfield by adding cornerbacks Cortland Finnegan, Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson this offseason. However, the fact is, St. Louis still has one of the weakest safety units in the NFL.
No matter how many talented corners the team has on the roster, the secondary still is only as strong as its weakest link.
That's why the Rams have to consider drafting next year's premier safety prospect, LSU's Eric Reid, if he's available with one of their two first-round picks.
Reid is one of the most athletic and instinctive safeties that we've seen in the college game in years. He belongs in the same conversation with other recent SEC star safeties Mark Barron and Eric Berry.
The 6'2'', 211-pound junior should emerge as a valuable playmaker in an NFL defensive backfield right from the get-go.
11. Miami Dolphins: WR Robert Woods
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Not only does the Dolphins offense lack a true No. 1 receiver right now, there's not a receiver on Miami's roster that would be a No. 2 receiving option for most other teams in the NFL.
Luckily, there are going to be plenty of intriguing pass-catching prospects in the 2013 draft. One of the top receivers that should be available is USC's Robert Woods.
Woods is a former blue-chip high school recruit who has been one of the most productive wideouts in college football since his freshman season back in 2010.
In 30 career games, Woods has caught a total of 207 passes for 2,356 yards and scored 27 touchdowns.
Once he reaches the NFL, the 6'1'', 190-pound junior should develop into a similar type of reliable receiving threat as the Colts' Reggie Wayne.
12. New Orleans Saints: DT Star Lotulelei
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New Orleans currently ranks dead last in the NFL in rush defense, giving up an average of 172 yards on the ground per game.
The Saints could certainly use some more beef in the middle of their defense, and they may look to add a young run-stopper early on in the 2013 draft.
Utah's Star Lotulelei is the type of monster run-stuffer that could definitely help fix some of the defense's problems in the interior.
Lotulelei is a 6'4'', 320-pound behemoth who shares many of the same physical traits as another Tongan tackle, Baltimore's Haloti Ngata.
New Orleans could desperately use a tackle that can clog up the middle of the field, and Lotulelei excels at doing just that.
13. Dallas Cowboys: OT Luke Joeckel
For some strange reason, Jerry Jones felt compelled to give Doug Free a 4-year, 32-million dollar contract. Unfortunately, Free has been the worst right tackle in the NFL this season.
Now, it looks like the Cowboys may just have to bite the bullet and go out and spend another first-round pick on an offensive tackle to partner with 2011 first-rounder Tyron Smith.
If Dallas could somehow get its hands on the best tackle prospect in the 2013 class, Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel, that would certainly help to solve the team's offensive line issues.
Joeckel has the physical makeup and skill set to handle playing on either the left or the right side in the pros.
The 6'6'', 310-pound junior has started every game of his college career. He's the type of experienced, fundamentally sound and physically developed young lineman that could come in and start immediately as a rookie for a team like the Cowboys.
14. St. Louis Rams: OL Barrett Jones
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St. Louis has one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL. You can bet that it will be an issue that coach Jeff Fisher will address with one of the Rams' two first-round picks in 2013.
The line could use a versatile and talented stalwart-type of starter that can come in and immediately shore up some of the gaping holes up front.
As far as versatility is concerned, no other lineman prospect in the 2013 draft class can compare to Alabama's Barrett Jones.
Jones has lined up at center, guard and tackle during his time at Tuscaloosa, and he's flourished at all three positions.
The defending Outland Trophy winner may not be the most physically gifted lineman in next year's draft, but he's proven that he can be a true leader in the trenches.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers: RB Marcus Lattimore
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The Steelers are averaging just 79 rushing yards per game this season, which goes to show that more help in the backfield is definitely needed.
The team's three top running backs—Rashard Mendenhall, Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer—will all be free agents after the season.
Even if Pittsburgh chooses to keep one or two of them, that won't be enough.
One back that would look great in a Steelers uniform is South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore.
Lattimore is still working his way back to 100 percent after suffering a torn knee ligament midway through last season.
Recently, however, he's started to show the same signs of dominance that we saw from him during the early part of his career.
The 6'0'', 218-pound junior has all of the traits—size, speed, power, vision, balance, instincts, toughness and pass-catching ability—that you look for in a potential star featured back.
16. Detroit Lions: CB Dee Milliner
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Detroit does not currently have a true No. 1 corner on its defense, which means the Lions will likely be looking to select one of the top corner prospects available in the first round of the 2013 draft.
Alabama's Dee Milliner is arguably the most talented eligible cornerback prospect in the country.
This may be Milliner's first year as a full-time starter, but the former 5-star high school recruit has certainly made the most of the opportunity to prove himself.
The 6'1'', 199-pound junior has shown impressive coverage awareness and ball skills, as he's picked off two passes and broken up another nine throws.
Milliner has the kind of top-notch talent to come in and instantly solidify Detroit's shaky secondary.
17. Seattle Seahawks: DT Kawann Short
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Seattle chose to boost the outside of its defensive line by drafting DE Bruce Irvin in the first round of the 2012 draft.
Next year, the Seahawks could look to strengthen up the middle of the defensive line by drafting one of the many talented young tackles that will be available.
One player that would fit Seattle's fast-flowing 4-3 defense very well is Purdue's Kawann Short.
Short is a big, powerful penetrator who can shed blocks and get up the field to make plays behind the line of scrimmage. He's already racked up eight tackles for loss and four sacks in 2012.
The 6'3'', 315-pound senior could have been a Day 2 pick in this year's draft. However, his decision to stay in school an extra year and continue to develop will likely pay off in a big way.
The athletic big man has manged to build on his breakout junior campaign with another outstanding effort in 2012.
18. Minnesota Vikings: CB David Amerson
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The Vikings could have drafted CB Morris Claiborne with the fourth overall pick in this year's draft, but they instead opted to take OT Matt Kalil instead.
That means Minnesota will likely be looking for a cornerback in the early rounds of the 2013 draft.
One cornerback prospect that looks like he could come in and start right away for an NFL team is N.C. State's David Amerson.
So far this season, Amerson hasn't lived up to lofty expectations. Nevertheless, he still has the physical package to be a potential Pro Bowl player at the next level.
When he reaches the NFL, the 6'3'', 194-pound junior has the size, speed and ball skills to develop into a similar type of player to Eagles cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha.
19. New York Jets: OLB Kyle Van Noy
Kyle Van Noy
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Even though they drafted DE Quinton Coples in the first round of this year's draft, the Jets have still not done nearly enough to boost their lackluster pass rush. They've totaled just five sacks in the first five games, which is the third lowest total in the NFL.
Coples may eventually turn out to be a quality pass-rusher, but the team still desperately needs to find a rush linebacker to stick on the outside of their 3-4 defensive front.
Luckily, there should once again be plenty of highly rated edge-rushers available in the 2013 draft.
BYU's Kyle Van Noy is the type of dominant defender who would help solve New York's problem.
Although he's only just a junior, Van Noy has already shown the flashes that you want to see from a potential first-round pass-rushing prospect.
The highly athletic 6'3'', 235-pound former 4-star recruit has racked up 6.5 sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss in just six games this season.
His Cougar teammate, Ziggy Ansah, may be the athletic freak that everyone fawns over during the postseason workout process, but right now, Van Noy is the much more polished prospect
20. Arizona Cardinals: CB Johnthan Banks
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Arizona has one of the best and most dynamic young cornerbacks in the NFL, Patrick Peterson. However, the Cardinals lack a proper complement to Peterson on the other side of the field.
William Gay is serviceable, but the team would be wise to bring in another young cornerback to form a tandem with Peterson for the future.
One cornerback that they could possibly land in the middle of Round 1 is Mississippi State's Johnthan Banks.
Banks is a bit of a finesse corner, but he possesses great instincts, ball skills and coverage ability.
Over the last few years, the 6'2'', 185-pound senior has consistently proven himself against some of the best competition that college football has to offer.
The Peterson-Banks corner combination could develop into one of the league's best in the years to come.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: DE Barkevious Mingo
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You may wonder why a team that's currently leading the NFL with 18 sacks would select a pass-rusher in Round 1. However, you have to take into account that both Michael Johnson, who has five of those sacks, as well as Robert Geathers, will be free agents after the season.
If the Bengals lose both defensive ends, they could definitely look to add one of the many top pass-rushers that will be available in the first round in 2013.
They wouldn't be able to do much better than LSU's super-athlete Barkevious Mingo.
Mingo has not produced as expected so far this season, only notching one sack in the first six games, but his rare physical skills are hard to ignore.
The 6'4'', 240-pound junior is an explosive edge-rusher who has the speed and the burst to fly up the field. He possesses many similar physical attributes to recent top pass-rushing prospects such as Aldon Smith and Bruce Irvin.
Ultimately, Mingo could end up being one of the most debated about players in the 2013 class, as opinions will likely be split about whether he's best suited to be an end in a 4-3 front or a rush linebacker in a 3-4 scheme.
22. Green Bay Packers: SS Matt Elam
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Green Bay's secondary has made an improvement this season after ranking dead last in the NFL in pass defense in 2011.
Still, it wouldn't hurt for the Packers to draft a young playmaking safety who could eventually take over for 36-year-old Charles Woodson. One top safety prospect they could target is Florida's Matt Elam.
Elam is only just a junior, but he's already demonstrated the necessary skills that it takes to be a difference-making defender at the NFL level.
The physical 5'10'', 202-pound ball-hawk has an incredible radar for the football, and he loves to deliver a big blow on any ball-carrier that gets near him.
The Gator safety would add some much-needed toughness, passion and intensity to Green Bay's defensive backfield.
23. Denver Broncos: RB Le’Veon Bell
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The Broncos have gone from averaging 164 rushing yards per game in 2011 to averaging just 101 yards on the ground per game this season.
Admittedly, a lot of that has to do with the switch in offensive philosophies now that Peyton Manning is running the offense instead of Tim Tebow.
Still, when you factor in that the team's top rusher, Willis McGahee, is about to turn 31, it's obvious that the team will have to look for a running back early on in the 2013 draft.
Michigan State's Le'Veon Bell is the type of back that could come in and be a perfect complement to Manning and the passing attack right away as a rookie.
Bell is a big and extremely agile 6'2'', 240-plus-pound power back who has a chance to be the next Steven Jackson at the NFL level.
The junior has elevated his game in 2012, rushing for 776 yards, catching 23 passes for 132 yards and scoring seven touchdowns. Bell's now moved himself into the first-round conversation after his sensational early season performance.
24. Philadelphia Eagles: OLB Khaseem Greene
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Philadelphia's linebacker corps was in bad shape during the 2011 season. But the front office did a solid job of strengthening the unit by drafting Mychal Kendricks and trading for Demeco Ryans.
Still, there is a hole at the weak side position, and it's one that could become even more glaring if current starter Akeem Jordan is not re-signed after this season.
One of the top 4-3 weak side 'backer prospects in the 2013 draft class is Khaseem Green from Rutgers.
Greene is a former safety who has flourished after moving to linebacker before the 2011 season. In his last 18 games, the 6'1'', 230-pound senior has racked up a whopping 189 tackles, including 18 tackles for loss, as well as 5.5 sacks and four forced fumbles.
While he may not be considered a surefire first-round pick just yet, Greene is definitely a player that will continue to rise and move up draft boards as the draft process unfolds.
25. San Diego Chargers: ILB C.J. Mosley
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In the days leading up to the 2012 NFL draft, I thought that San Diego could possibly be targeting Alabama inside linebacker Dont'a Hightower with the No. 18 pick. But instead, the Chargers chose to go with edge-rusher Melvin Ingram.
That means that the team still needs to find an eventual replacement for Takeo Spikes, who will turn 36 in December.
While they may not have picked up Hightower, the Chargers could look to possibly add another Alabama inside 'backer, C.J. Mosley, in the first round of the 2013 draft.
Mosley is an explosive and instinctive defender who has stepped up and become a leader for the Tide defense this year, racking up a team-high 39 tackles in the first five games.
The 6'2'', 232-pound junior could surely handle replacing Spikes in the middle of San Diego's 3-4 defense.
26. New York Giants: DE Michael Buchanan
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New York currently has the deepest set of defensive ends in the NFL with Jason Pierre-Paul, Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck. However, it may not remain that way for much longer.
Umenyiora will be a free agent after this season and Tuck will be a free agent after next season.
Since the team relies so heavily on its pass-rush for success, GM Jerry Reese has to think about looking to the future and adding a starting-caliber defensive end in the 2013 draft.
One player who would be a perfect fit for the Giants' 4-3 defensive front is Illinois DE Michael Buchanan.
Last year, Buchanan was overshadowed by his All-American teammate, DE Whitney Mercilus, who was selected by the Houston Texans in the first round of the 2012 draft.
If you asked most scouts, though, many of them would say Buchanan is a better overall prospect than Mercilus was.
The 6'6'', 250-pound senior still has to get bigger and stronger in order to be a factor against the run in the pros. But he's clearly got the athleticism and explosiveness off the edge that a team like the Giants is looking for in an outside pass-rusher.
27. Chicago Bears: OG Jonathan Cooper
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For years, Chicago has had problems with its offensive line, and outside of drafting Gabe Carimi in the first round in 2011, the Bears haven't done much to patch up the holes in the trenches.
Since both of the team's starting guards, Chilo Rachal and Lance Louis, will be free agents after this season, it's likely that the Bears will have to turn to the draft to add a young guard that can come in and compete for a starting job as a rookie.
One of the top guards that will be available is North Carolina's Jonathan Cooper.
Cooper is an experienced four-year starter who possesses all of the necessary traits—size, strength, agility and intelligence—to come in and start early in his pro career.
The 6'3'', 295-pound senior would definitely help keep QB Jay Cutler safe and upright.
28. New England Patriots: WR Justin Hunter
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New England is a team that could certainly use an infusion of youth at the wide receiver position.
The Patriots' two top wide receivers, Brandon Lloyd and Wes Welker, are both 31 years old, and the team doesn't have a young receiver on the roster that it can groom to be a future No. 1 option.
The Pats decided to go heavy on defense in this year's draft, which means they can afford to snag a top receiver prospect in the first round in 2013.
Tennessee's Justin Hunter is the type of prospect that the team would likely pounce on if he slips into the 20's.
This season, Hunter has shown no lingering effects from the serious knee injury he experienced in 2011. The 6'4'', 200-pound junior has caught 33 passes for 456 yards and four touchdowns so far.
Hunter bears a strong physical resemblance to Saints receiver Marques Colston. He would certainly add a valuable new dynamic to the New England offense.
29. Atlanta Falcons: TE Tyler Eifert
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This will likely be the final season for future Hall-of-Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez, who is 36 years old and entering the final year of his contract.
Gonzalez has been a big part of Atlanta's passing game during his time there. He will certainly be missed, especially since the team doesn't have many other proven commodities at the position.
The Falcons could turn to the 2013 draft to find a replacement for the legendary tight end. They wouldn't be able to do any better than Notre Dame's Tyler Eifert.
Eifert is an athletic and well-built 6'6'', 251-pound junior who can create some serious matchup problems for an opposing defense.
30. Houston Texans: NT John Jenkins
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Wade Phillips has done an outstanding job turning Houston's defense into one of the strongest units in the NFL. The Texans are loaded up front with young standouts such as DE J.J. Watt and linebackers Brooks Reed, Brian Cushing and Connor Barwin.
They could, however, use a strong nose tackle to help solidify the defense.
Shaun Cody has been a decent player, but he's in the final year of his contract, and the team could use an upgrade.
Houston could turn to the draft to find one of the top young nose tackles that will be available.
One such prospect is Georgia's mammoth run-stopper John Jenkins.
Jenkins is a 6'3'', 358-pound giant who eats up double-teams and clogs up running lanes.
The senior middle man would be a perfect addition to the Texans' 3-4 defense, and he would really help strengthen an already intimidating defensive front.
31. Baltimore Ravens: WR Terrance Williams
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The Ravens have one of the best young wide receivers in the NFL, Torrey Smith. However, their leading receiver, Anquan Boldin, just turned 32 and he's entering the final year of his contract.
If Baltimore chooses not to re-sign Boldin after this season, the team could look to add a wide receiver early in the 2013 draft.
One talented receiver prospect who will likely be available later in Round 1 is Baylor's Terrance Williams.
Last year, Williams was overshadowed by teammate Kendall Wright, who ended up becoming the 20th overall pick in this year's draft. But he's shown this season that he's every bit as good as his former teammate.
Williams has hauled in 34 passes for 667 yards and scored six touchdowns in just four games this season.
The 6'2'', 205-pound senior is a big, athletic receiver who should end up becoming a similar player to the Giants' Victor Cruz at the NFL level.
32. San Francisco 49ers: DT/DE Sheldon Richardson
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The average age of San Francisco's three starting defensive linemen is 30, which means the 49ers will likely be looking to add a young defensive lineman early on in the 2013 draft.
Justin Smith is still one of the best defensive ends in the NFL, but it wouldn't hurt to find a long-term replacement for the aging 33-year-old veteran.
One potential prospect that would fit in well in San Francisco's 3-4 defensive front is Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson.
Richardson is an athletic and agile 6'4'', 295-pound junior who knows how to create havoc in the trenches.
The former highly touted JUCO prospect had a solid debut campaign last year. So far, he's looked even better in 2012, racking up 38 tackles, including 6.5 tackles for loss and three sacks in his first six games.
Quarterbacks: Other Seniors to Watch
Collin Klein, Kansas State
EJ Manuel, Florida State
Jordan Rodgers, Vanderbilt
Landry Jones, Oklahoma
Matt Scott, Arizona
Mike Glennon, N.C. State
Ryan Nassib, Syracuse
Sean Renfree, Duke
Tyler Wilson, Arkansas
Zac Dysert, Miami (Ohio)
Quarterbacks: Other Underclassmen to Watch
Peter Casey-US PRESSWIRE
Aaron Murray, Georgia
AJ McCarron, Alabama
Bryn Renner, North Carolina
Derek Carr, Fresno State
James Franklin, Missouri
Keith Price, Washington
Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech
Sean Mannion, Oregon State*
Tajh Boyd, Clemson
Tyler Bray, Tennessee
*Mannion is out with a knee injury
Running Backs: Other Seniors to Watch
Douglas Jones-US PRESSWIRE
Andre Ellington, Clemson
Chris Thompson, Florida State
Dennis Johnson, Arkansas
Johnathan Franklin, UCLA
Kenjon Barner, Oregon
Mike Gillislee, Florida
Montee Ball, Wisconsin
Ray Graham, Pittsburgh
Rex Burkhead, Nebraska
Stepfan Taylor, Stanford
Running Backs: Other Underclassmen to Watch
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Alfred Blue, LSU
Cierre Wood, Notre Dame
Eddie Lacy, Alabama
Giovani Bernard, North Carolina
John Hubert, Kansas State
Joseph Randle, Oklahoma State
Knile Davis, Arkansas
Silas Redd, USC
Spencer Ware, LSU
Venric Mark, Northwestern
Wide Receivers: Other Seniors to Watch
Nelson Chenault-US PRESSWIRE
Aaron Dobson, Marshall
Aaron Mellette, Elon
Chad Bumphis, Mississippi State
Cobi Hamilton, Arkansas
Dan Buckner, Arizona
(QB) Denard Robinson, Michigan
Marcus Davis, Virginia Tech
Markus Wheaton, Oregon State
Quinton Patton, Louisiana Tech
Tavon Austin, West Virginia
Wide Receivers: Other Underclassmen to Watch
James Snook-US PRESSWIRE
Cody Hoffman, BYU
Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee
Da’Rick Rogers, Tennessee Tech
DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson
Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt
Josh Boyce, TCU
Kenny Stills, Oklahoma
Marquess Wilson, Washington State
Stedman Bailey, West Virginia
Tevin Reese, Baylor
Tight Ends: Other Seniors to Watch
Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE
Ben Cotton, Nebraska
Chris Gragg, Arkansas
Jake Stoneburner, Ohio State
Joseph Fauria, UCLA
Kyler Reed, Nebraska
Ryan Griffin, Connecticut
Matt Furstenburg, Maryland
Michael Williams, Alabama
Philip Lutzenkirchen, Auburn
Ryan Otten, San Jose State
Tight Ends: Other Underclassmen to Watch
Mike Carter-US PRESSWIRE
Blake Jackson, Oklahoma State
C.J. Fiedorowicz, Iowa
Crockett Gillmore, Colorado State
Dion Sims, Michigan State
Gavin Escobar, San Diego State
Jacob Pedersen, Wisconsin
Jake McGee, Virginia
Jordan Reed, Florida
Levine Toilolo, Stanford
Zach Ertz, Stanford
Offensive Linemen: Other Seniors to Watch
Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE
Alex Hurst, LSU
Brennan Williams, North Carolina
Brian Winters, Kent State
Chris Barker, Nevada
Dallas Thomas, Tennessee
Eric Fisher, Central Michigan
Khaled Holmes, USC
Larry Warford, Kentucky
Oday Aboushi, Virginia
Omoregie Uzzi, Georgia Tech
Offensive Linemen: Other Underclassmen to Watch
Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE
Alvin Bailey, Arkansas
Chris Faulk, LSU*
Cyril Richardson, Baylor
D.J. Fluker, Alabama
Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State
Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
Jonotthan Harrison, Florida
Morgan Moses, Virginia
Taylor Lewan, Michigan
Travis Frederick, Wisconsin
*Faulk is out with a knee injury
Defensive Tackles: Other Seniors to Watch
Nelson Chenault-US PRESSWIRE
Baker Steinkuhler, Nebraska
Chris Jones, Bowling Green
Cory Grissom, South Florida
Everett Dawkins, Florida State
Jamarkus McFarland, Oklahoma
Jesse Williams, Alabama
Josh Boyd, Mississippi State
Josh Downs, LSU
Scott Vallone, Rutgers
Sylvester Williams, North Carolina
Defensive Tackles: Other Underclassmen to Watch
Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE
Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh
Akeem Spence, Illinois
Bennie Logan, LSU
Bruce Gaston, Purdue
Dominique Easley, Florida
George Uko, USC
Kelcy Quarles, South Carolina
Kwame Geathers, Georgia
Sharrif Floyd, Florida
Will Sutton, Arizona State
Defensive Ends: Other Seniors to Watch
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
Alex Okafor, Texas
Brandon Jenkins, Florida State*
Datone Jones, UCLA
Devin Taylor, South Carolina
Dion Jordan, Oregon
Ezekiel Ansah, BYU
John Simon, Ohio State
Malliciah Goodman, Clemson
Margus Hunt, SMU
Tank Carradine, Florida State
*Jenkins is out with a foot injury
Defensive Ends: Other Underclassmen to Watch
Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE
Corey Lemonier, Auburn
Damontre Moore, Texas A&M
Denico Autry, Mississippi State
Ed Stinson, Alabama
Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas
James Gayle, Virginia Tech
Kareem Martin, North Carolina
Morgan Breslin, USC
Stansly Maponga, TCU
William Gholston, Michigan State
Linebackers: Other Seniors to Watch
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Arthur Brown, Kansas State
Chase Thomas, Stanford
DeVonte Holloman, South Carolina
Gerald Hodges, Penn State
Jon Bostic, Florida
Kevin Reddick, North Carolina
Michael Mauti, Penn State
Nico Johnson, Alabama
Sean Porter, Texas A&M
Shayne Skov, Stanford
Linebackers: Other Underclassmen to Watch
Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
Alec Ogletree, Georgia
Chris Borland, Wisconsin
Christian Jones, Florida State
Jelani Jenkins, Florida
Jeremiah Attaochu, Georgia Tech
Jonathan Brown, Illinois
Jordan Hicks, Texas
Kevin Minter, LSU
Khalil Mack, Buffalo
Yawin Smallwood, Connecticut
Cornerbacks: Other Seniors to Watch
Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
Brodrick Brown, Oklahoma State
Desmond Trufant, Washington
Dwayne Gratz, Connecticut
Johnny Adams, Michigan State
Jordan Poyer, Oregon State
Marc Anthony, California
Micah Hyde, Iowa
Nigel Malone, Kansas State
Rod Sweeting, Georgia Tech
Terry Hawthorne, Illinois
Cornerbacks: Other Underclassmen to Watch
Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE
Bradley Roby, Ohio State
Carrington Byndom, Texas
Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State
Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech
Logan Ryan, Rutgers
Merrill Noel, Wake Forest
Nickell Robey, USC
Ricardo Allen, Purdue
Xavier Rhodes, Florida State
*Mathieu has been dismissed from LSU
Safeties: Other Seniors to Watch
Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE
Bacarri Rambo, Georgia
Daimion Stafford, Nebraska
Duke Williams, Nevada
John Boyett, Oregon*
Jonathan Cyprien, FIU
Kenny Vaccaro, Texas
Prentiss Waggner, Tennessee
Robert Lester, Alabama
Shawn Williams, Georgia
T.J. McDonald, USC
*Boyett is out for the season
Safeties: Other Underclassmen to Watch
Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE
Ahmad Dixon, Baylor
C.J. Barnett, Ohio State
Craig Loston, LSU
Hakeem Smith, Louisville
Isaiah Johnson, Georgia Tech
Isaiah Lewis, Michigan State
Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State
Nickoe Whitley, Mississippi State
Tony Jefferson, Oklahoma
Tre Boston, North Carolina