2013 NFL Draft Predictions: 7 Top College Players Who Could Go Undrafted
Every year, college players with elite production get hype for the NFL draft. But, quite often, the publicity is undeserved. In 2013, this won't be any different.
Like Kellen Moore a year ago, many of these players simply don't have the ability to excel in the NFL. That's not to say they aren't good, or even great, college players, it's just that there's a difference between the two levels.
Just who is 2013's version of Moore? Well, here's seven of them.
Rex Burkhead, RB, Nebraska
Injured for much of his senior year, Rex Burkhead hasn't produced much in 2012. In 2010 and 2011, however, Burkhead rushed for a combined 2,308 yards.
Fans and analysts tend to love physical backs from the Big Ten, but Burkhead simply isn't cut out for the NFL. He doesn't have the lateral movement, speed or burst, given his lack of elite power.
A great college back, sure. Just not one cut out for the NFL.
Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State
Though he is fairly talented, Marquess Wilson killed his draft stock when he quit the Washington State football team. With 189 receptions for 3,207 yards over the last three years, Wilson has been among college football's most productive players.
However, Wilson has had his fair share of character question marks, and quitting on his team will likely be the final straw. He is still just a junior, but he'll likely be entering the 2013 draft.
Wilson is talented, but he isn't such a dominant talent to overcome his off-the-field issues. He always overproduced for his talent level, and NFL teams will see his lack of a high ceiling as a red flag.
Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma
There are some things to like about Landry Jones. He's big and possesses a strong throwing arm. There is upside.
However, Jones' extreme lack of accuracy and poor decision-making have killed his draft status. It's possible that a brilliant quarterback coach could get something out of Jones, but it's still not likely.
The Oklahoma quarterback is simply too raw and unrefined to warrant anything but a late-round choice. And at this point, it's far from certain if he's even worth that.
Joe Vellano, DT, Maryland
With 14 tackles for loss and five sacks, Joe Vellano has been an extremely productive defensive tackle. He does not, however, have the physical skill set of an NFL player.
At just 6'2", 285 pounds, Vellano is extremely undersized. Unlike many undersized players, though, Vellano lacks the elite athleticism to compensate.
There's no denying how dominant Vellano has been for Maryland. Unfortunately, there's nothing about him that suggests he can keep it up in the NFL.
In fact, there's nothing that suggests he is worth being drafted.
Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State
Many analysts' Heisman favorite, Collin Klein has been a fantastic player in 2012. His 2,768 yards and 31 touchdowns are among the NCAA's best.
As a prospect, though, Klein is lacking ability. He is a decent runner, but his throwing motion, accuracy and mechanics are all terrible.
Physically, Klein isn't completely absent of any ability. The problem is that he has no idea how to play quarterback, and, at this point, it's far too late to teach him.
Chris Jones, DT, Bowling Green
A 6'1", 292-pound defensive tackle, Chris Jones has been dominant in 2012 but lacks NFL ability. His 11.5 sacks and 17 tackles for loss stand out as particularly impressive.
Though Jones has clearly made an impact this year, he hasn't done so with his physical ability. He is undersized and lacks the elite burst to make it as a pass-rushing defensive tackle in the NFL.
Jones is a player who was big enough and talented enough to dominate in a weaker college football conference. He isn't a legitimate NFL draft prospect.
Phillip Thomas, S, Fresno State
Statistically, Phillip Thomas has been amazing in 2012. He has picked off eight passes and recorded 10.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
Though Thomas is clearly a dominant player for Fresno State, he is too slow and unathletic to last at safety in the NFL. And unlike some other unathletic safeties, Thomas is too small to convert to linebacker.
Clearly, Thomas has some football skills, or he wouldn't be dominating so much. In the end, though, physical ability is key, and Thomas simply doesn't have enough of it.