Under-the-Radar College Players Who May Be Drafted Early
Every year, a handful of relatively unknown names shoot up draft boards and are ultimately taken much higher in the NFL draft than the masses initially expected.
Sometimes, it's because they played collegiately at small schools.
Other times, freakish athletic ability entices an organization's front office.
Let's take a look at the underrated prospects who could be draft early in April of 2013.
Ezekiel Ansah, DE/OLB, Brigham Young
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Ezekiel Ansah is a tremendous athlete, and he has ideal size to play defensive end at the next level. At 6'6'' and 270 pounds, he has a Jason Pierre-Paul-type frame.
General managers and coaches will be extremely intrigued by his impressive build, but he is relatively raw in terms of pass-rushing moves and only managed 4.5 sacks this year for BYU.
Don't be surprised if Ansah goes earlier than expected due to his physical tools and blossoms into a star in the NFL.
Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
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While Luke Joeckel, Jake Matthews and Taylor Lewan represent the top tier of offensive tackles in the 2013 class, Eric Fisher has a legitimate chance to be taken in either the first or second round.
At 6'8'' and 305 pounds with good technique, long arms and sound footwork, the Chippewa star is a stud in pass protection. He has some room to grow into his frame, so with time, he could become quite the imposing blindside protector.
Khaseem Greene, OLB, Rutgers
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Khaseem Greene is the prototypical ball-tracking 4-3 outside linebacker.
At 6'1'' and 230 pounds, he has incredible sideline-to-sideline capabilities and has proven to be a sure tackler during his time with the Scarlet Knights.
He averaged over 10 tackles per game in 2011 and 2012, and after seeing how rangy outside linebackers like Bobby Wagner and Lavonte David have performed as rookies, a team will jump on the chance to add Greene to its linebacking corp in one of the early rounds.
Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse
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A year ago, Ryan Nassib may have been a late-round pick. But after a solid senior season, one in which he improved statistically across the board and showed off a stronger, more accurate arm, he could be picked as early as the second round.
At 6'2'', he doesn't have ideal height, but he was smart with the football for Syracuse this season and is experienced.
Nassib is certainly more of a project than a sure-fire, day-one starter, but his upside is undoubtedly interesting.
Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina
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Running backs aren't held in high regard like they once were, and that may ultimately hurt Giovani Bernard's draft status.
However, it's not outside the realm of possibility that he could be taken in the late-first or early-second round in April.
Although he's only 5'10'' and 205 pounds, many believe he'll be the first running back taken.
This UNC stud excels both on inside runs and when he's asked to bounce it to the outside due to elite lateral agility and a good, natural burst.
Though he's not a Chris Johnson-esque burner, Bernard has enough speed to be a dangerous, new-age NFL runner.
(According to Fox Sports Carolina, Bernard has officially declared for the 2013 draft.)