2013 NFL Draft: 7 Schools with Most Draft-Ready Talent
Every year in the draft, certain schools send off numerous players to the NFL. This is once again the case in 2013.
In the past, Miami, Ohio State, USC, Alabama and LSU have all been pro factories. Some of them—Alabama might be one—once again make the list.
Criteria here was based off two factors: how elite a university's prospects were and how much prospect depth there was. Schools needed upper-level prospects and numbers in order to make the cut.
When the 2013 NFL draft rolls around in April, you will be seeing some of the same schools multiple times. Which ones are they?
USC has several early-round picks, but the lack of an upper-level prospects holds back its class. No, Matt Barkley is not elite, and he may not even go in the first round.
West Virginia also gets honorable mention consideration. Quarterback Geno Smith is a potential top-five pick, and wide receivers Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey should go in the first two rounds. However, the Mountaineers don't have any depth beyond those three players.
In left tackle Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M gives the draft perhaps its best player. Joeckel is a superb pass-blocker with natural quickness and athleticism. He is all but certain to be a top-five draft pick.
Joeckel isn't the Aggies' lone top talent, however. Defensive end Damontre Moore is also a potential top-10 pick thanks to his incredible motor and pass-rush potential.
This class would be even more stacked at the top if right tackle Jake Matthews had declared for the draft. However, it does still have linebacker Sean Porter and wide receiver Ryan Swope—both are likely mid-round picks—to round out the class.
Florida will be sending plenty of defensive players to the NFL in 2013, but few offensive.
The class starts with safety Matt Elam. Elam, a junior, has a reputation for being a ruthless hitter who rarely lets up. However, he isn't just a big hitter—he can play in coverage too and is a possible first-round pick.
Along with Elam is fellow junior Sharrif Floyd. Floyd is a 6'4", 305-pound defensive tackle with great power, athleticism and schematic versatility.
Fellow defensive lineman Dominique Easley is also considering entering the draft, though Floyd, a potential first-round pick, is the superior prospect.
Finishing the class is tight end Jordan Reed. Reed hasn't confirmed whether or not he will enter the draft, but the athletic pass-catcher has potential and could be a top-100 pick.
Perhaps the draft's top defensive player, Bjoern Werner is the big name here. A 6'4", 255-pound defensive end, Werner's superb pass-rushing ability could land him in the top five picks.
The Seminoles have another solid defensive end as well. Tank Carradine tore his ACL in November, but he could still be selected before the third round. Though his pass-rushing potential isn't as high as Werner's is, he is still a first-round talent.
Another big Florida State prospect is cornerback Xavier Rhodes. The 6'2", 210-pounder is an incredible athlete and could wind up in the first round.
Last, and probably least, is quarterback E.J. Manuel. Manuel is talented and a great athlete, but his lack of quarterback skills could knock him into the middle rounds.
North Carolina's top prospect is guard Jonathan Cooper. Though he isn't the draft's top guard prospect, Cooper is a likely first-round selection who offers both upside and probability at a not-so-valuable position.
Cooper isn't the Tar Heels' only possible first-rounder, though. Giovani Bernard will likely be the first running back off the board, whether that's in the first or second round. Bernard may lack elite upside, but he's a solid runner who should start soon.
On defense, North Carolina produces linebacker Kevin Reddick and defensive tackle Sylvester Williams. Reddick will fall until at least the third round thanks to a lack of elite athleticism, but Williams gets points for his physical ability and should go in the first or second round.
Though his stock has actually fallen some, Barkevious Mingo is still considered an early-first-round pick. The athletic pass-rusher has incredible potential off the edge thanks to his length, burst and speed.
The defensive end opposite Mingo, Sam Montgomery, isn't quite as highly-praised, but could also be drafted in the first or second round. Like Mingo, Montgomery is a pass-rushing end, but Montgomery isn't as high-upside.
Also on defense are prospects Kevin Minter and Eric Reid. Minter, a linebacker, has upside in any defensive scheme, which could help him be drafted in the first or second round. At safety, Reid has some flaws—mostly in the run game—but is fairly solid in coverage and could closely follow Minter.
LSU seems to consistently put talent into the NFL—though it finally doesn't have the top cornerback prospect—and it's doing nothing different here.
A 6'3", 205-pound physical freak, Cordarrelle Patterson is among the draft's top wide receivers. The likely first-round pick is raw, but his potential has him shooting up draft boards.
Fellow wide receiver Justin Hunter has fallen a bit and isn't really in first-round consideration anymore, but he's still a likely second-rounder. His catching ability and potential are well above-average.
Offensive tackle Dallas Thomas has worked his way into the first-round discussion, and he likely won't fall much further.
Quarterback Tyler Bray is raw, but full of potential, and he should end up drafted no later than the fourth round.
Tennessee has some serious upside with its prospects, but there is also risk. However, there are still enough early-round Volunteers to easily make the list.
Most consider Dee Milliner to be the draft's top cornerback, and he is often projected as a top-10 pick. Milliner isn't amazing in any one area, but he is solid across the board and has few discernible weaknesses.
Though they have one top prospect, the Crimson Tide's main value as a class comes from their outstanding depth. Offensive guard Chance Warmack is nearly guaranteed to go in the first round, and several others could follow.
Defensive tackle Jesse Williams will likely go in the first round too, as could offensive lineman Barrett Jones. Left tackle D.J. Fluker won't be far behind, though he may have to change positions in the NFL.
Eddie Lacy might end up as the draft's top running back and could come off the board in the late first or early second round. Safety Robert Lester is probably a mid-round pick.
Once again, Alabama is sending several top picks to the NFL, and more will follow in later rounds.