Defense is sure to steal the show at the 2013 NFL draft this coming April. With so many dominant defensive players coming out of college this spring, many offensive weapons are sure to fly under the radar.
But in addition to the plethora of gifted defensive linemen set to begin the transition from college to the pros, a handful of special offensive stars are prepared to join them.
Here we'll highlight a trio of promising offensive weapons, who are sure to make an impact at the next level.
Keenan Allen, California, WR
Keenan Allen isn't going to set the NFL turf on fire with sprinter-like speed, but he will become a key contributor and an offensive weapon at the next level thanks to his motor, superior ball skills and ability to separate from defenders.
Allen caught 61 balls for 737 yards and six touchdowns this past season with the Golden Bears. His numbers weren't eye-popping, but impressive nonetheless.
Many see the junior wideout as the best available in 2013, and most agree that Allen will come off the board at some point in the first round. At 6'3", 205 pounds, he possesses the large frame that NFL scouts often drool over.
Look for a team like the Miami Dolphins to do whatever they can to get their hands on a rare, game-changing talent in Keenan Allen.
Geno Smith, West Virginia, QB
The widespread belief is that West Virginia's Geno Smith is the best quarterback available this year, and it's certainly no surprise. Smith has thrown for over 4,000 yards in each of his past two seasons in Morgantown, and was one of only nine college signal-callers to throw for more than 4,000 yards in 2012.
Smith has tossed a combined 73 touchdowns over the last two years, and has excellent arm strength that many experts believe will suit him well at the next level.
In addition to possessing a lethal arm, Smith has both the pocket mobility and the brain required to pick apart opposing defenses and develop into a potent offensive weapon in the NFL. Don't be surprised if a team like the Arizona Cardinals jumps early at a chance to bring on Smith under center.
Giovani Bernard, North Carolina, RB
In a year where very few running back prospects truly standout, North Carolina's Giovani Bernard promises to be a solid backfield threat at the next level. The 5'10", 210-pound back had a strong junior season with the Tar Heels in 2012, averaging nearly 6.7 yards per carry.
Bernard rushed for over 1,200 yards and 12 touchdowns this past season, and also made some highlight reel plays as a return man. He recorded two punt returns of 70 or more yards in 2012.
Unlike Allen and Smith, though, Bernard doesn't look to be a locked-in first-round talent.
Still, many teams, including the New York Jets should look to bring on the talented playmaker. Even if Bernard doesn't turn out to be a successful every-down back at the next level, at least he can compete for a return man role and make a difference on special teams.
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